Volume 6, June 2009
St. Louis, Missouri
Hajji. Mohamed Ziauddin
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent and the Most Merciful
FOCUS OF THE WEEK:
PART – TWO
NEED TO INTEGRATE BEHAVIORAL KNOWLEDGE WITH THE GEMS OF ISLAM TO SOLVE SOME OF OUR UMMAH’S CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS.
Since the EDUCATED MUSLIM PSYCHOLOGISTS, PSYCHOTHERAPISTS AND ISLAMIC SCHOLARS HAVE NOT TEAMED UP TOGETHER TO PRESENT TO THE UMMAH A JOINT PACKAGE OF PEACEFUL TOOLS TO DEAL WITH CONFLICT, IS ONE THEN REALLY SURPRISED WHY THE MOST FRUSTRATED AND DESPERATE EXTREMIST ELEMENTS UTILIZE THE MOST DESTRUCTIVE AND UNFAIR APPROACH TO RESPOND TO SUCH ONGOING CONFLICT BY RESORTING TO SUICIDE BOMBING ON A NATIONAL OR ORGANIZATIONAL LEVEL AND IN CERTAIN CASES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AT A FAMILY LEVEL?
SUCH VIOLENCE UNDERCUTS AND STABS AT THE VERY HEART OF THE CORE VALUES OF THE MOST PEACEFUL RELIGION ON EARTH – ISLAM. WE ALREADY HIGHLIGHTED THE GEMS FROM HOLY QURAN IN PREVIOUS ISSUE THAT EMPHASIZED ON PEACE, PATIENCE AND PERSEVERANCE ETC.
Prophet Mohamed (SAW) stated:
“WHOEVER SETS OUT ON A PATH FOR ACQUIRING KNOWLEDGE, FOR SUCH ALLAH PAVES THE WAY TO PARADISE”. AL-TIRMIDHI.
Such knowledge includes behavioral knowledge. “Islam encourages the use of science and the scientific method. Acquisition of knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim, male and female. In Islam, science and technology should be used for moral ends and serve all legitimate needs of mankind. Moreover, the use of science and the scientific methods is viewed as yet another means to understand and see the power and glory of ALLAH”. (Introduction to Islam - ISNA-US & CANADA)
As Counselor and Writer Abdul Lateef Abdullah stated: “People can manipulate religious teachings to say (or mean) virtually anything. The practice is often done to further personal or group agendas. It is embedded deep within the very history of religions themselves including Islam. IN CURRENT TIMES, ITS MOST NOTORIOUS CULPRITS ARE EXTREMISTS WHO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE NEEDY, OPPRESSED, AND IGNORANT TO JUSTIFY TERRORIST ACTS ON THEIR BEHALF”.
Dr. Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi offers more than 60 practical tips for the “IDEAL MUSLIM AND HIS COMMUNITY”, which includes many (listed below) that are violated by the suicide bomber who exhibits OPPOSITE of below characteristics.
(1) He has a good attitude towards others and treats them well
(2) He is gentle towards people
(3) He is compassionate and merciful
(4) HE IS TOLERANT AND FORGIVING
(5) He is patient
(6) He strives for people’s benefits and SEEKS TO PROTECT THEM FROM HARM.
(7) He enjoins what is good and forbids what is evil.
(8) HE TRIES TO MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY
(9) He guides others to righteous deeds.
(10) HE IS EASY ON PEOPLE, not hard
(11) He does not oppress or mistreat others.
(12) HE DOES NOT REJOICE IN THE MISFORTUNE OF OTHERS
(13) He is generous
(14) He is hospitable
(15) HE PREFERS OTHERS TO HIMSELF
(16) He helps to alleviate the burden of the debtor
(17) He spreads the greeting of Salaam (peace)
Therefore the suicide bombers who are essentially “gross violators” of the characteristics of an IDEAL MUSLIM cannot claim to have made a SUPREME SACRIFICE under the name of ISLAM and even if they do, it is misleading. Such destructive actions just don’t add up to say it is EQUAL to positive Islamic behavior.
SAYINGS OF PROPHET MOHAMED (SAW)
(A) “Do good deeds with propriety and moderation and DO NOT WISH FOR DEATH; For one is either good and may increase in goodness, or one may NOT be good but could (change and) ask for forgiveness” Al-Bukhari.
