The Swiss who wanted minarets banned embraced Truth

Updated 11 October 2013
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The Swiss who wanted minarets banned embraced Truth

The Swiss politician Daniel Streich, who rose to fame as a result of his opposition to mosques in his homeland, Switzerland, has now embraced the faith he reviled.
Daniel Streich was a member of the Swiss People's Party in Switzerland. A well-known politician, Streich led the calls for a ban on minarets across Switzerland. He was active in building anti-Muslim sentiments throughout Switzerland.
This sustained campaign led to him being given a high-ranking position in the Swiss Army.
Daniel Streich, born in Bulle, Canton of Fribourg, is a Swiss military instructor, community council member and a former member of Swiss People’s Party (SVP).
Streich left the SVP over the campaign for the national ban on the construction of new minarets.
Streich was founding member and president of the Gruyères section of the party from 2003 to 2007. A devout Catholic, he however found Truth when he studied Qur’an, and followed conversion to Islam in 2005. The man who once reviled Islam, and studied Qur’an with the aim to malign it explained the reason for his conversion saying that this newly discovered religion offered him "logical answers to important life questions."
He resigned from his presidency in June 2007 citing his discomfort with certain "extremist" positions of the party, especially the campaign to ban nationwide construction of new minarets.
While Streich in 2007 stated that he had "many Muslim friends" he did not make public his personal conversion to Islam until early November 2009, when he left the Swiss People's Party in protest against their campaign for the impending referendum of Nov, 29, 2009. He then participated in setting up the Conservative Democratic Party cantonal section.
Steich's case was reported by the most read daily newspaper in Switzerland, 20 Minuten on Nov. 23, during the week preceding the referendum and the story was picked up by the tabloid newspaper Blick on the following day.
Streich was an important member of the Swiss People's Party (SVP). His importance could be estimated from his influence on party's policy making, in which he always had a prominent role.
His movement against minarets was aimed at gaining political attention and interest. Streich won the slot of military instructor in the Swiss Army due to his popularity. He was also committed to his party (SVP) and stood as a local politician in the commune of Bulle.
Streich attempted to understand the Qur'an and Islamic teachings in order to argue against Muslims on tenets of their faith. In the course of his efforts, the ex-Christian began to agree with and acknowledge the proclamations of the Qur'an.
Born in a Christian family, Streich had a comprehensive study of Islam merely to malign and confront, but later his Islamic teachings had a deep impact on him.
Eventually he de-linked himself from political activities and he embraced Islam. Streich has termed the SVP activities against the Muslims as satanic.
He says that he used to read the Bible and often went to chapel, but now he recites the Holy Qur’an and offers his prayers five times a day.
He further says that he cancelled his party membership and made public his conversion. Streich says that he has found the truth of life in Islam, which he could not find in Christianity.
"Islam offers me logical answers to important life questions, which, in the end, I never found in Christianity," says Streich. He is now a committed Muslim, who attends the mosque, recites the Qur'an and prays five times a day.
According to figures from the Union of Islamic Organizations and Communities, some 3,000 to 5,000 Italians have recently converted to Islam from Catholicism. Recently the question of ban on minarets was put to voting in Switzerland, wherein the Swiss nationals gave the issue a legal status.
As per voting results 42.5 per cent people voted in favor of the minarets and 57.5 per cent supported the ban, while the Muslim population in Switzerland is only 6 per cent.
The most wondrous thing in this regard, therefore, is the support of 42.5 per cent of population for only six percent Muslims. The analysts claim that ban on minarets and Islamic rituals has attracted the people toward Islam. Streich has now focused his intentions on participating in the building of the new Conservative Democratic Party in the canton of Freiburg.
Freich's new movement is in contrast to his previous one and he aims to promote religious tolerance and peaceful cooperative living, in spite of the fact that ban on mosques minarets has gained a legal status.
He is vehemently opposed to the Minaret ban and is hoping to establish Switzerland's fifth mosque and the most beautiful in Europe.
Meanwhile the SVP have raised concerns over Streich’s position as military commander in the army following his conversion citing him as a security risk.
SVP National Council member Alfred Heer cited the Fort Hood shooting spree as an example.

n Courtesy of islamicbulletin.org


The beauty of prayer in Islam

Updated 23 September 2016
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The beauty of prayer in Islam

GOING deeper into our spiritual state during prayers (salah) requires that we have a presence of heart and are mindful of the words being said during the prayers.
Our prayer will feel shorter, yet when we look at how much time we actually spent, we will think, “Did I just spend 10 minutes?” or even 15 and 20 minutes.
A person who began applying this said he wished the prayer would never end.
A feeling that Ibn Al-Qayyim describes as “what the competitors compete for… it is nourishment for the soul and the delight of the eyes,” and he also said, “If this feeling leaves the heart, it is as though it is a body with no soul.”

The love of Allah
Some people’s relationship with Allah is limited to following orders and leaving prohibitions, so that one does not enter hell. Of course, we must follow orders and leave prohibitions, but it needs to be done out of more than fear and hope; it should also be done out of love for Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an: “… Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him.” (Qur’an, 5:54)
We often find that when a lover meets the beloved, hearts are stirred and there is warmth in that meeting. Yet when we meet Allah, there is not even an ounce of this same feeling. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And (yet) among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals (to Him). They love them as they (should) love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.” (Qur’an, 2:165)
And those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. There should be a feeling of longing, and when we raise our hands to start the prayer, warmth and love should fill our hearts because we are now meeting with Allah. A dua of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O Allah, I ask You for the longing to meet You” (An-Nisa’i, Al-Hakim)
Ibn Al-Qayyim says in his book Tareeq Al-Hijratain that Allah loves His Messengers and His believing servants, and they love Him and nothing is more beloved to them than Him. The love of one’s parents has a certain type of sweetness, as does the love of one’s children, but the love of Allah far supersedes any of that. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Any person who combines these three qualities will experience the sweetness of faith: 1) that God and His messenger are dearer to him than anything else; 2) that his love of others is purely for God’s sake; and 3) that he hates to relapse into disbelief as much as he hates to be thrown in the fire.” (Bukhari)
Thus, the first thing he mentioned was: “… that God and His messenger are more beloved to him than anything else…”
Ibn Al-Qayyim says: “Since ‘there is nothing like unto Him’ (Qur’an, 42:11), there is nothing like experiencing love for Him.”
If you feel this love for Him, it will be a feeling so intense, so sweet, that you would wish the prayer would never ever end.
Do you truly want to feel this love? Then ask yourself: ‘why do you or should you love Allah?’
Know that you love people for one (or all, in varying degrees) of three reasons: For their beauty, because of their exalted character or/and because they have done good to you. And know that Allah combines all of these three to the utmost degree.

All-embracing beauty
We’ve all been touched by beauty. It is almost fitrah (natural disposition) to love what is beautiful. Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said about the Prophet, peace be upon him, that it was “as if the sun is shining from his face.” Jabir (may God be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah was more handsome, beautiful, and radiant than the full moon” (Tirmidhi)
Allah made all His Prophets have a certain beauty so that people would have a natural inclination toward them.
And beauty is more than what is in the face, because beauty is in all of creation and somehow has the ability to take our breath away and give us peace simultaneously. The glimmer of the crescent moon on a calm night, the intensity of a waterfall as the water drops for thousands of feet, the sunset by the sea … certain scenes of natural unspoiled beauty stirs something in us. As Allah is the One Who made it beautiful, so what of Allah’s beauty?
Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “And it is enough to realize Allah’s Beauty when we know that every internal and external beauty in this life and the next are created by Him, so what of the beauty of their Creator?”
This fitrah for loving what is beautiful is because Allah is beautiful. One of His Names is Al-Jameel (the Most Beautiful). Ibn Al-Qayyim states that the beauty of Allah is something that a person cannot imagine and only He knows it. There is nothing of it in creation save for glimpses.
Ibn Al-Qayyim says if all of creation were the most beautiful they could be (so let’s imagine, ever single human being looked as beautiful as Yusuf, peace be upon him, and the whole world was like Paradise), and all of them combined from the beginning of time until the Day of Judgment, they would not even be like a ray in comparison to the sun when compared to Allah. Allah’s beauty is so intense that we will not even be able to take it in this life. In the Qur’an, Allah describes Musa’s (peace be upon him) request: “And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, ‘My Lord, show me (Yourself) that I may look at You.’ (Allah) said: ‘You will not see Me but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.’ But when his Lord appeared to the mountain He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious.” (Qur’an, 7:143)
Even the mountain could not bear the beauty of Allah and crumbled, and when Musa, peace be upon him, saw this (he did not even see Allah), he fell unconscious. This is why on the Day of Judgment it is Allah’s light that will shine on everything. We talk about breathtaking beauty, but we have yet to experience Allah’s beauty. While things in this world can be beautiful or majestic or if they combine both they are finite, true majesty and beauty are for Allah: “And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.” (Qur’an, 55:27)
Keeping all of this in mind, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Allah directs His Face toward the face of His servant who is praying, as long as he does not turn away” (Tirmidhi).
Remember this in your prayer, and ask Allah to allow you the joy of seeing Him in Paradise.