Archive for September, 2010
“Answer the call of God and God’s Messenger to what brings you to life.”
“If I asked for people to die for the sake of God, I would have them lining up at my house; but when I ask people to live for the sake of God, I can’t find anyone.”
– Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah
I am traveling to New Jersey next week to present for the Princeton Pro Life lecture series. The topic is being addressed from the perspective of the three Abrahamic faiths. I have been asked to present the Islamic view, so I have been thinking about how to address this topic to an American audience in the context of today’s climate. Unfortunately, so many people in the U.S. now associate Islam with death rather than with life.
Nietzsche, the German philosopher, wrote in The Antichrist that Christianity “cheated us … out of the harvest of the culture of Islam. The wonderful world of the Moorish culture of Spain, really more closely related to us, more congenial to our senses and tastes than Rome and Greece, was trampled down … because it said Yes to life even with the rare and refined luxuries of Moorish life.”
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
I am beginning my blog, though it was something that I had actually been resisting for a long time because I am not really a “computer person.” And I am troubled by a lot of the so-called social networking: Facebook, Twitter, and all of the other social networks because I am committed to and believe in real community, not virtual community—in actually interacting with human beings in conversations. A lot of these social networks are taking people away from time spent in leisure alone or with others in social communion. In fact, studies are now showing that young people are spending more and more time in these virtual worlds and less with family and friends. I go to UC Berkeley on occasion, and I see young people everywhere with their ears plugged into increasingly smaller gadgets, listening to God-knows-what, oblivious to the people and the stunning nature around them, seemingly in another world. I would like to see more human interaction and discussions that are not limited to pixilated images on computer screens.
On the other hand, I am, in essence, submitting to the very real fact that people are deeply involved in social networking, and I suppose in some ways it is akin to the Qur’anic verse, “Resist with the same weapons with which you are being aggressed upon.” So, here I am doing what I never thought I would be doing—blogging.
In this blog, I hope to address some of the issues affecting our community in the West, and on occasion, add my bean to the hill of beans concerning events occurring in other places also. I would also like to reflect publically on matters that I experience at any given time. For instance, I recently had a horrible experience at San Francisco airport that resulted in a formal apology and an on-going investigation sparked by Senator Feinstein’s response to my letter of complaint.
Furthermore, I know that I am very fortunate in having many people respond to the messages that I have been trying to convey over the years, and I have been really overwhelmed by the general goodness in our community. There are always naysayers and critics. Criticism is not a bad thing, and I am always open to criticism. However, I am disturbed by the harshness that we find in some segments of our community and with how much cruelty some people react when they come across others who may not share their views.
Opinion: The Christian Science Monitor
The planned Park51 Islamic center near ground zero is stirring up anger at Muslims. But reason and decency will prevail, and Muslims – like Irish-Catholics before – will overcome bigotry and be accepted into the American family.
By Hamza Yusuf Hanson
September 16, 2010.
To read the article, please click on the link below: