Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Quranic Prophecy against High Odds: The Roman victory against the Persians

A lesson in ancient history. Very interesting and enlightening.


The Muslim Times | Alislam |  Subscribe 
A Quranic Prophecy against High Odds: The Roman victory against the Persians
The Romans have been defeated,
In the land nearby, and they, after their defeat, will be victorious.
In a few years — Allah's is the command before and after that — and on that day the believers will rejoice,
With the help of Allah. He helps whom He pleases; and He is the Mighty, the Merciful.
Allah has made this promise. Allah breaks not His promise, but most men know not. (Al Quran 30:3-7)

The 30th Sura of the Holy Quran, named Rome, opens with the declaration of a prophecy about the ultimate success of the Romans over the Persians. The prophecy was made at a time when the tide of the Persian conquest was sweeping away everything before its irresistible onrush and the degradation and humiliation of the Romans had sunk to its lowest depths.
It was then beyond human knowledge and ingenuity to predict that within a period ranging from three to nine years, tables would be completely turned upon the Persians, and the vanquished would become the victors. The prophecy was literally fulfilled in most extraordinary and unforeseen circumstances. In today's terms it would be like a Prophet making a clear prophecy, against high stakes that Russia has been humbled in the Cold War, but, would within nine years put USA to shame and come back with the fullest glory, as the sole super-power!
How likely is such a prophecy to succeed?
Let me, now, quote from the commentary of the Holy Quran edited by Malik Ghulam Farid, as it comments on verse 30:5, of the Holy Quran:
In order fully to appreciate the significance of this and the preceding two verses it is necessary to cast a cursory glance over the political conditions that obtained the two great Empires that lay on the borders of Arabia-the Persian and the Roman Empires-shortly before the advent of the Holy Prophet of Islam. They were at war with each other. The first round had gone in favour of the Persians whose tide of conquest began in 602 A.D., when in order to avenge the death of Maurice, his patron and benefactor, at the hands of Phocas, Chosroes II, started the war with Rome. For twenty years the Roman Empire was overrun by Persian armies as it had never been before. The Persians plundered Syria and Asia Minor and in 608 A.D. advanced to Chalcedon. Damascus was taken in 613. The surrounding country on which no Persian had ever set foot since the founding of the Empire was utterly and completely laid waste. In June 614 Jerusalem was also captured. The whole of Christendom was horrified by the news that together with the Patriarch the Persians had carried off the Cross of Christ. Christianity had been humbled in the dust.   The flood of Persian conquest did not stop with the capture of Jerusalem. Egypt was next conquered, Asia Minor again overrun, and the Persian armies were knocking at the very gates of Constantinople. The Romans could offer but little resistance as they were torn by internal dissensions. The humiliation of Heraclius was so complete that "Chosroes wanted to see him brought in chains to the foot of his throne and was not prepared to give him peace till he had abjured his crucified god and embraced the worship of the sun." (Historians' History of the World, vol. 7, p. 159; vol. 8, pp. 94-95 & Enc. Brit. under "Chosroes" II & "Heraclius"). This state of affairs very much grieved the Muslims as they had much in common with the Romans who were the 'People of the Book.' But the Quraish of Mecca who, like the Persians, were idolaters, were glad to see this discomfiture of Christian armies a happy augury for the overthrow and destruction Islam. It was shortly after this complete debacle of Roman forces that in 616 A.D. came the revelation to the Holy Prophet, which forms the subject-matter of the verse under comment and the two preceding verses. These verses possessed a twofold significance. They foretold, in circumstances then quite inconceivable, that the whole position would be completely reversed within the short space of eight or nine years (Bid' meaning from three to nine years-Lane) and the erstwhile victorious Persian armies would suffer a crushing defeat at the hands of the utterly defeated, prostrated and humbled Romans. The significance of the prophecy lay in the fact that, within this short period, the foundations of the ultimate triumph of Islam and that of the defeat and discomfiture of the forces of disbelief and darkness would also be firmly laid. The prophecy was fulfilled in circumstances beyond human calculation and comprehension. 