It’s True: The End Is Very Very Near

bostonI remember growing up in the midwest in the 80’s. I was a teenager ready to experience everything. Listening to KAEZ radio, discovering music and literature, fine dining and dance. I was an 80’s baby for sure and simply could not digest my parents decision to raise us in the middle of nowhere. Cows, horses, farmland what was a teenager to do.

I always looked forward, always believed that something grand and amazing was so close that I only need stretch my hand out just a little further and I would be apart of brillance. My parents of course were guarded, protective and heartbroken when I packed up and made my way to the big city.

I always knew that life was good. That it was some type of special gift bestowed on us by a loving, generous Lord. As a matter of fact, most people who know me describe me as always smiling, happy and positive no matter what the circumstances. I never bought into the naysayers agenda or chicken littles insistance that the sky was indeed falling. I would often scrunch up nose and look funny when folks would start down that path of “the end is near”.

Over the years I have known triumph and sadness. Had amazing success and failures so intense the guilt still haunts me. But today, as I sit and watch what is unfolding in Boston I realize I am tired. I am so very tired of the constant and unending violence. The daily assaults on people, on our morals and values. The need to exploit every possible corner of innocence. I am sad to witness the loss of my own innocence. I know I am too old to still think of myself as innocent. But I just always wanted to believe in the good of my fellow man. Because it was knowing that we all were good that confirmed no matter what I did there was still good in me.

As a muslim I firmly believe that no man can know the day or time. But the truth is that we do not have much time. I’m not even sure we have time to come back from all of it to any quantifiable degree. There is so much work to be done and with each new battle, each bombing, each mass murder, each new law that infringes on my right to live a moral lifestyle, with each kidnapped child, abused woman, drug addicted genius, I lose a little more hope for us all.

In this age where so many defend the desire to own assault weapons, or the desire for same sex marriage, no one wants to hear about the history of other civilizations that also blindly and blatently defied our Lord.  We dont talk about Sodom and Gomorrah anymore. The truth is that once a people becomes so arrogant as to believe they know better than Allah (swt) what is best for His creation then the countdown has begun.

My first inclination is to run. To lock my doors, close my blinds, shut my eyes and wait for it to all be over. But that is not the answer either. The only answer is Allah (swt). Turning to Him, seeking His pleasure, living a life that is solely focused on drawing nearer to Him. He is our only salvation, our only hope and it is only His Mercy that can save us. So on this, yet another day of heartache and tragedy, lets take a moment and pray. Not only for those who were lost and wounded but for all of us.

The Lotus Tree Blog

Me and MaryamI cannot stress enough beloveds, the importance of strong families. Never neglect family ties, regardless of what religion family members have. Don’t even play around with it when it comes to strengthening and preserving the family. “O Mankind! Fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allaah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allaah is ever, over you, an Observer”[1].When communities fall short, become fragmented, or fail, the religion can be preserved on the family by holding onto and passing down the values and teachings of faith to the next generation. and the next after that.  When you invest in the family, what you end up with, in sha Allah is, generation after generation of eemaan. You can’t buy that at a halal store…

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The Lotus Tree Blog

Johnny Haram was his name and making things haram was his game. Our story begins in a non-descript, one bedroom cottage on the west side, the light is dim (because it’s candlelight) Johnny had haramed electricity years ago, and there was no furniture in sight, except a simple cot in the middle of the floor, and there lay Johnny Haram. He was the chosen one, as he says. Chosen for the task of rooting out all the haram he can find in the Muslim ummah. Johnny was special; he didn’t go after the clear haram things like people selling drugs or abusing their families, or homosexuality, and lewd behavior. Johnny liked to go after the hidden haram in things; he believed that there is some haram in everything that American Muslims do, and that it was his job, his destiny, to find it, and haram it.

In the corner was a stack of books, Johnny was fond…

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The Lotus Tree Blog

Today’s scholars, are faced with a task, that scholars of previous times, did not have to reckon with; before the age of globalization, scholars would render religious edicts (fataawa), about their own people, and their own cultural affairs, and their own countries and lifestyle, about which they were uniquely familiar.  Today, scholars face, and sometimes simply take upon themselves, the colossal assignment of electronically rendering religious edicts, about people, places, and cultures, sometimes thousands of miles away, where they have not lived, do not have an intimate working knowledge of, and are woefully unfamiliar with.

Fatwas, that apply to well-known, and necessary matters of worship, aqeeda, theology, and religious practices, can be applied globally, across all nations and people. With regard to such issues, all Muslims are the same, and they all have the same obligations, and responsibilities. For example, in issues of salat, fasting, inheritance, and the like, all…

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The Lotus Tree Blog

Dear beloveds, these are tough times that we live in. many families are in turmoil. Drug abuse, incarceration, spousal abuse, family and moral dysfunction, ignorance of religion, wanton violence and killing, fanaticism, marital discord, social instability, emotional baggage, juvenile delinquency, and hardened hearts are plaguing our communities in the United States.  Many of these things are signs of the last days, and there will be in the coming years, many spiritual casualties. Below are seventy-seven principles, from the Quran and from the sunna of our Prophet (SAWS) that will aid the Muslim in restoring and maintaining steadiness in his or her life. If you are experiencing instability in your life; then practicing these principles will help you in sha Allah.

  1. If at all possible, be married not single
  2. Honor your parents
  3. Teach your children the right way to behave.
  4. Always speak the truth, even if it is bitter
  5. Establish prayer

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