Early in our education systems the physical sciences are often “separated” from the social sciences in many of our national curricula, producing us as end products with typically a very narrow focus of specialization. In our age of specialization, this might seem like a great characteristic and it does have its very own special merits. But have we started producing poets or philosophers who are also at the cutting edge of tech, business, and medicine or vice versa?
To do so, we need to step up our game, with some tweaks, where the motivation for mastery stems not from the job market per se, but a never ending internal passion, the same which propels a moth to crash headlong instinctively into the light source. Imagine a world, in which ideally most of the population is driven by such natural internal force, and regulated by manners and behaviors taught by the best role models.
At a global stage that humanity currently finds itself, we direly need such epitome of balance between so many extremes – the profane and sacred, the individual and global, the liberal arts and physical sciences. Despite the great progress we have made in the hard physical sciences, it seems that the global community is growing in an extreme manner. By that I mean that we have lost the essential balance, heading towards global polarization in terms of rapid wealth accumulation (poverty to many), environmental degradation, and oppressing people/nations who might appear different. A sad reality is that not too many people know or care why this is happening from a deep philosophical level.
If we try to step back and look at the global situation aloofly, we find that the seeds of the imbalance were planted far in history, when we tried to formalize the fundamental process of thinking (logic). There are many theories about logic, in which we simply form a predicate and reach a conclusion through some formal or informal method. In some cases, this referential process may be defined by some form of reasoning whether it is using language or mathematical methods.
Every language is like a color band in a spectrum of pure light (reality), giving access to a perspective into the broader REALITY. Thus, those of us who are multilingual have a privilege to be able to perceive reality in multidimensions, with the complete reality known only to God Almighty. So if we are true seekers of light and knowledge, we need to be propelled to see it from more and more dimensions by trying to see more color bands in the light spectrum, and drawing closer to God. So learning is a form of worshiping the All Knowing.
Every sane mind has an innate capacity to be divinely inspired to use observations and accumulated knowledge to come to a unique personal perspective which will only be a sub-spectrum at best because no one can know more than the All Knowing. By staying humble and learning we keep expanding that sub-spectrum and using it for good in ourselves, in our communities, in our environments, and in the world.Whereas, we have a biased personal morality to judge something as good or bad, it is very subjective, not only in terms of the languages we know but also because of many personal factors like our history (specially childhood experiences), our upbringing, the messaging from the societies we have been a part of, and the subjects/books/literature we have studied, our life/work experiences, etc.. No matter how much one knows, we cannot come close to what God knows, as we are limited in so many ways, language being one. Perhaps that is why intellectual/religious arrogance might be the worst because it stops learning.
We express what we perceive as “good” or “bad” based on our personal (biased) morality. So in order to come up with universal global ethics for defining how emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence can be made ethical, we need to keep trying to come closer to God, by expanding our perceived sub-spectrum of light (the infinite Reality known to God), to improve AI ethics. One way is to keep learning languages. We need to be a perpetual student of life, with the intention of worshiping (drawing close to) God to try to “see” from His Sight.
Obviously, this process never ends. In that, is our real striving and pleasure rather than enjoying wealth and the luxuries of life. They say that those that can delay gratification can achieve most. So what if we try to delay real gratification to the afterlife, and in the process experience real moments of its ecstasy in our lives.
In order to give machines human ethics, we need to approach Him who gave humans those ethics in the first place. Only in worshiping the One True God, in the manner taught to us in all aspects of our lives by His only messenger sent to the global humanity, can we hope to come closer to prescribing AI ethics which are closer to the ethics of the universal man.
Mysteries of Provision
A medical doctor from Pakistan in search for a dream job in USA may end up driving a cab in NYC. An illiterate Bangladeshi selling tea outside the Haram during the Haj (pilgrimage) season, may make up a small fortune -- enough to allow him to worship and do tawaaf (circumambulation) around the Kabaa everday for the rest of the year -- until the next year. An Engineering post doc researcher may be overqualified and out of work in times of recession, whereas a highschool drop out might be the richest man in the world. A used book seller in Pakistan might be living out his dreams engrossed in voraciously reading the books he gets hold of, while the amassed wealth of a "sucessful" bussinessman may be a curse as his relatives fight over the inheritance and become enemies for life.
I never imagined that Islamophobia would be instuitionalised in my beloved country. This was an eye-opening article that shows how deeply penetrated the intolerance for mainstream orthodox Islam exists in Canadian instituitions.
What are your thoughts on how we may improve ourselves to mitigate such bias and even blatant hate crimes against Muslim-led Canadian organizations?
#instituitionalisedBias #hatecrimes #Islamophobia #CanadianInsitutionalReform
WHAT?! ISLAMOPHOBIA in CANADA?
In this blog post I intend to explain why there has been no activity in Lucent Eloquence for sometime now, and the challenges I am personally facing.
It all started on 21 November, 2022 and continues till now, unfortunately. I have had excellent relations with by neighbour/landlord Samuel Adewuyi and his family, having known them since July this year.
So to cut the story short, after launching my non-profit social enterprise, Lucid Eloquence (www.lucid-eloquence.com) on 9 November, 2022, it seems someone broke into my house (or entered it without my awareness) on 20 November, 2022. When I woke up, I noticed several changes.
1. The wall clock was on floor with some damage, with some damage
2. My laptop screen was dysfunctional after visible physical damage from the top exterior
3. The fan which was near my bed and running at night was broken
4. There was spyware installed on my smartphone and laptop by which many people I know and do not know were able to see and interact with me while I do my work.
Later, when I tried to uninstall the spyware from my iPhone, it was degraded in functionality so I could just use email or the apps without the privileges of browsing anything. Also this failed attempt, led them to remotely shutdown my old laptop, so that I was not able to start it and use it. It is still dysfunctional. I had to purchase new devices, which they also hacked immediately. Later on, I also noticed that my phone charging adapter was smashed and made dysfunctional. I do not remember taking such actions myself.
and The treatment experience is a gross violation of the Alberta Human Rights legislation, in particular it is a clear violation based on discriminnation of 3 PROTECTED AREAS mentionned in the law, viz.
Unfortunately, I was harassed and intimidated through systematic but unsuccessful attempts to mentally (psychologically) break me down. This was unsuccessfully attempted in four principal tactics after a unlawful unpermitted entry into my accommodation unit the extra key of which is with my landlord:
1. My devices were hacked, monitored, controlled, and its online sessions were transmitted globally, breaching my right of privacy as a law abiding peace loving Canadian citizen.
2. My residence is being monitored somehow (I believe by hidden cameras/very sensitive audio devices that work 24/7 in a light or dark environment in every place in my residence, including the restroom (unfortunately). The live data from these is steamed globally (I strongly believe)
3. Digital noises are being projected into my residence which vary in tempo, volume, and type based on my activity. So for example, if I stand up to pray my 5+ daily Muslim prayers or recite my holy book, do something “undesirable'' on my devices or study my naturopathy books to improve my health, in the privacy of my residence, they change in volume, tempo, and type.
4. Similarly, the temperature of my residence is being controlled as it fluctuates in an extreme manner when I do something that might be “undesirable'' (I strongly believe), from very hot to very cold (mostly very cold). So as I write this statement it has turned to very cold, which is a little unpleasant in the middle of Calgary winters. This is also based on my actions as in point 3 above.
On November 9, 2022, I relaunched my company as a non-profit social enterprise, Lucid Eloquence www.lucid-eloquence.com. Soon after my residence was entered unlawfully (without my permission) while I was sleeping. Since then, all of the points 1-4 mentioned above were carried out and are ongoing.
I am an intellectual who God gave some ability to express my views so that I can convince a variety of audiences of their veracity as I communicate in a way that people can easily relate to. Some of the blog posts I had written for Lucid Eloquence www.lucid-eloquence.com/blog very systematically and rationality explained how Islamic natural principles can solve a lot of our global issues as well as being a good basis of personal development as opposed to the principles of other faiths, such as Christianity whose dogma makes it difficult to reconcile its teachings with rational/natural principles easily as it appeals more to emotions and feeling good rather than reason and natural principles like Islam, in my personal humble opinion. I expressed my perspective with good faith from the purity of my heart.
I agree that it might have hurt people’s feelings and I should have expressed my views in a better manner, being more sensitive. Nonetheless, I believe in everything I wrote. This might have caused a repercussion like that described previously, based on religious discrimination (Islamophobia). I apologize to all those hurt by my words, as my intention was not to do so. I am learning to improve everyday, according to Lucid Eloquence’s mission.
The motive might be to stop me from my social enterprise work, using the stigma of mental health that my extended family has attached to me falsely for 20 years. By unsuccessfully attempting to psychologically break me down through the 4 tactics mentioned in the previously, perhaps because they do not like my beliefs and practices as a Muslim. It seems to me that they wish to break me down to accept their faith, viz. Christianity, whose fundamental principles seem very irrational to me to accept as a personal faith. There might be a possibility that my extended family and the Calgary Police are cooperating with them or tolerating it, based on the events describe here to achieve this end. This is a conservative conjecture on my part at this point.
When I immigrated to Canada in 2013, I was motivated by the fact that Canada treats all humanity well, despite any differences, including that of faith. I believe this is still true in principle, but perhaps to improve as Canadians, we all need to practice our values to their full potential.
I am inclined to believe my neighbor/landlord, Samuel and his family, might be involved, as I hear them act in a panic and converse in loud conversations (which are recorded) when I try to achieve a breakout from this situation and what occurred when Samual visited me on 8 December, 2022 (as documented later in this blog). Also, I believe there are at least thousands of digital witnesses both in Canada and globally, as the live streams of my online activities and daily physical activities in the privacy of my own residence are illegally being transmitted 24/7 all over the world (I strongly believe this is the case from interaction with both acquaintances and strangers).
On 8 December, 2022, my neighbor/landlord paid me a visit to take the Christmas tree and Christmas gifts from the furnace room in my residence which he keeps locked. While taking his belongings, he casually invited me to spend Christmas with his family. I know his family well and used to visit them weekly, interacting with them always in a friendly neighborly manner, and playing with their kids. But as for celebrating Christmas (birth of a “god”), it is against my reason and Islamic beliefs to do so. So I explained this to him and politely declined, after which he turned off the furnace and locked the furnace room. Note at that time I was alone and not able to leave the residence as neither my devices nor car was not in working order (which is still the case). While he was exiting my rented residence, I complained to him about points 1-4 above to which he expressed complete lack of any knowledge of. It is interesting to note that he brought up point 3 by himself, without me mentioning anything about it, indicating to me that he already knew about it.
Anyway he clearly denied everything, and mentioned that if I have any issues the housing committee members can arbitrate and that undesirable people are not welcome in the community (my words – as I do not remember the exact words he used). I gave him a gift as a token of good neighborliness and he left. I then called AMA to jump start my car in the privacy of my residence, after which he immediately returned and said he forgot to turn the furnace on and that he usually turns the furnace off when he changes the furnace filter, but I distinctly remember that he never changed the filter on that occasion.
Among the actions related to the control of my devices, the list is extensive and includes such things as:
1. Forcibly shutting down devices and bringing them on when they wish.
2. Degrading functionality.
3. Transmitting my personally online sessions globally
4. Forcibly making me accept website cookies to new websites I visit, but placing a non removable dialog box covering most of the screen asking me to accept that website’s cookies so that I have no choice but to do so. Kindly note it is through website cookies that a lot of hacking is done.
5. Using my password from a website to change them so every time relogin it does not work, shutting me from many websites. When I request the passcode by choosing “forgot password” option to these sites, they are not accepted.
6. Forcing my navigation to other sites that I do not wish to go to.
7. Placing videos of Muslims converting to Christianity, as the first choice in my YouTube session.
8. Making the bottom banner (which usually states the company information) enlarged so that it covers most of the window so that I am blocked from doing anything in that session at that webpage.
9. Logging me out abruptly from sessions when they do not like what I do so that the next time I come, I have to start from scratch.
10. Deleting my profile from websites I work on repeatedly.
11. Deleting contact mechanism to Customer Support on the website I wish to report problems to.
12. Blocking me to apply for good jobs which are of my interest on LinkedIn. I have made a formal complaint of this specific issue to the Alberta Hate Crime Committee recently but have not heard from them yet. Perhaps it is too soon to, as this is the holiday season.
13. Removing specific functionality or options from websites that I wish to use, like the “Guest” option on Chrome and many such options on other websites.
14. Not letting me install new software on my laptop by redirecting me to a different dialog box when I try to do so.
15. Distract my workflow by bringing other options in front of my session which I am trying to focus on.
16. Blocking calls I wish to make on my smartphones.
There are many such actions of control that they practice, and every time they want to block a new functionality, I hear loud footsteps from upstairs, sometimes loud panic conversations, etc. This is recorded as evidence.
17. I got a VPN subscrtiption to hide my IP from hackers but the next day I found it disabled.
18. Emails are deleted from my email accounts as they know my passwords and my access is controlled based on where they wish to lead me.
Here is the timeline of events with the evidence:
I believe that most problems like these can be easily resolved if there is mutual willingness and good will. I love my neighbor and his family and always interact positively with them because my religion teaches this. I am a forgiving person and ready to forgive them and whoever is involved completely as Canadians and brothers in humanity, if they change themselves for the better as this episode has made me a better person too. I do not wish to prosecute anyone nor do I wish any compensation. Forgiveness is a principal teaching of Prophet Muhammad (SWAS) who is my role model.
At this point, for the first time since I started using credit cards in 1990, I have a balance which I did not paid off immediately. It is charging me interest which is not allowed in my religion. It is very painful to me and this is because I could not earn an income due to these circumstances. I have never taken bank interest even in my personal accounts since 1992. So I request authorities to request the financial institution to forgive this balance because I do not have income as all my energy and time is exerted to struggle against this situation. Also, I request leniency with respect to paying the rent for the few months of 2023 on time, as I plan on earning and covering all my expenses, God willing. I have never taken a loan, and neither do I intend to as most loans are interest bearing and not allowed based on my faith.
I just want a commitment for whoever is involved and all Canadians at large to renew their pledge for the Canadian values of tolerance, good neighborliness, fair play, diversity, etc. for which Canada is known throughout the world.
I want to personally hug all those who did this to me and forgive them from the bottom of my heart, if they pledge to uphold Canadian values.
I have been in touch with the Calgary Police for at least 5 times since the first unpermitted entry.
● On 26 November, 2022, after my smartphone was forcibly remotely turned off at a key juncture in my workflow when I was able to achieve a breakthrough, I contacted 911 (Calgary Police) for the first time after the unlawful entry. Two contables came and I explained my issue to them. The conversation was video recorded and available at the Calgary Police Department. I was under the impression that my extended family were involved at that time because my mother had contacted me to stop trying to remove the spyware, when I initially tried to do so. The constables suggested that I take out a restraining order against my extended family but I did not want to do that so I made a formal online cyber security complaint on an Alberta government website.
● On the night of 11 December, 2022, when the harassment became excessive, I called 911, and talked to a lady who was very cooperative and understanding and told me that the police will visit shortly and if they do not, I should call 911 back. So till dawn when the police did not arrive, I contacted them to be told that they are busy in other areas and the person did not know when they would visit me. This was very surprising to me, because I have called the police at least a dozen times in 2022 (due to marital issues with my ex-wife when we were living at 76 Panatella Drive NW, Calgary). Each time they never delayed in coming, and never took so long. So after dawn prayers I went to sleep as I had not slept the whole night. Apparently a police representative appeared at my residence at 8 AM but I was not able to talk to them because I was asleep. I was informed of this visit by the police in a later conversation.
● On 12 December, 2022, my ex-wife called the police to arrest me on the Mental Health Act for “not taking my medicines”, which was a false excuse. I have not lived with my ex-wife since August 2022, when I divorced her and have stopped communication since she was continuously trying to “control”/”manipulate” me, including in this episode. It seems that she is monitoring me daily from audio/video feeds of the devices in my residence. This is confirmed by her phone call when I was chatting online with some woman for marriage and she and my elder son sensed a danger and tried to communicate with me through a phone call and text message respectively. We are not in touch otherwise.
She requested the Calgary Police to arrest me, as I was informed by Calgary Police and Rockyview hospital staff. Constable Choi took me to Rockyview Hospital, Calgary at night. They did all sorts of physical/mental tests (which were negative) as well as keen behavioral observation overnight. In the morning they discharged me, not considering necessary admitting me. Kindly note that this is the second arrest that my ex-wife arranged for me on the same false grounds. On the first occasion, they gave me an option to leave on the first day but I wanted to know exactly what is wrong with me because my extended family and my wife have been giving me psychotropic medicines for 20 years. After all physical/mental tests (which were negative) and observation for 3 weeks they privately advised me to divorce my wife and live away from them as they have been abusing me. So that is what I did and I moved in at 77 Harvest Grove Common NE residence in August 2022, living peacefully by myself there since, not disturbing any community member.
● On 24 December, 2022, while working on my replaced laptop, as the first one was remotely disabled, I witnessed the second too remotely disabled. Hence grudgingly I called 911. Constable Blazier (spelling might be incorrect) (Reg# 5939) and Constable Robertson (Reg# 4737) visited and our conversation is recorded in video (File# CA 22524574). They eventually believed me, while at first they were pursuing the line of investigation based on mental health which my ex-wife and perhaps Islamophobia perpetrators are pushing with Calgary Police. I believe this is why the police did not turn up in bullet point 2 in this section. Even though they understood/believed, they were reluctant to carry out an investigation. They left many resources to contact in case of emergency. On Boxing Day, I emailed complete handwritten reports (as my laptop was forcibly shut off at that time) on Islamophobia & marital issues, explaining them in detail. I seek a peaceful understanding with everyone, God willing.
● On 29 December, 2022, after I sent my report with dates, evnt timelines, and a list of evidence as a complaint to the Albert Human RIghts Commision. the harrassment reached a fever pitch, so I contacted the non-emergency line of the police again. After providing them the fie#, I was advised to contact Constable Blazier (spelling might be incorrect) (Reg# 5939) by email as he is incharege of closing the case, so wrote to him the situation and attached the report ot the Alberta Human Rights Commision, as well as detailed handwritted reports (because my laptop was again shutdown remotely forcibily at that time). All these there items were also emailed to Constable Robertson on 26 December, 2022, but I did not even get an acknowledgement from me even though I sent him a follow up email to request to acknowledge the receipt of the reports. I found it very stange that Constable Robertson seemed more experienced/mature/understanding of my perspective of the two (at least to me) and he had requested me to write the reports amd given me his email and Constable Blazer did not but when I contacted Constable Robertson with very detailed reports explaing my situation I did not get any acknowledgement despite the fact that I specifically asked for it in a follow up email, but now Constable Blazier is made in charge of closing the case, and I was supposed to send him the reports even through he did not share his email address on 24 December 2022 when they visited me but Constable Robertson did who is now out of the picture.
PS: I just want to state that I am a well educated professional tax paying citizen who has worked in top organizations in the world, including in Canada, but unfortunately the stigma of mental disability has been falsely attached to me through which many people try to control and abuse me. My professional profile is available here: linkedIn.com/in/oakgis
Are We Cyborgs?
As the développent of digitalisation gathers pace over the last 20 years, it seems preeminent that emerging technologies of our era might replace all the skills and analytical abilities we developed since the Industrial Revolution in Europe in the !7th-18th century. We are at the cusp of a new revolution in our global societies in which technologies such as AI, ML, IoT, Big Data, OLAP, Data Mining, Data Analytics, Data Warehousing, Digital Twins, etc, will collectively succeed in replacing the fruits of analytical and cognitive skills that we dorked diligently to develop since the Industrial Revolution.
With such a change almost certain and eminent, what are we, as global humanity have prepared to face such challenges? Will machines control us in an Orwellian world? Or will be become Human-Machine hybrid cyborgs? These are interesting questions which lead us to consider the essential question, “What fundamentally differentiates us from the products of these technologies are our own creation?” If they can do anything that we can do, what is the essential meaning of being a HUMAN?
We are entering an interesting era, in which in order for humanity to survive and even thrive, we have to return to our basic human nature which was lost through the same Industrial Revolution which made us machine-like. We as humans, are not created to write the perfect code, or to design the best building bluprint, or even diagnose a patient perfectly. Yes, these skills and abilities are vital, but soon they may be carried out better and more efficiently by machines. What will our niche be as controllers of these machines?
Personally, I am convinced that our niche wil be that what the machines cannot do and perhaps will never be able to do. I ask you sincerely, can a machine really be "spiritual", in the sense that it is regularly inspired by the Divine throughout the day with creative ephipanies? When we begin to consider such questions, we can come to those areas which will be our niche in the future, God willing. These are the most important things that makes mankind, human. To search for such answers, we need to leap from the physical enviromennt of our senses to the metaphysical environment of our inspiration. This can only be done if a "belief" system is natural and rational, as marrying science and technolgy with feelings and emotions that do not make any sense will get us nowhere in terms of trying to answer such critical questions.
At this junction of global human development, we are forced by advances in emerging technolgies as well as many pressing challenges to seriously recondier the traditonal role of "religion" since the era of Enligntenment in Europe in which great philospohers degraded the role of tradition religion that was illogical, retarded though, and not aligned with scientific advanement. We are forced to reconsider true religion as not the illogical "feel good thing", but the natural and rational way of living which science and technolgy has always been aligned with because just like science functions on natural principle, so do human societies that live a natrual lifestyle. This was amply proven as well as scientific advancement during the "Dark Ages of Euroope" i.e. the Golden Age of Islam based on a rational and natural religion, gave birth to modern science.
So the way to survive now is to "evole" to the natural state that was always meant for us, by always improving ourselves daily based on natural human principles. Part of that improvement is spiritual improvement in which we work diliegently on our heart and discard negative thoughts, and behaviour. We have no choice but to strive to be the best version that we were made to be. And in this endeavour we realize the pinnacle of what it means to be truly human in every sense of the word. It will be our good manners, how emotionally intelligent we become, how pure our thoughts are, how close we are to the Divine, how we sinccerely we live our lives, what positive legacy we want to leave that will make us survie and even thrive in the new era we now enter.
The same "solution" is the real key to most of our very pressig global challenges, including global disparity, crime, delinquincy, intolerance, mental illnesss, sustainabilty, environmental protection, human development, ethical ecconmoic models, good governance, responsible scientific advancement, etc.
Are we interested?
Are we ready?
PS: Courtesy for the inspiration for this blog post is from a TED Talk by Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner, President of the German Environment Agency (UBA), is a renowned expert in the fields of globalization, sustainability, decarbonization and digitalization. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpFgNZSwm-A)
The Concept of Happiness in Islam
IMAX movies, cable TV, 24-hours news channels, music, amusement parks, spectator sports, computer games, shopping sprees, vacation trips, dating, all night parties, and recreational drugs. The list of entertainment options these days are endless it seems. Our non-working, waking hours are consumed by such activities.
It seems that we are craving for an elusive inner pleasure which these activities provide only temporarily. The repeated cravings for them become deeper and deeper until they often results in additions, compulsive disorders, living beyond one's means and crime. No wonder the rich among us are busy amusing themselves to death while the poor are envious of their glittery lifestyles and resort to any means to follow them.
Living a life devoted to Allah (God) not only fulfills the obligation we have as believers, but doing so gives us the sweetness of faith, which satisfies the inner cravings of the soul. So that we may not have the need of endless entertainment and many such activities may even become repulsive to us. A person who experiences this satisfaction is a true ascetic (zahid). His life is blessed and he can feel true happiness without the need for cheap thrills.
Algazel (Al Ghazzali) gives the analogy of a riding animal when describing the body. He says that the soul is the rider, riding on the riding animal (his body) heading for a final destination (The Hereafter). According to him, a person should take care of the body, its needs and pleasures, just as much is needed for its purpose of taking the rider to the destination safely.
The Life of the Prophet (SWAS) is punctuated with moments when he (SWAS) and his Companions (RA) amused themselves. This sort of permissible fun is necessary for the physical senses so that we can relax and become capable of taking greater burdens of responsibility during the journey of life.
It is also beneficial in keeping cordial relations and attracting people to the Truth. The Prophet (SWAS), his companions and his family watched the performance of Abyssinian entertainers inside the mosque. The Prophet (SWAS) used to make jokes (not based on false statements). He used to have light moments with his family members, running races with his wife. He used to interact with children, inquiring about their games.
Yet despite all this, he did not have the urge to keep himself amused like we do nowadays. Regarding his personal pleasures, he is reported to have said: “Made beloved to me from your world are women and perfume, and the coolness of my eyes is in prayer.” (Ahmad and An-Nasa ‘i)
Thus, a person who understands the meaning of life and has the capability of unraveling spiritual mysteries, will have an inner eye to see dimensions of reality which are not apparently visible. Their soul will long for increasing this insight. They will find inner pleasure in pursuing a path of discovery.
They will enjoy the process of piecing together a large jigsaw puzzle of the most beautiful landscape. As they near completion their excitement and anticipation grows. Until they finally put the last piece. For a believer the last pieces will be put together in Paradise when they will have the Ultimate Pleasure from seeing the “Face” of Allah (God).
It is that pleasure which we can all try to strive for and only in its pursuance will we find burst of real joy in our mundane earthly lives. Don’t we enjoy the feeling when we give charity, read a good book, recite Quran, understand a difficult concept, see Allah (God)‘s wisdom in your life, travel, experience and contemplate on Creation, act justly, fulfill obligations, and fall in prostration?
All these actions in our worldly lives are acts of worship and obedience to Allah (God) that make us naturally happy and satisfied intrinsically. They are a foretaste of the Ultimate Pleasure awaiting us in the Hereafter. As we grow in obedience we develop insights about the reality we are part of, we create a perpetual cycle of obedience and satisfaction.
By doing such acts regularly and systematically as the Prophet (SWAS) did, we can hope to find the most optimum pattern for happiness which can be achieved. Doing so entails implementing the Prophetic best practice in our lives. A life patterned on such pleasures will have no desire for other forms of entertainment. It will free us from sins, wasting resources, destroying our souls, selfishness, adopting bad habits, setting bad examples for others, degrading oneself, living a life of borrowed living, addictions, and compulsive disorders. It will heal the wounds of material disparity in our societies.
Realize, my friends, that the human soul has been created for its destiny to experience the Ultimate Pleasures of Paradise. It is in our nature to try and fulfill this desire somehow. Most people try to fulfill it by ephemeral means which leave them thirsty with a never quenching thirst for more. These means are harmful for our bodies, souls and societies.
The real means of achieving happiness is to prepare for the ultimate happiness of the Hereafter. In living a life devoted to Allah (God) in the systematic way we learn from our Prophet (SWAS) we will find deep pleasures which come with understanding reality of our journeys.
This understanding and pleasure is elusive to those who fail to submit themselves. A person who is hooked on to these pleasures will be satisfied from the simple blessings of this life and has no perpetual need for any abominable amusements.
Whether we happen to be a Jew, Hindu, Christian, or Muslim a very common strong belief that is universal among us is “Love Thy Neighbour”. It signifies that there was one common primordial natural way of life for humanity and principles such as these are its remnants found in all major religions today.
In Judaism, the Torah commands, “Love your neighbor as yourself – I am God.” (Leviticus 19:18). The Hindu writings instruct, “This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you.” (Mahabharata 5,1517). Christian scripture speaks often about love of neighbor. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12, 30-31)
Muslims learn from the Qur’an, “Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet)…(Qur’an 4:36).
In today’s global village connected through the internet, perhaps every human is a “neighbour” to the other. Applying this maxim, our humanity compels us to love the person with a skin colour that may be different from ours; the person whose political beliefs may not agree with ours; the homeless person sleeping on the sidewalk; the newcomer who migrated having hope in the basic “goodness” in all humanity; the thousands around the world suffering from the effects of war and famine. By loving others, we desire what is best for them and allow them to flourish.
Typically, when we search for a place to call home, we look at the intrinsic qualities of the property and the amenities that come with it. So if we find a nice place with parking, swimming pool and gym one often considers this sufficient. To a believer, this is not so. There is an Arabic proverb - Al Jaar Qabl Ad Daar- which literally means “the neighbor before the home” — meaning that we should consider the character of the neighbor before the suitability of the actual home.
We can try to ensure that the financial transaction that we make to have access to our new residence is legally earned and wholesome. Before we start living in the newplace we can remove Satanic influences from it by reciting specific sections from the Scriptures. While it is also from the tradition to have a house warming feast.
In humanity, the rights of our neighbors are many upon us, regardless how different they appear from us. According to natural living:
1. We must help them if they ask for our help
2. Give him relief if they seek out relief
3. Lend him if they need a
4. Do not block their air by raising our building high without their permission
5. Do not harass them
6. Visit (and take care of) them when they are ill
7. We attend their funeral when they die
8. If they commit a sin, we prevent it from being known
9. We congratulate them if they are met with good fortune
10. We grieve in sympathy if a calamity befalls them
The actual place is important. It should have plenty of sunshine and satisfy various other criteria, but the choice of neighbors should be the foremost in our choice of residence.
Al Jaar Qabl Ad Daar!
For a long time, it was believed that personalities cannot change, especially after a certain age. There is certainly an element of truth in this. In early Islam, we see that even though the lives of the first generation changed completely after the concept of relying only on Allah (God) became grafted into their being, their essential characteristics stayed the same, which they used to bring about good after their transformation. Although a lot of youth converted early on, perhaps the first convert was an old man, Waraqa Ibn Naufal, the Christian uncle of the Prophet’s (SWAS) wife who was a scholar.
In fact, the transformations that took place in the personalities of the Companions (RA) of the Prophet (SWAS), have no precedence in history, for perhaps there can be since that time. That transformation of a whole generation was a turning point for human civilization (without any exaggeration). So what was so special about that period that transformed whole societies into the best version of themselves? What made them passionate about personal reform, that they became ready to work on themselves with full dedication, no matter what the consequences?
The simple answer to these questions is the effect of the statement which they pronounced to enter Islam, i.e. the kalimah, that they will not worship anything/anyone except Allah (God) and take Muhammad (SWAS) as their role model. The key to personality transformation is not to rely on people. Yes, we respect people, and actively listen to everyone, but we rely on only Allah (God) to choose what we implement in our lives or not. When a person becomes completely dependent on Allah (God) and independent of people, they will do everything to change their flaws, since their final status in this world is irrelevant to them anymore. Of course, those around them seldom tell them that. Rather, many may offer help in areas, even when the person might manage perfectly fine.
So one of the key characteristics of transforming personality is learning to be assertive about what we want based on the program of development we set for ourselves and when we communicate with others we can set boundaries in terms of what they do and they are bound to respect them. Even if the most knowledgeable person in the world advises us, we need to listen very carefully and think about it well, but ultimately, we decide what is right for our personal development after taking divine counsel. After Allah (God), we know ourselves and our situation the best, and though people do give good advice and we should pick up our faults from them but we should realize that everyone but Allah has their self-interest at the back of their mind.
