Archive | July 18, 2013

Where the First Adhan was heard in Africa, and the Unfinished ‘Jasmine Revolution’

Where the First <i>Adhan</i> was heard in Africa, and the Unfinished ‘Jasmine Revolution’

There is irony in the name Kairouan phonetically speaking when one thinks the Western-dubbed ‘Arab Spring’ and the ongoing battle for Islam as the first city where the adhan/call for pray, was practiced in Africa.  When Kairouan was founded, there was no place called Cairo, which evoved as the Fatimids shifted from Kairouan to what would become Cairo.   Moreover, “Cairo” is a bad transliteration from the Arabic name “Qahira”, while Kairouan is a fairly correct transliteration of the Arabic “Qayrawan,” which means “caravan stopover” – note the root to the word ‘caravan’.

When the Islamic Iberia, Al-Andulus was flourishing, so was Kairouan/Qayrawan, Tunisia. Founded by an Umayyad general, Uqba İbn Nafi, Kairouan which means ‘military camp’ was established 38 years after the death of Prophet Muhammed (SAW)

The city’s central mosque, was built in 7th century, where the first adhan was heard.

Why would anyone choose a completely deserted remote area covered with impenetrable thickets? The answer given is that of the following story:

A warrior’s horse stumbled on a golden goblet buried in the sands. This goblet was recognized as one that had mysteriously disappeared from Mecca some years before. When the goblet was dug from the desert sand, a spring miraculously appeared and the waters of this spring were said to issue from the same source that supplies the sacred Zamzam well in Mecca.

The well that contains the sacred Zamzam water is near the main entrance to the Great Mosque/Sidi Oqba

The location happens to be safe from attack from the sea, and the Berbers who fought against the Arab invasion.

Kairouan/Qayrawan as witnessed Ommayyad, Abassid, Fatamid, and the Zirid emirs rule over the centuries. As a cultural centre the sciences, literature and the arts flourished. Trade prospered with the establishment of agriculture that dwindled after the 11th century.

UNESCO notes that the Great Mosque/Sidi Oqba was built at an almost equal distance from the sea and the mountain With a skyline full of minarets, the cupolas of its mosques and zawiyas, the integrity of both the city and Great Mosque has been preserved with a network of winding streets and courtyard houses.

The Aghlabites built the great mosque and as a university that was a centre of education both in Islamic thought and in the secular sciences.

Carved in marble with porphyry columns, the Great Mosque/Sidi Oqba is also known as the Mosque of the Three Doors was rebuilt in the 9th century. The Three Doors are Bab el Tounes, Bab el Khoukha, and Bab ech Chouhada – the gates to the city that has been surrounded by a 3 km of walls. Deemed as a universal architectural masterpiece by UNESCO, the  242, 229, 410 and 406 feet contains a prayer hall, a courtyard and a soaring minaret that is the oldest standing minaret.

The Basins of the Aghlabids is an open-air reservoir formed by two communicating cisterns from the 9th century, and represents a cleverly conceived hydraulic system that provided water to the town.  The Zawiya of Sidi Sahib shelters the remains of the companion of Mahomet, Abou Zama El-Balawi.

The French novelist Guy de Maupassant visited Kairouan/Qayrawan in 1889, and wrote:

“I know of three religious buildings in the world that have given me the unexpected and shattering emotion that was aroused in me by this barbaric and astonishing monument: Mont Saint-Michel, Saint Mark’s in Venice, and the Palatine Chapel in Palermo. These three are reasoned, studied, and admirable work of great architects sure of their effects, pious of course, but artistic first, inspired as much or more by their love of line, of form, and of decoration, as by their love of God. But at Kairouan it is something else. A race of fanatics, nomads scarcely able to build walls, coming to a land covered with ruins left by their predecessors, picked up here and there whatever seemed most beautiful to them, and, in their own turn, with these debris all of one style and order, raised, under the guidance of heaven, a dwelling for their God, made of pieces torn from crumbling towns, but as perfect as the purest conceptions of the greatest workers in stone.”

Maupassant comment in part only serves as a reflection of his knowledge that was unaware of the basis of Western agriculture, civil engineering, masonry, religion and the sciences and more in the Asiatic and African region. Many important rabbis studied there including Rabbi Isaac Alfasi.

Commenting on the Prayer Hall, Islamic historian Paul Sebag (The Great Mosque of Kairouan) wrote:

“It is decorated with extreme richness. All of the resources of Islamic ornamentation, carved or painted, have been lavished here on marble, stone, pottery, or wood. This ornamentation borrows its elements from the vegetable world, from geometry, and from epigraphy. Its flora inherited from the Hellenistic tradition the acanthus, the vine, and even the palm tree; it was enriched by oriental plants such as the lotus and the homa, but above all it evolved an imaginary and idealized plant world made up of rinceaux and tresses, of palmettes and fleruons, all of extreme elegance and grace. The geometrical ornamentation of pagans, Christians, and Berbers was extended and refined before being used for the creation of surprising and strange new figures.”

Sources:

“Kairouan” whc.unesco.org/en/list/499

“Kairouan” sacredsites.com/africa/tunisia/kairouan.html

Related Topics:

A Sacred Place

Between the Builder and the Architect: Frederick II, and the Castel Del Monte

Advertisements

Turning Childhood into a Disease*

Turning Childhood  into a Disease*

We can look back on history and refer to King Herod’s slaughtering  of minors as one clear example, but in the midst of history being made in years to come what will this period be referred to on a global  scale: i.e. the mass human trafficking , sexual abuse and rape, digital  tagging and vaccine programs that ruins their health if it does not kill them, ant the rendering of children as psychologically, physically, and socially dysfunctional through Big Pharma drugs/medication, and the public schooling system.

