Islam

Why wear a black headscarf to visit the Pope but not a hijab when visiting Saudi royalty?

Islam - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 19:21

At first glance it seems odd that Melania Trump (a Christian) and Ivanka Trump (converted to Judaism) would both wear black and also have black lace headscarves to visit the Catholic Pope in the Vatican Rome, but would a few days previously not wear any headscarves in Muslim Saudi Arabia. It might appear that they are going out of their way to be incredibly respectful to the religious beliefs of Catholicism and less so to Islam.

But first appearances are not always completely what they seem. Female foreign dignitaries such as politicians or royalty are not required to cover their heads when they visit the Saudi Arabia- only Saudi nationals are. Meanwhile the Vatican (where the Pope lives) did speak of a dress protocol to Mrs Trump’s office at the White House, but no such requests had been made by Saudi Arabia. The Vatican website lays out some of the rules: modest dress, with your shoulders covered, for those attending a Papal Audience – especially if indoors. In fact women visiting sometimes wear deep lace mantillas to just a black veil. When the Queen went to see the Pope when as a young woman, she dressed up like the Spanish infanta, even though she is a Protestant Head of State.

Apparently Melania Trump, President Trump of the USA’s wife, asked the Pope to bless her rosary beads.

  

 

Categories: Islam

Refugee Crisis

Islam - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 15:55

Hundreds and thousands of refugees flood Europe from the so called third world countries. Some of these people come to seek better income and are not refugees as those who come from countries where there is a war going on. But we no longer speak of war, because conflict seems like a better description of the situation in countries like for example Afghanishtan.

Many of the people who come to Europe are young men. Instead of fighting for one or a nother faction or a cause in their homecountries these young men have chosen to flee the conflict area and leave their families behind. Why? Because they are the ones who can leave, are most likely drafted to to this or that militia to fight for a cause they do not even recognize, or support. In Europe our wars both against other Europeans and the rest of the world have been fought with countless young men who did not have a clue about the cause and were drafted to do the fighting. Sometimes some of them even thought they had a notion of the cause they were fighting for. Most often those causes were quite abstract, like a “Fatherland”, or the “King and country”, or even “The Empire”. If a cause can not raise enough people to fight for it, is it a good enough cause to fight and die for? If it can rally masses to the banner, does that make it a good cause to die for?

Europe seems to be divided, or perhaps even a bit schitzofrenic about how the refugees should be met. Some fear the outsider, or simply have suspicions based on the culture and religion of the newcomers. Some see them as a representation of the faceless threat that the modern times, cultural changes, or even globalization represent. Some view them as humans in need of help, or see their desperation when they brave the Mediterranean with tiny, but very full boats. Most recognize these people as the victims of human traficking.

The European countries try to limit the amount of refugees coming in to satisfy their voters who fear the change the refugees represent. Be that change the fear for increased amount of terrorism, something strange called “Islamization”, or even the amount of cheap labour. In reality, countries like for example my native Finland has an actual problem in how our population is growing older and older.  What terrorism we have had has been domestic and not motivated by extreme Islam. Some of the political violence one could call terrorism in Finland has been motivated by racism and the fear of the outsider. Some of it seems to be a direct result of some populist politicians riding on the fear of the change and of the outsider.

We have a refugee crisis going on. The crisis is not that there are many people coming to our countries. It is a crisis to the people who need to leave their homes and seek new fortunes elswhere. It is a crisis to families, who spend a lot of money to send their young men away from all sorts of militia draft systems just because that is the one person who can leave and they can afford to send to the perillous journey. A crisis to families who pack their few belongings to move to a foreign country, a destination they often know almost next to nothing about just to get away from the war – sorry, conflict. A crisis to thousands of people who get abused and robbed to get to Europe. A very real crisis to thousands of people who have already drowned and drown on their way. A humanitarian crisis to untold thousands who end up in refugee camps mostly at the outskirts of Europe.

The populists of Europe are against specifically Islamic refugees. This should reveal their game to everyone. As if Islam was somehow more intolerant religion than Christianity. It is not. In Europe Christianity has simply been pacified by secularism. The people who come may have their own problems, but it is childish to think we can recognize their specific problems when they come. The terror attack in Manchester a couple of days ago, was committed by an Islamist radical. The previous terror attack in Manchester was made by a Christian extremist. It was made in 1994 by the IRA. Both attacks were motivated, by politics and were done by emotionally unstable people. Let us face it, sane people do not engage in terror attacks. Do they? Not even when they commit such by the commands of some military organization and not even when they use a bomber to deliver the bomb, instead of blowing themselves up with a suitcase bomb.

Finally, I have to say, that the idea of “Islamization” is ridiculous. It is only a threat if the society to wich the Islamic people come to join is not a truly secular. If religion holds any political power and people are segragated according to their superstitions, only then many Islamic people may hold political power in a democracy. Secularism is the cure to extremist religiously motivated violence, not some other religion, as we have so often throughout history witnessed, the most peacefull religions, like for example Buddhism can be distorted to be used as motivation to violence. The extremist Islamist terrorist has exactly the same motives as the neo-nazi. The neo-nazi may even be totally non-religious, but has a similar misunderstanding of reality as that of a Theist extremist. Their common motive is to create division and conflict between cultures, because they can not stand pluralism. They have difficulty to stomach other people not living up to their standards, even when the other people are not stepping on their individual rights. Should we ever again yield to the demands of such lunatics?

Categories: Islam

Virtues of Ramadan Fasting

Islam - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 15:49

Ramadan comes from the Arabic root ramiḍa or ar-ramaḍ, which means scorching heat or dryness. Fasting is fardh (obligatory) for adult Muslims, except those who are suffering from an illness, travelling, the elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic or going through menstrual bleeding.

Ramadan is a month of fasting and prayers for the Muslims and believers of Islam faith. The fast consists of total abstinence from food and drink from dawn to dusk.

However, there is a greater significance to fasting than mere abstinence from eating and drinking. The real objective of fasting is to inculcate in man/woman the spirit of abstinence from sins and cultivation of virtue.

The Qur’an declares that the fasts have been prescribed with a view to developing piety in man, as is clear from the verse quoted at the top of this page. O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint. [Quran 2:183]

There are over 2 billion muslim faithfuls in the world who are expected to fast in the month of Ramadan which is a unique annual event shared by a large percentage of able Muslims in what is undoubtedly one of the most profound global spiritual experiences the world has known or experienced.

The reasons for fasting in Ramadan are innumerable, While in reality the rewards for fasting in Ramadan are countless and its full benefits known only to Allah.

Fasting the month of Ramadan is one of the 5 Pillars of Islam, constituting one of the most valuable spiritual practices designed to empower a human being in overcoming the self and transcending the ego, the one true veil between a human being and his or her Creator.

Fasting in Ramadan purifies the mind, body and spirit, leading to greater clarity, sensitivity and health.

Fasting has health benefit which allows the digestive system, the engine of the body, to rest from the normal demands of processing and breaking down food, freeing up system resources to cleanse and purify the body of accumulated toxins, thereby allowing more effective healing and tissue repair.

One of the greatest benefits and reasons for fasting in Ramadan is renewing solidarity and cultivating positive relationships with one’s family and community.

The cultivation of gratitude is a core purpose of Islam, and few spiritual practices cultivate gratitude as does fasting in Ramadan.

When muslims fast the month of Ramadan They are continually reminded of frailty and dependence upon the Divine, leading to humility, reverence, piety and selflessness which is the primary goals of Islamic Spirituality.

When a Muslim observes fasting in Ramadan develops the holy qualities of empathy and compassion, becoming more aware of our intrinsic connection and oneness with all human beings regardless of borders or labels that create artificial separation among the citizens of the human race.

Muslim consciously curtails this unhealthy norm by intentionally practicing restraint and self-discipline, separating him or herself from the animal kingdom which is governed by the unconscious drive to satiate one’s immediate physical needs and desires.

Fasting facilitates the return to simplicity and non-attachment, releasing one from dependence on dunya and so contributing to psychological health and happiness, and practical wellness and balance.

Ramadan observation for 29-30 days is a powerful practice in restoring and strengthening focus, direction, balance and purpose to our lives.

Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, improvement and increased devotion and worship. Muslim faithfuls are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam.

The fast (sawm) begins at dawn and ends at sunset. In addition to abstaining from eating and drinking, Muslims also increase restraint, such as abstaining from sexual relations[2] and generally sinful speech and behavior.

May Allah accept our fasting to come and those of the past.

Read Further…

Categories: Islam

Illegal Marriage, crimes etc

Islam - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 15:44
President Barack Obama during a meeting in the Oval Office with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on July 1, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way or used in materials, advertisements, products, or promotions that in any way suggest approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.
Categories: Islam

Whose policies are responsible for the Islamic State terrorist attack against children?

Islam - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 14:00

Muslim populations in Europe

First, the news story from the UK Telegraph.

Excerpt:

Salman Abedi, 22, who was reportedly known to the security services, is thought to have returned from Libya as recently as this week.

Devout Muslim:

He had become radicalised recently – it is not entirely clear when – and had worshipped at a local mosque that has, in the past, been accused of fund-raising for jihadists.

Abedi’s older brother Ismail had been a tutor at Didsbury mosque’s Koran school. The imam last night said that Salman Abedi, who wore Islamic dress, had shown him “the face of hate” when he gave a talk warning on the dangers of so-called Islamic State.

A family friend described him as “very religious”.

Parents were Islamic refugees:

Born in 1994, the second youngest of four children, Abedi’s parents were Libyan refugees who fled to the UK to escape Gaddafi.

Well educated:

Abedi went to school locally and then on to Salford University in 2014 where he studied business management before dropping out.

He lived in a “red-brick terrace” home with his parents. No poverty to speak of.

Wall Street Journal says:

Islamic State on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the attack, the deadliest in the U.K. since 2005.

[…]In a statement published online, Islamic State said the attack was revenge for “aggression toward Muslim countries” and identified the assailant as a “soldier of the caliphate.”

The root problem is, of course, the open borders immigration policies enacted by the Labour Party of the UK. It was their attempt to tilt the electorate away from the free enterprise system, towards government dependency. And it worked. Of course, if a few UK citizens have to die for the far left Labour Party to win election after election… so be it, right?

Sober-minded Christian writer David French commented on this story at National Review:

While it’s impossible to predict any given terror attack, there are two laws of terrorism that work together to guarantee that attacks will occur, and they’ll occur with increasing frequency. First, when terrorists are granted safe havens to plan, train, equip, and inspire terror attacks, then they will strike, and they’ll keep striking not just until the safe havens are destroyed but also until the cells and affiliates they’ve established outside their havens are rooted out. Second, when you import immigrants at any real scale from jihadist regions, then you will import the cultural, religious, and political views that incubate jihad. Jihadist ideas flow not from soil but from people, and when you import people you import their ideas.

Let’s look at how these two ideas have worked together in both Europe and America. The map below (from AFP) charts significant terror attacks in Europe (including Turkey). You’ll note a significant increase in activity since 2014, since ISIS stampeded across Syria and into Turkey and established a terrorist caliphate in the heart of the Middle East. There existed a safe haven and a population to inspire back in Europe. The result was entirely predictable:

This is the predicable result he mentions:

Map of terrorist attacks in Europe

And this is significant:

What about the United States? A similar phenomenon was in play. This Heritage Foundation timeline of terror attacks and plots documents a total of 95 incidents since 9/11. The numbers are revealing. After the implementation of the (now) much-derided Bush strategy, there were a grand total of 27 terror attacks and plots — almost all of them foiled.

After the end of the Bush administration, the numbers skyrocketed, with 68 plots or attacks recorded since. A number of them, including the Fort Hood shooting, the Boston Marathon bombing, the San Bernardino mass murder, and the Orlando nightclub massacre, have been terrifying successful. Indeed, there have been more domestic terror plots and attacks since the rise of ISIS in the summer of 2014 than there were in the entirety of the Bush administration after 9/11. And make no mistake, jihadist terrorists are disproportionately immigrants and children of immigrants.

What did Bush do that was so successful? He not only pressed military offensives in the heart of the Middle East, he fundamentally changed the American approach to immigration and implemented a number of temporary measures that, for example, dramatically decreased refugee admissions and implemented country-specific protective measures that have since been discontinued.

You’ll recall that Islamic State was caused by Barack Obama’s decision to retreat from Iraq. The refugee crisis worsened because of his other failed interventions in Libya and Syria. This is what happens when people are carried away by a happy-sounding “anti-war” message. Wiser voters thought about what would happen if we pulled out of Iraq, and voted against Obama. The wiser voters lost.

Speaking of Democrats, I wonder if Barack Obama and his Democrat supporters will call this terrorist attack “workplace violence”, like he did with the Fort Hood terrorist attack by Major Nidal Hassan? I’ve talked to a few Democrats about immigration from countries with a significant population of radicalized Muslims, and they are all in favor of increased immigration from those countries. Democrats are more scared of pro-marriage, pro-life Christians than of Islamic terrorists. After all, it’s not them dying in these attacks. Give them their gay marriage and their free birth control.

But I’m also noticing a lot of Christians trying to appear generous and compassionate lately, by embracing the same open borders policies as the progressives. They’re claiming generosity and compassion in public by spending other people’s money and risking other people’s lives. This is especially popular among Christians in academia, seeking to curry favor with their secular colleagues. For many Christian leftists like Russell Moore, embracing open borders immigration policy, is a quick way to avoid charges of lacking compassion. Except nobody ever asks these pious Christians who has compassion for the victims of their policies.

Finally, national security expert Andrew C. McCarthy notes that the current Republican administration’s efforts to vet incoming immigrants from Muslim countries has been opposed by Democrats in the judiciary, and far-left civil rights groups. Republicans are trying to prevent terrorist attacks like this at home, but they are opposed at every turn by naive Democrat voters who are more interested in feeling good and looking good than in protecting the victims of terrorist attacks. You can’t have it both ways when it comes to national security.

Categories: Islam

3 Key Takeaways from Trump’s Speech on Islam

Islam - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 13:34

Boaz Guttman/Flikr

On the campaign trail, Trump told CNN “Islam hates us” and called for the “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S. Last week, just months after two failed attempts at enacting the Muslim ban, Trump delivered a different kind of speech on Islam—one media outlets have described as “soft” and “uncharacteristically inoffensive.”

But Trump’s speech, delivered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia before an audience of over 50 world leaders, illustrates more than a desire to reset America’s relationship with the Muslim world; it also shines light on the Trump’s administration’s foreign policy agenda.

1. According to Trump, today’s greatest global challenge is defeating terrorism.

Forget climate change: it’s terrorism that threatens to destroy the world at large, says Trump. In his speech, he recounts terrorism’s “violent reach,” naming American cities and entire continents as its “victims.” He draws on old familiar tropes, describing extremist ideology as wild fire or cancer, ready to “engulf” societies in violence, promising “devastation” that “will continue to spread.”

That’s why, Trump argues, defeating it is “the one goal that transcends every other consideration.” Here, Trump seems to be channeling George W. Bush, who said that his global war on terror would not “end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.” Also like Bush, Trump depicts the struggle against terrorism as “a battle between Good and Evil.”

Unlike Bush, however, Trump says it’s the Muslim nations who “must be willing to take on the burden,” while the U.S. plays a key supporting role.

3. Trump reiterates his fondness for authoritarianism and neglect for human rights abroad.

Trump began his speech by gushing about Saudi Arabia and its Kings: he expressed his “gratitude” for King Salman’s “strong demonstration of leadership,” praised “the splendor” of the nation, and invoked the memory of the King’s father, founder of Saudi Arabia, who “would be so proud” of his son.

Trump’s unequivocal praise of Saudi Arabia’s repressive rulers should come as no surprise: whether holding a “very friendly conversation” with the brutal Filipino President Rodrigo Duerte, or giving a warm congratulations to Turkey’s President Erdogan for securing autocratic rule, Trump has long demonstrated a fondness for tyrants. In Saudi Arabia, Trump confirmed his commitment to courting the world’s authoritarian leaders.

His words are also a clear message America will turn a blind eye to human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia and beyond. “We are not here to lecture. We are not here to tell other people how to live,” Trumps says pivoting away from America’s traditional foreign policy rhetoric that champions justice, human rights and democracy abroad.

To Trump’s credit, many Middle Easterners (and Americans) would be glad to see the U.S. relinquish its role as hypocritical global police officer. But Trump isn’t just rejecting regime change or intervention; by refusing to advocate for core American values, Trump puts forth a grim vision of international order: one in which $110 billion-dollar business deals eclipse human rights not only in deed, but also in word.

3. Trump calls on all “nations of conscience” to isolate Iran.

Though Trump refuses to acknowledge Saudi Arabia’s poor record of human rights, there’s one place in the Middle East where bad behavior won’t go unnoticed: Iran.

But Iran doesn’t just stifle civil liberties; it fuels “the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.” Saudi Arabia’s Shiite-led rival is also responsible for providing “safe harbor” and “financial backing” for terrorism. (Trump rightly said the same things about Saudi Arabia not that long ago.)

So while crowds of hopeful reformists take to the streets of Tehran to celebrate the re-election of moderate President Rouhani, Trump is calling “all nations of conscience” to turn their backs on Iran. In doing so, he’s fueling the fires of sectarian conflict himself—and placing the U.S. firmly on the Sunni side.

A Speech to Celebrate?

Some see Trump’s words as a sign the administration is softening its tone on Islam and abandoning the clash-of-civilization narrative: a speech “Obama could have given.”

But we shouldn’t just call Trump’s speech “inoffensive.” In it, the President relies on simplistic tropes, overstates the global terrorist threat, and advocates for the unrealistic goal of total eradication. He blames one nation for a region’s complex history of sectarian violence and contributes to the bitter division that sustains it.

Yes, Trump’s speech was uncharacteristically inoffensive. But this cannot become the new low standard we use to evaluate the administration’s foreign policy. We must do more than be grateful when the President sticks to the teleprompter, or refrains from using derogatory language.

So let’s learn from Trump’s own awkward mistakes—and think more critically before we pick up a sword and start dancing.

Categories: Islam

Manchester: This Is The Place

Islam - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 13:33

And these hard times again, in these streets of our city, but we won’t take defeat and we don’t want your pity.

Because this is a place where we stand strong together, with a smile on our face, greater Manchester forever.

(This Is The Place by Tony Walsh)

Less than a day after dozens of people, mostly girls and young women, were killed or injured by a devastating suicide bomb attack  in Manchester thousands of Mancunians flocked to a vigil of remembrance, solidarity and defiance. Central to this event were the words offered by the leading Anglican pastor of the city and by a performance poet known as Longfella.

A noteworthy thing about this is that the UK is one of the least formally religious countries in the world and practically no one reads, or at any rate buys, poetry. Yet in a moment of great stress and anguish as if by instinct these are the two things toward which people reached. At a more intimate scale the same thing happens innumerable times at funerals and other powerful moments in individual’s lives.

It may be that these two things, poetry and religion, have something about them which reach beyond a moment that may seem meaningless and clad that same moment with meaning and purpose. There is a human longing for things to be whole, and true, and peaceful and harmonious. We cannot ever encounter such harmony here in this life but the things of poetry and religion can transport us for a moment into a realm where we know that such things are and endure and will have the final victory.

There was much talk both in the poem and in the city of ‘the spirit of Manchester.’ By definition no such thing can exist in the material world. I highly doubt that it has existence in any spiritual realm either. A strict atheist would perhaps say that it is no more than a comforting fiction. But it is more than that. It is a mythological truth. A myth is a story we tell ourselves about ourselves. In the act of telling it and in the attempt to live it out we change ourselves, we try to make it come true ‘in the real world,’ and if we don’t fully succeed we do at least make the world we inhabit a slightly better place if it is a good myth.

And there’s the rub. Religion, poetry and myth can be perverted from their function of purifying us and put to the service of defiling us instead. The philosopher Simone Weil notedBrutality, violence, and inhumanity have an immense prestige that schoolbooks hide from children, that grown men do not admit, but that everyone bows before” When those things are mythologised we can see a vision not of harmony but of conquest and if we associate ourselves with the conquerors then we share in the prestige and worship they receive.

One of the apparently puzzling things about some of the murders and rapists who have associated with Islamic State and other jihadi groups perpetrating horrors like the Manchester bombing is that they have long histories of petty crime and/or substance abuse but practically no history of religious practice. They are, as President Trump would put it ‘losers.’ The puzzle is solved if we see them worshipping the prestige which brutality confers more than the ostensible cause which that brutality is supposed to advance.

In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the USA Pope St John Paul II saidTerrorism exploits not just people, it exploits God: it ends by making him an idol to be used for one’s own purposes.” The version of God, the Moloch, that Islamists offer up is a god of conquest, of victory without end, a juggernaut that crushes everything in its path. It is not a god that most people, Muslim or otherwise, recognise as the Creator of beauty as the transcendent source of life. But it is a god who has enough prestige to attract those who are losing in the struggle of life and want to hit out with the tenfold strength and prestige that this idol of brutality provides them with.

Simone Weil went on to say “For the opposite virtues to have as much prestige, they must be actively and constantly put into practice. Anyone who is merely incapable of being as brutal, as violent, and as inhuman as someone else, but who does not practice the opposite virtues, is inferior to that person in both inner strength and prestige, and he will not hold out in a confrontation.” Against their evil poetry and evil religion and evil myth we must muscularly assert good poetry, good religion and good myth. Not just in response to attacks but as attacks. The good does not drive out the bad by default it does so by struggle. We cannot defeat darkness by loving light, we must positively be light to achieve that victory.

@calmlyobserving

thoughtfully detached has a Facebook page

My *other* blog is Catholic Scot

The picture of Manchester is from NBC and by Leon Neal / Getty Images

Categories: Islam

Acting Prophetically in a Trumpian America

Islam - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 13:31

By Yusufi Vali

Throughout the past year at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC), our Senior Imam, Shaykh Yasir Fahmy, has been challenging our community to “live Prophetically.” (The full articulation of this challenge can be accessed here.) In a new America under the governance of Donald Trump, demands for our mosques to act in the public arena — from both our community members who are legitimately feeling great pressure, and our allies who want to support us — are likely to intensify. In this context, our leadership at the ISBCC has found ourselves asking the question daily: what does a Prophetic imagination of public action look like for mosques in this moment?

This December, our community was blessed by the grace of Allah to take part in a series of public actions that we feel could serve as a Prophetic blueprint for many mosques around the country.

Acting with our Neighbors
On Thursday, December 8th, nearly 50 of our congregants and 30 of our neighbors met with the Boston city Parks Commissioner and officials from the city’s Treasury and Public Works to negotiate improvements in the neighborhood surrounding our mosque, including tangible actions such as repairs to a local park, an upgrade in lighting in area streets, and an increase in trash and recycling bins. This “Neighborhood Action” was the culmination of a nine-month effort within the framework of the ISBCC’s Neighbors for Neighbors (N4N) Initiative. Starting with the sincere intention to emulate the Prophetic ethic of fulfilling the rights of our neighbors upon us, a team of five committed community members from the mosque built relationships with two area neighborhood leaders. Collectively, this team of seven went out into neighborhood around the mosque, knocked on doors, spoke to neighbors, built relationships, and identified the issues that were discussed on December 8th. Due to the collective presence of both congregants and neighbors on that night, we won on all of our neighborhood’s issues. One neighbor, Bruce, remarked after the event: “You all are getting stuff done here. I need to connect with you all afterwards so we can tackle the bigger issue of affordable housing and development in our community.”

In a Trumpian America, the temptation to fight anti-Muslim forces in the media (or otherwise) to protect our communities will be appealing and even encouraged by many of our allies. But as mosques how can we have real legitimacy in the public arena if those closest to us never experience us acting Prophetically in their lives? We must remember that the Prophet ﷺ was trustworthy among his people first before Allah commissioned him to act publicly for His sake.

Supporting the Most Vulnerable
On Friday, December 9th, as part of our weekly Friday Nights at the Mosque Program, we invited Rodrigo Saavedra, a DACA beneficiary and member of the movimiento Cosecha, to share his story of growing up undocumented in Boston and to help us understand the struggle of the 11 million undocumented individuals living in our country. We learned why so many families flee their home countries to come to America, how undocumented immigrants are critical to our farming economy, how the word “criminal” is meant to stigmatize and de-humanize undocumented people just as the word “terrorist” is meant to do the same to the Muslim community, and how to stand in support of our Latino brothers and sisters. The night helped our community see beyond our own struggle in this moment, begin to step out of any delusion that we were the only victims or even the worst victims in this moment, and imagine how we could be a real support to a community in need.

In the months and years ahead, the temptation for American-Muslims to focus on our own needs and place in the polity will be stronger than ever. But mosques – as Prophetic houses of worship – must look beyond our narrow needs and stand with the most vulnerable in our communities just as the Prophet ﷺ stood with the most vulnerable even when he was under attack in Mecca.

Standing for the Whole
On Sunday, December 11th, through our interfaith partners at the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, we hosted a gathering that brought together 2600 people from parts of Greater Boston, including our Senator Elizabeth Warren and our Mayor Marty Walsh. At the event, we highlighted four stories of community members from area synagogues, churches and mosques: a Somali Muslim refugee, a DACA beneficiary, an African American, and a white working class Trump voter. We invited all those in attendance to hear the struggle in each of their stories, putting aside any prejudices or stereotypes they may have. We then asked Senator Warren and Mayor Walsh to sign a statement that affirmed our own expectation of them to listen to the struggles of all people (Republican, Democrat, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, white, black, documented, undocumented, or refugee) and to act in a way to truly address those struggles. The night was powerful because the mosque became the sanctuary for our whole city, including the Trump voters present, to begin healing from the fallout of the elections and to start moving forward.

The temptation to call upon our allies to support us in this difficult time will only intensify if we come under increasing pressure. But can our mosques expand our gaze beyond provincial self-interests and look to promote the benefit of all in the context of our hurting country? Can we become the kind of sanctuaries that stand for the whole of our society, and that help us take action to heal together?

Moving Beyond our Own Selves
In America, the nature of identity politics lends to marginalized communities — African-American, Jewish, Latino, etc.— seeking their rights with the intention of self-preservation. Even when marginalized communities support one another, it is often with that same desire.

As Muslims, however, we are called to be a Prophetic community. Yes, we must play defense, fighting against the Muslim registry or the Muslim Brotherhood bill. But let us not forgot that our end goal, as Shaykh Yasir articulated at the end of our interfaith event with Senator Warren and Mayor Walsh, cannot be self-preservation alone.

The blueprint above pushes our mosques to move beyond the narrow interests of our selves, our nafs, to an ethic of genuine care and concern for the other. This is what “living Prophetically” calls for us in this moment. May Allah bless us with the determination and courage to act selflessly.

Categories: Islam

Dear Manchester Suicide Bomber

Islam - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 13:24
Dear Manchester Suicide Bomber,   While the names of the dead aren’t familiar, the places they’re from are.   All the schools they went to and other places in North Cheshire and South Manchester where I spent most of my own childhood.   These are not places where people talk politics – well, they probably do sometimes, but not much. These are places where people meet friends and family. Places where they buy dinner at the supermarket. Places where they wander around parks. Places where children do their homework.   Mount a protest. Be an activist. Some aspects of society are shit – you’re right.
But don’t use a bunch of kids who aren’t old enough to do you any harm as the target.
The target of your twisted interpretation of a cause that might have once been good but that you’ve now forgotten in your anger and hate.
And think about the people you act in the name of.  I don’t know any Muslims who’ll be pleased you acted in their name.
By becoming a figure of hate, then you’ve achieved worse than nothing.
You’ve achieved worse than nothing. 53.381129 -1.470085
Categories: Islam

قاہرہ کی خوبصورت و تاریخی مساجد

Islam - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 13:21
میری گائیڈ کہہ رہی ہے ،فسطاط کے بعد جب قاہرہ دار الخلافہ بنا تو 351 ـ ھ میں جامع ازہر کی تعمیر شروع ہوئی۔ سب سے بڑی بات یہ ہے کہ یہاں چاروں اماموں کے ماننے والے موجود ہیں۔ جامع سلطان حسن قاہرہ کی سب سے خوبصورت مسجد ہے۔ یہ سلطان حسن کے حکم سے 757ھ میں تعمیر ہوئی ۔ وسعت محراب کے حوالہ سے غالباً دنیا کی تمام مساجد میں منفرد ہے۔ اسی مسجد کے ایک طرف شاہ فواد اوّل کا مزار بھی ہے۔ جامع رفاعی سڑک کے دوسری طرف جامع سلطان حسن کے مقابل ہے نہایت عظیم الشان اور بلند مسجد ہے جسے بیگم ابراہیم پاشا والد اسماعیل پاشا خدیو مصر نے تعمیر کروا کر اپنے بزرگ امام رفاعی کے نام کر دیا۔ جامع احمد بن طولون عہد بنو عباس کی یاد گا ر ہے۔ یہ جامع اسی نام کے ایک مصری فرمانروا کی تعمیر شدہ ہے۔ 243 ھ میں اس کی تعمیر پر 15 لاکھ روپے صرف ہوئے تھے۔ یہ مسجد جامع عمرو بن العاص سے زیادہ شاندار ہے۔ یہاں شاہ فاروق بھی کبھی کبھی نماز پڑھنے آتے تھے۔ یہ مسجد ترکوں کے اقتدار کے زمانہ کی بہترین یاد گار ہے۔ اس کے دو مینار بہت بلند ہیں اور بیچ میں ایک گنبد ہے ۔ اس میں قبہ دار چار محرابیں ہیں تمام مسجد سنگ مر مر کی بنی ہوئی ہے۔ گنبد میں سونے کے پانی سے آیات قرآنی لکھی ہوئی ہیں اور خلفائے راشدین کے اسمائے مبارک بھی۔ اس مسجد کے قریب ہی قلعہ محمد علی کی عمارت ہے جو اب شکستہ ہے۔ سنا ہے کہ انگریزی استعمار کے زمانہ میں انگریزی فوجیں اسی قلعہ میں رہتی تھیں۔ جامع سیدنا حسین ؓ ، جامع ازھر سے متصل ہے۔ شاہ فواد اول نے اس کی تعمیر و تجدید و آرائش وزیبائش کا ہمیشہ خیا ل رکھا۔ محکمہ اوقاف کی طرف سے حفاظ متعین ہیں جو یہاں ہر وقت قرآن خوانی کرتے رہتے ہیں۔ مزار پر بہت رونق رہتی ہے۔ قاہرہ میں 900 مساجد ہیں جنہیں دیکھنے کے لیے تین مہینے چاہیں ۔ گائیڈ کہہ رہی ہے آج کی ملاقات بس اتنی…پانچ بج رہے ہیں میں تھک گئی ہوں ،انشا ء ﷲ پرسوں ملیں گے۔ بائی دی وے اگلا پروگرام کہاں کا ہے؟ عجائب گھر اور کتب خانے۔ میں نے جوابا ً کہا اور وہ رخصت ہو گئی ۔ م ح سیاح
Categories: Islam

Lessons from Manchester...

Islam - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 13:18

Being against Islam is not racism or bigotry.  Calling someone Islamophobic tells me you can’t refute an argument, deal with facts, or accept truth.  In logic, this would be considered an ad hominem fallacy.

They come to destroy our society so they can build their own.

This fallacy is usually resorted to by people who are unable to grapple with truth objectively, i.e., you can’t think.  It is also resorted to by people who believe that the appearance of tolerance is more important that justice, truth, freedom of speech, calling a “spade a spade”, or the rights and liberties of people, i.e., a perverse moral system.  It is resorted to by people who love the approval of men and for this approval will sacrifice principle (such as veracity and justice) in order to be accepted by the “crowd”, i.e., no moral system.

It takes no courage to fit in to a mob, thus it is the hallmark of moral cowardice.  It leads to the “tolerance” of evil and the condoning of violence which eventually causes the disintegration of the current society and makes way for a more “evolved” and much more evil one.  This is the goal of both Globalism and Islam.

  • Islam is not a race.
  • Islam is an ideology just like Nazism and Communism.
  • Islam claims to be morally superior but eventually seeks to enslave or kill all opposition.
  • Islam is not feminist (to believe this makes one less than a moron, i.e., a lemming).
  • It is just another form of centralized political and legal control using the stone-age ideology or brutal violence, plunder and slavery.

Educate yourself.  Understand the times we are in.  If you insist on remaining a lemming, please jump off a cliff.

Categories: Islam

Trump boldly urges Muslim leaders to "drive out the terrorists and extremists" from their nations and mosques.

Islam - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 13:08
NOTE Trump’s accurate description of Islamic terror as “battle between Good and Evil”. (White House
Categories: Islam

Dear White People

Islam - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 13:07

Dear White People,

Last week I was going to write about how angry I felt when my friend told me to watch Dear White People. I wouldn’t have been angry if it was because it was a good show, he told me to watch it as if I need to be educated on what it’s like to be discriminated.

I still am angry; I was brought up in an area predominantly white but that being said I was never open to racism. It was something that never happened where I lived, or at least I never heard of it. The only experience I can bring to mind is when a boy short termed ‘Pakistani’ to something I feel uncomfortable saying. He was suspended for that.

I then moved to Brighton where people of all races, a lot fewer being white, termed the short-hand freely and that horrified me. So yes, I didn’t know where

So yes, I didn’t know what my friends went through; I was never stopped in the street just because I was running or because I looked dodgy but I myself have never been deemed a racist and I never will be.

So I was angry but I sat through the first episode. My anger later subsided, I went on with revision and didn’t think about how horrible white people were. That was until yesterday.

As you may have all heard, there was a nail bombing in Manchester on Monday. Which is disgusting and had me fearful, upset and hateful. Fearful for my family and friends in Manchester, upset for those who are going through an ordeal and trying to find their still-missing children, friends, parents, and hateful to whoever did this.

And a lot of people experienced that hate. They condemned whoever did it, they hoped they experienced as much pain as possibly wherever they were sent. Which is fair enough.

And then there were the idiots who started talking about Islam and Muslims and being hateful not to a person but to a religion. Whoever did this does not define a religion or a group of people. We don’t see Jews condemning every white person due to the hateful things that have been done numerous times over history, or black people, or Indian people with the British. But of course, people blamed Islam… and when I say people I mean white people.

So, Dear White People,

We are all the same. It does not matter on the colour of our skin or our religion we are all the same. What that man does not reflect a religion. Islamic State, who have taken responsibility for it, does not reflect a religion. What that despicable pig did reflects himself, Islamic State reflects a few people.

I think we should all seeing each other as individuals, not as a group. That’s why I was so mad when my friend said that white people are racist because I am white but I am not a racist. Individual white people say and do and react in disgusting ways but they do not represent me.

Just as a black person does not represent every black person, every Asian doesn’t represent all Asians, and on and on.

This feels like I am preaching common sense but those comments about Islam, spewing out of white, predominantly males’, mouths, really hit a cord. And sometimes you do have to preach what your mother told you.

Thanks for listening, White people,

From a White Person.

 

 

Categories: Islam

Terrorism, The Media, and You.

Islam - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 12:52
It’s not to often that I feel the need to poke my head up and comment on things world wide. I
Categories: Islam

Secret Plan

Islam - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 12:13

I directed the Department of Defense to develop a plan to demolish and destroy ISIS—a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians, and men, women, and children of all faiths and beliefs. We will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet.

– President Donald J. Trump, February 28, 2017, after campaigning on a super secret plan to defeat ISIS in 30 days

Categories: Islam

150 Children Under Five Die Each Day In Aung San Suu Kyi's Myanmar

Islam - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 12:09
As many as 150 children die every day in Myanmar before they reach their fifth birthday, the UN chil
Categories: Islam

What Would It Take?

Islam - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 11:46

I have pressed pause, for the moment, on the series entitled The Final Kingdom, in order to ask myself (and you) a question. I will come on to that question shortly, but first, let me explain what has led up to me asking the question.

For some time I have struggled with the notion of what is often described as the ‘great apostasy’ or the ‘great falling away’ which, we are told from various sources, will take place in the end of days. The church, being rather full at times of its own self-importance, gleefully acknowledges that large numbers of the church will fall away from the faith. They accept that the coming of the anti-Christ will cause many to be deceived into believing his message rather than that of God. But, if like me, you can see beyond all self-importance, you will see that it is unlikely to be just the church which are deceived. In fact, if you take a rational look at Biblical prophecy, you will have to admit that it is likely to be the Hebrews who are also deceived.

The things that the Hebrews and Christians have in common, besides being the targets of the coming anti-Christ’s deception, is that they both believe in a single God; accept Scripture as being God-breathed or inspired; and are awaiting the appearance or return of the Messiah, depending on which side of the divide you stand.

With those commonalities in mind, the question I have to ask myself is what would it take for me to be deceived? What would it take for you to be deceived? What would it take for all of the Hebrews and all of the Christians to accept the counterfeit as being the authentic?

Well, the answer is found, quite easily, in the pages of the Bible, and particularly amongst the teachings of the New Testament. At countless places, we are warned that a combination of anti-Christ, beast from the sea, beast from the earth, false prophet, and Satan himself, will use miraculous signs and wonders that will deceive even the elect.

Now, this is the problem I have struggled with. In myself, knowing what I know from the pages of the Bible, I am satisfied enough that I couldn’t and wouldn’t be deceived by these lying signs and wonders. In fact, that we are told about them in advance should be enough to convince us not to fall for them, no matter how convincing they are. However, all the evidence points to a great falling away as a result of such spectacles. For me, I just couldn’t see it happening. I mean, I know that the church is as gullible as it comes when it comes to miracles. As a whole, the church is so desperate to experience the supernatural that they readily accept the fake to be divine. Just look at Toronto and what happened there. (If you want a right perspective on that particular outbreak of falsehood try this: A Different Spirit).

To be honest, the section of the church that was fooled by Toronto and Lakeland and Brownsville, is the section that I expect to be deceived when the anti-Christ comes. However, no Hebrews were ever converted by what happened at those three particular polluted wells. And, for the main, the true and invisible church, managed to see it for what it was and turned their eyes away after an initial bout of curiosity. So, again, I ask, what would it take?

You see, knowing what we know – the warning that we have in Scripture, it could be said that none should be deceived by the lying signs and wonders. After all, that is why the warnings are there. But as clear as the warnings are, the truth is, the Bible predicts that there will be a great falling away from the single absolute truth of God and the acceptance of a counterfeit god instead.

Although I haven’t actually known it until yesterday, I have been looking for the pre-cursor to these signs and wonders that will cause the people of the book and the people of the cross to readily accept what they see performed in the name of God. What exactly would it take to get me, us, them to that place?

Well, I think that I have stumbled upon the answer to that question.

Before I reveal what I think will be the trigger which will make us readily believe the anti-Christ’s lying miracles, let me ask another question.

Where do you think the anti-Christ will come from? It is likely that you might consider that he will rise out of a resurgent Roman Empire like so many Bible commentators declare. You possibly envisage the Pope as the one Satan chooses to deceive the world. As much as I would have once agreed with you, I can tell you that some research I started a little over a year ago has brought me to a very different conclusion. In fact, the evidence is very hard to deny.

It is not only the Hebrews and the Christians who can claim the commonalities which I mentioned earlier. Islam also claims to believe in a single god. And, Islam lays claim to many of the Old Testament prophets as their own. They even believe in Yeshua or Jesus (they call him Isa).

It may come as a suprise to you that they are also awaiting their messiah. They call him the Mahdi. You will find him throughout the Bible. The Mahdi – the Muslim’s messiah, is none other than the one we call anti-Christ.

In my research for The Final Kingdom I have looked at some Muslim eschatology (yes, the Muslims have end times prophecy too!) and I have to tell you that the striking similarities between what they say will take place at the end and what Hebrews and Christians say will take place are uncanny. The only difference is that who we believe to be good, they say are evil, and who we declare as evil, they say are good.

Now, I will cover this extensively in The Final Kingdom – once I have completed my research. There is a great deal of reading material to compare to the likes of Daniel and the Revelation. But, it was during my research that I came across something in the Hadith that made me stop in my tracks.

For those of you unfamiliar with the writing of Islam, there are basically two main volumes of work – the Qur’an and the Hadith. The Qur’an is said to be the teachings handed down from the angel Gabri’el to the Muslim prophet Muhammad. The Hadith is said to be a collection of sayings and wisdoms that the prophet spoke over a 23 year period that were collated by his followers and family but weren’t complied until two centuries later.

One of the entries in the Hadith recorded by Muhammad al-Baqir, the fourth Imam says this of the Mahdi (the Islamic messiah):

“The Master of the Command was named as the Mahdi because he will dig out the Torah and other heavenly books from the cave in Antioch.”

You might not think much of this. You might even say ‘so what?’

However, what Muslims think this will mean is that this Mahdi will discover a Torah scroll that will bring into disrepute the veracity and legitimacy of what we call Torah today. In fact, they say it will be so convincing that both the people of the book and the people of the cross will accept it as truth.

Now, imagine that. Imagine that what we know as the first five books of the Bible was suddenly brought into question. Even if a single chapter was proven to be forged or altered, it would mean that all of it would be rejected. If we Christians and the Hebrews have to reject the very foundation of what we currently stand on, then we have very little. Our foundation is, and always has been, that what we read in the Torah is the very word of God handed down to Moses. If you take that from us and someone can prove, perhaps with an authentic earlier scroll, that some of what is written there – say the account of Ishmael and Hagar or that of Jacob and Esau, has been doctored, then we have nothing. Our faith in what we know would crumble sharply, leaving us open to any new influence, such as the Mahdi.

Whilst there appears to be several threads of commonality between these three monotheistic faiths, one thing should be made clear. In even writing this I run the risk of death threats from Muslims. The one thing that Hebrews and Christians don’t have in common with Islam is that our beliefs are up for constant criticism and we say nothing in response. However, if you criticise Islam, they wish you dead. But, it needs to be said. Their own writings do not promote peace towards the people of the book or the people of the cross. The Qur’an states that if we refuse to convert to Islam we should pay a tax and be treated as second-class citizens. If we don’t pay the tax, we should be beheaded. Just Google ‘Jizya’ to see more.

It doesn’t take a great deal of comparison between what the Muslims say will happen in the last days and what we and the Hebrews agree upon, to see that Islam is the counterfeit faith which will cause so many to fall away from the one true God. There will be counterfeit Holy Scriptures; counterfeit prophets; counterfeit miracles; counterfeit messiahs; and a counterfeit trinity. That is how Satan will deceive so many.

We have been warned of this countless times and yet we are still not ready. When you hear of a Torah scroll being found in Syria that predates any of the Dead Sea Scrolls, you will know that we are very near the end. Brace yourself for what follows and ask yourself exactly what would it take to stop you being deceived.

Shalom.

Categories: Islam

APOSTASY IN ISLAM

Islam - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 11:44

Objection to Islam is often raised against death penalty prescribed for apostasy (abandonment of religion). Since religion in western civilizations came to be looked at a personal choice which cannot be enforced by either Church, or state to execute a person for leaving his religion would naturally seem extreme.

1. It should be kept in mind that when capital punishment for murder was abolished in the UK in 1965 it was retained for treason and piracy with violence. And it was also the legal punishment for setting fire to Her Majesty’s ships and dockyards until 1971. Most countries have executed its citizen for treason. Treason is an act of rebellion against state. State secrets are given to other countries which may not be at war with state.

2. Islam is not merely a religion but a complete system of life. Its rules not only govern individual conduct but also shape the basic laws and public order in the Muslim State. Apostasy encourages the rejection of law and order of society. It is an act of treason against the state which would encourage rebellion among the weaker section.

3. Apostasy is divided into two types: major and minor. Muslim scholars, using the Prophet’s traditions as their guide, have divided unbelief, idolatry, hypocrisy, and sin into major and minor categories. Likewise, there is a distinction between an apostate who intends to physically harm the community and an apostate who only spiritually harms himself.

  • Minor apostasy is when a person embraces Islam while knowing its virtues and later rejects it. There is no legal punishment for the minor apostate as long as they do not try to physically harm the Muslim community.
  • Major apostasy is when a person embraces Islam while knowing its virtues and later rejects it and adds to this a call for violent rebellion against the Muslim authorities. Such a crime is equivalent to high treason and in its most severe case can carry the death penalty as an act of self-defense for the community.

4. One who personally abandons the faith and leaves the country would not be hunted down and assassinated. Nor one who apostates privately and remains in the Muslim state confirming to the outward rules of the state would be tracked down and executed. The practice of setting up inquisition courts to examine people’s faith is not part of Islamic Legal tradition.

4. There is NO COMPULSION IN JOINING ISLAM. Anyone may join the religion, but it should be taken lightly. Only those who are serious should join. The death penalty discourages those who might think to join the religion in order to undermine it from within. The apostasy law was first introduced to stop the undermining of the state. Jews in Madeena were converting to Islam and apostating shortly thereafter in order to destroy the confidence of newly converted Muslims. (Surah Al Imraan 3 : 72)  

Allah said:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ثُمَّ كَفَرُوا ثُمَّ آمَنُوا ثُمَّ كَفَرُوا ثُمَّ ازْدَادُوا كُفْرًا لَّمْ يَكُنِ اللَّهُ لِيَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ وَلَا لِيَهْدِيَهُمْ سَبِيلًا

Verily, those who believed and then disbelieved, then believed and then disbelieved and increased in disbelief, never will Allah forgive them nor will He guide them to a right way.

Surah An-Nisa 4:137

In this verse, Allah describes a person who apostates from Islam twice and He does not prescribe legal punishment for him, but rather He only warns the apostate about severe punishment in the Hereafter. This demonstrates that the general rule is an apostate should be left alone, as the Quran prohibits compulsion in religion.

Allah said:

لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ

There is no compulsion in religion. The truth is distinct from misguidance.

Surah Al-Baqarah 2:256

And He said:

وَقُلِ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ فَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيُؤْمِن وَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ

Say: The truth is from your Lord. So whoever wills let him believe, and whoever wills let him disbelieve.

Surah Al-Kahf 18:29

Because of this, the Prophet did not punish people simply because they rejected Islam.

Jabir reported: A bedouin came to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and gave the pledge of allegiance for embracing Islam. The next day he came with a fever and said, “Please cancel my pledge.” The Prophet refused three times and he said:

الْمَدِينَةُ كَالْكِيرِ تَنْفِي خَبَثَهَا، وَيَنْصَعُ طَيِّبُهَا

Medina is like a furnace. It expels its impurities and collects what is pure.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 1784, Grade: Sahih

In this example, a man rejected Islam after embracing it but the Prophet did not apply legal punishment to him.

Regarding the major apostasy, the Prophet was clear in advising us that legal punishment is not applied to a minor apostate, but only a major apostate.

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, applied legal punishment in the following case:

وَالتَّارِكُ لِدِينِهِ الْمُفَارِقُ لِلْجَمَاعَةِ

The one who leaves his religion and separates from the community.

Source: Sahih Muslim 1676, Grade: Sahih

The reference to one who “separates from the community” (al-mufariq lil-jama’ah) indicates that a person is not legally punished simply for not practicing Islam, but rather for high treason against Muslim authorities. This is made even clearer in another narration in which the Prophet describes the major apostate as:

رَجُلٌ يَخْرُجُ مِنَ الإِسْلاَمِ يُحَارِبُ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَرَسُولَهُ

A man who rejects Islam and wages war against Allah the Exalted and His Messenger.

Source: Sunan An-Nasa’i 4048

Ibn Abbas said:

فَمَنْ قَتَلَ وَأَفْسَدَ فِي الأَرْضِ وَحَارَبَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ثُمَّ لَحِقَ بِالْكُفَّارِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُقْدَرَ عَلَيْهِ لَمْ يَمْنَعْهُ ذَلِكَ أَنْ يُقَامَ فِيهِ الْحَدُّ الَّذِي أَصَابَ

Whoever kills others, spreads corruption in the land, wages war against Allah and His Messenger, and he joins the unbelievers before he is subdued, then there is nothing to prevent the legal punishment from being applied to him because of what he did.

Source: Sunan An-Nasa’i 4046

Indeed, some of the companions interpreted the phrase this way and described an apostate as:

حَارَبَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ

One who wages are against Allah and His Messenger.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 4334, Grade: Sahih

What can be understood from these narrations is that legal punishment is only applied to a person who combines apostasy with high treason. This is because the Quran prohibits compulsion in religion as a general rule and because the believers should be the most restrained of the people when it comes to taking life.

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

أَعَفُّ النَّاسِ قِتْلَةً أَهْلُ الْإِيمَانِ

The most restrained of the people regarding killing are the people of faith.

Source: Musnad Ahmad 3720, Grade: Sahih

6. During the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) there was a Muslim who converted to another faith and who had done some wrong deeds for which the Prophet had told he should be put to death but later on when Hazrath Usman (May Allah be pleased with him) approached the Prophet and said that man should be forgiven the Prophet Pardoned, this incident proves that death penalty is not the standard rule for any Muslim who changes his faith. if he does some act which requires to be punished by death, depending upon the act he had done.

7. This punishment cannot be carried out by any Tom Dick and Harry. This cannot be done by a person without following the procedure. Meaning if someone says that he/she doesnt believe in the religion anymore , can we go and chop his head of? NO! This will be carried by a Muslim ruler who has army, the civil defense, the police force , who runs a country, only such a person can execute the verdict of death penalty. Not an individual. 

In conclusion, the death penalty for apostasy is restricted by the Prophet’s other statements and actions which make clear that this punishment applies only to those who commit high treason against the Muslim community.

 

 

Categories: Islam

Art after Terror: Meet the Egyptian Church that Welcomes Muslims

Islam - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 11:27

This article was first published at The Media Project.

Two weeks after the Palm Sunday suicide bombing in Alexandria, security at the St. Mark’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral was tight. Police cordon, metal detector, bags checked – even eyeglasses needed to be removed.

But inside, tucked away behind the expectant bustle, volunteer leaders circled with hands together and let out a shout, as if to the whole world.

“Believe me, the solution is love!” they cried, raising their hands to heaven.

Ninety percent were Muslim.

Widely known in Egypt as an Islamist stronghold, for decades many Muslim youth in Alexandria had proclaimed the Muslim Brotherhood slogan: Islam is the solution.

And similar to churches throughout the country, St. Mark’s is couched behind thick, high walls. Save for official visits on Christian holidays, few Muslims would need to enter.

But society needed it, decided Nader Wanis. In 2012 in cooperation with church leaders, he opened the Corners for Creativity cultural center in the 150-year-old cathedral, seizing on an opening in the Arab Spring.

Despite the positive signs of youth engagement and interfaith cooperation during the Egyptian revolution, at the time there were also marks of tension. A year earlier conservative Salafis burned a church in Cairo believing a Muslim woman was kidnapped inside. Before that the Two Saints Church in Alexandria was bombed by unknown assailants on New Year’s Eve.

“The church has been misunderstood by the Egyptian street,” said Wanis. “There are rumors we have weapons, fornication, and sorcery inside.

“As long as the church stays closed, Muslims can think whatever they want. But the cultural center is a means to let people in.”

Welcome

Since then they have come in droves, and the community has welcomed it. Over one thousand each year have graduated from diverse training programs in singing, drawing, photography, acting, writing, fine arts, and graphic design. All are run by volunteer leaders.

On this occasion dozens of artists gathered for the monthly art exhibition and handicraft market. Paintings and sculptures lined the walls of the church in absolute reversal of their original purpose. Hijabed women offered their homemade crafts behind foldaway tables set up in front of the massive church door.

The volunteers’ pep talk met behind the welcoming ribbon soon to be cut by two deans from Alexandria University and a local businessman. And afterwards everyone gathered to honor participants in the sanctuary, where Muslims and Christians sang together about religious harmony and community service. “Believe me, love is the solution,” was one of their most enthusiastic.

But it almost didn’t happen.

The church attack ensured it did.

Nader was worshiping at St. Mark’s when the walls shook from the explosion at the Orthodox cathedral five minutes away, killing 17. Earlier the center had considered postponing the exhibition due to the university exam schedule. But after finishing communion he immediately called his team to determine the necessary response.

The 40 volunteer leaders gathered daily in discussion and decided to hold the exhibition and announce it as Masr al-Samida, Egypt the Resistant. Difficult to translate into English, it connotes the suffix ‘-proof’, as in ‘water-,’ or fittingly, ‘bomb-.’

“We insist on creating peace,” said Wanis. “As a church we will not be scared, we will not close in on ourselves again because of one or two incidents, we will not build more walls.

“Now, Muslims and Christians are together. If they explode us again we will die together.”

Message

Mohamed Moussa is one of the longest serving volunteers at the center. A fourth-year journalism student at Alexandria University, he is responsible to organize the exhibition.

“The message is that we are one people, persevering,” he said. “Every time something happens it only brings us closer.”

Moussa knew nothing of the center four years ago, but stumbled into a media course. Touched by the ethos he remains, now in charge of a medium far from his chosen education.

“When you are here you feel there is no difference between a Muslim and a Christian,” he said. “If anything they treat us better than them.

“We are one family, and we are getting bigger.”

Part of the allure of the center goes beyond interfaith unity. Volunteers are given additional training by Wanis and others in administration, marketing, and leadership. But this last word is anathema.

Volunteers are called khadim, the traditional word in the church that means “servant.”

“We are in a church, so they use our language,” Wanis said. “We reject the common terminology and its logic, because we do not lead, we serve.”

And the contrast could not be clearer for the newest volunteer.

“There is no ‘I’ here, we are all together and work together,” said Bassant Fawzy, a 21-year-old art student at Alexandria University.

“People with knowledge and skills tend to keep them to themselves, but here we teach each other.”

Only one week a “servant”, she brought along her friend Ibrahim Mohamed, who was surprised and impressed to see Islamic-themed art in a church building. Without his knowing, Fawzy borrowed his traditional drum and decorated it with a phrase from the popular song The Nation’s Heart is Wounded, “It is not for us to be silent.”

“We need hope to overcome the crisis,” Mohamed said. “We want everyone to know we support our country in all it is going through. And with terrorism in the churches we must say it here, in the heart of a church.”

Response

When Wanis started Corners for Creativity he did not know how Muslims would respond. Four topics were expressly forbidden: Religion, politics, sex, and soccer – four topics that divide society. But still today nervousness abounds.

“Some Christians are afraid for me,” said Bassem Mounir, a fine arts student and four months a servant. “After the bombings they are worried about Muslims coming into a church.

“But this church opens its doors to everyone, as if we are all brothers.”

At the ceremony each participant received a certificate, honored by the university deans. On the screen above flashed a prayer: God, remember the terrorists who love you and will even give their lives for you, but who neither know you nor your love for all people.

“There is a virus spreading through society to divide it, working through religion,” said Mohamed Helal, dean of the faculty of fine arts. “Religion builds walls, but art transcends them – and this is what Nader is doing.”

The effect has been transformative for Christian and Muslim alike.

“It makes people in our church feel like they are part of the community,” said Bishop Samy Fawzy Shehata, head of the Anglican churches in Alexandria. “It is not healthy to have walls around you, it is a kind of sign that you are an exclusive group.”

Instead, he believes, the church must present an essential message, in light of extremism that pulls people apart.

“We’re trying to show the community that it is possible to live together in peace,” he said.

“It’s not that difficult, you just open the door.”

 

Categories: Islam

Behavior Towards People with Special Needs

Islam - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 11:23

Behavior Towards People with Special Needs

Human beings are the most blessed creations of Allah Almighty. We have been given all the blessings by our Lord that we can’t even imagine but still when it comes to appreciating those things, we lack in showing proper gratitude. We realize about those blessings when we see someone who doesn’t have a thing that we have, and then we think about how blessed we are. For example we might complain about having a meal which we don’t like. But if we see the poor beggars on street, who don’t even get any meal, we would surely feel guilty. People with special needs are basically those people who have deficiency of something. For instance, they might not have a foot, they may be blind, and they may have intellectual deficiency and many more such things.

Behavior Towards People with Special Needs

People usually make fun of others who are having special needs. We should always keep in mind that Allah has created everyone. If someone is having special needs for umrah tour for 2018 with Package, then it is never his faults. No one want to have a deficiency of something, it is just attest given by Allah, to see how much patience a person can bear and how productively he will spend his life, despite having special needs. We are no one to judge that person as Allah alone has the duty of judging others and deciding their rewards and punishments. If we study Islam, we will know that Islam has given thorough explanations about each single matter. Let’s take an example of a person who his intellectually deficit. Then there is no need for that person to perform Umrah or Hajj because he is sensibly not aware of his surroundings and he may not follow the steps of Hajj and Umrah properly.

On the other hand, if a person have special deficiency of a feet or hand or something else, he can perform Hajj and Umrah with the help of his companion. There are wheel chairs available for those who have issues in walking, so that they can cover the distance for this holy obligation. There are certain packages like hajj tour for 2018 with Package which offer deals for special people as well so that they can avail the opportunity of performing Umrah and Hajj. We should always be kind with these people because they never hurt anyone intentionally and never intent to harm anyone as well.

Categories: Islam

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