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In the Name of God بسم الله

Reza

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  1. Like
    Reza reacted to Haji 2003 for a blog entry, God Hypothesis IV   
    https://www.ft.com/content/d67ffecc-02dc-11e9-9d01-cd4d49afbbe3
    This is overdue in my opinion.
    The idealistic, almost naive notion that human exploration of space will be driven by purely scientific motivations cannot last. If as theists we believe that God has created the heavens for us to explore and done so in a manner that makes this possible on a stage by stage basis. The proximity of extra-terrestrial bodies has been fortuitously placed so that we can reach each one with the technology and resources at our disposal and as the latter develop so we are able to proceed to the next body (as I've previously argued).
    So also His creation will acknowledge human frailties and the fact that we have only ever progressed when there have been a variety of motivations driving us. Inquisitiveness,  the search for information and other noble motivations have only ever gotten us so far. At some point along the line of all human endeavour, selfish economic reasons have been important and space exploration will be no different. At the moment that selfish motivation manifests itself in the moon being a possible source for Helium-3, which could be a fuel source. That hope may or may not turn out to bear fruit. Another selfish motivation is the fact that for some nations space exploration could be the source of military advantage.
    But that does not matter. Human history is replete with examples of our being motivated by one ambition only to have it turn out to be a mistake, but the endeavour being rewarded by the discovery of something else. Columbus thought he had reached the East, by sailing west, but all his mistake achieved was the discovery of the Americas.
    As a result, I think the theist can predict that there will be very significant first-order economic benefits from space exploration (rather than just the mainly second-order spin-offs that we have gained from so far).
    There will be minerals that we can exploit, which will likely help address new and existing challenges but by the same measure, there will be a variety of new ethical and moral issues that will emerge and will need to be addressed. And not least, a component of the latter will be an appropriate legal framework.
    And the fact that theists can benefit from the base and selfish motivations of others, perhaps indeed their immoral actions is not in itself a problem. IMHO. Nobody forced the territory grabbers to behave in that way.
     
  2. Like
    Reza reacted to Qa'im for a blog entry, Problems and Solutions in Da`wa   
    While we start any da`wa project, it is important to understand our environment. A da`i should not just comprehend this religion, but should have a grounded understanding of the history of Western civilization (its Greco-Roman and barbarian roots, Christendom, the Enlightenment, Westphalia, the Renaissance, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, WW1 and WW2, nationalist and communist movements), pop culture, language, the liberal arts, the history of Muslim-Western exchange, and the Judaeo-Christian tradition. It is very important that the right words are used and that the right issues are addressed.
    Da`wa is not just about proselytizing to outsiders, but also to our youth, our children, and converts. As it is right now, most of our mosques offer individualistic spiritual experiences, and lack welcoming communal programs (tutoring, matchmaking, book clubs, humanitarian services, schools, gyms, labs, social events). Mosques are also mostly segregated by culture, language, marja`, class, and gender; which leaves out many youth and converts. So even if we use the correct method to call people to Islam, there are fundamental problems when receiving these individuals. Any da`wa effort must work hand-in-hand with community advancement efforts; the two must occur simultaneously.
    In my experience, certain converts have an easier time integrating than others. Converts from Arab, Desi, and Afghani backgrounds can usually integrate into existing communities that cater towards them. Those who convert through the marriage route also have a family and community to fall back onto (although abuse or divorce can be catastrophic). Others however face a lot of difficulty due to language barriers, culture shock, trust issues in our communities, and being unable to find spouses. Those from a Catholic background have some more compatibility, because Catholic culture is communally-oriented, family oriented, civilizational, offers less-ambigious gender roles, etc. Black converts and Anglo-Saxon converts have a lot of trouble from multiple angles.
    Often times, the ground that is most fertile for da`wa efforts is Latin America and African Americans; these are the people accepting Islam and Shiism in higher numbers. It is important to translate more content into Spanish.
    The most successful "Muslim" movement in the West was the Nation of Islam, which was a black nationalist movement that focused their efforts on social programs for drug addicts, prison inmates, the homeless, the mentally and physically ill, gangs, etc. They reached out to the most exploited people in the population and gave them social services, self-respect, and an uncompromising ideology. Studying their example, their successes and their failures, may help us in our endeavour. Read the Autobiography of Malcolm X or watch the Spike Lee movie "Malcolm X". Activism is contagious - the NOI was 75% social activism and 25% theology; perhaps we can learn something from that example.
    Today, White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Civilization is shedding its Christian and Mediterranean roots: The separation of Church and State, the deliberate destruction of Christian values in pop culture, Latin and Greek are gone from schools (which were the basis of ethics, philosophy, and religion), the family unit is dissolving, quasi-tribalist nationalism is on the rise, gender norms are dissolving, city architecture is purely designed for utility and economic benefit rather than beauty (look at New York or Toronto and compare it to traditional Catholic or Islamic architecture), and the Muslim population in Europe is under attack. Yeomanry and the Protestant work ethic remain the cornerstone of WASP culture.
    The millennial generation struggles with identity, apathy towards organized religion, instant-gratification, hook-up culture, short attention spans (smart phone culture), depression, and the collapse of a collective intellectual mythology.
    Interfaith debate and dialogue is no longer an effective way to gain converts, as most millennials either do not adhere to an organized religion, or they do not take their religion seriously. Instead, da`wa should focus on exposing the cultural poverty, rampant skepticism, lack of purpose, and aimless degeneracy of modern secularism. We should look into what goes viral on social media to better understand what millennials care about. Our mission is to guide those whose hearts are troubled. We will always meet opposition from the hard-hearted, but the open minded who are looking to regain their fitra are out there.
    In the 60s and 70s, Islam had a chance to gain mainstream acceptance in the West. The West was getting over Christianity, and was experimenting with Zen Buddhism and Hinduism. Islam caught the eye of many who viewed it as a more familiar Abrahamic alternative to the far-eastern religions. However, what prevented the growth of Islam was that it was tied to specific movements in the east (the Afghan mujahideen, the Iranian revolution, the Saudi Wahabis, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestinian Cause). Similarly, in the late 19th century, many da`wa efforts were tied to the Ottoman Empire, and were halted when the Empire collapsed. If we are to present Islam to Westerners, its image should not be tied to the successes or failures of the Muslim world, or to a specific state or specific party. Islam should be an idea and an ethical tradition that is not affected by what goes on in the East. We can praise good efforts, but we should not be associated.
    We should emphasize that Shia Islam is distinct from both Salafism (extreme, literalist dogmatism) and aimless secularism (the other extreme). Our effort should be focused on showing the profound beauty and wisdom of our tradition, our creative expression (poetry, architecture), and the dignity of our holy personalities.
    (October 2016)
  3. Like
    Reza reacted to Haji 2003 for a blog entry, Perpetual vulnerabilities   
    Uncertainty and risk are all around us. In bygone days we did not even know what the probability of a meteor strike was (it was an uncertain event), but now its been reduced to just a risky event when we can say that individually we are less likely to be hit by a meteor than the chances of any one of us winning the lottery.
    Progress then could be seen as a movement from uncertainty to risk to risk avoidance such as when we start destroying threats to Earth from space, as in the movie Deep Impact.
    We could have lived in a world with finite sources of uncertainty and risk. So that over time as we conquered each one our existence would become a safer and more predictable one. However, it is curious as our capabilities to manage risks improves, so also we face increases in the threats of such events occurring.
    To some extent, the increase in our capabilities and the increasing risks of threats to our existence can be considered to be related to each other. Some advances in science and technology would not have been possible without increasing our carbon footprint. And the latter has unleashed risks to our existence that previously did not seem to exist. Secondly, some of the tools and devices that we have created themselves are now vulnerable to which older generations of technology were not susceptible. Satellites are one means by which we manage the risks presented by the environment, but the satellites themselves are susceptible to solar storms.
    The upshot is this. The very earliest farmers had to pray in order for the rain to nourish their crops. Today's farmers may no longer need to pray, because the advances in irrigation have made the supply of water more secure and predictable. But the need to pray remains since there are nowadays other events they lie beyond the control and comprehension of the farmer.
    Human predisposition to conceit may lead us to think that as yet another source of risks is addressed we are better able to shape our destiny, but the above points suggest that the system does not behave that way.
  4. Like
    Reza reacted to Qa'im for a blog entry, Freedom!   
    Freedom!

