A muslim’s take on the disaster in Japan

I wanted to say a few things, not to air my views but because it needs to be said. And I say it first to myself.

Recently I’ve read an article saying things to the nature that…the people of Japan deserved what happened to them, that it is a godless country, etc and etc. These things made me angry. For who is anyone to say anything of the sort. What we have witnessed has raised in every one of us who saw it a great awe. Some may not know at what they feel awe, but they feel it. We who believe in a God, especially those of us calling ourselves Muslims, have this awe of God. But then how is it that we still dare to point fingers at others. Not just any others, but at others who are suffering. Do we not fear Allah to do such a thing? Auzubilllah, Allah protect me from this type of attitude and protect us all from it. We should be among the first to rush to help… sitting in a mosque smirking should not even be a thought in our psyche.

So I dismissed that article, scarcely able to read it to the end. MashaAllah as always Allah sheds light in to a heart with a door open [Oh Allah help me keep that door open all the time] for this beautiful post by Dr. Hasaballah beautifully puts everything in perspective and eloquent as always, he calls us to be better Muslims. Quoting this all important hadith. Never lets forget it, for it is a cornerstone of our imaan (faith).
“None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”

No sane person can love for himself the suffering, misery, fear and anxiety the people of Japan are going through now. So let us fear to sit by and watch it for others without helping.

On that note, here is a beautiful talk by Sh. Hamza, delivered at a conference in 2009. Please do listen to it. As always my beloved Sh. calls us to the better way. The way of our master Muhammed, who was afraid to have excess food in his house in case there was someone in the city who needed it more.

Allah help us all be better.

I am inserting the talks, in parts below. And it must also be known by the world that there are many many wonderful Muslims out there, joined with our non-Muslims brothers and sisters, doing their darndest utmost to provide relief and help whenever and wherever they can, regardless of religion, race, ethincity and even affluence. For when a person is in need, it is just a person in need. That is all.

Some of these organizations you can donate to are
MuslimsHands, Islamic Relief , Islamicity, mercyMalaysia.

Mashaallah I can personally vouch for Islamic relief, Muslim Hands (to the best of my memory) and Mercy Malaysia, who stayed long after all the big INGOs had gone and provided far more bang for the buck than the big INGOs could (as for example they didn’t need high tech offices, used tractors and wheelbarrows as opposed to 4wheel drive jeeps) in tsunami relief operations in Sri Lanka.

Here is the talk by Sh. Hamza, on the urgency of helping and telling us we have the potential to help.

Peace be with all and may God be merciful upon us.

Here is a gentle story on the life of this world

Assalamu alaikum, peace and the blessing of God upon all!

It is hard to stop thinking of Japan. My thoughts and prayers for all the beautiful brave kind people there. May Allah make it easy for them. Knowing that prayer is the greatest help one can give helps a lot, for otherwise how helpless we would be to help. These are the times I wish I had gone in to Med school after all. But wait, no, help is in holding the hand of the cashier stunned at the fallen goods and broken bottles when the ground stopped shaking. Help is smiling at one’s spouse when the anxiety of not knowing how we will get to where we must go makes one only want to snap. Help is in steadfastness and patience. Help is a cheery countenance and cracking a joke, giving a hug and gentleness in one’s touch. Help I hope, even if a little, is in me not wasting the precious time I have here to try and be a nicer person. More reliable, more trustworthy, more truthful and more cheerful. Indeed help comes from heaven simply at the moment somewhere in your heart you say ‘yes I’m going to help’ and that is all there is. And then somewhere, somehow joy explodes inside. Allah Kareem! 🙂

God is the protector of those who have faith. From the depths of darkness He will lead them forth in to light
(Quran 2:257)

Here is a favourite little hymn/song on those lines…easy to put in to a gentle tune, it always brings peace to my heart and reminds me of the rahma of Allah, and the rahma of our prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) how patient and gentle he was through numerous hardship

‘ I live for those who love me
for those who know me true
for heaven that watches above me
and calls my spirit too
For the cause that needs assistance
for the wrong that needs resistance
for the future in the distance
and the good that I can do’

MashaAllah I was sent this link today. It is a beautiful short video on one of the stories from the life of Isa (peace be upon him). A very telling tale… that reminds one of what is important in life. Great natural events such as what we have witnessed now, do that also. Back home in Sri Lanka seeing all it did and knowing how long it took to rebuild… Subhahanallah! A life lesson on what is important. Yet, how easy it is to forget. God protect us all.

‘O my Lord, do not leave me alone with myself even for an instant’

So then this temporary life, full of lesson in every second, in every heartbeat something to know and marvel at. As my dear sister, who is in Japan and shared these beautiful words just before the earthquake indeed, imaan is something that grows inside, flourishing it dispels all doubt and despair in its wake. Allah Kareem, may the growth of imaan be the only tsunami we ever face! And we trust in Allah’s infinite justice for those in hardship.

فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا ﴿٥﴾ إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا
For indeed with hardship will be ease. Indeed with hardship will be ease (Quran 94:5-6)

Signs of the last day

Peace be with you all, Assalamu alaikum,

The news continues to be bad. Not just bad in one sphere, but in many ways and at the same time it seems. The conflicts and political disturbances seem to be growing and the number/scale of natural disaster increasing. I don’t want to seem to be ‘scandal mongering’ or trying to make this post sensational in anyway, but I do wonder what you feel about how all this works in terms of the signs of the last day?

I grew up in a country in conflict (but relatively sheltered from the worst of it masha’Allah) and am not a stranger to hardship, both physical and emotional. Now masha’Allah living in this protected western country sometimes I wonder if I am becoming immune to the suffering of others. Whether the ‘unfamiliarity’ of the suffering keeps me away from a real empathy. Sometimes I wonder if I am really living here. For in the east, it seemed life was more real and consequently death was more real. Suffering and joy was real and empathy was real. And knowing how fragile life really is, our awareness of our place in the universe more real… and somehow, in some strange way, instead of depression by all this, what was the outcome was peace in the heart. Like we didn’t have to wonder, only to live. Only to live. I miss those days and hope I am not too accustomed to the ‘luxury’ of life in the west (e.g., hot water showers, affordable food and a variety of it). On another note, perhaps the east is now full of these luxuries too :), and like here, the people are being rocked in to a false somnambulant state.

I feel that the need to distribute the wealth of the world evenly is becoming urgent and extreme. Having experienced first hand the incredible rift between ‘haves’ (typified by the West) and the ‘have-nots’ (typified by the East) and now with this knowledge so widely spread (that is more people becoming aware of this, or one hopes that is what is happening) that more is not done is a sign of the depravity of the times? Allah protect us. I do however also feel that the good are getting ‘gooder’ and the bad, left to their devices often becoming ‘worse’. The former is a source of strength, hope and joy and should not be underestimated in any way.

It really does seem that things don’t make sense anymore and can’t be made sense of in any comprehensive manner. And that, more than anything else, is why I wonder if the signs of the last day are coming one after the other with increasing frequency. I would love to know anyone’s thoughts on this.

For your reference here is a site that has the signs of the last days with references at least for many of them. Not all the ahadith quoted are sahih, and they don’t confirm if they are hasan. But most seem to be from the ‘sihah sittha’ (the six most rigourous/well regarded books of hadith).

To end, a few lines below, hoping it makes some sense :), but only really wanting to say that prayer is refuge at these times.

Peace through the night in prayer,
My heart feels yet I am unable to utter,
Struck dumb by terror
A glimpse of the immensity of Thy power
Of what could be of us all.
Yet the prayer, unjolted
continues, somehow in my heart, it continues
and soon swells to words on the lips
O Lord, only because of the hope
that knowing You are ar-Rahman brings.
Peace through the night in prayer.

Allah (God) protect and forgive and teach us all.

Copyright 2011. JoyManifest’s blog. F R Zahir