Official: Israeli troops block villagers from crops

TUBAS (Ma’an) — Israeli troops blocked villagers from collecting their crops in the area of Al-Malih village on Monday, a local official said.

The village council head, Aref Daraghmeh, told Ma’an that Israeli military vehicles barred villagers from accessing their land to collect their produce, and damaged a large quantity of crops in the area, which lies in the northern West Bank district of Tubas.

Daraghmeh said that crops had also been damaged by Israeli troops last year, and appealed to the Palestinian Authority to intervene and help the villagers.

(www.maannews.net/ 02.05.2011)

An Irishman has been kidnapped

An Irish writer and activist, Patrick MacManus, has been kidnapped in Palestine by the Israelis without warrant or explanation, and his location is currently unknown.

Patrick is a veteran activist with experience in just about every corner of the globe where oppression exists. A native of Ireland, he was chairman of the Danish Anti-arpethied committee in the 80’s, and was a spokesperson for the group Rebellion, which was formed to oppose the EU’s “Anti-Terror Laws” and to support the FARC and the PFLP. In 2009, he was arrested by the Danish Political Police (yes, that’s their name) and charged with sending 10,000 euros to the FARC. The local Danish court acquitted him, saying that in context of the Israeli and Colombian regimes, resistance was legitimate.

The prosecution refused to relent, and took their cases to two higher courts. In 2010, After a four day trial that was drawn out over six months, Patrick was found guilty of aiding terrorism and sentenced to 6 months in prison. Had he not been over 60 years old and in ill health, the sentence could have been up to ten years. During the trial, veterans of the Danish Resistance during World War 2 protested in favor of Macmanus and his supporters hoisted resistance flags.

(It is important to note that the prosecutions 2 main witnesses were a member of Israeli intelligence and an American “security contractor”)

Upon his release, Patrick immediately went back to Palestine where he campaigned for his primary cause, that of the Palestinian people, and wrote extensively before his disappearance.

What set Patrick apart from other activists was not just the variety of places he helped, but his approach: he was a poet. He loved poetry, and saw it in resistance and risen masses. Of poets he wrote:

“The story of resistance is the story of defeat, of years and years silenced by the force of power….but poets find a way…of giving life to things that seemed to have gone. A world of word which seems far away, on themes and history which to power seems irrelevant in its oppression of the day. An then, on another day, it will all be said again, in voices clear and fearless”

He wrote a lot about the Kurdish poets of the 20th century (Kurdistan was another spot for him), particularly Abdul Gora. who helped define much of the Kurdish literary identity. Before his disappearance he was working on a compilation of poetry of resistance from around the world.

He also wrote extensively via a blog, (the newspapers of today’s revolutions) in which he talked about everything from the Japanese working class and the tsunami, to poets, to Palestine, and the history of his own homeland, Ireland. His articles were marked by a particular scholarliness and attention that is lacking in the works of many of his contemporaries. It is important to note that not once in any article was violence advocated over peaceful methods. Patrick believed firmly that oppression demanded resistance, but violence was always the last, but legitimate, resort.

His widespread activism (Palestine, Denmark, Kurdistan, Swaziland, Columbia, the Philippines, and South Africa to name the primary countries) would seem to give the impression that he was an internationalist whose own homeland was forgotten to him, but nothing is further from the truth. He loved Ireland deeply, traveled it extensively, and regretted that his commitments to Palestine prevented him from doing more. To this end he encouraged Irishman to be involved in the cause of their country. “He changed my life” one Irish American, now a well-accomplished activist, recalled. “He was like a mentor, he taught me to stand up and to speak out.”

Patrick’s life shows the impact one person can make Like a pebble thrown in water, each person’s life creates ripples that spread and expand. Patrick created many ripples in his life. It is only fitting that his concern is repaid with ours. We should be thankful that we are given the chance to create ripples that spread in the lives of others as he did.

What you can do:

-Contact the Israeli prison department and police and demand his release and an explanation.
-Pass the word around about his case.

His blog:  patrickmacmanus.wordpress.com
“9 Theses: the Right of Resistance”

(Facebook / 02.05.2011)

The UN Security Council Has Failed To Stop Massive Israeli War Crimes In Gaza

By Brussells Tribunal

10 January, 2009
Brusselstribunal.org

After almost two weeks of impotence, during which an estimated 790 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed, including 230 children, a further 1080 children among the 3300 injured, the UN Security Council passed — with US abstention — a weak and indeterminate resolution that has failed to force the State of Israel to halt its criminal onslaught on the occupied people of Gaza, encircled and unable to avoid being massacred.

Today, the security cabinet of the Israeli government, proving again its contempt for its obligations as a member state of the UN, rejected this resolution in no uncertain terms, saying that the State of Israel has never agreed that “any outside body” would determine its military policy, deeming the resolution “not practical” — this a resolution that was even biased towards it, failing to mention Hamas, the elected government in Palestine. In other words, the slaughter will continue whether the Security Council demands that it end or not.

Israeli impunity, UNSC complicity

This outcome is proof that Israel acts with systematic impunity. It is also proof, as recognized by President of the UN General Assembly Miguel d’Escoto-Brockmann, that the Security Council is “dysfunctional”, excusing by omission massive and grave human rights abuses when perpetrated by one of its permanent members or their allies.

In doing so, and in the face of overwhelming evidence — much televised — of Israel war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza, amounting to substantive evidence of the crime of genocide against the Palestinian people, the Security Council has effectively shown that it cannot — or is not willing to — maintain international peace and security and satisfy the Palestinian people’s national right to live peacefully, free on its land.

Uniting for peace resolution

The world need not endure this horror. A mechanism exists that can take the protection of international peace and security, and the Palestinian people, out of the hands of the Security Council and give it to the world community as a whole, represented by the General Assembly.[1] General Assembly President d’Escoto-Brockmann supports this mechanism and Malaysia already fulfilled the procedural obligation that one UN member state proposes it.

Hours before the Security Council voted on a resolution made so weak and bereft of mechanisms of enforcement that Israel could dismiss it, a General Assembly emergency session was due to be held. There is evidence that this prospect alone forced the Security Council to act, largely to block invocation of Resolution 377. Given the result, and given Israel’s rejection of Security Council authority, it is urgent that this session convenes and imposes upon Israel an immediate ceasefire, according to the overwhelming will of the international community and people everywhere, or face international ostracism.

Israel fears Resolution 377

According to UN General Assembly Resolution 377, emergency special sessions of the General Assembly are warranted to act when the Security Council “fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.”[2] The government of Israel itself has ensured the failure of the Security Council to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

That Israel’s violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Gaza are so flagrant, and that Israel rejects the authority of the Security Council prime facie, suggests as the only route possible — a last resort for the Palestinian people in Gaza — the convening of an emergency session of the General Assembly where no veto could be invoked, to impose on Israel an immediate ceasefire backed by credible collective measures.

Urgent call for action

As stated by the Palestinian human rights community in their 30 December call to invoke Resolution 377[3]: “The civilian population of the occupied Gaza Strip will inevitably continue to suffer heavy losses without the external intervention of the international community.”

In renewing the call to invoke Resolution 377, we support Special Rapporteur Richard Falk’s demand on “all Member States, as well as officials and every relevant organ of the United Nations system, to move on an emergency basis not only to condemn Israel’s serious violations, but to develop new approaches to providing real protection for the Palestinian people.”

Only the General Assembly can impose, where the Security Council fails, an immediate ceasefire on Israel.

We call upon human rights groups, lawyers and legal organizations, trade unions, intellectuals, the anti-war movement and all people of conscience to support President d’Escoto-Brockmann, demand that an emergency session of the General Assembly be convened under authority of Resolution 377, and to participate in the growing international boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.

We call upon the UN human rights system to authorize an effective investigation of Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity, including its wilful killings, use of internationally prohibited weapons, destruction of civilian infrastructure, targeting of schools, higher education institutions, mosques and civilian shelters, and even international humanitarian aid workers. The UN Human Rights Council has an obligation to investigate these elements of genocide and in doing so contribute to ending it.

As a signal to Israel, we call upon all states to cut diplomatic relations with Israel forthwith and for the High Contracting Parties of the Geneva Conventions to hold an immediate conference to re-establish respect for international humanitarian law. On the basis of its past and present impunity, Israel should be expelled from the United Nations.

All should demand an immediate Israeli ceasefire, the immediate withdrawal of all belligerent Israeli military forces, and the end of the blockade. Upon realization, collective measures should be taken at all levels to end Israel’s occupation of Palestine and to oblige Israeli society to respect the equality of human rights. Until the occupation of Palestine ends, we underline the legal and guaranteed right of the Palestinian people to resist Israeli aggression by all means.

