Monthly Archives: September 2012

My Transition from Boy to Man:

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I was once a Boy:

I used to be a boy.
My life was a toy.

I would take things lightly, and shun responsibility, but that was clearly in the past.
Pursuing the fleeting and worthless pleasures, you think you want, really never last.

I used to think of myself as the “ladies’-man”; I arrogantly thought that I had the world in my hand.
We are crucially warned in the Qur’an, to not be like those people who tread pridefully in the land.

But, Allah taught me that once you depart from Him, He’ll make you lose yourself thereafter.
It took a lot of pain & loss to come to realize that when things get tough, people will scatter.

Everyone who cracks a smile isn’t a friend; if a woman lets you have her, it doesn’t mean she loves you.
There’s much more to people than just a nice body, a pretty face; eventually they show their colors true.

He allowed heart-breaks & head-aches to invade my personal-space, to teach me that I was all-wrong.
However, learning the reality of the deception of others has not weaken me; rather, it’s made me strong.

This boy whom people once knew, this quiet, simple, naive young boy has long died.
My foolish mistakes and your trials & tricks have killed & buried him, his body cold.

I’m now a Man:

Today, I am now a Man.
I have a brand-new plan.

No longer will I submit to the whims of others, be deceived by the infatuation of false-lovers.
Things look really good wrapped-up; but, the ugliness is revealed once you are undercovers.

People love to tag you along & play the game, to do to you what others have done to them.
They treat you like you’re an enemy to them, it’s like “survival of the fittest”, “sink or swim”.

I will not allow myself to ever love someone who neither cares nor loves me back.
I must return to Allah through obeying Him and put myself back on the right track.

I’ve matured, and realized that not everyone is nice.
If you let them, they’ll use you, as their own device.

Some may call me cynical; but, I think of life literal; reality often hits you hard.
People have ill-will and you have to be on your toes; you always stand guard.

This is a part of “growing-pains”; but, I hope to be done with injury.
With Allah as my Lord & my wits intact, I’m sure to achieve victory.

Gareth Bryant/2012

Some Brief Islamic-History (Islam’s female version of the “Dream-Team”):

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Author’s note:

I’ve written this exclusively to address the fallacies of people whom are Islamophobic, who state that Islam has no respect for women, and that it’s even religiously-sanctioned in Islam to mistreat women, all of which are complete not at all true.  However, ironically, unfortunately, sadly, there are Muslims out there who attempt to justify the abuse of women via the religion of Islam. What my writing is merely meant to do is to highlight just some of so many known female figures in Islam, whom Allah has honored to such a magnified degree.

1. Eve-
The mother of the Human race, Eve (also known as Hawwa’ [Peace be upon her]) is the pinnacle of womanhood. The first to mother a child-She was the first to nurturer & educate people. She was the first woman to cover herself, commanding respect, honor, pride, and dignity, by not revealing her body to others, setting an ever important precedent & example for any & all of her female descendants to come after her.

2. Hager-
Known as Hajar in Arabic, Hager (Peace be upon her) was the wife & mother of Prophets, Abraham, her husband & Ishmael, her son (Peace be upon both of them). She taught us all how to deal with the separation of family, during hard times. She taught us that a woman can raise a man, in the absence of a father. She taught us the resilience, drive, ambition, and iron-will that is required for survival. She taught us gratitude, in the absence of security & hope.

3. Mary-
The mother of Jesus (Peace be upon him), Mary, known as Maryam in Arabic (Peace be upon her) was an outcast of the Children of Israel, because she had a child, but no father for him. Because of this, she was scrutinized, ridiculed, and slandered. But, through all of this, she was still an honorable woman & a mother like no other, whom in the face of adversity, raised a man, whom Allah is well-pleased with, who became a Prophet, Messenger, the Christ, and will return to this Earth, as the one who will rid the world of the corruption of the Anti-Christ. Through Allah’s guidance & direction, Mary gave her son his foundation, to commit himself to the service of his creator.