    Western fixation on freedom has a long, crystallizing history. In 1215, the Magna Carta was signed in England, which ended the unilateral authority of the King. The King was imposing heavy taxes on the barons, who were wealthy aristocratic men, to fight a failed war. The barons rebelled against the King, and demanded that a committee of barons be established. The King would need to consult this committee before introducing new taxes. Certain legal rights were also introduced to the barons. This was the first big step towards freedom.

    Fast forward to the 1500s; a new continent was "discovered" (i.e. Europeans found out about it). A major motivation for men to risk the high seas and migrate to an entirely New World was to avoid taxation and government overreach. They were able to seize vast, fertile properties without much nuisance. Freedom.

    Around the same time, the Protestant Reformation was taking place, and most North-Western Europeans were using it as an opportunity to break away from church tithes and indulgences. Freedom.

    Fast forward to the 1700s. The American Colonies rebel against the British because of "taxation without representation." Freedom.

    Then in the 1800s. The Confederates rebel against the Union to prevent the North from intervening in their textile industry. The Union abolishes slavery. Freedom.

    Here, we see a crystallization of yeomanry in White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) culture, which peaks in the American South. They have a strong distrust in government, public programs, and taxation. There is a strong "what's mine is mine" culture, where clichés like "the only things you can't avoid is death and taxes" thrive. "Conservative" to them mostly means "smaller government, lower taxes". In short, they believe that the freer they are, the happier they will be. Debates in American politics, from abortion to gay marriage to taxes, are all based on conceptions of freedom. It is also the theme of so many Hollywood films.

    Feminism is rooted in the same freedom-seeking individualist liberalist mindset. Whatever gets in the way of women's liberation - even if it is God Himself - must be cast aside.

    Freedom in Islamic literature would be "huriyya", which is really just a legal technicality - you are either a slave, or you are "free". Otherwise, our books do not take much stock in the concept. We do have treatises on "huquq", which is often translated as "rights", but a more accurate translation is "responsibilities towards". For example, the haq of a woman is the responsibilities of an Islamic society towards that woman. It is an onus.

    Responsibility and duty often fly in direct contradiction to freedom. Yes, we have free will, but Islam legislates things that we *should* and *ought* to do, and there are consequences to not fulfilling those responsibilities.

    Does freedom lead to happiness? It is actually our responsibilities that often make us happy. There is no growth in a care-free life with no schedule, no family, no commitments, and no work. These things tie us down, but they also build us up, fulfill us, and make us better people. No pain, no gain. Likewise, despite the fact that women's rights have increased over the past few decades, women's happiness has decreased according to many studies. Individualism teaches us that self-sufficiency is the key to happiness, when in actuality, success is sometimes found in submission.

    Islam literally means Submission, because it is the recognition that we are all imperfect servants. We do not choose which family we are born into, nor our race, nor our health, nor our age, nor our genes, and often, not even our social conditions. None of us are truly free, and the most free of us is not necessarily the happiest. Rather, true, heartfelt contentment is in knowing God. We are born to look for Perfection; we seek it in our looks, our grades, our power, our status, our spouse, our children; but we all - sooner or later - realize that Perfection lies only in Him alone. Trust in Him gives you that true contentment, the ability to let go of the wheel, fear nothing but Him and accept all that He allots for you. Contentment.

    If you are a believer, then your worldview should reflect your belief. We cannot import a cultural ideology that convolutes our belief. In many respects, jahiliyya represented what many of us today consider to be "freedom". But the Prophet Muhammad (s) came with accountability, and that turned the entire world around.
     
  5. Like
    Reza reacted to Qa'im for a blog entry, Mecca or the Mechanical   
    Why have we turned Mecca into the Mechanical?
    Mecca is the central pinnacle of human assembly, yet its architecture has been modeled after the capitals of individualism: New York, London, Toronto, and Las Vegas.
    Its Ottoman heritage is being destroyed, its mountains are being removed, its mosques are being leveled, and all of it is being replaced with gray skyscrapers, McDonalds, Starbucks, cranes, and boxy buildings.
    Over the centuries, our civilization has developed an architectural style, beautiful calligraphy, symmetrical patterns, captivating minarets, and iconic domes. Our mosques were designed to remind us of the divine order of the creation and the beauty of our revelation. We built the marvels that are Istanbul and Isfahan. The Taj Mahal, the Alhambra in Spain, the Dome of the Rock, and the Suleymaniye Mosque are some of the most elegant structures in the world.
    The Protestant work-ethic cities in the West were designed with only utility in mind. They designed their cities to maximize profits and productivity, and to minimize costs. Anglo-Saxon culture deviated from the traditional beauty of Catholic architectural style, and they continue to deviate in other areas of morality. After British and American imperialism, Muslims are now emulating their worldly masters in an effort to look “modern”. This has led to the monstrosity that is Dubai and Tehran; cities with no heart and soul, only pollution, traffic, and eyesores.
    Ethics is but a branch of aesthetics. Winning back our civilization also means returning to our therapeutic artstyle. We have no need for a concrete jungle in our holiest city.
    The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, "When you see holes pierced through the mountains of Mecca, and when you see the buildings surpass the mountaintops in height, then know that the affair (the Hour) has cast its shadow." (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba)
    قال حدثنا غندر عن شعبه عن يعلى بن عطاء عن أبيه عن عمرو بن العاص((إذا رأيت مكة قد بعجت كظائم ، ورأيت البناء يعلو رؤوس الجبال فاعلم أن الأمر قد أضلك ))
  6. Like
    Reza reacted to Hameedeh for a blog entry, ♥ Marriage ♥   
    Marriage is not easy. You have to get to know each other. You are used to doing everything your own way. Now you need to compromise. Share with each other. Give and take. If you take more than you give, it won't be as sweet. Do not expect more from your spouse than your spouse will need from you. Life is good. It's better when you are together. If you both do your best. 
    ♥ May your days be sunny, your nights restful, and your heart satisfied with the blessings that Allah has given you. Think Positive. ♥
  7. Like
    Reza got a reaction from Mansur Bakhtiari for a blog entry, For Those in the 21st Century....   
    So how’s this whole 21st century thing coming along? Yeah.
    With the passage of time, each new era is forced to carry a higher burden and inherit a larger legacy than the generation before. Time is a double edged sword. On one end, more time can expand the opportunity to build constructive relationships, goodwill, positive institutions, and human progress. Conversely, time can serve to widen the accumulation of baggage, knot tighter the machinations of deceit and derision, and aid in the solidification of deviant ideologies, perverse mythologies, and exploitative institutions. In this regard, time is an empty canvas waiting to be marked by any paintbrush, big or small, with whatever paint along the way. 
    Paint is the (im)moral force that gives purpose and relevancy to this big and blank amoral whiteboard known as time. Paint comes in many colors, and can create many designs. Some are beautiful, enhance the surrounding landscape, and work synergistically with other designs, creating a diverse, but single hearted masterpiece. Other paints give ugly imprints, ones that impose themselves unapologetically, have no concern for the holistic creative vision, and serve as an unwelcome blemish. For those who believe in the holy and natural, we know the righteous paints will never tarnish, while the awful ones will water down and fade in their own impurities. 
    So what’s the 21st century portrait looking like? If time is an ever increasing size canvas, yet more paint has been plastered era after era at a much higher proportion, is there anything left for us to put? Anything we can add, or are we simply overwhelmed handling what’s already been dried on? I think the latter is the case. This is our destiny and burden. Our mission will not be to make history, but rather detoxify and realign what’s been accumulated - the human, economic, social, political, environmental, ideological…and all the rest. To redirect towards a proper moral direction. To clean up the mess of our dead ancestors. To not give birth, but to raise what’s been born. 
    We are being helped by science and technology, growing at a faster pace than ever before. We are helped by a huge explosion in the information sector, ease of travel and communication, and a range of logistical conveniences. We can interpret these things as proof of human accomplishment, but more importantly I would humbly call it a gift from above - to help aid us with our mission, as if our creator knows what we need. Divine guidance and support!
    All of us were chosen and raised in a certain time period for a reason, only known to our creator. We shouldn’t let ourselves get wrapped up in self-importance or arrogance about this. Are we “better” or just “different” than those in other times? I don’t think we have the time to worry about such a question. 
    References to war are rife throughout history, and that’s the case here. Specifically, the concept of “total war”, where every resource down to the minute is involved in the effort. In today’s case, every capital resource - the community, personal, psychological, technological - are essential for our mission, and no individual is beyond the scope of relevance and suitability. We have no choice but to go “all in”, and nothing can be held back, if we want any chance of success of a dignified outcome. 
    So this affects me of course, because it instantly puts me on notice. What can I clean up? What micro changes can I contribute, throw in the pot, to help with the macro efforts? The degree of inward digging should hopefully correlate to outward action. I am proud of living in this era, because it gives me an incentive for spiritual and personal re-examination. 
    What do you guys think?
     
