Category Archives: Pilgrimage

Sharī`ah’s Anatomy: Where al-Islām meets Bio-Medical Ethics

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Sharī`ah’s Anatomy is a Podcast with Chaplain Gareth Bryant & Dr. James Ferguson, concerning Bio-Medical Ethics from an Islāmic-Lens. The Purpose of this Podcast to empower Muslims & Humanity at large, via Education, concerning how to make Informed-Decisions about their own Healthcare. Also, to learn how to navigate how the Healthcare/Medical-Field works, so that, as Healthcare-Recipients, you can speak/act with Authority, as per how you want, expect, deserve to be treated by Healthcare/Medical-Professionals & the Healthcare/Medical-Industry.

Our Podcasts will be livestreamed via Facebook-Live, every Thursday @ 5pm (EST).

Facebook: Shariah’s Anatomy

Instagram: @shariahsanatomy

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Saudi Arabia’s Religio-Hypocritial Love-Hate Relationship with Music.

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img_20190710_171953_322It’s Patheitically-Ironic, that in a Nation-State whose Religious-Elite are so Hardline against Musical-Entertainment: Saudi Arabia not only has Music-Concerts within KSA, but also is Home to some of the Most-Popular Music-Artists in the History of the Muslim-World as well as the Arab-World, like Muhammad `Abduh for example (not to be confused with the Founder of Salafism in the 1860’s, C.E. of the Same-Name). However, within the Same-Breath: there’s Fatāwā/Religio-Rulings after Fatāwā as per the Islāmic-Prohibitions regarding Musical-Instruments, Musical-Lyrics, Musical-Genres, etc. & ironically the same Musical-Artists within the Realm of the Saudi-Kingdom pontificate/promote the exact Same-Kinds/Types of Music which is condemned via the Saudi Religio-Elite.

Some very important Facts to note, by the Way:

a. Music, via its Entirety, inherently isn’t Mahrūm/Islāmically-Prohibited.

b. The Term which are used via at-Tanzīl/Revelation (The Qur’ān & the Sunnah/Prophetic-Tradition) to describe the Prohibited-Elements of Music: al-Ma`āzif itself is too often mistranslated as “Music-Holistically/Musical-Instruments Holistically”.

c. The Correct-Meaning/Translation of al-Maāzif is “Instruments of Evil” & more specifically, via at-Tanzīl is “Woodwind/Stringed-Instruments”.(al-Bukhārī, Abū-Dāwud)

d. There’s a Known-Instrument know as ad-Daff: an Arab-Drum…ironically, ad-Daff is Mahlūl/Islāmically-Allowed & by definition it’s literally a Musical-Instrument. So, obviously, Islāmically: there’s absolutely no Way that all Music/Musical-Elements are Mahrūm.(al-Bukhārī, Muslim, Lisān-ul-Arab: Lexicon of the Arabic-Language, ibn-Manzhūr)

Saudi Arabia, just on the Issue of Music itself, is 💯%-Guilty of spreading Cultural-Colonization. Basically, their Premise is to indoctrinate the Entire Muslim-World to conform to their own valid Individual-Urfiyyah. And, of course: the Best-Way to pull this off is to disguise Arabism with the Cloak of al-Islām. In spite of the Fact that al-Islām is a Dīn/Religio-Spiritual Lifestyle & not an Urf/Culture, KSA readily attempts to lay Claim to al-Islām, as though it’s their Personal-Property, which clearly it’s not. And, because of the Fact that Salafism particularly, unique to any/all other Ahzāb (Sectarian/Deviant-Groups) amongst Muslims, the Religio-Puritanical Postures which is pontificated/promoted via Salafism pushes a very Ugly-Precedent/Agenda that if it comes out of/from Saudi, that if Saudi allows it, if Saudi co-signs/supports it, then it’s All-Good.

