al-Hamdulillah, had a great time today at the gun range bringing together a Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ and a great American pastime, shooting. To our delight and surprise, there was another Muslim family at the range, with whom we had a blast (literally!). I highly recommend it. It’s a great way for folks to bond as well as learn a practical skill. My next step will be to follow brother Dawood Yasin on his #GetYourOwnHalal mission!
The role of Prophets and Messengers in general, and the Prophet Muhammad in specific, is to make clear and plain:
- Who God Is.
- What God wants from us and how we are to go about doing it.
- What is the nature of reality beyond what we can sense-perceive.
The Prophet, in essence, makes God accessible for us by demonstrating through his blessed lifestyle (read Sunnah, how one conceives of and worships God, with certainty of method and ritual.
لَقَد كانَ لَكُم في رَسولِ اللَّهِ أُسوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِمَن كانَ يَرجُو اللَّهَ وَاليَومَ الآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثيرًا
“You have an excellent model in the Messenger of Allah, for all who put their hope in Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much.” Qur’an, 33:21
It is well-known, as Muslims, how much the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم extolled the night prayer (Tahajjud) and its many benefits to the Scale and the soul. However, in my years of teaching Islam, it has become increasingly apparent that what many Muslims today lack is not simply knowledge but approaches to practice. We all know Tahajjud is a good thing to do but we may struggle on how to approach it as a regular practice.
What I like about the following video, by brother Alexander Carberry, is how he gives some practical and even “scientific” gleans into how Tahajjud might find its way into our practice as a Muslims. I appreciate the melding of health, medicine and science into a new “behavior”, a means of how to make this beautiful sunnah of the Prophet a lived practice in our lives.
Over the last several years I have come to realize for myself the need to more intimately connect my health and well-being with my practice as a Muslim. That they are indeed intimately related and that perfecting (or trying to!) them brings about a better practice as a Muslim. Sleep, no doubt, is a key factor in that endeavor and is something many Americans (Muslim or otherwise) in today’s stimulant-driven, constant on-the-go culture struggle with. I hope you will enjoy this video and attempt to put into practice some of brother Carberry’s insights into how to live better, pray better and worship better, as a Muslim. May God reward him abundantly for helping us in this task.
- Sleep From an Islamic Perspective, by Ahmed S. BaHammam. Hat tip to Yusuf.
- Busting the 8-Hour Sleep Myth: Why You Should Wake Up in the Night, by Natalie Wolchover.
Neil Postman posits in his book, Technopoly:
“It is still both possible and useful to distinguish a tool-using culture from a technocracy. In a technocracy, tools play a central role in the thought-world of the culture. Everything must give way, in some degree, to their development. The social and symbolic worlds become increasingly subject to the requirements of that development. Tools are not integrated into the culture; they attack the culture. They bid to become the culture. As a consequence, tradition, social mores, myth, politics, ritual, and religion have to fight for their lives.”
Along with this I talk about the role of theology in society, do women obey Islam and men follow the Sunnah?, tradition, hermeneutics and hijab amongst other things in this podcast.
Hijab and Havaianas from altmuslimah. This is what I refer to in the podcast.
Tackling Religious Literacy: Lexical Empiricism – a deeper look at the ritual of wudu’ and hermeneutics.
A khutbah on hope and inspiration delivered at the University of Pennsylvania on March 30th, 2012.