Monday, January 16, 2006

The Day of judgment

How are we Judged? We are judged according to our good and bad deeds with great consideration to our intentions. Faith in God is essential for people who are well exposed to the Bible and Quran. For those who are not have the access or exposure they will be judged likely according to the good and bad deeds which in most part are international. A lot of good deeds may not count or paid back only in earthy life if we do not give the intention to God for people of the Bible and Quran. The more sincere in our intention is the more we get higher grades to our deeds. If a man is purely doing charity for his own glory and get people to praise him it counts much less or may not count for God. If he is doing that for the common good he ought to direct it to God, who is the ultimate good. Giving the intention to Jesus and not God had strongly angered God in the Quran (do not shout the messenger). However, Jesus in a Quranic verse will ask God his mercy for that at that day of judgment. Few years from now we all will share one truth. Thus intention is very important and gives the real heart for our actions. So we should not let our actions go in vain by not directing our intentions to God. The steps of judgment are:
Step 1: Recording every word and every act to man in first life:
50:17 Behold, two (guardian angels) appointed to learn (his doings) learn (and noted them), one sitting on the right and one on the left. إِذْ يَتَلَقَّى الْمُتَلَقِّيَانِ عَنِ الْيَمِينِ وَعَنِ الشِّمَالِ قَعِيدٌ
50:18 Not a word does he utter but there is a sentinel by him, ready (to note it). مَا يَلْفِظُ مِن قَوْلٍ إِلَّا لَدَيْهِ رَقِيبٌ عَتِيدٌ
45:29 "This Our Record speaks about you with truth: For We were wont to put on Record all that ye did." هَذَا كِتَابُنَا يَنطِقُ عَلَيْكُم بِالْحَقِّ إِنَّا كُنَّا نَسْتَنسِخُ مَا
كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

Step 2: Death and the exit of the soul:
6:61 He is the irresistible, (watching) from above over His worshippers, and He sets guardians over you. At length, when death approaches one of you, Our angels take his soul, and they never fail in their duty. وَهُوَ الْقَاهِرُ فَوْقَ عِبَادِهِ وَيُرْسِلُ عَلَيْكُم حَفَظَةً حَتَّىَ إِذَا جَاء أَحَدَكُمُ الْمَوْتُ تَوَفَّتْهُ رُسُلُنَا وَهُمْ لاَ يُفَرِّطُونَ

Step 3: Judgment soon after death in grave:
"Punishment of the Grave is a true fact. The servant will be questioned about his Religion and his Lord....". This is ijmaa(consensus) in Islam from the Companions of the Prophet(saw). Though I did not come across a clear verse from the Quran, the hadith support the fact of a preliminary judgment in the grave. From grave until day of resurrection man will be in spirit.

Step 4: Judgment at the day of resurrection
A- Man will find every thing recorded:
99:6 On that Day will men proceed in companies sorted out, to be shown the deeds that they (had done). يَوْمَئِذٍ يَصْدُرُ النَّاسُ أَشْتَاتًا لِّيُرَوْا أَعْمَالَهُمْ
99:7 Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it! فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ
99:8 And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it.
وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ
B- He will receive his record according to his deeds:
69:19 Then he that will be given his Record in his right hand will say: "Ah here! Read ye my Record! فَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ فَيَقُولُ هَاؤُمُ اقْرَؤُوا كِتَابِيهْ
69:20 "I did really understand that my Account would (One Day) reach me!"
إِنِّي ظَنَنتُ أَنِّي مُلَاقٍ حِسَابِيهْ
69:25 And he that will be given his Record in his left hand, will say: "Ah! Would that my Record had not been given to me! وَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِشِمَالِهِ فَيَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أُوتَ كِتَابِيهْ
69:26 "And that I had never realized how my account (stood)!
وَلَمْ أَدْرِ مَا حِسَابِيهْ

Step 5: Heaven or hell in eternal life:
4:124 If any do deeds of righteousness,- be they male or female - and have faith, they will enter heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them. وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِنَ الصَّالِحَاتَ مِن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَى وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ وَلاَ يُظْلَمُونَ نَقِيرًا
20:74 Verily he who comes to his Lord as a sinner (at Judgment),- for him is hell: therein shall he neither die nor live. إِنَّهُ مَن يَأْتِ رَبَّهُ مُجْرِمًا فَإِنَّ لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ لَا يَمُوتُ فِيهَا وَلَا يَحْيى
Verses are collected from

Very Nice Satan.

As you go through my blog you find out that it is scientifically, historically, linguistically, structurally, spiritually .... That Quran can be the invention of Muhammad (PBUH). It is beyond belief that your message is that of honesty and fear of God and you would lie against God. We are left with God versus the great deceiver Satan. Go through the Quran and my bolg and find out to yourself who is the author of the Quran. For me if Satan has inspired Muhammad (PBUH) with the Quran he would be a very nice Satan for the following reasons:
1- He would glorify God in big amount of verses.
2- He would teach us morality and the fear of God.
3- He would praise all the prophets and continue in their teachings.
4- He would ask us to do a lot of prayers and praise and have all our life lived by God and for God.
5- He would warn us bout evil and advise the good.
6- He would require all of us to be righteous and not only the religious elites.
7- He would not like us to have any partners and idols with God including our big egos.
8- He would insist on the ten commandments.
9- He would insist on charity.
10- He would warn us about usury.
11- He would warn us about Satan and hell.
You see if Satan had inspired Muhammad with Quran he would be a very nice Satan. He can come over my home for dinner in the week ends.

Quran From God Or Not: That Is The Question.

By: Maged Taman

Shakespeare was wrong when he said in one of his novels: "To be or not to be that is the question". "Quran from God or Not?" that is the question. I could be born Muslim or non-Muslim. The question always comes: why you start by the Quran in understanding all religions. The answer is simple it is the last book alleged to be from God. The evidences are facts that no single letter had changed in The Quran. Thus reading the Quran with the right to be suspicious is the main door for discovering God, religions or debating them. You can hate some Muslims this is not against Islam. However the most important question for your life now and the afterlife is: Quran from God or not. As I regularly watch the Catholic channel I enjoy watching devout Christians with enlightened faces and good hearts. They have been reading and teaching the gospels and the pillars of their faith for long time. It is not easy but I would ask them to read the Quran as well go through my blog. If God is the one who is really talking to us in the Quran we are to listen to him and open our minds and hearts. Comparing Jesus and Muhammad should not be our task. Two great prophets with two different approaches to conduct the message of God. Muhammad is more like Moses. The question is simple though needs thorough examination: Is Quran From God Or Not?

Aversion To Islam.

By: Maged Taman

The paradox of Islam is if you look superficial it does not look attractive or even repulsive but if you look deep you find it amazingly sound. I will mention here why is that?
1- The prophet of Islam Muhammad (PBUH) is always compared to Jesus (PBUH). Both are carrying the same message of spirituality and God's commandments. The message of Jesus is to win humanity by love. The message of Muhammad is to win humanity by sound government that allow us to create the just humanity. To tell you the truth both did no work most of the history. Simply Satan was able to get his guys most of history to take over governments. His guys could be Muslims, Christians or other religions. There no doubt some periods in history had great leaders of any or no religion. But Satan continued to be the princess of the world.
2- Islam was described as the religion of worriers and Christianity the religion of Saints. The truth is in both there were worriers and Saints. In both there is great spirituality. But one has to be spiritually right. Reading both the Quran and Bible are the way to know the God of Abraham our father.
3- Women as a second class citizens in Islamic communities. The fact she was less than a citizen before Islam. The flexibility in Islamic interpretation of Sharia law and the progress of societies should continue to allow us to advance the rights of women. In the same time we would prevent her from becoming a commodity like in some cultures.
4- Islam religion of materialism: the truth it is the religion of moral capitalism where people continue to make money and lift other people with them.
5- For many Christians Jesus is the savior and anything else come short. I have no problem but just let you know that if Christ was alive today he would be angry of what our world looks like. The ten commandments are broken, the rich is oppressing the poor and the strong is threatening the weak with the blessings of many religious leaders in both great religions.
6- I do not like a lot of Muslims. I have the same problem and I am a Muslim. I love a lot of Christians and I am not a Christian.

Can We Find An Explanation of the Great Universe?

We realize that no family can function properly without a responsible head, that no city can prosperously exist without sound administration, and that no state can survive without a leader of some kind. We also realize that nothing comes into being on its own. Moreover, we observe that the universe exists and functions in the most orderly manner, and that it has survived for hundreds of thousands of years. Can we, then, say that all this is accidental and haphazard? Can we attribute the existence of man and the whole world to mere chance.

In the world then there must be a Great Force in action to keep everything in order. In the beautiful nature there must be a Great Creator who creates the most charming pieces of art and produces everything for a special purpose in life. The deeply enlightened people recognize this creator and call him Allah 'God'. He is not human because no human can create or make another human. He is not an animal nor is He a plant. He is neither an idol nor is He a statue of any kind because none of these things can make itself or create anything else. He is different from all of these things, because He is the maker and keeper of them all. The maker of anything must be different from and greater than the things which he makes.

Scientists, even though they are able to reproduce human and animal life through artificial processes like in-vitro fertilization and cloning, cannot accomplish these feats without the basic elements of human life that consist of genes and cells and other organic properties. Scientists are not able to create these things. Even the processes that are used by scientists to accomplish various procedures originated from a source whose intellect was obviously far greater than those who seek to discover and imitate the creative processes.

Man cannot attain to his true humanity and acquire peace of mind unless he realises this aim for which he was created. But how can he do this! God, being merciful and Just, has helped him in many ways. He granted him an originally good nature that is inclined to know and serve its true Lord. He granted him a mind that possesses a moral sense and the ability to reason. He made the whole universe a natural book full of signs that lead a thinking person to God. But to make things more specific, to give him more detailed knowledge of his Lord, and to show him in a more detailed manner how to serve Him, God has been sending down verbal messages through His prophets chosen from among men, ever since the creation of man. Hence the description of these messages in the Qur'an as guidance, light, signs, reminders, etc.

How do you disbelieve in God(THE CREATOR), seeing that you were dead and He gave you life! Then He will cause you to die, then He will give you life, then unto Him you will return." [Al Qur'an (2:28)]

. How do you deny the Cause of your existence? It is like a machine denying the existence of its maker and not obeying his or her commands

The Atheist position is indeed hopeless. The believer has hope. If there is a God and there is life after death then the believer wins. If there is no God or no life after death the believer loses nothing. On the other hand, the Atheist loses badly if he wakes up to discover himself in the afterlife. In sum, if there is no afterlife both the believer and the Atheist are safe. But if there is an afterlife then the Atheist loses. The only one who can possibly lose is the Atheist.

On the other hand, it is the Atheist who is wasting his life. His life has no purpose but temporary enjoyment. But such enjoyment is always tempered by nagging doubts about whether or not life is heading in the right direction. It is the believer who lives in quiet confidence that God's promise is true.

From: Islamic web site.

Religion Makes Sense.

Non-religion or atheism never made sense to man even in his simple pre-civilized or stone ages. Man either had religion that sent to him from God by prophets or he made up his own religion. Why is that, more simple than the sophisticated arguments of atheists:1- Law of Creation: every thing created has a creator. Our simple logic can accept and request a creator to the creatures. In other words in our world laws it is necessary to believe that every thing created has a creator. When we leave this world laws to the creator himself there is a new logic and God does not follow the law he created to the world. Most people can live with this fact.2- The Good and Evil: it follows the logic that a creator who requested us to do the good and condemn the evil that exists. It makes sense that the evil is another strong power or Satan.3- The First sin: the creation of Adam and Eve and the jealous of Satan and his temptation to sin against God and getting Adam and Eve out of heaven to earth makes good sense. The continuation of his temptation with evil to their offspring was a promise he made and he kept. God had promised that the righteous who follows his path will resist Satan and will be promised his heaven.4- Man's will: if you drop something from your hand it will fall. It is as easy as it is, it follows the law of gravity. Everything in the world follows the laws of cosmos. It is only humans who have the will to do the good or evil. So it is only humans that were chosen by God to have the will to do his work in earth (the good).5- Spiritual feeling: Man has these feelings towards a creator that he need to talk to, to worship and find his heart comforted by praying to him. It can not be just another big chance.6- Supra natural causes: though with advancement of science we have closed much on science that supra natural had diminished much. It is still every human experience about feelings of imminent things that many times happen and visions that come true.7- Salvation: most religions believe in one or two saviors that they will conquer the evil for the good. It is quite logical for this to happen in the last millennium of creation when people are advanced in science and communication. But salvation will need humans to go back to God to follow his commandments and win the battle for themselves. Guidance of God is essential, since humans are unable by themselves to have salvation and uniform peace. But God walks with us if we walk back to him. Are we ready to step out of our greed, love of power and wicked minds.

US Latinas seek answers in Islam

It surprises many of their friends and family, but some young US Latinas say Islam offers women more respect.

By Christine Armario | Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor

UNION CITY, N.J. – Jasmine Pinet sits on the steps outside a mosque here, tucking in strands of her burgundy hair beneath a white head scarf, and explaining why she, a young Latina, feels that she has found greater respect as a woman by converting to Islam.
"They're not gonna say, 'Hey mami, how are you?' " Ms. Pinet says of Muslim men. "Usually they say, 'Hello, sister.' And they don't look at you like a sex object."While some Latinas her age try to emulate the tight clothes and wiggling hips of stars like Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera, Ms. Pinet and others are adopting a more conservative lifestyle and converting to Islam. At this Union City, N.J., mosque, women account for more than half of the Latino Muslims who attend services here. Nationwide, there are about 40,000 Latino Muslims in the United States, according to the Islamic Society of North America.

Many of the Latina converts say that their belief that women are treated better in Islam was a significant factor in converting. Critics may protest that wearing the veil marks a woman as property, but some Latina converts say they welcome the fact that they are no longer whistled at walking down a street. "People have an innate response that I'm a religious person, and they give [me] more respect," says Jenny Yanez, another Latina Muslim. "You're not judged if you're in fashion or out of fashion."

Other Latina Muslims say they also like the religion's emphasis on fidelity to one's spouse and family.

But for many family members and friends, these conversions come as a surprise - often an unwelcome one. They may know little of Islam other than what they have heard of the Taliban and other extremist groups.

That creates an inaccurate image, insists Leila Ahmed, a professor of women's studies and religion at Harvard University. "It astounds me, the extent to which people think Afghanistan and the Taliban represent women and Islam." What's really going on, she says, is a reshaping of the relationship between women and Islam. "We're in the early stages of a major rethinking of Islam that will open Islam for women. [Muslim scholars] are rereading the core texts of Islam - from the Koran to legal texts - in every possible way."

New views of women and Islam may be more prevalent in countries like the US, where women read the Koran themselves and rely less on patriarchal interpretations.

"I think the women here are asserting more their rights and their privileges," says Zahid Bukhari, director of the American-Muslim Studies Program at George- town University. "

Some Latina Muslims say they harbored stereotypes about Muslim women before deciding to convert, but changed their minds once becoming close friends with a Muslim.

"I always thought, geez, I feel sorry for women who have to wear those veils," says Pinet. Then she met her Muslim boyfriend and began studying the Koran with a group of Muslim women. She says she was impressed with the respect they received.

"A women is respected because she is the mother, she takes care of the children, and she's the one that enforces the rules," Pinet says. "They're the ones who are sacred."

Critics of the decisions of Latinas to convert to Islam say they are adopting a religion just as patriarchical as the Roman Catholic faith that many are leaving behind.

"While it's true the Latino culture tends to be more male-dominated, and there's a tendency toward more machismo, I would venture to say it exists [in Islam] as well," says Edwin Hernandez, director of the Center for the Study of Latino Religion at the University of Notre Dame.

Latinos account for six percent of the 20,000 Muslim conversions in the United States each year, according to a report published by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Anecdotal evidence suggests this number may be rising. But that doesn't mean it's getting any easier for the women who make this choice.

"At first it was anger and then more like sadness," Nylka Vargas says of her parents' reaction when she told them she was converting to Islam and began dressing more conservatively. "They would sometimes feel strange being around me."

Pinet's family has been more accepting, but she too has encountered some resistance in her community. It's as if you've betrayed your own kind," she says.

For some, the cultural differences are the most trying.

"I can't eat pork, I can't wear [form- fitting] clothing, I can't dance in the clubs, I'm not gonna attend church," says Ms. Yanez, who is of Cuban and Spanish descent. "But I keep my language, and there's still things that we do as Latinos that they don't have to change."

Within the Islamic community, Latina Muslims report being warmly received, although language barriers sometimes exist for Latinas who only speak Spanish. There are few Spanish services at mosques and a limited number of Islamic texts in Spanish.

Grassroots organizations specifically for Latino Muslims have been created in recent years. They function in part as an informational resource for new converts and but also as a support group for those who encounter difficulties at home.

Ultimately, Latina Muslims say that time heals the divisions and angst their conversion sometimes causes among friends and family.

"What I had to learn was patience," says Vargas, whose family came to accept her religious beliefs after several years. "Sometimes things are not as we want them."

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Islam is Totally Against Persecution.

If a Muslim persecuted a christian or any non-Muslim he is either an idiot, bulley or likely a combination of both. These are the reasons behind my points:
1- The main reason that people followed Islam or converted to Islam after their firm faith it is real is its humanistic nature. In Quran God says that " Do not cut short people's rights". He did not say Muslims, he said people. So all people and all their rights have to be protected.
2- There is no known case that Muhammad (PBUH) persecuted anyone for no reason. The people oppressed and killed Muslims they rightly fought them back. But for peaceful people Muhammad named the minority of people in a muslim country " The people in our protection". In Islam even money was given to non-Muslims and particularly poor non-Muslims.
3- Islam is a very civilized religion and survived all these years and took over a lot of religions because of its high values and Muslims themselves should be sure that no mean Muslims to harm Islam by persecuting non-Muslims.
4- A lot of Muslims consider non-Muslims as potential Musliums that we have to work to have people love Islam so they convert willingly to Islam. Even if they did not convert we did the right thing to our religion and to humanity.

Atheists and Agnostics I agree, But.

By: Maged Taman

If you do not agree with the critics of religions in many things they say you are religious fanatic. If you find that the truth of religion is proclaiming what they think about you are in their side, but a real believer. These are the common sayings of some famous atheists and agnostics:
Francis Bacon:
Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all of which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, even if religion vanished; but religious superstition dismounts all these and erects an absolute monarchy in the minds of men.
My answer: Islam is compatible with sense, philosophy, piety, laws, and reputation. There is no monarchy one is free to find God and to reason with every thing in religion. Few are unseens are left to faith but almost every thing is amenable to mind.
George Santayana:
My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image to be servants of their human interests.
My Answer: Man created religions or used religions to serve their interests. This is well described in the religion of Islam.
Gore Vidal:
I'm a born-again atheist.
My answer: I am born-again Muslim and reborn every day Muslim I reassert my faith daily through the same tool Gore is using, human brain.
Henny Youngman:
I once wanted to become an atheist but I gave up . . . they have no holidays.
My answer: no comment I love the joke.
Pearl S. Buck:
When men destroy their old gods they will find new ones to take their place.
My answer: This is the difference between finding your God or creating one.
Pearl S. Buck:
Believing in gods always causes confusion.
My answer: Humans can confuse everything even religion. Every one of the major three religions came to us as one sect and people confused them and split them into many.
As to the gods, I have no means of knowing either that they exist or do not exist.
My answer: I have means the Bible and the Quran. I have no means to prove that man is not created by a God I have never found that chance can create a very complicated structure like me.
Thomas Jefferson:
Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.
My answer: I agree and I think Jefferson was a man who knew God.

Antisemitism is Racism: Harun Yahya.

Antisemitism is Racism
Totally Contrary to Islam
HARUN YAHYA (with some modifications):
In the 20th century, antisemitism has signed its name to great disasters, one of the most horrible being the cruelty and murder inflicted by the Nazis on the Jews. Besides this, in many countries authoritarian regimes have targeted Jews and subjected them to cruel treatment. Fascist organizations have harassed Jews and arranged bloody attacks against them.

In our times antisemitism is still an ideology which threatens world peace and targets the well-being and security of innocent people.

So, how should a Muslim regard antisemitism?

The answer is obvious. Every Muslim must oppose antisemitism as he would oppose every other racist ideology; he must resist this ideology of hatred and defend the rights of Jews as he would defend the rights of all other people. Every Muslim must recognize and defend the rights of Jews whether in Israel or in the diaspora to live in peace, to worship, to protect their identity and to express themselves.
Antisemitism: The Product of Neo Paganism

A basic fact that must be appreciated about antisemitism is that it is a pagan creed that no Muslim could ever espouse.

In order to make this clear, we must examine the roots of Antisemitism. This term is generally understood as meaning "anti Jewish," but its basic meaning is a "hatred of Semitic peoples". The Semitic peoples are basically made up of Arabs, Jews and a few other Middle Eastern ethnic groups. There is a great similarity between the languages and cultures of the Semites; for example, Arabic and Hebrew are much alike.

