Friday, September 30, 2011

The limits of empathy


September 29, 2011
The Limits of Empathy

We are surrounded by people trying to make the world a better place. Peace activists bring enemies together so they can get to know one another and feel each other’s pain. School leaders try to attract a diverse set of students so each can understand what it’s like to walk in the others’ shoes. Religious and community groups try to cultivate empathy.

As Steven Pinker writes in his mind-altering new book, “The Better Angels of Our Nature,” we are living in the middle of an “empathy craze.” There are shelfloads of books about it: “The Age of Empathy,” “The Empathy Gap,” “The Empathic Civilization,” “Teaching Empathy.” There’s even a brain theory that we have mirror neurons in our heads that enable us to feel what’s in other people’s heads and that these neurons lead to sympathetic care and moral action.
There’s a lot of truth to all this. We do have mirror neurons in our heads. People who are empathetic are more sensitive to the perspectives and sufferings of others. They are more likely to make compassionate moral judgments.

The problem comes when we try to turn feeling into action. Empathy makes you more aware of other people’s suffering, but it’s not clear it actually motivates you to take moral action or prevents you from taking immoral action.

In the early days of the Holocaust, Nazi prison guards sometimes wept as they mowed down Jewish women and children, but they still did it. Subjects in the famous Milgram experiments felt anguish as they appeared to administer electric shocks to other research subjects, but they pressed on because some guy in a lab coat told them to.

Empathy orients you toward moral action, but it doesn’t seem to help much when that action comes at a personal cost. You may feel a pang for the homeless guy on the other side of the street, but the odds are that you are not going to cross the street to give him a dollar.
There have been piles of studies investigating the link between empathy and moral action. Different scholars come to different conclusions, but, in a recent paper, Jesse Prinz, a philosopher at City University of New York, summarized the research this way: “These studies suggest that empathy is not a major player when it comes to moral motivation. Its contribution is negligible in children, modest in adults, and nonexistent when costs are significant.” Other scholars have called empathy a “fragile flower,” easily crushed by self-concern.

Some influences, which we think of as trivial, are much stronger — such as a temporary burst of positive emotion. In one experiment in the 1970s, researchers planted a dime in a phone booth. Eighty-seven percent of the people who found the dime offered to help a person who dropped some papers nearby, compared with only 4 percent who didn’t find a dime. Empathy doesn’t produce anything like this kind of effect.

Moreover, Prinz argues, empathy often leads people astray. It influences people to care more about cute victims than ugly victims. It leads to nepotism. It subverts justice; juries give lighter sentences to defendants that show sadness. It leads us to react to shocking incidents, like a hurricane, but not longstanding conditions, like global hunger or preventable diseases.
Nobody is against empathy. Nonetheless, it’s insufficient. These days empathy has become a shortcut. It has become a way to experience delicious moral emotions without confronting the weaknesses in our nature that prevent us from actually acting upon them. It has become a way to experience the illusion of moral progress without having to do the nasty work of making moral judgments. In a culture that is inarticulate about moral categories and touchy about giving offense, teaching empathy is a safe way for schools and other institutions to seem virtuous without risking controversy or hurting anybody’s feelings.

People who actually perform pro-social action don’t only feel for those who are suffering, they feel compelled to act by a sense of duty. Their lives are structured by sacred codes.

Think of anybody you admire. They probably have some talent for fellow-feeling, but it is overshadowed by their sense of obligation to some religious, military, social or philosophic code. They would feel a sense of shame or guilt if they didn’t live up to the code. The code tells them when they deserve public admiration or dishonor. The code helps them evaluate other people’s feelings, not just share them. The code tells them that an adulterer or a drug dealer may feel ecstatic, but the proper response is still contempt.

The code isn’t just a set of rules. It’s a source of identity. It’s pursued with joy. It arouses the strongest emotions and attachments. Empathy is a sideshow. If you want to make the world a better place, help people debate, understand, reform, revere and enact their codes. Accept that codes conflict.

Blogger comment:
Empathy from the wikipedia: Alvin Goldman: "The ability to put oneself into the mental shoes of another person to understand her emotions and feelings."[13]
William Ickes: A complex form of psychological inference in which observation, memory, knowledge, and reasoning are combined to yield insights into the thoughts and feelings of others.[citation needed]

Islam is the religion of empathy. The governing in Islam depends in empathy you know as government what the people lack in their communities roads, schools, hospitals and so. The government does the main things but through its empathy it know how to direct the free capitalism in achieving these projects. Omar Ben AL Katab Khalifa had the empathy to be sure that non-Muslims are dealt well he was caring much to be sure people are happy even in the worst times. As a governor you need a lot of talents but empathy will be the main emotion behind your successful achievements of governments it will make your other talents used in a right way. The people will feel that someone really care that he is not doing his work out of duty but something more deep in this person. He wanted really to see for us what he would have liked to see done to his family, he is empathetic. When we were young we would like to do something nice like walk a child or elderly across the street as we grow older some of us did not feel that anymore others like to do it in large scale to be empathetic governor or official that help to improve people lives. Less empathetic politicians are more practical capitalistic guys look for personal results in more profit or higher post.

The Saudi Tyrant try to Contain the Revolutions

اتصالات مكثفة لضم مصر لمجلس التعاون الخليجى
الجمعة, 30 سبتمبر 2011 - 04:57 am عدد الزيارات: 210 Tweet1

كشفت مصادر خليجية عن اتصالات ومشاورات تجريها دول مجلس التعاون الخليجى حول إمكانية انضمام مصر إلى المجلس كعضو فاعل على غرار كل من الأردن والمغرب.
وأشارت المصادر - فى تصريح لصحيفة (الوطن) الكويتية إلى أن هناك دولا خليجية بعينها تتحمس لذلك إنطلاقا من قناعتها بأن مصر وبما تملكه من إمكانات وما يربطها من علاقات استراتيجية مع دول مجلس التعاون، وكذلك الارتباط التاريخى لأمنها مع أمن الخليج، قادرة على المساهمة إلى حد بعيد فى حفظ الأمن والاستقرار بالمنطقة.
وأوضحت أن المتحمسين لفكرة انضمام مصر للمجلس يرون أن مصر هى الأقرب للتعاون مع دول الخليجى فى ظل المصالح المشتركة بعد خطوة دعوة الأردن والمغرب، وتجربة مشاركة اليمن فى عدد من المؤسسات الخليجية..ويؤكدون أن الحاجة والظروف الحالية زادت من أهمية الدور المصرى فى المستوى العربى عموما، والخليجى بصورة خاصة بعد التغيير فى العراق والتدخل الإيرانى السافر فى شئونه، على حد قولها.
وأشارت المصادر إلى أن المشاورات المبدئية أظهرت ترحيبا مبدئيا من جانب القاهرة بالوجود فى إطار مجموعة مجلس التعاون الخليجى فى أية صيغة للتعاون الاقتصادى والأمنى والثقافى وغيره من مجالات التعاون انطلاقا من القناعة المصرية بأهمية تفعيل العمل العربى المشترك على كافة المستويات الثنائية والجماعية وأن ذلك يصب فى المصلحة العربية العليا بشكل عام.

التعليقات د/ يسري
الجمعة, 30 سبتمبر 2011 - 07:01 am من المفوض عن الكلام باسم مصر؟
ترحيب مبدئي مين ده؟ اذا كان وزير خارجية مصر نفى هذه الأخبار ولم يتلق اتصال رسمي ولا حتى شفوي بهذا المعنى فمن قال ان مصر ترحب بهذه الخطوة؟

سلام الشاعر
الجمعة, 30 سبتمبر 2011 - 03:32 am بدلة مدنية لا عسكريه
نريد أن نعيش كشعب ببدلة مدنية لنطور بلدنا بالفكر والحرية وليس ببدلة مدنية المظهر عسكرية الجوهر لحماية الشيطان الأكبر من الصهيونية الأمريكية الارهابية نموت ونحيا أحرارا ولا للذل بحكم الختيار من العسكر بلا خليخ ولا بني صهيون مصر عربية اسلامية

Blogger comment:
The Saudi tyrant who is the prime enemy of Islam and Al Mahdi will try to stop the revolutions so it does not come to him in Saudi and Al Gulf. These people are crocks, remember when Sadat and Egypt were fighting Israel and at and after 1973 war the oil prices went high and they make a lot of money because of Egyptians Egypt would not have any of the piece of cake except for few. We spent money and lives for war and when Sadat had peace they went against him and described us as the traitor. We knew very well that they were America number one friend and it is all a theater act. Sadat despised them until he died and he was right. The guy who killed him is not really a hero and really do not know anything about politics. The Wicked Saudi tyrant and his family who played poker in the west know very well all the tricks, they hired their scholars to present them as the protector of the two Musjed and in fact they are the protector of their millions and their throne. Now they want to hijack the Egyptian revolution by get us in their council so we protect them against Iran and to have the revolutions stop before it reach their borders. Just to let the people know the Saudi tyrants are even controlling America, read to the liberals in America how the Saudi would affect the American politics and how they hired some of their politicians and how they had very close interests with the Bush Dynasty. There is nothing to do with religion in this corrupted world but about people that are using religion to advance their profits and interests. Bush used war against evil to appease his close friend King Abd Allah and to go for the oil so he went to iraq. The Saudi corrupt family are the one who made Saddam and destroyed him. It is all about how to stay in power and protect the money they stole from the Saudi people. One of the jokes is the Saudi tyrant regime are applying cut of hand or on hand in people who steal few hundreds of Dollars while themselves stole Billions of dollars. Do you really want you to know that I am Al Mahdi Al Muntazer. Muslims should not be an agent of wars and should not fight wars to protect the Saudi and should not listen to rohatric of some leaders in the area. Muslims should attain their liberity self governing and prosperity. Every country should elect their own leaders and all in should have say in its future. The tyrant Mubarak used to tell us I am giving you democracy with spoon while he was giving his children corrupted money with barrels.

To the Syrians if the Revolution to fail you will live very oppressive lives for decades

11 قتيلا بجمعة النصر في سوريا
من مظاهرات عقب صلاة الجمعة بدرعا أفادت الهيئة العامة للثورة السورية بأن 11 على الأقل قتلوا اليوم وجرح 40 برصاص الأمن السوري في "جمعة النصر لشامنا ويمننا"، وهي الجمعة التي عمت فيها المظاهرات أغلب المدن السورية ونادت بالحماية الدولية.
فقد خرجت مظاهرات حاشدة في درعا ودير الزور والقامشلي وعدد من أحياء دمشق وأدلب، ورفع المتظاهرون لافتات تطالب بحظر الطيران وهتفوا للرستن ومدن سوريا المحاصرة ونادوا بإسقاط النظام.
وخرجت مظاهرات بعد صلاة الجمعة في عدة أحياء من حمص منها حي الشماس وحي الإنشاءات وجب الجندلي وباب هود، وكلها تطالب بإسقاط النظام ورحيله وبحماية دولية.
وفي مظاهرة مشتركة بين سكان حيي المزة وكفر سوسة بدمشق طالب المتظاهرون بنصرة المدن السورية التي تتعرض للعنف من قبل النظام.

أغلب المدن السورية شهدت اليوم مظاهرات مطالبة برحيل النظام حصار المساجدوذكر ناشط لوكالة الأنباء الألمانية أن القوات السورية حاصرت المساجد في مدينة اللاذقية الساحلية لمنع المصلين من الخروج في مسيرات احتجاجية طلبا للحرية.
ونشرت على الإنترنت صور لمظاهرة في حلفايا بحماة هتف المتظاهرون فيها بإسقاط النظام.
وفي وقت سابق بث ناشطون سوريون على الإنترنت صورا، قالوا إنها لمظاهرة انطلقت صباح اليوم الجمعة في مدينة دوما بريف دمشق.
كما قال ناشطون إن الأمن السوري أطلق النار على المتظاهرين في معضمية الشام ونفذ حملة دهم واعتقالات، وأضافوا أن جرحى سقطوا في إطلاق نار على مظاهرة في معرة النعمان بإدلب.
وأكدت لجان التنسيق المحلية سقوط قتيل برصاص الأمن السوري وإطلاق نار كثيفا بكفر زيتا في حماة، كما قال المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان إن أكثر من ثلاثة قتلى وجرحى سقطوا في حي الحميدية بالمدينة نفسها.
وأضافت اللجان أن دبابات دخلت إلى مدينة القورية بدير الزور، وأن القناصة انتشروا على الأسطح، وأفاد المرصد السوري بإصابة 32 جنديا سوريا في اشتباكات مع منشقين في محيط تلبيسة.
وأفاد ناشطون بانطلاق مظاهرة تنادي بالحرية من أمام مسجد الجامع الكبير في عامودا بريف دمشق، وأخرى أمام مسجد قاسمو في القامشلي.

الجيش السوري استخدم دباباته وآلياته ضد المدنيينعملية الرستنوقال ناشطون إن طائرات حربية سورية أغارت على مدينة الرستن بمحافظة حمص فهدمت عدة منازل، وأضافوا أن سبعة أشخاص على الأقل قتلوا أمس بينهم طفل وفتاة أثناء عمليات للجيش في محافظتي حمص وإدلب، كما أصيب عدد آخر بينهم أطفال ونساء في قصف مدفعي على تلبيسة.
وتتعرض بلدة الرستن بمحافظة حمص شمال العاصمة دمشق إلى هجوم شامل من قوات الأمن السورية، بهدف استعادة السيطرة على المنطقة من جنود منشقين عن الجيش السوري.
وفي اتصال سابق مع الجزيرة، قال أحد الضباط المنشقين عن الجيش السوري ويدعى محمد تيسير يونسو، إن مدينة الرستن "تتعرض لحرب شاملة" تستخدم فيها المدفعية الثقيلة والطيران الحربي.
وأفاد المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان أن ضابطا برتبة عميد هو برهان حميش اغتيل الليلة أمام منزله بعد رفضه الخروج إلى منطقة الرستن عند توجيه أوامر له بذلك.

جنديان قالت الحكومة السورية إن "مسلحين" قتلوهما (رويترز)قتلى جنودفي المقابل ذكرت وكالة الأنباء السورية أن سبعة جنود قتلوا وجرح 32 من بينهم سبعة ضباط في عملية عسكرية ضد من وصفتهم بالإرهابيين في الرستن.
إلى ذلك عبرت لجنة التحقيق الدولية بشأن الانتهاكات المرتكبة في سوريا اليوم الجمعة عن رغبتها بالقيام بتحقيقاتها في سوريا، لكنها أقرت في الوقت نفسه بأنها لم تحصل بعد على ترخيص من السلطات السورية للقيام بذلك.
وصرح رئيس اللجنة البرازيلي باولو بينيرو في مؤتمر صحفي "نأمل بتعاون السلطات السورية، وبأن تسمح لنا بلقاء مختلف المسؤولين وزيارة أماكن عدة" من البلاد.
وكان مجلس حقوق الإنسان التابع للأمم المتحدة قد أعطى تفويضا للجنة التحقيق الدولية المستقلة بالتحقيق في انتهاكات حقوق الإنسان في سوريا خلال جلسة استثنائية في 23 أغسطس/آب الماضي.
يجدر بالذكر أن ناشطين في الثورتين السورية واليمنية اتفقوا على أن يجعلوا عنوان هذه الجمعة واحدا في كلا البلدين، مستلهمين هذا الاسم من دعاء النبي عليه السلام: (اللهم بارك لنا في شامنا، اللهم بارك لنا في يمننا)، في إشارة منهم إلى وحدة الطموح العربي بالتحرر، ومشروعية وعدالة قضاياهم التي ثاروا لأجلها.
وتشهد سوريا منذ منتصف مارس/آذار حركة احتجاجية غير مسبوقة ضد نظام الرئيس بشار الأسد، وقد أسفر التدخل الأمني ضد هذه الاحتجاجات عن أكثر من 2700 قتيل بحسب الأمم المتحدة.
جرّبوا الصواريخ
النظام السوري يقول بأنّه لم يستخدم القوّة إلاّ عشرة بالمئة .. إي والله فاجأتوا العدو بقدراتكم .. ويطلب منكم أن تجرّبوا صواريخ شهاب ١ و٢و ٣ بضرب المدن السورية ليعرف مدى دقّتها وقدرتها .
الأعداد تتزايد مع الأيام
المظاهرات بديت في درعا ثم إنتشرت في كلّ أنحاء سورية ورغم البطش والعنف والقتل فأعداد المطالبين بالحرية تزداد يوماً بعد يوم .. ساعة النصر آتية .. لا جبروت على خلقا الله من بعد اليوم .
ماجد عانم
نداء الى ادارة الجزيرة والطاقم العامل فيها...لقد كان للجزيرة صدى طيب في نفوس المشاهدين للقناة.وشعروا في وقت من الاوقات ان الجزيرة تتفاعل مع المواطن العربي...نرجوا من الادارة الجديدة المحافظة على مصداقية القناة وان لاتهدم مابنته القناة خلال سنين...المشاهد اليوم اصبح يعي تماما ما يجري وما يقال وكيف يقال...فقيوة القناة بمصداقيتها عند جمهورها فلتكن الجزيرة مع النخبة من الصادقين لامع الشبيحة منهم...ولكم الشكر
دمشق - دوما
بالنسبة لخبر العبوة الناسفة بدوما،ساحة البلدية خاضعة لاحتلال حقيقي منذشهورولم تجرؤ أي مظاهرة على الإقتراب منها ، لا بل تحولت البلدية إلى مقر إقامةلعناصر الأمن، ومن يمر من هناك يعلم استحالة قيام أحد غير عناصر الأمن برمي حتى ورقة محارم عدا عن زرع عبوة ناسفة، ثم كيف تصادف وجود كاميرا التلفزيون السوري مع عملية العثور على العبوة وتفكيكها؟؟ الحادثة رسالة واضحة من النظام بأنه سيقوم في المرحلة اللاحقة فعلاً بافتعال تفجيرات
Manchester .UK
يقتلون الجنود اللذين يرفضون اطلاق النار على المتظاهرين ويقولون انهم استشهدوا على يد العصابات المسلحة....ولكن السؤال من هم العصابات المسلحة؟
مااخدبالقوةلايردالابالقوةاصبرووصابروورابطولعلكم تفلحون.نعم انامع قول الله ورابطو هداالنظام لايدهب الابالقوة
سيف عبد الله نصير
من صنعاء إلى عدن.. كلنا نفدي الرستن.. إصبروا وصابروا أحرار سوريا فإننا والله معكم وإنكم (وَلاَ تَهِنُواْ فِي ابْتِغَاء الْقَوْمِ إِن تَكُونُواْ تَأْلَمُونَ فَإِنَّهُمْ يَأْلَمُونَ كَمَا تَأْلَمونَ وَتَرْجُونَ مِنَ اللّهِ مَا لاَ يَرْجُونَ وَكَانَ اللّهُ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً) [النساء: 104]
تامر نصر
القاهره - مصر
النصر لشامنا ويمننا بأذن الله كما قال اردغان, يمكن ان يستغرق وقت اطول, ولكن الثوارت العربيه سوف تنصر علي الدبابات والطائرات والعائلات والشبيحه والمرتزقه... لا استعباد بعد اليوم!!!
خطبة أبو بكر الصديق عند توليه الخلافة (11 هجرية
أما بعد أيها الناس فإني قد وليت عليكم ولست بخيركم، فإن أحسنت فأعينوني، وإن أسأت فقوموني، الصدق أمانة، والكذب خيانة، والضعيف فيكم قوي عندي حتى أريح عليه حقه إن شاء الله، والقوى فيكم ضعيف حتى آخذ الحق منه إن شاء الله، لا يدع قوم الجهاد في سبيل الله إلا ضربهم الله بالذل، ولا تشيع الفاحشة في قوم قط إلا عمهم الله بالبلاء، أطيعوني ما أطعت الله ورسوله، فإذا عصيت الله ورسوله فلا طاعة لي عليكم. فما احلاها من خروج
عبد الحميد الحلبي
حلبي اصيل
يعني الشي اللي بيحرق قلب كل شخص سوري انو دخل الطيران الاسرائيلي بشار ما حرك طيارة و على اهل الرستن الشرفاء استيقظت الطيارات المصدية من اكثر 35 عام في الهنغارات فجاءة و راحت تقصف اهلنا و الدبابات بالمثل ... بس لانو انا (حلبي قح) اشعر بالخزي ..الى كل حلبي شريف هبوا الى الثورة و كفى تخاذل ..ان تصل متاخر خيرا من ان لاتصل .مصير سوريا واقف على صحوة ضميركم..كلنا سوريين ومن طائفة وحدة والوطن للكل ..صامتون مشان كم وعد وعدكم ياه بشار ..هي منع الاستيراد ومدري الله العليم البكرا اذا فشلت الثورة شوبدي يصير
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Blogger comment:
It is clear that America disgust the Syrian regime not mainly because of being oppressive but close allay to the Iranian regime that is Anti-west and Anti-Israel. For us if their interests are like ours to bring down this regime let it be we have a common cause. Let us bring down the tyrant of Syria and their corrupt regime. To the Iranian people the seuclar Syrian tyrant has nothing to do with you he is not pro-you or anti-you but for a group of corrupted oppressive people. What in hell this has to do anything with the Iranian people and Islam.

In uphill effort, Muslims seek Israeli converts

In uphill effort, Muslims seek Israeli converts

By: Diaa Hadid and Matti Friedman
Seattle Post-Intelligencer* -

In this Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011 photo, a Muslim missionary approaches a passer by with a pamphlet about Islam outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City. In an unprecedented endeavor, a small number of Muslim believers are crossing the Holy Land's volatile boundaries of culture, faith and politics to bring Islam to their Jewish neighbors and adversaries, hoping, improbably, that some will be willing to renounce their religion for a new one. There are no signs that the endeavor has met with any success. But the act of spreading Islam in Hebrew is profound, reflecting a striking confidence on the part of some Muslims, members of Israel's one-fifth strong Arab minority, who are intimately familiar with its people, laws and language. Photo: AP
In an unprecedented endeavor, a few Muslim believers are crossing the Holy Land's volatile boundaries of culture, faith and politics to bring Islam to Israel's Jews - hoping, improbably, that some will be willing to renounce their religion for a new one.The bearded men approach Jews in and around the Old City of Jerusalem and try, in polite and fluent Hebrew, to convert them."I must tell you about the true faith," said one missionary in a cobblestone plaza outside Jerusalem's Old City. He carried a knapsack full of pamphlets about Islam in several languages, including Hebrew. "You can do with it what you want. But telling you is our duty."Most people, he said, brush him off and keep walking.A computer programmer educated at an Israeli college, he sported a scraggly beard, loose pants and a long shirt typical of the purist Muslims known as Salafis. He gave his name only as Abu Hassan.There are no signs the endeavor has met with any success. Only about a dozen Muslims are involved. Most of the handful of Jews who convert do so to marry Muslim men, rather than from proselytizing. Still, the act of spreading Islam in Hebrew is profound, reflecting a striking confidence on the part of some Muslims, members of Israel's Arab minority.It also reflects the influence of conservative Islamic trends that emphasize spreading the religion, transmitted through web forums and satellite channels from Europe, Asia and the Middle East.Abu Hassan said that in years of conflict with Israel, Muslims, embattled and angry, neglected their responsibility to preach their faith to nonbelievers, including Jews."Muslims did not want to talk, and Jews did not want to listen. But Jews also need to hear the truth," he said.Yitzhak Reiter, a professor at the Jerusalem Center for Israel Studies, said he had not seen anything similar in 30 years of studying local Islam. "This is the first time that someone has tried to convert Jews to Islam in the state of Israel," he said.The efforts seem to have attracted no public notice so far. But the missionaries are treading on a potentially explosive taboo. Centuries of persecution and aggressive conversion attempts by Christian and Muslim majorities have made Jews, numbering 13 million people worldwide, deeply hostile to proselytizing. Israeli law places some restrictions on missionary activity, forbidding targeting minors or offering financial incentives, but does not outlaw it altogether.The Holy Land's Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities all hold strong religious, tribal and ethnic bonds and deeply resist conversion. The result is a sort of loose understanding not to push the boundaries.Azzam Khatib, a top Muslim official in Jerusalem, said the efforts to proselytize in Hebrew were not mainstream, but acceptable: "Whoever wants to join, they are welcome - but without any pressure."Four years ago, Abu Hassan said, an Israeli Jew approached him with questions about Islam. At the time, he was distributing Islamic material to foreign tourists around the Old City.Abu Hassan realized there was almost no missionary Muslim literature in Hebrew, so he and a few associates put together a Hebrew booklet. Since then, he said, they have distributed several thousand copies, he said.
Titled "The Path to Happiness," the booklet invites the reader to "think, and take advantage of this invaluable opportunity in which we are trying to take your hand and lead you to the eternal light."The missionaries are wary of revealing personal details, fearing harassment. Somebody has already hacked Abu Hassan's cell phone, changing his voice mail message to a string of Hebrew curses against him and Muhammad, the Muslim prophet.Most of those Abu Hassan engages ignore him, he said. Many are derisive, some verbally abusive. At one point Israeli intelligence agents questioned him about his funding, he said. He told them it came from donations in mosques."People curse me. But I do my job, and this is my job as a Muslim. I must explain gently, and in a nice way, about Allah," he said.He dodged questions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying only that historically the "best times" for Jews came under Islamic rule and suggesting peace would come if Jews accepted Islam.Abu Hassan and his companions are informally linked to a small, three-year-old organization known as the Mercy Committee for New Muslims, founded by Emad Younis, a charismatic, blue-eyed preacher from the north Israel town of Ara.Younis said the committee is not primarily aimed at winning converts. It helps those who do convert adapt to life as Muslims and seeks to explain a moderate version of Islam to non-Muslims, particularly Israeli Jews, by distributing promotional material.The number of converts remains tiny.Israel's Justice Ministry, which registers converts, could not say how many Jews become Muslims. It said 400 and 500 of Israel's nearly 8 million people change their faith every year - many of them Christians joining different Christian sects. Reiter, the professor, said his research suggested about 20 converts a year to Islam, almost all women marrying Muslim men.Younis of the Mercy Committee said most new converts were indeed women married to Muslims, and the majority were originally from the former Soviet Union, part of the 1990s wave of Eastern European immigration to Israel. The newcomers are less susceptible to taboos against intermarriage and conversion.At a recent gathering for new Muslims, 55 converts came with their families - five of them native-born Israeli Jews, all of them women, Younis said.One woman, a 20-year-old, converted in June to marry her Muslim husband."The Muslims greeted me with love I never got from my parents, and the women here say, 'You're one of us now,'" she said, giving only her new Arabic first name, Yasmin.Yasmin lives in the Arab town of Taibeh in central Israel, a short drive from the traditional Jewish home in which she grew up. But she can't go back since her family, too, has disowned her."I have nothing now but my husband and Islam," she said.
Source: Seattle PI (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Blogger comment:
The Dawa is best to be done over the Internet. Street Dawa is quite difficult now. Though it was the main way in the old days where the prophets would walk in the streets and call people to their revelation. It is quite difficult to do it now with everyone in the run everywhere and people are critical of everything. With political conflicts it became even more difficult. Is it impossible, not so and it is likely mass conversion will happen to Islam before the second coming of Jesus (PBUH). The thing is to convert Jews you have to do it with not making them feel pressure, you are not begging them or they feel annoyed. Conversion became like politics quite sensitive issue people do not like to see you weak, oppressive or annoyer, go and figure it. The prophet (PBUH) would pray for God to open the hearts of disbelievers to Islam and many of the people who had their hearts against Islam converted, this is one of the great miracles of Islam.

Greetings from Occupied Wall Street,


Greetings from Occupied Wall Street,
Posted Sept. 30, 2011, 5:06 a.m. EST by

Occupy Wall Street has recently come into the media spotlight, not because of our political message, but because certain high-ranking members of the NYPD punched, threw, and stepped on peaceful marchers. Arrestees were handcuffed so tight their hands turned blue. Many of these people have yet to regain feeling in their extremities. A senior police officer infamously forced women into pens and maced them at point-blank range. While we vehemently condemn these abuses of power, we urge all who read this to remain focused on our intended message. Abuse of power is abuse of power. Whether perpetrated by Wall Street bankers or members of the NYPD, it is the duty of all citizens to oppose injustice. We condemn the actions of unprofessional police who used excessive force in subduing a peaceful march. But we are foremost here to oppose the growing power of the ruling class.

Let us also be clear that, when approached as individuals, members of the NYPD have expressed solidarity with our cause. It has been inspiring to receive this support. Over these thirteen days, we have learned that no one supports corporations’ disproportionate influence in the political sphere. We have learned that no one is in favor of evicting struggling families to the street while banks continue to profit. No one, that is, except the corporations and banks. We urge members of the NYPD to remain in solidarity with our cause. These men and women could lose their pensions and benefits during the next round of budget cuts. We ask that members of the NYPD treat all peaceful human beings with respect and care. This will be a great step towards reclaiming power for the working class. Those who profit off the suffering of others will held accountable. We are the 99%, and we are too big to fail.
Tonight we march to One Police Plaza.

Blogger comment:
Time for the liberals to stand with the masses and not Obama or the elites. He and Bush gave them billions of dollars, as you guessed our money and not that of the Bush dynasty or Obama family. I am willing to stand with the masses in America and offer my Taman Health plan if they would listen to my opinions and arguments. The elites were oppressing me since I was standing against their friends the tyrants of the Middle East and I am standing against the military industrial complex and the medical industrial complex. Time for the revolution in America a peaceful one. The Great American marines, police and firemen are the most to deserve to lead the revolution and stand with the masses. With fraction of money of what the elites have they defend the country and make it safe inside and outside. Their benefits and pensions are disappearing as those of the middle and the lower economic class. If we let the elite govern we will have the wicked Obama or another rich Bush in the white house. Time for revolution and time for large plan to take care of our health and long term care and pensions TAMAN HEATH PLAN.

Time for the good Jews to sand up and lead the revolution like they did over human history.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Al Saida Agda nas stood strong in the revolution

Blogger comment:

in Upper Egypt the Saida stood strong against Mubarak and liberated their country. The Revolution was shared by a lot of groups and all deserve the credits including Falahin, Chrisitans, liberals, islamists..

Bilal Ibn Rabah (part 1 of 2): From Slavery to Freedom


By Aisha Stacey

“I was present.... when Mohammad, the Messenger of God, walked the earth. I heard what he said and saw what he did…” So begins a book based on the life of one of Prophet Muhammad’s closest companions – Bilal Ibn Rabah.
Bilal was a black slave, almost certainly the son of slaves, and is believed to have been from Abyssinia (now known as Ethiopia). Being born into servitude, he probably never expected life to offer him more than hard work, pain and drudgery. However Bilal walked the earth at a very momentous time. He was a slave in the city of Mecca when an illiterate trader began to call the people to worship One God. This man was Muhammad, the Messenger of God and his message was for all of humanity.
When a person is poor or destitute, hungry or afraid, or beaten bruised and broken, a message infused with the concepts of mercy, forgiveness and justice is very appealing. The down trodden were just the sort of people who flocked to the side of Prophet Muhammad, eager to take comfort in his words, and deeds. Bilal, possibly the first African to convert to Islam accepted the message whole heartedly. Life for Bilal was about to get a great deal worse. Like a drowning man holding the rope that will drag him to safety, Bilal clung to the words One God and those words quite literally saved his life.
Bilal heard the message of Muhammad, that God is One, the Almighty, All Merciful but he also heard the words of his owner. Umayya ibn Khalaf, a wealthy Meccan, was worried that his livelihood based around idol worship would be disrupted by Muhammad’s message. He spoke to others also concerned about the changes to the political and religious landscape of Mecca saying, “Muhammad was never a liar, magician, or mad, but we have to describe him this way until we turn away from him those who rush to his religion.”
According to biographer Ibn Ishaq and others[1], Bilal suffered terribly for his immediate acceptance of Muhammad’s message. It is said that he was beaten mercilessly, dragged around the streets and hills of Mecca by his neck, and subjected to long periods without food or water. His owner Umayya ibn Khalaf reportedly, “would bring him out at the hottest part of the day and throw him on his back in the open valley and have a great rock put on his chest; then he would say to him, ‘You will stay here till you die or deny Muhammad and worship al-Lat and al-’Uzza” (pre-Islamic goddesses). Bilal would not renounce Islam, and amidst his suffering he uttered only one word – Ahad (meaning One God)
News of the slave who cried out God is One even in the midst of torture soon reached Prophet Muhammad and his companions. Abu Bakr, Prophet Muhammad’s closest friend and a wealthy trader of equal status to Umaya was sent to investigate. He came upon the open field where Bilal was being tortured for amusement and was confronted with a ghastly scene, yet through his suffering Bilal was crying only Ahad Ahad.[2]
Abu Bakr did not lose his temper, for that was not his way, but he remonstrated with the torturers. He said to Umaya, “Have you no fear of God that you treat this poor man like this?” He replied saying: “You are the one who corrupted him, so you save him from his plight!” Abu Bakr replied: “Then sell him to me, name your price.” Umaya, who was a businessman after all, and sold Bilal for a good price. To humiliate Bilal, he added: “I would have sold him to you even if you had offered me only an ounce of gold.” Abu Bakr answered: “I would have bought him even if you had asked for one hundred ounces.”
Bilal was cared for and nursed back to health. Upon his recovery he was taken to Prophet Muhammad who had the great pleasure of setting Bilal free. The message of Islam is imbued with a sense of justice and we find instances of great rewards offered for freeing slaves. At the time of Prophet Muhammad slavery was a worldwide, entrenched institution. Islam tried to regulate the slave trade and point out the great benefits of equality. Freeing slaves was an act of piety.
Bilal loved to be in the company of Prophet Muhammad and became exceptionally close to him. Various traditions mention Bilal having the honour of waking the Prophet each morning and spending as much time as possible in his company. The story of Bilal is often used to demonstrate the importance of pluralism and racial equality in Islam. More importantly it is an example of piety being the measure of a man, rather than race, ethnicity or social status.
In part 2 we will learn more about Bilal, the Muslim migration to Medina and the great honour bestowed on Bilal, the freed slave of Ethiopian heritage.
[1] Ibn Hisham & Talqih Fuham Alil Athar p61.
[2] The Arabic word Ahad is used rather than the English one or the Arabic wahad because of its meaning – not just one the numeral but One God.

Blogger comment:
Aisha Stacey thumbs up to all your articles, it is amazing how a Muslim convert has strong faith in Islam and write about Islam better than a lot of us who were born as Muslims.

To the Muslims Scholars in Yemen Stand with God and your oppressed people do not sell your religion

رفض واسع لفتوى "علماء اليمن"
المظاهرات تتواصل منذ أشهر في اليمن للمطالبة بإسقاط نظام الرئيس علي عبد الله صالح
إبراهيم القديمي-صنعاء
عبرت أوساط عديدة في اليمن عن رفضها للفتوى التي صدرت اليوم في ختام مؤتمر جمعية علماء اليمن بالعاصمة صنعاء ونصت على عدم جواز المظاهرات السلمية في الطرق العامة والأحياء السكنية وأكدت حرمة هذا الأمر شرعا وقانونا.
واعتبرت أوساط دينية وسياسية أن بيان جمعية علماء اليمن الموالية للنظام الحاكم بمثابة "فتوى حرب" تشرع منع المظاهرات السلمية بالقوة المسلحة، حيث لاحظت تلك الأوساط أن اللغة الأمنية كانت واضحة على بنود البيان العشرة التي تضمنت تحريما قاطعا للتظاهر السلمي واعتبرته نوعا من البغي والتعدي على محارم الله.
ونقلت قناة سهيل المعارضة عن مصادر مطلعة حضور مدير الأمن القومي طارق محمد عبد الله صالح الجلسة الختامية للمؤتمر للضغط على العلماء في صياغة بيان يستلهم رغبات السلطة في قمع التظاهرات السلمية.
كما نص البيان على حرمة الاعتداء على المعسكرات والجنود وحرمة التعدي على المنشآت الخدمية والممتلكات العامة والخاصة وسفك الدماء والتعدي على المساجد بالتمترس فيها.
وأكد البيان حرمة تضليل الشباب والزج بهم في أعمال العنف ووفقا للغة البيان فإن ما يحصل اليوم في المحافظات اليمنية لا يعد جهادا بأي وجه من الوجوه. كما حرم البيان الاعتداء على الأعراض والاستهانة بها بالسب والقذف والتشكيك في النوايا والمقاصد والتهديدات والتصوير المسيء.

حورية مشهور: أعضاء جمعية علماء اليمن وظفوا الدين الإسلامي توظيفا غير سليمتساؤلات وتحذيراتوقد أثار بيان جمعية علماء اليمن استفسارات كثيرة لدى الناشطين والعلماء والثوار الذين أكدوا أن الممارسات الوارد تحريمها في البيان يقوم بها النظام وجنوده ومن يسمون بالبلطجية ثم ينسبونها إلى المعارضة والثوار ظلما وعدوانا.
ويشير الناشط الحقوقي عضو اللجنة الوطنية للدفاع عن الحقوق والحريات "هود" عبد الرحمن برمان إلى أن توقيت الفتوى جاء بناء على طلب من الرئيس علي عبد الله صالح لمن سماهم "علماء البلاط الجمهوري".
من جهته أكد عضو الهيئة العليا لحزب التجمع اليمني للإصلاح الإسلامي المعارض زيد الشامي أن بيان جمعية العلماء لا يمت لرأي الشرع بصلة وإنما يعكس رأي الأمن القومي والنظام.
من جهتها هاجمت الناطقة باسم المجلس الوطني لقوى الثورة الشعبية حورية مشهور بيان جمعية علماء اليمن واتهمت أعضاءها بتوظيف الدين الإسلامي توظيفا غير سليم يحقق للحاكم ما تشتهيه نفسه.
وأشارت في حديث للجزيرة نت إلى وجود علماء ثقات في اليمن وخارجه وعلى رأسهم رئيس الاتحاد العالمي لعلماء المسلمين يوسف القرضاوي الذي أفتى بحق الناس في تغيير الحاكم المستبد بالطرق السلمية.
أما الناطق الرسمي باسم لجنة الحوار الوطني محمد الصبري فيرى أن التظاهر السلمي حق طبيعي تؤكده الشرائع السماوية والقوانين والمواثيق اليمنية والدولية، وتساءل: من الذي جمع هؤلاء العلماء في صنعاء، هل اجتمعوا طواعية أم بأمر من الرئيس؟
وخوفا من صدور فتوى تبيح هدر دماء الثوار حذرت "هيئة علماء المسلمين" التي يرأسها عبد المجيد الزنداني من خطورة استخدام الفتوى ذريعة لسفك الدماء وذكرتهم بمغبة ذلك في الدنيا والآخرة.

النهاري: لا ضغوط على العلماء الذين انطلقوا في بيانهم من القول الفصل وبيان موقف الشريعةلا ضغوطلكن نائب رئيس الدائرة الإعلامية لحزب المؤتمر الشعبي العام الحاكم عبد الحفيظ النهاري نفى وجود أي ضغوط على علماء اليمن.
وأكد للجزيرة نت أن البيان في توصياته جاء منسجما مع النصوص الدستورية باعتبار أن الشريعة الإسلامية مصدر جميع التشريعات.
وأضاف أنه ليس هناك أي تعارض مع الدستور ولا ضغوط على العلماء الذين انطلقوا في بيانهم من القول الفصل وبيان موقف الشريعة مما يحدث من فتنة وتشخيص موضوعي لما يحدث في اليمن وانطلاقا من مقاصد الشريعة باعتبار أن ذلك مرتبط بوفاء الشعب للبيعة التي منحوها لرئيس الجمهورية في الانتخابات الرئاسية.
و قد عقدت "جمعية علماء اليمن" مؤتمرها بدعوة من الرئيس علي عبد الله صالح الذي دعاهم إلى إصدار فتوى بشأن التطورات الجارية والرافضين للحوار السلمي والخارجين عليه.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Some of the Jews in the Quran mentioned to be turned into Apes and Pigs

In ancient Israel, Sabbath-breakers were stoned to death (Exodus 31:14; 35:2; Numbers 15:32-36). Does this severe penalty show the importance of the Sabbath, that it is not just a ritual?

YUSUFALI: And remember We took your covenant and We raised above you (The towering height) of Mount (Sinai) : (Saying): "Hold firmly to what We have given you and bring (ever) to remembrance what is therein: Perchance ye may fear Allah."
YUSUFALI: But ye turned back thereafter: Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allah to you, ye had surely been among the lost.
YUSUFALI: And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: We said to them: "Be ye apes, despised and rejected."
YUSUFALI: So We made it an example to their own time and to their posterity, and a lesson to those who fear Allah.

Blogger comment:
Thus some of the Jews who transgressed in the Sabbath were put to death as per the Torah and transformed into Apes and Pigs in the Quran.

Thus the message is clear the Sabbath was great day for observance to the Jews and they knew how important it is to God. Some of them chose to challenge him and he killed some of them as in the Torah and turned some into Apes and Pigs in the Quran.

Thus it is not about the Jews, it is about disobedience to God. This can happen to any group of people who are not obeying God Muslims, Christians or Jews. In fact the hypocrite Muslims who would hesitate in their faith and cause break in the Muslim community God promised them to be the lowest in the hell fire in the day of judgment. Muslims when were not obedient over human history God would put above them leaders to oppress them and enemies to destroy and slaughter them. Thus the Just God of the Bible and the Quran takes the side of the righteous and obedient. in Many verses in the Quran God would elevate the Jews. The best of the people in this world are the prophets and most of them were Jews/Hebrew and Muslims love them.

Do you really still think that the Quran is Anti-Semitic. It is like me praise the Jews who work for human justice and progress of humanity and criticise the other Jews who care only about collecting money and care only about themselves.

Islam and The Quran orders hands to be cut off for theft


The verse in question will be given then a discussion will be presented. It should be noted that like all punishments relating to members of a society, they are only enforceable if such a society is governed by the laws of The Quran. In such a society, it is a requirement for believers to provide for those in need [2:177, 2:215, 2:219, 5:89, 59:7].

The male thief, and the female thief, you shall mark, cut, or cut-off their hands/means as a recompense for what they earned, and to serve as a deterrent from God. God is Noble, Wise. Whoever repents after his wrongdoing and makes amends, then God will relent on him. Truly, God is Forgiving, Merciful. [5:38-39]

The above verses are commonly translated to mean physical cutting off the thief's hand or hands, however whilst this understanding is a theoretical possibility, when all the information is reviewed it is only one of several possibilities, hence the above translation. Firstly, it should be noted that the verse makes clear whoever commits theft but repents after and makes amends, then this is acceptable to God, thus no punishment can be administered in this case. This of course would only apply to those who do this before they have to be tried and found guilty. To prove this, see the verse below in which being punished is contrasted to relenting:
There are some who await God's decree whether He will punish them or relent on them. God is All Knower, All Wise. [9:106]

And how repenting and making amends shows a true repentance, thus reinforces the notion that a true/sincere repentance is accepted:
And whoever repents and takes corrective action, certainly he turns toward God with true repentance. [25:71]

The Arabic word translated as "cut" in 5:38 is "iqtaa" and occurs 14 other times in the same verb form (QaTaA) in The Quran, and with the exception of 59:5 and possibly 69:46 all other occurrences mean the non-physical or metaphorical action of "cutting off relationship" or "ending" [2:27, 3:127, 6:45, 7:72, 8:7, 9:121, 13:25, 15:66, 22:15, 27:32, 29:29, 56:33].

The derivatives that are read in the 2nd verb form (QaTTaA) occur 17 times. This form, which expresses intensity or frequency of the action, is used both to mean physical cutting off [5:33, 7:124, 20:71, 26:49, 13:31] and metaphorical cutting off [2:166, 6:94, 7:160, 7:167, 9:110, 47:15, 47:22, 21:93, 22:19, 23:53] as well as physically cutting/marking [12:31, 12:50]. It is interesting to note that even though 12:31 uses the more intensive verb form and both "cut" and "hands" together, it does not mean "cut off". The less intensive form is used in 5:38.

Secondly, the Arabic word for "hands" (aydi) is often used in The Quran in a metaphorical/metonymical manner [some examples are 2:195, 2:237, 3:3, 3:73, 5:64, 6:93, 8:70, 9:29, 23:88, 28:47, 30:36, 38:45, 48:10, 48:24, 111:1], and often has a meaning of power/means. It should also be noted that this word is in the Arabic plural meaning 3 or more hands, whilst only two people are referenced: the male and the female thief. Some have commented that this plural usage causes problems for the common interpretation of hand cutting.

Thus, it is possible to understand the punishment for thieves in three alternative ways, (1) cutting off their hands, or (2) cutting or marking their hands, or (3) cutting their means to steal, or cutting their hands from committing the crime. It is up to the society to choose one of these meanings or a combination of them depending on the severity of the crime and their ability to enforce the penalty.

It should be said however that the only working example given in The Quran of theft and its punishment is in the story of Joseph, in which option 3 is done by detaining the one guilty of theft, so that they can work to repay/compensate for the theft.
They said, "By God, you know we did not come to cause corruption in the land, and we are no thieves!"He said, "What shall be its recompense, if you are not truthful?"They said, "Its recompense is that he who has it in his bag, then he is its recompense. Like that do we recompense the wrongdoers."[12:73-75]

Furthermore, 12:79 makes it clear that Joseph (described in 6:84 as one of the guided and a good doer) was acting in accordance with God's law in detaining only the one guilty of theft:
Joseph said: “God forbid that we would detain anyone except he whom we found our belongings with. Indeed, we would then be wrong doers.” [12:79]

Thus, one possible meaning of 5:38 is to apply it in the manner provided by Joseph's example.
One other potential problem is created if 5:38 means to physically cut off the hand or hands of the thief, when we consider what were to happen if a person had no hands or had been punished before hence had no more hands to cut/mark or cut off.Also, when lashes are given as punishment for proven adultery, The Quran states not to let pity/compassion prevent you from carrying out such a punishment [24:2], but it says no such thing for the alleged hand cutting-off verse, when many consider this punishment to be worse. This adds to the possibility that it should not be taken to mean this.

Lastly, whatever interpretation is chosen, it is important to keep in mind the recurring theme of equivalence in The Quran, thus the punishment should be proportionate to the crime:
And those who, when gross injustice befalls them, they seek justice. The recompense for a crime shall be its equivalence, but whoever forgives and makes right, then his reward is upon God. He does not like the wrongdoers. [42:40]

To conclude, when all the above information is taken into account, it is clear that to physically cut off the hand or hands of the thief is not the only possible understanding and taking into account the law of equivalence would perhaps only be reserved for significant theft which led to harming others, hence harming the perpetrator. If a Muslim in authority, like Joseph was, were to apply the punishment for theft like Joseph did, then they would be following the example of one of the guided and a good doer, as stated by The Quran.

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God in the Quran made the way out to sinners, the difficulty of applying the punishment of fornication and theft is a simple message to Muslims and humans. God gave us the severity of punishment that these sins are supposed to be dealt with. For his mercy he made repentance is the way out and the Muslims to work it out to prevnet these sins, indiviudally great punishments and God made it not to be applied except rare and more important how to prevent it. Thus the prophet (PBUH) was not enthusiastic to apply the punishment for fornication and was very clear from his Hadith that when a man came to confess to his sin and himself wanted to be punished the prophet would ask him may be you did not do it several time, thus he want him to shut up go repent and God will forgive you. The Cutting of hands or making marks of hands made very difficult to apply and have many conditions. One of them I will mention here is to apply it in the connected and regular people. Thus many devout Muslims leaders would not do it for fear they applied on someone and someone even had worse way to steal people money is not persecuted or have much less way of punishing. Everything in the religion is pondering, except for things that may not really matter like the prayers are 5 times a day, why not 6 or 4. In fact it is still pondering since the logic tell you so what 4,5 or 6 no big deal. The prayers itself is about pondering and serves a lot of function, there is difference between pondering and being silly. Islam is about wisdom and being wise.

Refuting versus from the Quran Insult Women


2: The Cow It's OK to have sex with your wives on the night of the fast. The website has tried to portray that to have sex with your wives at night during the month of Ramadan is insulting to the women. No sane man in his right mind would say that it is insulting to the women. Ramadan is a month when Muslims fast and thus they cannot eat, drink or have sex. Thus Allah(swt) to clarify informed people that couples are allowed to have sex at night when they are not fasting and the abstinence is only for the day time when everyone is fasting. How exactly was this permission unfair is beyond me. You be the judge. Menstruation is a sickness. Don't have sex with menstruating women. The following links will state whether having sex during the menstrual period is healthy or not: Have sex with your women whenever and as often as you like. So no restriction has been set as to when and how many times a couple can have sex. Is that really an insult?

Women have rights that are similar to men, but men are "a degree above them." A degree above them in what? In responsibility because Islam lays down the responsibility of the household on the shoulders of a man. A woman is worth one-half a man. Nowhere in the Quran is it stated that a woman is worth half a man. The translation of the Quran on which this statement is based on tells us that concerning financial agreements two female witnesses equal to one male witness. Since financial responsibility was shouldered by men in those days and even in majority of the households today, they are expected to be well versed in financial transactions as compared to women. As a second option, the witness can be one man and two women, so that if one of the women errs the other can remind her. The Arabic word used in the Quran is ‘Tazil’ which means ‘confused’ or ‘to err’. Many have wrongly translated this word as ‘to forget’. There are some scholars who are of the opinion that the rule of two female witnesses equal to one male witness should be applied to all the cases. This cannot be agreed upon because one particular verse of the Qur’an from Surah Noor chapter 24, verse 6 clearly equates one female witness and one male witness.

4: The Women Marry of the women two, or three, or four. I have to quote the verse that the above sentence refers to, so that it is clear to everyone what exactly is in the Quran, so please do not object. "If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice." Notice how Allah Almighty orders men to be either fair to their wives or never marry more than one wife. A man has to be fair otherwise he CANNOT marry more than one. This verse was revealed after the Battle of Uhud when a lot of muslim men (nearly half) were lost. Hence Allah(swt) told the muslims to adopt orphans and if they fear that they would not be able to be fair with them then they should marry two, three or four women of their choice. And if they feel that they will not be able to treat them all equally then they should only marry ONE.
Males are to inherit twice that of females. Not always…..there is also a case where the female is to inherit twice that of a male.

Lewd women are to be confined to their houses until death. The above statement is based on Chapter 4, verse number 15. Firstly, we see the Noble Quran makes it almost impossible to prove a woman guilty of lewdness, because the court needs at least four reliable witnesses to prove that she actually committed a sin by having illegal sex. The reason for that is because A woman's honor is of primary importance to Islam and thus the method to prove lewdness is formulated such that no one can falsely accuse women. The woman is innocent until 4 witnesses are presented to prove that she is guilty of sin. The witnesses are supposed to be honorable, trustworthy and truthful men, not just any four people. If the witnesses are not presented in the Court of law, the following verse explains the end result:"And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations),- flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors. (The Noble Quran, 24:4)" When the woman is proven guilty, then her punishment is to stay at her husband’s house. Her husband must not divorce her at first and must work it out with her. Anti-Islamics claim that "confine them to houses until death do claim them" means that husbands must imprison the wives in the houses until they die. Well this is a false and bogus claim, because:
(1) In Arabic, the word which was wrongly translated as "Confine" is "Fa-Amsikuhunna" which means keep them and does not mean at all to imprison them. The word "Confine them" in Arabic is "Fa-Asjinohunna" or "Fa-Ahbisohunna". The word "Fa-Amsikuhunna" which was used in the Noble Verse 4:15 only means "keep them" and not imprison them.
(2) The second part of the sentence "…or Allah ordain for them some (other) way. (4:15)" Means in Arabic "Aou yaj-aala Allah lahunna sabeela" which means that if they repent then Allah Almighty will let them go on their ways by allowing the men to either divorce them or keep them as their wives. This is something that both spouses have to workout and decide on. If the woman was not married, then this verse applies to the parents or the guardians. Finally, (3) In (4:17) above we see that Allah Almighty accepts the repentance of those who do evil "Allah accept the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance…(4:17)", which totally disproves the Anti-Islamic point about imprisoning the women in their houses until they die, because Allah Almighty forgives those (men and women) who repent and He accepts their repentance. You may not forcibly inherit women, unless they flagrantly lewd. These are nothing but misquotations! I am truly shocked! The actual translation is as follows:
O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may Take away part of the dower ye have given them,-except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good. (4:19) Firstly this verse bans the old practice of women being inherited and secondly it only commands that husbands are to treat their wives with kindness and love. Instructions for exchanging wives The verse referred talks about cases where the husband wants to divorce his wife and marry another woman. At the time of marriage the husband is supposed to give the wife dowry amounts. So the Quran says that when the husband is to divorce the wife, he cannot take even a little bit back out of the dowry amount even if he gave her a treasure worth of dowry.
The husband cannot take anything back! Is that really unfair to the woman!?!??! (refer Quran 4:20-21) You can't have married women, unless they are captives. Only if the captives convert to Islam, and agree to marry. Firstly when a captive will convert to Islam, her marriage with the previous husband will become void automatically because a believing woman cannot be the wife of a disbeliever. However, you still cannot FORCE them to marry you. They along with people that are allowed to marry “are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property,- desiring chastity, not lust, seeing that ye derive benefit from them, give them their dowers..”(4:24) Men are in charge of women, because Allah made men to be better than women. Refuse to have sex with women from whom you fear rebellion, and scourge them. Wrong translation again! The translation is as follows: Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all). (4:34) Hence there is no concept of a man being MASTER of a woman. It is said that a man is a PROTECTOR and MAINTAINER of a woman. Secondly to come to the beating part. Firstly you make it sound that if a wife disobeys, the husband is allowed to beat the crap out of her. That is wrong. Quran is referring to the women who cheat on their husbands. Who go sleep with another man (men) while their husbands are not aware. The word "beating" is used in the verse, but it does not mean "physical abuse". The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) explained it "dharban ghayra mubarrih" which means "a light tap that leaves no mark". He further said that face must be avoided. Some other scholars are of the view that it is no more than a light touch by siwak, or toothbrush. Generally, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to discourage his followers from taking even this measure. He never hit any female, and he used to say that the best of men are those who do not hit their wives. In one hadith he expressed his extreme repulsion from this behavior and said, "How does anyone of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then embrace (sleep with) her?” (Al-Bukhari, English Translation, vol. 8, Hadith 68, pp. 42-43) A couple of his(saw) other sayings are as follows: "Do not beat the female servants of Allah"; "Some (women) visited my family complaining about their husbands (beating them). These (husbands) are not the best of you."
Don't pray if you are drunk, dirty, or have touched a woman lately. This does not mean if you have touched her. It means if you have had sex with your wife. It is in Islam that after sex a man and a woman have to do ‘ghusl’ (bathe) before they can approach prayers. One has to be clean before they pray. So to be clean before praying is insulting? They invoke in his (Allah's) stead only females The translation of the concerned verse:(The Pagans), leaving Him, call but upon female deities:They call but upon satan the persistent rebel! (4:117)
How in the world is it insulting to the women? Pagans used to pray to female deities and the Quran says that this is the work of Satan. This does not mean that if someone prays to the male deities then it is not the work of the Satan. Whether male or female deities it is the work of Satan.
A man cannot treat his wives fairly. It is said in the Quran that there are certain feelings which are not in man's control and one of these feelings is love. You cannot love two wives equally. It is natural that one will be loved more and the other slightly less. There will always be this difference. This is human nature explained in the Quran and it is not at all insulting to either woman or man. "Unto the male is the equivalent share of two females." Again like I previously said; there is also a case where the female gets twice of what the male gets. The issue is specifically dealing with the sons and daughters in case of inheritance. The son is to receive twice as that of the female. The logic behind this is simple. Islam lays down the bread earning responsibilities on the shoulders of man. The wife can work all she wants but she need not participate in the monetary needs of the house. The money earned by her is hers and the husband has no right upon it. Keeping this in mind, sons are given larger shares because they are to take care of their future wives and children. The daughters have no such financial liabilities. They will be taken care by their husbands. If their marriage does not work then their responsibility comes back upon the shoulders of their brothers. Hence to financially secure the male he is given double of what the female is given. 5: The Table Spread When it's time to pray and you have just used the toilet or touched a woman, be sure to wash up. If you can't find any water, just rub some dirt on yourself. Again please read the actual translation of the verse. It refers to having sex with your spouse. After sex you are to take a bath before you can pray! 11: Hud Lot offers his daughters to a mob of angel rapers. The actual verse:
And his people came rushing towards him, and they had been long in the habit of practising abominations. He said: "O my people! Here are my daughters: they are purer for you (if ye marry)! Now fear Allah, and cover me not with shame about my guests! Is there not among you a single right-minded man?"
The people being talked about were all homosexuals, which is not allowed in Islam. When the ‘angels’(disguised as men) came to Lut(as) the people over there wanted to practice homosexuality with them. To that Lut(as) responded that if they wanted they can marry his daughters as they were purer for them – that they should practice heterosexuality rather than homosexuality. Yes it is truly insulting for the females that men should be heterosexuals rather than homosexuals!
15: Al-Hijr Lot offers his daughters to a mob of angel rapers. See explanation above. Also read the translation 15:61-69 22: The Pilgrimage When the doom of Allah comes, pregnant women will suffer miscarriages, nursing mothers with forget their babies Translation of related verses: O mankind! fear your Lord! for the convulsion of the Hour (of Judgment) will be a thing terrible! The Day ye shall see it, every mother giving suck shall forget her suckling- babe, and every pregnant female shall drop her load (unformed): thou shalt see mankind as in a drunken riot, yet not drunk: but dreadful will be the Wrath of Allah. (22:1-2) These verses only show how dreadful the Hour of Judgment will be. How is this an insult to the women? 23: The Believers You don't have to be modest around your wives or your slave girls "that your right hand possess." Who abstain from sex, Except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess,- for (in their case) they are free from blame, (23:5-6) So it is okay to have sex with your wives. I do not see that as an insult to women! As far as the captives are concerned…
In the “Jihads” (Islamic wars) that took place, women who fought war were also, at times, taken as prisoners by the Pagan, Jewish and Muslim armies. Due to lack of the prison systems in that era, the captives were to be kept as slaves. The war captives could not be left roaming about freely among the communities otherwise they could even plan assassinations. These women captives used to be distributed as part of the booty among the soldiers, after their return to Islamic territory. The Head of the State would distribute the captives among the soldiers. Both men and women captives were distributed. It was made permissible for the soldier to have sexual relations with their female captives. This relationship was strictly consensual in nature. No one was given permission to rape anyone.
Due to the presence of prison systems today, this concept of keeping slaves does not apply today.
24: Light If you accuse an honorable women of adultery, be sure to bring four witness. Otherwise you will receive 80 lashes. How exactly is this insulting the woman? It only shows that near Islam the woman's honor is of top priority and thus it makes sure to secure her honor so that no one tries to falsely accuse the woman of lewd acts. A husband can accuse his wife of adultery with only one witness. Wrong translation again! Counter check it with the right translation: And for those who launch a charge against their spouses, and have (in support) no evidence but their own,- their solitary evidence (can be received) if they bear witness four times (with an oath) by Allah that they are solemnly telling the truth; So it is both ways! Only one woman witness i.e. Herself is also sufficient to launch a charge against her husband. Believing women must lower their gaze and be modest, cover themselves with veils, and not reveal themselves except to their husbands, relatives, children, and slaves. Believing men must also lower their gaze and be modest. Secondly “they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty…..”(24:31) This is the concept of Hijab. How is it insulting? 33: The Clans The wives of Muhammad will be punished double for lewdness. (And that is easy for Allah) and The wives of Muhammad are not like other women. They must not leave their houses. This concerns the wives of Prophet Muhammad(saw). It does not even apply to any other woman!
When Allah or Muhammad decide that a man and a woman should marry, they must marry. What nonsense! The concerned verse: “It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.”(33:36) It is like in a court of law. When the supreme court passes a judgment regarding lets say a dispute case then one cannot appeal to a higher court. Similarly as Prophet Muhammad(saw) was also a judge, Allah(swt) made it clear to the believers that his judgment is final. Where in the world this guy brings in marriage, I have no clue whatsoever! Allah gave Zeyd to Muhammad in marriage. This was so that all Muslims would know that it's OK to marry your adopted son's ex-wife. Adoption in Islam is not similar to adoption in the world today. There are two kinds of scenarios in the adoption ordeal. One is that a child is adopted but not fed milk by the adopting mother's breast. This child will be a na-mahram to the family. The ex-wife of a na-mahram adopted child is allowed. The other situation is when the child is fed milk by the mother and is under two years of age. This child will be a mahram and his ex-wife will be haram to marry. Allah says it is lawful for Muhammad to marry any women he wants. Again, he(saw) was allowed to marry any woman he wants (refer to the authentic translation of this…33:50-51) just like any man if allowed to marry any woman they want. But it does not mean that he could FORCE anyone to marry him. If the woman would not wish to marry him then there was no compulsion. Additionally the women that are forbidden to marry, even the Prophet(saw) was not allowed to marry them. If men must speak to Muhammad's wives they must speak from behind a curtain. And no one must ever marry one of his wives. Again this applies to the wives of the Prophet(saw) and not every single woman! But it's OK for Muhammad's wives to talk with certain people. The ‘certain people’ being: “their fathers or their sons, their brothers, or their brother's sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the (slaves) whom their right hands possess. And, (ladies), fear Allah. for Allah is Witness to all things.” Yes...Really unfair! I think the author of the referred website did not want them to communicate with their father or brothers etc.
Women must cover themselves when in public. Again this concerns Hijab. Please read about Hijab. 37: Those Who Set the Ranks But the single-minded slaves of Allah will enjoy a Garden filled with lovely-eyed virgins. “But the sincere (and devoted) Servants of Allah,- For them is a Sustenance determined, Fruits (Delights); and they (shall enjoy) honour and dignity, In Gardens of Felicity, Facing each other on Thrones (of Dignity): Round will be passed to them a Cup from a clear-flowing fountain, Crystal-white, of a taste delicious to those who drink (thereof), Free from headiness; nor will they suffer intoxication therefrom. And besides them will be chaste women, restraining their glances, with big eyes (of wonder and beauty).”(37:40-48) The rewards for believers in the Hereafter. How is it insulting to the women of this world? 37: Those Who Set the Ranks Female companions await those who enter the Gardens of Eden on the Day of Reckoning. The Quran speaks of “Hoor”. Please read about the concept of “Hoor”. These are not the women of this world that the Quran speaks of. The link goes on and on about the “Hoors” so I will not quote and comment on them repeatedly. Almost the same explanation applies to all of the verses regarding “Hoors”. ‘Companions of the Right Hand is referring to the Believers. 65: Divorce Instructions for divorcing your wives. And so the Quran lays down the laws regarding divorce. How in the world is it insulting the women!??!?!
The link goes on talking about the wives of the Prophets(pbut) and I have no idea how it is insulting to the women. One of the wives of Prophet Muhammad(saw) divulged something that he(saw) told her in confidence. To that the related verse speaks and tells them not to do such a thing and that if Prophet Muhammad(saw) was to divorce them then Allah(swt) will give him better women to marry. I have no clue as to how this is insulting. Is it really that insulting for a woman not to leak out what her husband tells her out of trust and in confidence? 70: The Ascending Stairways You don't have to be chaste around your wives or your slave girls. Ok this is really funny. How can a man remain chaste after being married? Is it really insulting to the wives that men are allowed to have sex with them? 111: Palm Fibre Abu Lahab will die and be plunged in flaming Fire. His wife will have on her neck a halter of palm fiber. One of the disbelievers to the extreme! The fate of disbelievers, whether it be a male or a female, is Hell. And Allah(swt) knows best.
-Ebrahim Saifuddin
Posted by: admin on Tuesday, September 12 @ 13:10:50 MDT

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Top 10 Controversial Verses in the Qur'an: Any Muslims to Answer Them

Top 10 Controversial Verses in the Qur'an
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As the title suggests, this page lists the top 10 most controversial verses found within the Qur'an. This page is simply an overview, it does not deal with the apologetic objections that have been brought forth in recent times by a minority number of Western apologists. Articles dealing with any such objections are linked below their corresponding verses.
[edit] 10. "Beat Them"
This verse advises men to beat their wives if they don't obey them:
"Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great."
Qur'an 4:34

Qur'an 5:38 orders cutting of hands of a thief.
See related: Wife Beating in Islam and Beat your Wives or "Separate from Them"? (Qur'an 4:34)
[edit] 9. "Cut off their hands"
This verse orders a gruesome irreversible punishment for thieves, robbing them of a chance to rehabilitate, improve as human beings and become a productive member of society later on. As an example, Terrence Barkley got arrested on his 16th birthday for stealing cars but interestingly that resulted in him getting out of gangs and into college to study criminal justice at the University of Central Missouri.[1] If Terrence's hands and feet had been cut off according to Islamic laws, none of this would have been possble.
As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty, Wise."
Qur'an 5:38
Sura 5:33 orders the cutting off of the hands and feet of those who wage war against Allah and his Messenger.
The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;
Qur'an 5:33
See related: Amputation. For other punishments in Islam, see: Punishments
[edit] 8. A man may marry four wives
This verse allows a man to marry up to four wives:
If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.
Qur'an 4:3
Polygamy is highly controversial and not socially accepted in most parts of the modern world. See related: Polygamy
[edit] 7. A man can marry a girl who hasn't reached puberty
This highly controversial Qur'anic verse prescribes the waiting period of a female who has not yet reached puberty thereby permitting men to have sex with girls who have not reached puberty:
"Such of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the prescribed period, if ye have any doubts, is three months, and for those who have no courses (it is the same): for those who carry (life within their wombs), their period is until they deliver their burdens: and for those who fear Allah, He will make their path easy."
Qur'an 65:4
Read the detailed analysis of this verse in our article: Pedophilia in the Qur'an
[edit] 6. A man can have sex with prisoners of war
This verse allows men to have sex with women who are prisoners of war:
"O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee; and daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts, and daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts, who migrated (from Makka) with thee; and any believing woman who dedicates her soul to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her;- this only for thee, and not for the Believers (at large); We know what We have appointed for them as to their wives and the captives whom their right hands possess;- in order that there should be no difficulty for thee. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
Qur'an 33:50
See related: Rape in Islam

Qur'an 2:65 mentions that Jews who broke the Sabbath were turned into Apes.
[edit] 5. Turned into Apes
People who broke the Sabbath were turned into apes:
"And you know well the story of those among you who broke Sabbath. We said to them: "Be apes—despised and hated by all. Thus We made their end a warning to the people of their time and succeeding generation, and an admonition for God-fearing people."
Qur'an 2:65
See related: Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Islamic Silliness and Islamic Antisemitism
[edit] 4. A man may marry the wife of his adopted son
Muhammad married Zaynab, the wife of his adopted son. This verse suggests that the adopter may marry the wife of his adopted son and vice-versa:
"Allah has not made for any man two hearts within him; nor has He made your wives whose backs you liken to the backs of your mothers as your mothers, nor has He made those whom you assert to be your sons your real sons; these are the words of your mouths; and Allah speaks the truth and He guides to the way."
Qur'an 33:4
See related: Concerns with Islam: Adoption

