Tag Archives: Islam

#Je suis une homme aussi

Peace,

A month and a bit after the Paris attacks, weeks after the murder of the French-Moroccan Mohamed El-Makouli who was stabbed 17 times, in the presence of his wife and child, whose attacker shouted out “I am your Islam, I am your god”.  The murder of Khaled Idris Bahreys, an Eritrean asylum seeker in Germany, the 50+ attacks on Muslims, mosques and asylum seeker homes, the 40+ arrests in a supposed war on terrorism, it is difficult to make sense of it all. To find your place in the coverage this past month after #IamCharlie.
Because if you are not #IamCharlie, then you are #CharlieCoulibaly and are “one of them terrorists”, to be locked away and robbed of your freedom of speech. This binary of Bush’s “either you are with us or you are with the terrorists”, is toxic it leaves no space for the free speech, that everyone seems to be standing up for.

In his controversial music video “Don’t Laïk”,  the French-Algerian Rapper Médine slams the French form of secularism “Laïcité”, as a perversion of it. One that disadvantages the religious in society and especially those of Muslim faith these past few years. Post Revolution France re-built on the values of egalité, liberté and fraternité has in the face of globalization turned universalism and secularism, to an us and them. Laïcité was about reducing the power that the church had in France, what power do Muslims have in France to continually disadvantage them? Today either one assimilates totally and in the process loses ones identity and culture or one is not part of France. The Other isn’t tolerated and when one reads the coverage and papers over the last few years, Laïcité has almost become a religion to be revered and secularist fundamentalists have taken over. John Hanford, a US ambassador for international religious freedom, differentiates between the American and French systems of secularism and said: “In France, wearing a hijab is considered anti-French. In America it would be considered anti-American to force someone to take it off.” (interesting article)

Médine in my opinion, added to the discussion on laïcité becoming a form of persecution. Not only in releasing his video, but having discussions on the topic beforehand. This too is freedom of speech. France has been having this debate over laïcité and Islam for over a decade, maybe the other side isn’t being listened too.

It is difficult to raise concerns over what seems to be a majority opinion, the public opinion, and that is why reporters such as the reporteurs citoyen are so important.

Yourope episode on Arte.tv in German [Yourope in French]

At the same time as I oppose the calls for Muslims to distance themselves from violence every time someone supposedly does it in the name of Allah, I do as a human being and as a Muslim reject all kinds of injustices no matter who the perpetrators are. This is in line with what Allah (swt.) asks of us in the Qur’an.

“O you who believe! Be maintainers of justice, bearers of witness of Allah’s sake, though it may be against your own selves or your parents or near relatives; if he be rich or poor, Allah is nearer to them both in compassion; therefore do not follow (your) low desires, lest you deviate; and if you swerve or turn aside, then surely Allah is aware of what you do.” [4:135]

Senseless violence and terrorism has no place in Islam. It is the angels that asked Allah (swt.) about creating a creation that will shed blood on earth. He however knows that which we do not.

 And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?” Allah said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know.” [Surah Al-Baqarah : verse 30]

The Qur’an tells us that if one kills an innocent person, it is as if one had killed all of humanity. We condemn the killings of the innocent, whether that happens here in Europe, in the Muslim World or anywhere else. We condemn all acts of injustice as the Allah (swt.) orders us in the Qur’an, even if we had to testify against ourselves.
I assure you that I am human, that I believe in peace as much as the next guy, if not even more so. Violence does not care about religions or ideologies and Weltanschauungen, it happens everywhere, in all ages and for all reasons justified or not. No one has the monopoly on it.
I too have feelings that can be hurt, I too bleed the same way as you do. I too have a right to feel offended, when people dear to me are being insulted. When the person dearer to me than my own parents is caricatured, whether by those caricaturing him with pen and paper or those claiming to act in his name. It does not hurt my “religious feelings”, it hurts my “human” feelings and if that is the point of those producing or sharing those caricatures then well done.
Je ne suis pas Charlie, mais je ne suis pas Coulibally soit.
Je suis Abdur-Rahman,
bon nuit wa salam.
written before #ChapelHillshooting
May God grant them the highest level of paradise. Amin.