The second largest linguistic and racial group in the world is the Indo-European community of nations. Most of the countries of present day Europe have Indo-European roots.

The pagan war god Wotan, one of the symbols of pagan barbarism and bigotry.
All these various civilizations have had their prophets who proclaimed the existence and the unity of God and made His commands known. But when we examine recorded history, we see that Indo-European peoples from ancient times always believed in paganism. The Greek and Roman civilizations, the Teutons, Vikings and other Barbarian peoples living in southern Europe at that time were all polytheistic pagans. For this reason, these communities remained completely without moral guidance. Violence and savagery were regarded as praiseworthy; homosexuality and adultery were widely practiced. (The most important historical representative of Indo-European civilization was the Roman Empire, and we must not forget that it was a savage society that delighted in seeing people torn apart in the arenas.)

These peoples who ruled Europe encountered monotheism through Jesus Christ, a prophet sent to Semitic people. Sent as a prophet to the children of Israel, the teaching of Jesus spread throughout Europe in the course of time and all the formerly pagan peoples gradually accepted Christianity.

But in the 18th and 19th centuries, with the weakening of Christianity and the growth of ideologies and philosophies that promoted the rejection of religion, a strange current of thought circulated in Europe- Neo-Paganism. The leaders of this movement claimed that European societies must reject Christianity and return to ancient pagan beliefs. According to the adherents of Neo-Paganism, the way European societies understood morality in ancient pagan times (i.e., a warlike, pitiless, bloodthirsty, unbounded barbarous morality), was much superior to the morality they adopted when they accepted Christianity (i.e., a humble, compassionate, peace-loving and religious morality).

Nietzshce was an antisemite, because he sympathized with the pagan culture of violence and hated Theistic religions.
One of the most important representatives of this trend is also one of the greatest theorists of Fascism- Friedrich Nietzsche. He hated Christianity; he believed that it had destroyed the warlike spirit of the German people, that is, it's very essence.

The adherents of Neo-Paganism were hostile to Christianity; at the same time, they adopted a great hatred for Judaism which they saw as the source of Christianity. Indeed, they saw Christianity as the disseminator of Jewish ideas throughout the world and regarded it as a kind of Jewish plot.

So, this Neo-Paganism, on the one hand incited hostility against religion and, on the other, gave birth to fascism and antisemitism. Especially when we look at the foundations of the Nazi ideology, we can see clearly that Hitler and his confreres were, in fact, pagans.

Nazism: 20th Century Paganism

One of the greatest roles in the development of the Nazi ideology was played by a thinker by the name of Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels. Lanz fervently believed in the ideas of Neo-Paganism. He was the first person to find in ancient sources the swastika which was later to become the symbol of the Nazi party. The Ordo Novi Templi (Order of the New Temple), an organization founded by Lanz, devoted itself totally to the rebirth of paganism. Lanz freely proclaimed that he worshiped Wotan, the imaginary "War God" of the ancient German people. He thought that the worship of Wotan was the true religion of the German people and that Germans could be saved only by returning to this religion.

Nazi ideology developed on the road prepared for it by Lanz and other devotees of Neo-Paganism. One of the most important Nazi ideologues, Alfred Rosenberg, thought that Christianity could not provide the spiritual energy needed by the new Germany being established by Hitler, and declared openly that the German people must return to their ancient pagan religion. According to Rosenberg, when the Nazis came to power, religious symbols in churches should be removed and replaced by swastikas, a copy of Hitler's book "Mein Kampf" (My Struggle) and swords symbolizing German invincibility. Hitler adopted the views of Rosenberg but, thinking it would cause too much of a reaction among the people, he did not put this new theory of German religion into effect. [1]

Nazis were neo-pagans who sought to destroy the Judeo-Christian ethics and convert the German society to pagan barbarism.
Nevertheless, during the Nazi regime, some important practices of Neo-Paganism were instituted. Shortly after Hitler came to power, the holy days and feasts of Christianity began to be suppressed and replaced by the holy days of pagan religions. At weddings, oaths were sworn to such imaginary gods as "Mother Earth" and "Father Sky". In 1935, students in schools were forbidden to say Christian prayers and later, lessons with any Christian content were completely discontinued.

Hitler once revealed his attitude toward Christianity when he bluntly stated that religion is an:

…organized lie [that] must be smashed. The State must remain the absolute master. When I was younger, I thought it was necessary to set about [destroying religion] …with dynamite. I've since realized there's room for a little subtlety …. The final state must be … in St. Peter's Chair, a senile officiant; facing him a few sinister old women… The young and healthy are on our side … Our peoples had previously succeeded in living all right without this religion. I have six divisions of SS men absolutely indifferent in matters of religion. It doesn't prevent them from going to their death with serenity in their souls. [2]

As we can see, Hitler saw only one idea as having importance in the spiritual realm: the idea that would lead people to "go to their death with serenity in their souls". He found it in abundance in such pagan concepts as "the German spirit" and "honor in battle". He saw monotheistic religions as beliefs that must be "destroyed with dynamite" but, for political reasons, he acted more moderately.

The Nazi hatred for Jews was a part of this anti-Theistic ideology. Nazis who hated Christianity saw it as a "Jewish plot." That Jesus Christ, a prophet of Israeli origin, should be loved and revered by Germans, who regarded themselves as the "master race", was for them unthinkable. For the Nazis, it was not a prophet of Israeli origin that would be a guide for Germans, but the barbarous and cruel warriors of pagan German culture.

So, this is the real truth about Nazism and antisemitism in general. Today, the leaders of antisemitism are various Neo-Nazi and Fascist groups. If we look at them, we see immediately that every one of them has an anti-religious ideology and what they say is based on pagan ideas.

Antisemitism And Every Kind Of Racism Is Contrary To Islam

From the facts that we have examined so far, the following is clear:

Antisemitism is an anti-religion ideology that has its roots in Neo-Paganism. Therefore, it is unthinkable that a Muslim would espouse antisemitism or feel sympathy for this ideology. Anti-Semites have no respect for Abraham, Moses or David who were blessed prophets chosen by God to be examples for humanity.

Antisemitism and other kinds of racism (eg. prejudice against Blacks) have no place in true religion; they are perversions arising from various ideologies and superstitions.

Furthermore, when we examine antisemitism and other forms of racism, we see clearly that they promote ideas and a model of society that is totally contrary to the moral teachings of the Qur'an, For example, at the root of antisemitism lie hatred, violence, and lack of compassion. An anti-Semite may be so cruel as to support the murder of Jewish people without distinguishing between women, children and the aged, and condone their being subjected to torture. However, the moral teaching of the Qur'an enjoins love, compassion and mercy for all people. It also commands Muslims to show justice and be forgiving even to their enemies.

According to the Qur'an, Muslims, Jews and Christians Must Live in Friendship

Jews and Christians (called in the Qur'an the "people of the book") are much closer to Muslims than idolaters (pagans or the atheists). The people of the book, like Muslims, believe in one God and are subject to His commands.

In the Qur'an, there is a significant difference between the people of the book and the idolaters. This is especially emphasized in the area of social life. For example, it is said concerning the idolaters: "(they) are unclean, so after this year they should not come near the Masjid al-Haram." (Surat at-Tawba: 28) Idolaters are people who know no divine law, have no moral precepts and who can commit every kind of degrading and perverse deed without hesitation.

But the people of the book, while they rely basically on God's revelation, have moral precepts and know what is lawful and what is not. For this reason, if one of the people of the book cooks some food, it is lawful for Muslims to eat it. In the same way, permission has been given to a Muslim man to marry a woman from among the people of the book. On this subject God commands:

Today all good things have been made lawful for you. And the food of those given the Book is also lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. So are chaste women from among the believers and chaste women of those given the Book before you, once you have given them their dowries in marriage, not in fornication or taking them as lovers. But as for anyone who disbelieve, his actions will come to nothing and in the hereafter he will be among the losers. (Surat al-Mai'da: 5)

These commands show that bonds of kinship may be established as a result of the marriage of a Muslim with a woman from the people of the book and that those on each side of the union can accept an invitation to a meal. These are the fundamentals that will ensure the establishment of equitable human relationships and a happy communal life. Since the Qur'an enjoins this equitable and tolerant attitude, it is unthinkable that a Muslim could take an opposing view.

Monasteries, Churches And Synagogues Must Be Respected

Temples that deserve respect: A church...
Another important fact we learn from the Qur'an is that Muslims must respect Jewish and Christian places of worship. In the Qur'an, the places of worship of the people of the book, ie. monasteries, churches and synagogues, are mentioned as places of worship protected by God.

"…if God had not driven some people back by means of others, monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, where God's name is mentioned much, would have been pulled down and destroyed. God will certainly help those who help Him - God is All-Strong, Almighty." (Surat al-Hajj: 40 )

This verse shows to every Muslim the importance of respecting and protecting the holy places of the people of the book.

... and a synagouge.
Indeed, in the Qur'an, God commands Muslims not to harbor any enmity toward any people. In many verses, friendship is recommended even with the idolaters. God even refers to the idolaters at war with Muslims like this: "If any of the idolaters ask you for protection, give them protection until they have heard the words of God. Then convey them to a place where they are safe." (Surat at-Tawba: 6)

Jews and Christians, however, are much closer to Muslims than idolaters. Each of these religions has its book, that is, they are subject to a book sent down by God. They know what is right and what is wrong, what is lawful and what is unlawful. They know they will give an account to God and they love and revere His prophets. This shows that Muslims and the people of the book can live easily together.


In a Muslim's outlook on the world, one of his basic criteria is justice. No matter whom he may oppose, he cannot depart from justice. He acts not according to his feelings, but with his reason and conscience. He removes himself from fanaticism and bigotry, and makes his decisions according to wisdom.

What God teaches us in the Qur'an about different peoples and creeds is clear:

1. The morality of the Qur'an excludes every kind of racism.

2. It is commanded in the Qur'an that, so long as they show no hostility to Islam or Muslims, a tolerant and friendly attitude must be maintained toward other religions.

Our wish is that a world will be established in which people will be able to live together in peace no matter to what race or religion they belong, in which every racist perversion will be rejected, everyone's rights will be regarded and everyone will be respected.


1- Michael Howard, The Occult Conspiracy: The Secret History of Mystics, Templars, Masons and Occult Societies, 1.b., London: Rider, 1989, p. 130
2- Hitler, A., Hitler's Secret Conversations 1941-1944, With an introductory essay on The Mind of Adolf Hitler by H.R. Trevor-Roper, Farrar, Straus and Young, New York, p. 117


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The Intelligent Design.

Why people need proof of intelligent design when there is no proof of random design. On the other hand, the theory of evolution needs too much effort to trace the evolution of one species or to try to prove one species has evolved to another. It does not prove or disprove there is a creator behind the evolution. If you asked a child 3 years and a boy 14 years old to draw a car for you and the 3 years old made scribbled lines while the 14 years old draw a car you can say about the second draw there is intelligence behind it. God states in The Quran "who (God) gave everything its creation and then gave it its guidance". For example the DNA is created by God and the DNA continue to do the cellular functions each DNA is made for. If there is no God who did that. If you do not accept God I have this for you. All the cells of human body came into one room. One cell stood up and greeted all other cells "you doing a great job, we need to continue to control every thing well, we need to maintain the homeostasis (steady state of body): body temperature, fluid, electrolytes, glucose, calcium, hormones, red blood cells,.... everything with a tight range. We need those doctors to find everything within the normal range when they check them. All cells made sounds to express their agreement. As the cells started to leave the room one cell asked the leading cell "are you the intelligent design". The leading cell shacked her head and smiled "yes it is me". She was a liar every cell has its brain (DNA) or intelligent design. The DNA is the brain of the cell it was created at certain point. It continues to do its functions that it was guided to do. Even if an organ control other organs there is no one cell or organ can say I am the one that control all other organs or cells. There is no creator cell or a God cell. All are the creation of God. To understand the intelligent design you need to find the smallest part of matter or living organism that can represent them (molecule or DNA respectively). If you can not prove a random design you accepted the intelligent design. If this intelligent design is not God please give me a name.

Are We Living in the Time of the End?

Jesus Christ's Olivet Prophecy: Where Are We Now?
Jesus Christ, in the Olivet Prophecy (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21), predicted several major trends that would increase and intensify before His return. The trends He emphasized most were religious deception, wars, famines, disease epidemics and earthquakes.

This is especially apparent in response to His disciples' inquiry concerning what signs would precede His return and the end of this age. "Take heed that no one deceives you," He said. "For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows" (Matthew 24:4-8).

Are any of these predicted signs being fulfilled today?

Religious deception and confusion

We have been horrified by the headlines of mass cult suicides such as Jim Jones and his followers in Guyana in 1978 and the Heaven's Gate cult in Southern California in 1997. Another tragic chain of events led to the deaths of David Koresh's Branch Davidians in Texas in 1993. These tragedies made the news because charismatic leaders led their followers not to life, but to death.

But by no means should we assume this is the only kind of religious deception Jesus intended by His warning. Even in the early days of the Church, Paul warned of "false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ . . . For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness . . ." (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

Other apostles also warned of a great religious conspiracy masquerading as Christianity. Peter warned of "false teachers . . . who will secretly bring in destructive heresies" (2 Peter 2:1). John wrote that even in his day "many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). He also reveals the power behind this great deception: "Satan, who deceives the whole world"
(Revelation 12:9).

Some two billion people claim to be Christian. Yet they are divided among thousands of churches and denominations, all claiming to follow Christ even while they hold to a bewildering variety of contradicting beliefs and practices. Is this the Christianity of the Bible, or is it part of the religious deception and confusion Christ predicted? (For further information, be sure to request your free copy of the booklet The Church Jesus Built.)

Wars and rumors of wars

World War I was supposed to be the war to end all wars, after it took eight million lives. A generation later World War II claimed almost 10 times as many.

But what about other wars? Hundreds of thousands more have died since in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia and other countries. Although most rarely made the news, 20 to 30 wars raged around the world at any given time in the 1990s.

According to some estimates, wars in the 20th century alone killed more people than all earlier wars combined.

When the Japanese city of Hiroshima was destroyed by an atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945, the commander of the B-29 that carried the deadly payload wielded the power to destroy a medium-sized city. Today the commander of a single nuclear submarine oversees enough destructive power to vaporize more than 150 large cities—quite enough to bring several countries to their knees.

Dozens of such submarines bristling with nuclear weapons prowl the oceans, and that number doesn't begin to include the nuclear warheads that can be rained from other warships, aircraft, artillery and silo- or trailer-launched missiles. Jesus said the circumstances at the time of the end would be so menacing that "no flesh would be saved" unless He returned (Matthew 24:21-22). Only within recent decades has mankind held the enormous destructive capability to literally exterminate all human life many times over.

What will the next great war bring? According to Jesus Christ's revelation to John (Revelation 6:8; 9:13-18), well over one billion people will be slaughtered. With terrifying arsenals of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, such staggering casualties are a sobering possibility.


You may remember the headlines of the 1960s and 1970s, when drought and exploding populations led to the starvation of hundreds of thousands in India and Africa. Later we learned that millions had died in China, the Soviet Union, Cambodia and Ethiopia during war's aftermath and communist takeovers in those countries.

Famine doesn't have to be caused strictly by natural conditions; humans have been shown to be perfectly capable of producing their own famines through ill-founded policies and practices. Famine is also a natural consequence of disrupted economies, transportation and normal agricultural cycles during times of war.

At the time of this printing, the threat of widespread famine appears to have temporarily faded into the background. But it's likely only a matter of time before a surging world population produces another round of drastic food shortages. In this century alone the world population has quadrupled to more than six billion. Some 80 million new people are being added every year, with another billion people expected to be added every decade.

If the rate of growth continues, the global population will double again in 50 years. What troubles many world leaders and organizations is that most of this growth will occur in countries least able to provide food, shelter and clothing for a flood of new citizens. With so many new mouths to feed, starvation—and accompanying social
disruption—will inevitably spread.

The situation is so tenuous that weather disruptions in food-producing areas could bring immediate food shortages at any time. An often-overlooked factor in weather patterns is the relationship between people and God.

We have lost sight of the fact that God controls the weather. King Solomon understood this when he prayed: "When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because (the people) have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them, then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance" (1 Kings 8:35-36).

As people's behavior continues to degenerate as the time of the end approaches, other prophecies indicate that drastic changes in weather patterns—and resulting famines—are a tool God will use to get the attention of an increasingly rebellious humanity.

Disease epidemics

Medical researchers are shocked by a recent development: the sudden emergence of baffling new diseases and epidemics. AIDS has garnered the most headlines—and rightfully so, since in sheer numbers it has claimed more lives than the black plague that devastated medieval Europe.

AIDS is only one of the incurable plagues that worry governments and scientists. The exotic-sounding names of such killers as Legionnaires' disease, Lassa fever, hantavirus, Machupo virus and Ebola belie their deadliness. Some of these have resisted treatment or cure simply because they spread so fast and kill so quickly that scientists are unable to study how they are transmitted.

Equally frightening is the emergence of drug-resistant strains of old scourges such as tuberculosis, bubonic plague and some common bacteria. Other diseases once thought conquered—including malaria and cholera—are springing to life with deadly vengeance. Lest we forget, an unusual strain of influenza killed 20 million people in a worldwide epidemic in 1918 and 1919, taking more lives than were lost on the battlefields of World War I.

The 20th century saw skyrocketing rates of diseases rooted in human behavior, diet and other environmental factors: cancers, sexually transmissible diseases, diabetes, heart disease and cirrhosis of the liver, to name a few.

If these were not enough, keep in mind that the breakdown in the social structure that inevitably results from war and famine will no doubt lead to massive and widespread epidemics. Chemical and biological weapons are another chilling possibility when we consider how biblical prophecies may be fulfilled.

Earthquakes in various places

Only in recent decades have scientists understood the underlying causes of earthquakes. The crust of the earth, they have discovered, is like a cracked eggshell encasing an interior of liquid magma. The giant pieces of earth's shell slowly move as they float on the magma. Where the pieces grind against each other, earthquakes periodically rock the earth.

Earthquake zones include some of the most densely populated areas of the world—including much of the U.S. West Coast, Italy, southeastern Europe, Turkey, the Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia and Japan.

Are earthquakes increasing? It's difficult to make long-term comparisons since modern seismographs have been in use for only just over a century. The Richter scale, which gauges earthquake magnitude, dates only to 1935. Also, far more sensitive instruments are in place today, so many earthquakes are detected that would have gone unnoticed in earlier years.

Even so, records from the U.S. National Earthquake Information Center identify more than 20 quakes in the 20th century that each killed 10,000 or more people, including some monster quakes that took more than 100,000 lives each. Well over a million people have died in earthquakes in the last 100 years.

Currently literally thousands of earthquakes take place daily, although most are so minor they are detected only by instruments. However, there are almost 1,000 moderate to strong earthquakes (5.0 to 6.9 on the Richter scale) in an average year, plus an average of 18 major quakes (7.0 to 7.9) and one massive quake of 8.0 or higher. Whether earthquakes are increasing in strength or frequency or not, Jesus Christ's prediction of "earthquakes in various places" certainly describes the 20th century.

Remember, though, that Jesus said "all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet . . . All these are the beginning of sorrows" (Matthew 24:6-8). The many tragedies we see around us are chilling reminders of Christ's words and a foretaste of even greater catastrophes yet to come.

As a result of these terrible things, those who survive and remain will eventually be humbled enough to finally repent and accept our Creator's promise of a bright future in the world beyond our age. Only then will the age-old prophecies of a utopian world of peace and plenty find their fulfillment.

Prophet Joseph (Yusuf) In The Quran.

