By Hwaa Irfan
We have experienced tidal waves and tsunami’s on the pyschological and social plane since the much questioned 9/11, and with it Islamophobia has been a term that has come into common use, and a lens through which we see many of the things that have been happening in our lives. Just as desired by the social engineers, many Muslims have weakened in faith either by relinquishing their faith, or by adopting more ritualiatic and thus fundamentalist approach, stifling the essence and spirit of the true meaning of Islam.
Unconsciously, many have lost touch with the true spirit, and become lost themselves , or instead, make desperate attempts to find meaning in their lives in other less tangible forms. As xenophobia has taken a dramatic leap in vulnerable communities like the U.S., far too many Muslims still continue to integrate the practices of their oppressors with what a personal meaning of what it is to be a Muslim.
This is our test as so reminded by the glorious Qur’an – a test that measures our true relationship with the Creator, and thus through our Creator, everything else around us, including ourselves.
Acting out of fear, many negative thoughts, feelings and actions transpire from, self measure in relation to something less than ourselves, rejection of parts of ourselves, a devaluing of self worth, self understanding, and submission (enslavement) to materialistic notions that become our master. This process of separation manifests in how we see others, our loves ones, friends and colleagues, as well as the greater society in which we live. Instead of seeing the insecurity of others, their vulnerabilities, that we have experienced as Muslims, we see Islamophobia at all levels of society, even within countries where Muslims constitute the larger population, becuase of the years of hardship where we have stood tested to the true meaning and value of our faith.
We do not see that members of the greater society as victims of social engineering, manipulation, and people who have been betrayed by the very system that once cared about what they think. There is no greater example of that than America today, where entire non-Muslim communities have gone through a process of denial to the living reality that they have been duped. For so long these people have been indoctrinated through the system, at all levels to believe that their way is the right way, to find that that way is a lie. That is harder than any oppression that people of the African Diaspora, people of the Middle East, and other countries have had to face, because that process of oppression informed and educated many of us about the true nature of those who have claimed , and still claim to be our masters. It is harder becuase in the process, to remain in the system, many have sacrificed their hearts, their souls, their self worth, and have based their entire understanding of the way the world works on that lie , and now have to go through a painful process of awakening in quick time.
In other words, it has never been about hating Muslims, for the rest of the world is now in the same position that Muslims, and other oppressed peoples have been for a while. It has always been about the real people in control removing any obstacle to their path of wealth and power.
Many individuals of all races, creeds, and status have struggled to tell this truth, and this truth only became possible when the real people in control felt they no longer had a need to act in secrecy:
“We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years…
…. “It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries.” David Rockefeller at Speaking at the June, 1991 Bilderberger meeting in Baden, Germany (a meeting also attended by then-Governor Bill Clinton and by Dan Quayle
So their reality has become self evident though some of still choose to bury our heads in a state of denial. As those who have become addicted to that reality will take us through more painful times, until separation can be made from that which is anti-life in nature in order that our souls may reawaken to the tawhid that everyone on earth belongs to regardless of faith!
It is the fitra of the Egyptian youth that brought about the spread of the Arab Spring, and the fitra of the youth of old, still living that have brought about the Occupy World. While many innately know this to be God’s work in the making, many more know of this through the movements of the heavens which show His signs. While all creation moves to the Divine Laws of Nature, we as humans have the added burden of the gift of ‘choice’ bequeathed to us by our Creator. That burden means that collectively we have taken a long time to reach this point in our spiritual evolution because we are allowed to fall so far. Whereas evil needs company in numbers, Light needs only Light, and the Light of our conscious awakening is the choice many have made in this time, which allows for our Creator to come to our aid.
It is by God’s Will, and the will of the people that Muhammed Mursi became president by a small 1% in Egypt’s June elections. No media coverage can convey the magic of seeing it in motion. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised was a prophetic truth from the musician, Gill Scott-Heron. Between the state and the people, the fitra of the youth knew only One Truth, though they may not all relate to it or manifest it in the same way. Eighteen months of moving from ‘doing the right thing’ – mass support – setbacks – dissipation – despondency – realization – a growing understanding – self empowerment, and then finally learning to work with and through a state that finds change difficult. Most importantly the people are learning that the momentum of change can only be sustained by their full participation in society, and cannot be handed over, as many of us around the world have handed over.
