Monday, June 30, 2008
"Thus do We explain the proofs in detail, so that they may turn (unto the truth)." [The Qur'an Al-Araaf 174]
Many people follow their religions blindly without proof under the justification that they “have faith.” Having faith in ideologies, belief systems, or religions that are not based upon clear proof is a source of falsehood and submission unto the conjectures and whims of men.
Islam is based upon proofs. In fact, throughout the Noble Qur’an, Allah directly addresses man’s reason, and discusses the ayaat(proofs, evidences) that would lead man to accept Islam as the religion of truth for all of mankind.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Islam is to bear witness that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah…”
This statement (there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah) is what separates Islam from every other belief system and way of life that exists on earth. If one bears witness to this statement, which is the first fundamental pillar of Islam, and consequently believes in all which accompany it (such as the Qur’an being the literal word of Allah, everything that the Qur’an and the Prophet reported to us about Unseen matters, etc.) , then he would be considered as a Muslim.
Now you are most likely asking yourself, how is this noble religion of Islam proven? What are the evidences to show the truthfulness of Islam? How can we authenticate this statement (there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah) which would transform our complete way of life and outlook upon the world, and our belief about God, the Unseen, and the human soul?
So, bearing this in mind, Let us examine the proofs which give evidence that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His Messenger.
1) The Proofs of Allah's Existence and that nothing is worthy of worship except Him
Allah, Most High, says (interpretation of meaning):
“Were they created by nothing, or were they themselves the creators?
Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, but they have no firm Belief.
Or are with them the treasures of your Lord? Or are they the tyrants with the authority to do as they like?”[al-Toor 52:35-37]
Shaykh Ibn Saalih Al-Uthaymeen comments:
Man did not create himself, since before coming into this life he did not exist; and that which does not exist is nothing; and that which is nothing cannot create anything at all. Nor was it the case that his father or mother or anyone from creation created him. Nor did he randomly appear without a creator to bring him into existence, since for everything which comes into existence or occurs there must be one who brings it into existence or causes it to occur. The presence of all that exists in this creation and the amazing order found in it and its harmonious structures make it impossible that it came about randomly. This is because that which would come into existence randomly and by chance is not in principle and origin something well-ordered. This produces certain conclusion that Allah alone is the creator, and there is no creator, nor anyone who orders and commands except Allah. Allah, the Most High, says,
“Certainly creation and the Command are His.” [The Qur’an 7:54]”
Allah, the Most High, commands man throughout the Qur’an to ponder upon His creation, and to realize that it all testifies to His existence and His sovereignty over the universe. In other words, the science and workings over the universe are in fact proofs of God’s Lordship:
‘Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding.
Those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): "Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire. “ [The Qur’an 3:190-191]
“Verily, the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water (rain) which Allaah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed proofs, evidences, and signs for people of understanding.”[The Qur’an 2:164]
“Do they not look in the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all things that Allah has created, and that it may be that the end of their lives is near. In what message after this will they then believe?” [The Qur’an 7:185]
Likewise, Allah did not create everything in the universe except with truth and for an appointed term. It would be against reason that Allah would create everything in vain. Likewise it would be against reason that He would create mankind, give us faculty and a soul, without any wisdom or purpose behind our creation. Rather:
“And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone). “ [The Qur’an 51:56]
We are here to worship our Creator and to follow His orders and abstain from His prohibitions. This is why Islam means “submission”. In other words: submission to the will of our Creator.
It would be against the intellect, that you would recognize that there is a Creator who provided everything for you and all of creation, but then you would still live life according to other than His commands, or that you would worship something other than Him. It would be against intellect to say that He created the universe and that He manages its affairs, yet that you would turn away from submitting to Him (and noone else).
“And if you ask them who created them, they will surely say: "Allah". How then are they turned away (from the worship of Allah, Who created them)?” [The Qur’an 43:87]
"Say: "Verily, Allah's Guidance is the only guidance, and we have been commanded to submit (ourselves) to the Lord of all Creation" [The Qur'an 6:71]
So if we are here to worship our Creator and submit to His Will, how do we know what His Will is? How do we know what His Nature is? How do we know what ideology, way of life, or belief system He would be pleased with us to follow?
These subjects, and other such things (such as what happens after death, and other unseen matters) are out of the range of human intelligence, scientific experiment, and human reason. Likewise, subjects such as philosophy are insufficient, for they are simply the conjectures of the human being of what is the true nature of the universe (without clear proof). But indeed, conjectures can never take the place of the truth.
It is only rational that we are informed of our Creator’s Will, matters of the unseen, and how our Creator would want us to worship Him, by way of report. In other words: by way of Divine Revelation. No human being can know any of these things by mere conjecture; no matter how much he ponders and how much information he thinks he has from his own knowledge.
2) Proofs that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah
Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the literal word of God and that it is the greatest miracle that Allah has set forth for mankind. Every Prophet before Muhammad (peace be upon him) had miracles (such as the parting of the red sea by Moses) which were particular to their own peoples in order to establish proof against them. Muhammad, 1400 years ago, was given the Noble Qur’an, the greatest miracle of all, which will last as proof of the Message of Islam (submission to the will of the Creator) for every time and every place and every people.
The Challenge of the Qur’an
“And if you (non-muslims) are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down (i.e. the Qur'an) to Our slave (Muhammad Peace be upon him ), then produce a Surah (chapter) of the like thereof and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides Allah, if you are truthful. “ [The Qur’an 2:23]
In the second chapter of the Qur’an, Allah addresses every non-muslim who has doubts about the divine origins of the Qur’an. Allah states that the Qur’an is a book inimitable, unmatched, unique, and without comparison. He challenges every individual who has doubts that it is a divinely revealed book to produce a single chapter that is similar to it. Till this day, many disbelievers have attempted at this but have only proved their attempts to be vain and meaningless.
One of the attributes of the miraculous nature of the Qur’an, is that its verses and text completely conform with the scientific discoveries of today. More amazingly is that the Qur’an is full of verses which reveal things about the science which have never been even comprehended until the past 100 years.
Here is an excerpt from Gary Miller’s article: “the Amazing Qur’an” which outlines some of these facts:
."The citations included in this pamphlet appeared in the Qur’an during the 7th century CE. The Prophet Muhammad was himself illiterate and was living among illiterate people. The Arabs at that time worshipped idols and believed in horoscope and magic and were superstitious. The Arabs very actively opposed the teachings advanced by the Prophet through his revelations.This short article is for you to read and to consider. Because the subject matter is so vast, we have space to mention only a few brief facts from the Amazing Qur’an.
The Creation of the Universe
"Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together, then We clove them asunder? And We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?" (21:30) This verse is specifically addressed to non-believers, and touches upon the creation of the universe and the origins of all life. The Qur’an mentions the existence of a gaseous mass (dukhan,41:11) which is unique and whose elements, although at first fused together (ratq) subsequently became separated (fatq). The separation process resulted in the formation of multiple worlds, a notion which crops up dozens of times in the Qur’an (1:1): "Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds." [1,2]
The Origins of Life
"And We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?" (21:30)
The building blocks of all living things are called cells. They are the basic units of life.
Protoplasm (cytoplasm + nucleus) is the substance of all living things. Cytoplasm is a jelly-like material consisting of water and dissolved substances. The constitution of protoplasm is about 80-85% water. Without water life is not possible. 
None of the myths on the origins of life that abounded at the time of the Qur’an are present in the text. Furthermore, the fact that all life originated from water would not have been a very easy thing to convince people of 1400 years ago, especially in the desert!
The Expansion of the Universe
The expansion of the universe is the most imposing discovery of modern science. Today it is a firmly established concept and the only debate centres around the way this is taking place.
