Tag Archives: Muslims

What I’ve Finally Learned From Ramadhan:

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Ramadhan of 1437/2016 will always be the year I’ve come to terms with what this month really stands for. To many Muslims, it’s a way to get closer to the proximity of Allah’s Mercy, for Others it’s a reason to fraternize with fellow Muslims in ways that’s not necessarily available at other times of the year, for some it’s an excuse to attempt to get in shape/lose weight, for some it’s the ideal situation to indulge in some Free-Food at various Mosques. But, for me personally, I’ve forced myself to search more indepthly, just to see what can be found within this month.

What I’ve come to realize is that Ramadhan for so many of us is to attempt to be a “Super-Muslim”…only during the Month of Ramadhan, and/or only during the last 9/10 Days of Ramadhan, in the hopes of catching what’s known as Laylat-al-Qadr/the Night of Decree, in which the reward for it is similar to worshipping Allah for 83 years.(Noble-Qur’an: Chpt.97, V.3) For so many Muslims, we wait for this time of year to pretend to be “Super-Pious”: praying, giving Charity, being nice, etc., more than in other times of the year. However, many of us have this all wrong. My personal-assessment is that Ramadhan serves exclusively as a period of Spiritual-Purging. I liken this month to the etymology of the Arabic-Noun Fitnah…the word Fitnah, meaning “Problem”, “Conflict”, “Drama”, “Trial/Tribulation”, etc., comes from Gold/Silver Smithing.(Lisan-ul-`Arab: Lexicon of the Arabic-Language) Because Gold & Silver is from deep beneath the Earth and/or embedded within Mountains: oftentimes these metals themselves are meshed which earthly materials, which diminish their value.

So, then what’s to be done about it? The Gold/Silver must be melted down, and then be forged into a purer substance. But, to do that, these metals need to be placed under extreme temperatures, thousands of degrees, in order to melt them, so that the turbid materials attached to these metals can be sifted away. And, this is exactly what Ramadhan is to me, a way to sift through all of our turbidity, so that we can be forged into purer types of People. We must allow ourselves to be placed into the heat of Hunger, Thirst, denial of our natural inclinations towards: Sexual-Intercourse, Anger, Revenge, Violence, etc. & all other things which naturally make us…well, Humans. The entire purpose for us to be Spiritually-Smithed is so that we can truly be worthy of the Favor of Allah, which is His Mercy, Guidance, via us acquiring Piety (holding ourselves accountable to refrain from all that Allah has made temporarily Mahrum/Prohibited, as well as things which Allah has made Mahrum at all times).(Noble-Qur’an: Chpt.2, V.183)

For some/many, you’ve probably already come to this conclusion, without me even having to write this. But, I’ve deemed it necessary, because it’s something that I’ve come to the realization of, and I’m sure that I’m not the only one who hasn’t truly gotten the point of what Ramadhan truly stands for. Ramadhan, by its nature, isn’t for us to get things right all in one month, because that’s not even realistic. Rather, it’s a time to really dig through one’s self, to reflect upon what makes you work vs. what makes you halt…what makes you strong vs. what makes you weak…what makes you resist vs. what makes you sin, etc. I now have a greater understanding of who I am, as a Muslim, as just simply a Human-Being.

Everyday is like a fierce Internal-Fight: a perfect mixture or even an imbalance of spiritual victories & defeats-Resisting what just naturally comes to you, what automatically feels good and feels right, and struggling to rise above all of that to be someone greater, someone higher. It’s about sacrificing what you think & feel is for you, in order to please you, and really trying your best to replace that mindset with doing what’s expected of you from Allah, in order to please Him. Since arriving at this particular epiphany, in my journey as a Muslim, I’ve attained a better sense of how I am to improve and what I allow myself to still fall victim to. I’ve truly honed in on remaining more conscious of what drives me more towards Obedience vs. Disobedience to Allah. This is what I’ve been allowed to learn during Ramadhan, through the Mercy of Allah.

Gareth Bryant/2016

 

A Necessary Ramadhan Personal-Reflection In Mercy!!!

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Here’s a story for the Record-Books:

Ramadhan 1435 AH/2014 CE…I went to Masjid Ar-Rahman, on 29th St bet. 5th Ave & Broadway, in Manhattan, NYC-After making the congregational Maghrib/Sunset Prayer, my shoes go missing. I’m honestly mad as Hell: those Sneakers were brand-new & fresh out the box, I barely had them for a whole week, I got them for free…they were a gift. So, you can understand why I was duly pissed all the way off!!! I felt so violated that someone, a Muslim, would dare to steal something during Ramadhan in the Mosque no less. I was just thinking in my mind what I would do, and how would I hurt this Person who took what was mine, if I woulda caught-up to them. It even got to the point when I was yelling, and causing a scene, concerning what was taken from me. Some other Muslim-Brothers attempted to clam me down, but it just wasn’t working: I came in the Mosque with my Sneakers, and I had wanted to leave with my same Sneakers. But, guess what happens next?

Check-out how merciful Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe is:

1. He bestowed mercy upon the one who took my footwear, so I would not have acted out of anger against a fellow Muslim, during Ramadhan of all times.

2. He touched the heart of a Muslim brother who volunteered to give me his own shoes.

3. He touched the heart of another Muslim brother who actually drove me to a sneaker-store & bought me a brand-new pair of Sneakers…cash, which ironically were fresher & cheaper than the sneakers that I had gotten taken from me at this Mosque…the Sneakers which were taken from me were the Nike Andre Agassis, in Dead-stock/Brand-New condition. But, then the brother had bought me a pair of Nike ACGs, also in Dead-Stock/Brand-New condition.

4. Most importantly: the person who took my Sneakers actually did me a favor, because along with my shoes being taken, then perhaps a portion of my Sins have also been taken from me, which will make it easier to meet Allah on the Day-of-Standing, because the less Sins that a person has on their back, the better for them, when it comes to being judged by Allah on the Day of Days…So, I still considered myself a Winner.

Gareth Bryant/2016

Muhammad Ali: One of the Greatest

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Cassius Clay...Muhammad Ali

Cassius Marcellus Clay, Cassius X, Muhammad Ali…
…born & raised in the South: Louisville, Kentucky.

No matter what you called him, he defined himself…
…he proved he was the best, he was always top-shelf.

Olympic Gold-Medalist with Boxing-Titles…
…he had so many Opponents, but no Rivals.

He was never afraid to stand-up to Oppression…
…always willing to improve a Person’s situation.

He denied accepting the Military-Draft…
…he refused to be a paver of the Warpath.

And, later on became a Muslim in 1975…
…he gave us strength to keep Islam alive.

The World never forgot the way he won back his Belts…
…everywhere he went, greeted by the screams and yells.

A Father and Husband to some, but a Big-Brother to us all…
…he acknowledge the best in all of us, both great and small.

He’s known as Number-One in our eyes…
…despite Parkinson’s-Disease taking rise.

Never letting any of his ailments defeat him…
…till his dying day, he taught us how to win.

Gareth Bryant/2016

 

 

 

 

 

Melody of Madness:

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Winter is no longer cold…I’m no longer young.
Confusion in my life…the War hasn’t been won.

Carnage fills my heart, like war-torn Syria.
AIDS & Ebola ravage from Rwanda to Libya.

The rise of Atheism immersed in Academia.
The demand for Petroleum from Saudi Arabia.

America uses ISIS for their warmongering devices.
Depletion of the Earth isn’t on anyone’s focus.

Climate-Change…something’s strange.
Blacks still lynched, nothing’s changed.

Why do we exist in this World with such pain?
Why is apathy normal & compassion insane?

It seems like everything’s just upside down.
The Oppressor a Hero, the Victim a Clown.

I’m so conflicted…my emotions stifled.
No one’s genuine, everything’s a trifle.

The Law is blind, because Justice is absent.
Xenophobia reign’s supreme, no acceptance.

I’m sad and angry because my nation hates me.
I live in a country threatened by my theology.

What if the banning of Muslims gets approved?
How can I survive in a World that’s so shrewd?

I can only prepare for the coming of the destruction of all I hold dear.
The end is abysmal, dark, and near; we’re now all ruled by fear.

Gareth Bryant/2015

My Advice to the Ummah

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#‎Muslims‬…especially ‪#‎MuslimReverts‬ and/or Muslims native to the ‪#‎WesternWorld‬ are in a serious bind & all because of ‪#‎Islamophobia‬: it’s turning Parents against Children, Spouse against Spouse, Co-Worker against Co-Worker, Neighbor against Neighbor, Friend against Friend. It’s tearing our Societies apart, and if we study the Sirah/Biography of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), the same thing took place in 7th-century Arabia. And, yes…I know it hurts when someone mocks you for praying, fasting, trying your best to not do negative just to fit-in: I’ve lived it & I’m still living it. But, I’m here to tell you that when Allah rewards those who are sincere to ‪#‎Islam‬, in both word & deed, and by His Mercy grants us victory over our Enemies who want nothing more than to display us as blood-thirsty Tyrants, we will ond day look back, laugh, and say to ourselves, “Because I was patient with the trials which Allah imposed upon me, and because I sincerely worked hard to be Good in the face of Evil…this was all worth it: every time I was arrested based on false-charges, stripped-searched & detained at airports, denied jobs/fired from jobs, teased & bullied, forced to fight in order to defend myself, forced to endure the lies against our perfect lifestyle called Islam…it was worth it all.”.

Gareth Bryant

The Day I Became A Coward:

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Author’s-Note:
“And, don’t allow your hatred against any People prevent you from being Just.”
(Noble-Qur’an: Chpt.5, V.8)

This is a true-story, of when I had a very gruesomely hostile argument with my Mother, over Religion. I was still fairly a New-Muslim at the time, and she was vehemently against me being a Muslim in the 1st-place. So, because of her blatant Islamophobia, I began to develop a very toxic hatred in my heart against her. I was very enthusiastic concerning my reversion to Islam: it was (and still is) such a liberating experience. However, unfortunately, I had also made the grave mistake of using my newly-found Monotheistic-Faith as a justification to rebel against my Mother, which I did fairly often. I honestly don’t even remember what we had argued about in detail, nor do I remember how this argument started and/or which one of us started it. I have no recollection of how old I was at the time, nor the time, day, month, season, year; I can’t recall what I had worn that day, or what I ate: none of these details come to my mind. But, I do remember getting angry with my Mother, and I remember what I stated to her, which I’m too ashamed to say publicly. I can still see the pain in her face, as the tears began to roll down her face, flowing from her eyes, like river-streams from a snow-capped Mountain in the Springtime.

I can still envision the look of regret that she had on my face for giving birth to me, because of my vile tantrum of disrespect against her. I can still hear her heart breaking into unrecognizable pieces, because of the harshness of my words spewing from my reckless tongue. This is is the day my cowardice was truly exposed. I had displayed such unforgivable rudeness towards the Woman who birthed me, that had Allah decided to strike me dead, as a punishment, it would’ve been what I deserved. I didn’t even know how to apologize: it was like Allah had decided that my prior insults were so despicable, that I wasn’t even worthy of speaking again. It felt like my tongue was paralyzed & being prevented via Allah’s Divine-Discretion, from even being able to say sorry for what I had said. Now, there I was, a Young-Punk, thinking that I’m a “Tough-Guy”, making my Mother cry, using the same voice that would cry-out to her when I wanted/needed her for love & attention, to cause her pain. I felt so low that day. After our argument, self-witnessing the anguish which I had inflicted upon her started to make me reflect as to whether or not I was even worthy of being a Muslim.

That’s how deeply this event had affected me. And, even to the point when there were times after this that I had wished that I had died, because of the shame I bore: the pain of dealing with the consequences of what I had done felt like I was being destroyed from within. Ironically, many years afterwards, my Mother sent me a text-message, telling me how proud of me she is of the Man that I’ve become. This text made feel feel that my entire existence, prior to that point was useless. I’m pretty sure that she doesn’t remember this argument her & I had. But, I’ve never forgotten it, nor will I allow myself to forget it. That episode in my life is one thing, amongst so many others, which I’ll continually use to keep me humble, as well as humbled. I had actually been thinking a lot about the Verse of the Qur’an that I mentioned earlier, and the more I had thought about it, the more things that I had done, People that I had offended out of hatred began to surface from my subconscious. And, then, this incident between my Mother & I resurfaced within me, and it took me to a place of reflection that I didn’t want to be taken, but it was a necessary place to be.

Particularly, and especially as Muslims: it doesn’t matter who opposes your Islam, it gives us no right to treat them unjustly. All Human beings have the right to be treated fairly. And, those who have the greatest rights over us are our Parents. And, the Parent who has the most rights over us are our Mothers.(an-Nawawi) Our jobs as Children are to care for our Parents, in the same ways which they’ve cared for us when we were young & helpless.(Noble-Qur’an: Chpt.17, V.24) And, for a long time, I had done the exact opposite of caring for my Mother, spending more time causing her grief as opposed to joy. When I began to comes to terms about the wrongs against my own Mother, I started to reflect upon how my Mother would always tell my siblings & I growing-up, that our Father always wanted us & told us to listen to our Mother. My Father was my hero growing-up. So, when he died when I was very young, I was only left with memories of him & from what others including my Mother had told me about him.

I started to think about how could I possibly face my Father, knowing what I had done against my own Mother. Then, an even greater fear encompassed me: how am I going to face Allah: the Creator/Lord of the Universe & answer to Him on the Day of Standing for the wrongs that I’ve done against my own Mother? It’s popularly said that “The Wise-Man is he who learns from the Errors of Others.”. So, be wise & learn from my Errors: don’t make your Mothers cry…don’t be Cowards.

Gareth Bryant/2015

Gareth Bryant’s Reasons why ISIS is a Myth:

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Now, after watching this video, from C-Span, a very reputable media outlet, dating back to 1990, I was compelled to seriously examine the reasons as to why ISIS, the so-called “Islamic-State” is another from among so many past/present Phantom-Enemies which the United States & her crony-allies have invented. So, the following are just some of many conclusions that I’ve come to as to why ISIS is a Mythology:

1. The first time that ISIS is largely publicized is in 2014. However, as of recently, the Media now states that ISIS has existed ever since the beginning of the Iraq-War, which started in 2003. My question is why has the Public only being told about ISIS now, if it had existed all this time? The information mentioned in the above video makes that fairly clear.

2. In order for any entity to be given the credibility & acknowledgement of being an Islamic-State, there’s several things which have to take place:

a. Those claiming to be leaders of an Islamic-State have to be Muslims & the identities of those claiming legitimacy to the position of being heads of an Islamic-State have to be well-known to the Public.

b. They have to be Muslims who are respected among their peers & the general body of Muslims everywhere.

c. They have to be given Bay`ah/Allegiance: all Muslims have to acknowledge the legitimacy of those claiming to be the heads of an Islamic-State, which has not happened & will not happen, because the actions of ISIS are inherently antithetical to Islamic-Teachings.

d. They have to possess independent territories, as opposed to what’s happening in the Middle-East, People claiming to be the leaders of the Muslim-World embattled in a country/countries which have been militarily-occupied by Non-Muslims, and/or Muslims who don’t accept their legitimacy in the first place.

3. ISIS, the name itself, is an acronym, and acronyms don’t even exist in the Arabic-Language. the Members of ISIS largely don’t speak English, so how is it that they got the idea to name their Islamic-State with a linguistic concept that doesn’t even exist in the language which they speak? This acronym was placed upon them by Western-Media.

4. ISIS is the actual name of an Ancient-Egyptian pagan-goddess. So, why would any Islamic-State name itself after a pagan god/goddess, when Paganism (a form of Shirk: ascribing false-qualities to Allah) is completely antithetical to Islamic-Teachings?

5. John McCain stated publicly that they’ve sat at the table with Members of ISIS. Now, as a Member of Congress, more specifically the House of the Senate, the largest lawmaking body in the United States, who gave McCain any authority to sit at the table with a so-called terrorist-group, knowing the official-policy of the US is to not sit at the table with Terrorists? How was he able to leave Syria/Iraq safely/with his life? He’s a well-known figure in the World, this Person almost became a US-President, so he’s known: why wasn’t he taken as a hostage, or taken for ransom?  All of these questions have yet to be answered.

Gareth Bryant/2015

My Commentary on Interfaith-Marriage:

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I will be showing you a video posted on YouTube, by the Muslim Public Affairs Council, hosted by Maher Hathout, who died in January of 2015, dubbed the Father of American-Muslim Identity”. This video is a part of a series of videos, concerning topics which are not discussed enough or at all among Muslims, Interfaith-Marriage being one of these recurring hotbed-issues. However, within the video itself, there’s a lot of problematic stances which the personality answering the questions takes, which I’ll discuss after you’ve viewed the video:

This video is incredibly inaccurate & misleading: Allah clearly states, “And do not allow the Men of Shirk to marry you, unless they believe.”(Noble-Qur’an: Chpt.2, V.221) The Men of Shirk are those who commit Shirk: disregard of the existence/oneness of Allah & all Non-Muslim commit Shirk in one way or another, either via Atheism/Anti-Theism (disregarding the existence of Allah/any Divine-Creator generally), as well as any other Non-Muslims who have theological-beliefs contrary to what we’re taught as Muslims via al-Qur’an/the Qur’an & as-Sunnah/the Prophetic-Tradition. In other words, a Muslim-Woman is prohibited from marrying any Non-Muslim Man. And this is because of the following reasons: when a Woman is sexually-attached to a Man, his influence over her is tremendous. Obviously, Allah knowing His Creation better than we know ourselves, places a prohibition upon Muslim-Women being married to Non-Muslim Men, because Non-Muslim Men will influence Muslim-Women to leave Islam & it happens all of the time. And, the major reason that Muslim-Men are allowed to marry (Jewish & Christian) Non-Muslim Women is because of the same reason: as a result of a Man, by Nature being able to influence a Woman via sexual-attachment, he’s better able to encourage her to accept Islam. Also look at it statistically: how often do you hear about Men leaving Islam, because they’re with a Non-Muslim Woman…hardly ever…conversely, how often do you hear about Women leaving Islam, because they’re with a Non-Muslim Man…almost always.

Maher Hathout has purposely…purposefully misinformed People, both Muslims & Non-Muslims alike. Now, I don’t know who gave him the privilege to be any type of authority to speak about Islam, but he has truly not done a good job in dispelling misconceptions and/or clarifying conceptions of Islam. He had mere done what so many, too Muslims past & present have always done: take the go-along to get-along route…instead of being honest about about what Islam allows vs. disallows, in the objective of being Interfaith-Accepted, he had allowed himself to misinform masses of People of various faiths to take his word seriously, and had sadly deceived them…this video being only one of many proofs of this.

Gareth Bryant/2015

Gareth Bryant featured on The Mardiyah Show Episode 4 Part 2

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Author’s Note:
This is the official interview of Gareth Bryant, on one of his most controversial articles to date, “Why Muslim Women Are Against Polygyny and Why Muslim Men Can’t Really Blame Them”:

http://www.garethbryant.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/antipolygyny/

“Shine”

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Cyrus McGoldrick

Cyrus McGoldrick

A feeling divine

The light sets behind the pines

A pack of wolves whine

Hunting has its time

The old country doesn’t mind

Something undefined

A natural lust

Hunger wants us to survive

Moths all turn to dust

Drugs turn men to crime

Words left dead without a rhyme

Murder the despised

Turning to the skies

Howls of hunters wet the eyes

Songs of taking lives

Cyrus McGoldrick/2014