Tuesday, March 5, 2013

In Defiance of Taliban

Rebecca Kesby of BBC would like us to believe that Pakistanis are taking up skiing in Swat valley in defiance of Taliban.

Very conservative statement - from western perspective.
Taliban is the villain and the West is the saviour.
The trouble with Goebbelsian philosophy is that whether your intended target believes in your lie or not you yourself are more likely to believe it.
And hence you are at the risk of getting disconnected with reality.
And that is the matter of fact.
The west today is by and large cut off from ground reality.
And what is the reality?
Well Muslims today might be in a state of daze because of western affluence and too many of our people might be drooling at the western life styles but the reality is that overall flow of people is not in that direction. You find more and more inclination to keep a grip on religion, not to leave it.
That was part one of reality.
Part two consists of the fact that western physical power, including media, money and diplomacy, is no more the same as they are assuming. Because of economic down turn they do not have the same nimbleness in their maneuverability.

So Defiance of Taliban is a straw man argument. Sport is decidedly an Islamic activity - even if too many of modern sports would not pass muster in an Islamic assessment skiing is something that Islam should not frown upon.

I suppose Muslims should be asserting more against such self-serving western propositions. We have our own way of life and we should be courageous enough to defend it.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Beware of Your Enemies

One of the Cardinal Rules that we often forget is to beware of our enemies.
Iblis, though he is only one of so many of our enemies, has been warned against by Allah (SWT).
Let us try to learn about our enemies from the example of Iblis, the cursed.

We have from Surah Baqrah 2:
34. And behold, We said to the angels: "Bow down to Adam" and they bowed down.
Not so Iblis: he refused and was haughty: He was of those who reject Faith.
One sign of enemy can be inferred from here - he will be disrespectful to you. Openly or secretly. Rejection of faith might lead enmity with you.
35. We said: "O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden; and eat of the
bountiful things therein as [where and when] ye will; but approach not this
tree, or ye run into harm and transgression."
We do not know for how long Adam and his wife dwelt there in the state of bliss. But this pristine state is the one that will be targeted by the enemy.
36. Then did Satan make them slip from the [garden], and get them out of the
state [of felicity] in which they had been. We said: "Get ye down, all [ye
people], with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place
and your means of livelihood - for a time."
The enmity with Iblis is inherited from the days of felicity. Clearly this state of loss, enmity, begins when we switch side towards Iblis, momentarily, by succumbing to his suggestions in contravention of Allah (SWT)'s command. Any one making a direct or indirect hint towards breaking a law of Shariah should be taken as an enemy.

But what about an enemy who is not after our Deen but only Duniya - who is after our physical possessions?
Our physical possessions are the means, created by Allah (SWT) for us, so that we can reach Jannah - navigating this world using those means. A person who is after our worldly possessions is putting our Jannah in jeopardy. Not a friend indeed and ultimately he or she  too is an enemy.
37. Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration, and his Lord Turned
towards him; for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.
This is the beginning of business. Tragedy has taken place. Decision to out Adam and wife from Jannah has been taken. Preparation for exit are underway. Sort of a tragedy in slow motion. First mistake earned a punishment of about sixty to seventy years - in the Ummah of beloved Prophet (PBUH). During this punishment itself we have the opportunity to earn our ticket to Jannah. That is the silver lining  of the tragedy. And Iblis, the cursed, is there, together with his company to pull the con trick again.
38. We said: "Get ye down all from here; and if, as is sure, there comes to you
Guidance from me, whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor
shall they grieve.
Here we have the deal. Mistake was committed. Punishment announced. And help rendered. Escape clauses inserted. It is a test now. There is hope and there is fear. And the route to escape from fear and grieving is explained. It is simple - just follow guidance of Allah (SWT). That guidance is now the Shariah of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). A single act of momentarily following Iblis has tossed not only Adam and his wife but all of their progeny into a series of events where there will be traps by Iblis and company for multiple acts of mistakes, failings, errors.
39. "But those who reject Faith and belie Our Signs, they shall be companions of
the Fire; they shall abide therein."
This is a statement that is scary, in the negation and powerful. But the hope is not difficult at all to locate here. Allah (SWT) is Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim. Just accept faith. Accept His Signs. That is all that is required to be on the felicitous side.

Hazrat Qari Amir Hasan Sahab (NM) used to say that to deceive and to be deceived  is not a Believer's path. This is a strange saying. To deceive is voluntary but to be deceived is not entirely voluntary. Even then a Believer is safe from deception. If you get deceived then you did show some weakness of faith. If you implement your faith in Allah (SWT) then you sure will assert that Allah (SWT) has forbidden to touch that particular tree.