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ISLAM- The Religion of Peace

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 11:18

Islam means peace. The word “Salam” means “Peace” is derived from the same Arabic three-letter root “S-L-M” as the word Islam.So the spirit of Islam is the spirit of peace. The first verse of the Qur’an breathes the spirit of peace. It reads:

“In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful”.

This verse is repeated in the Qur’an no less than 113 times. It shows the great importance Islam attaches to such values as Mercy and Compassion.

But people often answer back Muslims angrily or yell out at us when we say ISLAM is the religion of Peace.They say, “How can Islam be a religion of peace when it urges the believers to fight the disbelievers so on and so forth.”

Now, here is a problem with Non-Muslims in understanding the word Peace. If we look the word up in the Dictionary, the meaning it conveys is:

‘Freedom from civil disturbance, harmony in personal relations, public order and security, a state or period of mutual concord between governments and a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity’

Based on the above definitions of Peace,Islam is indeed a religion of peace, but it is not a pacifist religion,and people seem to mix the two together.Whenever a Muslim says Islam is a religion of peace, non-Muslims assume we’re saying that Islam is pacifist religion, No!! Certainly not. What we are saying is that Islam is not here to cause you trouble or to bring violence upon you. It only ensures peace,tranquillity,stability in social,national and international level.

But sometimes in order to maintain peace force has to be used . Each and every human being in this world is not in favour of maintaining peace and harmony. There are many, who would disrupt it for their own vested interests.Warfare is always evil, but sometimes you have to fight in order to avoid the kind of persecution or to preserve decent values. So,sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace. It is precisely for this reason that we have the Police and Military who use force against criminals and anti-social elements to maintain peace in the country and protect our nation against foreign attacks. Islam promotes peace. At the same time, Islam exhorts it followers to fight where there is oppression. The fight against oppression may, at times, require the use of force.In Islam force can only be used to promote peace and justice.

Islam is not addicted to war, and jihad is not one of its “pillars,” or essential practices. Islam does allow the Muslims to physically fight,in a self-defence situation,to help the oppressed who cry out for help,in retaliation to the breach and violation of solemnly concluded covenants, pacts and treaties, disciplinary actions against those Muslims who aggress and start hostilities without any just cause, and continue obstinately on the path of aggression, and to maintain social harmony and peace Islam uses force.

In fact it would be completely illogical and UN-PEACEFUL if Islam had taught the opposite, if Islam had said don’t fight back at all while you are oppressed,or don’t help the oppressed who cry out for help, or don’t fight who destroy peace ,then that would be the true definition of going against peace, because whether one likes it or not, when one allows oppression and murder to freely walk, it will only increase, and by you remaining silent and doing nothing about it, you become complicit in it because you did nothing to stop it when you could have. If someone were to come to your house, and rape your family, would you stop by and do nothing about it? Of course not, so why any different when it comes to a person who is oppressing and killing you off your own land? There is no difference between the two, pacifists have no moral high ground, they simply have a very illogical ideology which itself is cruel, unjust, and against peace. If we lived in a pacifist world then that would mean all the Jews of Germany would be murdered by Hitler, and all the Bosnian Muslims would have been murdered by the Serbs, and on it goes.True mercy and justice is when you are allowed to fight back against tyranny and oppression, that is the definition of justice, to fight against evil and to completely crush it out and replace it with good and something better. This is what physical Jihad is for, to fight against tyranny and oppression and Islam being the religion of peace teaches so.The Divine religion of Islam is a religion of peace, mercy, tolerance, kindness and benevolence. It stands upright against all brutality, wanton violence, and viciousness in order to promote and protect justice and peace.

Few commandments which shows Islam indeed is a peaceful religion are:

It forbids mischief,immorality,bad conduct and oppression on earth [Quran 28:77 & 16:90],

It forbids Muslims to force people to accept Islam [Quran 2:256],

It forbids us to begin hostilities [Quran 2:190] and  cease the hostilities the moment enemy sues for peace [Quran 2:192-193],

It commands Muslims to stand for Justice and be just & fair. [Quran 4:58; 4:135; 5:8 ],

It says that the blood of the peaceful individual (one who is living under Muslim rule or who has been granted the protection of the Muslim state) is regarded as sacrosanct to such an extent that transgression against a single individual with no justification is regarded as equal to transgression against all of humanity.[Quran 5:32],

It also forbids us to fight those who don’t fight us on account of our faith nor turn us out from our homes and lands, instead it urges us to behave kindly with them [Quran 60:8-9]

And the list goes on.

Thus Islam is a religion of peace in the complete sense of the word. Every teaching of Islam is based on the principles of peace and justice. Any deviation from the model is a deviation from Islam and is due to misconceptions. We should, therefore, understand the ideology of peace given in Islam and base our actions upon this ideology so that peace will prevail in the world.

Categories: Islam

Women Around the Messenger Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 11:16
Categories: Islam

Women Around the Messenger Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 11:16
Categories: Islam

Tuhan, Aku ingin taat.

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 11:03

Maret,2017.

Assalamualaikum, Alhamdulillah di kasih kesempatan untuk cerita lagi di tengah-tengah sibuknya ujian akhir kelas 3. Akhir-akhir ini suka terasa teguran dari Allah yang maha penyayang.

Akhir-akhir ini Mira sedang sering-seringnya lupa untuk memperhatikan setiap detailnya aurat yang terlihat, seperti lengan, dan anak rambut ketika di sekolah. Kerudung yang awalnya mengulur panjang, agak sedikit memendek meskipun masih terulur, teringat bagaimana perjuanganku dulu untuk bisa memakai kerudung sesuai syariat.

Aku tidak akan pernah bisa jadi sempurna, melihat imanku yang naik turun seperti jungkat-jungkit, melihat diriku yang sering kali lupa setiap detik yang aku habiskan harusnya bernilai ibadah. Karena untuk itulah aku di ciptakan, untuk beribadah. Tuhan, aku tidak ingin menjadi hambamu yang lupa akan penciptanya, jadikanlah aku taat setaat-taatnya.

Susahnya menjadi seorang muslimah yang seharusnya,di tengah lingkungan yang tidak mendukung menjadi godaan utamaku, teman-temanku di sekolah belum semua berkerudung, yang berkerudungpun belum sampai syar’i.. terkadang tidak jarang aku tergoda pakaian-pakaian modis nan lucu yang mereka kenakan, atau model-model kerudung yang mereka aplikasikan.. aku berkaca, dan kembali berkaca..

seharusnya, aku sadar, kerudung yang aku kenakan bukan hanya kostum penutup aib-aibku, namun juga berisikan tanggung jawab dan komitmenku sebagai seorang muslim. Cadar yang kerap aku gunakan di berbagai kesempatan bukanlah kain segi empat yang menutup sebagian wajahku, namun adalah cerminan komitmenku dalam menjaga diri.. menutup aurat.

Tuhan, aku ingin taat.. aku ingin menjadi muslimah yang surga rindukan, yang membuat bidadari-bidadari surga iri… bantu aku Tuhan.. untuk memilihmu di banding dunia dan seisinya, Tuhan taruhlah dunia di tanganku dan engkau di hatiku, sehingga dengan mudah aku memilihmu di banding dunia dan seisinya.. Tuhan, bantu aku untuk istiqomah terus di jalanmu, karena aku tau ini sulit..

susahnya istiqomah sendirian karena akhir-akhir ini tidak dapat ikut kajian seperti biasa karena di sibukan dengan berbagai macam persiapan ujian, aku ingin menjadi muslimah yang taat dan juga cerdas, maka keduanya harus seimbang..

 

mungkin yang udah baca sampe sini mikir, ini tulisannya curhatan aku semua hahaha.. memang nih, lagi pingin curhat aja, akhir-akhir ini susah sekali untuk istiqomah dengan niat awal menutup aurat, gampang sekali tergoda untuk terlihat cantik di depan umum, padahal perlu di ketahui, setiap detiknya akan di pertanggung jawabkan di akhirat kelak.. termasuk kecantikan yang sengaja di perlihatkan pada umum untuk menarik perhatian lawan jenis. Astagfirullah… jangan sampai cantikmu menjadi salah satu alasan yang membawamu pada neraka ya shalihah.. karena sesungguhnya neraka adalah seburuk-buruknya tempat untuk kembali.

 

okey, hari ini curhatnya segini dulu, post selanjutnya aku mau post foto-foto beberapa yang di ambil beberapa waktu yang lalu sama temanku Hanny, hehehe aku belum izin untuk pake namanya di post ku..

 

Categories: Islam

Tuhan, Aku ingin taat.

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 11:03

Maret,2017.

Assalamualaikum, Alhamdulillah di kasih kesempatan untuk cerita lagi di tengah-tengah sibuknya ujian akhir kelas 3. Akhir-akhir ini suka terasa teguran dari Allah yang maha penyayang.

Akhir-akhir ini Mira sedang sering-seringnya lupa untuk memperhatikan setiap detailnya aurat yang terlihat, seperti lengan, dan anak rambut ketika di sekolah. Kerudung yang awalnya mengulur panjang, agak sedikit memendek meskipun masih terulur, teringat bagaimana perjuanganku dulu untuk bisa memakai kerudung sesuai syariat.

Aku tidak akan pernah bisa jadi sempurna, melihat imanku yang naik turun seperti jungkat-jungkit, melihat diriku yang sering kali lupa setiap detik yang aku habiskan harusnya bernilai ibadah. Karena untuk itulah aku di ciptakan, untuk beribadah. Tuhan, aku tidak ingin menjadi hambamu yang lupa akan penciptanya, jadikanlah aku taat setaat-taatnya.

Susahnya menjadi seorang muslimah yang seharusnya,di tengah lingkungan yang tidak mendukung menjadi godaan utamaku, teman-temanku di sekolah belum semua berkerudung, yang berkerudungpun belum sampai syar’i.. terkadang tidak jarang aku tergoda pakaian-pakaian modis nan lucu yang mereka kenakan, atau model-model kerudung yang mereka aplikasikan.. aku berkaca, dan kembali berkaca..

seharusnya, aku sadar, kerudung yang aku kenakan bukan hanya kostum penutup aib-aibku, namun juga berisikan tanggung jawab dan komitmenku sebagai seorang muslim. Cadar yang kerap aku gunakan di berbagai kesempatan bukanlah kain segi empat yang menutup sebagian wajahku, namun adalah cerminan komitmenku dalam menjaga diri.. menutup aurat.

Tuhan, aku ingin taat.. aku ingin menjadi muslimah yang surga rindukan, yang membuat bidadari-bidadari surga iri… bantu aku Tuhan.. untuk memilihmu di banding dunia dan seisinya, Tuhan taruhlah dunia di tanganku dan engkau di hatiku, sehingga dengan mudah aku memilihmu di banding dunia dan seisinya.. Tuhan, bantu aku untuk istiqomah terus di jalanmu, karena aku tau ini sulit..

susahnya istiqomah sendirian karena akhir-akhir ini tidak dapat ikut kajian seperti biasa karena di sibukan dengan berbagai macam persiapan ujian, aku ingin menjadi muslimah yang taat dan juga cerdas, maka keduanya harus seimbang..

 

mungkin yang udah baca sampe sini mikir, ini tulisannya curhatan aku semua hahaha.. memang nih, lagi pingin curhat aja, akhir-akhir ini susah sekali untuk istiqomah dengan niat awal menutup aurat, gampang sekali tergoda untuk terlihat cantik di depan umum, padahal perlu di ketahui, setiap detiknya akan di pertanggung jawabkan di akhirat kelak.. termasuk kecantikan yang sengaja di perlihatkan pada umum untuk menarik perhatian lawan jenis. Astagfirullah… jangan sampai cantikmu menjadi salah satu alasan yang membawamu pada neraka ya shalihah.. karena sesungguhnya neraka adalah seburuk-buruknya tempat untuk kembali.

 

okey, hari ini curhatnya segini dulu, post selanjutnya aku mau post foto-foto beberapa yang di ambil beberapa waktu yang lalu sama temanku Hanny, hehehe aku belum izin untuk pake namanya di post ku..

 

Categories: Islam

‘You are the future of Europe’: Erdogan urges Turks in EU to have at least 5 kids

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 10:00

Despite Europe spending much of the past 13 centuries repelling Islam, a recent emergence of complacency, white guilt and Islamic apologism have all contributed to an ever- Islamized predicament.

Moreover, Islamists routinely point to higher Islamic birth rates and immigration as signs of an impending Muslim victory, as they dream of emulating the precedent by their phony Prophet Muhammad, in his coordinated Hijrah to Medina of 622 AD.

“‘You are the future of Europe’: Erdogan urges Turks in EU to have at least 5 kids”, RT, March 17, 2017:

Turkish President Recep Erdogan has urged all Turks living in Europe to have at least five children, saying they are the future of the continent and that it would be the best response to the “injustices” imposed on expatriates there.

“Go live in better neighborhoods. Drive the best cars. Live in the best houses. Make not three, but five children. Because you are the future of Europe. That will be the best response to the injustices against you,” Erdogan said in the city of Eskisehir on Friday, according to AP.

The comments were made while the Turkish president was campaigning for a ‘yes’ vote in an upcoming constitutional referendum that would grant him sweeping new powers.

It is the latest in an ongoing string of comments aimed at Europe after Turkish ministers were prevented from holding campaign rallies there.

The Netherlands has bore the brunt of the criticisms, after it prevented the ministers from addressing a crowd in Rotterdam on Sunday, and later used water cannons to disperse Turkish demonstrators in the city.

Since then, Erdogan has hurled a string of insults at the European country, including accusing it of state terrorism, acting like “Nazi remnants,” and having a “rotten” character….

Categories: Islam

‘You are the future of Europe’: Erdogan urges Turks in EU to have at least 5 kids

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 10:00

Despite Europe spending much of the past 13 centuries repelling Islam, a recent emergence of complacency, white guilt and Islamic apologism have all contributed to an ever- Islamized predicament.

Moreover, Islamists routinely point to higher Islamic birth rates and immigration as signs of an impending Muslim victory, as they dream of emulating the precedent by their phony Prophet Muhammad, in his coordinated Hijrah to Medina of 622 AD.

“‘You are the future of Europe’: Erdogan urges Turks in EU to have at least 5 kids”, RT, March 17, 2017:

Turkish President Recep Erdogan has urged all Turks living in Europe to have at least five children, saying they are the future of the continent and that it would be the best response to the “injustices” imposed on expatriates there.

“Go live in better neighborhoods. Drive the best cars. Live in the best houses. Make not three, but five children. Because you are the future of Europe. That will be the best response to the injustices against you,” Erdogan said in the city of Eskisehir on Friday, according to AP.

The comments were made while the Turkish president was campaigning for a ‘yes’ vote in an upcoming constitutional referendum that would grant him sweeping new powers.

It is the latest in an ongoing string of comments aimed at Europe after Turkish ministers were prevented from holding campaign rallies there.

The Netherlands has bore the brunt of the criticisms, after it prevented the ministers from addressing a crowd in Rotterdam on Sunday, and later used water cannons to disperse Turkish demonstrators in the city.

Since then, Erdogan has hurled a string of insults at the European country, including accusing it of state terrorism, acting like “Nazi remnants,” and having a “rotten” character….

Categories: Islam

Sexual equality and post-truth: making distinctions

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 09:52

On 7 March 2017, the eve of International Women’s Day, the Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain, in collaboration with the Centre for Gender Studies, hosted a panel discussion evening on ‘Gender and Sexual Equality in a Post-Truth Age’. Four panellists contributed to the conversation and over the next few weeks we will be publishing some of their remarks here on The Religion Factor. Today we have the first instalment from Frederik Boven, coordinator of the workgroup LGBT and religion of the Groningen and Drenthe chapter of the Dutch LGBT organisation COC Netherlands.

Frederik Boven is religion coordinator at COC Groningen & Drenthe, a Dutch support organization for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trangenders, etc. He studied political philosophy and the philosophy of psychology.

What are the implications of so-called ‘post-truth politics’ for the pursuit of sexual equality? How do sexual identities intersect with Christian faith? Frederik Boven delved into these two questions during the Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain #IWD2017 panel discussion on on gender and sexual equality in a post-truth era. His argument: post truth is less about facts than about common sense and minority experience. Neither have become irrelevant, although the commonness of ‘public’ communication has come under pressure as a result of remediation.

What is post-truth?

The idea of post-truth has been raised by journalist and political commentators, mostly referring to the seeming increasing irrelevance of factual truths in contemporary politics. Think of President Trump who doesn’t care about scientific facts on climate change. Or closer to home, think about Geert Wilders who keeps talking about ‘mass’ migration, even though population growth due to immigration is currently not more than average, both historically and compared to other European countries.

