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Junaid Jamshed: A Munshid Par Excellence

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Naath Khwaan, Munshid, Pop Singer, Entrepreneur, public figure, family man and devotee; Junaid Jamshed was a beautiful person with a beautiful voice who displayed some of the most melodious ensembles and works of art that the Muslim world has ever known.

Although born and raised in the United States, I grew up listening to the Sabri Brothers, Nusrat Ali Khan, Mehdi Hassan and the Vital Signs. My cousins (Muhammad Saadullah and Muhammad Saeedullah of the nasheed group 786) and I would spend countless hours listening, practicing, listening, practicing and honing our vocal/instrumental skills based upon the exceptional work of these icons. At that time the group Vital Signs was new. They were the trailblazers of their time. They were constantly booked and overbooked. Their popularity knew no bounds. This “Pakistani Boy Band” was the new face of resurgence for Pakistani youth. They had the support of some of the most powerful political and entrepreneurial figures not only in Pakistan, but also around the world.

Amidst all of that noise, Junaid Jamshed (May God give him peace, forgive his sins and raise him to the highest level in paradise) only heard one voice:

“So remember me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.”

The Holy Quran: 2:152

It called to him, to his soul, which was a precursor to the biggest challenge in his life, making the transition! Keeping things in context: He was handsome, youthful, popular, influential. The world was at his fingertips, yet he still felt empty, he yearned for more…

A series of circumstance led him to abandon his iconic status in the realm of pop culture and to embrace a calling towards using his passion, his voice and his brand equity to spread the beautiful message of Islam. Junaid Jamshed had himself committed to a higher cause!

He was a trailblazer of his time. His was a perfect case study of a human being who presented us with a storyboard showcasing an individual who had the guts and the will to transition to a higher ground.

When one door closes another one opens —the bounties of God are endless and He showered his blessings upon Br. Junaid and all of his work. Envious am I of his devotion towards praising the Mercy to the worlds, Sayyidina Muhammad Mustafa ﷺ. Junaid Jamshed has performed Naat/Nasheed (Poetry praising the Prophet Muhammadﷺ) in thousands of gatherings across the world. He became one of the top reciters in his field.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUwYOpDcrYg[/youtube]

There is a tradition of the Prophet ﷺ that states that every gathering where Muhammad’sﷺ name is not mentioned becomes a liability on each person in that gathering. Think of how many gatherings were saved because he showered blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ in the most beautiful of ways.

As an entrepreneur, God Almighty opened a way for him to make Halal Rizq (Righteous provisions) by making several investments into businesses that would benefit the people. One of his more famous outfits was his clothing line. I myself would make it a point to always stop by his store in Houston and grab several sets of Shalwar/Khamees (Traditional Pakistani clothes) when I was in town for a speaking engagements not only to support his business, but because like his voice, he produced such a high quality products and made them affordable for everybody.

Like all humans he too made mistakes. I remember how people would ridicule him on various issues and try to demonize and defame his character when he stepped out of his lane (In terms of expertise). I also remember how he handled these challenges by publicly apologizing, emotional with tears in his eyes and begging people for forgiveness. I thought to myself that when a person is close to the Prophet ﷺ and the Kalamullah (The word of God), one cannot help but to have a soft heart guided by sincerity. I thought to myself, this is what it means to be a human being, these are the steps towards repentance and his was a true model of leadership owning up to his mistakes and empowering the people with the opportunity to forgive his transgressions.

I remembered hearing about how he was beaten publicly by an angry mob of people, how they humiliated him, caused him grief and harm. I also remember his silent response to this atrocious event and his patience in the wake of calamity. I thought to myself that these people have incurred crimes against a man that is favored, that has devoted himself to spreading the word of God and praising the Prophet ﷺ as a way of life.

As a Muaddhin, Qari, Munshid and Naat Khwan, I cannot help, but feel sorrow in my heart for the loss of this wonderful human being, peer and mentor. The story of this man was elevated, because of a brilliant decision that he made to choose Allah ﷻ above everything else. Another giant reclaimed by the Lord of the worlds and another void in the fabric of our global community. He will be missed, but the ambassadorship of his devotion must carry on. He was a devoted to the Prophet ﷺ not only through his speech, but also through his actions. He was given a lot and he turned around and gave it all back to glorify the religion of Al-Islam for the pleasure of Allah ﷻ.

May Allah ﷻ forgive all of his and his families’ sins. May they be raised to the highest pinnacle in the heavens without accountability and may he then reside by the fountain of Al-Kauthar in the blessed company of the beloved ﷺ. May our singers, vocalists, composers, musicians and producers use their talents in a similar manner to elevate themselves by serving humanity.

I may begin reciting naats and nasheeds again… I may do this in the privacy of my own home. I may continue to the famed Diyanet Center of Maryland or I may find myself in Madinah “The Radiant” as I walk barefoot in her alleyways, making my way into the heart of Masjid An-Nabawi…

“Everyone upon the earth will perish, and there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor. So which of the favors of your Lord will you deny”

– Holy Quran, 55: 26-28

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEirbUAurFg[/youtube]

Jameel Syed, “The Muaddhin” is an international speaker, traveler, author and marketing executive based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. In 2015, he became the first person in the history of the world to make the Adhan - Islamic call to prayer across all 50 states in America: Record span of 35 days while reciting the last sermon of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He is the brainchild behind the historical “50 Mosque Man Tour”. Jameel is a columnist for two of the most prestigious online Muslim Media sources in the world: The award winning blog, muslimmatters.org and the internationally famed ilmfeed.com. He is the feature of a podcast series under the banner of “Greed For Ilm” that airs bi-weekly about Muslims in America. Jameel attained his education from The University of Michigan School of Kinesiology and Ross School of Business. In 2004, he founded the Fluidvisions Marketing firm, specializing in strategy consulting, building brand equity and launching new ventures. Jameel’s focus in the traditional Islamic sciences center around the Fara’id and Sunnan of calling the Adhan, the rights/duties of the Muaddhin & the last sermon of the Prophet Muhamad ﷺ , knowledge which he attained and has the permission to disseminate from Sheikh Mohamad Mwafak Algalaieni PhD. He has Ijaza (license to teach) in Tajweed from his late father Qari/Dr. Salam A. Syed and teaches locally in his community. He is currently pursuing the memorization of the Qur’an under the guidance of Sheikh-ul-Hadith Qari Ilyas and Qari Nouman Ilyas. For information about booking speaking events, go to: www.jameelsyed.com.

34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Hassan

    December 8, 2016 at 12:16 AM

    May Allah shower His mercy upon Junaid, and forgive his shortcomings.

    In retrospect. his death has made me realize why he was having trials for last year or so. Not to compare the status or work, but Imam Bukhari said something, that was misunderstood (about Quran being created versus Allah’s speech) and he had hard time in his own land before his death.

  2. Avatar

    Naomi Macklin-Carr

    December 8, 2016 at 5:18 AM

    May Allah show mercy and elevate his ranks. This was a great insight to his life, and a great example of someone that sacrificed the enjoyments of this world.

  3. Avatar

    Waz

    December 10, 2016 at 4:11 AM

    The man that Junaid Jamshed was died a long time ago. That man was an artist who spread joy and positivity through music. Then he became a ten-a-penny mullah, the kind that Pakistan is bursting at the seams with, spewing the usual misogynistic and bigoted crap. Still had a nice voice and sold some funky kurtas, though.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous

      December 10, 2016 at 9:07 PM

      It’s the trait of a good Muslim and a good person too, that he does not speak ill of the deceased, but instead speaks of the good they left behind in this world.

      • Avatar

        Waz

        December 14, 2016 at 5:54 AM

        Thank you. No doubt i could be both a better person and a better muslim, but Junaid Jamshed really meant something to me and my sadness at his passing brought all my disappointment and regret to the fore. I did allude to the good above, but my memories of him are bittersweet. I acknowledge i may have been a bit blunter than intended.

        On a related note, it is remarkable how this trait you mention is practiced so selectively by so many good muslims. While everyone is rushing to eulogise JJ, you should have heard the things people said (when they said anything at all) about Salman Taseer, Shahbaz Bhatti, Rashid Rehman and Sabeen Mahmud among others – these are people (nearly all Muslim!) who stood up for their fellow Pakistanis and for human rights at the cost of their lives. I guess this “speaking good” only applies to the hardcore sunni establishment, which lately seems to be the main segment of the Ummah that this site caters for. It is fortunate for JJ that he was a poster boy for this establishment.

    • Avatar

      Beats

      December 13, 2016 at 12:44 AM

      Typical Pakistani liberal slander. Your hatred of Islam is showing, degenerate. Nothing bigoted or misogynistic about Junaid Jamshed. He was a great Muslim role model. May Allah(swt)forgive his sins and grant him Jannah.

      • Avatar

        Waz

        December 13, 2016 at 8:41 AM

        It’s not slander for two reasons:

        1. It’s in writing;
        2. More importantly, it’s true. He had expressed sexist and regressive opinions in public, which made me very sad.

        You seem to suffer from the hair-trigger sensitivity that afflicts many of my compatriots regarding perceived “insults to islam”. I am frustrated by the mullah dominated culture that has taken over Pakistan (paid for by our Gulf overlords) that has made us a bigoted and intolerant society that denigrates anyone who does not conform to some austere sunni muslim ideal. I am frustrated that people are glorifying that JJ embraced this regressive mindset and abandoned his potential as an artist for the people. He was still a muslim before, you know, but he was for all Pakistanis.

        Has mullah now become a synonym for muslim, so that criticism of the former constitutes an attack on the latter? For me, Islam is very personal and not to be imposed on others. Is there no room for muslims like me in Pakistan anymore?

        Also, you seem to use “liberal” as an insult. Liberal properly means standing up for the rights and freedoms of all members of society, not just the ones that fit some privileged criteria. For example, in the west it is usually liberals that defend the rights of the muslim minorities. I am proud to be liberal, i think all Pakistanis deserve the same rights, freedoms and opportunities – our society and constitution are discriminatory and need to change, but that can only happen when people acknowledge these problems.

      • Avatar

        ZAI

        December 14, 2016 at 9:39 PM

        Mashallah Br. WAZ…

        Well said. May be people of Pakistan and its neighboring countries be freed from this malignant grotesque use of Islam that has overtaken the Pakistani state, military, media and too many in society. Ameen!

        An Afghan Brother.

      • Avatar

        Beats

        December 15, 2016 at 7:18 PM

        @Waz,

        You’re right about one thing, slander is spoken, you’re engaged in libel against Junaid Jamshed. The rest of your insipid diatribe just confirms how utterly inept and intellectually bankrupt Pakistani “liberals” are. Your tired references to “Mullahs” and “Gulf overlords”(a qasi-racist implication) that we Muslims worship Arabs further confirms you anti-Muslim caricature of practicing Muslims ala the notorious Islamophobe Tarek Fatah. Referring to Jamshed’s spiritual growth as “regression” is a transparent attack on Islam. We get it, you hate Islam, and Jamshed because no longer appealed to your “tastes.” The same degenerate Pakistani liberals also attacked the philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi when he died. He too was a practicing Muslim. And there’s NOTHING a Pakistani liberal types hates more then a practicing Muslim.
        I’ve lived in the West most of my life so don’t lecture me on how “great” liberals are. Your lack of education, critical thinking, and Pakistani inferiority complex is really showing, believing in false paradigms, poor fellow. Islam isn’t something “personal” but a faith and active way of life which we Muslims aspire to practice as best as we can. You’re welcome to languish in your vices and, but not to lecture Muslims in any way or form. Last time you lot were in power you looted the country blind so don’t pretend you have any moral high ground here. A cursory look at how the West’s liberals actually treats minorities would give any intelligent person pause. You don’t care about anyone’s rights but your own so spare us your posturing. No wonder Imran Khan referred to you “liberals” as “scum.” Your mindless worship of the West is really nothing less then Pavlovian style slavery. Today thousands of Pakistanis attended Junaid Jamshed’s funeral, he will be remembered for his music, but far more so for being a great role model for Muslims. The same can’t be said for those like you. You will not be missed.

      • Avatar

        Beats

        December 25, 2016 at 4:07 PM

        Asalamu Aliakum Br. Aly

        Jazakallah Khair for the reminder. I have better things to do with my time then “debate” trolls but I felt compelled to respond to “Waz’s” trolling. He is no brother of mine, he couldn’t even hide his contempt for JJ, even in death. Liberals like Waz are extremists of the lowest order and should be banned from this site.

        • Avatar

          Aly Balagamwala

          December 27, 2016 at 2:50 AM

          Dear Brother.

          I am deeply saddened by your words. Almost six years since I took over the moderation of this website and I have seen the ugly side of Muslims, non-Muslims, trolls, aliens, etc. And it has helped me become more tolerant of not only my fellow Muslims but also my fellow humans.

          May Allah allow us to learn tolerance, to discuss rather than debate, and to understand that sometimes our viewpoint may not be acceptable to others as much as theirs is not acceptable to us.

          WasSalamuAlaikum
          Aly

    • Avatar

      Anonymous

      December 14, 2016 at 8:37 PM

      You’re welcome. Junaid Jamshed meant a lot to all of us. The whole world felt his loss, and it just goes to show how many people he touched, Ma Sha’Allah.

      And as for your other statement, the truth is, although I am Pakistani, I do not live in Pakistan, so I had to research those names you listed. I had heard about some case, and the others, I didn’t know. But I can tell you straight out that I don’t agree with what happened to those people. No one should be treated that way, Muslim or no. And I do know that the sectarianism that some groups of religious people are promoting is destroying.

      Maulana Tariq Jameel, one of the closest friends of Junaid Jamshed, says that himself. He recognizes this problem and says, “I give you glad tidings in your beliefs; I don’t want to change them. But I want to say, live as one Ummah, and love one other.” He teaches this wherever he goes, so much so that the Shia Imam of Pakistan once welcomed him, and it was there that he addressed the Shia community. (It’s on YouTube, if that interests you). He prays behind leaders and people of other sects as well. He emphasizes Islam that has no relationship with politics, sectarianism, or violence. Junaid Jamshed was just like him in this way; Maulana Tariq Jameel was his beloved teacher, after all. If you listen to their lectures, you’ll find that they consistently preach love. When Maulana Tariq Jameel preaches to the students of religious schools, our future scholars, he begs them to preach love and teach their people to live with other sects of Muslims peacefully.

      I know that there has been a lot of negative consequences in Pakistan from the rhetoric these types of scholars preach. But I have hope that one day, through people like Maulana Tariq Jameel and Junaid Jamshed, and In Sha’Allah so many others, it will stop, and Muslims will begin to love each other. No one, absolutely no one, must be dehumanized just because they believe differently. This is the basic human right of a person, and it is also emphasized in Islam.

      Remember the Prophet SAW’s mercy at the incident of Taaif? He later said that it was the worst incident of his life, even after the battle of Uhud, where he was almost killed. He could have had those people, who had hurt him so much, crushed between the two mountains. But he rejected the offer, and he prayed for their guidance instead. He chose mercy over hatred. Truth be said, we Muslims have a lot to learn.

    • Avatar

      Beats

      December 15, 2016 at 7:19 PM

      @Waz,

      You’re right about one thing, slander is spoken, you’re engaged in libel against Junaid Jamshed. The rest of your insipid diatribe just confirms how utterly inept and intellectually bankrupt Pakistani “liberals” are. Your tired references to “Mullahs” and “Gulf overlords”(a qasi-racist implication) that we Muslims worship Arabs further confirms you anti-Muslim caricature of practicing Muslims ala the notorious Islamophobe Tarek Fatah. Referring to Jamshed’s spiritual growth as “regression” is a transparent attack on Islam. We get it, you hate Islam, and Jamshed because no longer appealed to your “tastes.” The same degenerate Pakistani liberals also attacked the philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi when he died. He too was a practicing Muslim. And there’s NOTHING a Pakistani liberal types hates more then a practicing Muslim.
      I’ve lived in the West most of my life so don’t lecture me on how “great” liberals are. Your lack of education, critical thinking, and Pakistani inferiority complex is really showing, believing in false paradigms, poor fellow. Islam isn’t something “personal” but a faith and active way of life which we Muslims aspire to practice as best as we can. You’re welcome to languish in your vices and, but not to lecture Muslims in any way or form. Last time you lot were in power you looted the country blind so don’t pretend you have any moral high ground here. A cursory look at how the West’s liberals actually treats minorities would give any intelligent person pause. You don’t care about anyone’s rights but your own so spare us your posturing. No wonder Imran Khan referred to you “liberals” as “scum.” Your mindless worship of the West is really nothing less then Pavlovian style slavery. Today thousands of Pakistanis attended Junaid Jamshed’s funeral, he will be remembered for his music, but far more so for being a great role model for Muslims. The same can’t be said for those like you. You will not be missed.

      • Avatar

        Waz

        December 16, 2016 at 3:17 AM

        @brother beats

        Your feathers are clearly ruffled enough to post the same comment twice, but i don’t get why you’re so angry. Clearly we disagree about Junaid Jamshed’s legacy, and many other issues. However there is really no need for such vicious and baseless attacks, i never attacked you personally.

        I am a muslim and have no inferiority about being a Pakistani. I have no idea what vices you refer to or why you keep calling me a degenerate. I have split my years between Pakistan and the west enough to have seen how things are in both places, and i don’t worship the west or consider it to have any absolute moral superiority, there’s good and bad everywhere. I’m not sure what you mean by “my lot” and i assure you that neither i nor any relatives of mine have held power or embezzled anything. I do not hate any group, my feelings depend on the individual in question. It is no secret about Gulf funding of madrassas in South Asia, spreading the rigid wahabi doctrine – why is it racist to point this out, or even to point out that most Pakistanis have a real complex when it comes to Arabs? I don’t hate Junaid Jamshed at all, as I explained before i was just disappointed.

        And mate, seriously NO ONE attacked Edhi that i saw at all. I’m not sure what you’re on about there. In any case Edhi, who i really admired, famously said religion is not above humanity, which is a decidedly liberal viewpoint and one i agree with.

        On the subject of “liberal” please consult a dictionary. I think you are conflating liberals with libertines. I am most certainly NOT the latter. Imran Khan is quite demonstrably a hypocrite and i attach no importance to his opinion, although i think you should pass him the dictionary once you’re done with it.

        I stated my opinion about Junaid Jamshed which is not libel. Your unwarranted personal attacks on me do constitute libel. Also, is that a threat at the end of your post?

      • Avatar

        Beats

        December 17, 2016 at 5:41 AM

        Duplicate posts = “ruffling my feathers,” Waz? Talk about desperately grasping for straws. I’ve thoroughly refuted your lies and misrepresentations, and you’re going to complain about being “personally attacked” after your filthy trolling? What a disingenuous hypocrite! You stated that Junaid Jamshed “DIED” when he left music as far you were concerned. That’s all he was to you, an entertainer. You didn’t respect him in life and you disrespected him in death calling him a “ten-a-penny Mullah.” And you wonder why this would upset anyone? What a callous and petty ba5tard. To us Muslims, he was a great and admirable brother. He was also an obedient son, he was a devoted husband and he was a good father. Above all he was an exemplary Muslim personality. Your “opinions” aka libel are garbage.
        You’re not a Muslim. Just a petty secular agnostic or atheist fool babbling nonsense. And yes, you do have an inferiority complex, your mindless worship of the west is crystal clear proof of this. Ran into plenty of you elitist buffoons in college, with that familiar slavish thinking worshiping at the altar of a US visa. And YES, Pakistani liberals smeared Edhi(why don’t you quote him about practicing islam?) many times claiming he was pocketing donations to his organization. They had no proof but made it up because they simply disliked him because he was a practicing Muslim, just like JJ, but I guess they were just graduates of some “wahabi” seminary right? You liberals think any practicing Muslim incorporating even the most simple Sunnah of the Prophet(pbuh) is an Arab wannabe. Note the racism. Stop playing games and come out and say you hate Islam and seek to undermine the Islamic character of the nation. Not only do you need a dictionary(look up hypocrite, and then go look in the mirror), but a course in critical thinking, and an introductionary course on Islam. Imran Khan(not a hypocrite) was dead right about you liberals when he labeled you “SCUM.” Threat? Guess you need a dictionary to look that as well. Quit posturing and playing victim, crybaby. You’re not even worth a threat. Do you why, Waz? Because you’re a nobody. An insignificant know nothing who will amount to nothing. Junaid Jamshed has returned to Allah(swt) and thousands attended his janaza. How many will attend yours? More importantly will anyone even care?

