What is Islam ?

 

Islam is not a new religion, but the same truth that God revealed through all His prophets to every people. For a fifth of the world’s population, Islam is both a religion and a complete way of life. Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness, and the majority have nothing to do with the extremely grave events which have come to be associated with their faith.
Who are the Muslims?

The term Muslim world (also known as Ummah) has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization. In a modern geopolitical sense, the term usually refers collectively to Muslim-majority countries, states, districts, or towns.

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Muslims in the world number between 1.2 and 1.6 billion people, or roughly one-fifth of mankind, and are spread across many different nations and ethnic groups.

Countries with the largest Muslim populations (2009)

With the exception of India, Ethiopia, China and Russia the majority of the population in the following countries are Muslim.

Many Muslims not only live in, but also have an official status in the following regions:

The countries of Southwest Asia, and many in Northern and Northeastern Africa are considered part of the Greater Middle East.
In Chechnya, Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia, Ingushetia, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan in Russia, Muslims are in the majority.
Some definitions would also include the sizable Muslim minorities in:

What do Muslims believe?

Muslims believe in One, Unique, Incomparable God; in the Angels created by Him; in the prophets through whom His revelations were brought to mankind; in the Day of Judgement and individual accountability for actions; in God’s complete authority over human destiny and in life after death. Muslims believe in a chain of prophets starting with Adam and including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Elias, Jonah, Yahya (John the Baptist), and Isa (Jesus), peace be upon them. But God’s final message to man, a reconfirmation of the eternal message and a summing-up of all that has gone before was revealed to the Prophet
Muhammad through Gabriel.

How does someone become a Muslim?

Simply by saying ‘there is no god apart from God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God.’ By this declaration the believer announces his or her faith in all God’s messengers, and the scriptures they brought.

What does Islam mean?

The Arabic word ‘Islam’ simply means ‘submission’, and derives from a word meaning ‘peace’. In a religious context it means complete submission to the will of God. ‘Mohammedanism’ is thus a misnomer because it suggests that Muslims worship Muhammad rather than God. ‘Allah’ is the Arabic name for God, which is used by Arab Muslims and Christians alike

Do Islam and Christianity have different origins?

No. Together with Judaism, they go back to the prophet and patriarch Abraham, and their three prophets are directly descended from his sons, Muhammad from the elder son Ishmael, and Moses and Jesus from the younger son Isaac. Abraham established the settlement which today is the city of Makkah, and built the Ka’ba towards which all Muslims turn when they pray.

Are there any other sacred sources?

Yes, the sunna, the practice and example of the Prophet, is the second authority for Muslims. A hadith is a reliably transmitted report of what the Prophet said, did, or approved. Belief in the sunna is part of the Islamic faith.

Examples of the Prophet`s sayings

The Prophet said:

What are the Five Pillars of Islam ?

They are the framework of the Muslim life: faith, prayer, concern for the needy, self-purification, and the pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able.

FAITH

There is no god worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is His messenger. This declaration of faith is called the Shahada, a simple formula which all the faithful pronounce. In Arabic, the first part is la ilaha illa Llah – ‘there is no god except God’; ilaha (god) can refer to anything which we may be tempted to put in place of God – wealth, power, and the like. Then comes illa Llah: ‘except God’, the source of all Creation. The second part of the Shahada is Muhammadun rasulu’Llah: ‘Muhammad is the messenger of God.’ A message of guidance has come through a man like ourselves.

PRAYER

Salat is the name for the obligatory prayers which are performed five times a day, and are a direct link between the worshipper and God. There is no hierarchical authority in Islam, and no priests, so the prayers are led by a learned person who knows the Quran, chosen by the congregation. These five prayers contain verses from the Quran, and are said in Arabic, the language of the Revelation, but personal supplication can be offered in one’s own language.

Prayers are said at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall, and thus determine the rhythm of the entire day. Although it is preferable to worship together in a mosque, a Muslim may pray almost anywhere, such as in fields, offices, factories and universities. Visitors to the Muslim world are struck by the centrality of prayers in daily life.

A translation of the Call to Prayer is:

God is most great. God is most great.
God is most great. God is most great.
I testify that there is no god except God.
I testify that there is no god except God.
I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God.
I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God.
Come to prayer! Come to prayer!
Come to success (in this life and the Hereafter)!
Come to success!
God is most great. God is most great.
There is no god except God.

