Category Archives: Social Sciences

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

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Racism In Our Communities – Nick Pelletier

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Though it is addressed to the Muslims in America, every single aspect of this khutbah could be addressed to the Muslims of the UK or any other western country.

He talks about the racism in wider society, and how as Muslims living in the west we will never help fix this problem until we first address the racism in our own community, and how the racism among Muslims is worse, YES WORSE than the wider society.

We need to fix ourselves up, start setting the example for the rest of society and not keep wallowing in cultural and islamic nostalgia, may Allah swt guide us, and to to the straight path, ameen.

Younus Kathrada – Where To Next For Western Muslims?

“We already have those among us who are sympathetic to the LGBTQ supporters…who knows what’s next!”

‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr narrated:

“The Prophet peace and blessings be upon him) said: “My Ummah will face what Bani Israel faced step by step, even if one of them approached his mother publicly (sexually) there will be one of my Ummah who will approach his mother.

And verily the Bani Israel divided into seventy two sects and my nation would divide into seventy three sects, all are to hell except one (sect).“ We asked “which one is saved?” the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Those who remain on which I and my Companions remain” (Tirmidhi)

Abu Salamah, and Abu Huraira narrated:

“The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “My Ummah will face what Bani Israel faced step by step, even if one of them approached his mother publicly (sexually) there will be one of my Ummah who will approach his mother. The people of Israel divided into 72 sects, my Ummah will divide into 73 sects, all of them are in the Hellfire, and one of them is in Paradise.” We asked, “Which one is saved?” the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The one that is on what me and my Companions are on today.”” [Sunan ibn Majah, Kitab Al Fitan]

~ Post originally by Younus Kathrada

Guardian – Pitching Up

Sure it’s not all as rosy as this all the time, but a beautiful video and well worth listening to, though maybe I’m biased as my grandparents were from this part of Ireland…

https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2017/jul/14/pitching-up-ancient-sports-for-children-in-irelands-most-ethnically-diverse-town

“How Ireland’s ancient sports are helping to integrate children in the country’s most ethnically diverse town.”

 

Critique of Government’s Latest ‘Anti-Terror’ Laws

Abdul Wahid here gives a short critique of the latest ‘anti-terror’ laws and it doesn’t take a legal mastermind to see how these new laws are going to be used to ratchet up the pressure on the Muslims of the UK.

Here is a link to a news article on the new laws, I think most of us seeing new laws being proposed nearly every year turn off but these latest ones include some new and frightening powers for the government to use.

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2017/jul/15/law-to-be-changed-so-terror-offenders-jail-terms-can-be-lengthened

He wrote:

“This is a classic example of the ‘injustice’ in the legal system.

Firstly, enacting a law that allow sentences viewed as ‘too lenient’ to be extended by the appeal court for serious and emotive crimes such as murder, rape and the ‘most serious terrorist offences’. (What does that mean? Murder is murder, and implying a political motive in some cases but not others means you have just politicised the law).

Secondly, extending the scope of that law to apply to much more vacuous and politicised acts – such as ‘ supporting extremist organisations, encouraging acts of terror’. What constitutes ‘support’ and ‘encouragement’ in terms of legal thresholds? Who as yet has defined ‘extremist’? Without robust definitions all laws become arbitrary. This classic sign of a politicised legal system, with parallel streams of justice for those who think differently.

This reminds me of security states in other parts of the world, where people could be serving a sentence of a political offence, and they are retried or resentenced years later.

It concerns me that some criminals will get longer sentences than other just by the tabloid press or 24/7 news media whipping up populist sentiment after a trial, whilst current laws prevent media interference in trials.

Of course all secular laws change with the wind. Secularists think of this as a strength, because blatantly unjust laws of the past are now repealed.

But Islam’s strength is that its legal code is not easy to manipulate. It is not public opinion that we seek in justice, but Allah’s Opinion on any given matter.

Speaking about the Islamic Shariah at the trial of Warren Hastings, the political philosopher Edmund Burke spoke of the ‘Mahomedan law, which is binding upon all, from the crowned head to the meanest subject; a law interwoven with a system of the wisest, the most learned, and most enlightened jurisprudence that perhaps ever existed in the world’.

Bukhari narrates from our mother ‘Aisha, may Allah be please with her that Usamah ibn Zaid (may Allah be please with him and his father) approached the Prophet ﷺ on behalf of a woman (from a noble, rich family in her tribe who had committed theft). The Prophet ﷺ said, “The people before you were destroyed because they used to inflict the legal punishments on the poor and forgive the rich. By Him in Whose Hand my soul is! If Fatima (the beloved daughter of the Prophet ﷺ) did that (i.e. stole), I would cut off her hand.” i.e. You do not apply laws selectively – either on the poor and not the rich; nor on the unpopular but let off the popular.”

Nabil Abdul Rashid – Welcome to the Club Guys!

“Remember how I keep saying that if not for recent enhancement of unfair anti-terrorism laws: e.g. prevent and schedule 7, Asians would never see structural racism like we Afro-Caribs do?

This stop and search video that has gone viral is proof of it. Sucked he had that done to him, but hey!!! Some of us have grown up having that done to us every day about two or three times a day and it wasn’t done as gently or politely either.

Remember that for the last three or four decades WE have been complaining about the same thing and got told “if you didn’t commit so much crime they wouldn’t be stopping you” and ” well if you’ve done nothing wrong you’ve got nothing to worry about”… welcome to the club guys.. welcome to the club. Racial profiling by racist institutions is not fun, even for ‘model minorities’.”

~ Nabil Abdul Rashid

Asim Qureshi – Those Jumping on the Bandwagon

I find it interesting that those who jumping on the bandwagon around counter-extremism policies for the far-right, have absolutely no record of critiquing structural racism against black communities in the U.K. You ignored years of black people being systematically harmed, and all of a sudden feel that you have pathologised the issue through concerns around vulnerability and ‘radicalisation’.

Where is your critique of the structural nature of this decades old phenomenon? As the actor Jessie Williams said at his BET award speech:

“If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest, if you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.”

~ Asim Qureshi

Maybe There is a Reason Allah Made Men Forgetful

Assalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

Every man here will sympathise I am sure, unless he has an eidetic memory the frustrations of getting into an argument with his wife, and she can bring up past mistakes in detail whilst he is pretty sure there are some similar good points from his side, but right there and then the details just are not there.

Point and often argument lost in many cases and men in they are wise learn other coping mechanisms to deal with this side of relationships over the years.

My own personal one being not allowing the matters to escalate to that level in the first place because it’s not possible to ‘win’ in such a situation against a woman, even if you come up with the pertinent facts she just changes angle and brings up some related topic, or something totally unrelated until she ‘wins.’

But what if we could remember brothers, what then?

Being a somewhat typical INTJ personality type, I thought I’d come up with a cunning plan to get around my male memory and I did once make a spreadsheet of every thing done in our relationship, good or bad but this included every argument and misdemeanor for about two months in a row.

Not a good idea apparently and it was one of the worse times in our marriage at least from my point of view as I found myself becoming more agitated and not my usual calm self, as each day I would submit the latest entries, and dwell on past problems.

I became more liable to see flaws I would otherwise have not seen, or else let go long before, in the past. Every relatively minor little thing became another bitter addition to the previous few days list of what were really totally minor and petty disagreements.

I’d often become vexed, walking around doing a Mr angry impression with the Mrs not knowing why and often I was more annoyed with an unresolved issue from days or even weeks before I’d read about that morning than I was about the actual thing which was on my mind right then.

So maybe for good reason we are forgetful creatures, perhaps it’s really a good thing, or mostly so.

This old English saying (actually most languages probably have this one) has a lot of truth in it…

“MEN DO NOT FORGIVE, THEY FORGET. WOMEN FORGIVE EVERYTHING BUT NEVER FORGET!”

Whenever I have to listen to a brother or sister discuss the problems in their marriage, men tend to have a few ‘big’ items they just cannot let go off, where as the sisters… the sisters can write long lists sometimes even with dates of every infraction real or imagined most of which the man cannot even remember happening.

In our lives trying to follow Islam brothers need to learn to forgive, struggle and strive to forgive others especially our spouses and sisters need to learn to let things go, if a matter is resolved and in the past don’t keep bringing it up every time you are angry with him.

Psychologists have pondered over the reason why men are more forgetful, and this has been measured and proven to be so but for whatever reason Allah has designed and made us different in this way. I am not sure there is one reason why, but perhaps if men were less forgetful they would not be able to fully function in their overall tole as leaders of the household.

We are made to be forgetful of these little details in arguments and life and if this makes married life run along more smoothly so Alhamdulillah I am grateful to Allah he has made us this way.

Assalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

Gingerbeardman

My Admiration for Ben Shapiro

Assalaamu Alaykum,

No, I have not gone insane or over to the dark side.

Yes I know Ben Shapiro is the darling scion of the alt-right, acolyte of Andrew Breitbart, anti-Islam campaigner, apologist for continued American oppression of BME’s at home in his country, ardent Zionist-Jew and a crusader for the continued American occupation and exploitation of the rest of the planet but…

From watching him I’ve learnt a great deal and it’s sometimes from our opponents we can learn new tactics, new arguments and I see nothing wrong in respecting those who oppose so we can better meet them in debates and defeat them.

For those at the sharp end there is always an arms race when we come to dialogue with non-Muslims and the arguments and techniques used by Ben Shapiro are top range latest American missile tech.

Now when it comes to debates from the right some of this stuff will be hitting you soon if you are involved in Da’wah work at a higher-up public level. Learn it, learn to counter it. That way you’ll Insha’Allah avoid being done over in your own discussions if someone hits you with this later on.

I’m now going to post a link… unless you’ve got a strong stomach and a strong sense of emaan don’t click it, but if like me you want to learn where the enemies of Islam and basic human decency are coming from next then have a listen.

Ben Shapiro – Debating leftists Youtube Video

His advise is only useful for when you are actually debating someone, not for general Da’wah conversations. As Allah states in the Quran:

 

Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.
Quran Translation, Surah An-Nahl, 16:125

OK, not the best application of that verse. But the principle is sound to some degree if you’ll follow my reasoning.

First off in Da’wah we approach people from a point of view of kind words, wisdom, good instruction, being firm with the truth but kind in the delivery, something Shapiro seems incapable of doing. But then when they step up a level and become argumentative we come back at them a different method again and defeat them on that ground whilst not being aggressive or angry.

Shapiro does this part very well, he uses humour to deflect hatred and bring the audience on side, then well reasoned and rehearsed arguments to destroy the arguments of his enemies.

And BTW, he’s right about leftists…

Yes I know  they are part of some great ‘progressive alliance’ against the neo-facism which is coming out of western capitals but the idea that the enemy of my enemy is my friend is not true.

They are just as much enemies of Islam as the right, and the hijab and halal meat bans coming out of Europe are just as much a product of these progressive types as  they are from the right.

Muslims need to remember Islam is not Socialism, or Liberalism, or even democratic. These are all materialist ideologies different to our deen and we can learn how to combat these ideologies also from looking into their other enemies like the slightly less rabid right wing ideologues like Shapiro who use reason rather than emotion.

Have a listen to some of his other debates also, though sometimes it’s against female / feminist opponents so if you’re a brother reading this just open the link and listen rather than watching the video to make it easier for you to lower your gaze.

This one in particular is excellent (brothers lower your gaze) – Ben Shapiro Destroys Transgenderism And Pro-Abortion Arguments – Youtube Video

I’ve actually used these arguments against transgender / homosexual rights campaigners as well as those who wish to promote abortion as some sort of lifestyle choice rather than callous discarding of a potential human being.

There is a tenancy to look to the left as our allies and this has led to many Muslims being seduced by these arguments which is wrong and will slowly and surely destroy the Muslim community from the inside out just as surely as the right will attempt to destroy us from the outside by more overt oppression.

So there it is, my admiration for Ben Shapiro.

Feel free to agree or disagree, vent your hatred of the man here if you like, I’ll join you but learn from him if you’re in the field of Da’wah because his arguments will be coming to Da’wah table or formal debate near you soon enough.

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

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