Saturday, November 4, 2017

Staying in Touch With Islam

Bismillah ir Rahman ir Rahim.Al-Hamdulillah
STAYING IN TOUCH WITH  ISLAM by Rufus West a/k/a' Muslim Mansa Lutalo lyapo
 Date: October 25, 2017
          From September 6, 2001 to July 3, 2007, I was entombed at the Superrnax Correctional Institution. Prior to that experience I never felt comfortable with physical contact with other people, especially strangers.  In certain social circles, however, I was required to at least participate in a certain handshake or it could be perceived- by the other person as a sign of disrespect. When I was at Supermax the only physical contact allowed was when staff would hands –on escort me in chains  to places within the prison, or via some violent encounter. Under these limited circumstances I learned to hate.being touched to the point, where it felt normal.
         When I was released from Supermax, 1 experienced a sense of paranoia and extreme apprehension every time someone would extend their hand for me to shake due to concerns that they were, trying to get close to me in order to cause me physical harm, and also because it just felt very abnormal. The person who initially helped me-begin-to deal with this was Ms. Peggy Swan when she came to visit me at the Columbia Correctional Institution, She just walked up to me and hugged me for what seemed like an hour. My mind resisted but my body felt tense. It felt unreal because for years the only time I've ever seen her was on a small monitor behind a glass window, and hoisted about 8 feet in the air via something called a "televisit" at Supermax. I still feel very uncomfortable about coming in physical contact with other people but it's not as intense as it was when I first got out of Supermax.
           If I had my way I would live the rest of my life without having physical contact with anyone.
However, according to the Sunna (Way of life) of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), it is
recommended for Muslims, myself included, to make "musafaha" (shaking of hands) when they
greet each other. According to a Hadith (sayings by Prophet Muhammad) (PBUH), it was related that
"Every time I met Rasulullah 'sall-Allahu 'alaihi Wa sallam,' he would make musafaha with me."

           Musafaha is two people attaching the palms of their right hands to each other, in a manner
wherein the sides of their thumbs contact each other. The handshake which is done by holding the
second person's fingers in your palm, and which is in fashion today, is a Shiite manner of handshake.
 The sunnat fashion,' however, is ..when you meet your Muslim Brother and as both of you utter the
words 'of greeting, to attach the inner parts of four of the fingers of your naked right hand (without
wearing gloves or any other kind of wrapper), to the outer part of his right hand, towards his thumb.
 Affection spreads from the veins of the thumb. As two Muslims make Musafaha, they exchange
brotherly affection. This is another example showing  that Muslims should love one another and
  avoid separatism." (Source: The Rising and the Hereafter by Imam Ghazali,)
          It is because of this information I found myself forcing myself to shake hands with people regardless of my personal feelings. And it's worth it. I mean, before embracing Islam I felt compelled to shake hands with people to stay in touch with a certain organizational code, whereas now I only shake hands for the sake of staying in touch with Islam.
Rufus West, #225213
Mus1rn Mansa Lutalo Iyapo
P.O, Box 19033
Green Bay, WI 54307