  8. Like
    Reza got a reaction from Hameedeh for a blog entry, For Those in the 21st Century....   
    So how’s this whole 21st century thing coming along? Yeah.
    With the passage of time, each new era is forced to carry a higher burden and inherit a larger legacy than the generation before. Time is a double edged sword. On one end, more time can expand the opportunity to build constructive relationships, goodwill, positive institutions, and human progress. Conversely, time can serve to widen the accumulation of baggage, knot tighter the machinations of deceit and derision, and aid in the solidification of deviant ideologies, perverse mythologies, and exploitative institutions. In this regard, time is an empty canvas waiting to be marked by any paintbrush, big or small, with whatever paint along the way. 
    Paint is the (im)moral force that gives purpose and relevancy to this big and blank amoral whiteboard known as time. Paint comes in many colors, and can create many designs. Some are beautiful, enhance the surrounding landscape, and work synergistically with other designs, creating a diverse, but single hearted masterpiece. Other paints give ugly imprints, ones that impose themselves unapologetically, have no concern for the holistic creative vision, and serve as an unwelcome blemish. For those who believe in the holy and natural, we know the righteous paints will never tarnish, while the awful ones will water down and fade in their own impurities. 
    So what’s the 21st century portrait looking like? If time is an ever increasing size canvas, yet more paint has been plastered era after era at a much higher proportion, is there anything left for us to put? Anything we can add, or are we simply overwhelmed handling what’s already been dried on? I think the latter is the case. This is our destiny and burden. Our mission will not be to make history, but rather detoxify and realign what’s been accumulated - the human, economic, social, political, environmental, ideological…and all the rest. To redirect towards a proper moral direction. To clean up the mess of our dead ancestors. To not give birth, but to raise what’s been born. 
    We are being helped by science and technology, growing at a faster pace than ever before. We are helped by a huge explosion in the information sector, ease of travel and communication, and a range of logistical conveniences. We can interpret these things as proof of human accomplishment, but more importantly I would humbly call it a gift from above - to help aid us with our mission, as if our creator knows what we need. Divine guidance and support!
    All of us were chosen and raised in a certain time period for a reason, only known to our creator. We shouldn’t let ourselves get wrapped up in self-importance or arrogance about this. Are we “better” or just “different” than those in other times? I don’t think we have the time to worry about such a question. 
    References to war are rife throughout history, and that’s the case here. Specifically, the concept of “total war”, where every resource down to the minute is involved in the effort. In today’s case, every capital resource - the community, personal, psychological, technological - are essential for our mission, and no individual is beyond the scope of relevance and suitability. We have no choice but to go “all in”, and nothing can be held back, if we want any chance of success of a dignified outcome. 
    So this affects me of course, because it instantly puts me on notice. What can I clean up? What micro changes can I contribute, throw in the pot, to help with the macro efforts? The degree of inward digging should hopefully correlate to outward action. I am proud of living in this era, because it gives me an incentive for spiritual and personal re-examination. 
    What do you guys think?
     
  9. Like
    Reza got a reaction from shia farm girl for a blog entry, For Those in the 21st Century....   
    So how’s this whole 21st century thing coming along? Yeah.
    With the passage of time, each new era is forced to carry a higher burden and inherit a larger legacy than the generation before. Time is a double edged sword. On one end, more time can expand the opportunity to build constructive relationships, goodwill, positive institutions, and human progress. Conversely, time can serve to widen the accumulation of baggage, knot tighter the machinations of deceit and derision, and aid in the solidification of deviant ideologies, perverse mythologies, and exploitative institutions. In this regard, time is an empty canvas waiting to be marked by any paintbrush, big or small, with whatever paint along the way. 
    Paint is the (im)moral force that gives purpose and relevancy to this big and blank amoral whiteboard known as time. Paint comes in many colors, and can create many designs. Some are beautiful, enhance the surrounding landscape, and work synergistically with other designs, creating a diverse, but single hearted masterpiece. Other paints give ugly imprints, ones that impose themselves unapologetically, have no concern for the holistic creative vision, and serve as an unwelcome blemish. For those who believe in the holy and natural, we know the righteous paints will never tarnish, while the awful ones will water down and fade in their own impurities. 
    So what’s the 21st century portrait looking like? If time is an ever increasing size canvas, yet more paint has been plastered era after era at a much higher proportion, is there anything left for us to put? Anything we can add, or are we simply overwhelmed handling what’s already been dried on? I think the latter is the case. This is our destiny and burden. Our mission will not be to make history, but rather detoxify and realign what’s been accumulated - the human, economic, social, political, environmental, ideological…and all the rest. To redirect towards a proper moral direction. To clean up the mess of our dead ancestors. To not give birth, but to raise what’s been born. 
    We are being helped by science and technology, growing at a faster pace than ever before. We are helped by a huge explosion in the information sector, ease of travel and communication, and a range of logistical conveniences. We can interpret these things as proof of human accomplishment, but more importantly I would humbly call it a gift from above - to help aid us with our mission, as if our creator knows what we need. Divine guidance and support!
    All of us were chosen and raised in a certain time period for a reason, only known to our creator. We shouldn’t let ourselves get wrapped up in self-importance or arrogance about this. Are we “better” or just “different” than those in other times? I don’t think we have the time to worry about such a question. 
    References to war are rife throughout history, and that’s the case here. Specifically, the concept of “total war”, where every resource down to the minute is involved in the effort. In today’s case, every capital resource - the community, personal, psychological, technological - are essential for our mission, and no individual is beyond the scope of relevance and suitability. We have no choice but to go “all in”, and nothing can be held back, if we want any chance of success of a dignified outcome. 
    So this affects me of course, because it instantly puts me on notice. What can I clean up? What micro changes can I contribute, throw in the pot, to help with the macro efforts? The degree of inward digging should hopefully correlate to outward action. I am proud of living in this era, because it gives me an incentive for spiritual and personal re-examination. 
    What do you guys think?
     
