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Why don’t we Muslims ever condemn terrorism? This is a perennial question many intelligent, reflective people have asked over the years. Usually these people don’t have a single Muslim acquaintance and don’t know how to use a search engine, but that’s besides the point.

Some have argued that Muslims shouldn’t be required to condemn every single criminal act done in the name of their religion. After all, asking Muslims to condemn terrorism is akin to demanding Muslims assume guilt for the crimes of a deranged few, and that’s just racist. Or so the argument goes.

But I totally disagree.

themuslimskeptic

Rather than stopping our condemnations, I believe Muslims need to be making more condemnations. Much more. I just don’t feel like Muslims have done enough to denounce all the bad stuff we’re loosely, indirectly responsible for, probably. Why else are people always asking why Muslims aren’t condemning terrorism? Clearly, we need to take our condemnation game to the next level.

According to my calculations, we need to be denouncing things at fifty times the volume and at least twenty times the speed to meet all the demand. The problem is all that denunciation takes a lot of time and resources. We need a 21st century solution to this problem.

That’s why I am developing the world’s first Muslim denunciation app: The iCondemn®!

With the iCondemn®, Muslims can say “not in my name” at the speed of life!™ And non-Muslims no longer need to wonder whether 1.6 billion Muslims around the world feel the guilt and sincerely apologize for that latest reprehensible crime some idiot carried out while shouting “Allahu Akbar!”

Feast your eyes on these exclusive screen shots:

iCondemn Home Screen

-Beautiful home screen

iCondemn Screen 2

– With full international coverage, you get Muslim condemnations from all over the world!

iCondemn Screen 3

– With iCondemns®, you can join in on the condemnation. Just hit the “Condemn” button® to jump on the bandwagon! Some posts get MILLIONS of iCondemns® from people around the world!

iCondemn Screen 4

– Muslims are not afraid to be cultural critics, too.

iCondemn Screen 8

– Condemnations relating to American domestic issues feature prominently in the Condemnation Feed®.

iCondemn Screen 5

– Keep your finger on the pulse of Muslim self-consciousness!™

iCondemn Screen 6

– The iCondemn® app uses highly advanced technology to condemn even the most mundane evils.

iCondemn Screen 7

– The amazing thing about this app is that it even issues condemnations of events in the past, like the source of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and British imperialism. Also, finally, someone is speaking out about Nazi Cows.

iCondemn Screen 9

– With a $4.99 upgrade, the app comes with the Guilt-O-Meter®, which accurately gauges how nervous Western Muslims are feeling right about now.

Reviews

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“I was waiting to see Muslims denounce Islam. Until they do that, this app is useless.”

– Sean Hannity, Fox News pundit

stars2

“It’s good to see Muslims finally taking responsibility for my life going down the crapper.”

– Dale Miller, unemployed

stars1

“I’m a Muslim and I love this app! It feels good knowing that my religion strongly opposes everything a certain segment of middle- to upper-class white non-Muslims find evil, offensive, objectionable, or slightly inconvenient.”

– Ahmad Khan, law student

stars1

“At first I was nervous this app was going to be preachy, but, to my surprise, all the condemnations are totally mainstream. There’s absolutely nothing anyone with a half decent human conscience wouldn’t immediately recognize as bad.”

– Aisha Kenner, accountant

Get the iCondemn® app today!

Daniel Haqiqatjou was born in Houston, Texas. He attended Harvard University where he majored in Physics and minored in Philosophy. He completed a Masters degree in Philosophy at Tufts University. Haqiqatjou is also a student of the traditional Islamic sciences. He writes and lectures on contemporary issues surrounding Muslims and Modernity. Email Daniel here .

58 Comments

58 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Miriam

    January 9, 2015 at 2:27 PM

    I hope this is a joke.

    • Avatar

      Tanveer Khan

      January 9, 2015 at 3:27 PM

      Read the captions (I’m not really sure what they’re actually called) to the articles in the screenshots and you’ll get your answer :)

      • Avatar

        Miriam

        January 9, 2015 at 5:21 PM

        Lol my phone didn’t load the screenshots before. Definitely clears things up.

    • Avatar

      Ahmed

      January 10, 2015 at 2:41 AM

      With Saudi emperor going around throwing money everywhere trying to survive his creation, you will make millions!

  2. Pingback: Get the iCondemn app! | Dating Jesus

    • Avatar

      JJones

      January 12, 2015 at 10:29 AM

      May I suggest a suicide app instead? Instant heaven for all Muslims! What could be better?

      • Avatar

        Inqiyaad

        January 12, 2015 at 9:49 PM

        ‘Friendly fire app’ sounds better, and for this I support our troops.

      • Avatar

        Umm Sulaimon

        January 12, 2015 at 10:24 PM

        Nah that won’t work unfortunately. You see suicide in Islam does not land one into heaven so the app would be flawed :).

  3. Avatar

    Ahmed

    January 9, 2015 at 6:12 PM

    Will iCondemn allow us to condemn the app itself? Or will that be part of the paid version only?

    • Avatar

      Rashad

      January 9, 2015 at 6:50 PM

      LOL! That’s hilarious…but no seriously, someone answer him, I want to know the answer as well.

    • Avatar

      Jamiela

      January 11, 2015 at 4:05 AM

      I think many people may even buy the paid version just to make use of this feature.

