Saturday, September 29, 2007

Quran: Sura At-Tur (The Mount)

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the Mount (of Revelation);

By a Decree inscribed

In a Scroll unfolded;

By the much-frequented Fane;

By the Canopy Raised High;

And by the Ocean filled with Swell;-

Verily, the Doom of thy Lord will indeed come to pass;-

There is none can avert it;-

On the Day when the firmament will be in dreadful commotion.

And the mountains will fly hither and thither.

Then woe that Day to those that treat (Truth) as Falsehood;-

That play (and paddle) in shallow trifles.

That Day shall they be thrust down to the Fire of Hell, irresistibly.

“This:, it will be said, “Is the Fire,- which ye were wont to deny!

“Is this then a fake, or is it ye that do not see?

“Burn ye therein: the same is it to you whether ye bear it with patience, or not: Ye but receive the recompense of your (own) deeds.”

As to the Righteous, they will be in Gardens, and in Happiness,-

Enjoying the (Bliss) which their Lord hath bestowed on them, and their Lord shall deliver them from the Penalty of the Fire.

(To them will be said:) “Eat and drink ye, with profit and health, because of your (good) deeds.”

They will recline (with ease) on Thrones (of dignity) arranged in ranks; and We shall join them to Companions, with beautiful big and lustrous eyes.

And those who believe and whose families follow them in Faith,- to them shall We join their families: Nor shall We deprive them (of the fruit) of aught of their works: (Yet) is each individual in pledge for his deeds.

And We shall bestow on them, of fruit and meat, anything they shall desire.

They shall there exchange, one with another, a (loving) cup free of frivolity, free of all taint of ill.

Round about them will serve, (devoted) to them. Youths (handsome) as Pearls well-guarded.

They will advance to each other, engaging in mutual enquiry.

They will say: “Aforetime, we were not without fear for the sake of our people.

“But Allah has been good to us, and has delivered us from the Penalty of the Scorching Wind.

“Truly, we did call unto Him from of old: truly it is He, the Beneficent, the Merciful!”

Therefore proclaim thou the praises (of thy Lord): for by the Grace of thy Lord, thou art no (vulgar) soothsayer, nor art thou one possessed.

Or do they say:- “A Poet! we await for him some calamity (hatched) by Time!”

Say thou: “Await ye!- I too will wait along with you!”

Is it that their faculties of understanding urge them to this, or are they but a people transgressing beyond bounds?

Or do they say, “He fabricated the (Message)”? Nay, they have no faith!

Let them then produce a recital like unto it,- If (it be) they speak the truth!

Were they created of nothing, or were they themselves the creators?

Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, they have no firm belief.

Or are the Treasures of thy Lord with them, or are they the managers (of affairs)?

Or have they a ladder, by which they can (climb up to heaven and) listen (to its secrets)? Then let (such a) listener of theirs produce a manifest proof.

Or has He only daughters and ye have sons?

Or is it that thou dost ask for a reward, so that they are burdened with a load of debt?-

Or that the Unseen in it their hands, and they write it down?

Or do they intend a plot (against thee)? But those who defy Allah are themselves involved in a Plot!

Or have they a god other than Allah? Exalted is Allah far above the things they associate with Him!

Were they to see a piece of the sky falling (on them), they would (only) say: “Clouds gathered in heaps!”

So leave them alone until they encounter that Day of theirs, wherein they shall (perforce) swoon (with terror),-

The Day when their plotting will avail them nothing and no help shall be given them.

And verily, for those who do wrong, there is another punishment besides this: But most of them understand not.

Now await in patience the command of thy Lord: for verily thou art in Our eyes: and celebrate the praises of thy Lord the while thou standest forth,

And for part of the night also praise thou Him,- and at the retreat of the stars!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Christian Zealotry and the Occupation of Iraq


