Thursday, December 30, 2010
By Dr. Muhammad Sharif Chaudhry
Sovereign – Lord
The Supreme Law Giver
The Supreme Judge
None Can Benefit or Harm Except God
1 – Sovereign - Lord
According to the Qur’an, God is the Sovereign Lord of the Universe and Absolute Ruler of the cosmos. He is the Creator of everything. He is the Sustainer, the Cherisher, and the Nourisher. He is the Regulator and the Perfector. He is the Supreme Law-Giver and the Supreme-Judge. He is the Supreme Lord and the Most Powerful. Sovereignty in all its dimensions over the heavens and the earth and everything else is for Allah only. Power of command and rule in the Universe and in the heavens and the earth belongs to God and God alone. The totality of power and authority in all aspects is prerogative of Allah and there is none who can share in this prerogative. He is able to do all things.
God is the source and fountain head of all power and honour. It is He who bestowes honour and power on man. So whosoever desires power and honour should know that all power and honour comes from God.
The Qur’an, in its following Verses, highlights the concept of God’s Sovereignty and command:
1. Knowest thou not that it is Allah unto Whom belongeth the sovereignty of the heavens and earth; and ye have not, beside Allah, any friend or helper?––2: AL–Baqarah: 107
2. Say: O Allah! Owner of Sovereignty! Thou givest sovereignty unto whom Thou wilt, and Thou withdrawest sovereignty from whom Thou wilt. Thou exaltest whom Thou wilt and Thou abasest whom Thou wilt. In Thy hand is the good. Lo! Thou art to do all things.––3: Al–Imran: 26
3. Knowest thou not that unto Allah belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth? He punisheth whom He will, and forgiveth whom He will: Allah is Able to do all thigns.––5: AL–Ma’idah: 40
4. Lo! Allah! Unto Him belongeth the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. He quickeneth and He giveth death. And ye have instead of Allah no protecting friend nor helper.––9: At–Taubah: 116
5. And let not their speech grieve thee (O Muhammad). Lo! power belongeth wholly to Allah. He is the Hearer, the Knower.––10: Yunus: 66
6. Now Allah be exalted, the true King! There is no God save Him, the Lord of the Throne of Grace.––23: Al–Mu’minun: 116
7. He unto Whom belongeth the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, He hath chosen no son nor hath He any partner in the sovereignty. He hath created everything and hath meted out for it a measure.––25: Al–Furqan: 2
8. And He is Allah; there is no God save Him. His is all praise in the former and the latter (state), and His is the command, and unto Him ye will be brought back.––28: Al–Qasas: 70
9. Whoso desireth power (should know that) all power belongeth to Allah.––35: Al–Fatir: 10
10. Unto Allah belongeth the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. He createth what He will. He bestoweth female (off-spring) upon whom He will, and bestoweth male (offspring) upon whom He will;––42: Ash–Shura: 49
11. And He it is Who in the heaven is God, and in the earth God, He is the Wise, the Knower. And blessed be He unto Whom belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and with Whom is knowledge of the Hour, and unto Whom ye will be returned.––43: Az–Zukhruf: 84-85
12. He is Allah, than Whom there is no other God, the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One, Peace, the Keeper of Faith, the Guardian, the Majestic, the Compeller, the Superb. Glorified be Allah from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him)!––59: Al–Hashr: 23
13. Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind,The King of mankind,The God of mankind,From the evil of the sneaking whisperer,––114: An–Nas: 1-4
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2 – Real Owner
God’s dominion or ownership is on everything as the heavens and the earth and everything in the universe belongs to God. This is the theme which has been emphasized throughout in the Holy Qur’an. God is the real owner and possessor of everything and none else can claim this right. Wherever God has given possession of things belonging to Him to any of His creatures that is in fact a trust and is only for the use of the latter. For example, God has given some rights to men (who is the best of Allah’s creations) for use of things required by the latter for his existence on earth. However, rights given to man are very limited and do not make man the real owner of such things like land, water, air, fire, minerals, metals, cattle, plants, natural sources of energy, etc. The real owner remains the God, position of man being purely and merely that of a trustee or a beneficiary.
The Qur’an stresses the fact of God’s ownership of everything in the following of its verses:
1. Unto Allah belongeth whatsoever is in the heaven and whatsoever is in the earth; and unto Allah all things are returned.––3: Al–Imran: 109
2. Unto Allah belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. He forgiveth whom He will, and punisheth whom He will. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.––3: Al–Imran: 129
3. Unto Allah belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Allah ever surroundeth all things.––4: An–Nisa: 126
4. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever resteth in the night and the day. He is the Hearer, the Knower.––6: Al–An’am: 13
5. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, and whatsoever is between them, and whatsoever is beneath the sod.––20: Ta Ha: 6
6. Unto Him belongeth whosoever is in the heavens and in the earth. All are obedient unto Him.––30: Ar–Rum: 26
7. And unto Allah belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, that he may reward those who do evil with that which they have done, and reward those who do good with goodness.––53: An–Najm: 31
8. Believe in Allah and His Messenger, and spend of that whereof He hath made you trustees; and such of you as believe and spend (aright), theirs will be a great reward.––57: Al–Hadid: 7
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3 – The Supreme Law Giver
According to Islam, sovereignty in the heavens and the earth and over everything belongs to God Who is the sovereign-Lord and supreme Law-Giver. He is creator and sustainer of the universe and is Omnipotent and Omniscient.
God is Perfect and Eternal Who, unlike man, does not change His opinions. Therefore, law revealed by Him through His messengers and contained in His revealed books, which is called Divine Law, is perfect, permanent and supreme. Divine law cannot be changed, modified, altered, amended, superseded or abrogated by a human agency – may it be a powerful emperor or a sovereign parliament – or by whole of mankind put together. Since law promulgated by an authority can only be abrogated by that authority or by any superior authority, so a Divine revelation cannot be abrogated by anyone except by God Himself. No human agency or legislature has any authority to change or abrogate God-made law. Moreover, in the legislative field, the latest law abrogates all the former ones; the same is true in connection with Shariah law. Therefore, Shariah law of Islam, being last and final, abrogates all the previous Shariahs.
Where God has made law, human beings have no authority to make law. They can only interpret and apply God – made law. But where God has not framed law, people can make law but man-made law should not be inconsistent or repugnant to Divine Law. For a Muslim, the Qur’an is the supreme law and he has no authority to over rule it.
About the sanctity of God – Made Law, the Qur’an says:
1. ……These are limits (imposed by) Allah. Transgress them not. For whoso transgresseth Allah’s limits: such are wrongdoers.––2: Al–Baqarah: 229
2. ………Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are disbelievers.––5: Al–Maidah: 44
3. And this Qur’an is not such as could ever be invented in despite of Allah; but it is a confirmation of that which was before it and an exposition of that which is decreed for mankind – Therein is no doubt – from the Lord of the worlds.––10: Yunus: 38
4. Lo! He Who hath given thee the Qur’an for a law will surely bring thee home again……––28: Al–Qasas: 85
The Prophet of Islam said about the authority of the Qur’an (which is Divine Law) as under:
1. Jabir reported that the Messenger of Allah said: As for what follows next, the best discourse is the book of Allah and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad …… (Muslim)
2. Jabir reported that the Messenger of Allah said in the Farewel Pilgrimage: And I have left among you a thing which if you adhere to, you will never be misguided after his – the Book of Allah and what you get from me by questions (Hadith).(Muslim)
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4 – The Supreme Judge
God is the Supreme Judge. None is better in judgment than Him. In His judgment He does not wrong not even of the weight of an ant. The Qur’an advises the believers to obey Allah and if they have a dispute concerning any matter they should refer it to Allah for decision and judgment; they should not go for judgment in their disputes to false deities. God is the Best of the Deciders and decision ultimately lies with Him. God is the most conclusive of all Judges and His Judgment is final and binding. When Allah and His messenger have decided an affair for the believers, none can claim any jurisdiction in that affair neither the believers should claim any say in that. In this world God exercises His powers as supreme judge and supreme law giver through His word the Qur’an. So the followers of Islam are enjoined to refer to the Qur’an for finding out the required law and the judgement in a dispute.
On the Day of Judgment God would decide between men about which they used to differ in this world. He would also set up a just balance so that no soul is wronged in aught. The deeds of everyone would be brought, one whose deeds are good would be rewarded and the one whose deeds are bad would be punished.
The Holy Qur’an, in its following Verses, brings in focus the role of God as supreme judge:
1. Lo! Allah wrongeth not even of the weight of an ant; and if there is a good deed, He will double it and will give (the doer) from His presence an immense reward.––4: An–Nisa: 40
2. O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the messenger and those of you who are in authority; and if ye have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to Allah and the messenger if ye are (in truth) believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more seemly in the end.Hast thou not seen those who pretend that they believe in that which is revealed unto thee and that which was revealed before thee, how they would go for judgment (in their disputes) to false deities when they have been ordered to abjure them? Satan would mislead them far astray.––4: An–Nisa: 59-60
3. Is it a judgment of the time of (pagan) ignorance that they are seeking? Who is better than Allah for judgment to a people who have certainty (in their belief)?––5: Al–Maidah: 50
4. Say: I am (relying) on clear proof from my Lord, while ye deny Him, I have not that for which ye are impatient. The decision is for Allah only. He telleth the truth and He is the Best of Deciders.––6: Al–An’am: 57
5. Then are they restored unto Allah, their Lord, the Just. Surely His is the judgment. And He is the most swift of reckoners.––6: Al–An’am: 62
6. And We set a just balance for the Day of Resurrection so that no soul is wronged in aught. Though it be of the weight of a grain of mustered seed, We bring it. And We suffice for reckoners.––21: Al–Anbiya: 47
7. And it becometh not a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His messenger have decided an affair (for them), that they should (after that) claim any say: in their affair…….––33: Al–Ahzab: 36
8. And in whatsoever ye differ, the verdict therein belongeth to Allah. Such is my Lord, in Whom I put my trust and unto Whom I turn.––42: Ash–Shura: 10
9. Is not Allah the most conclusive of all Judges?––95: At–Tin: 8
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5 – None Can Benefit or Harm Except God
Benefit or harm, good or ill, ease or hardship, good fortune or misfortune, all come from God. None can benefit or harm except Him. If God intends to give you benefit, none can withhold it, if He intends you harm, none can protect you. The Qur’an says:
1. Whatever of good befalleth thee (O man) it is from Allah, and whatever of ill befalleth thee it is from thyself. We have sent thee (Muhammad) as a messenger unto mankind and Allah is sufficient as witness.—4: An–Nisa: 79
2. If Allah touch thee with affliction, there is none that can relieve therefrom save Him, and if He touch thee with good fortune (there is none that can impair it); for He is Able to do all things.—6: Al–An'am: 17
3. Say: Naught befalleth us save that which Allah hath decreed for us. He is our Protecting Friend. In Allah let believers put their trust!—9: At–Taubah: 51
4. If Allah afflicteth thee with some hurt, there is none who can remove it save Him; and if He desireth good for thee, there is none who can repel His bounty. He striketh with it whom He will of his bondmen. He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.—10: Yunus: 107
5. And whatever of comfort ye enjoy, it is from Allah. Then, when misfortune reacheth you, unto Him ye cry for help. And afterward, when He hath rid you of the misfortune, behold! a set of you attribute partners to their Lord.—16: An–Nahl: 53-54
6. 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.—25: Al–Furqan: 3
7. Say: Who is he who can preserve you from Allah if He intendeth harm for you, or intendeth mercy for you. They will not find that they have any friend or helper other than Allah.—33: Al–Ahzab: 17
8. And verily, if thou shouldst ask them: Who created the heavens and the earth? They will say: Allah. Say: Be-think you then of those ye worship beside Allah, if Allah willed some hurt for me, could they remove from me His hurt; or if He willed some mercy for me, could they restrain His mercy? Say: Allah is my all. In Him do (all) the trusting put their trust.—39: Az–Zumar: 38
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6 – God’s Will
Allah guides whom He will unto a straight path and He sends astray whom He will. Allah bestows His sovereignty on whom He will and He withdraws sovereignty from whom He will. He gives honour to whom He will and He withdraws honour from whom He will. Allah makes the provision wide for whom He will, and straitens it for whom He will. He gives wisdom unto whom He will. He selects for His mercy whom He will. Whomsoever it is Allah’s will to guide, He expands his bosom for Islam and whomsoever it is His will to send astray, He makes his bosom close. God is Doer of what He will, He is able to do what He will. He effaces what He will and establish what He will. Had Allah willed, He could have made you one nation, but He sends astray whom He will. He bestows daughters upon whom He will and bestows sons upon whom He will or makes barren whom He will.
Now the questions arise if God does everything in man’s life then why a man should act? If God provides sustenance and if He expands and straitens the sustenance of a man then why a man should work hard for earning livelihood? If God guides a man or leads him astray then why a man should be held responsible for his actions? These are the questions which in the ultimate analysis lead to one major issue and that is pre-destination versus freedom of action or God’s will versus man’s choice. Is man free to act and achieve his objectives or his fate has already been decreed? This is the issue which is being debated since time immemorial but has not been satisfactorily resolved till date. This issue has always been hotly discussed through ages in all the religions and divided the scholars of every religion into different groups. In the middle ages, among the Muslim scholars there emerged two extreme schools of thought on this issue the Jabariyas (The pre-destinarians) and the Qadriyas (advocates of freedom of action). The former school holds that God is the creator of man’s deeds whether good or bad and that man is entirely powerless who cannot go beyond his destiny. The latter, on the other hand, hold that man has got absolute freedom of will and is consequently responsible for all of his actions. However, both these schools represent extreme views which are contrary to the facts in life. The solution of the issue under consideration in fact lies in the middle way or in between these two extremes.
The fact of the matter is that man enjoys limited freedom of action or limited choice. Some of man’s affairs like birth, life and death, his gift of intelligence, his gift of male or female children are pre-determined upon which he has got neither any choice nor any control. But in some of his affairs man has freedom of action and freedom of choice, e.g; good or bad actions, earning of wealth through lawful or unlawful means, keeping of good health by exercising restraint and avoiding injurious things, etc. Ali, the fourth righteous caliph of Islam, has explained the question of pre-determinism versus freedom of action by an interesting example. When Ali was asked this question by a companion, Ali asked him to standup. The man stood up. Ali asked him to lift his right leg, the man lifted up his right leg. Then Ali asked him to lift his left leg also. The man expressed his inability and refused to do so saying that he would fall down on the ground. At this Ali aptly remarked: “This is the limit of your freedom of action”.
In the following Verses, the Holy Qur’an highlights the question of God’s will:
1. ……Allah giveth without stint to whom He will.—2: Al–Baqarah: 212
2. ……And Allah by His will guided those who believe unto the truth of that concerning which they differed. Allah guideth whom He will unto a straight path.—2: Al–Baqarah: 213
3. …… He said: Lo! Allah hath chosen him above you, and hath increased him abundantly in wisdom and stature. Allah bestoweth His sovereignty on whom He will. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing.—2: Al–Baqarah: 247
4. He giveth wisdom unto whom He will, and he unto whom wisdom is given, he truly hath received abundant good. But none remember except men of understanding.—2: Al–Baqarah: 269
5. He selecteth for His mercy whom He will. Allah is of infinite bounty.—3: Al–Imran: 74
6. Whatever of good befalleth thee (o man) it is from Allah, and whatever of ill befalleth thee it is from thyself.—4: An–Nisa: 79
7. And whomsoever it is Allah’s will to guide, He expandeth his bosom unto the Surrender, and whomsoever it is His will to send astray, He maketh his bosom close and narrow as if he were engaged in sheer ascent. Thus Allah layeth ignominy upon those who believe not.—6: Al–An’am: 125
8. Allah effaceth what He will, and establisheth (what He will), and with Him is the source of ordinance.—13: Ar–Ra’d: 39
9. Had Allah willed He could have made you (all) one nation, but He sendeth whom He will astray and guideth whom He will, and ye will indeed be asked of what ye used to do.—16: An–Nahl: 93
10. Allah maketh the provision wide for whom He will of His bondmen, and straiteneth it for whom (He will) Lo! Allah is aware of all things.—29: Al–Ankabut: 62
11. ………He whom Allah sendeth astray, for him there is no guide.—39: Az–Zumar: 36
12. Unto Allah belongeth the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. He createth what He will. He bestoweth female (offspring) upon whom He will, and bestoweth male (offspring) upon whom He will; Or He mingleth them, males and females, and He maketh barren whom He will. Lo! He is Knower, Powerful.—42: Ash–Shura: 49 - 50
Ahadith (traditions) of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on God’s will and predestination are:
1. Ibn Omar reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Everything is according to a measure, even weakness and intelligence. (Muslim)
2. Abdullah-b-Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Allah had written down the measures of creations 50,000 years before He created the heavens and earths. He said that His Throne was (then) upon water. (Muslim)
3. Abu Musa reported: the Apostle of Allah stood among us with five sermons. He said: Allah does not sleep, nor it is becoming of Him to sleep; He makes provision short and raises it up; the actions of night are raised up to Him before the actions of the day, and the actions of the day before the actions of the night, and light is His screen. Had He disclosed it, the brilliances of His face would have burnt everything of His creation as far as His sight would have gone. (Muslim)
4. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: The hand of Allah is full. No expense can reduce it. (He is) a great Bestower both day and night. Have you considered what He spent since He created the heaven and the earth? What was in His hand has never diminished, and His Throne was upon water, and in His hand there is the Balance which He lowers and raises up. Agreed upon it. And in a narration of Muslim: The right hand of Allah is full.