2:282 and Qur'an 4:11 declare that a woman is only half the worth of a man in terms of witness and inheritance.
[edit] 3. A woman's witness testimony is half of that of a man's
This verse says the witness testimony of one man is equivalent to the witness testimony of two women:
"O you who believe! when you deal with each other in contracting a debt for a fixed time, then write it down; and let a scribe write it down between you with fairness; and the scribe should not refuse to write as Allah has taught him, so he should write; and let him who owes the debt dictate, and he should be careful of (his duty to) Allah, his Lord, and not diminish anything from it; but if he who owes the debt is unsound in understanding, or weak, or (if) he is not able to dictate himself, let his guardian dictate with fairness; and call in to witness from among your men two witnesses; but if there are not two men, then one man and two women from among those whom you choose to be witnesses, so that if one of the two errs, the second of the two may remind the other; and the witnesses should not refuse when they are summoned; and be not averse to writing it (whether it is) small or large, with the time of its falling due; this is more equitable in the sight of Allah and assures greater accuracy in testimony, and the nearest (way) that you may not entertain doubts (afterwards), except when it is ready merchandise which you give and take among yourselves from hand to hand, then there is no blame on you in not writing it down; and have witnesses when you barter with one another, and let no harm be done to the scribe or to the witness; and if you do (it) then surely it will be a transgression in you, and be careful of (your duty) to Allah, Allah teaches you, and Allah knows all things."
Qur'an 2:282
Related to this verse is Muhammad saying that women are deficient in intelligence
[edit] 2. A woman inherits half of what a man inherits
This verse says that a woman inherits half of what a man inherits:
"Allah enjoins you concerning your children: The male shall have the equal of the portion of two females; then if they are more than two females, they shall have two-thirds of what the deceased has left, and if there is one, she shall have the half; and as for his parents, each of them shall have the sixth of what he has left if he has a child, but if he has no child and (only) his two parents inherit him, then his mother shall have the third; but if he has brothers, then his mother shall have the sixth after (the payment of) a bequest he may have bequeathed or a debt; your parents and your children, you know not which of them is the nearer to you in usefulness; this is an ordinance from Allah: Surely Allah is Knowing, Wise."
Qur'an 4:11

Qur'an 9:29 This is just one of many verses found in the Qur'an which encourages Islamic terrorism.
[edit] 1. Fight non-Muslims
This widely known verse orders Muslims to fight non-Muslims simply because they do not believe in the same God that Muslims do:
"Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection."
Qur'an 9:29
This is just one of the verses in the Qur'an which encourages Islamic terrorism. This verse, together with verse 9:5 (the "Verse of the Sword"), has abrogated 122 peaceful verses.[2] See related: Terrorism
[edit] See Also
Top 10 Lists - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Top 10 Lists
Numbers of Islam - Number-related facts about Islam
[edit] References
Teen Offenders Find A Future In Missouri - CNN, August 26, 2009
An-Nasikh -wal- Mansukh, by Ibn Khuzyamh states 113 verses are abrogated by the Sword verse (9: 5), and 9 verses are abrogated by the Fighting verse (9: 29): "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day." See also Abrogation
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I wait for Muslims to answer these 10 disputed verses by non-Muslims please Email me your take.
Maged Taman

Monday, September 26, 2011

Prophet of Islam


By Ismail Nawwab, Peter Speers, and Paul Hoye (edited by

Published on 19 Apr 2006 - Last modified on 25 Sep 2011 Viewed: 86320 (daily average: 43) - Rating: 4.1 out of 5 - Rated by: 106Printed: 2369 - Emailed: 119 - Commented on: 3 Category: Articles > Islamic History > In Brief

In or about the year 570 the child who would be named Muhammad and who would become the Prophet of one of the world’s great religions, Islam, was born into a family belonging to a clan of Quraish, the ruling tribe of Mecca, a city in the Hijaz region of northwestern Arabia.
Originally the site of the Kaabah, a shrine of ancient origins, Mecca had, with the decline of southern Arabia, become an important center of sixth-century trade with such powers as the Sassanians, Byzantines, and Ethiopians. As a result, the city was dominated by powerful merchant families, among whom the men of Quraish were preeminent.

Muhammad’s father, “Abd Allah ibn” Abd al-Muttalib, died before the boy was born; his mother, Aminah, died when he was six. The orphan was consigned to the care of his grandfather, the head of the clan of Hashim. After the death of his grandfather, Muhammad was raised by his uncle, Abu Talib. As was customary, the child Muhammad was sent to live for a year or two with a Bedouin family. This custom, followed until recently by noble families of Mecca, Medina, Taif, and other towns of the Hijaz, had important implications for Muhammad. In addition to enduring the hardships of desert life, he acquired a taste for the rich language so loved by the Arabs, whose speech was their proudest art, and also learned the patience and forbearance of the herdsmen, whose life of solitude he first shared, and then came to understand and appreciate.

About the year 590, Muhammad, then in his twenties, entered the service of a merchant widow named Khadijah as her factor, actively engaged with trading caravans to the north. Sometime later he married her, and had two sons, neither of whom survived, and four daughters by her.
In his forties, he began to retire to meditate in a cave on Mount Hira, just outside Mecca, where the first of the great events of Islam took place.

One day, as he was sitting in the cave, he heard a voice, later identified as that of the Angel Gabriel, which ordered him to:
“Recite: In the name of thy Lord who created, Created man from a clot of blood.” (Quran 96:1-2)
Three times Muhammad pleaded his inability to do so, but each time the command was repeated. Finally, Muhammad recited the words of what are now the first five verses of the 96th chapter of the Quran - words which proclaim God to be the Creator of man and the Source of all knowledge.

At first Muhammad divulged his experience only to his wife and his immediate circle. But, as more revelations enjoined him to proclaim the oneness of God universally, his following grew, at first among the poor and the slaves, but later, also among the most prominent men of Mecca. The revelations he received at this time, and those he did later, are all incorporated in the Quran, the Scripture of Islam.

Not everyone accepted God’s message transmitted through Muhammad. Even in his own clan, there were those who rejected his teachings, and many merchants actively opposed the message. The opposition, however, merely served to sharpen Muhammad’s sense of mission, and his understanding of exactly how Islam differed from paganism. The belief in the Oneness of God was paramount in Islam; from this all else follows. The verses of the Quran stress God’s uniqueness, warn those who deny it of impending punishment, and proclaim His unbounded compassion to those who submit to His will. They affirm the Last Judgment, when God, the Judge, will weigh in the balance the faith and works of each man, rewarding the faithful and punishing the transgressor. Because the Quran rejected polytheism and emphasized man’s moral responsibility, in powerful images, it presented a grave challenge to the worldly Meccans.

A Brief History of Islam (part 2 of 5): The Hijrah
Description: The Hijrah, or migration, of the Muslims to Medina, and highlights of the challenges from the early days of the Prophet’s residence there.By Ismail Nawwab, Peter Speers, and Paul Hoye (edited by on 19 Apr 2006 - Last modified on 02 Dec 2007 Viewed: 35155 (daily average: 18) - Rating: 3.5 out of 5 - Rated by: 15Printed: 1522 - Emailed: 33 - Commented on: 3 Category: Articles > Islamic History > In Brief

After Muhammad had preached publicly for more than a decade, the opposition to him reached such a high pitch that, fearful for their safety, he sent some of his adherents to Ethiopia. There, the Christian ruler extended protection to them, the memory of which has been cherished by Muslims ever since. But in Mecca the persecution worsened. Muhammad’s followers were harassed, abused, and even tortured. At last, seventy of Muhammad’s followers set off by his orders to the northern town of Yathrib, in the hope of establishing a news stage of the Islamic movement. This city which was later to be renamed Medina (“The City”). Later, in the early fall of 622, he, with his closest friend, Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq, set off to join the emigrants. This event coincided with the leaders in Mecca plotting, to kill him.

In Mecca, the plotters arrived at Muhammad’s home to find that his cousin, ‘Ali, had taken his place in bed. Enraged, the Meccans set a price on Muhammad’s head and set off in pursuit. Muhammad and Abu Bakr, however, had taken refuge in a cave, where they hid from their pursuers. By the protection of God, the Meccans passed by the cave without noticing it, and Muhammad and Abu Bakr proceeded to Medina. There, they were joyously welcomed by a throng of Medinans, as well as the Meccans who had gone ahead to prepare the way.

This was the Hijrah - anglicized as Hegira - usually, but inaccurately, translated as “Flight” - from which the Muslim era is dated. In fact, the Hijrah was not a flight, but a carefully planned migration that marks not only a break in history - the beginning of the Islamic era - but also, for Muhammad and the Muslims, a new way of life. Henceforth, the organizational principle of the community was not to be mere blood kinship, but the greater brotherhood of all Muslims. The men who accompanied Muhammad on the Hijrah were called the Muhajiroon - “those that made the Hijrah” or the “Emigrants” - while those in Medina who became Muslims were called the Ansar, or “Helpers.”

Muhammad was well acquainted with the situation in Medina. Earlier, before the Hijrah, various of its inhabitants came to Mecca to offer the annual pilgrimage, and as the Prophet would take this opportunity to call visiting pilgrims to Islam, the group who came from Medina heard his call and accepted Islam.. They also invited Muhammad to settle in Medina. After the Hijrah, Muhammad’s exceptional qualities so impressed the Medinans that the rival tribes and their allies temporarily closed ranks as, on March 15, 624, Muhammad and his supporters moved against the pagans of Mecca.

The first battle, which took place near Badr, now a small town southwest of Medina, had several important effects. In the first place, the Muslim forces, outnumbered three to one, routed the Meccans. Secondly, the discipline displayed by the Muslims brought home to the Meccans, perhaps for the first time, the abilities of the man they had driven from their city. Thirdly, one of the allied tribes which had pledged support to the Muslims in the Battle of Badr, but had then proved lukewarm when the fighting started, was expelled from Medina one month after the battle. Those who claimed to be allies of the Muslims, but tacitly opposed them, were thus served warning: membership in the community imposed the obligation of total support.
A year later the Meccans struck back. Assembling an army of three thousand men, they met the Muslims at Uhud, a ridge outside Medina. After initial successes, the Muslims were driven back and the Prophet himself was wounded. As the Muslims were not completely defeated, the Meccans, with an army of ten thousand, attacked Medina again two years later but with quite different results. At the Battle of the Trench, also known as the Battle of the Confederates, the Muslims scored a signal victory by introducing a new form of defense. On the side of Medina from which attack was expected, they dug a trench too deep for the Meccan cavalry to clear without exposing itself to the archers posted behind earthworks on the Medina side. After an inconclusive siege, the Meccans were forced to retire. Thereafter Medina was entirely in the hands of the Muslims.

A Brief History of Islam (part 3 of 5): The Conquest of Mecca
Description: The latter part of the Prophets residence in Medina, from the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, the Conquest of Mecca, to his death.By Ismail Nawwab, Peter Speers, and Paul Hoye (edited by on 19 Apr 2006 - Last modified on 02 Dec 2007 Viewed: 29506 (daily average: 15) - Rating: 3.4 out of 5 - Rated by: 17Printed: 1477 - Emailed: 24 - Commented on: 0 Category: Articles > Islamic History > In Brief

The Constitution of Medina - under which the clans accepting Muhammad as the Prophet of God formed an alliance, or federation - dates from this period. It showed that the political consciousness of the Muslim community had reached an important point; its members defined themselves as a community separate from all others. The Constitution also defined the role of non-Muslims in the community. Jews, for example, were part of the community; they were dhimmis, that is, protected people, as long as they conformed to its laws. This established a precedent for the treatment of subject peoples during the later conquests. Christians and Jews, upon payment of a nominal tax, were allowed religious freedom and, while maintaining their status as non-Muslims, were associate members of the Muslim state. This status did not apply to polytheists, who could not be tolerated within a community that worshipped the One God.

Ibn Ishaq, one of the earliest biographers of the Prophet, says it was at about this time that Muhammad sent letters to the rulers of the earth - the King of Persia, the Emperor of Byzantium, the Negus of Abyssinia, and the Governor of Egypt among others - inviting them to submit to Islam. Nothing more fully illustrates the confidence of the small community, as its military power, despite the battle of the Trench, was still negligible. But its confidence was not misplaced. Muhammad so effectively built up a series of alliances among the tribes that, by 628, he and fifteen hundred followers were able to demand access to the Kaaba. This was a milestone in the history of the Muslims. Just a short time before, Muhammad left the city of his birth to establish an Islamic state in Medina. Now he was being treated by his former enemies as a leader in his own right. A year later, in 629, he reentered and, in effect, conquered Mecca, without bloodshed and in a spirit of tolerance, which established an ideal for future conquests.

He also destroyed the idols in the Kaabah, to put an end forever to pagan practices there. At the same time ‘Amr ibn al-’As, the future conqueror of Egypt, and Khalid ibn al-Walid, the future “Sword of God,” accepted Islam, and swore allegiance to Muhammad. Their conversion was especially noteworthy because these men had been among Muhammad’s bitterest opponents only a short time before.

In one sense Muhammad’s return to Mecca was the climax of his mission. In 632, just three years later, he was suddenly taken ill and on June 8 of that year, with his third wife Aisha in attendance, the Messenger of God “died with the heat of noon.”

The death of Muhammad was a profound loss. To his followers this simple man from Mecca was far more than a beloved friend, far more than a gifted administrator, far more than the revered leader who had forged a new state from clusters of warring tribes. Muhammad was also the exemplar of the teachings he had brought them from God: the teachings of the Quran, which, for centuries, have guided the thought and action, the faith and conduct, of innumerable men and women, and which ushered in a distinctive era in the history of mankind. His death, nevertheless, had little effect on the dynamic society he had created in Arabia, and no effect at all on his central mission: to transmit the Quran to the world. As Abu Bakr put it: “Whoever worshipped Muhammad, let him know that Muhammad is dead, but whoever worshipped God, let him know that God lives and dies not.”

A Brief History of Islam (part 4 of 5): The Caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar
Description: The Caliphate, or succession, of Abu Bakr and Umar, two of the most prominent of the companions of the Prophet, the spread of Islam and Islamic foreign policy in regards to the inhabitants of subjugated lands.By Ismail Nawwab, Peter Speers, and Paul Hoye (edited by on 19 Apr 2006 - Last modified on 17 Mar 2009 Viewed: 28881 (daily average: 15) - Rating: 4.2 out of 5 - Rated by: 20Printed: 1475 - Emailed: 46 - Commented on: 0 Category: Articles > Islamic History > In Brief

With the death of Muhammad, the Muslim community was faced with the problem of succession. Who would be its leader? There were four persons obviously marked for leadership: Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq, who had not only accompanied Muhammad to Medina ten years before, but had been appointed to take the place of the Prophet as leader of public prayer during Muhammad’s last illness; Umar ibn al-Khattab, an able and trusted Companion of the Prophet; Uthman ibn ‘Affan, a respected early convert; and ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law. There piousness and ability to govern the affairs of the Islamic nation was uniformly par excellence. At a meeting held to decide the new leadership, Umar grasped Abu Bakr’s hand and gave his allegiance to him, the traditional sign of recognition of a new leader. By dusk, everyone concurred, and Abu Bakr had been recognized as the khaleefah of Muhammad. Khaleefah - anglicized as caliph - is a word meaning “successor”, but also suggesting what his historical role would be: to govern according to the Quran and the practice of the Prophet.
Abu Bakr’s caliphate was short, but important. An exemplary leader, he lived simply, assiduously fulfilled his religious obligations, and was accessible and sympathetic to his people.

But he also stood firm when some tribes, who had only nominally accepted Islam, renounced it in the wake of the Prophet’s death. In what was a major accomplishment, Abu Bakr swiftly disciplined them. Later, he consolidated the support of the tribes within the Arabian Peninsula and subsequently funneled their energies against the powerful empires of the East: the Sassanians in Persia and the Byzantines in Syria, Palestine, and Egypt. In short, he demonstrated the viability of the Muslim state.

The second caliph, Umar - appointed by Abu Bakr - continued to demonstrate that viability. Adopting the title Ameer al-Mumineen, or Commander of the Believers, Umar extended Islam’s temporal rule over Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and Persia in what, from a purely military standpoint, were astonishing victories. Within four years after the death of the Prophet, the Muslim state had extended its sway over all of Syria and had, at a famous battle fought during a sandstorm near the River Yarmuk, blunted the power of the Byzantines - whose ruler, Heraclius, had shortly before refused the call to accept Islam.

Even more astonishingly, the Muslim state administered the conquered territories with a tolerance almost unheard of in that age. At Damascus, for example, the Muslim leader, Khalid ibn al-Walid, signed a treaty which read as follows:
This is what Khalid ibn al-Walid would grant to the inhabitants of Damascus if he enters therein: he promises to give them security for their lives, property and churches. Their city wall shall not be demolished; neither shall any Muslim be quartered in their houses. Thereunto we give them the pact of God and the protection of His Prophet, the caliphs and the believers. So long as they pay the poll tax, nothing but good shall befall them.

This tolerance was typical of Islam. A year after Yarmook, Umar, in the military camp of al-Jabiyah on the Golan Heights, received word that the Byzantines were ready to surrender Jerusalem. Consequently, he rode there to accept the surrender in person. According to one account, he entered the city alone and clad in a simple cloak, astounding a populace accustomed to the sumptuous garb and court ceremonials of the Byzantines and Persians. He astounded them still further when he set their fears at rest by negotiating a generous treaty in which he told them: “In the name of God ... you have complete security for your churches, which shall not be occupied by the Muslims or destroyed.”

This policy was to prove successful everywhere. In Syria, for example, many Christians who had been involved in bitter theological disputes with Byzantine authorities - and persecuted for it - welcomed the coming of Islam as an end to tyranny. And in Egypt, which Amr ibn al-As took from the Byzantines after a daring march across the Sinai Peninsula, the Coptic Christians not only welcomed the Arabs, but enthusiastically assisted them.

This pattern was repeated throughout the Byzantine Empire. Conflict among Greek Orthodox, Syrian Monophysites, Copts, and Nestorian Christians contributed to the failure of the Byzantines - always regarded as intruders - to develop popular support, while the tolerance which Muslims showed toward Christians and Jews removed the primary cause for opposing them.

Umar adopted this attitude in administrative matters as well. Although he assigned Muslim governors to the new provinces, existing Byzantine and Persian administrations were retained wherever possible. For fifty years, in fact, Greek remained the chancery language of Syria, Egypt, and Palestine, while Pahlavi, the chancery language of the Sassanians, continued to be used in Mesopotamia and Persia.

Umar, who served as caliph for ten years, ended his rule with a significant victory over the Persian Empire. The struggle with the Sassanid realm had opened in 636 at al-Qadisiyah, near Ctesiphon in Iraq, where Muslim cavalry had successfully coped with elephants used by the Persians as a kind of primitive tank. Now with the Battle of Nihavand, called the “Conquest of Conquests,” Umar sealed the fate of Persia; henceforth it was to be one of the most important provinces in the Muslim Empire.

His caliphate was a high point in early Islamic history. He was noted for his justice, social ideals, administration, and statesmanship. His innovations left an all enduring imprint on social welfare, taxation, and the financial and administrative fabric of the growing empire.

A Brief History of Islam (part 5 of 5): The Caliphate of Uthman ibn Affan
Description: The election, governance, and character of the third Caliph of Islam.By Amatullah Abdullah (edited by on 05 Mar 2007 - Last modified on 05 Mar 2007 Viewed: 21235 (daily average: 13) - Rating: 4.5 out of 5 - Rated by: 23Printed: 1246 - Emailed: 60 - Commented on: 0 Category: Articles > Islamic History > In Brief

Election of Uthman
Umar ibn Al-Khattab, the second caliph of Islam, was stabbed by a Persian slave Abu Lu’lu’ah, a Persian Magian, while leading the Fajr Prayer. As Umar was lying on his death bed, the people around him asked him to appoint a successor. Umar appointed a committee of six people to choose the next caliph from among themselves.

This committee comprised Ali ibn Abi Talib, Uthman ibn Affan, Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf, Sad ibn Abi Waqqas, Az-Zubayr ibn Al-Awam, and Talhah ibn Ubayd Allah, who were among the most eminent Companions of the Prophet, may God send His praises upon him, and who had received in their lifetime the tidings of Paradise.

The instructions of Umar were that the Election Committee should choose the successor within three days, and he should assume office on the fourth day. As two days passed by without a decision, the members felt anxious that the time was running out fast, and still no solution to the problem appeared to be in sight. Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf offered to forgo his own claim if others agreed to abide by his decision. All agreed to let Abdur-Rahman choose the new caliph. He interviewed each nominee and went about Medinah asking the people for their choice. He finally selected Uthman as the new caliph, as the majority of the people chose him.
His Life as a Caliph

Uthman led a simple life even after becoming the leader of the Islamic state. It would have been easy for a successful businessman such as him to lead a luxurious life, but he never aimed at leading such in this world. His only aim was to taste the pleasure of the hereafter, as he knew that this world is a test and temporary. Uthman’s generosity continued after he became caliph.
The caliphs were paid for their services from the treasury, but Uthman never took any salary for his service to Islam. Not only this, he also developed a custom to free slaves every Friday, look after widows and orphans, and give unlimited charity. His patience and endurance were among the characteristics that made him a successful leader.

Uthman achieved much during his reign. He pushed forward with the pacification of Persia, continued to defend the Muslim state against the Byzantines, added what is now Libya to the empire, and subjugated most of Armenia. Uthman also, through his cousin Mu'awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, the governor of Syria, established an Arab navy which fought a series of important engagements with the Byzantines.

Of much greater importance to Islam, however, was Uthman's compilation of the text of the Quran as revealed to the Prophet. Realizing that the original message from God might be inadvertently distorted by textual variants, he appointed a committee to collect the canonical verses and destroy the variant recensions. The result was the text that is accepted to this day throughout the Muslim world.

Opposition and the End
During his caliphate, Uthman faced much of hostility from new, nominal Muslims in newly Islamic lands, who started to accuse him of not following the example Prophet and the preceding caliphs in matters concerning governance . However, the Companions of the Prophet always defended him. These accusations never changed him. He remained persistent to be a merciful governor. Even during the time when his foes attacked him, he did not use the treasury funds to shield his house or himself. As envisaged by Prophet Muhammad, Uthman’s enemies relentlessly made his governing difficult by constantly opposing and accusing him. His opponents finally plotted against him, surrounded his house, and encouraged people to kill him.
Many of his advisors asked him to stop the assault but he did not, until he was killed while reciting the Quran exactly as the Prophet had predicted. Uthman died as a martyr.
Anas ibn Malik narrated the following:
“The Prophet once climbed the mountain of Uhud with Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman. The mountain shook with them. The Prophet said (to the mountain), ‘Be firm, O Uhud! For on you there is a Prophet, an early truthful supporter of mine, and two martyrs.’” (Saheeh al-Bukhari)

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