As we stood at city hall marking the end of the Milad Parade and Festival procession, I glanced over to the women standing next to me with a homemade banner. After introducing myself and my Christian mother, I kindly asked Ann Clune if I could take a picture of her banner. Ann told me that her daughter had spent time making her the banner, which read, “True Peace Comes Not From Bombs, Change The Cycle.”
During a brief talk with Mr and Mrs Jim Clune, I learned that the two had done some online advertising for the event. The Clunes are Catholics and attend St. James Church in Johnson City, NY, and are members of a peace vigil group that has been meeting weekly with other groups in the town’s Federal Building for over 9 years now.
Another attendee, Ms. Grace Walter –who also attended last year’s program– had this to say: “It reminded me of the civil rights movement when blacks, along side with whites, marched for equality. I hope that Muslim-Christian dialogue continues.”
-Islamic Post Staff Writer, Jameelah Kareem
By Jameelah Kareem
Islamic Post Staff Writer
(IP) –After nearly 30 years of serving as a director of faith formation at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral on Capitol Hill, Dr. Ann Holmes Redding announced she had converted to Islam in an interview with the Seattle-based Diocese of Olympia’s newspaper, Episcopal Voice.
Yet, Dr. Redding does not feel she has left Christianity at all. “The way I understand Jesus is compatible with Islam,” she said. “I was following Jesus and he led me into Islam.”
Dr. Redding had begun to study Islam in the awake of the tragedy of 9/11 and her conversion was sparked by an inter-faith gathering she attended 3 years ago. “It was much more this overwhelming conviction that I needed to surrender to God and this was the form that my surrender needed to take,” she recalled, as reported by CNN.
Despite an uproar on the part of some church members, Dr. Redding remained firm in her beliefs and convictions. Dr. Redding states that some interpret her being a Muslim as her “abandoning the church… and that [there] comes an understanding that you have to be one or the other, and most people would say that. It simply hasn’t been my experience that I have to make a choice between the two,” the minister told Seattle Times.
Redding does not believe that God and Jesus are the same, but rather that God is more than Jesus. And she believes that Jesus is the Son of God insofar as all humans are the children of God, and that Jesus is divine, just as all humans are divine — because God dwells in all humans.
Many others like Dr. Redding have come to realize that the differences between Christianity and Islam are as thin as a line, and that the two religions should unite in preparation for Jesus, the Spirit of God, to return.
Last month marked Redding’s 25th Anniversary of her ordination as an Episcopal priest. Two hundred of Redding’s friends turned out for her commemoration of the event and also came to celebrate the publication of an interfaith book she co-authored. Dr. Redding called the event a celebration of “her movement into the next phase of ministry as both Christian and Muslim.”
Dr. Redding is working to establish Abrahamic Reunion West, a nonprofit institute to bring together the Abrahamic faiths — Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
“As frightening as it is,” she said, “I’m willing to let God be in charge of this path of mine.”
By Fatimah Dawud
Islamic Post Staff Writer
BINGHAMTON –The United Muslim Christian Forum (UMCF) was recently invited to be a part of a tour of Binghamton hosted by Mayor Matthew T. Ryan, to review accomplishments of his past years in office and to discuss his future plans should he be re-elected joining a small crowd that chanted, “Four more years!”
“I think UMCF presence made a big statement for the Muslim community as a whole by being there,” noted a representative of the group. “Upon arrival, there were only about 30 people in attendance, so they were able give our congratulations and support to the Mayor directly before talking with other supporters.”
Mayor Matthew Ryan led the one mile walk around Binghamton which started at the Perry building (a historical site in Binghamton), passing by Abu’s House of Halal, and ended at the Regency Hotel. There the Mayor gave a press conference to announcing his running for another Mayoral term of four years.
“Jawad and Ahmad Muhammad, had the opportunity to stand next to Mayor Matthew Ryan as he delivered his speech.” By this time total number in attendance to this event went from 30 to 150 people.
As the day concluded the Mayor spoke with members of the United Christian Muslim Forum extending his gratitude for their attendance. The mayor was the guest speaker at the recent UMCF parade.
By Fatimah Dawud
Islamic Post Staff Writer
(IP) –Members of the Muslims of the Americas (MOA) and other groups attended the prayer vigil at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Binghamton, NY. The community stood in unified grief over the shooting tragedy that left 14 dead last month. MOA members Abu Amir, Ibrahim Caba, M Asraf, Fatimah Begum, Shireen Rashid, Umm Shafi, Bilquis Abdallah, Layla Abdullah, Hanan Aziz and others lit candles in support of the people who lost family members and friends after a gunman attacked the American Civic Association center while English classes were in session for immigrants. The following is a narrative of Fatimah Begum, who attended the vigil:
“When we first got there we were greeted with welcoming smiles and hugs. Deacon Barbara Hayden came right up to us and thanked us for coming. After her, other pastors, deacons, and fathers came and greeted us. We thanked them for inviting us and mentioned that we came on behalf of His Eminence, El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani.”
“The first to speak was the Head of the Broome County Council of Churches, Mr Sellepack. He opened with a welcoming address, and mentioned Muslims as friends, saying Muslims and Christians have to come together in this time of need to join together for peace for the community. He thanked us for being there.
“After the refreshments, Mr. Sellepack came down and again thanked us for coming and we talked about future projects together to help the community.”
Fatimah Begum continues: “Camera men for all TV stations across the country were there, BBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and other local new stations. Most stations were able to come in to tape the vigil; however, Deacon Barbara came to tell us that Fox News came to the door and asked to come in and tape the prayer vigil but she told them they were not welcome in her church. She felt that they insulted us with their recent report and said she does not want to have anything to do with them. They stayed outside.
“We mingled and exchanged information with others, talked about how we are going to assist and console the families, and left our names and numbers for where we could be reached if anyone might need our services, and prepared to take our leave. We were walking out we met the Imam of one of the mosques here in Binghamton and he told us that two Muslim women were killed in this tragedy.”
Other major news networks had been scheduled to visit Holy Islamberg and interview a family living in a model Muslim village during the weekend following the parade. However, MOA postponed the media gathering after hearing news of the tragedy that shook Binghamton, grieving the small city and its Muslim neighbors in Holy Islamberg, which is located a short distance away.
Filed under: Business/Economy, Interfaith, International, May Volume I - 2009, National, Religion, World
(IP)– This month, regulatory bodies are reviewing the excessive interest, or usury, being charged by credit card companies. After being pursued in an antitrust case for “non-compliance” to European Commission rules regarding cross border fees, MasterCard settled out of court. While, according to European Union regulators, the credit card company agreed to reduce fees that raise costs for retailers, the New York Times reports MasterCard said the reduction was simply provisional and that it would continue a broader battle over the level of the fees in court. Here at home, United States lawmakers moved, in turn, to provide people with credit card debt relief from abusive rate and billing practices, as reported by Market Watch. A new Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights would restrict retroactive rate increases on existing balances, double-cycle billing, and “due-date gimmicks,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, who has spearheaded the legislation. Market Watch further noted, “The proposals approved by a House subcommittee are similar to final rules passed late last year by the Federal Reserve and other regulators… [In addition] a Senate committee approved its own set of credit card restrictions.”
This issue at stake for the European Commission and American lawmakers and regulators is the age-old question of controlling the flow of usury –the excessive rate of return charged by banks and lending institutions on interest-based loans. Financial experts recently criticized the wildfire spread of usury as being one of the major factors that led to the current economic crisis.
Usury had been strictly regulated in most countries until the late 1600s when usurious practices were first officially sanctioned by a head of state, William of Orange in Britain, who supported the establishment of the Bank of England –a private institution at the time. The practice of high rates of return gradually spread, but the institution was nevertheless widely viewed with distaste. Because it is easy for anyone –but particularly poor people and those in desperate circumstances– to find themselves in a reciprocating pattern of debt due to compound interest and the like, usury has been taken as a form of oppression. In this sense, secular and religious norms are in agreement. The major religions have been against such banking practices since their inception.
The First Council of Nicaea in 325, forbade clergy from engaging in usury which, at the time, meant interest of any kind. Pope Clement V made the belief in the right to usury a heresy in 1311. Islam has always forbidden interest, whether by modern definitions of usury or not, and continues to uphold the same prohibition. The Torah also carries prohibition of usury.
But in 2009, after many centuries, usurious practices seem to have overwhelmed religious awareness, as creditors consistently offer credit cards, mortgages and loans at extremely high rates of interest to people who are known to be unable to repay the principle, let alone the interest. The global economy has been headed toward its present state for many years, with few preventive measures having been taken against such forms of predatory business. Beginning in the 1960s deregulation of usury began to occur in the United States, and individual states initiated their own individual practices and laws regarding what were deemed usurious and illegal and what was not. In some states, debtors have been known to be charged in excess of 300% interest in extreme cases.
Author Thomas Geoghegan, was interviewed recently on DemocracyNow! regarding his work which recently appeared in Harper’s Magazine entitled “Infinite Debt: How Unlimited Interest Rates Destroyed the Economy.” In this excerpt from the interview, Mr Geoghegan explains in a simplified form how the “real economy,” or manufacturing, was in essence destroyed over time by the financial sector.
“If you’re able to charge 30 percent or, in a payday lender case, 200 or 300 percent, you don’t care so much if the loan —in fact, you actually want the loan not to be repaid. You want people to go into debt. You want to accumulate this interest. And this addicted the financial sector to very, very, very high rates of return compared to what investors were used to getting in the real economy, the manufacturing sector, General Motors, which would give piddling five, six, seven percent returns.
“So the capital in this country began to shift in the financial sector. That’s why the financial sector began to bloat up. That’s why we ended up, by 2006, having a third of all profits going into the banks and the financial firms and not into the real economy.”
If Mr Geoghegan’s “real economy” is based in the manufacturing and sale of physical goods, the financial sector would then be a virtual economy –one whose primary method of trade and profit are loans that, having scant basis in monetary gold or silver, are based upon the trustworthiness (credit) of the financial institution granting the virtual money.
But the hardship endured by honest people struggling to make a variety of monthly payments is not make-believe. The interest (sometimes called late fees) on car payments, business loans, credit cards, mortgages, student loans, and even hospital bills and cell phones is generally billed first and compounded with each failed due date until the full debt could become impossible to repay. The creditor is often able to recover the original debt, even with a decent profit, but the debtor doesn’t always get out of the clear. If not, before the creditor writes off the remaining debt on company taxes, the institution may then sell the remaining balance to a third party collection agency. At this point, the debtor must pay the transferred balance plus any additional collection fees (more interest).
While some loan practices are being reviewed by US lawmakers in favor of the consumer, a range of consumer, community and civil rights groups recently objected to the leading bill in Congress set to deal with the issue of payday loans. Consumers Union, Americans for Fairness in Lending and six other groups say the Payday Loan Reform Act of 2009, would actually protect the “predatory payday loan business model and will stall or stop the significant progress that has been made at the state level to curb usurious lending.” In a letter to members of Congress, the groups state “Although this bill shares the same title as H.R. 2871 in the last Congress, it will have the exact opposite impact on consumers.” The Washington Independent alleges the new bill to be “loophole-ridden” and faults lobbyist influence.
The Center for Responsible Lending says interest rate caps are the only solution to a worsening predatory situation, and will cost taxpayers nothing. “Payday loans carry annual interest rates of around 400 percent. They trap people in debt to the extent that the average borrower has nine payday transactions a year,” the Center reported. “[While] Barack Obama has… proposed a combination of cutting taxes and encouraging spending to aid in economic recovery… predatory lenders are stripping cash from the earnings of working people who fall into this same demographic –at astounding rates.”
This may not bode well for an already struggling US economy.
Filed under: Interfaith, International, May Volume I - 2009, Politics, World | Tags: christian zionism, zionism
(IP) –The Independent’s reporter, Donald MacIntyre, states in his article, “Israeli’s Told to Fight ‘Holy War’ in Gaza,” “Many Israeli troops had the sense of fighting a “religious war” against Gentiles during the 22-day offensive in Gaza, according to an Israeli soldier. The soldier testified that the “clear” message of literature distributed to troops by the rabbinate was: “We are the Jewish people, we came to this land by a miracle, God brought us back to this land and now we need to fight to expel the Gentiles who are interfering with our conquest of this holy land.” Reuters, the Jerusalem Post, the UK Times, Haaretz, and the BBC noted similar reports about the espousing of a holy war against the Muslim and Christian Arabs of Palestine.
Even with the new Benjamin Netanyahu administration, elected after the strikes against Gaza began, a historian of Israeli expansionism, Rev Dr Stephen R Sizer, wrote that Israel is being steered “very definitely to the Right and away from an integrated society and peace with the Palestinians.” He further noted, “Barack Obama is going to have his work cut out to keep the Two State solution alive.”
Far from moving towards a peaceful solution, Israeli authorities are planning to “evacuate and demolish 1,700 homes in East Jerusalem during the current year,” the head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah told Arab News. Arab News also reported the head of the Islamic Higher Committee in Jerusalem, Sheikh Ikremah Sabri’s, elaboration on the new demolition project: “More than 5,500 Israeli housing units were under construction in occupied Jerusalem and 73,000 in the West Bank in order to accommodate more than one million” settlers.
The debate on the legality of such projects spilled into the global arena after millions worldwide protested the bombing of Gaza earlier this year. Reporting on the suppression of the local media giving voice to such protests, Ma’an News stated that a woman and journalist were among those beaten by Israeli troops during a press conference held by the parents of critically wounded American peace activist Tristan Anderson. “Mr. Anderson had an Israeli tear-gas canister shot at his head in Ni’lin … his skull shattered and several surgeries have left him semi-conscious in a Tel Aviv hospital. His parents arrived shortly after Tristan was hospitalized,” wrote Ma’an News. The raid, allegedly ordered by Israeli Minister of Internal Security Avi Ditchter, came early in the media event and prevented Anderson’s parents from addressing the crowd. This is the second case of an American peace activist suffering at the hands of the colonists to have been widely publicized. The first was Rachel Corrie who was bulldozed in 2003 while using a bulwark in front of a Palestinian home in an attempt to stop its destruction.
In February, Israeli media shocked millions of Muslims and Christians by satirizing the miracles of Jesus (the Second to Last Messenger of Islam), the chastity of his Virgin mother Mary and also trying to belittle the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him). According to the BBC, a Vatican statement said “the show had ridiculed Mary and Jesus ‘with blasphemous words and images’ that amounted to a ‘vulgar and offensive act of intolerance.’” The comedy hour came “to teach a lesson” to a Christian religious figure who had made the mistake of denying the Holocaust. Jerusalem Christians were also prevented by Israeli authorities this year from commemorating their traditional Easter rites.
This begs the question whether there is room in a ‘holy war’ against Christians and Muslims for Christ? Christians who support Zionism say, ‘Yes.’ Christian Zionists adhere to the belief that Jesus (peace be upon him) will not return to the Earth until Armageddon takes place, which in turn occurs after the establishment of the Kingdom of Israel, which includes a new Temple in Jerusalem at the site of the Holy Sanctuary (Haram Sharif) right under the golden Dome of the Rock, which is one of the three most holy sites in Islam.
However, the establishment of the Kingdom of Israel has more to do with awaiting a Messiah foretold in the Torah. According to Christianity and Islam, that Messiah appeared in the form of Jesus Christ, who was widely rejected at that time and even now, which is why Christians who do not support Zionism adamantly say, ‘No,’ to a war between any of the major religions.
Rev Sizer writes in his book Zion’s Christian Soldiers: “The problem with all this speculation about a future Temple in Jerusalem is simply this – from a Christian perspective – it is heresy. There is absolutely nothing in the New Testament about the need for another Temple in Jerusalem – just the reverse…” Sizer concludes: “How tragic that, while the good news of Jesus is intended to bring peace and reconciliation with God and healing between nations, some Christians are fueling religious hatred, and are bent on inciting an apocalyptic war.”
Such a war would pit Christians and Muslims –who share their common values upon the doctrine of Jesus– against each other.
Sources: Stephen Sizer.org, Ma’an News, Arab News, BBC.
Filed under: Front Page News, Interfaith, May Volume I - 2009, National, Uncategorized
Last month, President Barack Obama announced additional members of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, including Dalia Mogahed, the executive director for the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies in Washington, DC. The President’s advisory council is composed of religious and secular leaders and scholars from different backgrounds.
While Mrs Moghahed is the first American Muslim appointed to the task, it is expected that others will follow. The advisory council currently has 17 members.
“This is wonderful. The Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships represent a great deal of compassion, understanding and tolerance for the American people,” says Muhammad Ahmad, a Latin American Muslim and Sufi. “Hopefully this will open the door to understand Islam more here.” While Islam is the fastest growing religion in the West, the majority of Muslims in America are converts (and their descendents) of indigenous roots – mixed Native American and African American ancestry. Whereas according to Arab American historian Nabeel Abraham, the majority of Arabs in the United States are Christian.
Sources: The Development of Arab-American Identity (Univ. Mich. Press 1994), WhiteHouse.gov
Filed under: Interfaith, May Volume I - 2009, National, Religion, Science, World | Tags: H1N1
US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has announced the United States federal government declaration of a public health emergency due to the swine flu outbreak. Secretary Napolitano asserts the declaration is part of a standard operating procedure, which was also done for the 2009 presidential inauguration and for flooding. The influenza strain “is obviously a cause for concern … but it is not a cause for alarm,” President Obama has noted.
Health and Religion.
Knowledge is coming to the forefront that people who work with swine, especially those with intense exposures, are at increased risk of infection with the influenza virus if the animals carry the strain that is also able to infect humans. It is believed to be spread between humans through coughing or sneezing of infected people and touching something with the virus on it and then touching their own nose or mouth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also declared that swine flu cannot be spread by pork products, since the virus is not transmitted if it has been cooked “to an internal temperature of 160°F” as this process “kills the swine flu virus as it does other bacteria and viruses.”
Nevertheless, Muslim, Christian and Jewish holy books all prohibit the consumption of pork, which is a staple in the Southern Unites States and south of the border as well, although the majority of residents in these areas are widely known to be religious:
Old Testament: “ As for any beast that is a splitter of the hoof but is not a former of the cleft and not a chewer of the cud, they are unclean for you. Everyone touching them will be unclean.” –Leviticus 11:26
Holy Qur’an: “Forbidden to you for (food) are: dead meat, blood and the flesh of the swine and that which hath been invoked the name other than Allah.” –Holy Qur’an 5:4
It is also worthy of note that Jesus (peace be upon him) has been recorded as stating in the New Testament: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill them.” –Matthew 5:17. However, this is disputed by followers of Paul, who exclude themselves from the law based upon his teachings.
Filed under: Business/Economy, Front Page News, Interfaith, International, May Volume I - 2009, World | Tags: Islamic Finance
The Vatican recently claimed banks should look at the ethical rules of Islamic finance to restore confidence amongst their clients during this time of global economic crisis.
“The ethical principles on which Islamic finance is based may bring banks closer to their clients and to the true spirit which should mark every financial service,” the Vatican’s official newspaper L’Osservatore Romano said.
Author Loretta Napoleoni and Abaxbank Spa fixed income strategist, Claudia Segre, say in the article that “Western banks could use tools such as the Islamic bonds, known as sukuk, as collateral.” Sukuk may be used to fund the “car industry or the next Olympic Games in London,” they said. They also said that profit share, gained from sukuk, may be an alternative to interest. They underlined that sukuk system could help automotive sector and support investments in the area of infrastructure. The Islamic sukuk system is similar to bonds of the western system; however, money is invested in concrete projects and profit share is distributed to clients instead of interest earned.
L’Osservatore Romano’s editor, Giovanni Maria Vian, said that “the great religions have always had a common attention to the human dimension of the economy,” Corriere della Sera reported.
Source: Brussels Journal.
Staff Writer Jamaal A. Waahid contributed to this report.
By Nafisah Begum
Islamic Post Staff Writer
As people of the Binghamton, NY, area move forward out of unexpected and engulfing grief, the result of the April 3 massacre of 14 victims with numerous injured, the Islamic Post recalls how the wider community has been brought closer together, sharing triumph then tragedy.
BINGHAMTON —On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, days before tragic shooting at the American Civic Center brought the community together in mourning, Muslims and Christians came together at the West Presbyterian Church for the Second Annual Milad-un-Nabi Parade and Festival, celebrating the auspicious births of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad son of Abdullah and the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the Pure (God’s peace be upon them). Hosting the event was the United Muslim Christian Forum (UMCF), an organization founded by His Eminence, El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani Hashmi, to remind the children of Abraham of their duties to each other and to all of mankind.
UMCF representatives returned to light candles with pastors from the Broome County Council of Churches, Muslims of the Americas, local government officials, University professors, and devotees of peace to support each other in grief, as only days before the community had celebrated, in joy, the auspicious births of two sons of Abraham.
The UMCF message was, and is, that the religions of the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad and the Messiah Jesus son of Mary, the Chaste (May God’s peace be upon them) are two faces of a single reality: worship of One God combined with the love of one’s neighbor. There was much to share on both occasions. (See, “Candlelight Vigil,” on A3)
The United Muslim Christian Forum, sponsored by the Muslims of the Americas, was a successful event, as evidenced by standing room only attendance. The church was packed with hundreds of the faithful hoping to bridge the gap between the children of Abraham by not focusing on what makes them different, but the commonality of each and the mutual love for the Almighty Creator, His Prophets, and the messages they brought, such as – ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself.’ Historically, Muslims and Christians have been incited to violent clashes that have left each side reeling from the effects, eventually falling under the foot of persecution for exercising their beliefs. But even this has not stopped the children of Abraham from uniting in God’s Will as One.
The children of Abraham continue to celebrate their love and devotion for the Creator, trying their best to secure entrance into the Almighty’s Heaven. This quest of love makes them the enemy of him (Satan), whose final home will be everlasting darkness.
The event began with a program at the West Presbyterian Church, as approved by its board, in order to “foster inter- religious dialogue, understanding and tolerance,” said Pastor Andrew Stehlik, who stated later in his opening acknowledgements: “It is marvelous to see this sanctuary so full with the Children of God.” He then proceeded to read several verses from the Bible depicting the Oneness, Mercy and Forgiveness of the Almighty.
Even before the program began, one participant described the charge of excitement, “Though I couldn’t see them, I felt the eyes of the world on this moment,” said Aisha Muqit who drove over seven hundred miles to attend the event. An unidentified Christian attendee gasped with excitement stating, “To God be the Glory!” as he took in the pews packed with Muslims observing the utmost of etiquette in the church and exhibiting an overflowing love for The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon him).
The program commenced with benedictions by the Mistress of Ceremonies, Mrs. Laila Rashid, who recited Surah Al Fatihah (“The Opening”), from Holy Qu’ran, in which mankind implores the Almighty to ‘show us the straight way, the path of which Thou has favored, not the path of those who have been led astray.’
The National Anthem, passionately performed by the young Muslim lady’s group, Daughters of Peace, nearly brought tears to onlookers. UMCF Public Relations Representative, Muhammad Hasib A. Haqq, welcomed attendees, speakers and special guests..
Program speakers included the aforementioned Pastor Andrew Stehlik of West Presbyterian Church, to whom the UMCF remains grateful for the hosting of the event; Khalifah Muhammad Hussein Adams, Chairman Muslims of the Americas; Father Tim Taugher of St. Catherine of Siena; the Honorable Khadijah Smith, Deputy Chairperson of the Muslims of the Americas; Dr. Bashir Abdul-Wadud of the American Muslim Medical Relief Team; Dr. Diane O’Heron of Broome Community College, a second year attendee and speaker; Dr. Jawairiyya Abdallah-Shahid of the Abdul Qadir Gilani Institute of Sufic Sciences; and special guest, the Mayor of Binghamton, Matthew T. Ryan.
Matthew T. Ryan, Mayor of Binghamton
Special guest, Mayor Matthew T. Ryan of Binghamton, NY, stated how happy he was to attend such an august gathering where the focus was love of the Almighty Creator. He acknowledged that this time last year he received many “hate-filled emails” about the event, and that this year was no exception, recalling how he decided to personally speak to a gentleman calling all the way from Oklahoma, questioning his reasons for being involved in such an occasion. The Mayor explained to him the honor to live in a place where all its citizens can live in harmony and not be separated by the prejudices that exist around the world. Unfortunately, this harmony would be disrupted days later when a lone gunman killed thirteen people in Binghamton’s American Civic Association center, promptly returning many of the parade’s attendees to show support to families in grief and help to console a city of many faiths. Later in the program, Mayor Ryan would do the honor of unveiling the new sign to grace the future office of the United Muslim Christian Forum.
Other excerpts from the program’s speakers below attest to the theme of finding common ground and uniting under the banner of One Almighty God in peace.
The Honorable Khalifah Muhammad Hussein Adams, Chairman of Muslims of the Americas
The Honorable Khalifah Muhammad Hussein Adams, began with benedictions and a special thanks to Pastor Andrew and his congregation for allowing this gathering to be held at their church: “I bear witness that there is no God, but One God who created Adam with His own Hands and blew in him His spirit as He did Jesus son of Mary; and placed upon his head the crown of viceroy-hood and created man to serve Him.” He further stated, “We have no doubt that Almighty God is watching us, Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon him) is watching us, and Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is watching us. We declare that we love Jesus Son of Mary (peace be upon him) and we follow his way. We must come to one common ground…we were one, and must become one again.”
Before the Honorable Khalifah concluded, he conveyed a declaration before those present in the church and to all Christians and Muslims at large: “I must convey to you a declaration and clarification, which must for all times remove prejudices and misunderstandings amongst both communities. Which is, we love and adore Jesus Son of Mary! Even those at the helm of affairs in Christianity may not realize that the fact of the Trinity is that Jesus is a manifestation of God’s attribute “Kun Faya Kun” (“Be and it is Done!”). The Holy Ghost is a manifestation of God’s glory –meaning, thereby, they are two beings who merge in One and only One God. Jesus is the Spirit of God and that is why he could revive the dead and Gabriel, the Holy Ghost, is a manifestation of God’s will. These both are manifestations of One God. We don’t wish to make controversy. We are your Muslim brothers and sisters.”
Father Tim Taugher, St. Catherine of Siena
Father Tim Taugher expounded on the theme of unity saying, “Common ground has been woven in the words already spoken by those who have come up before me; we must continue to establish dialogue.” He reiterated the commonality between Muslims, Christians, and Jews and stressed love, solidarity, and compassion for all of the children of Abraham. He continued, “There is a book that I recommend that when given the time you read, it is called The History of God, by K. Armstrong, which looks through different religions such as Islam, Christianity, and Judaism; and creates a sense of compassion, that we are rooted together from the same foundation.”
Dr. Jawairriya Abdallah-Shahid, Abdul Qadir Gilani Institute of Sufic Sciences
Dr. Jawairriya Abdallah-Shahid, founding member of the Abdul Qadir Gilani Institute of Sufic Sciences, said, “In the realm of Sufis, Jesus stands as a role model of a great Sufi master. The Sufi doctrine demands that all those who wish to attain proximity to the Almighty Creator and annihilation and subsistence in Him must not pay any attention to the temptation of the world and worldly pursuits, nor be lured by the promise of bliss and gardens of paradise. Above all, the Sufi master teaches, as Jesus taught, that no one can enter the Kingdom of Heaven unless he is born again. This is what we are taught by our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), mentioned as the ‘Comforter’- and ‘Ahmad’ (one worthy to be praised) in the Torah. To separate Jesus from Islam is a gross misunderstanding due to lack of knowledge.” She further confirmed, “Testimony regarding the authenticity and truthfulness of his (Jesus’) mission was professed by Muhammad (peace be upon him). In conjunction with Holy Qur’an, he teaches that Jesus and his blessed mother Mary were free from all of the slanderous and false accusations brought against them.”
Dr. Jawairriya Abdallah-Shahid continued: “At this time, I would like to bring to your attention another of the worlds’ greatest Sufi masters, Sheikh Akbar, Ibn Arabi. It was Sheikh Ibn Arabi who introduced the philosophy that man is not all he appears to be and that the real man lies hidden within the human like a tree in the stage of a seed or the bird in the form of an egg. His emphasis was on the true potential of human beings and the path one should tread to become a perfect human being.
Fusus al-Hikam was Sheikh Ibn Arabi’s last major opus and is considered his most famous work. It was translated with commentary and many professors including some from Binghamton University commented on this book. This demonstrates that the quest for knowledge is present. The desire to identify the self with God is there. Sufis are leading the way. All those who love Muhammad (peace be upon him) also love Jesus Son of Mary.
“The Vice Chancellor was at our Sufic Research Institute in Pakistan when contacted the him about difficulties I was having. I was in the hospital preparing to give birth to my son. After medical inducement and several hours of labor, he had not been born. The Vice Chancellor recited over the phone into my ear. After recitation, my son was immediately born. The verse has been translated from Hebrew to Arabic and from Arabic to English: ‘Hannah gave birth to Mary, and Mary gave birth to Jesus! Oh baby, come out by the command of Allah, the Commanding God.’ I myself am a witness to the mercy of the Sufic Sciences and, in addition, there are many others in the audience who can testify to this being the case. Sufis are the saviors of mankind.”
Dr. Diane O’Heron, Professor, Broome Community College
As a repeat attendee, Dr. Diane O’Heron, professor at Broome Community College, expressed how last year’s event sparked her desire to know more about The Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad ibn Abdullah (peace and blessings be upon him). Dr. O’Heron began her speech with the greeting shared by over a billion Muslims worldwide: “Asalaamu Alaikum.”
She continued, “I hope, as a Christian, to denounce the fear, hate, and ignorance that would have me to deny who you are to me. My faith and love of God empowers me to call you family, people for whose well-being I am responsible, and to whose faith my faith is tied. As Muslims you have always known me as your sister. The Holy Qur’an makes that relationship clear. I, on the other hand, have just begun to understand the profound possibilities and responsibilities of sharing my spiritual destiny with you. Today, I ask all Christians to learn about these possibilities with me. To start by learning what beliefs and experiences bind Christians and Muslims together. In doing so, I believe that we will come to a deeper understanding of the love of God, The Almighty, the One who erases all differences by calling each of us His sons and daughters. Peace and blessings be upon the Prophet whose life has brought us together today. And thanks be to God for making it possible for me to see you for who you truly are in God’s eyes, my teachers, my family, my loved ones.”
Dr. O’Heron also told the story of how, in history, the Muslims suffered persecution at the hands of the Qur’aish polytheists and how refuge was taken in Abyssinia under the rule of the Christian King Negus, who was known for his fairness and respect to all people and who ultimately protected the Muslims against persecution. She concluded: “Our differences are real. No one here denies them. But what we are called to do as believers is to honor the example of the Prophet Muhammad, Jesus, and men like the Negus by recognizing one another as brothers and sisters in faith. God commands us to try and see one another with His eyes, to see that all of us share a connection to Him, the Almighty, the One who erases all differences by claiming each of us as His own.”
A roar of pleasure, then a hush, fell over the crowd as the magnitude of the event became evident.
Dr. Bashir Abdul-Wadud, American Muslim Medical Relief Team
Dr. Bashir Abdul-Wadud of the American Muslim Medical Relief Team confirmed that the United Muslim Christian Forum would coordinate commemoration of the birth of Jesus Son of Mary on the calendar date of his birth and expressed the need to open an office to cultivate further dialogue between Muslims and Christians.
Concluding the program portion of the event, the Honorable Khadijah Smith, Deputy Chairman of Muslims of the Americas, presented gifts to speakers and special guests, on behalf of the Vice Chancellor of the Muslims of the Americas, His Eminence, El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani. Daughters of Peace performed an awe-inspiring hymn, “Quest for Peace,” followed by the parade procession where participants walked from West Presbyterian Church to the Binghamton Courthouse, Muslims and Christians side by side.
By Zahidah Faruq
Islamic Post Staff Writer
At the American Leadership Conference held at the State University of Binghamton, NY, on April 25, Chairman of the Muslims of the Americas (MOA), the Honorable Khalifah Hussein Adams, was recognized for humanitarian disaster relief efforts and coordination of medical and other MOA responder teams which had been dispatched to national and international locations that experienced catastrophic destruction and devastation over the past eight years.
Due to these heroic contributions of selfless sacrifice and aid to the people of the world, the Honorable Khalifah was appointed as the new Ambassador For Peace for the Universal Peace Foundation (UPF).
In 2001, after hearing the horrific events of September 11, the Honorable Khalifah consulted his spiritual guide, a Sufi Master, El-Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani Qadri, and a team of 100 members of the Muslim Scouts of America were immediately sent to ground zero to assist with first responder efforts. The Scouts made their way through the devastating scene bearing medical supplies and food.
When severe flooding hit several counties in upstate NY, the MOA Chairman coordinated teams of relief workers to aid the struggling families. Some of the work again included post-disaster cleanup, and also providing food, clothing and assistance to the medical staff.
When Hurricanes Katrina and Ike demolished and destroyed homes, lives and properties, relief workers were sent again to help in any and every way that was needed. Pakistan was hit in 2005 by a severe hurricane, and the American Muslim Medical Relief Team was promptly dispatched overseas where they provided emergency medical help to those wounded and displaced by the impact of the hurricane.
This year, the sponsors of the American Leadership Conference, the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) and UPF –a non-governmental organization in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations— invited the Honorable Khalifah Hussein Adams and other members of the United Muslim Christian Forum to attend the conference in Binghamton.
Some of topics of the conference were: American Leadership and the World, the American Dream and the First Principles, and Putting a Real Face on Slavery. A tribute to the victims of the tragedy at the American Civic Center was also held at the conference. (See “Candlelight Vigil,” on A3 for more information.) UPF drafted a letter of condolence to the families of the victims, which was signed by dignitaries of the Federation worldwide. Mrs. Gale Alves, the program director from Binghamton University; Rev. Bruce Grodner the UPF USA District II Chairman; and the Honorable Khalifah Hussein Adams were all asked to accept the letter on behalf of the families of the victims.
Roundtable discussions took place after the presentations, which highlighted salient points of interest.
A highly-praised lunch was provided by Abu’s House of Halal, a local Islamic restaurant. Other vendors also provided food and snacks.
When the Honorable Khalifah Hussein stood up to accept his appointment as Ambassador For Peace, attendees noticed a strong fragrance of rose permeating the air. His statement to the audience was brief and profound. He first gave thanks to Almighty Allah, then proceeded to thank all of the people and MOA staff who work tirelessly and endlessly, who respond at any time of the day or night, who go any where in the world when they are called. The MOA chairman stated that this service to mankind is the way of the Sufi and was unknown to the Muslims of the Americas before being taught by Perfect Sufi Master and Vice Chancellor of the International Quranic Open University, El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani Hashmi.
The program ended with performances by the esteemed Sufi Islamic song group, Ansarudeen, who sang melodiously in reverence to the Prophets of God. The Nur-ul-Ishq group performed a few couplets from the classical text which is often sung, the Kalam of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (Allah’s mercy be upon him). Mrs. Brenda Cave-James also sung a spiritual song One Morning Soon; and, prior to the benediction given by Mr. Muhammad Hasib A. Haqq, Spokesman of the United Muslim Christian Forum, she led everyone in a beautiful rendition of Lift Every Voice and Sing.
In the benediction he stated that today was just a beginning and that a lot of work still has to be done. He gave thanks to El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani who taught us the creed of the Sufi’s: “Mankind is one family, the family of God”. Mr A. Haqq also stated: “We cannot do this by ourselves even if we all unite. The Almighty Creator has to lead this effort. Therefore, we must purify our hearts that the Lord may direct us as nothing in creation can contain God, except the hearts of man, and our Lord does not enter a heart that is full of impurities like greed, power and love of the world. Once our Lord resides within us than we will see His presence reflected in one another.”
For more information about the United Muslim Christian Forum, please call 1-866-532-0777.
Filed under: Interfaith, Latino/Caribe, May Volume I - 2009 | Tags: el Foro de Musulman-Cristiano Unido
(IP) –En honor a El sagrado Ultimo Mensajero (Que Dios envíe paz sobre el) quien es el pionero en reconocer las similaridades entre Musulmanes y cristianos, además establecer una relación pacifica entre ellos. El Foro de Musulman-Cristiano Unido (United Muslim Christian Forum, o UMCF) y Musulmanes de las Américas (MOA) sostuvieron su segunda celebración anual en honor al nacimiento del Misericordia a Todos los Mundos, el Sagrado Ultimo Mensajero, Muhammad (Que Dios envíe paz sobre el para siempre), en Binghamtom, NY.
Una cuenta personal de la celebración anual de UMCF por una autora del Islamic Post, Aisha A Muqit, sigue:
“Llegando a Binghamton con mis hijos, me sentía muy emocionado de participar una vez mas en tal histórico momento. Aunque no pude verlos, sentí sobre nosotros los ojos del mundo en este momento. Aunque esta es la segunda celebración del Foro Musulman-Cristiano Unido, supe que esta vez seria diferente. Recuerdos de estar parado frente al edificio de las naciones unidas, lloviendo a cantaros sobre nuestras cabezas, las manos unidas a los cristianos quienes habían ladeado la controversia y estuvieron junto a nosotros, mientras mostrábamos nuestra solidaridad y compromiso estableciendo la paz mundial. De repente la lluvia ceso, las nubes se disiparon y el sol broto, irradiando calor y secando nuestras ropas. Yo no podría imaginar que podría superar aquel momento, además supe que el programa de este año seria sin dudas mejor.
“Para iniciar fuimos acogidos por Iglesia Prebistieriana del Oeste, una iglesia marrón con altas torres, y altas escaleras que llevan a una entrada alfombrada. Nunca en mi vida había entrado a una iglesia llena a mas de su capacidad con Musulmanes. Cada banco estaba tenia musulmánes que había viajado desde Canadá, Carolina del Sur, Michigan y Tennessee para participar en esta ocasión tan memorable. Una vez sentados, circunde con la mirada, buscando hermanos y hermanas cristianos que se hubieran unido a nosotros este año, y eran muchos mas que el año pasado. El mensaje de unidad por el bien de la paz mundial parecía expandirse.
El programa empezó con una solicitud de inclinar nuestras cabezas en oración presidida por la maestra de ceremonias Laila Rashid, de origen puertoriqueña. La plegaria fue muy familiar, Mrs Rashid recito el Surah Fatihah, el primero capitulo del Quran Sagrado, traducido en Ingles. Esto fue seguido por una estremecedora versión del Himno Nacional (del EEUU), interpretado por jóvenes damas de Islamville, Tennessee.
Lo siguiente fue un programa exquisitamente orquestado, con cada discurso enfatizando el mismo punto: debemos y podemos poner a un lado nuestras diferencias superficiales y unir nuestras manos unos con otros para detener la matanza sin sentido, tortura, derramamiento de sangre que ha oprimido al mundo. Muhammad Hasib, el portavoz de UMCF, abrio el programa. Eran discursos del honorable Califa Hussein Adams, director de MOA; El Padre Tim Taugher de St. Catherine de Siena; El Pastor Andrew Stehlik de la Iglesia Prebistieriana del Oeste; el alcalde de Binghamton, Matthew T. Ryan, una profesora del Universidad de Bingamton, Dr. Diane O’Heron; la Dra. Jawairriya Shahid del Instituto de Ciencias Sufic Abdul Qadir Jilaani, y el Dr. Bashir del Grupo de Medicos Emergencia Americanos Musulmanes (AMMRT).
El Padre Tim Taugher leyó una carta donde se que los Musulmanes y los Cristianos conforman mas de la mitad de la población mundial y que si hay oportunidad de paz mundial deberá empezar al ponernos de acuerdo entre nosotros.
La Dra. Jawairriya Shahid resalto a la atención de los presentes con su discurso sobre las ciencias Sufis. En su discurso inicio introduciendo al instituto de ciencias Sufic Abdul Qadir Jilaani, que abrirá en otoño en la Sagrada Islamville. Ella explico que es el punto de vista de todos los Sufis que nosotros (la humanidad) proviene de un padre común, Adán, y por tanto partes de una misma familia.
El Honorable Califa Hussein Adams explico como los Musulmanes ven la Trinidad, al explicar que el ángel Gabriel es una manifestación de la voluntad divina de Dios, y por tanto soplo en la virgen Maria el espíritu de Dios, por tanto Jesús, hijo de Maria es Ruhullah, el Sagrado Espíritu de Dios, y fue por esto que El fue capaz, con el permiso del todo poderoso, de levantar los muertos soplar la vida en pájaros de barro; Y como Jesús mismo proclamo, todos somos hijos de Dios.
El mensaje de unidad, y comunidad continuo con la Dra. Diane O’Heron, quien hablo de un incidente, como afirmo, es bien sabido para los Musulmanes pero no tanto para los cristianos. Los nuevos Musulmanes en Mekkah fueron perseguidos y el Ultimo Sagrado Mensajero Muhammad (La paz de Dios siempre este sobre el) los envió a Abysinnia indicándoles buscar refugio con el rey de los cristianos (Najashi) quien reinaba allí a eso tiempo. La Sra. Susan enfatizo lo que ella sentía que este rey bebió haber pensado cuando encaro la decisión de regresar este pequeño grupo de creyentes a los opresores paganos, Quraish, quienes deseaban forzarlos a abandonar su religión. Debió el haber permitido que esta gente fuera asesinada porque querrían en el creador todo poderoso, tal como El? La Dra. O’Heron puntualizo que ella sentía que los cristianos de hoy en día bebían hacer estas mismas consideraciones y enfrentar a los que te llamen “pobre de fe,” y a no continuar permitiendo la matanza sin sentido de hombres mujeres y niños, simplemente porque creen en un Solo creador todo poderoso y escogen una religión diferente.
En conclusión a todos estos discursos hubo una propuesta hecha por el Dr. Bashir Wadud, donde en conjunto con los cristianos debemos esparcir el mensaje de unidad a través del globo con programas similares y una conscientizacion común, no solo de la fecha de nacimiento de El Sagrado ultimo mensajero ( que la misericordia y paz de Dios estén sobre el para siempre), sino también de Jesús hijo de Maria, perfectamente orquestado por el creador todo poderoso mismo ( Gloria a el).
-Traduccion por Yasmin Melgarejo
Filed under: Interfaith, Latino/Caribe, May Volume I - 2009 | Tags: Musulmanes de las Americas
(IP) –Los Musulmanes de Las Américas asistieron a la vigilia de oración en la Iglesia Luterana del Redentor, de pie en unidad con la comunidad de Binghamton en duelo por la tragedia que dio como resultado 14 muertes a principios de este mes, solo pocos dias despues de la celebracion en unidad del Foro Musulmane-Cristiano Unido (United Muslim-Christian Forum). Abu Amir, Ibrahim Caba, M Ashraf, Fátima Begum, Shireen Rashid, Um Shafi, Bilquis Abdallah, Hanan Aziz entre otros encendieron velas en apoyo a las personas que perdieron miembros de su familia y amigos después de que un tirador atacara el Centro Cívico Americano mientras se impartían lecciones de ingles a inmigrantes.
“Cuando llegamos al lugar fuimos recibidos con sonrisas de bienvenida y abrazos,” dijo Fátima Begum. “La diacono Barbara Hayden se acerco y nos agradeció por venir, después de ella otros pastores, diáconos y sacerdotes vinieron a saludarnos. Nosotros les agradecimos por la invitación, y dijimos que veníamos en representación de Su Eminencia, El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani.”
Fátima Begum continua narrando: “Nos sentamos después de notar que los lideres de la iglesia estaban en un rincón conversando intensamente. Después, descubrimos que se habían reunido de ultimo minuto para ajustar el programa para acomodarlo a nuestra presencia.
“El primero en hablar fue el líder del Cónsul de las Iglesias del Broome County, el Sr. Sellepack, se dirigió dando la bienvenida, y resalto a los Musulmanes como sus amigos. Diciendo Musulmanes y cristianos deben unirse en este tiempo de necesidad, para unirse por la paz en la comunidad. Nos agradeció por estar presentes.
Después de todas las plegarias, ellos se preparaban para la comunión, y antes de empezar anunciaron que si alguien deseaba marcharse seria bien entendido, y que había disponibles refrigerios en la planta baja. Fue un gesto muy bonito. Luego nos fuimos a la planta baja, donde más tarde los líderes de las iglesias nos acompañaron nuevamente dándonos las gracias por estar presentes, y juntos discutimos proyectos futuros para ayudar a la comunidad.
“Socializamos e intercambiamos informaciones, hablamos sobre como ayudaríamos y consolaríamos a las familias, y dejamos para ellos nuestros nombres y números de contacto en caso de necesidad, y nos marchamos. Mientras salíamos nos encontramos un Imam de una de las mezquitas de Binghamtom y este nos dijo que dos mujeres Musulmanas fueron muertas en esta tragedia. En cuanto recibimos esta información le dijimos que le llamaríamos al día siguiente para saber cuando seria el funeral procesion Musulman (janaza).
Los camarógrafos de todas las estaciones de televisión del país estuvieron presente, BCC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX y otras estaciones locales. La mayoría de las estaciones pudieron asistir y grabar la vigilia, sin embargo la Diacono Bárbara nos informo que Fox News le había llamado antes de venir y que ella les había colgado el teléfono porque de las mentiras recientes de Noticias Fox por nuestra comunidad. Mas tarde nos informo que ella les había dicho que ellos no eran bienvenidos en su iglesia. Ella se siente insultada por reporteros de esta cadena con el reportaje hecho la semana anterior, y dijo que no deseaba tratar nada con ellos. Ellos debieron quedarse afuera.”
Otro importante medio de comunicación había sido citado para visitar la Sagrada Islamberg y entrevistar a una “Familia Musulmana Modelo” durante la fin de semana después del desfile. Sin embargo, MOA pospuso la reunión de los medios de comunicación después de escuchar sobre la tragedia que consterno Binghamton, apenando la pequeña ciudad y sus vecinos Musulmanes en la sagrada Islamberg, quienes están situados a poca distancia del lugar.
-Traduccion por Yasmin Melgarejo
Filed under: Education, From the Desk of El Sheikh Sultan Muhyuddin Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, Interfaith, January Volume I- 2009, Magazine/ Culture | Tags: Christmas, Jesus in Islam
From the Desk of the Sultan: El Sheikh Muhyuddin Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani
Let us celebrate the birth of Jesus, the son of Mary, who is the Second to Last Messenger of Islam, in a befitting manner. Let us pay him befitting tribute by following the law, by virtue of which he was called savior.
Greetings, oh lovers of Jesus! On this happy occasion, when his so-called followers commemorate by committing adultery, perversion, drinking and gambling in such a manner as if these heinous sins were associated with the teachings of Jesus Christ, let us join hands in upholding the law. Jesus, the son of Mary, came to uphold the Ten Commandments, and exhorted mankind to practice them so that they may be saved. Today, priests and devils have legalized what Jesus forbade, but they cannot save mankind from the evil consequences of sins, some of which are mental diseases, murders, earthquakes, and tornados.
We Muslims want our Christian brothers to know about our book, the Holy Qur’an, (which was revealed to the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him and all the messengers of God). The Holy Qur’an is the only evidence in the world which confirms the existence of Jesus, the son of Mary.
Lies and Reason.
The priests during the time of this Holy Messenger were not different from the likes of Jimmy Swaggert and James Baker. They invented lies and incorporated heathen mythology and paganism into the Gospel, held Jesus up as the son of God, and invented the fable of dying on the cross for mankind.
To refute this lack of logic, I quote Thomas Paine, a great thinker and moralist, who arrived at the following conclusion when he used reason to understand the Bible: “The Bible and Old Testament are impositions upon the world,” wrote Thomas Paine in the Age of Reason (p. 202), “The opinions I have advanced… that the fall of man, the account of Jesus Christ being the Son of God, and of his dying to appease the wrath of God, and of salvation, by that strange means, are all fabulous inventions, dishonorable to the wisdom and power of the Almighty; that the only true religion is…the belief of one God.” –Age of Reason, p. 202)
I also quote Saint Barnabas, one of the disciples of Jesus, son of Mary, who was deputed by the Holy Messenger, Jesus, to record the Gospels. These were known as the Gospel of Barnabas, and remained in circulation until the 4th century of the Christian era. Later, this Gospel was banned by a papal decree as not being canonical. In the Gospel according to Saint Barnabas, Jesus is quoted by him as saying:
“I therefore say unto you that the Messenger of God is a splendor that shall give gladness to nearly all that God hath made, for he is adorned with the spirit of understanding and of counsel, the spirit of wisdom and might, the spirit of fear and love, the spirit of prudence and temperance, he is adorned with the spirit of charity and mercy, the spirit of justice and piety, the spirit of gentleness and patience, which he hath received from God three times more than he hath given all creatures. Oh blessed time when he shall come to the world!
“Believe me that I have seen him, and have done him reverence even as every prophet hath seen him, seeing that, of his spirit, God giveth to them prophecy. And when I saw him, my soul has filled with consolation, saying: ‘Oh Muhammad, God be with thee, and may He make me worthy to untie thy shoe latchet for, obtaining this, I shall be a great prophet and holy one of God.”
It is ironic to observe that, despite the fact the Jews tried to murder Jesus, the son of Mary, the so-called church raised in his name has no authentic evidence that he ever existed. Our Holy Qur’an is the only evidence of the existence of Jesus, of his mission, and of his raising up alive to the Almighty [as it proven, by God and man, to not have been tampered with]. I now quote from the Holy Qur’an, which also contains the Gospel:
“Behold! The angel said: ‘Oh Mary, God giveth thee glad tidings of a word from Him. His name will be Christ Jesus, son of Maryam (Mary), held in honor in this world and in the Hereafter, and of those nearest to God. He shall speak to all the people, from the cradle and in maturity, and he shall be of the company of the righteous.’
“She said: ‘Oh my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?’
“He said: ‘Even so, God creates what He willeth. When He decrees a plan, He but saith to it, Be, and it is!
“‘And God will teach him the Book and wisdom, the law and Gospel, and (appoint him) an apostle to the Children of Israel, (with the message): I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, in that I make for you, out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by God’s leave. And I heal those born blind and lepers, and I quicken the dead, by God’s leave. And I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely there is a sign for you, if ye did believe.
“‘(I have come to you) to attest the law, which was before me, and to make lawful to you part of what was before forbidden to you. I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. So fear God, and obey me. It is God who is my Lord and your Lord. Then worship Him. This is a way that is straight.’” –House of Imran, Holy Qur’an
In conclusion, I hope this greeting, which contains an invitation for all who identify with Jesus, son of Mary, to join us in upholding the laws of the Almighty and the Ten Commandments, in order to save mankind from the most horrible disasters, incurable diseases, and all kinds of social and moral ills.
Please contact us for further discussion in regards to our mission of bringing Muslims and Christians together on common terms, based on the Unity of God, which will enable us to combat priesthood ignorance, and the exploitation of man by man.
*This document was originally published twenty years ago. Christians and Muslims have since united across the world. The United Muslim Christian Forum was henceforth established by El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani to accommodate the ever-growing unity based upon the Ten Commandments, and an effort to save mankind therewith. To join, contact us:
Filed under: Interfaith, January Volume I- 2009, National | Tags: Peace, Religious Discrimination
By Khalida Khaleel
Islamic Post Staff Writer
Hostility is from ignorance; we can do so much to change it.
Linda Valentine, an American of African descent, was found in contempt of court when she refused to abandon the khimar, the Islamic headscarf worn by Muslim ladies. Her December arrest and jailing came after entering a Georgian courthouse, for the traffic violation of a family member. The incident brought national outrage to the surface and justified lamentations of civil libertarians in these, our United States.
The Douglasville Police Department and also the judge who sentenced Mrs. Valentine to 10 days in jail are scheduled to undergo “sensitivity and cultural diversity training.” “We never want this to happen again,” said Police Chief Joe Whisenant, at a news conference. “It’s not our intent to embarrass anybody.” Nevertheless, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) continues to denounce the incident, citing at least three other cases, including one in which another Muslim woman was asked to remove her their headscarf at the same county courthouse. The group insists the judge’s actions have “violated the Georgia Code of Judicial Conduct, Title III of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to freedom of religion and equal protection under the law.”
Incidents of this nature are not restricted to Georgia. In 2005, a Ph.D. candidate named Jameelah Medina, also an American Muslim was arrested in Los Angeles county for having an invalid train pass; charges were later dismissed. She is now suing the county, with the support of the American Civil Liberties Union, with the aim of waiving the normal detainment procedure of removing headgear (waived for Muslim ladies).
Muslims should continue to resort to legal measures when their rights are violated.
Although many profile people who have Islamic names or dress and perceive them as threatening, to retaliate with the use of expletives such as verbal, facial or body expressions is unbecoming and counterproductive. At times, the aggressor walks away feeling that such suspicions about Muslims have been confirmed (i.e., they’re full of hatred, have hidden agendas, unpatriotic and uncooperative). In other situations, such behavior has landed covered ladies into more demeaning situations than the original confrontation: confined and stripped of their rights (and clothing).
Before getting ‘verbal’ with a xenophobic person, it may help to remember the example of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States over forty years ago: Discrimination was not predicated on something a group of African Americans had actually done wrong.
The prejudiced tendencies are similar to the deeds of those who oppose Muslims living in the United States and other Western countries; however, we all have to live with the violent legacy of minority extremists within our midst as well as abroad. While ignorance and fear fuel the arrogant person to lump all Islamic co-religionists together as ‘us against them,’ still it is up to the Muslims, to diplomatically act upon the understanding that, to some, a khimar, or beard, and long clothes do represent a threat.
Diffusing Prejudice with the practice of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him.)
The situation of American Muslims can also be compared to the companions of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him, while living in the holy city of Makkah (Mecca, in Saudi Arabia) 1400 years ago. The racists of that time accused the Muslim converts of being traitors to the dominant culture and religion of the people, of that time: paganism. In a similar manner, after 9/11, the loyalty of American Muslims is being questioned.
Muslims should not allow this situation to weaken their love and loyalty to their country. The life of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) was colored with such unquestionable loyalty and trustworthiness, as to earn him the title Al-Amin, the Trustworthy, amongst the non-Muslims who, although refusing to accept Islam right away, regularly deposited their money with him for safekeeping.
It should not be forgotten that the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him, his family and many companions, bore an extreme amount of violent persecution and every imaginable abuse, but never lost hope that the hearts of the people would change. Towards this end, he preached day and night. Ultimately, through the patience, love, honor, confidence, broad-mindedness and compassion of the character of the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him), coupled with extreme love for humanity and a willingness to teach, many accepted Islam, and many bridges of understanding were built.
Filed under: Front Page News, Interfaith, January Volume I- 2009 | Tags: obama
Presidential Appointments: Turning the Corner in American Politics
The appointment of former First Lady
Senator Hillary Clinton as the incoming
U.S. Secretary of State gave a signal that
former rivalries will not be an issue for the
There are further indications that
the unity and change promised during the
campaign may be fulflled. The frst sign
in evidence is mass popular support by the
American people. Three hundred thousand
people have applied for the 8,000 job open-
ings under the Obama administration, and
it seems the president-elect will appreciate
the fresh faces. Unlike the outgoing admin-
istration, which saw no shortage of resigna-
tions due to scandal and court cases with
missing documentation, President-Elect
Barack Obama has expressed determina-
tion that if whistle-blowers decide some-
thing is not right under the new president’s
watch, they will be welcomed to come
“Often the best source of information
about waste, fraud, and abuse in govern-
ment is an existing government employee
committed to public integrity and willing
to speak out,” says the offcial transition
website Change.gov. “Such acts of cour-
age and patriotism, which can sometimes
save lives and often save taxpayer dollars,
should be encouraged rather than stifed.
We need to empower federal employees
as watchdogs of wrongdoing and part-
ners in performance. Barack Obama will
strengthen whistleblower laws to protect
federal workers who expose waste, fraud,
and abuse of authority in government.
Obama will ensure that federal agencies
expedite the process for reviewing whistle-
blower claims and whistleblowers have full
access to cour ts and due process.”
The positive resolve of the incoming
administration has injected new confdence
into the legislative bodies. The majority of
appointees are already active administra-
tors, and the former senator presumably
has a desire to turn around the low approval
ratings accumulated by the Democratic
“As president, Barack Obama will
restore the American people’s trust in their
government by making government more
open and transparent,” reports Change.
gov. “Obama will work to reform congres-
sional rules to require all legislative ses-
sions, including committee mark-ups and
conference committees, to be conducted in
public. By making these practices public,
the American people will be able to hold
their leaders accountable for wasteful
spending, and lawmakers won’t be able to
slip favors for lobbyists into bills at the last
“Too often bills are rushed through
Congress and to the president before the
public has the opportunity to review them.
As president, Obama will not sign any
non-emergency bill without giving the
American public an opportunity to review
and comment on the White House website
for fve days,” Change.gov informs.
Filed under: December Volume 1 - 2008, Interfaith, International, World | Tags: Diplomacy, Propaganda, USAID
By Noora Ahmad
Islamic Post Staff Writer
Over three hundred million dollars was awarded this fall to private public relations contractors to boost the image of America in Iraq using public diplomacy and polling as part of a new strategic communications initiative headed by the Department of Defense.
Public diplomacy is a combination of the international outreach efforts that had traditionally been undertaken by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the diplomatic endeavors of the State Department. But after 2003, when torture at Abu Ghraib was exposed, there have been calls by various government offices for a more consolidated effort to communicate the global democratic aims of the United States, to the Muslim world in particular.
USAID is undertaking training, education, and also policy development for the Defense Department’s new responsibilities via the Office of Military Affairs.
The definition of “public diplomacy” differs slightly, but significantly, from that of “psychological operations,” or PsyOps, which have been part of the military since World War II. Both are characterized by not crediting the content of the campaigns to the Pentagon and, as such, are prohibited for broadcast within the United States.
In 2006 the overall stated goal of U.S. public diplomacy efforts was stated as: “To understand, inform, engage, and influence the attitudes and behavior of global audiences in ways that support the United States’ strategic interests.”
In slight contrast, the Defense Department defined PsyOps in 2003 as: “Planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence the emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.” Here, the emphasis was on conveying information and changing opinions, a notable difference from the acts of informing and engaging circa 2006.
However, the definition of propaganda before 2003 differs greatly. The following is from the Department of Defense in 1987: “The planned use of propaganda and other psychological actions having the primary purpose of influencing the opinions, emotions, attitudes, and behavior of hostile foreign groups in such a way as to support the achievement of national objectives.”
The most recent definition of public diplomacy –cited first– which is based on a higher level of understanding between the United States and the Islamic World, was quoted from a 2006 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report entitled, “State Department Efforts to Engage Muslim Audiences Lack Certain Communication Elements and Face Significant Challenges.” The brief dealt with the difficulties facing the U.S. government’s communication of positive messages to the Muslim world, and gave examples of how public diplomacy has been attempted.
One of the projects discussed in the GAO report highlighted Muslims living in America to illustrate “the common values and beliefs shared by Muslims and Americans demonstrate that America is not at war with Islam, and stimulate dialogue between the United States and the Muslim world.”
The above-mentioned campaign, called the Shared Values Initiative, was launched in 2002. Although innovative, it was discontinued about the same time as the Abu Ghraib scandal, after some U.S. embassies abroad expressed reluctance to promote the advertisements, as they were viewed by media outlets in many countries as “propaganda, and unlikely to succeed as long as U.S. foreign policy remained unchanged.”
Other examples of public diplomacy include learning exchange programs and a Rapid Response Unit –established in the Bureau of Public Affairs– to produce a daily report on breaking world news from foreign news outlets to assist officials in espousing the U.S. position on those issues.
While nations with significant Muslim populations are being targeted as one grouping and inclusive culture spanning 58 nations in Europe, Africa, and Asia, specific advances are also being made to various countries.
The Arabic-language magazine, Hi, was started in July 2003 with an annual budget of $4.5 million to highlight American culture, values, and lifestyles. Hi, directed at Arab youth in the Middle East and North Africa, was expected to influence Arab youth to have a more positive perception of the United States, according to the GAO report.
The GAO states the other areas targeted for propaganda include Nigeria, whose U.S. embassy project, “Influencing International Public Opinion,” states intent to move the opinions of Northern Nigerians to mirror those of the rest of the Nigerian population, which is largely supportive of U.S. values and principles. In Pakistan, the project is called “Promoting Mutual Understanding,” and its aims are to enhance the image of the United States in that nation, and increase the depth of understanding among Pakistanis of how American society, culture, and values shape the objectives behind, and reasons for, U.S. policies towards Pakistan. The third is Egypt’s “Advancing American Values” program, which promotes “information activities, exchanges, and local information programming to bolster awareness among Egyptians of values shared with Americans and increase Egyptian public understanding of American society.”
On a broader level, a united effort is being sought by the GAO, and also some members of Congress, to coordinate the efforts of various offices to reach a “younger, broader, deeper” audience in the Muslim world. According to one senior official in Washington, D.C, “Younger,” denotes “the need to target even high school students who might be tomorrow’s opinion leaders;” “broader” implies “the need to reach beyond elites and target disadvantaged youth as well;” and “deeper” signifies the desire that all program participants have “as meaningful an experience as possible.”
“Experience also shows that to be effective, we must adopt a model of partnership, not paternalism,” concurred President G.W. Bush in a September speech made to the United Nations, in a show of support for the new diplomacy initiated under his administration.
Filed under: Business/Economy, December Volume 1 - 2008, Interfaith, International, World | Tags: Islamic Banking, Islamic Economics, Islamic Finance, Sharia
Usury-Free Sharia Compliance Proves a Blessing as Islamic Investing and Banking Thrives, Despite Tailspin of Interest-Based Systems
By Umm Abdul Malik
Islamic Post Staff Writer
While the Federal Reserve, U. S. Treasury, European Union, G-8 and scores of financial experts work tirelessly to organize, and re-organize a multi-billion dollar financial parachute for the plummeting interest-based financial system, Islamic investing and banking is proliferating by leaps and bounds, and even flourishing –so stated Credit Suisse senior banking associate, Fares Mourad, in a recent Reuters report. Credit Suisse of Switzerland, a prominent European wealth management institution, affirms that its Islamic banking business is growing by double digits. The crisis of the banking world has actually boosted Islamic financial commerce, luring investors who seek assets that are not affected (and are not predicted to be affected) by the havoc that has hit the rest of the financial world.
“If you invest in Islamic finance products, you tend not to be sensitive to developments (ups, downs, and crashes) in interest rates. I’ve seen asset managers in the United Kingdom who are saying they would like to include Islamic investments in their total asset allocation,” Mr. Mourad intimated to European Wealth Management correspondent, Douwe Miedema, even though investors keen on strict adherence to the Islamic laws regarding commerce and financial transactions do not have as broad a variety of financial instruments with which to maneuver as their interest-bearing counterparts in the general marketplace.
Islamic Economic Principles are Rooted in Revelation.
The framework for Islamic financial dealings is contained within the text of the Holy Qur’an, and the laws derived from the commands of the Almighty Creator that are contained in the sacred text. Many of the injunctions related to commerce and finance were introduced to the society of the Holy Last Messenger of Islam, Muhammad, may the peace of the Almighty be upon him, and were immediately implemented as guidelines for Islamic living, as they were supported by Divine sanction and authority.
The foremost pillar of Islamic finance, and the source of much of its allure, is the prohibition of charging or taking interest. Another regulation requires risk-sharing between the extender of venture capital and the entrepreneur.
In addition, Islamic investing dictates that businesses be legal in Islam, i.e., “Sharia-compliant:” in no way involved in production, sales, or trading of: pork or its by-products; alcoholic products; immoral or lewd products, literature, and media; interest-based banking and financial services like insurance.
An umbrella of social responsibility covers the Islamic financial system and those who conduct their business under its cover. To further illustrate, there is no profit for the investor if there are losses for the business. A key element to the current global financial disaster is businesses devoid of profit in a situation exacerbated by the charging of interest on principle.
The Dow Jones Islamic Index.
With the ranks of Muslim investors swelling rapidly as the Muslim population in the United States tops six million, and as overseas Muslim investors seek Sharia-compliant investment opportunities and financial products, the Dow Jones financial news corporation compiled the first American Shari-compliant index – companies whose business practices conform to Islamic standards.
