Thoughts/Notes #1026-1050

1026.    Consider that people who have lots of money also have huge responsibilities and worries. This is why one hears from time to time of very rich people killing themselves (since they may have lost a lot of money, got caught cheating on business deals, etc.) so not everything is easy sailing in this world, even for the ones who seem to have amassed all the material goods of this world.

1027.    (As mentioned) Yes, we normally let ourselves appear whichever way (sloppy, etc.) after we get comfortable in our marriage. But the Emotional Intelligence (or EQ) is to meticulously take care of our appearance even when our marriage has been going on for many years. That is, there should still be the shyness of looking unkempt or bad that we would have had at the beginning of marriage.

1028.    Note an important point: A gift may put the receiver in debt, yet in giving ‘Zakat’ to a person, the receiver is doing a favor by accepting one’s Zakat, since if he didn’t accept it, one would still be liable to find a proper recipient.

1029.    (An analogy presented): If many shops nowadays are data-driven (to make the customer buy more things while one goes in to buy milk, for example), then our actions should also be considered likewise, where we have “data” (in the form of revelation from Allah) knowing when and where we can do good deeds or fall into doing bad deeds, and to improve our lives accordingly.

1030.    The big goal of Tazkiyya an-Nafs is servanthood, the attainment of servanthood, not merely the saying that one is following one’s Shaykh. Consider that if one is arrogant towards one’s parents [who for most of us Muslims were our first teachers and “Shaykhs”], what would an outside observer say about this person’s religion, his Prophet and His Lord?

1031.    An observation: There is a tendency that when inequality is present in societies (even those with plentiful resources and a high standard of living), the classical social problems associated with poverty manifest themselves.

1032.    In the context of geopolitics: Don’t think that aid to different countries is a free gift. No, there are strings attached to it, and political favors are expected in return.

1033.    Mathematical Projection is the important basis for modern science, where space (and more importantly reality itself) is seen a priori to be homogeneous and quantifiable, full stop- this is why ‘God’ is relegated to a secondary or irrelevant role as per modern scientific thinking.

An important point is that we Muslims must avoid falling into the trap of “quantifying Allah” whether explicitly or subconsciously, just for the sake of showing Islam to be somehow “compatible” with modern science.

1034.    Technology today has the very real chance of totally substituting important aspects of our intuition, memory, social skills, etc., and it also has the chance to impair our abilities to make informed choices due to the complexity of many situations at our own intersectional point.

As far as Islam is concerned, we must remember the concepts of Sanad and trusting in traditional Islamic scholarship. After all, forging texts and screenshots of (supposedly) Islamic texts is so easy nowadays, even forging audios and videos is becoming increasingly easy and accessible to all. Thus, we Muslims must remember the original methods through which Islam was disseminated and preserved, and not rely on technology alone as our way to learn Islam.

1035.    It was within the Islamic ethos that a great scientist could also be a great poet. The disjoining of these two (the heart from the mind) is a disservice to the world.

1036.    The truth is that anyone seeking stature with people knows that it is based on him displaying fanaticism, ad hominem attacks, cursing, etc. – this is because the mob cannot understand very nuanced arguments, long definitions, etc., so the things are put in small fanatical statements to whip up the mob and to curry favor with the populace, or at least a large portion thereof. This is something very much seen in our day and age in multiple places.

1037.    It is said that Ibn Sina Arabized the Hellenistic works, while Al-Ghazzali Islamicized Ibn Sina’s work.

1038.    Al-Ghazzali (RAA) gives an interesting analogy: Trying to love Allah with the vices of the heart still intact is like trying to approach your “beloved spouse” with snakes and scorpions in your clothes, with vermin biting you every now and then (so how would that experience be, no matter how much you claim to love your Beloved?)

1039.    A lot of what is taught in “Post-Revelation Constructs” many a times, is Islamic academicians in secular universities trying to problematize what was never an issue in theology, in order to advance their own careers, as simple as that (that is, making stuff up to show how “smart” they are to their circle of colleagues and a limited number of readers).

1040.    The issue does arise, why can we not accept a fundamental epistemological truth with God as the Revealer who knows our limitations and reveals things based on this reality of our limitations. That is, we may be able to (hypothetically) find out many things about reality, but is that the last or final aim of human existence, that we humans would spend thousands or tens of thousands of years arguing about what ethics and morality constitute and how they can be codified? To cap it all off, it is not even known if there will be agreement at the end of this long period of time.

1041.    The pearl is said to come from the irritation in the skin of the oyster as dust rubs against it. As an analogy, there will be difficulties for the soul in its journey towards Allah, but beauties may come out of this struggle.

1042.    The scholars mention that it is more important to preserve what Muslims there are rather than try to grab what is not there (that is, the Da’wah to non-Muslims is important, but keeping Muslims within Islam is a still higher and more urgent objective).

1043.    Imam Junayd (RA) mentioned that for true Tasawwuf, there is a need for 2 witnesses, as if it were a court case; these witnesses being the Quran and the Sunnah, otherwise it is invalid.

1044.    The strategy of the 12er Shias has a relationship with that of the racist, who does not want anything in his “Universe” that is not of his own skin color – he will not be able to live long like that, since he will ultimately be confronted with the fact that he depends on others for his own upkeep. Same with the 12er, his entire “Islam” is predicated on trusting others – these others are us the Sunnis, at whatever level that might be, whether he acknowledges it or not, whether he likes it or not.

1045.    (As mentioned) Consider that feelings of Arab superiority can also manifest themselves when Arabs sell liquor to people of color in their new immigrant homes (in a sense they are saying: ‘You aren’t important to me, I do whatever I want in here to make the best amount of profit possible’). Take into account that even some of the recent highly publicized race riots in the West had their starting point from exactly this, Arab stores selling harmful substances to people of color – then came the police brutality and its aftermath. But the starting point was an Arab store selling liquor or cigarettes to a person of color, to the communities of color.

1046.    Community is a concept that is in a way antithetical to individual freedom in the radical way it is portrayed in the modern world. In the context of Muslims, this is why the Islamic Ummah as a fundamental unit is discarded in discussions, and is replaced with what individual rights or freedoms Islam may provide (which could be an acceptable way to present some issues of Islam, but many more can only be understood within the context of Muslims living as a community).

1047.    (As mentioned) The African Moors (i.e. Muslims) introduced soap and bathing into Europe – if Muslims were so hostile to others, why help European Christians with something that would better their lives and stop plagues and epidemics in Europe? Sure, there would be a benefit to the “Moors” themselves, but first and foremost the benefit would be for the European Christians.

1048.    One cannot say that the UNCHR and its rules were made in order to buttress and consolidate oppression of colonialists against inferior peoples, then turn around and invoke basically these same rules in an attempt to validate ourselves, the “inferior” peoples. This is an enormous oxymoron.

1049.    Nifaaq comes from Nafq, a tunnel, meaning that the hypocrite can come out from any side of the tunnel (either as a Muslim or a non-Muslim) as per the winds of the situation.

1050.    The Prophet (ﷺ) dealt with evil qualities much more than specific people (i.e., calling them out) – so much so that he (ﷺ) didn’t mention hypocrites by name but told us of their qualities, so this is a temporary mercy for them and a big lesson for all Muslims of later generations.