“I suppose that the media and their portrayal of Islam and the almost tribal separations and divisions of the Muslims are the greatest issues confronting Muslims in the United Kingdom.”
“I started reflecting on my thoughts and those questions which were knocking at my conscious. I started writing those kind of lyrics in my songs”
“Picking up the guitar made me feel just like I did when I first began to learn chords back in the sixties, like being an amateur again with nothing to lose; a flood of new music poured out…”
Those who spend their wealth in the way of God, and then do not follow up what they spent with reminders of their generosity or with insults, will have their reward with their Lord—they have nothing to fear, nor shall they grieve.
Not a messenger did we send before thee without this inspiration sent by us to him: that there is no god but I; therefore worship and serve Me.
[Prophet], if My servants ask you about Me, I am near. I respond to those who call Me, so let them respond to Me, and believe in Me, so that they may be guided.
Say, ‘[God says], My servants who have harmed yourselves by your own excess, do not despair of God’s mercy. God forgives all sins: He is truly the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
“Perhaps I was particularly blessed to have discovered Islam in 1977, before the Iranian Revolution, when Muslims where less visible and Islam’s spiritual message less smothered by political events and violent headlines. But given the opportunity to study the Revelation and not the Revolution, the result – God willing – would have been the same.”
On that Day, people will come forward in separate groups to be shown their deeds: whoever has done an atom’s-weight of good will see it, but whoever has done an atom’s-weight of evil will see that.
“Art itself is an aesthetic crossroad, where cultures and civilization freely mix peacefully without borders or passports. It is the way in which we can trade with each other the fruits of our beliefs and ideas, in symbols and through prose, the mysterious sentiments and beauty of our faith and eternal hopes.”
“You’ll find that a lot of songs were seeking answers. Now I didn’t have the answers. I was looking for answers. As a poet I’d be expressing myself. As a songwriter I would be expressing myself through my music, through my words but I wasn’t really providing any answers I was looking. So there was a gap, music in a way fills a certain need, Fulfils a certain need mainly when people are living in the kind of pressure of this modern life they need some relief.”
“You know its a mysterious thing about how music is so powerful. I believe its something to do with the longing that human beings have for unification with something higher and more harmonious than their existence and their mundane lives. Wanting to grasp that somehow becomes possible through the vehicle of music”
“To us pattern-designers, Persia has become a holy land, for there in the process of time our art was perfected.”
“People who rush to judge others simply because of a difference in fiqh (understanding) are more in danger than anyone to fall into error and should remember the dangers to themselves”
“The media has played a rather non-positive role in creating my image and I think that its time that people listen to my words and what comes from my heart rather than what other people say about me”
“I have always been particularly attached to the Muslim greeting – I thus greet you in the name of Peace.”
“I discovered something beyond the facade of what we are taught to believe about others particularly the muslim world and I had my misconceptions so I had to break through that”
Remember Me, and I will remember you. Be thankful to Me, and never ungrateful.
“It appeared to me that the propaganda invented about the religion of Islam was one of the biggest theological cover-ups in history – or else we all simply had our eyes and ears closed.”
Alif, Lam, Meem.
This is the Book in which there is no doubt, a guide for the righteous.
Those who believe in the unseen, and perform the prayers, and give from what We have provided for them.
And those who believe in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed before you, and are certain of the Hereafter.
These are upon guidance from their Lord. These are the successful.
“The days of life pass away like clouds, so do good while you are alive.”
“You can argue with a philosopher, but you can’t argue with a good song. And I think I’ve got a few good songs.”
It is God who is your protector, he is the best of protectors.
“Anyone who seeks God, will surely find Him. “
We hear, and we obey. Grant us Your forgiveness, our Lord. To You we all return!
All the creatures on earth, and all the birds that fly with wings, are communities like you. We did not leave anything out of this book. To their Lord, all these creatures will be summoned.
Say, ‘O mankind, the truth has come to you from your Lord, so whoever is guided is only guided for [the benefit of] his soul, and whoever goes astray only goes astray [in violation] against it. And I am not a warder over you.’
“Criticisms came from some small sections of the Muslim Community who quite incredibly assumed that because I was making music I had left Islam – God forbid!”
(From ‘Why I Still Carry a Guitar’)
Corruption has flourished on land and sea as a result of people’s actions and He will make them taste the consequences of some of their own actions so that they may turn back.
And indeed, you [Muhammad] stand on an exalted standard of character.
[How] prosperous are the believers! Those who pray humbly and who shun idle talk.
“I always stood for the elimination of conflict and wars, and any of those causes that ignite them.”
“Faith is not faith unless it seeks understanding.”
The Messenger of God is an excellent model for those of you who put your hope in God and the Last Day and remember Him often.
Muhammad is not the father of any one of you men; he is God’s Messenger and the seal of the prophets: God knows everything.
“You must accept the truth from whatever source it comes.”
“Those who refuse to listen should not expect to be heard.”
“It is the nature of the self to manifest itself, In every atom slumbers the might of the self.”
“I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.”
By the sun in its morning brightness and by the moon as it follows it, by the day as it displays the sun’s glory and by the night as it conceals it, by the sky and how He built it and by the earth and how He spread it, by the soul and how He formed it and inspired it [to know] its own rebellion and piety! The one who purifies his soul succeeds and the one who corrupts it fails.
When the Quran is recited, listen to it, and pay attention, so that you may experience mercy.
And remember your Lord within yourself, humbly and fearfully, and quietly, in the morning and the evening, and do not be of the neglectful.
Those who are in the presence of your Lord are not too proud to worship Him. They recite His praises, and to Him they bow down.
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
“Knock, And He’ll open the door
Vanish, And He’ll make you shine like the sun
Fall, And He’ll raise you to the heavens
Become nothing, And He’ll turn you into everything.”
“The wound is the place
where the Light
In the name of God, The Supremely Merciful, The Most Kind
Say: I seek refuge with The Lord and Cherisher of Mankind. The King of Mankind. The God of Mankind. From the mischief of the sneaking whisperer. Who whispers into the hearts of Mankind. From among Jinn and Mankind.
Say: He is Allah, the One and Only Allah – the eternal source of everything He neither begets, nor was He ever born and there is nothing that is similar to Him
God is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His Light is like a niche wherein is a lamp; the lamp is in a crystal, and the crystal, shining as if a pearl-like radiant star, lit from the oil of a blessed olive tree that is neither of the east nor of the west. The oil would almost give light of itself though no fire touches it. Light upon light! God guides to His Light whom He wills. God strikes parables for people. God has full knowledge of all things.
“There is a God
You can know Him if you try
You can approach Him if you try…”
And when they hear vain talk, they turn away from it and say: “To us our deeds, and to you yours; peace be to you: we do not seek out the ignorant.
On the Day when you see the believers, both men and women, with their light streaming out ahead of them and to their right, [they will be told], ‘The good news for you today is that there are Gardens graced with flowing streams where you will stay: that is truly the supreme triumph!’
Violence is almost an everyday occurrence in some Muslim lands: it should not be exacerbated by revenge attacks on more innocent families and communities.
Say, ‘My Lord has guided me to a straight path, an upright religion, the faith of Abraham, a man of pure faith. He was not a polytheist.’ Say, ‘My prayers and sacrifice, my life and death, are all for God, Lord of all the Worlds; He has no partner. This is what I am commanded, and I am the first to devote myself to Him.’
There truly are signs in the creation of the heavens and earth, and in the alternation of night and day, for those with understanding, who remember God standing, sitting, and lying down, who reflect on the creation of the heavens and earth: ‘Our Lord! You have not created all this without purpose- You are far above that!
“I don’t think that God sent us prophets and books to fight about these books and these prophets. But they were telling us, actually, how to live together. If we ignore those teachings…whichever faith you belong to, you profess, I think we’ll be finding ourselves in an even deeper mess.”
“My songs are a kind of narrative to my life and if you look at them listen to them you’ll hear all the explanations of where I was and where I was going”
For the soul of nobody knows, how a flower grows – how does a flower grow?
“You must be such an ardent lover of truthfulness that every statement you make assumes the quality of a solemn oath.”
Exempt those who join a people with whom you have concluded a peace treaty, and those who come to you with hearts unwilling to fight you, nor to fight their relatives. Had God willed, he could have placed them in power over you and they would have made war on you. Therefore, if they leave you alone, refrain from fighting you, and offer you peace, then God gives you no way to go against them.
So where are you going?
“Allah, Most High, has truly blessed us. He has created just for us the mysterious spirit that He has breathed into us and by so doing distinguished us from all other physical creation. He has adorned us with our incomparable intellect, which further distinguishes us from all else in this creation. What other creature on this planet – another gift He has blessed us with – can even begin to create the likes of this Internet? Will we not stop, give thanks to our Merciful and Generous Lord? Will we not stop and realize how precious our lives are and begin to show each other more love, mercy, kindness and empathy? Will we not stop, take time, and reflect?”
“If you want to sing out, sing out, and if you want to be free, be free, cause there’s a million ways to be, you know that there are.”
God does not love corruption.
“Study me as much as you like, you will not know me, for I differ in a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see.”
And in their (the earlier prophets) footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the law that had come before him. We sent him the Gospel, therein was guidance and light and confirmation of the law that had come before him, a guidance and an admonition to those who fear God.
“Joy and sorrow are the light and shade of life;
without light and shade no picture is clear.”
“There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colors, from blue-eyed blondes to black-skinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe never could exist between the white and non-white.”
I once went through a stage where I turned my back on everything that I’d done before, but of course that was a radical and over zealous reaction to the spiritual happiness that I’d felt in Islam.
Worship none but God; be good to your parents and kinsfolk, to orphans and the poor; speak good words to all people; keep up the prayer and pay the prescribed alms.
“Light will someday split you open,
Even if your life is now a cage.
Little by little, you will turn into stars.
Little by little, you will turn into
the whole sweet, amorous universe.”
The Qur’an that our young pupils learn at Islamia is full of stories and lessons from the history of humanity as a whole. The Gospels and the Torah are referred to; Jesus and Abraham are mentioned.
Exalted is He who put the constellations in the heavens, a radiant light, and an illuminating moon-it is He who made the night and day follow each other-so anyone who wishes may be mindful or show gratitude.
Can’t those who disbelieve see that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and We separated them and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe?
O Children of Adam! Dress properly at every place of worship, and eat and drink, but do not be excessive. He does not love the excessive.
The worshippers of the All-Merciful are they who tread gently upon the earth, and when the ignorant address them, they reply, “Peace!”
So ask the people of the message if you do not know.
“The words of my songs speak for themselves.”
The reward of goodness is nothing but goodness.
By [the passing of] Time
Verily mankind is in loss
Except such as believe
and do good works,
and enjoin on one another Truth,
and enjoin on one another, patience.
“Law is the sum of conditions under which the wishes of one person can be united with the wishes of another in accordance with the universal law of freedom.”
Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily, to them will We give a new Life, a life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions.
“The three most important things are giving charity during times of need; being impeccably mindful of God in private; and speaking the truth in the face of one you hope to benefit from, or one you fear.”
“There is only what He wills.
So leave your cares and abandon them.
Leave your preoccupations
which distract you and you will have rest.”
God is enough for us: He is the best protector.
They give food to the poor, the orphan, and the captive, though they love it themselves, saying, ‘We feed you for the sake of God alone. We seek neither recompense nor thanks from you. We fear the Day of our Lord-a woefully grim Day.’
“The verses of the Qur’an talked about other Prophets as brothers preaching the same unifying script of mankind, showing every man and woman the way to Paradise. I saw the names of Jesus, of Moses, of Abraham, of Jacob, of Noah and of course, crucially, the name of this last messenger, the last Messenger of God, Muhammad.”
And be moderate in your walking, and lower your voice.
We have commanded people to be good to their parents: their mothers carried them, with strain upon strain, and it takes two years to wean them. Give thanks to Me and to your parents- all will return to Me.