  4. Avatar

    mo

    January 9, 2015 at 9:40 PM

    I’d like to condemn the choice of “Mo” as an expression of a Muslim’s concern for their comfort in the guilt-o-meter. Why not pick on the “Sam” for Sameers or “Mary” for Mariams or “Morty” for Murtazas out there?

    I’m so offended I’m just going to sit and steep like my chai while grumbling about you young Muslims with all your technology and Facing books

    ;-)

    • Avatar

      Mo

      September 11, 2016 at 3:17 PM

      What you need is the iCondem app so you can condemn the iCondem app’s use of “Mo” as a term used in advertising the iCondem app. Obviously. Get it now!

  5. Avatar

    john Howard

    January 9, 2015 at 9:48 PM

    It’s all a big joke isn’t it ? Keep killing the kuffars and make it all a joke One day when the it goes the other way in the west and the massacres of hundreds of western living muslims occur will you find that funny? To date the non Muslims here in the west have shown amazing restraint in their reactions to the slaughters done against them from 9/11, 7/7, Spain, Australia, Bali. Mumbai, and now Paris There has been no mass murders or retaliations other than a few grafiti attacks and screams of abuse – absolutely trivial in comparison to what has happened to the kuffars.
    I guess as kuffars we don’t count in your eyes

    • Avatar

      Ismail

      January 10, 2015 at 5:01 AM

      Old McGrumpypants is back! Wondered where you had burrowed yourself into.

      • Avatar

        John Howard

        January 10, 2015 at 10:05 AM

        Yes I am to mourn the dead ivilians in France and the hundreds murderedby Boko Haram today in Nigeria, I guess that is a good reason to be grumpy but heh they are only kuffars
        You know I have tried to see the Muslim side of things but more and more I see that many of you are quite prepared to keep being blind to what is done in your religion’s name and that makes me wonder if all the protestations of wanting to be part of our western societies is actually true. Because right now I see racism and it is certainly not one sided. When Muslims start to demonstrate that these outrages are not in their name like they do when there is perceived outrage against their faith I might get less “grumpy”.
        I am glad Charlie Hebdo is back next week and I hope that their cartoons are even more outrageous in their attacks. In particular the targetted attack on that Jewish Delicatessan. The murder of the Cartoonists was terrorism designed to frighten people from making fun of Islam the other attack was a manifestation of ethnic cleansing of a minority much like what is going on in Syria and Iraq against the Christians and Kurds

      • Avatar

        Inqiyaad

        January 10, 2015 at 2:51 PM

        John, I agree, Muslims will never come out of their medieval mindset. They will never realize that ‘infidels’ and ‘kuffar’ belong in the era of crusades. They will never realize that the only moral way to kill innocent people in the modern world is to call them ‘terrorists’ or ‘collateral damage’.

        Also, they will never learn that there are ways other than taking a chainsaw to the neck to decapitate or kill people whom you disagree with, and their generations to come. Like, sprinkling some depleted uranium by pressing a button or using Madeline Albright’s favorite method.

    • Avatar

      David Jones

      January 10, 2015 at 5:05 AM

      Way to miss the point, John.

    • Avatar

      Inqiyaad

      January 10, 2015 at 11:30 AM

      John,
      Quite right! Still, Muslims cannot match the professional jesters in the western world. Forget the jesters, they cannot even match the very serious ‘leader of the free world’ in joking about snuffing out innocent lives. Heck, he did not even have a grudge against the old lady who was picking okra in her farm.

      Muslim innovation ends at apps like icondemn. We, western democracies and our allies, invent apps that give 3 minutes notice before blowing up whole residential buildings with our other inventions. We don’t spread our ideology with a sword. We use only superior technology of radar evading drones and phosphorus shells.

      Daniel, this is a good start and I wish there were more Muslims who could be as innovative as you, instead of wasting their lives. Only one problem though, how could you even think that this app was market ready? It does not have a feature to condemn people who use ‘freedom of speech’ as an excuse to further their anti-semitism and question JSIL’s right to exist.

    • Avatar

      Carlos

      January 11, 2015 at 11:11 PM

      Poor John. You can really see the generation gap when he starts talking.

  6. Avatar

    Kirana

    January 9, 2015 at 9:57 PM

    Awesome. For a fleeting moment I had the mad desire to want this app ironically (even though if it existed it wouldn’t actually advance harmony in the end).

  7. Avatar

    manal

    January 10, 2015 at 1:33 AM

    Love your satire..straight to the point! I hope people get the message behind it and stop asking Muslims ti denouce every crime! We should denouce the media for addressing those criminals with the religiin of Islam.

  8. Avatar

    Amad

    January 10, 2015 at 2:05 AM

    Can this app predict when bad things are going to happen and start condemning before the press cycle? Kind of like minority report? Can you consider it in the next upgrade?

    • Avatar

      M. Mahmud

      January 15, 2015 at 10:49 PM

      Perhaps it can deal with it like the weather…….”we’re predicting rising Islamophobia over the next few weeks so stay warm ready your tongue with the condemnations, (make it a second dhikr!!!!!) Smile extra(it’s a sunnah after all) at every infidel from taxi cab to workplace and, if you don’t sport a beard, attach a fake one and visibly help old lady across the street. Could be your mom, but make sure she isn’t Muslamic looking.”

  9. Avatar

    Most Rua

    January 10, 2015 at 3:33 AM

    Ha ha ha! Brilliant! I think you should create a Christian version too. Confession needs to be brought into the 21st century. Guilt needs to be updated and left online for all to see. You could call it iconfess. The inquisition, Catholic church child abuse coukd even have its own section.
    Congratulations! You’re onto a winner!!
    Missy Rua
    Ireland

    • Avatar

      Ismail

      January 10, 2015 at 5:05 AM

      I told a Catholic co-worker that he should publicly apologise for the Oklahoma City bombings by Timothy McVeigh.

      Why, I had nothing to do with it,” he said, thoroughly confused. Yeah, my point precisely…

  10. Avatar

    Tlo

    January 10, 2015 at 6:31 AM

    Awesome.
    Let’s build a “black” version too.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous

      January 12, 2015 at 5:37 PM

      I could use a Jewish version for whenever Israel does something awful…

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  12. Avatar

    Naadir Jeewa

    January 10, 2015 at 10:21 AM

    I condemn the lack of following Android Material UI standards.

    Set up the landing page & kickstarter, pronto!

  13. Avatar

    Jeff

    January 10, 2015 at 10:49 AM

    Not only was this thought provoking, but it went a long way toward dispelling my stereotypes of Muslim web sites. This is hilarious!

  14. Pingback: On Muslim “guilt” and the “obligation” to condemn | شراشيب بنات

  15. Avatar

    Zeba Khan

    January 10, 2015 at 1:53 PM

    User Review: Bought it, used it, Meh.

    While the ability to search through existing condemnations was a plus for non-Muslim users, I was really left wanting for the ability to separate my contacts into condemnation categories according to religion, age, and current media crisis. I mean, seriously, I need separate lists for my Shia friends when something Sunnia-Shia goes down, and separate lists for my Indos and my Paks when things heat up between IndoPak.

    I can’t be the only one here who has some very specific condemning to do. The whole Muslims vs. The World narrative is a gross oversimplification of world politics, world religion, and the politics of world religions. Really people, there needs to be more than one category.

    A good effort, but at the end of the day, two out of five stars for no Whatsapp integration.

    • Avatar

      James

      January 12, 2015 at 5:22 PM

      It looks like a 1.0 product. I’m sure that the next upgrade will be more feature rich.

  16. Avatar

    A Pink Poodle

    January 10, 2015 at 2:38 PM

    Not condemning hard enough!!! /jk

  17. Avatar

    Aaminah

    January 10, 2015 at 2:52 PM

    You have to integrate social media with the app. What good is it for us to condemn if it doesn’t automatically send a tweet, Facebook status, Instagram photo proof, and Google+ update telling all our networks about it? That’s like, you know, basic social technology now.

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  20. Avatar

    Jamiela

    January 11, 2015 at 3:46 AM

    When all the Barack Obama supporters condemn his killing of innocent civilians in the middle east and all the Zionists ask for forgiveness fromm all the families they have brutally ousted from their houses and all the innocent children and adult Palestinians they bomb everyday, I, who do not even support the terrorists they do will perhaps consider questioning the actions of those they label terrorists’ whom I don’t even support. I believe any muslim terrorist can hold the moral high ground to those who bomb innocents without blinking an eyelid in the name of stamping out terrorism when they are the super-terrorists. Muslim terrorists are little league. They are the majors. We make such a fuss about muslim terrorists and ignore those who carry out wholesale terrorism as a matter of course. Does their terrorism not count because they’re not muslim? Is that really the prerequisite?

    Perhaps I’m the only one who is living in this place called ‘Reality’.

    I think this ridiculous app is just another attempt of the realterrorist-friendly masses at misdirection and is frankly insulting to fair-minded muslims and individuals who hold fast to the values of true justice, fairness, equality, religious freedom, and the right to defend onesself and ones property.

    We South Africans know Apartheid too well, how about we denounce Zionism as the apartheid system it is, how about we spend our time denouncing real major league terrorism? May Allah(the One God) open our eyes to the truth and guide us to treat each other fairly and with true justice.

    • Avatar

      Inqiyaad

      January 11, 2015 at 9:04 AM

      Jamiela,
      Please, don’t calm down. Please, Please, do not ever look up the dictionary for ‘satire.’

    • Avatar

      Ibn Adnan Al-Yutaawi

      January 11, 2015 at 11:20 AM

      2 wrongs don’t make a right. Even if one is far smaller than the other.

    • Avatar

      M. Mahmud

      January 15, 2015 at 11:31 PM

      I condemn you for not getting the joke. Oh sis of gullibility when will you and other Muslims learn to laugh? You have just grievously shamed us all.

  21. Avatar

    khalid

    January 11, 2015 at 7:46 AM

    Maasha Allah

  22. Avatar

    William

    January 11, 2015 at 1:49 PM

    nervous-about-Islam-white-guy, who found this really great. Thanks for helping me regain some perspective.

    • Avatar

      M. Mahmud

      January 15, 2015 at 10:51 PM

      Mate, you cracked me up after a second LOL

  23. Avatar

    Ayo

    January 11, 2015 at 2:10 PM

    With all that’s happening all around the world, only one point of view I have the common enemy “Satan” is on the winner side, only good understanding can make one belief that Satan is expanding is territory by days. Using anyone that can fall victim by any name.
    We should all remember that it’s not religion that guaranteed heaven, but religious.
    Anybody can come in any name to perpetrate evil, it doesn’t mean he/she truly represent what is acclaimed.
    Will you accept your family to be condemned because of one black sheep in the house?
    We all know how to deny our image breakers and mock rivals that have been condemned by same image breakers. Let stop being hypocrite, rally round your rivals while in need.
    God’s kingdom is large enough to contain all, there’s no need for religion or any other forms of rivalry.
    All should more be concerned about what account to give on the D day!

  24. Avatar

    emma

    January 11, 2015 at 7:01 PM

    somebody please explain why that first review is there of the fox news pundit……a bit confused here? and why is one of the condemnations against BDS against Israel??? We need to be doing BDS people! either i’m confused or most everyone else is….

    • Avatar

      Beth

      January 12, 2015 at 5:17 AM

      Emma – The whole thing is a spoof. Quite rightly most followers of Islam are hacked off by being asked to condemn acts which ANY sane person would condemn. Just as I, as someone brought up in the Christian tradition, would be hacked off for having to apologize for the actions of violent Christians like those in the LRA or those in the USA who murder doctors who carry out abortions.
      As for the Sean Hannity review – he didn’t really say that, but he is so blinded by his own ignorance that if he were to review the app, that is what he would say. As for BDS, well i deduce that some Moslem leaders have stated that sanctions against Israel would be counter productive; not a position you would expect them to take. Hope this helps!

  25. Avatar

    JohnT

    January 12, 2015 at 5:14 AM

    Loved the app! Great piece of satire and a welcome riposte to the “if they don’t condemn and apologise they’re responsible” wingnuts.

  26. Avatar

    Sezan92

    January 12, 2015 at 9:13 AM

    “If all muslims dont download this app they arent ‘Moderate Muslim’ yer”
    -Bill Taher
    “Maybe Muslims are peaceful but if they dont install this app , they hold the responsibility for not condemning!”
    Rubayat Murdoch

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  29. Avatar

    Ivor

    January 15, 2015 at 6:33 AM

    Okay, been trying to download the app onto my phone (Nokia 6210) without much success. ;) I am an atheist. Am I allowed to using it too? Perhaps you could develop a separate app for those of us who know that terrorist extremism has nothing to do with any faith called iKnowitaintU.

  30. Avatar

    M. Mahmud

    January 15, 2015 at 11:12 PM

    I condemn soggy cornflakes and the bad traffic that afflicts us all. Neither represent the diverse and beautiful tradition of Islam. I would like to join hand in hand with my fellow Americans to also protest the rise in the price of cheese. Islam does not support such evil.

    I also openly condemn Call of Duty for the horrific PTSD many teenagers have received after hours of shooting up digital Muslims terrorists. Yes, I condemn my cartoon coreligionists and would like to make it known that Islam is a religion of peace and does not support traumatizing 12-40 year old CoD fans. These brave men in basement have sacrificed themselves for our country and as a true patriot and a proud American Muslim I will not hesitate to fund the USDVA and to treat carpal tunnel and eye strain. It’s the least I can do. AMERICA!!!!!

  31. Avatar

    M. Mahmud

    January 15, 2015 at 11:28 PM

    I condemn Muslims for using water to cleanse their bottoms. Retaining a small amount of fecal matter in ones bottom is a time honored Western tradition and every time I shake hands with a non-Muslim who has just relieved himself I am honored, oh absolutely honored to know how far we have progressed. Sometimes I sniff my hand afterwards and and take a deep moment to reflect on the great glory of our glorious civilization of gloriousness. AMERICAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH BABY!!!!!

  32. Avatar

    Draw Dignity

    January 18, 2015 at 2:33 PM

    DRAW DIGNITY, NOT HATRED: Ban Hate-Mongering Caricatures of Religious Figures

    Speaking about condemnation, there is a petition to the United Nations to recognize that some caricatures of religious figures pass the line of free speech and can fall into the zone of hate speech, as this is done intentionally to provoke violence to or from a religious group.

    This petition isn’t just for Muslims. It’s also not just about freedom of speech or just about hate speech. It’s about drawing the balancing line between the two. It’s for anyone who wants to draw this line for themselves, for anyone who has the right to be offended by caricatures of religious figures that are primarily designed to promote hatred and violence. No one should have to receive the same treatment. It is one thing to have freedom of speech and even the freedom to insult. This intention is up to the speaker to decide. But it is wholly another to have the *right* to go through emotional, social, political abuse through willfully-provoking hate speech due to one’s beliefs. That, is *wrong*.

    Please help us gather 100 000 signatures to garner the attention of the United Nations and be one step closer to human equality everywhere.

    Read more about the reasons for running this petition, sign up for it here and pass it on: {http://bit.ly/drawdignity}

    Twitter – http://twitter.com/drawdignity
    #drawdignity

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#Current Affairs

Sri Lankan Muslims To Fast In Solidarity With Fellow Christians

Raashid Riza

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On Sunday morning Sri Lankan Christians went to their local churches for Easter services, as they have done for centuries. Easter is a special occasion for Christian families in ethnically diverse Sri Lanka. A time for families to gather to worship in their churches, and then to enjoy their festivities. Many went to their local church on Sunday morning to be followed by a traditional family breakfast at home or a local restaurant.

