Watu Izzo Mantasha; Watu Zillo Mantasha

My Dear Fellow Muslims,

As-Salaam Alay-Kum

“Without books, God is silent, justice dormant, natural science at a stand, philosophy lame, letters dumb and all things involved in Cimmerian darkness,” so cautioned a wise person.

“Cimmerian” means dark and gloomy as with a state of perpetual darkness, is how we the Muslims can aptly describe our current state of affairs. Horror-stricken with all the killings around certain Islamic countries, and being devastatingly terrified, witnessing the onslaught of two age-old enemies, Arabs and Israelis at war during the Holy Month of Ramadhan is not only appalling, but it makes us wonder about the very darkness that seems to be prevailing in our own minds.

Charles le Gai Eaton (also known as Hassan Abdul Hakeem) a British diplomat, writer and Sufist Islamic scholar in his book, “Islam and the Destiny of Man, in chapter, “The World of Books” correctly pointed out that “The Quran is not a book of philosophy, but it is a source book of philosophy, not a treatise on psychology, but the key to a psychology.” Come to think of it, aside from parroting the verses of Quran and listening to the recitations of Quran during our daily prayers, how many Muslims in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh sincerely try to comprehend the exact meaning of the Quranic verses? Merely stating that “Quran is unintelligible without Hadith” is nothing but an act of blasphemy according to my viewpoint.

“The Muslim who follows the Quranic injunctions to ‘think’ and to ‘meditate’ knows that he harbors a variety of kafirun within his own soul that he must wage war on them if he is to survive as a man of faith” wrote Gai Eaton (May Almighty Allah rest his soul in peace). In this era of “Cimmerian Darkness, one must carefully read and reflect upon his following words:

“The Quran set on a shelf of other books, has a function entirely different to
theirs and exists in a different dimension. It moves an illiterate shepherd to
tears when recited to him, and it has shaped the lives of millions of simple
people over the course of almost fourteen centuries; it has nourished some
of the most powerful intellects known to the human record; it has stopped
sophisticates in their tracks and made saints of them, and it has been the
source of the most subtle philosophy and of an art which expresses its
deepest meaning in visual terms, it has brought the wandering tribes of
mankind together in communities and civilizations upon which its imprint is
apparent even to the most casual observer. The Muslim regardless of race
and national identity, is unlike anyone else because he has undergone the
impact of the Quran and has been formed by it.”

Gai Eaton

On reading the rational, intellectual and historical explanations, I was moved to tears, learning about the expression of emotional sentiments towards our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). Gai Eaton reminded in his book about a hadith, in which the Prophet of Islam told his people, “there was once a prophet who was stung by an ant and therefore ordered that a colony of ants should be burned, and God reproached him: ‘Because an ant stung thee, thou burned a community which glorified Me.” This very hadith should serve as a glaring reminder to those “Jihadists” who are hell-bent on persecuting Christians, and to the political leaders of the Islamic countries who are totally helpless in protecting their Shias, Ahmadiyya and community members belonging to other faiths of humankind. All such acts are nothing but a downright rejection of the Quranic commandments.

On the recently launched blog: http://www.wethemoderatemuslims.com the carefully selected Quranic verses are displayed on the right hand side with appropriate images. In the last chapter of the Quran, that is, Surah: Al-Nas, Almighty Allah explicitly warns us to steer far away, “from the evil of stealthy Whisperer, who whispers in the hearts of Mankind.

In “The Heart of Man – Its genius for Good and Evil, the author, Eric Fromma German social psychologist, sociologist and humanistic philosopher eloquently ended his outstanding book as follows:

“Indeed, we must become aware in order to choose the good – but no
awareness will help us if we have lost the capacity to be moved by the
distress of another human being, by the friendly gaze of another person,
by the song of a bird, by the greenness of grass. If man becomes indifferent
to life there is no longer any hope that he can choose the good. Then,
indeed, his heart will have so hardened that his ‘life’ will be ended. If this
should happen to the entire human race or to its most powerful members,
then the life of mankind may be extinguished at the very moment of its
greatest promise.”

As an astute Muslim observer, I can perfectly relate to this ample warning as to how Muslims have lost the capacity to be deeply saddened at the sight of the brutal and massive killings by the bloody “Jihadists” in our midst. One ought to simply take a real hard look at none other than an ultimate decree proclaimed by Almighty Allah: WATU IZZO MANTASHA; WATU ZILLO MANTASHAYou endue with honor whom You will, and You humiliate whom You will. Such a stark admonition reminded me of one good Christian friend who recently made a remark that many Muslims are in the habit of looking at the “Bad Rainbows. Long living with a haughty attitude of “Self-Righteousness, and staying focused only on “Self-Salvation, have undoubtedly made us not to look at the “Good Rainbows” above us. Little wonder that we the Muslims are now considered as a shameful lot owing mainly to “The Silence of the Moderate Muslims.

Rainbow

“He it is who created for you all that is on earth; then turned He to the
skies, and formed them into seven spheres, every one of which offers
you a variety of benefits; and He knoweth all things.”

Surah: Al-Baqarah (The Heifer) ~ Surah: 2 – Verse: 29

Seven colors of rainbow combined with seven tones of music coupled seven “Tawaafs” performed by the Muslim pilgrims around the Holy Kaaba are all placed in well-balanced harmony, if we learn to embrace the “Love of Life” and give up the fatal illusion of “Love of Death” based upon a selected few hadiths. We the Muslims must come to terms with the harsh realities of life that our “Laws of Living” are revealed in the Holy Quran, which is eternally valid regardless of time and place. The “Character of Living” can be found in the Hadith based on the reported example of the Prophet of Islam, but he lived at a certain time in a given place under a given socio-cultural setting and is not always quoted correctly – as the great compilers of hadith have warned. Let there be no illusion about it. There is a fine line between the two, and as such, let us not twist and turn the “Divine Commandments” to justify any indiscriminate slaughtering of our fellow men, women and children be they Muslims or hailing from any other religion.

My most sincere advice to those Muslims who are living in the twilight zone will be to get their deadly mindset out of the “Valley Of Death, eliminate the taboo on music and listen to “Kermit The Frog” created by Jim Henson, an American puppeteer, artist, cartoonist and inventor. Interestingly, one commentator on the YouTube link expressed his sentiment as, “It is amazing how much humanity and soul Jim and the other Muppeteers put into these felt dolls.” I must honestly admit that reading such a truthful remark should be a lesson to those of us who have lost the true meaning of life and continue to live in the world of doom and gloom.

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
and what’s on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
and rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we’ve been told and some chose to believe it.
I know they’re wrong, wait and see.
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

“You’ll never find a rainbow if you are looking down,” remarked Charlie Chaplin, one of the world’s greatest comedians. Lately, we the Muslims have tendency to look down on others and fail to realize that there is “The Rainbow Connection” in life. From the U.S. Supreme Court honoring Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) as one of the greatest lawgivers of the world in the year 1935, and on to, one of the most prestigious educational institution in the world, Harvard Law School designating a Quranic verse from Surah: Al-Nisa (The Women) – Verse 135 as one of the best phrases articulating justice, every Muslim should feel mighty proud of his great religion of Islam.

Well then, what truly went wrong in our thinking process? The answer is quite simple, “We kept our Holy Quran on the book shelf and conveniently forget the first command to Read,as follows:

“READ in the name of your Lord
Who creates man from a clot!
READ, for your Lord is most Generous;
[it is He] Who teaches by means
of the pen, teaches man
what he does not know.
However man acts so arrogant,
for he considers he is self-sufficient.
Yet to your Lord will be the Return!”

                              Surah: Al-Alaq (The Clot) ~ Surah: 96 – Verse: 1 – 8

Living with a false pride and acting arrogantly made us to be humiliated by our fellow humans. We should at least be awakened to the fact that we the Muslims are slowly but surely becoming “The Losers – Al-Khasirun. We face damnation at every sphere of life owing to discarding the wisdom of our Holy Quran. “One of the fundamental themes of the Quran is man’s flight from reality,” wrote Gai Eaton, and continued on by writing that “men and women throughout the centuries have tried at every opportunity to evade total reality and to take refuge in little corners of private darkness.” Isn’t this a striking description about the way Muslims are behaving in these days and times? Many of us run from our own shadows and thrive in shifting the blame on others owing to our own shortcomings. No, I am afraid that most of us have become “Identity Conscious” Muslims rather than “Character Conscious” ones. The impact of Quran which Gai Eaton seems to claim is not visible in the modern day Muslims as we hardly attempt to “READ” the correct translation of the Quranic verses by only a handful of Islamic scholars with an in-depth knowledge of the historical contexts surrounding the Holy Quran.

For more than a decade, I have been persistently writing with little knowledge of  what I have personally acquired about Islam. Never in my wildest imagination, I thought that one day with the help of two dedicated, insightful and “Ijtihad” driven Islamic scholars Muhammad Yunus and Ashfaque Ullah Syed, authors of Essential Message of Islam,I will be able to launch the website and/or blog. My own selected drawings as well as Islamic calligraphy are assigned to the Quranic verses which have given comfort to my soul. Living in the era of “Cimmerian Darkness, I am much grateful to Almighty Allah that He has given me the opportunity to continue with my work to promote “The Wisdom of Holy Quran. With this humble confession, I am pleased to inform you that during the month of Ramadhan, Muhummad Yunus and Ashfaque Ullah Syed have been able to post the three crucial messages of Islam as follows:

1. Universal Notion of Islam in the Quran.

2. Good Deeds as the bedrock of Islamic message.

3. Moral Awareness (Taqwa) a foundational tenant of Islam.

Essential4

With all the emphasis upon seeking and understanding the true translation of Holy Quran, I would like to humbly request my respected fellow Muslims to profoundly remember that it is Almighty Allah acting as “fatir as-samawath wa’l- ardh, Creator (or Originator) of the heavens and earth who authored the Holy Quran. Let us therefore, not “Doubt” its commandments by continuing to argue that it cannot be understood, and let us not underestimate its “Divinity” either. All such lame excuses are nothing but some hideous temptations of some Whisperers who instill such a mindset which creates confusion about everything that is “Divine” in our Holy Quran nature. Listen attentively to Qari Abdul Basit Abdus Samad (May Almighty Allah rest his soul in peace), the world’s greatest reciter of Holy Quran along with an English translation, then you will know the difference. Equally important is to read the posted articles of Muhammad Yunus and Ashfaque Ullah Syed closely. They have managed to piece together Quranic verses bearing the same theme from across its text to create arguments and propositions that cannot be dismissed off-hand as mere opinions of the scholars.

Lastly, reading about the heinous crimes committed by “Boko Haram, watching the inhumane killings in Gaza strip and witnessing the barbaric acts in Iraq led by the “Muslim Jihadists” to the point that even Prophet Yunus (Jonah) (Peace Be Upon Him) tomb was demolished make me to end this “Eid-ul-Fitr” greetings with words of wisdom of Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall (May Almighty Allah rest his soul in peace), a western Islamic scholar, as follows:

“Islam does not admit of ignorance, and where ignorance prevails
Islam is not. It is not a religion of superstition and priest-craft which,
fungus-like, can thrive in darkness and in foul surroundings. It is
the religion of free air and daylight, the religion of truth of God’s
creation. Islam, as planted in the world, needs all available light
and knowledge of its growth. We have to secure to every Muslim
man and woman access to all this available light and knowledge
of the present day.”

May Almighty Allah bestow upon Muslims around the world the much needed “Wisdom” to thoroughly learn the meaning of Holy Quran so that we will once again feel the sense of pride to belong to the community of humankind at large. Meanwhile, rejoice and rekindle the spirit of Islam during the Eid-ul-Fitr festivities with your beloved family members. “Embrace Compassion” and for the sake of Almighty Allah get out of the self-imposed “Cimmerian Darkness” in which we are living in this turbulent times.

Compassionately yours,

Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Kermit

THE RAINBOW CONNECTION

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what’s on the other side
Rainbows are visions
But only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hide

So we’ve been told
And some choose to believe it
I know they’re wrong, wait and see
Some day we’ll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me

Who said that every wish
Would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that
And someone believed it
And look what it’s done so far

What’s so amazing
That keeps us stargazing
And what do we think we might see
Some day we’ll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me

All of us under its spell, we know that it’s probably magic

Have you been half asleep?
And have you heard voices?
I’ve heard them calling my name
Is this the sweet sound
That called the young sailors?
The voice might be one and the same

I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it
It’s something that I’m supposed to be
Some day we’ll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me

La da da di da da dum da duh da da dum di da

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