Sunday, August 31, 2008
By: StaffIslamiCity* -
Following are some general questions that have been addressed regarding Ramadan & Fasting. Ramadan is the most significant month in the Islamic calendar.
More information is available at the Ramadan Information Center. For additional information you can contact
Q: Who Must Fast?
Fasting is compulsory for those who are mentally and physically fit, past the age of puberty, in a settled situation (not travelling), and are sure fasting is unlikely to cause real physical or mental injury.
Q. Why do Muslims fast?
Fasting is common in many religions. The Quran, the reveled text in Islam, says in chapter 2 verse 183, "O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those who were before you, in order that you may learn piety and God Consciousness".
Q: Are there any exemptions from fasting?
Some of these exemptions are optional.
Children under the age of puberty (Young children are encouraged to fast as much as they are able.)
People who are mentally incapacitated or not responsible for their actions
Travelers who are on journeys of more than about fifty miles
Pregnant women and nursing mothers
Women who are menstruating
Those who are temporarily unable to fast must make up the missed days at another time or feed the poor.
Q: Is fasting just about not eating and drinking during daylight hours?
Despite what many may think Ramadan is just not about restraining from food and drink. Muslims must also refrain from things such as verbal abuse, fighting, eavesdropping, backbiting, lying and slander as these acts render the fast as worthless. In essence Muslims must be model human beings during the fast. The act of abstinence is not meant to starve you; it is an act of worship like prayer. It enables people with plenty to empathize with those who have very little in this world.
Q: What do Muslims believe they gain from fasting?
One of the main benefits of Ramadan is an increased compassion for those in need of the necessities of life, a sense of self-purification and reflection and a renewed focus on spirituality. Muslims also appreciate the feeling of togetherness shared by family and friends throughout the month. Perhaps the greatest practical benefit is the yearly lesson in self-restraint and discipline that can carry forward to other aspects of a Muslim's life such as work and education.
Q: Why does Ramadan begin on a different day each year?
Because Ramadan is a lunar month, it begins about eleven days earlier each year. Throughout a Muslim's lifetime, Ramadan will fall both during winter months, when the days are short, and summer months, when the days are long and the fast is more difficult. In this way, the difficulty of the fast is evenly distributed between Muslims living in the northern and southern hemispheres.
Q: How can non-Muslim co-workers and friends help someone who is fasting?
Employers, co-workers and teachers can help by understanding the significance of Ramadan and by showing a willingness to make minor allowances for its physical demands. Special consideration can be given to such things as requests for vacation time, the need for flexible early morning or evening work schedules and lighter homework assignments. It is also very important that Muslim workers and students be given time to attend Eid prayers at the end of Ramadan. Eid is as important to Muslims as Christmas and Yom Kippur are to Christians and Jews. A small token such as a card (there are Eid cards available from Muslim bookstores) or baked goods given to a Muslim co-worker during Eid ul-Fitr would also be greatly appreciated. Hospital workers should be aware that injections and oral medications might break the fast. Patients should be given the opportunity to decide whether or not their condition exempts them from fasting.
Q: Do people normally lose weight during Ramadan?
Some people do lose weight, but others may not. It is recommended that meals eaten during Ramadan be light, but most people can't resist sampling special sweets and foods associated with Ramadan.
Q. Isn't it difficult to stay without water?
Abstinence from water for a few hours during the day has not been shown to be adverse to health. The body has its own water conservation mechanism. According to some studies a person can survive for 4 to 7 days without any water in 90o F / 32.2o C temperature.
Q: What happens at the end of Ramadan?
The end of Ramadan is celebrated by the Festival of Eid ul-Fitr ("Festival of Fast-Breaking") and special prayers at the end of Ramadan. Eid begins with special morning prayers on the first day of Shawwal, the month following Ramadan on the Islamic lunar calendar. It is forbidden to perform an optional fast during Eid because it is a time for relaxation. During Eid Muslims greet each other with the phrase "taqabbalallah ta'atakum," or "may God accept your deeds" and "Eid Mubarak" (eed-moo-bar-ak), meaning "blessed Eid."
Saturday, August 30, 2008
3:26 Say: O Allah! Owner of Sovereignty! Thou givest sovereignty unto whom Thou wilt, and Thou withdrawest sovereignty from whom Thou wilt. Thou exaltest whom Thou wilt and Thou abasest whom Thou wilt. In Thy hand is the good. Lo! Thou art Able to do all things.
قُلِ اللَّهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ تُؤْتِي الْمُلْكَ مَن تَشَاء وَتَنزِعُ الْمُلْكَ مِمَّن تَشَاء وَتُعِزُّ مَن تَشَاء وَتُذِلُّ مَن تَشَاء بِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرُ إِنَّكَ عَلَىَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
This simple verse gives you short summary of history, rise and fall of civilizations. It also gives you the fact that the hand of God is behind the history, he is not a bystander. He give us the free well but meanwhile interfere in obvious or subtle ways in changing the history. Kings rise and fall and new ones rise then fall and so on. Similarly new group that has same race, religion or some common principals rise and exalt while others meet their demise. It is commonly the good that takes over then becomes arrogant oppressive and corrupted then new ones take over. The role usually the better takes over. The communists took over Russia which showed a lot of injustice to the poor. Communism was a good idea in the beginning however when it oppressed its people and failed to provide to people God made her disintegrate on the hands of President Reagan. When you read the verse again you find 7 statements that summarize to you the human history. It does that in short sentences it gives us this great doctrine of history without going in details or giving examples. Even the collapse of one civilization to another left open in the verse. In history it could occur through or with no wars. The attribute of God in the end of the verse is the Able, the most appropriate of his attributes here. The verse is a piece of wisdom and in Arabic language in addition you enjoy the harmony and the music of the verse. Examine it again in English and Arabic if you know the Arabic language:
1- Say: O Allah! Owner of Sovereignty!2- Thou givest sovereignty unto whom Thou wilt,
3- and Thou withdrawest sovereignty from whom Thou wilt.
4- Thou exaltest whom Thou wilt
5- and Thou abasest whom Thou wilt.
6- In Thy hand is the good.
7- Lo! Thou art Able to do all things.
قُلِ اللَّهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ تُؤْتِي الْمُلْكَ مَن تَشَاء وَتَنزِعُ الْمُلْكَ مِمَّن تَشَاء وَتُعِزُّ مَن تَشَاء وَتُذِلُّ مَن تَشَاء بِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرُ إِنَّكَ عَلَىَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
Friday, August 29, 2008
2:186 And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright.
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُواْ لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُواْ بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ (2:186)
The beauty of this verse is how in little words you get the great meaning. It omits unnecessary words and sentences. So you feel the call of people to God is straightforward and the answer is quick and direct. Same time the call is wide open that elude to uncountable calls to God and calls from God.
1- And when My servants question thee concerning Me: He did not say what questions or requests they would ask. It is left wide open to them.
2- then surely I am nigh: God answered that he is near. He did not tell Muhammad to say to them like in some verses in the Quran when he mention: they ask you so say to them so. It is the short answer that show how close He is.
3- I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me: same here he did not mention what the suppliant will ask it can be anything, it is wide open. In the same time it is specific whatever call to God, he will answer the same call which you can even feel it better spelled in the Arabic language.
4- So let them hear My call : same again any of my calls like prayer, fasting and so on. They asked for anything wide open and they to answer God's calls which all are in the Quran and Sunna. It is a fair deal.
5- and let them trust in Me: As they trusted to call him they to trust to believe in his call. He did specifically ask of their faith in him as the action that will be built on it all other actions. He did not ask for other calls but faith and trust which will seal the deal.
6- in order that they may be led aright: The conclusion of their trust in God and answering his call is actually to their benefits. It will lead them to be aright in their life here and the hereafter.
By MICHAEL GRUNWALD AND JAY NEWTON-SMALL
John McCain needs to persuade swing voters that he's willing to take on the Republican establishment. He needs to persuade conservatives that he isn't squishy about social issues. And he needs to close the gender gap. When you think about it, the real surprise about Sarah Palin's selection as his running mate is that it's such a surprise.
Palin may be an obscure 44-year-old first-term governor and mother of five from tiny Wasilla, Alaska, but in many ways she reinforces John McCain's narrative of a maverick conservative crusader. She's risen to power by battling corruption in her own state's Republican establishment, exposing misconduct by the state GOP chairman and challenging the incumbent GOP governor. She's a committed Christian who's pro-life in practice as well as in theory; she recently gave birth to a son that she knew would have Down Syndrome.
But Palin can help McCain through biography as well as resume. She'll be the first woman on a Republican ticket, which the campaign is surely hoping will appeal to Hillary Clinton voters and help reduce Barack Obama's advantage among women. She's a fresh face to counteract Obama's message of change, and she's about as far outside the Beltway as you can get. A child of the middle class with a friendly face and big hair, she is so affable that she once won Miss Congeniality in a beauty pageant. Her son is about to deploy to Iraq. She's an ice fisherman, a moose hunter, a small business owner and a lifetime NRA member. And she shelved her state's pork-laden Bridge to Nowhere that McCain has ridiculed on the trail.
One more point in her favor: In the topsy-turvy election of 2008, the Last Frontier is actually a battleground state — and Palin is Alaska's most popular politician.
There are certainly risks to the choice. Palin's presence will make it awkward for McCain to harp on Obama's inexperience, much less play that attack-dog role herself. She's only served as governor one month longer than Obama's been running for president, and she's argued that her youth helped her clean out corruption in Juneau, echoing an Obama talking point. "The age issue, I think, was more significant in my career than the gender issue; your resume isn't as fat as your opponent's, that kind of thing," Palin told TIME last month. "I don't have 30 years of political experience under my belt but that's a good thing. I've never been part of a good-ol'-boys club."
A journalism major from the University of Idaho, Palin started her political career in 1992 as a Wasilla city councilor. She was elected to the first of her two terms as mayor in 1996, and earned a reputation as "Sarah Barracuda" -- also her nickname as a feisty point guard on her high school basketball team -- for taking on entrenched bureaucrats. After running a strong race for lieutenant governor as an unknown in 2002, she made her mark on Alaska politics as a commissioner of a state oil and gas commission, when she tried to expose GOP officials with improper ties to the industry, and eventually resigned in 2004 after her complaints were ignored.
Palin challenged Governor Frank Murkowski in the Republican primary, and crushed the incumbent on a platform of change and reform. She then defeated the formidable former governor Tony Knowles in the general. But it's a long leap from Juneau to the White House. It's not clear what Palin thinks about foreign policy or many other national issues, though she has criticized the lack of a long-term plan for Iraq. And the top consideration for any candidate for the number-two job is readiness for the number-one job, an issue that may weigh more on voters' minds when the potential number one has just turned 72 years old.
Meanwhile, Palin's strong support for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will contrast with McCain's muted opposition; she's said she expects McCain to change his mind on the issue, which will create an awkward dynamic no matter what he does. She also surprised Alaska's conservatives by vetoing a bill that would have denied state benefits to same-sex couples (though that might help her appeal to less socially conservative independents). Her profile as a good government crusader may not be such an easy sell, either. She was endorsed in an ad by Senator Ted Stevens, who is now under indictment in a Republican corruption scandal. And she's already embroiled in a mini-scandal that's under investigation by the state senate; Palin's former public safety director has claimed he was fired because he refused to fire a state trooper who was involved in a custody dispute with her sister.
Still, Palin boasts an 80% approval rating. She lived the first three months of her life in Idaho, but Alaskans clearly see this self-described "hockey mom" as one of them, a former Miss Wasilla who worked as a TV sports announcer and helping to run a commercial fishing business before entering politics. Her husband, Todd Palin, is part native Eskimo who works in the oil fields in addition to his fishing business, and is also a champion snowmobiler known in Alaska as the First Dude. In a state where Big Oil is king, Palin has been a staunch drilling supporter while maintaining her independence from the industry. And she impressed a lot of conservative Christians when she carried her son Trig to term despite his genetic tests indicating Down Syndrome. "I'm looking at him right now, and I see perfection," she said after returning to work.
Politically, in a year where the Republican brand is so tarnished, Palin will help McCain make the case that he's a different kind of Republican. It might be his best shot to be America's First Dude.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
(CNN) -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama spoke to the Democratic National Convention on Thursday. Here is the text of that speech:
Barack Obama greets the crowd at the Democratic National Convention.
Barack Obama: To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin; and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation.
With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for presidency of the United States.
Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest -- a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and yours -- Hillary Rodham Clinton. To President Bill Clinton, who made last night the case for change as only he can make it; to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service; and to the next vice president of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you. I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.
To the love of my life, our next first lady, Michelle Obama, and to Malia and Sasha -- I love you so much, and I'm so proud of you.
Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story -- of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren't well off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.
It is that promise that has always set this country apart -- that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.
That's why I stand here tonight. Because for 232 years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women -- students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors -- found the courage to keep it alive.
We meet at one of those defining moments -- a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.
Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach.
These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.
America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.
This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.
We're a better country than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for 20 years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.
We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.
Tonight, I say to the people of America, to Democrats and Republicans and independents across this great land -- enough! This moment -- this election -- is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look just like the last eight. On November 4, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."
Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and our respect. And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.
But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time. Sen. McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than 90 percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a 10 percent chance on change.
The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives -- on health care and education and the economy -- Sen. McCain has been anything but independent. He said that our economy has made "great progress" under this president. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisers -- the man who wrote his economic plan -- was talking about the anxieties that Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a "mental recession," and that we've become, and I quote, "a nation of whiners."
A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud autoworkers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners. They work hard and they give back and they keep going without complaint. These are the Americans I know.
Now, I don't believe that Sen. McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under $5 million a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than 100 million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?
It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.
For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy -- give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is that you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. You're on your own. No health care? The market will fix it. You're on your own. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps -- even if you don't have boots. You are on your own.
Well it's time for them to own their failure. It's time for us to change America. And that's why I'm running for president of the United States.
You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.
We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was president -- when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of go down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.
We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off and look after a sick kid without losing her job -- an economy that honors the dignity of work.
The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great -- a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.
Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton's Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.
In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.
When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.
And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business or making her way in the world, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she's watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.
Now, I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped my life. And it is on behalf of them that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as president of the United States.
What is that American promise?
It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.
It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, to look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.
Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves -- protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and science and technology.
Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.
That's the promise of America -- the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper.
That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am president.
Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.
You know, unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.
I'll eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.
I will, listen now, cut taxes -- cut taxes -- for 95 percent of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.
And for the sake of our economy, our security and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as president: In 10 years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East. We will do this.
Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last 30 years, and by the way John McCain's been there for 26 of them. And in that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil that we had as the day that Sen. McCain took office.
Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.
As president, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I'll invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy -- wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and 5 million new jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced.
America, now is not the time for small plans.
Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. You know, Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance. I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American -- if you commit to serving your community or our country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.
Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.
Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their job and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.
Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.
And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work, because I want my daughters to have the exact same opportunities as your sons.
Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime -- by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less -- because we cannot meet 21st century challenges with a 20th century bureaucracy.
And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our "intellectual and moral strength." Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents; that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility to provide love and guidance to their children.
Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility -- that's the essence of America's promise.
And just as we keepour promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad. If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next commander in chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.
For while Sen. McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats that we face. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. You know, John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell -- but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.
And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush administration, even after we learned that Iraq has $79 billion in surplus while we are wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.
That's not the judgment we need. That won't keep America safe. We need a president who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.
You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in 80 countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice -- but that is not the change that America needs.
We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans -- Democrats and Republicans -- have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.
As commander in chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.
I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.
These are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.
But what I will not do is suggest that the senator takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and each other's patriotism.
The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America -- they have served the United States of America.
So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.
America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past. For part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose. That's what we have to restore.
We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than they are for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. You know, passions may fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. But this, too, is part of America's promise -- the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.
I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.
You make a big election about small things.
And you know what -- it's worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.
I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.
But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the naysayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's about you. It's about you.
For 18 long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us -- that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it -- because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.
America, this is one of those moments.
I believe that as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming. Because I've seen it. Because I've lived it. Because I've seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more children and moved more families from welfare to work. I've seen it in Washington, where we worked across party lines to open up government and hold lobbyists more accountable, to give better care for our veterans and keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorist.
And I've seen it in this campaign. In the young people who voted for the first time, and the young at heart, those who got involved again after a very long time. In the Republicans who never thought they'd pick up a Democratic ballot, but did. I've seen it in the workers who would rather cut their hours back a day even though they can't afford it than see their friends lose their jobs, in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb, in the good neighbors who take a stranger in when a hurricane strikes and the floodwaters rise.
You know, this country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.
Instead, it is that American spirit -- that American promise -- that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.
That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours -- a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.
And it is that promise that 45 years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.
The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.
But what the people heard instead -- people of every creed and color, from every walk of life -- is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked. That together, our dreams can be one.
"We cannot walk alone," the preacher cried. "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."
America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise -- that American promise -- and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.
Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America.
(CNN) -- Former Vice President Al Gore spoke Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention events at Invesco Field in Denver, Colorado.
Al Gore discussed the climate crisis and said Barack Obama will provide the necessary change.
Al Gore: One of the greatest gifts of our democracy is the opportunity it offers us every four years to change course.
It's not a guarantee; it's only an opportunity.
The question facing us, simply put, is will we seize this opportunity for change?
That's why I came here tonight: to tell you why I feel so strongly that we must seize this opportunity to elect Barack Obama president of the United States of America.
Eight years ago, some said there was not much difference between the nominees of the two major parties and it didn't really matter who became president. Our nation was enjoying peace and prosperity, and some assumed we would continue both, no matter the outcome.
But here we all are in 2008, and I doubt anyone would argue now that election didn't matter.
Take it from me, if it had ended differently, we would not be bogged down in Iraq; we would have pursued bin Laden until we captured him.
We would not be facing a self-inflicted economic crisis; we would be fighting for middle income families.
We would not be showing contempt for the Constitution; we'd be protecting the rights of every American regardless of race, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation.
And we would not be denying the climate crisis; we'd be solving it.
Today, we face essentially the same choice we faced in 2000, though it may be even more obvious now, because John McCain, a man who has earned our respect on many levels, is now openly endorsing the policies of the Bush-Cheney White House and promising to actually continue them, the same policies all over again.
Hey, I believe in recycling, but that's ridiculous.
With John McCain's support, President Bush and Vice President Cheney have led our nation into one calamity after another because of their indifference to fact; their readiness to sacrifice the long-term to the short-term, subordinate the general good to the benefit of the few and short-circuit the rule of law.
If you like the Bush/Cheney approach, John McCain's your man.
If you believe it's time for a change, then vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
Barack Obama is telling us exactly what he will do: launch a bold new economic plan to restore America's greatness. Fight for smarter government that trusts the market but protects us against its excesses. Enact policies that are pro-choice, pro-education and pro-family. Establish a foreign policy that is smart as well as strong. Provide health care for all and solutions for the climate crisis.
So why is this election so close?
Well, I know something about close elections, so let me offer you my opinion.
I believe this election is close today mainly because the forces of the status quo are desperately afraid of the change Barack Obama represents.
There is no better example than the climate crisis. As I have said for many years throughout this land, we're borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the future of human civilization. Every bit of that has to change.
Oil company profits, as you know, have soared to record levels, and gasoline prices have gone through the roof, and we are more dependent than ever on dirty and dangerous fossil fuels. Many scientists predict -- shockingly -- that the entire North Polar ice cap may be completely gone during summer months during the first term of the next president. Sea levels are rising; fires are raging; storms are stronger. Military experts warn us our national security is threatened by massive waves of climate refugees destabilizing countries around the world, and scientists tell us the very web of life is endangered by unprecedented extinctions.
We are facing a planetary emergency, which, if not solved, would exceed anything we've ever experienced in the history of humankind.
In spite of John McCain's past record of open-mindedness and leadership on the climate crisis, he has now apparently allowed his party to browbeat him into abandoning his support of mandatory caps on global warming pollution.
And it just so happens that the climate crisis is intertwined with the other two great challenges facing our nation: reviving our economy and strengthening our national security. The solutions to all three require us to end our dependence on carbon-based fuels.
Instead of letting lobbyists and polluters control our destiny, we need to invest in American innovation.
Almost a hundred years ago, Thomas Edison, our most famous inventor, said, "I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power!" he continued. "I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that."
Well, now, in 2008, we already have everything we need to use the sun, the wind, geothermal power, conservation and efficiency to solve the climate crisis -- everything, that is, except a president in the White House who inspires us to believe, "Yes, we can." But we know how to fix that.
So how did this no-brainer become a brain-twister?
Because the carbon fuels industry -- big oil and coal -- have a 50-year lease on the Republican Party, and they are drilling it for everything it's worth.
And this same industry has spent a half a billion dollars this year alone trying to convince the public they are actually solving the problem, when they are, in fact, making it worse every single day.
This administration and the special interests who control it lock, stock and barrel after barrel have performed this same sleight-of-hand on issue after issue. Some of the best marketers have the worst products, and this is certainly true of today's Republican Party.
The party itself has on its rolls men and women of great quality.
But the last eight years demonstrate that the special interests who have come to control the Republican Party are so powerful that serving them and serving the national well-being are now irreconcilable choices.
So what can we do about it?
We can carry Barack Obama's message of hope and change to every family in America. And pledge that we will be there for him, not only in the heat of this election but in the aftermath as we put his agenda to work for our country.
We can tell Republicans and independents, as well as Democrats, exactly why our nation so badly needs a change from the approach of Bush, Cheney and McCain.
After they wrecked our economy, it is time for a change.
After they abandoned the search for the terrorists who attacked us and redeployed the troops to invade a nation that did not attack us, it's time for a change.
After they abandoned the principle first laid down by Gen. George Washington, when he prohibited the torture of captives because it would bring, in his words, "shame, disgrace and ruin" to our nation, it's time for a change.
When as many as three Supreme Court justices could be appointed in the first term of the next president, and John McCain promises to appoint more Scalias and Thomases and end a woman's right to choose, it is time for a change.
