Sunday, November 30, 2014

"Life is but what you make it. It is defined by your choices, or is it?..... "

We often want to blame others for our problems and our situations, but the reality is that we made some choices that lead to us being in that predicament, right? What differentiates the path of one person from another, if they both have made the exact same choice in the same exact situation? It is intention, right? It is the reasoning, the why. If I had good intentions, and you did not, but we both have ended up in the same place, what makes us different really?

If both of us go out and kill someone, and one person does it because he has been wronged and another does it for fun, does not the one who does it for fun get the harsher punishment? It should be that way, and by the way, I am not condoning killing. I am just giving you an example. If I work hard to be a good husband, a good father, and a good friend, shouldn't I have a better life? Shouldn't I have more that the one who cares not? It is not necessarily how things work!

There is something called Al-Qadar (The allowing or disallowing of something by the Creator, and He is the Wisest to decide what happens and to whom it happens!) He may have me going through all of this just to be blessed with the best at the end of the road. He may see fit that I go through some hardship in order to wipe away the slate for some bad deeds I had done before. Had He not done so, I would have to pay in the hereafter, and isn't hellfire a greater punishment!!!??? In this case, my good intentions and my good actions will end in a different outcome!

A knowledgable Muslim once told me, "everything that happens in your life, as a true and sincere believer in God, that is either one of two things. It is either %100 good, or there is more good in it that bad." How beautiful a statement! My life problems can now be written out in an easy to understand formula! If I try to be a good husband, a good father, a good whatever, and do it in the right way, then whatever follows it will be good. It may be a test, or a punishment, or something else, but it will always have more good in it that bad. If I crash my car, it's ok! Maybe I was to die at the next intersection, or maybe it's my way to a NEW car!

The problem with us human beings is that we don't see it, and often we just can't see it. It's often NOT for us to see. We have to follow the divine revelations and have faith. We have to hold on tight to what is right! It does not matter if you have made a mistake or not! God said, "if human beings were to stop sinning, I would destroy them, and I would then bring about a people that sinned!" Wow! Amazing! I wish someone would have told me that a long time ago!

People, no matter your situation or what your going through, always check your intentions and always know that there is more good in it than bad. If you can truly grasp that fact, you will be ok.... A fight with the wife will not be so bad! A broken bone or loss of job will not inflict as much pain, and you can live on to fight another day! We as Muslims are taught, "thank God and praise Him for everything!" In the Arabic, "al-hamdu-lee-llah 'ala qulee hal" (all praise and thanks is due to God, and He is deserving of it, for everything!)

For the sincere Muslim: A scholar said, "the one experiencing the hardship should say that it is a punishment and should try to better their self, and the one who sees another going through some hardship should say that it is because they have done something good and God is testing them." If you use this, it will benefit you in so many ways!

I hope this tid-bit of words helped someone somewhere, someway or somehow....

Yusuf Sneed

Thats my story and I'm sticking to it!!!!.........

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Muslims Denounce Any & All Acts of Violence

I hope and pray you are well. I wanted to relay our local Islamic Institutes press release concerning the attacks on the Jewish Centers recently in the news. First, as a Muslim, I should define violence. Violence according to the Quran and teaching of Muhammad (Peace be upon him & Jesus, Moses, Abraham, etc.) is that which is unjust and causes physical harm, damage, or death. Of course it can be expanded upon, with evidences and proofs, if need be. We do not consider the righteous punishment of a murderer to be "violence", but this act against human life, no matter their faith, is definitely unjust and is an act of deplorable violence. 

The jews have ran to the Muslims for centuries, not away. The Jews have been living peacefully with the Muslims, for many many a century. Just like a court will not punish all those who beat their spouses with the same punishment; one should not look at one geopolitical even or one instance and judge all Muslims or all of the Muslims history with the same judgement. There are those who have mastered the art of bashing and debating, on both sides of the isle, and would easily convince you that what I am saying is not the case, but I would ask you this: "Why did I and do I continue to be a Muslim?" I am an American, grew up in Church, and I am white. Yes, according to many, the fact that I am white means something... (you can stop laughing now! lol) Why have I not reverted back to my old ways and my old faith, along with millions of others who have become a Muslim? I'll tell you why. It is because we study the religion with an open mind and with a sincere effort. Once we have done that, we take hold of Islam and practice it. After having practiced this faith, we become change for the better! We no longer curse or steal! We no longer look at women as sex objects or any object for that matter. American society and culture sales everything with the picture of beautiful looking woman, half undressed I should add. We see Islam for what it is.... the truth and the only way.... the best way out of all the ways to be.

