Archive for May, 2008

Hello everyone:

I leave for you some references to study Islam:

Qur’an
http://www.quran.org.uk/
http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/

General Information (Shi’a)
http://www.jaffari.org
http://www.al-islam.org
http://www.shia.org
http://www.azadari.com
http://www.al-shia.com

General Information (Sunni)
http://www.islam.org
http://www.islaam.com
http://www.islam.com

Da’wah Information
http://www.convertstoislam.org
http://www.thetruereligion.org
http://www.islaminfo.com
http://www.winislam.com
http://www.beconvinced.com

Multimedia
http://www.al-islam.org/gallery
http://www.surf.to/islaminfocus
http://www.islamicentre.org/multimedia.asp
http://www.listen.to/nohay
http://www.islamway.com
http://www.jannah.org/quran
http://www.duas.org
http://www.radioislam.com
http://www.al-huda.ca

For Kids
http://www.kidsmedia.net/

Mosque & Praying

Posted: May 30, 2008 in Islam
Tags: , ,

Luky likes to hear about mosque and what I do in it.
In the name of Allah, the most Compassionate, the most Mercitul.
Mosque for Muslims, that is Church for Christians, even so there are some differences.
When I go to Mosque, I do praying. I stand in front of Allah (God) beside other Muslims.
We stand in front of One whom that:
Isn’t be seen by eyes.
Is the Cherisher and Sustainer of the w
orlds.
Is The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.
Is The Master of the Day of Judgment.
We stand and say:
Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
Show us the straight way, the way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose portion is not wrath, and who go not astray.
Then we genuflect & bow before Him.
After praying, probably we hear the lecture of liturgist (clergy).
Or probably we talk to one another and understand the problem of each other and try to resolve it, if we can.
We believe that praying is not only in Mosque, but also in home or any other place.
We can worship and do praying every where, because Allah is every where and He knows every thing.

INTRODUCTION

Islam is one of the major world religions. Every fifth person on the face of this earth is a Muslim. Muslims are found in the Middle East, in north, west and east Africa, in Asia and Eastern Europe. In modern times, Muslims are found in large numbers in Western Europe, the Americas and Australia through immigration as well as conversion. Recent statistics show that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the USA. With the vast world turning into a “global village,” such a wide-spread religion followed by over a billion people indeed deserves a careful study.

WHAT IS ISLAM?

Islam is not just a religion in the conventional sense of the word; it is a way of life—it guides it followers in every aspect of their lives.

The name “Islãm” is an Arab name. (“Islaam” is pronounced with “s” sound and not with “z” as in “Izlaam”.) It comes from the root word “as-silm” which means “peace”. “Islãm” itself means “submission to the will of God”. It means that real peace comes only after a person submits himself to the will of God.

Although Islam started fourteen centuries ago in Arabia, for Muslims it is not a new beginning—Islam, for Muslims, is the culmination of the message of God for human society. Muslims believe that God from day one of human creation sent prophets and messengers to guide the human society. Many prophets were sent to various regions of the world. Muslims are required to have faith in the prophethood of all of them. The most famous of the past prophets were: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus.

The essential message of all the prophets was the same:
belief in One God;
belief in the prophets of God and in their teachings;
belief in the eternal life in hereafter.

MUHAMMAD, THE LAST MESSENGER

After Prophet Jesus, God sent Muhammad as the Final Prophet and Messenger of God. With his prophethood, the process of guidance reached its peak and perfection.

Prophet Muhammad was born in the city of Mecca in Arabia in the family which traced its lineage to Prophet Abraham through his son Ishmael. At the age of forty, Prophet Muhammad recieved the first revelation from God through the Arch-Angel Gabriel.

He called the people of Mecca who were mostly idol-worshippers to the worship of One God, and to a life based on laws of God which would guarantee peace and harmony in inter human relationship. Majority of the people of Mecca refused to accept his message. The small number of his followers did not deter the Prophet from continuing his mission. Muhammad was fully supported in his mission by close family members, in particular his wife, Khadīja, and cousin, ‘Ali.

The leaders of idol-worshippers of Mecca, who did not want any change in the status-quo, started a campaign against Prophet Muhammad and the religion of Islam:
first they started propaganda against Prophet Muhammad;
then they started social and economic embargo against Muslims;
finally they planned to assassinate the Prophet himself.

In the meanwhile, the Prophet’s message found a very receptive audience among the people of Medina, a city in northern Arabia. So after thirteen years of hard work in Mecca, the Prophet Muhammad migrated to Medina where he lived for the last eleven years of his life.

It was in Medina that the Prophet founded the first Islamic community on the principles of monotheism of the Almighty and brotherhood of the Muslims.

THE QUR’ÃN

The revelation which Prophet Muhammad received from God during almost twenty three years of his mission was compiled in a book form and is considered by all Muslims as the Holy Scripture of Islam. This revelation is known as “The Qur’ãn”.

The Qur’ãn has been preserved by the Muslims in its original form. Muslims have preserved it in writing as well in memory in each generation for the last fourteen centuries. Even those Muslims who are not familiar with the Arabic words learn how to recite the holy Book in Arabic.

BELIEF IN ONE GOD

Islam is a monotheistic religion. It teaches that there is only One God who is the origin and creator of the universe. The concept of belief in One God is known as “Tawhid”. This is the foundation stone of Islam, and is reflected in the famous creed which a Muslim child learns at a very early age. The creed says: lã ilaha il-lal Lãh — there is no god but Allãh.

“Allãh” is the Arabic name of God. Since the Qur’ãn is in Arabic, Muslims like to use the Arabic name for God. Even Christians in the Arab world use the name “Allãh” in their prayers.

By teaching that there is only One God for all humans, Islam promotes the sense of brotherhood and equality in human society—all are equally related to God in the same way. The Qur’ãn has very beautifully presented the concept of monotheism in a short chapter. It says: Say: He, Allãh, is One. Allãh is Eternal. He neither begets nor is He begotten. And there is no one equal to Him. (The Qur’ãn, chapter # 112)

PURPOSE OF LIFE

Our life on this earth has a specific purpose; it is not the result of nature’s accident, nor is it a punishment for eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. We are here according to God’s plan: to attain a blissful eternal life in the hereafter. Prophet Muhammad said, “You have not been created to perish; on the contrary, you have been created for eternal life.”

However, in order to attain the bliss and grace in the eternal life, we have to go through test and trial in this world. The test is to see how much willingly we do submit ourselves to the commands of God. Everything that we do is a test and trial for us. If we follow God’s commandment, then we succeed; otherwise, we will get the eternal life but without any bliss or grace in it.

STATUS OF HUMAN BEINGS IN ISLAM

PRIME CREATION: Human being is the prime creation of God. He says, “We have indeed honoured the children of Adam; spread them in the land and the sea, provided them with good things; and preferred them in esteem over many things that We have created.” (17:70)

BORN SINLESS: Islam teaches that every human being is born sinless; no child carries the burden of his or her ancestor’s sins. God says, “No carrier shall carry the burden of others.” (35:18) Each human being is born with a pure conscience which can absorb and accept the true message of God. It is only the social and familial influences which take a person away from God’s message.