      • Avatar

        Waz

        December 17, 2016 at 6:59 AM

        Beats,

        I’m sorry but name calling, takfir and strawman arguments are not a refutation of anything. Have a great life.

      • Avatar

        Beats

        December 17, 2016 at 6:26 PM

        Drop the pretense, Waz. Name calling as in calling the recently diseased Junaid Jamshed a “ten-a-penny mullah”? Straw man arguments and distractors like Saudi funding of certain seminaries. And, but you sure know how to scream “takfeer” once I question your identity! Guess you do know something about Islam(when it suits your agenda) after all. It’s a fact that Pakistani liberals aren’t religious whatsoever, in fact the majority of you have disdain for Islam, most being closeted atheists. Your words and deeds are proof of this so why deny it?
        Don’t fool yourself, Waz, not only were you refuted, now you’re being humiliated, and deservedly so. JJ was a far better then I, he would have forgiven you, and made dua for you. . Reflect on this next time you feel the urge to disrespect the dead.

      • Avatar

        Waz

        December 18, 2016 at 3:01 AM

        Aggressive fools like you are all over the place in Pakistan – ready to lash out and attack people for having a different viewpoint and deciding who is and isn’t muslim according to your own criteria. Just because i am not displaying my dua for JJ on here, does not mean you need to try and “refute” and “humiliate” me just because you don’t accept my reasons for being disappointed about some of his choices (while still being sad at his passing and praying for him).

        From your comments, you seem the type of medieval witch-hunter that is quick to yell “blasphemy” and burn someone at the stake for not agreeing with you. But really your comments make no difference, only Allah is my judge and He knows all of what’s in my mind, not just the little bit on this webpage.

      • Avatar

        Beats

        December 18, 2016 at 10:12 PM

        @ Waz

        Childish name calling again? The irony of your hypocrisy is a delight to behold. You’re a broken record, like the typical Pakistani liberal munafiq. Your relentless misrepresentations indicate something very unhealthy about your mental life. Intellectually bankrupt buffoons like you are a dime-a-dozen in “upscale” coffee shops or defense colony parties in Pakistan. I know the stench of your type well, the product of the worst aspects of western culture internalized by wannabe brown sahibs aka sharabi/kebabi/harami types. A generation or so ago you extremists played Communists and Marxists, today you label yourself liberals and secularists. But it’s all for naught, you were failures then, you are failures now. I know the charade all too well, I went to western madrassas with losers like you and saw your inferiority complex and brainwashing up close and personal. Alhamdulilah that I made it out with my Islam intact and uncompromised. Understand this well, Waz, I have no interest in you, you’re less then nothing to me. I wouldn’t waste spit on you, let along “burn you at the stake.” I was compelled to respond to your filthy trolling on this site. That’s it. I sure as hell will take you to the cleaners based on your hateful words against my brother Junaid Jamshed, so playing victim won’t do you any good. Don’t think that I won’t respond and put you in your place. What’s even more laughable is your pathetic “Only Allah can judge me” defense when you yourself passed judgement against JJ. Since when did a rank hypocrite like you who disrespects the dead by calling them “ten-a-penny Mullahs” start believing in Allah(swt) or His judgement?

      • Avatar

        Beats

        December 19, 2016 at 10:43 PM

        Dear Moderator,

        Please publish my response to “Waz.” Jazakallah Khair.

      • Avatar

        Aly Balagamwala

        December 21, 2016 at 10:41 AM

        Dear Waz and Beats

        A moderator can’t take a few days off without someone going off the handle….. both you guys need to watch your comments please. Both are now on moderation on this site and frankly I would jut love to remove this whole thread gone wild but I feel it should stay up as an example of what you are not supposed to do…. both sides of the mindset divide so to say.

        Please apologize to each other and forgive each other. Junaid was a great singer and some of his friends and fans couldn’t understand his move to Islam or his new views on matters. And those on the other side couldn’t understand what irked that first lot about him. Frankly, it is not very easy to understand the other viewpoint and comments sections are definitely not a great place to build that up. So both of you as Muslims pray to Allah to help you understand His Deen and to help the other understand it too.

        Waz you started it by your comments and Beats took it a whole new level. Chill out dudes. At the end of the day, Junaid has to answer for his actions and both of y’all gotta answer to yours. So get some accountability for yourselves.

        Your Brother in Islam
        Aly

  4. Avatar

    James

    December 15, 2016 at 11:18 AM

    Women are selfish and only think about themselves. Women see men as wallets, ATMs, and bank accounts. A woman doesn’t feel any love or connection for you besides a fake bond her genetics create to keep her magnetized to the one providing for her. She’s just happy to be your “possession” and only “loves you” because you fulfill her criteria and nobody better has come along.

    If a better male comes along with more money and is famous etc she’ll ditch you, and she won’t feel bad about it WHATSOEVER. A woman’s level of care and consideration towards you exists on a “what have you done for me lately?” level rather than any true affection built up between two people from spending time together.

    A woman is your possession and a direct cause of the things you have. You have good looks, lots of money and fame? You will have a hot woman by your side as your possession. You are with her for 10 years, loving each other every day, then you lose EVERYTHING, your looks, your money, your fame? She’s gone, just like everything else you owned, just like your car. It’s only there as long as you have the resources to KEEP it there, because it’s just an object it feels no “bond” with you.

  5. Avatar

    James

    December 15, 2016 at 11:20 AM

    Women just want to copy men as much as they possibly can. #killallmen and the abortion of fetuses is what feminism stands for today. The concept of “ladies first”, women hitting men becoming a congratulatory source for women, false accusations of domestic abuse against men, women initiating the majority of divorces and walking out of marriages the moment they see a man with more money, women in the workforce with children left to grow in day care centres, women receiving legal and social privileges at the expense of men, more and more men trapped with women’s lies about rape – only foolish men spend time and money on women, or get in a relationship with them of any sort. Women are hypergamous. They want your money. Not you. Get that in your brain. Women know how to use men for their benefit. Instead of spending money on some women, spend it on your parents. Be grateful to them.

  6. Avatar

    James

    December 15, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    The fundamental fault in the character of women is that they have no “sense of justice.”

    This arises from their deficiency in the power of reasoning already referred to, and reflection, but is also partly due to the fact that God has not destined them, as the weaker sex, to be dependent on strength but on cunning; this is why they are instinctively crafty, and have an ineradicable tendency to lie.

    For as lions are furnished with claws and teeth, elephants with tusks, boars with fangs, bulls with horns, and the cuttlefish with its dark, inky fluid, so God has provided woman for her protection and defense with the faculty of dissimulation, and all the power which God has given to man in the form of bodily strength and reason has been conferred on woman in this form.

    Hence, dissimulation is innate in woman and almost as characteristic of the very stupid as of the clever. Accordingly, it is as natural for women to dissemble at every opportunity as it is for those animals to turn to their weapons when they are attacked; and they feel in doing so that in a certain measure they are only making use of their rights.

    Therefore a woman who is perfectly truthful and does not dissemble is perhaps an impossibility. This is why they see through dissimulation in others so easily; therefore it is not advisable to attempt it with them.

    From the fundamental defect that has been stated, and all that it involves, spring falseness, faithlessness, treachery, ungratefulness, and so on. In a court of justice women are more often found guilty of perjury than men. It is indeed to be generally questioned whether they should be allowed to take an oath at all.

  7. Avatar

    faheem nusrat

    December 16, 2016 at 9:29 PM

    JJ legacy is Tolerance,kind mannerism , dedication to Islam and being nonjudgmental.He disliked back biting and was against judging even prostitutes.He was very brave man who had the courage to face criticism.
    He was best human being I have ever known in my lifetime-off course he was not perfect.
    He was WALI of our time.
    We will miss u until we meet again inshAllah
    Dr Faheem

  8. Avatar

    Umm Noor

    December 19, 2016 at 12:44 AM

    Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon

  9. Avatar

    Waz

    December 21, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    Dear Aly

    You are right, i got carried away and I apologise to all that i may have offended. My feelings about JJ are complex but not hateful; the fact i admired him so made it hard to understand some of the positions he took.

    Reading my earlier posts again with a cool head i do think that i could have chosen my words better, they were needlessly bitter. I didn’t mean for things to get out of hand like this and i apologise to beats as he clearly cares a lot as well. I forgive his harsh words and pray that he can forgive my harsh words as well. End of the day i guess we need to try and understand each other’s views better, i will reflect on this. Sorry you had to come back to this after your holiday.

    May Allah guide us all and forgive us.

    • Avatar

      Aly Balagamwala

      December 27, 2016 at 2:49 AM

      Dear Brother.

      JazakAllahu Khairin for your words. Almost six years since I took over the moderation of this website and I have seen the ugly side of Muslims, non-Muslims, trolls, aliens, etc. And it has helped me become more tolerant of not only my fellow Muslims but also my fellow humans.

      May Allah allow us to learn tolerance, to discuss rather than debate, and to understand that sometimes our viewpoint may not be acceptable to others as much as theirs is not acceptable to us.

      WasSalamuAlaikum
      Aly

      • Avatar

        alex

        December 31, 2016 at 12:57 AM

        My muslim brothers,
        I have never followed this website before. I just happened to visit this page since I was trying to read about our brother JJ. When I read Waz’s first comment, my blood started boiling too. Then I read Beats comments and I felt a bit better even though I agree that the response could have been more gentle. But brother Aly, the first comment by Waz was extremely inflammatory especially at a time when our hearts have not even partially healed from the loss we are facing. JJ’s death is no ordinary death. It’s shahadat. And I have come across a few muslim brothers who are absolutely disrespectful just like Waz was in his comments. I agree that the argument should not go on like it was between Waz and Beats but the inflammatory remarks and calling JJ names needed to be stopped right away. May be if the moderator had stepped in sooner, it would have been nipped in the bud. But I can completely relate to Beats feelings (even if I don’t agree to the choice of his words). All of us should remain respectful to each other but as Muslims, we need to teach each other how not to be disrespectful of the ones who have already passed away. JJ himself would not have liked this debate and I agree with Beats that he would have forgiven Waz (not easy for us ordinary human beings but our dear brother JJ forgave many who tried to harm him). But I just wish that Waz had not started this debate with the inflammatory remarks against JJ. His death alone has given guidance to so many of us. It’s like he didn’t just spread the love of Islam in his life, his death is a turning point for many. May Allah give us hidayat and show us the right path. May Allah clear the confusion faced by some regarding the two phases of JJ’s life. I grew up listening to JJ’s songs and was a die hard fan but truly loved and respected him when he left everything and turned towards Islam. What he gave up was not very easy. Personally have tried to change my life many times and failed repeatedly. There shouldn’t be any debate regarding which phase of his life was better. If we claim to be Muslims then we have to do “Samaina wa ataana”. What JJ did with his life was not something any ordinary man could do. Even though I failed personally, I salute JJ for changing not just his own life but helping others realize what life is actually all about. May Allah SWT give us strength to follow in his footsteps. Ameen.

  10. Avatar

    Sidheek CS

    December 30, 2016 at 1:22 AM

    السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

    i have read the article and have went through the comments. My mother tongue is Malayalam, not Urdu. I had read about Brother Junaid Jamshed years ago. I was proud of him. We shouldn’t fight over his death. Tongue cuts deeper than sword. Let’s try to become better human beings. Of course Muslims are best human beings, if they follow Islam perfectly. May Allah Bless ! Aameen.
    Sidheek CS
    Kerala
    India

  11. Avatar

    escaper/seeker of death?!

    December 31, 2016 at 10:33 AM

    O merciful have mercy on br. Junaid and those who tragedly lost their lives also….may their final vital signs been on kalimat haqq of la ilah ila Allah and br. Junaid be rewarded for all his efforts of the deen and may his and their families be comforted and looked after and may the departed be raised high into al firdaws al alaa. Allahom aameen.

    …since the Malaysian flights or just before, there has been unexpectedly falling planes…may Allah protect and safe guard all our flights in the future. ameen. and may He have mercy on all the departed and those of us who remain and especially on the day of reckoning and judgement. ameen

    [To the righteous it will be said], “O reassured soul,
    Return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [to Him],
    And enter among My [righteous] servants
    And enter My Paradise.”

  12. Avatar

    mursi kembang

    January 4, 2017 at 4:16 PM

    Thank you very much for the information…

  13. Avatar

    03AJY2

    February 12, 2017 at 9:39 AM

    927574 789Woh I like your posts , saved to fav! . 152762

  14. Avatar

    M Haris

    October 4, 2017 at 12:39 PM

    This article glosses over and romanticizes Junaid Jamshed. I also grew up listening to his music and really did love him and his songs. I still sing them, on occasion. But that does not mean that we ignore who he became as a person and the things he said. Junaid Jamshed, was for many a great man, but his “preaching” in later years was highly problematic for many ways. You completely ignored the fact that he was a misogynist who -on more than one occasion- stated that women’s rights should be limited.

    When I heard he passed, I was sad but part of me was not sad. As terrible as that is to say. But I realized why part of me did not mourn his loss. It was because he had begun to embody the types of figures who are actually detrimental to progress in a society like Pakistan. His causes were focused on trivial things such as if women’s hair was covered. And in a religious sense, I suppose some people care about that. But what he was doing was harming Pakistani society and the economy. He was making it harder for women to accomplish things, to hold jobs, and to have a voice in society because he so thoroughly dismissed them.