"The heaven, We have built it with power. Verily, We are expanding it." (51:47)‘We are expanding it’ is the translation of the plural present particle musi’una of the verb ausa’a meaning "to make wider, more spacious, to extend, to expand." Some translators were unable to grasp the meaning and provided mistaken translations. Others sense the meaning, but were afraid to commit themselves eg. Hamidullah talks of the widening of the heavens and space, but he includes a question mark. Zidan & Zidan, and The Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs refer to the expansion of the universe in totally unambiguous terms. [1,2]
Mountains have always been looked upon as conspicuous landforms, characterized by lofty protrusions above their surroundings, high peaks and steep sides.However, the Qur’an accurately describes mountains as stabilizers for the Earth that hold its outer surface firmly, lest it should shake with us, and as pickets (or pegs) which hold that surface downwardly as a means of fixation."Have we not made the earth an expanse, and the mountains stakes (awtad)?" (78:6-7) and "And God cast into the ground mountains standing so that it does not shake with you." (31:10). [1,3]
The Developing Human Embryo
Statements referring to human reproduction and development are scattered throughout the Qur’an. It is only recently that the scientific meaning of some of these verses has been fully appreciated. The Qur’an determines that human development passes through stages (39:6). The realization that the human embryo develops in stages was not discussed and illustrated until the 15th century. The staging of human embryos was not described until the 20th century. Streeter (1941) developed the first system of staging which has now been replaced by a more accurate system proposed by O’Rahilly (1972). However, the Qur’an was the first source to mention the (23:12-16). The Qur’an and Hadith also state that both parents share in the origins of the offspring: "O mankind! We created you from male and female." (49:13) and "We created mankind from a mixed drop (nutfah-amshaj)." (76:2)The mixed drop refers to the mixture and convergence of a small quantity of sperms with the ovum (and its associated follicular fluid) to form the zygote. It has the form of a drop and consists of a mixture of male and female secretions."Then we made the drop into a leech-like structure (‘alaqah)." (23:14) ‘alaqah in Arabic means (i) to cling and stick to a thing; (ii) a leech or bloodsucker; (iii) a suspended thing; and (iv) a blood clot. Amazingly, each of the meanings for ‘alaqah can be applied to human prenatal development.For example, taking ‘alaqah to mean a leech we find that the embryo is surrounded by amniotic fluid just as a leech is surrounded by water. The human embryo clings to the mothers womb, in the same way that a leech clings to the skin. A leech is a pear shaped organism and thrives on bloodsucking. The diagram above clearly indicates that the shape of the embryo does in fact resemble a leech! At this stage the cardiovascular system has started appearing and the embryo is now dependant on the maternal blood for its nutrition like a leech! As there were no microscopes or lenses available in the 7th century, people could not have known that the embryo has this leech-like appearance."Then out of that leech-like structure We made a chewed lump (mudghah)." This statement is from Surah 23:14. The Arabic word mudghah means "chewed substance or chewed lump." Towards the end of the 4th week, the human embryo looks somewhat like a chewed lump of flesh. The chewed appearance results from the somites which resemble teeth marks. The somites represent the beginnings of the vertebrae (backbone). (For a detailed discussion concerning the Qur’an and modern embryology see 1,2,4,5,6).
In the 89th chapter of the Qur’an, the city of "Iram" is mentioned: "Have you not seen how your Lord dealt with Aad, of the city of Iram, with lofty pillars the like of which was never created in any land?" Iram has been unknown to history, so much so that it apparently became an embarrassment to some Muslim commentators of the Holy Qur’an. In 1975, in North-Western Syria the ancient city of Ebla was excavated.Ebla is over 4500 years old. In the ruins of the Palace Library they found the largest collection of cuneiform clay tablets ever discovered - around 15,000. Written in the oldest Semitic language yet identified, the tablets reveal that Ebla rivalled Egypt and Mesopotamia as a major power of the ancient world. They found in there a record of all the cities that Ebla used to do business with including one IRAM! [7,8,9]
What happened to the body of Pharaoh of the Exodus?
The Biblical version of Pharaoh’s story states that he was drowned in the pursuit of Prophet Moses (Exodus 14:28-29). Unknown to the world till only of late, the Holy Qur’an made a definite prediction about the preservation of the body of that same Pharaoh of Moses’ time 10:90-92:"This day We shall save you in your body so that you may be a sign for those that come after you". The body was discovered in the tomb of Amenhotep II in 1898. [2,12]
The resting place of Noah’s Ark
The Bible states that "And the Ark rested... upon the mountains of Ararat." Genesis 8:4. According to the Holy Qur’an (11:44): "The Ark came to rest upon Al-Judi." According to recent evidence from an archaeological find in Eastern Turkey, experts believe they may have discovered the remains of an ancient vessel whose dimensions mirror those of Noah’s Ark as told in the Bible. However, the discovery was made on Al-Judi! [10,11]
The Holy Qur’an:- God’s final Guidance to Mankind
"How could a man, from being illiterate, become the most important author in terms of literary merits in the whole of Arabic literature? How could he the pronounce facts of a scientific nature that no other human being could have possibly known at that time, and all this, without once making the slightest error in his pronouncement on the subject?" (Dr. Maurice Bucaille).
In light of this, many scientists and intellectuals who have discovered Islam readily embraced it due to the scientific miracles which they found abundant throughout its texts.
Likewise, the Qur’an is the only Book that claims to be Divinely Revealed that has been preserved in its original form. It has a supernatural eloquence and language which has been unmatched by any poet or writer in the history of mankind. It is free from any inconsistencies or contradictions. Its wisdom of its rulings and laws makes it impossible for it to be the invention of any man, whether he is an illiterate Arab, or a knowledgeable scholar of the 7th century. Indeed:
“(This is) the truth from your Lord. So be you not one of those who doubt.” [The Qur’an 2:147]
And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam (submission to God), it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers. [The Qur’an 3:85]
The matter is a serious one. Are you going to live your life in accordance with the will of your Creator? Or are you going to live your life aimlessly, constantly pursuing your desires and heedless of your overall purpose? It is a matter of Paradise and Hell-Fire.
“Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam. Those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) did not differ except, out of mutual jealousy, after knowledge had come to them. And whoever disbelieves in the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, then surely, Allah is Swift in calling to account.” [The Qur’an 3:19]
And All Praise and Thanks is due to Allaah, the Lord of all creation. And Peace and blessings be upon His Slave and Messenger Muhammad.
1: Allaah is the Arabic word for God.
Imagine that a man was touring around the globe with his car. He came across people from a remote village in Africa. He stayed with them for few days and left. After he left, the people in the village decided they need to make a car like the man had. They cut trees and were able to make the wood looks like a body of a car. They were not able to go any further. This car of wood is not a real car but it does not preclude the presence of a real car. Decades went by and the new generations of this village came to see only the wooden car. They believed it is a car since many do not remember the real car and how it looked like.
This is a simple example of religions. The presence of a false religion does not mean there is no real religion. In both of them there is higher being/beings and a lot of belief of the unseen. It may commonly encompass a system of beliefs including God/Gods, praying fasting and even pilgrimage. But one will take you nowhere and the other one will be your ride to the truth. The existence of people who strongly believe in the faith of their parents does not affirm that their parents religion is the truth. The man nature of belief in God, praying, fasting and pilgrimage confirm that we were born with the instinct of the necessity of these things.
There is a good possibility that some religions started by real prophets from God like Buddha. Similarly the Kappa was built by Abraham to worship the one God of the world and then made a place to worship hundreds of idols. Many at first 3 centuries after Christ believed him to be a prophet from God then people worshiped him. As you see a lot of people changed their religions over time.
The amazing thing about Islam is that it is one man religion. Muhammad had received the Quran from God and Muslims were able to keep it like it is to our day. Even at time when Muslims were not sticking well to their religions they never tried to change the Quran or drop any of its verses.
There is a wooden car and there is a real car. With the Internet available to us now it has not been so easy to search for and compare religions. But it has to be done fairly starting at point zero, where everything is equally possible.