4. Khadijah-
The first wife of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), our mother Khadijah (May Allah be pleased with her) was the first from among his nation to believe in his Prophethood & the first to accept the teachings of Islam, even when he doubted the legitimacy of his own calling. She gave him the encouragement that he needed to endure through those early years in Makkah, when he really didn’t know whether he was suitable for this mission, and when the Muslims were mocked & persecuted, just for their belief in the existence & oneness of Allah. There was never anyone before or after her whom the Prophet could’ve individually count on for moral support in the fashion that was provided to him by Khadijah.

5. `A’ishah-
The wife of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) & the daughter of his most trusted friend, Abu-Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him), our mother `A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) set the standard for leadership & scholarship among women. She set an unprecedented & unchallenged authority of narrating the most Prophetic-Statements about Muhammad (Peace be upon him), about his military campaigns, his home/family life, his character, his business practices, his humor. All of the narrations about Muhammad, through her, gave us humanized aspects of his life, that we may have never known without her exposing them to us, through teaching them to countless persons, many of whom were men. After all, she came from a society where women were not Humanly valued as they should be. But, through the guidance of Islam, she was able to establish herself as a religious, social, and political authority that no one would dare violate the sanctity of.

Gareth Bryant/2012

The Reality of this Mundane-Life:

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Close your eyes and let your imagination take you away:

You’re walkin’ down a very narrow hallway. You can only move in two directions, either backwards or forwards. There’s a fire behind you that’s catching up to you, by the second. In front of you is the way outside, where you can escape this fire. However, the problem is that there’s a bunch of banana-peels on the floor & the floor is wet. Now, it’s obvious that once you start walkin’, you’re gonna bust ya keister & hit the floor.

Now, open your eyes:

So, what will ya do: Will ya just quit & let this fire consume ya, or will ya keep goin’, not stoppin’ until whatever happens happens? This is the question that we all must ask ourselves, because this is from real-life. This material existence, this earthly life, is just like a narrow hallway: Each of our hallways are at different lengths, indicating our different respective lifespans. The wet floor represents our inclination towards sins & errors, while the banana-peels represent the sins themselves.

It’s not about how many times one falls, it’s about how many times one gets back up. Regardless of how many times we fall in the hallway of life, as a result of the trials of wet floors & banana-peels of sin, we are obligated to seek repentance to Allah, that He may forgive & disregard our sins, and just keep going, walking forwards & not backwards. And, in turn, we may be able to receive Allah’s protection from this fire in the hallway, which represents the fire of Hell & be allowed to get to the end of the hallway, which represents entry into the splendor of Paradise.

Gareth Bryant/2012

Some Brief Islamic-History (The Rightly-Guided Khalifahs):

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These new posts of mine, which will be posted periodically, which will be labeled “Some Brief Islamic-History” will be, what I hope to be, many educational articles about the history of Islam. And, by history of Islam, I really mean from the time from Adam, to the present-day, because, based upon Islamic-Texts, Islam didn’t begin with Muhammad (Peace be upon him)-Muhammad wasn’t the first Muslim, so in light of that fact, it is a must that I write about other persons, whom were Muslims before his time, whom have made a true difference for Muslims of today. My first post will be about the first set of Islamic-Rulers, who came to power, after the death of Muhammad (Peace be upon him).

Author’s note:
All of what is mentioned in this post is exclusively based upon the classic work, “al-Khulafa’-ur-Rashidun”, by the great Muslim scholar & historian, Jalal-ad-Din as-Suyuti-The era of time, in which great Muslim leaders rose to preside over the geo-political/military affairs of the Muslims, after the death of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) are more relevant because of the era that they came from (the Rashidi-Khilafah era), as opposed to whom they were as individuals. And, their administrations are so intertwined with one another’s, that they have actually fed off of one another, in very important ways, religiously, bureaucratically, socially, politically, and militarily. However, since we don’t have the time to go into that much detail, I’ll just simply highlight what I personally deem as the most significant aspects of their tenures, as heads of the Islamic-State, relative to their years of service.

Let’s start with the term, al-Khulafa’-ur-Rashidin:
The word “Khulafa’” is a plural of “Khalifah”, meaning a successor, inheritor, caretaker, custodian, etc., from the verb, “Khalafa”, meaning to succeed, inherit. And, the word Rashidun is from Rashid, meaning one who guides, from the verb “Rashada”, meaning to guide, direct. The actual concept of Khilafah, a caretaker, custodian, etc., actually begins with the Jinn, before the creation of the Human being. Initially, the Jinn were given the honor of the post of the Khilafah. However, they had begun to oppress & kill one another on Earth. So, Allah had decided to take the Khilafah from them, and banished them from normal life on Earth & subjected them to dwell in desolate forests, deserts, and any all other places in which it would be very difficult for Humans to live normally. Upon that, then, Allah created Adam & Eve (peace be upon them) & placed upon them, as well as their descendants, us, the post of Khilafah.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.2, V.30; Qasas-ul-Anbiya’[Stories of the Prophets], ibn-Kathir)

The Rashidi-Period:
By far, the most distinct, most relevant & most important of all the Khilafah periods, because the Muslim rulers of this era set governmental precedents, which other Khilafah eras had adopted until the end of the Khilafah, after World War I. These individuals in this Khilafah period are also the most unique of any generation of Khulafa’, by virtue of the fact that all of the Muslim rulers of the Rashidi period were Companions of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), and, either knew one another, or knew of one another, personally.

Now, let’s start off with the Khulafa’ from this period:

1. `Abdullah ibn-`Uthman ibn-`Amir (AKA Abu-Bakr, as-Siddiq, as-Sabbaq):
-Initiated Hurub-ar-Riddah (the Wars of Apostacy), a direct result of False-Prophets leading people astray, various communities & Arab tribes refusing to pay Zakah & refusing to pledge allegiance to the Islamic-State, after the death of Muhammad (Peace be upon him).

-Established the basic bureaucratic elements of the Khilafah, which piggy-backed largely off of the Islamic-State which Muhammad (Peace be upon him) had established in al-Madinah, then, in the Hijaz & the rest of the Arabian-Peninsula, after the “Conquest of Makkah”.

-Established the Islamic-State as a significant force in the Mediterranean region.

2. `Umar ibn-ul-Khattab (al-Faruq):
-Initiated the first major wave of geo-political/military expansion, beyond the Arab/Mediterranean-World.

-Established mass bureaucratic adjustments/improvements within the Khilafah, both internally & externally.

-Established mass adjustments/improvements, regarding relations between the Islamic-State & its citizenry.

3. `Uthman ibn-`Affan (Dhun-Nurayn):
-Maintained the geo-political/military stability of the Islamic-State.

-Initiated & completed mass educational projects, which included the completion of what would forever be known as the `Uthmani-Script Mushaf.

-Initiated dealing with the Khawarij, in a diplomatic manner, which costed him his life.

4. `Ali ibn Abi-Talib:
-Intensified dealing with the Khawarij & switching from the passive/diplomatic approach of `Uthman, to a more active/forceful approach.

-Initiated putting a stop to/crushing the first waves of geo-political/military rebellions, against the Khilafah.
5. al-Hasan ibn-`Ali ibn-Abi-Talib:
-Took the reigns of the Islamic-State, from `Ali, after his assassination.

-Abdicated his authority of the Khilafah to Mu`awiyah, in the same year as `Ali’s death.

6. Mu`awiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan:
-Refused to resign from his post, as governor of Syria, after the assassination of `Uthman, which became a direct leading cause of the rebellion he led against `Ali.

-Accepted the abdication of al-Hasan, as the Khalifah, and, thus, becoming a Khalifah, himself, during the same year as the assassination of `Ali, known as the “Year of Unity”.

-Became the last Khalifah of the Rashidi period & the Khalifah of the Umayyi period.

Established the precedent of having a relative (preferably a son) of a former Khalifah, to be a succeeding Khalifah.