(Suicide bombing is NOT a good deed and generally NO SUICIDE BOMBING would ever be successful without the individual NOT WISHING FOR DEATH. From above saying, the suicide bomber violates Prophet’s recommendations on two counts).
(B) “Happy is the man who avoids dissension, BUT HOW FINE IS THE MAN WHO IS AFFLICTED AND SHOWS ENDURANCE". Sunan of Abu Dawood Hadith 1996.
(A suicide bomber DOES NOT SHOW ENDURANCE. If he does, he would not proceed with his destructive actions).
(C) “Oh, Allah, Let me be GRATEFUL, LET ME BE PATIENT, AND LET ME BE SMALL IN MY OWN EYES AND BIG IN THE EYES OF OTHERS”.
(The suicide bomber is NOT PATIENT and has a distorted perception of viewing HIMSELF BIG IN HIS OWN EYES in terms of his extreme sacrifice that he is offering on behalf of the UMMAH, when in reality, it not only creates additional problems for the surviving members of the suicide bomber but also for the families of the innocent victims that lost their lives due to his act of self-destruction)
(D) "Oh Allah, ENRICH ME WITH KNOWLEDGE, ADORN ME WITH PATIENCE, honor me with piety, and beautify me with health (and a sense of pardoning)." Ibn an-Najjar.
(A suicide bombers act is against above wish for patience and destroys the issue of his HEALTH in a second).
(E) “ HASTE IS AN ACT OF SHAITAN”- Prophet Mohamed (SAW)
(Many of the suicide bombers who fear that they may be caught or identified do their senseless destructive act in HASTE. Who could disagree that it INDEED IS AN ACT OF SHAITAN?)
(F) “Oh, Allah, Let there be harmony among us; let there be affection between our hearts; SHOW US THE PATHS OF PEACE: guide us from darkness into light and help us avoid shameful deeds, whether open or secret”. Al-Hakim
(A suicide bombers act only brings more disharmony between the opposing groups in a conflict, destroys any chances of creating affection between the opposing groups, and IS NOT a path of peace but instead ends up committing a shameful deed)
(G) “He who sees an abomination must change it with his hands, and if he cannot then he has to oppose it with his tongue, and if he cannot do even that then he has to reject it in his heart”- Prophet Mohamed (SAW)
(Above is a very important saying because nowhere it says that he who sees an abomination should respond by violence and bloodshed).
(H) “He is NOT the best among you who neglects his worldly life for the sake of the Hereafter, or neglects the Hereafter for the sake of his worldly life, until he works for both. Realize that this life is a path that leads to the Hereafter, so do not become a burden on others”. IBN ASSAKIR.
(This is one of the writer’s most favored sayings of the Prophet. As you can see the focus is to work for both worlds. A suicide bomber through his irrational, dysfunctional and faulty thinking (details of which is for the next issue PART III of this newsletter) has voluntarily made a destructive decision to neglect his worldly life including his relationship responsibilities to his immediate family. A suicide bomber does not complete his destined path set by Allah in THIS WORLD and abruptly not only short circuits his life through violating Islamic values forbidding suicide but also the lives of innocent men, women and children around him through multiple homicides).
(I) Last but not the least, in his last sermon, Prophet Mohamed (SAW) stated:
“O People, Just as you regard this month, this day, this city as sacred, SO REGARD THE LIFE AND PROPERTY OF EVERY MUSLIM AS A SACRED TRUST”….”HURT NO ONE SO THAT NO ONE MAY HURT YOU”. ….”Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. …I leave behind two things, the Quran and the Sunnah (Hadith) and if you follow these you will never go astray…. All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listened to me directly”.
Islam emphasizes on social justice. It opposes all those who exploit, oppress and deal unjustly with people and this is applicable at all levels individual, terrorist organization and State.
CURRENTLY THERE IS A SEVERE ABSENCE OF ALTERNATIVE AND PEACEFUL TOOLS THAT THE UMMAH COULD UTILIZE IN RESPONDING TO INJUSTICE AND OPPRESSION.