5. Oba’dah-b-Swa’met reported that the Apostle of Allah said: Verily the first thing which Allah created was pen. He addressed it: Write. It replied: What shall I write? He said: Write the decree. So it wrote what was created and what will be created up to eternity. (Tirmizi (Rare))
6. Abu Khezamah reported from his father who said: I asked: O Messenger of Allah! Inform me about charms which we practise, and about medicines with which we medically treat, and about amulets which we guard over. Do all these nullify anything of the decrees of Allah? He said: It is of the decree of Allah. (Ahmed, Tirmizi, Ibn Majah)
7. Abu Hurairah reported: The Messenger of Allah came out to us while we were quarrelling about pre-decree. He became angry till his face turned red. As if the seeds of pomegranates were spread on his two cheeks. He asked: Have you been ordered for this or have I been sent to you for this? Those who were before you were ruined when they contended about this affair. I took oath for you that you would not quarrel with one another about it. (Tirmizi)
8. Abu Musa reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah say: Allah created Adam from a handful (of earth) which He took from all earths. So the children of Adam came into existence according to the condition of earth. Among them are the red and the white and the black; and in that there were soft, hard, impure and pure (earths). (Abu Daud, Ahmad, Tirmizi)
9. Abdullah-b-Amr reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah say: Allah created His creations in darkness, and then cast His light upon them. So whoso got anything from that light found guidance, and whoso missed it became misguided. For this reason I say: Pen has become dried up over the knowledge of Allah. (Ahmad, Tirmizi)
10. Matar-b-Oksm’es reported that the Messenger of Allah said: When Allah decrees for a servant that he should die in a land, He creates a necessity thereto for him. (Ahmad, Tirmizi)
11. Abu Darda’a reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Verily the Almighty and Glorious Allah finished five things for every man of His creation: his fixed term, his action, his resting place, his movement and his provision. (Ahmad)
12. Abu Darda’a reported: While we were seated near the Apostle of Allah talking about what will come to pass, the Holy Prophet said: When you hear about a mountain that it has shifted itself from its place, believe it, but when you hear about a man that he has changed his nature, don’t believe it as it will return to what it was created upon. (Ahmad)
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"The Most Gracious, teacher of the Quran." (55:1-2)
From this verse, the believers know that Allah is the teacher of the Quran. The believers also know that Allah does not come to our door, knock, and tell us, "It is Me, Allah, coming to teach you the Qur'an." But rather, God will teach us the Qur'an by one or more of many ways.
"We granted Solomon, the correct understanding..." (21:79)
He may grant you the correct understanding, as He did for His Prophet, Solomon, or teach you by using another human being, a believer, or a non-believer. Allah may use an incident, a dream, a TV show, a movie, a newspaper article, a dog, a pig or an ant to teach you what He wants from the Qur'an.
"No human being can communicate with Allah ecxept through inspiration, or from behind a barrier, or by His sending a Messenger, through whom He reveals what He wills. He is the Most High, Most Wise." (42:51)
Of the many ways Allah chooses to communicate to us His message, Allah emphasized that He communicates with us by sending a Messenger through whom He reveals what He wills. Allah communicates to His human Messengers through His angle messenger and He communicates with the human beings through His human Messengers.
Those who do not see the Qur'an, or have a barrier around their heart do not see that. Allah did communicate with us through a Messenger, a human Messenger. That Messenger did not speak a heavenly language or behaved like an angel. He did not advertise ahead of time that he would be communicating to us what Allah wanted us to know. Whatever Allah wanted him to teach us would have come in any form. The secret here was that : whenever and whatever the Messenger spoke for the message, we are able to find it in the Qur'an. We were blessed by a Messenger who always pointed to the Qur'an for every thought, idea or correction that he came up with.
"O people of the scripture, our Messenger has come to you, to recite to you (to clarify for you) (make things clear unto you), after a period of time without Messengers, lest you say, "We did not receive any preacher or warner." A preacher and warner has now come to you. Allah is omnipotent." (5:19)
This was Allah’s communication with us through His Messenger. We have the complete freedom to accept this communication, reject it, make fun of it, ridicule it, call it idol-worship, replace it with our opinion or dump it in the trash after the Messenger has gone.
"Surely those who slide back, after the guidance has been manifested to them, the devil has enticed them, and has misled them." (47:25)
As Allah told us in the Qur'an and as pointed to us by the Messenger of the covenant, all the rituals of Islam were given to Abraham and passed down to us generation after generation. (22:78) Our Shahada, Salat, Zakat, Fasting and Hajj were given to Abraham, corrupted after him by the Scholars and then corrected again to us through the Last Messenger.
Throughout the Qur'an, Allah gives us, sometimes in detail, the stories of previous generations and how they believed or disbelieved, and how they were guided or misguided. Allah also repeatedly informs us about the reason behind telling us these stories.
"…God thus cites the example for the people, that they may take heed." (14:25)"We cite these examples for the people, that they may reflect." (59:21)
If we do not learn from the Qur'an we do not deserve it.
Who misleads the people ?! Who corrupts the message?! (57:9)"He is the One who sends down to His servant clear revelations, in order to lead you out of the darkness into the light. GOD is Compassionate towards you, Most Merciful."
The student of the Qur'an will find out that, Qur'an is telling us that the messengers of Allah will lead the people from darkness into the and that nowhere in the Qur'an does Allah tell us a story of a community misled by its messenger or given the wrong teachings by him. On the contrary, it is the people who came after the departure of every messenger who misled and misguided the people. They did it in the name of new knowledge and/or new understanding. The religious leaders, the scholars and the self-proclaimed scholars are on the top of the list of this corruption.
" They have set us their religious leaders and scholars as idols, instead of God…" (9:31)
The difference between now and then is that the scholars of today do not have to be graduates of Scholars school, but they could be students or graduates of Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, USC, UA...etc. . They could be anyone who has an opinion specially the one who honors his opinion too much, as in (I, me and my). Do we follow the Messenger and the Qur'an or do we follow the knowledgeable people?
The student of the Qur'an will also notice that, nowhere in the Qur'an does Allah tell us of a person, knowledgeable or not, correcting the message of His messengers. The Qur'an does tell us of the wise man teaching Moses good lessons in his life, but not teaching him his message or preaching his message for him. We are ordered in the Qur'an to follow the messengers for their message and we were never ordered to follow other people, knowledgeable or not for their knowledge or intelligence.
When Allah chose His messengers, He did not specifically choose the most knowledgeable or the most intelligent, but he chose the most honest to deliver the message. The messenger’s own knowledge or intelligence was irrelevant.
There is no mention in the Qur'an of any messenger of Allah, correcting mistakes made by a previous messenger.
It is also significant to notice that there is no mention in the Qur'an of any messenger of Allah, correcting mistakes made by a previous messenger. Messengers of Satan will claim that they are sent to correct the previous messengers of Allah in their quest to mislead and misguide the people. They do this in the name of new knowledge and/or new understanding. Those who will use the Qur'an as their guide will realise that any new messenger of Allah will ONLY confirm what the previous Messengers had brought. Even if they add new information, it should not contradict the previous message. Allah’s message does not change by the change of messengers. Allah’s message has always been the same.
If we believe the Qur'an we should know by now that history will repeat itself. Some people after the departure of the Messenger will distort the message that he corrected from the Qur'an by the Qur'an. They will claim new knowledge and/or new understanding. They do not see their own shortcoming and misguidance. They are the descendants of the same people who distorted the messages of Abraham, Moses and Jesus. They will push the people to believe like them or call them idol-worshipers. Those who are weak at heart and the doubters will fall victim to their claim while the strong believers who hold to the Qur'an as their guide and reference will stand strong, confident and guided despite these claims. They will not be tempted by the sweetness or the eloquence of these people's talk. Allah reminded us of their example in the Qur'an.
"When you see them, you may be impressed by their looks. And when they speak, you may listen to their eloquence. They are like standing logs. They think that every call is intended against them. These are the real enemies; beware of them. GOD condemns them; they have deviated." (63:4)
Should we believe the Qur'an ?! Should we learn from the Qur;an ?! We better.
"This has been consistently the case with all the messengers that we sent before you, and you will find that our system never changes." (17:77)
It is very important to know that our understanding of the Qur'an should not be frozen in a frame of time or a personality. We should realize that our understanding of the Qur'an will continue to grow, because more knowledge will be available to us. This new knowledge will help us understand the wisdom behind certain Qur'anic teachings, that we may not be fully comprehending at this time. Or, help us understand new areas that were never known before. Good examples for us are the origin of the universe and the big bang theory or the development of the human embryo. Neither one was known to the previous generations when they read the Qur'an. This knowledge will not create a new religion or change a well founded Qur'anic rule. We should be open minded to look at all claims without fear or hesitation. We should be certain and proud that we have the right religion, the right book and the right path.
Since the departure of the Messenger, we have heard all kinds of claims and distortions of the clear message we have. Satan has been so upset that the submitters are so confident in their belief and their hold to the Qur'an. He worked his agents day and night to come up with all kinds of claims from messengership to new understanding theories.
If we do not learn from the Qur'an, we do not deserve it.
Allah communicates with us by His sending of a messenger through whom he reveals what He wills.
Messengers of Allah do not mislead the people or misguide them.
All the corruption of religions were done by the people who came after the messengers and claimed new knowledge or new understanding.
We should be able to purge all the lies, fabrication and confusion created by the hypocrites by using the Qur'an as a reference. We should be certain and proud that we have the right religion, the right book and the right path.
It is time to call on all the submitters to take their Qur'an seriously and learn from its lessons and never be intimidated or shaken by all the noise around them. We have the best reference, we have the ultimate truth, we have the Qur'an.
Return to Holy Qur'an Resources on the Internet Home Page
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
The people who lied about the Quran and said it was from Muhammad unconscious and subconscious mind would face great trial in the day of judgement. If the Quran is from his unconscious or subconscious mind the words will be like this: trapatta tta ta trapatta tta ti or something like that: do not eat rice and chicken and eat macaroni-cheese, you got the idea. If he was a wise liar and invented the Quran which goes back to the old Question why he was very confidant that the Quran is the word of God and why he would spend most of the time praying, fasting, praising calling for the God that he thinks was a lie and does not exist. They will tell you may be he was delusional, so why the Quran is full of wisdom and no delusions.
انظُرْ كَيْفَ ضَرَبُوا لَكَ الْأَمْثَالَ فَضَلُّوا فَلَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ سَبِيلًا (25:9) 25:9 (Picktall) See how they coin similitudes for thee, so that they are all astray and cannot find a road! -
Read the Quran for yourself and do not listen to those people and see in these few verses which talk about water in the Quran that it touched about the most important aspect of water in our lives and our religion. That the life need water, the water is poured from the sky, the mechanism of formation of water, the purity of water of the rain, the function of this water to renew life and vegetation and make human survival possible. Water revive life of plant and animals that about to die and new bring new life as the same God who revived humans and plants with life would resurrect them in the day of judgment. The same water that is blessed our existence and actually was used to baptise Christians is the same water that God used it against us in this world to drown us when we were rebellion. He also kept water and drinks related to water in heaven for us to enjoy and deprived those who were rebellion from this water in the after life.
1- Water is the origin of every living thing:
أَوَلَمْ يَرَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَنَّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ كَانَتَا رَتْقًا فَفَتَقْنَاهُمَا وَجَعَلْنَا مِنَ الْمَاء كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَيٍّ أَفَلَا يُؤْمِنُونَ (21:30) 21:30 (Picktall) Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and We made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe? -
2- Water is the substance of life:
الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ مَهْدًا وَسَلَكَ لَكُمْ فِيهَا سُبُلًا وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَاجًا مِّن نَّبَاتٍ شَتَّى (20:53)
20:53 (Picktall) Who hath appointed the earth as a bed and hath threaded roads for you therein and hath sent down water from the sky and thereby We have brought forth divers kinds of vegetation, -
اللّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَّكُمْ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ الْفُلْكَ لِتَجْرِيَ فِي الْبَحْرِ بِأَمْرِهِ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ الأَنْهَارَ (14:32) 14:32 (Picktall) Allah is He Who created the heavens and the earth, and causeth water to descend from the sky, thereby producing fruits as food for you, and maketh the ships to be of service unto you, that they may run upon the sea at His command, and hath made of service unto you the rivers; -
أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء فَتُصْبِحُ الْأَرْضُ مُخْضَرَّةً إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَطِيفٌ خَبِيرٌ (22:63)
22:63 (Picktall) Seest thou not how Allah sendeth down water from the sky and then the earth becometh green upon the morrow? Lo! Allah is Subtile, Aware. -
3- In fact Water revive the dead land and God will similarly put lives again in dead humans:
وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّن نَّزَّلَ مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ مِن بَعْدِ مَوْتِهَا لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ قُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ (29:63) 29:63 (Picktall) And if thou wert to ask them: Who causeth water to come down from the sky, and therewith reviveth the earth after its death? they verily would say: Allah. Say: Praise be to Allah! But most of them have no sense. -
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ يُرِيكُمُ الْبَرْقَ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَيُنَزِّلُ مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء فَيُحْيِي بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ (30:24) 30:24 (Picktall) And of His signs is this: He showeth you the lightning for a fear and for a hope, and sendeth down water from the sky, and thereby quickeneth the earth after her death. Lo! herein indeed are portents for folk who understand. -
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنَّكَ تَرَى الْأَرْضَ خَاشِعَةً فَإِذَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْهَا الْمَاء اهْتَزَّتْ وَرَبَتْ إِنَّ الَّذِي أَحْيَاهَا لَمُحْيِي الْمَوْتَى إِنَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ (41:39) 41:39 (Picktall) And of His portents (is this): that thou seest the earth lowly, but when We send down water thereon it thrilleth and groweth. Lo! He who quickeneth it is verily the Quickener of the dead. Lo! He is Able to do all things. -
وَالَّذِي نَزَّلَ مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء بِقَدَرٍ فَأَنشَرْنَا بِهِ بَلْدَةً مَّيْتًا كَذَلِكَ تُخْرَجُونَ (43:11) 43:11 (Picktall) And who sendeth down water from the sky in (due) measure, and We revive a dead land therewith. Even so will ye be brought forth; -
4- The man and woman water they mix to form new life not only that but their relation in blood and marriage the two strongest bond between humans.
وَهُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ مِنَ الْمَاء بَشَرًا فَجَعَلَهُ نَسَبًا وَصِهْرًا وَكَانَ رَبُّكَ قَدِيرًا (25:54)
25:54 (Picktall) And He it is Who hath created man from water, and hath appointed for him kindred by blood and kindred by marriage; for thy Lord is ever Powerful. -
5- The water from rain proved to be pure as God told us:
وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ الرِّيَاحَ بُشْرًا بَيْنَ يَدَيْ رَحْمَتِهِ وَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء طَهُورًا (25:48) 25:48 (Picktall) And He it is Who sendeth the winds, glad tidings heralding His mercy, and We send down purifying water from the sky. -
6- This pure is used for man to cleanse himself particularly to bebtise Christine and for Muslims before prayers:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلاةِ فاغْسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُواْ بِرُؤُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَينِ وَإِن كُنتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُواْ وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَى أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاء أَحَدٌ مَّنكُم مِّنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لاَمَسْتُمُ النِّسَاء فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَاء فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا فَامْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُم مِّنْهُ مَا يُرِيدُ اللّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَـكِن يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهَّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ (5:6) 5:6 (Picktall) O ye who believe! When ye rise up for prayer, wash your face, and your hands up to the elbows, and lightly rub your heads and (wash) your feet up to the ankles. And if ye are unclean, purify yourselves. And if ye are sick or on a journey, or one of you cometh from the closet, or ye have had contact with women, and ye find not water, then go to clean, high ground and rub your faces and your hands with some of it. Allah would not place a burden on you, but He would purify you and would perfect His grace upon you, that ye may give thanks. -
7- God punish people by draught:
وَأَرْسَلْنَا الرِّيَاحَ لَوَاقِحَ فَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء فَأَسْقَيْنَاكُمُوهُ وَمَا أَنتُمْ لَهُ بِخَازِنِينَ (15:22)
15:22 (Picktall) And We send the winds fertilizing, and cause water to descend from the sky, and give it you to drink. It is not ye who are the holders of the store thereof. -
وَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء بِقَدَرٍ فَأَسْكَنَّاهُ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَإِنَّا عَلَى ذَهَابٍ بِهِ لَقَادِرُونَ (23:18)
23:18 (Picktall) And We send down from the sky water in measure, and We give it lodging in the earth, and lo! We are able to withdraw it.
8-God punish people by drowning them in water:
فَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِ أَنِ اصْنَعِ الْفُلْكَ بِأَعْيُنِنَا وَوَحْيِنَا فَإِذَا جَاء أَمْرُنَا وَفَارَ التَّنُّورُ فَاسْلُكْ فِيهَا مِن كُلٍّ زَوْجَيْنِ اثْنَيْنِ وَأَهْلَكَ إِلَّا مَن سَبَقَ عَلَيْهِ الْقَوْلُ مِنْهُمْ وَلَا تُخَاطِبْنِي فِي الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا إِنَّهُم مُّغْرَقُونَ (23:27) 23:27 (Picktall) Then We inspired in him, saying: Make the ship under Our eyes and Our inspiration. Then, when Our command cometh and the oven gusheth water, introduce therein of every (kind ) two spouses, and thy household save him thereof against whom the Word hath already gone forth. And plead not with Me on behalf of those who have done wrong: Lo! they will be drowned. -
9- False water also can be false truth to the disbelievers:
وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَسَرَابٍ بِقِيعَةٍ يَحْسَبُهُ الظَّمْآنُ مَاء حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءهُ لَمْ يَجِدْهُ شَيْئًا وَوَجَدَ اللَّهَ عِندَهُ فَوَفَّاهُ حِسَابَهُ وَاللَّهُ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ (24:39) 24:39 (Picktall) As for those who disbelieve, their deeds are as a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one supposeth it to be water till he cometh unto it and findeth it naught, and findeth, in the place thereof, Allah, Who payeth him his due; and Allah is swift at reckoning.
10- Water is true sign to believers:
أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء فَسَالَتْ أَوْدِيَةٌ بِقَدَرِهَا فَاحْتَمَلَ السَّيْلُ زَبَدًا رَّابِيًا وَمِمَّا يُوقِدُونَ عَلَيْهِ فِي النَّارِ ابْتِغَاء حِلْيَةٍ أَوْ مَتَاعٍ زَبَدٌ مِّثْلُهُ كَذَلِكَ يَضْرِبُ اللّهُ الْحَقَّ وَالْبَاطِلَ فَأَمَّا الزَّبَدُ فَيَذْهَبُ جُفَاء وَأَمَّا مَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ فَيَمْكُثُ فِي الأَرْضِ كَذَلِكَ يَضْرِبُ اللّهُ الأَمْثَالَ (13:17) 13:17 (Picktall) He sendeth down water from the sky, so that valleys flow according to their measure, and the flood beareth (on its surface) swelling foam from that which they felt in the fire in order to make ornaments and tools riseth a foam like unto it thus Allah coineth (the similitude of) the true and the false. Then, as for the foam, it passeth away as scum upon the banks, while, as for that which is of use to mankind, it remaineth in the earth. Thus Allah coineth the similitudes. -
11- In Hell people will be deprived of water or given poisonous water:
وَنَادَى أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ أَنْ أَفِيضُواْ عَلَيْنَا مِنَ الْمَاء أَوْ مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللّهُ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ حَرَّمَهُمَا عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ (7:50) 7:50 (Picktall) And the dwellers of the Fire cry out unto the dwellers of the Garden; Pour on us some water or some of that where with Allah hath provided you. They say: Lo! Allah hath forbidden both to disbelievers (in His guidance), -
وَقُلِ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ فَمَن شَاء فَلْيُؤْمِن وَمَن شَاء فَلْيَكْفُرْ إِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ نَارًا أَحَاطَ بِهِمْ سُرَادِقُهَا وَإِن يَسْتَغِيثُوا يُغَاثُوا بِمَاء كَالْمُهْلِ يَشْوِي الْوُجُوهَ بِئْسَ الشَّرَابُ وَسَاءتْ مُرْتَفَقًا (18:29) 18:29 (Picktall) Say: (It is) the truth from the Lord of you (all). Then whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve. Lo! We have prepared for disbelievers Fire. Its tent encloseth them. If they ask for showers, they will be showered with water like to molten lead which burneth the faces. Calamitous the drink and ill the resting place! -
جَهَنَّمُ وَيُسْقَى مِن مَّاء صَدِيدٍ (14:16)
14:16 (Picktall) Hell is before him, and he is made to drink a festering water, -
12- In heaven people will enjoy water and liquids related to water:
مَثَلُ الْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي وُعِدَ الْمُتَّقُونَ فِيهَا أَنْهَارٌ مِّن مَّاء غَيْرِ آسِنٍ وَأَنْهَارٌ مِن لَّبَنٍ لَّمْ يَتَغَيَّرْ طَعْمُهُ وَأَنْهَارٌ مِّنْ خَمْرٍ لَّذَّةٍ لِّلشَّارِبِينَ وَأَنْهَارٌ مِّنْ عَسَلٍ مُّصَفًّى وَلَهُمْ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ كَمَنْ هُوَ خَالِدٌ فِي النَّارِ وَسُقُوا مَاء حَمِيمًا فَقَطَّعَ أَمْعَاءهُمْ (47:15) 47:15 (Picktall) A similitude of the Garden which those who keep their duty (to Allah) are promised: Therein are rivers of water unpolluted, and rivers of milk whereof the flavor changeth not, and rivers of wine delicious to the drinkers, and rivers of clear run honey; therein for them is every kind of fruit, with pardon from their Lord. (Are those who enjoy all this) like those who are immortal in the Fire and are given boiling water to drink so that it teareth their bowels? -
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
تونس ليست استثناء من دول كثيرة تسير بالقمع: هكذا هي سوريا ومصر واليمن والجزائر وليبيا وغيرها من دول العالم العربي والاسلامي وبعض دول العالم الثالث الأخرى...فئة قليلة العدد تحكم وبيدها الثروة والسلطة...حكم شبه عائلي في جمهوريات...اساليب ديكتاتورية ومتخلفة لتوريث الحكم للابناء والأقارب... تونس التي كان البعض يضرب بها المثل في قمع المعارضين، وخاصة الاسلاميين منهم...تونس التي تفتخر بكونها واحدة من الدول الاسلامية التينجحت في سياسة تجفيف منابع التدين التي تسميها بمصادر الارهاب...تشتعل..
الى الامام ايها الشعب البطل لتحقيق النصر ولقطع الطريق أمام الاستمرار في الحكم المطلق المتسلط على رقب الشعب ولتكون أسوة للشعوب الاخرى
لا حول ولا قوة الا بالله .فعلا الله يكون فى عون الشعوب العربية المقهورة
Rue du Caire
تونسية من المانيا لا حول ولا قوة الا بالله العلي العظيم و انا لله و انا اليه راجعون قلبي معك يا تونس يا ثلاث الف سنة حضارة اخرها الفتح الاسلامي العظيم يا تونس الامجاد والحضارة و البطولات... حفظك الله يا وطني الساكن في الروح و القلب وحفظ كافة اهالينا هناك من الجنوب الى الشمال..قلوبنا معكم جميعا ولله المشتكى...
الحدر تم الحدر على إنجازات تونس ربما تحتاج الدولة وقت أكتر لتعميم المنفعة على الجميع. عيب الدول العربية هو القضاء, لايجب ان يكون احدهم فوقه وغالبا ما تكون المحسوبية واختلاس مال العام دون عقوبة او متابعة عوامل إضعاف التنمية وبطئها. تونس عزيزة نتمنى سيادة القانون
جائع لربما فعّال
ان شاء الله يكون فيه تزامن بين هكذا حالات جوع، و على مدار تنفيذ الاحتلال لخططه في القدس الشريف، أو تزامن مع أي حرب محتملة. لعل و عسى يوهم العدو أن الاحتجاجات شاملة، و يردع الاحتلال باذن الله.
لعـــلّ هـــذا من رحمــــة نظام الزيــــن..!!
فى بــلدان أخــرى ليس بعـيده عن تونـس ويعرفهــا التوانـسه، اذا حــلمت فى المنام أنك تتظاهـر ضـد النضام فعـليك أن تقـوم فتتــوضأ وتصــلى ركـعتين وتســتغفـر الله لأن ذلك نزغ من الشـــيطان...!!
نبارك للشعب التونسي هذه روح الوالمغتصبة والحقوق المهضومة من طرف طنية والتضامن مع كافة مكونات المجتمع،من أجل إسترجاع الثروة المتسلطين من الحكومة والمخزن،
ان الشعوب العربيه كلها واعيه لكنها لا تستطيع التحرك لأن الحكام والمنتفعين من الحكم الإستبدادي يقاومون الشعوب ومستعديين أن يقتلو ويذبحو هذه الشعوب ولا يتنازلوا عن ذره مما أنجزوه من مكتسبات لأنفسهم وقد رأينا كيف قام الحاكم بحرق مدن على أهلها في أوائل الثمنينات وجميع الحكام العرب بنفس القوه على شعوبهم فقط
أحمد أحمد عبد
أحي الشعب تونس والتونسين المحتجين ونحي الاحتجاج لقد استجاب الشعب التونسي لشاعره أبو القاسم الشابي ومن يتهيب صعود الجبال يعش أمد الدهر بين الحفر .
It is very clear to all who would like to see Muslims liberated including that of Muslim brothers is Jihad. It is the only way. We can cry and complain but nothing will get us liberated but force. Iron is only destroyed by iron. You will tell me why I do not go and fight myself. I am very ready and I was actually going to Saudi Arabia but my passport was stolen from my apartment which as you may guessed accessible to the wicked people who control the world. They know that Al Mahdi Al Muntazer will go to Saudi however if God wanted he will get him rise from anywhere. If the tyrants to state that I am not Al Mahdi Al Muntazer publicly I would think about quitting and close my blog. Let us try Gamal Mubarak see if he is brave to say that.
Monday, December 27, 2010
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESSPOPE BENEDICT XVIFOR THE CELEBRATION OF THEWORLD DAY OF PEACE
1 JANUARY 2011
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, THE PATH TO PEACE
1. At the beginning of the new year I offer good wishes to each and all for serenity and prosperity, but especially for peace. Sadly, the year now ending has again been marked by persecution, discrimination, terrible acts of violence and religious intolerance.
My thoughts turn in a special way to the beloved country of Iraq, which continues to be a theatre of violence and strife as it makes its way towards a future of stability and reconciliation. I think of the recent sufferings of the Christian community, and in particular the reprehensible attack on the Syro-Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Baghdad, where on 31 October two priests and over fifty faithful were killed as they gathered for the celebration of Holy Mass. In the days that followed, other attacks ensued, even on private homes, spreading fear within the Christian community and a desire on the part of many to emigrate in search of a better life. I assure them of my own closeness and that of the entire Church, a closeness which found concrete expression in the recent Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops. The Synod encouraged the Catholic communities in Iraq and throughout the Middle East to live in communion and to continue to offer a courageous witness of faith in those lands.
I offer heartfelt thanks to those Governments which are working to alleviate the sufferings of these, our brothers and sisters in the human family, and I ask all Catholics for their prayers and support for their brethren in the faith who are victims of violence and intolerance. In this context, I have felt it particularly appropriate to share some reflections on religious freedom as the path to peace. It is painful to think that in some areas of the world it is impossible to profess one’s religion freely except at the risk of life and personal liberty. In other areas we see more subtle and sophisticated forms of prejudice and hostility towards believers and religious symbols. At present, Christians are the religious group which suffers most from persecution on account of its faith. Many Christians experience daily affronts and often live in fear because of their pursuit of truth, their faith in Jesus Christ and their heartfelt plea for respect for religious freedom. This situation is unacceptable, since it represents an insult to God and to human dignity; furthermore, it is a threat to security and peace, and an obstacle to the achievement of authentic and integral human development.
Religious freedom expresses what is unique about the human person, for it allows us to direct our personal and social life to God, in whose light the identity, meaning and purpose of the person are fully understood. To deny or arbitrarily restrict this freedom is to foster a reductive vision of the human person; to eclipse the public role of religion is to create a society which is unjust, inasmuch as it fails to take account of the true nature of the human person; it is to stifle the growth of the authentic and lasting peace of the whole human family.
For this reason, I implore all men and women of good will to renew their commitment to building a world where all are free to profess their religion or faith, and to express their love of God with all their heart, with all their soul and with all their mind (cf. Mt 22:37). This is the sentiment which inspires and directs this Message for the XLIV World Day of Peace, devoted to the theme: Religious Freedom, the Path to Peace.
A sacred right to life and to a spiritual life
2. The right to religious freedom is rooted in the very dignity of the human person, whose transcendent nature must not be ignored or overlooked. God created man and woman in his own image and likeness (cf. Gen 1:27). For this reason each person is endowed with the sacred right to a full life, also from a spiritual standpoint. Without the acknowledgement of his spiritual being, without openness to the transcendent, the human person withdraws within himself, fails to find answers to the heart’s deepest questions about life’s meaning, fails to appropriate lasting ethical values and principles, and fails even to experience authentic freedom and to build a just society.
Sacred Scripture, in harmony with our own experience, reveals the profound value of human dignity: “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have established, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man, that you care for him? Yet you have made him little less than God, and crowned him with glory and honour. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet” (Ps 8:3-6).
Contemplating the sublime reality of human nature, we can experience the same amazement felt by the Psalmist. Our nature appears as openness to the Mystery, a capacity to ask deep questions about ourselves and the origin of the universe, and a profound echo of the supreme Love of God, the beginning and end of all things, of every person and people. The transcendent dignity of the person is an essential value of Judeo-Christian wisdom, yet thanks to the use of reason, it can be recognized by all. This dignity, understood as a capacity to transcend one’s own materiality and to seek truth, must be acknowledged as a universal good, indispensable for the building of a society directed to human fulfilment. Respect for essential elements of human dignity, such as the right to life and the right to religious freedom, is a condition for the moral legitimacy of every social and legal norm.
Religious freedom and mutual respect
3. Religious freedom is at the origin of moral freedom. Openness to truth and perfect goodness, openness to God, is rooted in human nature; it confers full dignity on each individual and is the guarantee of full mutual respect between persons. Religious freedom should be understood, then, not merely as immunity from coercion, but even more fundamentally as an ability to order one’s own choices in accordance with truth.
Freedom and respect are inseparable; indeed, “in exercising their rights, individuals and social groups are bound by the moral law to have regard for the rights of others, their own duties to others and the common good of all”.
A freedom which is hostile or indifferent to God becomes self-negating and does not guarantee full respect for others. A will which believes itself radically incapable of seeking truth and goodness has no objective reasons or motives for acting save those imposed by its fleeting and contingent interests; it does not have an “identity” to safeguard and build up through truly free and conscious decisions. As a result, it cannot demand respect from other “wills”, which are themselves detached from their own deepest being and thus capable of imposing other “reasons” or, for that matter, no “reason” at all. The illusion that moral relativism provides the key for peaceful coexistence is actually the origin of divisions and the denial of the dignity of human beings. Hence we can see the need for recognition of a twofold dimension within the unity of the human person: a religious dimension and a social dimension. In this regard, “it is inconceivable that believers should have to suppress a part of themselves – their faith – in order to be active citizens. It should never be necessary to deny God in order to enjoy one’s rights”.
The family, the school of freedom and peace
4. If religious freedom is the path to peace, religious education is the highway which leads new generations to see others as their brothers and sisters, with whom they are called to journey and work together so that all will feel that they are living members of the one human family, from which no one is to be excluded.
The family founded on marriage, as the expression of the close union and complementarity between a man and a woman, finds its place here as the first school for the social, cultural, moral and spiritual formation and growth of children, who should always be able to see in their father and mother the first witnesses of a life directed to the pursuit of truth and the love of God. Parents must be always free to transmit to their children, responsibly and without constraints, their heritage of faith, values and culture. The family, the first cell of human society, remains the primary training ground for harmonious relations at every level of coexistence, human, national and international. Wisdom suggests that this is the road to building a strong and fraternal social fabric, in which young people can be prepared to assume their proper responsibilities in life, in a free society, and in a spirit of understanding and peace.
A common patrimony
5. It could be said that among the fundamental rights and freedoms rooted in the dignity of the person, religious freedom enjoys a special status. When religious freedom is acknowledged, the dignity of the human person is respected at its root, and the ethos and institutions of peoples are strengthened. On the other hand, whenever religious freedom is denied, and attempts are made to hinder people from professing their religion or faith and living accordingly, human dignity is offended, with a resulting threat to justice and peace, which are grounded in that right social order established in the light of Supreme Truth and Supreme Goodness.
Religious freedom is, in this sense, also an achievement of a sound political and juridical culture. It is an essential good: each person must be able freely to exercise the right to profess and manifest, individually or in community, his or her own religion or faith, in public and in private, in teaching, in practice, in publications, in worship and in ritual observances. There should be no obstacles should he or she eventually wish to belong to another religion or profess none at all. In this context, international law is a model and an essential point of reference for states, insofar as it allows no derogation from religious freedom, as long as the just requirements of public order are observed. The international order thus recognizes that rights of a religious nature have the same status as the right to life and to personal freedom, as proof of the fact that they belong to the essential core of human rights, to those universal and natural rights which human law can never deny.
Religious freedom is not the exclusive patrimony of believers, but of the whole family of the earth’s peoples. It is an essential element of a constitutional state; it cannot be denied without at the same time encroaching on all fundamental rights and freedoms, since it is their synthesis and keystone. It is “the litmus test for the respect of all the other human rights”. While it favours the exercise of our most specifically human faculties, it creates the necessary premises for the attainment of an integral development which concerns the whole of the person in every single dimension.
The public dimension of religion
6. Religious freedom, like every freedom, proceeds from the personal sphere and is achieved in relationship with others. Freedom without relationship is not full freedom. Religious freedom is not limited to the individual dimension alone, but is attained within one’s community and in society, in a way consistent with the relational being of the person and the public nature of religion.
Relationship is a decisive component in religious freedom, which impels the community of believers to practise solidarity for the common good. In this communitarian dimension, each person remains unique and unrepeatable, while at the same time finding completion and full realization.
The contribution of religious communities to society is undeniable. Numerous charitable and cultural institutions testify to the constructive role played by believers in the life of society. More important still is religion’s ethical contribution in the political sphere. Religion should not be marginalized or prohibited, but seen as making an effective contribution to the promotion of the common good. In this context mention should be made of the religious dimension of culture, built up over centuries thanks to the social and especially ethical contributions of religion. This dimension is in no way discriminatory towards those who do not share its beliefs, but instead reinforces social cohesion, integration and solidarity.
Religious freedom, a force for freedom and civilization: dangers arising from its exploitation
7. The exploitation of religious freedom to disguise hidden interests, such as the subversion of the established order, the hoarding of resources or the grip on power of a single group, can cause enormous harm to societies. Fanaticism, fundamentalism and practices contrary to human dignity can never be justified, even less so in the name of religion. The profession of a religion cannot be exploited or imposed by force. States and the various human communities must never forget that religious freedom is the condition for the pursuit of truth, and truth does not impose itself by violence but “by the force of its own truth”. In this sense, religion is a positive driving force for the building of civil and political society.
How can anyone deny the contribution of the world’s great religions to the development of civilization? The sincere search for God has led to greater respect for human dignity. Christian communities, with their patrimony of values and principles, have contributed much to making individuals and peoples aware of their identity and their dignity, the establishment of democratic institutions and the recognition of human rights and their corresponding duties.
Today too, in an increasingly globalized society, Christians are called, not only through their responsible involvement in civic, economic and political life but also through the witness of their charity and faith, to offer a valuable contribution to the laborious and stimulating pursuit of justice, integral human development and the right ordering of human affairs. The exclusion of religion from public life deprives the latter of a dimension open to transcendence. Without this fundamental experience it becomes difficult to guide societies towards universal ethical principles and to establish at the national and international level a legal order which fully recognizes and respects fundamental rights and freedoms as these are set forth in the goals – sadly still disregarded or contradicted – of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
An issue of justice and civility:fundamentalism and hostility to believerscompromise the positive secularity of states
8. The same determination that condemns every form of fanaticism and religious fundamentalism must also oppose every form of hostility to religion that would restrict the public role of believers in civil and political life.
It should be clear that religious fundamentalism and secularism are alike in that both represent extreme forms of a rejection of legitimate pluralism and the principle of secularity. Both absolutize a reductive and partial vision of the human person, favouring in the one case forms of religious integralism and, in the other, of rationalism. A society that would violently impose or, on the contrary, reject religion is not only unjust to individuals and to God, but also to itself. God beckons humanity with a loving plan that, while engaging the whole person in his or her natural and spiritual dimensions, calls for a free and responsible answer which engages the whole heart and being, individual and communitarian. Society too, as an expression of the person and of all his or her constitutive dimensions, must live and organize itself in a way that favours openness to transcendence. Precisely for this reason, the laws and institutions of a society cannot be shaped in such a way as to ignore the religious dimension of its citizens or to prescind completely from it. Through the democratic activity of citizens conscious of their lofty calling, those laws and institutions must adequately reflect the authentic nature of the person and support its religious dimension. Since the latter is not a creation of the state, it cannot be manipulated by the state, but must rather be acknowledged and respected by it.
Whenever the legal system at any level, national or international, allows or tolerates religious or antireligious fanaticism, it fails in its mission, which is to protect and promote justice and the rights of all. These matters cannot be left to the discretion of the legislator or the majority since, as Cicero once pointed out, justice is something more than a mere act which produces and applies law. It entails acknowledging the dignity of each person which, unless religious freedom is guaranteed and lived in its essence, ends up being curtailed and offended, exposed to the risk of falling under the sway of idols, of relative goods which then become absolute. All this exposes society to the risk of forms of political and ideological totalitarianism which emphasize public power while demeaning and restricting freedom of conscience, thought and religion as potential competitors.
Dialogue between civil and religious institutions
9. The patrimony of principles and values expressed by an authentic religiosity is a source of enrichment for peoples and their ethos. It speaks directly to the conscience and mind of men and women, it recalls the need for moral conversion, and it encourages the practice of the virtues and a loving approach to others as brothers and sisters, as members of the larger human family.
With due respect for the positive secularity of state institutions, the public dimension of religion must always be acknowledged. A healthy dialogue between civil and religious institutions is fundamental for the integral development of the human person and social harmony.
Living in love and in truth
10. In a globalized world marked by increasingly multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies, the great religions can serve as an important factor of unity and peace for the human family. On the basis of their religious convictions and their reasoned pursuit of the common good, their followers are called to give responsible expression to their commitment within a context of religious freedom. Amid the variety of religious cultures, there is a need to value those elements which foster civil coexistence, while rejecting whatever is contrary to the dignity of men and women.
The public space which the international community makes available for the religions and their proposal of what constitutes a “good life” helps to create a measure of agreement about truth and goodness, and a moral consensus; both of these are fundamental to a just and peaceful coexistence. The leaders of the great religions, thanks to their position, their influence and their authority in their respective communities, are the first ones called to mutual respect and dialogue.
Christians, for their part, are spurred by their faith in God, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, to live as brothers and sisters who encounter one another in the Church and work together in building a world where individuals and peoples “shall not hurt or destroy … for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Is 11:9).
Dialogue as a shared pursuit
11. For the Church, dialogue between the followers of the different religions represents an important means of cooperating with all religious communities for the common good. The Church herself rejects nothing of what is true and holy in the various religions. “She has a high regard for those ways of life and conduct, precepts and doctrines which, although differing in many ways from her own teaching, nevertheless often reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens all men and women”.
The path to take is not the way of relativism or religious syncretism. The Church, in fact, “proclaims, and is in duty bound to proclaim without fail, Christ who is the way, the truth and the life (Jn 14:6); in Christ, in whom God reconciled all things to himself, people find the fullness of the religious life”. Yet this in no way excludes dialogue and the common pursuit of truth in different areas of life, since, as Saint Thomas Aquinas would say, “every truth, whoever utters it, comes from the Holy Spirit”.
The year 2011 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Peace convened in Assisi in 1986 by Pope John Paul II. On that occasion the leaders of the great world religions testified to the fact that religion is a factor of union and peace, and not of division and conflict. The memory of that experience gives reason to hope for a future in which all believers will see themselves, and will actually be, agents of justice and peace.
Moral truth in politics and diplomacy
12. Politics and diplomacy should look to the moral and spiritual patrimony offered by the great religions of the world in order to acknowledge and affirm universal truths, principles and values which cannot be denied without denying the dignity of the human person. But what does it mean, in practical terms, to promote moral truth in the world of politics and diplomacy? It means acting in a responsible way on the basis of an objective and integral knowledge of the facts; it means deconstructing political ideologies which end up supplanting truth and human dignity in order to promote pseudo-values under the pretext of peace, development and human rights; it means fostering an unswerving commitment to base positive law on the principles of the natural law. All this is necessary and consistent with the respect for the dignity and worth of the human person enshrined by the world’s peoples in the 1945 Charter of the United Nations, which presents universal values and moral principles as a point of reference for the norms, institutions and systems governing coexistence on the national and international levels.
Beyond hatred and prejudice
13. Despite the lessons of history and the efforts of states, international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations and the many men and women of good will who daily work to protect fundamental rights and freedoms, today’s world also witnesses cases of persecution, discrimination, acts of violence and intolerance based on religion. In a particular way, in Asia and in Africa, the chief victims are the members of religious minorities, who are prevented from freely professing or changing their religion by forms of intimidation and the violation of their rights, basic freedoms and essential goods, including the loss of personal freedom and life itself.
There also exist – as I have said – more sophisticated forms of hostility to religion which, in Western countries, occasionally find expression in a denial of history and the rejection of religious symbols which reflect the identity and the culture of the majority of citizens. Often these forms of hostility also foster hatred and prejudice; they are inconsistent with a serene and balanced vision of pluralism and the secularity of institutions, to say nothing of the fact that coming generations risk losing contact with the priceless spiritual heritage of their countries.
Religion is defended by defending the rights and freedoms of religious communities. The leaders of the great world religions and the leaders of nations should therefore renew their commitment to promoting and protecting religious freedom, and in particular to defending religious minorities; these do not represent a threat to the identity of the majority but rather an opportunity for dialogue and mutual cultural enrichment. Defending them is the ideal way to consolidate the spirit of good will, openness and reciprocity which can ensure the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms in all areas and regions of the world.
Religious freedom in the world
14. Finally I wish to say a word to the Christian communities suffering from persecution, discrimination, violence and intolerance, particularly in Asia, in Africa, in the Middle East and especially in the Holy Land, a place chosen and blessed by God. I assure them once more of my paternal affection and prayers, and I ask all those in authority to act promptly to end every injustice against the Christians living in those lands. In the face of present difficulties, may Christ’s followers not lose heart, for witnessing to the Gospel is, and always will be, a sign of contradiction.
Let us take to heart the words of the Lord Jesus: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted … Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied … Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven” (Mt 5:4-12). Then let us renew “the pledge we give to be forgiving and to pardon when we invoke God’s forgiveness in the Our Father. We ourselves lay down the condition and the extent of the mercy we ask for when we say: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us’ (Mt 6:12)”. Violence is not overcome by violence. May our cries of pain always be accompanied by faith, by hope and by the witness of our love of God. I also express my hope that in the West, and especially in Europe, there will be an end to hostility and prejudice against Christians because they are resolved to orient their lives in a way consistent with the values and principles expressed in the Gospel. May Europe rather be reconciled to its own Christian roots, which are fundamental for understanding its past, present and future role in history; in this way it will come to experience justice, concord and peace by cultivating a sincere dialogue with all peoples.
Religious freedom, the path to peace
15. The world needs God. It needs universal, shared ethical and spiritual values, and religion can offer a precious contribution to their pursuit, for the building of a just and peaceful social order at the national and international levels.
Peace is a gift of God and at the same time a task which is never fully completed. A society reconciled with God is closer to peace, which is not the mere absence of war or the result of military or economic supremacy, much less deceptive ploys or clever manipulation. Rather, peace is the result of a process of purification and of cultural, moral and spiritual elevation involving each individual and people, a process in which human dignity is fully respected. I invite all those who wish to be peacemakers, especially the young, to heed the voice speaking within their hearts and thus to find in God the stable point of reference for attaining authentic freedom, the inexhaustible force which can give the world a new direction and spirit, and overcome the mistakes of the past. In the words of Pope Paul VI, to whose wisdom and farsightedness we owe the institution of the World Day of Peace: “It is necessary before all else to provide peace with other weapons – different from those destined to kill and exterminate mankind. What are needed above all are moral weapons, those which give strength and prestige to international law – the weapon, in the first place, of the observance of pacts”. Religious freedom is an authentic weapon of peace, with an historical and prophetic mission. Peace brings to full fruition the deepest qualities and potentials of the human person, the qualities which can change the world and make it better. It gives hope for a future of justice and peace, even in the face of grave injustice and material and moral poverty. May all men and women, and societies at every level and in every part of the earth, soon be able to experience religious freedom, the path to peace!
From the Vatican, 8 December 2010
BENEDICTUS PP XVI
 Cf. BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, 29, 55-57.
 Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Declaration on Religious Freedom Dignitatis Humanae, 2.
 Cf. BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, 78.
 Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions Nostra Aetate, 1.
 ID., Declaration on Religious Freedom Dignitatis Humanae, 7.
 BENEDICT XVI, Address to the General Assembly of the United Nations (18 April 2008): AAS 100 (2008), 337.
 Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Declaration on Religious Freedom Dignitatis Humanae, 2.
 JOHN PAUL II, Address to Participants in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) (10 October 2003), 1: AAS 96 (2004), 111.
 Cf. BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, 11.
 Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Declaration on Religious Freedom Dignitatis Humanae, 1.
 Cf. CICERO, De Inventione, II, 160.
 Cf. BENEDICT XVI, Address to Representatives of Other Religions in the United Kingdom (17 September 2010): L’Osservatore Romano (18 September 2010), p. 12.
 Cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions Nostra Aetate, 2.
 Super Evangelium Joannis, I, 3.
 Cf. BENEDICT XVI, Address to Civil Authorities and the Diplomatic Corps in Cyprus (4 June 2010): L’Osservatore Romano (6 June 2010), p. 8; INTERNATIONAL THEOLOGICAL COMMISSION, The Search for Universal Ethics: A New Look at Natural Law, Vatican City, 2009.
 PAUL VI, Message for the 1976 World Day of Peace: AAS 67 (1975), 671.
 Ibid., p. 668.
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Pope BENEDICT XVI is a great man. He is a man of peace and justice. Muslims who would persecute Christians or oppress them are idiots and ciminlas. For Muslims to stand strong and liberate their lands or remove aggression, opprssion, corruption and injustices is a duty to their religion. Pope John the second literally brought communism down. He stood with his natives of Poland and the solidarity movement which could be crushed and killed by communism. He inspired them to stand strong. They stood up and after them most people in eastern Europe.
John Paul II has been acclaimed as one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century. It is widely held that he was instrumental in ending Communism in his native Poland and eventually all of Europe as well as significantly improving the Catholic Church's relations with Judaism, Islam, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion.