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Abu Hadi

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  1. I thought this was common knowledge. I forgot you are outside the US. A few years ago, this was in the news every day. Anyway, here is a link https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/robo-signing-still-making-headlines-as-w-71886/ https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-wells-fargo-settlement-20140524-story.html The synopsis is they mishandled foreclosure documents in an illegal way (including forging signatures on thousands of documents) in order to speed up the foreclosure process. So I'll ask again, if they were losing money on foreclosures, why would they do this ? Why would they try to speed up the process ? You would think they would slow it down and try to keep the 'homeowner' (I put in quotes because it's the bank who actually owns the home, not the person until the last penny of the principle of the mortgage is paid) in their home. Even if we put aside the moral question for a second (of kicking a family out of their home, which apparently doesn't bother them in the least) there is still the financial question of why would they want to foreclose if they are losing money. As for the statistics, there are certain circumstances and certain areas where the banks actually do lose money on foreclosures. This is because the real estate markets in the US are hyper local markets, meaning the numbers are very dependent on where the house is actually located. An example, if you got a mortgage for say $100,000 on a house in Detroit in 2001 and then tried to sell it in 2008, you would probably lose money because in Detroit, the housing market crashed around that time in a big way. The bank would lose money in that case because there is no way they could resell the house for that amount at that time. At the same time, these crashes are the exception and not the rule. There were many places in the US that if you bought a house in that city in 2001 and sold in 2008 you would actually make money. In some places like L.A., D.C., Raleigh / Durham, Minneapolis, Boston, Austin, Boise, Ann Arbor, Canton, etc, you would actually make alot of money since these markets actually went up between those years by quite a bit. In most places you would make maybe 10 to 20k, including most cities in Michigan, with the exception of Detroit. Although Detroit is a big city in terms of area, the population is not that large when compared to other big cities in the US. More than 90% of the people in Michigan live outside of Detroit. So what these propaganda groups like Turning Point USA, etc, do is that they selectively look at statistics only from certain small areas like Detroit in those years or the South Side of Chicago (Chiraq) and then extrapolate those out to the entire country. Those groups are shills for the big financial companies and they are funded by them. What they don't tell you is banks like Wells Fargo are nationwide so while they might lose money on foreclosures in a few areas, they make money in most areas, thus the robo-signing scandal. If housing prices didn't almost always go up, there would be no real estate industry. The whole industry is based on that fact. As for the clock starting at the first late payment, it does. After the 90 days, the bank starts foreclosure proceedings (in court) in most cases. These proceedings do take time, so they family isn't evicted on Day 91, in most cases. The paperwork has to make it's way around. While the legal process is proceeding, the bank tacks on additional interest and penalties so that when the eviction does happen, the 'homeowner' will owe so much money that it is doubtful that they can actually pay it. If they couldn't pay the original payment, which was lower, how on earth are they going to pay the higher amount ? This is what the banks count on. Mortgage laws do differ slightly from state to state but this basic framework is common to all of them. This is unjust because it is done to poor and lower middle class people only. They are the ones who end up losing their homes. Upper middle class and wealthy people have assets that they can sell if they get into a problem with their mortgage. They will usually do this very early in the process so that penalties and interest don't add up. They have stocks, bonds, 401ks, investment properties, etc. They also have a social network of other upper middle class and wealthy people to help them. Poor people and lower middle class don't have any of these resources, which is why the situation happens in the first place. This is why the US is increasingly becoming a country of a few billionaires, a few wealthy who are not billionaires, and many poor and destitute people. The confusion happens because many poor people in the US try to pretend like their rich by buying a expensive handbag or outfit, maybe a nicer car than they can afford, etc. They might walk around in an upscale mall or shopping area, of course not buying anything. This is an illusion and if you look at these people's finances you will find that they have more debt than assets (negative net worth) and they are maybe one or two lost paychecks away from losing everything, including their home. They do this because, ironically, although most of the people in the US are poor (i.e. have negative net worth), there is still a huge social stigma attached with being poor. This is especially true in the immigrant, and particularly muslim communities in the US. They will never admit their poor, because this will leave them open to severe criticism from relatives like 'How could you be poor in the richest country in the world ?'. It is this type of stinging criticism they are trying desperately to avoid because these statements could destroy someone's self respect. It is much easier to be poor in places like Mexico, Costa Rica, ME, India, China, etc (i.e. most of the world). Most of the people are poor, will never become rich, and this is the norm and expectation. If someone becomes rich in these places, they are celebrated and if they never become rich, they are considered a normal person. If one of their relatives goes to the US, they are expected (by everyone in their family / village/ etc) to become rich. If they don't become rich, they are criticized and scorned, to an extent. These people have never been to the US, so they assume the streets are paved with gold and people are handing out hundred dollar bills to anyone who passes by. There are alot of funny memes about this (although it is a serous issue) Those who have been here know that this is definitely not the case and although you make more money, your expenses are also much higher than most places so it is just as hard as in most places to actually have money left over. This perception and myth of the US amoung the Muslim community is at the heart of many of our problems, but that is another topic, sorry for the tangent.
