Tag Archives: Islamic Teachings

The Balad of al-Barzakh/the Poem of the Realm of Death:

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When it’s your time to demise, however you may despise…
…there is no turning-back, there is no such compromise…

…As it’s your time to go, your breathing getting fast and then slow…
…your Faith, all of a sudden, starts switching: between high & low…

…The Soul of the dearly-departing sways in the winds and that’s when the reality of Death begins…
…the Grim-Reaper, looking meaner than anything who have ever seen, is who ensures our ends…

…The Angel of Death is by no contest, the only Angel that we’ll be able to see & never live to describe…
…he will come for us all, both great & small, regardless to what religion, social-status, or ethnic-tribe…

…He takes whatever soul for the day, without any of our approval…
…his grasps more intense and painful than Brazilian hair-removal…

…He will take us all to that place, of not so quaint of a space…
…we’ll all be there for a time, not knowing when we’ll escape…

…And, when we finally get there: no time for rest and relaxation…
…we’ll be tested, and questioned, assessing our final destination…

…We will be asked the most important questions, anyone will ever be faced with, in their existence…
…they are: “Who is your Lord?”, “What is your Path?”, “Who is your Prophet?”, it is serious business…

…And, then, the rel trials begin: suffering the torment that’s only a sample of what is in the Life thereafter…
…but, there’s hope: answering the prior questions correctly and your experience will be that much better…

…So, in conclusion, do not live this Mundane-Life in a state of Illusion…
…or, you’ll meet your Lord in such a dishonored context of confusion…

This Life is but a temporary stay, every second that we live we’re closer to that Day…
…that moment of Resurrection, when we are set upon flat Earth, our deeds to weigh…

…We will have no one there to hold our hand: it’ll be each person all for themselves…
…we won’t be able to make this Day go away, no changing channels, no magic spells…

…Only the Mercy of Allah, Creator, Lord of all…
…either we fail and fall hard or win & stand tall…

…Only His own Divine-Clemency will come to our rescue…
…but, what has been done to earn His favor, by me and you?

Gareth Bryant/2014

Gareth Bryant vs. Cyrus McGoldrick:

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Author’s-Note:
Every month I’ll be conducting a Poetic-Challenge, challenging various poets, whom I personally know/interact with, just for the sake of sharpening/improving my own poetry, general-goodwill, respect for my fellow “Brethren of the Paper & Pen”, and to just see who from among us has the best “Poetry-Skillz”…Every month, I’ll be picking a brand-new Poetic-Challenger, via Facebook/Twitter, to compete with. This month, it’s Cyrus McGoldrick. Next month, it could very well be anyone of you. So, just be prepared, with some fresh-rhymes.

Topic: Yearning for something More

Gareth Bryant

Gareth Bryant

The Warmth We yearn from one another:

When the blistering Winter descends…
…We can no longer afford to pretend.

We get cold so quickly, it really hurts…
…We pursue warmth which takes work.

We all want the heat of Love, to warm our heart…
…Each of us wants a companion who’ll never part.

But, Life is sometimes a cruel Snow-Storm, covering all in its path, with the crispest & iciest harshness…
…However, we must make a Summer out of every Winter, protecting our hearts from a freezing-tempest.

We mustn’t succumb to the hypothermia of Loneliness…
…We all need someone to keep us from cold distress.

Being close, to the one who you love, is one of the greatest feelings of all…
…So, think about the one who keeps you warm during the heavy Snow-Fall.

Gareth Bryant/2014

Cyrus McGoldrick

Cyrus McGoldrick

ROARS OF THE RESTLESS:
Patterns of romances
low lights
private dances
signature strike timing
slow trances
Recital
thrown lances
light bites
the plight of the banished
without a standard
no understanding
a clan reprimanded
Plans
paths that never intersect
cattle gaining interest
calves that pay the rent
rattlesnakes in nets
Sweat
treasure in bared chests
reflections of red flares
messy confections
bred best
sleds sent
some bent and some went
Guns kept for your protection
legs stretched
rented apartments and tents
learned little and read best
roars of the restless
Wrapped in heavenly blessings
missing senses and tests
my second death
ascension that dents impressions
no bodies left

Cyrus McGoldrick/2014

Breast-Cancer Awareness: It’s not just a Women’s-Issue…It’s our Issue!!!

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With the permission of Allah, Muslims Giving Back will be participating, as volunteers, advocates, walkers, at this year’s annual Breast-Cancer Walk in Central Park in New York City.

These are the reasons why Gareth Bryant, National-Spokesperson, Muslims Giving Back, is participating:

1. For every Mother, who had Breast-Cancer, who never had a Son by her side.

2. For every Daughter, who had Breast-Cancer, who never had a Father by her side.

3. For every Sister, who had Breast-Cancer, who never had a Brother by her side.

4. For every Wife, who had Breast-Cancer, who never had a Husband by her side.

There’s one particular fact that people, whom don’t know, have to recognize/accept:

1. Breast-Cancer is like the Female version of Prostate-Cancer for Men: every Woman, within her respective lifetime, if she lives long enough, is going to have to come to terms with the fact that this will in fact impact her life, in some way…it’s one of the leading-causes of deaths among Women, particularly within the United States.

2. Statistically, although not nearly as common, Men have also been documented to have acquired Breast-Cancer; so, none of us, as Men, should ever dare think that this disease is Gyno-Centric, that it only affects Women.
Allah says, “Men are Responsible for (supporting) Women.”. (Noble Qur’an: Chpt.4, V.34)

These (4-types of) Women, that I’ve mentioned previously, are the most-important Women in any Man’s life, and these Women do so much, for us, yet we do very little/if nothing for them…we need to change that & it needs to start by supporting them via supporting Breast-Cancer awareness…Any/all Men, whom are able to make it to this walk, in New York City, must go…and, if you are going, think of your own, personal reasons why you’re participating in the Breast-Cancer Walk, in support of awareness concerning one of the most relevant health-crises effecting the most-important Women in our lives…no exceptions!!!

(Trust me when I tell you) Muhammad (Peace be upon him), the greatest, created-thing that Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe ever created, the greatest person whom was ever given Revelation, the greatest Prophet, he greatest Messenger, the greatest, Son, Father, Brother, Husband, that any Woman could ever want or ask for: if he were alive, today, among us, he would most-definitely attend a walk such as a Breast-Cancer Walk, because that was both his (Prophetic & personal) nature, that’s why Allah sent hm, with the Qur’an & Sunnah/Prophetic-Tradition, to show us how to work, strive, fight, help make the existence/lives of others better, via Community-Service, through service of one’s Fellow-Man.

For more info. about how to support the noble-efforts of Muslims Giving Back, in our efforts to spread Breast-Cancer Awareness, please, visit us online:

http://www.muslimsgivingback.org/

A “Female-Imam”: What is this?!!!

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Pamela Taylor pic

Author’s note:

This article is exclusively based upon finding out that the person whom had wrote the Pro-Homoesxual/Same-Gender-Marriage article for AltMuslim, Pamela Taylor, apparently, has been granted the title of “Imam”. Now, What I plan to do is to simply clarify what exactly an Imam truly is, in both its linguistic, Islamically historical context, and whom has the entitlement to be labeled “Imam” in the 1st-place.

Let’s begin…linguistically:

The word, Imam, inherently, is actually from the Arabic verb “Āmma” meaning to afront/to be in front, to lead, to supersede, to head, etc. So, with that being said, anyone, theoretically/realistically can be a leader.(Lisan-ul-`Arab/The Tongue of the `Arab [Lexicon of the Arabic-Language])

Next, let’s examine the types/categories of Imamah/Leadership:

There are many different, universal types of Imamah/Leadership, such as the following: Parents, Teachers, Sports-Coaches/Owners, Principals, Business-Owners, etc. Any/all of these respective types of Imamah/Leadership, is for anyone/everyone. In other words, any/all Human beings are 100%-entitled to take the reigns of these manifested types of Imamah/Leadership. However, when it comes to specific religious-duties, particularly/especially within Islam, then, now, the rules must change, as to whom are allowed to possess Imamah/Leadership, as well as to which extent that Imamah/Leadership is Islamically allowed to be taken.

Now, let’s investigate the Islamic definition of “Imam” & who is justified to carry this title:

Imam, firstly, is a Masculine-Noun in the Arabic-Language, and just like any/all Nouns within the Arabic-Language, their Natures are exclusive to their Genders. In the Arabic-Language, which is the language which Allah had purposely chosen to reveal the Qur’an in (Noble Qur’an: Chpt.12, V.3), no noun (person, place, thing, concept, idea, etc.) is “unisex” or “unigender”…Every noun, which the word “Imam” is, in the Arabic-Language, has to be either masculine or feminine, exclusive for/to either males or female created-things. Even in referrence to created things which don’t have a gender, at all, like Angels, for example: the name “Khalifah”, meaning caretaker, custodian, ruler, etc., which is most commonly known by its bureaucratic definition, being the recognized global-leader of Muslims…this particular geo-political position can only be held by a Muslim-Man, and even linguistically, even though the word, Khalifah, has an apparent feminine-ending, it is still, in fact, exclusively, a masculine-word.(al-Khulafa’-ur-Rashidun, Jalal-ud-Din as-Suyuti; Lisan-ul-`Arab) We, then, have the word “Malak” (pl. Mala’ikah), meaning Angel, is masculine, by virtue of the fact that Angels were created, by Allah, without a gender. So, because of that, the word in Arabic, Angel, itself, as well as the actual names & characteristics of Angels, are also, by definition/extension, must be masculine. This was a very huge-issue, during the lifetime of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), because, the Pagan-Arabs had a religious-view, that Angels were, female & the “daughters of Allah”. However, when the Qur’an was revealed, it thus clarified this degenerate religious-belief, among all of the beliefs of the Pagan-Arabs.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.37, V.149-156) So, with that being said, it becomes, thus, very clear, that any noun in the Qur’an, must, at all times, coincide with a respective gender.

Now, coming back, full-circle, to the main point of inference, the primary-topic, at hand, concerning the whole “Female-Imam” issue: we can now get our hands dirty, about this issue. The term Imam, relative to what I’m directly referring to, in the context of the claim of Pamela Taylor, as being a “Female-Imam”, we know based upon text, from both the Qur’an & Sunnah/Prophetic-Tradition, as well as simply from the linguisitc-dyanmics of the Arabic-Language, that there is no way that a Muslim-Woman can be an “Imam”, in any religious-context. Before I continue, it’s fair that I go in-depth as to what an “Imam”, in the context of what Pamela Taylor is claiming: it is referring to, directly, leading both Muslim-Men & Muslim-Women in prayers, giving the weekly Khutbah/Sermon, on the day of al-Jumu`ah/Friday. Please, note, that this has never been done, before, from among any members of the Salaf (the 1st-3-generations of Muslims, after the revelation of the Qur’an: as-Sahabah/the Companions of Muhammad [May Allah be pleased with them all-together], as well as the 1st & 2nd-generations of at-Tabi`in/the Followers of as-Sahabah [May Allah mercify them all-together]). And, if anyone from among the Ummah (Nation/MuslimCommunity) of Muhammad would’ve been justified to enact this practice, it would’ve definitely been these Muslim-Women, from among the Salaf & more specifically, the Wives of Muhammad (May Allah be pleased with them), because they were, by-and-large, the most-righteous, as well as the most knowledgeable Muslim-Women, during the lifetime of Muhammad, as well as among the Salaf, and yet, none of them, participated in leading both Muslim-Men & Muslim-Women, in any prayers, nor did any of the give any Khutub (sing. Khutbah) on the day of al-Jumu`ah.

What’s interestingly-ironic is that these “Progressive-Muslim” individuals/groups, whom all co-sign this Bid`ah (Religious-Innovation) never taken into consideration that the best people among the Muslims, relative to the revelation of the Qur’an, never did this. And, it absolutely tickles me, when people reference our (religious) mother, `A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her), whom wielded immense religio-scholastic, geo-political prestige & authority: her husband being Muhammad of course, the last Prophet/Messenger of Allah & her own father, Abdullah ibn Abi-Quhafah…AKA Ab-Bakr as-Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with him), whom religio-scholastically taught mostly Muslim-Men, her entire life, after the death of Muhammad, and even raising an army, against her own cousin-in-law, `Ali ibn Abi-Talib, while he was a Khalifah (May Allah be pleased with him); yet, guess what, folks…yeah…you’ve got it…SHE NEVER LED ANY MUSLIIM-MEN IN ANY PRAYER, NOT EVEN ONE DAY, IN HER ENTIRE LIFE. As powerful as she was, in both religious-academics, as well, as on the geo-political stage, she knew that she had absolutely no justification to lead Muslim-Men in any prayers.