The BRussells Tribunal Committee

9 January 2009

Please sign and circulate this statement widely.

For individual and organizational endorsements: info@brusselstribunal.org

[1] “Uniting for Peace Resolution”, UN General Assembly Resolution 377 (V) A 1950, 3 November 1950, http://un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=A/RES/377(V)

[2] Letter from Israeli Ambassador Gabriela Shalev to UN General Assembly President Manuel d’Escoto-Brockmann, 8 January 2009, http://innercitypress.com/protestPGA010809.doc

[3] “Gross Human Rights Violations and War Crimes in the Gaza Strip”, 30 December 2008,
http://pchrgaza.org/files/PressR/English/2008/un_human.html

(www.countercurrents.org / 01.05.2011)

Gaza is een taboe voor Nederland

Het is heel erg gesteld met de Westerse media en die van Nederland in het bijzonder. Gaza komt en mag niet in het nieuws, niet in de geschreven media, gesproken media of op tv. Want we moeten ‘onze’ relatie met Israel versterken (uit het partijprogramma van het kabinet). Deze week was er dan misschien even een “opleving” … Sterker nog, 28 april was er een spoeddebat en werd een motie aangenomen van de PVV met de tekst: “uit te spreken dat deze flotilla een provocatie is en terroristische organisaties tot nut strekt of kan strekken”. En wat gebeurde er? De motie werd aangenomen met steun van de VVD, CDA. PVV, CU en SGP. Drie christelijke partijen die kiezen voor zo’n tekst en zich niet bekommeren over ‘hun naasten’ in Palestina. In het hele debat werd niet gesproken over de bezetting van de Palestijnse gebieden, werd er niet gesproken over het leed dat de Palestijnse bevolking elke dag ondervindt, werd niet gesproken over de goederen die niet het land mogen binnenkomen, werd niet gesproken over de verschrikkelijke aanvallen van Israel op Palestijnse kinderen en zo kan ik nog wel doorgaan. Neen, er werd gesproken over het feit dat mensen die mee zouden varen op de flotilla mogelijk weleens terroristen konden zijn  en wapens zouden leveren aan mensen in Gaza. Waar heb ik die onzin meer gehoord?

Maar ‘verder’ komt Gaza niet in de media, want het mag niet; er rust een taboe op. We hebben een rechts kabinet en dat is verbonden met Israel, de een sterker dan de ander, maar het ligt er duimen dik bovenop.

In Nederland wordt er niet gesproken over Palestina of over Gaza; zelfs als het onderwerp bij een Islamitisch getinte omroep behandeld wordt, zit er een oerpessimist, die enig positief geluid meteen de grond inboort. Een persbericht dat bv. door de organisatie Nederland-Gaza is geschreven (“Zonder blokkade zou Gazavloot niet nodig zijn”) , kom je alleen maar tegen in de sociale media, maar niet in de geschreven media. De media wil gewoon niets schrijven over Palestina, alleen als het over vechten gaat, alleen als men iets negatiefs kan schrijven over Hamas, alleen als men de mensen kan wegzetten als terroristen al dan niet moslimterroristen, en ga zo maar door.

In een westerse wereld vol met moderne technieken, moet de gewone man op straat, het nieuws over Gaza halen van de Engelstalige, Franstalige en Arabischtalige media, waar volop nieuws te vinden is. In een eerder opiniestuk heb ik al gewezen (“Wat is er aan de hand met de Nederlandse media”) op het bovenstaande, ook dat alleen aandacht wordt gegeven aan oudere mensen, die weggezet worden als halve malloten als men positief spreekt over Gaza, zoals met de heer Van Agt is gedaan. Maar daarna mogen ze niets meer zeggen, de heer Van Agt niet, mevrouw Duisenberg niet en anderen niet. Doe me een lol en reken mij ook tot die oudere malloten, want ik blijf praten over Gaza; het is mijn plicht om dat te doen, daar de media het niet uit zichzelf doet.

De laatste weken heeft u niets kunnen lezen in de media over het feit

* dat Israel de Palestijnse identiteit op scholen probeert te onderdrukken (30 april)
* dat Israel 4 mensen in Gaza heeft verwond  (28 april)
* dat een 13-jarige jongen gewond is geraakt door Israëlische kolonisten (26 april)
* dat onbemande vliegtuigen (zgn. drones) al een tijd boven Gaza vliegen (25 april)
* dat de VS voor miljoenen aan wapens naar Israel verscheept hebben (24 april)
* dat het Rode Kruis durft te zeggen dat er geen humane crisis in Gaza zou zijn (24 april)
* dat een jong meisje, 10 jaar oud, Abeer Skafe, gestorven is aan een attack omdat ze haar gevangen genomen vader niet mocht bezoeken ( 23 april)
* dat Israel heeft aangegeven dat de nieuwe flotilla banden zou hebben met Hamas, dus voor het spoeddebat in de Tweede Kamer, toeval??? (23 april)
* dat Israel verschillende industriële faciliteiten in Gaza heeft vernietigd (21 april)

En zo kan de lijst nog verder gaan; indien u wilt weten, kunt u het een en het ander vinden op altahrir.wordpress.com. Dit is dezelfde site die ik ook al doorgegeven heb aan de Nederlandse media, maar waar geen gebruik van wordt gemaakt, want de media mag niet schrijven over Gaza, mag niet schrijven over het Palestijnse volk, mag niet schrijven over de bezetting van de Palestijnse gebieden. De media is niet onafhankelijk, maar loopt als een gemuilkorfde hond achter de regering aan om te werken aan een verbeterde band met Israel. En dit mag wel gaan over Palestijnse lijken, want dit is zgn. “bijkomende schade”.

Wordt het niet tijd dat u eens gaat zeggen, tot hier en niet verder? Gaat u nu eens zeggen, wij willen weten wat er gebeurd in Palestina? Gaat u eens zeggen, waarom altijd Israel en waarom niet eens nieuws uit Palestina?

Ik ben benieuwd of u durft te staan voor eerlijkheid, democratie (ook als het niet het westerse gezicht heeft) en onafhankelijke media.

Heated clashes erupt in several West Bank towns 1May11

Intense clashes flared in the West Bank districts of Al-Khalil and Nablus on Sunday morning, but no injuries have been reported.

Locals reported that Jewish settlers seeped into the Iraq and Burin villages southwest of Nablus city in northern West Bank in a bid to provoke and terrorize Palestinian residents.

Clashes broke out after locals addressed the attacks backed by the Israeli army.

The same morning, the Israeli army stormed the Abu Ishnineh district in southern Al-Khalil in search of youths suspected of throwing stones at them.

Locals told PIC correspondent that violent clashes ensued between the soldiers and dozens of youth amid a shower of rubber-coated bullets and gas and stun grenades.

Youth responded with stones and bottles without report of injury.

Earlier on Saturday, heated clashes ignited in the Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in Jerusalem’s Arab Silwan district.

Locals said youth hurled molotov cocktails on the roof of a Palestinian structure occupied by the Israeli army in order to protect nearby Jewish settlers and their armed militias.

Locals sustained breathing difficulties after the soldiers showered the community with gas grenades in pursuit of the youths.

(australiansforpalestine.com / 01.05.2011)

Deutsche Bahn stapt uit spoorproject Israël

Het Duitse spoorbedrijf Deutsche Bahn trekt zich terug uit een omstreden spoorproject in Israël. Dat heeft een woordvoerder van Deutsche Bahn zondag bevestigd naar aanleiding van berichtgeving in het blad Der Spiegel. Het project leidde tot veel protesten van pro-Palestijnse actiegroeperingen. Een dochterbedrijf van Deutsche Bahn trad op als adviseur bij de bouw van een nieuwe hogesnelheidsverbinding tussen Jeruzalem en Tel Aviv. Een deel van het spoortraject loopt over een lengte van 6 kilometer via de Westelijke Jordaanoever. Het 1,2 miljard euro kostende project moet uiterlijk in 2017 af zijn en verbindt de twee steden in een reistijd van 28 minuten. De rit over het bestaande traject duurt anderhalf uur.

Een groot deel van het spoortraject op de Westelijke Jordaanoever loopt via tunnels onder de grond. Actiegroepen vinden echter dat daardoor toch land van de Palestijnen wordt afgepakt en internationale regels worden geschonden. Deutsche Bahn gaf geen reden voor het besluit zich uit het project terug te trekken.

