Archive for July, 2010

08
Jul
10

Are You There God? It’s me, Khalid…..

If you make intense supplication
and the timing of the answer is delayed,
do not despair of it.

His reply to you is guaranteed
but in the way He chooses,
not in the way you choose,
and at the moment He desires,
not the moment you desire

~al-Hikam of  ibn Ata’illah

_____________

https://i0.wp.com/www.usagiyojimbo.com/intro/uytv.jpgAs a child, I used to collect Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures and would always be excited when my mother would take me to Toys R Us to get one. From Rocksteady and Bebop to Usagi Yojimbo and Casey Jones with sports equipment arsenal included, I had every one that you could imagine.  Whenever my mother bought me one, I was really happy.  But on those days when she told me I already had enough, I got really upset with her.   How could she possibly say no to something that would make me happy?

(These days my Ninja Turtles collection, along with my Transformers, Thundercats, Star Wars, and GI Joe collections, is somewhere in Pakistan being played with by kids who probably don’t know that they are worth as collectibles. Twenty years later, I’m over it.  Kind of 🙂 Alhamdulillah.  and I love my mom more than I can imagine.  May Allah preserve her inshallah and grant her the best in this world and the best in the next.)

https://i0.wp.com/cdn0.sbnation.com/imported_assets/98996/pp_baby_20photo_20gallery_1152305917514_431365d.jpgIn retrospect, I had done two things that were problematic. The more obvious of the two is that I would get upset when I didn’t get what I wanted.  The seemingly less obvious was not being appreciative when I did get what I wanted.  I would never really say thanks.  I felt happy, but I left it at that.   (I was also 7 years old so give me a break please 🙂 )

A lot of us do this in our respective relationships with Allah.  We assess the worth of our relationships with the Divine not necessarily through what we have been given, but through our perception of the response we receive when we explicitly ask for something we want.   If I ask for something and I get it, then I must be doing well.  If I don’t get it, then something must be wrong.   Aside from the pain of being denied something that I really want, I also feel a pain because I subconsciously need a sense validation of my efforts.   I need to know that I am good and that how I am living my life is also good.  But I can’t always tell that right away if I am being denied what I am asking for.   In the absence of some tangible way of measuring my relationship, how do I really know that I am doing ok, or that my relationship with Him is sound?

In a nutshell, the question of “Why” becomes hard to deal with.   Why didn’t I get what I asked for?  Why did this happen to me?  Why does everyone else get what they want, but I don’t?

Ibrahim ibn Adham, rahimahullah, was asked about the verse in the Qur’an that very definitively states that if one was to call upon Allah, regardless of their background, their call would be answered.

And your Lord says Call upon Me, I will respond to you…” Surat Al Mumin, verse 60.

The people asked him if this was the case, then why do our prayers go unanswered.

Ibrahim ibn Adham responds with ten potential reasons:

You know Allah, yet you do not obey Him,
You recite the Qur’an, yet you do not act according to it,
You know Shaytan, yet you have agreed with him,
You proclaim that you love the Messenger of Allah, yet you abandon his Sunnah,
You proclaim your love for Paradise, yet you do not act to gain it,
You proclaim your fear for the Fire, yet you do not prevent yourselves from sins,
You say “Indeed death is true”, yet you have not prepared for it,
You busy yourselves with finding faults with others, yet you do not look at your own faults,
You eat that which Allah has provided for you, yet you do not thank Him,
You bury your dead, yet you do not take a lesson from it.

https://i1.wp.com/www.positivityblog.com/_images/080711_think.jpgA very insightful set of considerations that help us to examine at what we might be doing that’s problematic and in turn preventative of things going the way we want them to. Realistically through, there’s not really too much else we can look towards.   It’s not possible for us to begin to put definitive answers as to why Allah has decided what He has.  Ultimately when the question of why is asked, we can really ultimately only say “I don’t know” and then be reliant.

So how do I know that I am ok?  That I am a good person?  That my actions are being accepted?  I don’t.  I just have to try my best and keep trying my best and allow for that to build into an ever-lasting satisfaction that gets me through times that are tough and helps me appreciate times that are not.  I might not have gotten the girl, or the car, or the job.  But I was still given a lot of other things. And I shouldn’t forget that.   My relationship with Allah has to in fact be a relationship, not just something that exists on an abstract level.  Just like any friendship would allow for me to go above and beyond in understanding my friend, so too I have to work at developing a close relationship with the Divine that allows for me to really trust His responses to my requests because I know He wouldn’t do anything to hurt me.

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala accept all of our prayers and secret wishes, as there are no secrets from Him. He is the All-Knowing, the Merciful. Ameen.

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08
Jul
10

Headed to Beantown

https://i1.wp.com/www.celebrateboston.com/images/culture/nicknames/beantown01.jpgFor those of you who are in Boston, I’m going to be giving the Khutbah at the ISB Cultural Center this Friday inshallah.  The masjid is located at 100 Malcolm X Blvd. Boston, MA 02120 and Jummah starts at 1pm.

I’ll be there with Haroon Moghul teaching at the Fawakih Program. More details on that can be found at http://fawakih.com/.  We’re going to be teaching Saturday and Sunday inshallah and Haroon is going to also be giving a lecture at Masjid Yusuf Saturday night. Details on that are below via the Maydan Institute’s blog. (I’ll explain in a later post what Maydan is.)

Join Maydan’s Executive Director Haroon Moghul and Senior Instructor Imam Khalid Latif at Masjid Yusuf on Saturday night, July 10th, 2010. At 8:45p.m., Haroon will be presenting on Muslims and Islamophobia, introducing strategies to engage media, offer alternatives to negative narratives, understand how and why Islamophobia works the way it does and empower Muslim communities with better and more diverse representation. Where: 186 Chestnut Hill A … Read More

via The Maydan Institute

If  you’re in the area and want to meet up let me know.  I should be free Friday all day after Jummah.

On a totally separate topic, I had a follow up interview with CNN on the op-ed post I wrote for them on recognizing Eid Holidays in the NYC Public School system (to read that article click here). You can check out the video by clicking here

01
Jul
10

Making Moves: CNN op-ed and some other recent press

I had an op-ed piece go up today on CNN.  It’s the first time I’ve written something like this so I’d appreciate some feedback.  It’d be great if you all could share the link to it with your networks and repost, retweet, and whatever else can be done.

Some other (relatively) recent stuff you can check out as well:

Italian Magazine ilsole24ore Article link 1 link 2 (I can’t read Italian so I don’t know what this says actually 🙂 )

CNN Interview
Towards a Younger, Hipper Islamclick here

Altmuslimah Interview on Domestic Violence You Are No Longer A Blessing in His Life click here

Salon.com Article A Troubling Cultural Gap. If today’s young American Muslims can’t relate to their imams, where will they turn? click here
_____________________________________________

Editor’s note: Imam Khalid Latif is a chaplain for New York University and Executive Director of the school’s Islamic Center.

By Khalid Latif, Special to CNN

I was recently eating dinner at a restaurant with a friend near Times Square when it became time for me to pray. Muslims pray five times a day and this particular prayer, called Maghrib, is performed at sunset.

Having lived in New York City for decades, I’ve become comfortable praying pretty much anywhere. It also doesn’t hurt that there are stranger things happening on the streets here than a young guy bowing and kneeling for a few minutes.

After I started to pray, a tour bus parked in front of me and a large group of people proceeded to spill out.

While I continued, a woman from the group came closer to where I was praying. She removed a scarf from her neck, placed it on the ground so that I would be praying on something clean, then walked away before I finished….

To continue reading, please click here.

A child at a recent rally for Muslim holidays to be observed by New York city schools.




Who is doing the thinking


My name is Khalid Latif. I work as the Executive Director and Chaplain for the Islamic Center at New York University as well as a Chaplain for the NYPD, New York City Police Department.

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