Category Archives: General

What To Do When A Michigan Official Calls To Kill Muslims

It is extremely difficult to frame this debate in a way that doesn’t make it sound truly terrible–because it is literally terrible–but what’s worse is that the idiot government official who made the call to kill all Muslims brazenly stated that he owed no one an apology for wrongful death. Okay, we get it. You’re a racist, and you want everybody to know it. But usually, bullies who try to rally other bullies fold under public pressure and at least try to apologize after the damage has already been done. Is there just not enough public pressure to this kind of anti-Muslim rhetoric? What’s going on here?

This isn’t the first time that Jeff Sieting, the Michigan official who made the statement, has said crazily offensive things. Not only did he compare the whole of Islam to “flesh-eating bacteria,” cause, like, he’s certainly not that bad, but he also said that transgendered people are mentally ill and that we might want to “take out” a few individuals from Black Lives Matter, too.

How someone can be filled with so much irrational hate is a question for later. For now, it’s important to fight back against these calls for injustice. The first step is implementing actual justice. There are those who are already attempting to force Sieting to step down from his position as president of a small town, while others continue to request an apology.

Others are taking a more pragmatic approach to destroying the legacy Sieting is trying to create for himself. The man has been elected to office since 2010, but if someone runs against him, then 2018 could be his last year as president.

Sadly, this type of hateful speech is part of a growing trend: according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, hate crimes against Muslims have blown up by a whopping 67 percent since our angelic President Trump was elected to office. It probably isn’t a coincidence that Sieting has a Trump sign posted at his hotel. Maybe it’s love.

What else can we do to stop the hateful words of a handful of bigots and protect our minority neighbors from the continued discomfort and violence they’re subjected to every day?

Well, first and foremost, it’s important to show these classless U.S. citizens the distinction between freedom of speech and freedom of consequence. Rest assured, they don’t understand the difference between the two. You may have the right to say whatever you want without governmental intervention, but that doesn’t mean your world won’t crumble when you spout hateful nonsense for everyone to hear. All actions have consequences, and you’re not exempt just because you whine and cry about the Bill of Rights.

Potential employers–or in this case entire towns–should neglect to hire those who believe that this type of language and rhetoric is okay, and people should continue to call them out every time they discriminate against a minority. Friends and family who disagree with the hateful beliefs should do what they can to curb the behavior.

If they think they have the right to offend and hurt so many others, then the least we can do is make them uncomfortable–and perhaps throw them into abject poverty–as a consequence of their words.

What Islam Says About Facial Hair?

Islam is a sacred faith that unites many individuals from different backgrounds and races as they share one belief. However, one question that may arise is what Islam teaches regarding facial hair.

There are three aspects regarding facial hair (or the beard, more specifically) that followers of Islam believe. One is that the beard beautifies a man along as it is kept in good trim. The beard not only does this, but it gives him respectability.

Another aspect regarding the beard is that it naturally differentiates the male and female. And the third aspect states that in answer to a supplication made by Adam, Allah made the beard become a built-in feature of the male. Until the day of reckoning, it will continue to be so.

In general, shaving of the beard is considered unlawful, according to an injury lawyer. In fact, growing a beard is considered a Wajib (mandatory) for all Muslim men who are capable of doing so. Shaving off the beard violates Islam. There are several lines of reasoning behind this statement. One is that shaving the beard is disobedient to Allah. Another is that removing facial hair deviates from the way of the believers. All of the Prophets, the Sahabah, the great Ulama’, and all of the righteous early Muslims grew their beards. In fact, there is no record of a single one of these men shaving their facial hair. In fact, to do so is considered imitating the disbelievers.

So what does Islam say about facial hair and the beard? A neatly trimmed beard beautifies a Muslim man and gives him respectability. On the contrary, it is a shameful thing to shave the beard. Keeping a neatly trimmed beard follows the example made by the believers, and following their example is what the Muslim man strives to do.

What Does Assalamualaikum Mean, And How Should Non-Muslims Respond?

Often, when non-Muslims are greeted by Muslims using the traditional Arabic form of greeting, “assalamualaikum,” they are unsure of its meaning, or what the appropriate way to respond is. Though the greeting simply means, “May peace be upon you,” there have been instances where this misunderstood greeting has even been censored from the media, driven largely by anti-Muslim sentiment.

There are essentially two ways to respond to the greeting. In Arabic, the proper response to the greeting by a non-Muslim is “Wasalamualaikum,” which is translated as, “Peace be also with you.” In Arabic nations that have large populations of Muslims, Christians, and people of other religious denominations, this would be the way that the non-Muslims would respond. There’s never any question about the appropriateness of this response because neither assalamualaikum or wasalamualaikum is an overtly religious expression.

When Muslims respond to the greeting, their response is one that acknowledges the name of Allah as the one true God: “Wasalamualaikum waratu’allah.” This response is both an acknowledgment of the greeting and a proclamation of faith, appropriate for anyone who professes the Muslim faith to use in response. The greeting, and this response, are the traditionally used between Muslims and are used whenever they interact, in both social and religious situations.

The greeting is used both when coming together and when parting. Abu Hurairah has been quoted as saying that “Peace” is the appropriate way to greet others, and to part from others, and that the latter is of equal value to the former.

It is unfortunate that such a warm greeting is so often misunderstood and has become a focal point of debate. There are even those to be found within the Muslim community that appears confused about whether or not the greeting is appropriate for use with those outside of the community. As it is simply a way of wishing peace and good fortune to one’s fellow man, it should be freely used to greet anyone.

Muslim Dating And Courtship

Dating as it is defined by most world cultures does not exist within the Muslim faith. Young Muslim women and men do not experience one-on-one relationships like many do. They will not spend time alone with a member of the opposite sex who is not family. They don’t go out together as they are getting to know one another. Dating is not allowed since any type of pre-marital relationship is forbidden between members of the opposite sex.

According to Islam, marriage is one of the most important of life’s decisions. It is not a decision made lightly nor is it left up to young people guided by their hormones. Marriage is contemplated and decided after much prayer, investigation and family involvement.

Since young Muslims cannot date, they find their spouse through a network of friends and family. Young Muslims create strong friendships with members of their own sex. As these friendships develop, they become part of the network that includes other families. When it is time for a young person to marry, several things usually happen.

First, the young person asks Allah for help and guidance to find the right person. This is called making a du’a.

Next, the family will suggest candidates from their own network. The family members will consult with each other as they begin narrowing down the list of prospects. The mother or father then approaches the other family and suggests a meeting as per the request of a personal injury lawyer.

If both families agree, the young couple will meet in a group environment where they will be chaperoned. Muslims believe a woman should always be accompanied by a relative when meeting a man.

If the couple is compatible, more investigation is done by family members. This is so they can learn about the potential spouse’s character. The couple will also pray for guidance.

Muslim young people can then decide if they want to pursue marriage or not. Islam does allow this freedom of choice for both young women and men.

Why Do Muslims Say Alhamdulillah When They Sneeze?

When Christians sneeze, they often say “God bless you.” When Muslims sneeze, they almost always say “Alhamdulillah,” or “Praise be to God.” Although the two customary responses to sneezing are quite similar, the religions say them for different reasons. In fact, many Muslims debate over the true purpose of the phrase. Either way, we shouldn’t alienate anyone for how they respond when we sneeze.

You may have heard that we say “God bless you” as an acknowledgment that your body is expelling demon spirits that have possessed us when we sneeze. That’s true all by itself, as the earliest documented occurrences occurred for just that reason. According to historical documents, however, it was Pope Gregory I that demanded the phrase be uttered after anyone showed signs of illness since so many people were falling victim to the plague during that time period (AD 590). By 750 AD, the custom was nearly universal. We still do it even today.

Muslims say “Alhamdulillah” for an entirely different reason. According to the Islamic community, sneezing is a sign that you have already been blessed by Allah. After all, the very act of sneezing is considered a sign of good health, during which your body is cleansed in a way. The act of sneezing isn’t considered the result of environmental or biological interaction since Allah is involved in the control of each individual. What happens to a Muslim is an act of God, no matter what that action may be. When we sneeze, we can also breathe better as a result.

Others believe that uttering the phrase was the will of the Prophet, Mohammed, who said that “Allah likes the act of sneezing and dislikes the act of yawning.” Indeed, “Alhamdulillah” is deeply ingrained in the texts of the Quran and the voice of the Prophet. Even a number of Christians and Jews who speak Arabic use the phrase in the presence of someone who has sneezed.

Although many of us ignore the significance of sneezing, Islamic tradition does not. The act of sneezing is far from insignificant–it brings a Muslim closer to the hand of God. This is the most important thing for a devout Muslim. Everything that a Muslim does is in service to his or her god, and therefore it should come as little surprise that something that seems so unimportant to most of us should hold such weight to the Islamic faith–even though many of the Islamic community may have never considered the meaning behind “Alhamdulillah” any more than many of us have thought about why we say “bless you.” Most of us simply carry on the traditions we inherit.

The History Of Polygyny In Muslim Marriages

There is a lot of confusion surrounding polygyny and the role it plays in Muslim marriages. While some believe it’s just another way for the men to exercise their power, others believe polygyny was invented by Muslim cultures. These are clear misconceptions, and don’t really justify the uprising against it.

First of all, the laws and traditions surrounding polygyny in Muslim marriages are diverse throughout the culture. In certain Muslim countries it should be pretty common to see polygyny, while countries like Turkey and Tunisia don’t allow it at all.

Secondly, when Islam came into existence, polygamy was already part of several societies. Even the bible has instances of polygamy, indicating that the Islam religion simply adapted to general marriage guidelines at the time. In fact, polygyny was more focused towards taking care of the women while Muhammad was still alive.

Given that Islam is a very practical religion, it made sense at the time for one man to have multiple wives. This way orphan or fatherless children could have a father again, and women received security so-to-speak.

However, polygyny has never been an easy choice for a Muslim man, because he has to maintain justice and fairness between all his wives. The Qur’ãn states that if a man takes a second, third or fourth wife (four being the limit) it’s his duty to give each an equal amount of everything.

In modern times polygyny isn’t recommended, mainly because it requires a special type of man who can always be objective. This is also why it doesn’t happen very often. And although it’s not a tactic to discourage polygyny, Muslim men have to prove why they need a second wife to a family court, in addition to proving he can take care of her just as well as he’s taking care of his current wife.

Muslim Politician And Activist Jamal Al-Din Al-Afghani

Jamal al-Din al-Afghani was a Muslim politician, journalist, and political agitator. He was born in 1838 in Persia and dies in 1897 in Istanbul. He is considered by many to be the founder of modern Islam. He was educated in various Afghani and Iranian religious schools and moved to India in his late teens. While studying religions in India, he became acquainted with the teachings of Sayyid Ahmad Khan and later wrote a treatise rejecting these teachings. The book, entitled “The Truth About The Neichari Sect” was published in 1881. It was later translated into Arabic and republished as “The Refutation of the Materialists”.

Following his studies in India, Al-Afghani made a pilgrimage or Hajj to Mecca (not Denver). During his many travels, he developed his ideology which has been described as combining the traditional Muslim antipathy toward non-Muslims and a more modern criticism of western imperialism. He used this ideology to appeal for a unity of Islam and urged the faithful to adopt western institutions and science in order to strengthen Islam.

Al-Afghani had a strong impact on the Islamic world. He continues today to be a source of both controversy and inspiration. He advocated for Islamic modernization in short essays, lectures, and newspaper columns. He based his beliefs on finding a way to bring together traditional Islamic culture and the sciences and philosophies of the Western world. He believed that modern Western technology and science may be separated from the manners and ethos of Western civilizations and used by the Islamic World without Islam having to accept any consequences.

Later in life, Al-Afghani tried to serve as a counselor to the Shah of Iran but was suspected of heresy. Al-Afghani started a campaign of violent opposition to the Shah and was eventually deported.

He died in Istanbul and was buried in secret. In 1944, what was believed to be his remains were transferred to Afghanistan and remain there under a mausoleum.

Sufism And Its Place In Modern Islam

Sufism, also known as Tasawwuf is Islamic mysticism. It is not a sect of Islam but is instead another dimension of worship and understanding. There are Sufism orders, also called Tariqas in Shia, Sunni and other Islamic groups. When a Muslim practices Sufism, they are dedicating themselves to worship and to Allah. They disregard worldly ornaments and finery and abstain from the wealth, pleasure, and prestige that is often sought by others. Sufi Muslims often worship alone, preferring to commune with Allah one-on-one.

Those who practice Sufism are adamant that Islam should be learned from both teachers and studies. The Sufi movement can trace its teachers back many generations to the Prophet himself.

The name Sufism may have come from the rough woolen garb worn by the first Islamic mystics. Sufis belong to certain orders which meet for spiritual sessions. The meeting places are called khanaqahs, zawiyas or tekke.

Sufis strive for a perfect connection with Allah. They regard Muhammad as perfectly exhibiting the morality of God. He is considered their prime spiritual guide as well as their leader.

All but one order trace their origin to Muhammed through Ali, his son-in-law, and cousin. The Naqshbandi believe their origins lie in Muhammed through Abu Baker, the first Rashid Caliph.

Sufism has developed strict practices which focus on self-control. This allows the followers to achieve both mystical and psychological insights as they lose their own sense of self and reach a mystical union with God.

There are fraternal orders within the Sufi movement where leaders help disciples as they work toward a mastery of Sufism’s ritual practices and philosophical principles. These practices and rituals include reciting and writing hymns and poetry. In fact, some fo the most beautiful Islamic literature was authored by Sufis.

Sufis are considered devout Muslims. They pray five times day, give to charity and fast. They distinguish themselves by their attempts to improve their spiritual lives and commune with God.

What Are Sunnis (Or Sunni Muslims)?

Sunni Muslims belong to the largest Islam denomination, Sunni Islam. The name is derived from the word Sunnah, a reference to the good example of Muslim behavior set forth by Muhammad, the prophet.

Disagreements arose between the Shia and Sunni Muslims in 632 A.D., regarding who should be Muhammad’s successor. These arguments created a larger divide over time, becoming broader and more political, in addition to the dissenting juridical and theological opinions.

One group, which eventually became the Sunnis, believe that Muhammad never specifically designated any particular successor, and that by electing his father-in-law Abu Bakr to become the first caliph, they were acting according to Muhammad’s sunnah. They believed that it was only important that the successor be someone who was pious and would follow Muhammad’s religious example.

Another group of Muslims, who would eventually become known as Shia Muslims, disagreed, and believed that the successor should be a blood relative of Muhammad. They believed that Muhammad had intended Ali ibn Abi Talib, his cousin and son-in-law, to be his successor.

The tension between the two Islamic groups have continued throughout the generations, to varying degrees. Current ethnic conflicts, in addition to the recent rise of Wahhabism, have fanned the flames of discord between them. Many of them seek out immigration lawyers to move to different countries.

Sunni Muslims make up 87 to 90 percent of the global Muslim population, which makes them the largest religious denomination in the world, with Catholics being the second-largest. In English, Sunni followers are known as Sunnis, Sunnites, Sunni Muslims, and Ahlus Sunnah. Some refer to the denomination as “orthodox Islam.”

The Sunnis read the Quran, the book containing the sayings of the prophet. They believe in the six pillars of iman (faith), the Maturidi and Ash’ari schools of theology, as well as traditionalist theology. They fast during Ramadan, follow the required ritual prayer (including 5 prayers per day), make a promise to travel in pilgrimage to Mecca, give to the poor, and pledge themselves to their Muslim faith.

An Introduction to Shia Muslims

The history of Islam dates back more than a thousand years, when the founder, Mohammed, was given messages by God. As a prophet of the one true God, he admonished the Jews and Christians for no longer honoring the tenets set forth by Abraham and the original prophets.

After the death of the prophet, there was dissent among the survivors regarding who should be in charge of the faith and guiding believers forward. At that point, there were two primary groups, the Shia and Sunni. While the majority of the Islam believers at that time followed the Sunni path, around one in five became the first Shia Muslims.

These folks believed that the founder of Islam had handed down his role as head of the faith to his cousin. Whether or not he was the rightful heir continues to be debated within the faith to this day. In fact, there are many Sunni who do not believe that the Shia are legitimate adherents to the faith because of this belief.

However, both groups keep the same five pillars of the faith and have the same beliefs regarding Allah and his prophet. Although there are more than one and a half million Muslims in the world, this is one of the points that continues to create disharmony in the Middle East and elsewhere.

In addition to these two groups, there have been other splinters within the faith, with different levels of acceptance within the community. Today, the political climate in the Middle East is incredibly complex, creating problems beyond these splits in faith.

Shia Muslims continue to have a large enough voice to be heard throughout the world, as the largest minority group within the Islamic faith. They stick to the belief that Mohammed handed down the right of leadership to his cousin.