To be able to talk about sexual equality and post-truth, we need to decide whether facts are indeed the kind of truth most relevant to sexual equality in the Netherlands. My central claim is that it is not. Instead, I will point to two alternative conceptions of truth and post-truth, which I believe are more relevant to Dutch debates on sexual equality. I think making these distinctions is important if we are to make headway in the debate.

Institutional facts

‘Argument between scientists transforms some statements into figments of one’s subjective imagination, and others into facts of nature.’ – Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar

Institutional facts are the rational and cognitive truths established by institutions such as science, journalism, courts and also churches. Such institutions are fact-builders: by following certain procedures they aim to establish certain things as true, and other things as false. As Bruno Latour has shown for science, facts are not discovered, but created, through collaborative work between humans and non-humans in complex networks.

For example, scientists have worked to establish that sexual diversity occurs in all communities and that it cannot be ‘cured’ (it is not a disease). To do this requires the work of rendering very diverse communities comparable, and of dismantling the old disease metaphor for homosexuality.

On this conception of truth, non-truth has the nature of either a lie, the denial of something you believe to be true, or a disagreement, the denial of something true that you happen to doubt. For non-truth to be a case of post-truth this denial would have to originate in a disregard for truth.

I do not see this in Dutch debates on sexual equality. True, in the Netherlands there are still two or three Christian denominations that flat out deny that there are gays, lesbians and bisexuals in their midst. Or they believe that their presence is not permanent, working on the assumption that homosexuality can be cured. I would hesitate to call this post-truth, though, because Christians confront scientific truth in the name of another truth, i.e. the truth of their religion. In addition, their impact on the Dutch public sphere is marginal.

Also, on the basis of Bruno Latour’s work (who wrote also about the truth-conditions of religion), I think another explanation suggests itself for what journalists have been describing as post-truth: the truth-conditions of science and religion have become harder to obtain in a public sphere fragmented by social media enclaves. Even so, new media have always offered both opportunities and challenges to truth-building institutions. What is new today is not remediation (the invention of new media) but the speed with which new media follow each other. The question is really whether the cumbersome institutions of science, religion and journalism can keep up the pace of present-day remediation. I believe they will ultimately be able to, and that in no way we have seen the last of their fact-building activities.

All in all, I see no indication that Dutch public debates on sexual equality have moved beyond truth in the sense of institutional facts. I feel that two other kinds of truth, which do not revolve around facts, are more important to these debates. This is not incidental to debates on sexual equality, nor to the Dutch public sphere, but says something about the nature of public spheres more generally: facts are not the most important kind of truth in civil communication.

Common sense

Even the experience of the materially and sensually given world depends upon my being in contact with other men, upon our common sense (….) without which each of us would be enclosed in his own particularityHannah Arendt

The second kind of truth I would like to discuss is common sense. This kind of truth is more feeling than thought. It is a shared feeling for what is true, important, and realistic. Common sense depends on the accumulation of interactions with other members of the community.

For the mainstream in the Netherlands it has become common sense that sexual diversity is pervasive, that it doesn’t matter, and that one’s sexual orientation cannot be changed. Orthodox Christians who are non-heterosexual, however, often lack a sense that their sexuality is normal. This is so because they rarely have affirming interactions with fellow-Christians, which could instill in them the judgment that there is nothing wrong with who they are.

Several Christians have told me that all they had to go on when they discovered they were gay is casual remarks about gays in the media: never had there been any sustained discussion of sexual diversity in their church or even their family. From these casual remarks they gleaned that their sexual identity is ‘wrong’ or ‘a problem’. This is unfortunate, all the more so because when there is a sustained discussion, Christian views on homosexuality are often much more nuanced and complex than these casual remarks suggest.

So the opposite of common sense is not a lie, but being left to your own devices. Post-truth, in this sense, is the radical situation where the responses of real people are not only absent, but have become irrelevant: a certain social media enclave has taken the place of your friends, family and fellow-citizens. It is a common sense that fails to be truly common, as it is based on the judgments of like-minded people only, rather than the plurality of citizens making up a nation.

Post-truth in this meaning is somewhere midway between common sense and what Kant called ‘private sense’ (Eigensinn), which he saw as the hallmark of madness. Ultimately, to move beyond truth in the meaning of common sense would be to lose all contact with reality. Indeed, there is a tradition in the philosophy of psychiatry that follows Kant in seeing a loss or disturbance of common sense as the hallmark of mental illness, especially schizophrenia. I would therefore be hesitant to speak of post-truth, and would rather speak of a withdrawal from any public sphere that is truly public.

Minority experience

Inspired by the universalizing dimension of civil society, core groups assert that it is possible to separate the ‘person’ who is a member of the marginalized out-group from the stigmatized ‘qualities’ that pejoratively define that group’s differences from the core group itself. The bargain seems to be something like this: Insofar as members of these out-groups agree to keep these negative qualities out of public view, they can practice them
freely in their private lives – Jeffrey Alexander

Another form of truth that cannot be reduced to facts is minority experience. This is the kind of truth that is lived and experienced by minorities, whether they are women, lesbians, or scarf-bearing Muslims.

On the one hand these minorities struggle to be accepted as the same. They are just as capable, reasonable and honest as men, heterosexuals, and non-Muslims. For example, traditional voices often deny that lesbian couples are just as capable of raising a child as heterosexual couples. On the other hand, these minorities struggle to be accepted as different. There is always one aspect of minority experience that is difficult for others to acknowledge and accept. In the case of women this stumbling block is their gender, in the case of lesbians it is their sexuality, and in the case of Muslims it is their religion. The standard move in history is to allow these minorities to participate on the condition that they leave this stumbling block at home. It is still often expected from gays, lesbians and bisexuals that they leave their sexuality in private. They have to become desexualized in order to become accepted at citizens on a par with heterosexuals.

On this third conception, post-truth takes the form of the denial of the duality of minority experiences, either by reducing their experience to that of the majority (insistence on sameness), or by reducing their experience to something merely personal (insistence on difference).

I believe that this is where the problems are situated in the Netherlands. Most secular citizens are okay with gay men as long as they don’t kiss or holds hands in public. Most heterosexuals I speak with about this don’t really see the problem. The typical reaction is: “I don’t like it when a heterosexual couple kisses in public either”. However, the two situations are not the same, because homosexuals have a history of marginalization behind them. Rejecting public intimacy adds fuel to the flames of this history. It rekindles feelings of inadequacy and abnormality.

This is no difference for other minorities. The majority has always initially denied the duality of the experience of minority groups. A different sexual orientation was initially seen as a perversion, a disease or simply a case of mistaken identity. It took centuries of struggle by civil rights activists until a different sexual orientation was seen as anything other than a merely personal ‘mistake’.

Post-truth in this third sense would be the situation where not only the judgments of minorities have become irrelevant, but also the stories and performances in which they make their experience accessible. These stories and performances are judgments but provide the material to be judged. Without such material, the public sphere becomes a desert in which only the strongest can flourish. I don’t think we are there yet. Like for fact-building institutions, remediation holds both opportunities and challenges for social movements. There is no doubt in my mind that they will find new ways to continue the struggle for civil rights and cultural citizenship.

Concluding thoughts

What is happening today, and what journalists attempt to capture with the term post-truth, is really a shattering of the image that the public sphere has revolved around factual truth. I believe this shattering holds promises, for it forces journalists and politicians to realize that common sense and personal (minority) experience have always been more important forces in the public sphere than the cold facts produced by institutions. Things will not improve through the efforts of fact-checkers (which I applaud) but through stories and performances that reassert that we are a nation constituted not by a certain religion or by a certain stance on sexual equality but by the sheer condition of living together. The first act of citizenship is to recognize people who identify as Muslim, and may or may not reject my sexual identity, as fellow citizens with the same standing, rights and sway as me – only then to start the debate on how this nation of ours will continue its journey through history.

References

Jeffrey Alexander. 2008. The Civil Sphere, p. 420. Oxford University Press.

Hannah Arendt. 1968. Totalitarianism: Part Three of The Origins of Totalitarianism, p. 197. Oxford University Press.

Bruno Latour. 1979. Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts, p. 236. Princeton University Press.

Categories: Islam

Sexual equality and post-truth: making distinctions

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 09:52

On 7 March 2017, the eve of International Women’s Day, the Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain, in collaboration with the Centre for Gender Studies, hosted a panel discussion evening on ‘Gender and Sexual Equality in a Post-Truth Age’. Four panellists contributed to the conversation and over the next few weeks we will be publishing some of their remarks here on The Religion Factor. Today we have the first instalment from Frederik Boven, coordinator of the workgroup LGBT and religion of the Groningen and Drenthe chapter of the Dutch LGBT organisation COC Netherlands.

Frederik Boven is religion coordinator at COC Groningen & Drenthe, a Dutch support organization for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trangenders, etc. He studied political philosophy and the philosophy of psychology.

What are the implications of so-called ‘post-truth politics’ for the pursuit of sexual equality? How do sexual identities intersect with Christian faith? Frederik Boven delved into these two questions during the Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain #IWD2017 panel discussion on on gender and sexual equality in a post-truth era. His argument: post truth is less about facts than about common sense and minority experience. Neither have become irrelevant, although the commonness of ‘public’ communication has come under pressure as a result of remediation.

What is post-truth?

The idea of post-truth has been raised by journalist and political commentators, mostly referring to the seeming increasing irrelevance of factual truths in contemporary politics. Think of President Trump who doesn’t care about scientific facts on climate change. Or closer to home, think about Geert Wilder who keeps talking about ‘mass’ migration, even though population growth due to immigration is currently not more than average, both historically and compared to other European countries.

To be able to talk about sexual equality and post-truth, we need to decide whether facts are indeed the kind of truth most relevant to sexual equality in the Netherlands. My central claim is that it is not. Instead, I will point to two alternative conceptions of truth and post-truth, which I believe are more relevant to Dutch debates on sexual equality. I think making these distinctions is important if we are to make headway in the debate.

Institutional facts

‘Argument between scientists transforms some statements into figments of one’s subjective imagination, and others into facts of nature.’ – Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar

Institutional facts are the rational and cognitive truths established by institutions such as science, journalism, courts and also churches. Such institutions are fact-builders: by following certain procedures they aim to establish certain things as true, and other things as false. As Bruno Latour has shown for science, facts are not discovered, but created, through collaborative work between humans and non-humans in complex networks.

For example, scientists have worked to establish that sexual diversity occurs in all communities and that it cannot be ‘cured’ (it is not a disease). To do this requires the work of rendering very diverse communities comparable, and of dismantling the old disease metaphor for homosexuality.

On this conception of truth, non-truth has the nature of either a lie, the denial of something you believe to be true, or a disagreement, the denial of something true that you happen to doubt. For non-truth to be a case of post-truth this denial would have to originate in a disregard for truth.

I do not see this in Dutch debates on sexual equality. True, in the Netherlands there are still two or three Christian denominations that flat out deny that there are gays, lesbians and bisexuals in their midst. Or they believe that their presence is not permanent, working on the assumption that homosexuality can be cured. I would hesitate to call this post-truth, though, because Christians confront scientific truth in the name of another truth, i.e. the truth of their religion. In addition, their impact on the Dutch public sphere is marginal.

Also, on the basis of Bruno Latour’s work (who wrote also about the truth-conditions of religion), I think another explanation suggests itself for what journalists have been describing as post-truth: the truth-conditions of science and religion have become harder to obtain in a public sphere fragmented by social media enclaves. Even so, new media have always offered both opportunities and challenges to truth-building institutions. What is new today is not remediation (the invention of new media) but the speed with which new media follow each other. The question is really whether the cumbersome institutions of science, religion and journalism can keep up the pace of present-day remediation. I believe they will ultimately be able to, and that in no way we have seen the last of their fact-building activities.

All in all, I see no indication that Dutch public debates on sexual equality have moved beyond truth in the sense of institutional facts. I feel that two other kinds of truth, which do not revolve around facts, are more important to these debates. This is not incidental to debates on sexual equality, nor to the Dutch public sphere, but says something about the nature of public spheres more generally: facts are not the most important kind of truth in civil communication.

Common sense

Even the experience of the materially and sensually given world depends upon my being in contact with other men, upon our common sense (….) without which each of us would be enclosed in his own particularityHannah Arendt

The second kind of truth I would like to discuss is common sense. This kind of truth is more feeling than thought. It is a shared feeling for what is true, important, and realistic. Common sense depends on the accumulation of interactions with other members of the community.

For the mainstream in the Netherlands it has become common sense that sexual diversity is pervasive, that it doesn’t matter, and that one’s sexual orientation cannot be changed. Orthodox Christians who are non-heterosexual, however, often lack a sense that their sexuality is normal. This is so because they rarely have affirming interactions with fellow-Christians, which could instill in them the judgment that there is nothing wrong with who they are.

Several Christians have told me that all they had to go on when they discovered they were gay is casual remarks about gays in the media: never had there been any sustained discussion of sexual diversity in their church or even their family. From these casual remarks they gleaned that their sexual identity is ‘wrong’ or ‘a problem’. This is unfortunate, all the more so because when there is a sustained discussion, Christian views on homosexuality are often much more nuanced and complex than these casual remarks suggest.

So the opposite of common sense is not a lie, but being left to your own devices. Post-truth, in this sense, is the radical situation where the responses of real people are not only absent, but have become irrelevant: a certain social media enclave has taken the place of your friends, family and fellow-citizens. It is a common sense that fails to be truly common, as it is based on the judgments of like-minded people only, rather than the plurality of citizens making up a nation.

Post-truth in this meaning is somewhere midway between common sense and what Kant called ‘private sense’ (Eigensinn), which he saw as the hallmark of madness. Ultimately, to move beyond truth in the meaning of common sense would be to lose all contact with reality. Indeed, there is a tradition in the philosophy of psychiatry that follows Kant in seeing a loss or disturbance of common sense as the hallmark of mental illness, especially schizophrenia. I would therefore be hesitant to speak of post-truth, and would rather speak of a withdrawal from any public sphere that is truly public.

Minority experience

Inspired by the universalizing dimension of civil society, core groups assert that it is possible to separate the ‘person’ who is a member of the marginalized out-group from the stigmatized ‘qualities’ that pejoratively define that group’s differences from the core group itself. The bargain seems to be something like this: Insofar as members of these out-groups agree to keep these negative qualities out of public view, they can practice them
freely in their private lives – Jeffrey Alexander

Another form of truth that cannot be reduced to facts is minority experience. This is the kind of truth that is lived and experienced by minorities, whether they are women, lesbians, or scarf-bearing Muslims.

On the one hand these minorities struggle to be accepted as the same. They are just as capable, reasonable and honest as men, heterosexuals, and non-Muslims. For example, traditional voices often deny that lesbian couples are just as capable of raising a child as heterosexual couples. On the other hand, these minorities struggle to be accepted as different. There is always one aspect of minority experience that is difficult for others to acknowledge and accept. In the case of women this stumbling block is their gender, in the case of lesbians it is their sexuality, and in the case of Muslims it is their religion. The standard move in history is to allow these minorities to participate on the condition that they leave this stumbling block at home. It is still often expected from gays, lesbians and bisexuals that they leave their sexuality in private. They have to become desexualized in order to become accepted at citizens on a par with heterosexuals.

On this third conception, post-truth takes the form of the denial of the duality of minority experiences, either by reducing their experience to that of the majority (insistence on sameness), or by reducing their experience to something merely personal (insistence on difference).

I believe that this is where the problems are situated in the Netherlands. Most secular citizens are okay with gay men as long as they don’t kiss or holds hands in public. Most heterosexuals I speak with about this don’t really see the problem. The typical reaction is: “I don’t like it when a heterosexual couple kisses in public either”. However, the two situations are not the same, because homosexuals have a history of marginalization behind them. Rejecting public intimacy adds fuel to the flames of this history. It rekindles feelings of inadequacy and abnormality.

This is no different for other minorities. The majority has always initially denied the duality of the experience of minority groups. A different sexual orientation was initially seen as a perversion, a disease or simply a case of mistaken identity. It took centuries of struggle by civil rights activists until a different sexual orientation was seen as anything other than a merely personal ‘mistake’.

Post-truth in this third sense would be the situation where not only the judgments of minorities have become irrelevant, but also the stories and performances in which they make their experience accessible. These stories and performances are judgments but provide the material to be judged. Without such material, the public sphere becomes a desert in which only the strongest can flourish. I don’t think we are there yet. Like for fact-building institutions, remediation holds both opportunities and challenges for social movements. There is no doubt in my mind that they will find new ways to continue the struggle for civil rights and cultural citizenship.

Concluding thoughts

What is happening today, and what journalists attempt to capture with the term post-truth, is really a shattering of the image that the public sphere has revolved around factual truth. I believe this shattering holds promises, for it forces journalists and politicians to realize that common sense and personal (minority) experience have always been more important forces in the public sphere than the cold facts produced by institutions. Things will not improve through the efforts of fact-checkers (which I applaud) but through stories and performances that reassert that we are a nation constituted not by a certain religion or by a certain stance on sexual equality but by the sheer condition of living together. The first act of citizenship is to recognize people who identify as Muslim, and may or may not reject my sexual identity, as fellow citizens with the same standing, rights and sway as me – only then to start the debate on how this nation of ours will continue its journey through history.

References

Jeffrey Alexander. 2008. The Civil Sphere, p. 420. Oxford University Press.

Hannah Arendt. 1968. Totalitarianism: Part Three of The Origins of Totalitarianism, p. 197. Oxford University Press.

Bruno Latour. 1979. Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts, p. 236. Princeton University Press.

Categories: Islam

How To Get All Of Your Duas Answered

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 07:57

This is the book that brought me home from prison. Dua: The Weapon of the Believer by Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi, an American Muslim scholar.

A few weeks ago I met its author, Sheikh Yasir Qadhi, at a dinner in south London. We had performed the Hajj pilgrimage together in 2002 and he had written to me in 2013 when I was detained in a Supermax prison in the United States.

As I lined up to greet him, I was not sure if he would still recognise me by face after so many years. I was mistaken. He recognised me straight away and gave me a tight, long hug.

After he finished, we exchanged pleasantries. I then said to him,

“Your book, Dua: The Weapon of the Believer brought me home from prison.”

He immediately sought to correct me and said, “No, Allah brought you home from prison.”

I replied, “Yes. It was through your book that Allah brought me home from prison.”

I then told him that I had already read his book twice before I went to prison in 2004, but during the 11 years I spent in prison, I read it another four or five times.

I told him how I had kept a copy of his book throughout the 8 years I was detained in Britain without charge. And then after I was extradited to the United States I had my family send me another copy.

I told him that along with my Quran and two other books, his book was the only book that I never lent to any other prisoner, out of fear that it might get lost or damaged.

Prison is an unpredictable place. At any moment, a prison can be transferred to another unit or another prison. Transfers happen so quickly that you have no time to say goodbye to your friends, let alone get your books back from them.

In a very readable manner, Sheikh Yasir Qadhi explains the simple steps that one needs to do to have every single one of his duas (supplications) answered by Allah (G0d). It is full of anecdotes and quotes.

One of my favourite passages was the one in which he writes about the hadith (narration) regarding the person who has been wronged:

“Three people’s duas are never rejected: the one who is fasting, until he breaks his fast; the just ruler; and the one who has been wronged, Allah raises it above the clouds, and the doors of the skies are opened for it, and the Lord says, ‘By My Honour and Glory! I will help you, even if it be after some time!’ “

He then goes on to describe how Allah is so Merciful that He sometimes even responds to the duas of a disbeliever in distress or severe circumstances who calls upon Him.

So even though this disbeliever does not even believe in Him or acknowledge Him, Allah still responds to his cries of distress, like a father might send money to an estranged son who has run away from home.

If that is the case of someone who does not even believe that Allah exists, what of one who believes in Him, worships Him and asks Him day and night? Will He not answer the dua of such a person?

This book will change your life. Literally. If you read it with an open mind, it will not only change your mindset, it will tell you exactly what you have to do to have Allah answer every single one of your duas.

So whether you are suffering a hardship or you really want something. Whether you are in despair over illness, poverty or debt. Or you really want a child, or to marry someone, or wealth, or a house or car… this book will help show you the way to have Allah answer every single one of your duas.

It may take time but He will answer. Sometimes you will get exactly what you ask for, immediately, like magic. That happened to me several times in prison.

Or you will get it after some time. Or you will not get what you asked for, but you will get something far better that you could have ever imagined.

Dua: The Weapon of the Believer by Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi is 237pp and is available from Al Hidaayah Publishers here.

If you cannot wait, then someone has put up a scanned PDF copy here. (Personally I prefer to have a hard copy in my room, online just isn’t the same.)

Enter your email address in the mailing list below so you do not miss any of my blog posts.

Here is my story and why I was in prison.

 

Categories: Islam

How To Get All Of Your Duas Answered

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 07:57

This is the book that brought me home from prison. Dua: The Weapon of the Believer by Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi, an American Muslim scholar.

A few weeks ago I met its author, Sheikh Yasir Qadhi, at a dinner in south London. We had performed the Hajj pilgrimage together in 2002 and he had written to me in 2013 when I was detained in a Supermax prison in the United States.

As I lined up to greet him, I was not sure if he would still recognise me by face after so many years. I was mistaken. He recognised me straight away and gave me a tight, long hug.

After he finished, we exchanged pleasantries. I then said to him,

“Your book, Dua: The Weapon of the Believer brought me home from prison.”

He immediately sought to correct me and said, “No, Allah brought you home from prison.”

I replied, “Yes. It was through your book that Allah brought me home from prison.”

I then told him that I had already read his book twice before I went to prison in 2004, but during the 11 years I spent in prison, I read it another four or five times.

I told him how I had kept a copy of his book throughout the 8 years I was detained in Britain without charge. And then after I was extradited to the United States I had my family send me another copy.

I told him that along with my Quran and two other books, his book was the only book that I never lent to any other prisoner, out of fear that it might get lost or damaged.

Prison is an unpredictable place. At any moment, a prison can be transferred to another unit or another prison. Transfers happen so quickly that you have no time to say goodbye to your friends, let alone get your books back from them.

In a very readable manner, Sheikh Yasir Qadhi explains the simple steps that one needs to do to have every single one of his duas (supplications) answered by Allah (G0d). It is full of anecdotes and quotes.

One of my favourite passages was the one in which he writes about the hadith (narration) regarding the person who has been wronged:

“Three people’s duas are never rejected: the one who is fasting, until he breaks his fast; the just ruler; and the one who has been wronged, Allah raises it above the clouds, and the doors of the skies are opened for it, and the Lord says, ‘By My Honour and Glory! I will help you, even if it be after some time!’ “

He then goes on to describe how Allah is so Merciful that He sometimes even responds to the duas of a disbeliever in distress or severe circumstances who calls upon Him.

So even though this disbeliever does not even believe in Him or acknowledge Him, Allah still responds to his cries of distress, like a father might send money to an estranged son who has run away from home.

If that is the case of someone who does not even believe that Allah exists, what of one who believes in Him, worships Him and asks Him day and night? Will He not answer the dua of such a person?

This book will change your life. Literally. If you read it with an open mind, it will not only change your mindset, it will tell you exactly what you have to do to have Allah answer every single one of your duas.

So whether you are suffering a hardship or you really want something. Whether you are in despair over illness, poverty or debt. Or you really want a child, or to marry someone, or wealth, or a house or car… this book will help show you the way to have Allah answer every single one of your duas.

It may take time but He will answer. Sometimes you will get exactly what you ask for, immediately, like magic. That happened to me several times in prison.

Or you will get it after some time. Or you will not get what you asked for, but you will get something far better that you could have ever imagined.

Dua: The Weapon of the Believer by Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi is 237pp and is available from Al Hidaayah Publishers here.

If you cannot wait, then someone has put up a scanned PDF copy here. (Personally I prefer to have a hard copy in my room, online just isn’t the same.)

Enter your email address in the mailing list below so you do not miss any of my blog posts.

Here is my story and why I was in prison.

 

Categories: Islam

Our Little Creeper

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 07:36

When I got married, I didn’t just gain a husband, best friend and confidant, I also gained a son. My husbands little one – now my little one too, has crept into my heart like only a little boy can.

The first time I met him, I loved him. Merely because he is a part of Zayn – who I clearly love to bits. The more time I spent with him, the more attached I became and vice versa. It’s become a thing where he actually asks for me specifically and it really warms my heart.

But recently, its been a whirlwind of feelings. I would never force or even just mention to him that he should call me Mom, Mommy or the like but I have begun to feel like that’s how he sees me now; as a mother figure. One night after I bathed him, I was drying his hair on the bed and all of a sudden he launches himself at me, straight into my lap and lands a big kiss on my cheek. It was adorable but it caught me totally off guard. I told my husband about it later that night. Told him about how it made me feel. When Abdul Aziz shows me affection like that, I am proud of myself for the way I have handled things and my heart is rushed with emotion. It could so easily have gone a different way. I know of cases where the child resents their father’s wife but I think that usually stems from the mother’s negativity and I am lucky that throughout all our drama, his mother has been mostly okay and encourages him to have respect toward me. Maybe we’re also lucky that he’s so young and can basically grow up with me being a part of his life.

He started school a few months ago and if it was terrifying for me, I can’t imagine what his mother felt like. We joined her at the school for his first day and he looked absolutely confused and unsure but his teacher has assured us that he is doing well. I love the fact that she chose a Muslim school for him because I think that it’s so important for him to have that Islamic foundation. His teacher is wonderful and her love for “her kids”, is evident.

His most recent adorable moment would be when we took him home last weekend, he gave me the biggest hug and kiss ever and then said “I love you” in his sweet little boy voice. Once again I was caught completely off guard but of course I responded, of course I love him too.

I have always wanted to be a mother, really. And I am excited to have biological children of my own but I feel blessed and content being a mom to this little one.

Although we haven’t quite sorted out ALL the kinks with his mother, I am grateful to ALLAH for blessing me with this little man and my wonderful husband who has been the most awesome support for all that I have had to acclimate myself with.

 

Categories: Islam

Our Little Creeper

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 07:36

When I got married, I didn’t just gain a husband, best friend and confidant, I also gained a son. My husbands little one – now my little one too, has crept into my heart like only a little boy can.

The first time I met him, I loved him. Merely because he is a part of Zayn – who I clearly love to bits. The more time I spent with him, the more attached I became and vice versa. It’s become a thing where he actually asks for me specifically and it really warms my heart.

But recently, its been a whirlwind of feelings. I would never force or even just mention to him that he should call me Mom, Mommy or the like but I have begun to feel like that’s how he sees me now; as a mother figure. One night after I bathed him, I was drying his hair on the bed and all of a sudden he launches himself at me, straight into my lap and lands a big kiss on my cheek. It was adorable but it caught me totally off guard. I told my husband about it later that night. Told him about how it made me feel. When Abdul Aziz shows me affection like that, I am proud of myself for the way I have handled things and my heart is rushed with emotion. It could so easily have gone a different way. I know of cases where the child resents their father’s wife but I think that usually stems from the mother’s negativity and I am lucky that throughout all our drama, his mother has been mostly okay and encourages him to have respect toward me. Maybe we’re also lucky that he’s so young and can basically grow up with me being a part of his life.

He started school a few months ago and if it was terrifying for me, I can’t imagine what his mother felt like. We joined her at the school for his first day and he looked absolutely confused and unsure but his teacher has assured us that he is doing well. I love the fact that she chose a Muslim school for him because I think that it’s so important for him to have that Islamic foundation. His teacher is wonderful and her love for “her kids”, is evident.

His most recent adorable moment would be when we took him home last weekend, he gave me the biggest hug and kiss ever and then said “I love you” in his sweet little boy voice. Once again I was caught completely off guard but of course I responded, of course I love him too.

I have always wanted to be a mother, really. And I am excited to have biological children of my own but I feel blessed and content being a mom to this little one.

Although we haven’t quite sorted out ALL the kinks with his mother, I am grateful to ALLAH for blessing me with this little man and my wonderful husband who has been the most awesome support for all that I have had to acclimate myself with.

 

Categories: Islam

Surah Yaseen Benefits Hadith

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 06:35

The Holy Quran is the 4th and Final Heavenly Manuscript of Allah SWT that He revealed upon His Last Messenger, Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ. It carries instructions and guidelines that act as great source of enlightenment and clarification in various aspects of life, let alone the religious matters. It is the sole Book in the entire world that compensates its reader with blessings from the Almighty Lord.

Ibn Mas’oad (R.A) narrates that Rasulullah ﷺ said:

“Whoever reads one letter of the Book of Allah is credited with one blessing and one blessing is equal to tenfold the like thereof in its reward. I do not say that الم (Alif Lam Meem) is one letter, but ‘(ا )’ (Alif) is one letter, ‘ ( ل )’ (Lam) is one letter, and ‘( م )’ (Meem) is one letter.” (Tirmidhi)

The above mentioned Hadith shows that Furqan e Hameed is such a highly Revered Volume reciting each and every individual letter of it results in attaining Ajar (benefit) equal to 10 times of normal prize for good deeds. It consists of Surahs (Chapters) which are based on realization of different topics and themes and are a means of attaining great recompense from the Gracious God. Some of these include Surah Ar-Rahman, Surah Al-Mulk, Surah Al-Muzzammil, Surah Al-Waqiah, Surah Maryam and Surah Yasin etc.

Surah Yasin is 36th chapter of the “Al-Muhaiman”, which consists of 83 verses in total. It was disclosed while the Holy Prophet ﷺ was in Makkah. The meaning of the word “Yasin” like many other Heavenly words in the Holy Quran is unfamiliar and is only known to the Best Knowledge of Allah SWT alone. The overall theme of this Marvellous Lesson revolves around general emphasis on the Divine Nature of the “Dhikr”; warning for those who refuse and mock the Almighty; Glorification of God; His Command over everything and return of all to Him.

rewards of surah yasin

It also encompasses tremendous amount of rewards and benefits for its reciters confirmed from various Sayings of the Apostle ﷺ of Allah, which are described below:

The Heart Of The Holy Quran

Heart is the most important organ on which the whole functioning of human body depends. Any problem in its working results in breakdown of the whole body. Similarly, Surah Yasin is the heart of Quran Majeed, which encloses great bounties in itself, and its reading and understanding for Muslims has been very much prescribed by Rasulullah ﷺ:

“Surely everything has a heart, and the heart of the Quran is Yaseen. I would love that it be in the heart of every person of my people.” (Tafsir-al- Sabuni Vol.2)

Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ after indicating towards importance of heart of everything has called Surah Yasin as the heart of the Holy Quran. It means that it has got immense significance and is the central component of the entire Sacred Book of Allah. It also shows that the Holy Prophet ﷺ has suggested for his followers to memorize it so that it becomes permanent part of their heart and soul.

Single Reading Equals 10 Times Recitation Of Quran

Reading a single letter of the Sacred Book of Allah brings about earning of 10 blessings of Allah. Surah Yasin is among its highly revered chapters whose recitation itself is equal to reading 10 times Quran completely. The Messenger ﷺ of Allah Almighty said:

“Everything has a heart and the heart of the Glorious Quran is Surah Yaseen. Whoever reads Surah Yaseen, Allah records for them a reward equal to that of reading the whole Quran 10 times.” (Tirmidhi)

In light of this Hadith, it is evident that studying this extremely valued Chapter of Furqan e Hameed results in earning of an incentive from Allah SWT, which is equivalent to reciting the entire Quran Majeed for 10 times.

Earning Of A Number Of Diverse Kinds Of Returns And Blessings

Reciting Surah Yasin also causes one to acquire a lot of blessings of God. The Holy Prophet ﷺ has been narrated to have said:

“Indeed in the Noble Quran there is a Surah, for its reading will intercede and will be a means of forgiveness for listener. Listen carefully, it is Surah Yaseen, in the Torah it is called Muimmah.”

It was enquired, “O’ Messenger of Allah, what is Muimmah?”

Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ responded:

“It contains for its reader the benefits of this world, it removes from him the dread of the next life, and it is called Dafiah and Qadhiyah.”

It was asked again, “How is this Surah of ‘Dafiah and Qadiyah’?”

The Prophet ﷺ replied:

“It takes away from its reader all afflictions and fulfills his need. Whoever recites it, it will be made equal to twenty pilgrimages. Whoever shall listen to it, it will be as thousand dinars, which he has given as charity in the path of Allah. And whoever shall write it and then drink it, it will enter into his heart a thousand cures, a thousand radiant lights, a thousand times more increase in belief, a thousand mercies, a thousand blessings, a thousand times more increase in guidance, and will remove from him all gall and disease.” (Tirmidhi)

First of all, this Hadith tells about great bounty of reading this Sanctified Surah, which is the attainment of its arbitration on part of one`s deeds in the hereafter.
Second, it also helps its listeners by resulting in forgiveness of their sins.
Third, it has been called “Muimmah” by Rasulullah ﷺ which means that it assists its reader in attaining the benefits of this world, and it also takes away all kinds of fears of Akhirah (Day of Resurrection).
Fourth, it has also been regarded as “Dafiah and Qadiyah” by the Holy Prophet ﷺ which encompasses a diverse kinds of prizes for its readers, listeners, and writers and drinkers of this Blessed Revelation:
Removal of sufferings, realization of necessitates and single recitation of it being equal to performing 20 times Hajj (Pilgrimage)
Listening to it is comparable to spending 1000 dinars as Sadaqah (Charity)
Upon writing and drinking, it causes curing of thousands of heartily diseases, getting enlightenment, increase in faith, achieving Mercy and Blessings of Allah and His Righteous Leadership, Who will also eliminate one`s all sorts of annoyance and illnesses.
Reciting For The Ones Deceasing

Since, listening to Surah Yasin greatly benefits one with forgiveness of its wrongdoings as discussed earlier; therefore it has also been advised by the Holy Prophet ﷺ to recite it in front of those who are dying so that it may help in their pardoning of sins:

“Recite Yaseen on those who are dying.” (Dawud)

As, the last moments before death are very strict and hard to bear, thus, the Messenger ﷺ of God has greatly prescribed for other Muslims to read this Sacred Chapter loud out for the deceasing ones so as to comfort their souls.

In short, Surah Yasin is a highly Revered and Blessed Subdivision of the Holy Quran which enfolds a great deal of benefits and rewards for its readers and listeners. Due to its great honor and importance in one`s life, it has also been considered as Heart of the Sacred Book by the Messenger ﷺ of Allah.

Article Taken By: Qurantutor

 

Categories: Islam

Surah Yaseen Benefits Hadith

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 06:35

The Holy Quran is the 4th and Final Heavenly Manuscript of Allah SWT that He revealed upon His Last Messenger, Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ. It carries instructions and guidelines that act as great source of enlightenment and clarification in various aspects of life, let alone the religious matters. It is the sole Book in the entire world that compensates its reader with blessings from the Almighty Lord.

Ibn Mas’oad (R.A) narrates that Rasulullah ﷺ said:

“Whoever reads one letter of the Book of Allah is credited with one blessing and one blessing is equal to tenfold the like thereof in its reward. I do not say that الم (Alif Lam Meem) is one letter, but ‘(ا )’ (Alif) is one letter, ‘ ( ل )’ (Lam) is one letter, and ‘( م )’ (Meem) is one letter.” (Tirmidhi)

The above mentioned Hadith shows that Furqan e Hameed is such a highly Revered Volume reciting each and every individual letter of it results in attaining Ajar (benefit) equal to 10 times of normal prize for good deeds. It consists of Surahs (Chapters) which are based on realization of different topics and themes and are a means of attaining great recompense from the Gracious God. Some of these include Surah Ar-Rahman, Surah Al-Mulk, Surah Al-Muzzammil, Surah Al-Waqiah, Surah Maryam and Surah Yasin etc.

Surah Yasin is 36th chapter of the “Al-Muhaiman”, which consists of 83 verses in total. It was disclosed while the Holy Prophet ﷺ was in Makkah. The meaning of the word “Yasin” like many other Heavenly words in the Holy Quran is unfamiliar and is only known to the Best Knowledge of Allah SWT alone. The overall theme of this Marvellous Lesson revolves around general emphasis on the Divine Nature of the “Dhikr”; warning for those who refuse and mock the Almighty; Glorification of God; His Command over everything and return of all to Him.

rewards of surah yasin

It also encompasses tremendous amount of rewards and benefits for its reciters confirmed from various Sayings of the Apostle ﷺ of Allah, which are described below:

The Heart Of The Holy Quran

Heart is the most important organ on which the whole functioning of human body depends. Any problem in its working results in breakdown of the whole body. Similarly, Surah Yasin is the heart of Quran Majeed, which encloses great bounties in itself, and its reading and understanding for Muslims has been very much prescribed by Rasulullah ﷺ:

“Surely everything has a heart, and the heart of the Quran is Yaseen. I would love that it be in the heart of every person of my people.” (Tafsir-al- Sabuni Vol.2)

Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ after indicating towards importance of heart of everything has called Surah Yasin as the heart of the Holy Quran. It means that it has got immense significance and is the central component of the entire Sacred Book of Allah. It also shows that the Holy Prophet ﷺ has suggested for his followers to memorize it so that it becomes permanent part of their heart and soul.

Single Reading Equals 10 Times Recitation Of Quran

Reading a single letter of the Sacred Book of Allah brings about earning of 10 blessings of Allah. Surah Yasin is among its highly revered chapters whose recitation itself is equal to reading 10 times Quran completely. The Messenger ﷺ of Allah Almighty said:

“Everything has a heart and the heart of the Glorious Quran is Surah Yaseen. Whoever reads Surah Yaseen, Allah records for them a reward equal to that of reading the whole Quran 10 times.” (Tirmidhi)

In light of this Hadith, it is evident that studying this extremely valued Chapter of Furqan e Hameed results in earning of an incentive from Allah SWT, which is equivalent to reciting the entire Quran Majeed for 10 times.

Earning Of A Number Of Diverse Kinds Of Returns And Blessings

Reciting Surah Yasin also causes one to acquire a lot of blessings of God. The Holy Prophet ﷺ has been narrated to have said:

“Indeed in the Noble Quran there is a Surah, for its reading will intercede and will be a means of forgiveness for listener. Listen carefully, it is Surah Yaseen, in the Torah it is called Muimmah.”

It was enquired, “O’ Messenger of Allah, what is Muimmah?”

Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ responded:

“It contains for its reader the benefits of this world, it removes from him the dread of the next life, and it is called Dafiah and Qadhiyah.”

It was asked again, “How is this Surah of ‘Dafiah and Qadiyah’?”

The Prophet ﷺ replied:

“It takes away from its reader all afflictions and fulfills his need. Whoever recites it, it will be made equal to twenty pilgrimages. Whoever shall listen to it, it will be as thousand dinars, which he has given as charity in the path of Allah. And whoever shall write it and then drink it, it will enter into his heart a thousand cures, a thousand radiant lights, a thousand times more increase in belief, a thousand mercies, a thousand blessings, a thousand times more increase in guidance, and will remove from him all gall and disease.” (Tirmidhi)

First of all, this Hadith tells about great bounty of reading this Sanctified Surah, which is the attainment of its arbitration on part of one`s deeds in the hereafter.
Second, it also helps its listeners by resulting in forgiveness of their sins.
Third, it has been called “Muimmah” by Rasulullah ﷺ which means that it assists its reader in attaining the benefits of this world, and it also takes away all kinds of fears of Akhirah (Day of Resurrection).
Fourth, it has also been regarded as “Dafiah and Qadiyah” by the Holy Prophet ﷺ which encompasses a diverse kinds of prizes for its readers, listeners, and writers and drinkers of this Blessed Revelation:
Removal of sufferings, realization of necessitates and single recitation of it being equal to performing 20 times Hajj (Pilgrimage)
Listening to it is comparable to spending 1000 dinars as Sadaqah (Charity)
Upon writing and drinking, it causes curing of thousands of heartily diseases, getting enlightenment, increase in faith, achieving Mercy and Blessings of Allah and His Righteous Leadership, Who will also eliminate one`s all sorts of annoyance and illnesses.
Reciting For The Ones Deceasing

Since, listening to Surah Yasin greatly benefits one with forgiveness of its wrongdoings as discussed earlier; therefore it has also been advised by the Holy Prophet ﷺ to recite it in front of those who are dying so that it may help in their pardoning of sins:

“Recite Yaseen on those who are dying.” (Dawud)

As, the last moments before death are very strict and hard to bear, thus, the Messenger ﷺ of God has greatly prescribed for other Muslims to read this Sacred Chapter loud out for the deceasing ones so as to comfort their souls.

In short, Surah Yasin is a highly Revered and Blessed Subdivision of the Holy Quran which enfolds a great deal of benefits and rewards for its readers and listeners. Due to its great honor and importance in one`s life, it has also been considered as Heart of the Sacred Book by the Messenger ﷺ of Allah.

Article Taken By: Qurantutor

 

Categories: Islam

Vedic Paradise: An Overview

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 06:07

The concept of Paradise or a similar concept is found in almost all religious scriptures. Arya Samaj/agniveer rejects this reality, and hence we need to scrutinize it in detail. They claim that the difficulties and happiness of this worldly life are the NARK (Hell) and SWARG (Paradise) respectively. They claim that these are only states and not actual places. This claim is not only against the spiritual intuition of man, but also opposes the Vedas. Following exposition clearly proves this.

In the Vedas, Paraside is mentioned by the names स्वर्ग (Swarga), द्यो (dyo), नाक (Naaka), सुकृतस्य (Sukratasya), etc. These words have always been used in combination with the Sanskrit word लोके (loke) which means ‘a place’, ‘a region’, ‘a world’, all Locative cases. This proves that the word Swarga in the Vedas does not refer to any condition that affects an individual, but it is a distinct place.

Vedic Paradise is not on this earth

According to the Vedas Paradise is a place where only joy is found and misery is absent. This place is always mentioned by words which indicate that it is far from us; while as the present life is always mentioned by the words which indicate its nearness. If Swarga was only a state or feeling which one experiences in this world, it is illogical to speak of it as though it is found elsewhere. For example see the following mantras:


 

7 O Pavarnana, place me in that deathless, undecaying world, wherein the light of heaven is set, and everlasting lustre shines. Flow, Indu, flow for Indra’s sake.

8 Make me immortal in that realm where dwells the King, Vivasvat’s Son, where is the secret shrine of heaven, where are those waters young and fresh. Flow, Indu, flow for Indra’s sake.

 

9 Make me immortal in that realm where they move even as they list, in the third sphere of inmost heaven where lucid worlds are full of light. Flow, Indu, flow for Indra’s sake.

 

10 Make me immortal in that realm of eager wish and strong desire, the region of the radiant Moon, where food and full delight are found. Flow, Indu, flow for Indra’s sake:

 

11 Make me immortal in that realm where happiness and transports, where Joys and felicities combine, and longing wishes are fulfilled. Flow, Indu, flow for Indra’s sake.

 

            ( Rig Veda – Mandal  9; Sookt 113, Mantras 7-11)

 

These references amply prove that Paradise is not in this world but it is a distinct place which we can only inherit after death. The mantras quoted above show that

1)    There is no death in Paradise

2)    It is eternal

3)    It is resplendent with eternal light

4)    That world is under King Vivasvat’s Son i.e. Yama

5)    It has fresh water

6)    It is the third region

7)    Food is abundant there

8)    It is the place of the Sun

9)    It is a place where all desires are fulfilled

Where is this Paradise?

Having established that Vedic Paradise is not on this earth but is a distinct world altogether, we will now see where that Paradise is located. In several Vedic mantras, Paradise has been identified as the third region, the other 2 being the earth and space. Thus it is written in Rig Ved

“In the third region which distils a thousand streams, may the Exhaustless Ones descend with procreant power.” [Rig Veda – Mandal 9; Sookt 74; Mantra 6]

“Whether, O Indra and Agni, you be dwelling in highest Paradise, in central region, or on earth, come hither, from wherever you may be and drink libations of the flowing Soma.” [Rig Veda- Mandal 1; Sookt 108; Mantra 10]

“In the third heaven above us stands the Asvattha tree, the seat of gods. There the gods sought the Kushtha Plant, embodiment of endless life.” [Atharva Ved Kaand 5; Sookt 4; Mantra 3]

“May we be free in this world and that yonder, in the third world may we be unindebted. May we, debt-free, abide in all the pathways, in all the worlds which Gods and Fathers visit.” [Atharva Ved Kaand 6; Sookt 117; Mantra 3]

“Dwelling with zeal I mount in spirit after the lofty sacrifice as it departs. Agni may we, beyond decay, invited, in the third heaven, feast and enjoy the banquet.” [Atharva Ved Kaand 6; Sookt 122; Mantra 4]

“From the back of the earth, I have ascended to the mid space. From the mid space, I have ascended to the heaven. From the top of the heaven, the sorrow less world, I have reached the world of light.”[Atharva Veda Kand 4; Sookt 14; Mantra 3]

It is evident from all the above references that the Paradise promised in the Vedas is neither a condition nor or this earth. Rather, it is the third region above the earth and space, according to the sequence given in these mantras. Vedas speak of this Paradise being the third region in numerous other mantras, but I only gave few samples. These mantras also prove that real joy and happiness is found only there.

How far is the Vedic Paradise?

Most religions which speak of Paradise do not raise this question nor are required to answer it. It seems that Vedic Dharm is perhaps the only religion which addresses this question uniquely. Thus it is said,

“This gold-hued Hansa’s wings, soaring to heaven, spread over a thousand days’ continued journey, supporting all the Gods upon his bosom; he goes his way beholding every creature.” [Atharva Ved Kaand 13; Sookt 2; Mantra 38]

It is mentioned in Aitareya Brahman,

“For the heavenly world is at a distance of about thousand days’ travelling on a horseback (ashveen)” [Aitareya Brahman- Panicka 2: Paragraph 17; words in braces mine

The ancient Indian Sanskrit Grammarian, Panini writes

“One ashveen is the distance travelled over or traversed by a horse in one day” [Ashtadhyayi- Book 5; Chapter 2; Sootra 19]

From these mantras we come to know that according to the Vedas the distance travelled by a horse in thousand days is the distance of Vedic Swarg from this earth. In other words, the distance of Vedic Paradise from the earth is about hundred thousand miles!!

Who inherits Vedic Paradise and How?

So far the previous mantras also imply that Vedic Paradise is not a Karma Jeevan (world for performing deeds) but a Bhog Jeevan (reaping the fruits of one’s deeds). To know more about this, it is good enough to take a look at more Vedic Mantras.

Atharva Veda says,

“Joy have you found, and left ill-will behind you: you have attained the happy world of virtue.” [Atharva Ved Kaand 2; Sookt 10; Mantra 7]

“May we, fame-seekers, reach the world of virtue by service of the Gharma and through fervour, whereby the Gods went up to heaven, the centre of life eternal, having left the body.” [Atharva Ved 4:11:6]

“With milk and butter I anoint the mighty, celestial Goat, strong-winged, and full of juices. Through him will we attain the world of virtue, ascending to the loftiest cope, to heaven.” [Atharva Ved 4:14:6]

“Strongest is this, performed, of sacrifices: he has reached heaven who has prepared Vishtāri. [Atharva Ved 4:34:5]

“High up in heaven abide the Guerdon-givers: they who give steeds dwell with the Sun forever. They who give gold are blest with life eternal. They who give robes prolong their lives, O Soma.” [Rig Veda – 10:107:2]

“The Goat Panchaudana, when cooked, transports, repelling Nirriti, to the world of Svarga. By him may we win worlds which Sūrya brightens.” [Atharva Ved 9:5:18]

“…This wealth I place among the Brāhmans, making a path that leads to heaven among the Fathers.” [Atharva Ved 11:1:28]

To sum up, according to most mantras in Atharva Ved, feeding the Brahmins with milk and rice (Kheer), offering goats, gold, and otherDakshina earns one Paradise. Displeasing a Brahmin gives you a one way ticket to Hell. In the Rigveda, often we find ways to earn Paradise by praying to the gods and as per Yajurveda  Paradise is earned by animal sacrifice.

Of course, good deeds are also said to earn one Paradise as per the Vedas and other scriptures. Bad deeds earn one a place in Hell. The Judgement in the life hereafter based on the weight of good and bad deeds is mentioned in Shatpath Brahman as follows:

“Now, as to that balance, the right (south) edge of the Vedi. Whatever good deed man does that is inside the Vedi; and whatever evil deed he does that is outside the Vedi. Let him therefore sit down, touching the right edge of the Vedi; for, indeed, they place him on the balance in yonder world; and whichever of the two will rise, that he will follow, whether it be the good or the evil. And, verily, whosoever knows this, mounts the balance even in this world, and escapes being placed on the balance in yonder world; for his good deed rises, and not his evil deed.” [Shatpath Brahman- Kaand 11; Adhyay 2; Brahman 7; Kaandika 33]

In common Hindu parlance it is called Dharm Tula and in Islamic terminology as Meezanul Amaal.

Is Vedic Paradise physical or spiritual?

After presenting so many references regarding the world of Swarga, it was not necessary to again bring up this topic, because all the previous mantras abundantly prove that Vedic Paradise is not spiritual but a physical dwelling. However, the following mantras throw more light on Vedic Paradise:

“If Agni Jātavedas, as he bore you hence to the Fathers’ world, had left one single limb of your bodies, here do I restore it. Fathers, rejoice in heaven with all your members!” [Atharva Veda- Kaand18; Sookt 4; Mantra 64]

“…The three-and-thirty Deities attend them. As such, conduct us to the world of Svarga. Unto the world of Svarga shalt thou lead us: there may we dwell beside our wife and children…” [Atharva Ved 12:3:16,17]

“There where our virtuous friends, who left behind them their bodily infirmities, are happy, free from distortion of the limbs and lameness, may we behold, in heaven, our sons and parents.” [Atharva Ved 6:120:3]

All these mantras convincingly prove that Vedic Paradise is physical and material, where people will get material blessings. In my next article, Vedic Paradise: The Inside Story, we will take a look at the inner scene of the Vedic Paradise. All the mantras that I have produced till now, refute the strange, anti-Vedic view of Arya Samaj/agniveer. 


Categories: Islam

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