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hamza81

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Everything posted by hamza81

  1. Asalam wr wb brother how are you? how is everything going now? i read your post where you said you needed help and i am here for you brother to help you in anyway i can! What is your situation now? look forward to your reply Assalamu alaikum
  2. Why are so many Women converting to Islam? According to "The Plain Truth", February 1984, in its 50 Year Anniversary Issue, quoting from the "World Almanac and Book of Facts 1935" and "Reader's Digest Almanac and Yearbook 1983", between 1934 and 1984. Christianity increased 47% World Population increased 136% Islam increased 235% 100,000 people per year in America alone, are converting to Islam. For every 1 male convert to Islam, 4 females convert to Islam. They're discovering the FACTS and not basing their decisions on biased media. They realise they deserve to know the complete unadulterated truth. 1. The Bible Convicts Women as the original Sinners (ie. Eve picking from the forbidden tree){Genesis 2:4-3:24}. The Koran Clarifies it was Adam Not Eve {Koran 7:19-25} 2. The Bible says "The Birth of a Daughter is a loss" {Ecclesiasticus 22:3}. The Koran says both are an Equal Blessing {Koran 42:49} 3. The Bible forbids women from speaking in church {I Corinthians 14:34-35}. The Koran says women can argue with the Prophet {58:1} 4. In the Bible, divorced Women are Labeled as an Adulteress, not men {Matthew 5:31-32} The Koran does Not have Biblical double standards{Koran 30:21} 5. In The Bible, widows and sisters do not inherit Any property or wealth, only men do {Numbers 27:1-11} The Koran abolished this male greed {Koran 4:22} and God protects all. 6. The Bible Allows Multiple Wives {I Kings 11:3} In The Koran, God limits the number to 4 only under certain situations (with the wife's permission)and prefers you marry only one wife {Koran 4:3} The Koran gives the woman the right to choose who to marry. 7. "If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives" {Deuteronomy 22:28-30} One must ask a simple question here, who is really punished, the man who raped the woman or the woman who was raped? According to the Bible, you have to spend the rest of your life with the man who raped you. The Prophet Muhammad Says {Volume 9, Book 86, Number 101} Narrated by Aisha:"It is essential to have the consent of a virgin (for the marriage)". Would the Non-Muslim men reading this prefer the Women they know to be Christian or Muslim? 8. The Bible also asks women to wear veils as in Islam {I Corinthians 11:3-10} 9. Women were given rights to Vote less than a 100 years ago in the (US), while the Koran gave women voting rights almost 1,500 years ago. Christian Scientists are declaring the Koran is from God. Click this link-you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_wings.buffalo.edu/sa/muslim/library/jesus-say/ch13.html for stories of Christians and atheist scientists who convert to Islam and why. The Christian Bishops and Priests are admitting the Bible has tensions.- you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_wings.buffalo.edu/sa/muslim/library/jesus-say/ch2.1.html Jesus is a Muslim? Click here.- you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_wings.buffalo.edu/sa/muslim/library...say/ch6.10.html The list goes on and on, to hear from some of these converts, including Nuns, and many Famous people click Here. For a more Information and Statistics click Here This is Dedicated to Past, Present, and Future Muslim Sisters, Family and Friends, to the Devil who prefers slander and hype over facts. Peace and Blessings upon All. Source: you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetthemodernreligion(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/women/women_why_converting.htm
  3. This is a very useful post for new muslims: I. Beliefs. Islam has seven main beliefs. They are contained in the formula known as the Iman ul Mufassal. It goes as follows, "Amantu bil lahi wa mala-ikatihi wa kutubihi wa rasulihi wal yowm ul akhiri wal qadri, khayrihi wa sharihi min Allahi ta'ala wal ba'ith ba'ed al mowt." In English it means, "I believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, Measurement, both the good and the bad are from Allah the exalted, and in life after death." A. Allah. This is the name for "God" in Arabic. Allah is not a human, not a male and not a female. We only say the term "He" when referring to Him because there is no "It" in Arabic. All nouns are automatically masculine or feminine. Allah created everything and was never created. He is never born, He never has children and the human mind cannot encompass His magnitude and greatness. He is loving but just, merciful but stern. Only by surrendering to His will can we come into accordance with His universal will. B. Angels: They are not human, nor male or female. They are the servants of Allah and never rebel against him. We believe in a devil-creature called Shaytan (Satan) but he is not a fallen angel. He is a creature called a Jinn who rebelled against Allah. Angels record our good deeds and bad and are behind the events of nature and enforce Allah's will in the universe, although He doesn't need their help. C. Books: Allah has sent revelation to thousands of humans throughout history. Some of those revelations were organized bodies of teachings meant to be recorded as "books" whether written or oral to be handed on to future generations. We know the names of five of these books. They are: the scrolls of Ibrahim, (Abraham), the Taurah of Musa, (Moses), the Zabur (Psalms) of Dawud, (David), the Injeel of 'Esa (Gospel of Jesus) and the Qur'an of Muhammad. Only the last book has survived until the present day. All others have been lost or altered so much so that they are all but worthless. D. Messengers: These are Allah's Prophets and Message-bringers to whom Allah gave revelation. Every nation and race on earth received at least one in the past. They all taught the same message: to surrender to Allah and do right. Thus we say they all taught Islam. The first was Adam and the last was Muhammad. The Qur'an mentions the name of 25 Prophets and Messengers. E. The Last Day: Human history will end one day. Allah will end the earth at some future date and all human beings that ever lived will be raised up for Judgment Day. After each person's good and bad deeds as well as their beliefs are examined, they will be sent to either Paradise (Jannah) or Hell (Jahannam). F. Measurement: Allah has measured the length of our life in this world, our economic status, where we will die, etc... The word "Qadr" is sometimes translated as destiny or pre-destination or even fate. But the word actually means "to measure." G. Life After Death: Eternal life in either Heaven or Hell for our souls based on what we believed and did while we lived in the world. Some people will be taken out of hell and admitted to heaven when the term of their punishment is over. II. Practices. Islam has seven main practices in the life of a Muslim. Five of those practices are grouped together and are known as the Arkan al Islami, or Pillars of Islam. The following Hadith lists them as follows: "Buniyal Islamu 'ala khamsin: Shahadati an la ilaha ill Allah wa anna Muhammadar Rasul Allah. Wa ooqimus Salati wa i-ta azakati wa hajjil bayti wa saumi Ramadan." In English it means: "Islam is built on five things: Declaring that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Establishing Prayer, paying the Charity, making a pilgrimage to the House and fasting in Ramadan." A. Shahadah. Declaration of Faith. Saying, "Ash hadu an la ilaha ill Allah wa ash hadu anna Muhammadar Rasul Allah." "I declare there is no god but Allah and I declare that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah." B. Salah. Prayer. This is the ritual prayer that Muslims perform at five set times each day. To neglect any one of them counts as a sin. The names and times of each prayer are as follows: 1. Fajr. Before sunrise. 2. Zuhr. About a half an hour after noon. 3. 'Asr. About two to three hours before sunset. 4. Maghrib. Immediately after sunset. 5. 'Isha. After the last light of the departing sun is gone from the sky. C. Zakah. Purifying Charity. It is the annual payment of 2.5% of our yearly economic accumulations, after expenses, for the benefit of the poor, orphans, the needy, etc... D. Saum. Fasting. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims abstain from all food, drink, anger, sex, smoking and bad deeds from just before fist light until sunset. This is a training time for us to learn to control our gluttony, anger and bodily needs. We learn our mind is stronger than our urges, weaknesses and desires. E. Hajj. Pilgrimage. A once in a life-time trip to Mecca to purify your soul and reconnect with our ultimate purpose in life. The month of Hajj is when millions of Muslims all over the world arrive to serve Allah wearing only simple, white clothes and no status or titles. We remember the real poverty of this world and the severity of the Day of Judgment. The other two practices are known as Da'wah and Jihad. Da'wah means calling others to Islam and Jihad means to struggle in Allah's cause. That struggling can be physical, spiritual or mental. The word Jihad does not mean "Holy War." III. Holidays. There are only two official holidays in Islam. One comes at the end of Ramadan and is called the 'Eid ul Fitr. (Festival of the Fast Breaking). The other comes at the end of the Hajj and is called the 'Eid ul Adha. (Festival of the Sacrifice.) Some Muslims celebrate such things as the birthday of the Prophet, (Mawlud un Nabi), or the 'Eid ul Ghadir (which is a much later holiday centered on 'Ali, the Prophet's cousin, whom a group of Muslims called "Shi'a" revere), but standard Islam (Qur'an + Prophet's sayings and example) doesn't seem to give any overt or tacit support to these holidays. The Blessed Prophet said in authentic sayings that there were only two holidays in Islam, 'Eid ul Fitr and 'Eid ul Adha. The commemoration of the Prophet's birthday is debated among Muslim scholars. IV. Halal and Haram. Halal items are allowed by Allah. Most foods in the world are Halal. Haram means forbidden by Allah. Haram foods are alcohol and other intoxicants, pork, carrion, most carnivorous animals, meat dedicated to idols. For the meat of an animal, other than seafood, to be Halal for a Muslim, it must be slaughtered in a specific manner. The process is called Dhabiha. Basically it is a similar procedure to the Jewish method of kosher preparation. Kosher meat is also allowed for Muslims, as per the Qur'an. Some Muslims believe that "supermarket" meat and fast food meat is also halal, but Allah said in the Qur'an that the meat prepared by the Jews and Christians is allowed, whereas almost no one in America practices Christianity anymore, as it was practiced in ancient times. Modern slaughtering techniques, with their attendant cruelty and unsanitary nature, do not pass the halal test for us. It is a bit of a hardship but we believe in the prevention of cruelty to animals and modern slaughterhouses are places of tremendous cruelty. There are detailed books on the subject. There are also Halal and Haram ways to make money. Any business or activity that involves Interest-money is Haram as is any business involving gambling, alcohol, Haram foods or deceit. V. Male/Female Relations. Islam provides a code of manners for male/female interaction outside the home. It is impossible not to interact with the opposite sex in daily life such as in the workplace, school or shopping centers. Some very conservative Muslims have this silly and misguided notion that men and women are forbidden to have any interaction unless they're married. Reading the Qur'an and Hadith, however, we get a different picture. The early Muslims, until recent times, had a relatively egalitarian attitude towards male/female relations. Muslims have only freaked out in the last two hundred years with isolationism and ultra-conservatism becoming rampant. Today's arch conservatives would have you believe that a woman's place is in the kitchen and nothing more, but this is not what you will find when you read about Muslim society in former times. Men and women can interact in legitimate settings such as in a business, market, school or social gathering provided they follow certain points of etiquette. A. Women and men must be wearing clothes that fulfill Islamic requirements of decency. Men must be covered from the knees to the navel, and normal daily wear consists of some type of robe, or pant/shirt combo. A turban or some other form of a headgear is strongly recommended. Muslim men are required to have some sort of a beard (if they can grow one). Many secular minded Muslims do not wear a beard due to the influence of certain dominant cultures in the world which look down upon beards. Women must be covered from their ankles to their necks and down to their wrists in loose fitting clothes. In addition, a head covering must be wrapped over the hair. This is called the Hijab, or scarf. (Khimar is a related term.) Face veils, gloves and socks are not required, even though some very conservative Muslims hold that it makes a woman more purified and sincere. (It is more a cultural trend than an authentic religiously sanctioned position.) B. An unmarried man and woman should never be alone together in a room. No person should ever be alone with someone of the opposite sex unless they are married to that person. C. Men and women are not to talk to each other in a soft or intimate-sounding voice unless they are married to each other. Women are to address men in a firm and even tone so that the men don't get any false ideas. D. When meeting and greeting: Men shake hands and hug only other men. Women shake hands and hug only other women. (Unless they are married to each other, of course.) E. Men and women who are not married to each other never touch. F. If two people are interested in getting married, the woman should arrange for a male relative to act on her behalf as her representative. That way she doesn't have to feel pressured or undignified. If a woman doesn't have any reliable male relatives to represent her interests, she may choose another Muslim male, usually an Imam or other trusted person to act on her behalf. VI. Names. Islam does not require a person to change his or her name. The only case where a person should think about changing their name is if the meaning of their name is offensive. (Once a man came to the Prophet and introduced himself. The man's name meant "Downcast and somber." The Prophet suggested he change his name to a better once such as Abdur Rahman: "Servant of the Merciful.") Many Muslims like to take on Islamic or Arabic-style names as an expression of their affiliation, but this is not required. An Arab name is not always an Islamic name. Names identified with Islam exclusively usually have some relationship to being a servant of Allah or to the Prophet and the most famous Muslims around him. There are many books which give lists of names associated with both Islam and Muslim culture. Some examples of currently available books are: 1. A Dictionary of Muslim Names. 2. The Book of Muslim Names. 3. A Digest of Muslim Names. Amana Publications. 4. Names for Muslim Children. VII. Islamic Phrases. Islam has its own key phrases to use in daily life. Some of these are listed below along with the times to use them. 1. When starting to do something: "Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem." (In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.) 2. When mentioning something that will be done in the future. "Insha'llah." (If Allah wills.) 3. When praising something say, "Subhanullah." (Glory to Allah.) 4. When in pain or distress. "Ya Allah." (O Allah.) 5. When appreciating something say, "Masha-Allah." (As Allah willed.) 6. When thanking someone. "Jazakullah." (Allah reward you.) 7. When you see something bad. "Nowthzubillah." (Allah protect us.) 8. When saying you're sorry to Allah for a sin. "Astaghfirullah." (Allah forgive.) 9. After sneezing or when you're happy about something. "Alhumdulillah." (Praise Allah.) 10. When meeting someone. "Assalamu 'alaykum." (Peace be upon you.) 11. Replying to the above greeting. "Wa 'alaykum assalam." (And upon you be peace.) 12. When hearing about a death or tragedy. "Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajiun." (To Allah we belong and to Him we return.) 13. When giving in charity. "Fee eemanullah." (In Allah's faith.) 14. When taking an oath. "Wallah." (I Swear to Allah.) 15. If someone sneezes and they say, "alhumdulillah," you reply with, "Yarhamakullah." (Allah have mercy upon you.) The sneezer will reply back, "Yehdikumullah" which means, "Allah guide you." Basic Islamic Terms Every way of life has its own vocabulary. This enables people to communicate about detailed topics using only a few key words. It is important that Muslims learn the vocabulary of Islam so that we all know what we're talking about. This unites us as Muslims and brings us closer to a sense of belonging to the same community. Abdul: This means "Servant of." Many Muslims like to change their names from non-Muslim names to Muslim names. A favorite choice is Abdul. But who is the person a servant of? You must always have something after "Abdul." The place to look is in the 99 Names of Allah. Allah has many names, such as Wadud (the Loving), Malik (the King), Rahman (The Merciful), Hakim (the Wise.) Just add one of those after Abdul and you become "The Servant of _______". (For example: Abdul Khaliq: The Servant of the Creator.) etc... Adab: Manners. Adhan: (Athzan) The call to prayer. Ahl al Kitab: This means the "People of the Book." Allah uses this term in the Qur'an to refer to the Jews, Christians and any other people who received revelation from an authentic Prophet in the past. Because the Ahl al Kitab lost their revelations and twisted the teachings they had, Allah sent one last Messenger to the world, the Prophet Muhammad. He brought the Qur'an from Allah. The Ahl al Kitab are called to believe in Allah's last message. To repeat: their own message has been lost or changed so much that there is very little of Allah's truth left in it. The Bible is not the word of Allah. It is a book made up of people's writings that was put together by Europeans in the year 325 at Nicea. That's 300 years after the time of Prophet Jesus ('Esa). Ahmadiyya: A sectarian movement that began in India over one hundred years ago. They believe that one man named Ahmed Ghulam is a new prophet from God. Their worldwide headquarters are in Qadian, India, and they have missions worldwide. Akhee: My brother. Akhirah: The next life. Akhlaq: Your character and behavior. Alhumdu lillah: All Praise is for Allah. 'Alim: A scholar. The plural is 'Ulema. Allah: The name for God in the Arabic language. (Literally: THE GOD). Muslims prefer to say "Allah" no matter what language they speak because in Arabic it is a stand-alone word. In other words, you can't make it masculine or feminine, plural or whatever. In English you can change "God" to Gods, Goddesses, Demi-God, etc... There is no way to do that in Arabic to the name, Allah. Islam teaches that Allah is not a male or a female, nor is He black or white. He is not even a human like us. We only use the term "He" when we refer to Him because their is no "it" in Arabic and it seems disrespectful to call Allah an "it" in English. Allah sometimes refers to Himself as "We" or "Us" but don't be mislead. In many languages, (including English) a single being can call himself a "We" if he wants to so that it emphasizes his power. Allah is everywhere and nowhere. He is never tired and He never needs a "rest." He is Loving and the upholder of justice and He is the Source of Creation. Allahu Akbar: "Allah is the Greatest." This is the universal catch-all phrase of Muslims. When a Muslim shouts, "Takbeer" (Who's the Greatest!) everyone replies with "Allah Akbar!" Amir: This means a leader. The Prophet said every group of Muslims must make a leader among them, even if they were only three in number. An Amir is not a dictator and can't just order people around, however. He must also be elected by the consent of the majority. Because Allah said believers consult each other in their affairs (shura), the Amir must listen to the opinions of the Muslim group and take them seriously. If an Amir begins to clearly go against Islamic teachings, then the Muslims must elect a new one. Angels: In Arabic they are called the Mala-ika. They are created from light energy. Their only purpose is to serve Allah. They are behind the forces of nature. Some Angels are given the job of watching humans and noting their deeds for judgment day. Angels can take on physical form, sort of like a hologram, and can appear as humans or whatever. They are all good and never disobey Allah. They are not male or female. Christianity teaches that some angels went bad and that's where Satan and the devils came from. Islam teaches that this is not true. Angels are also not people running around in white robes with halos over their head. Ansar: The helpers. The basic reference is to the new Muslims of Medina who helped the Prophet and the Meccan Muslims after they fled Mecca. Arabic: A language which originated in the Middle East, specifically in the Arabian peninsula. It is the language Allah chose to reveal His last revelation to the world in. Arkan al Islami: This means the Pillars of Islam. There are five main practices or "pillars" in the life of a Muslim. Assalamu 'alaykum: "Peace be upon you." This is the universal Muslim greeting. The Prophet said that Muslims must use this greeting when they meet. There are also verses in the Qur'an about it. If a person approaches a group, the person should say it first. A younger person should greet an older person first. The reply is "Wa alaykum assalam." "And upon you be peace." Ayah: A verse of the Qur'an. The word literally means a "sign." The plural is Ayat. Bahais: A sectarian movement that grew out of Shi'a Islam, but then it broke away to form its own path. Bahaiism is basically a hybrid of Islamic philosophy wedded to a universalist outlook. Their headquarters are in Haifa, israel. Barzakh: The time in between our death and the day we are raised up for judgment. Our souls will be in "storage" or Barzakh. The word literally means, "Partition" or "Dividing Line." Bid'a: This means "Innovation" or "Unauthorized Changes." The Prophet forbade people from making any changes to the teachings or practices of Islam. He said such things and people would go to the Hell fire. Da'wah: This means calling people (to Islam). If you're talking to someone about Islam you're doing Da'wah. A Da'i is the person who does Da'wah. Deen: Way of Life. Islam is not a religion, it's a way of life. Dhikr (Thzikr): This means to remember Allah. When you repeat words or sentences over and over so you can meditate on Allah and cleanse your mind, you are doing or making dhikr. Common dhikr phrases are: "La ilaha illa Allah" (There is no god but Allah.) "Subahanullah wa Bihumdeehee" (Glory to Allah and His is the Praise.) Saying that last one 100 times gets all your sins forgiven according to the Blessed Prophet. There are many more. Many Muslims like to get those prayer beads to help them keep count but the Prophet said you get more reward if you do it on your fingers alone. Du'a: This means to call on Allah. Whenever you ask Allah for something, whether out loud or inside, you are calling on Him. You can make du'a in any words, in any language and Allah has promised to respond, although in a way we might not expect. Many Muslims like to learn some of the du'as that the Prophet said, but you can use your own words to talk to your Maker. Dunya: This world. "Hayatud Dunya": "The life of this world." 'Eid: (Or: 'Id.) The Muslim holiday. There are two Eid's. One at the end of fasting in Ramadan is called Eid ul Fitr. The other after the Hajj is over is called Eid ul Adh ha. Fard: Something you must do in Islam. Something that is required by Allah for us to do. Fatwa: A scholar's opinion or judgment on an issue related to Islam. It is not binding on a Muslim if there is doubt about it or it can be shown to be faulty. Only a recognized scholar, or 'Alim can issue Fatwas and other scholars must investigate the veracity of their basis. Fiqh: The science of understanding the Shari'ah. In the past small groups of people with similar opinions about the Shari'ah joined together and formed intellectual clubs called a Math-hab. Today there are five big groupings of these Madh-habs. Shaf', Hanbali, Maliki, Jafari and Hanafi. Not all Muslims accept the Jafari school as valid due to technical reasons. A Muslim can follow the ideas of any one of them or none of them at all. After all, we have the Qur'an, the sayings of the Prophet, the sayings of his companions and our brains. Don't be afraid to use them. Ghusl: A full shower. A Ghusl is required after any sexual discharge or activity before prayers can be offered again. A Ghusl is highly recommended on Fridays before going to Jum'ah prayers. Hadith: A saying or report by or about the Blessed Prophet. The most reliable collections of Hadith are named after the scholars who collected them in the early days of Islam and checked on them for accuracy. They are: Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, An Nisa'i, Ibn Majah. There are some good books that take Hadiths from the main six and group them by topic. Those good resource books are as follows: "Riyadh as Saliheen" "Mishkat ul Masabih" and "Al Muwatta." Hafiz: (Hafithz) A memorizer or guardian of the entire Qur'an. Hajj: The pilgrimage to Mecca. Halal: Allowed for a Muslim. Haram: Forbidden for a Muslim. Hijab: The scarf a woman wears over her head. Some Muslims who like to compromise their beliefs say it's not required in Islam. It is, however, required and all women must wear it. The face-veil (niqab) is not required, but some women like to wear it. Islam does not require a woman to wear gloves or socks but some very conservative Muslims try to teach this. This is Bid'a. They didn't even have gloves, for example, in the Prophet's time in Arabia. Hijra: To migrate. This term refers firstly to the great migration of the Muslims in the year 622 from the hostile city of Mecca, which was controlled by idol-worshippers, to the safer city of Madinah (then called Yathrib) where Islam could exist freely. The Islamic calendar begins with the Hijra as the first year. 'Ibadah: This term is often translated as "worship" but it is not a correct translation. The word worship in English just means praying and bowing, like worshipping in a church. But the term 'Ibadah literally means "service" and it comes from the root word, "to serve." When we say that Islam considers all life to be 'Ibadah, we mean that our whole life should be lived in the service of Allah. We are here to serve Allah. In Islam, any good deed, action or thought, even just holding a steady job or smiling at someone is considered doing 'Ibadah for Allah. Iftar: The meal you eat after sunset in Ramadan. Suhoor is the light breakfast before first light in the morning during Ramadan. Imam: Literally: leader. Although most Muslims take this term in the sense of a leader of the prayers, it does apply to the group leader outside of prayer as well. An Imam must be elected by the Muslims or at least accepted by them if he is appointed from outside. If the community rejects him, then he cannot be the Imam. Eman: (Eemaan) Belief or faith. The root word of Eman is Amuna. It implies three meanings: 1) to believe, 2) to confirm that belief in your heart, and 3) to feel safe. Eman is what makes a person a Muslim. Often spelled "Iman". Ihsaan: Usually translated as "goodness". The Prophet (p) defined it as knowing that Allah is watching you even though you don't see Him. Injeel: The Gospel of Prophet 'Esa (Jesus). The New Testament of the Bible is not the Gospel of Jesus. The New Testament was written by a lot of different authors and contains stories about Prophet 'Esa, but it is not 'Esa's message. The present New Testament was assembled three hundred years after the time of Prophet 'Esa by a group of white men on a Greek Island who voted on what their "holy" book should contain. Most of the votes were hotly debated! The Roman emperor who ordered them to do it then told all Christians to accept this new compilation of writings. All other Christian writings were ordered to be destroyed. The New Testament contains four books called Gospels: (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). Hundreds more "Gospels" from other authors were burned. A few such as the Gospel of Barnabas and Thomas have survived. The Gospel of Jesus was never written down and is lost. Insha'llah: If Allah wills. Iqamah: The second call to prayer just before the actual prayer begins. Islam: To surrender to Allah and find peace. Jahannam: Hell. Jam'a: Together, in a group. Jannah: Paradise, Heaven. It literally means "the Garden." Jibra'il: The angel that brought Allah's revelation to the Prophet. Allah is so powerful and majestic that it is beneath him to reveal Himself to humans. We are like an ant next to a star in comparison to Allah. He sends the angels to do these small jobs, though He doesn't need them. In English his name is Gabriel. Jinn: These are another type of creature Allah created. They are invisible to us but they can see us. They were made from fire elements and thus are pure energy. They are not like ghosts or weird monsters. They can influence your thoughts, encourage you to do wrong, and whisper fears into your mind. They can be good or bad. The good jinn leave us alone. The bad ones, who are also called Shayateen, or Devils, want to destroy you. Astrologers and fortune tellers get their "predictions" and "readings" from them. Jinn spy on the Angels and learn secrets about the future, then they whisper it into the minds of the fortune tellers. Jinn live, die and have families like us but they exist on another plane altogether. The Prophets could control the Jinn but none of us ordinary people can. Although we believe Jinn can possess a human body, Islam teaches that it's not very common. Don't believe every "Jinn story" Muslim immigrants will tell you about their aunt or second cousin's brother. Most of it will be superstitious stories that are culturally based. Jumu'ah: The Friday Prayer in which all Muslims gather to hear a sermon called a Khutba. It's time is in place of the Zuhr Salah, usually somewhere between 12 pm and 2 pm. It is mandatory on all men to attend. It is optional for women. The Prophet said if you miss three Jumu'ahs in a row then hypocrisy will start to enter your heart. Kafir: This means a person who covers up the truth. Usually we say the easier English word "unbeliever." The plural is Kuffar. (Unbelievers.) The noun (unbelief) is Kufr. Khalifah: This word means Steward, Manager or Care-taker. Allah made humans to be the Khalifah of the earth. In other words, we were given the earth as a trust to take care of. We shouldn't ruin it or pollute it. The head of the Muslim Ummah is also called a Khalifah because he is to take care of the Muslim community. Muslims are supposed to elect a Khalifah, but there hasn't been a world-wide Khalifah for a long time. Khatib: The person who gives the Khutbah, or Friday sermon. The preacher during Friday services. Kitabullah: The Book of Allah. (The Qur'an.) The word Kitab means book. Mahr: The money (or whatever else) that the man has to give to a woman in order to marry her. It is called the marriage-gift and a woman can ask for whatever she wants. If it is money, it can be deferred and paid gradually over time. The husband can never take it away for any reason. Malik ul Mawt: The Angel of Death. Masjid: Literally means, "the place of bowing." This is the name for a Muslim prayer hall. Madh-hab: This means, "School of Thought." In Islam we have the Qur'an, the example of the Prophet and the sayings and guidance of the Prophet's companions. Through the centuries, various Muslim scholars have tried to make those teachings easier for Muslims to live by through organizing them, talking about them and trying to use those tools to find answers to questions where those first three sources are quiet. Of course different opinions developed between different scholars and some people chose to follow one scholar or the other. Those differences in ideas about how to follow Islamic rules are called "Schools of Thought." There are five main schools today. Some people say you have to "follow" one of those schools to be a Muslim, but this is not true. You have to follow Islamic teachings but you don't have to put some label on yourself. Each of the five schools is named after the scholar who founded or inspired it. The five are: Maliki, Hanafi, Hanbali, Shaf'i and Jafaari. Most "Shi'a" Muslims follow the Jaafari school. The books and writings of the schools are a good source of information about the particulars of Islam, but our real label is, "I am a Muslim, and only a Muslim." The Shaf'i school is considered the easiest school and the Hanbali is considered the hardest in terms of social and personal rules. Mecca: (Also spelled Makkah). A city in Arabia founded thousands of years ago by Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). At that time it was called "Becca." Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was born there in the year 570. Medina: (Also spelled Madinah). A city about 200 miles north of Mecca. The Prophet established the Islamic community there. He passed away there and is buried there. Mu'adhan: The person who does the call the prayer. Mujahid: A person who does Jihad. Mu'min: A person with Iman. A true believer. Mus-haf: The Arabic text of the Qur'an. "Brother, hand me a Mus-haf." (Qur'an with the Arabic in it). Mushrik: A person who commits Shirk (making partners with Allah). Usually an idol-worshipper. A Hindu would be considered a Mushrik because they bow down to statues. Muslim: A person who surrendered to Allah and is working at finding peace. Nabi: This term means Prophet. Nafs: This is often translated as "soul" but it really means "the self," i.e. "You and only you." Naar: The fire (of Hell). Nikkah: The wedding ceremony. Qadr: This term is often translated as "Destiny" or "Pre-destination." This is not entirely accurate. It means literally "to measure." The religious idea behind it is that Allah measured everything in the universe. The length of your life is "measured," as is your fortune and your life's circumstances. Because of the knowledge of Allah, He knows if you will be a believer or a kafir but He doesn't make you be either one of those. Qadiani: Another name for the sectarian Ahmadiyya movement. Qiblah: The direction of Prayer. All Muslims make their prayers, or salat, facing Mecca. Allah commanded us to do this in the Qur'an as a show of unity and to remember Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) who built the first shrine there in that place so many thousands of years ago. Prophet Adam is said to have built an even older shrine many thousands of years before that in that very place. Qur'an: This is the name of the Book Allah revealed to the Prophet Muhammad from the years 610-632. Allah revealed it in stages, one section at a time, as the Muslims were ready to follow it. It has 114 chapters called surahs. It was revealed in the Arabic language and has never been lost, changed or edited, like the Bible or Buddhist books have. We have lots of translations of the Qur'an into English, but a translation can never be as good as the original words and their full meaning. All Muslims try to learn Arabic so they can read the Qur'an. Be advised, there are two different types of Arabic. The first is the language of the Qur'an, in other words, whatever vocabulary words are used in the Qur'an. The second type of Arabic is everyday Arabic, in other words, things that would help you talk about a sports game, a vacation or a day at the office. Many Muslims get bogged down by studying the second type of Arabic. You should work towards the first type if your main goal is to understand the Qur'an. Ramadan: The ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims are required to fast from before sunrise to sunset every day of this month. There are many details concerning this so consult the section on beliefs and practices. Rasul: This term means Messenger. Ruh: Your spirit or soul. Allah gave it to you on loan and thus you had better not sin and dirty it up. Sadaqah: Charity. Sahaba: A companion of the Prophet. Sahabiyat: The female companions of the Prophet. Sajda: Bowing on the floor in prayer; prostration. Salafi: This is the name of a group of Muslims who try as hard as they can to imitate the Blessed Prophet in every aspect of life. Their name comes from Salaf, (ancestors) which is a reference to the Sahaba and the generation immediately after them. The Salafis take them as models as well. Sometimes it may seem that the Salafis emphasize the laws and punishments of Islam so much that they make you feel there is no Islamic love and mercy. This is because they are sometimes very zealous in their views. Other Salafis know that the Prophet emphasized the heart and soul more than outward rules. After all, if you don't have love of Allah deep in your heart, you won't follow any rules, no matter how harsh the punishments. The great advantage to listening to the Salafis is that they can always be relied upon to be concerned about what is correct and incorrect. They tend to be conservative on women's issues. Not all Muslims accept many of their more extreme positions. Salat: (or Salah) This means prayer, the prayer in which you stand, bow and prostrate. The literal meaning of the word is: to make a connection with. Shahadah: The Declaration of Faith. By believing in and declaring the following phrase, a person becomes a Muslim: "Ash hadu an la ilaha illallah, wa ash hadu anna Muhammadar rasulullah." "I declare that there is no god but Allah, and I declare that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah." There are other ways to say this formula but this is the most common one. When a person accepts Islam, all his or her past sins are forgiven and his or her record is wiped clean and they start again from that moment as if they were just born. Shaykh: Literally: Chief or Boss. It is the title that Muslims sometimes give to their scholars. It is not required in Islam but many people like to use this term. Shari'ah: It is usually translated as Islamic Law. It means the path of Islam. Shi'a: This is the name of a sect or division in the Muslim community. Shi'aism (Partisanship) began originally as a political protest against the first Khalifah, Abu Bakr but it eventually grew into a separate sect of Muslims with its own version of Islamic teachings. About 10-15% of the world's Muslims are Shi'as. While they are still Muslims and believe in almost everything that Sunnis do, there are some serious differences in their understanding and practice of Islam vis-Ã -vis the majority Sunni community. The biggest group of Shi'as are known as the Twelvers, (they believe in a line of 12 leaders) then there are the Seveners, Isma'ilis, Alawiya and others. The Baha'is came out of the Shi'a community in Iran. (Baha'ism is a religion created in the 1800's in Iran.) The Druze of Syria and Lebanon also came from Shi'aism. All Shi'a groups share a belief that the Prophet's cousin, 'Ali, should have been the first Khalifah, not the fourth, and that only blood relatives of the Prophet Muhammad can be Khalifahs. Shirk: This is the greatest and most terrible sin. It is the one sin that can keep your soul out of Paradise and doom you to Hellfire. It means making partners with Allah. If a person says that there are many gods, or says that Allah is divided up into different people (such as the Trinity teaching of Christianity) then they are committing Shirk. Allah said it is the one sin He won't forgive if you die while doing it. The Blessed Prophet Muhammad once mentioned also that a person who likes to feel greatness in their heart was also committing a kind of Shirk. This is because all greatness is for Allah and we should always try to be humble. The Prophet also said, "La Yad khulu al Jannah min kana fee qal beehee mith qalu habbatin min kibr." "They won't enter Paradise, the one who has even a little bit of the love of greatness in their heart." Shaytan: (or Shaytan) It means Satan. (The literal meaning is to separate from.) Islam teaches that a Jinn named Iblis didn't want to bow when Allah commanded a bunch of angels to bow down to Adam in respect of his knowledge. Iblis thought he was better than both humans and angels. Allah banished him to earth and let him have extended life until the Day of Judgment. That is because Iblis challenged Allah and said if he had time he would corrupt all human beings. Iblis's name literally means "Frustrated." He is also known as the Shaytan, or Satan. Siyam (or Saum) Fasting. Subhanullah: "Glory to Allah." This phrase is said whenever we're happy or when we see something wonderful. Sufi: This is the name for a group of Muslims who want to be super-spiritually oriented. Sufis tend to try and be as close to the Sunnah as possible and they like to do group dhikr and chanting. While most Sufis are okay Islamically, there are a few groups that go way out and are close to being outside of Islam. Such far off groups sing, dance, twirl around, drink wine, deny Salat, etc... Most Sufis you will encounter are of the okay kind. They are distinguished by their traditional Islamic dress and turbans. The word Sufi comes from the term for wool cloth, which was a material early Sufis liked to wear to emphasize how they didn't want to be captured by the love of fineries in this world. Sufis organize themselves into "orders" or groups, called Tariqas. These groups are headed by a leader called a Shaykh who is considered the most spiritual man with the most Taqwa among them. Some famous Sufi Tariqas that operate all over the world are the Naqshabandis and Qadiriyya. The most famous Sufi Muslim scholars that ever lived are Jalaluddin Rumi, Muhammad al Ghazali and Abdul Qadir Jilani. Suhoof: "Scrolls." This is the name of the revelation given to Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) about 4,000 years ago. It was lost. Sunnah: The example or "way" of the Prophet. How he lived his life and what his practices were. Sunni: This is the name of the largest sect or group of Muslims. This group amounts to about 85-90% of all Muslims world-wide. Sunni's believe in the mission of the Prophet as he taught it and try very hard to adhere to the Prophet's example with no changes. This doesn't mean that Sunni's are somehow the only 'true' Muslims, however, because the Prophet never taught that we should even label ourselves Sunni's or Shi'as. Sunni Islam is just closer to real Islam. The best thing for a Muslim to do is to drop all the labels and just say, "I'm a Muslim." But there are many Muslims in the world who get emotional about wanting to call themselves some kind of label besides the basic, "I'm a Muslim." Have patience with them and do what is right. The term Sunni comes from the title, "Ahl as-Sunnah wal Jam'a" which means, "People of the Example (of the Prophet) and the Main Group (of First Muslims)." Surah: It is a chapter of the Qur'an. The word literally means "a step up in progression" or a "fence." Tafseer: Commentary or explanation of the Qur'an. Many Qur'an translations will have footnotes on the bottom of the page to help you understand the meaning of an ayah. That would be called Tafseer. Taqwa: This term means many things at once. The first meaning is that you are always aware that Allah is watching you. This brings you to the second meaning and that is that you will try to be good always. Do you see how the two things wrapped together can be so beautiful? When a Muslim has Taqwa, we say they are "Aware of Allah" Conscious of Allah" and striving to be righteous. Tauhid: Sometimes it's spelled Tawhid. It means the Oneness of Allah. Allah has no partners, He is not divided up into parts and He is not in need of anyone to help Him in anything whatsoever. Taurah: The revelation given to Prophet Musa (Moses). The first five books of the old testament in the Bible are said to be the "Torah" of Moses, but no serious Bible scholar, whether Jewish or Christian believes that anymore. Musa's message was lost long ago. Just take a look, everything about Prophet Moses in the Bible is written in third person: "And Moses said this," and "Moses went there," Someone else wrote those things, certainly not Moses! Ukhtee: My sister. Wahy: This word means revelation or inspiration. When Allah was revealing His messages to the Prophet, we would say the Prophet was receiving "Wahy." The Blessed Prophet once said that after him, all Wahy from Allah was finished except for one thing: dreams that can come true. Wudu: Washing for prayer. Yowm ul Qiyamah: The Day of Judgment. (Literally: Day of Standing.) Zabur: The revelation given to Prophet Dawud (David). The Psalms in the Bible are not the pure Zabur. Christian scholars admit that at least half of the verses in Psalms were written by temple priests, government workers, etc, in ancient israel. And no one knows which half are from Prophet Dawud and how many have been lost or altered. Zakah: This is often translated as "Charity" or "Poor-due" but the literal meaning of the word is actually, "Purifying." Zakah is the third pillar of Islam. It involves giving 2.5% of your yearly wealth, after expenses, for the benefit of the poor and the needy. The "purifying" part comes in by learning not to be greedy. If you give some of your money for the sake of Allah to the poor, you make your heart less prone to greed. source: you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetislamicedfoundation(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/guide1.htm Another useful website: you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetmuslimtents(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/aminahsworld/new_muslims.html
  4. Salam! I'm A New Muslim

    I. Beliefs. Islam has seven main beliefs. They are contained in the formula known as the Iman ul Mufassal. It goes as follows, "Amantu bil lahi wa mala-ikatihi wa kutubihi wa rasulihi wal yowm ul akhiri wal qadri, khayrihi wa sharihi min Allahi ta'ala wal ba'ith ba'ed al mowt." In English it means, "I believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, Measurement, both the good and the bad are from Allah the exalted, and in life after death." A. Allah. This is the name for "God" in Arabic. Allah is not a human, not a male and not a female. We only say the term "He" when referring to Him because there is no "It" in Arabic. All nouns are automatically masculine or feminine. Allah created everything and was never created. He is never born, He never has children and the human mind cannot encompass His magnitude and greatness. He is loving but just, merciful but stern. Only by surrendering to His will can we come into accordance with His universal will. B. Angels: They are not human, nor male or female. They are the servants of Allah and never rebel against him. We believe in a devil-creature called Shaytan (Satan) but he is not a fallen angel. He is a creature called a Jinn who rebelled against Allah. Angels record our good deeds and bad and are behind the events of nature and enforce Allah's will in the universe, although He doesn't need their help. C. Books: Allah has sent revelation to thousands of humans throughout history. Some of those revelations were organized bodies of teachings meant to be recorded as "books" whether written or oral to be handed on to future generations. We know the names of five of these books. They are: the scrolls of Ibrahim, (Abraham), the Taurah of Musa, (Moses), the Zabur (Psalms) of Dawud, (David), the Injeel of 'Esa (Gospel of Jesus) and the Qur'an of Muhammad. Only the last book has survived until the present day. All others have been lost or altered so much so that they are all but worthless. D. Messengers: These are Allah's Prophets and Message-bringers to whom Allah gave revelation. Every nation and race on earth received at least one in the past. They all taught the same message: to surrender to Allah and do right. Thus we say they all taught Islam. The first was Adam and the last was Muhammad. The Qur'an mentions the name of 25 Prophets and Messengers. E. The Last Day: Human history will end one day. Allah will end the earth at some future date and all human beings that ever lived will be raised up for Judgment Day. After each person's good and bad deeds as well as their beliefs are examined, they will be sent to either Paradise (Jannah) or Hell (Jahannam). F. Measurement: Allah has measured the length of our life in this world, our economic status, where we will die, etc... The word "Qadr" is sometimes translated as destiny or pre-destination or even fate. But the word actually means "to measure." G. Life After Death: Eternal life in either Heaven or Hell for our souls based on what we believed and did while we lived in the world. Some people will be taken out of hell and admitted to heaven when the term of their punishment is over. II. Practices. Islam has seven main practices in the life of a Muslim. Five of those practices are grouped together and are known as the Arkan al Islami, or Pillars of Islam. The following Hadith lists them as follows: "Buniyal Islamu 'ala khamsin: Shahadati an la ilaha ill Allah wa anna Muhammadar Rasul Allah. Wa ooqimus Salati wa i-ta azakati wa hajjil bayti wa saumi Ramadan." In English it means: "Islam is built on five things: Declaring that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Establishing Prayer, paying the Charity, making a pilgrimage to the House and fasting in Ramadan." A. Shahadah. Declaration of Faith. Saying, "Ash hadu an la ilaha ill Allah wa ash hadu anna Muhammadar Rasul Allah." "I declare there is no god but Allah and I declare that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah." B. Salah. Prayer. This is the ritual prayer that Muslims perform at five set times each day. To neglect any one of them counts as a sin. The names and times of each prayer are as follows: 1. Fajr. Before sunrise. 2. Zuhr. About a half an hour after noon. 3. 'Asr. About two to three hours before sunset. 4. Maghrib. Immediately after sunset. 5. 'Isha. After the last light of the departing sun is gone from the sky. C. Zakah. Purifying Charity. It is the annual payment of 2.5% of our yearly economic accumulations, after expenses, for the benefit of the poor, orphans, the needy, etc... D. Saum. Fasting. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims abstain from all food, drink, anger, sex, smoking and bad deeds from just before fist light until sunset. This is a training time for us to learn to control our gluttony, anger and bodily needs. We learn our mind is stronger than our urges, weaknesses and desires. E. Hajj. Pilgrimage. A once in a life-time trip to Mecca to purify your soul and reconnect with our ultimate purpose in life. The month of Hajj is when millions of Muslims all over the world arrive to serve Allah wearing only simple, white clothes and no status or titles. We remember the real poverty of this world and the severity of the Day of Judgment. The other two practices are known as Da'wah and Jihad. Da'wah means calling others to Islam and Jihad means to struggle in Allah's cause. That struggling can be physical, spiritual or mental. The word Jihad does not mean "Holy War." III. Holidays. There are only two official holidays in Islam. One comes at the end of Ramadan and is called the 'Eid ul Fitr. (Festival of the Fast Breaking). The other comes at the end of the Hajj and is called the 'Eid ul Adha. (Festival of the Sacrifice.) Some Muslims celebrate such things as the birthday of the Prophet, (Mawlud un Nabi), or the 'Eid ul Ghadir (which is a much later holiday centered on 'Ali, the Prophet's cousin, whom a group of Muslims called "Shi'a" revere), but standard Islam (Qur'an + Prophet's sayings and example) doesn't seem to give any overt or tacit support to these holidays. The Blessed Prophet said in authentic sayings that there were only two holidays in Islam, 'Eid ul Fitr and 'Eid ul Adha. The commemoration of the Prophet's birthday is debated among Muslim scholars. IV. Halal and Haram. Halal items are allowed by Allah. Most foods in the world are Halal. Haram means forbidden by Allah. Haram foods are alcohol and other intoxicants, pork, carrion, most carnivorous animals, meat dedicated to idols. For the meat of an animal, other than seafood, to be Halal for a Muslim, it must be slaughtered in a specific manner. The process is called Dhabiha. Basically it is a similar procedure to the Jewish method of kosher preparation. Kosher meat is also allowed for Muslims, as per the Qur'an. Some Muslims believe that "supermarket" meat and fast food meat is also halal, but Allah said in the Qur'an that the meat prepared by the Jews and Christians is allowed, whereas almost no one in America practices Christianity anymore, as it was practiced in ancient times. Modern slaughtering techniques, with their attendant cruelty and unsanitary nature, do not pass the halal test for us. It is a bit of a hardship but we believe in the prevention of cruelty to animals and modern slaughterhouses are places of tremendous cruelty. There are detailed books on the subject. There are also Halal and Haram ways to make money. Any business or activity that involves Interest-money is Haram as is any business involving gambling, alcohol, Haram foods or deceit. V. Male/Female Relations. Islam provides a code of manners for male/female interaction outside the home. It is impossible not to interact with the opposite sex in daily life such as in the workplace, school or shopping centers. Some very conservative Muslims have this silly and misguided notion that men and women are forbidden to have any interaction unless they're married. Reading the Qur'an and Hadith, however, we get a different picture. The early Muslims, until recent times, had a relatively egalitarian attitude towards male/female relations. Muslims have only freaked out in the last two hundred years with isolationism and ultra-conservatism becoming rampant. Today's arch conservatives would have you believe that a woman's place is in the kitchen and nothing more, but this is not what you will find when you read about Muslim society in former times. Men and women can interact in legitimate settings such as in a business, market, school or social gathering provided they follow certain points of etiquette. A. Women and men must be wearing clothes that fulfill Islamic requirements of decency. Men must be covered from the knees to the navel, and normal daily wear consists of some type of robe, or pant/shirt combo. A turban or some other form of a headgear is strongly recommended. Muslim men are required to have some sort of a beard (if they can grow one). Many secular minded Muslims do not wear a beard due to the influence of certain dominant cultures in the world which look down upon beards. Women must be covered from their ankles to their necks and down to their wrists in loose fitting clothes. In addition, a head covering must be wrapped over the hair. This is called the Hijab, or scarf. (Khimar is a related term.) Face veils, gloves and socks are not required, even though some very conservative Muslims hold that it makes a woman more purified and sincere. (It is more a cultural trend than an authentic religiously sanctioned position.) B. An unmarried man and woman should never be alone together in a room. No person should ever be alone with someone of the opposite sex unless they are married to that person. C. Men and women are not to talk to each other in a soft or intimate-sounding voice unless they are married to each other. Women are to address men in a firm and even tone so that the men don't get any false ideas. D. When meeting and greeting: Men shake hands and hug only other men. Women shake hands and hug only other women. (Unless they are married to each other, of course.) E. Men and women who are not married to each other never touch. F. If two people are interested in getting married, the woman should arrange for a male relative to act on her behalf as her representative. That way she doesn't have to feel pressured or undignified. If a woman doesn't have any reliable male relatives to represent her interests, she may choose another Muslim male, usually an Imam or other trusted person to act on her behalf. VI. Names. Islam does not require a person to change his or her name. The only case where a person should think about changing their name is if the meaning of their name is offensive. (Once a man came to the Prophet and introduced himself. The man's name meant "Downcast and somber." The Prophet suggested he change his name to a better once such as Abdur Rahman: "Servant of the Merciful.") Many Muslims like to take on Islamic or Arabic-style names as an expression of their affiliation, but this is not required. An Arab name is not always an Islamic name. Names identified with Islam exclusively usually have some relationship to being a servant of Allah or to the Prophet and the most famous Muslims around him. There are many books which give lists of names associated with both Islam and Muslim culture. Some examples of currently available books are: 1. A Dictionary of Muslim Names. 2. The Book of Muslim Names. 3. A Digest of Muslim Names. Amana Publications. 4. Names for Muslim Children. VII. Islamic Phrases. Islam has its own key phrases to use in daily life. Some of these are listed below along with the times to use them. 1. When starting to do something: "Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem." (In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.) 2. When mentioning something that will be done in the future. "Insha'llah." (If Allah wills.) 3. When praising something say, "Subhanullah." (Glory to Allah.) 4. When in pain or distress. "Ya Allah." (O Allah.) 5. When appreciating something say, "Masha-Allah." (As Allah willed.) 6. When thanking someone. "Jazakullah." (Allah reward you.) 7. When you see something bad. "Nowthzubillah." (Allah protect us.) 8. When saying you're sorry to Allah for a sin. "Astaghfirullah." (Allah forgive.) 