Israël heeft altijd aangegeven dat ook de Palestijnen zullen profiteren van het spoorproject. Er zou al begonnen zijn met de planning van de bouw van een spooruitbreiding die de stad Ramallah op de Westelijke Jordaanoever verbindt met de Gazastrook.

(www.parool.nl / 01.05.2011)

Egypt calls on US to recognize Palestinian state

CAIRO (AFP) – Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi on Sunday called on the United States to recognize a Palestinian state, as rival Palestinian factions prepare to sign a reconciliation accord in Cairo.

Arabi urged visiting US Congressman Steve Chabot to “press Congress and the American administration to recognise a Palestinian state.”

Recognition “would correspond with previous statements by the American administration supporting peace based on two states,” the official MENA news agency quoted him as saying.

Arabi, who held talks on the Arab-Israeli conflict with Chabot, also called on the United States to “exert efforts to hold an international Middle East peace conference,” MENA said.

Palestinian factions are preparing to sign a deal in Cairo on Wednesday after president Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah faction and its bitter foe Hamas agreed to form a government that would prepare for elections in a year.

US President Barack Obama’s administration relaunched direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in September only to see them grind to a halt three weeks later over Israel’s settlements construction in the West Bank.

(www.maannews.net / 01.05.2011)

Assad’s fall would create shockwaves from Tehran to Tel Aviv

Unrest in Syria has greater potential consequences than any other event in the Arab Spring so far.

Supporters Syria Assad

Supporters of President Bashar al-Assad wave the flag in Damascus.

As decades-old dictatorial regimes crumbled around him in January, Syria‘s president, Bashar al-Assad, denied that revolution would spread to his country. Balhermep, the Ba’athist concept of “the ruling of the people”, would keep his country together.

But as demonstrations in towns and villages across Syria seemed only to be spreading last week, even as the regime intensified its crackdown, that notion appeared to be unravelling.

The international consequences of regime change in Syria are many and complex. The fallout will be particularly marked in Lebanon and Palestine, and there will also be impacts on the country’s alliances with Iran, Turkey, and Iraq, and, perhaps most importantly, on its relationship with Israel.

Damascus’s influence has always been strong in these areas. Syria is vital to Hezbollah, which leads a Lebanese coalition supporting Assad. Lebanon has no land borders except with Syria on the east and north, and with Israel to the south. To the west is the Mediterranean, swimming with battleships and an international force to prevent the smuggling of weapons. Hezbollah’s links with Syria are, in turn, the linchpin of the alliance between Tehran and Damascus, for the party’s first loyalty is to Iran and the supreme leader of its Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The fall of the Assad regime would mean the loss of Iran’s only ally in the region and thus a weakening of the clerical regime. This could boost the enthusiasm of Iranian reformers, who have been sidelined and repressed since the disputed presidential elections in Iran in 2009.

Damascus also hosts at least 10 Palestinian factions, most prominently Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Analysts say that Assad’s tacit support comes not from interest in Arab causes but a desire to gather cards to play against the US and Israel in negotiations to win back the Golan Heights.

The late Palestinian president Yasser Arafat and his successor Mahmoud Abbas consistently complained about Syria and Iran’s interference in Palestinian affairs, which has always frustrated any reconciliation between Hamas, which controls Gaza, and Fatah, which controls the West Bank.

The irony is that the reconciliation process has been reinvigorated by the signing of a treaty between the two rival factions in Cairo last week. Observers have noted this détente was only possible due to the distractions Assad faces at home.

Now that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is leading the opposition movement at home, Hamas is reported to be looking for a new HQ elsewhere.

Further east, Iraqi governments have long accused the Assad regime of facilitating fundamentalist attacks inside Iraq and say that Damascus harbours many of the dissolved Iraqi Ba’ath party’s former leadership – men Baghdad would like turned over for trial.

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the first to publicly scold Assad on more than one occasion for not taking his advice to reform. Turkey has recalled its ambassador from Syria for consultations and sent its head of intelligence, Hakan Fidan, to Damascus.

There is no doubt that this reflects the Turkish concern that events in its close neighbour Syria may turn into a sectarian or religious war which would have a direct impact on Turkey. That fear was expressed by the Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Friday when he warned of the possibility of a mass exodus of Syrians fleeing a potential bloodbath.

Meanwhile, behind closed doors, leaders in Israel fear the fall of Assad could lead to the rise of a conservative Islamic regime. An end to the fragile stability of the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel since 1967, is a particular worry. Leaking of the news that Tel Aviv fears the Golan front could erupt again came as a surprise to many in the Arab world in light of the declared enmity between Israel and the Ba’ath regime.

With their allies in Egypt overthrown, Israel may not welcome yet more regime change so close by.

Upheaval in Syria will not only affect its immediate neighbours – it will reshape the balance of power in the Middle East more than any event in the Arab Spring thus far.

(www.guardian.co.uk /  01.05.2011)

Principles of the Islamic Way of Life

THE WAY OF PEACE

Glory to God Most High, full of Grace and Mercy. He created all including man. To man He gave a special place in His Creation. He honoured man to be His agent, and to that end, endued him with understanding, purified his affections, and gave him spiritual insight; so that man should understand nature, understand himself and know God through His wondrous Signs, and glorify Him in Truth, Reverence and Unity.

For the fulfilment of this great trust, man was given a will, so that his acts should reflect Gods universal Will and Law, and his mind freely choosing, should experience sublime joy of being in harmony with the infinite, and with the great drama of the world around him, and with his own spiritual growth.

“Know that the life of this world is but play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting and multiplying, (in rivalry) among yourselves, riches and children. Here is a similitude: how rain and the growth which it brings forth, delights (the hearts of) the farmers: soon it withers: you will see it grow yellow: then it becomes dry and crumbles away. But in the Hereafter is a penalty severe (For the devotee of wrong) and Forgiveness from God and (His) Good Pleasure For the devotees of God and what is the life of this world, but a matter of illusion”.
(Qur’an, Al-Hadid 57:20)

The average Human Being lives for about sixty years. Twenty years of this life is taken up by sleeping and approximately ten years in growing and learning. Taking into account, another twenty years in working and worry, we are left with a meagre ten years to enjoy the ‘realities’ of life without the above ‘prerequisites’. However, even with such freedom one encounters physical pitfalls such as illness, anxiety, and the natural process of ageing. Overall, the life of this world may be summed up as a bitter-sweet game or test with no ‘apparent’ purpose.

Muslims believe that the limited life in this world merely serves as a transition toward life eternal, in Paradise. For those who strive in the right path awaits a bounteous reward and for those who strive toward ignorance, awaits a terrible punishment.

Muslims also believe that ‘to be successful’ in this world means to achieve one’s aims and duties for this life, and for the life in the Hereafter. Muslims invest in the worldly life through commitment toward the family and invest in the Hereafter through giving charity and poor-due.

Muslims view the pleasures of this world as being petty and restricted by our own senses and imagination, whereas the pleasures of the Hereafter are mind-blowing and boundless; as a gift from the Most Merciful, the Most Kind.

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PRINCIPLES OF THE ISLAMIC WAY OF LIFE

Islam means absolute submission to the Will of Allah and those who by choice submit to the Will of Allah are Muslims.

(Note: Allah is the Arabic word which means the One and Only God, who is Self-Subsisting; Eternal; neither Slumber or Sleep overtaketh Him; the Source of Peace and Perfection, the Supreme; the Exalted in Might, the Irresistible, no vision can comprehend Him but He comprehends all; who begets not and who is not begotten and there is nothing liken unto Him that can be imagined. Such is Allah our Lord and your Lord; the only One deserving of worship; worthy of all Praise.)

——————————————————————————–

The Pillars of Faith in Islam

The Declaration of Faith, which reads: la illaha illa Allah, Muhammad ur Rasul Lul Lah (There is no other object worthy of worship but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah).
The Muslim also believes in:

All the Prophets and Messengers of Allah, including Adam, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus. etc.

All the revealed Books of Allah of which the Qur’an is the last and perfect revelation.

All the Angels who are spiritual beings of Allah.

The Islamic doctrine that the power of actions proceeds from Allah and every human being is morally responsible for his own actions.

The Day of Resurrection and of Judgement.

Obligatory Prayers, five times a day.

Fasting during the Muslim month of Ramadan. This fasting takes the form of basically abstaining from all foods, drinks and sensual pleasures from dawn to sunset.

Zakat which is an obligatory tax or ‘poor-due’ on certain assets above a prescribed quantity.

The Pilgrimage to Mecca, if one has the means of performing it.
Islam is a complete way of life. It is the guidance provided by God, the Creator of the Universe, for all mankind.

Islam is not a new religion. It is in essence, the same message and guidance provided by God revealed to all His Prophets.

“Say: we believe in God and in what has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma’il: Isaac, Jacob and The Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus and the Prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another, among them, and to God do we bow our will (in Islam).”
(Qur’an, Al-‘Imran 3:84)

The message which was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad is Islam in its comprehensive, complete and final form.

“Let there be no compulsion in Religion: truth stands out clear from error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah (one God) has grasped the most trustworthy hand hold, that never breaks. and Allah hears, and knows all things.”(Qur’an, Al-Baqarah 2:256)

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No Chosen People

Islam rejects the idea of Chosen people, making faith in the one God and good actions the sole key to Paradise.

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THE QUR’AN

The Qur’an is the complete book of guidance for mankind. It is the Sacred books for the Muslims and the main source of Law in Islam. The whole of the Qur’an is from Allah. Each word of it is a revealed word. It was sent down to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel. The Qur’an is in the Arabic language. It was revealed, piecemeal and completed over a period of twenty three years.

No other book in the world can match the Qur’an, even with respect to its recording and preservation. The astonishing fact about this book of Allah is that it has remained unchanged, even to a dot, over the last fourteen hundred years. The Qur’an was recorded as soon as it was revealed under the personal supervision of the Prophet Muhammad .
The Qur’an exists today in its original form. It is a miracle, in the sense that it has survived so many centuries without being altered or tampered with in any way. The message of the Qur’an is a mercy to mankind and is the final revelation from Allah to humanity. The Qur’an addresses humanity and calls them to contemplate their creation, the purpose of their existence and then to act upon the truth based on proof.

The Qur’an is recited and memorised by Muslims all over the world everyday. No variation of text can be found in it. You can check this for yourself by listening to the recitation of Muslims from different parts of the world.
Every word in it has been preserved intact.

Allah the almighty, has Himself taken the responsibility of preserving the Qur’an and He says:

“Surely, We have revealed this reminder and lo, We verily are its guardian.”(Qur’an, Al-Hijr 15:9)

The Qur’an is a living proof of the existence of Allah, the All Powerful. It is also a testimony of the validity of the Islamic way of life for all times. Arabic the language of the Qur’an, unlike the languages of other revealed books, is a living, dynamic and a very rich language. Millions of people all over the world speak and use Arabic in their daily life. This is further testimony to the unchanging character of the Qur’an.

The subject matter of the Qur’an is MAN and HIS ULTIMATE goal in life. Qur’anic teaching cover all areas of this life and the life after death. It contains principles, doctrines and directions for every sphere of Human activity. The theme of the Qur’an consists broadly of three fundamental beliefs – TAWHEED, RISALAH AND AKHIRAH. Tawheed is the basic theme of the Qur’an. All the Prophets and Messengers of Allah called people towards Tawheed. The Qur’an gives a picturesque description of Paradise which will be rewarded to the true obedient servants of Allah. The severe punishment to be metered out to the evildoers has also been depicted vividly in the Qur’an.

The Qur’an urges mankind to follow its guidance and teachings. The success of human beings on earth and in the life after death depends on obedience to the Qur’anic teachings. We cannot perform our duties as the servants of Allah and His agents, if we do not follow the Qur’an. The Qur’an urges us to work for the supremacy of Islam and for the removal of all evils.

The superb style of the Qur’an has a tremendous effect on its readers. It totally changes the pattern of the life of those who believe and practice its teachings. It leaves a soothing effect on the mind of the reader, even if he does not fully understand its meaning.

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THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET

The Prophet Muhammad rose from an orphan boy (having lost his father before his birth and his mother while yet a child of five) to be the greatest force known to history for the moral, spiritual and social regeneration of a fallen humanity. While yet a young man, he was known and respected for his purity and integrity, being nick-named AL-AMIN which means, the trustworthy. For thirteen years he and a small band of followers were subjected to the worst persecution – ostracism, torture and social boycott. Ultimately he had to flee Mecca along with his followers, seeking refuge in Medina – at a distance of 250 miles. His opponents, however, did not leave him alone there. There stirred up the tribes against him and made attack after attack upon him in the distant asylum, to put an end to what they considered to be a menace to their inherited superstitions iniquitous hegemony. In the encounters which followed, the superior morale of the Muslims of faith in a noble cause triumphed over all the forces ranged against them.

Unlike common victors in history who inflict all sorts of punishments on the vanquished, the Prophet Muhammad , in the highest spirit of chivalry, (which Islam teaches towards a fallen foe) not only gave his blood thirsty enemies a general amnesty, but extended towards them a hand of fellowship. Thereby, welding the whole populace into a solid, compact brotherhood inaugurating the new era, where morals and social justice reigned supreme.

From an orphan to the head of state, the Prophet Muhammad saw life in all its vicissitudes, and went through its manifold ups and downs. Through all these situations he brought a lustre of his own, thereby blazing in this dark and dismal struggle of life, the path of truth, honour and dignity to seekers after truth in all walks of life. Above all, the sense that he was a humble servant of God, which was the sum and substance of his mission, never left him.

Even as a ruler of the vast domain of the Arabian Peninsula, he lived the life of a simple man, washing and stitching his own clothes, milking his goats, mending his shoes and lending a helping hand in household work.

In the Prophet Muhammad were fulfilled the prophecies of both Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them) as to the advent of a prophet who would bring a new law and lead the people unto all truth:

“The Lord thy God will raise unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me: unto him ye shall hearken.” (Deuteronomy 18:15)

“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bare them now. How be it when HE, the spirit of truth is come, HE will guide you into all truth: for HE shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever HE shall hear, that shall HE speak, and HE will show you things to come.” (John 16:12-13)

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WOMEN IN ISLAM

Spiritual Status

The Qur’an provides clear-cut evidence that woman is completely equated with man, in the sight of God in terms of her rights and responsibilities.

The Qur’an states:

“Every soul will be (held) in pledge for its deeds.”(Qur’an, Al-Muddaththir 74:38)

“Surely for men who submit (to God) and for women who submit (to God), And believing men, and believing women, for devout men, and devout women, for truthful men, and truthful women, for steadfast men, and steadfast women, for humble men, and humble women, for charitable men and charitable women, for men who fast and women who fast, for men who guard their chastity, and women who guard their chastity, for men who remember God much, and for women who remember, for them God has prepared, forgiveness, and a mighty reward.”(Qur’an, Al-Azhab 33:35)

And Again God says :

“Whosoever performs good deeds, whether male or female, and is a believer, we shall surely make him live a good life, and We will certainly reward them for the best of what they did.”(Qur’an, An-Nahl 16:97)

Each of the Five pillars of Islam: Belief, Prayer, Fasting, Poor-due and Pilgrimage – is as important for women as for men, as there is no differentiation of their rewards.

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Intellectual Status

The Prophet Muhammad said:

“The search for knowledge is a duty for every Muslim (male or female) and seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.”

“Knowledge” for a Muslim is not divided into sacred and secular, and the implication of these sayings of the Prophet , is that every boy or girl, man or woman, should pursue his or her education as far as possible, bearing in mind the words of Allah in the Qur’an.

“…Those who truly fear God, among his Servants, are those who have knowledge…”(Qur’an, Fatir 35:28)

In Islam therefore, both men and women are credited with the capacity for learning and understanding and teaching, and one of the aims of acquiring knowledge is that of becoming more conscious of God. It is considered, in Islam that the more a person, male or female, studies the creation and observes its workings, the more he or she becomes conscious of the Creator, the Power who made and sustains the creation.

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Role as a Wife

The Qur’an clearly indicates that marriage is sharing between the two halves of the society, and that its objectives, beside perpetuating human life, are emotional well-being and spiritual harmony.

Its basis is love and mercy.

Among the most impressive verses of the Qur’an about marriage is the following:

“And among His Signs is this: That He created mates for you from among yourselves, that you may find rest, peace of mind in them, and he ordained between you love and mercy. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect.”(Qur’an, Ar-Rum 30:21)

According to Islamic Law, women cannot be forced to marry anyone without their consent. As, the women’s right to decide about her marriage is recognised, so also her right to seek an end for an unsuccessful marriage is recognised.

To provide for the stability of the family, however, and in order to protect it from hasty decisions under temporary emotional stress, certain steps and waiting periods should be observed by men and women seeking divorce.

Besides all other provisions for her protection at the time of marriage, it was specifically decreed that woman has the full right to her Mahr (dowry), which is presented to her by her husband and is included in the marriage contract, and that such ownership does not transfer to her father or husband. The concept of Mahr in Islam is neither an actual or symbolic price for the woman, as was the case in certain cultures, but rather it is a gift symbolising love and affection.

The Qur’an states:

“They are garments for you, while you are garments for them.”(Qur’an, Al-Baqarah 2:187)

Prophet Muhammad said:

“The best of you, is the best to his family and I am the best among you to my family.”

“The most perfect believers are the best in conduct and best of you are those who are best to their wives.” (Ibn Hanbal no 7396)

Man in Islam is fully responsible for the maintenance of his wife, his children and some cases of his needy relatives especially females. This responsibility is neither waved or reduced because of his wife’s wealth, or because of her access to any personal income gained from work, rent, profit or any legal means.

Woman, on the other hand, is far more secure financially and far less burdened with any claims on her possessions. Her possessions before marriage do not transfer to her husband and she even keeps her maiden name. She has no obligation to spend on her family out of her wealth.

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Role as a Mother

Apart from her role as a wife, the Muslim woman has a very important role as a mother. The status and value attached to parents in the Muslim world is very high.

The Qur’an says :

“Your Lord has decreed that you should worship none but Him, and show kindness to your parents, whether one or both of them attain old age, while they are still with you. Never say to them ‘shame’ nor scold either of them, Speak to them in a generous fashion. Protect them carefully and say: Lord show them mercy, just as they cared for me as a little child.”
(Qur’an, Al-Isra 17:23-24)

Allah also says:

“We have enjoined man to respect his parents: His mother bears him with fainting after fainting, While his weaning takes two years. Thank Me as well as your parents; Towards me lies the goal.”(Qur’an, Luqman 31:14)

The Muslim mother has consequently a great feeling of security about the type of care and consideration that she can expect from her children when she reaches old age. As the verse of the Qur’an quoted above indicates, thankfulness to parents is linked with thankfulness to God.

A man came to the Prophet asking:

“Messenger of God, who is the most deserving of good care from me?”
The Prophet replied: “Your mother”, The man asked again: “Who else?”
The Prophet replied: “Your mother”, The man said: “Who else?”
The Prophet replied: “Your mother, then your father, then your nearest relatives in order.” (Related by Bukhari)

In another narration, The Prophet has said:

“Paradise lies at the feet of your mother.” (Related by Bukhari)

Thus, emphasizing that Paradise awaits those who cherish and respect their mothers.

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Summing Up

In Islam, the relationship between men and women is to compliment each other and not to compete against one another. In conclusion; the following rights have been given to the Muslim women, in the Qur’an some 1400 years ago, without any changes (whilst their “Western” sisters have only recently gained some of the rights listed below.)

Spiritual equality.

Not, responsible for Adam’s sin.

Right to choose husband.

Right to seek divorce.

Right to inheritance.

Exclusive ownership of personal gains and acquired wealth.

Right to education (to any level).

Right to seek employment.

Right to keep maiden name.

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POLYGAMY AND ISLAM

Islam is a practical way of life, answering all aspects of human civilisation. Islam allows, restricted polygamy – marriage to more than one woman. The normal marriage practice is monogamy – one man married to one woman – polygamy is the exception.

Muslim men are allowed to marry more than one woman, if, and only if, they are prepared and capable of dealing equally and justly between each of them.

The fact is emphasized in the Qur’an :

“To orphans restore their property (when they reach their age), nor substitute (your) worthless things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by mixing it up) with your own. For this is indeed a great sin.
If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two, or three or four; but if you feel that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or that your right hands possess. That will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.(Qur’an, An-Nisa 4:2-3)

As Islam prohibits adultery and the keeping of mistresses, a man may take more than one wife ONLY if he is able to be just to both wives, as opposed to the western society which allows a man to have as many mistresses as he wants without providing them with any rights or security.

Some of the reasons why a man may choose to take a second wife are as follows:

When a wife is barren and cannot bear children, but they wish for children, but they wish for children. It is better for the man to have a second wife rather than divorce the first, but the first wife may divorce the man.

If the wife is chronically ill and she is unable to carry out her normal marital and household duties, then the husband may marry an additional wife and so help restore the family balance.

Polygamy may be an answer to a society which has more women than men. This happens especially after the problem of war.

But, we remind readers that a man does not have to have a reason to take a second wife, but he must consider the effect that it will have on the other wife and his existing family. In other words if he takes another wife, it must not be at the sacrifice of the first. So it is something that he has to think about seriously. He must also realise in the end he is responsible to Allah for all his actions.

An overwhelming majority of Muslims are monogamous – they have only one wife. The fact that only a minority of Muslims have more than one wife has become a centre of propaganda against Islamic teachings and undoubtedly such emphasis on a very minor issue can give a misleading impression of the true Islamic way of living.

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THE PROHIBITED IN ISLAM

Halal and Haram

The Prohibition of Things is Due to Their Impurity and Harmfulness:

It is the right of Allah, the One Who created the universe and bestowed innumerable favours upon mankind, to legalise or prohibit as He deems proper.

In Islam things are prohibited only because they are impure or harmful. If something is entirely harmful it is ‘haram’, and if it is entirely beneficial it is ‘halal’; if the harm of it outweighs its benefit it is haram, while if its benefit outweighs its harm it is halal. This principle is explained in the Qur’an in relation to wine and gambling:

“They ask you concerning wine and gambling. Say (O Prophet); in them is great sin and some benefit for human beings, but the sin is Greater than the benefit…”(Qur’an, Al-Baqarah 2:219)

Another Islamic principal is that if something is prohibited, anything which leads to it is likewise prohibited. By this means Islam intends to block all avenues leading to what is haram. For example Islam has prohibited adultery, it has also prohibited anything which leads to it or makes it attractive such as seductive clothing, private meetings and casual meetings between men and women, the depiction of nudity, pornographic literature, obscene songs, and so on.

One of the beauties of Islam is that it has prohibited only such things as are unnecessary and dispensable, while providing alternatives which are better and which give greater ease and comfort to human beings.

Allah has prohibited seeking omens by drawing lots but has provided the alternative of istikhara, which is to ask guidance from Him in making a choice between two conflicting decisions. He has prohibited usury but has encouraged profitable trade. He has prohibited gambling but has encouraged healthy forms of competition such as sport.

He has prohibited adultery, fornication, and homosexuality but has encouraged lawful marriage.

He has prohibited intoxicating drinks in order that they may enjoy other delicious drinks which are beneficial for the body and mind.

And He has prohibited unclean food but provides alternative wholesome food.

“O you who believe! Do not make unlawful the good things which God has made lawful for you. But commit no excess: for God does not Love those given to excess.”(Qur’an, Al-Maidah 5:90)

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Pork

Forbidden by Allah’s Word in the Qur’an

“Forbidden to you (for food), are; dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which has been invoked, the name of other than God…”
(Qur’an, Al-Maidah 5:4)

Forbidden in the Bible:

“And the swine,…he is unclean to you. Of the flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.” (Leviticus 11:7-8)
The same command is repeated in Deuteronomy 14:8 and similarly in Matthew 5:17-19.

From the medical point of view:

Herbivorous animals such as cattle and sheep eat of clean fresh fodder and cereals, whereas the pig will eat waste animal products including offal and carrion and even human flesh.

Worms and Parasites: As transferred from pig to man:- Trichina Worms, Tapeworms (taenia Solium), Roundworms, Hookworms, Faciolopsis Buski, Paragonimius, Clonorchis Sinosis, Erysipelothrix Rhusiophathiae. The above worms and parasites are responsible for many diseases, many of them are contagious, others are fatal.

These include Anaemia, inflammation of the bowels, Pneumonia and serious diseases of the liver and chest region.

Uric Acid: Uric Acid (known cause of heart disease and rheumatism) has an approximately 20% extraction rate from the kidneys of the pig. Herbivorous animals have an 80% extraction rate. Hence, relative to other animals, a high concentration of Uric Acid is found in Pork.

Fatty Acids: Pork Fat is very harmful to the body, being difficult to digest and efficiently convert to energy. Pork Fat is absorbed by the body and consequently accumulates in human tissue as animal fat. Herbivorous animal fat is broken down by the body within the bloodstream resynthesising the fat into a readily available energy source.

Note: Pork is not the only meat which is prohibited, but the flesh of all carnivorous animals is not allowed to be eaten, while that of herbivorous animals is permitted.

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Halal Meat

The conditions of Islamic slaughtering:

The declaration of the Name of God before killing:

“Then eat of that over which the Name of Allah has been mentioned, if you believe in His Signs.”
(Qur’an, Al-Anam 6:118)

“And do not eat of that over which the name of Allah has not been mentioned, for truly that is impiety…”
(Qur’an, Al-Anam 6:121)

The wisdom of the Islamic method of slaughtering is to take the animals life in the quickest and least painful way; the requirements of using a sharp instrument and of cutting the throat relate to this end.

By using a sharp knife and cutting the windpipe, the gullet, and the two jugular veins without severing the spine, the animal will be subject to the least amount of pain. This method allows the animal’s heart to pump out blood; whilst the brain is supplied with blood, instructing the heart to beat.

Health-wise, such a method is justified as it allows the minimum amount of blood to remain in the flesh. In this way the high level of Uric Acid found in the bloodstream is kept to a minimum. It is a known medical fact that Uric Acid is responsible for most cases of heart disease and rheumatism.

The Islamic method of slaughter is ordered by God and it is obvious from a medical point of view that such a way is most beneficial for the health of humans.

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CHRIST IN ISLAM

Jesus in the Qur’an

The acceptance of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) by Muslims is a fundamental article of faith in Islam, and that a Muslim can never think of Jesus (peace be upon him) in any derogatory terms. A Muslim is happily denied the liberty of defaming Jesus (peace be upon him) or any other prophet of God.

A Muslim’s concept of God, religion, prophethood, revelation and humanity makes him accept Jesus (peace be upon him) not only as an historical fact but also as one of the most distinguished apostles of God.

Islamic beliefs depict Jesus (peace be upon him) in a most respectable manner and place him as high in status as God himself has placed him.

The Muslim believes that the greatness of Jesus (peace be upon him) arises from the fact that he was chosen by God and honoured with His word; that he was entrusted with the revelations of God and commissioned to teach His message; that he fought hypocrisy and blasphemy; that he was distinguished in the beginning at the time of his birth and in the end at the time of ascension; and that he was a sign to the people and a mercy from God.

In fact, Mary is the only woman mentioned in the Qur’an by name.

Jesus (peace be upon him) in the Qur’an:

“Behold! the angels said: O Mary! God gives glad tidings of a Word from Him; his name will be Christ Jesus. The son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to God.”
(Qur’an, Al-‘Imran 3:45)

“She said: O My Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me? He said: Even so; God creates what He wills when He has decreed a plan, He but says to it, ‘Be’ and it is!”
“And God will teach him The Book of Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel!(Qur’an, Al-‘Imran 3:47-48)

“The similitude of Jesus before God is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, ‘Be’, and he was.”(Qur’an, Al-‘Imran 3:59)

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The Qur’an Re-establishes the Second Coming of Jesus

As has been revealed in the Qur’an:

Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) will be returning to this world before the day of Resurrection to become a leader of the Muslim Nation:

“And (Jesus) shall be a sign (for the coming of) The Hour of (Judgement): therefore have no doubt about the (Hour), but follow ye Me; this is a straight way.”

“Let not the Evil One hinder you; for he is to you a plain enemy.”

“And when Jesus came to you with clear signs he said: I have come to you with Wisdom and in Order to make clear to you some of the points in which you differ; therefore fear God and obey me.”

“For God, He is my Lord and your Lord: so worship Him. This is a straight way.”

(Qur’an, Az-Zukhruf 43:61-64)

Reproduced below are Verses 119 to 121 Surah Maidah, Chapter 5, depicting the scene of Judgement Day, when God will question Jesus (peace be upon him) regarding the misdirected zeal of his supposed followers in worshipping him and his mother: and his response:

“And behold! God will say: O Jesus the son of Mary! Did you say unto men, worship me and my mother as Gods in derogation of God? He will say: Glory to Thee! Never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing. You would indeed have known it. You know what is in my heart, though I know not what is in thine. For You know in full all that is hidden.”

“Never said I to them anything except what You did command me to say; worship God, my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them whilst I dwelled amongst them; when you did take me up. You were the Watcher over them, and You are a witness to all things.”

“If You do punish them, They are Your servants: If You forgive them, You are the Exalted in power. The wise.”

(Qur’an, Al-Maidah 5:119-121)

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Prophet Muhammad in the Old and New Testaments

The Old Testament:

Isaiah XXI:7:
Translation:

“He saw two riders one of them was a rider upon an ass and the other a rider upon a camel, he harkened diligently with much heed.”
Isaiah saw in a vision two riders, one of them was a rider upon an ass and the other a rider upon a camel. In our opinion the above passage is the faithful rendering of the original Hebrew. In the English Bible, however, it is thus translated: “He saw a chariot of asses and a chariot of camels, etc”.

The Vulgate has it as follows: “He saw a chariot of two horsemen, a rider upon an ass and a rider upon a camel, etc”.

There can be no doubt that of the two riders represented by the Prophet Isaiah, as being the restorers of the true worship of the Godhead, the rider upon the ass is Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), because he so made his entry into Jerusalem, and that by the rider of the camel is meant by the prophet of Arabia, of which country the camel is characteristic of conveyance.

Soloman 5:16:

Hikko Mamittadim Vilullo Mahamadim Zehdudi Vezem Raa. Benote Yapus Halam.
The English translation thereof is as follows:

“His mouth is most sweet; yea, he is Muhammad altogether lovely. This is my beloved and this is my friend. O daughter of Jerusalem.”
King Soloman has named the Prophet: that was to come “Muhammadin”. In Hebrew the suffix ‘la’ is used to express respect as the term ‘Eloha’ which means ‘God’ is mentioned in Bible as “Elohim”. It is thus clear that Soloman has quite distinctly mentioned the name of the Prophet Mohammed that was to come as “Muhammad”. But an error is made, intentionally, or unintentionally, by translation of the proper name as “Altogether Lovely”. Even the translation ‘Altogether Lovely’ is a befitting attribute of the Prophet , as mentioned in the words of Hadith.

Deuteronomy 18:15:

“The Lord thy God will raise unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto Me; unto him ye shall hearken”.
The New Testament:

The Gospel of Barnabas:
Introduction to Barnabas.

This part consists of the prophecies and glad tidings about the advent of the Last Prophet Muhammad as foretold in the Gospel of Barnabas, which was accepted as a Canonical Gospel in the Churches of Alexandria till 325 AD In 383 AD the Pope acquired a copy of the Gospel which was put in his private library.

When Pope Sixtos IX (1565-1590) became Pope, his friend Fra Marino saw the Gospel of Barnabas there. He translated it in the Italian language, his mother tongue.

The Italian manuscript was discovered by J F Cramer Counsellor to the King of Prussia who in 1713 presented it to the Prince Eugene of Savoy. In 1738 along with the library of the Prince it found its way into Hofbiblyothex in Vienna. The manuscript in the Imperial Library of Vienna is still there. This was translated into English by Mr and Mrs Ragg in Oxford in 1907 and printed in Oxford, at the Clarendon Press.

Barnabas was a Jew born in Cyprus. His name was Joses and due to his piety and devotion, he was given the title of Barnabas by other apostles.

In the Acts of the Apostles, Barnabas is mentioned as follows:

“And Joses, who by the Apostles was surnamed Barnabas, which is being interpreted (the son of Consolation), a Levite and of the country of Cyprus.”
Barnabas understood the teachings of Christ better due to his close association with Jesus (peace be upon him).

Advent of Prophet Muhammad as foretold by Jesus Christ (peace be upon him):

Then said the priest, “How shall the Comforter be called and what sign shall reveal his coming?” Jesus (peace be upon him) answered, “The name of the Comforter is Admirable for God have him the name when He created his soul and placed it in celestial splendour. God said ‘Await Muhammad, for thy sake I will create Paradise, the World and a great multitude of creatures. Whereof I make thee a present, in so much that whoso shall bless thee shall be blessed, and whoso shall curse thee shall be accursed. When I shall send thee unto the world, I shall send thee as my Messenger of Salvation and thy word shall be true. In so much that Heaven and Earth shall fail, but thy faith shall never fail. Muhammad is his blessed name.’ ” Then the crowd lifted up their voice saying, “O God, send us Thy Messenger! O Muhammad, come quickly for the salvation of the world.”

“I therefore say unto you that the Messenger of God is a splendour that shall give gladness to nearly all that God hath made, for he is adorned with the spirit of understanding and counsel, the spirit of wisdom and might, the spirit of fear and love, the spirit of prudence and temperance; he is adorned with the spirit of charity and mercy, the spirit of justice and piety, the spirit of gentleness and patience, which he had received from God three times more than he had given to all his creatures. O blessed time, when he shall come to the world. Believe me that I have seen him and have done him reverence, even as every prophet hath seen him; seeing that of his spirit God giveth to them prophecy. And when I saw him, my soul was filled with consolation saying, ‘O Muhammad, God be with thee and may He make me worthy to untie thy shoelace, for obtaining this I shall be a great prophet and holy one of God’ “.

