It’s My Life Too

Lyrics of the Bon Jovi song “It’s My Life.”

 

This ain’t a song for the broken-hearted

No silent prayer for the faith-departed

I ain’t gonna be just a face in the crowd

You’re gonna hear my voice

When I shout it out loud

 

It’s my life

It’s now or never

I ain’t gonna live forever

I just want to live while I’m alive

(It’s my life)

My heart is like an open highway

Like Frankie said

I did it my way

I just want to live while I’m alive

It’s my life

 

This is for the ones who stood their ground

It’s for Tommy and Gina who never backed down

Tomorrow’s getting harder, make no mistake

Luck ain’t enough

You’ve got to make your own breaks

 

It’s my life

And it’s now or never

I ain’t gonna live forever

I just want to live while I’m alive

(It’s my life)

My heart is like an open highway

Like Frankie said

I did it my way

I just want to live while I’m alive

It’s my life

 

You better stand tall when they’re calling you out

Don’t bend, don’t break, baby, don’t back down

 

It’s my life

And it’s now or never

I ain’t gonna live forever

I just want to live while I’m alive

(It’s my life)

My heart is like an open highway

Like Frankie said

I did it my way

I just want to live while I’m alive

(It’s my life)

 

Written by Richard Sambora, Jon Bon Jovi, Max Martin • Copyright © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Austro-mechana Gmbh

 

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First, I would like to say, “Thank you” and express my gratitude to Writing dot com for this prompt. It has inspired me and gave me the courage to write and say what I have been wanting to say for many years, but did not, out of fear.

Realizing, now more than ever before, that “It’s my life” and that as such it has a purpose; that indeed, “It’s now or never” and, that like all human beings, “I ain’t gonna live forever.” So, I decided, today is as good as any day to say what I have been longing to say; grateful for the invitation by Wrinting dot com’s prompt.

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I am a Muslim woman of Moroccan origin. I believe that every small and major event in my life since my birth and up until now has led me to the realization that I must share my view about life, existence, religion, human nature, and our purpose on earth. I no longer worry about how what I am about to share shall be received. I am confident that for some it will make sense, and for others, it just won’t.

I would like to begin by stating my beliefs.

I believe that every individual member of the human race was created by the One and Only Creator, God. I believe that we are all descendants of Adam and Eve which makes us one huge big family. I believe that we must live on earth to learn the difference between Good and Evil so that we have the necessary knowledge to make an informed decision and make the ultimate choice, where (Heaven or Hell) and with who (God or Satan) we would like to spend Eternity.  Yes, I believe in Heaven and Hell as real places. I believe that God created us free and gave us the power to decide and choose every action and reaction in our existence. I believe it was our choice to eat the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and therefore, we are here to know, by use of auditory, visual, olfactory, Kinesthetic-tactile, and gustatory senses the difference between what is good and what it bad. I also believe that we have been endowed by our creator with the ability to reason things out and make sound, sane, and effective judgment.

I believe that God did not just drop us down here on earth and left us without guidance or a compass to navigate through life’s journey. He has sent us guides, messengers, and prophets with directives, commandments, advice, warnings, and cautionary admonitions going all the way back to Adam and his first descendants of whom Seth, among others, (God’s peace and blessings be upon him) is mentioned in the Old Testament as well as in the Qur’an. I believe that since the beginning of our existence on earth, hundreds more messengers from God have been sent to us to redirect us to the straight path, all the way down to Prophet Mohammad. I do believe that prophet Mohammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) was the last messenger sent by God. I believe the Qur’an to be God’s words, unadulterated, and preserved in their original version word for word.

I don’t just believe all this, blindly. Rather, my belief is based on logical and common-sense reasoning.

To start, the word ‘Islam’ means surrender and submission to God and to His will and decree. It is kind of like when I tell my child “My house, my rules!”  when my child is determined to do the opposite of what I ask of him and goes on the interminable series of “But why should I this…, why shouldn’t I that…, and why are my all friends allowed to…?”

How do parents act and behave with their children who are arrogant, unscrupulous, disobedient, and bent on doing mischief and hurting the rest of their family? I let the reader answer this question.

To go back to why I believe submission and surrender (Islam) to God’s will is the right decision, I must describe what a Muslim, truly, is. A Muslim is one who, for as long as he breaths in and out, every moment of his life, accepts God’s decree and whatever befalls him in this life and perceives all good and bad experiences and occurrences as opportunities for spiritual growth and maturation. The harder the challenge, the more valuable the lesson. Alas! Not everyone who calls himself a Muslim is, in fact, a Muslim.

I believe factions such as Daish, Isis, Al Shabab, Beaucoup Haram and all those who adopt the same ideology and behavior to be misguided and driven by lust for power, selfishness, deception, pride, and self-righteousness. I believe that none of their character traits resemble those of prophet Mohammad who was kind, compassionate, selfless, generous, caring for the wayfarer, the widow, and the orphan.

The factions referenced above spread chaos, murder and indiscriminate killing, rape, pillaging, and theft instead. Instead of protecting the weak they have used them as human shields to protect their own miserable lives. I pity those who continue to be brain-washed by them, those who forfeit their lives and sacrifice their souls by doing their leaders’ bid and doing what God Himself forbade and denounced as sin in the Qur’an and in every Holy scripture. It is clearly stated in Pickthal’s translation of chapter 5, verse 32 of the Quran, “For that cause, We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whosoever saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. Our messengers came unto them of old with clear proofs (of Allah’s Sovereignty), but afterward, lo! many of them became prodigals in the earth.”

Sure, some, as cited on https://mbplee.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/%C2%A77-whoever-kills-a-person-unjustly-quran-532/ perceive this verse differently and have said: “It is quite apparent that “Whoever kills a person….it is as though he killed all mankind” is completely misleading and dishonest and is intended as a dissimulation. It is as though it is saying that Allah disapproves of killing (of any kind) i.e. “whoever kills… is killing mankind.” It is misleading because it is out of context and it was abbreviated deliberately to deceive those not familiar with the Quran. Because when the verse is read in full it implies that “when the person is a murderer, or someone who inciting sedition,” that killing him is justified. And in the eyes of Muslims, all non-Muslims who reject Allah and Islam are “spreading corruption” (are thus enemies of Islam and cannot be innocent) and are legitimate targets to be killed. But it does imply (to Muslims) that killing another (innocent) Muslim would be synonymous to killing all mankind. (That, I believe was Muhammad’s intended meaning of that verse.)”

Such interpretation is appalling to me. I address the person who wrote this statement saying:

Did Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) sought to kill all non-Muslims living in the Arabian Peninsula and right next door to him? Do you imply that every individual who calls himself/herself Muslim is innocent regardless of whether they have committed sin and mischief in the land? And if that is, indeed, how you perceive the meaning of this verse, where does your certitude come from that none of the Christians and Jews who have been murdered have in fact submitted and surrendered their will to God? Does not God in chapter 5 verse 82 in the Qur’an say according to Sahih International translation

“You will surely find the most intense of the people in animosity toward the believers [to be] the Jews and those who associate others with Allah, and you will find the nearest of them in affection to the believers those who say, “We are Christians.” That is because among them are priests and monks and because they are not arrogant.” Can you honestly say that you have knowledge of the hearts and minds of all people, and you are able to distinguish from among them those who are innocent and those who are not? And I would like to remind you to read the verse above in the context of what was taking place at that time.

Furthermore, you seem to believe that the word “Believers” applies only to Muslims. Therefore, would you not agree that some of those who call themselves Muslim or are Muslim by birth to Muslim parents can be sinners and deserving of God’s displeasure and punishment and are addressed by God in Chapter 5, verse 90 when as He said, according to the same translation as above “O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone altars [to other than Allah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.” Or do you believe, contrary to God’s words, that they (everyone who call himself/herself Muslim) is immune, exempt, and not vulnerable to Satan’s mischief, by the mere appellation ‘Muslim’? Common sense, reason, and the fact that God is just, fair, compassionate, merciful and worthy of the remaining ninety-four most beautiful names He attributes to Himself, dictate that your assumption is erroneous.

Does not God in the Qur’an tells us, as can be deduced from the following chapters and verses, what amounts to the conclusion that God does not favor individuals based on the religion they claim to follow, but rather, His favor is based on individuals’ deeds and the purity of their heart and mind.

(Qur’an 29:45-49) Per the translation by Dr. Mustafa Khattab “Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, ˹genuine˺ prayer should deter ˹one˺ from indecency and wickedness. The remembrance of Allah is ˹an˺ even greater ˹deterrent˺. And Allah ˹fully˺ knows what you ˹all˺ do.

Do not argue with the People of the Book unless gracefully, except with those of them who act wrongfully. And say, (O Mohammad) “We believe in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to you. Our God and your God is One. And to Him, we ˹fully˺ submit.’

Similarly to earlier messengers, We have revealed to you a Book ˹O Prophet˺. ˹The faithful of˺ those to whom We gave the Scriptures believe in it, as do some of these ˹pagan Arabs˺. And none denies Our revelations except the ˹stubborn˺ disbelievers.

You ˹O Prophet˺ could not read any writing before this ˹revelation˺, nor could you write at all. Otherwise, the people of falsehood would have been suspicious.

But this ˹Quran˺ is ˹a set of˺ clear revelations ˹preserved˺ in the hearts of those gifted with knowledge. And none denies Our revelations except the ˹stubborn˺ wrongdoers.”

(Qur’an 3:113-117) “Not all of them are alike: of the People of the book are a portion that stands (for the right); they rehearse the signs of Allah all night long and prostrate themselves in adoration.

They believe in Allah and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, and they (hasten in emulation) in (all) good works; they are in the ranks of the righteous.

Of the good that they do nothing will be rejected of them; for Allah knoweth well those that do right.

Those who reject faith neither their possessions nor their (numerous) progeny will avail them aught against Allah; they will be companions of the fire dwelling therein (forever).

What they spend in the life of this (material) world may be likened to the wind which brings a nipping frost: it strikes and destroys the harvest of men who have wronged their own souls; it is not Allah that hath wronged them but they wrong themselves.”

(Quran 60:8) “As for such [of the unbelievers] as do not fight against you on account of [your] faith, and neither drive you forth from your homelands, God does not forbid you to show them kindness and to behave towards them with full equity: for, verily, God loves those who act equitably.

(Quran 60:9) “God only forbids you to turn in friendship towards such as fight against you because of [your] faith, and drive you forth from your homelands, or aid [others] in driving you forth: and as for those [from among you] who turn towards them in friendship; it is they, they who are truly wrongdoers!”

(Quran 2:62) “Verily, those who have attained to faith [in this divine writ], as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians, and the Sabians – all who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds-shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve. “

(Quran 3:199) “And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in God, in the revelation to you, and in the revelation to them, bowing in humility to God. They will not sell the Signs of God for a miserable gain! For them is a reward with their Lord, and God is swift in account.”

(Qur’an 5: 68) “O people of the Scripture! You have naught (of guidance) till you observe the Torah and Gospel and that which was revealed unto you from your Lord. That which is revealed unto (Muhammad) from thy Lord is certain to increase the contumacy and disbelief of many of them. But grieve not for the disbelieving folk.”

The following verse, indeed, capsulate this issue:

(Quran 49:13) “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (not that you may despise (each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).

How can you justify the indiscriminate killing, rape, and murder of non-Muslim when prophet Mohammad himself, as described in the following citation:

“Islam began to grow and spread throughout Arabia, Prophet Muhammad met with many Christian communities and Jewish Tribes to spread Islam, but never outwardly converted them. He did, however, encourage them to continue to follow their Scriptures and not to compromise their faiths. He also reminded his Muslim followers:

“He who wrongs a Jew or a Christian will have me as his accuser on the Day of Judgment.” Per (Al-Bukhari)

In his (prophet Muhammad) plight to create a peaceful spread of Islam, Prophet Muhammad had his followers enact a document to regulate the relationship between people of the Book around Madinah, where Islam was a growing civilization.  According to the sources, this is what the document said:

“Whoever joins the signatories of this scripture would be entitled to our help and would not be subject to any injustice, nor should the Muslims cooperate against them. The children of Ouf (a Jewish tribe) are a community of believers. The people of the scriptures are allowed to follow their religion as much as the Muslims are allowed to follow theirs, and so are their allies except the one who commits injustice or sin, for he does not harm but himself… The signatories of the document are entitled to mutual advice, sincerity, and assistance rather than fighting each other…” (503)

This document was the first in history establishing religious pluralism and freedom of beliefs. Peace was enacted as long as everyone celebrated the goodness of their religions and did not impose their beliefs on others. It was also known that Prophet Muhammad never ridiculed other religions and his spreading of the messages of Islam was always imbued in kindness through his speech and actions.

Even when Islam was insulted, the Prophet would peruse wisdom and dignity when explaining their misconceptions. Even so, he would only speak when he was directed to do so: (Qur’an 53: 3-4) “Nor does he speak out of [his own] desire. It is but a revelation that is revealed, taught to him by one of awesome power.”

Prophet Muhammad though openly encouraged the people of the Book to reinstate monotheism, something that was and is quickly being lost: (Qur’an 3: 64) “Say: ‘O People of the Scripture. Come to an agreement between us and you: that we shall worship none but Allah, and that we shall ascribe no partners unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside Allah. And if they turn away, then say: “Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him)’. “

There are always more similarities between the people of the Book than differences, and this is something that we need to remember when reading the contemporary news in the mainstream media nowadays.

http://aboutislam.net/reading-islam/about-muhammad/prophets-kindness-towards-people-book/

 

As for those non-Muslim who deny Islam as path and as a God-revealed message sent to all of mankind, I would like to say:

I believe God’s guidance throughout time, since the beginning of our existence, though in tongues (different languages) has always had the same core message “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind, love each other, and treat each other as you want to be treated.”  Would this not make for a much better world for all of us?

Is instruction in any field ever completed in one session?  Would a parent not adjust his instruction and education of his/her child according to the child’ stage of development and his/her psychological and sensory aptitude? Why can we not accept that God has been sending all his prophets and messengers to all of mankind? Would a loving parent worthy of that role discriminate among his/her children? Would he/she give each of the children different and contradictory instructions, guidance, and information knowing it would result in dissension, separation, and strife? Why then do we believe that God, the Creator of heaven and earth and all that exists; the Merciful, Most Kind, Benevolent would do that? Would He be described as kind, benevolent, compassionate, fair, loving, and just, if He did?

I believe that the only obstacle that prevents us from successful achievement of God’s instructions, and from heeding his commandments to the letter, to be our own flawed nature which is tarnished by selfishness, the instinct of self-preservation, and our tribal and sectarian drive.

If righteousness, steadfastness, and spiritual purity were character traits of all adherents of any particular religion, cult, creed, or dogma, we would never have heard of such individuals as those belonging to Isis, Daish, Al Shabab, Beaucoup Haram, and others with similar ideas who claim to be Muslim. We would never have heard of the atrocities of the Crusades, of the Holocaust, of contemporary Christian priests of all denominations who perpetrated sexual abuse on the children trusted to their care for spiritual growth and enlightenment. We would never have heard of Tibetan and Buddhist decimating and ethnically cleansing Muslim Uyghurs in China and Burma. We would not hear what Jews and Muslims are inflicting upon each other in Israel and the contested land of Palestine.

I believe that our human nature has not completely metabolized the ingredients in the forbidden fruit we ingested upon our creation, and I believe that those non-metabolized ingredients continue to cause the weakness of our spiritual immune system and continue to make us vulnerable to temptation and to Satan’s invitation to self-indulgence, and immediate gratification in all its forms.

Yes, I believe Satan is a real entity, and that he has vowed to prove to God that Adam, Eve, and their descendants are not worthy of God’s love and of His favor. Yes, the Same Satan who deceived Adam and Eve, deceived Cain and caused him to kill his brother Abel, and has continued throughout our human history to pit individual against each other, (Tutsi against Hutu, Natives against immigrant, White against Blacks and Browns, Republicans against Democrats, parents against children and children against parents, etc.) “Divide and Conquer.” Is not God’s Motto. However, it is Satan’s.

I would like to end by saying “I believe, that for as long as we continue to ignore Satan and his dominion, and continue to try to find solutions to our dysfunction as a species and to our inability to achieve peace and harmony among mankind, in bilateral discussions, treaties, charters, laws, etc., we will continue the same struggles until the end of time.

I know that many do not believe in God, the devil, heaven or hell, but rather believe in science and the big bang.  I am willing to volunteer myself and be used as a subject to neuroscience by any mean of discovery possible that would prove that drives such as jealousy, gluttony, greed, self-righteousness, desire for power, wealth, and for self-gratification, are inherent parts and parcels of who we are and that it takes constant effort in moment by moment battle to overcome and resist their pull. I believe that only through remembrance and allegiance to God, for those who believe in God, of course, is the strength to overcome possible. Satan does mess or waste time with those who do not believe and proclaim allegiance to God.

I would invite everyone to read or listen to NPR’s Weekend Edition today’s interview by Lulu Garcia-Navarro of Florence Pugh who plays the lead character in the new film Lady Macbeth, based on a Russian novella, in order to get an idea of how far we have strayed from the straight and narrow path.

The following statements really made me think “Is it OK to be like that?”

PUGH: And then she does everything she can to get some freedom, some power back. And it was just incredible to play a character that manipulates not only the characters in the film but the audience.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Explain how you approached doing something like that because when we see her at the beginning, we like her. She’s – we see the repression that she’s living under, and you root for her to sort of break free of the chains.

PUGH: Well, when I read Katherine, I didn’t want her to be a villain. And any – the only way that we would support her until the end was if we recognized something in her, was if we, you know, wanted to look after her, we wanted to care for her as the audience. And so I approached that by simply making her very simple, very human, quite literally just being as instinctive as she is. And I think that’s probably one of the beauties about her is she’s so naughty and delicious.

Later on in the interview,

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But then the film does turn very dark.

PUGH: Yes, hence Lady Macbeth (laughter).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Exactly. That’s the nod to Lady Macbeth.

PUGH: Yeah.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: She commits these very dark acts, Katherine.

PUGH: Yeah, yeah.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: What is that journey that she takes?

PUGH: I see her as a kid acting out. And I justified absolutely everything she had to do.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We should say she commits a series of murders.

PUGH: Yeah, she does. And the first…

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You don’t see her as a villain, though.

PUGH: No, I don’t because none of these violent acts were ones that she would have done if she had been left alone. She does them because these men have forced her into this life. And so for me, I never see her acts as anything other than her reacting to the situation she’s been put in.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So the film ends with this brutal, shocking final act.

I will leave it to the reader to cogitate, introspect, and reason, then come up with any questions they would like me to answer.

There is so much more I would like to say, but will wait for another inspiring prompt.

 

 

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