9. After sneezing or when you're happy about something. "Alhumdulillah." (Praise Allah.) 10. When meeting someone. "Assalamu 'alaykum." (Peace be upon you.) 11. Replying to the above greeting. "Wa 'alaykum assalam." (And upon you be peace.) 12. When hearing about a death or tragedy. "Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajiun." (To Allah we belong and to Him we return.) 13. When giving in charity. "Fee eemanullah." (In Allah's faith.) 14. When taking an oath. "Wallah." (I Swear to Allah.) 15. If someone sneezes and they say, "alhumdulillah," you reply with, "Yarhamakullah." (Allah have mercy upon you.) The sneezer will reply back, "Yehdikumullah" which means, "Allah guide you." Basic Islamic Terms Every way of life has its own vocabulary. This enables people to communicate about detailed topics using only a few key words. It is important that Muslims learn the vocabulary of Islam so that we all know what we're talking about. This unites us as Muslims and brings us closer to a sense of belonging to the same community. Abdul: This means "Servant of." Many Muslims like to change their names from non-Muslim names to Muslim names. A favorite choice is Abdul. But who is the person a servant of? You must always have something after "Abdul." The place to look is in the 99 Names of Allah. Allah has many names, such as Wadud (the Loving), Malik (the King), Rahman (The Merciful), Hakim (the Wise.) Just add one of those after Abdul and you become "The Servant of _______". (For example: Abdul Khaliq: The Servant of the Creator.) etc... Adab: Manners. Adhan: (Athzan) The call to prayer. Ahl al Kitab: This means the "People of the Book." Allah uses this term in the Qur'an to refer to the Jews, Christians and any other people who received revelation from an authentic Prophet in the past. Because the Ahl al Kitab lost their revelations and twisted the teachings they had, Allah sent one last Messenger to the world, the Prophet Muhammad. He brought the Qur'an from Allah. The Ahl al Kitab are called to believe in Allah's last message. To repeat: their own message has been lost or changed so much that there is very little of Allah's truth left in it. The Bible is not the word of Allah. It is a book made up of people's writings that was put together by Europeans in the year 325 at Nicea. That's 300 years after the time of Prophet Jesus ('Esa). Ahmadiyya: A sectarian movement that began in India over one hundred years ago. They believe that one man named Ahmed Ghulam is a new prophet from God. Their worldwide headquarters are in Qadian, India, and they have missions worldwide. Akhee: My brother. Akhirah: The next life. Akhlaq: Your character and behavior. Alhumdu lillah: All Praise is for Allah. 'Alim: A scholar. The plural is 'Ulema. Allah: The name for God in the Arabic language. (Literally: THE GOD). Muslims prefer to say "Allah" no matter what language they speak because in Arabic it is a stand-alone word. In other words, you can't make it masculine or feminine, plural or whatever. In English you can change "God" to Gods, Goddesses, Demi-God, etc... There is no way to do that in Arabic to the name, Allah. Islam teaches that Allah is not a male or a female, nor is He black or white. He is not even a human like us. We only use the term "He" when we refer to Him because their is no "it" in Arabic and it seems disrespectful to call Allah an "it" in English. Allah sometimes refers to Himself as "We" or "Us" but don't be mislead. In many languages, (including English) a single being can call himself a "We" if he wants to so that it emphasizes his power. Allah is everywhere and nowhere. He is never tired and He never needs a "rest." He is Loving and the upholder of justice and He is the Source of Creation. Allahu Akbar: "Allah is the Greatest." This is the universal catch-all phrase of Muslims. When a Muslim shouts, "Takbeer" (Who's the Greatest!) everyone replies with "Allah Akbar!" Amir: This means a leader. The Prophet said every group of Muslims must make a leader among them, even if they were only three in number. An Amir is not a dictator and can't just order people around, however. He must also be elected by the consent of the majority. Because Allah said believers consult each other in their affairs (shura), the Amir must listen to the opinions of the Muslim group and take them seriously. If an Amir begins to clearly go against Islamic teachings, then the Muslims must elect a new one. Angels: In Arabic they are called the Mala-ika. They are created from light energy. Their only purpose is to serve Allah. They are behind the forces of nature. Some Angels are given the job of watching humans and noting their deeds for judgment day. Angels can take on physical form, sort of like a hologram, and can appear as humans or whatever. They are all good and never disobey Allah. They are not male or female. Christianity teaches that some angels went bad and that's where Satan and the devils came from. Islam teaches that this is not true. Angels are also not people running around in white robes with halos over their head. Ansar: The helpers. The basic reference is to the new Muslims of Medina who helped the Prophet and the Meccan Muslims after they fled Mecca. Arabic: A language which originated in the Middle East, specifically in the Arabian peninsula. It is the language Allah chose to reveal His last revelation to the world in. Arkan al Islami: This means the Pillars of Islam. There are five main practices or "pillars" in the life of a Muslim. Assalamu 'alaykum: "Peace be upon you." This is the universal Muslim greeting. The Prophet said that Muslims must use this greeting when they meet. There are also verses in the Qur'an about it. If a person approaches a group, the person should say it first. A younger person should greet an older person first. The reply is "Wa alaykum assalam." "And upon you be peace." Ayah: A verse of the Qur'an. The word literally means a "sign." The plural is Ayat. Bahais: A sectarian movement that grew out of Shi'a Islam, but then it broke away to form its own path. Bahaiism is basically a hybrid of Islamic philosophy wedded to a universalist outlook. Their headquarters are in Haifa, israel. Barzakh: The time in between our death and the day we are raised up for judgment. Our souls will be in "storage" or Barzakh. The word literally means, "Partition" or "Dividing Line." Bid'a: This means "Innovation" or "Unauthorized Changes." The Prophet forbade people from making any changes to the teachings or practices of Islam. He said such things and people would go to the Hell fire. Da'wah: This means calling people (to Islam). If you're talking to someone about Islam you're doing Da'wah. A Da'i is the person who does Da'wah. Deen: Way of Life. Islam is not a religion, it's a way of life. Dhikr (Thzikr): This means to remember Allah. When you repeat words or sentences over and over so you can meditate on Allah and cleanse your mind, you are doing or making dhikr. Common dhikr phrases are: "La ilaha illa Allah" (There is no god but Allah.) "Subahanullah wa Bihumdeehee" (Glory to Allah and His is the Praise.) Saying that last one 100 times gets all your sins forgiven according to the Blessed Prophet. There are many more. Many Muslims like to get those prayer beads to help them keep count but the Prophet said you get more reward if you do it on your fingers alone. Du'a: This means to call on Allah. Whenever you ask Allah for something, whether out loud or inside, you are calling on Him. You can make du'a in any words, in any language and Allah has promised to respond, although in a way we might not expect. Many Muslims like to learn some of the du'as that the Prophet said, but you can use your own words to talk to your Maker. Dunya: This world. "Hayatud Dunya": "The life of this world." 'Eid: (Or: 'Id.) The Muslim holiday. There are two Eid's. One at the end of fasting in Ramadan is called Eid ul Fitr. The other after the Hajj is over is called Eid ul Adh ha. Fard: Something you must do in Islam. Something that is required by Allah for us to do. Fatwa: A scholar's opinion or judgment on an issue related to Islam. It is not binding on a Muslim if there is doubt about it or it can be shown to be faulty. Only a recognized scholar, or 'Alim can issue Fatwas and other scholars must investigate the veracity of their basis. Fiqh: The science of understanding the Shari'ah. In the past small groups of people with similar opinions about the Shari'ah joined together and formed intellectual clubs called a Math-hab. Today there are five big groupings of these Madh-habs. Shaf', Hanbali, Maliki, Jafari and Hanafi. Not all Muslims accept the Jafari school as valid due to technical reasons. A Muslim can follow the ideas of any one of them or none of them at all. After all, we have the Qur'an, the sayings of the Prophet, the sayings of his companions and our brains. Don't be afraid to use them. Ghusl: A full shower. A Ghusl is required after any sexual discharge or activity before prayers can be offered again. A Ghusl is highly recommended on Fridays before going to Jum'ah prayers. Hadith: A saying or report by or about the Blessed Prophet. The most reliable collections of Hadith are named after the scholars who collected them in the early days of Islam and checked on them for accuracy. They are: Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, An Nisa'i, Ibn Majah. There are some good books that take Hadiths from the main six and group them by topic. Those good resource books are as follows: "Riyadh as Saliheen" "Mishkat ul Masabih" and "Al Muwatta." Hafiz: (Hafithz) A memorizer or guardian of the entire Qur'an. Hajj: The pilgrimage to Mecca. Halal: Allowed for a Muslim. Haram: Forbidden for a Muslim. Hijab: The scarf a woman wears over her head. Some Muslims who like to compromise their beliefs say it's not required in Islam. It is, however, required and all women must wear it. The face-veil (niqab) is not required, but some women like to wear it. Islam does not require a woman to wear gloves or socks but some very conservative Muslims try to teach this. This is Bid'a. They didn't even have gloves, for example, in the Prophet's time in Arabia. Hijra: To migrate. This term refers firstly to the great migration of the Muslims in the year 622 from the hostile city of Mecca, which was controlled by idol-worshippers, to the safer city of Madinah (then called Yathrib) where Islam could exist freely. The Islamic calendar begins with the Hijra as the first year. 'Ibadah: This term is often translated as "worship" but it is not a correct translation. The word worship in English just means praying and bowing, like worshipping in a church. But the term 'Ibadah literally means "service" and it comes from the root word, "to serve." When we say that Islam considers all life to be 'Ibadah, we mean that our whole life should be lived in the service of Allah. We are here to serve Allah. In Islam, any good deed, action or thought, even just holding a steady job or smiling at someone is considered doing 'Ibadah for Allah. Iftar: The meal you eat after sunset in Ramadan. Suhoor is the light breakfast before first light in the morning during Ramadan. Imam: Literally: leader. Although most Muslims take this term in the sense of a leader of the prayers, it does apply to the group leader outside of prayer as well. An Imam must be elected by the Muslims or at least accepted by them if he is appointed from outside. If the community rejects him, then he cannot be the Imam. Eman: (Eemaan) Belief or faith. The root word of Eman is Amuna. It implies three meanings: 1) to believe, 2) to confirm that belief in your heart, and 3) to feel safe. Eman is what makes a person a Muslim. Often spelled "Iman". Ihsaan: Usually translated as "goodness". The Prophet (p) defined it as knowing that Allah is watching you even though you don't see Him. Injeel: The Gospel of Prophet 'Esa (Jesus). The New Testament of the Bible is not the Gospel of Jesus. The New Testament was written by a lot of different authors and contains stories about Prophet 'Esa, but it is not 'Esa's message. The present New Testament was assembled three hundred years after the time of Prophet 'Esa by a group of white men on a Greek Island who voted on what their "holy" book should contain. Most of the votes were hotly debated! The Roman emperor who ordered them to do it then told all Christians to accept this new compilation of writings. All other Christian writings were ordered to be destroyed. The New Testament contains four books called Gospels: (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). Hundreds more "Gospels" from other authors were burned. A few such as the Gospel of Barnabas and Thomas have survived. The Gospel of Jesus was never written down and is lost. Insha'llah: If Allah wills. Iqamah: The second call to prayer just before the actual prayer begins. Islam: To surrender to Allah and find peace. Jahannam: Hell. Jam'a: Together, in a group. Jannah: Paradise, Heaven. It literally means "the Garden." Jibra'il: The angel that brought Allah's revelation to the Prophet. Allah is so powerful and majestic that it is beneath him to reveal Himself to humans. We are like an ant next to a star in comparison to Allah. He sends the angels to do these small jobs, though He doesn't need them. In English his name is Gabriel. Jinn: These are another type of creature Allah created. They are invisible to us but they can see us. They were made from fire elements and thus are pure energy. They are not like ghosts or weird monsters. They can influence your thoughts, encourage you to do wrong, and whisper fears into your mind. They can be good or bad. The good jinn leave us alone. The bad ones, who are also called Shayateen, or Devils, want to destroy you. Astrologers and fortune tellers get their "predictions" and "readings" from them. Jinn spy on the Angels and learn secrets about the future, then they whisper it into the minds of the fortune tellers. Jinn live, die and have families like us but they exist on another plane altogether. The Prophets could control the Jinn but none of us ordinary people can. Although we believe Jinn can possess a human body, Islam teaches that it's not very common. Don't believe every "Jinn story" Muslim immigrants will tell you about their aunt or second cousin's brother. Most of it will be superstitious stories that are culturally based. Jumu'ah: The Friday Prayer in which all Muslims gather to hear a sermon called a Khutba. It's time is in place of the Zuhr Salah, usually somewhere between 12 pm and 2 pm. It is mandatory on all men to attend. It is optional for women. The Prophet said if you miss three Jumu'ahs in a row then hypocrisy will start to enter your heart. Kafir: This means a person who covers up the truth. Usually we say the easier English word "unbeliever." The plural is Kuffar. (Unbelievers.) The noun (unbelief) is Kufr. Khalifah: This word means Steward, Manager or Care-taker. Allah made humans to be the Khalifah of the earth. In other words, we were given the earth as a trust to take care of. We shouldn't ruin it or pollute it. The head of the Muslim Ummah is also called a Khalifah because he is to take care of the Muslim community. Muslims are supposed to elect a Khalifah, but there hasn't been a world-wide Khalifah for a long time. Khatib: The person who gives the Khutbah, or Friday sermon. The preacher during Friday services. Kitabullah: The Book of Allah. (The Qur'an.) The word Kitab means book. Mahr: The money (or whatever else) that the man has to give to a woman in order to marry her. It is called the marriage-gift and a woman can ask for whatever she wants. If it is money, it can be deferred and paid gradually over time. The husband can never take it away for any reason. Malik ul Mawt: The Angel of Death. Masjid: Literally means, "the place of bowing." This is the name for a Muslim prayer hall. Madh-hab: This means, "School of Thought." In Islam we have the Qur'an, the example of the Prophet and the sayings and guidance of the Prophet's companions. Through the centuries, various Muslim scholars have tried to make those teachings easier for Muslims to live by through organizing them, talking about them and trying to use those tools to find answers to questions where those first three sources are quiet. Of course different opinions developed between different scholars and some people chose to follow one scholar or the other. Those differences in ideas about how to follow Islamic rules are called "Schools of Thought." There are five main schools today. Some people say you have to "follow" one of those schools to be a Muslim, but this is not true. You have to follow Islamic teachings but you don't have to put some label on yourself. Each of the five schools is named after the scholar who founded or inspired it. The five are: Maliki, Hanafi, Hanbali, Shaf'i and Jafaari. Most "Shi'a" Muslims follow the Jaafari school. The books and writings of the schools are a good source of information about the particulars of Islam, but our real label is, "I am a Muslim, and only a Muslim." The Shaf'i school is considered the easiest school and the Hanbali is considered the hardest in terms of social and personal rules. Mecca: (Also spelled Makkah). A city in Arabia founded thousands of years ago by Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). At that time it was called "Becca." Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was born there in the year 570. Medina: (Also spelled Madinah). A city about 200 miles north of Mecca. The Prophet established the Islamic community there. He passed away there and is buried there. Mu'adhan: The person who does the call the prayer. Mujahid: A person who does Jihad. Mu'min: A person with Iman. A true believer. Mus-haf: The Arabic text of the Qur'an. "Brother, hand me a Mus-haf." (Qur'an with the Arabic in it). Mushrik: A person who commits Shirk (making partners with Allah). Usually an idol-worshipper. A Hindu would be considered a Mushrik because they bow down to statues. Muslim: A person who surrendered to Allah and is working at finding peace. Nabi: This term means Prophet. Nafs: This is often translated as "soul" but it really means "the self," i.e. "You and only you." Naar: The fire (of Hell). Nikkah: The wedding ceremony. Qadr: This term is often translated as "Destiny" or "Pre-destination." This is not entirely accurate. It means literally "to measure." The religious idea behind it is that Allah measured everything in the universe. The length of your life is "measured," as is your fortune and your life's circumstances. Because of the knowledge of Allah, He knows if you will be a believer or a kafir but He doesn't make you be either one of those. Qadiani: Another name for the sectarian Ahmadiyya movement. Qiblah: The direction of Prayer. All Muslims make their prayers, or salat, facing Mecca. Allah commanded us to do this in the Qur'an as a show of unity and to remember Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) who built the first shrine there in that place so many thousands of years ago. Prophet Adam is said to have built an even older shrine many thousands of years before that in that very place. Qur'an: This is the name of the Book Allah revealed to the Prophet Muhammad from the years 610-632. Allah revealed it in stages, one section at a time, as the Muslims were ready to follow it. It has 114 chapters called surahs. It was revealed in the Arabic language and has never been lost, changed or edited, like the Bible or Buddhist books have. We have lots of translations of the Qur'an into English, but a translation can never be as good as the original words and their full meaning. All Muslims try to learn Arabic so they can read the Qur'an. Be advised, there are two different types of Arabic. The first is the language of the Qur'an, in other words, whatever vocabulary words are used in the Qur'an. The second type of Arabic is everyday Arabic, in other words, things that would help you talk about a sports game, a vacation or a day at the office. Many Muslims get bogged down by studying the second type of Arabic. You should work towards the first type if your main goal is to understand the Qur'an. Ramadan: The ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims are required to fast from before sunrise to sunset every day of this month. There are many details concerning this so consult the section on beliefs and practices. Rasul: This term means Messenger. Ruh: Your spirit or soul. Allah gave it to you on loan and thus you had better not sin and dirty it up. Sadaqah: Charity. Sahaba: A companion of the Prophet. Sahabiyat: The female companions of the Prophet. Sajda: Bowing on the floor in prayer; prostration. Salafi: This is the name of a group of Muslims who try as hard as they can to imitate the Blessed Prophet in every aspect of life. Their name comes from Salaf, (ancestors) which is a reference to the Sahaba and the generation immediately after them. The Salafis take them as models as well. Sometimes it may seem that the Salafis emphasize the laws and punishments of Islam so much that they make you feel there is no Islamic love and mercy. This is because they are sometimes very zealous in their views. Other Salafis know that the Prophet emphasized the heart and soul more than outward rules. After all, if you don't have love of Allah deep in your heart, you won't follow any rules, no matter how harsh the punishments. The great advantage to listening to the Salafis is that they can always be relied upon to be concerned about what is correct and incorrect. They tend to be conservative on women's issues. Not all Muslims accept many of their more extreme positions. Salat: (or Salah) This means prayer, the prayer in which you stand, bow and prostrate. The literal meaning of the word is: to make a connection with. Shahadah: The Declaration of Faith. By believing in and declaring the following phrase, a person becomes a Muslim: "Ash hadu an la ilaha illallah, wa ash hadu anna Muhammadar rasulullah." "I declare that there is no god but Allah, and I declare that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah." There are other ways to say this formula but this is the most common one. When a person accepts Islam, all his or her past sins are forgiven and his or her record is wiped clean and they start again from that moment as if they were just born. Shaykh: Literally: Chief or Boss. It is the title that Muslims sometimes give to their scholars. It is not required in Islam but many people like to use this term. Shari'ah: It is usually translated as Islamic Law. It means the path of Islam. Shi'a: This is the name of a sect or division in the Muslim community. Shi'aism (Partisanship) began originally as a political protest against the first Khalifah, Abu Bakr but it eventually grew into a separate sect of Muslims with its own version of Islamic teachings. About 10-15% of the world's Muslims are Shi'as. While they are still Muslims and believe in almost everything that Sunnis do, there are some serious differences in their understanding and practice of Islam vis-Ã -vis the majority Sunni community. The biggest group of Shi'as are known as the Twelvers, (they believe in a line of 12 leaders) then there are the Seveners, Isma'ilis, Alawiya and others. The Baha'is came out of the Shi'a community in Iran. (Baha'ism is a religion created in the 1800's in Iran.) The Druze of Syria and Lebanon also came from Shi'aism. All Shi'a groups share a belief that the Prophet's cousin, 'Ali, should have been the first Khalifah, not the fourth, and that only blood relatives of the Prophet Muhammad can be Khalifahs. Shirk: This is the greatest and most terrible sin. It is the one sin that can keep your soul out of Paradise and doom you to Hellfire. It means making partners with Allah. If a person says that there are many gods, or says that Allah is divided up into different people (such as the Trinity teaching of Christianity) then they are committing Shirk. Allah said it is the one sin He won't forgive if you die while doing it. The Blessed Prophet Muhammad once mentioned also that a person who likes to feel greatness in their heart was also committing a kind of Shirk. This is because all greatness is for Allah and we should always try to be humble. The Prophet also said, "La Yad khulu al Jannah min kana fee qal beehee mith qalu habbatin min kibr." "They won't enter Paradise, the one who has even a little bit of the love of greatness in their heart." Shaytan: (or Shaytan) It means Satan. (The literal meaning is to separate from.) Islam teaches that a Jinn named Iblis didn't want to bow when Allah commanded a bunch of angels to bow down to Adam in respect of his knowledge. Iblis thought he was better than both humans and angels. Allah banished him to earth and let him have extended life until the Day of Judgment. That is because Iblis challenged Allah and said if he had time he would corrupt all human beings. Iblis's name literally means "Frustrated." He is also known as the Shaytan, or Satan. Siyam (or Saum) Fasting. Subhanullah: "Glory to Allah." This phrase is said whenever we're happy or when we see something wonderful. Sufi: This is the name for a group of Muslims who want to be super-spiritually oriented. Sufis tend to try and be as close to the Sunnah as possible and they like to do group dhikr and chanting. While most Sufis are okay Islamically, there are a few groups that go way out and are close to being outside of Islam. Such far off groups sing, dance, twirl around, drink wine, deny Salat, etc... Most Sufis you will encounter are of the okay kind. They are distinguished by their traditional Islamic dress and turbans. The word Sufi comes from the term for wool cloth, which was a material early Sufis liked to wear to emphasize how they didn't want to be captured by the love of fineries in this world. Sufis organize themselves into "orders" or groups, called Tariqas. These groups are headed by a leader called a Shaykh who is considered the most spiritual man with the most Taqwa among them. Some famous Sufi Tariqas that operate all over the world are the Naqshabandis and Qadiriyya. The most famous Sufi Muslim scholars that ever lived are Jalaluddin Rumi, Muhammad al Ghazali and Abdul Qadir Jilani. Suhoof: "Scrolls." This is the name of the revelation given to Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) about 4,000 years ago. It was lost. Sunnah: The example or "way" of the Prophet. How he lived his life and what his practices were. Sunni: This is the name of the largest sect or group of Muslims. This group amounts to about 85-90% of all Muslims world-wide. Sunni's believe in the mission of the Prophet as he taught it and try very hard to adhere to the Prophet's example with no changes. This doesn't mean that Sunni's are somehow the only 'true' Muslims, however, because the Prophet never taught that we should even label ourselves Sunni's or Shi'as. Sunni Islam is just closer to real Islam. The best thing for a Muslim to do is to drop all the labels and just say, "I'm a Muslim." But there are many Muslims in the world who get emotional about wanting to call themselves some kind of label besides the basic, "I'm a Muslim." Have patience with them and do what is right. The term Sunni comes from the title, "Ahl as-Sunnah wal Jam'a" which means, "People of the Example (of the Prophet) and the Main Group (of First Muslims)." Surah: It is a chapter of the Qur'an. The word literally means "a step up in progression" or a "fence." Tafseer: Commentary or explanation of the Qur'an. Many Qur'an translations will have footnotes on the bottom of the page to help you understand the meaning of an ayah. That would be called Tafseer. Taqwa: This term means many things at once. The first meaning is that you are always aware that Allah is watching you. This brings you to the second meaning and that is that you will try to be good always. Do you see how the two things wrapped together can be so beautiful? When a Muslim has Taqwa, we say they are "Aware of Allah" Conscious of Allah" and striving to be righteous. Tauhid: Sometimes it's spelled Tawhid. It means the Oneness of Allah. Allah has no partners, He is not divided up into parts and He is not in need of anyone to help Him in anything whatsoever. Taurah: The revelation given to Prophet Musa (Moses). The first five books of the old testament in the Bible are said to be the "Torah" of Moses, but no serious Bible scholar, whether Jewish or Christian believes that anymore. Musa's message was lost long ago. Just take a look, everything about Prophet Moses in the Bible is written in third person: "And Moses said this," and "Moses went there," Someone else wrote those things, certainly not Moses! Ukhtee: My sister. Wahy: This word means revelation or inspiration. When Allah was revealing His messages to the Prophet, we would say the Prophet was receiving "Wahy." The Blessed Prophet once said that after him, all Wahy from Allah was finished except for one thing: dreams that can come true. Wudu: Washing for prayer. Yowm ul Qiyamah: The Day of Judgment. (Literally: Day of Standing.) Zabur: The revelation given to Prophet Dawud (David). The Psalms in the Bible are not the pure Zabur. Christian scholars admit that at least half of the verses in Psalms were written by temple priests, government workers, etc, in ancient israel. And no one knows which half are from Prophet Dawud and how many have been lost or altered. Zakah: This is often translated as "Charity" or "Poor-due" but the literal meaning of the word is actually, "Purifying." Zakah is the third pillar of Islam. It involves giving 2.5% of your yearly wealth, after expenses, for the benefit of the poor and the needy. The "purifying" part comes in by learning not to be greedy. If you give some of your money for the sake of Allah to the poor, you make your heart less prone to greed. source: you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetislamicedfoundation(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/guide1.htm
  5. Salam! I'm A New Muslim

    Advice to New Muslims In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful Asalam Alaykum (Peace be with you), Congratulations! Alhamdulillah (Praise to Allah) who has guided you to Islam, the path to success in this life and the next. So now you are a new Muslim with lots on your mind. Amidst the joy and excitement of embracing Islam you may also be feeling bewildered or confused regarding what to do next. You may have concerns about how your family or friends will react. No doubt there is lots to learn and obstacles to overcome, but with a sincere effort and a strong faith in Allah, everything will fall into place. Below you will find the most important advice we can offer you as a new Muslim. Don’t rush yourself, go at your own pace, and most of all remember we are here to help and support you every step of the way. Importance of Prayer [“The importance of the prayer in Islam cannot be understated. It is the first pillar of Islam that the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned after mentioning the testimony of faith, by which one becomes a Muslim. It was made obligatory upon all the prophets and for all peoples. Allah has declared its obligatory status under majestic circumstances. For example, when Allah spoke directly to Moses, He said, "And I have chosen you, so listen to that which is inspired to you. Verily, I am Allah! There is none worthy of worship but I, so worship Me and offer prayer perfectly for My remembrance." [Taha 13-14] Similarly, the prayers were made obligatory upon the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during his ascension to heaven. Furthermore, when Allah praises the believers, such as in the beginning of surah al-Muminoon, one of the first descriptions He states is their adherence to the prayers. The importance of prayer is demonstrated in the many of the Prophet’s statement. For example, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad." [Recorded by al-Tabarani. According to al-Albani, it is sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol.1, p. 503.] The importance of the prayers lies in the fact that no matter what actions one performs in his life, the most important aspect is one’s relationship to Allah, that is, one’s faith (imaan), God-consciousness (taqwa), sincerity (ikhlas) and worship of Allah (`ibaadah). This relationship with Allah is both demonstrated and put into practice, as well as improved and increased, by the prayer. Therefore, if the prayers are sound and proper, the rest of the deeds will be sound and proper; and if the prayers are not sound and proper, then the rest of the deeds will not be sound and proper, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself stated. As for the Hereafter, Allah’s forgiveness and pleasure is closely related to the prayers. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "Allah has obligated five prayers. Whoever excellently performs their ablutions, prays them in their proper times, completes their bows, prostrations and khushu` [Khushu` in the prayer is where the person’s heart is attuned to the prayer. This feeling in the heart is then reflected on the body. The person remains still and calm. His gaze is also lowered. Even his voice is affected by this feeling in the heart….] has a promise from Allah that He will forgive him. And whoever does not do that has no promise from Allah. He may either forgive him or punish him." [Recorded by Malik, Ahmad, Abu Dawud, al-Nasa’I and others. According to al-Albani, it is sahih. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 1, p. 616.] ] The prayers are a type of purification for a human being. He turns and meets with his Lord five times a day. As alluded to above, this repeated standing in front of Allah should keep the person from performing sins during the day. Furthermore, it should also be a time of remorse and repentance, such that he earnestly asks Allah for forgiveness for those sins that he committed. In addition, the prayer in itself is a good deed that wipes away some of the evil deeds that he performed. These points can be noted in the following hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him): "If a person had a stream outside his door and he bathed in it five times a day, do you think he would have any filth left on him?" The people said, "No filth would remain on him whatsoever." The Prophet (peace be upon him) then said, "That is like the five daily prayers: Allah wipes away the sins by them." (Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.) In another hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "The five daily prayers and the Friday Prayer until the Friday prayer are expiation for what is between them." (Recorded by Muslim.)”] [1] Okay so now you ask yourself…I know the prayer is so important, how do I learn how to pray? There are many sources on the internet which explain the purification and prayers, and that’s a good way to get an idea. But to really learn how to do it correctly you have to make the effort of finding a practicing Muslim to help you. A good place to do so is at the local Masjid in your area…this is explained in more detail below. [1] Extracts from “The Importance of Prayer” by Jamaal al-Din Zarabozo Seek Knowledge Acquiring Islamic knowledge is vital to every Muslim. Clearly knowledge must precede action, since it is the bases by which one knows his/her obligations to Allah. Knowledge will enable you to practice your religious duties correctly, be aware of things which Allah made halal (permissible) and haram (forbidden), in that way you will conduct your life according to Allah’s guidance. Several verses in the Quran reveal to us the importance of knowledge: "Allah will raise up, to (suitable) ranks and (degrees), those of you who believe and who have been granted knowledge. And Allah is well-acquainted with all you do." [Al-Mujadilah 58:11] "And say: My Lord increase me in knowledge." [Ta-Ha 20:114] Also the prophet, peace be upon him, informed us of the reward for one who seeks knowledge. Abu Hurayrah relates that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "For him who embarks on the path of seeking knowledge, Allah will ease for him the way to paradise." (Related by Muslim) So, know you may wonder what do I need to learn? Well first of all you need to: Have a good understanding of the basic Islamic beliefs (Aqeedah) such as knowledge of Allah, the Angels, the Prophets, and the Day of Judgment. Learn the purification and the five daily prayers correctly. Its important to learn how to recite Al Fatiha in Arabic for the prayers. Learn about the permissible (Halal) and forbidden (Harm) things in Islam. After that, you can continue in learning more about the other pillars of Islam such as Sawm(Fasting), Zakat, and Hajj (Pilgrimage). Also you should strive to learn the Seerah (life of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him), since his life is a role model for all Muslims. Another excellent goal which many converts aspire to is to learn the Arabic language to be able to read and understand the Quran in the language it was revealed by Allah(subhanahu wa ta'ala). How can you do this? There are many resources available to learn. There is a multitude of Islamic books, articles, and tapes which address all these topics and can give you a good start, however to learn correctly you need to do so at the hands of a practicing Muslim as we mentioned earlier regarding the prayers. Just like you can’t expect to be a good sports player by simply reading a book or two about it, you can’t expect to learn the various branches of Islam all alone; you need to practice it with other Muslims. Naturally to do so, you should frequently visit the Masjid in your area…. Which brings us to the next topic. Importance of the Masjid (Masjid) The Masjid plays a central role in Muslim society. Apart from being a place of prayers (the 5 daily prayers as well as the Friday prayer) the Masjid is a learning center. It’s a place where study circles and lectures are held for Muslims to learn more about Islam. Also a place were Muslims meet to study and recite the Quran, collect charity for the poor, and discuss issues concerning the community. It’s an ideal place for a new convert to meet Muslims and learn in a short time what would normally take weeks or months to learn alone. Naturally many new converts are shy or afraid to make their first visit to the Masjid, but if they knew the joy which Muslims share when they meet a convert, such hesitation would disappear. Also, don’t worry about not doing everything perfectly from the start, no one expects a new Muslim to learn everything over night. From Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, from the Prophet, peace be upon him, that he said: "A man does not frequent the Masjids for the Prayer and the remembrance of Allaah except that Allaah, the Most High, greets him joyfully, just as the family of one who is absent greet him with joy when he returns to them." [Reported by Ibn Abee Shaybah, Ibn Maajah, Ibn Khuzaimah and others and it is found in Saheehit-Targheeb (no. 315)] So finally, we strongly encourage you to do your best to enrol in the study circles in your local Masjid or fix a weekly schedule with the Imam to teach you all you need to know. Salat (prayer) and its translations Allahu akbar Allah is the greatest! Subhana Kal-lah hum-ma wabi hamdika wata-bara kasmuka wata'ala jad-duka wala ilaha ghyruka. Glory be to you, O Allah, and all praises are due unto you, and blessed is your name and high is your majesty and none is worthy of worship but you. A'uzu bil-lahi minash Shayta-nir-rajeem I seek Allah's protection from Satan who is accursed. Bismillah hir-Rahma nir-Raheem In the name of Allah, the most Kind and the most Merciful. Alhamdul lil-lahi rab-bil 'alameen Ar rahma nir-raheem Maliki yawmid-deen Iyyaka na'budu wa iyyaka nasta'een Ihdinas siratal mustaqeem Siratal Lazeena an'amta 'alayhim Ghai-ril maghdubi 'alayhim Walad dal-leen. Ameen Translation: Praise is only for Allah, Lord of the Universe. The most Kind, the most Merciful. The master of the Day of Judgement. You alone we worship and to you alone we pray for help. Show us the straight way, The way of those whom you have blessed. Who have not deserved your anger, Nor gone astray. Qul huwal lahu ahad. Allah hus-Samad. Lam yalid walam yulad. Walam yakul-lahu Kufuwan ahad. Say: He is Allah, the only one. Allah helps and does not need help. He does not produce a child, and He was not born of anyone. There is no one equal to Him. Subhana Rabbi'al Azeem "Glory to my Lord the Exalted". Sami Allahu Liman Hamidah “Allah listens to him who praises Him" Rabbana lakal Hamd "Oh our Lord, all praise is to you". Subhana Rabbi yal A'ala "Oh Allah glory be to you, the most high." AttahiyyaatuLillahi Was Salawatu Wattayyibatu Assalamu Alaika Ayyuhannabi 'yu 'Warahmatullahi Wabarka'tuhu Assalamu Alaina Wa'ala'Ibadillahis Saa'liheen, Ash'had'u'un La ilahaillallahu Wa Ash'hadu Anna MuhammadunAbd'uhu Wa Rasooluh All compliments, all physical prayer and all monetary worship are for Allah. Peace be upon you, Oh Prophet, and Allah's mercy and blessings. Peace be on us and on all righteous slaves of Allah. I bear witness that no one is worthy of worship except Allah And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger Allahumma Salleh Alaa Muhammadin Wa'ala' Aale Muhammadin Kama Sallaiyta Alaa Ibraheema Wa' Ala Aale Ibraheema InnakaHameedum Majeed Allahumma Baarak Alaa Muhammadin Wa' Ala Aale Muhammadin Kama Baarakta Alaa Ibraheem Wa' Ala Aale Ibraheema Innaka Hameedum Majeed Oh Allah, send grace and honour on Muhammad and On the family and true followers of Muhammad just as you sent Grace and Honour on Ibrahim and on the family and true followers of Ibrahim Surely, you are praiseworthy, the Great. Oh Allah, send your blessing on Muhammad and the true followers of Muhammad, just as you sent blessings on Ibrahim and his true followers Surely, you are praiseworthy, the Great. Rab bij'alnee muqeemas salati wa min zur-riy yatee rab-bana wata qab-bal du'a, rab-ba nagh-firlee wali waliday-ya wa lil mu-mineena yawma yaqumul hisab. Oh Lord, make me and my children keep up prayers, Our Lord, accept our prayer, Our Lord, forgive me and my parents and all the Believers on the Day of Judgement. Rabbana Aatina Fid Duniya Hasanataw Wafil Akhirati Hasanataw Wa Qina Azaaban Naar "Our Lord, grant us the good of this world and that of the Hereafter and save us from the torture of hell.” Assalamu Alai'kumWarah'matullah “Peace and mercy of Allah be on you". Dua Qunoot (to be recited in the 3 rakat Witr Prayer at the end of third rakat after alhamdu and surat then touch ears and say allahu akbar and recite this dua) Allah humma inna nast'eenuka wa nastaghfiruka wa nu'minu bika wa natawak-kalu 'alayka wa nuthne 'alayk-al khayr. Wa nashkuruka wa laaa nakfuruka wa nakhla'u wa natruku man-y yafjuruka. Allah humma iyyaka na'budu wa laka nusal-lee wa nasjudu wa ilayka nas'a wa nahfidu wa narju rahmataka wa nakhsha 'azabaka inna 'azabaka bil kuf-fari mulhiq. Translation: Oh Allah, we ask you for help and seek your forgiveness, and we believe in You and have trust in You, and we praise you in the best way and we thank You and we are not ungrateful to you, and we forsake and turn away from the one who disobeys you. O Allah, we worship You only and pray to You and prostrate ourselves before You, and we run towards You and serve You, and we hope to receive your mercy, and we fear your punishment. Surely, the disbelievers will receive your punishment. By Mufti Taqi Usmani Introduction: Salah is a pillar of Din. Doing it just right in accordance with Sunnah is the responsibility of every Muslim. Unfortunately, we go about performing the cardinal dictates of Salah in a carefree manner following our whims, hardly caring to see that those dictates have to be carried out in the manner they were passed on to us by the Holy Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam). This is why most of our Salah offerings remain deprived of the gleams and blessings of Sunnah, although, following these dictates just right hardly takes any more time or labour. What is needed is a touch of concern. If we give a little time and some attention, learn the correct method and make a habit of it, then the time that we spend in making our Salah today would remain the same yet the Salah thus performed would have the advantage of having been made in accordance with Sunnah and its rewards and merits and its gleams and blessings would be much more then what you experienced earlier. The revered Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, took great care while performing each single unit of the act of Salah, and while doing so, they continued learning about the Sunnah of the Prophet from each other.With this need in view, this humble write had explained to a gathering the Sunnah method of Salah as mentioned by the Hanafi jurists and had pointed out to incorrect practices which seem to have gained currency. By the grace of Allah, the listeners found it very beneficial. Some friends wished to make this discourse available as a printed brochure so that a much larger number of people would be able to use it to their advantage. So, in this brief write-up, the objective is to explain the Masnun method of and the step-by-step way of putting it into practice with due etiquette. May Allah Almighty make it beneficial for all of us and give us the taufiq it. AminBy the grace of Allah, there are a large number of books, big and small, dealing with the precepts of Salah. Hence, presenting a comprehensive account of Salah problems and rulings is not the objective here, instead, the immediate concern is to relate a few important points which would help synchronize the form of Salah with the demands of Sunnah. Another aim is to sound a note of warning against mistakes and shortcomings that seem to have gained a lot of currency these days.Acting in accordance with the brief words of advice given here will, Inshallah, help make our Salah fall in line with Sunnah, at least in it’s outward appearance when a Muslim could humbly submit before his Lord. Lord, here I am, bearing similarly to Your beloved, through in form only, yet hoping---- You shall make it real. And what get to do is by the help and support of Allah, in Him I place my trust and towards Him I turn passionately. ( Muhammad Taqi Usmani ) Before you begin the Salah: Check the following and be sure that you are doing things the way they should be done 1. It is necessary that you face the Qiblah(direction of the ka'ba). 2. You should stand upright and your eyes should be focused on the spot where you make your Sajdah. Bending your neck and resting your chin on the chest is makruh (reprehensible). Similarly, standing in Salah while your chest is bent down is also not correct. Stand upright in a way that your ayes keep looking at the spot where you make your Sajdah(prostration). 3. Note that the direction of the fingers on your feet is towards the Qiblah and that your feet also have the same straight stance facing Qiblah. (Placing feet tilting to the right or left is contrary to Sunnah). Both feet should be in the direction of the Qiblah. 4. In between both feet, there should be a minimum span of four fingers of the hands as ready measure. 5. If you are making your Salah with jama’ah (congregation), make sure the line you are standing in is straight. The best method to make sure that the line is straight is that each person position the farthest ends of both his heels at the farthest end of the prayer-rug or at lines that mark out on rug from the other. 6. While in jama’ah(congregation), satisfy yourself by making certain that your arms are close to the arms of those who are standing on your right and left and that there is no gap in between. 7. It is impermissible, under all conditions, to let the lower portion of your ankles. It is obvious that its repugnance while standing for Salah increase much more. Therefore, be sure that the dress you are wearing is higher then your ankles. 8. Sleeves should be full, covering the whole arm. Only hands remain uncovered. Some people make their Salah with sleeves rolled up. This method is not correct. 9. It is makruh(undesirable) to stand for Salah while wearing clothes which one would not normally wear in public. When you begin the Salah 1. Make niyyah or intention in your heart to the effect you are offering such and such Salah. It is not necessary to say the words of the niyyah verbally. 2. Raise your hands upto your ears in a way that palms face Qiblah and the end of the thumbs either touch the lobes of the ears or come parallel to them. The rest o the fingers stay straight pointing upwards. there are some who would tend to turn the direction of their palms towards their ears rather then having them face the Qiblah. There are some others who almost cover their ears with their hands. There are still others who would make a faint symbolic gesture without raising their hands fully upto the ears. Some others grip the lobes of their ears with their hands. All these practices are incorrect and contrary to Sunnah. These should be abandoned. 3. While raising your hands in the manner stated above, say "Allahu-Akbar". Then,using the thumb and the little finger of your right hand, make a circle round the wrist of your left hand and hold it. You should then spread out the three remaining fingers of our right hand on the back of your left hand so that these three fingers face the elbow. 4. Placing both hands slightly below the navel, fold them as explained above. When you are standing: 1. If you are making your Salah alone, or leading it as Imam, you first recite Thana’; then Surah al-Fatihah, then some other Surah. If you are behind an Imam, you only recite Thana’ : and then stand silent listening attentively to the recitation of the Imam. If the Imam’s recitation is not loud enough for you to hear, you should be thinking of Surah al-Fatihah using you heart and mind without moving your tongue. 2. When you are reciting yourself, it is better that you, While reciting Surah al-Fatihah, stop at every verse and break your breath. Recite the next verse with fresh breath. Do not recite more then one verse in a single breath. For example, break your breath at "Alhum do lillahi Rabbil Aa'lameen" and then on "Ar-Rahmanir-Rahim" and then on "Maleki Yaumid'deen". Recite the whole Surah al-Fatihah in this manner. But, there is no harm if, during recitation that follows, more then one verse has been recited in a single breath. 3. Do not move any part of your body without the need. Stand in peace - the more, the better. If you have to scratch or do something else like that, use only one hand and that too, under very serious compulsion using the least time and effort. 4. Transferring all the weight of the body on to one leg and leaving the other weightlessly loose to the limit that it shows a certain bend is against the etiquette of Salah. Abstain from it. Either you transfer your body weight equally on both legs or if you must channel your body weight on one leg, you have to do it in a way that the other leg shows no bend or curve. 5. If you feel like yawning, try your best to stop it. 6. When standing for Salat, keep you eyes looking at the spot where you make your Sajdah. Abstain from looking to your right and left, or front. When in Ruku: When you bend for Ruku’, watch out for the following: 1. Bend the upper part of your body upto a point where the neck and back nearly level up. Do not bend any more or less then that. 2. While in Ruku’, do not bend the neck to the limit that the chin starts touching the chest, nor raise it is high that the neck goes higher than the waist level. Instead, the neck and the waist should be in one level. 3. In Ruku’, keep feet straight. Do not place them with an outward or inward slant. 4. Place both hands on your knees in a way that fingers on both hands stay open. In other wards, there should be space between every two fingers when you thus go on to hold the right knee with your right hand and the left knee with your left hand. 5. In the state of Ruku’, wrists and arms should remain stretched straight. They should not bend, curve or sag. 6. Stay in Ruku’, at least for a time during which "Saubhan Rabbiyal Azeem" could be said three times calmly and comfortably. 7. In the state of Ruku’, the ayes should be looking towards the feet. 8. Body weight should be evenly distributed on both feet and both knees should be parallel to each other. Returning to the standing position from Ruku: 1. While returning from Ruku’, back to the standing position, see that you stand straight leaving no sag or droop in the body. 2. In this position as well, eyes should be fixed on the spot where you do your Sajdah. 3. Three are those who simply make a ‘gesture’ of rising from the Ruku’ instead of rising fully and standing upright when it is time to do so and who, in that every state, when their body is still bent downwards, go on to do their Sajdah - for them it becomes obligatory that they make their Salah all over again. Therefore, abstain from it very firmly. Unless you make sure about having become perfectly straight in your standing position, do not go for Sajdah. When gowing down for Sajdah(prostration): Remember the following method when gowing down for Sajdah: 1. Bending the knees first of all, take them towards the prayer floor in a way that the chest does not lean forward. When the knees have already been rested on the floor, the chest should then be lowered down. 2. Until such time that the knees have come to rest against the floor, abstain, as far as possible, from bending or lowering the upper part of the body. These days negligence in observing this particular rule of etiquette while getting ready to go for Sajdah has become very common. Many people would lower down their chest right from the start and go on to do their Sajdah. But, the correct method is what has been stated in #1 and #2 above. Unless it be for a valid reason, this method should not be bypassed. 3. After having rested your knees on the floor, place your hands first, then the tip of the nose, then the forehead. In Sajdah: 1. While in Sajdah, keep your head in between your two hands in a way that the end of the two thumbs come parallel to the ear-lobes. 2. In Sajdah, fingers on both hands should remain close together, that is, the fingers should be adjacent to each other leaving no space in between them. 3. The direction of the fingers should be towards the Qiblah. 4. The elbows should stay raised off the floor. It is not correct to rest the elbows on the floor. 5. Both arms should stay apart from armpits and sides. Never keep them tucked in. 6. Do not, at the same time, poke your elbows far out to your right and left causing discomfort to those making Salah next to you. 7. The thighs should not come in contact with the stomach-wall. The stomach and the thighs should stay apart. 8. During the entire Sajdah, the nose-tip should continue to rest on the floor. 9. Both feet should be placed upright on the floor with heels showing on top and all fingers turned flat on the floor in the direction of the Qiblah. Those who cannot turn all their fingers because of the physical formation of their feet, they will still do well to turn them as much as they can. It is not correct to place the fingers vertically on the floor just for no valid reason. 10. Be careful that your feet do not lift off the floor during Sajdah. Some people would their Sajdah while none of the fingers on their feet come to rest on the floor even for a moment. This way the obligation of Sajdah is not liquidated at all, as a result, the Salah too becomes invalid. Be very particular in abstaining from this error. 11. In the state of Sajdah, the least time you can give yourself should be sufficient enough to say "Saubhan Rabbiyal Aa'la" three times, calmly and comfortably. Raising the forehead immediately after having rested it on the floor is prohibited. In between the two Sajdahs(prostration): 1. Rising from the first Sajdah, sit up straight, on the hams, calmly and comfortably. Then go for the second Sajdah. Doing the second Sajdah after raising the head just a little bit and without becoming straight is a sin. If one does it like that, it becomes obligatory that the Salah be made all over again. 2. Spared out the left foot (like the blade of a hockey stick) and sit on it. Let the right foot stand vertically with fingers turned towards the Qiblah. Some people let both feet remain in upright position and sit on the heels. This method is not correct. 3. While sitting, both hands should be placed on the things but fingers should not taper down onto the knees., instead, the far ends of the finger tips should reach only as far as the beginning edge of the knee. 4. While sitting, let your eyes be on the lap. 5. Sit for a time during which "Saubhanul-Allah"could be said at least once and if your can sit for a time during "AllahummaghFirli Warhamni Wasturni Wahdini Warzuqni"could be recited, it is better. But, reciting this during Fard (obligatory) Salah is not necessary. It is better to do so in Nafl Salah. The second Sajdah and rising from it: 1. Go on to do your second Sajdah in the same manner by first placing both hands on the floor, then the nose-tip, then the forehead. 2. The complete from of Sajdah should be the same as mentioned in connection with the first Sajdah. 3. When rising from Sajdah, first raise the forehead off the floor, then the nose-tip, then the hands, and then the knees. 4. While rising, it is better not to learn for support off the floor, however, should it be difficult to get up from the floor because of body-weight, sickness or old age, making use of the floor for support is also permissible. 5. After you have risen back to your standing position, recite "Bismillah" before Surah al-Fatihah in the begining of each raka’ah. In Qa’dah: 1. The method of sitting in Qa’dah shall be the same as mentioned in connection with the method of sitting between Sajdahs. 2. When you reach "Ashhadu Allah-ilaha" while reciting "At-tahiyyat"raise the shahadah finger (the fore-finger or the index finger) with a pointing motion and let it fall back at "Illul-lah". 