This includes:

a. Squandering the Wealth of the Muslims (Petroleum which is the Only-Reason as to how/why KSA & the other Gulf-States even matter to the World at all).

b. Collusion with Non-Muslim/Western Powers against Muslim-Countries/Governments, Muslim-Leaders, etc. (in spite of their Hypocritical-Kalām/Rhetoric concerning “Patience&Obedience in regards to Muslim-Leadership/Rulership).(Nawāqidh-ul-Islām/Nullifications of al-Islām, Muhammad ibn-`Abd-il-Wahhāb)

Gareth Bryant

1440, A.H./2019, C.E.

Paradise-Music:

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If I’m ever given the honor of entering the Paradise, the 1st thing that I’d do is make Sujud for 1Million years…
…with my face on the floor, ever grateful to my Lord, for protecting me from my greatest and most vivid fears…

…Safety from the torment of the Fire, whose torrents blaze flesh and bone, unbearable the feeling…
…flames roasting, striking, torturing, ripping, slicing, and splitting: it will keep your head spinning…

…The coolness of the winds of the mountainous valleys, in the most pleasurable bliss, within my abode in Heaven…
…keeps me humbled that I didn’t die as disobedient to Allah, and succumbed to the punishment that goes on 24/7…

…As I dry my eyes, from all the tears I’ve cried, over the countless sins that my Lord had forgave and also overlooked…
…I remembered we all stood, waiting for the Judgement, not knowing where we’d be, thinking my goose was cooked…

…But, then, He, Ar-Rahman/The Source of Eternal-Mercy, decided to grant such a pitiful guy like me some much needed courtesy…
…He reminded me of what good I’d done solely for Him, and that was enough to be recused from an infinity of such misery…

…I had the nerve to say, “Oh, my Lord!!! Not me…I’m so not worthy!!!”…there’s no way I can possibly enter your Garden without still being dirty…
…He responded to me, “Does thou dare doubt Our Clemency?!!!”…”How doth thou believe in Us, if thou doubt Our ability to purify thee?!!!”…

…At which time I begin to sigh, at my idiotic reply, to my Lord, so Sublime…
…how dare I doubt such merciful a God; was I insane, or drunk with wine…

…At any rate, even this insult, irate, He rebukes, then, substitutes, by having Angels upon Angels drag me to the Pool of the Prophet…
…Muhammad glares at me & smiles, as I’m to be dipped in al-Hawdh, to bleach my soul, from wretched acts from the Mundane’s fret…

…As I drown in this well of favor and repentance, I’m reminded of so many things that I refused to make penance…
…However, the Lord of Lords, Allah, let it all go, just for me, because of His love for my worship, which is limitless…

…So, as I’ve risen, from Heaven’s hallowed-ground, I can hear the Green-Birds, carrying the souls of Martyrs, such sweet sounds…
…I can also hear the wailing and sorrow of those down-under: not Australia but Hell: those who lived Life without morals or bounds…

…Even though my Prayers were mediocre, my Fasting incomplete, my Pilgrimage iffy, my character questionable…
…that still didn’t prevent me from entering the best place in existence: my Lord is above all things willing and able.

Gareth Bryant/2014

Imaginative-Reasoning:

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Imagine a Chessboard, without pieces…
…or, a Dissertation, without a Thesis.

What if the Homeo had no stasis…
…the World’s weather no phases?

Try to picture the Arctic-Circle, with no Ice-Caps…
…and, all of the Animals extinct, not coming back.

Let’s think of a Planet without compliance…
…filled with hypocrisy, apathy and violence.

Be warned, these are realities yet to come…
…because, we forfeited Humanity being one.

1-God, 1-Destiny, 1-Purpose, 1-Plan…
…securing the welfare of our fellow man.

Just picture a cold Heart, with no Chambers…
…or, living our entire lives with just strangers.

Try to see in ya mind, Hustlers, without a grind…
…or, the 1-Eyed King deceiving & ruling the blind.

Let’s pretend that Poverty is at an end…
…that People selflessly give and spend.

Wouldn’t it be beautiful that a Woman didn’t have to sell her body, in order to seek a Man’s love…
…or, that a Man honor a Woman in marriage, instead of wrapping her round his hand, like a glove?

What if all People looked beyond the skin-color of another…
…and, that we only saw others as our sisters & our brothers?

How great would it be, if we were all were free…
…all People safe from the ugly claws of tyranny?

If only every Man were granted his due from his labor, his daily-bread…
…and, that he not resort to robbing, or shooting someone, in the head.

What if Muhammad had never ventured into the Cave of Hira’…
…to receive Revelation which made living life so much clearer?

What if the Children of Israel never attempted to kill Jesus…
…what if he stayed long enough for his miracles to reach us?

What if David didn’t have the courage to defeat Goliath…
…or, the Army of Saul hadn’t have received the triumph?

What if Moses never went atop Mount-Sinai & saw the Burning-Bush…
…or, if the one who took him from water never bothered to take a look?

Imagine Abraham never leaving Ishmael in the Arabian-Desert…
…would they’ve built the Ka`bah or learn joy after suffering hurt?

Think if Noah was never saved from the Great-Flood, by building the Ark…
…would Humanity have survived, or, would we have still been in the dark?

Think about how it would be, had Adam & Eve had never eaten from that Tree…
…would we know whether we’d spend our entire existence in Paradise with glee?

It would be wonderful, to witness the change that so many fought & died for…
…I guess that’s just wishful-thinking, unless we’re willing to fight & die for more.

Gareth Bryant/2014

Wallace Poole: The Man who changed the face of Islam in America:

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Elijah Poole

Born to Elijah Poole & Clara Evans, in 1933, Wallace Poole, was the Son of the 1st-family of the Nation Of Islam: his Father was the Supreme-Minister & Leader of the NOI, his Mother was the Leader of the Educational-Institutions of the NOI, thus all of the Institutions of Learning in the NOI which are now all named Sister Clara Muhammad Schools within the Latter Wārith-ud-Dīn Muhammad Communities. But, there was a very distinct problem, these People were not Muslims…not only Non-Muslims, but, those who purposely called others to worship other than Allah, to ascribe false-qualities to Allah, to follow someone who claimed Prophethood, etc. Being one of the children of the leader of the NOI meant that he had a lot to live-up to: his father being the inheritor of the leadership of the NOI, after the disappearance of its founder, Wali Farad (AKA Master Fard Muhammad). Wali Farad was a self-proclaimed deity on Earth, who taught his fellowship that he was Allah incarnate, which is still the key staple belief of the NOI till this very day, and is still contained within their signature literature, such as “Message to the Black Man”, “The Final Call Newspaper”, etc. He left the leadership of the NOI to Elijah, mainly because he was on the run, as a result of being implicated in the murder of Timothy Drew, the founder of the Moorish Science Temple of North America, commonly known as simply the Moorish Scinece Temple. The Moorish Science Temple was a prelude to the NOI, in regards to its many pseudo Islamic teachings, which many of these (pseudo) teachings actually carried over to become the teachings of the NOI. From the inception of the NOI, in 1930, C.E. until the 1960’s, C.E., the power-structure of the NOI was pretty much linear & unshaken, meaning, that people didn’t question, challenge the authority of Elijah Poole as supreme commander of the NOI, someone viewed as infallible, and believed by those who followed him as being divinely-guided.

