Tag Archives: hamza tzortzis

Changing the World Through Imaan

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Guest writer Jawwad Ahmed sums up what he gleaned from Hamza Tzortzis’ eye-opening workshop ‘Changing the World through Imaan’ at PC Hotel Rawalpindi.

In 2003, poverty claimed the lives of a good part of 10.6 million children under the age of 5 [1]. That is more than the children populations of France, Germany and Italy, combined. The figures have somewhat improved in the last decade, but the statistics are still staggering. 7.6 million children below the age of 5 died in 2010. This is around 21,000 per day, 870 per hour, or 14 children dying every minute [2]. Numbers simply fail to convey emotion.

No wonder, then, at what we are told about there being too many needs, and not enough resources. This is lesson number one in all economics textbooks. God, it appears, is pretty cruel.

And yet, the poorest 40% of the world’s population account for just 5% of the world’s income; the richest 20% for 75% [3]. The problem of resources, it appears, is not that of insufficient production, but of unequal distribution. The fundamental premise of contemporary economics is nothing more than the delusion of capitalism.

It was an eye-opening experience listening to Hamza Tzortzis on the topic ‘Changing the world through Imaan’ at PC hotel Islamabad. Faith is as relevant to modern socio-economics, as five sets of daily prayers. When Allah repeatedly says,

“We provide sustenance for you and for them (your children)”,

He means it [4] [5]. The world already produces more than 1½ times enough food to feed everyone on the planet [6].

Step number 1 of the solution is to realize that this is indeed the great delusion of capitalism. One amongst many that convinces us that we are free, whereas in reality, as individuals, nothing of our own context is our choosing – a vivid example being how the media, and those in power, dictate the social norm, which in turn dictates our preferences. What is required is to emancipate ourselves by servitude to the One whose enforced context upon us – our DNA, the social class we are born into, etc – we can never possibly elude.

In our creation – that of the universe – has Allah left a big question for us to ponder over:

“Or were they created by nothing, or were they the creators [of themselves]? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Rather, they are not certain” [7].

There can be four possibilities on how the universe came about:

i) The universe was created by nothing.

ii) The universe created itself.

iii) The universe was created by something which was itself created.

iv) The universe was created by something uncreated.

Hamza Tzortzis addressed each possibility – and the impossibility of each save that of the last case. There are serious logical issues in accepting in any of these contentions: the inability of nothing to create nothing for the first case, the inability of nothing to create itself while it doesn’t exist in the first place for the second case, and the problem of infinite regress for the third case. The only remaining possibility is that uncreated God created everything else. The idea is to convince ourselves that if this is the Creator, He also made the operation manual for the creation to work. When He tells you something, He is telling based on prior knowledge what will work. In comparison, human idea of what is good for humans continues to change as human thought evolves.

So, how does this solve the global economic crisis?

1400 years ago, Allah implemented through His Messenger the solution of the problem of distribution: keep the wealth in continuous circulation – by encouraging spending and charity, paying Zakaat and chastising interest (which stops wealth circulation by enhancing savings) and hoarding. This is just one example of how the gears are set in motion. Allah provides detailed guidelines for all aspects of life, but the central argument here is to know that Allah knows what really works. When you know Him to be THE ONLY God by irrefutable rationale, you know also that you have got to do what He tells you to do.

References:

[1] – Shah, Anup. “Poverty Facts and Stats.” Global Issues. 07 Jan. 2013. Web. 10 Feb. 2014. <http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats>.

[2] – 2011 UNICEF Report. Levels & Trends in Child Mortality. UNICEF, 2011, p.8.

[3] – 2007 Human Development Report (HDR), United Nations Development Program, November 27, 2007, p.25.

[4] – Surah An’am 6:151

[5] – Surah Isra 17:31

[6] – Gimenez, Eric. H., “We Already Grow Enough Food For 10 Billion People — and Still Can’t End Hunger”. Huffington Post. 05 Feb 2013. Web. 10 Feb. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-holt-gimenez/world-hunger_b_1463429.html>.

[7] – Surah Toor 52:35-36

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The First Step of My Journey

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Guest writer Haleema Sadia shares what she learnt at Hamza Tzortzis’ inspiring workshop ‘Changing the World through Imaan’ at PC Hotel Rawalpindi.

For the first time ever, I have started attending live talks by different religious speakers, starting this February. One word – beautiful. I realize now how beautiful my religion is, how completely and utterly free of any oppression, bias and hatred it is, thriving in its original form within the fitnah (tribulation) of this world.

Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said:

“The whole duniya (world) is a prison for the believer and paradise for the non-believers.”

I heard this Hadith countless times but never really understood its meaning. After attending Brother Hamza Tzortzis’ talk during Winds of Change 2014, I realized how we are enslaved to the world, and how to break the shackles by becoming slaves of Allah. I was inspired even more to change my way of living because I didn’t want to get caught up in the glitz and glamour of this world. I realized with even more determination, my purpose of existence, my other side.

Brother Hamza said that this society encourages the celebration of your egos. True, because why else then would we never be satisfied of what we are given and have an eye for the things of others? Why else would we go on doing meaningless things which serve no rightful purpose to us and neglect obligations, such as our daily prayers? Such is the worship of self, which destroys the self morally, physically and spiritually.

Brother Hamza further highlighted that “Rooh” (Arabic word for the soul) comes from the world “Ra’ha” which means liberty and freedom. The food for this rooh is the only thing that can make us free and quench our thirst for existing.  That food is knowing and worshiping Allah. A believer should have Tauheed burning in his heart, La illaha illallah i.e. that there is no object or deity to be worship but THE deity, Allah. Today I learned that Tauheed or Oneness of Allah can be found in the unity of His Lordship, unity of His worship and unity of His names and attributes.

He also stressed upon the importance of Ikhlas (sincerity of intention). Do you know that Ikhlas can be our savior on the Day of Judgment? When the scales would be tipping in the wrong direction, with our countless sins, only one deed of Ikhlas can save us from the hell-fire! If a person doesn’t have Ikhlas, he is bound to end up in hell; but if he has it, then heaven is not very far away. SubhanAllah! Wouldn’t it be nice if you did something every day, purely and secretly, for the sake of Allah, no matter how small the deed be?

I understood from his talk that our spiritual DNA can only be strengthened by thinking and reflecting on the Quran. By Allah! Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) is the most powerful of weapons a believer can ever have and this can help us to take power over our ego, and submit ourselves to the will of our Master, our Rabb.

Brother Hamza ended this workshop by highlighting how wrong and unjust the capitalist banking system is, and how Islam’s macro economy is the solution of this corrupt way of producing money out of nothing. He stressed that Islamic system is based upon real wealth that is not created out of nothing. That wealth is there because somebody worked hard enough to earn it in the right way.

The lecture was enlightening as it truly opened up my senses and increased my quest for more knowledge. Brother Hamza did an excellent job and I thank him and others like him who are spreading the light of Islam to jaahils (illiterate w.r.t. the teachings and true meaning of Deen) like us!

25 things I learnt from Winds of Change 2014

By Umm Ibrahim
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February 2014 has been an exceptionally beautiful month so far- owing to the Winds of Change Tour which hit Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Peshawar.  I tried to attend as many events as I could- each one seemed to be better than the previous. So, the past 3 weeks were mostly spent waiting for one event after the other! This was the first time I was attending the events of Winds of Change, and it was also the first time I was actually listening to some of the international speakers: Imran ibn Mansur, Hamza Tzortzis, Yusuf Chambers, John Fontain, Adnan Rashid and Musa Adnan.

As I smile to myself, sifting through the photos and cherishing the memories made, reality hits me like a ton of bricks: the Winds of Change are over, but has the change begun? Can I declare with Imran Khan’s confidence level that “Tabdeeli aa gy hai?” Will I be able to cherish the newly-planted intentions and sustain the newly-replenished Imaan level?

 I have made notes upon notes of the lectures; I have saved video recordings, but I realize that it is actually the things which penetrate your being and engrave themselves on your heart that can actually change you. So for my own benefit and for that of the readers, I’m going to list in no particular order, the lessons that have stuck with me, which I heard, learnt and/or experienced during the Winds of Change events.

1-      The Azaan is a beautiful call.  Don’t take it for granted. Cherish it, listen and respond.

2-      Whatever Da’wah work you are doing, you must read a minimum of 1 juzz of the Quran (with understanding) every day. Don’t let your Islamic work fool you or harm your spirituality.

3-      There are no friends as awesome and cool as the ones you make for the sake of Allah.

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4-      You have to do Da’wah. You just have to. There is no other way around it.

5-      Every person you meet has problems on their plate. Every person is fighting battles you know nothing of. Be gentle.

6-      In matters of the Dunya, look towards those below you. In matters of the Deen, look towards those above you.

7-      The battles you fight for Deen are worth it, in this word and the next. Taking U-turns is difficult, but it is possible and it is worth it. Ask for Allah’s help.

8-      Don’t judge by appearances. There is so much goodness and softness in our people. Talk to them about the Deen. Empathize with them. You might be pleasantly surprised by the response.

9-   Marriott has the best gulab jaman in Islamabad.

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10-      Learn the rational foundations of your Deen seriously. You are facing an ideological onslaught.

11-   There is something heart-warming about a hall resounding with Takbeer. It makes the clap-clap-clap sound so abysmally pathetic.

12-   No matter how bad your situation is, no matter how broken or messed-up you are, Allah can still fix you. There are examples all around you. Don’t give up. If you are alive, you have a chance.

13-   Listening to music can facilitate Jinns entering your body. True Story.

14-   Jannah is beautiful. Meeting Allah is the best moment of your life. It is worth it all.

15-   Youth Club has the coolest badges in town.

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16-   Don’t mumble the Salam just to fulfill the routine obligation. It is a beautiful gift. Treat it that way. Give and receive it with love.

17-    Words are just words. You can talk the talk all your life. Nothing will change until you walk the WOC  walk.

18-   Humility is a beautiful quality. It makes you dignified. Slash your ego. Take it easy. Learn from the beautiful life of the beautiful Messenger (sallalahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

19-   Tell your loved ones that you love them often.

20-   Youth Club also has the coolest cupcakes in town. (I’m not being paid to write this, I swear!)

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21-   Allah is the Best of Planners. Trust Him.

22-   Dua is such a powerful tool. Allah works miracles. Have faith in Him. Talk to Him as much as you can.

23-   If you don’t pray the obligatory prayers, you seem to be on a one-way road to Hellfire. There’s no way to put this lightly. Start praying. Just do it!

24- Our ultimate quest in this world is happiness. Even if you have everything in the world, you will still not be happy unless you have a true connection with Allah. The void in the heart can only be filled by knowing and loving the Creator of the heart.

25-   You have too many slave-masters- from your parents to your peers to the fashion industry. True liberation is only in accepting the honour of being a slave to Allah.

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