Twee doden bij protesten in Jemen

Bij schermutselingen tussen protestanten en veiligheidstroepen zijn maandag in Jemen minstens twee doden gevallen. Het protest concentreert zich in de zuidelijke provincies van het land.
Bij manifestaties in het zuiden zijn tientallen mensen gewond geraakt toen veiligheidstroepen in burgerkledij geweld gebruikten om de betogers uit elkaar te drijven. Er werd met scherp geschoten en de troepen gebruikten traangasgranaten.

President Saleh verklaarde zondag dat hij niet bereid is de macht af te staan vooraleer verkiezingen een opvolger hebben aangeduid. Die verklaring kwam er een dag nadat de president akkoord ging met een overgangsperiode van dertig dagen.

“We zullen rechtmatige verkiezingen organiseren, met toezicht van internationale experts”, zei Saleh in een interview met BBC.

(www.nieuwsblad.be / 25.04.2011)

Quick Facts: AIPAC

Highlights

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has a dangerous stranglehold over U.S. foreign policy towards the Middle East. Moveoveraipac.org

In April 2005, AIPAC policy director Steven Rosen and AIPAC senior Iran analyst Keith Weissman were fired by AIPAC amid an FBI investigation into whether they passed classified U.S. information on to Israel. Democraticunderground.com

AIPAC has also lobbied heavily for U.S. funding of various Israeli weapons programs, including Israel’s Arrow missile defense system. Rightweb.irc-online.org

AIPAC

AIPAC’s unrelenting support for the illegal policies of the Israeli government-separation walls, settlements, the siege of Gaza-in addition to its bellicose policies across the region, especially Iran, has been devastating for Palestinians and the Middle East, including Israel. Moveoveraipac.org

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was incorporated in 1963 by Isaiah L. “Si” Kenen. Waronyou.com

AIPAC claims to have more than 100,000 members and its website prominently displays a New York Times blurb about the group, which claims that the group is the “most important organization affecting America’s relationship with Israel.” Rightweb.irc-online.org

AIPAC & U.S. Politics

Pro-Israel interests have contributed $56.8 million in individual, group, and soft money donations to federal candidates and party committees since 1990, according to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. Metapedia.org

Between the 2000 and the 2004 elections, the 50 members of AIPAC’s board donated an average of $72,000 each to campaigns and political action committees.” Metapedia.org

AIPAC claims it “has a stranglehold on Congress.” With a $47 million a year budget and more than 100 full-time staffers, it is no doubt a formidable advocate for Israel’s interests. Isreview.org

In March 2009, AIPAC executive director Howard Kohr appeared before the House Committee on Appropriations’ Foreign Operations subcommittee to testify about the importance of U.S. aid to Israel. Worldwideinfoforum.com

Kohr requested that Israel receive $2.775 billion in military aid in fiscal year 2010, as called for in the 2007 Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and Israel that allocates $30 billion in aid for Israel over 10 years. Worldwideinfoforum.com

AIPAC Controversies

In 1992, AIPAC president David Steiner was forced to resign after he was recorded boasting about his political influence in obtaining aid for Israel. Metapedia.org

Steiner claimed that he had met with then Bush U.S. Secretary of State Jim Baker and he cut a deal with him. Sherdog.net

“I got, besides the $3 billion, you know they’re looking for the Jewish votes, and I’ll tell him whatever he wants to hear … Besides the $10 billion in loan guarantees which was a fabulous thing, $3 billion in foreign, in military aid, and I got almost a billion dollars in other goodies that people don’t even know about.” Sherdog.net

Steiner also claimed to be “negotiating” with the incoming Clinton administration over who Clinton would appoint as Secretary of State and Secretary of the National Security Agency. Docstoc.com

In 2004 it was reported that an FBI investigation had gained evidence that a senior Pentagon analyst with close ties to Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith had provided a draft presidential directive on Iran to AIPAC that was then passed to the Israeli government. Sourcewatch.org

In April 2005, AIPAC policy director Steven Rosen and AIPAC senior Iran analyst Keith Weissman were fired by AIPAC amid an FBI investigation into whether they passed classified U.S. information received from (Lawrence Anthony) Franklin (a U.S. Air Force Reserves colonel) on to the government of Israel. Democraticunderground.com

In May 2005, the Justice Department announced that Lawrence Anthony Franklin, a U.S. Air Force Reserves colonel working as a Department of Defense analyst at the Pentagon in the office of Douglas Feith, had been arrested and charged by the FBI with providing classified national defense information to Israel. Metapedia.org

On January 20, 2006, Franklin was sentenced to 151 months (almost 13 years) in prison and fined $10,000. As part of the plea agreement, Franklin agreed to cooperate in the larger federal investigation. All charges against the former AIPAC employees were dropped in 2009. Powerbot.org

AIPAC & Israeli Military

AIPAC has also lobbied heavily for U.S. funding of various Israeli weapons programs, including Israel’s Arrow missile defense system. Rightweb.irc-online.org

This military cooperation between the United States and Israel has resulted in the deployment of the Arrow missile defense system, and the continuing development of the Tactical High Energy Laser.” Rightweb.irc-online.org

Former U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig reportedly called Israel “the largest American aircraft carrier in the world.” Without it, the U.S. would have to spend additional tens of billions of dollars to police the Middle East with its own troops. Isreview.org

In the final decades of the 20th century, the United States and Israel moved into tight alliance. Every year from 1976 on, Israel was the lead recipient of U.S. foreign aid. The U.S. supported Israel as it maintained its artificial Jewish demographic majority, attacked the refugee-led Palestinian resistance, and expanded settlements further into occupied territory. Zcommunications.org

As long as U.S. weapons continue to flow, Israel will feel free to disregard the Obama Administration’s mild blandishments and half-hearted attempts to bring Israel to the negotiating table. Unfortunately this disincentive structure is set to be reinforced over the coming years. Josh Ruebner, Counterpunch.org

Under a Bush-era agreement, U.S. weapons transfers to Israel are scheduled to total $30 billion from 2009-2018, an annual average increase of 25 percent above previous levels. With this 2007 Memorandum of Understanding, the United States solidified Israel’s position as the largest recipient of U.S. military aid this decade. In line with increases proposed under this arrangement, President Obama asked for a record-breaking $3.075 billion of weapons for Israel in his 2012 budget request. Josh Ruebner, Counterpunch.org

A new online database-“How Many Weapons to Israel?”-casts doubt on whether the United States can afford, either morally, financially or politically, to continue transferring weapons to Israel at taxpayer expense without examining the ramifications of this policy. Josh Ruebner, Counterpunch.org

From 2000-2009, the United States licensed, paid for, and delivered to Israel more than 670 million weapons and related equipment, valued at nearly $19 billion, through three main weapons transfer programs (Foreign Military Sales, Direct Commercial Sales, and Excess Defense Articles). These weapons transfer programs accounted for nearly 80 percent of the more than $24 billion in military aid appropriated to Israel during these years. The bulk of the remaining money was spent by Israel on its own domestic arms industry, a unique exemption written into law for Israel. All other countries receiving U.S. military aid are required to spend the whole sum within the United States. Josh Ruebner, Counterpunch.org

Military aid to Israel ran the gamut from the patently absurd-one used food steamer valued at $2,100-to the lethal-93 F-16D fighter jets valued at a total of nearly $2.5 billion. With nearly 500 categories of weapons transferred to Israel, the United States is pervasively, intricately, and comprehensively involved in arming its military. Josh Ruebner, Counterpunch.org

Debat met leiders van Marokkaanse politici

Tijd
vrijdag 29 april · 19:00 – 21:00

Locatie
Stichting Argan

Overrtoom 141
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Gemaakt door:

Debat: Politieke ontwikkelingen

Beste relatie,

Op 29 april aanstaande organiseren Emcemo en stichting Argan, een bijeenkomst met de twee leiders van de Marokkaanse ’20 februari-beweging’ (‘Beweging voor Vrijheid en Democratie Nu’).

Amina Boughalbi en Jihade Fatchati zullen met het Nederlandse publiek in gesprek gaan over hun ervaringen en beweegredenen met betrekking tot het voeren van actie.

De ‘20 februari-beweging’ speelt een belangrijke rol in de steeds toenemende assertieve houding, met als bedoeling het afdwingen van democratische hervormingen.

Een beweging die, zoals ook in de Arabische landen, gekenmerkt wordt de aanwezigheid van jongeren en veelvuldig door de media wordt getypeerd als ‘Facebook-generatie’. Een generatie die vaak hoogopgeleid is, maar tegelijkertijd een uitzichtloos bestaan leidt en in haar rechten wordt beperkt. De 20 februari-beweging zet zich in voor democratische vrijheden zoals gelijkheid, onderwijs voor iedereen en de aanpak van werkloosheid. Hun oproep tot politieke verandering heeft weerklank gevonden onder alle lagen van de bevolking en het maatschappelijk middenveld in Marokko. De beweging is er in geslaagd om een draagvlak te creëren, en daarmee haar eisen kracht bij te zetten.

Tijdens de bijeenkomst op 29 april zal de vraag centraal staan of de ‘20 februari-beweging’ haar eisen met succes kan stellen. Van succes is sprake op het moment dat de beweging de Marokkaanse overheid met maatschappelijke druk kan overtuigen om de democratische hervormingen door te voeren. Belangrijk is ook de vraag of de beweging in staat is om een voet tussen de deur te krijgen bij de heersende politiek macht? Volgens bepaalde partijen is immers geen sprake van een goed georganiseerde machtsblok, maar eerder van een gelegenheidscoalitie bestaande uit verschillende krachten.

Het debat op 29 april zal een unieke kijk geven in een oppositiebeweging die een onderdeel vormt van de ‘Arabische lente’ en in de civiele en politieke krachten binnen Marokko.

U bent welkom om bij dit gesprek met de Marokkaanse delegatieleden aanwezig te zijn, en daaraan deel te nemen.

Datum: Vrijdag 29 april 2011
Aanvang: 19:00 uur
Locatie: Overtoom 141, 1045 HG Amsterdam
Aanmelden via: Info@argan.nl (verplicht)

Met vriendelijke groet,

Stichting Argan
020-6389966

Emcemo
020-4288825

www.argan.nl www.emcemo.nl

Gaddafi forces shell Misrata; further unrest in Yemen, Syria

Libyan government forces are keeping pressure on the rebel-held city of Misrata after abandoning most of the positions they held in the city.

Libyan government forces shelled the besieged rebel-held port of Misrata Sunday, a day after officials signaled a change in tactics.  Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim claimed the army was suspending operations in Misrata and would hand over positions to pro-Gadhafi tribesmen.

“The situation in Misrata will be eased, will be dealt with by the tribes around Misrata and the rest of Misrata’s people, not by the Libyan army, and you will see how they will be swift and quick and fast and the Libyan army will be out of the question, out of the situation in Misrata,” said Kaim.

A Libyan opposition leader told Libyan rebel TV, however, that he did not think that tribes around Misrata would fight their countrymen inside the city.  “Some local tribesmen,”  he said, “have personal ties with the Gaddafi regime, but the majority oppose him and won’t fight.”

In the capital Tripoli, Gaddafi loyalists fired anti-aircraft guns into the air sporadically, amid reports of NATO airstrikes. The U.S. Defense Department announced an airstrike by a US Predator drone in Libya Saturday. NATO said the unmanned aircraft destroyed a multiple rocket launcher used by pro-Gaddafi forces near Misrata.

Elsewhere in the region, tens of thousands of Yemenis continued to protest against president Ali Abdallah Saleh, a day after he accepted a Gulf Arab initiative that would eventually have him leave office.

Speaking at Yemen’s War College Sunday, president Saleh accused the opposition of trying to create chaos:

He says that the behavior of the opposition has put a stop to economic development in Yemen. He claims the opposition wants to spill blood, create a civil war, and overthrow the legal order, while he opposes violence.

Yemeni politicians and negotiators from the Gulf Cooperation Council say president Saleh has agreed to a GCC proposal for him to step down within 30 days of an accord being signed with the opposition. Saleh ally and deputy information minister Abdou Jundi says the president accepts the plan, but has some conditions:

He says president Saleh accepted the GCC plan in principle, and that this will be in accordance with the constitution, which allows the president to resign to parliament. He insists that starting a dialogue with the opposition is part of the plan.

Many protesters refuse any dialogue with the president and insist on his immediate resignation. They also object to giving the president and his family any immunity from prosecution.

Meanwhile in Syria, thousands of mourners laid to rest protesters shot dead Saturday near the southern city of Deraa. They chanted slogans against the government and against president Bashar al-Assad. Protests were reported in at least six other towns and cities, despite widespread arrests of opposition activists by the government.

(www.sofiaecho.com / 25.04.2011)

Drones over Gaza

Monday, 11 April 2011

It is no secret that the citizens of the Gaza district have been walled in and kept alive only to be used as guinea pigs for the Israeli arms industry. The Guardian got reporters into the Strip, and they came out with hard evidence of the role that Israeli-manufactured armed drones played in the attack of 2009. The UK was already known as being guilty of involvement in Cast Lead, as Raytheon, the company that makes the electronics inside the F16s which continue to bomb the Gazans, has its offices in Bristol. But further than that: the European Union, through the European Research Programme, has been subsidising the Israeli arms industry as part of the current EU / Israeli Association Agreement. Under this, Israel is entitled to the same funding for research as are EU member states.

In return, Israel sells its weapons back to EU countries, having tested them on the Strip. One EU subsidy was specifically given for the development of these drones, despite their use being (at the moment) illegal in Europe: Open Architecture for UAV-based Surveillance Systems (OPARUS) received an EU subsidy of E11.88m for the development of drones such as the armed Herons, manufactured by Israeli Aerospace Industries, which were used in Operation Cast Lead.
The arms industry is now Israel’s biggest export – just as with Britain – and so both states can only profit from war. And any tendency by our politicians to prefer bombing or the supply of weapons over diplomacy – as in Libya, for instance – must be viewed with suspicion.
Israeli airstrike turns Gaza family’s life into torment
GAZA, April 9 — Ibrahim Qdieh, a 52-year-old resident of the southern Gaza village of Abassan, never knew that a few minutes’ absence from home would rescue him from a possible death but left him gulping the pain of losing wife and daughter for the rest of his life. His wife and daughter were killed in an Israeli air raid on their home, a 90-square-metre house built on a farm in the village in the east of Khan Younis city … When the air raid took place on Friday afternoon, Qdieh and some family members were praying in a mosque, while his wife stayed at home, about to wash the children’s school uniforms for the school day right after the weekend …”…as soon as I reached the house, I saw the horrible and awful crime, smears of blood and remnants all over the place. I wasn’t able to believe my eyes to see my daughter Nidal, who was preparing for her wedding next week and my wife are dead.” An Israeli reconnaissance drone fired one missile, directly hitting the house. The missile took the lives of Nidal and her mother, and injured four others in the family.

(palywely.blogspot.com / 25.04.2011)

Bahrain government accuses Hezbollah of aiding opposition groups

The militant group Hezbollah is actively plotting with the opposition in Bahrain to overthrow the country’s ruling family, the government said in a confidential report to the United Nations.

“Evidence confirms that Bahraini elements are being trained in Hezbollah camps specifically established to train assets from the Gulf,” the report reads. Bahrain has long made claims that Iran and Hezbollah have sought to fuel instability in the nation.

In the report sent to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Bahrain’s government claims Iranian-backed Hezbollah has been training opposition figures at its camps in Lebanon and Iran, in an effort to destabilize the Khalifa monarchy. The report also says the militant group has trained militants for activities in neighboring Gulf countries, according to diplomats who have reviewed it.

The government report urges the United Nations to curb Iran and Hezbollah’s interference in the country.

Both Iran and Hezbollah have previously denied involvement in the protests. The Bahraini government has launched a violent crackdown against the protesters and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have deployed troops to Bahrain to support the regime.

The report details meetings between Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and other senior officials of the group with members of Shiite organizations in Bahrain, such as al Wefaq, one of the country’s major opposition parties and the banned al Haq group.

In the report, Bahrain alleges Shiite groups coordinated political strategy inside the country and used Hezbollah’s television channel, al Manar to mobilize opposition protests.

Abdul-Jalil Khalil, an al Wefaq member of parliament, denied the claims.

“We believe the problem is a political issue and an internal issue and we have no support from the outside,” he said, adding al Wefaq has no formal or informal relationship with Hezbollah and does not use al Manar to aid the movement.

“The movement is a peaceful movement,” according to Khalil, who said al Wefaq is interested in serious political reform and not in overthrowing the ruling family.

Hassan Mushaimaa, the secretary general of Haq has been detained, and was unavailable to comment on the report.

Bahrain’s ruling Khalifa family is Sunni Muslim, while about two-thirds of the country are Shiite.

The State Department has said it believes Iran’s role in Bahrain has been minimal, and that the protests in Bahrain were the product of home-grown frustrations of the country’s Shiia, who want greater economic and political participation.

The Obama administration has criticized the Bahraini crackdown and called for the government to enter into political dialogue with the opposition.

(edition.cnn.com / 25.04.2011)

Syria sends tanks onto streets

Unconfirmed reports of more deaths as Syrian soldiers backed by heavy armour join crackdown on anti-government protests.

More deaths have been reported in Syria where thousands of troops backed by tanks and heavy armour have swept into the volatile town of Deraa in the south of the country and the large Damascus suburb of Douma.

Security forces also continued a crackdown in the coastal town of Jableh for a second day.

Al Jazeera’s Rula Amin, reporting from Damascus, said the government’s offensive on Monday was an “unprecedented” offensive against the wave of dissent that has swept the country since the uprising began on March 15.

Witnesses in Deraa told news agencies on Monday that at least five people had been killed when gunmen opened fire on a car.

The vehicle was riddled with bullets, a witness told AFP. Intense gunfire could be heard reverberating across the town, he added.

“The minarets of the mosques are appealing for help. The security forces are entering houses. There is a curfew and they fire on those who leave their homes. They even shot at water tanks on roofs to deprive people of water,” he said.

Al Jazeera is unable to confirm the reported deaths. Thousands of soldiers swept into the town in the early hours of Monday, with tanks taking up positions in the town centre and snipers deploying on rooftops, witnesses said.

“Bodies are lying in the streets and we can’t recover them,” one activist said, explaining that they have little idea of the total number of casualties. Footage aired by an opposition news organisation on Monday, transmitted via satellite, appeared to show Syrian military firing at unseen targets with sniper rifles. Al Jazeera is unable to verify the veracity of the footage.

Security forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad, the country’s president, also stormed Douma early on Monday, shooting at unarmed civilians and arresting residents, rights campaigners said.

“There are injured people. Scores have been arrested. The security are repeating the same pattern in all the centres of the democratic uprising. They want to put down the revolution using the utmost brutality,” an unidentified rights campaigner in Damascus told the Reuters news agency.

Douma has been the site of many large protests since the uprising against Assad began in Syria earlier in the year.

And in Jableh, security forces continued a crackdown that began the previous day.

“Jableh is surrounded by security forces,” the witness said, speaking by telephone. “The dead are in the mosques and the houses. We can’t get them out.”

At least 13 people had been killed in Jableh since Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday morning.

Syria closed all border crossings on its southern frontier with Jordan as the military launched its operation in nearby Deraa, Al Jazeera learned from a security offical.

Amin reported checkpoints and heavy security in central Damascus.

Syria has banned nearly all foreign media and restricted access to trouble spots since the uprising began, making it nearly impossible to get independent assessments.

Hardening tactics

Al Jazeera’s correspondent said that the events on Monday marked a change in methods by security forces.

Up until now, she said, security forces have cracked down in reaction to protests. But the flood of troops into Douma and Deraa had come in the absence of any demonstrations.

“Today, we’re seeing a different tactic with security forces sweeping the towns,” she said, noting reports of house-to-house searches, arrests and random shooting coming from both towns.

Communications were cut off and, for the first time, the military has become directly involved in quelling the uprising, much to the disappointment of opposition activists.

“They were hoping the army would not get involved,” Amin reported. “They feel this is only the beginning of a very serious crackdown.”

Yet one activist told Al Jazeera that some army officers have defected to fight with the people of Deraa against the regime.

Two members stepped down from the provincial council in the southern region of Deraa, which has the highest death toll in the country. The resignations came a day after two lawmakers and a religious leader from Deraa also turned their backs on Assad in disgust over the killings.

‘Barrier of fear’

Meanwhile, Syrian intellectuals expressed their outrage over the violence, with a declaration on Monday signed by 102 writers and exiles from all the country’s main sects.

The declaration called on Syrian intellectuals “who have not broken the barrier of fear to make a clear stand.


“We condemn the violent, oppressive practices of the Syrian regime against the protesters and mourn the martyrs of the uprising.”

Signatories included Alawite figures such as former political prisoner Loay Hussein; female writers Samar Yazbek and Hala Mohammad; Souad Jarrous, correspondent for the pan-Arab daily al-Sharq al-Awsat; writer and former political prisoner Yassin al-Haj Saleh and filmmaker Mohammad Ali al-Attassi.

Mansour al-Ali, a prominent Alawite figure from the city of Homs, was arrested in his home city after he spoke out against the shooting of protesters, another activist in Homs said.

At least 352 people have been killed in Syria since protests began, according to figures compiled by AFP.

And Wissam Tarif, executive director of INSAN, a Syrian human rights group, said that according to the organisation’s most recent count on Friday there were 221 “forcefully disappeared people” in Syria.

The top United Nations human rights official called on Syria on Monday to rein in its security forces and investigate nearly 100 killings of protesters reported over the weekend.

Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights denounced the escalation of violence in the country and called for detained activists and political prisoners to be released.

“The first step now is to immediately halt the use of violence, then to conduct a full and independent investigation into the killings, including the alleged killing of military and security officers, and to bring the perpetrators to justice,” she said in a statement.

(english.aljazeera.net / 25.04.2011)

Joe Lieberman: Let’s Bomb Syria

Joe Lieberman and the neocons will not be satisfied until the Muslim and Arab Middle East is reduced to a smoldering ruin like Iraq. The next target on the list following Libya is Syria.

On Sunday, Lieberman said he would support military intervention in Syria if its president, Bashar al-Assad, resorts to the kind of violent tactics used by Libya’s Muammar al-Qaddafi, according to Fox News. Lieberman is the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

“There’s a precedent now that the world community has set in Libya, and it’s the right one,” he said.

In essence, Lieberman said the “Arab street” wants us to kill civilians and bomb hospitals.

The precedent in Libya is the slaughter of Arabs, same as it continue to be in Iraq. This was recently confirmed by a team of Russian doctors in the country. NATO bombs have hit hospitals – including the Beir al-Osta Milad hospital – and residential areas in Tripoli and other cities, but this of course is not mentioned by the corporate media. “The bombing of Tripoli and other cities in Libya is aimed not only at the objects of air defense and Libya’s Air Force and not only against the Libyan army, but also the object of military and civilian infrastructure,” the doctors from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia wrote.

Medical infrastructure and personnel are protected under the rules of war established in the Geneva Law, specifically Article 12 of Protocol II. Neocons and neolibs of Obama’s stripe do not follow such laws, of course. Democrats and supposed anti-war libs are more than happy to support this murderous insanity, so long as a Democrat president calls the shots.

Beginning with Bush Senior’s 1991 invasion, the U.S. and its coalition partners – now described as the “international community” – have consistently inflicted “apocalyptic damage” to the civilian infrastructure of Iraq, at one time the envy of the Arab world.

Iraq now has 25 to 50 percent unemployment, rampant disease, an epidemic of mental illness, and sprawling slums, writes Adil E. Shamoo. Libya, Syria, and other recalcitrant Arab nations can expect the same globalist medicine if they continue to resist the forays of the globalists, who plan to turn the entire planet into a slave labor gulag.

For the time being, though, Syria will not become another Libya, despite the wishes of Joe Lieberman. Secretary of State Clinton said that there is a need to differentiate between what’s going on in Syria and in Libya.

In other words, for now, Freedom House-style external troublemaking imported into Syria will suffice. The Freedom House NGO is shorthand for the State Department, USAID, NED, the CIA, and the usual globalist suspects endeavoring to overthrow governments and make it look like the will of the people.

Military intervention is not required until there is a “humanitarian” crisis of the sort the globalists declared in Libya. They are in the process of cooking one up in Syria as well.

Joe Lieberman has jumped the gun. But he always does that when it comes down to invading impoverished Arab and Muslim nations and killing civilians in the name of saving them – after the CIA overthrows their governments, of course.

(www.infowars.com / 25.04.2011)

Shahada Confession of a Muslim

La ilaha il Allah, Muhammad-ur-Rasool-Allah

(None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah)

Shahada has three aspects: A, B, and C

A. To be a Muslim is to pledge the above covenant with Allah, the Creator of the heavens and earth, the Ruler of all that exists, the Lord of Majesty and Highness, stating La ilaha il Allah, Muhammad -ur-Rasool-Allah, but first one must understand what this means.

Believing “La ilaha il Allah” (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah)

Point 1: Tauhid-ar-Rububiyya

A confession with your heart that the Creator (of everything) is Allah, subhana watala, it is that you have to say: “I testify that the Creator of all the universe, including the stars, the planets, the sun, the moon, the heavens, the earth with all its known and unknown forms of life, is Allah. He is the Organizer and Planner of all its affairs. It is He Who gives life and death, and He (i.e. Allah Alone) is the Sustainer, and the Giver of Security, etc.” And this is called your confession for the “Oneness of the Lordship of Allah,” Tauhid-ar-Rububiyya.

Point 2: Tauhid-al-Uluhiyya

A confession with your heart that you have to say: “I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah Alone.” The word “Worship” (i.e. Ibadah) carries a great number of meanings in the Arabic language: It conveys that all kinds of worship are meant for Allah (and none else, whether it be an angel, Messenger, Prophet Jesus – son of Mary, Ezra, Muhammad, saint, idol, the sun, the moon and all other kinds of false deities). So pray to none but Allah, invoke none but Allah, ask for help from none (unseen) but Allah, swear by none but Allah, offer an animal as sacrifice to none but Allah, …etc. and that means, — all that Allah and Allah’s Messenger, saws, order you to do (in Qur’an and in As-Sunnah [legal ways of Prophet Muhammad (saws) you must do, and all that Allah, swt, Allah’s Messenger (saws) forbid you, you must not do. And this is called (your confession for the) “Oneness of the worship of Allah”, Tauhid-al-Uluhiyya. And that you (mankind) worship none but Allah, subhana watala. Those whom they invoke besides Allah have not created anything, but are themselves created. [The Noble Qur’an 16:20]

Point 3: Tauhid-al-Asma was-Sifat

A confession with your heart that you have to say: “O Allah! I testify that all the best of names and the most perfect qualities with which You have named or qualified Yourself in Your Book (i.e. the Qur’an) or as Your Prophet Muhammad (saws) has named or qualified You, with his statement, I confirm that all those (names and qualifications) are for You without changing their meanings or neglecting them completely or giving resemblance to others.” As Allah, swt, said:

“There is nothing like unto Him and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” (v.42:11)

This holy Ayat (verse) confirms the quality of hearing and the quality of sight for Allah, subhana watala without resemblance to others, and likewise. Allah, subhana watala, also said:

“To one whom I have created with Both My Hands,” (v.38:75)

and Allah also said:

“The Hand of Allah is over their hands.” (v. 48:10)

This confirms two Hands for Allah, swt, but there is no similarity for them. Similarly Allah, swt, said:

“The Most Beneficent (Allah) Istawa (rose over) the (Mighty) Throne.” (v.20:5)

So Allah rose over the Throne really in a manner that suits His Majesty. And Allah is over Allah’s Throne over the seventh heaven, as the slave-girl pointed towards the heavens, when Allah’s Messenger (Muhammad, saws) asked her as to where Allah is? He only comes down over the first (nearest) heaven to us on the day of ‘Arafat (Hajj, i.e. the 9th of Dhul-Hijja), and also during the last third part of the night as mentioned by the Prophet saws, but Allah is with us by His Knowledge only, not by His Personal-Self (bi-Dhatihi). It is not like that, as some people say that Allah is present everywhere here, there, and even inside the breasts of men. He sees and hears all that we do or utter, etc. And this is called (your confession for the) “Oneness of the Names and Qualities of Allah” Tauhid-al-Asma was-Sifat and this is the right Faith, the Faith which was followed by the Messengers of Allah (from Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Jesus to Muhammad, peace be upon them all, and the companions of Prophet Muhammad (saws) and the righteous followers [i.e. the salaf ] of these Messengers, saws.
Believing “Muhammad-ur-Rasool-Allah” (Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah)”

A confession with your heart that you have to say: “O Allah! I testify that Muhammad is Your Messenger.” That means that none has the right to be followed after Allah, but Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, as he is the last of Allah’s Messengers. As Allah said:

“Muhammad (saws) is not the father of any man among you but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last (end) of the Prophets and Allah is Ever All-Aware of everything.’ (v.33:40).

“And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad, saws, gives you, take it
and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain from it.” (v. 59:7)

And Allah said:

“Say (O Muhammad to mankind): ‘If you (really) love Allah, then follow me.’” (v. 3:31)
As for others than Muhammad (saws), their statements are to be taken or rejected as to whether these are in accordance with Allah’s Book (i.e. the Qur’an) or with the Sunnah (legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.) of the Prophet, saws, i.e. Sunnah or not. As the Divine Inspiration has stopped after the death of Muhammad (saws), and it will not resume except at the time of the Descent of Jesus, son of Mary and he (i.e. Jesus) will rule with justice according to the Islamic laws, during the last days of the world as it has been mentioned in the authentic Hadith (i.e. narration) of Prophet Muhammad (saws) in Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 425.

B. It is essential to utter, La ilaha ill Allah, Muhammad-ur-Rasool Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Muhammad saws, is the Messenger of Allah, swt). As it has come in the statement of Prophet Muhammad (saws) to his uncle Abu Talib at the time of the latter’s death: “O uncle, if you utter it (La ilaha ill Allah, Muhammad-ur-Rasool Allah), then I shall be able to argue on your behalf before Allah, on the Day of Resurrection.” Similarly, when Abu Dhar Al-Ghiffari embraced Islam, he went to Al-Masjid-al-Haram and he proclaimed it loudly in front of the Quraish infidels until he was beaten severely.

C.It is essential that the limbs and all other parts and organs of one’s body testify to it, and this is very important as regards its meaning (i.e. the meaning of La ilaha ill Allah, Muhammad-ur-Rasool Allah). So whoever has confessed this (with his or her Lord), he shall not commit sins like robbing, killing, stealing, illegal sexual intercourse, eating pig meat, drinking alcoholic beverages, taking undue advantage of orphan’s property, cheating in trade, bribery and earning money through illegal means, telling lies, back-biting etc., or otherwise the limbs, all other parts and organs of his body will testify against him that he was a liar in his words which he pledged to Allah, swt. In case he commits the above sins, he should know that it is a sin that obliges him to repent to Allah, swt, and ask Allah’s Forgiveness, as (his) body parts (i.e. skin, private parts, hands, tongue, ears, etc.) will testify to the above mentioned crimes (i.e. actions) against his self on the Day of Resurrection.

And with the confession of this great sentence (i.e. principle) a person enters in the fold of (i.e. embraces) the Islamic religion accordingly.  It is essential for him to believe in all the Messengers of Allah (peace be upon them all) and not to differentiate between them. As it is mentioned in Allah’s Book (Qur’an):

“Do then those who disbelieve think that they can take My slaves (i.e. the angels; Allah’s Messengers; Jesus, son of Mary, etc.) as ‘Auliya (lords gods, protectors supporters etc.) besides Me? Verily We have prepared Hell as an entertainment for the disbelievers (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism). Say (O Muhammad (saws)); ‘Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds?’ Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life, while they thought they were acquiring good by their deeds?”
“They are those who deny the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of their Lord and the meeting with Him (in the Hereafter). So their works are in vain, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall not give them any weight.”
“That shall be their recompense, Hell; because they disbelieved and took my Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, revelations, etc.) and My Messengers by way of jest and mockery.”
“Verily! Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds, they shall have the Gardens of Al-Firdaus (Paradise) for their entertainment.”
“Wherein they shall dwell (forever). No desire will they have to be removed there from.”
“Say (O Muhammad to mankind): If the sea were ink for (writing) the Words of my Lord, surely the sea would be exhausted, before the Words of my Lord would be finished even if We brought (another sea) like it for its said.”
“Say (O Muhammad ): I am only a man like you, it has been inspired to me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God, –i.e. Allah). So whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” (v. 18:102-110).

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What are some of the other basics of becoming a Muslim?

The acceptance of the righteous deeds (such as your Shahada/confession to become a Muslim) is stipulated with the following two basic conditions which must be fulfilled:

The intentions while doing such deeds must be totally for Allah’s sake only without any show off or gaining praise or fame, etc.

Such a deed must be performed in accordance with the As-Sunnah (legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.) of Allah’s Messenger Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah, the last (end) of all the Prophets and the Messengers, saws.

You are only held accountable for that which you know. And you are also held accountable to make the time to learn that which you don’t know, in areas you know you need to learn about.

So, if you are not a Muslim, it is your responsibility to seek the knowledge of Al-Islam, to ask questions about things you do not understand or agree with regarding the basic fundamental beliefs of Islam (as explained above).
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How do I become a Muslim?

By first attaining the above understanding of Shahada (“La ilaha il Allah, Muhammad-ur-Rasool-Allah”) and then confessing it to Allah, glory and praise to Him.

To take your Shahada (i.e. make the confession of faith), just make your best attempt at pronouncing, in Arabic, the statement, “Ashadu an (I bear witness that) La ilaha il Allah, Muhammad-ur-Rasool-Allah”.  You do not have to have witnesses to this event, and you should not make a big ceremony out of it, because it is a very personal commitment.  It is, however, recommended, if you can, to make your Shahada with Muslim witnesses, but do not delay becoming a Muslim for this or any such reason.  After you become a Muslim, then you are held responsible for learning when and how to do salah and wudu, acting upon the pillars of Islam and faith, and for implementing what you learn, when you learn it.
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What should I do after becoming a Muslim?

Immediately upon becoming a Muslim, you should take a bath or shower (i.e. Ghusl).

If able, you should then offer a two Rak’at prayer.

Then you must study and act upon the five principles (pillars) of Islam, and study and believe in the six articles of Faith.

The Five Pillars of Islam (or the five basic duties of a Muslim):

[Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/7, Narrated by Ibn ‘Umar]

Allah’s Messenger (saws) said: Islam is based on the following five (principles):

To testify La ilaha ill Allah wa anna Muhammad-ur-Rasool-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger).

To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly (Iqamat-as-Salat, i.e. Salah).

Says al-Khattabi, “Basically, one’s prayer does not suffice if he does not recite al-Fatihah. If one can recite neither al-Fatihah nor other portions of the Qur’an, he should recite at least seven verses of a similar meaning from the Qur’an. If he can not learn any part of the Qur’an (due to some innate inability, poor memory, or because it’s a foreign language), he should say the tasbeeh (Subhana Allah – Glory be to Allah), the tamheed (al-Hamdu lillah – All praise is due to Allah), and tahleel (La ilaha illal-lah – There is no God except Allah). It is related that he said, “The best remembrance after the speech of Allah is Subhana Allah, al-Hamdu lillah, La ilaha illal-lah and Allahu akbar.” This is supported by Rafa’ah ibn Rafa’, who narrated that the Prophet said, “If you have something from the Qur’an, recite it. If not, then say the tamheed, takbir and the tahleel and then bow.”  [This Hadith is related by Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa’i and al-Baihaqi. The former considers it as hassan]

To pay Zakat (a specific charity paid yearly for the benefit of poor Muslims; 2.5% of wealth).
To perform Hajj. (i.e. pilgrimage to Makka).
To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.
The Six articles of Faith, (found in Sahih Muslim) are the belief in:

Allah

To believe in the ONENESS of Allah, swt.  (i.e. Tauhid-ar-Rububiyya, Tauhid-al-Uluhiyya, Tauhid-al-Asma was-Sifat).

Part of the belief in Allah is the belief in all that with which He has described Himself in His Book or with which His Prophet (peace be upon him) has described Him without any distortion, negation, speculation (as to the exact nature of these attributes), nor analogy (i.e. between Allah’s attributes and those of His creation bearing the same names)

Distortion

The Jahmiy (follower of the deviations of Al-Jahm ibn Safwan) negates Allah’s statement about himself that he “sat on the throne” by adding an extra letter to the word in the Qur’an.

[Istawaa ‘alaa al-‘arsh] innovated to [Istawlaa ‘alaa al-‘arsh]

The innovators who changed the case of a noun in the Qur’an in an effort to negate Allah’s attribute of speech:

[Wa kallama Allahu Musa takleeman] innovated to [Wa kallama Allaha Musa takleeman]

Others distorted meanings of Allah’s attributes without actually changing the words. Examples include those who said that Allah’s anger (Ghadhab) means His intention to punish, His mercy (Rahma) means his intention to have mercy, His hand (Yad) is His generosity or His power, etc.

Negation/Denial (At Ta’teel)
Negation of the Exalted Perfection of Allah Most High via the negation of His Names and Glorious Attributes.

Negation through negation of appropriate interaction with Allah and neglect of worship of Him and obedience to Him, or the association of others with Him in acts of worship and/or obedience.

Negation of the relationship of the creation to its Creator, such as the negation of the philosophers who claimed that this physical universe has no beginning, and that it has always and will always work according to its own internal rules. They turn Allah into an essence with no attributes – which is an impossibility.

Speculation and Analogy (At-Takyeef wa At-Tamtheel)
At-Takyeef means attempts to ascribe a detailed understanding of the exact nature of the various attributes with which Allah has described Himself. Just use the words and understanding given in the Qur’an and not your own philosophies as to what Allah is.

At-Tamtheel means to make a direct comparison or analogy between one of Allah’s attributes and a human attribute having the same name, such as the comparison of Isa (Jesus) by the Christians to Allah Most High, or that of Uzair by the Jews or that of the idols by the polytheists to Allah Most High. Likewise the Mushabbiha among the Muslims who compare Allah with His creation by saying that He has a face like our faces, hands like our hands, hearing and sight like ours, etc.

Allah’s Angels
Angels are real beings, not illusions, a metaphysical force, or figments of human imagination. They are created from light.
A Muslim must believe specifically in all the angels named and/or described in the Qur’an and the Sunnah:.
Jibreel (“Gabriel”): in charge of delivering revelation.
Mika’il: in charge of bringing the rain.
Israfil: the blower of the horn on Qiyama (Judgement Day).
Malik-ul-Maut: the Angel of Death who takes people’s souls at death.
The Noble Recorders: those who record people’s actions.
The Protectors (Al-Mu’aqqibat): who keep people from death until its decreed time.
Ridhwan: in charge of Paradise.
Malik: in charge of Hell.
Munkar and Nakir: the questioners in the grave.
The Carriers of the Throne.
Those who record the future of the fetus.
Those who enter the Haraam: 70,000 every day.
Those who move about, descending upon gatherings at which Allah and His Book are mentioned and studied.
Belief in the angels is an integral part of iman (faith). [See 2/285 Al-Baqarah]
Kufr (disbelief) with respect to the angels is kufr (a state of disbelief). [See 4/136 An-Nisaa]
Allah’s Messengers
Belief in the prophets, prayers and salutations of Allah be upon them.

Belief in the process of prophet hood.

Allah in His wisdom did not neglect His creation.

Prophets sent to guide us in this life and the next.

Specific belief in the 25 prophets named in the Qur’an: (1) Adam, (2) Nuh, (3) Idris, (4) Saleh, (5) Ibrahim, (6) Hud, (7) Lut, (8) Yunus, (9) Isma’il, (10) Is-haq, (11) Ya’qub, (12) Yusuf, (13) Ayub, (14) Shu’aib, (15) Musa, (16) Harun, (17) Alyas’, (18) Dhu Al-Kifl, (19) Daud, (20) Zakariya, (21) Sulaiman, (22) Ilyas, (23) Yahya, (24) Isa, and (25) Muhammad, prayers and salutations of Allah be upon him and upon all the messengers of Allah.

General belief that there are many other prophets and messengers, but never assuming anything without knowledge from Allah (i.e. Qur’an and Sunnah).

The subject matter of the prophet hood.

Warnings and glad tidings.

So the disobedient will have no excuse before Allah. (Prophets sent to every nation.)

Enjoining the worship of Allah and the avoidance of At-Taghoot (Shaitaan, etc.) [Study: 4/165, An-Nisaa; 16/36, An-Nahl]

Attributes of the Prophet Muhammad:
Seal of the prophets; Imam of the pious; Foremost among the sons of Adam; Imam and Khatib of the prophets when they assembled; Possessor of the Praiseworthy Position which all of mankind will wish they had attained (and which is mentioned in the Du’a of hearing the adhan); Owner of the pool in paradise; Intercessor for all mankind on the day of Qiyama (Judgment Day).

Allah sent him with the best of the books and the best of His law. Allah made his nation “the best nation brought forth for mankind.” Allah gave him (and us) all of the good that was given only partially to the previous nations. His nation is the last in creation, the first in resurrection.

From the moment of his prophet hood, Allah made him the criterion (Al-Farooq) for distinguishing Allah’s allies and their actions from His enemies and their actions: None can have any relationship to Allah except through belief in the Prophet (saws) and following what he brought in public and in secret. Whoever claims love or closeness to Allah while disobeying the message is actually drawing closer to Shaitaan, farther from Allah.

Allah’s revealed Books
Muslims should have general belief in the phenomenon of the sending of the revealed books. Keep in mind, all the revealed books were allowed by Allah to be corrupted, except the Qur’an.

Six specific books mentioned in the Qur’an:

As-Suhuf of Ibrahim (Abraham) and Musa (Moses).

Az-Zaboor given to Daud (David).

At-Taurat (The Torah) revealed to Musa.

Al-Injeel revealed to Isa (Jesus).

Al-Qur’an – the final revelation.

Attributes of the Qur’an:
Flawless and untampered with: [See 41/42 Fusilat]

The final authority over any remnants of the previous books. [See 5/48 Al-Maidah]

A guidance and a mercy. [See 10/37 Yunus]

The Qur’an must be followed and applied. [See 6/155 Al-An’aam]
The Day of Resurrection (Qiyama)
Belief in the resurrection (Al-Ba’th). Reconstruction of the body and return of the soul to it. People will come forth out of their graves like locusts. Faces bent down. Rushing to the Caller. [See 53/76 Al-Qamar; 70/43 Al-Ma’arij; 17/49 Al-Israa; 36/78 Yasin; 20/108 Taha]
The resurrection is of the body and the soul, not some metaphysical resurrection of the latter.

“The sun will come down toward the people on the day of Qiyama until it is only about a mile up. The people will be in their own perspiration according to their acts: some of them will be in it up to their ankles, some up to their groin and others up to their chins, and he pointed to his mouth.” [Hadith – Narrated by Muslim]

A disbeliever once came to the Prophet (saws) with an old bone, crumbled it with his hand and said: “O Muhammad, will Allah bring this back to life after it has rotted?! The Prophet said: “Yes, Allah will resurrect this and he will cause you to die, bring you back to life, and put you into the fire of Jahannam!”

Al-Qadar (Divine Preordainments and Decree i.e. whatever Allah, subhana watala, has ordained must come to pass).
A Muslim believes in Allah’s predestination of all things and events (Qadhaa), His decree (Qadar), His wisdom in His actions, and His will. Nothing in the universe can occur, even the voluntary actions of His slaves, except after Allah’s knowledge, and His decree of that event. A Muslim further believes that Allah is Just in His predestination and His decree, Wise in all of His actions. His wisdom follows His will: Whatever He wills is, and whatever He does not will is not. There is no power nor any movement except by Allah. This is substantiated by the textual and logical proofs which follow:

TEXTUAL EVIDENCE

Allah (glory and praise to Allah) informed us of this in the Qur’an:

Verily, We have created all things with Qadar (Divine Preordainments of all things before their creation, as written in the Book of Decrees Al-Lauh Al-Mahfûz). [Qur’an 54/49]

And there is not a thing, but with Us are the stores thereof. And We send it not down except in a known measure. [Qur’an 15/21]

No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfûz), before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah. [Qur’an 57/22]

No calamity befalls, but with the Leave [i.e. decision and Qadar (Divine Preordainments)] of Allah, and whosoever believes in Allah, He guides his heart [to the true Faith with certainty, i.e. what has befallen him was already written for him by Allah from the Qadar (Divine Preordainments)], and Allah is the All-Knower of everything. [Qur’an 64/11]

And with Him are the keys of the Ghaib (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in (or on) the earth and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but he knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record. [Qur’an 6/59]

Evidence also in: Qur’an 9/51, 7/43, 21/101, 18/39, 81/27-29

The Prophet (saws) has informed us about the reality of Allah’s predestination and decree in many Hadith:
“Verily, each one of you is formed in his mother’s womb forty days as a drop, then he is something suspended for a similar period, then he is a piece of flesh like a chewed piece of meat for another period of forty days, then the angel is sent to insert the soul. This angel is ordered to record four things: the sustenance which he will receive during his lifetime, the length of his life, all actions that he will do, and whether he will end up miserable (in hell) or joyous (in paradise). I swear by the One other than whom there is no deity, one of you may do the works of the people of paradise right up until there is only an arm’s length between him and paradise, but his destiny overtakes him, so he does the actions of the people of the fire and enters it. And, verily, one of you may do the works of the people of hell until there is nothing between them and hell except for one arm’s length, but his destiny overtakes him, and so he does the works of the people of paradise, and enters it.” [Muslim]

“Young man, I will teach you some words: Preserve (your obligations toward) Allah and He will preserve you. Guard (your obligations toward) Allah, and you will find Him on your side. When you ask, ask Allah. When you seek aid and succour, seek it from Allah. And know, that if the entire nation got together to benefit you in some way, they could never benefit you at all except for that which Allah had already decreed for you. And, if they all got together to harm you in some way, they could do you no harm except for that which Allah had already decreed for you. The pens have been lifted, and the tablets have dried.” [At-Tirmidhi, and he rated it Sahih]

“The first thing which Allah created was the pen. Then, He said to it: Write. It asked: My Lord, what should I write? He said: Write the proportions of all things up until the Hour.” [Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, and it is hassan]

“Adam disputed with Musa. Musa said to Adam: “O, Adam, you are the father of the human race, Allah created you with His hand, and blew into you of His spirit, and made His angels prostrate to you, why did you expel yourself and us from the garden?” Adam said to him: “You are Musa whom Allah favored with His speech, and wrote for you the Taurah with His hand, so (tell me) by how many years before my creation did you find it written about me: [… then Adam disobeyed his Lord and got lost.] (Qur’an 20:121)? Musa said: “By forty years.” Then, Adam said: “So how do you blame me for something which Allah had decreed for me before my creation by forty years?” The Prophet said: “And so, Adam defeated Musa in the dispute.”

“Act, for each of you will find easy that for which he was created.” (Muslim)

“O, Abdullah ibn Qais, should I not teach you a word which is one of the treasures of paradise? (It is to say): There is no movement nor any power except from Allah.”

“Someone said: That which Allah wants and you want. To which the Prophet (saws) replied: That which Allah alone wants.” [An-Nasaa’i, and he rated it sahih]

EVIDENCE OF REASON
Reason does not reject the idea of predestination and decree and of Allah’s wisdom and His will. Just the opposite, reason demands that this is the case without doubt because of the clear evidences of it in the universe around us.
Belief in Allah and in his perfect might and power demands the belief in His predestination and His decree, His wisdom and His will.
If, after becoming a Muslim, all you know how to do is wudu (the ablution before salah), you do wudu 5 times a day and take the time out to study the prayer briefly or to do what part of it you DO know how to do. If you don’t know how to do wudu, then you do what you remember of it (starting with saying “bis mih Allah” [in the name of Allah] and washing your hands 3 times).  You should also study how to do the entire salah regularly at a time separate than the time for salah, until you learn it.

So, regarding the 2 rakat of salah prayer that is done right after saying Shahada, just like all the salahs, you cannot do it if you do not know how, so you just do that which you know. Allah swt knows your intentions, and no-one expects you to know how to do a single rakat before you’re a Muslim nor to suddenly realize how once you JUST became a Muslim.

Learning these things and more, will come in time, insha’Allah; just make it a priority to learn how to do salah.  If your intentions are sincere, the proof will be that you learn salah soon after becoming a Muslim.  A Muslim who abandons his/her salah abandons his religion and is in a state of disbelief (kufr), i.e. is no longer a Muslim.  So do not abandon learning the salah.  But do not go to the other extreme and expect to learn everything overnight; exercise patience while you are trying to learn and do not be timid in humbly asking Muslims questions to achieve knowledge.

Expect to be corrected often by other Muslims, whether you’ve just become a Muslim or have been one for years. This is because of our love for one another and our obedience to Allah swt, that we correct one another.  We should remain humble and accept correction such as by saying, “Allhumdulilah” (“All praise is due to Allah alone”) and/or “JazakAllah” (“May Allah reward you) to the Muslim correcting us.  We should not correct others except when we are certain that our correction is right, and we should do so with kindness and using the speech of the Qur’an and Sunnah and not reformatted personal opinions.  The Qur’an is complete for our lives, providing a lifetime of learning and growing as a person… growing in submission to our Lord.

Insha’Allah (Allah willing), you may be blessed to say your Shahada in the presence of another Muslim, who can lead you in your first salah. If not, do not worry… you’re only held accountable for that which you know and for seeking out that which you don’t know yet are able to seek.  For instance, a “mentally challenged” person is not held accountable to Allah swt for that which they cannot comprehend!  Likewise with a baby.

It is important not to delay to become a Muslim once you understand the Shahada and agree with it — because you ARE held accountable for that which you do know!  Act upon what you understand and trust Allah swt to guide you, protect you, and aid you in embracing the most beautiful way of life, the way that leads to peace… Islam.

(www.whyislamtrue.com / 25.04.2011)

Book Will Write the History of Egypt’s Revolution in Tweets

Twitter’s role in the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is disputed. But nobody disputes that the microblogging platform helped tell the story of the revolution as it unfolded.

Now, OR Books plans to use tweets posted during the protests to create a 160-page history of the event. Tweets from Tahrir, which is set to hit bookshelves April 21, will compile tweets and photos linked to in tweets to walk readers through every day of the revolution in 140-character-or-less snippets.

“Raw emotion bursts from their messages, whether frantic alarm at attacks from pro-government thugs or delirious happiness at the fall of the dictator,” reads a description of the book. “To read these tweets is to embark a rollercoaster ride, from the surprise and excitement of the first demonstration, to the horror of the violence that claimed hundreds of lives, to the final ecstasy of victory.”

This is quite a departure from existing tweet anthologies — like Sh*t My Dad Says — which tend to cover less serious topics. As The New York Times points out, the editors might run into some interesting legal questions with the new approach, in particular the question of who owns the rights for others’ tweets. OR Books is in the process of contacting authors to get their permission.

Whether the format will indeed capture the raw emotion, frantic alarm and timeline of the demonstrations is an another matter. An excerpt of the book is posted below; let us know what you think the comments.

(Mashable.com (here is the rest for reading) / 25.04.2011)