Muslims and the Rest of Us
Now Islam has become a real notion through the symbolism of Muhammed Mursi, balanced between
- The liberal Al-Azhar, which since claiming independence from the state represents a more holistic Islam – the essence of Islam
- The more extreme of Egyptian Salafism
- Secularism, which as represented by the Mubarak regime, has been rejected
51% of the population voted, meaning 49% stands undedecided, or rebeled by not voting. Muhammed Mursi in his first speech after the announcement asked the people to help him, and yet challenge him if he goes astray. Many will present obstacles, but if th Light is allowed to shine, those obstacles will no longer be obstacles. That after all is the difficult challenge that Islam has presented to the world, that we all matter!
The Message of Our Times
Prophet Muhammed never wanted us to focus on him, hence the lack of mention in the Qur’an. We are supposed to focus on the message, not the messenger, though his life serves as a clear example.
We are told in the Qur’an that Islam has been since the beginning of time, since Adam, yet we have had many prophets and messengers before Prophet Muhammed (SAW). What does this then tell us?
Islam means submission, but if we move past our limited finite human minds we will work past the idea of slavery, indoctrination, lack of freedom. It is in this interpretation as a counselor of 30 years experience that has driven many Muslims to err, to control, manipulate, exploit and abuse in the name of Islam. If Islam is balance, and a mercy to the world, where is the mercy in such limited interpretation based on the limited (anti-life) passing on of the pillars of Islam, and Shari’ah.
The fragmentative approach to Islam began with the separation into Shi’a and Sunni, and then the 1001 fragmentation of each. To go past the limited interpretations, to explore the depth and breath of Islam across the fragments as evidenced by the expression of life.
If we can do that we will ask submission to what! Then we will say Allah (SWT), then we become stuck because of our understanding of Allah (SWT) is according to our limited minds. When we explore the way the Qur’an and Ahadith describes His process of creation and why, then the fundamental lesson we must learn becomes clear. When one has counseled 100s of Muslims from around the world, this becomes an imperative. In terms of that experience, the first fundamental lesson is about harm or haram and the many ways in which that harm is depicted in the Qur’an and Ahadith demonstrates harm at the physical, societal (including trade), psychological, emotional and spiritual level, and how to right that harm across genders, age, status, societies and the true self.
It is like rushing to resolve a conflict between two children. In general, the child with the worst reputation will be reprimanded, whether they caused the initial harm or not. This makes the victim feel vindicated, and addicted to be the victim. But if we stop to discover how it all began, we will discover the initial harm was one of selfishness, spite, separation (which includes fear) that may have been perpetuated by the victim. How many times have we acted out this pattern in relationship to ourselves, family, friends, colleagues, non-Muslims or a Muslim that does not practice in the way we believe a Muslim should practice, which leads to the other fundamental lesson that Allah (SWT) is trying to teach us – tawhid!
If Islam has always been from time beginning, through the periods of the Abrahamic traditions, without a label, then it is about practice, a practice that is intrinsic to the religion of Islam, and yet premeates all faiths. If Islam has been sent as a Mercy through Prophet Muhammed (SAW) to all mankind then where is the mercy in our relationship to ourselves, to others, our dealings, and the environment that sustains us?
The concept of Tawhid permeates many faiths, including the New Age, and the dawning of Aquarius, which we are on the verge of.
We will soon show them Our signs in the Universe and in their own souls, until it will become quite clear to them that it is the truth. (Al-Fussilat, 41/53)
Did we think that Allah (SWT) would only show His Will through us Muslims? How different is that to Jews, when Islam is a Mercy to humankind!
If we have moved from a point of unity, to a point of separation whereby nothing seems to be enough and we fight over what is available, when He gave us everything we will need in the beginning, then the truth will eventually resurface from the depths from which we have submerged it to.
Islam is not called the Path of the Middle Way for nothing!
- All the wars, and means of exploitation are products of fear based living.
- All the global crises are about that which is antilife, therefore unsustainable
- All the geological eruptions pertain to our suppressions, and must be purged
- All the deluges pertain to a process of cleansing
- All the earth directed solar eruptions pertain to purification, and for those who choose, moving up our ladder of spiritual ascension
And while all this is happening we can ask ourselves:
- Am I willing to walk the middle path?
- Can I stay away from extremes that are not in my best interests?
- What does stability and security really mean to me? (and we must ask this honestly, from our hearts, allowing the answer to come)
In other words, this is about tawhid, the unity in which all harmony flows inwards and outwards to all humankind, and then there will be enough for everyone! There is a symbiotic relationship between us and our environment, once we stop recognizing that relationship, obstacles ensue.
The New Agers have been following this trend through His signs culminating in a significant 2012. These Signs are not about fortune-telling as astrology as become, which is haram. They are haram because they are remiss of the level of consciousness and free will of the individual, whose thoughts, intentions, and actions determines what will manifest as well as the actions of others. Fortune-telling removes free will by putting into the minds of a person, a certain set of sequences. So what we are referring to here when we say His Signs, are the Signs that have an energistic impact on live on earth.
Fear-based thinking as led those easily led to take up the Doomsday, Armageddon scenario, but the much misinterpreted Mayan prophecy is actually about rebirth along the natural order of things.
Many celestial events (His signs) relate to the Islamic calendar, and it is by His Mercy that we will have time to slow down, and reflect in what has been a turbulent year, as Ramadhan 1433, takes place in the summer holidays, allowing for families to spend Ramadhan together for the family is the basis of all society, and the way in which we manifest societal structures.
Ramadhan is about renewal of our faith, things we have forgotten or lost track of throughout the year. It offers separation from bad habits, the cleansing practice of forgiveness, and serves to remind us how simply we should i.e. not live in excess.
Ramadhan begins around July 19/20/21 2012, Ramadhan is about renewal of our faith, things we have forgotten or lost track of throughout the year. It offers separation from bad habits, the cleansing practice of forgiveness, and serves to remind us how simply we should i.e. not live in excess. Ramadhan begins like every Islamic month with the approaching astronomical New Moon. The New Moon is about renewal!
The astronomical New Moon of Ramadhan (19/20 July) begins in the constellation of Cancer, which is about grounding… how many of us feel totally imbalanced by the dynamics of this year! so the emphasis should be on slowing down, just as Ramadhan is about slowing down realizing what is necessary, and what is not necessary. If one has become used to praying quickly, and not benefiting from it, it is time to pray slowly. If one watches how one breathes, i.e. when the body contracts into ruku’ and sujud, breathe out from the abdomen, and when extended breathe out from the abdomen. This helps to detoxify the blood, and relax the body as many of us will struggle with fasting in the heat, and in some cases very long hours.
Grounding is about mindfulness, but with the New Moon in Cancer certain sensibilities are vulnerable: perceptions, words, opinions, and new thoughts. That is enough for some people to throw us off our Ramadhan track, so be mindful in this all auspicious Ramadhan year. The influences allows us to sow new emotional seeds: love, compassion, courage, exercise choice according to our true not false selves ringing in the purpose of jihad an nafs or the unification of the self, from the lower to the higher, and we are matched by our true intentions so that we can put our ‘house in order regardless of the prevailing turmoil.
The pattern for almost 2 years has been that the New Moon falls in the same sign that precedes the Sun of the following Full Moon, but now the sign/constellation that the New Moon is in, will be the same as the following Full Moon indicating deadlines around exploration, discovery, findings, and journeys whether physical or psycho-spiritual, thus changing levels of perception. However the affect of what already has been set in motion will challenge that desired balance; for now we will witness the outcome of our thoughts, intentions, and actions, and learn to take responsiy bility for them if we sincerely wish to move to higher ground.
His Signs come through us, and around us, and those Signs increase in momentum, to help us on our way. As this New Moon also trines with Neptune, which is a testing influence. We might find ourselves replacing old illusions for new misconceptions, and if so, we should not hold onto those thoughts, but let them pass like ships in the night, for they are not life-giving /nourishing. If we can do this, we will give space to new forms of expression emerging to inform us of how to lead a more balanced life presenting new ways of communicating, new opportunities, understanding, and skills needed for the next phase.
The question is how will we respond, if at all… the choice is ours, but if out of fear, we will repeat the patterns of the past, when change is really within our reach! What one thought one is will be challenged as the overriding influence of Neptune in Pisces til 2025 is about testing our loyalties, our commitments and that to which we have agreed – learning the full meaning of surrender, forgiveness, letting go, allowing God, devotion, and faith. Then there is Saturn in Libra, helping us to see how the dualities of our lives can serve to find the harmony towards the middle path of common goals.
These lessons are for all of us, whether we are Muslims or not, but it is interesting the Islamic challenges they present before us. Those challenges come for a reason, and if we look around us we can see why; and what better time to walk further down that road, when His Signs are trying to support us!