3. The method of making a pointing motion is that you make a circle by joining your middle finger and the thumb, close the little finger and the ringfinger (the one next to it), then raise the shahadah finger in a way that it is tapered towards the Qiblah. It should not be raised up straight in the direction of the sky. 4. However, lower the shahadah finger while saying "Illul-lah".but retain, right through the end, the initial formation of the rest of the fingers you already had when making the pointing motion. When turning for Salam: 1. When turning for Salam on both sides, you should turn your neck just enough that your cheeks become visible to the person sitting behind you. 2. When turning for Salam, eyes should be towards the shoulders. 3. When turning your neck to the right to say "Asslamu Allaikum Wa-Rahmatullah"make an intention that you are offering your Salam greetings to all human beings and angles on your right. Similarly, while turning for Salam to the left, have the intention of offering your Salam greeting to all human beings and angels present on your left. The method of Du’a: 1. The method of Du’a is that both hands be raised high enough so that they come in front of the chest. Let there be some space between the two hands. Do not bring the hands close together nor keep them far apart. 2. When making Du’a, keep the inner side of the hands turned towards your face. Salah For Women: The method of Salah describe earlier is for men. The Salah as offered by women differs from that of men in the following aspects. Women should be careful about what is required of them: 1. Before they begin their Salah, women should make sure that their whole body, except the face, the hands and the feet, is covered with clothes.Some women offer their Salah with the hair on their head remaining uncovered. Some have their wrists left uncovered. Some women use scarfs so thin or small that their hair tresses are visible dangling down underneath. If, during the Salah, any part of the body, even if it be equal to one-fourth, remains uncovered for a time during which one could say "Saubhan Rabbiyal Azeem" three times, the Salah itself would not be valid. However, should the uncovered portion be less than that, Salah would take place but the sin shall stay. 2. For women, making Salah in the room is better than doing it in the verandah and doing it in the verandah is better than doing it in the courtyard. 3. While starting the Salah, women should not raise their hands upto their ears, instead, they should raise them upto their shoulders, and that too, from within the scarf or other outer wrap being used. Hands should not be taken out of this cover. 4. When women fold their hands on the chest, they should simply place the palm of their right hand on the back of the left forehand. They should not fold their hands on the navel like men. 5. In Ruku’, women are not required to straighten their backs fully like men. Women should bend less as compared to men. 6. In the position of Ruku’, men should open up their fingers while placing them on the knees, but women are required that they place their hands on the knees with fingers close together, that is, there be on space between fingers. 7. Women should not stand on legs absolutely straight, instead, they should stand with knees slightly bent forward. 8. In Ruku’, men are required to keep their arms stretched, away from the sides. But, women should stand with their arms close to their sides. 9. Women should stand with both feet close together. Specially, both their knees should just about be joined together. Let their be no separating distance between legs. 10. While doing Sajdah, the method prescribed for men is that they should not lower their chest until such time that their knees come to rest on the floor. But this method is not for women. They can, right from the start, lower their chest and go for Sajdah. 11. Women should do their Salah in a manner that the stomach-wall come to rest against the thighs and the arms stay close to the sides. In addition to that, omen do have to position their feet, upright, they should spread them on the floor sliding them out towards the right. 12. Men are prohibited to place their elbows on the floor while making Salah. But, women should place the whole arm, including the elbows, on the floor. 13. When sitting between Sajdah and when reciting "At-Tahiyyat", sit on the left hip, side both feet out to the side and let the left foot reset on the right calf of the leg. 14. Men are required that they be careful about keeping their finger upon when bending for Ruku’, and keeping then close together in Sajdah, and then, leave them as they are during the rest of the Salah, when they make no effort either to close or open them. But, it required of women, under all conditions, that they keep fingers close together, that is leave no space between them. This is required all along in Ruku’, in Sajdah, between two Sajdah and in the Qa’dahs. 15. It is makruh (reprehensible) for women to make a jama’ah (congregation) The very act of offering their Salah alone is better for them. However, should mahram-members of the family be making their Salah with jama’ah within the house, there is no harm if they join in with them in the jama’ah. But, in a situation like this, it is necessary that they stand exactly behind men. They should never stand next to them in the same row. The Masjid Some Essential Rules Of Conduct: 1. While entering the Masjid, recite the following Du’a: "Bismillahi Was-Salatu Was-Salam Ala Rasul-ullah. Allahumma Aftahli Abwaba Rahmatik" ( I enter with the name of Allah and with the prayer that Allah bless His Messenger and bestow upon him. O Allah, open for me the doors of Thy mercy.) 2. Immediately on entering the Masjid, make an intention that ‘I shall be in I’tikaf for whatever time I stay in the Masjid: By doing so, Insha’-Allah, the spiritual reward of I’tikaf can also be hoped for. 3. Following entry into the Masjid, it is better to sit in the front row. But, in case space in the front has already been taken up, sit wherever you find an opening. Advancing forward by leap-frogging people’s necks is not permissible. 4. Salam greeting should not be offered to those already sitting in the Masjid and busy in Dhikr or recitation of the Qu’ran. However, should one of them be not so engaged and looking at you on his own, there is no harm in offering such Salam greeting to him. 5. If you have to offer Sunnah or Nafl Salah in the Masjid, select a spot where there is the least likelihood of people crossing in front of you. Some people start up their Salah in the back rows while ample space remains open in the front. Because of this act of theirs, it becomes difficult for other to cross over and they have to make a long detour to reach open sitting spots. Offering Salah in this manner is a sin in itself, and should a person happen to cross in front of the person making his Salah, then this sin of his crossing over in that manner will also rest on the shoulders of the person making such a Salah. 6. After entering the Masjid, if you find that you are there a little ahead of the Salah timing, then, before you sit down, make two raka’ahs with the intention of Tahiyyah al-Masjid. This has great merit. If there is not time for that, you can combine the intention of Tahiyyah al-Masjid within the Sunnah Salah. And if, you do not have the time even to make your Sunnah Salah and the jama’ah is ready, this intention could also be combine with that of the Fard Salah. 7. As long as you sit in the Masjid, keep doing Dhikr. Specially, keep reciting the following Kalimah devotedly: "Saubhanullahi Walhumdo Lillahi Wala Ilaha Illullaho Wallaho Akbar" Sanctified is Allah and for Allah is all praise and there is no god but Allah is great. 8. Do not engage yourself in unnecessary conversation while sitting in the nothing else that may disturb those devoting to their ‘Ibadah of Salah or Dhikr. 9. If the jama’ah is ready, fill in the front rows first. If space is open in the front row, it is not permissible to stand in the back row. 10. From the time when the Iman takes his place on the Mimber to deliver the Friday Khutbah right through the end of the Salah, it is not permissible for anyone to talk, make Salah or to offer Salam to anyone or to answer Salam offered. However, should anyone start talking during this time, it is also not permissible that he be asked to keep quiet. 11. Sit during the Khutbah as you sit in Qa’dah when reciting at-Tahiyyat. Some people sit hand folded during the first part of the Khutbah and then place their hands on the things during the second. This method is baseless. One should sit with hands on the thighs during both. 12. Abstain from everything that may spread filth or smell in the Masjid or cause pain to anyone. 13. When you see anyone doing something wrong, ask him not to do so, quietly and softly. Totally avoid insulting him openly, or rebuking him, or quarrelling with him Article taken (with Thanks) from darululoomkhi.edu.pk How to perform salah in three parts(very helpful) uk.youtube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=5ltoqq...eature=related
  6. Salam! I'm A New Muslim

    How I came to Islam - by Yusuf Islam From Musician to Muslim by Allah's Will All I have to say is all what you know already, to confirm what you already know, the message of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) as given by God - the Religion of Truth. As human beings we are given a consciousness and a duty that has placed us at the top of creation. Man is created to be God's deputy on earth, and it is important to realize the obligation to rid ourselves of all illusions and to make our lives a preparation for the next life. Anybody who misses this chance is not likely to be given another, to be brought back again and again, because it says in Qur'an Majeed that when man is brought to account, he will say, "O Lord, send us back and give us another chance." The Lord will say, "If I send you back you will do the same." MY EARLY RELIGIOUS UPBRINGING I was brought up in the modern world of all the luxury and the high life of show business. I was born in a Christian home, but we know that every child is born in his original nature - it is only his parents that turn him to this or that religion. I was given this religion (Christianity) and thought this way. I was taught that God exists, but there was no direct contact with God, so we had to make contact with Him through Jesus - he was in fact the door to God. This was more or less accepted by me, but I did not swallow it all. I looked at some of the statues of Jesus; they were just stones with no life. And when they said that God is three, I was puzzled even more but could not argue. I more or less believed it, because I had to have respect for the faith of my parents. POP STAR Gradually I became alienated from this religious upbringing. I started making music. I wanted to be a big star. All those things I saw in the films and on the media took hold of me, and perhaps I thought this was my God, the goal of making money. I had an uncle who had a beautiful car. "Well," I said, "he has it made. He has a lot of money." The people around me influenced me to think that this was it; this world was their God. I decided then that this was the life for me; to make a lot of money, have a 'great life.' Now my examples were the pop stars. I started making songs, but deep down I had a feeling for humanity, a feeling that if I became rich I would help the needy. (It says in the Qur'an, we make a promise, but when we make something, we want to hold onto it and become greedy.) So what happened was that I became very famous. I was still a teenager, my name and photo were splashed in all the media. They made me larger than life, so I wanted to live larger than life and the only way to do that was to be intoxicated (with liquor and drugs). IN HOSPITAL After a year of financial success and 'high' living, I became very ill, contracted TB and had to be hospitalized. It was then that I started to think: What was to happen to me? Was I just a body, and my goal in life was merely to satisfy this body? I realized now that this calamity was a blessing given to me by Allah, a chance to open my eyes - "Why am I here? Why am I in bed?" - and I started looking for some of the answers. At that time there was great interest in the Eastern mysticism. I began reading, and the first thing I began to become aware of was death, and that the soul moves on; it does not stop. I felt I was taking the road to bliss and high accomplishment. I started meditating and even became a vegetarian. I now believed in 'peace and flower power,' and this was the general trend. But what I did believe in particular was that I was not just a body. This awareness came to me at the hospital. One day when I was walking and I was caught in the rain, I began running to the shelter and then I realized, 'Wait a minute, my body is getting wet, my body is telling me I am getting wet.' This made me think of a saying that the body is like a donkey, and it has to be trained where it has to go. Otherwise, the donkey will lead you where it wants to go. Then I realized I had a will, a God-given gift: follow the will of God. I was fascinated by the new terminology I was learning in the Eastern religion. By now I was fed up with Christianity. I started making music again and this time I started reflecting my own thoughts. I remember the lyric of one of my songs. It goes like this: "I wish I knew, I wish I knew what makes the Heaven, what makes the Hell. Do I get to know You in my bed or some dusty cell while others reach the big hotel?" and I knew I was on the Path. I also wrote another song, "The Way to Find God Out." I became even more famous in the world of music. I really had a difficult time because I was getting rich and famous, and at the same time, I was sincerely searching for the Truth. Then I came to a stage where I decided that Buddhism is all right and noble, but I was not ready to leave the world. I was too attached to the world and was not prepared to become a monk and to isolate myself from society. I tried Zen and Ching, numerology, tarot cards and astrology. I tried to look back into the Bible and could not find anything. At this time I did not know anything about Islam, and then, what I regarded as a miracle occurred. My brother had visited the Masjid in Jerusalem and was greatly impressed that while on the one hand it throbbed with life (unlike the churches and synagogues which were empty), on the other hand, an atmosphere of peace and tranquility prevailed. THE QUR'AN When he came to London he brought back a translation of the Qur'an, which he gave to me. He did not become a Muslim, but he felt something in this religion, and thought I might find something in it also. And when I received the book, a guidance that would explain everything to me - who I was; what was the purpose of life; what was the reality and what would be the reality; and where I came from - I realized that this was the true religion; religion not in the sense the West understands it, not the type for only your old age. In the West, whoever wishes to embrace a religion and make it his only way of life is deemed a fanatic. I was not a fanatic, I was at first confused between the body and the soul. Then I realized that the body and soul are not apart and you don't have to go to the mountain to be religious. We must follow the will of God. Then we can rise higher than the angels. The first thing I wanted to do now was to be a Muslim. I realized that everything belongs to God, that slumber does not overtake Him. He created everything. At this point I began to lose the pride in me, because hereto I had thought the reason I was here was because of my own greatness. But I realized that I did not create myself, and the whole purpose of my being here was to submit to the teaching that has been perfected by the religion we know as Al-Islam. At this point I started discovering my faith. I felt I was a Muslim. On reading the Qur'an, I now realized that all the Prophets sent by God brought the same message. Why then were the Jews and Christians different? I know now how the Jews did not accept Jesus as the Messiah and that they had changed His Word. Even the Christians misunderstand God's Word and called Jesus the son of God. Everything made so much sense. This is the beauty of the Qur'an; it asks you to reflect and reason, and not to worship the sun or moon but the One Who has created everything. The Qur'an asks man to reflect upon the sun and moon and God's creation in general. Do you realize how different the sun is from the moon? They are at varying distances from the earth, yet appear the same size to us; at times one seems to overlap the other. Even when many of the astronauts go to space, they see the insignificant size of the earth and vastness of space. They become very religious, because they have seen the Signs of Allah. When I read the Qur'an further, it talked about prayer, kindness and charity. I was not a Muslim yet, but I felt that the only answer for me was the Qur'an, and God had sent it to me, and I kept it a secret. But the Qur'an also speaks on different levels. I began to understand it on another level, where the Qur'an says, "Those who believe do not take disbelievers for friends and the believers are brothers." Thus at this point I wished to meet my Muslim brothers. CONVERSION Then I decided to journey to Jerusalem (as my brother had done). At Jerusalem, I went to the Masjid and sat down. A man asked me what I wanted. I told him I was a Muslim. He asked what was my name. I told him, "Stevens." He was confused. I then joined the prayer, though not so successfully. Back in London, I met a sister called Nafisa. I told her I wanted to embrace Islam and she directed me to the New Regent Masjid. This was in 1977, about one and a half years after I received the Qur'an. Now I realized that I must get rid of my pride, get rid of Iblis, and face one direction. So on a Friday, after Jummah' I went to the Imam and declared my faith (the Kalimah) at this hands. You have before you someone who had achieved fame and fortune. But guidance was something that eluded me, no matter how hard I tried, until I was shown the Qur'an. Now I realize I can get in direct contact with God, unlike Christianity or any other religion. As one Hindu lady told me, "You don't understand the Hindus. We believe in one God; we use these objects (idols) to merely concentrate." What she was saying was that in order to reach God, one has to create associates, that are idols for the purpose. But Islam removes all these barriers. The only thing that moves the believers from the disbelievers is the salat. This is the process of purification. Finally I wish to say that everything I do is for the pleasure of Allah and pray that you gain some inspirations from my experiences. Furthermore, I would like to stress that I did not come into contact with any Muslim before I embraced Islam. I read the Qur'an first and realized that no person is perfect. Islam is perfect, and if we imitate the conduct of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) we will be successful. May Allah give us guidance to follow the path of the ummah of Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). Ameen! -- Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) GENERAL ADVICE FOR NEW MUSLIMS FROM OTHER CONVERTS Advice For New Muslims from Abdul-Lateef Abdullah (Steven Krauss) Assalamualaikum new brother or sister! Alhamdulillah that Allah has guided you to our blessed deen. Islam is truly a blessing and we should all feel overwhelmed with gratitude to Allah for guiding us to the straight path, the path of real success and peace. My advice to you as a new Muslim is to find a teacher. In my year and a half of being Muslim (I’m 28 years old), one of the most important experiences for me has been the guidance and support of a very knowledgeable and pious teacher. Islam is a not a religion of self-interpretation. It is a straight path based on knowledge that must be acquired. It is a lifestyle that has to be adhered to, and is unfortunately being influenced by many negative elements, both within and outside Islam. Without a guide, it is difficult to differentiate the truth of Islam from the created falsehoods that are being propogated as Islamic teachings. Although many new Muslims, especially in the US, choose to teach themselves Islam through books, lectures and videos, there are many pitfalls to doing this that should be avoided. Without a teacher or a guide, one armed with the combination of knowledge and experience, the pitfalls of the ego and desires can confuse and lead us astray quite easily. Self-teaching is a western phenomenon, and because many of us are brought up in the west, we assume we can apply our cultural norms to Islam as well. However, Islam is not of the west, thus, these western norms cannot be applied to it with much success. For centuries, classical Islamic education was taught through direct contact with teachers. This is how wisdom, not just knowledge, was acquired. You cannot gain wisdom just from reading. Anyone can read and parrot, but how many can read and apply in the way Allah intends? One of the problems with the Muslim Ummah today is that there are too many of us reading and parroting, but not enough applying in the way truly put forth by Allah and His Messenger (SAW). Put simply, we have stopped learning from those with knowledge and wisdom. We have stopped becoming students. One of the first attributes Jabril (AS) (archangel Gabriel) said he would take from the world by Allah’s command toward the end of time would be humility. This is a sign of what Jabril (AS) was talking about. It takes humility to be a student and to give our trust over to someone to teach us, which is why fewer and fewer are willing to do it. The easiest way to know the true akhlaq (character) of a teacher is to look at how he lives. How does he live his life? Does he live the deen or just talk about it? Does he say one thing and do another? Does he invite you into his home and show you how to practice Islam, not just tell you? Does he make five solats a day? These are some ways of knowing the authenticity and genuineness of a teacher. Unfortunately, in this day and age, many people claim to be sheikhs and imams, yet have very little knowledge or wisdom of Islam. So don’t be fooled by titles in your search for a teacher. I don’t mean to put fear into anyone’s heart on this matter. I have seen, however, the importance of having guidance and the consequences of what happens without it. How we learn and are indoctrinated into Islam will greatly effect our appreciation for it, our love of it, our devotion to it, and most importantly, our ultimate success or failure with Allah. Knowledge with wisdom will make you LOVE Islam, not just blindly follow it. So I urge you to go out and find a good teacher to help you along the path to Allah. May Allah bless you and guide you further in your journey. Assalamualaikum! Written by Abdul-Lateef Abdullah (Steven Krauss) , December 28, 2000 skrauss[at]community-impact(contact admin if its a beneficial link) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Advice For New Muslims From Maria Hannon-Khattabi Assalamu'alaikum, The most valuable piece of advice I was given and will pass on is this: Educate yourself. Emerse yourself in Islamic education informally and formally when the chances come about (books, magazines, Internet, seminars, workshops, on-line learning, classes). If you hear something or read something that doesn't sit right with you, research the topic. Since Islam is from Allah and is the right path, every piece of it is logical and if something you hear or read seems lacking in common sense, it probably isn't right. Keep informed and never stop learning. Written by Maria Hannon-Khattabi , January 11, 1999 Hannon[at]dmnh(contact admin if its a beneficial link) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Advice For New Muslims From A Sister Assalaamu alaykum! Peace be upon you! The joy, exhilaration, and lifetime importance of accepting Islam can often be accompanied by a sense of being overwhelmed and unsure of how to best approach the new dimensions of one's life. So many details, one might think, so many books, so many rules. Look again: Islam is not an obscure, complicated religion. It is the natural religion, and as such, it is a way of life - there is no need to panic. There are, however, several things that will greatly facilitate the transition to an Islamic lifestyle: (1) Venture, boldly or meekly, into a nearby muslim community so that you can enjoy the camaraderie and guidance of practicing muslims. Introduce yourself as a new revert and insha'Allah, with some give and take, you will be welcomed into the ummah [muslim community]. If you find that you are uncomfortable amongst these people even after some time, don't hesitate to try and locate other muslims at another Masjid, if such a luxury is available to you where you reside. Muslims are people, you will like some, love others, and so on. Don't get discouraged if you don't find a muslim soul mate immediately! (2) Learn salat, the five-times-daily contact prayer. Learning the movements and Arabic words will be challenging at first, but with *practice* you will master it eventually, I promise! It always helps to have a friend to ask about the details, hence (1) above. There are numerous muslim books and websites to guide you through learning salat. Try to learn the basics first before you get caught up with trying to learn many dua'as [supplications] or surahs [verses] from the Qur'an. Keep it simple and regular and your faith and self-confidence will improve daily. (3) Read the Qur'an. Try to get a widely accepted edition like the 'Abdullah Yusuf 'Ali Qur'an in Arabic with English translation and commentary. Read slowly, savor the words, but read by all means. It is the most important book you will ever come across. As you are becoming settled in your new life as a muslim, things that at first seemed daunting will become simple, and you will soon be ready for new challenges. Read! Listen! Learn Arabic (if possible!) There is a wealth of wisdom just waiting to be discovered by you. And you, too, are waiting for it. So progress and enjoy! Written January 15,1999 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Advice For New Muslims by Mona Given that I have been having major problems with my parents regarding my reversion, the following advice is particularly suitable for other new muslims having problems with their non-muslim family members: (1) It is very helpful and comforting to have a few muslim friends nearby in whom you can confide, ask questions of, and spend time with during the formative and often tumultuous initial period as a new muslim. Born muslims are generally honored and pleased to help you improve your faith by showing you the details that help you become a better muslim. (2) Before you decide to announce your reversion to loved ones who are non-muslim, make sure you are ready for their response, whether it is pleasant or horrible. Being ready means many things: understanding the basics of practicing your faith, understanding the reasons behind actions demanded of you by Islam, and being able to reconcile unfortunate world events that are attributed to muslims with your own understanding of Islam and its inherent goodness, logic, and beauty. (3) As hypocritical as it may be, many open-minded people cease to be open-minded when difficult issues such as religious conversion "hit home." People who are ordinarily rational, educated, and worldly unfortunately can swing 180 degrees when a person they love converts to a religion they do not appreciate or understand. It may be in your best interest, and in theirs, to not discuss your reversion to Islam until a year or two has passed and you feel comfortable in your faith. At that point, it would be obvious to them that Islam has not made you a worse or lesser person, and has in fact (hopefully!) noticeably improved you! (4) Most importantly, remember that the best teaching is by example. If you want to help others overcome the stereotypes bound to Islam and lessen discrimination against muslims, be a model muslim! Remember to be tolerant, patient, giving, helpful, and peaceful with those around you, be they muslim or not. Be open to questions regarding your new faith, but do not feel compelled to answer questions to which you do not (yet) know the answers. Get involved in your ummah, mind your prayer, and with time, everything will become easier for you. Written by Mona August 5, 1998 Please drop Mona a line. Her e-mail address is: mona[at]physchem.ox.ac.uk -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Advice to new Muslimas by Judi Muhammad, MA, LLP, PhD Candidate; Vice President/ Clinical Director Islamic Health & Human Services, Detroit, MI AsSalaamuAlaykum (Peace be upon you) It feels like I have been Muslim all of my life. In actuality, I probably was - underneath. But, for most of my life (50 years) I was Christian. I was raised Catholic and converted to a fundamental Christian religion, The Salvation Army, in my 30s and remained there until Allah (SWT) rescued me at age 50. AlHamdullillah!! For many years I taught psychology and philosophy in college. In that teaching, and in my own education, I came to believe many concepts and philosophies things that did not fit with my religion. But, I accepted that there would be differences and that was OK. One of the things I knew was that while the Christian religion taught that I was (1) born in the image of God (on one hand) and (2) born in sin (on the other) - both were not possible. The first thing I heard about Islam was that we are born good. In succeeding years, fitrah has become a favorite topic of my reading. All of my reading has proven that what I always believed in my heart was true - that man is born good and his propensity is to live within the Will of Allah. I spent the first 8 months in Islam single - and when I did marry I was truly blessed with a good Muslim husband. I learned more in the first 1 month of my marriage to him than I had in the 8 months I tried to learn on my own. Always, however, my husband told me that, "Islam is a process. You are responsible for what you learn as you learn it. Worry about the ‘big' things - not the little things." Some of the most important things I have learned are: That I was always Muslim in my heart - that not all practice Islam the same but anyone who calls themselves "Muslim" is treated by me as Muslim - that Sisters make WONDERFUL friends ( too bad I waited so late in my life to learn that) - that being obedient to my husband has more benefits than I could have ever imagined - that women are more respected in Islam than anyone who is not a Muslimah would possibly imagine - and that the "Peace that passeth all understanding" is not a Christian reward - it is an Islamic reality. The most important advice I can give a new Muslimah is: Allow Allah to chose your husband - make Istikharah and trust that you will learn the truth from it Do not worry about changing those around you - worry about changing yourself , into the best Muslim you can be - Allah will take care of the rest Search for legitimate Scholars - not everyone knows enough to teach you the truth When you marry, trust your husband and look to him to teach you Islam - it is his job Enjoy obedience to your husband - it will bring rewards in heaven but also on earth!! Become friends with Sisters who are like you want to become. May Allah bless you and make your Islamic journey as peaceful as mine. Written by Judi Muhammad August 3, 1998 Please drop Judi a line. Her e-mail address is: SMuslim[at]aol(contact admin if its a beneficial link) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- FROM JIM (NASIR) who Embraced Islam Sat, 11 Apr 1998 at the ripe young age of 68 Assalamu'alaikum As advice to a new Muslim I first greet you and congratulate you on your choice and good taste. If you are like I was the road will be a little to quite rocky at first but you must remember Allah is probably testing you to see if you are truly worthy. After a while things will smooth out. You will laugh. cry, get upset and be the happiest person in the world. In time you will have doubt that you chose was the best way to live. Nobody will tell you this, you will know deep down inside. When I started out I almost gave up many times. I was introduced to a converts/reverts group. The leader asked me if i was convert yet. I was so fed up I almost told what to do with his group. I thought here comes a third degree. Man did I eat crow. Then again it reminded me of the years back when I went to live in Australia. When you went to get anything. It had a different name over there and if it was not on the ladies counter she did not want to know about it. After I learend my way around things settled down for me. All I can advise you is patience and perserverence. Try to find a good Muslim friend who can guide you around, but best of all be guided by your inner self. I could tell you stories of my problems but then you have enough that you can probably tell me. Why dont you? As I look back I am reminding myself how much of Don Quixote there is in me. Also his epitaph on his tombstome which goes something like this. Here lies a brave and fearless knight Who had the courage in his day to live a fool and die a sage. I am not a sage yet but I am working on it. Nasir (Jim) Written July 20th 1998 Please drop Jim a line. His e-mail address is: email address is: najim[at]swlink(contact admin if its a beneficial link) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Advice from Khadeejah (Jacklynn) Assalamo aleikum (Peace be upon you) This is the greeting and salutation that muslims give to each other. It is also the true blessing of Islam. The peace that comes from choosing the right path in life is incomparable! No one can tell you if you have found the right path - you will know it for yourself when you discover the inner calmness of your soul, the joy that even the difficulties cannot extinguish, and the sureness of feeling that you are home.. that you have found a WAY OF LIFE - not just a religion! Al hamdolellah! (thanks to God!) Islam is not something that you just gulp down in one swallow. It is a lifetime of daily meals to be enjoyed, savoured, tasted, digested. If you eat too fast and try to take it all in in one huge bite, you will get indigestion and probably it will come right back up again and make you sick so you don't want to try another taste. If you eat too slowly and in tiny portions, you will always feel hungry and never be satisfied and if someone comes along offering you sweets and junk food (el shaitan does this) you will perhaps be tempted by that, so you won't feel like eating any more of the good meal. But if you have a well-balanced meal (studying the Holy Writings, association with fellow believers, putting into practice what you learn) you will feel satisfied and healthy and in peak condition of life. And think about it... if someone who loved you made a meal especially for you, wouldn't that make you feel surrounded by their love? Wouldn't you be anxious to tell everyone you know how well you were treated and how much you enjoyed the food? They would probably envy you and wish that they could also have a meal such as this. Allah loves us and has prepared spiritual food especially for us, his creation, in order for us to be healthy and happy and to know that we are loved. That food of course consists of all the Holy Writings available to us. When the opportunity arises, we can let others know how good our food is and how much our Creator loves us, so that they might see our healthy souls and want what we have. This is human nature... wanting what we don't have. So take things moderately, one bite at a time. Some foods take getting accustomed to, just like when we were kids and were told to eat our vegetables... as we grew up, we knew they were good for us, so we ate them as part of our meal even if they were not our favourite food. So, when you come across a "vegetable" in Islam that you find hard to swallow, just take a small nibble and leave it at the side of your plate until the next meal, or the one after that. Eventually you will grow up enough to realize that ALL "foods" in the spiritual meal are good for you and need to be partaken of if we want to stay healthy. As an example, imagine hijab as one of these "vegetables" that we might either love from the start or as something that we will only partake of after growing up and realizing that it is good for our spritual health. May Allah grant us all the wisdom and good spritual health we need to stay on the straight path. Ameen. Fee amanallah Khadeejah (Jacklynn) Written July 21 1998 Please drop Khadeejah a line. Her e-mail address is: email address is: khadeejah[at] muslimsonline(contact admin if its a beneficial link) [Here is the story of how I was guided to Islam, soon to appear on the website of one of the local brothers, where I also plan to write many articles refuting various aspects of christianity and to discuss other issues of da'wa, insha'Allah. -SJ]: "When the evidences have decisively defeated all doubts, it is no longer befitting to deceive oneself." How I Accepted the Din of Islam by Sean (Suhaib) Jobst When recounting the story of my conversion to Islam, I would like to first recognize that none guides or leads astray except Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala). Everything happens according to a Divine Plan, which is beyond our limited human comprehension. We can only look at certain instances to describe how we came to Islam, but ultimately these are mere causal manifestations of a Divine Plan. Allah describes in the Qur'an (7:172) how all human souls were gathered in Paradise and all acknowledged that He is our One Lord. We all said we would worship and obey only Him, so the proof has already been established upon every soul. It is upon us to either deny these proofs or to submit to Him. In this regard Islam is the birthright of every single human individual. The Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said that everyone is born upon the Fitra, or the pure natural disposition. Yet some of us succumb to either our harmful environments or oppressive self or lowly desires, and allow ourselves to become guided away from our Fitra. With this backdrop I would like to now mention a few details about myself. I was born to a father who had immigrated from Europe, being of mixed German and Spanish ancestry, and an American mother from Missouri, whose grandparents had immigrated from Belgium. This provided me with a cultural background which first nurtured my free and open mind. My entire family is Catholic, although I was raised in a tradition where the teachings of the Church had more of an emotional influence. My only experiences with attending Church were limited to family functions such as weddings and funeral masses. However, I did consider myself a Catholic and tried to attain spiritual sustenance from the Bible. However, my doubts persisted and I remember once kneeling towards an alleged statue of Mary (peace be upon her) and asking God for guidance to whatever the true religion was. I was a child who always sought to fulfill his intellectual curiosity, something which was nurtured by my family. This environment encouraged me to keep an honest mind and seek knowledge on my own accord. I found that such teachings as the Trinity or Original Sin were unable to be reconciled with logic. How can one consist of three co-existing entities which by their very nature are mutually exclusive? How can sin be hereditary and carried by other than the original sinner? It simply makes no sense. So I began researching the various world religions and seeing which one had a concept of God that was compatible with logic. I visited some Protestant churches, but soon found they also subscribed to the Trinitarian creed and even claimed that one only needed this faith without acts. Judaism was out of the question for me, since it is based on a people not my own. Hinduism repelled me due to the absurd stories about thousands of deities. The Eastern religions had no real concept of God or the Afterlife and failed to answer such questions as the meaning of life. Islam was the only religion that appealed to me. Here was a religion based upon the worship of the One Creator. There were a long line of prophets who called the people to this worship, including many prophets of whom I was familiar from the Bible. One of the first Islamic books I possessed was a biography of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam), whose remarkable character amazed me. Surely here was the Paraclete (Comforter) whom Jesus (peace be upon him) prophesied, the natural culmination of the message of the earlier prophets. As a former Catholic, I also read the Qur'anic accounts of Jesus and his mother, which brought me to tears. These accounts were fully logical and filled up the missing gaps I had from reading the Bible. Islam is a Living Reality, an entire Way of Life (Din). The considerations of a Muslim are centered around implementing Islam in their own lives, they live the experience of a Muslim. The Muslim feels the presence of Allah, as demonstrated by Ihsan (perfection) - to worship Allah as though you see Him, although He sees you. This is unlike the other religions, which are lacking in this self-realization because they reduced God to a systematic body of theoretical principles, whereas He is far removed from what human beings have ascribed to Him! I was also very political-minded and for this reason Islam further appealed to me. I was an anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian activist even before becoming Muslim. I also opposed the U.S. foreign policy, which strayed from its non-interventionist roots. I saw the profound ability of Islam to provide sustenance to a people living under oppression. Islam calls for saying a true word to the tyrant and fighting injustice and oppression. On the other hand, I knew that Christianity was largely a spent force which failed to have any social relevance. Islam is the logical solution for all the social ills which plague the West. These include rampant materialism, alcohol and drug abuse, usury and other forms of financial servitude, low-birthrates, the breakdown in social relations, decline in ethical and courteous behavior, and the general hopelessness that leads to suicide. It would also reverse the general decline of the Western societies, returning it to a more honorable way of living. My ethnic and cultural heritage also influenced me, for it was something of which I continued to be proud. I read that prophets were sent to every nation and tribe, calling them to the worship of the One God. This was the fundamental message of all the prophets. But with time the peoples' consciousness of the Divine became distorted. However, remnants of the true religion continued to survive in every cultural tradition. The Indo-European tribes largely held this concept of a Supreme Being, the other deities being viewed primarily as models for righteous behavior and guidance before going into battle. I was also fascinated to learn that, unlike the Roman empire which had a hedonistic lifestyle and then adopted the Trinitarian creed, the Germanic, Celtic and Iberian tribes from which I am descended adopted the pure message of Jesus (peace be upon him), through the various sects which were ultimately suppressed by the Church for political reasons. The Trinitarian creed was literally forced upon these tribes by the sword. I was also proud that the anti-Trinitarian movement within Europe gained its impetus from the works of German poets and philosophers, those who best expressed the German psyche. Goethe and Nietzsche ridiculed Christianity while praising Islam in the most glowing terms. Rather than claiming that "God was dead", Nietzsche was actually saying that the Christian conception of the Divine was dead, that it was no longer relevant and that a people needed God to provide them sustenance. The philosopher Martin Heidegger clarified two forms of refuge for those Europeans disillusioned with Trinitarian Christianity: ontology and metaphysics. Rather than providing answers, these two doctrines further blurred the concept of God due to the manner in which they had been adopted. He said that these actually led to the "forgetfulness of Being". The German national movement had similarities with Islamic struggle, since it also fought against usury and the rule of financiers. There were many parallels between the history of Germany and Muslim countries, such as the fact both had been occupied by the same imperialist powers. Likewise from the angle of the other aspect of my heritage, I admired the remarkable achievements of the Islamic society in Andalusia. Here was a true Islamic society which nurtured an environment that was fully superior to the contemporary Europe on every level. The subsequent achievements of Spain had much to do with the environment created by the Muslims. Islam is the perfect and natural culmination of all these aspects. Islam can't be dismissed as a foreign religion, since its values of Tawhid and the social-ethical values are truly universal. It has achieved something which no other religious tradition has been able to do: transcend human barriers such as race, social status or nationality. For about three years before accepting Islam, I came to believe as Muslims believe and even practiced some Islamic practices, such as fasting Ramadan. I really felt like a Muslim and knew that it was the true religion, however a number of factors prevented me from taking that final step. So it was that I continued to read anything I could about Islam, Muslims and the history and culture of the Middle East. Then came the events of September 11th. I was as shocked and horrified as everyone else, although I knew that Islam was not responsible. It came as a result of political factors that had nothing to do with Islam. So I found myself defending the Muslims from the misconceptions which had been made against their religion, as surely as if it was a personal assault upon me. This brought me back to the spiritual reflections I had been making these few years. All of these matters had been weighing upon me and there was no longer anything I could deny. For when the evidences have decisively defeated all doubts, it is no longer befitting to deceive oneself. So it was that I decided to take that logical step, the timing was solely due to the Will of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala). On the afternoon of September 22, 2001, I walked into the local masjid and told the brothers my intention to take Shahada. It was truly a blessing that at this time when Muslims came under attack from the backlash and the Islamophobia cultivated by the media, I was one of the thousands of people who accepted Islam within the immediate weeks and months following the events. Surely there were still uncorrupted people who were able to rise themselves above the fray. I felt a spark of inspiration which overtook me, which surged through my entire being. We as human beings may do things of which we aren't entirely certain. But I knew in my heart and soul that accepting Islam was the one decision of which I could be completely certain. So then I affirmed by belief in Islam and said those most beautiful of words: 'Ashhadu an la ilaha il-Allah. Wa Ashhadu ana Muhammad ar-Rasulullah.' (I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His Messenger). This was the public confession of what had already become my private conclusions. I was now accepted into the broader community of Muslims, as a brother and one who has also submitted to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala). Al-hamdulillah! Since that time I have always aspired to the best of my ability to live according to Islam. I never once have wavered in my belief as a Muslim. I was truly guided to the True Din, masha'Allah! Sister Zaynah As salaam Alikum Wa Rahmatuallah Wa Barakatuh, Dearest Brothers and sisters, Let me tell you my story. My conversion to Islam was long overdue, I started learning about Islam from about the age of 15, but I only took my Shahadah earlier this year, (I am now 25 years old). I had always had an interest in Religion as I believe that it helped me become less ignorant towards people, and more tolerant towards people of different races. Although at that time I thought I was well in tune with my birth religion, I was starting to feel more drawn to Islam, not just because of the religious teachings but also for the Political and social aspects as well. I was lucky at that time as I had a lot of friends that were also Muslim so I received a lot of Dawah from them. I had decided that I was going to do a project for my sociology GCSE on Malcolm X, I read his autobiography which I really connected with. (Incidentally I passed my Sociology GCSE with an A* grade because of my project). As time went on I was starting to learn more and more about Islam, and if I am honest I knew then that it was the right path for me but I let my ignorance get the better of me. I should have taken my Shahadah then but tried to justify it to myself that if Allah (SWT) had wanted me to become muslim he would have made me one from birth. I later learned from reading that "Muslim" actually means to be born in submission of god, so technically we are all born muslims. I went on to college where I let Jahilah control my life, I was out drinking,smoking,clubbing and generally just acted like a kuffar, but deep down I always did question myself was I any happier? The answer NO I wasn't. Anyway even throughout college some of my closest and reliable friends were muslim, and where I came from it was almost unheard of that Sikhs and muslims would even hang out together let alone be good friends. At this point I became very confused spiritually. I looked into other religions as I wanted more from my life but I was scared because I came from a sikh family and it is unheard of that a sikh would convert to Islam. I read about Hinduism,Christianity,Buddhism and Sikhism, I still felt that I was not getting the answers I needed that Islam was giving me. At this point I became very lonely, as I felt I didn't belong anywhere. I knew I should have taken my shahadah but I didn't. I couldn't be with my friends being a Jahil and I couldn't be with my friends that were practicing Islam. I decided to become Agnostic. I did however change my lifestyle, I stopped drinking, I stopped eating haram. I finished my relationship with my boyfriend (who was muslim) . My way of dressing had never been a problem because I had never been one to show to much flesh. I thought this is it. I am happy (well that's what I tried to convince myself). I thought my life would be easier I had given up all the wrong things and my family were happy as well. But deep down I wasn't. I use to think about all the major events and milestones that had taken place so far in my life, and at every point I either was thinking of becoming muslim or my muslim friends were connected to it in some way . Then earlier this year a very dear friend of mine was killed while out in Cambodia (she was doing voluntary work there). She was also Sikh but wanted to become Muslim, we had planned to take our Shahadah together and move in together as we both knew that our families were not going to accept our decision. I was very upset, and one night in February I was particularly upset when I saw a bright, white light come beaming through my curtains, I fell down in Sajdah and I recited my Kalma, and that was it I WAS A MUSLIM! I started doing my salah 5 times a day I felt so much better for it. I can never explain how good I feel after my salah. I told my parents the truth as the pressure was on for marriage,and as I expected they have disowned me, but Inshallah they will come round one day. I now live with my sister who incidentally is also muslim Mashallah for 8 years now. I don't view Islam as a religion but a way of life. I am still only in the learning stages but Inshallah I will get there. I feel truly blessed that Allah (swt) persevered with me, and blessed me with the strength to become part of his deen. To other brothers and sisters who are thinking of coming on deen, please don't leave it that long and suffer the mental anguish I did for 10 years, and don't fear your family or duniya for you know what you are doing is right, and Inshallah the rewards will not only be paid here but also in the afterlife. Jaziak Allah Kharian Zeynah Why am I a Muslim? My early religious training was in the Christian faith. This, however, was a matter of birth, not of choice-our early religious training is generally in the faith of our parents. Later in life, our religion is usually accepted as a matter of fact. We, however, question and examine everything except our religious faith, particularly if it is Christianity. The Christian Bible, being the textbook of Christianity, is a book which I have read many times. I doubt if there is a person who does not shudder while reading its pages, filled as they are with blood-curdling slaughter, rapine and destruction, along with its tales of incest, rape and other vile obscenity. Indeed, after reading the Bible one cannot help but wonder as to the nature of this "God of the Christians". Almost every Christian home contains the Bible, but it is generally used as a mantelpiece decoration. If it were the custom of the printer to deliver this book with its edges uncut, it would, no doubt, remain so for many years. Charles Francis Potter, D. D., in his book "The Story of Religion" wrote: "The Christian Bible may be ‘the book nobody knows’ in America, but the Qur'an is the “book everybody reads in Islam." Yes, indeed, and it is an advantage to Christianity that the Bible is "the book nobody knows." The Bible was the first cause in leading me away from Christianity. Having lost all interest in Christianity, I began a study of other world religions, as well as various "ologies" and "isms." All this was followed by agnosticism and atheism. However, there is, I believe, in mankind an innate certainty deeply rooted which persists in proclaiming the fact that there is a God, a Divine Creator, Master of the universe. But not the God who glories in bloodshed, atrocities and sensuousness. It was this "innate certainty" which caused me to return to a further study of religion. I found that Islam appeals to one's reason; it does not contain the pessimism of Buddhism; it is not void of Divinity like Shintoism or Confucianism, nor is it a money made religion. I found that it invites and encourages the pursuit of knowledge. The pages of history are filled with facts citing the hindrances which Christianity placed in the pathway of progress and civilization. It was a traditional saying of the Prophet Muhammad of Blessed Memory that "who so pursue the road of knowledge, God will direct him to the road of Paradise; verily the angels spread their arms to receive him who seek after knowledge; verily the superiority of a learned man over a mere worshipper is like that of the full moon over the stars." I do not hesitate to state that were Islam better known in the Western World, it would astound the civilized world by its gain in adherents. The reason why it is not better known is that it is with difficulty that one can obtain authorized or even unbiased literature pertaining to the Islamic faith. However, I am sure, time will rectify this condition. In bringing this article to an end, I wish to state that I am very happy to add my voice to the millions who proclaim to the world that “There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger”. Harry E. Heinkel Why are so many Women converting to Islam? According to "The Plain Truth", February 1984, in its 50 Year Anniversary Issue, quoting from the "World Almanac and Book of Facts 1935" and "Reader's Digest Almanac and Yearbook 1983", between 1934 and 1984. Christianity increased 47% World Population increased 136% Islam increased 235% 100,000 people per year in America alone, are converting to Islam. For every 1 male convert to Islam, 4 females convert to Islam. They're discovering the FACTS and not basing their decisions on biased media. They realise they deserve to know the complete unadulterated truth. 1. The Bible Convicts Women as the original Sinners (ie. Eve picking from the forbidden tree){Genesis 2:4-3:24}. The Koran Clarifies it was Adam Not Eve {Koran 7:19-25} 2. The Bible says "The Birth of a Daughter is a loss" {Ecclesiasticus 22:3}. The Koran says both are an Equal Blessing {Koran 42:49} 3. The Bible forbids women from speaking in church {I Corinthians 14:34-35}. The Koran says women can argue with the Prophet {58:1} 4. In the Bible, divorced Women are Labeled as an Adulteress, not men {Matthew 5:31-32} The Koran does Not have Biblical double standards{Koran 30:21} 5. In The Bible, widows and sisters do not inherit Any property or wealth, only men do {Numbers 27:1-11} The Koran abolished this male greed {Koran 4:22} and God protects all. 6. The Bible Allows Multiple Wives {I Kings 11:3} In The Koran, God limits the number to 4 only under certain situations (with the wife's permission)and prefers you marry only one wife {Koran 4:3} The Koran gives the woman the right to choose who to marry. 7. "If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives" {Deuteronomy 22:28-30} One must ask a simple question here, who is really punished, the man who raped the woman or the woman who was raped? According to the Bible, you have to spend the rest of your life with the man who raped you. The Prophet Muhammad Says {Volume 9, Book 86, Number 101} Narrated by Aisha:"It is essential to have the consent of a virgin (for the marriage)". Would the Non-Muslim men reading this prefer the Women they know to be Christian or Muslim? 8. The Bible also asks women to wear veils as in Islam {I Corinthians 11:3-10} 9. Women were given rights to Vote less than a 100 years ago in the (US), while the Koran gave women voting rights almost 1,500 years ago. Christian Scientists are declaring the Koran is from God. Click Here for stories of Christians and atheist scientists who convert to Islam and why. The Christian Bishops and Priests are admitting the Bible has tensions. Jesus is a Muslim? Click here. The list goes on and on, to hear from some of these converts, including Nuns, and many Famous people click Here. For a more Information and Statistics click Here This is Dedicated to Past, Present, and Future Muslim Sisters, Family and Friends, to the Devil who prefers slander and hype over facts. Peace and Blessings upon All.
