I love Canada and I love Canadians

It’s been a difficult week. Who knew that the day after my previous post on one deranged incident, another, more shocking attack would occur.

Who knew the attacker would have been a visitor at my local mosque a few years ago, and that the mosque would have to cancel an event on Muslims. Astronomy and Science to celebrate Islamic History Month this weekend would need to be cancelled

Instead the mosque held a press-briefing and I am glad they did so. Glad they also talked about this man’s visits to the mosque and his objections to non-Muslims being welcomed at the mosque, and the mosque authority’s condemnation of that attitude – saying the mosque has always been a place of welcome for all people (of any faith or not) and it will continue to be that way. And I am doubly glad this man was not allowed in the mosque thereafter.

I am sad that this attacker, like the one before, was mentally unstable and suffering from substance abuse. We need more support and help for people with mental illness. They need to be protected from the scores of organizations waiting to pray on ‘these broken young men’

I am sad the mosque received death threats and other mosques have been vandalized. It is not unexpected. But it is sad. Muslims have been fighting those who call themselves Muslim and use the religion for their own power-struggle far longer than the west has. I wish the media that so often talks about the Kurdish forces, or Pashmergas or Iraqis or Pakistani military that are the real front-line defenders against ISIS and their ilk, would mention that all these forces are composed of primarily Muslims. They seem to never refer to the fact that they are Muslim, but so easily link the term ‘Islam’ with extremists. Muslims are the ones that have suffered the most at the hands of extremists but we will continue to fight them. What does not help is the media’s often immature reporting of the matter.

So then a breath of fresh air in this morning’s CBC report. Not only because of the incident, another example of the type of happening I have witnessed so often in this land…that has stuns me over and over again as to how blessed I am to live here. But also because CBC reported it. How many a media organization has passed by so many countless other incidents like this that I am sure have happened all over the world.

Please enjoy. There is a lot of disease and misguidance amongst humanity that must be treated or eradicated. All of humanity are brothers and sisters and we have to help each other.  The sound human heart is kind and it is strong, and there is no fear.

The prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said you must help a person in doing good or in doing evil. His (p.b.u.h) companions were baffled and asked “O Messenger of God, we understand how we help a person doing good, but how do we help a person doing evil?” He (p.b.u.h) replied, “by stopping him from committing the evil”

http://www.cbc.ca/video/swf/UberPlayer.swf?state=sharevideo&clipId=2571129245&width=480&height=322

Global tawbah

Dear Readers, Assalamu alaikum (peace be with you)

Today is a happy day. Alhamdulillah (=praise and thanks to God) I am officially moved into a new place to stay. I pray it will be an abode of peace, joy, learning and teaching. A step closer to that long lasting and eternal home, at least in the way it may manifest in this life-form where we are bound by the time-space continuum (Muslims believe in an after-life where the human soul will enter another reality not bound by the four dimensions this life is bound in, and that that reality will be eternal. Not limited in that reality as we are here, we will have a greater or more real experience/understanding of the Creator there than we can here).

Therefore finally I am settled enough to be able to say something about the very disturbing global events that have been unfolding, specifically in the Muslim world. I do not want to make this blog a venue for political discussion, hence why I’ve refrained from commenting on many events over the past few months…though I have not been silent in other venues. This talk though, has to be shared. The popular media will not broadcast the views of the Muslim scholarly leaders enough, so let me do my part.

The talk is by Sheikh Hamza Yusuf Hanson, an American Muslim leader and authentically trained scholar. He is perhaps one the most influential Muslims in the English speaking world today. Consistently ranking among the foremost in the annual top global Muslim 500 lists. He converted to Islam as a teenager, then travelled to the Muslim world and studied at the feet of authentic scholars for 10 years, obtaining ‘ijaza’ (=license) to teach several classical works from top scholars, many who can trace their ‘sanad’ (=chain of transmission) via famous scholars all the way up to beloved prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) or to the authors of the classical scholarly works. He then returned to America and obtained a nursing degree and worked as a nurse. Thus fulfilling another scholarly etiquette in that he obtained secular training and also had his livelihood from a secular job and not from religious discourse (mark of a good scholar).

He is now founder-faculty at Zaytuna college in Berkeley University. The USA’s first Muslim liberal arts college. And he is my teacher. This talk is delivered in Malaysia, perhaps a few weeks ago. It is relevant for he addresses current global events. The Q&A period in the second half will especially hit home. And more so will it if you are a Muslim young person struggling to navigate your faith through current events.

He is addressing a Muslim audience, so there are a number of Arabic terms he uses. I will try to update this post with a translation later on. I don’t want to wait to do that so posting now. It is long, but well worth the listen.

Finally to join my voice on this public forum to that of all the scholars and millions of Muslims condemning the actions of ISIS and their ilk. They are monsters. What they have done to Muslims is heinous and condemnable, and what they do to non-Muslims is more heinous and condemnable. They are a scourge upon the good name of our beloved Muhammed (peace be upon him) and a scourge upon his way. They have nothing to do with me and I have nothing to do with them. I repeat that, they have nothing to do with me and I have nothing to do with them.

To end ‘tawbah’ in the title means ‘return’. This is a call to Muslims to return to God, to return to our teachings and return to the way of our beloved Muhammed (peace be upon him). We have left it too long and our nation is being humiliated. We have much to do and no time to waste. Allah give us the strength to work and live noble lives.