We have swallowed the bitter pill of the psychiatric – pharmaceutical industry that has turned the lives of many children, as well as adults into a nightmare. Far too many parents still doubt themselves, and as a consequence doubt what they know about their own children.

By John Naish

For any parent, having to accept your child needs psychiatric drugs must be agonising. But when Susan Bevis’s 13-year-old daughter Amy suffered a breakdown after a vicious campaign of school bullying, drugs seemed the only option – as instructed by psychiatrists.

Amy’s ordeal began when she simply fell out with a clique of girls. The situation steadily worsened and she faced constant online bullying as well as being physically attacked in class. Gangs started to follow her home, and the family house and car were damaged. Neither the police nor school seemed able to do anything.

Under this terrible strain, Amy began to break down. After months of sleeplessness and extreme anxiety, she said she’d begun to hear voices in her head. Her mother sought medical help. Instead of being offered counselling and social support, Amy was diagnosed by a psychiatrist as having ‘first-rank schizophrenia’, which means she had signs of the condition.

Susan was initially sceptical, but was so anxious to get help she reluctantly agreed to Amy being given medication – this was Risperdal, an antipsychotic that changes the way chemicals in the brain work.

The effects of the medication

“The results were shocking,” recalls Susan. “After only a matter of weeks, her slim body ballooned, her legs were like tree trunks, her eyes became dead-looking, her hair was lank and she felt constantly tired.”

Although Amy’s ‘schizophrenic’ symptoms were relieved, she was bullied even more. Worried, Susan researched the drug. “The official information said it had never been trialled on children. I was shocked. Amy wanted to come off it, so I agreed” she said.

Worryingly, Amy seemed to relapse, suffering from hallucinations again. “But in fact, she was suffering withdrawal symptoms from the drug,” says Susan. After weeks of agony, the symptoms began to subside. The solution to her problems was to move school.

Susan, now a single mother, scrimped and saved to send Amy to a theatre school – “it was the making of her,” she says. “My daughter has wanted to be an actress since she was four. It gave her an interest – and an interest is a way of distracting a child from trauma.”

Amy is 22 now and is, says her mother, “happy and on top of the world”. She’s starting her career on the stage, having graduated with a university degree in theatre arts. “The truth is that my daughter never had “first-rank schizophrenia” – she was being bullied and was under terrible stress.”

Susan is full of scorn for the psychiatric community’s readiness to label children as mentally ill then give them powerful and potentially damaging drugs. She’s become a vociferous critic on the subject, appearing at conferences and pressure groups.

She is particularly dismissive of the way psychiatrists often make their diagnosis using the profession’s ‘bible’ – the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), just published in its fifth version (DSM-5).

Inside DSM-5

The manual is written by an influential committee of American psychiatrists and lists official diagnoses and symptoms – its clinical definitions are used by professionals the world over as a guide for labelling psychiatric illnesses, and giving drug treatment.

One of the major criticisms is that the number of new psychiatric diagnoses added to it is rising exponentially. In 1952, the manual was 130 pages long. The fifth edition has 992 pages. And this latest edition has controversially added new diagnoses such as ‘Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder’, which essentially makes children’s temper tantrums a mental illness.

Critics believe the manuals are “disease mongering” – inventing labels for conditions that don’t really exist, but are normal, albeit difficult, facets of human nature.

“If you look at the DSM-5 there is a diagnosis for everyone. But there is no scientific proof to back many of them,” says Susan, adding, only half in jest: “No doubt they would have a diagnosis for me, as I have challenged the psychiatrists about their care.”

One might expect such scepticism from a mother with a bad experience of the psychiatric profession. But the fact is that spiralling numbers of children are being diagnosed with “mental health problems” that may often be merely behavioural.

Let’s look at ADHD as an example. According to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, ADHD affects about 6.8 per cent of Australian children. Other estimates suggest the prevalence rate among 6 to 17-year-olds in Australia is around 11 per cent.

Recent British figures show that 650,000 children between the ages of eight and 13 are on the drug Ritalin for ADHD. The New York Times reported that 11 per cent of American children have been diagnosed with ADHD.

The psychiatrist who agrees

Now, one of the world’s leading psychiatrists has blown the lid off this burgeoning problem.

Dr Allen Frances chaired the taskforce that wrote the previous version of the DSM, in 1994. At the time, he was described by the New York Times as “the most powerful psychiatrist in America”. But now he admits his version of the manual helped open the floodgates for an epidemic of over-diagnosis of children’s mental illness and mass over-medication, with potentially devastating side-effects.

“In the past 20 years, diagnosis rates of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder have tripled, while autistic disorder and childhood bipolar disorder have each increased by a remarkable 40-fold,” says Dr Frances, an emeritus professor at Duke University School of Medicine in South Carolina.

“This is not because our kids have suddenly become sicker, it’s just that diagnoses are applied to them more loosely.”

He fears the latest edition will make the problem even worse. The result has been a bonanza for the pharmaceutical industry. For example over the past 20 years, the worldwide value of the market for ADHD drugs alone has grown from $18 million to $18 billion a year.

And the long-term effects of these drugs on children remains a perilous unknown, because rigorous safety checks were not performed on children before the medicines were launched.

“It is a mass public health experiment that has been done without anyone’s informed consent,” says Dr Frances. “We have no idea about the long-term effects.

“We do know that in the short term antipsychotic drugs cause tremendous weight gain. A child weighing 50 kilograms will put on 5.5 kilograms in only 12 weeks. This is bound to be a factor for diabetes and heart disease. There is also controversy over whether the long-term use of brain-stimulating drugs causes children to grow up likely to become adult drug abusers.”

The fear is that Ritalin-type medications are so similar to amphetamine or cocaine they create addictive yearnings in young brains that may lead to later drug abuse. There are also concerns that ADHD medication damages young brains in similar ways to cocaine which, ironically, may make them into impulsive and antisocial adults.

“Whatever the long-term effect of these stimulant medications, we do know that they are being over-used massively because of over-diagnosis,” says Dr Frances. “And being wrongly told you have a mental problem at a young age can have a crippling effect for life.”

Temper tantrums on the list

Dr Frances is particularly worried by the new addition to DSM-5 of Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder.

“The idea of turning temper tantrums into a mental disorder is terrible,” he says. Futhermore, “the criteria for diagnosing it were pretty much conjured out of thin air”.

Tellingly, in France, where they shun the DSM, the proportion of kids diagnosed and medicated for ADHD is less than half a per cent. In Britain it’s around 4 per cent. It is estimated one in every 100 Australian children is on medication to treat ADHD symptoms.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is keen to play down the influence of the manual, claiming that they pair the DSM information with “another set of psychiatric-illness classifications – the International Classification of Disease, which is published by the World Health Organisation,” says a spokeswoman.

“The Royal College recognises there are some valid criticisms of the DSM approach. All diagnostic classifications in medicine have been, and always will be, evolving and ready to be improved in response to new scientific evidence.”

In the meantime there is more medication on the way. In February drug regulators in the UK granted a licence for a new class of ADHD drug, Elvanse, approved for children six and older who haven’t responded to Ritalin-type medication, despite a list of known side-effects, such as anxiety, weight loss, stunted growth and heart problems. The drug is not yet available in Australia but is also licensed in Canada.

As Dr Frances knows only too well, it is very easy to add new diagnoses and drugs for children. But it is very difficult indeed to reverse this pharmaceutical tide. As his interview with Good Health drew to a close, he gave a deep sigh and warned: “We are turning childhood into a disease.”

Source*

Related Topics:

The Professional Suicide of a Psychiatrist Exposes Mental Health Lies!

Never Underestimate the Consciousness of an about to be Born!*

Psychiatry as Torture of the Mentally Ill

The Marketing of Madness

The Medicated Child

Court Case Proves Vaccine Cause of Autism*

Israel admits to Birth Controlling Ethiopian Women*

Death and Autoimmune Diseases the Price of HPV Vaccines on 24,000 Indian Girls

Love Misplaced By Capitalism*

Baby Girl Dies After 5 Shots of Vaccine*

Disappearing Children Behind a Wall of Secrecy

Parents Rebel against Do or Die Exams

1,700 Kids – Get Vaccinated or Get Out!

Classified Sane Today, Insane Tomorrow!

Indoctrination in Common Core Texts

Would you want this to be done to your Children? *

What Some Great Minds Thought of Schooling

Criminally Responsible at What Age!

Boys – Attention Deficit on the Rise or Is It!

India: Bill Gates Financing Untested Vaccines that Spread the Disease It Claims to Cure!

Upstairs Downstairs: The Madhatter Psychiatrist

Refuse the Vaccine and We’ll Take Your Baby!

Students and Parents Rebel Against RFIDs

Forced to Go on a Smart Meter that Causes Disease or No Power At All!*

Birth Controling a Nation

PSYCHIATRISTS DRUGGING CHILDREN FOR “SOCIAL JUSTICE”

Western Childhood a Curious Turn of Events

The Desecration of Childhood

Test the Poor until they are Brain Dead, and Educate the Rich!

More Evidence Smart Meters Endangers Health and Personal Security

4,250% Increase in Foetal Deaths from Flu Vaccines*

School Secret Cemetery Reveals More Graves*

36 Infants Die After Receiving Vaccine*

Where Did Compassion Go?

Coke’s Assault of Destruction

Are Schools Preparing Black Boys… for Prison?

Knowledge Comes to Life Through Touch and Movement!

U.K: To Become a Genderless, Parentless Society

Alchemy of the Heart

Alchemy of the Heart

By Sheikh Muhammad Maulud

Translated into English by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

The Heart

Allah subhanahu wa t’ala says, “On that day nothing will benefit the human being, neither wealth nor children, only the one who brings Allah a sound heart.”

A sound heart is one that is free of defects and spiritual blemishes. Though the spiritual heart is centred in the physical heart, the heart being referred to here is the spiritual heart, not the physical heart. In ancient Chinese medicine, the heart houses what is known as “chen” which is “a spirit.” The Chinese character for “thinking,” “thought,” “love,” “virtue,” and “intending to listen” all contain the ideogram for the heart. In fact, in every culture in the world, people use metaphors that deal with the heart; in English, we call people who are cruel, “hard-hearted people.” There is also the idea of having “a cold heart” and “a warm heart.” People who do not hide their emotions well “wear their hearts on their sleeves.” When deeply affected, we say, “he affected me in my heart” or “in my core.” In fact, the English word “core” means “inner most,” and in Arabic, the equivalent “lub” comes from the Latin word, meaning “heart.” Thus, the core of the human being is indeed the heart. The word “courage” also comes from the same root word as for “heart” because courage is centred in the heart. The most ancient Indo-European word for heart means “that which leaps.” The heart leaps or beats in the breast of man. For example, people say, “my heart skipped a beat” in reaction to seeing somebody. Many such metaphors are used for the heart.

Three Types of People

The ancients were aware of the spiritual diseases of the heart, and this is certainly at the essence of the Islamic teaching. One of the first things the Qur’an does is define three types of people: the mu’minun, the kafirun, and the munafiqun. The mu’minun are people whose hearts are alive while the kafirun are people whose hearts are dead. The munafiqun are people who have a disease or a sickness in their hearts; thus, Allah subhanahu wa t’ala says, “In their hearts is a disease, and they were increased in their disease.” This is also in accordance with another verse: “When their hearts deviated, Allah made them deviate further.” When somebody turns away from Allah subhanahu wa t’ala, Allah subhanahu wa t’ala causes them to deviate even further from the truth.

The Heart and the Brain

The actual physical heart in our breast beats about 100,000 times a day, pumping two gallons of blood per minute, 100 gallons per hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for an entire lifetime! The vascular system that sends this life-giving blood is over 60,000 miles long: it is more than two times the circumference of the earth. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that the heart starts beating before the brain is formed; the heart begins to beat without any central nervous system. The dominant theory was that the central nervous system is what is controlling the entire human being from the brain, yet we know now that in fact the nervous system does not initiate the heartbeat. It is actually self-initiated; we would say, it is initiated by Allah subhanahu wa t’ala. 

The heart is the centre of the human being. Many people think the brain is the centre of consciousness, yet the Qur’an clearly states, “They have hearts that they are not able to understand with.” According to the Muslims, the centre of human consciousness is the heart and not the brain itself, and it is only recently that human beings have learned there are over 40,000 neurons in the heart; in other words, there are cells in the heart that are communicating. Now, it is understood that there is two-way communication between the brain and the heart: the brain sends messages to the heart, but the heart also sends messages to the brain. The brain receives these messages from the heart, which reach the amygdala and the thalamus. The cortex receives input from the amygdala and thalamus that it processes to produce emotion; the new cortex relates to learning and reasoning. These processes are recent discoveries, and although we do not fully understand them, we do know that the heart is an extremely sophisticated organ.

According to the hadith, the heart is a source of knowledge. The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said that wrong action is what irritates the heart. Thus, the heart actually knows wrong actions, and this is one of the reasons why people can do terrible things, but, ultimately, they are affected negatively. In Crime and Punishment, the brilliant Russian author Dostoevsky indicates that crime itself is the perpetrator’s punishment because human beings have to live with the result of their actions: their souls are affected. When people do something against the heart, they act against the soul, and that actually affects human beings to the degree that they will go into a state of spiritual agitation, and people will use many ways to cover this up. This is what kufur is: “kufur” means “covering up.” To hide their agitation, people use alcohol, drugs, and sexual experimentation; they also seek power, wealth, and fame, taking themselves into a state of heedlessness, submerging themselves into the ephemeral world which causes them to forget their essential nature and to forget their hearts. Thus, people become cut off from their hearts.

Wrong Actions Sicken the Heart

One of the things about being cut off from the heart is that the more cut off from the heart one becomes, the sicker the heart grows because the heart needs nourishment, and heedlessness starves the spiritual heart. When one goes into a state of unawareness of Allah and the akhira, one becomes unaware of the infinite world in relation to the finite world, unaware that we are in this world for a temporary period. When we look at the infinite world in relation to the finite world, suddenly our concerns become focused on the infinite world and not on the finite world. On the other hand, when people are completely immersed within the finite world, believing that they will be here forever, believing that they will not be taken to account for their actions, this action in and of itself ultimately leads to the spiritual death of the hearts. However, before it dies and becomes putrid and completely foul, the heart will show many symptoms. These are the spiritual diseases of the hearts.

Shubahat and Shahawat: Two Types of Diseases

There are two types of diseases of the heart. The first are called shubahat, and these are diseases that relate to understanding. For instance, if somebody is fearful of his provision from Allah, afraid he will not get his food for the day, then there is a disease in his heart because a sound heart has complete trust in Allah subhanahu wa t’ala, and a sick heart has doubt. For this reason, a sound heart does not worry. It is the nafs (ego), shaytan, hawa (caprice), and dunya (the love of this ephemeral world) that lead to this state of fear or of anxiety. The heart in [and] of itself is an organ designed to be in a state of stillness, but the stillness will only come about by the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa t’ala. The Qur’an states, “Isn’t it by the dhikr of Allah that the heart is stilled?” This is what the heart wants: it wants to remember Allah subhanahu wa t’ala. When Allah is not remembered, the heart goes into a state of agitation: it goes in a state of turmoil, and it becomes diseased because it is not being fed. Just as we need to breathe because cells need life-giving oxygen and if we stop breathing, cells die, similarly, the heart also needs to breathe, and the breath of the heart is the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa t’ala. Dhikr is what feeds and nourishes the heart. The company of good people is the food and exercise of the heart. All of these things are necessary for the heart to be sound and healthy, and this is basically the purpose of Revelation. The Qur’an has come to remind people that our hearts need nourishment. Thus, Allah subhanahu wa t’ala tells us that the human being who will be in a good state in the next world is the one who brings a sound heart.

When we are born, we enter the world in a state of fitra: the original inherent nature of the human being; then we learn to be anxious. We learn anxiety from our mothers, fathers, and society. Thus, the Qur’an says that the human being is created in a state of anxiety (hala’), and the one group of people who are removed from this state of anxiety are the musallin: the people of prayer. This “prayer” is not the five daily obligatory prayers; rather, it is the prayer of people who are always in a state of prayer (dhikr); they are always in a state of connection with Allah subhanahu wa t’ala, and this is the highest station. This is the station of people who are not diverted from the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa t’ala by buying, commerce, or anything else. They are the ones who remember Allah subhanahu wa t’ala, as the Qur’an states, “standing, sitting, and reclining on their sides.” These are the people who are not the people of heedlessness (ghafla).

The second type of the diseases of the heart is called shahawat, and these are the base desires of the self. For instance, food and sex are shahawat; they are appetites. These become diseases when they grow out of proportion from their natural states. In Islam, we have a method or a means by which our hearts can be remedied and return to their sound state again. The dhikr that the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did more than any other dhikr was “Oh Turner-Overer of the hearts, make my heart firm on your deen,” and it is important that Muslims be reminded of this.

The Text: Mat-hartul Qulub

In Arabic, “Mat-hara” is ism makaan (a noun of place), and it means “a tool of tahara (purification),” and that is what Mat-hartul Qulub is. This text is the alchemy of the heart: it explains how to transform the heart. Mat-hartul Qulub was written by a great scholar, Shaykh Muhammad Maulud al-Musawir al-Ya’qubi from Mauritania. He was a brilliant scholar of West Africa who mastered all of the Islamic sciences as well as the inward sciences of Islam. He wrote this didactic poem in order to teach people the means to purify their hearts because he looked around and realized that everybody he saw had a diseased heart. Though he recognized the benefit in learning the abstract sciences of Islam, such as grammar, rhetoric, and logic, he felt that people may not have a great deal of need for that knowledge given the fact that on the Day of Judgement, the heart is the only thing about which we will be asked. The state of our hearts is the only thing that may benefit us because “actions are by intentions” as the hadith states. Since all our actions are rooted in intentions, and the place of intention is the heart, every action we do is rooted in our hearts. Thus, in reality when we are asked about our actions, we are asked about the intentions behind the actions, and given the fact that intentions emanate from the heart, what we are actually being asked about is the human heart. When Shaykh Muhammad Maulud realized this, he said that suddenly Allah subhanahu wa t’ala inspired him to write this text, and he based it upon many of the previous texts that had gone before, such as the last book of the Ihya ‘Ulumudin by Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali.

Rectification Begins with the Self

If we look at the world today, the tribulations, the trials, and every war that we have, we will see that every bit of human suffering is rooted in human hearts. The reason people are aggressive against other people is due to diseases of the heart: covetousness, the desire to conquer, the desire to exploit other people, and the desire to steal their natural resources are all from diseases of the heart. A sound heart cannot commit such acts. Every murderer, every rapist, every idolater, every foul person, every person showing an act of cruelty has a diseased heart because these actions emanate from diseased hearts. If the hearts were sound, none of these actions would be a reality. Therefore, if we wish to change our world, we cannot go about it by attempting to rectify the outward; rather, we change the world by rectifying the inward because it is the inward that precedes the outward.

In reality, everything that we see outside of us comes from the unseen world. The phenomenal world emerges from the unseen world, and all actions emerge from the unseen realm of our hearts. Thus, if we want to rectify our actions, we must first rectify our hearts. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the famous American preacher and civil rights activist, said that in order for people to condemn injustice, they have to follow four stages: the first stage is that they must ascertain that injustices are indeed being perpetrated. People must point out the injustices, and in his case, it was injustices against the African-American people in the United States. The second stage is to negotiate: people must go to the oppressors and demand justice. If the oppressors refuse, then Dr. King said that the third stage is self-purification. He said that we must ask ourselves, are we ourselves wrongdoers? Are we ourselves oppressors? The final stage is to take action once we have looked into ourselves.

One of the things the Muslims of the modern world fail to recognize is that when we look at all of the terrible things that are happening to us, we often refuse to look at ourselves and ask ourselves, why are these things happening to us? If we ask that in all sincerity, the answer will come back in no uncertain terms that this is all from our own selves. We have brought all of the suffering upon ourselves. This is the only empowering position that we can take, and this is the Quranic position. Allah subhanahu wa t’ala says quite clearly that He places some of the oppressors over other oppressors because of what their hands were earning. According to Fakharudin ar-Razi’s explanation, radi Allahu ‘anhu, this verse means that whenever there is oppression in the earth, it is a result of other people’s oppression. Thus, those people who are being aggressed upon are being oppressed because of their own oppression. However, this is obviously with the exception of tribulation. There are definitely times when the mu’minun are tried, but if they respond accordingly with patience and perseverance, Allah subhanahu wa t’ala always gives them victory.

The Impure Oppress and the Pure Elevate

There is no doubt that the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the sahaba were being oppressed when they were in Makkah, but Allah subhanahu wa t’ala later gave them victory. Within 23 years, the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was not only no longer oppressed, he had conquered the entire Arabian peninsula, and all of the people who had previously oppressed him were begging him for mercy. Even though they deserved to be recompensed with punishment, the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam forgave them, and this is the difference between somebody whose heart is pure and somebody whose heart is impure. The impure people oppress, and the pure people not only forgive their oppressors, they actually conquer them by the power of Allah subhanahu wa t’ala, and then they elevate them. This is what Muslims must recognize: the only solution to all of our problems is that we have to purify ourselves, and this is what Mat-hartul Qulub is about; it is a book of self-purification. If we take this book seriously, work on our hearts, and actually implement what we learn from it, we will begin to see changes in our lives, around us, and within our own family dynamics. It is a blessing that we have this book and that this teaching still exists in our community. All that is left is for us to take this teaching upon ourselves and to take it seriously.