In 1999, Dow Jones employed a board of six Sharia scholars who would review and screen companies. Merck & Co., Pfizer Inc., Microsoft, and Hewlett-Packard were among the 1,800 companies out of a total of 5,000 that were included in the first Islamic index. There are now more than 60 Dow Jones Indexes that track and chart Sharia-compliant stocks and bonds.
Eric Meyer, Connecticut financial advisor with the investment fund Shariah Capital, advises that western financial institutions and banks need to have Shariah-compliant products or risk losing market share. Some investment firms retain a Shariah Board to review and determine whether a particular type of financial transaction complies with the Islamic law.
As more banks offer Muslim and other customers Islamic lending and investment options, more advisors trained in the intricate, and sometimes complex, rules that govern Islamic finance are in demand. Three prominent companies advise clients regarding Islamic investing: Saturna Capital, Azzad Asset Management, and Allied Asset Advisors.
The fundamentals of the economic system developed by the Muslim world over centuries has indeed provided the modern world unexpected guidance at a critical period in time, illustrating the Divine Wisdom in a way of conducting commerce with conscience and social responsibility.
Filed under: December Volume 1 - 2008, Interfaith, International, World | Tags: Muslims in France
By Umm Abdul Malik
Islamic Post Staff Writer
While Muslims in France struggle to defend many of their cultural rights –including how adherents may dress in public schools– and complex issues related to the French social order, there is a corner of this European nation where religious diversity is being embraced, and even supported by law. In Alsace-Moselle, an agriculturally, geologically, and industrially prosperous region in eastern France, the local government adheres to a pre- World War II law that not only provides subsidies to the religious groups that have been established there for decades, but also promotes religious education in public schools.
Alsace-Moselle was part of Germany during and after World War I, in 1905, when France passed laws separating “church and state.” The regional edict still applies. The Treaty of Concordat grants public funds for the building of structures for worship, and provides funding to cover compensation for clergy.
The predominant Jewish, Roman Catholic, Calvinist, and Lutheran denominations enjoyed the multi-faceted support of the government in the region exclusively until, in 1998, leaders of these four groups officially recognized the proliferating Muslim presence within the larger local population and, by written petition, insisted Muslims be afforded the same rights, privileges, and assistance as required by law. Despite this significant consensus, there was fierce political debate in Alsace-Moselle on how and to what degree the law should apply to the Muslims.
The then-current Mayor of Strasbourg, Roland Ries, lost his position when the petition was presented in 1998. The new mayor restricted the building permit for the new mosque to include only the religious areas, and excluding a study center and auditorium, even refusing approval for a minaret.
Construction on the Grand Mosque did not begin until 2007. Mr. Ries was re-elected in March of 2008, with the help of strong Muslim support, proposing that the masjid be completed as soon as possible.
“Muslims today represent the second (largest) religion of France, as well as of Alsace-Moselle,” commented Mayor François Grosdidier of the town of Woippy, where one-third of its 15,000 inhabitants are Muslims, with the same proportion of Muslims in the regional population of 2.9 million. “I don’t think the current situation can last in our country, it’s not sustainable.” Mayor Grosdidier added that excluding Muslims and suppressing their ability to be open and practice their way of life openly will lead them to seek support from foreign governments, an unnecessary complication. In the opinion of some, this historically auspicious region, once known as Alsace-Lorraine, could serve as an example of what is possible to achieve in the quest to integrate Muslims into the meld of society in France, which has the largest population of Muslims (six to seven million) and Jews of any European nation. Although there are about 1,700 Muslim worship places in France, only 400 of them could be categorized as actual mosques, while the remainder are temporary places for prayer in gymnasiums, unused shops, or apartment house basements.
Mr. Fouad Douia, head of the consortium of Muslim communities in Alsace-Moselle, was appointed to oversee the construction of a “stately mosque” (Grand Mosque) in the renowned city of Strasbourg, on the Ill River.
In an interview with the International Herald Tribune, Mr. Douia remarked that still, Alsace-Moselle is a model for interfaith dialogue which is considerably stronger than in the rest of France. The consortium head commented that Muslims look forward to the opportunity for Islamic education for their school children, as well as the establishment of a theological faculty for the training of Muslim clergy. Mr. Douia, however, lamented the dichotomy of the modern societies’ refusal to expedite religious equality, among other standards of fairness. “There’s great hypocrisy in French politics; people don’t name things as they are.”
Filed under: December Volume 1 - 2008, Interfaith, International | Tags: Israeli Settlers, Palestine Olive Grove
Settler violence continued to escalate in November after Israeli policemen dismantled an “illegal” outpost, subsequently coming under a hail of stones from inhabitants.
In ensuing settler riots, anger was taken out at Palestinian graves which were defaced with paint.
Tensions were triggered this autumn after an incident involving a Palestinian living in the occupied territory who, in violation of religious holiday rules, drove his car through a Jewish neighborhood on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, in the city of Acre in October. Stones were pelted at the man, as he went to collect his daughter from relatives who lived in the Jewish area of town. Subsequent clashes lasted five days.
The unrest carried on into the beginning of the two month long olive season which also began in October in the West Bank city of Hebron. Reuters reported that 40 members of the group Rabbis for Human Rights would act as “human shields” if necessary, to protect Palestinian olive growers. Israeli police and soldiers have already been grappling, in Hebron, with settlers who “tried to drive off local Palestinians and international supporters of Palestinian rights in the West Bank,” Reuters said. “It’s unfortunate that some people filled with mistaken religious fervor are choosing to insult, be violent, and try to steal the olives,” said the executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights, Arik Ascherman.
Arab News reported the militants say they want a secure route from the settlement, through the olive grove, to a cave regarded as a Jewish holy site. About this matter, Rabbi Ascherman commented, “There are those who say all the land of Israel belongs only to the Jewish people.”
Outgoing prime minister, Ehud Olmert seems to concur with the Rabbi. “If we sit on another hilltop, or another hundred meters…is [this] what will make the difference for the State of Israel’s basic security?”
Mr. Olmert also strongly denounced the recent settler provocations saying, “This is a group, that is not small, of… people who behave in a way that threatens proper law and governance…This is unacceptable and we cannot countenance it.”
“What I am saying to you now has not been said by any Israeli leader before me,” Mr. Olmert began. “The time has come to say these things.”
But religious and political leaders are not the only ones denouncing the violence.The officer responsible for the entire West Bank, General Gadi Shamni, also expressed “harsh criticism” to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz for “extremist West Bank settlers.”
However, according to Gen. Shamni, the acts of violence are being encouraged by some members of the general public, settler leadership, and even rabbis.
A senior rabbi in the Gush Etzion settlements south of Jerusalem recently published a pamphlet in which he said Jews in the Peace Now organization deserved the death penalty. According to The National of Dubai, the religious leader denounced the peace activists as “worse than heretics and apostates.”
“In the past, only a few dozen individuals took part in such activity, but today that number has grown into the hundreds,” said Gen. Shamni, “That’s a very significant change. These hundreds are engaged in conspiratorial actions against Palestinians and the security forces. It is a very grave phenomenon.”
Filed under: December Volume 1 - 2008, Interfaith, National | Tags: Indigenous Patriotism
Yes, you can be Muslim, and American, and love being both. There is no separation.
The religion of Al Islam is growing at such a magnitude in America; and many have been questioned about their patriotism. I am an American through and through. I am the descendent of Native Americans and Africans who were enslaved in this great country, and later fought for their freedom to live peacefully in this country. So, to even consider making a distinction between being Muslim and American is an insult. I love my country, and my ancestors have helped build this country. I find it hard to believe that my religion, Al Islam, and my love for Allah and the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) would prevent me from loving my country.
The election campaign brought this question up time and time again; however, I think Colin Powell summed it up in his interview with Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press. Gen. Powell responded to the question surrounding the religion of the now president-elect, Senator Barack Obama. “He’s always been a Christian. But really, the right answer is, ‘What if he is [Muslim]?’ Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is no; that’s not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?”
My response when hearing this was: “Thank you, I am happy this has been said.”
This notion of questioning any American about their patriotism is wrong, regardless if they are Muslim, Christian, or any other religion. We are all American and proud to be! -Hanifah Begum, NC
Filed under: December Volume 1 - 2008, Front Page News, Interfaith, National | Tags: Blessings from Hardship
By Noora Ahmad
Islamic Post Staff Writer
For a two week period this autumn, severe gasoline shortages gripped the Southeastern United States, leaving residents in some areas of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee struggling to get to work, and go about their daily tasks. The worst cases had drivers, who were close enough, pushing their cars up to gas pumps, while others left their cars abandoned on the side of the road.
With no major gasoline storage facility or refinery in the Southeastern region, Gulf Coast pipelines are depended upon to carry gas eastward where tankers can transport it to retailers. Those pipelines were not working to capacity due to damage from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
“The shortage was terrible,” said Hanifah Mustafa, of Charlotte, North Carolina, “People were unable to get to work, school, or appointments. There were numerous fights at gas stations, and lots of cars left on the side of the road. The lines for gas were two hours long.”
Yet, according to Mrs. Mustafa, the shortage also did a lot to bring Muslims and Christians closer together. “This gas shortage and the economic crisis has opened the eyes of the people, allowing them to see that Muslims are their friends, family, and neighbors, who are in the same boat,” said the mother of three.
Mrs. Mustafa’s older children, ages 12 and 7, did not experience fear in Charlotte as nerves frayed and tempers flared, but only wanted to “get to the Holy Khanqah” to pray for things to get better for all. The twelve year old referred to a place for prayer, where people of all faiths may beseech the Almighty with high expectations. The Holy Khanqah in South Carolina was built by the local Muslim community. “My kids only feel sorry for the people and want to know how we can help,” stated the young mother and author of a children’s book published by Zavia Books entitled Moral Stories For Muslim Children.
Some months later, gas availability is back to normal, but Charlotte is not. Many people have suffered a loss in income because they were unable to afford or obtain gas to get to work. Gas prices went up to $4.49 a gallon during the two week period of the crisis, but have since dropped down almost two dollars in some places.
Some companies offered little leniency to employees unable to find fuel, only encouraging their workers to carpool. “There has been so much firing lately it’s hard to tell if it has to do with the gas shortage,” added Mrs. Mustafa, full time homemaker who is also pursuing her second bachelor’s degree in accounting.
“I spoke to my neighbor, a 65 year old, who was attacked while just going to the gas station store, not even getting gas. She and many of the people I came in contact with blame the current economic policies for the malaise of difficulties,” commented Mrs. Mustafa, although the message from the mainstream media has long painted overseas difficulties to be the culprit.
“It’s amazing to see the change in attitude of the people. They are reaching out to me wherever I go: the library, supermarket, post office, you name it. I smile, and here they come!” she added. “Some say the (blame rests with the) Zionists; it depends on who you talk to. But the blame is never on the Muslims.”
When asked what local people are doing to remain calm amidst these trying economic difficulties, Mrs. Mustafa replied that the community is joining hands to assist those in need, and improve their daunting situation in whatever way they can.
“I recently met a few ladies who were out campaigning for the elections, and I had the opportunity to speak with them. It was wonderful. It seems that the people are waking up. They are out there trying to help one another, and make everyone aware that it’s not the Muslims who are responsible for all this. One of the ladies had a newborn that she named Barack Hussein, and I shared with her that my son’s name was Mubarik Hasan. They said so many people are taking on Muslim names and standing together for the good of our children and our future,” Hanifah Mustafa continued.
“One of the [campaigning] ladies who were speaking pointed to my oldest and said, “He is our future.”
Filed under: Interfaith, International, Sept/Oct Volume - 2008, World | Tags: Olympics
The Third Principle of Olympism is Globalism:
“The Olympic Movement is the concerted, organised, universal and permanent action, carried out under the supreme authority of the IOC [International Olympic Committee], of all individuals and entities who are inspired by the values of Olympism. It covers the five continents. It reaches its peak with the bringing together of the world’s athletes at the great sports festival, the Olympic Games. Its symbol is five interlaced rings.
By Durdana Jamaal, Islamic Post Staff Writer
The Beijing Olympics formally ended September 17 with the Paralympics’ closing ceremony; and Organizations like the Multinational Monitor and Commercial Alert are concerned that commercialism overtook this year’s Olympic games to the threat of their very ideals. Contrary to this position, however, today’s games exist much as they always have, despite stated goals.
History notes that the Olympics were established in Greece as a ritual pagan festival and opportunity for trade. The event centered on sports used as a display of homage to the first, and as a draw for the latter. Olympism is defined in the Olympic Charter of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as, among other things, “a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole, the qualities of body, will and mind.” No mention is made of materialism. Yet, however, the following is observed.
According to the History of the Hellenic World (Pennsylvania State University Press), “People from all over Greece [Egypt and other areas] gathered for this Olympic festival. It was a chance to sell goods, recite poems for money, negotiate business deals, and even sign peace treaties between cities.”
This commercial aspect has not changed at all. At last count, for this year’s Olympic Games NBC alone had raked in profits of $1.7 billion dollars for its television advertising, and China’s main TV network, CCTV, took in $400 million. A record 63 corporations spent an estimated four to six billion dollars this summer on consumer advertising to draw buyers for products and services linked to the Olympic logo. Sales figures have not yet been reported.
Dedicated to Apollo
Yet, the part of the Olympics which should have caught the most attention, for at least its Muslim and Christian participants, is the torch lighting ceremony, which, having survived since antiquity, is not rooted in sport, but in pagan tradition. The ceremony is conducted at the temple of Zeus in Olympia, now in ruins, and commences the games on a spiritual level, whereever in the world the athletes may be convening physically.
If there were a true spirit of global unity different religions might take turns in displaying their worship of the Universal Almighty Creator for these great games, instead of continuing to show reverence for a mythical pagan figure.
The games have in fact evolved into a form of sanctioned global pagan worship with the strongest representatives of each nation sent to symbolically honor and entertain the Greek deities of Olympia.
In 392 A.D., the Olympics were abolished by the Christian Emperor Theodosius I of Rome, who saw the games as a pagan rite.
The opening ritual is dedicated to Apollo, a mythical figure worshipped in ancient Greece as representing the Sun. Throughout history, high priestesses, and actresses portraying them, conduct a 2 hour long ceremony to display obeisance to Apollo, his ‘father’ Zeus and ‘mother’ Hera in various ways, culminating in the lighting of the Olympic torch, which is ignited from a parabolic mirror which reflects and magnifies the heat of the sun’s rays, which in mythology is representative of the power of Apollo. The high priestess cries to a mythical figure, “Send your rays and light the sacred torch,” among other professions of polytheism, as the torch is prepared for lighting. The fire is then placed on altars honoring Apollo and Hera, and only afterwards used to honor the first Olympic runner, and light his torch.
The only things missing are the ritual sacrifices. Perhaps human rights sacrifices make up for that omission.
Contradiction after contradiction plague the very core of the games. For example, although the charter touts, “the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles,” the site of the Berlin games of 1936 were no more than half an hour away from a fully operative concentration camp. Outcries from the Jewish community to boycott the games went unheard, and IOC members who opposed holding the Games in Berlin were dropped from the organization. Witnesses reported that there were more swastikas on stage at the opening ceremony in Berlin than Olympic flags.
Olympic historian Maryann Abbs wrote about the Mexican Olympics that “hundreds of people (mostly students) were massacred by a special forces unit called the Olympia Brigade in the Tlateloco Plaza in Mexico City ten days before the Olympics began in August 1968.”
The historian adds that the Games have actually been used as a convenient cover for the establishment of permanent repressive laws and to create new police and military units as was done in Sydney, Australia, where there were four officers for each athlete at the Games for a total of 35,000 police and security guards, 4000 troops and elite commando units, and Black Hawk helicopters. The state security laws which came into effect in Australia in 2000 that remain in place to this day.
Maryann Abbs further cites the use of profiling with regards to Muslims and African-Americans, as happened at the Los Angeles games in 1984, and those in Atlanta in 1996, as well as the Athens Games in 2004. This year saw the plight of Muslim Uyghurs and Tibetan monks pushed to the side in the interest of Olympism.
According to the Fundamental Principles of Olympism, “Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise, is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.” On the contrary, Matthew Syed, writing for the UK Times, calls the modern games a “bastion of elitism” citing the fact that the majority of competitions need more than just running shoes and talent, and require expensive training and equipment. “India, for example, a country with almost one fifth of the world’s population, won less than a fifth of 1 per cent of the medals available in Athens – one out of a total of 826. Africa, a continent dripping with sporting talent, won only 4 per cent of them. Can you think of a single global institution that is less equitable?” he wrote.
“When the French aristocrat Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the modern Olympic movement, he packed it with sports affordable only to his fellow aristocrats, thus excluding the Third World,” said the Times reporter. Yet, such inequalities, which contradict the stated goals of Olympism, became commonplace not too long after the inception of the games in antiquity.
Historian Trudy Ring, asserts that as the Olympic games gained popularity, specialization occurred which forced out the amateur athletes which the original games were meant to attract. “The development of body, mind, and spirit that the original games hoped to encourage was forgotten,” Ms. Ring said, and while the games are nonetheless exciting, her statement rings more true with each passing olympiad.
Filed under: Interfaith, International, Sept/Oct Volume - 2008, Uncategorized
Abdul Hameed Abdul Aziz, Islamic Post Staff Writer
The mission of conspiracies has remained the same throughout history: to prevent the restoration of the will and love of God in the people.
Devoid of love, or even understanding, the conspirators, who obviously wish to bring difficulty to the believers today, are the same in spirit as those who hurled insult to the Second to Last Holy Messenger Jesus, as well as Moses, peace be upon them both.
Muslims, Christians, and all people whose goal is the pure, honest, and just progression of mankind as one family and one nation under God, should come together in joint efforts to overcome falsehood and ignorance, as was the example of our ancestors. Perhaps then, when Jesus returns (which, we can see is to be very soon), the sincere amongst both groups –united on the religion of Jesus, who worshiped One Almighty Creator– will be able to show the Son of Mary something to make him proud, bringing light to a darkening world.
Like throwing stones at the moon.
The traits of the Holy Messengers are very similar; parallels can be drawn between them throughout time, as their missions were the same: to guide people to the worship of One Almighty Creator and behave fair, just, and kind with the rest of creation. May God’s peace be upon them all.
The Holy Last Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) was well known throughout Arabia, before his Messengerhood was revealed, as the man with the most sublime, mannered, and truthful character, whose justness, piety, and trustworthiness was completely unmatched by any individual. His advice was sought on the most vital matters, and in the course of his living he was surnamed “Al-Amin,” or the Most Trustworthy One, by those who were not Muslim.
Like other Messengers before him, the Holy Last Messenger (peace be upon him) was granted permission from the Almighty Creator to marry mustarah (honorable Muslim ladies) of various backgrounds. As a result, every Muslim woman up to today and until the Day of Judgment has the example of a lady whom she can personally relate her character, personality, tendencies, and preferences to. The youngest of his wives was destined to be the personal student and scribe of the most intricate details of his home and public life, and as a result, she is the greatest woman scholar that the world of Islam has ever seen, and has related more traditions of his example than any other lady in history, thereby benefitting mankind until the end of time (May the Almighty Creator be well please with her). Nor did this young lady go to live with her most honorable spouse until she became of age.
Conspirators continue to hurl sadistic taunts, blind attempts to defame the character of our teacher, the one who was responsible for bringing the world out of the Dark Ages. Unseemly reactions by Muslims, incited by these slanderers, only causes alienation from other religious elements of society. Disunity between Christians and Muslims cannot be afforded, as it would allow the irreligious conspirators to continue to “divide and conquer,” achieving their ancient dream of a Satanic world order.
Filed under: August Volume 1 - 2008, Front Page News, Interfaith, Magazine/ Culture, National | Tags: Gilani, IQOU, Islamberg
Correction: Please note, the awards for the 9/11 relief work and other relief work of the Muslim Scouts of America were sent by El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani for the commencement, and handed out by the New York State Police officers in attendance at the event, in honor of the Scouts’ good work.*
Muslim Scouts of America Commencement and Awards
By Abu Rashid Qadri, Islamic Post Staff Writer
The sporadic rain showers and the threatening clouds did not dampen the spirits of hundreds of guests that gathered on the grassy meadow in the Village of Holy Islamberg in Hancock, New York on Sunday, the 3rd of August to mark the Commencement Ceremony for the 2008 Muslim Scouts of America’s Summer Program. The intensive, broad-based program centered on Islamic Studies; but also included such diversified topics as English Literature and a lecture series on “Muslim/Christian Unity” and “Civic Responsibility.”
For close to two decades his Eminence, Imam El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, who is the Vice Chancellor of the sponsoring organization, the International Quranic Open University, has worked tirelessly to make this program a success. That Sunday, the “fruits of his labor” were given very special recognition. The Guests of Honor, Lt. James Land and Det. Mike Franz of the New York State Police and Special Agent Eric Boyce of the Federal Bureau of Investigation were pleased to present special awards to those scouts which had been sent by El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani. The Scouts who received these awards (correction) exemplified all that the scouting program is about when they sacrificed their monies and time and in some cases their employment to assist in the rescue and relief efforts at Ground Zero following 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the quake that devastated Pakistan and the floods in the Southern Tier of New York State.
The ceremony began with recitation from the Holy Quran, a stirring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and an opening address by the Master of Ceremony, Khalifa Khalid Ihsan Abdullah Qadri. Some 150 scouts received certificates for completing the demanding 30 day course of study. The ceremony continued with Khalifa Khalid Qadri presenting special awards to the three top finishers in the Qiraat, Naat, Speech and Poetry competitions that were held amongst the scouts. Awards were also given for excellence in sporting competitions which included softball, cross country obstacle course and the ancient wrestling sport of Kabbadi.
One could hear a pin drop when the Program Coordinator, Khalifa Hussein Abu Bakr Qadri, stepped to the podium to present the most prestigious awards. Sha’ban Ahmed, of the Village of Holy Islamville in York, S.C. received the distinguished, ”Best All Around Award” and Shafi Kaba of the Village of Holy Islamberg in Hancock, New York received the esteemed, “Best Scout Award.”
Following the closing address dinner was served but festivities did not end there. The main road in Holy Islamberg was lined with vendors exhibiting their wares, food, clothing and crafts. Two families celebrated the birth of newborns and both held an Aqeeqa and served barbequed and roast lamb and side dishes to all that could navigate the village road to their home. All activities contributed to a worthwhile experience.
Pdf of camp and commencement highlights can be viewed here.
*The awards were not presented on behalf of the New York State police department as previously stated.
Filed under: August Volume 1 - 2008, Front Page News, Interfaith, National | Tags: Guantanamo Tribunals, Omar Khadr, William Kuebler
By Khalida Khaleel, Islamic Post Staff Writer
Defense Attorney Lieutenant-Commander William Kuebler, a born-again Christian from California told Canada’s newspaper the Globe and Mail recently, “What Omar needs is a fair process. That’s not Guantanamo.”
“Jesus was reputed to associate with the unpopular people, the sinners and the outcasts of his time,” Lt.-Cmdr. Kuebler told El Akkad in an interview from his Washington office, saying also, “It’s a powerful way to demonstrate what we believe in as far as God’s grace and forgiveness for sin.”
Jesus, peace be upon him, is the Holy Second to Last Messenger of the God, whose attributes of mercy and love reflect those of the Almighty.
“There’s an interesting parallel between that [imitation of Jesus] and what we do as criminal defense lawyers, because we’re typically encountering people who have done bad things, or are alleged to have done bad things, and are at a pretty low ebb in their lives.”
Kuebler recently released video footage of Omar Khadr, now 21, as a 15 year old boy in Guantanamo Bay, weeping for his mother. Having come of age in captivity, Khadr’s tribunal date is set for October this year.
Khadr’s distraught mother, Maha Elsamnah, broke down in tears upon viewing her “baby face” “tiny boy” on the video. Speaking to the Canadian Press, she revealed her prayer: how she hoped Omar could hear her voice. She said, “‘Oh God, please answer his call. I can’t answer.’ I wish I can tell him. What can I do? I’m here. I wish he can hear me answering back…”
“I always heard his call in my dreams,” she continued, “But I don’t know if he hears me crying.”
In the media attention after the release of the video, former Prime Minister Paul Martin voiced his opinion that Canada should repatriate Khadr and put his case through the court system there.
Mr. Martin told CTV’s Question Period in an interview last month, “I think Bill Graham, who was foreign affairs minister at the time, said it the best; which was, ‘If we had known then what we know now, then we would have taken strenuous steps to repatriate Mr. Khadr to Canada.’”
Earlier this month, Lt.-Cmdr. Kuebler filed suit with the Federal Court of Canada in an effort to ensure Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper will, at long last, intervene for Khadr. Kuebler insists that the Canadian government, after being “the first country to ratify the Child Soldier Protocol and leader in international efforts to protect children involved in armed conflict,” has not honored its “affirmative obligation to cooperate in reintegration efforts,” in a statement released to the Canadian newspaper, the Globe and Mail.
Kuebler also insists that not only were there no eyewitnesses to confirm that Khadr threw the grenade that killed Seargent 1st Class Christopher J. Speer in a firefight in Afghanistan, for which reason, and in which locale, it is claimed Omar Khadr was taken into custody. Moreover, court documents confirm that there was an alleged Al Qaeda operative still alive at the scene who could have killed Speer, as opposed to Omar. Seargeant Speer was also behind an advancing officer when killed; whereas, Khadr was ahead of the two with his back turned.
Khadr was shot at point blank range in the back by the advancing officer; and has since received the nickname “Buckshot” due to horrific exit wounds in his chest, according to Moazzem Begg, who has since been released, but shared a cell with Khadr in Guantanamo Bay. He also claims to have witnessed specific maltreatment and mental abuse of the boy.
Cori Crider, lawyer for the charity Reprieve, told Cageprisoners.com “in a submission to the UN in May, the Pentagon said that no more than eight youths, aged 13 to 17 at time of capture, and were held at Guantánamo Bay. But a prisoner list released in 2006 in response to US Freedom of Information Act Litigation names 21 inmates under 18 when they arrived. A separate defense department admission brings the total to 22. Testimonies collected by Reprieve, which represent 30 inmates at Guantánamo, indicate the actual number is much higher.”
According to the Mail, the court documents related to Seargeant Speer’s death, which were mistakenly released to the media, states that the advancing officer, whose identity apparently cannot be disclosed, “believed Khadr and the [Al Qaeda] man with the AK-47 rifle were the only two men alive at the time of the assault.” The damning evidence rests on the operative’s belief that Khadr threw the grenade, as opposed to the other man present, because the “nature of the … [grenade’s movement, or] lob was inconsistent with [it]being thrown by someone who was shooting.”
Filed under: August Volume 1 - 2008, Interfaith, International, Uncategorized | Tags: Archbishop Canterbury, Lord Chief Justice, Rowan Williams, rule of law
By Khadir A. Ghani, Islamic Post Staff Writer
Britain’s Lord Chief Justice, Nicholas Phillips, addressed the East London Muslim Centre (ELMC) last month, regarding Islamic law, termed sharia, as practiced on the island.
“In February this year, I chaired a lecture given by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Royal Courts of Justice on the topic of Civil and Religious Law in England,” said the Lord Chief Justice, the highest legal authority in Britain. (The Archbishop of Canterbury, in turn, is the highest religious authority in Britain.) “It was, I believe, not clearly understood by all, and certainly not by sections of the media which represented the Archbishop as suggesting the possibility that Muslims in this country might be governed by their own system of Sharia law(…)
“A point that the Archbishop was making was that it was possible for individuals voluntarily to conduct their lives in accordance with Sharia principles without this being in conflict with the rights guaranteed by our law.”
Nicholas Phillips has been condemned from many Islamophobic quarters, as was the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, before him,
Be that as it may, the remarks of the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales are of greater significance to the Muslim, and also Christian, community at large, as his words spell out a message of tolerance; a tolerance which is equally upheld in the legal realm of Islam.
Muslim jurists say the same.
The scholars of Islamic law have similar messages to the two British officials regarding non-Muslims living in an Islamic realm.
Islam is the founder of democracy; its legal system instituted laws of religious tolerance from the outset, in the 7th century C.E. Europe began to do so only as far back as 1951 when the European Convention on Human Rights guaranteed religious freedom.
Lord Chief Justice Phillips states, “In 2006 the Equality Act extended the prohibition against discrimination on the ground of religion or belief to cover other areas such as the provision of goods, facilities and services, the letting of premises and the provision of education.(…)
“British law has, comparatively recently, reached a stage of development in which a high premium is placed not merely on liberty, but on equality of all who live in this ‘country. That law is secular. It does not attempt to enforce the standards of behaviour that the Christian religion or any other religion expects. It is perhaps founded on one ethical principle that the Christian religion shares with most, if not all, other religions and that is that one should love one’s neighbour.”
Law of the Land.
For the majority of his ELMC lecture “Equality Before the Law,” Lord Chief Justice Phillips dealt with the origins of British law in what could be taken as a detailed plea for the understanding and respect of the law of the land.
Similarly, Abul Hasan al Quduri in his work Al Mukhtasar al Quduri, the most respected book of Islamic jurisprudence, laid down the principles of law derived from Holy Qur’an and the practice of the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him, in the 9th century C.E. In regards to non-Muslims living in a Muslim state, tolerance is required by Muslims; on the other hand, respect by non-Muslims for the rule of law is also requested. Under the category “Good character and respect for fundamental rights,” al Quduri states, “A Muslim is supposed to deal with people kindly and justly, unless they are open enemies to Islam and/or Muslims. Allah does not prohibit you from being kind and just to those who have not fought you on account of religion, nor expelled you from your homes.” [Holy Quran, 60: 8] (…) Hence, traits such as truthfulness, justice, kindness, and honesty should be part of the Muslim’s character whether he is dealing with Muslims or non-Muslims. (…)
“Generally, when one has entered their [non-Muslim] lands under a peaceful agreement, he is expected to abide by common standards of decency as long as it does not violate any injuctions of Islam [usury is an example of a such a violation]. (…)
“A Muslim is supposed to respect the human rights, not only of Muslims, but even of non-Muslim subjects of the Islamic state. According to a tradition of the Holy Last Messenger, peace be upon him, severe warning is reported for violating the property or lives of non-Muslim residents,” up until the violator [eventually] being condemned to Hellfire.
The Chief Justice concluded his speech with a request for the Muslims to become part of the British legal system and assist in assuring fair treatment of all people in the U.K.
His request hearkens a legal point made by El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani in his discourse on Sura Yusuf, which relates the story of the Holy Messenger Joseph, peace be upon him, in the Holy Quran. Nabi Yusuf, peace be upon him, became the Treasurer and Minister of Agriculture in Egypt, under the realm of a non-Muslim pharoah named Raiyaan, who had not caused problems for the believers living in his country. “Muslims and non-Muslims should join hands with the government and run the country if the government is benevolent to Muslims and not oppressive. There are clear injunctions regarding this,” said El Sheikh Gilani.
Contrary to popular opinion, and distorted extremism on both sides, there is no such thing as an uprising in Islam against the non-Muslim state in which Muslims are living; just as it would be improper for non-Muslims living in a Muslim land to rebel against the rule of law there. Mutual respect is what is encouraged. If the government is one tolerant to all faiths, such a wrong stance is against human decency and religious principles of gratitude.
Therefore, Muslims are expected to follow the Holy Qur’an in all matters, and stay away from those who, in their denial of the scholars of Islamic law and the principals of international secular law as well, have likened themselves to anarchists.
Filed under: August Volume 1 - 2008, Interfaith, International, Science | Tags: Islamic miracle, miracle, miraculous
By Farhana Jamal, Islamic Post Staff Writer
Thousands of Nigerians have gone to a restaurant in the northern part of the country to view a miraculous manifestation first discovered last month. The Arabic word for the Almighty Creator, Allah, was inscribed on pieces of meat along with the name of the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.
Birnin Kebbi, a diner at the restaurant, was about to consume his meal when he noticed the blessed names written in the gristle, according to the Weekly Trust, a Nigerian newspaper. In surprise and amazement, the restaurant owner searched the meats in the kitchen, and found three more pieces bearing the holy names.
“When the writings were discovered there were some Islamic scholars who came to eat here and they all commented that it was a sign to show that Islam is the only true religion for mankind,” said restaurant owner, Kabiru Haliru.
Miracles are meant to heighten and complete the imaan of believers worldwide, for without this faith –which must be put into practice to gain the name imaan, religion is lost.
Haliru kept the pieces of meat for those who wish to visit and witness the signs for themselves.
Those who were skeptical of this manifestation questioned its authenticity; however, like other miracles, it “defied scientific explanation.” Skeptics have been unable to form a consensus, or even produce a credible explanation or response.
“Supposing only one piece of meat was found then it would be suspicious, but given the circumstances there is no explanation,” Dr. Yakubu Dominic said.
There are thousands of miracles being shown around the world for those who have eyes to see, the most abundant and profound occurring in the Holy Khanqah Gilaniyah Qadriah in Holy Islamville, South Carolina, U.S.A. where, since 1996, the names of Allah and His Holy Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him, have manifested in bright, shining light and radiant colors for people of all backgrounds, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, to behold.
In every country, East or West, wherever Muslims reside, these signs are being shown as Divine favour and encouragement that in times of hardship and trial, not to expose the imaan to corrosive elements that corrupt the soul. Muslims, especially those who have been blessed to behold Divine miracles, should avoid viewing and acting out lewd behavior as it does not conform with the norms of the pattern of the Holy Last Messenger, peace be upon him, and indeed all Messengers of the Almighty. In addition, no Muslim should sell his imaan to the first passerby, nor be incited with money and promises to do anything wrong against their country.
By Afifa Begum, Islamic Post Staff Writer
“All rights are reserved. No part of this publication may be copied, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, except by means of brief extracts for the purpose of review, without full permission of the publisher.”
These are decrees and rights given in most books or written literature with a copyright registration. Reading this statement of earthly publishing rights makes you wonder and ponder about all of the Holy, Divinely revealed texts that were authored and published by the Almighty Himself. He was the first to establish a copyright and a Library of Congress: His Heaven and Holy Court.
How mankind did come to the decision to rearrange, alternate, and in many cases delete heavenly instructions from the Holy Scriptures? With whose permission have these changes been made? What method of pursuance or process was implemented to contact The Lord Almighty for His permission to reconstruct these Divine constitutions?
Within the annals of the United States of America there is an established mode of conduct when it comes to altering or establishing a new law. Legislators of the government have to convene, consult, and decide about these matters. This begs the question: How can someone abrogate or dismiss the universal, Divine insignia of The Lord of all the worlds without appealing to Him for permission?
The world we live in is controlled and governed daily by laws. There are driving laws, building codes, and tax regulations which cannot be disregarded; everywhere there are governing ordinances that cannot be violated.
As Muslims, Christians, and Jews, no one has been given the permission nor the authority to reinvent, omit, or wipe out any of the scriptures of the Almighty Creator – absolutely none. To eternally eradicate this illegitimate process, and give a rebuttal to this disregard and violation of His universal laws, decrees, and Divine instructions, the last revealed Holy Book, the Holy Qur’an, has been sent down by the Almighty Creator. Allah Almighty delivers a promise and a challenge to all of mankind: if everyone collectively galvanized and convened with the intent of changing the Divinely revealed scripts of His Holy Qur’an, they will never be able to accomplish their mission.
Almighty Allah, the Most Exalted, says: “And this Quran is not such as could ever be produced by other than Allah; but it is a confirmation of that which was before it, and an exposition of that which is decreed for mankind – therein is no doubt – from the Lord of the Worlds. Or say they: He (Muhammad) hath invented it? Say: Then bring a surah like unto it, and call (for help) on all ye can besides Allah, if ye are truthful.” 10:37-38
Allah enshrouded the Holy Qur’an with His love, mercy, and His Promise of its protection from corruption, interpolation, additions or deletions, throughout the ages. Then He revealed it and inscribed it upon the heart of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, to deliver to mankind for our education, guidance, and enlightenment regardless of race, creed, or color.
The Holy Qur’an, revealed through the agency of the Archangel Gabriel to the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, may the peace and blessing of Almighty Allah be upon him, is a cache of universal love letters from the Almighty Creator to His highest creation, the viceroys on earth – mankind.
The words contained in Holy Qur’an are a panacea for all diseases, and a comprehensive prescription for mankind, for all times to come. Its treasure is shrouded with sacred locks, which He lovingly opens for whomever He pleases. The sweetness from its nectar cannot be derived except by His permission, as a gift to His sincere servants. Al Qur’an Kareem, this most generous Divine text, is filled with an overabundance of blessing, and is a vault of invaluable signs that cannot be stolen, only comprehended by those pure hearts endowed by Him with true intelligence, and who seek, and will accept, religious guidance. The Holy Qur’an contains the formula for the reformation of mankind, and is the fountain of youth and elixir of life.
The truth of the past and present scriptures is scrolled within its pages, from the Almighty Creator, the Most Exalted and on High. He is the ‘Copywriter,’ and the Sublime Creator of the ‘library of scriptures,’ His guarded, bejeweled treasures. The Lord’s Prayer of the Holy Messenger Jesus, the son of Mary (peace be upon them both), from Bible scripture, is the prayer most oft-read by the Christians. The Ten Commandments, were given to the Holy Messenger Moses, peace be upon him, and are practiced by all faiths. Both of these can be found within the precious gems of the Holy Qur’an. Also contained in the Holy Qur’an are the stories of many of the Holy Messengers, peace and blessing of Allah be upon them all, including the Holy Messenger Abraham, known as Ibrahim, the Friend of Allah, the nativity of the Holy Messenger Jesus, who is a lawyer for the sincere Christians, and his chaste mother, Mary, one of the four most perfect ladies of all times; the beautifully lyrical Book of Psalms that was revealed to the Holy Messenger David; as well as the Torah that was revealed to the Holy Messenger Moses, and given to the Jews.
Muslims, Christians, and Jews must all prostrate and pray together, eradicate crime, wipe out sin, and remove the boulders of evil that separate man from the Beloved Almighty Creator, and the Fount of Eternal Bliss.
Filed under: Interfaith, May Volume 2008, National | Tags: dialog, May Volume 2008, National, news, Politics, World
By Islamic Post Staff Writer
Solidarity and Unity: American Muslims and Christians Celebrate the Birth of the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad (Peace be upon him) to view more pictures in pdf form, click here.
The Mayor Mr. Mathew Ryan stated, “Thank you for inviting me here today and welcome to our community. Today I applaud your efforts to create a dialog, a dialog that celebrates diversity, tolerance, and understanding and unity, and I applaud the efforts of The International Quranic Open University.
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