Category Archives: Education

I’m Not Running Away But…

Assalaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

I’ve been going through a period of introspection lately, as I often do, every few months or year or two but this time it’s been much deeper and broader in scope than anything I’ve probably done since I said my Shahadah nearly 16 (lunar) years ago and indeed has lasted months not the days or weeks it has before.

Normally I pause, I reflect, maybe do a bit of research and ask people I trust around me and I correct my course slightly but still moving onward and upward again in the same direction more or less but this time it I find myself unable to move on again, I am frozen in place, and think I must choose a different path to what I’ve been on before.

Do they not think deeply about themselves? Allah has created not the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, except with truth and for an appointed term. And indeed many of mankind deny the Meeting with their Lord.
Quran translation, Surah Ar-Rum, 8:8

I’ve come to realise the image of myself I have in my head, which in some ways is a reflection of what others think of me in the community and that I’ve taken their word for is not actually true. It is not me as I know me truly or a accurate reflection of how I feel in my interactions with others and I am not being honest with them, or my family or myself to continue this lie, and it is a lie in part at least.

Until now I thought myself in some ways a deep thinker, an activist, a Da’ee, a caller to the truth, the community reformer, even if only on a very modest scale but the truth is I am far from these things, I barely have mastery of my own household and it’s development or reform, or indeed of myself which is where the heart of this problem I think comes from.

Like many other reverts, almost since I said my Shahadah I’ve been pushed into this role, and that’s not to blame others, I’ve relished it,  and ran with it from the beginning, and the mistake of faking becoming this thing I am not, of fooling myself is my own and no one else’s.

This has really hit home this ramadhan and especially last night at a community iftar meal, when I was speaking to an elderly brother who I know thinks a great deal of the work I do in the community. We spoke about family, and also homeschooling and he made mention how it must be good for the kids to benefit from a father who is able to teach them so much in terms of the deen and life.

I had to be truthful, tell him straight up this is not me, I do a little, but barely anything in terms of my kids Islamic education, or indeed other educational needs other than offering words of advice as any father would, that such lessons are taken up by my wife, my children’s devoted mother who has in her efforts to become a better home-schooler educated herself in ways I have not over the years.

This conversation, though brief prayed upon me all night, stopped me sleeping even the little hours I had to sleep, though the migraine which came in the middle which jammed the on-switch on my brain probably didn’t help, but this discussion played over and over in my mind summed up neatly my thoughts through many wakeful nights these past few months.

I know my own weaknesses, I cannot allow the assumptions of others that I am someone good or great at what I do to hide the truth, at least to myself that I am not that person they think I am. Allah knows the truth, I know the truth and I am not really helping anyone, least of all myself to continue to pretend otherwise.

In the past I’ve fooled myself I would change, become this person as time went on as I lived it, but looking back to my recent past this has just not happened, and I think for the past few years I’ve known this and hidden it deep within myself.

“It is in the nature of the human being to seek a justification for his actions.”
– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation V-VII

I am only child in the fields I dabble in, fundamentally lacking in anything more than basic knowledge and so unable to enact change in anyway like the effectiveness I wish I could achieve.

My self development over the years has been severely lacking, forget learning arabic I am still struggling with reading the Quran fluently after 16 years of Islam and though languages is the one major area of learning I struggle with, I’ve allowed this difficulty to stop me even trying in anything like a meaningful way.

This Ramadhan has been the first time in years I have regularly prayed my sunnah prayers, rather than just the fard ones, my practice and knowledge is severely lacking yet the classes, the access to knowledge and skills was out there, I allowed myself to be distracted by being busy, but in an ineffectual manner.

In other fields I have a cursory understanding and knowledge, and being the one eyed man I’ve allowed myself to be setup as a ruler or at least and adviser among the blind when I know I can be, and should be far more.

In every aspect of my life I am falling short, deeni and other education, health and fitness, character and moral fibre, family and home, community and social life, career and wealth.

I am spread thin, running from area to area, helping this person or that project at an individual or small scale yes, but failing to build systems which could help enact change on the level on which it needs to take place.

It’s just not enough. I need to withdraw, reeducate myself, strengthen my being, redefine who I am internally and then have that reflected externally, so I become the man I know I could be, which others now wrongly think I am.

