Saturday, February 22, 2014


When you hear the word "educated" what do you think of? Does the image of a person wearing a cap and gown come to mind or do you think of lawyers, doctors, engineers, and other advanced degree holders? For many years I thought this way. I even embarked of the "road of academia." However, after becoming "educated," I realize that true education comes in many forms.

Being educated is subjective! The lawyer in the middle of the Amazon rain forest is severely uneducated in that environment. The religious scholar may seem like a relic from the past, when asked about contemporary issues.

Today, I'd like to speak about some extremely educated people, that many perceive to be "hicks, backwards, or those who couldn't make it in the real world"...these people are called farmers!

Firstly, let's define who we are talking about via Wikipedia. A farmer is a person engaged in agriculture, raising living organisms for food or raw materials. The term usually applies to people who do some combination of raising field cropsorchardsvineyardspoultry, or other livestock. A farmer might own the farmed land or might work as a laborer on land owned by others, but in advanced economies, a farmer is usually a farm owner, while employees of the farm are known as farm workers, or farmhands.

144 years ago, 75% of the US population was employed in it's less than 2%. Think about it, most people used to be able to provide for their dietary needs or at least part of their needs. Why are food prices so high today? Why are there numerous cases of food illnesses even though we have the USDA? All because we have turned over control to the "so-called educated." 

When we look at human physical needs, they appear in the order of water, food, and shelter. The second most important need... needs an educated person to get the job done. 

A farmer has to be a mathematician, veterinarian, meteorologist, geologist, processor, retailer, engineer, intrinsically motivated, physically strong, and able to take the good with the bad! I implore you to think of the following the next time you think of a farmer as uneducated.

Allah has promised to the believing men and the believing women gardens, beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them, and goodly dwellings in gardens of perpetual abode; and best of all is Allah's goodly pleasure; that is the grand achievement (Qur'an 9:72)

Bukhari, Book 8, volume 73-Hadith 41
Narrated Anas bin Malik رضي الله عنه  The Prophet  said, "If any Muslim plants any plant and a human being or animal eats of it, he will be rewarded as if he had given that much in charity."

Agriculture, be it heavenly or earthly is described with beauty and great reward, for those who reflect.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Tomorrow, may be today!

Are we ready for tomorrow? Truly Allah is the best of planners, but that doesn't mean we just sit back and wait for things to unfold. When we die, and we surely will...will those left behind be in a good situation? The needs I'm speaking about are the earthly and Day of Judgment needs.

How are we taking care of our wives and children? Can they survive without the income we've been providing or will they have to be the lower hand that receives from the government and or others? Allah says in Surah an-Nisa: 34, “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because of what Allah has preferred one with over the other and because of what they spend to support them from their wealth.” 

A man has the responsibility of taking care of his wife, not only buying groceries, an abaya, and housing her, but protecting her & her honor, assisting her in the proper Islamic raising of the children, and attending to her religious and worldly needs.

Too often have I seen and heard brothers say they are taking care of their responsibility because they bought 2 or 3 over-garments and Al-Usul Ath-Thalatha. I'm not saying these things aren't good...I'm saying that it's not enough! 

Today we live in a world with so many distractions.Technology can be our enemy or it can be our friend. We must be wise and disciplined enough to choose the later. The internet will never replace a qualified teacher, but it is a useful place until a teacher can be found. There are numerous free sites where one can learn to read and write Arabic. There are lectures and classes available so a basic understanding can be acquired.

For those that are lacking in a particular area, let's set aside 15-30 minutes a day to learn some beneficial knowledge with our families. I'm sure all of us have at least that short amount of time to invest for the Day of Judgement. A good friend of mine named Khalid Green, does quick YouTube readings. These readings will never replace a class or a teacher, but are a useful starting point for a busy person.

Here's the link:

Brothers, now let's take a quick look at the earthly maintenance. Do you own a house or property? When you die, where will your wife/wives and children stay? Don't put your faith in the government or community to take on this responsibility. We must think about our families financial future. Even if you're working a low paying job, you need to be saving, and looking for a better situation. I knew a brother who used to fast every other day so he could save money to buy a house...and yes, he did get the house.

Just to be clear, I'm not suggesting mortgages with interest. I'm suggesting sheriff sales, repossessed houses, and any other halal alternative. I've known people who've purchased land and lived in an apartment, while they built their house on the weekends. I've also know people who lived in RVs while they saved money for bigger projects. The point is that it can be done.

Lastly, please make sure the intention is purely for the sake of Allah. Here are some examples, I want to earn more money to buy a house to protect and maintain my family. I want to learn Arabic to better understand my religion. Whatever it may be, make sure you're doing it to please Allah first and foremost.

If anyone has questions as to how to make those changes, feel free to ask...together we can figure out something.

As Allah say, "Help you one another in Al Birr and At Taqwa (virtue, righteousness, and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Very Allah is severe in punishment. (Surah al-Ma'idah: 2).

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Show me the money!

No this isn't a post about the movie "Jerry Maguire" or Tom Cruise or Cuba Gooding, Jr. It's about economics at the basic level.

I've been to Jewish communities in New York, Amish communities in Pennsylvania, and Muslim communities all over the world. In all 3 cases, like minded people have come together to support one another with stores, schools, health care, and other social services. However, the Muslims seem to be lacking. Why is that?

Both the Jewish and Amish communities keep their money in their respective communities. They espouse the buy local, keep it local belief.Why do we as a community not support one another? Why don't we establish our own coffee shops instead of going to Starbucks? Why don't we have our own hospitals? I've seen Jewish and Catholic hospitals, but no Muslim hospitals. However, I've seen many Muslim doctors working in those hospitals.

I truly believe we have the intellect, manpower, the need, but lack the desire to sacrifice to establish the big picture. Since the big picture is beyond the thoughts of many, let's look are something a little easier for now.

Here are the top 10 reasons to:
Think Local - Buy Local - Be Local (

1. Buy local, support yourself - The local seamstress buys from the local fabric shop
2. Support community groups - The local fabric shop donates to the youth archery club
3. Keep our community unique - The youth archery club competes regional and shows our uniqueness
4. Reduce environmental impact - Local employment saves on gas and auto maintenance
5. Create more good jobs - Specialty shops, not mega malls
6. Get better service - People know your name and care about you
7. Invest in community - People appreciate things they invested in (our park, our team, our children)
8. Put your taxes to good use - minimal infrastructure
9. Buy what you want, not what someone wants you to buy - Local shops cater to locals
10. Encourage local prosperity - Wanting for your brother or sister what you want for yourself

For those who do not live in a Muslim community and have no desire to move to one, at least support the community you live in. Remember,

"The Believers are but a single Brotherhood." [Al-Hujurat 49:10]

"The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoy the ma'roof (all of Islam), and forbid the munkar (all that is evil; kufr): they observe regular prayers, pay Zakat, and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise." [9:71]

Narrated Abu Musa:

The Prophet said, "A faithful believer to a faithful beliver is like the bricks of a wall, enforcing each other." While (saying that) the Prophet clasped his hands, by interlocking his fingers.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

To the old, I'm back! To the new, welcome to my blog!

As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. For those of you who don't know me, I'm Shariyf, Mai's husband (Mai to the Extreme), and the author of the deactivated blog: 1 Family 2 Wives.

In this blog, I'd like to share with you some things I've seen over the last 4 decades, discuss tough issues like the elephant in the room, seek your advise, and help one another grow.

First and foremost, everyone should know that I'm not a student of knowledge in the traditional sense. By that I mean, I'm not a student at the University of Madinah. However, I regularly have classes and discussions with the students from the university, and we advise one another on various issues.

I've had the privilege of learning from many life experiences...such family, Brandywine Judo School, the US Marine Corps, acquiring a class "A" commercial driver's license, being so poor I couldn't eat everyday, building houses, being a mail carrier for the US Postal Service, traveling to and or living in Canada, Egypt, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Tunisia, Greece, Bahrain, the UK, Turkey, Jordan, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, obtaining 4 degrees, monogamy & polygyny, fathering 7 children (yes, I was married and their mothers are Muslim), homeschooling, marriage & divorce, teaching at the high school and university levels, thesis advising for Masters degree students at the Islamic University of Madinah, being the CEO of Healing Earth LLC, Permaculture, and the wisdom of my wife Mai.

The experiences listed above, and many more have taught me that I don't know everything, in fact, I know very little, but those experiences have given me insight into many issues.

I look forward to stimulating discussions. Barak Allahu feekum.