Tag Archives: Dignity

Oh, Oppressed…don’t be Hopeless!!!

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The Oppressed-Peoples of the World have always been ignored… 
…from the Native-Americans and to the Australian-Aborigines…
 
…The Oppressor has used superiority to seize lands and horde… 
…the original inhabitants ridiculed for fighting their enemies…
 

…Everyone abandons them & the World has their eyes closed…
…just like what happened in Rwanda, no wants to be exposed…

 
…The international governmental bodies acting as power-proxies…
…used to favor some nations over others, in the interests of monies.

 
These atrocities stink of all of the blood-soaked concentration-camps of Nazi-Germany.
Ironically, years later, those who were nearly exterminated, do the same, no Humanity.
 
How can you possibly make claims to want Peace when you are waging the War?
It’s like pretending to be grateful for what you have when you’re greedy for more.
 
You want the entire World to see you as the Peacemakers… 
…but, in all reality, you are the merciless Heartbreakers…
 
…You are always very quick to play that victim-card…
…while you’re making the lives of the Oppressed hard…
 
…You bomb cities and villages, schools, and innocents…
…but, when you’re fired back upon, you call it insolence.
 
My People, from far away: don’t loose hope and don’t go astray…
…keep fighting, for the liberation, for you, Allah will make way…
 
…You must always keep remembering Allah in all you do…
…so that when your enemies come He grants victory to you.
 
Gareth Bryant/2014
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Support Muslims Giving Back’s Project #Zakah:

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Gareth Bryant, National-Spokesperson, Muslims Giving Back, explains the purpose & reasoning behind az-Zakah, the 3rd-Pillar of Islam & how helpful it is to the general betterment to Humanity as a whole:

Support Muslims Giving Back’s Projects: #Need2Feed & #Warmth!!!

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Gareth Bryant, National-Spokesperson, Muslims Giving Back, has a very important message, concerning the importance of helping others in need, drawing from his own personal-background of being in-need himself, at one point in his own life. This noble work, of enhancing the Humanity within others is something that those at Muslims Giving Back take very seriously & so should all of you.

My thoughts on Yusef Ramelize & his amazing project: “Homeless For One Week”

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Author’s note:
It’s very ironic how in a place like New York City, by far, the wealthiest city on the planet, in Human history, can actually have a significant homeless population. What’s also just as sadly amazing is how so many of us do nothing about it. I mean, sure there’s various organizations & food-banks. But, the real cure to homelessness is through the individual efforts of you & I, regular, everyday, nine-to-five kind of people, who see something within our society that’s a serious problem, and set out to do something about it. Well, fortunately, a very near & dear good Muslim brother of mine has taken on this mighty task, and has been doing something about it, for quite some time. His name, Yusef Ramelize, his efforts, going homeless, for one whole week, to get a serious, authentic sense of how the other half truly lives, in a place like New York City. Every year, during the annual, Islamic, fasting month of Ramadhan, he’s out on the streets, attempting to expose the realities of homelessness, to do his part in helping others whom have been abandoned in many ways, or have gone completely unnoticed by most of us, which is very easy, since many of us get caught in the matrix, of our mundane, nine-to-five lives. However, Mr. Ramelize takes off time from his job, to help expose the need to help people whom he’s never even met, and will probably never meet. With that being said, it is so very important that we support this man’s efforts, because he is truly doing a great thing, for his city, for his country, for his Humanity.

Yusef Ramelize: A great Muslim, a great Human being, with a great mission:

Going above & beyond passionate emotionally soothing talk, of wanting to make a difference, Mr. Ramelize has taken a very honest, pragmatic action, as the Founder and Project Director of the “Homeless For One Week” project, an annual initiative that he had began in 2009, to raise awareness about homelessness in New York City. His plan is to be homeless for one week, every year, during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadhan, while raising money and awareness about homelessness, through video-blogs and interviews.

His amazing humanitarian project, “Homeless For One Week”:

To Mr. Ramelize, the preparation for this particular project is mostly spiritual. The reason is not to mock the homeless; but, rather, it is an excuse to become closer to Allah, in obedience, via reflection about the other, especially during the month of Ramadhan, when reflection, as well as internal & external purification are typically at an all-time high anyway. This project focuses on reflection of how the other half truly lives & is forced to live. Over the past four years, money has been raised, for various Tri-State area based organizations, like, CAMBA (Church Avenue Merchants Block Association), Coalition for the Homeless, as well as Food Bank for New York City, to help spread awareness about the need to help the homeless.
Every year, the money that he has raised, as a result of his amazing efforts, goes to one, or more different charities, that work exclusively to help end homelessness & hunger. This year, he is raising monies for “Muslims Against Hunger”, based in the Tri-State area. Each year, he does something unique, as well, to really encapsulate the homeless-experience, not to patronize or mock the homeless, but, to rather truly know how it feels to have to go day-to-day, without the simplest luxuries, that so many of us either take completely for granted, waste, or both. For instance, last year, he did his “Homeless For One Week” project, without any footwear. The main reason for this was for him to sacrifice simple things, that so many people take for granted, far too often. This project is essentially geared toward consciousness & gratitude for all that we have & to help inspire others to help those who have less and/or nothing in comparison.

