Archive for the ‘Ethics & Morality.’ Category

Tazkiyyah-a-Nafs, (Self-Control).

December 24, 2017

“And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect” (Q,18:28)

Improvisation

Keep your-self (Nafs) restrained/subdued by being in the company of those, who keep busy remembering their Lord, day and night (morn, eve) seeking His pleasure/approval/mercy. Do not let your-self (Nafs) evade their company by being attracted to the adornments of fleeting life (temporary worldly life). Do not be in the company of someone whose heart, We have rendered, barren of Our remembrance. The one who is the slave of his desires and, his disposition is utter neglect. 

 

(This may have also provided a justification (deduced) for   “Majalis” & “Halaqa”— group chanting, Mahafil—e–Sama’a etc—for ordinary people and the people of Sufi orders)

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Needless (Poor) king of the Kings!

December 24, 2017

The one who is, selfless and sincere to the purpose of life; goodness towards others and, obedience to the Creator. He would never have to question anyone’s intention or motive for he is free of the expectations and needs. Sin (covetousness) is the destruction of the station of the needless. Needless (Poor) is the king of the Kings; for the covetousness and expectations are his slaves, and the Kings are slaves of their covetousness and expectations.

He (PBUH) said, “Have no desire for this world, Allah will love you; have no desire for what people possess, people will love you.” [Ibn Majah]

In the world of selfishness and materialism virtue becomes too feeble to even register.

shakir2.wordpress.com

Demonizing, Repressing a Religious Minority!

December 19, 2017

 

 

 

DEMONIZING AND REPRESSING A RELIGIOUS MINORITY BECAUSE IT HAS DIFFERENT MORAL VALUES THAN THE MAJORITY CAN HAVE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES.
A classically American approach that protects the many religious streams running together to form the American cultural heritage rather than damming one in favor of another. As historian Denise Spellberg observes of Thomas Jefferson’s view of Islam, “In the formation of the American ideal and principles of what we consider to be exceptional American values, Muslims were, at the beginning, the litmus test for whether the reach of American constitutional principles would include every believer, every kind, or not.” Jefferson didn’t care for Islam (or any organized religion, for that matter). But he understood that America would be stronger if citizens favoring one stream of its heritage vigorously argued its merits without seeking to place legal limits on those arguing for the merits of a different stream.
Shakir2.wordpress.com

Denise A. Spellberg (born c. 1958) is an American scholar of Islamic history. She is an associate professor of history and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Spellberg holds a BA from Smith College (1980) and a Ph.D. (1989) from Columbia University.

Books

Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: The Legacy of ‘A’isha Bint Abi Bakr. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders, New York: Knopf, October 1, 2013; ISBN 978-0307268228

Can an Unmarried Muslim Woman Adopt a Child?

November 17, 2017

The term adoption, in a religious sense, in an unmarried woman’s case would not apply. Moreover here the issue of lineage also does not arise, therefore, would obviate the issue of inheritance in the religious sense. Helping someone, without flunking out the religious boundaries, is reward-worthy in the sight of Allah (SWT).

[An unmarried woman, in religious sense, would be a guardian/sponsor of the child]

Textual injunction/position on the topic

“…nor does He make your adopted sons into real sons. These are only words from your mouths, while God speaks the truth and guides people to the right path. Name your adopted sons after their real fathers; this is more equitable in God’s eyes—if you do not know who their real fathers are [they are your] ‘brothers-in-religion’ and protégés.”
[Qur`an 33:4-5]

(I seek refuge in Allah (SWT) for any inadvertent misstatement).

Saudi Crimes against Muslim Ummah

October 29, 2017

 

poverty-shack1

Saudi Arabia and all other Gulf States–BEDUIN-PENTAGON-grossly abuse foreign Nationals working in Saudi Arabia. 

They are afraid of angering their Masters, perceived Protectors, instead of Allah (SWT). They do not really like Palestinians but giving LIP-SERVICE.

The main reason why Palestinians are still languishing in the world’s biggest concentration camp is the Saudi’s disapproval for a Palestine Independent State.

