Saturday, June 28, 2008

Why do we pollute?


Salamun alaikum avid readers, lately I have thought a lot about why we Muslims so easily pollute. We all know that this world belong to Allah and as such we are just visitors in His garden. But can we say that we behave as visitors in Allah’s beautiful garden? I think not.

“And God created every moving creature from water. So some of them move on their bellies, and some walk on two legs, and some walk on four. God creates whatever He wills. God is capable of all things.” (24:45)

In so called Muslim countries, mostly in Asia I see garbage everywhere and rivers full of debris and filled with untreated sewer.

"And when they are told, "Do not spoil the Earth." They said, "Truly, we're only entrepreneurs (reformers)." (2:12)

“And wrong not men of their things (or rights), and act not corruptly in the earth, making mischief.” (26: 181-183)

So being a Muslim should we not become gardeners of the earth? Should not we as Muslims, due to our belief in Allah, be people looked at as caretakers?

Sometimes we are so afraid of becoming dirty that we neglect taking part in cleaning and restoring our environment. I truly believe a person cleaning a public toilet or picking garbage will be blessed on Judgement day.

“Pollution has appeared in the land and the sea by the hands of the people for what they earned. He will make them taste some of what they have done, perhaps they will revert.” (30:41)

These days with earthquakes, strong winds and landslides, sometimes due to our own action, maybe we should reflect on the above verse and see what we can do to help?

My suggestion is that after every Friday prayer we should go out in groups and pick garbage for an hour. This I think will achieve many benefits like;

  • Raising our own awareness of pollution.
  • Make our neighborhood cleaner.
  • Show that we care.
  • Lead to bigger projects where we as Muslims partake in positive actions for our environment.
  • Blessings for us all.

Wassalam

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Regarding Happiness

Salamun alaikum dear readers

To further elaborate about happiness, some might argue that it is no sin to be rich in Islam, to that I totally agree, provided the money is earned in a good way without exploitation of people and environment and no Haram items are sold or produced.

But if you read my article again, you will see that it is about how a rich person lives and most of all use the wealth. Hoarding resources for oneself and his or her family and tribe is to me a sin. Everything is from Allah and He will judge us how we live our life and spend our resources.

And can a person truly be happy living in fear of others, that thieves will rob and government will overtax ones fortune? Maybe not?

From the example of our beloved prophet and the prophets before him, most lived in poverty or in a situation not envied by anybody. So as Muslims and believers should we not also follow their example and live without excess?

So now I ask you again; how rich do you need to be, to be happy?

Most people today live in fear, fear of disease, lack of money, not being loved, being ugly and the list goes on and on. Fear is what mostly keeps us in unhappiness, but the opposite of fear is Love.

Most people seem to think that to feel love, one need to be loved, not so. If you wait for someone to love you, you may wait for a long time, but the true object of all love being Allah (God) and loving Him and filling your heart with love and gratitude for whatever we have been granted, will make you a loving person that will attract love into your life.

So dear readers I hope we all can do good deeds and have a loving heart. This truly will change the world I truly believe.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Happiness

Salamun alaikum dear readers.

Today I will muse a bit about happiness. The Media today is full of stories where Wealth equal Happiness. Is this True?

So now I ask; how rich do you need to be to be happy?

Basically one need roof over ones head, food, water and clothing. These are basic needs, and for most of the worlds population these needs are met (yes I know that there are people on the streets in America, Asia and Africa, but if they are alive these basic needs are to some extent met).

But from having ones basic needs covered, to be able to call oneself rich is a big gap. There is a program on MTV that is called Cribs that I have seen a few times, it is the rich people showing off their wealth (their house, cars and so on). And I feel disgusted seeing it, and actually I feel disgusted about any person hoarding that much. What are the possible needs for such big house, so many cars and so on?

The same can be said about physical appearance these days. When is a person good looking enough? Many people have bodies that they need to exercise 2 hours every day, they need a special diet, they need injections and operations and all these recourses are spent just to look a little better.

I am NOT speaking about people born with a defect or having had an accident that an operation will help them. No I talk about the beauty industry.

Then there is the extravaganza of the fashion industry and the luxury industry. Its ads say that your happiness depends upon having 50 (or more) pairs of shoes, brand jewelry and watches, and clothing from the well known brands.

So now I ask again; how rich do you need to be to be happy?

By now I am sure you see where I am going? And many will by now branded me as a communist or worse. Could all these recourses and people spent in the industry I have talked about, could these resources be better spent on the betterment for all? I would personally put the perverse spending in the world’s arms races into the same “box”.

Many of the worlds rich when they become old, become philanthropists, giving off a part of their wealth to some useful course. Why, I believe it is guilt, but they still dress and live the same way mostly, so the “giveaway” does not hurt them much.

The so-called “filthy rich” are also populating the poorer countries in the world. It seem the poorer the country the richer the rulers. Ironic?

For me as a Muslim and see how the rich Arabs and rulers in most the Muslim countries built their mansions and filled their homes with poor servants from Asia mostly, is a perversion. Many of the imported labor are Muslims as themselves, but are treated worse than slaves.

So now I ask again; how rich do you need to be to be happy?

I firmly believe that when you become a slave to the outward appearance there will NEVER be enough. Never. There will ALWAYS be a need for another pair of shoes, another garment, another look and another item.

There was a survey done in England and I am sure it applies to everywhere; where most said they rather go shopping than having sex. Sex should be the top of the list of an expression of happiness, intimacy and love, but it is not, shopping is.

Everybody know the sensation of getting something new, something you have wanted, but then you have it and its gloss leave it fast. It is like drugs, more beget more…

So now I ask again; how rich do you need to be to be happy?

Or is it really true that wealth begets happiness? I firmly believe not. Those people I have met that seem happy are those with a purpose in life. People with a faith in what they do, like artists, religious people and even politicians, where their work seem more important to them than themselves, they seem to be on the road to fulfillment. So therein lay the answer or at least an important observation. To find happiness you can never gain it by fulfilling your needs, the needs multiply and grow always faster than how you try to meet them. It is ALWAYS a loosing battle. But by simplifying your own needs and help fulfilling others need, you get the reward from God, a full heart.

So the secret to happiness is to have few or no needs and a life in or partly in service of others, will gain you more fulfillment and happiness. Many want a job well paid helping others and hope/think that this will do the trick, sorry in most cases it don’t, it is what you do outside work, in your “free” time that help. God rewards gifts you give, if you are paid – you are already paid.

There is abundance in this world if it is shared, let us all be instruments for God in making this a reality. I will also recommend the film; “Pay it Forward”, is one of those revolutionary ideas. I will not go into details; it will spoil the film, but do see it.