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Archive for September, 2014

This morning on my way to work from the airport I was picked up by a Pakistani driver. Having had an uneventful flight I was settling in for an equally uneventful ride to work in the dreary Sydney rain when this happened:

Driver (D) – Shafeen (pronounced properly).. is that an arabic name?
Me (M) – No it’s actually Persian
D- What does it mean?
M – it is derived from the arabic word Shifa which means health and well being. It was also one of the names of the Prophet Muhammed (SAW)
D – Ah yes and it is one of the names of God. Al Shafee, giver of health.
M – Yes.
(slight pause)
D – So are you Persian?
M – no. I am from Bangladesh, my parent just liked the name
D – Good Good. It is good to see a nice Muslim girl in hijab with such a nice name. That is your identity. Don’t lose it. Without your identity you will become lost.
M – Ok. Thank you
D – You know I have been in Australia a long time. I have seen many young like you trying to fit into western culture and lose their identity and you know it makes them lost. They don’t know who they are or what their purpose or identity in life is. You people these days they want to fit in to australian culture and they lose their identity you know? They don’t know what is Islam and what is religion and they have no values.
M – yeah. True
D – I pick up many people and have these conversations with them. You know I once picked up two girls and they were saying that Muslims and immigrants don’t assimilate and they don’t have any values and they shouldn’t be here so I asked them, may I Ask you a question? And they said yeah sure. OS I say to them you know I have been in Australia since before you were born most likely. I am a Muslim and an Immigrant. Can you tell me what values I do not have? What am I doing wrong? Is there any values I am missing out on? And they couldn’t tell me. They looked at each other. Because they do not know what values they are talking about. It is just a word in the media.

M – Very true. It’s scary how much the media influences people

D – And these people are very ignorant you know and they make judgements based on the media. They do not know islam.

M – Right. And they say ‘oh you are ok. We know you I am talking about other muslims and immigrants’. Well which other muslims and immigrants? Who are the ‘other?’ and why do you hate them without knowing them?

D – Because the media you know. The media is making australian culture very dangerous. I drove a chinese doctor before you. And he told me religion was the cause of all the evil in the world. And I said Religion is not evil. People who use religion are evil. All religion preach peace. But politicians and people in power misuse religion to cause fear and hate.

M – That’s very true.

D- I have a regular customer and he tells me he is Atheist. I say Why? And he said because it is enough to be a good person. But I ask him how do you know what is a good person? Where do your values come from to teach you what is good and bad? he tells me his parents taught him his values. I said who taught your parents? He said his grandparents. Well who taught them? If you go back and study enough far back you will see it is from religion. You see here we are stopped at a traffic light. How do I know to stop? How do I know what the other car will do? Because we all learnt and follow the same rules. I do not know her crossing the street or that man in that car truning left but I know the rules and I know what they will do based on those rules. Religion, Islam. Is a rule book. How come you don’t drive without rules and yet you want to run your whole life without a rule book? Your relationships, your jobs and everything. Without rules? No.

M – I agree!

D – Most people don’t have any value or any religion because they follow culture and culture is changing all the time. You know some christians who I talk to about religion I say to them, I am more christian than you. How they say well Because I believe in Jesus. I follow what he taught. I don’t drink, I don’t eat pork. You know some of the christians in Pakistan do not drink or eat pork? Because they follow the old testament.

M – Oh wow. I didn’t know that.

D – Yeah. So peoples values are being lost because they don’t follow a religion. They say religion is bad. Islam is bad. But you know this Centrelink is from Islam? You know this Deparment of housing is from Islam?

M – How so?

D – Centrelink. The idea of helping out fellow members of society came from the prophet and was mandated by Hazrat Umar. Department of housing… the concept of giving the poor people place to stay was by Abu Bakr RA. The justice system.. its all from Islam.  Our prophet SAW…

M – SAW

D – … was recognised as one of the finest lawmakers in history. You know? There is a plaque in America? You cannot deny history. The west has a system that works because it is from Islam and they uphold it. But their people are not Muslims. And Muslim countries do not have a just system because they do not follow islam but they call themselves muslims.

M – So true.

D – you know NO country in the world is a sharia law country?

M – Yes

D – NO country. Not even Saudi Arabia

M – Especially not Saudi Arabia.

D – They are just puppets you know. Did you know the royalty in Saudia now are actually from jewish family? Yeah. The original holders of the key of haram, from the quraysh tribe. They are still in Makkah but the keys have been taken from them. And in their place is this royal family that say words to sound like muslims but their actions, from their actions you can see they are not acting in the best interest of Muslims. They work with the America to keep Muslims down. They spent so much money to take down Morsi, to make sure the Muslim brotherhood doesn’t have power. Why? Because  if they do then it will threaten them and their royalty. And that’s all they want. Money and power.

M – Yes. That’s very true.

D – This is why I live in Australia. It is a very good country. We have a system that follows Islamic law and allows us to practice Islam. Islam is the kind of religion where a book dictates the actions of millions of people. You know something? Every year 250 people die because they are drunk and on the roads. Every year. 250 people. But you don’t hear about it. Because the people making alcohol pay good money to the government doesn’t publicise it. Why? If tomorrow there was a law to not drink alcohol how many people will follow it? Most people will drink in hiding or even break the law in the face of fines or jail. Because they are addicted. The culture is so strong that they lose their values. And yet no one tells muslims you cannot drink. There is no fine, no jail time. Just words in a book and yet we all follow it. Because it is a system that works. And that is the beauty of Islam.

M – Very true.

There was more… where he asked me what I studied and what I do but he ended with…

D – Culture always changes. It is very influential. Today fashion says wear this and culture adopts it. Tomorrow that. But you in hijab are protected from that. So keep it up. I have a friend who was offered a good job you know, but it meant taking off her hijab and she did it. It’s a test. If you pass the test and build patience it firms your belief in God. Yakeen you know? Knowledge and Faith. Read was the first word said to our Prophet from God via Angel Gibrael. Not just for men or woman or muslim or non muslims but everyone. SO keep up your job and your hijab and don’t lose your identity. You are a good girl. Congratulate your parents on raising a good child.

M – Thank you for a very enlightening and enjoyable conversation. Please keep me in your prayers.

What an amazing man. So full of knowledge. Please spare a moment to pray for him and his Family. May God guide them to righteousness.

 

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