  7. Salam! I'm A New Muslim

    Asalam wr wb im very happy when i hear of inspriring stories about reverts and Allah has seen something inside you that he likes and has guided you out of billions of people on this earth so all of you are truly special in Allah's eyez! I have pasted some very inspiring stories and articles from reverts themselves and how they found Islam aswell as their experinces for all to benefit from and please if any of you need anything else then please don't hesitate to ask me! please make dua for me brothers and sisters Assalamu alaikum The Role of Women in an Islamic Society Maryam Chaudhry, USA The Review of Religions, August 1995 Surely, men who submit themselves to God and women who submit themselves to Him, and believing men and believing women, and obedient men and obedient women, and truthful men and truthful women, and men steadfast in their faith and women steadfast, and men who are humble and women are humble, and men who give alms and women who give alms, and men who fast and women who fast, and men who guard their chastity and men who remember Allah much and women who remember Him - Allah has prepared for all of them forgiveness and a great reward. (Ch. 33, v. 36) The passage that has just been recited was from the Holy Qur'an, the book which Muslims believe to be the word of God in its entirety, revealed to the Holy Prophet (saw). In this verse, God Almighty tells us that by following a certain way of life, both men and women can attain to the same spiritual heights. There are no doubts standards in Islam, the requirements of piety are the same: submission to God, true belief in God, obedience to God, truthfulness, steadfastness in the faith, giving alms or charity, fasting, and remaining chaste. If these conditions are met in constant remembrance of God, then both men and women can achieve nearness to God and the same spiritual status. In the Holy Qur'an, God tells us: Whoso does good whether male or female, and is a believer, shall enter Paradise and they shall not be wronged a whit. (Ch. 4,v. 125) Before I continue, however, I want to give you a brief introduction to Islam. Being a convert who was born and raised a Christian, I realise that your understanding of Islam is either limited or contains a lot of totally erroneous information. Also, if I talk about the role of women in Islam it will make no sense without a basic understanding of the religion. I am going to ask you to put aside your paradigms for the next hour or so and to keep your mind open to new ideas. I will pose some questions and I will present to you different alternatives. We will play a game of what if? What if you are not here today by chance? What if what you hear today is the truth and could be the beginning of a whole new life for you? Bear with me patiently for a while. You have been given an outline of my speech with spaces in which to take notes or write questions. So please hold your questions until I have completed my lecture. If you are a Christian, you believe in all the prophets mentioned in the Bible and Old Testament, don't you? Now, did it ever become a source of wonder for you that the prophets as far as you know were all Jewish? It would seem odd that God found pious people worthy of prophethood only in the Jewish nation, even though all races and people of the world are God's creation. Also, the message of Christianity was conveyed throughout the world only after Christ. Do you think it makes sense that God in His Infinite Wisdom would have let the people of Africa, of China, of Australia, of the Americas, and so forth fumble in ignorance without any guidance until the advent of Christ? Another question which I like to pose to you is this. Why is it that people that belong to different religions throughout the world hold so dearly to their beliefs? After all, there are learned people in every community who have accepted the major religions of the world. Now, try to visualise the world as a pie. Each segment of society or community is represented by a slice of the pie. Each group declares that their religion is true. The Christian community to which many of you belong claims that God only chose prophets from the Jewish community. I was in my early teens when I started to wonder about such questions. As I look in front of me, you will notice that my field of vision is limited to a certain angle of this room. If I don't move my head, I can visually detect only a certain segment of the room. To me that is reality, is it not? Is it only reality? Of course, not. There are people and objects that are not within my field of vision. This is exactly the position in which followers of different religions are, including those of you who are Christians. In order to see all the reality available in this room, I would need to be standing from a different position, perhaps higher up, near the ceiling. Islam provides the only logical and sensible answer to this problem of equity and justice. After all, we will all agree that God is Just, is He not? And to assume that God only sent guidance to one group of his creation so that during the 6000 years or so of the history of the Old Testament, only the Jews were correctly guided, does not seem to fit our concept of God's absolute justice. Now, again, I will ask you to lay aside your paradigms. Paradigms are ideas that you have always held to be absolutely true simply because you were taught those ideas from childhood. Paradigms affect our perception of reality. We filter and interpret information received through our senses and reject and do not notice information that does not confirm our paradigms. A simple illustration: If I believe that dogs are cute and friendly and a dog comes into this room and barks, I will interpret it as a message that he likes me and wants to play. If I believe that dogs are mean and vicious, I will interpret the bark as a sign that the dog wants to bite me. Same evidence, filtered through different paradigm. The world being flat was another paradigm. Another example was the advent of Jesus Christ. The Jews of the time, having interpreted the Bible literally, expected him to be a worldly king who would liberate them from Roman domination. It took twelve disciples and a handful of others who laid aside that old established paradigm and, as Jesus asked them to do, took another look at the prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the advent of the Messiah, and lo and behold, they were able to accept Prophet Jesus as the Messiah. Asking you to lay your old paradigms aside for just one hour, I will give you the following information. When Jesus gave his message, he made two important points. The first one is that the people of his time were not ready to receive the message of God in its entirety: 'I have yet many things to say unto you and you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of Truth will come, he will guide you unto all truth; for He will not speak of His own authority, but whatever He shall hear, He will speak' (John 16: 12-13). Also, he told the Jews, 'The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits thereof' (Matthew 22: 42-43). The kingdom of God, or the gift of prophethood, was taken away from the Jews and given by God to the descendant of Prophet Abraham's first son, Ismael, that is the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) who came to bring to mankind a complete code of law, contained in the Holy Qur'an. The Message of Islam provides the view from the ceiling I mentioned earlier because the Holy Qur'an claims to contain 'a message ... for all the worlds' (8:128) while all other previous religions specifically mentioned that their message was addressed to a specific group of people. For example, Jesus Christ declared: 'I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of israel' (Matthew 14:24). God explains in the Holy Qur'an that all the people of the world received divine guidance in the form of prophethood. And there is a Guide for every people... (Ch. 13, v. 8) And for every people there is a Messenger... (10:48) Verily, We have sent thee (the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw)) with the Truth. Duties to God, and duties toward fellowmen. Since we would expect Islam to provide a more refined spiritual guidance, we would expect the precepts of Islam to be also in keeping with what human beings have discovered through years of progress. To name a few, 1500 years ago, Islam declared that all men are created equal (an idea expounded by the French philosopher Rousseau around the year 1750). To quote the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), ... Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any rights, any superiority to claim over another. You are as brothers. O men, your God is One and your ancestor is one. An Arab holds no superiority over a non-Arab, nor a White over a Black person, nor vice-versa, but only to the extent to which he discharges his responsibility to God and man. Only the God-fearing people merit a preference with God. The pursuit of knowledge (education) was stressed for both sexes: The pursuit of knowledge is a duty to every Muslim, men and women. (Hadith) The Holy Prophet of Islam (saw) told the world that God had especially entrusted to him the task of safeguarding the rights of women. Islam gave women rights that the non-Islamic world has given to women only within the past 200 years: the right to inherit property (from their husbands, their parents, their next of kin), the right to own, keep, and manage their own property, the right to ask and get a divorce in case of ill treatment or abandonment from the husband, the right to remarry, the right to obtain an education. The responsibility for the maintenance of the wife and children was placed on the husband (only recently have child support laws been made and enforced in this country). Remember that Islam was revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) by God 1500 years ago. In the United Kingdom, it was only in late 1882 that the first Married Women's Property Act was passed by Parliament, and before that, a woman could not hold property on her own, independently of her husband, and in Italy as late as 1919. Misconduct was accepted in English law as cause for divorce only in 1923. Abandonment was accepted as cause for divorce in New Zealand only in 1912. In Tasmania, 1919, in Victoria, 1923, in Cuba, 1918, in Mexico, 1917, in Portugal, 1915, in Norway, 1909, in Sweden, 1920, in Switzerland, 1912, divorced was allowed for various forms of mistreatment. But Islam had proclaimed and enforced the rights of women since approximately the year 600 only through revelation from God, not as a result of women having to fight for their rights. As American Justice Pierre Craibites had rightly observed: Muhammad (saw), 1300 years ago assured to the mothers, wives, and daughters of Islam a rank and dignity not yet generally assured to women by the laws of the West. A principle of change which has been discovered recently is that change in organisations takes place effectively only when the change is directed at the entire organisation rather than at individuals. Islam takes this very view. The dictates of Islam that have to do with men and women and children will change the entire society, not just the individual. You will agree that it is better to raise a good child in a good neighbourhood, isn't it? Would any of you want to spend a lot of time raising your child and then would you go and live in a gang-infested environment? Of course not! Another paradigm which I ask you to lay aside at this time is that, as a society, you have all the answers. The society in which we live presently, with increasing number of broken homes, single parent homes, drugs, murder, illegitimate births, child abuse, general lack of morality, certainly lack of spirituality, should be a source of shock to all of us. Is this the ideal society? Is this the environment in which we want to leave our future generations? Are conditions improving or getting worse? If indeed we believe in God and an afterlife, is the society around us conducive to the achievement of this goal? If what you have is not so great, stop hanging on to the belief that you are the only one who can find solutions. Now, let's stop putting money into government funded programmes to prevent child abuse, use of drugs, unwanted pregnancies, murders. These programmes do not work. Listen to a different alternative, one that works. Islam's approach is proactive (not waiting for problems to occur then trying to find solutions). Islam's approach is positive. There are more than 700 commandments of positive things to do in the Holy Qur'an and a few things not to do. Islam's approach is systematic. It addresses change in the entire society, not just in the individual. These three conditions make Islam educationally sound. Islam gives a system for producing maintaining a social climate in a society that is conducive to allowing human beings to achieve the real goal of their creation which is the worship of God (Allah is the same God that people of all faith understand to be the Creator and Supreme Being): O ye men! worship your Lord Who created you and those who were before you, that you may guard against evil. (Ch. 2, v. 22) The dictates of Islam create a good moral individual but in addition, Islam which is from God Who, of course, understands the nature of the humanity He has created, realises that this good individual must be placed in a very moral society so that his energies are not spent fighting off evil, but instead, are spent in progressing in nearness and communion to God in preparation of the life to come. If you believe in God and in an afterlife, then a great portion of your time should be spent in preparation for that next life. When you want to prepare for a race or a championship fight or for an exam or for getting a job, you spend years, hours in preparation, don't you? I asked someone at work what she did to prepare for the next life. She answered 'I go to church on Sunday.' Is it really enough? For the individual, Islam prescribes a minimum of five daily prayers which progressively bring human beings closer and closer to God, and a recipe of spiritual foods contained in the Holy Qur'an. When you do weight lifting, don't you follow a strict programme of regular exercise coupled with a diet rich in nourishing foods? Islam then tells human beings how to regulate their relationships with one another within the content of the family, the society, and humanity. The great and noble quest that, we as human beings undertake in this life in search of our Creator, must approach it as brothers. Surely, all believers are brothers. Human society must provide internal support for its individual members: And help one another in righteousness and piety; but help not one another in sin and transgression... (Ch. 5, v. 6) We are all in this together, all of humanity! God, in His Infinite Wisdom, has created humanity in a wonderfully, diverse and complementary manner. Men and women are diverse in their respective faculties and capacities. Our Lord is He Who has endowed everything with its appropriate faculties and then guided it to their proper use. (Ch. 20, v. 51) God has fashioned mankind according to the nature designed by Him, there is no altering the creation of Allah. (Ch. 30, v. 31) Men and women are equal in the sight of God, but in view of the differences in their nature, they have been assigned different roles for the smooth functioning of the human society. Women have the unique ability to bear children and to nurture them. Men are physically stronger. Look at the cover of the latest Newsweek magazine. This article discusses brain wave research which shows how differently men and women think and feel and how different parts of the brain are affected differentially for the same mental function. Women are one segment of humanity. In an Islamic society, women can occupy three positions. First as a daughter, her importance is such that the Holy Prophet of Islam (saw) tells us: 'He who brings up his daughters well, and makes no distinction between them and his sons, will be close to me in Paradise.' Secondly, a woman can be a wife. The character of men in an Islamic society is established in relationship to their treatment of women. 'The best from among you is one who behaves best towards his wife.' (Hadith) Thirdly, in her role as a mother, Islam has placed women at a higher status than men. 'Paradise is at the feet of the mother.' Islam recognizes the great role that women play in upbringing of the children and that the future of mankind and of societies depends on mothers. The paradise mentioned by the Holy Prophet (saw) refers to both the social paradise that can be achieved in Islam and the heavenly paradise. Therefore, mothers have been placed at a position of the highest respect. As a covert, I can testify to the profound respect (almost unimaginable if you are not a Muslim) which is accorded to mothers in Islamic homes. People who sell or teach, people who aim to effect behaviour changes in others, need to fulfill three conditions in order to be effective. First they must sell themselves, that is gain trust and credibility; for example real estate sales people are told that it is not the house that they must sell to their customers, it is themselves. Secondly, they must constantly model the behaviour which they want others to adopt. As a teacher trainer, I constantly tell my staff that they must 'walk the talk'. The third and most vital condition is that the teacher must have high expectations of the learners. Therefore, in order for mothers to effectively mould humankind in the highest mould of excellence required by God, they must share the high expectations of that God has for his creation: Verily, We have created man in the best make. (Ch. 95, v. 5) And they must become those fortunate beings under who feet paradise can be earned. If an organisation such as an university entrusts the training of students to teachers, would you not expect that organisation to also provide adequate training for the teachers, good schools or places for the training to take place, and also, good job opportunities after the training is complete? You would expect nothing less from God, the Almighty Creator. The dictates of Islam that have to do with behaviour of women are the training of this crew of teachers of mankind. The family unit provides the setting for this teaching to take place, but the society which is the workforce of life where the teaching is practiced must also be regulated and maintained in the best of ways. Teaching is not effective unless the teacher has credibility and respect. Both need to be earned. Can you respect someone who does not behave in a respectable fashion? Can a child behave well unless you accompany your teachings with good modelling? Of course not. Therefore, the high respect which God commands us to hold for women in Islam also dictates that women have to behave with utmost dignity and piety in order to become the most respected and honoured segment of our society. It is sort of the 'Noblesse Oblige' concept of the French. Those of higher nobility are under constant obligation to behave in the best of ways. Ask yourselves this question. 'Why did nuns used to dress very modestly and cover their heads?' Because they were supposed to be very noble and very pure. In both the Old Testament and the Bible, a head covering is prescribed for chaste women (Genesis: 24:64, 65; 1 Corinthians 11:5, 6). A paradigm which comes from misinterpretation of the Bible is that Eve was responsible to make Adam sin, therefore there is an implication in Christianity that women are impure and that association with them diminishes a man. That is why priest and nuns were told not to marry if they wanted to be close to God. Islam denies the theory of the original sin, and rejects monasticism as a human invention. God tells us in the Holy Qur'an that all human beings are created pure and that both men and women are capable of achieving the highest degree of spirituality (high expectations). Going back to the question of modest dressing, nuns dressed modestly because they did not intend to marry therefore did not want to attract the attention of members of the opposite sex. But Islam wants all women to be pure, and all men also, no double standards in Islam. What you wear affects both how you feel about yourself and how others view you. For example, at my school, which is not air conditioned, the principal always wears a suit, no matter how hot it is. Teachers and parents know that well dressed children feel good about themselves, and teachers subconsciously view them as well cared for and treat them better. Well dressed children do better in school. Many public schools are now adopting uniform policies for the students because wearing a uniform puts the student in a learning mood and makes the teachers view them as potential learners. This affects both the student and the teacher's behaviour so that the entire atmosphere becomes conducive to learning. Also, even in my childhood, women used to wear veils when they entered the church which points to the relationship between dress and attitude. Islam prescribes modesty for both men and women in order to maintain a pure Islamic society. As a matter of fact, the responsibility to create and maintain this society starts with men: Be chaste and your women will be chaste (Hadith). It is a society in which the institution of marriage plays a vital part. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) says, `Marriage is my way.' The Holy Qur'an describes the relationship between husband and wife in a beautiful manner: They are a sort of garment for you and you are a sort of garment for them. A garment embellishes, protects, safeguards, gives dignity and honour. It's a beautiful relationship based on love and respect and characterised by grace: Consort with them graciously... (Ch. 4, v. 20) In order to allow women the opportunity to fulfill the challenging obligation of producing these moral individuals who will become members of the Islamic society, the responsibility for providing for the family has been placed on men. They are appointed as protectors of the members of their household. Men are appointed guardians over women... (Ch. 4, v. 35) Wives have rights corresponding to those which husbands have, in equitable reciprocity, though, in certain situations, men would have the final word and thus enjoy a preference. Allah is Mighty, Wise. (Ch. 2, v. 229) When you married, God appointed you trustees of those rights (of your wives). You brought your wives to your home under the law of God. You must not, therefore, abuse the trust which God has placed in your hands. (Hadith) Just as in any system, different individuals are assigned different roles for the optimum functioning of the system, similarly, in the family unit, man is the head of the household. This does not imply superiority or inferiority in any way, just difference in roles because the functions men and women each play in the family unit are different. For example, in the school where I work we have the principal. The staff shares in decision making through committee work but the suggestions always receive the final approval or disapproval from the principal. No one would ever think of disobeying the principal because he has final accountability, therefore he must have the freedom to make the ultimate decisions. In the family unit, the men bears the ultimate responsibility for providing that pious and safe haven of love and comfort called the Islamic home within which paradise is formed under the feet of mothers during the course of the sacred task of the moral upbringing of the children. In return, men receive obedience and support from their spouse. God instructs parents to pray for the success of this sacred duty, because seeking God's help through prayer is a necessary precursor to every endeavour of a Muslim: Lord, grant us of our spouses and our offspring the delight of our eyes and make us a model (family) for the righteous. (25:75) Therefore, in order for a society to be a pure society, both men and women should think, dress, and behave in ways that allow pure thoughts and actions to dominate the way of life and create a social climate conducive to the achievement of the real goal of life, the achievement of communion with our God, our Creator. Physical attraction between men and women is good and pure only within the context of the sacred institution of marriage. In the Holy Qur'an, God tells us: Of His Signs is that He has created for you of your own kind that you may find peace of mind through them, and He has put love and tenderness between you. In that surely are Signs for a people who reflect. (30:22) To fulfill the natural need for love and comfort, God established the family unit as a safe and healthy place for the experience and manifestation of these normal needs. God also tells us how men and women should behave with people other than their immediate family: Say to the believing men that they restrain their looks and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely, Allah is Well-Aware of what you do. And say to the believing women that they restrain their looks and guard their private parts, and that they display not their beauty or their embellishment except that which is apparent thereof, and that they draw their head-coverings over their bosoms, and that they display not their beauty or their embellishment save to their husbands, or to their fathers, or their sons, or the son of their husbands, or their brothers, or the sons of their brothers, or the sons of their sisters, (all men that are not possible for a woman to marry) or women who are their companions (decent women), or those that their right hand possesses, or such of male attendants as have no desire of women, or young children who have not yet attained knowledge of the hidden parts of women. And that they strike not their feet so what they hide of their ornaments may become known. And turn ye to Allah all together, O believers, that you may prosper. (24: 31, 32) God asks us to follow these injunctions for our own benefit. A pure society will result not only in salvation but in prosperity. What would you choose, a society where men and women respect one another and help one another achieve nearness to God, or would you prefer the present society? Let's face reality. Women have no respect in this society. Just turn on the radio, you will hear how men talk about going to the beach to look at women, free ladies' night at the clubs; we see surveys in major magazines where more than half of American men report being sexually aroused on the job daily by the way women dress themselves; teen pregnancies, rape, youth suicide, runaways, adultery, divorce on the rise, broken homes; another survey of Time Magazine reports that men between the ages of 25 to 40 have 6 to 9 sexual partners; picture the scenes on college campuses, especially where there are dorms, is this really the society in which you, your children, your future generations want to spend the short time we have on this earth to prepare for our eternal life? As a woman, I pity women in this society. From early childhood, they are taught that their main asset is their physical attraction (think of teen beauty pageants; there are now cheer-pom squads for girls even in elementary schools). They are made to believe that they must parade their physical beauty, spend hours working out in the gyms to shape their figures only to display them at the beaches, all this demeaning compromise so that eventually they will catch a husband. Once they do, they continue to display their attractiveness outside the home, only to be complimented by men other than their husband, or sexually harassed on the job, generally starting the slide into the path of adultery, divorce, broken homes, etc... Enough is Enough. In Islam, a women need not compromise her dignity, her integrity, her high self-esteem at any time. She thinks, behaves, and dresses modestly. She is respected by all members of the society, particularly men. She displays her beauty for her own husband, not providing a free show for all to enjoy: ..and display not your beauty like the displaying of the former days of ignorance ... (33:34) Here is the key word `ignorance'. If you walked in an area where prostitutes were parading, would you not feel pity for them and understand that they chose this way of life out of ignorance, because of low self-esteem learned from bad childhood experiences? The Holy Prophet of Islam (saw) tells us: When you are contemplating a certain course of action, reflect first upon its consequences; if they are good persist, if they are bad desist. Modest behaviour, of which clothing is only one part, is worth the effort. Why would we, as women, who are entrusted the great responsibility of teaching all of mankind the ways of our Lord, why would we ever want to cause indecent thoughts in the mind of our fellow men who are our brothers in the sight of God. In an Islamic society, men and women help each other achieve goodness, they are not devilishly tempting one another. The believers, men and women, are friends one of another. They enjoin good and forbid evil and observe Prayer and pay the Zakat (tax for the poor), and obey Allah and His Messenger. It is these whom Allah will have mercy. Surely, Allah is Mighty, Wise. Allah has promised the believers, men and women, Gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide, and delightful dwelling places in Gardens of Eternity, and the pleasure of Allah, which is the greatest bounty of All. That is the supreme triumph. (9:71-72) The symbolic description above refers to paradise which Islam tells us is a condition of nearness to God which can begin to be reached here on earth, the river flowing under the gardens of paradise refers to the never ending, continuously progressing nature of the quest for the pleasure of God, which is in fact, heaven. Modest behaviour includes not only how we dress, but how we think, how we address others: ...So be no soft in speech, lest he, in whose heart is a disease, should feel tempted; and speak decent words. (33:33) God understands that all men do not feel tempted every time they look at a woman, however indecently she may be dressed. But we have no way of knowing the inner state of morality of others. Islam, as I mentioned earlier, takes a proactive and systematic approach to the establishment of morality in an upright society. Regulation of behaviour between men and women is only one of the preventive dictates of Islam. Others include no intoxicants at all so that human beings are always acting with a clear head and able to make responsible choices. Remember the goal is to produce individuals who eventually achieve communion with God. Of course, production of such individuals in large numbers, who would be the rule rather than the exception, can only be achieved in an upright society where spiritual thriving is the norm. Earlier, I referred to the fact that principals in schools, bosses in organisations, always dress the part. This clothing does not make them the bosses. It is symbolic of their role in that organisation. In the Qur'an, God explains the essence of Islamic purdah or covering which embodies the attitude of both men and women and is reflected in dress, behaviour and is in turn positively affected by dress and behaviour. When, as a teacher, I see the sad consequences of immoral behaviour perpetuated by behaviours of parents learned by children, I realise that it is a vicious circle. I like to think of the Islamic system as the `pious circle'. O children of Adam, we have indeed sent down to you raiment to cover your nakedness and to be a means of adornment, but the raiment of righteousness - that is the best. That is the commandment of Allah, that they may remember. (7:27) The eventual goal is the righteousness of the hearts. Look around you and see morality declining and a system that is not working. Islam offers a system that works. Women play a vital part in this complex and refined system. You know that the more frequent the opportunities for social interchange between men and women, friendships, dating, parties, and so forth, the more likely chances are that the natural attraction which God has placed between them will result in relationships that are bound to endanger morality in a society. Islam restricts this free and unrestrained intermixing of the sexes. Believe me, it is a lot more of a restraint on men than it is on women. And women are protected from all kinds of molestation. Molested individuals lose their sense of self-esteem and unless they undergo lengthy therapy they are usually unable to form stable relationships. In this society, I view women as suffering from Psychological Molestation Syndrome (PMS) because of the way they are treated as sex objects by the media, at school, on the job, and unfortunately, sometimes in their own homes. The resulting self-esteem of women is low as evidenced by the fact that they allow themselves to be continually exploited in this fashion. Therefore, unless we change the entire system and allow women to gain the self-esteem and respect God provided for them through Islam, stability of relationships between wives and husbands, between mothers and children will continue to be endangered. When I taught High School students, I would become so saddened by the plight of those teenagers. They felt pressured by society to date. A few girls and a few boys in a class of twenty five would get all the requests. The rest would always feel unhappy, living in constant fear of not being asked out, and often I saw that girls who were finally asked would be ready to give up everything for fear of losing the opportunity. But when relationships of a more serious nature developed, most of the time, they would end up in tremendous heartbreaks, then a process of healing followed in which the teenager hardened and lost this wonderful softness which would have been so critical in forming an enduring relationship in a marriage. After a few of these relationships and ensuing heart breaks, there was nothing left of these poor souls. What would these broken hearted, mended, patched human beings have to contribute to the great task of motherhood. How would you expect individuals who had been exposed to so much to be contained in a relationship with a single partner? Don't you see that it is the very system that you have created which contributes to the progressive degeneration of your social system? Don't you see that the divorce rate, unwanted pregnancies, lack of commitment to the institution of marriage, all these ills are increasing day by day. Women are so exposed and available that men are losing their attraction for them, and homosexuality, children molestation are becoming more and more common. Unlimited and unrestricted pleasures bring no happiness, indeed they result in unhappiness and instability throughout the entire society. It's like drug usage, the more you take, the more and stronger drug you need to get the temporary but potentially deadly thrill. As I mentioned earlier, you cannot affect change by targeting individuals or different aspects of a system. You must create change by changing rules that govern the entire system. The rules must be proactive and preventive in nature. The dictates must be positive and include a large number of behaviours that progressively lead to the targeted change. The change proposed by God in the Holy Qur'an will produced a healthy society where goodness becomes a source of pleasure and happiness. Islam promotes strong emotional attachments in relationship between wife and husband, parents and children, siblings, extended families which provide comfort and support and result in happiness, peace of mind and heart, harmony, trust, and stability. In such a society, the natural human need to be loved and to love is fulfilled in so many chaste ways that the individual is satisfied. A few years ago, I felt so lucky to be a woman in Islam that I became overwhelmed by my Beloved God's goodness toward me. I have, by the grace of God, pious and wonderful children, a wonderful children, a wonderful son-in-law who is also a convert, and I can see Islam at work creating heaven daily in front of my own eyes. I cannot wait until the time that more and more Americans adopt Islam. Americans are so kindhearted, welcoming, sympathetic, generous human beings, they will, God willing, make the best of Muslims. Source Reference: Al-Muhajabah Courtesy: ######everymuslim(contact admin if its a beneficial link) Sumayyah's Road to Hijab I remember that when my sister Ruqayyah first started to invite me to Islam, that the main obstacle on my path to light was not the sacrifices that I would have to make in my eating, drinking, and conduct. The fact that I would have to learn a completely new and sometimes confusing language to even say my prayers did not cause me to loose any sleep either. The one felled-tree in my path to guidance and righteousness, was the fact that I would have to go around looking like her. My sister, you see, wears full hijab, with her face and hands covered. Even though she assured me that the khimar and jilbab was all that would be required of me, the thought of my friends seeing me dressed like that kept me from declaring my faith openly for a long time, even though I believed it in my heart. The fact that I also had to cover up my hair, which I used to spend a great deal of time and money on, was then, also too much for me to bear. Now because of this, many of you may think that I was a shallow and vain person, but my thoughts and actions should come as no surprise. As women raised in the West, from birth, we are taught that our self-worth is directly proportionate to our attractiveness. The society upholds unattainable and unrealistic images of beauty that the women in the society must constantly pursue. We spend of our time, energy and wealth, in this constant and illusive chase. We become slaves to Revlon, Vidal Sassoon, the fashion gurus in Paris and ultimately our own sense of vanity. It will be three years ago, this December 25, that I stood before two Muslim sisters and declared openly my belief in Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (SAW), and thus freeing and liberating myself from my former self-imposed bondage. Stepping out of the darkness of kufr (disbelief) into the light of Islam, it's funny that I found such freedom in the very thing that was keeping me from Islam in the first place; the hijab. Even though I get the wide gamut of strange stares, points and comments, this covering makes me feel honored, safe and cherished. The word hijab comes from the Arabic word "hajabah" meaning to hide from view or concel. Women, who conceal their beauty in this society and do not give into its oppressive system, are looked upon as invisable, without sexuality, and backward. Because I'm often mistaken for a nun, and Islamic fundamentalist terrorist, who maybe hiding god-knows what up under all that stufff, or the poster-child for oppressed womanhood everywhere, I feel the hijab, for many women, is the truest test of being a Muslim. In instructing us to wear the hijab, Allah (SWT) has given Muslim women what they can bear of injunctions and obligations. For Allah (SWT) says, "And We tax not any person except according to his capacity, and with Us is a Record which speaks the truth, and they will not be wronged." (Al-Mu'minun 23:62) Unfortunately, Satan and his cohorts are calling the Muslim woman to enslave herself to the creation, and to forget about her servitude to her Creator. Chastity, modesty and piety are deceptively marketed as shackles on personal freedom. Allah (SWT) warns the believers they should not let Satan deceive them, as he deceived their parents, Adam (AS) and Eve (AS). Under the guises of fashion, culture and modernism however, Satan has, and is succeeding to lead the Muslim woman into immodesty. From the dawn of civilization, flowing dresses and headscarves have always been associated with "godliness" or "god consciousness." Even the Christian pictorial respressentation of the earlier prophets and their women folks bear a familiar likeness to the dress ordained for Muslim men and womn. This tradition of modesty is reflected in the Quran, wherein Allah (SWT) says, "O Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover yourselves (screen your private parts, etc.) and as an adornment, and the raiment of righteousness, that is better..." (Al-A'raf 7:26) But since the hay-days of the feminist movement, there has been an increasing amount of scrutiny placed on the dress and status of Muslim women. According to these "liberated" women, the hijab not only covers the head, but also covers the mind, will and intellect. They say that our dress code is outdated and oppressive, and that it stops us from being productive human beings. They speak out of ignorance when they say that our hijab does not belong in these modern times, when due to the constant decrease in moral values in the world today, circumstances make the hijab even more necessary. More than ever before, sex crimes are rampant and "liberated" women in the larger society now face increasingly higher chances of being raped or sexually harassed. The Federal Governemetnt conducted a research in which they found that in America, a rape-crime is committed every six minutes. The women, who uncover their beauty and show off their bodies and made-up faces for all to enjoy, expose themselves to be harmed by these wolves in human clothing. Allah (SWT) enjoined the hijab on the Muslim woman to protect her from harm. He (SWT) knows His creation, and knows that when women make dazzling displays of themselves, with immodest clothes, perfumed bodies and made-up faces, that it serves to increase the sexual deviance of the overall society. Many of those who are misguided would have us think though that the hijab is a portable prison that restricts our minds, lives and hearts. It is none of these things, and in order not to fall victim to their plots, we must begin to understand what the hijab truly is For Muslim women, the clothing requirements are not meant to be restriction but rather a way in which society can function in a moral and Islamic fashion. As Muslims, we are the torchbearers for the rest of humanity; therefore we must set the example and set ourselves apart for the rest of society. A wise person once said, "If you want to judge the religiousness or morality of a people, look to the dress of its women." Apart from the benefit it holds for the ummah and the larger society, the hijab has many virtues for the Muslim woman herself. It's been almost three years now since Allah (SWT) guided me to the light of Islam, and took me away from the darkness of disbelief. Even though strangers tend to speak to me in loud, slow English, and always ask, "aren't you hot in all that," I have found the hijab to be the most liberating part of my conversion. I adjure my Muslim sisters to reclaim the hijab. It is your right and an intrinsic part of your Islamic identity. Do not allow the Satan, Jinns and humans, to enslave you to your desires, egos and vanity, when Allah (SWT) in His Mercy, has given you the keys to freedom. As Muslims, we must lovingly submit to the will of our Creator, and let the whispers, taunts and ill intentions of the creation be of no consequence to us. And what greater act of submission can there be for a true Muslim woman than the saying of the faithful believers when they are called to Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (SAW) to judge between them, is only that they say, "We hear and we obey." By doing this, Allah (SWT) will increase us in faith and make our way easy for us (Insha-Allah). As true servants of the Lord of the worlds, we have no choice but to follow whatever orders He (SWT) has given us. As we are slaves, when our Lord says go there, we should go, and when He (SWT) says come here, we should come, with no hesitation whatsoever. Let us strive then to be true servants of Allah (SWT) by doing our best to carry out His injunctions to the best our our abilties (Insha-Allah). Let us commit ourselves to not falling prey to the beckoning of the larger society to be among the "liberated women," but let us work to be among the "believing women," Insha-Allah! Tips for Beginning to Wear Hijab Introduction One of the most difficult decisions many Muslim sisters face is the decision to start wearing hijab. This is certainly true for reverts, but may also be true for sisters whose families or even whose cultures are not particularly observant. As a revert myself, I have been through the whole thing. I would like to offer some advice that I hope inshallah will be helpful to sisters who are considering wearing hijab but find that something is holding them back. If you don't think that you need to wear hijab, try "Why Should I Wear Hijab?" instead. Learning About Hijab The first step is to learn about hijab. There is so much information out there and unfortunately much of it seems to be conflicting. Although most of what you see agrees that the sister must cover everything but her face and hands, some groups say that it is fard to cover everything but the eyes. Meanwhile, certain other groups are dedicated to claiming that covering the hair is not obligatory. It is very easy to get confused. And there are other questions. What is a jilbab? Is it fard to wear one? What do all the names mean? I have spent about two years researching these issues for myself and I have written several articles that set out what to the best of my knowledge are the correct rules of hijab. Each of these is linked below for you to look at. Special Focus on Hijab - This is a section in a larger article. It explains where the ruling on covering everything but the face and hands comes from, and the conditions of the headscarf. It also refutes the claims of those who say that covering the hair is not fard. Evidences for Jilbab - The jilbab seems to be the forgotten obligation of hijab. This article presents dalils from Quran and Sunna, and opinions of many scholars, to show that wearing a jilbab is fard, and it also discusses the conditions and rules of the jilbab. Examining the Dalils for Niqab - In this article I examine the dalils that are presented by those who claim that niqab is fard and I show that these are not as compelling as they seem at first. I am actually a strong supporter of the opinion that niqab is mustahabb and sunna but I do not believe that it is fard and I believe that saying that it is fard is to introduce into the religion an obligation that Allah SWT and the Prophet (sAas) did not. For your convenience, I present a brief guide to the rules of dress for the Muslim sister for different situations. 1) Around her husband, a sister may dress however she chooses. There are no restrictions on what the husband can see or touch. 2) Around the mahram relatives, women, and children (a complete list of exemptions is given in Surah an-Nur ayah 31), a sister should cover her awra. There are different opinions on the extent of this. The most sensible that I have seen is from the upper chest to the knee. This includes the region that is also awra in men (navel to knee) and extends upwards to cover the woman's bosom, which is a special concern for her. Display of the hair, arms, lower legs and feet, is universally agreed to be halal for this category. 3) Around non-mahram men, a sister must cover all of her body except her face and her hands. The face is the circle of the face only and does not include the ears or any of the hair. Just think about what you wash in wudu. The covering of the hair, neck, shoulders, and upper chest must specifically be accomplished by the khimar (headscarf). The arms, torso, and legs should be covered by loose, opaque clothing that obscures the shape of the figure. A long-sleeved blouse and a jumper, a long loose tunic and a long skirt, or shalwar kameez are all examples of what is acceptable. As well, most scholars say that the feet must be covered with socks and shoes although a few scholars allow the wearing of sandals. 4) Outdoors and in open public places (such as the market or the masjid), a sister must wear a jilbab as an outergarment, that is, over her other clothes. If she is wearing a khimar, then the jilbab only needs to cover from the shoulders to the ankles, such as a long coat. If she is not wearing a khimar, then the jilbab should cover the head and neck as well. The above rules set out what you need to wear in each situation in order to be observing correct hijab. Note: Most sisters, including myself, approached hijab in several stages. Usually the first stage is the modest clothing such as the blouse and jumper, tunic and skirt, or shalwar kameez. The second stage is to add the headscarf (properly called khimar). The third stage, often taken much later after reading up on the dalils, is to add the jilbab when outdoors. In the way of things, I expect that most sisters who are reading this have already adopted the modest clothing and are worried about the khimar. Deciding to Wear Hijab This is where the difficulties usually come in. For many sisters, it truly is a jihad. I remember very vividly how scared I was the first day I put on the headscarf and went out into public. As long as you are just wearing the modest clothes, nobody has to know that you are a Muslim. Once you complete your hijab with the headscarf, you are suddenly announcing to everyone who sees you that "I am a Muslim". Here is some advice based on my own experiences. Wear it for the sake of Allah SWT Various statements are made about why you should wear hijab, such as for modesty or for protection, but the real reason that we wear hijab is that Allah SWT has commanded it. Whenever anyone asks you, why do you dress like that, that's the only answer you need to give them. Allah SWT is the source of everything we have, our existence, our life, our capability, even our goodness. If He ever stopped sustaining us, we would vanish in that instant. If He ever took away what he gives us, we would never have even a speck of it. If we worked for millions of years, we could never repay Him for all that He has given us. And yet He does give it to us, and all He asks in return is that we do our best to obey what He has commanded us. Surely wearing hijab is a very small thing that you can do for Him compared to what He does for you! Wear it for the hope of Jannah Allah SWT makes tests for us in this world. He makes things difficult for us. He wants to see if we will remember Him, if we will have faith in Him, and if we will trust in Him. These qualities are what is meant by "sabr". Allah SWT does not lose the work of anyone, ever (see Surah Ali Imran ayah 195). Even if it seems like nobody is paying attention to you or notices or appreciates good things that you do, Allah SWT has seen them, and He will not forget them. Even when it seems like the whole world is against you, Allah SWT is always there for you when you turn to Him. Remember this. Allah SWT always wants the best for us and in His wisdom He knows why each thing that happens to us is in fact best for us. When it seems like everything is going wrong and life is just one disaster after another, it is easy to forget this and to become bitter and skeptical. Yet we must remember always to have faith that Allah SWT knows best why He has willed this for us, and we must always ask Him only "Make me pleased with what You have willed for me". This world we live in, although it seems at times to be the only real thing, is actually fleeting compared to the Hereafter, which is better and more abiding. The trials of this world will seem as fleeting as a nightmare when seen from the Hereafter, and the pleasures of this world will also seem as fleeting as a dream when seen from the Hereafter. It's our happiness in the Hereafter that we should be most worried about attaining, because it is what will last forever; and it's our suffering in the Hereafter that we should be most worried about avoiding, because it also will last forever. Allah SWT has promised Jannah to those who remain steadfast in their faith in Him and who trust in Him. The more difficult it is for you to have sabr, the greater the reward for it. So what will it be? Ease in this world, and perhaps the eternal sufferings in Hell? Or difficulty in this world, and inshallah the eternal bliss of Jannah? Let's face it, the old cliches are true: there's no such thing as a free lunch and you can almost never have your cake and eat it too. We've all got to face difficulties some time. Better by far that they be in the world than in the Hereafter. So that's what you should set your mind to. Yes, it's difficult to wear hijab. You may be rejected by your family or your friends, you may face harassment and persecution or be fired from your job. These are very scary thoughts. But if you have sabr and keep trusting in Allah SWT, I swear to you sister, this is the path to Jannah, and when you look back on the Day of Qiyamah you will know that it was worth it and have no regrets. Wear it today and trust in Allah SWT for tomorrow What do I mean by that? What I mean is that you should take it one day at a time, or even one outing at a time. Sometimes the future seems to stretch on forever and ever and you don't think you can make it that long. You want to give up before you even begin. So sometimes the best thing to do is to keep you mind focused on what is immediately at hand. Allah SWT will take care of the future. If you have to go out to the market, then concentrate on being able to wear hijab just for this activity and on getting through it. If you do get through it and nothing bad happened, then give thanks to Allah SWT for making it easy for you, and turn your mind to your next outing. Or if you have to go out to school or work, then concentrate on being able to wear hijab just for this one day and on getting through it. And give thanks to Allah SWT when you have made it, and turn your mind to the next day. Eventually the outings will turn into days and the days into weeks, and the weeks into months. One day you will realize that you have been wearing hijab for quite a long time and it isn't really as bad as you feared, and Allah SWT helped you get through it. Don't be ashamed. Sometimes it is like this. The most important thing is to have sabr and keep your trust in Allah SWT always. Wear it and spite the shaytan My dear sister, the worries and fears in your mind are the whisperings of the shaytan. He wants to talk you out of obeying Allah SWT. It is very easy to keep going around in circles in your mind and to dwell on all the things that could go wrong. I know that I myself have a tendency to do this, I put it off and I dither and I wait for "the perfect time". If I let myself, I would never do anything at all! So the thing you have to remember is that you do not need to be perfect in iman to wear hijab. If perfection were a qualification, where is the sister who could wear it?? You must also not fall into the trap of thinking that you should wait until all your worries and fears have disappeared. They never will! Trust me on this, sister. True courage is going ahead to do what's right even though you are still nervous and scared. So don't listen to the shaytan. Ignore the worries and fears he whispers into your mind. Tell him that you will not let him keep you from obeying Allah SWT and you will not let him rule your life. Make the decision to wear it Once you have come to know in your heart that you must wear hijab, then you have to set a day and JUST DO IT This is the only way. Set a day and when that day comes, you have to do it. Don't back down. Don't give up. Do it. Offer salat al-istikhara. Make du'a. Make lots of du'a. Do not stop making du'a. Ask Allah SWT to give you strength. Ask Him to make it easy for you. Ask Him to help you. He will, I swear it to you. He is always there for you when you turn to Him. Remember how much He has given you, how everything that you have, even your very existence, is due to Him. Remember that He deserves this from you. Remember the promise of Jannah. Remember that remaining patient and faithful through difficulty now may lead to Jannah, inshallah. Even if bad things happen, keep these thoughts in your mind. Don't worry about tomorrow. Just concentrate on getting through today, and leave tomorrow to Allah SWT until it gets here. That's how you do it. Final Words of Encouragement I have been wearing hijab since September 1999. I do not regret it. I have never for one instant regretted it. I do not regret it even one iota. Inshallah, you will discover that you feel the same. Even within a few months I came to feel that I would not be properly dressed if I went out not wearing hijab. This is when you know that you have made it! Never feel that you are alone, or that you are the only one who is scared and worried and nervous. Just about every other sister who has travelled down this road has gone through the same things. I know I have. Your sisters are here for you. We have been where you are. We are encouraging you and cheering you on. We know what it takes because we had to find that in ourselves too. We are praying for your success just as we prayed for our own. Allah does not burden a soul except what it can bear. For it is what it has earned, and upon it is what it has made due. "Our Lord and Sustainer, do not condemn us if we forget or do wrong. Our Lord and Sustainer, do not put a burden on us like the burden You put on those who were before us. Our Lord and Sustainer, do not put a burden on us that we cannot endure. And blot out (our sins) and forgive us, and be gentle to us. You are our Protector. So help us against the rejectors." (Surah al-Baqarat ayah 286) How I came to Islam - by Yusuf Islam From Musician to Muslim by Allah's Will All I have to say is all what you know already, to confirm what you already know, the message of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) as given by God - the Religion of Truth. As human beings we are given a consciousness and a duty that has placed us at the top of creation. Man is created to be God's deputy on earth, and it is important to realize the obligation to rid ourselves of all illusions and to make our lives a preparation for the next life. Anybody who misses this chance is not likely to be given another, to be brought back again and again, because it says in Qur'an Majeed that when man is brought to account, he will say, "O Lord, send us back and give us another chance." The Lord will say, "If I send you back you will do the same." MY EARLY RELIGIOUS UPBRINGING I was brought u
  8. Christian scholars recognize contradictions Let us start from the beginning. No Biblical scholar on this earth will claim that the Bible was written by Jesus himself. They all agree that the Bible was written after the departure of Jesus peace be upon him by his followers. Dr. W Graham Scroggie of the Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, a prestigious Christian evangelical mission, says: "..Yes, the Bible is human, although some out of zeal which is not according to knowledge, have denied this. Those books have passed through the minds of men, are written in the language of men, were penned by the hands of men and bear in their style the characteristics of men...." "It is Human, Yet Divine," W Graham Scroggie, p. 17 Another Christian scholar, Kenneth Cragg, the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, says: "...Not so the New testament...There is condensation and editing; there is choice reproduction and witness. The Gospels have come through the mind of the church behind the authors. They represent experience and history..." "The Call of the Minaret," Kenneth Cragg, p 277 "It is well known that the primitive Christian Gospel was initially transmitted by word of mouth and that this oral tradition resulted in variant reporting of word and deed. It is equally true that when the Christian record was committed to writing it continued to be the subject of verbal variation. Involuntary and intentional, at the hands of scribes and editors" Peake's Commentary on the Bible, p. 633 "Yet, as a matter of fact, every book of the New Testament with the exception of the four great Epistles of St. Paul is at present more or less the subject of controversy, and interpolations are asserted even in these." Encyclopaedia Brittanica, 12th Ed. Vol. 3, p. 643 Dr. Lobegott Friedrich Konstantin Von Tischendorf, one of the most adamant conservative Christian defenders of the Trinity was himself driven to admit that: "[the New Testament had] in many passages undergone such serious modification of meaning as to leave us in painful uncertainty as to what the Apostles had actually written" Secrets of Mount Sinai, James Bentley, p. 117 After listing many examples of contradictory statements in the Bible, Dr. Frederic Kenyon says: "Besides the larger discrepancies, such as these, there is scarcely a verse in which there is not some variation of phrase in some copies [of the ancient manuscripts from which the Bible has been collected]. No one can say that these additions or omissions or alterations are matters of mere indifference" Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, Dr. Frederic Kenyon, Eyre and Spottiswoode, p. 3 Throughout this book you will find countless other similar quotations from some of Christendom's leading scholars. Let us suffice with these for now. Christians are, in general, good and decent people, and the stronger their convictions the more decent they are. This is attested to in the noble Qur'an: "...and nearest among them (men) in love to the believers will you find those who say 'we are Christians': because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant. And when they listen to the revelation received by the messenger (Muhammad), you will see their eyes overflowing with tears for they recognize the truth: They pray: 'Our Lord! we believe; write us down among the witnesses'." The noble Qur'an, Al-Maidah(5):82-83. All biblical "versions" of the Bible prior to the revised version of 1881 were dependent upon the "Ancient Copies" (those dating between five to six hundred years after Jesus). The revisers of the Revised Standard Version (RSV) 1952 were the first biblical scholars to have access to the "MOST ancient copies" which date fully three to four hundred years after Christ. It is only logical for us to concur that the closer a document is to the source the more authentic it is. Let us see what is the opinion of Christendom with regard to the most revised version of the Bible (revised in 1952 and then again in 1971): "The finest version which has been produced in the present century" - (Church of England newspaper) "A completely fresh translation by scholars of the highest eminence" - (Times literary supplement) "The well loved characteristics of the authorized version combined with a new accuracy of translation" - (Life and Work) "The most accurate and close rendering of the original" - (The Times) The publishers themselves (Collins) mention on page 10 of their notes: "This Bible (RSV) is the product of thirty two scholars assisted by an advisory committee representing fifty cooperating denominations" Let us see what these thirty two Christian scholars of the highest eminence backed by fifty cooperating Christian denominations have to say about the Authorized Version (AV), or as it is better known, the King James Version (KJV). In the preface of the RSV 1971 we find the following: "...Yet the King James Version has GRAVE DEFECTS.." They go on to caution us that: "...That these defects are SO MANY AND SO SERIOUS as to call for revision" The Jehovah's Witnesses in their "AWAKE" Magazine dated 8th September 1957 published the following headline: "50,000 Errors in the Bible" wherein they say "..there are probably 50,000 errors in the Bible...errors which have crept into the Bible text...50,000 such serious errors..." After all of this, however, they go on to say: "...as a whole the Bible is accurate." Let us have a look at only a very few of these errors. In John 3:16 - AV(KJV) we read: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.." But as seen in section 1.2.3.10, this fabrication "begotten" has now been unceremoniously excised by these most eminent of Bible revisers. However, humanity did not have to wait 2000 years for this revelation. In Maryam(19):88-98 of the noble Qur'an we read: "And they say 'Allah Most Compassionate has begotten a son!'. Indeed you have put forth a thing most monstrous! The skies are ready to burst (at such a claim), and the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin. That they should ascribe a son to the Most Compassionate. But it is not befitting [the majesty of] the Most Compassionate that He should beget a son. Not one of the beings in the heavens and the earth but must come to the Most Compassionate as a servant. He has taken account of all of them and has numbered them all exactly. And every one of them will come to him singly on the day of judgment. On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, will Allah most gracious bestow love. Verily, We have made this [Qur'an] easy in your tongue [O Muhammad] that you might deliver glad tidings to those who seek refuge [in Allah] and warn with it a people who are contentious. And how many a generation before them have we destroyed! Can you find a single one of them or hear from them so much as a whisper?" In 1st Epistle of John 5:7 (King James Version) we find: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one." As we have already seen in section 1.2.2.5, this verse is the closest approximation to what the Church calls the holy Trinity. However, as seen in that section, this cornerstone of the Christian faith has also been scrapped from the RSV by the same thirty two Christian scholars of the highest eminence backed by fifty cooperating Christian denominations, once again all according to the "most ancient manuscripts." And once again, we find that the noble Qur'an revealed this truth over fourteen hundred years ago: "O people of the book! commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah, and his Word, which he bestowed upon Mary, and a spirit preceding from him so believe in Allah and his messengers. Say not "Three" desist It will be better for you for Allah is one God Glory be to him Far exalted is he above having a son. To him belong all things in the heavens and the earth. And enough is Allah as a disposer of affairs." The noble Qur'an, Al-Nissa(4):171 Prior to 1952 all versions of the Bible made mention of one of the most miraculous events associated with the prophet Jesus peace be upon him, that of his ascension into heaven: "So then the lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God" Mark 16:19 and once again in Luke: "While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy." Luke 24:51-52 In the 1952 RSV Mark 16 ends at verse 8 and the rest is relegated in small print to a footnote (more on this later). Similarly, in the commentary on the verses of Luke 24, we are told in the footnotes of the NRSV Bible "Other ancient authorities lack "and was carried up into heaven'" and "Other ancient authorities lack 'and worshipped him'". Thus, we see that the verse of Luke in it's original form only said: "While he blessed them, he parted from them. And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy." It took centuries of "inspired correction" to give us Luke 24:51-52 in their current form. As another example, in Luke 24:1-7 we read: "Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again." Once again, in reference to verse 5, the footnotes say: "Other ancient authorities lack 'He is not here but has risen'" Also, please read entries 16 and 17 in the table in section 2.2. The examples are far too numerous to list here, however, you are encouraged to obtain a copy of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible for yourself and scan through the four gospels. You shall be hard pressed to find even two consecutive pages that do not contain the words "Other ancient authorities lack..." or "Other ancient authorities add..." etc. in the footnotes.. Let us now talk about the alleged authors of the New Testament. We will note that every Gospel begins with the introduction "According to....." such as "The Gospel according to Saint Matthew," "The Gospel according to Saint Luke," "The Gospel according to Saint Mark," "The Gospel according to Saint John." The obvious conclusion for the average man on the street is that these people are known to be the authors of the books attributed to them. This, however is not the case. Why? Because not one of the vaunted four thousand copies existent carries it's author's signature. It has just been assumed that they were the authors. Recent discoveries, however, refute this belief. Even the internal evidence proves that, for instance, Matthew did not write the Gospel attributed to him: "...And as Jesus passed forth thence, HE (Jesus) saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and HE (Jesus) saith unto HIM (Matthew), follow ME (Jesus) and HE (Matthew) arose, and followed HIM (Jesus)." Matthew 9:9 It does not take a rocket scientist to see that neither Jesus nor Matthew wrote this verse of "Matthew." Such evidence can be found in many places throughout the New Testament. Although many people have hypothesized that it is possible that an author sometimes may write in the third person, still, in light of the rest of the evidence that we shall see throughout this book, there is simply too much evidence against this hypothesis. This observation is by no means limited to the New Testament. There is even proof that at least parts of Deuteronomy were neither written by God nor by Moses. This can be seen in Deuteronomy 34:5-10 where we read "So Moses....DIED... and he (God Almighty) BURIED HIM (Moses)... He was 120 years old WHEN HE DIED... and there arose not a prophet SINCE in israel like unto Moses...." Did Moses write his own obituary? Joshua also speaks in detail about his own death in Joshua 24:29-33. The evidence overwhelmingly supports the current recognition that most of the books of the Bible were not written by their supposed authors. The authors of the RSV by Collins say that the author of "Kings" is "Unknown." If they knew it to be the word of God they would have undoubtedly attributed it to him. Rather, they have chosen to honestly say "Author....Unknown." But if the author is unknown then why attribute it to God? How can it then be claimed to have been "inspired"? Continuing, we read that the book of Isaiah is "Mainly credited to Isaiah. Parts may have been written by others." Ecclesiastics: "Author. Doubtful, but commonly assigned to Solomon." Ruth: "Author. Not definitely known, perhaps Samuel." and on and on. Let us have a slightly more detailed look at only one book of the New Testament: "The author of the Book of Hebrews is unknown. Martin Luther suggested that Apollos was the author...Tertullian said that Hebrews was a letter of Barnabas...Adolf Harnack and J. Rendel Harris speculated that it was written by Priscilla (or Prisca). William Ramsey suggested that it was done by Philip. However, the traditional position is that the Apostle Paul wrote Hebrews...Eusebius believed that Paul wrote it, but Origen was not positive of Pauline authorship." From the introduction to the King James Bible, New revised and updated sixth edition, the Hebrew/Greek Key Study, Red Letter Edition Is this how we define "inspired by God"? As seen in chapter one, St. Paul and his church after him, were responsible of making wholesale changes to the religion of Jesus (pbuh) after his departure and were further responsible for mounting a massive campaign of death and torture of all Christians who refused to renounce the teachings of the apostles in favor of the Pauline doctrines. All but the Gospels acceptable to the Pauline faith were then systematically destroyed or re-written. Rev. Charles Anderson Scott has the following to say: "It is highly probable that not one of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) was in existence in the form which we have it, prior to the death of Paul. And were the documents to be taken in strict order of chronology, the Pauline Epistles would come before the synoptic Gospels." History of Christianity in the Light of Modern Knowledge, Rev. Charles Anderson Scott, p.338 This statement is further confirmed by Prof. Brandon: "The earliest Christian writings that have been preserved for us are the letters of the apostle Paul" "Religions in Ancient History," S.G.F. Brandon, p. 228. In the latter part of the second century, Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth says: "As the brethren desired me to write epistles(letters), I did so, and these the apostles of the devil have filled with tares (undesirable elements), exchanging some things and adding others, for whom there is a woe reserved. It is not therefore, a matter of wonder if some have also attempted to adulterate the sacred writings of the Lord, since they have attempted the same in other works that are not to be compared with these." The Qur'an confirms this with the words: "Then woe to those who write the book (of Allah/God) with their own hands and then say: 'This is from Allah', to traffic with it for a miserable price. Woe to them for what their hands do write and for the gain they make thereby" The noble Qur'an Al-Bakarah(2):79 Victor Tununensis, a sixth century African Bishop related in his Chronicle (566 AD) that when Messala was consul at Costantinople (506 AD), he "censored and corrected" the Gentile Gospels written by persons considered illiterate by the Emperor Anastasius. The implication was that they were altered to conform to sixth century Christianity which differed from the Christianity of previous centuries (The Dead Sea Scrolls, the Gospel of Barnabas, and the New Testament, by M. A. Yusseff, p. 81) These "corrections" were by no means confined to the first centuries after Christ. Sir Higgins says: "It is impossible to deny that the Bendictine Monks of St. Maur, as far as Latin and Greek language went, were very learned and talented, as well as numerous body of men. In Cleland's 'Life of Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury', is the following passage: 'Lanfranc, a Benedictine Monk, Archbishop of Canterbury, having found the Scriptures much corrupted by copyists, applied himself to correct them, as also the writings of the fathers, agreeably to the orthodox faith, secundum fidem orthodoxam." History of Christianity in the light of Modern knowledge, Higgins p.318 In other words, the Christian scriptures were re-written in order to conform to the doctrines of the eleventh and twelfth centuries and even the writings of the early church fathers were "corrected" so that the changes would not be discovered. Sir Higgins goes on to say: "The same Protestant divine has this remarkable passage: 'Impartiality exacts from me the confession, that the orthodox have in some places altered the Gospels." The author then goes on to demonstrate how a massive effort was undertaken in Costantinople, Rome, Canterbury, and the Christian world in general in order to "correct" the Gospels and destroy all manuscripts before this period. Theodore Zahan, illustrated the bitter conflicts within the established churches in Articles of the Apostolic Creed. He points out that the Roman Catholics accuse the Greek Orthodox Church of remodeling the text of the holy scriptures by additions and omissions with both good as well as evil intentions. The Greek Orthodox, on the other hand, accuse the Roman Catholics of straying in many places very far away from the original text. In spite of their differences, they both join forces to condemn the non-conformist Christians of deviating from "the true way" and condemn them as heretics. The heretics in turn condemn the Catholics for having "recoined the truth like forgers." The author concludes "Do not facts support these accusations?" "And from those who said: "We are Christians," We took their Covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message which was sent to them. Therefore We have stirred up enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection, and Allah will inform them of what they used to do. O people of the Scripture! Now has Our messenger (Muhammad) come to you, explaining to you much of that which you used to hide in the Scripture, and forgiving much. Indeed, there has come to you a light from Allah and a plain Scripture. Wherewith Allah guides him who seeks His good pleasure unto paths of peace. He brings them out of darkness by His will into light, and guides them to a straight path. They indeed have disbelieved who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. Say: Who then has the least power against Allah, if He had willed to destroy the Messiah son of Mary, and his mother and everyone on earth? And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. He creates what He will. And Allah is Able to do all things. The Jews and Christians say: We are sons of Allah and His loved ones. Say; Why then does He punish you for your sins? No, you are but mortals of His creating. He forgives whom He will, and punishes whom He will. And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and unto Him is the return (of all). O people of the Scripture! Now has Our messenger (Muhammad) come unto you to make things plain after a break in (the series of) the messengers, lest you should say: There came not unto us a messenger of cheer nor any Warner. Now has a messenger of cheer and a Warner come unto you. And Allah is Able to do all things." The noble Qur'an, Al-Maidah(5):14-19 St. Augustine himself, a man acknowledged and looked up to by both Protestants and Catholics alike, professed that there were secret doctrines in the Christian religion and that "there were many things true in the Christian religion which it was not convenient for the vulgar to know, and that some things were false, but convenient for the vulgar to believe in them." Sir Higgins admits: "It is not unfair to suppose that in these withheld truths we have part of the modern Christian mysteries, and I think it will hardly be denied that the church, whose highest authorities held such doctrines, would not scruple to retouch the sacred writings" (The Dead Sea Scrolls, the Gospel of Barnabas, and the New Testament, M. A. Yusseff, p.83) Even the epistles attributed to Paul were not written by him. After years of research, Catholics and Protestants alike agree that of the thirteen epistles attributed to Paul only seven are genuinely his. They are: Romans, 1, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philipians, Philemon, and 1 Thessalonians. Christian sect are not even agreed on the definition of what exactly is an "inspired" book of God. The Protestants are taught that there are 66 truly "inspired" books in the Bible, while the Catholics have been taught that there are 73 truly "inspired" books, not to mention the many other sects and their "newer" books, such as the Mormons, etc. As we shall see shortly, the very first Christians, for many generations, did not follow either the 66 books of the Protestants, nor the 73 books of the Catholics. Quite the opposite, they believed in books that were, many generations later, "recognized" to be fabrications and apocrypha by a more enlightened age than that of the apostles. Well, where do all of these Bibles come from and why the difficulty in defining what is a truly "inspired" word of God? They come from the "ancient manuscripts" (also known as MSS). The Christian world today boasts of an excess of 24,000 "ancient manuscripts" of the Bible dating all the way back to the fourth century after Christ (But not back to Christ or the apostles themselves). In other words, we have with us gospels which date back to the century when the Trinitarians took over the Christian Church. All manuscripts from before this period have strangely perished. All Bibles in existence today are compiled from these "ancient manuscripts." Any scholar of the Bible will tell us that no two ancient manuscripts are exactly identical. People today generally believe that there is only ONE Bible, and ONE version of any given verse of the Bible. This is far from true. All Bibles in our possession today (Such as the KJV, the NRSV, the NAB, NIV,...etc.) are the result of extensive cutting and pasting from these various manuscripts with no single one being the definitive reference. There are countless cases where a paragraph shows up in one "ancient manuscript" but is totally missing from many others. For instance, Mark 16:8-20 (twelve whole verses) is completely missing from the most ancient manuscripts available today (such as the Sinaitic Manuscript, the Vatican #1209 and the Armenian version) but shows up in more recent "ancient manuscripts." There are also many documented cases where even geographical locations are completely different from one ancient manuscript to the next. For instance, in the "Samaritan Pentateuch manuscript," Deuteronomy 27:4 speaks of "mount Gerizim," while in the "Hebrew manuscript" the exact same verse speaks of "mount Ebal." From Deuteronomy 27:12-13 we can see that these are two distinctly different locations. Similarly, Luke 4:44 in some "ancient manuscripts" mentions "Synagogues of Judea," others mention "Synagogues of Galilee." This is only a sampling, a comprehensive listing would require a book of it's own. There are countless examples in the Bible where verses of a questionable nature are included in the text without any disclaimer telling the reader that many scholars and translators have serious reservations as to their authenticity. The King James Version of the Bible (Also known as the "Authorized Version"), the one in the hands of the majority of Christendom today, is one of the most notorious in this regard. It gives the reader absolutely no clue as to the questionable nature of such verses. However, more recent translations of the Bible are now beginning to be a little more honest and forthcoming in this regard. For example, the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, by Oxford Press, has adopted an extremely subtle system of bracketing the most glaring examples of such questionable verses with double square brackets ([[ ]]). It is highly unlikely that the casual reader will realize the true function these brackets serve. They are there to tell the informed reader that the enclosed verses are of a highly questionable nature. Examples of this are the story of the "woman taken in adultery" in John 8:1-11, as well as Mark 16:9-20 (Jesus' resurrection and return), and Luke 23:34 (which, interestingly enough, is there to confirm the prophesy of Isaiah 53:12).....and so forth. For example, with regard to John 8:1-11, the commentators of this Bible say in very small print at the bottom of the page: "The most ancient authorities lack 7.53-8.11; other authorities add the passage here or after 7.36 or after 21.25 or after Luke 21.38 with variations of text; some mark the text as doubtful." (emphasis added). With regard to Mark 16:9-20, we are, strangely enough, given a choice of how we would like the Gospel of Mark to end. The commentators have supplied both a "short ending" and a "long ending." Thus, we are given a choice of what we would prefer to be the "inspired word of God". Once again, at the end of this Gospel in very small text, the commentators say: "Some of the most ancient authorities bring the book to a close at the end of verse 8. One authority concludes the book with the shorter ending; others include the shorter ending and then continue with verses 9-20. In most authorities, verses 9-20 follow immediately after verse 8, though in some of these authorities the passage is marked as being doubtful." Peake's Commentary on the Bible records; "It is now generally agreed that 9-20 are not an original part of Mk. They are not found in the oldest MSS, and indeed were apparently not in the copies used by Mt. and Lk. A 10th-cent. Armenian MS ascribes the passage to Aristion, the presbyter mentioned by Papias (ap.Eus.HE III, xxxix, 15)." "Indeed an Armenian translation of St. Mark has quite recently been discovered, in which the last twelve verses of St. Mark are ascribed to Ariston, who is otherwise known as one of the earliest of the Christian Fathers; and it is quite possible that this tradition is correct" Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, F. Kenyon, Eyre and Spottiswoode, pp. 7-8 Even at that, these verses are noted as having been narrated differently in different "authorities." For example, verse 14 is claimed by the commentators to have the following words added on to them in some "ancient authorities": "and they excused themselves saying 'This age of lawlessness and unbelief is under Satan, who does not allow the truth and power of God to prevail over the unclean things of the spirits. Therefore, reveal your righteousness now' - thus they spoke to Christ and Christ replied to them 'The term of years of Satan's power has been fulfilled, but other terrible things draw near. And for those who have sinned I was handed over to death, that they may return to the truth and sin no more, that they may inherit the spiritual and imperishable glory of the righteousness that is in heaven'.". Dr. Lobegott Friedrich Konstantin Von Tischendorf was one of the most eminent conservative biblical scholars of the nineteenth century. He was also one of the staunchest most adamant defenders of the "Trinity" history has known. One of his greatest lifelong achievements was the discovery of the oldest known Biblical manuscript know to mankind, the "Codex Sinaiticus," from Saint Catherine's Monastery in Mount Sinai. One of the most devastating discoveries made from the study of this fourth century manuscript was that the gospel of Mark originally ended at verses 16:8 and not at verse 16:20 as it does today. In other words, the last 12 verses (Mark 16:9 through Mark 16:20) were "injected" by the church into the Bible sometime after the 4th century. Clement of Alexandria and Origen never quoted these verses. Later on, it was also discovered that the said 12 verses, wherein lies the account of "the resurrection of Jesus," do not appear in codices Syriacus, Vaticanus and Bobiensis. Originally, the "Gospel of Mark" contained no mention of the "resurrection of Jesus" (Mark 16:9-20). At least four hundred years (if not more) after the departure of Jesus, the Church received divine "inspiration" to add the story of the resurrection to the end of this Gospel. The author of "Codex Sinaiticus" had no doubt that the Gospel of Mark came to an end at Mark 16:8, to emphasize this point we find that immediately following this verse he brings the text to a close with a fine artistic squiggle and the words "The Gospel according to Mark." Tischendorf was a staunch conservative Christian and as such he managed to casually brush this discrepancy aside since in his estimation the fact that Mark was not an apostle nor an eye witness to the ministry of Jesus made his account secondary to those of the apostles such as Matthew and John. However, as seen elsewhere in this book, the majority of Christian scholars today recognize the writings of Paul to be the oldest of the writings of the Bible. These are closely followed by the "Gospel of Mark" and the "Gospels of Matthew and Luke" are almost universally recognized to have been based upon the "Gospel of Mark." This discovery was the result of centuries of detailed and painstaking studies by these Christian scholars and the details can not be repeated here. Suffice it to say that most reputable Christian scholars today recognize this as a basic indisputable fact. Today, the translators and publishers of our modern Bibles are beginning to be a little more forthright and honest with their readers. Although they may not simply openly admit that these twelve verses were forgeries of the Church and not the word of God, still, at least they are beginning to draw the reader's attention to the fact that there are two "versions" of the "Gospel of Mark" and then leave the reader to decide what to make of these two "versions." Now the question becomes "if the Church has tampered with the Gospel of Mark, then did they stop there or is there more to this story?. As it happens, Tischendorf also discovered that the "Gospel of John" has been heavily reworked by the Church over the ages. For example, 1. It was found that the verses starting from John 7:53 to 8:11 (the story of the woman taken in adultery) are not to be found in the most ancient copies of the Bible available to Christianity today, specifically, codices Sinaiticus or Vaticanus. 1. It was also found that John 21:25 was a later insertion, and that a verse from the gospel of Luke (24:12) that speaks of Peter discovering an empty tomb of Jesus is not to be found in the ancient manuscripts. (For more on this topic please read 'Secrets of Mount Sinai' by James Bentley, Doubleday, NY, 1985). Much of the discoveries of Dr. Tischendorf regarding the continuous and unrelenting tampering with the text of the Bible over the ages has been verified by twentieth century science. For example, a study of the Codex Sinaiticus under ultraviolet light has revealed that the "Gospel of John" originally ended at verse 21:24 and was followed by a small tail piece and then the words "The Gospel according to John." However, some time later, a completely different "inspired" individual took pen in hand, erased the text following verse 24, and then added in the "inspired" text of John 21:25 which we find in our Bibles today. The evidence of tampering goes on and on. For example, in the Codex Sinaiticus the "lord's prayer" of Luke 11:2-4 differs substantially from the version which has reached us through the agency of centuries of "inspired" correction. Luke 11:2-4 in this most ancient of all Christian manuscripts reads: "Father, Hallowed by thy name, Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so upon earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, as we ourselves also forgive everyone that is indebted to us. And bring us not into temptation." Further, the "Codex Vaticanus," is another ancient manuscript held by the scholars of Christianity in the same reverent standing as the Codex Sinaiticus. These two fourth century codices are together considered the most ancient copies of the Bible available today. In the codex Vaticanus we can find a version of Luke 11:2-4 even shorter than that of Codex Sinaiticus. In this version even the words "Thy will be done, as in heaven, so upon earth." are not to be found. Well, what has been the official Church position regarding these "discrepancies"? How did the Church decide to handle this situation? Did they call upon all of the foremost scholars of Christian literature to come together in a mass conference in order to jointly study the most ancient Christian manuscripts available to the Church and come to a common agreement as to what was the true original word of God? No! Well then, did they immediately expend every effort to make mass copies of the original manuscripts and send them out to the Christian world so that they could make their own decisions as to what truly was the original unchanged word of God? Once again, No! So what did they do? Let us ask Rev. Dr. George L. Robertson. In his book "Where did we get our Bible? he writes: "Of the MSS. of Holy Scripture in Greek still existing there are said to be several thousand of varying worth ... Three or four in particular of these old, faded out, and unattractive documents constitute the most ancient and the most precious treasures of the Christian Church, and are therefore of special interest." First in Rev. Richardson's list is the "Codex Vaticanus" of which he says: "This is probably the most ancient of all Greek MSS. now known to exist. It is designated as Codex 'B.' In 1448, Pope Nicholas V brought it to Rome where it has lain practically ever since, being guarded assiduously by papal officials in the Vatican Library. It's history is brief: Erasmus in 1533 knew of its existence, but neither he nor any of his successors were permitted to study it... becoming quite inaccessible to scholars, till Tischendorf in 1843, after months of delay, was finally allowed to see it for six hours. Another specialist, named de Muralt in 1844 was likewise given an aggravating glimpse of it for nine hours. The story of how Dr. Tregelles in 1845 was allowed by the authorities (all unconscious to themselves) to secure it page by page through memorizing the text, is a fascinating one. Dr. Tregelles did it. He was permitted to study the MS. continuously for a long time, but not to touch it or to take notes. Indeed, every day as he entered the room where the precious document was guarded, his pockets were searched and pen, paper and ink were taken from him, if he carried such accessories with him. The permission to enter, however, was repeated, until he finally had carried away with him and annotated in his room most of the principle variant readings of this most ancient text. Often, however, in the process, if the papal authorities observed he was becoming too much absorbed in any one section, they would snatch the MS. away from him and direct his attention to another leaf. Eventually they discovered that Tregelles had practically stolen the text, and that the Biblical world knew the secrets of their historic MS. Accordingly, Pope Pius IX ordered that it should be photographed and published; and it was, in five volumes which appeared in 1857. But the work was very unsatisfactorily done. About that time Tischendorf made a third attempt to gain access to and examine it. He succeeded, and later issued the text of the first twenty pages. Finally in 1889-90, with papal permission, the entire text was photographed and issued in facsimile, and published so that a copy of the expensive quartos was obtainable by, and is now in the possession of all the principle libraries in the biblical world." "Where did we get our Bible?", Rev. Dr. George L. Robertson. Harper and Brothers Publishers, pp.110-112 What were all of the Popes afraid of? What was the Vatican as a whole afraid of? Why was the concept of releasing the text of their most ancient copy of the Bible to the general public so terrifying to them? Why did they feel it necessary to bury the most ancient copies of the inspired word of God in a dark corner of the Vatican never to be seen by outside eyes? Why? What about all of the thousands upon thousands of other manuscripts which to this day remain buried in the darkest depths of the Vatican vaults never to be seen or studied by the general masses of Christendom? "[And remember] When God took a Covenant from those who were given the Scripture: You shall make it known and clear to mankind, and you shall not to hide it; but they flung it behind their backs, and purchased with it a miserable gain! How evil was that which they purchased!" The noble Qur'an, A'al-Umran(3):187 "Say: 'O people of the Book! exceed not in your religion the bounds [of what is proper], trespassing beyond the truth, nor follow the vain desires of people who went astray in times gone by, who misled many, and strayed [themselves] from the straight path.'" The noble Qur'an, Al-Maida(5):77 Returning to our study of some of the "discrepancies" to be found between our modern Bibles and between the most ancient copies of the Bible available to the chosen few, we find that the verse of Luke 24:51 contains Luke's alleged account of the final parting of Jesus (pbuh) and how he was "raised up into heaven." However, as seen in previous pages, in the Codex Sinaiticus and other ancient manuscripts the words "and was carried up into heaven" are completely missing. The verse only says: "And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them." C.S.C. Williams observed, if this omission were correct, "there is no reference at all to the Ascension in the original text of the Gospel." Some other "inspired" modification of the Church to Codex Sinaiticus and our modern Bibles: • Matthew 17:21 is missing in Codex Sinaiticus. • In our modern Bibles, Mark 1:1 reads "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;" however, in this most ancient of all Christian manuscripts, this verse only reads "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ" Strangely, the very words which are most grating to the Muslim's Qur'an, "the Son of God," are completely missing. Isn't that interesting? • The words of Jesus in Luke 9:55-56 are missing. • The original text of Matthew 8:2 as found in Codex Sinaiticus tells us that a leper asked Jesus to heal him and Jesus "angrily put forth [his] hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean." In our modern Bibles, the word "angrily" is strangely absent. • Luke 22:44 in Codex Sinaiticus and our modern Bibles claim that an angel appeared before Jesus, strengthening him. In Codex Vaticanus, this angel is strangely absent. If Jesus was the "Son of God" then obviously it would be highly inappropriate for him to need an angel to strengthen him. This verse, then, must have been a scribal mistake. Right? • The alleged words of Jesus on the cross "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34) were originally present in the Codex Sinaiticus but was later erased from the text by another editor. Bearing in mind how the Church regarded and treated the Jews in the middle ages, can we think of any reason why this verse might have stood in the way of official Church policy and their "inquisitions"? • John 5:4 is missing from Codex Sinaiticus. • In Mark chapter 9, the words "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." are again missing. • In Matt. 5:22, the words "without cause" are missing in both the codex Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. • Matt. 21:7 in our modern Bibles reads "And [the disciples] brought the ######, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set [Jesus] thereon." In the original manuscripts, this verse read "and they set [Jesus] upon them," However, the picture of Jesus being placed upon two animals at the same time and being asked to ride them at once was objectionable to some, so this verse was changed to "and they set [Jesus] upon him" (which "him"?). Soon after, the English translation completely avoided this problem by translating it as "thereon." • In Mark 6:11, our modern Bibles contain the words "Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city." However, these words are not to be found in either of these two most ancient of Christian Biblical manuscripts, having been introduced into the text centuries later. • The words of Matthew 6:13 "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever." Are not to be found in these two most ancient manuscripts as well as many others. The parallel passages in Luke are also defective. • Matthew 27:35 in our modern Bibles contains the words "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots." This passage, once again, is not found according to Rev. Merrill in any Biblical uncial manuscript dating before the ninth century. • 1 Timothy 3:16 originally read "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: which was manifest in the flesh.." This was then later (as seen previously), ever so subtly changed to "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh…." Thus, the doctrine of the "incarnation" was born. Source: you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_wings.buffalo.edu/sa/muslim/library...-say/ch2.1.html
  9. How I came to Islam - by Yusuf Islam From Musician to Muslim by Allah's Will All I have to say is all what you know already, to confirm what you already know, the message of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) as given by God - the Religion of Truth. As human beings we are given a consciousness and a duty that has placed us at the top of creation. Man is created to be God's deputy on earth, and it is important to realize the obligation to rid ourselves of all illusions and to make our lives a preparation for the next life. Anybody who misses this chance is not likely to be given another, to be brought back again and again, because it says in Qur'an Majeed that when man is brought to account, he will say, "O Lord, send us back and give us another chance." The Lord will say, "If I send you back you will do the same." MY EARLY RELIGIOUS UPBRINGING I was brought up in the modern world of all the luxury and the high life of show business. I was born in a Christian home, but we know that every child is born in his original nature - it is only his parents that turn him to this or that religion. I was given this religion (Christianity) and thought this way. I was taught that God exists, but there was no direct contact with God, so we had to make contact with Him through Jesus - he was in fact the door to God. This was more or less accepted by me, but I did not swallow it all. I looked at some of the statues of Jesus; they were just stones with no life. And when they said that God is three, I was puzzled even more but could not argue. I more or less believed it, because I had to have respect for the faith of my parents. POP STAR Gradually I became alienated from this religious upbringing. I started making music. I wanted to be a big star. All those things I saw in the films and on the media took hold of me, and perhaps I thought this was my God, the goal of making money. I had an uncle who had a beautiful car. "Well," I said, "he has it made. He has a lot of money." The people around me influenced me to think that this was it; this world was their God. I decided then that this was the life for me; to make a lot of money, have a 'great life.' Now my examples were the pop stars. I started making songs, but deep down I had a feeling for humanity, a feeling that if I became rich I would help the needy. (It says in the Qur'an, we make a promise, but when we make something, we want to hold onto it and become greedy.) So what happened was that I became very famous. I was still a teenager, my name and photo were splashed in all the media. They made me larger than life, so I wanted to live larger than life and the only way to do that was to be intoxicated (with liquor and drugs). IN HOSPITAL After a year of financial success and 'high' living, I became very ill, contracted TB and had to be hospitalized. It was then that I started to think: What was to happen to me? Was I just a body, and my goal in life was merely to satisfy this body? I realized now that this calamity was a blessing given to me by Allah, a chance to open my eyes - "Why am I here? Why am I in bed?" - and I started looking for some of the answers. At that time there was great interest in the Eastern mysticism. I began reading, and the first thing I began to become aware of was death, and that the soul moves on; it does not stop. I felt I was taking the road to bliss and high accomplishment. I started meditating and even became a vegetarian. I now believed in 'peace and flower power,' and this was the general trend. But what I did believe in particular was that I was not just a body. This awareness came to me at the hospital. One day when I was walking and I was caught in the rain, I began running to the shelter and then I realized, 'Wait a minute, my body is getting wet, my body is telling me I am getting wet.' This made me think of a saying that the body is like a donkey, and it has to be trained where it has to go. Otherwise, the donkey will lead you where it wants to go. Then I realized I had a will, a God-given gift: follow the will of God. I was fascinated by the new terminology I was learning in the Eastern religion. By now I was fed up with Christianity. I started making music again and this time I started reflecting my own thoughts. I remember the lyric of one of my songs. It goes like this: "I wish I knew, I wish I knew what makes the Heaven, what makes the Hell. Do I get to know You in my bed or some dusty cell while others reach the big hotel?" and I knew I was on the Path. I also wrote another song, "The Way to Find God Out." I became even more famous in the world of music. I really had a difficult time because I was getting rich and famous, and at the same time, I was sincerely searching for the Truth. Then I came to a stage where I decided that Buddhism is all right and noble, but I was not ready to leave the world. I was too attached to the world and was not prepared to become a monk and to isolate myself from society. I tried Zen and Ching, numerology, tarot cards and astrology. I tried to look back into the Bible and could not find anything. At this time I did not know anything about Islam, and then, what I regarded as a miracle occurred. My brother had visited the Masjid in Jerusalem and was greatly impressed that while on the one hand it throbbed with life (unlike the churches and synagogues which were empty), on the other hand, an atmosphere of peace and tranquility prevailed. THE QUR'AN When he came to London he brought back a translation of the Qur'an, which he gave to me. He did not become a Muslim, but he felt something in this religion, and thought I might find something in it also. And when I received the book, a guidance that would explain everything to me - who I was; what was the purpose of life; what was the reality and what would be the reality; and where I came from - I realized that this was the true religion; religion not in the sense the West understands it, not the type for only your old age. In the West, whoever wishes to embrace a religion and make it his only way of life is deemed a fanatic. I was not a fanatic, I was at first confused between the body and the soul. Then I realized that the body and soul are not apart and you don't have to go to the mountain to be religious. We must follow the will of God. Then we can rise higher than the angels. The first thing I wanted to do now was to be a Muslim. I realized that everything belongs to God, that slumber does not overtake Him. He created everything. At this point I began to lose the pride in me, because hereto I had thought the reason I was here was because of my own greatness. But I realized that I did not create myself, and the whole purpose of my being here was to submit to the teaching that has been perfected by the religion we know as Al-Islam. At this point I started discovering my faith. I felt I was a Muslim. On reading the Qur'an, I now realized that all the Prophets sent by God brought the same message. Why then were the Jews and Christians different? I know now how the Jews did not accept Jesus as the Messiah and that they had changed His Word. Even the Christians misunderstand God's Word and called Jesus the son of God. Everything made so much sense. This is the beauty of the Qur'an; it asks you to reflect and reason, and not to worship the sun or moon but the One Who has created everything. The Qur'an asks man to reflect upon the sun and moon and God's creation in general. Do you realize how different the sun is from the moon? They are at varying distances from the earth, yet appear the same size to us; at times one seems to overlap the other. Even when many of the astronauts go to space, they see the insignificant size of the earth and vastness of space. They become very religious, because they have seen the Signs of Allah. When I read the Qur'an further, it talked about prayer, kindness and charity. I was not a Muslim yet, but I felt that the only answer for me was the Qur'an, and God had sent it to me, and I kept it a secret. But the Qur'an also speaks on different levels. I began to understand it on another level, where the Qur'an says, "Those who believe do not take disbelievers for friends and the believers are brothers." Thus at this point I wished to meet my Muslim brothers. CONVERSION Then I decided to journey to Jerusalem (as my brother had done). At Jerusalem, I went to the Masjid and sat down. A man asked me what I wanted. I told him I was a Muslim. He asked what was my name. I told him, "Stevens." He was confused. I then joined the prayer, though not so successfully. Back in London, I met a sister called Nafisa. I told her I wanted to embrace Islam and she directed me to the New Regent Masjid. This was in 1977, about one and a half years after I received the Qur'an. Now I realized that I must get rid of my pride, get rid of Iblis, and face one direction. So on a Friday, after Jummah' I went to the Imam and declared my faith (the Kalimah) at this hands. You have before you someone who had achieved fame and fortune. But guidance was something that eluded me, no matter how hard I tried, until I was shown the Qur'an. Now I realize I can get in direct contact with God, unlike Christianity or any other religion. As one Hindu lady told me, "You don't understand the Hindus. We believe in one God; we use these objects (idols) to merely concentrate." What she was saying was that in order to reach God, one has to create associates, that are idols for the purpose. But Islam removes all these barriers. The only thing that moves the believers from the disbelievers is the salat. This is the process of purification. Finally I wish to say that everything I do is for the pleasure of Allah and pray that you gain some inspirations from my experiences. Furthermore, I would like to stress that I did not come into contact with any Muslim before I embraced Islam. I read the Qur'an first and realized that no person is perfect. Islam is perfect, and if we imitate the conduct of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) we will be successful. May Allah give us guidance to follow the path of the ummah of Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). Ameen! -- Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens)
  10. Reference to moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (pbut) in that order "And this [is] the blessing, wherewith moses the man of God blessed the children of israel before his death. And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand [went] a fiery law for them." Deuteronomy 33:1 The succession of the prophets of God, like the rising sun. This is a chronological succession of prophets which is narrated through reference to location (see Fig. 8). This prophesy is reported at the end of Deuteronomy in association with the story of the death of prophet Moses (pbuh). It was a blessing and glad tidings bestowed by prophet Moses upon his followers just prior to his death. It was designed to give his followers hope upon the occasion of the passing of their prophet that God is not abandoning them, rather, the best is yet to come, and He shall continue to bless mankind with His guidance and His light. Sinai is a reference to Moses (pbuh). It is an obvious reference to mount Sinai where Moses (pbuh) received his revelation (Exodus 19:20). Seir is a reference to Jesus (pbuh). It is usually associated with the chain of mountains West and South of the Dead Sea extending through Jerusalem, and Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus (pbuh). It was later extended to include the mountains on the East side as well (Dictionary of the Bible, John L. McKenzie, S.J., p. 783). However, Seir is also identified with the Northern border of the tribal territory of Judah and usually with Saris near Kesla (Chesalon), barely nine miles West of these two cities (The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary, by Allen C. Myers, pp. 921-922, and The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, V4, p. 262) Prophet Moses (pbuh) never in his lifetime entered Palestine, and thus, this could not be a reference to him. As we have already seen in section 6.4, Paran is a reference to the city of Makkah in the Arabian Peninsula. The wilderness of Paran is where Abraham's wife Hagar and his eldest son Ishmael settled (Genesis 21:21) in the Arabian desert, specifically, Makkah. Makkah is, of course, the capital of Islam in Arabia and the birthplace of Mohammed (pbuh). Mount Paran is the chain of mountains in that same region which the Arabs call the "Sarawat mountains". Muhammad (pbuh) received his first revelation in the cave of "Hira'a" located in these mountains (see Fig. 9). Jesus never in his life traveled to Paran. Mohammed, however, was born there. He became the prophet of Islam there. And it was the capital of the Islamic religion in that day and this. No prophet of the Bible ever came from the Arabian city of Paran (Makkah). Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the only prophet of God who has ever fulfilled this prophesy. We also read in verse 33:2 that a fiery law shall issue forth from the right hand of the prophet from Paran. Muhammad (pbuh) did indeed come with a new law called the Shari'ah. The reference to "right" hand is a reference to strength, justice, and guidance. In Islam, all clean and desirable actions are performed with the "right" hand (eating, shaking hands, etc.), while all other actions are done with the left hand (washing one's private parts, picking up garbage, etc.). In the Qur'an, the good are described on the Day of Judgment as receiving their book of deeds in their "right" hands, while the wicked receive theirs in their "left" hand. This can be seen for example in Al-Haqah(69):13-37. This general attitude is also conveyed in the Bible. We read: "Biblical phrases referring to the right hand reflect a widespread human cultural attitude, namely the recognition that for most people the right hand is both stronger and more adept than the left, and is the hand with which many tasks are instinctively undertaken ... Eccl. 10:2 links 'a wise man's heart' with his right hand, and 'a fool's heart' with his left. When the Son of Man separates the sheep from the goats at the Last Judgment, it is to the damned 'on the left hand' that he says, 'Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire' (Matt. 25:41) ...The right hand is often mentioned as a symbol of strength, both for human beings and anthropomophically for God (e.g. Job 40:14; Isa. 48:13)" A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition In English Literature, David Lyle Jeffrey, p. 442. This fiery law that shall issue from the right hand of the prophet from Paran will be a new law for the children of israel and not the same one they had been practicing in the time of Moses (pbuh) and later. This is held out by simple logic; if I already own something, then I can not say that my neighbor shall bring "for me" this same "something" which I already own. In such a case, he would have "brought" nothing and it would have been more logical to say he would "confirm" the preexistent law. No prophet of the Bible ever in his lifetime either came from Paran or preached the replacement of the law of Moses (pbuh). Even Jesus (pbuh) came to confirm and reinforce the law of Moses (Matthew 5:17-19), as explained in detail in chapter one. Muhammad (pbuh) is the only prophet of God who fulfilled both of these requirements. However, if we look closely, we will find that the prophesy contains one more requirement. It tells us that this prophet from Paran who will bring a fiery new law shall come with 10,000 saints. Once again, two years before the death of prophet Muhammad (pbuh), in the year 630 AD, he lead 10,000 of his followers to their final and decisive victory against the pagans of Makkah (see chapter 10). This was one of the most bloodless victories of all history. The Muslims took control of Makkah, the capital of paganistic Arabia, virtually without a single casualty. Upon entering Makkah victorious, Muhammad did not take it's inhabitants as prisoners. Even though these people had been torturing himself and his companions, and killing many of them over many years, still, Muhammad commanded that they not be tortured, nor should retribution be sought against them. Rather, he pardoned them all and set them free. Most of them entered into Islam. Once again, we find that prophet Moses (pbuh) was appointed seventy very close and devout followers (Exodus 24:1-9, Numbers 11:16-25). Jesus (pbuh) was appointed eleven very close and devout followers (if we were to exclude Judas), as seen in Matthew 10:1-5, Mark 3:14-19, etc. Prophet Muhammad, once again, was the only one to fulfill this requirement. Mr. Kais Al-Kalbi asks the question: "When this verse Deut 33:2 was translated from Hebrew to English, the phrase '10,000 saints10,000 saints' was kept the same. But when this verse was translated from Hebrew to Arabic, the phrase '10,000 saints' was intentionally changed to 'holy valley', why?" Prophet Muhammad the last messenger in the Bible, third edition, Kais Al-Kalbi, pp. 231-232. The wording also bears out this chronological succession of prophets. Came: daybreak and the arrival of the sun in the morning. Rose up: like the light of dawn. Shined forth: Mid-day sun which lights up the Earth from East to West. Islam has indeed come to shine all over the earth as the mid-day sun. It is estimated to have 1.2 billion adherents throughout the globe, and according to Western sources, it is said to be the fastest growing religion in the world today. "This day have I (God) perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion." The noble Qur'an, Al-Maidah(5):3
  11. Concept of God in Christianity by Dr. Zakir Naik I INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTIANITY: Christianity is a Semitic religion, which claims to have nearly 1.2 billion adherents all over the world. Christianity owes its name to Jesus Christ (peace be on him). The Holy Bible is the sacred scripture of the Christians: a) The Bible is divided into two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is the Holy Scripture of the Jews and contains records of all the prophets of the Jews that came before Jesus (pbuh). The New Testament contains records of the life of Jesus (pbuh). The complete Bible, i.e. the Old Testament and the New Testament put together, contains 73 books. However, the Protestant Bible i.e. the King James Version, contains only 66 books as they consider 7 books of the Old Testament to be apocrypha, i.e. of doubtful authority. Therefore the Old Testament of the Catholics, contains 46 books and that of the Protestants, 39 books. However the New Testament of both these sects contains 27 books. Position of Jesus (pbuh) in Islam: (i) Islam is the only non-Christian faith, which makes it an article of faith to believe in Jesus (pbuh). No Muslim is a Muslim if he does not believe in Jesus (pbuh). (ii) We believe that he was one of the mightiest Messengers of Allah (swt). (iii) We believe that he was born miraculously, without any male intervention, which many modern day Christians do not believe. (iv) We believe he was the Messiah translated Christ (pbuh). (v) We believe that he gave life to the dead with God’s permission. (iv) We believe that he healed those born blind, and the lepers with God’s permission. II CONCEPT OF GOD IN CHRISTIANITY: 1. Jesus Christ (pbuh) never claimed Divinity One may ask, if both Muslims and Christians love and respect Jesus (pbuh), where exactly is the parting of ways? The major difference between Islam and Christianity is the Christians’ insistence on the supposed divinity of Christ (pbuh). A study of the Christian scriptures reveals that Jesus (pbuh) never claimed divinity. In fact there is not a single unequivocal statement in the entire Bible where Jesus (pbuh) himself says, "I am God" or where he says, "worship me". In fact the Bible contains statements attributed to Jesus (pbuh) in which he preached quite the contrary. The following statements in the Bible are attributed to Jesus Christ (pbuh): (i) "My Father is greater than I."[The Bible, John 14:28] (ii) "My Father is greater than all."[The Bible, John 10:29] (iii) "…I cast out devils by the Spirit of God…."[The Bible, Mathew 12:28] (iv) "…I with the finger of God cast out devils…."[The Bible, Luke 11:20] (v) "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."[The Bible, John 5:30] 2. The Mission of Jesus Christ (pbuh) – to Fulfill the Law Jesus (pbuh) never claimed divinity for himself. He clearly announced the nature of his mission. Jesus (pbuh) was sent by God to confirm the previous Judaic law. This is clearly evident in the following statements attributed to Jesus (pbuh) in the Gospel of Mathew: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."[The Bible, Mathew 5:17-20] 3. God Sent Jesus' (pbuh) The Bible mentions the prophetic nature of Jesus (pbuh) mission in the following verses: (i) "… and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me."[The Bible, John 14:24] (ii) "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent."[The Bible, John 17:3] 4. Jesus Refuted even the Remotest Suggestion of his Divinity Consider the following incident mentioned in the Bible: "And behold, one came and said unto him, ‘Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?’ And he said unto him, ‘Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.’ "[The Bible, Mathew 19:16-17] Jesus (pbuh) did not say that to have the eternal life of paradise, man should believe in him as Almighty God or worship him as God, or believe that Jesus (pbuh) would die for his sins. On the contrary he said that the path to salvation was through keeping the commandments. It is indeed striking to note the difference between the words of Jesus Christ (pbuh) and the Christian dogma of salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus (pbuh). 5. Jesus (pbuh) of Nazareth – a Man Approved of God The following statement from the Bible supports the Islamic belief that Jesus (pbuh) was a prophet of God. "Ye men of israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know."[The Bible, Acts 2:22] 6. The First Commandment is that God is One The Bible does not support the Christian belief in trinity at all. One of the scribes once asked Jesus (pbuh) as to which was the first commandment of all, to which Jesus (pbuh) merely repeated what Moses (pbuh) had said earlier: "Shama israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adonai Ikhad." This is a Hebrew quotation, which means: "Hear, O israel; The Lord our God is one Lord."[The Bible, Mark 12:29] It is striking that the basic teachings of the Church such as Trinity and vicarious atonement find no mention in the Bible. In fact, various verses of the Bible point to Jesus’ (pbuh) actual mission, which was to fulfill the law revealed to Prophet Moses (pbuh). Indeed Jesus (pbuh) rejected any suggestions that attributed divinity to him, and explained his miracles as the power of the One True God. Jesus (pbuh) thus reiterated the message of monotheism that was given by all earlier prophets of Almighty God. III CONCEPT OF GOD IN OLD TESTAMENT: 1. God is One The following verse from the book of Deuteronomy contains an exhortation from Moses (pbuh): "Shama israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adna Ikhad". It is a Hebrew quotation which means: "Hear, O israel: The Lord our God is one Lord" [The Bible, Deuteronomy 6:4] 2. Unity of God in the Book of Isaiah The following verses are from the Book of Isaiah: (i) "I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour." [The Bible, Isaiah 43:11] (ii) "I am Lord, and there is none else, there is no God besides me."[The Bible, Isaiah 45:5] (iii) "I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me."[The Bible, Isaiah 46:9] 3. Old Testament condemns idol worship (i) Old Testament condemns idol worship in the following verses: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:" "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God." [The Bible, Exodus 20:3-5] (ii) A similar message is repeated in the book of Deuteronomy: "Thou shalt have none other gods before me." "Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that in the earth beneath, or that is in the water beneath the earth." "Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God." [The Bible, Deuteronomy 5:7-9]
  12. Asalaam wr wb sister jazakallah for sharing that! That is also very true but may Allah help all of us to control our tongues and our eyez and all our body parts away from evil and haram and towards good actions! Please make dua for me sister i find a pious beautiful partner also and a dua in general for me! Jazakallah
  13. Inspirational Islamic Stories IF YOU JUST TELL THEM. By Q.T. I was sitting in the kitchen. Sabi (our servant) was washing the dishes & then she mop the floor. My Mom came in. Sabi why were you late again? She yelled at her. My bus...... Sabi was going to say something, when my Mom cut her off. That is not an excuse Sabi, she told her. I had no idea what the excuse was. I decided to ask Sabi when my Mom won't be around. It was time for Zuher. We all made wudo & went to pray except Sabi. She was still working in the kitchen. I was shocked. Because my Quran teacher told me," when it's time for salat you have to stop whatever you're doing". And yet I notice she wasn't even covering her hair, even in front of my father or uncle. Why? isn't she supposed to? I asked myself. When I've been told from everybody you have to cover your hair. (in front of nonmehrams) Wasn't my dad & uncle were nonmehram for her? Now I really wanted to talk to her. Later that day when my Mom went shopping I called her to my room. I told her to sit down when she came in. Then asked her about it. I don't know how to pray & nobody told me to cover. Do I have to? she asked me. Yes, you do, I said. She started to cry, I couldn't stop her she had to let those tears out. I will teach you Sabi, don't cry, I said. She rubbed her blue eyes. She was so beautiful. You will? she asked. Yes, I answered. That night I asked my parents to help her study after collage. My Mom was so mad. You little kiddy, how could you? they are our servents; if they started to learn who are going to work for us? You are forgetting something Mom. I'm not a kid & Prophet Muhammad (SAW) teach her to be nice with our servants. And there's nothing wrong if they'll learn. I see your point Aisha, my father said. Yes, you can teach her, my father said. My Mom couldn't say anymore. I started to teach her. I was amazed how fast she was learning. She learned her salat in a month. Then I stared to teach her reading & writing. She finished her 1st quran in a year. Now she was memorizing some suras. She's so happy now. Now I see her covered from her head to toe, even in the hottest days. One day my dad brought his friend's proposal for her. She was like, how could I? My Mom asked her Mom. She was happy to hear it. She got married in the next two weeks. I was happy for her. Thank you Aisha,if you haven't teached me I couldn't have learn anything. No Sabiha thank Allah. He had all planed, I just .....I did nothing I couldn't say anything else. Now I could teach my daughters. She was telling me. I started to laugh & she joined me, too. I looked at the sky & thought there was a big smile, too. (the end) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "The blessed month" By Q.T. Wake up, wake up Hamad, his mother said. It's time for sahur.He woke up, but when his mother was out of the sight he went back to sleep again. His mother came into the room again, and he did the same thing again. His mother was angry now, so she decided not to wake him up. In the morning when he woke up for school, he hardly remembered anything. The kitchen was empty nobody was there. His mother was feeding the chickens, since they don't have to fast. Where is my breakfast? he asked his mother. There won't be anything to eat until sunset. Why? he asked. Because IT'S RAMADAN, she said.Oh!Oh! how come I missed it, now he remembered everything. He went to school. There everybody in his class did fast. He was sorry for himself. Their teacher told them about Ramadan. His Islamic studies teacher told them, that you shouldn't sleep too much in Ramadan. You should finish one Quran at least. The door of heavens are open and the door of hell will be closed in this blessed moth. The shaitan and other devels are chained. They can't bother you. So don't be lazy and pray as much as you can.Make a lot of duas especially in the night of power.Hamad raised his hand. Yes? the teacher asked. Which night is the night of power? he said. Allah had hid this night in the last 10 nights, many scholar believes it's the 27th night and others say it could be 29th; but nobody knows for sure which night it is the teacher said. So it could be in 21st,23rd,25th,27th or 29th another student asked. Yes, you are right, the teacher said. They were still discussing when the bell rang. When Hamad came home from school. He didn't even asked for food. He made wudu and went to the Masjid.It was time for Asar.He read the Quran when he came back.At Iftar he hardly ate anything.After dinner he did his homework and went to the Masjid to pray Isha and Taravi with his father. Please wake me up for Sahur,I won't go back to sleep, I promise he told his mother before going to bed.Insha Allah, his mother said. He felt so much peace inside him. (the end) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Finding the Straight Path by Aziza Hussain Matt Lennox, a 16-year old American of Scottish-Irish descent, who was raised in a nonreligious family, found himself amazed by what he learned about Islam in his freshman history class. Fascinated by it all, Matt continued to research Islam, along with many other religions to educate himself further. To his surprise, he found that Islamic theology has much in common with the Christian and Jewish faiths. Growing up, Matt had always known Christians and Jews had similar beliefs, but Islam, the world's fastest growing religion, was practically alien of to him. However, as Matt was introduced to Islam, he was interested in it and continued to learn. When asked "What interested you the most about Islam?" Matt answered confidently, "The Qur'an." He says everything he read in the Qur'an left him thinking, "Oh, man. Wow. I can't believe all this info that seems so wise and correct is all in one book." Matt claims many things in Christianity didn't make sense to him. Many of these aspects dealt with the Trinity, Jesus as God, priests and churches. One of the main things which bothered him was the idea that you had to be Christian to be saved from the Hell-fire. In Surah Baqara verse 111, it states, "And [the Christians and Jews] say: 'None shall enter paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian.'" Noticing this was true of Jews and Christians, Matt was somewhat perplexed. "How can only one type of people be right?" he questioned. If this were accurate, then only people from one geographical region would be right -- everyone else would be wrong. After studying many different religions deeply, Matt understood this could not be true. However, Matt was not just interested by the Qur'an; he was fascinated by Malcolm X. "[He was] very, very smart, and the reality is that he was also very, very honest [although] all the people around him for the most part were not⦡mp;#8364;?His book, his movie, everything he says is so true," says Matt. Matt was not only drawn in by Malcolm X, but also by Cat Stevens. He enjoyed and still enjoys Cat Stevens' previous music, such as "Peace Train". Peace, knowledge, God, and going back to God were all reoccurring themes in Stevens' music as Matt saw it. Intrigued by this, Matt read the story of how Cat Stevens came to accept Islam, becoming Yusuf Islam. In the 60's and 70's, Cat Stevens was looking into different religions and beliefs, but when he came to Islam, it changed everything for him. "He changed his whole life and everything and that's weird 'cause people don't change their whole life when they're pop stars and everything," says Matt. And many would agree with this. It seems quite perplexing that a pop star that had everything he wanted would change his whole life around. Perplexing as it is, it continues to happen over and over again. Why? For one reason. Matt explains: "Some people, even celebrities, find that there are so many complications with spirituality, politics, economics, society and philosophy in the "modern" world that when they find something so true, simple and natural as Islam, and they feel Allah's guidance towards Him, they find a great sense of meaning." Although Matt used to be a strong believer in evolution, he now understands how advancements in science have affected people's belief in God. Noticing the general lack of faith in God, Matt claims, "Most people have given up on religion. As science progresses, people are going to look at science and say 'Where's God?' People will drift farther and farther away. " Matt's father, seeing evolution as simply a theory, was keener on the idea of Matt becoming Muslim, rather than believing in evolution. Being raised a Jehovah's Witness, Matt's father saw the similarities between Jehovah's Witness ideas and Islam, making it easier for him to accept. His mother, fully supporting Matt, told him, "Whatever religion you want to have is good." Surprisingly, both his mother and father supported him and his interest in Islam. If it weren't for the understanding of his family, and the good communication between them, Matt's conversion to Islam would probably have been extremely different. There are still a few obstacles, however. Matt's parents may be supportive of him, but his father also believes Matt won't stay Muslim his entire life. Hearing this, Matt laughs and says, "I absolutely disagree." Matt found an unexpected source of support in not only his parents, but also his "new-age hippie" friends. Sitting around doing nothing, Matt and his friends usually end up talking about anything and everything. Before Matt accepted Islam, he talked about his interest in Islam when the topic of religion came up. Although his friends' reactions were mainly "that's cool" and "that's really good to do that," one of Matt's friends no longer respects his opinion on religion or international politics. He believes Matt supports all those "like him." When Matt's friend refers to those "like him," he's referring Osama bin Laden and his followers. September 11th, Matt says, "affected me only in the mental sense." Being able to blend into a crowd of European-Americans, Matt says, "Since I do not 'look like a Muslim' no one would think to say anything to me. Mentally though, I have a hard time watching American news anyway. American news just seems to talk about Islam like it is a foreign religion, and not that it is wrong, but that it is a religion of foreign civilizations which are not as advanced as Christian Europe/America." This view, which looks down upon Islam, can be quite irritating to many, including Matt. Despite the fact that September 11th has only affected Matt in the "mental sense," he says, "Some Muslims in my school who I am friends with have had to deal with some guff." Matt recognizes these difficulties and offers some advice to his fellow young Muslims: "Although it is not always easy, do not be afraid of what other people think of you being [Muslim]. Anyone who thinks bad about a person on the basis of religion is not worth your time. Try your best to be a proud and upstanding example." Although Matt may have accepted Islam, his life overall has not been changed dramatically. Aside from going to the Masjid, praying, and reading the Qur'an, his daily events are pretty much the same. Islam, though, has definitely affected his priorities. "I have found though, that some things that used to seem important, like having certain things or going to certain events, now seem like a second priority, and I find that in general, since I became a Muslim it is very difficult to get me feeling upset," says Matt. Having such an easygoing personality and open mind, Matt doesn't expect much out of life or people in general. When asked what his goals in life are as a person and Muslim, he answers, "I would like to go to college. I would like to go to the Garden (Jannah). My goal is to be happy. I do not think that would require [many] things. I would like to be successful in the world though so that I have the means to help others." Matt, understanding the power of Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala, claims, "I do not think that I or anyone could accomplish very much of significance without Allah." Understanding the importance of seeking knowledge in Islam, the one thing Matt hopes to gain from Islam which he has hasn't already is "continued knowledge. That is something Islam can keep giving me until I die," he says. "The only real challenge I face is trying to live my life as faithfully as possible." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Seeing the World in a New Light by Aziza Hussain I walked into Pine Street Inn, a shelter for men and women, holding Safiya's tiny hand, hardly noticing that my grip continued to tighten as I walked through the shelter. I had never been in such a place and seen such different people -- people who didn't have adequate clothes, didn't have food, didn't even have a table to put food on, couldn't own a house. I had always imagined what homeless people lived like, but on this trip, it finally came into perspective: it was real. Noticing dozens of eyes on me, I looked straight ahead, afraid to come into eye contact with anyone. I saw men, young and old, sober and drunk, sprawled across the floor sleeping, or leaning against the walls shouting at us, "helloo ladies." Seeing them frightened me along with the rest of the MAS youth group. However, as I continued to walk through the shelter with my group and guide, Scottie, my grip on Safiya's hand began to loosen. Earlier I was glad to have a child's hand to hold; it made it seem as though I was protecting her; however, I realized I was just trying to protect myself. Finally, my fears calmed. My stomach felt queasy, not out of fear, but out of depression. My heart clenched trying its hardest to fight back tears. Unshaven men looked upon us with deep eyes. Their eyes seemed to tell the stories of their lives, stories so powerful my eyes could hardly meet theirs. As I looked around more carefully, I remembered these men and women were people, people like me. But they weren't like me. They didn't even have the basic necessities of life. I started to feel out of place wearing expensive clothing and carrying a nice purse. God's blessing over me contrasted with the surrounding in which I was. I began to realize how blessed I am. I realized how much we all take for granted, forgetting to thank God for the wonderful things we've been blessed with. Many of us fail to see the blessings of this life and focus on the negative aspects of life. Visiting the Pine Street Inn reopened my eyes to reality. I remembered how many blessings have been bestowed upon me by God. Things finally started to come into perspective. After leaving Pine Street, my outlook on life has changed. One would say, "how can a person change from one trip," but in reality, it is quite possible. I can hardly put into words what emotions have been going through me since I left, but my life has been greatly impacted. Before I say "my life is so hard!" I think back on what I saw at Pine Street. Alhamdullillah, all praises to God, my life is more than bearable. The Qur'an repeatedly states, "On no soul do We place a burden greater than it can bear." Thinking back on everything I saw, I admire Scottie and the others who work there. Whether one is volunteering or being paid for working there, it takes more than just money to get someone to work in a place like that. It takes a heart. It takes strength. Many times we lack this sympathy for others and forget about the world around us. Scottie and those like her deserve a lot of credit for having the drive to help others. "Those who (in charity) spend of their goods by night and by day in secret and in public have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve." (The Qur'an 2:274). -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A New Beginning by Aziza Hussain I walked into the doors of LS Regional High School feeling like a new person. I felt as though hundreds of eyes were fixed on me, yet it was merely my wild imagination. My heart skipped a beat and my face flushed, but these signs of nervousness disappeared as people began to say "hey Aziza" like any other day. My fears of being rejected vanished and I felt the same again - well not the same, for I was different; I was now a muhajabah. Many of my friends knew I was Muslim because I was constantly asked why I wasn't eating during the month of Ramadan. I would explain to them what Ramadan was, but this was all my friends knew about Islam. I had never bothered to educate them further. Since the last Ramadan, I had been thinking about Islam and my duties of a Muslim more than usual. I began contemplating hijab and thought to myself, "I'll start hijab when I go to college." Why then? Because it would be a new environment, a new stage of my life, the start of a new beginning; it seemed like a good time to make a big change. As Ramadan passed, I was constantly fighting a battle with myself. I was still pondering over Islam and my life in general. "Four years is a long time to wait (to start hijab)," I kept telling myself. I became distressed just thinking about how long four years was in reality. I then decided I would start hijab after freshman year was over, so I had the summer to adjust. I would start sophomore year as a new person. "Sophomore year," I thought to myself, "that's still quite a few months away." I was still frustrated and did not want to wait so long to start hijab. As April began, I thought to myself, "I am going to do it. I am going to start hijab and nothing is stopping me!" Alhumdulillah for my open-minded teachers. I asked them if they could give me five minutes to speak to the class about what I was about to do: start hijab. They excitedly agreed with warm, encouraging smiles. In each class, I walked to the front of the room and slowly began to talk. I told them about Islam and how it is very important to me. I explained what the hijab is and why Muslim women are commanded to wear it. My peers sat listening, quietly and attentively, amazed by what I was saying. They sat in awe interested in my beliefs. Many asked questions and begged to see what I looked like with a hijab on. I happily put it on to show them. Their smiles showed they approved of it and liked it; they were happy I was going to wear hijab. My classmates told their friends, who told their other friends, and soon the whole school knew about me starting hijab. People I didn't even know were constantly approaching me and telling me how much they appreciated what I was doing, how much they admired me, how much they supported me and how they wish they had the will power I did. All this before I even started hijab. That following Friday on April 13, 2001, I became a muhajabah for life. The decision I made that day is one I will never regret insha'Allah. Since then, despite some of the obstacles that were thrown in my path, I have been the happiest girl alive. Many other Muslim girls have told me how I've inspired them and they wish to be more practicing. These positive comments only motivate me to work harder and become an even better Muslim, for these comments show me I am on the right path and insha'Allah will stay on it. I thank Allah Subhana wa ta'ala for the strength to do this, the guidance He has given me, and this personality, which has helped me have these qualities where people respect me, admire me and look up to me. And I also thank Him for giving me the mentality in which I do not care what others think; I solely care what He thinks. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "The seed of goodness in men's heart" By Q.T. One day when Ahmed came home from school he was so sad. What's the matter? asked his mother. I'm confused, he said. About what? asked his father. You see, today my teacher was telling us about the benefit of working for Allah and taking care of our parents, he said. What do you mean? asked his father. You know giving dawa and learning about Islam, he said. Ahmed if you want to leave to study you should do it, said his mother. And don't worry about us, we'll be fine Insha Allah, said his father encouragingly. So, after some days he made up his mind. I think I'm ready to leave, he told his parents. Masha Allah, I'm so proud of you, said his father. And may Allah bless you and makes you strong, said his mother. Ahmed left after Zuher salat. He was sixteen at this time. He was scared, cause he never traveled alone before. He asked Allah to help him. And Allah doesn't leave His servants alone. Ahmed traveled all over the world to learn about Islam. He met many great scholars of that time. He became famous with his knowledge. He teached many people all over the world. He went back to visit his parents once in a while. They were very happy to see him like this. One day Ahmed was sitting in the Masjid. He was reciting "Sura-al-qa'f". He heard someone was crying. He looked around him. A man was sitting there. He walk toward the man. What's the matter brother? he asked him. I'm a sinner, the man said. I haven't touched the quran for years. I did many other bad things, he said. Will I be forgiven? asked the man. Ahmed smiled at the man. Ahmed asked the man, "Have you not heard what Allah says in the glorious Quran: 'Say: O 'Ibaadi(My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deed and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah forgives all sins. truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful' [al Zummer 39:53]?" The man looked at him with joy, with his eyes filled with tears. Then he bade farewell and left. No matter how big the evil is, there's always a seed of good in men's heart. If Allah has His Mercy on us, it will bear fruit, Insha Allah. This seed seems to always fight in our heart, even when it's cored with desire. When Allah wills the good for His slaves, He cause the light of goodness to shine our hearts. He guides us to the right path. Allah says in the Glorious Quran:- "And whomsoever Allah wills to guide, He opens his breast to Islam; and whomsoever He wills to send astray, He makes his breast close and constricted, as if he is climbing up to the sky" [al-Anam 6:125]. (the end)
  14. The god that never was Islam is the only religion which teaches the existence of a PERFECT God. A perfect God means that there is no sharer in His Nature an His Attributes: "Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him." (Holy Qur'an,112:1-4) There has appeared a man in Benoni. He is not qualified in theology, but is fondly cherishing the self-delusion that he is an apostle of Christ,appointed by God to convert Muslims to Christianity. Because he is a lawyer by profession, he is adept at juggling with words and quoting the Holy Qur'an totally out of context without knowing a word of Arabic. He wants Muslims to believe that Jesus was also a God, a belief that is abhorrent to us, because it is an antithesis of the Absolute perfection of Allah Subhaanahoo Wa Ta'Aala! Thus intent upon reversing the process of Truth, which is: "And say: The Truth has come and falsehood vanished. Surely falsehood is ever bound to vanish." (Qur'an, 17:81). In this he will never succeed because the process of Truth is irreversible. TWO REASONS He has given two reasons to prove that Jesus is God, viz: (i) "When we say Jesus is deity (or even God for that matter), we do not make him the Father! He is one with the Father and therefore HE SHARES HIS NATURE", and (ii) "HE IS IN EVERY WAY LIKE THE FATHER but he is not the Father". In short, according to him, Jesus is God because He SHARES THE NATURE OF GOD, and HE IS IN EVERY WAY LIKE GOD. These two reasons given by him to prove the divinity of Jesus are so puerile that they speak volumes of his legal training. Numerous quotations from the Bible are given below to prove that Jesus neither SHARED THE NATURE OF GOD, nor is he IN EVERY WAY LIKE GOD. He can, therefore, NEVER be GOD. We have given the quotations from the Bible without comment, because the Bible speaks for itself! TO SAY THAT JESUS IS GOD OR SON OF GOD IS NOT ONLY A MOCKERY OF GODHOOD, BUT BLASPHEMY OF THE LOWEST ORDER AND AND INSULT TO THE INTELLIGENCE OF MEN! (Note: Unless otherwise stated, all quotation from the Bible are given from the Authorized Version. In our headings and subheadings we have referred to Jesus as "God" in inverted commas in order to show the ABSURDITY of the claim of this man that Jesus is God!) THE BIRTH OF "GOD" "God" was created from the seed of David: "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the SEED of David according to the flesh." (Romans, 1:3) "God" was the fruit of the loins of David: "Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne." (Acts, 2:30) The Ancestors of "God": "The generations of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." (Matthew, 1:1) The Sex of "God": "And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus." (Luke, 2:21) How Mary Conceived and Delivered "God". Mary conceived Jesus like any other woman: "The days were accomplished that she should be delivered," (Luke, 2:6) which means that she went through all the normal stages of pregnancy. Nor was her delivery any different from other expectant mothers: "And she being with child cried, travelling in birth, and pained to be delivered." (Revelation, 12:2) "God" Sucked The Paps of a Woman: "And it came to pass, as he spak these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked." (Luke, 11:27) The Country of Origin of "God": "Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king. (Matthew, 2:1) The Occupation of "God": "Jesus was a carpenter by trade." (Mark, 6:3), "and the son of a carpenter." (Matthew, 13:55) The Transport of "God": "Behold, thy king cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ######." (Matthew, 21:5) "And Jesus, when he had found a young ######, sat thereon." (John, 12:14) The Wining and Dining of "God": "The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners." (Matthew, 11:9; Luke, 7:34) The Poverty of "God": "And Jesus saith unto him, the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." (Matthew, 8:20) The Meagre Possessions of "God": "Shoes of Jesus" (Luke, 3:16), "Garments and coat of Jesus" (John, 19:23) "God" Was a Devout Jew: "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, an there prayed." (Mark, 1:35) "God" Was a Loyal Subject: Jesus was a good citizen, he was loyal to Caesar. He said: "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." (Matthew, 22:21) He paid his tax regularly. (Matthew, 17:24-27) THE FAMILY OF "GOD" "God" Was the Son of Joseph: "Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, we have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph" (John, 1:45) Brothers and Brothers-in-law of "God": "And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence hath this man all these things? (Matthew, 13:54-56) THE DEVELOPMENT OF "GOD" Spiritual Development of "God": "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom." (Luke, 2:40) Mental, Physical and Moral Development of "God": "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." (Luke, 2:52) "God" Was 12 Years Old When His Parents Took Him to Jerusalem: "Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of thefeast." (Luke, 2:41-42) The Powerless "God" (Jesus) said: "I can of mine own self do nothing."(John, 5:30) "God" Was Ignorant of the Time. Jesus said: "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." (Mark, 13:32) "God" Was Ignorant of the Season: "And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he (Jesus) was hungry: and seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find anything thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet." (Mark, 11:12-13) "God" Was Unlettered: "Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?" (John, 7:14-15) "God" Learnt Through Experience: "Learned he obedience by the things which he sufered." (Hebrews, 5:8) THE TEMPTING OF "GOD" The Devil Tempted "God" For 40 Days: "And immediately the spirit driveth him into the wilderness. And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan." (Mark, 1:12-13) The Devil Tempted "God" Continuously: "And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season." (Luke,4:13) Like the Sinners, "God" Was Tempted In All Things: "But (he) was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews,4:15) True God Cannot be Tempted With Evil: "God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." (James,1:13) Only The Ungodly Are Tempted With Evil: "But every man is tempted, when heis drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." (James, 1:14) THE MISSION OF "GOD" The Confession and Repentance of "God": before the beginning of his public ministry: "Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist" (Matthew, 3:13), "which signified the confession of sins" (Matthew, 3:6), "and repentance from sins (Matthew, 3:11). "God" Did Not Come to Save the Sinners: "And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them." (Mark,4:10-12) THE RACIAL "GOD" "God" Was a Tribal Jew: "The lion of the tribe of Juda." (Revelation, 5:5) "God" Came For The Jews Only: "But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of israel." (Matthew, 15:24) Racial Discrimination of "God": "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of israel." (Matthew, 10:5-6) According to "God", The Gentiles Are Dogs: "It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs." (matthew, 15:26) The Kingdom of "God": And he (Jesus) shall reign over THE HOUSE OF JACOB forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." (Luke,1:33) The Titles of "God": "The king of the Jews" (Matthew, 2:2), "The king of israel" (John, 1:49; 12:13) A "GOD" UNLIKE THE GOD A Hungry "God": "And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered." (Matthew 4:2), "Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered." (Matthew, 21:18), "and on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry. (Mark, 11:12) A Thirsty "God": "(He) saith, I thirst." (John, 19:28) A Sleepy "God": "He was asleep." (Matthew, 8:24), "He fell asleep (Luke, 8:23), "And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow."(Mark, 4:38) A Weary "God": Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well." (John, 4:6) A Groaning "God": "He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.(John, 11:33), "Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave."(John, 11:38) A Weeping "God": "Jesus wept." (John, 11:35) A Sorrowing "God": "And (he) began to be sorrowful and very heavy." (Matthew 26:37). "Then saith he unto them, my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." (Matthew, 26:38) A Hysterical "God": "And (he) began to be soreamazed and to be very heavy." (Mark, 14:33) A Weak "God": "And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him." (Luke, 22:43) THE WARRING "GOD" The Strong-Arm Method of "God": "And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought." (Luke, 19:45). "And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables." (John, 2:13-15) The "God" of War: Jesus said: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." (Matthew,10:34) The Sabre-Rattling "God": Jesus said: "And he that hath no sword let him sell his garment, and buy one." (Luke, 22:36) The "GOD" ON THE RUN "God" Was Panic-Stricken: "After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him."(John, 7:1) "God" Walked in Fear of the Jews: "Then from that day forth they tookcounsel together for to put him to death. Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews." (John, 11:53-54) "God" Has Shown a Clean Pair of Heels: "Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand." (John, 10:39) "God" Fled in Disguise: "Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by." (John, 8:59) THE CAPTURE OF "GOD" A Friend Betrayed the Secret Hiding Place of "God": "And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus off-times resorted thither with his disciples. Judas then, having received a band of man and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons." (John, 18:2-3) "God" Was Arrested, Bound and Led Away: "Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, and led him away." (John, 18:12-13) "God" Was Humiliated: "And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him. And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face." (Luke, 22:63-64). "Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands." (Matthew, 26:67) "God" Was Defenseless: "One of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand", he said: "Why smitest thou me?" (John, 18:22-23) "God" Was Condemned to Death: "And they all condemned him to be guilty of death." (Mark, 14:64). "They answered and said, he is guilty of death." (Matthew, 26:66) The Dumb and Docile "God": "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth." (Acts, 8:32) THE SUPPOSED END OF "GOD" The Dying "God": "And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost." (Mark, 15:37) The "God" That Was Supposed Dead and Defunct: "Christ died." (Romans, 5:6). "He was dead". (John, 19:33) The Supposed Corpse of "God": "he (Joseph of Arimathaea) went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered." (Matthew, 27:58) The Shroud of "God": "And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth." (Matthew, 27:59) The Obituary of The Late and Lamented "God": "Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, certainly this was a righteous man." (Luke, 23:47) EPILOGUE According to this self-appointed apostle of Christ, Jesus is God because: (i) "HE SHARED THE NATURE OF GOD", and (ii) because "IN EVERY WAY HE IS LIKE GOD". But according to the quotations of the Bible given above, we find that Jesus did neither SHARE THE NATURE OF GOD nor is he IN EVERY WAY LIKE GOD. He is, therefore, definitely NOT God! The onus to prove that Jesus is God now rests with this Christian. Either he must prove that Jesus is God, or he must admit that he is a polytheist, i.e., a believer in more than one God. WITH ALL THE TRICKS AND VERBAL LEGERDEMAIN OF HIS PROFESSION, HE WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO PROVE THAT JESUS IS GOD!! He and his fellow-preachers in Christ, will never succeed in convincing the Muslims that Jesus was anything other than a natural man and a prophet of God, sent unto the house of israel to bear the good news of the coming of the KINGDOM OF GOD, which prophecy was fulfilled with the advent of the Holy Prophet Muhammed (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)!
  15. Why British Women are turning to Islam THE SPREAD OF A WORLD CREED The Times - Tuesday, 9th November 1993 - Home-news Page Lucy Berrington finds the Muslim Faith is winning Western admirers despite hostile media coverage Unprecedented numbers of British people, nearly all of them women, are converting to Islam at a time of deep divisions within the Anglican and Catholic churches. The rate of conversions has prompted predictions that Islam will rapidly become an important religious force in this country. "Within the next 20 years the number of British converts will equal or overtake the immigrant Muslim community that brought the faith here", says Rose Kendrick, a religious education teacher at a Hull comprehensive and the author of a textbook guide to the Koran. She says: "Islam is as much a world faith as is Roman Catholicism. No one nationality claims it as its own". Islam is also spreading fast on the continent and in America. The surge in conversions to Islam has taken place despite the negative image of the faith in the Western press. Indeed, the pace of conversions has accelerated since publicity over the Salman Rushdie affair, the Gulf War and the plight of the Muslims in Bosnia. It is even more ironic that most British converts should be women, given the widespread view in the west that Islam treats women poorly. In the United States, women converts outnumber men by four to one, and in Britain make up the bulk of the estimated 10, 000 to 20, 000 converts, forming part of a Muslim community of 1 to 1.5 million. Many of Britains "New Muslims" are from middle-class backgrounds. They include Matthew Wilkinson, a former head boy of Eton who went on to Cambridge, and a son and daughter of Lord Justice Scott, the judge heading the arms-to-Iraq enquiry. A small scale survey by the Islamic Foundation in Leicester suggests that most converts are aged 30 to 50. Younger muslims point to many conversions among students and highlight the intellectual thrust of Islam. "Muhammad" said, "The light of Islam will rise in the West" and I think that is what is happening in our day" says Aliya Haeri, an American-born psychologist who converted 15 years ago. She is a consultant to the Zahra Trust, a charity publishing spiritual literature and is one of Britain's prominent Islamic speakers. She adds: "Western converts are coming to Islam with fresh eyes, without all the habits of the East, avoiding much of what is culturally wrong. The purest tradition is finding itself strongest in the West." Some say the conversions are prompted by the rise of comparative religious education. The British media, offering what Muslims describe as a relentless bad press on all things Islamic, is also said to have helped. Westerners despairing of their own society - rising in crime, family breakdown, drugs and alcoholism - have come to admire the discipline and security of Islam. Many converts are former Christians disillusioned by the uncertainty of the church and unhappy with the concept of the Trinity and deification of Jesus. Quest of the Convert - Why Change? Other converts describe a search for a religious identity. Many had previously been practising Christians but found intellectual satisfaction in Islam. "I was a theology student and it was the academic argument that led to my conversion." Rose Kendrick, a religious education teacher and author, said she objected to the concept of the original sin: "Under Islam, the sins of the fathers aren't visited on the sons. The idea that God is not always forgiving is blasphemous to Muslims. Maimuna, 39, was raised as a High Anglican and confirmed at 15 at the peak of her religious devotion. "I was entranced by the ritual of the High Church and thought about taking the veil." Her crisis came when a prayer was not answered. She slammed the door on visiting vicars but travelled to convents for discussions with nuns. "My belief came back stronger, but not for the Church, the institution or the dogma." She researched every Christian denomination, plus Judaism, Buddhism and Krishna Consciousness, before turning to Islam. Many converts from Christianity reject the ecclesiastical heirarchy emphasising Muslims' direct relationship with God. They sense a lack of leadership in the Church of England and are suspicious of its apparent flexibility. "Muslims don't keep shifting their goal-posts ," says Huda Khattab, 28, author of The Muslim Woman's Handbook, published this year by Ta-Ha. She converted ten years ago while studying Arabic at university. "Christianity changes, like the way some have said pre-marital se is okay if its with the person you're going to marry. It seems so wishy-washy. Islam was constant about sex, about praying five times a day. The prayer makes you conscious of God all the time. You're continually touching base.
  16. Sikh's And Hindu's

    Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in Hindu Scriptures I Muhammad (pbuh) prophesised in Bhavishya Purana According to Bhavishya Purana in the Prati Sarag Parv III Khand 3 Adhay 3 Shloka 5 to 8. "A malecha (belonging to a foreign country and speaking a foreign language) spiritual teacher will appear with his companions. His name will be Mohammad. Raja (Bhoj) after giving this Maha Dev Arab (of angelic disposition) a bath in the Panchgavya and the Ganga water (i.e. purifying him of all sins) offered him the present of his sincere devotion and showing him all reverence said, "I make obeisance to thee. O ye! The pride of mankind, the dweller in Arabia, Ye have collected a great force to kill the Devil and you yourself have been protected from the malecha opponents." The Prophecy clearly states: The name of the Prophet as Mohammad.He will belong to Arabia. The Sanskrit word Marusthal means a sandy track of land or a desert. Special mention is made of the companions of the Prophet, i.e. the Sahabas. No other Prophet had as many companions as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). He is referred as the pride of mankind (Parbatis nath). The Glorious Qur’an reconfirms this "And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character" [Al-Qur'an 68:4]| "Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah, a beautiful pattern (of conduct)".[Al-Qur'an 33:21] He will kill the devil, i.e. abolish idol worship and all sorts of vices. The Prophet will be given protection against his enemy. Some people may argue that ‘Raja’ Bhoj mentioned in the prophecy lived in the 11th century C.E. 500 years after the advent of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and was the descendant in the 10th generation of Raja Shalivahan. These people fail to realise that there was not only one Raja of the name Bhoj. The Egyptian Monarchs were called as Pharaoh and the Roman Kings were known as Caesar, similarly the Indian Rajas were given the title of Bhoj. There were several Raja Bhoj who came before the one in 11th Century C.E. The Prophet did not physically take a bath in the Panchgavya and the water of Ganges. Since the water of Ganges is considered holy, taking bath in the Ganges is an idiom, which means washing away sins or immunity from all sorts of sins. Here the prophecy implies that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was sinless, i.e. Maasoom. According to Bhavishya Purana in the Pratisarag Parv III Khand 3 Adhay 3 Shloka 10 to 27 Maharishi Vyas has prophesised: "The Malecha have spoiled the well-known land of the Arabs. Arya Dharma is not to be found in the country. Before also there appeared a misguided fiend whom I had killed; he has now again appeared being sent by a powerful enemy. To show these enemies the right path and to give them guidance, the well-known Muhammad (pbuh), is busy in bringing the Pishachas to the right path. O Raja, You need not go to the land of the foolish Pishachas, you will be purified through my kindness even where you are. At night, he of the angelic disposition, the shrewd man, in the guise of Pishacha said to Raja Bhoj, "O Raja! Your Arya Dharma has been made to prevail over all religions, but according to the commandments of Ishwar Parmatma, I shall enforce the strong creed of the meat eaters. My followers will be men circumcised, without a tail (on his head), keeping beard, creating a revolution announcing the Aadhaan (the Muslim call for prayer) and will be eating all lawful things. He will eat all sorts of animals except swine. They will not seek purification from the holy shrubs, but will be purified through warfare. On account of their fighting the irreligious nations, they will be known as Musalmaans. I shall be the originator of this religion of the meat-eating nations." The Prophecy states that: The evil doers have corrupted the Arab land. Arya Dharma is not found in that land. The Indian Raja need not go the Arab land since his purification will take place in India after the musalmaan will arrive in India. The coming Prophet will attest the truth of the Aryan faith, i.e. Monotheism and will reform the misguided people. The Prophet’s followers will be circumcised. They will be without a tail on the head and bear a beard and will create a great revolution. They will announce the Aadhaan, i.e. ‘the Muslim call for prayer’. He will only eat lawful things and animals but will not eat pork. The Qur’an confirms this in no less than 4 different places: In Surah Al-Baqarah chapter 2 verse 173 In Surah Al-Maidah chapter 5 verse 3 In Surah Al-Anam chapter 6 verse 145 In Surah Al-Nahl chapter 16 verse 115 "Forbidden to you for food are dead meat, blood, flesh of swine, and that on which hath been invoked the name of other than Allah". They will not purify with grass like the Hindus but by means of sword they will fight their irreligious people. They will be called musalmaan. They will be a meat-eating nation. The eating of herbivorous animals is confirmed by the Qur’an in Surah Maidah, chapter 5 verse 1 and in Surah Muminun chapter 23 verse 21 According to Bhavishya Purana, Parv - III Khand 1 Adhay 3 Shloka 21-23:"Corruption and persecution are found in seven sacred cities of Kashi, etc. India is inhabited by Rakshas, Shabor, Bhil and other foolish people. In the land of Malechhas, the followers of the Malechha dharma (Islam) are wise and brave people. All good qualities are found in Musalmaans and all sorts of vices have accumulated in the land of the Aryas. Islam will rule in India and its islands. Having known these facts, O Muni, glorify the name of thy lord". The Qur’an confirms this in Surah Taubah chapter 9 verse 33 and in Surah Al Saff chapter 61 verse 9: "It is He who hath sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest (it)". A similar message is given in Surah Fatah chapter 48 verses 28 ending with, "and enough is Allah as a witness". II Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Prophesised in Atharvaveda In the 20th book of Atharvaveda Hymn 127 Some Suktas (chapters) are known as Kuntap Sukta. Kuntap means the consumer of misery and troubles. Thus meaning the message of peace and safety and if translated in Arabic means Islam. Kuntap also means hidden glands in the abdomen. These mantras are called so probably because their true meaning was hidden and was to be revealed in future. Its hidden meaning is also connected with the navel or the middle point of this earth. Makkah is called the Ummul Qur’a the mother of the towns or the naval of the earth. In many revealed books it was the first house of Divine worship where God Almighty gave spiritual nourishment to the world. The Qur’an says in Surah Ali-Imran chapter 3, verse 96: "The first house (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakkah (Makkah) full of blessings and of guidance and for all kinds of beings". Thus Kuntap stands for Makkah or Bakkah. Several people have translated these Kuntap Suktas like M. Bloomfield, Prof. Ralph Griffith, Pandit Rajaram, Pandit Khem Karan, etc. The main points mentioned in the Kuntap Suktas i.e. in Atharvaveda book 20 Hymn 127 verses 1-13 are: Mantra 1 He is Narashansah or the praised one (Muhammad). He is Kaurama: the prince of peace or the emigrant, who is safe, even amongst a host of 60,090 enemies. Mantra 2 He is a camel-riding Rishi, whose chariot touches the heaven. Mantra 3 He is Mamah Rishi who is given a hundred gold coins, ten chaplets (necklaces), three hundred good steeds and ten thousand cows. Mantra 4 Vachyesv rebh. ‘Oh! ye who glorifies’. The Sanskrit word Narashansah means ‘the praised one’, which is the literal translation of the Arabic word Muhammad (pbuh). The Sanskrit word Kaurama means ‘one who spreads and promotes peace’. The holy Prophet was the ‘Prince of Peace’ and he preached equality of human kind and universal brotherhood. Kaurama also means an emigrant. The Prophet migrated from Makkah to Madinah and was thus also an Emigrant. He will be protected from 60,090 enemies, which was the population of Makkah. The Prophet would ride a camel. This clearly indicates that it cannot be an Indian Rishi, since it is forbidden for a Brahman to ride a camel according to the Sacred Books of the East, volume 25, Laws of Manu pg. 472. According to Manu Smirti chapter 11 verse 202, "A Brahman is prohibited from riding a camel or an ###### and to bathe naked. He should purify himself by suppressing his breath". This mantra gave the Rishi's name as Mamah. No rishi in India or another Prophet had this name Mamah which is derived from Mah which means to esteem highly, or to revere, to exalt, etc. Some Sanskrit books give the Prophet’s name as ‘Mohammad’, but this word according to Sanskrit grammar can also be used in the bad sense. It is incorrect to apply grammar to an Arabic word. Actually shas the same meaning and somewhat similar pronunciation as the word Muhammad (pbuh). He is given 100 gold coins, which refers to the believers and the earlier companions of the Prophet during his turbulent Makkan life. Later on due to persecution they migrated from Makkah to Abysinia. Later when Prophet migrated to Madinah all of them joined him in Madinah. The 10 chaplets or necklaces were the 10 best companions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) known as Ashra-Mubbashshira (10 bestowed with good news). These were foretold in this world of their salvation in the hereafter i.e. they were given the good news of entering paradise by the Prophet’s own lips and after naming each one he said "in Paradise". They were Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, Talha, Zubair, Abdur Rahman Ibn Auf, Saad bin Abi Waqqas, Saad bin Zaid and Abu Ubaidah (May Allah be well-pleased with all of them). The Sanskrit word Go is derived from Gaw which means ‘to go to war’. A cow is also called Go and is a symbol of war as well as peace. The 10,000 cows refer to the 10,000 companions who accompanied the Prophet (pbuh) when he entered Makkah during Fateh Makkah which was a unique victory in the history of mankind in which there was no blood shed. The 10,000 companions were pious and compassionate like cows and were at the same time strong and fierce and are described in the Holy Quran in Surah Fatah: "Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other."[Al-Qur'an 48:29] This mantra calls the Prophet as Rebh which means one who praises, which when translated into Arabic is Ahmed, which is another name for the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Battle of the Allies described in the Vedas. It is mentioned in Atharvaveda Book XX Hymn 21 verse 6, "Lord of the truthful! These liberators drink these feats of bravery and the inspiring songs gladdened thee in the field of battle. When thou renders vanquished without fight the ten thousand opponents of the praying one, the adoring one." This Prophecy of the Veda describes the well-known battle of Ahzab or the battle of the Allies during the time of Prophet Muhammed. The Prophet was victorious without an actual conflict which is mentioned in the Qur’an in Surah Ahzab: "When the believers saw the confederate forces they said, "This is what Allah and His Messenger had promised us and Allah and His Messenger told us what was true." And it only added to their faith and their zeal in obedience."[Al-Qur'an 33:22] The Sanskrit word karo in the Mantra means the ‘praying one’ which when translated into Arabic means ‘Ahmed’, the second name of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh). The 10,000 opponents mentioned in the Mantra were the enemies of the Prophet and the Muslims were only 3000 in number. The last words of the Mantra aprati ni bashayah means the defeat was given to the enemies without an actual fight. The enemies’ defeat in the conquest of Makkah is mentioned in Atharvaveda book 20 Hymn 21 verse no 9: "You have O Indra, overthrown 20 kings and 60,099 men with an outstripping Chariot wheel who came to fight the praised one or far famed (Muhammad) orphan." The population of Makkah at the time of Prophet’s advent was nearly 60,000 There were several clans in Makkah each having its own chief. Totally there were about 20 chiefs to rule the population of Makkah. An Abandhu meaning a helpless man who was far-famed and ‘praised one’. Muhammad (pbuh) overcame his enemies with the help of God. III Muhammad (pbuh) prophesised in the Rigveda A similar prophecy is also found in Rigveda Book I, Hymn 53 verse 9: The Sanskrit word used is Sushrama, which means praiseworthy or well praised which in Arabic means Muhammad (pbuh). IV Muhummad (pbuh) is also prophesised in the Samveda Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is also prophesised in the Samveda Book II Hymn 6 verse 8: "Ahmed acquired from his Lord the knowledge of eternal law. I received light from him just as from the sun." The Prophecy confirms: The name of the Prophet as Ahmed since Ahmed is an Arabic name. Many translators misunderstood it to be Ahm at hi and translated the mantra as "I alone have acquired the real wisdom of my father". Prophet was given eternal law, i.e. the Shariah. The Rishi was enlightened by the Shariah of Prophet Muhammad. The Qur’an says in Surah Saba chapter 34 verse 28 "We have not sent thee but as a universal (Messenger) to men, giving them glad tidings and warning them (against sin), but most men understand not."[Al-Qur'an 34:28]
  17. Sikh's And Hindu's

    Concept of God in Hinduism by Dr. Zakir Naik 1. Common Concept of God in Hinduism: Hinduism is commonly perceived as a polytheistic religion. Indeed, most Hindus would attest to this, by professing belief in multiple Gods. While some Hindus believe in the existence of three gods, some believe in thousands of gods, and some others in thirty three crore i.e. 330 million Gods. However, learned Hindus, who are well versed in their scriptures, insist that a Hindu should believe in and worship only one God. The major difference between the Hindu and the Muslim perception of God is the common Hindus’ belief in the philosophy of Pantheism. Pantheism considers everything, living and non-living, to be Divine and Sacred. The common Hindu, therefore, considers everything as God. He considers the trees as God, the sun as God, the moon as God, the monkey as God, the snake as God and even human beings as manifestations of God! Islam, on the contrary, exhorts man to consider himself and his surroundings as examples of Divine Creation rather than as divinity itself. Muslims therefore believe that everything is God’s i.e. the word ‘God’ with an apostrophe ‘s’. In other words the Muslims believe that everything belongs to God. The trees belong to God, the sun belongs to God, the moon belongs to God, the monkey belongs to God, the snake belongs to God, the human beings belong to God and everything in this universe belongs to God. Thus the major difference between the Hindu and the Muslim beliefs is the difference of the apostrophe ‘s’. The Hindu says everything is God. The Muslim says everything is God’s. 2. Concept of God according to Hindu Scriptures: We can gain a better understanding of the concept of God in Hinduism by analysing Hindu scriptures. BHAGAVAD GITA The most popular amongst all the Hindu scriptures is the Bhagavad Gita. Consider the following verse from the Gita: "Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures."[bhagavad Gita 7:20] The Gita states that people who are materialistic worship demigods i.e. ‘gods’ besides the True God. UPANISHADS: The Upanishads are considered sacred scriptures by the Hindus. The following verses from the Upanishads refer to the Concept of God: "Ekam evadvitiyam" "He is One only without a second." [Chandogya Upanishad 6:2:1]1 "Na casya kascij janita na cadhipah." "Of Him there are neither parents nor lord." [svetasvatara Upanishad 6:9]2 "Na tasya pratima asti" "There is no likeness of Him." [svetasvatara Upanishad 4:19]3 The following verses from the Upanishad allude to the inability of man to imagine God in a particular form: "Na samdrse tisthati rupam asya, na caksusa pasyati kas canainam." "His form is not to be seen; no one sees Him with the eye." [svetasvatara Upanishad 4:20]4 1[The Principal Upanishad by S. Radhakrishnan page 447 and 448] [sacred Books of the East, volume 1 ‘The Upanishads part I’ page 93] 2[The Principal Upanishad by S. Radhakrishnan page 745] [sacred Books of the East, volume 15, ‘The Upanishads part II’ page 263.] 3[The Principal Upanishad by S. Radhakrishnan page 736 & 737] [sacred Books of the East, volume 15, ‘The Upanishads part II’ page no 253] 4[The Principal Upanishad by S. Radhakrishnan page 737] [sacred Books of the East, volume 15, ‘The Upanishads part II’ page no 253] THE VEDAS Vedas are considered the most sacred of all the Hindu scriptures. There are four principal Vedas: Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda and Atharvaveda. Yajurveda The following verses from the Yajurveda echo a similar concept of God: "na tasya pratima asti "There is no image of Him." [Yajurveda 32:3]5 "shudhama poapvidham" "He is bodyless and pure." [Yajurveda 40:8]6 "Andhatama pravishanti ye asambhuti mupaste" "They enter darkness, those who worship the natural elements" (Air, Water, Fire, etc.). "They sink deeper in darkness, those who worship sambhuti." [Yajurveda 40:9]7 Sambhuti means created things, for example table, chair, idol, etc. The Yajurveda contains the following prayer: "Lead us to the good path and remove the sin that makes us stray and wander." [Yajurveda 40:16]8 5[Yajurveda by Devi Chand M.A. page 377] 6[Yajurveda Samhita by Ralph T. H. Giffith page 538] 7[Yajurveda Samhita by Ralph T. H. Giffith page 538] 8[Yajurveda Samhita by Ralph T. H. Griffith page 541] Atharvaveda The Atharvaveda praises God in Book 20, hymn 58 and verse 3: "Dev maha osi" "God is verily great" [Atharvaveda 20:58:3]9 Rigveda The oldest of all the vedas is Rigveda. It is also the one considered most sacred by the Hindus. The Rigveda states in Book 1, hymn 164 and verse 46: "Sages (learned Priests) call one God by many names." [Rigveda 1:164:46] The Rigveda gives several different attributes to Almighty God. Many of these are mentioned in Rigveda Book 2 hymn 1. Among the various attributes of God, one of the beautiful attributes mentioned in the Rigveda Book II hymn 1 verse 3, is Brahma. Brahma means ‘The Creator’. Translated into Arabic it means Khaaliq. Muslims can have no objection if Almighty God is referred to as Khaaliq or ‘Creator’ or Brahma. However if it is said that Brahma is Almighty God who has four heads with each head having a crown, Muslims take strong exception to it. Describing Almighty God in anthropomorphic terms also goes against the following verse of Yajurveda: "Na tasya Pratima asti" "There is no image of Him." [Yajurveda 32:3] Another beautiful attribute of God mentioned in the Rigveda Book II hymn 1 verse 3 is Vishnu. Vishnu means ‘The Sustainer’. Translated into Arabic it means Rabb. Again, Muslims can have no objection if Almighty God is referred to as Rabb or 'Sustainer' or Vishnu. But the popular image of 9[Atharveda Samhita vol 2 William Dwight Whitney page 910] Vishnu among Hindus, is that of a God who has four arms, with one of the right arms holding the Chakra, i.e. a discus and one of the left arms holding a ‘conch shell’, or riding a bird or reclining on a snake couch. Muslims can never accept any image of God. As mentioned earlier this also goes against Svetasvatara Upanishad Chapter 4 verse 19. "Na tasya pratima asti" "There is no likeness of Him" The following verse from the Rigveda Book 8, hymn 1, verse 1 refer to the Unity and Glory of the Supreme Being: "Ma cid anyad vi sansata sakhayo ma rishanyata" "O friends, do not worship anybody but Him, the Divine One. Praise Him alone." [Rigveda 8:1:1]10 "Devasya samituk parishtutih" "Verily, great is the glory of the Divine Creator." [Rigveda 5:1:81]11 Brahma Sutra of Hinduism: The Brahma Sutra of Hinduism is: "Ekam Brahm, dvitiya naste neh na naste kinchan" "There is only one God, not the second; not at all, not at all, not in the least bit." Thus only a dispassionate study of the Hindu scriptures can help one understand the concept of God in Hinduism. 0[Rigveda Samhita vol. 9, pages 2810 and 2811 by Swami Satya Prakash Sarasvati and Satyakam Vidyalankar] 11[Rigveda Samhita vol. 6, pages 1802 and 1803 by Swami Satya Prakash Saraswati and Satyakam Vidyalankar] as from the sun." The Prophecy confirms: The name of the Prophet as Ahmed since Ahmed is an Arabic name. Many translators misunderstood it to be ‘Ahm at hi’ and translated the mantra as "I alone have acquired the real wisdom of my father". Prophet was given eternal law, i.e. the Shariah. The Rishi was enlightened by the Shariah of Prophet Muhammad. The Qur’an says in Surah Saba Chapter 34 verse 28 (34:28): "We have not sent thee but as a universal (Messenger) to men, giving them glad tidings and warning them (against sin), but most men understand not." Source: you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_saif_w.tripod(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/interfaith/genera.../inhinduism.htm An account from a hindu girl who converted to Islam you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetmuslimconverts(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/newmuslims/F..._Nur_Fatima.htm A newspaper article of 40 hindu families converting to Islam! you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetdeccanherald(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/Content/Apr282...n=scrollingnews Here are some very interesting video clips: link of a hindu convert to Islam you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_video.google(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/videoplay?docid=6030257247245417380 Link of Muhammed(saw) in hindu scriptures: you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutubeislam(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/video/3371/Muh...--Dr-Zakir-Naik Similarities between hinduism and Islam you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetislamictube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch/200457352...-Dr.-Zakir-Naik From hinduism to Islam you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetbiharanjuman(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/Deedat/From-Hi...sm-to-Islam.htm you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_video.google(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/videoplay?docid=-6458879132042612732 Christian, Buddhist, Hindu convert to Islam in Malaysia you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_uk.youtube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=y9qRSsSSN_k&...feature=related How a Hindu Brahmin Turns to Islam you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_vids.myspace(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/index.cfm?fuseacti...ideoID=37353612 Hindu women converts to Islam you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetturntoislam(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/forum/showthread.php?t=25759 Hindu turned Athiest Turns to Islam you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_uk.youtube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=WE8Jqv_v0DI Ahmed deedat videos on comparitive religion(Very good) you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_qaazi.wordpress(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/category/lectures/ahmed-deedat/ Watch videos of Converts around the world turning to Islam you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetusislam(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/video/converts_to_islam.htm
  18. Hijab’ and the Freedom of Women A Speech given By Mawlana Taqi Usmani, Rendered into English By Dr. Munir Munshey The subject of today’s discussion is the extent and scope of ‘hijab’ as defined and outlined by the Qur’an and the sunnah. It focuses on the purpose and purport of ‘purdah’, its effect and impact on the society, and the importance of its injunctions in Islam. In order to grasp fully the significance of ‘Hijab’, one needs to comprehend the basic premises of Islam and the laws of ‘shariat’. One needs to address the all too important question: why does woman _ and indeed, man _ exist on earth? For what purpose was she created? Nowadays, many questions are being raised about the status of women in Islam. It is alleged that the rule of ‘purdah’ in Islam restricts the participation of women in the political and economic life of the nation. It banishes her behind the veil to suffocate, and confines her within her home to languish. It paralyses her potential and diminishes her presence in society. This propaganda is the result of the onslaught of western thought, and the failure to understand the purpose of the creation of woman and the pivotal role she plays in the organization of family. Many in the present age have lost the belief in the presence of God. Each day they drift further away from reality, and sink further into the sea of secularism. Allah has displayed many proofs and signs in the universe sufficient to convince even the staunchest of skeptics. But today’s discourse cannot benefit those who lack the belief in the existence of God. However, those who accept Allah to be the creator of the cosmos, would readily accept that He is the creator of both the man and the woman. That being so, it is perhaps more apposite to let the creator Himself tell us the purpose of His creation. Why did He create man, and woman? Why does she possess the characteristics and capabilities so different from those of a man? With fire and fanfare, women these days are being exhorted to stand shoulder to shoulder with men at all workplaces. Western philosophy spreads such notions all over the world, but it fails to take into account the fact that not only do men and women have different physiques, but they also have different physiological and psychological functions. Their biological clocks tick at different rhythms. They were not meant to perform the exact same functions within the society, else they would not be endowed with such unique capabilities. The temperament of a woman is different from that of a man. Her instincts and intuitions contrast sharply with those of a man. She perceives the world in a different light and responds to it in a different style. Men and women use different parts of their brain while performing the same tasks. Allah has created the two sexes along different lines, and for different purposes. Although men and women supplement and complement each other, yet each has unique potentials and proclivities. To contend that there exists no difference between the man and the woman is to revolt against nature itself. It also runs contrary to everyday observation. No eye can fail to evince the differences between the two. They are all too obvious! The fads and fashions of the new era attempt to efface the differences between the man and the woman. They try their utmost but in vain. Women put on men’s clothes, and men wear clothes fit enough for a woman. Men adopt women’s hairstyles, while women wear their hair short in an attempt to imitate a man. Despite that the unique physical and psychological attributes of men and women cannot be masked. They are unique beings with unique abilities and attributes. The humankind is divided into two sexes having distinct and separate persona. The creator, Allah, must have done so for a specific purpose. How may we come to understand that purpose? Simple! We may just ask the One who has created. Ask Him, “For what purpose did you create man? And for what purpose did you create the woman? Why did you make them so different?” We can pose this question to Him through His prophets and His messengers, particularly the last and the seal of the prophets, Muhammad, Sullala ho Alaihe wa sullum. The human efforts and endeavors are a composite of two primary fields of activity. One is centered on the home and the other is the world beyond the confines of his home. The teachings of the Qur’an and the noble prophet, SAW, establish this fact beyond a shadow of doubt. The psychological health of humanity demands equal attention to both these spheres of activity. Life loses its balance if one or the other is neglected. The order and harmony within the home is just as important as the affairs outside the home. It is as essential as the means of livelihood. Perhaps more so! Life achieves its maximum potential and functions efficiently and properly when both aspects of life _ the home as well as the world beyond _ go hand in hand. Sanity is strained when the balance shifts in favor of one or the other. When the home and family diminish in importance, both men and women become beset with anxiety. Allah Himself has effected the division of labor. He has charged the male of the species with the responsibility of running the affairs outside the home. Man bears the burden of acquiring the means of livelihood and subsistence. He must shoulder the economic, the political and the social responsibilities. Women on the other hand have been awarded the affairs of the home. They should rise to the occasion and take charge of their responsibilities. The commandment of Allah awarding the management of the home to the women, and the outside to the man should suffice. That fact alone is enough! One may not protest against this division of labor. One dare not disobey. Logic also dictates that such a division of labor is only fair. Any other distribution of functions would not be equitable. It would make life miserable for men as well as women. A woman does not possess the physical attributes of a man. That fact cannot be denied and goes without saying. Allah has bestowed strength, vigor and vitality upon the man far more than He has upon a woman. That is self-evident. The tasks outside the home require the use of physical force and raw muscular strength. They cannot be accomplished without expending considerable physical energy. It is therefore befitting, and in keeping with the laws of nature, that man should be required to perform the tasks outside the home. Running the affairs of the home, on the other hand, should be the responsibility of the woman. Earlier, I recited before you verse 33 of chapter 33 (surah Al-Ahzaab) from the Qur’an. In that verse Allah, SWT, has directly addressed the chaste and modest ladies of the house of the prophet, SAW, and has commanded all Muslim ladies to: “Stay put in your homes” 33:33 It means that ladies should establish themselves in their homes firmly, and stay there steadfastly. It does not just forbid women to leave home without a valid reason. It also expounds a fundamental fact about the woman: that she was created to take charge and manage the matters of her home. She should abide by her home and make it the center of her attention and activities. Such division of labor existed between Hazrat Ali, RA, and his wife, Hazrat Fatima, RA. Accordingly, Ali, RA, performed all the tasks outside his home while Fatima, RA, managed the affairs within the home. She maintained the household, ground the wheat into flour, fetched the water from the well and cooked the meals. How women were lured out of their homes As the value of piety and chastity plummeted in the society, the natural distribution of domain between the man and the woman was considered unnecessary. Decency, modesty and virtue were discarded, and in its place vulgarity and lewdness were installed as the aim and the ideal. ‘Hijab’ and chastity began to be viewed as obsolete; in fact an obstacle. In the west, the winds of freedom shattered and blew away all the moral values. Men came to regard the presence of women at home as a double trouble. On the one hand their lustful nature loved to frolic and enjoy the amorous encounters with women without consequences, and with total impunity. On the other hand they considered it a burden and a penalty to provide financial support to their wives. So, men devised a devious and sly scheme to solve both their problems. They gave it an innocent and enticing name __ the freedom of women. Women were very carefully taught that the era of freedom has finally dawned upon you. For too long, you were locked behind the four walls of your homes. It is now time for you to come out and participate alongside men in all walks of life. The avenues of politics and government have so far been closed to you. But now come on out and join the struggle of life as an equal. Honor and status of all kinds await your arrival. Poor woman was taken in by this sly slogan and left her home. The propagandists used all the time-tested techniques. With much fanfare and uproar, they managed to persuade the woman that she is being set free after centuries of bondage, and that her misery is finally over. Using such a seductive slogan as a smokescreen, they dragged the woman out of the sanctity of her home, and on to the uncertainty of the road. The slogan was just a hoax. She was granted the honor of being a clerk in the public and private offices. The glamorous status of private secretary to a total stranger was conferred upon her. She was allowed to occupy the high office of a steno typist. She was offered the opportunity to become the ‘sales girl’ and the ‘model girl’, so that trade may flourish. To entice the customers and to get them to buy more goods, every part of her was put on public display and disgraced. The religion of nature, the natural religion, Islam, had laid the crown of honor and grace on her head, and had placed the garland of chastity, modesty and decency around her neck. She was made the custodian of virtue and moral values, and was granted the status of honor and esteem. That same woman is now reduced to being a showpiece in commercial institutions. She is now an object of entertainment for men. Now she relieves the fatigue of tired minds and bodies Today all menial jobs have been awarded to women. The slogan had promised them freedom and an entry into the vistas of politics and power. But a quick survey would expose the hoax. During that period, how many women got to be the presidents, vice presidents or the Prime ministers in the government? How many were appointed judges, or were granted other positions of high honor? The facts and figures would undoubtedly reveal that the ratio of such women is a few in a few hundred thousands. That goes for the western countries as well. Precious few were granted high positions but the rest of the women were callously and ruthlessly pushed out into the streets to fend for themselves. That is the saddest and the scariest part of the fraud committed in the name of the ‘freedom of women’. The restaurants all across America are ‘manned’ mostly by women. Seldom are men seen waiting on tables. Women render that service almost exclusively. At hotels, women clean the rooms and the toilets, change bed sheets and serve as room attendants. In the stores, very few men are employed to sell merchandise as ‘salesmen’. Usually women are hired to be ‘salesgirls’. Women staff the reception rooms of all offices. Thus the fair sex, who was granted freedom from the prison of home, is awarded the sole guardianship of all the glamorous positions. She is the waitress, the receptionist, the clerk, the salesgirl, and the room attendant. The power of the propaganda has impressed the impressionable minds and has disseminated a strange and preposterous logic around the world. Disgrace it is, if a woman manages her own household. She is being punished and imprisoned if she stays home and cares for her husband and children, or her parents, brothers and sisters. What a logic! Dignity for a woman consists of cooking for others at restaurants. She is privileged if she hosts strangers at hotels and in planes. The act worthy of respect for her is to put on a smile on her face and greet strangers entering shops and stores. ‘Freedom’ is to pamper flirtatious bosses in private and secluded offices. All that is not disgrace! Rather, that is grace being conferred upon a ‘liberated woman’. INNA LILLAHE WA INNA ILAIHE RAJEOON! But the irony does not end there. A woman endures eight hours of hard work and disgrace, serving those that are not family. She earns her own livelihood but her job is far from over. She is not relieved of the household chores. They still await her at home. The majority of women in Europe and America work outside their homes for eight hours and then rush back home to cook, serve dinner, do the dishes, and clean the house. A Strange Argument A pet and popular argument is advanced these days to draw the women out of their homes. According to it, this is the age of national reconstruction and we cannot afford to let half of our population be a wasted asset and a paralyzed potential. We need women to progress and build our nation. This argument is being presented with fervor, as if all the men have already been employed in the task of nation building. As if the goal of a hundred percent employment for men has already been met, and there are thousands of jobs still lying vacant. As if there was a dire shortage of manpower! This argument is being presented in a country where even the most qualified men are jobless. They are frustrated and out on the streets looking for a job. Tens of college graduates send in their resume even when an opportunity opens up for a peon or a chauffeur. Holders of doctorate and master’s degree seem anxious to apply for a job, as prestigious as that of a clerk. Let us stop and think. Let us first provide work for all the frustrated men and utilize them for nation building, and to achieve progress. Until then there is hardly a need to worry about the other half of the population _ the part that is a wasted asset and a paralyzed potential. The woman is neither a wasted asset, nor a paralyzed potential. Allah has entrusted the woman with an all-important task of establishing and maintaining the family values. She is to be the manager and the administrator of an important domain of human existence __ the home. Her departure has turned it into a cold and uninhabited house with a locked front door. Both parents are out of home and the children are at school or in the nurseries. Thus, the family system is destroyed. A woman was meant to stay at home so she could manage the affairs of her home, and so she could train and educate her children. She can strengthen their character, and teach them manners and morals. The very best education the child will ever receive is at his mother’s lap. That is where he learns the proper way to live. In the western society, today, children do not receive the tender loving care from their parents, and as a result the family system is ruined. The husband and wife both work outside their home at different places. A free and uninhibited atmosphere prevails at both work places. So, at times the views and interests of the couple begin to diverge and the marriage undergoes a strain. Illegitimate extra marital liaisons begin to develop and the marriage breaks down. Divorce drives the final nail into the coffin. The home is destroyed! One could accuse me of being prejudiced, had the western thinkers not raised the same concerns. Mikhail Gorbachev, the president of the erstwhile superpower wrote a book entitled “Perestroika”. His book has been famous throughout the world ever since it was published, not too long ago. It contains a chapter, ‘status of women’, which describes the condition of women in the western world. The ex-president of the modern day super power, the Soviet Union, writes: “The extent of women’s emancipation is often viewed as a yardstick to be used in judging the social and political level of society. The Soviet state put an end to the discrimination against women so typical of tsarist Russia with determination and without compromise. Women gained a legally-guaranteed social status equal with men. We are proud of what the Soviet government has given women: the same right to work as men, equal pay for equal work and social security. Women have been given every opportunity to get an education, to have a career, and to participate in social and political activities. Without the contribution and selfless work of women, we would not have built a new society nor won the war against fascism. But over the years of our difficult and heroic history, we failed to pay attention to women’s specific rights and needs arising from their role as mother and home-maker, and their indispensable educational function as regards children. Engaged in scientific research, working on construction sites, in production and in the services, and involved in creative activities, women no longer have enough time to perform their everyday duties at home – housework, the upbringing of children and the creation of a good family atmosphere. We have discovered that many of our problems – in children’s and young people’s behavior, in our morals, culture and in production – are partially caused by the weakening of family ties and slack attitude to family responsibilities. This is a paradoxical result of our sincere and politically justified desire to make women equal with men in everything. Now, in the course of perestroika, we have begun to overcome this shortcoming. That is why we are now holding heated debates in the press, in public organizations, at work and at home, about the question of what we should do to make it possible for women to return to their purely womanly mission.” The above is a direct quote from his book. It can be verified by anyone at any place. Every public library should have a copy. The society allowed the family system to decline and disintegrate because it failed to realize the purpose of the creation of woman. That was the prime cause. Allah has created her, so she could establish and then maintain the value system of the family; so she could run the affairs of the home. The essence and emphasis of all efforts in the modern economic age is to increase the wealth in the society, both individual and national. Can money provide any benefit all by itself? Can one eat money, the currency notes and coins, to satisfy one’s hunger? Money cannot benefit man, unless he can use it to obtain goods and services, as well as rest comfort and solace. Unless he can buy the peace of mind! Recently, a survey was published in a magazine. It looked at all the businesses in order to determine the most profitable one in the world today. The finding of the survey: the best and the most prosperous career in the world today is modeling. A model girl receives up to twenty five million dollars for a day’s work. That much a day to provide her nude and semi-nude pictures that adorn the ads of commercial products! That day she lets her employer shoot as many pictures of her as he wants. He gets to choose the pose, the angle, the attire or the lack of it, and the background. He then uses those pictures to market his product. She has sold her services and the purchaser may use it in any manner he deems fit. The real worth and value of the woman plummeted when she left the sanctity of her home. As a result, she is now a salable commodity. The touching tale of a greedy Jew A scholar narrates an old story of a wealthy and greedy Jew. He owned heaps of gold and silver. Like Qaroon mentioned in the Qur’an, he too had amassed a huge treasure. Back then the rich used to store their wealth in underground vaults. He was afraid that the guard appointed over the treasure was a thief. So he entered his vault secretly in order to count his treasure. He did not inform the guard. The mechanism of the vault allowed the door to be locked from the inside, but it could only be opened from the outside. Absentmindedly, as he entered the vault he pulled the door shut behind him, and locked it. Now the vault could only be opened from the outside. The guard stationed outside had no reason to enter the vault. He considered the treasure safe, and did not have a clue that the owner of the treasure lay trapped inside. When the Jew finished counting his treasure, he found no way to leave the vault. He was trapped, and he was hungry. He had the entire treasure with him, but it could not help his hunger a bit. He was thirsty, but all that wealth could not quench his thirst. He was sleepy and looking at his wealth. But it could not get him a bed. Without food and water, he survived a few days. Then, surrounded by heaps of gold and silver, he breathed his last. The moral of the story is that money means nothing by itself. It provides no benefit unless the system works well and the path is proper. Today, the world insists that national production will go up if women leave home and join the work force. It will generate more wealth. Of course that is true. The numbers will grow and there will be more money to count! Perhaps we will achieve progress, but we will surely pay a heavy price. The family and the moral values will be ruined forever. Like the Jew in the story, we will find the treasure in the vault, but we will also find ourselves locked in the vault. Wouldn’t that be a total loss! In this verse of the Qur’an, ‘stay put in your homes’, Allah has pointed out that He has created woman so she may provide a paramount service for humanity. She can strengthen the family system and manage the home front. To focus entirely on outside matters does not serve any useful purpose, if the home is neglected and stays dreary and desolate. Whatever one earns by venturing out is beneficial only if it helps secure peace and solace at home. One labors outside, so one may enjoy the fruits of one’s labors in peace at home. If the peace of mind is missing then the wealth earned by venturing out is useless. It has little advantage. Children need mothering An infant requires extraordinary care and attention. It needs to be nursed and nurtured with love, patience and a tender touch. Allah has awarded these special duties to woman because she is endowed with special nurturing instincts and the mother’s love. She has the innate talent for such a tiresome task. She can discipline and educate the children and mold them along proper lines. She can establish the family system. Allah has not blessed the male with the same degree of mothering skills. The child, too, loves the mother far more. When hurt, the child at once calls for his mother no matter where he happens to be. Seldom does he call for his father. This is so because the child feels that his mother will find the cure for his troubles. That special bond helps the mother train, educate, and mold the child. The father cannot perform that task as well as a mother can. He will not be as successful, if he tries to raise the child without the help of the mother. Such experiments have failed before. These days, some people trust the nurseries to raise the children for them. But remember! Nurseries do not provide a mother or her tender loving care. Only the mother does! Children cannot be raised like chicken at a poultry farm. They need constant care, endless love, and a stable home. Only the mother has that much love to give. She must stay home and assume control of the affairs at home. The woman, who refuses to do that, actually revolts against nature. What we witness around us these days are the consequences of just such a revolt. The Qur’an had commanded women fourteen hundred years ago to ‘stay put in your homes’. The home is your world. It is your life and your afterlife. Do not ever think that the man is more fortunate because he ventures out and performs deeds of greatness and achieves glory. Do not yearn to go out looking for greatness and glory. Just think for a while. Home is where greatness of all sorts is founded. Your glory is right where you are __ at home. Your deed would be greater if you can instill in your children the conviction of faith, and raise them up as God-fearing and righteous individuals. That accomplishment of yours will forever triumph over all great achievements of men. Your deed, if you raise just one child in accordance with the ‘deen’ of Islam, far exceeds in greatness all the great deeds of men put together. Because of false and preposterous propaganda, many in our society have begun to follow the west blindly. Gradually, such ladies became unmindful of the need to provide religious education to their children. Even the ladies who stay home have begun to entertain doubts. Perhaps, the propagandists are right. Perhaps, we really are locked up behind four walls. Perhaps, the ladies who go out of their homes are modern, and more progressive than we are. Let such ladies think again! Let them understand well, that the service they perform by staying home is priceless. There is no substitute for it! It is not possible to perform this service by leaving home, staying in the market place, and waiting on customers in stores. Nor should ladies look at 'purdah' as a source of hardship for them. In fact, 'purdah' is ingrained in the very nature of women. It is a part of her animus. The Urdu word for woman, 'aurat' actually means something that deserves to be concealed. Unless her nature is deformed and distorted, a woman feels peace and pleasure in 'purdah'. Such a pleasure and peace cannot be experienced by moving about in plain view, freely and fully exposed to the prying eyes of strangers. Therefore, 'purdah' is an integral part of modesty. It appears as if the eyes of the holy prophet, SAW, had witnessed the conditions that prevail in the society today. He had warned that closer to the doomsday, the society would see women whose hair would resemble the humps of lean camels. At the time of the prophet, SAW, people could not ever imagine women styling their hair to resemble the hump of a camel. But just look around now. That is exactly how some women wear their hair. The prophet, SAW, said that these women appear to be dressed, but they are closer to being nude. Their garments are either too transparent, or too tight to adequately cover them. The contours and curves of their bodies are all too exposed. That is the result of the loss of shame. At the time of the prophet, SAW, it was inconceivable for a woman to don such apparel. She had shame! Her temperament forbade her to wear such clothes. But today, the neckline has drifted down and the chest is bare. Could these be called clothes? Clothes are meant to keep the woman in touch with her nature. Clothes are meant to clothe and cloak, not leave the body bare and exposed. Immodest and shameful scenes are commonplace during wedding celebrations and other parties. This goes on even in some of the homes of religious people. Their men attend the ‘masjid’ regularly and perform ‘salat’ in the front rows. But what goes on in their homes during the wedding ceremonies and other parties is another matter. Not too long ago a mixed gathering at a wedding ceremony, or at any other party in a Muslim home was unthinkable. Now there is a flood of mixed gatherings where men and women mingle. Women attend these parties wearing makeup, perfumes and alluring dresses. They are unconcerned about modesty. The thought of 'purdah' does not cross their minds! To add insult to injury, fond memories of these parties are captured on videotapes, so that those who could not attend may not miss the fun altogether. So that others may watch the tape and enjoy the scenes repeatedly. All this goes on, and yet they are pious people. They are punctual at the masjid. Nothing shocks or shakes them up, and their foreheads do not crease up with concern. Nothing stirs in their hearts to try to stop it. Just stop and think! Why shouldn't a torment visit us? Insecurity and lawlessness abounds. Life, honor and property are at risk. Why should it not be? In fact, it is a reprieve from Allah and a blessing of the prophet, SAW, that a doom did not descend upon us, and sweep us all away. However, our deeds are such that a wrath of Allah may strike, and a torment may kill us all. All this is the result of apathy and indifference on the part of the elders. Their conscience does not bite them. Nothing is ever said or done to stop the children who are rushing head on towards hell. No one has the courage or concern to grab their hand and hold them back. Hardly ever does it bother the parents that they are actually pushing their children into the abysmal pit of hell. Each day they watch the youngster go further astray, but say nothing. Nor do they let others offer a word of advice to their kids. They say, "Brother, they are the youth of modern age. Let them be. Do not place obstacles in their path." Thus, bit by a bit, parents surrender to their children and the problem continues to mushroom. There is still time to effect a change. The tide can be turned if the head of household and other responsible folks resolve firmly to forbid a few things. They should neither allow mixed gatherings, nor let videotapes in their homes. They should make a pledge that the sanctity of ‘purdah’ will not be violated at any gathering in their homes! A dam can still be raised against the flood of mixed gatherings. The deluge has not overwhelmed us, yet. Fear that time when a well wisher, no matter how sincere or impassioned, will find the situation too bad to remedy. At least those who call themselves religious, and invoke the name of ‘deen’ and Islam, those who are in contact with the religious scholars, should make that pledge. They must vow to fight the tide of mixed gatherings Boycott mixed gatherings Our elders did not teach us to practice the ways of boycott, but remember there comes a time when one must take a stand. Either they respect and appreciate our beliefs or we do not attend their parties. Are we afraid that the refusal to attend the mixed gatherings at weddings will irk the host and promote bitterness and ill will? Will it give the host a cause to complain? Just think about it a little. You are bothered that your absence will offend them. But do they care if you take umbrage? You are a ‘purdah’ observing lady. They should acknowledge that fact and accommodate your need, if they really wish for you to come. If they are indifferent to your need, you have no obligation towards them. Tell them plainly that you do not intend to attend such parties. Believe it! This flood of mixed gatherings will not ebb, until some ladies brace themselves and stand firm. Must you always yield and let them have their way? Have a spine, and refuse to back down. Else, this flood will not halt. Maulana Muhammad Idrees Kandalvi was one of our elders. May Allah raise his status in heaven! Even in this age, Allah raised among us those deserving paradise. The seating in his living room was floor-based, and the ladies of his home felt that the living room must keep pace with the changing times. They asked the Maulana to end the antiquated system of floor seating, and instead furnish the room with chairs and sofas. The Maulana said: the sofas do not give me comfort, and I do not like them. I would much rather relax on the floor. The ladies said: so you rest better seated on the floor, but have some regard for the world _ others who come to visit you. To that, the Maulana gave a strange reply. He said: should I change to suit the world? Tell me, has this world ever changed to suit me? Has anyone altered his lifestyle in any way for my sake? If the world doesn't care about my feelings and my preferences, why should I care about how others feel? Why should you have any regard for a person who finds no respect in his heart for your beliefs? The one who attaches no weight or value to your views, and to whom your ‘purdah’ has no worth? A woman who does not observe ‘purdah’ would feel no discomfort if she sat in a separate ladies enclosure. She will endure no harm if men did not see her. But a ‘purdah’ observing lady would feel terrible if she was unveiled and had to appear before men. To her, that would be like a bolt from the blue. Should you then attend the parties that do not have separate arrangement for ladies? Would you, simply because they might take offence, otherwise? Let them! Do you not resent their indifference? You should also take offense sometimes. Tell them plainly and right to their face: why are such gatherings being held? Why are we being invited to such parties? Unless this is done the flood will not ebb. Some people arrange for a separate section for ladies. But it is only nominally so. Although separate sections are designated for men and women, yet scores of men frequent the section that is meant for women only. They enter and leave as they please. They joke and jest, and shoot movies and stills. They enjoy themselves, poke fun at each other, and even tease women. All that goes on and yet, technically the enclosures are exclusive. Why do women not take a stand at these parties? Why do they not assert that they are ‘purdah’ observing women, and that all men should be expelled from women's section? Many disputes break out during weddings and other celebrations. Bitterness and hard feelings sometimes spring up over minor matters. Resentments often lead to verbal arguments. People find many reasons to take umbrage, and vent their anger. Some feel offended if they fail to receive due respect during ceremonies and rites. If you are a ‘purdah’ observing lady, then do not display your displeasure over anything else. Do not be annoyed if the welcome is not quite as hearty or the hospitality seems deficient. However, you must not remain silent if your faith and beliefs are being ransacked. You must stand up and declare it openly, loud and clear, that it is not possible for you to bear any violation of ‘purdah’. Remember, until some men and women resolve to do just that, modesty cannot be saved and the flood of mixed gatherings will only get worse. At the very least, those who invoke the name of Islam must be determined to do all they possibly can. Else, this flood will not halt. For the sake of Allah make that commitment, or be prepared for the punishment of Allah. Is there anyone with enough courage to face the terrible torment of Allah? If not, then resolve to fight the flood of mixed gatherings among the Muslims. My father, Hazrat maulana Mufti Muhammed Shafi, may Allah bless him, often gave this useful advice. It is worth remembering! He would say: people often complain about the times being bad, and the society being rotten. Rather, you should create your own atmosphere. Quit associating with those who do not have the same beliefs as you do. Their path and yours diverge. Socialize with those who share your views. Form your own circle of friends who would aid each other in this matter. Lessen your contact with those who are an obstacle. The consequences of mixed gatherings The corruption of the family system is one of the worst consequences of the woman’s departure from the home scene. There are others. The pull that a man feels towards a woman, and a woman towards a man, is a natural phenomenon. Allah has placed this instinct in both. It is an undeniable fact and fancy phrases and notions cannot cover up the basic truth. The free mixing of men and women and the uninhibited environment feeds the desire in them to draw closer. It provides them opportunities to meet and converse on a regular basis. There are no obstacles in their path and their association advances to the next level. Sooner or later they succumb to their lust and stumble into sin. It happens all the time, and all around us. We see it every day with our very eyes. The way to sin is smooth and unencumbered. In the United States and other western countries, any person can opt to gratify his or her sexual passions through illegitimate means. It will raise no eyebrows and break no laws. The society will not flinch. The doors to evil are all wide open. Neither the parents nor the teacher, nor even the society and the government can do anything against the onslaught of evil. All of that is the inevitable result of mixed gatherings and the free mingling between men and women. The western society places no restrictions on consensual sex. Men make advances and women eagerly encourage them. Men, therefore, have absolutely no reason to force themselves upon women. Yet, the incidence of rape is higher in the United States than in any other country of the world. It occurs once every forty-six seconds, according to one estimate. The consensual sex is free, easy and encouraged. Why should there be so much perversion in a society that so adamantly insists upon, and encourages free mixing between men and women? Man finds contentment and feels fulfilled as long as he reins in his sexuality and seeks to express it in a normal way. His lust turns him into a monster when he crosses the natural limit and strays beyond its bounds. His sexual appetite becomes an obsession and an all-consuming addiction. It becomes a hunger that forever remains unsatiated, and a thirst that can never be quenched. He becomes restless, aggressive and unruly, as he drifts further away from nature. There are no other boundaries, once he crosses the natural barriers and steps into the domain of the devil. His lust can no longer be contained. His unbridled curiosity will seek out variety, and he will continue to want more. That, in fact, is the logical consequence and the natural outcome of crossing the natural limit, and of allowing the free mixing between men and women. Just a slight slip of modesty and morality leads to the results that we see all around us. All this because we ignored and rebelled against the order of Allah. Women were ordered by Allah to ‘stay put in your homes’. Today, we have set this order aside and have begun to move along an altogether different and dangerous path. Permission to leave home when needed Rest assured that the command of Allah to ‘stay put in your home’ does not banish women inside the four walls of their home. They are not in prison. By no means does the order suggest that the women should be confined to their homes and kept under lock and key. Women need to leave home for various reasons. They have family and relatives and other close friends they would like to visit. They have personal needs that require them to leave home. They may also need to go out for entertainment. The order of Allah does not prevent women, ever, to fulfill their legitimate needs. Allah has, in fact, exempted the woman from the burden of having to earn her own living. At no stage of her life does she have to go out and earn money to cover her expenses. Before marriage her father, and later on her husband, is morally and legally obligated to pay for her needs and requirements. That is her divinely ordained right! So, financial problems should not be any of her concerns. But there are women who neither have a father nor a husband, nor any other means of financial support. Such women would need to leave home to earn a living. Of course, Islamic law permits them to do that. As mentioned earlier, she is also permitted to go out for a legitimate and wholesome entertainment. Prophet Muhammad, SAW, took his wife Aisha, RA, outside the home several times. A hadith narrates that once a companion approached the prophet, SAW, and said, “Oh messenger of Allah, I want to invite you (to my home for dinner)”. The prophet, SAW asked, “Is Aisha (also invited) along with me?” Those were simple and less formal times. The companion had not planned to invite Hazrat Aisha, RA. So he said frankly, “Oh prophet of Allah, I want only to invite you.” The prophet, SAW, was also quite frank, and said, “ In that case, no!” He meant that since his wife, Aisha, is not included in the invitation, therefore he would not accept. A few days later, the companion returned and once again extended the invitation. “Oh messenger of Allah, I want to invite you.” The prophet, SAW, asked the same question, “Is Aisha with me?” The companion had the same reply, “Oh prophet of Allah, only you are invited.” The prophet declined again, “In that case, no!” A few days later the companion came for the third time to invite him, and added, “Oh prophet of Allah, I really do hope that you would accept my invitation.” The prophet, SAW, repeated the question, “Is Aisha with me?” This time the companion said, “Yes, oh messenger of Allah, Aisha is also invited along with you.” Now, the prophet, SAW, accepted the invitation, “In that case, yes!” The companion’s house was not in the town of Medina. It was at the outskirts, considerable distance away. The Prophet SAW, left for the companion’s house along with his wife, Aisha, RA. An open field lay on the way, and there was no other person present there at the time. In that open field, prophet SAW raced Aisha RA. Running is a wholesome and healthy activity, and the prophet, SAW, arranged for his wives to have such a wholesome entertainment. Ladies do require entertainment, and such activities are permitted, provided they take place within the limits of ‘purdah’, and not with strangers. Some narrations suggest that the ‘racing’ activity took place on the same day as the ‘invitation.’ Other narrations suggest that the incidents are unrelated and occurred on different days. Thus the ‘shariat’ has permitted women to leave home in order to fulfil their needs, and to discharge their obligations. It has imposed certain conditions for them to follow. A woman may not go out in an ostentatious manner, flaunting her figure and showing off her beauty and charm. Right after it gave the command, ‘stay put in your homes’, the Quran went on to say ‘and do not display your charms in the manner of the earlier days of ignorance’. That is, if there does arise the need for you to leave home, do not display your charms. Do not let your beauty and your adornments attract attention. That would be a practice reminiscent of the days of ignorance. Leave home you may, but you must meet the requirement of ‘purdah’. A loose-fitted outer garment must cover the entire body. The familiar ‘burqa’ is commonly used for that purpose in our times. During the times of the prophet, a (large sheet of cloth) ‘chador’ was in vogue. It covered the entire body from head to toe. Letting the women go out and be away from home entails an apparent risk. It might, through the back door, usher in the free mixing between men and women and its resultant evil outcome. ‘Purdah’ effectively checks that tendency. It nips the evil in its bud. Some people claim that the rules of ‘purdah’ were meant only for the pious, chaste and modest ladies of the house of the prophet, SAW. Ironically, they cite the same verse to make their case. They argue that since this verse specifically advises the ladies of the house of the prophet, therefore the command is for them specifically and not for all women. That inference is wrong not only because it runs contrary to the actions of the companions, but also because it fails the test of reason. Many commands of Allah are enumerated in that verse in succession. It is illogical to claim that only the first of the series of commands is specific for the ladies of the house of the prophet, SAW, while the commands that follow are for all women in general. The very next command in the verse says, ‘and do not display your charms in the manner of the earlier days of ignorance.’ Was that command specific for the ladies of the house of the prophet, SAW? Are the rest of the ladies permitted to display their charms, flaunt their figure, and flash their bodies in the manner of the earlier days of ignorance? Naturally, that injunction is meant for all women. The next command in the series says, ‘and establish salat’. Obviously all women are ordered to establish ‘salat’, not just the ladies of the house of the prophet, SAW. The same is true for the next command, ‘pay the zakat’. All women have to pay ‘zakat’. Finally, the verse commands all women to ‘obey Allah and His messenger’. Could one say that only the pious ladies of the house of the prophet, SAW, are obligated to obey Allah and His messenger? Are the rest of the ladies exempt from that order? Can they disobey Allah with impunity? The text and the context of the verse clearly indicate that all commands are for all women. The second person, feminine and plural forms of the verbs have been used to convey these commands. That is specific for women __ all women. The entire Muslim nation has been enjoined to observe the rules of ‘purdah’. The purpose of ‘purdah’ and the segregation of the sexes is to eliminate evil from the society. Why make these rules of ‘purdah’ exclusive for the wives of the prophet? Was indiscretion feared only from them? Are all other women immune from the prompting of the devil? Ladies more chaste, modest, and upright than the wives of the prophet, SAW, do not exist! They were purer than a lily in a lake. Is there any possibility at all, that they could think of committing an evil act? Such pure and pious ladies, too, were ordered to cover themselves outside their homes. Of course the order is equally valid, if not more, for all believing ladies for all times to come. Because, compared to the wives of the prophet, SAW, other ladies are far more likely to stumble into an immoral act. Another verse of the Qur’an extends the command directly to every believing women, thereby removing all lingering doubts. “Oh prophet! Ask your wives and daughters, and the women of the believers to wrap a loose outer garment completely around their bodies (leaving the face and the figure unobservable)” 59:33 Can there be a more specific and unambiguous order? ‘Jilabeeb’, the word used to describe the loose outer garment, is the plural of the word ‘jilbaab’ which means a ‘chador’ (a large sheet of cloth) that a woman wraps around herself, covering the entire body from head to toe. The command goes beyond that. It uses the word ‘yadneen’ to describe how a woman must wear the ‘jilbaab’. The body and figure of the woman should be concealed completely, and then the ‘jilbaab’ should be pulled down from the head in the manner of a veil. That is what the word ‘yadneen’ conveys. After this clarification, do we need any other detail? ‘Purdah’ in the state of ‘Ihraam’ We all know that during hajj (pilgrimage), a woman must not let any cloth touch her face while she is in the state of ‘ihraam’. Men must not cover their heads and women must keep the cloth away from their face. That is the requirement of ‘ihraam’, the attire of hajj. How can the command of Allah concerning ‘purdah’ and the requirement of ‘ihraam’ be obeyed at the same time? Let us see how the ladies of the house of the prophet, SAW, observed ‘purdah’ when the prophet, SAW took his wives for hajj. Hazrat Aisha, RA, narrates: we traveled on camels when we went for hajj. We would turn the veil up above our heads when there was no stranger within sight. On our heads, we wore a gear containing a short rod that jutted a few inches in front of our faces. Any time a stranger or a caravan passed, we pulled the veil down over the rod in such a manner that the cloth would not touch our faces. The above narration indicates that the wives of the prophet, SAW, observed ‘purdah’ even in the state of ‘ihraam’. A hadith is mentioned in Abu Da’ood. Prophet Muhammad, SAW had just come back from a ‘ghazwa’ __ a battle. All the companions came back safe and sound from that battle, except a young man. His mother was also among those who had gathered to welcome the troops. When she failed to locate her son, she became very anxious and apprehensive, and to inquire about the whereabouts of her son, she approached the prophet, SAW, “Oh messenger of Allah, what happened to my son?” She was told that her son fell a martyr in the path of Allah. The news of her son’s demise struck her like a bolt of lightening, but she bore the news with remarkable courage and composure. She was in that state of shock and grief when someone asked her, “Oh lady, you left your home amid concern and disquiet, yet you remembered to cover yourself. Even in that state, you did not fail to put on your veil?” She gave a simple answer, “My son has died, my shame (haya) has not!” Even in that state of grief, she observed ‘purdah’. Toss aside the taunts of the West Allah has revealed these verses. The injunctions of ‘purdah’ have been clearly spelled out in the Qur’an. The prophet, SAW, explained its details in the ahadiths, and his wives and other believing women of his time showed the whole world how to apply these injunctions in their daily lives. However, nowadays the western intellectuals and their surrogates in the Muslim lands have launched a campaign against the practice of ‘purdah’ in Islam. They allege that Islam oppresses women and locks them in their homes. It drapes a veil over their faces, and turns them into cartoons. Are we going to discard the commands of Allah and His messenger because of their jests and jeers and their attempts to lampoon Islam and the Muslims? Bear this in mind! We would take little notice of their jokes and banter, if we had the conviction of faith in our heart and the supreme confidence that the way of life we have learnt from the prophet SAW, is the absolute truth and the only right way. All the prophets were accused of depriving people of the pleasures of this life. Every single prophet who ever came to this world was labeled ‘backward’, ‘old fashioned’, and a ‘reactionary’. Each one of them was a victim of insults and mockery of all kinds, and the target of all the taunts and sly remarks. You are now the inheritors of all the prophets. Everything they had is now yours __ not only the guidance, the blessings of Allah and the status of high honor, but also the taunts, the insults and the mockery. This world will treat you exactly as it treated all the prophets, because it accepts you as their heirs. Step forward and claim your heritage. It is yours for the asking! Accept the taunts with joy because they come with the territory. They are part of the bequest! These jabs and sneers are the badge a believer should wear as an honor bestowed. If you have faith in Allah and the messenger of Allah, you would brace yourself for some more insults and tell the West to go ahead and take their best shots. Then, toss aside the taunts and smile in the face of insults, for you are the inheritors. On the other hand, being tired of the taunts and embarrassed of the insults, you may decline your heritage and opt to accept the advice of the West. You would still be the third rate citizens of this world. The western intellectuals told you not to keep your women at home and not to let them don ‘purdah’. So, you drove your women out and took away their ‘purdah’ and even their modest attire, their modesty and their shame. You followed their advice to the letter, but did they accept you as one of them? Did they give you the same rights, or grant you the same honor? Are you still not considered ‘backward’, ‘old fashioned, and ‘reactionaries’? Your name is still mentioned along side a slur and an epithet in the western countries. Putting the apes to shame, you copied them from head to toe, but you are still the third class citizens of this world. You would fare much better, if you ignore their insults, let the slurs slide by, and toss the taunts aside. They will frown their foreheads, talk down at you, and speak ill about you. Of course they would do that, wouldn’t they? You believe in Allah, SWT, so you must proceed along the path of the messenger of Allah, SAW. You must emulate the pious women of the house of the prophet, SAW. Let the unbeliever poke fun. Let them laugh at you, for the day would soon arrive when you will laugh at them. In fact the criminals, the unbelievers, used to laugh at those who believed. As they passed by the believers, they would wink at each other (jokingly). And when they returned to their family, they returned jesting (and grinning). Whenever they saw the believers, they said, “These are the people gone astray.” The unbelievers were not sent as guardians over the believers. So today, it is the believers’ turn to laugh at the unbelievers. (The believers would be sitting) on elevated thrones, looking on. Now, have the unbelievers not been paid in full for what they did? (Mutaffafeen 29 – 36) Our existence on this earth is brief. Our days here are numbered. How long will these ‘kafirs’ be able to laugh at us? Soon the curtain will fall, death will overtake, and the reality will be revealed. The fate of those who poked fun and those who stood firm would become apparent. In the hereafter, the believers will make fun of the unbelievers for eternity. Therefore, do not allow them to intimidate you. Do not let the unbelievers cower you into abandoning your ways. Stand firm. Let them taunt, and do whatever else they want. We shall not stray from our chosen path. These minor annoyances caused by the unbelievers are the obstacles that litter the only path to salvation. Remember! The world respects only those who refuse to alter their opinions, or bend their beliefs, merely for the benefit of others. It holds in awe those who stand firm in adversity, and with courage confront all criticism and ridicule. In fact, honor is not in discarding Islam, but rather in adopting and applying it. Hazrat Umar, RA, said, “Through Islam and because of it, Allah bestowed all honor upon us. Allah will disgrace and dishonor us, if we ever decide to discard Islam.” The rules of ‘purdah’ require that the entire body from the head to toe must be wrapped up in a ‘chador’ or a ‘burqa’ or some other kind of loose outer garment. The hair must be hidden. In fact the rule applies to the face as well. A veil should cover the face. Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood, RA, explained the verse quoted earlier, which orders women to ‘to wrap a loose outer garment completely around their bodies’ (Ahzab 59). He informs us that in order to comply with this order, ladies during the time of the prophet, SAW, usually wore a ‘chador’ around their bodies. They would wrap one end of it over their faces. This effectively covered not only their entire body, but also their entire face. Only the eyes were visible. That is the actual requirement for ‘purdah’. However, under certain circumstances the face and the hands are exempt from the general rules of ‘purdah’. Situations arise from time to time that may call for a woman to uncover her face. The commands of Allah recognize that, and there is room for a woman to leave the face and the hands uncovered. The actual order of ‘purdah’ includes the face. This departure is the allowance for special circumstances and needs. ‘Purdah’ is essential for the modesty and piety of the women. Men, therefore, are obligated to try and convince their womenfolk to abide by it. Women have a duty to obey these rules. Sad, indeed, is the situation where the women are inclined to observe the rules but the men hinder their path. They become an obstacle and make their womenfolk violate the rules of ‘purdah’. The famous poet Akbar Allahbadi penned the following words for such men about a century ago. They are so true! (Bay purdah kul jo nazar aaieen chund beebian) (Akbar zameen may ghairat qaumi say Gurr gaya) (Poocha jo un say Aap ka purdah wo kya howa) (kehnay luggein kay aqal pay murdoon ki purr gaya) Unveiled maidens walking unabashed! Akbar got an eyeful, and felt ashamed “Your veil?” he asked. “With our men!” they said. “It veils their wisdom, and drapes their sanity!” This is so true about our men these days. They don’t listen to reason because scales have yet to fall from their eyes. Purposely, and sometimes unwittingly, they become an obstacle for their women’s modesty, piety and ‘purdah’. May Allah rescue us from the grip of perverse logic, and grant us the wisdom to lead our lives in accordance with the commands of Allah and His messenger, SAW. Ameen! Source: you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetanswering-christianity(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/muni...nshey/hijab.htm
  19. Please feel free to show these amazing video links of athiests turning to Islam! Intelligent athiest will turn to Islam after watching this- you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_uk.youtube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=LPop288KH58 Germans rapidly turning to Islam: you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_uk.youtube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=f5Jd4nLigVI you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_uk.youtube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=B310QU5gxlE you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_uk.youtube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=PYm94Q5wtbM Danish people rapidly turning to Islam: you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_uk.youtube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=pSL_UFmIPIY Scientist and athiests convert to Islam you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetliveleak(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/view?i=80c_1192506167 Watch why these Americans in Texas turned to Islam you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetturntoislam(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/pages/muslim_in_texas.html Hindu converts to Islam you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_uk.youtube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=HPhY8tuMvPc
  20. Was Jesus Really God?

    The God that Never Was Islam is the only religion which teaches the existence of a PERFECT God. A perfect God means that there is no sharer in His Nature an His Attributes: "Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him." (Holy Qur'an,112:1-4) There has appeared a man in Benoni. He is not qualified in theology, but is fondly cherishing the self-delusion that he is an apostle of Christ,appointed by God to convert Muslims to Christianity. Because he is a lawyer by profession, he is adept at juggling with words and quoting the Holy Qur'an totally out of context without knowing a word of Arabic. He wants Muslims to believe that Jesus was also a God, a belief that is abhorrent to us, because it is an antithesis of the Absolute perfection of Allah Subhaanahoo Wa Ta'Aala! Thus intent upon reversing the process of Truth, which is: "And say: The Truth has come and falsehood vanished. Surely falsehood is ever bound to vanish." (Qur'an, 17:81). In this he will never succeed because the process of Truth is irreversible. TWO REASONS He has given two reasons to prove that Jesus is God, viz: (i) "When we say Jesus is deity (or even God for that matter), we do not make him the Father! He is one with the Father and therefore HE SHARES HIS NATURE", and (ii) "HE IS IN EVERY WAY LIKE THE FATHER but he is not the Father". In short, according to him, Jesus is God because He SHARES THE NATURE OF GOD, and HE IS IN EVERY WAY LIKE GOD. These two reasons given by him to prove the divinity of Jesus are so puerile that they speak volumes of his legal training. Numerous quotations from the Bible are given below to prove that Jesus neither SHARED THE NATURE OF GOD, nor is he IN EVERY WAY LIKE GOD. He can, therefore, NEVER be GOD. We have given the quotations from the Bible without comment, because the Bible speaks for itself! TO SAY THAT JESUS IS GOD OR SON OF GOD IS NOT ONLY A MOCKERY OF GODHOOD, BUT BLASPHEMY OF THE LOWEST ORDER AND AND INSULT TO THE INTELLIGENCE OF MEN! (Note: Unless otherwise stated, all quotation from the Bible are given from the Authorized Version. In our headings and subheadings we have referred to Jesus as "God" in inverted commas in order to show the ABSURDITY of the claim of this man that Jesus is God!) THE BIRTH OF "GOD" "God" was created from the seed of David: "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the SEED of David according to the flesh." (Romans, 1:3) "God" was the fruit of the loins of David: "Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne." (Acts, 2:30) The Ancestors of "God": "The generations of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." (Matthew, 1:1) The Sex of "God": "And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus." (Luke, 2:21) How Mary Conceived and Delivered "God". Mary conceived Jesus like any other woman: "The days were accomplished that she should be delivered," (Luke, 2:6) which means that she went through all the normal stages of pregnancy. Nor was her delivery any different from other expectant mothers: "And she being with child cried, travelling in birth, and pained to be delivered." (Revelation, 12:2) "God" Sucked The Paps of a Woman: "And it came to pass, as he spak these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked." (Luke, 11:27) The Country of Origin of "God": "Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king. (Matthew, 2:1) The Occupation of "God": "Jesus was a carpenter by trade." (Mark, 6:3), "and the son of a carpenter." (Matthew, 13:55) The Transport of "God": "Behold, thy king cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ######." (Matthew, 21:5) "And Jesus, when he had found a young ######, sat thereon." (John, 12:14) The Wining and Dining of "God": "The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners." (Matthew, 11:9; Luke, 7:34) The Poverty of "God": "And Jesus saith unto him, the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." (Matthew, 8:20) The Meagre Possessions of "God": "Shoes of Jesus" (Luke, 3:16), "Garments and coat of Jesus" (John, 19:23) "God" Was a Devout Jew: "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, an there prayed." (Mark, 1:35) "God" Was a Loyal Subject: Jesus was a good citizen, he was loyal to Caesar. He said: "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." (Matthew, 22:21) He paid his tax regularly. (Matthew, 17:24-27) THE FAMILY OF "GOD" "God" Was the Son of Joseph: "Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, we have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph" (John, 1:45) Brothers and Brothers-in-law of "God": "And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence hath this man all these things? (Matthew, 13:54-56) THE DEVELOPMENT OF "GOD" Spiritual Development of "God": "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom." (Luke, 2:40) Mental, Physical and Moral Development of "God": "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." (Luke, 2:52) "God" Was 12 Years Old When His Parents Took Him to Jerusalem: "Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of thefeast." (Luke, 2:41-42) The Powerless "God" (Jesus) said: "I can of mine own self do nothing."(John, 5:30) "God" Was Ignorant of the Time. Jesus said: "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." (Mark, 13:32) "God" Was Ignorant of the Season: "And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he (Jesus) was hungry: and seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find anything thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet." (Mark, 11:12-13) "God" Was Unlettered: "Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?" (John, 7:14-15) "God" Learnt Through Experience: "Learned he obedience by the things which he sufered." (Hebrews, 5:8) THE TEMPTING OF "GOD" The Devil Tempted "God" For 40 Days: "And immediately the spirit driveth him into the wilderness. And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan." (Mark, 1:12-13) The Devil Tempted "God" Continuously: "And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season." (Luke,4:13) Like the Sinners, "God" Was Tempted In All Things: "But (he) was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews,4:15) True God Cannot be Tempted With Evil: "God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." (James,1:13) Only The Ungodly Are Tempted With Evil: "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." (James, 1:14) THE MISSION OF "GOD" The Confession and Repentance of "God": before the beginning of his public ministry: "Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist" (Matthew, 3:13), "which signified the confession of sins" (Matthew, 3:6), "and repentance from sins (Matthew, 3:11). "God" Did Not Come to Save the Sinners: "And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them." (Mark,4:10-12) THE RACIAL "GOD" "God" Was a Tribal Jew: "The lion of the tribe of Juda." (Revelation, 5:5) "God" Came For The Jews Only: "But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of israel." (Matthew, 15:24) Racial Discrimination of "God": "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of israel." (Matthew, 10:5-6) According to "God", The Gentiles Are Dogs: "It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs." (matthew, 15:26) The Kingdom of "God": And he (Jesus) shall reign over THE HOUSE OF JACOB forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." (Luke,1:33) The Titles of "God": "The king of the Jews" (Matthew, 2:2), "The king of israel" (John, 1:49; 12:13) A "GOD" UNLIKE THE GOD A Hungry "God": "And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered." (Matthew 4:2), "Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered." (Matthew, 21:18), "and on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry. (Mark, 11:12) A Thirsty "God": "(He) saith, I thirst." (John, 19:28) A Sleepy "God": "He was asleep." (Matthew, 8:24), "He fell asleep (Luke, 8:23), "And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow."(Mark, 4:38) A Weary "God": Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well." (John, 4:6) A Groaning "God": "He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.(John, 11:33), "Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave."(John, 11:38) A Weeping "God": "Jesus wept." (John, 11:35) A Sorrowing "God": "And (he) began to be sorrowful and very heavy." (Matthew 26:37). "Then saith he unto them, my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." (Matthew, 26:38) A Hysterical "God": "And (he) began to be soreamazed and to be very heavy." (Mark, 14:33) A Weak "God": "And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him." (Luke, 22:43) THE WARRING "GOD" The Strong-Arm Method of "God": "And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought." (Luke, 19:45). "And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables." (John, 2:13-15) The "God" of War: Jesus said: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." (Matthew,10:34) The Sabre-Rattling "God": Jesus said: "And he that hath no sword let him sell his garment, and buy one." (Luke, 22:36) The "GOD" ON THE RUN "God" Was Panic-Stricken: "After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him."(John, 7:1) "God" Walked in Fear of the Jews: "Then from that day forth they tookcounsel together for to put him to death. Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews." (John, 11:53-54) "God" Has Shown a Clean Pair of Heels: "Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand." (John, 10:39) "God" Fled in Disguise: "Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by." (John, 8:59) THE CAPTURE OF "GOD" A Friend Betrayed the Secret Hiding Place of "God": "And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus off-times resorted thither with his disciples. Judas then, having received a band of man and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons." (John, 18:2-3) "God" Was Arrested, Bound and Led Away: "Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, and led him away." (John, 18:12-13) "God" Was Humiliated: "And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him. And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face." (Luke, 22:63-64). "Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands." (Matthew, 26:67) "God" Was Defenseless: "One of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand", he said: "Why smitest thou me?" (John, 18:22-23) "God" Was Condemned to Death: "And they all condemned him to be guilty of death." (Mark, 14:64). "They answered and said, he is guilty of death." (Matthew, 26:66) The Dumb and Docile "God": "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth." (Acts, 8:32) THE SUPPOSED END OF "GOD" The Dying "God": "And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost." (Mark, 15:37) The "God" That Was Supposed Dead and Defunct: "Christ died." (Romans, 5:6). "He was dead". (John, 19:33) The Supposed Corpse of "God": "he (Joseph of Arimathaea) went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered." (Matthew, 27:58) The Shroud of "God": "And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth." (Matthew, 27:59) The Obituary of The Late and Lamented "God": "Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, certainly this was a righteous man." (Luke, 23:47) EPILOGUE According to this self-appointed apostle of Christ, Jesus is God because: (i) "HE SHARED THE NATURE OF GOD", and (ii) because "IN EVERY WAY HE IS LIKE GOD". But according to the quotations of the Bible given above, we find that Jesus did neither SHARE THE NATURE OF GOD nor is he IN EVERY WAY LIKE GOD. He is, therefore, definitely NOT God! The onus to prove that Jesus is God now rests with this Christian. Either he must prove that Jesus is God, or he must admit that he is a polytheist, i.e., a believer in more than one God. WITH ALL THE TRICKS AND VERBAL LEGERDEMAIN OF HIS PROFESSION, HE WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO PROVE THAT JESUS IS GOD!! He and his fellow-preachers in Christ, will never succeed in convincing the Muslims that Jesus was anything other than a natural man and a prophet of God, sent unto the house of israel to bear the good news of the coming of the KINGDOM OF GOD, which prophecy was fulfilled with the advent of the Holy Prophet Muhammed (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)! Source: you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetjamaat(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/deedat.htm
  21. Interest

    Could you please furnish me with the wisdom behind the prohibition of Riba? Your earliest response will be very much appreciated. Name of Counsellor A Group of Islamic Researchers Topic Usury Answer In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger. Dear questioner, we commend your pursuit of knowledge and your keenness to seek what is lawful and avoid what is not. We earnestly implore Allah to bless your efforts in this honorable way. In an attempt to furnish you with a Fatwa regarding the wisdom behind the prohibition of Riba, we would like to cite for you what the eminent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, stated in his well-known book The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam, regarding the issue: "Islam permits increase in capital through trade. Referring to this, Allah Almighty says, “O you who believe, do not consume your property among yourselves wrongfully, but let there be trade by mutual consent...” (An-Nisa’: 29) At the same time, Islam blocks the way for anyone who tries to increase his capital through lending on usury or interest (Rriba), whether it is at a low or a high rate, reprimanding the Jews for taking usury, even though they had been prohibited to do so. Among the last revelations are the following verses of Surat al-Baqarah: “O you who believe, fear Allah and give up what remains due to you of interest if you are indeed believers. And if you do not, then be warned of war (against you) by Allah and His Messenger, while if you repent you shall have your capital. Do not do wrong and you shall not be wronged.” (Al-Baqarah: 278-279) The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) declared war on usury and those who deal in it; he pointed out its dangers to society, saying, “When usury and fornication appear in a community, the people of that community render themselves deserving of the punishment of Allah.” (Reported by Al-Hakim; Abu Y'ala has reported something similar on good authority) Judaism, prior to Islam, had also prohibited interest. In the Old Testament we read, “If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be to him as a creditor, neither shall you require interest from him.” (Ex. 22:25) As for Christianity, the Gospel according to Luke reads, Give away to every one who begs of you, and of him who takes away from your goods, do not demand them back again. (Luke 6:30) It is, therefore, sad to see that the Old Testament has been subjected to such distortions that the meaning of "my people," which originally had a broader application, later became restricted to the Jews alone, as we read in Deuteronomy, You may lend on interest to a foreigner, but to your brother you shall not lend on inters". (Deut. 23:20) The wisdom behind the prohibition of interest The strict prohibition of interest in Islam is a result of its deep concern for the moral, social, and economic welfare of mankind. Muslim scholars have sound arguments explaining the wisdom of this prohibition, and recent studies have confirmed their opinions, with some additions and extensions of their arguments. We confine ourselves to what Imam al-Razi says in his tafsir of the Qur'an: First: The taking of interest implies appropriating another person's property without giving him anything in exchange, because one who lends one dirham for two dirhams gets the extra dirham for nothing. Now, a man's property is for (the purpose of) fulfilling his needs and it has great sanctity, according to the hadith, “A man's property is as sacred as his blood.” (Reported by Abu Na'eem) This means that taking it from him without giving him something in exchange is haram. Second: Dependence on interest prevents people from working to earn money, since the person with dirhams can earn an extra dirham through interest, either in advance or at a later date, without working for it. The value of work will consequently be reduced in his estimation, and he will not bother to take the trouble of running a business or risking his money in trade or industry. This will lead to depriving people of benefits, and the business of the world cannot go on without industries, trade and commerce, building and construction, all of which need capital at risk. This, from an economic point of view, is unquestionably a weighty argument. Third: Permitting the taking of interest discourages people from doing good to one another, as is required by Islam. If interest is prohibited in a society, people will lend to each other with good will, expecting back no more than what they have loaned, while if interest is made permissible the needy person will be required to pay back more on loans (than he has borrowed), weakening his feelings of good will and friendliness toward the lender. (This is the moral aspect of the prohibition of interest.) Fourth: The lender is very likely to be wealthy and the borrower poor. If interest is allowed, the rich will exploit the poor, and this is against the spirit of mercy and charity. (This is the social aspect of the prohibition of interest.) (Tafsir by al-Fakhr al-Deen al-Razi, vol. 7, p. 4.) Thus, in a society in which interest is lawful, the strong benefit from the suffering of the weak. As a result, the rich become richer and the poor poorer, creating socio-economic classes in the society separated by wide gulfs. Naturally, this generates envy and hatred among the poor toward the rich, and contempt and callousness among the rich toward the poor. Conflicts arise, the socio-economic fabric is rent, revolutions are born, and social order is threatened. Recent history amply illustrates the dangers to the peace and stability of nations inherent in interest-based economies." Source: you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetislamonline(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/servlet/Satelli...d=1119503543140 What is the Islamic ruling regarding bank interests? Name of Counsellor Yusuf Al-Qaradawi Answer In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger. Dear questioner, we commend your pursuit of knowledge and your keenness to seek what is lawful and avoid what is not. We earnestly implore Allah to bless your efforts in this honorable way. Responding to the question, the eminent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, states the following: "The interest on bank accounts is unlawful or haram because such interest is an increase of money made without effort or trade. Allah says, “O you who believe! Fear Allah and give up what remains of your demand for usury if you are indeed believers. If you don’t, take notice of war from Allah and His messenger. But if you turn back, you shall have your capital sums. Deal not unjustly and you shall not be dealt with unjustly.” (Al-Baqarah: 278-279) The repentance meant here is keeping original capital and refraining from taking any increase made without effort or joint investment. Islam prohibited depositing one’s wealth and taking specified increase without the risk of either loss or profit making. Therefore, the type of investment allowed is where a person deposits money in an account and shares both the risk of making profit or losing. This is the definition of the Islamic investment method. The question now remains. If someone deposited some amount of money in a bank and he/she is entitled to interest, would he/she take it or leave it? First, interest is unlawful to him/her, so taking it and paying Zakah would not purify the money. In this case, what would he/she take it or leave it to the bank? I would say take it so long as it is neither your property nor the property of the bank. Because it is unlawful, you should donate it to the poor or to charitable projects and organizations. Accordingly, interest is not the property of either you or the bank. It is the property of the public and should be spent on public projects. This is the rule for unlawful money in Islam. Again, giving Zakah on this money does not purify it. If this money is unlawful he/she should not leave it for the bank. This will strengthen banks that deal with usury. It should be taken and spent on public projects. Someone may say that the money deposited is at risk of being lost if the bank declares its bankruptcy. This situation does not invalidate the rule. Rules in Islam are not built on exceptions and this is an exception. Usually, whoever deposits his money makes money. They don’t lose. If they do one time, this is a deviance from the rule. Someone may also say that the bank trades with the deposited money. The answer is yes. However, when you deposited your money, have you entered a commercial contract with the bank? Of course not! If you entered in a partnership contract from the beginning and the bank lost and declared bankruptcy, then the rule is different. However, depositors usually demand their money when a bank loses and banks do not deny them that right. They usually pay it back even if they declare bankruptcy on the payment basis. Depositors usually do not look at themselves as responsible, as partners in the loss. They demand that their money, even if it has interest with it, be paid fully even though the bank has declared its bankruptcy." Source: you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetislamonline(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/servlet/Satelli...d=1119503543118 Question: As-Salamu `alaykum. Many people nowadays are tackling the fatwa of the Islamic Research Academy in which respectful scholars legalize interest on money deposited in banks. They say that determining the percentage of interest is subject to special economic studies. That is to say, it is not fixed but fluctuates according to prices and so on. The percentage of interest, they claim, is also subject to the principle of public interests. But really, I’m not fully satisfied with this fatwa. So what is your opinion on this issue? Date 05/Jun/2003 Topic Finance & Banking, Usury Answer Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger. Dear questioner, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake. Actually, banks consider people’s money as loans and not as money for investment in shared profitable projects. But loans which incur interest are definitely riba. It has nothing to do with any economic studies or fluctuation of prices. Moreover, riba is made unlawful by textual evidence and it is not subject to public interests. In his response to the question, Dr. Hussain Hamed, Professor of Shari`ah at the Faculty of Law, Cairo University, states the following: "The fatwa issued by the Islamic Research Academy is supported by some arguments that prove that predetermining the percentage of interest on money deposited in banks is lawful and there is nothing wrong with it at all. Hence, I will mention these arguments and the reply to them. The first argument: Predetermining the percentage of interest is based on a thorough study of the conditions of the market. In this concern the fatwa reads: “It is well known that banks' pre-estimation of a certain percentage of interest on dealers’ deposits is based on well established study of the stock market and its conditions, and of the economic conditions of the society. Fixing interest thus differs according to the circumstances, the nature of each deal, and the average of gains.” This justification is not a point of controversy in itself, because what matters is not the way of fixing the interest. Rather, controversy is on the ruling of interest given to depositors, disregarding its amount and the way of fixing. Bank deposits are considered loans by law and by the consensus of jurists, and “any increment in a loan is riba,” as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) states in his hadith. In reality, banks deal freely in people’s deposits; they unilaterally dispose of them by using them in lending to other people for interest. At the same time, banks are committed to pay that money back with interest. These are the characteristics of loans as stated in law, with no regard to how such interest is estimated, what its percentage is, or what the name given to it is. It is no matter whether such extra money given on the capital is called benefit, gain, earning, interest, reward, gift or whatsoever. What matters is the actual results effected by the contract between the bank and the dealers, because contacts are governed by the results they entail. Rulings are generally given to real matters not to hypotheses. Moreover, the claim that banks are just investors by proxy that invest money deposited therein in legal projects has already been refuted by law, Shari`ah, and by experience. The second argument: The percentage of interest fluctuates. The fatwa of the Islamic Research Academy states: “It is well known that the percentage of interest paid to depositors is not fixed, such as the case with investment certificates. The interest for investment certificates was given a specific estimation, then it was increased to 15%. Afterwards it was decreased to about 10%.” This justification has nothing to do with the issue under discussion, as the discussion now is about the Shari`ah position on banks' interest. It has been stated previously that banks' interest is riba because it is an increment in a loan, usually a percentage of the amount loaned beyond what is due, granted by the debtor to the creditor in lieu of the delay in payment. This is definitely riba according to the previously mentioned hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Also, there is a consensus that any increase given for delaying the payment of a debt is riba whether its percentage is fixed beforehand, as stated in the fatwa, or is estimated according to the rate of interest at all banks. Money deposits are no more than loans that banks take and utilize, and banks have to pay them back in full. These are the characteristics of a loan as stated in Shari`ah and Law. So any excess beyond that which is due is riba, no matter what its percentage is, how it is estimated it, the name given to it, or its fluctuation. Some may argue that a bank deals in people's deposits as an investment proxy who utilizes them for his own benefit in legal projects, like buying and selling and other legal channels of investment. But this claim is untrue as observed in reality, and it is also banned by law. The third argument: Fixing the percentage of interest falls within the category of public interests. The fatwa goes: “In conclusion, prior fixing of the percentage of interest for money deposited in banks or any other investment proxy is lawful and there is nothing wrong in it at all. This is because such deals fall within the category of public interests and do not fall within the acts of worship or articles of `aqidah (Islamic belief), which are not subject to change or replacement.” This argument can be refuted by the following: Firstly, when a Shari`ah ruling is supported by evidence and its scope is well defined, then it can never be changed or altered. This applies to `aqidah issues, acts of worship, as well as dealings and transactions. However, in regard to transactions, the scholars may interpret any textual evidence in order to define the scope of application, considering the interest and wisdom it aims to achieve. As regards acts of worship scholars may apply their personal reasoning within the limits of the textual evidence, without going so far in interpreting it. This is the opinion of Imam Ash-Shatibi and others. However, in all cases once scholars reach a legal ruling through this methodology by working out their personal reasoning, then this ruling can't be changed. Hereby we notice that this is totally different from the wording of the fatwa. Saying that rulings of Shari`ah can be changed or altered bears the serious connotation that they are not obligatory or binding. This saying was attributed to At-Tufi Al-Hanbali, though he is innocent thereof. In fact, none of the Muslim scholars has adopted this opinion in the history of Islamic personal reasoning (ijtihad). (See: Dr. Hussain Hamed, Nazariyyat al-Maslahah (The Interest Theory), p. 533) Secondly, such dealing has nothing to do with public interests because such deals depend on investment by proxy, as stated in the fatwa. In this concern, Islamic Shari`ah clarifies the conditions of proxy and all its rulings. Meaning, everything about proxy is stated in the Shari`ah texts. The rulings of proxy as agreed upon among jurists are: 1. The wage fee of the authorized proxy or business manager must be stated in the proxy contract, whether it is a specific sum of money or a percentage of the invested money. 2. All the profits of the invested money should be given to the authorizer (i.e., the owner of the money) and losses are his, as he is the owner of the money, not the proxy. 3. The authorized proxy must document the accounts of the investment operations in files, so that he can record the gains as well as the expenses of projects. Then he is to give the net profits to the owner of the money after deducing the payment of the proxy himself. So the proxy that is claimed in the fatwa does not accord with reality. It is nonsense, as it does not fulfill the legal conditions for proxy and authorization and does not meet the rulings that are stated in Islamic Shari`ah. In conclusion, I would like to say that the fatwa in question is not applicable in respect to the functioning of banks working in Egypt and other Arab countries, because the conditions and scope of application of the fatwa are not materialized in these banks. Arab and Egyptian banks do not do investment by proxy; they do not have any authority to directly invest or trade in money deposited in them. They only lend such deposits with interest, which is intrinsically unlawful in Shari`ah. Even if we suppose that there exists a banking system that does invest by proxy, then it should fulfill the legal conditions of proxy and work within the Islamic rulings that govern it.” What to Do With Bank Interest Question Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. I want to know about the interest that the bank gives us when we deposit money. Is it considered haram? If so, what should we do with the interest we get from the bank? Jazakum Allah khayran. Name of Counsellor Ahmad Kutty Topic Usury Answer Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger. Dear questioner, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake. Interest (riba) is forbidden in Islam. Scholars have given fatwas that interest money paid by banks should be withdrawn and given to some charitable purpose. One should not use it for one's own expenses, and it is not considered in the payment of one's Zakah. Thus, one is allowed to give charity out of bank interest but will not be rewarded for it as an act of charity. Rather, one will be rewarded in sha’ Allah for an act of repentance and for cleansing one’s money from haram sources. The Shari`ah position is that earned interest is not earned, but it is still owned by the payer. But since the payer is a bank whose business is to give loans on interest, you must not return it to the payer, as such an action increases the evil of interest and empowers the evil doers. Thus, you need to dispose of this interest money by giving it to some Muslim charitable purposes to keep your own money clean. In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: Since interest money is considered haram (unlawful) in Islam, you are not supposed to use it either on yourself or on those who are considered your dependents. On the other hand, you are also not supposed to leave the interest thus accumulated to the bank either, for to do so is akin to fattening an institution that thrives on interest. Therefore, the only permissible option left to consider for you is to take out the amount thus accumulated and give it all away to public charities such as hospitals, orphanages, refugees, and welfare. By doing so you have discharged your obligation and you are absolved of any sin or guilt, in sha’ Allah. Source: you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetislamonline(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/servlet/Satelli...d=1119503543118
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