If I don’t the alternative is to know I ultimately fail in life. Myself, my family, my community and ultimately Allah who has the parameters of my being and how far I could truly go if only I pushed myself as I should and who knows how short I fall in reaching those limits.

So I am not running away, not exactly. I cannot stop everything which I have been doing, the need is too great and others are not yet willing to pick up those burdens but I am over the coming months going to be withdrawing from some activities where I can, taking up less new projects, freeing up the time I need, the space I need to grow and learn and become who I know I need to be.

I need my space each month, my time away in the cave of Hira, relaxation and reflection and not to be so busy with life and activism that I am stuck in being the role rather than becoming the man who can truly fulfill it as it needs to be filled.

For those worried about such things, I am not burned out, far from it, I am more determined than ever but I know continuing the way I have been for so long would ultimately lead me to that end, I’ve seen enough activists fall over the years to see the warning signs in myself and to take steps to avoid them if Allah wills it.

Writing is also something which I have neglected and I’ll probably be blogging more over this time also, I find I need to vent, and find the truth in what psychologists say, that far from thinking before we speak, instead giving word to my innermost thoughts helps me clarify what is true and good for me and others. I need to hear the words, or see them written to see the truth in them or not.

It is my sincere hope, that if Allah wills it, I can come back in a few years as a better man,  someone people can genuinely look up to but I am not willing to keep living right now as someone I am not and if not at least I will have tried.

Assalaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

Gingerbeardman

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Love & Hate

Imām Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (رحمه الله) said:

‘And the Religion revolves around 4 principles; i) Love, ii) Hate; and which result in either, iii) Action or iv) Abandonment.

And so whomsoever loves, hates, acts or abandons for the sake of Allāh, then they have perfected their Īmān. As in, if they love; they love for Allāh, if they hate; they hate for Allāh, if they do an action; they do it for Allāh and if they abandon something; they abandon it for Allāh.

And īmān will decrease in direct correlation to its defficieny in these 4 principles.”

Ar-Rūh “The Soul”, Publisher: Al-Maktab Al-Islāmī – page 490.

Original post taken from Good Tree Pubs – Here

Dr Bilal Philips – Practicing Islam in Modern Society

“There is no such thing as modern Islam, liberal Islam, Islam is Islam.”

A brilliant talk by Dr Bilal Philips on how in reality, the problems faced by the Muslims today are the same as those faced by the Muslims in the past, that the answers to our problems are in the Quran and the Sunnah, just as they have always been.

One of the best speeches from one of the best speakers out there, who has not compromised on the message in all his years calling to Allah, unlike so many other du’at in the English language.

Jordan Peterson – How to Improve Yourself Right NOW (and Why)

Assalaamu Alaykum,

I have a strange hobby, actually I have a few of them but this one I am discussing today is picking up interesting text books on subjects I know little or nothing about and starting to read, to see how much I can understand and where I don’t understand the topic what I need to learn to get there and doing so.

I am not claiming to be some sort of genius or anything, but it just helps me grow in understanding as a person and I might then read about this subject for a few weeks, months or sometimes longer.

So whilst studying English at college I used to browse the library and from this I developed a casual interest in psychology which unlike many other subjects has stuck with me since.

So no formal training or education, just a passing interest but one which I find often helps me relax from my daily life and also in understanding the world and though sadly it’s something which with marriage I had to slow down with and sometimes stop at times because with marriage, kids, life etc you have to prioritize your time, still it interests me.

My favourite teacher and speaker in this field at the moment is a man called Prof. Jordan Peterson who brings a whole other element to psychology which can often be aloof and distant from the concerns of man’s daily life in that he brings it down to a practical level.

Actually, that’s not really true. He brings the average man or woman up  to a level they can understand basic psychology which is a much better way of teaching and helps you ask important questions about yourself, your life, how you got to where you are and how you can get to where you want to go.

How did this happen and how can I stop it happening again?
How do I improve myself and what is the most efficient method of doing so?
Where do I want to be in x years and how do I get there?

I’ve reached a point in my life myself where these questions are reaching a greater degree of importance, I am conscious of time, that I have to work smart and not just work hard so for a while you’ll probably start seeing more and more posts on psychology and related fields popping up on this blog.

Hope you enjoy this short video and find it as beneficial as I did where Prof. Peterson some practical steps on improving your life, and why you should start doing so right now. Good advice for a natural procrastinator like myself.