THE ZAKAT

One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word zakat means both ‘purification’ and ‘growth’. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth.

Each Muslim calculates his or her own zakat individually. For most purposes this involves the payment each year of two and a half percent of one’s capital.

A pious person may also give as much as he or she pleases as sadaqa, and does so preferably in secret. Although this word can be translated as ‘voluntary charity’ it has a wider meaning. The Prophet said ‘even meeting your brother with a cheerful face is charity.’

The Prophet said: ‘Charity is a necessity for every Muslim. ‘ He was asked: ‘What if a person has nothing?’ The Prophet replied: ‘He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give something out of such earnings in charity.’ The Companions asked: ‘What if he is not able to work?’ The Prophet said: ‘He should help poor and needy persons.’ The Companions further asked ‘What if he cannot do even that?’ The Prophet said ‘He should urge others to do good.’ The Companions said ‘What if he lacks that also?’ The Prophet said ‘He should check himself from doing evil. That is also charity.’

THE FAST

Every year in the month of Ramadan, all Muslims fast from first light until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations. Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are pregnant or nursing are permitted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year. If they are physically unable to do this, they must feed a needy person for every day missed. Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayer) from puberty, although many start earlier.

THE HAJJ PILGRIMAGE TO MECCA AND MEDINA
What is the Ka`ba?

The Ka`ba is the place of worship which God commanded Abraham and Ishmael to build over four thousand years ago. The building was constructed of stone on what many believe was the original site of a sanctuary established by Adam. God commanded Abraham to summon all mankind to visit this place, and when pilgrims go there today they say ‘At Thy service, O Lord’, in response to Abraham’s summons.
(alhajsharif.blogspot.com / 28.07.2011)

Libyan rebel commander assassinated, rebels say

Gen. Abdul Fatah Younis, the commander of Libyan rebel forces fighting to oust longtime strongman Moammar Gadhafi, was assassinated in Benghazi on Thursday, rebel leaders said.

Younis, a former commander of Libyan forces, defected to the Benghazi-based rebel movement after it arose in February. Two other senior officers were killed with him, the National Transitional Council announced.

(news.blogs.cnn.com / 28.07.2011)

UN-run children’s camp in Gaza raided

Local authorities in Hamas-governed Palestinian enclave urged to investigate attack by masked men.

Palestinian children attending a UNRWA summer camp are trying to set a  number of world records

Masked men have attacked and vandalised a UN facility being used to stage summer camps for children in the Gaza Strip, the American Free Press news agency says.

The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) condemned Thursday’s incident, characterising it as “an attack on the children of Gaza as much as on the United Nations”.

Chris Gunness, a UNRWA pokesman, said: “The attackers damaged a large billboard, burnt a UN flag and torched part of the stage. None of the UN security personnel at the venue were harmed.”

The attack came a day before Palestinian children attending UNRWA camps were to attempt to set a world record for the largest number of children flying kites at one location.

Nevertheless, Gunness said the record attempt would go on as planned and urged local authorities to investigate the incident. Gaza is governed by the Palestinian group Hamas.

The camp was attacked twice before, when masked men with guns set fire to facilities and equipment last year. Those attacks were blamed on religious extremists opposed to boys and girls playing together.

UNRWA’s Summer Games programme hosts roughly 250,000 children in the Gaza Strip during six weeks of summer holidays.

Throughout the programme, children have been attempting to set world records – including dribbling footballs and the world’s largest handpainting.

On Thursday, 15,000 children were to attempt to break China’s record of 10,465 children flying kites.

(english.aljazeera.net / 28.07.2011)

 

Germany: Muslim leaders call gov’t to stamp out anti-Islamic sentiment

Top Muslim leaders in Germany are calling on the federal government to take immediate action to stamp out growing anti-Islamic sentiment in the wake of the Norway massacre.

The chairman of the Turkish Community in Germany, Kenan Kolat, called on Tuesday for Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, to convene a “prevention conference on the theme of Islamophobia.”

There needed to be a show of strength against right-wing extremism and xenophobia, he said. Kolat added that a ban on the far-right National Democratic Party was also needed, though this would not solve the problem in itself.