Medicine for the Diseased Heart

If you use the techniques that are given by the imams, you will see results. However, it is just as the prescription that the doctor gives you: the doctor can only write the prescription; he can give you the medicine, but he cannot force you to take the medicine. It is left for us to take the medicine. The imams have given us the medicine: our teaching is there; it is clear; it does work; and we can change ourselves with it. If we do, Allah subhanahu wa t’ala has promised that we will be rewarded in this world and in the next. Thus, all that is left for us to do now is to go through these diseases and then set out to implement their cures in sha Allah.

Related Topics:

The Heart*

Are We Ready for Ramadhan?*

The Last Illusion

What’s Keeping You?*

The Right of Fasting

America’s Plan B in Egypt: Bring Back the Old Regime*

America’s Plan B in Egypt: Bring Back the Old Regime*

 

Writes Nancy A. Youssef

 The Egyptian general who announced that President Mohammed Morsi had been removed from office was named the country’s first deputy prime minister on Tuesday, a sign that the military, despite asserting it had no interest in governing, intended to maintain its influence.

The title is the third one bestowed on Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who will maintain his portfolios as defense minister and head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. If that were not enough to delineate his influence on events here, a photo of the new 34-member Cabinet did. El-Sissi is front and center, to the left of Transitional President Adly Mansour, who el-Sissi appointed. The country’s new prime minister is on Mansour’s right.

Newly named Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei, who was appointed last week as the country’s vice president for foreign affairs and is considered the voice of the country’s liberal movement, was not in the photo, reportedly because the vice president is not technically a member of the prime minister’s government.

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

The road that has been taken in Egypt is a dangerous one. A military coup has taken place in Egypt while millions of Egyptians have cheered it on with little thought about what is replacing the Muslim Brotherhood and the ramifications it will have for their society. Many people in cheering crowds have treated the Egyptian military’s coup like it was some sort of democratic act. They fail to remember who the generals of the Egyptian military work for. Those who are ideologically opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood have also cheered the military takeover without realizing that the military takeover ultimately serves imperialist behaviour. The cheering crowds have not considered the negative precedent that has been set.

Egypt was never cleansed of corrupt figures by the Muslim Brotherhood, which instead joined them. Key figures in Egypt, like Al-Azhar’s Grand Mufti Ahmed Al-Tayeb (who was appointed by Mubarak), criticized the Muslim Brotherhood when Mubarak was in power, then denounced Mubarak and supported the Muslim Brotherhood when it gained power, and then denounced the Muslim Brotherhood when the military removed it from power. The disgraced Muslim Brotherhood has actually been replaced by a far worse assembly. These figures, whatever they call themselves, have only served power and never democracy. The military’s replacements for the Muslim Brotherhood—be it the new interim president or the leaders of the military junta—were either working with or serving the Muslim Brotherhood and, even before them, Hosni Mubarak’s regime.

The Undemocratic Egyptian Full Circle

Unlike the protests, the military takeover in Egypt is a blow to democracy. Despite the incompetence and hypocrisy of the Egyptian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership, it was democratically elected into power. While the rights of all citizens to demonstrate and protest should be protected and structured mechanisms should securely be put into place in all state systems for removing any unpopular government, democratically-elected governments should not be toppled by military coups. Unless a democratically-elected government is killing its own people arbitrarily and acting outside the law, there is no legitimate excuse for removing it from power by means of military force. There is nothing wrong with the act of protesting, but there is something wrong when a military coup is initiated by a corrupt military force that works in the services of Washington and Tel Aviv.

Things have come full circle in Cairo. The military oversight over the government in Cairo is exactly the position that Egypt’s corrupt military leaders wanted to have since the Egyptian elections in 2012 that brought the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party into power. Since then there has been a power struggle between the Egyptian military and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Expecting to win the 2012 elections, at first the Egyptian military fielded one of its generals and a former Mubarak cabinet minister (and the last prime minister to serve under Mubarak), Ahmed Shafik, for the position of Egyptian president. If not a Mubarak loyalist per se, Shafik was a supporter of the old regime’s political establishment that gave him and the military privileged powers. When Ahmed Shafik lost there was a delay in recognizing Morsi as the president-elect, because the military was considering rejecting the election results and instead announcing a military coup.

The High Council of the Armed Forces, which led Egypt’s military, realized that a military coup after the 2012 elections would not fare too well with the Egyptian people and could lead to an all-out rebellion against the Egyptian military’s leadership. It was unlikely that many of the lower ranking soldiers and commissioned officers would have continued to follow the orders of the Egyptian military’s corrupt upper echelons if such a coup took place. Thus, plans for a coup were aborted. Egyptian military leaders instead decided to try subordinating Egypt’s civilian government by dissolving the Egyptian Parliament and imposing a constitution that they themselves wrote to guarantee military control. Their military constitution subordinated the president’s office and Egypt’s civilian government to military management. Morsi would wait and then reinstate the Egyptian Parliament in July 2012 and then nullify the military’s constitution that limited the powers of the presidency and civilian government after he worked with the US and Qatar to pacify Hamas. Next, Morsi would order Marshall Tantawi, the head of the Egyptian military, and General Anan, the second most powerful general in the Egyptian military, into resigning—neither one was a friend of democracy or justice.

Was Morsi’s Administration Really a Muslim Brotherhood Government?

Before it was ousted, the Muslim Brotherhood faced serious structural constraints in Egypt and it made many wrong decisions. Since its electoral victory there was an ongoing power struggle in Egypt and its Freedom and Justice Party clumsily attempted to consolidate its political control over Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood’s attempts to consolidate power meant that it has had to live with and work with a vast array of state institutions and bodies filled with its opponents, corrupt figures, and old regime loyalists. The Freedom and Justice Party tried to slowly purge the Egyptian state of Mubarak loyalists and old regime figures, but Morsi was forced to also work with them simultaneously. This made the foundations of his government even weaker.

The situation for the Muslim Brotherhood in 2012 was actually similar to the one Hamas faced in 2006 after its electoral victories in the Palestinian elections. Just as Hamas was forced by the US and its allies to accept Fatah ministers in key positions in the Palestinian government that it formed, the Muslim Brotherhood was forced to do the same unless it wanted the state to collapse and to be internationally isolated. The main difference between the two situations is that the Muslim Brotherhood seemed all too eager to comply with the US and work with segments of the old regime that would not challenge it. Perhaps this happened because the Muslim Brotherhood feared a military takeover. Regardless of what the reasons were, the Muslim Brotherhood knowingly shared the table of governance with counter-revolutionaries and criminals.

In part, Morsi’s cabinet would offer a means of continuation to the old regime. Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr, Morsi’s top diplomat, was a cabinet minister under Marshal Tantawi and served in key positions as Mubarak’s ambassador to the United States and Saudi Arabia. Morsi’s cabinet would only have a few members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party whereas the ministerial portfolios for the key positions of the Interior Ministry, Defence Ministry, and the Suez Canal Authority would be given to Mubarak appointees from Egypt’s military and police apparatus. Abdul-Fatah Al-Sisi, Mubarak’s head of Military Intelligence who has worked closely with the US and Israel, would be promoted as the head of the Egyptian military and as Egypt’s new defence minister by Morsi. It would ironically, but not surprisingly, be Al-Sisi that would order Morsi’s arrest and ouster after extensive consultations with his American counterpart, Charles Hagel, on July 3, 2013.

The Muslim Brotherhood and the Obama Administration: An Alliance of Convenience?

As a result of the Muslim Brotherhood’s collaboration with the US and Israel, large components of the protests in Egypt against Morsi were resoundingly anti-American and anti-Israeli. This has to do with the role that the Obama Administration has played in Egypt and the regional alliance it has formed with the Muslim Brotherhood. In part, it also has to do with the fact that Morsi’s opponents—even the ones that are collaborating with the US and Israel themselves—have capitalized on anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiments by portraying Morsi as a US and Israeli puppet. In reality, both the United States and Muslim Brotherhood have tried to manipulate one another for their own gains. The Muslim Brotherhood has tried to use the Obama Administration to ascend to power whereas the Obama Administration has used the Muslim Brotherhood in America’s war against Syria and to slowly nudge the Hamas government in Gaza away from the orbit of Iran and its allies in the Resistance Bloc. Both wittingly and unwittingly, the Muslim Brotherhood in broader terms has, as an organization, helped the US, Israel, and the Arab petro-sheikhdoms try to regionally align the chessboard in a sectarian project that seeks to get Sunnis and Shias to fight one another.

Because of the Freedom and Justice Party’s power struggle against the Egyptian military and the remnants of the old regime, the Muslim Brotherhood turned to the United States for support and broke all its promises. Some can describe this as making a deal with the “Devil.” At the level of foreign policy, the Muslim Brotherhood did not do the things it said it would. It did not end the Israeli siege on the people of Gaza, it did not cut ties with Israel, and it did not restore ties with the Iranians. Its cooperation with the US allowed Washington to play the different sides inside Egypt against one another and to hedge the Obama Administration’s bets.

The Muslim Brotherhood miscalculated in its political calculus. Morsi himself proved not only to be untrustworthy, but also foolish. Washington has always favoured the Egyptian military over the Muslim Brotherhood. Like most Arab militaries, the Egyptian military has been used as an internal police force that has oppressed and suppressed its own people. Unlike the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian military gives far greater guarantees about the protection of US interests in Egypt, Israel’s security, and US sway over the strategically and commercially important Suez Canal. Furthermore, the Muslim Brotherhood had its own agenda and it seemed unlikely that it would continue to play a subordinate role to the United States and Washington was aware of this.

Revolution or Counter-Revolution?

Indeed a dangerous precedent has been set. The events in Egypt can be used in line with the same type of standard that allowed the Turkish military to subordinate democracy in Turkey for decades whenever it did not like a civilian government. The Egyptian military has taken the opportunity to suspend the constitution. It can now oversee the entire political process in Egypt, essentially with de facto veto powers. The military coup not only runs counter to the principles of democracy and is an undemocratic act, but it also marks a return to power by the old regime. Egypt’s old regime, it should be pointed out, has fundamentally always been a military regime controlled by a circle of generals and admirals that operate in collaboration with a few civilian figures in key sectors.

Things have really gone full circle in Egypt. The judiciary in Egypt is being aligned with the military or old regime again. Mubarak’s attorney-general, Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, who was removed from power in November 2012 has been reinstated. The Egyptian Parliament has been dissolved again by the leaders of the High Council of the Armed Forces. President Morsi and many members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been rounded up and arrested by the military and police as enemies of the peace.

Adli (Adly) Al-Mansour, the Mubarak appointed judge that President Morsi was legally forced to appoint as the head of the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court, has now been appointed interim president by the High Council of the Armed Forces. Al-Mansour is merely a civilian figure head for a military junta. It is also worth noting that the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court, like much of the Mubarak appointees in the Egyptian judiciary, has collaborated with the Egyptian military against the Muslim Brotherhood and tried to dissolve the Egyptian Parliament.

Mohammed Al-Baradei (El-Baradei / ElBaradei), a former Egyptian diplomat and the former director-general of the politically manipulated International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has been offered the post of interim prime minister of Egypt by the military. He had returned to Egypt during the start of the so-called Arab Spring to run for office with the support of the International Crisis Group, which is an organization that is linked to US foreign policy interests and tied to the Carnegie Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and George Soros’ Open Society Institute. Al-Baradei himself has been delighted every time that the Egyptian military has announced a coup; he supported a military takeover in 2011 and, to his benefit, he has supported it in 2013. Where he could not secure a position for himself through the ballot box, he has been offered a government position undemocratically through the military in 2013.

Many of the Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters are emphasizing that an unfair media war was waged against them. The Qatari-owned Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, Al Jazeera’s Egyptian branch which has worked as a mouth piece for the Muslim Brotherhood, has been taken off the air by the Egyptian military. This, along with the ouster of Morsi, is a sign that Qatar’s regional interests are being rolled back too. It seems Saudi Arabia, which quickly congratulated Adli Al-Mansour, is delighted, which explains why the Saudi-supported Nour Party in Egypt betray the Muslim Brotherhood. Other media linked to the Muslim Brotherhood or supportive of it have also been censored and attacked. Much of the privately owned media in Egypt was already anti-Muslim Brotherhood. Like Grand Mufti Ahmed Al-Tayeb, many of these media outlets were supportive of Mubarak’s dictatorship when he was in power, but only changed their tune when he was out of power. The point, however, should not be lost that media censorship against pro-Muslim Brotherhood media outlets does not equate to democratic practice whatsoever.

The figures that have supported the military coup, in the name of democracy, are themselves no friends of democracy either. Many of these opportunists were Mubarak lackeys. For example, the so-called Egyptian opposition leader Amr Moussa was highly favoured by Hosni Mubarak and served as his foreign minister for many years. Not once did Moussa ever bother or dare to question Mubarak or his dictatorship, even when Moussa became the secretary-general of the morally bankrupt and useless Arab League.

The Egyptian Coma Will Backfire on the US Empire

Despite the media reports and commentaries, the Muslim Brotherhood was never fully in charge of Egypt or its government. It always had to share power with segments of the old regime or “Washington’s and Tel Aviv’s men.” Key players in different branches of government and state bodies from the old regime stayed in their places. Even President Morsi’s cabinet had members of the old regime. The discussions on Sharia law were predominately manipulated by the Muslim Brotherhood’s opponents primarily for outside consumption by predominantly non-Muslim countries and to rally Egypt’s Christians and socialist currents against Morsi. As for the economic problems that Egypt faced, they were the mixed result of the legacy of the old regime, the greed of Egypt’s elites and military leaders, the global economic crisis, and the predatory capitalism that the United States and European Union have impaired Egypt with. Those that blamed Morsi for Egypt’s economic problems and unemployment did so wrongly or opportunistically. His administration’s incompetence did not help the situation, but they did not create it either. Morsi was manning a sinking ship that had been economically ravaged in 2011 by foreign states and local and foreign lenders, speculators, investors, and corporations.

There was an undeniable constant effort to sabotage the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule, but this does not excuse the incompetence and corruption of the Muslim Brotherhood. Their attempts at gaining international respectability by going to events such as the Clinton Global Initiative hosted by the Clinton Foundation have only helped their decline. Their hesitation at restoring ties with Iran and their antagonism towards Syria, Hezbollah, and their Palestinian allies only managed to reduce their list of friends and supporters. All too willingly the Muslim Brotherhood seemed to let itself be used by the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to pacify Hamas in an attempt to de-link the Palestinians in Gaza from the Resistance Bloc. It continued the siege against Gaza and continued to destroy the tunnels used to smuggle daily supplies by the Palestinians. Perhaps it was afraid or had very little say in the matter, but it allowed Egypt’s military, security, and intelligence apparatuses to continue collaborating with Israel. Under the Muslim Brotherhood’s watch Palestinians were disappearing in Egypt and reappearing in Israeli prisons. Morsi’s government also abandoned the amnesty it had given to the Jamahiriya supporters from Libya that took refuge in Egypt.

The United States and Israel have always wanted Egypt to look inward in a pathetic state of paralysis. Washington has always tried to keep Egypt as a dependent state that would fall apart politically and economically without US assistance. It has allowed the situation in Egypt to degenerate as a means of neutralizing the Egyptians by keeping them divided and exhausted. The US, however, will be haunted by the coup against Morsi. Washington will dearly feel the repercussions of what has happened in Egypt. Morsi’s fall sends a negative message to all of America’s allies. Everyone in the Arab World, corrupt and just alike, is more aware than ever that an alliance with Washington or Tel Aviv will not protect them. Instead they are noticing that those that are aligned with the Iranians and the Russians are the ones that are standing.

An empire that cannot guarantee the security of its satraps is one that will eventually find many of its minions turning their backs on it or betraying it. Just as America’s regime change project in Syria is failing, its time in the Middle East is drawing to an end. Those who gambled on Washington’s success, like the Saudi royals, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, will find themselves on the losing side of the Middle East’s regional equation…

Source*

Related Topics:  

Rand Paul Introduces Legislation to End Foreign Aid to Egypt*

New World Order Kills Democracy in Egypt

Just as Before Egypt’s Coalition Splits Over Interim President Broad Powers*

Palestinian Passengers in Limbo this Ramadhan Due to Egyptian Ban*

Thou Shalt Obey!

Globalist El-Baradei Heads Egypt’s Interim Government*

Egyptian Military Coup Post Morsi