Now for the press release:
Press Release
Re: Deadly attack on JCC in Kansas City.
On behalf of Memphis Islamic Center’s leadership and the Muslim community, we join the American Jewish community and our fellow Americans of all faiths in condemning this vicious act of hatred. We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and mayhem resulting from this deadly attack. We again confirm our unequivocal rejection to any type of ideology that can lead to such inexcusable and dreadful act.
Our deepest sympathies and condolences to the victims’ families and the Jewish American community. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow citizens in solidarity and in offering all we can to help the victims and their families during this testing and difficult time. Our prayers to all affected by such acts of unconscionable violence and hate.
Bashar A. Shala,
Chairman, Memphis Islamic Center

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Greed and Arrogance In Modern Times

We are dealing with an epidemic these days, and I'll tell you about it shortly.....

I often find myself quoting the same things to others, on a daily basis. Someone will ask me, "How are you Joseph!". It never fails, like the setting and rising of the sun, that I will answer, "No complaints", and on occasion I will add "I'm still walk'n, talk'n and breath'n, still have a chance to get it right." I'm always striving to be content....

 It is my mentality, my belief, that which is tied firmly around my heart. I choose not give up, not to forget and never to complain. Give up what you ask? Give up trying! Forget what you inquire? Not to forget how blessed I am! Complain about who or what you demand? I choose not to complain about anything, because complaining is never ever to be done by a Muslim, and it gets you absolutely nowhere! God says in a saying relayed to us by Muhammad ibn Abdullah (May Gods peace and blessings be upon him!), God says, "Mankind complains / protest about the changes that happen within life, and yet I am time, and in my hands is time..." What a beautiful thing! God is in control of everything that happens, so deal with it! (note that this is for the one that is striving to believe in God correctly and worship Him the way that He has asked us to do so. Humanity is given free will, and God will allow you to go off the deep end or to get caught up in a lifestyle that is not good. In this case, it is your own doing, and it is the allowing of it by God that makes it "from God". When we believe in God or turn to God, like He has asked us to do, and in the manner He has asked us to do so, He will test us and do what is best for us. In this case, one should not complain to God at all! In the other case, you can complain, but complain to yourself about yourself, so that you may fix it!)

What is the epidemic that I speak of with such disgust, and a faint hint of distress? Its a warning, warning you and myself that things are not what they seem and people are not what they claim to be. There is no morality, sense of responsibility to ones self or ones duties to humanity! Their is no care or compassion, sincere care or compassion, for family and loved ones. There is only greed and arrogance these days. People are not guided by divine wisdom and revelation; they are guided by their inward desires. Things like power, money, control and reputation are what tug at people these days, as they have done in the days before, but today it's on a level like never seen before. Todays desires are fed and fueled at every corner, with every cartoon, commercial, billboard, etc. Don't believe me, just look at the car commercials! What does a sexy lady have to do with a cadillac? And she is saying "drive me!"???

If you ask me why I chose to become a Muslim, I will probably give you a summation of the beliefs and the conviction in my heart that it is the true and correct way to believe, but the fact of the matter is that I found all of that and more! I found morality, care and compassion for family and others, a system to help me quell my evil desire for money, power and to be greedy. A system that provides the tools and equipment to remove and keep gone arrogance from ones heart! A system of justice! A system of fairness, compassion, wisdom and guidance! "And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to God].. 2:45"

As a salesman by profession, I know human nature on many fronts. God (Allah in the arabic bible and arabic language) has created us all different, that is true, but much is the same for all of us. We have some traits and characteristics that can only be dealt with, refined, or put at bay by a system that can only be designed by the one who designed us. People don't always want the same thing. One person may prefer his cookies light and another dark. One person may understand, while another doesn't care to even try. This is why I am one of the ones who gets it! I get it! I get Islam and get the rules, prohibitions, guidance, etc. When God tells me that "they will not stop hating you and scheming against you until you believe as them", I get it. When I'm out in the world breaking my neck to look at a fine woman, and I sense myself desiring to be intimate with the opposite sex (all of which happens in a split second, from beginning to end; look, like, lust, dream), I get it. God said in the Quran "women, cover yourselves, less you be molested!" He knew that men have a sex drive like an animal and that many would not fight it and would quench it, in a holly or allowable fashion, so he told women to cover! Personally, I think those who don't get it, well, they get it. They may not admit it, but they get it. Again, as I have said in previous post, "does this sound like it is from Satan?" I didn't think so! This system is so beautiful and so true, and if we follow it, we would not see %90 of the problems we see in the world, and that includes the Muslim lands as well. Unfortunately, human beings, no matter what religion they claim, stick more to culture than divine guidance and revelation.

Why all of this ranting? Well to be honest, I'm venting, not complaining. I have recently had an experience with a non-Muslim family member. He claims to love me, but God said in the Quran, ["You are the ones who love them but they love you not, and you believe in all the Scriptures [i.e. you believe in the Tawraat (Torah & Moses) and the Injeel (Gospel & Jesus), while they disbelieve in your Book, the Qur’aan (and Muhammad) (Peace be upon him).]. 
[.... But when they are alone, they bite the tips of their fingers at you in rage. Say: ‘Perish in your rage. Certainly, Allaah knows what is in the breasts (all the secrets).’120. If a good befalls you, it grieves them, but if some evil overtakes you, they rejoice at it. But if you remain patient and become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious — See V.2:2), not the least harm will their cunning do to you. Surely, Allaah surrounds all that they do”]
[Aal ‘Imraan]

This is a warning and reminder to you, that family member, and to myself, that Allah (God) is control of everything! Though you plot, God is the best of plotters. Fear God as He should be feared, and realize what you have been blessed with and be a man! Be honest, trustworthy, and humble in all that you do. Seek out God, through prayer and patience, and ask Him what is the right way. If you are sincere, he will show you. Remember that all of what you have can be taken in a split second, if He so desires. That is all.........

Thats my story and i'm sticking to it!.......
Joseph Sneed

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Muslim Monsters Invade Memphis TN, Or So They Are Saying!

(I think my picture is scarier than their words..... Don't you?)

     Fe fi fo fum, I smell something yum yum... "It's an infidel", screams the mighty Muslim monster, as the far right explains: "He has entered my city with dreams and hopes of destroying society as we know it, implementing his evil shari'a, and killing all non-Muslim peoples! Wherever you see them, know that they hate you, have spread their way of life via violence, and they will show you no mercy!"

     My comments are concerning another websites' rant about the building and formation of MIC (Memphis Islamic Center). This website ( ), and their post (here) are just another example of extremism in ignorance. I also experienced this, as a former Christian. Everything I was lead to believe was founded upon a twisted love for Israel and the Jews as a whole, even though they killed Jesus, based upon the modern day interpretation of verses from a book that has been translated from one language to another, then another, then another, and has more versions than I do underwear! (Not meant as hate speech towards the Christian faith, but said in good humor towards the author of the article in question.)

     I want my readers to understand the level of ignorance that they are facing when reading such articles from such sites. We Muslims have a foundation that our faith is built upon, and in that foundation there are principles that are unshakable. One of those principles is protection of human life. The authors of such hate, as the one on the site I am discussing, would have you believe that we are here to kill, steal and destroy! They could not be further from the truth. And his discussion about how rude the Somalian people were, well that has nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with the Somalian culture. He blames the car for the crash and not the driver! lol (i.e. blaming Islam for the personalities, actions, etc. of a Muslim and not blaming the person.)

The following is a small explanation and understanding of that fundamental principle (protecting human life) with an evidence from the verses of the Qur'an, which all ideas and beliefs must have (an evidence from the religious text):


مِن أَجلِ ذٰلِكَ كَتَبنا عَلىٰ بَنى إِسرٰءيلَ أَنَّهُ مَن قَتَلَ نَفسًا بِغَيرِ نَفسٍ أَو فَسادٍ فِى الأَرضِ فَكَأَنَّما قَتَلَ النّاسَ جَميعًا وَمَن أَحياها فَكَأَنَّما أَحيَا النّاسَ جَميعًا ۚ وَلَقَد جاءَتهُم رُسُلُنا بِالبَيِّنٰتِ ثُمَّ إِنَّ كَثيرًا مِنهُم بَعدَ ذٰلِكَ فِى الأَرضِ لَمُسرِفونَ
"That is why We decreed for the children of Israel that whosoever kills a human being, except (as punishment) for murder or for spreading lifethreatening chaos on earth, it is as if killing the entire human race; and whosoever saves a life, saves the entire human race. Our apostles brought clear proofs to them; but even after that most of them committed excesses in the land."

-[Qur'an 5:32, referring to revelation that wasn't taken up in the written Torah but in the oral commentaries on the story of Cain and Abel, see "Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5", "Babylonian Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin 37a"]

The verses before 5:32 relate the story of Cain killing Abel (Qur'an 5:27-31, Bible Torah Genesis/Bereshit 4:1-17), which metaphorically refers to the first murder in the history of mankind, and represents the proto-Semitic remembrance of the transition from free-roaming egalitarian huntergatherers and semi-nomads ("Abel was a keeper of sheep", Genesis 4:2, his name comes from a Semitic root that refers to something transitory and unsatisfactory, probably hinting towards how later Mesopotamian society viewed the nomadic life of the past) to landclaiming hierarchical agriculture society ("Cain was a tiller of the ground", ibid. The name Cain comes from a root meaning 'to get' and literally means 'spear', which also hints towards how land and resources were taken) which created the first major conflicts over land and resources in the history of mankind. 

With this as its background, verse 5:32 is presented as a divine decree with important humanistic implications:
1. Killing one human is equal to killing the entire human race: EVERY human, whatever its age, gender, nationality, race, social status, history, worldview or religion, isn't just equal to mankind (al-Nāss), but is equal to the ENTIRE human race together (al-Nāss jamiy'ān), from the first human that has lived untill the last. No single human death can be marginalized by comparing it to larger amounts of deaths or even the total amount of mankind. This is emphasized in 6:151 which says that justice must be upheld (bi-lHaqq), but every life is sacred and inviolable before God (al-Nafsa allati harama Allah). When a person is killed, also the potential good deeds and progeny is killed and thus within one life harbors the potential for many life. Interesting is that the Qur'an shortens the Biblical account by making Cain's only words, "I will kill you", because a killer can have no real justifications for his desire to slay another human.

2. Giving/saving one human is equal to saving the entire human race: It makes an exception for killing in the case of punishing murder and lifethreatening chaos on earth (fasādin fi-l'Ardh), to protect the innocent and weak, but this is only a last resort as even they can be forgiven if they reform and repay their crimes (5:33) or if the victims and authorities forgive them (2:178, 5:45). This is why there are NO exceptions in this verse in the equalizing of one saved life with the saving all of mankind; if a human life is saved or spared, even if he is a murderer, it is as if all of mankind is saved. The literal Arabic makes it very clear: "to give life (a'hyā) to one being is as if giving life to  the entire human race together (a'hya al-Nāss jamiy'ān)". It isn't just sparing a life, it is reviving it. Qadi Ibn al-'Arabi says this concept is the primal standpoint on which the whole Islamic way of life should base itself. Shaykh Muhammad 'Abduh emphasizes that this verse embodies the human rights of the entire human race ("tandhaghim fīhi jamiy'a huqūq al-Nāss"), it's the universal knowledge on which human existence stands and making it inviolable.
Important detail is also that both the Qur'an and Mishnah don't use words as 'mortal' or 'person' but 'nafs/nafash' which comes from the Semitic root 'nafasha' meaning to breath, that which makes someone alive, which in the Semitic religions developed into the concept of a soul or conciousness with a sacred value. And as the opposite to Cain, Abel is represented as understanding his innocence and wishing to remain innocent, "I will not extend my hand toward you to kill you", as even though selfdefense is always allowed (2:190-191, 22:39-40), the story focuses on the remaining stain of guilt (literally 'ithm' means that which weakens) which any killing will leave behind, repeating Genesis 4:13 and Jesus in Matthew 23:33-36 in which he says about murder "and so you will draw down down on yourselves the blood of every holy man that has been shed on earth, from the blood of Abel the holy to the blood of Zechariah." Qadi Ibn al-'Arabi emphasizes that this means that every murderer bears the guilt of not only killing that one human, but the weight of the murder of all mankind ("An 'aylihi ithmi man qatala jamiy'a al-Nāss").

And as I have said before in previous postings, "the verse about killing infidels (non-believers) is concerning a certain group of people who persecuted the Muslims, killed them, tortured them, stole from them, and insisted on whipping them out. God sent down the revelation to Muhammad (peace be upon him): Quran (2:191-193) - "And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [opressing others, killing human beings, and rejecting God's message] is worse than killing... but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful.   And fight them until there is no more  and worship is for Allah alone.  But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)" ]

     This is a very clear cut verse concerning that group of people (The Quraish), which were actually of the family of Muhammad (peace be upon him). For 13 hard years Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught what Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them) taught, that God is ONE and that you should worship Him and Him alone, without associating any partners or helpers with Him. The Quraish and others were so upset that Muhammad, one of their own, was destroying the beliefs of idol worship, as Abraham had done himself (peace be upon him), that they ultimately plotted to assassinate him. He fled to Madina, and they followed. They killed and persecuted the Muslims that did not flee, emptied their houses of their belongings and sent the stuff to be sold in the markets elsewhere. Muhammad and his followers (peace be upon him) set out to retrieve their stuff. The enemies of Islam of today will tell you that they were bandits and raided caravans! And isn't it amazing, that these people never tell you and expand upon the fact that we muslims are not to pursue fighting until all avenues of peace have been exhausted! They will NOT tell you that the Quran commands us to seek peace, until there is no choice but to fight, and if the people we are fighting decide to stop, we are to stop! They conveniently skip all these facts and go strait to the meat of their hatred, "Kill all the infidels!"...

 The facts are all twisted from these ignoramuses. I beg and plead all decent Americans to do the research yourselves. 

     I have found a way of life that is so perfect, but yet I am so imperfect. I have found a religion that has all the answers to all the questions, yet I am and always will be learning and never able to know it all. I have found the meaning to life and the answers to some of the most amazing scientific questions. I have found and embraced a way of life that ultimately gives me a peace of mind and heart, a peace that no drug, person, thing, etc. can provide! I have found Islam, and I am a Muslim! You should be too.....

     I hope and pray that God guides you all to the correct understanding of this beautiful system of belief and action. We need to listen to peoples hate less, and study and research more! As Muslims, we are commanded to go out and learn, because learning increases ones knowledge and knowledge leads to understanding..... and understanding can lead to peace and harmony amongst humanity in many areas of life.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Blessed With Schizophrenia?

Every now and again you run across something on the net that just leaves you dazed and confused.
His Article

I was looking into whether or not the new moon had been sighted in my region, Memphis, TN, for the purpose of knowing that a new month had started in the Islamic Calendar. I ran across a former intelligence officers blog posting. He claims to have been blessed to hear spirit voices that allowed him to decipher a message that was sent to him as a 7 yr old child. The message was in the form of a UFO sighting over Memphis, TN.

It was however nice of him to decipher the message according to all faiths ;)

Thought I would share it with you all and watch the comments fly! lol

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Thread That Bind Us

You ever just sit back and take in a scene? Absorb the psychological and emotional effect of a setting? If one has the ability to do so, one should!

You ever watch a traffic or pedestrian walk video in high speed? As I sat sipping my coffee this evening at the local Masjid's breaking of the fast , yes, coffee in the night time... I pictured what all these people's day might have been like. Life in fast forward....

I'm sure several of them must have opened up their shop or store to conduct the daily business and take in the days profits, and who could blame them, because MLG& Robbery, sorry... MLG&W (Memphis Light Gas & Water) accepts no excuses the day the bill is due!

Some of the brothers are doctors and dealt with the sick, infected and those on the fringes of that long abode known as death... Perhaps some did die! Others walked the street in the scorching heat, just trying to find a job and or a few dollars to get the days necessities.... One brother lost his job and his house and another sat with his dying mother all day, I know that for a fact. One dear brother raced to Nashville to drop of the kids with his x, may Allah bless him, because he is getting married tomorrow....

My point is, all these people with all these differences, different destinies and experiences... and for just a few minutes today, Islam made me feel as if we were all ONE and our destiny was ONE.... TO PLEASE OUR CREATOR AND LOVE FOR OUR BROTHERS WHAT WE LOVE FOR OURSELVES!

No other way of life, thing, drug, philosophy can do to me what Islam does... You should try it!!! Islam that is ;)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Blast

Memphis Islamic Center - Press Release
Press Release is above, and my comments are below...

We are already hearing from prominent news sources that these explosions have the hallmark signs of what has become known as Al-Aqeda. I ask that Americans remain calm and steadfast as these events unfold and try hard to refrain from jumping to conclusions.

What we should be doing is praying hard for the victims and there families! Everyone should also endeavor with sincerity to learn the truth about Islam and those of us who are called Muslims and to differentiate between true statements concerning Islamic beliefs and those statements that come from the mouths of people who contain enormous amounts of enmity towards Islam and its adherents. Unfortunately, there are bad apples in every bunch, and all of us, Muslims and Non-Muslims, should work together to first, make that understood. Second, we should working together to stop all forms of unjust hatred that leads to one of the greatest sins one can commit, the unjust killing of fellow human beings.

I , Joseph Sneed, stand firmly against such actions as witnessed today at the Boston Marathon, and I call for justice to be served against those involved.

May God guide us all, to that which is true and correct, in matters of belied and religious acts of worship, amen....

And... May God protect us from the evil of this world, amen.