Of the cultural and habitual activities of social life and the customs of people in general, there are very few things that Islaam has prohibited, compared to all of the good and beneficial things which we have been allowed to eat, drink, wear and participate in. Allaah has permitted everything which is good and wholesome, and has forbidden only those things which would bring us harm. And even though sometimes we may not perceive the harm in something, we must admit that The Creator knows His creation better than we know ourselves. As The Almighty said in His Glorious Qur'aan: "You may love a thing that is not good for you, and you may dislike a thing that is good for you." [Al-Baqarah 216]

The point is, Islaam is not as the proponents of mind control and human exploitation would have you believe, restrictive and prohibitive, taking all the fun out of life. This is their deception in an effort to maintain their position of influence in worldly affairs. Oftentimes, the oppressive elements who wish to have control over society, paint a false picture of Islaam because they are afraid of losing their influence over the people at large.

They realize that when people accept Islaam as the source of guidance and influence in their lives, submitting only to the will of the Creator, that these individuals free themselves from subservience to any human being and they refuse to be oppressed, exploited or dictated to by those who desire misguidance over guidance, and prefer falsehood to truth.

These so-called political leaders and monopolizers of industry, media and resources try to depict Islaam as an enemy "threatening freedom and democracy and our way of life" they say. This is trash! The only people threatened by Islaam are those who would pull the wool over the eyes of the public, deceiving them into believing that they have the public interest at heart, when in reality all they have in mind is maintaining their own power and influence in society, and exploiting whomever will allow themselves to be exploited.

But the Muslim doesn't go for it! We refuse to be oppressed, exploited, taken advantage of, fooled, tricked or otherwise bamboozled. And we refuse to be the slave of anyone less than the real Master of the Universe -- the Creator and Sustainer of all things, the Giver and Taker of life, the One God, Allaah, Blessed and Exalted is He, and far above any imperfection which the unbelievers in Allaah ascribe to Him.

Now to someone with ill intentions and evil designs on fairness, justice and equality, this is a 'dangerous attitude' - 'fundamentalist; subversive' they say.

But this attitude only subverts a bully. The one who in reality does not want to see true freedom of choice placed in the hands of the people, but one who wants to dictate his idea of what should be the status quo, which keeps him rich and comfortable, at the expense of justice to the common person like you and me.

The only people who do not want to see Islaam take root in so-called western society, or anywhere in the world for that matter, are those who have something to lose which doesn't belong to them in the first place: hypnotic control of people's lives, people who have become slaves to fashion and passion, and have become blind to reality.

Too many people are living or trying to live in a fantasy world, eclipsed from the fact that this life is temporary, and full of attractions and distractions from the mission of the human being, which is to fulfill his and her purpose for having been created in the first place: to obey the Creator by worshipping Him alone, not allowing any human being, any concept, any style or anything else to enslave him or misguide him from the path to success in this temporary life, and the permanent, eternal life of the Hereafter.

Islaam removes the blinders, opens deaf ears, and gives a voice to the speechless. Islaam is only an enemy to the enemies of God. The oppressive, exploitative, greedy, uncaring misers who don't wish to see themselves as equal to you and me; ordinary folks who just want to uphold true liberty and justice for all. Not just the rich, not just the descendents of the conquerors, not just one race or lineage or isolated segment of the society.

When the prayer of the Muslims (the salaah) is performed, the worshippers stand in straight lines, shoulder to shoulder, foot to foot; the rich beside the poor; the dark complexioned beside the fair; the formally educated beside the unlettered; no distinction of race, economic status, education or any incidental factor sets one above another.

The leader in front of them all, is to be one who has distinguished himself in the knowledge of the Qur'aan, and the rest of the revelation exemplified by the Prophet Muhammad (). There is no greater model for equality and humanity and brotherhood than the Salaah - the prayer prescribed to develop the highest (traits) in human character and morality. And when properly approached, restrains the lustful soul from every sin and every wicked deed.

