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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?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them) Holy Prophets and Messengers of God (Allah)






Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them) Holy Prophets and Messengers of God (Allah)

God (Allah) created all the people with the faculty of the mind to use it properly
.

People are 2 types:

1. Accountable: People who are sane, pubescent and heard the call of Islam
2. Non-Accountable: Any person either insane, or not pubescent, or never heard the basic call of Islam.

IF the person was accountable, and disbelieved in God, how could he/she be admitted to Paradise?


Now if that person was not accountable, say a women who lived in Africa, and never heard the call of Islam, and used to help the poor, and treat people nicely, she does not go to hellfire, she will go to Paradise. Now say a child and a crazy person, who lived all his life worshipping a rock, and they died on that situation, one died as a child (before puberty and the other died insane) they don't go to hellfire. Because they are not accountable.


But the one was accountable, that is he was sane, pubescent, and he heard the call of the religion, and rejected that call, he does not go to Paradise, he goes to hellfire. Say one lived at the time of Prophet Jesus, or at the time of Prophet Muhammad, and they were accountable, and they disbelieved, they don't go to Paradise because they died as accountable disbelievers.


It's easy to become a believer:

One becomes a Muslim by believing in the Two Testifications of Faith and uttering (saying) them with the intention of leaving out blasphemy. The Two Testifications of Faith In English are:

“I bear witness that no one deserves to be worshiped except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”. That also includes believing in Jesus as a Prophet of God.


God gave humans intellect to know the truth and differentiate between it and falsehood.


The truth is Islam is the religion that we believe Adam, Noah, Isaac, David, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all) had. Why do I say so? Because Islam is an Arabic word that means: Submission to one God. And we believe all the Prophets believed in One God, but they had different laws from God.


Jesus, in Islam, is among the most respected men. He is a Prophet and not the son of God. Christians say that only through Jesus there’s salvation, but to show you that it’s not true, the fact that the nations before Jesus, there was believers who believed in God although they did not believe in Jesus because he was not born yet. So the claim that Jesus said salvation is only through me would render the nations before Jesus disbelievers; thus dwell in hell! but that's only because people misquoted Jesus in the bible.


 Trinity is another belief that Christians introduced to their faith, to explain their claim that Jesus, for being a man without a father, they said he is the Son of God, or God himself. We, Muslims,  say that God is able to do anything he wills and he is not in need of any of his creations and that he is clear from any imperfection. He is not in need of a son, he has no partners in Godhood. We believe that Jesus was holy, but not a part of God, or God himself. His holiness and his miracles proved his Prophethood and that he is truly a messenger from God to people. Those who don’t believe in God, and in Jesus as a Prophet are considered disbelievers. All the Prophets had miracles, not only Jesus, and none are parts of God nor Sons of God. Prophet Adam had no father and no mother, yet he is not a God nor part of God.


We know for sure that trinity did not exist when Jesus was not born, therefore after Jesus was born, we know that Trinity was introduced into religion claiming that he is one of 3 Gods that make up one God.. and on top of all of that, they claim that this human being who came from Mary, (Jesus) is God, and that he was killed by the Jews for people’s sins!. But that cannot be true for the many reasons:


1.     Firstly because God created Jesus, and he existed before Jesus and before all the creations God existed.

2.     Secondly, God created Jesus from virgin marry as a miracle showing people that Jesus is the messenger from God, so obey his orders, not worship him! Rather worship his creator and his God (Allah).

3.     Thirdly, how would be sound to claim that Jesus was killed for people’s sins? When every human is accountable for his own deeds?

4.     Fourthly, would it be fair to claim that God killed Jesus because of my Sins? Would you be a fair person to punish your daughter because of your sons mistakes? No, and certainly God is just and fair. God does not need to kill in order to forgive sins. God orders for something to be and it is.


The claim that Jews killed God (Jesus) shows that God is weak! Such attributes cannot be attributed to God. There are more reasons to show that whatever is written in the bible today has been tampered by man. The true belief is that God existed when there was nothing, he existed before time and before place and before humans. He created the humans with an intellect to know the truth. He sent the Prophets to warn people from the evil and falsehood and giving good tidings for those who believe properly in God and in his Prophets, that their reward would be in Paradise.


If one believed and said that: God is one, he has no partners, and he is the creator of all creations, and that Moses and Jesus and Muhammad are Prophets of God (Allah) then you are a Muslim. And so I advise you sincerelyto do become a Muslim, a believer, not only in Jesus as a Prophet, but in all the Prophets of God starting with Prophet Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and ending with Muhammad peace be upon them.


I ask God to guide us to the correct path. Ameen.


Friday, October 11, 2013

What Day Did Jesus Allegedly Die? (Bible Contradiction)








Proof that the Bible contains serious irreconcilable contradictions, and that it's narration about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is not a reliable trustworthy historical source for that event. The truth is found in the Qur'an.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The True Jesus, Jesus Of The Qur'an Or The Bible (Part 1)?





The True Jesus, Jesus Of The Qur'an Or The Bible (Part 2)?







The True Jesus, Jesus Of The Qur'an Or The Bible (Part 3)?


Friday, September 6, 2013

Islamic Monotheism







Description: An explanation of the Islamic concept monotheism, which entails belief in the uniqueness of 
God in His Lordship, right to be worshipped and in His Names and Attributes. 



Monotheism is the message that all of the Prophets came with.  People then deviated from the truth.  Then Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon hi, came as the final Messenger and restored true monotheism to humanity.  Below is a detailed explanation of monotheism in Islam. 

Monotheism in Islam


The concept of monotheism (known as tawhîd in Arabic) is the single most important concept in Islam.  Everything in Islam is built upon it.  Islam calls to the absolute oneness of God.  No act of worship or devotion has any meaning or value if this concept is in any way compromised.


Monotheism can be looked at from the following three angles:

1.     The Oneness of God in His Lordship

2.     Devotion of All Worship to God Alone

3.     The Oneness of God in His Names and Attributes


These three angles can be elaborated upon as follows: 


The Oneness of God in His Lordship


The oneness of God in His Lordship means that God has complete mastery over the universe in every way.  He alone is the Creator of all things.  He alone causes everything to happen.  He is All-Powerful.  No one shares in His dominion.  None can resist His decree. 
This concept is one that most people on Earth would agree with.  Most people recognize that the Creator of the universe is One, without partner.

Devotion of All Worship to God Alone


No one has the right to be worshipped except for God (Allah).  This concept is the central idea that was proclaimed by all the Prophets throughout the ages.  It is the most important idea in Islam.  The purpose of Islam is to call people away from the worship of creation and call them towards the worship of the Creator.


This is where Islam differs greatly from most other religions.  Though most religions teach that there is a Supreme Being who created all that exists, they are rarely free of some form of polytheism with respect to worship.  These religions either call on their adherents to worship other beings as gods besides God (Allah) – though usually placing these other gods on a lower level than the Supreme Being – or they demand that their adherents call on other beings as intercessors between them and God.


All the Prophets and Messengers, from Adam to Muhammad (peace be upon them all) called people to worship God alone.  This is the purest, simplest, most natural faith.  Islam rejects the notion of the cultural anthropologists that the early religion of human beings was polytheism, and then slowly the idea of monotheism evolved from that.


The truth is that the natural religion of humanity is to worship God alone.  People later came along and corrupted this religion, introducing into it the worship of other beings.  People seem to have a tendency to want to focus their devotions on something tangible, something imaginable, even though they have an instinctive knowledge that the Creator of the universe is far beyond their imaginations.  Throughout human history, God sent Prophets and Messengers to call the people back to the worship of the One True God, and repeatedly, people returned to the worship of created beings.


God created human beings to worship Him alone.  The greatest possible sin is to worship anyone other than God (Allah).  It is no less sinful if the worshipper intends to get nearer to God by offering devotions to another being.  God does not need intercessors or intermediaries.  He hears all of our prayers and has complete knowledge of everything that happens.


At the same time, God does not need our worship.  He is completely independent of all things.  If every person in the world were to come together to worship God alone, they would not benefit God in the least.  They would not add an atom’s weight to His dominion.  Conversely, if all creation abandoned the worship of God, this would not decrease His dominion in the least.  By worshipping God, we benefit our own souls and fulfill the purpose for which we were created.  We do not fulfill any need of God.  He is needless.

The Oneness of God in His Names and Attributes

The oneness of God (Allah) in His names and attributes implies that God does not share in the attributes of created beings, nor do they share in any of His.  God is unique in every way.  Muslims believe in all of the attributes that God asserts for Himself and that His Prophet ascribes to Him with the understanding that those attributes are not the same as the attributes of created things.  Likewise, we negate any name or attribute for God that God and His Messenger negate for Him.


God’s attributes are all attributes of perfection and completeness.  Human deficiencies cannot be ascribed to God.  God has no deficiency or weakness whatsoever.


It is a form of polytheism to ascribe to God attributes of created things.  It is likewise a form of polytheism to ascribe to created things attributes that belong to God alone.  Anyone who believes that another being is, for instance, All-Knowledgeable or All-Powerful has committed the sin of polytheism, which is the greatest of all sins in Islam.  


By islamtoday.net

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Assalam Alaikum – The Islamic Greeting




 


caelestial:

577 by kajico** on Flickr.









Description: Why Muslims from all over the world use the same greeting.


Islam covers every aspect of life; it is not a religion that is only practiced once a week or during specific celebrations.  Islam, through the words of God in the Quran, and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad, may God praise him, offers advice and guidance from dawn till dusk, from birth until death.  Islam even teaches the believers the best way to greet each other; it is a complete way of life



What exactly does the word Islam mean?  It is an Arabic word that comes from the root, sa - la – ma, that means submission to the will of God. It also shares the same root for the Arabic word meaning peace.  However, it is a descriptive word that entails more than tranquillity and calmness, it also encompasses the concepts of safety, security and submission.  In fact, Islam in the legal sense means submission to the One God who grants us safety, security, peace and harmony.  The word Muslim (i.e. the one who submits to the will of God) is also derived from the same root, as is the Islamic greeting - Assalam.



In previous articles we have discussed the fact that all believers are linked together by various means.  Most importantly is the belief that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad is His messenger.  This is what distinguishes believers from non-believers.  However, believers are also reminded of the bonds between them whenever they greet one another.  The Islamic greeting –‘Assalam’, is in fact an invocation whereby one asks God to grant protection and security to his fellow Muslim brother. This greeting encourages believers to be a worldwide community unencumbered by tribal or nationalistic loyalties and bound together by peace and unity.


Prophet Muhammad commanded us to to greet our fellow Muslims whom we know and those whom we do not know.[1]  Thus believers try to establish peace and friendly relations by greeting and meeting one another.  When Muslims of any nationality, ethnicity or colour meet they will greet each other as family.  Believers also have rights over one another.



The Muslim has five rights over his fellow-Muslim: he should greet him with ‘salaam, visit him when he is sick, attend his funeral, accept his invitation, and ask God to have mercy on him when he sneezes.[2]


The Islamic greeting is  Assalam Alaikum (May God grant you protection and security).  The response to this is wa Alaikum Assalam. These brief Arabic words let Muslims know that they are among friends, not strangers.  A few words of greeting reveal so much.




“When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally. Certainly, God is Ever a Careful Account Taker of all things.” (Quran 4:86)




Better Islamic greetings include, Assalam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah, which means, May God grant you protection, security and mercy, and Assalam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh, which means, May God grant you protection, security, mercy and may He bless you.  Greeting in return with something better would be, for example, after hearing the words Assalam Alaikum you would respond, wa Alaikum Assalam wa Rahmatullah.



Making that small effort to greet others in this manner at every opportunity increases rewards.  Each time a believer says the words Assalam Alaikum  or responds to this greeting, his bank of good deeds is increased.



One day a man passed by the Prophet Muhammad while he was sitting with some men, and said “Assalamu Alaikum”.  The Prophet said “He will have 10 rewards”. Another man passed by and said “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah”.  The Prophet said he will have 20 rewards”.  Another man passed and said “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmat ullaah wa barakaatuh”.  The Prophet said, and  he will have 30 rewards.[3]



In addition, throughout the Quran, God repeatedly points out that this is the Islamic greeting. God assures us that struggling to please Him will result in peace and security in Paradise, and when the believer enters paradise he will be greeted by the words Assalam Alaikum.





“And those who believed (in the Oneness of God and His Messengers and whatever they brought) and did righteous deeds, will be made to enter Gardens under which rivers flow, - to dwell therein for ever (i.e. in Paradise), with the Permission of their Lord.  Their greeting therein will be, salam!” (Quran 14:23)



“Salam Alaikum for you persevered in patience! Excellent indeed is the final home!” (Quran 13:24)



“When those who believe in Our Ayat (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) come to you, say, “Assalam Alaikum”; your Lord has prescribed Mercy for Himself, so that if any of you does evil in ignorance, and thereafter repents and does righteous good deeds (by obeying God), then surely, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran6:54)



“Those whose lives the angels take while they are in a pious state (i.e. pure from all evil, and worshipping none but God Alone) saying (to them), Assalam Alaikum enter you Paradise, because of that (the good) which you used to do (in the world).” (Quran 16:52)




“But when you enter the houses, greet one another with a greeting from God, As-salamu Alaikum - blessed and good.” (Quran 24:61)




“And those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups and  when they reach it the  its gates will be opened and the keepers will say, Salam Alaikum, you have done well, so enter here to abide therein.” (Quran 39:73)



Prophet Muhammad reiterated God’s message when he said, “You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another.  Shall I tell you about something which, if you do it, will make you love one another?  Greet each other with Salam.[4]


Footnotes:
[1] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim
[2] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[3] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[4] Saheeh Muslim


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Islam Story and Reasons for Islam















My name is Ruba Qewar, I was born in Denmark year 1981, then came with the family to Jordan in 1985, my father became a pastor of the church after my grandfather who was a pastor too. My uncle is a pastor and my cousin is married to a pastor as well. We are a very religious family.

I stayed in Jordan from 1985 – 2002 and studied in mostly Islamic schools. I moved then to the United States as an immigrant, and my father died in 2003. At that time I started to move away from Christianity – after I was a very devoted Christian, serving the Lord in the church – and had a cultural shock.

Islam Story and Reasons for Islam:

There are four reasons blew my mind and made me seriously thinking to convert to Islam and become a Muslim:

Bible Study: I met a group of youth people in the school. One of them asked me: “Where did Jesus say in the Bible that he’s God?” I answered him from the Bible: “Jesus said: The father and I are one! Whoever saw me saw the father!” He replied: “That doesn’t prove that the Christ is God! God talked to Moses in the Old Testament and said to him frankly that HE is the Only God that worthy to be worshipped. Jesus never said: I am God in the New Testament!”
I went home and and started to read the Bible, I was astonished when I read through to find the Truth. I couldn’t find one verse Jesus says about himself that he’s God or “The God Son!” I have read the four gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and I started to be worry when I reached to the end of John because I couldn’t find one verse proves the divinity of Jesus!
I closed the Bible, looked at the book and asked myself: “why am I worshipping Jesus if he never said that he’s God? Where did I get my information from about the theology of the Christ?” I remembered when I was studying the History of the Bible, the British Professor said: “I have gone to the museum of the manuscripts of the Bible. I found that most of these Greek manuscripts are lost, destroyed and wiped out!” I asked myself: “If God is Perfect, then why His book is imperfect?” Finally a verse at the end of John enlightened in front of my eyes which made me think deep and change my view about the Christ. Jesus says in John 17 : 3 “This is the Eternal Life; is to know You – the Father - as the only true one God and Jesus Christ who you have sent!” it’s like Jesus is saying that there is only one God worthy to be worshipped and Jesus Christ is a Messenger of God! This what made the correct Fitrah (The correct faith that God put in our heart from the day we are born) to grow again in my heart. Since then I left the church and I started to seek for another monotheist church!

Reading the Qura’an: I went to many other churches to seek the Truth, I asked my Uncle – who is a pastor in the Baptist Church – and I debated with my mother so many times about the divinity of Jesus! I went to Buddhist temple and talked to the monks, I entered the Sikhs holy places and watched them while they’re worshipping their God!
Finally! I decided to read the Qura’an, not to seek for the Truth but to prove to the Muslims that they are wrong and I am right! I wanted to find the mistakes in the Qura’an and attack them! I have learnt in the church that the Qura’an is only a written book from someone who calls himself a prophet! I never thought that this may be the Truth since I well experienced the treatment of the so called Muslims! I never thought that Islam would be a way of the salvation!
I didn’t have a Qura’an at home, so I opened ‬www.muslim-web.com‪ and started with the first chapter – Alfatihah, Albaqarah, Al-Imran, etc.
The first thing Jesus said when he was still a baby: “I am the slave – servant – of God!” Also Allaah says in the Qura’an: “certainly the people have committed blasphemy who say that God is Three gods!” that was an answer for me about the Trinity! Even the way of reading the Qura’an is totally different than the Bible. I wanted to search the bible to find prophesies about the Qura’an and the Prophet Muhammad – peace and blessings be upon him – in the Bible.
Finally I reached to Surat Al-Ma’edah verse 82 where Allaah says: “82. Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans; and nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say, "We are Christians": because amongst these are men devoted to learning (pastors) and men who have renounced the world (monks), and they are not arrogant.”This verse grabbed my attention and started to read thoroughly – since I am from a family full of pastors and religious people, then continued: “83. And when they listen to the revelation received by the Messenger, thou wilt see their eyes overflowing with tears, for they recognise the truth:” I started to cry because I knew this is the Truth and I knew that Jesus Christ has prophesied about the Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him in John 16. Then I read: “they pray: "Our Lord! we believe; write us down among the witnesses” I said: “Oh Lord, I have believed!” Then the Qura’an says: “"What cause can we have not to believe in Allah and the truth which has come to us, seeing that we long for our Lord to admit us to the company of the righteous?"”

I immediately went to my friends and said: “I bare witness that there is no God worthy to be worshipped but Allah, and I bare witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

Identity crises: I was suffering all the time from the way people looked at me as Jordanian Arab CHRISTIAN female. I was one of the minorities in the Arab world, and I was taught as a minority that I had no rights in my country and I was being persecuted! When I moved to the USA, this did not change because I was one of the minorities in the US; I was a foreign Christian Arab female! I had to identify myself in the society. This feeling started with me when I was in the 10th grade.

The Political Events: One of the most influential events in my life was September 11th then the Abu-Ghareeb prison. I asked myself: what made people attack Islam and Muslims all the time? I had the belief – before Islam that Christians are the ones who are persecuted all the time! However after I saw what’s happening in the world I found that Islam is the one being hijacked! This is how the world treats the Truth all the time! So I was assured that Islam is the right religion. Before I say my witness statement, I was driving my car towards my friends – who I called and I haven’t seen them for at least two months – I said to myself: “24 years living as a lost person! 24 years of my life serving a religion that is built on theories and myths that are not exist in the Bible” I was so scared of the reaction of my family when they know that I will become a Muslim! I was afraid of the reaction of the society! Finally I saw my friends while I am crying and said: “I bare witness that there is no God but Allah and I bare witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God”

I felt a great happiness to the limit that I wanted to stand on a high place and say: “I am a Muslim!” I didn’t care about anything

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Flow, Fasting and Falaah (part 1 of 2)








Description: How to achieve profound happiness and satisfaction or ‘flow’.  Part 1: What are the ingredients that lead to ‘flow’.



I am covered in sweat and my heart rate has gone through the roof.  I could walk, and my body is telling me to sit down, or at least walk, but I crank the peddles, powering my mountain bike up the stony piece of single track.  I can’t get enough air into my lungs to feed my burning legs, but I keep going.


No one is forcing me up this mountain.  It’s not some cruel punishment meted out by a tyrant for misdemeanours.  I choose to do this.  Why?  Is it because of the descent that follows the painful climb?  Partly, but then that has its own madness, hurtling down a hill over rocks and roots at speeds where a crash might well result in serious injury or worse, but the smile it leaves on my face when I reach the bottom remains in my heart long after it has left my face.  So again: Why?  After I ride my mountain bike, having made it up grueling climbs and technical descents I feel a profound sense of happiness that can only come from having accomplished something worthwhile.  That paradox is that in order to feel that I needed to suffer.  In fact the harder that task, the more the suffering the more profound and longer lasting the sense of accomplishment.  Is this is why some women manage to have large numbers of children despite the enormous pain and hardship it entails, not only in carrying and delivering that child, but in bringing it up, because of the profound sense of achievement that undeniably is connected with that activity?


This sense of profound happiness and satisfaction is what has come to be known as optimal experience, and what is commonly referred to as a state of flow.  It is most intense when a person is so completely absorbed in an activity, when body and mind are one and everything is just “happening.” It is most commonly experienced during sports, but in fact it can be achieved during a huge range of physical as well as mental activities, but they all share some common traits.  This state of optimal experience or “flow” is only reached under certain conditions which have been identified.


Firstly the activity must be neither too difficult or too easy.  If it is too hard, a person is demotivated, too easy they are bored.  Ideally it should be on the very edge of one’s abilities, pushing the limits and out of the comfort zone.  The reason for this, is that although the task itself maybe be hard, or even unpleasant, the end result is the knowledge that one has improved oneself.  It is this feeling of having improved that is the key, because it is connected to person’s feeling of self worth.  This is enhanced when one can add to that the knowledge that one has in addition contributed, even in some small way to the betterment of humanity.



Secondly the activity should be defined, in the sense of a specific goal and provide immediate feedback.


Thirdly, another important dimension is that the activity must be autotelic.  This means the activity is done for itself, as opposed to doing it for some external factor.  Some people have autotelic personalities.   These are people who are internally driven, and as such may exhibit a sense of purpose and curiosity.  This determination is an exclusive difference from being externally driven, where things such as comfort, money, power, or fame are the motivating force, as  Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, writes in his book Finding Flow: The Psychology of
Engagement with Everyday Life


“An autotelic person needs few material possessions and little entertainment, comfort, power, or fame because so much of what he or she does is already rewarding.  Because such persons experience flow in work, in family life, when interacting with people, when eating, even when alone with nothing to do, they are less dependent on the external rewards that keep others motivated to go on with a life composed of routines.  They are more autonomous and independent because they cannot be as easily manipulated with threats or rewards from the outside.  At the same time, they are more involved with everything around them because they are fully immersed in the current of life.”


These are the people who have embraced the inner struggle on the path to true happiness.


Again and again in survey after survey people are asked what do they think is most important key to happiness and the response is always the same: Money.  If not money it is some external thing connected to it.  People imagine that relaxing, watching a movie, listening to music, drinking alcohol or taking drugs or having sex are the activities that make one happy, and it certainly is true that whilst one is involved in them they do result in enhanced states.  In fact research shows that when people are actually asked to rate those experiences while and after they are involved in them they actually rate them low in the happiness stakes.  The things that people actually rate the highest in the happiness stakes are the “flow” experiences.  Perhaps happiness is not even the right word to describe this state, since it is more profound and lasting.  The point being is that most of us think that happiness lies in the material things, and we exert huge amounts of time and effort in trying to acquire a bigger house, faster car, more fashionable clothes, sexier partner, but the joy we get from these things fades very quickly.  It’s called hedonistic entropy.  Soon enough we become familiar and bored with those things and we aspire to something newer, faster, sexier, bigger, better, which if and when we get it we are soon bored of that.  It’s the dream of the pursuit of this happiness through externalities that drives the consumer society.  It’s a dream that is of course a lie.  Things don’t make people happy.  Happiness is an inner condition.  It is achieved by exerting effort, by struggling to gain mastery and control of oneself, and by then applying oneself to achieving what is worthwhile.


One could hardly find two different ideas of happiness.  One is about self indulgence, and the other is about self discipline and controlling one’s whims and desires, yet it is becoming increasingly clear and the evidence is stacking up as to which one actually makes humans happy.



It is a paradox.  In order to feel true happiness one needs to struggle.  The more noble the struggle the greater, more long lasting and profound the sense of happiness.  It is clear to see then in the context of this why religious people live happier lives.  All organised religions, by virtue of being organised, lend themselves towards optimal experiences and development of autotelic personalities.  Why is the dimension of being organised so important?  This is simply connected with self discipline and the ordering of consciousness.  It is through regular prayer, devotions, fasting, charity etc...that a person learns self control and discipline.  They are not only doing these things when they feel like it they do it irrespective of the feelings they might have.  These are simple lessons in self mastery.
The narrative that we all too often hear is how we are all victims of our genes and upbringing and circumstance.  It is as if we were helpless puppets in the hands of fate.  We often hear the complaint that “my parents made me like this”, or “the trauma she suffered made her like that”, and as well “that’s just the way I am.”  Of course significant emotional events do impact on our behaviour, but we are not helpless victims.  We can change.



Flow, Fasting and Falaah

(part 2 of 2)



Description: How to achieve profound happiness and satisfaction or ‘flow’.  Part 2: The ingredients of flow are present in almost all forms of Islamic worship.  Flow-producing activities require an initial investment and self discipline. 



Let us take fasting as an example.  At some point when a person fasts they begin to feel thirsty and hungry.  What we call hunger and thirst are basic biological processes that cause signals to be sent to our brain, which basically tell us “eat”, “drink”, but we consciously choose to over ride these signals, to reject basic biological functions and commands because we have consciously chosen that there is a more important objective.  The factors that motivate us are very important, since the more they are connected with basic needs the less positive effect it will have and less optimal the experience will be.  For example, a person who fasts out of fear of getting caught eating or drinking, or for health reasons, will not benefit on the same level as one who, for example, does it completely with the intention to please God.  The former reasons are based on externalities, where as the latter is autotelic.  Even so, whatever the reason, fasting teaches us we can override our impulses, that we are not complete “victims” of our biology.  The fasting Muslim is given an added interesting dimension, in that the time for fasting is prescribed, from dawn to sunset, and that not delaying in eating and drinking or breaking the fast is also part of the discipline.  The fast is defined.  One is encouraged to break the fast with others, and provide food and drink for the fasting person.  The fasting Muslim, then has in the fast all the ingredients for flow.  The action is defined, not too easy or too difficult, it is autotelic and one feels that one has improved as a person and participated in or contributed to the group.  These conditions actually also apply to the five regular daily prayers, the obligatory charity and the pilgrimage to Mecca, indeed almost any act of worship.


The key to success in the inner struggle is intention.  It is intention that gives focus to consciousness, and whatever the consciousness, or mind is occupied with is the direction one will inevitable go.  What we think about we become.
This can act as positive loop or downward spiral.  If, for example, when you focus constantly on negative things, one’s consciousness becomes preoccupied with that, and then one focuses more on those negative things, which itself makes one more negative and more depressed.  The opposite is also true.


Intention is the firm resolve to do something.  It is a decision.  These intentions are very important, and key to controlling consciousness, and directing oneself in the way one needs to go.  It is here that the key to self control and self discipline lies.  It is also important to understand that we have limited mental energy.  It gets depleted like anything else.  Also we get distracted away from those things we intend.  We may be trying to set ourselves resolutely on a path but become distracted with doubts and worries.  These drain our energy, weaken our determination and can sometimes completely divert our attention.  Flow experiences actually increase our mental energy.  Why then do people often leave optimal experience for experiences that do little if anything to enhance the quality of one’s life? For example, U.S.  teenagers experience flow about 13 percent of the time that they spend watching television, 34 percent of the time they do hobbies, and 44 percent of the time they are involved in sports and games.  Yet these same teenagers spend at least four times more of their free hours watching TV than doing hobbies or sports.  Similar ratios are true for adults.  Why would we spend four times more of our free time doing something that has less than half the chance of making us feel good?


Flow-producing activities require an initial investment of attention before it begins to be enjoyable.  If a person is too tired, anxious, or lacks the discipline to overcome that initial obstacle, he or she will have to settle for something that, although less enjoyable, is more accessible.  Many avoid them and instead involve themselves in passive experiences like sitting around and watching TV, because of the initial effort required to do flow activities.


People with self discipline learn to be resolute in their decisions and act on them, and then find ways to get optimal experience from those actions.  They will overcome this initial reservation and bring flow into their lives.


One of the most useful things in this regard are the five daily ritual prayers that a Muslim must make.  There is a tradition that states that if anyone prays two units of the ritual prayer, or salah, and thinks of nothing except Allah (God) all their sins will be forgiven.  This is in fact very difficult.  It is probably easier to climb mount Everest! This is because it is very hard to keep out random mental activity, unless one trains oneself to have focus.  This is the difference between the prayer of a person who makes the movements and says the words and one who prays properly, with understanding, attentiveness, awe and humility.


One can understand the saying of Prophet Mohammed when he said: “It may be that all a fasting person gets from his fast is hunger and thirst, and it may be that all a person who prays at night gets from his prayer is sleeplessness.”[1]
This inner struggle is called “jihad bil nafs” in the Islamic tradition and a great deal has been written about it.  It is said to be the best jihad, or the best struggle and that is fighting against one’s desires and passions for the sake of God.  It is more than interesting that much of what modern psychologist have come to understand about the human condition has already been expounded upon by Muslim scholars.  Indeed anyone familiar with the spiritual tradition in Islam who reads some of the writings on psychology would imagine that these psychologists had cut and pasted from the Islamic writings.


Flow can be experienced in negative and destructive things also.  It is also not enough merely to link lots of optimal experiences together, if your life as a whole has no meaning, no objective.


It is fascinating then that the Quran teaches that God, Allah, the Creator has made life a test and that He has created us in toil and struggle.  The successful ones are those who’s intention is most pure and action most correct.  It is our intentions, the state of our hearts that God looks at, not our outer appearance such as the colour of our skin, or wealth or status.  Purifying this heart, directing our minds towards the most noble goal of serving God, is the key to success (falaah), and indeed the very purpose of life.  Serving God of course does not just mean prayer, glorification and remembrance of God, but also caring for the needs of His creatures.  Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said:


“Verily, Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, would say on the Day of Resurrection: “O son of Adam, I was sick but you did not visit Me.”
He would say: “O my Lord; how could I visit Thee whereas Thou art the Lord of the worlds?”

Thereupon Allah would say: “Didn’t you know that such and such servant of Mine was sick but you did not visit him and were you not aware of this that if you had visited him, you would have found Me by him? O son of Adam, I asked food from you but you did not feed Me.”

He would say: “My Lord, how could I feed Thee whereas Thou art the Lord of the worlds?”

Allah will say: “Didn’t you know that such and such servant of Mine asked food from you but you did not feed him, and were you not aware that if you had fed him you would have found him by My side? (The Lord would again say): O son of Adam, I asked drink from you but you did not provide Me.”

He would say: “My Lord, how could I provide Thee whereas Thou art the Lord of the worlds?”

Thereupon Allah would say: “Such and such of servant of Mine asked you for a drink but you did not provide him, and had you provided him drink you would have found him near Me.””[2]


The paradox of happiness is that once you start to look for it, it will escape you.  It is only by embracing the inner struggle that we can find ourselves on the road to true happiness.
Watch out for my forthcoming book (inshallah – God Willing): “Embracing the Inner Struggle on the Path to True Happiness”.
 

 

Footnotes:
 
[1] Narrated by Ahmad (8693); classed as Saheeh by Ibn Hibbaan (8/257) and by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb (1/262).
2] Sahih Muslim

By Abdurraheem

Sunday, June 30, 2013

God: Abba or Rabb?



    
Description: Christians view the Muslim God as distance, unapproachable, and impersonal.  The article compares the Christian Name of God, Abba to one of the most frequently used Name of God in the Quran, Rabb, extracting their meaning and usage.


Abba of the Bible

  
Christians refer to God as Father in their creeds, prayers, and liturgy.  God, the Father, is seen as one of the three persons of Trinity.  They believe that the Father has a Son, Jesus.  Christians think they alone have a personal relationship, both with the Father and the Son.  Abba is said to be the transliteration of the Aramaic word for father.  It is always used as a direct address to God the Father.  It appears three times in the entire NT and only once in a gospel.  In Mark 14:36 (“Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee”).  The other two occurrences are in the letters of Paul, in Rom 8:15 and Gal 4:6.


A great debate exists between Jewish and Christian writers about the nature of God as a father or abba (the Aramaic word for father).  The debate started with what a German Lutheran scholar, Joachim Jeremias, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joachim_Jeremias)wrote in his book, “The Prayers of Jesus,” translated by John Bowden.  His essential argument was repeated in slightly modified forms by most Christians.  Edward Schillebeeckx  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Schillebeeckx made it popular among Roman Catholics in his book, “Jesus.”
What Jeremias basically stated was that, firstly, “abba” represents a special use by Jesus that was central to his teaching; second, that for Jesus it expressed a special kind of intimacy and tenderness deriving from the origin of the word ‘abba’ from baby talk; third, that it was distinct from the practice of Judaism.  His point was that Jesus referring to God as Abba is not derived from the OT or from his Palestinian Jewish background.  Instead it represents his unique relationship with the “Father.” Therefore, some Christian writers went on to say that God can be referred to as ‘daddy,’ most saying it is too informal and lacks respects.  Interestingly, feminist Christian writers had a serious problem with the idea of God as a male and have written several critical books.


While most in contemporary Church simply repeat the above points and base popular theology on it,[1] it has been severely criticized.  Mary Rose D’Angelo highlights evidence against it in her article ‘Abba and “Father”: Imperial Theology and the Jesus Traditions’[2] Several Jewish authors like Alon Goshen-Gottstein[3]  and Gerald Friedlander[4] have brought evidence that rabbis and Jews have used ‘abba’ to refer to God.


S.  Vernon McCasland of the University of Virginia wrote, ‘The expression “Abba, Father” occurs just three times in the New Testament…(it) presents a challenge because of the way it has defied the translators from the very beginning right up to our own day.  The following 27 translations which I have consulted illustrate the problem…Almost without exception it has been simply transliterated.  Yet Abba is not an English word, nor is it Latin, German, French, or Spanish; and no reader in most cases, unless he happens to be a Semitist, could do more than to make a vague guess as to what it means.  It strikes the uninformed reader like the unintelligible formula of some magical incantation.  Most of the translators have left it as it were charged with a deadly mana.”[5]

Rabb of the Quran

When we turn to the Quran, it clarifies that neither God has a son nor is God a father.  Many a Christian when they hear this from me, they think we have no relationship with God because Christians relate to God in human terms of father and son.  They see Christians as having a ‘personal’ relationship with Jesus and the Father, but “Allah” seems like a distant being to them.
The Muslim relationship with God is expressed in Rabb, or more properly ar-Rabb, one of the most frequently repeated Names of God in the Quran, the Muslim scripture.  It is the most common Name with which God is invoked by prophets and the prayer’s of the pious.  The Name is clear in its meaning and beautifully captures the deep relationship with God.

Linguistically, according to by Ibn Faris[6] the ancient Arabs used the word rabb to mean:

·       Fixing what’s broken and maintaining it.  Rabb is the master, creator, and maintainer.

·       Sticking close to something.

·       Joining something with another.

In the Quran, the word Rabb when applied to God means[7]:
1.     Rabb is the Master who has no equal, a Master who completely surrounds His creation with His gifts.[8]

2.     Rabb is the Nurturer of His creation, yet He is not their father.  Rabb nurtures His people, taking them from one phase of life to another, showering them with His blessings, and sustaining their lives all along.  Rabb provides His creation with their livelihood as He alone controls the treasures of the heavens and the earth.

3.     Rabb nurtures the hearts, souls, and the character of His loved ones.[9]  The prayers of the prophets and the pious in the Quran invoking the Name Rabb makes this meaning clear:

The Prayer of Abraham:O my Rabb, grant me wisdom and join me with the righteous (enter me in their ranks).”
(Quran 26:83)

The Prayer of the Pious: “O my Rabb, forgive (our sins) and show mercy (towards us).  Undoubtedly, You are the Best of those who show mercy.”
(Quran 23:118)

Prayer of Adam and Eve:O our Rabb, we have wronged ourselves and if You were not to forgive us we will certainly be of the losers.“
(Quran 7:23)

Prayer of Noah:O my Rabb, forgive me and my parents.” (Quran 71:28)

Lastly, the word ar-Rabb is repeated in the Quran as the Rabb of ‘all the worlds,’ ‘of everything,’ ‘of Moses and Aaron,’ ‘of the Great Throne,’ ‘of the heavens and the earth,’ and ‘of the East and the West.’


Footnotes:
[1] See entry ‘Fatherhood of God’ in Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology.
[2] Mary Rose D’Angelo, Journal of Biblical Literature, vol.  111, No.  4 (Winter, 1992), pp.  611-630.  Published by: The Society of Biblical Literature.
[3] See “God the Father in Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity: Transformed Background or Common Ground?” in Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 38:4, Spring 2001.
[4] See “The Jewish Sources Of The Sermon On The Mount” published by Kessinger Publishing, LLC (January 11, 2005).
[5] See “Abba, Father” by S.  Vernon McCasland, Journal of Biblical Literature, vol.  72, No.  2 (Jun., 1953), pp.  79-91.  Published by The Society of Biblical Literature.
[6] Abu al–Husayn Ahmad b.  Faris b.  Zakariyyah b.  Muhammad b.  Habib became known, in view of his expertise, as ‘lexicographer/linguist’ (al–Lughawi).  For the title of his book incorporating the concept of ‘Law of the Language’ he may be regarded as the ‘Father of Linguistics.’ He studied in Qazwin, gained prominence in Hamadan and died at Rayy in 395 H (1004/1005 CE).  The main contribution of Ibn Faris consists in his important works in the cognate areas of etymology, philology, lexicography and linguistics, such as
(i) The Book on the Principles of Language (Kitab Maqa’is al–Lugha)
(ii) The Book of Generalities/Synthesis in Language (Kitab al–Mujmal fi al–Lugha)
(iii) Al–Sahibi (The Law of the Language and the Usages of the Language and the Usages of the Arabs in Their Speech).  (http://islamicencyclopedia.org/public/index/topicDetail/id/107)
[7] Shar’ Asma il-Allahi Ta’ala al-Husna by Dr.  Hassa al-Saghir, p.  123-125
[8] cf.  Tafsir Ibn Jarir and Tafsir Ibn Kathir
[9] Taisir al Karim al-Rahman, vol5, p.  485

By C. Mofty

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Prophets of the Quran: An Introduction (part 1 of 2)



 


 Description: Belief in the prophets of God is a central part of Muslim faith.  Part 1 will introduce all the prophets before Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, mentioned in the Muslim scripture from Adam to Abraham and his two sons.



The Quran mentions twenty five prophets, most of whom are mentioned in the Bible as well.  Who were these prophets, where did they live, who were they sent to, what are their names in the Quran and the Bible, and what are some of the miracles they performed? We will answer these simple questions.
Before we begin, we must understand two matters:
a.      In Arabic two different words are used, Nabi and Rasool.  A Nabi is a prophet and a Rasool is a messenger or an apostle.  The two words are close in meaning for our purpose.

b.      There are four men mentioned in the Quran about whom Muslim scholars are uncertain whether they were prophets or not: Dhul-Qarnain (18:83), Luqman (Chapter 31),
Uzair (9:30), and Tubba (44:37, 50:14).


1.      Aadam or Adam is the first prophet in Islam.  He is also the first human being according to traditional Islamic belief.  Adam is mentioned in 25 verses and 25 times in the Quran.  God created Adam with His hands and created his wife, Hawwa or Eve from Adam’s rib.  He lived in Paradise and was expelled from there to earth for disobedience.  The story of his two sons is mentioned once in Chapter 5 (Al-Maidah).


2.      Idrees or Enoch is mentioned twice in the Quran.  Other than that little is known about him.  He is said to have lived in Babylon, Iraq and migrated to Egypt and that he was the first one to write with the pen.


3.      Nooh or Noah is mentioned 43 times in the Quran.  He is said to be from Kirk, Iraq.  Polytheism (shirk) appeared for the first time among his people who lived close to the present day city of Kufa, in the south of Iraq.  His wife was an unbeliever as mentioned in Chapter 66 (At-Tahrim).  His son also choose disbelief and was drowned in the flood.  The story is found in Chapter 11 (Hud).

One of his great miracles was the Arc which he built on God’s command that rested on Mt.  Judi which is said to be between the Syrian-Turkish border today near the city of Ayn Diwar.


4.      Hud is said to be Heber in English.  He is mentioned 7 times in the Quran.  Hud is the first person to have spoken Arabic and was the first Arab prophet.  He was definitely sent to the people of Aad in the area known as Al-Ahqaf which is around Hadramaut in Yemen and the Ar-Rub al-Khali (the Empty Quarter).  God destroyed them by a fierce wind that blew for 8 days and seven nights.

5.      Salih is mentioned 9 times in the Quran.  He was an Arab prophet send to the people of Thamud who lived in an area known as Al-Hijr between Hijaz and Tabuk.  Al-Hijr was the ancient name.  Today, the place is known as “Madain Salih” in Saudi Arabia and is a UNESCO world heritage site.  They are magnificent structures literally carved into rocks.  The people demanded he produce a female camel out of the rocks to prove his claim to being a prophet.  He did, and warned them not to harm her, but they killed her despite the warning of Salih.  A loud shriek – saihah - killed them all.

6.      Ibrahim or Abraham is mentioned 69 times in 25 chapters of the Quran.  His father’s name was Aazar.  They lived in the city of Ur in the Chaldean kingdom.  He escaped Ur to Harran, in the north of the Arabian peninsula, in today’s Syria, when Nimrod, the king tried to burn him alive.  From Harran he went to Palestine with his wife Sarah and the son of his brother, Lot (Loot in Arabic) and his wife.  Due to a famine, they were forced to move to Egypt. 

He later returned with Lot to the south of Palestine, Ibrahim settling in Bir Sab’a and Lot settled close to the Dead Sea. 

Abraham then moved his second wife, Hagar, to Mecca with his son Ishmael and left them there at God’s command.  Mecca was a barren land and the well of zamzam was provided by God for their survival.  The ancient tribe of Jurhum settled their due to zamzam.  Abraham is said to be buried in Hebron, Palestine.

 7, 8.   Abraham had two sons: Ishaq or Issac and Ismael or Ishmael.  Issac is mentioned 16 times in the Quran whereas Ishmael is mentioned 12 times.  Issac lived with his father, Abraham, and died in Hebron, Palestine.  God ordered Abraham to sacrifice Ishmael.  He went to Mecca with his parents and was left there with his mother.  Abraham visited Ishmael several times in Mecca, one of those times, God ordered Abraham and Ishmael to build the Ka’bah (the Holy House).  Ishmael died in Mecca and was buried there.  Issac is the fore-father of the Jews and Ishmael is the forefather of the Arabs. 


Prophets of the Quran: An Introduction

 (part 2 of 2)




 Description: Belief in the prophets of God is a central part of Muslim faith. Part 2 will introduce all the prophets before Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, mentioned in the Muslim scripture from Lot to Jesus.


9.    Lot or Loot is mentioned 17 times in the Quran. He is the nephew of Abraham, the son of Abraham’s brother. Lot lived towards the southern tip of the Dead Sea. His people were from Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot believed in Abraham and after their return from Egypt, they settled in separate locations. People of Sodom were the first to commit homosexuality. That is why homosexuals are sometimes called sodomites. His wife was not a believer. She did not commit the sin, but accepted it. Rocks were rained down on the people of Sodom and Gomorrah that crushed them.



10.  Yaqub or Jacob, the son of Issac and the grandson of Abraham is mentioned 16 times in the Quran. Jacob’s other name was Israel. The “Bani Israel,” Children of Israel, or Israelites are named after him. All the Hebrew prophets came from him, the last of whom was Eesa or Jesus. Jacob is the father of the twelve tribes known as Al-Asbaat (7:160) in the Quran. He is said to have traveled to north of Iraq, returned to Palestine and then settled in Egypt and died there. He was buried in Hebron, Palestine, along with his father according to his last will. The Bible mentions that Issac married Rebecca and his son Jacob married Rachel (Rahil in Arabic).


11.  Yusuf or Joseph, the son of Jacob or Israel is mentioned 17 times in the Quran. He was left in a Jerusalem well by his brothers, and then taken to Egypt where he attained a high rank in the government. Later, his father, Jacob, and brothers settled in Egypt.


12.  Shuaib or Jethro, mentioned 11 times in the Quran, was send to the people of Madyan, who was one of the sons of Abraham. Shuaib lived between the time of Lot and Moses and was an Arab prophet. His people worshipped a tree called Al-Aykah (15:78, 26:176, 38:13, 50:14). They were highway robbers, and cheated in business dealings. Several punishments came down upon them: an awful cry combined with an earthquake that destroyed them.


13.  Ayyub or Job is mentioned 4 times in the Quran. He is said to have lived close to either the Dead Sea or Damascus. He was an affluent prophet who was tested by God with poverty and sickness, but he was patient and was helped by his loyal wife who stayed by him in every hardship. Eventually, they are immensely rewarded by God for their patience.


14.  Yunus or Jonah, also known as “Dhun-Noon,” is mentioned 4 times in the Quran. He lived in Nineveh, close to Mosul, in Iraq. He left his people before God allowed him to, headed towards modern day Tunisia, but possibly ended up in Yafa. He was swallowed by the whale, repented to God and went back to his people in Iraq where all 100,000 of them repented and believed in him.


15.  Dhul-Kifl is mentioned twice in the Quran. Some scholars say he was the son of Job, others say he is Ezekiel of the Bible.


16.  Musa or Moses is the most frequently mentioned prophet in the Quran, appearing 136 times. Before Moses, Joseph had started spreading the message of monotheism (tawhid: worship of One, true God) among the people of Egypt. His mission was strengthened when his father, Jacob, and his brothers also settled in Egypt, slowly converting all of Egypt. After Yusuf, the Egyptians turned back into polytheism (shirk) and the children of Jacob, the Israelites, multiplied and gained prominence in the society. Moses was the first prophet sent to the Israelites at a time when the Pharaoh of Egypt was enslaving them. Moses fled to Madyan to flee persecution. God made him a prophet at Mt. Toor, situated in the Sinai and he was given nine great miracles.


17.  Haroon or Aaron is the brother of Moses and is mentioned 20 times in the Quran.
18,19. Ilyas or Elijah and Yas’a are mentioned two times each in the Quran and lived in Baalbek.


20,21. Dawud or David is mentioned in the Quran 16 times. He led the Israelites in war and won, and had many miracles. His son, Suleiman or Solomon is mentioned 17 times and was also a king with great miracles. Both are buried in Jerusalem.


22.  Zakariyyah or Zechariah is mentioned 7 times. He was a carpenter. He raised Mary, the mother of Jesus.


23.  Yahya or John is the son of Zechariah and is mentioned 5 times. He was killed in Jerusalem, and his head was taken to Damascus.


24.  The name Eesa or Jesus is mentioned 25 times, Messiah 11 times, and the ‘son of Mary’ 23 times. He was born in Bethlehem, Palestine. He is said to have visited Egypt with his mother. He is the last prophet among the Children of Israel.


Five prophets were Arabs: Hud, Salih, Shuaib, Ismail, and Muhammad. Four of them were send to the Arabs, whereas Muhammad was send to all human beings.


In conclusion, prophets, biblical and non-biblical, are integral to the Islamic scripture. Muslims see themselves as the true inheritors of the mission of the prophets sent by God to humanity: worship of the One True God and obedience to Him.


Selected References:
1.      Ibn Kathir. Qasas ul-Ambiya. Cairo: Dar at-Taba’a wa-Nashr al-Islamiyya, 1997.
2.      Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani. Tuhfa ul-Nubala’ min Qasas il-Ambiya lil Imam al-Hafid Ibn Kathir.
 Jedda: Maktaba as-Sahaba, 1998.
3.      Mahmud al-Masri. Qasas ul-Ambiya lil-Atfaal. Cairo: Maktaba as-Safa, 2009.
4.      Dr. Shawqi Abu Khalil. Atlas al-Quran. Damascus: Dar-ul-Fikr, 2003.