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General Discussions / 1434
« on: November 15, 2012, 06:20:21 AM »
Salaam all,

رأس السنة الهجرية‎ Ras as-Sanah al-Hijriyah   New Hijri Year!

Is the beginning of a new islamic year.   The first day of the year is observed on the first day of Muharram, the first month of the islamic calendar.

The moon of Muharram also marks the beginning of Majlis-e Husayn.  It means a gathering to mourn his death.  For our Shia brethren, Muharram is acknowledging and learning from those who fought and travelled with Husayn.  They recite eulogies about the sacrifice these people made to stand against a tyrannical ruler. 

For the rest of us who do not follow the sects, this is a good time to do reflection on what we did, how we felt, what we liked and disliked and what we learned in the past year.  `

You all have a blessed new  hijri year

Discussions / Is islam an oxymoron?
« on: November 06, 2012, 11:37:57 PM »
Salaam all,

We all realize the big divide between Islam and its practices.  Today I saw a newsflash in islamophobia that the “There is no God and Islam is evil” speech earns Richard Dawkins a standing ovation.  Prof Dawkins said: “We are terrified of being called ‘Islamophobic’. It is a disgrace a religion prescribes death for leaving it. The vast majority of Muslims would not dream of doing that, but they are taught it in their madrassas… and it only takes a minority to put that into practice. And, as 
we have seen, terrible things happen.”

He is a renowed atheist yet in my heart, I cannot blame him for his  very perceptive opinion.  If there is anyone to be blamed, it is us,  Self-blaming  is not new, has been expressed hundred times before; appears the view needs to be expressed more intensely and much more frequently till it reaches the target.  Otherwise Islam is peace will continue to be an oxymoron.

Discussions / Father Abraham
« on: November 06, 2012, 03:31:01 AM »
Salaam all

I am aware of brother Joseph's article regarding the genealogy linking the Arabs to Prophet Ishmael in which he shows clearly that Quran is silent about such  physical connection and suggests a spiritual lineage.  It is true, the physical connection is derived from the Old Testament and the Islamic Hadith literature.

 Ishmael is not recognized as a prophet of God in the Bible.

13:16  I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted.

16:9  Then the angel of the LORD told her, "Go back to your mistress and submit to her."
16:10  The angel added, "I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count."
to Hagar

17:16  will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her."
17:17  braham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, "Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?"
17:18  And Abraham said to God, "If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!"
17:19  Then God said, "Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.
17:20  And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.

21:13  I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring."

19:54-55  Tell also of Ishmael in the Book. He was true to his promise and was a messenger and a prophet.  He exhorted his people to prayer and almsgiving, and his Lord was pleased with him.

Ancient House of God [Baitul ‘Atiq] rebult as Kabah by father and son, proclaiming a pilgrimmage to it, Abraham prays

2:129  Our Lord, send forth to them a messenger of their own to recite Your revelations to them, to teach them the Scripture and wisdom, and purify them. You are the Mighty, the Wise One.

It is in the light of  2:129, the traditions claim that Prophet Muhammad has allegedly said  ‘the prayer of my father Abraham'

Discussions / eid
« on: October 26, 2012, 03:02:11 AM »
Salaam all,

Happy Eid al adha Mubarak

Islamic Duties / Manasik
« on: October 25, 2012, 07:29:25 AM »
Salaam all,

Brother Joseph said today:

Peace to those brothers and sisters that are performing the pilgrimage for the sake of God (2.196). May God IA accept your devotions and observance of certain rites (Manasik)

which inspired me to pay more attention to this rite related to the Hajj.

The doctrine of submission to Allah,which is the Right Path and the Right religion [ 6:162-163 ] manifests in the belief that God is the Supreme in Authority and my Salat (salati) and my sacrifice (nusuki) in the service of Allah and my living (maḥyāya)in the service of humanity, and my dying (mamātī) in the cause of Truth, are all for the sake of Allah.

Mansakan  (rite of sacrifice)  related to Hajj is a ceremonial sacrificial slaughter  of a cattle God has provided.   Since their flesh or the blood never reaches God, the act of sacrifice is also symbolic on the spiritual level.

For every people We have appointed rites of sacrifice, so that they may pronounce the name of God over the cattle which He has provided for them. Your God is One God; surrender yourselves to Him; and give good news to the humble.  22:34

By pronouncing the name of Allah, I am being asked to remember My God as the One God that I should submit, showing my readiness to sacrifice my whole life symbolized in my sacrificing the animal.
I give glad tidings  to  the devoted who are humble who have sacrificed themselves for the benefit of fellowmen;whose hearts tremble in reverence just like the animal in submission experiences the same anxiety.


General Discussions / 5:55
« on: October 15, 2012, 06:09:14 AM »
 Salaam br. Joseph and all,

As you know, the Shia reference verse 5:55 as an allusion to Ali's giving of a ring in ruku.  Translations reflect the sectarian views:

1.  those who believe, establishing prayer and paying charity even while bowing down. or
2.  those who believe, establish prayer, pay zakah, and they bow down humbly

Justification for option one is there is no such rule that the muslim should give zakat while bowing down in prayer.

Is this a case of misplaced punctuation?

General Discussions / sister's reflection
« on: September 29, 2012, 02:32:54 AM »
Peace, Salaam, Shalom all,

I would like to share with you Ms Marcia Kannry's reflection.  She is the founder of The Dialogue Project located in NYC.

On Yom Kippur, I am fasting and reflecting.  I am a Jewish Jihadi.

Jihad is an Islamic process of reflection and struggle to bring thoughts, words and actions in alignment with prayer and best ethical practices.  So too as Jews we practice sleichot/asking for forgiveness and teshuva/return to good - offering compensation, asking forgiveness from the humans whom we have offended.

Our roots are interwoven as our spirituality.  I ask my Muslim brothers and sisters to forgive those Jews whose fear and ignorance only points outward, rather than inward as this day of Yom Kippur asks us to do.  To my fellow Jews- G'mar Hatima Tova.

Marcia Kannry

Islamic Duties / Why wudu?
« on: September 22, 2012, 11:09:38 AM »
Salaam all,

Why is wudu  prescribed before salat?  Some claim that since we are in the presence of God we need to be respectful by being clean.  I personally never feel clean by just wetting my face and arms without soap.  Never tried the soil method; it sounds even worse for cleaning purposes.  The answer seems to be scientific.

Quantum theory   taught us the wave/particle duality.  Very simply put, energy and matter interact.  Mass and energy are interchangeable.  Matter gets rid of its mass if it travels with the speed of light and becomes energy.  When energy congeals or slows down, it becomes inactive and materializes.

Every thought is a pulse of energy generated by the brain.  Human body also generates static electricity.  We can get super charged due to wearing certain fabrics.  Low humidity also leads to static build up in the body.  It needs to be grounded to neutralize the bio-electrical stress from the static electricity.

Water and soil rich in minerals  are good conductors for release.

During salah, head, face, hands are not usually covered  and the static electricity  buildup  on the skin  may interfere with the bio-electrical communication between us and the recorders that we salute on the right and left.

What do you think?  Makes sense to me.  I read this in Turkish written by a professor of neurology, Gazi özdemir.  His book is named Brain and Religion.  Couldn’t find it in English.  It is not a translation, just my understanding.

General Discussions / recognition of beauty
« on: September 03, 2012, 03:57:08 AM »
Salaam all,

I was wondering how the Prophet would have recognized and appreciated the beauty of a woman if she was covered from head to toe?

33:52  It is not lawful for you to marry more women after this, nor to change them for other wives, even though their beauty may please you, except any that your right hand possesses. God is watchful over all things.

General Discussions / Samaritan
« on: September 01, 2012, 02:17:42 AM »
Salam brother Joseph and all,

Does the name Samiri mentioned in the Quran mean from Samaria, thus a Samaritan?  If so, then, is it safe to propose that the animosity between the Samaritans and the Jews may stem from the incident of the golden calf rather than a sibling rivalry?

General Discussions / Verse 33:69
« on: August 24, 2012, 01:22:34 PM »

Peace to all,

33:69  Believers, do not behave like those who slandered Moses. God cleared him of their allegations. He was honourable in the sight of God.

Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo la takoonoo kaallatheena athaw moosa fabarraahu Allahu mimma qaloo wakana AAinda Allahi wajeehan

Athaw  has been variously translated as [wronged, harassed, abused, annoyed, insulted, distressed, troubled, slandered]

Why was Moses slandered/troubled/annoyed?  Do we know how to behave?

