Islam

FINAL PROJECT; ISLAMOPHOBIA AND DIGITAL MEDIA

Islam - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 01:20

The term terrorism has been around for decades. It is defined as “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.” However, in more recent years, given the accumulation of attacks by Islamic extremists, when one hears the word terrorism they seem to associate it with Islam.

 

With attacks involving ‘Islamic extremists,’ such as ISIS, have  increased so has their coverage specifically via digital media. The attacks in France for instance where captured through smart phones and shared on various social media outlets. People shared their condolences, support, and frustrations via twitter and hashtags as did people during the time of the Charlie Hebdo attacks back in 2015.

With the constant digital coverage of such terrorist attacks the term ‘Islamophobia’ has been formed. In my opinion, it is a term that was created, defined, and distributed by the media. Its usage created an ideology of people that have a fear of Muslims and Islam.

A religion that is based on peacefulness, welcomeness, acceptance, and balance has been widely interpreted as a religion known for its violence, hatred, semitism, and extremism. Unfortunately, terrorist using the name of Allah and an honorable religion in vein as a false agenda to excuse their heinous actions have harmed the image of Islam.

During my research and interviews I aim to find out whether digital medias coverage on such islamic extremism based attacks help clear the name of Islam and allow people to better understand the political bias behind such attacks and ideologies or if digital media has increased, if not endorsed, the idea of Islamophobia.

I will be interviewing Mustafa Shakir, a teaching professor of Arabic and Northeastern University. Shakir is an author  and has given countless television and radio interviews as well as lectures on Arab and Muslim cultures and politics. Being an Iraqi himself and having taught matters strongly related to my subject, he will be my expert in conducting my research and interviews.

In addition to Shakir, and seeing as digital media is used in majority by millennials and students that are exposed to a magnitude of cultures, I have decided to focus my research and interviews on Arab Muslim students, and American non Muslim students. It may also be beneficial to interview American Muslims students just to show how Arabs and Muslims are constantly being linked as Islam has been defined as a culture rather than a religion, when in reality it is not always the case. This will become more evident as the interviews are conducted. It may also be an option to interview non Muslim Arab students.

With Trumps increased support, I have reason to question whether digital media is harming or helping the name and understanding of Islam and Muslims.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Islam

Weekly Update

Islam - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 01:14

I am now Getting Lessons on How to speak Arabic and read Arabic Text.

Allah has guided me to Islam

Islam was always that one religion that I was always fascinated by and Christianity Never really made any sense with Jesus being the (Father,Son,Holy Spirit).Jesus was a Messenger from Allah and Muhammad was the last messenger from Allah. Jesus was a Prophet.

Muslims are not Terrorists Isis is funded by people and they are the Terrorists. Haven’t you noticed that Isis covers their wrists Isis an American funded group.

Islam is made in the media to be Hateful and Wrong and “WOMEN HAVE NO RIGHTS IN ISLAM” is what the media says. And actually we feel safe in a Hijab or a Burka we feel safe when we cover up. It’s not like we have to cover up, It’s just a personal preference.

I choose to wear a Hijab whenever I can Because it makes me feel Safe and Pure.

The media has made Islam out to be awful and hateful but actually we are very forgiving.Allah forgives and when you say the Shahada you feel like you are pure and in that moment Allah forgives you for your past now when you become Muslim it’s your job to try and stay pure. We will make mistakes sometimes but Allah Forgives you if you truly mean it in your heart.

Inshallah you read this-

-Aisha Ali

Categories: Islam

#StandWithUs prevented from arranging memorial at Hyatt Chicago hotel where JVP is holding annual meeting featuring convicted terrorist

Islam - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 01:00

LEGAL INSURRECTION
Jewish Voice for Peace blocks memorial for Rasmea Odeh victims
by William A. Jacobson
March 20, 2017

Rasmea Odeh, a military member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was convicted in 1970 in Israel for the 1969 bombing of the SuperSol supermarket that killed two Hebrew University students, Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner. Rasmea also was convicted of the attempted bombing of the British consulate…Rasmea will be a featured speaker at the 2017 annual meeting of Jewish Voice for Peace in Chicago, March 31st – April 2nd. The pro-Israel group StandWithUs wanted to rent space at the Hyatt Chicago McCormick hotel where the JVP annual meeting is being held to be used as a memorial to Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner. But JVP blocked the memorial, according to a Press Release issued by StandWithUs. READ MORE

Categories: Islam

Interview with Wadah Khanfar - Islam, Middle East, Politics and Youth | The Call Out S02 E02

Islam - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 00:41

Wadah Khanfar is the former director general of the Al Jazeera Network. He began his career with the network in 1997, covering some of the world’s key political zones, including South Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq. He was appointed the chief of the Baghdad bureau, and later as the network’s managing director. In 2006, he became Al Jazeera’s director general.

During Wadah’s 8-year tenure at the helm, the network transformed from a single channel into a media network including Al Jazeera Arabic, Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Documentary and the Al Jazeera Center for Studies.

In this period, the Arab world witnessed historic transformation including Arab Awakening. Wadah, who resigned from the network in September 2011, has been named as one of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 global thinkers of 2011 as well as one of Fast Company’s ‘Most Creative People in Business’ of the year. He is a board member of the International Crisis Group and Global Editors Network (GEN).

Host: Almir Colan @almircolan

Audio version (also available as a podcast via iTunes)

*** About The Call Out ***

In the current political and social environment there is, has been, and will be much discussion about Islam and Muslims in the public sphere. Not all of this is accurate or based on correct information. Our primary aim at The Call Out is to do exactly that… to call out those instances of misinformation, inaccuracies and out right lies and deceptions about our community.

What we also hope to do is to foster some important, or at least what we think are important, events, topics, issues for our community that warrant a closer and more in depth discussion than we think currently happens.

We are not community representatives nor are we the ‘voice’ of the community. What we are, is conversation catalysts. We want to challenge existing discussions and start new discussions. We want to encourage the community, regardless of faith, to be better informed on critical issues and to Call Out those people in the public sphere who don’t think twice of using misinformation, deception or outright lies to continue to marginalise Muslims and use us as the lightning rod for their own self interest.

Web: https://thecallout.net/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thecall_out
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecallout.news/

Categories: Islam

President Trump Conducts BiLateral Meeting with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq...

Islam - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 00:04
Earlier today President Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary Mattis and Secretary of
Categories: Islam

Bumi diperintah Mukminoon. (Mukminoon will rule the Earth)

Islam - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 23:59

Surah 24. An-Noor, Verse 55:

وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُم مِّن بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا وَمَن كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

Translation:
Dan Allah telah berjanji kepada orang-orang yang beriman di antara kamu dan mengerjakan amal-amal yang saleh bahwa Dia sungguh-sungguh akan menjadikan mereka berkuasa dimuka bumi, sebagaimana Dia telah menjadikan orang-orang sebelum mereka berkuasa, dan sungguh Dia akan meneguhkan bagi mereka agama yang telah diridhai-Nya untuk mereka, dan Dia benar-benar akan menukar (keadaan) mereka, sesudah mereka dalam ketakutan menjadi aman sentausa. Mereka tetap menyembahku-Ku dengan tiada mempersekutukan sesuatu apapun dengan Aku. Dan barangsiapa yang (tetap) kafir sesudah (janji) itu, maka mereka itulah orang-orang yang fasik.

24:55. GOD promises those among you who believe and lead a righteous life, that He will make them sovereigns on earth, as He did for those before them, and will establish for them the religion He has chosen for them, and will substitute peace and security for them in place of fear. All this because they worship Me alone; they never set up any idols beside Me. Those who disbelieve after this are the truly wicked.

Bumi Diwarisi Umat Yang Soleh. (Earth inherited by Righteous)

Surah 21. Al-Anbiya, Verse 105:

وَلَقَدْ كَتَبْنَا فِي الزَّبُورِ مِن بَعْدِ الذِّكْرِ أَنَّ الْأَرْضَ يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِيَ الصَّالِحُونَ

Translation:
Dan demi sesungguhnya, Kami telah tulis di dalam Kitab-kitab yang Kami turunkan sesudah ada tulisannya pada Lauh Mahfuz: “Bahawasanya bumi itu akan diwarisi oleh hamba-hambaKu yang soleh”.

[21:105] We have decreed in the Psalms, as well as in other scriptures, that the earth shall be inherited by My righteous worshipers.

Categories: Islam

Saat Kang Emil Mencalonkan Diri...

Islam - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 23:47

Saat Kang Emil mencalonkan diri…

Sebenarnya, saya cukup kaget dengan keputusan Kang Emil dalam pencalonan pilgub Jabar. Ada beberapa alasan mengenai kagetnya saya dengan keputusan itu. Pertama, masih terlalu dini untuk memutuskan maju dan menerima deklarasi pinangan parpol. Pilkada Jabar masih tahun depan, dan jabatan beliau di Bandung masih setengah periode lagi. Kedua, parpol yang diterima untuk mengusung, Nasdem, bukanlah pemilik suara mayoritas di parlemen Jawa Barat. Ini tentunya dapat membuka peta politik baru di Jawa Barat, yang selama ini juga menjadi barometer politik nasional, selain DKI Jakarta. Ketiga, Kang Emil yang selama ini merupakan independen, berubah partai pendukungnya dari pilwalkot Bandung yang lalu, yakni Gerindra dan PKS, menjadi Nasdem, yang di pilkada DKI tampak tidak bersahabat, bahkan berseberangan.

Situasi politik nasional kita saat ini memang sedang memasuki pola baru. Kuatnya semangat keberagamaan umat Islam dan menguatnya pula semangat nasionalisme terlihat di berbagai bidang. Faktor penyebab terbesar tentu dari pilkada DKI. Peristiwa penistaan agama menyadarkan kita, bahwa kita membutuhkan pemimpin yang berkarakter. Tak sekadar pekerja keras, namun juga bermoralitas. Di kalangan umat Islam tersendiri pun menyadarkan bahwa pentingnya pendidikan adab, akhlak, dan kepemimpinan.

Kang Ridwan Kamil tampil sebagai salah satu sosok yang menjadi alternatif bagi yang kecewa dengan Pak Basuki. Kinerja pemkot Bandung terbukti menjadi salah satu yang terbaik. Programnya pun tak hanya fisik, melainkan juga pembinaan kerohanian. Seperti gerakan sholat subuh jamaah tiap pekan dan maghrib mengaji. Kang Emil pun tampil di media sosial dengan pembawaan humor, tak membawa kesan galak apalagi sangar. Pendekatannya dianggap cocok untuk para millenials, dan mendobrak beberapa kesan politik yang kaku dan terlalu formal.

Memang, apa yang dilakukan beliau di Bandung, secara kasat mata setidaknya bisa dikatakan berhasil. Modal inilah, yang kemudian dapat dilihat sebagai faktor yang membuat beliau bisa percaya diri maju di pilkada Jabar, sekalipun beliau bukan anggota parpol.

Jawa Barat, bila diperhatikan, memiliki karakter yang cukup beragam. Mulai dari kalangan masyarakat religius sampai penganut agama tradisional, dari kalangan nasionalis melek politik sampai orang yang tidak peduli dengan politik, dan banyak golongan lainnya. Ini membuktikan perlu hadir pemimpin yang bisa merangkul semua golongan.

Gubernur Jawa Barat saat ini, Kang Aher, saya berpendapat, merupakan salah satu gubernur yang sangat baik. Kepribadian beliau yang religius mencerminkan masyarakat Jabar yang banyak di antaranya merupakan santri. Dalam tata kelola pemerintahan pun bisa dikatakan berhasil, karena audit BPK menandakan keuangan yang termasuk kategori WTP. Penghargaan lain pun banyak didapat, baik untuk Kang Aher sebagai sosok pemimpin maupun Jawa Barat sebagai daerah yang dipimpin.

Prestasi Kang Aher ini tentu membuat masyarakat Jabar perlu berhati-hati dalam memilih pengganti beliau. Jangan sampai justru berpindah kekuasaan tersebut kepada sosok yang lebih lemah. Karakter baik yang ada pada beliau pun patut untuk diwariskan. Penggantian pemimpin bukan berarti memutus mata rantai kepemimpinan, namun menyambung rantai pembangunan. Seperti itulah seharusnya.

Kang Emil tampaknya menjadi salah satu sosok yang diidamkan masyarakat Jabar. Salah satu survei beberapa waktu yang lalu menunjukkan, elektabilitas beliau yang tertinggi dibanding tokoh lain seperti bupati Purwakarta, Dedi Mulyadi, maupun Wagub Jabar, Deddy Mizwar. Ini tentunya membuat banyak partai ingin mengusung beliau.

Keputusan beliau untuk menerima pinangan Nasdem dapat dilihat sebagai adanya wujud persamaan kepentingan. Dalam politik, memang kepentingan lah yang paling menentukan, bahkan dibandingkan ideologi. Nasdem sebagai parpol yang masih baru tentu ingin membangun citra positif dan mengambil hati masyarakat. Kang Emil pun membutuhkan kendaraan politik dalam menyongsong pilkada Jabar. Inilah dua kepentingan, yang menurut saya, mendorong deklarasi kemarin.

Keputusan beliau ini tentu mengundang pro kontra. Ini tentu sangat biasa dalam dunia politik. Kritik datang baik dari alasan politis sampai ideologis. Semua akan baik-baik saja apabila 1) yang dikritik adalah fakta, 2) yang dikritik bukan sekadar asumsi apalagi fitnah, 3) kritiknya membangun bukan menjatuhkan, 4) tidak berlandaskan kebencian berlebih dan kecintaan berlebih, dan 5) disampaikan dengan santun. Inilah budaya mengkritik yang perlu kita bangun.

Sayangnya, ada sebagian kalangan pengkritik yang mulai melancarkan cara yang tak elok. Mulai dari mencari kesalahan beliau yang terekam dalam jejak digital sampai melancarkan serangan fitnah yang tidak sehat. Tentu, bukan politik seperti ini yang harus ada di masyarakat kita.

Kekecewaan kita pada keputusan beliau jangan sampai langsung membalik sikap kita. Bila memang kita ingin menyampaikan kritik, pesan, dan pertanyaan, sampaikan tanpa menyerang pribadinya. Jika kemudian memang tak puas, angkatlah calon lain yang menjadi alternatif, tanpa perlu menjatuhkan. Ini berpolitik yang tak sehat.

Sedih rasanya bila kita, sesama anak bangsa, apalagi sesama umat Islam, terpecah belah hanya karena politik. Cukuplah Jakarta yang memanas, tak perlu daerah lain. Memang, kita menginginkan pemimpin yang sempurna, dia nasionalis sekaligus religius, jujur dan transparan, amanah dan komunikatif, dan harapan-harapan lain. Tapi, rasanya akan sangat sulit bila harus menemukan seseorang yang sempurna.

Jangan sampai, pilihan politik yang berbeda membuat kita terdorong untuk membuka jalur fitnah. Bila menurut kita pilihan politik beliau salah, jangan mencela apalagi menghina, itu hanya akan membuat beliau tidak nyaman dan menjadikannya semakin jauh dari yang kita inginkan. Bila pilihan politik beliau menurut kita sudah benar, dukunglah sepatutnya dan jangan sampai membuat beliau tak mampu melihat kekurangan.

Memang, terkadang politik itu jahat. Sampai dikatakan, tak ada kawan dan lawan yang abadi, hanyalah kepentingan yang selalu membersamai. Tetapi bukan berarti itu menjadi alasan, bila ada yang tak sepaham dengan kita lantas menjadi musuh yang boleh diapa-apain. Yang sepaham pun bukan berarti harus dibela sampai mati. Siapa pun calon, dia tetap manusia yang punya kekurangan dan kelebihan. Tugas kita adalah mencari yang seminimal mungkin mudharat yang ditimbulkan sembari membangun kebermanfaatan yang luas.

Belajarlah dari kisruhnya Jakarta. Jangan sampai terulang segala fitnah dan kebencian. Ingatlah, kita ingin negara ini maju dan berdaya saing. Maka jangan habiskan energi dengan cara yang tidak tepat.

Apa yang berbeda, tak selamanya musuh. Ingatlah persaudaraan sesama umat Islam dan sesama bangsa Indonesia. Jangan rusak persaudaraan itu hanya karena politik. Terlalu mahal harga bangsa dan agama ini bila dikorbankan demi kepentingan sesaat.

Bila saudaramu benar, doakanlah agar dia istiqomah dalam kebenaran. Jangan memuji berlebih hingga lupa diri sendiri. Bila saudaramu salah, doakanlah agar dia kembali pada kebenaran. Jangan memaki hingga ia menjauh dari kebenaran hanha karena sikap tak arif dari sebagian.

Sampaikanlah pesan, kritik, dan saran dengan cara yang ihsan. Agar orang lain tak menjauh sebelum pesan tersampaikan. Sebab, kita harus tetap menjalin tali persaudaraan.

 

Mari kita doakan yang terbaik untuk Kang Emil, Jawa Barat, Indonesia, dan Umat Islam secara keseluruhan.

Categories: Islam

The Forbidden Session 9 - Laila Nasheeba

Islam - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 23:27

Lecture speaks of the forbidden things for women to wear. Also playing games with dice are forbidden.

Categories: Islam

Heresiology part 2

Islam - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 23:05

*disclaimer : I’ve yet to post Heresiology part 1 due to certain reasons. But inshaAllah, biiznillah, I’ll update soon as and when I have the time.

20 March 2017
Al-Qudwah Academy
Ustaz Hidayat Rnb

Understanding iman

الإيمان بالله – believe in Allah
يقوم بتوحيد الله في – it stands upon tauhid comes from the word wahid:One – single out Allah swt. We say that Allah is One.

Tauhid can be defined to 3:
1) الربوبية : From the word Rabbun, to single out Allah in His actions / oneness of Allah in His lordship. There are certain actions of Allah that is only by/for Him.
The word Rabb :
1- Creation (الخلق) / sustenance (الرزق) / administration (التدبير)
– Has the authority to create
– Has the authority to provide sustenance
– Only He administers the whole universe
2- Kingship (المُلكُ) / Ownership (المِلكُ)
– He is the complete Ownership and Kingship.
3- الأمرُ (Command) والنهيُ (forbid) والسيادة (masterhood)

2) الأسماء والصفات : The names and Attributes. Every single name of Allah carries an attribute. But not every attributes have a name. The attributes that we have are not the same as Allah’s. If we are knowledgeable, Allah’s knowledge is vast. The reason why Allah gives us these characteristics, it’s for us to think about Allah’s greater attributes.

3) الألوهية : Single out Allah in our actions. Doing every ibadah solely for Allah. When we study Fiqh, it’s knowing the oneness of Allah in our actions.

In Al-Fatihah, we mentioned all these three categories.

الحمد لله رب العالمين – الربوبية
الرحمان الرحيم – الأسماء
مالك يوم الدين – الصفة
اهدنا الصراط المستقيم – الألوهية

ثمرة الإيمان بالله – fruit in believing in Allah.
1) السعادة : ultimate happiness. Contentment and enjoyment in this world. سورة النحل : ٩٧
2) ولاية الله : the help of Allah. سورة آل عمران : ٦٨
3) التمكين : firmness, steadfast in believing in Allah and nothing can sway us in believing in Allah. سورة النور : ٥٥
4) الأمن : peace. The meaning of Islam consists of Peace and Submission. When we submit to Allah, we have to feel at peace. الأنعام : ٨٢
5) الجنة : the ultimate price for Iman is Jannah, heaven. سورة النساء : ٥٧

Surah Ibrahim : 24 – 25
كلمة طيبة : ibn Abbas when explain the ayat, kalimah toyyibah refers to Laa ilaha illa Allah (no God but Allah). We bare witness that Allah is One in all the 3 fundamentals of Tauhid.
Allah explains Tauhid with a parable of a great tree : كشجرة طيبة
1) Function of a tree
2) Fruits of the tree
3) Growth of the tree

Tree is a basic source of life. It gives out oxygen. The purpose of a tree is giving our life. It gives us protection and sustenance. Shahadah is a basis of life and know that Allah will always provide for us.

أصلها ثابت – Roots are firmly fix :

Iman gives us firmness. The purpose of iman has the similarity of the firmness of the tree’s roots. Only with understanding tauhid, we have the firmness in believing in Allah.

وفرعها في السماء – And the branches are towering high :
The bigger the tree, the more its benefits. A person with iman has an elevated status and respected. We should be respected about our iman and not shy about it. This is translated to how we portray ourselves when we do our mundane actions.

تؤتي أكلها: it produces food (and not fruit). It is a tree that produces multiple types of fruits.
كل حين: the fruits are not seasonal and it’s indefinite.
The fruits of iman is the 5 that we discussed earlier: Happiness, help of Allah, firmness, peace, jannah.

The water for the tree is our ibadah. The more we enslave ourselves to Allah, the more the tree (iman) grows. The Sun to the tree is the Quran and Sunnah.

Protect the tree from harm. Heresiology teaches us who are the predators that will destroy the tree, to know our enemies.

الإيمان يزيد وينقص

Ustaz refers his study primarily on the book, Tauhid At-tahawiyyah by Ibn ‘Izz Al-Hanafi

WAllahu a’lam

Categories: Islam

The First Crusade: A Brief History

Islam - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 22:38

By the end of the 11th century CE, the fractured petty kingdoms, confederated states, and feudal monarchies of Europe were fast approaching an unusual and historical call to arms.

Sebastien Mamerot’s Les Passages d’Outremer.

Byzantium, now a tired remnant of its former glory, called on the west for defensive aid against the invading Seljuk Turks, a nomadic host from the East. The Papal States under Pope Urban II responded by offering conquest instead, promising to return Byzantium’s lost holdings in Anatolia in addition to capturing Jerusalem for all of Christendom. The knights, barons, and lords in attendance famously responded to the pope with “Deus Vult!”, and thus they began the pyrrhic success that was the First Crusade. (Philips 1998)

Although the holy land was perhaps not as balkanized as 11th century Europe, the Islamic world faced the same internal and external threats as European kingdoms did. The Fatimid Caliphate ruled from Egypt and commanded a strong military and economic presence in the region, but like the Byzantines, they too had lost territory to the invading Seljuks and engaged in frequent battles with their nomadic warbands. Other recalcitrant kingdoms and fiefs remained independent, or at least consistently attempted to express their independence, especially within Seljuk Turkish lands where nobles and heirs bickered and quarreled about succession and land distribution. To further complicate the political and social landscape of the region, the Seljuk Turks practiced Sunni Islam, while the Fatimids were Shia. As such, loyalty was largely a matter of religion for many border states, and each religious group resisted incursions by soldiers of the other. (TimeMaps, World History Timeline Islamic Caliphate)

The importance of internal turmoil and intrigue cannot be understated when trying to understand how societies across the world operated at this time. The Islamic world was certainly a place of marvelous art, architecture, science, medicine, and learning, but those oft-centralized societies were just as susceptible to decline or even collapse as any other state on the planet. Disputes of succession, ethnic infighting, and intra-noble conflict feature very prominently in much of Arabic history (three of the four rightly guided caliphs were assassinated after all). Moreover, the Arab slave trade was extremely prominent at this time, with many Nubian slaves in particular being imported into the region to serve as foot soldiers in bloody conflicts or laborers for any number of endless public monuments and infrastructural projects. Several large slave revolts supposedly occurred as a direct result of the Arab slave trade, with one revolt in particular, the Zanj Rebellion, claiming some five hundred thousand lives with some sources suggesting that as many as two million were killed. These revolts and riots ultimately played an important role in the decline of the Fatimid Caliphate less than a hundred years later.

The first crusaders arrived in Turkish Anatolia in a pitiful state. The so called “People’s Crusade” was made up of unarmored and poorly armed peasants and low ranking professional soldiers. On their march through Europe, the Peoples Crusaders sacked, burned, and plundered many villages and cities. Although the Pope and many other religious figures were disturbed by this violence, particularly the slaughter of many European Jews, the army lacked discipline and an effective leader and was virtually impossible to control. The mob moved through Eastern Europe and into Seljuk territory, brutalizing both Christian and Muslim peasants along the way and lacking in any motivations besides plunder and self aggrandizement. (Europe : The First Crusade – I: The People’s Crusade)

With superior tactics and numbers, familiarity of the terrain, and better logistics, the Seljuks were able to effectively cripple the first army of crusaders in the hinterlands of Antioch, leaving only 3,000 of the original 20,000 men to make a hasty retreat back to Constantinople. Women and children were spared, but the men were executed unless they converted to Islam. This was hardly an unexpected result; the first crusader armies were untrained, under equipped, and faced an extremely hostile environment.

The Turks were renowned horsemen, and quickly and brutally swept through Anatolia and the Levant from the East when establishing their empire. They embraced steppe tactics; namely speed, agility, and versatility. Light horse archers could continuously harass enemy formations while maintaining a safe distance, and heavy horsemen and lancers could easily punch holes in the opposition’s lines. The famous “Parthian Shot”, or backward facing shot, allowed Seljuk horsemen to continuously loose arrows on a pursuing enemy, while their light armor and armament allowed them to outrun most armored belligerents. As such, the Seljuks preferred hit and run tactics to wear down an enemy army while simultaneously attempting to cut off their supply lines and deny them local materiel. (Seljuq)

Further South, the Fatimid Caliphate ruled over Egypt, the holy land, and large swaths of North Africa along the mediterranean coast. Although the Byzantines called on the Papal States for aid against the Seljuks, the Fatimids were in control of Jerusalem at the time of the crusades, making them an equally viable target. The Fatimids ruled an ethnically diverse caliphate, with Berbers in the west, Nubians in the south, and Arabs, Turks, and Bedouins in the East. For their military, the Fatimids drafted and utilized soldiers from each ethnic group and played to their respective strengths in battle. The Berbers made excellent skirmishers and light cavalrymen, and also frequently utilized camels which were far more resilient to the local climate than many horses. Nubian soldiers were drafted or purchased from the region of modern day Sudan, and were primarily utilized as levied foot soldiers or heavy infantry alongside Arab and Syrian infantry and archers. Finally, the Fatimids employed Turkish soldiers in battle primarily as heavy lancers or horse archers. Although the Seljuk dynasty was ruled by the “Turkish” ethnic group, many other turks allied themselves with the surrounding nations. Most notably, the “Turcopoles” often fought alongside Christian military orders as mercenaries throughout the relatively short history of the crusades. (Fatimid Dynasty)

In 1096, four crusader armies from Europe rallied around Constantinople. The so called “Princes Crusade” was made up of about 30,000 men-at-arms with at least 5,000 cavalry. The second wave of crusaders was far better trained and equipped as many of them were veteran soldiers and mounted knights from other wars. European combat at this time emphasized heavy armor, large kite shields, heavy lances, crossbows, and swords along with pikes, maces, and polearms. The European invasion of Anatolia truly began with the siege of Seljuk Nicaea. The crusaders encircled most of the city and began constructing siege engines to take the walls. After a long period of cat-and-mouse battles with the Turks, the crusaders defeated an army of some 10,000 Seljuks while Byzantine reinforcements arrived to finally reconquer the city.

The next major battle occurred near the city of Dorylaeum. Several thousand Seljuk horse archers attacked the crusaders in their camp, loosing arrows and running down many soldiers before the crusaders were able to regroup. For hours, the crusaders stayed tightly packed in a shieldwall to block the constant rain of arrows. A Turkish arrow could easily kill an unarmored opponent, and although the Christian knights were well protected (albeit shot full of arrows) by their armor and shields, many thousands of men were killed. However, the crusaders had a decisive advantage over the Turks. The Christian men-at-arms had a single option: fight to the last man or perish. The Turkish armies were in friendly territory, meaning that they could flee the field of battle any time they chose to. The crusader armies, now battered and thinned, began a counteroffensive by outflanking the Turks and burning their camp. Demoralized by the loss of their camp, the Seljuks now faced a direct charge from the crusader forces and eventually routed off the field in the face of such zealous brutality. (Europe: The First Crusade – IV: Men of Iron)

Turkish horsemen were not well suited for prolonged hand to hand combat, preferring to skirmish the enemy down instead. Their emphasis on the use of horses in battle allowed them to constantly and quickly resupply their ammunition with supply trains and maintain consistent missile fire. By contrast, European crusaders excelled in melee combat on the ground and on horseback. Arguably, the west possessed some of the best heavy cavalry in the world at this time. Horses might have weighed anywhere from a thousand to fifteen hundred pounds depending on where they were bred, and might have run twenty to twenty five miles per hour at full gallop. The impact would have been tremendous and if a rider’s lance hit right, the lance itself would have shattered into pieces on impact with an enemy.

Both the Turks and the Fatimids utilized heavy cavalry in battle, but generally placed greater emphasis on speed and mobility than their European counterparts. That being said, heavy cataphracts with armored horses and lances still played a vital role in combat throughout history in this region. Some of the most beautiful examples of historical armor come out of the Islamic world, with incredible specimens of decorated steel chainmail, heavier ornamented lamellar, and beautifully constructed steel helmets with armored face masks. Generally speaking, swords in the Islamic world were not straight like their European counterparts, but curved to be well suited for fighting on horseback. Moreover, shields in this region tended to be smaller than in Europe, and round in shape for easier use and better structural integrity.

The next target for the crusaders was the sprawling city of Antioch which had a large wall topped with some four hundred palisade towers. The Christian soldiers were unable to surround it fully, meaning that it could continuously be resupplied throughout the siege. One of the crusader leaders managed to bribe a city guard to surrender his tower, allowing the army inside of the walls. Once inside, the soldiers promptly slaughtered most of city’s inhabitants. This indiscriminate violence was a common trait for the christian armies; they lacked the leadership necessary to remain cohesive and essentially acted as a conglomerated band of brigands until the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Once inside the city, the crusaders were ironically besieged within it by a large army of Muslim soldiers who arrived shortly afterwards. After a period of siege skirmishes, a lowly priest conveniently discovered the “Holy Lance”, the very spear which pierced Jesus’ side while he hung from the cross. Inspired by the discovery and exhausted from the siege, the crusaders charged out of the gate and miraculously defeated the Seljuk armies. Drawn into a melee, the lightly armored Turks stood little chance against such odds and were almost immediately routed. This particular battle illustrates how important morale is for men on the field. Once again, the crusader armies had to fight for their survival while the loosely organized, often quarrelsome Turkish armies had other options. In addition, the bloodlust and zealotry inspired by the discovery of the Holy Lance was equally vital to their success.

Such battles were brutal to no end and yet the traditional battle arrangements of the day would have been a beautiful sight. Broad contingents of cavalrymen held long, flagged lances with intricate Arabic calligraphy and symbols, or crosses and banners depending on whom the lance belonged to. Heavy infantry contingents with shining mail armor would stand sternly ahead of a myriad of colorful bannermen and a back line of light skirmishers and men carrying pikes fifteen feet in length. The crash of metal and men would knock many off their feet and into the dirt, while others were simply crushed to death in the brawl. Many Muslim armies made good use of maces and hand-axes, both of which had the power to break through enemy chainmail and puncture helmets. Should a cavalry contingent be foolish enough to charge a Muslim or Christian pike wall, they would be gored by a seething mass of spearheads, with each pike being held and thrusted by a well trained man.

More and more, the crusaders began traveling into Muslim dominated regions although they faced little resistance throughout their march. The local populations were aware of their approach and offered them supplies and assistance in the hope of maintaining peace. In addition, this region of Anatolia was primarily Sunni, making them disinclined to assist the Shia Fatimids. After a long march, the crusaders finally reached the Fatimid controlled city of Jerusalem and wept as they had finally reached their goal. The army had no hope of besieging the massive city, and instead decided to assault it directly. The initial assault was repelled as fewer than 13,000 men were left in the Christian armies while the city was well defended by a sizable garrison. More preparation was made for the subsequent assault and the crusaders built several siege engines including catapults and wheeled siege towers. (First Crusade 1096-1099)

The garrison at Jerusalem was made up of several hundred cavalrymen and a large number of Muslim troops, including some Nubians. Even if vastly outnumbered, the Muslims could easily defeat an opposing army if they had sufficient defensive positions. Jerusalem had two walls in addition to many palisade towers; to take the city would mean leading an army of men to the walls while under fire, climb the walls, then descend to the secondary wall all while being constantly harassed by enemy projectiles. Some of the garrison troops likely had armor, although European crossbows would have still posed a significant threat to these men. Crossbows were not terribly common in the Muslim world at this time, but in Europe their ease of use and effectiveness against armor made them a common feature of many armies. Fewer than fifty years after the first crusade, the Pope declared it a crime for a Christian to kill another Christian with a crossbow, but any other religious group was obviously fair game. Even Muslim cavalry were hardpressed to survive in the face of European crossbow volleys. Crossbows can be made extremely powerful, and their bolts are small and hit with rib cracking speed. Over time, Muslim armies adopted crossbows for their value on the field and when laying siege.

The crusaders launched their assault on the city and began by moving their siege towers forward. The battle was hard fought, but in the face of certain defeat, the Fatimid garrison retreated and the Christian soldiers reached the city center. What occurred next is a particularly brutal piece of history, something that is well remembered today. The crusaders began slaughtering as many civilians as they could find, specifically targeting Muslims and Jews. Men of god patrolled through the streets, breaking doors apart and mercilessly butchering the families inside. Blood ran up to their ankles through the streets, and men stood in blood to their waist inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a temporary refuge for Muslims.

After the slaughter was completed, bodies lined the streets and narrow passages in every district of Jerusalem. The few remaining urbanites piled the rotten bodies into massive pyramids outside the city walls and then lit fire to them. The blood was washed away, the bodies removed, and the houses repaired, but the Muslim world would never forget such brutality in this holy place. The crusaders had reconquered parts of Anatolia for the Byzantines and taken the holy land from the Levant to Jerusalem, ostensibly for all of Christendom. The first crusade, for better or worse, had come to an end with unexpected success and ended up capturing more of the holy land than any other crusade.

And life continued on. The Kingdom of Jerusalem became a powerful force in the region, one which emanated zealots and knightly orders throughout the holy land. Muslims responded in kind with armies of jihadists, flying the black flag of Islam atop banners and lances. Many more battles were fought after this point including an instrumental crusader victory at the Battle of Ascalon. Although the crusade nearly tore itself apart at several points throughout its journey, it somehow managed to remain cohesive enough to reach and secure Jerusalem. The next century in the holy land would see an enormous amount of monetary support from Europe and the eventual creation of the Knights Templar, the Knights Hospitaller, and the Teutonic Order. The Muslims responded with their slave-soldier armies, some of which were skilled heavy cavalry and foot soldiers called Mamluks. (Crusades 2010)

For the next two hundred years, the Holy Land was occupied by Christian orders. The constant infighting in the region prevented both the Seljuks and Fatimids from effectively mobilizing soldiers to defend much of their territory, and the nature of European warfare and the support that the crusaders were able to accumulate both played a significant role in their success. Jerusalem was lost, but only temporarily. As with all invaders, the crusaders found themselves increasingly alone in the midst of Muslim kings, until the kingdom disappeared completely.

 

**This paper was written for my Islam 1560 class**

 

 

Citations

 

Phillips, J. R. (1988). The medieval expansion of Europe. Oxford, OX: Oxford University Press.

TimeMaps World History Timeline Islamic Caliphate. Retrieved from http://www.timemaps.com/civilization/Islamic-Caliphate

Europe : The First Crusade – I: The People’s Crusade – Extra History [Video file]. (2015, August 08). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIs5B2U7US0

Europe: The First Crusade – IV: Men of Iron – Extra History [Video file]. (2015, August 29). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdzsMEHUBrQ

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (2012, August 24). Seljuq. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Seljuq

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (1998, July 20). Fatimid Dynasty. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Fatimid-dynasty

First Crusade (1096-1099). Retrieved from http://www.umich.edu/~eng415/timeline/summaries/First_Crusade.htm

History.com Staff. (2010). Crusades. Retrieved from http://www.history.com/topics/crusades

Categories: Islam

The Other Side of Islamophobia

Islam - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 21:58

“I don’t care how many people die in a movie, as long as the dog survives.”

I realize how ridiculous that sounds, but admit it…you agree, don’t you? You’re more concerned about the dog than the people.  Of course, that’s not real life. Movies are just movies.  Fair enough.  Having said that, I’ve read and heard a lot of opinion about real, live people lately that makes me wish they were just lines from a script.

Much has been posted and shared on immigrants coming to our country from majority Muslim countries. Judging by some of the more negative posts, I can understand why the term Islamophobia has become so popular. While I have no interest in comparing Islamic doctrine with Christianity, I think it’s important to consider a few points.

  • Almost 1 in 4 people in the world are Muslim.
    No blanket statement can describe a group this large. They are diverse and complicated and stereotypes do no justice.
  • Muslim rights are Christian rights.
    The same rights that protect Muslim religious freedoms, protect Christians.
  • Not all Muslims are closet jihadists.
    While this should be an innocuous statement, I realize that not everyone will agree with this assessment. Every religion has extreme voices that wish to do harm as a corrupt interpretation of their faith (Westboro Baptist, the KKK, and Boko Haram, for example). However, these groups represent the fringe not the mainstream. I believe that most believers are moderates and would not wish physical harm on others.
  • Muslims need our help.
    The Syrian war is most likely the worst humanitarian event of our generation. 6,500,000 people have been displaced and 500,000 are dead. Our response to this refugee crisis will echo for decades. In the words of Pope Francis: “It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty. If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite.”

The psychologist, Gordon Allport, proposed the theory that contact between members of different social groups (religious, ethnic or otherwise) reduces prejudice. Essentially, through interaction, the humanity that we share overwhelms our differences.

This concept hit home for me a few months ago while I was watching some documentary footage of a Syrian family bunkered down in their home during the bombing of Aleppo. A small child was vomiting in fear in her father’s arms as he gently rocked her. Their humanity was striking. Their fear was universal.

And from that scene, a simple point stuck with me… people are people. Regardless of language, race, ethnicity or religion, we are all the same.

Categories: Islam

Indian Atheist Hacked to Death

Islam - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 21:49

According to reports from India, a 31-year-old man named H. Farook was hacked to death on Thursday night by four men who were pissed off that he posted atheistic messages on a WhatsApp group and Facebook page.

At 11.15pm on Thursday, [Farook] received a phone call summoning him out of the house. His wife advised him not to go out so late at night. However, he left home, saying he would be back in 10 minutes. He had gone to a sewage treatment plant near Ukkadam on a motorcycle, where a four-member gang waylaid him.

They waylaid Farook, who attempted to escape. However, he was assaulted with sickles by the gang and suffered deep cuts to his neck and abdomen. He succumbed to his injuries on the spot.

(Read the rest here)

Categories: Islam

Russell Moore on Free Speech

Islam - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 21:32

Love Russell Moore’s clear and Gospel-centred answer to a question about Muslim immigration.

Dr Moore is President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the public-policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Categories: Islam

Karma is a b*tch: #BDS leader (and tax-evader) #OmarBarghouti arrested

Islam - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 20:52

THE TOWER
Omar Barghouti, Founder of Anti-Israel Boycott Campaign, Arrested for Tax Evasion
by Staff
March 20, 2017

The leader of the campaign to boycott Israel was arrested by Israeli authorities on Monday for allegedly failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in income, Globes reported. Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, is suspected of evading taxes on some $700,000 that he earned between 2007 to 2017 while serving as the director of the Ramallah-based National Computing Resources, which markets and rents ATMs and other technology within the Palestinian Authority. READ MORE

Categories: Islam

A Little Light

Islam - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 20:52

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

First impressions. They never fail. For me, it’s what makes or breaks, and what decides or forsakes. We can’t rely on what we hear, or even what we remember. But what we see first hand… is never a lie.

And of course, when I first met the guy who I didn’t know about at the time, I already had a tingly feeling at the back of my neck that something wasn’t completely right with him. I’m not sure if you’ve ever met people like him, but he just had this kind of vibe that made people want to keep a distance. Especially people like me. I really had no time for guys who were prickly around the edges.

“Muhammed,” the slightly conspicuous guy looked at me and said, extending his hand to shake mine.

Average looking. Sparse beard. No topee. His arm was firm and slightly toned, and I could tell that he was probably one of those bicep-training guys that who worked only on their upper body to appear macho. I knew I was judging the guy as I sized him up, but he had already annoyed me with his assumption. He could have introduced himself like a normal person, instead of guessing who I was.

I shook my head at him.

“That’s Mo,” I said, pointing to my brother who was getting off the car. I mean, did I really look that old?

“Oh,” the guy said, and I could immediately see him looking at me sympathetically, because he knew exactly who I was. The widower. The one who had a messed up past. The brother who was fairly irresponsible

It was a good thing that an older person that I recognized vaguely came forward and ushered me inside, before I could say or see any more. The only bummer was that I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t catch sight of any of the other household members. I remembered that my sister-in-law had some female members of the family that were quite pleasant to gawk at, but I realised that now just wouldn’t be an appropriate time. I shook my head at myself, because Waseem wasn’t around to do it. I had to kill my urges.

The uncle who brought us in reminded me of Zaynah’s father. I had barely known anything about them when I first met him, but now I could see why Waseem had always held them in such high regard. Why he said that they were the reason that there was still a little hope in our misguided town.

They weren’t exactly prepared for the visit, because everything that seemed to be happening lately was so spontaneous. Farah had died. Waseem had disappeared. Our family was a mess. No-one really had any direction here anymore, and we hoped that at least they could give us some positive news about our brother’s wife. Maybe if she could remember, it might change a lot. Maybe if she came back, there might be a chance that everything will fall back into place. They might even know where Waseem had disappeared to… or he might decide to come back if she could somehow let him know that there was still hope.

I sighed dramatically and sat down as my family came in, Mo and my hobbling father in one room, and Mum and Aasiya guided to another. I never really did understand the whole separate thing until I realised that it was a means to keep away from sin. No chics meant no staring. There was an obvious reason why Waseem was always so strict, and it made me really envy the turn he had taken in his life. It made me miss him all the more now.

Right now, as I looked around, I wished that he could have been here the first time that Dad had ever been to any of his in-laws places. It was quite a thing to see my father with his stern face, polished attire and unchanging  demeanor looking somewhat uncomfortable.

Yeah, Dad had changed a lot in his approach to business and life, but he just wasn’t used to this kind of simplicity. It was probably a wake up call for all of us to realise that people could be content with much less of luxury than we were used to.

“This is my nephew, Raees,” Zaynah’s uncle and the owner of the house cut through my thoughts, pointing to the strange guy who greeted me at the beginning.

Raees. Why did he sound familiar?

He had this odd look on his face as we all conversed, as if we were completely foreign to his world. He was actually kind of rude about our whole visit, but Mo knew how to handle him.  Mo turned his attention to his uncle asked him about his farm and general things. Looked like this uncle didn’t have kids, and Zaynah had stayed with him a lot as a child. I hoped, for our sake too,  that she hadn’t got too comfortable here. It would probably mean that she had given up on Waseem like we all suspected. The reason for his disappearance two weeks ago.

Dammit, I still couldn’t believe that the guy was gone. 

“The ladies wanted to see Zaynah,” explained Mo, trying to reason our visit. “And we wanted to try and make the best arrangements for when she comes back.”

When she comes back? I thought it was supposed to be ‘if she ever comes back’.

Smooth. One thing about Mo, was he knew what to say. He wanted to prepare them for what he knew would be the best outcome. In my own mind, I thought that Waseem’s marriage was more or less over when she didn’t want to return home, but Mo never did strike it off.

The older man looked a bit taken aback by the statement, but didn’t say anything. Well, nothing concrete.

“She’s recovering well here,” he said vaguely, after ushering us to the table for some eats that had been prepared.

Food. It was back on the list of favourite things to do for me, and I tucked in as they insisted on

It was all simple stuff, but really quite awesome. I tried to block out the conversation as I indulged, just wanting to enjoy my food for the first time in ages. There was just something about this place that made me want to kick back, chill out and drink it in. I even forgot about my worries and past as I sat there, looking out into the green of the farm yard that seemed to go on forever. I supposed it was just the country atmosphere. Just looking at the beauty of it was awesome, SubhaanAllah.

And of course, as the Adhaan sounded in the distance, an even more amazing feeling descended.

It reminded me of the first time when I had actually sat and paid to heed to the beauty of the call for prayer.

Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding.
Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], “Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”
[Al-Qur’an – Surat ‘Āli `Imrān: 190-191]

Here, instead of ignoring it’s calling, the entire household stopped for Salaah, as they all rushed off for whudhu and prepared for the prayer.

It was really quite amazing, and a long time since I had seen that kind of sprit for Salaah, and I knew that I too needed to work on my own. It reminded me of the house I had visited when Waseem first met Zaynah, and I felt nostalgic as I recalled the moments of glory I had felt as I found what I had been missing all that time. It was the beginning of the better part of my life. The moment I had found the gold. And of course, set eyes on the bombshell girls.

I was quite the idiot back then.

Thinking that contentment was something that only happened when you were close to kicking the bucket was such a dumb theory. I didn’t realize that it was right in front of my eyes, as I sneaked up on Zaynah and her cousin that day, with no idea of what I was getting myself into it.

I grinned to myself as I recalled it, helping my father back up the stairs after Salaah, not even noticing the someone behind nearby window, sussing out my every move. My focus was completely changed, and for once in my life, I had decided to stop being selfish and do something other than what fed my nafs.

We all settled back in once again, allowing the ladies a little more time to round off, knowing that we needed to leave soon because of Dad. He was looking tired and there was still a long trip back home.

And of course, just as the whole atmosphere seemed to be getting a little hopeless, and my previous hopes for Waseem were diminished, I noticed the guy who had greeted us first looking slightly uncomfortable by Mo’s pursuing the whole issue. His whole expression was like someone had kind of punched him, and I got the idea that he probably wasn’t very thrilled with us anyway. I couldn’t understand why he was so against our being here on Waseem’s behalf, but his obvious looks were hard to miss. The guy honestly looked like he wanted to shove us out of the front door.

“It’s no use,”  I said to Mo quietly on my way out, feeling despondent. We were up against the odds. Sometimes things take a turn in life, and when that happens, we know that there was no going back. There was no rewind.

Everything that had happened was for sure, a means to the end of what we had known all this time.

Sometimes the past is something you just can’t let go of, and sometimes the past is something we’ll do anything to forget. But then, now and again, sometimes we learn something ‘new’ about the past that changes everything we know about the present.

As I slid into the back seat of the car, despondency set in as my eyes now fixed on the house we were about to drive away from what I assumed would be forever. And then, of course, like Divine intervention, a gleaming face appeared in the window just as the car rode away, giving me a new hope for what may soon come.

Someone from the better part of the past had appeared right there as we headed off, and little did I know that this very person would be the means to a complete change that was soon to come. No matter how hopeless things had seemed, sometimes it just took one positive encounter to add some light to the imminent darkness.

Sometimes you just can’t give up. You have to be willing to keep looking for light in the darkest of places, without giving in. Even when it seems impossible… even when you think you will never succeed… no matter how dim, that flickering light was still burning, even in the blackest of moonless nights.

I didn’t know it when I had first seen it, but much to my surprise, that little light was soon going to be a part of my unlit world.

Don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!

Beautiful Sunnah!!

Eating a piece of food that falls on the floor. If a piece of food falls on the floor, then the person eating should remove any dirt that gets onto it and eat it; because he does not know where the blessing is in his food. It may be in the piece that fell, and leaving it makes a person miss out on the blessing of the food.

Anas ibn Maalik narrated that when Nabi (SAW) ate, he would lick his three fingers. Anas said: “And he said, ‘If any one of you drops a piece of food, let him remove any dirt from it and eat it, and not leave it for the Shaytaan.’ And he commanded us to clean the plate, and said, ‘For you do not know where in your food the blessing is.’” (Narrated by Muslim, 2034).

There are many bodily benefits to all Sunnah as well. Let’s try and practise regularly!

We will be doing more eating and drinking Sunnahs Insha Allah.

#RevivetheSunnahofEating

#RevivetheSunnahofDrinking

#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofSmiling

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofDu’aas

Tweet: @ajourneyjournal

Categories: Islam

DO NOT EAT HALAL

Islam - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 20:11

From the 27th March 2017 I will not eat Halal meat for as long as possible. I believe barbaric slaughters are wrong and that the minority who this involves shouldn’t make it to effect everyone. Petition is here https://www.change.org/p/the-government-halal-free-uk and please do sign if you are joining the campaign. @freehalaluk on twitter!

Categories: Islam

Diseases of the Heart part 3

Islam - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 20:06
So in this post I’m going to share what we learnt about the next disease of the heart: kibr. K
Categories: Islam

The Bible welcomes you to question/test it, but not the book of Islam 

Islam - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 18:11

Listen to a radio commentary on faith.

Categories: Islam

No Room for Hate

Islam - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 17:46

Last week a letter was delivered – anonymously, secretly, under cover of dark – to the Islamic Center of Des Moines. The letter was filled with hateful speech and threats. The Des Moines Register has reported on the content, and I will not give it space here. It is enough to say that any Christian should be outraged and grieved by such an attack. It is cowardly; it is of the darkness of the human heart, it is contrary to a faith rooted in the grace, mercy, peace and justice of God as revealed in Jesus Christ.

There are many people who see all Muslim’s as potential terrorists and live in fear (fear is the root of hate, not love or courage). The perception is misguided. No one who is a serious follower of Jesus would wish to be defined by the Ku Klux Klan (who claim to be a Christian organization), or by the shameful acts of radical “Christians” who led the Inquisition, supported the Holocaust, and drank the Kool-Aid at Jonestown. Jesus said  “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets (Matthew 7:12). We should then never ascribe to all Muslims the acts of the fanatical or the misuse of faith to justify politics and violence.

I have written to the Islamic Center on behalf of the congregation to express our support and concern. Muslim brothers and sisters are “children of Abraham” and “people of the book” – we share this in common. We must act accordingly for the sake of our faith and the sake of the world. Here is my letter to our friends:

As-Salamu Alaykum, our dear neighbors,

On behalf of the whole congregation of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Ankeny, I wish to express our solidarity and support for you in the face of recent hate mail you received. Through whatever differences we may have, we are children of Abraham and called to be a blessing to each other and the world. We desire to be your brothers and sisters in this world; to work together for the good of humanity; for peace and justice; for understanding and reconciliation.

We will be offering prayers for you in our worship. We offer our aid in any other way that you might need.Please be assured that such hatred is not held in our hearts and that such acts are not acceptable among us.

May God’s peace and love be yours.

Pastor Timothy Olson

 

2017 Timothy V. Olson. All rights reserved.

Categories: Islam

The American Islam

Islam - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 17:46

Sayyid Qutb describes the “American Islam”, that aims to undermine the project of Islamic empowerment by deliberately infecting key segments of the native population with a twisted, “reactionary” version of Islam, by saying:

“The Islam that America and it’s allies desire in the Middle East does not resist colonialism and tyranny, but rather resist communism only. They do not want Islam to govern and cannot abide it to rule, because when Islam governs it will raise a different breed of humans and will teach people that it is their duty to develop their power and expel the colonialists.

American Islam is consulted on the issues of birth control, the entry of women into parliament, and on matters that impair ritual ablutions. However it is not consulted on the matter of our social and economic affairs and fiscal system, nor is it consulted on political and national affairs and our connections with colonialism.”

– Dirasat Islamia, Page 119-120

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