Friday, August 22, 2008

Struggling to be what?

Its been a rough month for me.... I won't go into details, but I've had a lot of time to think about things and see what is really around me. At the time when I needed people most, a lot of them have not been there for me. It really is a sign that I can only trust in Allah, and not his servants here on earth.

What I wanted to write about in this post was how it seems that there is such a struggle in the Ummah to make things 'fit' with an ideal that has little to do with Islam. I've been reading a lot of forums and finding a vast array of posts and opinions. I've been really shocked by some of the things I've read. The Ummah is splitting at the seams. One theme that I've noticed is the attack against traditional Islam. There are Muslims that want to be so far of it that they mock it, and make fun of those who try to follow it. I wonder if they realize that they are being influenced by the same media bias that turns the rest of the world against Muslims?

On my internet travels I've noticed a lot of rejection of Hadith. Now I'm not talking about 'Quran only' people, I'm talking about people who consider themselves sunni Muslims, but want to be able to pick and choose what Hadiths they believe are authentic. This all goes back to the theme of this post... why do people work so hard to trim bits off and make Islam fit in the little box they want it too? I find in quite presumptuous for the average Muslim to think they have the training and knowledge to reject a hadith, just because it does not agree with what they want Islam to be. The intricate science behind authenticating Hadith takes years to understand fully, but yet people still try to take a chance with it, to fulfill their own desires.

My next point involves scholars and their rulings. Now lets just assume that everyone that claims to be a scholar is in fact a scholar (for arguments sake). If there are 2 scholars with differing opinions on a matter, it is our responsibility to read the proofs they bring from Quran & Sunnah and decide which has the more accurate proofs. Now this is where it gets tricky. We are not supposed to just pick the ruling we like more, or the one that affirms our own thoughts, but the one that truly brings more accurate and meaningful proofs. The scholars themselves (if they are in fact qualified scholars) will get 1 reward for a wrong opinion and 2 rewards for the right one. Us, on the other hand do not get this sort of blessings. We are held accountable for determining which brings more accurate proof and accepting the right one. If we follow the wrong one out of our own desires we are sinning.

Finally, as we approach Ramadan, lets all try to remember that we are one Ummah. Regardless of our differences. While some might see others as too strict, others might find someone to lax. In the end we are responsible for our own actions and Allah Subhannah wa Ta'ala will be the one to judge us. As Muslims, we can only help to guide each other to the straight path.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Weekend in Vermont

I had some time, so I went to visit my mom again. It was raining so much in Vermont that all of the crops are dying... my mothers garden was a flood and she was not too happy about it. All of the corn fields were flooded as well, except for this one just across the dirt road from my mothers house. The corn was 8 feet high and beautiful. Now granted this is not a great picture. Stupid me brought my camera but forgot the battery, so this is from my mobile phone camera.

I love it in Vermont, its very peaceful and quiet. Nature is all around you. I think I love it more because my mom is there. We have long talks about everything. We talked about my dad a lot again. How strange it is to come across something that we would like to share with him, and then remembering we can't. While at the library in town, mom found a book in the book sale on Malaysia. Dad was stationed there when he was in the RAF. She felt sad that she would not pay the $1.00 to get it for him because he would never read it.

One of the things that is hard for me with my dad is that my mother always says to me that he is in Heaven now. I don't say anything to her. I just stay silent. I don't know what to say. Thankfully she does not seem to notice my silence. When dad was dying I was in his intensive care room alone with him, just whispering La Illaha Illah Allah to him over and over again. He was so out of it, I have no idea if he heard me or understood me. I have never explained any of this to my mother. I don't want to upset her. I don't know how to tell her about our view of death and Judgment Day.

As I drove home in the rain I thought a lot about this. I ask Allah to guide my family to Islam everyday. I leave it with him.