    I can understand that you looked up to him as a musician and as a religious speaker. But I don’t understand how you can completely wipe away the bad things he said.

    I am not one for speaking ill of the dead. But I do not think that in mourning him we should ignore the darker side of him that were harmful. We should pray that god forgives his sins, but we can’t brush the bad things he did under the rug. We need to be better than that. He was not infallible, he was a very flawed person. In mourning him we should also remember that we should learn from his mistakes. \

    I am deeply disappointed by this article because it was in no way a nuanced look at his life.

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#Culture

Of Dreams and Shadows

A short story

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By Saulat Pervez

Tears streaming down her face and her lips moving fervently in supplication, the lady’s terrified face spoke volumes. Watching the lady, she realized how closely this woman was viewing death. She herself always considered someone passing away as a reminder, casting a shadow on her consciousness, making her hyperaware of the transience of life, but the darkness would dissipate as the hours passed by, overtaken by the urgent demands of the mundane. For this woman, however, death was no longer an abstract concept: she stood mesmerized by the fear gripping the woman who could see herself being carried off in a coffin very soon.

That night, she wrote in her journal,

We often ask one another what we want to do with our lives, but rarely think about our own deaths. Perhaps it’s time for us to work backwards. Let death be the starting point and then find purpose in our lives – knowing that no matter how old/young we are, or whether we have a prognosis hanging over our heads or not, death is right around the corner. In our zeal to accomplish everything we want, are we cognizant of the fact that anytime our life can come to an end? Too often, there’s a disconnect and death – despite its certainty – comes as a surprise. Instead, I want to think about the person I want to be at the time of my death and then figure out everything I need to do to be that person.

***

“So, how were the latest test results?”

“Not good. Her kidneys are getting worse, and now the liver is affected too.”

“And, how old did you say she was?”

“She’s 80.”

“Oh, so she’s old,” she casually said, shifting her eyes to the computer screen.

He realized it was the end of that conversation and looked at his notes for the tasks to be accomplished for the day, pushing his ill aunt in a faraway country from his thoughts. Lurking in his mind, though, was the question: Can we decide when it’s okay for someone to die? To say that they have spent enough time in this world?

“Anything new today?” she asked.

***

He lay there, staring into space. A grandchild sat some distance away, a coffee cup next to her. From the window, he could see the hospital next door. Somehow, it looked really flimsy in his slanted gaze, as if the slightest jolt would crumble it into a miserable heap. His glance returned to the coffee cup for a fleeting second. He could taste the mocha latte in his mouth, but felt no appetite for it at that moment. His granddaughter looked up from her phone and caught his eye. “Would you like anything, Nana?” she asked, leaning forward.

He shook his head quietly and felt his son’s hand slip into his with a squeeze. He looked around the room and saw his family spread out before him, standing, sitting on the sofa handle, slouching on a couch, reading, whispering, praying. He felt a sudden burst of love. He closed his eyes and saw the words that he was thinking: Am I ready to leave all this? He winced before sleep mercifully overtook him.

***

Her husband had been in a coma for only two days but the doctors were already recommending that he should be taken off the ventilator. His brain had been damaged – his heart had stopped beating for a couple of minutes before the paramedics had managed to revive it. His organs had started failing soon after the heart attack.

She was horrified. How could she take such a huge decision? Wouldn’t she be ending his life if she agreed to pull the plug? What if he woke up in the next minute, day, week…? Taking his life was not a decision for her. She would refuse.

The doctors told her that she was only prolonging his pain. Let him go. But, to her, he didn’t look like he was in pain. And she wondered if they had ulterior motives – did they want to give his bed to someone else? Was he costing the insurance provider a fortune? Did they want to salvage whatever organs that remained intact? All sorts of thoughts kept plaguing her. Oh God, why are you putting me through this? She held her head in her hands.

She sat next to him. His heart was beating, he was breathing. She knew that if they removed him from the respirator, he would deteriorate very quickly. To her, the machine was keeping him alive and they wanted to take it away. But, then, a thought crept up to her: Had his soul already left his body? Was he even alive? 

She remembered reading somewhere that a baby’s heart starts beating within the first few weeks in the womb. But her faith taught her that the soul isn’t breathed into the baby until the 12th week. So, technically, the heart could be beating without any soul. She let this sink in. The conflicting thoughts in her mind gradually grew quiet.

She looked at her husband and decided to listen to the doctors. I will let his life take its course. If he is meant to live, then he will survive, somehow.

***

Their house had an eerie silence, casting long shadows on everything it touched. Unless they were fighting, which happened quite a lot lately. It always began with whispered fury, as if their son was still living in the next room, but would escalate inevitably into a crescendo that would topple the silence into smithereens. Followed by a lot of sobbing and slammed doors. It was their way of mourning their only child, who had left them as suddenly as he had entered their lives.

She didn’t think she had any maternal skills, but she knew how much he wanted a baby, and she had eventually given in. She would always remember the day she birthed him as the day a mother was born. He soon became their sun, their world revolving around his every need and want, years passing by. Of course, in her eyes, her husband was never as careful as he should be around him. And, to him, she was too overprotective and needed to lighten up. As he became a young man, though, the three had formed an endearing friendship and life seemed perfect.

It would’ve been an ordinary day in their mundane lives had tragedy not struck and snatched their grown child away senselessly. In the aftermath, they both found themselves standing on the edge of a precipice, their bodies weighed down by grief and blame. And then the letter arrived, yanking them back onto safe space.

It began with, “In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Exalted is He who holds all control in His hands; who has power over all things; who created death and life to test you [people] and reveal which of you does best––He is the Mighty, the Forgiving; who created the seven heavens, one above the other. You will not see any flaw in what the Lord of Mercy creates. Look again! Can you see any flaw? Look again! And again! Your sight will turn back to you, weak and defeated” (Qur’an, 67:1-4).

Written by a mutual friend who was thousands of miles away, it amazingly acknowledged their pain and anger while reminding them that neither could’ve changed the fate of their son. It exposed their raw feelings towards each other and demanded that they not let this tragedy cause further damage by pulling away from each other. That, in this time of unspeakable loss, they need each other the most. It spoke of life and death as something far larger than them, and nothing they could’ve done would’ve saved their son. At the same time, it encouraged them to invest their energies into causes that would prevent others from suffering like they were. And, it ended with, “Say, ‘Only what God has decreed will happen to us. He is our Master: let the believers put their trust in God’” (9:51).

They didn’t know how many times they read the letter and when they curled their arms around each other, tears flowing. And that’s when their long, torturous journey toward healing finally began. Together.

***

Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajioon, to God we belong and to Him we return. She couldn’t believe the news: Was he really gone? As much as she wanted to deny it, she had to accept the reality. A sudden gloom settled in her. The distance killed her. She knew she wouldn’t be able to go for the funeral. Worse, she felt guilty for not visiting. She should’ve known, she should’ve gone.

She went about her day like a zombie. She was physically present, but mentally and emotionally, she felt completely numb. Flashes from her childhood kept distracting her. He had always loved her like his daughter. As she began imagining family and friends gathering to console the immediate family and prepare for the funeral, she felt lonely – tinged with poignant nostalgia, the detachment made the loss more pronounced, compounding her sorrow. She lost her appetite and everything around her became dull. Instead, she hungrily sought every detail around his death. She messaged ten people at once and waited anxiously for the responses. As they began pouring in, she began to cry, utterly desolate.

Through the layers of grief and loss, a voice managed to speak: Is this about him or you? She was caught off guard. She realized that she was so self-absorbed that she hadn’t even prayed for him. She started murmuring supplications, asking for his forgiveness and peace. She reached for the Qur’an and opened it to Surah Ya-Sin and began reciting. The lyrical verses gradually soothed her. Her mind began to fill with his smiling face and the happy moments they had spent together. She suddenly understood that what mattered most was the time they had shared when he was alive – the ways in which she was there for him, the things he had done for her.

It isn’t about him or me. It’s about us.

*** 

“What is the procedure for inducing here? How long after the due date do you wait?”

“We don’t wait. If you aren’t in labor by your due date, we schedule you.”

“Oh. My other two babies arrived late—”

 

“Why can’t we find the baby’s heartbeat?” The doctor said to herself as she walked over and took the device from the nurse, pressing and moving it firmly on her swollen belly.

She woke up in a sweat. This is how the dream always ended. Except each time the setting was different. Tonight, they were in a massive kitchen with the doctor and the nurse in crisp, white aprons; the device was a shiny spatula and she was lying flat on a counter.

Instinctively, her hand stroked her stomach, now flattened. In the bleak light, she looked at the empty corner where the crib had stood not too long ago and she wept, consumed with longing. For the umpteenth time, she asked herself, When was the last time I felt the baby kick? She could honestly not remember. The night before, she had been up late, worrying and waiting for her husband to come home from work. During the day, her toddler kids had kept her occupied until it was time to rush for the doctor’s appointment. She had just started her ninth month.

The truth of the matter was that she had never thought anything would go wrong. After all, her other pregnancies had been entirely normal and natural. She had stayed active and agile until it was time to go to the hospital. So, what happened? No one knew. There was a heartbeat, and then there wasn’t. If only I had sensed that something was wrong. What kind of mother am I?

Flashbacks, flashbacks, and yet more flashbacks. She was riddled with flashbacks lately. It’s incredible how suddenly the entire stage can be reset. One moment you have something and the next, it’s gone – and you’re left looking at your emptiness shocked with wonder: how did it happen? Just like that, life ends or a catastrophe strikes, and colors everything a different shade.

As she wallowed in her sorrow, she was yanked out yet again by the same verse: Not a leaf moves without His knowledge. She shook her head, amazed by the simple phrase that sprinkled her conversations so casually: insha’Allah, if God wills. She would say it and yet expect certain outcomes. This time, when He had other plans, it hit her with such force that she felt completely dwarfed.

She sighed. She whispered quietly, inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajioon.

She got up and went to check on her kids. As she kissed them and sat by them, she reminded herself: You are an amanah, a trust, from God. I do not own you. And I am ever so grateful that He has given you to me. I promise to take care of you. But, ultimately, we all return to Him, for every soul must taste death.

She returned to bed, taking refuge in this moment of comfort, knowing full well how elusive it was. But it’s what kept her afloat and she held on to it dearly.

-end-

Saulat Pervez has come of age, both as a child and an adult, between Pakistan and the United States. She has taught English Literature in Karachi, worked remotely for Why Islam, a project of the Islamic Circle of North America, and is currently an Associate Researcher at the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) in Herndon, Virginia.

As a result of her diverse encounters here and abroad, and grounded in her experiences in teaching, writing, and research, she is committed to investigating ways to cultivate reading, writing, and thinking cultures both locally and globally, especially in multilingual contexts.

Saulat has been writing stories since she was a newly arrived immigrant and middle schooler in Central Jersey. Most of her adult life, however, was spent writing journalistic pieces and website content, with a few children’s books published in Pakistan. She has also mentored six teenagers in the writing of a collaborative murder mystery, Shades of Prey, which is available on Amazon.com

This particular short story — made up of discrete yet connected pieces — has been a labor of love which she hopes the reader will find intriguing and thought-provoking. Much like her life, it has been written between places, with snatches of time both at home and during travel. 

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Emotional Intelligence: A Tool for Change  

Imam Mikaeel Smith

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Why do we consider emotional intelligence to be half of the Prophetic intellect? The answer lies in the word “messenger.” Messengers of Allah are tasked with the divine responsibility of conveying to humanity the keys to their salvation. They are not only tasked with passing on the message but also with being a living example of that message.

When ʿĀʾishah, the wife of the Prophet ﷺ, was asked to explain the character of the blessed Prophet ﷺ, her reply was, “His character was the Qurʾān.[1]” We are giving emotional intelligence a place of primacy in the construct of Prophetic intelligence because it seems implausible that Allah would send a messenger without providing that messenger with the means necessary to exemplify and transmit the message to others. If the Prophets of Allah did not have the necessary knowledge and skills needed to successfully pass on the message to the next generation, the argument would be incomplete. People could easily excuse themselves of all accountability because the message was never conveyed.

We also see clear examples in the Qur’ān that this knowledge was being perpetually perfected in the character of the Prophet ﷺ. Slight slips in his Emotional Intelligence were rare, but when they did occur, Allah gently addressed the mistake by means of revelation. Allah says in the Qurʾān, “If you (O Muḥammad) were harsh and hardhearted, then the people would flee from you.” This verse clearly placed the burden of keeping an audience upon the shoulders of the Prophet ﷺ. What this means is that the Prophet ﷺ had to be aware of what would push people away; he had to know what would create cognitive and emotional barriers to receptivity. When we study the shamāʾil (books about his character), we find that he was beyond exceptional in his ability to make people receptive. He took great care in studying the people around him and deeply understanding them. Only after the Prophet ﷺ had exhausted all the means of removing barriers to receptivity would the responsibility to affirm the message be shifted to those called to it.

Another example of this Prophetic responsibility can be found in the story of Prophet Mūsa when he was commissioned to call Pharaoh and the children of Israel to Allah. When Allah informed him of the task he was chosen for, he immediately attempted to excuse himself because he had a slight speech impediment. He knew that his speech impediment could potentially affect the receptivity of people to the message. He felt that this disqualified him from being a Prophet. He also felt that the act of manslaughter he committed might come between the people and guidance. All of these examples show that Allah’s Prophets understood that many factors can affect a person’s receptivity to learning something new, especially when the implications of that new information call into question almost every aspect of a person’s identity. History tells us that initially, people did not accept the message of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ; they completely rejected him and accused him of being a liar.

One particular incident shows very clearly that he ﷺ understood how necessary it was for him to remove any cognitive or emotional barriers that existed between him and his community. When the people of his hometown of Makkah had almost completely rejected him, he felt that it was time to turn his attention to a neighboring town. The city of Ṭā’if was a major city and the Prophet ﷺ was hopeful that perhaps they would be receptive to the message. Unfortunately, they completely rejected him and refused to even listen to what he had to say. They chased him out of town, throwing stones at him until his injuries left him completely covered in blood. Barely making it outside the city, the Prophet ﷺ collapsed. Too weak to move, he turned his attention to his Lord and made one of the most powerful supplications made by a Prophet of Allah.

اللهم إليك أشكو ضعف قوتي، وقلة حيلتي، وهواني على الناس، يا أرحم الراحمين، أنت أنت رب المستضعفين وأنت ربي، إلى من تكلني؟ إلى عدو يتجهمني؟ أو إلى قريب ملكته أمري؟ إن لم يكن بك علي غضب فلا أبالي، غير أن عافيتك أوسع لي، أعوذ بنور وجهك الذي أشرقت له الظلمات، وصلح عليه أمر الدنيا والآخرة، من أن ينزل بي غضبك، أو يحل علي سخطك، لك العتبى حتى ترضى، ولا حول ولا قوة إلا بك”

“Oh Allah, only to You do I complain about my lack of strength, my insufficient strategies, and lowliness in the sight of the people. You are my Lord. To whom do you turn me over? Someone distant from me who will forsake me? Or have you placed my affair in the hands of my enemy? [2]

The Prophet ﷺ felt that he was the reason why the people were not accepting the message. His concern that “my low status in the eyes of the people,” informs us that he understood that people naturally judge the seriousness of a message based on the stature of the message bearer. The people of Ṭā’if were extremely ignorant, so much that they adamantly refused to enter into any dialogue. In reality, this was not due to any shortcoming of the Prophet ﷺ; he demonstrated the best of character and displayed extreme patience in the face of such ignorance. But the beginning of the supplication teaches us what he was focused on: making sure that he was not the reason why someone did not accept the message.

Because his message was not geographically restricted like that of other Prophets, those who inherited the message would have the extra burden of transferring the message to a people with whom they were unfamiliar. The intelligence needed to pass the message of the Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ around the world included an understanding of the cultural differences that occur between people. Without this understanding effective communication and passing on of his message would be impossible.

A sharp Emotional Intelligence is built upon the development of both intra- and interpersonal intelligence. These intelligences are the backbone of EQ and they provide a person with emotional awareness and understanding of his or her own self, an empathic understanding of others, and the ability needed to communicate effectively and cause change. Emotional Intelligence by itself is not sufficient for individual reform or societal reform; instead, it is only one part of the puzzle. The ʿaql or intellect that is referenced repeatedly in the Qurʾān is a more comprehensive tool that not only recognizes how to understand the psychological and emotional aspects of people but recognizes morally upright and sound behavior. After that this intellect, if healthy and mature, forces a person to conform to that standard. Therefore, we understand the ʿaql to be a comprehensive collection of intelligences analogous to Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory.

Taking into consideration the extreme diversity found within Western Muslim communities, we see how both Moral Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence are needed. Fostering and nurturing healthy communities requires that we understand how people receive our messages. This is the interpersonal intelligence aspect of EQ. Without grounding the moral component of our community, diversity can lead to what some contemporary moral theorists call moral plasticity, a phenomenon where concrete understandings of good and evil, right and wrong, are lost. Moral Education (Moral Education, which will be discussed throughout the book, is the process of building a Morally Intelligent heart) focuses on correcting the message that we are communicating to the world; in other words, Moral Intelligence helps us maintain our ideals and live by them, while Emotional Intelligence ensures that the message is effectively communicated to others.

My father would often tell me, “It’s not what you say, son; it’s what they hear.”

Interpersonal understanding is the core of emotional intelligence. My father would often tell me, “It’s not what you say, son; it’s what they hear.” From the perspective of Emotional Intelligence, this statement is very accurate. The way we interpret words, body language, verbal inflections, and facial expressions is based on many different factors. The subtle power of this book lies in the simple fact that your emotional intelligence is the primary agent of change and thus the most powerful force you have. You must understand how people perceive what you are communicating to them. What is missing from my father’s statement is the primacy of Moral Intelligence. Throughout this book, I attempt to show how the Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ demonstrated a level of perfection of both of these intelligences.

*With the Heart in Mind is available for pre-order at https://www.qalam.foundation/qalambooks/with-the-heart-in-mind

[1]Bayhaqī, Shuʿb al-ʾĪmān, vol. 3, p. 23.

[2] Ibn Kathir, al-Bidāyah wa al-Nihāyah, vol. 3, p. 136.

 

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Fitnah of Our Times: Never Ending Debates and Drama On Muslim Social Media

Mufti Muhammad Ibn Adam Al Kawthari

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It is extremely sad that the only excitement and enjoyment many Muslim youth get from the deen – and for some, their only involvement – is by getting embroiled in controversies, polemics, debates, seeing people argue, refutations, etc… I am referring to the general masses and not those that are directly involved in polemical dialogue.

Rather than spend time in worshiping Allah, perfect one’s prayer, fulfill the rights of Allah and the creation and engage in productive activities, so many of us today are hooked on the quarrels and disputes that take place between different groups/sects/religious leaders. We love the drama that takes place, we can’t wait for the next episode of the debate, we get excited when one person challenges another about some matter of religion. Get a few brothers or sisters together, and the only discussion that takes place these days is who won the debate and which scholar refuted which other scholar, and so on and so forth.

Stop being an Audience: Deen is Nasiha Not Entertainment

Anyone who talks or writes about polemics gets a big audience, whilst there is very less interest in listening to someone who avoids such things and teaches you your deen. It’s the same type of enjoyment – in a sense – that people get from football rivalries or boxing matches, but with a religious flavour to it. Social media is amass with such controversies.

One scholar posts something about his dispute with this person or that group on his Facebook page and his followers all comment and even argue amongst themselves in relation to his post. The followers of the refuted group/individual then start attacking the person who refuted and they also argue amongst themselves. This soap opera just continues and never seems to end. Many of us sadly thrive on this. We enjoy all the bickering and argumentation, such that being a Muslim would be boring without it.

When I was growing up, we didn’t have the internet and social media, and Al-hamdulillah it saved us from much fitna. These days, what someone thinks on one side of the world is debated and counter debated several times within a matter of hours. The harms of social media are increasingly outweighing its benefits.

The debates of today are not munadara- these were supposed to be cordial discussions.

My sincere advice to especially young Muslims is that please do not let your precious time be wasted in such matters. Let those that are arguing and debating fight it out amongst themselves; you do not need to get involved. Avoid giving them ammunition or pouring oil on fire. Instead, identify those who you trust and learn your deen from them and then get busy in beneficial things – and avoid the others. We seriously need to reconsider our priorities.

May Allah guide us, Ameen.

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