Radwa Ashour’s The Woman From Tantoura addresses the themes of remembering and forgetting.
When Islam came to Australia
Few Australians are aware that the country’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples had regular contact with foreign Muslims long before the arrival of Christian colonisers. And Islam continues to exercise an appeal for some Aboriginal peoples today, writes Janak Rogers.
The white lines are faint but unmistakable. Small sailing boats, picked out in white and yellow pigment on the red rocks of the Wellington Range in Arnhem Land, northern Australia, tell a different story from the one most Australians accept as the history of their nation.
They are traditional Indonesian boats known as praus and they brought Muslim fishermen from the flourishing trading city of Makassar in search of trepang, or sea cucumbers.
Exactly when the Makassans first arrived is uncertain.
Some historians say it was in the 1750s, but radiocarbon dating of beeswax figures superimposed on the cave paintings suggests that it was much earlier – one of the figures appears to have been made before 1664, perhaps as early as the 1500s.A cave painting of an Indonesian prau, found in Arnhem Land
They apparently made annual trips to gather the sea cucumbers, which fetched a high price because of their important role in Chinese medicine and cuisine.
The Makasssans represent Australia’s first attempt at international relations, according to anthropologist John Bradley from Melbourne’s Monash University – and it was a success. “They traded together. It was fair – there was no racial judgement, no race policy,” he says.
Quite a contrast to the British. Britain designated the country terra nullius- land belonging to no-one – and therefore colonised the country without a treaty or any recognition of the rights of indigenous people to their land.
Some Makassan cucumber traders stayed, married Aboriginal women and left a lasting religious and cultural legacy in Australia. Alongside the cave paintings and other Aboriginal art, Islamic beliefs influenced Aboriginal mythology.
“If you go to north-east Arnhem Land there is [a trace of Islam] in song, it is there in painting, it is there in dance, it is there in funeral rituals,” says Bradley. “It is patently obvious that there are borrowed items. With linguistic analysis as well, you’re hearing hymns to Allah, or at least certain prayers to Allah.”
One example of this is a figure called Walitha’walitha, which is worshipped by a clan of the Yolngu people on Elcho Island, off the northern coast of Arnhem Land. The name derives from the Arabic phrase “Allah ta’ala“, meaning “God, the exalted”. Walitha’walitha is closely associated with funeral rituals, which can include other Islamic elements like facing west during prayers – roughly the direction of Mecca – and ritual prostration reminiscent of the Muslim sujood.
“I think it would be hugely oversimplifying to suggest that this figure is Allah as the ‘one true God’,” says Howard Morphy, an anthropologist at Australian National University. It’s more the case of the Yolngu people adopting an Allah-like figure into their cosmology, he suggests.One elder has said that Aboriginal “morning star” poles were made to look like the masts of Indonesian praus, and that a pole would be presented to Makassan traders as a gift at the end of a farewell dance ritual each year
The Makassan sea cucumber trade with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples ended in 1906, killed off by heavy taxation and a government policy that restricted non-white commerce. More than a century later, the shared history between Aboriginal peoples and Makassans is still celebrated by Aboriginal communities in northern Australia as period of mutual trust and respect – in spite of some historical evidence that this wasn’t always the case.
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An Inspiring Story
In one of my previous jobs I made a big mistake that was going to cause a large financial loss. I was stressed out, nervous and anxious. I was instructed to go to a person who would perhaps be able to solve the issue. You can imagine as I was going to meet that person how fast my heart was beating and how worried I was.
On my way to him, someone stopped me and asked: “Majed, where are you going?” I told him: “I am going to meet, so and so, because I made this serious mistake which perhaps you might've already heard about and I was told he might be able to help.” He said: “O you are going to meet, so and son, that man you are about to meet is also known to be a very nice guy…”
Before I move any further with the story, I want ask you, how do you think I felt after knowing that this man whom I'm about to meet is also known as “The Nice” guy. Don't you think I felt a bit calmer, more relaxed that he will not make fun of me, will be very understanding and sincerely help me and all these good feelings just because I was notified that in addition to his name he is also known as the nice guy.