Many people have been waiting for some sign that our country is ready for such change. How will we know when it's beginning to take hold?
I think we might recognize it as a sign of such change if we saw millions of young people getting involved for the first time in the political process.
This election is actually not close at all among younger voters; you are responding in unprecedented numbers to Barack Obama's message of change and hope.
You recognize that he represents a clean break from the politics of partisanship and bitter division.
You understand that the politics of the past are exhausted, and you're tired -- we're all tired -- of appeals based on fear.
You know that America is capable of better than what you have seen in recent years, and you are hungry for a new politics based on bipartisan respect for the ageless principles embodied in the United States Constitution.
There are times in the history of our nation when our very way of life depends upon awakening to the challenge of a present danger, shaking off complacency and rising, clear-eyed and alert, to the necessity of embracing change.
A century and a half ago, when America faced our greatest trial, the end of one era gave way to the birth of another.
The candidate who emerged victorious in that election is now regarded by most historians as our greatest president.
Before he entered the White House, Abraham Lincoln's experience in elective office consisted of eight years in his state legislature in Springfield, Illinois, and one term in Congress, during which he showed courage and wisdom to oppose the invasion of another country in a war that was popular when it started but later condemned by history.
The experience that Lincoln's supporters valued most in that race was his powerful ability to inspire hope in the future at a time of impasse.
He was known chiefly as a clear thinker and a great orator with a passion for justice and a determination to heal the deep divisions of our land.
He insisted on reaching past partisan and regional divides to exalt our common humanity.
In 2008, once again, we find ourselves at the end of an era with a mandate from history to launch another new beginning.
And once again, we have a candidate whose experience perfectly matches an extraordinary moment of transition.
Barack Obama had the experience and wisdom to oppose a popular war based on faulty premises.
His leadership experience has given him a unique capacity to inspire hope in the promise of the American dream of a boundless future.
His experience has also given him genuine respect for different views and humility in the face of complex realities that cannot be squeezed into the narrow compartments of ideology.
His experience has taught him something that career politicians often overlook: that inconvenient truths must be acknowledged if we are to have wise governance.
The extraordinary strength of his personal character -- and that of his wonderful wife, Michelle, who gave such a magnificent address and will be such a wonderful first lady for this country -- their strength of character is grounded in the strengths of the American community.
His vision and his voice represent the best of America.
His life experience embodies the essence of our motto -- e pluribus unum -- out of many, one.
That is the linking identity at the other end of all the hyphens that pervade our modern political culture. It is that common American identity -- which Barack Obama exemplifies, heart and soul -- that enables us as Americans to speak with moral authority to all of the peoples of the world to inspire hope that we as human beings can transcend our limitations to redeem the promise of human freedom.
Late this evening, our convention will end with a benediction.
As we bow in reverence, remember the words of the old proverb: "When you pray, move your feet."
And then let us leave here tonight and take the message of hope from Denver to every corner of our land and do everything we can to serve our nation, our world and our children and their future by electing Barack Obama president of the United States of America.
(CNN) -- Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, Barack Obama's choice for vice president, accepted the nomination Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. He was introduced by his son Beau Biden, Delaware attorney general.
Sen. Joe Biden went on the attack against President Bush and presumptive GOP nominee Sen. John McCain.
Sen. Joe Biden: You know, folks, my dad used to have an expression. He'd say, "A father knows he's a success when he turns and looks at his son or daughter and know that they turned out better than he did." I'm a success; I'm a hell of a success.
Beau, I love you. I'm so proud of you. I'm so proud of the son you've become; I'm so proud of the father you are.
And I'm also so proud of my son Hunter and my daughter, Ashley.
And my wife, Jill, the only one who leaves me both breathless and speechless at the same time.
It's an honor to share the stage tonight with President Clinton, a man who I think brought this country so far along that I only pray we do it again.
And last night, it was moving to watch Hillary, one of our great leaders, a great leader of this party, a woman who has made history and will continue to make history, a colleague, my friend, Sen. Hillary Clinton.
And I am truly honored to live in a country with the bravest warriors in the world.
And I'm honored to represent the first state, my state, the state of Delaware.
Since I've never been called a man of few words, let me say this simply as I can: Yes. Yes, I accept your nomination to run and serve with Barack Obama, the next president of the United States of America.
Let me make this pledge to you right here and now. For every American who is trying to do the right thing, for all those people in government who are honoring the pledge to uphold the law and honor the Constitution, no longer will you hear the eight most-dreaded words in the English language, "The vice president's office is on the phone."
Barack and I took very different journeys to this destination, but we share a common story. Mine began in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and then Wilmington, Delaware.
My dad, who fell on hard times, always told me, though, "Champ, when you get knocked down, get up. Get up." I was taught that by my dad. And, God, I wish my dad was here tonight.
But I thank God and I'm grateful that my mom, Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden, is here tonight.
Mom, I love you.
You know, my mom taught her children -- all the children who flocked to our house -- that you're defined by your sense of honor and you're redeemed by your loyalty. She believes that bravery lives in every heart, and her expectation is that it will be summoned. Failure at some point in your life is inevitable, but giving up is unforgivable.
As a child, I stuttered, and she lovingly would look at me and tell me, "Joey, it's because you're so bright you can't get the thoughts out quickly enough."
When I was not as well-dressed as the other kids, she'd look at me and say, "Joey, oh, you're so handsome, honey, you're so handsome."
And when I got knocked down by guys bigger than me -- and this is the God's truth -- she sent me back out and said, "Bloody their nose so you can walk down the street the next day." And that's what I did.
You know -- and after the accident, she told me, she said, "Joey, God sends no cross that you cannot bear." And when I triumphed, my mother was quick to remind me it was because of others.
My mother's creed is the American creed: No one is better than you. Everyone is your equal, and everyone is equal to you.
My parents taught us to live our faith and to treasure our families. We learned the dignity of work, and we were told that anyone can make it if they just try hard enough. That was America's promise.
And for those of us who grew up in middle-class neighborhoods like Scranton and Wilmington, that was the American dream.
Ladies and gentlemen, but today, today that American dream feels like it's slowly slipping away. I don't have to tell you that. You feel it every single day in your own lives. I've never seen a time when Washington has watched so many people get knocked down without doing anything to help them get back up.
Almost every single night, I take the train home to Wilmington, Delaware, sometimes very late. As I sit there in my seat and I look out that window, I see those flickering lights of the homes that pass by, I can almost hear the conversation they're having at their kitchen tables after they put their kids to bed.
Like millions of Americans, they're asking questions as ordinary as they are profound, questions they never, ever thought they'd have to ask themselves.
Should Mom move in with us now that Dad's gone? Fifty, sixty, seventy dollars just to fill up the gas tank? How in God's name, with winter coming, how are we going to heat the home? Another year, no raise. Did you hear they may be cutting our health care at the company? Now we owe more money on our home than our home is worth. How in God's name are we going to send the kids to college? How are we going to retire, Joe?
You know, folks, that's the America that George Bush has left us. And that's the America we'll continue to get if George -- excuse me, if John McCain is elected president of the United States of America. Freudian slip. Freudian slip.
And, folks, these are not isolated discussions among families down on their luck. These are common stories among middle-class people who worked hard their whole life, played by the rules, on the promise that their tomorrows would be better than their yesterdays.
That promise is the promise of America. It defines who we are as a people. And now it's in jeopardy. I know it. You know it.
But John McCain doesn't seem to get it. Barack Obama gets it, though. Like many of us in this room, like many of us in this hall, Barack Obama has worked his way up. He is the great American story, you know?
I believe the measure of a man is not the road he travels but the choices he makes along that road.
And, ladies and gentlemen, Barack Obama could have done anything after he graduated from college. With all his talent and promise, he could have written his own ticket to Wall Street. But what did he choose to do?
He chose to go to Chicago, the South Side of Chicago. There, there, in the South Side, he met women and men who had lost their jobs. Their neighborhood was devastated when the local steel plant closed. Their dreams had to be deferred; their self-esteem was gone. And, ladies and gentlemen, he made their lives the work of his life.
That's what you do when you're raised by a single mom who worked, went to school and raised two kids on her own. That's how you come to believe to the very core of your being that work is more than a paycheck. It's dignity. It's respect.
It's about whether or not you can look your child in the eye and say, "We're going to be all right."
Because Barack Obama made that choice, 150 more children and parents have health care in Illinois. He fought to make that happen.
And because Barack Obama made that choice, working families in Illinois pay less taxes and more people have moved from welfare to the dignity of work. And he got it done.
And when he came to Washington, when he came to Washington, John and I watched with amazement how he hit the ground running, leading the fight to pass the most sweeping ethics reform in a generation.
He reached across party lines to pass a law that helped keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists.
And then he moved Congress and the president to give our wonderful wounded warriors the care and dignity they deserve.
You know, you can learn a lot about a man campaigning with him, debating him, seeing how he reacts under pressure. You learn about the strength of his mind. But even more importantly, you learn about the quality of his heart.
I watched how Barack touched people, how he inspired them. And I realized he had tapped into the oldest belief in America: We don't have to accept the situation we cannot bear; we have the power to change it.
And change it -- and changing it is exactly what Barack Obama will do. That's what he'll do for this country.
You know, John McCain is my friend. And I know you hear that phrase used all the time in politics. I mean it. John McCain is my friend.
We've traveled the world together. It's a friendship that goes beyond politics. And the personal courage and heroism demonstrated by John still amazes me.
But I profoundly disagree with the direction John wants to take this country, from Afghanistan to Iraq, from Amtrak to veterans.
You know, John thinks that, during the Bush years, quote, "We've made great economic progress." I think it's been abysmal. And in the Senate, John has voted with President Bush 95 percent. And that is very hard to believe.
And when John McCain proposes $200 million in new taxes for corporate America, $1 billion alone for the largest companies in the nation -- but no, none, no relief for 100 million American families, that's not change. That's more of the same.
Even today, as oil companies post the biggest profits in history, nearly $500 billion in the last five years, John wants to give them another $4 billion in tax breaks. That's not change. That's the same.
And during the same time, John voted again and again against renewable energy, solar, wind, biofuels. That's not change. That's more of the same.
Millions of Americans have seen their jobs go offshore, yet John continues to support tax breaks for corporations that send them there. That's not change. That's more of the same.
He voted 19 times against the minimum wage for people who are struggling just to make it to the next day. That's not change. That's more of the same.
And when he says he'll continue to spend $10 billion a month, when the Iraqis have a surplus of nearly $80 billion, that's not change. That's more of the same.
The choice in the election is clear. These times require more than a good soldier. They require a wise leader. A leader who can change -- the change that everybody knows we need.
Barack Obama's going to deliver that change, because, I want to tell you, Barack Obama will reform our tax code. He will cut taxes for 95 percent of the American people who draw a paycheck. That's the change we need.
Barack Obama will transform the economy by making alternative energy a national priority and in the process creating 5 million new jobs and finally, finally freeing us from the grip of foreign oil. That's the change we need.
Barack Obama knows that any country that out-teaches us today will out-compete us tomorrow. That's why he'll invest in the next generation of teachers and why he'll make college more affordable. That's the change we need.
Barack Obama will bring down health care costs by $2,500 for the average family and, at long last, deliver affordable, accessible health care for every American.
That's the change we need.
Barack will put more cops on the street, put security back in Social Security, and he'll never, ever, ever give up until we achieve equal pay for women.
That's the change we need.
And as we gather here tonight, our country is less secure and more isolated than it has been at any time in recent history. The Bush foreign policy has dug us into a very deep hole, with very few friends to help us climb out.
And for the last seven years, the administration has failed to face the biggest forces shaping this century: the emergence of Russia, China and India as great powers; the spread of lethal weapons; the shortage of secure supplies of energy, food and water; the challenge of climate change; and the resurgence of fundamentalism in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the real central front in the war on terror.
Ladies and gentlemen, in recent years and in recent days, we've once again seen the consequences of the neglect -- of this neglect, with Russia challenging the very freedom of a new democratic country of Georgia. Barack and I will end that neglect. We will hold Russia accountable for its actions, and we will help the people of Georgia rebuild.
I've been on the ground in Georgia, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and I can tell you in no uncertain terms: This administration's policy has been an abysmal failure.
America cannot afford four more years of this failure. And now, now, despite being complicit in this catastrophic foreign policy, John McCain says Barack Obama is not ready to protect our national security.
Now, let me ask you this: Whose judgment do you trust?
Should you trust the judgment of John McCain, when he said only three years ago, "Afghanistan, we don't read about it anymore in papers because it succeeded"?
Or should you believe Barack Obama who said a year ago, "We need to send two more combat battalions to Afghanistan"?
The fact of the matter is, al Qaeda and the Taliban, the people who actually attacked us on 9/11, they've regrouped in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan and they are plotting new attacks. And the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has echoed Barack's call for more troops.
John McCain was wrong, and Barack Obama was right.
Should we trust John McCain's judgment when he rejected talking with Iran and then asked, "What is there to talk about?" Or Barack Obama, who said, "We must talk and make clear to Iran that it must change"?
Now, after seven years of denial, even the Bush administration recognizes that we should talk to Iran because that's the best way to ensure our security.
Again and again, John McCain has been wrong, and Barack Obama is right.
Should we trust John McCain's judgment when he says we can't have no timelines to draw down our troops from Iraq, that we must stay indefinitely? Or should we listen to Barack Obama, who says shift the responsibility to the Iraqis and set a time to bring our combat troops home?
Now, after six long years, the administration and the Iraqi government are on the verge of setting a date to bring our troops home. John McCain was wrong, and Barack Obama was right.
Again and again, on the most important national security issues of our time, John McCain was wrong, and Barack Obama has been proven right.
Folks, remember when the world used to trust us, when they looked to us for leadership? With Barack Obama as our president, they'll look at us again, they'll trust us again, and we'll be able to lead again.
Folks, Jill and I are truly honored to join Michelle and Barack on this journey. When I look at their young children, when I look at my grandchildren, I know why I'm here.
I'm here for their future. I'm here for everyone I grew up with in Scranton and Wilmington. I'm here for the cops and the firefighters, the teachers and the assembly line workers, the folks whose lives are the very measure of whether the American dream endures.
Our greatest presidents, from Abraham Lincoln to Franklin Roosevelt to John Kennedy, they all challenged us to embrace change. Now it is our responsibility to meet that challenge.
Millions of Americans have been knocked down. And this is the time as Americans together we get back up, back up together.
Our debt to our parents and our grandparents is too great. Our obligation to our children is too sacred. These are extraordinary times; this is an extraordinary election.
The American people are ready. I am ready. Barack is ready. This is his time; this is our time; this is America's time.