This salaah is a transformer of hardened hearts, a regulator of moral behavior, and a source of tranquility and normality in a hectic world. Salaah, from the Arabic word silah meaning connection, is the most sublime and direct link between the human being and our God. It is the means by which we seek guidance, strength and prosperity, and thus is the second essential principle of Islaam, only preceded by the declaration of faith, by which one opens the covenant with God saying: I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah - the One True God - and that Muhammad is His slave/servant and messenger.

This is the key to freedom. Freedom from the burdens of competition in material superiority, freedom from abuse and being taken advantage of, freedom from subjugating oneself in disgrace and humiliation to another human being, and freedom from worshipping and being a slave to anything that has no right to be worshipped; like a political ideology, a trend in popular culture, one's own base desires, or any other created thing. This is true freedom. This is Islaam - the way of life based on absolute truth, guidance, wisdom, intelligence, equality, justice and mutual cooperation among all people regardless of the superficial differences which the exploiters exploit, creating false divisions between us, the people of the earth.

No, Islaam is not a threat to freedom, nor to human or civil rights, nor to the principles of mutual consultation in the affairs of society. Islaam is an easy way of life, allowing all that is good, pure and beneficial, and only restricting what is harmful to the individual and the society.

Sometimes we have difficulty as human beings in acknowledging that we do not know everything, including all that is good for us and that which isn't. We put our desire as our criterion: what we personally enjoy must be good, and what we don't care for - it doesn't matter as much whether it's considered permissible or not. But as Allaah - Powerful and Magnificent informed us iin another Qur'aanic verse: "You may like a thing that is not good for you, and you may dislike something, but Allah brings about much good by way of it." [An-Nisaa 19]

So, when we reach the level of understanding wherein we realize that the One who created us knows us better than we know ourselves, then perhaps we'll be prepared to be guided to the truth in all matters. Am I talking sense here? I'm talking Islaam. And if this makes sense to you, then bear witness for yourself to the truth, the knowledge of which was completed for us when Allaah perfected this religion and completed His favor upon us, by selecting and approving for humanity Islaam as a religion, a creed and a complete way of life.

Allaah Himself is pleased with this way of life for us, His creation, and we can find pleasure in this as well, if we allow ourselves to follow the Master Plan designed specially for us. Let Allah be the Guide and you make the decision. The Qur'aan says: "There is no compulsion in (accepting) religion." [Al-Baqarah 256] No one can twist your arm and make you bear witness to the truth. However, each of us is compelled to decide, and every decision bears its consequences.

We can accept the glorious gift of guidance from God, and be rewarded with untold, everlasting pleasures, or we can refuse the gift, try to pile up the transitory, (un-lasting) pseudo-pleasures of this life, and spend eternity regretting that we didn't accept guidance when it was offered so graciously to us.

There's an old proverb the meaning of which is: you'd better take advantage of a good opportunity while you have the chance, because if you refuse it, you'll be wanting it sometime down the road, but it will no longer be available.

The Messenger of Allah () said: "How are you going to be when the son of Mary returns and judges by the Qur'aan [i.e. not by the Gospel]? [In Muslim's transmission "How will you be when Ibn Maryam descends upon you and will be your imaam?" Waleed ibn Muslim said "I said to Ibn Abu Dhi'b that Al-Awzaa'i told us from Az-Zuhri from Naaf'i from Abu Hurairah "...and there will be an Imaam from amongst you." Ibn Abu Dhi'b said "Do you know what '...leads from amongst you' is?" I said "Inform me" and he said "He will lead you according to the Book of your Lord the Blessed and Most High and the sunnah of your Prophet ()." Abu Dharr Al-Harawi said: "Jowzaqi reporting from some of the earlier (scholars) said "The meaning of ',...and an Imaam from amongst you' is that he ('alaihi salaam) will rule according to the Qur'aan not by the Injeel." Ibn Teen said of the Prophet's () statement, "...and an Imaam from amongst you" is that "the Muhammadan law, shall remain till the Day of Resurrection and in every generation (century) there shall be a group of people with knowledge." - Ed.]

Oh, people! Accept Islaam before you die! Oh! people, you know Islaam is not a lie!!!

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