  10. Like
    Reza got a reaction from Pearl178 for a blog entry, For Those in the 21st Century....   
    So how’s this whole 21st century thing coming along? Yeah.
    With the passage of time, each new era is forced to carry a higher burden and inherit a larger legacy than the generation before. Time is a double edged sword. On one end, more time can expand the opportunity to build constructive relationships, goodwill, positive institutions, and human progress. Conversely, time can serve to widen the accumulation of baggage, knot tighter the machinations of deceit and derision, and aid in the solidification of deviant ideologies, perverse mythologies, and exploitative institutions. In this regard, time is an empty canvas waiting to be marked by any paintbrush, big or small, with whatever paint along the way. 
    Paint is the (im)moral force that gives purpose and relevancy to this big and blank amoral whiteboard known as time. Paint comes in many colors, and can create many designs. Some are beautiful, enhance the surrounding landscape, and work synergistically with other designs, creating a diverse, but single hearted masterpiece. Other paints give ugly imprints, ones that impose themselves unapologetically, have no concern for the holistic creative vision, and serve as an unwelcome blemish. For those who believe in the holy and natural, we know the righteous paints will never tarnish, while the awful ones will water down and fade in their own impurities. 
    So what’s the 21st century portrait looking like? If time is an ever increasing size canvas, yet more paint has been plastered era after era at a much higher proportion, is there anything left for us to put? Anything we can add, or are we simply overwhelmed handling what’s already been dried on? I think the latter is the case. This is our destiny and burden. Our mission will not be to make history, but rather detoxify and realign what’s been accumulated - the human, economic, social, political, environmental, ideological…and all the rest. To redirect towards a proper moral direction. To clean up the mess of our dead ancestors. To not give birth, but to raise what’s been born. 
    We are being helped by science and technology, growing at a faster pace than ever before. We are helped by a huge explosion in the information sector, ease of travel and communication, and a range of logistical conveniences. We can interpret these things as proof of human accomplishment, but more importantly I would humbly call it a gift from above - to help aid us with our mission, as if our creator knows what we need. Divine guidance and support!
    All of us were chosen and raised in a certain time period for a reason, only known to our creator. We shouldn’t let ourselves get wrapped up in self-importance or arrogance about this. Are we “better” or just “different” than those in other times? I don’t think we have the time to worry about such a question. 
    References to war are rife throughout history, and that’s the case here. Specifically, the concept of “total war”, where every resource down to the minute is involved in the effort. In today’s case, every capital resource - the community, personal, psychological, technological - are essential for our mission, and no individual is beyond the scope of relevance and suitability. We have no choice but to go “all in”, and nothing can be held back, if we want any chance of success of a dignified outcome. 
    So this affects me of course, because it instantly puts me on notice. What can I clean up? What micro changes can I contribute, throw in the pot, to help with the macro efforts? The degree of inward digging should hopefully correlate to outward action. I am proud of living in this era, because it gives me an incentive for spiritual and personal re-examination. 
    What do you guys think?
     
  11. Like
    Reza got a reaction from notme for a blog entry, For Those in the 21st Century....   
    So how’s this whole 21st century thing coming along? Yeah.
    With the passage of time, each new era is forced to carry a higher burden and inherit a larger legacy than the generation before. Time is a double edged sword. On one end, more time can expand the opportunity to build constructive relationships, goodwill, positive institutions, and human progress. Conversely, time can serve to widen the accumulation of baggage, knot tighter the machinations of deceit and derision, and aid in the solidification of deviant ideologies, perverse mythologies, and exploitative institutions. In this regard, time is an empty canvas waiting to be marked by any paintbrush, big or small, with whatever paint along the way. 
    Paint is the (im)moral force that gives purpose and relevancy to this big and blank amoral whiteboard known as time. Paint comes in many colors, and can create many designs. Some are beautiful, enhance the surrounding landscape, and work synergistically with other designs, creating a diverse, but single hearted masterpiece. Other paints give ugly imprints, ones that impose themselves unapologetically, have no concern for the holistic creative vision, and serve as an unwelcome blemish. For those who believe in the holy and natural, we know the righteous paints will never tarnish, while the awful ones will water down and fade in their own impurities. 
    So what’s the 21st century portrait looking like? If time is an ever increasing size canvas, yet more paint has been plastered era after era at a much higher proportion, is there anything left for us to put? Anything we can add, or are we simply overwhelmed handling what’s already been dried on? I think the latter is the case. This is our destiny and burden. Our mission will not be to make history, but rather detoxify and realign what’s been accumulated - the human, economic, social, political, environmental, ideological…and all the rest. To redirect towards a proper moral direction. To clean up the mess of our dead ancestors. To not give birth, but to raise what’s been born. 
    We are being helped by science and technology, growing at a faster pace than ever before. We are helped by a huge explosion in the information sector, ease of travel and communication, and a range of logistical conveniences. We can interpret these things as proof of human accomplishment, but more importantly I would humbly call it a gift from above - to help aid us with our mission, as if our creator knows what we need. Divine guidance and support!
    All of us were chosen and raised in a certain time period for a reason, only known to our creator. We shouldn’t let ourselves get wrapped up in self-importance or arrogance about this. Are we “better” or just “different” than those in other times? I don’t think we have the time to worry about such a question. 
    References to war are rife throughout history, and that’s the case here. Specifically, the concept of “total war”, where every resource down to the minute is involved in the effort. In today’s case, every capital resource - the community, personal, psychological, technological - are essential for our mission, and no individual is beyond the scope of relevance and suitability. We have no choice but to go “all in”, and nothing can be held back, if we want any chance of success of a dignified outcome. 
    So this affects me of course, because it instantly puts me on notice. What can I clean up? What micro changes can I contribute, throw in the pot, to help with the macro efforts? The degree of inward digging should hopefully correlate to outward action. I am proud of living in this era, because it gives me an incentive for spiritual and personal re-examination. 
    What do you guys think?
     