Wali Farad

Sadly, he wasn’t divinely-guided, rather devilishly-guided: he, based upon instructions from Wali Farad, used the already shady beliefs of Christianity, concerning the false-divinity of Jesus-Christ (Peace be upon him), manipulated the frustration that most African-Americans felt towards being viewed & treated as second-class Human beings (and in certain parts of the U.S., not being treated as Human beings on any level). This is the reason why so many African-Americans joined the NOI, because their ethnic self-worth & self-esteem was so degenerate, as a direct-result of being systematically oppressed in the U.S., for the past 3-centuries, that, it was very easy for them to accept the false theology of Black-People being inherently divine, while White-People were inherently Evil. But, then, it was also pathetically ironic that the NOI was teaching Black-People that the Black-Man was a “god” & the White-Man was a “devil”, when they were also taught that Wali Farad was Allah incarnate, and he was not only Non-Black, but, he was actually ½-White, and he looked “White”. So, it’s easy to see that the same racial (covert, subliminal, etc.) manipulative tactics used in Christianity, where in the Bible Jesus, accused of being the “Son” of Allah, as well as Allah incarnate, is described as having “Hair like Wool & Feet the color of Burnt-Brass”, yet, almost always, even in the present-day, he’s depicted as a White-Man, with typical, classic, Euro features. Unfortunately, it’s  not clear as when Wallace had actually became a Muslim. But, what is clear is that his own father, Elijah Poole, had hired a Palestinian Professor, named Jamal Dieb, who was a teacher in the Muhammad University of Islam, and, it’s very likely that this person could have been a personal religious instructor for Wallace and his other siblings, as well. During the 1950’s, Wallace became a Minister of the NOI, serving in Philadelphia, Pa, until he was sentenced to Prison, for refusing to enter the U.S.-Military’s Selective-Service, in 1961. In 1963, Wallace was released, and being very close with Malcolm Little (AKA Malcolm X), the then National-Spokesman for the NOI, the years that followed ‘63 would change their lives in ways that neither of them would ever expect. Aside from being released from Prison, there were immense nation & international turmoil, which had been affecting the United States, directly: American involvement in the Vietnam-War was in full-swing, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was waging war against the Soviet-Union, Communist-Cuba, as well as trying to find a way for America out of the Vietnam conflict, while also fighting the war-at-home, against the Federal-Reserve, the CIA, the Mafia, the Billionaire titans of American-Industry, and all of these things lead directly to his dreadful assassination.

Malcolm Little

Unfortunately, it’s not clear as when Wallace had actually became a Muslim. But, what is clear is that his own father, Elijah Poole, had hired a Palestinian Professor, named Jamal Dieb, who was a teacher in the Muhammad University of Islam, and, it’s very likely that this person could have been a personal religious instructor for Wallace and his other siblings, as well. During the 1950’s, Wallace became a Minister of the NOI, serving in Philadelphia, PA, until he was sentenced to Prison, for refusing to enter the U.S.-Military’s Selective-Service, in 1961. In 1963, Wallace was released, and being very close with Malcolm Little (AKA Malcolm X), the then National-Spokesman for the NOI, the years that followed ‘63 would change their lives in ways that neither of them would ever expect. Aside from being released from Prison, there were immense nation & international turmoil, which had been affecting the United States, directly: American involvement in the Vietnam-War was in full-swing, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was waging war against the Soviet-Union, Communist-Cuba, as well as trying to find a way for America out of the Vietnam conflict, while also fighting the war-at-home, against the Federal-Reserve, the CIA, the Mafia, the Billionaire titans of American-Industry, and all of these things lead directly to his dreadful assassination. Now, in 1963, there was no Facebook or Twitter, no YouTube, no instant-replay, no Instagram, etc. So, when the death of JFK was announced, the American-People & the World just believed what was initially play on the airwaves, that a lone-gunman did it. But, Malcolm Little was so much smarter than that. However, Elijah had decided to mention an edict, to all of his Ministers, to not speak to the Media/Press, under any circumstances, concerning the death of JFK. Malcolm decided to not obey. His famous “Chickens Coming Home to Roost”, describing that the assassination of JFK was basically a sign of Providence, that it was something that was long overdue, as a result of the mass oppression that White-America had inflicted upon others not of them, that they were basically getting a taste of their own medicine. And, of course, because JFK, popularity wise, was the most beloved U.S.-President of that era, the NOI had received a lot of negative backlash because of Malcolm’s statements. As a result of that, he was personally summoned to Chicago, by Elijah & stripped of his status as National-Spokesman, first for 3-months, then permanently, for breaking-rank on such a hotbed issue, such as the death of the U.S.-President. At that moment, Malcolm began to realize the hypocrisy seeping out of the walled facade of the NOI, because, if he had been allowed to teach & say all of the hate-speech against Whites that he had been doing, ever since he joined the NOI, one White-Man shouldn’t get special privilege, just because he was a U.S.-President. Also, while he was vocally-silenced, there surfaced within the ranks of the NOI that Elijah had committed Adultery, with several NOI-Secretaries. These were just rumors, at first, but, within the closed-door corridors of power in the NOI, this was common-knowledge, and Wallace had confided in Malcolm, concerning these rumors & thus confirmed what the rumors were: Elijah had adulterous relations with his secretaries & many illegitimate-children were produced as a result of this. This obviously had negative-effects upon both Wallace & Malcolm: for Malcolm, having his mentor, the one he had thought had taken him from darkness to light was just as fraudulent as the White-Man that he was taught to hate, as well as other Blacks who weren’t down with the program of the NOI; and, as for Wallace, he had to deal with the fact that his own father was taking advantage of these women, while married to his mother. In fact, it was very brave for him to even reveal this heart-breaking information to Malcolm in the 1st-place. So, from 1963-1965, C. E. there was a a lot of tension & dissent within the NOI: Malcolm had become a Muslim, at the strong influence of Wallace himself, made Hajj/Pilgrimage to al-Makkah, in present-day Saudi Arabia, been assassinated himself, by members of the notorious “Ring-of-Fire”, the personal-hitmen of the NOI, more accurately the personal-assassins of Elijah Poole, at the time. From the death of Malcolm, to the death of Elijah, which was literally a 10-year time-span, the NOI was pathetically declining, mainly because of the ill-will against the NOI for being largely believed for being responsible for the death of Malcolm Little, as well as more of their members actually leaving the NOI for Islam, as well as the NOI losing its general influence on the Black-Community, out of being not as relevant, which was a result of many factors: Poverty, Drug-Abuse, Crime, the Black-Panthers, etc.