-Established the first Navy for the Islamic-State, which made the Maritime power of the Khilafah unparalleled in the Mediterranean-World.

Gareth Bryant/2012

My thoughts on Autumn:

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Author’s note:

At the beginning of each season this year (according to the Gregorian-Calendar), I plan to release a poem about each season-I’ve written several poems about the seasons, particularly the four classic temperate seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Each of these seasons represents different stages of existence, in this Material-Existence of ours, which we gradually evolve towards. My goal is to inspire reflection for whomever may read these poems, to strongly reflect upon their own lives, what season of life that they are currently embracing.

Autumn!!!

This season is reserved, for reflection & regret.
Wisdom is acquired, for what we don’t see yet.

We’re approaching the end of the road; we’re getting closer, to our final destination.
It is called the Hereafter; once at this point, we will know what our infinite abode is.

Tree leaves begin to wither & wrinkle, just like our once young, beautiful, smooth skin.
We had no idea that this would happen to us, wondering how we did not see any of this.

It is one of the facts of Life, aging without warning.
It reminds us of Death & what is still in the waiting.

We often think that our Springs & Summers will last forever.
Think again….those times are gone, youth will never be given back to us.

This is our season of breakdown; we begin to be less clever.
Our bodies get old & brittle; we begin to be grumpy, often making a fuss.

Allah has given us plenty of time.
Yet, we did not think to use it wisely.

We had the chance to do so much good.
However, we were very selfish & miserly.

We thought our time would never come to a halt.
Soon, we will cease suddenly, as a Lightning bolt.

We’re getting closer to our meeting, with our Lord.
It is He, who will decide who gets the punishment, or reward.

So, in conclusion, learn your lesson, before it is much too late!!!
Worship Allah, all your days, before your appointed death date!!!

Gareth Bryant/2009

My thoughts on negative portrayls of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) inciting violence in the Muslim-World:

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The recent attacks on U.S. Embassies in the Muslim-World, mainly in the Mideast, as a result of numerous negative, propaganda, short-films, caricatures, cartoons, pamphlets, novels, books, movies, shows, etc. negatively portraying Muhammad (Peace be upon him), has incited immense violence all across the Muslim-World, particularly, in places like Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and several other Muslim countries-Now, with nations like these, in deep-rooted political instability to begin with, as a result of events such as the Arab-Spring & removals of dictators, or by partitions of portions of their nations to make other independent states, of course, inciting religiously motivated violence would give any nation, with interests in this region, particularly/especially the U.S., an excuse to swoop in, play the liberator/saviour card, and at the exact same time, horde whatever resources are available in this country, for their own devices.

This has happened before, and it’s very likely to happen yet again. And, also, since Islam has been seen as a radical cult by certain groups of people, governments, etc., for centuries, it’s of course easy to project attacks upon our faith, while knowing fully well that most people in the Muslim-World are so ignorantly off-based to what the true spirit & practice of Islam really is, that any remote attack on anything or anyone connected with Islam will incite senseless violence. Unfortunately, as well, as ironically, we as Muslims always, in our ignorance feel that we must “defend” the honor of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), whenever people say negative things about him. Well, yes, this is true. However, there’s always a right way of doing it & a wrong way of doing it.

There are some very important aspects of how to deal with things such as this:

-One, obeying what Allah says about how to react to attacks by those who disbelieve in the guidance sent by Allah, and/or those who oppress the righteous, and/or oppose the progress of, or those who cause harm to, those who believe in the guidance of Allah.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.6, V.34; Chpt.7, V.87; Chpt.11, V.115; Chpt.14, V.12; Chpt.86, V.17)

-Two, learning from the Prophetic-Example directly, referring to how to react to opposition to the progress of Islam by the enemies of Allah-When Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was religiously & personally slandered, or attacked, especially when he & his Companions (May Allah be pleased with them all-together) were in a state of weakness, without an Islamic-State (central Islamic government), in many ways much similarly to how weak the Muslim-World is currently, he never attacked people back. He never fought fire with fire; rather, he fought fire with water. There are authentic reports of people doing & saying mean-spirited things about Muhammad (Peace be upon him), during his own lifetime, right in his direct presence.(al-Bukhari, Riyadh-us-Salihin) He never fought against them, nor ordered their deaths, until after Allah had given him & the Companions (May Allah be pleased with them all-together) the order/permission to meet their enemies on the field of battle.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.2, V.216; Chpt.2, V.190-194; Chpt.47, V.4; )

-Three, having general respect for all Prophets & Messengers (Peace be upon them all-together)-When is the last time that a group of Muslims (regardless of how radical they are) blew up or burned down a Synagogue or Church? Great question, right? And, why do I pose this question? Well, both Jews & Christians say things about previous Prophets, in their remnants of the Torah & Gospel, which are very slanderous in nature. For example: it clearly states in the Bible (a collection of the remnants of the Torah, Psalms and Gospel), that Lot (Peace be upon him) committed incest, with his own daughters(Genesis: 19: 31-36), that Saul, the first King of Israel as a tyrant(1 Samuel 22:20-23), that David (Peace be upon him) sent a man to the battlefield to die, so that he can have that man’s wife (2 Samuel 12: 9-10)…and, all of these accusations are completely false.(Qasas-ul-Anbiya’) These are just a few of the many examples of slander against Prophets; yet, the Muslims only piss & moan when people talk smack about Muhammad (Peace be upon him)-What happened to standing up to defend the honor of any & all Prophets (Peace be upon them all-together), if/when they are spoken about or mentioned in writings and/or films negatively?!!!

Furthermore, more importantly to observe & reflect upon, when is the last time that a Church or Synagogue has been blown up, or burned down, by Muslims, for associating false qualities to Allah? When is the last time that a Reverend, a Rabbi, or any religiously Jewish/Christian figure been dragged into the streets & beaten to death, for saying that they are the “Children of Allah”(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.5, V.18), or for saying that Ezra is the Son of Allah, or that Jesus is the Son of Allah?!!!(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.9, V.30)-It’s never happened-I mean isn’t it much worse to say something false about Allah, as opposed to a created, thing/a Human being, regardless to whether or not they’re a Prophet, a recipient of some type of revelation from Allah, or a righteous person?(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.18, V.15)

So, since the Muslim-World has never went up in arms, destroying Embassies & beating people in the streets, for someone committing Shirk with Allah (associating false qualities with Allah, which is the worst sin that any created thing can do), then, why would we only do it because of a film-short, filled with obvious misinformation, that is exclusively intended to get an emotional rise out of us, in the strategic hopes that we’ll be foolish & unintelligent enough to behave & react stupidly (which unfortunately we have in many parts of the Muslim/Arab-World), just because of a movie short. To be fair & honest, there have been, historically & contemporarily, so many slanderously produced materials about Islam & Muslims, which the Muslims have said and/or done absolutely nothing about, like all of the Jesus-Movies for example, which portray Jesus (Peace be upon him) as the “Son of Allah”, knowing fully well, based upon the text of our book of guidance, the Qur’an, that this is an obvious lie.

Also, when is the last time that we, as Muslims, destroyed the whorehouses in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman, dragged the pimps of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Albanina out in the streets & beat them senseless/to death, or burn down the pornography stores and/or newsstands which sell obscene sexual-material (movies, magazines, etc.) which are owned & operated by Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Senegal, Guinea, Gambia, Mauritania, or supermarkets/stores owned by Bengalis, Pakis, Yemenis, Jordanians and Palestinians, which sell pork, alcohol, cigarettes, cigars, marijuana roll-up leaves, heroin-syringes, crack-stems/crack-pipes Lotto, or put and end to drug-smuggling & money/credit-card fraud-schemes run by Nigerians, and all of these various other types of vices that people all over the world freely indulge in?!!!

These are questions which we must/need to ask ourselves & also find the answers to!!!

Gareth Bryant/2012