  2. Nope. That's the norm, at least here in the US. You have 90 days to come up with ALL the money you owe (payments plus penalties and interest added on top of the original amount, which is usually thousands and thousands of dollars). If you can't come up with it, you are evicted, then the bank resells your house. They take ALL the money for that sale and you get none of it, except in very rare and exceptional circumstances, and usually after many years and class action lawsuits (like what recently happened with Wells Fargo were they were found to be doing fraud with foreclosures. Let me ask you this, if they were not making money on these foreclosures, why would they bother to do fraud and risk getting in trouble, which is what happened ? So you're telling me that they would risk their reputation and break the law just to lose money ? Doesn't make sense. Yes, this is all in the contract, I am not disagreeing about that. This is in every contract. What choice do you have ? In the US, if you want a mortgage, you have maybe 3 or 4 choices. If you look at all of those contracts, they are basically the same. That is where the Islamic banking system could help. Giving people a choice. The only reason it isn't happening is because of the gigantic amount of influence those 3 or 4 big banks have over the US political system. There is no other reason that I can see.
  3. Have you had a fixed rate mortgage ? I've had 2. What I described is not a fixed rate mortgage. With a fixed rate mortgage, you pay ONLY interest for the first 10 years or so (I'm not sure you know what an amortization schedule is. You can look it up). For the first 10 years or so, you are basically renting the house. You're principle doesn't decrease (maybe by a few dollars). You are still responsible for 100% of the loan amount (approx 100%) should you decide to leave the house or you can't make the payments. If you are a few days late with the payment, the bank can come in, take your house, give you nothing, and you are stuck with a huge bill (penalties). Oh, and you don't have a house. So you are now homeless. The bank loses nothing. They will kick you out, then turn around and sell the house, or maybe wait a few years and sit on it (because they have the money to do this) until they can sell it for more money. So you take all the risk, and they get all the reward. This is an unjust system. It's ok if you don't want to acknowledge this, I'm not speaking to you specifically. The other financial products such as variable rate mortgages, reverse mortgages, etc, are scams, not loans. They are worse than this. Also, the only people (nowdays) who qualify for fixed rate mortgages with a somewhat reasonable interest rate (if there is such a thing) are those with high incomes and nearly perfect credit. This is about 10% of the US population. The rest will have no choice other than going for these scam products (like variable rate) if they want to live in a house and not throw their money down the toilet (i.e. renting). An Islamic system (investment, not interest based) would solve most of these problems. Most people in the US, non muslims, would prefer the Islamic system over the current system (there have been surveys done about this, but do you really need a survey to tell you the obvious) but it is not happening (real Islamic banks) and the only reason is the stranglehold the mega finance corps like Chase, BOA, etc, have over the US political system via their bribes (oops, I mean political campaign donations).
  4. There are two main differences. First, the amount you owe is not fixed and set in the beginning in a clear and concise fashion. It is based on a complex formula of amortization schedule and also in many cases a variable interest rate which could change the amount you owe randomly. In Islam, this is not a valid contract. A valid contract means that each party understands what they owe and their responsibilities and benefits BEFORE the contract is commenced and these terms don't change over the course of the loan. Second, the lender has a gigantic and unfair advantage over the borrower simply because they have access to capital and the borrower doesn't. So the lender can 'force' the buyer into agreeing to terms that are not in their benefit / best interest and these lenders collude together so that no borrower except a very wealthy one (who probably doesn't need a loan anyway) has any real choice as far as the terms of their loan. There is no real competition at this level (in a significant way) and they are forced to accept whatever terms the lenders (as a collective) are willing to give them. There is no incentive for the lenders to ever change this way of doing business since they are benefiting greatly from this present system. It is no accident that almost all the highly profitable (over the long term) corporations are giant financial corps (like Chase, BOA, etc) that either dictate their own terms that benefit them with no challenger and thus make huge profits or when they don't make huge enough profits are bailed out by the government (like what happened in 2008) because even the governments are afraid of them (because they are the main financiers of political campaigns). This is not a level playing field or a fair system. This is what Islam is against. I will admit that there are many financial institutions that call themselves 'Islamic' and are just interest based systems using another name for it. I have already stated that previously. The theoretical framework, at least, is there to build a real Islamic finance system. There just needs to be enough brave people to actually do it and change the world in the process.
  5. Sistani is trying to do a 'work around' based on the current reality that most experience in Western Countries, and many Eastern Countries also. I wouldn't call it 'gymnastics' using that term is pejorative. Sistani is recognizing what reality is, and trying to work within it using Islamic principles. Modern economics, in almost all places in the world, is based on predatory capitalism, the strong taking advantage of the weak thru the weaponization of the monetary system, i.e. interest. This is creating vast problems in the world such as growing inequality, billions for the few, near starvation for the many. Most people now are starting to 'wake up' and recognize that. If you read some books, like 'Our Economics' by Imam Baqir Sadr((رضي الله عنه)), he is not talking about mortgages with zero interest over time. Under the current system (interest based), yes you are right that would be theft. What he is taking about is an investment based lending system, rather than an interest based one. It is based on the principle of shared risk, by the borrower and lending institution. For example, if you buy a house under this system, the bank would add in their fees (to cover their costs associated with processing and maintaining the loan) to the loan amount and that total amount would be divided into payments (monthly, quarterly, annual, etc) and the borrower would be responsible for those payments. Each one of those payments would be applied to the principles of the loan (since there is no interest). If the house increased in value, the lending institution would share in that profit if the house was sold before the loan was paid off. For example, say you took at $250,000 loan for a house from a bank like this. The price of the house was 220k and the bank added in 30k for their fees, for example. The total is 250. If this was paid over 30 years, each monthly payment would be $694.00. Say for example after 5 years, either the person couldn't afford the house anymore or they just wanted to move or buy another house. They would still owe 208,000 on the house. If the house appreciated in value over those 5 years, the profits would be divided based on % ownership when the house was sold. So at that point. Borrower owns 16% of the house and bank owns 84% of the house. So the house would be sold and the profits would be split accordingly. This is the incentive for the bank. They would still make a profit, as they would be entitled to this share. If the borrower pays the full amount and gets full ownership and owns the house, the bank got their lending fees and didn't lose money and probably made some profit (which was built into the fees). If the house decreased in value over those 5 years, the house would be sold, and the losses would be shared accordingly, like an investment. This would give an incentive for the buyer to stay in the house. The other benefit is that the math is relatively simple and easy to understand for the vast majority of people. So a real and understandable 'free market' could be set up where banks compete with each other based on what they offer to the consumer and this would be transparent and easy to understand. Now compare this to the current system where if the house decreases in value or the borrower loses their job and can't make the payments, they will either owe the full amount (plus penalties), i.e. they are responsible for the full loss plus some more, or they will be forced to declare bankruptcy. Also under the current system, mortgage contracts are hundreds of pages long and most buyers don't even understand what they are signing. So this system would encourage risk and investment, but not irresponsible risk. The borrower and lender are partners and both assume risk and both can potentially benefit thru profit. There are still aspects to this system which are 'problems' and need to be worked out (Imam Baqir Sadr even acknowledges this in his book where he goes into more detail) but a basic framework is there and should be developed further and this system has the potential to be much more fair and just compared to the current system.
  6. Like I said in my previous posts, they find inner peace and satisfaction because most of Christian practices (practices, not theology, I think this is where the misunderstanding is) are derived from true, God given principles. For example, practices such as 'Love your neighbor as yourself', giving to the poor and the needy, being polite and kind, etc, etc, these all have a positive effect on one's character and on society. I would even go so far as to say that, at least from what I have seen, the modern practice of Christianity (practice, not theology, again sorry to keep saying this) is closer to the teachings of Islam than the modern practice of most Muslims (Muslims, i.e. the people who claim to follow Islam, not Islam itself) which is mostly based on a particular culture and called 'Islam'. The problem with Christianity is in the theology and some of the former and current dogmas attached to this theology, which most Christians are only slightly aware of, because the Church actively covers up this theology by not discussing it, or it's implications. This is why Christians (and Jews) are referred to in Islam as 'Ahl Al Kitab', people of the Book, and not as 'Mushrik', idol worshippers or 'kaafir',* in the sense of those who are ungrateful for the blessings God gave them or those who deny God altogether. It is because they have a Book (The Bible) which was originally from God, although parts of it were changed by certain people (again the subject of this thread) and doctrines like 'Trinity' which are not monotheistic are not part of the everyday life of the vast majority of Christians and most are only vaguely aware of them. * the term 'kaafir' is also used by some Muslims to refer to all Non Muslims. So Christians are 'kaafir' according to that meaning, but the real, actual meaning of 'kaafir' is those who 'cover up' the signs and blessings that God gave them, i.e. those who are ungrateful to God and deny or lie about God. This is why I left the Church, not because of any of the practices of Christians. I have said this before, I was treated with much more respect and kindness by my former 'Church family' than I ever was by the Muslim community. So in short, its the theology (the topic of this thread), not the practices, for the most part. What are the basic limitations in Islam ? Please talk about Islam and not what Muslims do, which many times has nothing to do with Islam. I think you misunderstood my statement. Let me clarify. I have had this discussion with many Trinitarian Christians, including members of my immediate family. I think my summary of this was too brief. Let me expand on that. I am assuming we both believe in objective reality, i.e. that reality is what it is, regardless of how we feel about it. For example, and I have used this one before, Gravity doesn't care if you believe in it or not or how you feel about it. If you jump off a cliff you will fall to the ground at a high speed and get injured or killed, regardless if you want this to happen or not. It is not a perfect analogy, since when applied to God, most of us believe that God has likes and dislikes, has feelings (not like we do but God gets angry, gets happy, etc). God is not some cold detached reality. At the same time, God exists the way that He(s.w.a) exists, regardless of how we feel about it. It is part of objective reality which we cannot change and have no control over. This reality existed long before we were born and it will exist long after we die. Either God is one of Trinity or God is One with no Partners or Equals or Rivals, i.e. Monotheism. One of these is true, the other is false. Period. If you believe in objective reality, then that is the inevitable conclusion. God gave us the faculty of reason. We can deduce or induce what objective reality is from putting together clues and signs without someone telling us directly or implanting the knowledge in our head at birth (i.e. instinct). We can use this same process to know whether God is a Trinity or not. We can know what the objective reality is. If we fail to use the great gift of reason that God gave us, then we will be responsible for the consequences of this. For example, if you are driving down the road and you see a 'Road closed' sign, barricades, etc, and there is construction on the bridge and the bridge is not there, i.e. there is a gap in the road then you fall thru this gap and get severely injured then you will be injured or you might die. you not looking at the signs and ignoring the barricades will not save you from the consequences of your decision to keep driving. The consequences will happen, regardless of how you feel about them, and there will be noone to blame but yourself. This was my point. In Islam, we believe that the all the Prophets had dual roles (and the Quran states this many times) of a giver of good news and a warner (bashir wa natheer, in Arabic). They were exactly both of those things, and not just a giver of good news (i.e. heaven, love, etc). The role of the warner can be summarized by what I said above. God gave you a brain, a mind, and placed signs all around you regarding the correct beliefs about Him(s.w.a) and who his true Messengers were and what their Message was. If you disregard all that and spend your life, up till the moment of death (and noone knows when this will happen) ignoring and disregarding this and acting to the contrary, there is consequences for that and they will happen, regardless of how you feel about it. I think you misunderstood my point. Let me clarify. What I was saying is that in American society, 'things' are often pushed onto people as a solution for their spiritual, emotional , psychological issues and problems. Since the spirit or soul is a non material entity, it cannot be 'solved' by material things. That was the point. Yes, we need to work, have relationships, look for opportunities, etc, but this will not 'solve' our spiritual problems. It will solve our material problems, to a point. If we are homeless, getting a house will solve our housing problem. If we are hungry, getting food will solve that material problem. If we are lonely, getting a partner will solve part of that problem, to an extent. Getting a bigger house, a better job, a more 'beautiful' spouse will not solve our immaterial, i.e. spiritual problems. The origin of these problems (the spiritual ones) is our connection and relationship to God, Our Creator. This problem (which is the root of all our other problems, but this is another topic) can only be solved by 'seeking' our Creator. This topic, in Islam is called 'Zuhud' or 'Spiritual Wayfaring', actively seeking to have a closer relationship with God thru using the pathways that were shown to us by the Prophets and Imams. We are a material being and a spiritual being joined in one entity (i.e. me) in this world. The material things, such as money, food, clothing, houses, partners, etc, are only there to facilitate our spiritual journey by keeping the material part of us alive and healthy. We should not make these material things our goal, but rather the means to reach our spiritual goals. This was the point. We must also realize that there is an active campaign by those who seek only 'this world' and material things to propose material solutions to spiritual problems in order to make themselves wealthy. As Muslims, we disavow this as a solution.
  7. I spent about 6 years of my life as a secularist / agnostic / deist (basically different words for the same thing. Someone who believes in God, but doesn't believe fully in any one organized religion). The problem I found with this is that if you believe in this, there are only two logical conclusions that you can come to, both of which are bad / wrong / destructive. 1. God created us, then left us to our own devices to 'figure it out on our own'. This is what Deists and many secularists believe (although with secularists, there are many variations of this). Part of this belief is that God gave us logic and other intellectual tools to be able to 'figure it out' without the help of organized religion. This sounds nice, and for a long time I really wanted to believe that, because it would allow someone to be a theist (which is a logical conclusion which 99% of people accept) and at the same time be 'free' to do whatever tickles your fancy. At the same time, like many things that 'sound nice' when you read the fine print, i.e. really start to think about it, it starts to sound less and less nice. The main problem with this is that it is based on the premise that God gave all human beings the necessary tools to figure 'it' out independently of other human beings or at least independently of organized religion and revealed scriptures and prophets. If that premise were indeed correct, then all those who believe in that would be basically balanced, happy people who were productive, contributed to society, and didn't harm others. Their conclusions would be coherent and teachable to others, not just in their basic form (i.e. the Golden Rule which all religions believe in) but in the details about how to live on a day to day basis. The reason is because everything one human being can understand, others have the capacity to understand. This system would be both internally consistent (i.e. not self contradictory) and externally consistent and coherent (would not directly contradict any well known and well established facts that most people agree on, scientifically and otherwise). Now go and ask 5 different people who are 'Deists / Secularists / Humanists' about specifics regarding how to live a happy fulfilling life in accordance with what God wants for us. You will get two categories of answers. (I know because I have tried this many times). The first category would be the politicians answer. They will give you some vague principles (like the Golden Rule) which are universally agreed upon and then stop, no specifics. The second category would be the detailed answer, which will be wildly different for each of the five. By your username, NorthWest, if this denotes where you live, geographically in the US, you are already very familiar with this. There are almost an infinite number of 'ways to live' and one might work for one person, or partially work for them, for a limited amount of time, but not for someone else. So the 'advice' they give you doesn't translate to your life, and there is a good chance that this 'lifestyle' doesn't even work for them, since people of this type or usually very selective in what details of their life they will actually share with you. In between my time as Christian and my reversion to Islam (which was about 6 years), I tried many of these 'lifestyles'. None of them really gave my inner peace and satisfaction. They were, at best, a temporary distraction and always led to the same place, spiritually and psychologically, i.e. a deep hole and sense of inner chaos and dissatisfaction. In America, they teach us that when this happens just buy more things, go on a vacation, get a new partner, move to a different city, get a new job, etc. I tried all of these things and none of them worked, i.e. none of them took away that spiritual hole. This 'movement' that is encouraged by society is good for the economy, but not good for the society, most of the time. So the conclusion I came to is that 'our own devices'; belief in God, logic, our basic innate nature to love and be loved, etc, is necessary but not sufficient to lead us to the truth regarding these issues. We need another component to attain this spiritual , psychological fulfillment that we all seek. That is guidance directly from God, explicit guidance that came to us via Prophets and the Divine Books. 2. God does not love us, want to guide us. So he created us, without the necessary tools, knowing that we would fail. This is the pessimists view of God. This is bad / wrong for obvious reasons. Also, there is no evidence that this is the case, and in fact there is alot of evidence to the contrary. If you look back on your life, you will find at least a few people that changed your life in a significant way, for the positive. God created those people to help you. Also, everything in this entire universe, from the temperature on the surface of the earth, free oxygen, the water cycle, flowing rivers, the growing plants, etc, etc, (I could go on and on for many pages) is designed for our benefit and to help us live a happy and healthy life. If you believe in God, and that God created all that, all those things are direct proof that God wants us to be guided and be happy and attain success and fulfillment, not the opposite.
  8. Exactly. The only thing that has changed since the time of the Imams((عليه السلام)) is various technologies. Technology comes from the the word 'art, craft', from the greek https://www.google.com/search?q=technology+entimology&rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS865US865&oq=technology+entimology&aqs=chrome..69i57.5830j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 It is related to 'technique' or how we do a certain thing. We drive cars, buses, ride in airplanes, etc. That's how we get around. In the days of the Imams people rode horses and camels. Its a way of getting around, just a different way. People assume that because technology has changed, that means human behaviour and the spiritual / emotional/ psychological structure of human beings has also changed. I haven't seen any evidence that it has. The Sharia addresses this nature, it has nothing to do with technology. We use technology like the Internet to have discussions about Sharia that happened in person before or thru writing letters, but again that is just technology not content. Also some aspects of culture, even Arabic culture, has changed since the time of the Imams((عليه السلام)), but technology and culture have been constantly changing throughout human history. Culture and technology are part of the smaller picture of humanity and human experience. They are this way one day and that way the next. Islam addresses the big picture, i.e. the entirely of human existence both in this world and the next and gives humans beings the 'path' to happiness in both worlds.
  9. These plant based meats are getting cheaper, at least in the US. I tried a few from 'Sweet Earth' last weak. The prices for the frozen meals were comparable to those with non plant based, i.e. regular meat
  10. Salam Alekum, I'm not a doctor or a psychiatrist, but it sounds to me like you have some sort of OCD (Obsessive / Compulsive) issue that most likely could be fixed with a combination of medication and / or other types of non chemical therapy. You will never be able to make any type of progress in your life, whether in your Ibadat (worship) or your career / relationships until you get this disorder under control. You cannot run if you can't walk. You cannot walk if you have a broken leg. So first treat the broken leg, then walk, then you can run. Once you do this, the other issues you talked about will start to become more clear and defined and then, InShahAllah, you will be able to make progress. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) knows what your physical / mental / psychological state is. He(s.w.a) is merciful and will not hold you accountable for something unless he has given you the ability to do it and to understand what you are doing.
  11. There are probably millions of Americans (including myself) who are educated and informed enough to know that the sole purpose of the Invasion of Afghanistan was for the Military Industrial complex to sell weapons, making trillions of dollars in the process. That was the goal and it was achieved. The fact that maybe hundreds of thousands were killed and millions were displaced and robbed of their livelihood is irrelevant to them. They care about their goal only, which is selling weapons. This is the 'Great Satan' Imam Khomeni(رضي الله عنه) spoke about. They have enough politicians in their pockets and enough of the American public manipulated into passivity by the media to continue to accomplish their goals. Many people think it is an accident, but it is no accident that the Internet was created by DARPA, a secret wing of the U.S. Military. The purpose of the Internet is twofold, first to continuously monitor public opinion, social movements, etc, on a very detailed and fine grained level in order to see who needs to be manipulated and who can be left alone. Second is to deploy the propaganda, then measure the outcome of that propaganda so that it can be further adjusted based on the incoming data. This is something that has never been possible to such as detailed extent before. The main tool that is being used now to do this is social media (the big platforms). The main goal of this manipulation and monitoring is to keep the general public passive and if they don't support the activities of the military industrial complex at least they don't take concrete actions to oppose it. This is 'Big Brother', what George Orwell talked about in his book 1984. It exists, it is real and much more powerful now than it was at the time he wrote the book. The dream or goal of the Military Industrial complex is to attack Iran militarily and topple the government. They could, by doing this, force the US government to buy more trillions of dollars in weapons from them. They have been trying to do this since the early 1980s. None of their attempts have worked so far. The Mahsa Amini thing is just the latest one. If you look at the track record of this entity, going back to the Mexican American War of the early 19th century thru WWI, WWII, Vietnam, etc, they have the same strategy. If you want to target a country for military invasion, first demonize the leadership, then demonize the people of that country generally. Once that is accomplished, then start talking about 'Regime Change'. Then, if a police man smacks someone in the street, blow it up to be 'genocide' or close to that. Do this for a while, then the people will be 'groomed' to support an invasion. The mainstream press and media, and now the spam bots are the willing accomplices and the instruments of the grooming process. If you want further information on this, there have been many books written about this process. The most recent one is Howard Zinn's 'Peoples History of the United States'. Another good book is Noam Chomsky's 'Manufacturing Consent'. This has been going on for a long, long time. The first victims of this were the Native Americans. This was the Internal Invasion which originally got the military industrial complex going. It has continued from there up until the present day with Iran.
  12. Salam. I have gone thru this myself and here is some practical advice. When couples are in the 'engagement' or 'honeymoon' period, they tend to ignore a lot of things which are probably important to know. When you are in this phase, you are in love with a perception you have regarding this lady, which is colored by the new joy of being in love. You tend to look at her 'with rose colored glasses' as they say in English. It is not the real 'her' you fell in love with, it is this image or perception you have of her which is skewed. Once this phase wears off, which is usually a few months after the marriage, you see the real 'her'. You are now starting to see it. Now the real work of the marriage begins. What you experienced before was infatuation, not love. Love, real love only comes after a long period of hard work. This is what many younger people don't understand. They mistake infatuation or sexual excitement with love. They are two totally different things. The work is the negotiating process which takes place in a marriage. What she is doing now is giving you her price for being married to her. By doing these actions, she is telling you 'If you want to be married to me, you need to be fully available for me 24/7 and whatever I tell you, you need to listen to me and change your behaviour immediately'. Of course, all women want this and this is their fantasy that they have and what they talk to each other about on social media. This is what some of them mean by a 'good man'. Lol Now that she has given her 'price', now you give your price. The above (what she wants) is obviously impossible for any man to do. So what you need to do is to look at what Islam has to say about the rights of the wife. There are many books on this and many hadith. To summarize, the right of the wife is the nafakha, food, a place to live which is safe and private, and two dresses, that you are kind to her and don't abuse her, and that you don't do anything to violate her dignity and you protect her. Those are general statements and within that there is a wide range, but even the widest range of that does not include the above. So if she is demanding this, make sure you know that this has nothing to do with Islam, is unjust, and if you capitulate to her demands for this then you are doing thulm on yourself and , btw, she won't respect you. Women only respect and man who is strong and stands firm on his beliefs and stands up to them without being abusive. Also, the nafakha is the minimum requirement. You can be generous with her above that, and this is encouraged, but only to a point. As it says in the Holy Quran 'Don't tie your hand to your neck', meaning don't be stingy but also 'Don't stretch it to the furthest extent' in other words don't go to the absolute limit of your resources and patience in order to be generous, as this is just as harmful as being stingy. Because if you do this, 'you will be blamed, stripped off' as it says in the Quran, meaning no matter how much you give, your wife will demand more and more of you (because this is human nature and human whims and desires are unlimited) until you will not be able to fulfill what she demands and then you will be blamed and disrespected by her. So you can be generous, but you need to set firm limits to this so she knows that you are generous but also not someone to be 'ridden like a donkey' or 'stepped on like a doormat'. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) gave you dignity as a man which is sacred and which your wife has no right to violate for any reason. If she violates it, that is partially your fault, because you allowed her to do that by not acting in the proper way with her. So what you do is you decide now what kind of marriage you want to have. You decide what 'being generous and kind' to your wife means within the ability, time, and energy Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) gave you and then you do that, fe sibiliLah (in the way of God), regardless of what she says or how she feels about it. Your wife is a priority, and a big priority in your family, but you have other families and responsibilities. So you need to learn how to balance that equation. It takes a while and you will make mistakes, but hopefully you will learn from those mistakes and not be too hard on yourself or on her, and after all that you will truly learn about each other and she will learn to accept you and you will learn to accept her and then after that you will start to respect each other and trust each other and after that actual, true love will develop. This is the best case scenario, hopefully it will become a reality for you and your wife, InShahAllah. A marriage which is a true, loving marriage is the best type of relationship you can have and the benefits are vast and unable to be calculated. At the same it is like anything that is truly valuable, it requires work and striving and struggle to get it. As far as the thing about Salat, this is between you and Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). It is not your wife's business. Obviously you need to pray on time and you already know this. Try to find a way to do this. Your niyyat should be 'Qurbatin inAllahe Ta'la', i.e. praying seeking nearness to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and in obedience to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). If you pray with any other niyyat (intention), like being obedient to your wife, or to make your wife happy, then this is an incorrect niyyat and there is a question mark as to whether this Salat will even be acceptable to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). The husband and wife have the same duty to each other as they have to any other Muslim/a as far as 'Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil'. They should do what they can by mentioning it, etc, but this is the extent of it.
  13. You cannot work in any job in the bank where you benefit directly if you charge interest, meaning your salary is tied directly to charging interest or how much interest you charge, or you get bonuses for this. For example, if you are an executive and you get a pay bonus based on how much interest is charged or you are someone who is directly selling products to a customer where part of that product is interest (like selling loans), this is not allowed from what I know. Any other job, like a teller (where you are only initiating and completing transactions and giving customers cash from their account, for example) or a secretary is ok, again from what I know. Whether it is allowed or not depends on the specific job you are doing.
  14. I was raised in the Christian church so I am very aware that most Christians view the Trinity as a non issue until someone rejects it and then they are considered 'not a Christian' . The Trinity is very, very seldom discussed in 'polite' company amoung Christians themselves or in Church Services. I only heard about it when I went to confirmation class when I was in middle school. That is when I started to question Christianity. I have said this before. I only have two problems with the modern Christian doctrine. First, if u accept the Trinity as the basis of your faith despite the facts that 99% of the Bible says 'One God' no exceptions or clauses and Trinity is only mentioned once and this verse in the Bible was written hundreds of years after the death of Jesus* in a language he didn't speak then you are taking a big risk with your soul. Everything, 99% of the Bible, 100% of the Quran and also logic and reason (ie the brain that God gave u) dictate that there is only One God. Again throw all that out in favor of the Trinity and this is pure foolishness. If it turns out that there is no Trinity and only One God and everyone will find out after the die then...God would be offended by that and you don't want to offend God, since it is God alone who determines your fate for all eternity. Also, to say that those who don't believe in Trinity are going to hell. There is no basis in the bible or the words of Jesus for that belief yet it is taught in the Churches as if it has some Biblical basis. * I said 'death of Jesus' because this is what Christians believe. We(Muslims) believe Jesus didn't die, but was 'taken up' by God without dying.
  15. This is the main problem with having discussions with Trinitarian Christians. If you throw all the rules that human beings agree upon, i.e. basic logic, then you could say anything is possible, or nothing is possible, or something else, or.. or.... and then what does that mean ? If God manifested Himself as anything finite and tangible, that could mean only two things 1) The thing being manifest is not God, but a sign of God (like many other things were and are) 2) God is finite and limited, and not limitless and all powerful. Lets take another example. If you say x = infinity, and x is in this box, then x does not equal infinity (because the box is larger than infinity and contains it, which is impossible). Infinity is the largest value that exists. That is why we call it infinity. It is a logical and mathematical term. All human beings agree on that (except apparently those who believe in the concept of Trinity. They have their own definition of infinity which they can't define, so it isn't a definition but speculation) If a man, a cloud, a pillar of fire IS God Then God is not infinite, omniscient, All Power, eternal, etc. You believe in a limited god, like the Romans did when they said Zeus is god, Apollo is god, Athena is a goddess, etc. OR you are using a definition of these terms which noone understands. In that case, it meets the definition of nonsense. Like if i say I believe that ad;lkcjvpboivmvmapoie (random letters typed on my keyboard which have no meaning). We muslims believe that God spoke to Moses thru a burning bush (this historical event is also in the Quran) but the bush was not God. God used the bush as a medium to speak to Moses. God can use anything as a vehicle, or a channel to speak to the people or to an individual person. That does not mean that object is God. If you call someone on your phone, does that phone become you ? Of course not. You are you and the phone is the phone. You are using the phone to convey a message to someone or to listen to them. It is a device, that's all. God can do anything, that is true. That doesn't mean that just because you (or a group of people) say God did this... that means God in fact did it. If God did do what you say, i.e. manifested himself 'in the flesh', you would not be able to understand what that was, nor would you be able to talk about it. That is a limitation in us, not a limitation in God. Our minds can only comprehend (directly) things that are limited and finite, like us. That is why Prophets were sent, to convey a message from God to us, because we could not handle (with our limited and feeble minds) to speak to God directly or to hear a message from Him directly (not thru a medium). Again, our limitation, not God's. God knows how limited and feeble we are, so He doesn't overburden us with this responsibility. God is Merciful and the source of all Mercy and Kindness. There is a passage in the Quran regarding Moses when he was receiving the 10 commandments. He brought some of the leaders of Israel up to the mountain with him, and he said 'Some of these leaders have asked to see You (God) with their own eyes'. God told Moses, 'They cannot bear to see me, but look at this mountain, if it is still standing then tell them that they will see Me'. So God manifested His Glory to the mountain, and the mountain instantly vanished and turned to dust. Moses and all the leaders of Israel instantly died. Then God brought them back to life and then they saw that the mountain had turned to dust, so they knew that they could never see God with their own eyes. This is how Muslims understand God.
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