I have chosen here selective verses from Joseph (Yusuf) sura: 012.003 "We narrate to you the best of narratives, by Our revealing to you this Quran, though before this you were certainly one of those who did not know". The bible stories in the Quran are strong proof to Muhammad (PBUH) and all of us that the God of the Quran is the same of the Bible. 012.007 "Certainly in Yusuf and his brothers there are signs for the inquirers". Joseph (Yusuf) is one of the best Bible/Quran stories since it gives a lot of signs to the truth of religion: Satan temptations, jealousy, moral corruption, patience, visions and the ultimate victory of good over evil and the fulfillment of God promise.
012.009 "Slay Yusuf or cast him (forth) into some land, so that your father's regard may be exclusively for you, and after that you may be a righteous people". This is how Satan invoked jealousy in the heart of Joseph brothers and put in their heads plans to get rid of him.
012.016 "And they came to their father at nightfall, weeping". 012.017 "They said: O our father! Surely we went off racing and left Yusuf by our goods, so the wolf devoured him, and you will not believe us though we are truthful". Prior to these two verses his brothers succeeded in putting him in a well (previous verses) and then came to their father with the wolf story.
012.021 "And the Egyptian who bought him said to his wife: Give him an honorable abode, maybe he will be useful to us, or we may adopt him as a son. And thus did We establish Yusuf in the land and that We might teach him the interpretation of sayings; and Allah is the master of His affair, but most people do not know". Joseph was found in the well and brought to Egypt where he would start a new life in Egypt.
012.022 "And when he had attained his maturity, We gave him wisdom and knowledge: and thus do We reward those who do good". The reward of being righteous has been commonly wisdom and knowledge.
012.023 "And she in whose house he was sought to make himself yield (to her), and she made fast the doors and said: Come forward. He said: I seek Allah's refuge, surely my Lord made good my abode: Surely the unjust do not prosper". This is the sexual temptation that Joseph was tested for and was able to resist.
012.035 "Then it occurred to them after they had seen the signs that they should imprison him till a time". Though he had proved himself innocent, they put him in prison.
012.043 "And the king said: Surely I see seven fat kine which seven lean ones devoured; and seven green ears and (seven) others dry: O chiefs! Explain to me my dream, if you can interpret the dream". In the prison Joseph was famous in interpretation of the visions. The king had this vision that no one knows its interpretation.
012.045 "And of the two (prisoners) he who had found deliverance and remembered after a long time said: I will inform you of its interpretation, so let me go:" One of them who was delivered remembered that Joseph interpreted a lot of visions in the prison.
012.046 "Yusuf! O truthful one! Explain to us seven fat kine which seven lean ones devoured, and seven green ears and (seven) others dry, that I may go back to the people so that they may know". 012.047 "He (Yusuf) said: You shall sow for seven years continuously, then what you reap leave it in its ear except a little of which you eat". 012.048 "Then there will come after that a year in which people shall have rain and in which they shall press (grapes)". 012.054 "And the king said: Bring him to me, I will choose him for myself. So when he had spoken with him, he said: Surely you are in our presence today an honorable, a faithful one". Thus Joseph came out of prison to be the minister of the treasury.012.056 "And thus did We give to Yusuf power in the land-- he had mastery in it wherever he liked; We send down Our mercy on whom We please, and We do not waste the reward of those who do good". 012.057 "And certainly the reward of the hereafter is much better for those who believe and guard (against evil)".
012.058 "And Yusuf's brothers came and went in to him, and he knew them, while they did not recognize him".
012.059 "And when he furnished them with their provision, he said: Bring to me a brother of yours from your father; do you not see that I give full measure and that I am the best of hosts?
012.060 "But if you do not bring him to me, you shall have no measure (of corn) from me, nor shall you come near me". In the next verses they brought their brother and Joseph told him the story. Then he told them every thing since they put him in the well.012.091 "They said: By Allah! Now has Allah certainly chosen you over us, and we were certainly sinners". 012.092 "He said: (There shall be) no reproof against you this day; Allah may forgive you, and He is the most Merciful of the merciful.
012.099 "Then when they came in to Yusuf, he took his parents to lodge with him and said: Enter safe into Egypt, if Allah please".
012.100 "And he raised his parents upon the throne and they fell down in prostration before him, and he said: O my father! This is the significance of my vision of old; my Lord has indeed made it to be true; and He was indeed kind to me when He brought me forth from the prison and brought you from the desert after Satan had sown dissensions between me and my brothers, surely my Lord is benignant to whom He pleases; surely He is the Knowing, the Wise".
012.111 "In their histories there is certainly a lesson for men of understanding. It is not a narrative which could be forged, but a verification of what is before it and a distinct explanation of all things and a guide and a mercy to a people who believe". The lesson of Joseph story is that of life itself: the evil (jealousy and temptations) against the good. Joseph was tested through most of his life with separation from his parents, fear in a well, oppression in a prison, sexual temptations and jealousy of his brothers. God tests all of us in one way or another. Muslims commonly read Joseph story when they are going through trials. It gives hope and make you feel there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
Translation To Shakir.

The Cross and the Crescent

Former minister (deacon) of the United Methodist Church. He holds a Master's degree in Divinity from Harvard University and a Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Denver. Author of The Cross and the Crescent: An Interfaith Dialogue between Christianity and Islam (ISBN 1-59008-002-5 - Amana Publications, 2001). He has published over 60 articles in the field of clinical psychology, and over 150 articles on Arabian horses .

One of my earliest childhood memories is of hearing the church bell toll for Sunday morning worship in the small, rural town in which I was raised. The Methodist Church was an old, wooden structure with a bell tower, two children's Sunday School classrooms cubbyholed behind folding, wooden doors to separate it from the sanctuary, and a choir loft that housed the Sunday school classrooms for the older children.

It stood less than two blocks from my home. As the bell rang, we would come together as a family, and make our weekly pilgrimage to the church. In that rural setting from the 1950s, the three churches in the town of about 500 were the center of community life. The local Methodist

Church, to which my family belonged, sponsored ice cream socials with hand-cranked, homemade ice cream, chicken potpie dinners, and corn roasts. My family and I were always involved in all three, but each came only once a year. In addition, there was a two-week community Bible school every June, and I was a regular attendee through my eighth grade year in school. However, Sunday morning worship and Sunday school were weekly events, and I strove to keep extending my collection of perfect attendance pins and of awards for memorizing Bible verses. By my junior high school days, the local Methodist Church had closed, and we were attending the Methodist Church in the neighboring town, which was only slightly larger than the town in which I lived. There, my thoughts first began to focus on the ministry as a personal calling. I became active in the Methodist Youth Fellowship, and eventually served as both a district and a conference officer. I also became the regular "preacher" during the annual Youth Sunday service. My preaching began to draw community- wide attention, and before long I was occasionally filling pulpits at other churches, at a nursing home, and at various church-affiliated youth and ladies groups, where I typically set attendance records.

By age 17, when I began my freshman year at Harvard College, my decision to enter the ministry had solidified. During my freshman year, I enrolled in a two-semester course in comparative religion, which was taught by Wilfred Cantwell Smith, whose specific area of expertise was Islam. During that course, I gave far less attention to Islam, than I did to other religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, as the latter two seemed so much more esoteric and strange to me. In contrast, Islam appeared to be somewhat similar to my own Christianity. As such, I didn't concentrate on it as much as I probably should have, although I can remember writing a term paper for the course on the concept of revelation in the Qur'an. Nonetheless, as the course was one of rigorous academic standards and demands, I did acquire a small library of about a half dozen books on Islam, all of which were written by non-Muslims, and all of which were to serve me in good stead 25 years later. I also acquired two different English translations of the meaning of the Qur'an, which I read at the time.

That spring, Harvard named me a Hollis Scholar, signifying that I was one of the top pre-theology students in the college. The summer between my freshman and sophomore years at Harvard, I worked as a youth minister at a fairly large United Methodist Church. The following summer, I obtained my License to Preach from the United Methodist Church. Upon graduating from Harvard College in 1971, I enrolled at the Harvard Divinity School, and there obtained my Master of Divinity degree in 1974, having been previously ordained into the Deaconate of the United Methodist Church in 1972, and having previously received a Stewart Scholarship from the United Methodist Church as a supplement to my Harvard Divinity School scholarships. During my seminary education, I also completed a two-year externship program as a hospital chaplain at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston. Following graduation from Harvard Divinity School, I spent the summer as the minister of two United Methodist churches in rural Kansas, where attendance soared to heights not seen in those churches for several years.

Seen from the outside, I was a very promising young minister, who had received an excellent education, drew large crowds to the Sunday morning worship service, and had been successful at every stop along the ministerial path. However, seen from the inside, I was fighting a constant war to maintain my personal integrity in the face of my ministerial responsibilities. This war was far removed from the ones presumably fought by some later televangelists in unsuccessfully trying to maintain personal sexual morality. Likewise, it was a far different war than those fought by the headline-grabbing pedophilic priests of the current moment. However, my struggle to maintain personal integrity may be the most common one encountered by the better-educated members of the ministry.

There is some irony in the fact that the supposedly best, brightest, and most idealistic of ministers-to-be are selected for the very best of seminary education, e.g. that offered at that time at the Harvard Divinity School. The irony is that, given such an education, the seminarian is exposed to as much of the actual historical truth as is known about: 1) the formation of the early, "mainstream" church, and how it was shaped by geopolitical considerations; 2) the "original" reading of various Biblical texts, many of which are in sharp contrast to what most Christians read when they pick up their Bible, although gradually some of this information is being incorporated into newer and better translations; 3) the evolution of such concepts as a triune godhead and the "sonship" of Jesus, peace be upon him; 4) the non-religious considerations that underlie many Christian creeds and doctrines; 5) the existence of those early churches and Christian movements which never accepted the concept of a triune godhead, and which never accepted the concept of the divinity of Jesus, peace be upon him; and 6) etc. (Some of these fruits of my seminary education are recounted in more detail in my recent book, The Cross and the Crescent: An Interfaith Dialogue between Christianity and Islam, Amana Publications, 2001.)

As such, it is no real wonder that almost a majority of such seminary graduates leave seminary, not to "fill pulpits", where they would be asked to preach that which they know is not true, but to enter the various counseling professions. Such was also the case for me, as I went on to earn a master's and doctorate in clinical psychology. I continued to call myself a Christian, because that was a needed bit of self-identity, and because I was, after all, an ordained minister, even though my full time job was as a mental health professional. However, my seminary education had taken care of any belief I might have had regarding a triune godhead or the divinity of Jesus, peace be upon him.

(Polls regularly reveal that ministers are less likely to believe these and other dogmas of the church than are the laity they serve, with ministers more likely to understand such terms as "son of God" metaphorically, while their parishioners understand it literally.) I thus became a "Christmas and Easter Christian", attending church very sporadically, and then gritting my teeth and biting my tongue as I listened to sermons espousing that which I knew was not the case.

None of the above should be taken to imply that I was any less religious or spiritually oriented than I had once been. I prayed regularly, my belief in a supreme deity remained solid and secure, and I conducted my personal life in line with the ethics I had once been taught in church and Sunday school. I simply knew better than to buy into the man-made dogmas and articles of faith of the organized church, which were so heavily laden with the pagan influences, polytheistic notions, and geo-political considerations of a bygone era.

As the years passed by, I became increasingly concerned about the loss of religiousness in American society at large. Religiousness is a living, breathing spirituality and morality within individuals, and should not be confused with religiosity, which is concerned with the rites, rituals, and formalized creeds of some organized entity, e.g. the church. American culture increasingly appeared to have lost its moral and religious compass. Two out of every three marriages ended in divorce; violence was becoming an increasingly inherent part of our

schools and our roads; self-responsibility was on the wane; self- discipline was being submerged by a "if it feels good, do it" morality; various Christian leaders and institutions were being swamped by sexual and financial scandals; and emotions justified behavior, however odious it might be. American culture was becoming a morally bankrupt institution, and I was feeling quite alone in my personal religious vigil.

It was at this juncture that I began to come into contact with the local Muslim community. For some years before, my wife and I had been actively involved in doing research on the history of the Arabian horse.

Eventually, in order to secure translations of various Arabic documents, this research brought us into contact with Arab Americans who happened to be Muslims. Our first such contact was with Jamal in the summer of 1991. After an initial telephone conversation, Jamal visited our home, and offered to do some translations for us, and to help guide us through the history of the Arabian horse in the Middle East. Before Jamal left that afternoon, he asked if he might: use our bathroom to wash before saying his scheduled prayers; and borrow a piece of newspaper to use as a prayer rug, so he could say his scheduled prayers before leaving our house. We, of course, obliged, but wondered if there was something more appropriate that we could give him to use than a newspaper. Without our ever realizing it at the time, Jamal was practicing a very beautiful form of Dawa (preaching or exhortation). He made no comment about the fact that we were not Muslims, and he didn't preach anything to us about his religious beliefs. He "merely" presented us with his example, an example that spoke volumes, if one were willing to be receptive to the lesson.

Over the next 16 months, contact with Jamal slowly increased in frequency, until it was occurring on a biweekly to weekly basis. During these visits, Jamal never preached to me about Islam, never questioned me about my own religious beliefs or convictions, and never verbally suggested that I become a Muslim. However, I was beginning to learn a lot. First, there was the constant behavioral example of Jamal observing his scheduled prayers. Second, there was the behavioral example of how Jamal conducted his daily life in a highly moral and ethical manner, both in his business world and in his social world.

Third, there was the behavioral example of how Jamal interacted with his two children. For my wife, Jamal's wife provided a similar example. Fourth, always within the framework of helping me to understand Arabian horse history in the Middle East, Jamal began to share with me:

1) stories from Arab and Islamic history;

2) sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him; and

3) Qur'anic verses and their contextual meaning.

In point of fact, our every visit now included at least a 30 minute conversation centered on some aspect of Islam, but always presented in terms of helping me intellectually understand the Islamic context of Arabian horse history. I was never told "this is the way things are", I was merely told "this is what Muslims typically believe".

Since I wasn't being "preached to", and since Jamal never inquired as to my own beliefs, I didn't need to bother attempting to justify my own position. It was all handled as an intellectual exercise, not as proselytizing. Gradually, Jamal began to introduce us to other Arab families in the local Muslim community. There was Wa'el and his family, Khalid and his family, and a few others. Consistently, I observed individuals and families who were living their lives on a much higher ethical plane than the American society in which we were all embedded. Maybe there was something to the practice of Islam that I had missed during my collegiate and seminary days.

By December, 1992, I was beginning to ask myself some serious questions about where I was and what I was doing. These questions were prompted by the following considerations. 1) Over the course of the prior 16 months, our social life had become increasingly centered on the Arab component of the local Muslim community. By December, probably 75% of our social life was being spent with Arab Muslims.

2) By virtue of my seminary training and education, I knew how badly the Bible had been corrupted (and often knew exactly when, where, and why), I had no belief in any triune godhead, and I had no belief in anything more than a metaphorical "sonship" of Jesus, peace be upon him. In short, while I certainly believed in God, I was as strict a monotheist as my Muslim friends.

3) My personal values and sense of morality were much more in keeping with my Muslim friends than with the "Christian" society around me. After all, I had the non-confrontational examples of Jamal, Khalid, and Wa'el as illustrations. In short, my nostalgic yearning for the type of community in which I had been raised was finding gratification in the Muslim community.

American society might be morally bankrupt, but that did not appear to be the case for that part of the Muslim community with which I had had contact. Marriages were stable, spouses were committed to each other, and honesty, integrity, self-responsibility, and family values were emphasized. My wife and I had attempted to live our lives that same way, but for several years I had felt that we were doing so in the context of a moral vacuum. The Muslim community appeared to be different.

The different threads were being woven together into a single strand. Arabian horses, my childhood upbringing, my foray into the Christian ministry and my seminary education, my nostalgic yearnings for a moral society, and my contact with the Muslim community were becoming intricately intertwined. My self-questioning came to a head when I finally got around to asking myself exactly what separated me from the beliefs of my Muslim friends. I suppose that I could have raised that question with Jamal or with Khalid, but I wasn't ready to take that step. I had never discussed my own religious beliefs with them, and I didn't think that I wanted to introduce that topic of conversation into our friendship. As such, I began to pull off the bookshelf all the books on Islam that I had acquired in my collegiate and seminary days.

However far my own beliefs were from the traditional position of the church, and however seldom I actually attended church, I still identified myself as being a Christian, and so I turned to the works of Western scholars. That month of December, I read half a dozen or so books on Islam by Western scholars, including one biography of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Further, I began to read two different English translations of the meaning of the Qur'an. I never spoke to my Muslim friends about this personal quest of self- discovery.

I never mentioned what types of books I was reading, nor ever spoke about why I was reading these books. However, occasionally I would run a very circumscribed question past one of them.

While I never spoke to my Muslim friends about those books, my wife and I had numerous conversations about what I was reading. By the last week of December of 1992, I was forced to admit to myself, that I could find no area of substantial disagreement between my own religious beliefs and the general tenets of Islam. While I was ready to acknowledge that Muhammad, peace be upon him, was a prophet of (one who spoke for or under the inspiration of) God, and while I had absolutely no difficulty affirming that there was no god besides God/Allah, glorified and exalted is He, I was still hesitating to make any decision. I could readily admit to myself that I had far more in common with Islamic beliefs as I then understood them, than I did with the traditional Christianity of the organized church. I knew only too well that I could easily confirm from my seminary training and education most of what the Qur'an had to say about Christianity, the Bible, and Jesus, peace be upon him. Nonetheless, I hesitated. Further, I rationalized my hesitation by maintaining to myself that I really didn't know the nitty-gritty details of Islam, and that my areas of agreement were confined to general concepts. As such, I continued to read, and then to re-read.

One's sense of identity, of who one is, is a powerful affirmation of one's own position in the cosmos. In my professional practice, I had occasionally been called upon to treat certain addictive disorders, ranging from smoking, to alcoholism, to drug abuse. As a clinician, I knew that the basic physical addiction had to be overcome to create the initial abstinence. That was the easy part of treatment. As Mark Twain once said: "Quitting smoking is easy; I've done it hundreds of times".

However, I also knew that the key to maintaining that abstinence over an extended time period was overcoming the client's psychological addiction, which was heavily grounded in the client's basic sense of identity, i.e. the client identified to himself that he was "a smoker",

or that he was "a drinker", etc. The addictive behavior had become part and parcel of the client's basic sense of identity, of the client's basic sense of self. Changing this sense of identity was crucial to the maintenance of the psychotherapeutic "cure". This was the difficult part of treatment. Changing one's basic sense of identity is a most difficult task. One's psyche tends to cling to the old and familiar, which seem more psychologically comfortable and secure than the new and unfamiliar.

On a professional basis, I had the above knowledge, and used it on a daily basis. However, ironically enough, I was not yet ready to apply it to myself, and to the issue of my own hesitation surrounding my religious identity. For 43 years, my religious identity had been neatly labeled as "Christian", however many qualifications I might have added to that term over the years. Giving up that label of personal identity was no easy task. It was part and parcel of how I defined my very being. Given the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that my hesitation served the purpose of insuring that I could keep my familiar religious identity of being a Christian, although a Christian who believed like a Muslim believed.

It was now the very end of December, and my wife and I were filling out our application forms for U.S. passports, so that a proposed Middle Eastern journey could become a reality. One of the questions had to do with religious affiliation. I didn't even think about it, and automatically fell back on the old and familiar, as I penned in "Christian". It was easy, it was familiar, and it was comfortable. However, that comfort was momentarily disrupted when my wife asked me how I had answered the question on religious identity on the application form. I immediately replied, "Christian", and chuckled audibly. Now, one of Freud's contributions to the understanding of the human psyche was his realization that laughter is often a release of psychological tension. However wrong Freud may have been in many aspects of his theory of psychosexual development, his insights into laughter were quite on target. I had laughed! What was this psychological tension that I had need to release through the medium of laughter? I then hurriedly went on to offer my wife a brief affirmation that I was a Christian, not a Muslim. In response to which, she politely informed me that she was merely asking whether I had written "Christian", or "Protestant", or "Methodist". On a professional basis, I knew that a person does not defend himself against an accusation that hasn't been made. (If, in the course of a session of psychotherapy, my client blurted out, "I'm not angry about that", and I hadn't even broached the topic of anger, it was clear that my client was feeling the need to defend himself against a charge that his own unconscious was making. In short, he really was angry, but he wasn't ready to admit it or to deal with it.) If my wife hadn't made the accusation, i.e. "you are a Muslim", then the accusation had to have come from my own unconscious, as I was the only other person present. I was aware of this, but still I hesitated. The religious label that had been stuck to my sense of identity for 43 years was not going to come off easily.

About a month had gone by since my wife's question to me. It was now late in January of 1993. I had set aside all the books on Islam by the Western scholars, as I had read them all thoroughly. The two English translations of the meaning of the Qur'an were back on the bookshelf, and I was busy reading yet a third English translation of the meaning of the Qur'an. Maybe in this translation I would find some sudden justification for.

I was taking my lunch hour from my private practice at a local Arab restaurant that I had started to frequent. I entered as usual, seated myself at a small table, and opened my third English translation of the meaning of the Qur'an to where I had left off in my reading. I figured I might as well get some reading done over my lunch hour. Moments later, I became aware that Mahmoud was at my shoulder, and waiting to take my order. He glanced at what I was reading, but said nothing about it. My order taken, I returned to the solitude of my reading.

A few minutes later, Mahmoud's wife, Iman, an American Muslim, who wore the Hijab (scarf) and modest dress that I had come to associate with female Muslims, brought me my order. She commented that I was reading the Qur'an, and politely asked if I were a Muslim. The word was out of my mouth before it could be modified by any social etiquette or politeness: "No!" That single word was said forcefully, and with more than a hint of irritability. With that, Iman politely retired from my table.

What was happening to me? I had behaved rudely and somewhat aggressively. What had this woman done to deserve such behavior from me? This wasn't like me. Given my childhood upbringing, I still used "sir" and "ma'am" when addressing clerks and cashiers who were waiting on me in stores. I could pretend to ignore my own laughter as a release of tension, but I couldn't begin to ignore this sort of unconscionable behavior from myself. My reading was set aside, and I mentally stewed over this turn of events throughout my meal. The more I stewed, the guiltier I felt about my behavior. I knew that when Iman brought me my check at the end of the meal, I was going to need to make some amends.

If for no other reason, simple politeness demanded it. Furthermore, I was really quite disturbed about how resistant I had been to her innocuous question. What was going on in me that I responded with that much force to such a simple and straightforward question? Why did that one, simple question lead to such atypical behavior on my part?

Later, when Iman came with my check, I attempted a round-about apology by saying: "I'm afraid I was a little abrupt in answering your question before. If you were asking me whether I believe that there is only one God, then my answer is yes. If you were asking me whether I believe that Muhammad was one of the prophets of that one God, then my answer is yes." She very nicely and very supportively said: "That's okay; it takes some people a little longer than others."

Perhaps, the readers of this will be kind enough to note the psychological games I was playing with myself without chuckling too hard at my mental gymnastics and behavior. I well knew that in my own way, using my own words, I had just said the Shahadah, the Islamic testimonial of faith, i.e. "I testify that there is no god but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah". However, having said that, and having recognized what I said, I could still cling to my old and familiar label of religious identity. After all, I hadn't said I was a Muslim. I was simply a Christian, albeit an atypical Christian, who was willing to say that there was one God, not a triune godhead, and who was willing to say that Muhammad was one of the prophets inspired by that one God. If a Muslim wanted to accept me as being a Muslim that was his or her business, and his or her label of religious identity. However, it was not mine. I thought I had found my way out of my crisis of religious identity. I was a Christian, who would carefully explain that I agreed with, and was willing to testify to, the Islamic testimonial of faith. Having made my tortured explanation, and having parsed the English language to within an inch of its life, others could hang whatever label on me they wished. It was their label, and not mine.

It was now March of 1993, and my wife and I were enjoying a five-week vacation in the Middle East. It was also the Islamic month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from day break until sunset. Because we were so often staying with or being escorted around by family members of our Muslim friends back in the States, my wife and I had decided that we also would fast, if for no other reason than common courtesy. During this time, I had also started to perform the five daily prayers of Islam with my newfound, Middle Eastern, Muslim friends. After all, there was nothing in those prayers with which I could disagree.

I was a Christian, or so I said. After all, I had been born into a Christian family, had been given a Christian upbringing, had attended church and Sunday school every Sunday as a child, had graduated from a prestigious seminary, and was an ordained minister in a large Protestant denomination. However, I was also a Christian: who didn't believe in a triune godhead or in the divinity of Jesus, peace be upon him; who knew quite well how the Bible had been corrupted; who had said the Islamic testimony of faith in my own carefully parsed words; who had fasted during Ramadan; who was saying Islamic prayers five times a day; and who was deeply impressed by the behavioral examples I had witnessed in the Muslim community, both in America and in the Middle East. (Time and space do not permit me the luxury of documenting in detail all of the examples of personal morality and ethics I encountered in the Middle East.) If asked if I were a Muslim, I could and did do a five-minute monologue detailing the above, and basically leaving the question unanswered. I was playing intellectual word games, and succeeding at them quite nicely.

It was now late in our Middle Eastern trip. An elderly friend who spoke no English and I were walking down a winding, little road, somewhere in one of the economically disadvantaged areas of greater 'Amman, Jordan. As we walked, an elderly man approached us from the opposite direction, said, "Salam 'Alaykum", i.e., "peace be upon you", and offered to shake hands. We were the only three people there. I didn't speak Arabic, and neither my friend nor the stranger spoke English. Looking at me, the stranger asked, "Muslim?"

At that precise moment in time, I was fully and completely trapped. There were no intellectual word games to be played, because I could only communicate in English, and they could only communicate in Arabic. There was no translator present to bail me out of this situation, and to allow me to hide behind my carefully prepared English monologue. I couldn't pretend I didn't understand the question, because it was all too obvious that I had. My choices were suddenly, unpredictably, and inexplicably reduced to just two: I could say "N'am", i.e., "yes"; or I could say "La", i.e., "no". The choice was mine, and I had no other. I had to choose, and I had to choose now; it was just that simple. Praise be to Allah, I answered, "N'am".

With saying that one word, all the intellectual word games were now behind me. With the intellectual word games behind me, the psychological games regarding my religious identity were also behind me.

I wasn't some strange, atypical Christian. I was a Muslim. Praise be to Allah, my wife of 33 years also became a Muslim about that same time. Not too many months after our return to America from the Middle East, a neighbor invited us over to his house, saying that he wanted to talk with us about our conversion to Islam. He was a retired Methodist minister, with whom I had had several conversations in the past. Although we had occasionally talked superficially about such issues as the artificial construction of the Bible from various, earlier, independent sources, we had never had any in-depth conversation about religion. I knew only that he appeared to have acquired a solid seminary education, and that he sang in the local church choir every Sunday.

My initial reaction was, "Oh, oh, here it comes". Nonetheless, it is a Muslim's duty to be a good neighbor, and it is a Muslim's duty to be willing to discuss Islam with others. As such, I accepted the invitation for the following evening, and spent most of the waking part of the next 24 hours contemplating how best to approach this gentleman in his requested topic of conversation. The appointed time came, and we drove over to our neighbor's. After a few moments of small talk, he finally asked why I had decided to become a Muslim. I had waited for this question, and had my answer carefully prepared. "As you know with your seminary education, there were a lot of non-religious considerations which led up to and shaped the decisions of the Council of Nicaea." He immediately cut me off with a simple statement: "You finally couldn't stomach the polytheism anymore, could you?" He knew exactly why I was a Muslim, and he didn't disagree with my decision!

For himself, at his age and at his place in life, he was electing to be "an atypical Christian". Allah willing, he has by now completed his journey from cross to crescent. There are sacrifices to be made in being a Muslim in America. For that matter, there are sacrifices to be made in being a Muslim anywhere. However, those sacrifices may be more acutely felt in America, especially among American converts. Some of those sacrifices are very predictable, and include altered dress and abstinence from alcohol, pork, and the taking of interest on one's money. Some of those sacrifices are less predictable. For example, one Christian family, with whom we were close friends, informed us that they could no longer associate with us, as they could not associate with anyone "who does not take Jesus Christ as his personal savior". In addition, quite a few of my professional colleagues altered their manner of relating to me.

Whether it was coincidence or not, my professional referral base dwindled, and there was almost a 30% drop in income as a result. Some of these less predictable sacrifices were hard to accept, although the sacrifices were a small price to pay for what was received in return.

For those contemplating the acceptance of Islam and the surrendering of oneself to Allah-glorified and exalted is He, there may well be sacrifices along the way. Many of these sacrifices are easily predicted, while others may be rather surprising and unexpected. There is no denying the existence of these sacrifices, and I don't intend to sugar coat that pill for you. Nonetheless, don't be overly troubled by these sacrifices. In the final analysis, these sacrifices are less important than you presently think. Allah willing, you will find these sacrifices a very cheap coin to pay for the "goods" you are purchasing.


The Light of the Prophet: By Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi

From :
"Those who saw him in the full moon noticed that his blessed face was brighter than the moon"

"Commenting on the verse of Qur’an,"There has come to you a light from Allah and a clear Book,"[33] the well-known scholar al-Alusi says that the light in question is no other than the Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him. He quotes the Follower, Qatada, as an authoritative source for this opinion, as well as other well known scholars"

"That this light was physical as well as spiritual was borne witness to most amply by those who saw him. The Lady ‘Ā’isha related how she saw the whole room fill with light one night, then it disappeared, while the Prophet continued to call upon his Lord."

"Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth . . . "[1] The Light is one of the ninety-nine Beautiful Names of Allah. Light is that by which things become known. Things may exist in the dark, but they cannot be seen. Light may be physical, such as the light of the sun or the moon, or intelligible, like the light of the intellect. The latter is that which illuminates the darkness of ignorance with the light of knowledge. Total darkness is non-existence, thus light is that which brings created beings out of non-existence into existence. It is the creative act of Allah and this is one of the meanings of "Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth . . . " The other meaning is that every light in the universe is but a reflection of His mercy, every knowledge a reflection of His knowledge and so on. "Allah created His creation in darkness," said the Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, "then He sprayed them with His light. Those whom this light reached became rightly guided, while those it did not went astray."[2] And he also said, as recorded by Muslim, "Allah, August and Majestic is He, wrote the destinies of creation fifty thousand years before He created the Heavens and the earth. His throne was on the water. Among what He wrote in the Remembrance, which is the Mother of the Book, was: Muhammad is the Seal of the Prophets."

The Mother of the Book is the source of all knowledge, including the Divine Scriptures. It is the essential knowledge of Allah before He created creation. This is why it is said to have been written fifty thousand years before the creation of the cosmos, a symbolic number, since without stars and planets there cannot be days and years as we understand them. Allah conceived His creation in the darkness of non-existence, then with the light of His creative act brought them out into existence. Thus the First Light was created, a being appearing against the dark background of non-existence. "The first thing that Allah created was the Intellect,"[3] said the Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him. He also said, "The first thing that Allah created was the Pen," which amounts to the same thing, since the first intellect is the primordial light in its passive aspect as recipient of the knowledge of what is to be, while the Pen is the primordial light in its active aspect of writing this knowledge on the Guarded Tablet at Allah’s command. "The first thing that Allah created was the Pen and He said to it: Write! So it wrote what is to be forever."[4] From this First light all of creation, with all its varied forms and meanings till the end of time unfolds.

This primordial light is what is called the Light of the Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, since he is the created being who received the major share of it.

This light was also the origin of the lights of all other Divine Messengers, of the angels, then of all other beings. This is how the Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, could say, "I was a Prophet when Adam was still between spirit and body."[5] The power of this light made the Prophet’s radiation so powerful, once he appeared on earth, that Allah calls him in the Qur’ān "an illuminating lamp." Allah describes the sun and the moon in the Qur’ān in like manner explaining what He means when He says that He made the Prophet "an illuminating lamp". He says, Exalted is He:

"Have you not seen how Allah created seven heavens, one upon another, and set the moon therein for a light and the sun for a lamp?"[6] Here he calls the sun a lamp, since its light is self generating, but He calls the moon a light, since it but reflects the light of the sun. He also says: " . . . and We appointed a blazing lamp . . . "[7] The sun’s light being extremely hot, and, "Blessed is He who has set in the sky constellations and has set among them a lamp and an illuminating moon,"[8] emphasizing that the moon’s light is light with little heat. When He says to His Prophet: " O Prophet! We have sent you as a witness, a bearer of good tidings and of warning, as a caller to Allah by His leave and as an illuminating lamp,"[9] we are to understand that He made the Prophet’s light powerful like the sun’s, yet cool and gentle like the moon’s.

Some of the Prophet’s Companions were given to see this light as even brighter than both the sun and moon, for when they walked with him they noticed that he cast no shadow on the ground.[10] Those who saw him in the full moon noticed that his blessed face was brighter than the moon,[11] and one of his Companions, the Lady Rubayyi‘, when asked to describe him, said, "My son, had you seen him, you would have seen the sun shining."[12]

The light of the Prophet shone at all levels, it filled the material, intermediary, and spiritual worlds, dispelled the darkness of ignorance and disbelief, and is destined to shine across the ages till the end of time.

That this light was physical as well as spiritual was borne witness to most amply by those who saw him. The Lady ‘A‘isha related how she saw the whole room fill with light one night, then it disappeared, while the Prophet continued to call upon his Lord. Then the room was filled with a more powerful light which disappeared after a while. She asked, "What is this light I saw?" he said, "Did you see it. O ‘A‘isha?" "Yes!" she replied. He said, "I asked my Lord to grant me my nation, so He gave me one third of them, so I praised and thanked Him. Then I asked him for the rest, so He gave me the second third, so I praised and thanked Him. Then I asked Him for the third third, so He gave it to me, so I praised and thanked Him." She said that had she wished to pick up mustard seeds from the floor by this light she could have.[13] In the famous description of Hind ibn Abi Hala, the Prophet’s stepson from the Lady Khadija, "He was dignified and awe inspiring, radiant like the radiance of the moon on the night it is full…"[14] Ibn ‘Abbas described how he saw light shining from between his front teeth.[15] Abu Qursafa, as a boy, went to swear allegiance to the Prophet, together with his mother and her sister. When they returned home they told him, " My son, we have never seen the like of this man, nor anyone better looking, cleaner dressed, or gentler in his speech; and we saw as if light came out of his mouth." [16]

The Companion, Anas ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, described how, when the Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, first entered Madina, everything in Madina became illuminated, then how, when he died and was buried in ‘A’isha’s house, the light disappeared. The phenomenon was so sudden that the Companions were taken aback and began to doubt whether they had really seen it at all.[17] This was only the light that radiated from his blessed body, for Madina itself remained the city of Light. Abū Hurayra related how they were once praying the night prayer of ‘isha’ with the Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, and how the Prophet’s two grandsons, Hasan and Husayn climbed onto his back when he went into prostration. When he was done, he placed one of them on his right and the other on his left. Abu Hurayra asked him, "Shall I take them to their mother?" he replied, "No". Then a flashing light appeared from the sky, at which he said, "go to your mother." The light remained until they reached their house.[18] On another occasion, Anas said that, he accompanied the Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, into the mosque where they saw a group of people with their hands raised, calling upon Allah. "Do you see in their hands what I see?" the Prophet asked. "What is in their hands?" Anas replied. "There is light in their hands," replied the Prophet. "Ask Allah the Exalted to show it to me," said Anas. At the Prophet’s request, Allah showed it to him.[19] Another Companion, ‘Amr al-Aslami, said that once they were with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, on a very dark night and lost sight of each other. Suddenly ‘Amr’s fingers shone forth with light so that they were able to round up their mounts and gather again. The light did not subside until they had finished gathering.[20] As for Abu ‘Abs, he used to pray all the ritual prayers with the Prophet, then walk back to his dwelling, at Bani Haritha, a few miles from the mosque. One dark rainy night, as he left the mosque, his staff was made to shine forth with light, so that he was able to walk safely back home.[21] On another occasion, two of the Prophet’s well known Companions, Usayd ibn Hudayr and ‘Abbad ibn Bishr, left the Prophet’s house late on a dark night. The tip of the staff of one of them lit up like a lamp and they were able to walk. When they came to the place where they usually separated, the tip of the other staff lit up as well.[22] Another Companion, al-Tufayl ibn ‘Amr al-Dawsi, related how, after his first visit to the Prophet, when he accepted Islam and was about to return to his tribe, he asked the Prophet for a sign to show to his tribesmen, at which a light shone forth from his forehead. He exclaimed, "Not here, O Messenger of Allah, they will think it a curse!" So the Prophet moved the light to the tip of al- Tufayl’s whip. He returned to his tribe with this sign and most of them accepted Islam.[23]

Ka‘b ibn Zuhayr was a man from Muzayna, a highly talented poet who used his talent against the Prophet and his companions. Once Macca had been conquered, Ka`b became a fugitive, aware that the Prophet had ordered him executed. His brother, Bujayr, was a Muslim. He sent Ka`b a message that he could only save his life if he came to the Prophet repentant. Eventually Ka‘b agreed to this and came to Madina. The Prophet forgave him, accepted his allegiance, and gave him permission to recite the poem Ka`b had composed in his praise. When he came to the passage,

The Messenger is a light that illuminates

An Indian blade, a sword of Allah, drawn

the Prophet took his mantle, his burda, off his shoulders and put it on Ka‘b’s, signalling his approval. The best swords of the time were Indian and the connection between the sword and light is that the Arabs signalled the way by standing on a rise and brandishing their swords in the sun so that they flashed like mirrors.[24]

The light of the Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, manifested itself in his parents before and during his birth. His biographers have recorded that his father’s forehead shone with a light that a certain women from Quraysh noticed. She knew that the appearance of the Prophet of the End of Time was imminent and felt that ‘Abdallah’s forehead signalled his being the father. She offered herself to him, but he refused. Soon `Abdallah married Amina and, once she became pregnant with the Prophet, the light vanished from his forehead. He met the same woman again and, noticing she no longer wanted him, asked her why. She replied that he no longer carried that light on his forehead.[25] As for the Lady Amina, when she became pregnant, she saw in a dream-vision that a light came out of her that lit the land as far north as Syria.[26] She was also told in her dream that she was pregnant with the master of this nation and the sign of that would be that when she gave birth to him she would see a light coming out with him that would shine over Bosra in Syria. "When this happens", she was told, "call him Muhammad!"[27] "I conceived him, " she said, "and suffered no pain until delivery. When he came out of me, a light came out with him that illuminated everything from East to West…"[28] She also said, "I saw the night I gave birth to him a light that illuminated the palaces of Syria so that I saw them."[29] The Prophet later confirmed this, saying, "My mother saw, when she gave birth to me, a light that illuminated the palaces of Bosra."[30] This event is also a very clear indication of the spiritual rank of the Lady Amina, for to see the palaces of Bosra in Syria from Macca demands the spiritual vision of sanctity. Later, the Prophet’s uncle, ‘Abbas, praised him with a poem, on his return from the Tabuk expedition, saying:

You, when you were born, the earth was lit

And with your light so was the sky

When his wet-nurse, Halima al-Sa‘dia, first saw him, she laid her hand on him and he smiled. "When he smiled," she said, "a light appeared from his mouth that rose to the sky."[32]

Some of the hadiths we have quoted here have strong chains of transmission, others have weaker ones. However, we must remember that even the chain considered weakest by Muslim traditionists, is quite acceptable as historical proof to any professional historian on this planet, being far stronger and better authenticated than other ancient sources he works with. It is also well known that weak traditions strengthen each other so as to become acceptable. This is why those we have quoted here have been accepted by leading scholars such as Ibn Kathir, Suyutiī, Qadi ‘Iyad, Bayhaqi, and others.

Commenting on the verse of Qur’an,"There has come to you a light from Allah and a clear Book,"[33] the well-known scholar al-Alusi says that the light in question is no other than the Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him. He quotes the Follower, Qatada, as an authoritative source for this opinion, as well as other well known scholars, pointing out that this is the most logical interpretation of the construction of the verse, Then he also quotes those whose opinion differs from his in that they believe that both the light and the Book refer to the Qur’an. This he does because real Muslim scholars, as opposed to pretenders and impostors, always quote, along with their own opinions, the contrary opinions of other reputable scholars, so weighing both in the most objective manner. Qadi ‘Iyad, the famous author of al-Shifa’, is of the same opinion as al-Alusi, an opinion, an opinion shared by other famous commentators such as Tabari and Qurtubi.

Although the Prophet’s light is the most powerful in the universe, since he is the nearest created being to Allah, it is not the only one. Angels are made of light, the Qur’an is light, the spirits of human beings are light, faith is light, knowledge is light, the sun, the moon, and the stars are also lights. The light of each human being depends upon his faith, knowledge, and virtue. Thus the most powerful lights are those of Divine Messengers, then those of Prophets, saints, virtuous believers, and finally those of sinful believers. This is the hierarchy of human beings. Both the first and the last are human, all have lights, and all are slaves of Allah, but the distance between the top of the pyramid and its bottom is so great that those at the bottom, in Paradise, will see those at the top as distant as, in this world, we see the stars at night.[34]

Related article
Haqiqat al-Muhammadiyya (The Muhammadan Reality)
by Shaikh Nuh Ha Mim Keller


1. Qur'an (24:35).

2. Tirmidhi.

3. Tirmidhi.

4. Tabarani and Abu Nu'aym.

5. Tirmidhi, Ahmad, Hakim and Bukhari in Tarikh.

6. Qur'an (71:16)

7. Qur'an (78:13)

8. Qur'an (25:61)

9. Qur'an (33:45 - 46)

10. al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi

11. Tirmidhi

12. Tirmidhi

13. Abu Nu'aym in Hilia.
14. Tirmidhi in Shama'il, Bayhaqi, Tabarani, and ibn Sa'd.

15. Tirmidhi in Shama'il, Darimi, Bayhaqi, Tabarani, and ibn Asakir.

16. Tabarani.

17. Ahmad and ibn Majah.

18. Ahmad, Hakim, and Bazar.

19. Bukhari in Tarikh, Bayhaqi and Abu Nu'aym.

20. Bukhari in Tarikh, Bayhaqi and Tabarani.

21. Bayhaqi.

22. Bukhari

23. Ibn Hisham.

24. Ibn Ishaq.
25. Ibn Hisham.

26. Hakim, Ahmad, Bazzar, Tabarani, Bayhaqi and Abu Nu'aym.

27. Ibn Ishaq.

28. Ibn Sa'd, Tabarani, Bayhaqi, Abu Nu'aym, Abu Ya'la, Ibn Ishaq.

29. Abu Nu'aym.

30. Ibn Sa'd, Ahmad, Bazzar, Tabarani, Abu Nu'aym, and ibn Asakir.

31. Hakim and Tabarani.

32. Bayhaqi, Abu Nu'aym, ibn Ishaq and Abu Ya'la.

33. Qur'an (5:15)

34. Tirmidhi.