Christian Zealotry and the Occupation of Iraq
Faith-Based Imperialism


The very nature of Christianity is imperialistic. A resurrected Christ reportedly told his disciples, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore," he ordered them, "and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey [italics added] everything I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:18-20). Jesus' assumed resurrection is believed to be proof of his own unique divinity as the only Son of God and savior of the world. "I am the way, and the truth, and the life," he is recorded as asserting. "No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6) It is about authority and obedience far more than about individuality and equality. Thus Christianity is embraced by most adherents as "the highest revelation of God." In the words of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church: "We believe the Christian Church is the community of all true believers under the Lordship of Christ. . . . the redemptive fellowship in which the Word of God is preached by men divinely called . . . {It} exists for the . . . edification of believers and the redemption of the world" [italics added]. ("Article V ­ The Church," pages 67, 68) Jesus' death on the cross is also central to many Christians imperialistic claim of possessing the global religious truth for all human beings. A favorite authoritative verse is John 3: 16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." [italics added] As the passion of the Christ-makers dictates: Jesus died on the cross "for the sins of the whole world," and whoever believes in his sacrificial act of atonement, as the only pure Son of God, will not perish but inherit eternal life. Thus may an otherwise theologically damned hell-bent humanity escape the eternal punishment of an otherwise loving god.
"The sins of the whole world?" It all started innocently enough, if one believes in the literal truth of the Bible. "In the beginning God created" Adam and Eve and a womb-like Garden of Eden for them. Unfortunately, they committed the "first" or "original" sin: they disobeyed their god by eating from "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil;" and their "eyes [were] opened" and they became "wise . . . like God, knowing good and evil," which evidently was taboo. So an obedience-demanding, apparently jealous god banished them from the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3) Thus much of hierarchical and "bibliarchical" Christianity would have us believe that Adam and Eve actually existed, or represent mythical truth, and that their disobedience marks or symbolizes "the fall" of the human race: i.e. all human beings thereafter inherited Adam and Eve's disobedient, sinful nature. The only saving grace for all people is prayed often in many Christian churches: "Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who of they tender mercy didst give thine only Son
Jesus Christ to suffer death on the cross for our redemption, who made there, by the offering of himself, a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world." [italics added] ("The Great Thanksgiving," Holy Communion ritual, The United Methodist Hymnal, 1989, p.28)
"Original sin" of a real or mythical Adam and Eve? Or taking a bite to see the light, and cutting the "umbiblical" cord of patriarchy and moral obliviousness? Disobedience? Or individuation? Religion as power over people? Or as empowerment of people? Mindless? Or mindful of right and wrong?
On any given Sunday in almost any given Christian church one may hear professions of an ingrained imperialistic faith. It may be heard in a call to worship: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, . . . full of grace and truth. . . . No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known [italics added] (John 1).
On any given Sunday, faith-based imperialism may take wings in an opening hymn: "From all that dwell below the skies, let the Creator's praise arise; let the Redeemer's name be sung, through every land by every tongue." (Words: Isaac Watts; Music: John Hatton, The United Methodist Hymnal, p. 101)
A similar affirmation of an imperialistic faith, often said in unison in Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox churches, is the Apostles' Creed: "I believe in God the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ his only Son our lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; . . . rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty and he will come to judge the living and the dead" [italics added]. ("Apostles' Creed," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
Faith-based imperialism may be reflected in the Scripture lesson read at a given Sunday service: "Therefore God has exalted him and bestowed on him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." [italics added] (Philippians 2:9-11) Then may follow "the Word of God . . . preached by men divinely called" to lead "the community of all true believers." Here again the emphasis is far more on believing than on being. Far more on submission and domination than on liberation and equality.
Faith-based imperialism is oblivious to its own self-contradictions. On any given Sunday one may hear the following prayer "For Peace": "Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace [italics added] as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and forever, Amen. (The Book of Common Prayer, The Episcopal Church, 1979 p. 815) Here is unawareness of the "banners" under which people of other faiths may "glory."
At any given Sunday service, the closing hymn may sound an imperialistic note: "We've a story to tell to the nations, that shall turn their hearts to the right, a story of truth and mercy, a story of peace and light . . . For the darkness shall turn to the dawning, and the dawning to noon-day bright; and Christ's great kingdom shall come on earth, the kingdom of love and light." (Words and Music by Ernest Nichol, 1896, The United Methodist Hymnal, p. 569) And following the hymn, this benediction may be said: "Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority before all time now and forever. Amen" [italics added] (Jude 1: 24, 25)
Faith-based imperialism is especially seen in claims regarding which Christians represent "the one true church." Catholicism teaches it alone possesses "the keys to the Kingdom," since disciple Simon Peter, who became the first apostle, is recorded as recognizing Jesus' unique divinity: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God," and Jesus rewarded him with, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven . . ." [italics added] (Matthew 16: 16-19)
Citing the above Scripture as its authority, the Catechism of the Catholic Church stakes Catholicism's claim as the one true church: "This is the sole [italics added] Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." (811, p. 232). The Catechism continues, "The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it. . . . This Church . . . subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in commune with him." (816, p. 234) The Catechism then reinforces its imperialistic authority: "The Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism explains: 'For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained.'" [italics added] (Ibid) The Catholic Church's bottom line: "God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men." (848, p.244) Faith-based imperialism, in Germany, in other European countries, and in America, made it easier for Hitler's fascist Nazi ideology to murder some six million Jews in the 1930's and 1940's.
If Catholics find their imperialistic authority in their Church, evangelical and other Christians find it in their Bible. Many evangelical Christian websites declare that salvation is not through any "church but through Jesus Christ alone." Christian Resources Net, for example, states Catholicism's position: "The Second Vatican Council Decree on Ecumenism explains: 'For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. Vertification: pg. 215, #816" But Catholicism is wrong because, "When checking God's Word on this subject, two critical facts leap out: 1. The Bible never remotely indicates that one must go through a church to obtain salvation. 2. Literally hundreds of Scriptures proclaim that salvation is a free gift from God, readily available to anyone, but only through Jesus Christ" [italics added). Christian Resources Net then proceeds to list at least 20 Scriptures, including, "Neither is there salvation in any other (except Jesus): for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4: 10,12" ("Catholic Beliefs vs. the Beliefs of God")
The historic pervasiveness of faith-based imperialism is seen in United Methodism's invitation to church membership: "The Church is of God, and will be preserved to the end of time, for the conduct of worship and the due administration of God's Word and Sacraments, the maintenance of Christian fellowship and discipline, the edification of believers and the conversion of the world. All of every age and station, stand in need of the means of grace which it alone supplies." [italics added] (The United Methodist Book of Worship, 1992, page 106) These words are in keeping with the mission of The United Methodist Church, which "affirms that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and Lord of all." And, "as we make disciples, we respect persons of all religious faiths and we defend religious freedom for all persons. . . . We embrace Jesus' mandates to love God and to love our neighbor and to make disciples of all peoples." [italics added] (The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2004, pp.87,88)
United Methodists, and other evangelical Christians, appear to want their "cake of superiority" and eat at the table of equality, too. How can one "respect persons of all religious faiths" and "love our neighbor" if the intent is to convert and "make disciples" of them? Such "respect" and "love" for "persons of all faiths" appear to be code words needed to rationalize the very opposite. Such evangelism reveals a subtle, inherent disrespect for "persons of all [other] religious faiths." It represents another example of the obliviousness of an imperialistic faith to its own self-contradiction.
Evangelical Christianity is imperialistic. It presupposes that one's religious belief is better than another's. That one's faith is superior and another's inferior. That one's religion is true and another's false. Here there is not respect but religiously code-worded disrespect and inequality, with ingrained paternalism and arrogance that assume, "My faith is best for you." Here another's reality is unconsciously interpreted rather than consciously experienced. Here there is the negating of another's identity and inherent worth and right to believe as he or she chooses and to be who she or he is.
Faith-based imperialism encourages obliviousness to the rights and well-being of people of other religions. It is believed to restrict an evangelical Christian's capacity to identify with and perceive the reality of people of differing beliefs. It discourages walking in the shoes of different believers or non-believers. It violates the Golden Rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you (Luke 6:31) It sets limits on empathy for and caring about what happens to persons beyond one's own "true believers." Where there is caring, it is often with proselytizing strings attached. It encourages an ethnocentric, "our kind" only interpretation of Jesus' commandment to "love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39) Faith-based imperialism puts people of other faiths out of mind and out of sight, which obliviousness is subtle and pervasive and has deadly consequences.
Here there are prayers by ministers and priests at various public gatherings that often end with, "In the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ"-as if only Christians were in attendance. Here there is an unsigned note placed on the altar of the interfaith chapel in a big metropolitan hospital: "A chapel without a cross? Is this what has happened to Christianity in our country? Sad" (underlined three times). Here there is President Bush's United Methodist minister, Rev. Kirbyson Caldwell, ending his Benediction at Bush's January 2001 Inauguration with, "We respectfully submit this humble prayer in the name that's above all other names [italics added], Jesus, the Christ. Let all who agree say amen." Here there is evangelical Christian-professing Bush himself justifying a criminal war against Iraq with, "Freedom is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift to every man and woman in the world." ("Acceptance Speech to Republican Convention Delegates," The New York Times, Sept. 3, 2004) A "gift" wrapped in "shock and awe" bombs and brutal occupation. And here Bush's faith-based initiatives also serve to numb Christian consciences and buy support for a criminal war.
Christians, whose faith-based imperialism prevents them from being aware of the Jews and Muslims in their midst, are far more likely to be oblivious to the Jews and Muslims being oppressed around them-or beyond them by their government in their name. Thus can an unchallenged self-professing evangelical Christian President Bush say at a news conference, "I pray daily. I pray for guidance and wisdom and strength. . . . I pray for peace. I pray for peace." (The New York Times, Mar. 7, 2003) And two weeks later unleash 21,000 pound "shock and awe" bombs on the people of Iraq-a war of choice planned by his administration long before the horrific 9/11/2001 attack against America which then served as a pretext for his criminal war.
The faith-based imperialism of many Christians apparently prevents them from perceiving the fear-mongering lies on which this "Jesus changed my heart"-president based his administration's unnecessary war. Belief in a superior faith and country may be preventing them from imagining and feeling the overwhelming death and destruction this falsely-based war is causing.
The facts should be shockingly clear by now. Saddam Hussein did not possess imminent "mushroom-cloud"-threatening weapons of mass destruction nor ties to the terrible 9/11/2001 attack against America. The person practicing a "game of deception" regarding weapons of mass destruction was not Hussein, as President Bush repeatedly charged, but Bush himself. War crimes against humanity, disguised as "Operation Iraqi Freedom," are being committed: hundreds of thousands of Iraqi men, women and children dead; the country's life-sustaining infrastructure devastated; some four million civilians forced to become refugees inside and outside their country; a deadly massive civil war raging, triggered by the US-led invasion and occupation; and thus far over 3400 American soldiers killed and tens of thousands wounded in body and mind, along with the terrible waste of our nation's resources.
The faith-based imperialism of Christians is assumed to well serve the Bush administration. A Christian evangelical-professing President Bush can attend an Easter service, where he again "prayed for peace at an Army post that has sent thousands of soldiers to Iraq." ("Prayer for Peace," The Boston Globe, Apr. 9, 2007) A public Easter "prayer for peace" for the ears of his god or for the eyes of Christians? The contradiction between his "prayer for peace" and his insistence that Congress continue to fund his war, with no timetable for withdrawal of troops attached, appears to still fall on many imperialistically conditioned minds and hearts.
The obliviousness of faith-based imperialism to its own self-contradiction was on display in President and Mrs. Bush's visit to Virginia Tech, after the shocking killing of thirty-one students and a professor by another student who then killed himself. A tragic heart-rending massacre in Virginia, leading to memorial scrvices throughout America. People readily identified with the victims and wept with their families, as did Bush and his wife, who hugged and shed tears with families and students. And Bush was quoted as saying, "Those whose lives were taken did nothing to deserve their fate. . . . They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now they're gone," he continued, "and they leave behind grieving families, and grieving classmates, and a grieving nation." ("Bush offers condolences at Virginia Tech,", Apr. 17, 2007) Reported also was "first lady Laura Bush [who] said she met with two families that had lost their only child." She was then quoted, " ' The idea of that for any parent [italics added] is so devastating that it's hard for us to imagine what they are going through,' she told CBS News." (Ibid)
It is evidently "hard" for many Christians with an imperialistic mind-set to "imagine . . . any parent" in Iraq, never mind "what they are going through" in our name.
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi mothers and fathers and sons and daughters "leaving behind grieving families, and grieving classmates, and a grieving nation."-because of Bush himself and his neo-conservative advisors. All one had to do was read the headlines before and after the horrible killings at Virginia Tech: "Dozens killed in violence across Iraq" ( The Boston Globe, April 11, 2007); "85 people found dead across Iraq," (The Boston Globe, Apr. 18, 2007); "Bombs Rip Through Baghdad in Wave of Attacks, Killing 171," (The New York Times, Apr. 19, 2007); "Suicide car bomb kills 9 US soldiers," (The Boston Globe, Apr. 24, 2007); "Dozens killed in bomb attack in Shiite Shrine," (The New York Times, Apr. 29, 2007). Tragically, faith-based imperialism fails to make the connection between Blacksburg and Baghdad. "Those who lives were taken, did nothing to deserve their fate." "The idea of that for any parent is so devastating that it's hard for us to imagine."
The failure of faith-based imperialism to recognize its own self-contradiction is especially seen in another response of President Bush to the horrible killings at Virginia Tech. When asked what lesson might be drawn from it, he responded, " 'Make sure when you see somebody, know somebody exhibiting abnormal behavior,' do something about it." ("Bush seeks war support in small Ohio town," Los Angeles Times, Apr. 19, 2007).
When you see somebody . . . exhibiting abnormal behavior?" The person "exhibiting" the most dangerous "abnormal behavior" is President Bush himself:
Saddam Hussein is harboring terrorists and the instruments of mass deaths and destruction. Facing the evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof-and the smoking gun that would come in the form of a 'mushroom cloud.' ("President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat," Cincinnati Ohio, The White House, Oct. 7, 2002);
I pray daily, I pray for wisdom and guidance and strength. . . . I pray for peace. I pray for peace. (The New York Times, Mar. 7, 2003);
Tomorrow is a moment of truth [italics added] for the world. ("President Bush: March 'Moment of Truth' for World in Iraq," The White House, Mar. 17, 2003);
I pray for peace. I pray for peace.
Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. . . . Operation Iraqi Freedom was carried out with a combination of precision, and speed, and boldness the world has never seen before. . . . You have shown the world the skill and the might of the American Armed Forces. This nation thanks all of the members of our coalition who joined in a noble cause. ("Test of Bush Speech: President declares end to major combat in Iraq," CBS NEWS, May 1, 2003) "Mission accomplished."
I pray daily . . . for wisdom and guidance and strength. . . . I pray for peace.
There are some that feel like if they attack us that we may decide to leave prematurely. They don't understand what they are talking about if that is the case. Let me finish. There are some who feel like the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring 'em on.' ("Bush warns militants who attack U.S. troops in Iraq," by Sean Loughlin, politics, July 3, 2003)
I pray daily. . . . I pray for peace. I pray for peace.
I'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind. . . . I see dangers that exist and its important for us to deal with them. ("Bush sets case as 'war president,'" BBC NEWS, Feb. 8, 2004)
I pray for peace. I pray for peace.
Islamic fascists. Evil doers. All they can think about is evil. Flat evil. Killers. Murderers of women and children. Terrorists. Lenin and Hitler [types]. [A never-ending] global war on terrorism. They want to create a unified totalitarian Islamic state and destroy the free world. A struggle for civilization. The war on terror . . . is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st Century and the calling of our generation.

I pray for peace. I pray for peace.
Four years after this war began, the fight is difficult, but it can be won. . . . It will be won if we have the courage and resolve to see it through. . . . Congress can do its part by passing the war-spending bill without strings [a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq] and without delay. ("Bush Pleads for Patience in Iraq on War's Anniversary," by David Stout, The New York Times, Mar. 19, 2007)
I pray for peace. I pray for peace.
The faith-based imperialism of many Christians is believed to have enabled and accommodated the "I pray for peace" psychopathic insanity of the most dangerous man on the face of the earth. The "I pray for wisdom and guidance and strength" evangelical Christian President who uses "God" and "freedom" and bended knee to murder and maim and displace millions of children of "any parent" in Iraq, who "were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time." The pious President who brings not the biblical "oil of gladness" to Iraq but who seeks to oil America's military-industrial-complex there and to control the oil under its ground. The "war president" whose intent is not to liberate but occupy Iraq and use its land as a military base for his administration's aim to dominate "the darkest corners of our [Muslim] world . . . [with] this untamed fire of freedom." ("Transcript of President Bush's Inaugural Address," (The New York Times, Jan. 21, 2005)
Many Christians have allowed President Bush to get away with mass murder. Their faith-based imperialism is short-sighted and narrow-minded: it apparently cannot see or feel beyond its own kind-unless there are evangelistic strings attached.
Faith-based imperialism is self-deceptive because it is unreflective. An insecure person's overriding need for authority and certainty can lead him or her to give up the inalienable right to think for herself or himself. Here Adam and Eve's eating of "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" is interpreted as evil rather than as good. Their "sin" was opening their "eyes" and knowing the difference between good and evil. Here obedience is the cardinal virtue and critical thinking for oneself the cardinal sin. Here religion is about authority not authenticity. Here is where a deluded political or religious leader gets much of his and her power. Here one is told which neighbor to love and which to hate. Here the Jesus of history is kept in the shadows of a resurrected Christ. Here salvation is re-interpreted as an individual matter apart from institutionalized political and economic realities that greatly determine who, in the gospel words of Jesus, may actually "have life, and have it abundantly." (John 10:10)
Faith-based imperialism does violence to the reality of oppressed people-Jewish and Muslim-and obscures what Jesus was really about. He was not about dying for the sins of the world so that believers everywhere could inherit eternal life, but about setting at liberty the oppressed Jews in his country from Roman occupation. (Luke 4:18) The great conspiracy of the early Christian Church was turning Jesus' model of liberation from an oppressive state into one of accommodation to the state. Why? It is safer today, as in the past, to believe that Jesus died for the sins of the world than to join in seeking, as he did, to rid the world of political, corporate and military sins that deny other people their birthright of freedom and fulfillment to be who they are. It is safer to worship a
liberator than to follow in his liberation footsteps. Tellingly, the imperialistic command of a resurrected Christ to his disciples, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," was a Christological formulation of the early Christian Church created long after Jesus and his disciples lived.
The early Christians apparently stood history on its head in order to put a resurrected Jesus on his feet-and give him legs and wings. They transported him from a political to a theological realm in order to survive, evangelize and flourish in the Roman world. (See Alberts, "Decoding the Coders of Christ," Counterpunch, June 14, 2006)
Religion is doing what the prophets worshiped not worshiping what they did. Jesus was recorded as emphasizing an often overlooked way to eternal life: by behavior, not be belief. When a lawyer tested him by asking, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus answered that the greatest commandments were the way: love of one's god and one's neighbor as oneself. "Do this [italics added] he said, and you will live." (Luke 10:25-28)
Jesus did not say which neighbor to love. Nor specify the neighbor's race, religion, nationality or sexual orientation. Which evidently led the lawyer to test Jesus further by asking, "And who is my neighbor?" And Jesus said any person robbed of life and in need of a Good Samaritan. And there were no proselytizing strings attached. (Ibid, 10:29-37) Jesus is quoted as saying, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." (Matthew 5:9) He warned about "hypocrites [who] love to stand and pray . . . so that they may be seen by others." (Matthew 6:5) "Hypocrites," in our day, who publicly "pray for peace" and really have the power to make peace but use it to make war. "Hypocrites" whose deception is based on their belief that Americans are in awe of authority and stupid.
The Bible says Jesus transcended faith-based imperialism with, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies . . . so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun shine on the evil and the good, and send his rain on the just and on the unjust." And his anti-imperialistic bottom line: "If you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing then others? [italics added] (Matthew 5:43-47)
Many Christians do more than love only those who love them. The Jesus of history has inspired people of faith to cross sectarian, nationalistic, and racial borders and embrace people everywhere as sisters and brothers. Such Christians believe that their god's steeple is the aspirations of all people. His alter the common ground on which everyone walks. And Jesus' cross the oppression from which any individual or group is seeking to liberate himself or herself or itself. They are "peacemakers," and oppose our country's criminal invasion and occupation of Iraq. They sing another hymn: "O young and fearless Prophet of ancient Galilee, thy life is still a summons to serve humanity; to make our thoughts and actions less prone to please the crowd, to stand with humble courage for truth with hearts uncowed." ("O Young and Fearless Prophet," words by S. Ralph Harlow; Music by John B Dykes) Hymnal of The United Methodist Church, 1989, p.444) These Christians have moved beyond faith-based imperialism to faith-based "humanity." And more movement by people of faith is especially needed now.
Just as state and local governments are passing resolutions calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice-President Cheney, people of faith should censure them in their own local, regional and general bodies. And The United Methodist Church should be out in front of such a movement as Bush and Cheney are Methodists. People of faith should also urge Congress to impeach them for their war crimes and to really "support the troops" by ending this criminal war now and bringing them home to their loved ones and communities. Religion is about "knowing good and evil" and being "peacemakers."

Rev. William E. Alberts, Ph.D. is a hospital chaplain, and a diplomate in the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy. Both a Unitarian Universalist and a United Methodist minister, he has written research reports, essays and articles on racism, war, politics and religion. This article is being presented as an address on May 27, 2007 at The Community Church of Boston where Rev. Alberts was minister from 1978 to 1991.

Blogger Comment:

1- I believe Christians have the right to spread their religion all over the world. Freedom of faith is very clear in Quran. Muslims have the same right to spread their religion. No hard feeling should be present if there are missionaries in each religion. Dialogue has to be built on tolerance and peace that each of these two religions teach. Jesus should unite us and not split us.

2- I do not think the necon are bad guys, I think they went to Iraq for noble causes at least many of them. There is no doubt that oil, Israel and appeasing the Saudi dynasty played an important role.

3- We all should be worried about the fanatic of all religions that why they should not take the lead.

4- My fear is the encomico-political imperealism is taking advantage of religious imperealism to maintain or expand its powers.

5- The like minded in all religions and non-religions should guide the world to what is right and not watch fanatics as they fight and destory the world.

6- A major undertaken like my moral utopia project or alike should be persued to imrpove the lives of millions of Chrisitans, Jews, Muslims and other people all over the world. Any one with major palns they will label him as the antiChrist which work well for the non-relgious imperialism.

Laylat ul-Qadr – The Night of Decree

From: Gulf Times.

Laylat ul-Qadr – The Night of DecreeThe words qadr and qadar mean decree: qadr also means majesty or high esteem. Thus Laylat ul-Qadr, or the Night of Qadr, means the Night of Decree, or the Night of Majesty. –MeritsLaylat ul-Qadr is a very blessed night. It is the best night of Ramadan, rather, the whole year. Rewards for acts of worship during it are multiplied so as to equal one thousand months. It is the night that Allah chose to send the Qur’an down to the lowest heaven, from where it was revealed in small portions to Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam – peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).It is the night on which Allah decrees His wise ordainments, appointing matters of life, death, sustenance, disasters, etc: and the angels descend with these decrees.Allah says, which means:“Verily! We have sent this (the Qur’an) down in the Night of al-Qadr. And what will make you know what the Night of al-Qadr is? The Night of al-Qadr is better than one thousand months. In it the angels and the Spirit (Jibreel) descend, by Allah’s permission, with all decrees. Peace it is, until the appearance of dawn.”And He says, which means:“Verily! We have sent this (the Qur’an) down on a blessed night. Verily, We always warn (people from sinning). In it, every matter of ordainment is decreed – by Our command. Verily, We always send (the messengers for guidance). It is a mercy from Your Lord; He is indeed All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”It should be noted here that sending down the Qur’an on Laylat ul-Qadr does not mean that it was revealed all at once to Muhammad. According to the scholars, it was sent down on that night from al-Lawh ul-Mahfooz (the Preserved Tablet) to the lowest heaven. It was then revealed in small segments, as necessary, over a period of 23 years of the Messenger’s (pbuh) life.The same applies to Allah’s decrees. They are not formulated on this specific night every year. Rather, Allah, with His encompassing knowledge, knew all what will happen, and has recorded it all in al-Lawh ul-Mahfooz. On Laylat ul-Qadr, Allah issues His decrees pertaining to the following year (life, death, sustenance, etc), after having been in al-Lawh ul-Mahfooz, to the angels.Which night?VARYING REPORTS AND OPINIONSThere are various authentic hadiths in which the Prophet (pbuh) indicates that Laylat ul-Qadr falls on the night of the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, 29th, or last night of Ramadan. Because of this, the scholars have differed widely as to which night it actually falls on. Al-Haafi al-Iraaqee wrote a booklet on this subject, titled Sharh us-Sadr bi-Thikri Laylat il-Qadr, in which he covered all of the scholars’ opinions in this regard, Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee said:“It seems to me that the Prophet (pbuh) would answer in accordance with the question. So if one asked him: ‘Should we seek it on such and such night?’ He would reply, ‘Yes, seek it on such and such night.’”THE LAST TEN NIGHTS OF RAMADANThe various reports indicate that Laylat ul-Qadr definitely falls on the last 10 nights of Ramadan, and most frequently on the last seven nights, as in Ibn ‘Umar’s report that the Prophet (pbuh) said:“Seek it on the last 10 nights. If one of you is weak, let him not miss (at least) the last seven nights.”The knowledge of the exact night on which it falls is hidden from the Muslims. ‘Ubaadah Bin as-Saamit reported that the Prophet (pbuh) walked into the Masjid (Prophet’s mosque) and found two men arguing. He said:“I was coming to tell you about (the time of) Laylat ul-Qadr; when such and such men disputed, the knowledge of this was raised (taken); and this may be better for you. So seek it on the ninth, seventh, and fifth nights (after 20).”THE NIGHT OF THE 21stIn another report, Aboo Sa’eed al-Khudree narrates that a number of the sahaabah performed i’tikaaf with Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) during the middle 10 days of Ramadan. On the morning of the 20th of Ramadan, they were preparing to leave when the Prophet (pbuh) addressed them saying:“I was informed (by Allah) about (when is) Laylat ul-Qadr. But I was then made to forget it. So seek it on the last 10, on an odd night. I was also informed that I will make sujood (for the morning prayer that follows it) in water and mud. So let those who started i’tikaaf with Allah’s Messenger return (to the Masjid for 10 more days of i’tikaaf).”Aboo Sa’eed then continues:“The people went back to the Masjid (to resume i’tikaaf). We could not see even a thin cloud in the sky. But then, a large cloud came: and it rained that night. The roof of the Masjid, which was made of palm reeds, leaked in the Messenger’s prayer place on the night of the 21st. The (morning) prayer was performed: and Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) made sujood in mud and water, until I saw the mud on his nose and forehead.”THE NIGHT OF THE 27thOther hadiths indicate that Laylat ul-Qadr falls on the 27th night of Ramadan. For example, Zirr Bin Hubaysh reported that Ubayy Bin Ka’b was informed that Ibn Mas’ood said, “Whoever stands the whole year (in prayer), he will certainly encounter Laylat ul-Qadr.” Upon hearing this, Ubayy said:“May Allah have mercy on him, he did not want the people to become lazy (if they new more precisely when it is). By the One whom there is no deity but Him, it is surely in Ramadan. I swear by Allah I know which night it is: It is the night in which Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) commanded us to stand (in prayer): it is the night preceding the morning of the 27th (of Ramadan). Its sign is that the sun rises the following morning white and without rays.”SUMMARYTherefore, Laylat ul-Qadr falls on an odd night of the last 10 nights of Ramadan; it is more likely to be on the last seven, and most likely on the middle one of those, which is the night of the 27th.The scholars differ as to whether it always comes on a fixed night, namely, the 27th, as in Zirr’s hadith, or moves from year to year between these nights. The safest approach is to follow the hadiths instructing one to seek it at least on the odd nights of the last 10. At the same time, special care should be given to the night of the 27th, because it is the night on which the Prophet (pbuh) gathered all of his family, and passed it in prayer and worship, as in the forthcoming hadith of Abu Tharr.How to seekLaylat ul-QadrLaylat ul-Qadr is the most blessed night. A person who misses it has indeed missed a great amount of good. If a believing person is zealous to obey his Lord and increase the good deeds in his record, he should strive to encounter this night and to pass it in worship and obedience. If this is facilitated for him, all of his previous sins will be forgiven.PRAYING QIYAAMIt is recommended to make a long Qiyaam prayer during the nights on which Laylat ul-Qadr could fall. This is indicated in many hadiths. For instance, Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger (pbuh) said:“Whoever stands (in qiyaam) in Laylat ul-Qadr (and it is facilitated for him) out of faith and expectation (of Allah’s reward), will have all of his previous sins forgiven.”MAKING SUPPLICATIONSIt is also recommended to make extensive supplication on this night. ‘Aa’ishah reported that she asked Allah’s Messenger, “O Messenger of Allah! If I knew which night is Laylat ul-Qadr, what should I say during it?” And he (pbuh) instructed her to say:“Allaahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibb ul-’afwa f’afu ‘annee – O Allah! You are forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive me.”ABANDONING WORLDLY PLEASURES FOR THE SAKE OF WORSHIPIt is further recommended to spend more time in worship during the nights on which Laylat ul-Qadr is likely to be. This calls for abandoning many worldly pleasures in order to secure the time and thoughts solely for worshipping Allah. ‘Aa’ishah (radhiallahu anha) reported:“When the (last) 10 started, the Prophet (pbuh) would tighten his izaar, spend the whole night awake (in prayer), and wake up his family.”And she said:“Allah’s Messenger used to exert more (in worship) on the last 10 than on other nights.”Signs of Laylat ul-QadrAUTHENTIC SIGNSThere are signs, mentioned in the authentic reports, by which one might be able to tell whether a specific night was Laylat ul-Qadr or not. It is interesting to note that these signs occur after the night ends. Some scholars have indicated that the wisdom behind this is that one would not rely on definite knowledge in order to limit his worship to just one night of the whole year. This understanding is supported by the Prophet’s statement in the preceding hadith of ‘Ubaadah. “... And this may be better for you.”In the preceding hadith of Ubayy, he said: “Its sign is that the sun rises on the following morning white, and without rays.” Similarly, Abu Tharr reported that the Prophet (pbuh) said:“On the morning following Laylat ul-Qadr, the sun rises without rays, resembling a dish, until it becomes high.”Abu Sa’eed’s preceding hadith indicates that it is a humid or rainy night. A hadith reported by Ibn ‘Abbaas informs that it is a moderate night, neither hot nor cold.According to some scholars, the last two descriptions apply to the particular years when the Prophet made his statements.

UNFOUNDED FOLK-TALESMany fables circulate among the common people, claiming unusual incidents happening during Laylat ul-Qadr. These fables claim that the trees make sujood, animals act in a strange way, sinners who happen to wake up for a few seconds and ask for wealth become millionaires, etc...All of this is nonsense! Laylat ul-Qadr is a blessed night which should be spent in worship and obedience, not in negligence or sinning. Only the one who makes good use of it, in accordance with the Sunnah, as outlined above, can hope for Allah’s acceptance and blessings.[From: The Night Prayers: Qiyaam and Taraaweeh, by M Naasirud-deen al-Albaanee and other scholars.]

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The end of the world.


By Jane Lampman
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

When David got home from school, the third grader looked everywhere for his mom and sisters. They couldn't be found in the house or the yard. Suddenly the youngster panicked. What he'd been taught in church must have happened - they'd disappeared in the "rapture," and he'd been "left behind."
For children raised in a fundamentalist Protestant background, "that wasn't an uncommon experience," says David Currie of his frantic moments years ago. They were taught Jesus could come at any moment to whisk believers to heaven and leave others to face seven years of "the great tribulation." Only after that period of suffering, violence, and disasters on Earth would Christ return in the Second Coming.
monitor talk
Today, as belief in this end-times prophecy sees a resurgence among Americans - partly because of the phenomenal success of the "Left Behind" series of novels (58 million sold) and the disturbing "signs" of terrorism and war - Mr. Currie and others are seeking to refute the apocalyptic theology.
Fundamentalists represent a minority of Christians - an estimated 25 million - but the interest in end-times prophecy has spread beyond their circles, and is not only shaping people's lives, but, say supporters and critics, even influencing US foreign policy.
A 2002 survey showed that 59 percent of Americans believe that the events in the Bible book of Revelation will occur in the future.
The theology behind end-time prophecy - premillennial dispensationalism (from the idea that God has divided history into ages, or dispensations) - emerged in 19th-century England. It was brought to America by missionary John Nelson Darby and spread at evangelistic conferences.
While believers say it spurs righteous living and helps discern God's plan for the world, others see it as fostering a skewed sense of history and of what Christianity is about.
Rather than the single Second Coming of Christ expected by other Christians, it presents a two-stage return of Jesus, with the plagues and catastrophes depicted in Revelation literally to take place on Earth in between. The current "church age" will end with the rapture, when Jesus will take true Christians to heaven, and the rest of humanity will face the outpouring of God's wrath, designed to turn them to Him. Many insist it will occur within a generation.
"I know people who have sold their houses and lived with relatives because they thought the world would soon come to an end," Currie says. "I know others who've cut their education short because they thought it more important to witness to people than to get their degree."
After becoming a missionary and preaching the rapturist prophecy, Currie eventually came to a very different conclusion - that this teaching was not true, and is not in the Bible.
Premillennialism is not consistent with Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or mainline Protestant teaching - but it has been avidly promoted by televangelists and on Christian radio for decades. And one 2002 poll found that more Americans experience the Christian faith through radio, television, or books than by attending church.
The Left Behind series of novels, which begins with the rapture (with planes and cars crashing as Christians disappear) and carries through the tribulation years to Armageddon and the Second Coming, is a blend of fast-paced violence, catastrophes, miracles, and heartfelt faith.
According to end-times teaching, Bible prophecies in Daniel, Revelation, and elsewhere apply literally to current events (there is much debate over who the Antichrist is) and are the key to understanding world history. Other fundamental points are that the state of Israel is central to God's plan for the end times, and Jesus' return is imminent.
"He could come tomorrow, and that grips my life and changes the way I live," says Mark Hitchcock, pastor of Faith Bible Church in Edmond, Okla. "It encourages holy living and evangelism."
Currie, who has become a Catholic, says thousands of young Catholics have been won over to fundamentalist churches through rapture theology.
Barbara White, a Jewish African-American mortician from Buffalo, N.Y., was "saved" at age 7 by a pastor "who was heavy on the rapture." It shapes her whole life.
"The priority is time - every day I cram five days into that day because of the sense of urgency," she says. "I feel I have to love every day, encourage someone every day." She has also become pastor of an interdenominational church.
Those who dispute the theology, however, say it often encourages fatalism and escapism. A prominent premillennialist, Dwight L. Moody, famously asked, "Why polish the brass on a sinking ship?"
Barbara Rossing, who teaches the New Testament at Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, gets calls for help from pastors with congregation members who are avid readers of the Left Behind series. She tells of a friend who mentored a confirmation student at her church who'd read all the novels.
"As my friend talked with her about world problems, the student said, 'I don't have to worry about that because I'm going to be raptured before things get too bad,' " Dr. Rossing says. "People think they don't have to worry about the environment or other situations because God is going to take them away from it."
She recalls the stir during her own college years three decades ago, when Hal Lindsey's "The Late Great Planet Earth," which predicted the end of the world in 1988, sold millions of copies.
"I can relate to the fear teenagers feel and the yearning to know what God's plan is and not be left behind," Rossing adds. So she's written a book, "The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation," to be released in April. "I'm trying to offer an alternative way of understanding God's presence in the world."
She and Currie - who has written "Rapture: The End-Times Error That Leaves the Bible Behind" - explore the Bible sources for rapturist theology, aiming to demonstrate that it's a modern literalist interpretation based on selective passages taken out of context.
While some have experienced the fundamentalist teaching as fear- driven, others find comfort in it. Tim LaHaye, who created the Left Behind series to spread the theology, described in a Monitor interview last year what sparked his intense focus on prophecy.
When Mr. LaHaye was 9, his father died. The bereaved boy was inconsolable. "Then the minister at the funeral said these words: 'This is not the end of Frank LaHaye; because he accepted Jesus, the day will come when the Lord will shout from heaven and descend, and the dead in Christ will rise first and then we'll be caught up together to meet him in the air," LaHaye recalled. "All of a sudden, there was hope in my heart I'd see my father again."
LaHaye has since built an industry around the rapture theology, including the fiction series (the final volume comes out March 30), a Left Behind kids series, a prophecy club on the Web, nonfiction prophecy books, a new series of novels, and a Pre-Trib[ulation] Research Center.
Mr. Hitchcock, the Oklahoma pastor, is active in the movement and is coauthoring a new book, "The Truth Behind Left Behind," to respond to critics.
He doesn't agree with colleagues who predict dates for the rapture, or those who are against trying to improve a world they expect to only get worse. "This is not a monolithic movement," he says. "You find people who are separatistic, and people who are very involved."
In fact, the involvement of premillennialists in politics is stirring concern among some observers. As the religious right has become more prominent in political circles, critics say, they are influencing and even undermining US policy on the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.
Dispensationalists are also called Christian Zionists, and since the 19th century have supported the "regathering of the Jews" in the Holy Land, which they say is an essential step toward the end times. It also says the temple will be rebuilt on the Temple Mount, where the Muslim Dome of the Rock now stands.
Hitchcock says the return of Jews to Israel is "a stage-setting event for the tribulation period, when God's going to deal again with the Jewish people," giving them a last chance to recognize Jesus as Messiah.
In the meantime, dispensationalists believe that, according to Genesis, God will bless those who bless the Jews and curse those who curse them. They are therefore among Israel's staunchest supporters, backing its "ownership" of the entire West Bank. They have raised money in churches to support illegal settlements.
Don Wagner, who teaches religion and Middle East studies at North Park University in Chicago, points to specific examples of Christian Zionists' political influence: When President Bush started to call on Israel to pull the military back from Jenin refugee camp in 2002, they helped mobilize 100,000 e-mails to the White House; the president never said another word in public. And when Mr. Bush started pushing his latest peace plan, House leader "Tom DeLay headed off to Israel to speak to the Knesset and told them not to worry about it," he adds.
Dr. Wagner says that Christian Zionists are ignoring and undermining indigenous Christians in the Middle East, many of whom are descendants of the earliest Christians. A Palestinian Christian center, Sabeel, will hold a conference this spring, "Challenging Christian Zionism."
What distresses some other Christians is that the fixation on prophecy can lead genuine seekers astray about what Christianity teaches.
"Now if you talk to a man on the street he'll think Christians believe in a God who is quixotic, plays games with humanity, and is going to cheerfully zap flight crews out of planes and see the planes crash," says Paul Maier, professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. "How do you counteract that?"
To challenge the prophecy buffs, he recently published "More Than a Skeleton," a theological thriller about what happens when a man appears in contemporary Israel who begins to say and do the same things Jesus did.
Rossing agrees with the power of storytelling. "What these [Left Behind] novels are fulfilling is the hunger to see God in the world, and they point to earthquakes, wars, and plagues like SARS," she says. "We need to help people see God's presence in other ways - in stories of healing and love and justice."

Quran: Sura The Cow.



How can ye reject the faith in Allah?- seeing that ye were without life, and He gave you life; then will He cause you to die, and will again bring you to life; and again to Him will ye return.

It is He Who hath created for you all things that are on earth; Moreover His design comprehended the heavens, for He gave order and perfection to the seven firmaments; and of all things He hath perfect knowledge.

Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: “I will create a vicegerent on earth.” They said: “Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?- whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?” He said: “I know what ye know not.”

And He taught Adam the nature of all things; then He placed them before the angels, and said: “Tell me the nature of these if ye are right.”

They said: “Glory to Thee, of knowledge We have none, save what Thou Hast taught us: In truth it is Thou Who art perfect in knowledge and wisdom.”

He said: “O Adam! Tell them their natures.” When he had told them, Allah said: “Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of heaven and earth, and I know what ye reveal and what ye conceal?”

And behold, We said to the angels: “Bow down to Adam” and they bowed down. Not so Iblis: he refused and was haughty: He was of those who reject Faith.

We said: “O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden; and eat of the bountiful things therein as (where and when) ye will; but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression.”

Then did Satan make them slip from the (garden), and get them out of the state (of felicity) in which they had been. We said: “Get ye down, all (ye people), with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood - for a time.”

Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration, and his Lord Turned towards him; for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.

We said: “Get ye down all from here; and if, as is sure, there comes to you Guidance from me, whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

“But those who reject Faith and belie Our Signs, they shall be companions of the Fire; they shall abide therein.”

O Children of Israel! call to mind the (special) favour which I bestowed upon you, and fulfil your covenant with Me as I fulfil My Covenant with you, and fear none but Me.

And believe in what I reveal, confirming the revelation which is with you, and be not the first to reject Faith therein, nor sell My Signs for a small price; and fear Me, and Me alone.

And cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when ye know (what it is).

And be steadfast in prayer; practise regular charity; and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship).

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

10 brief points Christians Should know about Muslims and Jesus.


By Sound Vision Staff Writer

Muslims love Jesus. We also love Abraham, Moses, and Noah, to name just a few other Prophets
Muslims revere. May God's peace be upon all of these great messengers of God.

Muslims also love the mother of Jesus, the Virgin Mary. We believe she was a pious and noble woman chosen over all of the women of the world.

Muslims believe that Jesus was born miraculously of a virgin mother and no father. His birth is miraculous like the birth of Adam, the first human being, who was created with neither mother nor father.

Muslims do not believe that Jesus was the son of God. God is so powerful and self-sufficient that He does not need a son or any kind of partner.

In Arabic Bible the name for God is Allah. Therefore all Arab Christian call God Allah as Muslim do as well.

Jesus did not die on the cross. Rather, God saved him as his enemies were confused about him. Jesus was taken up by God to Heaven.

Jesus is called Isa (pronounced Eesa) in Arabic.

Jesus performed miracles by the Will of God, like healing the blind and those with leprosy.

Jesus prayed to the same God as all Prophets and we pray to.

Jesus will return before the end of the world.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Quran: Sura Ar-Rad (The Thunder)


In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

A.L.M.R. These are the signs (or verses) of the Book: that which hath been revealed unto thee from thy Lord is the Truth; but most men believe not.

Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any pillars that ye can see; is firmly established on the throne (of authority); He has subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law)! Each one runs (its course) for a term appointed. He doth regulate all affairs, explaining the signs in detail, that ye may believe with certainty in the meeting with your Lord.

And it is He who spread out the earth, and set thereon mountains standing firm and (flowing) rivers: and fruit of every kind He made in pairs, two and two: He draweth the night as a veil o’er the Day. Behold, verily in these things there are signs for those who consider!

And in the earth are tracts (diverse though) neighbouring, and gardens of vines and fields sown with corn, and palm trees - growing out of single roots or otherwise: watered with the same water, yet some of them We make more excellent than others to eat. Behold, verily in these things there are signs for those who understand!

If thou dost marvel (at their want of faith), strange is their saying: “When we are (actually) dust, shall we indeed then be in a creation renewed?” They are those who deny their Lord! They are those round whose necks will be yokes (of servitude): they will be Companions of the Fire, to dwell therein (for aye)!

They ask thee to hasten on the evil in preference to the good: Yet have come to pass, before them, (many) exemplary punishments! But verily thy Lord is full of forgiveness for mankind for their wrong-doing, and verily thy Lord is (also) strict in punishment.

And the Unbelievers say: “Why is not a sign sent down to him from his Lord?” But thou art truly a warner, and to every people a guide.

Allah doth know what every female (womb) doth bear, by how much the wombs fall short (of their time or number) or do exceed. Every single thing is before His sight, in (due) proportion.

He knoweth the unseen and that which is open: He is the Great, the Most High.

It is the same (to Him) whether any of you conceal his speech or declare it openly; whether he lie hid by night or walk forth freely by day.

For each (such person) there are (angels) in succession, before and behind him: They guard him by command of Allah. Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls). But when (once) Allah willeth a people’s punishment, there can be no turning it back, nor will they find, besides Him, any to protect.

It is He Who doth show you the lightning, by way both of fear and of hope: It is He Who doth raise up the clouds, heavy with (fertilising) rain!

Nay, thunder repeateth His praises, and so do the angels, with awe: He flingeth the loud-voiced thunder-bolts, and therewith He striketh whomsoever He will..yet these (are the men) who (dare to) dispute about Allah, with the strength of His power (supreme)!

For Him (alone) is prayer in Truth: any others that they call upon besides Him hear them no more than if they were to stretch forth their hands for water to reach their mouths but it reaches them not: for the prayer of those without Faith is nothing but (futile) wandering (in the mind).

Whatever beings there are in the heavens and the earth do prostrate themselves to Allah (Acknowledging subjection),- with good-will or in spite of themselves: so do their shadows in the morning and evenings.

Say: “Who is the Lord and Sustainer of the heavens and the earth?” Say: “(It is) Allah.” Say: “Do ye then take (for worship) protectors other than Him, such as have no power either for good or for harm to themselves?” Say: “Are the blind equal with those who see? Or the depths of darkness equal with light?” Or do they assign to Allah partners who have created (anything) as He has created, so that the creation seemed to them similar? Say: “Allah is the Creator of all things: He is the One, the Supreme and Irresistible.”

He sends down water from the skies, and the channels flow, each according to its measure: But the torrent bears away to foam that mounts up to the surface. Even so, from that (ore) which they heat in the fire, to make ornaments or utensils therewith, there is a scum likewise. Thus doth Allah (by parables) show forth Truth and Vanity. For the scum disappears like forth cast out; while that which is for the good of mankind remains on the earth. Thus doth Allah set forth parables.

For those who respond to their Lord, are (all) good things. But those who respond not to Him,- Even if they had all that is in the heavens and on earth, and as much more, (in vain) would they offer it for ransom. For them will the reckoning be terrible: their abode will be Hell,- what a bed of misery!

Is then one who doth know that that which hath been revealed unto thee from thy Lord is the Truth, like one who is blind? It is those who are endued with understanding that receive admonition;-

Those who fulfil the covenant of Allah and fail not in their plighted word;

Those who join together those things which Allah hath commanded to be joined, hold their Lord in awe, and fear the terrible reckoning;

Those who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance of their Lord; Establish regular prayers; spend, out of (the gifts) We have bestowed for their sustenance, secretly and openly; and turn off Evil with good: for such there is the final attainment of the (eternal) home,-

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

“Peace unto you for that ye persevered in patience! Now how excellent is the final home!”

But those who break the Covenant of Allah, after having plighted their word thereto, and cut asunder those things which Allah has commanded to be joined, and work mischief in the land;- on them is the curse; for them is the terrible home!

Allah doth enlarge, or grant by (strict) measure, the sustenance (which He giveth) to whomso He pleaseth. (The wordly) rejoice in the life of this world: But the life of this world is but little comfort in the Hereafter.

The Unbelievers say: “Why is not a sign sent down to him from his Lord?” Say: “Truly Allah leaveth, to stray, whom He will; But He guideth to Himself those who turn to Him in penitence,-

“Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.

“For those who believe and work righteousness, is (every) blessedness, and a beautiful place of (final) return.”

Thus have we sent thee amongst a People before whom (long since) have (other) Peoples (gone and) passed away; in order that thou mightest rehearse unto them what We send down unto thee by inspiration; yet do they reject (Him), the Most Gracious! Say: “He is my Lord! There is no god but He! On Him is my trust, and to Him do I turn!”

If there were a Qur’an with which mountains were moved, or the earth were cloven asunder, or the dead were made to speak, (this would be the one!) But, truly, the command is with Allah in all things! Do not the Believers know, that, had Allah (so) willed, He could have guided all mankind (to the right)? But the Unbelievers,- never will disaster cease to seize them for their (ill) deeds, or to settle close to their homes, until the promise of Allah come to pass, for, verily, Allah will not fail in His promise.

Mocked were (many) apostles before thee: but I granted respite to the unbelievers, and finally I punished them: Then how (terrible) was my requital!

Is then He who standeth over every soul (and knoweth) all that it doth, (like any others)? And yet they ascribe partners to Allah. Say: “But name them! is it that ye will inform Him of something he knoweth not on earth, or is it (just) a show of words?” Nay! to those who believe not, their pretence seems pleasing, but they are kept back (thereby) from the path. And those whom Allah leaves to stray, no one can guide.

For them is a penalty in the life of this world, but harder, truly, is the penalty of the Hereafter: and defender have they none against Allah.

The parable of the Garden which the righteous are promised!- beneath it flow rivers: perpetual is the enjoyment thereof and the shade therein: such is the end of the Righteous; and the end of Unbelievers in the Fire.

Those to whom We have given the Book rejoice at what hath been revealed unto thee: but there are among the clans those who reject a part thereof. Say: “I am commanded to worship Allah, and not to join partners with Him. Unto Him do I call, and unto Him is my return.”

Thus have We revealed it to be a judgment of authority in Arabic. Wert thou to follow their (vain) desires after the knowledge which hath reached thee, then wouldst thou find neither protector nor defender against Allah.

We did send apostles before thee, and appointed for them wives and children: and it was never the part of an apostle to bring a sign except as Allah permitted (or commanded). For each period is a Book (revealed).

Allah doth blot out or confirm what He pleaseth: with Him is the Mother of the Book.

Whether We shall show thee (within thy life-time) part of what we promised them or take to ourselves thy soul (before it is all accomplished),- thy duty is to make (the Message) reach them: it is our part to call them to account.

See they not that We gradually reduce the land (in their control) from its outlying borders? (Where) Allah commands, there is none to put back His Command: and He is swift in calling to account.

Those before them did (also) devise plots; but in all things the master-planning is Allah’s He knoweth the doings of every soul: and soon will the Unbelievers know who gets home in the end.

The Unbelievers say: “No apostle art thou.” Say: “Enough for a witness between me and you is Allah, and such as have knowledge of the Book.”

Quran: Sura Al-Qiyama (The Resurrection Day).


In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

I do call to witness the Resurrection Day;

And I do call to witness the self-reproaching spirit: (Eschew Evil).

Does man think that We cannot assemble his bones?

Nay, We are able to put together in perfect order the very tips of his fingers.

But man wishes to do wrong (even) in the time in front of him.

He questions: “When is the Day of Resurrection?”

At length, when the sight is dazed,

And the moon is buried in darkness.

And the sun and moon are joined together,-

That Day will Man say: “Where is the refuge?”

By no means! No place of safety!

Before thy Lord (alone), that Day will be the place of rest.

That Day will Man be told (all) that he put forward, and all that he put back.

Nay, man will be evidence against himself,

Even though he were to put up his excuses.

Move not thy tongue concerning the (Qur’an) to make haste therewith.

It is for Us to collect it and to promulgate it:

But when We have promulgated it, follow thou its recital (as promulgated):

Nay more, it is for Us to explain it (and make it clear):

Nay, (ye men!) but ye love the fleeting life,

And leave alone the Hereafter.

Some faces, that Day, will beam (in brightness and beauty);-

Looking towards their Lord;

And some faces, that Day, will be sad and dismal,

In the thought that some back-breaking calamity was about to be inflicted on them;

Yea, when (the soul) reaches to the collar-bone (in its exit),

And there will be a cry, “Who is a magician (to restore him)?”

And he will conclude that it was (the Time) of Parting;

And one leg will be joined with another:

That Day the Drive will be (all) to thy Lord!

So he gave nothing in charity, nor did he pray!-

But on the contrary, he rejected Truth and turned away!

Then did he stalk to his family in full conceit!

Woe to thee, (O men!), yea, woe!

Again, Woe to thee, (O men!), yea, woe!

Does man think that he will be left uncontrolled, (without purpose)?

Was he not a drop of sperm emitted (in lowly form)?

Then did he become a leech-like clot; then did (Allah) make and fashion (him) in due proportion.

And of him He made two sexes, male and female.

Has not He, (the same), the power to give life to the dead?

Jesus Through a Muslim Lens


For more about Jesus in Islam:

Jesus Through a Muslim Lens:

By: Michael Wolfe
Source: Beliefnet*

Jesus of Nazareth is the most widely revered religious figure in the world. Not only is he central to Christianity, the largest religion in the world, he is also venerated throughout Islam, the world's second largest faith.Christians may be surprised to learn that Muslims believe in the Virgin Birth and Jesus' miracles. But this shared interest in his message goes much further.In our scientific age, the miraculous side of Jesus' story has greatly obscured his role in the prophetic tradition. In this sense, there may be more important questions for Muslims and Christians than whether he walked on water or raised the dead. In the Muslim view, Jesus' essential work was not to replicate magic bread or to test our credulity, but to complement the legalism of the Torah with a leavening compassion rarely expressed in the older testament. His actions and words introduce something new to monotheism: They develop the merciful spirit of God's nature. Jesus confirmed the Torah, stressing the continuity of his lineage, but he also developed the importance of compassion and self-purification as crucial links between learning the words of God's message and possessing the wisdom to carry it out. Oddly enough, some of the recent work by New Testament scholars seems to have reached a view of Christ not all that different from Muslims'. For us and for these scholars, Jesus appears not as a literal son of God in human form, but as an inspired human being, a teacher of wisdom with a talent for love drawn from an unbroken relationship to God. Both versions present him as a man who spoke to common people in universal terms. Two events in the life of the prophet Muhammad may help explain why Muslims revere the Christian Jesus. The first event involves an elder resident of Mecca named Waraqa bin Nawfal. This man was an early Arab Christian and an uncle of Muhammad's wife, Khadija. We know he could read Hebrew, that he was mystical by nature, and that he attended Khadija and Muhammad's wedding in about 595 C.E. Fifteen years later, a worried Khadija sought Waraqa out and brought her husband to him. At the time, Muhammad was a 40-year-old respected family man. He attended this "family therapy" session in a rare state of agitation. He was frightened. He had been meditating one evening in a cave on the outskirts of town. There, while half asleep, he had experienced something so disturbing that he feared he was possessed. A voice had spoken to him. Waraqa listened to his story, which Muslims will recognize as a description of Muhammad's first encounter with the angel Gabriel. When it was finished, Waraqa assured him he was not possessed. "What you have heard is the voice of the same spiritual messenger God sent to Moses. I wish I could be a young man when you become a prophet! I would like to be alive when your own people expel you." "Will they expel me?" Muhammad asked. "Yes," the old man said. "No one has ever brought his people the news you bring without meeting hostility. If I live to see the day, I will support you." Christians will recognize in Waraqa's remarks an aphorism associated with Jesus: "A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country." But that a Christian should first have verified Muhammad's role as a prophet may come as a surprise. The second important event concerning Islam and Christianity dates from 616, a few years after Muhammad began to preach publicly. This first attempt to reinstate the Abrahamic tradition in Mecca met (as Waraqa had warned) with violent opposition. Perhaps the Meccans resented Muhammad's special claim. Perhaps his message of a single, invisible, ever-present God threatened the economy of their city. A month's ride south from the centers of power in Syria and Persia, poor remote Mecca depended on long-distance trade and on seasonal pilgrims who came there each year to honor hundreds of pagan idols, paying a tax to do so. At any rate, Muhammad's disruptive suggestion that "God was One" and could be found anywhere did not sit well with the businessmen of Mecca. Many new Muslims were being tortured. Their livelihoods were threatened, their families persecuted. As matters grew worse, in 616 Muhammad sent a small band of followers across the Red Sea to seek shelter in the Christian kingdom of Axum. There, he told them, they would find a just ruler, the Negus, who could protect them. The Muslims found the Negus in his palace, somewhere in the borderland between modern Ethiopia and Eritrea. And protect them he did, after one Muslim recited to him some lines on the Virgin Mary from the Qur'an. The Negus wept at what he heard. Between Christians and Muslims, he said, he could not make out more difference than the thickness of a twig.
These two stories underscore the support Christians gave Muhammad in times of trial. The Qur'an distils the meaning from the drama:
Those who feel the most affection For us (who put our faith in the Qur'an),Are those that say, "We are Christians,"For priests and monks live among themWho are not arrogant. When they listenTo what We have shown Muhammad,Their eyes brim over with tearsAt the truth they find there....
Even today, when a Muslim mentions Jesus' name, you will hear it followed by the phrase "peace and blessings be upon him," because Muslims still revere him as a prophet.
We believe in GodAnd in what has been sent down to us,What has been revealed to Abraham and IshmaelAnd Isaac and Jacob and their offspring,And what was given to Moses and to JesusAnd all the other prophets of the Lord.We make no distinction among them.
As these lines from the Qur'an make clear, Muslims regard Jesus as one of the world's great teachers. He and his mentor John the Baptist stand in a lineage stretching back to the founder of ethical monotheism. Moreover, among Muslims, Jesus is a special type of prophet, a messenger empowered to communicate divinity not only in words but by miracles as well. Muslims, it must be said, part company with some Christians over the portrait of Jesus developed in the fourth and fifth centuries. Certain fictions, Muslims think, were added then. Three of these come in for special mention: First, Muslims consider monastic asceticism a latter-day innovation, not an original part of Jesus' way. Second, the New Testament suffers from deletions and embellishments added after Jesus' death by men who did not know him. Third, the description of Jesus as God's son is considered by Muslims a later, blasphemous suggestion. Muslims venerate Jesus as a divinely inspired human but never, ever as "the son of God." In the same vein, we treat the concept of the Trinity as a late footnote to Jesus' teachings, an unnecessary "mystery" introduced by the North African theologian Tertullian two centuries after Jesus' death. Nor do Muslims view his death as an act of atonement for mankind's sins. Rather, along with the early Christian theologian Pelagius, Islam rejects the doctrine of original sin, a notion argued into church doctrine by St. Augustine around the year 400. It might almost be said that Islam holds a view of Jesus similar to some of the early apostolic versions condemned by the fourth-century Byzantine Church. Once Constantine installed Christianity as the Roman Empire's state religion, a rage for orthodoxy followed. The Councils of Nicaea (325), Tyre (335), Constantinople (381), Ephesus (431), and Chalcedon (451) were official, often brutal attempts to stamp out heterodox views of Jesus held by "heretical" theologians. Rulings by these councils led to the persecution and deaths of tens of thousands of early Christians at the hands of more "orthodox" Christians who condemned them. Most disputes centered on divergent interpretations of the Trinity. For this reason, historians of religion sometimes see in these bloody divisions one of the root causes for early Islam's firmly unitarian outlook. Then and now, no more dangerous religious mistake exists for a Muslim than dividing the Oneness of God by twos or threes. Despite these important differences, however, the Qur'an repeatedly counsels Muslims not to dispute with other monotheists over matters of doctrine. People, it says, believe differently for good reasons. In fact, that is a part of Allah's will.

Michael Wolfe is the author of books of poetry, fiction, travel, and history. His most recent works are a pair of books from Grove Press on the pilgrimage to Mecca: "The Hajj" (1993), a first-person travel account, and "One Thousand Roads to Mecca" (1997), an anthology of 10 centuries of travelers writing about the Muslim pilgrimage. In April 1997, he hosted a televised account of the Hajj from Mecca for Ted Koppel's "Nightline" on ABC. He has also produced an extensive documentary on the life of Prophet Muhammad for PBS called
Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet about.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Lady Khadijah (PBUH)


In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

My Dream, Your Satisfaction

"… We are the pioneers and masters of the Arabs, and you have dignity also. My tribe does not deny your virtues, and no one neglects your honor and glory… Our wish was to intermingle with your love and glory. Thus, O Tribe of Quraish! Bear witness that we have married Khadijah (PBUH) to Muhammad (PBUH&HP)…"

And it was from there that the union between Muhammad (PBUH&HP) – whom no other was like him - and Lady Khadijah (PBUH) – whom carried great honor - was established. It was extremely difficult for the Arabs and the elderly of Mecca to accept this union. They had repeatedly gone to Lady Khadijah's (PBUH) house, yet only returned back with a refusal from Lady Khadijah (PBUH) having ignored their properties, positions and ranks …
This pious woman was more than just a wife in the house of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP). She had bid farewell to her comfortable, wealthy, and splendid life. Despite all that, she was happy with her new life. Her previous life was by no means more joyous than her new life, which she spent with her trustworthy husband in love and truthfulness.
… And then, Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH&HP) mission was commenced …Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) received the revelation, which obliged him to convey the message to his relatives. (1) Lady Khadijah (PBUH) was the first lady who became believer. The more Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) faced rejection from the society; this pious woman would further express her loyalty and sacrifice.
The tribe of Quraish was fed up with Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH&HP) invitation, and decided to besiege the Muslims socially and economically. Lady Khadijah (PBUH) had a significant role in regards to this siege. She granted all her wealth to the besieged Muslims. Muslims spent three years in extreme difficulty, and if it were not for the wealth of Lady Khadijah (PBUH), they would have died of hunger.
Lady Khadijah (PBUH) was not just an ordinary wife for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), as she occupied a special place in his heart due to her sacrifices. Thus, whenever appropriate, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) would reiterate her virtues after her demise.
Once Aisha, daughter of Abubakr, got agitated and said: "Why do you constantly praise her when she was just an old Arab woman, while Allah has granted you (a wife) better than her?"
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), the symbol of patience and tolerance, was deeply hurt and angered by her words. He replied:
"No! Allah has never granted me (a wife) better than her. When all the people denied my prophetic mission, it was Khadijah who believed me. In the times when the people disbelieved my words, it was Khadijah who called me the truthful. In the times when people besieged me in financial difficulty, it was Khadijah who helped me with her wealth. And it was her who brought a child like Fatimah (PBUH) …" (2)
Three years before Hijrah (migration to Medina), while Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was gravely suffering from Quraish and the others, the light of Lady Khadijah's (PBUH) life went out. At the last moments of her life, Lady Khadijah (PBUH), who had stood as a loyal companion to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) during his mission, was bidding farewell to him. It was extremely difficult for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) to accept this incident, for he was losing a companion who was the best example of loyalty and sacrifice.
The final words of Lady Khadijah (PBUH) before her death were not of less value than all the difficulties she had faced in the way of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP). Lady Khadijah (PBUH) told Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP):
"O Messenger of Allah! I was negligent of you, and I did not accomplish what you deserved. Forgive me, and if there is something I can wish for now, it is your satisfaction."

Uttering her last words, she took her final breaths full of faith and humble…
(Selection taken from "Woman of the Age of Islam's Appearance", by Muhammad Ali Bahr al-'Uloom, translated to Persian by Muhammad Ali Amini)



No human has left such profound impact on his followers as Muhammad (PBUH), the final messenger of Allah. He is an excellent example for mankind. He was born in Makkah, Arabia, in the year 570 CE (Christian Era), during the period of history Europeans call the Middle Ages.
His father, 'Abdullah, died before his birth and his mother, Aminah, died when he was only six. As he grew up, Muhammad (PBUH) became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, earning the title of al-Amin, the trustworthy. He married Kahdijah, a noble lady of Makkah, when he was twenty-five.
His life as the final messenger began at the age of forty, when he received revelation from Allah through the Archangel Gabriel. This revelation continued for twenty-three years and is known as the Qur'an. The People of Makkah used to worship idols. The Prophet (PBUH) invited them to Islam. Some became Muslims, others turned against him.
Undaunted, he continued to preach the message of Allah and gradually, the number of his followers increased. He and the early Muslims underwent terrible suffering, facing stiff opposition from the idolaters.
In the twelfth year of his prophet hood, in 622 CE, Muhammad (PBUH) migrated from Makkah to Madinah, where there were already many new Muslims. The people of Madinah welcomed him as their leader and he established the first Islamic state there. The Islamic calendar begins from this migration (Hijrah).
The Prophet (PBUH) organized the early Muslims and preached the message of Allah with unmatched patience and wisdom. Soon Islam was established throughout the Arabian peninsula. Before long the message of Islam spread to most parts of the known world, making a tremendous contribution to world civilization and history. Over a billion Muslims today are testimony to the success of that message.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) (described in the Qur'an as a ‘blessing for the universe’ and an ‘excellent example to follow’) died in 632 CE at the age of 63. He left the Qur'an and his Sunnah as the source of guidance for all generations to come.
Islam, completed at the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), can solve all human problems, and bring peace to mankind for the present as well as the future. The need is to practice it faithfully.
The Sunnah is the example of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It is contained in the books of Ahadith (sing. Hadith), which are collections of his sayings and actions and the actions approved by him.
It shows how to put the Guidance of the Qur'an into practice. The Ahadith were carefully recorded after the Prophet's death. Six particular collections have become prominent and are regarded as the most authentic:Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasa'I and Ibn Majah.