Praise is for God Alone

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

Their call therein will be, “Exalted are You, O God,” and their greeting therein will be, “Peace.” And the last of their call will be, “Praise to God, Lord of the worlds!” (Qur’an 10:10)

fatiha

Gratitude is important. But hamd, or praise, is a state that’s even higher than gratitude. Indeed, when God breathed life into Adam, upon him peace, Adam’s first words were:

 

“Alhamdulillah,” or Praise and Glory to Allah.

As a species, our first word was hamd.

Many scholars note that the name Allah combines all “The Beautiful Divine Names.” It is also referred to as the Greatest Name of our Lord.

Hence, when you are seeking refuge with God, you are also saying:

I seek refuge with Allah The Most Gracious.
I seek refuge with Allah The All Wise.
I seek refuge with Allah the All-Knowing.
I seek refuge with Allah The All Kind.
I seek refuge with Allah The Most Powerful.
I seek refuge with Allah The Bestower.
I seek refuge with Allah The All Just.
I seek refuge with Allah Ever Present.
I seek refuge with Allah The All Loving…

…and so on.

Read the rest of this entry

America’s Malala

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee. The people of the 5th elected me to serve their interest. I am sure we agree on that!
–Rep. Ilhan Omar, Fifth District, Minnesota

ilhan omarLeading Democrats in the US House of Representatives have said that, on Wednesday, they plan to put forward a resolution condemning Rep. Ilhan Omar. Although the text of the resolution is still unavailable, most assume it will call out Omar’s outspoken human-rights activism as anti-Semitic. In its secrecy and power, the resolution feels something like the fatwas some extremists issue against anyone who wants to challenge them to start a conversation.

Rep. Omar may have chosen her words poorly when questioning AIPAC. She apologized for that. However, her words did not warrant this overwhelming response. She did not—as she should not—use the stereotype about “Jewish money,” as some right-wing US politicians do when they bring up George Soros. She criticized AIPAC, which is a very powerful lobby group that boasts of its tremendous influence.

Read the rest of this entry

Hijab is Not About Oppression or Seduction, It’s About Trust

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

Living Islam vs. Using Islam Against Others

Living Islam means living, modeling, guiding, teaching, and counseling with loving care and concern. It is a life of trust, struggle, and noble effort. Using Islam often takes the form of holier-than-thou judgmentalism that is used to oppress and keep others in line. It often shows its ugly side through allegations that others are not “Islamic” or “obedient” enough. In actuality, the obedience that is demanded is not obedience as a result of taqwa, that is obedience to Allah, but rather obedience to the tyrant and his own fear-based self. When Islam becomes objectified in such a manner, the state of inner unity (that leads to outer unity, i.e. peace and where ‘it’, i.e. Islam, is ‘used’ to achieve an objective other than its divinely inherent goal of bringing peace and goodness to people’s lives.”

–Steven Krauss

Hijab, which in its essence means “to conceal,” is usually associated with Muslim women. Although other faith traditions promote modest dress, and Muslim men are also asked to dress modestly, most of the noise around this world is directed at Muslim women.

There are two unhealthy views around women wearing hijab. First, that a woman who wears hijab is always oppressed. Second, that women must wear hijab because they are necessarily seductresses, and men cannot follow their own consciences unless women are covered.

(more…)

Diversity, a sign of God’s Wisdom and Might

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

bay beach beautiful buildings

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The following verses are from chapter 35 of the Qur’an, titled Fatir or Originator

اَلَمۡ تَرَ اَنَّ اللّٰهَ اَنۡزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً ۚ فَاَخۡرَجۡنَا بِهٖ ثَمَرٰتٍ مُّخۡتَلِفًا اَلۡوَانُهَاؕ وَمِنَ الۡجِبَالِ جُدَدٌۢ بِيۡضٌ وَّحُمۡرٌ مُّخۡتَلِفٌ اَلۡوَانُهَا وَغَرَابِيۡبُ سُوۡدٌ‏

(35:27) Seest thou not that Allah sends down rain from the sky? With it We then bring out produce of various colours. And in the mountains are tracts white and red, of various shades of colour, and black intense in hue.

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ وَالدَّوَآبِّ وَالۡاَنۡعَامِ مُخۡتَلِفٌ اَ لۡوَانُهٗ كَذٰلِكَ ؕ اِنَّمَا يَخۡشَى اللّٰهَ مِنۡ عِبَادِهِ الۡعُلَمٰٓؤُا ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ عَزِيۡزٌ غَفُوۡرٌ‏

(35:28) and human beings too, and beasts, and cattle diverse are their hues. From among His servants, it is only those who know that fear Allah. Verily Allah is Most Mighty, Most Forgiving.

The verses point to the fact that of diversity within the universe created by Allah. Diversity all around us and no homogeneity and uniformity; all shades of color and various types of creation everywhere. Diversity in the food we eat, not just in color but shape and size. Even in the mountains, are variations of colors.

Read the rest of this entry

What’s the Difference Between Being Gaslighted and Triggered?

By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota

First and foremost, we shouldn’t rationalize and justify our own abuses of others. We should turn to God, seek protection, and remember Him often.

 

abstract art blur bright

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

When I was young, our home burned down. Afterwards, every time I saw a firetruck or heard of a fire, it would trigger memories of that difficult event. Over time, I was no longer triggered, although I still remembered it clearly. A trigger is anything stored in a person’s memory that brings back a whole, traumatic event. For a long time, if I saw or heard a firetruck, I would smell smoke, feel myself choking on it, and feel the panic I felt during the fire.

What of the person who triggered you or is being triggered?

Sometimes, the person who has triggered you has done something wrong. Perhaps you are triggered when you feel demeaned, and it brings up experiences of being humiliated. Those experiences can be from society such as racism, sexism, xenophobia or childhood experiences from school or family members.

First, you should manage your trigger by calming yourself down. Later, you can address the demeaning comment as itself, and not for all the feelings it’s brought up inside you.  I try to do this with Islamophobes.

To be gaslighted is much different. Gaslighting is a tactic whereby a person or people attempt to gain power by making someone question their reality past or present. Triggering is generally incidental and accidental—the firefighters who turned on the siren didn’t mean to harm anyone. But gaslighting is purposeful and intentional: the abuser tells someone, over and over, that an event did not happen, in order to gain or secure power. It is a way of undermining a person’s confidence in themselves and their perceptions of the world.

Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: