Available Now: Tell Me About God

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How do I imagine this book will be used? I imagine that it is bedtime in a dimly lit room. A parent sits while a child lies in their cozy bed. The child looks into the parent’s eyes while the parent glances down from the book Tell Me About God. The child remembers these bedtime readings for the rest of their life.

Tell Me About God was published to help parents bond with their children by reflecting on God. I hope this book provides you with years of family enjoyment.

The people are stronger than ever (Quran 59:13-15)

Are not the people weaker and more vulnerable than ever under this current President and Congress?

“Truthfully, you are stronger because of the fear in their hearts sent by God. This is because they are people void of understanding.” (59:13)

“They will not even fight you together, except in a fortified town, or from behind walls. Strong is their fighting among themselves. You would think they were united, but their hearts are divided. That is because they are a people devoid of wisdom,” (59:14)

“Like those of late. They have tasted the harmful result of their conduct, and for them is a terrible penalty. (59:15)

The arrogant ones will even oppress their supporters (Quran 34:32-39)

Here is what came to mind the last time I read these verses:

The arrogant ones (like the Trump administration and the leaders who support him) will say to those who had been oppressed (the Americans who support the worst leaders although their policies are oppressing them), “Was it we who kept you back from (President Obama’s) guidance after it reached you? No, rather it was you who transgressed.” 32

Those (Americans) who had been oppressed will say to the arrogant ones, “No, it was a plot of yours by day and by night. Behold, you constantly ordered us to be ungrateful to God (by hoarding the nation’s wealth, etc.) and to attribute equals to Him (by blindly following the worst of leaders).” They will declare repentance when they see the penalty. We will put (socioeconomic)) chains on the necks of the unbelievers (those who didn’t believe in doing the right thing). It would only be punishment for their deeds. 33

Never did We send a warner (like President Obama) to a population but the elites (like President Trump) among them said, “We do not believe in the message with which you have been sent.” 34

They (President Trump and them) said, “We have more in wealth and in sons, and we cannot be punished.” 35

Say, “Indeed my Lord enlarges and restricts the provision to whom He pleases, but most people do not understand.” 36

It is neither your wealth nor your sons that will bring you nearer to Us in degree, but only those who believe and work righteousness. These are the ones for whom there is a reward multiplied for their deeds, while they reside secure in the dwellings on high. 37

Those who work against Our signs to cause failure, they will be brought to punishment. 38

Say, “Indeed my Lord enlarges and restricts the sustenance to any of His servants He pleases, and nothing in the least do you give in His cause but He reimburses it, for He is the best of those who grant sustenance. 39

God will not mislead America, 9:115

“And God will not mislead a people after He has guided them, in order that He may make clear to them what to be conscious of, for God has knowledge of all things.” (Quran 9:115)

And God will not mislead America after He has guided them with President Obama, but He will allow them to be lead by President Trump, in order to sear into every nation’s consciousness, how to forever distinguish a good leader from a harmful one, for God has knowledge of all things.

Why we all should take the Ramadan challenge, 2:185

“Ramadan is the month the Quran was revealed as a guide to humanity, as proof, and as the guidance and the criterion. So every one of you who are present during that month should spend it fasting…” 2:185

As quiet as it’s kept, the Quran was revealed to help all of humanity— not just Muslims. One way that we can all benefit from the Quran is to fast during the month of Ramadan. And while certainly any month would do, Ramadan is a good month to break bad habits and develop good ones because we have 1.6 billion people in our Ramadan “support group.”

“[A]nd eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from its black thread, then continue to fast until night…” 2:187

If the Creator wanted everyone to fast like Muslims then He could have simply said do not eat or drink from dawn to sunset. Instead, the verses that tell us how to fast (e.g., 2:187 above) are revealed in figurative (e.g., night)terms that force us to determine for ourselves how God wants us to fast.*

“O you who believe, fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you might increase in consciousness and awareness.” 2:183

But I think that we can all agree that we should try to be as good as possible during the month of Ramadan in order to make good habits and break bad ones.

So what would the perfect month look like to you?

Someone might say, “I would love to use Ramadan to adopt a healthier lifestyle, but don’t I have to refrain from food and drink during the daylight hours?”

It is pretty hard to develop a healthy lifestyle when you refrain from eating or drinking anything during the daylight hours and perhaps this is why God did not command it (especially when we spurge at night). However, completely refraining from harmful foods for the entire month will help everyone decrease preventable illnesses that can lead to preventable deaths. The book Food Rules is what I use every Ramadan to get me back into the habit of eating right.

Refraining from other harmful activities can be just as important for developing a mentally and spiritually healthy life. Fasting from things like selfishness, anger, greed or meanness.

Why not also use this month to work on developing good habits like eating nothing but healthy food, not overeating, drinking plenty of water, getting sufficient exercise, and sleeping soundly.

But wait, why stop there?

Why not channel the energy spent on bad habits towards making ourselves and the world better? For example, we can work on our patience, our charitable giving, our budgets and life planning, and cultural evolution and refinement like eating meals with family, friends, or even foes.

If everyone observes Ramadan and uses it to break bad habits and develop good ones, the world we will suddenly be a far better place.

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*Some might propose that God did not tell us to fast from dawn to sunset because He wanted to leave the explanation up to Muhammad the Prophet. But if the reason God leaves some topics open to interpretation is to allow Muhammad to interpret them for us then why does God refuse Muhammad the opportunity to interpret and expound on many other topics like inheritance, dietary restrictions, or incest prohibitions? I think that God leaves subject matters like fasting open to interpretation because He wants us to use the guidance to address our individual and unique needs.

President Trump does not threaten national security– much


“How should I fear the beings you associate with God, when you fear not to give partners to God without any warrant having been given to you? Which of us two parties has more right to security? Tell me, if ye know.” -6:81 

In 2015, President Obama pointed to eight top strategic risks to our interests in his National Security Strategy report . I see no realistic way President Trump can directly or indirectly trigger any of them:

  • Catastrophic attack on the U.S. homeland or critical infrastructure;

Unless you subscribe to the conspiracy theory that President Bush knocked down the towers (which I don’t), and that the entire intelligence community let it happen and would let Trump do something similar, then we can take this one off the table.

  • Threats or attacks against U.S. citizens abroad and our allies;
  • Global economic crisis or widespread economic slowdown;

I don’t see how a president can manage this in four years.

  • Proliferation and/or use of weapons of mass destruction;

Mutually assured destruction still checks all governments. Non-state actors want the bomb no matter who our president is.

  • Severe global infectious disease outbreaks;
  • Climate change;
  •  Major energy market disruptions; and
  • Significant security consequences associated with weak or failing states (including mass atrocities, regional spillover, and transnational organized crime).

If President Trump retreats from these possible events, our interests will be threatened but not our homeland.

They said: “We have had nothing but trouble, both before and after you came to us.” He said: “It may be that your Lord will destroy your enemy and make you inheritors in the earth; so that He may try you by your deeds.” – 7:129 

 

President Trump and the Quran

Surah Eighteen

On that day We will leave them to surge like waves on one another. The trump* will be blown, and We will gather them all together. 99

*The word trump is an archaic term for trumpet 

Crowds of all kind will converge on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration of the 45th President if the United States.

Surah Twenty

The day the trump will be sounded. That day, We will gather the sinful, blurry-eyed. 102

On Inauguration Day –and beyond– the Republicans who created Trump will have a hard time understanding what’s happening. They, perhaps more than anyone, will not be able to believe their eyes.

In whispers will they consult each other, “Yet they will stay no longer than ten. 103

The best Republicans will turn against him within ten months. The worst Republicans will be out of office within ten years.

We know best what they will say, when their leader best in conduct says, “You stayed not longer than a day.” 104

The Republican minority leaders in the House and the Senate will (hopefully) admonish those congress people who are left and bring them closer to the center.

They ask you concerning the mountains say, “My Lord will uproot them and scatter them as dust.” 105

I think of the mountains as the leaders of nations, not the nations themselves.

He will leave them flat. 106

Creating more room for self-governing as well as a more level playing field.

Nothing crooked or curved will you see in their place. 107

Soon even Trump supporters will want to throw the crooks out and voters will look for leaders that remind them of President Obama.

On that day they will follow the caller. No crookedness concerning him either. All sounds will humble themselves in the presence of God, the Merciful Benefactor. Nothing will you hear but the sound of their feet. 108

President Obama called the nation to Al-Islam (not Islam). All policy that doesn’t make sense will be considered noise and ineffective policy makers will be sent home.

Surah Twenty-Three

Then when the trump is blown, there will be no more relationships between them that day, nor will they ask about each other. 101

I suspect we will see something of a political civil war among the Republicans. Democrats should stay out of it. But rather organize and polish our political platform.

Surah Twenty-Seven

And the day that the trump will be sounded, terrified will be those who are in the sky, and those who are on earth, except who God wills to save, and all will come to His presence as beings conscious of their vulnerabilities. 87

Those with sacred concerns and those with profane concerns will all have reason to be fret— except those who God wills to save. However, I think we all should be grateful that a real Republican didn’t become President. Mr. Trump is a lightweight compared to folks like Ted Cruz or Chris Christy who would have really wreaked havoc on the world. Americans are now more conscious of our vulnerabilities, and we realize that we must stay vigilant.

Surah Thirty-Six

The trump will be sounded, when behold, from their place of rest, people will rush forth to their Lord. 51

They will say, “Woe to us, who has raised us up from our resting place?” This is what God, the Merciful Benefactor, promised. And true was the word of the messengers.” 52

The Republicans are furious that President Trump has brought so much public awareness and outrage to the awful policies they have been pushing for years. Obama woke the American up public, Trump is insuring that we stay up.

Surah Thirty-Nine

The trump will be sounded when all that is in the heavens and on earth will swoon, except those God chooses to exempt. Then a second one will be sounded, when behold, they will be standing and looking on. 68

Few people think Trump will win a second term. I think that the second trump sound represents another braying Republican who will run against Trump in 2020, making it easier for a Democrat to win the Presidency.

And the earth will shine with the glory of its Lord. The record will be placed open, the Prophets and the witnesses will be brought forward, and a just decision pronounced between them, and they will not be wronged. 69

Surah Fifty

And the trump will be blown. That will be the day when warning will be given. 20

And there will come forward every soul. With each will be an angel to drive, and an angel to bear witness. 21

We will at times feel like spectators, but what we see will drive us to action.

It will be said, “You were heedless of this, now We have removed your veil, and sharp is your sight this day.” 22

Few of us can say that we did enough to elect Hillary Clinton. But now everyone clearly sees the importance of civic engagement.

Surah Seventy-Eight

The day the trump will be sounded, and you will come forth in crowds, 18

Some even expect that planned protest rallies will outnumber the inauguration crowds.

And the heavens will be opened as if there were doors, 19

And the mountains will vanish, as if they were a mirage. 20

With the Republicans on their way down and out, new opportunities are opening.

The earth will become even flatter as Thomas Friedman put it in his seminal work The World is Flat. Globalization will provide even greater opportunities for individual empowerment, and will continue to lift millions out of poverty. Even the drawbacks of a flat world–environmental, social, and political, will present new openings.

Finally, when the trump is blown, 74:8- 23, 54-56

Surah Seventy-Four

Finally, when the trump is blown, 8

That day, will be a day of distress, 9

Far from easy for those without faith. 10

Leave Me alone with those that I alone created. 11

To whom I granted resources in abundance, 12

And children to be by his side. 13

To whom I made life smooth and comfortable. 14

Yet he is greedy. Should I add even more? 15

By no mean, because to Our signs he has been rebellious. 16

Soon I will visit him with a mount of disasters, 17

For he thought and he plotted, 18

Oh, how he plotted. 19

Yes, woe to him, how he plotted. 20

Then he looked around, 21

Then he frowned and he scowled, 22

Then he turned back and was arrogant, 23

No, indeed it is a reminder. 54

Let any who wills keep it in remembrance. 55

But none will keep it in remembrance except as God wills. He is the Lord of righteousness, and the Lord of forgiveness. 56

The day the trump will be blown, 69:1-29

Surah Sixty-Nine

Then, when a single blast is blown into the trump, 1

The word trump is an archaic term for trumpet.

So, when political turbulence and complexity blows the mind of the new President– conflict, confusion, and noise will fill him. 

And the earth and its mountains are moved, and they are crushed with a single pound.

Some nations and/or their leaders will have a crush on Trump, an intense but brief infatuation. Others will be crushed, having feelings of overwhelming disappointment and embarrassment,

On that day will the event come to pass. 15

The election of an unpopular Republican President, the decline of the Republican Party, and a huge turnout in 2020 for the Democrats (deja vu of the unpopular President Bush and the election of Obama and a Democratic majority Congress (perhaps 2024 to retake Congress because of Redistricting)) .

And the sky will be torn, for it will be flimsy that day, 16

Though high-minded, many will be torn and ambivalent. They will wonder, should we imagine him failing, or would we rather he succeed.

And the angels will be on its sides, and eight will that day, bear the throne of your Lord above them. 17

Both Angels and civil servants are public servants. Non-partisan government employees will be on edge. The eight Supreme Court Justices will sit there –incomplete –feeling the weight of the bench that day.

That day you will be brought to judgment. Not an act of yours that you hide will be hidden. 18

What role did each of us play in the election of Donald Trump?

Then he, who will be given his record in his right hand will say, “Ah here, read my record. 19

President Obama will be there that day.

“I indeed understood that my account would reach me.” 20

Appropriate words for President Obama 

And he will be in a life of bliss, 21

In a garden on high, 22

Fruits hanging low and near. 23

“Eat and drink with full satisfaction, because of that which you sent before you, in days gone by.” 24

An appropriate reward for President Obama

And he who will be given his record in his left hand will say, “I wish that my record had not been given to me. 25

“And that I had never realized how my account stood. 26

“I wish that death had been the end of me. 27

“Of no profit to me is my wealth. 28

“My power has vanished from me.” 29

Power to the people.

Trump forces shotgun wedding between pseudo-Independents and the Democratic Party

“O humanity, We created you from a single male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other…” 49:13

One of the meanings of life is to get to know a diverse group of people. Joining the Democratic Party allows us to do that. America experienced the joys of multiculturalism in 2008 as we campaigned for Barack Obama. Now we have the change to experience it again– and as often as we like.

Not so for the Republican Party.

The Republican Party is officially the White Supremacist Party, led by White supremacist, President-Elect Donald J. Trump. The Democratic Party is officially the Multicultural Party, led by President Barack Obama, Donna Brazile, and the Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison.

Fair-minded, White Republicans must now join the Democratic Party or be left without a date to the prom. And it is past time for non-Republican, decent Whites, and for minorities to stop the one-night stands with the Democratic Party every four years and go ahead and put a ring on it.

Join the Democratic Party— the Party for Everyone.

“Humankind was once one nation. And God sent messengers with good news and warnings, and with them He sent the Book in truth, to judge between the people in matters wherein they differed…” 2:213

The Trump problem will take care of itself– Redistricting Reform will not.

“Say, “O God, the Lord, the Powerful, You give power to whom You please, and You strip power from whom You please. You honor whom You please, and You bring down whom You please. In Your Hand is all that is good. Indeed, over all things You have power.” 3:26

The President-Elect Trump problem will take care of itself because he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

If he does the dumb things he claims he will do then voters will get angry (and scared) enough to actually turn out in 2020– like they did in 2008. But if he doesn’t do the things he has promised then he will lose the support of those who voted for him. So the Trump problem will take care of itself.

But Redistricting Reform will not.

And that is why President Obama’s post-presidency political focus is Redistricting.

“No, We gave the good things of this life to these people and their fathers, until the period grew long for them. Do they not see that We gradually reduce the land in their control from its outlying borders? Is it then they who will win?” 21:44

Republicans feel that they have to use redistricting to win congressional seats because the demographics of America are changing. In David Daley’s excellent book, Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy“: The True Story Behind The Secret Plan To Steal America’s Democracy, Daley interviews a concerned congressman who plainly describes the problem:

“It is scary. The voter suppression matters. The extraordinary interference in drawing local district lines. The big finance.” Taken together, he says, and as demographics turn against the Republicans, it’s a savvy but dangerous play. “I guess the idea is to stave off for some decades the kind of decline that they would otherwise have. People say it’s a last-ditch strategy. Well, it’s a long last-ditch. It could last for decades.”

True, it could last for decades, but only if we fail to act. Below are solutions found in an excerpt from Daley’s Rat-F**ked book:

“If this problem is going to be solved without Wang’s judicial theorem, it will require creative state and local solutions, inventive uses of the referendum and initiative process, and new alliances of frustrated citizens which defy party boundaries, rooted in the belief that fair elections which reflect an honest majority are as important as which side wins. It will take people to stand up and say that our democratic values matter too deeply to ratf**k.”

President Obama and Eric Holder will soon lead a redistricting campaign. But until then, we should learn as much as possible about this important issue, and a good start is to read or listen to David Daley’s Rat-F**ked book.

“No, We gave the good things of this life to these people and their fathers, until the period grew long for them. Do they not see that We gradually reduce the land in their control from its outlying borders? Is it then they who will win?” 21:44

The Donald: a satirical story about the end of White, male domination 

“Then Moses showed him a great sign. But Pharaoh rejected it and did not follow.
Further, he turned his back, striving hard. Then he gathered them and made a proclamation, saying, ‘I am your Lord, Most High’. But God punished him, and made an example of him, in the hereafter, and in the present life. Indeed in this is an instructive warning for whoever is conscious of God.” 79:20-26

As always, God is communicating to humanity through stories in scripture as well as through real world events.

Like Moses, Barack Obama brought hope and change to his people– the Americans. But Donald Trump, and others, rejected Obama like Pharaoh rejected Moses. Obama made progress. Still Trump, like Pharaoh, proclaimed, “I alone can fix it”.

But no, the burden of the job will soon prove punishing for Trump. He will fail to “fix it” for the Americans. And, like Pharaoh, his advisers will fail him and his followers will turn on him.

Through their monumental failings, the Trump administration, and his enemies in the Republican Congress, will ironically serve as one of the greatest, historical contributors (along with George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton) to ending the global acceptance of unmerited White, male leadership. Which will then lead to the end of White, male domination.

“[A]nd so, in the end, We destroyed them even though they were of greater might than these: and the very image of those people of old became a thing of the past.” 43:8

Why a Trump Presidency is better than a Clinton Presidency

“Say, ‘O God, the Lord, the Powerful, You give power to whom You please, and You strip power from whom You please.’ ” 3:26

I believe that God gave power to President-Elect Trump in order to strip power from the Republican leaders of Congress. Afterall, what better way is there to destroy a political party than to make Donald Trump its leader.

Some might interject that things will be worse in the short-term but that is not yet a fact. A President Trump will have to give his people something, for example, infrastructure jobs. Those jobs could start a virtuous cycle of spending and economic growth. But no matter how much progress Trump makes, it will not be nearly enough to save him from his supporter’s pick forks after failing to meet their insanely high expectations. He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

Like most Americans, I wanted  Hillary Clinton to be my president. But in hind-sight we know that there would have been four more years of a divided, stagnant government. The reason President Obama was able to get big things accomplished was that Democrats held the House majority in 2009 and 2010.

In 2020, Trump will have abysmal favorable ratings as will the Republican House and Senate. With President Obama’s post-presidency focus of redistricting reform, Democrats will then regain the Presidency, House, and Senate for the foreseeable future (Insha Allah).

During all the drama surrounding Trump in early November, Bloomberg View columnist Jonathan Bernstein wrote a plain yet prescient article titled The Most Important Fact About Trump. The most important fact was and is “[T]he sheer depth and extent of the opposition to him in the Republican Party. Bernstein writes:

This opposition begins at the top with two former Republican presidents and the most recent Republican presidential nominee — George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Mitt Romney. Then there are the dozens of Republican former office-holders and officials who are supporting Hillary Clinton. Another set of dissidents includes several sitting senators and governors who won’t back Clinton, but won’t vote for Trump either. Here are three examples among many. Ohio Governor John Kasich wrote in John McCain’s name on his early ballot. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said he will write in another Republican’s name. And in Arizona, Senator Jeff Flake said he may write in Evan McMullin, the independent candidate who isn’t on the ballot there. 

Republican disunity is present at every level of the party. A perfect example is in Idaho, where a newspaper surveyed state legislative candidates. Only 15 of the 45 Republicans asked said they would vote for Trump, and not a single one gave a strong positive answer.

That’s typical of the nationwide picture. Political scientist Boris Shor reports that only 5 percent — 5 percent! — of Republican state legislators have endorsed Trump, while Hillary Clinton is backed by 73 percent of Democratic state legislators across the country.

Many Republicans who have said they will vote for Trump have done so grudgingly — indicating that they would vote for the “Republican nominee,” without saying his name, or that they would vote for him but not endorse him. They have avoided appearing with Trump or mentioning him.

Bernstein rightly predicted that, “[T]here are plenty of Republicans who will vote for Trump on Tuesday just because they never really heard the signal the party was sending. They were left to assume, wrongly, that aside from the drama and objections from a few party outliers, Washington insiders and sore losers, Trump is basically a normal Republican nominee.”

I understand that since Mr. Trump will be all our president it makes it difficult to appreciate the satire of his Presidency. I also understand that he will cause a lot of real pain for families here and around the world. But four years of Trump is a small price to pay for the end of the Republican Party as we know it.

With the American people’s help, Democrats will govern again by 2020. We will then, finally, have the chance to properly address Global warming. And we will then thank God for using Trump to save the world.

“…[B]e firm and patient in pain and suffering, and adversity, and through all periods of crisis. Such are the people of truth, the realized.” 2:177

Welcome, President-Elect Trump

“O you who believe, follow God and follow the messenger, and those given authority among you.” 4:59

First of all, President-Elect Trump will be our president too. We should behave as such and give him his due measure of respect.

“Know that the life of the present is but play and amusing entertainment, pomp and boasting.” 57:20

Don’t take Trump or life under his leadership too seriously. The life, including politics is like a game of chess, and our opponents just made a fatal move.

“Indeed We have granted you a manifest victory.” 48:1

Our opponent’s latest move and apparent victory is short-term, and really isn’t a victory at all. By electing Donald Trump they have made a great blunder from which America and the world will —eventually— benefit immensely. And when they recognize their folly, we will welcome them to the Democratic Party.

Warren Buffet once said that he likes to buy companies that are so good that even an idiot can manage to make money because one day an idiot will manage the company. Well, the United States is such a good country that even an idiot can run it, and it will remain highly productive. Mr. Trump can’t make America great again, but nor can he destroy it. But he will destroy himself and the Republican Party— a party which has impeded America (and by extension, the world) more than anything else. With an even weaker Republican Party, American will make greater progress.

The Republican establishment dislikes Donald Trump more than Democrats do, and they didn’t want him to win because he threatened to take over their party and take their power. Well, that has happened. He has done the Democrats a huge favor. His supporters have made a cataclysmic unforced error. Trump has taken the Republican establishment’s  power, and now a political civil war among the good ol’ boys has commenced. 

But thank God that this is not our war.

While our opponents are metaphorically killing each other and committing political suicide, Democrats must ready ourselves to govern in 2018 and 2020. We must prepare ourselves for when the people wake up to President Trump’s schemes and betrayals. They will abandon him the way they abandoned George W. Bush. And remember, there would have been no Obama without Bush. Likewise, there would have been no transformational Democratic leader in 2020 without Trump. If Clinton had won, it would have been unlikely that America would have elected another Democrat for a longtime. 

In 2020 after President Trump fails miserably, after his people turn on him, and after the Republican Party is utterly destroyed, the new leader the Democratic party will then have the chance to change America and the world in a way we never could have imagined.

“And do not follow the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and ignore their annoyances, and put your trust in God, for enough is God as a manager of affairs.” 33:48

However, the world will have to learn to ignore the annoyances of President-Elect Trump and his supporters. But it is all for a good cause. The world will thank Trump later, especially the world’s poorest, who stand to prosper the most in the long run. 

“We said, ‘O fire, be cool and safe for Abraham.’ ” 71:69

 After President Trump and the Republican establishment annihilate themselves, and Trump’s supporters realize their blunder, there will be a home for this in the Democratic Party. And a leader will rise up from the Democrats and restore America’s place in the world and he will end much of the suffering experienced by the world’s poorest, including poverty, conflict, and global warming. I think this leader will be Rajiv Shah.

“Say, ‘O God, the Lord, the Powerful, You give power to whom You please, and You strip power from whom You please. You honor whom You please, and You bring down whom You please. In Your Hand is all that is good. Indeed, over all things You have power.’ “ 3:26

An alternative to the heaven/hell dichotomy? 46:35

“…[O]n the day that they see the punishment that was promised them, it will be as if they had not stayed more than an hour in a single day. Proclaim the message, and none will be caused to perish (هلك ) except those who transgress?” 46:35

Everyone, regardless of their deeds or character, will eventually die. So this verse is not revealing to us that terrible people will die (perish). The terrible people mentioned in this verse will perish twice. If this is true, then the secular notion of non-existence after death could also be true– at least for those who believe it.

But even for believers, to cease to exist would be worse than hell (theoretically). Because in hell, one is able to remember God, and the remembrance of God is greater than everything else— even hell.

I understand that some of this seemingly contradicts other interpretations of the Quran, but literary paradox is a useful feature found throughout the Quran.

Khalifahs Redistribute Wealth (6:165)

“It is He Who has made you caretakers, inheritors, and khalifahs of the earth. He has raised you in ranks, some above others, that He may try you in the gifts He has given you. And your Lord is quick in punishment, yet He is indeed Oft-Forgiving, Mercifully Redeeming.” 6:165

God created the earth to sustain humanity (15:20). Only non-believers devour other people’s sustenance (4:160). It is therefore the believers’ job (among other things) to see that the earth’s resources are fairly distributed (6:165), by means of social mechanisms such as taxation, charity, welfare, public services, land reform, and monetary policies (foreign aid, trade agreements, etc.).

“[H]e bestowed blessings on the earth, and measure therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion, in four days, in accordance with the needs of those who seek them.” 41:10

Quran and the deadliest Hajj disaster in history (5:2)

“O you who believe, do not impose on the symbols of God, nor on the sacred month…nor impose on the people visiting the Sacred House, seeking the bounty and blessings of their Lord…” (Quran 5:2)

On 24 September 2015, a crowd collapse caused the deaths of at least 2,236 pilgrims who were suffocated or crushed during the annul Hajj pilgrimage in Mina, Mecca making it the deadliest Hajj disaster in history.

Early eyewitnesses’ accounts stated that the crush was caused by the closure of eastern part of Street 206, which forced pilgrims travel up Street 223, colliding with a mass of people moving the opposite direction on Street 204. (source)

Mohammed Jafari, an advisor to the Hajj and Umrah Travel tour operator in the UK, said: ‘Talking to pilgrims on the ground, they say the main reason for this accident was that the King and his palace was receiving dignitaries including the minister of defense and members of the GCC (the Gulf Co-operation Council).

‘For this reason, they closed two of the entrances to where the (‘stoning of the devil’ ritual) happens and they closed two roads… which created two bottlenecks.

‘It is the fault of the Saudi government because any time a prince comes along, they close the roads and don’t think about the disaster waiting to happen.’ (source)

So before the next Hajj season, members of the Ummah should email the Saudi government demanding that they change their Hajj procedures to fully reflect this verse:

“O you who believe, do not impose on the symbols of God, nor on the sacred month…nor impose on the people visiting the Sacred House, seeking the bounty and blessings of their Lord…” (Quran 5:2)