'In the midst of the Persian triumphs he (the Holy Prophet) ventured to foretell that before many years should elapse, victory would return to the banners of the Romans.  At the time when this prediction is said to have been delivered, no prophecy could be more distant from its accomplishment, since the first twelve years of Heraclius announced the approaching dissolution of the Empire' (Rise, Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire by Gibbon, vol. 5. p. 74).
After licking his wounds for several years, Heraclius was at last able to take the field against the Persians in 622, the year of the Holy Prophet's Hijrah to Medina. In 624 he advanced into northern Media, where he destroyed the great fire-temple of Goudzak (Gazaca) and thus avenged the destruction of Jerusalem. This happened exactly within nine years, the period foretold in the verse; and to add to its importance and significance it happened in the year when the power of the Quraish also suffered a very serious reverse in the Battle of Badr, which recalled a biblical prophecy foretelling the fading of the glory of Kedar (lsa. 21:16-17). In 627 Heraclius defeated the Persian army at Nineveh and advanced towards Ctesiphon. Chosroes fled from his favourite residence Dastgerd (near Baghdad) and, after dragging on an inglorious existence, was murdered by his own son, Siroes, on 19th February, 628, A.D.; and thus the Persian Empire, from the apparent greatness, which it had reached a few years earlier sank into hopeless anarchy (Enc. Brit.). The fulfilment of the prophecy was so remarkable and unforeseen that prejudiced Christian writers have been hard put to it to explain it away. Rodwell says that the vowel points of the Arabic expression used in the verse were left undecided so that it would read either way, i.e.; Sayaghlibun meaning, "they will be victorious," or Sayughlabun meaning, "they will be defeated." He even adds that the ambiguity was intentional. The Rev. gentleman pretends not to understand this simple fact that the vowels of an expression which had been recited hundreds of times in daily Prayers and otherwise could hardly be left undecided. Mr. Wherry goes a step further. He says: 'Our daily newspapers constantly forecast political events of this kind.' To this futile attempt of Mr. Wherry to explain away and belittle the importance of the prophecy Gibbon's quotation given above provides a crushing reply.
To clearly document that Christendom had indeed been revived from the claws of death and oblivion, let me quote Tom Holland,  the author of Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic, which won the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, as he knowingly or unknowingly becomes a witness for one of the prophecies of the Holy Quran.  He writes in his recent book about Islam, In the shadow of the Sword: The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World:
The restoration of the True Cross to Jerusalem was the profoundest demonstration imaginable of the great victory that had been won in the cause of Christ. It also served as a ringing statement of Heraclius' intent: never again would he permit the Christian empire to be pushed by its enemies to the edge of oblivion. On his approach to Jerusalem, he had made a point of stopping off in Tiberias, where he had been hosted by a wealthy Jew notorious, under the Persian occu­pation, for his persecution of the city's churches. Asked by Heraclius why he had so mistreated the local Christians, the Jew had answered disingenuously, 'Why, because they are the enemies of my faith." Heraclius, grim-faced, had advised his host to accept baptism on the spot – which the Jew had prudently done. Two years later, this order was repeated on a far more universal scale. From Africa to distant Gaul, leaders across the Christian world received news of a startling imperial decision: all Jews and Samaritans were to be brought com­pulsorily to baptism. Heraclius, conscious of how close he had come to defeat , and of the debt he owed to Christ, was not prepared to take any second chances. From now on, the Roman Empire would be undilutedly, and therefore impregnably, Christian.
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'One learned man is harder on the devil than a thousand ignorant worshipers': Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

Stranger in the home with grandchilren | The Muslim Times

Stranger in the home with grandchilren | The Muslim Times:

'via Blog this'

What a beautiful way of putting things in the right perspective! It's a MUST READ

action - re: AIRTEL Services!


Following are some very serious complaints re Airtel lines in the country. Yet, the company does not seem to be addressing the issues effectively. Why? Are they party to some kind of scam?

Btw, I thought that +254 is the code number for Kenya. So, why is it being used for something else?

I'm sending this whole email as rec'ved from a friend to others including Airtel.


asalamu alaikum

please excuse the delay in sending you this - did not have a computer and its only now that i am in a cyber -- just for this!!! hope people get better  and a honest service
this issue is still very current, in fact on thursday, in Money the issue of 1/- was tackled!!
 To all those who may be concerned,

i refer to an item today in the celebrated column, The Watchman, about
people subscribed unwarily to the +254 by the mobile telephony
provider, Airtel...

if one has any time to checkout the Airtel facebook page, he/she will
note people have massive
problems with Airtel some of which are never resolved....

Please check out this particular link for one such complaint:

Jacob Otieno > Airtel Kenya
How to I take off these clowns that keep on sending me Wap downloads
and deduct 30bob?
Sunday at 21:46 · · Like · Report

Johannes Masinde Makokha
Airtel pls dont make us run
away, i subscribe to club 10,you deduct money, no service, i subscribe
to daily data internet no service, am just bored, i call your customer
service they dont
answer, pls give me two reason as to why i should be your customer?
Sunday at 22:25 · Like · 1

Airtel Kenya
Hi please send STOP to the
number sending you the
Monday at 06:39 · Like

Jacob Otieno
The number is not going through 5503
Monday at 07:18 · Like

Airtel Kenya
Have you sent STOP to 5503?What error do you get?
Monday at 08:04 · Like

Jacob Otieno
I have sent and the text just hungs. Its not going. It just says
Message Sending failed
Monday at 08:53 · Like

M Muneer Khandwalla
maybe they are tired of you, jacob
Today at 00:43 · Unlike · 1 · Edit

Jacob Otieno
Hahaha... Muneer, am one of their faithful clients and they know it
7 hours ago · Like

Alexia Wawesh
Jacob kumbe am not the only one? I keep sending STOP hadi I have given
up.It refuses to go away.I even stopped topping up the line.
7 hours ago · Unlike · 2

Mbete Mbete
hahaha! poleni. rudini nyumbani Safaricom......
7 hours ago · Like

Jacob Otieno
Alexia, we are together. Have been doing that but the day before they
deducted while talking to someone, @Mbete, sirudi Misri. Huko sasa
ndio walinikamua na wanazidi na mpesa
6 hours ago · Like

Airtel Kenya
Jacob Otieno Alexia Wawesh
Please inbox us your number and the short code number we assist further
6 hours ago · Like

Betty Yammycakes
Jacob and Alexia, let me know how that goes. If positive, i'll get me
one of those airtel lines.
6 hours ago · Like

M Muneer Khandwalla
these txt senders are programmed to be sending those fake txt
periodically and are sent by one oxygen something company, for every
txt they send, the receipient is charged ksh30 and the sad part is
that, they don't tell you how to stop receiving the txts - and airtel,
who are the party who deliver the txt, and collect the cash, just
shrug their shoulders and say tell them to stop and of course, it is
in the interest of both the sender and airtel to continue with the
scam because they reap millions from it daily - it is such a gutter,
low down method of making money and airtel revels in it!
4 hours ago · Like · Edit

Jacob Otieno
I sent them my number and hope it will end. Imagine they used to send
it at 2am. You are woken up by a text only to realise 30 bob and sleep
1 hour ago · Like

Betty Yammycakes
Seems Airtel specializes in defrauding loyal clients. Wonder if i
realy want 2 deliberately hang a noose around my thanks
1 hour ago · Unlike · 1

Jacob Otieno
Betty, afadhali airtel. Safcom ndio wanakamua mpaka wanachinja. I had
to run. Its only this incidence that I incurred which I think is from
1 hour ago · Like

M Muneer Khandwalla
jacob otieno, have you ever played those internet games asking you
your IQ or how that ballerina is dancing and they ask for your number
to txt you a question? well, thats a trap - what airtel and those guys
conveniently don't tell you that they will forever send you fake txt
which eventually add up to more than than the dowry you'd pay for your
beautiful wife....
1 hour ago · Like · Edit

M Muneer Khandwalla
Betty Yammycakes, also airtel have subscribed millions of the unwary
to +254, and also to hello tunes and then charge them ksh1/- daily
which they are unaware of and not consented to, and remember there is
not much tangible benefit from this +254 - you get fake free facebook
and twitter (both text only - no pics), whats sooo beneficial about
that? and then they'll also charge for the hello tunes...
52 minutes ago · Like · Edit


Saturday, January 26, 2013


Please, make a note of these suggestions below and be safe my friends.

Reishi Arun Parikh 12:29pm Jan 26

Emergency Supplies
During emergencies it may be both difficult and dangerous to move around in order to get essential supplies. You should therefore ensure that you stock up on critical supplies and it is recommended not to wait until the last moment to do so. It cannot be ruled out that stores may become short of supplies the closer we get to the elections. It is strongly recommended that you start acting upon this as soon as possible to avoid a last minute rush

Safe drinking water is essential for your survival. When planning to stock up on safe drinking water you should plan for approximately 3 liters/person/day. Ensure that you have at least 10 to14 days' supply of drinking water. Water purification tablets as a backup is also recommended. Example: If you are a family of four individuals you will require 3 x 4 x 7 = 84 liters of safe drinking water per week. If you have running water in your residence it is also recommended that you fill up whatever water-containers you have available at home.

For guidance only: Under normal circumstances a grown male will require approximately 2500 calories/day. A grown female with require approximately 2000 calories/day. You should keep this in mind when stocking up on food and planning for quantities. Ensure buying food that can be stored for a long time without going bad. This means canned food, biscuits and other types of dried food. When buying canned food try going for cans that you can open without using any tools. For example; these days' tin cans often come with a lid that can be opened without using a can-opener. Leave your emergency supplies of food stored while it is still safe to go grocery shopping and there are still supplies available in the shops. Use the emergency supplies only when they are really needed and not for convenience. The following list of items is worth considering.
• Canned food;
• Cereals;
• Dried milk
• Children's food
• Ugali / Rice / Pasta;
• Dried legumes;
• Sugar;
• If you have pets also buy additional pet food;
• Cooking oil and baking flour

Other important items
A supply of medical items and a first-aid kit should be kept available and fully stocked, especially if somebody in your family needs regular medication. Ensure that you have adequate supplies, at least 3 months, to cover for periods when pharmacies may be closed or it is too dangerous to get to the pharmacy. There are a number of additional items that you should consider getting. A suggestion of such items is listed in the check-list below. As mentioned before, do not wait until the last moment to start stocking up on these supplies. The best time to plan and prepare for an emergency is not when you are in the middle of one.

6Blanket and/or sleeping bag
Insect repellent
Small AM/FM radio with batteries and/or crank generator
Jerry-cans with fuel (if you have a vehicle)
Solar panel for charging electrical equipment
Cup, plate and cutlery
Lantern (Kerosene or Propane)
Spare batteries for everything that runs on batteries
Fire extinguisher(s) and fire-blanket
Matches and/or lighter
Storm-kitchen (gas or liquid fuel)
First Aid kit
Medication such as anti-inflammatory, malaria, antibiotics, pain-killers, etc.
Toilet paper/wet wipes
Flash lights
Nylon cord
Rain-coat and/or umbrella
Glucose sweets
Salt tablets
Water containers
Glue, duct-tape and ropes
Sewing kit
Water purification tablets

Residential Security
• Establish procedures for allowing visitors into your compound whether you are at home or not.
• Ensure that all alarms, locks and lights are in good working order.
• Check your perimeter fencing and gate to ensure that no attempts are being made to create an
entry point.
• Know the guards that are provided by your security company and ask that they inform you of anychanges that they will make to their personnel and ensure that a proper handing and taking over procedure covering access to the compound etc. are followed in your residence. Consider that during civil unrest, security companies might not be able to deploy guards as usual as public transport might be affected. The same applies to your domestic staff at home.
• Ensure that your guards are conducting frequent foot-patrols around the perimeter in order to detect any attempts of unauthorized entry.
• Consider designating a room in your residence to be your residential safe-haven. This would be the "stronghold" room where you could potentially lock yourself in to buy some time during a forced building intrusion (until help arrives). Preferably this should be a room with no or strongly protected windows and a heavy-duty door with secure locking-mechanisms from the inside.
• Ensure that you have filed a complete inventory of your possessions in Kenya with your HR office.
• Be aware of the arrangements and security plans of your children's schools.
• Make arrangements for your pets, which may stay behind in case of evacuation.

Moving Around
• The best way to remain safe is to avoid trouble in the first place.
• If in doubt; stay out!
• Follow your instincts. If something feels wrong it probably is wrong.
• Remain vigilant and if you observe something that looks wrong then do not go there.
• Avoid congregating at large establishments, such as public transport hubs, shopping plazas,prominent hotels, night clubs and bars, particularly at peak periods.
• Avoid fixed routines such as always using the same routes and time for travel. Do not use short cutsand isolated roads. Follow the main flow of traffic.
• Use a taxi from a registered company especially when you have to go out at night to reduce thelikelihood of being car jacked.
• Carry what you need to pay for fares and other essentials; do not carry large sums of money or yourATM cards and documents like passports that may not be required for a specific journey.
• Be alert when approaching the gate at your residence. Avoid long waits for the gate to be opened. If you feel uncomfortable with people you spot around your residence, change course and alert your
security service provider.
• Plan your trip well. Keep a road map as a guide and avoid stopping at obscure places to ask fordirections. Travel during daylight hours whenever possible.

• Do not drive in areas with poor street lighting or no lighting at all.
• Keep your windows and doors locked at all times and avoid displaying items on your back seats.
Preferably lock them in the boot of the vehicle.
• Be alert at all times and keep a watch on the vehicle following you. If following is persistent, divertcourse to a public area, the nearest police station or to a response vehicle of a security companyparked strategically on most routes.
• Keep a contact on quick dial on your mobile phone and let them know the route you are on and thesituation if you feel you are being trailed.
• Before driving from any parking area, scan your vehicle looking for any unusual things that were notpresent when you parked the vehicle.

Emergency Contacts

Police Emergency Service 999
Kenya Police 020-2724201
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Holy Prophet Muhammad’s Contributions to Mathematics and Science

Such an enlightening article...


The Muslim Times | Alislam |  Subscribe 
The Holy Prophet Muhammad's Contributions to Mathematics and Science

"And We (Allah) have sent thee (Muhammad) not but as a mercy for all peoples. (Al Quran 21:108)

Taj Mahal in India built in 1632 - 1653 CE
Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD
Source: Muslim Sunrise, Winter, 2012 volume.
Science and technology are shared heritage of humanity.  The Chinese, the Greeks, the Indians, the Arabs, the Europeans and the Americans have made large contributions in their time and will do so in future as well.  As the Islamic Empire flourished for several centuries, while Europe was darkened by the Dark Ages, I believe that an honest study of the causes of the Dark Ages and European renaissance will lead to the inevitable conclusion that Muhammad, may peace be on him, was the Light of the Dark Ages. John Davenport writes in, an Apology for Mohammed and the Koran:
It is in the compositions of Friar Bacon, who was born in 1214, and who learned the Oriental languages, that we discover the most extensive acquaintance with the Arabian authors. He quotes Albumazar, Thabet-Ebu-Corah, Ali Alhacer, Alkandi, Alfraganus and Arzakeb; and seems to have been as familiar with them as with the Greek and Latin classics, especially with Avicenna, whom he calls 'the chief and prince of philosophy.' The great Lord Bacon, it is well known, imbibed and borrowed the first principles of his famous experimental philosophy from his predecessor and namesake Roger Bacon, a fact which indisputably establishes the derivation of the Baconian philosophical system from the descendants of Ishmael and disciples of Mohammed.
In a short paragraph, John Davenport has very precisely identified all the links in the human intellectual evolution.
Now I want to present George Sarton, who was a Belgian chemist and historian who migrated to USA because of the First World War.  Encyclopedia Britannica says about him, "George Alfred Leon Sarton, (born Aug. 31, 1884, Ghent—died March 22, 1956, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.), Belgian-born U.S. scholar and writer whose voluminous research and publications concerning the history of science did much to make the subject an independent discipline." Dr.  Abdus Salam, Nobel Laureate in physics, summarized Sarton's history pertaining to the Muslim scientists in an article, Islam and Science – Concordance or Conflict?  Salam highlighted Sarton's evaluation of history in this article and it was published in Review of Religions in March 1995, he said:
Barely a hundred years after the Holy Prophet's death the Muslims had made it their task to master the then-known sciences. Systematically, they translated the entire corpus of the then known knowledge in their religious language, Arabic. Founding institutes of advanced study (Bait-ul-Hikmas), they acquired an ascendancy in the sciences that lasted for the next 350 years. A semi-quantitative measure of this is given by George Sarton in his monumental History of Science. Sarton divides his story of the highest achievement in science into Ages, each Age lasting 50 years. With each, he associates one central figure: thus, 500-450 BC is the Age of Plato, followed by the Ages of Aristotle, Euclid, Archimedes and so on. From 750 to 1100 CE, however, it is an unbroken succession of the Ages of Jabir, Khwarizmi, Razi,Masudi, Abu'I-Wafa, Biruni and Omar Khayam.  In those 350 years, Arabs, Turks, Afghans and Persians chemists, algebraists, clinicians, geographers, mathematicians, physicists and astronomers of the commonwealth of Islam-held the world stage of sciences. Only after 1100 CE, in Sarton's scheme, do the first Western names begin to  appear; however, for another 250 years, they share the honors with men of Islam like Ibn Rushd, Nasir-ud-din Tusi and Ibn Nafis.
Whereas, Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, and Archimedes are well known and common household names, the names of Jabir, Khwarizmi, Razi, Masudi, Abu'I-Wafa, Biruni and Omar Khayam are hardly known, in the West.  If George Sarton's evaluation is true and I believe it is, then what a tragedy and injustice was perpetrated under the oppression of the Catholic Church and later the British Empire that humanity came to forget the names of its great Arab and Persian heroes and benefactors.  What an epiphany to learn this after centuries of distortions!  So, my task here is twofold, first to show that European science was built on the Latin translations of the works of the great Muslim pioneers and secondly that the Muslim learning from 8th-12th centuries was heavily influenced by the teachings of the Holy Quran, the literal word of God revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him.   For the first task let me introduce a few of the Muslim pioneer scientists and their contributions.  Dr. Abdus Salam wrote about Alhazen, who I believe was the Father of Optics:
Ibn-al-Haitham (Alhazen, 965–1039 CE) was one of the greatest physicists of all time. He made experimental contributions of the highest order in optics. He enunciated that a ray of light, in passing through a medium, takes the path which is the easier and 'quicker'. In this he was anticipating Fermat's Principle of Least Time by many centuries. He enunciated the law of inertia, later to become Newton's first law of motion. Part V of Roger Bacon's 'Opus Majus' is practically an annotation to Ibn al Haitham's Optics.
The punch line here is, "Part V of Roger Bacon's 'Opus Majus' is practically an annotation to Ibn al Haitham's Optics."
The Muslim Times' Editorial team: If you like what you see, please forward it to friends and family.  To know more about us: click here.

'One learned man is harder on the devil than a thousand ignorant worshipers': Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

Surah Al-Asr warns mankind of fleeting time | The Muslim Times

A very good article on the passing of time... A must read, in fact.


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Islam!

The Muslim Times | Alislam |  Subscribe 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Islam!

"If we could view Muhammad as we do any other important historical figure we would surely consider him to be one of the greatest geniuses the world has known." (Karen Armstrong inMuhammad – A Biography of the Prophet)
US Supreme Court Chamber: There is a Frieze above the Bench, which includes the Holy Prophet Muhammad among the 18 Great Law-Givers

By Zia H Shah MD
This article by me was originally published in Winter, 2009 volume of Muslim Sunrise:
This examines the philosophical and historical basis of human rights.

With the election of a son of a Kenyan man to the highest office in USA we see gradual perfection of the vision expressed in the words, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."  But at the same time, suicidal bombings by terrorist, the outrageous violations of human rights in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, the indifference to the so called collateral damage in air bombings, have again rekindled the question as to what are the human rights and where do they come from.  The events since September 11, 2001 have jolted every citizen of the planet earth with renewed quaking and put them on a quest to look for answers.  Is life of an American more sacred than a non-American?  What if he or she is a Muslim?  Are all humans truly created equal?  Where did the words, 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal;' come from?  To one exposed to Western media only these noble words came from the pen of President Thomas Jefferson, as he authored United States Declaration of Independence in 1776.  But a more cultured Westerner may know what Wikipedia mentions, under the heading all men are created equal, "Many of the ideas in the Declaration were borrowed from the English liberal political philosopher John Locke."  But that is where Western scholarship ends. Locke lived in the seventeenth and eighteenth century.  Such is the dissociation of the Western writers in terms of ignoring the beauties of Islam, that they can attribute all such liberal ideas with a straight face to Western philosophers, despite the fact the Muslim literature has been replete with mention of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, saying to a crowd of more than a hundred thousand people, at the time of the final pilgrimage, an event that itself symbolizes human equality, "All of you are equal. All men, whatever nation or tribe they may belong to, and whatever station in life they may hold, are equal. Allah has made you brethren one to another, so be not divided. An Arab has no preference over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab over an Arab; nor is a white one to be preferred to a dark one, nor a dark one to a white one."  The whole of his sermon is recorded in history and has been more famous and cherished than President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg address, in the Muslim world, over the centuries.  This is where human equality began, not only for the Muslims but for the whole of humanity!
Fast forward to World War II.  Dr.  Andrew Conway Ivy was appointed by the American Medical Association as its representative at the 1946 Nuremberg Medical Trial for Nazi doctors.  By 1945 he was probably 'the most famous doctor in the country.'  He wrote, "Only in a moral world, a world of responsibility, can man be free and live as a human being should. Men are truly equal and free only as creatures of God, because only as the children of God and only in the sight of God and ultimate moral law are men truly equal."  In the Nuremberg trial he struggled with the question that if man-made law is the sole source of basic human rights, why condemn the Nazi assault on Jews, Gypsies, Poles, and politi­cal enemies; and having shaken by this perplexing trial he concluded:
If God and the ultimate moral law are denied, there can be no absolute argument against slavery, against 'might makes right' and man's greedy exploitation of man. If human beings have no absolute intrinsic value, no absolute intrinsic freedom of decision, no absolute liberty, no absolute duties, they possess only extrinsic value and may be used as chattels, slaves or serfs by those who have the intelligence and power.
It took the catalyst of World War II, after millions of casualties, to propel human rights onto the world stage and into the global conscience.  On December 10, 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the 56 members of the United Nations. The vote was unanimous, although eight nations chose to abstain.  Articles I and II could be considered paraphrasing, in contemporary legal terminology, of what the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, had said in his address at the time of last pilgrimage, in 632 CE, or what President Thomas Jefferson wrote more than a millennium later.  Article I states, "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."  As the Prophet delivered his farewell speech, to an unprecedented large gathering, standing on the back of his camel Qaswa, he raised his hands and joined the fingers of one hand with the other and then said, "Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any right, any superiority to claim over another. You are as brothers."
The Muslim Times' Editorial team: If you like what you see, please forward it to friends and family.  To know more about us: click here.
1-800-WHY-ISLAM - In English, Spanish and Bangla

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Martin Luther King Jr. Would have Stood Against Discrimination, Based on Religion

Martin Luther King Jr. Would have Stood Against Discrimination, Based on Religion

"O ye people! fear your Lord, Who created you from a single soul and created therefrom its mate, and from them twain spread many men and women; and fear Allah, in Whose name you appeal to one another, and fear Him particularly respecting ties of relationship. Indeed, Allah watches over you." (Al Quran 4:2)
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is located in West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., southwest of the National Mall

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD
Today the nation is celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day, in USA.  At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement, which was a historic struggle against discrimination.
He stood against discrimination based on skin color and race.  I know, he would have stood against discrimination, based on religion.  How do I know it?  I know it based on his quotes, speeches,  biography and vision statement of his memorial.
He would have seen through the guise of any discrimination, as any strategy to divide the human family is a lie.  He said, "A lie cannot live."
First I want to quote a few of his quotes about hate:
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
He would not have condoned discrimination and sat silent by the sidelines.  It was not in his blood:
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
King's I have a dream speech is regarded as one of the best in human history:
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Saint Augustine did build a Bridge from the Christian Tradition to Islam

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Saint Augustine did build a Bridge from the Christian Tradition to Islam!

"We think that since God is the author both of his Word the Bible and of this universe, there must ultimately be harmony between correct interpretation of the biblical data and correct interpretation of scientific data."  Prof. John C Lennox, in Seven Days that divide the World.
World turtle carrying the elephants that carries the earth upon their backs?

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD


Saint Augustine said, "Let the bible be a book for you so that you may hear it; let the sphere of the world be also a book for you so that you may see it."  In this saying he suggests a paradigm that word of God or scripture should be in accord with the act of God, our world or what we broadly label as nature!  So, the basic question, for any seeker of truth is to objectively answer as to which scripture is in best accord with nature.


The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History is a 1978 book by Michael H. Hart, reprinted in 1992 with revisions. It is a ranking of the 100 people who, according to Hart, most influenced human history.[1]
The first person on Hart's list is the Prophet of Islam Muhammad.[2] Hart asserted that Muhammad was "supremely successful" in both the religious and secular realms. He also believed that Muhammad's role in the development of Islam was far more influential than Jesus' collaboration in the development of Christianity. He attributes the development of Christianity to St. Paul, who played a pivotal role in its dissemination.
St. Augustine also made to this list of most influential, some where in the middle, after Asoka and before William Harvey. The Christian theology is remarkably influenced by him.  The metaphors that he used to establish Christianity in a pagan world are remarkably helpful to establish Islam in a Trinitarian Christian world, with two billion Christians in the world and the Western powers, with their Christian background enjoying tremendous political and scientific influence in our contemporary global village.
Augustine of Hippo (pron.: /?'g?st?n/[1][2] or /'??g?st?n/;[2] LatinAurelius Augustinus Hipponensis;[3] 13 November 354 – 28 August 430), also known as St. Augustine, St. Austin,[4] or St. Augoustinos, was bishop of Hippo Regius (present-day Annaba, Algeria). He was a Latin philosopher and theologian from the Africa Province of the Roman Empire and is generally considered as one of the greatest Christian thinkers of all time. His writings were very influential in the development of Western Christianity and translations remain in print.
According to his contemporary Jerome, Augustine "established anew the ancient Faith."[5] In his early years he was heavily influenced by Manichaeism and afterward by the Neo-Platonism of Plotinus.[6] After his conversion to Christianity and his baptism in 387, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology, accommodating a variety of methods and different perspectives.[7] He believed that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom and he framed the concepts of original sin and just war.
Encyclopedia Britannica has the following to say about Augustine's importance and his theology and metaphysics:
Saint Augustine was bishop of Hippo from 396 to 430, one of the Latin Fathers of the Church, one of the Doctors of the Church, and perhaps the most significant Christian thinker after St. Paul. Augustine's adaptation of classical thought to Christian teaching created a theological system of great power and lasting influence. His numerous written works, the most important of which are Confessions and City of God, shaped the practice of biblical exegesis and helped lay the foundation for much of medieval and modern Christian thought. [1]
Saint Augustine in his book Confessions provided a bridge from Paganism to Christianity.  I believe the same bridge can help us today in moving from the Christian tradition to a more pure Monotheistic tradition of Islam.  I will by the Grace of God demonstrate this in this article. In Confessions he provides reasons for the truth and superiority of Christianity, especially in Book VII of this classic.  I learnt about this through the lecture series by the Teaching Company, St. Augustine's Confessions, taught by William R. Cook and Ronald B. Herzman.  They write in introduction to the Book VII of the Confessions:
Within the 13-book structure of the Confessions, Book VII is the exact center.  In some ways, this makes sense.  If we look at the Confessions in terms of Augustine's search for truth, this book marks the time when he becomes convinced of the intellectual superiority of Christianity.  In this lecture, we will discuss how Augustine becomes convinced that Christianity is true.  He presents the climax of his search in terms of an amazing paradox: He learns of the truth of Christianity by reading pagan philosophers.  Because he makes the case for the importance, indeed, the necessity, of pagan learning in his search for truth, this book is an important chapter in the history of Christianity and in the intellectual history of the West.  Augustine offers a valuable contribution to the question: 'What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?' This lecture deals with what Augustine is and is not saying about the relationship between Christian revelation and classical learning and what the long-term implications of his position have been for subsequent history.[6]
Why does Augustine become convinced that Christianity is true?   What does Augustine propose that Athens have to do with Jerusalem?  What does Plato have to do with the Bible and more specifically with the Gospel of John?  How can you examine the truth of one tradition of thought and reasoning in light of another parallel tradition?  William R. Cook and Ronald B. Herzman answer these questions for us:
Augustine tells us that he read books 'written by the Platonists' … He parapharases these books, rather than quoting them directly.  His parapharase is also a parapharase of one of the most important texts of Christian Scripture, the beginning of the gospel according to John.  The surprising and, to some extent, shocking claim that he makes is that these Platonists teach the same thing as the Gospel of John.  Augustine's claim is that even though these words may not have been exactly what was said in the text of these philosophers, they accurately represent the substance of what he saw in them.  Thus, in these pagan philosophical texts, he finds a way of articulating Christian beliefs.[7]
So, Augustine proposes that if Platonist tradition founded on reason and observations preceding the Christian tradition by three centuries, supports and confirms the Christian tradition then it would stand to reason that Christianity is true!
However, the situation regarding Christianity and the Bible has changed in the last sixteen centuries since the fourth century of Augustine.
The bridge built by Constantine between Greek rationality and Christian religion is no longer functional. A 2012 Pew Research Center poll showed that the number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. One-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling.  Those who are open minded and not powerfully indoctrinated in the Christian dogma, the Generation X and the Generation Y, can no longer accept the dogma in the disguise of faith.  As their rationality and the scientific tradition are on a collision course with the Christian faith in Trinity, vicarious atonement, Original Sin, Eucharist and inconsistencies in the Bible.
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'One learned man is harder on the devil than a thousand ignorant worshipers': Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)