According to Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 616 as narrated by Abu Huraira

Allah's Apostle said, "(The Prophet) Moses was a shy person and used to cover his body completely because of his extensive shyness. One of the children of Israel hurt him by saying, 'He covers his body in this way only because of some defect in his skin, either leprosy or scrotal hernia, or he has some other defect.' Allah wished to clear Moses of what they said about him, so one day while Moses was in seclusion, he took off his clothes and put them on a stone and started taking a bath. When he had finished the bath, he moved towards his clothes so as to take them, but the stone took his clothes and fled; Moses picked up his stick and ran after the stone saying, 'O stone! Give me my garment!' Till he reached a group of Bani Israel who saw him naked then, and found him the best of what Allah had created, and Allah cleared him of what they had accused him of. The stone stopped there and Moses took and put his garment on and started hitting the stone with his stick. By Allah, the stone still has some traces of the hitting, three, four or five marks. This was what Allah refers to in His Saying:-- "O you who believe! Be you not like those Who annoyed Moses, But Allah proved his innocence of that which they alleged, And he was honorable In Allah's Sight." (33.69)

Quran story:

61:5  Remember when Moses said to his people, O my people, why do you cause me grief when you know that I am Gods Messenger to you? When they wavered, God let their hearts waver too. God does not guide transgressors.

7:138  We brought the children of Israel across the sea and they came upon a people who were devoted to their idols. They said, Moses, give us a god just like the gods these people have. He said, You are indeed an ignorant people:

20:83  [When Moses was upon the Mount, God said,] O Moses, why have you come with such haste from your people?

20:84  He said, They are following in my footsteps, while I have hastened to You, my Lord, to please You.

20:85  But God said, We have tested your people in your absence. The Samiri has led them astray.

20:86  Moses returned to his people in anger and great sorrow. He said, My people, did your Lord not make you a handsome promise? Was my absence too long for you? Did you desire that your Lords wrath should descend upon you, when you broke your promise to me?

20:87  They answered, We did not break our promise to you of our own accord, but we had to carry loads of the peoples ornaments and so we threw them [into the fire] for that was what the Samiri suggested,

20:88  then he forged a calf for the men an image producing a lowing sound. They said, This is your deity, the deity of Moses; he has forgotten it.

02:55  Remember when you said, Moses, we will not believe in you until we see God with our own eyes, a thunderbolt struck you while you were looking on.

07:148   In his absence, the people of Moses made a calf from their ornaments, an image which made a lowing sound. Could they not see that it did not speak to them or guide them in any way? Yet they took to worshipping it: they were evil-doers.

07:149  When they were afflicted with remorse, and realized that they had indeed gone astray, they said, If our Lord does not have mercy on us and forgive us, we shall be among the lost.

07:150  When Moses returned to his people in anger and great sorrow, he said, What an awful sin you have committed in my absence. Did you want to hasten your Lords command? He threw down the Tablets and seized his brother by the head, pulling him towards himself. Aaron said, Son of my mother, the people oppressed me and almost killed me. Do not give my enemies cause to gloat over me. Do not number me among the wrongdoers.

07:151  He said, My Lord, forgive me and my brother and admit us to Your mercy. You are the Most Merciful of the merciful.

02:61  When you said, Moses, we cannot bear to eat only one kind of food, so pray to your Lord to bring forth for us some of the earths produce, its herbs and cucumbers, its garlic, lentils, and onions. He said, Would you take a lesser thing in exchange for what is better? Go to some town and there you will find all that you demand. Abasement and destitution were stamped upon them, and they incurred the wrath of God, for having rejected His signs, and they killed His prophets unjustly, because they were rebels and transgressors.

05:21  O my people! Enter the holy land which God has assigned for you. Do not turn back, or you will be the losers.

05:22  They said, Moses, in that land there is a powerful people. Never shall we enter it until they leave it: if they leave, then we shall certainly enter it.

05:23  Thereupon two God-fearing men whom God had blessed said, Go into them through the gate for as soon as you enter, you shall surely be victorious! Put your trust in God if you are true believers.

05:24  They said, We will never enter it, Moses, as long as they are there. Go, you and your Lord, and fight, and we will stay here.

05:25  Moses supplicated, Lord, I have power over none but myself and my brother; so separate us from the disobedient people.

05:26  God said, The land is forbidden to them for forty years, while they wander around the earth, bewildered; do not grieve over these wicked people.


Discussions / Wayfaring
« on: August 24, 2012, 10:10:11 AM »

Peace to all,

Hanging on the Divine Rope over the years in the cyberspace, I come across this transformational forum with the grace of God.  This seems to be the place where I can grasp directly and firmly the rope of God, inshallah, transcending all the factions that I have stumbled upon on my journey so far .  A drop of water is being called by the ocean, as Rumi would say.  Can my journey end any other way?

Brother Joseph, may God reward you for all the work you do for us in serving God.

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