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

Daniel Haqiqatjou – Missionaries in Western Schools

“If I told you that Christian missionaries were going to your child’s school and aggressively proselytizing to them and pressuring them to leave Islam and become Christians, wouldn’t you be alarmed? Wouldn’t you be angry and concerned?

What if I told you these missionaries weren’t at your child’s school one day but were there every single day, just constantly pressuring your kid to accept Christianity and leave his Islamic faith behind. Would you keep your child at that school?

The reality is, virtually all schools in the Western world (and many in the Muslim world as well) are indoctrinating your children, but the religion being imposed is not Christianity. It is secular liberal materialism.

If you have ever wondered why our youth are leaving Islam in droves, there is a clear reason for it. It’s not some freak phenomenon that no one can control. It has a clear cause. We have to do something, anything, to protect our kids and counteract any damage that has already been done.”

~ Daniel Haqiqatjou

This Person Could Be Teaching Your Kids

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Though this letter is probably bogus, I am sure many of us have at times come across teachers like Adam Hilliker here, who regard questioning their authority as only a shade below questioning the will of God.

Though I am certain there are many great teachers out there, there are also way too many who teach by rote, rigidly according to the set syllabus, or else are themselves trapped in the mindset of modern western education, a methodology designed to mold and train our children and youth to become obedient workers rather than thinkers and creators of ideas.

This is one of the many reasons why myself and my wife chose to home school our kids and have stuck to that decision when many others have fallen by the wayside, gone over to the dark side of packing their kids off to secular schools in the UK.

You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah .
Quran translation, Surah Ale ‘Imran, 3:110

How can we hope to rise up to that level and be the best nation when we have given up on  trying to change the crookedness of society around us?

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala protect all our kids, and allow us to be his instruments in raising up a generation who come to set a better example for the whole of mankind, not just to be conformists, but changers and reformers of society, enjoining the ma’roof and forbidding the munkar, ameen

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

 

CAGE Report – ‘We Are Completely Independent’

Assalaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

Facebook has a feature where it will show you your ‘memories’ that is posts from the same date in previous years which can be very interesting to look at in a…

‘yes that was a really important issue / message’ 
or
‘what? did I really say / share that? (cringe)’ kinda way.

This post’s graphics and highly detailed report from CAGE definitely falls into the former and not the later. The CAGE Report ‘WE ARE COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT’ (available to download here from CAGE) which some may remember from last year is still extremely relevant today with the so many Imams and leaders in the UK Muslim community trying to give the highly damaging and anti-Islamic Prevent agenda a new lease of life on behalf of the government.

Allahu Alim whether they are doing so because they or their organizations are being funded by Prevent or other government initiatives, or whether it is because  they share in the governments beliefs, or whether they are doing so out of fear of being targeted next.

I highly recommend you all read the full report if you have not already or else feel free to distribute the link and pics for others to look at as ending this toxic Prevent agenda is a duty upon us all as is forbidding any munkar in society.

Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Dawood (David) and ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). That was because they disobeyed (Allaah and the Messengers) and were ever transgressing beyond bounds.

They used not to forbid one another from Al-Munkar (wrong, evildoing, sins, polytheism, disbelief) which they committed. Vile indeed was what they used to do.
Quran translation, Surah al-Ma’idah, 5:78-79

The report details how the government has been covertly funding Muslim organizations in the UK in an attempt to subvert the message these organizations give out to the masses of the Muslims.

To make it look like these supposedly impartial community leaders and organizations have come to the conclusion by themselves that they need to help force a change of values upon the Muslims in the UK into something more akin to those held by the disbelieving masses under their attempts to promote ‘British Values.’

If the problem is  that extremists promote a distorted version of Islam then why the need to promote British Values and not Islamic ones?

CAGE have produced a high quality academic report showing the links between the Government, media companies, grassroots organizations, all working together secretly on promoting the government’s Prevent agenda.

This blurring of lines between government on the one hand and community / grass roots organizations on the other is dangerous and counter productive strategy which will only make the problems with those with extremist ideas get worse.

It can only decrease trust in all Muslim organizations in our community and further force misguided individuals who may fall into sympathy for Terrorism away from those who should be helping them, not helping themselves to extra government funding in exchange for following a particular line.

As Muslims we need to not only hold the government to account, and demand an end to Prevent and other anti-Muslim policies, but also hold our community leaders including our Imams to account as well.

Abu Abdurrahman – An Advice To Married Students

“An advice to married students from me, a married student

1.)Understand that your wife has given up some integral rights that she is due, in order for you to seek knowledge. So be even more kind to her and show your appreciation more.

2.) If she is living away from you, do not be too quick to judge and undermine her decisions and actions. Remember a persons decisions and actions are cultivated by the environment around them. Compare your environment to hers and show mercy and try not to demand too much from her.

3.) She is constantly reminded that her husband isn’t there. Whether intentionally or unintentionally from her family and peers there is a constant reminder that her husband is MIA. While her friends return from the masjid to the loving arms of their husbands she returns home to a husbandless home. Be aware of this and try to do what you can to counteract this feeling. Msging, Calling, Email, SnailMail (“TheNoteBook” style) All these things can help lessen the burden from her.

Finally my brothers remember you said “قبلت”
You accepted her and all burdens that she would come with. Be smart and wise when you say and do regarding her.

I ask Allah to unite all the students of knowledge who are currently away from their wives.”

BBC – Salford Police Officer’s Facebook Rant Investigated

I am none too happy with the Police on this blog, there are some good ones I’ve met, and quite a few who were either lying or in denial about the dhulm / oppression their fellow officers do when in uniform, especially towards Muslims.

But sometimes we blame the Police unjustly for many social ills, often they are just ordinary people, trying to help the community in an imperfect way, with plenty of common sense but held down by a system which seems to lack all common sense and decency.

So try and have a little sympathy for the poor copper who is now going to have to pay the price for speaking a bit of truth to the parents of teenage delinquents in Salford.

Link to BBC news original article – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-39887357

BBC – Salford Police Officer’s Facebook Rant Investigated

Good Morning everyone. An update on what's occurred in the area over the past 24hrs or so. It would be very quiet if it wasn't for one thing..or several "things".................. Kids/Yoofs/Yobs/Delinquents (cross out which one). There was a call to Heron Drive, Irlam to youths sitting or jumping on vehicles. The youths had gone home to mummy when officers arrived and no damage was found. There was a report of drunken youths on the fields at Sandy Lane, Irlam. Again, they had made off back to mummy, probably claiming that they had been doing their science project homework at a mates. How to get alcohol out of £3.60 dinner money.

A world-weary police officer who posted a tirade about “stoned youths” on a force Facebook page has landed himself in trouble.

The fed-up bobby laid into anti-social teenagers, parents, and community support officers in the message.

It appeared on the GMP Irlam and Cadishead page on 7 May, prompting a complaint from a teacher, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Greater Manchester Police’s Salford branch said it is investigating.

Ch Insp Glenn Jones said: “We have launched an internal investigation after we received a report of an inappropriate post on a GMP Facebook account.

“Officers and staff are expected to uphold the standards of behaviour in all of their duties including on social media.”

The post has since been deleted.

Police officer’s rant in full

“Good Morning everyone.

“An update on what’s occurred in the area over the past 24hrs or so. It would be very quiet if it wasn’t for one thing…or several “things”

“Kids/Yoofs/Yobs/Delinquents (cross out which one).

“There was a call to Heron Drive, Irlam to youths sitting or jumping on vehicles. The youths had gone home to mummy when officers arrived and no damage was found.

“There was a report of drunken youths on the fields at Sandy Lane, Irlam. Again, they had made off back to mummy, probably claiming that they had been doing their science project homework at a mates. How to get alcohol out of £3.60 dinner money.

“Please try and find out what your little Keanu or Beyonce are doing at night. If they’re drinking or smoking weed, there will be signs. If they are, they will no doubt be causing mither in the street.

“Youths were throwing stones at residents houses and residents themselves, from the railway viaduct over Roseway Avenue, Cadishead.

“And finally, there was a call to Tesco at Woodrow Way, Irlam. Security called to report one man and his dog at the Cashpoint machines.

“Many cashpoint areas have points where you can leave deposits for the bank. They did so…. Defecating at the cashpoint… Not the dog…. The man.We have a description (Of the man- not the deposit) and CCTV of the incident. The dog is entirely innocent… Wonder if it’s a shih-tzu?

“Only me in today as the PCSO’s don’t work on Sunday’s. They have the day off to play with their crayons and Lego.

“Take care and lock your kids up till school time on Monday.”