Tuesday, February 28, 2023

The Rational Believers and the Irrational Disbelievers

By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam 28 February 2023 In my article, “The Quranic Truths of Qayamat and Resurrection”, I have detailed the basis for a rational belief in the Quran as the word of Allah, and the rational basis for rejecting the claim that it is the word of Allah as follows: The Nature of the Quran The Quran makes a claim that it is the word of God without a doubt who is the all-knowing, all-Hearing and all-wise Creator. What logically follows from it is that it is a Book of absolute truths. It is therefore only to be expected that as our knowledge about our material world grows with the pursuit of science, the absolute truths in the Quran about our material world are empirically proved correct progressively. Until such time, science will lag behind the Quran but eventually converge with what the Quran has said. The Rational Disbelievers By definition, the disbelievers are those: Who do not believe in Allah and/or in the Quran as Allah’s Word. They, therefore, believe the Quran is the word of mere mortals. It, therefore, follows that the Quran cannot have verses containing knowledge of our world unknown to man when the Book was written and which became known from science only in the last few centuries or more than a thousand years after the Book was written. The above is very logical and rational until confronted with evidence that disproves his assumptions and proves the believers right. Proof That the Quran Is A Book Of Absolute Truths There are many such verses but, in this article, I will dwell on the verses about creation and the scientific history of mankind. Creation, Destruction and Recreation of the Universe The Quran has some remarkable verses on the cycle of creation, destruction and recreation of the Universe. (51:47) AND IT IS We who have built the universe with [Our creative] power; and, verily, it is We who are steadily expanding it. The observations of the wavelength of light and radiation reaching the earth led to the discovery that the Universe is expanding which implied that it was all squeezed together once before the expansion began or to the Big Bang theory of creation. The empirical evidence of an expanding universe agrees with what verse 51:47 is saying. (21:30) Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens (l-samāwāti) and the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation) before We clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe? Nobody could see that the heavens and the earth were joined together or brought together before they were cloven asunder. Scientists believed in a steady-state universe until a century ago. This verse is addressed to the present-day disbelievers who can now see that the Quran speaks the truth and that it is not an outdated 7th-century book as they seem to think. It is they who are asked to see the proof that the Quran is eternal in its relevance and contains absolute truths and not mere theories or speculation. Another Complementary Version of Creation in the Quran The creation of the Universe which includes the earth takes only two days (41:9 and 12). Making the earth fit for sustaining life takes another four days (41:10) or a total of six days. Verse 41:11 again speaks about bringing together everything before cleaving them asunder. The big bang speaks of the starting position as a singularity before which nothing existed and an expansion from a size less than an atom. It differs from the Quran in a material way and the difference has been discussed in my article: The Big Bang Theory and the Quran Science, however, is well on the way to converging with what the Quran says as follows:. (41:9) Say: Is it that ye deny Him Who created the earth in two Days? And do ye join equals with Him? He is the Lord of (all) the Worlds. (10) He set on the (earth), mountains standing firm, high above it, and bestowed blessings on the earth, and measure therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion, in four Days, in accordance with (the needs of) those who seek (Sustenance). (11) Moreover He comprehended in His design the sky, and it had been (as) smoke: He said to it and to the earth: "Come ye together, willingly or unwillingly." They said: "We do come (together), in willing obedience." (12) So He completed them as seven firmaments in two Days, and He assigned to each heaven its duty and command. And We adorned the lower heaven with lights, and (provided it) with guard. Such is the Decree of (Him) the Exalted in Might, Full of Knowledge. The day here is not our 24-hour day but a cosmic day which the Quran describes in one context as our thousand years and in another context as our 50 thousand years. In different contexts, a cosmic day is defined differently. The concept of relativity of time is there bang in your face. In the context of the creation of the Universe, the cosmic day is not defined. This is because the number is very large for which there was no name in the vocabulary of the 7th century Arabs. The word million was coined only in the 14th century and billion in the 16th century. The cosmic day of creation we now know from science, is of the order of 1.72 billion years. The creation of the earth and the rest of the Universe in 2 days means that it took an estimated 3.44 billion years for the earth to be recognised as a distinct body from the rest of the Universe. Further four days for bestowing blessings on the earth, and measure therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion, in accordance with (the needs of) those who seek (Sustenance) equal 6.87 billion years as per our present state of knowledge from science. The relative proportion of time taken to create the Universe and twice that to make the earth support life that the verse speaks of is remarkable. We know now from science that everything that is needed to support life such as Oxygen, Nitrogen, Carbon, water, the other elements, the soil, the Sun etc. needed time to make and it is only the earth that has these things in the required measure to sustain life. This also confirms what the Quran says that the rest of the Heavens serve the earth its required needs in the right measure. Verses about the End and Recreating a New Universe (21:104) The Day that We roll up the heavens (l-samāa) like a scroll rolled up for books (completed),- even as We produced the first creation, so shall We create a new one: a promise We have undertaken: truly shall We fulfil it. (39:67) No just estimate have they made of Allah, such as is due to Him: On the Day of Judgment the whole of the earth will be but His handful and the heavens (wal-samāwātu) will be rolled up in His right hand: Glory to Him! High is He above the Partners they attribute to Him! The four verses 21:30, 41:11, 21:104 and 39:67 taken together, support, reinforce and clarify each other which leaves no room for any doubt about what they mean. How do the Heavens and the Earth become a single Unit (21:30)? By coming together when Allah commanded them to do so (41:11). What will happen when the world is brought to an end? On the command of Allah, it will roll up and fit into Allah’s hand which is allegorical for saying it will be compressed to a very small size (21:104 and 39:67). This is before recreating the Universe (21:104). The process at the recreation is identical to the process at creation; the verses clarify and reinforce each other. Science is also converging to the view that the creation, destruction and a new creation may be a cyclical process. Although brief, the verses remarkably cover the entire gamut of creation, destruction and recreation which also tells us what may have been before this creation and also that the next creation is a certainty. Recent developments in science have made belief in Qayamat (end of the Universe), the creation of a new Universe believable based on empirical evidence and scientific theories. The possibility of resurrection based on information alone is a proven scientific truth. Answering the Disbelievers So, does the Quran contain the Big Bang theory of creation? Wrong question. The Quran is not a Book of scientific theories which are subject to revision. It is a Book of absolute truths. We should never look for science in the Quran but for the Quran in science because the Quran is Al-Furqan or the Book of absolute truths and not science. The creation event described in the Quran was true even when the scientists held the steady state view of the universe - that it is neither created nor destroyed but always was and will continue to be as it is. Having said that, the current scientific thinking is converging to the absolute truth in the Quran on this subject The disbelievers bent on disparaging the Quran point out similar beliefs in folklore and other scriptures about the creation event to insinuate that the Quran is a collection of folklore and beliefs of other people. The Quran is the word of Allah and according to the Quran, there is nothing that Allah has now revealed in the Quran that He has not revealed before to the previous prophets. Some of the revelations have survived as Books and some as oral traditions. What Allah has revealed about the Creation event was also revealed to the previous prophets. If you, therefore, find something in the Quran but not elsewhere, then that should raise eyebrows and not finding something similar elsewhere. What is beyond doubt is that the Quran having been preserved exactly as revealed is free from the errors found in the previous versions and every other version is full of glaring flaws. Example 2 the Scientific History of Mankind This is covered in detail in my article: A Brief History of Mankind The literal translation of verse 76:1 is: "( هَلْ أَتَىٰ عَلَى الْإِنسَانِ) Has there not passed over mankind, (حِينٌ مِّنَ الدَّهْرِ) an era or a very long period of time (hinun) in Dahr, (لَمْ يَكُن شَيْئًا مَّذْكُورًا) during which he was a thing not mentioned? There is no confusion about the literal meaning of the verse by the Mufassarin and the translators. The expected answer obviously is: "Yes, certainly, there has passed over mankind a very long period in dahr during which he was not a thing mentioned" However, what is the detailed explanatory response? The way the question is structured determines what constitutes the correct response and must be structured in an identical manner. The following explanatory response satisfies the structural and grammatical integrity required as well as conforms with the known facts discovered by science about the lost history of mankind. "Certainly yes. In the Dahr of 13.8 billion years, man has existed for 2.5 million years and a very long period of 2.43 million years has passed over mankind during which he was not a thing mentioned". From cosmology and from the scientific history of mankind, we know that time began 13.8 billion years ago. Man came into existence about 2.5 million years ago and for about 2.43 million years, his existence and intellectual abilities were indistinguishable from that of any other creature. There is therefore nothing worth mentioning about his existence. Then about 0.07 million years ago, modern man made his appearance with intellectual abilities on par with ours and it is from this time that we find archaeological and other evidence of significant achievements of man worth mentioning. The above response to the question in 76:1 finds a perfect fit between the structures of the correct response expected and known facts. However, the findings from science are recent. How did the people then respond to this verse without the correct knowledge? People without correct knowledge will necessarily interpret in terms of what they know. Their response was unsatisfactory in every respect and was as follows: "Yes, a very long period of 9 months in Dahr passes over every person in the womb when he/she is not worthy of mention" This response is not talking about what happened in the past with mankind but what happens to every person, considers 9 months to be a very long period of time, and the reference to Dahr is meaningless. Besides, the existence and the growth of the child in the womb is not what can be called “not worth a mention” as the child is eagerly expected, talked about and planned for with elaborate preparations, and talked to and played with while still in the womb. Such existence for nine months which is less than 2% of its life expectancy is a very small period of time and not what can be described as a very long period in Dahr. Anyway, when people do not have the right answer, they will come up with their best effort and this was their best effort and is understandable. Now that we know what the correct answer is which satisfies the structural and grammatical integrity expected of the correct response, who but a contumacious rejecter will argue against it? The Reaction of Ordinary Disbelievers An ordinary disbeliever uninterested in religion may respond to such proofs with “sounds interesting” and move on. The Reaction of the Wilfully Irrational Disbeliever or the Contumacious Rejecter The contumacious rejecter is a different kind of animal altogether. He is wilfully irrational in his disbelief and therefore no amount of reason will work with him. His argument is “all that he is doing is to appropriate scientific achievements to claim prescience for the Quran”. It shows the kind of fixed mindset cast in concrete this argument is coming from. For him there is no God and/or the Quran is not the word of God and therefore it cannot have verses that contain perfect knowledge of the world unknown to science until discovered recently. The contumacious rejecter is heavily invested in his disbelief and will argue endlessly without giving up. He will lie and use every dishonest trick in his bag but will never accept the evident truth. His bag of dishonest tricks consists of: 1. The first line of offence is to call such an article “deceptive”, “misleading”, “pablum”, “pap”, “mumbo jumbo” etc. without a shred of evidence to support the vitriol. 2. Destructive criticism: Dispute what is said without offering an alternate explanation because he doesn’t have any. 3. Strawman arguments: If he cannot argue against what the other has said, he pretends the other has said what he can argue against and then argues against what was never said. 4. Word blindness: He deliberately takes the wrong meaning and insists that is correct. 5. He will concede to the minor arguments by repeating the same in his own words and pretend that the idea is his. 6. Acts Dumb: When he cannot respond to what the other has said, he repeats himself ignoring what the other has said. This can go on endlessly. 7. Digression: When all else fails, instead of conceding defeat, digress. 8. Play the psychological game of Rapo by saying something outrageous about the Quran such as describing belief in the Hereafter as a “humbug theory” and when an appropriate verse from the Quran is quoted, cries out “Takfeer”! Another version of the game is to unnecessarily bring into the discussion the difference between the Quran and the Bible on the subject and when the Biblical version is shown to be flawed, scream “Supremacism”! 9. Keep on with inane arguments and when ignored, claim victory. He takes a highly aggressive approach to every discussion and exhibits zero-sum thinking. He knows that he cannot win any argument and therefore does what is next best which is to create doubt and confusion about what the other has said and try to discredit it any way he can. 10. The contumacious rejecter never gives up no matter how many times he has evidently lost the argument. He is an indestructible monster who will bring up the same topic in thread after thread under different articles. That is what makes him a contumacious rejecter. He is a vicious animal immune to reason and will not rest even when you tell him “To you be your way and to me mine” The Quran has several apt verses about the contumacious rejecters. They have by their own choice made themselves dumb, deaf and blind to the truth and will never return to the straight path shown by Allah. The very same verses can be understood as his cognitive bias which makes him sink deeper and deeper into contumacious rejection of the truth. ----- A frequent contributor to NewAgeIslam.com, Naseer Ahmed is an Engineering graduate from IIT Kanpur and is an independent IT consultant after having served in both the Public and Private sector in responsible positions for over three decades. He has spent years studying Quran in-depth and made seminal contributions to its interpretation. URL: https://newageislam.com/the-war-within-islam/rational-believers-irrational-disbelievers/d/129217 New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

The Earthquake in Turkey: A Sign of God's Wrath, Mercy or a Test of Patience?

By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam 28 February 2023 The Earthquake in Turkey, Speculative Theories, and the Illumination of the Holy Quran Main Points: 1. Indeed, earthquakes are signs from Allah. The Holy Quran also contains a Surah by the name of Zalzalah. 2. Some claim that this earthquake happened because the day of judgement is rapidly approaching. 3. Others argue that such earthquakes are caused by rising human wickedness. 4. Some contend that sometimes troubles emerge to show which believers are perseverant and content with the Will of God Almighty. 5. According to spiritual observers, the temporary worldly chastisement by God Almighty is another way for God to demonstrate His mercy. 6. This type of divine punishment serves as an internal wake-up call that helps us see our mistakes, which makes it a form of divine mercy. 7. For a Muslim servant, remembering Allah's punishment is worship just as remembering His mercy is. 8. Whenever punishment is stated in the Holy Qur'an, it is always done so to alter people's attitudes and behaviours. 9. According to reports, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever Allah wishes good for, He tests them, He makes them go through challenges.” ------- Earthquake in Turkey: Photo/ BBC ----- We chose to write about the earthquake because of the numerous assumptions some people are making regarding the recent earthquake in Turkey. Some claim that this earthquake happened because the day of judgement is rapidly approaching. Others argue that such earthquakes are caused by rising human wickedness. Others contend that sometimes troubles emerge to show which believers are perseverant and content with the Will of God Almighty. Indeed, earthquakes are signs from Allah. The Holy Quran also contains a Surah by the name of Zalzalah. The first verse of this Surah mentions an earthquake. Allah Almighty says: “When the earth is shaken with its [final] earthquake” (Surah Zalzalah, 99:1) No part of the world will be unharmed by the earthquake described in this verse, according to the interpretation given by commentators, which will take place after the second trumpet blow on the Day of Judgment. According to the hadiths and narrations, before this big earthquake referred to in verse [99:1], there would still be small earthquakes on Earth, but as the Resurrection approaches, there will be a large number of small earthquakes and finally, on the Day of the Resurrection, the same big earthquake will occur. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ لاَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى يُقْبَضَ الْعِلْمُ، وَتَكْثُرَ الزَّلاَزِلُ، وَيَتَقَارَبَ الزَّمَانُ، وَتَظْهَرَ الْفِتَنُ، وَيَكْثُرَ الْهَرْجُ ـ وَهْوَ الْقَتْلُ الْقَتْلُ ـ حَتَّى يَكْثُرَ فِيكُمُ الْمَالُ فَيَفِيضُ ‏"‏‏.‏ Translation: "The Hour (Last Day) will not be established until (religious) knowledge will be taken away (by the death of religious learned men), earthquakes will be very frequent, time will pass quickly, afflictions will appear, murders will increase and money will overflow amongst you." (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith No. 85 Vol 1). Now because earthquakes occur so frequently, ordinary Muslims have begun to feel that there have been too many of them. Somewhere there is quake news. The time of the Judgment [Qiyamat] has almost arrived. Thus, with this in mind, they must think back on their deeds and advise others to do the same by telling them to "meditate, introspect ourselves, mend our deeds inside and outwardly, and become devoted servants of Allah." The belief that it doesn't matter to them because similar catastrophes will continue to occur as they have in the past and that their life is the height of luxury and neither the sin nor the compensation concerns them, on the other hand, is a sign that some people are deprived of the divine blessing. A believer should unquestionably consider his sinful actions at such a place, act humbly while keeping the remembrance of Allah in mind, and pray for pardon. Such a person should become more humble than anyone else rather than being haughty about the luxuries of the world because they have committed many sins in the past. Since earthquakes are a common sign of Allah's anger, it is also possible to draw the spiritual conclusion that He is teaching us through this that "O my servants, you have disobeyed Me a great deal, now it is enough, now repent and come to me, ask for my forgiveness, and I will forgive you." It is uncertain whether this conclusion adequately applies to the most recent earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria, given the Islamic tradition that affliction could periodically test a believer's patience and perseverance. Another interpretation is that God Almighty wishes to discipline us in this world by terrifying us with a temporary penalty such as an earthquake or another type of natural disaster, so that, after disciplining us in this world, we can be protected from the permanent punishment of the Hereafter. Also, according to spiritual observers, the temporary worldly chastisement by God Almighty is another way for God to demonstrate His mercy. At this level of spirituality, it is difficult for some to comprehend how temporarily divine punishment might also be divine mercy. We believe that God is showing His mercy upon us in this world when He sends us a temporary worldly punishment. This type of divine punishment serves as an internal wake-up call that helps us see our mistakes, which makes it a form of divine mercy. This serves as divine mercy because it compels people to do good deed both inside and outside of themselves and to faithfully refrain from doing bad deeds. We will be exempt from the eternal punishment of the Hereafter because of our commitment to doing good deeds and refraining from bad deeds. In order to save us from the punishment of all eternity, this brief divine retribution actually functions as a sort of divine mercy. After the Turkish earthquake disaster, one could see divine mercy within divine mercy. This was particularly apparent after we saw pictures of young children escaping from destroyed houses and other structures following the earthquake in Turkey. How they remained alive and safe despite spending hours buried in the debris. That was yet another example of divine mercy, I believe. Yes, indeed the order of life and death is decided by the will of God Almighty. Some Muslims quote this verse: ‘‘قل یا عبادی الذین اسرفوا علی انفسہم لا تقنطوا من رحمۃ اللہ ان الله یغفر الذنوب جمیعا انه هو الغفور الرحیم) “Say, "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful." (39:53) After elaborating on these ideas and examining the relevant Quranic verses, Muslims must decide that it is now imperative that we confess our sins to Allah, ask for His forgiveness, and begin acting in ways that please Him. We must encourage everyone to give Sadaqah [charity] to the needy and the impoverished because doing so pleases Allah, the Most High. He Almighty is greatly pleased when we support the weak, destitute, persecuted and downtrodden. It is narrated in a Hadith as follows: فان الصدقۃ تطفئی غضب الرب This means that “charity extinguishes the wrath of the Lord” of the world. So, the Muslims must start their prayer, asking Allah to pardon their transgressions and give them the chance to conduct good deeds. (Aameen) In this regard, it is important to properly cite a tradition that Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz once issued a message to his governors that read, "Listen! Realize that earthquakes are a [divine] punishment that occasionally occurs. You people should carry on doing nice things and asking for forgiveness. Moreover, you must all say the dua that Hazrat Adam frequently recited (peace be upon him) as follows: (ربنا ظلمنا انفسنا وان لم تغفر لنا و ترحمنا لنکونن من الخٰسرین) (Urdu translation: 'O Lord! We have wronged our souls. If you do not forgive us and show mercy to us, then we will be destroyed) (Cited in Al-Jawaab al-Kaafi Liman Sa’ala An al-dawaa al-shaafi, p.53, 54) In the above passages, we have considered that the big earthquake that the Holy Quran mentions in the first verse of Surah Zalzalah will happen at the time of the Resurrection after the second blowing of the trumpet. In the Hadith mentioned above, we have understood that small earthquakes will take place before the Day of Resurrection. In the statement of Hazrat Umar b. Abdul Aziz, we have noticed that earthquake comes as a divine punishment. Keeping all these ideas, one question arises in our mind whether all small earthquakes before the big earthquake come as a result of bad deeds of people, or they come to test the faith and patience of believers. It is imperative to believe in the clear message of the Quran. We must understand that being a follower of the Islamic faith requires accepting the reality of the Resurrection. If we examine the Hadith narrations in this regard, a number of questions arise that we are unable to entirely accept or reject, depending on the veracity of the relevant Hadiths. We simply have to believe that Allah Almighty and His Beloved Messenger have complete and unquestionable knowledge of the Resurrection and its exact timing. We need to repent of our sins, ask God for forgiveness, and begin doing good deeds in addition to having good faith. Examining ourselves is preferable to viewing the earthquake in Turkey as some sort of divine punishment against the Turkish people. God loves our humility and hates our arrogance. The primary argument is that, sometimes, hardship is meant to try the faith of the devout, as it may have done with the victims from Turkey and Syria. The significance of the hadiths is ambiguous, ranging from the idea that most minor earthquakes that occur prior to the Day of Resurrection will be caused by human misdeeds to the idea that the earthquakes strike them to see which believers are patient, persistent, and appreciative. It is essential to comprehend the meanings of the words used in the Qur'an and hadiths from a heart- and mind-centred perspective. Accepting the Quran is right; but, presuming that we shall disregard hadiths is incorrect. Despite the fact that the knowledge we gain from the pertinent hadiths prompts a lot of queries, some of which are simply speculative in nature. The relevant hadiths don't rank or demonstrate certainty and absolute knowledge in the same way as the Holy Qur'an. We cannot, however, simultaneously reject the teachings of the hadiths because there are still two sides to the speculative arguments—one makes the topic of discussion conceivable and the other makes it impossible. Hence, we are unable to assess whether the earthquake in Turkey resulted from their evil conduct or whether it came to test their tenacity, perseverance, and faith, or whether it was an indication that they would now make reforms. Undoubtedly, one of the signs that Allah has revealed is an earthquake. He sends it on whoever He pleases on earth. This is the result of divine wisdom, and only Allah's directives are followed from beginning to conclusion. Everything happens according to His will. Also, Allah is very kind to His devotees. His mercy triumphs over His wrath. He covers everything in mercy. All people on earth, whether they are believers or unbelievers, Muslims or non-Muslims, members of any caste or community, or inhabitants of any country or both, are covered in Allah's mercy. But, this does not imply that people should just rely on His mercy and ignore His punishment in this life and the next, or that they should rely on His reward and ignore His punishment. It also does not suggest that one should continue to act in evil ways in the hopes of receiving divine mercy and pardon. For a Muslim servant, remembering Allah's punishment is worship just as remembering His mercy is. The state of the believing servants is that they express gratitude to Allah for enabling them to do good deeds and avoid bad deeds by terming it the mercy of Allah. To keep believers on the straight path and to keep them free from evil conduct and demonic influence, the idea of divine punishment here must be effective. The Holy Quran urges people to think about the possibility of divine punishment as a way to guide them towards both religion and moral behaviour. Allah says: “Then, did the people of the cities feel secure from Our punishment coming to them at night while they were asleep? Or did the people of the cities feel secure from Our punishment coming to them in the morning while they were at play? Then did they feel secure from the plan of Allah? But no one feels secure from the plan of Allah except the losing people.” (7:97-99) These verses were sent to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) by Allah, who used them to test the fearlessness of the Makkan disbelievers towards the punishment of Allah. They might be so unconcerned about incurring divine wrath, which might happen at any time, as a result of their embracing of polytheism, infidelity, and the worst crimes and destruction on Earth. They are cautioned in these verses that Allah's wrath may come upon them when they are being careless, such as while they are sleeping at night or playing during the day, and that they will then have no chance to ask for forgiveness. This is due to the fact that divine punishment frequently occurs when negligence occurs, and negligence typically occurs while people are sleeping at night or engaging in busy tasks during the day. Before these verses, Allah Almighty gave a detailed narrative of the disbelievers among the descendants of Noah, Thamud, and Madyan, among others. In addition to this Surah, the Holy Quran also mentions these events at various points in other Surahs. In a nutshell, the story of Noah's people can be summarised as follows: Some of them obeyed Hazrat Noah (peace be upon him), while others turned down his call to worship and believe in one God, and rejected his Prophethood. As a punishment for this, Allah sent a flood and massacred them. The Thamudi people are said to have rejected Hazrat Saleh's (peace be upon him) invitation to worship one God and abstain from causing trouble on earth and instead continued to commit different crimes. As a result, Allah punished them and annihilated them. When Hazrat Shoaib (peace be upon him) urged the Madyan people to worship one God, abstain from wrongdoing, and validate his prophecy, they insulted and disbelieved in Hazrat Shoaib (peace be upon him). As a result, Allah slaughtered them by sending an earthquake as a punishment. At this stage, recall the events of the Pharaohs and the people of Lot, too. The purpose of Allah Almighty's narration of these incidents to His Beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was for all the people of Makkah and others to learn from the experiences of the earlier countries and amend their conduct and beliefs. In these verses, Muslims of all ages are urged to fear Allah's wrath, to perform good actions, and to refrain from engaging in wicked deeds, just as the unbelievers have been warned of His wrath. Allah states in Surah Aale Imran, verse 102: “O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him].” (3:102) Whenever punishment is stated in the Holy Qur'an, it is always done so to alter people's attitudes and behaviours. We were talking about the earthquake. As the Holy Quran lists earthquakes as one of Allah's signs, it is now very easy to comprehend this idea and to alter one's attitudes and behaviour. It is important to remember that the lesson that an earthquake imparts applies to everyone living in that era, not only people who live in that country if an earthquake occurs there. This lesson should also be recalled: If people encounter difficulty, rather than mocking them, one should learn from it, amend one's views and behaviour by apologising and asking for divine forgiveness, and uphold both the rights of Allah and the rights of human beings. I believe it is crucial to clarify I do not draw the conclusion from the latest earthquake that Syrians and Turks must have committed a big sin for this earthquake to have befallen them. Allah Almighty knows best. I do not have any concrete information regarding this. Our understanding of the Qur'an and Sunnah is that sometimes human tragedies are the result of their wicked conduct and other times they are simply a test of patience. The punishments meted out to the pre-Islamic nations were a result of their bad conduct and beliefs, as was already mentioned. Several verses in the Holy Qur'an teach us that Allah's genuine servants undergo trials from time to time to test their patience and righteousness. Allah Almighty says, “And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient” (2:155) The story of Hazrat Ayyub is an amazing example of a severe test that Allah's good slave had to endure and how he overcame it by exercising patience. Hazrat Ayyub's patience can be seen in the fact that he never wavered in his belief that Allah Almighty is the owner of happiness and hardship, Allah Almighty is the owner of everything, and the owner has complete authority to give his servants whatever they want and take whatever He wants from them. Adversity is in some ways Allah's favour since it is a result of His will, and His loving followers are always content with whatever the will of the Lord of the world is, as you will see if you study the Sufi teachings. While enduring a serious illness for almost 18 years, Hazrat Ayyub (peace be upon him) showed patience. With the blessing of Allah, he eventually recovered and received everything that had been taken from him, including his children, youth, health, and gardens, from Allah Almighty. We cannot tell for certain that the earthquake that struck Turkey was brought on by their wicked conduct or that there are excellent servants among them who were put to a difficult test of patience and thanksgiving by this catastrophe. Regardless of this fact, we only need to reform ourselves in accordance with Islamic teachings. It would also be preferable to cite at least two Hadiths at the conclusion. According to Sunan Abu Dawud, the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated, "This is my Ummah, an Ummah that has mercy upon it, an Ummah that has been wrapped in Mercies; there is no punishment for this Ummah in the Hereafter except their punishment that they experience in the World—killing and death and dying, trials and tribulations, earthquakes and the like." According to reports, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever Allah wishes good for, He tests them, He makes them go through challenges. Like a diamond or some other metal that must be burned before the undesirable components are eliminated, leaving only the pure diamond, pure gold, or whatever. Put them through hardships, tests, and challenges." This Hadith is cited in the authenticated sources Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. May Allah have mercy on us and grant us the ability to change our behaviour while adhering to the real teachings of Islam. ----- Urdu Article: The Earthquake in Turkey: A Sign of God's Wrath or Mercy? ترکی کا زلزلہ: اللہ تعالی کا عذاب یا اللہ پاک کی رحمت URL: https://newageislam.com/islam-spiritualism/earthquake-turkey-god-wrath-mercy-patience/d/129213 New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Hindu-Muslim Unity in British India Where Any Attempt To Fight Against Divisive Politics Was Seen As Seditious

By Saquib Salim, New Age Islam 28 February 2023 “The Governor hereby declares to be forfeited to his Majesty all copies, wherever found, of a pamphlet in Bengali entitled ‘Bartaman Rajnaitik Sankat o Musalmaner Kartabya’ (Present political crisis and duty of Muslims) by Muhammad Ehsanul Huq Affendi of Sonarai, Domar, Rangpur and printed at the Kali Krishna Machine Press, Rangpur, on the ground that the said pamphlet contains-matter which brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt and excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in British India” M. K Vellodi, Chief Secretary to the Government, wrote this to the Chief Secretaries of all the provinces in British India on 7 August 1939. Rabindranath Tagore's Hindu-Muslim Raksha Bandhan festival ------ Slice of History Who was Ehsanul Huq Affendi? Why was this pamphlet banned? Why the British Government felt threatened by a six-page article? The biggest fear for the British since 1857 was Hindu-Muslim unity. They sponsored ‘leaders’ who kept lighting up communal hatred thus dividing the country. Any attempt to fight against divisive politics was seen as seditious. Ehsanul was a local Congress leader from Bengal who was fighting against the communal politics of the Muslim League. Congress of those days comprised the nationalists of diverse ideologies. Marxists, Hindus, Muslims, socialists, Akalis, Harijans, Adivasis, etc. agreeing upon national unity were part of Congress. The pamphlet was written to warn common Bengali Muslims against the evil designs of the Muslim League. Ehsanul argued that communal allegations put against Congress and Hindus were baseless. He wrote that in 1888, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and his supporters asked for a fatwa from Ulema hoping that they would prohibit Muslims from joining the party. After knowing the details of Congress, Ehasanul wrote, “In that very year of 1888 hundreds of Ulemas and perfect saints such as Enamul Ulema Kutubul Aktab Hazrat Shah Rashid Ahmed Gangohi, a bright sample of ‘the family of gracious saints’, and Shaikhul Hind Hazrat Maulana Mahamadul Hasan by publishing a book named 'Nasratul Abrar' had proclaimed its propriety. And not only did they proclaim its propriety but they also carried on all through their life non-violent Satyagraha against British imperialism. Today also, Hazrat Nayebe, the universally respected teacher of the Moslem world, Shaikh ul Hind Allama Madni, Mufti-e-Hind Allama Kefayetulla, Sobhanul Hind Allama Ahmad Sayid, Hazrat Maulana Habibur Rahman, the tiger of Punjab, Mufti-e-Azam Maulana Mohammad Nayim Ludhianvi, Maulana Shah Ataulla Shah Bokhari, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Maulana Saiyed Solaiman Nadvi and many other saints and Ulema, world famous fighters for religion are repeatedly proclaiming its propriety and have themselves been connected with it for a long time past." Ehsanul asked the Muslim League how could they claim that common Hindus had oppressed common Muslims, He asked the Muslim League who was keeping Muslims educationally backward, snatching away their lands, and trying to convert them with a new education system. He wrote, "Moslems, say, say truly who they are. Are they the 22 crores Hindus or the British government itself?" Ehsanul blamed Muslim League for misleading Muslims in the name of Islam. He concluded with his remarks "they (Muslim League) have begun to infuriate the simple-minded Moslems in rural areas against the Congress (and Hindus) by raising the cry of Islam in danger. I hope that Moslems will thoroughly scrutinise everything and then decide their duty and will never bring about their ruin under the influence of any temporary excitement." Ehsanul had committed a grave crime. He tried to attack the very foundation of the British Empire, i.e. the religious division of India. The pamphlet was banned and its copies were forfeited to save the Empire. Source: Why Was Muhammad Ehsanul Huq Affendi’s Pamphlet Forfeited by the British? URL: https://newageislam.com/interfaith-dialogue/hindu-muslim-unity-british-divisive-seditious/d/129212 New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Chanakya and Sheikh Saadi's Tips on How to Recognise a Foolish 'Scholar'

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 28 February 2023 “The ignorant are speedily convinced, and the wise are soon persuaded by argument. But all the wisdom in heaven has a hard task to overcome the pride of an obstinate scholar. " Ancient Sanskrit verse So very true! This is obvious on this site. The way one obstinate 'scholar' tries to run others down and behaves in a condescending way, one can easily relate to the aforementioned Sanskrit adage. In the Neeti Sutra of Neeti Granth, Chanakya described 11 qualities of a pseudo-intellectual or 'scholar' (chapter 7). The original copy is still safe in the custody of Taxila Museum, Taxila, Punjab Province of Pakistan; Chanakya taught there at the famous ancient university of Buddhist era, Taxila University along with Nalanda, Vikramshila (Bihar) and Dhannakatak in Central India. 1. He's obstinate and mullish. 2. He has delusion of his knowledge (mithyam poorvabhasham). 3. He thinks that his way is the only way. 4. He tries to teach others what he himself needs to learn. In other words, he teaches best what he needs to learn the most. 5. The imprecations or cuss words that he uses for others can be justifiably used for him (if others are also as stupid as he is). 6. He has a few trusted acolytes who're as imbecile as he is ( otherwise who else will follow him?) 7. Together, they create Devanam priya'raajyam ( in today's parlance, fools' paradise). 8. He is full of empty verbiage and repetitive. 9. His arguments are always false and misleading. 10. He is often garrulous and incoherent. 11. The fool's equally foolish disciples think that their master is wisdom personified and they urge others to think likewise. Sheikh Saadi, yet another great moralist and raconteur from the Islamic world added... The most risky people are those who with their little knowledge, try to interpret religious texts. They are like monkeys with knives. It's a zoological fact that if a monkey with a knife fails to harm others, it may cut its own tail with the knife! I hope, intelligent readers have understood the insinuation and got it. Need I add more? ------- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: https://newageislam.com/spiritual-meditations/chanakya-sheikh-saadi-scholar/d/129216 New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Monday, February 27, 2023

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - Origins and Relationships

By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam 27 February 2023 Judeo-Christian Perspective Posits The Following Step-Wise Evolution Of Judaism, Christianity, And Islam. Primitive Or Proto-Judaism Can Be Traced To The Primitive Covenant Between Allah And Noah ----- The following is from the Book “The Cross and the Crescent” by Jerald Dirks M.Div., Psy.D. The Judeo-Christian Perspective The Judeo-Christian perspective is one that is systematically taught throughout Western academic institutions, as, "Judaism was the first monotheistic religion", a statement which is vehemently rejected by the Islamic perspective, which will be presented later. Ur-Judaism and the Covenant with Noah The Judeo-Christian perspective begins with Adam, peace be upon him, and traces the descent of man down through the various Old Testament patriarchs, until arriving at Noah, peace be upon him. The actual lineage proposed by Genesis is Adam to Seth to Enos to Cainan to Mahalaleel to Jared to Enoch to Methuselah to Lamech to Noah. It is with the arrival of Noah that something new enters the framework of the Judeo-Christian perspective. Reportedly, Noah was the first person with whom Allah entered into a covenant.' Now, this covenant was reportedly quite primitive and limited, and very few details regarding the covenant are reported in Genesis. In fact, the only details listed in Genesis regarding this covenant are that Noah was to build the ark, and stock it with the animals of the earth; It is of note that there is next to nothing in this report of Genesis about a monotheistic commitment of worship, etc. Nonetheless, this covenant of Noah can serve as the first possible point of origin for Judaism, or what might be better-termed proto-Judaism or ur-Judaism. Judaism and the Covenant with Abraham More often, the Judeo-Christian tradition traces the origin of Judaism to Abraham, who lived approximately eleven generations after Noah. Here, one encounters the second. covenant between Allah and man, as Allah reportedly established a new covenant with Abraham. Once again, Genesis only sparsely reports the details of this covenant. In short, this covenant can is summarized to mean that: Abraham and his descendants were to keep the covenant, and were to practice circumcision; Allah promised He would be the god of Abraham and his descendants through Isaac, peace be upon him; and that Abraham and his descendants would be multitudinous. Further, Abraham and his descendants through Isaac would inherit the land of Palestine, and the covenant. The whole of history then pivoted on this covenant, the relationship between Allah and man was forever changed, and a special relationship had been established between Allah and the descendants of Isaac. It is important to note that the Judeo-Christian tradition sees this covenant between Allah and Abraham as being one of exclusive inheritance. Only Isaac and his descendants, of all of Abraham's many children, could inherit the covenant with Allah. The exclusivity of inheritance was further refined, when it was maintained that the inheritance of the covenant passed over Isaac's elder son, Esau, in favour of Isaac's younger son, Jacob, peace be upon him. As Jacob's name was later changed to Israel , making him the eponymous ancestor of the 12 tribes of Israel, the exclusivity of the covenant was seen to reside thereafter with Israel, and with Israel alone. Judaism Refined and the Mosaic Covenant Several centuries after Jacob, Allah reportedly refined his covenant with the 12 tribes of Israel. This refinement, which for the first time left a recording of specified and explicit details regarding the worship of Allah and the laws of Judaism, was given to Moses, peace be upon him. The various stipulations of the Mosaic covenant are much too detailed and voluminous to go into at this point. However, it does need to be noted that, according to the Judeo-Christian perspective, this is the second point in time, in which history pivoted, and in which the relationship between man and Allah is seen as having been irrevocably changed. For those in the Judeo-Christian tradition, who resist seeing the covenant with Abraham as being the origin of Judaism, this Mosaic covenant is seen as constituting the beginning of Judaism as an organized religion. The Role of the Prophets A fully evolved religious structure having been decreed by the Mosaic covenant, it was inevitable that the Israelites, or at least some significant portion of them, would stray from fulfilling the obligations of the covenant. As such, Allah periodically sent prophets, i.e., those authorized to speak for Allah, to call the wayward and backsliding Israelites back to the true fulfilment of the Mosaic covenant. From the contemporary Judeo-Christian perspective, these prophets are seen as admonishing the Israelites to return to Judaism. Christianity With the advent of Jesus Christ, the Judeo-Christian perspective now divides into a Jewish and a Christian perspective. In what follows, the "Christian perspective" is traced. "Christian perspective" refers here to that traditional corpus of beliefs, which today is held by the majority of Christian churches. In defining the "Christian perspective" in this manner, it ought to be pointed out that there was no single, monolithic Christian church, which evolved immediately following the time of Jesus. Rather; there were a multitude of independent churches, each having its own set of recognized scriptures, each under its own independent bishop or leader, and each having its own viewpoint on such issues as: whether or not it was Jesus Christ, who was crucified; the nature of Jesus Christ, i.e., whether he was God, man, or some combination thereof; and the nature of God, i.e., trinitarian of one formulation or another or one and indivisible. It was not until several centuries later that these issues began to be sorted out, and the traditional consensus of Christian belief began to emerge. With the above in mind, it can be stated that, from the Christian perspective, the birth of Jesus ushered in yet a third time in which history pivoted, and in which the fundamental relationship between Allah and mankind was forever altered. Although allegedly pre-existing his physical birth, Jesus was seen as the begotten son of God via a virgin birth, who opened up the covenant of Allah to all mankind, whose ministry was to both Jew and gentile, and who allegedly was crucified in atonement for the sins of mankind, before allegedly being resurrected. Although precise formulations of the concept of the trinity differ, Jesus was seen as one person among three (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit), who shared the same divine substance. The Christian perspective typically sees the ministry of Jesus as having evolved out of Judaism, primarily the Judaism of the Pharisaic and Essenic movements, and as having ushered in a new covenant of faith, repentance, and atonement in the "blood of Christ", which totally replaced the prior Mosaic covenant. In short, Christianity replaced Judaism, which was no longer relevant or spiritually operative after the new covenant of Christ. The age of the Old Testament prophets was now over, and the age of the Holy Spirit had begun. As noted previously, it took some several centuries for the above consensus to emerge within Christianity. However, even then, the consensus was shaky. Disagreements as to the independence of and/or hierarchical ranking of the various bishops, and over the exact wording of the definition of the trinity, finally led to the great schism between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Catholic Churches. The latter quickly fragmented, largely along nationalistic or ethnic lines. Some centuries later, the Roman Catholic Church underwent its own schism during the Protestant Reformation, giving rise to myriad and differing Protestant denominations. Islam According to the Judeo-Christian perspective, Islam did not exist until the ministry and preaching of Muhammad in the seventh century CEo Originally portrayed as the anti-Christ by many Christians, the image of Muhammad later began to be portrayed somewhat more favourably among certain elements of the Christian clergy and scholars. However, the Judeo-Christian perspective still perceives that Islam originated with Muhammad, and that Muhammad created Islam by borrowing heavily from both rabbinical Judaism and from Christianity. Concerning the alleged borrowing from Christianity, it is traditionally held that Muhammad most frequently took from the teachings of the Eastern churches and from a variety of apocryphal Christian writings. Thus, from the Judeo-Christian perspective, Islam originated in the seventh century CE as an amalgamation of Judaism and Christianity. Summary To summarize, the Judeo-Christian perspective posits the following step-wise evolution of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Primitive or proto-Judaism can be traced to the primitive covenant between Allah and Noah. However, Judaism really has its origin with the covenant between Allah and Abraham, a covenant, which was exclusively inherited by Isaac, then by Jacob, and then by the Israelites. The covenant was then reformulated with Moses, and Judaism as a full-blown religion began. Central to the maintenance of Judaism as a distinct religious practice was the temple cult, with its focus on the act of sacrifice at the Solomonic Temple in Jerusalem. Thereafter, various Israelites strayed from observance of the covenant, resulting in Allah sending prophets, who reaffirmed the Mosaic covenant, but neither added to nor modified it. This state of affairs continued until the new covenant of Christ, from which Christianity emerged. Almost 600 years later, Muhammad, borrowing heavily from both rabbinical Judaism and from Christianity, created the religion of Islam. The Islamic Perspective Most Western non-Muslims do not even realize that there is an Islamic perspective, which is substantially different from that of the Judeo-Christian perspective, particularly with regard to the understanding of the origins of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. As a matter of course, it is the Judeo-Christian perspective, which is systematically taught throughout Western school systems. As such, Muslim children in Western school systems are routinely indoctrinated with the Judeo-Christian perspective, often without their parents realizing it, and in direct violation, albeit unknowingly, of the American principle of separation of church and state. Ironically, even in Islamic schools in North America, classes in world history, etc. are often forced to use Western textbooks, which propagate the Judeo-Christian perspective. Muslims, especially those who were educated in a Western-oriented institution of learning, have come to accept the Judeo-Christian perspective, without being fully aware of the Islamic perspective. Given the above background, the Islamic perspective is presented below. As will be seen, it sometimes parallels and at times deviates from the Judeo-Christian perspective. This is most apparent when considering terms such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, covenant, and revelation. Like the Judeo-Christian tradition, Islam traces the origin of mankind to Adam. However, unlike any conceptualization within the JudeoChristian tradition, Islam posits its beginning with Adam. Islam means "submission", i.e. submission to Allah, and a Muslim is "one who submits" to Allah. Thus, the religion of Adam was Islam, as was the religion of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc. (42:13) The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah-that which We have sent by inspiration to thee-and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: namely, that ye should remain steadfast in religion, and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than Allah, hard is the (way) to which thou callest them. Allah chooses to Himself those whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him). This is not, however, to say that the Islamic religion of Adam was the same in every detail as that of Noah, or of Abraham, or of Moses, or of Jesus, or of Muhammad. In fact, it was not. However, to understand that difference, one has to understand the Islamic concepts of covenant and of progressive revelation. Covenant and Revelation As noted above, the Judeo-Christian tradition perceives the concept of covenant to represent a fundamental re-ordering of the cosmos, in which the relationship between mankind and Allah is completely redefined, and in which an entirely new concept of religion is introduced. Covenants are thus seen as being few and far between, represented only by: 1) the primitive or proto-covenant with Noah; 2) the defining covenant with Abraham, which was exclusively inherited by Isaac, by Jacob, and then by the Israelites; 3) the revision and elaboration of the Abrahamic covenant with Moses, with inheritance of the covenant limited to Israelites and Jews; and 4) the new covenant with Jesus, which for the first time was open to participation by non-Jews. In marked contrast, Islam affirms a multiplicity of covenants between Allah and mankind. Every prophet of Allah, most of whose names are not even known to contemporary man, has had his own covenant, which was inherited by that prophet's people, The following quotations from the Qur'an serve to illustrate this latter point. (2:125) Remember We made the House a place of assembly for men and a place of safety; and take ye the station of Abraham as a place of prayer; and We covenanted with Abraham and Isma'il, that they should sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or use it as a retreat, or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer)" (3:81) Behold! Allah took the covenant of the prophets, saying: "I give you a book and wisdom; then comes to you a messenger, confirming what is with you; do you believe in him and render him help." Allah said: "Do ye agree, and take this my covenant as binding on you?" They said: "We agree." He said: "Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses." (33:7) And remember We took from the prophets their covenant: as (We did) from thee: From Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus the son of Mary: We took from them a solemn covenant. Further, a prophet of Allah was sent to every people, not just to the Israelites. There are many passages in the Qur'an referring to the fact that a prophet was sent to every people. The following represents a brief sample of those passages. (6:42) Before thee We sent (messengers) to many nations, and We afflicted the nations with suffering and adversity, that they might learn humility (10:47) To every people (was sent) a messenger: when their messenger comes (before them), the matter will be judged between them with justice, and they will not be wronged. (16:36) For We assuredly sent amongst every people a messenger, (with the command), "Serve Allah, and eschew evil": of the people were some whom Allah guided, and some on whom error became inevitably (established). So travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who denied (the truth) (35:24) For We assuredly sent amongst every people, as a bearer of glad tidings, and as a warner: and there never was a people, without a warner having lived among them (in the past). Thus, between the time of Adam and Muhammad, covenants were plentiful, and were non-exclusive. Every person, regardless of ethnic, national, or racial descent, had the potential opportunity to inherit a covenant with Allah, and to enter into a proper, worshipful relationship with Allah. This concept of a multiplicity of covenants is linked with the Islamic concept of progressive revelation. Since each prophet received his own covenant with Allah, the revelation of Allah as to how. best to worship Him was progressively revealed over an evolutionary period. Unlike the cosmic re-orderings followed by long periods of revelatory stagnation posited by the Judeo-Christian tradition, Islam affirms a gradual evolution in the relationship between man and Allah and in man's worship of Allah. Prior revelations could and were modified, elaborated, and abrogated. In fact, such evolution and progressive revelation occurred not only between prophets, but also within a given prophet's own message and revelation. With regard to this, one needs only look to the progressive revelation within the lifetime of Muhammad, which led from no prohibition against alcohol, to prohibition against alcoholic consumption interfering with the performance of mandatory prayers, to total prohibition of alcohol. This concept of progressive revelation is summarized in the following passages from the Qur'an. (2:106) None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: knowest thou not that Allah hath power over all things? (13:38) We did send messengers before thee, and appointed for them wives and children: and it was never the part of a messenger to bring a sign except as Allah permitted (or commanded). For each period is a book (revealed). Allah doth blot out or confirm what He pleaseth: with Him is the mother of the book. (10:37) This Qur'an is not such as can be produced by other than Allah; on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the book wherein there is no doubt-from the Lord of the worlds. (16:101) When We substitute one revelation for another-and Allah knows best what He reveals (in stages)-they say, "Thou art but a forger": but most of them understand not, Given the above, it can be seen that Islam began with Adam, gradually evolved through the different covenants and progressive revelations given to the various prophets, and finally culminated in the final revelation given to Prophet Muhammad. In this regard, the contrasts between the Judeo-Christian and Islamic perspectives are dramatic. The Judeo-Christian perspective posits a few stages of religious evolution, each of which is markedly different than the one before it. Metaphorically, one can compare the Judeo-Christian perspective to the drastic revolutions involved in the developmental stages of the caterpillar, cocoon, and butterfly. Each stage is fundamentally different in appearance than the stage before it. In contrast, the metaphor for the Islamic perspective would be that of the budding and opening of a flower, in which the message of Adam represents the first budding'", and in which the final message of Muhammad represents the flower in full bloom. However, even within that first bud of Adam's message, there were two fundamental truths, which have never been abrogated or modified, and which continued to be the centrepiece of the message of every later prophet: I) there is no god but Allah, Who has no partners, and Allah is to be worshipped and served'"; and 2) avoid evil and wickedness, for there will be a day of final judgment. The Role of the Prophets In order to affect a proper comparison between the Judeo-Christian and Islamic perspectives, this discussion of the role of the prophets is limited to those prophets, who are recognized in some capacity by both the Judeo-Christian tradition and by Islam. As noted previously, the Judaeo-Christian tradition posits that these prophets were sent by Allah to call the backsliding Israelites and Jews back to Judaism. In contrast, the Islamic perspective affirms that these prophets represented the progressive revelation of Islam, and were sent by Allah to bring the people back to Islam. However, many did not listen to the prophets, did not repent of their ways, and did not return to proper submission to Allah. Apostasy and deviation existed, and eventually certain of these deviations came to be codified and ritualized. Such codification and ritualizing of deviation from Islam were the origin of Judaism, i.e. of one of the two branches of the People of the Book. This is illustrated by the Qur'anic emphasis on the Jews having distorted and perverted their revealed scriptures. In short, Judaism arose much after Islam, and was the codified remains of deviation from Islam. As such, the prophets were not sent to call the people back to Judaism, but were sent to call the people back to Islam from Judaism, from other forms of deviation, and from frank unbelief. (3:19) The religion before Allah is Islam (submission to His will): nor did the People of the Book dissent therefrom except through envy of each other, after knowledge had come to them. But if any deny the signs of Allah, Allah is swift in calling to account. (42:13) The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah-that which We have sent by inspiration to thee-and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: namely, that ye should remain steadfast in religion, and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than Allah, hard is the (way) to which thou callest them. Allah chooses to Himself those whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who tum (to Him). (42:14) And they became divided only after knowledge reached them-through selfish envy as between themselves. Had it not been for a word that went forth before from thy Lord, (tending) to a term appointed, the matter would have been settled between them: but truly those who have inherited the book after them are in suspicious (disquieting) doubt concerning it. One other point of difference between the Judeo-Christian and Islamic perspectives on the role of the prophets needs to be stated. As noted previously, the Judeo-Christian perspective frequently portrays the prophets of Allah as being backsliding sinners, who engaged in all manner of reprehensible behaviour. In marked contrast, the Islamic perspective is that these prophets were men of virtue, piety, and high moral character. (3:161) No prophet could (ever) be false to his trust. Jesus And The Origin Of Christianity Islam affirms the virgin birth of Jesus, but sees this not as an act of begetting, but as an act of miraculous creation, caused by Allah's verbal command. The following represents but one of several passages from the Qur'an that testifies to the virgin birth of Jesus. (3:45) Behold! The angels said: "0 Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah; (46) He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous. (47) " She said: "0 my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?" He said: "Even so: Allah createth what He willeth: when He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, 'Be,' and it is!" However, in regard to the virgin birth, the miraculous origin of Jesus is seen as being akin to the creation of Adam. Just as Jesus was without a father, so Adam, having been created from the earth'", was without a father and a mother. (3:59) The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be": and he was." Islam affirms that Jesus was a prophet of Allah", and that Jesus was the Messiah or Christ. However, Islam denies the crucifixion of Jesus'", and denies the divinity of Jesus. Like those prophets of Israel before him, Jesus' message and ministry were confined to the remnants of Israel and to the Jews, and were a call to return to Islam and to proper submission to and worship of the Oneness of Allah. It's worth noting that one part of the message of Jesus was the prophecy of an additional prophet yet to come, who would be called Ahmad, which is a variation of the name Muhammad. (61:6) And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: "0 children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the law (which came) before me, and giving glad tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad." But when he came to them with clear signs, they said, "This is evident sorcery!" Jesus was not the founder or originator of a new religion, or even of a new religious movement within the Judaism of his times, but was one in a succession of prophets of Allah to the people of Israel. Likewise, attempts to link Jesus with this or that particular school of Judaic thought, whether Pharisaic, Essenic, or other, are rejected, as they distort the fundamental truth that Jesus was a prophet of Allah, who was bringing a portion of the progressive revelation of Islam. All of which is not to say that there was no new component to the message that Jesus brought. The Islamic concept of progressive revelation allows for the possibility that the revelation to Jesus may have partially altered, added to, or abrogated some parts of the revelations of earlier prophets. So, then how does one account for the origin of Christianity? The Islamic answer is that others, e.g., Paul of Tarsus, quickly distorted the message, ministry, and gospel of Jesus. Probably, none of those who distorted Jesus' message had been an eyewitness to Jesus' life and ministry, and none were actual disciples of Jesus. The actual and complete gospel of Jesus is nowhere to be found in the contemporary New Testament. However, bits and pieces of that gospel probably have been preserved by subsequent "Christian" authors of the various books of the New Testament, all of which were written two decades to one century after the completion of Jesus' ministry, and none of which were likely authored by anyone who had first hand contact with Jesus' actual ministry. Additional fragments about the ministry of Jesus were probably preserved in parts of the so-called apocrypha of the Christian era. In short, just as distortions of earlier revelations from Allah to the prophets had resulted in the formation of Judaism, so distortions of the message of Jesus resulted in the formation of Christianity. (43:63) When Jesus came with clear signs, he said: "Now have I come to you with wisdom, and in order to make clear to you some of the (points) on which ye dispute: therefore fear Allah and obey me. For Allah, He is my Lord and your Lord: so worship ye Him: this is a straight way." But sects from among themselves fell into disagreement: then woe to the wrongdoers, from the penalty of a grievous day! (5:14) From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so We estranged them, with enmity and hatred between the one and the other, to the Day of Judgement. And soon will Allah show them what it is they have done, (57:27) Then, in their wake, We followed them up with (others of) Our messengers: We sent after them Jesus the son of Mary, and bestowed on him the gospel; and We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him compassion and mercy, but the monasticism which they invented for themselves, We did not prescribe for them: (We commanded) only the seeking for the good pleasure of Allah; but that they did not foster as they should have done. Yet We bestowed, on those among them who believed, their (due) reward, but many of them are rebellious transgressors. (As a brief digression, it is interesting to note how the second passage above, with its emphasis on the "enmity and hatred between the one and the other" Christian groups appears to predict so accurately the abuses and barbarities perpetrated by Christians upon Christians during the Protestant Reformation, the origins of the Anabaptist movement, and the infamous Inquisition.) Muhammad and the Final Revelation of Islam Muhammad did not originate or create Islam, nor was Islam originated based on the revelations given to Muhammad by Allah. Rather, Muhammad was the Seal of the Prophets, i.e. the last in the line of Allah's prophets, just as a seal at the end of a document is the last thing affixed to that document. It may be noted that Westerners and adherents to the Judeo-Christian perspective frequently attribute hierarchical significance to the title "Seal of the Prophets", as though Muslims claim that Muhammad was the greatest or best of the prophets of Allah. This type of thinking is contrary to Islam, and is specifically prohibited by the Qur'an, which states that Muslims are to make no hierarchical distinctions among the prophets of Allah. Like all the prophets before him, Muhammad was not divine, but was only a man endowed with the message of Allah. However, it was through the progressive revelation given to Muhammad that Islam was perfected and completed. This revelation abrogated, elaborated, and altered parts of the revelations given to earlier prophets, was memorized and written down by the early companions of Muhammad, and became known as the Qur'an. Thus, Islam finds its final evolution in the message of Muhammad, not its genesis. Further, as the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad was the "international" prophet, bringing Allah's message not only to the people of Muhammad, whether defined as Makkans, the members of the Quraish tribe, or Arabs, but to the people of the world at large. (25:57) Say: "No reward do I ask of you for this (Qur'an), nor am I a pretender. This is no less than a message to (all) the worlds. Summary The Islamic perspective affirms the following evolution of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Islam began with Adam, and has evolved in accordance with the progressive revelations given by Allah to His various prophets. This evolution of Islam finds its perfect culmination in the final revelations of Allah, which were bestowed upon Prophet Muhammad. Early on, among the descendants of Prophet Jacob, distortions of the basic message of Islam were codified and ritualized, giving rise to the religion of Judaism. Subsequent prophets to the house of Israel continually warned the Israelites and Jews to return to Islam, and to forsake their deviations, which included Judaism, and their unbelief. Among those prophets, whose ministry was limited to the Israelites and Jews, was Jesus (the Messiah or Christ, and the son of the virgin Mary). However, Jesus' message and ministry were also distorted, giving rise to such concepts as the begotten son of God, the crucifixion of Jesus, and the trinitarian concept of God. This distortion of the message of Jesus by Paul of Tarsus and others became codified as Christianity. Conclusions Words are sometimes deceiving in their ability to mislead others. This is especially the case when words are used to represent abstract concepts or complex systems or thoughts. As has been shown in the above discussion, words such as "revelation", "covenant", "Judaism", "Christianity", and "Islam" have radically different meanings for Muslims, than they do for adherents to the traditional Judeo-Christian perspective, which typically is the only viewpoint expressed in Western academia. Likewise, names such as Jesus, Muhammad, Moses, Abraham, etc., convey different images and associated concepts, depending upon the religious orientation of the individual. By contrasting the Judaeo-Christian and Islamic perspectives on the origins of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, some of these differences have been identified and discussed. Allah willing, this endeavour may contribute to better and heightened communication among the adherents of these three religious traditions. ----- A frequent contributor to NewAgeIslam.com, Naseer Ahmed is an Engineering graduate from IIT Kanpur and is an independent IT consultant after having served in both the Public and Private sector in responsible positions for over three decades. He has spent years studying Quran in-depth and made seminal contributions to its interpretation. URL: https://newageislam.com/interfaith-dialogue/judaism-christianity-origins/d/129206 New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Anti-India Policies of the Dictators, General Ziaul Haque and General Pervez Musharraf, Made Pakistan A Terrorism Hub

By New Age Islam Staff Writer 27 February 2023 Pakistan Has Reached This Situation Because Of The Wrong Policies Of Its Dictators. Since Army Generals Have Ruled For Most Part Of Its History, They Have Tried To Resolve All Its Political Problems And Internal And External Disputes With The Use Of Force Main Points: 1. Yahya Khan ordered army crackdown on East Pakistan in 1971 leading to Pakistan 's break up. 2. General Ziaul Haque trained Taliban mujahideen for billions of dollars. 3. Gen. Pervez Musharraf patronised and funded LeT to fund terrorism in Kashmir. 4. Musharraf was behind the Kargil infiltration. 5. Musharraf facilitated Mumbai terror attacks. ----- General Ziaul Haque and General Pervez Musharraf ------ Pakistan is in the midst of a severe financial crisis and on the edge of a civil war. Its foreign reserves have depleted to the brink of bankruptcy and under the IMF conditions for a loan, it has imposed more taxes on services and goods leading to increased inflation and price rise. The terrorist attacks conducted by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has caused bloodshed across the country. The Peshawar mosque attack and Karachi police headquarters attack are only two major attacks by the TTP recently. The Balochistan separatists have also been attacking Pakistan military personnel on a daily basis. The common people or the lower middle class cannot buy wheat and flour and other essential commodities because of the food shortage and the steep price rise. The PoK leader Amjad Ayub Mirza has given Pakistan army 100 days' ultimatum to leave PoK as the PoK people want to unite with India. Pakistan has reached this situation because of the wrong policies of its dictators. Since army generals have ruled for most part of its history, they have tried to resolve all its political problems and internal and external disputes with the use of force. In 1971, when Awami Party of Sheikh Mujeebur Rahman demanded autonomy because of the economic exploitation and deprivation of the people of East Pakistan, the only solution that General Md Yahya saw was a military crackdown. The crackdown resulted in a huge influx of migrants from East Pakistan into India prompting India to interfere in the conflict leading to the independence of Bangladesh. During the last years of the 8th decade, Gen. Ziaul Haque patronised Taliban by providing training and funds at the behest of the US to oust the Russians from Afghanistan. Pakistan received huge funds for training the Taliban. The US used Pakistan's religious affinity to Afghanistan and was able to mobilise Afghan refugees with the help of Pakistan's military leadership and Osama bin Laden. This fight became a continuous source of US funding to Pakistan which it needed to upgrade its military vis a vis India which had become a nuclear power in 1974. Thereafter, all the democratic governments and dictators pursued the policy of promoting terrorism and then pretending to fight it for foreign funds. An article on the website of The Human Rights Watch gives account of Pakistan's policy of terror funding: "Pakistan has a history of military support for different factions within Afghanistan, at least as far back as the early 1970s. During the 1980s, Pakistan, which was host to more than two million Afghan refugees, was the most significant front-line state serving as a secure base for mujahideen fighting against the Soviet intervention. Pakistan also served in the 1980s as a US stalking horse: the US through the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) granted Pakistan wide discretion in channelling some $US 2-3 billion worth of covert assistance to the mujahideen training over 80,000 of them. Even after the withdrawal of troops in 1989, serving and former Pakistani officers continued to provide training and advisory services in training camps within Afghanistan and eventually to Taliban forces in combat." Gen. Pervez Musharraf took this legacy of using terrorism.as a foreign policy against India. Soon after taking charge as the military head during Nawaz Sharif government in 1998, he plotted the infiltration bid in Kargil in 1999 leading to a war between India and Pakistan. He did not get demoralised by his defeat in Kargil. He plotted the Parliament attack in India in 2002. His deep urge to cause damage to India and avenge 1971 kept him conspiring against India and finding new ways to cause harm to India. During his tenure, he established contacts with Bangladesh army and its intelligence agency DGFI during Khaleda Zia government, and used DGFI to allow ULFA to carry out its subversive activities against India from Bangladesh soil. He also facilitated the Mumbai attacks in 2008 with the help of ISI and Lashkar-e-Taiba. This is not only an allegation. Both Nawaz Sharif and Pervez Musharraf have acknowledged this fact before the media. During an interview to India Today, on 13 February, 2006, Musharraf said, "Inter Services Intelligence trains Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT) terrorists." In July 2018, he said to the Economic Times, that Hafiz Saeed was involved in Kashmir and he ( Musharraf) supported his involvement. While talking to Pakistan's leading English daily Dawn, Nawaz Sharif had said: "Militant organisations are active. Call them non-state actors. Should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Why can't we complete the trial?" The only surviving terrorist in Mumbai attack Ajmal Kasab had implicated Hafiz Saeed, ISI, David Headley (A Pakistani origin American) and ISI operative Tahawwur Rana. Headley and Tahawwur Rana confessed in the courts in the US that they helped LeT in executing the Mumbai massacre and that ISI was actively involved in the planning. A court in Pakistan has sentenced Hafiz Saeed to 31 years imprisonment while he is the most wanted criminal in India. The TTP that was formed in Pakistan in 2007 is now the favourites of Pakistan army and the Pakistani politicians. They patronised it to use it against India but they have turned the table on them. They have conducted more than 1500 attacks in Pakistan since last year and have targeted the police and government installations. Politicians may be the next target. Imran Khan is said to be sympathetic to them. The politicians have found the terrorist groups useful in furthering their anti-India rhetoric as after every terrorist attack, they raise the Indian hand slogan. The TTP was earlier helpful to Nawaz Sharif's party in winning elections. Now, Imran Khan is close to them. His government facilitated the release of the TTP fighters from Afghan prisons and their return to Pakistan with arms. Pakistan has become a terrorist hub because of the anti-India policies of its dictators and worse, the politicians have taken forward the legacy of patronising terorist groups for short term political gains. URL: https://newageislam.com/radical-islamism-jihad/dictators-ziaul-musharraf-pakistan-terrorism/d/129205 New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Our Role in Removing the Social Evils That Have Corrupted the Majority of Muslims

By Kaniz Fatma, New Age Islam 27 February 2023 Social Reforms and Our Responsibility Main Points 1. A permanent "social reform" section is present in almost all humans, Muslims or non-Muslims. 2. Plans and efforts made for the cause of reforming society are mostly being done in the wrong direction. 3. Through his special and beautiful teachings, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) lifted people out of the mire of destruction, the pit of condemnation, and brought them to the top of the world. 4. Some of the issues that plague modern Muslim civilization are violations of both human and divine rights. ----- The phrase "Social Reform" is a lovely title and endearing combination of two words. Those who hear, speak, or read this title begin to observe several social evils that have rendered the Muslim society dirty, corrupt and poisonous via their windows of the mind and brain. Currently, this phrase is frequently read, written, spoken, and recited in a great many contexts. Many groups, associations, conferences, and meetings are held with the intention of reforming society. Countless parties are also created for this goal. A permanent "social reform" section is present in almost all humans, Muslims or non-Muslims. Non-Muslims have also created their own unique committee with this goal in mind. Newspapers and the media are both involved in pursuing this objective. Government measures are also being carried out. But despite the combined efforts of many circles and groups, nothing meaningful has happened. They stay at the same location as when they initially left. Society is rife with corruption, and it keeps getting worse. The question of how to carry out reformation work arises. We can answer this question by reflecting on the following verse from the Quran: “As for those who struggle in Our cause, We will surely guide them along Our Way. And Allah is certainly with the good-doers.” (29:69) In another verse, Allah Almighty says, “O you who believe! If you help (in the cause of) Allah, He will help you, and make your foothold firm.” (47:7) The divine promise cannot be falsified or broken. It is conceivable for day to become night, for the sun to rise in the west rather than the east, for the earth and the sky to move from their positions, but it is impossible to breach a promise made by Almighty God. The only conclusion that can be formed in light of all of these initiatives is that no matter what plans or efforts are made in the name of "reforming society," they are all being done in the wrong direction. In reality, their attempts lack the qualities and elements that can appeal to others. If our efforts and the steps we take to "reform society" are sincere and on the correct track, Allah's assistance will undoubtedly be incorporated and drawn to them. As a consequence, the people will be impacted, their reform will be accomplished, and positive outcomes will undoubtedly be discovered. The word "society" refers to a group of individuals, and it is the duty of each individual to keep his society free from all kinds of flaws and squalor. Islam has taught Muslims to be aware of their surroundings and to be worried about any potential problems. Good things will happen when there is sincere interest in reforming society. Humanity was on the verge of annihilation when the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was born. Allah, the Most High, said in the Holy Qur'an: “Remember the blessing of Allah upon you: When you were enemies to each other, and He brought your hearts together, so that, you became brothers through His blessing. You were at the brink of a pit of Fire, then He saved you from it. This is how Allah makes His signs clear to you, so that you may take the right path.” (3:102-103) Through his special and beautiful teachings, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) lifted people out of the mire of destruction, the pit of condemnation, and brought them to the top of the world. He also presented to the world a society that is so pure and beautiful that its example cannot be given until the Day of Resurrection. How the people underwent reformation, earned the status of companions, and will always serve as examples for humanity. The Holy Quran says: “You are the best community ever raised for humanity—you encourage good, forbid evil, and believe in Allah. Had the People of the Book believed, it would have been better for them. Some of them are faithful, but most are rebellious.” (3:110) Similar to this, the Holy Qur'an stated the following when describing the mutual obligations of Muslim men and women: “The believers, both men and women, are guardians of one another. They encourage good and forbid evil, establish prayer and pay alms-tax, and obey Allah and His Messenger. It is they who will be shown Allah’s mercy. Surely Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.” (9:71) He Almighty said in another verse: “They are˺ those who, if established in the land by Us, would perform prayer, pay alms-tax, encourage what is good, and forbid what is evil. And with Allah rests the outcome of all affairs.” (22: 41) The Prophet also gave guidelines for performing the tasks related to social reforms. Each among you who sees evil should make an effort to stop it with their power. They should try to stop it with their tongue if they are unable to do so. If you don't have the guts to even say it out loud, consider this work to be bad in your heart. The least degree of faith is shown in the last one. The Prophet (peace be upon him) made a significant instruction regarding how to do social reforms in the hadith above. The process for carrying out this task has also been described. Until someone puts an end to the evils, does not worry, and tries to abstain from the evils, it is difficult for any society to get reformed. In this hadith, the Prophet mentioned three stages of preventing and forbidding wrongdoing. According to scholars, while it is the responsibility of the state to reform society through force, intellectuals and preachers are responsible for doing it through their tongues. One of the reasons for awarding this nation with the title of "Khair-e-Ummat" in the Holy Qur'an is that it is the one that encourages people to do good deeds and prevents them from doing bad deeds. The main reason for the corruption that has spread in our society today is that the heads of the family who are the guardians of the family, when they see the members of the family committing a sin, instead of stopping and reprimanding them, they also start participating in this sin. Deliberately ignoring evil leads to a great destruction. In the Holy Qur'an, Allah Almighty explained one of the reasons why People of Israel were cursed and deprived. (Al-Ma'idah: 78.79) Enjoining good and forbidding people from evil is such an important act that the Prophet (PBUH) said: "By the One in Whose Hand my soul is! Either you command good and forbid evil, or Allah will soon send upon you a punishment from Him, then you will pray to Him but He will not respond to you." (Tirmidhi: 2095) The Muslim community is currently affected by a number of social flaws. Instead of only making pronouncements about Islamic principles and ideals, it is our responsibility to implement them. It is our responsibility to take action to remove corruption, disobedience, and immorality and to support the conversion of our families to being obedient servants of Allah Almighty. We must realize the bitter truth that we have neglected our religious ideals. Extravagance in weddings, the demand for dowry, ignorance of the fundamentals of Islamic teachings, and violations of both human and divine rights are some of the problems that are pervasive in contemporary Muslim society. In order to create and advance our society, we are compelled to fulfil our obligation to promote good and forbid bad. The Holy Quran says: “O believers! Protect Yourself and Your Family From the Fire of Hell.” [66:6] Allah Almighty orders His believing servants to defend themselves and their families from His punishment with Taqwa, and by directing their families to do the same. One is shielded from the flames of hell by practising Taqwa and adhering to the religion of Islam. One should also advise his family, including his parents, children, brothers, and sisters, to fear Allah and uphold His Din by advising them to adhere to Al-Haqq (the Truth), collaborate in acts of righteousness and Taqwa, encourage Ma'ruf (that which is deemed to be right, beneficial, or appropriate by Islam and forbid Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islam). If this is taken into account, it is usually impossible for a person to make a commitment to morally upright behaviour and then to uphold it when society and the environment are unfavourable for him. A steadfast worshipper will likewise have difficulties in exercising his right. Nowadays, it's harder to stay away from things that are forbidden than it used to be. The underlying reason for this is that when an entire environment, town, or family is struggling with a sin, it makes it challenging for even one individual to find salvation. The Holy Prophet assembled his family members and called them to the truth when this verse was revealed to him. Even though some people in the beginning rejected the truth, eventually, members of the family started converting to Islam. The need for starting the act of social reforms with family and friends is that instruction and preaching are less successful on others if a person's family, close relatives and family are not his companions and colleagues in his ideas and practical programme. The common people's response to the Holy Prophet's invitation and sermon at the beginning of Islam was that he should first correct his family of Quraysh before taking their news. When Islam spread within the family and when it got accomplishment at the time of the conquest of Makkah, its outcome was revealed in the Holy Qur'an's words: "And you see the people entering into the religion of Allah in multitudes," (110:2) Our youth, who make up the heart of the community, are already leaders in this field, and our preachers, who serve as role models for the people in our society, should execute this kind of reform. Thus, let everyone be motivated to put each reform into practise. With God's help, our society will soon change and turn into something truly pure and pleasant. Imparting education is the most important element in the sector of social reforms. This element needs to be as accessible to the Muslim population as possible because Muslims are lagging behind in education. ---- Kaniz Fatma is a classic Islamic scholar and a regular columnist for New Age Islam. URL: https://newageislam.com/islam-spiritualism/social-evils-corrupted-muslims/d/129204 New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

There's Always Something More To Be Seen

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 27 February 2023 “The history of the living world can be summarized as the elaboration of ever more perfect eyes within a cosmos in which there's always something more to be seen." Pierre Teilhard De Chardin (1881-1955), France This is indeed a very profound statement! An Urdu poet enigmatically said the same thing, “Nazar Mein Vusa'at Paida Kar/ Na Thahar Ek Hi Manzar Par" (Broaden your vision/ don’t stop at one place). There's so much to be seen, learnt and acquired in a relatively short time. The problem with all humans is that we tend to become complacent and absolute in our approach to life, truth and circumstances. There's nothing absolute. To say or claim that something is absolute is akin to thinking that there's nothing more to learn or know. People with a blinkered vision and limited understanding will claim that my country is the best, my religion is the only true religion and my scripture is a book of absolute truth. This is idiocy and known as Washerman's Donkey Syndrome (from Sheikh Saadi's ' Washerman's Donkey' in ' Bostan '). Just the way washer man’s life revolved around his humble and loyal donkey, people with limited thinking remain confined to their own set of relative truths. They're reluctant as well as adamant not to think beyond their periphery. Absolutism is their undoing. Einstein, who wasn't a believer but an agnostic, once said, " I may reject all theories about the cosmos, god and beliefs, but will continue to believe that there's something that will forever remain unexplained." To stop at one place and call it the end of the world is self-deception, nay lunacy. Once we accept our limitations, it becomes easier to zero in on them and root them out finally. There's an enchanting expression In the Finnish language. It's known as En de chian (Getting new eyes). It's a metaphorical expression, equal to Nai Drishti in Hindi and Nai Nazar in Urdu. This En de chian is necessary to know the world and explore new possibilities. The journey of life is the journey of exploration. Truths become mere findings with a definite life-span when you see the world sans prejudices and with ever-evolving new vision. ------- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: https://newageislam.com/spiritual-meditations/bostan-teilhard-life-truth/d/129203 New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Hindus, Muslims & Sikhs Fighting the British

By Saquib Salim, New Age Islam 27 February 2023 Sanobar Hussain, Sher Ali, Abdur Rahman Riya, Abdulla and Abdul Aziz were holding a secret meeting in February 1929 in Peshawar. The Indian freedom struggle, they believed, needed rejuvenation. With Sanobar as its president, they founded Anjuman Jamiat Naujawanan–i-Sarhad (Association of frontier youth). The aim was to revitalize nationalism in Peshawar by bringing Hindus and Muslims together and engaging in revolutionary activities. Kissa Khani bazar of Peshawar ----- Slice of History Abdur Rahman Riya started a newspaper to reach a larger audience. In September, Anjuman held a meeting in honour of Jatindra Nath Das, who had sacrificed his life after a long hunger strike in Lahore Jail. At the meeting attended by Hindus and Muslims both, Bhagat Singh and his comrades were also hailed. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan urged Muslims to follow the footsteps of Jatindra Nath and Bhagat Singh. Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari, leader of Majlis-i-Ahrar, asked the leaders of Anjuman if their organisation had aims similar to Naujawan Bharat Sabha of Punjab. Sabha had Bhagat Singh and other revolutionaries as its members. Bukhari suggested that the organisation should be rechristened as Naujawan Bharat Sabha as a wing of Punjab-based organisation. Abdur Rahman Riya travelled to Lahore and received the affiliation from Naujawan Party. By the start of 1930, the newspaper Risala-i-Naujawan Sarhad was started. The organisation was now known as Naujawan Bharat Sabha, Peshawar with Abdur Rahman Riya, Faqir Chand, Abdul Hai, Achraj Ram, Abdul Ghaffar, Saeed, Chunni Lal, Allah Bakhsh, Sohan Lal, and Amir Singh as executive members. The organisation adopted a red flag and hammer sickle emblem. On 26 January 1930, the nationalists were celebrating Independence Day of India, as decided at the Congress Session. In a post-partition Peshawar, it is impossible to imagine that Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims marched in unison under the flags of different organisations demanding freedom for India. The name of Pakistan wasn’t even invented then. The procession of Independence Day was led by a Congress group with a Congress Tricolour Flag. It had Lala Badshah, Ali Gul Khan, Qasim Jan, Abdul Jalil, Lala Radha Kishan, Vakil, Abdur Rahman Nadwi, Dr. Jawahir Singh, Ghulam Rabbani Sethi, Allah Bakhsh, Rahim Bakhsh, Muhammad Usman, Haji Karam Ilahi, Milap Singh, Amar Singh, and several others. Behind Congress was the Naujawan Bharat Sabha group with Red Flags raising the slogans of the revolution. Abdur Rahman Riya, Abdul Aziz, Roshan Lal, Sanobar Hussain, Acharaj Ram, Chaman Lal, Abdul Hai, Faqir Chand, Kishan Chand, Hari Ram, Amar Singh, and others led this group with posters of Bhagat Singh, Ashfaqullah Khan, B. K. Dutt and others. The third group was of Khudai Khidmatgars carrying a White Flag led by Sarfaraz, Naqibullah, and Purdil. The group of Khalsa Naujawan Jatha provided a great spectacle of a united India. Supposedly a Sikh organisation led by Hardit Singh had several Muslims like Yaqub raising the slogans of the revolution. The activities picked up the pace. Sabha had four newspapers by April to disseminate nationalist propaganda. Risala–i-Naujawan Sarhad, Naujawan Sarhad, Naujawan Sarfarosh, and Piam-i-Jang were being widely read and caused panic among British officials. Increased revolutionary activities were blamed on the organisation. The British intelligence blamed the activities of Sabha behind the increased determination among locals to fight the colonial rulers which eventually led to Qissa Khwani Bazaar massacre where hundreds of Indians were shot dead by the British soldiers. It was also believed that the propaganda of Sabha was one of the reasons behind Ram Chandra Garhwali’s decision to disobey the British command to fire upon the Indians. It was a rare event where Indian soldiers of the British did not fire upon Indians and preferred court martial. No wonder on 3 May 1930 Naujawan Bharat Sabha was banned by the British and the unity of Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims would never remain the same. URL: https://newageislam.com/interfaith-dialogue/hindus-muslims-sikhs-british/d/129202 New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism