Tuesday, May 12, 2015

10 Things Pamela Geller Needs to Know About Islam by Saud Inam

10 Things Pamela Geller Needs to Know About Islam by 

1. Islam Forbids Terrorism

You’ve claimed that Islam itself promotes terrorism, violence and extremism.. But let’s actually see what Islam says….in the Quran (our holy book which we believe to be the verbatim word of God) it says:

“…and do not kill a soul that God has made sacrosanct, except lawfully.” (Quran 6:151)

“…whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.” (Quran 5:32)

Thus, committing acts of terror is very clearly forbidden in Islam, hence why the overwhelming majority of Muslims around the world do not support or engage in terrorism.

2. Muslims Have Condemned Extremism for Years

If you truly want to hear about what Muslims believe about extremism and Islam, just ask a Muslim! I’m sure they’d love to take you to their local masjid to get your questions answered!

Condemnation of ISIS

ISNA Position Terrorism

Fatwa Against Terrorism

Fiqh Council of America Fatwa Against Terrorism

Muslims Condemn Terrorism

3. Jihad Actually Means Struggle

I’m not sure why you keep on using words like “stealth jihad” and “the jihad” (as if it’s some punk rock band). Jihad is Arabic for struggle and does not mean holy war or violence. In fact, the peaceful protestors in Baltimore, MD are arguably conducting jihad against oppressive police measures and police brutality. One can also have an internal jihad against bad habits, bad thoughts, and even stopping one’s self from smoking or drinking.

4. Muslims Are Not Anti-Semitic

First, let’s note what should be obvious. Arabs are as Semitic as are Jews. So when you make racist and bigoted statements about Muslims and Arabs being savage, you are in fact being anti-Semitic.

Secondly, in Islam, all religions are respected. Once, during the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), a Jewish funeral procession was passing by him. He stood up out of respect when the procession passed by. One of the Muslims told him that the deceased person was a Jew. He responded: “Was it not a soul?” Not to mention the fact that Muslims revere Moses, David, Solomon (peace be upon them) and other Israelites as Prophets of God.

Thus, your statements about Islam being anti-semitic are unfounded and have no basis in Islam. Islam respects all faiths, especially Judaism.

5. No one Can be Forced to Convert to Islam

There is no forced conversion to Islam. In the Quran it says:

“There is no compulsion in religion. The right way has become distinct from error.” (Quran 2:256)

6. Shariah Actually Isn’t a Threat to America

Shariah, which means “the path to water” in Arabic, is the legal practices and commandments which Muslims follow. Shariah cannot be enforced or forced on people who are not Muslim--just as it wouldn’t make sense for Christians, Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists to follow Talmudic law.

In fact, the Quran actually encourages Jews and Christians to obey the laws God gave them in their holy books. Also, in the US we have something called the First Amendment so Shariah cannot supersede the U.S. Constitution or American law.

7. Muslims Are Loyal and Patriotic Citizens

Questioning the loyalty of American Muslims is almost laughable. Numerous American Muslims have fought bravely in the US military to defend America and have given their lives for America.

You may talk about your supposed patriotism and love for America, but American Muslims have shown their love by making the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Here are a couple examples:

Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan

Atlanta Muslim Military Veterans

8. Muslims Are Far from Savage

Muslims actually invented coffee, algebra, the toothbrush, surgical instruments which are still used today in hospitals. Check out more inventions here: 1001 Inventions

In addition to this from 2003-2014 the Nobel Peace Prize Winners have all been Muslim.

9. Muslims Love Freedom of Speech, Too

Just as you exercise what you call “freedom of speech,” Muslims have every right to vocally--but peacefully--express disagreement with you when you spew hatred, bigotry, and racist statements about Muslims. You have the right to be offensive in public. Just as the Supreme Court upheld in National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie the NPSA’s right to march through a predominantly Jewish neighborhood in Skokie, Illinois, you had the legal right to hold a purposefully provocative and inciteful event in Texas.

But imagine an anti-Semitic organization in Texas organized an event to draw cartoons about the Jewish community in a predominantly Jewish area. Not only that, they flew Nazi swastikas at the event. Just because they have that freedom, does it necessarily mean they should exercise it at the expense of hurting or promoting negative stereotypes of an entire ethnic, racial or religious group? Would you support such an event?

