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In the Name of God بسم الله

Reza

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  1. Like
    Reza got a reaction from baradar_jackson for a blog entry, Welcome!   
    Welcome to the revitalized Volcano Republic Blog! Feel free to hang around if you like. 
  2. Like
    Reza got a reaction from Hameedeh for a blog entry, Welcome!   
    Welcome to the revitalized Volcano Republic Blog! Feel free to hang around if you like. 
  3. Like
    Reza got a reaction from Sirius_Bright for a blog entry, For Those Who Are Deliberately Delaying Marriage..   
    I'm currently reading the online book "Youth and Spouse Selection". It was written in the 90s, primarily targeted towards youth in Iran (but has some relevance to youth everywhere). One particular story shared was quite eye opening:
     
     
    Full text of book here:
    http://www.al-islam.org/youth-and-spouse-selection-ali-akbar-mazaheri
     
  4. Like
    Reza got a reaction from yolanda313786 for a blog entry, For Those Who Are Deliberately Delaying Marriage..   
    I'm currently reading the online book "Youth and Spouse Selection". It was written in the 90s, primarily targeted towards youth in Iran (but has some relevance to youth everywhere). One particular story shared was quite eye opening:
     
     
    Full text of book here:
    http://www.al-islam.org/youth-and-spouse-selection-ali-akbar-mazaheri
     
  5. 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.
     
  6. Like
    Reza got a reaction from Pearl178 for a blog entry, Welcome!   
    Welcome to the revitalized Volcano Republic Blog! Feel free to hang around if you like. 
  7. Like
    Reza reacted to ShiaChat Mod for a blog entry, Create your blog   
    Click on the Blogs tab at the top of the homepage. 
    Click on the button that says "Create a blog." 
    Fill in the special title name for your blog, and click the "Continue" button. Your blog is ready!
    Click on "Add blog entry" to write your first blog post, and save it by clicking "Submit entry." 
    The next time you want to create a new blog post, do not create a new blog. Members are only allowed to create one blog. When you are in your own blog, click on the button that says "Add Blog Entry." 
  8. Like
    Reza got a reaction from Martyrdom for a blog entry, For Those Who Are Deliberately Delaying Marriage..   
    I'm currently reading the online book "Youth and Spouse Selection". It was written in the 90s, primarily targeted towards youth in Iran (but has some relevance to youth everywhere). One particular story shared was quite eye opening:
     
     
    Full text of book here:
    http://www.al-islam.org/youth-and-spouse-selection-ali-akbar-mazaheri
     
  9. Like
    Reza got a reaction from Chaotic Muslem for a blog entry, Why the Name   
    A good question some of you might have is, why the name A Muslim Artist?  Well my dear friends, let me tell you the tale full of drama, suspense, romance, and adventure.  (Could we get banned for lying? Because if so, bye it was fun while it lasted)
       It was relatively not that long ago, a starving adolescent was bored and had nothing to do. Read Quran and try to become a better Muslim you might suggest.  "What is that?" the youth would ask.  At that time the youth was constantly improving and changing up his art style and changing the content he drew in general.  Before he would draw stories of a reptile doing martial arts in space, confusing stories of time travel, and the classic people posing while brooding.  But eventually the youth found Islamic art made by the Persians (and/or Mongols) and it inspired him.  
    Gone were the days of space reptiles!
     Now the youth would draw pictures of the Angels, Iblis deceiving Adam and Hawwa, Musa confronting Pharaoh, Muhammad's Night Journey, Ali defending what is right, and much more. The youth enjoyed this very much, he loved drawing his favorite tales about these great men.  And at that time, because of a lie from the youth's employer, the youth had a lot of free time. So because he was a lazy piece of trash (a statement the youth's older brother used very much), he would mostly sit inside and watch Youtube, that is when he made a shocking discovery! There were a Lut (get it?) of anti-Muslim videos on Youtube.  So because of this the youth decided to became a crusader (or a jihadist) of Islam, fighting ignorance online. (He failed miserably, because as mentioned earlier, he was indeed very lazy).
     But like all vigilantes, he needed a name. Something to inspire his allies, scare his enemies (who were a superstitious bunch).
    I got one! What about the Muslim Defender?
    It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but it make it sound like the youth isn’t Muslim.
    This name has to reflect the youth, who happened to be Muslim….Hmmm… He’s a Muslim, and well he’s currently drawing an Islamic scene, how about… Islamic Drawer?
    Nah, that’s stupid.
    Really? Okay what about… Islamic Illustrator?
    Better, but still it could still use some work.
    The Youtube auto-play just was active, the now playing video was a Muslim singer singing a song about Islam.
    That be cool to do on the channel. But it would be out of place for an illustrator.
    Hold on a second, aren’t illustrators, writers, musicians, and etc are considered artists?
    Yeah, yeah! Why not the Muslim Artist?
    That could work, but it’s missing something, I just don’t know what.
    We could try The Muslim Artist?
    Yeah! Awesome ….. Wait, doesn’t that seem narcissistic?  The Muslim Artist?
    Yeah, I guess you’re right…
    A!
    What? A?
    A Muslim Artist! That way it’ll show were just one of many.
    A Muslim Artist it is then.
     
    So that is how the name was chosen.  Some might be wondering how true to the name the youth stayed active in.  Well after seeing much better Islamic art, the youth felt that calling his pictures “drawings” didn’t seem right, so now he just calls them doodles. He keeps the “doodles” private and only shows them to friends and family.  
     
    Now my humble friends, I must reveal something to you. Sit down, because it will come as a shock. The lazy youth with noble intentions, in reality, he and I are one and the same. Now some of you might be wondering why was this even “blogged?”  Well let me answer that question with another question, have you seen the name of this blog?  Now excuse me while I’m being banned for lying about what’s going to be in this tale.   
  10. Like
    Reza got a reaction from hasanhh for a blog entry, Why the Name   
    A good question some of you might have is, why the name A Muslim Artist?  Well my dear friends, let me tell you the tale full of drama, suspense, romance, and adventure.  (Could we get banned for lying? Because if so, bye it was fun while it lasted)
       It was relatively not that long ago, a starving adolescent was bored and had nothing to do. Read Quran and try to become a better Muslim you might suggest.  "What is that?" the youth would ask.  At that time the youth was constantly improving and changing up his art style and changing the content he drew in general.  Before he would draw stories of a reptile doing martial arts in space, confusing stories of time travel, and the classic people posing while brooding.  But eventually the youth found Islamic art made by the Persians (and/or Mongols) and it inspired him.  
    Gone were the days of space reptiles!
     Now the youth would draw pictures of the Angels, Iblis deceiving Adam and Hawwa, Musa confronting Pharaoh, Muhammad's Night Journey, Ali defending what is right, and much more. The youth enjoyed this very much, he loved drawing his favorite tales about these great men.  And at that time, because of a lie from the youth's employer, the youth had a lot of free time. So because he was a lazy piece of trash (a statement the youth's older brother used very much), he would mostly sit inside and watch Youtube, that is when he made a shocking discovery! There were a Lut (get it?) of anti-Muslim videos on Youtube.  So because of this the youth decided to became a crusader (or a jihadist) of Islam, fighting ignorance online. (He failed miserably, because as mentioned earlier, he was indeed very lazy).
     But like all vigilantes, he needed a name. Something to inspire his allies, scare his enemies (who were a superstitious bunch).
    I got one! What about the Muslim Defender?
    It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but it make it sound like the youth isn’t Muslim.
    This name has to reflect the youth, who happened to be Muslim….Hmmm… He’s a Muslim, and well he’s currently drawing an Islamic scene, how about… Islamic Drawer?
    Nah, that’s stupid.
    Really? Okay what about… Islamic Illustrator?
    Better, but still it could still use some work.
    The Youtube auto-play just was active, the now playing video was a Muslim singer singing a song about Islam.
    That be cool to do on the channel. But it would be out of place for an illustrator.
    Hold on a second, aren’t illustrators, writers, musicians, and etc are considered artists?
    Yeah, yeah! Why not the Muslim Artist?
    That could work, but it’s missing something, I just don’t know what.
    We could try The Muslim Artist?
    Yeah! Awesome ….. Wait, doesn’t that seem narcissistic?  The Muslim Artist?
    Yeah, I guess you’re right…
    A!
    What? A?
    A Muslim Artist! That way it’ll show were just one of many.
    A Muslim Artist it is then.
     
    So that is how the name was chosen.  Some might be wondering how true to the name the youth stayed active in.  Well after seeing much better Islamic art, the youth felt that calling his pictures “drawings” didn’t seem right, so now he just calls them doodles. He keeps the “doodles” private and only shows them to friends and family.  
     
    Now my humble friends, I must reveal something to you. Sit down, because it will come as a shock. The lazy youth with noble intentions, in reality, he and I are one and the same. Now some of you might be wondering why was this even “blogged?”  Well let me answer that question with another question, have you seen the name of this blog?  Now excuse me while I’m being banned for lying about what’s going to be in this tale.   
  11. Like
    Reza got a reaction from rkazmi33 for a blog entry, Why the Name   
    A good question some of you might have is, why the name A Muslim Artist?  Well my dear friends, let me tell you the tale full of drama, suspense, romance, and adventure.  (Could we get banned for lying? Because if so, bye it was fun while it lasted)
       It was relatively not that long ago, a starving adolescent was bored and had nothing to do. Read Quran and try to become a better Muslim you might suggest.  "What is that?" the youth would ask.  At that time the youth was constantly improving and changing up his art style and changing the content he drew in general.  Before he would draw stories of a reptile doing martial arts in space, confusing stories of time travel, and the classic people posing while brooding.  But eventually the youth found Islamic art made by the Persians (and/or Mongols) and it inspired him.  
    Gone were the days of space reptiles!
     Now the youth would draw pictures of the Angels, Iblis deceiving Adam and Hawwa, Musa confronting Pharaoh, Muhammad's Night Journey, Ali defending what is right, and much more. The youth enjoyed this very much, he loved drawing his favorite tales about these great men.  And at that time, because of a lie from the youth's employer, the youth had a lot of free time. So because he was a lazy piece of trash (a statement the youth's older brother used very much), he would mostly sit inside and watch Youtube, that is when he made a shocking discovery! There were a Lut (get it?) of anti-Muslim videos on Youtube.  So because of this the youth decided to became a crusader (or a jihadist) of Islam, fighting ignorance online. (He failed miserably, because as mentioned earlier, he was indeed very lazy).
     But like all vigilantes, he needed a name. Something to inspire his allies, scare his enemies (who were a superstitious bunch).
    I got one! What about the Muslim Defender?
    It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but it make it sound like the youth isn’t Muslim.
    This name has to reflect the youth, who happened to be Muslim….Hmmm… He’s a Muslim, and well he’s currently drawing an Islamic scene, how about… Islamic Drawer?
    Nah, that’s stupid.
    Really? Okay what about… Islamic Illustrator?
    Better, but still it could still use some work.
    The Youtube auto-play just was active, the now playing video was a Muslim singer singing a song about Islam.
    That be cool to do on the channel. But it would be out of place for an illustrator.
    Hold on a second, aren’t illustrators, writers, musicians, and etc are considered artists?
    Yeah, yeah! Why not the Muslim Artist?
    That could work, but it’s missing something, I just don’t know what.
    We could try The Muslim Artist?
    Yeah! Awesome ….. Wait, doesn’t that seem narcissistic?  The Muslim Artist?
    Yeah, I guess you’re right…
    A!
    What? A?
    A Muslim Artist! That way it’ll show were just one of many.
    A Muslim Artist it is then.
     
    So that is how the name was chosen.  Some might be wondering how true to the name the youth stayed active in.  Well after seeing much better Islamic art, the youth felt that calling his pictures “drawings” didn’t seem right, so now he just calls them doodles. He keeps the “doodles” private and only shows them to friends and family.  
     
    Now my humble friends, I must reveal something to you. Sit down, because it will come as a shock. The lazy youth with noble intentions, in reality, he and I are one and the same. Now some of you might be wondering why was this even “blogged?”  Well let me answer that question with another question, have you seen the name of this blog?  Now excuse me while I’m being banned for lying about what’s going to be in this tale.   
  12. Like
    Reza reacted to Miss Wonderful for a blog entry, Quotes to Live By [2]   
    A strong person will overcome an obstacle. A wise person will traverse the whole path. (Sometimes, letting go is a better option than to tackle the problem head on. As they say, care is better than the cure)
    A small cottage, wherein laughter lives, is worth more than a palace full of tears. (It's not about how big the house is, it's about how happy the home is. Happiness never comes from having more but being among the ones that cherish you, love you and care about you. Time passes, you lose the things you were once so attached to but the memories remain and so do the people, in our hearts)
    Always safeguard peace and quiet. When the time is right, the flowers will bloom. (Patience always brings about good tidings. If you're patient enough, you'll get the best. Learn to wait, because things happen when they're meant to be. Everything has a special time and a special place)
    Even idiots have their own foolish form of happiness. (Happiness can be found anywhere. Doesn't matter who you are, if you're willing to look at the positive aspects of life, you'll find happiness in little things)
    If you trip and fall, it doesn't necessarily means that you are going in the wrong direction. (Just because you find hurdles in your way, it doesn't mean that you aren't meant for that path. Difficulties always comes for those willing to seek greatness)
    If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by. (If you be patient and endure the pain your enemies give you, there will come a time when you will be victorious. Patience is the key to one of the greatness things in the world and the hereafter. Never underestimate the power of patience and Dua'a)
    Always look on the bright side of things. If you can't comprehend this, polish that which has dulled until it begins to shine. (Every dark cloud has a silver lining. You may seem hopeless at some point but try to look at the positive side of what has happened. If you can't, look at what the positives the trouble brought you. Remember: There's always balance in the world. When you lose something, you gain something. It may take time for you to see it but the great things always take time. Those things are reborn in a different form and are returned to you when you are ready)
  13. Like
    Reza reacted to sadegh for a blog entry, HOW TO HACK: Automated SQL Injections   
    WARNING: PERFORMING AN SQL INJECTION (indeed any form of hacking) WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE PEOPLE WHO OWN THE THING YOU ARE TRYING TO HACK IS VERY ILLEGAL. IF CAUGHT, YOU WILL GO TO JAIL. DO NOT BE AN IDIOT. ITS VERY EASY TO BE CAUGHT IF YOU ARE BASIC LEVEL. THERE'S PLENTY OF SAFE (LEGAL) WAYS TO PRACTICE. 
    so the last post was just about the slowest, most manual, most labour intensive possible way to do an SQL Injection. 
    today we are gonna show the actual way it is done in the real world. 
    in order to do this, you need to have Kali Linux installed. its not hard to install it, personally I prefer using a virtual machine. tutorial here:
     
    shout out to my man @repenter for literally saving me £1000s and months (years) of studying by introducing me to kali. 
    todays blog will be my typed up notes of this tutorial:
    http://www.kalitutorials.net/2014/03/hacking-website-with-sqlmap-in-kali.html
    theres a tool preinstalled in Kali called SQLMap. this is what we will be using. 
    ok without any further ado, lets get crackalackin! 
    assuming you successfully installed Kali, open a terminal and type the following and press enter:

    it lists a buttload of commands which you can enter in the terminal. 
    always start from here if you are unfamiliar with how to use the application. 
    the one we want to do is the -u command. 
    the format is:
    sqlmap -u <URL to inject>
    so for our example it would be:
    sqlmap -u http://tatbirblades.com/listproducts.php?cat=1

    you will get a printout of the potential targets for the injection

    select "y" if you are any doubt. 
    let it do its thang
    so basically, we already identified the vulnerable targets in like, 1 command. 
    second command - we wanna find out the names of the tables.
    guess what? its just another single command:
    sqlmap -u http://tatbirblades.com/listproducts.php?cat=1 --dbs
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  14. Like
    Reza reacted to Hameedeh for a blog entry, Spread by the Sword?   
    بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
               
                Not only is Islam the second-largest religion in the world, but it is the world’s fastest growing religion. With globalization and the influx of Muslim immigration to the West, many people are reluctantly meeting Muslims for the first time. Fear of the unknown is common, but that fear is constantly perpetuated by images of violence in the Muslim world. As a visible minority with little political leverage, the Muslim community is an easy target for xenophobes, warmongers, and nationalists. The Muslim world is the needed bogeyman for the military-industrial complex, private security companies, and isolationist politicians to thrive. Rather than trying to understand the complex imperial and economic variables that cause violence in the Muslim world, it is both simpler and more cunning to resort to generalized arguments about Islam. This view, however, overlooks the many scientific and philosophical contributions Muslims have made to Western civilization. More importantly, it distorts the reality of the Muslim civilization’s mostly-tolerant history. The centuries-old narrative that Islam was “spread by the sword” is still popular today, and it causes Muslims living in the West to be looked at as a suspicious Trojan horse waiting to Islamize the world. It is therefore necessary for us to deconstruct this worldview. This paper will briefly explore the rise and expansion of Islam, and demonstrate that tolerance and plurality were founding principles of Islamic ethics.
                Since the early days of the Prophet Muhammad’s ministry, Islam’s relationship with non-Muslim communities has been notable. Shortly after the Muslim migration to Medina (then known as Yathrib) in 622 CE, the Prophet drafted the Constitution of Medina. This charter put an end to tribal infighting in Medina, created a new judicial system, guaranteed the mutual protection of Muslims and non-Muslims, and established a new “Community of Believers (mu’mineen)”. (Gil, 2004, pp. 21) This community would include the Jewish tribes of Medina, while still recognizing their distinct identity and laws. Although Bernard Lewis claims that the Constitution of Medina was a unilateral proclamation by Muhammad, (Lewis, 1993, pp. 22) Muslim sources generally referred to it as a pact between the Muslims and the Jews following the two pledges at `Aqaba. Furthermore, Wellhausen, a German orientalist, regarded this charter to be a multilateral agreement negotiated between all of the involved groups. (Gil, 2004, pp. 22)
                The Prophet Muhammad also ratified writs of protection to other communities. The Ashtiname of Muhammad, which was written by `Ali b. Abi Talib upon the commission of Muhammad, granted privileges to the Christian monks of St. Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt. (Ratliff, 2012, pp. 63) The document guarantees that Christians are not to be overtaxed, plundered, disturbed, or coerced into marriages. (Morrow, 2013) These covenants demonstrate that the Prophet pursued a peaceful and tolerant coexistence with other communities, and made his followers accountable to ethical principles of justice.            
    The Prophet Muhammad very plainly stressed the equality of all people, regardless of tribe, colour, class, or ethnicity. While rights differed among subgroups of society, the Islamic civilization held no concept of the natural subordination of individuals or groups. (Hamid, 1982, pp. 127) Conversion to Islam only required a simple declaration of faith, while becoming a member of the ancient Greek polity was only possible for Greek male property owners. (Hamid, 1982, pp. 127)  The egalitarianism of the Quranic message was attractive to many who sought social refuge from the caste system and other forms of subordination. (Eaton, 1992, pp. 117)
    The Caliphate’s medieval conquests, which occurred after the Prophet Muhammad, are the main source of agitation among those suspicious of Muslims. It should be noted that `Ali b. Abi Talib, who is considered the rightful successor to Muhammad by Shia Muslims, refrained from taking part in these conquests, despite being renowned as a great warrior. There should be no doubt that there were incidents that occurred during early expansion that are not in line with the teachings of the Prophet, especially during the ridda wars and the Battle of `Ulays. The Shia Imams consistently held the Caliphate accountable during mistrials and in moments of nepotism; and they struggled to establish social and economic justice in the Muslim world. But, the frame that the Islamic conquests were wholly or mostly negative is a Eurocentric view that does not account for other pieces of the puzzle.
                Many ancient texts document extensive Judeo-Christian support for the Muslim conquests of Byzantium and Persia. Jews in the Levant had expected a redeemer who would deliver them from the Roman occupiers. (Crone, 1977, pp. 3-6) The Romans had destroyed the Jerusalem Temple in 134 CE, outlawed Jews from living within ten miles of Jerusalem, disbanded the Jewish high court, taxed the Jews heavily, and persecuted them for siding with the Persians. This torment ignited a messianic fervour among medieval Jews, leading to a widespread anticipation of a saviour. One of the earliest non-Muslim references to the rise of Islam is the Doctrina Jacobi, a Greek Christian anti-Jewish polemical text written in 634 CE, just two years after the passing of Prophet Muhammad. The text describes “overjoyed” Jews celebrating the Muslim arrival in Byzantium. (Crone, 1977, pp. 3) Moreover, The Secrets of Simon ben Yohai, a Jewish apocalyptic text written between the seventh and eighth centuries CE, tells of the emergence of an Ishmaelite “prophet according to God’s will” who would save the Jewish people from their oppressors. (Crone, 1977, pp. 4-5)
    The Islamic conquest of the Levant would restore Jewish access to Jerusalem and establish a polity that would include Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike. The Pact of Umar II, a writ of protection extended by `Umar b. `Abd al-`Aziz in the seventh century, promised safety and the right to worship to Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians in exchange for the payment of the poll tax (jizya). (Berger, 2006, pp. 88) While some orientalists have criticized the Pact’s prohibition on riding horses, Muslim clothing and building high structures, these stipulations may have been placed to prevent insurrections against Muslim garrisons, rather than to humiliate or subordinate non-Muslims.
                The Muslim treatment of non-Muslims was similarly commended by Near Eastern Christians. John bar Penkaye, an East Syriac Nestorian writer of the late seventh century, praised the Muslim overthrow of the Sassanid dynasty. In his Summary of World History, he writes, “We should not think of the advent [of the children of Hagar] as something ordinary, but as due to divine working. Before calling them, [God] had prepared them beforehand to hold Christians in honour, thus they also had a special commandment from God concerning our monastic station, that they should hold it in honour … God put victory in their hands.” (Pearse) This early Christian account documents the just conduct of Muslim rulers, likening it to divine intervention. Furthermore, after the Byzantines had seized control of Egypt and put the Coptic Patriarch Benjamin I of Alexandria into exile, the Muslim conquerors restored Benjamin I’s authority and brought order to the affairs of the Coptic Church.
    Many cultures were drawn to Islam’s magnetic social appeal. Indonesia, which is the country with the highest population of Muslims, encountered Arab merchants in the thirteenth century. Along with the arrival of Muslim commercialism, Islamic stories and symbols were introduced to the population through traditional wayang puppet shows. (Hamish, 2011, pp. 46-51) In the Indian subcontinent, Islam provided social mobility to lower castes, giving people equal rights and freeing them from total subservience to the Brahmans. The transformative power of Sufism was also attractive to many Hindus who sought ascetic, mystical brotherhoods. (Lapidus, 1988, pp. 363) Sufi and Shia saints continue to be revered by Hindu and Sikh poets in India.
    Although the Muslim empires had a tumultuous relationship with European Christians over the centuries, sizable Christian and Jewish communities with ancient origins continued to thrive in the Muslim world. Moorish and Ottoman confrontations with Christendom have propelled the misconception that Islam was spread by the sword. The fact is, however, that the conversion of the Near East to Islam occurred very gradually. By 800 CE, only 18% of Iraq’s population was Muslim. (Brown, 2016) Furthermore, Egypt, Spain, and the Levant did not attain a Muslim majority until the eleventh century. (Brown 2016) This means that the Muslims were a minority in the heartlands of their own civilization for hundreds of years. While poll taxes and other social pressures certainly promoted conversion to Islam, ancient churches, synagogues, temples, and other relics were maintained. Judeo-Christian populations even had rights to printing presses and European books in the Ottoman Empire – a privilege rarely granted to Muslims. (Brown, 2016) 14% of the Middle East remained Christian by 1910, with significant populations in Syria, Palestine and Egypt. (Brown, 2016)
    On the other hand, Christendom had a relatively poor record with minorities. Although Iberia was mostly Muslim in the fifteenth century, all Muslims were expelled or forced to convert to Christianity in 1526. (Brown, 2016) In 1609, 3-4% of Spain’s population consisted of Christian descendants of Muslims, who were also expelled under King Philip the Third. Anti-Jewish pogroms were also common in pre and post-Enlightenment European history. While there are many ancient Christian communities in the Muslim world, there are practically no ancient Muslim communities in the Christian world, despite Islam’s long history in Spain, Portugal, Sicily, and Eastern Europe.
                In recent decades, the Muslim world’s relationship with its non-Muslim minority communities has suffered. Colonialism, neo-imperialism, military dictatorships, and poor economies have sometimes caused the alienation and scapegoating of ethnic and religious minorities in the Muslim world. In June 2014, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which rose out of the destabilization of Iraq and Syria, routed Christians out of Mosul. This genocide marked the end of over a thousand years of continuous Muslim-Christian coexistence in the region. While ISIL’s actions are a black mark on modern Islamic history, ISIL’s main military and ideological opponents are other Muslims in the region and around the world. This paper demonstrates that normative Islam seeks unity under common ethical principles. It is vital for Muslims to revive an equitable, pluralistic and tolerant worldview, not just because diversity is strength, but because it is the ethos of our civilization.           
     
    Bibliography
    Berger, Julia Phillips., and Sue Parker. Gerson. Teaching Jewish History. Springfield, NJ: A.R.E. Pub., 2006. Print.
    Pearse, John Bar Penkaye, Summary of World History (Rish Melle) (2010). N.p., n.d. Web. 9 July 2016.
    Crone, Patricia, and Michael Cook. Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1977. Print.
    Http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4L23Z_agh1qeV_odQfV6Vg. "Dr. Jonathan AC Brown - The Message of Peace Spread by the Sword - UMaine IAW 2016." YouTube. YouTube, 2016. Web. 9 July 2016.
    Eaton, Richard Maxwell. The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760. Berkeley: U of California, 1993. Print.
    Gil, Moshe, and David Strassler. Jews in Islamic Countries in the Middle Ages. Leiden: Brill, 2004. Print.
    Harnish, David D., and Anne K. Rasmussen. Divine Inspirations: Music and Islam in Indonesia. New York: Oxford UP, 2011. Print.
    Lapidus, Ira M. A History of Islamic Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1988. Print
    Lewis, Bernard. The Arabs in History. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1993. Print.
    Morrow, John A. The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
    Ratliff, Brandie, and Helen C. Evans. Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, 7th-9th Century. New York, NY: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. Print.
    ʻInāyat, Ḥamīd. Modern Islamic Political Thought. Austin: U of Texas, 1982. Print.
  15. Like
    Reza got a reaction from Abu Nur for a blog entry, For Those Who Use Social Media...   
    Yes, I hate social media. Especially the most common ones. For the record, I have a nearly empty Facebook profile I only use to follow a few group pages. I don't send friend invites, but I may accept some if I know that person well enough. I don't have a Twitter, Instagram, or any other major social media service.
    Something just doesn't seem right. Social media is not comprised of people, but of profiles, which are at best theoretical reflections of people. And this makes a huge difference.
    Profiles are infinitely more malleable than real people. They can be customized, refined, and manipulated in any way possible, with minimal energy or authenticity from the individual behind it.  When I talked about millennial perfectionism and the manufactured self previously, nothing more exemplifies this than the social media profile. Self building involves the creation of a perfect profile through one's idealized imagery. For some, the profile is more important than the person behind it! This is not limited to a small group of narcissists and megalomaniacs. Subconsciously, everyone hopes their virtual profile makes them appear popular, approachable, enlightening, captivating, or interesting. And virtual is the new real.
    Social media usage relies on a feedback loop of approval seeking behavior. You want to be noticed. You want to be seen. You want to scream "Look at me!". You want to get likes. Then you want to be seen more, and get more likes. Nobody posts with the intention of being ignored. It's an exhausting and self-defeating process where your personal value is based and adjudicated on the affirmations of others. This can drive some crazy, especially the already insecure, who tend to flock the most to social media websites, and with the most intensity.
    People use it to inflate their egos and self importance. To make them appear enlightened. That they care about a range of causes. That they are active. That they are making a difference. Social media is the natural habitat for wannabe activists, hacktivists, and keyboard social justice warriors. Others showcase a picture perfect happy life of smiling outgoing faces, cute pets, and serene backdrops. To show they are cosmopolitan, worldly, well traveled, well connected, with a diverse palate of experiences. A showcase of human hubris. These are not reflections of people, these are reflections of people's contrived versions of themselves, to various sickening degrees.
    Of course, you may argue, "It's not the medium's fault, it's the people's fault". As if the design and intent is inherently pure, amoral, and a clean slate, but is unfortunately ruined by the inherent human factor. From an Islamic perspective, we have institutions (for example temporary and permanent marriage, or various other legal institutions) that we consider pure in structure and intent, but can be abused by the corrupted, wicked, and hypocritical. So does the same principle not apply? It doesn't.  It's different because my faith believes that these institutions were the design of a perfect creator, who best understands our natures. That perfect creator is also its perfect judge and arbiter. I am not willing to give the same benefit towards the creators of social media sites, and I'm not willing to give its design, structure, or theory the benefit of the doubt. Why should I?
    What personally matters to me is real social intimacy. Having a few close real friends, not several superficial followers. And the old and outdated mediums work just fine. Talking one on one in person. Talking on the phone. Even emailing or texting. I put quality over quantity. To go into deep conversations, a true exchange of minds and souls. I don't want to be a content generator. I want real interactions with human beings, and not with profiles. That's the dream I have. I want to take nice photos, save them in a special private folder or photo album, and share it only with those close to me. Why should I show them to everyone else? What have they done to deserve seeing them?
    I'm aware of social media's positives and its benefits, but despite that, I still say no thanks. You can survive in this century without it. Prove to me in 40 years that "Facebooking" will still exist as a verb. Time is fast and cruel, and flawed mediums will always bite the dust. True and genuine relationships with others will always last.
  16. Like
    Reza reacted to Shian e Ali for a blog entry, Body, a Vessel   
    Our body is but a vessel for our soul. Unfortunately, most people don't understand that. People have divided themselves based on how they look. They judge others based on that. Oh! He's black... He's white... Then, we have orange people too (Trump)
    You know how they say, "If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies. How very different our ideals of beauty would be."
    The way you care about where you live, what you wear, what you use, caring about your body is essential, no doubt about that. But getting carried away with it, is different. We may spend hours getting ready, to look good, before going somewhere but how often do we reflect upon our inner self? How do we treat others? "Ugh! I'm not going to meet him/her!" Just because you manage to beautify your body doesn't make you beautiful if your soul, your heart, your mind are still the same; are still corrupted. 
    Focus on your bodies, your appearance but don't forget to freshen up your mind, your heart and your soul along the way. Looks have hardly any worth in the sight of Allah. Focus on your soul. Once you're dead, you're going to lose your body anyway. It's the soul that's the real you!
    Stop judging people. Learn to understand them on a deeper level. A vessel doesn't define what's in it. You never know which vessel, which oyster has the best pearl in it, unless you learn to recognize what's in it.
  17. Like
    Reza reacted to Haji 2003 for a blog entry, What they don't teach at Harvard Business School   
    The classic marketing text used in business schools around the world is written by Philip Kotler.
    The underlying premise of the book is that at long as a business identifies the needs of its customers correctly and then delivers those in a way that is superior to its competitors it will be successful. The text pays close attention to the marketing functions performed within organisations and how they can be done more effectively.
    The idea that business is a meritocracy, that delivering superior value to customers is what it takes to succeed is one that is used to sell the attractiveness of such an economy. Anyone can have a go, and anyone can succeed provided they follow the formula.
    There is, however, an underlying problem with the formula and that is its essentially atomistic nature. All humans are considered equal and social biases are assumed out of the equation.
    But that is not how business works.
    Groups of individuals can collude (legally) to help each other by ethnicity, language, family and religion. The playing field is not level.
    Those people who buy the textbook lie may find that those who play by a different set of rules end up winning. Indeed this can, sometimes, be the only way forward for those people from minority communities who'd otherwise not be able to enter the mainstream.
    Success can depend not just on excellent customer service and an innovative business idea, but having access to capital, ideally at preferential rates. Success can also depend on having people in the distribution and supply chains who trust you and who are willing to take a risk.
    That's unlikely to happen amongst total strangers. It's more likely to happen where you have networks of people who are already in business and who see your potential success as a means of building up social ties that contain future obligations and favours.
    Of course, the unwritten rule of business schools is that you go there to make connections with people who could be useful later and to that extent the people who go there recognise the reality of the situation.
  18. Like
    Reza reacted to Haji 2003 for a blog entry, Churches and synagogues in the middle east   
    A common Islamophobic complaint is that while Muslims may lobby for rights in Western countries, this is hardly reciprocated in the Middle East. Specifically, attention is drawn to Saudi Arabia where the rights of Christians and Jews appear to be the most restricted. 
    It's worth, therefore, to consider what the situation was like before the arrival of the house of Saud on the scene and the impact of its installation (helped by Wstern powers) on non-Muslims in the Arabian peninsula. The following extracts are taken from the notes of a European traveller. 
    Travels through Arabia and other countries in the East, M. Niebuhr (captain of engineers in the service of the King of Denmark). English translation 1792.
    So, there were Jews in Medina in 1792 and they clearly enjoyed autonomy.
     
    So Jews also had positions of influence.
     
    The differences in tax rates may offend contemporary sensitivities, but they were clearly no different to the way minorities were treated in many other countries of the time.
    What may merit further investigation is whether the Jews (and Christians) in Arabia suffered the pogroms that were periodically inflicted on the Jews of Europe in that period.
  19. Like
    Reza reacted to beardedbaker for a blog entry, African Philosophy - Nigerian Social Theory   
    Something I need to write about: the Asuwada principle (purpose of creation) 
    It Can be summarised into these 3 fundamental axioms:
    1. The unit of social life is the individual's life, being, existence or character 
    2. Although each human being is metaphysically a unique emanation of a Divine Being, each individual's life as a corporeal self, needs the fellowship of other corporeal selves to feel and be whole and complete
    3. The corporeal individual,  essentially,  cannot continue-in-being without community 
    This is Nigerian social theory. 
    There is so much correlation to Islamic gnosticism it's unreal. 
    Tbc
  20. Like
    Reza reacted to Haji 2003 for a blog entry, God Hypothesis III   
    Man's development has required educating ourselves about the properties of ever more challenging and powerful fuel sources. The earliest sources could be exploited at the level of the sold individual whereas modern ones  require transnational co-operation across many different fields of endeavour.
    That intellectual development has also required an increasing level of sophistication in terms of morals and ethics. We have had to develop appropriate safety rules and regulations, for example, in order to exploit them successfully. Coal mining in countries such as Britain helped power the industrial revolution, but the successful exploitation of coal could only be undertaken with the concomitant development of safety systems, to protect both the miners and the (coal) seams. And while coal mining disasters affected only local communities, in contrast, the nuclear leak at Chernobyl affected an entire continent.
    Now the life of the miner may have been cheap and the stronger motivation of mine owners may have been the economic desire to preserve the seam, but as we see time and again if we are not willing to be pulled towards what God would like us to do, He is merciful enough to push us in the right direction.
    The industry which epitomises danger in contemporary life is nuclear power. The production of energy via this means is an order of magnitude more dangerous than mining ever was.  Political leaders are aware that if the safety systems controlling nuclear power stations are not effective public opinion about them will change to an extent that will inhibit further development of this energy source.
    Similarly such developments also require greater levels of sophistication in terms of ethics, morality and ultimately laws - because their impact can be far more significant than the technologies that they replace.  The disaster that B.P. had on the Thunder Horse platform in the Gulf of Mexico may have been the result of various technical errors on the part of the rig's owners and/or operators, but the financial and environmental consequences were facilitated by appropriate legal frameworks. Technological development therefore has to be accompanied by developments in these softer, more qualitative areas of human endeavour.
    The contemporary mastery over not only nuclear technology but various other dangerous industries has required concomitant developments in safety systems. However, I'd hold that material safety is something which is relatively easy to attain since the consequences of  when it fails are tangible. As a result the route to safety can be either theistic or atheistic. It can be theistic because safety (the preservation of life) is an imperative that we can associate with those who are God fearing. It can be atheistic because the consequences are materialistic and the measurement of impact and effect is possible. So whether we arrive at safety via a theistic route or an atheistic one (for example motivated by the preservation of reputation) - the conclusion is one which we could reasonably assume God wanted us to achieve.
    However, ignoring the possible will of God, does not always lead to a satisfactory outcome. Indeed in marked contrast to what has been achieved in terms of saving lives by various industries adopting safety systems, we have in another area of human activity where wilfully ignoring God has meant the destruction of countless millions of humans. In that endeavour convenience, lifestyle and wealth have been placed ahead of human life and abortions can be undertaken on demand.
    The God hypothesis would suggest that ultimately we will recognise that this practice has to stop and it will come from either a theistic route or an atheistic one, but the conclusion will have to be a similar one. Why can this claim be confidently made? Because all historically barbaric practices have been stopped as man has evolved and become more sensitive to their inhumanity. 
    I would hazard that where the frameworks we develop overlap with a more scripturally based system the result will be more sound than one where reference to God is absent. Of course as a Shia, I would contend that a system based on Shia fiqh would be the most superior of all.
    The God hypothesis would therefore, predict, that a society such as ours that has deviated to such a significant degree from what we would consider to be an acceptable morality will likely face such significant problems, it will find it increasingly difficult to manage the greater challenges that technological advances will present us.
    The latter idea is one that is part of the God hypothesis, with greater power and capability will come greater moral challenges. If God intends to 'perfect' man, the challenges can only get harder and not easier. So I would contend that even renewable sources of energy (which are currently considered to be a get-out-of-jail-free card) are likely to present us, over time, with new moral challenges.
    On the route towards that perfection, either recognition of God's will has to be acknowledged via an atheistic route (as may have been the case with industrial safety) or a similar effect can be achieved via a theistic route - but the end point has to be similar. 
    Of course man has the choice of very many scriptures and they each vary in terms of their behavioural implications. I would contend that the ones which enable societies to make more sophisticated advances will be the ones that prevail over time.
    In this post I have contended that man has the choice of either reaching a goal via a theistic route or an atheistic one. If the end point is the same or similar it may be contended by those who are atheistically inclined that surely a route that is grounded on a more 'rational' basis is better than one which is not. I contend that the latter route may take longer (and thus be more costly) and also as a theist my belief system holds that intention can be very important indeed. So a motivation towards safety, for example, stimulated by the intention of pleasing God, is more likely to be rewarded in the next life is not this one as well.
  21. 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.
     
  22. Like
    Reza reacted to yasahebalzaman.313 for a blog entry, From Roman Catholic - to Agnostic - to Islam Shia   
    After having many people telling me I should write my story and that it will be beneficial for my Shia brothers and sisters, that it would be inspirational for their religious path, I decided to write it.
    Humans from the very beginning of time fight for something to believe in, they struggle with reality as they try to make sense of their world. As I grew up I always felt there was an ultimate truth and knowledge hidden from us, I just didn’t know where and how to look or even What to look for. I used to lead a reckless sinful lifestyle, since I was trying to find my place in this world in my own ways so I decided to try everything and live with no boundaries. I always felt this deep Emptiness that was never filled, so I did what I had to do in order to discover what might fill this empty hole. I even experienced the power of love but it was all just temporary, everything in this world is temporary. I loved to try everything, I had neither moral standards nor basics to follow, I used to love life and was living it to its fullest. I felt independent like nothing and no one can stop me because I was free to do whatever I want but in reality I had all these invisible chains around me pulling me back deceiving me to think that I was liberated (that’s one of the tricks of the devil he makes you think you’re free but you’re his prisoner).
    I felt the happiness instantly with the moment and later when I’d go home I would feel depressed and sad like I was missing something, I couldn’t sit alone I couldn’t stand home, my soul was always agitated and unsettled.
    I studied Christianity before but it was all science fiction. Studying Christianity made me even more lost and drove me to doubt the existence of God, which was worse; I would die just to know what can fill this empty space I always had. I asked myself is that it? We came here to eat sleep party have fun work make a family and die...
    One night when I hit rock bottom after I finished this self-discovery journey and I arrived nowhere, I started calling upon God (without even being sure that He existed and listening), I told him God if you were there if you existed please help me find my way, suddenly and out of nowhere there was someone whom I’ve met 4 years ago, he started coming up to my mind which was so weird because I had no interest what so ever to talk to him and see him(because he was a Muslim and I didn’t like Islam just like any other brainwashed Christian middle eastern person) so I contacted him, turns out he was a committed Shia who triggered my path into Islam, and in the same time I met a Christian man who was living in France and he converted the same month as I did, this was God telling me that I’m not alone, this was God giving me a kind of motif, I mean what are the odds?
    Whoever wants God, God will answer him, He will not leave him alone, but only few people really want God all they want is this world, they are blinded by it.
    When I found Islam, my ultimate destiny, and when I found God I felt so ecstatic and intense, I felt this deep power and enlightenment, It was entirely uplifting, deeply emotional and pleasurable, I felt a deep joy that finally my existence made sense, that God gave me a purpose to live for to strive for and to fight for, to reach the highest level of existence. He chose me out of all these people who are lost, I had met more than 2,000 people and he just gave me this special gift, showed me the door to his secrets, Our(Shias) status To God is special, this is why we should fight this world and fight ourselves and desires and never give up, to be worthy of this privilege that God gave us. When I personally realized this it was time for the hard work. When we understand the power laying behind us we would never have to fear anything ever again in our entire life. 
    I was so afraid to jump into this transition, my faith was weak and I had doubts at some moments. I had to give up my friends, my activities, habits, shut off my desires, change my morals, my rules, my lifestyle, my priorities, my social life, my behavior… I was shifting my core belief which is something very hard for a human to change. I was trapped and afraid at some point; I didn’t know how to do it. I was never home, I was never alone, I was lazy, I never respected my parents, I didn’t prioritize anything except my plans, I’d quite jobs because my work schedule didn’t match my entertaining plans...This is how much I was messed up and attached to the world.
    I seeked happiness and the more you feel happiness the more you want it, it’s like a drug, so you indulge more in dunya activities until you are completely lost. Happiness wasn’t created to feel here, happiness is for the next world, we should never waste time here getting attached to this world because we will do eventually whatever we want in the afterlife. We are born to pass this test and to return to our original home where Prophet Adam was created. It took me time to realize this.
    My friends were atheists, mushrikin, infidels, and almost all my activities were sinning, I quite them all and now I don’t befriend no one but the lovers of Ahlul Bayt(عليه السلام). It was very hard and I suffered deeply at some point, washing away your sins purifying yourself from them is EXTREMELY hard, it’s like you’re pulling forward and the devil is pulling you back all the time. But God didn’t let me feel I’m alone, he rewarded me, gave me a steady job where I can be fully committed in, gave me this feeling of security and self-satisfaction, gave me Many privileges that I didn’t possess before. This entire process made me someone else; I became very mentally strong and different. Islam isn’t for sissies; Islam needs strengths, stability, mental toughness, brave hearted individuals who take sacrifices for God, who are ready to face the evil and the challenges of this world.
    The equation is simple, as much as you give God as much as He gives you in return. After I was guided I tested myself, tried doing some things that I did in the past to see if this was a phase in my life, but I felt disgusted ashamed weak and I became afraid of death. Now if I touch a man by mistake or if I eat something from a table that has alcohol on it without paying attention I would think about it for 3 days feeling guilty because I disappointed God. I do not fear punishment as much I fear to fail God, because I love Him, that is the true worshiping. Each time I do something to get closer to God I feel my soul elevating I feel that I’m gaining spiritual power and my perspective towards the world changes… Everyone told me it's just a phase but as each day is passing I'm falling more in love with this religion and with Ahlul Bayt(عليه السلام). I still have hard time committing to my religion as my parents don't know(or kinda in denial), so I practice everything in secrecy.
    To conclude I want to tell you something, brothers and sisters, this world is evil, you shouldn’t love it nor seek to have fun in it, you should hate it and never ever be dependent on something related to it, even though I know the truth behind my past life how it’s all evil empty and worthless, it still tempts me sometimes till this very day, the love of this world isn’t easy so don’t get yourself trapped because once you’re in it’s so difficult to get out. Don’t go to hell to enjoy life here; don’t sell your soul to the devil.
  23. Like
    Reza reacted to Abu Hadi for a blog entry, Good Islam, Bad Islam   
    In The Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
    وَاتْلُ عَلَيْهِمْ نَبَأَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ
    إِذْ قَالَ لِأَبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ
    قَالُوا نَعْبُدُ أَصْنَامًا فَنَظَلُّ لَهَا عَاكِفِينَ
    قَالَ هَلْ يَسْمَعُونَكُمْ إِذْ تَدْعُونَ
    أَوْ يَنفَعُونَكُمْ أَوْ يَضُرُّونَ
    قَالُوا بَلْ وَجَدْنَا آبَاءنَا كَذَلِكَ يَفْعَلُونَ
    قَالَ أَفَرَأَيْتُم مَّا كُنتُمْ تَعْبُدُونَ
    أَنتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُمُ الْأَقْدَمُونَ
    فَإِنَّهُمْ عَدُوٌّ لِّي إِلَّا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ
    الَّذِي خَلَقَنِي فَهُوَ يَهْدِينِ
    وَالَّذِي هُوَ يُطْعِمُنِي وَيَسْقِينِ 
    وَإِذَا مَرِضْتُ فَهُوَ يَشْفِينِ
    وَالَّذِي يُمِيتُنِي ثُمَّ يُحْيِينِ 
    وَالَّذِي أَطْمَعُ أَن يَغْفِرَ لِي خَطِيئَتِي يَوْمَ الدِّينِ
    And convey unto them the story of Abraham
    when he asked his father and his people, “What is it that you worship?” 
    They answered: We worship idols, and we remain ever devoted to them
    Said he: “Do [you really think that] they hear you when you invoke them
    or benefit you or do you harm?
    They exclaimed: But we found our fore­fathers doing the same!
    Said [Abraham]: “Have you, then, ever con­sidered what it is that you have been worshipping
    you and your forefathers ?
    Now [as for me, I know that,] verily, these [false deities] are my enemies,
    [and that none is my helper] save the Sustainer of all the worlds
    who has created me and is the One who guides me
    and is the One who gives me to eat and to drink
    and when I fall ill, is the One who restores me to health
    and who will cause me to die and then will bring me back to life
    and who, I hope, will forgive me my faults on Judgment Day! 
    Holy Quran:   Chapter 26:70-82
     
    The story of Abraham(peace be upon him) is a story about turning away from false gods and turning to the One True God, Allah(s.w.a). Many people believe, falsely, that the idols that are condemned and turned away from are only those objects made of wood and stone that used to be worshiped in the past. In fact, and idol is anything that is worshiped besides God. In Islam, the word for worship is derived from the word abd' عبد , which literally means being in the state of submission to someone or something. This is a voluntary state, where someone is always obedient to that thing, person, or being and is always looking to it in order to meet their needs. 
    In the modern world, worshipping idols made of stone and wood has fallen out of fashion in most places in  the world. Instead, the idols of modern times are the powerful entities such as nation states, their leaders and elites, and large financial conglomerates which cooperate together and espouse ideologies which forward their worldly interests.For the purposes of this article, we will refer to this conglomerate of entities as 'the elite'.  These ideologies are not based in truth, but are simply mechanisms set up by them in order to strengthen and expand their own power. They do not seek to create their own religions, but seek to take the existing religions and change them and subvert them in order to serve their own interests.
    They have managed to do this with two of the worlds major religions, already. From Judaism, in it's original form and religion based on the teaching of Prophet Moses(peace be upon him), to Zionism, a political philosophy that serves the interests of these elites. From the Christianity of Prophet Jesus(peace be upon him), a religion that challenged the elites and the establishment (throwing out the money changers in the temple) and sought Justice for the poor and downtrodden, to a Christianity that is subservient to the political elites and establishment and changes itself not according to the teachings of Jesus(p.b.u.h) but according to the shifting goals of these elite. 
    These same groups are attempting to do the same thing with Islam. The goal has always been to split muslims into as many groups and sects as possible and to pit these groups against each other. It should be noted at this point, that the entire blame for this is not on the elite groups, because many millions of muslims have fully cooperated with them in this, voluntarily, so a good deal of the blame is on those muslims. While we have seen this process going on for a long time in places like Pakistan, India, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Turkey, Nigeria, etc, we muslims who live in Western Countries have been somewhat immune from this. When I say, somewhat, I mean that there has been no active attempts to make the muslims fight each other with weapons and kill each other. Not that I am aware of. 
    The reason for that is that most muslims in the West enjoy security in that they are not afraid for their lives on a daily basis(most are not, anyway). They are not afraid that their house and property will be seized from them for no apparent reason. They are not afraid that they will be exiled and economically boycotted and thus unable to make a living and support their families. While all these conditions are a reality for millions of muslims living in the above named countries, the situation here is different. Because of this situation, the elites know that there is not sufficient cause and will for them to risk their lives to take up arms on a large scale. So, in recent times, there has been another tactic which all my brothers and sisters should be aware of. I will call it Good Muslim / Bad Muslim. 
    The Good Muslims, in the view of the elite, are the people who were born into muslim families and will change their religion according to to views and goals set forth by this elite group. For example, when the elite group supports the invasion of a country, these groups will rise up and give justifications for this invasion and they will use some religious 'talk' in order to justify it. When the elite support certain trends in society, such as 'gay rights', this group will rise up and give more religious 'talk' in order to support this cause. If they don't explicitly support it, at least they will be silent on the matter and not openly condemn or contradict anything that is inline with the goals of the elite. When the elite decide that a country should be shunned and boycotted, these groups come out and shout loudly about how evil this country is and how they abuse human rights, etc.
    The Bad Muslims  are individuals and groups which actually do things which are against Islam, such as ISIS, and these things are also against the stated goals of the elite, and also groups and individuals who do not do things against Islam, but do things which contradict and go against the views and goals of the elite group. And there is a constant effort by the elite group to join or conflagrate the actions of the first group of bad muslims with the second group of 'bad' muslims and make them into one group so that they are viewed in the same light by the general population. A recent example of this is the slander campaign against Sheik Hamza Sodogar regarding his comments on homosexuals. More information on this can be found here. 
    Brothers and sisters should realize that there are no Good Muslim or Bad Muslims as the elite have constructed it such. There is one Islam, not many Islams. To make it simple, the formula is (as stated by Rasoulallah(p.b.u.h) in both Sunni and Shia sources)
    Quran + Ahl Al Bayt(a.s) = Islam
    The basis of Quran and Ahl Al Bayt(a.s), the root the nourishes both these sources in the religion of Abraham, as the Quran states many times. The religion of Abraham (milat Ibrahim), in it's most basic form, is turning away and disavowing all the idols, i.e. all those things that attempt to compete with Allah(s.w.a) for worship. All those things which turn your attention and praise away from Allah(s.w.a) and toward this lower world and it's adornments, which are destined to perish, and also the striving, even in difficult circumstances, to obey Allah(s.w.a). This is the basis of the True Religion, since the time of Prophet Adam(peace be upon him) up until today. It hasn't changed and never will change. 
    It says in the Quran, anyone who wishes to turn away from this (milat Ibrahim) is a fool, because they are not affecting God but are acting against their own interests. Brothers and Sisters should know that anyone who asks you to act against your religion is not your friend, your supporter or your ally. And brothers and sisters should know this, and keep it in their mind from a young age. And with the help of Allah(s.w.a) we will all stay on the Strait Path, Sirat Al Mustakeem, and die on the religion of Abraham, the Monotheist. 
  24. Like
    Reza reacted to Haji 2003 for a blog entry, A little conspiracy theory of mine   
    This is the narrative all Britons have been brought up with (the following is from the UK government's own website):
    http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/citizenship/brave_new_world/immigration.htm
    It sounds very multi-culti, liberal and nice. Britain needed labour, brown people needed jobs and everyone would get along swimmingly in post-war Britain. This was not illegal immigration, it was planned and made good economic sense.
    Here's some more justification from the British Library:
    http://www.bl.uk/learning/timeline/item107671.html
    To help immigration into the UK, the British Nationality Act of 1948 gave rights to all people from the commonwealth to settle in the country. West Indian immigration to the UK from the 1940's to the 1960s was about 170,000. In Britain, there was an increase of about 80,000 people originating from the Indian sub-continent from 1951 to 1961.
    So if there was such a shortage of labour in postwar Britain, surely the British government would have been aghast at the prospect of Britons leaving the UK? And trying to put a stop to it?
    Apparently not.
    Australia's 'Assisted Passage Migration Scheme' started in 1945 and involved 1 million people migrating from Britain to Australia.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7217889.stm
    The following paper adds some nuance to this:
    Yet despite the 'reluctance' we still get:
    Stephen Constantine (2003) British emigration to the empire- commonwealth since 1880: From overseas settlement to Diaspora?, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 31:2, 16-35, DOI: 10.1080/03086530310001705586
    From the same paper the following motivation, which refers to policies in the nineteenth century could perhaps explain the flow of people observed at the top of this post:
    In sum, Britain was allowed to go a bit brown, because it was essential that Australia, Canada and other dominions remain essentially white. And this racist policy was maintained until the facts on the ground had been established.
     
    So we have two migration stories. And the funny thing is that the first story is covered in the press and you'll also find the second story given a lot of attention.
     
    But the two are never mentioned together.
     
    It's when you put, what are otherwise very positive stories together, that something far nastier emerges. Something which is within plain sight but unacknowledged.
     
    https://contemporaniablog.wordpress.com/2016/10/24/poms-and-windrush/
  25. 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. 
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