One of the main themes that he wants to face head-on are the very unfair & cruel “Stereotypes of the Homeless”: Lazy, shiftless, unskilled, jaded, poor work-ethic, scam-artists, etc. This year, he’s planning to make more of an effort to interact with homeless persons. Weather plays a very significant part in the effectiveness of this project. People don’t realize how weather affects people, who don’t have proper access to food, clothing and shelter. And, as Muslims, we owe it to Allah, then to our fellow man to make the lives of others better.

The positive results yielded thus far:

As a result of Mr. Ramelize’s extraordinary work, for this most noble project, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer had honored him, with a proclamation, as “Artist and Activist against Homelessness” and was also nominated as NY1 News’ “Queens, NY Person of The Week”, for his charitable spirit and promotion of awareness through his “Homeless For One Week” project. The “Homeless For One Week” project has been featured in the NYDaily News, NY Post, RT News, The Village Voice, ELAN Magazine, Arabnews.com, America.gov and DNAinfo.com.

Yusef Ramelize’s bio:
Currently working as the Production and Creative Manager
of Informa plc, one of the largest publishing companies in the world.
He holds a BFA in Electronic Design and Multimedia from the City College of New York. In his spare time, Ramelize does freelance marketing projects ranging from print ads for pop culture magazines, catalogs to business logos. In addition, Yusef Ramelize also works on various community projects, such as being the Community Outreach Director for CAMP (Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals), and as a Creative Consultant for Elan Online Magazine (A Muslim lifestyle online magazine).

So, in conclusion, if you are at all inspired by the great work, of such a great Human being, then, by all means, please support his noble efforts.

You can help him make a difference, by first visiting his website:

http://www.homelessforoneweek.com


Oppression is wretched!!!

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It is something that will taint your soul.
You’ll never reach Paradise, our goal.

Tyranny is something that which Allah has banned for Himself.
Yet, we have the audacity to strip the creation of their wealth.

This wealth is priceless: they are our lives, properties & honor.
Violating, taking these things from others is an action of terror.

As Human beings, we are haters-by-nature.
Envy is a poison, causing us to be immature.

Our hearts are corrupt, black & filthy.
Oppression makes all our deeds petty.

We must ask Allah to remove us all from the path of the dreaded & cursed Shaytan.
Or else, in the Hereafter, we’ll remain in the darkness and will not see another dawn.

Gareth Bryant/2012

Integrity is sacred!!!

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Author’s note:
The following post is the result of a Muslim, who knows me personally, who has recently deemed it okay to violate the sanctity of our religious-bond, by slandering me, by accusing me of being a Homosexual, something that’s considered a Major-Sin, according to classic Islamic-Texts. Let me first clear the air to all those who may read this: I am not a Homosexual, I’ve never have been. Now, if this is not good enough for some people out there, well, then, that’s your problem. I am a Muslim, and I am a Human being. Those who know me know who I am & how I live. So, for me to even have to jump out of the window, in order to clarify something that someone has viciously said about me, to purposely tarnish my Islamic social-standing, is really cruel. Anyway, I’ll get back to that in a while. Now, I intend to explore more of the Islamic spin on the subject of Slander.

Allah says in the Qur’an, “Oh, you who believe!!! Revere Allah, and speak a straight word (i.e. speak honestly/speak the truth).”.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.33, V.70) This means that as Muslims, we are divinely obligated, by Allah, the Lord of the Universe, to always speak honestly, never to speak crooked speech, to never lie. Then, Allah also says, “Oh, you who believe!!! If a sinner brings you news, verify. It may be that you allow harm to befall a people out of ignorance, and be regretful of what you’ve done.” (Noble Qur’an: Chpt.49, V.6) Now, unfortunately, most Muslims think that this particular verse only applies to Non-Muslims, but, it applies to all Human beings, regardless to whether one is a Muslim or not, because of the statement of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), “All of the Children of Adam are sinners; yet, the best of the Sinners are those who seek repentance.”.(Ahmad)

And, since all Human beings are sinful by nature, it becomes necessary to verify all that we say & claim. After all, it is the Prophet (Peace be upon him) himself, who has said, “If people were allowed to make baseless-claims, they would take the lives & wealth of others indiscriminately. However, the clarity is upon the claimant, otherwise they must take an oath.”.(An-Nawawi) This statement makes it very clear, that we are not allowed to just say things without them being truthful. We are obligated to have all that we claim to be honest, as well as verifiable. Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has also said, “The life, property & integrity of a Muslim is sacred.”.(An-Nawawi) This obviously means that no one has the right to take your life, property, or ruin your reputation, unless there is an Islamically justifiable reason to do so, and in almost all cases, you have to dig pretty damn deep, in order to find any Islamic justification to take someone’s life, property, or destroy their reputation; and, even the lives, properties & integrity of Non-Muslims are protected under Islamic-Law.

With Slander, specifically, it’s very honestly a form of oppression, and Allah has stated, based upon what Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has told us, “Oh, My Property!!! Verily, I have made oppression unlawful upon Myself, as well as between you. So, do not oppress one another!!!”.(An-Nawawi) Now, let’s think about this very carefully: Allah is the undisputed, Eternal-Creator of the entire Universe. By definition & default, He really has the right to do with us whatever He wants, without question or accountability. But, out of His eternal sense of justice, He has taken steps to not cross boundaries, which He has imposed upon Himself. Now, that is truly amazing!!! Alas, sadly, we cross the same exact boundaries that the Lord of the Universe has placed upon himself, which is the boundary which separates us from oppression; now, isn’t that hella ironic?!!!

Now, we can get straight into Slander:

The Islamic definition of Slander is the following: To say something, about someone, that is either known to be false, or that cannot be proven, exclusively to make a person look negative in public. This definition of Slander is directly derived from two chapters of the Qur’an, Surat-ul-Humazah (The Chapter of Slander) & Suratu-Yusuf (The Chapter of Joseph), which details the slander of Prophet Joseph (Peace be upon him), while he was in Egypt, in the household of an Ancient-Egyptian official, whose wife accused him of trying to rape her, and our mother `A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her), when she was accused of adultery, by the leader of the Hypocrites in the city of Al-Madinah, during the lifetime of Muhammad (Peace be upon him). The Islamic definition of Hypocrites, by the way, are people who only pretend to be Muslims, for various alternative reasons; but, in reality, they do not truly believe that Islam is true guidance.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.63, V.1-8) During the lifetime of Joseph (Peace be upon him), his life was literally in danger, he was on the verge of being executed, and all because of a lie, and so was our mother, `A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her). Had Allah not allowed the truth of their affairs to be exposed, then, both of them would have perished unjustly, just because someone thought that it was amusing to slander a Prophet & slander the wife of a Prophet.

This is how dangerous Slander truly is: Not only do you ruin peoples’ lives, here in this Mundane, but also, your slander could very well be the reason why they never get married, never get a good job, acquire problems with family-members, neighbors, etc. You can also play a severe part in endangering the welfare and/or lives of those whom you so choose to slander-It’s a really big deal, whenever a person commits one’s self to say something about someone, which is not true, cannot be proven, and/or, in most cases, both. Also, in the hereafter, those who slander will not only be stripped of a specific amount of their own good actions, which are given to those whom they’ve slandered, they’ll also be compelled to take the negative actions of those whom they’ve slandered from their record. And, they’ll be questioned by Allah, concerning whatever you’ve slandered a person about, just as though they’ve actually done those specific actions themselves…WHAT A WAY TO FAIL!!!

Okay, now…it’s time for me to switch to my Nigga-Shit:

I know exactly why this particular person would even want to slander me. I mean, obviously, it’s not Islamically correct. But, I can actually see, in hindsight, why someone, particularly & especially a Muslim, would ever want to slander me, with the accusation of Homosexuality, no less.

This is how I can perceive the scenario-

This particular sister was throwin’ the pussy at me, and I either didn’t take notice to her, or completely, purposely, refused to entertain her advances, because one, I’m a Muslim, who’s actually tryin’ to do shit right, for a change. Then, two, she’s probably less than a 7, on a scale of 0-10, which means that she’s no way in my type-range, of women I’m sexually-attracted to, anyway. Now, with that being said, it’s obvious that the Devil convinced her, via his seductive whispering, to cause chaos & corruption, by slandering the known good-name of a fellow Muslim. And, to add insult-to-injury, it wasn’t just me, who’s character that she had attacked. This broad has also tarnished the good-name of a Muslims sister, as well.

Here’s how that went down-

I get a call, from a sister, whom I know. She tells me straight up, without hesitation that someone has been talkin’ mad shit about me. She basically revealed to me, that this sister who had slandered me, that she had asked whether I had holla’d at her. When the sister, who told me this story, said that I didn’t try to holla at her, this sister, who slandered me, then said, “Oh, yeah!!! He’s Gay.”. Now, when hearing this story, I realized something important, she wasn’t just attacking my religious/personal-integrity, she was also attacking the religious/personal-integrity of the sister whom she had asked about me. Basically, in the mind & heart of the one who’s the slanderer, it’s goin’ a lil’ somethin’ like this’, “Wow, if Gareth hasn’t holla’d at this girl, then, he must be Gay, because everybody knows that this girl is easy & loose.”. This is exactly what I was able to extrapolate from this story which was shared to me.