10. Muslims Respect People of All Faiths

Much of your rhetoric centers around the supposed intolerance of Islam toward other religions. But in the Quran, God says:

“Do not revile those they call on beside God, so they, in their hostility, revile God, without knowledge” (6:108)

The Quran also says:

“Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans and those who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness - will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve. (Quran 2:62)

Finally, Ms. Geller, know this: the overwhelming majority of Muslims do not and will not retaliate against you with you using the same vile words which you used to offend the Muslim community.

And the reason for our restraint, ironically, is the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who reportedly said: “Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong (even) if they do evil.”

Monday, May 11, 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Beginning and the End with Omar Suleiman: The Throne (Ep 5)

عقيدة الإيمان بالقضاء والقدر Devine decree, predestination episode 2

Please tune in to your weekly radio Islam4mankind that will broadcast live from radio station lamagica1220am , Orlando Florida , USA

"Truly, nothing is hidden from God, in the earth or in the heavens." (Quran 3:5)
"Did you not know that God knows (all) that is in the heavens and the earth?  It is (all) in a record.  Surely that is easy for God." (Quran 22:70)

Islam recognizes that human kind has free choice in whether to obey or disobey God, but ultimately we will be held accountable to God in the next life for the choices that we make in this life.

 Sustenance & Livelihood

Though trying to earn a livelihood is within the sphere of our activities, the final result is not within our power. We see many people endeavouring hard from sunrise to sunset to earn livelihood and still they spend their lives in constant poverty and need. Why is it so? Allah says:
"Allah expands the sustenance for whomsoever He desires and straitens it for whomsoever He desires. " (13:26)

Predestination , divine decree, free will in Islam 

Allah  knows what the creatures will do, encompassing everything by His knowledge.  He knows all that exists, in entirety and totality, by virtue of His eternal foreknowledge.
"Truly, nothing is hidden from God, in the earth or in the heavens." (Quran 3:5)



Episode 2



Inchaallah soon Islam4mankind will upload the arabic text and the whole video once uploaded , please stay tune , please forgive our delay in posting last Thursday podcast show due to different projects that Islam4mankind is working on to promote coexistence among all mankind regardless of faiths or origins , we welcome comments and suggestions , may Allah reward you ameen

AlhamduAllah ( Thanks to Allah ) , here is part 1 of the Arabic lecture :


عقيدة الإيمان بالقضاء والقدر from Rachid Mahdi

Explanation of Al Qadar Predestination by Salem Al Amry

Friday, April 17, 2015

Islam, Iman, and I'hsan

Islam:

God's Message of Guidance to Humanity

I. 2

Three Levels of Faith: 

Islam, Iman, and I'hsan

By Hassan El-Najjar

Al-Jazeerah,  May 21, 2007

 

Islam:

There are three levels of faith a person can attain. The first level is Islam. Prophet Muhammed, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him (pbbuh) explained it as observing the five major obligations (the adhering to which creates an Islamic structure, as these obligations constitute the pillars of Islam's structure). 

Thus, to be a Muslim, a person has to proclaim (or testify) that there is no other god but Allah (praise to Him) and that Muhammed (pbbuh) is His Messenger. The importance of this declaration or testimony is that a person acknowledges the existence of God (Allah), praise to Him, as the Creator of the Universe, and that Muhammed (pbbuh) is the Messenger of God. This means that a person accepts the message of God revealed to humanity through Prophet Muhammed (pbbuh), as expressed in the word of God (the Holy Qur'an) and the Sunna of the Prophet (his sayings, actions, and what he approved of).

Once a person pronounces the Islamic proclamation, then he/she proceeds to observe the Islamic obligations, namely to perform the five prayers, pay the Zakat, fast during the month of Ramadhan, and make the pilgrimage to the House of God in Makkah, if he/she is able to do so (for more details about these obligations, see Islam: A Brief Introduction).  

It is important to note that these are ways of worshipping God, 'Ibadat, as He wanted and commanded Muslims to do. He promised to reward those who worship Him and to punish those who don't do that on purpose.

In analyzing these Islamic ways of worshipping God, one discovers that all of them benefit the worshipper directly and his/her society in this life, then they are rewarded with Paradise in the hereafter.

By performing prayers, a Muslim has to clean himself/herself through wudu', by washing the mouth, nose, face hands, arms, ears, hair, and feet, every time before prayers. Muslims also have to take showers after sexual intercourse and must keep their clothes clean.

By praying five times a day in specific times, Muslims live in orderly fashion, budgeting their time, and literally exercising five times a day, doing certain movements that range between standing, bowing down, prostrating, and sitting down on the floor. These unique movements exercise various body organs and push more blood to certain areas of the body, like the brain through bowing and prostrating. 

By paying the Zakat, a Muslim assists the poor and contributes to the well-being of society. It is, at least, 2.5 percent of a person’s annual savings. When properly given, the poor will not be left alone in society. It is a systematic expression of compassion and social solidarity. The Zakat does not replace charity or government taxes. However, it contributes to the welfare and well-being of society in areas not covered by government-funded projects.

Fasting the month of Ramadhan by abstaining from food, drinks, and sexual activity from dawn to the sunset has tremendous benefits for the body and the soul of a worshipper. Fasting strengthens the control of the self over the body. It allows the rich to feel the suffering of the hungry poor and prompts them to share food with them when they break the fast at the sunset. By eating moderately at the breakfast, many people lose weight, get rid of the accumulated fats throughout the year. Most importantly is giving a break to the digestive system, after eleven months of continuous hard work.

Finally, Haj, pilgrimage to the House of God in Makkah, is the climax of being a Muslim. It is a personal journey for God first but it gives great satisfaction to the Haaj (pilgrim), as he/she leaves everything in this life behind. The pilgrimage to Makkah is also a worldwide conference of Muslims, where they meet there representing all nations, racial groups, and ethnic divisions. They are instructed by God to be loving, caring, and tolerant of each other, as well as praising God for His limitless benefits and bounties they have been enjoying.

 

Iman:

By being a Muslim, as explained above, a person is promised God's rewards in this life and in the hereafter. However, for those who are more ambitious to be closer to God, and to gain a higher level of his rewards, they need to reach a higher level of faith than Islam, which is Iman.

Iman is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Last Day, and to believe in divine destiny, both the good and the evil thereof. This level is more theoretical than the first level of Islam. In the first level, Islam, a person is saved by worshipping God through actions, that is through performing the five obligations mentioned above. 

To reach the second level, Iman, more faith is needed. A deeper degree of acknowledgement is required. This includes a belief in God and what He said. He informed us in His Book, the Holy Qur'an, that He has angels, He sent previous Books to humanity, delivered through previous messengers. 

Thus, a person reaching Iman (a Mu'men) believes that not only God exists but He is capable of doing anything He wants. A Mu'men believes in everything God told in the Holy Qur'an. He/she  believes that there are other intelligent creations of God than human beings, particularly angels. Among these are Jibril (Gabriel, the medium between God and His human messengers), Mika-il (Michael, the angel of sustenance), Ezra-il (angel of death), Israfil (angel of the Trumpet), Radhwan (custodian of Paradise), Malek (custodian of the Hellfire), Raqeeb and 'Ateed (the angels who keep records for our good deeds and bad deeds), and Nakker, and Nakeer (the angels who question a human being briefly after death). A Mu'men is a person who believes that these angels exist and we are affected by them.

A Mu'men also believes that God revealed His guidance to humanity in previous Books before the Holy Qur'an. These included the Torah (Old Testament revealed to Moussa, Moses, pbbuh), Zaboor (revealed to Prophet Dawood, David, pbbuh), and the Engel (New Testament revealed to the Messiah, Essa Bin Mariam, Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, pbbuh). These Books included the same message of guidance to humanity summarized in the Holy Qur'an. A Mu'men, further, has the same respect and love to the previous messengers of God, and should not differentiate one from the other, or side with one against the other.

A Mu'men believes that this life is a test, in which all our deeds and activities are recorded by angels. We will be held accountable for the entire test when we meet our Creator in the Day of Judgment. So, the belief in the Last Day is an acknowledgement of accountability and reckoning. It is an incentive for people to do good in this life in order to be rewarded in Paradise, and a warning against doing bad in order to avoid punishment in the Hellfire.

Finally, a Mu'men believes in Al-Qada wal Qadar, or divine destiny, both the good and the evil thereof. This is a belief in the ability of Allah, praise to him, to predict our behavior. (For a brief discussion about predestination, see: Five Islamic Issues, predestination and choice, position toward other religions, angels, and the End of Days).

 

I'hsan:

I'hsan is the highest of the three levels of faith and the closest to God. It is to worship Allah as if you are seeing Him. While you do not see Him, He truly sees you. Then, Ihsan means that a Mu'hsen is sure that Allah is seeing him/her in everything he/she says or does. Therefore, a Muhsen does his/her best to say and do only what pleases God and conforms to His commands. This is the level of righteousness, the level of perfection, the level of doing and saying the ultimate good, the level of I'hsan.

The word "I'hsan" in Arabic is a derivative of the verb "ahsana," which means doing things better. Thus the literal linguistic meaning of I'hsan is doing the best, which is doing what God commanded us to do.

***

Text of the Prophet's 'Hadith (saying) about the subject:

On the authority of Omer(may Allah be pleased with him), who said:*One day while we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (i.e. Prophet Muhammed, pbbuh), there appeared before us a man whose clothes were exceedingly white and whose hair was exceedingly black; no signs of journeying were to be seen on him and none of us knew him. He walked up and sat down by the Prophet (pbbuh). Resting his knees against his (the Prophet's) and placing the palms of his hands on his thighs, he said:

O Muhammed, tell me about Islam.

The Messenger of Allah (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: Islam is to testify that there is no god but Allah and Muhammed is the Messenger of Allah, to perform the prayers, to pay the Zakat2  to fast in Ramadhan, and to make the pilgrimage to the House3  if you are able to do so. 

He said: You have spoken rightly, and we were amazed at him asking him (the Prophet bpuh) and saying that he had spoken rightly. 

He said: Then, tell me about Iman.4

He (the Prophet) said: It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Last Day, and to believe in divine destiny, both the good and the evil thereof.

He said: You have spoken rightly. 

He said: Then, tell me about I'hsan.5

He (the Prophet bpuh) said: It is to worship Allah as if you are seeing him, and while you see Him not yet truly He sees you. 

He said: Then, tell me about the hour.6

He (the Prophet bpuh) said: The one questioned about it knows no better than the questioner. He said: Then, tell me about its signs.  

He (the Prophet bpuh) said: That the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress, and that you will see the barefooted, naked, destitute herdsmen competing in constructing lofty buildings. 

Then, he took himself off and I stayed for some time. Then he (the Prophet bpuh) said: O Omer, do you know who the questioner was? I said: Allah and His Messenger know better. He said: It was Jibril (Gabriel), who came to you to teach you your religion. 

The Messenger of Allah (pbbuh) told the truth.

This Hadith was related by Muslim.

-------------------------------

Notes:

This Hadith was translated by Ezzeddin Ibrahim and Denys Johnson-Davies (Abdul Wadoud), "An-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths." 1976. Dar Al-Manar.

1 Omer Bin Al-Khattab, the second Caliph.

2. Often rendered as alms-tax or poor due, it is a tax levied on a man’s wealth and distributed among the poor.

3. The Ka’aba and the Holy Mosque in Makkah.

4. Iman is generally rendered as religious belief or faith. However, being a fundamental term in Islam, the Arabic word has been retained.

5. In this context, the word ihsan has a special religious significance and any single rendering of it would be inadequate. Dictionary meaning for ihasan includes right actions, goodness, charity, sincerity, and the like. The root also means to master or be proficient at, and it is to be found in this meaning in Nawawi’s Hadith Number 17.

6. i.e. of the Day of Judgment.

7. This phrase has more than one interpretation. Among those given by An-Nawawi in his commentary is that slave girls will give birth to sons and daughters who will become free and so be masters of those who bore them. Thus, it can be interpreted as a prophecy about an end to slavery.

 

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Dr. Hassan Ali El-Najjar is a native speaker of Arabic. He has a Ph.D. in Sociology and a Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology.