Tag Archives: Morals

Gareth Bryant’s Poetic-Commentary on the film, “12 Years A Slave”:

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Solomon Northup pic

Author’s Note:
“12 Years A Slave” is a movie, an internationally celebrated film, chronicling the life & times of a Solomon Northup, from 1841-1853, an African American, free, and not just free, but, born-free, a native of Saratoga, New York. An outspoken, well-spoken, intelligent, family-man, whom is also, well-traveled, well-experienced, well-skilled, in the musical & vocational-arts of the time in which he lived. Yet sadly, he was captured & subsequently sold into Slavery in the Antebellum American-South: his life turned for the worst, in ways that prior to him deceived & captured, thus thrown unjustly into the world of bondage, as well as forced-servitude, would’ve/could’ve never imagined, before that had occurred-This is his story, in my poetic-words.

Hope that Remains in the Heart:

Although a freeman from birth, he was coerced, forced, tricked by two menacing Slave-Hunters from the South.
They pretended to be his friend: lured him to the Nation’s Capitol and tainted the wine that went into his mouth.

These persons offered him an opportunity to earn extra-money for his family.
Little did he know that he was being set-up to endure a decade-long tragedy.

Drunk and helpless, he was bounded and sold to Men looking for someone else, he just fit the “description”.
Any Black in those days would’ve “fit the description” & all you needed to be guilty was a tanned-complexion.

But, as hard as those who held him hostage abused him, they couldn’t make him a Slave in his mind and heart.
He did not know what would become of him next. But, yet, he had held on to fact that he was free from the start.

His first trials of being a Slave were being held, against his will, within the same exact city which was the center of false-liberty.
These United States, who fought Great Britain decades yore, for freedom, had denied its own natives of the taste of Humanity.

He himself was beaten & whipped, in order to tear away his dignity, just as the lash had teared his tender flesh.
He, along with his ethnic brethren, had been subjugated to toil day and night, appeasing their masters, no rest.

Men were separated from their wives, and daughters, forced to know the heinous violations, set-out by their captor’s lusts.
These Women were the play-things of Slave-Owners, to be used, manipulated sexually, they couldn’t dare make any fuss.

These unspeakable rapes of the body, mind, and spirit, caused many to prefer death over life, better to succum to demise than strife.
However, this Man, born a Human, lowered to a boy, an animal, learned to become a Man, once again, through ambition, endurance.

Yet, throughout all of which was imposed upon him, he was never bitter or lost any Hope.
Constant thoughts and yearning of being reunited with his family always helped him cope.

He was betrayed by those whom he trusted, yet still learned to confide & be confident in the goodwill of his fellow Man.
Little did he know that all of what he had suffered would yield him light at the end of the tunnel, all part of Allah’s plan.

Divine-Providence triumphed, regardless of lack of consequence on part of Slaveowners, Taskmasters, who dehumanized.
After 12-years of wrongful captivity, he was founded, by the help of a Man of conscience & his freedom was finally realized.

He authored his incredible experiences, becoming internationally renown, helping to spark, catalyze the movement called Abolition.
Being an inspiration, to all those who were freed & bondaged, that Hope is not lost, that there are in fact ways to achieve liberation.

His life is now a celebrated open-book…
…Learn about him take a peek, a look.

He has been able to relate his story, which has been lived by so many others…
…Through him, we have a clear glimpse of the suffering of our Human brothers.

How he died and where he’s buried isn’t now known, but that’s okay…
…His resolve, courage, legacy, must be shared with the World today.

Gareth Bryant/2013

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The Sharh/Explanation of “Breaking-Bad”, by William “Suhaib” Webb:

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Author’s note:

The following article is directly from the words of a William “Suhaib” Webb, a very popular Muslim-Personality, originally from Oklahoma, then, upon receiving Ijazat/Islamic-Accreditations to teach Islam, at al-Azhar University, relocated to California, and thus relocated, again, to Boston, Ma. I’ve actually had the opportunity to discuss several serious religious issues with Suhaib (which he is commonly referred to), both publicly, via panel-forums, as well as confidentially, in-private settings. He is someone whom I sincerely respect, and enjoy listening to, as well as discussing things with. Now, that doesn’t mean that I will with everything that one particular individual brings to the table. However, William has proven quite capable of being a viable, positive resource for Muslims, and is able to reach them where they really are, which is what has always been needed, yet, sadly, has been missing for many a years, within our Muslim-Communities, both within the Western-Hemisphere, as well as within the conventional “Muslim-World”. This following article is about Suhaib’s synthesis/breakdown of the very popular “Breaking Bad” AMC T.V. show.

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The Theology of Breaking Bad: Avoiding Becoming Walter White-

1. Understand choices – “Indeed, We showed them to the way (of truth)….”.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.41, V.17)

2. There is no moral neutrality – Choices breed consequences for the soul and life. “Every soul will bear its burden.”.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.2, V.286)

3. Walter said, “For once, I want a say in this.”; however, test and trials cannot be addressed with narcissism, but with submission: he first leads to calamity, the second leads to Futuhaat (exposure/revelations answers to things which we question).

4. Sin and moral decline are a slow burn – don’t underestimate thoughts. Breaking bad took 5-Seasons. al-Ghazzali said, “Zina starts in the mind.” ibn al-Qayyim said that “Satan is forbearing: he will wait to catch you when you are weak.”

5. Trust in Allah means through the good and the bad – hardships should not be used as an excuse. “Revere (Respect/Fear Allah [be ever conscious of Allah]) Allah wherever you are.” Wherever you are means you physical, spiritual and mental states must be aware that, “At least you know Allah see you!”.(an-Nawawi)

6. Understand the value of the Hereafter vs. This life. If that is there, Walter will never exist. “Paradise is surrounded by difficulties.”.(al-Bukhari)

7. Sins/Sinning is a “slippery-slope”: once you fall in, it is hard to get out. Walter got better and still sold meth. In the Qur’an we find the story of people whose boat was rocked by a storm and “…supplicated to Allah, with earnest/sincerity. But, when they were safely taken to land, they immediately associate (false-qualities to Allah).(Noble Qur’an: Cpht.29, V.65)

8. Blessings can be curses if they are not met with a renewed commitment to God. Walter’s wealth is a curse as is health and other Ni`am/divine-favors (of Allah/from Allah). It is not so much about what, buy who it is used. Even the Qur’an can be a potential threat to a person, “And, the Qur’an is a proof for you, or against you.”.(at-Tirmidhi)

Moral decline is based on a few things (often intangibles): fear, Illness, doubt and desire. Fight them with knowledge, Ihsan, love good friends (Walter was a loner and Jesse needs loves), and understanding the value of the Hereafter.

The following formula plays out in our lives every day: Reverence/Consciousness (Respect & Fear of Allah) or Fear and love (of Allah) or Fear (of Allah) and Love of this life happen everyday in our lives. Clean hearts are able to see through that and make choices based on divine teachings and a good support system. The theology of Breaking-Bad is a lesson in how a person can lose his moral compass by making a series of choices that are rooted in fear.

On a final note, the fatalism of breaking bad is problematic. Some folks do evil and do not see it in this life. Walter continues to get worse. Some folks do good and don’t see it. The unseen and how a person is addressed in this world is rooted in the divine knowledge. Fatalism is not a means to measure Good or evil. The Book and the Sunnah are!

William “Suhaib” Webb/2013