Say, ‘If you love God, follow me, and God will love you and forgive you your sins; God is most forgiving, most merciful.’
“The fact that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) cared for every human being and tried his best to ensure their security in the hereafter must be the most telling of his compassionate and merciful characteristics.”
“I always knew looking back on my tears would bring me laughter, but I never knew looking back on my laughter would make me cry.”
A light [Muhammad] has now come to you from God, and a Scripture [The Qur’an] making things clear, with which God guides to the ways of peace those who follow what pleases Him, bringing them from darkness out into light, by His will, and guiding them to a straight path.
The believer said, ‘My people, follow me! I will guide you to the right path. My people, the life of this world is only a brief enjoyment; it is the Hereafter that is the lasting home. Whoever does evil will be repaid with its like; whoever does good and believes, be it a man or a woman, will enter Paradise and be provided for without measure.
It was only as a mercy that We sent you [Muhammad] to all people.
It is He who made the sun a shining radiance and the moon a light, determining phases for it so that you might know the number of years and how to calculate time. God did not create all these without a true purpose; He explains His signs to those who understand.
“I was searching for God all my life, and as I moved from one spiritual teaching to another, I came to see them as circles, so I decided to look at what it was at the center of each of these circles; I saw Christianity as a circle, and at the center of it was Christ. I saw Judaism as a circle, and at the center of it was the Jewish identity. I saw Buddhism as a circle, and at the center of it was the Self and overcoming it. When I came to Islam, I saw it as a circle, but at its center I found only God, and God was Whom I was looking for all my life”.
“Ashura, The 10th of Muharram, is a day for the Victorious. God gave victory to Moses over his enemy, and made him a symbol of victory for the oppressed; and He gave victory to Hussain over his enemy, and made him a symbol of steadfastness upon truth. So be like Moses and be like Hussain, and do not be content except in being of the victorious.”
“There are three types of people: Those building Bridges; those bent on destroying them; and those waiting to cross”
Verily! Allah orders justice and kindness and giving
to relatives, and forbids lewdness, bad conduct and oppression.
Allah instructs you that perhaps you may be reminded.
“Declare your jihad on thirteen enemies you cannot see -egoism, arrogance, conceit, selfishness, greed, lust, intolerance, anger, lying, cheating, gossiping and slandering. If you can master and destroy them, then you will be ready to fight the enemy you can see.”
“9/11… The manic attempt to cause maximum suffering and death in the name of Islam now became the greatest opportunity to blacken the name of Muslims you could ever dream of…”
We shall certainly test you with fear and hunger, and loss of property, lives and crops. But [Prophet], give good news to those who are steadfast, those who say, when afflicted with a calamity, ‘We belong to God and to Him we shall return.’ These will be given blessings and mercy from their Lord, and it is they who are rightly guided.
“Music is universally present in this world, even in the jungles, oceans and deserts; birds sing, seas crash and the wind howls. Nature has its own magnificent song in praise of the Creator.”
The servants of the Lord of Mercy are those who walk humbly on the earth, and who, when the foolish address them, reply, ‘Peace’.
“I found a religion that blended scientific reason with spiritual reality in a unifying faith far removed from the headlines of violence, destruction and terrorism.”
Indeed, God will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.
“Your God and our God is one God. I mean what could be clearer? But then if you ask what the headlines say they would not imagine that that is what muslims believe.”
“Whenever a person feels sorry for the poor victims of (Palestinian) occupation such as orphans, the disabled, widows and medical cases, if you try to help give charity to them – be warned, you may be considered a terrorist.”
God is the ally of those who believe: He brings them out of the depths of darkness and into the light. As for the disbelievers, their allies are false gods who take them from the light into the depths of darkness.
“If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astonishing results are the three criteria of a human genius, who could dare compare any great man in history with Muhammad?”
Do they not see the birds above them spreading and closing their wings? It is only the Lord of Mercy who holds them up: He watches over everything.
Each community has its own direction to which it turns: race to do good deeds and wherever you are, God will bring you together. God has power to do everything.