As Salaamu Alaykum respected readers. Thank you for picking up the eleventh edition of Islam Here. Once again we are drawing closer to Ramadan and I am sure you are all anticipating its arrival. I remember once stating out loud that I was genuinely excited about the fast and could not wait for it to come, at that moment, a man of knowledge nearby, quickly added, “The fast is excited about you!”

This statement later had a profound impact on me as the fast of Ramadan took on an almost human form. I imagined the fasting during the day as being like a guest who had travelled to come and live with me for a month. As with any guest in my company, my behaviour needed to change, I had to adapt so as not to offend my guest. I could not argue in front of him and I would have to be at my best at all times. I remembered the words of Allah in a Hadith Qudsi, “Every good action of the son of Adam is for him, except fasting which is for Me, and I will assign him a reward for it.” At the end of the month, I would have to say goodbye to the fast.

By this time, the fast had left its mark on me. There was a sadness at the end. The kind of sadness you feel when you depart from good company. But then there is the sighting of the new moon. Sweetness fills the air and a peace settles in. We pay the Fitra, so that the sweetness is shared and beggars will not have to beg on this day. There is the Eid prayer early in the morning. The greeting and hugging of brothers. In a moment, rancorous hearts are mended, wrong doings forgotten. Polished hearts stare blindly at one another unable to hide the smiles within. ‘Eid Mubarak!’ the people shout.

Every year the breakfast after the Eid prayer feels the same, both strange and wonderful. You may eat and drink now, all the while feeling that you could do without. But you must eat, for the fast is over. I recognise now by all of this, that everything has a form, including the one who fasts during Ramadan. Residing at the outskirts of a world experience in flux. When Ramadan ends, so does the form and you return to your previous form but not quite the same. May we all have the openness of heart when Allah sends his esteemed emissary to us. May we recognise this guest of Allah’s when we meet it and may we remember when we have forgotten about it. May the book of Allah be our other companion and may He unlock from it meanings that we act upon. Amin.

From our articles this edition, Parvez Asad Sheikh’s article ‘For Aleppo’ is an opener for us. It is a brilliant and defining piece that allows us, as an Ummah, to look at the Truth about where we are. It shows a common thread shared by the Muslims if not the world. There is a displacement and a lack of imaginable reference. It reveals a deeper crisis hidden under the structural crisis we see starting to show cracks around us. A crisis of Identity. Mr Sheikh remedies this with an inescapable truth. A core truth that exists in us all.

Author Andre Vltchk conducts an interview with a very important man in the Muslim world. Dr Ghassan Abu-Sitta is a pioneer in a new discipline in both Philosophy and Medicine called, The Ecology of War. Specialised in re-constructive surgery and resident at the AUB Medical Centre in Lebanon, the Ecology of War research was born out of the neighbouring conflicts in the region and the thousands sent there wounded and disfigured by war. Dr Ghassan has unearthed a pattern, an ecological phenomenon that has spread throughout the world. He has found that this phenomenon begins with the breaking of the Social contract. It occurs not only in war-ravaged nation states but in the first world and in places where states no longer exist. There is an important conference on the Ecology of War to take place on the 15th of May 2017, with over 300 delegates from various fields ranging from political to medical to find out how to best safeguard the human being beyond the existence of the state. This is the future and we must support Dr Ghassan.

Hajj Abdallah Dutton, lecturer at Dallas College in Cape Town, opens a window into the core of Muslim civilisation by reconnecting us with our chivalric roots. He makes a distinct connection between the age of chivalry experienced in Western Europe with their encounter with the Muslims during the Crusades liberating a dark Europe from the clutches of Vatican Christianity and inspiring an age of creativity like that of the Muslims of that age.

Listen to what was said regarding the celebration of the Mawlid of Nabi Muhammad, sallalahu alyhi wasalam, by Shaykh Abdalqadir As-sufi, teacher of Shaykh Mortada Elboumeshouli, who is head of the Qadiri Shadhili Darqawi Tariqa in Morocco. I hope it may inspire you as it has done with me. “We make no connection to Allah, but we make our connection to Sayyiduna Muhammad, sallalahu alyhi wasalam, and that will take us very, very far. It will take us as far as we need to go. The Muhammadan secret is not a Divine secret, it is your secret (with Allah). It is an Adamic secret because Sayidduna Muhammad, sallalahu alyhi wasalam, is from Sayidduna Adam, alayhi salaam. He is the perfection of the Adamic being. Adam was the first prophet and from him comes Sayidduna Muhammad, sallalahu alyhi wasalam. The genetic, total perfection of the Adamic line is Sayidduna Muhammad, sallalahu alyhi wasalam, and he is the khatam (seal) of the prophets. You are the inheritors of something very ancient, something very big and something very exalted, so you must enjoy it. Qur’an is yours. It is all for you. He brought this message for you. We have a direct connection with Sayidduna Muhammad, sallalahu alyhi wasalam. We are genetically – Adamically – connected to him, intellectually connected, and spiritually connected. We are connected by nafs (self), form and adab (behaviour), because we have taken on his adab, his ibada (form of  worship), his beard, his fasting, his wudu (ablution for purification), his salat (prayer), his hudud (boundaries of action), and a Muhammadan personality.”

Hajj Abdallah Dutton related to me that the King of the Zulus said to him, “The Americans come to my land pursuing their interests, fracking and poisoning the earth. The Muslims come to my land and they build wells for my people to have drinking water.” This is the Muhammadan legacy, and it is for this time in which we live, as in all time until the Day of Days. We make du’a for King Muhammad of Morocco and King Salman of Saudi Arabia. May Allah guide them both. May Allah surround them with men of both inward and outward knowledge. May Allah strengthen them and give them expansion. Amin. For it is these two kingdoms, like pillars, that hold up our world community and without them in this age, there would not be a Muslim World to speak of.

Yours in Islam

Nabeel Abdalhaqq