So deeply knowing and relating to the names and attributes of Allah (God), makes us reliant on Him completely, rather than being impressed by a lesser version of those attributes in Allah’s creation. Only when we are able to do this can we learn to fly with our personal development. Without this, one “advisor” might advise us something and another might advise us the opposite, so without having Allah (God) as a bedrock to rely on and the touchstone to decide on, we can never develop. We should never let anyone “control” us as they might judge us based on what we wrote 10 years ago.
Although there are more than 100 names and attributes of Allah (God) mentioned in the Quran, some of which the scholars disagree about, we need to think deeply about how they relate to our situation and try to internalize them, so that our dependence on Allah (God) becomes complete in each of the aspects of His Being. When we let many people interfere in our privacy and we become stressed out because we chose to give people our peace of mind, we should realize that Allah (God) is AsSalaam (the Source of Peace). We should not try to seek peace with people instead no matter what they seem to promise us. When we start expecting things from people instead of Al Kareem (the Most Generous), then we risk not being enriched by Him. When we start obeying people blindly instead of Al Malik, then they end up controlling us. When we rely on people to raise our faith that Al Mu’min (the Protector of Faith), then we risk losing it altogether. When we expect praise and honor from our parents and society instead of Al Mu’izz (the Giver of Honor), then we are disgraced…
In the privacy of one’s home, sometimes we want to revise something in depth that is taught in grade 3. Perhaps, in our moment of weakness, we need to. I think we should be able to do that, without global repercussions by those diagnosing us based on the information they project from 10+ years ago.
It is not difficult to relate to all the names and attributes, especially if someone is undergoing transformation. All that is needed is to spend some time to see which of these we need most in terms of priority to brush up on. If we leave our reform in the hands of others, we can never develop. Yes, we learn much from our teachers, spouses, courses, etc. but unless we proactively set boundaries and control our personal development, we will only slide.
When our relationship with Allah (God) is strong, we are not dependent on his creation, so the best way to develop is not to depend on anybody. If we depend on people they would make us what they want us to be, not what we want to be.
RESPECTING HEALTHY BOUNDARY
I would like to use this opportunity to assert to everyone who is encroaching on my privacy, to stop doing so, as this is not an ethical boundary for interacting with anyone. Although I appreciate feedback and implement much, there is a possibility that my neutral action/inaction might be judged negatively just because people who chose to observe me illegally in my residence can never understand the full context, just like Khidr and Musa’s (Moses) (AS) story in Surah Al Kahf of the Quran. If we care too much about people’s perceptions of us, we cannot achieve anything as they diminish our strengths and exaggerate our weaknesses. It has a negative effect on my actions in terms of sincerity and I am not able to do what I want to.
So do remove the spyware from all my devices.
Eloquence... The Power of Words
Even before the advent of Islam, one of the few things that the Arabs were known for was their eloquence. The isolation in the desert ensured that it stayed unadulterated from other linguistic influences which was not always possible in the towns and cities. It was considered part of a child's education that he grew up in the countryside with the beduins absorbing the inflections and nuances of the tongue at an early age.
It is the Sunnah (natural way of doing things) of God that He challenges a people in a an area of specialization which they consider themselves masters of. Hence, He showed the people of Moses (AS) miracles in magic as they were famous for magic. He showed the people of Jesus (AS) miracles in medicine as they excelled in medicine of their time. And He challenged the Arabs through eloquence, viz the eloquence of the Quran by asking them to produce even a few comparable verses. So many Companions of the Prophet (RA) accepted the new way of natural living just by listening to the richness of God's speech, testifying that it cannot be man-made.
It is interesting to note that God chose language as His everlasting miracle to invite mankind to the natural way of life, as words affect the heart like nothing else. From the ears, the message can reach the heart directly. In an experiment conducted on terminally ill patients, Quranic recitation was played regularly for a period of time on the sound system in a hospital ward resulting in observable improvements in the conditions of the patients' well being.
The science of Quranic recitation, enables students to recite the Quran the same way it was revealed through Archangel Gabriel (AS). It is important to clarify that originally the word "Quran" meant the actual recitation (speech) and not the holy book that many take it to be nowadays. By reciting the Quran with proper recitation i.e. falling back on the original pattern of recitation, a believer can experience special feelings of spiritual high that go hand in hand with the words they articulate. This feeling can penetrate the heart of the reciter and the listener (to a somewhat lesser extent), causing truth and wisdom to become part of their inner being. It is one of the ways of increasing one's faith (spiritual wellbeing).
By knowing a thousand or so words one can understand the majority of Quranic vocabulary as the same words are constantly repeated. It is easier for some non-Arabs whose native languages have historically been impacted by Arabic, e.g. Farsi, Turkish, Kurdish, Pushtu, Urdu, Bengali, Bahasa, Somali, Berber, Swahili, Hausa, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Maltese, etc. and thus share a lot of common words.
Arabic grammar is one of the most logical of language grammars. Learning it is like learning a computer programming language. Once we learn the patterns of the verbs in past, present and imperative form in both active and passive cases, we can recognize new verbs in context, together with their pronouns. All words in Arabic are based on root letters (often 3 letters per word). There are different patterns which use the same root letters to derive multiple words from. Once we know the root letters and the pattern we can conclude the meaning of the word.
