Monday, August 31, 2009

Ramadan thoughts: Understanding the Quran


Source ::: The PENINSULA

The overarching importance of the noble Quran, which Muslims believe is the word of God (Allah), is underscored in Islam owing to a number of factors such as the following:

1. The Quran is, according to Islam, the last of the revealed scriptures of God. It clearly teaches that all the previous scriptures have been revealed by God Almighty to His prophets, though they were not preserved intact over time. Only the noble Quran has been protected from addition, deletion, or interpolation. That is why Muslims believe that today, only the noble Quran is authentic as the word of God.

And what is more, it is kept intact on a tablet preserved in Heaven for all times. And in fact, the essential message of all the earlier scriptures was extracted from the same tablet, called in the Quran the “Preserved Tablet”:

“Nay, this is a Glorious Quran (inscribed) in a Tablet Preserved!” (85:21-22)

Ibn Kathir, a well-known Quran interpreter and scholar, said:

“The phrase “in the Preserved Tablet” means, it is among the higher rank groups (i.e., angels), preserved and protected from anything being added or taken away, or from any alteration or changes.” (part 8, page 271)

2. God Almighty in the noble Quran clearly states that all the previous scriptures were revealed provisionally for the benefit of a particular people of a particular period. But the noble Quran is the final testament of God revealed for the whole of humanity, until the Day of Judgment. For this reason, all the teachings contained in the former scriptures which were meant to be of lasting value and importance are included in the Quran.

3. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the final messenger from Allah to mankind; and he brought the final revelation from God to man. Therefore, the scripture containing this revelation is the last of the sacred scriptures.

The basic message of the noble Quran is the same as the basic message of the previous revelations and books; and the teachings and instructions by which it provides guidance for man are of a universal nature. They apply for all times to come and to all situations.

This revelation corresponds to a critical juncture that marks a stage of cultural, intellectual, and spiritual development in human history.

4. If you make a careful study of the language and subject of the Quran and the language and subject of other scriptures, you can see the clear difference of the Quran.

It is a fact that there is no scripture of any religion existing now in the same form as it existed at the time of its revelation. In most cases, we have only translations, not the original scripture.

As for the Quran, it is the original Arabic Quran that is always called the Quran, not any translation. That is to say, the noble Quran is the only scripture that exists in the same language and form in which it was originally revealed by Allah Almighty to humankind.

5. Another important point to note about the Quran is the perfect harmony between its content and language. We may get to know the meaning of the Quran from a translation, preferably with sufficient explanations. But the beauty of the Quranic language is to a great extent lost to any one who does not know Arabic.

As a matter of fact, the verses of the Quran appeal to our heart and head at the same time; as we see in them a harmony of rhyme, rhythm and reason, a matching of powerful ideas with moving expression.

We should remember that the Quran came at a time in Arabia when poetry was reigning supreme; but the master-poets of the day could not equal the Quranic richness in diction, style, and beauty. Indeed, its haunting rhythms rocked the whole of Arabia from Sudan to Syria and from Morocco to Oman, and continues to awe those who listen to it, even if they do not understand Arabic.

It is noteworthy that while the Quran continues to occupy the pedestal as an abiding model for literary Arabic, the languages of other scriptures have, more or less, become dead languages.

6. In fact, there is no other Book in human history that has molded, and is continuing to mold, the life of generations of people as the Quran. Every verse of the Book has become the unalterable source of a code of laws that govern every aspect of the life of Muslims.

This was a Book that brought into being the renowned universities and centers of learning that awakened a new enlightenment in the world, such as no other civilization of the past could match.

It was indeed a brilliant and lasting miracle of Allah effected through the Quran, which was at the center of a unique spiritual revolution, which shines through history. The Quran helped in forging unity among tribes, races and social classes. It liberated the thought patterns and the ennobled human knowledge.

The Quran also contained the criteria for social transformation.

Consequently, even some people, such as the Mongols who conquered Islamic lands and triumphed over the Muslims owing to their military superiority, lost their dominance in the end when they were confronted with the spiritual power of Islam. In addition, it is an interesting historical fact that eventually most of them even adopted the religion of the people they had conquered.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Did God Answer our Questions?

By: Maged Taman

1- Is there a creator? Failure to prove we are not created from non-existence or we are the creators (since we are practically the only intelligent creation we know of) prove there is other creator.

52:35 Have they themselves been created without anything [that might have caused their creation]? Or are they the creators? أَمْ خُلِقُوا مِنْ غَيْرِ شَيْءٍ أَمْ هُمُ الْخَالِقُونَ (52:35)

2- Why God created us? The reason for creation is to worship the creator: It would not increase or diminish his creation he is not needing of us though it would please him to find us grateful.

6:102 Such is Allah, your Lord. There is no God save Him, the creator of all things, so worship Him. And He taketh care of all things. - ذَلِكُمُ اللّهُ رَبُّكُمْ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ فَاعْبُدُوهُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَكِيلٌ (6:102)

51:56 I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me. وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ (51:56)

21:25 Not an apostle did We send before thee without this inspiration sent by Us to him: that there is no god but I; therefore worship and serve Me.وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِي إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدُونِ (21:25)

3- Why Gods other than the true one God of the Bible and the Quran are false?

The worship of false Gods does not prove those Gods but rather the presence of another force we call it Satan that want you to worship anything other than God, even of his creation:

25:3 Yet they choose beside Him other gods who create naught but are themselves created, and possess not hurt nor profit for themselves, and possess not death nor life, nor power to raise the dead. وَاتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِهِ آلِهَةً لَّا يَخْلُقُونَ شَيْئًا وَهُمْ يُخْلَقُونَ وَلَا يَمْلِكُونَ لِأَنفُسِهِمْ ضَرًّا وَلَا نَفْعًا وَلَا يَمْلِكُونَ مَوْتًا وَلَا حَيَاةً وَلَا نُشُورًا (25:3)

10:66 Behold! verily to Allah belong all creatures, in the heavens and on earth. What do they follow who worship as His "partners" other than Allah. They follow nothing but fancy, and they do nothing but lie. أَلا إِنَّ لِلّهِ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَات وَمَن فِي الأَرْضِ وَمَا يَتَّبِعُ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ شُرَكَاء إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلاَّ الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلاَّ يَخْرُصُونَ (10:66)

12:40 "If not Him, ye worship nothing but names which ye have named,- ye and your fathers,- for which Allah hath sent down no authority: the command is for none but Allah. He hath commanded that ye worship none but Him: that is the right religion, but most men understand not... مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِهِ إِلاَّ أَسْمَاء سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنتُمْ وَآبَآؤُكُم مَّا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ بِهَا مِن سُلْطَانٍ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ لِلّهِ أَمَرَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ (12:40)

The fatra or the way God created us is to worship him alone: as Abraham (PBUH) mentioned and as most converts to Islam realize that they were born Muslims (submitting to one God)

3:26 Behold! Abraham said to his father and his people: "I do indeed clear myself of what ye worship: وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ لِأَبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ إِنَّنِي بَرَاء مِّمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ (43:26)
43:27 "(I worship) only Him Who made me, and He will certainly guide me." إِلَّا الَّذِي فَطَرَنِي فَإِنَّهُ سَيَهْدِينِ (43:27)

4- Why the God of the Bible and the Quran is the true God:

The God of the Quran is the God of the proofs. The Quran has the message of God and what other prophets had:

21:24 Or have they taken for worship (other) gods besides him? Say, "Bring your convincing proof: this is the Message (the Quran) of those with me and the Message of those before me." But most of them know not the Truth, and so turn away. أَمِ اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِهِ آلِهَةً قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ هَذَا ذِكْرُ مَن مَّعِيَ وَذِكْرُ مَن قَبْلِي بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ الْحَقَّ فَهُم مُّعْرِضُونَ (21:24)

These messengers were identified: by either prophecies about them from previous scripture, prophecies to them, miracles or wise scripture like the Quran.

7:157 "Those who follow the apostle, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures),- in the law and the Gospel;- for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honour him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him,- it is they who will prosperالَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الرَّسُولَ النَّبِيَّ الأُمِّيَّ الَّذِي يَجِدُونَهُ مَكْتُوبًا عِندَهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالإِنْجِيلِ يَأْمُرُهُم بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَاهُمْ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَآئِثَ وَيَضَعُ عَنْهُمْ إِصْرَهُمْ وَالأَغْلاَلَ الَّتِي كَانَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ فَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ بِهِ وَعَزَّرُوهُ وَنَصَرُوهُ وَاتَّبَعُواْ النُّورَ الَّذِيَ أُنزِلَ مَعَهُ أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ (7:157)

35:25 And if they deny thee: those before them also denied. Their messengers came unto them with clear proofs (of Allah's sovereignty), and with the Psalms and the Scripture giving light. - وَإِن يُكَذِّبُوكَ فَقَدْ كَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ جَاءتْهُمْ رُسُلُهُم بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَبِالزُّبُرِ وَبِالْكِتَابِ الْمُنِيرِ (35:25)

5- Why there is no proof of no creator? The creator answers those who lead people astray in finding the creator that they did not witness his creation or can prove he did not create. After all he did not need their help during the creation.

18:51 I did not make them witnesses of the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor of the creation of their own selves; and neither do I [have any need to] take as My helpers those [beings] that lead [men] astray. مَا أَشْهَدتُّهُمْ خَلْقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَلَا خَلْقَ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَمَا كُنتُ مُتَّخِذَ الْمُضِلِّينَ عَضُدًا (18:51)

6- How God made us long to him?
God has created in us the human spirituality: and the feeling of rest when we worship him:

13:28 Who have believed and whose hearts have rest in the remembrance of Allah. Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest! - الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

Also our curiosity to know how things created and God gave us the brain and the tools to trace his creation. No wonder that we found the big bang, the DNA, water as the origin of life and so on.

29:20 Say (O Muhammad): Travel in the land and see how He originated creation, then Allah bringeth forth the later growth. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things. قُلْ سِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَانظُرُوا كَيْفَ بَدَأَ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ اللَّهُ يُنشِئُ النَّشْأَةَ الْآخِرَةَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ (29:20)

43:27 "(I worship) only Him Who made me, and He will certainly guide me." إِلَّا الَّذِي فَطَرَنِي فَإِنَّهُ سَيَهْدِينِ (43:27)

7- How God compelled us to call into him? Most people have faith when they are in severe distress: One of the great evidence of God is our calling to him in the time of stress. Even those with weak faith or no faith are faithful at that time.