Now, here comes the pain-

Whoever you are, slandering me, or anyone else, I strongly advise you to fear the displeasure of Allah, make repentance, privately & publicly, and never set your feet upon that evil path again. And, you had better do that really soon, because I have my eyes & ears to the ground, looking for you, and you had better pray to Allah that you seek forgiveness & seek repentance, both publicly & privately, before I find out who you are; you’re officially on my shit-list, and for the record, you have to be a real douche-bag, in order to make it to that list. There’s a powerful proverb in Mongolian, which is the following, “Do not scorn a weak cub. He may become the brutal tiger.”. I usually try my very best to be the cool-guy. But, now, I see that I have to revert to bein’ a Nigga bout mines. And, honestly, that’s fine with me, if you wanna play dirty, hell…I invented playin’-dirty. Now, you’ve really fucked-up, because you’ve taken my good-nature for weakness, as though I’m a weak cub. You’ve made a big mistake. I’m Muslim, first. But, then, after that, I’m a Real-Nigga, and a Real-Nigga is gonna do whatever a Real-Nigga’s gotta do, ya dig?!!!

Whoever you are, slandering me, you, and whatever clique you roll with, no matter whether they’re Muslim or not, male, or female, if I catch you, we’re gonna go to war, and whoever is down with you, spreading rumors about me, or any other Muslim, or any other people period, while you claim to be a Muslim, I’m comin’ for ya ass & their asses too. And, I’m not afraid, because one, I’m a Muslim, and I know that when I’m correct, Allah will always protect me. Two, I’m a grown-ass man, who doesn’t have the will, the want, the care or the time, for any bullshit like this. Three, I’m just too old, to have to defend myself, against bullshit-gossip, that only does harm & not good.

Congratulations, whoever you are, because now, you’ve voluntarily enter the Lion’s-Den, and there’s only one way in & no way out. And, guess what?!!! I’m the hungry Lion, who hasn’t been fed in months, with the sharpest claws & teeth on the planet, and it’s lunchtime, and you’re on the menu. You’re like a Zebra, and I’m on the prowl, hungry for blood.

You betta watch ya ass, because I always catch my prey.
Just like Kevin Hart said, “You goin’ to learn, today!!!”

My thoughts on the word “Nigger”:

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Author’s note:
People, very often, have asked me why I’m so comfortable with the word “Nigger” being used around me. They just can’t understand, why an African-American would be so “not angry” when this particular word is used. I’ve honestly been thinking about this for a very long time, how to officially throw the word “Nigger” to the waste side, meaning take the power of meaning away from the word itself. Ironically, most people, especially African-Americans, really have no idea that the word Nigger, and the word Negro, for that matter, actually come from actual words in Latin. The word “Nigger” is derived from the Latin word “Niger” (just like the name of the country, in Africa…yes), which literally means the color “Black”. The word “Negro” is derived from the Latin word “Negro”, which means “To blaken/To make black”. However, the connotative meanings of both these words are exclusively, historically, meant to degrade & dehumanize anyone who is either Non-White, or even Non-European. And, occasionally, this term was even used against other Whites, like how it was used to dehumanize the Irish, during the 19th century, as droves of Irish immigrants came from Ireland, as a result of the historically infamous “Potato-Famine”. The following poem is my way of expressing how this word does not describe me.

A Nigger, I am not:

There’s just no way that I could ever be someone’s Nigger.
Allah is my Creator, it’s He who fashioned my noble figure.

He’s made me a Human being, higher, brighter, and better than the rest.
He has chosen me to be ahead of all creation; my status is the very best.

Never am I lower than an animal; my existence has great value & is substantial.
I’ve been guided to Islam, the noble path of many; I carry a very heavy mantle.

Allah doesn’t favor people because of their ethnicities, colors, nor races.
It’s only through believing in Him & doing good will we attain His graces.

This word Nigger has kept so many people back, from truly elevating to their rightful stations.
They have, unfortunately, bought into the lies that they are nothing & have given justifications.

Self-belittlement must come to an end; we are the ones whom Allah has created, with His own hands.
He has molded the bodies of our parents, Adam and Eve, from all different types of the Earth’s lands.

He has given us something that no one can take from us, no matter what they do.
It’s called the Soul; I’ve been given one, directly from my Creator & so have you.

So, the next time that you have the urge, to use this hateful word, think about what you’re really saying.
You yearn to take someone’s Humanity, with the utterance of just a single word, it is spiritual maiming.

Gareth Bryant/2012