One will never hear them raising their voices of concern for Kashmiris, Rohingiyas or Ughers Muslims.

They never objected to the creation of two Christian States out of the Muslim lands, South Sudan & East Timor. They instead facilitated their creation to please their Western Masters.

The amount of wealth they amassed could have easily eradicated the hunger and poverty in the African Continent and the rest of the world had they spent only a fraction of it.

They went along with the West’s assessment that providing food to Hungry-Africa would be contrary to the goal of the world population Control.

The result is that Christian Missionaries are deviously using their Hunger and Poverty to convert Six Million Muslims every year into Christianity.

After few decades Africa will be purely a Christian Continent like most of the others.        SHAME ON YOU SAUDI……..

Burqa

October 29, 2017

 

Image of Woman in Burka

 

 

 

The burqa is more of a traditional garb than the religious covering. It nevertheless, serves as a religious requirement of Hijab.

A Muslim woman is not supposed to get involved with opposite sex unnecessarily; especially when there is no third person (Chaperon like) or people around, for it leads to evil due to the presence of, on the prowl, SATAN.

Islam instinctively is a pre-emptive religion to prevent its adherents from getting involved into sinfulness.

They, however, are not prevented from going to work as long as it does not conflict with the religious requirements.

shakir2.wordpress.com

Ease of performance in the religion Islam.

October 21, 2017

 

 

 

 

Image result for pic of ablution

Allah says in Surah Al Mo’menoon. Verse # 78. “He has chosen you and has (yet) not laid upon you in religion any hardship”. At another place in Surah Al Arraf Verse # 199 Prophet was instructed to “Accept what people can do easily” which means he should not be expecting too strict a compliance in religious matters. The Prophet then said (Hadith) “ I have been commanded by Allah to accept common or unexceptional obedience from people in their worship and behavior—I, therefore, have decided to do the same as long as I am in their company”
Then there is a very brief Hadith of the Prophet. “Ad Din Yusr” which is regarding religious obligations and Sharia and said – “He is leaving with us an easy and practicable law; which is neither cumbersome not susceptible to going astray” Allah also says in verse 78 “strive towards me with efforts which is my due” and in return you will be the owners of the Paradise forever. The point to ponder is,
“It is His due anyway” and we can comply without any hardship. Then why Not!

shakir2.wordpress.com

How to maintain focus while praying?

October 19, 2017

 

Related image

It is not unusual. This happens to most of the people.

One may, however, imagine either, 1) God is watching him OR, 2) He/She is standing in front of Allah(SWT), or He/She is watching Allah (SWT).

Seek help in patience and prayer; and truly it is hard save for the khaashi-oon, Who know that they will have to meet their Lord and that unto Him they are returning. (Q, 2: 44–45)

Successful indeed are the believers. Those who in prayer are khashi-oon. (Q, 23: 1–2)

Note: Khusu is not “mandatory” as is generally assumed, for it is not in the control of human being. The requirement in above verses is advisory only. In the first verse, its achievement is acknowledged to be difficult for a common man, but one should try his/her best to achieve it.  “Allah does not encumber anyone beyond his capacity” (Q, 2:286)

In Surah Al Aaraf, V-199 The Prophet has been asked by Allah (SWT) to “take to forbearance”.  Interpretation:- Accept what people can do easily and do not demand a high degree of performance in religious affairs.

Khushu Khuzu (submission and humbleness) this degree of veneration cannot be expected from everyone, as it is achieved by very few fortunate ones. This situation, therefore, According to the interpretation reported in Sahih Al Bukhari on the authority of Abdullah Ibn Zubair, falls under the purview of this verse (7:199).

Good News is that; when one struggles in such a situation to concentrate on his salah, gets rewarded doubly. Once for praying and once for struggling to concentrate. (H).

In Islamic parlance, it is called “Ehsan”. A concerted effort is required to attain this position/state. A few and far between really achieve it—-called Muhsenoon or khaashioon.

{(I seek refuge in all merciful Allah (SWT)}

 

Declare–Rakhine–an Independent Rohingya Muslims State.

September 11, 2017

 

Rohingyas are living in Myanmar since 8th Century. A most persecuted Muslim minority since 2013 UN.The Rohingya faced Military crackdown in 1978,1991,1992, 2012, 2015 and NOW in 2016–2017. UN officials and HRW have described Myanmar’s persecution of the Rohingya as ethnic cleansing, while there have been warnings of an unfolding genocide.

 

Accession into Pakistan.

During the Pakistan Movement in the 1940s, Rohingya Muslims in western Burma organized a separatist movement to merge the region into East Pakistan. Before the Independence of Burma in January 1948, Muslim leaders from Arakan addressed themselves to Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, and asked his assistance in incorporating the Mayu region to Pakistan considering their religious affinity and geographical proximity with East Pakistan. The North Arakan Muslim League was founded in Akyab (modern Sittwe) two months later. The proposal never materialized since it was reportedly turned down by Jinnah, saying that he was not in a position to interfere into Burmese matters. After Jinnah’s refusal to accept northern Arakan into the Dominion of Pakistan, some Rohingya elders who supported a Jihad movement founded the Mujahid party in northern Arakan in 1947. The aim of the Mujahid party was to create an autonomous Muslim state in Arakan.

There are 1.3 million in and around Myanmar and about 1.5 million spread in other countries.

Yanghee Lee, the UN special investigator on Myanmar, believes the country wants to expel its entire Rohingya population.

 If UN can declare—East Taimour—& —South Sudan— for Christians, why not –Rakhine— for Rohingya Muslims?

Which Morality—Modern or Virtuous–is Right?

September 1, 2017
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (by Shakir Mumtaz January 2017)

(Morality based on common sense! Can common sense be trusted? Ethical Egoism says that “One person’s common sense may be another person’s naïve platitude” It is also called “revisionist theory” for it declares that “our common sense moral views may be mistaken, therefore, need to be changed”)

Morality predicates every facet of human life. It has always been, fervently, debated by the scholars and thinkers of almost all the societies, as to what constitutes morality, what should be its source and how its parameters should be determined and so on. I have therefore embarked on this interesting but multifarious topic to explore; by consulting various perspectives and sources, and present a cogent picture for the readers; to make up their own mind, after weighing for and against reasons and arguments.

Modern morality (or moral philosophy) has a rich and fascinating history. A great many thinkers have approached the subject from a wide variety of perspectives and have produced theories that both attract and repel the thoughtful people. Almost all the classical theories developed by philosophers of undoubted genius are, however, vulnerable to crippling objections. Hence, one is left wondering what to believe?

Derek Parfit, “Reasons and Persons” 1984 put it very aptly as “Non-religious ethics (Morality) is the youngest and least advanced” Thomas Hobbs, foremost British philosopher of 17th Century tried (unsuccessfully) to provide an alternative to Divine Philosophy*1 by arguing as follow. “Suppose we take away all the props for morality. We assume, first, that there is no God to issue commands and reward virtues; and second, that there are no moral facts built into the nature of things. Moreover, we deny that there is any sort of universal altruism built into human nature—we see people as essentially motivated to pursue their own interests. If we cannot appeal to God, moral facts or natural altruism, is there anything left on which morality might be found? After all this, he suggests an alternate, in the form of “Social contract” and commonly accepted mechanism (Govt.), to enforce the terms of the contract. Then he conjectures an untenable “state of nature”, insinuating absolute chaos, to support his hypothesis. “State of nature”*2 is governed by “the Laws of Nature” and Laws of Nature not only describes “how things are” but also “how things ought to be” as well. Things are always as they “ought to be” solemnly serving their natural purposes (Theory of the law of nature). He replaced God with altruism and moral facts and His command and control by an indispensable Government. Mundane and temporal end-result suggested was— “the gain of the benefits of social living”. This outrageous endeavor could simply be classed as a “Blatant Hobbesian Intellectual Egoism”{Dishonesty/Arrogance). After close scrutiny of this hypothesis, Thomas Hobbs is also found to be guilty of defying “the minimum conception of morality”. (By the way, Islamic theology makes use of “minimum conception” with respect to the performance of basic obligatory rituals, ensuring the salvation of the believers in the hereafter).

It might be of interest for the readers to know, that morality is not an issue as such in most parts; especially in predominantly monotheistic and polytheistic societies, of the world at all. Centuries-old religious ethos shaped their cultural traditions and social practices in consonance and the life goes on smoothly. The issue of morality, for the most part, arises when an equitable and just resolution is sought in the face of conflicting interests. It is generally thought that formulation of morality started from the Greeks. This treatise, therefore, would start from there; foregoing the issue of the actual origin of morality, which according to some sources goes back to Prophet Adam. Greek philosophers such as Pluto, Aristotle and Socrates and some other eminent scholars resorted to reason in formulating the moral laws of their time; while counting on the character to establish the virtuous traits of a man. Questions were framed as “What is the good of man?”, “What traits of character make one a good man?” This was happening 400 years before the time of Jesus Christ. With the spread of Christianity however, a new idea of “Law Giver” and “Obedience to His commands” was introduced. St Augustine, the most influential and prominent thinker of 4th Century, however, “distrusted the reason” and taught that virtuous life rests in the unwavering subordination to the commandments. From here on when the Christian Scholars, philosophers discussed the issue of virtues; it was within the context of “Divine Law”, and theological virtues including “Obedience” occupying the central place. On the contrary, Greeks gave “reason” the center stage. They viewed the “reason” the source of practical wisdom. Virtuous life for them was inseparable from the life of reason.

After renaissance, however, morality took another turn and Philosophers stopped turning to the Greek way of reasoning or Christian way of obedience to “Divine Law” but to its secular equivalent called “Moral Law”. “Divine Fiat” was replaced by “Human reason” and by following its directive would decide which actions are right? The question was changed from “what traits of character make a good person” to “what is the right thing to do?” “Virtue” was replaced by secular ‘rightness of actions” & “obligations” thereby promoting the element of individualism and self-interest (selfishness). Human reason gave rise to the conception of Hubristic “ought” as a standard for most advantageous actions; petrifying the Human-reason with inconsistency; hence similar reasoning was acceptable in one situation, but not in the other. Later moral theories from the seventeenth century onward; such as “Ethical egoism”, “Utilitarianism”, “Social Contract Theory”, all were developed and promoted in the same vein of individualism and self-centeredness.

Utilitarianism, in particular, proved to be the harbinger of Religion divested morality. A theory presented by David Hume (1711-1776) formalized by Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), vehemently advocated by John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) and his son James Mill. After the 18th and 19th century’s series of upheavals, America was a newly developing country and traditional morality was up in the air. Bentham’s conception of Religion divested morality; in conscious opposition to Christianity; especially for those escaping the Church of England’s persecution, proved to be a boon. He argued “Morality is not a matter of pleasing God, nor is it a matter of faithfulness to abstract rules. Morality is nothing more than the attempt to bring about as much happiness as possible in this world” Bentham was also given the assignment of reforming the laws and constitution of England along utilitarian lines. Needless to say that despite huge influence utilitarianism had severe flaws. One of its more developed forms, Act-Utilitarianism, recognized it to be a “radical doctrine” “that implied that many of our moral feelings may be mistaken” Ethical Egoism, as a “revisionist theory”, also asserted the same theme.

An Australian philosopher J.J.C Smart (1961) published a monograph, challenging the common sense (morality) as it cannot be trusted. His assertion challenges us to rethink matters that we have taken for granted. To accentuate the point further, here is the opinion of a Swedish Sociologist Gunner Myrdal which he gave after his classic study—American dilemma in 1944 ”There must be still other countless errors of the same sort that no living man can yet detect, because of the fog within which our type of Western cultures envelops us…”

Bentham and Mill were leading a revolution as radical as Marx and Darwin of 19th Century. To understand the radicalness of their theory an excerpt is quoted as “Gone are all references to God or to abstract moral rules written in the heavens. Morality is no longer to be understood as faithfulness to some divinely given code or to some set of inflexible rules” The concept of individualistic worldly happiness—known as “Hedonism”– was promoted. Mills introduction of the notion “Individual is sovereign” pushed it even further.

Kantian morality although, hovers around religious lines but; he seems to have circumvented God and religion; probably to prove that besides; all- encompassing God’s commands notion; there are rational and logical grounds on which Divine Morality could be asserted with the same potency. Kant however, abjured the serpent-windings of the Utilitarian theory because, he said, the theory is incompatible with human dignity. (God confers “dignity” to human—Qua’an 17:70). His formulation of “hypothetical Imperatives” VS “Categorical Imperatives” exposes the vainness of Modern Morality. It can, therefore, safely be deduced that most of these Religion-Divested Moral theories provide only plausible answers to the difficult questions, but lack the potency and conviction of Divine Morality– providing definitive solutions built in the rigor of observance of its rules and rituals. (All classic theorists, needless to say, hold not only opposing but critical views about Divine Morality).

Recent thinking on morality is ready to take yet another turn. Philosophers are debunking the ”Moral Law” theory as bankrupt and advocating radical idea to go back to virtue based Aristotelian Morality to salvage the subject. This idea was first floated by a British Philosopher G.E.M Anscombe in 1958; suggesting that modern moral philosophy is misguided because it rests on an incoherent notion of “law” without a “Law Giver” She further elaborated that the very concepts of obligation, duty, and rightness, on which the modern philosophers have concentrated their attention, are inextricably linked to this nonsensical idea. Therefore, she argued, we should return to Aristotelian approach, and virtue should once again take the center stage.

Philosophers in this camp share the opinion, that virtue-based morality is 
superior to the other kind of (Religion divested) morality because of the 
following reasons. 

1) Moral Motivation. Virtuous Morality is appealing because it provides a natural and attractive account of moral motivation while the other kind of morality falters on this account. It can be explained in terms of an example quoted, in Journal of philosophy in 1976, where the value of merit of morality was juxtaposed duty. In this case, a patient was visited by some friend; that made patient delighted but: when he found out that the visitor was just doing his duty and did not really come for him, the visit turned cold and bereft of moral value. The desire to do the right thing for the right reason and doing it out of an abstract sense of duty is not the same. 2) Ideals of Impartiality. Virtuous morality can accommodate partialities very well since it recognizes that some virtues are partial and some are not. It also recognizes that love of family and friends is an inescapable feature of the morally good life. Ideals of Impartiality in modern moral philosophy, however, do not add up. John Stewart Mill put the point very succinctly when writing about Utilitarianism that “Utilitarianism requires (the moral Agent) to be as strictly impartial as a benevolent and disinterested spectator”. A mother loves her children and cares for them in a way that she does not care for other children. “She is partial to them through and through”. Same is the case with friends and family members.

3) Divine Morality provides a pleasing practical “fit” between; – a) Impartiality of reason. b) Adherence to set rules for life, serving everyone’s interest. c) Fulfillment of our natural inclination and moral duty to care about others. Making morally behaving a natural dispensation. 4) An Anthropocentric view of Aristotle (and of many philosophers of ancient); which modern philosophers and scientists vehemently refute, has been categorically asserted in Qura’an. This assertion, in the same vein, also refutes the accusation of the human being as “vein-species”. https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/the-anthropocentric-character-of-the-universe-special-status-of-man-and-yet-his-denial-of-god/ Conclusion A trajectory of traits of both the schools of Philosophy has been presented above, making it easy for the readers, to weigh and decide for themselves.

  • 1Divine Philosophy—means virtue/religion based philosophy.
  • 2Always serving their purpose regardless of our favorable or unfavorable understanding of their operations.
  • 3 Moral philosophy and Modern Morality are interchangeably used.

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