  12. Like
    Reza got a reaction from abuhaydar for a blog entry, For Those in the 21st Century....   
    So how’s this whole 21st century thing coming along? Yeah.
    With the passage of time, each new era is forced to carry a higher burden and inherit a larger legacy than the generation before. Time is a double edged sword. On one end, more time can expand the opportunity to build constructive relationships, goodwill, positive institutions, and human progress. Conversely, time can serve to widen the accumulation of baggage, knot tighter the machinations of deceit and derision, and aid in the solidification of deviant ideologies, perverse mythologies, and exploitative institutions. In this regard, time is an empty canvas waiting to be marked by any paintbrush, big or small, with whatever paint along the way. 
    Paint is the (im)moral force that gives purpose and relevancy to this big and blank amoral whiteboard known as time. Paint comes in many colors, and can create many designs. Some are beautiful, enhance the surrounding landscape, and work synergistically with other designs, creating a diverse, but single hearted masterpiece. Other paints give ugly imprints, ones that impose themselves unapologetically, have no concern for the holistic creative vision, and serve as an unwelcome blemish. For those who believe in the holy and natural, we know the righteous paints will never tarnish, while the awful ones will water down and fade in their own impurities. 
    So what’s the 21st century portrait looking like? If time is an ever increasing size canvas, yet more paint has been plastered era after era at a much higher proportion, is there anything left for us to put? Anything we can add, or are we simply overwhelmed handling what’s already been dried on? I think the latter is the case. This is our destiny and burden. Our mission will not be to make history, but rather detoxify and realign what’s been accumulated - the human, economic, social, political, environmental, ideological…and all the rest. To redirect towards a proper moral direction. To clean up the mess of our dead ancestors. To not give birth, but to raise what’s been born. 
    We are being helped by science and technology, growing at a faster pace than ever before. We are helped by a huge explosion in the information sector, ease of travel and communication, and a range of logistical conveniences. We can interpret these things as proof of human accomplishment, but more importantly I would humbly call it a gift from above - to help aid us with our mission, as if our creator knows what we need. Divine guidance and support!
    All of us were chosen and raised in a certain time period for a reason, only known to our creator. We shouldn’t let ourselves get wrapped up in self-importance or arrogance about this. Are we “better” or just “different” than those in other times? I don’t think we have the time to worry about such a question. 
    References to war are rife throughout history, and that’s the case here. Specifically, the concept of “total war”, where every resource down to the minute is involved in the effort. In today’s case, every capital resource - the community, personal, psychological, technological - are essential for our mission, and no individual is beyond the scope of relevance and suitability. We have no choice but to go “all in”, and nothing can be held back, if we want any chance of success of a dignified outcome. 
    So this affects me of course, because it instantly puts me on notice. What can I clean up? What micro changes can I contribute, throw in the pot, to help with the macro efforts? The degree of inward digging should hopefully correlate to outward action. I am proud of living in this era, because it gives me an incentive for spiritual and personal re-examination. 
    What do you guys think?
     
  13. Like
    Reza reacted to Ibn al-Hussain for a blog entry, A ShiaChat Reunion?   
    As the school-term comes to an end, and there was some time that I could spare for my self, I've thought a lot about how my views on life, religion, man's relationship with God, and the world around me, have changed over the years. This is going to be a pretty random rant - but I guess that is what blogs are for .
    As of now, it has been 4 years since I moved to the seminary in Qom, and while there are many brothers and sisters here who spent many years on ShiaChat, many of them have either asked for their accounts to be deleted, with all of their posts, or have completely abandoned the forum all together or visit once in a while. I'm one of the handful of those who have not asked for my account to be deleted. All my posts from my early teenage years to now mid and late-20s are there. Personally, I never felt I had anything to hide - my posts are pretty much who I am. One can clearly see the early phase of an excited teenager learning a thing or two about the religion, with very deep-rooted presumptions about life, to a hyper kid getting accustomed to a some-what celebrity status, loved & hated by so many, to then entering university life and maturing up (some may disagree ), and eventually entering into the work-force, married, moving to a different country, kids etc. While browsing through my earliest posts back in 2004, I was really able to just reflect on not just how much I have changed, but even how much influence (positive or negative) people on this forum have had on me. Of course this was not happening in a vacuum. I was interacting with all sorts of people - albeit behind a screen. There are so many real names, user-names, and names that I don't even remember - all of them - that I can recall, and in hindsight, see how each and everyone of them played a role in the development of my ideas, the stances and decisions I made in life, the open-mindedness I developed, or even the doubts I may have developed over various issues, and the questions that would remain unanswered for months and years.
    This is very obvious for me even while I study in the seminary. The questions I may ask, the extent of tolerance I may show, the critiques I may mention, the willingness to really question some of our "famous" theological or historical views - some of these things make other students and at times even teachers really uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I believe this is in part due to what transpired on this forum and I am happy for it. This forum was like a large community center. It wasn't a community center for a specific ethnicity, or a culture, or converts or a specific gender. This forum for a large part was a community for those who either didn't have access to a real community where they lived, or were not satisfied with the communities that they belonged to. I believe it represented quite accurately the state of the Shi'a (primarily in the West) for a large part. It collectively represented the views that persisted and continue to persist amongst the Shi'a. Unfortunately, it is this portion of the Shi'a populous that often gets unnoticed outside of virtual reality. The inability of those leading us (for the most part) to really dissect and decipher the state of an average Shi'a's mindset, has really been one of the major issues for our communities in the West. The ignorance towards the epistemological framework that an average Shi'a growing in the West acquires through the education system or simply by living there, the delusional presumption that somehow a sub-culture contained within the 4-walls of a building will be able to preserve itself and overcome a dominant culture outside, the satisfaction of merely entertaining the audience with shallow lectures & speeches - while not addressing important and crucial matters: the cure for all of this seems to be have been missing in the last few decades, primarily due to ignorance towards it.
    On a rare encounter I may have with a lost-long SCer, Its interesting to see how many stayed religious as they were, or were irreligious and become religious, or remained irreligious, or how so many are now going through a faith crisis as they have grown and began questioning and pondering over life's crucial mysteries. 
    Reflecting back on what views I held and what views I hold now, nostalgia overtook me and I started browsing through old posts, old pictures, audio and video files that I still have saved from a decade ago (had a seriously good laugh over some audio files of @SO SOLID SHIA I still have with me). It is really weird how all of a sudden around 2012/2013 the forum just died. As if everyone switched off their plugs and disappeared. People definitely have to move on with their lives, no doubt about that. Of course there were some people who left much earlier, but this sudden silence is really absurd and that it wasn't replaced with a new batch of talented, and educated individuals is really hard to explain.
    Perhaps those members who are still lingering around from the early 2000s ( @Gypsy @DigitalUmmah @Darth Vader @Abbas. @Haji 2003 @Abu Hadi @Wise Muslim @Qa'im @notme) and are still in touch with those who have left, maybe they can work on a ShiaChat Reunion of some sort. Perhaps get in contact with old members and request them to make a moment's appearance and leave some remarks on what they are up to in life! What changes have taken place in your lives, in your views, in your lifestyle - if any? There were some members I had such a great time with, and it felt as if we would remain friends forever. It would be great to be able to reconnect with them.
    @Baatil Ka Kaatil  @Matami-Shah @Zain @Hasnain @Abdulhujjah @Peer @fyst @Syedmed @Nida_e_Zahra @hmMm @SpIzo @venusian @sana_abbas @fatimak @HR @asifnaqvi @Bollywood_Hero @phoenix @blessing @zanyrulez @wilayah @Hajar @Zuljenah @LaYdee_110 @fadak_166 @raat ki rani @Friend of All @queenjafri @Simba @Path2Felicity @3ashiqat-Al-Batoul @-Enlightened @karateka @A follower @hameedeh @lethaldefense @kaaju barfi @Friend of All @Ya Aba 3abdillah ...there are dozens of other members if I keep going.
  14. Like
    Reza reacted to Haji 2003 for a blog entry, Asymmetry of sin   
    There is a growth industry dealing with the shortcomings of Islam and the problematic behaviour of Muslims.
    This also manifests itself on discussion forums populated by Muslims where participants can most easily discuss the supposed weaknesses of Islamic teaching and the shortcomings of individuals' practices. Thus, there are numerous discussions about, for example, the problems associated with polygamy. Something which Islam allows, but which is otherwise frowned upon by non-Muslims.
    But what Muslims cannot do in discussions is refer (in any manner of detail) to the weaknesses in alternative lifestyles in case they open up the eyes of believers to what is sinfully possible.
    Instead what Muslims have for comparison to their own lifestyles are the presentations by their critics of idealised and sanitised versions of, non-Islamic contemporary lifestyles. 
  15. Like
    Reza reacted to beardedbaker for a blog entry, RIP Fidel   
    Over 600 attempts on his life, yet he left on his own terms. A great intelligent much loved leader. 
     

