Morning prayer

Ya Allah, guide me back to the straight path. The path of those you have blessed, not those who incur your anger, or those who are astray.

With these words I start my day. A desperate, anguished prayer, recognising how far I have fallen. Never take your faith for granted. The act of uttering your testimony of faith does not transform you into a pure being, incapable of error after guidance. You have to strive on this path, otherwise it becomes mere ritual. Your prayers, five times a day, just brief pauses punctuating a life badly lived. I speak for myself, naturally, but I am sure I am not alone. Those of us who took our faith for granted and then raced headlong into sin, hoping for His infinite mercy.

Ya Allah, guide me back to the straight path.

Hope

Their messengers said, “Can there be doubt about God, Creator of the heavens and earth? He invites you that He may forgive you of your sins, and He delays your death for a specified term.” — from Qur’an 14:10

Fragile masculinity

Dear crusader against the times,

We hear you loud and clear: feminism is the great scourge of our times, apparently set to undermine our faith — along with modernism, scientism, liberalism and materialism. Thus must you argue at length in every post about the dangers they pose to orthodoxy, irregardless of your simplistic reductions. Continue reading “Fragile masculinity”

These scales

When I look back on my life, I see that I have spent most of it in sin. But for the mercy of my Lord, my balance stands against me. However will I turn things around, I often ask myself, so late in the day with so many evil deeds weighing down so heavily on one side of my scales? Yes, it is a frequent cause of despair. True, Ibrahim said: “And who despairs of the mercy of his Lord except for those astray?” (Qur’an 15:56) — but for one oft-repeating in the same sins, over and over as the years pass by, it is difficult not to lose hope, seeing the ruin I have built for myself. So many times have I stood at these crossroads, resolving to turn my life around and reform, but alas, alas, here I am once more, with all the same regrets and remorse, as if nothing ever changed. What I would give to be faithful and pure.

Letter to nobody

Sign the petition, they insist. But nobody ever asks to whom the petition is addressed. It has been signed now by nearly 160,000 people since it was launched in early November, three months before the one they want released was even incarcerated. Is it addressed to the French judiciary? The French government? The European Court of Human Rights? No, none of them. No, it is addressed to All Free Spirits / Citizens of the world. In other words, it is a public relations exercise, designed to convince hundreds of thousands of people of the innocence of the accused. It serves no other purpose, for otherwise it would be addressed to those capable of taking action. An MP perhaps. Or a senior judge. Or the editor of the most influential newspaper in France. Or the prime minister. Yes, but not Free Spirits — as lovely as they sound — who are incapable of effecting change.

The wrong perpetrators

The Red Cross claims that dozens of people including children under the age of 10 have been killed or wounded in an air strike against a bus, carried out by the Saudi-led coalition in northern Yemen today. Our activists shrug their shoulders.

Pawns

Is it not rather hypocritical for Turkish state media, notably TRT World (the international branch of Turkey’s public broadcaster) and Daily Sabah (the international voice of the ruling party), to lament the continued detention of Dr Tariq Ramadan — allegedly for Islamophobic reasons — given the number of imams, academics and journalists incarcerated in Turkey for alleged affiliation with Muhammed Fethullah Gülen? According to Human Rights Watch, there are currently 77,000 people held in pre-trial detention in Turkey, on charges relating to the 2016 coup attempt alone, where suspects can now be held for up to seven years. Continue reading “Pawns”

Lost comments

Alas, Muslim news websites refuse to publish my comments concerning their one-sided and biased articles. I don’t believe it is because they consider my comments spammy or trolly, because there is nothing spammy or trolly about them. I think it is because my comments do not confirm the narrative they wish to set and promote for us. They are in the game of sowing seeds of discord, not in pursuing justice even against ourselves. Facts are simply inconvenient, because speaking the truth does not come into it. They are the propaganda arm of a movement with a clear agenda and vision. Set an argument contrary to that vision, and you will find yourself sidelined and without friends. But still, I’ll go on trying.

To be trustworthy

Faith does not mean forwarding every piece of spurious crap you receive on WhatsApp, believing everything you read on Facebook, or liking every Tweet shared by a Muslim personality. You still have to verify the information you receive, even if it comes from a trusted friend.  Continue reading “To be trustworthy”