For: Dar-al-Islam Seminar of 2003
Copyright 2003 Nadine Sultana d’Osman Han
shall share with you some thoughts in our quest for spiritual enlightenment as
we struggle in our daily lives to better our inner-selves.
seems to me that we are gathering here today because each one of us feel a
degree of disquiet within himself or herself.
our physical being is more and less attended to in a satisfactory manner, there
are some unfulfilled spiritual’s needs, a sense of being lost.
FIRST: Let us talk about THE EARTH’S JOURNEY. From
the moment we are born, we are traveling toward the kingdom of the Divine. We are all conscious that the only reason for
our birth is to enable us to reach the heavens.
Our journey on earth is short, full of detours and hardships.
are aware that our final destination lies unto the Grace of Allah. However, we are unsure of the path leading to
that final destination, hence our need to seek each other for guidance.
the Divine path has been clearly marked by Allah’s chosen Prophets (pbuh).
agree that Adam was the 1st Prophet and that we owe to that fact our
elevation from mere animal form to a spiritual one.
Prophets (pbut) imbued by the most perfect qualities that can be achieved by
humans, were and remain a role model for us.
main essence of the Divine Path is that the mind and the heart must be in
harmony reflected in Ir-Rahman and Ir-Rahim.
is also a fact that an orderly civilization must follow a hierarchical system
were chosen by Allah to communicate His Almighty Commands; and these are the
very signs we need to reach our final destination unto the Divine.
the absence of Prophethood, Caliphs were chosen in a pre-ordained Divine
Decree, to protect the Prophet’s teachings from misinterpretations.
help them with their spiritual mission, the Caliphs in turn assigned a
Shaykh-ul-Islam to be a link between the Caliphate and the believers. In addition, the duty of a Shaykh-ul-Islam is to protect the Caliphate
think that we all know that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not name a Caliph as
his successor upon his death. But few of
us are aware that the Prophet (pbuh) revealed that: —“He who will destroy the Byzantine Emperor
and will spend his treasures in Allah’s behalf will be the expected “Mahdi” when
he conquers Constantinople”.—
prophecy was in effect the Prophet’s only testament for his succession.
was fully fulfilled by the Ottoman Sultan Selim 1er who was the grandson of the
Great Conqueror of Constantinople, Fatih Mehmet, in the year 1453. Thus, to this day the Caliphate remains
within the House of Osman. This should
have kept Islam united, but this did not occur because some religious leaders
betrayed the weakened Caliphate by trying to usurp its authority.
might wonder why humans need Prophets, then Caliphs? Are they to be our spiritual Judges on
earth? To this I shall say emphatically
“no”. Only Allah can be our spiritual
(pbut) were chosen by Allah to be a role model as to what was expected of
mankind so we could eventually enter the Kingdom of Allah.
on the other hand, naturally less perfect beings than the Prophets, had ( and
still do) the mission to preserve the Prophets teachings of Allah’s Commands,
and furthermore to protect it from misguided interpretations.
WHAT ARE THE COMMANDS OF
is quite clear that utmost is a behavior that reflects a good conscience. One must not harm another human being in any
way—be it a man a woman or a child.
mind and heart must show at all times compassion and tolerance for others. We may be allowed intolerance only toward
one’s own shortcomings!
Our next step is
to look at the way we treat others and distribute charity.
Qu’ran emphasizes strongly charity to the poor but even more so to poor
relatives in that “Silatur-Rahem” is the pious duty of family, and pleasing to
said — ‘Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, he should maintain the
bonds of kinship”—.
is the selfless bond of kinship without the expectation of rewards from its
recipients. It is the genuine concern
for family members for their well being, dealing with them with politeness and
kindness, making them welcome and respected.
It involves financial help and even the sharing of wealth to avoid an
imbalance in standard of living among family members.
Bukhari reminds us that: —“The real maintainer of ties of kinship is not the
one who reciprocates, but the one who establishes the relationship when it is
often it is easier for us to give charity to strangers, instead of needy
relatives, because our vanity of recognition is thus gratified.
charity in itself is a good quality, but we must be careful not to let an act
of kindness be tarnished by ulterior motives from our ego’s indulgence into
power over the weak.
contrast to Silatur-Rahem is Qat’ur-Rahem, that is the failure to maintain
relationship with family members.
had these words for Qat’ur-Rahem: — “There is no sin more deserving of being
punished by Allah in this world along with what He stores up for him in the
Hereafter than oppression and severing ties of kinship.—
a family member falls under the disapproved behavior of Qat’ur-Rahem. This brings me to the oppression of some
women by men who have misunderstood Islam and the teachings of the Prophet
against women may take many different forms.
Some are physical or psychological violence, confinement within a home,
lack of activities freedom and among other restrictions imposed on women are of
course the cloth and what it should be.
Let me remind you that Allah
is the essence of compassion and kindness and thus oppression in any form are
never the words of Allah.
let us take an extreme case of what happens when the Qu’ran is being
misinterpreted. The Taliban who were
extremely pious, had been taught by misguided Imams that women should be
avoided at all cost and thus treated with cruelty. Oppression and murder of women were carried out
in the name of Islam but in reality these actions could only be of
madness. Only unbalanced minds could
believe that Allah would reward a man who
had beaten to death a woman whose shoes squeaked in the street.
can we truly blame the Taliban of Afghanistan?
Perhaps not. They are to be
pitied for they were the unfortunate children victims of war. They were raised and trained by religious
teachers who had unscrupulously misled these traumatized children away from the
spiritual truth of Allah.
is why the Caliphate is so important,
and must be protected so as to avoid the teachings of the devil under the
banner of Islam.
oppression of Saudi women is also contrary to the teachings of tolerance and
compassion of the Prophet (pbuh).
is much debate in regard to the heavy black veil of the Saudi women.
let me quote Will Durant (although not a Moslem) from his book entitled “The
story of Civilization”:
is a child of custom rather than of nature…”— and that — “…our virtues lie in
the interpretation of the time”.—
could not agree more with this observation.
think that you would agree that at the time of the Prophet Adam and Eve,
garments were practically non-existents and certainly this did not offend for
it was viewed not any less modest than let us say the heavily clothed Saudi
women. It is our perceptions that have
changed, a consequence of material affluence along with clothing — No doubt
affluence had to be the origin of the cloth.
omniscient wisdom of Allah gave Islam the flexibility to adjust to human
perceptions of good behavior but never to indulge in excess or despotism.
are full of contradictions. They create
many obstacles and turmoil where none should exist.
mankind struggles with self-centered interests, greed and other coveted power
and desires, many veils of oppression are imposed on others to obliterate
them. Yet, as we go along our earth journey we must never lose sight of the
fact that the only veils worth wearing are the one of compassion, tolerance and
Justice. It is these that are the most pleasing to Allah.