29:65 And when they mount upon the ships they pray to Allah, making their faith pure for Him only, but when He bringeth them safe to land, behold! they ascribe partners (unto Him), - فَإِذَا رَكِبُوا فِي الْفُلْكِ دَعَوُا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ فَلَمَّا نَجَّاهُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ إِذَا هُمْ يُشْرِكُونَ (29:65)

31:32 And if a wave enshroudeth them like awnings, they cry unto Allah, making their faith pure for Him only. But when He bringeth them safe to land, some of them compromise. None denieth Our signs save every traitor ingrate. وَإِذَا غَشِيَهُم مَّوْجٌ كَالظُّلَلِ دَعَوُا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ فَلَمَّا نَجَّاهُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ فَمِنْهُم مُّقْتَصِدٌ وَمَا يَجْحَدُ بِآيَاتِنَا إِلَّا كُلُّ خَتَّارٍ كَفُورٍ (31:32)

8- How God conduct his messages to us?Conducted through humans called messengers:

16:43 And before thee also the apostles We sent were but men, to whom We granted inspiration: if ye realise this not, ask of those who possess the message. َمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِي إِلَيْهِمْ فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ (16:43)

4:165 messengers of good cheer and off warning, in order that mankind might have no argument against Allah after the messengers. Allah was ever Mighty, Wiseرُّسُلاً مُّبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ لِئَلاَّ يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَى اللّهِ حُجَّةٌ بَعْدَ الرُّسُلِ وَكَانَ اللّهُ عَزِيزًا حَكِيمًا (4:165)

13:38 And verily We sent messengers (to mankind) before thee, and We appointed for them wives and offspring, and it was not (given) to any messenger that he should bring a portent save by Allah's leave. For everything there is a time prescribedوَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلاً مِّن قَبْلِكَ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُمْ أَزْوَاجًا وَذُرِّيَّةً وَمَا كَانَ لِرَسُولٍ أَن يَأْتِيَ بِآيَةٍ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ لِكُلِّ أَجَلٍ كِتَابٌ (13:38)

9- How the messangers are contacted by God? through Angels, visions or talking to them directly by God.

16:2 He sendeth down the angels with the Spirit of His command unto whom He will of His bondmen, (saying): Warn mankind that there is no god save Me, so keep your duty unto Me. -
يُنَزِّلُ الْمَلآئِكَةَ بِالْرُّوحِ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ عَلَى مَن يَشَاء مِنْ عِبَادِهِ أَنْ أَنذِرُواْ أَنَّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ أَنَاْ فَاتَّقُونِ (16:2)

48:27 Allah hath fulfilled the vision for His messenger in very truth. Ye shall indeed enter the Inviolable Place of Worship, if Allah will, secure, (having your hair) shaven and cut, not fearing. But He knoweth that which ye know not, and hath given you a near victory beforehand. - لَقَدْ صَدَقَ اللَّهُ رَسُولَهُ الرُّؤْيَا بِالْحَقِّ لَتَدْخُلُنَّ الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ إِن شَاء اللَّهُ آمِنِينَ مُحَلِّقِينَ رُؤُوسَكُمْ وَمُقَصِّرِينَ لَا تَخَافُونَ فَعَلِمَ مَا لَمْ تَعْلَمُوا فَجَعَلَ مِن دُونِ ذَلِكَ فَتْحًا قَرِيبًا (48:27)

4:164 And messengers We have mentioned unto thee before and messengers We have not mentioned unto thee; and Allah spoke directly unto moses; وَرُسُلاً قَدْ قَصَصْنَاهُمْ عَلَيْكَ مِن قَبْلُ وَرُسُلاً لَّمْ نَقْصُصْهُمْ عَلَيْكَ وَكَلَّمَ اللّهُ مُوسَى تَكْلِيمًا (4:164)

10- How God punish the people who stands against his messages? People who are standing against God and his messages will be destroyed particularly in the afterlife:

14:13 And the Unbelievers said to their apostles: "Be sure we shall drive you out of our land, or ye shall return to our religion." But their Lord inspired (this message) to them: "Verily We shall cause the wrong-doers to perish! وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لِرُسُلِهِمْ لَنُخْرِجَنَّـكُم مِّنْ أَرْضِنَآ أَوْ لَتَعُودُنَّ فِي مِلَّتِنَا فَأَوْحَى إِلَيْهِمْ رَبُّهُمْ لَنُهْلِكَنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ (14:13)

10:13 We destroyed the generations before you when they did wrong; and their messengers (from Allah) came unto them with clear proofs (of His Sovereignty) but they would not believe. Thus do We reward the guilty folk: وَلَقَدْ أَهْلَكْنَا الْقُرُونَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَمَّا ظَلَمُواْ وَجَاءتْهُمْ رُسُلُهُم بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَمَا كَانُواْ لِيُؤْمِنُواْ كَذَلِكَنَجْزِي الْقَوْمَ الْمُجْرِمِينَ 10:13)

40:5 The folk of Noah and the factions after them denied (their messengers) before these, and every nation purposed to seize their messenger and argued falsely, (thinking) thereby to refute the Truth. Then I seized them, and how (awful) was My punishment. كَذَّبَتْ قَبْلَهُمْ قَوْمُ نُوحٍ وَالْأَحْزَابُ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ وَهَمَّتْ كُلُّ أُمَّةٍ بِرَسُولِهِمْ لِيَأْخُذُوهُ وَجَادَلُوا بِالْبَاطِلِ لِيُدْحِضُوا بِهِ الْحَقَّ فَأَخَذْتُهُمْ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ عِقَابِ (40:5)

14:47 So think not that Allah will fail to keep His promise to His messengers. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Able to Requite (the wrong).فَلاَ تَحْسَبَنَّ اللّهَ مُخْلِفَ وَعْدِهِ رُسُلَهُ إِنَّ اللّهَ عَزِيزٌ ذُو انْتِقَامٍ (14:47)

11- How about the people who follow God's messages? Those on the other hand followed the messengers are promised heaven:

57:21 Race one with another for forgiveness from your Lord and a Garden whereof the breadth is as the breadth of the heavens and the earth, which is in store for those who believe in Allah and His messengers. Such is the bounty of Allah, which He bestoweth upon whom He will, and Allah is of infinite bounty. سَابِقُوا إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا كَعَرْضِ السَّمَاء وَالْأَرْضِ أُعِدَّتْ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ ذَلِكَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَن يَشَاء وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ (57:21)

12- How we attain faith? One of the great evidence of God is the Quran. it was inspired by God. Muhammad before that was not aware of faith. The Quran create faith in Muhammad heart and he was then able to spread the faith to us.

42:52 And thus have We inspired in thee (Muhammad) a Spirit of Our command. Thou knewest not what the Scripture was, nor what the faith. But We have made it a light whereby We guide whom We will of Our bondmen. And lo! thou verily dost guide unto a right pathوَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ رُوحًا مِّنْ أَمْرِنَا مَا كُنتَ تَدْرِي مَا الْكِتَابُ وَلَا الْإِيمَانُ وَلَكِن جَعَلْنَاهُ نُورًا نَّهْدِي بِهِ مَنْ نَّشَاء مِنْ عِبَادِنَا وَإِنَّكَ لَتَهْدِي إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ (42:52)

13- How God guid us to the true faith? if you are searching for God sincerely with knowledge, willing to be faithful (if convinced) and enlightening book (The Quran) God will direct you to him.

5:16 Whereby Allah guideth him who seeketh His good pleasure unto paths of peace. He bringeth them out of darkness unto light by His decree, and guideth them unto a straight path. -يَهْدِي بِهِ اللّهُ مَنِ اتَّبَعَ رِضْوَانَهُ سُبُلَ السَّلاَمِ وَيُخْرِجُهُم مِّنِ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَيَهْدِيهِمْ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ (5:16)

29:69 As for those who strive in Us, We surely guide them to Our paths, and lo! Allah is with the good. وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ (29:69)Thus people who are sincere in seeking the truth God guides them to the Islam.

14- What to have faith in? The Quran: This is the way God decided to us our faith. Do not expect angels will talk to you or a sign in the sky that persists over human history. However the Quran have all the arguments of God about his existance and his commands. If you find it fit all the logic you have to bleive in what is unseen to you like God, angels, Satan, spirits, the day of judgment. It is his speech, decide for youself.
ذَلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ (
2:2) 2:2 (Picktall) This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off (evil).الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ (2:3)
2:3 (Picktall) Who believe in the unseen, and establish worship, and spend of that We have bestowed upon them;

15- How to prove our faith? We prove our faith by doing the good deeds:
وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ دِينًا مِّمَّنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لله وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ واتَّبَعَ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَاتَّخَذَ اللّهُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ خَلِيلاً (4:125)

4:125 Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to Allah, does good, and follows the way of Abraham the true in faith? For Allah did take Abraham for a friend.
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ يَهْدِيهِمْ رَبُّهُمْ بِإِيمَانِهِمْ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهِمُ الأَنْهَارُ فِي جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيمِ (10:9)
10:9 Those who believe, and work righteousness,- their Lord will guide them because of their faith: beneath them will flow rivers in gardens of bliss.
فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِنَ الصَّالِحَاتِ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَا كُفْرَانَ لِسَعْيِهِ وَإِنَّا لَهُ كَاتِبُونَ (21:94)
21:94 Whoever works any act of righteousness and has faith,- His endeavour will not be rejected: We shall record it in his favour.

16- How we will be tested in our faith?

أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَن تَدْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأْتِكُم مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْاْ مِن قَبْلِكُم مَّسَّتْهُمُ الْبَأْسَاء وَالضَّرَّاء وَزُلْزِلُواْ حَتَّى يَقُولَ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَعَهُ مَتَى نَصْرُ اللّهِ أَلا إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللّهِ قَرِيبٌ (2:214)
2:214 Or do ye think that ye shall enter the Garden (of bliss) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? they encountered suffering and adversity, and were so shaken in spirit that even the Messenger and those of faith who were with him cried: "When (will come) the help of Allah." Ah! Verily, the help of Allah is (always) near!

!وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الأَمَوَالِ وَالأنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ (2:155)
2:155 Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere,

17- Why some people reject faith? Some people reject faith for envy of the messengers

بِئْسَمَا اشْتَرَوْاْ بِهِ أَنفُسَهُمْ أَن يَكْفُرُواْ بِمَا أنَزَلَ اللّهُ بَغْياً أَن يُنَزِّلُ اللّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ عَلَى مَن يَشَاء مِنْ عِبَادِهِ فَبَآؤُواْ بِغَضَبٍ عَلَى غَضَبٍ وَلِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ (2:90)
2:90 Miserable is the price for which they have sold their souls, in that they deny (the revelation) which Allah has sent down, in insolent envy that Allah of His Grace should send it to any of His servants He pleases: Thus have they drawn on themselves Wrath upon Wrath. And humiliating is the punishment of those who reject faith.

مَّا يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ وَلاَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ أَن يُنَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَاللّهُ يَخْتَصُّ بِرَحْمَتِهِ مَن يَشَاء وَاللّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ (2:105)
2:105 It is never the wish of those without faith among the People of the Book, nor of the Pagans, that anything good should come down to you from your Lord. But Allah will choose for His special Mercy whom He will - for Allah is Lord of grace abounding.

Others reject faith for arrogance:
بَلَى قَدْ جَاءتْكَ آيَاتِي فَكَذَّبْتَ بِهَا وَاسْتَكْبَرْتَ وَكُنتَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ (39:59)
39:59 "(The reply will be:) 'Nay, but there came to thee my Signs, and thou didst reject them: thou wast Haughty, and became one of those who reject faith!'"

Others have faith but with partenership: For some Christians it is difficult for them to reject Jesus as God since they taught early on their lives.

ذَلِكُم بِأَنَّهُ إِذَا دُعِيَ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ كَفَرْتُمْ وَإِن يُشْرَكْ بِهِ تُؤْمِنُوا فَالْحُكْمُ لِلَّهِ الْعَلِيِّ الْكَبِيرِ (40:12)
40:12 (The answer will be:) "This is because, when Allah was invoked as the Only (object of worship), ye did reject faith, but when partners were joined to Him, ye believed! the Command is with Allah, Most High, Most Great!"

18- Why is the Quran not the work of Satan? Because its message is of straight path while Satan path is that of errors.

وَمَا هُوَ بِقَوْلِ شَيْطَانٍ رَجِيمٍ (81:25)
81:25 (Picktall) Nor is this the utterance of a devil worthy to be stoned
فَأَيْنَ تَذْهَبُونَ (81:26)
81:26 (Picktall) Whither then go ye?
إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرٌ لِّلْعَالَمِينَ (81:27) 81:27 (Picktall) This is naught else than a reminder unto creation,
لِمَن شَاء مِنكُمْ أَن يَسْتَقِيمَ (81:28) 81:28 (Picktall) Unto whomsoever of you willeth to walk straight.

24:21 O ye who believe! follow not satan's footsteps: if any will follow the footsteps of satan, he will (but) command what is shameful (sins) and wrong: and were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah on you, not one of you would ever have been pure: but Allah doth purify whom He pleases: and Allah is One Who hears and knows (all things).يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ وَمَن يَتَّبِعْ خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَإِنَّهُ يَأْمُرُ بِالْفَحْشَاء وَالْمُنكَرِ وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ مَا زَكَا مِنكُم مِّنْ أَحَدٍ أَبَدًا وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ يُزَكِّي مَن يَشَاء وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

17:53 Say to My servants that they should (only) say those things that are best: for satan doth sow dissensions among them: For satan is to man an avowed enemy. وَقُل لِّعِبَادِي يَقُولُواْ الَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ يَنزَغُ بَيْنَهُمْ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ كَانَ لِلإِنْسَانِ عَدُوًّا مُّبِينًا

Thursday, August 27, 2009

After a Grim Diagnosis, Determined to Make a ‘Good Ending’



Published: August 26, 2009
WASHINGTON — The once-indefatigable Ted Kennedy was in a wheelchair at the end, struggling to speak and sapped of his energy. But from the time his brain cancer was diagnosed 15 months ago, he spoke of having a “good ending for myself,” in whatever time he had left, and by every account, he did.

Mr. Kennedy at Fenway Park in Boston before delivering the ceremonial first pitch on opening day for the Red Sox this April, driven by the former Red Sox great Jim Rice. More Photos >
As recently as a few days ago, Mr. Kennedy was still digging into big bowls of mocha chip and butter crunch ice creams, all smushed together (as he liked it). He and his wife, Vicki, had been watching every James Bond movie and episode of “24” on DVD.

He began each morning with a sacred rite of reading his newspapers, drinking coffee and scratching the bellies of his beloved Portuguese water dogs, Sunny and Splash, on the front porch of his Cape Cod house overlooking Nantucket Sound.

If he was feeling up to it, he would end his evenings with family dinner parties around the same mahogany table where he used to eat lobster with his brothers.

He took phone calls from President Obama, house calls from his priest and — just a few weeks ago — crooned after-dinner duets of “You Are My Sunshine” (with his son Patrick) and “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” (with Vicki).
“There were a lot of joyous moments at the end,” said Dr. Lawrence C. Horowitz, Mr. Kennedy’s former Senate chief of staff, who oversaw his medical care. “There was a lot of frankness, a lot of hugging, a lot of emotion.”

Obviously, Dr. Horowitz added, there were difficult times. By this spring, according to friends, it was clear that the tumor had not been contained; new treatments proved ineffective and Mr. Kennedy’s comfort became the priority.

But interviews with close friends and family members yield a portrait of a man who in his final months was at peace with the end of his life and grateful for the chance to savor the salty air and the company of loved ones.

Befitting the epic life he led, Mr. Kennedy was the protagonist of a storybook finale from the time of his diagnosis in May 2008. It was infused with a beat-the-clock element: his illness coincided with the debate over health care (“the cause of my life”) and the election of a young president he championed.

Mr. Kennedy raced to complete his legislative work and his memoirs (“I’ve got to get this right for history,” he kept saying), leaned heavily on his faith, enjoyed (or endured) a procession of tributes and testimonials and just recently petitioned Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts to push for a speedy succession so his Senate seat would not be vacant long.
The knowledge that his death was approaching infused Mr. Kennedy’s interactions with special intensity, his friends say.

“He was the only one of the Kennedy boys who had a semi-knowledge that his end was near,” said Mike Barnicle, the former Boston Globe columnist and an old friend who lives nearby on Cape Cod and visited the senator this summer. “There was no gunman in the shadows, just an M.R.I. It was a bad diagnosis, but it allowed for the gift of reflection and some good times.”
Even as Mr. Kennedy’s physical condition worsened over the summer, he still got out of bed every day until Tuesday, when he died in the evening, said Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and one of Mr. Kennedy’s closest friends in the Senate.
“I’m still here,” Mr. Kennedy would call colleagues out of the blue to say, as if to refute suggestions to the contrary. “Every day is a gift,” was his mantra to begin conversations, said Peter Meade, a friend who met Mr. Kennedy as a 14-year-old volunteer on Mr. Kennedy’s first Senate campaign.

Some patients given a fatal diagnosis succumb to bitterness and self-pity; others try to cram in everything they have always wanted to do (sky-diving, a trip to China). Mr. Kennedy wanted to project vigor and a determination to keep on going. He chose what he called “prudently aggressive” treatments.

“He always admired people who took risks, like Teddy and Kara did,” Mr. Dodd said, referring to two of Mr. Kennedy’s children, who both beat cancer with bold treatments. And he vowed to work as hard as he could to lead a legislative overhaul of the nation’s health care system.
“He was the irrepressible Ted Kennedy,” said Senator John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat, who visited with his longtime colleague last week. “He was determined to get things done, but he also understood he had limitations.”

Mr. Kennedy deputized Dr. Horowitz, who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, to research all treatment options before deciding on an intensive regimen of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation — hardly a clear-cut choice with an almost inevitably lethal disease and a patient of Mr. Kennedy’s age. Some physicians assembled at Massachusetts General Hospital considered his tumor inoperable — and measured his likely survival time between six weeks and a few months.

Before he traveled by private plane from Cape Cod to Duke University Medical Center for his surgery in June 2008, Mr. Kennedy made sure to put his affairs in order — his will, his medical directives and even his legislative instructions, family members say.

On the way to the airport, he called two Democratic colleagues: Mr. Dodd, telling him to take over a mental health bill he had been working on, and Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, instructing her to take over a higher education bill he had been shepherding.

“Barbara,” he boomed over the phone, “as if he was at a Red Sox-Orioles baseball game,” Ms. Mikulski said in an interview. Just days after the surgery, Mr. Kennedy began following up with Ms. Mikulski. “He was Coach Ted,” she said.
Mr. Kennedy took no comfort, friends say, in hearing how missed he was in Washington, or how in his absence he had been become something of a “spiritual leader” on issues with which he is identified, like health care. He kept in close touch with his staff and colleagues, and he was engaged in a running conversation with Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, on the delicate subject of whether Mr. Kennedy would be available to vote.

Mr. Reid assured him that he would not ever ask him to come to Washington unless his vote was essential. (His disease and treatments made Mr. Kennedy vulnerable to infections, so wading into crowded areas was risky.) When a crucial Medicare provision came up last summer, Mr. Reid asked Mr. Kennedy if he could make it down.

Mr. Kennedy’s family and staff debated the issue until the senator ended it. “I’ll be there,” he said, according to a member of his staff who was involved in the decision. He received a standing ovation when he returned to the Senate floor, and the bill passed easily.
Vicki Kennedy fiercely guarded her husband’s privacy, but Mr. Kennedy’s illness had an undeniably public component. His setbacks and hospital visits often drew news media attention. After his emotional speech at last summer’s Democratic Convention in Denver, it was disclosed that he had been suffering from kidney stones and had barely been able to get out of his hospital bed a few hours earlier.

He had to memorize the text of his speech because he struggled to see the teleprompter (his surgery had left him with impaired vision). The seizure Mr. Kennedy had at an Inaugural luncheon at the Capitol led his son Patrick to joke that his father was trying to overshadow Mr. Obama on his big day.

Mr. Kerry remembers Mr. Kennedy telling him on the Senate floor in March that he was having trouble preparing for an event he had been extremely excited for — throwing out the first pitch on opening day at Fenway Park.

While Mr. Kennedy typically told people he felt well and vigorous, by spring it was becoming clear that his disease was advancing to where he could not spend his remaining months as he had hoped, helping push a health care plan through the Senate.

He left Washington in May, after nearly a half-century in the capital, and decamped to Cape Cod, where he would contribute what he could to the health care debate via phone and C-Span. He would sail as much as possible, with as little pain and discomfort as his caretakers could manage.
He also told friends that he wanted to take stock of his life and enjoy the gift of his remaining days with the people he loved most.
“I’ve had a wonderful life,” he said repeatedly, friends recalled.
Mr. Dodd, in an interview, said: “At no point was he ever maudlin, ever ‘woe is me.’ I’m confident he had his moments — he wouldn’t be Irish if he didn’t — but in my presence, he always sounded more worried about me than he was about himself.”
Starting in late July, Vicki Kennedy organized near-nightly dinner parties and singalongs at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port. The senator was surrounded in the dining room by his crystal sailing trophies and a semiregular cast of family members that included his three children, two stepchildren and four grandchildren. Jean Kennedy Smith, Mr. Kennedy’s sister, had rented a home down the street this summer and became a regular, too. Instead of singing, she would sometimes recite poetry.

Even as Mr. Kennedy became frustrated about his limitations, friends say his spirit never flagged. “This is someone who had a fierce determination to live, but who was not afraid to die,” said Representative Bill Delahunt, a Democrat and a Kennedy friend whose district includes Cape Cod. “And he was not afraid to have a lot of laughs until he got there.”

In recent years, friends say, Mr. Kennedy had come to lean heavily on his Roman Catholic faith. In eulogizing his mother, Rose Kennedy, in 1995, he spoke of the comfort of religious beliefs. “She sustained us in the saddest times by her faith in God, which was the greatest gift she gave us,” Mr. Kennedy said, his voice stammering.

He attended Mass every day in the year after his mother’s death and continued to attend regularly, often a few times a week.

The Rev. Mark Hession, the priest at the Kennedys’ parish on the Cape, made regular visits to the Kennedy home this summer and held a private family Mass in the living room every Sunday. Even in his final days, Mr. Kennedy led the family in prayer after the death of his sister Eunice on Aug. 11. He died comfortably and in no apparent pain, friends and staff members said.

His children had expected him to hold on longer — Mr. Kennedy’s son Patrick and daughter Kara could not get back to Hyannis Port in time from California and Washington.

But the senator’s condition took a turn Tuesday night and a priest — the Rev. Patrick Tarrant of Our Lady of Victory Church in Centerville, Mass. — was called to his bedside. Mr. Kennedy spent his last hours in prayer, Father Tarrant told a Boston television station, WCVB-TV.
Mr. Kennedy had told friends recently that he was looking forward to a “reunion” with his seven departed siblings, particularly his brothers, whose lives had been cut short.
“When he gets there, he can say ‘I did it, I carried the torch,’ ” Mr. Delahunt said. “ ‘I carried it all the way.’ ”

Blogger comment:
Senator Ted Kennedy was inspirational to us in his life, in dying and after death. He died with grace enjoying his last days with the best in his life his family, friends and his memories. He died in peace with the world and with his God. He died with grace making people around him happy during his dying, a real gentleman to the last hour.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy dies at age 77


Reuters – U.S Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) waves as he walks out of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, …

By Scott Malone Scott Malone – 1 hr 14 mins ago

BOSTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, a towering figure in the Democratic Party who took the helm of one of America's most fabled political families after two older brothers were assassinated, died at age 77, his family said.
"Edward M. Kennedy, the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply, died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port (Massachusetts)," the Kennedy family said in a statement early on Wednesday.

One of the most influential and longest-serving senators in U.S. history -- a liberal standard-bearer who was also known as a consummate congressional dealmaker -- Kennedy had been battling brain cancer, which was diagnosed in May 2008.

His death marked the twilight of a political dynasty and dealt a blow to Democrats as they seek to answer President Barack Obama's call for an overhaul of the healthcare system.
Kennedy was a longtime advocate of healthcare reform, a signature issue of Obama's presidency. Obama said on Wednesday he was heartbroken to hear of the death of Kennedy, a crucial supporter of his presidential candidacy.
"I valued his wise counsel in the Senate, where, regardless of the swirl of events, he always had time for a new colleague. I cherished his confidence and momentous support in my race for the Presidency. And even as he waged a valiant struggle with a mortal illness, I've profited as President from his encouragement and wisdom," said Obama, who was elected last November and took office in January.

Kennedy had recently urged Massachusetts lawmakers to change state law so the governor, if necessary, could quickly fill a Senate vacancy as the chamber debates the contentious healthcare issue.
Known as "Teddy," he was the brother of President John Kennedy, assassinated in 1963, Senator Robert Kennedy, fatally shot while campaigning for the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination, and Joe Kennedy, a pilot killed in World War Two.

When he first took the Senate seat previously held by John Kennedy in 1962, he was seen as something of a political lightweight who owed his ascent to his famous name.
Yet during his nearly half century in the chamber, Kennedy became known as one of Washington's most effective senators, crafting legislation by working with lawmakers and presidents of both parties, and finding unlikely allies.

At the same time, he held fast to liberal causes deemed anachronistic by the centrist "New Democrats," and was a lightning rod for conservative ire.
He helped enact measures to protect civil and labor rights, expand healthcare, upgrade schools, increase student aid and contain the spread of nuclear weapons.
"There's a lot to do," Kennedy told Reuters in 2006. "I think most of all it's the injustice that I continue to see and the opportunity to have some impact on it."

After Robert Kennedy's death, Edward was expected to waste little time in vying for the presidency. But in 1969, a young woman drowned after a car Kennedy was driving plunged off a bridge on the Massachusetts resort island of Chappaquiddick after a night of partying.

Kennedy's image took a major hit after it emerged he had failed to report the accident to authorities. He pleaded guilty to leaving the scene and received a suspended sentence.
Kennedy eventually ran for his party's presidential nomination in 1980 but lost to then-President Jimmy Carter.

His presidential ambitions thwarted, Kennedy devoted himself to his Senate career.
A 2009 survey by The Hill, a Capitol Hill publication, found that Senate Republicans believed Kennedy was the chamber's easiest Democrat to work with and most bipartisan.
Republican Senator John McCain called Kennedy "the single most effective member of the Senate if you want to get results."

In January 2008, Kennedy endorsed Obama, who was serving his first term as a senator, for the Democratic presidential nomination. Many saw the endorsement as the passing of the political torch to a new generation. A year to the day before his death, Kennedy made an electrifying speech to the Democratic convention that nominated Obama for president.

Kennedy had been largely sidelined in Congress since becoming ill. The "Lion of the Senate" began to use a cane and often looked tired and drained as he mixed work with treatment.
Yet colleagues and staff said he remained determined to fulfill what he called "the cause of my life," providing health insurance to all Americans. He helped draft legislation to overhaul the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system.

Kennedy's interest in healthcare dated from his son's bout with cancer in the 1970s. More recently, he cited his own illness as he made a case for reform.
"I've benefited from the best of medicine, but I've also witnessed the frustration and outrage of patients and doctors alike as they face the challenges of a system that shortchanges millions of Americans," he wrote in a May 28, 2009, issue of the Boston Globe.

His charisma as "the last of the Kennedy brothers" was such that draft-Teddy drives were a feature of U.S. presidential election years from 1968 through the 1980s.
But he never fully escaped the cloud of the Chappaquiddick accident. A decades-long argument arose about whether he tried to cover up his involvement by leaving the scene while Mary Jo Kopechne's body remained submerged and whether police helped sweep such questions under the rug. All involved denied any cover-up.

Later crises involving younger Kennedys, notably the 1991 Palm Beach rape trial of his nephew, William Kennedy Smith, caught a bloated and weary-looking Uncle Ted in a media glare. Reports of heavy drinking and womanizing led to a public apology for "the faults in the conduct of my private life."

Kennedy was remarried soon after that to Victoria Reggie, a 38-year-old lawyer with two young children from her first marriage. He poured renewed energy into the Senate, where he would become the third-longest serving senator in history.

Even his Republican foes recognized Kennedy's dedication as he worked to protect civil rights, give federal help to the poor, contain the spread of nuclear weapons, raise the minimum wage, expand health coverage and improve America's schools.

Born on February 22, 1932, Edward Moore Kennedy was the last of four sons and five daughters born to millionaire businessman Joseph Kennedy, who would later be ambassador to Britain, and his wife, Rose.

The Boston Irish family combined the competitive spirit of nouveau riche immigrants with acquired polish and natural charm. The sons were expected to mature into presidential timber and were groomed for that starting with the oldest, Joseph Jr., a bomber pilot who died in World War Two.
"I think about my brothers every day," Kennedy told Reuters. "They set high standards. Sometimes you measure up, sometimes you don't."

Like his brothers, Kennedy was known for his oratory, delivered in a booming voice at rallies, congressional hearings and in the Senate.

He drew praise from liberals, labor and civil rights groups and scorn from conservatives, big business and anti-abortion and pro-gun activists. His image was often used by Republicans in ads as a money-raising tool.

Tragedies dogged Kennedy throughout his life. They included a 1964 plane crash that damaged his spine and left him with persistent pain; bone cancer that cost son Teddy a leg; first wife Joan's battles with alcoholism that contributed to their divorce, and drug problems involving nephews, one of whom died of an overdose. His nephew, John Kennedy Jr., died in July 1999 when his small plane crashed into the ocean near Cape Cod.

In May 2008, Edward Kennedy collapsed at his Cape Cod home and was flown to hospital in Boston, where he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Brain cancer kills half its victims within a year.

Kennedy's illness kept him from attending the funeral of his sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, a leading advocate of the mentally disabled, who died on August 11 at the age of 88.
(Additional reporting by Thomas Ferraro in Washington and Patricia Zengerle in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Blogger comment:
God bless the soul of the great American politician Senator Ted Kennedy one of most regarded American politicians. He was a symbol of decency with having the spirit of a fighter. He was a rich man who felt for the poor and those with all sufferings. He worked for health care and stood with President Obama to bring to the top the first American Black President. A man I will continue to respect and admire. For his family and the country my condolence and my prayers to God to accept him to his heaven.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


From: Muslim website

Kufr (unbelief) in the linguistic sense: “It is covering something and veiling it. And all of what covers something, then it has done kufr to it. And from this, the farmer can be called a kaafir, for he covers the seed with the dirt. Likewise, Allah I has said,

كمثل غيث أعجب الكفار نباته

‘The likeness of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to whoever (kuffar) that planted it.’[89]

“This means it is pleasing to the tiller, and from that the tiller is named to be a kaafir, for he has veiled the favour of Allah I. Al Azhari says,

‘And His favours are his proven signs of His Tawhid. And the favours, which the kaafir has veiled, are the signs that enable the people to make the distinction that the Creator is One without partner. And likewise, he sent the Messengers with miraculous signs, books and abundant obvious proofs as a favour from Him.

‘Thus whoever is not truthful to the favour, and he rejects it, then he has become a kaafir (showed unbelief) in the favour of Allah, meaning that he has covered and veiled the favour from himself.’ ”[90]

Shari`a definition of kufr: It is the complete decrease of imaan and it is the opposite of imaan. It is the unbelief in Allah, Mighty and Majestic, and His favours and the kufr here has two matters, kufrun akbar (major kufr) and kufrun asghar (minor kufr). In this case, the kufr is what the person is doing by covering the bounty and favour of Allah I from himself or others.

KUFRUN AKBAR (major kufr) In general, it is disbelief in Allah I, His Angels, His Messengers, His Books, The Day of Judgment and Divine Decree and Pre-ordainment, the good and the bad of it, in total or in any of these pillars. This also includes showing what is the opposite of the belief, for example by statements, actions and expressed beliefs of kufr that nullify imaan. Also, if he is not practicing the pillars of Islam that Allah I made as an apparent sign for a person to preserve his blood, honour and money, then this as well leads to apostasy. In our time, many people think that kufr is only to belie with the tongue, but this is not the belief of Ahl us-Sunna. There are many types of kufr that Allah mentioned in the Qur’an and the Sunna, but there are six in particular that constitute the major kufr.

a. Juhud. This is the denial of the signs of Allah I, whether it is a prophet, a miracle, an angel or a book brought by that prophet.

It has three forms,

1. Juhud alQalb (the denial of the heart). This is major kufr and happens to the people who have no link between their heart and their mind.

2. Juhud alLisaan, which is denying of the signs with the mouth, although the heart is satisfied with the truth. This denial is also called the juhud of arrogance and self-oppression (zulm). This is the most well known juhud for the evil tyrants. The Pharaoh of Egypt and his army remains one of history’s greatest examples of Juhud al-Lisaan,

فلما جاءتهم آياتنا مبصرة قالوا هذا سحر مبين و جحدوا بها و استيقنتها أنفسهم ظلماً و علواً فانظر كيف كان عاقبة المفسدين

“Whereas when Our signs came to them, clear to see with insight, they said, ‘This is clear and obvious magic. And they denied (juhud) them arrogantly and without reason, although they were convinced of it in themselves. So see what was the penalty of the corrupt ones. ’”[91]

3. Juhud al`Amal, that being the juhud in action. This consists of the person not denying by the tongue, but denying by his action. This happens when he announces something opposite to what he has been told by Allah I, without contesting it directly. It is also when he acts opposite to the order deliberately, without contesting with the mouth.

The example for this type would be the individual that is a ruler and knows that the penalty for adultery in Islam is the death penalty. However, rather than implement the judgment of Allah I, he makes a rule that those who commit adultery are to be jailed only. Although he never denied the law per se, he has denied it simply by acting opposite to the order deliberately.

b. Takdhib. This matter here is to belie or to deny something from the words, signs or promise of Allah I, for example, the Judgment Day. There are three types,

1. Takdhib alQalb, where the heart rejects the truth.

2. Takdhib alLisaan, which has two forms,

a. This is to directly contest by saying, “Allah I said this, but that can’t be right.”

b. This is the takdhib of hinting about. An example of this is if someone were to say, “Allah I said X.” You then reply by saying, “No, Allah I said Y.” The Mushrikun (pagans) said the same thing,

سيقول الذين أشركوا لو شاء الله ما أشركنا و لا اباؤنا و لا حرمنا من شيء كذلك كذب الذين من قبلهم حتى ذاقوا بأسنا

“Those who make shirk (polytheism) will say, ‘If Allah willed, we would not have associated partners, neither ourselves nor our fathers, and we would not have made haraam anything.’ Likewise, those from before them lied until they tasted punishment.”[92]

و قال الذين أشركوا لو شاء الله ما عبدنا من دونه من شيء نحن و لا اباؤنا و لا حرمنا من دونه من شيء. كذلك فعل الذين من قبلهم فهل على الرسل إلا البلاغ المبين

“And those who make shirk (polytheism) say, ‘If Allah had willed, we would have never worshipped anything besides Him, neither us nor our fathers. Nor would we have made haraam besides that anything.’ Likewise, those from before them did, so is it on the Messengers to give anything except the clear message?”[93]

3. Takdhib al`Amal, a person is doing an action that shows that he is denying. This example can be acted out with the following verses from the Qur’an,

أ رأيت الذي يكذب بالدين فذلك الذي يدع اليتيم و لا يحض على طعام المسكين

“Have you not seen the one who denied (takdhib) the religion? Then that is who was hard on the orphans and did not hasten to feed the poor. [94]”[95]

These simple three verses here refute the false belief that you have to do major kufr in speech before you can leave the religion due to major kufr. These verses here show that this is not the case. The verse doesn’t read, “Have you not heard” nor “Did he not deny with speech?” Of equal weight as well is the one who marries his mother. This Muslim who goes and commits this act exits from the religion of Islam and becomes a kaafir. He did not have to say anything in order to leave from the religion. The actions that he advertised showed that he was denying the rights of Allah I. The verses below can fit into the general category of Takdhib,

و ما أدراك ما يوم الفصل ويل يومئذ للمكذبين ألم نهلك الأولين

“And what will cause you to know what is the Day of Sorting (Judgment)? Woe be to the deniers (of the Day of Sorting) (takdhib). Did We not destroy those before?”[96]

4. Istikbaar. This kufr is actually being proud and haughty towards the truth and expressing arrogance when the signs of Allah I are presented,

إذ قال ربك للملائكة إني خالق بشراً من طين فإذا سويته و نفخت فيه من روحي فقعوا له ساجدين فسجد الملائكة كلهم أجمعون إلا إبليس استكبر و كان من الكافرين

“And when your Lord said, ‘I am going to create a human being from clay. So when I have fashioned and shaped him and breathed into him his soul created by Me, then you are to prostrate to him.’ So all of the angels prostrated, except Iblis. He was proud (istikbaar) and became a kaafir.”[97]

5. Istihzaa’. This sin is the mocking or making jest of any of the signs of Allah I. This could be in jesting about the religion of Islam, or it could be mocking something in the religion, like the veil over the face that Allah I made compulsory on the Muslim women, the verses from the Qur’an or statements and actions from the Prophet r. Allah I mentions the fate of such a people,

قل أ بالله و آياته و رسوله كنتم تستهزئون لا تعتذروا قد كفرتم بعد إيمانكم إن نعف عن طائفة منكم نعذبكم طائفة بأنهم كانوا مجرمين

“Say, ‘Was it in Allah, His verses or His Messenger that you were mocking (istihzaa’)? Make no excuse about it, you have disbelieved (become kuffar) after you had imaan. If we pardon a some of you, surely we will punish the others, for they were the criminals.’ ”[98]

6. I`raad. This aspect is turning away from and fleeing from whatever admonition and signs that Allah I gives to guide someone from the darkness to the light. These people are mentioned in the following manner,

فما لهم عن التذكرة معرضين كأنهم حمر مستنفرة فرت من قسورة بل يريد كل امرئ منهم أن يؤتى صحفاً منشرة كلا بل لا يخافون الآخرة

“Then what is wrong with them that they flee (I`raad) from the remembrance (the Qur’an) as if they were donkeys fleeing from a lion? On the contrary, every one of them wants that he should be given pages spread out (of the revelation). By no means! On the contrary, they do not fear the Hereafter.”[99]

7. `Inaad. This type of kufr is to be stubborn against Allah I and His signs and to insist on keeping others or oneself in kufr. Allah I has said,

القيا في جهنم كل كفار عنيد مناع للخير معتد مريب الذي جعل مع الله إلهاً أخر فألقياه في العذاب الشديد
“I will put in the Hellfire every stubborn (`inaad) kaafir, hindering from the good and increasing in evil and doubt, who made with Allah another god. Thus I will put him in the most severe punishment.”[100]

8. Istibdaal. This is the kufr of replacing the Shari`a, and it has three manifestations, as has been listed by al `Allamah Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim[101],

i. Replacing the law of Allah I with man made laws. This is where someone actually legislates a new law and attributes it to the Shari`a or he makes his own fabricated Shari`a. This example is spoken of below,

أم لهم شركآء شرعوا لهم من الدين ما لم يأذن به الله و لو لا كلمة الفصل لقضى بينهم و إن الظالمين لهم عذاب اليم

“Or do they have partners for them legislating a religion that Allah did not give permission for at all. Had it not been for the word of decision and decree, the matter between them would have been judged. And truly, for the oppressors is a torturous punishment.”[102]

Allah I also asked those who want to legislate or even head for the false legislators,

أفحكم الجاهلية يبغون و من أحسن الله حكماً لقوم يوقنون

‘Is it the legislation of the Jaahiliyyah (Days of Ignorance) that they seek? And who is better in judgment than Allah for a people who are certain?!’[103]

ii. Denying the law of Allah I without renouncing them. This is the equivalent of someone saying, “This particular law doesn’t suit this time period, but these other laws are still satisfactory.”

أ فتؤمنون ببعض الكتاب و تكفرون ببعض فما جزاء من يفعل ذلك منكم إلا خزى في الحياة الدنيا و يوم القيامة يردون إلى أشد العذاب و ما الله بغافل عما تعملون أولئك الذين اشتروا الحياة الدنيا بالآخرة فلا يخفف عنهم العذاب ولا هم ينصرون

“Is it you believe in a part of the book and you disbelieve in another part?! Then what is the reward for the one who does that except disgrace in this life and on the Day of Judgment? They will be subjected to a worse punishment and Allah Almighty’s not unmindful of what you do. They are those who have purchased this life with the Hereafter. The punishment will not be lightened for them nor will they have any help.” [104]

Essentially, this is disbelief in one law while believing in another.

iii. Denying the law of Allah I and renouncing them. This is when someone denies the law of Allah and fails to judge by what Allah sent down all of the time.

This third type of Istibdaal is played out in the verses where Allah I says,

و من لم يحكم بما أنزل الله فاؤلئك هم الكافرون

“And whoever does not judge by what Allah sent down, then they are Kaafirun (unbelievers).”

و من لم يحكم بما أنزل الله فاؤلئك هم الظالمون

“And whoever does not judge by what Allah sent down, then they are Zaalimun (oppressors).”

و من لم يحكم بما أنزل الله فاؤلئك هم الفاسقون

“And whoever does not judge by what Allah sent down, then they are Faasiqun (rebellious sinners).”[105]

Looking at the evidence in front of us, if someone is ruling by the Shari`a and he should refuse to hand out a Shari`a punishment in one instance due to the fact that the guilty party is his close friend, family member, etc., this is what we call the kufr duna kufr (a kufr less than kufr), a minor kufr.

But when the person actually changes the rule, not just for that one person, but for all times to come, this is a major kufr. But if he goes and even invents a stipulation in the existing Shari`a law, this is a kufr fawqa kufr (kufr above kufr), a major kufr without doubt.

و من لم يحكم بما أنزل الله فأولئك هم الكافرون

“And whoever does not judge by what Allah sent down, then they are Kaafirun (unbelievers).”[106]

This is the completely naked and obvious kufr that is obnoxious and grotesque. This disregard for the Shari`a earns nothing but the wrath of Allah I, and it should be something that the sincere believers stay far away from.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

See you in Egypt in September

Bt: Maged Taman

To all my friends I will be in Egypt September 02, 2009 and I will stay for 2 weeks.

I lost my old yahoo e-mail box and lost e- mails and phone numbers of my Friends and family.

So please try to reach me in my new e.mail .

For my family in Egypt I will arrive in Cairo airport on September 2, 2009 at 12:20 pm (about noon time).

President Obama extends Ramadan Greetings


By: Rashad Hussain

White House Briefing Room - As the new crescent moon ushers in Ramadan, the President extends his best wishes to Muslim communities in the United States and around the world.Each Ramadan, the ninth month on the lunar calendar, Muslims fast daily from dawn to sunset for 29 or 30 days. Fasting is a tradition in many religious faiths and is meant to increase spirituality, discipline, thankfulness, and consciousness of God's mercy.

Ramadan is also a time of giving and reaching out to those less fortunate, and this summer, American Muslims have joined their fellow citizens in serving communities across the country. Over the course of the month, we will highlight the perspectives of various faiths on fasting and profile faith-based organizations making real impacts in American cities and towns.

This month is also a time of renewal and this marks the first Ramadan since the President outlined his vision for a new beginning between America and the Muslim world. As a part of that new beginning, the President emphasizes that our relationship with Muslim communities cannot be based on political and security concerns alone. True partnerships also require cooperation in all areas - particularly those that can make a positive difference in peoplesÕ daily lives, including education, science and technology, health, and entrepreneurship - fields in which Muslim communities have helped play a pioneering role throughout history.

The President's message is part of an on-going dialogue with Muslim communities that began on inauguration day and has continued with his statement on Nowruz, during trips to Ankara and Cairo, and with interviews with media outlets such as Al Arabiya and Dawn TV.As this dialogue continues and leads to concrete actions, the President extends his greetings on behalf of the American people. Ramadan Kareem.
Rashad Hussain is Deputy Associate White House Counsel.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ramadan: Commercial vs. spiritual aspects

From: Saudi Gazette

By Habib Shaikh

JEDDAH – Ramadan is literally the month of light. It was during this month that the Holy Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) more than fourteen hundred years ago.Abu Umamah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saying, “Read the Qur’an, for it will come as an intercessor for its reciters on the Day of Resurrection.” - (Muslim).This hadith shows the excellence of reciting the Qur’an and acting upon its injunctions. Intercession (in this hadith) means that the Qur’an will be endowed with the power of speech by Allah and it will request Allah to forgive the sins of its reciters who acted upon its teachings. Allah will accept the request of the Qur’an, as signified in other Ahadith.There are many Ahadith on the topic.Besides the five daily prayers, Muslims also have to offer Taraweeh prayers during Ramadan, which follow immediately after the Isha (night) prayer and last a long time, as the full Qur’an is recited in these prayers during the month.Besides fasting, and reading the Qur’an, Muslims must engage themselves in charity during Ramadan. Before the end of the month, they have to give out Zakat (the poor due).

However, these days a trend of commercialization has begun to creep into Ramadan, and a lot of people that Saudi Gazette talked to said that they can see and feel the commercialization of the holy month.“There is no doubt that Ramadan is being commercialized,” said Prof. Dr. Abdullah Hady Al-Kahtany, professor of linguistics at King Khaled University in Abha, and director of the Islamic Education Center.“It is unique month, and we do not receive it in the sense it is meant to be received and observed. We ignore or squander the bounties of the holy month, which we may not see the next year,” he said. According to Al-Kahtany, instead of concentrating on worship and devotion to Allah, for whose pleasure the month is meant, “We invent new foods and dishes, following the outer purpose and neglecting the inner purpose of purifying our heart and soul”. He said sales abound, which is a sign of putting stress on the materialistic aspect, and ignoring or giving less importance to the spiritual aspect. People stay awake till the early hours of the morning and then sleep almost all of the next day. “This is not only harmful for health, but also defeats the very purpose of Ramadan, and, therefore, some people do not really benefit from it,” he said.Since people stay awake at night, the television channels broadcast programs, most of which are just time-fillers. But these programs help the viewers to stay awake.

The channels vie for the advertising riyal and thus add to the commercialization process. There is little physical activity, either during the day or during the night, which contributes to laziness and obesity, which is a major problem in the Kingdom.Commenting on the behavior of Saudi males throughout the year, not just in Ramadan, Dr. Abdullah Musaiqir, head of the Arab Center for Nutrition, said that they (Saudi males) do not get enough physical exercise, eat too much junk food and spend a lot of time in front of the television. Quoting a Saudi study, Musaiqir, said that over 53 percent of Saudi males live a “lethargic lifestyle” with only 20 percent following what could be called a healthy lifestyle.He said watching television encourages further unhealthy eating practices as the activity is popularly accompanied by the consumption of snack foods.

Musaiqir said the first steps toward promoting a healthier lifestyle should come with awareness programs, and added that schools should exert more efforts to support and encourage sporting activities both inside and outside the confines of their campuses. Stressing the health benefit aspect of the holy month, Abdul Hamid, a one-time chain smoker, said it was only because of Ramadan that he was able to give up his years-long habit of smoking, and related his experience so that others, who want to give up the habit, could seize the opportunity offered by Ramadan. Hamid said that one who fasts abstains from food and drink for the better part of the day. “At first I used to smoke soon after Iftar, breaking the fast,” he said, and added that he told himself that if he could go without smoking for the whole day, then there was no need for him to smoke after Iftar. At first, he found it difficult and had a strong urge to smoke after Iftar as usual. “I told myself that when God gives me the strength and sense to go without food and drink, He will surely give me the strength and willpower to go without such a small and harmful thing as a cigarette as well.

All I had to do was consider the time after Iftar and Isha and Taraweeh prayers as an extension of the fast. Alhamdulillah, it worked,” Hamid said, and added, “So much so that now I find the very smell of cigarette smoke nauseating.”Samar Fatany, a radio journalist and a social activist, said one should reflect on the purpose and meaning and true essence of Ramadan. “People tend to forget that Ramadan is a reminder for us to be considerate and helpful to the people in need.

It is a time for connection with Allah, reaching out to the inner soul,” she said.She said that changing working hours during the month turns day into night and vice-versa, which is not good. “We do not follow the guidance and do not respect the essence of Ramadan. We overeat and oversleep, which defeats the very purpose of the holy month, which should not be commercialized,” she added. Khalid Mustafa, a publisher from India, who comes for Umrah very often, mostly during Ramadan, said this year he came before Ramadan, because the hotel charges are exorbitant during the holy month. He said that at one time he had to pay SR26,000 for the last 10 days of Ramadan. “This is commercialization. One can understand that demand is much more than supply during this period, but, as I understand, Islam advocates reasonable profit in any business, not unrestricted profit. And anyway, the principle of supply and demand is a western concept, which is based purely on profit and more profit, without any social consideration,” he added. According to Hafez Koya, a long-time resident of Jeddah, changing the schedule and shortening working hours means economic loss. “As it is, I found that people come later than the stipulated time, which already is at least two hours more than the usual time. Then they go socializing.

When this is over, it is almost time for Dhuhr (afternoon) prayer, and they go to prepare for the prayers. Hardly two hours after prayers, it is time to go home,” Koya said, and added, “Nothing attempted, nothing done. It is a sheer waste of time. It is the public at large that suffers, especially when this happens in the public sector. Bills cannot be paid, licenses are delayed and so forth.” Shahid Farooqi, a Pakistani student of anthropology and sociology, said that besides fasting and prayers, Ramadan is also about building social awareness.“Whatever you do during this month should be continued all year. Not fasting, but the feelings you get from fasting - that you should give to others and the discipline fasting brings you,” he said.According to Omid Safi, a Colgate University professor of religious studies, who specializes in Islamic studies, Islam is about one’s relationship with God and relationships with other people. Safi said that Ramadan is a time to share in solidarity with marginalized human beings all over the world, experiencing their loss, grief, and poverty as our own. It is time to reach out to all those who have been left behind, whether they be the millions of Afghani refugees, or those who have lost loved ones in acts of terrorism in Palestine, Israel, Russia, the United States, Iraq, and many other countries around the world.“It is both a very pious and joyous month for Muslims.

There is a strong linking of social justice and spiritual purification in Ramadan. Muslims are encouraged to fast not only from food, but also from anger, hate, and lying. One experiences the hunger and anguish of those who ordinarily would not have three meals every day. Furthermore, Muslims seek to ameliorate the suffering of others by taking the meals that one is skipping, and sharing them with those in need,” explained Safi. – SG

Blogger comment:
Ramadan is a great month it should have the balance between spirituality and material. In the day time of Ramadan fasting, prayers and reading the Quran. After the sun down enjoying the Iftar and then the taraweeh and hours in between and after some of entertainment. You end up by about 1/2 time to God and 1/2 to your material life not bad.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Original Virtue not Original Sin


By: David Barker

During Prophet Muhammad's night journey and ascension the Angel Gabriel brought him a vessel of wine and a vessel of milk and he was made to choose. He chose milk, to which Gabriel said, "You have chosen Fitra." Common definitions of Fitra include, "innate predisposition" or "primordial nature." This event occurred during the Meccan period before any prohibition of alcohol. So, we know that part of choosing Fitra is conformity to an inclination toward right action we have prior to instruction. It's also interesting to note that milk is the first food we have as infants.

So, we know that part of choosing Fitra is preserving and trusting our earliest preferences. It is for these reasons that I choose to define Fitra as, "Original Virtue."The Islamic concept of Fitra is that God has engraved upon the human soul an inborn tendency toward goodness, and a primordial sense in monotheism. That all human beings are born in a natural state of spiritual purity. This position apposes both the Doctrine of Original Sin proposed by Christian theology, and the Tabula Rasa proposed by the philosophers.

As with all Islamic concepts, fleshing out the definition requires a look at the Arabic root, and it's use in the Quran. Thankfully, you already know everything there is to know about it, you just don't remember it yet.The root verb, Fa-ta-ra, commonly means to split, or cleave asunder. Less commonly it means to knead and shape like dough and connotes repetition. Interestingly it appears in the Quran eight times, always translated simply as "created" as in "I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth." (Quran 6:79).

Al Fatir is an attribute of God derived from this root which means, The Originator, or One who creates from nothing. This appears in the Quran 6 times, as in "Shall I take for my protector any other than God, The Creator of the heavens and the earth?" (Quran 6:14)So, we come to see that the meaning of Fitra is that the reflection of God's beautiful attributes are scribed into the tablet of the human soul in preexistence, like fingerprints in clay.

Article by David Barker who writes for the Examiner from San Francisco. This article is part I of a V part article series.
Part I: Original Virtue not Original SinDefining Fitra from it's Arabic root.
Part II: Creation An examination of Creation, both of the Universe and in the womb, from the Quran.
Part III: Adam The Islamic perspective of the Fall of Adam and Original Sin
Part IV: Children as teachersRuminations on how our children can teach us more about Islam then we can teach them
Part V: Reclaiming the natural stateHow to act upon this knowledge and rediscover the original virtue beneath our scar tissue.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Final Message


1) A divinely revealed belief system:

" And with truth We have sent it down (the Qur'an), and with truth it has descended. And We have sent you (O Muhammad(pbuh)) as nothing but a bearer of glad tidings and a warner" The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 17, Verse 105

"And truly, this (the Qur'an) is a revelation from the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists), which the trustworthy Ruh (Jibril(Gabriel)) has brought down upon your heart (O Muhammad(pbuh)) that you may be one of the warners, in the plain Arabic lanuguage." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 26, Verses 192-195

2) A belief system centred on the laws of Allah:

"Say (O Muhammad(pbuh)): I am only a man like you. It has been revealed to me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God i.e. Allah)" The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 18, Verse 110

"Say (O Muhammad(pbuh)): I possess no power over benefit or hurt to myself excpet as Allah wills. If I had the knowledge of the Ghayb (Unseen), I should have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil should have touched me. I am but a waner, and a bringer of glad tidings unot people who believe." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 7, Verse 188

3) An ongoing or eternal miracle:

"And they say: Why are not signs sent down to him from his Lord? Say: The signs are only with Allah, and I am only a plain warner. Is it not sufficient for them that We have sent down to you the Book (the Qur'an) which is recited to them? Verily, herein is mercy and a reminder for a people who believe" The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 29, Verses 50-51

"We will show them Our signs in the universe, and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Qur'an) is the truth. Is it not sufficient in regard to your Lord that He is a witness over all things?" The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 41, Verse 53

4) A message which addresses reason:

"Verily, in these are Ayat ( prrofs, evidences, signs) for the people who understand." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 13, Verse 4 "Thus do we explain the signs in detail to a people who have sense." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 30, Verse 28

"Say (O Muhammad(pbuh): I exhort you to one thing only, that you stand up for Allah's sake in pairs and singly, and reflect (within yourselves in the life history of the Prophet(pbuh), there is no madness in your companion (Muhammad(pbuh)). He is only a warner to you of a severe torment." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 34, 46

5) A message to all mankind:

"O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and mad eyou into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourabl of you with Allah is that (believer) who has at-Taqwa ( i.e. he is one of the Muttaqun (the pious)). Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 46, Verse 13

"It (this Qur'an) is only a reminder for all the Alamin (mankind, jinn ad all that exists). And you shall certainly know the truth of it after a while." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 38, Verses 87-88

6) A balance between the spiritual and the material:

"But seek, with that (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of lawful enjoyment in this world; and do good as Allah has been good to you, and seek not mischief in the land. Verily, Allah loves not the Mufsidun (those who commit great crimes, oppressors, tyrants, mischief makers)." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 28, Verse 77

"Say (O Muhammad(pbuh)): Who has forbidden the adornment with clothes given by Allah, which He has produced for His slaves, and At-Tayyibat ( All kinds of Halal(lawful) things) of food? Say: They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) exclusively for them (believers) on the Day of Resurrection. Thus We explain the Ayat (Islamic laws) in detail for people who have knowledge." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 7, Verse 32

7) An eternal message for every time and place:

"So set you (O Muhammad(pbuh)) your face towards the religion (of pure monotheism). Allah's Fitrah (Islamic Montheism) with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in Khalqillah ( the religion of Allah - Monotheism), that is the straight religion, but most of men know not." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 30, Verse 30

8) A message protected by the One who revealed it:

"Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (the Qur'an) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 15, Verse 9

Denying God with Confidence.

By: Maged Taman

I saw an atheist in a T.V show. I could understand that atheist can be suspicious of God existence. The thing astonished me about this nice lady is how sure she was of his non-existence. Though the most two noticed of our existence are the creation and human need to worship God.

6:102 That is Allah, your Lord! there is no god but He, the Creator of all things: then worship ye Him: and He hath power to dispose of all affairs. ذَلِكُمُ اللّهُ رَبُّكُمْ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ فَاعْبُدُوهُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَكِيلٌ (6:102)

I did not hear all her arguments. One of them was: that everyone follow the religion of their parents. That is right in the materialist world when everyone is busy with his life and want social religion on the side. When there were active religious recruiting in Christianity and Islam people converted to either religion. In fact God ask us not to follow the religion of our parents but to think and ponder.

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُوا مَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ قَالُواْ بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا أَلْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءنَا أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئاً وَلاَ يَهْتَدُونَ (2:170)
2:170 (Picktall) And when it is said unto them: Follow that which Allah hath revealed, they say: We follow that wherein we found our fathers. What! Even though their fathers were wholly unintelligent and had no guidance? -

Even for a lot of people in the same religion there is active struggle in man's mind between faith and no-faith. Actually faith itself is degrees. Even the most faithful of Muslims in early Islam has their faith very low when were unjustly being about to be slaughtered with the non-believers.

إِذْ جَاؤُوكُم مِّن فَوْقِكُمْ وَمِنْ أَسْفَلَ مِنكُمْ وَإِذْ زَاغَتْ الْأَبْصَارُ وَبَلَغَتِ الْقُلُوبُ الْحَنَاجِرَ وَتَظُنُّونَ بِاللَّهِ الظُّنُونَا (33:10) 33:10 (Picktall) When they came upon you from above you and from below you, and when eyes grew wild and hearts reached to the throats, and ye were imagining vain thoughts concerning Allah.

Her other point how there is God and all of these sufferings in the world. At personal level when one has a lot of suffering or at a nation level when the country runs through crisis humans question their faith. Many times they have the faith and the question of why this happened. In a lot of time they seek God wisdom for what happened and many times it take them years to figure it out. However, if one reads the bible and Quran one finds the same struggle even for the close followers of prophets.

2:155 And most certainly shall We try you by means of danger, and hunger, and loss of worldly goods, of lives and of [labour's] fruits. But give glad tidings unto those who are patient in adversity
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الأَمَوَالِ وَالأنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ (2:155)

If one to understand that by default humans like their father Adam are created to be in heaven one has to regain his faith. If he understands that the few years in earth is a short test that if he passed he will reclaim his palace in heaven he would suffer and carry on. If he remembers that the enjoyment and God gifts for most of us are more than suffering he would agree and alleviate the suffering of other people. If one reads from Islam that all children who die go to heaven regardless of their religion or their parents he would understand that there is a lot of compassion waiting for us. If he reads Islam and know that doing one good act earns you 10 points and one evil act only one point again he would understand how much compassion is waiting for us. If one knows by being righteous as God wants us we all will enjoy heaven in earth (feel free to worship or not) and in the eternal life (you have to worship God and believe in heaven) he will feel peace.

So it is simple there is a God and there is a lot of compassion but God wants us to start here in earth with each other if we would like to have it in the day of judgment. It is few years of suffering for a luxurious eternity.

قَالَ اللّهُ هَذَا يَوْمُ يَنفَعُ الصَّادِقِينَ صِدْقُهُمْ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا رَّضِيَ اللّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُواْ عَنْهُ ذَلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ (5:119)5:119 (Picktall) Allah saith: This is a day in which their truthfulness profiteth the truthful, for theirs are Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they are secure for ever, Allah taking pleasure in them and they in Him. That is the great triumph.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

How do we humble ourselves towards God?


By: Staff IslamiCity* -

Tadaru' is a term that means extreme humility and humbleness caused by despair and is expressed when a person has reached a critical juncture. Imam Ahmed ibn Hambal explained it saying, "Imagine a man drowning in the middle of the sea and all he has is a piece of wood that he is clinging onto. He is getting weaker and weaker and the salty waves are pulling him closer to death. Imagine him with his eager eyes looking desperately at the sky crying out loud 'O Lord, O Lord!!!' Imagine how desperate he is and how sincere he is asking for God's help. That is tadaru' in front of God".

God teaches us in the Quran that tadaru' is a form of worship a believer uses during emergencies and crises. It requires a person to remove the veils of arrogance and ego covering his or her heart. It implies sincere pleading to the Lord of the Worlds. It demonstrates that a person has realized how weak he is and how Powerful our Lord is. Sometimes when God sees that His servants are becoming distracted with this worldly life and have strayed from the Straight Path, He puts them in a trying situation so that they realize their weakness and run back to God for protection.

Therefore calamities falling upon Muslims are to make them wake up and turn back to God. We must be thoughtful and perceptive enough to understand these messages and act upon them.God The Almighty says, "Verily, We sent (Messengers) to many nations before you (O Muhammad). And we seized them with extreme poverty (or loss in wealth) and loss in health (with calamities) so that they might humble themselves (believe with humility)." (Quran 6:42).

This verse shows that God uses calamities as a routine method to wake people up and encourage them to run to Him for protection. It is as if a calamity is a bitter medicine for us to become better believers. God does this for our benefit, because we need to maintain a close relationship with Him. God expresses our need for this form medicine in the following verse, "And if We had mercy on them and removed the distress which is on them, still they would obstinately persist in their transgression, wandering blindly." (Quran 23:75).

In another verse God says, "When Our Torment reached them, why then did they not humble themselves (believe with humility)? But their hearts became hardened, and Shaytan (Satan) made what they used to do seem fair and correct" (Quran 6:43).

We must not make this mistake and close our eyes and hearts in front of God's call to humbleness and humility to Him. We must not let Shaytan trick us into believing that our problems have nothing to do with our relation with God.God says, "Say (O Muhammad) 'Who rescues you from the darkness of the land and the sea (dangers like storms), (when) you call upon Him in humility and in secret (saying): If He (God) only saves us from this (danger), we shall truly be grateful.' Say (O Muhammad): 'God rescues you from this and from all (other) distresses, and yet you worship others besides God.'" (Quran 6:63-64).

No one will rescue us from the darkness we Muslims are in today except God, but first, we must call upon Him in humility.How to achieve tadaru':It is necessary to realize the grave calamity that is falling upon us. Our children are being pounded by missiles that are weighed in tons, people are being oppressed and tortured all over the world. It is not so distant back in time that tens of thousands of women were raped in the Balkans. Believe it or not, its not just about our Muslim Ummah, Its about our whole planet. Our world is heading straight towards a cliff and its not slowing down.

We can delude our selves by saying this does not effect me, but then we will be guilty of negligence. If we can't realize the severity of the situation, then we have an additional problem, read verse (6:43) above. We need God's help and protection!

When the whale swallowed Prophet Yunus (Jonah) after he was thrown off the boat, he was in a terrifying situation. Imagine for a second being locked up in a small closet, its dark, and there is no hope of getting out. Now imagine yourself in a whale's stomach, imagine the darkness, and the difficulty in breathing. The whale is in the storming sea and its night. Imagine how Prophet Yunus felt, and imagine how he was when he prayed to God in humility saying, "None has the right to be worshipped but You (O God)!! Glorified (and Exalted) be You!! Truly, I have been of the wrong doers!" (21:87). Imagine a Prophet, a role model for human beings, saying that and referring to himself as a wrong doer, then imagine how we should plead to God.

The night before the battle of Badr, Prophet Muhammad saw how the army of the Pagans had out-numbered them and was so well equipped. Then he looked at the Muslim army and how few they were with poor weaponry. Badr was the first military confrontation between the Muslims and the Non-believers. It was a critical event in the history of Islam. If the Muslims lost this battle, Islam would have disappeared forever. Realizing this, Prophet Muhammad started to pray to God in humility and humbleness. He raised his hands up high, stretching his arms to the extent that his armpits appeared. He engaged in sincere supplication to God and his body was shaking causing his cloak to fall off his back. He was begging God crying, "O Ever Living!! O Sustainer and Protector!! I beg You for Your mercy!!! O God!! I am waiting for Your victory which You have promised me. I beseech You God to defeat them."

This is the level of humility we should try to reach when praying to God for help. Let us beg God for His help with the utmost humbleness as if we are really drowning and there is no one there to rescue us except Him. Let us get up in the middle of the night to pray keyam layl (night prayer), and let us break down in front of God begging Him, as we have never done before. Let us gather each other and do it together. Let us pray to God in humility in groups. Let us cry to Him together, let us run to Him with our families and friends. Let us all beg him for His help, protection and guidance.Tadaru '.... is what we need to understand and practice. We need to achieve tadaru' so that God may change our situation, because...
"Verily God will never change the condition of a people until they change themselves"

Adapted from "We must always humble ourselves towards Allah" by Amr Khaled, a Muslim activist and preacher based in Egypt.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Some of President Obama Speech in Cairo 06/2009

As I am going to Egypt in 09/2009 I have to remind the Americans and Egyptians of this great speech. I will start when president Obama ended to make the words reality and the speech a true inspiration. I hope the Americans are true this time, do you remember when the Shia and Kurd were encouraged to have the upraise against Saddam then the Americans left Saddam to destroy them. We are depending on Americans at least not to stand in our freedom. I have the power to convince my people to stand with me.

President Obama:

We meet at a time of great tension between the United States and Muslims around the world -- tension rooted in historical forces that go beyond any current policy debate.

Therelationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of coexistence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars.

More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War inwhich Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations.

Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.

I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles -- principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

But I am convinced that in order to move forward, we must say openly to each other the things we hold in our hearts and that too often are said only behind closed doors. There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from each other;to respect one another; and to seek common ground. As the Holy Koran tells us, "Be conscious of God and speak always the truth." (Applause.)

I'm a Christian, but myfather came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims. As a boy, Ispent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn andat the fall of dusk. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith.

Justas Muslims do not fit a crude stereotype, America is not the crude stereotype of a selfinterested empire. The United States has been one of the greatest sources of progress that the world has ever known. We were born out of revolution against an empire.

We were founded upon the ideal that all are created equal, and we have shed blood and struggledfor centuries to give meaning to those words -- within our borders, and around the world. We are shaped by every culture, drawn from every end of the Earth, and dedicated to a simple concept: E pluribus unum -- "Out of many, one."Now, much has been made of the fact that an African American with the name Barack Hussein Obama could be elected President.

Words alone cannot meet the needs of our people. These needs will be met only if we act boldly in the years ahead; and if we understand that the challenges we face are shared, and ourfailure to meet them will hurt us all.

For we have learned from recent experience that when a financial system weakens in one country, prosperity is hurt everywhere. When a new flu infects one human being, all areat risk. When one nation pursues a nuclear weapon, the risk of nuclear attack rises for allnations.

So whatever we think of the past, we must not be prisoners to it. Our problems must be dealt with through partnership; our progress must be shared.

The only resolution is for the aspirations of both sidesto be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace andsecurity. That is in Israel's interest, Palestine's interest, America's interest, and the world's interest. And that is why I intend to personally pursue this outcome with all the patience and dedication that the task requires.

I recognize it will be hard to overcome decades of mistrust, but we will proceed with courage, rectitude, and resolve.

I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years, and much of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq. So let me be clear: No system of government can or should be imposed by one nation by any other.That does not lessen my commitment, however, to governments that reflect the will of thepeople.

Each nation gives life to this principle in its own way, grounded in the traditionsof its own people. America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just aswe would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election.

But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mindand have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn't steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. These are not just American ideas; they are human rights. And that is why we will support them everywhere.

Now, there is no straight line to realize this promise. But this much is clear: Governments that protect these rights are ultimately more stable, successful and secure.Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. America respects the right of all peaceful and law-abiding voices to be heard around the world, even if we disagree with them. And we will welcome all elected, peaceful governments -- provided they govern with respect for all their people.

This last point is important because there are some who advocate for democracy only when they're out of power; once in power, they are ruthless in suppressing the rights of others.

So no matter where it takes hold, government of the people and by the people sets a single standard for all who would hold power: You must maintain your power through consent, not coercion; you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise; you must place the interests of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party.

People in every country should be free to choose and live their faith basedupon the persuasion of the mind and the heart and the soul. This tolerance is essential forreligion to thrive, but it's being challenged in many different ways.

Among some Muslims, there's a disturbing tendency to measure one's own faith by therejection of somebody else's faith. The richness of religious diversity must be upheld --whether it is for Maronites in Lebanon or the Copts in Egypt. (Applause.) And if we are being honest, fault lines must be closed among Muslims, as well, as the divisions between Sunni and Shia have led to tragic violence, particularly in Iraq.

Freedom of religion is central to the ability of peoples to live together. We must always examine the ways in which we protect it. For instance, in the United States, rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation.

I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover herhair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality. (Applause.) And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well educated are far more likely to be prosperous.

All of us share this world for but a brief moment in time. The question is whether we spend that time focused on what pushes us apart, or whether we commit ourselves to an effort -- a sustained effort -- to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek for our children, and to respect the dignity of all human beings.

It's easier to start wars than to end them. It's easier to blame others than to look inward.It's easier to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share. But weshould choose the right path, not just the easy path. There's one rule that lies at the heart of every religion -- that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

This truth transcends nations and peoples -- a belief that isn't new; that isn'tblack or white or brown; that isn't Christian or Muslim or Jew. It's a belief that pulsed in the cradle of civilization, and that still beats in the hearts of billions around the world. It's a faith in other people, and it's what brought me here today.

We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the courage to make a new beginning, keeping in mind what has been written.The Holy Koran tells us: "O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and wehave made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another."The Talmud tells us: "The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace."The Holy Bible tells us: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons ofGod." (Applause.)The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God's vision. Nowthat must be our work here on Earth.Thank you. And may God's peace be upon you. Thank you very much. Thank you.(Applause.)