This shows us that science and religion are not conflicting sources of information, but that, on the contrary, science is a method that verifies the absolute truths provided by religion. The clash between religion and science can only hold true for certain religions that incorporate some superstitious elements as well as divine sources. However, this is certainly out of the question for Islam, which relies only on the pure revelation of God. Moreover, Islam particularly advocates scientific enquiry, and announces that probing the universe is a method to explore the creation of God. The following verse of the Quran addresses this issue:
“Do they not look at the sky above them? How We have built it and adorned it, and there are no rifts therein? And the earth - We have spread it out, and set thereon mountains standing firm, and caused it to bring forth plants of beauteous kinds (in pairs). An insight and a Reminder for every slave who turns to God. And We send down from the sky blessed water whereby We give growth unto gardens and the grain of crops. And tall palm-trees, with shoots of fruit-stalks, piled one over another.” (Quran 50:6-10)
As the above verses imply, the Quran always urges people to think, to reason and to explore everything in the world in which they live. This is because science supports religion, saves the individual from ignorance, and causes him to think more consciously; it opens wide one’s world of thought and helps one grasp the signs of God self-evident in the universe. Prominent German physicist Max Planck said:
Anybody who has been seriously engaged in scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: Ye must have faith. It is a quality which the scientist cannot dispense with. (J. De Vries, Essential of Physical Science, Wm.B.Eerdmans Pub.Co., Grand Rapids, SD 1958, p. 15.)
All the issues we have treated so far simply put it that the existence of the universe and all living things cannot be explained by coincidences. Many scientists who have left their mark on the world of science have confirmed, and still confirm this great reality. The more people learn about the universe, the higher does their admirations for its flawless order become. Every newly-discovered detail supports creation in an unquestionable way.
The great majority of modern physicists accept the fact of creation as we set foot in the 21st century. David Darling also maintains that neither time, nor space, nor matter, nor energy, nor even a tiny spot or a cavity existed at the beginning. A slight quick movement and a modest quiver and fluctuation occurred. Darling ends by saying that when the cover of this cosmic box was opened, the tendrils of the miracle of creation appeared from beneath it.
Besides, it is already known that almost all the founders of diverse scientific branches believed in God and His divine books. The greatest physicists in history, Newton, Faraday, Kelvin and Maxwell are a few examples of such scientists.
In the time of Isaac Newton, the great physicist, scientists believed that the movements of the heavenly bodies and planets could be explained by different laws. Nevertheless, Newton believed that the creator of earth and space was the same, and therefore they had to be explained by the same laws. He said:
“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all, and on account of His dominion. He is wont to be called Lord God, Universal Ruler.” (“Principia”)
As is evident, thousands of scientists who have been doing research in the fields of physics, mathematics, and astronomy since the Middle-Ages all agree on the idea that the universe is created by a single Creator and always focus on the same point. The founder of physical astronomy, Johannes Kepler, stated his strong belief in God in one of his books where he wrote:
“Since we astronomers are priests of the highest God in regard to the book of nature, it befits us to be thoughtful, not of the glory of our minds, but rather, above all else, of the glory of God.” (Dan Graves, Scientists of Faith, p. 51)
The great physicist, William Thompson (Lord Kelvin), who established thermo-dynamics on a formal scientific basis, was also a Christian who believed in God. He had strongly opposed Darwin’s theory of evolution and totally rejected it. In 1903, short before his death, he made the unequivocal statement that, “With regard to the origin of life, science... positively affirms creative power.” (David Darling, Deep Time, Delacorte Press, 1989, New York.)
One of the professors of physics at Oxford University, Robert Mattheus states the same fact in his book published in 1992 where he explains that DNA molecules were created by God. Mattheus says that all these stages proceed in a perfect harmony from a single cell to a living baby, then to a little child, and finally to an adolescent. All these events can be explained only by a miracle, just as in all the other stages of biology. Mattheus asks how such a perfect and complex organism can emerge from such a simple and tiny cell and how a glorious human is created from a cell even smaller than the dot on the letter ‘I’. He finally concludes that this is nothing short of a miracle. (Robert Matthews, Unraveling the Mind of God, London Bridge, July, 1995, p.8)
Some other scientists who admit that the universe is created by a Creator and who are known by their cited attributes are:
Robert Boyle (the father of modern chemistry)
Iona William Petty (known for his studies on statistics and modern economy)
Michael Faraday (one of the greatest physicists of all times)
Gregory Mendel (the father of genetics; he invalidated Darwinism with his discoveries in the science of genetics)
Louis Pasteur (the greatest name in bacteriology; he declared war on Darwinism)
John Dalton (the father of atomic theory)
Blaise Pascal (one of the most important mathematicians)
John Ray (the most important name in British natural history)
Nicolaus Steno (a famous stratigrapher who investigated earth layers)
Carolus Linnaeus (the father of biological classification)
Georges Cuvier (the founder of comparative anatomy)
Matthew Maury (the founder of oceanography)
Thomas Anderson (one the pioneers in the field of organic chemistry)
Text of Obama's Patriotism Speech - "The America We Love"
Remarks of Senator Barack Obama The America We Love – as prepared for delivery Monday, June 30th, 2008Independence, Missouri On a spring morning in April of 1775, a simple band of colonists – farmers and merchants, blacksmiths and printers, men and boys – left their homes and families in Lexington and Concord to take up arms against the tyranny of an Empire. The odds against them were long and the risks enormous – for even if they survived the battle, any ultimate failure would bring charges of treason, and death by hanging.And yet they took that chance. They did so not on behalf of a particular tribe or lineage, but on behalf of a larger idea. The idea of liberty. The idea of God-given, inalienable rights. And with the first shot of that fateful day – a shot heard round the world – the American Revolution, and America’s experiment with democracy, began.Those men of Lexington and Concord were among our first patriots. And at the beginning of a week when we celebrate the birth of our nation, I think it is fitting to pause for a moment and reflect on the meaning of patriotism – theirs, and ours. We do so in part because we are in the midst of war – more than one and a half million of our finest young men and women have now fought in Iraq and Afghanistan; over 60,000 have been wounded, and over 4,600 have been laid to rest. The costs of war have been great, and the debate surrounding our mission in Iraq has been fierce. It is natural, in light of such sacrifice by so many, to think more deeply about the commitments that bind us to our nation, and to each other.We reflect on these questions as well because we are in the midst of a presidential election, perhaps the most consequential in generations; a contest that will determine the course of this nation for years, perhaps decades, to come. Not only is it a debate about big issues – health care, jobs, energy, education, and retirement security – but it is also a debate about values. How do we keep ourselves safe and secure while preserving our liberties? How do we restore trust in a government that seems increasingly removed from its people and dominated by special interests? How do we ensure that in an increasingly global economy, the winners maintain allegiance to the less fortunate? And how do we resolve our differences at a time of increasing diversity?Finally, it is worth considering the meaning of patriotism because the question of who is – or is not – a patriot all too often poisons our political debates, in ways that divide us rather than bringing us together. I have come to know this from my own experience on the campaign trail. Throughout my life, I have always taken my deep and abiding love for this country as a given. It was how I was raised; it is what propelled me into public service; it is why I am running for President. And yet, at certain times over the last sixteen months, I have found, for the first time, my patriotism challenged – at times as a result of my own carelessness, more often as a result of the desire by some to score political points and raise fears about who I am and what I stand for.So let me say at this at outset of my remarks. I will never question the patriotism of others in this campaign. And I will not stand idly by when I hear others question mine.My concerns here aren’t simply personal, however. After all, throughout our history, men and women of far greater stature and significance than me have had their patriotism questioned in the midst of momentous debates. Thomas Jefferson was accused by the Federalists of selling out to the French. The anti-Federalists were just as convinced that John Adams was in cahoots with the British and intent on restoring monarchal rule. Likewise, even our wisest Presidents have sought to justify questionable policies on the basis of patriotism. Adams’ Alien and Sedition Act, Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus, Roosevelt’s internment of Japanese Americans – all were defended as expressions of patriotism, and those who disagreed with their policies were sometimes labeled as unpatriotic.In other words, the use of patriotism as a political sword or a political shield is as old as the Republic. Still, what is striking about today’s patriotism debate is the degree to which it remains rooted in the culture wars of the 1960s – in arguments that go back forty years or more. In the early years of the civil rights movement and opposition to the Vietnam War, defenders of the status quo often accused anybody who questioned the wisdom of government policies of being unpatriotic. Meanwhile, some of those in the so-called counter-culture of the Sixties reacted not merely by criticizing particular government policies, but by attacking the symbols, and in extreme cases, the very idea, of America itself – by burning flags; by blaming America for all that was wrong with the world; and perhaps most tragically, by failing to honor those veterans coming home from Vietnam, something that remains a national shame to this day.Most Americans never bought into these simplistic world-views – these caricatures of left and right. Most Americans understood that dissent does not make one unpatriotic, and that there is nothing smart or sophisticated about a cynical disregard for America’s traditions and institutions. And yet the anger and turmoil of that period never entirely drained away. All too often our politics still seems trapped in these old, threadbare arguments – a fact most evident during our recent debates about the war in Iraq, when those who opposed administration policy were tagged by some as unpatriotic, and a general providing his best counsel on how to move forward in Iraq was accused of betrayal.Given the enormous challenges that lie before us, we can no longer afford these sorts of divisions. None of us expect that arguments about patriotism will, or should, vanish entirely; after all, when we argue about patriotism, we are arguing about who we are as a country, and more importantly, who we should be. But surely we can agree that no party or political philosophy has a monopoly on patriotism. And surely we can arrive at a definition of patriotism that, however rough and imperfect, captures the best of America’s common spirit.What would such a definition look like? For me, as for most Americans, patriotism starts as a gut instinct, a loyalty and love for country rooted in my earliest memories. I’m not just talking about the recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance or the Thanksgiving pageants at school or the fireworks on the Fourth of July, as wonderful as those things may be. Rather, I’m referring to the way the American ideal wove its way throughout the lessons my family taught me as a child.One of my earliest memories is of sitting on my grandfather’s shoulders and watching the astronauts come to shore in Hawaii. I remember the cheers and small flags that people waved, and my grandfather explaining how we Americans could do anything we set our minds to do. That’s my idea of America.I remember listening to my grandmother telling stories about her work on a bomber assembly-line during World War II. I remember my grandfather handing me his dog-tags from his time in Patton’s Army, and understanding that his defense of this country marked one of his greatest sources of pride. That’s my idea of America.I remember, when living for four years in Indonesia as a child, listening to my mother reading me the first lines of the Declaration of Independence – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” I remember her explaining how this declaration applied to every American, black and white and brown alike; how those words, and words of the United States Constitution, protected us from the injustices that we witnessed other people suffering during those years abroad. That’s my idea of America.As I got older, that gut instinct – that America is the greatest country on earth – would survive my growing awareness of our nation’s imperfections: it’s ongoing racial strife; the perversion of our political system laid bare during the Watergate hearings; the wrenching poverty of the Mississippi Delta and the hills of Appalachia. Not only because, in my mind, the joys of American life and culture, its vitality, its variety and its freedom, always outweighed its imperfections, but because I learned that what makes America great has never been its perfection but the belief that it can be made better. I came to understand that our revolution was waged for the sake of that belief – that we could be governed by laws, not men; that we could be equal in the eyes of those laws; that we could be free to say what we want and assemble with whomever we want and worship as we please; that we could have the right to pursue our individual dreams but the obligation to help our fellow citizens pursue theirs.For a young man of mixed race, without firm anchor in any particular community, without even a father’s steadying hand, it is this essential American idea – that we are not constrained by the accident of birth but can make of our lives what we will – that has defined my life, just as it has defined the life of so many other Americans.That is why, for me, patriotism is always more than just loyalty to a place on a map or a certain kind of people. Instead, it is also loyalty to America’s ideals – ideals for which anyone can sacrifice, or defend, or give their last full measure of devotion. I believe it is this loyalty that allows a country teeming with different races and ethnicities, religions and customs, to come together as one. It is the application of these ideals that separate us from Zimbabwe, where the opposition party and their supporters have been silently hunted, tortured or killed; or Burma, where tens of thousands continue to struggle for basic food and shelter in the wake of a monstrous storm because a military junta fears opening up the country to outsiders; or Iraq, where despite the heroic efforts of our military, and the courage of many ordinary Iraqis, even limited cooperation between various factions remains far too elusive.I believe those who attack America’s flaws without acknowledging the singular greatness of our ideals, and their proven capacity to inspire a better world, do not truly understand America.Of course, precisely because America isn’t perfect, precisely because our ideals constantly demand more from us, patriotism can never be defined as loyalty to any particular leader or government or policy. As Mark Twain, that greatest of American satirists and proud son of Missouri, once wrote, “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” We may hope that our leaders and our government stand up for our ideals, and there are many times in our history when that’s occurred. But when our laws, our leaders or our government are out of alignment with our ideals, then the dissent of ordinary Americans may prove to be one of the truest expression of patriotism.The young preacher from Georgia, Martin Luther King, Jr., who led a movement to help America confront our tragic history of racial injustice and live up to the meaning of our creed – he was a patriot. The young soldier who first spoke about the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib – he is a patriot. Recognizing a wrong being committed in this country’s name; insisting that we deliver on the promise of our Constitution – these are the acts of patriots, men and women who are defending that which is best in America. And we should never forget that – especially when we disagree with them; especially when they make us uncomfortable with their words.Beyond a loyalty to America’s ideals, beyond a willingness to dissent on behalf of those ideals, I also believe that patriotism must, if it is to mean anything, involve the willingness to sacrifice – to give up something we value on behalf of a larger cause. For those who have fought under the flag of this nation – for the young veterans I meet when I visit Walter Reed; for those like John McCain who have endured physical torment in service to our country – no further proof of such sacrifice is necessary. And let me also add that no one should ever devalue that service, especially for the sake of a political campaign, and that goes for supporters on both sides.We must always express our profound gratitude for the service of our men and women in uniform. Period. Indeed, one of the good things to emerge from the current conflict in Iraq has been the widespread recognition that whether you support this war or oppose it, the sacrifice of our troops is always worthy of honor.For the rest of us – for those of us not in uniform or without loved ones in the military – the call to sacrifice for the country’s greater good remains an imperative of citizenship. Sadly, in recent years, in the midst of war on two fronts, this call to service never came. After 9/11, we were asked to shop. The wealthiest among us saw their tax obligations decline, even as the costs of war continued to mount. Rather than work together to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and thereby lessen our vulnerability to a volatile region, our energy policy remained unchanged, and our oil dependence only grew.In spite of this absence of leadership from Washington, I have seen a new generation of Americans begin to take up the call. I meet them everywhere I go, young people involved in the project of American renewal; not only those who have signed up to fight for our country in distant lands, but those who are fighting for a better America here at home, by teaching in underserved schools, or caring for the sick in understaffed hospitals, or promoting more sustainable energy policies in their local communities.I believe one of the tasks of the next Administration is to ensure that this movement towards service grows and sustains itself in the years to come. We should expand AmeriCorps and grow the Peace Corps. We should encourage national service by making it part of the requirement for a new college assistance program, even as we strengthen the benefits for those whose sense of duty has already led them to serve in our military.We must remember, though, that true patriotism cannot be forced or legislated with a mere set of government programs. Instead, it must reside in the hearts of our people, and cultivated in the heart of our culture, and nurtured in the hearts of our children.As we begin our fourth century as a nation, it is easy to take the extraordinary nature of America for granted. But it is our responsibility as Americans and as parents to instill that history in our children, both at home and at school. The loss of quality civic education from so many of our classrooms has left too many young Americans without the most basic knowledge of who our forefathers are, or what they did, or the significance of the founding documents that bear their names. Too many children are ignorant of the sheer effort, the risks and sacrifices made by previous generations, to ensure that this country survived war and depression; through the great struggles for civil, and social, and worker’s rights.It is up to us, then, to teach them. It is up to us to teach them that even though we have faced great challenges and made our share of mistakes, we have always been able to come together and make this nation stronger, and more prosperous, and more united, and more just. It is up to us to teach them that America has been a force for good in the world, and that other nations and other people have looked to us as the last, best hope of Earth. It is up to us to teach them that it is good to give back to one’s community; that it is honorable to serve in the military; that it is vital to participate in our democracy and make our voices heard.And it is up to us to teach our children a lesson that those of us in politics too often forget: that patriotism involves not only defending this country against external threat, but also working constantly to make America a better place for future generations.When we pile up mountains of debt for the next generation to absorb, or put off changes to our energy policies, knowing full well the potential consequences of inaction, we are placing our short-term interests ahead of the nation’s long-term well-being. When we fail to educate effectively millions of our children so that they might compete in a global economy, or we fail to invest in the basic scientific research that has driven innovation in this country, we risk leaving behind an America that has fallen in the ranks of the world. Just as patriotism involves each of us making a commitment to this nation that extends beyond our own immediate self-interest, so must that commitment extends beyond our own time here on earth.Our greatest leaders have always understood this. They’ve defined patriotism with an eye toward posterity. George Washington is rightly revered for his leadership of the Continental Army, but one of his greatest acts of patriotism was his insistence on stepping down after two terms, thereby setting a pattern for those that would follow, reminding future presidents that this is a government of and by and for the people.Abraham Lincoln did not simply win a war or hold the Union together. In his unwillingness to demonize those against whom he fought; in his refusal to succumb to either the hatred or self-righteousness that war can unleash; in his ultimate insistence that in the aftermath of war the nation would no longer remain half slave and half free; and his trust in the better angels of our nature – he displayed the wisdom and courage that sets a standard for patriotism.And it was the most famous son of Independence, Harry S Truman, who sat in the White House during his final days in office and said in his Farewell Address: “When Franklin Roosevelt died, I felt there must be a million men better qualified than I, to take up the Presidential task…But through all of it, through all the years I have worked here in this room, I have been well aware than I did not really work alone – that you were working with me. No President could ever hope to lead our country, or to sustain the burdens of this office, save the people helped with their support.”In the end, it may be this quality that best describes patriotism in my mind – not just a love of America in the abstract, but a very particular love for, and faith in, the American people. That is why our heart swells with pride at the sight of our flag; why we shed a tear as the lonely notes of Taps sound. For we know that the greatness of this country – its victories in war, its enormous wealth, its scientific and cultural achievements – all result from the energy and imagination of the American people; their toil, drive, struggle, restlessness, humor and quiet heroism.That is the liberty we defend – the liberty of each of us to pursue our own dreams. That is the equality we seek – not an equality of results, but the chance of every single one of us to make it if we try. That is the community we strive to build – one in which we trust in this sometimes messy democracy of ours, one in which we continue to insist that there is nothing we cannot do when we put our mind to it, one in which we see ourselves as part of a larger story, our own fates wrapped up in the fates of those who share allegiance to America’s happy and singular creed.Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.
1- A historical speech about patriotism. I suspect it will be put in histroy as I have a dream speech of Martin Luther King.
2- Labelling political opponets as unpartiotic is an old trick. Sadat in his last days say about any one would oppose him "any thing but Egypt no one can attack Egypt" he uses any attacks on his policies as attck on Egypt. Patriotism in autocracies is defined as loyality to the leader.
3- Partiotism to God is the most important thing for humans, life is few years eternity is uncountable. The great ideals this country supposed to have is second to acknowledge a supreme being who require justice and morals from us. A country is not a falg and a national anthum but moral ideals that we agree to abide by.
If a Muslim persecuted a christian or any non-Muslim he is either an idiot, bully or likely a combination of both. These are the reasons behind my points:
1- The main reason that people followed Islam or converted to Islam after their firm faith it is real is its humanistic nature. In Quran God says that " Do not cut short people's rights". He did not say Muslims, he said people. So all people and all their rights have to be protected.
2- There is no known case that Muhammad (PBUH) persecuted anyone for no reason. The people oppressed and killed Muslims they rightly fought them back. But for peaceful people Muhammad named the minority of people in a Muslim country Zemi "or the people in our protection". In another hadith he said: however attacked a Zemi I declare war on him. In Islam even money was given to non-Muslims and particularly poor non-Muslims. For unbelievers from other religion God ordered Muslims to be dissent to them in Quran God says " God prevent you from fighting those who did not fought you in religion and did not chase you out of your homes to be be generous and just to them God loves the just ones"
3- Islam is a very civilized religion and survived all these years and took over a lot of religions because of its high values and Muslims themselves should be sure that no mean or idiot Muslims to harm Islam by persecuting non-Muslims.
4- A lot of Muslims consider non-Muslims as potential Muslims that we have to work to have people love Islam so they convert willingly to Islam. Even if they did not convert we did the right thing to our religion and to humanity. It is not suitable for the Glory and pride of God to have people unwillingly to convert to Islam.
5- Some people in the west now try to fight hardly the spread of Islam. Some for blind hate and jealous of Islam, some for envy to see Al Mahdi rise. They welcome corrupted and oppressive Muslim tyrants and meantime they stand against the rise of a fair and just man. Many have their souls corrupted and many would trade God for a vanishing materialistic gains. Some for wrong interpretation of prophecies think that Islam is the beast and AL Mahdi the Antichrist of the book of revelation. Give me a break the corrupted oppressive world regimes are the Antichrist no one will be able to deceive God in the day of judgment.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
If I was not a Muslim I will be still amazed how a single man in Arab desert has 1.3 billion followers even after 1427 years.
1- He was one and Muslims over a billion.
2- He did not read or write and most Muslim scientists are faithful believers.
3- He came from a violent culture and created a peaceful religion unless attacked.
4- He came from hard headed Arabs and gathered all Muslims in one heart despite all of their differences. Without Islam very likely they would be more violent with lower morality and spirituality.
5- He came from a pagan materialistic culture to a highly spiritual religion.
6- He came from fighting tribes to create one community that almost functioned as one democratic government.
7- He came From intolerant society that measure people with their possessions and origin to a righteous society judge people by their morals.
8- He came from less civilized tribes to create the greatest civilization the world knew.
9- He had his enemies became his friends and the army leaders of his enemies became his army leaders.
10- He came with a religion that broke all the walls of ethnicity, color, region and materialism to the simple basics of humanity and morals.
11- He made faith as it should be built first on reason (mental belief) and then feeling (spiritual belief).
12- He made faith to go both ways a positive confirmed belief and for the very skeptical a default believe when it becomes very difficult to disprove the Quran and its reasoning.
By Shabir Al
Muslims are assured for several reasons that the Qur’an is indeed the Word of God. Here are eight reasons :
1. Physical incapacity. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was physically incapable to write the Qur’an. History has him as an unlettered man who could not write anything more than his own name. How could he write a book?
2. Sincerity. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was morally constrained to tell the truth about the origin of the Qur’an. He was noted to be so honest and trustworthy that even his enemies called him al-Amin (the trustworthy). Moreover, he suffered persecution, refused offers to compromise, and maintained his message for a period of twenty-three years. Historians of religion have to conclude that he was sincere.
3. Psychology. The Qur’an speaks to the Prophet, commands him, and even criticizes him. Such contents do not point to the Prophet (peace be upon him) as the self-conscious author. On the other hand, the author declares himself to be the creator of the heavens and the earth.
4. History. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was incapable of writing the Qur’an. The Qur’an details items of history which were not known to the Prophet (peace be upon him) or his contemporaries. And independent studies confirm that the Qur’an was true in what it said.
5. Prophecy. The Qur’an speaks prophetically, detailing what the future holds. Then the future unfolds exactly as foretold. Who could author such a book?
6. Science. The Qur’an draws attention to a wide range of physical phenomena in order to teach moral lessons. The statements were not meant to teach science. Yet modern scientists are amazed at the accuracy of these statements. For example, the Qur’an said things about the growth and development of the human embryo which could not be studied without the use of a microscope. Dr. Keith Moore was professor and chairman of the Department of Anatomy at the University of Toronto. After reviewing the Qur’anic statements he said: "I am amazed at the accuracy of these statements which were already made in the 7th century AD." Such knowledge in the Qur’an points to God as its source.
7. Consistency. The Qur’an challenges skeptics to find errors in it, which, if found, would disprove its divine claim. But no one has yet been able to point to a real error in it.
8. Inimitability. A unique feature of the Qur’an is that no one is able to produce a book that would match its beauty, eloquence and wisdom. The Qur’an itself challenges humankind to produce even a chapter like it. But no one has been able to do it. These eight reasons together form a strong cumulative case in favor of the Qur’an’s divine origin. Hence Muslims can be confident that the belief of Islam, which is based on the Qur’an, is true.
I would add to that:
1- Unbelievable believability: If Muhammad had created the Quran how you can explain his long hours of praying, fasting and fighting to defend the religion. He was very faithful and gave faith to thousands of people around him and 1.5 billion who did not see him. If he was deceiver people would have red his face and a lot of errors would happen that people would find them.
2- Unprecedented accountability: if I would say today I am a prophet from God people would examined my life and put me under the microscope and will find minor errors to me. The people who attacked his message failed to find any significant and possibly a minor thing against Muhammad. We know from the history they rather see him dead than perceive the light from God.
3- Constant observability: If I would say today that I am a prophet and God inspired me with verses like the Quran. People would observe me both outside and even inside my house to find how I got inspired they will watch me thinking, drafting or writing the new verses. He was observed all time over 23 years both inside and outside his house. His family was the most faithful of his religion. Muhammad can not just give faith to people if he does not have it.
4- Identified speaker: The one who is talking to us in the Quran with glory and authority is God and not Muhammad. Run the test in your mind imagine one time he is Muhammad (PBUH) or he is God and faithfully answer yourself. I wen through this exercise several times before to strengthen my faith.
5- Faith by default: as Muslims we like faith to be confirmed belief, but the least is faith by default. That means since we disproved he was not having paranoid thoughts (very wise and very stable), not a liar (was honest before and after God chose him for the message and his message is about honesty), not a social reformer (why he would go in the details of prophets history and anger the Christians by mentioning the absence of divinity to Christ) and not obsessed by Satan.... we left by believing that God inspired him with the Quran.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
"In summary, we can say that there are a lot of hadith about the Mahdi to be found in the Sunnah of varying quality, running the gamut between fabricated, weak, and good. Hadith graded as authentic are few. However, belief in the appearance of the Mahdi is an established matter, taking all of the evidence together.
The Mahdi in Sunni and Shi`ah traditions: Ahl al-Sunnah believe that a man from the household of the Prophet (peace be upon him) will appear at the end of time in a very natural manner, born like any other person is born. He will live just as others live. He may even fall into error and need people to correct him just like anybody else. Then Allah will decree a lot of good for the Muslims to come at his hands, as well as piety, justice, and virtue. Allah will unite the Muslims around him. There is nothing more to it than this. This is what is found in the hadith.
There is no textual evidence telling us that it is an act of piety to wait for him or to anticipate his coming. It is not appropriate for any Muslim to accept such a claim on the basis of mere supposition. A claim must be backed up by sufficient evidence. Those making claims are many. This has been the case since the dawn of history, as I will soon make clear. A Muslim is expected to examine matters, verify them, and approach them with caution.
A Muslim must never be hasty and accept matters on the basis of personal desires or wishful thinking.Likewise, no aspect of Islamic Law is dependent on the appearance of the Mahdi. Claims that such Islamic institutions as the Friday prayer, congregational prayers, jihad, carrying out the prescribed punishments, or applying the laws of Islam are contingent on his appearance are baseless. Muslims must conduct their lives as normal. They must perform their acts of worship, fulfill their duties, engage in jihad, reform their societies, learn their religion, and teach each other.
When this pious man does appear and his identity is established with unambiguous, indisputable proofs, then we should follow him. This was the attitude of the Companions and those that followed them. The scholars throughout the ages have adhered to this view. The idea that the Mahdi should be awaited and anticipated and the excessive emphasis placed on him was a much later development.
"Copied from: Uzpekistan Muslims website.
When Muhammad (PBUH) received first the God's revelation of Islam he was ordered by God to spread Islam in secret. This does not mean that People in Mecca his village did not know about his revelation but to talk to people in secret about it. The reason for that is God's experience with his previous prophets who were attacked with their followers. Jesus showed them a miracle after miracle and people chose to disbelieve him and persecute him. Satan is waiting in the earth to any prophet that gets message from God to attack him before he even starts.Muhammad and his close friends were approaching close families and reading to them the verses of Quran as they came from heaven to Muhammad.
This went on for about 3 years when practically it was difficult to keep it secret any longer and Muslims were strong enough to protect one another. Though unfortunately this particularly did not work well for poor Muslims who were under the control of non-Muslims. For the next 10 years Muslims suffered a lot under the hate, oppression and persecution of non-Muslims, you can consider them the infidels.These few Muslims who carried the message and suffered a lot for Islam and called the immigrants are the people who we are indebted to them for carrying the religion to us. As they fled the persecution they want to another village called Medina. Her people other Arabs had learnt from the Jews the expectation of a prophet to appear at that time. They were called the supporters since they believed Muhammad and protected him and Muslims. They with the immigrants are the best people Islam has known. Islam no longer was a secret or threatened religion it got strong and founded its own existence. After three main wars with the infidels Muslims peacefully surrounded and took Mecca. Then Islam spread to the Arab peninsula before Muhammad death.
I do expect that there will be a silent conversion to Islam in the west, if it is not already going on. Why silent? I think because of Islamic Jihadists that caused Neo-Muslims to be in position to ally with their people who are non-Muslims against any attacks on the west. Meanwhile they will be waiting for reasonable Muslims to find the right bridge between Islam and the West. They may actually lead these efforts themselves not as Muslims yet or as new converts you never know.
I suspect this Neo-Muslims, unlike Neo-Cons would like to see just world to all people whatever their religions. The thing about Islam is many of the best of the people contributed to Islam are non-Arabs and new converts. They have the enthusiasm and the faith first hand not second hand just to be born as Muslims. They went and crossed all barriers to be Muslims. They reached Islam after long reasoning and examining all the scriptures from the three major religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Their leaders I suspect will be Rabbi, Priests and politicians.I suspect these Neo-Muslims are already in the west in millions and they are waiting for the right time to declare their Islam. I call it "The Great Silent Conversion to Islam".
The Saudi regime is one of the most corrupted regimes in the world. I feel brave to attack them since I feel I am guided by God if you know what I mean. They would be the last to reform.
Simply they would not open the books to see how much they own and how much the Saudi as country lost in their time. They know very well how to play the game. The most important for them is power, money and control.
Most recently when the king felt that he may have Al Mahdi Al Muntazer on the horizon or the Saudi people are starting to wake up he tried to legalize his kingship inheritance for him and the family. Their King Abdullah knew from the American government that Al Mahdi may be in America so he presented himself as the good guy and named his website the king of humanity. He is playing in all the scenes to try to block Al Mahdi appearance. The opposite should be true for a true Muslim.
The thing that the dynasty played well Since Saud the father of the family started his monarchy is to win the strongest power in the world America. They are not only have big influence in the Americans as getting them in Iraqi war but more so to control the price of oil and the American economy.
I do not advocate violent up-rise against them but dialogue in the media to see how they can open to their people and the Muslim world and to see how they are willing to change drastically the course of history.
There are numbers of their family that are honest good Muslims. I think if Arab kings, the moderates and Jihadists to solve their problems peacefully and justly we would have a just and peaceful world.
I always send mixed messages since the world is complicated and people have the good side in them as well and you still can win a lot of people with mixed messages.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Muslims have now to work diligently to spread Islam around the world. This is because it is their main mission from God, their unity and well being is through Islam and their freedom, justice and prosperity will be achieved through Islam. We have to use this program to spread our religion:
1- Explaining the truth of Islam and it is the last message from God.
2- As it appears we are in the end of time we have the power of prophecy that God will spread Islam through us to all the world.
3- Comparative religion particularly with Christians and Jews is a must do now.
4- Sending Quran copies and Islamic information to many non-Muslims. Recently some Muslims sent it to the congress.
5- The power of suggestion, many in the west now think Islam is coming no matter what they do. Let them believe but like it and love it.
6- Jesus should be our favorite topic not only because he is coming soon, but he is coming in mostly a Muslim community to love him, protect him and live under his judgment. We will also attract a lot of Christians who are impatiently waiting for his second coming like us.
7- Let the evangelism spread as well as they do that we will have a unified front by preparing a just and righteous world for Jesus.
8- Many of the Jews will convert to Islam from the prophet prophecies. Most of them are very smart and talented have morals they will help us to spread Islam.
9- Security of Israel is a must not only to negate the effect of fanatic Christians and Jews, but because it is the right thing. God promised them to gather them at the end of time. Both fanatic Christians and Jews are scaring one another that when Muslim will get strong and prevail they will persecute them, which is nonsense since the massage of Islam is harmony between the three major religions.
10- Some Christians consider that El Mahdi is the Antichrist. Ironically they are anxiously waiting for him since his coming herald the coming of Christ. Let us use their misunderstanding of the prophecies and as they realize he is the Elijah to Christ and as prophecies unfold they will follow him or at least will support him.
11- Let us avoid terrorism, extremism and ultra conservatism. The religion is simple ten commandments and major sins. A Muslim woman with no hijab should be dealt with respect and acceptance. New Muslim sinners or those still drink alcohol let us pray for them and await God to guide them and us to the purity of Islam.
12- As we prepare a righteous society with Muslims getting to be better Muslims and non-Muslims becoming Muslims and sound government that provide justice, freedom and prosperity to all of its citizens we will be close to receiving Christ.
13- According to the prophecies the Antichrist or Dajal will try to ruin our plan we do not now if he is a person or a system or more likely a combination of them. We are not give the fine details of the prophecies and some of Hadith about end of time are weak or fabricated. God promised to save the Quran like it is and he did for Hadith the main collectors of Hadith has protected it. The weak hadith could be right but what we asked as Muslims are to do the right thing religiously and geopolitical.
14- We have to learn from the Jews and Christians how to organize ourselves and create a strong and united front.
15- We need to forget about all sects of Islam we only to use the word Muslims. Ahl Al bit or the family of the Prophet and El Mahdi is one of them are great people but no one is close to holiness except the prophets and even though the had fallen in minor errors. We should not fight because of his family but unite to spread Muhammad message to all humanity. He was above any tribe, family, sect---feud. His message is about Islamic faith and brotherhood to all humanity.
Atheists found it easy to denounce religions. They will tell you: it is simple religions did much more harm than good. In the contrary many religious people find wars prove well the first concept of the three major religions. Adam and Eve were in heaven and Satan tempted them to do the first sin and let them out of heaven. Satan had promised to do the same to their offspring and make them enemies to each other. He succeeded for one good reason people chose to obey Satan and not God.
Most world wars are in fact for domination, hate, discrimination, oppression, exploitation, borders and glory. All of these are temptations from Satan. God wants man only to have a just war. It is the war to free the oppressed and captives, to defend religion and occasionally to spread religion. Islam did not invent war and Christianity did not end it.
Every messenger with no exception found enemies against his message. The two common enemies were jealous and corruption. Muhammad (PBUH) before his message was not a military man, he was a peaceful man came with a peaceful message. God ordered him to fight back his enemies many of them knew deep in their hearts that he was a messenger but they chose to fight him. Many of them are from the rough Arabian desert and few looked exactly like Saddam.
Pharaoh knew very well that Moses was a messenger from God, but he obeyed his false bride and insisted he is the only God that he knew. Most messengers were ordered by God to fight back their enemies. Even at times of fake religions and no religions humans chose to fight. Since wars commonly end human lives, leaders always tried to convince their fighters that they are in God's side and even promised them paradise.
Atheists were not able to abolish religions or wars, both as old as the first Sons of Adam in earth, occurred even independently. Man used wars most of times for material reasons. God on the other hand wants us to spread peace. However, many times fighting back for defense and lifting oppression made God's people have to fight back.
God promised in all his religions a messianic era. For this to happen humans have to become humans again. Having America as one superpower, which supposed to be in God's side, gives us a unique opportunity to do that. Atheists can help us find this common humanity background. All people should come together to establish new political and economic systems that can end wars and save humanity. The smart weapons are not those who kill thousands of people but those smart policies that revive millions of people. Smart war is not fought by generals but by politicians. The needed soldiers are those who are peace makers, peace keepers and peace corps.
LONDON, England (CNN) -- Hollywood star Will Smith led a crowd of 46,664 in a chorus of "Happy Birthday" to Nelson Mandela on Friday at a party for the South African prisoner, president and Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Smith introduced Mandela to the London crowd celebrating Mandela's life with the words "The one, the only, the birthday boy, Nelson Mandela, Nelson Mandelaaaaaaaaaa."
London was the scene of a concert 20 years ago to celebrate Mandela's 70th and to raise awareness of his imprisonment.
Mandela told cheering fans, "Your voices carried across the water to inspire us in our prison cells far away. Tonight, we can stand before you free.
"We are honored to be back in London for this wonderful occasion.
"But even as we celebrate, let us remind ourselves that our work is far from complete.
"Where there is poverty and sickness, including AIDS, where human beings are being oppressed, there is more work to be done. Our work is for freedom for all." Watch Mandela at the party »
As Mandela walked on stage, Smith led the crowd in a chorus of "Happy Birthday."
Proceeds from the concert in London's Hyde Park will go toward the 46664 Campaign, which Mandela founded in 2003 to raise awareness about the impact of AIDS, especially in Africa, and to promote HIV-prevention measures around the world.
The name of the charity represents Mandela's prison number when he was incarcerated at Robben Island. Organizers put 46,664 tickets up for sale.
The finale of the concert was scheduled as Queen, Amy Winehouse and Jerry Dammers performing "Free Nelson Mandela," a 1980s hit from the Specials that quickly became an anti-apartheid anthem, but pretty much every act joined them on stage.
Dammers was also one of the driving forces behind the London concert in 1988 to awareness of Mandela's long imprisonment by the South African authorities.
The former South African president turns 90 on July 18. Watch the crowd celebrate »
Among the artists scheduled to play at the concert are Queen, Annie Lennox, Simple Minds, Leona Lewis, Joan Baez and Josh Groban.Speculation surrounded whether Winehouse would perform after being hospitalized with lung problems this week.
More than a dozen African artists, including Johnny Clegg and the Soweto Gospel Choir, performed.
Smith, music legend Quincy Jones and Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton were among the stars introducing acts.
Other guests at the concert included British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, former U.S. President Clinton, talk show host Oprah Winfrey and actor Robert De Niro.
Organizers say Mandela plans to use his 90th concert to mark the start of his retirement.
"I am supposed to be retired, but my friends and the charitable organizations that bear my name want to use my 90th birthday year to raise funds to continue our work and so, of course, I want to help them," Mandela said in a statement this month.
"So, we have a bargain -- I am going to London and they will host a concert in Hyde Park, which will raise awareness of our continuing work and much-needed funds."
Mandela served as his country's first democratically elected president from 1994 to 1999. In recent years, he has campaigned on behalf of HIV and AIDS awareness and has long called the battle against AIDS a basic human right.
In 1964, a court sentenced Mandela to life in prison for plotting to overthrow the government by violence. He spent the first 18 years at Robben Island Prison, off Cape Town, South Africa, and later spent time at Pollsmoor prison and Victor Verster Prison, closer to the mainland.
While in prison, Mandela became recognized as the most significant black leader in South Africa, and he became a potent symbol of resistance in the anti-apartheid movement. Mandela consistently refused to compromise his political position to obtain his freedom.
South African President F.W. de Klerk released Mandela in February 1990 after 27 years in prison. Mandela was elected president of the African National Congress the following year, and in 1994, he was elected president of his country.
By Peter Sanders
Peter Sanders was born in London in 1946. His professional career in photography began during the mid-sixties where he photographed most of the major stars in the music business including Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Who, the Rolling Stones etc. Towards the end of the 1970’s, Sanders’ attention turned inward which set him on a spiritual search to India and then eventually to the Muslim world where the spiritual beauty of Islam left an indelible impression upon him. After his return to England, he embraced Islam and was given the name Abd al-Adheem. In 1971 he was granted the unique opportunity to photograph the rituals of Hajj or annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. These images appeared in the Sunday Times Magazine, The Observer, among many other major journals in recognition of their rareness.
For Peter Sanders, faith and photography have both been part of his spiritual development. It was his search to capture the essence of reality that led him to Islam and, with camera in hand, to the door of the Kaaba. From photographing the most famous of idols in the music industry to the most sacred places in the Islamic world, Peter Sanders’ journey encompasses more than a change of focus for his camera lens.
“Having photographed almost every famous person in the music industry I got bored and started getting in to spritual things. I just wanted something else, and so I decided to go to India. I packed everything up and went, looking for a teacher. Eventually I found one, who was basically a Hindu but had a lot of what we consider ‘Muslim Qualities’. I studied with him for about six months and when I cam back to England, some of my friends had become Muslim. Then there were other friends who had gotten heavy into drugs and alchohol. It was as if God was saying to me, ‘which direction do you want to go?’.
“I didn’t know very much about Islam but I had dreams and various other things happened to me. So I made a decision to become Muslim without knowing too much about it. I was 24 years old at the time and within three months of becoming Muslim, I decided to go on Hajj. I didn’t have the money but I just made the intention. My elderly Muslim teacher at that time had also made the intention and I knew that I wanted to go too. Someone gave me a ticket and I went. It was at the Kaaba that I learnt that my teacher had died on the way.”
At the time, back in 1971, photographs of the Hajj were quite rare. Peter Sanders was granted special permission to photograph the sacred places; a decision that still amazes him. “It was pretty unique for a Westerner to have taken pictures of the Hajj. I had to sl;og from offices to offices in Jeddaj and Makkah and eventually I found a man that had the authority to grant me permission. A lot of people didn’t want to take responsibility at the time, and they were generally not too keen on photography anyway, especially by a convert. But this man was in a position to authorise me and he did so purely on trust.”
For Peter Sanders, photography is essentially a means to capture the spirit of Islam. As he describes his efforts to do this, the words of an Urdu poet come to mind: ‘To see the reality of Madinah you need more than just sight; you need vision’. As if seeking to possess this vision is not a great enough mission in itself, Peter Sanders attempts to then convey it to others. He has spent the last thirty years documenting the remains of traditional Islamic societies that are fast disappearing from the earth. One of his ongoing projects in trying to capture dying traditions has been the compilation of a photographic album of the great scholars and saints of our time. The two volumes, that he hopes to raise funds to publish, include pictures of people who were photographed for the first time and some of whom have passed away in recent months and years.
About Peter Sanders
Peter Sanders, internationally recognised as one of the worlds leading photographer of the Islamic World.
The photographer began his career in the mid-1960’s covering Londons’ seminal rock and roll scene, capturing now legendary music icons in a collection that is considered a classic by collectors.
Towards the end of the 1970’s, Sanders’ attention turned inward which set him on a spiritual search that took him to India and led him in the end to the Muslim world. All the while the photographer captured his surroundings on film, creating a striking and disparate record of the last vestiges of traditional Muslim societies in transition. Sanders’ own deep commitment to and love of traditional Islamic culture has brought him into intimate contact with people and places few photographers reach.
“My photography has always been an extension of my life,” he said. “Photography is a wonderful process - a gift from God - that has allowed me to learn so much about myself and the world around me. Its like chasing a moment, trying to capture a beautiful bird in flight.” “The photographs are extremely, extraordinarily beautiful,” claims Japanese Art Critic, Tsuyoshi Kawasoe.
“One should not under-estimate the importance of Peter Sanders’ work,” said American writer Michael Sugich. “He is the only photographer working today who has systematically and with great devotion to the task, covered vast areas of the Islamic world as an insider. Because of his deep understanding of the culture and his impeccable spiritual courtesy, he has been able to photograph places and people that virtually no western photographer would be able to access. He has left an indelible, poetic and ravishing record of an extraordinary time and a rich and fascinating culture.”
It has also been quoted, “he captures the spritiual beauty of creation itself.”
Sanders’ photographs have appeared in many international publications, including Time Magazine, Paris Match, The Observer, The Sunday Times Magazine, Aramco World and the London based pan-Arab news magazine Al Majalla who published his work as a cover story.
His intimate photographs of the sacred cities of Makkah and Madinah are in great demand.
Peter Sanders Photography Limited includes travel, location and studio photography, a photographic library of over 120,000 slides, as well as the production of fine art prints.
This year will see the publication of his first photographic book, ‘In The Shade of The Tree.’ Another three are in mid-production, including one about the muslims in China.
Peter Sanders’ Books
In the Shade of the Tree : A Photographic Odyssey Through the Muslim World.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Connecticut Convention Center, 100 Columbus Blvd, Hartford, CT 06103 on Saturday, July 7th, 2008, 10 am to 5 pm.
This symposium is organized by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), a north America-wide, non-ethnic, non-sectarian grassroots organization. The symposium ( is day 2 of the conference of ICNA/MAS held July 4-7) is a diverse interactive gathering providing a forum for people of all faiths and backgrounds to discuss a range of socio-religious issues pertaining to Islam and America. This entire day program features Informative Sessions, Extensive Q&A Sessions, Cultural Bazaar, Art Exhibitions, Cross Culture Interaction and much more! Lunch will be served and guests will be presented souvenirs. There is no admission fee and certificates will be provided to all participants.
This symposium will address common questions such as Islam & Democracy, Muslims in America, The Danish Cartoon Controversy, Islamic Culture and Heritage through History, Role of Women in an Islamic Society, What's the Sharia, The common God of Islam, Christianity and Judaism, Myths and Facts about the Quran, etc. All sessions will be interactive with participants having maximum time for Q&A. Read more..
Program is designed to be as interactive as possible giving the audience an opportunity to speak their heart out. We have attempted to cover topics that are of importance in understanding the Muslims of today and also to provide a chance to address the prevalent misconceptions about Islam and Muslims in the American society in this day and age.
Welcome Address and Introduction
Interactive Session #1
Monotheism...Why or Why Not?
The Concept of God in Islam
Selected Names & Attributes of God in Islam
Islamic Worship - Ritual or Spiritual?
Moderator: Yusuf Estes
Break and Refreshments
Interactive Session #2
The Quran - Myths vs. Facts
The Scientific Miracles in the Quran
The Miracles in the Language
The Sharia - What is it?
Moderator: Jamal Zarabozo
Guided Tours (Prayers, Expo & Much More)
Interactive Session #3
Family - A Pillar of Society in Islam
Rights and Responsibilities of Family Members
The Pivotal Role of Women in Society
Poligamy in Islam, Why and Why not?
Family Life of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
Moderator: Chantal Carnes
Break and Refreshments
Interactive Session #4
Contributions of Muslims to Civilization
The First Islamic Caliphates - Freedom, Justice, Equality
Islamic Culture & Heritage thru History
Moderator: Khalid Griggs
Break and Refreshments
Interactive Session #5
Islam & Democracy
Muslims in the West
Radical Islam, Moderate Islam?
The Danish Cartoon Controversy
Moderator: Siraj Wahhaj