You, the Butterfly Effect, and Nonlinear Systems

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

In ancient times, people believed that anyone who accomplished something significant was at least partially divine or the offspring of a divine being — unlike the rest of us ordinary people. We ordinary people are not like Galileo or Newton or Einstein or Bach or Beethoven or Brahms. What ordinary people do does not affect the world, so we think. Or so we have been conditioned to think.

Years ago, the man who came to tune my piano saw my picture on the front page of the local newspaper. I was about to perform a Bach concerto with the local orchestra. He said to me, “I didn’t know who you were!” I laughed and replied, “You know who I am. The people who read that article don’t know who I am.” But, on seeing my image in the newspaper he began to think of me as someone other than an ordinary person.

Re-think yourself. What you do affects the world.

In modern times, millions of African people were transported from their own civilized African nations across the ocean to serve the needs of European people. Those European people had fled across the same ocean in order to escape the horrid conditions of their own barbaric nations. Without the help of the African people (enslaved or not), the Europeans would not have been able to settle in the western lands, conquer and exterminate the original inhabitants, build their own powerful nation, develop advanced technology, and conquer the world. All of this was made possible, not by slave labor, but by African labor — because the Africans were the progeny of civilized nations. Neither European servitude nor native servitude could have enabled the emigrants from the failed nations of Europe to accomplish so much.

As a reward for their service, the European (“white”) overlords convinced the offspring of their African slaves that they were inherently inferior beings who were incapable of any noble accomplishment in the world and that any attempt on their part to achieve a noble accomplishment was a criminal act. Virtually all us, we African Americans, have inherited these ideas and believe them consciously and unconsciously in the marrow of our bones. Nothing we do will accomplish anything worthwhile in the world, and it is criminal for us to make such an attempt, or even to think that we might be a Galileo or a Newton or an Einstein or a Bach or a Beethoven or a Brahms. This is what we have been conditioned to think.

We must re-think ourselves. What we do affects the world.

When we learn that Napoleon conquered most of Europe, we should realize that Napoleon conquered nothing. Napoleon sat on his butt (on a horse or a throne) and barked orders. Napoleon and those who followed him conquered most of Europe. What Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and everyone else of any ethnicity, gender, or nationality anywhere in the world accomplished, they accomplished with the help of others.

Einstein, for example, was working as a clerk in the Swiss patent office when he studied and wrote articles proposing answers to problems in physics and astronomy. He sent those articles to professional publications. When physicists and astronomers read those articles, they were impressed. As a result of people reading what he wrote, Einstein became an influential person. Einstein did not suddenly pop up and influence the world. He influenced the world with the help of many other people.

(Young Einstein was three years old before anyone had heard him speak. His parents worried that he might be retarded. One day at dinner, he said — in German, of course — “The soup is too hot.” His astonished parents asked him why he hadn’t spoken before then. Young Einstein replied, “Up until now, everything was fine.”)

Re-think yourself. What you do affects the world.

We African Americans have been conditioned to withhold support, or even to oppose each other’s efforts. We watch Jamaicans from the Caribbean and Guineans from West Africa come into our neighborhoods in the Bronx, in Brooklyn, and in Harlem, and within a few years open up their own businesses. We invent spurious or even insane explanations for how they do in a few years what African Americans have failed to do in three or four generations.

There are major exceptions to this, especially before so-called “integration” (as a result of which we lost many businesses), and also as a result of violent attacks on our people in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1898, and in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921, and in several other locations, as well as the thousands (yes, thousands) of violent expulsions of African Americans from towns and counties throughout the United States in the early 20th century, causing loss of homes, businesses, and land. Self-respect and mutual love require that we come together in the face of what constitutes a state of warfare.

We need thousands of hours of face-to-face (non-electronic) conversation. We need to seek out, respect, and cherish the words of our African American brothers and sisters — especially those ordinary, flawed, living human beings that we encounter in our everyday lives. Beyond the special semi-deified personages that we see or hear in the media. Ordinary people. Let’s talk. Real talk. About our personal lives, our families and family history, as well as about current events, history and the nature of reality. Let’s get real. Honesty and sincerity improve the world. Dishonesty and insincerity undermine society. Sensitivity and compassion are necessary for human life. Insensitivity and lack of compassion destroy society.

We must re-think ourselves. What we do affects the world.

There is a phenomenon called “the butterfly effect” in which one little thing — the breath of air from the flutter of a butterfly’s wing — causes an effect which cascades into a major event, possibly even a hurricane. This results from nonlinear systems being vulnerable to effects disproportionate to the original cause.

You may think that what you write, say, or do is a little thing with little effect. But it may cascade into a phenomenon that overthrows governments and replaces nation with nation. As has been said — “The ink of the scholar is more precious than the blood of the martyr.” (attributed to Muhammad) and “The pen is mightier than the sword.” and “One honest man can overthrow a tyrant.” (attributed to Solzhenitsyn)

My fellow African Americans, I urge you to prepare yourselves to govern this society. It is clearly being governed badly — to the point of self-destruction — by those who currently govern it. We do not need to take over. We do not need revolution. We need reform — yes, we need to begin this process by reforming ourselves. Self-reform is the biggest step — and the crucial step — in proper government.

We need to remember the example of Jonah — and hope and pray that we are living his story — in which Jonah repented and accepted the mission that was given to him, surrendered to the Almighty, and called upon the mighty empire, that had conquered and enslaved his people, to repent, and they repented and were saved from destruction. Unlike the people of Noah, who were destroyed, or the people of Lot, who were destroyed, or the people of Pharaoh, who were destroyed — the people that Jonah was sent to were saved from destruction. We live here. We should pray that this nation, built by the sweat, blood, and tears of our forebears, is not destroyed, and carry out the mission of urging repentance, reform, and salvation.

Even the most evil and powerful nation can be destroyed by a word, by a mere breath of air. Or saved.

Re-think yourself. What you do affects the world.

 

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fatal attraction

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

i’m sitting
on my prayer rug
reciting qur’an

yet another spider
rushing toward me

whap!

subhaan-Allah.

18 Muharram 1440
September 28, 2018

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attraction

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

i live
in a three
bedroom house
with a fly

you’d think
the fly would like
the kitchen or
the bathroom

but no
the fly likes
whatever room
i’m in

 18 Muharram 1440
September 18, 2018

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Allah Speaks

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

Allah speaks. The Qur’an is a book of Allah speaking directly to Muhammad and to other human beings. The Qur’an is not a “thus saith the Lord” book, in which the Almighty is quoted indirectly. In the Qur’an, Allah speaks directly.

Qur’an إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ تَنزِيلًا – 76:23

Yusuf Ali’s version is, “It is We Who have sent down the Qur’an to thee by stages.”

Closer to literal: “Surely, we, we, we caused to come down upon you (Muhammad) the Qur’an coming down.” (The pronoun for “you” is masculine singular and apparently directed at the Prophet.)

This statement is best explained word-by-word.

innaa” consist of the particle “in-” which means “surely” and the pronoun “-naa” which means “we”. This is the “we” of respect — the “royal we” — and is used by Allah to refer to himself alone. Allah makes clear throughout the Qur’an that he is a single being, not plural in any sense.

nahnu” is the pronoun meaning “we”. Obviously, Allah is repeating himself. For emphasis, I assume. Inasmuch as this pronoun comes before the verb, English-speaking people such as myself tend to read it as the subject of the verb. Not so. In Arabic, the doer always follows the verb. Overall, this is a noun sentence, and in a noun sentence the subject of the sentence comes at the beginning. “nahnu” is the subject of the entire following sentence, not the doer (“subject”) of the verb.

nazzalnaa” is the verb of a verbal sentence, with the pronoun “-naa” (“we”) attached. Thus, the doer is following the verb. This means “we sent down.” The verb “nazzal” means “to cause to come down.” From “nazzalnaa” to the end is the verbal sentence contained within a noun sentence. In Arabic, one sentence often encloses another sentence. They do not necessarily (as is the case here) have the same subject or doer. This is a verb sentence (starting with “nazzalnaa“) enclosed in a noun sentence (starting with “nahnu“). In turn, this noun sentence could be described as being enclosed within another noun sentence, which begins with “innaa.”

English can never be a simple translation of Arabic.

‘alaika” means “upon you” — the “you” (“-ka“), in this case, being masculine singular. Except in pseudo-religious language, English has lost the use of “thee” and “thou” (singular) and “ye” (plural). Arabic has at least ten different words (whose meanings are easily distinguishable) for the English word “you” — “anta” or “-ka” (masculine singular), “anti” or “-ki” (feminine singular), “antumaa” or “-kumaa” (dual, any combination of masculine and feminine), “antum” or “-kum” (masculine plural, or a combination of masculine and feminine), “antunna” or “-kunna” (feminine plural). The forms beginning with a hyphen are attached either to a verb or, as in this case, to a particle (“‘alaa-“). Much of the Qur’an is addressed directly from Allah to Muhammad. Therefore, the singular pronoun for “you” — (“-ka“) — is used. Using “thee” is misleading, because there is nothing archaic or “religious” about using the singular pronoun for “you” in Arabic.

al-Qur’an” is (of course) the Qur’an. Allah uses the verb “nazzal” to describe how he sends the Qur’an to Muhammad in the same way that he uses “nazzal” to describe how he sends water from the sky. (“Maaaa’um min-as-samaaaa‘” is a frequent expression in the Qur’an — “water from the sky” captures neither the sound nor the deeper meaning.)

tanzeelaa” is a different form of the word “nazzal.” “tanzeelaa” means “coming down.” In the Qur’an, Allah often uses different forms of the same word in the same statement. This is just not our style in English. We would not say, “He ran off, running” — but that is a common form of statement in the Qur’an. It might be considered a form of emphasis, but it also has a flavor which we tend to avoid in English prose.

There is no way to translate this simple Arabic statement into English.

First, we have the triple emphasis of “we we we” (‘innaa” — “surely we” — and “nahnu” — “we” — and “nazzalnaa” — “we sent down”) at the beginning. Then we have the use of a pronoun (“-ka” — the masculine singular for “you”) which is absent from English. We also have the use of the word “qur’an” — a word with a clear and simple Arabic meaning, but for which there is no English equivalent. And finally, the use of the word “tanzeelaa” which cannot properly be incorporated into an English translation without sounding strange.

But, the most important aspect of this statement is that it is directly from Allah to his servant, his prophet, his messenger, Muhammad. Neither Muhammad nor anyone else but Allah is speaking here.

Allah speaks.

 

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The Clear, Magnificent, Wise, Glorious, Noble, Amazing, Arabic Qur’an

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

Allah, the Most High, Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, Master of all that exists, calls the Qur’an many things. In the pages of the Qur’an, you will find the following:

Qur’an قُرْآنٍ مُّبِينٍ – 15:1

Qur’an قُرْآنٌ مُّبِينٌ – 36:69

  • a clear qur’an

Qur’an الْقُرْآنَ الْعَظِيمَ – 15:87

  • the Magnificent Qur’an

Qur’an الْقُرْآنِ الْحَكِيمِ – 36:2

  • the Wise Qur’an

Qur’an الْقُرْآنِ الْمَجِيدِ – 50:1

  • the Glorious Qur’an

Qur’an قُرْآنٌ مَّجِيدٌ – 85:21

  • a glorious qur’an

Qur’an قُرْآنٌ كَرِيمٌ – 56:77

  • a generous qur’an

Qur’an قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا – 12:2

Qur’an قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا – 20:113

Qur’an قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا – 39:28

Qur’an قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا – 41:3

Qur’an قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا – 42:7

Qur’an قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا – 43:3

  • an Arabic qur’an

Qur’an قُرْآنًا عَجَبًا – 72:1

  • an amazing qur’an

Allah also calls the Qur’an:

  • the Imam
  • the Light
  • the Guide
  • the Mercy
  • the Book

To my knowledge, Allah never calls the Qur’an “the Holy Qur’an”.

(This is a work in progress. More later.)

 

 

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walking the phoniness walk

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

(The Prophet said that our way of life, Islam, is sincerity.)

you say your way of life
is sincerity
but you
walk the phoniness walk

not only in physical mannerisms
but how you talk
and what you say

so deeply habitual
you don’t know
if
you are lying

sincerity has come to mean
its opposite

 6 Muharram 1440
September 16, 2018

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The People of Qaaroon

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

إِنَّ قَارُونَ كَانَ مِن قَوْمِ مُوسَىٰ فَبَغَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ ۖ وَآتَيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْكُنُوزِ مَا إِنَّ مَفَاتِحَهُ لَتَنُوءُ بِالْعُصْبَةِ أُولِي الْقُوَّةِ إِذْ قَالَ لَهُ قَوْمُهُ لَا تَفْرَحْ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْفَرِحِينَ

وَابْتَغِ فِيمَا آتَاكَ اللَّهُ الدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ ۖ وَلَا تَنسَ نَصِيبَكَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَأَحْسِن كَمَا أَحْسَنَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ ۖ وَلَا تَبْغِ الْفَسَادَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُفْسِدِينَ

قَالَ إِنَّمَا أُوتِيتُهُ عَلَىٰ عِلْمٍ عِندِي ۚ أَوَلَمْ يَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ أَهْلَكَ مِن قَبْلِهِ مِنَ الْقُرُونِ مَنْ هُوَ أَشَدُّ مِنْهُ قُوَّةً وَأَكْثَرُ جَمْعًا ۚ وَلَا يُسْأَلُ عَن ذُنُوبِهِمُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ

فَخَرَجَ عَلَىٰ قَوْمِهِ فِي زِينَتِهِ ۖ قَالَ الَّذِينَ يُرِيدُونَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا يَا لَيْتَ لَنَا مِثْلَ مَا أُوتِيَ قَارُونُ إِنَّهُ لَذُو حَظٍّ عَظِيمٍ

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ وَيْلَكُمْ ثَوَابُ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لِّمَنْ آمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا وَلَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا الصَّابِرُونَ

 Qur’an 28:76-80

76 — Qarun was doubtless, of the people of Moses; but he acted insolently towards them: such were the treasures We had bestowed on him that their very keys would have been a burden to a body of strong men, behold, his people said to him: “Exult not, for Allah loveth not those who exult (in riches).

77 — “But seek, with the (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on thee, the Home of the Hereafter, nor forget thy portion in this world: but do thou good, as Allah has been good to thee, and seek not (occasions for) mischief in the land: for Allah loves not those who do mischief.”

78 — He said: “This has been given to me because of a certain knowledge which I have.” Did he not know that Allah had destroyed, before him, (whole) generations,- which were superior to him in strength and greater in the amount (of riches) they had collected? but the wicked are not called (immediately) to account for their sins.

79 — So he went forth among his people in the (pride of his wordly) glitter. Said those whose aim is the Life of this World: “Oh! that we had the like of what Qarun has got! for he is truly a lord of mighty good fortune!”

80 — But those who had been granted (true) knowledge said: “Alas for you! The reward of Allah (in the Hereafter) is best for those who believe and work righteousness: but this none shall attain, save those who steadfastly persevere (in good).”

(Yusuf Ali version)

C. Eric Lincoln, in his book about Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam, The Black Muslims in America, said that most of its members had middle-class aspirations. When I first read this, I was offended. Its implications were obvious, that most of the members of the Nation of Islam did not believe what Elijah Muhammad was teaching. I thought this was not true, but I was wrong.

Elijah Muhammad was teaching us that America was evil and would be destroyed. Most of those who heard those words and publicly applauded them, did not believe them. They wanted the comforts of America, used the Nation of Islam as a means of obtaining those comforts, and neither hoped nor expected America to be destroyed.

Most of those who had claimed to follow Elijah Muhammad stayed with the Nation of Islam and accepted his son, Warith Deen Mohammed (known as Wallace D. Muhammad, at the time), as their leader. Just as they claimed to believe the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, they then claimed to believe W.D. Mohammed when he told them that much of what Elijah Muhammad taught them was untrue and that they need to abandon those teachings and embrace the Qur’an and the leadership of Prophet Muhammad (who lived 14 centuries ago in Arabia). As best I can tell, most of those who claim to follow W.D. Mohammed follow him just as they followed his father — seeking the wealth and comfort of American life, while claiming to follow leadership which is just a cover for their real aspirations.

If they are actually following the leadership of W.D. Mohammad, they would have learned to read/recite the Qur’an decades ago. Instead, they find excuses. They are like the people who envied Qaroon. “Oh, if we only had what Qaroon has!” And so, they spend 40 years — more than an entire generation — pursuing the wealth and comforts of an evil nation.

Moses said Let my people go! — not Let my people in!

 

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Pollution, Climate Change, and Capitalism — Allah Speaks

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

Corruption has appeared in the land and the sea by what the hands of human  beings have earned so that he (Allah) may cause them to taste part of what they have done, so that perhaps they will turn back.

Qur’an 30:41 (Ar-Ruum)

Recently, upon reading/reciting this ayah once again, I thought of pollution, climate change, and capitalism.

More and more, with every reading/recital, I find that the Arabic word (in this instance, “fasaad“) conveys something which the English word (“corruption”) does not convey, but instead conveys other meanings and connotations. I am learning the meanings and connotations of words in the Qur’an from their usages in various contexts in the Qur’an. Eventually, I come to have the meanings in Arabic in my heart and mind. Having English translations obviously — obviously — does not do that. English-speaking Americans — including African Americans — seem to be convinced that in order to mean something, words must mean something in English. There are numerous words in the Qur’an which have no English counterpart. Not technical terms. Common words — “nafs” — “falaah” — “qur’aan” — which, upon being given English “translations”, we think we know what they mean. It is better to realize that we don’t know, than to think that we do know, when we don’t know.

Every ayah in the Qur’an has more than one meaning. My understanding of it — this interpretation — is just one possible meaning.

Those human beings who have come to dominate the world over the last five or six centuries have polluted the land and the sea, brought about climate change which is becoming catastrophic, and exterminated many species of living creatures as well as many millions of human beings. All of this because they are greedy. What is happening is a recompense for only part of what they have done. They need to turn back, before it is too late.

 

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Catastrophe: Not “If” — “When”

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

The Overwhelming Catastrophe

فَإِذَا جَاءَتِ الطَّامَّةُ الْكُبْرَىٰ –

يَوْمَ يَتَذَكَّرُ الْإِنسَانُ مَا سَعَىٰ –

وَبُرِّزَتِ الْجَحِيمُ لِمَن يَرَىٰ –

فَأَمَّا مَن طَغَىٰ –

وَآثَرَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا –

فَإِنَّ الْجَحِيمَ هِيَ الْمَأْوَىٰ –

وَأَمَّا مَنْ خَافَ مَقَامَ رَبِّهِ وَنَهَى النَّفْسَ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ –

فَإِنَّ الْجَنَّةَ هِيَ الْمَأْوَىٰ

And so, when the overwhelming catastrophe comes, (34)

on that day the human being will remember what he struggled for, (35)

and hell-fire is brought forward for one to see — (36)

and so for the one who transgressed (37)

and preferred the life of the world, (38)

therefore, surely, hell-fire is the destination; (39)

and for the one who feared standing before his master and denied himself the desires, (40)

therefore, surely, the garden of paradise is the destination. (41)

Qur’an 79:34-41 (An-Naai`aat)


Allah is telling us that “the overwhelming catastrophe” is coming.

This is not an “if” — it is a “when”.

And — it is a “when” that is delivered to us in gorgeous, symmetrical, poetic, symphonic, rhythmic language.

The mathematical symmetry of the Qur’an, the symphonic construction, the poetry, and the moral injunctions laid upon us by Allah are inseparable.


If you are not reading the “wa-” and “fa-” in this passage, you are missing the point.

Even more so: in the 37th soorah, aayaat 1-3; in the 51st soorah, aayaat 1-4; in the 77th soorah, aayaat 1-5; in the 79th soorah (source of the above passage), aayaat 1-5; and in the 100th soorah, aayaat 1-5 — there is a variation in the mathematical symmetry of “wa-” and “fa-” from the first of these five suwar (#37) to the last (#100).

Whatever the verbal meanings of these passages, they inculcate a sense of the mathematical symmetry in the moral workings of the society.

(And the rhythm of these passages is a rhythm fundamental to much African and African American music, and which was brought to Europe from the Moors, in the form of the sarabande, and from the African captives in Cuba, in the form of the chaconne.)


The particle “wa-” simply means “and”. (Going from Arabic to English is never so simple, but I will leave out the subtle differences.) If I say “you and me” using “wa-,” I could reverse it and say “me and you” without changing the basic meaning. “Wa-” does not imply order of occurrence. (The hyphen indicates that is it connected to the following word, in the same way that “re-” is connected to “write” in “rewrite”.)

The particle “fa-” also means “and” — but it indicates order of occurrence. If you say “you and me” using “fa-“, reversing the order to “me and you” would change the meaning. It is as if you said “you and then me”. This is not the same as saying “me and then you”. In addition, “fa-” implies consequence. In the above passage, aayaat 34, 37, 39, and 41 begin with “fa-” — which I have translated as “and so” (in 34 and 37) and “therefore” (39 and 41). (Aayaat 36, 38, and 40 begin with “wa-.”)

In the preceding passage — aayaat 27 to 33 — Allah reminds us of his awesome power and his blessings. The “fa-” at the beginning of ayat 36 implies not only sequence, but consequence. It is possible to interpret this otherwise — and translate it accordingly (for example, translating the initial “fa-” in ayat 34 as “but,” which I have seen, and with which I strongly disagree). What is important is that “fa-” definitely does not mean “if”.


“When” — not “if”

Allah is telling us that “the greatest catastrophe” — “al-kubraa” means “biggest” or “greatest” (which is the King James Bible word for “biggest”), being the feminine form of “al-akbar” — the greatest catastrophe is coming. This is not an “if” — it is a “when”.

The overwhelming catastrophe is coming. We will see hell-fire. For those who transgress, and prefer the life of this world, the hell-fire will be their destination. For those who fear standing before Allah, and restrain themselves from what they prefer, the garden of paradise will be their destination.

I live by this.

I have terrible desires. And I have suffered in this society and within myself from the extremely painful stigma of having desires that are condemned by people who consider themselves righteous.

But when I recite this passage, I feel — to use the Christian word — I feel redeemed. Allah has promised me that when I restrain myself from doing what I feel the desire to do — because I fear standing in the presence of Allah (not because I am afraid of what people think) — in ayat 41 of the 79th soorah, Allah himself has promised me paradise:

fa-” (therefore)

inna” (surely)

al-jannah” (the garden of paradise)

hiy-al-ma’waa” (that is the destination)

After a lifetime of living in shame because I have “bad desires”, this promise from Allah himself is an awesome blessing.

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Music of the Moors

1                   Ancient Egypt and Greece

  • Music in Ancient Egypt
  • The Muses → music (“Thoth used music to create the world.”)
  • Greece: a student of Egypt
  • Tekhne Mousike: Greek Drama, So-Called (and the disintegration of music)

2                   Early Medieval Europe

  • Plainchant and scripture (from Qur’an?)
  • Charlemagne and Haroun ar-Rasheed (Charlemagne’s request for music teachers)

3                   Muslim Civilization and the Moors in Spain

  • The Influence of Muslims on European Development
  • 711-1492: The Moors in Spain
  • Henry George Farmer’s The Arabian Influence on Musical Theory
  • Julian Ribera’s Music in Ancient Arabia and Spain

4                   Africans in America: Their Influence on European Classical Music

  • African Music in the Americas
  • African-American Music
  • Afro-Latin Music

5                   The Symphonic Tradition in Europe, 17th through 20th Centuries

  • the chaconne (originally an Afro-Cuban dance: Jahnheinz Jahn, Muntu)
  • the Turkish march (African musicians; observed by African Americans in Europe during and after World War I; marching band tradition brought home to HBCUs)
  • the habanera (and other Afro-Latin dances)
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