Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Thomas Sowell: The Legacy of the Welfare State

"Liberals have wreaked more havoc on blacks than the supposed 'legacy of slavery' they talk about."





Harlem wasn't always the way it is. Prof Sowell also explains why blacks in the United States still vote for the more liberal party, i.e. the Democrats, at rates of more than 90%, and it comes down to their leaders and what benefits them as opposed to what benefits the black population as a whole.

Update:
The Legacy of the Welfare State (Part 2) 

Related Posts:
Human Livestock
Good Intentions


Monday, 27 July 2015

Appendix A with Correction

Missing word has been included and underlined


جامع درويش باشا في دمشق


Appendix A:

Al-Waqf: One of the Glorious Deeds and Praiseworthy Exploits of the Muslims[1]

            Waqf is a means of drawing nearer to Allah. It is an act of worship. Waqf shows the veracity of the endower’s faith, his desire for goodness, his avidity for the interests of the Muslims, his love for them and their subsequent generations, and for their successive benefits. Since the time of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, the Muslims have provided the most sublime examples in the fields of waqf. They have made endowments that cannot be counted and dedicated properties that cannot be calculated. Their endowments cover so many aspects of goodness and spheres of kindness, as well as facilities of life: schools, masjids, hospitals, plots of land, buildings, wells, libraries, weapons, and these are for the benefit of children, the poor, soldiers, scholars and many others.

              They haven’t left any sphere of life except that they have made an endowment for it. There is no need in society except that they have dedicated some property for it. A quick glance at the lands of the Islamic world will inform you of the endowments that they made and the properties that they retained for the sake of Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He. Their rulers and their ruled took part in this, their commanders and their soldiers, their merchants and their craftsman, their men and their women, such that endowments grew in every Muslim country the proceeds of which are estimated to be hundreds of millions. In every land, these endowments have come to have a ministry that administers these properties and takes cares of them. There are thousands of families that live from the fruits of these endowments and their proceeds and there are also several facilities and numerous benefits that have continued and have grown out of these endowments and their goodness. May Allah reward those righteous people with goodness and grant them the most abundant reward and return. What is saddening and regrettable is that the desire for waqf in our day, since not that long ago, has decreased within many Muslims. The souls of many of them have become stingy with regards to the like of these ongoing charitable deeds and acts of kindness.

            This is a saddening phenomenon. If anything, it shows a lack of desire for return and reward, a weakness of faith in the Hereafter and its blessings, an intense love for this world and its passions and people’s preoccupation with this fleeting life and that they prefer it over the Hereafter and its blessings, such that Allah the Exalted’s statement accurately describes us: {Yet still you prefer the life of this world} [Sūrat al-ʿAlā 87:16] and it’s as if we haven’t heard the Exalted’s statement: {when the Hereafter is better and longer lasting.} [Sūrat al-ʿAlā 87:17], and there is no power or strength except in Allah, the Most High, the Sublime.

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[1] (tn): Translated from al-Fiqh al-Manhajī, v.2, p.241-242

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Europe is not Dār al-Ḥarb

A fatwa from Imam Muammad Saʿīd Ramaān al-Būṭī



Question:

I’ve been here in Germany for some time in order to study computer sciences. In reality, life here is not that easy because it’s a different and society and culture, and a lot of Muslims here believe that what they’re doing is correct – such as stealing from the native people of this country because they’re not Muslims, and other similar things – and I believe this is a big mistake and I need your opinion. Another thing, for which I need your advice, is regarding food, for I always try to look at the ingredients of food to make sure they don’t contain anything unlawful (arām) but I can’t always be certain. Sometimes, I discover later on that there was some unlawful ingredient and I don’t know what to do.

Answer:

First of all, the texts that show that it is unlawful to transgress against the property of others are general (ʿāmmah) and include both Muslims and others, the exception being when there is a war (arb) between Muslims and disbelievers, and that’s because war has exceptional rulings that are exclusive to it. Therefore, whoever says that it’s permissible, for himself or others, to steal the property of Europeans in the current circumstances of peace is a dajjāl[1] and liar against the religion of Allah, Mighty and Majestic. Through his lying and falsehood he seeks to soil the reputation of Islam with that which it is innocent of and which will make outsiders hate it.

As for meat in Germany, you should be able to get some from Turkish Muslims, as there are many of them there and they have their own slaughterhouses, shops and restaurants.

[Translated from the Imam’s book Mashūrāt Ijtimāʿiyyah (Damascus: Dār al-Fikr, 1424/2003), p.194-195]

[This translation is now available from the English Naseem al-Sham site]

Related Posts:





[1] (tn): this is the same word used to describe the False Messiah (or Antichrist) but linguistically means swindler, cheat, imposter, quack or charlatan. The point here is that those who lie about religious matters are similar to the False Messiah.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and bidding farewell to Ramaḍān

The conclusion to Part 1 and Part 2


In the Name of Allah, the All Merciful, the Most Merciful

Ramadan, how sweet was our short meeting
And how bitter it shall be the day we bid you farewell
Oh but for those nights
They passed by like a flash of lightning when it sparkles


By Asmāʾ Ramaḍān

Translated by Mahdi Lock

When we have entered the final days of this sublime month, we should thank Allah, Mighty and Majestic, for this sublime blessing that He has bestowed upon us, the blessings of fasting, standing at night, reciting the Qurʾān, doing lots of dhikr, being removed from obscenity, our limbs fasting from every obscenity, whether a statement or an action (such as backbiting, slander, vilification, insults, empty talk, oppression, cheating and all other vile actions), for fasting was our effective weapon that gave us the ability to overcome them.

This is what is being alluded to in Allah the Exalted’s statement in the context of fasting: “You should complete the number of days and proclaim Allah’s greatness for the guidance He has given you, so that hopefully you will be thankful.” [al-Baqarah 2:185]

And it is for this immense blessing, the magnitude of which is known only to those whom Allah has guided from amongst His slaves and placed them upon light from Him along with guidance and clear signs: “Is he who knows that what has been sent down to you from your Lord is the truth like him who is blind? It is only people of intelligence who pay heed.” [ar-Raʿd 13:19]

This is from Allah the Exalted’s bounty towards us and his enabling success (tawfīq): that He has made us Muslims and from the Ummah of the Seal of the Prophets, peace and blessings be upon him, and He has not made us Jews, Christians, Magians or atheists.

When faced with bidding farewell to Ramaān, we should Allah the Exalted for more of His bounty, mercy and tawfīq, and to make us firm upon the truth until we meet Him upon that truth and He is pleased with us. We should ask Him to accept our fasting, our standing at night, our recitation of the Qurʾān and our dhikr, seeking our Lord’s countenance. We must ask our nafs how it has changed after this fasting; has it become a true Muslim? Has the love of Allah, His Messenger and His Book become more beloved to you than your own self, your family, your wealth and all of humanity? If that is the case then rejoice and hope for the best. If you find that your nafs is still falling short and that it hasn’t changed through fasting and hasn’t benefitted from worship, and that it is still making you incline toward vain desires and passions, then ask Allah, Mighty and Majestic, to cure you of this, and know that reciting the Qurʾān and the dhikr of Allah is your path to being cured from whatever you’re suffering from. Allah the Exalted has said, “We send down in the Qurʾān that which is a healing and a mercy to the believers, but it only increase the wrongdoers in loss.” [al-Isrāʾ 17:82]

And be wary of being amongst those who oppress any of Allah’s slaves, for indeed oppression is layers of darkness on the Day of Resurrection. Be wary of being amongst those who cling to disobedience, remaining persistently in sin, because such people gain nothing from their fasting except hunger and thirst and they gain nothing from their standing at night except fatigue and sleeplessness.

Be wary of letting this month come to an end and you have not been forgiven, and know that in this month, every night, Allah the Exalted has people who are emancipated from the Fire, so ask Allah, Mighty and Majestic, to make you one of them. The Exalted has said, “Those who say, ‘Our Lord, avert from us the punishment of Hell. Its punishment is inescapable pain.” [al-Furqān 25:65]
Then, ask Allah, Mighty and Majestic, to let you live longer so that you can reach another Ramaān, and Allah can provide you with its fasting and standing at night, for how many are those who have reached this Ramaān but will not reach the one that is coming, and who knows whom from amongst us will be one of them?

Allah, Mighty and Majestic, loves those who repent and seek His forgiveness, so repent to Allah in sincerity and seek His forgiveness, indeed He is Ever Forgiving, All Merciful.

We ask Allah to accept this from us in full and to make us amongst those who listen to speech and then follow the best of it.

And praise be to Allah, Lord of all creation.

And may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon our master Muammad, his family and Companions. 

Friday, 10 July 2015

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in Ramaḍān (Part 2)

The second part of this translation


In the Name of Allah, the All Merciful, the Most Merciful

سورة البقرة 2:184


By Asmāʾ Ramaḍān

Translated by Mahdi Lock

With the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in his iʿtikāf

Iʿtikāf means to stay in the masjid in order to worship Allah, Mighty and Majestic. Allah the Exalted has said, “We contracted with Ibrāhīm and Ismāʿīl: ‘Purify My House for those who circle it, and those who stay there, and those who bow and prostrate.’” [al-Baqarah 2:125]

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was the first person to perform iʿtikāf in Ramaḍān, seeking out the Night of Power, and he called upon his Ummah to do iʿtikāf. He did iʿtikāf in the first ten days of Ramaḍān and then he did iʿtikāf in the second ten. When he learned that the Night of Power falls in the last ten nights, he made his iʿtikāf therein, and the people did iʿtikāf with him.

The last ten days of Ramaḍān were distinguished days in his life, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in which he would completely isolate himself for worship: prayer, recitation of the Qurʾān, dhikr and seeking forgiveness, preparing and readying for the Night of Power. He would not seek shelter with his family or sleep with any of his wives. It is on the authority of ʿĀʾishah, may Allah be pleased with her, who said, ‘When the [last] ten had entered, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, would stay up at night and wake up his family, and he wouldn’t sleep with his wives.’[1]

As for his food and drink, they would be brought to him while he was doing iʿtikāf in the masjid, and he would not leave the masjid during his iʿtikāf except to go to his house to relieve himself and renew his ablution.

However, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, would not cut off his wives or avoid them, and he wouldn’t stop treating them with kindness and goodness. Sometimes, one of them would visit him while he was doing iʿtikāf in the masjid and he would sit with her and talk with her. Then she would leave and he would bid her farewell and walk her back to his house, as is mentioned in the ḥadīth of Ṣafiyyah, may Allah be pleased with her, who said, ‘The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was in iʿtikāf, so I went to visit him one night and I conversed with him for some time. Then I stood up to leave and he said, {Don’t rush. I’ll go with you.}He then stood up with me in order to escort me.’ Her residence was in the house of Usāmah ibn Zayd.[2]

This is how we see the Prophet’s, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, eagerness to strive in worshipping Allah in the last ten days of Ramaḍān, and this is because of the divine bounty and immense gifts that these blessed days contain, bounties and gifts that cannot be imagined or conceived of.

Therefore, we must pause and remember this sunnah that has been neglected in our age, by way of us being engrossed in this worldly life, turning towards distractions and being remote from Allah, Glorified and Exalted. This sunnah of iʿtikāf means complete isolation for the sake of worship, recitation of the Qurʾān, dhikr, seeking Allah’s forgiveness and emulating the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in his striving to worship and to teach his Ummah to seek out the Night of Power, and to win immense spoils from doing so after preparing for it.

            Waking up his family, may Allah bless him and grant him peace

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was not satisfied with just himself spending the last ten nights of Ramaḍān in prayer. He also called on his family to do likewise. He would wake them up for prayer and it was from his Sunna, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to do so in Ramaḍān and outside Ramaḍān. It has been mentioned in the two Ṣaḥīḥ collections that he, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, would knock on the door of Fāṭimah and ʿAlī at night and say to them, {Will you not get up and pray?}

It has also been related that he, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, would encourage spouses to wake up their partners to pray at night. It is on the authority of Abū Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, who said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, {May Allah have mercy on a man who gets up at night and prays and wakes up his wife, and if she refuses he sprinkles water in her face, and may Allah have mercy on  a woman who gets up at night and prays and wakes up her husband, and if he refuses she sprinkles water in his face.}[3]

This is how Ramaḍān was a school in the life of Muslims, teaching them to overcome desires however great or tempting, emulating the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and competing in seeking the Afterlife.

            His supplication, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in 
            Ramaḍān

It was from his guidance, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to supplicate upon breaking the fast and encourage others to do so. It is on the authority of Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, who said, ‘When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, would break his fast, he would say, {In the Nameof Allah; O Allah, for You I have fasted and with Your sustenance I have broken my fast.}[4]

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, encouraged his Ummah to supplicate upon breaking their fasts and he clarified that it is a time in which supplication are answered. It is on the authority of ʿAbdullah ibn ʿAmr, may Allah be pleased with him, who said, ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saying, {Indeed the fasting person has a supplication when he breaks his fast that will not be rejected.}’[5]

One of the subtleties that those who investigate and reflect on Allah’s Book and its āyāt have drawn attention to is that the āyāt that deal with the rulings of fasting in the month of Ramaḍān are found in one place,[6]  and that right in the middle comes the Exalted’s statement: “If My slaves ask you about Me, I am near. I answer the call of the caller when he calls on me. They should therefore respond to Me and believe in Me so that hopefully they will be rightly guided.” [al-Baqarah 2:186]

Thursday, 2 July 2015

A Word Of Clarification Regarding Appendix D






Alhamdulilah, today I finally received my own complementary copies of Kitab al-Waqf. Ma sha Allah, I was very impressed with the layout and the overal professionalism of the final product. May Allah reward these believers for their efforts. However, there is something that needs to be clarified for present and future readers.

My intention was not simply to produce a compendium of the rules of waqf in the English language but to also root those rules in the authorities who govern this Ummah, from Imam an-Nawawi and al-Khateeb ash-Shirbini, may Allah be pleased with them, down through to the maraaji of this age, such as Imams Muhammad Saeed Ramadan al-Bouti and his son Muhammad Tawfeeq Ramadan, Mustapha al-Bugha, Wahbah az-Zuhayli and his brother Muhammad, Rushdi Saleem al-Qalam, Abdur Rahman ash-Shami and Muhammad ash-Shatiri.

Upon examination of the published version of Appendix D, I have found that it does not correspond to the intention stated above.  My intention in translating this work was solely to present the subject matter and the words of those in authority, i.e. those who have the most right to speak on it. Unfortunately, Appendix D represents a considerable divergence from this objective.

While I do not doubt the good intentions of the author, my concerns and objections were clearly expressed prior to insertion of said appendix. I neither support nor endorse any of the Anglosphere organisations mentioned in this appendix; the main two reasons being a) they, whether individually or as a group, are not authorities and b)  they have not made any material contribution to the subject at hand. Thus, their inclusion in the appendices is not even relevant, let alone beneficial.

I therefore absolve myself of all responsibility in this regard.

And with Allah is every success.

Yours truly,

Mahdi Lock
Thursday, 15 Ramadan, 1436