It would have been like any other Easter Sunday for prominent mother-daughter television duo, Shanthaa Mayadunne and Nisanga Mayadunne. Except that it wasn’t.

Nisanga Mayadunne posted a family photograph on Facebook at 8.47 AM with the title “Easter breakfast with family” and had tagged the location, the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo. Little would she have known that hitting ‘post’ would be among the last things she would do in this earthly abode. Minutes later a bomb exploded at the Shangri-La, killing her and her mother.

In more than a half a dozen coordinated bomb blasts on Sunday, 360 people have been confirmed dead, with the number expected to most likely rise. Among the dead are children who have lost parents and mothers & fathers whose families will never be together again.

Many could not get past the church service. A friend remembers the service is usually so long that the men sometimes go outside to get some fresh air, with women and children remaining inside – painting a vivid and harrowing picture of the children who may have been within the hall.

Perpetrators of these heinous crimes against their own faith, and against humanity have been identified as radicalised Muslim youth, claiming to be part of a hitherto little-known organisation. Community leaders claim with much pain of how authorities were alerted years ago to the criminal intent of these specific youth.

Mainstream Muslims have in fact been at the forefront not just locally, but also internationally in the fight against extremism within Muslim communities. This is why Sri Lankan Muslims are especially shaken by what has taken place when men who have stolen their identity commit acts of terror in their name. Sri Lankan Muslims and Catholics have not been in conflict in the past, adding to a palimpsest of reasons that make this attack all the more puzzling to experts. Many here are bewildered as to what strategic objective these terrorists sought to achieve.

Sri Lankan Muslims Take Lead

Sri Lankan Muslims, a numerical minority, though a well-integrated native community in Sri Lanka’s colourful social fabric, seek to take lead in helping to alleviate the suffering currently plaguing our nation.

Promoting love alone will not foster good sustainable communal relationships – unless it is accompanied by tangible systemic interventions that address communal trigger points that could contribute to ethnic or religious tensions. Terror in all its forms must be tackled in due measure by law enforcement authorities.

However, showing love, empathy and kindness is as good a starting point in a national crisis as any.

Sri Lankan Muslims have called to fast tomorrow (Thursday) in solidarity with their fellow Christian and non-Christian friends who have died or are undergoing unbearable pain, trauma, and suffering.  Terror at its heart seeks to divide, to create phases of grief that ferments to anger, and for this anger to unleash cycles of violence that usurps the lives of innocent men, women, and children. Instead of letting terror take its course, Sri Lankans are aspiring to come together, to not let terror have its way.

Together with my fellow Sri Lankan Muslims, I will be fasting tomorrow from dawn to dusk. I will be foregoing any food and drink during this period.

It occurs to many of us that it is unconscientious to have regular days on these painful days when we know of so many other Sri Lankans who have had their lives obliterated by the despicable atrocities committed by terrorists last Sunday. Fasting is a special act of worship done by Muslims, it is a time and state in which prayers are answered. It is a state in which it is incumbent upon us to be more charitable, with our time, warmth and whatever we could share.

I will be fasting and praying tomorrow, to ease the pain and suffering of those affected.

I will be praying for a peaceful Sri Lanka, where our children – all our children, of all faiths – can walk the streets without fear and have the freedom to worship in peace.

I will be fasting tomorrow for my Sri Lanka. I urge you to do the same.

Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ. Surah Maidah

Raashid Riza is a Sri Lankan Muslim, the Politics & Society Editor of The Platform. He blogs here and tweets on @aufidius.

 

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#Society

Our Plastic Planet

Abu Ryan Dardir

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We travel through time and see the different times as a race that we have advanced through. A few of those times were identified by the materials used or that were life-changing. The stone age, the bronze age, and the iron age. If our time was to be identified, it is undeniable the plastic age.

Chemically, plastic is made up from organic compounds like such as cellulose, coal, natural gas, salt and, of course, crude oil. When plastics were first introduced, it was a life-changing compound that littered homes (then the world). Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in swirling convergences in the oceans making up about 40 percent of the world’s ocean surfaces. It makes visiting beautiful sites created by Allah, disappointing. What does pollution, specifically plastic, has to do with our role as Muslims? and to what capacity?

Before understanding that, we have to see how plastics impact life on Earth.

Plastic constitutes approximately 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile.

One million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans.

44 percent of all seabird species, 22 percent of cetaceans, all sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies.

Plastic chemicals can be absorbed by the body—93 percent of Americans age six or older test positive for BPA (a plastic chemical).

Some of these compounds found in plastic have been found to alter hormones or have other potential human health effects.

These are just a few examples, the list is much longer. Before I go any further, I want to express my opinion first, as an environmental activist. Your individual actions in dealing with pollution are your duty as a Muslim, but the change we need for our survival needs to happen on an international level.

Abu Zarr Al-Ghafari (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Removing harmful things from the road is an act of charity (sadaqah).”

This simple hadith resonates with us due to the magnitude of its influence. Moving an obstacle is charity, we associate money with charity and tend to forget that other actions that can count as charity. What does removing an obstacle has to do with plastics? As I mentioned earlier 40% of the ocean’s surface is covered in plastic. That is a disturbance to other living creatures. As we remove the obstacles from the path of many creatures, we can work on ourselves to avoid putting it there, to begin with. This also relates to point number three of how many living creatures are impacted by our negligence. Not just plants and animals, but people as well. You can take a moment to google images of plastic in our world and see that they aren’t just neatly packed in garbage bags or recycling bins.

Imaams al-Bukhari and Muslim reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said: “There is a reward for service to every living creature.”

These are violations we commit and deeds we are prevented from by participating in this plastic culture. More importantly, we are harming ourselves and contaminating useable drinking water. Earlier I wrote an article about water its right upon us.

God’s Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) expressed this in the following way:

“It is a fact that in the next life you will render their rights to those to whom they are due. The hornless sheep even will receive its right by way of retaliation from a horned sheep that butted it.” Muslim, Birr, 60.

Our actions in this modern era echo around the world. My polluting habits may cause harm elsewhere. My spending habits may entice more harm than good. It may seem extreme, but science proves that we are all connected in a delicate chain or balance, a balance set by the wisdom of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). More importantly, it is documented from the words of the Prophet. An-Nu’man ibn Basheer reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said, “The parable of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.”

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5665, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2586

When water gets contaminated it is then rendered useless, depriving millions of basic survival. There are plenty of freshwater reserves completely useless due to toxic pollution from plastic manufacturing.

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، عَنْ عَمْرٍو، عَنْ أَبِي صَالِحٍ السَّمَّانِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ

عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏”‏ ثَلاَثَةٌ لاَ يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَلاَ يَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهِمْ رَجُلٌ حَلَفَ عَلَى سِلْعَةٍ لَقَدْ أَعْطَى بِهَا أَكْثَرَ مِمَّا أَعْطَى وَهْوَ كَاذِبٌ، وَرَجُلٌ حَلَفَ عَلَى يَمِينٍ كَاذِبَةٍ بَعْدَ الْعَصْرِ لِيَقْتَطِعَ بِهَا مَالَ رَجُلٍ مُسْلِمٍ، وَرَجُلٌ مَنَعَ فَضْلَ مَاءٍ، فَيَقُولُ اللَّهُ الْيَوْمَ أَمْنَعُكَ فَضْلِي، كَمَا مَنَعْتَ فَضْلَ مَا لَمْ تَعْمَلْ يَدَاكَ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ عَلِيٌّ حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ غَيْرَ مَرَّةٍ عَنْ عَمْرٍو سَمِعَ أَبَا صَالِحٍ يَبْلُغُ بِهِ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم‏.‏

As narrated by Abu Huraira:

“The Prophet said, ‘There are three types of people whom Allah will neither talk to nor look at, on the Day of Resurrection. (They are): 1. A man who takes an oath falsely that he has been offered for his goods so much more than what he is given. 2. A man who takes a false oath after the ‘Asr prayer in order to grab a Muslim’s property, and 3. A man who withholds his superfluous water. Allah will say to him, Today I will withhold My Grace from you as you withheld the superfluity of what you had not created.” [Bukhari: 2370]

We do not want to be guilty of withholding water from other directly or indirectly. With the advanced technology and the thousands of websites providing information, there are plenty of ways to determine if your daily habits have an impact on others well being.

We only manage to recycle 5% of the plastic wasted, and 90% of the pollution in the ocean is plastic. Are we asked to recycle? Is it just good practice or a practice is preferred?

Asked about what the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) used to do in his house, the Prophet’s wife, `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), said that he used to repair his shoes, sow his clothes and used to do all such household works done by an average person.

Recycling and reusing is a critical part of conserving and protecting what we have. You can start with yourself, but your goal is to expand these actions to other families, communities, countries. If the action is sincere this would bring us closer to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). “The world is beautiful and verdant, and verily God, be He exalted, has made you His stewards in it, and He sees how you acquit yourselves.” (Saheeh Muslim)

 

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Optimism in Times of Adversity: How The Prophet Did It

Shaykh Abdullah Waheed

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A man passed by al-Miqdaad ibn al-Aswad raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), one of the most distinguished Companions of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). The man said, “How lucky your two eyes that witnessed the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)”. Ibn al-Aswad profoundly responded by saying,

Why should anyone wish to witness a scene that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) did not wish him to see? He does not know what it would have been like if he had witnessed it or which party he would have been among if he went back in time.

By Allah! Allah’s Prophet saw people who were thrown right into Hell, so you should thank Allah that you were spared such a trial and were honored by firm belief in Allah and his Prophet”.

As human beings, we all struggle with adversity especially in societies which are driven by competition and materialistic pleasure. This drive creates difficult expectations, labels, and stigmas that breed unhealthy communities which spur widespread stress and pain. As Muslims, many of us struggle to define our role and place in societies where Muslims are the minority. We are horrified and worried when atrocities seem to occur so often solely because of the faith we believe in, such as in Burma or Central African Republic. Across the world, many countries with Muslims as the majority population are crippled by war such as Syria and Yemen. Our faith is abused by twisted minds to create chaos. In addition, random terrorist attacks in Mali and New Zealand have us wondering whether we will be attacked at our local masjid, or even in public settings such as offices and schools.

Our Ummah has always faced adversity and we will continue to do so as we struggle to be on the path of Islam. However, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has given us the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) as a guide to this Ummah on how to deal with adversity and keep our optimism. His life is a means for us to be inspired and motivated to strive for excellence. Indeed, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was tested more than any other prophet that preceded him. The rapid spread of Islam and the change it brought to the world was built upon a prophet and his companions who endured an extraordinary amount of adversity, all in order to provide a means of salvation for the generations that would come after them.

Many Muslims know the basics of the Prophet’s life such as his birth in Makkah, the migration to Madina, some of the battles, and the conquest of Makkah. However, if one were to read the Seerah of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) in-depth, one would be astonished to the sheer amount of trauma, pain, and grief the Prophet (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) experienced. He was subject to intense verbal/physical abuse, public humiliation, family deaths, and more. Depending on the physical and emotional toll, we know different people are more or less sensitive to adversity. For the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), the adversity of establishing the Deen was immensely troubling as he had the purest and softest of characters. In addition, the prophets who came before him were comforted in knowing that they had a successor. Some of them were their children in Ismail 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) to Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and Yahya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) to Zakariyya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). But the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) had no prophet to follow him, therefore his Message would be the last that mankind could benefit from.

The Quran says in Surah al-Ahzab:

مَا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَآ أَحَدٍ مِن رّ‌ِجَالِكُمْ وَلَكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيّـِينَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلّ‌ِ شَيْءٍ

عَلِيماً

Muhammad is not the father of (any) of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And God has full knowledge of all things. (Verse 33:40)

To proclaim the Divine Message to a resistant society has shown through the history of the Prophets to yield hardship and extreme difficulty. To be the final messenger was an increased burden. One example was when the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was praying in front of the Kaaba and a member of the Quraysh named Uqbah ibn Abu Mu’ayt placed the intestines, dung, and feces on the back of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) while he was in sujood. The weight of the filth was so heavy that the Prophet could not get up until he received the assistance of his daughter Fatima raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her), who was a pre-teenager at the time. How hurtful must that scene have been for the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)? How did he deal with the humiliation the leaders of his city displayed in front of his child? How disheartening must have it been for his resolve to establish the worship of Allah?

This type of treatment was a regular occurrence in the pre-Hijrah era of Islam. Eventually, the treatment spurred into a boycott against the Muslims and the Hashemites who were the Prophet’s clan. According to Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources by Martin Lings:

A document was drawn up according to which it was undertaken that no one would marry a woman of Hashim or give his daughter in marriage to a man of Hashim; and no one was to sell anything to them, or buy anything from them. This was to continue until the clan of Hashim themselves outlawed Muhammad, or until he renounced his claim to prophethood.

In those three years of boycott, many of the followers of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) such as Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) lost their statuses in society. Public humiliation, poverty, malnourishment, torture, molestation, and even murder were perpetrated against the small community of Muslims around the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). There are narrations which talk about the fact that they would hear the cries of babies going to sleep at night. They buried so many children and babies at that time who died due to disease, malnourishment, and starvation. They could hear the mothers crying who had buried their babies the day before. It was a time of great suffering and sacrifice.

Shortly after the ban was annulled, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) increased the test of His beloved Messenger at a time called ‘Ām al-Ḥuzn (عام الحزن), the Year of Sadness. In 619 AD, Khadijah bint Khuwaylid raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), the wife of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) for 25 years passed away. When the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was in shock after the first revelation descended, it was Khadijah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) who comforted him and consoled him. She was one of the first believer, mother of the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) children, and a caretaker to the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) cousin Ali and adopted son Zayd (RA). She was his main confidante and his closest friend. Her death was considered to be the greatest personal tragedy to the Prophet (SAW). In fact, his later wife ʿĀʾishah bint Abī Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said that she was never jealous of the co-wives of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) except for Khadijah who had passed before she had wed the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), who would usually stay quiet in disputes with Aisha, stated when ʿĀʾishah voiced her upsetness at the Prophet’s lingering love for Khadijah:

Make this clear Aisha, you are not better than Khadijah. She believed in me when no one did and she testified to my truth when people said I was a liar. She gave everything she had to give me support.

Shortly afterward, Abu Talib, the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) uncle and chief tribal protector in Makkah passed away. Abu Talib had been the caretaker of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) after the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) mother and grandfather passed away. But the situation before the passing of both these allies to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was poor and it was now going to become unbearable. Abu Lahab, another one of the Prophet’s uncles and one of his bitter enemies, arose as chieftain of the Hashemites would not give the Muslims adequate protection.

When adversity brought the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) to his knees, he put his trust in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and continued to push forward. It was in this moment of desperation that the Prophet was sent his ultimate test; the Day of Taif. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) described the Day of Taif more testing than the Battle of Uhud. In his desperation, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) traveled to the nearby city of Taif in order to seek the city’s protection. When the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) met with the three leaders of the city, they feverishly rejected him and decided to turn the public against him. The representatives of the community gathered the youth, slaves, and others and to stone the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and Zayd ibn Harithah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him). The people of Taif purposely targeted the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) feet, severely damaging them. His blessed body was profusely bleeding and the crowd pursued both the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and Zayd ibn Harithah for an excruciating three to six miles until he settled in a private orchard. It was in this moment where all hope had vanished. Now pushed to his extreme limits of endurance, he raised his hands and called out to his Lord:

اللهم إليك أشكو ضعف قوتي وقلة حيلتي وهواني على الناس

ياأرحم الراحمين أنت أرحم الراحمين

أنت رب المستضعفين وأنت ربي

إلى من تكلني إلى عدو يتجهمني أم الى عدو ملكته امرى

إن لم يكن بك غضب علي فلا أبالي ولكن عافيتك هي أوسع لي

أعوذ بنور وجهك الذي أضاءت له السموات و الأرض

وأشرقت له الظلمات وصلح عليه أمر الدنيا والأخره

أن ينزل بي غضبك أو يحل علي سخطك

لك العتبى حتى ترضى ولاحول ولاقوة إلابك

To You, my Lord, I complain of my weakness, lack of support and the humiliation I am made to receive.

Most Compassionate and Merciful! You are the Lord of the weak, and you are my Lord.

To whom do You leave me? To a distant person who receives me with hostility? Or to an enemy You have given power over me?

As long as you are not displeased with me, I do not care what I face. I would, however, be much happier with Your mercy.

I seek refuge in the light of Your face by which all darkness is dispelled and both this life and the life to come are put in their right course against incurring your wrath or being the subject of your anger.

To You, I submit, until I earn Your pleasure. Everything is powerless without your support.

When we struggle with adversity, calling out to our Lord is one of the last things that comes to our mind. Even if it does, we struggle to motivate ourselves to learn how to make dua to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and we struggle to raise our hands. The amount of sincerity and power of this dua to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) was so great that Jibril 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) came down to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and reported that the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) appeal shook the heavens. Here, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) seeks only the pleasure of his Lord and he will do whatever he can to fulfill his Lord’s pleasure. However, the pleasure of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) only comes with Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) own support and we should be seeking it with every trial or tribulation that we face.

There are three lessons that we can take away the way the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) dealt with adversity. First, how can we sincerely put our trust in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to give us guidance when we have little to no relationship with our Lord to begin with. Therefore, the struggling believer must consistently engage in self-reflection. He or she should be asking, “Am I praying my five daily prayers?”, “Am I consistent in my prayers?”, “How much attention and effort do I give my five prayers?”, “Do I engage in the remembrance of Allah in my daily actions?”, “How often do I ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for help”, “Am I trying to learn what is halal and haram?”. “Am I trying to inculcate more good deeds in my life?”, “Am I trying to leave sinning?”, “If I am still struggling in my relationship with Allah (SWT), am I reaching out to someone more learned?”, etc. These are the first things we need to be fulfilling in our struggle to be optimistic. If we still need help, we should not have fear in asking a professional such as a counselor or mentor.

Second, we need to be active in making our society a better place. The prophets were not just scholars, but they were changer-makers. They sought to make society a better place. Not only is our duty as Muslims to others who are struggling, but it alleviates a lot of burden on us when we help others. We are reminded of the hadith,

“Whoever relieves a believer’s distress of the distressful aspects of this world, Allah will rescue him from a difficulty of the difficulties of the Hereafter.”

Lastly, be comforted in Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) everlasting control over all the affairs of humanity and beyond. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) was there before us, when we die, and for eternity. Everything is in accordance with His Will. When we set our intentions right and make sacrifices in our lives to please Him, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will replenish the believer with something equal or better. After this painful period in the Seerah, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) gifted His devout Messenger with two things, the miraculous journey of the Isra wal M’iraj and the story of Prophet Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). The story of Prophet Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was sent down to show the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) that he was not the first prophet who experienced difficulty. In Surah Yusuf, the Quran reminds us that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is عَلِيۡمٌ and حَكِيۡمٌ, the All-Knowing and All-Wise. In the verses of the Surah, these words were mentioned before the adversities in Yusuf and Yaqub’s 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) life, during the adversity, and after Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) had rewarded Yusuf and Yaqub for their resolve. There is light at the end of every tunnel of adversity and only Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) can give us the guidance to get there, we only have to turn to him.

We ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to grant us the ability to maintain our optimism in our adversities. We ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to grant us an understanding of Islam so that we may help others overcome their adversities. We ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to relieve the adversity of the Ummah.

 

Shaykh Abdullah Waheed was born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, MI. Shaykh Abdullah commenced his studies at the age of 10 in Toronto, Canada where he went to memorize the Quran.  He completed the memorization of the Holy Quran by the tender age of 12 and then went on to study in the 7-year extensive Shariah program in Toronto, Canada. Shaykh Abdullah then continued his research and studies, which took him on global journeys, such as Pakistan, Kuwait, and England.

Shaykh Abdullah specialized in Tafseer of the Quran. Sheikh Abdullah spent years to study the details and beauty of our Holy book since understanding and mastering the language of Holy Quran was always the primary goal.

Shaykh Abdullah is serving as an Instructor at Miftaah institute and is also the Director of Islamic Affairs at Flint Islamic Center. Shaykh Abdullah travels across North America for khutbas, workshops, and seminars. He is known for his motivational and enthusiastic style of speaking which leaves the audience focused and learning.

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