Conclusion:

This now is a fascinating revelation of the private teachings not yet divulged to the masses. The purity of the character of Jesus (peace be upon him) gives boundless charm to the magnificence of a God-given wisdom unto Christ (peace be upon him).

The sacrifice of Ishmael together with the further evidence of the prophecy of Christ (peace be upon him) has been hidden behind a ‘veil’ – a veil that is intermingled with strange interpretations of the present day. This remains as a plain and simple truth without the ‘touch of allegory’. It is not susceptible to several interpretations. It give the heretofore veiled incidents of the life of Christ (peace be upon him). The untold secrets now remain for the public gaze.

It is for any challenger of facts to disprove that these amazing documents of ‘Barnabas’ are not in the Imperial Library in Vienna. The roots for the liberty of our soul planted in the heart of the earth by Saint Barnabas, is that he instinctively dispensed the knowledge gained to the disciples to convey and carry throughout the ages.

During the early ministry of Christ (peace be upon him) he sought, trained and prepared twelve disciples, amongst whom was Barnabas, to be spiritually worthy, morally and ethically qualified, to perpetuate the knowledge that Christ Jesus (peace be upon him) brought to earth, The exclusion of these secrets during the Christian Era is a demonstration of a knowledge, which could become the most potent and powerful influences for the health and happiness of the nations. It has in the seed of the gradual elimination of the national, international war and strife, in an attempt to save humanity from error and sin – an attempt that is the mother of the improvement of mankind.

John 16:12-13:
“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. How be it when he, the spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak and he will show you things to come.”

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Biblical Verses Testify that Jesus is Not God

“Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonder and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you as ye yourselves also know.” (Acts 21:22)

“And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, see thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have testimony of Jesus (peace be upon him): Worship God.” (Revelations 19:10)

“For have I not spoken of myself, but the Father which sent me. He gave a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.” (John 12: 29)

“I can of my own self do nothing – as I hear I judge. And my judgement is just, because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which has sent me. If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.” (John 5: 20-31)

“…..for my Father is greater than I.” (John 14: 28)

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, the servant is no greater than his Lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.” (John 13:16)

Jesus (peace be upon him) saith unto her (Mary Magdalene) … I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and your God.” (John 20:17)

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man. No, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the son, but the Father.” (Mark 13: 32)

“But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard from God.” (John 8:40)

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THE QUR’AN SPEAKS

Jesus is Not God

And behold! God will say: O Jesus son of Mary! Did’st thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as Gods in derogation of God?

“He (Jesus) will say:

“Glory to Thee! Never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, you would have indeed known it. You know what is In my heart, though I know not what is in Thine. For You know in full all that is hidden. Never said I to them anything except what You did command me To say; Worship God, my Lord and your Lord…”(Qur’an, Al-Maidah 5:116-117)

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Muhammad is Not God

“Say (O Muhammad) to the people: I am but a man like you: It is revealed to me by inspiration, that your God is one God: so stand true to Him, and ask for His forgiveness and woe to those who join Gods with God.”
(Qur’an, Fussilat 41:6)

Note: Some people maintain that Muslims worship Muhammad , instead of God, and call themselves “Muhammadans.”

The above verse gives answer to such an allegation as Muhammad never claimed himself to be God.

He was a Prophet, like any other Messenger of God. The word “Muhammadanism” as applied to the Islamic Religion is a misnomer.

Islam means submission to the will of God, and its followers are called Muslims.

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IS THE QUR’AN THE WORD OF GOD?

The Authenticity of the Qur’an

Dr. Maurice Bucaille:

Maurice Bucaille (Professor of Surgery, France) in his book, The Bible, the Qur’an and Science mentions the following (quoting page 120):

“What initially strikes the reader confronted for the first time with a text (The Qur’an) of this kind is the sheer abundance of subjects discussed; The Creation, Astronomy, the Explanation of Certain Matters concerning the Earth, the Animal and Vegetable Kingdoms and Human Reproduction.

Whereas monumental errors are to be found in the Bible, I could not find a single error in the Qur’an. I had to stop and ask myself; if a man was the author of the Qur’an, how could he have written facts in the seventh century AD, that today are shown to be in keeping with modern scientific knowledge?

There was absolutely no doubt about it, the text of the Qur’an we have today is most definitely a text of the period, if I may be allowed to put it in these terms. What human explanation can there be for this observation? In my opinion there is no explanation; there is no special reason why an inhabitant of the Arabian Peninsula should, at a time when King Dagobert was reigning in France (629-639 AD) have had scientific knowledge on certain subjects that was ten centuries ahead of our own.”

Dr. Jacques Cousteau:

Captain Jacques Cousteau, an eminent French Research Professor embraces Islam as a result of reading in the Qur’an verses which 1400 years ago were related to the result of his recent research work. That is, there are phenomenal barriers at connections of certain oceans, and that the waters of one sea do not mix with that of the other.

The Qur’an clearly states the above fact:

“He has let free the two bodies of flowing water, meeting together:Between them is a barrier which they do not transgress.(Qur’an, Ar-Rahman 55:19-20)

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Scientific Discoveries Conform with Qur’anic Verses

Dr Keith Moore:

Professor Keith Moore (Anatomy, University of Toronto, Canada) describes the stages of human development, in his book The Developing Human, clinically Oriented Embryology:

“Growth of science was slow during the medieval period and a few high points of embryological investigation undertaken during this age are known to us. It is cited in the Qur’an, the Holy Book of the Muslims, that human beings are produced from a mixture of secretions from the male and the female.

Several references are made to the creation of a human being from a sperm drop, and it is also suggested that the resulting organism settles in the womb like a seed, six days after its beginning. The human blastocyst begins to implant about six days after fertilisation.

The Qur’an also states that the sperm drop develops “into a congealed clot of blood”. An implanted blastocyst or a spontaneously aborted conceptus would resemble a blood clot. Reference is also made to the leech-like appearance of the embryo. The embryo is not unlike a leech, or a bloodsucker, in appearance.”

“The embryo is also said to resemble ‘a chewed piece of substance’ like gum or wood. The somites do in fact resemble the teethmarks in a chewed substance.”

“The developing embryo was considered to become human at 40-42 days and to no longer resemble an animal embryo at this stage. The human embryo begins to acquire human characteristics at this stage.

“The Qur’an also states that the embryo develops between ‘three veils of darkness’. This probably refers to:

the maternal anterior abdominal wall,

the uterine wall, and

the aminiochorionic membrane.
Space does not permit discussion of several other interesting references to human prenatal development which appear in the Qur’an.” (The Developing Human, Dr KL Moore, M.Sc, Ph.D, FIAC, FRSM)

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Sex Determining Factor in the Qur’an and Science

Chromosomes X and Y:

Many theories have been put forward to explain how the sex of a child is determined. Only recently when techniques for examining human sex cells were developed did scientists come to basically understand the sex determining factor in human reproduction.

The human female has 46 chromosomes in the nucleus of each cell, in the form of 23 matched pairs. Whereas the human male has 46 chromosomes, but only 22 pairs are matched; the chromosomes of one pair do not match exactly. One is the same size as those of the twenty third pair in a female, but the other is smaller. The larger is known as the (X) chromosome and the smaller is the (Y) chromosome. Thus, a woman has two (X) chromosomes in each cell, and a man one (X) and one (Y) chromosome.

During the reproductive process, when ovum (female sex cells) are formed, each cell contains 22 chromosomes and one (X) chromosome. However, when sperm (male sex cells) are formed, one half of the sperm will contain 22 chromosomes and one (X) chromosome whilst the other half will contain 22 chromosomes and one (Y) chromosome.

During the fertilisation process if an egg is fertilised by a sperm cell being a (X) chromosome, a female offspring will result. If an egg is fertilised by a sperm bearing a (Y) chromosome, then the resulting offspring would be male. Therefore, the sperm is a sex determining factor.

The following fourteen hundred year old verses clearly testify that the sperm cell is the sex determining factor in human reproduction:

“That He did create in pair, male and female; from a seed when lodged (in its place).”(Qur’an, An-Najm 53:45-46)

“And God created you from dust, then from a sperm-drop, then He made you in pairs (the male and the female).”(Qur’an, Fatir 35:11)

“We created you from mixtures of germinal drop…”(Qur’an, Al-Insan 76:2)

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Human Development in the Qur’an

Dr. Maurice Bucaille:

“The Qur’anic description of certain stages in the development of embryo corresponds exactly to what we today know about it, and the Qur’an does not contain a single statement that is open to criticism from modern science.

The implantation of the egg in the uterus (womb) is the result of the development of…formations (which) make the egg literally cling to the uterus. This is a discovery of modern times.”

The act of clinging is described five different times in the Qur’an, of which two are shown below:

“Read, in the name of your Lord and Cherisher, who fashioned; who fashioned man from something which clings.”(Qur’an, Al-Alaq 96:1-2)

“”Was (man) not a small quantity of sperm which has been poured out? Then did he become something which clings; then God fashioned him in due proportion.”(Qur’an, Al-Qiyamah 75:37-38)

“The Qur’an informs us that the embryo then passes through the stage of ‘chewed flesh’, then osseous tissue appears and is clad in flesh.”

“…We fashioned…into something which clings…into a lump of flesh in proportion and out of proportion…”
(Qur’an, Al-Hajj 22:5)

“We fashioned the thing which clings into a chewed lump of flesh and We fashioned the chewed flesh into bones, and We clothed the bones with intact flesh…”(Qur’an, Al-Mu’minun 23:14)

“All statements in the Qur’an must be compared with today’s firmly established concepts. Throughout the Middle Ages, unfounded myths and speculations were at the origin of the most diversified doctrines; they persisted for several centuries after this period. It was in fact, only during the nineteenth century that people had a slightly clearer view of this question (human development).”

“More than a thousand years before our time, at a period when whimsical doctrines still prevailed, men had a knowledge of the Qur’an. The statements it contains express in simple terms truths of primordial importance which man has taken centuries to discover.”

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ISLAMIC QUALITIES

Honesty

Perseverance

Tolerance

Firmness

Punctuality

Courage

Generosity

Chastity

Justice

Forgiveness

Faith in One God – Allah

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Ethics of Islam

“Imbue yourself with Divine Attributes” said the Prophet . God’s attributes form the basis of Muslim ethics. Righteousness in Islam encompasses leading a life in complete harmony with the Divine Attributes.

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Faith and Action

Faith without action put simply, is a dead letter. Faith on its own is unstable unless translated into practice. Muslims believe that people are accountable for their own actions in this world. Each must bear their own burden, and nobody can expiate for another’s sin.

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Inherent Purity

Muslims believe in the inherent sinlessness of man’s nature. Gifted with the power of reasoning, the human being is capable of apparently unrestricted progress. They also believe that all people are born as Muslims and that it is one’s parents or guardians whom initiate the diversion from or the cohesion to – the pure faith.

Therefore, the term ‘born Muslims’ refer to those who have remained as Muslims after birth, and for those embracing Islam the term ‘reverts’ is used in lieu of the misnomer ‘converts’.

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The Position of Women in Islam

Man and woman come from the same origin, possess similar souls and have been gifted with equal potential for intellectual, spiritual and moral attainments. Islam places man and woman under like obligations.

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Equality of Mankind and the Brotherhood of Islam

Islam is the religion of the Unity of God and the Equality of Mankind. Lineage, riches and family pride are accidental things, virtue and the service of humanity are matters of real merit. Distinctions of colour, race and creed are non-existent within the bounds of Islam. All humans are of one family. Islam has succeeded in welding the ‘black’ and the ‘white’ into one fraternal whole. The strict rule of brotherhood is set firm with the following saying of the Prophet Muhammad :

“No one of you is a believer in God until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”

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Personal Judgement

Islam encourages the exercise of personal judgement and respects the difference of opinion, which according to the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad , “is a blessing from God.”

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Knowledge

The pursuit of knowledge is a duty in Islam. It is the acquisition of knowledge that makes humans distinct amongst all other creatures.

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Sanctity of Labour

Every form of labour which enables man to live honestly is respected. Idleness is deemed a sin.

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Charity

All the facilities of man have been given to him as a trust from God, for the benefit of his fellow creatures. It is a Muslim’s duty to cater for others needs and such services must be applied without any discrimination. Charity in Islam brings one nearer to God, and has been made an essential part of one’s obligations. Every person who owns property above a certain limit pays a fixed tax; levied on the rich for the benefit of the poor.

“For those who give in Charity, men and women, and loan to God a beautiful loan, it shall be increased manifold (to their credit), and they shall have (besides) a liberal reward.”
(Qur’an, Al-Hadid 57:18)

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Moral Teachings

Islam requires the display of every quality that has been given to man, but makes only one limitation – that it should be displayed on the proper occasion. It requires a person to exhibit modesty as well as boldness and courage, but each at its correct moment. The Qur’an teaches the Muslims to be submissive without losing self-respect; it exhorts them to forgive, but not in a manner as to embolden the culprits; it allows them to exercise all their rights, but not as to violate others. Muslims are also required to preach the faith of Islam, but not by way of compulsion.

“Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; and pardon (all) men; for God loves those who do good.”(Qur’an, Al-‘Imran 3:134)

“For God is with those who are patient, and those who do good.”(Qur’an, Al-Waqi’ah 56:128)

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No Priesthood

Islam is the way of Unity. Any association with God is direct and personal; without the mediation of a priest.

“And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring God to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins, and who can forgive sins except God? And never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done for such, the reward is forgiveness from their Lord…”
(Qur’an, Al-‘Imran 3:135-136)

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Forgiveness

The importance of forgiveness for a Muslim is emphasized with the following verses from the Qur’an:

“Nor can Goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (evil) with what is better; then will he between whom and yourself was hatred become as it were your friend and intimate!”(Qur’an, As-Saff 61:34)

“Tell those who believe, to forgive those who do not look forward to the Days of God.”(Qur’an, Al-Jathiyah 45:14)

“Kind words and the covering of faults (of others) are better than charity followed by injury. Allah is Free of all wants, and He is Most Forbearing.”(Qur’an, Al-Baqarah 2:263)

We would like to thank all the sisters who gave of their time and patience in putting this article together.

We pray to Allah (Most Exalted is He) to bless them and their families (Amen), and we would ask you to make du’a for them also.

Unfortunately, there are too many sisters to mention by name

(www.whyislamtrue.com / 01.05.2011)

Syrian protests go on despite bloody repression

London, (Pal Telegraph)  – The brutal crackdown in the restive Syrian city of Daraa persisted on Saturday, as security personnel surrounded, shelled and took control of a key mosque, residents told CNN.

Soldiers and other security forces blanketed the area around the Omari mosque, the center of anti-government demonstrations in the city, according to two residents and two human rights activists outside Syria who are in touch with protesters there.

In the eastern part of the city, dozens of government tanks fired shells as helicopters flew overhead and soldiers got into position on rooftops, residents said.

Gunfire could be heard in the background as one of the residents spoke to CNN over the telephone.

The brutal crackdown in the restive Syrian city of Daraa persisted on Saturday, as security personnel surrounded, shelled and took control of a key mosque, residents told CNN.

Soldiers and other security forces blanketed the area around the Omari mosque, the center of anti-government demonstrations in the city, according to two residents and two human rights activists outside Syria who are in touch with protesters there.

In the eastern part of the city, dozens of government tanks fired shells as helicopters flew overhead and soldiers got into position on rooftops, residents said.

Gunfire could be heard in the background as one of the residents spoke to CNN over the telephone.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, the Syrian government announced it has a complete plan for reforms in the political, economic, judicial and administrative sectors, Syrian state news agency SANA said.

In Daraa, residents said the city is under a strict curfew. One resident said that men venturing outside were being shot and women and children who left their homes were being escorted back. Another said anyone on the street was being shot.

Bloated bodies remained uncollected in the streets, their relatives afraid to retrieve them, witnesses said, and they complained about a lack of water, power, electricity and food.

CNN has not been granted access into Syria and is unable to independently verify witness accounts.

But CNN has spoken with witnesses, some of whom have also reported what they see via social networking sites and posted homemade videos. Reports also have been compiled by human rights organizations.

The clampdown in Daraa comes a day after 19 people, including four soldiers, were reported killed and more than 50 others wounded in the city, where the nationwide demonstrations originated last month.

Funerals were held Saturday in Homs for four members of the Syrian security forces killed during protests in that city and in Daraa, SANA said.

In Daraa, government forces opened fire on protesters from neighboring villages who tried to enter the city near the Jordanian-Syrian border, according to witnesses who spoke with CNN.

The violence comes amid a bloody crackdown against protesters by the Bashar al-Assad regime in Damascus.

The harsh crackdown has emboldened demonstrators and drawn widespread criticism from across the world, including international entities like the United Nations and human rights groups.

The U.S. government on Friday announced new sanctions against top members and elements of the regime.

(networkedblogs.com / 01.05.2011)