  16. Like
    Reza got a reaction from Hameedeh for a blog entry, For Those Facing Bullies...   
    Salaam:
    If you've ever suffered from bullying, you know how traumatic it can be. The stress, the anxiety, the intimidation throughout the painful encounter. Not to mention the anticipation for the next one. Never a moment to take off the chain of fear, unless you are lucky to preoccupy yourself or have supportive friends. 
    I've been fortunate to not experience severe bullying myself, although I've had occasional small incidents here and there. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen for everyone. At times, the presence of bullies are unavoidable, and you have little control over the matter. If someone bullies you primarily because of your name, your faith, your background, your physical appearance, your family, or something so intrinsic to you, then there is little you could have done to prevent their allure to you. So don't be hung up about it. The fault is 100% theirs, and nothing to do with you whatsoever. Unless you believe your very existence puts you at fault. But you are a proud and self-assured person, and such thoughts do not cross you! 
    On the flip side, bullies can be attracted to you by things you can control. In this instance, you can take better steps to prevent their attraction to you. Don't involve yourself in compromising situations. Be knowledgeable. Learn self sufficiency. Keep your faith and dignity. Focus on your outside work and do not expose your personal vulnerabilities carelessly. Find means of support and others to "back you up". Don't give them material to poke fun at you at. Don't make yourself stick out in embarrassing or unnecessary ways. Mosquitoes need blood to feed. Don't make it easy for them. 
    If you are knee deep in a long standing bullying relationship, your willingness or unwillingness to be a victim is completely within your control. Letting it affect you is within your control. The cycle of bullying requires both parties to maintain the cycle. The bully targets the victim, the victim enables the bully further through their weakness, and the cycle continues. You have control to slow or halt this cycle, and the bully can't do anything about it!
    If anyone can relate to this, I hope this has been helpful for you. Stay tuned, I will write another blog post specifically about cyberbullying and internet psychology. 
  17. Like
    Reza got a reaction from Ali_Ali_ for a blog entry, For Those Facing Bullies...   
    Salaam:
    If you've ever suffered from bullying, you know how traumatic it can be. The stress, the anxiety, the intimidation throughout the painful encounter. Not to mention the anticipation for the next one. Never a moment to take off the chain of fear, unless you are lucky to preoccupy yourself or have supportive friends. 
    I've been fortunate to not experience severe bullying myself, although I've had occasional small incidents here and there. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen for everyone. At times, the presence of bullies are unavoidable, and you have little control over the matter. If someone bullies you primarily because of your name, your faith, your background, your physical appearance, your family, or something so intrinsic to you, then there is little you could have done to prevent their allure to you. So don't be hung up about it. The fault is 100% theirs, and nothing to do with you whatsoever. Unless you believe your very existence puts you at fault. But you are a proud and self-assured person, and such thoughts do not cross you! 
    On the flip side, bullies can be attracted to you by things you can control. In this instance, you can take better steps to prevent their attraction to you. Don't involve yourself in compromising situations. Be knowledgeable. Learn self sufficiency. Keep your faith and dignity. Focus on your outside work and do not expose your personal vulnerabilities carelessly. Find means of support and others to "back you up". Don't give them material to poke fun at you at. Don't make yourself stick out in embarrassing or unnecessary ways. Mosquitoes need blood to feed. Don't make it easy for them. 
    If you are knee deep in a long standing bullying relationship, your willingness or unwillingness to be a victim is completely within your control. Letting it affect you is within your control. The cycle of bullying requires both parties to maintain the cycle. The bully targets the victim, the victim enables the bully further through their weakness, and the cycle continues. You have control to slow or halt this cycle, and the bully can't do anything about it!
    If anyone can relate to this, I hope this has been helpful for you. Stay tuned, I will write another blog post specifically about cyberbullying and internet psychology. 
  18. Like
    Reza got a reaction from Pearl178 for a blog entry, For Those Seeking Truth...   
    We all seek truth. But what is truth? Truth is what is real. So in other words, we are seeking what is real. As the verse below from Surah al-Isra states:
    This makes a prolific point. Only truth is real and will remain standing. Falsehood, illusion, and delusion are not real, and are destined to vanish. This is the opposite of truth. It's in our intrinsic nature to seek the everlasting, because the very soul of humankind is eternal. Therefore, the human being desires truth over untruth. To recognize the truth, to know the truth, to live the truth, to feel the truth. So the next logical question is, what is real, and therefore what is the truth?
    Truth is both here and there, close and far, seen and unseen. Truth is an abundant resource, ready to be filled by the containers of our souls anytime. Many people in despair, plagued by the grip of falsehoods, illusions, and anxieties, feel the truth is unreachable and inaccessible. This itself is an untruth. And untruths are bound to vanish!
    The truth is like a pure bright light, its origin from a single source. When this light strikes the prism of this worldly life, it refracts and reflects into a range of wavelengths and colors. This explains the diversity of interpretations we see. Yes, these crazy color beams will bounce and bend all over in this big blue ball, but ultimately, they will all return to the original bright essence, provided that purity has stayed and no contaminates of falsehood or diversion have temporarily halted the trajectory. Only temporary!
    Sorry if this too dense. All I'm saying is, the truth is real. What's real is all around you. Therefore the truth is within your grasp. In the room you're in. In that nice beautiful book in your room. In the fields, mountains, skies, and seas outside. In the beating of your heart and the impulses of neurons. It's all there. Put everything together like a jigsaw puzzle. Build! No matter what flavor or color you are, as long as one aims for purification, one will be acquainted better with reality and truth, in its raw essence. You'll get there, don't worry!
     
  19. Like
    Reza got a reaction from rkazmi33 for a blog entry, For Those Facing Bullies...   
    Salaam:
    If you've ever suffered from bullying, you know how traumatic it can be. The stress, the anxiety, the intimidation throughout the painful encounter. Not to mention the anticipation for the next one. Never a moment to take off the chain of fear, unless you are lucky to preoccupy yourself or have supportive friends. 
    I've been fortunate to not experience severe bullying myself, although I've had occasional small incidents here and there. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen for everyone. At times, the presence of bullies are unavoidable, and you have little control over the matter. If someone bullies you primarily because of your name, your faith, your background, your physical appearance, your family, or something so intrinsic to you, then there is little you could have done to prevent their allure to you. So don't be hung up about it. The fault is 100% theirs, and nothing to do with you whatsoever. Unless you believe your very existence puts you at fault. But you are a proud and self-assured person, and such thoughts do not cross you! 
    On the flip side, bullies can be attracted to you by things you can control. In this instance, you can take better steps to prevent their attraction to you. Don't involve yourself in compromising situations. Be knowledgeable. Learn self sufficiency. Keep your faith and dignity. Focus on your outside work and do not expose your personal vulnerabilities carelessly. Find means of support and others to "back you up". Don't give them material to poke fun at you at. Don't make yourself stick out in embarrassing or unnecessary ways. Mosquitoes need blood to feed. Don't make it easy for them. 
    If you are knee deep in a long standing bullying relationship, your willingness or unwillingness to be a victim is completely within your control. Letting it affect you is within your control. The cycle of bullying requires both parties to maintain the cycle. The bully targets the victim, the victim enables the bully further through their weakness, and the cycle continues. You have control to slow or halt this cycle, and the bully can't do anything about it!
    If anyone can relate to this, I hope this has been helpful for you. Stay tuned, I will write another blog post specifically about cyberbullying and internet psychology. 
  20. Like
    Reza got a reaction from enigma313 for a blog entry, For Those Facing Bullies...   
    Salaam:
    If you've ever suffered from bullying, you know how traumatic it can be. The stress, the anxiety, the intimidation throughout the painful encounter. Not to mention the anticipation for the next one. Never a moment to take off the chain of fear, unless you are lucky to preoccupy yourself or have supportive friends. 
    I've been fortunate to not experience severe bullying myself, although I've had occasional small incidents here and there. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen for everyone. At times, the presence of bullies are unavoidable, and you have little control over the matter. If someone bullies you primarily because of your name, your faith, your background, your physical appearance, your family, or something so intrinsic to you, then there is little you could have done to prevent their allure to you. So don't be hung up about it. The fault is 100% theirs, and nothing to do with you whatsoever. Unless you believe your very existence puts you at fault. But you are a proud and self-assured person, and such thoughts do not cross you! 
    On the flip side, bullies can be attracted to you by things you can control. In this instance, you can take better steps to prevent their attraction to you. Don't involve yourself in compromising situations. Be knowledgeable. Learn self sufficiency. Keep your faith and dignity. Focus on your outside work and do not expose your personal vulnerabilities carelessly. Find means of support and others to "back you up". Don't give them material to poke fun at you at. Don't make yourself stick out in embarrassing or unnecessary ways. Mosquitoes need blood to feed. Don't make it easy for them. 
    If you are knee deep in a long standing bullying relationship, your willingness or unwillingness to be a victim is completely within your control. Letting it affect you is within your control. The cycle of bullying requires both parties to maintain the cycle. The bully targets the victim, the victim enables the bully further through their weakness, and the cycle continues. You have control to slow or halt this cycle, and the bully can't do anything about it!
    If anyone can relate to this, I hope this has been helpful for you. Stay tuned, I will write another blog post specifically about cyberbullying and internet psychology. 
  21. Like
    Reza got a reaction from _Fatima for a blog entry, For Those Facing Bullies...   
    Salaam:
    If you've ever suffered from bullying, you know how traumatic it can be. The stress, the anxiety, the intimidation throughout the painful encounter. Not to mention the anticipation for the next one. Never a moment to take off the chain of fear, unless you are lucky to preoccupy yourself or have supportive friends. 
    I've been fortunate to not experience severe bullying myself, although I've had occasional small incidents here and there. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen for everyone. At times, the presence of bullies are unavoidable, and you have little control over the matter. If someone bullies you primarily because of your name, your faith, your background, your physical appearance, your family, or something so intrinsic to you, then there is little you could have done to prevent their allure to you. So don't be hung up about it. The fault is 100% theirs, and nothing to do with you whatsoever. Unless you believe your very existence puts you at fault. But you are a proud and self-assured person, and such thoughts do not cross you! 
    On the flip side, bullies can be attracted to you by things you can control. In this instance, you can take better steps to prevent their attraction to you. Don't involve yourself in compromising situations. Be knowledgeable. Learn self sufficiency. Keep your faith and dignity. Focus on your outside work and do not expose your personal vulnerabilities carelessly. Find means of support and others to "back you up". Don't give them material to poke fun at you at. Don't make yourself stick out in embarrassing or unnecessary ways. Mosquitoes need blood to feed. Don't make it easy for them. 
    If you are knee deep in a long standing bullying relationship, your willingness or unwillingness to be a victim is completely within your control. Letting it affect you is within your control. The cycle of bullying requires both parties to maintain the cycle. The bully targets the victim, the victim enables the bully further through their weakness, and the cycle continues. You have control to slow or halt this cycle, and the bully can't do anything about it!
    If anyone can relate to this, I hope this has been helpful for you. Stay tuned, I will write another blog post specifically about cyberbullying and internet psychology. 
  22. Like
    Reza got a reaction from Martyrdom for a blog entry, For Those Seeking Truth...   
    We all seek truth. But what is truth? Truth is what is real. So in other words, we are seeking what is real. As the verse below from Surah al-Isra states:
    This makes a prolific point. Only truth is real and will remain standing. Falsehood, illusion, and delusion are not real, and are destined to vanish. This is the opposite of truth. It's in our intrinsic nature to seek the everlasting, because the very soul of humankind is eternal. Therefore, the human being desires truth over untruth. To recognize the truth, to know the truth, to live the truth, to feel the truth. So the next logical question is, what is real, and therefore what is the truth?
    Truth is both here and there, close and far, seen and unseen. Truth is an abundant resource, ready to be filled by the containers of our souls anytime. Many people in despair, plagued by the grip of falsehoods, illusions, and anxieties, feel the truth is unreachable and inaccessible. This itself is an untruth. And untruths are bound to vanish!
    The truth is like a pure bright light, its origin from a single source. When this light strikes the prism of this worldly life, it refracts and reflects into a range of wavelengths and colors. This explains the diversity of interpretations we see. Yes, these crazy color beams will bounce and bend all over in this big blue ball, but ultimately, they will all return to the original bright essence, provided that purity has stayed and no contaminates of falsehood or diversion have temporarily halted the trajectory. Only temporary!
    Sorry if this too dense. All I'm saying is, the truth is real. What's real is all around you. Therefore the truth is within your grasp. In the room you're in. In that nice beautiful book in your room. In the fields, mountains, skies, and seas outside. In the beating of your heart and the impulses of neurons. It's all there. Put everything together like a jigsaw puzzle. Build! No matter what flavor or color you are, as long as one aims for purification, one will be acquainted better with reality and truth, in its raw essence. You'll get there, don't worry!
     
  23. Like
    Reza got a reaction from enigma313 for a blog entry, For Those Who Are Spenders...   
    According to Zizek, we live in an era of "cultural capitalism".  We're not just terminal consumers of hollow products, rather we're consumers of the broader philosophies, ethos, lifestyles, and symbolisms attached to the products. Humanistic, cultural, or loftier ends are commonly invoked as an effect of the purchase. His example was Starbucks. You don't just buy a cup of coffee, but you buy into a "coffee ethics", where part of your money goes to help the coffee farmers and help starving children in poor countries. So one's "duty" to help the environment and humanity is included within a consumerist act, rather than being visibly separated from it. Perhaps this "redeems" people from being simple consumers only, and gives a feeling like they're doing something meaningful, albeit by holding a cup of coffee from a comfortable Starbucks armchair.
    Charity is valuable and better than nothing, but it's quite limiting. According to him (with reference to Oscar Wilde), the idea and goal should be to adjust society so that poverty itself is minimized to near impossibility. It's not enough to simply provide poor people with a few morsels to survive one more day, but keep the core of the exploitative system intact. If the situation that produced poverty in the first place is not addressed, then the stricken poor will continue to live miserable lives, no matter how much charity is thrown at them. A quote that I remember from Hélder Pessoa Câmara, a Brazilian Roman Catholic Archbishop:
    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist"
    The push today is to create "capitalism with a human face", one that makes it appear liberal, tolerant, and humanistic. In other words, a system that permits the unbridled profit, greed, and gross inequality of capitalism, but is "softened" for its victims by including compensatory measures like welfare and charity. An uncompromising "have your cake and eat it too" approach. To have the antidote included within the poison, so to speak.
    From an Islamic perspective, this would be missing the point. Institutions that oppress people have to be significantly reformed structurally and ideologically, such that they accommodate everyone with justice, mercy, and fairness. But the individual souls that make it up must also be reformed. It is against the spirit of God consciousness to have a brazen capitalist spirit, because that would be over-indulgence of the heart into matters of dunya. Not that being rich is a bad thing. But seeing wealth as an end, rather than a means, is against the spirit of our divine inspired natures. Simply shaving off some money from the top of the money bag into the hands of a few poor families is not sufficient, and not reflective of one's real responsibility. These measures simply alleviate some guilt or show off one's phony humanism. What is needed is a reconstructing of the soul, of faith and human purpose, as well as real social consciousness by committed believers of divine guidance, who are committed to simple lives, opposed to excesses, and whose hearts beat for the rights of mankind. Marxists and leftists, stubbornly insistent on a materialist-only worldview of life, fail to grasp the importance of these lofty, divine values. They decry inequality, but adjudicate it on no sound moral basis of God-given rights, or provide any meaningful guidance for the soul of man himself.
    Reform starts within the individual first, which will then impact our families, then our communities, then the world at large.
     
  24. Like
    Reza got a reaction from Martyrdom for a blog entry, For Those Who Are Spenders...   
    According to Zizek, we live in an era of "cultural capitalism".  We're not just terminal consumers of hollow products, rather we're consumers of the broader philosophies, ethos, lifestyles, and symbolisms attached to the products. Humanistic, cultural, or loftier ends are commonly invoked as an effect of the purchase. His example was Starbucks. You don't just buy a cup of coffee, but you buy into a "coffee ethics", where part of your money goes to help the coffee farmers and help starving children in poor countries. So one's "duty" to help the environment and humanity is included within a consumerist act, rather than being visibly separated from it. Perhaps this "redeems" people from being simple consumers only, and gives a feeling like they're doing something meaningful, albeit by holding a cup of coffee from a comfortable Starbucks armchair.
    Charity is valuable and better than nothing, but it's quite limiting. According to him (with reference to Oscar Wilde), the idea and goal should be to adjust society so that poverty itself is minimized to near impossibility. It's not enough to simply provide poor people with a few morsels to survive one more day, but keep the core of the exploitative system intact. If the situation that produced poverty in the first place is not addressed, then the stricken poor will continue to live miserable lives, no matter how much charity is thrown at them. A quote that I remember from Hélder Pessoa Câmara, a Brazilian Roman Catholic Archbishop:
    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist"
    The push today is to create "capitalism with a human face", one that makes it appear liberal, tolerant, and humanistic. In other words, a system that permits the unbridled profit, greed, and gross inequality of capitalism, but is "softened" for its victims by including compensatory measures like welfare and charity. An uncompromising "have your cake and eat it too" approach. To have the antidote included within the poison, so to speak.
    From an Islamic perspective, this would be missing the point. Institutions that oppress people have to be significantly reformed structurally and ideologically, such that they accommodate everyone with justice, mercy, and fairness. But the individual souls that make it up must also be reformed. It is against the spirit of God consciousness to have a brazen capitalist spirit, because that would be over-indulgence of the heart into matters of dunya. Not that being rich is a bad thing. But seeing wealth as an end, rather than a means, is against the spirit of our divine inspired natures. Simply shaving off some money from the top of the money bag into the hands of a few poor families is not sufficient, and not reflective of one's real responsibility. These measures simply alleviate some guilt or show off one's phony humanism. What is needed is a reconstructing of the soul, of faith and human purpose, as well as real social consciousness by committed believers of divine guidance, who are committed to simple lives, opposed to excesses, and whose hearts beat for the rights of mankind. Marxists and leftists, stubbornly insistent on a materialist-only worldview of life, fail to grasp the importance of these lofty, divine values. They decry inequality, but adjudicate it on no sound moral basis of God-given rights, or provide any meaningful guidance for the soul of man himself.
    Reform starts within the individual first, which will then impact our families, then our communities, then the world at large.
     
  25. Like
    Reza got a reaction from yusur317 for a blog entry, For Those Who Are Spenders...   
    According to Zizek, we live in an era of "cultural capitalism".  We're not just terminal consumers of hollow products, rather we're consumers of the broader philosophies, ethos, lifestyles, and symbolisms attached to the products. Humanistic, cultural, or loftier ends are commonly invoked as an effect of the purchase. His example was Starbucks. You don't just buy a cup of coffee, but you buy into a "coffee ethics", where part of your money goes to help the coffee farmers and help starving children in poor countries. So one's "duty" to help the environment and humanity is included within a consumerist act, rather than being visibly separated from it. Perhaps this "redeems" people from being simple consumers only, and gives a feeling like they're doing something meaningful, albeit by holding a cup of coffee from a comfortable Starbucks armchair.
    Charity is valuable and better than nothing, but it's quite limiting. According to him (with reference to Oscar Wilde), the idea and goal should be to adjust society so that poverty itself is minimized to near impossibility. It's not enough to simply provide poor people with a few morsels to survive one more day, but keep the core of the exploitative system intact. If the situation that produced poverty in the first place is not addressed, then the stricken poor will continue to live miserable lives, no matter how much charity is thrown at them. A quote that I remember from Hélder Pessoa Câmara, a Brazilian Roman Catholic Archbishop:
    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist"
    The push today is to create "capitalism with a human face", one that makes it appear liberal, tolerant, and humanistic. In other words, a system that permits the unbridled profit, greed, and gross inequality of capitalism, but is "softened" for its victims by including compensatory measures like welfare and charity. An uncompromising "have your cake and eat it too" approach. To have the antidote included within the poison, so to speak.
    From an Islamic perspective, this would be missing the point. Institutions that oppress people have to be significantly reformed structurally and ideologically, such that they accommodate everyone with justice, mercy, and fairness. But the individual souls that make it up must also be reformed. It is against the spirit of God consciousness to have a brazen capitalist spirit, because that would be over-indulgence of the heart into matters of dunya. Not that being rich is a bad thing. But seeing wealth as an end, rather than a means, is against the spirit of our divine inspired natures. Simply shaving off some money from the top of the money bag into the hands of a few poor families is not sufficient, and not reflective of one's real responsibility. These measures simply alleviate some guilt or show off one's phony humanism. What is needed is a reconstructing of the soul, of faith and human purpose, as well as real social consciousness by committed believers of divine guidance, who are committed to simple lives, opposed to excesses, and whose hearts beat for the rights of mankind. Marxists and leftists, stubbornly insistent on a materialist-only worldview of life, fail to grasp the importance of these lofty, divine values. They decry inequality, but adjudicate it on no sound moral basis of God-given rights, or provide any meaningful guidance for the soul of man himself.
    Reform starts within the individual first, which will then impact our families, then our communities, then the world at large.
     
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