Imagine reciting God's own speech in the way they were revealed while understanding what they mean. With a little effort this is an achievable goal for anyone. God has made sure that the language of the Quran is superlative in its eloquence, effect, and ease of learning, because He wants to guide all of us to achieve the highest purpose for which we were created.
Let's change ourselves, to change the world!
What is the Natural Way of Life?
Islam is an Arabic word which literally means submission of one’s free will to the Will of God. It is known as Ad Deeenul Fitra (the natural way of life). Islam is to man what Maxwell’s equations are for electromagnetism, or what Kepler’s laws are for planetary motion. It is the natural law of mankind. By worshiping the One God, we are divinely inspired to make correct decisions through inspiration from Him, while acting according to divinely prescribed behavior taught by messengers and prophets sent by God, the last of whom was Prophet Muhammad (SWAS) who was sent to teach the final version of ideal behavior to all of humanity.
When we live a clean life inside and out and follow the natural way in the pure thought patterns in our intentions, and our actions and we are not impressed by anyone or anything other than the One God, rather we are awed by His Majesty and Power in controlling the entire universe and us, we have no recourse by to fall in prostration contemplating on His Might. Once we realize that there is no other person, thing, concept, or entity to rely on than Him, we start worshiping Him alone. He guides us without seeking anyone’s help through instinct, and epiphanies, by making all positive forces in the universe favor what we aspire to do because we are doing it in pure sincerity for His pleasure alone, to help bring humanity from darkness to light.
The only creature (except for genies) who have free will, will lovingly and willingly use that free will to either live unnaturally or naturally, make the choice of natural living, removing oppression from their own souls, their communities, their environment, and the planet. It does not matter if we develop the best technologies in the world to address our looming problems, including carbonization, unless we fix ourselves first, despite the amount of capital we throw at them, we will not be able to solve them satisfactorily.
Each of the world’s major religious traditions were from the same natural way of life that was taught through divine scriptures like the scrolls through Abraham, psalms through David, Torah through Moses, Gospel through Jesus, Quran through Muhammed, and other scriptures that might not be mentioned in our sources that may have been sent to the global population living outside the Middle East.
All religions help in spirituality, but there is the aspect of being inspired by One Source which is strictly not there anymore due to historical distortions that aggregated over the years. Today, perhaps only Judaism and Islam are truly monotheistic. Unfortunately, the fact that the Children of Israel were favored by God historically for guidance through the sending of so many prophets (some of whom were Jacob, Joseph, David, Solomon, Zakariah, John the Baptist, and Jesus) we find that Judaism today has become an exclusive religion. By its own definition, it is not for the rest of humanity.
In contrast, Islam is the same religion prescribed for Adam when he descended on the earth from Paradise, Noah when he preached to his nation, Jacob who taught it to his children, Joseph through which he could solve the greatest problem in Egypt, David through which he could establish it in Canaan, Solomon through which he could rule by God’s law over vast areas subjugating natural forces, Jesus through which he could heal the leper, restore sight to the blind, and bring back the dead to life by God’s permission, and Muhammad (SWAS) through which (without any exaggeration) he became the best of creation. (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_100:_A_Ranking_of_the_Most_Influential_Persons_in_History)
The Quran mentions about 25 messengers and prophets by name (mostly Biblical and ancient Arabian) but in some accounts of Prophet Muhammed (SWAS) there can be about a total of 124,000 who might have been sent to all pockets of civilization, e.g. African, Native American, Aboriginal, Chinese, European, Indian, and Oceanian. Thus the natural way of life was prescribed to each ancient civilization through their human role models who were to emulate (but not to take as their god), and perhaps a scripture so that everyone could willingly live in peace with themselves, their communities, their environments, and their planet. We still find remnants of natural living in the very tiny pockets of aboriginal people living integrated with nature, isolated from modernity.
Although the natural way of life has been the same throughout humanity, if humanity chose it for themselves, i.e. worship only the One God, while following behavior exemplified by the prophets and messengers, Nevertheless, the natural law has changed from time to time and community to community throughout history, until the final natural law was prescribed to all of humanity through Prophet Muhammed (SWAS).
Today, Islam is the only divine religion whose sources are still authentic and intact. In fact, it was the corruption in the sources of past religious traditions to justify new dogmas introduced by the custodians of those religious traditions that caused them to deviate from natural living. Islamic principles are based on mainly two divine sources. The first is the Quran which is the actual speech of God. The original was not in a written form but it was actual words, a recitation that was memorized and later compiled in book form. The second is what Prophet Muhammed (SWAS) taught in terms of his behavior and words. This information is extensively recorded, verified, and carefully graded so that it is very obvious what is authentic and what is not.
The third source of Islamic law is consensus (ijmaa) of Islamic scholars, in which issues that do not have clear solutions in the Quran and Prophetic practice and are resolved through the consensus of scholars. The fourth source of Islamic law is analogous reasoning (qiyaas) in which conclusions on an issue are derived by studying and applying the same methodology of resolving a similar issue in Islamic law.
Some of the guidelines used to make Islamic laws include what is good in terms of public interest in a matter, the opinion of the Qadhi (Islamic judge), the practices of early Muslim generations, as well as the local customs of where the law is being applied. A combination of all these together makes a law that is very dynamic and constantly growing to fulfill needs completely.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.