A Letter to My Daughter
By Jamaaluddin al-Haidar
In the name of Allah. All praise to Allah. Peace and blessings on the Messenger of Allah.
As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
My dearest daughter,
I choose to send you this letter rather than speak to you because I know you love to receive and reread my e-mails. I am concerned about what I see developing in you and in many of the youth of your generation. This is why I am asking Allah to guide me as I offer you my advice in the following matters.
You should refrain from spending so much of your time on the computer playing silly games and listening to un-Islamic music. They corrupt the heart and soul. They occupy precious space in the mind that should be used for deep thought and contemplation on life and the real issues that affect you as a Muslim.
â€œAllah says: Son of Adam: Fill your time with My worship and I will fill your heart with richness, and end your poverty. But if you do not, I would make your hands completely busy (in worldly affairs) and I would not end your poverty.â€œ (At-Tirmidhi; confirmed to be a strong hadith)
Sheikh Ibn Al-Qayyim once wrote:
Our purpose of existence on earth is more meaningful than being slaves to worldly gains. There can be no meaningful life better than that prescribed by our Creator Allah. Every act done according to Allahâ€™s way is an act of worship.
I want you to make a habit of visiting the following links:
Harun Yayha: Invitation to Truth
Here at these sites, you can learn more about your deen, about Allahâ€˜s creation, and about the world outside the very small circle that you live in. After the Islamic sciences, no other knowledge is more critical to the development of your mind than subjects such as science, geography, history, and world politics. Pay special attention to news articles about Muslims around the world. Focus on and give deep thought to the articles on `ibadah (worship), iman (faith), tarbiyyah (Islamic upbringing and education) and tazkiyya (purification of the heart and soul).
You should also spend time browsing the fatwa databases. The databases contain Islamic rulings and advice from authentic Islamic scholars on issues that come up in the everyday life of Muslims. It is useful because we need to learn the Islamic perspective on these issues according to the Shari`ah. As Muslims, we can seek the advice of scholars on these matters, and this is the only way we can know how to best handle them. In doing so and by acting upon these rulings, we make sincere efforts to guard ourselves from sins and innovations that lead to the Fire.
But always remember that extremism in deen is not the way of Allahâ€˜s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). The believer who takes Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) as an example for living life takes the middle path. As you study and learn new things, you must also beware of arrogance. What you gain in knowledge is not for show. It is not to be used for making a person look or feel less religious or pious than someone else.
Knowledge gained should bring us closer to Allah Most High, for all knowledge has its beginning with Him. Any knowledge that takes you away from the remembrance of Allah Most High is useless knowledge. It is like a ball and chain that you drag along behind you. Itâ€˜s â€œdead weightâ€œ that has no real benefit other than to slow you down and keep you distracted. Itâ€˜s like eating a candy bar. Surely it has some tasty significance, but it weighs you down with calories and has no nutrition. Worse yet, it takes up resources that could be put to better use learning useful knowledge.
I worry about you because you are in the stage of your development where you sometimes neglect doing what you know is right out of fear of how your peers may respond towards you. Never allow the fear of what others may say or think about you sway you from either acquiring knowledge or putting into action what you have previously learned. Fear Allah alone and He will make things right for you in the long run.
[And whoever is careful of (his duty to) Allah, He will make for him an outlet, and give him sustenance from whence he thinks not; and whoever trusts in Allah, He is sufficient for him; surely Allah attains His purpose; Allah indeed has appointed a measure for everything] (At-Talaq 65:2-3)
[if Allah assists you, then there is none that can overcome you, and if He forsakes you, who is there then that can assist you after Him? And on Allah should the believers rely.] (Aal `Imran 3:160)
Remember what I was saying earlier regarding your inability to concentrate, focus, and think through your science homework problem to its logical conclusion? Your brain is like a hard drive in a computer. The computer can get so overrun with useless files that when itâ€˜s called on to handle a complex command, it gets bogged down. In its greediness for collecting useless information and storing it, the computer has misplaced bits of the most essential files in different spaces on the hard drive. These bits need to come together to handle the complex command and allow the computer to function efficiently. The solution is to first get rid of the useless files and then to clean up the hard drive that contains these bits of useful information that are so scattered that they have become fragmented. This is what happens to our minds and hearts. They become overrun with so much useless information (like silly games, un-Islamic songs, ghaybah (backbiting), idle talk, television, and video games) that they need to be purified and de-fragmented.
Iâ€˜ve watched how quickly you pick up on things. Thatâ€˜s why Iâ€˜m confident that if you truly understood the motivation of those who promote and distribute the songs that your generation listens to, the television and movies that they watch, the clothes that they wear, the fads and trends that they follow, and the games that they play, you would easily be able to discern that the motivation is not just to make lots of money. The intentions of these corporations and the people who run them are far more sinister.
Back in the year 1897, a secret document was uncovered. This document was like a blueprint for physically and mentally enslaving masses of people. The author of this document is without a doubt a treacherous enemy of Allah Most High, as well as an enemy to the entire human family. In one section of the document, which is still on display today in the British Museum, it states:
We further distract them with amusements, games, pastimes, passions, peopleâ€™s palaces. â€¦ Soon we shall begin through the press to propose competitions in art, in sport in all kinds: these interests will finally distract their minds from questions in which we should find ourselves compelled to oppose them. Growing more and more unaccustomed to reflect and form any opinions of their own, people will begin to talk in the same tone as we because we alone shall be offering them new directions for thought ... of course through such persons as will not be suspected of solidarity with us. (The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion)
In shaâ€™ Allah, in just a few more days we will be in the year 2006. Letâ€˜s take apart the above quote and examine it with todayâ€˜s context in mind. We will discover just how much Allahâ€˜s enemy has progressed in hoodwinking and enslaving so many of us since this document first surfaced over 100 years ago!
â€œWe further distract them with amusements, games, pastimes, passions, peopleâ€™s palaces.â€
The amusement industry today, which includes the entertainment industry, is so huge that it could easily purchase half of the countries in the world. The misogynistsâ€™ self-gratifying anthems of the day have become â€œyou only live once ... live life to the fullest,â€ without any regard for the hereafter and the consequences of unchecked passions.
Havenâ€™t we come a long way with this fixation with royalty, Life Styles of the Rich & Famous, and MTV Cribs? Gullible youth are foolish to marvel at rappers and hip-hoppers making videos in palaces that they donâ€™t even live in and cars that they donâ€™t drive. Itâ€™s all a fake, a facade of smoke screens and mirrorsâ€”one big lie.
In fact, nearly everything about this pop, hip-hop, and rock culture is fakeâ€”fake hair, fake nails, fake body implants, fake teeth, fake eye colors, and fake symbols of wealthâ€”like designer labels on clothes, shoes, and accessories that were made for pennies on the dollar in nameless sweat shops, with child labor or in slave â€œwelfareâ€ camps scattered across scores of poor, underdeveloped nations. The desperate people of these nations are being blackmailed and pimped by the International Money Fundâ€”forced to work under unbearable conditions to produce the kinds of material goods that are ultimately transformed into icons of status here in the West simply by merit of having a designer label sewn on and a hefty price tag affixed.
All of these fakes serve to fulfill the insatiable desires and passions of the heedless consumers. These are the kind of people who neglect the remembrance of Allah and the grave, while at the same time they crave instant gratification as offered by a world that is only temporaryâ€”a mere second of gratification compared to what potentially awaits them in the hereafter. Like the swine pushing for its place at the hog trough. The hail and rain pelt its back. The thunderstorm clouds loom above. It takes no notice of this; it heeds not the signs and warnings of the approaching danger. It is consumed by its passion for the trinkets of this life.
The gaming industry spends millions of dollars on just one aspect of gamingâ€”how to employ technology to blur the line between games and reality. The realism in video games, especially the titles that are most popular among the youth, is so close to reality that it has produced a generation that is now numb to the blood, gore, and dismembered bodies of war. Is there any wonder why there is such little uproar from the youth at the news of bodies being blown to bits by laser-guided â€œsmartâ€ bombs? We have a generation of couch potatoes who spend hours pushing buttons and blowing people away in these make-believe video game worlds, but who wonâ€™t lift a finger to fight in jihad or even raise a voice in protest when their own people are being massacred and disgraced in the real world. But then, isnâ€™t that the whole purpose? The documentâ€™s author reveals the purpose as he declares
â€œThese interests will finally distract their minds from questions ... growing more and more unaccustomed to reflect and form any opinions of their own.â€
No probing questions, no serious concerns, no opinions on anythingâ€”just give him his Xbox; his Play-station; his iPod; his gas-guzzling sports utility vehicle; his 22-inch rims; his season tickets; his lottery tickets; his second and third mortgage; his purple pill; his blue pill; his drugs; his beer, wine, and liquor; his Starbucks latte; his flat screen TV; his dish with 150 channels; and his remote controlâ€”and then heâ€™ll have no inclination for deep contemplation or reflection on the prevailing issues of the day and what his role is as a Muslim and member of society. Finally, with his subjects spiritually defeated and deeply indebted to his master plan, the enemy of Allah boasts
â€œPeople will begin to talk in the same tone as we because we alone shall be offering them new directions for thought.â€
We have those who call themselves â€œfree Muslimsâ€ who regularly appear alongside neo-fascist talking heads on the neoconservative networks like Fox News, speaking with Muslim names but in the same tone as those who set themselves up as rivals against Allah. Are these folk â€œfree Muslimsâ€ because the rest of us are not? Or are they free because they donâ€™t get arrested based on secret evidence, and detained for years without ever being charged? Or is it simply because theyâ€™re careful to say nothing more than exactly what the rulers want them to say?
â€œOf course through such persons as will not be suspected of solidarity with us.â€
The certain unnamed â€œfree Muslims,â€ orientalists, and neoconservative fascists take their lead from the edicts of certain dubious scholars in full Islamic garb, who issue fatwas that weaken the resolve of the Muslim Ummah and pave the way for more imperialist aggression against the believers.
As I conclude, I again caution you against wasting so much of your time. You should get as much benefit from me as you can now because I may not be with you much longer. No, I am not feeling ill, but itâ€™s that kind of time that we live in today. Allahâ€™s enemy hates to see a strong Muslim father guiding his children with Islamic teachings, training them to think critically, and developing in them a millah (religion) that is conscientious of the cause and effect of what they see happening around them. Seek knowledge, my child, and you will find that it opens many doorsâ€”doors that you never even realized were there before.