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Islam means "submission to God in peace". Islam teaches there is only One God, whose primary name is "Allah" in the Arabic language. Islam is the same essential message given to all the prophets, from Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and finally to the Last Prophet, Muhammad, (peace be upon them all). They all proclaimed the same basic Divine message: worship only God, stop worshipping human beings and other created things There's a different between Islam and Muslims!! What's the purpose of life? What Do You Know About Islam? Not what you have heard about Islam, not what you have seen in the actions of some Muslims, but what do you really know about Islam?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Why was Isa (peace be upon him) singled out to be lifted up into heaven?


Given that Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was the best of the Prophets, why was he not lifted up into heaven instead of Isa? And why did Allah single out Isa to be lifted up into heaven and not any of the other Prophets?.
Praise be to Allah.
Allah has encompassed all things by His mercy and knowledge and He has encompassed all things by His might and power. Glory be to Him; His is great wisdom, His will is always executed and His might encompasses all. He chose whom He wanted among mankind to be Prophets and Messengers, bringers of glad tidings and warners, and He raised some of them above others in status, and He singled out all of them for whatever characteristics He wanted, by His grace and mercy. He singled out for His close friendship His close friend (khaleel) Ibrahim and Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon them), and He singled out each Prophet for whatever He wanted of signs and miracles that were appropriate to his time, by means of which proof could be established against his people, out of wisdom and justice on His part. No one can put back His command, and He is the Almighty, the Wise, the One Who understands the finest mysteries and is Well Acquainted with them. Not every virtue on its own implies superiority. The fact that Isa was singled out to be lifted up into heaven whilst still alive happened according to the will and wisdom of Allah. It was not because he was superior to his fellow Messengers, such as Ibrahim, Muhammad, Musa and Nooh (blessings and peace of Allah be upon them), for they were given characteristics and signs which imply that they are superior to him.
To sum up, this matter has to do with Allah, Who decides as He wills; He is not to be questioned about what He does because His knowledge and wisdom are perfect. Moreover, asking about that does not affect any action or confirm any belief; rather the one who asks about that may become confused and filled with doubt. The believer is required to accept things that are Allah's affairs and strive hard in matters that are human concerns such as belief and action. This is the way of the Prophets and Messengers, the way of the Rightly Guided Caliphs and of the guided early generations of this ummah. And Allah knows best.
And Allah is the source of strength. May Allah send blessings and peace upon all Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions. End quote.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Qa’ood

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By:Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

Source:
www.islam-qa.com
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You Were Born Without Sin, Would God Blame You for Someone Else's Mistake!!!




You must have heard it said that we were born in sin – and perhaps you even believe that. But let’s think about that for a moment. Would the Just God blame you for a sin you never committed? Would He hold you responsible for what someone else did? Definitely not! God’s book teaches that you are responsible for only your own actions. You cannot sin until you do something wrong. And you certainly could not have done wrong before you were even born.
Yet we often meet people who say that we are somehow born in sin. Could that possibly be true? They say that the first human being, Adam, sinned and through him sin entered the world; and now sin corrupts everything, including every newborn baby. Can you believe that human beings are condemned before they do anything? Which judge would condemn people for crimes they never committed? A just judge cannot do that except by mistake. But what about God? Would He make such a mistake? We cannot imagine such false ideas about God. He is Just. He holds you responsible for what you do, and He does not blame you for what the first human being did. But, even after you do wrong, God is always willing to forgive. He is full of loving kindness, and He loves to forgive. He is willing to forgive anyone who turns to Him and seeks forgiveness. This means that if you did something wrong you can still turn back to God and He will forgive you, if you sincerely decide to give up that sin. Isn’t this refreshing to know? Isn’t it wonderful to know that even if we lived a whole life of sin but we decide now to change our lives and obey God He would forgive us this minute? And that’s just between us and God. We don’t need any confession box, and we don’t need anyone to suffer for our sins. Can we resist the loving kindness that God is offering us? God wants us to know about His love. He wants us to know that He is Just. He wants us to know the truth about Him so that when we turn to Him we know to Whom we are turning. But there is so much misinformation about God. Where can we get correct information about Him? God told us about Himself in His book. We owe it to ourselves to see what God has to say about Himself. Shouldn’t you be reading God’s book? Here’s God’s message to you in His book : O mankind! Now has a proof from your Lord come unto you, and We have sent down unto you a clear light; as for those who believe in God and hold fast unto Him, them will He cause to enter into His Mercy and Grace, and will guide them unto Him by a straight road. (Qur’an 4:174-175). The Qur’an is God’s final book, which He revealed for the guidance of all humankind.
An article of One Minute Messages, written by Brother Abdarraouf Shakir.


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by:Abdur-Ra'oof Shakir
http://www.islamhouse.com/

The Search for Inner Peace



The topic of inner peace addresses a universal need. There is nobody on this planet that does not desire inner peace. It is not a desire that is new to our time; rather, it is something that everybody has been searching for throughout the ages, regardless of colour, creed, religion, race, nationality, age, sex, wealth, ability or technological advancement.
People have taken a variety of different paths in trying to achieve inner peace, some through accumulating material possessions and wealth, others through drugs; some through music, others through meditation; some through their husbands and wives, others through their careers and some through their children’s achievements. And the list goes on
Yet the search also goes on. In our time we have been led to believe that technological advancement and modernisation will produce for us physical comforts and through these we will attain inner peace.
However, if we were to take the most technologically advanced and most industrialised nation in the world, America, then we would see that what we have been led to believe is not factual. The statistics show that in America some 20 million adults suffer from depression yearly; and what is depression but a total lack of inner peace? Furthermore in the year 2000 death rate due to suicide was double the rate of those who die from Aids. However, the news media being what it is, we hear more about those who die from Aids than we do about those who die by committing suicide. Also more people die from suicide in America than from homicide, and the homicide rates themselves are massive.
So the reality is that technological advancement and modernisation have not bought inner peace and tranquility. Rather in spite of the creature comforts that modernisation has brought us, we are further away from inner peace than our ancestors were.
Inner peace is for the most part of our lives very elusive; we never seem to get our hands on it.
Many of us mistake personal pleasures for inner peace; we achieve elements of pleasure from a variety of things, be it wealth, sexual relations or other than that. But these do not last, they come and go. Yes we have personal pleasures from time to time and we are pleased with various things from time to time, but this is not inner peace. True inner peace is a sense of stability and contentment which carries us through all the trials and difficulties of life.
W need to understand that peace is not something that will exist in this world around us because when we define peace according to the dictionary definition it states that peace is freedom from war or civil strife. Where do have this? There is always a war or some sort of civil unrest happening somewhere in the world. If we look at peace in terms of the state level then peace is freedom from public disorder and security, but where in the world do we have this in a complete form? If we look at peace on a social level, family and work, then peace is freedom from disagreements and arguments, but is there such a social environment that never has disagreements or arguments? In terms of location, then yes, we can have a place which is calm, peaceful and tranquil, some islands for example, but this external peace only exists for a small amount of time, sooner or later a storm or a hurricane will come.
Allah says:
“Verily, I have created man in toil (struggle).” (Al-Balad 90:4)
This is the nature of our lives; we are in toil and struggle, ups and downs, times of difficulties and time of ease.
It is a life full of tests as Allah says:
“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to as-Saabirin (the patient ones, etc.).” (Al-Baqarah 2:155)
To deal with our circumstances, the circumstances of toil and struggle in which we live, patience is the key.
But if we go back to the inner peace that we are looking for, then patience cannot manifest itself if we do not have that inner peace.
We are living in a world of toil and struggle, but yet within ourselves it is possible to attain inner peace, peace with the environment, with the world in which we live.
Obviously there are some obstacles which prevent us from attaining peace. So first we have to identify the obstacles in our lives which prevent us from achieving maximum inner peace and develop some kind of strategy to remove them. The obstacles will not be removed just by thinking that we need to remove them; we have to develop some steps to achieve this. So how do we go about removing these obstacles so that we can achieve what is possible of inner peace?
The first step is to identify the obstacles themselves. We have to be aware of them, because if we cannot identify them then we cannot remove them.
The second step is to accept them as obstacles within ourselves. For example anger is one of the biggest obstacles to inner peace, for example. If a person is angry worked up and has blown a fuse, how can he or she have inner peace in that circumstance? It is not possible. So the person needs to recognize that anger is an obstacle to inner peace.
However, if a person states that, “Yes, it is an obstacle but I do not get angry”, then such a person has a problem. He has not accepted that obstacle as a problem and is in a state of self denial. As such he cannot remove it.
If we look at the obstacles in life we can put them under a variety of headings: personal problems, family issues, financial dilemmas, work pressures and spiritual confusion. And there are many issues under these headings.
We have so many problems, so many obstacles that they are like illnesses. If we try to deal with them one by one we will never get through them. We need to identify them, put them in some general categories and tackle them as a group as opposed to trying to tackle each individual obstacle and problem.
To do this we have to first of all remove obstacles that are beyond our control. We have to be able to distinguish which obstacles are within our control and which ones are beyond our control. While we perceive the ones that are beyond our control as obstacles the reality is that they are not. They are the things that Allah has destined for us in our lives, they are not really obstacles, but we have misinterpreted them as being obstacles.
For example, in this time one might find oneself born black in a world that favours white people over black people; or born poor in a world that favours the rich over the poor, or born short, or crippled, or any other physical condition which is considered a handicap.
These are all things that were and are beyond our control. We did not choose which family to be born in to; we did not choose which body for our spirit to be blown into, this is not our choice. So whatever we find of these kinds of obstacles then we just have to be patient with them and realize that, in fact, they are not really obstacles. Allah told us:
“…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:216)
So the obstacles that are beyond our control, we may dislike them and we may want to change them, and some actually people spend a lot of money trying to change them. Michael Jackson is a classic example. He was born black in a world that favours white people, so he spent a lot of money trying to change himself but he only ended up making a mess of himself.
Inner peace can only be achieved if the obstacles that are beyond our control are accepted by us patiently as part of Allah’s destiny.
Know that whatever happens which we had or have no control over, then Allah has put in it some good, whether or not we are able to grasp what is good in it; the good is still there. So we accept it!
There was an article in a newspaper which had a photograph of a smiling Egyptian man. He had a smile on his face from ear to ear with his hands stretched out and both thumbs sticking up; his father was kissing him on one cheek and his sister on the other cheek.
Underneath the photograph it had a caption. He was supposed to have been on a Gulf Air flight the day before, Cairo to Bahrain. He had dashed down to the airport to catch the flight and when he got there he had one stamp missing on his Passport (In Cairo you have to have many stamps on your documents. You get this person to stamp this and sign that and that person to stamp that and sign this) But there he was at the airport with one stamp missing. As he was a teacher in Bahrain and this flight was the last one back to Bahrain which would enable him to report back on time, missing it meant that he would have lost his job. So he nagged them to let him on the flight. He became frantic, started crying and screaming and going berserk, but he could not get on the plane. It took off without him. He went (to his home in Cairo) distraught, thinking that he was finished and that his career was over. His family comforted him and told him not to worry about it. The next day, he heard the news that the plane he was meant to be on crashed and everybody on board died. And then there he was, ecstatic that he did not make the flight. But the day before it was the end of his life, a tragedy that he did not get on the flight.
These are signs, and such signs can be found in the story of Musa and Khidr (which we should read every Jumu’ah, i.e. Surah al-Kahf). When Khidr made a hole in the boat of the people who were kind enough to take him and Musa across the river, Musa asked why he (Khidr) did that.
When the owners of the boat saw the hole in the boat they wondered who did it and thought that it was a nasty thing to have done. A short while later the king came down to the river and forcefully took away all the boats except the one with a hole in it. So the owners of the boat praised Allah due to the fact that there was a hole in their boat. [1]
There are other obstacles or rather things which are perceived as obstacles in our life. These are things in which we cannot figure out what is beyond them. A thing happens and we do not know why, we do not have an explanation for it. For some people this drives them into disbelief. If one listens to an atheist he has no inner peace and has rejected God. Why did that person become an atheist? It is abnormal to disbelieve in God, whereas it is normal for us to believe in God because Allah created us with a natural inclination to believe in Him.
Allah says:

“So set you (O Muhammad) your face towards the religion of pure Islamic Monotheism Hanifa (worship none but Allah Alone) Allah’s Fitrah (i.e. Allah’s Islamic Monotheism), with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in Khalq¬illah (i.e. the Religion of Allah Islamic Monotheism), that is the straight religion, but most of men know not.” (Ar-Rum 30:30) [2]
The Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Every child is born with a pure nature (as a Muslim with a natural inclination to believe on God)…” (Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim)
This is the nature of human beings, but a person who becomes an atheist without having been taught it from childhood usually does so because of a tragedy. If a tragedy happens in their life they have no explanations as to why it happened.
For example, a person who became an atheist may say that he/she had a wonderful auntie; she was a very good person and everybody loved her, but one day whilst she was out crossing the road a car came out of nowhere and hit her and she died. Why did this happen to her of all people? Why? No explanations! Or a person (who became an atheist) may have had a child who died and say why did this happen to my child? Why? No explanations! As a result of such tragedies they then think that there can’t possibly be a God.
Going back to the story of Musa and Khidr, after they crossed the river they came across a child and Khidr cut that child’s head off. Musa asked Khidr how he could possibly do such a thing? The child was innocent and Khidr cut his head off! Khidr told Musa that the child had righteous parents and if the child had grown up (Allah knew that) he would have become such a terror for his parents that he would have driven them into disbelief, so Allah ordered the death of the child.
Of course the parents grieved when they found their child dead. However, Allah replaced their child with one who was righteous and better for them. This child honoured them and was good to and for them, but the parents would always have a hole in their heart due to losing their first child, right until the Day of Judgement when they will stand before Allah and He will reveal to them the reason why He took the soul of their first child and then they will then understand and praise Allah.
So this is the nature of our lives. There are things, things which are apparently negative, things which happen in our lives which seem to be obstacles to inner peace because we do not understand them or why they happened to us, but we have to put them aside.
They are from Allah and we have to believe that ultimately there is good behind them, whether we can see it or not. Then we move on to those things that we can change. First we identify them, then we move to the second major step and that is removing the obstacles by developing solutions for them. To remove the obstacles we have to focus mostly on self-change and this is because Allah says:
“Verily! Allah will not change the good condition of a people as long as they do not change their state of good within themselves…” (Ra'd 13:11)
This is an area which we have control over. We can even develop patience, although the common idea is that some people are just born patient. A man came to the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and asked what he needed to do to get to Paradise, so the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) told him: “Do not get angry.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
The man was an individual who would get angry quickly, so the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) told the man that he needed to do change his angry nature. So changing oneself and one’s character is something achievable. The Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said: “Whoever pretends to be patient (with a desire to be patient) Allah will give him patience.” This is recorded in Sahih al Bukhari. This means that although some people are born patient the rest of us can learn to be patient.
Interestingly in western psychiatry and psychology they used to tell us to get it off our chest, don’t hold it in because if we did we would explode, so better to let it all out.
Later on they discovered that when people let it all out small blood vessels would burst in their brain because they were so angry. They found that it was actually dangerous and potentially damaging to let it all out. So now they say it is better not to let it all out.
The Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) told us to try to be patient, so externally we should give that façade of being patient even when internally we are boiling. And we do not try to be patient externally in order to deceive people; rather, we do so in order to develop patience. If we are consistent in this then the external image of patience also becomes internal and as a result complete patience is achieved and is achievable as mentioned in the Hadith quoted above.
Among the methods is to look at how the material elements of our lives play a major part with regards to patience and us achieving it.
The Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) gave us advice on how to deal with these elements by saying: “Do not look to those above you who are more fortunate, instead, look to those below you or less fortunate…”
This is because no matter what our situation is, there are always those who are worse off than us. This should be our general strategy with regards to the material life. Nowadays the material life is a huge part of our life, we seem to be obsessed with it; gaining all we can in this world seems to be the main point that most of us focus our energies towards. So if one must do this then they should not let it affect their inner peace.
While dealing with the material world we should not keep focusing on those who are better off than us otherwise we will never be satisfied with what we have. The Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“If you give the son of Adam a valley of gold he would want another one.” (Sahih Muslim)

The say that the grass is always greener on the other side, the more a person has the more a person wants. We cannot achieve satisfaction in the material world if we are chasing after it in such a way; rather, we should look to those who are less fortunate, this way we will remember the gifts, benefits and mercy that Allah has bestowed upon us with regards to our own wealth, no matter how little it may seem.
There is another hadith which helps us in the realm of the material world to put our affairs in their proper perspective, and is a Prophetic example of Steven Covey’s [3] principle of “first things first”. The Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) stated this principle over 1400 years ago and laid this principle down for the believers by saying, “Whoever makes this world his goal Allah will confuse his affairs and place poverty before his eyes and he will be able to attain nothing from this world except for what Allah has already written for him…” (Ibn Maajah & Ibn Hibbaan)
So a person’s affairs will not come together for him, he will be all over the place, like a chicken with its head cut off, running wild if he makes this world his goal. Allah will place poverty before his eyes and no matter how much money he has he will feel poor. Every time someone is nice to him or smiles at him he feels that they are only doing so because they want his money, he can’t trust anyone and is not happy.
When the stock market crashes you read about some of those who invested in it committing suicide. A person may have had 8 million and lost 5 million with 3 million left after the market crashed, but losing that 5 million seems to him to be the end. He sees no point in living after that, as Allah has put poverty between his eyes.
We have to keep in mind that a person will not get from this world except what Allah has already written for them, this is the bottom line. After all that running around, staying up late at night, being a workaholic a person will only get that which Allah has already destined for him or her. The Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Whoever sets the Hereafter as his goal, Allah gathers his affairs for him, gives him richness of (faith in) the heart and the world will come to him grudgingly and submissively.” (Ibn Maajah & Ibn Hibbaan)
Such a person attains richness of the heart. Richness is not about having a lot of wealth, but richness is having wealth of the heart, and what is wealth of the heart? It is contentment, and this is where the peace comes from, when a person submits themselves to Allah, and this is Islam.
The inner peace is accepting Islam in our hearts and living by the principles of Islam. So Allah will put richness in a person’s heart and this world will come to him submissively, on its knees and humbled. such a person will not have to chase it.
This is the Promise of the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) if a person puts “first things first”, and that is the Hereafter. If it is Paradise that we want then that should be manifest in our lives, it should be the point of our focus, what we keep putting in the forefront.
So how do we know when the Hereafter is our focus? If we sit down with a person and all we talk about are the latest cars, expensive houses, travelling and holidays and money, if the majority of our conversations is about material things or it is gossip, talking about this person and that person then it means that the Hereafter is not our focus. If the Hereafter was our focus then it would be reflected in our conversation. This is a very basic level in which we can judge ourselves, so we should stop and ask ourselves, “what do we spend most of our time talking about”?
If we find that our priority is this world, then we need to re-focus, we need to put “first things first”, meaning the Hereafter before the life of this world, and if we do this we can achieve inner peace, and Allah informed us of this in the Qur’aan, a precise step to take in order to attain inner peace, and Allah says:
“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Ra'd 13:28)

So it is only by the remembrance of Allah that hearts find rest. This is the inner peace. The remembrance of Allah is in everything we do as Muslims. Islam is living a life remembering Allah, and Allah says:
“Perform the prayer for my remembrance…” (Ta-Ha 20:14)

Everything that we do (in Islam) involves the remembrance of Allah as Muslims. Allah says:
“Say: ‘Indeed, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and dying are for Allah, Lord of all the worlds’.” (Al-An'am 6:162)

So here is the way to achieve inner peace, to remember Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) in all aspects of our lives.
This remembrance (dhikr) is not as some people think i.e. to sit in the corner of a dark room constantly repeating “Allah, Allah, Allah…” This is not how we remember Allah. Yes, such a person is saying Allah’s name, but if we think about it, if somebody came to you (and for example your name is Muhammad) and kept saying “Muhammad, Muhammad, Muhammad…” you would wonder what is wrong with that person. Does he want something? Is there something that he needs? What is the purpose of repeating my name without further talk?
This is not the way to remember Allah because this is not how the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) remembered Allah and there is no record of him doing that. Some people say that we should remember Allah by dancing around or swaying from side to side. This is not the way to remember Allah, as this too is not how the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) remembered Allah and there is no record of him doing that.
The Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) remembered Allah in his life. His life was a life of remembrance of Allah, he lived a life in remembrance of Allah and this is the true remembrance, in our prayers and in our living and our dying.
In summary, the search for inner peace involves recognizing the problems that we have in our lives, recognizing our obstacles, recognizing that inner peace will only come when we identify those obstacles and understand which of them we can change and that we focus on those obstacles we can change, the ones which are related to our self.
If we change our self then Allah will change the world around us and give us the means to deal with the world around us. Even though the world is in turmoil Allah gives us inner peace with it.
Whatever happens we know that it is Allah’s destiny and that it is Allah’s trials and we know that ultimately it is for our good. and has good in it. Allah created us in this world and the world as a means to attain Paradise and the trials of this world is our own spiritual growth. If we can accept all this, accepting Allah in our hearts then we can find inner peace

Transcribers Footnotes:
[1] The king was an oppressor and was known for seizing every good boat by force, but the people who owned the boat were poor people and it was their only means of benefit so Khidr wanted the boat to appear to be faulty so that the king did not seize it in order for the poor people to carry on benefiting from it.
[2] This ayah was added to the transcription by the transcribers
[3] Stephen Covey is an internationally respected leadership authority and founder of Covey Leadership Centre. He received his M.B

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Dr Bilal Philips
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http://www.islamhouse.com/

Shiism and Islam (Part 1 of 2)

One of the most perplexing scenarios to non-Muslims and new Muslims alike is the division they may see between Shiites and Sunni Muslims. Some tend to become confused when they see that each group claims to be following the true Islam.
To truly understand this subject to the fullest, one must delve into the early history of Islam and see under what circumstances this division actually began, a study far from possible for most people.
Another way, much more in the scope of the average person, is to analyze which group is true to the teachings of Islam, a simple comparison may be done between Sunni and Shiite beliefs and practices in relation to textual evidence, the Quran – the revealed word of God, and the Sunnah – or teachings of Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him.
Many times, people see this division to be a major one, while the fact re-mains that Shiites only make up a mere 8 percent of the Muslim popula-tion, reaching even this figure after taking hold of certain important politi-cal regions in history.
Not a division, one can confidently say that the Shiites are but one of the various splinter groups which left the pure teachings of traditional Islam.
Sunnis, on the other hand, are not a splinter group, but merely name them-selves as such to differentiate themselves from the Shiites and other de-viant sects.
The word “Sunni” itself comes from the term “Sunnah”, explained earlier to be the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, for they are strict in abiding by these teachings without any introductions, interpolations, or omissions.
The word Shiite (Shi’a in Arabic) means a “party”, “sect”, “supporters” or a “group of like minded individuals”. God says in the Quran addressing His Prophet, Muhammad:
“Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects (Shi’a), you have no concern in them in the least. Their affair is only with Allah, Who then will tell them what they used to do.” (Quran 6:159)
Although the specific groups called the Shiites is not what is directly in-tended in this verse, it is inclusive of them.
When one studies a bit of history, they will see that the term Shiite was first used amongst the Muslims in regards to a political issue over which the Muslims varied, 37 years after the death of the Prophet. Although the Shiites claim that their origin lies in that scenario, the actual term Shiite being used to denote this specific sect actually occurred much later in his-tory.
In either case, it is clear that the term was unheard of during the time of the Prophet, and thus we can say that the Shiites were a group which appeared after the death of the Prophet.


Over the long evolution of Shiite thought, they incorporated many foreign concepts into their faith. Starting as a political opinion which favored some views of Ali, the cousin of the Prophet, over some other companions, it became a sect purporting strange ideas foreign to Islam. This was due mainly to the fact that this ideology was mainly espoused by people in areas far from the centers of Islamic learning, namely Persia, those who were either new to Islam, had either converted to Islam nominally, and were living in areas where a large percentage of people remained upon their previous religions.
Thus the Shiites became fertile soil to the introduction of foreign ideas, which they struggled to incorporate into some aspects and beliefs main-tained by Islam, resulting in a sect composed of ideas stemming from Ju-daism, Zoroastrianism and Islam.
Not strange is it then that we see that one of the most important shrines in Shiism visited by many Shiites is that of Abu Lu’lu’ah, a Zoroastrian who died after the Caliphate of Umar, located in the city of Kashan in present day Iran. Muhammad Ali Mu’zi, an Iranian Shiite researcher in France, stated:

“The basic fundamentals of the Zoroastrian religion have entered into Shiaism even in some minute issues. …And this relationship marked the brotherhood between Shiaism and the ancient Magian Iran.”
We will now take a brief look at Shiism from just one aspect, that of be-liefs. From these few examples, one will clearly see how different it truly is from the religion of Islam brought by Prophet Muhammad.
There are various articles of faith in Islam, and from them branch other beliefs which must be held by all who attribute themselves to Islam. They are as mentioned in the verse:
“…but piety is that one has firm belief in God, the Last Day, the angels, the scriptures and the Prophets…” (Quran 2:177)
This is also mentioned in a statement of the Prophet, may God praise him:
“Faith is that you believe in God, the angels, the scriptures, the Prophets, the Last Day...” (Saheeh Muslim)
This short discourse will merely touch on some of these various aspects of faith, and mention just some of the beliefs of the Shiites and how they differ from Islam.
Belief in God
The proper belief about God, or creed is the most important aspect of the religion of Islam. During the first 13 years of Muhammad’s Prophethood, he corrected people’s beliefs about God, warning them against calling to others besides God, whether angels, prophets, saints, martyrs, trees, stones, stars, or idols.
He clarified that only God alone, the One who created them was to be worshipped. Very few legislations and acts of worship were revealed for this period.
The majority of the Quran itself calls to this belief. God says in the Quran that calling to others besides Him is a sin worthy of eternal damnation in Hellfire:

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1 The Role of Zoroastrianism in the Development of Shiaism.

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“Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode.” (Quran 5:72)
This is an uncompromising belief in Islam, and is the basis from which one enters the fold of Islam. We find, however, that Shiites believe in the veneration of others besides God. Homage is to be paid to great saints and martyrs, such as Ali, Hussein, Fatimah, their Imams, and they are directly called out to in times of need.
They believe that they can answer their calls as well as intervene for them with God, a belief that according to Islam is clear disbelief . God says:
“Is not He (God) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls Him, and Who removes the evil.” (Quran 27:62)
Another important tenet which Shiism clearly violates is the concept that God Alone administers the affairs of the universe, and it is He alone who knows the Unseen. Shiism attributes these powers to their leaders, called Imams, and places them in a position higher than the Prophets and angels. God says:
“Say: ‘None in the heavens and the earth knows the unseen except Allah, nor can they perceive when they shall be resurrected.” (Quran 27:65)
“And among His Signs is that He shows you the lightning, by way of fear and hope, and He sends down water (rain) from the sky, and therewith revives the earth after its death. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who understand.” (Quran 30:24)

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1 Bihaar Al-Anwar, Al-Majlisi. An example of such preposterous beliefs can be found in the following statements of one of their Imams, or leaders:
“When Prophet Noah (Peace be upon him) was about to drown in the flooding waters, he invoked God Almighty by our (i.e. the names of the Imams) names. Hence God Almighty came to his rescue. When Prophet Abraham (Peace be upon him) was thrown into the scorching fire, he prayed to God through our names, and God Almighty ordered the fire to be cool and a means of safety for him [Abraham]. When prophet Moses (Peace be upon him) struck the Sea with his rod in quest of a path, he invoked God with respect to our names and God made the sea dry out. Finally when the Jews plotted to kill Jesus (Peace be upon him), he supplicated to God by mentioning our names and was rescued from death. God eventually raised him up.” (Wasa’il As-Sheea, 4/1143)

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The Shiites give many of these attributes to their Imams. Some of them even attribute lightning to be caused by them .
In authoritative Shiite texts, its states:
“The Imams have knowledge of whatever occurred in the past and what-ever will happen in the future, and nothing is concealed from them.” (Al-Kulaini, Al-Kaafi, p.260)
“The Imams have knowledge of all the revealed books, regardless of the languages in which they were revealed” (Ibid, p.227)
“The Imams know when they will die, and they do not die except by their own choice” (Ibid, p.258)
“All of the earth belongs to the Imams.” (Ibid, p.407)
There are many aspects of faith in Shiism that oppose Islam and which render a person out of its fold. Due to this reason, Muslims do not consider Shiism to represent Islam, but rather believe it to contradict the very basics of Islamic teachings.

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1 Bihaar al-Anwar, Al-Burhan, and others.


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Shiism and Islam (Part 2 of 2)


The Shahaadah
The Shism even differ with Islam in the first and most important pillar of Islam and faith, called the Shahaadah, the testimony one gives upon af-firming their faith in Islam, that none deserves worship but God, and that Muhammad is His slave and messenger (laa ilaaha ill-Allah). This testi-mony is the most important aspect of Islam, and the whole religion is built upon it, and embodies this unique and total monotheism and belief in God. So important is it that the Prophet pleaded to his uncle who was on his deathbed to testify:
“O uncle! Say ‘laa ilaaha ill-Allah,’ a phrase for which I will plead on your behalf in front of God.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
His uncle did not say this testimony due to his fear of what people would say about changing the religion of his forefathers upon death. He died, and the Prophet was informed by revelation that he was among the people of Hell.
Point being, this phrase and what it entails are so important that the Proph-et made it a means of everlasting life in Paradise. He said:
“No one says ‘La ilaaha ill-Allah’ and dies firmly upon it, but he/she will enter Heaven (Paradise).” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
Thus is this phrase considered the first pillar of Islam, the very statement that rendered one a believer, gives him an opportunity to enter Paradise!
The Shiites, however, have a different ‘testimony of faith’. They not only negate it meanings, as shown in the previous articles by associating others with God, but they have also added certain principles nowhere to be found in authentic texts. Their shahaadah comprises of the statement: “none deserves worship but God, and that Muhammad is His slave and messen-ger, and Ali is His beloved and chosen one, and successor to the Prophet.”
This is due to the extremism they have in regards to the cousin of Prophet Muhammad, Ali, to whom they claim their origin. The Shiites even claim that the succession of Ali was mentioned in all of the scriptures revealed to the previous prophets . They claim that all will be asked about the succes
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1 Abdul Kareem Mushtaq.
2 Al-Kulaini, Al-Kaafi, 1/437.

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sion of Ali on the Day of Judgment , and that if anyone believes different-ly, they are considered polytheists . Although Ali was known to be one of the most pious of the companions of the Prophet, in no narration can we find that Prophet Muhammad ever mentioned his succession in rule. Ac-tually even when we look at early Shiite works, they themselves attribute this belief to Abdullah ibn Saba’, a renegade who claimed Islam and plot-ted against the Caliph Uthman, and also claimed that Ali was God Him-self . Thus it is clear that these beliefs are all innovations never preached by Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him.
Belief in the Scriptures
God mentions in the Quran that He revealed Scriptures to the Prophets which they taught and recited to their people. Some of these Prophets and Scriptures are mentioned in the Quran:
“Say, We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and to the tribes, and that which has been given to Moses and Jesus, and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no dis-tinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam).” (Quran 2:136)
“It is He (God) Who has sent down the Book to you with truth, confirming what came before it. And He sent down the Torah and the Gospel.” (Quran 3:3)
It was the Prophets who received revelation, and due to the fact that Mu-hammad, may God praise him, was the last prophet, there will be no other Scriptures revealed after the revelation of the Quran. The Shiites however, believe that there was a scripture revealed after the Quran before the death of the Prophet, which they call the ‘Tablet of Fatimah’. They claim, that in it were the names of all those who were to be their Imams in the future .
They invented these ideas due to the fact that they could not find any verses in the Quran which they could use to defend their views. They did

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1 The Wilayat of ‘Ali ibne Abi Talib (as), Answering Ansar.
2 “Whoever sets up another Imam besides ‘Ali and delays ‘Ali’s caliphate is a polytheist.” (Al-Kafi fil-Usool, vol.10 p.55)
3 Rijaal al-Kishhi.
4 Al-Kulaini, Al-Kaafi, 1/527-8, and many others

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not cease at this, but also went on to directly challenge the authenticity of the Quran by stating that its has not been preserved , and that the Quran today is incomplete, and that the complete version is with their 12th Imam who has been in hiding for the past 900 years in ‘the cave’. They believe that when he emerges he will bring forth the complete version . This, as should be clear to all, is in direct opposition to the teachings of Islam, as God clearly states that the Quran is under the direct protection of God:

“Verily it is We Who have sent down the Reminder and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)” (Quran 15:9)
The Shiites assert that the existing Quran must have been altered, since there is no reference to any of their strayed beliefs in it. One of the first to explicitly state this view was Mirza Hussein Muhammad Taqiy al-Noori al-Tabrasi (d. 1320 AH) in his book The Final Verdict on the Distortion of the Book of the Lord of Lords .
The Shiites became so extreme in their beliefs, that they even attempted to insert chapters about Ali, may God be pleased with him, in the Quran, since they could not find any clear texts. One of them is what they called “The Chapter of Succession”.
Belief in the Prophets
As mentioned earlier, Islam teaches that the Prophets were the best of hu-manity, specifically chosen by God due to their excellent qualities specifi-cally to preach the message of God to humanity. God says in the Quran:
“Allah specially chooses Messengers from angels and from hu-mans. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Seer.” (Quran 22:75)

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1 Usul Kafi 1:228
2 Al-Anwar al-Nu’maniah, 2: 360-2.
3 Faslul Khitab Fi Tahreefi-Kitabi Rabbil Arbaab.

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The Prophets were the best of humans, living examples to be emulated:
“We sent no messenger except to be obeyed, by Allah’s leave…” (Quran 4:64)
The Shiites, however believe that their Imams are better than the proph-ets , and that some prophets were highly praised only due to their love of the Imams .
If one was to mention all the beliefs of the Shiites in which they have op-posed the teachings of Islam, it would definitely need many volumes to do so. It should be clear, however, from this short discourse that the beliefs purported by Shiism has no basis in any of the teachings of Islam, but ra-ther that it is a conglomeration of foreign beliefs evolved over a period of time, all of which revolve around extremist views concerning the leader-ship of certain favored candidates, known as their Imams.
A religion which teaches the worship of God alone and living a life taught by God’s prophets, a message preached by all prophets, has for them be-come a life and existence solely based upon love of Ali and affirming his and their Imam’s claim to leadership, struggling to find ways to fit into Islamic texts by addition, interpolation, or misrepresentation.
Creation comes into being, Prophets are sent and Scriptures are revealed, all for the purpose of succession of Ali and the latter Imams , and even on the Day of Judgment, it will be their Imams, not God, who will judge people . It is no matter to wonder, then, what the basis of entering Heaven or Hell will be according to Shiism.

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1 Wasa’il As-Sheea.
2Bihaar al-Anwar (26:267).
3I’tiqaadaat (106-7)
4 Rijaal al-Kishhi (337)


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Some Misconceptions about Women in Islam



Summarized from: What Does She Expect Better?
Islam gave women rights and privileges at a time when only barbaric manners and values dominated.
Yet, some people argue that Islam has alienated women in some domains. In fact, this belief is a misconception. People who say so, may have read about it in a magazine or seen it on TV. A quick examination of the issues judged as unjust to women will certainly correct the misunderstanding.
Man as the head of the household:
Some people believe that a woman in Islam is regarded as inferior to man since the Quran says (what means):"Men have one degree above women." [Quran 2: 228]

In the Quran it also says (what means): "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allaah has given the one more than the other and because men support them from their means." [Quran 4:34]
This verse implies that it is a man's duty to support his wife, and not the reverse, but this, in no way, makes him superior to her.
In fact, the rights and responsibilities of a woman are equal to those of a man but they are not necessarily identical. Since men and women are not created identical, they have different physical and emotional qualities, jobs and privileges. This does not mean that women are inferior.
On the contrary, women are considered crucial members of society in Islam since they are assigned the job of bringing up future generations. People today tend to look down at housewives but, in fact, raising children is one of the most important and difficult tasks. The way a mother brings up her child determines the way he will behave in the future. This duty, which requires patience, love, understanding and wisdom was significantly assigned to women in Islam because her nature suits this job.
Allaah The Exalted, in His Wisdom, has assigned a role for each member of the family so that there would be no arguments concerning who should do what. If a sailboat has two leaders, each will want to follow a path, leading ultimately to chaos and even a crash. In the same manner, how many times have your parents fought over some decision because each had their own point of view and wanted to apply it? This is precisely why it is preferable to have one leader for each household. However, this does not give the leader the right to be a dictator, or to neglect the role of his companion. This does not make him superior to other members of his family. It just gives him a larger duty.
Inheritance:
Some people claim that Islam is unjust towards women because it entitles them to inherit half of what men get. In fact, those people only know one side of the truth.
First, the principle of women inheriting half the money is only applicable in 45 percent of the cases. In the other 55 percent, women inherit the same amount or sometimes even more. For example, a mother and a father each inherit the sixth of their son's property when they are not the only inheritors.
In addition, the laws of inheritance in Islam are proportional to the duties of spending. Indeed, a man in Islam has the responsibility of supporting his family, his brother's children (when his brother dies), his parents (when they retire and do not have an income), his children from his previous marriage (if he has them) and his household, including his wife and children. A woman, on the other hand, does not bear this responsibility. She has the freedom to use the money she collects from her dowry or work as she pleases.
You might object here, saying that women today are working and helping their husbands pay the expenses, which entitles them to share equality with men. In fact, you should know that women's economic assistance to their husbands, which has become the norm today, is only an answer to the females’ wishes. Islam does not oblige women to spend on their households. It is a free choice many women have themselves taken today to feel more liberated, so it does not entitle them to a bigger portion of the inheritance.
Polygyny:
Polygyny is one of the most questioned principles that Islam grants men and women. Indeed, many people wrongfully accuse Islam of injustice because it allows a man to have up to four wives. Nevertheless, like every instruction in the Quran, polygyny has a reason. You see, Islam is a practical religion that acknowledges the needs and temptations of human beings and provides laws that deal with them, thus preserving harmony and morality.
- Polygyny might be the solution for a couple if the wife is barren, the husband wants children of his own and the option of separation does not appeal to both parties.
- If a woman is chronically ill and is unable to perform her marital duties. Polygyny may also be the solution when the couple does not want divorce.
- Polygyny is the religion's answer to cases where some men have excessive sexual needs that cannot be fulfilled by one wife. This in no way means that men should abuse this right and use it whenever they fancy a woman. It is rather a chance Islam has provided to prevent men from committing adultery. Many people who condemn polygyny cheat on their wives, calling this phenomenon a 'swift affair.' Islam, at least, has offered the second woman the option of being called 'a wife' rather than 'a mistress', especially in some countries where women remarkably outnumber men.
- Polygyny may settle the problem of an increased number of unmarried women, especially during wars.
However, polygyny has some limits and conditions to be met. Indeed, the Quran instructs the man to be fair with his wives on all levels, including treatment, money, house, etc. The only level where the man may have an uneven stance is the level of the feelings that he cannot control:
The Quran says (what means): "You will never be able to do perfect justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire, so do not incline too much to one of them [by giving her more of your time and provision] so as to leave the other hanging [i.e. neither divorced nor married]. And if you do justice, and do all that is right and fear Allaah by keeping away from all that is wrong, then Allaah is Ever-Forgiving and All-Merciful." [Quran 4:129]
Finally, it is worth knowing that Islam gives a woman the right to refuse polygyny for her husband by setting it as a condition during the marriage procedures. If this condition is set, then the woman is granted divorce if her husband marries another while he is still married to her.
You might ask, why could not there be polyandry (a woman having more than one husband)? The answer is simple. Islam did not allow it because Allaah is All-Aware that it will create a problem of kinship. This means that the child may not know who is actually his father (it could be anyone of the four husbands). In addition to the psychological damage it may cause, this problem also complicates the issue of inheritance. Even birds and animals do not allow polyandry.
In fact, to understand this Quranic verse, you should see another one, related to the issue in question. It reveals the wisdom behind this concept.


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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

What if you found a watch in the sand?




Suppose you found a watch in the middle of the desert. What would you conclude? Would you think someone dropped the watch? Or would you suppose that the watch came by itself? Of course, no sane person would say the watch just happened to emerge from the sand.
All the intricate working parts could not simply develop from the metals that lay buried in the earth. The watch must have a manufacturer. If a watch tells an accurate time, we expect the manufacturer must be intelli-gent. Blind chance cannot produce a working watch. But what else tells accurate time? Consider the sunrise and the sunset.
Their timings are so strictly regulated that scientists can publish in ad-vance the sunrise and sunset times in your daily newspaper, but who regulated the timings of sunrise and sunset? If a watch cannot work with-out an intelligent maker, how can the sun appear to rise and set with such clockwork regularity? Could this occur by itself? Consider also that we benefit from the sun only because it remains at a safe distance from the earth.
A distance that averages 93 million miles. If it gets much closer, the earth would burn up. And if it got too far away, the earth would turn into an icy planet making human life here impossible. Who decided in advance that this was the right distance? Could it just happen by chance? Without the sun, plants would not grow. Then animals and humans would starve. Did the sun just decide to be there for us? We need to experience sunrise.
We need the sun energy and its light to see our way during the day. But we also need sunset. We need a break for the heat, we need the cool of the night and we need the lights to go out so we may sleep. Who regu-lated this process to provide what we need?
Moreover, if we had only the warmth of the sun and the protection of the atmosphere we would want something more-beauty. Our clothes provide warmth and protection, yet we design them also to look beauti-ful/knowing our need for beauty, the designer of the sunrise and the sun-set also made the view of them to be simply breathtaking.
The Creator who gave us light, energy, protection and beauty deserves our thanks. Yet some people insist that He does not exist. What would they think if they a watch in the desert? An accurate and working watch? A beautiful designed watch? Would they not conclude that there is a watchmaker? One who appreciates beauty? Such is God who made us.

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The Challenge of the Quran



(In the light of the Glorious Qurân and the Sunnah)


The Challenge of the Quran


Description: The Qur'anic challenge to produce a work similar to it, and the inability of its contemporaries to meet it.
By Dr. Bilal Philips


The Quran is not only unique in the way in which it presents its subject matter, but it is also unique in that it is a miracle itself. By the term “miracle,” we mean the performance of a supernatural or extraordinary event which cannot be duplicated by humans. It has been documented that Prophet Muhammad, may God praise him, challenged the Arabs to produce a literary work of a similar caliber as the Quran, but they were unable to do so in spite of their well-known eloquence and literary powers. The challenge to reproduce the Quran was presented to the Arabs and mankind in three stages:

l. The Whole Quran

In the Quran, God commanded the Prophet to challenge all of creation to create a book of the stature of the Quran:
“Say: ‘If all mankind and the jinn would come together to produce the like of this Quran, they could not produce its like even though they exerted all and their strength in aiding one another.’” (Quran 17:88)

2. Ten Chapters

Next, God made the challenge ostensibly easier by asking those who denied its divine origin to imitate even ten chapters of the Quran:
“Or do they say that he has invented it? Say (to them), ‘Bring ten invented chapters like it, and call (for help) on whomever you can besides God, if you are truthful.” (Quran 11:13)

3. One Chapter

This final challenge was to produce even a single chapter to match what is in the Quran, whose shortest chapter, al-Kawthar, consists of only three verses:
“And if you all are in doubt about what I have revealed to My servant, bring a single chapter like it, and call your witnesses besides God if you are truthful.” (Quran 2:23)

These challenges were not just empty words with no one caring to prove them wrong. Prophet Muhammad’s call to monotheism, to the abolition of idolatry in all its forms, and to the equality of slaves and their masters threatened the whole socio-economic framework of Mecca society in general, and the position of the ruling Quraishee tribe from which the Prophet came in particular. Mecca, the trading center of Arabia, as well as its spiritual center, desperately wanted to stop the spread of Islam. Yet all that the Prophet’s opponents had to do to crush the movement was to make up a single chapter like any one of those which the Prophet and his followers were reciting to the people. A number of Quraishee orators and poets tried to imitate the Quran, but they failed. They then resorted to offering him vast amounts of wealth, the position of king over them, and the most noble and beautiful of their women in exchange for his promise to stop inviting people to Islam. He responded to them by reciting the first thirteen verses of Chapter Fussilat, until they asked him to stop.[1] The Quraish also resorted to torturing their slaves and relatives who had embraced Islam in a vain attempt to cause them to revert to paganism. Later they organized an economic boycott against the Prophet his followers and the members of his clan, Banu Hashim, in an attempt to starve them into submission. But even this plan eventually failed. Finally, they plotted to kill him in his home by sending armed young men from each of the clans of Quraish in order that the guilt of his murder be shared by all the clans, making revenge by the Prophet’s clan impossible.

However, God enabled the Prophet and his followers to flee Mecca and join a new band of converts who had arisen among the tribes of a city to the north called Yathrib. Islam spread rapidly through the clans of Yathrib, and within a year Muslims became the city’s majority. Prophet Muhammad was then made the ruler, and the name of the city was changed to Medina an-Nabi (The City of the Prophet may God praise him), which was then shortened to “Medina.” Over the next eight years, the clans of Mecca and its neighboring lands mounted a series of unsuccessful battle campaigns against the emerging Muslim state in Medina, which ended with the Muslim invasion of Mecca itself.

All of this bloodshed could have been avoided if only the Quraish and their allies had been able to produce a mere three lines of poetry or flowing prose similar to the shortest chapter of the Quran. Hence, there can be no doubt about the inimitability of the Quran’s literary style, about the miracle of its rhyme and the marvel of its rhythm.

It has been suggested that the inimitability of the Quran is not necessarily unique, for great English poets like Shakespeare, Chaucer, or great poets in any language tend to have distinctly unique styles which set them apart from their contemporaries. However, if, for example, some leading poet of today were to make an in-depth study of Shakespeare’s writings and write a sonnet in Shakespeare’s style in old ink and on old paper, then claim that he had discovered a lost poem of Shakespeare’s, the literary world would probably accept this claim, even after careful study. Thus, even the greatest of poets could be imitated; no matter how unique his style was, just as the famous painters have been imitated. [In fact, some English scholars consider much of what has been attributed to Shakespeare to have been written by his contemporary, Christopher Marlowe.] The Quran, however, is way above this level, as attempts to forge chapters have been made throughout the ages, yet none has withstood close scrutiny. And, as was mentioned before, the incentive to imitate the Quran was more intense during the time of its revelation when literally skills were at their peak than at any other time, yet there was no successful attempt.

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Footnotes:
[1] Collected by al-Hakim, al-Bayhaqee, Aboo Ya’laa and Ibn Hishaam, and declared Hasan by Ibrahim al-’Alee in Sahih as-Seerah an-Nabaweeyah, p.64.

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What the Bible Says About Muhammad . Peace be upon him



According to the Bible, God said to Moses, on whom be peace: I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. (The Holy Bible, New International Version, Deuteronomy chapter 18, verse 18). The prophet described in the above verse must have the following three characteristics: 1. He will be like Moses. 2. He will come from the brothers of the Israelites, i.e. the Ishmaelites. 3. God will put His words in the mouth of the prophet and he will declare what God commanded him. Let us see which prophet God was speaking of. 1. The prophet like Moses Some people feel that this prophecy refers to the prophet Jesus, on whom be peace. But, although Jesus (peace be upon him and all of God’s prophets and messengers) was truly a prophet of God, he is not the prophet spoken of here. He was born miraculously, and finally God raised him up miraculously. On the other hand, Muhammad is more like Moses; both were born in a natural way and both died natural deaths.

2. From among the Ishmaelites Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac (Genesis, chapter 21). Ishmael became the grandfather of the Arab nation. And Isaac became the grandfather of Jewish nation. The prophet spoken of was to come not from among the Jews themselves, but from among their brothers, the Ishmaelites. Muhammad a descendant of Ishmael, is indeed that prophet. 3. God will put his words in his mouth ‘Neither the content of the revelation, nor its form, were of Muhammad’s devising. Both were given by the angel, and Muhammad’s task was only to repeat what he heard.’ (Word Religions from Ancient history to the Present, by Geoffrey Parrinder, p. 472). God sent the angel Gabriel to teach Muhammad the exact words that he should repeat to the people. The words are therefore not his own; they did not come from his own thoughts, but were put into his mouth by the angel. These are written down in the Qur’an word for word, exactly as they came from God. Now that we know that prophet we must listen to him, for, according to the Bible, God says: ‘I will punish anyone who refuses to obey him’ (Good News Bible, Deut. 18:19). Jesus (on whom be peace) In the Glorious Qur'an The Qur’an tells us many wonderful things about Jesus. As a result, believers in the Qur’an love Jesus, honor him and believe in him. In fact, no Muslim can be a Muslim unless he or she believes in Jesus, on whom be peace. The Qur’an says that Jesus was born of a virgin, that he spoke while he was still only a baby, that he healed the blind and the leper by God's leave and that he raised the dead by God's leave. What then is the significance of these miracles? First, the virgin birth. God demonstrates His power to create in every way. God created everyone we know from a man and a woman. But how about Adam, on whom be peace? God created him from neither a man nor a woman. And Eve from only a man, without a woman. And finally, to complete the picture, God created Jesus from a woman, without a man. What about the other miracles? These were to show that Jesus was not acting on his own behalf, but that he was backed by God. The Qur’an specifies that these miracles were performed by God's leave. This may be compared to the Book of Acts in the Bible, chapter 2, verse 22, where it says that the miracles were done by God to show that he approved of Jesus. Also, note that Jesus himself is recorded in the Gospel of John to have said: ‘I can do nothing of my own authority' (5:30). The miracles, therefore, were done not by his own authority, but by God's authority. What did Jesus teach? The Qur'an tells us that Jesus came to teach the same basic message which was taught by previous prophets from God – that we must shun every false god and worship only the One True God. Jesus taught that he is the servant and messenger of the One True God, the God of Abraham. These Qur'anic teachings can be compared with the Bible (Mark 10:18; Matthew 26:39; John 14:28, 17:3, and 20:17) where Jesus teaches that the one he worshipped is the only true God. See also Matthew 12:18; Acts 3:13, and 4:27 where we find that his disciples knew him as ‘Servant of God’. The Qur’an tells us that some of the Israelites rejected Jesus, and conspired to kill him, but God rescued Jesus and raised him to Himself. God will cause Jesus to descend again, at which time Jesus will confirm his true teachings and everyone will believe in him as he is and as the Qur'an teaches about him. Jesus is the Messiah. He is a word from God, and a spirit from Him. He is honored in this world and in the hereafter, and he is one of those brought nearest to God. Jesus was a man who spoke the truth which he heard from God. This can be compared with the Gospel According John where Jesus says to the Israelites: ‘You are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God’ (John 8:40).

We Believe In JESUS



We are presenting this not to placate you out of policy or diplomacy. We are only articulating what our Creator had commanded us in the Noble Qur’an (Which is translated as follows);
"Say (O Muslim), "We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Abraham (Abraham), Ismail (Ishmael), Ishaque (Isaac), Ya’qub (Jacob), and to Al-Asbat [the twelve sons of Ya’cub (Jacob)], and that which has been given to Musa (Moses) and ‘Isa (Jesus), and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam)". [Chapter 2: verse 136]
As Muslims we have no choice. We had said in many words:
" WE BELIEVE IN ONE CREATOR, WE BELIEVE IN ALL HIS PROPHETS, WE BELIEVE, THAT JESUS (peace be upon him) WAS ONE OF THE MIGHTIEST PROPHETS OF GOD, THAT HE WAS THE MESSIAH AS WELL AS THE WORD OF GOD, THAT HE WAS BORN MIRACULOUSLY- WITHOUT ANY MALE INTERVENTION (which many modern-day Christians do not believe today) , THAT HE GAVE LIFE TO THE DEAD BY GOD’S PERMISSION, AND THAT HE HEALED THOSE BORN BLIND AND THE LEPERS BY GOD’S PERMISSION."
Islam respects all religions. Nevertheless, Muslims consider the view of Christendom to be a misguided one. The Noble Qur’an highlights the important aspects of Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) mother, his birth, his mission and his ascension to heaven.
VIRGIN MARY:
Story of Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) in the Noble Qur’an starts with the conception of his mother, Mary, when the wife of Imran, Mary’s mother, vowed to dedicate her child to the service of God in the temple. This is mentioned in the following verses (Which is translated as follows);
"(Remember) when the wife of ‘Imran said: "O my Lord! I have vowed to You what (the child that) is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services (free from all worldly work; to serve Your place of worship), so accept this, from me. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knowing" "Then when she delivered her child [Maryam (Mary)], she said: "O my Lord! I have delivered a female child," -- and Allah knew better what she delivered, -- "And the male is not like the female, and I have named her Maryam (Mary), and I seek refuge with You (Allah) for her and for her offspring from Shaitan (Satan), the outcast." "So her Lord (Allah) accepted her with goodly acceptance, He made her grow in a good manner and put her under the care of Zakariya (Zachariya). Every time he entered Al-Mihrab (a praying place or private room) to (visit) her, he found her supplied with sustenance. He said: "O Maryam (Mary)! from where have you got this?" She said "This is from Allah" Verily, Allah provides sustenance to whom He wills, without limit" [Chapter 3: verses 35-37]
The Noble Qur’an stated also that the Almighty Allah chose Mary, purified her and raised her above all other women of the world. This is mentioned in the following verses (Which is translated as follows);
"And (remember) when the angels said: "O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah has chosen you, purified you (from polytheism and disbelief), and chosen you above the women of the ‘Alamin (Mankind and Jinns) (of her lifetime)", "O Mary! "Submit yourself with obedience to your Lord (Allah, by worshipping none but Him Alone) and prostrate yourself, and Irkai (bow down etc.) along with Ar-Raki’un (those who bow etc.)" [Chapter 3: verses 42-43]
MIRACULOUS BIRTH OF JESUS (Peace Be Upon Him):
Concerning the birth of Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him), Allah says thru chapter Mary in the Noble Qur’an (Which is translated as follows);
"And mention in the Book (The Qur’an, O Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him), the story of) Maryam (Mary), when she withdrew in seclusion from her family to a place facing east",
"She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent to her Our Ruh [angel Jibrael (Gabriel)], and he appeared before her in the form of a man in all respects",
"She said: "Verily! I seek refuge with the Most Beneficent (Allah) from you, if you do fear Allah",
"(The angel) said: "I am only a Messenger from your Lord, (to announce) to you the gift of a righteous son",
"She said: "How can I have a son, when no man has touched me, nor am I unchaste?",
"He said: "So (it will be), your Lord said: ‘That is easy for Me (Allah): And (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind and a mercy from Us (Allah), and it is a matter (already) decreed, (by Allah)",
"So she conceived him, and she withdrew him to a far place (i.e. Bethlehem valley about 4-6 miles from Jerusalem)", "And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of the date-palm. She said: "Would that I had died before this, and had been forgotten and out of sight!",
"Then [the babe ‘Isa (Jesus) cried unto her from below her, saying: "Grieve not! Your Lord has provided a water stream under you",
"And shake the trunk of date-palm towards you, it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon you", "So eat and drink and be glad, and if you see any human being, say: ‘Verily! I have vowed a fast unto the Most Beneficent (Allah) so I shall not speak to any human being this day",
"Then she brought him (the baby) to her people, carrying him. They said: "O Mary! Indeed you have brought a thing Fariya (an unheard mighty thing)", "O sister (i.e. the like) of Harun (Aaron) [not the brother of Musa (Moses), but he was another pious man at the time of Maryam (Mary)]! Your father was not a man who used to commit adultery, nor your mother was an unchaste woman",
"Then she pointed to him. They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?",
"He [‘Isa (Jesus)] said: Verily! I am a slave of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet", "And He has made me blessed wherever I be, and has enjoined on me Salat (prayer), and Zakat (charity), as long as I live." "And dutiful to my mother, and made me not arrogant, unblest", "And Salam (peace) be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!",
"Such is ‘Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). (It is) a statement of truth, about which they doubt (or dispute)",
"It befits not (the Majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son [this refers to the slander of Christians against Allah, by saying that ‘Isa (Jesus) is the son of Allah]. Glorified (and Exalted be He above all that they associate with Him). When He decrees a thing, He only says to it, "Be!" --- and it is",
[‘Isa (Jesus) said]: "And verily Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him (Alone). That is the Straight Path. (Allah’s Religion of Islamic Monotheism which He did ordain for all of His Prophets)". [Chapter 19: verses 16-36]
JESUS (Peace Be Upon Him) THE SON OF MARY:
The Church maintains that Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) is the "Only-begotten Son" of God, and also God Himself, since the doctrine of Trinity considers God as the Son, as the Father and as the "Holy Ghost" all at the same time! Catholics further emphasize the divinity of Mary as the "Mother of God". Islam rejects all these concepts in totality. Allah says in the Noble Qur’an (Which is translated as follows);
"Surely, they have disbelieved who say: "Allah is the Messiah [‘Isa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary)", But the Messiah [‘Isa (Jesus)] said; "O Children of Israel! worship Allah, My Lord and your Lord."
"Verily, whosoever setup partners in worship with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Polytheist and wrong-doers there are no helpers",
"Surely, disbelievers are those who said: "Allah is the third of the three (in a Trinity)", But there is no Ilah (God) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilah (God --- Allah). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them",
"Will they not repent to Allah and ask His forgiveness? For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful", "The Messiah [‘Isa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary), was no more than a Messenger; Many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother [Maryam (Mary)] was a Siddiqah [i.e. she believed in the words of Allah and His Books]. They both used to eat food (as any other human being, while Allah does not eat). Look how We make the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lesson, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to them, yet look how they are deluded away (from the truth)". [Chapter 5: verses 72-75 ]
The Muslims rather contend that the miraculous birth of Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) without a father does not make him a God or a "begotten" son of God. Allah said in the Noble Qur’an (Which is translated as follows);
"And they (Jews, Christians and pagans) say: Allah has begotten a son (Children or offspring). Glory be to Him (Exalted be He above all that they associate with Him). Nay, to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth, and all surrender with obedience (in worship) to Him", "The Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it: "Be!" and it is". [Chapter 2: verses 116-17]
Further Allah says in the Noble Qur’an (Which is translated as follows);
"Say (O Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him)) "He is Allah, (the) One", "Allah-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks)", "He begets not, nor was He begotten", "And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him". [Chapter 112 verses 1-4]
The birth of Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) was not any more supernatural than the creation of our father Adam. Allah said in the Noble Qur’an (Which is translated as follows);
"Verily, the likeness of ‘Isa (Jesus) before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: "Be!"--- and he was". [Chapter 3: verse 59]
MISSION OF JESUS (Peace Be Upon Him):
Our creator sent Prophets to set mankind on the right path. Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) was similarly one of the Messengers of God, he was prepared by God to be sent to the Jews (children of Israel) who had deviated from the teachings of prophet Moses (Peace Be Upon Him) He (Allah) taught him the Book, the wisdom, the Torah, the Gospel and supported him with numerous miracles to prove that he was a Messenger from Allah. In the Noble Qur’an Allah says (Which is translated as follows);
"(Remember) when the angels said: "O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah gives you the glad tidings of a Word ["Be!" -- and he was! i.e. ‘Isa (Jesus) the son of Maryam (Mary)] from him, his name will be the Messiah ‘Iesah (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), held in honour in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allah",
"He will speak to the people in the cradle and in manhood, and he will be one of the righteous", "She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me",
He said: "So (it will be) for Allah creates what He wills. When He has decreed something, He says to it only: "Be!"---and it is" "And He (Allah) will teach him [‘Isa (Jesus)] the Book and Al-Hikmah (i.e. the Sunnah, the faultless speech of the Prophets, wisdom, etc.), (and) the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)",
"And will make him [‘Isa (Jesus)] a Messenger to the children of Israel (saying): "I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I design for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s Leave; and I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I bring the dead to life by Allah’s Leave. And I inform you of what you eat, and what you store in your houses. Surely, therein is a sign for you, if you believe",
" And I have to confirm that which was before me of the Taurat (Torah), and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you, and I have come to you with a proof from your Lord. So fear Allah and obey me". [Chapter 3: verse 45-50]
It should be mentioned that while Muslims believe that Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) was given God’s "Good news" they do not recognize the present "Four Gospels" as the utterances of Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him).
Even the church agrees that the "Four Gospels" were written by four different men, but they maintain that they were divinely inspired. This idea is rejected by us. It can be agreed that if the four writers were divinely inspired, then why are there so many serious discrepancies and omissions in their individual accounts of the life of Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him)? Another mission of Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) was to tell the people about the coming of the final Prophet after him. The Almighty God said in the Noble Qur’an (Which is translated as follows);
"And (remember) when ‘Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), said: "O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allah unto you confirming the Taurat [Torah which came] before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmed . But when he (Ahmed i.e. Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) came to them with clear proofs, they said: "This is plain magic". [Chapter 6: verse 61]
The New Testament speaks of the coming of a "Comforter" after the ministry of Jesus. Some Christians believe or were made to believe that the promised "Comforter" is the "Holy Spirit", but this view cannot be maintained because the "Holy Spirit" was already present during Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) ministry, and its coming was not a future event. The Muslims, therefore, believe that the term "Comforter" of necessity refers to a Prophet. He was Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) the unlearned Prophet , the sole Prophet who brought with him a complete, comprehensive revelation from God which has been preserved as it was revealed to him originally, challenging the whole world to come up with one chapter like it, yet unsuccessfully challenged till present day. It is the Miracle of Miracles, the Last Testament of faith addressed to the whole world embodying complete light and guidance as well as the reprove of sin.

JESUS (Peace Be Upon Him) WAS RAISED TO HEAVEN:
Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) was followed by a few disciples who were inspired by God to support him. Not only that, but the non-believers plotted to kill Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him), but God had a better plan for him and his followers as the Noble Qur’an tells us in the following verses (Which is translated as follows);
"Then when ‘Isa (Jesus) came to know of their disbelief, he said: "Who will be my helpers in Allah’s Cause?" Al-Hawariun (the disciples) said: "We are the helpers of Allah; we believe in Allah, and bear witness that we are Muslims (i.e. we submit to Allah)",
"Our Lord! We believed in what You have sent down, and we follow the Messenger [‘Isa (Jesus)]; so write us down among those who bear witness (to the truth i.e. La Ilaha Ill-Allah -- none has the right to be worshipped but Allah)",
"And they (disbelievers) plotted [to kill ‘Isa (Jesus)], and Allah planned too. And Allah is the best of the planners",
"And (remember) when Allah said: "O ‘Isa (Jesus)! I will take you and raise you to Myself and clear you [of the forged statement that ‘Isa (Jesus) is Allah’s son] of those who disbelieve, and I will make those who follow you (Monotheist, who worship none but Allah) superior to those who disbelieve [in the Oneness of Allah, or disbelieve in some of His Messengers, e.g. Mohammed, ‘Isa (Jesus), Musa (Moses), etc. (Peace Be Upon Him), or in His Holy Books, e.g. the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel), The Qur’an] till the Day of Resurrection. Then you will return to Me and I will judge between you in the matters in which you used to dispute",
"As to those who disbelieve, I will punish them with a severe torment in this world and in the Hereafter, and they will have no helpers". [Chapter 3: verses 52-56]
As the above verses indicate Jesus was raised to heaven before he died. This means that according to the Noble Qur’an he was not crucified. It was the plan of the enemies of Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) to put him to death on the cross, but God saved him and somebody else was crucified. This plot and the false accusation about Mary are considered by the Noble Qur’an to be some of the sins of the non-believing Jews. All of this is made clear in the following verses (Which is translated as follows);
"And because of their (Jews) disbelief and uttering against Maryam (Mary) a grave false charge (that she has committed illegal sexual intercourse)", "And because of their saying (in boast), "We killed Messiah ‘Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah," -- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of ‘Isa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts.
They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. ‘Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam [Mary]", "But Allah raised him [‘Isa (Jesus)] up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he (Peace Be Upon Him) is in the heaven) And Allah is ever All-Powerful, All-Wise", "And there is none of the people of the scripture (Jews and Christians), but must believe in him [‘Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), as only a Messenger of Allah and a human being], before his [‘Isa (Jesus) or a Jews or a Christian’s] death (at the time of the appearance of the angel of death). And on the Day of Resurrection, he [‘Isa (Jesus)] will be a witness against them". [Chapter 4: verses 156-159]
Finally, we testify that there is no God except Allah and there is none worthy of worship except Him, He has no partners, Mohammad is His slave and His Messenger, and that ‘Isa (Jesus) son of Mary is Allah’s slave, His Messenger, His word (Be! and he was) which he bestowed on Mary and a spirit created by Him. We believe that all Prophets are brothers no different between their religion, which is one religion "Al-Islam". We attest that the Paradise is true, the Hell-fire is true, and God will Resurrect mankind from graves. Allah says in The Noble Qur’an (Which is translated as follows);
"He (Allah) has ordained for you the same religion (Islam) which He ordained for Nuh (Noah), and that which We have inspired in you (O Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him)) and that which We ordained for Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses) and ‘Isa (Jesus) saying you should establish religion (i.e. to do what it orders you to do practically), and make no divisions in it (religion) (i.e. various sects in religion). Intolerable for the Polytheist, pagans and idolaters is that to which you (O Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) ) call them. Allah chooses for Himself who He wills, and guides unto Himself who turns to Him in repentance and in obedience". [Chapter 42: verse 13]
This is our message and we will be witnesses against you in the day of Judgement that we conveyed the message of TRUTH and left it up to you, to follow the TRUTH or stay in darkness. The Almighty Allah said in the Noble Qur’an (Which is translated as follows);
"Allah! La Ilaha Illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever Living, the One Who Sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber, nor sleep overtake him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission? He knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter. And they will never compass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills. His Kursi (a footstool or chair) extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is the Most High, the Most Great." "There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in worship other than the real God (Allah), and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower". [Chapter 2: verses 255-56.]


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By: Soliman H. Albuthi

Source:
www.icsfp.net

http://www.islamhouse.com

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Jesus Freaks



Laurence B. Brown. MD


When I was a child, growing up in the sixties and seventies just a few blocks away from the notorious Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, I was surrounded by the hippie movement. It was a “turn on, tune in, drop out” age of sexual freedom, cultural revolution and social recklessness.
Happily, I was never caught up in the hippie movement, but being so close to it, I could not help but observe its development. One thing I clearly re-member is how many hippies were labeled “Jesus freaks.”
As I surf my childhood memories, nearly four decades later, this euphem-ism strikes me as having been decidedly peculiar.
These hippies were considered “Jesus freaks” because they dressed as Jesus did, grew their hair as he did, renounced materialism as he did, and propagated devotion to God, peace, charity and communal love.
Now, many whom embarked upon this path fell into hallucinogenic drug use and wanton sexual proclivities—practices which are far from the ex-ample of Jesus—but this is not why these hippies were called Jesus freaks.
Rather, they were called Jesus freaks for their long hair, loose clothing, asceticism, communal unity and passivism, all a result of their effort to live like Jesus.
The House of Love and Prayer, located nearby in the avenues, was a col-lecting point for many of these well-meaning souls, and the title of the institution reflected their focus in life.
Looking back, what seems strange to me now is not that people would wish to embody Jesus’ values, but that others would criticize them for it. What seems even stranger is that few Christians, in the modern day, match this profile.
Indeed, what seemed most strange to me, prior to my conversion to Islam, is that Muslims seemed to embody Jesus’ values better than Christians.
Now, that assertion requires an explanation, and it goes like this: To begin with, both Christianity and Islam consider Jesus to have been a prophet of their religion.

However, whereas Jesus’ teachings have been lost from the creed and practices of most Christians (see my article, Where is the “Christ” in “Christianity?”), these same teachings are respected and evident in Islam.
Let us look at some examples.
Appearance
1. Jesus was bearded, as are most Muslims, but only the rare Christian.
2. Jesus dressed modestly. If we close our eyes and form a mental picture, we see flowing robes, from wrists to ankles—much like the loose Ara-bian thobes and the Indio-Pakistani shalwar kameez, typical of the Muslims of those areas. What we don’t imagine is the revealing or se-ductive clothing so ubiquitous in Christian cultures.
3. Jesus’ mother covered her hair, and this practice was maintained among the Christian women of the Holy Land up to the middle of the twentieth century. Again, this is a practice maintained among Muslims as well as Orthodox Jews (of which Jesus was one), but not among modern day Christians.
Manners
1. Jesus focused upon salvation and eschewed finery. How many “righ-teous” Christians fit this “It’s not just on Sundays” profile? Now how many “five prayers a day, every day of the year” Muslims?
2. Jesus spoke with humility and kindness. He didn’t “showboat.” When we think of his speeches, we don’t imagine theatrics. He was a simple man known for quality and truth. How many preachers and how many evangelists follow this example?
3. Jesus taught his disciples to offer the greeting of “Peace” (Luke 10:5), and then set the example: “Peace be with you” (Luke 24:36, John 20:19, John 20:21, John 20:26). Who continues this practice to this day, Christians or Muslims? “Peace be with you” is the meaning of the Muslim greeting, “Assalam alaikum.” Interestingly enough, we find this greeting in Judaism as well (Genesis 43:23, Numbers 6:26, Judges 6:23, I Samuel 1:17 and I Samuel 25:6).

Religious Practices
1. Jesus was circumcised (Luke 2:21). Paul taught it wasn’t necessary (Rom 4:11 and Gal 5:2). Muslims believe it is.
2. Jesus didn’t eat pork, in keeping with Old Testament law (Leviticus 11:7 and Deuteronomy 14:8). Muslims also believe pork is forbidden. Christians … well, you get the idea.
3. Jesus didn’t give or take usury, in compliance with the Old Testament prohibition (Exodus 22:25). Usury is forbidden in the Old Testament and the Quran, as it was forbidden in the religion of Jesus. The econo-mies of most Christian countries, however, are structured upon usury.
4. Jesus didn’t fornicate, and abstained from extramarital contact with women. Now, this issue extends to the least physical contact with the opposite sex. With the exception of performing religious rituals and helping those in need, Jesus never even touched a woman other than his mother. Strictly practicing Orthodox Jews maintain this practice to this day in observance of Old Testament law. Likewise, practicing Muslims don’t even shake hands between the sexes. Can Christian “hug your neighbor” and “kiss the bride” congregations make the same claim?
Practices of Worship
1. Jesus purified himself with washing prior to prayer, as was the practice of the pious prophets who preceded him (see Exodus 40:31-32 in refer-ence to Moses and Aaron), and as is the practice of Muslims.
2. Jesus prayed in prostration (Matthew 26:39), like the other prophets (see Nehemiah 8:6 with regard to Ezra and the people, Joshua 5:14 for Jo-shua, Genesis 17:3 and 24:52 for Abraham, Exodus 34:8 and Numbers 20:6 for Moses and Aaron). Who prays like that, Christians or Mus-lims?
3. Jesus fasted for more than a month at a time (Matthew 4:2 and Luke 4:2), as did the pious before him (Exodus 34:28, I Kings 19:8), and as do Muslims in the annual fast of the month of Ramadan.
4. Jesus made pilgrimage for the purpose of worship, as all Orthodox Jews aspire to do. The Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca is well known, and is al-luded to in the Bible (see The First and Final Commandment).
Matters of Creed
1. Jesus taught the oneness of God (Mark 12:29-30, Matthew 22:37 and Luke 10:27), as conveyed in the first commandment (Exodus 20:3). Nowhere did he declare the Trinity.
2. Jesus declared himself a man and a prophet of God (see above), and nowhere claimed divinity or divine sonship. Which creed are the above points more consistent with—the Trinitarian formula or the absolute monotheism of Islam?
In short, Muslims appear to be the “Jesus freaks” of modern day, if by that expression we mean those who live by God’s laws and Jesus’ example.
Carmichael notes, “… for a whole generation after Jesus’ death his fol-lowers were pious Jews and proud of it, had attracted into their fold mem-bers of the professional religious classes, and did not deviate even from the burdensome ceremonial laws.”
One wonders what happened between the practices of the first generation of Jesus’ followers and the Christians of modern day. At the same time, we have to respect the fact that Muslims exemplify Jesus’ teachings more than Christians do. Furthermore, we should remember that the Old Testament foretold three prophets to follow. John the Baptist and Jesus Christ were numbers one and two, and Jesus Christ himself predicted the third and last. Hence, both Old and New Testaments speak of a final prophet, and we would be amiss if we didn’t consider that final prophet to be Muham-mad, and the final revelation to be that of Islam.

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Copyright © 2007 Laurence B. Brown.
About the author:
Laurence B. Brown, MD, can be contacted at BrownL38@yahoo.com. He is the author of The First and Final Commandment (Amana Publications) and Bearing True Witness (Dar-us-Salam). Forthcoming books are a his-torical thriller, The Eighth Scroll, and a second edition of The First and Final Commandment, rewritten and divided into MisGod'ed and its sequel, God’ed.

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1 Carmichael, Joel. p. 223.

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http://www.islamreligion.com