With that being said, and Allah is the best of examples, how do you feel when I tell you that Allah is also known as Al-Mujeeb, the one who responds to your call whenever you call Him, Al-Mujeeb, the one who gives you that which is best for you whenever you ask Him. If this doesn't mean much to you and doesn't put your heart at ease to a certain extent then there might be a serious deficiency in our understanding of who Allah is and the whole concept of du'a'a.Expressing our feelings to our friends VS. Allah
Brothers and sisters we are poor and weak, and many of us tend to complain to others about our state so they may perhaps make us feel any better or fulfill our need; and what's interesting is that many times the one whom we are complaining to ends up complaining to us about their own state, showing that they are also poor and weak. Had this conversation between us and them been recorded and we watched ourselves while we were expressing our feelings we would be so amazed at how focused, sincere and passionate we were; and there might not be something really wrong with complaining to people as long as we don't cross the limits but the problem.
But the problem comes when some of us get down in the state of sajdah, in prostration, between the hands of Allah, Al-Mujeeb (The one who responds to the call of the caller), Allah Al-Ghaney (The Rich & The Self-Sufficient), Allah Al-Kareem (The Generous) the one who when He wants something to happen He says: Kon fayakoon (be and it is), while in this state of sajdah, many are just not as into to it, as focused, sincere and passionate as they were with their friend a few minutes ago. As if their friend was the rich and generous and Allah was the poor and stingy, we seek Allah's refuge.
Listen to this following ayah and may Allah not make us of that category when Allah says in Surat Az-zumar Chapter 39 Verse 67
“They didn't appreciate Allah the way He deserves to be appreciated and the earth all together is in His fist on the Day of Judgment, and the skies are rolled up by His right hand. Exalted is He and high above what they associate with Him.”
Brothers & sisters, let's appreciate Allah and give Him His due right as much as we can and part of it is when we truly go to Allah and remember Him during our times of ease and hardship for wAllahi no one will benefit you and me more than Him.Omar's Priceless Statement on du'a'a
We need to have the understanding of Omar when it comes to the concept of du'a'a and how he truly understood what it meant that Allah is also known as Al-Mujeeb.
When he said:
أنا لا أحمل هم الإجابة
I am not concerned whether Allah will respond to my call when I call Him or not. I know for a fact that if I ask Allah for something He will give me that which is best for me. I am not worried on His part.
Then what are you worried and concerned about Omar ?
ولكن أحمل هم الدعاء
Rather my concern and worry is on my part. Whether I will put the effort to make du'a'a, whether I will take action and exhaust the means to get my du'a'a accepted. Because I know if I make du'a'a, while being certain and I take action then for sure Allah will respond and give me that which is best for me.Authentic Hadith Qudsi Showing the Power and Majesty of Allah
Brothers and sisters, in addition to Allah being Al-Mujeeb, He is also known as, As-samee' (The All Hearing), Al-BaSeer (The All-Seeing) Al-Qareeb (The Very Close & Near) Al-'aleem (The All-Knowing)
Please listen to the following authentic hadith qudusi with an open heart where Prophet Muhammad said that Allah said:
لَوْ أَنَّ أَوَّلَكُمْ وَآخِرَكُمْ وَإِنْسَكُمْ وَجِنَّكُمْ
قَامُوا فِي صَعِيدٍ وَاحِدٍ فَسَأَلُونِي
فَأَعْطَيْتُ كُلَّ إِنْسَانٍ مِنْهُمْ مَسْأَلَتَهُ
لَمْ يَنْقُصْ ذَلِكَ مِنْ مُلْكِي شَيْئًا
إِلا كَمَا يَنْقُصُ الْبَحْرُ أَنْ يُغْمَسَ الْمِخْيَطُ غَمْسَةً وَاحِدَةً
O my slaves!
If the first of you and the last of you, and the humans of you and the jinn of you
Were all to stand together in the same exact time and asked Me for something
And I were to give everyone What he or she requested then that would not decrease nor diminish whatever I own and whatever I posses!
Except what is decreased of the ocean when a needle is dipped into it.
Allahu akbar, Allah is greater than everything and anything. What's amazing isn't just how massive His wealth and dominion are but what also is amazing is how As-samee' (The All-Hearing) was able to hear every call clearly and they were not overlapping and confusing Him when they all called Him for something at the same exact time, how Al-Baseer (The All-Seeing) saw every caller, how Al-'aleem (The All-Knowledgeable) knew the state of every caller externally and internally and How Al-Mujeeb responded to the call of every caller.3 elements to be accomplished to make your du'a'a come to reality
What's the action item?
It is for us to inspire a #DuaRevival in our lives and take the act of du'a'a to the next level, be confident & certain that Allah will respond as long as we take the means.
Brothers and sisters, make du'a'a
Because Allah said:
“And you Lord said: Call upon Me, Ask Me” Surat Ghafir v. 60
And the Prophet said in authentic hadith:
“الدعاء هو العبادة”
du'a'a is the essence of worship
Allah also said:
“To Allah belong the most beautiful names.” Surat Al-A'raf v. 180
“فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا ”
So call Him using these beautiful names
If you are sick call upon Allah Ash-shafee (The One who cures)
If you are seeking a child or a righteous friend call upon Allah Al-Wahhaab (The Giver of Gifts) for these things can be of an absolute gift
If you are feeling hopeless and all the doors seems to be closed call upon Allah Al-Fattah (The Opener)
Be certain that Allah will accept your du'a'a because Allah said:
“Call upon Me and I promise I will respond to you” Ghafir v. 60
And take action and exhaust the means because Allah said:
Ali `Imran v. 195
This ayah tells us how Allah fulfilled their request because they took the means in addition to making du'a'a
Brothers & sisters, may Allah bless you and honor you, feel free to “Share” this article and let's inspire a du'a'a revival in our lives and take the act of du'a'a to the next level. In shaa Allah there are more articles on #DuaRevival to come so stay tuned. May Allah make you as means of victory to the ummah.
Majed was born in Saudi Arabia where he studied the basics of tawheed, fiqh, tafsir, hadith & tajweed for 9 years which was part of the Saudi school curriculum. He immigrated to Canada during high school. He then graduated from the University of Windsor with a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering. Afterwards, Majed graduated from Wayne State University with a MBA, Master degree in Business Administration. During this period he took over 46 courses with Al-Maghrib Institute, a few courses of tajweed & tafsir with Al-Bayyinah Institute and completed his memorization of the Qur'an. Majed has also completed a TV series with Huda TV & Peace TV. He is currently pursuing a bachelor degree in Fiqh & Usool Al-Fiqh from Al-Madinah International University and is working as a mechanical engineer at Chrysler. He is married with 2 children.
Government lied to victims’ families and the world after three Israeli teens went missing in the occupied West Bank.
Receiving counter-terrorism training in a country that regularly illegally occupies, detains, tortures and collectively punishes Palestinians. Doubtful that during training he would learn any of that but oh, he did pick up this gem,
Law enforcement in Israel, Stevens said, “love American police.”
“… I think they are enthralled with the TV. The exchange program, they also send a delegation from Israel to here, and they do a lot of counternarcotics. We are not as in depth and in intel in terrorism as they are, and they are not as in depth in narcotics as we are,” he said. “… Wherever you go, a ringtone is always ‘Hawaii Five-O,’ SWAT team, some kind of ‘Cops’ theme. … We had a couple days we had to go in our regular uniform, and it felt like you are a rock star because everyone wants to come up to you and take pictures with an American police officer.”
Describing the experience as “surreal,” he said there also were moments of tension.
“ I think just being up on the Lebanese border was really surreal because here you are, Lebanon, Syria and here’s these big wars and they still have a lot of terrorism on the border. … While we were there, they bombed the border, so that was surreal. It was so beautiful, so lush and people were so great, but it’s so volatile,” Stevens said. “We went to the Temple of the Mount where the mosque is in Jerusalem, and as soon as you walk into the courtyard, you have a lot of Muslim subgroups in the courtyard. This is a very huge courtyard and is sacred by the Muslims and by Jews. As soon as you walk in, they just start chanting, ‘Allah Akbar.’ It really puts you on edge.
Aryan blondes too beautiful for niqab, says FPÖ
As part of his party’s plan to introduce a bill banning full-face veils, Austrian politician Heinz-Christian Strache posted on a social network an image of a young blonde woman with the phrase “Too beautiful for a veil.”
The campaign was launched by the right-wing Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) leader and Member of Parliament Heinz-Christian Strache on his Facebook page. According to the politician, the poster is aimed “against the Islamization of Europe.”
The image refers to the party’s recent call for a ban on wearing the Muslim burqa in public. Based on the judgement by the European Court of Human Rights, who didn’t oppose the legality of the French burqa ban of 2011, FPÖ plans to introduce the same bill into the Austrian parliament next week.
“In many conservative circles of Islamic immigration society there is a prevailing view that women are second-class citizens,” party spokeswoman Carmen Gartelgruber commented, adding that “one of the many tools of oppression is the burqa.”
A burqa is the full-body veil worn by women according to Islamic traditions, which covers even the eyes with a fine-mesh grid. Another type of veil – the niqab, leaves a slit for the eyes.
The full-body veils, especially burqas, aren’t something you’ll often see on the streets of Austria. Referring to the fact that it’s extremely rare, the planned ban has not been supported by other political forces in Austria.
“One should not create an artificial problem here. I have seen women wearing headscarves in Vienna, but not a burqa. In Austria the number of burqa wearers is estimated at only around one hundred. FPÖ has once again tried to provoke fear and dramatize,” Reinhold Lopatka of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) told the Wiener Zeitung.
The conservative ÖVP wants to vote against the Freedom Party proposal.
The original image of the blonde girl for the anti-veil campaign could not be found on Strache’s Facebook page on July 4. But the politician posted an image with a Dalai Lama quote in German, saying “if there are too many immigrants, you have to muster up the courage to say it is enough.”
In Switzerland, the citizens of the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino voted with a clear majority to ban full-face veils last September. The parliament in Bern must now consider whether the proposal is consistent with the Swiss Constitution. The Swiss People’s Party (SVP) now also plans to launch a national referendum on a burqa ban next year.
Did Daily Mail incite ‘war against the corrupt west’?
Two days ago BBC News reported an interview broadcast on Radio 5 Live with an individual who gave his name as Abu Osama and claimed to be a British Muslim fighting in Syria. Describing Britain as “pure evil”, Abu Osama said:
“If and when I come back to Britain it will be when this Khilafah, the Islamic state, comes to conquer Britain, and I come to raise the black flag of Islam over Downing Street, over Buckingham Palace, over Tower Bridge and over Big Ben.”
The claim was widely publicised in the British media, not least by the Daily Mail.
Yesterday a new thread was opened at the Ummah.com discussion forum under the heading “i am pledging allegiance to the caliphate”, with the following comment:
“salam my sisters and brothers we should get out of this evil country and pledge our allegiance to the muslim sharia law and get out of evil west. who wants to join me so we can wage war and jihad against the corrupt west.”
The thread was posted in the name of abuaisha10, who had only just registered as a member of the forum and had posted no other comments, which was clearly suspicious.
Suspicions were confirmed when Ummah.com admins discovered that abuaisha10′s IP address (188.8.131.52) belongs to DMG Media (formerly Associated Newspapers), which publishes the Daily Mail.
Indeed, according to one IP look-up service, the address would appear to be associated with the Mail‘s chief reporter, David Williams.
Update: See also Morning Star, 7 July 2014
According to the Star report: “The Daily Mail Group did not respond to the Morning Star’s requests for comment, while an operator with Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorist hotline confirmed they would investigate the source. ‘If someone is obviously trying to rally people together to commit violence, that would be an offence we would look into,’ she said.”
Dawkins finally loses the plot completely
Today Richard Dawkins has recommended that his 974,000 Twitter followers should follow the sick anti-Muslim parodist who uses the handle JihadistJoe.
Here is one of JihadistJoe’s recent tweets:
You might think that the above caricature bears more than a passing similarity to the sort of antisemitic “humour” that featured in Der Stürmer. But Dawkins irritably dismisses suggestions that JihadistJoe’s tweets could be viewed as in any way racist:
In Norway the ruling may mean revisiting a debate on the niqab/burqa,
Norway’s Labour and Progress parties have stated that they would consider revisiting the issue of a Muslim veil ban in the wake of a ruling by the European Court of Human Rightsthat a public ban does not violate the human rights of Muslim women.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday gave support to France’s claim that the statutory public prohibition of clothing which covers the face is within the framework of European human rights.
“We must consider whether we should promote the proposal again, after the court in Strasbourg has now confirmed what we have constantly said: that a ban is compatible with human rights,” said Mazyar Keshvari at the Progress Party (FRP) to the VG daily.
Jan Bøhler of the Labour Party (Ap) also claimed that the ruling of the court puts the Norwegian discussion about the controversial ban in a new light. “When parliament rejected such a ban in 2013, the main argument was that Norway risked being censured in the ECHR. Now that argument falls away. I think we need to take a new discussion about a possible ban,” he told VG.
In Denmark the the French ban may be coming into effect,
Judges upheld France’s burqa law, accepting the argument that veils threatened the right of citizens to live together in society. And now, several legal experts have toldBerlingske newspaper that they believe a similar ban could be enacted in Denmark.
Sten Schaumburg-Müller, a law professor at Aarhus University, agreed that the French model could be adopted by Denmark. “It’s obvious that a ban specifically targeting burqas would be hopeless,” he said. “But I believe a ban similar to France’s prohibiting the covering of the face in public could be established here.”
Jacob Mchangama, the head of think-tank Justitia, also believes the law could be recycled on Danish ground. “The defining element in the French legislation is that it isn’t targeted at specific religions, but instead the motivation is to ensure social cohesion and interaction between citizens,” he said.
Pia Kjærsgaard, the DF values spokesperson, thinks a ban on face-covering dress, whether it is specifically targeting Islamic burqas or not, should be introduced in Denmark. “We can’t have women being completely covered so you can’t see their facial expressions or who you have right in front of you,” she told Berlingske.
Austria’s far-right, Freedom Party is also calling for a ban,
Austria’s Freedom Party (FPÖ) is calling for a ban on burqas, after the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) backed France’s rules on religious headgear on Tuesday, when it ruled the country’s law banning full-face veils in public was legal.
The ECHR ruled that France’s ban on the wearing of the full-face veil in public does not violate the human rights of Muslim women. Judges said the law was justified on the grounds of social cohesion.
Freedom Party spokeswoman Carmen Gartelgruber said that in the “wide, conservative circles of Islamic immigration society”, the opinion prevails that women are second-class citizens. One of the many instruments for oppressing women is the burqa, she added.
The Government should press on with banning the veil in Britain after a French law doing the same wasupheld by the European Court of Human Rights, a Tory MP said today.
Kettering MP Philip Hollobone, who has proposed back bench legislation to ban face coverings in the past, urged Commons Leader Andrew Lansley to find time for a Government statement on the issue. Mr Hollobone, a prominent eurosceptic who more typically criticises the European Court, raised the issue at the weekly Commons business statement.
He said: “This week finally, at long last, we have had a sensible decision from the European Court of Human Rights about something.
The government and media have blown the Islamist terrorism threat out of proportion, giving extremists publicity that is counter-productive, a former head of Britain's intelligence service has said.
Sir Richard Dearlove, chief of MI6 at the time of the Iraq invasion, said that Britons spreading "blood-curdling" messages on the internet should be ignored. He told an audience in London on Monday there had been a fundamental change in the nature of Islamist extremism since the Arab spring. It had created a major political problem in the Middle East but the west, including Britain, was only "marginally affected".Continue reading...
By: Ammar AlShukry
Taraweeh is of the most beautiful experiences in Ramadan, and of the most emotional moments every night is when the imam recites the du'a in the witr prayer. I'll never forget that for years my friend would tell me that we HAD to go attend the 27th night at a particular masjid because the imam 'goes hard' with his du'a every year. He told me that the past few years that he went the witr rakah alone lasts almost an entire hour! And so one year we went, taking the journey to Brooklyn, and as the Qur'an was completed during the taraweeh the people shuffled together one more time to stand up for the witr prayer, my friend looked at me and showed me the time on his watch…it was go time. The shaykh was a master reciter and for an entire hour he tugged on our heartstrings with his melodious voice beseeching Allah's forgiveness, begging Him for support, for health, for our families, for our ummah. We wept and implored along with him, and wept some more, and implored some more! Finally we fell into sujood, at the conclusion of the prayer my friend looks at his watch, sure enough- 55 minutes in that one rakah prayer.
What was amazing was that my friend was not Arabic speaking, but that did not stop him at all from raising his hands to the sky and crying along with the imam passionately invoking Allah to respond to the prayers that he was understanding little of. Since then it's been planted in my heart to translate some of the prayers that are commonly used in witr throughout the month of Ramadan. The prayers are beautiful and melodious, many Imams use supplications that come directly from the Qur'an and from the sunnah, though most do not restrict their supplications exclusively to what is found in the early traditions since they as well attempt to address the needs of their community.
So here is my initial attempt at a witr du'a that is palatable for the English ear. Where the supplication is found in the sunnah I have accompanied it with a footnote, otherwise it is of my own concoction or something that I have heard on the tongues of imams that I have not found in the traditions.
Oh Allah guide us amongst those you have guided,
And grant us health amongst those you've granted health to,
And protect us amongst those you have protected,
And bless us in what has been given to us by you,
And protect us from any evil you've decreed,
For you decree in truth, and none can decree over you,
none can disgrace who you support, and none can honor who you oppose,
You are the blessed, and the exhalted, 
Oh Allah to you belongs all praise,
You are the lord of the heavens and earth and what is between them, so to you is thanks and praise,
You are the light of the heavens and earth so to you is thanks and praise
you are the maintainer of the heavens and earth so to you is thanks and praise,
You are the truth, and your speech is true, and your promise is true, and your meeting is true,
and paradise is true, and the fire is true, and the prophets are true, and Muhammad is true,
Oh Allah we've submitted to you, and believe in you, and depended on you, and repented to you,
and refer back to you, seek judgment from you, so grant us forgiveness from you, for our past sins and the new, those hidden and evident, from all of them we repent, and from those we've forgotten while you knew, 
Oh Allah we ask you paradise, and what will bring us close to it of actions and speech,
And we seek refuge in you from the fire, and what will bring us close to it of actions and speech,
Oh Allah you are the most Merciful of those who show Mercy,
The most Merciful of those asked,
And most generous of those who give,
The sustainer of everything,
And you alone Ever live,
You who hears what we do not hear,
You who sees what we do not see,
You who changes the Universe by simply saying “BE”
We don't have the ability to praise you,
You are as you praised yourself,
We thank you for our faith, families, health and wealth,
We declare you to be our Lord,
With no ilahs other than you,
You created us, we are your slaves,
And fulfill our pledge to you,
We seek refuge in You,
From the sins that we commit,
Your blessings cannot be counted,
Your favors we all admit,
we also confess our sins,
And ask for your forgiveness,
For none forgives sins except for You.
Oh Allah you are forgiving you love to forgive, so forgive me,
Oh Allah you are forgiving, you love to forgive, so forgive me,
Oh Allah you are forgiving, you love to forgive, so forgive me, 
We seek refuge in you from a heart that is not humbled, and an eye that does not tear,
knowledge that doesn't benefit, a prayer not lifted near, 
Oh Allah make the Qur'an the spring of our hearts, and the light of our chests,
The remover of our sadness, the repeller of our stress,
Teach us what we don't know, and remind us what we've forgotten,
and grant us the ability to recite, throughout the day and night, 
Oh Allah our hearts are vessels that carry our faith,
May You always have our hearts seeking Your Face,
For every heart attached to something appointed,
and to other than You, will undoubtedly be disappointed,
Oh Allah we ask you for all good, good now, and good later, and what we know to be good and what we don't
And we seek refuge from all evil, evil not and evil later, and what we know to be evil and what we don't 
Oh Allah guide for us our youth, bring them to the truth,
Protect them from influences that would cause them to be misled,
Forgive our parents and grandparents and have mercy on our dead, 
Remove from us the overpowering of men, and the overburdening of debt, 
Give us success, remove our stress, marry our bachelors and bachelorettes,
Grant Muslim students the ability to excel,
in deen and dunya, and doubts and desires repel,
Free our prisoners, and bring them back to their families safe and secure,
Heal our sick from all ailments, You alone are the one to cure,
Oh Allah we seek your protection from being tested,
And protection for our family in the land that you made blessed
They are hungry so feed them, naked so clothe them,
Barefoot so carry them, terrified so console them,
Protect them from all directions as people of belief,
Replace them courage for their fear, exhilaration for their grief
Have mercy on their deceased, protect their sons and daughters,
Give them swift victory, and accept their martyrs,
Have mercy on our family in Burma, and remove from them oppression,
remove from them their sadness, and punish those who oppress them,
They have no state to support them, no Ummah behind them,
No land to accept them, no one to carry them,
it is them and You, ya Rabb, you are their only supporter and their only hope,
All avenues are shut for them except your door that doesn't close,
So be their greatest supporter and greatest ally
Oh Allah you are Al-Lateef, Be gentle with the Ummah of Muhammad,
Have mercy on our family everywhere, Yemen, Somalia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan,
Syria, Kashmir, Libya, and Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Palestine and Sudan..
Protect the ummah from the harms of those who would deceive it,
Put out the flames of fitnah in Egypt, and bring their hearts back to you,
Oh Allah have mercy on our teachers, those who showed us the way to you,
Overlook their faults, and make them and us guided and guiding others,
And have mercy on our friends and brothers, and everyone who requested our prayers,
Forgive all of their sins, and correct all of their affairs,
Oh Allah as you've allowed us to experience the month of Ramadan, allow us to be forgiven,
Forgive us, be with us, don't punish us,
There is nothing that allows us to have the ability to stand before you, with all of our shortcomings and faults, except what you've taught us of your forgiveness…
There is nothing that allows our feet to carry us in your presence, with all of our sins and mistakes, except what you've taught us of your mercy,
If your mercy is only for the righteous, then who is for the broken weighed down by their sins,
Standing before you seeking forgiveness, repentance, a new journey to begin,
Forgive us and our parents and our children, and all the believing men and women,
Who is the one who asked you and was left wanting,
who is the one who depended on you, and was not carried,
Who is the one who had hope in you and was disappointed,
oh Allah make us of the people of paradise, and protect us from the fire,
We seek refuge in your face, from being of the people of the fire,
Protect us, our families and our ummah from all evil,
And heal the hearts of a believing people,
= = =
 Narrated by Tirmithi, Abu Dawood
 Narrated by Bukhari, with variations taken from Muslim and Al-Nisa'i
 Narrated by Ibn Maajah, from the hadith of 'Aisha
 My own
 Muslim, Tirmithi and others
 My own
 Narrated by Bukhari, The master prayer of seeking forgiveness, from the hadith of Shadad ibn Aws
 Sunan Al-Tirmithi, from the hadith of 'Aisha
 The heart, knowledge and prayer are narrated by Muslim from the hadith of Zayd ibn Arqam, with the addition of the eye related by Ibn Hajar in Fath Al-Bari and authenticated by him.
 Narrated by Ahmad from the hadith of Abdullah ibn Masood
 My own
 Narrated by Ibn Maajah, from the hadith of 'Aisha
 My own
 Narrated by Abu Dawood, from the hadith of Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudri
Michael Gove has called for a "robust" defence of liberal values in the face of the challenge from Islamist extremists.
The education secretary said it was essential that extremists were denied a platform in schools and other public institutions to push their agenda.Continue reading...
There is a lot to lament in Egypt and lots of blame to go around. Sometimes, this excess blame takes on a collective form: “Egyptians deserve what they get” — a mean spirited variation on “you reap what you sow” — is a not-uncommon refrain. Some are even hoping for things to get worse so that “they” can “learn their lesson.” So long as Sisi is in power, these detractors reason, how could you possibly wish Egypt and its people well?
To be sure, these days it is easy to dismiss Egyptians — to write them off not only as patently undemocratic, but as amoral (if not immoral). In the first instance, it has been a year now since scores of Egyptians took to the streets demanding Muhammed Morsi, the country's first freely elected president, step down from office, which ultimately paved the way for a military overthrow. The latter critique draws directly on the public's indifference, acceptance and, at times, outright support of the coup's violent aftermath. Indeed, the past twelve months have witnessed mass slaughter, thousands incarcerated on political grounds, hundreds sentenced to death, and numerous show trials — all without any sign of abatement.
One man, of course, is the common denominator across all these transgressions: Field Marshall Abdel Fatah El Sisi. Once suspected of being Morsi's ace-in-the-hole in light of his seemingly Islamist leanings, Sisi would end up coordinating (some might even say orchestrating) the former president's removal from office. Subsequently, he served as de facto leader during a transitional period that ultimately led to his coronation as de jure chief executive — a position that many presumed was always his for the taking.
What many find surprising is not the authoritarian backsliding so much as the relative paucity of pushback from the broader public. Is it fair, then, to associate the actions of the regime with the state and its people? Are Sisi and Egypt now one and the same? Is it no longer possible to support the country while denouncing its ruler? As with many issues in Egypt, there appear to exist two polar positions and both miss the mark. The more balanced, nuanced alternative that bridges some key pragmatic and normative concerns is altogether elusive.Sisi? Yes
There is a sizable contingent in Egypt that believes Sisi can do no wrong. These partisans regard Sisi as a savior that “rescued” Egypt from the “tyranny” of Morsi. Under the ensuing accord — part Stockholm syndrome, part Faustian bargain — the promised ends of security and stability justified all “necessary” means.
For this faction, as Sisi goes so goes Egypt. It simply does not make sense to talk about one succeeding or failing without the other following suit. As such, any criticism (really, anything short of superfluous admiration) is tantamount to treason.
Clearly, this perspective is as short-sighted as it gets. Handing a former military leader carte blanche to rule the country as he wishes, as history has shown time and again, never ends well. So long as Gulf money keeps flowing and Sisi keeps projecting the image of the Egyptian strongman, however, it will be hard to convince uncles and aunties nostalgic for bygone “prestige” and trying to make ends meet, that Egypt's leaders need to be held to account.Morsi? No
At the other end of the spectrum are the former president's ardent supporters who feel that no good can come to Egypt if Morsi is not reinstated. They regard Sisi as a usurper, his regime as illegitimate, and his security forces guilty of crimes against humanity.
For this faction, there can be no progress unless Sisi is removed from office and the political clock is turned back to June 29, 2013. Between spearheading the overthrow of an elected president and presiding over the Rabia massacre, along with numerous subsequent human rights vocations, any “progress” would simply be the fruits of a poisonous tree.
Yet this framework is blind to the changing calculus not simply in Egypt, but in the broader region. With the 2011 uprising and the coup in 2013, Egypt has weathered two major shocks to its system; it is quite possible that the next one may prove crippling. That is, while Egypt may not be inextricably bound to Sisi, that does not mean that it can survive his forceful removal; it would likely prove too great a blow to absorb for an already fragile state. Moreover, with regional security in disarray, any action that could leave Egypt's military weakened may be just as short-sighted as granting them unchecked power.
Simply put, there is just no scenario (as of now) in which Morsi returning to office improves Egypt's political, economic, or security situation.Working Both With and Against the System
There is a more prudent (if decidedly bitter) path for those opposed to the country's current trajectory.
In short, this alternative calls for the opposition to finally set aside the comfortable fictions of street/revolutionary legitimacy, on the one hand, and get over the undermining of their electoral legitimacy, on the other, in order to establish lasting institutional legitimacy. In the first instance, liberal/secular groups will need to coalesce and offer coherent platforms while, in the latter case, jilted Islamists will need to lick their wounds and rebrand themselves for a parliamentary push. In both cases, acquiescence to the current status quo (however distasteful that may be) is simply unavoidable.
Admittedly there are drawbacks to this tactic. For one thing, it may very well be the case that meaningful participation/opposition is simply not possible in the current climate. What's more, participating may serve as a stamp of legitimacy or political cover for the current regime. Even worse, if Sisi actually succeeds in pulling Egypt out of its current fiscal maelstrom and establishes some semblance of stability, such a performance may lend credence to the notion that only through military leadership could Egypt prosper.
These are all valid concerns and I don't take any of them lightly. But the current crisis requires considering options that are the lesser evil, as clearly no good ones are abound. Less cynically, those looking to skew the trajectory of Egypt away from dictatorship must take more seriously the expected outcomes, weighing each possibility and the probability that it will occur. On balance, continued protests and boycotts will do little to change the situation, while the fostering of a viable alternative to military political rule, with the support of the few remaining pockets of independent journalism, can yield long term positive results.
This is a marathon — it always was, despite the numerous, reckless recourses to impatient sprints. A commitment to building viable democratic institutions, to imbuing them with public trust above and beyond any individual or group, is the only way to combat Sisi's bid to entrench a cult of personality and continue Egypt's descent into authoritarianism. It is a long and largely unsatisfying road, but the prize at the end is dignity and accountability: a political environment where “the people” and “the revolution” are not merely pawns in a dictator's game.
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