Category Archives: Chicago Crescent

Chicago Crescent, Ahmed Rehab:Faith, Peace, Sin & Smoke

There is a new anti-smoking medicine out there. I first tried it during a business trip in Scotland. It works as follows: you gurgle with it before you smoke, it washes out and purifies your taste buds such that if you try to pop in a cigarette in the next 24 hours, you cannot help but cringe at the unbearably bitter taste of the toxins contained therein.

Now, whether you can actually taste them or not, these toxins are always there when you smoke, doing their number on your lungs, blood, skin, teeth, hair, etc. Smokers may think they are better of not tasting the toxins; but then again, if they could always taste them, they would realize the reality of what they are getting into, the reality of feeding on poison. Who would continue to smoke if the act of smoking itself was an unbearable experience and not a seemingly pleasant and rewarding one? Who would smoke if the act of smoking actually felt as repulsive as its effect?
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Chicago Crescent, Ahmed Rehab: Islamic Rediscovery not Reformation

Are we doing Islam justice by merely engaging in rituals while failing to allow them to transform our characters and our outlook on life? Can we go on placing emphasis on reading and memorizing the Quran while failing to place the same emphasis on understanding it and allowing its teachings to permeate us and elevate us to a higher standard of humanity? Can we continue to engage in the same petty conflicts and egotistical exploits of those who seek personal gain, evoking Islam and Allah only so far as that seems to validate and legitimize our unholy pursuits? Yes, there certainly is a problem out there, and we Muslims need to be the first to acknowledge it. The solution rests on our shoulders: a humble rediscovery of Islam and a re-prioritization of our approach to our faith. Continue reading

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Chicago Crescent, Ahmed Rehab: Well integrated Muslims? Yes, but something is still missing

It is no secret that Islam and Muslims remain largely misunderstood in the West, including the United States. This is baffling considering that one study after another reveals that American Muslims are largely integrated on a number of levels in American life. There remain two virgin areas that are crucial to our full integration and in which we are still largely viewed as foreign objects.
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Chicago Crescent, Ahmed Rehab: Islam and the Psychology of Wealth

Islam is not a set of empty rituals; Islam teaches us to think outside the box to rediscover ourselves and to realize an immutable path to contentment. The Qur’an is indeed the ultimate psychology handbook. In enjoining us to reflect inwards vis-à-vis the concept of wealth – “if you try to count the blessings of God, you will not be able to calculate them” – the Qur’an revolutionizes the very process of how we assess our wealth portfolios. Since God’s blessings are infinite, everyone is wealthy if they only knew it. Continue reading

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Chicago Crescent, Ahmed Rehab: Faith is Happiness not Melancholia

Instead of guilt-tripping, an alternative approach, one that I would argue is truer to the spirit of Islam, is conscience-building. This necessitates a return to intellectual stimulation, a cornerstone of the bygone golden ages that seems to have virtually vanished from Islamic early education the world over, only to be replaced by a cacophony of anxious teachers and parents dishing blind – if well-intended – orders and admonishments. Continue reading

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Chicago Crescent, Ahmed Rehab: Islam, The Beret, And Cultural Piracy

Islam is culturally neutral in that it is compatible to any culture on the planet. It is a global faith, not a regional faith. It is ill-advised to marry Islam to the Middle-East while divorcing it from the West, Japan, the Caribbean islands, or anywhere else in the world. Islam in its pure form is foreign to none, and native to all. Continue reading

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With Hope In The Air, Will Hate Radio Suffer?

Will the Obama revolution bring about a significant change in America’s political culture on the ground, from divisiveness and negativity, to constructive dialogue and reasonable debate? Will the air of hope and unity, for example, knock the wind out of the sails of hate radio? Continue reading

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A Simple Recipe For Advancement

Have you ever wondered why some countries are modern and prosperous while others remain poor and stagnant? There are obviously many factors to consider; but what is the defining pattern, the tipping point? In other words, what are the ingredients that are present without exception in developed nations, and missing without exception in developing nations? Continue reading

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Struggling For The Soul Of Conservatism

What exactly is today’s Conservative movement trying to preserve? If it is family values, then why is it so seemingly anti-Muslim and anti-Latino, two groups that have a strong tradition of family values? If it is our national security, then why has America’s neoconservative leadership alienated much of the world, and dragged us into a misguided and poorly-planned war, leaving us less safe? Continue reading

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