Wallace Poole

In 1975, C.E. something happened, something amazing, something no one could’ve ever foreseen: Elijah Poole dies, his son Wallace takes command of the NOI & brings that entire community to Islam. Now, prior to ‘75, Wallace had made a lot of enemies within the corridors of power in the NOI for a lot of reasons; he was also thrown-out of the NOI, on several occasions, before finally being allowed back, before his father’s death. He made it very clear to his community that Wali Farad is not Allah, and his father, Elijah Poole was never a Recipient-of-Revelation (Prophet, Messenger, etc.). In the later part of the decade, he changed the entire structure of the NOI, and had even changing its name to AMM (American Muslim Mission), then to ASM (American Society of Muslims). He would eventually step-down as leader of the ASM, in the late 1980’s.

The following individuals are among several of countless thousands of African-American Muslims, who have been influenced by Wallace Poole to accept Islam, and have thus become very popular members of the Muslim-Community, both in the Western-Hemisphere as well as internationally, whose contributions to Islam, whose personalities, whose celebrity, has increased the popularity of Indigenous-Muslims from the Western-Hemisphere itself:

Cassius Clay

Cassius Clay (AKA Muhammad Ali), one of the most well-known, loved, respected Professional-Boxers of all-time, joined the NOI very early in his boxing-career, was actually professionally managed by Malcolm Little. He then accepted Islam in the 1970’s under the leadership of Wallace Poole. He is one of the most visible personalities of Islam in the Western-Hemisphere that the World has ever known.

Jeffrey Kearse

Jeffrey Kearse (AKA Siraj Wahhaj), one of the most premier Imams/Muslim-Leaders in the Western-Hemisphere: a Founding-Member of Masjid at-Taqwa, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, in Brooklyn, New York City in 1981, C.E. He was its Founding-Imam…internationally known for lecturing & teaching Islam: he, along with many others, formed their own community, thus establishing Masjid at-Taqwa, one of the most famous Mosques in the Western-Hemisphere, after accepting Islam under the leadership of Wallace Poole.

Benjamin Goodman

Benjamin Goodman Bryant (AKA Benjamin Karim), a former Assistant-Minister of Muslim Mosque, Inc., a Mosque founded by Malcolm Little, now known as MIB (Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood), in New York City, as well as an authoritative biographer of the life of Malcolm Little, accepted Islam.

Dawud Adib

David C. White, Jr. (AKA Dawud Adib) an early forerunner-leader of the Salafi-Movement in the Western-Hemisphere, a Sectarian-Group, was himself, once, a member of the NOI & became a Muslim, under the leadership of Wallace Poole. He, as well as many others, left his community & actually for a time was a part of the Masjid at-Taqwa community in New York. However, he also left that community, and joined the Salafi-Movement, becoming one of its most influential Propagators in the Western-Hemisphere.

From the 1980’s till his death in 2008, Wallace Poole exerted a lot of energy ensuring that his community were the most progressive Muslim-Community in the Western-Hemisphere, which it was. Unfortunately, as a result of Louis Wolcott (AKA Louis Farrakhan) breaking-off from Wallace & restarting the NOI, basically, picking-up where Elijah Poole had left-off in death, several property disputes between himself & Wallace ensued, which resulted in court-appearances, as well as several settlement disputes among the illegitimate children of Elijah Poole against Wallace, which also saw their days in court. However, Wallace still managed to be strong & take his community to the next level. He forfeited a lot of personal-property belonging to his father & the former NOI, he gave-up so many things which were his own rightful claims, and that actually shows the extent of an individual’s integrity & sincerity. He also spent much time authoring, lecturing, establishing non-profits, building bridges between various Muslim-Communities, as well as other religious groups & organizations, etc. One of his main goals was to fully conform & assimilate his community with the rest of the Muslim-World, that they be fully a part of the greater global Muslim landscape.

Now, I won’t pretend that he got everything right, because there were a lot of things that he & his community fell-short of. I’ll explain: while being absolutely correct, in principle, regarding the necessity of his community to serve as a precedent for Indigenous-Muslims in the Western-Hemisphere to be independent of influences that were not ideally Islamic, from Muslims of other cultures, nations, etc., to have a definitive presence of Islam in the West, that directly reflects those Muslims native to the West, it resulted, however, in a severe distrust of Muslims from other places, and also, a mistrust of accepting knowledge from Muslims of different places. The necessity to be abstract of foreign influences was a need, definitely. But, it morphed into somewhat of a pathology among many of his followers, that they weren’t very privy to accepting Islamic-Knowledge from Non-Indigenous Muslims, which largely still affect many members of his community till this very day. It’s very understandable as to how this came about: African-Americans, as a People were & still are very used to having People coming from different places & dupping us, as in the most classic case of Wali Farad, tricking untold thousands of African-Americans into worshipping him as a god, literally, which further degenerated the spiritual-integrity of African-Americans, more than even Christianity had done, in many respects.

In spite of the problems within his community, he is best remembered as being one of the forerunners of Islam in the Western-Hemisphere, for Indigenous-Peoples, in the West. And, this, to be honest, is a lot more important, than any of his flaws that he may have displayed, over the course of his respective leadership of his community. I’m actually very glad that it was he who had enough integrity to step-up to the plate and take his People from a spiritually dark-place, and, with the help of Allah, lead them towards Islam, the Path of Truth. This fact, more than anything else is what I personally believe that he should be praised for, and unfortunately, many, most Muslims within the Western-Hemisphere, in the World even really have no idea who this man is, or his momentous contributions to Islam, which greatly cemented such a definitive footprint on the World: its actually criminal, to not give him & People like him, whose works, guided by Allah, are not as celebrated or not celebrated at all, the credit that he truly deserves. Regardless of any errors that he may have committed, may Allah definitely reward for any & all positive actions that he did for Islam & Muslims, and as a result of that, may Allah place in the Paradise for it…Amen

Gareth Bryant/2014

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The Peninsula

The blistering winds, stroking dunes of the Central-Region, known as an-Najd, cause many moods…
…They have always both whistled and swirled around these monstrous sands, for so many moons.

Northward, touching all of what’s Bilad-ish-Sham…
…We can see Cave-Dwellings of Thamud and Iram.

Towards the south, towards al-Yaman…
…The forestry there looks like Heaven.

The former residence of the People of `Ad…
…Punished by Tornadoes, for they were bad.

Eastward, you’ll find thousands of miles of Oil-Fields, which fuel the economies of the whole Planet…
…Its coast is host to such rich aquatic-life; who knew this such beauty lies in such a harsh environment?

And, Westward, there’s the most priceless treasure of all…

…al-Ka`bah, where all Men come to visit, great and small.

It used to be called the valley of Bakkah…
…But, Allah decided to name it al-Makkah.

It was built entirely for His pleasure…
…No one could ever plan it better.

Constructed by Abraham & Ishmael…
…Such a wonder is their arduous tale.

A father & son, who were separated and rejoined…
…At this very spot, they established Islam, rejoiced.

Just as our parents, Adam & Eve…
…After being separated on Earth.

They lost, and then, found one another in al-Jazirah, the Peninsula…
…An example that, even in sin, we can acquire the Mercy of Allah.

Gareth Bryant/2013

al-Jazirah/The Peninsula:

The 10-Days of Dhil-Hijjah: the best days of the year!!!

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Mount of Mercy pic

The 10-Days of Dhil-Hijjah/the Month of Hajj (the 12th-month on the Islamic [Lunar] Calendar) are finally upon us:

These days, are like a bonus/extra Last-3rd/Last-Days of Ramadhan, where we can capitalize upon Allah making it so ridiculously easy for us to get blessings & rewards from Him, by doing the simplest things, like: picking up trash on the streets/in the Subway, greeting other people, being kind & courteous to other people, fasting, asking for Forgiveness (of sins)/seeking Repentance (of sins), etc. We, as Muslims, have so many options, to collect good-deeds. Who are we to pass-up an opportunity, such as this: to right wrongs & get bonus-blessings during the best days of the year, the days most beloved to Allah?!!!(al-Bukhari)

During these 10-days, any/all positive actions, for Allah, the Creator/Lord o the Universe, are encouraged to do, based upon one’s ability, and this definitely includes making Hajj/Pilgrimage. However, if one isn’t able to make Hajj, they can most-definitely still do good works. Among the celebrated, encouraged, and most-highlighted good works, during these days, are Fasting. Now, unlike during the month of Ramadhan, Fasting is optional, unless there are days which must be made-up, for Ramadhan, or fasting because of a broken-oath, etc. One can easily use any/all of these days, from the 1st to the 9th of Dhil-Hijjah, to do make-up fasting.

There are some pretty-important things to note concerning fasting during the 1st 10-days of Dhil-Hijjah:

1. We have the option of fasting either all-10, or just the 9th of Dhil-Hijjah

2. However, the best day, among these 10-days are, obviously, the 9th of Dhil-Hijjah, which correlates/coincides with the 14th of October, 2013, this year. And, the reason why this day, the 9th of Dhil-Hijjah is such an important day to fast is because:

a. The 9th of Dhil-Hijjah is (typically) the day in which the Hujjaj/Pilgrims descend upon the plain of `Arafah, as one of the Manasik-il-Hajj/the Rituals (Rites) of Hajj.(Bulugh-ul-Maram)

b. Fasting on this day is the compensation for not being able to make Hajj/Pilgrimage.

c. Fasting on this day guarantees (for the one whose fasting is accepted by Allah of course) the respective Sa’im/Fasting-Person forgiveness of (Minor/Major) Sins, from the previous & following year.(Muslim)

So, with all of this being said: if you’re already on route, or in al-Makkah, al-Madinah, al-Jiddah, at-Ta’if, ready t perform Hajj, may Allah reward you for your efforts & accept for Hajj. And, for those of us, not performing Hajj, may Allah reward us, anyway, based upon the good that we have committed ourselves to doing…Amen

Gareth Bryant/2013