God bless America, and may God protect our troops. Thank you very much.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
(CNN) -- Former President Clinton spoke to the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night. Here is a transcript of that speech:
What a year we Democrats have had. The primary began with an all-star lineup. And it came down to two remarkable Americans locked in a hard-fought contest right to the very end. That campaign generated so much heat, it increased global warming.
Now, in the end, my candidate didn't win. But I'm really proud of the campaign she ran.
I am proud that she never quit on the people she stood up for, on the changes she pushed for, on the future she wanted for all our children. And I'm grateful for the chance Chelsea and I had to go all over America to tell people about the person we know and love.
Now, I am not so grateful for the chance to speak in the wake of Hillary's magnificent speech last night. But I'll do the best I can.
Last night, Hillary told us in no uncertain terms that she is going to do everything she can to elect Barack Obama.
That makes two of us. Actually, that makes 18 million of us. Because, like Hillary, I want all of you who supported her to vote for Barack Obama in November.
And here's why. And I have the privilege of speaking here, thanks to you, from a perspective that no other American Democrat, except President Carter, can offer.
Our nation is in trouble on two fronts. The American dream is under siege at home, and America's leadership in the world has been weakened. Middle-class and low-income Americans are hurting, with incomes declining, job losses, poverty, and inequality rising, mortgage foreclosures and credit card debt increasing, health care coverage disappearing, and a very big spike in the cost of food, utilities, and gasoline.
And our position in the world has been weakened by too much unilateralism and too little cooperation, by a perilous dependence on imported oil, by a refusal to lead on global warming, by a growing indebtedness and a dependence on foreign lenders, by a severely burdened military, by a backsliding on global nonproliferation and arms control agreements, and by a failure to consistently use the power of diplomacy, from the Middle East to Africa to Latin America to Central and Eastern Europe.
Clearly, the job of the next president is to rebuild the American dream and to restore American leadership in the world.
And here's what I have to say about that. Everything I learned in my eight years as president, and in the work I have done since in America and across the globe, has convinced me that Barack Obama is the man for this job.
He has a remarkable ability to inspire people, to raise our hopes and rally us to high purpose. He has the intelligence and curiosity every successful president needs. His policies on the economy, on taxes, on health care, on energy are far superior to the Republican alternatives.
He has shown a clear grasp of foreign policy and national security challenges and a firm commitment to rebuild our badly strained military.
His family heritage and his life experiences have given him a unique capacity to lead our increasingly diverse nation in an ever more interdependent world.
The long, hard primary tested and strengthened him. And in his first presidential decision, the selection of a running mate, he hit it out of the park.
With Joe Biden's experience and wisdom, supporting Barack Obama's proven understanding, instincts, and insight, America will have the national security leadership we need.
And so, my fellow Democrats, I say to you: Barack Obama is ready to lead America and to restore American leadership in the world.
Barack Obama is ready to honor the oath, to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Barack Obama is ready to be president of the United States.
As president he will work for an America with more partners and fewer adversaries. He will rebuild our frayed alliances and revitalize the international institutions which helped to share the cost of the world's problems and to leverage the power of our influence.
He will put us back in the forefront of the world's fight against global warming and the fight to reduce nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
He will continue and enhance our nation's commendable global leadership in an area in which I am deeply involved: the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, including -- and this is very important -- a renewal of the battle against HIV and AIDS here at home.
A President Obama will choose diplomacy first and military force as a last resort.
But, in a world troubled by terror, by trafficking in weapons, drugs and people, by human rights abuses of the most awful kind, by other threats to our security, our interests, and our values, when he cannot convert adversaries into partners, he will stand up to them.
Barack Obama also will not allow the world's problems to obscure its opportunities.
Everywhere, in rich and poor countries alike, hard-working people need good jobs, secure, affordable health care, food and energy, quality education for their children and economically beneficial ways to fight global warming.
These challenges cry out for American ideas and American innovation. When Barack Obama unleashes them, America will save lives, win new allies, open new markets, and create wonderful new jobs for our own people.
Most important of all, Barack Obama knows that America cannot be strong abroad unless we are first strong at home.
People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power.
Look at the example the Republicans have set.
In this decade, American workers have consistently given us rising productivity. That means, year after year, they work harder and produce more.
Now, what did they get in return? Declining wages, less than one-fourth as many new jobs as in the previous eight years, smaller health care and pension benefits, rising poverty, and the biggest increase in income inequality since the 1920s.
American families by the millions are struggling with soaring health care costs and declining coverage.
I will never forget the parents of children with autism and other serious conditions who told me on the campaign trail that they couldn't afford health care and couldn't qualify their children for Medicaid unless they quit work and starved or got a divorce.
Are these the family values the Republicans are so proud of?
What about the military families pushed to the breaking point by multiple, multiple deployments? What about the assault on science and the defense of torture? What about the war on unions and the unlimited favors for the well-connected?
And what about Katrina and cronyism?
My fellow Democrats, America can do better than that.
And Barack Obama will do better than that.
But first we have to elect him.
The choice is clear. The Republicans in a few days will nominate a good man who has served our country heroically and who suffered terribly in a Vietnamese prison camp. He loves his country every bit as much as we do. As a senator, he has shown his independence of right-wing orthodoxy on some very important issues.
But on the two great questions of this election -- how to rebuild the American dream and how to restore America's leadership in the world -- he still embraces the extreme philosophy that has defined his party for more than 25 years.
And it is, to be fair to all the Americans who aren't as hard-core Democrats as we, it's a philosophy the American people never actually had a chance to see in action fully until 2001, when the Republicans finally gained control of both the White House and the Congress.
Then we saw what would happen to America if the policies they had talked about for decades actually were implemented. And look what happened.
They took us from record surpluses to an exploding debt; from over 22 million new jobs to just 5 million; from increasing working families' incomes to nearly $7,500 a year to a decline of more than $2,000 a year; from almost 8 million Americans lifted out of poverty to more than 5.5 million driven into poverty; and millions more losing their health insurance.
Now, in spite of all this evidence, their candidate is actually promising more of the same.
Think about it: more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans that will swell the deficit, increase inequality, and weaken the economy; more Band-Aids for health care that will enrich insurance companies, impoverish families, and increase the number of uninsured; more going it alone in the world, instead of building the shared responsibilities and shared opportunities necessary to advance our security and restore our influence.
They actually want us to reward them for the last eight years by giving them four more.
Now, let's send them a message that will echo from the Rockies all across America, a simple message: Thanks, but no thanks.
In this case, the third time is not the charm.
My fellow Democrats, 16 years ago, you gave me the profound honor to lead our party to victory and to lead our nation to a new era of peace and broadly shared prosperity.
Together, we prevailed in a hard campaign in which Republicans said I was too young and too inexperienced to be commander-in-chief.
It didn't work in 1992, because we were on the right side of history. And it will not work in 2008, because Barack Obama is on the right side of history.
Now, Sen. Obama's life is a 21st-century incarnation of the old-fashioned American dream. His achievements are proof of our continuing progress toward the more perfect union of our founders' dreams.
The values of freedom and equal opportunity, which have given him his historic chance, will drive him as president to give all Americans -- regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability -- their chance to build a decent life and to show our humanity, as well as our strengths, to the world.
We see that humanity, that strength, and our nation's future in Barack and Michelle Obama and their beautiful children.
We see them reinforced by the partnership with Joe Biden, his fabulous wife, Jill, a wonderful teacher, and their family.
Barack Obama will lead us away from the division and fear of the last eight years back to unity and hope.
So if, like me, you believe America must always be a place called Hope, then join Hillary and Chelsea and me in making Barack Obama the next president of the United States.
Thank you, and God bless you.
I am honoured to be here tonight. A proud mother. A proud Democrat. A proud American. And a proud supporter of Barack Obama.
My friends, it is time to take back the country we love.
Whether you voted for me, or voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose. We are on the same team, and none of us can sit on the sidelines.
This is a fight for the future. And it's a fight we must win.
I haven't spent the past 35 years in the trenches advocating for children, campaigning for universal healthcare, helping parents balance work and family and fighting for women's rights at home and around the world ... to see another Republican in the White House squander the promise of our country and the hopes of our people.
And you haven't worked so hard over the last 18 months, or endured the last eight years, to suffer through more failed leadership.
No way. No how. No McCain.
Barack Obama is my candidate. And he must be our president.
Tonight we need to remember what a presidential election is really about. When the polls have closed, and the ads are finally off the air, it comes down to you - the American people, your lives and your children's futures.
For me, it's been a privilege to meet you in your homes, your workplaces, and your communities. Your stories reminded me every day that America's greatness is bound up in the lives of the American people - your hard work, your devotion to duty, your love for your children and your determination to keep going, often in the face of enormous obstacles.
You taught me so much, you made me laugh, and ... you even made me cry. You allowed me to become part of your lives. And you became part of mine.
I will always remember the single mom who had adopted two kids with autism, didn't have health insurance and discovered she had cancer. But she greeted me with her bald head painted with my name on it and asked me to fight for healthcare.
I will always remember the young man in a Marine Corps t-shirt who waited months for medical care and said to me: "Take care of my buddies; a lot of them are still over there … and then will you please help take care of me?"
I will always remember the boy who told me his mom worked for the minimum wage and that her employer had cut her hours. He said he just didn't know what his family was going to do.
I will always be grateful to everyone from all 10 states, Puerto Rico and the territories, who joined our campaign on behalf of all those people left out and left behind by the Bush administration.
To my supporters, my champions - my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits - from the bottom of my heart: thank you.
You never gave in. You never gave up. And together we made history.
Along the way, America lost two great Democratic champions who would have been here with us tonight. One of our finest young leaders, Arkansas Democratic Party chair, Bill Gwatney, who believed with all his heart that America and the south could be and should be Democratic from top to bottom.
And congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a dear friend to many of us, a loving mother and courageous leader who never gave up her quest to make America fairer and smarter, stronger and better. Steadfast in her beliefs, a fighter of uncommon grace, she was an inspiration to me and to us all.
Our heart goes out to Stephanie's son, Mervyn, Jr, and Bill's wife, Rebecca, who traveled to Denver to join us at our convention.
Bill and Stephanie knew that after eight years of George Bush, people are hurting at home, and our standing has eroded around the world. We have a lot of work ahead.
Jobs lost, houses gone, falling wages, rising prices. The supreme court in a right-wing headlock and our government in partisan gridlock. The biggest deficit in our nation's history. Money borrowed from the Chinese to buy oil from the Saudis.
Putin and Georgia, Iraq and Iran.
I ran for president to renew the promise of America. To rebuild the middle class and sustain the American dream, to provide the opportunity to work hard and have that work rewarded, to save for college, a home and retirement, to afford the gas and groceries and still have a little left over each month.
To promote a clean energy economy that will create millions of green collar jobs.
To create a healthcare system that is universal, high-quality and affordable so that parents no longer have to choose between care for themselves or their children or be stuck in dead end jobs simply to keep their insurance.
To create a world-class education system and make college affordable again.
To fight for an America defined by deep and meaningful equality - from civil rights to labour rights, from women's rights to gay rights, from ending discrimination to promoting unionisation to providing help for the most important job there is: caring for our families. To help every child live up to his or her God-given potential.
To make America once again a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.
To bring fiscal sanity back to Washington and make our government an instrument of the public good, not of private plunder.
To restore America's standing in the world, to end the war in Iraq, bring our troops home and honor their service by caring for our veterans.
And to join with our allies to confront our shared challenges, from poverty and genocide to terrorism and global warming.
Most of all, I ran to stand up for all those who have been invisible to their government for eight long years.
Those are the reasons I ran for president. Those are the reasons I support Barack Obama. And those are the reasons you should too.
I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?
We need leaders once again who can tap into that special blend of American confidence and optimism that has enabled generations before us to meet our toughest challenges. Leaders who can help us show ourselves and the world that with our ingenuity, creativity and innovative spirit, there are no limits to what is possible in America.
This won't be easy. Progress never is. But it will be impossible if we don't fight to put a Democrat in the White House.
We need to elect Barack Obama because we need a president who understands that America can't compete in a global economy by padding the pockets of energy speculators, while ignoring the workers whose jobs have been shipped overseas. We need a president who understands that we can't solve the problems of global warming by giving windfall profits to the oil companies while ignoring opportunities to invest in new technologies that will build a green economy.
We need a president who understands that the genius of America has always depended on the strength and vitality of the middle class.
Barack Obama began his career fighting for workers displaced by the global economy. He built his campaign on a fundamental belief that change in this country must start from the ground up, not the top down. He knows government must be about "we the people" not "we the favored few".
And when Barack Obama is in the White House, he'll revitalise our economy, defend the working people of America, and meet the global challenges of our time. Democrats know how to do this. As I recall, President Clinton and the Democrats did it before. And President Obama and the Democrats will do it again.
He'll transform our energy agenda by creating millions of green jobs and building a new, clean energy future. He'll make sure that middle-class families get the tax relief they deserve. And I can't wait to watch Barack Obama sign a healthcare plan into law that covers every single American.
Barack Obama will end the war in Iraq responsibly and bring our troops home - a first step to repairing our alliances around the world.
And he will have with him a terrific partner in Michelle Obama. Anyone who saw Michelle's speech last night knows she will be a great first lady for America.
Americans are also fortunate that Joe Biden will be at Barack Obama's side. He is a strong leader and a good man. He understands both the economic stresses here at home and the strategic challenges abroad. He is pragmatic, tough and wise. And, of course, Joe will be supported by his wonderful wife, Jill.
They will be a great team for our country.
Now, John McCain is my colleague and my friend.
He has served our country with honor and courage.
But we don't need four more years ... of the last eight years.
More economic stagnation … and less affordable healthcare.
More high gas prices … and less alternative energy.
More jobs getting shipped overseas … and fewer jobs created here.
More skyrocketing debt ... home foreclosures … and mounting bills that are crushing our middle-class families.
More war ... less diplomacy.
More of a government where the privileged come first … and everyone else comes last.
John McCain says the economy is fundamentally sound. John McCain doesn't think that 47m people without health insurance is a crisis. John McCain wants to privatise Social Security. And in 2008, he still thinks it's okay when women don't earn equal pay for equal work.
With an agenda like that, it makes sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities. Because these days they're awfully hard to tell apart.
America is still around after 232 years because we have risen to the challenge of every new time, changing to be faithful to our values of equal opportunity for all and the common good.
And I know what that can mean for every man, woman and child in America. I'm a United States senator because in 1848 a group of courageous women and a few brave men gathered in Seneca Falls, New York, many traveling for days and nights, to participate in the first convention on women's rights in our history.
And so dawned a struggle for the right to vote that would last 72 years, handed down by mother to daughter to granddaughter - and a few sons and grandsons along the way.
These women and men looked into their daughters' eyes, imagined a fairer and freer world, and found the strength to fight. To rally and picket. To endure ridicule and harassment. To brave violence and jail.
And after so many decades - 88 years ago on this very day - the 19th amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote would be forever enshrined in our Constitution.
My mother was born before women could vote. But in this election my daughter got to vote for her mother for president.
This is the story of America. Of women and men who defy the odds and never give up.
How do we give this country back to them?
By following the example of a brave New Yorker , a woman who risked her life to shepherd slaves along the Underground Railroad.
And on that path to freedom, Harriett Tubman had one piece of advice.
If you hear the dogs, keep going.
If you see the torches in the woods, keep going.
If they're shouting after you, keep going.
Don't ever stop. Keep going.
If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.
Even in the darkest of moments, ordinary Americans have found the faith to keep going.
I've seen it in you. I've seen it in our teachers and firefighters, nurses and police officers, small business owners and union workers, the men and women of our military - you always keep going.
We are Americans. We're not big on quitting.
But remember, before we can keep going, we have to get going by electing Barack Obama president.
We don't have a moment to lose or a vote to spare.
Nothing less than the fate of our nation and the future of our children hang in the balance.
I want you to think about your children and grandchildren come election day. And think about the choices your parents and grandparents made that had such a big impact on your life and on the life of our nation.
We've got to ensure that the choice we make in this election honours the sacrifices of all who came before us, and will fill the lives of our children with possibility and hope.
That is our duty, to build that bright future, and to teach our children that in America there is no chasm too deep, no barrier too great - and no ceiling too high - for all who work hard, never back down, always keep going, have faith in God, in our country and in each other.
Thank you so much. God bless America and Godspeed to you all.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
1- Faith is proved by deeds:
2:277 Those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and establish regular prayers and regular charity, will have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieveإِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ وَأَقَامُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتَوُاْ الزَّكَاةَ لَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ (2:277)
4:57 But those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, We shall soon admit to Gardens, with rivers flowing beneath,- their eternal home: Therein shall they have companions pure and holy: We shall admit them to shades, cool and ever deepening. وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ سَنُدْخِلُهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا لَّهُمْ فِيهَا أَزْوَاجٌ مُّطَهَّرَةٌ وَنُدْخِلُهُمْ ظِـلاًّ ظَلِيلاً (4:57
2- Those who believe and do the good deeds are promised paradise:
22:23 Allah will admit those who believe and work righteous deeds, to Gardens beneath which rivers flow: they shall be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and pearls; and their garments there will be of silk. إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُدْخِلُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ يُحَلَّوْنَ فِيهَا مِنْ أَسَاوِرَ مِن ذَهَبٍ وَلُؤْلُؤًا وَلِبَاسُهُمْ فِيهَا حَرِيرٌ (22:23)
22:56 On that Day of Dominion will be that of Allah. He will judge between them: so those who believe and work righteous deeds will be in Gardens of Delight. الْمُلْكُ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلَّهِ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَهُمْ فَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فِي جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيمِ (22:56)
3- We will be actually paid more than our good deeds:
24:38 That Allah may reward them according to the best of their deeds, and add even more for them out of His Grace: for Allah doth provide for those whom He will, without measure. لِيَجْزِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنَ مَا عَمِلُوا وَيَزِيدَهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِ وَاللَّهُ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاء بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ (24:38)
4- The bad deed equal one bad deed, but good deed is more than one:
28:84 If any does good, the reward to him is better than his deed; but if any does evil, the doers of evil are only punished (to the extent) of their deeds. مَن جَاء بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهَا وَمَن جَاء بِالسَّيِّئَةِ فَلَا يُجْزَى الَّذِينَ عَمِلُوا السَّيِّئَاتِ إِلَّا مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ (28:84)
5- In fact if to avoid the great sins good promised to forgive us the small ones:
53:32 Those who avoid great sins and shameful deeds, only (falling into) small faults,- verily thy Lord is ample in forgiveness. He knows you well when He brings you out of the earth, And when ye are hidden in your mothers' wombs. Therefore justify not yourselves: He knows best who it is that guards against evil. الَّذِينَ يَجْتَنِبُونَ كَبَائِرَ الْإِثْمِ وَالْفَوَاحِشَ إِلَّا اللَّمَمَ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ وَاسِعُ الْمَغْفِرَةِ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِكُمْ إِذْ أَنشَأَكُم مِّنَ الْأَرْضِ وَإِذْ أَنتُمْ أَجِنَّةٌ فِي بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ فَلَا تُزَكُّوا أَنفُسَكُمْ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنِ اتَّقَى (53:32)
6- If we repent he forgives: the way to repent is to be sincere and have the intention not to sin again: it should not be a plan to sin and repent.
3:135 And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins--Who forgiveth sins save Allah only?--and will not knowingly repeat (the wrong) they did. وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُواْ أَنْفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُواْ اللّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَن يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلاَّ اللّهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّواْ عَلَى مَا فَعَلُواْ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ (3:135) 4-
7- In fact God forgive all sins, if we to repent:
39:53 Say: "O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of allah. for allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ (39:53)
8- However dying before repenting is up in the air, you may be forgiven but no guarantee:
4:48 Lo! Allah forgiveth not that a partner should be ascribed unto Him. He forgiveth (all) save that to whom He will. Whoso ascribeth partners to Allah, he hath indeed invented a tremendous sin. إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاء وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللّهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَى إِثْمًا عَظِيمًا
9- God would even pay those who convert to Islam their previous bad deeds as good ones: a very generous offer.
25:70 Unless he repents, believes, and works righteous deeds, for Allah will change the evil of such persons into good, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful, إِلَّا مَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا فَأُوْلَئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللَّهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا (25:70)
10- On the other hand those who did not believe their deeds do not count in the day of judgment:
7:147 Those who reject Our signs and the meeting in the Hereafter,- vain are their deeds: Can they expect to be rewarded except as they have wrought? وَالَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا وَلِقَاء الآخِرَةِ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ هَلْ يُجْزَوْنَ إِلاَّ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ (7:147)
11- In fact those who disbelieve will be paid for their deeds only in this life:
11:15 Those who desire the life of the present and its glitter,- to them we shall pay (the price of) their deeds therein,- without diminution. مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا نُوَفِّ إِلَيْهِمْ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فِيهَا وَهُمْ فِيهَا لاَ يُبْخَسُونَ (11:15)
11:16 They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but the Fire: vain are the designs they frame therein, and of no effect and the deeds that they doأُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَيْسَ لَهُمْ فِي الآخِرَةِ إِلاَّ النَّارُ وَحَبِطَ مَا صَنَعُواْ فِيهَا وَبَاطِلٌ مَّا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ
24:39 But the Unbelievers,- their deeds are like a mirage in sandy deserts, which the man parched with thirst mistakes for water; until when he comes up to it, he finds it to be nothing: But he finds Allah (ever) with him, and Allah will pay him his account: and Allah is swift in taking account. وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَسَرَابٍ بِقِيعَةٍ يَحْسَبُهُ الظَّمْآنُ مَاء حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءهُ لَمْ يَجِدْهُ شَيْئًا وَوَجَدَ اللَّهَ عِندَهُ فَوَفَّاهُ حِسَابَهُ وَاللَّهُ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ (
12- Though God is quite merciful at personal level at large levels of sins and corruption he declares war against us: he destroys the earth with earthquakes, hurricanes, wars....30:41 Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of (the meed) that the hands of men have earned, that ((Allah)) may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back (from Evil).
ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