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Messages - Seraphina

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Discussions / Re: Father Abraham
« on: September 19, 2014, 12:37:03 AM »
Aleikum selam Hamzeh,
I've been reading the articles you gave me, although I've been reading them before (I'm an ardent reader of brother Joseph's articles, may Allah reward him for them), and even though I agree with brother Joseph's points, there are at times questions that arise (at least for me).
You say that Allah swears by sky or ten nights or other things. But just because it doesn't say the sky is above us, it doesn't mean it's talking about another sky which we can't see (an example just for illustration) . I remember a scholar from my childhood who used to say that Quran only mentions places that exist to this day (i.e. Masjid al Aqsa, Mount Sinai, Mount Joodi, Aad, Thamood, etc), so that the reader can "travel on earth and see what was the ending of the deniers" (16:36). If those places wouldn't have been known for people of those times, this challenge wouldn't make sense. Of course, they are far from their original form, they're either ruins or remains, but we've had something left from them. Quran never mentions the name or location i.e.of the cities of prophets Lot or Noah (peace be upon them), because they were destroyed in such a way that we will perhaps never know where were they located. Since it does mention the prayer of Abraham for making that place a 'secure city', and since Allah swears by that 'secure city', it makes sense to conclude that Abraham's prayer has been answered and that secure city exists.
And yes, the forefathers of Muhammad pbuh had never received guidance, because:1) prophet Ishmael was not given a book. The only prophets to receive written scripture were Moses, David, Jesus (if we take Injeel as a book) and Muhammad (peace be upon them). and 2)When prophet Muhammad received the revelation, nearly two millenniums had passed since prophet Ishmael.  Therefore it may make sense to say that prophet's forefathers never received guidance. Ishmael was not given a written scripture, and without a written scripture, people went astray from his teachings as time went by. If people go astray while having the written scripture with them, imagine if they are left with oral traditions only!
This could be why they are never refereed to as "Bani Ishmael", because they went astray from his teaching. On the other hand, "Bani Israil" as the Quran says, not all of them went astray - there was a small group of them who remained continuously steadfast to the scriptures they received. Ibrahim's sons from Keturah are never mentioned in the Quran, because their descendants followed pagan religions. This is a strong indicator why the Quran only mentions Isaac and Ishmael as Abraham's descendants, although he had other sons :)
As for a Qibla, thanks to a jewish friend of mine who sent me some pictures, see the tabernacle (a mini-temple) that Moses was instructed to make, God himself gave him the instructions, and it was to serve as a place of worship and animal sacrificing and a direction of prayer (Qibla), until they enter the Canaan and build a temple for him (Solomon built it).
Note the similarities with Kaaba. There are no coincidences in God's orders and instructions and plans. From the Quran we know that Abraham had also received a command from God to built for him a place which would serve for his worship, a worship which would include animal sacrificing for him (Abraham sacrificed a sheep there instead of his son), and was to be used as a place of pilgrimage.
The previous Qibla was Jerusalem, where the temple that replaced tabernacle of Moses was located. If God would change the Qibla, it is logical to allude that it would be a place which was also meant something for him (i.e. Mount Sinai, or Mount Joodi, or even this place Abraham built a temple for him, which was later to become a secure city, and where a messenger was to come to purify them from idol worship (this prayer is in the Quran). Why would God instruct us to abandon the Qibla towards a holy place of his, and instruct us to pray facing a temple built for someone other than him? just because the Kaaba was turned into a pagan temple as time passed by, that doesn't necessarily mean it was also built for pagan worship. Praying to the one true God while facing a temple which was built and meant for gods of wood and stone - this would be illogical for me. 
Just my humble opinion, after reading both the Quran and Bible.
And God knows best :)

Discussions / Re: Father Abraham
« on: September 17, 2014, 01:52:12 AM »
Selam alaikum Hamzeh, I'm enjoying this exchange of infos with you, may Allah reward you brother :D
First of all, quranic surahs were revealed in a period of nearly 23 years, some of them in Mecca, some of them in Madinah. If Allah says ''this secure city'' it is logical to conclude that ''this'' city is the one that Muhammad is present at that moment. If you join the verses that talk about this city (which I mentioned in previous posts) you'll come in conclusion that its Mecca. In my previous posts, I stated the archaeological discoveries place the land of Havilah (where king Solomon had his mines of gold) some miles in south of Madinah (near Mecca), and if this is true, then it can be logically concluded that hebrews were familiar with this place and the house of worship built there, in which tawaf and prostration were performed as part of worship. I have never read anywhere that there existed some other temple/house for worship in which such types of worship were performed. There has never been any house of pilgrimage inside the land of Palestine like the one described in Psalm 84 located in the valley of Bakah. The Bible describes the rituals of worship and sacrifices performed in the temple of Solomon, the main temple of Palestine, and such practices didn't take place there.
Besides, if this 'secure city' is not Mecca, then which city is it? which is this city that Allah made so secure that when noone was there to defend it, He sent ''birds in flocks to strike them with stones of hard clay'' (surah Al-Fil). 
We are required to follow the example and traditions of Abraham. If Abraham's pilgrimage didn't take place in this City (Mecca), if the sacred house he built is not the Kaaba, and if the secure city mentioned in surah Teen and surah Fil is not the same that Abraham prayed for, then where are these places that God has kept in secret from us? why would God ask us to restore and establish Abraham's practices without showing us the places where he performed them?  Abraham was required to call people to perform haj (pilgrimage). If it wasn't in Mecca, then does this mean we've been performing haj at the wrong place and the wrong temple for the past 1.500 years? I don't think Allah would allow this. The place and the temple were the same as always, it was the practices and the beliefs that got corrupted and astray.
Besides, Philip Khuri Hitti in "Capital cities of Arab Islam" states that "In South Arabic, the language in use in the southern portion of the Arabian Peninsula at the time of Muhammad, the b and m were interchangeable. The Quranic passage using the form Bakkah says: "The first sanctuary appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah, a blessed place, a guidance for the peoples." Other references to Mecca in the Quran (6:92, 42:5) call it Umm al-Qura, meaning "mother of all settlements.".
Anyways, there has never been any house of pilgrimage inside the land of Palestine like the one described in Psalm 84.
And Allah knows best.
Selam :)

Discussions / Re: Father Abraham
« on: September 16, 2014, 11:13:15 AM »
Wa alaikum selam,
"And We charged Abraham and Ishmael, [saying], "Purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who are staying [there] for worship and those who bow and prostrate [in prayer]. And [mention] when Abraham said, "My Lord, make this a secure city and provide its people with fruits - whoever of them believes in Allah and the Last Day." (Quran, 2:125-126).
This 'House' was built from the foundation (2:127), in what was to become a 'Secure City'. It can't be in the other two Holy Lands, Canaan or Mount Sinai, because this 'Secure City' is mentioned separately from them in 4 first verses of Surah At-Teen: "By the fig and the olive, and Mount Sinai, and this Secure City!". This surah was revealed in Mecca, so it makes perfect sense that "by this Secure City" can only be a reference to Mecca.
See, I'm not a Quranic schoolar, perhaps I've known Bible better at some point, but from what I've noticed in the Quran, sometimes it doesn't give straightforward answers, we are expected to study, reflect, match the verses together, and collaborate with science, which I've never heard to have contradicted the Quran with its discoveries.
I'm a fallible human being after all, and my knowledge is limited, so if there is a Quranic verse that clearly contradicts what I said here or in previous posts, please let me know.
God bless :)

Discussions / Re: Father Abraham
« on: September 16, 2014, 02:39:23 AM »
Selam brother Zack,
I have never read anywhere that Ishmael dwelled in southern Arabia. As far as I know, the territories that muslims think Ishmael lived are in western Arabia (Hijaz area).
Brother, I've studied Bible with two different sects, and believe me when I tell you, there are places that exist to this day (Babylon, Egypt, Median, Susan, etc), but there are other places mentioned that modern-day archeology can't tell for sure where they were located. For example, I remember a map I had in the back of my Bible which placed Mount Sinai in Sinai Peninsula, but today it's known for a fact that it was near Median, today's Jebel el Lawz.
Regarding Ishmael, we're told that he and his sons dwelled ''from Havilah to Shur".
These two places have been mysterious for a long time, until modern-day technology and archaeology were able to shed some light on their most probable locations.
Here's what we're told about the Shur: It was the place 1)''a place just without eastern border of Egypt". 2)''An enclosure; a wall, a part, probably, of the Arabian desert, on the north-eastern border of Egypt, giving its name to a wilderness extending from Egypt toward Philistia " (Sources: 1)Smith's Bible Dictionary, 2)Easton's Bible Dictionary) ).
That makes sense also if we recall that in Genesis, when Hagar escaped, the angel of God found her "on the way to Shur". She was probably trying to go back to Egypt, her homeland.
In Exodus 15:22-23 we're told that Moses entered in the wilderness of Shur after they crossed the Red Sea. So, the wilderness of Shur was the area northeast Egypt, from Egypt towards Philistia. This places Shur in the northern Arabian peninsula.
As for Havilah, many areas have been suggested as possible locations, but there is only one area in the entire middle east that fits the descriptions of the Bible, (it is surrounded from river Pishon, it is rich in gold, bdellium and onyx stones, and the gold of that place is good (Genesis 2:11-12) ), this place is "The Mahd adh Dhahab, also known as the Cradle of Gold, is the leading gold mining area in the Arabian Peninsula. It is located in the Al Madina province of the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia.
Gold was first mined in Arabia c. 3,000 BC. A second period of activity was during the Islamic Abbasid period between 750 and 1258 AD. Research by archaeologists Juris Zarins of Missouri State University and Farouk El-Baz of Boston University indicates that the Pishon River may be the now dried up river bed that once flowed 600 miles north east from the Mahd adh Dhahab area of the Hejaz c. 3000 BC.
The site has also been identified with “King Solomon's Gold Mine”. Geologists have found a vast abandoned gold mine. Among their finds are huge quantities of waste rock, an estimated million tons, left by the ancient miners, still containing traces of gold. Thousands of stone hammers and grindstones used to extract the gold from the ore litter the mine slopes. Robert W. Luce said: “Our investigations have now confirmed that the old mine could have been as rich as described in biblical accounts
You can check the Google for satellite images of the dried riverbed which originates from Hijaz mountains (right near the goldmines) and ends in Kuwait, near the Tigris and Euphrates, the river that ''encompasses the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold..." .
So, the limits described from Havilah up to near Shur, in the presence of his brethren (note: "brethren", not "brother" - Abraham's sons from Keturah are Ishmael's brothers same as Isaac). If these discoveries are correct, this indicates that Ishmael and his progeny lived in the area from south-Medina (near Mecca) up to near ancient Median (Gulf of Acaba). These borders are the the borders of the present-day Hijaz area my brother, and if this is true, then archeology confirms what Quran says: That Ishmael did live in the areas near Mecca and it was him who built the sacred house together with Abraham.
Sorry if I made it long, anyways feel free to check for yourself the names and infos I shared here.
In the end, only God knows best.
Selam to all :)

Discussions / Re: Father Abraham
« on: September 14, 2014, 08:17:14 AM »
Yeah, can't wait for his response too! :D Salam!

Discussions / Re: Father Abraham
« on: September 14, 2014, 07:03:58 AM »
Hey sister Hope, salam alaikum!
I came by this post by accident, and although, just as you, I'm aware of brother Joseph's views on this matter, and I admire and respect his works greatly, there are questions in my mind about this thing as well.
I noticed the Bible passages you quote. I've studied the Bible with evangelists and jehovah's witnesses, and I can tell you that there are details in that rise questions.
1) "Then God’s angel said (to Hagar): “I will greatly multiply your offspring, so that they will be too numerous to count."  God’s angel added: “Here you are pregnant, and you will give birth to a son, and you must name him Ish′ma·el, for God has heard your affliction.  He will be a wild donkey of a man. His hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand will be against him, and he will dwell opposite all his brothers.” (Genesis 16:7-12).
2) "Then she went on and sat down by herself, about the distance of a bowshot away, because she said: “I do not want to watch the boy die.” So she sat down at a distance and began to cry aloud and to weep. At that God heard the voice of the boy,+ and God’s angel called to Ha′gar from the heavens and said to her: “What is the matter with you, Ha′gar? Do not be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy there where he is. Get up, lift the boy and take hold of him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water..." (Genesis 21:17-19)
So, this son of Abraham would be a wild man, a "wild donkey"like man, who would have his seed greatly multiplied, would be the father of 12 powerful rulers, but would have many enemies ("His hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand will be against him").
At the moment of sacrifice: “Do not harm the boy, and do not do anything at all to him, for now I do know that you are God-fearing because you have not withheld your son, your only one, from me.”(Genesis 22:12). (It would make sense to use ''the only son you're left with", but "the only son" means "the only son", which strongly suggests a second son is not born yet.). Furthermore:
“‘By myself I swear,’ declares God, ‘that because you have done this and you have not withheld your son, your only one, I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply your offspring like the stars of the heavens and like the grains of sand on the seashore, and your offspring will take possession of the gate of his enemies. And by means of your offspring all nations of the earth will obtain a blessing for themselves because you have listened to my voice." (Genesis 22:16-18)
God was so satisfied with this forbearing and obedient son, so that he promised he will take possession of the gate of his enemies. The thing is, if this boy is Isaac, how come God promises to make him victorious over his enemies, when God never foretold that Isaac will have any enemies, while regarding Ishmael he foretold the contrary? Plus, through him all the nations of the land would obtain blessings! All the prophets (and scripture) who came from Isaac's lineage were sent to their people and their period only, only Muhammad's message was meant to be a universal message for all mankind. Everything in the Bible seems to suggest Ishmael was the sacrificing son but the name seems to have been replaced intentionally, otherwise the circumstances described there don't fit.
As the Quran doesn't give us an exact name, it does tell us that when Abraham prayed for an offspring from the righteous, Allah didn't answer immediately, first He gave him a forbearing boy, and afterwards, a test. After Abraham passed the test of nearly sacrificing this forbearing boy (his "only son"who obeyed without objection), Allah rewarded him by answering the prayer he had made for the righteous son, Isaac :) . Abraham fathered many tribes, but in the Quran he only thanks God for giving him Ishmael and Isaac. Because of the promises God made for these two in both Bible and Quran!
If prophet Muhammad didn't fulfill the prophecy of blessings that would come from the prophet Ishmael (assuming from both Bible and Quran that he is the sacrificed son), then this prophecy remains unfulfilled to this day.
I attach an interesting article about a DNA test which shows jewish and arabs have been united by genes for 4.000 years!
God bless you all,

Discussions / Re: hijab
« on: September 07, 2014, 07:00:57 PM »
Hello sister Hope,
Glad to hear that :)
Selam, God bless you :)

Discussions / Re: hijab
« on: September 07, 2014, 07:31:34 AM »
Dear sister,
I've noticed you like reading & posting articles, so, I thought you will like this one (as well as the other members).
Althought I don't know what the author's position is (A 'quranist' or 'traditionalist',... or whatsoever) I liked it anyways, and I think you'll like it too.
I'd like to know if brother Joseph and other forum members agree with the views expressed in this article, because to me it made sense a lot.
Selam :)

Discussions / Re: pristine versus mangled up Islam?
« on: September 07, 2014, 07:03:29 AM »
Selam brother,
You're absolutely right! :) I've noticed in my personal experience that no matter what I say to people, they focus on my behaviour and actions, trying to 'catch' me, and then put the blame on my religion. I couldn't agree more with you :)
Thank you so much, selam!

Discussions / Re: pristine versus mangled up Islam?
« on: September 06, 2014, 07:06:22 AM »
Dear sister Hope,
I enjoyed reading it too, so I took a minute to thank you for it.
And yes, the time has come to purify Islam from the dirt and corruption that entered it throughout the centuries. The time has come for the world to see for itself and get convinced that Islam is innocent for what is being done in its name. A life of a living creature is holy, and a real muslim never takes the life of an innocent living creature.
May Allah bless you :)

Discussions / Re: Assalamun alaikum
« on: September 02, 2014, 05:21:02 AM »
Thank you dear brother Joseph! :)

Salam to all,
I'm a new forum member, and while we await for brother Joseph's response, I'd take this opportunity to engage in the discussion, since this is a over-discussed topic among my other muslim relatives and friends.
In my humble opinion and my limited knowledge, yes, God chose some prophets above the others, like for example, some of the prophets brought written law/scripture of God to their people, while others were mere warners or leaders without a written scripture. Also, God knows best which one of them faced more strugle during the deliverance of the message.
But as far as we (mankind) are concerned, their message was the same, verbal or written - all the prophets delivered the same message to mankind. So, our respect and obedience is the same for all of the messingers who did a great work to bring the truth, the only truth,the absolute truth to humankind.
As for their rank, God knows best and it's not for us to make distinctions among them.
And Allah knows best,
Salam to all :)

Discussions / Assalamun alaikum
« on: September 01, 2014, 04:09:48 AM »
Dear brother Joseph, Forum administrators, Forum members, peace be with you
I'm Seraphina, the nr.1 fan of brother Joseph and his works in the area I come from :)
I'm honoured and pleased to be a student of brother Joseph, and now a member of this wonderful blog, where I will interact with many brothers and sisters in faith (something that I'm deprived of in the area I live in).
I didn't figure out any other way to post these words except as a new topic, so forgive me if there is a rule forbidding it.
I will strive to be worthy of trust and respect of all of you, especially of brother Joseph.
May God bless you! :)

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