Kalimah-e-Tamjeed (Word of Glorification)

Kalimah-e-Tamjeed (Word of Glorification)

Subhaana-llaahi Walhamdu Lillaahi Walaaa Ilaaha Illa-llaahu Wallaahu Akbar. Walaa Hawla Walaa Quwwata Illaa Billaahi-l ‘Aliyyil ‘Azeem.

Glory be to Allah and all praise be to Allah, there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and Allah is the Greatest. There is no might or power except from Allah, the Exalted, the Great One.

Kalimah-e-Tauhid (Word of Unification)

Kalimah-e-Tauhid (Word of Unification)

Laaa Ilaaha Illa-llaahu Wahdahoo Laa Shareeka-lahoo Lahu-l Mulku Walahu-l Hamdu Yuhyee Wayumeetu Wahuwa Hayyu-l Laa Yamootu Abadan Abada. Dhu-l Jalaali Wal Ikraam. Biyadihil Khair. Wahuwa Alaa Kulli Shai-’in Qadeer.

There is none worthy of worship except Allah. He is alone and has no partner. To Him belongs the Kingdom and for Him is all praise. He gives life and causes death. In His hand is all good and He has power over everything.

Kalimah-e-Astaghfar (Word of Penitence)

Kalimah-e-Astaghfar (Word of Penitence)

Astaghfiru-llaaha Rabbi Min Kulli Dhambin Adhnabtuhoo ‘Amadan Aw Khata-an Sirran Aw ‘Alaaniyata-wn Wa-atoobu Ilaihi Min-adh Dhambi-l Ladhee A’lamu Wamina-dh Dhambi-l Ladhi Laaa A’lamu Innaka Anta ‘Allaamu-l Ghuyoobi Wasattaaru-l ‘Uyoobi Wa Ghaffaaru-dh Dhunubi Walaa Hawla Walaa Quwwata Illaa Billaahi-l ‘Aliyyil ‘Azeem.

I seek forgiveness from Allah, who is my Creator and Cheriser, from every sin I committed knowingly or unknowingly, secretly or openly. I also seek His forgiveness for all sins which I am aware of or am not aware of. Certainly You (O Allah!), are the Knower of the hidden and the Concealer of mistakes and the Forgiver of sins. And there is no power and no strength except from Allah, the Most High, the Most Great.

Kalimah-e-Rud-e-Kuffr (Word of Rejection of Disbelief)

Kalimah-e-Rud-e-Kuffr (Word of Rejection of Disbelief)

Allaa-humma Inneee A’udhu-bika Min An Ushrika Bika Shay-awn Wa-ana A’lamu Bihee Wa-astaghfiruka Limaa Laaa A’lamu Bihee Tubtu ‘Anhu Wata-barraatu Mina-l Kufri Wash-shirki Wal-kidhbi Wal-gheebati Wal-bid’ati Wan-nameemati Wal-fawahishi Wal-buhtaani Wal-m’aasi Kulli-haa Wa-Aslamtu Wa-aqoolu Laaa Ilaaha Illa-llaahu Muhammadu-r Rasoolu-llah.

O Allah! I seek refuge in You from that I should ascribe any partner with You knowingly. I seek Your forgiveness for the sin of which I have no knowledge. I repent from it. And becoming disgusted of disbelief and idolatry, lying and backbiting, innovation and slander, lewdness and abomination and all other acts of disobedience, I submit to Your will. I believe and I declare that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

Salat-Ul-Tasbih

Salat-Ul-Tasbih – For forgiveness of All Sins

Benefits of Salat-Ul-Tasbih

Our Beloved Prophet Mohammed (Sallallaho Alihiwassallam) said to his uncle (father’s brother) Sayyiduna Abbass (may Allah be pleased with him) Oh uncle shall I not give you Shall I not grant you Shall I not award you Shall I not do mercy on you When you do 10 things Allah will forgive your sins: of the future and of the past; new and old; those you have forgotten and those you did knowingly; big and small; hidden and revealed. Then he (Sallallaho Alihiwassallam) explained the taught the way to pray Salatul Tasbih and then said if you can pray this salah once a day, if you can not pray once a day then every Friday, and even if this is not possible then once a month and even if this is not possible then once a year and even if this is not possible then at least once in a lifetime (Abu’Dawood & Tirimzi)

How to perform Salatul Tasbih?

This salaat (namaz) is offered in four rakat at a time and can be read in any part of the day and night besides Zawal and Sunrise and Sunset makrooh times, keeping in mind the forbidden times for performing Salat (namaaz). But is is preferred before Zuhr (Fatawa Alamgeeri)

The Tasbih to be read in Salaat-Ul-Tasbeeh:
” Subhaan Allahi Wal Hamdulillahi Wa Laa ilaha illal Laahu Wallahu Akbar “

Method:

Goal is to recite above Tasbih 300 times in Four Rakah with the following method.
In the first rakaat, after reading Sana “Subhaana Kallahumma…”, read the above tasbih 15 times.
Now recite Aaoz “Aoozubillah…”, Bismillah “Bismillah…”, Then read sura Fatiha and a Surah or minimum of three small Ayayhs then read the tasbih 10 times again.
Go to ruku saying Takbeer (Allah Hoo Akbar), after reciting “Subhaana Rabbiyal Azeem” minimum of three times read the tasbih 10 times in Ruku.
Saying “Samee Allahu Liman Hamidah Rabbana Lakal Hamdh” get up from ruku to qiyam position.
Now read the tasbih 10 times.
Go to Sajdah saying Takbeer (Allah Hoo Akbar) and after reciting “Subhaana Rabbiyal A’la” minimum of three times read the tasbih 10 times in Sajdah.
Now go after first Sajdah go to Jalsa (sitting position) saying Takbeer (Allah Hoo Akbar). Sitting in Jalsa read tasbih 10 times.
Go to sajda again saying Takbeer (Allah Hoo Akbar) and after reciting “Subhaana Rabbiyal A’la” minimum of three times read the tasbih 10 times in Sajdah again.
Get up to begin 2nd rakat saying Takbeer (Allah Hoo Akbar).
Do rakah #2 in same fashion, but before reading Bismillah “Bismillah…”, and Surah Fatiha, read the tasbih 15 times. Follow the rest as you did in first Rakat.
After second Sajdah of Second Rakat sit in Qaidah Oola (first sitting) read Attahiyat, Durood and Dua then get up for 3rd rakaat without saying Salam.
Begin third Rakat, just like the first Rakat, with Sana “Subhaana Kallahumma…”, read the above tasbih 15 times. Follow the rest as you did in first Rakat untill you sit for Qaidah Akihra (last sitting) after second sajdah of fourth Rakah.
In Qaidah Akihra Attahiyat, Durood, Dua finish Salah with Salam.

Special notes for Salat-Ul-Tasbih:

1) Do not count loudly. It will break Salah
2) Do not count on fingers or by holding a Bead Tasbih in hand. It is Makruh.
3) You may count by pressing the fingers as a reminder. For example if you are in Ruku. You me press pinky of your right hand first for the first count, then the finger next to it for second count, then the middle finger for third count, following this method untill you reach the pinky of left hand will give you an exact count of ten. Use the same method in Qayam, Sajdah and Jalsa.
4) If missed a count then make it up in the next posture. For example if forgot to recite Tasbih after Surah in Qayam. Then you may recite Tasbish 20 times instead of 10 in Rukuh after “Subhaana Rabbiyal Azeem”. Missed Tasbih cannot be recited in Qayam after ruku and Jalsa between Sajdah. If you missed the Tasbih in Ruku then recite 20 in the first Sajdah instead of the Qayam after rukuh. Similarly if missed the Tasbih in first Sajdah then do not make it up in Jalsa. Instead recite missed tasbih in the second Sajdah. If Tasbih has been missed in last sajdah of second or fourth Rakah then you can recite the missed ones before Attahiyat in Qaidah.
5) If you miss a wajib in Salah and have to do Sajdah Sahaw. You dont have to recite Tasbih in Sajdah sahoo, since the 300 count has been estalished. But if you had missed Tasbih in any of the postures and remeber it now. Then you may recite the missed Tasbih in Sajdah Sahaw now.
6) It is preferable to recite after Surah Fatiha Sura Takathuur in the first raka’, Surah Wal A’sr in the second raka’, Surah Kaferoon (qul ya aiyuhal Kafiroon) in the third and Surah Akhlas (Qul hu Allah-hu ahd) in the fourth raka’. If one does not remember these surah they can recite the ones they prefer.

May Allah accept this dua’ (supplication) for the sake of the trustworthy PROPHET MOHAMMED (Allah’s Grace & Peace be upon him)

Courtesy: Islamic Academy

How To Become A Muslim?

All praise is to Allah, the Lord of the universe. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon Mohammad, His last Messenger.

The purpose of this hand-out is to correct a false idea spread among those willing to adopt Islam as their faith. Some people have a wrong notion that entering into the Islamic fold requires an announcement from the concerned person in the presence of high ranking scholars or sheikhs or reporting this act to courts of justice or other authorities. It is also thought that the act of accepting Islam, should, as a condition, have a certificate issued by the authorities, as evidence to that effect.

We wish to clarify that the whole matter is very easy and that none of these conditions or obligations are required. For Allah, Almighty, is above all comprehension and knows well the secrets of all hearts. Nevertheless, those who are going to adopt Islam as their religion are advised to register themselves as Muslims with the concerned governmental agency, as this procedure may facilitate for them many matters including the possibility of performing Hajj (Pilgrimage) and Umrah.
If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion ordained by Allah for all human-beings, then, one should pronounce the “Shahada”, the testimony of faith, without further delay. The Holy Qur’an is explicit on this regard as Allah states: “The Religion in the sight of Allah is Islam.” (Qur’an 3:19)

In another verse of the Holy Qur’an, Allah states:
“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (Submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost.” (Qur’an 3:85)

In addition, Islam is the only religion prevailing over all other religions. Allah states in the Holy Qur’an:
“To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: …” (Qur’an 5:48)

Mohammad, the Prophet of Allah (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him), said:
“The superstructure of Islam is raised on five (pillars): testifying that there is no God (none truly to be worshiped) but Allah, and that Mohammad is the messenger of Allah, performing the prayer, paying the Zakah (poor-due), fasting the month of Ramadan, and performing Hajj”.

The Shahada can be declared as follows:
“ASH-HADU ANLA ELAHA ILLA-ALLAH WA ASH-HADU ANNA MOHAMMADAN RASUL-ALLAH”.

The English translation is:
“I bear witness that there is no deity (none truly to be worshipped) but, Allah, and I bear witness that Mohammad is the messenger of Allah”,

However, it would not be sufficient for anyone to only utter this testimony orally either in private or in public; but rather, he should believe in it by heart with a firm conviction and unshakeable faith. If one is truly sincere and complies with the teachings of Islam in all his life, he will find himself a new born person.

This will move him to strive more and more to improve his character and draw nearer to perfection. The light of the living faith will fill his heart until he becomes the embodiment of that faith.

What would be next after declaring oneself a Muslim? One should then know the real concept underlying this testimony which means the Oneness of Allah and meet its requirements. One must behave accordingly, applying this true faith to every thing one speaks or does.

What do the words of the “Shahada” signify? The significant point which every Muslim must know very well is the truth that there is no God (deity) to be worshipped other than Allah. He – glory be to Him – is the only true God, Who alone deserves to be worshipped, since He is the Giver of life and Sustainer and the Nourisher of mankind and all creation with His unlimited bounties. Man must worship Allah, Who alone is worthy of worship.

The second part of the Shahada (i.e. Wa ash-hadu anna Mohammadan Rasul-Allah) means that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is the servant and chosen messenger of Allah. No one must have two opinions about this matter. In fact the Muslim has to obey the commands of the Prophet (PBUH), to believe him in what he has said, to practice his teachings, to avoid what he has forbidden, and to worship Allah alone according to the message revealed to him, for all the teachings of the Prophet were in fact revelations and inspirations conveyed to him by Allah.

What is the meaning of worship? It simply means rendering sincere service, showing reverence for Allah. In a deeper shade of meaning, it implies total submission and complete obedience to Allah’s commandments both in utterances and actions of man whether explicit or implicit.

Worship fall into two categories:
1. Visible (manifest or outward)
2. Invisible (concealed or inward)

Visible worship includes acts such as uttering the two parts of the “Shahada”, performing prayers, giving Zakah (the poor-due), recitation of the Holy Qur’an, supplication, adoring Allah by praising Him, purifying our bodies before prayers, etc.

This type of worship is associated with movement of the parts of the human body.

Invisible worship is to believe in Allah, in the Day of Judgment (in the Hereafter), in the Angels, in the Books of Allah, in the Prophets of Allah, in the Divine Decree of destiny (that good and bad are determined by Allah alone).

This type of worship does not involve movement of parts of the body but it surely has bearing on one’s heart which subsequently affects one’s way of life.

It should be borne in mind that any worship not dedicated to Allah alone will be rejected as one form of polytheism and this causes apostasy from the Islamic fold.

The next step for a newly revert to Islam is to purify himself by taking a complete bath. He should then resolve to comply with the principles and rules of Islam in their entirety. He should disown all forms of polytheism and false beliefs. He should reject evil and be righteous. Such rejection of evil and being righteous is one of the exquisites of the motto of Islam – that is, Laa Ilaha Illallah.

Allah states in the Holy Qur’an: “… Whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy Hand-hold that never breaks…” (Qur’an 2:256).

We have to consider that when we declare from our heart that “there is no god (deity) worthy to be worshipped but Allah”, it implies on our part love, devotion, faith and obedience to the rules of Islamic legislations which are legally binding on all Muslims. It is a requirement of “there is no god worthy to be worshipped but Allah” to love for the sake of Allah and to reject for the sake of Allah.

This is the firmest anchor of belief which materializes the meaning of “AL WALA” and “AL BARA”. It means that a Muslim should love and be loyal to his Muslim brothers. He should, as a practice, dissociate himself completely from the unbelievers and refuse to be influenced by them, both in worldly and religious matters.

We conclude with a humble prayer to Allah that may He cleanse the hearts and souls of those who are genuine seekers of truth and may He bless the community of believers. Ameen.

Benefits Of Becoming A Muslim

This article is designed for those who wish to become Muslim; as to what would be their benefits after accepting Islam. It should be stated here that we are not trying to entice people to become Muslim, nor are we trying to convert them into the fold of Islam. Any person who wishes to become a Muslim should recognize that he or she will get all these benefits and much more. However, he or she should realize that they have to earn them by practicing the teachings of Islam. Implementing the practice of Islamic teachings is as important as believing.

Benefits:

The following items are some of the benefits to be earned and enjoyed by those who wish to become Muslim:

1. As far as the Creator (whose proper name is Allah) is concerned, you will be able to identify Him and get to know Him, His role and your relationship to His names, you will be able to communicate with Him any time, 24 hours a day, throughout the whole year. As a result of this category, you will be able to know your origin, your roots and the wisdom as to why you are on this planet. You will be able to have good answers to the questions why, how, when, where, what and other philosophical questions.

2. As a result of the first benefit, your loyalty, allegiance, and obedience will be to the Creator himself. You will transcend yourself from all types of allegiance for this world. This means that if there is a conflict of interest between your boss, your job, your government, your system or any worldly relationship with the Creator, you will undoubtedly put your trust in Allah, the Creator of the universe. You will follow Him before you follow anyone else.

3. As a result of the second benefit, you will be able to acquire peace, harmony, tranquility and happiness within yourself, with your family, with people of the world, with the environment and with the universe. One has to remember that the source of peace is Allah, and one of his beautiful names is that He is The Peace.

4. As an endorsement to the third benefit, you will get rid of the extra electrostatic charges from your brain and the central nervous system by performing the daily Salah (prayer). Through Salah, you are to prostrate by putting your forehead to the floor; and as such are grounding yourself, and you are discharging these extra charges into the ground. As a result of this act, you will get rid of many of the neurological diseases from your body.

5. As a result of the fourth benefit, you will acquire a pleasant personality. You will be friendly and amicable. You would not need to drink alcohol, to use drugs or to get involved in vulgarity or immorality.

6. Through the experience of fasting in Islam, you will be able to have self-control, self-restraint, self-discipline, self-education, self-evaluation, and self-obedience to Allah the Creator. You undoubtedly will be able to improve health, personality, character, and behavior.

7. As a result of the sixth benefit, you will be able to control your lusts, selfishness, desires, greed, ego, and conceitedness.

8. Another side reaction of the sixth and seventh benefits is that you will be generous and hospitable; you will try to purify yourself and your mistakes by sharing your happiness and your wealth with those who are less fortunate than you. Your rewards will manifold, compounded daily until the Day of Judgment.

9. By performing pilgrimage to Makkah, you will transcend yourself from being nationalistic, sectarian, or denominational into being universal. You will be part and an essential constituent of the rainbow of Islam. You will be also part of the brotherhood of Islam with those who already submitted themselves to the Creator. At the same time, you will get rid of any inferiority or superiority complexes. You will also find yourself in synchrony and harmony with all the prophets and messengers of Allah since the creation of Adam and Eve until the last final messenger to mankind, prophet Muhammad (PBUH). While in Makkah, you will be able to visit the places of revelation of the Qu`ran as well as the places visited by prophet Abraham and members of his family such as Hagar and Ishmael. You will visit the place where the first astronauts, Adam and Eve landed on earth.

10. In becoming a Muslim, you will do your best to stop all types of exploitations in all their forms: economic, biological, mental, spiritual, psychological, political, etc. You will also work to liberate people and give them freedom of worship, freedom of speech, and freedom of expression. You will be a leader and help lead people to peace, tranquility and happiness.

11. In accepting Islam, you will help to reduce all types of social illnesses in the society: juvenile delinquency, child abuse, domestic abuse, incest, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, premarital relationships, extramarital relationships, and other vices.

12. As a result of the eleventh benefit, you will reduce and eliminate venereal diseases, AIDS, and other diseases of similar nature in the society.

13. Finally, when you die, you will die at peace. You will have a happy life in the grave and later, eternal happiness. Angels at the time of death will comfort you. They will also show you your place in paradise. On the Day of Judgment, you will be able to see and meet all the prophets and messengers of God to mankind including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (PBUH). You will be able to see and meet any and all of your friends and relatives. You will live an eternal life of bliss in paradise.

Reflections:

The benefits mentioned above and many more cannot be purchased with money anywhere in the world. No one is to sell them to you or to advertise them on TV. You have to take the initiative yourself and try to acquire them by accepting Islam first and then by practicing its teachings. You should be honest with yourself, sincere, and truthful to the Creator. You should try wholeheartedly to practice what you believe, regardless of whether someone else is good or not. While seeking happiness is a must, it should not be measured with other people’s standards or with material gains. Happiness is from its potential to its kinetic forms. People around you should feel your happiness as well as benefit from you.

Are you ready to accept this challenge today? Remember, tomorrow may not come, and it will be too late.

Author : Ahmad H. Sakr, Ph.D.
Source : Jannah.org

Advice To New Muslims From Converts

Advice For New Muslims by Mona

Given that I have been having major problems with my parents regarding my reversion, the following advice is particularly suitable for other new Muslims having problems with their non-Muslim family members:

(1) It is very helpful and comforting to have a few Muslim friends nearby in whom you can confide, ask questions of, and spend time with during the formative and often tumultuous initial period as a new Muslim. Born Muslims are generally honored and pleased to help you improve your faith by showing you the details that help you become a better Muslim.

(2) Before you decide to announce your reversion to loved ones who are non-Muslim, make sure you are ready for their response, whether it is pleasant or horrible. Being ready means many things: understanding the basics of practicing your faith, understanding the reasons behind actions demanded of you by Islam, and being able to reconcile unfortunate world events that are attributed to Muslims with your own understanding of Islam and its inherent goodness, logic, and beauty.

(3) As hypocritical as it may be, many open-minded people cease to be open-minded when difficult issues such as religious conversion “hit home.” People who are ordinarily rational, educated, and worldly unfortunately can swing 180 degrees when a person they love converts to a religion they do not appreciate or understand. It may be in your best interest, and in theirs, to not discuss your reversion to Islam until a year or two has passed and you feel comfortable in your faith. At that point, it would be obvious to them that Islam has not made you a worse or lesser person, and has in fact (hopefully!) noticeably improved you!

(4) Most importantly, remember that the best teaching is by example. If you want to help others overcome the stereotypes bound to Islam and lessen discrimination against muslims, be a model muslim! Remember to be tolerant, patient, giving, helpful, and peaceful with those around you, be they muslim or not. Be open to questions regarding your new faith, but do not feel compelled to answer questions to which you do not (yet) know the answers. Get involved in your ummah, mind your prayer, and with time, everything will become easier for you.

Written by Mona August 5, 1998
Please drop Mona a line. Her e-mail address is: mona@physchem.ox.ac.uk

Advice to new Muslimas by Judi Muhammad, MA, LLP, PhD Candidate;
Vice President/ Clinical Director Islamic
Health & Human Services, Detroit, MI

AsSalaamuAlaykum (Peace be upon you)

It feels like I have been Muslim all of my life. In actuality, I probably was – underneath. But, for most of my life (50 years) I was Christian. I was raised Catholic and converted to a fundamental Christian religion, The Salvation Army, in my 30s and remained there until Allah (SWT) rescued me at age 50. AlHamdullillah!!

For many years I taught psychology and philosophy in college. In that teaching, and in my own education, I came to believe many concepts and philosophies things that did not fit with my religion. But, I accepted that there would be differences and that was OK. One of the things I knew was that while the Christian religion taught that I was (1) born in the image of God (on one hand) and (2) born in sin (on the other) – both were not possible. The first thing I heard about Islam was that we are born good.
In succeeding years, fitrah has become a favorite topic of my reading. All of my reading has proven that what I always believed in my heart was true – that man is born good and his propensity is to live within the Will of Allah.
I spent the first 8 months in Islam single – and when I did marry I was truly blessed with a good Muslim husband. I learned more in the first 1 month of my marriage to him than I had in the 8 months I tried to learn on my own. Always, however, my husband told me that, “Islam is a process. You are responsible for what you learn as you learn it. Worry about the ‘big’ things – not the little things.”

Some of the most important things I have learned are:
That I was always Muslim in my heart – that not all practice Islam the same but anyone who calls themselves “Muslim” is treated by me as Muslim – that Sisters make WONDERFUL friends ( too bad I waited so late in my life to learn that) – that being obedient to my husband has more benefits than I could have ever imagined – that women are more respected in Islam than anyone who is not a Muslimah would possibly imagine – and that the “Peace that passeth all understanding” is not a Christian reward – it is an Islamic reality.

The most important advice I can give a new Muslimah is: Allow Allah to chose your husband – make Istikharah and trust that you will learn the truth from it Do not worry about changing those around you – worry about changing yourself , into the best Muslim you can be – Allah will take care of the rest Search for legitimate Scholars – not everyone knows enough to teach you the truth When you marry, trust your husband and look to him to teach you Islam – it is his job Enjoy obedience to your husband – it will bring rewards in heaven but also on earth!!

Become friends with Sisters who are like you want to become.
May Allah bless you and make your Islamic journey as peaceful as mine.

Written by Judi Muhammad August 3, 1998
Please drop Judi a line. Her e-mail address is: SMuslim@aol.com

FROM JIM (NASIR) who Embraced Islam Sat, 11 Apr 1998 at the ripe young age of 68

Assalamu’alaikum

As advice to a new Muslim I first greet you and congratulate you on your choice and good taste. If you are like I was the road will be a little to quite rocky at first but you must remember Allah is probably testing you to see if you are truly worthy. After a while things will smooth out. You will laugh. cry, get upset and be the happiest person in the world. In time you will have doubt that you chose was the best way to live. Nobody will tell you this, you will know deep down inside.

When I started out I almost gave up many times. I was introduced to a converts/reverts group. The leader asked me if I was a convert yet. I was so fed up I almost told what to do with his group. I thought here comes a third degree. Man did I eat crow. Then again it reminded me of the years back when I went to live in Australia. When you went to get anything. It had a different name over there and if it was not on the ladies counter she did not want to know about it. After I learned my way around things settled down for me. All I can advise you is patience and perseverance. Try to find a good Muslim friend who can guide you around, but best of all be guided by your inner self. I could tell you stories of my problems but then you have enough that you can probably tell me. Why don’t you? As I look back I am reminding myself how much of Don Quixote there is in me. Also his epitaph on his tombstone which goes something like this.
Here lies a brave and fearless knight Who had the courage in his day to live a fool and die a sage.

I am not a sage yet but I am working on it.

Nasir (Jim) Written July 20th 1998
Please drop Jim a line. His e-mail address is: email address is: najim@swlink.net

Advice from Khadeejah (Jacklynn)

Assalamo aleikum (Peace be upon you)

This is the greeting and salutation that Muslims give to each other. It is also the true blessing of Islam. The peace that comes from choosing the right path in life is incomparable! No one can tell you if you have found the right path – you will know it for yourself when you discover the inner calmness of your soul, the joy that even the difficulties cannot extinguish, and the sureness of feeling that you are home… That you have found a WAY OF LIFE – not just a religion! Al hamdolellah! (Thanks to God!)

Islam is not something that you just gulp down in one swallow. It is a lifetime of daily meals to be enjoyed, savored, tasted, and digested. If you eat too fast and try to take it all in one huge bite, you will get indigestion and probably it will come right back up again and make you sick so you don’t want to try another taste. If you eat too slowly and in tiny portions, you will always feel hungry and never be satisfied and if someone comes along offering you sweets and junk food (el shaitan does this) you will perhaps be tempted by that, so you won’t feel like eating any more of the good meal. But if you have a well-balanced meal (studying the Holy Writings, association with fellow believers, putting into practice what you learn) you will feel satisfied and healthy and in peak condition of life.
And think about it… if someone who loved you made a meal especially for you, wouldn’t that make you feel surrounded by their love? Wouldn’t you be anxious to tell everyone you know how well you were treated and how much you enjoyed the food? They would probably envy you and wish that they could also have a meal such as this. Allah loves us and has prepared spiritual food especially for us, his creation, in order for us to be healthy and happy and to know that we are loved. That food of course consists of all the Holy Writings available to us. When the opportunity arises, we can let others know how good our food is and how much our Creator loves us, so that they might see our healthy souls and want what we have. This is human nature… wanting what we don’t have.

So take things moderately, one bite at a time. Some foods take getting accustomed to, just like when we were kids and were told to eat our vegetables… as we grew up, we knew they were good for us, so we ate them as part of our meal even if they were not our favourite food. So, when you come across a “vegetable” in Islam that you find hard to swallow, just take a small nibble and leave it at the side of your plate until the next meal, or the one after that. Eventually you will grow up enough to realize that ALL “foods” in the spiritual meal are good for you and need to be partaken of if we want to stay healthy. As an example, imagine hijab as one of these “vegetables” that we might either love from the start or as something that we will only partake of after growing up and realizing that it is good for our spritual health.

May Allah grant us all the wisdom and good spritual health we need to stay on the straight path. Ameen.

Fee amanallah

Khadeejah (Jacklynn) Written July 21 1998
Please drop Khadeejah a line. Her e-mail address is: email address is: khadeejah@muslimsonline.com

Why Are Women Turning to Islam

At a time when Islam is faced with hostile media coverage particularly where the status of women in Islam is concerned, it may be quite surprising to learn that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, and even more ironic to discover that the majority of converts to Islam are WOMEN .

The status of women in society is neither a new issue, nor is it a fully settled one. And where Islam is mentioned, for many the term ‘Muslim Women’ prompts images of exhausted mothers chained to the stove, ‘victims’ suppressed in a life of indoctrination, frantic to be westernized and so on. Others will go to great lengths to explain how the hijaab is an obstacle, clouding the mind, and comment that female converts are either brainwashed, stupid or traitors to their sex. I reject such accusations and pose to them the following question: why is it that so many women who have been born and brought in the so called ‘civilized’ societies of Europe and America are willing to reject their ‘liberty’ and ‘independence’ to embrace a religion that supposedly oppresses them and is widely assumed to be prejudicial to them?

As a Christian convert to Islam, I can only present my personal experience and reasons for rejecting the ‘freedom’ that women claim to have in this society in favour of the only Religion that truly liberates women by giving us a status and position, which is completely unique when compared with that of our non-Muslim counterparts. Before coming to Islam, I had strong feminist tendencies and recognized that where a woman was concerned, a lot of shuffling around had been going on, yet without being able to pin her on the social map. The problem was ongoing: new ‘women’s issues’ being raised without the previous ones being satisfactorily resolved. Like the many women who shared my background, I would
accuse Islam of being a sexist religion, discriminating, oppressing and giving men the greater privileges. All of this, coming from a person who did not even know Islam, one who had been blinded due to ignorance and had accepted this deliberately distorted definition of Islam.

However, despite my criticisms of Islam, inwardly, I wasn’t satisfied with my own status as a woman in this society. It seemed to me that society would define such terms as ‘liberty’ and ‘freedom’ and then these definitions were accepted by women without us even attempting to question or challenge them. There was clearly a great contradiction between what women were told in theory and what actually happened in practice. The more I pondered, the greater emptiness I felt within. I was slowly beginning to reach a stage where my dissatisfaction with my status as a women in this society, was really a reflection of my greater dissatisfaction with society itself. Everything seemed to be degenerating backwards, despite the claims that the 1990’s was going to be the decade of success and prosperity. Something vital seemed to be missing from my life and nothing would fill this vacuum.

Being a Christian did not do anything for me, and I began to question the validity of only remembering God one day a week – Sundays! As with many other Christians too, I had become disillusioned with the hypocrisy of the Church and was becoming increasingly unhappy with the concept of Trinity and the deification of Jesus.

Eventually, I began to look into Islam. At first, I was only interested in looking at those issues, which specifically dealt with women. I was surprised. What I read and learned, taught me a lot about myself as a woman, and also about where the real oppression of a woman lies: in every other system and way of life outside of Islam. Muslim women have been given their rights in every aspect of the religion with clear definitions of their role in society – as had men – with no injustice against either of them. As Allah says: «“Whoever does deeds of righteousness, be they male or female, and have faith, they will enter paradise and not the least injustice will be done to them”» [Nisaa 4:124]

So having amended my misconceptions about the true status of women in Islam, I was now looking further. I wanted to find that thing which was going to fill the vacuum in my life. My attention was drawn towards the beliefs and practices of Islam. It was only through establishing the fundamentals that I would understand where to turn and what to prioritize. These are often the areas, which receive little attention or controversy in society, and when studying the Islamic Creed, it becomes clear why this is the case: such concise, faultless and wholly comprehensive details cannot be found elsewhere.

Stories: Experiences Of A Recently Converted Hindu Woman

I came from a purely Hindu family where we were always taught to regard ourselves (i.e. women) as beings who were eventually to be married off, have children and serve the husband – whether he was kind or not. Other than this I found that there were a lot of things which really oppressed women, such as:

• If a woman was widowed, she would always have to wear a white sari (costume), eat vegetarian meals, cut her hair short, and never re-marry.

• The bride always had to pay the dowry (bridal money) to the husband’s family. And the husband could ask for anything, irrespective of whether the bride would have difficulty paying it.

• Not only that, if after marriage she was not able to pay the full dowry she would be both emotionally and physically tortured. She could end up being a victim of “kitchen death” where the husband, or both the mother-in-law and the husband, try to set fire to the wife while she is cooking or is in the kitchen, to make it look like an accidental death. More and more of these incidents are taking place. The daughter of a friend of my own father met the same fate last year!

• In addition to all this, men in Hinduism are treated literally as gods. In one of the religious Hindu celebrations, unmarried girls pray for and worship an idol representing a particular god (Shira) so that they may have husbands like him. Even my own mother had asked me to do this. This made me see that the Hindu religion, based on superstitions and things that have no manifest proof and were merely traditions, which oppressed women, could not be right.

Subsequently, when I came to England to study, I thought that at least this was a country, which gave equal rights to men and women, and did not oppress them. We all had the freedom to do as we liked, I thought. Well, as I started to meet people, make new friends, learn about this new society, and go to all the places my friends went to in order to “socialize” (bars, dance halls, etc.), I realized that this “equality” was not so true in practice as it was in theory.

Outwardly, women were seen to be given equal rights in education, work, and so forth, but in reality women were still oppressed in a different, subtler way. When I went with my friends to the places they hung out at, I found everybody interested to talk to me and I thought that was normal. But it was only later that I realized how naïve I was, and recognized what these people were really looking for. I soon began to feel uncomfortable, as if I was not myself: I had to dress in a certain way so that people would like me, and had to talk in a certain way to please them. I soon found that I was feeling more and more uncomfortable, less and less myself, yet I could not get out. Everybody was saying they were enjoying themselves, but I don’t call this enjoyment.

I think women in this way of life are oppressed; they have to dress in a certain way in order to please men and appear more appealing, and also, talk in a certain way so people like them. During this time I had not thought about Islam, even though I had some Muslim acquaintances. But I felt I really had to do something, to find something that I would be happy and secure with, and would feel respectable. Something to believe in that is the right belief, because everybody has a belief that they live according to. If having fun by getting off with other people is someone’s belief, they do this. If making money is someone’s belief, they do everything to achieve this. If they believe drinking is one way to enjoy life then they do it. But I feel all this leads to nowhere; no one is truly satisfied, and the respect women are looking for is diminished in this way.

In these days of so-called “equal rights”, you are expected to have a boyfriend (or you’re weird!) and to not be a virgin. So this is a form of oppression, even though some women do not realize it. When I came to Islam, it was obvious that I had finally found permanent security. A religion, a belief that was so complete and clear in every aspect of life. Many people have a misconception that Islam is an oppressive religion, where women are covered from head to toe, and are not allowed any freedom or rights. In fact, women in Islam are given more rights, and have been for the past 1400 years, compared to the only-recently rights given to non-Muslim women in some western and other societies. But there are, even now, societies where women are still oppressed, as I mentioned earlier in relation to Hindu women.

Muslim women have the right to inheritance. They have the right to run their own trade and business. They have the full right to ownership, property, disposal over their wealth to which the husband has no right. They have the right to education, a right to refuse marriage as long as this refusal is according to reasonable and justifiable grounds. The Qur’an itself, which is the Word of God, contains many verses commanding men to be kind to their wives and stressing the rights of women. Islam has the right set of rules, because they are NOT made by men, but by God; hence it is a perfect religion.

Quite often Muslim women are asked why they are covered from head to toe, and are told that this is oppression – it is not. In Islam, marriage is an important part of life, the making of the society. Therefore, a woman should not go around showing herself to everybody, only her husband. Even the man is not allowed to show certain parts of his body to no one but his wife. In addition, God has commanded Muslim women to cover themselves for their modesty: “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) over their bodies (when outdoors). That is most convenient that they could be known as such (i.e. decent and chaste) and not molested.” (Qur’an 33:59)
If we look around at any other society, we find that in the majority of cases women are attacked and molested because of how they are dressed.

Another point I’d like to comment on is that the rules and regulation laid down in Islam by God, do not apply just to women but to men also. There is no intermingling and free mixing between men and women for the benefit of both. Whatever God commands is right, wholesome, pure and beneficial to mankind. There is no doubt about that. A verse in the Qur’an explains this concept clearly: «”Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and protect their private parts (i.e. from indecency, illegal sexual acts, etc.); that will make for greater purity for them. And God is well aware of what they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and protect their private parts (from indecency, illegal sexual intercourse, etc.); and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments . . . “» (Qur’an, Surah Al-Nur 24:31)

When I put on my hijab (veil), I was really happy to do it. In fact, I really wanted to do it. When I put on the hijab, I felt a great sense of satisfaction and happiness because I had obeyed God’s command. And I was so happy with the good and blessings that came with it. I have felt secure and protected. In fact people respect me more for it. I could really see the difference in their behavior towards me.

Finally, I’d like to say that I had accepted Islam not blindly, or under any compulsion. In the Qur’an itself there is a verse “Let there be no compulsion in religion”. I accepted Islam with conviction. I have seen, been there, done that, and seen both sides of the story. I know and have experienced what the other side is like, and I know that I have done the right thing. Islam does not oppress women, but rather Islam liberates them and gives them the respect they deserve. Islam is the religion God has chosen for the whole of mankind. Those who accept it are truly liberated from the chains and shackles of mankind, whose rulings and legislating necessitates nothing but the oppression of one group by another and the exploitation and oppression of one sex by the other. This is not the case in Islam, which truly liberates women and gives them an individuality not given by any other authority.

Sister Noor has been a Muslim for over a year and a half and is currently in her second year of undergraduate study in the Department of Biology at University of Essex, U. K.

Author : Sister Noor

Stories: Islam’s Female Converts

‘ALLAHU AKBAR [God is great], Allahu akbar!” called Muhammad Hannini as about 15 worshipers gathered Sunday in a mosque in the basement of a home in Richmond Hill, Queens. Instantly, they knelt and touched their heads to the floor, a gesture symbolizing submission to God in Islam.

The eight women bent in prayer a few feet behind the men were dressed in scarves and long dresses or ankle-length skirts. “You should see my humanity, my compassion, my devotion to God coming through the surface, not my body,” said Sunni Rumsey Amatullah, who became Muslim a quarter century ago.

The women say they consider the veil and modest dress symbols not of oppression but of liberation. They say the emphasis on the female body in the Western world, with all its manifestations in popular culture, has led to the sexual objectification of women. And, despite their own often problematic relationships with men, they say their religion treats each gender equally, though not identically.

Like Amatullah — who was born Cheryl Rumsey in Jamaica, Queens, and raised Episcopalian — these women are among the estimated 20,000 Americans a year who since the mid-’90s have adopted Islam, a religion that has been receiving much attention since the Sept.11 terrorist attacks.
Despite the persistent image of the oppressed Muslim woman, about 7,000 of those converts each year are women, according to the report of a study led by Ihsan Bagby, a professor of international studies at Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C. The study was financed in part by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, based in Washington. About 14,000 of the total number of converts in 2000, the report found, were African-American, 4,000 were white and 1,200 were of Hispanic descent. (Members of the Nation of Islam were not included in the study.)

What is the religion’s draw for women? “The .tightly structured way of life, the regular set of responsibilities, where you know what you believe and you know what you do, attracts some women,” said Jane I. Smith, professor of Islamic studies at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut and author of “Islam in America” (Columbia University Press).

With laws for almost every aspect of life, Islam represents a faith-based order that women may see as crucial to creating healthy families and communities, and correcting the damage done by the popular secular humanism of the past 30 or so years, several experts said. In addition, women from broken homes may be especially attracted to the religion because of the value it places on family, said Marcia Herman.sen, a professor of Islamic studies at Loyola Univer.sity in Chicago and an American who also converted to Islam.

Next Saturday, the women, along with Muslims around the world, will celebrate the festival of Eid ul-Adha marking the end of hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. They “don’t see the structures as repressive,” Hermansen said. “They see them as comforting and supportive.”

Choosing Islam can also be a type of “cultural critique” of Western materialism, she said. “Islam represents the beautiful, traditional, grounded and .authentic.”

“It is Allah talking to you directly,” said Amatullah, 50, the director of an HIV prevention program at Iris House, a health-care organization in Harlem. She said she converted after leading a wildly hedonistic lifestyle for several years. “It’s a spiritual awakening. What happens is you’re in a fog and you don’t know you are in a fog, and when it clears up you say, ‘Hey, I thought it was clear back there,’” she said. “My friend’s husband gave me the Quran in my early 20s, because he thought I was too wild.”

At first, Amatullah said, she paid little attention, but she was profoundly affected when she .started delving into the book. Still, it took about five years and a great deal of contemplation, she said, before she became truly interested in Islam and came to believe the Quran was the divine truth. She said she also was impressed by the rights women had under Islam in .seventh-century Arabia, a time when women in most other cultures had virtually no power over their lives.

“Islamic law embodies a number of Quranic reforms that significantly enhanced the status of women,” according to John Esposito, a professor and director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University and author of “Islam: The Straight Path” (Oxford University Press). “Contrary to pre-Islamic Arab customs, the Quran recognized a woman’s right to contract her own marriage.

“In addition, she, not her father or male relatives, as had been the custom, was to receive the dowry from her husband. She became a party to the contract rather than an object for sale,” Esposito wrote. “The right to keep and maintain her dowry was a source of self-esteem and wealth in an otherwise male-dominated society. Women’s right to own and manage their own property was further enhanced and acknowledged by Quranic verses of inheritance which granted inheritance rights to wives, daughters, sisters and grandmothers of the deceased in a patriarchal society where all rights were tradition.ally vested solely in male heirs. Similar legal rights would not occur in the West until the 19th century.”

Esther Bourne, a 46-year-old accountant in Manhattan, was raised Catholic by her American mother after her British father died when she was 6. Spiritually inclined from a young age, she said she first read the Quran in her mid-20s, because her former husband, a Muslim, owned a copy. “I would go in and out of it,” she said.

By her mid-30s, after ending an abusive relationship and enduring the tragic death of a man she loved dearly, Bourne said she began a spiritual quest that included classes on Islam at a mosque on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. “When the teachers would explain, my heart just accepted it,” she said. “The heart believed it.”

In 1992, at the age of 36, Bourne took her sha.hada, the profession of faith that is the first of the five pillars of Islam. “I don’t have panic anymore, and if some misfortune happens, I just accept the decree from Allah,” Bourne said.

“You slowly adjust yourself to an Islamic way of life, thinking about God, doing good deeds,” Amatullah said. “Some days I do it better than others.”
Amina Mohammed, a 58-year-old dental assistant at the Veterans Administration hospital in St. Albans, has been a Muslim for more than 20 years. She was born Doris Gregory, the daughter of an American Indian .mother and a .Jamaican father, and was raised as a .Lutheran. She said she stopped going to church when she was 16.

Two years later, she began an active spiritual quest by reading about Buddhism, Hinduism and American Indian religions, but, she said, none of them was what she was looking for — a way to pray to one God in one form. “I was so disappointed,” she said. “I knew that there was a correct religion, but I just hadn’t found it. But I believed in God — I was no atheist.”

In her mid-30s, after two failed marriages and two daughters — who are now 27 and 33 — she said she felt a desperate need for spiritual direction and coincidentally was exposed for the first time to Islam. “This is what I had always felt in my heart,” she said.

For about three years she studied the religion; she began to cut down on dating and to cover her head occasionally. Then she went to a mosque in Manhattan and “saw women from different countries and from different races praying together,” she said. “I thought this is how it should be on earth.”

Amatullah, who lives in St. Albans, has been married and divorced three times since she converted to Islam. Her first husband was from Sudan, the second was from Egypt and the third was Italian-American; all were Muslim. Allah gives both men and women the right to divorce, she said, and she ini.tiated each split.

Although the Quran does not prohibit women from gaining an education or having a career, the converts said, it is a woman’s primary responsibility to take care of her children.

“Look at the Western society of today with the breakdown of family, the mother being out of the home and the children being alone,” said Bourne, who is single and has a 28-year-old son. “I had problems because I practically had to raise my son alone.”

Their faith, the three converts said, has not been shaken by the Sept. 11 attacks, carried out by men who said they were acting as Muslims. The distortion of Islam by extremists and terrorists, the women stressed, should not lead to the condemnation of a great religion.

“To kill innocent lives,” Amatullah said, “is anti- Islamic.”

Author : Priya Malhotra
Source : Newsday (New York, NY)

Stories: Marriage Lead Women To Islam

“Aysha” Abid Choudry – her given name is Harumi – adopted her Muslim name and faith four years ago, at the age of 26, to marry a Pakistani. Two years later, like many Japanese women married to Muslim men in Japan, she remained reluctant to abide by Islamic laws.

Then one day about two years ago, she decided to act on her own intuition that Islam meant having a personal relationship with Allah [Arabic for God]. She got on her knees to pray for the first time. Her husband, a devout Muslim who had never asked her to adopt Islam but had prayed silently on her behalf for years, cried openly at the sight.

Once distant and unknown in Japan, Islam has found converts among young Japanese women. Many are married to men who come to Japan to find work from countries with Islamic traditions such as Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Malaysia.

Islamic law mandates that those who intend to marry Muslims must convert, at least in name, to the Islamic faith, according to R. Siddiqi, director of the Islamic Center, Japan. A hub of Islamic activity in Tokyo, the Islamic Center in Setagay-ku registered over 80 new members this year, the majority Japanese women.

Although some women converted with no thought of marriage, many more converted to Islam to marry Muslims; the center reports a record number of 40 marriages between foreign Muslims and Japanese women converts this year.

“Women are attracted to Islam because they want freedom. Islam gives them independence because they do not have to be a slave to any man. Islam is against moral aggression against women. The chastity and honor of women are protected. No illicit relations are allowed. All these things attract women,” said Siddiqi.

Islamic law also provides that men may have more than one wife. “This cannot seem to leave Japanese heads,” said Siddiqi. “We explain one thousand times that marrying four times is permissible only in certain unavoidable circumstances such as impotency, infertility and so forth. As a result there is no prostitution in Islam. If you need another women, then marry her, take care of her and the children.”

Asked why a woman can’t have more than one husband, Siddiqi explained, “Because she can’t decide on whose child it is. It is confusing for her.” (Japanese law uses the same logic, forbidding women to remarry within six months of divorce.)

Japanese women who marry men from Islamic countries often face ostracism from their families and alienation from friends; living by Islamic laws requires major changes in nearly every aspect of their lives. The Muslim’s daily ritual of prayer (salat) facing Mecca, before sunrise, at noon, mid-afternoon, after sunset, and before sleep, for example, is a major hurdle for anyone who wants to hold onto a steady job. One resourceful young woman who works for a major electronics company in Tokyo manages to pray in the company changing room.

The new Muslim must also make major changes in her diet. Muslims who strictly follow the Qu’ran may not consume pork, alcoholic beverages and animal products that have not been blessed. Juices and _tsukemono_ may contain preservatives with low levels of alcohol; chocolate, ice cream, cakes and other processed desserts may contain animal fats, and gelatins which may be made from animal bones.

Although blessed (halal) products have become increasingly available from shops that specialize in halal or imported products, many basic products sold in supermarkets are off limits to Muslims.

“At first it was hard to know what foods were permitted, so a group of us got together and called the soy sauce, juice and pastry manufacturers to find out exactly which products were alright and which were not. We made a big checklist and that information had spread by word of mouth,” Aysha said.

Another woman married to a Pakistani says, “It’s not a problem. There’s a store selling halal food that we order from in Saitama and we eat fish. As for cakes and juices, I usually make my own.”

The most obvious symbol of the Muslim woman is the veil (hijab) that covers her head, and the long sleeves, and pants that cover her limbs. Countries have variations on this; Saudi women cover the nose and mouth as well, while Malaysian Muslims [women] wear short scarves over their heads.

An energetic face framed within her black hijab, Aysha says, “I wasn’t born a Muslim, so I’m strict (about Islam). Before I became a Muslim, I was the secretary to a company president so I drank alcohol, played, wore miniskirts, everything. After I became a Muslim, everything changed. I threw away or gave away five bags of clothing. To become a good Muslim takes time, though.”

Although strict Islamic life may not be incongruous with lifestyles in Saudi Arabia or Iran, in Japan, Islam means accepting a life radically different from the ordinary Japanese. Perhaps, for some, herein lies the appeal.
“Before I became a Muslim I didn’t know what I was put here on earth for. I thought that the purpose of working was to make other people think highly of me. I believed that a person’s worth was based on what university he went to and how much money he made. Now I know that work is to nourish my body and I am here to live each day to praise Allah,” said a woman in her 20’s married to a Pakistani truck driver.

Others, like Noureen, a 30-year-old teacher of nursing at a women’s university in Saitama, had tried other religions, including Christianity, which she found unsatisfying before finding Islam. She met her husband, a 29-year-old Pakistani factory worker, while attending study sessions at the Islamic Center (their trip home took them in the same direction) and officially became a Muslim before their marriage four years ago. She and her husband agree that Islam comes first and work comes second, When the nurse’s uniform and the hospital environment interfered with the practice of Islam, “My husband told me that I should change jobs if I couldn’t be a good Muslim at my own pace.”

Noureen says, “the problem is not just food, it’s the concept: In Japan, people think their body is their own, and that one should stay up all night studying and only think about exams. But we believe that one’s body belongs to God and should be treated with respect.”

Author : Lynne Y. Nakano
Source : Japan Times

Stories: Why British Women Are Turning To Islam

Lucy Berrington finds the Muslim Faith is winning Western admirers despite hostile media coverage. The Times (London) – Tuesday, 9th November 1993

Unprecedented numbers of British people, nearly all of them women, are converting to Islam at a time of deep divisions within the Anglican and Catholic churches.

The rate of conversions has prompted predictions that Islam will rapidly become an important religious force in this country. “Within the next 20 years the number of British converts will equal or overtake the immigrant Muslim community that brought the faith here”, says Rose Kendrick, a religious education teacher at a Hull comprehensive and the author of a textbook guide to the Koran. She says: “Islam is as much a world faith as is Roman Catholicism. No one nationality claims it as its own”. Islam is also spreading fast on the continent and in America.

The surge in conversions to Islam has taken place despite the negative image of the faith in the Western press. Indeed, the pace of conversions has accelerated since publicity over the Salman Rushdie affair, the Gulf War and the plight of the Muslims in Bosnia. It is even more ironic that most British converts should be women, given the widespread view in the west that Islam treats women poorly. In the United States, women converts outnumber men by four to one, and in Britain make up the bulk of the estimated 10, 000 to 20, 000 converts, forming part of a Muslim community of 1 to 1.5 million. Many of Britain’s “New Muslims” are from middle-class backgrounds. They include Matthew Wilkinson, a former head boy of Eton who went on to Cambridge, and a son and daughter of Lord Justice Scott, the judge heading the arms-to-Iraq enquiry.

A small-scale survey by the Islamic Foundation in Leicester suggests that most converts are aged 30 to 50. Younger Muslims point to many conversions among students and highlight the intellectual thrust of Islam. “Muhammad” said, “The light of Islam will rise in the West” and I think that is what is happening in our day” says Aliya Haeri, an American-born psychologist who converted 15 years ago. She is a consultant to the Zahra Trust, a charity publishing spiritual literature and is one of Britain’s prominent Islamic speakers. She adds: “Western converts are coming to Islam with fresh eyes, without all the habits of the East, avoiding much of what is culturally wrong. The purest tradition is finding itself strongest in the West.”

Some say the conversions are prompted by the rise of comparative religious education. The British media, offering what Muslims describe as a relentless bad press on all things Islamic, is also said to have helped. Westerners despairing of their own society – rising in crime, family breakdown, drugs and alcoholism – have come to admire the discipline and security of Islam. Many converts are former Christians disillusioned by the uncertainty of the church and unhappy with the concept of the Trinity and deification of Jesus.

Quest of the Convert – Why Change?

Other converts describe a search for a religious identity. Many had previously been practicing Christians but found intellectual satisfaction in Islam. “I was a theology student and it was the academic argument that led to my conversion.” Rose Kendrick, a religious education teacher and author, said she objected to the concept of the original sin: “Under Islam, the sins of the fathers aren’t visited on the sons. The idea that God is not always forgiving is blasphemous to Muslims.”

Maimuna, 39, was raised as a High Anglican and confirmed at 15 at the peak of her religious devotion. “I was entranced by the ritual of the High Church and thought about taking the veil.” Her crisis came when a prayer was not answered. She slammed the door on visiting vicars but traveled to convents for discussions with nuns. “My belief came back stronger, but not for the Church, the institution or the dogma.” She researched every Christian denomination, plus Judaism, Buddhism and Krishna Consciousness, before turning to Islam.

Many converts from Christianity reject the ecclesiastical hierarchy emphasizing Muslims’ direct relationship with God. They sense a lack of leadership in the Church of England and are suspicious of its apparent flexibility. “Muslims don’t keep shifting their goal-posts,” says Huda Khattab, 28, author of The Muslim Woman’s Handbook, published this year by Ta-Ha. She converted ten years ago while studying Arabic at university. “Christianity changes, like the way some have said pre-marital sex is okay if it’s with the person you’re going to marry. It seems so wishy-washy. Islam was constant about sex, about praying five times a day. The prayer makes you conscious of God all the time. You’re continually touching base.”

Author : Lucy Berrington
Source : The London Times

Stories: A Brief Bio Of Malcolm X

Twenty-five years after his death, Malcolm X, Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, still towers above the statue of liberty. He refuses to die. Wherever injustice and oppression takes place, his smiling face and uncompromising message fills the atmosphere.

Yes, they killed the body but not the spirit. When he was alive, Brother Shabazz was the most feared man in America. And, the most loved. The situation hasn’t changed.

For the deprived and the oppressed African-Americans, Brother Shabazz continues to be the hero, the inspiration that makes it possible for them to maintain their sanity and dignity in a vile society which can’t stop despising them.

We, as Muslims, are often angered to see Br. Shabazz identified as a Black Nationalist rather than a Muslim. While the anger is justified, we must understand that people generally emphasize the aspect of a leader’s life which is in harmony with their own aspirations. While some African-Americans will continue to invoke the nationalist side of Br. Shabazz, it is for us to see that his Islamic personality is projected to the world!

THE PILGRIMAGE TO MAKKAH

When he was in Makkah, Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz wrote a letter to his assistants in Harlem… from his heart:
“Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood as is practiced by people of all colors and races here in this ancient Holy Land, the home of Abraham, Muhammad and all the other Prophets of the Holy Scriptures. For the past week, I have been utterly speechless and spellbound by the graciousness I see displayed all around me by people of all colors.
“I have been blessed to visit the Holy City of Mecca, I have made my seven circuits around the Ka’ba, led by a young Mutawaf named Muhammad, I drank water from the well of the Zam Zam. I ran seven times back and forth between the hills of Mt.Al-Safa and Al Marwah. I have prayed in the ancient city of Mina, and I have prayed on Mt. Arafat.
“There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colors, from blue-eyed blondes to black-skinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe never could exist between the white and non-white.
“America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, and even eaten with people who in America would have been considered white – but the white attitude was removed from their minds by the religion of Islam. I have never before seen sincere and true brotherhood practiced by all colors together, irrespective of their color.
“You may be shocked by these words coming from me. But on this pilgrimage, what I have seen, and experienced, has forced me to rearrange much of my thought-patterns previously held, and to toss aside some of my previous conclusions. This was not too difficult for me. Despite my firm convictions, I have always been a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds it. I have always kept an open mind, which is necessary to the flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of intelligent search for truth.
“During the past eleven days here in the Muslim world, I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass, and slept on the same rug – while praying to the same God – with fellow Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white. And in the words and in the deeds of the white Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the black African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan and Ghana.
“We were truly all the same (brothers) – because their belief in one God had removed the white from their minds, the white from their behavior, and the white from their attitude.
“I could see from this, that perhaps if white Americans could accept the Oneness of God, then perhaps, too, they could accept in reality the Oneness of Man – and cease to measure, and hinder, and harm others in terms of their ‘differences’ in color.
“With racism plaguing America like an incurable cancer, the so-called ‘Christian’ white American heart should be more receptive to a proven solution to such a destructive problem. Perhaps it could be in time to save America from imminent disaster – the same destruction brought upon Germany by racism that eventually destroyed the Germans themselves.
“Each hour here in the Holy Land enables me to have greater spiritual insights into what is happening in America between black and white. The American Negro never can be blamed for his racial animosities – he is only reacting to four hundred years of the conscious racism of the American whites. But as racism leads America up the suicide path, I do believe, from the experiences that I have had with them, that the whites of the younger generation, in the colleges and universities, will see the handwriting on the walls and many of them will turn to the spiritual path of truth – the only way left to America to ward off the disaster that racism inevitably must lead to.
“Never have I been so highly honored. Never have I been made to feel more humble and unworthy. Who would believe the blessings that have been heaped upon an American Negro? A few nights ago, a man who would be called in America a white man, a United Nations diplomat, an ambassador, a companion of kings, gave me his hotel suite, his bed. Never would I have even thought of dreaming that I would ever be a recipient of such honors – honors that in America would be bestowed upon a King – not a Negro.

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all the Worlds

Malcolm X saw and experienced many positive things. Generosity and openheartedness were qualities that impressed him and the welcome which he received in many places. He saw brotherhood and the brotherhood of different races and this led him to disclaim racism and to say: “I am not a racist… In the past I permitted myself to be used… to make sweeping indictments of all white people, the entire white race, and these generalizations have caused injuries to some whites who perhaps did not deserve to be hurt. Because of the spiritual enlightenment which I was blessed to receive as the result of my recent pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca, I no longer subscribe to sweeping indictments of any one race. I am now striving to live the life of a true Sunni Muslim. I must repeat that I am not a racist nor do I subscribe to the tenets of racism. I can state in all sincerity that I wish nothing but freedom, justice and equality, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all people.”

Malcolm X was vehemently anti-White. That’s the way he was taught as a ‘Black Muslim.’ But his trip for Hajj changed all of that. He came to see that all men are equal, regardless of their color. True anti-racism is color blindness. That is what he preached on his return to the United States. And that is why he was assassinated. While he preached separatism, keeping people aware of color differences, that was OK. Blacks vs. Whites is an acceptable dialect. But when Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz started to preach the Oneness of God and the equality of races, and was prepared to act in any lawful (halal) means necessary, he had to go: Truth vs. Falsehood is an unacceptable dialect.

Islam believes in the unity of the human race. Islam says that all mankind are the creatures of One God, they are all equal. Divisions of color, class, race or territory are sheer illusions; and ideologies which are based on such distinctions are the greatest menace on earth. Men are one and not White or Black, Aryan of Non-Aryan, Occidental or Oriental.

Islam is based on the universal brotherhood of man and practices universal brotherhood of man. The importance of this concept is of great value as it is the only solution to national and international problems. This is said to be the age of freedom and restoring unto every man his dignity, and despite all the phenomenal changes in the political stage of the world, our age is still unable to think in terms of human dignity, and this is the dark specter of social concern of our time. For, despite man’s conquest of space and mastery over the forces of nature, man has not been able to rid himself of the primeval prejudice of race and color. The stark reality of our time has brought in its trail a great desolation and frustration as we find ourselves face to face with chaos, wars, the miserable conditions of living of the masses of mankind and the exploitation of one nation by another, and this leads to selfishness, fear, hatred; class, tribe and race discrimination; and subsequently the division of man against man is the order of the day, even in the so-called Socialist countries.

Islam’s greatest contribution to mankind was the abolition and extinction of distinction based on race and color. The HolyQur’an declared:
“Mankind were one community, then they differed among themselves, so God raised Prophets as bearers of good tidings and as warners…” (Al-Qur’an 2:213)
“O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female; and made you into nations and tribes, that you might get to knowone another. The noblest of you, in the sight of God, is he who is the most righteous. God is All-Knowing and Wise.”(Al-Qur’an 49:13)
From the above verses, it is clear that the whole of humanity from its diverse races, was originally one, deriving its existence from One Creator and that all barriers that separate humanity by race and color must vanish and the superiority of a person be judged by his conduct only. A good Muslim considers himself a fusion of all races. Anyone who enters into the fold of Islam becomes part and parcel of this fraternity, forgetting all pride and prejudice. On the basis of this principle, Islam seeks to build an intellectual, moral, ideological and international society, as against the existing tribal, racial, linguistic and national societies, which have turned the world into a racio-color holocaust.

THE LEGACY OF MALCOLM X

Malcolm X was born into Christianity as Malcolm Little and died in Islam as Malik Shabazz. This is something to think about and is an expression of his legacy. Malcolm X went through the transition period of the religion of the “Nation of Islam,” a religion of American origin borrowing some terms from the Muslim culture of the East.

It appears that Malik Shabazz went through five stages in his short life. The first stage was his childhood under the shadows of his religious parents. The second stage was his adolescence to youth until his moving out to Harlem, NY. This was a rowdy and irresponsible stage of his life which eventually landed him in prison. The fourth stage of his life was in the “Nation of Islam” which was not real Islam. In the “Nation of Islam,” on one side, Malcolm was a very disciplined man; on the other side he became a black racist, a separatist and a demagogue. In the fifth and final stage of his youthful life, Malik Shabazz reached the apex which he could only achieve in real Islam, not in the cultist “Nation of Islam.” Malik Shabazz entered the real Islam as a result of his journey to Makkah. In Islam he became moderate and conciliatory. He shed his racism.

The legacy of Malcolm X is the real Islam taught to us by the Prophet Muhammad of Arabia, not the racist cult of the “Nation of Islam,” presently lead by Louis Farrakhan and others who branched out of the old following of Elijah Muhammad. However, Elijah’s son, Wallace D. Muhammad, now known as Imam Warith Deen Muhammad, moved away from his father’s religion. He is coming to the real Islam adopted by Malik Shabazz for which Malcolm was assassinated.

ISLAMIC BROTHERHOOD

“No other society has such a record of success in uniting in an equality of status, of opportunity and endeavour so many and so varied races of mankind. The great Muslim communities of Africa, India and Indonesia, perhaps also the small community in Japan, show that Islam has still the power to reconcile apparently irreconcilable elements of race and tradition. If ever the opposition of the great societies of the East and west is to be replaced by cooperation, the mediation of Islam is an indispensable condition.” (H.A.R. Gibb, WHITHER ISLAM, p. 379)

“The extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the outstanding achievements of Islam and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue…” (A.J. Toynbee,CIVILIZATION ON TRIAL, New York, p. 205)

“How, for instance, can any other appeal stand against that of the Moslem who, in approaching the pagan, says to him, however obscure or degraded he may be ‘Embrace the faith, and you are at once equal and a brother.’ Islam knows no color line.” (S. S. Leeder, VEILED MYSTERIES OF EGYPT)

Stories: Why Cat Stevens Accepted Islam

All I have to say is all what you know already, to confirm what you already know, the message of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) as given by God – the Religion of Truth. (I didn’t find the first sentence phrased for an article, is this a speech? It is not clear for the reader, especially non-Muslims. Since these are his own words, I don’t know to what extent I have the liberty to modify them). As human beings we are given a consciousness and a duty that has placed us at the top of creation. Man is created to be God’s deputy on earth, and it is important to realize the obligation to rid ourselves of all illusions and to make our lives a preparation for the next life. Anybody who misses this chance is not likely to be given another, to be brought back again and again, because it says in Qur’an that when man is brought to account, he will say, “O Lord, send us back and give us another chance.” The Lord will say, “If I send you back you will do the same.”

MY EARLY RELIGIOUS UPBRINGING

I was brought up in the modern world of all the luxury and the high life of show business. I was born in a Christian home, but we know that every child is born in his original nature; submission to One God (I have added the explanation of natural state) – it is only his parents that turn him to this or that religion. I was given this religion (Christianity) and thought this way. I was taught that God exists, but there was no direct contact with God, so we had to make contact with Him through Jesus – he was in fact the door to God. This was more or less accepted by me, but I did not swallow it all.
I looked at some of the statues of Jesus; they were just stones with no life. And when they said that God is three, I was puzzled even more but could not argue. I more or less believed it, because I had to have respect for the faith of my parents.

POP STAR

Gradually I became alienated from this religious upbringing. I started making music. I wanted to be a big star. All those things I saw in the films and on the media took hold of me, and perhaps I thought this was my God, the goal of making money. I had an uncle who had a beautiful car. “Well,” I said, “he has it made. He has a lot of money.” The people around me influenced me to think that this was it; this world was their God.
I decided then that this was the life for me; to make a lot of money, have a ‘great life.’ Now my examples were the pop stars. I started making songs, but deep down I had a feeling for humanity, a feeling that if I became rich I would help the needy. (It says in the Qur’an, we make a promise, but when we make something, we want to hold onto it and become greedy.)
So what happened was that I became very famous. I was still a teenager, my name and photo were splashed in all the media. They made me larger than life, so I wanted to live larger than life and the only way to do that was to be intoxicated (with liquor and drugs).

IN HOSPITAL

After a year of financial success and ‘high’ living, I became very ill, contracted TB and had to be hospitalized. It was then that I started to think: What was to happen to me? Was I just a body, and my goal in life was merely to satisfy this body? I realized now that this calamity was a blessing given to me by Allah, a chance to open my eyes – “Why am I here? Why am I in bed?” – and I started looking for some of the answers. At that time there was great interest in the Eastern mysticism. I began reading, and the first thing I began to become aware of was death, and that the soul moves on; it does not stop. I felt I was taking the road to bliss and high accomplishment. I started meditating and even became a vegetarian. I now believed in ‘peace and flower power,’ and this was the general trend. But what I did believe in particular was that I was not just a body. This awareness came to me at the hospital.
One day when I was walking and I was caught in the rain, I began running to the shelter and then I realized, ‘Wait a minute, my body is getting wet, my body is telling me I am getting wet.’ This made me think of a saying that the body is like a donkey, and it has to be trained where it has to go. Otherwise, the donkey will lead you where it wants to go.
Then I realized I had a will, a God-given gift: follow the will of God. I was fascinated by the new terminology I was learning in the Eastern religion. By now I was fed up with Christianity. I started making music again and this time I started reflecting my own thoughts. I remember the lyric of one of my songs. It goes like this: “I wish I knew, I wish I knew what makes the Heaven, what makes the Hell. Do I get to know You in my bed or some dusty cell while others reach the big hotel?” and I knew I was on the Path.
I also wrote another song, “The Way to Find God Out.” I became even more famous in the world of music. I really had a difficult time because I was getting rich and famous, and at the same time, I was sincerely searching for the Truth. Then I came to a stage where I decided that Buddhism is all right and noble, but I was not ready to leave the world. I was too attached to the world and was not prepared to become a monk and to isolate myself from society.
I tried Zen and Ching, numerology, tarot cards and astrology. I tried to look back into the Bible and could not find anything. At this time I did not know anything about Islam, and then, what I regarded as a miracle occurred. My brother had visited the mosque in Jerusalem and was greatly impressed that while on the one hand it throbbed with life (unlike the churches and synagogues which were empty), on the other hand, an atmosphere of peace and tranquility prevailed.

THE QUR’AN

When he came to London he brought back a translation of the Qur’an, which he gave to me. He did not become a Muslim, but he felt something in this religion, and thought I might find something in it also.
And when I received the book, a guidance that would explain everything to me – who I was; what was the purpose of life; what was the reality and what would be the reality; and where I came from – I realized that this was the true religion; religion not in the sense the West understands it, not the type for only your old age. In the West, whoever wishes to embrace a religion and make it his only way of life is deemed a fanatic. I was not a fanatic; I was at first confused between the body and the soul. Then I realized that the body and soul are not apart and you don’t have to go to the mountain to be religious. We must follow the will of God. Then we can rise higher than the angels. The first thing I wanted to do now was to be a Muslim.
I realized that everything belongs to God, that slumber does not overtake Him. He created everything. At this point I began to loose the pride in me, because hereto I had thought the reason I was here was because of my own greatness. But I realized that I did not create myself, and the whole purpose of my being here was to submit to the teaching that has been perfected by the religion we know as Islam. At this point I started discovering my faith. I felt I was a Muslim. On reading the Qur’an, I now realized that all the Prophets sent by God brought the same message. Why then were the Jews and Christians different? I know now how the Jews did not accept Jesus as the Messiah and that they had changed His Word. Even the Christians misunderstand God’s Word and called Jesus the son of God. Everything made so much sense. This is the beauty of the Qur’an; it asks you to reflect and reason, and not to worship the sun or moon but the One who has created everything. The Qur’an asks man to reflect upon the sun and moon and God’s creation in general. Do you realize how different the sun is from the moon? They are at varying distances from the earth, yet appear the same size to us; at times one seems to overlap the other.
Even when many of the astronauts go to space, they see the insignificant size of the earth and vastness of space. They become very religious, because they have seen the signs of Allah. When I read the Qur’an further, it talked about prayer, kindness and charity. I was not a Muslim yet, but I felt that the only answer for me was the Qur’an, and God had sent it to me, and I kept it a secret. But the Qur’an also speaks on different levels. I began to understand it on another level, where the Qur’an says, “Those who believe do not take disbelievers for friends and the believers are brothers.” Thus at this point I wished to meet my Muslim brothers.

CONVERSION

Then I decided to journey to Jerusalem (as my brother had done). At Jerusalem, I went to the mosque and sat down. A man asked me what I wanted. I told him I was a Muslim. He asked what was my name. I told him, “Stevens.” He was confused. I then joined the prayer, though not so successfully. Back in London, I met a sister called Nafisa. I told her I wanted to embrace Islam and she directed me to the New Regent Mosque. This was in 1977, about one and a half years after I received the Qur’an. Now I realized that I must get rid of my pride, get rid of Iblis (non-muslims won’t understand iblis), and face one direction. So on a Friday, after Jumma’ I went to the Imam and declared my faith (the Kalima).
You have before you someone who had achieved fame and fortune. But guidance was something that eluded me, no matter how hard I tried, until I was shown the Qur’an. Now I realize I can get in direct contact with God, unlike Christianity or any other religion. As one Hindu lady told me, “You don’t understand the Hindus. We believe in one God; we use these objects (idols) to merely concentrate.” What she was saying was that in order to reach God, one has to create associates that are idols for the purpose. But Islam removes all these barriers. The only thing that moves the believers from the disbelievers is the salatà prayer (or five daily prayers). This is the process of purification.

Finally I wish to say that everything I do is for the pleasure of Allah and pray that you gain some inspirations from my experiences. Furthermore, I would like to stress that I did not come into contact with any Muslim before I embraced Islam. I read the Qur’an first and realized that no person is perfect. Islam is perfect, and if we imitate the conduct of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) we will be successful. May Allah give us guidance to follow the path of the ummah of Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). Ameen!

– Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens)

Source : Institute of Islamic Information & Education

Family: All Created From One Soul

Al-Araf (The Heights)

Chapter 7 : Verse 189

All Created From One Soul

«“It is He who has created you all from a single soul, and out of it brought into being its mate, so that he might incline with love towards her.” »

It is thus a single soul and a single nature, although it has different functions for the male and the female. These differences also serve as a means to make a man incline with love towards his wife and find comfort with her. This is the Islamic outlook on the nature of man and the role of marriage. It is a complete, integrated and honest outlook stated by this religion over fourteen centuries ago when other religions that had deviated from the right path used to consider the woman as the root of human misery. She was looked on as a curse, an impurity and a tool for seduction that man should guard against as much as he could.

The original purpose of the meeting of a human couple is to provide love, comfort, and a settled happy life, which provides an ideal setting for the rearing of young children. It is in such a happy and loving environment that a new human generation is prepared to take over the task of promoting and adding to human civilization. The meeting of a human couple is not meant only to satisfy a fleeting desire or give a temporary pleasure. Nor is it made the basis of a quarrel, or a stage for a conflict between rules and specializations, or for a duplication of such rules and specializations. Ignorant communities, past and contemporary, have often fallen into such traps.

Author : Sayyid Qutb

Family: Being Good To Your Parents

In today’s rapid-paced life, we often tend to get so busy that we forget our parents’ rights. Family values have significantly dropped in our lives, and our friends often become more important to us than our own relatives.

What better can emphasize the good treatment of our parents than the following verse from the Qur’an (interpretation of the meaning) {And your Lord has commanded that you shall not serve (any) but Him, and goodness to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) “Ugh” nor rebuke them, and speak to them in honorable terms} [Qur’an Al-Israa 17:23]. There are two noteworthy conclusions that may be noticed from this verse. First, Allah the Exalted has called for good treatment of parents immediately after ordering us to worship Him. This proves the importance of being kind to our parents and the elevated status in which Allah (SWT) has placed parents in our lives. Second, He has ordered us not to utter even the least of inappropriate comments to them; thus it is very surprising that some people yell at their parents or even tell them to shut up.

Furthermore, when Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) was asked which deed was the best, he replied: “The prayer at its appointed hour”. He was asked: “Then what?”, to which he replied: “Kindness to the parents”. Again he was asked: “Then what?”. He replied: “Earnest struggle (Jihad) in the cause of Allah [Muslim].”

Whether or not you live with your parents, or if both of them are still alive, here are some tips to a good relationship with them:

If you live with your parents

Bring something home every now and then. For example, buy them a gift or a cake whenever you receive your paycheck.

Make sure to spend time with them every day, whether it be for reciting Qur’an or reading hadiths together, conducting household chores, or just plain friendly talk.

Take them out. My mother is extremely happy when I go out for a walk with her.

Obeying whatever they ask you to do, as long as it complies with Islam.

If you don’t live with your parents

Visit them regularly — say once a week or every two weeks.

If you are unable to visit them often because you live far away for example, then do the next best thing and call them frequently. Also, you may send them letters, and don’t forget greeting cards on Islamic occasions (Ramadan, Eid, etc.)

If one or both of your parents have passed away
In the authentic hadith, a man came to the Prophet (may peace be upon him) and asked him whether he can do any good for his parents after they passed away. The Prophet (may peace be upon him) told him to do the following:

· Supplication and istighfar for them,
· Executing their will,
· Connecting with relatives that are likely to be cut with the parents’ death, and
· Honoring their friends

In another hadith, the Prophet (may peace be upon him) also taught us that among the good deeds that benefit one who has passed away is a ‘righteous son that supplicates for him/her.’

Difficulties with parents

Reverts to Islam often tend to face difficulties with their non-Muslim parents. Likewise, Muslims who take up new acts of worship might get into unpleasant situations with them. Although one should not abandon such acts of worship in order to obey one’s parents, one should still retain a good relationship with both parents and treat them kindly. Allah the Exalted has ordered us to obey our parents even if they are non-Muslims – but, once again, as long as what they ask complies with Islam. Conditions such as this require a good deal of patience and can be considered opportunities to show your parents that your newly-found beliefs have actually made you better and closer to them.

Finally, I would like to close with the supplication of prophet Ibrahim (may peace be upon him) as in the Qur’an (interpretation of the meaning) «“My Lord! Make me keep up prayer and from my offspring (too), O our Lord, and accept my prayer: O our Lord! grant me protection and my parents and the believers on the day when the reckoning shall come to pass”» [Ibrahim 14:40-41]

Source : Islamway

Family: Courtship In Islam

The most common questions I get from young people are, “Do Muslims date?” and “If they don’t date, how do they decide whom to marry?”

“Dating” as it is currently practiced in much of the world does not exist among Muslims — where a young man and woman (or boy/girl) are in a one-on-one intimate relationship, spending time together alone, “getting to know each other” in a very deep way before
deciding whether that’s the person they will marry. Rather, in Islam pre-marital relationships of any kind between members of the opposite sex are forbidden.

The choice of a marriage partner is one of the most important decisions a person will make in his or her lifetime. It should not be taken lightly, nor left to chance or hormones. It should be taken as seriously as any other major decision in life – with prayer to God, careful investigation, and family involvement.

So in today’s world, how do young Muslim people manage? When a young person decides to get married, the following steps often take place:

The young person makes du’a (prayer) for Allah(God) to help him or her find the right person.

The family enquires, discusses, and suggests candidates. They consult with each other to narrow down potential prospects. Usually the father or mother approaches the other family to suggest a meeting.

The couple then agrees to meet in a chaperoned, group environment. This is done because the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Not one of you should meet a woman alone unless she is accompanied by a relative (mahram).” (Bukhari/Muslim). The Prophet (peace be upon him) also reportedly said, “Whenever a man is alone with a woman, Satan (Shaytan) is the third among them.” (Tirmidhi). When young people are getting to know each other, being alone together is a temptation toward wrongdoing. At all times, Muslims should follow the commands of the Qur’an (24:30-31, their Holy book, to “lower their gaze and guard their modesty….” Islam recognizes that we are humans and are given to human weaknesses, so this rule provides safeguards for our own sakes.

Next, the family investigates the candidate further by talking with his/her friends, family, Islamic leaders, co-workers, etc. to learn about his or her character.

The couple prays salat-l-istikhara (a certain prayer for guidance)to seek Allah’s help in making a decision.

After that, the couple agrees to either pursue marriage or part ways. Islam has given this freedom of choice to both young men and women – they cannot be forced into a marriage that they don’t want.

This type of focused courtship helps ensure the strength of the marriage, by drawing upon family elders’ wisdom and guidance in this important life decision. Family involvement in the choice of a marriage partner helps assure that the choice is based not on romantic notions, but rather on a careful,
objective evaluation of the compatibility of the couple. That is why these marriages often prove successful.

Author : Huda Dodge
Source : About.com Islam guide

Family: Marriage In Islam

“And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in peace and tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): Verily in that are
signs for those who reflect”
(Quran 30:21).

“O Humans revere your Guardian Lord, Who created you from a single person created of like nature its mate, and from this scattered (like seeds) countless men and women. Reverence Allah through Whom you claim your
mutual rights”
(Quran 4:1).

The above verses of the Quran lay out the framework as to what are the basis, the objectives and the goal of marriage in Islam. In the ultimate Wisdom of Allah we are first told that both partners man and woman are
created from the same source. That this should be paid attention to as it is one of His signs.

The fact that we come from the same soul signifies our equality as humans, when the essence of our creation is the same, the argument of who is better or greater is redundant. To stress on this fact and then to talk
about marriage in the same verse is of great significance for those of us who are in the field of marriage counseling.

The shift in this attitude of equality of genders as human beings cause a imbalance in marital relationship that leads to dysfunctional marriage. When ever one party considers themselves superior or above the
law there is a shift in the balance of power that may lead to misuse or abuse of power as the less valuable partner is seen as an easy prey. Many marital difficulties are based on or caused by control and rule stratagem.

By stressing on the equality of all humans men or women and making it the basis of marriage, Allah in His infinite wisdom has laid the ground rules for
establishing peace, as well as the assigning of different roles to husband and wife as functional strategy rather than a question of competence as
humans.

Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings be upon him) has stated that: “men and women are twin halves of each other” (Bukhari). This Hadith also brings home the fact that men and women are created from single source. Furthermore, by using the analogy of twin half the Prophet has underlined the reciprocal nature and the interdependent nature of men and women’s relationship.

The objective and the goal of marriage in Islam according to the above Quranic verse is to enable us to dwell in peace and tranquility. It is important for us to reflect on these words and their significance in
the Islamic frame of reference.

In order to have peace certain condition must be met.
These prerequisites to peace are Justice, Fairness, Equity, Equality, and fulfillment of mutual rights.
Therefore any injustice whether it is oppression, or persecution, cannot be tolerated if there is to be peace in Muslim homes.

In the domestic realm oppression is manifested when the process of Shura (consultation) is compromised, neglected or ignored. When one partner (in most cases the husband) makes unilateral decisions and applies
dictatorial style of leadership, peace is compromised. Persecution is present when there is any form of domestic abuse being perpetrated.

Tranquility on the other hand is a state of being which is achieved when peace has been established.
Tranquility is compromised when there is tension, stress and anger. It is a mistake to take tranquility to mean perpetual state of bliss. Since being Muslims does not make us immune to tragedies and catastrophes.

In fact Allah tells us in the Quran that we will betried (2:155,57). What a state of tranquility does is to empower us to handle life’s difficult moments with our spouses as obedient servants of Allah. Allah in His infinite Mercy also provides us with the tools by which we can achieve this state of peace and tranquility.

The second principle besides Shura on which the Islamic family life is based is Mercy (Rehma), and in this verse Allah is telling us that He has placed
mercy between spouses. We are therefore inclined by our very nature to have mercy for our spouses. Mercy is manifested through compassion, forgiveness, caring and humility.

It is obvious that these are all ingredients that make for a successful partnership. Marriage in Islam is above all a partnership based on equality of partners and specification of roles. Lack of mercy in a marriage or a family renders it in Islamic terms dysfunctional.

Allah further states that He has also placed in addition to mercy, love between spouses. It should however be noted that Islamic concept of love is different from the more commonly understood romantic love so valued in the Western cultures.

The basic difference is that love between man and woman in the Islamic context can only be realized and expressed in a legal marriage. In order to develop a healthy avenue for the expression of love between man and woman and to provide security so that such a loving relationship can flourish, it is necessary to give it the protection of Shariah (Islamic law).

Marital love in Islam inculcates the following:

Faith: The love Muslim spouses have for each other is for the sake of Allah that is to gain His pleasure. It is from Allah that we claim our mutual rights (Quran 4:1) and it is to Allah that we are accountable for our behavior as husbands and wives.

It sustains: Love is not to consume but to sustain. Allah expresses His love for us by providing sustenance. To love in Islam is to sustain our loved
one physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually, to the best of our ability (to sustain materially is the husbands duty, however if the wife
wishes she can also contribute)

Accepts: To love someone is to accept them for who they are. It is selfishness to try and mould someone as we wish them to be. True love does not attempt to crush individuality or control personal differences,
but is magnanimous and secure to accommodate differences.

Challenges: Love challenges us to be all we can, it encourages us to tap into our talents and takes pride in our achievements. To enable our loved one to realize their potential is the most rewarding experience.

Merciful: Mercy compels us to love and love compels us to have mercy. In the Islamic context the two are synonymous. The attribute Allah chose to be the supreme for Himself is that He is the most Merciful.
This attribute of Rehman (the Merciful) is mentioned 170 times in the Quran, bringing home the significance for believers to be merciful. Mercy in practical application means to have and show compassion and to
be charitable.

Forgiving: Love is never too proud to seek forgiveness or too stingy to forgive. It is willing to let go of hurt and letdowns. Forgiveness allows us the opportunity to improve and correct our selves.

Respect: To love is to respect and value the person their contributions and their opinions. Respect does not allow us to take for granted our loved ones or to ignore their input. How we interact with our spouses reflects whether we respect them or not.

Confidentiality: Trust is the most essential ingredient of love. When trust is betrayed and confidentiality compromised, love loses its soul.

Caring: Love fosters a deep fondness that dictates caring and sharing in all that we do. The needs of our loved ones take precedence over our own.

Kindness: The Seerah (biography) of our beloved Prophet is rich with examples of acts of kindness, he showed towards his family and particularly his wives. Even when his patience was tried, he was never unkind in word or deed. To love is to be kind.

Grows: Marital love is not static it grows and flourishes with each day of marital life. It requires work and commitment, and is nourished through faith when we are thankful and appreciative of Allah blessings.

Enhances: Love enhances our image and beautifies our world. It provides emotional security and physical well being.

Selflessness: Love gives unconditionally and protects dutifully.

Truthful: Love is honesty without cruelty and loyalty without compromise.

Author : Shahina Siddiqui
Source : Soundvision

Family: Paradise At Mother’s Feet

Where do you find Paradise? The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Paradise is at the feet of the mother.”

This is variously interpreted to mean that the mother is responsible for teaching her children their religious obligations and good behavior that will win them Paradise; or it may mean that we earn Paradise by serving our mother throughout her life.

Either way, it shows the great esteem, honor and respect that Islam has for mothers. While the fourth Commandment in the Bible is Honor thy father and thy mother, the Bible does not mention the mother separately as deserving good treatment.

The Qur’an, in contrast, gives special recognition to the mother’s suffering in bearing and nursing her child: “And We have enjoined on man to be good to his parents: In travail upon travail did his mother bear him and in two years was his weaning. Show gratitude to Me and to your parents” (31:14). (see themodernreligion.com under women)

Women are more psychologically fitted to nurturing, more compassionate and patient

Today in the Muslim world, even where many of the precepts of Islam are ignored, Westerners are often amazed at the gentle, loving treatment that parents receive. An Arab proverb says if you want to know how a man will treat his wife, look how he treats his mother.

Becoming a mother is one of the greatest joys of a Muslim woman. She knows that her child is both a gift and a trust from God. She carries a great
responsibility in raising a family, not only in caring for their physical needs, but also in educating them in their religion and morals.

For this and other reasons, Islam calls upon all Muslims, male and female, to be educated, for how can a woman teach her children when she herself is
ignorant?

Islam also recognizes that, compared to the man, the woman is by nature more psychologically fitted to nurturing, more compassionate and patient. For that reason, Islam decrees that husbands must maintain their wives and children, and it encourages mothers with young children to remain at home with their children rather than work outside the house. And, in case of divorce, custody of young children goes to the mother.

All this respect and honor goes to the mother, even if she is a non-Muslim, and also to maternal aunts. Thus the woman does not cut from her own family when she marries, but her children continue to honor the kin relationships of both their mother and father.

Author : Flfwine Mischler
Source : Islam Online

Family: Polygamy In Islam

Polygamy has been practiced by mankind for thousands of years. Many of the ancient Israelites were polygamous, some having hundreds of wives. King Solomon (peace be upon him) is said to have had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. David (Dawood) had ninety-nine and Jacob (Yacub, peace be upon them both) had four. The advice given by some Jewish wise men stated that no man should marry more than four wives.

No early society put any restrictions on the number of wives or put any conditions about how they were to be treated. Jesus was not known to have spoken against polygamy. As recently as the seventeenth century, polygamy was practiced and accepted by the Christian Church. The Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) have allowed and practiced polygamy in the United States.

Monogamy was introduced into Christianity at the time of Paul when many revisions took place in Christianity. This was done in order for the church to conform to the Greco-Roman culture where men were monogamous, but owned many slaves who were free for them to use- in other words, unrestricted polygamy. Early Christians invented ideas that women were “full of sin” and man was better off to “never marry.” Since this would be the end of mankind these same people compromised and said “marry only one.”

In the American society many times when relations are strained, the husband simply deserts his wife. Then he cohabits with another woman immorally, without marriage. Actually there are three kinds of polygamy practiced in Western societies: (1) serial polygamy, that is, marriage, divorce, marriage, divorce, and so on- any number of times; (2) a man married to one woman but having and supporting one or more mistresses and (3) an unmarried man having a number of mistresses. Islam condones but discourages the first and forbids the other two.

Wars cause the number of women to greatly exceed the number of men. In a monogamous society these women, left without husbands or support, resort to prostitution, illicit relationships with married men resulting in illegitimate children with no responsibility on the part of the father, or lonely sisterhood or widowhood.

The truth of the matter is that monogamy protects men, allowing them to “play around” without responsibility. Easy birth control and easy legal abortion has opened the door of illicit sex to woman and she has been lured into the so-called sexual revolution. But she is still the one who suffers the trauma of abortion and the side effects of the birth control methods. Taking aside the plagues of venereal disease, herpes and AIDS, the male continues to enjoy himself free of worry. Men are the ones protected by monogamy while women continue to be victims of men’s desires.

Polygamy is very much opposed by the male dominated society because it would force men to face up to responsibility and fidelity. It would force them to take responsibility for their polygamous inclinations and would protect and provide for women and children.

Among all the polygamous societies in history there were none, which limited the number of wives. All of the relationships were unrestricted. In Islam, the regulations concerning polygamy limit the number of wives a man can have, while making him responsible for all of the women involved.
“Marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with them, then only one or one that your right hands possess. That will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.” (Qur’an 4:3)

This verse from the Qur’an allows a man to marry more than one woman, but only if he can deal justly with them.

While the provision for polygamy makes the social system flexible enough to deal with all kinds of conditions, it is not necessarily recommended or preferred by Islam. Taking the example of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is instructive. He was married to one woman, Khadijah, for twenty-five years. It was only after her death when he had reached the age of fifty that he entered into other marriages to promote friendships, create alliances or to be an example of some lesson to the community; also to show the Muslims how to treat their spouses under different conditions of life.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was given inspiration from Allah about how to deal with multiple marriages and the difficulties encountered therein. It is not an easy matter for a man to handle two wives, two families, and two households and still be just between the two. No man of reasonable intelligence would enter into this situation without a great deal of thought and very compelling reasons (other than sexual).

The bottom line in the marriage relationship is good morality and happiness, creating a just and cohesive society where the needs of men and women are well taken care of. The present Western society, which permits free sex between consenting adults, has given rise to an abundance of irresponsible sexual relationships, an abundance of “fatherless” children, many unmarried teenage mothers; all becoming a burden on the country’s welfare system. In part, such an undesirable welfare burden has given rise to bloated budget deficits, which even an economically powerful country like the United States cannot accommodate. Bloated budget deficits have become a political football, which is affecting the political system of the United States.

In short, we find that artificially created monogamy has become a factor in ruining the family structure, and the social, economic and political systems of the country.

It must be a prophet, and indeed it was Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who directed Muslims to get married or observe patience until one gets married. ‘Abdullah b. Mas’ud reported Allah’s Messenger as saying, “Young man, those of you who can support a wife should marry, for it keeps you from looking at strange women and preserves you from immorality; but those who cannot should devote themselves to fasting, for it is a means of suppressing sexual desire.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Islam wants people to be married and to develop a good family structure. Also Islam realizes the requirements of the society and the individual in special circumstances where polygamy can be the solution to problems. Therefore, Islam has allowed polygamy, limiting the number of wives to four, but does not require or even recommend polygamy.

In the Muslim societies of our times, polygamy is not frequently practiced despite legal permission in many countries. It appears that the American male is very polygamous, getting away with not taking responsibility for the families he should be responsible for.

According to statistics, there are more women than men and women live longer than men. There would be many women without a partner, so Islam has a way to deal with that.

Family: The Basis Of Family

Unlike some other religions that consider celibacy a great virtue and a means of salvation, Islam considers marriage to be one of the most virtuous and approved of institutions. There is no monasticism in Islam. Further, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) urged all those who can afford to provide for a wife to marry, as marriage is the legal means by which to avoid lewdness and immorality. Since family is the basic unit of society, Islam lays great emphasis on the family system and its values. The basis of family is marriage. Islam prescribes rules to regulate family life so that both the spouses can live in tranquility, security and love. Marriage in Islam has aspects of `ibadah (worship) of Allah (God) in the sense that it is in accordance with His commandments that a husband and wife should love and help each other and rear their children to become true servants of Allah (God). Marriage in Islam is a social contract that requires the consent of both parties. Neither the bride nor groom can be forced into a marriage. The man must give the bride a dower or gift called “mahr”. This is usually money, but it can be any gift according to his means. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) even allowed one of his poor Companions to marry a woman with his mahr being a promise to teach her some verses of the Qur’an. The dower goes to the bride, not her family, and she has the total right to decide what to do with it. Thus it is not, as some critics have said, a “bride price”. The man also has the total responsibility to pay the household expenses. Even if a woman is wealthy, she does not have to spend any of her money on the maintenance of herself or the couple’s children. In fact, many Muslim women do work outside the home. They can contribute to the household budget if they choose, and they receive the Heavenly reward for giving charity, but they are not required to do so. Every group needs a leader, and Islam gives that responsibility to the husband because he is the breadwinner. He should consult his wife on family matters, but the final decisions are his. The wife should lovingly obey her husband, even when she disagrees, to keep peace in the family and to win the pleasure of Allah (God). That does not mean that she is his slave and must wait on him hand and foot. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) himself helped his wives with housework. Furthermore, if a woman had a servant before marriage, she has the right to have a servant at her husband’s expense. A man and woman should enter into marriage with the intention of it being permanent, and Islam has many teachings on how husbands and wives should deal with each other lovingly. Contrary to popular misconceptions, the woman has the right to choose her husband; Islamic law does not permit her to be forced into any marriage. The wife also has the right to retain her family name and to keep and manage her own money from her work, inheritance, investments, gifts or other sources. It is her right to keep her money separate from her husband’s, and he has no right to it. While men and women should enter into marriages with the intention of it being permanent, Islam recognizes that people do sometimes make poor decisions or change. Thus, divorce and remarriage are allowed as a last resort after estranged couples have attempted to reconcile their differences with the help of family or other counselors.

Source : Islam Online

Family: What Does Islam Teach About The Family And It’s Roles

Praise be to Allaah. Before we find out about the role of Islam in organizing and protecting the family, we should first find out what the situation of the family was before Islam, and what it is in the west in modern times.

Before Islam, the family was based on mistreatment and oppression. All affairs were controlled only by men or in other words, the males, and women and girls were oppressed and humiliated. An example of that is that if a man died and left behind a wife, his son by another wife had the right to marry her and control her life, or to prevent her from getting married. Men were the only ones who could inherit; women and children had no share. They viewed women, whether they were mothers, daughters or sisters, as a source of shame, because they could be taken as prisoners, thus bringing shame upon the family. Hence a man would bury his infant daughter alive, as is referred to in the Qur’aan, where Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

«“And when the news of (the birth of) a female (child) is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with inward grief! He hides himself from the people because of the evil of that whereof he has been informed. Shall he keep her with dishonour or bury her in the earth? Certainly, evil is their decision”» [al-Nahl 16:58]

The family in the broader sense, i.e., the tribe, was based on supporting one another in all things, even in wrongdoing. When Islam came, it did away with all that and established justice, giving each person his or her rights, even nursing infants, and even the miscarried foetus who was to be respected and prayed for (i.e., given a proper funeral).

When you examine the family in the west today you will find that families are disintegrating and the parents cannot control their children, whether intellectually or morally. The son has the right to go wherever he wants and do whatever he wants; the daughter has the right to sit with whoever she wants and sleep with whoever she wants, all in the name of freedom and rights. And what is the result? Broken families, children born outside marriage, (elderly) mothers and fathers who are not looked after. As some wise men have said, if you want to know the true nature of these people, go to the prisons and the hospitals and seniors’ homes, for children do not remember their parents except on holidays and special occasions. The point is that among non-Muslims the institution of family is destroyed.

When Islam came it paid a great deal of attention to the establishment of strong families and protecting them from things that could harm them, and preserving family ties whilst giving each member of the family an important role in life. Islam honoured women, whether as mothers, daughters or sisters.

It honoured women as mothers. “It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: A man came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, who among people is most deserving of my good company?” He said, “Your mother.” He asked, “Then who?” He said, “Your mother.” He asked, “Then who?” He said, “Your mother.” He asked, “Then who?” He said, “Then your father.”” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5626; Muslim, 2548)

Islam honours women as daughters. “It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever has three daughters or three sisters, or two daughters or two sisters, and takes good care of them and fears Allaah with regard to them, will enter Paradise.”” (Narrated by Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh, 2/190)

And Islam honours women as wives. “It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best of you are those who are best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives.”” (Narrated and classed as hasan by al-Tirmidhi, 3895).

Islam gave women their rights of inheritance and other rights. It gave women rights like those of men in many spheres. “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Women are the twin halves of men.”” (Narrated by Abu Dawood in his Sunan, 236, from the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 216).

Islam encourages men to treat their wives well, and gives women the freedom to choose their husbands; it gives women much of the responsibility for raising the children. Islam gives fathers and mothers a great deal of responsibility for raising their children. “It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, “Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The man is the shepherd of his family and he is responsible for his flock. The woman is the shepherd of her husband’s household and is responsible for her flock. The servant is a shepherd of his master’s wealth and is responsible for his flock.” He said, I heard this from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 853; Muslim, 1829)

Islam paid a great deal attention to implanting the principle of respect for fathers and mothers, taking care of them and obeying their commands until death. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): «“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour”» [al-Isra’ 17:23]

Islam protects the honour, chastity, purity and lineage of the family, so it encourages marriage and forbids free mixing of men and women. Islam gives each family member an important role to play. So fathers and mothers take care of the children and give them an Islamic upbringing; children are to listen and obey, and respect the rights of fathers and mothers, on a basis of love and respect. Even our enemies have borne witness to the strength of family ties among the Muslims. And Allaah knows best.

Source : Islamway

Community & Society: Appearance Of New Diseases

Professor T.V.N.Persaud: I have no difficulty in my mind in concerning that this is a divine inspiration or revelation, which led him to relay the statement.

We present to you Professor T.V.N. Persuad who is the Head of the Department of Anatomy at the Medical School of the University of Manitoba in Canada. Professor Keith Moore introduced him to us and he thinks that there are free-minded scholars and scientists whose main preoccupation is searching for the Truth. Professor Persaud is one of those. He is well known in his field and has authored several books on obstetrics. He also includes in these books some Qur’aanic verses and prophetic ahadeeth and he also presented these verses and ahadeeth at several conferences that he attended.

Following is one of the Ahadeeth which Professor Persuad studied:
“”When forty-two nights have passed over the conceptus, Allah sends an angel to shape it and create its hearing, vision, skin, muscles and bones. Then the angel asks: O Lord, male will it be or female? And Allah decides what He wills and the angel records it.”” [Saheeh Muslim, Kitaab Al-Qadar]

The prophetic hadeeth in this respect says:
When forty two nights have passed over the conceptus, Allah sends an angel to shape it and create its hearing, vision, skin, muscle and bones.

Dr. Persaud presented many researches concerning the relationship between both the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and modern science. The following is another hadeeth which Professor Persuad studied and made it the subject of one of his presentations:
“”If lewdness exists among people and then appears as a common and open practice, plagues and new diseases, which did not exist before, will spread among them.”” [Ibn Maajah, Al-Hakim]

Let us listen to Professor Persaud’s explanation of this hadeeth:
It is widely accepted that these malignant changes in the uterus cervix are related to the age of the woman, frequency of intercourse, and the number of partners. Several epidemiological studies have clearly indicated a significant correlation between exposure to multiple sexual partners and the high incidents of cervical carcinoma. The consequences and dangers of promiscuous sexual relationships and deviant sexual practices have been expressed in this Hadeeth some 1400 years ago. The word ‘lewdness’ encompasses adultery, fornication, I am told: homosexuality, bestiality, and all other sexual perversions, and it is not wide stretching of an imagination that we should consider Herpes and AIDS as clear examples of new diseases, and indeed at the present time new diseases for which we have no cure.

Today we can understand the significance of this hadeeth because homosexuality, prostitution and lewdness have become widespread and even legalized in many western countries. It was not many years after sexual revolution that these diseases, which Professor Persaud spoke of, have become widespread and some of them, such as AIDS, are constituting a serious health problem today. The words of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) are very exact. AIDS is a very good example of the kind of disease that did not exist in the previous generations, but which is now increasing at an alarming rate and many people are now too afraid that they might catch it.

To Professor Persaud, we must express our gratitude for his effort. When we asked him his opinion about this phenomenon which to himself is well known and which he has researched, he stated the following:

It seems to me that Muhammad was very ordinary man. He could not read or write. In fact, he was illiterate. We are talking about 1400 years ago, you have someone who was illiterate making profound pronouncements and statements which are amazingly accurate about scientific nature. I personally can’t see how this could be a mere chance, there are two many accuracies and, like Dr. Moore, I have no difficulty in my mind in concerning that this is a divine inspiration or revelation which led him to these statements.

These revelations have come to Prophet Muhammad, (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), from Allah. Allah sent it from His knowledge, as Allah Himself states:
«“But Allah bears witness that what He has sent unto thee He sent with His (own) knowledge.”» [Qur’aan 4:66]

This Book, the Qur’aan, is the Guide, The Proof, the Proven, and Ever-Lasting Truth among us until the Last Hour. «“This is no less than a reminder to (all) the worlds. And you shall certainly know the truth of it (all) after a while.”» (38:87-88)

Community & Society: Human Rights In Islam

Islam has been from its inception very concerned with issues of human rights. Privacy, freedom, dignity and equality are guaranteed in Islam. The holy Qur’an states clearly: «“There is no compulsion in religion.”»

And there are no reliable reports to confirm the old accusations that when the Muslim armies were expanding into Asia, Africa and Europe the people were put to the sword if they failed to convert to Islam. The best proof is that not only did the Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians and Hindus in those areas not perish or otherwise disappear, they actually flourished as protected minority communities, and many individuals rose to prominent positions in the arts, sciences, even in government.

The lives, property and privacy of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred, whether or not the person is Muslim. Non-Muslims have freedom of worship and the practice of their religions, including their own family law and religious courts. They are obliged to pay a different tax (Jizyah) instead of the Zakah, and the state is obligated to provide both protection and government services. Before the modern era it was extremely rare to find a state or government anywhere in the world that was as solicitous of its minorities and their civil rights as the Islamic states.
In no other religion did women receive such a degree of legal and moral equality and personal respect.

Moreover, racism and tribalism are incompatible with Islam, for the Qur’an speaks of human equality in the following terms: «“Mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God’s sight is the greatest of you in piety.”»

Community & Society: Is Family Planning Allowed In Islam ?

The question of family planning and birth control was discussed in detail by the Majma al-Fiqh al-Islaami. They had twenty three scholars research this topic and present their findings on this matter. The participants involved represented many different trends and schools of thought. Among the participants were Muhammad Ali al-Baar, Ali al-Saaloos, Muhammad Saeed Ramadhan al-Booti, Abdullah al-Basaam, Hasan Hathoot and Muhammad Sayid Tantaawi. Their proceedings, papers and discussions may be found in Part One of the Fifth Volume of Majallah Majma al-Fiqh al-Islaami (1988/1409 A.H.). These proceedings are 748 pages all about the question of birth control and related issues.

The following are important points related to the issue of birth control in Islam. These were mentioned by some of the participants in the above program:

The institution of marriage and the want to have children was the custom of the best of creation, the prophets and messengers chosen by Allah.
Allah says about them:

«“And indeed We sent messengers before you and made for them wivesand offspring”» (al-Raad 38)

The best example for the believers is the example of the prophet Muhammad (saw), who married and had children. These prophets and messengers are the people whom Muslims should look to emulate. Allah says:

«”They are those whom Allah has guided. So follow their guidance”» (al-Anaam 90)

They should be emulated and not the disbelievers of the West, whose new lifestyles – mostly out of concern for enjoying this life or obtaining as many worldly goods as possible – discourage women from having more children.

Islam has forbidden celibacy, monasticism and castration for such purposes. The prophet (saw) made this clear when he told those companions who were considering acetic forms of life: “I pray and I sleep; I fast and I break my fast; and I marry women. Whoever turns away from my way of life is not from me.” The prophet (saw) not only encouraged marriage but he encouraged marrying those women who are child-bearing. He stated: “marry the loving, child-bearing women for I shall have the largest numbers among the prophets on the day of Resurrection.” (Recorded by Ahmad and ibn Hibban.)

From the Islamic perspective, children are a gift and a blessing from Allah. Allah mentions some of the bounties that He has bestowed upon mankind in the following verse:

«“And Allah has made for you spouses of your own kind and has made for you, from your wives, sons and grandsons, and has bestowed upon you good provisions.”» (al-Nahl 72)

Allah also said:

«“Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world.”» (al-Kahf 46)

The only true provider for all mankind is Allah. If Muslims follow what Allah has prescribed for them, Allah will provide for them.
Allah has warned about killing one’s children out of fear of poverty for either parents or the child. Allah says:

«“Kill not your children because of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them”» (al-Anaam 151)

Allah also says:
«“And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We shall provide for them as well as for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin”» (al-Isra 31)

Hence, Muslims should never abort or kill their children out of fear of poverty. It is Allah who provides for them.

Based on the above points and numerous others, the scholars who participated in the research on this question came up with the
following resolution:

It is not allowed to enact a general law that limits the freedom of spouses in having children.

It is forbidden to “permanently” end a man’s or a woman’s ability to produce children, such as by having a hysterectomy or vasectomy, as long as that is not called for by circumstances of necessity according to its Islamic framework.

It is permissible to control the timing of births with the intent of distancing the occurrences of pregnancy or to delay it for a specific amount of time, if there is some Shariah need for that in the opinion of the spouses, based on mutual consultation and agreement between them. However, this is conditioned by that not leading to any harm, by it being done by means that are approved in the Shariah and that it not do anything to oppose a current and existing pregnancy.

Author : by Jamaal Zarabozo

Social Issues: Humour In Islam

We are all drawn to people with a good sense of humour. Humour has the power of warming people’s hearts and lifting the spirits like no other human characteristic, and it provides a welcome break amidst the pressures of life.

Humour and joking are permitted in Islam. We learn this from several ahadith of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. Abu Huraira radi allahu anhu said that the Prophet peace be upon him was told, “O Prophet of Allah, you are joking with us.” He said, “I only say what is true.” (Tirmidhi) Another Hadith relates that the Prophet would nickname Zainab bint Salama by repeatedly calling her ‘O Zuweinab’.

Other ahadith relate that the Prophet peace be upon him would play and joke with small children. Thus we see that joking is a Sunnah. Sufyan ibn Aiyna was asked, “Is joking prohibited?” He replied, “It is a Sunnah, but the point is that it must be done appropriately.” Many of the scholars agree. Umar said, “I admire a man who is like a child with his family (playful), and once he leaves them, he is more serious.” Thabit ibn Ubaid said, “Zayd ibn Thabit was one of the most humorous men in his home. Outside of his home, he was as serious as any man.” It is also related that Ibn Abbas asked some of his guests to have light and humorous conversation so that they would have a good time and not feel bored. Rabi’a said, “Virtue is made of six parts, three while in town (at the place of your home) and three while on journey. The first three are reciting the Qur’an, frequently being at the mosque, and spreading the way of Allah to other lands. The other three parts while travelling are spending, showing virtuous behaviour and joking in what Allah has permitted.” Ibn Abbas said, “Joking appropriately is permissible. For the Prophet joked but he said what was true.” Al ibn Ahmad Al Faraheedi said, “People would feel imprisoned if they did not joke”

On the other hand, some of the scholars have prohibited joking and they are supported by some ahadith. It is related that the Prophet said, “Do not be vague with others and do not joke.” (Tirmidhi) Another Hadith states that the Prophet said, “Everything has a beginning and hostility begins with joking.” Ja’far ibn Muhammad said, “Beware of joking for it causes embarrassment.” Ibrahim Al Nakh’I said, “Joking shows foolishness and arrogance.” Imam ibn Abdul Bar said, “Some of the scholars denounced joking for what it causes of offences, spite and malice between people.”

So how are we to compromise between these two views? Al Hafeth said, “What is prohibited is exaggerated or continuous joking as it distracts from worship of Allah and being serious about religious matters. This often leads to hard-heartedness, envy and loss of respect. Useful joking, which aims to calm people or entertain or relieve them for a short time is permissible.”

Types of Joking:

According to ibn Hayan, there are two types of joking. The first is preferred and defined as, “That which Allah has permitted, which commits no sin and does not lead to separation between people.” The second is the negative harmful kind, which is defined as, “Causes hostilities and sadness, and creates disrespect amongst people.” Outlining some of the benefits and harms of joking is beneficial in that it entertains, lifts the spirit and lightens the burdens of life, bringing people closer together. In describing this kind of joking, a man wrote, “Such humour does not hurt or criticize anyone. It leads a person from sadness to happiness, ceases the frown an allows people to relax and be themselves.” Joking defeats its purpose when it separates people, causes hostilities and envy between them.

Guidelines for Humour:

• Joking should not deviate from the truth. The Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said, “I only say what is true.”

• Joking should not become consistent in a person’s manner, for seriousness is also a virtue. Muhammad ibn Ar Rashid said, “The issues of Islam are more serious than to be dealt with jokingly. Smiling, joking, relaxing and laughing are certainly welcome at appropriate times and places. But at times of work, seriousness is called for.

• Bad language or reference to improper topics of conversation may not be subject of jokes.

• Joking must be at the appropriate time and place. Dr Adel Shuweikh said, “Humour is most welcome after the Fajr prayer. He is supported by what has been related by Sammak ibn Harb, “I asked Jaber ibn Samra if he spent time with the Prophet and he said, “Yes, the Prophet would often not leave the mosque after the Fajr prayer until the sun rose. They would be laughing and he would be smiling.” (Muslim).

He also said, “Another time for making light was after the ‘Isha prayer. Humour is permitted with family uncles and siblings. It is more preferred if it serves the purpose of advice and guidance, or if it creates friendship and warmth between people.” It is up to the person to decide whether the time is right for humour.

Thus it can be seen that it is the topic of humour and its effects, which determine whether or not it is permissible by Islam. Imam Nawawi said, “Joking is prohibited when it is excessive and consistent. It becomes ineffective and causes the heart to harden. It distracts a person from worship of Allah and concern with religious issues. It often causes harm, envy and disrespect. If these elements are absent from a joke, then it is what is permissible by Islam. The Prophet would use humour to reach people and draw them together.”

In any case, being modest and natural will, much of the time, serve the same purpose as joking. This is useful for people whom jokes do not come naturally. It is good to always remember in mind that humour must have a purpose in order to be fruitful. Joking is like adding salt to food. It must be measured and we must remember that some people do not eat food with salt. In other words, it is in appropriate to joke with some people.

Ad-Dhahabi related that Khalaf ibn Salim said, “We were at Yazeed ibn Haroun’s and he made a joke. Ahmad ibn Hanbal cleared his throat, and Yazeed said, ‘Who cleared his throat?’ When he found out who it had been, he put his hand on his forehead and cried, ‘Why didn’t you tell me Ahmad ibn Hanbal was here so I would not joke?”

At other times, joking may cause you to lose dignity. It is said, “Do not joke with children to the extent that they lose respect for you.” Ibn Hayan said, “Whoever jokes with an inappropriate person will lose that person’s respect, even if what he is saying is true. One should be selective with whom he jokes.” Ibn Al Muqafa’ said, “One should separate his behaviour between two groups of people. One group is made up of public. Here he should be serious and purposeful with every word he speaks. The other group is made up of people who are closer to him. With this group, he should be humorous and caring. Each of these behaviours will be beneficial and productive in the right place.”

Try to understand the people you deal with, in order to decide whether or not it is appropriate to joke with them. Such was the way of the Prophet, for he would not joke with all his friends. Here are a few points to keep in mind. Although it may seem common sense that we should be respectful when joking but many of us end up hurting someone’s feelings unintentionally. Humour is a great way to diffuse a bad situation, or ease an uncomfortable one but it must be used appropriately. Just as a knife is useful and necessary to prepare food, so it can cause you to bleed. Many people don’t realize it, but sarcasm is anger thinly veiled.

Points to remember:

• Is this time right time to joke?
• Is this an appropriate person to joke with?
• Is this an appropriate topic to joke about?
• Is this the right place?

Also remember these points while joking:

• Never criticize while joking.
• Do not impose jokes if they do not come naturally.
• Beware of excessive joking with certain individuals.
• Show respect to the person you are joking with, as the Prophet Muhammad did when he told a man he was joking with, “In the eyes of Allah you are great.”
• Monitor yourself when you are feeling humorous.
• Maintain good behaviour with people who make a mistake when joking with you. Do not answer harshly or stare back.
• It is better not to joke with someone when you meet for the first time.

We must be careful to maintain a Muslim code of behaviour and never harm another Muslim through humiliation or insensitivity. While joking we should implement all the above-mentioned points and maintain a good Muslim personality.

Source : Islamway

Social Issues: In Search Of Body Beautiful

There seems no limit nowadays to the extent that women (and men!) are prepared to go to in order to achieve that ‘perfect look’. Forget false eyelashes and wigs, we are now talking scalpels, implants and liposuction! Cosmetic surgery amongst film actresses has been commonplace for quite some time now, but these days, we wouldn’t be too hard pressed to find ordinary women on the street who are more plastic than real! Indeed, in some circles, having multiple facelifts has become a status symbol: the more you have, the higher you are in the status rankings. If questioned whether cosmetic surgery was Islamically correct or not, then without doubt, most Muslims would instinctively respond by saying that it isn’t, for the simple reason that it would be interfering with Allaah’s creation. And certainly, this would be the correct response. The Companion, Ibn Mas’ood, radiAllaahu ‘anhu, once said (quoting what he had heard the Prophet, peace be upon him, say): “Allaah has cursed the tattooers and those who have themselves tattooed, and those women who have their teeth filed for beauty and those who have their [facial] hair plucked and thus alter Allaah’s creation.” A woman remarked, “What’s all this?” So Ibn Mas’ood – radiAllaahu ‘anhu – said: “Should I not curse one whom Allaah’s Messenger cursed? And it is in the Book of Allaah!” She said: “I have read the Qur’aan from cover to cover, but I did not find that in it.” He replied: “If you had read it thoroughly you would have found it. Allaah says, ‘Whatever the Messenger gives you, take it and whatever he has forbidden, retrain from it’” [Sooratul-Hashr (59): 7]. 1 So the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, forbade women from performing these three practices which the women commonly did for the sake of beauty in those days – seemingly ‘insignificant’ practices for which they would incur the CURSE of Allaah. And this forbiddance isn’t just restricted to the procedures mentioned in the hadeeth. Because Allaah says in more general terms in His Book: “So set your face truly to the faith, Allaah’s handiwork according to the pattern on which He has made mankind, [Let there be] no change in the creation of Allaah.” 2 [Soorah ar-Room (30): 30]. Therefore, it is obligatory for us to accept the creation of Allaah as it is, not making any alterations to it.3 More importantly though, it is obligatory on us to believe that all of Allaah’s creation is beautiful, because Allaah, the Khaaliq (Creator) does not create anything except with beauty and perfection, which is why He says to mankind: “You can see no fault in the creation of ar-Rahmaan [the Most Merciful]. Then look again: can you see any rifts? Then look again and yet again, your sight will return to you in a state of humiliation and worn out.” [Soorah al-Mulk (67):3]. This may all sound quite strange when we consider how often we hear women complaining about their appearance. In fact, it is estimated that over half of the Western women today actually perceive themselves to be ugly. In addition, surveys show that nearly all women feel under pressure to “look good”. As a result, the quest for beauty has become a serious preoccupation for many women. Open up any women’s magazine and you will not fail to find a single one which doesn’t contain tips on how to “look good”, or which don’t contain huge adverts promoting new creams that halt the aging process or hide wrinkles, etc. Beauty today is big business. Beauty contests are very profitable and – contrary to popular belief – more are spawned every year. The cosmetics market is a multi-billion dollar industry; the demand for cosmetic surgery is growing at a tremendous rate. All three industries promote the same notions of beauty that woman everywhere is expected to meet: mainly a white, European, “Barbie-doll” like standard. The pressures on women to conform to these standards are enormous and few are able to withstand them.4 The fact is that Western women today may complain that they are not treated with equality and respect, but it is they themselves who have made it acceptable for society worldwide to see women merely as beauty-objects who are there to be ogled by the men who in turn are the impolite voyeurs. When viewed in this light, we find that beauty contests are not too dissimilar to reality itself: just as the tallest, slimmest blonde girl gets the title in the beauty contest, in the real world it’s the tallest, slimmest blonde girl who gets the man! In Islam, beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder, beauty is in the whole of creation, because Allaah – the One free of all imperfections – is the one responsible for it. And as Allaah says: “Your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses: no choice have they. SubhaanAllaah! And far removed is He from the partners they ascribe [to Him].” [Soorah al-Qasas (28):68]. So it is from the wisdom of Allaah that He has chosen to create some of us short, others tall, some fat, some thin, some dark-coloured, some light – all are beautiful and perfect in their own right. That is why we are taught from the Sunnah, the beautiful du’aa (supplication) that the Prophet, peace be upon him, would say: “O Allaah, as You have made my appearance beautiful, likewise make my character beautiful.” (Allaahumma kamaa hassanta khalaqee fa hassin khuluqee). 5 As Muslims, we must believe that evil and imperfection cannot be attributed to Allaah.6 The desire to change any aspect of ourselves means, in effect, that we are dissatisfied with Allaah’s choice and His handiwork, and that there is imperfection in what He has created. Thus to say about anyone or ourselves else that they or we are ugly is a great sin. This point was reinforced by the Prophet, peace be upon him, when he once saw the Companion, ‘Amr ibn Fulaan al-Ansaaree, radiAllaahu ‘anhu, whose izaar (lower garment) was hanging low (to the ground), so he, peace be upon him, ordered that he raise it. ‘Amr made an excuse saying that he had skinny shins (i.e. he was embarrassed to show them), so the Prophet responded by saying: “O ‘Amr! Verily Allaah – the Mighty and the Majestic – has created everything in the best form.” 7 All this is certainly not intended to discourage women to look after themselves and adorn themselves in lawful ways (e.g. wearing nice clothes, having nicely done hair, etc.). Indeed, adorning oneself is something that the wives are obliged to do for their husbands and Allaah rewards the woman who pleases the husband when he looks at her.8 But with these tremendous pressures on women to conform to the ideals set by the marketing media, it may be hard for Muslim women to resist feeling insecure or uncomfortable about their appearance. Consequently, many Muslim women have shed their hijaabs (headscarf) for the sake of following fashion; Muslim women too develop inferiority complexes about themselves. We must bear in mind that this search for the ‘body beautiful’ is, in reality, a deception from Shaitaan (Satan). Shaitaan has vowed that he will create such false desires in mankind. He has said (as stated in the Qur’aan): “Surely I will arouse in them [mankind] false desires; and certainly I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allaah.” [Soorah an-Nisaa’ (4):119]. May Allaah always keep us safe from the false promises of Shaitaan, for Verily He is the One who guides to the Truth.

——————————————————————————–
Notes
——————————————————————————–

1. Reported by Ibn Mas’ood and collected in Saheeh Muslim (English trans, vo1. 3, p.1166, no.5301). This incident is a good illustration of the status, which the Sunnah held in front of the Companions.

2. Note that this forbiddance applies to the whole of creation, not just human beings. Therefore, defacing any part of Allaah’s creation is haraam. By extension, this ruling also applies to all forms of genetic engineering, which are carried out on farm animals, for example, in order to procure more profitable meat from them.

3. This is with the exception of those things which have been prescribed in the Sharee’ah, e.g. clipping the nails, shaving the underarms and around the private parts, etc.

4. In fact, some women go to such extremes that it results in them developing health problems – anorexia nervosa – for instance. The carcinogenic nature of breast implants is also well documented now. No doubt, the future will reveal more harmful effects of these artificial means of changing creation.

5. One hadeeth which contains this supplication mentions that this du’aa should be recited on looking in the mirror. However, the chain (isnaad) of this hadeeth is not authentic. But it is authentically reported as a supplication to be recited at any time. (See Ibn Taimiyyah’s al-Kalimat-Tayyib with al-Albaanee’s footnotes.)

6. For an explanation of this important aspect of belief, please refer to The Prophet’s Prayer Described (p.15).

7. Saheeh – collected in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad (vo1.4, p.200).

8. See Musnad Ahmad, an-Nasaa’ee and others. Also, it is forbidden for the husband to invoke ugliness upon the wife -, as was a common practice amongst the pre-Islamic Arabs.

Science: Medicine Surgery – Albucassis

Albucassis, born near Cordoba in 936AD, was one of the greatest surgeons of his time. His encyclopedia of surgery was used as standard reference work in the subject in all the universities of Europe for over five hundred years.

The Muslim Scientists, Avicenna, Al-Razi and Zahrawi Abul-Oasim (also known as Albucasis or Al-Zahrawi) are among the very first of those who worked in the field of medicine. They have presented scientific treasures to the world, which are today still considered important references for medicine and medical sciences as a whole. Al-Zahrawi Abui-Qasim Khalaf ibn Abbas (Abuicasis or Albucasis) was born at Medinat al-Zahra near Cordoba in Islamic Spain on 936 A.D. and died in 1013 AD. He descended from the Ansar tribe of Arabia who had settled earlier in Spain. His outstanding contribution in
medicine is his encyclopedic work ‘at-Tasrif li-man ajiza an Al-talif’ in thirty treatise. His at-Tasrif completed about 1000 AD was the result of almost fifty years of medical education and experience in his own word…

“What ever I know, I owe solely to my assiduous reading of books of the ancients, to my desire to understand them and to appropriate this science; then I have added the observation and experience of my whole life” Albucasis.

At-Tasrif is an illustrated practice of medicine and surgery. As a miniature encyclopedia of 1500 pages it that shows Albucasis was not only a medical scholar, but a great practicing physician and surgeon. It influenced and progressed surgery in Europe. At-Tasrif comprises 30 discourses and was intended for medical students and the practicing physician, for whom it was a ready and useful companion in a multitude of situations since it answered all kinds of clinical problems. At-Tasrif contains the earliest picture of surgical instruments in history, about 200 are described and illustrated. In places the use of instrument – i.e. the surgical procedure itself is shown. Discourse l and 2, were translated into Latin as “Liber Thoricae”, which was printed in Augusburg in 1519. In them, Abuicasis classified 325 diseases and discussed their symptomatology and treatment. In folio 145, he described, for the first time, in medical history, a haamorrhagic disease transmitted by unaffected women to their male children; today we call it hemophilia. Discourse 28 is on pharmacy and was translated into Latin as early as 1288 as “Liber Servitoris”.

Of all the discourses of Albucasis’s Al-Tasrif, discourse 30, on surgery, became the most famous and had by far the widest and the greatest influence translated into Latin by Gerard Cremona (1114-1187) it went into at least ten Latin editions between 1497 and 1544. The last edition was that of John Channing in Oxford (I778) this contains both the original Arabic text and its Latin translation on alternate pages. Almost all European authors of
surgical texts from 12th to the 16th centuries referred to Albucasis’s surgery and copied from him. They included Roger of Salerno (d. 1180), Guglielmo Salicefte (I201-1277), Lanfranchi (d.1315), Henri de Mondeville (1260-1320), Mondinus of Bologna (1275-1326), Bruno of Calabria (1352), Guy de Chaulliac (1300-1368), Valescus of Taranta (1382-1417), Nicholas of Florence (d. 1411), Leonardo da Bertapagatie of Padua (d. 1460).

The 300 pages of Abulcasis’s surgery represent the first book of this size devoted solely to surgery, which at that time also included dentistry and what one may term surgical dermatology. Here in Albucasis developed all aspects of surgery and various branches; ophthalmology diseases of the ear, nose, and throat, and of t he head and neck, general surgery, obstetrics, gynecology; military medicine, urology, and orthopedic surgery. He divided the discourse into three part : (i), on cauterization (56 sections); (ii) on surgery (97 sections), and (iii) on orthopedic (35 sections). It is no wonder then that Albucasis awakened in Europe a prepossession in favour of Arabic medical Literature, “that his book reached eminence
as the foremost text book in Western Christendom”.

Serefeddin Sabuncuoglu (1385-1468) was a surgeon who lived in Amasia in central Anatolia, he wrote his book Cerrahiye-tul- Hanniyye in 1460 at the age of 80 after serving as a chief surgeon in Amasiya Hospital (Darussifa) for years, his text Cerrahiye- tul- Hanniyye was presented to Sultan Mohammad, the conqueror, but the manuscript disappeared afterwards till its emergence in 1920s. The book is roughly a translation of al-Tasrif of al-Zahrawi but over the translation he added his own experiences and brought interesting comments on previous application and every surgical procedure is illustrated in this work.

William Hunter (1717-1783) used Arabic manuscripts brought from Aleppo for his study on Aneurysm. In the University of Glasgow one can find a paper written under the title ‘William Hunter and his Arabic Interest’. There was also a chapter in Sir Charles lllingworth’s biography of William Hunter entitled ” The story of William Hunter published from Edinburgh by E. S. Livingstone published in 1967. Chapter 9 page 58 was devoted on flavour of
Arabic work of Albucasis which has been in his study and was obtained on his behalf from Aleppo in Syria an Arabic manuscript of al-Tasrif.

The oldest medical manuscript written in England around 1250 according to British Medical Journal has startling evidence. In reference to Albucasis’ volumes:

“This interesting relic consists of eighty-nine leaves of volume, written in beautiful gothic script in the Latin tongue. The work contains six separate treatise, of which the first and most important is the DE CHIRURGIA OF ALBU-MASIM (Albucasis, Albucasim ). This occupies forty four leaves, three of which are missing, it may be contended that, if this really is the oldest extant medical textbook written in England.” Nova Vetera BMJ July 8, 1939 pp 80-81. Thus it is in conclusion that “Albucasis was not only one of the greatest surgeon of medieval Islam but a great educationist and Psychiatrist as well. He devoted a substantial section in the Tasrif to child education and behaviour table etiquette school curriculum and academic specialisation.” Professor S. Hamarneh (Health Sciences in Islam).

In his native city of Cordoba there is a street called ‘Al-Bucasis’ named after him. Across river Wadi Al-Kabir on the other side in the Calla Hurra Museum his Instruments are displayed in his honour and a tribute in gold 200 surgical instruments constructed by Professor Fuad Sezgin was exhibited in 1992 Madrid Archaeological Museum and a catalogue in El-legado scientifico Andalusi has good colour photos and manuscripts published by the museum.

Hakim Saead in Karachi Pakistan Hamdard foundation has permanent display silver surgical instruments of albucasis in the library and also published in colour a booklet. Professor Ahmed Dhieb of Tunis has also studied the surgical instruments and constructed them which were displayed in the 36th International Congress for the History of Medicine held in Tunis City in Tunisia. Ahmed Ohieb has published and has illustration of all surgical instruments of Albucasis in detail in three languages, French Arabic and English under the title Tools of Civilisation.

Author : Dr Ibrahim Shaikh

Science: Muslim Astronomers

An overview of Muslim Astronomers

Summarised extracts from a full article, see resources below, where end notes, references and bibliography are given

The work of the Muslim astronomers who lived between 9th and 12th centuries was both innovative and accurate. Its influence was felt for generations to come. Many of the most basic concepts of modern astronomy were either developed directly by them, or came about through their influence on later astronomers.

This concise biographical overview presents the work of eight of them.

Muslim scholars who worked on the subject of astronomy receive a good treatment in The Dictionary of Scientific Biography.

There are also, of course, Suter, Brockelmann, Sezgin and Sarton for more details on each of such astronomers. Amongst these astronomers was Al-Battani (d 929) who wrote The Sabian tables (al-Zij al-Sabi), a very influential work for centuries after him.

Al-Battani’s work also includes timing of the new moons, calculation of the length of the solar and sideral year, the prediction of eclipses and the phenomenon of parallax.’

Al-Battani also popularised if not discovered the first notions of trigonometrical ratios used today, and made serious emendations to Ptolemy.

Al-Sufi (903-986) made several observations on the obliquity of the ecliptic and the motion of the sun (or the length of the solar year.) He also made observations and descriptions of the stars, setting out his results constellation by constellation, discussing the stars positions, their magnitudes and their colour, and for each constellation providing two drawings from the outside of a celestial globe, and from the inside.Al-Sufi also wrote on the astrolabe and its thousand or so uses.

Al-Biruni (973-1050) claimed that the earth rotated around its own axis.(endnote 45) He calculated the earth circumference, and fixed scientifically the direction of Makkah (Mecca) from any point of the globe. Al-Biruni wrote in total 150 works, including 35 treatises on pure astronomy, of which only six have survived.

Ibn Yunus (d 1009) made observations for nearly thirty years (977-1003) using amongst others a large astrolabe of nearly 1.4 m in diameter, determining more than 10,000 entries of the sun’s position throughout the years.

Al-Farghani was one of Caliph Al-Mamun’s astronomers. He wrote on the astrolabe, explaining the mathematical theory behind the instrument and correcting faulty geometrical constructions of the central disc, that were current then. His most famous book Kitab fi Harakat Al-Samawiyah wa Jaamai Ilm al-Nujum on cosmography contains thirty chapters including a description of the inhabited part of the earth, its size, the distances of the heavenly bodies from the earth and their sizes, as well as other phenomena.

Al-Zarqali (Arzachel) (1029-1087) prepared the Toledan Tables and was also a renowned instrument maker who constructed a more sophisticated astrolabe: a safiha, accompanied by a treatise.

Jabir Ibn Aflah (d. 1145) was the first to design a portable celestial sphere to measure and explain the movements of celestial objects. Jabir is specially noted for his work on spherical trigonometry. Al-Bitruji’s work ‘Kitab-al-Hay’ah’ was translated by the Sicilian based Michael Scot, and bore considerable influence thereafter.

On how the works of various Muslim astronomers have been used, or relied upon by scholars who followed them has received attention by many of the sources already cited. There remains many matters of contention as can be expected. Indeed, if it is easy for many scholars to find the Greek origin in many Islamic works, however
flimsy the evidence, the other way round, that is recognising the Muslim origin of any breakthrough of significance amongst the likes of Copernicus, Galileo, etc, is denied even when the evidence is beyond the glaring.

No better instance than Copernicus’ theories based on those of Nasir al-Din al-Tusi and Ibn Shatir. Pedersen, for instance, noting the resemblance, still finds no line of transmission.

This line of transmission North bluntly states it, holding that Greek and Latin materials that made use of al-Tusi’s device were circulating in Italy at about the time Copernicus studied there. And North does not hesitate to add that Copernicus made repeated uses of al-Tusi’s and his followers’
devices.

On this issue see also works by Gingerich, and above all the masterly delivery by George Saliba, which explains all about this matter at:
http://www.columbia.edu/~gas1/project/visions/case1/sci.1.html

Source : Foundation for Science Technology & Civlilsation

Science: Muslim Engineer – Al-Jazzari

By Prof. STS Al-Hassani, UMIST, Manchester, UK

Al-Jazari was the most outstanding Mechanical Engineer of his time. His full name was Badi Al-Zaman AbulI-Ezz Ibn Ismail Ibn Al-Razzaz Al-Jazari and he lived in Diyar-Bakir (in Turkey) during the 6th century AH (12th century CE).

He was called Al-Jazari after the place of his birth, Al-Jazira, the area lying between the Tigris and the Euphrates in Iraq. Like his father before him he served Urtuq kings of Diyar-Bakir, from 570-597 AH (1174-1200 CE) as a Mechanical Engineer. In 1206 he completed an outstanding book on engineering entitled “Al-Jami Bain Al-Ilm
Wal-Amal Al-Nafi Fi Sinat’at Al-Hiyal” in Arabic. It was a compendium of theoretical and practical mechanics. Writes Sarton (1884-1956):
“This treatise is the most elaborate of its kind and may be considered the climax of this line of Muslim achievement.” Sarton vol.2; page 510.

Al-Jazari’s book is distinctive in its practical aspect because the author was a competent engineer and skilled craftsman. The book describes various devices in minute detail hence an invaluable contribution in the history of engineering. British charter engineer Donald Hill (1974) who has a special interest in Arab technology writes:
“It is impossible to over emphasize the importance of Al-Jazari’s work in the history of engineering, it provides a wealth of instructions for design, manufacture and assembly of machines.”

Al-Jazari describes fifty mechanical devices in six different categories, including water clocks, hand washing device (wadu machine) and machines for raising water etc. Following the “World of Islam Festival” held in the United Kingdom in 1976 a tribute was paid to Al-Jazri when the london Science Museum showed a
successfully reconstructed working model of his famous “Water Clock.”

Hill translated Al-Jazari’s work in 1974, seven centuries and 68 years after it was completed by its author. Al-Jazari’s book includes six main categories of machines and devices. Several of the machines, mechanisms and techniques that first appear in this treatise, later entering the vocabulary of European mechanical
engineering, including double acting pumps with suction pipes and the use of a crank shaft in a machine, accurate calibration of orifices, lamination of timber to reduce warping, static balancing of wheels, use of paper models to establish a design, casting of metals in closed mould boxes with green sand etc. Al-Jazari also
describes methods of construction and assembly in scrupulous detail of the fifty or so machines in it to enable future craftsmen to reconstruct them.

And he was successful in that, for many of his devices were constructed following his instructions. The work by al-Jazari is also unique in the way that other writers often fail to give sufficient details, because amongst others, they are not craftsmen themselves, or kept their secrets, or if they were craftsmen, they
could have been illiterate. Al-Jazari in this respect was unique, and this gives his work immense value. His book, Hill states, is an absolute wealth of Islamic mechanical engineering.

In their paper in the charter Engineer of the I.Mech.E., Ludlow and Bahrani have raised the important point that it is more than likely that there is more on the subject in some of the thousands of Arabic
manuscripts in the European and North American libraries which have been inspected closely, and obviously require looking into. Hill, too, and constantly raises the two major issues with respect to the history of engineering in general, and that of fine technology in particular. He first states the fact that the field, which is absolutely immense, is yet totally unexplored. The other issue is related to fine technology. One of his concluding points states that `it is hoped that, as research proceeds, firmer evidence for the transmission of Islamic fine technology into Europe can be provided.’ Hill also offers some hints for such transmission. The most likely route being Spain. Such fine technology could have followed the same route as the astrolabe (itself part of this fine technology.) Apart from Spain, there was Sicily, another land of transfer, Byzantium, and Syria during the Crusades. And Hill is also right on a further account, that what will be seen in this work is just a fraction of the whole process, which, as with much else has hardly been explored.

The animation shows a virtual model of one of al-Jazari’s water raising pumps. The details of this unique pump were obtained from his manuscript and Hill’s diagrams. We see two suction pumps in synchronous motion driven by a paddle wheel, which is driven by a water stream.

The other animation is for a 3D model recreated from the description of the elephant clock as described by Al-Jazari. Full details of this animation are given in the book by Prof. S T S Al-Hassani on “The History of Muslim Engineering”, to be published.

Author : By Prof. Al-Hassani
Source : Foundation for Science Technology & Civlilsation

Science: Muslim Scientist – Al Khawarizmi

To celebrate the 1200th birth anniversary of Muhammad bin Musa Al-Khawarizmi the former USSR issued this postal stamp pictured to the left.

The terms Algebra and Algorithm are familiar to all of us but how many have heard of their founder Mohammed Al-Khawarizmi. In Geography he revised and corrected Ptolemy’s view and produced the first map of the known world in 830 CE.

He worked on measuring the volume and circumference of the earth, and contributed to work related to clocks, sundials and astrolabes.

His Life

Abu Abdallah Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khawarizmi. The last-mentioned name (his nisba) refers to his birthplace, Khwarizm, modern Khiva, south of the Aral Sea. He was born around 780 in the town of Kath part of Khwarism. Kath is now buried in the sand. He died around 850. He was summoned to Baghdad by Caliph Al-Mamun and appointed court astronomer. From the title of his work, Hisab Al-Jabr wal Mugabalah (Book of Calculations, Restoration and Reduction), Algebra (Al-Jabr) derived its name.

Algebra symbolizes the debt of Western culture to Muslim mathematics.Ironically, when it first entered the English language it was used as a term for setting of broken bones, and even sometimes for the fractures themselves. This reflects the original literal meaning of the Arabic word al-Jabr, ‘the reuniting of broken bones,’ from the verb jabara ‘reunite.’ The anatomical connotations of this were adopted when the word was borrowed, as algebra, into Spanish, Italian and medieval Latin from one or other of which English acquired it. In Arabic, however, it had long been applied to the solving of algebraic equations (the full Arabic expression was ‘Ilm aljabr wa’l muqabalah’ ”the science of reunion and equations,’ and the mathematician Al-Khawarizmi used aljabr as the title of his treatise on algebra.

In the twelfth century Gerard of Cremona and Roberts of Chester translated the algebra of Al-Khawarizmi into Latin. Mathematicians used it all over the world until the sixteenth century. A Latin translation of a Muslim arithmetic text was discovered in 1857 CE at the University of Cambridge library. Entitled ‘Algoritimi de Numero Indorum’, the work opens with the words: ‘Spoken has Algoritimi. Let us give deserved praise to God, our Leader and Defender’.

It is believed that this is a copy of Al-Khawarizmi’s arithmetic text, which was translated into Latin in the twelfth century by Adelard of Bath (an English scholar). Al-Khawarizmi left his name to the history of mathematics in the form of Algorism (the old name for arithmetic).

His Work

Al-Khawarizmi was a mathematician, astronomer and geographer. He was perhaps one of the greatest mathematicians who ever lived, as, in fact, he was the founder of several branches and basic concepts of mathematics. In the words of Phillip Hitti:
“He influenced mathematical thought to a greater extent than any other mediaeval writer.”

His work on algebra was outstanding, as he not only initiated the subject in a systematic form but he also developed it to the extent of giving analytical solutions of linear and quadratic equations, which established him as the founder of Algebra.

Hisab Al-jabr wAl-muqabala, contains analytical solutions of linear and quadratic equations and its author may be called one of the founders of analysis or algebra as distinct from geometry. He also gives geometrical solutions (with figures) of quadratic equations, for example x2 + 1Ox = 39, an equation often repeated by later writers. The ‘Liber ysagogarum Alchorismi in artem astronomicam a magistro A. [Adelard of Bath] compositus!’ deals with arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy; it is possibly a summary of Al-Khawarzmi’s teachings rather than an original work.

His astronomical and trigonometric tables, revised by Maslama Al-Majrti (Second half of tenth century), were translated into Latin as early as l126 by Adelard of Bath. They were the first Muslim tables and contained not simply the sine function but also the tangent (Maslama’s interpolation).

His arithmetic synthesised Greek and Hindu knowledge and also contained his own contribution of fundamental importance to mathematics and science. Thus, he explained the use of zero, a numeral of fundamental importance developed by the Arabs. Similarly, he developed the decimal system so that the overall system of
numerals, ‘algorithm’ or ‘algorizm’ is named after him. In addition to introducing the Indian system of numerals (now generally known as Arabic numerals), he developed at length several arithmetical procedures, including operations on fractions. It was through his work that the system of numerals was first introduced to Arabs and
later to Europe, through its translations in European languages. He developed in detail trigonometric tables containing the sine functions, which were probably extrapolated to tangent functions by Maslamati.

He also perfected the geometric representation of conic sections and developed the calculus of two errors, which practically led him to the concept of differentiation. He is also reported to have collaborated in the degree measurements ordered by Al-Mamun which were aimed at measuring of volume and circumference of the earth.

His Books

Several of his books were translated into Latin in the early 12th century. In fact, his book on arithmetic, Kitab Al-Jam’a wal-Tafreeq bil Hisab Al-Hindi, was lost in Arabic but survived in a Latin translation. His astronomical tables were also translated into European languages and,later,into Chinese. His geography captioned
Kitab Surat-Al-Ard,(The Face of the Earth) together with its maps, was also translated. In addition, he wrote a book on the Jewish calendar Istikhraj Tarikh Al-Yahud, and two books on the astrolabe. He also wrote Kitab Al-Tarikh and his book on sun-dials was captioned Kitab Al-Rukhmat, but both of them have been lost.

A Servant of God

Al-Khawarizmi emphasised that he wrote his algebra book to serve the practical needs of the people concerning matters of inheritance, legacies, partition, law suits and commerce. He considered his work as worship to God.

Science: Major Contributions To Science by Muslims

Astronomy

Muslims have always had a special interest in astronomy. The moon and the sun are of vital importance in the daily life of every Muslim. By the moon, Muslims determine the beginning and the end of the months in their lunar calendar. By the sun the Muslims calculate the times for prayer and fasting. It is also by means of astronomy that Muslims can determine the precise direction of the Qiblah, to face the Ka’bah in Makkah, during prayer. The most precise solar calendar, superior to the Julian, is the Jilali, devised under the supervision of Umar Khayyam.

The Qur’an contains many references to astronomy.

«“The heavens and the earth were ordered rightly, and were made subservient to man, including the sun, the moon, the stars, and day and night. Every heavenly body moves in an orbit assigned to it by God and never digresses, making the universe an orderly cosmos whose life and existence, diminution and expansion, are totally determined by the Creator.”» [Qur’an 30:22]

These references, and the injunctions to learn, inspired the early Muslim scholars to study the heavens. They integrated the earlier works of the Indians, Persians and Greeks into a new synthesis. Ptolemy’s Almagest (the title as we know it is Arabic) was translated, studied and criticized. Many new stars were discovered, as we see in their Arabic names – Algol, Deneb, Betelgeuse, Rigel, Aldebaran. Astronomical tables were compiled, among them the Toledan tables, which were used by Copernicus, Tycho Brahe and Kepler. Also compiled were almanacs – another Arabic term. Other terms from Arabic are zenith, nadir, albedo, azimuth.
Muslim astronomers were the first to establish observatories, like the one built at Mugharah by Hulagu, the son of Genghis Khan, in Persia, and they invented instruments such as the quadrant and astrolabe, which led to advances not only in astronomy but in oceanic navigation, contributing to the European age of exploration.

Geography

Muslim scholars paid great attention to geography. In fact, the Muslims’ great concern for geography originated with their religion. The Qur’an encourages people to travel throughout the earth to see God’s signs and patterns everywhere. Islam also requires each Muslim to have at least enough knowledge of geography to know the direction of the Qiblah (the position of the Ka’bah in Makkah) in order to pray five times a day. Muslims were also used to taking long journeys to conduct trade as well as to make the Hajj and spread their religion. The far-flung Islamic empire enabled scholar-explorers to compile large amounts of geographical and climatic information from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Among the most famous names in the field of geography, even in the West, are Ibn Khaldun and Ibn Batuta, renowned for their written accounts of their extensive explorations.

In 1166, Al-Idrisi, the well-known Muslim scholar who served the Sicilian court, produced very accurate maps, including a world map with all the continents and their mountains, rivers and famous cities. Al-Muqdishi was the first geographer to produce accurate maps in color.

It was, moreover, with the help of Muslim navigators and their inventions that Magellan was able to traverse the Cape of Good Hope, and Da Gama and Columbus had Muslim navigators on board their ships.

Humanity

Seeking knowledge is obligatory in Islam for every Muslim, man and woman. The main sources of Islam, the Qur’an and the Sunnah (Prophet Muhammad’s traditions), encourage Muslims to seek knowledge and be scholars, since this is the best way for people to know Allah (God), to appreciate His wondrous creations and be thankful for them. Muslims were therefore eager to seek knowledge, both religious and secular, and within a few years of Muhammad’s mission, a great civilization sprang up and flourished. The outcome is shown in the spread of Islamic universities; Al-Zaytunah in Tunis, and Al-Azhar in Cairo go back more than 1,000 years and are the oldest existing universities in the world. Indeed, they were the models for the first European universities, such as Bologna, Heidelberg, and the Sorbonne. Even the familiar academic cap and gown originated at Al-Azhar University.

Muslims made great advances in many different fields, such as geography, physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, pharmacology, architecture, linguistics and astronomy. Algebra and the Arabic numerals were introduced to the world by Muslim scholars. The astrolabe, the quadrant, and other navigational devices and maps were developed by Muslim scholars and played an important role in world progress, most notably in Europe’s age of exploration.

Muslim scholars studied the ancient civilations from Greece and Rome to China and India. The works of Aristotle, Ptolemy, Euclid and others were translated into Arabic. Muslim scholars and scientists then added their own creative ideas, discoveries and inventions, and finally transmitted this new knowledge to Europe, leading directly to the Renaissance. Many scientific and medical treatises, having been translated into Latin, were standard text and reference books as late as the 17th and 18th centuries.

Mathematics

It is interesting to note that Islam so strongly urges mankind to study and explore the universe. For example, the Holy Qur’an states: «“We (Allah) will show you (mankind) Our signs/patterns in the horizons/universe and in yourselves until you are convinced that the revelation is the truth.”» [Qur’an, 14:53]

This invitation to explore and search made Muslims interested in astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, and the other sciences, and they had a very clear and firm understanding of the correspondences among geometry, mathematics, and astronomy.

The Muslims invented the symbol for zero (The word “cipher” comes from Arabic sifr), and they organized the numbers into the decimal system – base 10. Additionally, they invented the symbol to express an unknown quantity, i.e. variables like x.

The first great Muslim mathematician, Al-Khawarizmi, invented the subject of algebra (al-Jabr), which was further developed by others, most notably Umar Khayyam. Al-Khawarizmi’s work, in Latin translation, brought the Arabic numerals along with the mathematics to Europe, through Spain. The word “algorithm” is derived from his name.

Muslim mathematicians excelled also in geometry, as can be seen in their graphic arts, and it was the great Al-Biruni (who excelled also in the fields of natural history, even geology and mineralogy) who established trigonometry as a distinct branch of mathematics. Other Muslim mathematicians made significant progress in number theory.

Medicine

In Islam, the human body is a source of appreciation, as it is created by Almighty Allah (God). How it functions, how to keep it clean and safe, how to prevent diseases from attacking it or cure those diseases, have been important issues for Muslims.

Prophet Muhammad himself urged people to “”take medicines for your diseases””, as people at that time were reluctant to do so. He also said, “”God created no illness, but established for it a cure, except for old age. When the antidote is applied, the patient will recover with the permission of God.””

This was strong motivation to encourage Muslim scientists to explore, develop, and apply empirical laws. Much attention was given to medicine and public health care. The first hospital was built in Baghdad in 706 AC. The Muslims also used camel caravans as mobile hospitals, which moved from place to place.

Since the religion did not forbid it, Muslim scholars used human cadavers to study anatomy and physiology and to help their students understand how the body functions. This empirical study enabled surgery to develop very quickly.

Al-Razi, known in the West as Rhazes, the famous physician and scientist, (d. 932) was one of the greatest physicians in the world in the Middle Ages. He stressed empirical observation and clinical medicine and was unrivaled as a diagnostician. He also wrote a treatise on hygiene in hospitals. Khalaf Abul-Qasim Al-Zahrawi was a very famous surgeon in the eleventh century, known in Europe for his work, Concessio (Kitab al-Tasrif).

Ibn Sina (d. 1037), better known to the West as Avicenna, was perhaps the greatest physician until the modern era. His famous book, Al-Qanun fi al-Tibb, remained a standard textbook even in Europe, for over 700 years. Ibn Sina’s work is still studied and built upon in the East.

Other significant contributions were made in pharmacology, such as Ibn Sina’s Kitab al-Shifa’ (Book of Healing), and in public health. Every major city in the Islamic world had a number of excellent hospitals, some of them teaching hospitals, and many of them were specialized for particular diseases, including mental and emotional. The Ottomans were particularly noted for their building of hospitals and for the high level of hygiene practiced in them.

Science: The Advent Of Experimental Chemistry

Here we give highlights of three main founders of Experimental Chemistry: Jabir Ibn Hayyan, Al-Razi and Al-Majriti.

Jabir Ibn Hayyan

One of the points raised by Holmyard, which was fundamental to chemistry, and to the development of science in general, is the development of its practical side, that is experiment. This, in fact, is one of the most sticking points in the history of science, a fact that has suffered much from the distortions of scholarship dealing with the history of science. Experiment is what differentiates Muslim science from Greek speculation (called science). Experiment also began with the Muslims, centuries before the likes of Grosseteste, whom scores of scholars, in their usual short-sightedness, behind which lurks dishonesty, or incompetence, or both at once, keep attributing to. Indeed, Holmyard notes how Jabir Ibn Hayyan (722-815), one of the earliest Muslim scientists, and the promoter of chemistry (not to use that silly word many of our scholars tend to use: father; as if a science has a father and a son) was acquainted with chemical operations of crystallization, calcination, solution, sublimation, reduction, etc, and, above all, that he describes them. Of greater interest even, as Holmyard notes, Jabir seeks to understand the changes that take place during the process, besides giving opinions to their aims; for instance, explaining how the aim of calcination is to remove impurities from metals, and how metals are calcinated in different ways. Jabir also describes processes for the preparation of steel, the refinement of other metals, for dyeing cloth and leather, for marking varnishes to waterproof cloth, for the preparation of hair-dyes, etc.. He also gives recipes for making a cheap illuminating ink for manuscripts, and mentions the use of manganese dioxide in glass making. He was also acquainted with citric acid and other organic substances, and so on. On the crucial role of experiment, Jabir had this to say: `The first essential in chemistry is that thou shouldest perform practical work and conduct experiments, for he who performs not practical work nor makes experiments will never attain to the least degree of mastery. But thou, O my son, do thou experiment so that thou mayest acquire knowledge. Scientists delight not in abundance of material; they rejoice only in the excellence of their experimental methods.’

Jabir’s overral achievements are elsewhere summarised by Al-Faruqi. Some of his writing includes Al Khawass al-kabir (the Great Book of Chemical properties), al-Mawazin (Weights and measures), Al-Mizaj (Chemical combination, and Al-Asbagh (Dyes). On top of that, he built a precise scale that weighed items 6, 480 times smaller than the ratl (approx 1 kg.) Before John Dalton by ten centuries, he defined chemical combinations as a union of the elements together, in too small particles for the naked eye to see, without loss of character. And he invented a kind of paper that resisted fire. Jabir’s other achievements include his perfecting of chemical processes already cited of sublimation, liquefaction, purification, amalgamation, oxidation, crystallization, distillation, evaporation, and filtration. He also identified many new products, including alkalines, acids, salts, paints and greases. He prepared sulphuric acid, nitro-hydrochloric acid (used to dissolve some metals), caustic soda and a multitude of salts such as sulphates, nitrates and potassium and sodium carbonates. Jabir’s works with metals and salts subsequently helped develop foundry techniques and glazing processes for tiles and other ceramics. Thus are illustrated Jabir’s tremendous achievements in the science. However, instead of focusing on his pure scientific contribution to chemistry, many non Muslim scholars dealing with `Alchemy’, prefer to dwell on the rather tedious, obscure, and un-scientific aspects of his work of the fanciful and folkloric sort of Greek and ancient origins (aspects which both Ibn Sina and Ibn Khaldoun instead denounce very much). Such aspects are also those frequently raised by many Western scholars to discredit Muslim chemistry.

Al-Razi to follow Jabir

Nearly a century had elapsed after Jabir before flourished another Muslim maker of modern chemistry: al-Razi (b. 866). Al-Razi maintained the excellence began by Jabir, and gave chemistry foundations it kept up to our day. In his work Secret of Secrets, he made the very useful classification of natural substances, dividing them into earthly, vegetable and animal substances, to which he also added a number of artificially obtained ones such as lead oxide, caustic soda, and various alloys. He went further in the cataloguing and description of his experiments, describing first the materials he used, then the apparatus, and methods and conditions of his experiments. Al-Razi also set up the laboratory in the modern sense, designing, describing and using more than twenty instruments. Both Anawati and Hill provide a good account of such laboratory, the precursor of the modern laboratory, of which many parts are still in use today (to which Hill points out, whilst Anawati does not.) Al-Razi does not just list the instruments used in chemistry, he also gives details of making composite pieces of apparatus, and provides the same sort of information as can be found today in manuals of laboratory art. Also his systematic classification of carefully observed and verified facts regarding chemical substances, reactions and apparatus, all in very clear language, further contribute to make Al-Razi of `exceptional importance in the history of chemistry,’ according to Holmyard. These are, indeed, symbols of modern science; hence, the obvious conclusion that modern science, in practice and methodology, and not just chemistry, found roots in the works of Muslim scientists; Muslim chemistry itself proving to be no occult practice that ended with the European Renaissance.

The Chemist from Madrid

Al-Majriti (950-1007), from Madrid, hence his name, and already cited briefly, was particularly noted for his work Rutbat Al-Hakim (The Rank of the Wise), which amongst other things gives formulae and instructions for the purification of precious metals. This was collected and put together in the year 1009, two years after his death. In this work, Al-Majriti was also the first to prove the principle of conservation of mass, credited eight centuries later to the French Lavoisier, the so called father of chemistry.

Source : Foundation for Science Technology & Civlilsation

Economy: Economic Principles Of Islam

Islam has laid down certain principles and limits for the economic activity of man so that the entire pattern of production, exchange and distribution of wealth may conform to the Islamic standard of justice and equity. Islam does not concern itself with time-bound methods and techniques of economic production or with the details of organizational patterns and mechanisms. Such methods are specific to every age and are evolved in accordance with the needs and requirements of the community and the exigencies of the economic situation. Islam’s concern is that whatever the particular form of economic activity in operation, its underlying principles should always be the same.

According to the Islamic point of view, Allah has created for mankind the earth and all that it contains. It is, therefore, the birthright of every human being o try to secure his share of the world’s wealth and sustenance. Islam does not allow a particular person, class, race or group of people to create a monopoly in certain economic activities: equal opportunities for all is its watchword.

This is a new and revised translation of a talk given by the author on Radio Pakistan, Lahore, on 2nd March, 1948.

Right of Property

Resources which are provided by nature and which can be used directly by man may be utilised freely, and everyone is entitled to benefit from them according to his needs. Water in the rivers and springs, timber in the forests, fruits of wild plants, wild grass and fodder, air, animals of the jungle, minerals under the surface of the earth and similar other resources cannot be monopolised by anyone nor can restrictions of any sort be imposed on their free use by Allah’s creatures to fulfil their own needs. Of course, people who want to use any of these things for commercial purposes can be required to pay taxes to the state. Or, if there is misuse of the resources, the Government may intervene. But there is nothing to prevent individuals availing themselves of Allah’s earth as long as they do not interfere with the rights of others or of the state.

It is not right that things created by Allah for the benefit of mankind should be taken possession of, and then kept idle and useless. One should either benefit from them oneself, or make them available to others. On the basis of this principle Islam holds that no one can keep his land unused for more than three years. If, during this period, he does not himself use it for cultivation or for construction of buildings or for some other purpose, such lands shall be treated as ‘vacated’, and anyone else who makes use of it shall not be liable to be proceeded against in law, nor shall the Government have any authority to hand it over to someone else (including the previous owner).

Anyone who takes possession of the earth’s natural resources and puts them to good use acquires a rightful title over them. For instance, if somebody takes possession of an uncultivated piece of land, on which nobody has a prior right of ownership, and makes productive use of it, he cannot be arbitrarily dispossessed of that piece of land.

This is how every right of ownership originated in the world. When man first appeared, everything was available to everyone, and whoever took possession of anything and made it useful in any manner became its owner; that is to say, he acquired the right to use it specifically for his own purpose and to obtain compensation from others if they wanted to use it. This is the natural basis of all the economic activity of mankind.

The rights of ownership are to be honoured, though it is always open to ascertain if a particular ownership is legally valid or not. Islam cannot approve of economic policies which destroy the rights conferred by the Shari‘ah, however attractive their names may be and whatever welfare pretensions they may make. Social justice and collective good are very dear to Islam, but in their name the rights given by the Shari‘ah cannot be trampled. It is as unjust to reduce or remove the restrictions placed by the Shari‘ah, for the sake of the good of the community as a whole, on the rights of individual ownership as it is to add restrictions and limitations on them which do not fit into the Shari‘ah. It is one of the duties of an Islamic state to protect the legal rights of individuals and, at the same time to compel them to fulfil their obligations to the community as enjoined by law. That is how Islam strikes a balance between individualism and collectivism.

The Problem of Equality

Allah has not distributed His gifts and favour equally among mankind but, in His infinite wisdom, has given some individuals more than others. Just as this is true of pleasantness of voice, excellence of physique and intellectual power and so on, so, too, is it the case with the material conditions of life. Human existence has been so ordained that divergence, variety and inequality among men in their ways and standards variety and inequality among men in their ways and standards of living seems to be natural. Variety is the spice of life, and the driving spirit of behind human endeavour and excellence. Allah has not distributed His gifts and favour equally among mankind but, in His infinite wisdom, has given some individuals more than others. Just as this is true of pleasantness of voice, excellence of physique and intellectual power and so on, so, too, is it the case with the material conditions of life. Human existence has been so ordained that divergence, variety and inequality among men in their ways and standards variety and inequality among men in their ways and standards of living seems to be natural. Variety is the spice of life, and the driving spirit of behind human endeavour and excellence.

Consequently, all those ideologies which want to force an artificial economic equality on mankind are mistaken, unrealistic and impossible to realise. The equality which Islam believes in is equality of opportunity to secure a livelihood and to climb the ladder of success and prosperity. Islam desires that no obstacles should exist in society to prevent an individual from striving for a living according to his capacity and talents; nor should any social distinctions exist with the object of safeguarding the privileges of a certain class, race, dynasty or group of people.

All those ideologies which serve vested interests, or which seek to perpetuate the power of a certain group, are also repugnant to Islam and can have no place in its scheme of things. Such movements seek to establish, through force if necessary, an unnatural inequality in place of the natural limited inequality which provides incentive to effort in society. At the same time, Islam does not agree with those who want to enforce complete equality in respect of the means of production and the fruits of economic endeavour, as they aim at replacing limited natural inequality by an artificial equality.

Only that system can be the nearest to human nature in which everyone joins the economic struggle at his own level and in the circumstances in which Allah has created him. He who has inherited an aeroplane should make use of it; while he who has only a pair of legs should stand on his feet and try to improve his lot. The laws of society should neither be such as would establish a permanent monopoly for the aeroplane-owner (over his aeroplane) and make it impossible for the bare-footed to acquire an aeroplane nor such that the race for everyone should compulsorily begin from the same point and under the same conditions so that they would all be tied to each other right till the end of the race. On the contrary, economic laws should be such as to make it possible for the bare-footed, who started his race under adverse conditions, to possess an aeroplane, if he can do so by dint of his effort and ability, and for he who inherited the aeroplane to be left behind in the race and to lose it, if he does not have the ability or efficiency to keep it. Effort should be rewarded and laziness penalised.

Social Justice

Islam does not want this economic race to take place in an atmosphere of moral neutrality and social apathy. The participants should be just and kind to one another. Islam, through its moral injunctions, aims at creating a feeling of mutual love and affection among people, through which they may help their weak and weary brethren, and at the same time create a permanent institution in society to guarantee assistance to those who lack the necessary means and abilities to succeed. People who are unable to take part in the economic race and those who need help to get started in it should receive their share of the blessings of life from this social institution.

To this end Islam has commanded that Zakat should be levied at the rate of two and a half percent per annum on the total accumulated wealth [of each individual] in the country, as well as on invested capital; five percent or ten percent, depending on the method of watering, should be collected on agricultural produce; and twenty percent on certain mineral products. The annual Zakat should also be levied, at a specified rate, on cattle owned by anyone who has more than a certain minimum number. The amount of Zakat thus collected is to be spent on the poor, the orphans and the needy.

This system provided a means of social insurance where by everyone in an Islamic society is provided with at least the necessities of life. No worker can ever be forced, through fear of starvation, to accept conditions of employment which may be unfairly imposed on him by employer. And nobody’s physical health is allowed to deteriorate for lack of proper medical care and hospitalisation.

Islam aims at striking a balance between the individual and the community, which will promote individual freedom and at the same time ensure that such freedom is positively conducive to the growth and tranquillity of the community as a whole. Islam does not approve of a political or economic organisation which aims at submerging the identity of the individual beneath that of the community, and depriving him of the freedom essential for the proper development of his personality and talent. The inevitable consequence of nationalising a country’s means of production is the annihilation of the individual by the community; in these circumstances the existence and development of his individuality becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Just as political and social freedom is essential for the individual, economic freedom is necessary for a civilized moral existence. Unless we desire to eliminate completely the individuality of man, our social life must have enough freedom for an individual to be able to earn his living, to maintain the integrity of his conscience and to develop his moral and intellectual faculties according to his own inclinations and aptitudes. Living on the dole or on charity at the hands of others cannot be very satisfying, even if the sums involved are generous: the retardation of mental, moral and spiritual development which it ultimately leads to can never be counteracted by mere physical welfare and prosperity.

Nor does Islam favour a system of unbridled economic and social freedom which give individuals a blank cheque to achieve their objectives at the possible cost of the good of the community as a whole, or which enables them to misappropriate the wealth of others. Between these two extremes, Islam has adopted the middle course according to which the individual is first called upon, in the interest of the community, to accept certain restrictions, and is then left free to regulate his own affairs. He has freedom of enterprise and competition within a framework which guarantees the good of both the individual and society. It is not possible to explain all these obligations and restrictions in detail and I shall, therefore, content myself with presenting a bare outline of them.

Obligations and Restrictions

Take first the example of earning a living. The meticulous care with which Islam has distinguished between right and wrong in respect of the means of earning wealth is not to be found in any other legal and social system. It condemns as illegal all those means of livelihood which injure, morally or materially, the interests of another individual or of society as a whole. Islamic law categorically rejects as illegal the manufacture and sale of liquor and other intoxicants, adultery, professional dancing, gambling, transactions of a speculative or fraudulent nature, transactions in which the gain of one party is absolutely guaranteed while that of the other part is left uncertain and doubtful, and price manipulation by withholding the sale of the necessities of life.

If we examine this aspect of the economic laws of Islam, we will find a long list of practices declared illegal, most of which can and are making people millionaires in the capitalist system. Islam forbids all these by law, and allows freedom of earning wealth only by those means through which a person renders some real and useful service to the community and thereby entitles himself to fair and just compensation for it.

Islam accepts the right of ownership of an individual over the wealth earned by him by legitimate means; but these rights are not unrestrained. A man can only spend his legitimate wealth in certain specified ways. he may not waste his riches on idle luxury, nor may he use his wealth to behave arrogantly towards his fellows. Certain forms of wasteful expenditure have been unequivocally prohibited at the discretion of an Islamic Government.

One is permitted to accumulate wealth that is left over after meeting one’s legitimate and reasonable commitments and these savings can also be used to produce more wealth; there are, however, restrictions on both these activities. A rich man will, of course, have to pay Zak~ t at the rate of two and a half percent a year on the accumulation exceeding the specified minimum. He can only invest it in a business which has been declared legitimate. In this connection, he may own the legitimate business himself or he may make his capital available to others on a profit-loss sharing basis.

It is not at all objectionable in Islam if, working within these limits, a man becomes a millionaire; rather, this will constitute a Divine favour. But in the interests of the community as a whole, Islam imposes two conditions on the individual: first, that he should pay Zak~ t on his commercial goods and ‘Ushr (one tenth) on the value of agricultural produce; second, that he should deal fairly and honestly with those he does business with in trade, industry or agriculture, with those he employs and with the Government and the community at large. If he does not voluntarily act justly to others, particularly his employees, the Islamic state will compel him to do so.

Even wealth that is accumulated within these legal limits is not allowed by Islam to be concentrated at one point or in one place for a long time. Through its law of inheritance Islam spreads it among a large number of people from generation to generation. In this respect the Islamic law is different from that of other inheritance laws; most of them attempt to keep the wealth once accumulated by a person concentrated in the hands of one main beneficiary from generation to generation. In Islam, wealth accumulated by a person in his lifetime is distributed among all of his near relatives soon after his death. If there are no near relatives, distant relatives benefit from it in the proportions laid down by the law for each one of them. And if no distant relative is forthcoming, then the entire Muslim society is entitled to share in the inheritance. Under this law the creation or continuance of any big family of capitalists or landlords becomes impossible.

Author : Syed Abul Aala Maududi
Source : Islam101

What Is The Purpose Of Life?

They say that a fool lives to eat and a wise man eats to live. But then the question remains: for what purpose does the wise man live? Living is not an end by itself. There has to be a purpose for man to live for. So what is this purpose?

Where from? Where to? And Why?

Any ignorance, however great, could be forgiven except for man to be ignorant about the secret of his existence, his aim in life and what will be his outcome after death. Some thinkers express these questions in simple words: where from? Where to? And why? Meaning: where did I come from? Where am I going? And why am I here?

Those who only believe in the material world and who do not believe in a Creator- the atheists- only believe in sensory data. They say that this universe and everything in it came by itself. All its order is simply due to blind coincidence. They say that man is simply like an animal or a plant and that he will exist for a short period and then end like any other animal or plant.

An Arab Poet, Elya Abu Madhi (a born-Christian), not long ago expressed his uncertainty about the purpose of life in his Arabic poem Al-Talasim, meaning “puzzles,” which I have translated into English. He says in his poem:

I came not knowing from where, but I came.
And I saw a pathway in front of me, so I walked.
And I will remain walking, whether I want this or not.
How did I come? How did I see my pathway?
I do not know!
Am I new or am I old in this existence?
Am I free and unrestrained, or do I walk in chains?
Do I lead myself in my life, or am I being led?
I wish I know, but…
I do not know!
And my path, oh what is my path? Is it long or is it short?
Am I ascending in it, or am I going down and sinking?
Am I the one who is walking on the road,
or is it the road that is moving?
Or are we both standing, but it is the time that is running?
I do not know!
Before I became a full human, do you see
if I were nothing, impossible? Or do you see that I was something?
Is there an answer to this puzzle, or will it remain eternal?
I do not know … and why do I not know??
I do not know!

This feeling of doubt and confusion about the presence of a Creator and whether He sent messengers and prophets to guide mankind must be quite painful because it deprives the Atheist and the Agnostic of tranquility, security and peace of mind. The unbelievers do not have credible answers to the purpose of one’s existence. And thus they say that man lives for himself and for the pleasures of this life. So what happens when life turns sour? What happens when one goes through hardships? It is no coincidence then that the largest number of suicides takes place amongst Atheists, Agnostics and people who do not know their purpose in life. Do you know which country has the largest number of suicides? It’s Japan. In the year ending March 2000, there were 33,000 suicides in Japan. That is 91 suicides per day or 1 suicide every 15 minutes! This despite Japan being the second largest economy in the world wherein people do not have to worry about providing a roof over their heads or about food or medical care.

What if you find a Watch in the Sand?

To the Atheist and the Agnostic the Muslim says: “Suppose you find a watch in the middle of a desert. What would you conclude? Would you think that someone dropped this watch? Or would you suppose that the watch came by itself? Of course no sane person would say that the watch just happened to emerge from the sand. All the intricate working parts could not simply develop from the metals that lay buried in the earth. The watch must have a manufacturer. If a watch tells accurate time we expect the manufacturer must be intelligent. Blind chance cannot produce a working watch.

But what else tells accurate time? Consider the sunrise and sunset. Their timings are so strictly regulated that scientists can publish in advance the sunrise and sunset times in your daily newspapers. But who regulates the timings of sunrise and sunset? If a watch cannot work without an intelligent maker, how can the sun appear to rise and set with such clockwork regularity? Could this occur by itself?

Consider also that we benefit from the sun only because it remains at a safe distance from the earth, a distance that averages 93 million miles. If it got much closer, the earth would burn up. And if it got too far away, the earth would turn into an icy planet making human life here impossible. Who decided in advance that this was the right distance? Could it just happen by chance? Without the sun, plants would not grow. Then animals and humans would starve. Did the sun just decide to be there for us?

The rays of the sun would be dangerous for us had it not been for the protective ozone layer in our atmosphere. The atmosphere around the earth keeps the harmful ultraviolet rays from reaching us. Who was it that placed this shield around us?

We need to experience sunrise. We need the sun’s energy and its light to see our way during the day. But we also need sunset. We need a break from the heat, we need the cool of night and we need the lights to go out so we may sleep. Who regulated this process to provide what we need?
Moreover, if we had only the warmth of the sun and the protection of the atmosphere we would want something more – beauty. Our clothes provide warmth and protection, yet we design them to also look beautiful. Knowing our need for beauty, the designer of sunrise and sunset also made the view of them to be simply breathtaking.

The creator who gave us light, energy, protection and beauty deserves our thanks. Yet some people insist that he does not exist. What would they think if they found a watch in the desert? An accurate, working watch? A beautifully designed watch? Would they not conclude that there does exist a watchmaker? An intelligent watchmaker? One who appreciates beauty? Such is God who made us.”

Did people always believe in a Creator?

It is a fact that throughout history and throughout the world, man had been found to worship and to believe in a Creator. Specialists in Anthropology, Civilizations and History are unanimous on this. This led one of the great historians to say: “History shows that there had been cities without palaces, without factories and without fortresses, but there has never been cities without houses of worship.” Since time immemorial, man believed that he was not created simply for this life, for this short period, and he knew that he would ultimately depart to another resting-place. We see this evidence with the early Egyptians, thousands of years ago, when they mummified their dead and built great pyramids (as graves) and even placed the treasures of the dead in their graves in addition to drinks and mummified food! From the earliest recorded history, mankind had been unanimous, with very few exceptions, that there is a Creator and that there is life after death. However, they differed about the essence of this Creator, how to worship Him and the description of the life after death. For example, Hindus believe in reincarnation and that after death one’s soul would then go into a human body or an animal, depending on whether one did good or bad in his life, and that this process would continue without end until the soul reaches perfection and unites into one with its Creator. People of other religions like Jews, Christians and Muslims also believe in life after death, but not in reincarnation like the Hindus. All three – Jews, Christians and Muslims -however have different views about what happens to the soul after one’s death.

The fact that all nations and communities throughout history believed in a Creator (with the exception of insignificant few) made the mission of all prophets in all ages concentrate on guiding their people away from the worship of creations to the worship of the one and only Creator God, i.e. rather than having to prove His existence.

Why did People turn away from God?

The situation now in the world is different because there are now a very large number of people who do not believe in a Creator or in life after death – for example two surveys in the Czech Republic in 2000 found in one only 13% believe in life after death and in the other only 17% believe in God. A major reason for this in the last century was the so-called theory of evolution by Darwin (other reasons include the impact of totalitarian communism rule on people’s faith.) The theory of evolution says that man evolved from the ape, rather than being created by a Creator. Although this theory has no academic or scientific substance, it gained favor with so many people because it appealed to the doubts they had about the God that they were told to believe in. This is not surprising. If you give an educated person a description of a Creator that is illogical and unreasonable and then ask that person to believe in Him as his God, he would refuse. This unfortunately is the situation right now, especially in the west. The Christian Doctrines advocate the trinity, that God manifests Himself in three distinct and equal persons, and that God came down to earth in the form of a man (that is Jesus) and that He was crucified and died as a vicarious sacrifice for the so-called sin of man. So the Christians believe that Jesus was God in human form, God-incarnate. But how can the Creator die?

Some of the most important doctrines of Christianity – the doctrines of the Trinity, the Divinity of Jesus, the Divine-Sonship of Jesus, the Original Sin and the Atonement are neither rational nor in conformity with the teachings of Jesus. These dogmas took shape long after Jesus, as a result of old pagan influence. For example we find in Hinduism, the “Triad” (the trinity): there is Brahma, the creator god, Vishnu, the preserver god, and Shiva, the god of destruction. Modern Hindus take Krishna the son of Divachi, the virgin, as Vishnu incarnate. Krishna is the savior who as a sacrifice for their sin, had to suffer. He was crucified, died and then was raised from death. In Buddhism we find the Buddhist gods: Guatama (the holy spirit), Maya (the virgin mother) and Buddha, the son (who was conceived when Maya was filled by the holy spirit) and who is the savior who died and was raised from death. It may be interesting to mention that the 25th of December is not the birthday of Jesus. It is the birthday of Krishna in Hinduism, and of Nimrod, the divine son (a Babylonian god), and of Mithra, the god of light (one of the gods of the Greeks and the Romans)!

The religion revealed to the prophets of various nations was the same, but in the course of time it had been misinterpreted and become mixed up with superstitions and degenerated into magical practices and meaningless rituals. The concept of God, the very core of religion, had become debased by (a) the anthropomorphic tendency of making God into a being with a human shape, needs and human deficiencies, (b) the association of other persons with the one and only God in His Godhead (as in Hinduism and Christianity), (c) by the deification of the angels (e.g., the Devas in Hinduism, the Yazatas in Zoroastrianism and, perhaps also, the Holy Spirit in Christianity), (d) by making the Prophets into Avatars or incarnations of God (e.g., Jesus Christ in Christianity, the Buddha in Mahayana Buddhism, and Krishna and Rama in Hinduism), and (e) by the personification of the attributes of God into separate Divine Persons (e.g., the Christian Trinity of the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost, the Hindu Timurtri of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, and the Amesha Spentas of Zoroastrianism).

Due to major religions distorting the oneness and essence of God, pupils in the West are now being taught in schools to accept, as fact, Darwin’s theory of evo1ution. As a result, more and more students of school and university age are now Atheists. They even ridicule those who believe in God saying: “they are either stupid or lack confidence and so need something to give them security!”

I was recently attending a lecture in a Western country given by a Muslim to a group of retired men and women – more than 65 years of age. The lecturer in the beginning asked the group: which of you believe in God? They all raised their hands except two men. Then the lecturer asked: which of you do not believe in God? The remaining two elderly men then raised their hands. However, one of them paused and immediately interrupted the lecturer. He said: “Tell me what do you mean by God so that I can answer you!” After the session, I said to the lecturer: this man is intelligent because at first he said he did not believe in God, most probably because of the Christian concept of God, but then he was willing to have an open mind and rethink his position based on the concept of God that could be presented by the Muslim.

Why are we created?

Those who believe in the Creator can answer the questions: where from? And where to? They know that they have come into existence by being created by the Creator and they also know that there is an eternal life after death. But what about the answer to the third question, that is: why have we been created? If we had been created by the Creator, shouldn’t we expect that He would tell us the purpose of our creation? Shouldn’t He tell us on what basis He is going to judge us on the Day of Judgment?

What is the Islamic view?

Muslims say they know the answers because they have the Quran. But people of other religions also have their own scriptures, so what is so special about the Quran? The Quran is basically a book of divine guidance in areas that cannot be covered by the human senses or intellect, such as faith, acts of worship, a moral code and a code that governs the transactions between people. These are the four basic foundations of religion, an area in which man always needs divine guidance. Muslims contend that the Quran is the last revealed scripture by Allah (Allah is the proper name of God and is not used to denote any other being. Therefore, I shall use the name Allah in preference to the word God). The Quran is the recorded words of Allah Himself dictated verbatim to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) in installments, verse by verse or a group of verses, through the angel Gabriel over a period of 23 years between 610 and 633 AD. It is divided into 114 units, each called a surah. Muhammad (P.B.U.H) received revelation of the Quranic surahs as and when Allah chose to bestow on him new revelation. At times several surahs, particularly the longer ones, were being revealed to him concurrently. Muhammad (P.B.U.H) used to have a group of scribes entrusted with committing immediately whatever was revealed to him to writing. Those scribes used parchment, pottery, date palm leaves, flat stones, tree bark, wood, dried animal skins and even the shoulder blades of sheep or camels to write on; and the revealed verses were memorized by heart as the mere recitation of the Quran is in itself an act of worship, and as Muslims used these verses in their judgments and in their daily five prayers. In this manner, the verses of the Quran were preserved in the hearts of Muslims, as well as written down, during the lifetime of the Prophet. Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was instructed by angel Gabriel where to place every new passage in the surahs. The surahs were named by divine decree, and Muhammad (P.B.U.H) recited the whole of the Quran in front of Gabriel more than once in the last year of his life. Similarly, the arrangement of the surahs in a specific order was given by the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) who indicated it mostly by reading the surahs, particularly in prayer, in a specific order. No revealed book has ever enjoyed the authenticity of the Quran or had the cherishing, reverence, surveillance and care of its followers as the Quran. The whole Quran has been memorized by a large number of Muslims in the lifetime of Muhammad (P.B.U.H).

After Muhammad’s (P.B.U.H) departure, the first Caliph, Abu Bakr, asked one of the original scribes, Zaid ibn Thabit, to be in charge of collecting the original writings of the Quranic revelations and writing down the whole Quran. Zaid produced a whole copy of the Quran written on pages of leather. It was arranged in the order we have today. This was done in the first two years after the Prophet’s death, since Abu Bakr ruled for less than two years. This copy was then entrusted with the second Caliph, Omar, and finally with the third Caliph, Othman. During the reign of Othman, the Arabs came to know the paper industry from China and Othman called on Zaid to head a committee of four Quranic scholars who would take on the task of making seven copies. Those seven copies (written 14 years after Muhammad’s (P.B.U.H) death) were distributed to the various centers of the Muslim state to be the reference copy in each center. At least three of those original copies of the Quran are still intact, one in Tashkent, one in Istanbul, and one in Cairo. They do not differ in one letter from the millions of copies of the Quran that are in the hands of people today. This authentication of the last revelation is in itself miraculous. The Quran is the oldest book within the hands of humanity that has been kept intact in exactly the same language of revelation word for word and letter for letter. That is why the Quran is unique, because it is the word of the Creator in its purest divinity.

Muslims believe in the authentic original revelations given to Prophets Moses, David and Jesus, but none of these original revelations is found intact, and none is found in the original language of revelation, and here the Quran stands unique in its divine purity. Again the Quran is different from any human writings because it is neither prose nor poetry. It came to the Arabs when they were at their peak in eloquence and challenged them to produce one single chapter of it, or similar to it, or to produce ten similar chapters or even a book like it. This challenge still exists today and no challenger is forthcoming. The early scholars of the Quran thought that its miraculous nature was due mainly to its style and beautiful expression. The beauty of expression is really unique and cannot be paralleled by human writings. That is why the early commentators of the Quran concentrated on its eloquence and style. Yet being the word of the Creator, any area that has been covered in the Quran must be unique. If you look at jurisprudence the Quran is unique, in the area of worship, the Quran instructs people how to worship Allah. The concepts of Divinity, prophet hood, and morality are all unique in the Quran. If we look at the narration of history of previous nations, one after the other, and how they received the divine message, their reaction towards it and what their reward or punishment was, at a time when there was no form of regular documentation whatsoever. The Quran talks about these successive nations without a single mistake, and modern archaeological discoveries are a testimony to this.

Is the Quran credible?

Besides religious guidance, the Quran contains hundreds of verses that speak of the universe, its components and phenomena such as the Earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, mountains, wind, running water, plants, embryological animals, and the successive stages of development of the human being. More than 1,000 verses relating to cosmic facts or cosmic phenomena can be counted in the Quran. During the early days of the Quran, scientific knowledge of the universe was limited and it was not easy to elaborate on the verses relating to the universe or its phenomena except within the limitations of the time. However, we now know about the laws of the universe much more than before and that is why reviewing the 1,000 or more verses relating to the cosmos, man and his surroundings can be one of the most obvious miraculous aspects of the Quran. This is because of the precedence of the Quran, which was revealed more than 14 Centuries ago, with many of the scientific facts, at a time when people had no knowledge whatsoever of such facts. The Quran has addressed so many of these facts in a language that is more precise, accurate and concise than scientists have ever been able to do. Nothing in the Quran contradicts any established scientific facts. These cannot be all covered in a short article and hence I have chosen only five verses that can testify to the miraculous nature of the Quran from a scientific point of view:

1) The creation of the universe is explained by astrophysicists in a widely accepted phenomenon, popularly known as the “Big Bang.” It is supported by observational and experimental data gathered by astronomers and astrophysicists for decades. According to the “Big Bang,” the whole universe was initially one big mass (Primary Nebula). Then there was a “Big Bang” (Secondary Separation), which resulted in the formation of Galaxies. These then divided to form stars, planets, the sun, the moon, etc. The origin of the universe was unique and the probability of it occurring by “chance” is zero. The Quran contains the following verse, regarding the origin of the universe:

«“Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were (once) a joined entity, then We separated them and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe? “» [21:30]

The striking congruence between the Quranic verse and the “Big Bang” is inescapable! How could a book, which first appeared in the deserts of Arabia 1400 years ago, contain this profound scientific truth?

2) In 1925 an American astronomer by the name of Edwin Hubble provided observational evidence that all galaxies are receding from one another, which implies that the universe is expanding. The expansion of the universe is now an established scientific fact. This is what the Quran says regarding the formation of the universe:

«“And the heaven We constructed with strength, and indeed, We are [its] expander.”» [51:47]

Stephen Hawking, in his book A Brief History of Time, says: “The discovery that the universe is expanding is one of the great intellectual revolutions of the 20th century.” The Quran mentioned the expansion of the universe before man even learnt to build a telescope!

3) Scientists say that before the galaxies in the universe were formed, celestial matter was initially in the form of gaseous matter. In short, huge gaseous matter or clouds were present before the formation of the galaxies. To describe initial celestial matter, the word “smoke” is more appropriate than gas. The following Quranic verse refers to this state of the universe by the word dukhan which means smoke:

«“Then He turned to the heaven when it was smoke… “» [41:11]

Again, this fact is a corollary to the “Big Bang” and was not known to mankind during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H). What then, could have been the source of this knowledge?

4) It was thought that the sense of feeling and pain was only dependent on the brain. Recent discoveries prove that there are pain receptors present in the skin without which a person would not be able to feel pain. When a doctor examines a patient suffering from burn injuries, he verifies the degree of burns by a pinprick. If the patient feels pain, the doctor is happy, because it indicates that the burns are superficial and the pain receptors are intact. On the other hand if the patient does not feel any pain, it indicates that it is a deep burn and the pain receptors have been destroyed. The Quran gives an indication of the existence of pain receptors in the following verse:

«“Indeed, those who disbelieve in Our verses (i.e. signs, proofs) – We will drive them into a Fire. Every time their skins are roasted through We will replace them with other skins so they may taste the punishment. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted in Might and Wise. But those who believe and do righteous deeds – We will admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide forever.”» [4:56-57]

Prof. Tagatat Tejasen, Chairman of the Dept. of Anatomy at Chiang Mai University in Thailand, had spent a great amount of time on research of pain receptors. Initially he could not believe that the Quran mentioned this scientific fact 1400 years ago. He later verified the translation of this particular Quranic verse. Prof. Tejasen was so impressed by the scientific accuracy of the Quranic verse, that at a medical Conference in 1985 he proclaimed in public the Shahadah (Islamic Declaration of Faith), i.e. he embraced Islam.

5) The source of iron (Fe); we read in the Quran:

«“Indeed, We have sent down iron in which there is great (military) might and benefits for the people.”» [57:25]

It has recently been proven that all iron, not only in our planet but also in the entire solar system, was obtained from outer space. This is because the temperature of the sun cannot generate iron. The sun has a surface temperature of 6000 degrees Celsius and a central temperature of about 20 million degrees Celsius. There exists much hotter stars, which are known as novae, or super novae where temperatures can reach 100s of billions of degrees Celsius and it is in these stars that iron is formed. When the percentage of iron reaches a certain proportion of the mass of the star it explodes and these exploded-particles travel in space until they are captured by the gravitational fields of other heavenly bodies. This is how our solar system all obtained its iron and it is an established fact today that all the iron in our solar system was not generated or created within the system but has come to it from outer space.

One wonders why the Quran comments on matters like these, things that were not known to anyone at the time of revelation or even for centuries afterwards, unless Allah knows in His eternal knowledge that the time will come when man will then immediately realize that the Quran is the word of Allah and that Muhammad is His last messenger. Allah says in the Quran:

«“We shall show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth.”» [41:53]

Prof. Tejasen accepted Islam on the strength of just one scientific “sign” mentioned in the Quran. Some people may require ten signs while some may require hundred signs to be convinced about the Divine origin of the Quran. Some would be unwilling to accept the Truth even after being shown a thousand signs. The Quran condemns such a closed mentality:

«“Deaf, dumb and blind- so they will not return [to the right path].”» [2:18].

Also:

«“The example of those who disbelieve is like that of the one who shouts at what hears nothing but calls and cries [i.e. cattle or sheep] – deaf, dumb and blind, so they do not understand.”» [2:171].

And:

«“Then do they not reflect upon the Quran, or are there locks upon [their] hearts?”» [47:24]

What is the Purpose of Life?

So what does the Creator, Allah, tell us about our purpose in life? Allah states in the Quran that He created man to be His Khalefah, His trustee on earth (Quran 2:30). Mankind’s basic trust, our responsibility, is to believe in and worship Allah:

«“And I did not create the Jinn and mankind except to worship Me…”» [51:56-58]

Very simple! The purpose for man’s creation is to worship the Creator. The essence of Allah’s message through all of the prophets also was:

«“O mankind, worship Allah, you have no deity other than Him.”» [7:59].

Allah further states that He made this life in order to test man so that every person may be recompensed after death for what he has earned:

«“[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving.”» [67:2]

But in order to worship Him, we have to know Him well otherwise we may form a distorted concept of Him and then go astray. In the Quran Allah tells mankind what He is and what He is not. For example, in response to a question about Allah that was posed to the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H), Allah instructs Muhammad (P.B.U.H) to give the following reply:

«“Say : He is Allah [Who is] One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent.”» [112]

It is clear from this that Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is not the author of the Quran otherwise he would not have shown that someone is dictating to him what to say.

Also, Allah has to tell us how He wants to be worshipped, which He does in the Quran. He also tells us in the Quran that all Prophets came with the same identical message to their people – that is to believe in Allah and to worship Him. He also tells us in the Quran that all the people of other religions have deviated from the original teachings of their prophets. This is due to two reasons. The first is that earlier scriptures were not preserved simply because of the absence or scarcity of writing paper and so the teachings were transmitted orally and with time became distorted. The second reason is because the clergy of various religions introduced doctrines that were never there (e.g., the Christian trinity creed was introduced only after the council of Nicea in 325 AD and the Council of Constantinople in 386 AD). Because of the changes that crept into earlier religions, Allah tells us that He sent the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) as the last and final prophet and guidance to mankind with a scripture that He promised would be preserved forever. Allah provides a test to prove that the Quran is from Him. Allah says:

«“Then do they not reflect upon the Quran? (i.e. its meanings and its objective) If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction “» [4:82]

The Quran is available for scrutiny and investigation by any person to try to find even one error or contradiction in it. In fact this test must be applied to any other scripture that claims it is the word of God.

Is there any “blind faith” in Islam?

Islam is not a religion of “blind faith” but is a religion that strongly calls on man to use his logic, reasoning and intellect. Allah in the Quran stresses the importance for people to think, to reason and to use their mind and intellect. The word “mind” or “reasoning” is mentioned 49 times in the Quran (in Arabic Ta’qiloon 24 times, Ya’qiloon 22 times, and A’qal, Na’qil and Ya’qil one time each). Also Allah refers to “people of understanding” 16 times in the Quran (in Arabic Ulu Al-AlBab or Uli Al-Albab). Allah also refers to “those of intelligence” two times in Chapter 20 by the Arabic term Uli Al-Nuha. Allah also refers in many chapters in the Quran to the mind by the Arabic word Al-Fuad. Also in many verses in the Quran, Allah uses the term heart (in Arabic Al-Qalb) in place of the word Al-Fuad (mind) to mean the same thing. In one place in Chapter 89 verses 53 & 54, Allah refers to the mind by the Arabic word Al-Hijr. The Quran also, in tens of verses, strongly calls and emphasizes the need to “contemplate” and to “give thought” (in Arabic Fikr or Tafakkor). Also in tens of verses, the Quran draws attention to the importance for man to “remember” and to “recall” (in Arabic Tazakkor). The significance of the two being: to “give thought” is to increase or acquire new knowledge, whereas to “remember” is to recall and remind oneself of relevant knowledge and events that may have been forgotten, but which are important for one’s faith.

Allah praises people who use their mind:

«“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding – Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], “Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”» [3:190]

About the Quran, Allah Says:

«“[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they (i.e. people) might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.”» [38:29]

In the Quran, the words that can be formed from the term “know” or “knowledge” (root ‘elm in Arabic) is to be found 865 times. In one verse Allah says:

«“Are those who know equal to those who do not know? Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding.”» [39:9]

Also:

«“And so those who were given knowledge may know that It (i.e. the Quran) is the truth from your Lord and [therefore] believe in it, and their hearts humbly submit to it. And indeed is Allah the Guide of those who have believed to a straight path.”» [2:54]

On the other hand, the Quran strongly rejects certain mentalities that are driven by myths, illusions, absurdities, ignorance, blind imitation of others, assumption (conjecture), prejudice, whims and desires. In fact, Allah in the Quran confirms that most people on earth have gone astray because they follow assumption, conjecture and ignorance. Allah says:

«“And if you obey most of those upon the earth, they will mislead you from the way of Allah. They follow not except assumption, and they are not but falsifying (out of ignorance, conjecture and assumption).”» [6:116]

Is there Life after Death?

All the prophets of God called their people to worship God and to believe in life after death. They laid so much emphasis on the belief in life after death that even a slight doubt in it meant denying God and made all other beliefs meaningless. The very fact that all the prophets of God have dealt with this metaphysical question of life after death so confidently and so uniformly – the gap between their ages in some cases, being thousands of years – goes to prove that the source of their knowledge of life after death as proclaimed by them all, was the same, i.e. divine revelation. We also know that these prophets of God were greatly opposed by their people, mainly on the issue of life after death, as their people thought it impossible. But in spite of opposition, the Prophets won many sincere followers.

The question arises: what made those followers forsake the established beliefs, traditions and customs of their forefathers, notwithstanding the risk of being totally alienated from their own community? The simple answer is: they made use of their faculties of mind and heart and realized the truth.

Did they realize the truth through perceptual consciousness? They couldn’t, as perceptual experience of life after death is impossible. God has given Man besides perceptual consciousness, rational, aesthetic and moral consciousness too. It is this consciousness that guides man regarding realities that cannot be verified through sensory data. That is why all the prophets of God while calling people to believe in God and life after death, appeal to the aesthetic, moral and rational consciousness of man.

The Quran very clearly says that the disbelievers have no sound basis for their denial of life after death. It is based on pure conjecture:

«”And they say, “There is not but our worldly life; we die and live (i.e. some people die and others live, replacing them) and nothing destroys us except time.” And they have of that no knowledge; they are only assuming. And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, their argument is only that they say, “Bring [back] our forefathers, if you should be truthful.” Say, “Allah causes you to live, then causes you to die; then He will assemble you for the Day of Resurrection, about which there is no doubt.” But most of the people do not know.”» [45:24]

The explanation that the Quran gives about the necessity of life after death is what the moral consciousness of man demands. Actually, if there is no life after death, the very belief in God becomes meaningless or even if one believes in God, it would be an unjust and indifferent God, having once created man and now not being concerned with his fate. Surely, God is just. He will punish the tyrants, whose crimes are beyond count – having tortured and killed hundreds or thousands of innocent people, created great corruption in society, enslaved numerous persons to serve their whims, etc. Because man has a very short life span in this world and because numerous individuals are affected by one’s actions, adequate punishments and rewards are not possible in this life. Could the good and the righteous be equated with the wicked and evil? Moral, aesthetic and rational faculties of man reject this logic and endorse the possibility of the life after death. Allah confirms this truth in the Quran:

«“Then did you think that We created you uselessly and that to Us you would not be returned?”» [23:115]

Also:

«“And We did not create the heaven and the earth and that between them aimlessly. That is the assumption of those who disbelieve, so woe to those who disbelieve from the Fire. Or should We treat those who believe and do righteous deeds like corrupters in the land? Or should We treat those who fear Allah like the wicked?”» [38:27]

Also:

«“Or do those who commit evils think We will make them like those who have believed and done righteous deeds – [the evildoers being] equal in their life and their death? Evil is that which they judge [i.e. assume]. And Allah created the heavens and earth in truth and so that every soul may be recompensed for what it has earned, and they will not be wronged.”» [45:21]

Also:

«“And We did not create the heavens and the earth and that between them in play. We did not create them except in truth, but most of them do not know. Indeed, the Day of Judgment is the appointed time for them all.”» [44:38]

The Quran emphatically states that the Day of Judgment must come and that Allah will decide the fate of each soul according to his or her record of deeds:

«“But those who disbelieve say, “The Hour (i.e. the Day of Judgment) will not come to us.” Say, “Yes, by my Lord, it will surely come to you. [Allah is] the Knower of the unseen.” Not absent from Him is an atom’s weight within the heavens or within the earth or [what is] smaller than that or greater, except that it is in a clear register – That He may reward those who believe and do righteous deeds. Those will have forgiveness and noble provision. But those who strive against Our verses [seeking] to cause failure (i.e. to undermine their credibility) – for them will be a painful punishment of foul nature.”» [34:3]

The Day of Resurrection will be the Day when God’s attributes of Justice and Mercy will be in full manifestation. God will shower His mercy on those who suffered for His sake in the worldly life, believing that an eternal bliss was awaiting them. But those who abused the bounties of God, caring nothing for the life to come, will be in the most miserable state. Drawing a comparison between them, the Quran says:

«“Then is he whom We have promised a good promise which he will meet [i.e. obtain] like he for whom We provided enjoyment of worldly life [but] then he is, on the Day of Resurrection, among those presented [for punishment in Hell]?”» [28:61]

The belief in life after death not only guarantees success in the Hereafter but also makes this world full of peace and happiness by making individuals most responsible and dutiful in their activities:

«“Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as trial; and to Us you will be returned.”» [21:35]

Why should one read the Quran?

No person can afford to be ignorant of the Quran, for it is the constitution revealed by Allah to regulate and govern human life. It speaks with the perfect knowledge of the Creator about His creation. It exposes the truth and invites man to the way of truth. It contains important information about human destiny and that of the individual. It educates and raises men to the highest moral, intellectual and social level when they strive to comprehend it and apply its teachings to life.

Moreover, it is the actual words of Allah – not created, but revealed by Him through the angel Gabriel to a human messenger, Muhammad , for the benefit of humanity. It is an eternal miracle given to the final prophet, Muhammad , as proof of his prophet hood and a challenge to all succeeding generations. It is of unique and inimitable quality. Revealed fourteen centuries ago, it remains today completely intact and unaltered in its original Arabic form.

What does one discover when he understands the meanings of the Quran? The answers to this question can be classified in four main categories:

1) That he can know his Creator as He has described Himself

2) That he can know the purpose of life on this earth and what is expected of every person during this life

3) That he becomes aware of the consequences of his attitudes and his behavior

4) How he should relate to all things – to Allah by worship and obedience, to his fellow man by justice to all, and to the universe in general by putting those things under his control to good use.

This divine message was revealed to confirm and renew the relationship between man and his Creator and to reinstate the sincere and correct worship of the one true God, Allah, who says:

«“Then let them respond to Me and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.”» [2:168]

Why Islam?

Islam is not a new religion; it is not a different religion. It is in essence the same religion that Allah (or “God”) sent to all mankind through all His prophets at different times in history – the religion that had unfortunately been changed through human adulterations, theology and philosophy. That is why the Prophet Muhammad came as the last and final prophet and messenger of Allah. He needed to come to remove all the riddles and confusion in the lives of people. He corrected matters of diversion in belief that were introduced by confusing human philosophy and theology. He restored the pure monotheistic belief of our Creator and brought the most perfect and most noble understanding of Allah (or “God”).

The purpose of life is to know Allah, to believe in Him and to worship Him according to how He wants to be worshipped, this includes that we live our lives according to His commands. In the Quran, Allah tells us that since the messages of all prophets before the Prophet Muhammad have been distorted, none of these objectives could be achieved correctly except through His last and final message, and therefore He will judge people on the Day of Judgment based on whether they believed and followed Islam. Allah says:

«“Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam.”» [3:19]

In the same chapter Allah declares:

«“And whoever desires other than Islam as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers (in the Hellfire).”» [3:85]

Muslims believe that the present life is a trial in preparation for the next realm of existence. Muslims know that man was not created merely for this worldly life; rather this world was created for man.

So, if a fool lives to eat and a wise man eats to live, then a believer lives to worship Allah.

How Does Someone Become a Muslim?

To become a Muslim a person simply needs to say the Shahadah (Declaration of Faith) with sincere conviction: “Ash-hadu al-la elaha illa-Allah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan rasulu Allah” one becomes a Muslim. This saying means, “I testify that there is no deity [worthy of worship] except Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

Author : Mostafa Malaekah
Source : Islam Guide

Paradise Described In The Qur’an

Allah has created Human beings to worship Him, to obey Him, to know Him and to love Him. He did not leave them alone. From His immense Mercy, He reveled books and religions to them and sent Prophets and Messengers to explain these books and Messages. There is nothing that leads to goodness and success in this life and the hereafter that the Messengers did not mentions, and similarily there is nothing that lead to the anger and wrath of Allah that they did not warn from and called to avoid.

Allah who has forbidden oppression on Himself and on His creatures, is also the Most Wise the Most Merciful and the Oft Forgiving. He promised that those who would obey Him and His messengers would be rewarded by al-Jannah (Paradise) and His pleasure on them, and those who disobeyed Him and His messengers, and contended with the Messenger and followed paths other than the path of the believers they also shall be rewarded justly and fairly with Hell Fire wal-`iyaathu biLLAH (we seek protection and refuge in Allah from that).

We have seen how horrible was the punishment of the people who disobey Allah whether in their graves, before the Day of judgement, during the Day of Judgement, and after the the Day of Judgement in Hell Fire wal-`iyathu biLLAH.

It is crystal clear for us that we cannot sustain Hell Fire, and I am sure that after reading this brief message that describes al-Jannah (Paradise) it will be crystal clear for us that we cannot deprive ourselves from going to Jannah (deprive by committing sins and disobeyying Allah, otherwise going to Jannah or jahannam is a matter that belongs to Allah and only Him)

Some misguided Sufis say that they worship Allah not fearing His Hell or seeking His Jannah but for the sake of worship because He is worthy of worship. This is clear misguidance and going astray from the path of the Messengers and the Believers. These people cannot be better, purer, more knoweledgeble, and more pious than the best of mankind, our Prophet Mohammad salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam who TAUGHT US AND ORDERED US to ask Allah for His Jannah, and to seek protection in Allah from His Jahannam, and WHO HIMSELF wept and cried when he talked about Jahannam and was affraid from it, and WHO HIMSELF wanted to enter Jannah when the angels took him to it. Islam is a balanced religion, the religion of the middle, the religion of justice and fairness.

Ahlu-Sunnah wal-Jama`a believe in Allah, believe that there is none worthy of worship but Him, and we do worship Him because he is worthy of worship, and we do worship Him because HE ordered us to do so, and we do worship Him seeking protection in Him from His Hell Fire, and we do worship Him seeking to enter His Jannah and to look at His Generous Face.

How can we not seek to enter al-Jannah and it is the real success, it is the house of eternity, the house of lasting joy and happiness, the house where there is no sorrow, no pain, no death but just pleasure and enjoyment and above all there is in Jannah the PLEASURE OF ALLAH on its inhabitants. It is in Jannah where the believers would see their LORD, where they will meet with the Messengers and their companions, and the Martyrs.

What is this Jannah that Allah promised to the righteous ?

Surah: 2. al-Baqara

25. But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness that their portion is Gardens beneath which rivers flow. Every time they are fed with fruits therefrom they say: “Why this is what we were fed with before” for they are given things in similitude; and they have therein companions (pure and holy); and they abide therein (for ever).

133. Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord and for a garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth prepared for the righteous.

Surah: 3. Aali Imran

15. Say: shall I give you glad tidings of things far better than those? For the righteous are Gardens in nearness to their Lord with rivers flowing beneath; Therein is their eternal home; with spouses purified and the good pleasure of Allah, for in Allah’s sight are (all) His servants.

Surah: 4. an-Nisaa

57. But those who believe and do deeds of righteousness We shall soon admit to gardens with rivers flowing beneath their eternal home: therein shall they have companions pure and holy: We shall admit them to shades cool and ever deepening.

Surah: 6. al-a`raf

43. And We shall remove from their hearts any lurking sense of injury; beneath them will be rivers flowing; and they shall say: “Praise be to Allah Who hath guided us to this (felicity): never could we have found guidance had it not been for the guidance of Allah: indeed it was the truth that the apostles of our Lord brought unto us.” And they Shall hear the cry: “Behold! the garden before you! Ye have been made its inheritors for your deeds (of righteousness).”

44. The companions of the garden will call out to the companions of the fire: “We have indeed found the promises of our Lord to us true: have you also found your Lord’s promises true?” They shall say “yes”; but a crier shall proclaim between them: “the curse of Allah is on the wrong- doers;

Surah: 9. at-Tawbah

72. Allah hath promised to believers men and women gardens under which rivers flow to dwell therein and beautiful mansions in gardens of everlasting bliss. But the greatest bliss in the Good Pleasure of Allah: that is the supreme felicity.

Surah: 13. ar-Ra’d

23. Gardens of perpetual bliss: they shall enter there as well as the righteous among their fathers their spouses and their offspring: and angels shall enter unto them from every gate (with the salutation):

35. The parable of the Garden which the righteous are promised! beneath if flow rivers: perpetual is the enjoyment thereof and the shade therein: such is the End of the Righteous; and the End of Unbelievers is the Fire.

Surah: 14. Ibrahim

23. But those who believe and work righteousness will be admitted to Gardens beneath which rivers flow to dwell therein for aye with the leave of their Lord: their greeting therein will be: “Peace!”

Surah: 15. al-Hijr

45. The righteous (will be) amid Gardens and fountains (of clear-flowing water).

46. (Their greeting will be): “Enter ye here in Peace and Security.”

47. And We shall remove from their hearts any lurking sense of injury: (they will be) brothers (joyfully) facing each other on thrones (of dignity).

48. There no sense of fatigue shall touch them nor shall they (ever) be asked to leave.

Surah: 16. an-Nahl

31. Gardens of Eternity which they will enter: beneath them flow (pleasant) rivers: they will have therein all that they wish: thus doth Allah reward the righteous

Surah: 18. al-Kahf

31. For them will be Gardens of Eternity; beneath them rivers will flow; they will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and they will wear green garments of fine silk and heavy brocade; they will recline therein on raised thrones. How good the recompense! How beautiful a couch to recline on!

Surah: 22. al-Hajj

14. Verily Allah will admit those who believe and work righteous deeds to Gardens beneath which rivers flow: for Allah carries out all that He plans.

23. Allah will admit those who believe and work righteous deeds to Gardens beneath which rivers flow: they shall be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and pearls; and their garments there will be of silk.

Surah: 25. al-Furqaan

15. Say: “Is that best or the eternal Garden promised to the righteous? For them that is a reward as well as a goal (of attainment).

16. “For them there will be therein all that they wish for: they will dwell (there) for aye: a promise to be prayed for from thy Lord.”

Surah 35. Fatir

32. Then We have given the Book for inheritance to such of our servants as We have chosen: But there are among them some who wrong their own souls; some who follow a middle course; and some who are, by Allah’s leave, foremost in good deeds; That is the highest grace.

33. Gardens of Eternity will they enter: therein will they be adorned with bracelets of Gold and pearls; And their garments there will be of silk.

34. And they will say:”Praise be to Allah, who has removed from us (all) sorrow: for our Lord is indeed Oft-Forgiving Reasy to appreciate (service):

35. “Who has, out of His bounty, settled us in a home that will last: no toil Nor sense of wearness shall touch us therein.”

Surah: 37. as-Saaffaat

40. But the sincere (and devoted) servants of Allah

41. For them is a Sustenance Determined

42. Fruits (Delights) and they (shall enjoy) honor and dignity.

43. In Gardens of Felicity.

44. Facing each other on Thrones (of dignity):

45. Round will be passed to them a Cup from a clear-flowing fountain

46. Crystal-white of a taste delicious to those who drink (thereof)

47. Free from headiness; nor will they suffer intoxication therefrom.

48. And beside them will be chaste women; restraining their glances with big eyes (of wonder and beauty).

49. As if they were (delicate) eggs closely guarded.

50. Then they will turn to one another and question one another.

51. One of them will start the talk and say: “I had an intimate companion (on the earth)

52. “Who used to say `What! art thou amongst those who bear witness to the truth (of the Message)?

53. ” `When we die and become dust and bones shall we indeed receive rewards and punishments?'”

54. (A voice) said: “Would ye like to look down?”

55. He looked down and saw him in the midst of the Fire.

56. He said: “By Allah! thou wast little short of bringing me to perdition!

57. “Had it not been for the Grace of my Lord I should certainly have been among those brought (there)!

58. “Is it (the case) that we shall not die

59. “Except our first death and that we shall not be punished?”

60. Verily this is the supreme achievement!

61. For the like of this let all strive who wish to strive.

Surah: 38. Saad

49. This is a Message (of admonition): and verily, For the righteous, is a beautiful place of (final) return,-

50. Gardens of eternity, whose doors will (ever) be open to them;

51. Therein will they recline (at ease); therein can they call (at pleasure) for fruit in abundance,ad (delicious) drink;

52. And beside them will be Chaste women restraining their glances, (companions) of equal age.

53. Such is the Promise made to you for the Day of Account!

54. Truly such will be our Bounty (to you); It will never fail;-

Surah: 39. az-Zumar

71. The Unbelievers will be led to Hell in crowds; until when they arrive there its gates will be opened and its Keepers will say “Did not apostles come to you from among yourselves rehearsing to you the Signs of your Lord and warning you of the meeting of this Day of yours?” The answer will be: “True: but the Decree of Punishment has been proved true against the Unbelievers!”

72. (To them) will be said: “Enter ye the gates of Hell to dwell therein: and evil is (this) abode of the arrogant!”

73. And those who feared their Lord will be led to the Garden in crowds: until behold they arrive there; its gates will be opened: and its Keepers will say: “Peace be upon you! Well have ye done! Enter ye here to dwell therein.”

74. They will say: “Praise be to Allah Who has truly fulfilled His promise to us and has given us (this) land in heritage: we can dwell in the Garden as we will: how excellent a reward for those who work (righteousness)!”

75. And thou wilt see the angels surrounding the Throne (Divine) on all sides saying Glory and Praise to their Lord. The Decision between them (at Judgment) will be in (perfect) justice. And the cry (on all sides) will be “Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds!”

Surah: 41. Fussilat (Ha-Mim)

30. In the case of those who say “Our Lord is Allah” and further stand straight and steadfast the angels descend on them (from time to time): “Fear ye not!” (they suggest) “nor grieve! but receive the Glad Tidings of the Garden (of Bliss) the which ye were promised!

31. “We are your protectors in this life and in the Hereafter: therein shall ye have all that your souls shall desire; therein shall ye have all that ye ask for!

Surah: 43. az-Zukhruuf

68. My devotees! no fear shall be on you that Day nor shall ye grieve

69. (Being) those who have believed in Our Signs and bowed (their wills to Ours) in Islam.

70. Enter ye the Garden ye and your wives in (beauty and) rejoicing.

71. To them will be passed round dishes and goblets of gold: there will be there all that the souls could desire all that the eyes could delight in: and ye shall abide therein (for aye).

72. Such will be the Garden of which ye are made heirs for your (good) deeds (in life).

73. Ye shall have therein abundance of fruit from which ye shall have satisfaction.

Surah: 44. ad-Dukhaan

51. As to the Righteous (they will be) in a position of Security

52. Among Gardens and Springs;

53. Dressed in fine silk and in rich brocade they will face each other;

54. So; and We shall Join them to Companions with beautiful big and lustrous eyes.

55. There can they call for every kind of fruit in peace and security;

56. Nor will they there taste Death except the first Death; and He will preserve them from the Penalty of the Blazing Fire

57. As a Bounty from thy Lord! That will be the supreme achievement!

Surah: 47. Muhammed (salla Allhu alaihi wa sallam)

15. (Here is) a Parable of the Garden which the righteous are promised: in it are rivers of water incorruptible: rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine a joy to those who drink; and rivers of honey pure and clear. In it there are for them all kinds of fruits and Grace from their Lord. (Can those in such Bliss) be compared to such as shall dwell for ever in the Fire and be given to drink boiling water so that it cuts up their bowels (to pieces)?

Surah: 55. ar-Rahman

46. But for such as fear the time when they will stand before (the Judgment Seat of) their Lord there will be two Gardens

47. Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?

48. Containing all kinds (of trees and delights)

49. Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?

50. In them (each) will be two Springs flowing (free);

51. Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?

52. In them will be Fruits of every kind two and two.

53. Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?

54. They will recline on Carpets whose inner linings will be of rich brocade: the Fruit of the Gardens will be Near (and easy of reach).

55. Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?

56. In them will be (Maidens) Chaste restraining their glances whom no man or Jinn before them has touched

57. Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?

58. Like unto rubies and coral.

59. Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?

60. Is there any Reward for Good other than Good?

61. Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?

62. And besides these two there are two other Gardens

63. Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?

64. Dark green in color (from plentiful watering).

65. Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?

66. In them (each) will be two springs pouring forth water in continuous abundance:

67. Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?

68. In them will be Fruits and dates and pomegranates:

69. Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?

70. In them will be fair (companions) good beautiful

71. Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?

72. Companions restrained (as to their glances) in (goodly) pavilions

73. Then which of the favor of your Lord will ye deny?

74. Whom no man or Jinn before them has touched

75. Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?

76. Reclining on green Cushions and rich Carpets of beauty.

77. Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?

Surah: 56. al-Waaqi`ah

10. And those Foremost (in Faith) will be Foremost (in the Hereafter).

11. These will be those Nearest to Allah:

12. In Gardens of Bliss:

13. A number of people from those of old

14. And a few from those of later times.

15. (They will be) on Thrones encrusted (with gold and precious stones).

16. Reclining on them facing each other.

17. Round about them will (serve) youths of perpetual (freshness).

18. With goblets (shining) beakers and cups (filled) out of clear- flowing fountains:

19. No after-ache will they receive therefrom nor will they suffer intoxication:

20. And with fruits any that they may select;

21. And the flesh of fowls any that they may desire.

22. And (there will be) Companions with beautiful big and lustrous eyes- –

23. Like unto Pearls well-guarded.

24. A Reward for the Deeds of their past (Life).

25. No frivolity will they hear therein nor any taint of ill

26. Only the saying “Peace! Peace.”

27. The Companions of the Right Hand what will be the Companions of the Right Hand?

28. (They will be) among lote trees without thorns

29. Among Talh trees with flowers (or fruits) piled one above another

30. In shade long-extended

31. By water flowing constantly

32. And fruit in abundance

33. Whose season is not limited nor (supply) forbidden

34. And on Thrones (of Dignity) raised high.

35. We have created (their Companions) of special creation.

36. And made them virgin-pure (and undefiled)

37. Beloved (by nature) equal in age

38. For the companions of the Right Hand.

39. A (goodly) number from those of old

40. And a (goodly) number from those of later times.

Surah: 69. al-Haaqqah

19. Then He that will be given his Record in his right hand will say: “Ah here! read ye my Record!

20. “I did really understand that my Account would (one Day) reach me!”

21. And he will be in a life of Bliss

22. In a Garden on high

23. The Fruits whereof (will hang in bunches) low and near.

24. “Eat ye and drink ye with full satisfaction; because of the (good) that ye sent before you in the days that are gone!”

Surah: 76. al-Insaan

5. As to the Righteous they shall drink of a Cup (of Wine) mixed with Kafur

6. A Fountain where the Devotees of Allah do drink making it flow in unstinted abundance.

7. They perform (their) vows and they fear a Day whose evil flies far and wide.

8. And they feed for the love of Allah the indigent the orphan and the captive

9. (Saying) “We feed you for the sake of Allah alone: No reward do we desire from you nor thanks.

10. “We only fear a Day of distressful Wrath from the side of our Lord.”

11. But Allah will deliver them from the evil of that Day and will shed over them a light of Beauty and a (blissful) Joy.

12. And because they were patient and constant He will reward them with a Garden and (garments of) silk.

13. Reclining in the (Garden) on raised thrones they will see there neither the sun’s (excessive heat) nor (the moon’s) excessive cold.

14. And the shades of the (Garden) will come low over them and the bunches (of fruit) there will hang low in humility.

15. And amongst them will be passed round vessels of silver and goblets of crystal

16. Crystal-clear made of silver: they will determine the measure thereof (according to their wishes).

17. And they will be given to drink there of a Cup (of Wine) mixed with Zanjabil

18. A fountain there called Salsabil.

19. And round about them will (serve) youths of perpetual (freshness): if thou seest them thou wouldst think them scattered Pearls.

20. And when thou lookest it is there thou wilt see a Bliss and a Realm Magnificent.

21. Upon them will be green Garments of fine silk and heavy brocade and they will be adorned with Bracelets of silver; and their Lord will give to them to drink of a Wine Pure and Holy.

22. “Verily this is a Reward for you and your Endeavor is accepted and recognized.”

Surah: 77. al-Mursalaat

41. As to the righteous, they shall be amidst (cool) shades and springs (of water)

42. And (they shall have) fruits, -all they desire.

43. “Eat ye and drink ye to your heart’s content:For that ye worked (righteousness).

44. Thus do We certainly reward the doers of good.

Surah: 78.an-Naba’

31. Verily for the righteous there will be a fulfillment of (the Heart’s) desires;

32. Gardens enclosed and Grape-vines;

33. Companions of Equal Age;

34. And a Cup full (to the Brim).

35. No Vanity shall they hear therein nor Untruth

36. Recompense from thy Lord a Gift (amply) sufficient

Surah: 83. at-Tatfeef

18. Nay verily the Record of the Righteous is (preserved) in `Illiyin.

19. And what will explain to thee what `Illiyin is?

20. (There is) a Register (fully) inscribed.

21. To which bear witness those Nearest (to Allah).

22. Truly the Righteous will be in Bliss:

23. On Thrones (of Dignity) will they command a sight (of all things):

24. Thou wilt recognize in their Faces the beaming brightness of Bliss.

25. Their thirst will be slaked with Pure Wine sealed:

26. The seal thereof will be Musk: and for this let those aspire who have aspirations:

27. With it will be (given) a mixture of Tasnim:

28. A spring from (the waters) whereof drink those Nearest to Allah.

Surah: 88. al-Ghaashiyah

8. Other) faces that Day will be joyful.

9. Pleased with their Striving

10. In a Garden on high

11. Where they shall hear no (word) of vanity:

12. Therein will be a bubbling spring:

13. Therein will be Thrones (of dignity) raised on high.

14. Goblets placed (ready).

15. And Cushions set in rows

16. And rich carpets (All) spread out.

Author : Abdulkader Kamal Tayebi

Islam And Other Religions

Islam is the religion of all prophets. Muslims believe that all the prophets were sent to their respective peoples from God (Allah). They all had the same mission and message – guiding people to the right path.

The three revealed, monotheistic religions, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, go back to Abraham. The prophets of these religions were directly descended from him – Moses, Jesus and others from Isaac, but Muhammad from IsmaŒil. It was Prophet Abraham who had established the settlement which today is the city of Makkah, and with his son Ismaeil built the Kabah, which Muslims all over the world face when they pray.

Christians and Jews hold a special place in Islam. They are called the People of the Book (Ahl al-Kitab), since the original Torah and Gospel were also divinely revealed and they shared in the prophetic tradition. Islamic states have nearly always shown their religious minorities tolerance and respect and those communities flourished under Islamic rule.
God says: «“…[T]hose who believe (in the message of Islam), and the Jews, the Sabaeans, and the Christians – all those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and act righteously – no fear shall come upon them…”» [5:69]

Setting up the Islamic state in Madinah, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) further warned: ““Whoever oppresses any Dhimmi (non-Muslim citizen of the Islamic state), I shall be his prosecutor on the Day of Judgment.”

In setting up the Islamic state, Prophet Muhammad made it inclusive of the Arabian Jews and Christians. Their persons, properties, churches and synagogues were protected, freedom of worship was guaranteed, and they controlled their own community affairs with their own civil and religious laws and courts. For most of the first century of the Islamic state, in fact, the majority of the citizens were Christians, enjoying peace and liberty such as they had not had even under Christian Rome or Byzantium.
The Jews, from the very beginning in Madinah, and later everywhere else, were lifted from the burden of being clients of individual Arab tribes to being citizens of the state, thus freeing them to focus on their Jewishness. When the Islamic state expanded outside Arabia the Jews of other lands were treated for the first time as liberated citizens. Judaism flourished as never before, with Jews even serving in Muslim armies and administrations while their culture bloomed in the arts, sciences, medicine and philosophy. This knowledge they transmitted to their brethren in the hostile climate of Christian Europe. Even Jewish mysticism originated under the influence of sufism and spread to northern Europe.

When Islam reached Persia the concept of People of the Book was extended to the Zoroastrians as well. Later, when the Muslims conquered parts of India and encountered Buddhists and Hindus, who appeared to worship idols, the question was referred to the ulema (council of scholars), who judged that even they could have the same protected status as the Jews and Christians, so long as they did not fight Islam and they paid the Jizyah tax.

Prophets & Messengers: Jacob: An Example Of Faith And Patience

The story of Ayyub (Job) gives consolation to all those who are ill or deprived of wealth or children.

The angels were discussing the conditions of mankind, their obedience and disobedience. One of them said that Ayyub was the best man on earth. He was an obedient believer, always praying to Allah. Allah blessed Ayyub to be wealthy for eighty years. During this time he never forgot to worship or thank Allah. He shared his wealth with the poor and clothed the naked.

Satan could not believe that there was a servant as sincere as Ayyub. Satan thought that his wealth was the reason for his sincerity, so he asked Allah for power to take away Ayyub’s wealth with the intentions to mislead him. He reacted to his lost by saying that the wealth belongs to Allah and I thank him for what he has granted me and I thank .him for what he has taken. He then kneeled down in prayer. This made Satan angry.

Satan tried twice to mislead Ayyub after losing his wealth by asking Allah for power to take away his children and health. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) said I will give you power over his body, but I warn you against approaching his soul, tongue, and heart, because in them lies the secret of Faith. Ayyub acted in the same manner as when his wealth was taken away from him.

Satan realized that he couldn’t misguide Ayyub, so he went to his wife to mislead her, by reminding her of their previous life style. Satan was successful in misleading his wife. This led to her complaining to Ayyub about their present state. This caused Ayyub to become upset with her and he vowed that he would beat her 100 times if Allah gave him back his health.

Satan was not successful in misguiding Ayyub. Allah then restored him with all that he had lost. Ayyub now had to fulfill his vow of striking his wife.

Allah ordered him to strike his wife once with a 100 pieces of good smelling grass, out of mercy for her. Indeed Allah is the most merciful.

The story of Ayyub should be a constant reminder for us all. We should read this story often just to remind ourselves. Many of us complain about the little things in life. Allah tested Ayyub in ways that we can really relate to. His faith and patience is something that we as true believing Muslims should try and implement in our lives, when Allah tests us in these situations. In the Quraan Allah says,

«“Truly! We found him patient. How excellent (a) slave! Verily, he was ever oft returning in repentance (to us).”» [Quran:38:4].

During these times we must remember Allah more, pray harder, and be more thankful instead of being dissatisfied with our condition. We should praise and thank Allah for every condition that he tests us with. As we know these are the times when Satan tries to work on us the most by playing with our minds, emotions, and weaknesses. Allah would never forget to reward a servant for such a great task.

«“And (remember) Ayyub when he cried to his Lord: Verily, distress has seized me and you are the Most Merciful of all who show mercy.”» [Quraan:21:83]

«“So We answered his call, and We removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his family to him (that he had lost), and the like thereof along with them, as a mercy from Ourselves and a Reminder for all those who worship us.”» [Quraan:21:84]

May Allah give us the faith and the patience when we are tested. Ameen.

Prophets & Messengers: Jesus

Islam honors all the prophets who were sent to mankind. Muslims respect all prophets in general, but Jesus in particular, because he was one of the prophets who foretold the coming of Muhammad. Muslims, too, await the second coming of Jesus. They consider him one of the greatest of Allah’s prophets to mankind. A Muslim does not refer to him simply as “Jesus,” but normally adds the phrase “peace be upon him” as a sign of respect.
No other religion in the world respects and dignifies Jesus as Islam does.

The Qur’an confirms his virgin birth (a chapter of the Qur’an is entitled “Mary”), and Mary is considered to have been one of the purest women in all creation. The Qur’an describes Jesus’ birth as follows:

“Behold!’ the Angel said, God has chosen you, and purified you, and chosen you above the women of all nations. Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him, whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and in the Hereafter, and one of those brought near to God. He shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity, and he shall be of the righteous. She said: «“My Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?’ He said: “Even so; God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing, He says to it, ‘Be!’ and it is.”» [3:42-47]

Muslims believe that Jesus was born immaculately, and through the same power which had brought Eve to life and Adam into being without a father or a mother. «“Truly, the likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, and then said to him, ‘Be!’ and he was.”» [3:59]

During his prophetic mission, Jesus performed many miracles. The Qur’an tells us that he said: «“I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it and it becomes a bird by God’s leave. And I heal the blind, and the lepers, and I raise the dead by God’s leave.”» [3:49]

Muhammad and Jesus, as well as the other prophets, were sent to confirm the belief in one God. This is referred to in the Qur’an where Jesus is reported as saying that he came: «“To attest the law which was before me, and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden you; I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God and obey me.”» [3:50]

Prophet Muhammad emphasized the importance of Jesus by saying:
“Whoever believes there is no god but Allah, alone without partner, that Muhammad is His messenger, that Jesus is a servant and messenger of God, His word breathed into Mary and a spirit emanating from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are true, shall be received by God into Heaven.”” [Bukhari]

Prophets & Messengers: Muhammad Is A Direct Descendant Of Prophet Abraham

May peace and blessings be on all the Messengers of God. Prophet Muhammad is a direct descendant of Isma’il, the first son of Prophet Ibrahim(Abraham). Prophet Muhammad was born in Makkah as a fullfilment of the prayer of Abraham as explained in the following verses of the Holy Quran, a book of revelations from God to the Prophet.

002.124 And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled: He said: “I will make thee an Imam to the Nations.” He pleaded: “And also (Imams) from my offspring!” He answered: “But My Promise is not within the reach of evil-doers.”

002.125 Remember We made the House a place of assembly for men and a place of safety; and take ye the station of Abraham as a place of prayer; and We covenanted with Abraham and Isma’il, that they should sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or use it as a retreat, or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein in
prayer).

002.126 And remember Abraham said: “My Lord, make this a City of Peace, and feed its people with fruits,-such of them as believe in God and the Last Day.” He said: “(Yea), and such as reject Faith,-for a while will I grant them their pleasure, but will soon drive them to the torment of Fire,- an evil destination (indeed)!”

002.127 And remember Abraham and Isma’il raised the foundations of the House (With this prayer): “Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us: For Thou art the All- Hearing, the All-knowing.

002.128 “Our Lord! make of us Muslims, bowing to Thy (Will), and of our progeny a people Muslim, bowing to Thy (will); and show us our place for the celebration of (due) rites; and turn unto us (in Mercy); for Thou art the Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.

002.129 “Our Lord! send amongst them an Apostle of their own, who shall rehearse Thy Signs to them and instruct them in scripture and wisdom, and sanctify them: For Thou art the Exalted in Might, the Wise.”

002.130 And who turns away from the religion of Abraham but such as debase their souls with folly? Him We chose and rendered pure in this world: And he will be in the Hereafter in the ranks of the Righteous.

002.131 Behold! his Lord said to him: “Bow (thy will to Me):” He said: “I bow (my will) to the Lord and Cherisher of the Universe.”

Prophets & Messengers: The Ultimate Test Of Jesus

Many verses of the Bible make reference to the “three day and three night” prophesy (Matthew 20:19…etc.). We Muslims do not believe that Jesus (pbuh) himself said these words. Christian scholars themselves make mention of several cases throughout the Bible where people have put words in Jesus’ mouth (see chapter two). They also recognize many passages of the Bible as being of a questionable nature. However, let us simplify this matter a little in order to make it easier to recognize the tampering fingerprints of the unscrupulous. Let us start with the assumption that no human being ever added or removed a single word from the Bible and move on from there. Please try to stay with me on this and you will see how only a very small amount of logic will prove that Jesus (pbuh) never said these words:
You would be hard pressed to find a single Christian today who has not heard of the “three days and three nights” prophesy.

Where do they get it from? They get it from “the Gospel of Matthew.” What does it say? If we read Matthew 12 we will see how the Jews were giving Jesus (pbuh) no end of trouble. They were constantly doubting him and making trouble for him. They had seen countless signs of his prophethood but insisted on disbelieving. Finally they ask him for a sign of his prophethood. How does Jesus (pbuh) allegedly respond to this request? Does he draw their attention to his healing of the lepers and the blind? No! Does he draw their attention to his casting out of devils? No! Does he point out his raising of the dead? No! Does he mention any of his other countless miracles? No! Well, what does he say? He says: “But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” Matthew 12:39-40. In effect, Jesus (pbuh) was claimed to have put all of his eggs in one basket. He was telling them that “NO” sign shall be given to them “BUT” the sign of Jonas. This ONE sign shall ALONE decide who is truthful, him or those who doubted him. This shall be the “be all end all” acid test of his truthfulness.
Now, what is “Good Friday”? “Good Friday” is the day Christians tell us Jesus (pbuh) was crucified. In Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (tenth edition), it is defined as “the Friday before Easter observed in churches as the anniversary of the crucifixion of Christ.” This is also confirmed by the Bible in Mark 15:42: “And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath” So the Bible tells us that Jesus (pbuh) died on Friday, just before nightfall.
Are you still with us? Have we made any of this up? OK, let us continue. According to the Bible, the Jews had been carting Jesus (pbuh) back and forth on “Good Friday” between Pontius Pilate and Harod trying to get a conviction and official sanction to crucify him. After all of this carting back and forth, they finally get him to the cross and hang him up on it. However, no sooner have they gotten him up on the cross than they are in a hurry to get him back down again. Why is that? It is because if he remains on the cross all night then he will defile their land. Deuteronomy 21:22-23 “And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.” So the Jews begged Pilate to break Jesus’ legs so that he would die quickly from suffocation,
John 19:31: “The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away..”

About the sixth hour (twelve noon), Jesus is claimed to be in front of Pilate (John 19:14). According to the Bible (e.g. John 19:30), Jesus died around the ninth hour (three PM). During these three hours Jesus was dressed in purple with a crown of thorns and made fun of, he was spat on, he was abused and beaten, he was made to carry the cross to a different location (John 19:17), the cross was planted in the ground, he was hung up on it, his title was written in Hebrew, Greek and Latin on the cross, lots were cast and his clothes distributed, he spoke to one of the two thieves and to an apostle, many people passed before him and rebuked him, he was given something to drink, and he died, all of which took place in these three hours, and his legs were never broken. After that there was thunder, an eclipse, and an earthquake, the veil of the temple was rent in twain, and the dead came out of their graves. Jesus (pbuh) was then let down and placed in the shroud and the tomb. Early Sunday morning (the first day of the week according to the Jews), while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene visits the tomb alone (Mark 16:9, John 20:1) and finds the stone moved and Jesus (pbuh) missing.

Let us count together:
Event > Days > Nights
‘Good Friday’ > – >one
Saturday (the Sabbath) > one > one
Sunday Morning > – > –
Total > one day > two nights

As you can see, it is impossible to add up the days and nights so that they equal “three days and three nights.” Assuming that Jesus (pbuh) waited until just before the arrival of Mary to leave the tomb, the Bible tells us that Jesus (pbuh) was in the ground for ONE day and TWO nights. Has the prophesy been fulfilled? Has the ONE “be all end all” sign to the Jews been established?

Further, it is important to remember that Jonah was swallowed alive by a whale and remained in its belly alive for three days. His miracle was not that the whale swallowed him, nor that it swallowed him whole, nor yet that he remained in it’s belly for three days (If I eat a piece of food and it remains in my stomach for three days, is this a “miracle”?). The miracle of Jonah was that HE DID NOT DIE. For Jesus to have properly fulfilled the prophecy, he would need to enter the tomb alive and come out alive. Why should Jesus give this of all signs if he was to die and be resurrected? Where is the “miracle”? Where is the similarity with the miracle of Jonah?
A Christian gentleman from Canada once asked us: “Why do Muslims doubt that the scriptures always taught the death and resurrection of Jesus.” Can we now see why Muslims recognize such claims to be later insertions and not the words of Allah’s elect messenger Jesus (pbuh) nor his most honorable apostles? Have we made anything up? Have we not been quoting directly from the same Bible every Christian has at home? For more, please read Mr. Ahmed Deedat’s book “Crucifixion or Cruci-fiction.”
Indeed, Christian scholars are beginning to recognize that the text of Matthew 12:38-40 was in fact embroidered by the church in order to be able to claim that Jesus (pbuh) himself had prophesied the crucifixion. The original form of this verse can be seen in Mark 8:11-12, where we read: “And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.” … and that is all. There is no mention of “three days and three nights” or “the sign of Jonah” or anything else. These were all added on later.

As a side note regarding the renting of the veil of the temple and resurrection of the dead, I would like to mention here that Mr. Tom Harpur says “The story of the saints’ being resurrected from the tombs to the east of the city, just below the Mount of Olives, and going into Jerusalem is also the result of an attempt to give mythical form to the belief that Jesus was the “first fruits of them that slept,” Surely an event of such stupendous dimensions, had it actually occurred, would have not only found its way into other Gospels (than Matthew) and letters in the New Testament, but would also have been recorded in some other Jewish or Roman historical source. Yet the record is silent.” From ‘For Christ’s Sake’, page 102.

It is also interesting to note that while those who were not apostles (such as Luke) give detailed description of all of these most stupendous and earth-shaking events, in spite of that, the “Gospel of John”, which was supposedly written by the apostle John the son of Zebedee, found it completely unnecessary to mention any “renting of the veil of the temple”, or any “rising of the dead”, or any earthquakes, or any eclipses of the sun, or any of these other most stupendous events. Did the apostle John feel all of these events to be inconsequential and undeserving of mention, or has the church been “embroidering” the events of the crucifixion? Did the apostle John “not notice” the earth shaking beneath his feet, or the sun being blotted out above his head? Did he “not notice” the dead coming out of their graves? It is interesting to further note that such “mourning of all of creation” for the death of an important figure was not restricted to Jesus (pbuh). Only seventy years earlier, Julius Caesar’s death was documented to have been accompanied by similar stupendous acts of nature, as well as many members of the clergy after that. (Go back and read chapter three for more on this topic).
AbuMas’ud narrated in Sahih Al-Bukhari: “The Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of the death of any among mankind, but they are two signs amongst the signs of Allah. When you see them stand up and pray.'”

The Gospel of Barnabas

Many of the fundamental beliefs of Christianity which have been for many centuries taken on blind faith (those which differ from the beliefs of Muslims) are now beginning to be challenged by some of the foremost scholars and religious leaders of Christianity today.

An example of this can be found in the British newspaper the “Daily News” 25/6/84 under the heading “Shock survey of Anglican Bishops” We read that a British television pole of 31 of the 39 Anglican Bishops in England found 19 to believe that it is not necessary for Christians to believe that Jesus (pbuh) is God, but only “His supreme agent” (his messenger) as taught by Muslims for 1400 years now and testified to by John 17:3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you hast sent.” These are not ignorant men, nor are they Muslims. They are eminent Christian scholars who have dedicated their lives to their religious studies, and the study of the Bible and the various discrepancies to be found therein. It is the scientific and logical research of these men into the Bible and other ancient works of the Christian society (in the light of
modern knowledge) which is driving them ever closer to the beliefs of the Muslims with every passing day. By Christian standards, these people have everything to lose and nothing to gain by such statements. It is very easy to casually brush off the lifelong study of some of the most eminent scholars of Christendom and label them men of ignorance and proudly claim to be more knowledgeable than them without bothering to study their findings. It is much harder to take the time to study the evidence that drove them to this conclusion. In this book we have presented extensive historical and scriptural evidence in both the Bible and the Christian writings of the first six centuries C.E. which drove these men to their conclusions.

Some people have been commanded to believe blindly in certain matters and never ask questions. Others will insist on giving every single verse of the Bible which contradicts their personal beliefs an “abstract” meaning. When in doubt they say “what the author wrote is not what he meant” and then they proceed to give you their personal interpretation totally side-stepping the obvious meaning of the verses in front of them. No matter how much evidence is presented they are perfectly willing to explain it all away with abstract meanings. On many occasions they don’t even bother to analyze their own abstract meanings to see if logic, or the Bible, support them. That is their choice, our job is only to show them the evidence. It is up to them to accept or reject it. “Say: O people of the Scripture! Stress not in your religion other than the truth, and follow not the vain desires of folk who erred of old and led many astray and diverged from the straight path” Qur’an, Al-Maidah(5):77.

When Jesus (pbuh) was among his people, preaching the command of God, he was abused, ridiculed and denigrated. All manner of accusations and propaganda were leveled against him. He was called a liar, a wicked physician, a offspring of adultery, and many other allegations in an effort to dissuade his people from following him. The enemies of God were so bold in their campaign of slander against him that they even went so far as to fabricate lies and slanderous atrocities about his childhood. However, this was to be expected. Indeed, this was the lot of all of the prophets of God since the beginning of time.

In a similar manner, to this day when Islam and Muslims are portrayed in the Western media it is only under the headings of terrorism, extremism, and fundamentalism. Seldom, if ever, is the other side of the story given equal, if any, time. Those who fight so continuously to spread such misconceptions realized that with enough continuous bombardment of such concepts, the masses will eventually come to accept them as “known fact.”
As a result of this, when a Muslim quotes from the Qur’an, he is usually perceived as propagating terrorism and heathenistic ungodly violence or similar matters and no one is willing to listen to him. If he quotes from the studies of Muslims, even Christians who have converted to Islam, his words are considered biased and worthless. Even if eminent Christian scholars, unbiased scientists, and the Bible itself are quoted, the Christian scholars are labeled “liberals,” and thus unworthy, the scientists as mistaken, and the Biblical verses as not meaning what they say but rather having abstract meanings.

“I shall turn away from my signs those who are arrogant in the earth unjustifiably, and if they see all the signs (in creation) they believe them not, and if they see the path of righteousness they do not take it as (their) path, and if they see the path of misguidance they take it as (their) path. That is because they deny our signs and are used to disregarding them” The Qur’an, Al-Aaraf(7):146. “They are not all alike. Of the people of the book are a portion whom stand (for that which is right), who recite the revelations of Allah throughout the night while prostrate (before Him)” The Qur’an, A’al-Umran(3):113. “And Lo! Of the people of the Scripture are those who believe in Allah and that which was sent down to you and that which was sent down to them, humbling themselves before Allah. They purchase not a trifling gain at the price of the revelations of Allah. Verily, their reward is with their Lord, and Lo! Allah is swift to take account.” The Qur’an, A’al-Umran(3):199.

The choice of the present four Gospels (including the writings of St. Paul who is credited with single-handedly writing the majority of the books of the New Testament) was imposed in the conference of Nicea 325 AD under the auspices of the Pagan Emperor Constantine for political reasons. Literally hundreds of gospels and religious writings were considered “Apocrypha” (which actually means “hidden from the people”) and destroyed. Some of these were written by disciples of Jesus (pbuh), and not disciples of disciples who had never met Jesus (pbuh), such as Paul. If they were not more authentic than the current selection then they were at least of equal authenticity. Some of these are still available, such as the “Gospel of Barnabas” which agrees with the Qur’an and even mention Muhammad (pbuh) by name. Modern discoveries such as the discovery of the dead sea scrolls (Qumran scrolls) have also confirmed the claims of the Qur’an (such as their claim that no nail shall touch the Messiah). The most ancient copies of the Greek Gospels available today date fully three to four centuries after the departure of Jesus(pbuh). The Dead sea scrolls, coincide historically with the time of John the Baptist. They were quickly dated from the 2nd century BC through the 1st century AD by the script in which they were written and by archaeological investigations of the settlement near the Qumran caves. They were discovered alongside the most ancient copy of the Old Testament available today.

In an effort to defend the teachings of the current Greek gospels, Mr. F.F. Bruce has the following to say in his book “The New Testament documents. Are they reliable?”: “It is worth mentioning here that striking affinities of thought and language have been recognized between the Gospel and the Qumran texts. These affinities must not be exaggerated; the Qumran literature comes no where near presenting us with such a figure as the Jesus of this Gospel (John)” (emphasis added).
Any Christian scholar of Christian history will readily confirm that after the famous council of Nicea (325 AD), the church of St. Paul (The Roman Catholic Church) selected out of the over three hundred Gospels in their possession the four that most closely conformed to their doctrines. All others, including the Gospel of Barnabas, were ordered completely destroyed. They also ruled that all Gospels written in Hebrew were to be destroyed. An edict was issued that anyone found in possession of an unauthorized Gospel would be put to death. Countless numbers of Christians were then systematically killed as heretics and burned at the stake if they maintained their belief in the divine Unity of God and did not conform to the innovative teachings of Paul. It is well known that this practice continued until at least the year 1616 AD.
Well then, how did the Gospel of Barnabas reach us? It is well known and recorded that the Gospel of Barnabas was accepted as Canonical in the Churches of Alexandria till 325 AD. Pope Damasus (304-384 AD.) issued a decree that the Gospel of Barnabas should not be read. This decree was supported by Gelasus, Bishop of Caesaria who died in 395 AD. Pope Demasus, however, did secure a personal copy of the Gospel of Barnabas for himself in 383 AD. and placed it in his private library. Many decrees make mention of the Gospel of Barnabas, such as the decree of the Western churches in 382AD, Pope Innocent in 465A.D., the Glasian Decree of 496A.D., Pope Hormisdas, and it is mentioned in the Stichometry of Niceophorus. There are many others who made note of this Gospel throughout history or obtained their own copies. In 478AD, the fourth year of Emperor Zeno, the remains of Barnabas were discovered and there was found on his breast a copy of the Gospel of Barnabas written by his own hand. (Acia Sanctorum Borland Junii Tom II, pages 422 and 450. Antwerp 1698) The famous Vulgate Bible appears to have been based upon this Gospel.
Among the early Christians was a man named Iranaeus (130-200 AD). Iranaeus was among the followers of the teachings of the apostles and, like the first Christians before him, a believer in the divine unity and not in the new Pauline doctrines. Iranaeus dedicated his life to the liberation of the Christians from the tyranny that was meted out to all those who did not accept the Pauline doctrines. He bitterly criticized Paul for having injected the doctrines of the pagan Romans and Platonic philosophy into the religion of Jesus. He was witness during his lifetime to massive efforts to mute all opposition to Paul’s church through the murder of all who opposed him, such as Pothinus, Bishop of Lyons. Iranaeus himself was finally murdered in 200AD for his outspokenness against Paul and his church.

Iranaeus wrote extensively during his lifetime, and in his writings he quoted extensively from the Gospel of Barnabas. In the sixteenth century AD. a close friend of Pope Sextus (1589-1590) called Fra Marino, became extremely interested in the writings of Iranaeus. One day he was invited to visit the Pope and lunch with him. After eating with him, the Pope became drowsy and fell asleep. Father Marino took to browsing through the various books and manuscripts in the private library of Pope Sextus and happened upon an Italian translation of the Gospel of Barnabas. Father Marino concealed it in his sleeve and left the Vatican with it. This Gospel passed through many hands until it reached the hands of “a person of great name and authority” in Amsterdam “who during his lifetime, was often heard to put a high value on this piece.” After his death, it came into the possession of J.E. Cramer, Councilor of the King of Prussia. In 1713, Cramer presented this Gospel to the famous connoisseur of books, Prince Eugene of Savoy. In 1738, the library of the Prince, including this Gospel was incorporated into the Hofbibliothek in Vienna where it now rests.

Only the popularity of this copy of the Gospel of Barnabas saved it from the fate of most other copies. Most copies of the Gospel of Barnabas had a tendency of mysteriously disappearing into oblivion. This was the case with a Spanish copy which mysteriously disappeared from the Collage Library in England around the same time period. The Gospel of Barnabas was translated into English by Mr. and Mrs. Ragg and published in the Clarindon Press in Oxford in 1907. In 1907, Oxford Press published this work but mysteriously, all copies disappeared from the market. Only two copies are known to have escaped. One copy is housed in the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The other is located in the British museum. A new printing has been made off of these copies and this printing is available today.
Some quotations from the Gospel of Barnabas:
In reply to a question by Philip, Prophet Jesus said: “God alone hath no equal. He hath had no beginning, nor will he ever have a end, … He hath no sons, nor brethren, nor companions.” (Gospel of Barnabas:17).

“… Verily ye have erred greatly, O Israelites, in calling me, a man, your God. … I confess before heaven, … that I am a stranger to all that ye have said; seeing that I am man, born of a mortal woman, subject to the judgment of God, suffering the miseries of eating and sleeping, of cold and heat, like other men,. Whereupon when God shall come to judge, my words like a sword shall pierce each one (of them) that believe me to be more than man,” (Gospel of Barnabas: 93).

Regarding the apostle Barnabas, the Bible commands: “if he comes to you, receive him.” The Bible, Colossians 4:10

Author : Misha’al al-Khadi
Source : What Did Jesus Really Say ?

Prophets & Messengers: Was Jesus Sent To Be Crucified?

One of the fundamental beliefs of Christianity is that Jesus had died and allowed for the shedding of his blood for the sake of granting forgiveness to people. In other words Jesus had died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. Let us investigate this topic from the Bible, and find out whether Jesus was sent to be crucified or that he was crucified:

1. Willingness of Jesus Christ to Die for Our Sins:

Peter and the two sons of Zebedee were with Jesus Christ before the elders of the people and the chief priests came to take him to crucify him. Jesus at this point talked to Peter and the two sons of Zebedee as in Matthew 26:38 “Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.” Then Jesus went a little further way from them and prayed to God as in Matthew 26:39 “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
It is very clear from the above verse in Matthew 26:39 that Jesus had no intention of dying. In this verse it is shown that Jesus was praying strongly (Matthew mentions that Jesus repeated these prayer three time) to have this death removed from him. Had Jesus Christ been sent to be crucified he would not have hesitated to be killed at all. When I relate this to my Christian brothers, they tell me that this hesitation comes from the flesh side of him (in other words he was tempted), and that his soul which is godly does not have this hesitation at all. When we look at Matthew 26:38 we see that Jesus is contradicting this idea by saying, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” (Matthew 26:38). He himself says that it really his soul that is hesitating and not his body. These are Jesus’ own words.

2. God Answered the prayers of Jesus Christ:

After Jesus made the above mentioned prayer he was answered by God according to Hebrews 5:7 “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared.” These words clearly show that when Jesus was praying strongly to God, God would grant him his request. The word “heard in that he feared” (Hebrews 5:7) mean that God granted him what he requested. So the above verse shows that when Jesus asked of God to “let this cup pass from” (Matthew 26:39) him, God respond to his prayer and saved him from death or crucifixion.

3. The Post Crucifixion Prophesied Events never happened:

When the people were asking Jesus Christ if he was going to show them a sign, He replied by saying that the only sign that they should expect is the sign of Jonas. Jesus also made sure to specify what exactly this sign was. The details are shown in the following verses:
Matthew 12:38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
Matthew 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
Matthew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Jesus here emphasized what will happen to him by specifically saying that he will be like Jonas in terms of the number of days and nights he will be in the heart of the earth, ” For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:40). Now let us see if this prophecy came to pass.
Jesus was crucified on Friday, this is certainly known among all Christians, and that is the reason for calling that Friday by “Good Friday”. Jesus was buried on Friday night. Now let us start counting:
1.Friday night Jesus was buried. This is night number 1.
2.Saturday day Jesus was still in the grave. This is day number 1.
3.Saturday night Jesus was still in the grave. This is night number 2.
Mary Magdalene, very early in the morning before sun rise and after the Sabbath (Saturday), went to the see Jesus, and he was not there. The following verses relate this event:
Mark 16:1 And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
Mark 16:2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
Mark 16:3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
Mark 16:4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
Mark 16:5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.
Mark 16:6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
The number of days and nights that Jesus had spent in the heart of the earth is 1 day and 2 nights. This clearly challenges what Jesus had prophesied. When I tell this to my Christian brothers, some of them responded by saying that what Jesus wanted to really say was that he will be gone for a while, and not that he will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. This is clearly not the case. Had Jesus meant that, he would have said it, but it is clear that he wanted the people to know that this was a sign (miracle) and that it will be like Joans’ sign, and that he will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. These were his own words.

Why Would Jesus Have to Die on the Cross?

According to the Christian doctrine, Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. The idea here is that every human is born with sins, or that all humans will sin, and therefore it was necessary that someone as pure as Jesus would be the crucified to nullify these sins. The question is; why does anyone have to die for our sins when God, the All-Merciful, could as easily give us forgiveness if we ask for it? Isn’t God the one who makes the rules? Why does He have to make someone suffer for our sins or for someone else’s sins? Isn’t that unjust of Him? According to the Bible the way to redemption could be obtained without the need for sacrifice. The Bible says:
Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
Ezekiel 18:21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
Clearly the soul that sins shall die. Clearly that no one shall bear the iniquity (sins) of others. So Jesus cannot bear the sins of others either. If one is righteous then it shall be upon him, and if one commits a sin then it shall be upon him, and not on Jesus. Finally, the way to repentance and forgiveness is by turning from all sins, doing what is right, and keeping the commandments.
Also we see the same message given by Solomon. He says in the book of Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” This is the whole message, and this is the conclusion of messages. It is that one should fear God, and keep the commandments, and nothing else.
Again in 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” This clearly states that to seek forgiveness from God we have to humble ourselves, pray and seek God, and turn away from wickedness.
Finally the Bible says in Samuel 15:22 “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” This clearly states that obeying God is better that sacrifice whether this sacrifice is of objects, animals, or humans, or any other type. What God likes is for us to heed and obey Him, and if that is what God likes then it is not of Him to come later and change his mind, and change his ways. God says in the Holy Quran, “Verily God is All-Knowing, All-Wise” (Ch 9: Vr 28).
Now that we have seen this, Christians say that Jesus has changed some of these laws. Let’s look at what Jesus says. In Matthew 5:17 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” Jesus clearly states that he was not sent to abolish the law, the law of which had already existed. So what is mentioned above cannot be discounted. Then Jesus continues to say, in Matthew 5:18 and 19 “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus here states that not even as much as a dot (tittle) shall not pass from the law. Every thing is kept the way it was. That is why the previous laws cannot be removed or discarded, and those who willfully change these laws “he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.”

Christianity: Bible Prophecies About The Advent Of Muhammad

Abraham is widely regarded as the Patriarch of monotheism and the common father of the Jews, Christians and Muslims. Through His second son, Isaac, came all Israelite prophets including such towering figures as Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon and Jesus, may peace and blessings be upon them all. The advent of these great prophets was in partial fulfillment of God’s promises to bless the nations of earth through the descendants of Abraham (Genesis 1 2:2-3). Such a fulfillment is wholeheartedly accepted by Muslims whose faith considers the belief of these prophets, an article of faith.

BLESSINGS OF ISHMAEL AND ISAAC

Was the first born son of Abraham (Ishmael) and his descendants included in God’s covenant and promise? A few verses from the Bible may help shed some light on this question:

1. Genesis 12:2-3 speaks of God’s promise to Abraham and his descendants before any child was born to him.
2. Genesis 17:4 reiterates God’s promise after the birth of Ishmael and before the birth of Isaac.
3. In Genesis, ch. 21 . Isaac is specifically blessed but Ishmael was also specifically blessed and promised by God to become “a great nation” especially in Genesis 21:13, 18.
4. According to Deuteronomy 21:15-17 the traditional rights and privileges of the first-born son are not to be affected by the social status of his mother (being a “free” woman such as Sarah, Isaac’s mother, or a “Bondwoman” such as Hagar, Ishmael’s mother). This is only consistent with the moral and humanitarian principles of all revealed faiths.
5. The full legitimacy of Ishmael as Abraham’s son and “seed” and the full legitimacy of his mother, Hagar, as Abraham’s wife are clearly stated in Genesis 21:13 and 16:3.

After Jesus, the last Israelite messenger and prophet, it was time that God’s promise to bless Ishmael and his descendants be fulfilled. Less than 600 years after Jesus, came the last messenger of God, Muhammad (peace be upon him), from the progeny of Abraham through Ishmael. God’s blessing of both of the main branches of Abraham’s family tree was now fulfilled. But are there additional corroborating evidence that the Bible did in fact foretell the advent of prophet Muhammad (pbuh)?

MUHAMMAD: The Prophet Like Unto Moses

Long time after Abraham, God’s promise to send the long-awaited Messenger was repeated this time in Moses’ words. In Deuteronomy 18:18 , Moses spoke of the prophet to be sent by God who is:

1. From among the Israelite’s “brethren”, a reference to their Ishmaelite cousins as Ishmael was the other son of Abraham who was explicitly promised to become a “great nation”.
2. A prophet like unto Moses. There were hardly any two prophets who were so much alike as Moses and Muhammad (peace be upon them both). Both were given a comprehensive law code of life, both encountered their enemies and were victors in miraculous ways, both were accepted as prophets/statesmen and both migrated following conspiracies to assassinate them. Analogies between Moses and Jesus overlooks not only the above similarities but other crucial ones as well (e.g. the natural birth, family life and death of Moses and Muhammad but not of Jesus, who was regarded by His followers as the Son of God and not exclusively a messenger of God, as Moses and Muhammad were, and as Muslims believe Jesus was).

THE AWAITED PROPHET WAS TO COME FROM ARABIA

Deuteronomy 33:1-2 combines references to Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. It speaks of God (i.e. God’s revelation) coming from Sinai, rising from Seir (probably the village of Sa’ir near Jerusalem) and shining forth from Paran. According to Genesis 21:21 , the wilderness of Paran was the place where Ishmael settled (i.e. Arabia, specifically Mecca).
Indeed the King James version of the Bible mentions the pilgrims passing through the valley of Ba’ca (another name of Mecca) in Psalms 84:4-6 .
Isaiah 42:1-13 speaks of the beloved of God. His elect and messenger who will bring down a law to be awaited in the isles and who “shall not fail nor be discouraged till he have set judgment on earth.” Verse 11 connects that awaited one with the descendants of Ke’dar. Who is Ke’dar? According to Genesis 25:13 , Ke’dar was the second son of Ishmael, the ancestor of prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

MUHAMMAD’S MIGRATION FROM MECCA TO MEDINA: PROPHESISED IN THE BIBLE?

Habakkuk 3:3 speaks of God (God’s help) coming from Te’man (an Oasis North of Medina according to J. Hasting’s Dictionary of the Bible), and the holy one (coming) from Paran. That holy one who under persecution migrated from Paran (Mecca) to be received enthusiastically in Medina was none but prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Indeed the incident of the migration of the prophet and his persecuted followers is vividly described in Isaiah 21:13-17 . That section foretold as well about the battle of Badr in which the few ill-armed faithful miraculously defeated the “mighty” men of Ke’dar, who sought to destroy Islam and intimidate their own folks who turned to Islam.

THE QUR’AN (KORAN) FORETOLD IN THE BIBLE?

For twenty-three years, God’s words (the Qur’an) were truly put into Muhammad’s (pbuh) mouth. He was not the “11th author” of the Qur’an, the Qur’an was dictated to Muhammad (pbuh) by Angel Gabriel, who asked him to simply repeat the words of the Qur’an as he heard them. These words were then committed to memory and to writing by those who hear them during Muhammad’s lifetime and under his supervision.
Was it a coincidence that the prophet “like unto Moses” from the “brethren” of the Israelites (i.e. from the Ishmaelites) was also described as one in whose mouth God will put his words and that he will speak in the name of God., ( Deuteronomy 18:18-20 ). Was it also a coincidence the “Paraclete” that Jesus foretold to come after Him was described as one who “shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak (John 16:13).

Was it another coincidence that Isaiah ties between the messenger connected with Ke’dar and a new song (a scripture in a new language) to be sang unto the Lord (Isaiah 42:10-11 ). More explicitly, prophesies Isaiah “For with stammering lips, and another tongue, will he speak to this people” (Isaiah 28:11 ). This latter ‘verse correctly describes the “stammering lips” of Prophet Muhammad reflecting the state of tension and concentration he went through at the time of revelation. Another related point is that the Qur’an was revealed in piece-meals over a span of twenty-three years. It is interesting to compare this with Isaiah 28:10 which speaks of the same thing.

THAT PROPHET-PARACLETE-MUHAMMAD

Up to the time of Jesus (peace be upon him), the Israelites were still awaiting for that prophet like unto Moses prophesied in Deuteronomy 18:18 . When John the Baptist came, they asked him if he was Christ and he said “no”. They asked him if he was Elias and he said “no”. Then, in apparent reference to Deuteronomy 18:18 , they asked him “Art thou that Prophet” and he answered, “no”. ( John 1: 1 9-2 1).

In the Gospel according to John ( Chapters 14, 15, 16 ) Jesus spoke of the “Paraclete” or comforter who will come after him, who will be sent by Father as another Paraclete, who will teach new things which the contemporaries of Jesus could not bear. While the Paraclete is described as the spirit of truth, (whose meaning resemble Muhammad’s famous title Al-Amin, the trustworthy), he is identified in one verse as the Holy Ghost ( John 14:26 ). Such a designation is however inconsistent with the profile of that Paraclete. In the words of the Dictionary of the Bible , (Ed. J. Mackenzie) “These items, it must be admitted do not give an entirely coherent picture.”

Indeed history tells us that many early Christians understood the Paraclete to be a man and not a spirit. This might explain the followings who responded to some who claimed, without meeting the criteria stipulated by Jesus, to be the awaited “Paraciete”.

It was Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was the Paraclete, Comforter, helper, admonisher sent by God after Jesus. He testified of Jesus, taught new things, which could not be borne at Jesus’ time, he spoke what he heard (revelation), he dwells with the believers (through his well-preserved teachings). Such teachings will remain forever because he was the last messenger of God, t he only Universal Messenger to unite the whole of humanity under God and on the path of PRESERVED truth. He told of many things to come which “came to pass” in the minutest detail meeting, the criterion given by Moses to distinguish between the true prophet and the false prophets (Deuteronomy 18:22 ). He did reprove the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment ( John 16:8-11 ).

WAS THE SHIFT OF RELIGIOUS LEADERSHIP PROPHESIED?

Following the rejection of the last Israelite prophet, Jesus, it was about time that God’s promise to make Ishmael a great nation be fulfilled (Genesis 21:13, 18 ).
In Matthew 21:19-21, Jesus spoke of the fruitless fig tree (A Biblical symbol of prophetic heritage) to be cleared after being given a last chance of three years (the duration of Jesus’ ministry) to give fruit. In a later verse in the same chapter, Jesus said: “Therefore, say I unto you, The Kingdom of God shall be taken away from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruit thereof” (Matthew 21:43). That nation of Ishmael’s descendants (the rejected stone in Matthew 21:42) which was victorious against all super-powers of its time, as prophesied by Jesus: “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder” (Matthew 21:44).

OUT OF CONTEXT COINCIDENCE?

Is it possible that the numerous prophecies cited here are all individually and combined out of context misinterpretations? Is the opposite true, that such infrequently studied verses fit together consistently and clearly point to the advent of the man who changed the course of human history, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)? Is it reasonable to conclude that all these prophecies, appearing in different books of the Bible and spoken by various prophets at different times were all coincidence? If this is so, here is another strange ” coincidence”!

One of the signs of the prophet to come from Paran (Mecca) is that he will come with “ten thousands of saints” (Deuteronomy 33:2 KJV). That was the number of faithful who accompanied Prophet Muhammad to Paran (Mecca) in his victorious, bloodless return to his birthplace to destroy the remaining symbols of idolatry in the Ka’bah.

God says as quoted by Moses: “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” (Deuteronomy, 18:19)

JESUS WAS A PROPHET AND ALSO A PARACLETE

A Christian who has studied the Bible would be proud to admit that the prophecy made by prophet Moses for the coming of “a Prophet like me” (Deut. 18:15), undoubtedly refers to the coming of Jesus Christ, since Jesus himself had acknowledged before Jews; “Moses wrote of me.” (see John 5:46). These learned Christians have no problem in admitting the fact that Jesus was “a prophet like his predecessor Moses”.

In his Epistle quoted below, apostle John records that Jesus was “a Paraclete”.
“My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have a Paraclete with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John. 2:1

John has also recorded in his Gospel 14:16, quoted below, that Jesus (after his departure) will pray to the God, and the God will give us “another Paraclete”. This opens up a way for a future date male Prophet to be “a Paraclete”, as well. To say: only a “Spirit” can be a Paraclete and not a male individual, would be to deny: “Jesus was a Prophet and a Paraclete”.
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you into the age (to come).” John 14:16

Note: We often read the above verse ending as; “for ever”. The fact of the matter is; “into the age” is the literal translation of the original Greek phrase; ‘eis ton aiona’.
In the next verse, i.e. 14:17, John records, “another Paraclete” is the “Spirit of Truth” (not the Holy Spirit). WHAT WILL “HE” DO?
Jesus Christ did indicate that the Paraclete will do certain things in his time. Let us examine if “he”, Prophet Muhammad, did those things.

1. “But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own initiative, but whatever he hears, he will speak…” Jn. 16:13

Note: The Qur’an is a compilation of the “Divine Revelations” that were received by Prophet Muhammad, over a period of 23 years, through the archangel Gabriel. The Prophet used to recite whatever he used to hear. His companions used to write down whatever he recited. The Qur’an does not contain the writings or teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), as often mentioned by some misinformed authors.
2. “He shall glorify me.” John 16:14
Note: The Qur’an glorifies the birth of Jesus through Virgin Mary. It confirms; Jesus was a Messiah, a Messenger of God, the Spirit from God, the Word of God and the Righteous Prophet.
3. “He shall take mine and shall disclose it to you.” Jn. 16:14
Note: Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did declare himself a Messenger/Prophet of God like Abraham, Moses and Jesus.
4. “He will teach you all things.” John 14:26
Note: The Qur’an teaches a way of life. It guides mankind, how to live a pious life socially, politically and spiritually.
5. “He will bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John. 14:26
Note: The Qur’an speaks about the teachings of Jesus and even quotes him.
6. “He will bear witness of me” John 15:26
Note: The Qur’an attests the miracles performed by Jesus the Messiah. It also mentions one astonishing miracle performed by Jesus that the Gospel writers have not recorded (V:110). The Qur’an acknowledges that these miracles and signs were performed with the leave of Allah, by His righteous Servant and Messiah, Jesus. The same is also attested in the Book of Acts 2:22; 3:13 (NASB).

A MALE SALVIFIC FIGURE LIKE JESUS

The passage quoted below from the world renowned and distinguished Anchor Bible confirms that the original concept among the noted Christian scholars and populace, for the Paraclete was for a male salvific figure, but that concept was later confused with the “Holy Spirit”.
“The word parakletos is peculiar in the NT to the Johnannine literature. In 1 John ii 1 Jesus is a parakletos (not a title), serving as a heavenly intercessor with the Father. …Christian tradition has identified this figure (Paraclete) as the Holy Spirit, but scholars like Spitta, Delafosse, Windisch, Sasse, Butlmann and Betz have doubted whether this identification is true to the original picture and have suggested that the Paraclete was once an independent salvific figure, later confused with the Holy Spirit.” (Page 1135)

THE NEGATION OF “HOLY SPIRIT”

The concept that the Paraclete (comforter, advocate) is the “Holy Spirit” is unequivocally negated by the following verse:
“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Paraclete shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” John 16:7

This verse clearly indicates that the coming of the Paraclete was subject to the departure of Jesus. His departure from this world was a *pre-condition* for the arrival of the Paraclete.

We know that the “Holy Spirit” was already present during and before the ministry of Jesus. The Holy Spirit was in existence since the day of the Creation and was hovering upon the surface of the earth (Gen. 1:2). It was also present with the prophets of the Old Testament. No Bible believing Christian can deny that the “Holy Spirit” was present at River Jordan when Christ was Baptized by John the Baptist. Since there is no more than ONE “Holy Spirit”, Jesus would not have made his own departure a *pre-condition* for its arrival.

“HE” NOT “IT”

“When the Paraclete comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of Truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness of me.” John 15:26
This verse further clears the confusion, if there is any. Here the Paraclete is called the “Spirit of Truth” and not the “Holy Spirit”. These are two separate terms and two independent entities. The first entity takes the pronoun “he” being a male figure. Whereas, the second one takes the pronoun “it”. The Greek word ‘pneu’ma’ (spirit) is of neutral gender and takes the pronoun “it”. Whereas, in almost all the verses referring to Paraclete quoted below, the pronoun used is “he”.
“But the Paraclete, the Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:26

Notes:
1. In the older MSS, Codex Syriacus discovered in 1812 on Mount Sinai by Mrs. Agnes S. Lewis (and Mrs. Bensley), the text of John 14:26 reads; “Paraclete, the Spirit”; and not “Paraclete, the Holy Spirit”. “The Spirit” is a reference to “the Spirit of Truth” as in 15:26.
2. In 1 John 4:6, the terms “the spirit of truth” and “the spirit of error” are used for the human beings.
3. History records that prophet Muhammad was known for his Truth and Honesty, long before he received the Divine Revelations.
A PROPHET IN THE LAND OF KEDAR
Prophet Isaiah is considered to be one of the major prophets of the Old Testament. In the Book of Isaiah there are several prophecies about the coming of the Messiah. In chapter 42, Isaiah begins with a prophecy for the coming of prophet Jesus. After verse number nine, God declares through Isaiah, the “new things” that are to “spring forth” in the
Land of Kedar.

In the Bible there is only one personality called Kedar. He was the grandson of prophet Abraham, through his son Ishmael (see Gen. 25:13). Kedar’s descendants had settled in Paran (Syno-Arabian dessert). In the Rabbinic literature Arabia is called the “Land of Kedar”. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was a descendant of Kedar.

God declares through Prophet Isaiah:
“Behold, the former things are come to pass, and the new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. `Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth’. Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voices, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare His praise in the inlands.” Isaiah Chapter 42, Verses 9-12.

God did reveal in the Land of Kedar, through prophet Muhammad (pbuh)- a direct descendant of Kedar, a “New Song” – The Qur’an (Koran). This happens to be the only Scripture to be revealed in the language of the Kedarites. The verses of the Qur’an are recited like a poem. Nearly 1.2 billion Muslims, residing all over the world, recite this “new song” and Glorify Allah, in their daily prayers, five times in a day. The initial Revelation came to prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in a cave of Mount Hira near the city of Mecca. There are several mountains near Mecca. During the annual Islamic Pilgrimage called “Hajj”, Muslims from all over the world, assemble in Mecca and shout Glory to the Lord from the top of Mount Arafat. The pilgrims continuously give Glory to Allah on their ways, to and from Mecca.

THE LORD SHALL GO AS “A MIGHTY MAN OF WAR”

“The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.” Isaiah 42:13
In the Old Testament, the God often speaks “I” will do this, or “I” have done this; whereas, He has chosen human beings to do these jobs on His behalf. (see 2 Samuel 12:7-12).

Prophet Muhammad did go forth as “a mighty man of war” against the Pagan Arabs, the enemies of The Lord. He did stir up jealousy among the most influential and dominating Pagan tribe in Arabia. With a war cry and roar of “Allahu Akbar” (“The God is the Greatest”), the Prophet of Islam did prevail upon the enemies of Lord – the idolaters. No doubt, the Islam was spread with a “war cry”, but that was not a cry of a man seeking the personal power. It was a cry of the Lord, who no longer wanted to hold HIS PEACE against HIS ENEMIES. After the victory, Allah bestowed HIS FAVOR upon mankind and gave the Message of “TRUE PEACE” – The Islam. Once a person whole heartedly submit himself or herself to Allah (become a Muslim), the “True Peace” from Allah is bound to enter his or her body, mind and soul. The relationship of that individual with Allah is now direct, having no Church or Papal Authority acting as a vicar or an intermediary.
“I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself, now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.” Verse 14.

The prophets that came before Muhammad had all tried with peaceful missions. But, the concept of sharing God’s Glory continued to surface again and again, in one way or other. It was with the war cry, through the descendants of Kedar (Arabs), these sinful practices were destroyed and devoured, inside and outside of Arabia. The spread of Islam was swift, wide spread and at once.

ISLAM TURNS THE DARKNESS INTO LIGHT

“And I will bring the blind by a way they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things I will do unto them, and not forsake them.” Isaiah Chapter 42, Verse 16.

It is an undeniable fact that before the advent of Islam, the pagan Arabs were like the blinds. Their religious and social concepts were crooked. The revelation of this “new song” brought them out of that darkness. Earlier, God had not sent any prophet to these people. By sending Muhammad, God fulfilled His above promise and also the following promise to Abraham;
“And *also* of the son of the bondwoman I will make a nation, because he is thy seed.” Genesis 21:13.

Please note the word “also” in above promise. The nations of Judaism and Christianity came out from the descendants of Abraham and Sarah. The nation of Islam came out from the descendants of Abraham and Hagar. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are three children of Abraham by God’s Covenants with Abraham.

“They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images; they say to the molten images, ‘Ye are our gods.'” Isaiah 42 Verse 17.

History records that Prophet Muhammad did put the pagan idolaters to great shame when he demolished before them, their 365 idols that were installed in Ka’bah (Mecca), the most respected place of pilgrimage in the whole of Arabia. Today, Ka’bah is the Grand Mosque of Islam. Muslims from all over the world face towards Ka’bah while reciting their daily ritual prayers.

Christianity: Bridgebuilding Between Christian And Muslim

A SEMINAR AT WARNER PACIFIC COLLEGE

INTRODUCTION

All grace is due to Allah, Creator and Sustainer of the universe, and I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His servant, messenger and the seal of all the prophets and messengers in history. May Allah’s peace and lessing be upon them all.

I’d like first to express my thanks and appreciation to those who arranged this seminar, and I do hope that we leave it with a better understanding of each other and with more positive attitudes.

With nearly one billion followers each, Islam and christianity are major religions that influence the thinking and values of over 40 percent of the world population. While there are theological differences, some of which might be significant, there are nonetheless other important areas of belief
that are shared by both communities: belief in Allah, or GOD; belief in revelation, in prophets, in the Holy Books of Allah; in the life hereafter and in a divinely inspired moral code organizing and regulating human life during our earthly journey to eternity.

MUSLIM – CHRISTIAN DIALOGUE

For the Muslims, constructive dialogue is not only permitted, it is commendable. In the Qur’an we read, “Say, `O people of the book’ (a term which particularly refers to Jews and Christians) `come to common terms as between us and you: that we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with Him (in His powers and divine attributes); that we erect not from among ourselves lords and patrons other than Allah.’ If then they turn back say you `Bear witness that we are Muslims.’
(Bowing) to the will of GOD.” (al-i-Imran; 3:64)

The methodology of that dialogue is also explained in the Qur’an; “Invite (all) to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful exhortation, and argue with them in ways that are best.” (al-Nahl; 16:125) A prerequisite for any constructive dialogue is that both communities should not learn about each other through sources that are unsympathetic, critical, or even hostile: they should rather try to formulate an honest idea as to how the other faith is seen in its own authentic scriptures and as practiced by those who are truly committed to it. This need is even more significant in the case of the MUSLIM – CHRISTIAN dialogue. The average Christian has heard of or has read about ISLAM mostly through writers who have colonial or missionary motives, which might have given a certain slant to their interpretation of ISLAM to the western mind. While I admit that my own practice of Islam is far from perfect, I at least speak from the vantage point of someone who wants to think of himself as a committed, practicing Muslim. Now I’d like to share with you five basic areas, consideration of which is imperative in any CHRISTIAN – MUSLIM understanding: the meaning of the term “ISLAM”; the meaning of the term “Allah”; the nature of the human; the relationship between the human and Allah; the question of accountability, and finally, some conclusions pertaining to bridgebuilding between Muslims and Christians.

MEANING OF “ISLAM”

Talking the term “ISLAM,” it is important to emphasize that it is not derived from the name of any particular person, race, or locality. A muslim considers the term used by some writers, “MOHAMMEDANISM,” to be an offensive violation of the very spirit of Islamic teaching.

The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, is not worshipped, nor is he regarded as either the founder of Islam or the author of its Holy Book, the Qur’an. The term Islam is given in more than one place in the Qur’an itself. It is derived from the Arabic root (SLM) which connotes “peace” or “submission.” Indeed, the proper meaning of “Islam” is the attainment of peace, both inner and outer peace, by submission of oneself to the will of Allah. And when we say submit, we are talking about conscious, loving and trusting submission to the will of Allah, the acceptance of His grace and the following of His path. In that sense the Muslim regards the term Islam, not as an innovation that came in the 7th Century, Christian era, with the advent of the Prophet Muhammad, but as the basic mission
of all the prophets throughout history. That universal mission was finally culminated and perfected in the last of these prophets, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon them all.

ISLAMIC MONOTHEISM

The next essential concept that needs to be clarified is the term “Allah.” What does it mean? It should be emphasized first that the term “Allah” has no connotation at all of a tribal god, an Arabian or even a Muslim god. The term “Allah” in Arabic simply means the One and Only True, Universal
God of all. To think that Allah is different from God, with a capital `G’ is no more valid than saying the French Christians worship a different god because they call him “Dieu.”

What are the basic attributes of Allah? The Qur’an mentions the “most beautiful names” (or attributes) of Allah. Instead of enumerating them all, lets examine a few. Some attributes emphasize the transcendence of Allah. The Qur’an repeatedly makes it clear that Allah is beyond our limited
perception. “There is nothing whatever comparable unto Him.” (al-Shura; 42:11) “No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision.” (al-An’am; 6:103) A Muslim never thinks of God as having any particular image, whether physical, human, material or otherwise. Such attributes as “The
Perfectly – Knowing,” “The Eternal,” “The Omnipotent,” “The Omnipresent,” “The Just,” and “The Sovereign” also emphasize transcendence. But this does not mean in any way that for Muslim Allah is
a mere philosophical concept or a deity far removed. Indeed, alongside this emphasis on the transcendence of Allah, the Qur’an also talks about Allah as “personal” God who is close, easily approachable, Loving, Forgiving and Merciful. The very first passage in the Qur’an, which is repeated
dozens of times, is “In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful ….”

The Qur’an tells us that when Allah created the first human “He breathed into him something of His spirit,” (al-Sajdah; 32:9) and that “Allah is closer to the human than his jugular vein.” In another beautiful and moving passage we are told, “When my servants ask you (O Muhammad) concerning me, then surely I am near to them. I listen to every suppliant who calls on Me. Let them respond to My call and obey My command that they may be led aright,”

For the Muslim, monotheism does not mean simply the unity of God, because there can be different persons in unity. Monotheism in Islam is the absolute Oneness and Uniqueness of Allah, which precludes the notion of persons sharing in Godhead. The opposite of monotheism in Islam is
called in Arabic “shirk,” association of others with Allah. This includes not only polytheism, but also dualism (believing in one God for good or light and another for evil or darkness). The concept of “shirk” also includes pantheism, the idea that God is in everything. All forms of God-incarnate
philosophies are excluded by Islam’s monotheism, as is blind obedience to dictators, to clergy, or to one’s own whims and desires. These all are regarded as forms of “associating” others with Allah (shirk), whether by believing that such creatures of Allah possess divinity or by believing that they share the Divine Attributes of Allah.

It should be added that, to the Muslim, monotheism is not simply a dogma. Islam’s pure, pristine and strict monotheism is much more than a thought or a belief; it is something that deeply influences the Muslim’s whole outlook on life.

NATURE OF THE HUMAN

We have talked about Allah. What about you and me? Who is the human being? Who are you and I? And why are we here on earth? The Qur’an teaches that we humans are created of three components. We are created from clay, representing the material or carnal element. We are endowed
with intellect that is Allah- given to be used, not to be put on shelf. Reason may be insufficient but it is not the antithesis of faith, either. And thirdly, we are endowed with the spirit of Allah, which was breathed into us (al-Sajdah; 32:7, al-Baqarah; 2:31, al-Hijr; 15:29). The Muslim does not see human existence here on earth as punishment for eating from the forbidden tree. That event is regarded as an experiential lesson for Adam and Eve before they came to earth. The Qur’an teaches that even
before the creation of the first human it was Allah’s plan to establish human life and civilization on earth (al-Baqarah; 2:30). Thus, the Muslim does not view the human as all evil, nor as all good, but rather as responsible. It is stated in several places in the Qur’an that Allah created the human to be His “khalifah,” His trustee or viceregent on earth. Humankind’s basic trust. our responsibility, is to worship Allah. Worship for the Muslim is not only engaging in formal rituals, but it is any activity in
accordance with the will of Allah for the benefit of oneself and of humanity at large. Thus the Muslim views the earth, its resources and ecology as a gift from Allah to humans to harness and use in fulfillment of the trust for which we shall all be held responsible. That is why the Qur’an speaks highly of learning. The first word revealed of the Qur’an was, “Recite,” or “read.” As long as they were true to their faith and to Qur’anic injunctions about learning, Muslims established a civilization that saw
great advances in science and in the humanities. Not only did they preserve earlier scientific heritage but they also added to it and paved the way for European renaissance. When Muslims again become true to their faith such history is bound to repeat itself.

ALLAH-HUMANKIND RELATIONSHIP

We talked of Allah and of humankind. Now we must ask what is their basic relationship. The Qur’an teaches us that the human race is given an innate spirituality are inherent in human existence, but this spirituality can betray us if it is not led in the right direction. To depend on a merely human
feeling of the guiding Spirit is dangerous. Many groups, even cults, claim to be guided by the spirit or by God or by revelation, yet these groups hold divergent, even contradictory, beliefs. We find people behaving in contradictory ways who claim nonetheless that each is doing the will of God. “I feel,” they say, “that the spirit guides and directs me.”

A credible source of revelation is imperative. Throughout history Allah has selected particular individuals to convey His message, to receive His revelation and to exemplify it for mankind. For some of these prophets, holy books or scriptures were given revealing Allah’s commands and
guidance. For most of you the names of these prophets found in the Qur’an will sound familiar: Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, John the Baptist, Jesus, and finally, the last prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon them all. These prophets carried the same basic message: “Not an apostle did We send before you without this inspiration sent by Us to him: that there is no god but I; therefore worship and serve Me.” (al-Anbiya; 21:25). Further, the Qur’an insists
on calling all those prophets Muslims, because a Muslim is one who submits to the will of Allah. Their followers are called Muslims as well. Thus it is an article of faith for a Muslim to believe in all these prophets. Indeed, Muslims are warned that anyone accepts some prophets and rejects others, in fact rejects them all.

For a Muslim, to believe in Moses while rejecting Jesus or Muhammad is against the very teaching of Moses. And to believe in Jesus but reject Moses or Muhammad is to violate what Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad stood for. For a Muslim to believe in Muhammad and reject either Moses or
Jesus is to violate his own Holy Book. “Those who deny Allah and His apostles, saying: `We believe in some but rejects others’, and (those who) wish to take a course midway. They are in truth (equally) unbelievers and We have prepared for unbelievers a humiliating punishment.”(al-Nisa’ ; 4:150-151) Recognition of all prophets is an article of faith, not a mere social courtesy or diplomatic statement. I do hope that with open minds, open hearts and further careful, honest study there may be more such
mutual recognition.

THE SPECIAL ROLE OF MUHAMMAD

But why do Muslims in their testimony of faith say, “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His messenger.” Does that mean that they in fact reject other prophets?
Indeed, the special role played by Muhammad as the seal and last of all the prophets puts the Muslims in the position whereby honoring Muhammad implies honoring those who came before him as well. Muslims are warned not to make fanatical or parochial distinctions between prophets(al-Baqarah; 2:285). But the Qur’an also says that Allah has favored some prophets with more significant gifts or roles than others (al-Isra; 17:55). All are brothers, although the only prophet
with the universal mission to all humankind is Muhammad, peace be upon him(al-Furqaan; 25:11).
The Muslim believes not only that Muhammad is a brother of Jesus, Moses, Abraham and other prophets, but the Qur’an states in clear terms that the advent of Muhammad was foretold by previous prophets, including Moses and Jesus, peace be upon them (al-Arif; 7:157, al-Saff; 61:6). Even the
Bible in its present form clearly foretells the advent of the Prophet Muhammad (e.g. Genesis 21:13,18, Deuteronomy 18:18 and 33:1-3, Isaiah 11:1-4, 21:13-17, 42:1-13 and others).

For the Muslim, the Qur’an contains the words of Allah directly and verbatim revealed to Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Many confuse the Qur’an with the “Hadith,” or sayings, of the Prophet. The Hadith is quite separate from the Qur’an. The latter was dictated to Muhammad word for word through the Angel Gabriel and immediately memorized and put down in writing. It is important to emphasize that the Qur’an was neither written nor composed by Muhammad, peace be
upon him. To hold such a view would contradict what the Qur’an says of itself and of Muhammad; that the prophet is not speaking on his own but only transmitting the revelation dictated to him by the Angel Gabriel. To suggest that the Qur’an borrowed from or copied from previous revelations, be it the Bible or otherwise, is, for Muslim, an accusation of “prophetic plagiarism,” a contradiction in terms. The fact that there are similarities between the Qur’an and previous scriptures is simply
explained by the fact that He Who spoke through those earlier prophets is He Who revealed the Qur’an to Muhammad, the one and only true God, Allah. However, the Qur’an is the last revealed Holy Book, which supersedes previous scriptures and the only one still available in the exact words and language uttered by Prophet Muhammad.

ACCOUNTABILITY AND SALVATION

We have talked about Allah, about the human and about the relationship between them. What about accountability? How can we humans, from the Islamic perspective, overcome “sin”? The Qur’an teaches that life is a test, that earthly life is temporary (al-Mulk; 67:2). The Muslim believes
that there is reward and punishment, that there is life hereafter and that reward or punishment do not necessarily wait until the day of Judgment, but start immediately after burial. The Muslim believes in resurrection, accountability, and the day of Judgement.

For a Muslim, to demand perfection in order to gain salvation is not practical. It is demanding the impossible and is unjust. Islam teaches a person to be humble and to learn that we cannot achieve salvation by our own righteousness. The reconciliation of the “sinful” human with Allah is contingent on three elements: the most important is the Grace, Mercy, and Generosity of Allah. Then there are good deeds and correct belief. Correct belief and good deeds are prerequisites for God’s Grace and Forgiveness and for rising above our common shortcomings. How can sin be washed away?

The Qur’an gives the prescription: “If anyone does evil or wrongs his own soul, but afterwards seeks Allah’s forgiveness, he will find Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”(al-Nisa; 4:110).
Another moving passage reads, “Those things that are good remove evil deeds.” (Hud; 11:114).
Islam teaches repentance, stopping evil ways, feeling sorry for what one has done, and determining to follow the path of Allah as much as humanly possible. The Muslim does not believe in the necessity of the shedding of blood, much less innocent blood, to wash away sins. He believes that Allah is not interested in blood or sacrifice, but in sincere repentance. The Qur’an puts it clearly: “But My Mercy extends to all things.”(al-A’raf; 7:156)

THE APPLIED ASPECT

How about the application? Are we just talking theology? Since the human is Allah’s trustee, it would be inconsistent for a Muslim to separate the various aspect of life, the spiritual and the material, state and religion. We hear a lot about the “five pillars of Islam,” but they are often presented as the whole of Islam, many times in a shallow way. They are not the whole of Islam any more than one can claim to have a functional house composed exclusively of five concrete pillars. You also need the ceiling, walls, tables, windows and other things. As the mathematicians put it, it is a
necessary but not a sufficient condition. The five pillars of Islam (the testimony of faith, the five daily prayers, fasting, charity, pilgrimage) are presented by most writers as matter of formal ritual. Even the pillar that is liable to appear ritualistic, daily prayers, is purely spiritual act involving much more than simply getting up and down. It has social and political lessons to teach the Muslim. What may appear as separate compartments of life simply does not exist for the Muslim. A Muslim does not
say, “This is business and this is moral.” Moral, spiritual, economic, social and governmental are interrelated, because everything, including Caesar, belongs to Allah and to Allah alone.

MUSLIM / NON-MUSLIM RELATIONS

In conclusion and against this background, what is the implication for the Muslims in their attitudes toward non-Muslims? To start with, and we must be frank about it, the Qur’an makes it incumbent on the Muslim to convey Allah’s message in its final form, the Qur’an, to all humanity. We are not talking here about conversion. I do not like that word. Indeed, to turn to Islam, the religion of all the prophets in its final form, is not to turn one’s back on the preceding prophets. It is an augmentation, rather than a conversion, because it does not involve changing one’s basic spiritual
nature. In the Qur’an, pure human nature is a “Muslim nature,” which knows its Lord and wishes to submit to Him. The Qur’an states, “Let there be no compulsion in religion.” (al-Baqarah; 2:256). My substitute for the term “conversion” is “reversion,” in the sense of a return to the pure monotheism in which we were all created. Thus the Muslim is taught to be tolerant towards others. Indeed, the Qur’an not only prohibits compulsion in religion, but it prohibits aggression as well, although it allows
defense: “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but commit no aggression; for Allah loves not transgressors.” (al-Baqarah; 2:190)

In addition, we find that within this broad rule of dealing with non Muslims “the People of the Book” is a special term accorded to Jews and Christians in the Qur’an. Why “People of the Book”?
Because the Muslim makes a clear distinction between a polytheist or an atheist and those who follow the prophets who originally received revelations from Allah. Even though a Muslim might point out
areas of theological difference, we still believe in the divine origin of those revelations in their “original” forms.

How should a Muslim treat these “People of the Book”? Says the Qur’an: “Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for [your] Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loves those who are just. Allah only forbids you, with
regard to those [others] who fight you for [your] Faith, and drive you out of your homes and support [other] in driving you out, from turning to them [for friendship and protection], that do wrong.”(al-Mumtahanah; 60:8-9)

In the world today all believers in Allah are facing common dangers: atheism, materialism, secularism and moral decay. We must work together. Allah says in the Qur’an: “…If Allah had so willed. He would have made you a single People, but His Plan is to test you in what He has given you.
So strive as in a race in all virtues. The return of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which you dispute.” (al-Ma’idah; 5:51)

I hope, feel, and trust that there is sufficient common ground for Muslims and Christians to meet, understand each other, join hands and move together in the Path of Truth, Peace, and Justice, the Path of Allah.

Thank you very much for your patience and may peace be with you.

Author : Dr. Jamal Badawi
Source : Islamic Information Foundation

Christianity: Brief Look At Faith – Christians And Muslims

Christian Belief

God is three gods merged into one God. This one God is called a Trinity. However, to say that God is three is a blasphemy of the highest order. All three parts of the Trinity are “coequal” “co-eternal” and “the same substance.” For this reason, this doctrine is described as “a mystery.”
The second member of the Triune God, the Son of the first part of the Triune God, and at the same time “fully” God in every respect.
The third member of the Triune God, but also “fully” God in every respect.
A chaste and pious human woman who gave birth to Jesus Christ, the second member of the Trinity, the Son of God, and at the same time “fully” God Almighty in every respect.

Part of God which was “with” God but also “fully” God and then became Jesus the Son of God.
All accepted, respected, and believed.
Accepted as 100% the faultless word of God

Varying beliefs. Some believe that he was a liar, some believe he was a lunatic, some believe he was the False Messiah, and yet others claim he was deceived by the Devil.

Varying beliefs ranging from it being a copy of the Bible to it being the work of Muhammad (pbuh), to its being the work of Christians and Jews who were conspiring with Muhammad.

That he was sent by God (who was at the same time “fully” Jesus) in order to die on the cross and save all mankind from the sin of Adam. Without this sacrifice all of humanity was destined to perish in the sin of Adam. After the crucifixion all that is required of humanity is faith without any works.
All accepted. He performed them because he was the Son of God and also at the same time “fully” God and the “incarnation” of God.

Jesus was given over to the Jews. He was spat on, cut, humiliated, kicked, striped, and finally hung up on the cross and killed very slowly and painfully.
Accepted. Originally expected to happen during the lifetime of the first disciples, many predictions have been made later and he is still expected at any moment. He is currently anticipated to arrive around the turn of the century (2000 C.E.)

All of humanity has inherited the sin of Adam. Only the death of the sinless offspring of God could erase this sin. No one is born clean, no matter if his life is only for a single day. Only baptism and faith in the death of Jesus can save one from this destiny.

The sin of Adam was so great that God could not forgive it by simply willing it; rather it was necessary to erase it with the blood of a sinless innocent god named Jesus who was also “fully” God.

If you have faith in the atonement of Jesus for the sin of Adam which you have inherited then you shall be saved. You only need faith. No work is necessary.

Muslim Belief

God is one God in the most basic, simple, and elementary meaning of the word. He has no children, no parents nor any equal. In Islam God is known by the name “Allah” and more than 99 other venerated names, such as “the Merciful,” “the Gracious,” “the All-Powerful,” etc.

A very elect and highly esteemed messenger of God. No Muslim is a Muslim if he does not believe this.

He is the angel Gabriel. The angel Gabriel is highly esteemed as the “Trustworthy Spirit”.

A chaste and pious human woman who was chosen, purified, and preferred over all of the women of creation to be the one to give birth to Gods elect messenger Jesus through the command of God without any father whatsoever.

God’s command “Be!” which resulted in Jesus’ conception in the womb of Mary without the need for a human father.
All accepted, respected, and believed.

Muslims believe in the books of the previous prophets including the “Torah” which was sent to Moses, the “Zaboor” (Psalms) which were given to David, the “Injeel” (Gospel) which was given to Jesus, and the Qur’an which was given to Muhammad However, Muslims are told that the previous scriptures were tampered with by mankind and the Bible should only be accepted in as far as it is confirmed by the Qur’an. It is to be treated with respect, however any statements which clearly oppose those of the Qur’an are to be rejected as the work of mankind.

The last messenger of God to all of humanity. He was known as “The Truthful, the Trustworthy” before he received his first revelation. He was sent by God as a mercy to all creation. He was a human being but performed a number of miracles during his lifetime by the will of God.
The last book of God sent to mankind. It was given the distinction of being personally guarded by God from human tampering. It is on a literary level never before seen by mankind. No human to this day has ever been able to meet its challenge to “write a work similar to it.” It shall remain safe from the tampering of mankind till the day of Judgment as a guidance for all Humanity.

That he was sent by God as a messenger to the Jews in order to return them to the pure and true religion of Moses, and to relieve them of some of the regulations which had been placed upon them in ancient times. He taught them to have faith as well as works. Neither one can stand alone.
All accepted. They were performed through the will of God just as Moses, Noah, and all other prophets did so in ancient times through the will of God.
Jesus was not forsaken to the Jews to be abused and killed, however, it was “made to appear so to them.” God saved Jesus by raising him up unto Himself.

Accepted. Jesus did not die but was raised up into heaven by God. He shall return to earth just before the Day of Judgment in order to kill the “False Messiah” and to establish peace and justice on earth. He will kill the pigs, break the cross, and call all humanity to Islam.

There is no such thing. Humanity is created by God destined for heaven unless they chose to disobey Him and refuse His mercy. God can very trivially and effortlessly forgive the sins of all of Humanity no matter if they were to fill the lofty regions of the sky. Such a matter would be trivial and inconsequential for Him since He has already done much more than that such as creating everything we can ever see, hear or imagine. He loves to bestow His mercy and forgiveness on His creation and rewards the most trivial acts with the most tremendous rewards. In order to achieve God’s reward one must have faith as well as work.

Adam “atoned” for his sin saying “My Lord I have sinned and if you do not forgive me and have mercy upon me then I shall indeed have lost.” So God forgave him. Similarly, all human beings have the door to forgiveness left open to them by God until the day they die. There are no intermediaries between mankind and God. If they sincerely repent to God, ask His forgiveness, and forsake their evil deeds before their hour comes then He shall forgive them and there is nothing more pleasing to Him than to forgive the sins of one who comes to Him in sincere repentance.
If you have faith in God, believe in His messengers, and obey His commands then He shall multiply every single good deed that you do many, many times and erase your evil deeds, until on the Day of Judgment His mercy shall cause your good deeds to far outweigh your evil deeds and grant you passage into an ecstasy and Paradise so great that we can not even imagine it, to abide there eternally. In the Hereafter there is only reward and no work.

Christianity: Christ In Islam

CHAPTER 1: CHRISTIAN MUSLIM RESPONSES

DEBATE ON TV

At the end of the debate – “Christianity and Islam” – which appeared on the SABC-TV program “CROSS (+) QUESTIONS” on Sunday 5th June 1983, the Chairman, Mr. Bill Chalmers commented: “I think it can be said from this discussion that there is, at present, somewhat more accommodation on the Islamic side for the founder of Christianity than there is on the Christian side for the founder of Islam.
What the significance of that is, we leave it to you, the viewer, to determine, but I do think you will agree that it is a good thing that we are talking together.” “BILL” as he is popularly addressed, without any formalities, on all his programs, by all his panelists, is extremely charming and stupendous in his humility. He is a picture of what the

Holy Quran portrays of a good Christian:
“…AND NEAREST AMONG THEM IN LOVE TO THE BELIEVERS WILT THOU FIND THOSE WHO SAY, “WE ARE CHRISTIANS”1: BECAUSE AMONG THESE ARE MEN DEVOTED TO LEARNING AND MEN WHO HAVE RENOUNDED THE WORLD. AND THEY ARE NOT ARROGANT.” HOLY QURAN 5:58

JESUS – HIS STATUS

Were the Muslims on the panel, trying to placate the viewers out of policy, deceit or diplomacy ? Nothing of the kind! They were only articulating what God Almighty had commanded them to say in the Holy Quran.

As Muslim they had no choice. They had said in so many words – “WE MUSLIMS BELIEVE, THAT JESUS WAS ONE OF THE MIGHTIEST MESSENGERS OF GOD, THAT HE WAS THE CHRIST, THAT HE WAS BORN MIRACULOUSLY – WITHOUT ANY MALE INTERVENTION (which many modern-day Christians do not believe today), THAT HE GAVE LIFE TO THE DEAD BY GOD’S PERMISSION, AND THAT HE HEALED THOSE BORN BLIND AND THE LEPERS BY GOD’S PERMISSION. IN FACT NO MUSLIM IS A MUSLIM IF HE DOES NOT BELIEVE IN JESUS!”

PLEASANT SURPRISE

Over 90% of the people who witnessed this debate must have been pleasantly, but skeptically, surprised. They might have not believed their ears.

They must have surmised that the Muslims were playing to the gallery that they were trying to curry favor with their fellow Christian countrymen; that if the Muslims would say a few good words about Jesus, then in reciprocation the Christians might say a few good words about Muhammad (May the Peace and the Blessings of God be upon all His righteous servants like Moses, Jesus, Muhammad); that I scratch your back and you scratch my back – which would be a sham or hypocrisy.

HATE CULTIVATED

We cannot blame the Christians for their skepticism. They have been so programmed for centuries. They were trained to think the worst of the ma Muhammad (pbuh) and his religion. How aptly did Thomas Carlyle say about his Christian brethren over a hundred and fifty years ago – “THE LIES WHICH WELLMEANING ZEAL HAS HEAPED ROUND THIS MAN (Muhammad) ARE DISGRACE FUL TO OURSELVES ONLY.” We Muslims are partly responsible for this staggering ignorance of the 1,200,000,000 Christians of the world. We have not done anything substantial to remove the cobwebs.

OCEAN OF CHRISTIANITY

South Africa is an ocean of Christianity. If Libya boasts the highest percentage of Muslims on the continent of Africa, then the Republic of South Africa would also be entitled to boast the highest percentage of Christians. In this ocean of Christianity – the R.S.A. – the Muslim is barely 2% of the total population. We are a voteless minority-numerically we count for nothing; politically, we count for nothing, and economically, one white man, as Oppenheimer, could buy out the whole lot of us, lock, stock and barrel.

So, if we had feigned to appease, we might be excused. But no! We must proclaim our Master’s Will; we must declare the Truth, whether we liked it or not. In the words of Jesus (pbuh): “Seek ye the truth, and the truth shall set you free” – (john 9:32).

CHAPTER 2: JESUS IN THE QURAN

CHRISTIANS UNAWARE

The Christian does not know that the true spirit of charity which the Muslim displays, always, towards Jesus and his mother Mary spring from the fountainhead of his faith- the Holy Quran. He does not know that the Muslim does not take the holy name of Jesus, in his own language, without saying Hazrat Eesa (meaning revered Jesus) or Eesa alai-hiss-salaam i.e. (Jesus peace be upon him).

Every time the Muslim mentions the name Jesus (pbuh) without these words of respect, he would be considered disrespectful, uncouth or barbaric. The Christian does not know that in the Holy Quran Jesus (pbuh) is mentioned by name five times (5x) more than the number of times the prophet of Islam is mentioned in the Book of God. To be exact – twenty five time as against five. For example:

“…WE GAVE JESUS THE SON OF MARY CLEAR SIGNS AND STRENGTHENED HIM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT” HOLY QURAN 2:87

“..O MARY! GOD GIVETH THEE GLAD TIDINGS OF A WORD FROM HIM: HIS NAME WILL BE CHRIST JESUS, THE SON OF MARY..” HOLY QURAN 3:45

“..CHRIST JESUS THE SON OF MARY WAS (NO MORE THAN) AN APOSTLE OF GOD..” HOLY QURAN 4:171

“..AND IN THEIR (the previous Prophets’) FOOTSTEPS WE SENT JESUS THE SON OF MARY..” HOLY QURAN 5:49

“AND ZAKARIYA AND JOHN, AND JESUS AND ELIAS: ALL IN THE RANKS OF THE RIGHTEOUS:” HOLY QURAN 6:85

JESUS – HIS TITLES

Though Jesus is mentioned by name in twenty-five places in the Holy Quran. He is also addressed with respect as:”Ibne Maryam” – son of Mary;as Masi (Heb) Messiah – translated as Christ; “Abd-ullah” servant of Allah;”Rasu-Ullah” – Messenger of Allah.

He is spoken of as “the word of God”, as “the spirit of God”, as a “Sign of God”, and numerous other epithets of honour spread over fifteen different chapters. The Holy Quran honours this mighty Messenger of God, and the Muslims have not fallen short over the past fourteen hundred years i doing the same. There is not a single disparaging remark in the entire Quran to which even the most jaundiced among the Christians can take exception.

“EESA” LATINISED TO JESUS

The Holy Quran refers to Jesus as “Eesa”, and this name is used more times than any other title, because this was his “Christian” name. Actually, his proper name was “Eesa” (Arabic), or “Esau”. (Hebrew); classically “Yeheshua”, which the Christian nations of the West Latinised as Jesus. Neither the “J” nor the second “s” in the name Jesus is to be found in the original tongue – they are not found in the Semitic languages.

The word is very simply – “E S A U” – a very common Jewish name, used more than sixty times in the very first booklet alone of the Bible, in the part called “Genesis”. There was at least one “Jesus” sitting on the “bench” at the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin. Josephus the Jewish historian mentions some twenty five Jesus’ in his “Book of Antiquities”. The New Testament speaks of “Bar-Jesus”- a magician and a sorcerer, a false prophet (Act 13:6); and also “Jesus-Justus” – a Christian missionary, a contemporary of Paul (Colossians 4:11). These are distinct from Jesus the son of Mary. Transforming “Esau” to (J)esu(s) – Jesus – makes it unique. This unique (?) name has gone out of currency among the Jews and the Christians from the 2nd century after Christ. Among the Jews, because it came to be the proper name of their God(?) – their God incarnate. The Muslim will not hesitate to name his son – “Eesa” – because it is an honoured name, the name of a righteous servant of the Lord.

MANY REFERENCES

At the end of the most popular translation of the Holy Quran in English,
i.e. by A.Yusuf Ali2, there is a very comprehensive index. While browsing
through3, we will discover, on page 1837,
i.e.
Jesus, a righteous prophet, vi.85;
birth, iii. 45:47; xix. 22-33;
apostle to Israel, iii. 49-51;
disciples, iii. 52-53; v.114-118
taken up, iii. 55-58; iv.157-159;
like Adam, iii.59;
not crucified, iv.157;
no more than apostle, iv.171; v.78; xiii 59, 63-64;
not God, v.19,75;
sent with Gospel, v.49;
not son of God, ix.30;
Message and miracles, v.113; xix.30-33;
prays for Table of viands, v.117;
taught no false worship, v.119-121;
disciples declare themselves Muslims, v.114;
mission limited, n.1861 to xiii.38;
followers have compassion and mercy, lvii.27:
disciples as God’s helpers, lxi.14;
as a Sign, xxiii. 50; xliii.61;
prophesied Ahmad, lxi.6.

CHAPTER 3 : MOTHER AND SON

MARY HONOURED

The second above mentioned topic – “his birth” – are described in two places – Surah 3 and Surah 19. Reading from the beginning of his birth, on page 134 of the translation under reference, we come across the story of Mary, and the esteemed position which she occupies in the house of Islam before the actual annunciation of the birth of Jesus is given:

BEHOLD!
THE ANGELS SAID:
“O MARY!
GOD HATH CHOSEN THEE
AND PURIFIED THEE-
CHOSEN THEE
ABOVE THE WOMEN OF ALL NATIONS2.” HOLY QURAN 3:42

“Chosen thee above the women of all nations.” Such an honour is not be found given to Mary even in the Christian Bible! The verse continue:

“O MARY!
WORSHIP THY LORD DEVOUTLY:
PROSTRATE THYSELF,
AND BOW DOWN (IN PRAYER)
WITH THOSE WHO BOW DOWN.” HOLY QURAN 3:43

DIVINE REVELATION

What is the source of this beautiful and sublime recitation which, in its original Arabic, moves men to ecstasy and tears? Verse 44 below explains

THIS IS PART OF THE TIDINGS
OF THE THINGS UNSEEN,
WHICH WE REVEAL UNTO THEE
(O APOSTLE!) BY INSPIRATION:
THOU WAST NOT WITH THEM
WHEN THEY CAST LOTS WITH ARROWS,
AS TO WHICH OF THEM
SHOULD BE CHARGED
WITH THE CARE OF MARY:
NOR WAST THOU
WITH THEM
WHEN THEY DISPUTED (THE POINT). HOLY QURAN 3:44

MARY’S BIRTH

The story is that the maternal grandmother of Jesus, Hannan, had hither to been barren. She poured out her heart to God: If only God will grant her child, she would surely dedicate such a child for the service of God in the temple.

ANTI-CLIMAX

God granted her prayer and Mary was born. She was disappointed. She was yearning for a son, but instead she delivered a daughter; and in no way is the female like the male, for what she had in mind. What was she to do? She had made a vow to God. She waited for Mary to be big enough to fend for herself.

When the time came, Hannah took her darling daughter to the temple, to hand over for temple services. Every priest was clamoring to be the god father of this lovely child. They cast lots with arrows for her – like the tossing of the coin – head or tail ? Eventually she fell to the lot of Zakariya, but not without a dispute.

THE SOURCE OF HIS MESSAGE

This was the story. But where did Muhammad (pbuh) get this knowledge from? He was an Ummi (unlettered). He did not know how to read or write.
He is made by God Almighty to answer this very question in the verse above, by saying that it was all “by divine inspiration”. “No!”, says the controversialist. “This is Muhammad’s own concoction. He copied his revelations from the Jews and Christians. He plagiarized it. He forged it.”

Knowing full-well, and believing as we do, that the whole Quran is the veritable Word of God, we will nevertheless agree, for the sake of argument, with the enemies of Muhammad (pbuh) for a moment, that he wrote it We can now expect some cooperation from the unbeliever.

Ask him, “Have you any qualms in agreeing that Muhammad (pbuh) was an Arab?” Only an opinionated fool will hesitate to agree. In that case there is no sense in pursuing any discussion. Cut short the talk. Close the book!

With the man of reason, we proceed. “That this Arab, in the first instance, was addressing other Arabs. He was not talking to Indian Muslims, Chinese Muslims, or Nigerian Muslims. He was addressing his own people- the Arabs. Whether they agreed with him or not, he told them in the most sublime form – words that were seared into the hearts and minds of his listeners that Mary the mother of Jesus – A JEWESS – was chosen above the women of all nations. Not his own mother, nor his wife nor his daughter, nor any other Arab woman, but a Jewess! Can one explain this? Because to everyone his own mother or wife, or daughter would come before any other women.

Why would the Prophet of Islam honour a woman from his opposition! and a Jewess at that! belonging to a race which had been looking down upon his people for three thousand years? Just as they still look down upon their Arab brethren today.

SARAH AND HAGAR

The Jews get their cock-eyed racism from their Holy Bible, where they are told that their father, Abraham, had two wives – Sarah and Hagar. They say that they are the children of Abraham through Sarah his legitimate wife; that their Arab brethren have descended through Hagar, a “bond- woman”, and that as such, the Arabs are an inferior breed. (In fact, Hager was not a bond-woman but an Egyptian princess )

Will anyone please explain the anomaly as to why Muhammad (pbuh) (if he is the author) chose this Jewess for such high honour? The answer is simple :

HE HAD NO CHOICE – he had no right to speak of his own desire. “IT IS NO LESS THAN AN INSPIRATION SENT DOWN TO HIM.” (H.Q.53:4)

SURA MARYAM

There is a Chapter in the Holy Quran, named Sura Maryam “Chapter Mary” (XIX) named in honour of Mary the mother of Jesus Christ (pbuh); again, such an honour is not to be found given to Mary in the Christian Bible. Out of the 66 books of the Protestants and 73 of the Roman Catholics, not one is named after Mary or her son. You will find books named after Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul and two score more obscure names, but not a single one is that of Jesus or Mary!

If Muhammad (pbuh) was the author of the Holy Quran, then he would not
have failed to include in it with MARYAM, the mother of Jesus, his own
mother – AMINA, his dear wife – KHADIJA, OR HIS BELOVED daughter-FATIMA.

But No! No! This can never be. The Quran is not his handiwork!

CHAPTER 4 : THE GOOD NEWS

BEHOLD! THE ANGELS SAID:
“O MARY!
GOD GIVETH THEE
GLAD TIDINGS
OF A WORD FROM HIM:
HIS NAME WILL BE
CHRIST JESUS
THE SON OF MARY
HELD IN HONOUR
IN THIS WORLD
AND THE HEREAFTER
AND (OF THE COMPANY OF)
THOSE NEAREST TO GOD; HOLY QURAN 3:45

“Nearest to God,” not physically nor geographically, but spiritually. Compare this with – “And (Jesus) sat on the right hand of God.”(Mark – 16:19). The bulk of Christendom has misunderstood this verse as well as many others in the Bible. They imagine the Father (God) sitting on a throne – a glorified chair – and His “son”, Jesus, sitting on His right hand side. Can you conjure up the picture? If you do, you have strayed from the true knowledge of God. He is no old Father Christmas. He is a spiritual Being, beyond the imagination of the mind of man. He exists.

He is real, but He is not like anything we can think of, or imagine. In eastern languages “right hand” meant a place of honour, which the Holy Quran more fittingly describes as – “IN THE COMPANY OF THOSE NEAREST TO GOD.”

The above verse confirms that Jesus is the CHRIST, and that he is the WORD which God bestowed upon Mary. Again, the Christian reads into these words, a meaning which they do not carry. They equate the word “Christ” with the idea of a god incarnate; and the word from God to be God!.

CHRIST NOT A NAME

The word CHRIST is derived from the Hebrew word Messiah, Arabic-Masih. Root word m-a-s-a-h-a, meaning to rub, to massage, to anoint. Priests an kings were anointed when being consecrated to their offices. But in its translated, Grecian form “CHRIST”, it seems unique: befitting Jesus only.

The Christian has a knack of transmuting baser metals into shining gold. What he is wont to do is to translate names into his own language like “cephas” to Peter, “messiah” to Christ. How does he do that? Very easily MESSIAH in Hebrew means anointed. The Greek word for anointed is “christos”. Just lop off the ‘os’ from christos and you are left with Christ.

Now change the little ‘c’ to a capital ‘C’, and “hey, presto!” he has created a unique (?) name! Christos means ANOINTED, and anointed means APPOINTED in its religious connotation. Jesus (pbuh) was appointed (anoited) at his baptism by John the Baptist, as God’s Messenger .Every Prophet of God is so anointed or appointed. The Holy Bible is replete with the “anointed” ones. In the original Hebrew – made a “messiah”. Let us keep to the English translation – “anointed.” Not only were prophets and priests and kings anointed (christos-ed), but borns, and cherubs and lamp-posts also.

I am the God of Beth-el, where you ANOINTED a pillar….. – Genesis 31:13

If the priest that is ANOINTED do sin…. – Leviticus 4:3

And Moses…. ANOINTED the tabernacle and all things that was therein… – Leviticus 8:10

…THE LORD SHALL…. EXALT THE HORN OF HIS ANOINTED – Samuel 2:10

Thus saith the Lord to his ANOINTED to Cyrus…. – Isaiah 45:1

Thou art the ANOINTED cherub…. – Ezekiel 28:14

There are a hundred more such references in the Holy Bible. Every time you come across the word ANOINTED in your English Bible, you can take it that that word would be christos in the Greek translations, and if you take the same liberty with the word that the Christians have done, you will have – Christ Cherub, Christ Cyrus, Christ Priest and Christ Pillar, etc

SOME TITLES EXCLUSIVE

Although, every prophet of God is an ANOINTED one of God – a Messiah, the title “Masih” or “Messiah” or its translation “CHRIST” is exclusively reserved for Jesus, the son of Mary, in both Islam and in Christianity.

This is not unusual in religion. There are certain other honorific title which may be applied to more than one prophet, yet being made exclusive to one by usage: like “Rasul-lullah”, meaning Messenger of God, which title is applied to both Moses (19:51) and Jesus (61:6) in the Holy Quran.

Yet “Rasul-lullah” has become synonymous only with the Prophet of Islam among Muslims.

Every prophet is indeed a FRIEND OF GOD, but its Arabic equivalent “Kha- lil-lullah” is exclusively associated with Father Abraham. This does not mean that the others are not God’s friends. “Kalimul-lah” (One who spoke with God) is never used for anyone other than Moses, yet we believe that God spoke with all His Messengers, including Jesus and Muhammad (May the Peace and Blessings of God be upon all His servants). Associating certain titles with certain personages only, does not make them exclusive or unique in any way. We honour all in varying terms.

Whilst the good news was being announced (verse 45 above) Mary was told that her unborn child will be called Jesus, that he would be the Christ, a “Word” from God, and that…..

“HE SHALL SPEAK TO THE PEOPLE
IN CHILDHOOD* AND IN MATURITY.
AND HE SHALL BE
(OF THE COMPANY) OF
THE RIGHTEOUS.” Holy Quran 3:46

* This prophecy found fulfillment within a very short time. We find this in Sura Maryam below:

AT LENGTH SHE BROUGHTHIM
(THE BABE) TO HER PEOPLE,
CARRYING HIM (IN HER ARMS).
THEY SAID:”O MARY!
TRULY AN-AMAZING THING
HAST THOU BROUGHT!
O SISTER OF AARON
THY FATHER
WAS NOT A MAN OF EVIL
NOR THY MOTHER A WOMAN UNCHASTE!” Holy Quran 19:27-28

JEWS AMAZED

There is no Joseph the carpenter here. The circumstances being peculiar, Mary the mother of Jesus had retired herself to some remote place in the East (H.Q.19:16). After the birth of the child she returns.

“The amazement of the people knew no bounds. In any case they were prepared to think the worst of her, as she had disappeared from her kin for some time. But now she comes, shamelessly parading a babe in her arms!

How she had disgraced the house of Aaron, the fountain of priesthood!

“SISTER OF AARON: Mary is reminded of her high lineage and the unexceptionable morals of her father and mother. How, they said, she had fallen and disgraced the name of her progenitors!

“What could Mary do? How could she explain? Would they, in their censorious mood accept her explanation? All she could do was to point to the child, who, she knew, was no ordinary child. And the child came to her rescue. By a miracle he spoke, defended his mother, and preached -to an unbelieving audience.”

A.Yusuf Ali, comments in his notes 2480-2482 on page 773 of his translation.

BUT SHE POINTED TO THE BABE.
THEY SAID:
“HOW CAN WE TALK TO ONE
WHO IS A CHILD IN THE CRADLE?”
HOLY QURAN 19:23

And by a miracle he spoke:
HE SAID: “I AM INDEED
A SERVANT OF GOD:
HE HATH GIVEN ME REVELATION
AND MADE ME A PROPHET;
“AND HE HATH
MADE ME BLESSED WHERESOEVER I BE,
AND HE HATH
ENJOINED ON ME PRAYER
AND CHARITY AS LONG AS I LIVE
“(HE) HATH MADE ME
KIND TO MY MOTHER,
AND NOT OVERBEARING OR MISERABLE;
“SO PEACE IS ON ME
THE DAY I WAS BORN,
THE DAY THAT I DIE,
AND THE DAY
THAT I SHALL BE RAISED UP TO LIFE (AGAIN)!”
Holy Quran 19:24-33

HIS FIRST MIRACLE(S)

Thus Jesus (pbuh) defended his mother from the grave calumny and innuendoes of her enemies. This is the very first miracle attributed to Jesus in the Holy Quran – that, he spoke as an infant from his mother’s arms.

Contrast this with his first miracle in the Christian Bible which occurs when he was over thirty years of age:

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, they have no wine.

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.

And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning both set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. John 2:1-10

Since this miracle, wine has flowed like water in Christendom. Many a fool reasons that what was good for his Master is good enough for him.
Jesus was no “Kill-joy” they say. Didn’t he make good potent wine, that even those “well drunk”, those whose senses had been dulled could make out the difference? – “THAT THE BEST WAS KEPT FOR THE LAST.” This was no pure grape juice. It was the same W-I-N-E that, according to the Christian Bible, enabled the daughters of Lot to seduce their father (Genesis- 19:32-33). It was the same W-I-N-E which the Christian is advised to eschew in Ephesians 5:18 – “And be not drunk with WINE….”

It is that innocent (?) 1% potency that eventually leads millions down into the gutter. America has 10 million drunkards in the midst of 70 million “born-again” Christians! The Americans call their drunkards –

“PROBLEM DRINKERS”. In South Africa, they are called “ALCOHOLICS” – drunkard is too strong a word for people to stomach.

But the Prime Minister of Zambia, Dr.Kenneth Kaunda, does not hesitate to call a spade a spade. He says, “I am not prepared to lead nation of drunkards” – referring to his own people who drink intoxicants.

Whether the water “blushed” or not “seeing” Jesus, we cannot blame him or his disciples for the drinking habits of his contemporates. For he had truly opined, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot

bear them now” (John 16:12). Mankind had not reached the stage of receiving the whole Truth of Islam. Did he not also say – “You cannot put new wine into old bottles”? (Matthew 9:17)

“MOTHER” OR “WOMAN”?

“According” to St.John, in the fourth verse above, describing the marriage feast at Cana, we are told that Jesus (pbuh) behaved insolently to-wards his mother. He calls her “WOMAN,” and to rub more salt into the wound he is made to say – “what have I to do with thee?” What connection is there between you and me, or what have I got to do with you? Could he have forgotten that this very “woman” had carried him for nine months, and perhaps suckled him for 2 years, and had borne endless insults and injuries on account of him? Is she not his mother? Is there no word in his language for “mother”?

Strange as it may seem, that while the missionaries boast about their master’s humility, meekness and long-suffering – they call him the “Prince of Peace” and they sing hat – “he was led to the slaughter like a lamb, and like a sheep who before his sheerer is dumb, he opened not his mouth yet they proudly record in the same breath, that he was every ready with invectives for the elders of his race, and was always itching for a show down i.e. if their records are true:-

“Ye hypocrites!”
“Ye wicked and adulterous generation!”
“Ye whited sephulcres!”
“Ye generation of vipers!” and now to his mother –
“Woman…..”

JESUS DEFENDED

Muhammad (pbuh) the Messenger of God, is made to absolve Jesus (pbuh) from the false charges and calumnies of his enemies.

“AND HE (God Almighty)
HATH MADE ME (Jesus) KIND TO MY MOTHER,
AND NOT OVERBEARING OR MISERABLE”
Holy Quran 19:32

On receiving the good news of the birth of a righteous son (end of H.Q. 3:46 ), Mary responds:

SHE SAID: “O MY LORD!
HOW SHALL I HAVE A SON
WHEN NO MAN
HATH TOUCHED ME?”
The angel says in reply:
HE SAID” “EVEN SO: GOD CREATETH
WHAT HE WILLETH:
WHEN HE HATH
DECREED A PLAN,
HE BUT SAITH TO IT,
‘BE,’ AND IT IS!
“AND GOD WILL TEACH HIM
THE BOOK AND WISDOM,
THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL,
HOLY QURAN 3:47-48

CHAPTER 5 : QURANIC AND BIBLICAL VERSIONS

MEETING THE REVEREND

One day, I was visiting the “Bible House” in Johannesburg, South Africa. Whilst browsing through the stacks of Bibles and religious books, I picked up an Indonesian Bible and had just taken in hand a Greek/English New Testament – a large, expensive volume. I had not realized that I was being observed by the supervisor of the Bible House. Casually, he walked up to me. Perhaps my bread and my Muslim headgear were an attraction and a challenge? He enquired about my interest in that costly volume.

I explained that as a student of comparative religion, I had need for such a book. He invited me to have tea with him in his office. It was very kind of him and I accepted.

Over the cup of tea, I explained to him the Muslim belief in Jesus. I explained to him the very high position that Jesus (pbuh) occupied in the House of Islam. He seemed skeptical about what I said. I was amazed at his seeming ignorance, because only retired Reverend gentlemen can be-come Supervisors of BIBLE HOUSES in South Africa. I began reciting from verse 42 of Sura 3 -first in Arabic then in English

BEHOLD! THE ANGELS SAID:
“O MARY! ALLAH HATH CHOSEN THEE…

I wanted the Reverend to listen, not only to the meaning of the Quran, but also to the music of its cadences when the original Arabic was recited.
Rev.Dunkers (for that was his name) sat back and listened with rapt attention to Allah’s Kalaam (God’s Word). When I reached the end of verse 49, the Reverend commented that the Quranic message was like that of his own Bible. He said, he saw no difference between what he believed as a Christian, and what I had read to him. I said: “that was true”. If he has come across these verses in the English language alone without their Arabic equivalent, side by side, he would not have been able to guess in a hundred years that he was reading the Holy Quran. If he were a Protestant he would have thought that he was reading the Roman Catholic Version, if he had not seen one, or the Jehovah’s Witness Version or the Greek Orthodox Version, or the hundred and one other versions that he might not have seen; but he would never have quessed that he was reading the Holy Quran.

The Christian would be reading here, in the Quran, everything he wanted to hear about Jesus, but in a most noble, elevated and sublime language. He could not help being moved by it.

In these eight terse verses from 42 to 49 we are told:

(a) That Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a virtuous woman, and honoured above the women of all nations.
(b) That all that was being said was God’s own Revelation to Muhammad (pbuh)
(c) That Jesus was a “Word” from God.
(d) That he was the Christ that the Jews were waiting for.
(e) That God will empower this Jesus to perform miracles even in infancy
(f) That Jesus was born miraculously, without any male intervention.
(g) That God will vouchsafe him Revelation.
(h) That he will give life to the dead by God’s permission, and that he will heal those born blind and the lepers by God’s permission, etc.

CHALK AND CHEESE

The most fervent Christian cannot take exception to a single statement or word here. But the difference between the Biblical and the Quranic narratives is that between “chalk and cheese”!

“To me they are identical, what is the difference?” the Reverend asked.
I know that in their essentials both the stories agree in their details, but when we scrutinize them closely we will discover that the difference between them is staggering.

Now compare the miraculous conception as announced in verse 47 of the Holy Quran with what the Holy Bible says:
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was in this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, BEFORE THEY CAME TOGETHER, (as husband and wife) she was found with child OF THE HOLY GHOST.” Mathew 1:18

MASTER DRAMATISER

The eminent Billy Graham from the United States of America dramatized this verse in front of 40 000 people in King Park, Durban – with his index finger sticking out and swinging his outstretched arm from right to left, he said, “And the Holy Ghost came and impregnated Mary!” On the other hand St.Luke tells us the very same thing but less crudely. He says that when the annunciation was made, Mary was perturbed. Her natural reaction was – “…How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” – meaning sexually.

The Quranic narrative is:
SHE SAID: “O MY LORD!
HOW SHALL I HAVE A SON
WHEN NO MAN HATH
TOUCHED ME?” -meaning sexually.
Holy Quran 3:47

In essence there is no difference between these two statements “seeing I know not a man” and “when no man hath touched me”. Both the quotations have an identical meaning. It is simply a choice of different words meaning the same thing. But the respective replies to Mary’s plea in the twoBooks (the Quran and the Bible) are revealing.

THE BIBLICAL VERSION

Says the Bible:
And the angel answered and said unto her, “The Holy Ghost shall COME UPON THEE, and the power of the Highest shall OVERSHADOW THEE” Luke 1:35

Can’t you see that you are going the atheist, the skeptic, the agnostic stick to beat you with? They may well ask- “How did the Holy Ghost come upon Mary?” “How did the Highest over shadow her? We know that literally it does not mean that: that it was an immaculate conception, but the language used here, is distasteful-gutter language-you agree!? Now contrast this with the language of the Quran: THE QURANIC VERSION

HE SAID:(the angel says in reply)
“EVEN SO: ALLAH CREATETH
WHAT HE WILLETH:
WHEN HE HATH DECREED A PLAN,
HE BUT SAITH TO IT,
‘BE’, AND IT IS!” Holy Quran 3:47

This is the Muslim concept of the birth of Jesus. For God to create a Jesus, without a human father, He merely has to will it. If He wants to create a million Jesus’ without fathers or mothers, He merely has to will them into existence. He does not have to take seeds and transfer them, like men or animals – by contact or artificial insemination. He wills everything into being by His word of command “BE” and “IT IS”.

There is nothing new in what I am telling you, I reminded the Reverend. I is in the very first Book of your Holy Bible – Genesis 1:3 “And God said …” What did He SAY? He SAID – “BE” and “IT WAS!” He did not have to articulate the words. This is our way of understanding the word ‘BE’-that He willed everything into being.

CHOICE FOR HIS DAUGHTER

“Between these two versions of the birth of Jesus (pbuh) – the Quranic version and the Biblical version – which would you prefer to give your daughter?” I asked the supervisor of the Bible House. He bowed his head down in humility and admitted – “THE QURANIC VERSION.”

How can “a forgery” or “an imitation” (as it is alleged of the Quran) be better than the genuine, the original (as it is claimed for the Bible)?
It can never be, unless this Revelation to Muhammad (pbuh) is what it, itself, claims to be viz. the pure and holy Word of God! There are a hundred different tests that the unprejudiced seeker after truth can apply to the Holy Quran and it will qualify with flying colours to being a Massage from on High.

LIKE ADAM

Does the miraculous birth of Jesus make him a God or a “begotten” son of God? No! Says the Holy Quran:
THE SIMILITUDE OF JESUS
BEFORE GOD IS THAT OF ADAM;
HE CREATED HIM FROM DUST,
THEN SAID TO HIM: ‘BE’:AND HE WAS. HOLY QURAN 3:59

“After a description of the high position which Jesus occupies as a Prophet, In the preceding verses) we have a repudiation of the dogma that he was God, or the son of God, or anything more than man. If it is said that he was born without a human father, Adam was also so born. Indeed Adam was born without either a human father or mother. As far as our physical bodies are concerned they are mere dust.

In God’s sight Jesus was as dust just as Adam was or humanity is. The greatness of Jesus arose from the divine command “Be”. For after that he was – more than dust – a great spiritual leader and teacher.” A.Yusuf Ali’s note 398 to verse 59 above.

The logic of it is that, if being born without a male parent entitles Jesus to being equated with God, then, Adam would have a greater right to such honour, and this no Christian would readily concede. Thus, the Muslim is made to repudiate the Christian blasphemy.

Further, if the Christian splits hairs by arguing that Adam was “created from the dust of the ground, whereas Jesus was immaculately “begotten” in the womb of Mary, then let us remind him that, even according to his own false standards. there is yet another person greater than Jesus, in his own Bible. Who is this superman?

PAUL’S INNOVATION

“FOR THIS MELCHISEDEC, KING OF SALEM, PRIEST OF THE MOST HIGH GOD….”
“Without father, without mother, without descent, having NEITHER BEGINNING of days, NOR END of life…”
HEBREWS 7:1&3

Here is a candidate for Divinity itself, for only God Almighty could possess these qualities. Adam had a beginning (in the garden), Jesus had a beginning (in the stable); Adam had an end and, claim the Christians, so had Jesus “and he gave up the ghost”. But where is Melchisedec? Perhaps he is hibernating somewhere like Rip Van Winkle.

And what is this “Hebrews”? It is the name of one of the Books of the Holy Bible, authored by the gallant St.Paul, the self appointed thirteenth apostle of Christ. Jesus had twelve apostles, but one of them (Judas) ha the Devil in him. So the vacancy had to be filled, because of the “twelve thrones in heaven which had to be occupied by his disciples to judge the children of Israel” (Luke 22:30).

Saul was a renegade Jew, and the Christians changed his name to “Paul”, probably because “Saul” sounds Jewish. This Paul made such a fine mess of the teachings of Jesus (pbuh) that he earned for himself the second-most -coveted position of “The Most Influential Men of History” in the monumental work of Michael H.Hart. “The 100” or “The Top Hundred” or the “Greatest Hundred in History”. Paul outclasses even Jesus because, according to Michael Hart, Paul was the real founder of present-day Christianity.

The honour of creating Christianity had to be shared between Paul and Jesus, and Paul won because he wrote more Books of the Bible than any other single author, whereas Jesus did not write a single word.

Paul needed no inspiration to write his hyperboles here and in the rest of his Epistles. Did not Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda – Goebbels – say “The bigger the lie the more likely it is to be believed”? But the amazing thing about this exaggeration is that no Christian seems to have read it. Every learned man to whom I have shown this verse to, seemed to be seeing it for the first time. They appear dumbfounded, as described by the fitting words of Jesus:- “…seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” Mathew 13:13

The Holy Quran also contains a verse which fittingly describes this well cultivated sickness –
DEAF, DUMB AND BLIND,
THEY WILL NOT RETURN (TO THE PATH).
Holy Quran 2:18

THE SONS OF GOD

The Muslim takes strong exception to the Christian dogma that “Jesus is the only begotten son, begotten not made”. This is what the Christian is made to repeat from childhood in his catechism. I have asked learned – Christians, again and again as to what they are really trying to emphasize, when they say “BEGOTTEN NOT MADE”.

They know that according to their own God-given (?!) records, God has sons by the tons: “….Adam, which was the SON OF GOD.” Luke 3:38

“That the SONS OF GOD saw the daughters of men that they were fair…

“And when the SONS OF GOD came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them….” Genesis 6:2&4

“…Israel is MY SON, even my firstborn:” Exodus 4:22

“…for I (God) and a FATHER to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.” Jeremiah 31:9

“…the Lord hath said unto me, (David) Thou art MY SON: this day have I BEGOTTEN thee.” Psalms 2:7

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the SONS OF GOD.” Romans 8:14

Can’t you see that in the language of the Jew, every righteous person, every Ton, Dick and Harry who followed the Will and Plan of God, was a SON OF GOD. It was a metaphorical descriptive term, commonly used among the Jews. The Christian agrees with this reasoning, but goes on to say- “but Jesus was not like that”. Adam was made by God. Every living thing was made by God; He is the Lord, Cherisher and Sustainer of all. Metaphorically speaking therefore God is the Father of all. But Jesus was the “BEGOTTEN” son of God, not a CREATED son of God?
BEGOTTEN MEANS “SIRED”
In my forty years of practical experience in talking to learned Christians, not a single one has opened his mouth to hazard an explanation of the phrase – “begotten not made”. It had to be an American who dared to explain. He said, “It means, sired by God.” “What?” I exploded. “SIRED – by God?” – “NO, no,” he said, “I am only trying to explain the meaning, I do not believe that God really sired a son.”

The sensible Christian says that the words do not literally mean what they say. Then why do you say it? Why are you creating unnecessary conflict between the 1,200,000,000 Christians and a thousand million Muslim of the world in making senseless statements?

REASON FOR OBJECTION

The Muslim takes exception to the word “begotten”, because begetting is an animal act, belonging to the lower animal functions of sex. How can w attribute such a lowly capacity to God? Metaphorically we are all the children of God – the good and the bad – and Jesus (pbuh) would be closer to being the son of God than any one of us, because he would be more faithful to God than any one of us, because he would be more faithful to God than any one of us can ever be. From that point of view he is preeminently the son of God.

Although this pernicious word “begotten” has now unceremoniously been thrown out of the “MOST ACCURATE” version of the Bible – the R.S.V. its ghost still lingers on in the Christian mind, both black and white. Through its insidious brainwashing the white man is made to feel superior to his black Christian brother of the same Church and Denomination. And in turn, the Black man is given a permanent inferiority complex through this dogma.

BRAIN-WASHED INFERIORITY

The human mind can’t help reasoning that since the “begotten son” of an African will look like an African, and that of a Chinaman as a Chinese, and that of an Indian like an Indian: so the begotten son of God aught naturally to look like God. Billions of beautiful pictures and replicas of this “ONLY BEGOTTEN SON”(?) of God are put in peoples hands. He looks like a European with blonde hair, blue eyes and handsome features – like the one I saw in the “King of Kings” or “The Day of Triumph” or “Jesus o Nazareth” Remember Jeffrey Hunter? The “SAVIOUR” of the Christian is more like a German than a Jew with his polly nose. So naturally, if the son is a White man, the father would also be a White man (God?). Hence the darkerskinned races of the earth subconsciously have the feeling of inferiorityingrained in their souls as God’s STEP-CHILDREN. No amount to face-creams, skin-lighteners and hair-straighteners will erase the inferiority.

GOD IS SPIRIT

God is neither Black nor White. He is a spiritual Being, beyond the imagination of the mind of man. Break the mental shackles of a Caucasian – (white) man-god, and you have broken the shackles of a permanent inferiority.

But intellectual bondages are harder to shatter: the slave himself fights to retain them.

CHAPTER 6: ANSWER TO CHRISTIAN DILEMMAS

“Christ in Islam” is really Christ in the Quran: and the Holy Quran has something definite to say about every aberration of Christianity. The Quran absolves Jesus (pbuh) from all the false charges of his enemies as well as the misplaced infatuation of his followers. His enemies allege that he blasphemed against God by claiming Divinity. His misguided followers claim that he did avow Divinity, but that was not blasphemy (kufr) because he was God. What does the Quran say?

Addressing both the Jews and the Christians, Allah says:-
O PEOPLE OF THE BOOK!
COMMIT NO EXCESSES
IN YOUR RELIGION:
NOR SAY OF GOD
AUGHT BUT THE TRUTH.
CHRIST JESUS
THE SON OF MARY
WAS (NO MORE THAN)
AN SPOSTLE OF GOD,
AND HIS WORD,
WHICH HE
BESTOWED ON MARY,
AND A SPIRIT
PROCEEDING FROM HIM:
SO BELIEVE IN GOD
AND HIS MESSENGERS…
Holy Quran 4:171

GOING TO EXTREMES

“O People of the Book:” is a very respectful title with which the Jews and the Christians are addressed in the Holy Quran. In other words, Allah is saying – “O Learned People!” “O People with a Scripture!” According to their own boast, the Jews and the Christians prided themselves over the Arabs, who had no Scripture before the Quran. As a learned people, Allah pulls up both the contending religionists for going to either extremes as regards the personality of Christ.

The Jews made certain insinuations about the legitimacy of Jesus (pbuh) and charged him of blasphemy by twisting his words. The Christians read other meanings into his words; wrench words out of their context to make him God.

The modern-day Christian – the hot-gospel – the Bible thumper – uses harsher words and cruder approaches to win over a convert to his blasphemies.

He says:
(a) “EITHER JESUS IS GOD OR A LIAR”
(b) “EITHER JESUS IS GOD OR A LUNATIC”
(c) “EITHER JESUS IS GOD OR AN IMPOSTER”

These are his words – words culled from Christian literature. Since no man of charity, Muslim or otherwise, can condemn Christ so harshly as the Christian challenges him to do, perforce he must keep non-committal.

He thinks he must make a choice between one or the other of these silly extremes. It does not occur to him that there is an alternative to this Christian conundrum.

SENSIBLE ALTERNATIVE

Is it not possible that Jesus is simply what he claimed to be- a prophet like so many other prophets that passed away before him? Even that he is
one of the greatest of them – a mighty miracle worker, a great spiritual
teacher and guide – the Messiah! Why only God or Lunatic? Is “lunacy” the
opposite of “Divinity” in Christianity? What is the antonym of God? Will
some clever Christian answer?

The Quran lays bare the true position of Christ in a single verse, it says
(1) That he was the son of a woman, Mary, and therefore a man;
(2) But an apostle, a man with a mission from God, and therefore
he is entitled to honour;
(3) A Word bestowed on Mary, for he was created by God’s word “Be”(kun), and he was; see Holy Quran 3:59.
(4) A spirit proceeding from God, but not God: his life and mission were
more limited than in the case of some other apostles, though we must pay
equal honour to him as a man of God. The doctrines of Trinity, equality
with God, and sonship, are repudiated as blasphemies. God is independent
of all needs and has no need of a son to manage His affairs. The Gospel
of John (whoever wrote it) has put a great deal of Alexandrian Gnostic
mysticism round the doctrine of the Word (Greek, Logos), but it is
simply explained here, and our Sufis work on this explanation.”
A.Yusuf Ali’s comment on verse 171 above.

JESUS QUESTIONED

Reproduced below are verses 119 to 121 from Sura Maida (Ch.5) depicting
the scene of Judgement Day, when Allah will question Jesus (pbuh)regarding the misdirected zeal of his supposed followers in worshipping him and his mother: and his response- AND BEHOLD! GOD WILL SAY:
“O JESUS THE SON OF MARY!
DIDST THOU SAY UNTO MEN,
WORSHIP ME AND MY MOTHER
AS GODS IN DEROGATION OF GOD’?”
HE WILL SAY: “GLORY TO THEE!
NEVER COULD I SAY
WHAT I HAD NO RIGHT
(TO SAY). HAD I SAID
SUCH A THING, THOU WOULDST
INDEED HAVE KNOWN IT.
THOU KNOWEST WHAT IS
IN MY HEART, THOUGH I
KNOW NOT WHAT IS
IN TIME. FOR THOU
KNOWEST IN FULL
ALL THAT IS HIDDEN.

“NEVER SAID I TO THEM
AUGHT EXCEPT WHAT THOU
DIDNT COMMAND ME
TO SAY, TO WIT, ‘WORSHIP
GOD, MY LORD AND YOUR LORD’;
AND I WAS A WITNESS
OVER THEM WHILST I DWELT
AMONGST THEM; WHEN THOU
DIDST TAKE ME UP
THOU WAST THE WATCHER
OVER THEM, AND THOU
ART A WITNESS TO ALL THINGS.

“IF THOU DOST PUNISH THEM,
THEY ARE THY SERVANTS:
IF THOU DOST FORGIVE THEM,
THOU ART THE EXALTED IN POWER,
THE WISE.” Holy Quran 5:119-121

CLAIMED NO DIVINITY

If this is the statement of Truth from the All-Knowing, that “Never did I
say to them anything other than what I was commanded to say, that is WORSHIP GOD, WHO IS MY LORD AND YOUR LORD”, then how do the Christians justify worshipping Jesus?

There is not a single unequivocal statement throughout the Bible, in all its 66 volumes of the Protestant versions, or in the 73 volumes of the Roman Catholic versions, where Jesus claims to be God or where he says ‘worship me.’ Nowhere does he say that he and God Almighty are one and the same person.

The last phrase above – “one and the same person” tickles many a “hot-gospel” and “Bible-thumper,” not excluding the Doctor of Divinity and the Professor of Theology. Even the new converts to Christianity have memorized these verses. They are programmed like zombies to rattle off verses, out of context, upon which they can hang their faith. The words “ARE ONE” activates the mind by association of memories. “Yes”, say the Trinitarians – the worshippers of three gods in one God, and one God in three gods – “Jesus did claim to be God!” Where?

REVEREND AT THE TABLE

I had taken Rev. Morris D.D. and his wife, to lunch at the “Golden Pea-cock”. While at the table, during the course of our mutual sharing of knowledge, the opportunity arose to ask, “Where?” And without a murmur he quoted, “I AND MY FATHER ARE ONE” – to imply that God and Jesus were one and the same Person. That Jesus here claims to be God. The verse quoted was well known to me, but it was being quoted out of context. It did not carry the meaning that the Doctor was imaging, so I asked him, “What is the context?”

CHOCKED ON “CONTEXT”

The Reverend stopped eating and began staring at me. I said, “Why? Don’t you know the context?” – “You see, what you have quoted is the text, I want to know the context, the text that goes with it, before or after.” Here was an Englishman (Canadian), a paid-servant of the Presbyterian Church, a Doctor of Divinity, and it appeared that I was trying to teach him English. Of course he knew what “contest” meant. But like the rest o his compatriots, he had not studied the sense in which Jesus(pbuh) had uttered the words.

In my forty years of experience, this test had been thrown at me hundred of times, but not a single learned Christian had ever attempted to hazar a guess as to its real meaning. They always start fumbling for their Bibles. The Doctor did not have one with him. When they do start going for their Bibles, I stop them in their stride. “Surely, you know what you are quoting?” “Surely, you know your Bible?” After reading this, I hope some “born-again” Christians will rectify this deficiency. But I doubt that my Muslim readers will ever come across one in their lifetime who could give them the context.

WHAT IS THE CONTEXT?

It is unfair on the part of the Reverend, having failed to provide the context, then to ask me, “Do you know the context?” “Of course,” I said.
“Then, what is it?” asked my learned friend. I said, “That which you have quoted is the text of John chapter 10, verse 30. To get at the context, we have to begin from verse 23 which reads:

23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch. John, or whoever he was, who wrote his story, does not tell us the reason for Jesus tempting the Devil by walking alone in the lion’s den. For we do not expect the Jews to miss a golden opportunity to get even with Jesus.
Perhaps, he was emboldened by the manner in which he had literally whipped the Jews single-handed in the Temple, and upset the tables of the money-changers at the beginning of his ministry (John 2:15).

24 Then came the Jews round about him. And said unto him, How long dost
thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. They surrounded him. Brandishing their fingers in his face, they began accusing him and provoking him; saying that he had not put forth his claim plainly enough, clearly enough. That he was talking ambiguously. The were trying to work themselves into a frenzy to assault him. In fact, the irreal complaint was that they did not like his method of preaching-his invectives, the manner in which he condemned them for their formalism, their ceremonialism, their going for the letter of the law and forgetting the spirit. But Jesus could not afford to provoke them any further there were too many and they were itching for a fight.
Discretion is the better part of valour. In a conciliatory spirit, befitting the occasion

25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and you believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. That is to say , the miracles bear witness of my prophethood and of me being the Messiah.

26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
Jesus rebuts the false charge of his enemies that he was ambiguous in his claims to being the Messiah that they were waiting for. He says that he did tell them clearly enough, yet they would not listen to him, but 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man PLUCK THEM OUT OF MY FATHER”S HAND.

29 My father which gave them me, is greater than all, and no man is able to PLUCK THEM OUT OF MY FATHER’S HAND.

How can anyone be so blind as not to see the exactness of the ending of the last two verses. But spiritual blinkers are more impervious than physical defects. He is telling the Jews and recording for posterity, the real unity or relationship between the Father and the son. The most crucial verse –

30 I and my Father are one.

One in what? In their Omniscience? In their Nature? In their Omnipotence?

No! One in purpose! That once a believer has accepted faith, the Messenger sees to it that he remains in faith, and God Almighty also sees to It that he remains in faith. This is the purpose of the “Father” AND the “son” AND the “Holy Ghost” AND of every man AND every woman of faith. Le the same John explain his Gnostic mystic verbiage.

That they all may be ONE: as thou. Father, art in me, and in thee, that they also may be ONE in us…

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in ONE…. – John 17:20-22

If Jesus is “ONE” with God, and if that “ONENESS” makes him God, then thE traitor Judas, and the doubting Thomas, and the satanic Peter, plus the other nine who deserted him when he was most in need are God(s),because the same ONENESS which he claimed with God in John 10:30, now he claims for ALL “Who forsook him and fled”(Mark 14:50) – ALL “ye of little faith” (Mathew 8:26) – ALL “O faithless and perverse generation”(Luke 9:41)

Where and when will the Christian blasphemy end? The expression “I and my Father are one,” was very innocent, meaning nothing more than A common purpose with God. But the Jews were looking for trouble and any excuse will not do, therefore, –

31 The Jews took up stones again to stone him.

32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father for which of those works do you stone me?

33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself a God.

Author : Ahmad Deedat

Christianity: Did Jesus’ People Know Him?

So if the followers of Jesus (pbuh) considered God to be their “Father,” then how did they regard Jesus? To answer this let us read together:

“And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.” Matthew 14:5 (compare with Matthew 21:26)

“And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” Matthew 21:11

“But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.” Matthew 21:46

“And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:” Luke 24:19

“The woman sayest unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.” John 4:19

“Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.” John 6:14

“Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.” John 7:40

“And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.” Luke 7:16

“They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.” John 9:17

Indeed, how did Jesus himself describe himself? Let us read:

“Nevertheless I (Jesus) must walk to day, and to morrow, and the [day] following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.” Luke 13:33

And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. Matthew 13:57, Mark 6:4, Luke 4:24, John 4:43

This is once again confirmed in the noble Qur’an:

«“And when Jesus son of Mary said: O Children of Israel! Verily! I am the messenger of Allah unto you, confirming that which was [revealed] before me in the Torah”» The noble Qur’an, Al-Saf (61):6

Islam Guide offers latest islamic articles and features, knowledge, information, how to information, history and more for muslims and non muslims.