Update to Readers

April 10, 2012

Two years have now passed since the end of Nafis Salaam, and one of the websites has been taken over by something completely unrelated! So the challenge remains to see through the smoke –ahem– and mirrors of our desire-driven culture. The conversation about Hookah continues, especially on the Muslim Matters website.

Here is the Research Paper we wrote in 2010 and here is the version that Dr Sarah Sayeed shaped for publication. As not all communities are letting go of this unhealthy habit, let us hope these humble efforts will help move the conversation forward.

REFLECTION OPENS UP THE HEART

October 13, 2009

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Are our bad habits actually worse than we think?

We all live in slavery to a Reactive Mind that urges us to consume, to speak or behave in an unconscious way, to live without God-consciousness. Each Ramadan the Muslim intentionally deepens the level of struggle with his or her inner compulsions. In this way we may get a tiny taste of actual spiritual freedom and yearn for more. But what is more?

In Islam, we seek inner unity. A soul truly at peace is not ruled by the tyranny of the ego. You and I can look into that inner mirror of the heart—through the veils woven by the many unreal selves within us—beyond the socially created self, the social identity, the protean ego, and the desires.

Look within. Who is home? Not just the meter reader. Not just the narrating Mind. As if you are a house with many levels– shine a light into the basement! Moment-to-moment refinement of awareness brings new clarity to the swarming floor. This voyage of discovery is also a struggle towards liberation. This effort of transcendent self-knowledge is the Greater Jihad. Who are you really?

The picture we get in this process is not always pretty—it may offend our self-esteem but it is true. Truth is its value—greater than gold. We may wish to imagine we are what we wish to be. But we are not. And even in the prettiest palace, home life may be a hell. What is true?

There is no compulsion in religion. That means Islam cannot be imposed by force. Attempts to force Peace onto individuals and societies produce monsters—we see this in the world and it is true on the individual level too. But we can learn. How? The Quran enjoins us to reflect and to do Dikhr again and again. Peace comes sometimes with preparation but not through our human efforts alone—we cannot take credit for this. Harmony arises from prayer and practice, from intention and reflection, taqwa and tawheed, from a remembering that does not look back in time but only into the present.

As we breathe in and out, are we aware of our total presence, our being at this moment– or are we instead shrunken into one small part, focused in our thoughts about what someone did to us, problems of injustice in the world, what we must do later or what we will be having for dinner…? What is our relationship with God in all this?

Those of us with bad habits—and these habits certainly include over-eating, smoking, gossip, complaining, just to mention some oral cancers— we can dance with self-blame all we like, but we will not get anywhere. The tune must change. To want change, we will need the bitter taste of our illusion, to feel the ebb of energy and the limits of our time on earth. To accomplish change, we will surely need help—from our friends and family and mosque—and from God the Compassionate. May Allah guide us!

It is easy for us to point fingers at other lifestyles and behaviors, and we may be correct in a theoretical way. But instead of sitting in judgment on others we can stand in solidarity, sympathy, and struggle. We are all in the same boat. Humanity has work to do—and each task has many levels. How we interact with others matters. How we interact with ourselves matters. Even emptying the garbage is significant and sacred – not only in how that affects the climate, but how it affects my understanding of my life. Yes!

So as I avoid cleaning my rooms—and as I get lost in my own words—I see my habits. As I blame myself, I see another habit. There can be many layers, increasing over time.

Therefore—the Greater Jihad is not only for Ramadan. This Sacred Struggle must continue in other forms—quitting smoking, or trying to—dieting, exercise and other disciplines—studying and work in all their levels. Be aware, endure, embrace the challenge, every moment. We are not strong. But each little failure may create a condition for success. And when one door closes, another opens, insh’Allah.

NAFIS SALAAM HEALTHY RAMADAN CAMPAIGN

September 6, 2009

RAMADAN IS A PERFECT TIME TO GET FREE FROM HABITS– BUT THE PERFECT TIME IS ALWAYS “NOW”–YES– YOU CAN!

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PLEASE SEE OUR YOUTUBE VIDEOS AND FLIERS AT NAFIS SALAAM YOUTUBE
and
NAFIS SALAAM LINK

ARABICNS Read the rest of this entry »

January 10, 2009

HOW MUSLIMS ARE KILLED

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ISRAEL is KILLING HUNDREDS

 

OUR OWN REGIMES ARE KILLING THOUSANDS

 

BUT WHO IS KILLING MILLIONS?

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WE ARE !

 

 

SMOKING KILLS MILLIONS.

 For More Information see https://muslimsagainstsmoking.wordpress.com/ 

 

 

 

 

 

Still think it’s Cool?

September 25, 2008

Nicotine is a drug found naturally in tobacco. It is highly addictive — as addictive as heroin or cocaine. Nicotine produces pleasant feelings that make the smoker want to smoke more. It also acts as a kind of depressant by interfering with the flow of information between nerve cells. When smokers try to cut back or quit, the lack of nicotine leads to withdrawal symptoms.

About half of all smokers who keep smoking will end up dying from a smoking-related illness. Nearly everyone knows that smoking can cause lung cancer, but few people realize it is also a risk factor for many other kinds of cancer too, including cancer of the mouth, voice box (larynx), throat (pharynx), esophagus, bladder, kidney, pancreas, cervix, stomach, and some leukemias.

 And make not your own hands contribute to your destruction. Surah Al-Baqara 2: 195 

Do Muslims Smoke?

September 24, 2008

CAN’T STOP?

Tobacco smoking kills 5.4 million people per year. It is big business. Though rates vary, many Muslims smoke— with 50 percent of some populations like the Turkish and Bangladeshis. Muslim women’s rates are also increasing.

Women have some unique risks linked to smoking. Women over 35 who smoke and use birth control pills have a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and blood clots of the legs. Women who smoke are more likely to miscarry (lose the baby) or have a lower birth-weight baby. And low birth-weight babies are more likely to die, or have learning and physical problems.

Most imams will tell you that smoking is haraam.  Even if you believe it is makruh, the amount of money a smoker spends on cigarette smoking in a period of 30 years is calculated to be $200,000 or more. All this money is wasted (not including the money spent on smoker’s health care).  

Allah (SWT) says:  But squander not your wealth in the manner of a spend thrift, verily spendthrifts are brothers of evils.” Surah, Al-Isra, 17: 26, 27

IMANA & MCN LAUNCH NAFIS SALAAM

September 24, 2008

IMANA & MCN ARE PLEASED TO INTRODUCE NEW COMMUNITY EDUCATION PROGRAM
NAFIS SALAAM FOR HEALTHY BREATH
HEALTHY LIFE
 

NEED HELP? This is not easy stuff. Insha’Allah your imam and family will be supportive. But if you need more help breaking this physical habit (and you may) please contact:

Nicotine Anonymous
Toll-free number: 1-877-879-6422
Web site: www.nicotine-anonymous.org

Smokefree.gov
Toll-free number: 1-800-784-8669 (1-800-QUITNOW)
 Web site: www.smokefree.gov

Or call us NAFIS SALAAM 646 251 0402; https://muslimsagainstsmoking.wordpress.com/

 

What does Islam Say about Self-Harm?

September 22, 2008

What Does Your Body Say about Smoking?

September 21, 2008

Smokers Lungs Can’t Breathe

Freedom from Addiction & Compulsion

September 21, 2008
Isn;t this a better Way?

Isn't this a Better Way?

Muslim Consultative Network and Islamic Medical Association of North America joined together to call for Muslims–and all Humanity– to liberate themselves from Tobacco !