THE IMAMS AND ISLAMIC SCHOLARS ARE SPECIALIZED IN ISLAM. WHO ELSE COULD BE MORE SUITABLE TO CONTRIBUTE EFFECTIVE “PEACEFUL TOOLS” THAN THE MUSLIMS FROM THE HEALING ARTS PROFESSION, WHO IN THEIR PRACTICE TEACH THE CLIENTS “SUCH PEACEFUL TOOLS” TO DEAL WITH RESENTMENTS, HOSTILITY, ANGER, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIORS ET.C. WHY HAS ABOVE ELEMENT BEEN MISSING ALL ALONG? COULD IT BE BECAUSE THE UMMAH HAS SEPARATED THE TWO AND KEPT THEM APART?
IF THERE IS ONE POINT THE ABOVE EDITOR IS TRYING TO EMPHASIZE IN THIS ISSUE, IT IS THAT “ISLAM” AND “BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE” SHOULD NOT BE KEPT APART IN TERMS OF DEALING WITH CONFLICT RESOLUTION ISSUES. BUT INSTEAD BOTH OF ABOVE SHOULD BE INTEGRATED INTO ONE SINGLE ENTITY. THEN YOU WILL SEE THE POSITIVE IMPACT OF SUCH INTEGRATION AMONG THE UMMAH TO BE “ASTOUNDING”.
IN THE 1920’S MORE THAN HALF OF THE WORLD’S UMMAH WERE UNDER THE RULE OF THE BRITISH AND OTHER IMPERIALISTS. Later with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire there was a significant vacuum of leadership for the GLOBAL UMMAH for several decades. Many Muslim nations experiencing the fresh air of newly found independence were too busy trying to establish and consolidate their national, political, social and cultural identity.
Historically being tired from the ruthless oppression by the British, French, and other imperialist powers, THE UMMAH PREFERRED TO BE RULED BY ANY MUSLIM THAN A NON-MUSLIM. It is therefore not a surprise, as to why so many Muslim countries are led by dictators in one form or the other – either they are puppets of the West or they represent the extremist forces. Very few Muslim countries exist today that are truly democratic, for if true democracy be enforced by the majority, the UMMAH’s populous support would be on the side of MODERATION as our Prophet Mohammed (SAW) emphasized.
With lack of emphasis from the MUSLIM governing entities on seeking KNOWLEDGE from their contemporary times and integrating it to the gems of ISLAM, the way they dealt with difference of opinion was varied although most of them generally were non-democratic in their governing style. Little surprise the UMMAH had no shortage of ruthless dictators who used deadly force to crush the opposition especially in Iraq and Syria.
While acknowledging varied differences, in general, the tolerance to political dissent in Muslim countries was very thin and SUCH INTOLERANCE from the highest governing authorities CONTINUED TO TRICKLE DOWN through the different layers of society and groups and to this day, we find remnants of such SEVERE INTOLERANCE down to the people who create terror towards the innocent men, women and children.
The non-democratic and autocratic governments had laws in place to justify their actions as per their whims and Royal or Presidential decrees. The terrorists initially grew out of a group that was the most economically down and politically disenfranchised, besides being desperate, helpless and worst of all MISGUIDED in terms of inappropriate and false interpretation of the Holy Quran. Gradually their following increased from GROUND UP and went from lower economic group to higher economic group such as the doctors from the terrorist’s acts in England.
Such misguidance from certain leaders made the extremist elements have a FIELD DAY not only to “pick and choose” but also to “twist and modify” the Holy Quranic verses and hadith to suit their purposes to force their unrealistic view of the world and impose it on others. Blowing themselves up in pieces and in the process hurting others was a graphic expression of their terrible built up anger and seething resentments against whom they perceived as hard-core enemies.
WHERE ARE THE MUSLIMS FROM THE HEALING ARTS PROFESSION? WHAT ROLE THEY COULD HAVE PLAYED IN CALMING DOWN THE RAGING POLITICAL AND SOCIAL FIRES THAT ENDS IN THE ANTI-ISLAMIC PRACTICE OF SUICIDE BOMBING?
WHERE ARE THE IMAMS AND ISLAMIC SCHOLARS WHO COULD HAVE FROM THE VERY FIRST PHASE, CONDEMNED SUCH GRAPHIC ACTS AND CALLED UPON EMULATING OTHER PEACEFUL WAYS TO EXPRESS ONE’S OPPOSITION FOR WHATEVER CAUSE IT MAY BE?
WHERE ARE THE “LIBERAL” MUSLIM GOVERNMENTS WHO COULD HAVE EASILY CREATED TASK FORCE COMPOSED OF ISLAMIC SCHOLARS, IMAMS AND MUSLIM PROFESSIONALS FROM THE HEALING ARTS PROFESSION TO COME UP WITH A CLEAR PLAN AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO IMPLEMENT IN TERMS OF RESPONDING TO PEACEFUL MODES OF OPPOSITION FOR WHATEVER LEGITIMATE CAUSE IT MAY BE?
IN THE ABSENCE OF AN ACTIVE ROLE OF ABOVE THREE IN THIS AREA OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION, WE THE GLOBAL UMMAH ARE PAYING A HUGE PRICE TODAY.
With no significant leadership from Muslims who could INTEGRATE KNOWLEDGE FROM THE CONTEMPORARY TIMES with the GEMS OF ISLAM TO OFFER ALTERNATIVE FORMS OF ABOVE NEGATIVE EXPRESSION, ABOVE DESTRUCTIVE PRACTICES CONTINUES TO THIS DAY.
With no other creditable and peace-loving Muslim group armed with contemporary behavioral knowledge and gems of ISLAM available to advice the Muslims, the Ummah had no choice but to reluctantly and involuntarily be dragged by the non-Muslim world to be blamed by default to all the atrocities committed by a very small percentage of violent group of misguided Muslims.
The extremist forces have continued to have a field day but this may not last too long, since many EDUCATIONAL AND KNOWLEDGEABLE MUSLIMS today have been successfully able to INTEGRATE THE GEMS OF ISLAM WITH CONTEMPORARY KNOWLEDGE and are silently working to displace the extremist elements.
They are global in nature and from grass root organizations symbolically incubating and currently in a literal embryonic stage. The emergence of such long over due MUSLIMS and PEACE LOVING ISLAMIC GROUPS are expected, ALLAH WILLING to gain a wide range of support from majority of the GLOBAL UMMAH and will Inshallah win not by the unIslamic practice of blowing themselves up but by propagating their views in the global market place of ideas and respecting the wishes and differences of the people regardless of whether they receive the support from them or not.
DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE VERSE: “The ink of a Scholar’s pen is more precious than the blood of the martyr”. NOW YOU HAVE THE ANSWER AS TO WHY ISLAM PLACED MORE EMPHASIS ON THE INK OF THE SCHOLAR’S PEN TO THE BLOOD OF THE MARTYR. A PEACEFUL MUSLIM WOULD ALSO WAGE A BATTLE AGAINST INJUSTICE AND OPPRESSION BUT NOT WITH BLOODSHED INSTEAD WITH INTELLECTUAL POWER IN THE MARKET PLACE OF IDEAS.
THE NEED OF THE HOUR FOR THE GLOBAL UMMAH IS NOT ONLY TO CONTINUE TO HAVE THE BEACON OF HOLY QURAN AND HADITH AS OUR SPIRITUAL AND BEHAVIORAL GUIDE, BUT ALSO TO INTEGRATE IT WITH THE REALITIES OF THE CONTEMPORARY TIMES AND SUCH A STRATEGY MAKES IT MORE PRACTICAL, FEASIBLE AND EASIER FOR US TO PRACTICE ISLAM IN OUR DAY TO DAY LIFE.
Holy Quran and Hadith are essentially a foundation and guide for the Muslims. They are the “battery posts”, “leads” and “starters” from which solutions to other worldly day-to-day details should emanate. The most effective solution to problem solve the complexities of the UMMAH in the 21st century is the one that has a combination of above Islamic gems as well as EXPERT SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE from contemporary fields of behavioral research. All Muslims readily use expert specialized medical knowledge for their benefit but WHY MISS OUT UTILIZING EXPERT SPECIALIZED BEHAVIORAL KNOWLEDGE?
So to all the Imams, Islamic Scholars and Muslims of the Healing Arts, COMMON, LET’S ALL JOIN OUR HANDS TOGETHER AND WORK TOWARDS WHAT OUR ISLAM STANDS FOR – P.E.A.C.E.
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