Being patient with ourselves

Salam Alaykum,

It is in our nature to want, do and act in haste, to be impatient as Allah (swt.) said in the Qur’an:

“Man is ever hasty” [Surah Al-Israa’ : 11]

Our creator created us like this, with this haste and still He (swt.) expects us to fight it. To act with intelligence and not act on emotion alone. Didn’t the Prophet (saw.) say:

“The strong man is not the good wrestler; but the strong man is he who controls himself when he is angry.” [Agreed upon.]

To be patient in a moment of extreme emotion, be it anger or sadness is often to act against our first instinct to lash out. We are asked to struggle, to make Jihad in such situations, to be the strong man or woman.

Wasn’t there a time where we sought to be grown up as fast as possible? Then pine away at those trouble-free days as we reached our adult days. Do we not seek time to pass faster when there is nothing to do, but miss times of lazing about when we are busy. We always want time to go by as fast as possible, not realising that with every second we come closer to death. We forget to live in the moment, thanking God for the good times and the bad times. The times of joy and happiness and those of pain and sadness which we want to have passed quickly, but everything takes time.

“Rome ne fut pas faite toute en un jour”

Rome wasn’t built in a day as the adage says, encouraging us, that there is a need of time for great things to be created. Everyone is on a journey and at different stages of it, it takes time for us to reach the majour stations in our life as Allah (swt.) wills it and how much effort we put into reaching them. If a majour problem of yours is your anger, then work on it, it may take a long time to control it but you’ll get there. We will get there, inshaAllah (if God wills). On our journey to reach our goals, we need to be persistent. There may be many set backs on the way, it is going to be hard but persist in it and Allah will give. As Allah (swt.) tells us in many instances:

“And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah ]” [Surah Baqarah : 153]

 But they never lost assurance due to what afflicted them in the cause of Allah , nor did they weaken or submit. And Allah loves the steadfast.

[Surah Ali Imran : 146]

It is always difficult to be patient especially with ourselves, we can be very hard on ourselves, with our regrets and guilt. To a point regret and feeling guilt is okay and a good thing, it can drive us making that train reach its station faster. Past a certain point however it harms us, we either fall to our regrets, wallowing in them or we begin to feel indifferent which is the other extreme. The goal is to harness this feeling to become better, to come closer to God.

In a Hadith Qudsi related by Abu Huraira (ra.) the Messenger of Allah (saw.) said:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allah, the Exalted, and Glorious said: ‘A slave committed a sin and he said: O Allah, forgive my sin,’ and Allah said: ‘My slave committed a sin and then he realized that he has a Rubb Who forgives the sins and punishes for the sin.’ He then again committed a sin and said: ‘My Rubb, forgive my sin,’ and Allah (SWT) said: ‘My slave committed a sin and then realized that he has a Rubb Who forgives his sin and punishes for the sin.’ He again committed a sin and said: ‘My Rubb, forgive my sin,’ and Allah (SWT) said: ‘My slave has committed a sin and then realized that he has a Rubb Who forgives the sin or takes (him) to account for sin. I have granted forgiveness to my slave. Let him do whatever he likes”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

This Hadith shows, the Mercy of Allah (swt.) that He forgives and forgives if we repent with sincerity. This of course does not give us the license to sin, but if we fall into sin and then repent from it sincerely, resolving to not do it again, and we happen to fall into it again then we are to repent from it again and to not give up repenting for our weakness.

It was said to al-Hasan al Basri (rah.):

“Shouldn’t one of us feel too shy to ask his Lord to forgive his sin, then do it again, then ask for forgiveness, then do it again? He said: The Shaytaan wishes that you would have this attitude, so do not tire of asking for forgiveness.”

We have to have the patience that when we do something we regret repeatedly, to ask for forgiveness and to not get tired of repenting thinking that, “I am just going to do it again anyway”. 

We ask Allah (swt.), as the army of Saul (as.) and David (as.) asked:

Our Lord, pour upon us patience…

[Surah Al-Baqarah : 250]

Oh Allah help us make us worthy of having you with us, as you have promised the people who are patient.

Indeed, Allah is with the patient.

Make us people of patience and forbearance, of good character and good actions. Amin.

Wa Salam,
Abdur-Rahman

Love of Islam

Salam Alaykum,

Last week I wrote a post about my love for the mosque and the film unmosqued. The film is about people that are disconnected from their local mosques and Muslim communities. I recounted how in my childhood by the will of Allah I had the blessings of a good community, of uncles and aunts in the community as well as brothers, who certainly shaped my perspective on Islam and also what an ideal community to me may look like. We were a colourful mix of different people, languages, ethnicities and origin, but what bound us was Islam and the German language.

I love them, even though, as to my utter sadness, I hear that in the last few years it has been getting less diverse and participation is waning, with a number of families such as mine moving away and other families retreating into their shells. My feelings haven’t changed and I miss them and pray that Allah returns the old vibe to the community. I pray that everyone could experience such a community, as I had.

They and most importantly my parents fed my love for Islam, as I saw it in their actions but with age that love matures. When you’re young, you try to imitate all that your parents do you follow the motions of prayer, imitate the recitation of the Qur’an etc. it all affects you. But what do you do, when you are suddenly on your own? When you decide what you want to do and not your parents? When you are miles away at university? When you are asked out by your classmate? When you are invited to go clubbing, to a party or the pub?

Your parents aren’t there to guide or force you. No one needs to tell you that it is haram you most likely already know that, so what would prevent you from doing the above mentioned, if not the love for God and the way of life (Deen) that He (swt.) gifted you with?

I personally can not express how much I love Islam. I’m often asked about Islam, most of the people that I know, know that I’m Muslim. They notice that whenever there are girls or alcohol  involved in a party that I’m usually not available. So whenever something happens that had some Muslims involved they talk to me. We do have discussions, sometimes we agree with each other, sometimes we agree to disagree.

In an online discussion on the caricatures of our Prophet Muhammad saw. I was once asked what it was that attracts me so much to Islam. Back then I answered that the way I was brought up certainly had a big role to play, but above all it was the Qur’an, its meaning and its recitation draws me nearer. Today, older hopefully wiser, that is truer than ever. With my continued study of Arabic and the resources that are available today, my loving the Qur’an and the depth in it, is increasing daily. With every single action I learn of the Prophet saw. I get to know him and love him more. Knowing that he cried for me in the darkness of the night, worried that I may not make it to Jannah. I love him.

Every single lecture I attend, every single seminary, every single video and every single book, every single morsel of knowledge causes me to understand more and more and love more and more. My love for Islam has matured, it isn’t based any more on my love for my parents, or my love of the community. It is based on my own love for God and His prophets.

This love will, God willing, continue to mature and evolve, as this life is a journey and with every leg of the journey, the experience of it will shape and increase my understanding. InshaAllah. This journey will be filled with setbacks, I will fall (into sin) and hope and pray (for forgiveness) and stand up and return to Him and inshaAllah draw nearer to Him than before I fell.

Abu Huraira (ra.) reported that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said that Allah (glorified and exalted be He), the Exalted and Glorious said, “I am near to the thought of My servant as he thinks about Me, and I am with him as he remembers Me. And if he remembers Me in his heart, I also remember him in My heart, and if he remembers Me in assembly I remember him in assembly, better than his (remembrance), and if he draws near Me by the span of a palm, I draw near him by the cubit, and if he draws near me by the cubit I draw near him by the space (covered by) two hands. And if he walks towards Me, I rush towards him.”

[Sahih Muslim]

May Allah cause every pitfall, every slip up every setback that we may have to be a means to draw closer to Him, to repent to Him. May He help us increase our love for Islam, our thirst of knowledge as the Prophet saw. said that: “The seeking knowledge is the obligation of every Muslim.” [At-Tirmidhi] May Allah (swt.) increase our beneficial knowledge. Amin.

Wa Salam,

Abdur-Rahman

Unmosqued: Bemosqued : Remosqued :

Salam Alaikum,

Vor kurzem hatte ich die Möglichkeit mir den Film Unmosqued anzuschauen. In einem vorherigen Post, hatte ich den Trailer dazu und meine ersten Eindrücke gepostet. Die waren damals, soweit ich mich erinnern kann, etwas gemischt und durcheinander. Ich wusste ehrlich gesagt nicht wirklich, was ich darüber denken sollte. War dennoch begeistert, dass es Themen anspricht unter denen wir als Muslimische Community, wo auch immer wir uns befinden, leiden. Der Film basiert daher auf Amerikanischen Verhältnissen, doch die gleichen Probleme herrschen auch hier in England und wahrscheinlich auch in Deutschland.

Die About Seite der Webseite des Dokumentarfilms sagt über den Film: „UnMosqued ist ein Dokumentarfilm, der beabsichtigt die wachsende Notwendigkeit von Reformen in vielen Moscheen in Amerika hervorzuheben. Der Zweck der Dokumentation ist es, eine Gruppe von Menschen zu engagieren, die mit ihrer örtlichen Moschee nicht mehr verbunden sind, und die verschiedenen Gründe die dazu führten dass sie dieser Ansicht sind, zu erörtern.

Die Verbundenheit zur Moschee war mir immer sehr wichtig und dies hat viel mit meiner Erziehung durch meine Eltern und den wunderbaren Menschen die auch einen Teil dazu beitrugen, insbesondere die Onkel und Tanten in meiner Kindheit. So habe ich auch jetzt noch ein gutes Verhältnis zur Moschee, egal ob ich der einzige Afrikaner bin, ob ich die Khutba verstehe oder nicht, sei die nun in Arabisch, Türkisch, Bosnisch oder Urdu.

Es ist wohl wahr, dass die Moscheen, die mich immer wieder anziehen, die sind die eine hohe Anzahl von Menschen verschiedener Nationalitäten hat. Die Offenheit ausstrahlt und doch ein ruhiger Platz ist um meinen Iman zu stärken. Vor allem aber eine gute Community drum herum hat und vielleicht bin ich von der Moschee in der ich mehr oder weniger aufgewachsen bin verwöhnt, aber mir fehlt sowas in den Moscheen hier. Ich erinnere mich als der Verein, dessen Mitglied meine Eltern waren, umgezogen ist und dann ihre eigenen Wände bekommen hat. Nun eine selbstständige Moschee, okay mit einem Partner Verein aber trotzdem. Ich erinnere mich an die vielen Picknicke die einmal im Monat stattfanden, die Zeltlager, die Feiern, die Familie. Meine Großfamilie.

So ist es traurig zusehen, dass wenn ich in manchen Moscheen bin, ich oft der einzige unter 30 bin und dies sage ich nicht um damit irgendwie anzugeben. Dass wenn es Jumuah ist man keinen Platz findet und selbst draußen auf den Planen kein Platz ist, aber an den restlichen Tagen man nicht 4 Reihen füllen kann. Der Film gibt da einige Gründe wieder, wieso dies so seien könnte. Ein besonderer Grund, die fehlende Inklusion der Frauen, die Zweitklassige Behandlung unserer Schwester, die nicht vom Islam ist.

Khutbas sind dem Leben der Zuhörenden oft nicht angepasst, auch werden Imame zu meist aus dem Ausland gesourced und können oft nicht die hiesige Sprache flüssig sprechen. So ist es oft ein Schmaus wenn man den Imam versteht, egal worüber er spricht. Oft sind diese auch noch Wiederholungen, so dass es nicht abnormal ist, eine Handvoll von Leuten schlafend zu sehen. Unsere Community und Moscheen sprechen nicht die wichtigen Sachen an und verlieren sich in kleinen Sachen die Streit entfachen.

Konvertiten sind nach der Konvertierung oft auf sich allein gestellt. Moscheen legen keine Wichtigkeit auf Programme besonders für Konvertiten.  Viele Konvertiten und auch Muslime verlieren den Islam, weil sie keinen Anschluss finden. Meistens ist es nicht, dass sie auf einmal nicht mehr an Gott glauben oder an den Propheten (saw.), ihr Glauben ist nicht das Problem. Das Problem ist da die Gemeinde, die sie alleine lässt. Natürlich gibt es Nuancen in vielen Sachen die im Film besprochen wurden und dass ist eine Kritik die ich an dem Film habe, es gibt nicht viele andere Meinungen die dargestellt werden.

Ich bin nicht mit allem zufrieden, aber dieser Film ist ein ehrlicher Anfang. #Unmosqued hat eine Diskussion entfacht, die die Community braucht. Dies muss aber am Leben gehalten werden, es müssen Lösungen gesucht werden. Einfach einen Film über unsere Probleme drehen ist schön und gut. Es bringt aber nichts allein und so fand ich es ziemlich gut das Tariq El Messidi und seine Gruppe ein Part im Film hatte wenn wir etwas ändern möchten, Unmosqued zu sein wird da nicht helfen. Wir müssen aktiv sein und so freue ich mich dass die Leute von Unmosqued planen sich mit ISPU zusammen zu setzen um eine Studie zu den Best Practices herauszuarbeiten.

Insgesamt fand ich den Film Augen öffnend und wichtig, aber auch ziemlich deprimierend. Ich wünschte mir er wäre irgendwie inspirierend. Als Ich es mir zum Ersten Mal angesehen hatte fühlte ich mich, als ob ich die ganze Zeit meinen Atem anhalte, und darauf warte endlich Luft zu nehmen. So ist mein Eindruck im großen und ganzen gleich geblieben. Durcheinander, nicht wissend was ich jetzt tun soll, was getan werden muss.

Da sind die Wörter am Ende von Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan irgendwie rettend. „Sei kein Konsument. Du wirst immer enttäuscht sein, so lange  wir das Konsumenten Bewusstsein haben: „Ich bin da gewesen und meine Kundendienst Bewertung ist 1 Stern, ein halber Stern.” Denkst du immer noch nicht als Mitwirkender und du wirst Enttäuscht sein. Menschen werden dich immer enttäuschen, aber wenn du rein gehst um Allahs Willen, für die Zukunft, sagend: „Ich hatte eine schlechte Erfahrung, ich will nicht das andere dass gleiche erfahren”. Dies wäre dann ein Selbstloser Beweggrund.

Ich wünsche mir, dass alle sich in der Moschee wohl fühlen können. Dass die Moschee der Kern, das Herz unserer Community ist, so wie es in meiner Kindheit war. Dass die Jugend, Kinder und Eltern, Singles und Paare ein Platz finden wo sie komfortabel sind, wo sie zu Hause sind, wo sie lachen, spielen, lernen und altern.  Ich liebe die Moschee und will nicht, dass ich der Einzige bin. Was denkt ihr? Habt ihr den Film gesehen?

Wa Salam,

Abdur-Rahman

 

Videos? Love em’! XXXIII

Salam Alaykum,

another week has passed and here they are, my favourite videos this week. As usual in the categories: Islam in under and over 10 minutes, Parkour, Youtube, Short films, Motion Graphics and Vimeo.

Islam

Under 10 minutes

Over 10 minutes

Parkour

Youtube

Shorts

Motion Graphics

Vimeo

Honourable Mentions

Wa Salam,

Abdur-Rahman

Khutba I

Salam Alaykum,

I recently found a couple of my old Sermons (khutba) that I gave at College and since it’s Friday I thought I’d share a snippet with you.

All Praises and thanks are due to Allah swt., whom we thank, seek help and invoke his forgiveness. Peace and blessings be upon the noble Messenger, his family and companions.

A new academic year has arrived. To the year 12s, I welcome you with the words of peace, the words of paradise As-Salamu Alaykum. To the year 13s and the teachers, I welcome you back, As Salamu Alaykum.

This year brings with it many new challenges and hurdles to overcome, but in all this, never forget Allah swt, your Creator. With everything that might come up, that may seem to overwhelm us, don’t forget that this life is a test, a test from Allah swt. our Lord. The Prophet saw. said: “Verily, if Allah loves a people, He makes them go through trials. Whoever is satisfied, for him is contentment and whoever is angry upon him is wrath.”

Allah swt. also says in the Quran: “Indeed with hardship there is ease.” With all the things going on in our lives we should never lose sight of the sirat al mustakeem, the straight path, we ask Allah swt. to guide us to in every prayer, reciting Al-Fatiha.

This life is not more than a blink of an eye, or a drop in the ocean when compared to the next, so why give that up? In the last khutba I talked about keeping up the good deeds that we have done in Ramadan, to not stop achieving greatness just because Ramadan is now over. Ramadan was a training to keep our desires an infinite wants under lock, away from the influences of shaytan.

Shaitan, who Allah swt. says: “Oh you who believe, enter into Islam completely and perfectly and do not follow the footsteps of Shaytan. Indeed he is to you a clear enemy.” In Ramadan Shaytan was in shackles, away from us, not being able to influence us any more. However a tea swirled with a spoon will continue swirling even after  it has been taken out. The influence Shaytan had on us before Ramadan might have continued into Ramadan and maybe even out of Ramadan.

In that case turn to Allah, ask him for forgiveness. Pray your five daily prayers that are obligatory on you without excuses and read Quran everyday even if it is just a page or 5 verses.

Now that Ramadan is over, Shaytan is once again at large throwing hurdles at us trying to make us fall into the depths of our sins. Make Allah swt. your Protector, your Guide, and nothing can touch you. Remember , in the battle of Badr, Allah swt. helped His Messenger saw. by sending armies of angels who stroked fear in the vast army of the Quraysh causing them to run. Allah swt. is there for the one who asks Him, and obeys Him.

Wa Salam,

Abdur-Rahman

Self-Confidence and Anxiety: Lessons drawn

Salam Alaykum.

“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar”, my voice crows. Behind me sit 200 people, listening to my shaky voice. Noticing my leg, as it trembles almost giving away. My hands as they give away my nervousness, clammy. In Ramadan I was asked to lead a part of the Taraweeh prayer, everyone of us over 16 took 2 Rakat. As my turn came, I acted as if I didn’t notice, didn’t feel the stares nor the calling of my name until I felt a light tapping on my leg. My heart racing, feeling light-headed, sick even I stood up. In my last year of college, I was asked by the last years Islamic Society president to take over. Every khutba (Sermon), every Prayer I lead was a repeat, it felt like a never ending upward hill climb. I thought by the end of it I’d be used to it, I was looking forward to that. I’m still fighting with it.

Dr. Ivan Joseph, a Football coach at the University of Ryerson said, at a TEDx conference, about self-confidence, that it is a skill. A skill that can be trained and honed through a lot of repetition or more so persistence.  He noted J.K Rowling as an example, whose first draft was refused by 12 publishers until it was accepted. He mentioned that one of his athletes a goalie now playing in Europe set his target at 350 repeats a day for 8 months until he could catch it. Or as Malcolm Gladwell said in his book the Outliers “In fact, by the age of twenty, the elite performers (violinists) had each totalled ten thousand hours of practice.” The basis for the 10,000 hours rule to be an expert.

In all the stories of the Messengers as. (peace be upon them) you’ll find repetition and persistence as was God’s will. It required a lot of confidence in them selves and in Allah swt. to face the obstacles that we could not have imagined for ourselves. These however are supposed to guide us in our life, we are to take lessons out of these for our daily life.

Imagine that your society, your people, your family turned on you. Noah as. {peace be upon him) is a perfect example. This amazing personality called people to guidance for 950 years and only a handful of people listened to what he had to say. He preached, called, invited, warned, gave them the good news, night and day, as the Quran tells us. He did this all the time, around the clock. Even with all the effort that he put in calling them to the Guidance they refused to listen, would stick their fingers in their ears, would cover the heads with their garments to avoid having to see him, to avoid making eye contact. What would such a rejection for centuries, from people he knew from birth, watched grow up and up to their death, do to a person who didn’t have self-confidence and full confidence in Allah swt.?

What must have been the emotional state of Joseph as. who was abandoned by his brothers, then sold as a slave and thrown into prison until eventually becoming the governor to the king, if he didn’t have confidence in Allah. One particular part of the Seerah of the Prophet saw. came to mind. As he saw. received the Message for the first time he was afraid, he didn’t know what to think. He thought that God swt. was punishing him. This story highlights for me, in this context, the importance of positive reinforcement. As he saw. ran to his house calling for Khadijah ra. to cover him up, and he began explaining what had happened to him. Khadijah ra. began listing all of his good qualities and the good things that he had done for the people that called him As-Sadiq Al-Amin, to assure him of his standing with God. She believed in him instantly.

Moses as. was to speak out against the Pharaoh who was not only the leader of probably the biggest kingdom on earth at the time, but also killed thousands of babies for fear of an opponent. Moses was to oppose this ruler, and he had a speech impediment on top of that magnanimous challenge, and was even insulted by Pharaoh because of this speech defect, but it is him as. who is called Kalemullah the one who conversed with Allah swt. All of these Prophets as. have in common a confidence in Allah and in themselves of carrying out whatever Allah swt. willed.

An article I read a couple of days ago brought me to the attention of the hypocrisy that I and probably many have. We feel that what we have to say is of non-importance, the we are boring and at the same time we think that everyone would judge us, that everyone is watching our every step, looking to call us out as hypocrites, as being as non important as we feel. I started this post with an account of a year ago at Jumuah, I was certain that everyone noticed my voice shaking, that they noticed my trembling and they probably did, but so what? No one came up to me and said “you know how you were trembling and your voice kept changing, while giving the Adhan, that was hilarious.” I did not have to face Pharaoh. Numb yourself to the thinking, that everyone is out to get you.

That incident in Ramadan a year ago, was disabling, I felt horrible about my reaction it had never gotten so bad before. I let myself get lost in anxiety. In such situations it may help to fight it with logic. Anxiety is illogical, it is the fear of something that has not entered and most likely will not enter. Box it in, think about all the “what ifs” and work backwards. Think of instances where you have done something successfully, this has worked often during Parkour. Fall back on your achievements in times of hardship. Find positive reinforcement, whether it is from people or as Dr. Joseph did, write a letter to yourself in a time of happiness to regain confidence. But most importantly fall back to God, know that He will not leave you alone, that with every hardship there is ease.

By the end of my term as President of the ISOC, I was indeed getting used to giving talks. My limbs did not tremble as much, as it did at the beginning but with the end of College I was not put into situations as often where I had to give talks, presentations etc. so I began to fall back somewhat. Robert Kelsey, author of  “What’s Stopping You?” in a video series on confidence, said that it may always stay with you but it is something you learn to overcome. Always put yourself out there, start small, step by step. Advice to talk to cashiers or waiters are often given, they have to be nice to you and are most likely bored. Sheikh Omar Suleiman once mentioned that he asked a cashier how her day was, and she was over the moon that he’d ask, that she had a terrible day, her boyfriend broke up with her etc. wanting to get that off her chest and having no one to talk to.

Do not add to the negativity about yourself that other people are giving you for free. Surround yourself with positivity, Muhammad Ali would shout “I am the greatest”. No one except the One, will believe in you unless you do. God in His absolute Mercy will never abandon you, even if you have abandoned yourself. Every breath that we take is a chance He gave us to return to Him. Having Confidence in Allah and trusting in what Allah swt. has ordained for us enhances confidence in ourselves. We have to recognise when things are in our capacity to change and when things are in the Hands of Allah alone.

It was We who created you: will you not believe? Consider [the semen] that you eject? Do you create it yourself, or are We the Creator? We have ordained death to be among you. Nothing could stop Us if We intended to change you and recreate you in a way unknown to you. You have learned how you were first created; will you not reflect? Consider the seeds you sow in the ground – If We wished, We could turn your harvest into chaff and leave you to wail, We are burdened with debt; we are bereft. Consider the water you drink. Was it you who brought it down from the rain-cloud or We? If We wanted, We could make it bitter: will you not be thankful? Consider the fire you kindle. Is it you who makes the wood for it to grow or We? We made it a reminder, and useful to those who kindle it, so [Prophet] glorify the name of your Lord, the Supreme.” [Qur’an 56:57-74]

As usual this is intended as a reminder for me first and foremost

wa Salam,

Abdur-Rahman

Videos? Love ’em XXX

Salam Alaykum,

another week has passed alhamdulillah. So here are my favourite Videos this Week, as usual in the Categories. Islam, in under and over 10 minutes. Parkour, Youtube, Shortfilms, Motion Graphics and finally Vimeo. This Weekend was the ICNA Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, America. They streamed the main hall events online, it was amazing mashaAllah. May Allah grant Jannat ul Firdaws to those organising it and helping out and Jazakallahu khairan for streaming it. Okay let’s get into the videos!

Islam

Under 10 minutes

This Video is a hard hitting reminder of how we should rely on Allah swt. the blessings that we have and how we use them. Stories like this are also recounted in the Over 10 minutes part of this category. Definitely worth a watch, a reminder in less than 10 minutes.

Over 10 minutes


Are we rebels without purpose? What is our purpose? As Muslims we believe we were created with a purpose. To worship Allah, Ibadah takes effort on our part. At the same time we are obliged to serve humanity. In all of this we should set our goals high especially with Ramadan this Summer. This Khutba, this friday sermon is an important reminder of setting higher ambitions for ourselves.

Parkour


Absolutely Amazing Precisions and Kong to Precisions

Youtube

Shorts

Brilliant Stroytelling, I absolutely love the style of animation and the implementation of the changes to the story.

Motion Graphics

Vimeo

This cool animation totally reminded me of my time in Egypt last Summer.

Honourable Mentions:

That’s it the 30th edition of “Videos? Love ’em” click #Videolovin‘ to see all posts in this Series.
Wa Salam,
Abdur-Rahman