Monthly Archives: February 2012

The SECRET to Getting Everything You’ve EVER Wanted!

Okie… So I pulled a little bait-n-switch.

But ya gotta admit, sounds good, doesn’t it? You probably even answered ads promising you the same thing. Went to churches telling you they can get it for you. Subscribed to philosophies that do this and that, pray, be a good boy or girl, and attend the right religious services at the right church with the right denomination (funny how similar that word can be mis-typed as “demon-nation”, huh? or how “denomination” also refers to money? hmm…) and you can have everything you wanted. They do the same thing with Jedi-mind tricks psychology/negotiating/how to win arguments books, lose weight while doing nothing programs, you name it.

Let me start by saying this. Man, by his childish nature, is ungrateful. The Quran (17:83, I am paraphrasing) states that man is ungrateful, and when he is prosperous he does not worship but when he suffers, he prays. Think back to your childhood, on Christmas Day, what is the most sad part of the day? What do you do when that sad part happens?

I do not practice Christmas, but I do birthdays. I’ll answer for you, and you tell me if I’m right. The most sad part is when the last gift has been opened. And when it happens, the last thing you do is look for more gifts that you might not have opened.

Man is, at his very center, that child. His lust and greed and pride will not allow him to be satisfied. Even the most wealthy of men, who own everything in the world, still knocks on God’s door asking for more “stuff”. Lust, greed and pride are like the flowing brook–you can never seem to find its source, and it seems to always run. Men will always want more. We may be handsome, but will still work out more and more to gain more beauty. We may be powerful leaders, and will still lust for more power. We may be the richest of men in the land, we will still get up every morning and go out to create more wealth. And for this reason, the “secret” is that you will NEVER get everything you’ve ever wanted.

Because “everything” is an ever-increasing amount. The more you get, the more you want. It seems, these days, that the only men to escape this are men of sound religious foundation. In the Quran, man is tested and taught to be grateful by constantly being given trials and tribulations. It keeps us grateful for what we have. It keeps us unselfish because we all know what hunger tastes like, and what loneliness feels like, and what eating crow tastes like when you swallow it. This is why we as believers should not treat God as Santa Claus; we don’t prostrate ourselves in prayer to ask for “stuff” all the time. We ask for guidance, for wisdom, for forgiveness–not as a customer showing up at a business placing an order for weight loss or a better job. See, God didn’t pass out flyers hoping you’d choose Him and His wisdom over some other company’s.

And let me jump in a second…

When you approach God, are you approaching him as a “Customer” of the church who deserves to get anything you want? Or do you approach him with extreme humility?

Islamic tradition refers to humility as khushu (koo-shoo, roughly). Let me draw a picture of how humble you should approach your Lord, whatever you call him:  the Prophet Muhammad stated that we should treat our prayer as an employee who has been caught not doing his job. Imagine that you were paid to do a job, and for whatever reason, you’ve been cutting up. Sleeping on the job, cheating, stealing, lying on your timesheet, just NOT doing your job. Now, imagine that you discover that your boss knows about it, and they have camera footage of you in action. And you are about to enter the office with the big boss, but you heard he is not going to fire you. How would you enter that room? As a “chosen”, “saved” man whose wrongs have already been forgiven? Or what?

And that feeling, folks, is how you approach prayer. None of us have been doing our job like we’re supposed to be doing. We all have been cutting up. We have been receiving a paycheck despite the big boss knows that you’ve been cutting up. He isn’t going to fire you, but he does want to talk to you about straightening up as an employee. Each time you arrive for prayer, this is how you present yourself to your Lord. You don’t go in asking for a raise or a promotion. Just be glad you have a job. Now, while you’re there–you might want to ask the boss for a little time to get yourself together. Or advice on how you can do your job better. Or for guidance. Or forgiveness. Or for suggestions on what He wants you to do.

The secret to getting more–if you deserve it–is to truly appreciate what you have, and not covet anything else. Just show the One who gave you what you have how glad you are to have it, and to show Him that you deserve more by being a better employee.

And that book? The one with the secrets? I’m willing to bet you have already invested in that course. You just have to crack it open a little more often, and follow its advice. I believe in my house, the book is entitled “The Holy Quran”. In someone else’s house, it may read “The Holy Bible”. And the big boss knows it well, because, according to my teaching, He wrote it Himself.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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“Your” Women

An oft-repeated phrase heard among Muslims and NOI Muslims is “your women”:

  • Protect your women
  • Provide for your women
  • Teach your women
  • Love your women

And others….

I would like to address this and appeal to my brothers to resume this practice and phrase into our collective vocabulary.

The Holy Quran (4:34) states that “Men are the maintainers of women…”  God Himself enjoins man to provide for and lead the women given to him. We are to provide for her needs–material, physical as well as emotional needs. We are required to be kind to them. We are also responsible for leading them and educating them. In this, the man must keep himself knowledgeable and spiritual, employable and emotionally stable. He must be capable of improving her standard of life from when she was single. If a man cannot–whether he is still in school, he is not practicing his religion sufficiently, or he is not healthy enough to maintain her physical needs–he is not considered suitable for marriage. A man who is not working or cannot provide for her and her children (if she already has children) is therefore instructed to prepare himself for marriage. As a show of his capability, commitment, and desire to take her as a wife, the man is required to provide a dowry (gift) of her choosing in order to prove his worthiness of marriage. To prove his moral fitness for being a potential mate, he is required to court his love interest while abstaining from sexual relations and compromising situations where he may be tempted to lead her to sin. If a man is incapable of maintaining a celibate courtship, he does not have enough spiritual strength to be a reliable husband. If he cannot be relied on to protect his woman’s soul by keeping her from sin, how can be trustworthy enough to resist the powerful pull of lust and sin bombarding him every day when he is away from her? A man who cannot do these simple things is not considered a man by Islam’s standards and therefore not ready for marriage. Marriage is serious business, and only men are suitable for taking wives.

First problem in our community, our “men” are not marrying. We are courting women but we have it backwards. Sex is often the goal, and little interest goes beyond the bedroom. In fact, women are so confused by what a good man is, she is happy just to find a man with a job (or not) who tries to convince her that he is fornicating only with her. Imagine that! So, with standards so low, is it any surprise that these men do not fulfill their obligations as fathers and providers when you have their children out of wedlock? The idea of marriage seems to range from the make believe (wifeys) to out-of-reach, dreams come true (fairytale weddings). Many of our daughters don’t even play house and pretend to get married anymore–they call themselves “bitches” and aspire to be “independant” women who work and not “need” a man. More and more of our women are so confused about what they need for mates they turn to other women to be their “man”.

The Black Man is failing miserably.

Don’t get mad. We have lots of good men out here. I have noticed more men marrying than in the last two decades–but it still is not enough. When I look at my immediate social circle, I only know ONE young man under age 25 who is unmarried and has his own apartment, job and mature enough to take a wife. His older brother, who is 20 is already married, by the way. I do know a quite few young men who are married, under 25, gainfully employed and taking care of their families. I know their fathers, and they are all Muslim. (The two brothers two sentences back are Christian, btw… I know their mother.) Perhaps you will be impressed by these statistics, but you shouldn’t be. Although I am proud of these young men, they are exceptions to what we know as normal. This is a shame.

The plight of the Black man, if it is to improve, must first begin with rebuilding ourselves. We must ensure that our sons are marriage material; many of us are not doing this. We enable them by not forcing them to be self-reliant. We are not finding them good role models. We are not demanding more of them. We are not teaching them. When a woman tells me she is happy that she raised her sons alone, I do not praise this; single motherhood is a travesty, and it has taught her sons that marriage is not important. It has also taught them that their mother spent the last 18 years fornicating, and apparently having children out of wedlock, continuing to fornicate and struggle financially (or not) and spiritually is acceptable behavior. Men have to be taught that everything that happens to our children–every missed meal, every time he is cold and lonely, every time his mother is malnourished sexually (and legally), every time he is told “no, you can’t have that because I don’t have the money”), every time he is given poor advice, every time he makes a moral mistake, every time he is out of favor with his God because he wasn’t taught better–it is our damned fault. As a people, we can no longer accept this. As a community striving to improve the world our children live in–and improve our reputations to the rest of the people of the world–we can no longer afford this.

Divorce doesn’t change a thing, by the way. Today, I was speaking to a brother about my ex-wife (who has remarried) informing me that her electricity is cut off. To my horror, he told me that this “was no longer my problem”. In his view, I’m free of responsibility because the new husband should have paid the bill.

Oh no? Despite the fact that my son lives in that household? I am no rich man. But I understand that regardless of how I feel about this woman (I am not very fond of her), for the rest of my son’s life–as my ex-wife, she is considered by God to be one of “my” women. For me to allow her to live in darkness, even for a few days, would not just be a sin–especially if I have money–it wouldn’t be the very “manly” thing for me to do. Struggle is something God designed man to be able to withstand; it is not for our women and children to suffer. We do not live in comfort while our women and our children live in discomfort. It would be very bitchy for me to do so. #no homo

The sooner our men see responsibility in its full view–everything that comes with it, like it or not–the sooner our community will benefit by having real leaders. From the smallest family all the way to our political and religious leaders.  This message is not just for Black men, it is for all men. We do not cease to be men just because we divorce or break up, or have financial problems, or have new women. And God does not let us off the hook because it might cause a little discomfort. Please pass this on.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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