ACCOUNTABILITY: Islam also emphasizes on the issue of responsibility and accountability of human beings—each person is responsible for his or her own actions. Although Islam teaches that God has predetermined the span of our life and the time of our death, but this does not mean that even our actions are predetermined by Him. We surely are free in our actions and are, therefore, accountable for them. God only provides guidance for us to know what is good and what is bad. He says, “We created man of a water-drop…Surely We guided them to the right way—now whether he (follows it and) be grateful or (goes astray and) be ungrateful is up to him.” (76:3)

RACE: Islam very categorically rejects racial discrimination. It promotes the feeling of brotherhood and equality among its followers. God clearly says, “O Mankind! We have created you from one male and one female, and then We made you into different races and tribes so that you may know (and easily recognize) each other.” Therefore, no one can claim any superiority over others based on racial or tribal differences. A person is to be judged by his character, not by his colour or race. God continues, “Surely the most honourable of you in God’s sight is the person who is most upright in character among you.” (49:13)

GENDER: Even gender does not count as a criterion of superiority. In Islam, women are as human as men. They are not evaluated on basis of their gender, but on basis of their faith and character. Fourteen hundred years ago, the Qur’ãn recorded God’s clear statements on this issue. Out of four verses, I will just quote one: “Whoever, be it a male or a female, does good deeds and he or she is a believer, then they will enter the Paradise.” (4:124) So there is no difference in the degree or level of woman’s humanity or honour in Islam.

The only difference there exists is concerning the role which Islam has envisioned for man and woman. This has nothing to do with superiority or inferiority.

In Islam, man and woman are equal in rights; but equality is not synonymous to similarity.

Islam believes that man and woman are equal but dissimilar. Islam looks at their different roles in society not as superior or inferior but as complementary to each other.

ISLAM: THE RELIGION OF PEACE

As reflected in its name, Islam is a religion of peace. Muslims are taught to greet each other by saying “salãmun ‘alaykum — peace be upon you”. The daily prayers also end with the same sentence. In Islam, one of the names by which God is known is “As-Salãm” which means peace.

However, one must realize that peace, on a social level, is inter-twined with justice. Peace can only exists if justice is maintained in society.

Unfortunately, because of the Middle Eastern events of last fifty years, Islam has been branded by the western media as a religion of violence. In recent years, the word “Islamic” has become one of the adjectives of “terrorism”.

In this backdrop, firstly, one must realize that the events of the Middle East can be fairly and fully understood only in the light of the post-World War One history of that region, in particular the unfulfilled promises given by the British to the Arabs in order to incite them to rebel against their own Muslim rulers.

Secondly, no fair-minded person would allow himself to blame the religion of Islam for the wrong-doings of those who call themselves as Muslims. It is just like saying that the Catholic Church promotes violence and terrorism because of the Irish Republican Army’s activities!

* * *

These were the teachings of Islam, the religion sent by God to Prophet Muhammad. It has been preserved in its originality by the leaders who came from the family of the Prophet. On this note, I would like to end with one of the last important messages of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) where he says:

“I am leaving behind two important things among you: one is the Book of Allãh (the Qur’ãn) and the other is my family, the Ahlul Bayt. As long as you hold on fast to both of them, you will not go astray.”

* * *
source

Intellectual Challenge to the Christian Beliefs (5)

It is not meet for a man that Allah should give him the Book and the Judgment and Prophethood, then he should say to men: “Be my servants rather than Allah’s;” but rather (he would say): “Be worshippers of the Lord because of your teaching the Book and your reading (it yourselves)”. Or that he should enjoin you that you should take the angels and the prophets for lords; what! would he enjoin you with unbelief after you are Muslims (Submitting Ones)? (Qur’an, 3:79-80)

Coming to the belief of trinity, the Qur’an refutes it in two ways:

First: The general method, i.e. showing that it is impossible for Allah to take a son for Himself, no matter whether the presumed son be ‘Isa (a.s.) or someone else.

Second: The particular method, i.e. describing that ‘Isa (a.s.) son of Maryam was neither a son of God nor God; that he was but a servant created by Allah.

First Method: What is the quiddity of sonship and birth? What do these words really mean? A living material thing (like man, animal or vegetable) separates from itself a portion of its own matter, then gradually develops it until it becomes another individual of the same species similar to its parent; the offspring has the same characteristics and traits as the parent body had. An animal separates semen from its body, or a plant removes a seed from from itself, then it preserves and grows the semen or seed gradually until it becomes another animal or plant similar to its parent. This is what sonship and birth mean. It is no secret that such a thing is impossible for Allah:

First: Because it needs a physical material body; and Allah is far above matter and its concomitants without which matter cannot exist like motion, time, space and other such things.

Second: To Allah belongs absolute Divinity and Lordship; consequently, He has absolute authority over, and total management of, all things in His hand. Every thing is in need of Him to bring it into existence, and depends on Him for its continuity. It is just impossible to imagine a thing similar to Allah in “species” – a thing having the identity, attributes and characteristics similar to those of Allah and independent of Him.

Third: If Allah could beget or give birth to a son, it would entail graduality of action for Allah. In other words, He would be governed by the laws of matter and movement; and it is contradiction in term, because whatever takes place by His Will comes into being at once without delay, without graduality.

The above explanations are inferred from the words of Allah: And they say: ”Allah has taken to Himself a son.” Glory be to Him; rather, whatever is in the heavens and the earth is HIs; all are obedient to Him. The Originator of the heavens and the earth; and when He decrees an affair, He only says to it, “Be”, and it is (2:116-117).

As we have explained above, the words, Glory be to Him, are a complete proof; the clause, whatever is in the heavens and the earth is His; all are obedient to Him, is another proof; and the verse, The Originator of the heavens and the earth; and when He decrees an affair, He only says to it “Be”, and it is, is a third proof.

It is also possible to take the clause, The Originator of the heavens and the earth, as a allegorical expression in which the attribute of the object has been transferred to the subject. In other words, the clause may denote that the heavens and the earth are original in their creation and design; Allah has created them without any previous model. Therefore, He cannot beget anyone, otherwise it would be a creation on His own model. (After all the Christians believe that the Son is one with the Father). In that case this clause would be an independent proof by itself.

The Christians generally use the sentence, ‘the Messiah is the Son of God’, in a somewhat allegorical sense, and not in its literal meaning. They expand the meaning of sonship. Probably, it means separation of a thing from another of similar quiddity without physical and material division and without graduality. This interpretation may remove the problems of body, materiality and graduality. Yet, the problem of similarity will remain unsolved.

The problem of similarity may be described thus: Evidently, to believe in God the Father and God the Son is to believe in number, in real plurality, even if we suppose that the Father and the Son are one in “species” or quiddity, both belong to the homosapien species; but they are in fact more than one because they are two individual human beings. Now, if we suppose that God is one, then all other things (including the Son) would be “no-God”; they would be owned by God and dependent on Him; consequently the putative son would not be a God like Him. On the other hand, if we suppose a son similar to God, free of, not dependent on, Him, then it would invalidate and negate the Oneness of God.

This exposition is found in the following words of Allah: and say not, “Three”. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only one God; far be it from His glory that He should have a son; whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His; and Allah is sufficient for a Protector (4:171).

Second Method: ‘Isa (a.s.) son of Maryam could not be a son of God sharing Godhead with Him, because he was a human being having all the concomitants of humanity.

The Messiah (a.s.) was conceived by Maryam and grew up in her womb; then she brought him forth as women give birth to their children, and brought him up, as a child is brought up by his mother. He grew up proceeding through normal stages: from infancy to childhood, from youth to middle age. All this time, his condition was like any other normal human being in march of life. He was governed by all normal accidents and conditions undergone by other men. He was hungry and satiated; felt joy and sorrow; was pleased and displeased; affected by delight and pain, comfort and discomfort; he ate and drank, slept and woke up, was tired and rested etc.

This was the condition of ‘Isa (a.s.) when he was among the people. Doubtlessly a person having such characteristics is just like a mortal man like any other member of his species. As such he, like all other human beings, was a creature made by Allah.

Now, let us look at the miracles and supernatural things that happened on his hand, like giving life to dead bodies, creating the birds and healing the blind and leper. Also, there are extraordinary signs related to his birth, that is, his conception without father. All these things are supernatural, against the normal custom which people are familiar with; yet they are unfamiliar because of their rarity, not because they are impossible. There was Adam who by evidence of the heavenly Books was created from dust and had no father. And here are the prophets, for example: Salih, Ibrahim and Musa (peace be upon them) on whose hand so many miraculous signs had appeared (which are mentioned in revealed scriptures). But nobody thinks that those miracles negated their humanity or proved their divinity.

This method has been used in the verses: Certainly they disbelieve who say: “Surely Allah is the third (Person) of the three”; and there is no god but One God,…. The Messiah, son of Maryam is but an apostle; apostles before him have indeed passed away; and his mother was a truthful woman, they both used to eat food. See how We make the signs clear to them, then behold how they are turned away (5:73 – 75).

Eating food has been specially selected for mention in preference to other activities, because it rather more forcefully proves his materiality and shows his neediness and wants, which cannot be combined with Godhead. Obviously a person who by his nature feels hunger and thirst and satisfies it with a morsel of food and a cup of water, is nothing but an embodiment of poverty and need – a need that cannot be removed without help of some extraneous agent. How can such a man be God? What is the meaning of such divinity? A man surrounded by needs, depending for their fulfillment on something outside his own being, is deficient in himself, and managed by some other than himself. He cannot be self-sufficient god; rather he shall be a creature who is looked after by the Lord – the Lord Who has His creatures’ affairs in His Own Hand. The verse 5:17 may possibly be explained in this light: Certainly they disbelieve who say: “Surely Allah – He is the Messiah, son of Maryam”. Say: “Who then could control any thing as against Allah when He wished to destroy the Messiah, son of Maryam and his mother and all those on the earth?” And Allah’s is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and what is between them; He creates what He pleases; and Allah has power over all things.

The same is the case with the verse (coming after 5:75 quoted above) addressing the Christians: Say: “Do you worship besides Allah that which does not control for you any harm, or any profit?” And Allah – He is the Hearing, the Knowing (5:76).


(more…)

‘Isa (Jesus) is an intercessor and not a redeemer

It is not meet for a man that Allah should give him the Book and the Judgment and Prophethood, then he should say to men: “Be my servants rather than Allah’s;” but rather (he would say): “Be worshippers of the Lord because of your teaching the Book and your reading (it yourselves)”. Or that he should enjoin you that you should take the angels and the prophets for lords; what! would he enjoin you with unbelief after you are Muslims (Submitting Ones)? (Qur’an, 3:79-80)

The Christians believe that Jesus Christ atoned for their sins with his blood; and that is why they call him the Redeemer, the Savior. They explain this belief as follows:

“Adam disobeyed Allah by partaking of the forbidden tree; it was a sin which remained with Adam, and it is inherited by his progeny who came into this world burdened by that original sin; and the recompense of sin is punishment in the next world, the eternal perdition, the everlasting ruin – which cannot be warded off. And Allah is Merciful and Just – both at the same time.

“This situation created a knotty problem which defied all solutions: If Allah were to punish Adam and his progeny for their sin, it would have been against the mercy for which He had created them; and if He were to forgive them, it would have been against His Justice. Justice demands that a sinner should be punished for his sins and errors, just as a good-doer and obedient person should be rewarded for his good deeds.*

“This problem remained unsolved until Allah solved it through Christ. Christ – the Son of God who was Himself God – entered the womb of a descendent of Adam, that is the Virgin Maryam, and was born from her as a human being is born. In this way, he was a complete man, because he was a son of man; and at the same time, was complete God, because he was the Son of God.

“And the Son of God, being God Himself, was sinless and protected from every sin and error.

“He lived among his people for sometime, mixing and dealing with them; he joined them in eating and drinking, talked and walked with them and befriended them. Thereafter he surrendered to his enemies enabling them to kill him the worst killing – killing by crucifixion, because one who is crucified is, according to the Divine Scriptures, cursed by God.

“He took upon Himself the Divine curse and crucifixion, with all the condemnations, sufferings and chastisement which it entails. In this way he redeemed the people through his sacrifice, in order that they might be saved from the chastisement of the hereafter and the eternal perdition. Thus, he is the atonement for the sin of the believers, nay, for the sins of the whole world.” **

This is what the Christians believe.

The Christians have made this theory (i.e. the crucifixion and atonement) the foundation of their religion. It is the Alpha and Omega of their call and mission – in the same manner as the Qur’an has founded the Islam and its mission on monotheism; as Allah says addressing His Messenger (s.a.w.a.): Say: “This is my way: I invite (you) unto Allah: with clear sight (are) I and he who follows me; and glory be to Allah; and I am not of the polytheists” (12:108).

It is the Christians’ belief in spite of the fact that Christ (as the Gospels clearly say, and we have mentioned earlier) used to admonish them first of all to believe in one God and to love Him.

The Muslims as well as many non-Muslims have shown the Christians the defects and invalidity of the above-mentioned belief of Christianity. Countless books and booklets have been written and numerous pamphlets and articles published, showing that this theory is not only contrary to logic and reason, but it also contradictory to the Books of the Old and the New Testaments. What we are concerned with here – and what comes within the purview of this book of ours – is to show how this idea is opposed to the basic Qur’anic teachings, and to explain the difference between intercession (as confirmed by the Qur’an) and atonement (as claimed by the Christians).

Moreover, the Qur’an clearly says that it talks with the people explaining the things in such a way as to bring it to the level of their understanding, to make it easier for them to grasp its realities. It explains what helps them to distinguish the truth from falsehood, so that they may accept that and reject this. It enables him to differentiate between virtue and evil, between beneficial and harmful, so that he may take the one and leave the other. The fact that the Qur’an keeps in view the level of the healthy reason and understanding is abundantly clear to all who study the Divine Book.

Now let us have a critical look at the above-mentioned Christian theory of atonement.

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A nice story

One day Bohlool arrived at Haroun’s palace and saw that the throne was empty. There was no one to stop him, so he unhesitatingly and fearlessly went and sat in Haroun’s place. When the court slaves saw this, they immediately started whipping him and took him off the throne. Bohlool started crying. Haroun came and saw this; he asked those nearby why Bohlool was crying. A slave told him the whole story. Haroun scolded them and tried to cheer Bohlool up.

Bohlool said he wasn’t crying at his condition, but at Haroun’s condition. “I sat on the seat of Khalifate wrongfully for a few seconds and received such a beating and endured such misfortune; but you have been sitting on this throne all your life! What troubles you must receive, yet you still don’t fear the consequence.”

A Story…

Posted: May 25, 2008 in Life
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

NEED OF FRIENDS…

There is no one in the world who does not need friends. The more friends we have the more successful our lives will be. A learned man has said, “One who thinks that he does not need friends is like the simpleton who tells the sun that he does not care whether it rises or sets”.

It should also be remembered that it is necessary to be careful in the selection of friends. Making more friends does not mean that we should have firm relations with anyone and everyone. If we befriend unmannerly and lazy people, their bad habits will gradually affect us and we shall become lazy and worthless like them. This will make us lose our esteem in the eyes of others.

There is a well-known proverb: “A man is known by the company he keeps”. We should, therefore, befriend those people who are good mannered, pious and hard-working. Islam says that two companions should act as preachers for each other and each one of them should point out the shortcomings of the other. So by associating with such people we shall overcome our weaknesses and advance on the path of progress.

It should also not be forgotten that making friends is not sufficient; but it is also necessary to retain their friendship. This would be possible only when we behave with them properly and sincerely. Imam Ali (a) has said:

“A man who has no friends is very poor. And poorer than he, is he who cannot retain the friendship and loses his friends”.

A man is known by the company he keeps.