Fi Manzil Al-Wahy

My Dear Fellow Muslims,

As-Salaam Alay-Kum

“FI MANZIL AL-WAHY, is how a well-known Egyptian journalist and scholar, Mohamed Hassanein Heikal termed what he referred to as “Home-Place of Revelation. It is in this Holy City of Mecca, amidst the emotional cry of self-surrender, “Labbayk, Allahumma, Labbayk!” by millions of our fellow Muslims, where struck a human tragedy of vast magnitude which left more than thousand dead and hundreds more injured, leaving so many of us in the Islamic countries in a state of bewilderment.

In his book, “The Road to Mecca, Muhammad Asad (May Almighty Allah rest his soul in peace), being profoundly impressed with Kaaba, expressed his genuine sentiment in the following words:

“In the utter simplicity of a cube, in the complete renunciation of all beauty and
line and form, spoke this thought: ‘Whatever beauty man may be able to create
with his hands, it will be only conceit to deem it worthy of God; therefore, the
the simplest that man can conceive is the greatest that he can do to express
the glory of God.’”

Sadly today, the very symbol of simplicity of the cube now lies, “in the shadow of the 1,972-foot tower lining suites, the black-draped monolith of the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine, sits like a pebble in the rocky desert landscape,” as described by Mustafa Hameed in his recent article, “The Destruction of Mecca.” In addition, the most stern denunciation was given by Sami Angawi, founder of the Jeddah based Hajj Research Center, “they are turning the holy sanctuary into a machine, a city which has no identity, no heritage, no culture and no natural environment. They’ve even taken away the mountains,”

My fellow Muslims, it is more than obvious that from the very “Abode of Revelation – Mecca, we the Muslims have simply lost sight of the fact of life which was explicitly pointed out by Kenneth Cragg in the chapter, “Human Tragedy and Theological Faith, from his book, “The Tragic In Islam, as follows:

1. “There can be no doubting the Qur’an intense emphasis on nature as the
arena – sacrament we might almost call it – of a human endowment and a
theatre of appreciation, enabling the technician and a nursery of arts.”

2. “So basic is the accent that nature for humans and humanity via nature is
a steady theme of Qur’anic invocation.”

3. “Where the Qur’an celebrates the sign-yielding quality of nature, awaiting
the sign-reading capacity of humankind, it always stresses the spiritual,
as well as the technical response. The same signs which arrest the
scientist must kindle the grateful thankgivers, whose gratitude will give
rise to the arts.”

It is in Surah: Al-Naml, consisting of 92 Meccan verses, there is an abundant lesson for those who are able to reflect and ponder about “the sign-yielding quality of nature and sign-reading capacity of humankind.” One need only read the incidence of King Solomon / Prophet Suleiman (Peace Be Upon Him), when he came to the “Valley of Ants, with his armies of sprites (Jinns), men and birds, when an ant said:

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“O ants, enter your dwellings lest Solomon and his armies crush you without
even noticing it.”

“So he smiled, laughing at its statement, and said: ‘My Lord, arrange things for
me so I shall act grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and 
my parents, and so I may act so honorably that You will approve of it. Admit me
through Your mercy among Your honorable servants.’”

Surah: Al-Naml (The Ants) – Chapter: 27 – Verses: 18 & 19 

Now that’s the first lesson of “Humility, which is sorely missing in our modern day Muslim leaders. Hardly few Muslims have grasped the very spirit of this prayer of King Solomon. It was none other than Dr. Hesham A. Hassaballa, a Chicago doctor, writer and co-author of The Beliefnet Guide to Islam, who caught the essence of this prayer in a moving article titled, “Learning to Walk with King Solomon in the New Year.” His article should serve as a stark reminder to all of us as to how King Solomon’s prayer can guide a medical doctor, who humbly considers himself as a servant of God doing his best to serve His children by making them – by His grace and power – feel better and live healthier. Here is how Dr. Hassaballa summed up his prayers to Almighty Allah:

“Here is where King Solomon’s prayer comes in: “O my Lord! Inspire me so 
that I may forever be grateful for those blessings of Yours with which You have
graced me. When I am successful, then I should be grateful to the Lord for His
grace: the grace of medical knowledge imparted to me; the grace of knowing
which treatment to use at which time; the grace of having a clear mind to make
the right diagnosis at the right time to help my patients.”

Undoubtedly, we the Muslims, have stubbornly remain bereft from our natural surroundings to such an extent that it has left us totally detached from the world of nature. The truth of the matter is that the “sign-yielding quality of nature” has been explored by the “People Of The Book, as they have thoroughly studied their Bible, and understood the meaning of the biblical verse: “Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways, and be wise.Proverbs: 6:6.

Two superb articles worthy to be read are The Leadership Lessons Of Ants,” by Ndubuisi Ekekwe, founder of non-profit African Institution of Technology, and “Ants: ‘Creature with Character,’” by F. Jaco Viljoen. More importantly, it will also be worthwhile to listen to Edward Osborne Wilson considered to be the world’s leading expert in the study of ants.

The Wisdom of Edward Osborne Wilson

“We are genius at social intelligence, but we’re really stupid when it comes
to understanding how to manage the environment. We are a badly adapted
species right now. We have created civilizations in which we lead and live
on parts of the planet on our own. And we haven’t gotten over our emphasis
on forming groups and having groups compete with one another.”

“Science should be conducted to explain, more than the manner of the
humanities, but it’s not a matter of telling human stories about the romantic
triangle that develops on a spaceship on its way to Pluto, or whatever
Hollywood comes up with. That’s not combining humanities with anything.
The humanities are sort of unaware of significance of intense focus on
individual relationships. It is easy for us to think that the world was made
for us. And we don’t really need to know about the 8 million or so other
species on this planet. Even though we’re told that keeping them intact
and making sure they continue to live is probably for our own long term
existence.”

“On some occasion the selfish prevail in a particular incident or part of the life
cycle. On other occasions, the group of effecting genes favor the altruism and
the high degree of cooperation. And what do you have out of all this? You have
a conscience. We are a real mess. Particularly, we have developed our culture
that way. In between, we have to live with this constant fight within our own
conscience. And what do we get out of it? It’s called, may I used the word? It’s
called the humanities.”

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One ought to seriously question, “Where is the “Collective Moral Conscience” of those who are in charge of Kaaba?” Whatever happened to “sign-reading capacity of humankind”? How do they expect 3 million pilgrims to cross the narrow pathways to and from Mina and the Jamaraat in one single day? Sheer insanity, isn’t it? Yet another article titled, “The Failure of the Custodian of the Holy Sanctuary,” by Mustafa Hameed further elaborates as “to how Saudi Arabia has prioritized gaudy development over the safety of hajj pilgrims and the results are deadly.” What was more shocking was to read that the nearest hospital to the Grand Mosque has only 52 beds. Imagine, we are living in the 21st century and our leaders seem to have lost the basic concept of “Safety First” for the pilgrims!

On the day of reckoning, Almighty Allah will ask, “Did you reject My signs and not grasp any knowledge concerning them? What have you been doing?” Surah: Al-Naml – Chapter: 27 – Verse: 84. “Sign-yielding quality of nature,” is never taken into account. If an ant in spite of its small size can lift objects ten times heavier than their bodies, then why weren’t the cranes removed from the vicinity of the Holy Kaaba before the arrival of the pilgrims? Why is there an obsession to build a new 10,000-room mega-hotel, supposedly set to become the biggest in the world? What for? From all such shallowness of mind, one can safely conclude that it is the culture of “Indifference, towards the subject matter “Humanities, which has led the Islamic world into a real mess.

The Ant

“It has long been assumed that things that are small aren’t as power or
sophisticated as things that are big. Of course, that’s just isn’t true. Take
the ant for instance. In spite of its small size the ant is amazingly argon.
Most can lift objects ten times heavier than their bodies. Some, muscle-
bound ants no doubt, can clean and jerk objects 50 times their body
weight. To put that into proper perspective that like a man hoisting a sofa
with 48 people and a small dog on it. But while the ant may seem like a
miniature Hercules don’t forget he’s also exceptionally smart. Ants are
known to build nests up to 3 feet high and covering an area the size of
a tennis court. Often these nests are complete with chambers for the
Queen, nurseries for the young, living rooms and hallways in which to
travel. Not bad considering most full grown humans can’t hook up a VCR.”

Business Week / Quality 1991

Unfortunately, our “Muslim Intelligentsia are hardly interested in the studies of nature, let alone the “Clergy Class, who seems to have no clue whatsoever about the workings of nature. With all the hue and cry over “Islamophobia, no one seem to be interested to study the Holy Qur’an and grasp the importance of what Kenneth Cragg stated, “Where the Qur’an celebrates the sign-yielding quality of nature, awaiting the sign-reading capacity of humankind, it always stresses the spiritual, as well as the technical response.” Meanwhile, the entire world media remain overly obsessed with ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda and the rest of the “Muslim Terrorists & Barbarians” on the loose. Haven’t Almighty Allah gave ample warning in Surah: Al-Naml as follows:

“Travel around the earth and see what the outcome for criminals was like. Do
not worry about them nor feel any anxiety over whatever they are plotting.” [69]

“You cannot make the dead hear, nor even the deaf hear the Appeal once they
turn around to escape.” [80]

“You are no one to guide the blind out of their error; you will only cause someone
who believes in our signs to listen, for they are committed to (live in) peace.” [81]

“We shall bring forth a monster from the earth for them who will speak to them
because mankind has not been convinced by Our signs.” [82]

“Anyone who comes with a fine deed will have something better than it and they
will be safe from that day’s terror; while anyone who comes with an evil deed will
be flung face down into the Fire: ‘Aren’t you rewarded with just what you’ve been
doing?’” [89]

Surah: Al-Naml (The Ants) – Chapter: 27 – Verses: 69, 80-82, 89

My fellow Muslims, my traditional greetings on Eid-ul-Adha was halted owing to the deep sorrow over the demise of our fellow Muslims in Mecca. (May Almighty Allah rest their souls in peace). What we have learned from the tragic lesson is that, we the Muslims have indeed drifted far away from the path to “FI MANZIL AL-WAHY. “I have been ordered to be a Muslim, and to recite the Qur’an, was a verse revealed to our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). The question of the day is, “Are we reading and reflecting upon the Qur’anic verses with full attentiveness?”

“I have only been ordered to serve the Lord of this region which He has
hallowed. He possesses everything. I have been ordered to be a Muslim,
and to recite the Qur’an. Anyone who is guided, will be guided only for
his own sake, while tell anyone who strays away: ‘I am merely a warner.”

“Say: Praise be to God! He will show you His signs so you may recognize
them. Your Lord is not overlooking anything you do!”

Surah: Al-Naml (The Ants) – Chapter: 27 – Verses: 91-92

Compassionately yours,

Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia

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http://www.wethemoderatemuslims.comhttp://www.readingisliving.com

Message to the American Muslim Leaders

From: Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia
Sent: Saturday, September 13, 2014 3:27 PM
To: Nihad Awad ; Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed ; Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser; Salam Al-Marayati ; Naeem Baig ; Kashif Al-Huda
Cc: Ahmed Rehab ; Hoda Elshishtawy; Lea Benson ; Dr. M. A. Muqtedar Khan ; Iftekhar Hai ; Muhammad Yunus ; Ashfaque Ullah Syed
Subject: THE WORD TO THE WISE IS SUFFICIENT

My Fellow Muslims,

As-Salaam Alay-Kum

“Ants are better than Google at processing data” was the very first sentence in a brief note about “The Collective Genius Of Ants.

What truly caught me by total surprise was noticing that hardly only one visitor viewed the YouTube link (+2 was my own views) which consisted of a good speech by Mr Salaam Al-Marayati, President of Muslim Public Affairs Council based in America.

Another thing that baffled me was when Dr. Sayeed M. Syeed of ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) bragged about being elected by 7.1 million American Muslims, and recently when Mike Ghouse, an American Muslim pundit boasted about having 6.7 million followers on the Sean Hannity Show. One only wonder where are those American Muslims?

It is quite apparent that the “Communication Directors” of the Islamic/Muslim organizations in America are either out of the communication loop, or merely they are not in touch with their followers and donators. The point I am getting across is that; the much needed “Collective & Collaborative” efforts is sorely missing. Perhaps, it is high time for the American Muslim leaders to ponder and reflect upon the concise lesson as outlined in “The Collective Genius Of Ants” which was published in “The Week” magazine dated June 13, 2014.

My fellow Muslims, the need of the hour for all the Muslims around the world is to be persistent in demanding our Islamic organizations to highlight “The Radical Islamic Ideology” so that we can collective eradicate the plague of terrorism within the Muslim world at large. This reminds me of what Mr. Al-Marayati aptly pointed out that, we are all “Partners In The Responsibility, and as such, all the voices of sane and educated Muslims must be heard by our “Elected Leaders.”

Better yet, try hard to attentively listen to Surah: Al-Naml (The Ants), the YouTube link, which we have posted on “We The Moderate Muslims” website, wherein Almighty Allah has forewarned mankind to “Travel around the world and see the fate of criminals was like.” THE WORD TO THE WISE IS SUFFICIENT.

Very respectfully yours,

Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia

The Collective Genius Of Ants

Ants are better than Google at processing data. That’s the conclusion of
a new mathematics study that looked at how ants transform what begins
as a seemingly random search for food into a highly organised network.
Researchers used computer modelling to translate well-known ant
behaviour patterns into equations and algorithms. They discovered that
the insects divide themselves into two groups: scouts and gatherers.
Scouts that are successful in finding food will take a scrap back to the
nest, dropping a trail of pheromones along the way to mark the path.
Subsequent waves of ants will follow the trail, which becomes refined
as more ants traverse it – leaving even more pheromone markers – until
the best, shortest route between food and nest is found. “I’d go so far as
to say that the learning strategy involved in that is more accurate and
complex than a Google search,” Professor Jürgen Kurths of the Potsdam
Institute for Climate Impact Research told The Independent. Researchers
also found that the scouts tend to be older ants, which have greater
experience exploring the nest’s surroundings. The younger ants do the
grunt work of gathering.

THE WEEK
June 13, 2014