So, for someone to come, not days, years, decades, but, centuries, after her death, whom are clearly not as knowledgeable, Islamically, as she was, nor could they ever be, and proclaim that being a “Female-Imam” is Islamically valid, when the best of Muslim-Women, from among the best of Muslims, never did this, shows a very clear, obvious disease of the heart, which is spreading, like a wildfire with that’s HIV-infected. I, Gareth Bryant, do by, henceforth, dare to challenge, any Muslim, “Muslim-Feminist”, “Progressive-Muslim”, “Reform-Muslim”, regardless of one’s sectarian-persuasions, to provide any proof, even an abrogated-proof, from either the Qur’an, Sunnah, or the documented-practices of the Salaf, which gives any at all justification for a Muslim-Woman to be a “Female-Imam”.

Gareth Bryant/2013

What is “Islāmic-Feminism”/What is a “Muslim-Feminist”?!!!

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Author’s note:

Since Feminism has taken a very significant foothold, within the greater Muslim-World, in our modern-age, as a direct-result of the atrocities brought on by Misogyny, many Muslims, both Men & Women, whom are religiously in favor of Feminism, have decided to coin the term “Islamic-Feminism/Muslim-Feminist”, to identify with the greater Feminist-Movement, with an Islamic/Religious spin on how it should be applied to the lives of Muslims, Muslim-Women, particularly/especially. So, now, we have Muslims, from everywhere, whether their in Muslim or Non-Muslim nations, adhering to this new-wave of Feminism, called “Islamic-Feminism”, attempting to consolidate the fundamentals of Feminism & Islam, together, as though they are one in the same.

The following is my conclusion, after attending the highly-anticipated, highly-controversial, ICNYU Shuruq event, “Why All Muslims Should Be Feminists”:

A Muslim being forthright concerning the pursuit of socio-religious equality, between Men & Women, doesn’t make one an Islamic-Feminist/Muslim-Feminist, it simply makes one a Muslim. Just like: wanting to adhere to Islam, based upon the way of the Salaf (the Sahabah/Companions [May Allah be pleased with them all-together] & theTab’in/Followers [May Allah mercify them all-together]) doesn’t make one a Salafi-Muslim, wanting the global-unity of the Muslims make one an Ikhwani-Muslim, having respect/love for Ahl-il-Bayt/the People of the House (the Muslim-Relatives of Muhammad [Peace be upon him] & their descendants) doesn’t make one a Shi`i-Muslim, striving to establish a, solid, spiritual-connection with Allah doesn’t make one a Sufi-Muslim. The term Feminism, Islamic-Feminism, etc. are just excuses, among many others to attempt to monopolize elements of Islam, which have existed, before the inception of these respective coined-concepts & movements. In other words, calling to “Feminism”, regardless of intent, is just as divisive as calling to “Salafism”, “Shi`ism”, “Sufism”, ‘Nepotism’, “Ethnocentrism” “Racism”, “Nationalism”, “Classim”, “Chauvinism”/”Sexism” or any/all other ‘ism’s’ out there.

Gareth Bryant/2013

The Perils of MSA-Life, anywhere/everywhere:

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Author’s note:

This is an anonymous-advice, that someone, whom is a Muslim, would like to give, to Muslims generally, and also, to Muslims involved in MSA (Muslim Students Association) work, whether you’re in High School, or at the College level. I think that this advice is very commendable, and even anonymously, I’m sure that it took a lot for this person to write this, which displays an immense amount of courage, on her part.

This is their story:

“The only reason I’m writing this is because today I was being “haram” and thinking about a guy back in middle school. He read books all the time and knew things that our teachers didn’t expect anyone to know, let alone a Black male who hung out with the wrong crew. To be honest, I really liked him, and I wasn’t even in love with his clothes or his personality; it was his brain.

Something that struck me about him was that he never did his homework, yet on tests he’d score higher than any of us, and he never bragged about it. I remember hearing people ask him how he knew these things, and I remembering asking him that myself. I never realized what I was doing to him; I never would’ve asked a non-Black guy because that’s something I would’ve just expected; but now I realize how wrong it was to question him just because I expected him to be like the others who looked like him. I never really knew that what I was doing was wrong, and the proof is that I liked him all throughout middle school.

When I thought about him earlier today and started thinking why I liked him so much, I saw a reflection of him in me. I wear tight jeans, and my hijab is a mess. My shirts are never long enough and my relationship with my family isn’t even Islamic. Although I can go on and on about my negatives, I can say one good thing about myself without lying, I read; sometimes I act stupid or do things just because I’m expected to, and I know that people will question me if I say things I’m “not supposed” to know, similar to that guy. I started reflecting back on every time I interacted with a Muslim who seemed to be more religious then me (they probably were, I’m just saying “seemed” because only Allah knows what’s truly in our hearts). Every time I though about these interactions, I felt like I was being treated like that guy, and I really was. And when I thought about it I got really angry. It hurts to know that your brothers and sisters can expect so little from you; I was really angry because know one even knew how much or how little I read at home, and they simply expected so little from me. Even though  I’m still really angry at them, I’m just a little less angry because I remember asking that guy why he knew so much and I remember expecting so little from him. I guess that’s how some people think of a girl who doesn’t look as Muslim as them. The same way it was unintentional for me, I guess it was unintentional for those people, and this is why I am writing this. The words you say to someone can really hurt them. Please, don’t question how someone knows something and don’t give a fake smile and tell them that you’re so proud that they  are taking notes at an Islamic event – an event that they made it to earlier than you probably even left your house.

I remember back in Arabic school (something that I quit because I had to much “work” to do), the teacher was explaining to us how it’s important to treat people of all religions nicely. I had to share the story of how the Prophet got up when men passed him with a dead Jewish body. The people around him asked him why he got up for this man if he was a Jewish man, and the Prophet simply responded, “Is he not human”. I remember the look of surprise and the smile that she gave me, and at the moment I smiled, yo. I couldn’t believe this woman was complimenting me, and when she asked me how I knew that, I proudly replied I read. Now, I look back, and I’m angry that she would ask me something like that. If it was one of the other girls, whose parents were Arab, she would only be happy, not surprised,  to hear it from them. And, yeah, I still realize that she could’ve only said that because she wanted to know how she can get her teenage sons to read , but that still hurt.

Then, a few months ago, I went to one of the first Islamic events I went to in a few months. I was mad hype, it was a brother I listened to a lot, I loved when he made videos criticizing things I did as a young Muslim. Anyway, I’m there about 20 minutes early or whatever, and this girl that I go with tells me that I should pray. I casually try to shrug it off, and then I tell her that prayer isn’t important right now. She gave me this huge speech about how it’s so important to pray, and I know I needed that, but it just wasn’t the time- and also , I don’t just accept advice from anyone. I know I should fix that, but also if you’re giving advice to someone, make sure they like you enough to be willing to receive it (not that I didn’t like her, she’s really nice, but her speeches are just tooooo long). Anyway, the reason I didn’t want to pray was because I knew there was some pee on my pants. I can’t blame her, I know she didn‘t know, but please try to consider why a person might be doing something before assuming something and giving them a whole lecture.

Anyway, I’m at this lecture, and another girl, a board member of our MSA, comes up to me and tells me that she’s so happy I’m here. I know that you probably think I’m overreacting for getting angry, but I still feel like I deserve to feel angry. This girl greeted the people around me with “Salams!” and when she saw me, sure she said Salam! in that stupid voice, but she also told me that she was so proud that I had my notebook. Me, being the retard I am, smiled and felt so happy to hear someone complimenting me; but now when I think back, the first girl that she said Salam to had a paper in her hand also, and she didn’t say anything about that, but when she saw me, it was just unexpected. She probably didn’t mean it the way she said it, but I still have a hard time forgiving her. If there’s a group of people, don’t make one seem less than the rest, not even religiously speaking but just in general. I’m not saying that everyone should just say Salam with the same expression to every person, but we need to remember that it’s not cool to talk down to someone. I don’t know why it’s so hard to forgive her, I really don’t, but maybe its because that comment was given at a time when my Islam was already shaky.

 

The only reason I wrote this is because I feel like this is something we do unintentionally, but the feelings that we hurt may stay hurt one, two, five years later. Please, if your giving dawah don’t question people’s intelligence. I know that I barely know anything, but you don’t need to tell me that and treat others different while in front of me, and don’t think you know why someone does someone does something because you really don’t.

 

Also, this is to every MSA board member anywhere, if you don’t ask people what they want to here and if you aren’t willing to take suggestions, the MSA isn’t what its supposed to be. If someone doesn’t even pray, why not take to them individually instead of having meetings about the Sahaba or about a Prophet (I’m not saying that’s not important. I’m just saying that you guys don’t even know what we’re going through and instead of trying to find out, you tell us things that we’d be happy to learn If our Islam was stronger). I think our MSA’s focus way too much about facts, than on trying to understand things and apply them to our daily lives. Also, one more thing, please give us the chance to ask questions. Cut the meetings short a little, hear what we have to say. And try to instill family. I don’t even smile at the board members who are sisters because we all don’t try hard enough to make it a big family. Let’s do that.”

Gareth Bryant/2013

Connecting Sports & Islam:

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Author’s note:

Sports are some f the best forms of entertainment: they teach us how to strategize, organize, execute, implement discipline, teamwork, respect, humility, selflessness, goodwill, confidence, ambition, and all other types of positive-qualities necessary to properly function in this Mundane-Life. And, connecting Sports with Existence, there are so many innumerable parallels, which I plan to discuss with great-detail.

The best way to link Sports to Existence:

Imagine, life being like an actual sport, like Football, or Basketball, for instance, two of the most popular sports around, for obvious reasons. Now, link that to our lives. I know, it’s not necessarily something that people think about doing, but, check this gem out: Allah specifically says, in His noble book that this Mundane-Life is merely a game.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.29, V.64)

But, for us playing the game of Life, we must decide whether we’re gonna play to win or play to loose. And, we also have to decide which playbook that we’ll use to get us through the game. At this point I’d like to delve deeper into the main point of this topic.

Basically, our existence is sectioned-off into three parts, just like a professional-sport: you have the Pre-Season, Regular-Season, and the Post-Season. I plan to expound upon all of these. Each of our aspects of existence reflects, directly, each phase of a sports-cycle.

Pre-Season/Pre-Puberty-

Anything & everything that occurs during this time, really isn’t counted, tallied, or mentioned on anyone’s record, regardless to how great or small an action is, or whether it’s positive or negative. During this time, it’s really a duration of grooming, to filter-out any negative elements to a person’s game, so that it doesn’t affect ones’ Regular-Season. It is at this time that you undergo significant practice, and acquire skills to take you to the next level.

Regular-Season/Puberty to Death-

Now, here’s when it all counts, this is the time to be serious, because everything, good, bad, or whatever, falls under your personal-stats. You have to play at the pinnacle of your abilities. There’s no room for error & there no excuses. No one can say,  “Well, it was because of this, that, and the 3rd…nah, ain’t nobody tryin’ to hear dat & ain’t nobody got time for dat…you’ve got to produce, or else. Every single thing that we do in the Pre-Season will have a direct affect on our ranking in the Post-Season. And, once the Regular-Season is finished, we can’t go back to improve or correct any errors, which were made, it’ll be too late for all of that. So, we gotta get things right, right now, while, our Regular-Season is still in play.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.23, V.99 & 100)

The Post-Season/the Hereafter-

Known as Barzakh (mentioned directly in the Qur’an, as basically the realm of existence between ad-Dunya/the Mundane-Life & al-Akhirah/the Hereafter), the Post-Season of our existence will determine whether or not we make it to the championship game & whether we fall into the “winner takes all” category. Like any major sports (Footbal & Basketball most specifically), tere are 3-rounds of the playoffs. But, referring to the Hereafter, the 3-rounds are all played in the graves, where the Angels of Questioning will test you, as to what your Mundane religious-stauts was. They will aske you 3 specific questions: Who is your Lord?…What is your path/religion?…Who is your Prophet?

Now, depending upon how well you answer these 3-questions, respectively, this will determine whether or not you will successfully advance to the next round, if at all. And, ironically, it is your heart, your actions that will answer these questions for you, not necessarily your verbal-speech.(Abu-Dawud) With this being said, let me break down how the Post-Season works: Question #1 = 1st-Round, Question #2 = 2nd-Round, and Question # = 3rd-Round. Meaning, you will not/cannot advnce to the next-round, unless you answer each question correctly, in their exact orders.

Depending upon your answers to these questions, you’ll either advance, or be eliminated. But, unlike sports, within the Mundane, there’s no next-season; no one can ever say, “We’ll get em, next-year”…nah…that’s not happenin’, cause once your Mundane-Life, your Regular-Season of earthly-living is finished, there’s no turning back…We only get one season of Life, and we’ve only got one opportunity to be on the right team. And, Allah describes the qualities of the two most important teams to know about: Hizb-ush-Shaytan/the Team of the Devil, and Hizbullah/the Team of Allah. He describes them so very well, with such incredible clarity.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.58, V.18-22) We dare not chose the wrong team. But, at the same time, our Free-Will is just like being a Free-Agent, we get to freely choose which team we wanna be on, without interference.

Then, we get to the final game, the championship game…just imagine that the NBA Finals champ game/NFL Super Bowl & the All-Star Game/NFL Pro Bowl were all the exact same event…Well, that kinda how the Day of Standing is gonna play out: Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has informed us of 7-types of persons, whom will be given the immense honor of being covered with the Shade of the Throne of Allah, from the the Sun, on the day where will be no shade from, it & that it will be a mile (or in other narrations, a foot above our heads) away, causing people to sweat, to the extent of sweating up to one’s ankles, or waists, or necks, or even drowning in one’s own sweat.(Bulugh-ul-Maram)

These 7-people are the all-stars & pro bowlers of Judgement-Day: they will be the best & brightest of the day, with Allah as their protector and ally, and they will have a most easy time, on this day, unlike some, or most. These are the persons whom we all must/should aspire to be, at all-times. So, all in all, knowing sporting-dynamics & relating them to Islam is very-important, so that we can better use a universal modality, which is universally beneficial, and be able to apply it to our spiritual-lives, in the hopes that it can help us achieve greater insight into the realities of the Mundane-Life, Life-after-Death, and what the Hereafter actually has in store for each/all of us.

Gareth Bryant/2013

The Fallacy of “Muslim Male Privilege”:

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Author’s note:
The following is a personal-commentary, of an article, written by a fellow Muslim-Writer/Blogger, Jamerican Muslimah, about this concept, she dubbed as, “Muslim Male Privilege”-This concept is based (directly/exclusively) upon B. Deutsch’s “The Male Privilege List”, as well as Peggy McIntosh’s “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”-In this article, 16-points, detailing what “Muslim Male Privilege” actually is, which is available on her own blog, under the April 2008 Archive section of her blog.(http://www.jamericanmuslimah.wordpress.com) I’ve made my own personal-commentary, commented on (most, but not all) the 16-points, which I’ve actually emailed to her first, before even placing this into the public-sphere. I wanted to show her some respect, by emailing her concerning my discrepancies about her article, before making a contrary article to hers. So, here it is, exactly what I’ve sent to her via email. Let me make it very clear, as a Muslim-Man, that there is no such thing as Muslim-Male Privilege, especially at the expense of oppressing someone else. No Muslim-Man should feel that being a Muslim-Male gives him the “privilege” to be a tyrant. And any/all those who advocate for this type of sadistic “privilege”, are people whom are guilty, in front of Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe.

Here’s the direct-response to Jamerican Muslimah’s article, concerning “Muslim Male Privilege”:

Salam

With due respect, most of the points in this article are completely false & unfairly-biased.

I’ll explain:

1. There are Masajid/Mosques that even I, as a Muslim-Man, have been made unwelcome, just because I’m not Arab, Desi, African, etc. So, basically, Mosque-Discrimination is something that applies to both Muslim-Men & Muslim-Women.

3. This point is only partially-true: Just because someone is a Man, it doesn’t mean that they’re always free to speak their minds at Islamic events, religious-classes, religious-lectures, etc. A lot of times, even if a man has a view or opinion, that he wants to express, depending upon his communal-standing, which Mosque he’s in, which event he’s in, he’ll immediately get shut-down, himself, for challenging the religious-authority, or being perceived as challenging the religious-authority of others “more-knowledgeable” than himself.

4. True, Muslim-Men do try to justify misogyny via Islam. But, what is also true is that Feminism, Western influences, Secularism have most definitely made a very ugly mark upon the minds & hearts of both Muslim-Men & Muslim-Women, all across the Globe.(http://www.garethbryant.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/bothmisogynyfeminismareevilandhereswhy)

5. Muslim-Men get criticized all of the time for quote-on-quote “Imitating the Kuffar”, in terms of fashion. And, by the way, “Islamic-Dress” for men is almost always a religious euphemism for Arab-Clothing. And, there are definitely Mosques which ban Muslim-Men from wearing certain things, which they deem as “Non-Islamic Dress”, such as pants, shirt-ties, etc.

6. There are plenty of Islamic-Scholars, whom are well-known to the Muslim-World, most-notably, `Ai’shah (May Allah be pleased with her). In fact, most, if not all, of the Ahadith concerning the personal home-life of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), were personally narrated by her. And, if it were not for her, we probably wouldn’t have any surviving evidence of how detailed his personal home-life was. And, to note, further, none of the Ahadith, confirmed to have been narrated by any of the Wives of Muhammad (May Allah be pleased with them) were ever questioned, regarding their authenticity.

7. In regards to not finding persons of Islamic-Knowledge whom are Muslim-Women, or Islamic works written by them, then, as an individual Muslim-Woman, one would have to take the initiative to seek those out, herself, just like with anything else.

8. A Muslim-Man should/must be concerned with whether a person giving him marital-advice is a chauvinist/sexist. Typically (with the minority-exceptions aside), a Muslim-Man is not looking to get a ruling in his favor; but, rather, to resolve any issues with his respective spouse/spouses, which he cannot do himself, hence, the need for some type of marital-counseling.

9. Every marriage-counseling session is as different as the persons seeking out the marriage-counseling. So, to paint that scenario with just one coat of paint, is very unfair.

12. Muslim-Men, as well as Muslim-Women struggle in this regard, to standup, for what Allah has established within Islam, and, we both face stringent opposition in this regard, respectively, regardless of our genders.

13. One, it seems that you’re in fact mocking the Islamic-allowance of a Muslim-Man to have more than one wife, which would mean that you are mocking Allah, in the process, because the only reason how & why Muslim-Men are ever allowed to have multiple-wives is because it has been thoroughly established via revelation (i.e. the Qur’an & Sunnah). Two, A Muslim-Woman has the right to marry & divorce whom she wills, it’s just that, based upon revelation, that the modality of divorce for Muslim-Women are a lot different than for Muslim-Men, courtesy of the Qur’an & Sunnah. So, if you have a problem with how/how not a Muslim-Woman is able to annul a marriage, than that means that you have some issue with the Qur’an & Sunnah.

14. No, a Muslim-Man cannot always have rational, real-life, discussions about his sex-life: Imams, Shaykhs, Scholars, etc. Often times (and I know this for a fact, because even I’ve had to deal with this), people automatically assume that if one is not married, that they’re must be either committing some type of Heterosexual or Homosexual offences. It really isn’t as one-sided as you’re purposely trying to make it.

15. This is actually one of the most inaccurate points in this entire post: both Muslim-Men & Muslim-Women have an obligation & duty to be representatives of Islam. Also, a lot of times, even if one is not a Muslim, if you’re living in a Non-Islamic society/Non-Muslim-Country, and you have an Arabic first or last name, you’ll automatically be red-flagged as being presumed as being a Muslim, anyhow.

Gareth Bryant/2013

Yasmin Mogahed: Enough said!!!

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Author’s note:
I have had the honorable privilege of meeting Yasmin Mogahed, learning from her, when she came to lecture at the Islamic-Center of New York University-To put it very plainly, she’s amazing: she has inspired, empowered & educated so many people in the Muslim-Community, in NYC, in the U.S., and really, anywhere & everywhere that Allah has allowed her to be. Yasmin Mogahed is someone whom I would want my daughters (Allah were to grant me to be the father of any daughters) to grow-up to be like. Not only is she a firm Islamic-Academic, who has a magnificent understanding of Islam, as well as a very sophisticated way of conveying the authentic, beautiful teachings of Islam, she’s a great literary-artist. She has recently agreed to be a guest writer for my writing page, which is like super-awesome…for real!!!

So, without further adieu, the very insightful, inspiring, empowering words of my sister, in Islam, Yasmin Mogahed:

I Grieve:

I lifted my head
Once more
Only to see
The sun had set,
The trees had slept,
And they’d all gone home

I grieve.

The sky that was clear
is now covered with fog.
My path, I no longer see.
Why try…when it’s all so gray?

I grieve.

Today I grieve
For what’s been lost.
My forgotten people,
still on their knees
before a snow god in spring

I grieve.

They’ve forgotten that prayer
And to whom they should call.
The Essence replaced
by mundane ritual,
empty symbols.
Their hearts… so tired,
jaded and worn

I grieve.

We are a people
defeated…but not conquered.
And somehow
I feel my blood return.
I will stand.
I will try.
And from beyond my grief,
I will see…

There are a people you can’t enslave.
A loyalty…you can’t buy.
For a land may be occupied…
but never a soul.
From beyond my tears
I’ll understand…

Today my people weep.
But tomorrow…Death will die,
as their tears give birth to a land
where…“on them shall be no fear
nor shall they grieve” (2:262).

Yasmin Mogahed/2012

For more info. about Yasmin Mogahed, please check out her website:

http://www.yasminmogahed.com