(islamineurope.blogspot.com / 28.07.2011)

Occupation of South Lebanon

Background, Documents, Articles, Photos & Caricatures


by Omayya Joha

  Background

For many years, the Israeli occupation of South Lebanon had been viewed in the context of the security of the Zionist entity’s northern border. This claim, which was adopted by Israel’s allies and mimicked by most of the world media channels, illustrates the magnitude of the Zionists influence in shaping the world’s opinion regarding the struggle in the Middle East in general and particularly in Lebanon.

The Zionists interests in Lebanon date back to the beginning of their colonization project in late 19th century. In the process of drawing the maps of their alleged entity, the Zionists aimed at a northern border that runs along the Litani river in Lebanon. (Read more about this!)

It comes as no surprise, thus, that the first stage of their occupation of the South, in March 1978, was named “The Litani Operation.”

The Litani river is one of the few major rivers in the middle east that runs entirely within one country. It’s 100% Lebanese. Yet, the Lebanese governments, for more than three decades, failed to find an international organization that agreed on financing the utilization of the river for irrigation and power generation. Directly and indirectly, the Zionists sabotaged the development of the “Litani Project” only because their eyes were never off its water. (Read “Water Issues in the Arab-Israeli Conflict“)

Furthermore, turning Lebanon into a commercial hub and market for the Israeli products has also been one of the most sought after Zionists goals (“The Real Israeli Interest in Lebanon” by Israel Shahak)

And now, contrary to its claim that it had withdrawn its occupying army from the South, Israel still occupies many parts of the Lebanese territories. One of these areas includes part of the Wazzani river, a small river that runs along the border, from which the Zionists are openly pumping the water toward their colonies south of the border. Other Lebanese areas still occupied by the Israelis are the Shebaa Farms, in which they have planned to build a settlement for the Ethiopian Jews, called Falasha Moro.

While Israel admits that the Shebaa Farms had been “stolen/captured” by force since 1967, it argues that they belong to Syria. Syrian government informed the United Nations on many occasions that these farms are Lebanese. Yet, the “New World Order”, instead of ordering the thief to surrender what it admits it stole, blatantly supports the theft! (Arabic – “Occupied Shebaa Farms between international laws and politics“)

Moreover, the Zionists, throughout their occupation, had kidnapped 19 Lebanese citizens, transferred them to prisons inside the Zionist entity, tortured them, and kept them as hostages in violation to all international laws. Some of those hostages have been in detention for more than 15 years. (Read an Israeli opinion)

For the sake of our people’s freedom, we will do everything we could. We Promise!

It is utter naivety to expect that, even if the Israeli occupation is completed tomorrow and our prisoners are back to their families, the strategic threat that this pariah state imposes on Lebanon, as well as on the entire Arab World, no longer exists. After more than 30,000 dead, 120,000 injured and disabled, a destruction that needs generations to overcome and rebuild, and over half a million Lebanese who permanently immigrated due to this occupation (more than 42,000 from Bint Jbeil alone!), are we to lay down the arms and embrace the killers as if nothing happened???

We are not war lovers. Our goals are very simple and common to every man in this world: Freedom, Dignity, Justice, and Peace. For this we will fight, and this what we will get !



  UN Resolutions

Click Here for a list of all the UN Resolutions regarding the Israeli aggression against Lebanon for over 30 years.

  Documents

Disclaimer: The data, information, analysis, and/or assessments in all these documents represent the authors only. Bintjbeil.com opinions regarding any or all of the issues discussed are not presented here, they are rather expressed elsewhere.



*
  QANA – ANATOMY OF A TRAGEDY  

Did Israel Wittingly Shell A U.N. Base In Qana? A Disturbing Investigation Is Hotly Disputed.

By James Walsh, Time International
20 May 1996


No Israeli–politician, soldier or civilian–publicly doubted that Qana was an error. Still, in the newspaper Ha’aretz, columnist Arieh Shavit expressed the qualms undoubtedly gnawing at many Israelis. “How easily we killed them [in Qana] without shedding a tear,” he wrote. “We did not denounce the crime, did not arrange for a legal clarification, because this time we tried to deny the abominable horror and move on.”….
   
*  Early Zionist Intrest In Lebanon?
A Chapter from “My Enemy´s Enemy”

By Laura Zittrain Eisenberg


Encouraged by the nebulous border in the Galilee region, early Zionist strategists considered Lebanon, especially the southern portion, an arena for potential Zionist settlement
  

*
  Military Balance in the Middle East
Chapters from a 1998 Washington-based CSIS M.E. Military Assessment

By Anthony H. Cordesman


Hezbollah is now winning against Israel. More Israeli soldiers are being killed than Hezbollah fighters; Israeli retaliatory air strikes and raids are aiding Hezbollah by alienating Lebanese….

*
  The Litani River Basin
The Politics and Economics of Water

By H.A. Amery and A.A. Kubursi


Aware of water scarcity and its economic value, the Zionist leaders in Europe actively lobbied the French and the British governments to adjust the northern and northeastern borders of Palestine to include the whole catchments of the Jordan River and a large part of the Litani River
….

*
  Aspect of Shii Thought From the South of Lebanon
Muhammad Jawad Mughnieh, Muhammad Mahdi Shamsddine, and Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah

By Chibli Mallat


The intellectual production of the Lebanese South has deep roots, and it antedates by centuries the current political turmoil
…..

*
  THE BALANCE OF TERROR
War By Other Means In The Contemporary Middle East

By Gary C. Gambill


Such an undertaking has been severely impeded by “terrorism experts” who continue invariably to attribute the prevalence of terrorism in the Middle East to specific ideological, religious, or ethnic groups…..

*
  Falcon’s Against the Jihad
Israeli Airpower and Coercive Diplomacy in Southern Lebanon

By Kenneth C. Schow jr, Lt Col, USAF


With no air force, no navy, and no mobile armor to support them, Palestinian and Lebanese fighters were successful in forcing one of the world’s largest military powers to bend to their will…Technology and size does not guarantee “coercive” victories……

*
  Water Issues In The Arab-Israeli Conflict
Israeli designs on Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Tras-Jordan

By David Paul, Documents Librarian, Harvard College


“The whole economic future of Palestine is dependent upon its water supply for irrigation and for electric power, and the water supply must mainly be derived from the slopes of Mount Hermon, from the headwaters of the Jordan and from the Litany [sic] river [of Lebanon]… ”  Chaim Weizman

*
  Confronting the Bible’s Ethnic Cleansing In Palestine  

   By Rev. Michael Prior, C.M, Professor of Biblical Studies in the University of Surrey, England, and visiting professor in Bethlehem University, Palestine.


Is Yahweh the Great Ethnic-Cleanser?  Did He not instruct the Israelites to rid “their Promised Land” of its indigenous people? Few biblical scholars want to wrestle with these questions.  Rev. Michael Prior needs to wrestle with them.  He’s been to today’s Holy Land and has seen today’s variation on biblically sanctioned genocide….

*
  The Jews of Iraq  
How and why the Jews of Iraq, a 2,600 years old community-600 years before Christianity, and 1,200 years before Islam, was uprooted to settle in the “Promised Land”?

By Naeim Giladi, “born in Iraq, my culture still Iraqi Arabic, my religion Jewish, my citizenship American.”


“I write this article for the same reason I wrote my book: to tell the American people, and especially American Jews, that Jews from Islamic lands did not emigrate willingly to Israel; that, to force them to leave, Jews killed Jews; and that, to buy time to confiscate ever more Arab lands, Jews on numerous occasions rejected genuine peace initiatives from their Arab neighbors. I write about what the first prime minister of Israel called “cruel Zionism.” I write about it because I was part of it.” 
Naeim Giladi

*
  The Laws Against Non-Jews

By Professor Israel Shahak. This is Chapter 5 of “Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years


… When our forces come across civilians during a war or in hot pursuit or in a raid, so long as there is no certainty that those civilians are incapable of harming our forces, then according to the Halakhah they may and even should be killed …

The Real Israeli Interests in Lebanon

By Professor Israel Shahak. Published in the “Washington Report on Middle East Affairs“; July 1996, pgs. 19, 111


… When facing atrocities like those caused by the “Grapes of Wrath” operation, it is more important than ever not to lose sight of the real reasons the atrocities are committed. It means asking ourselves what are the real Israeli interests in Lebanon …

ARAB JEW

By Professor Ella Habiba Shohat.
I am an Arab Jew. Or, more specifically, an Iraqi Israeli woman living, writing and teaching in the U.S.


… For Middle Easterners, the operating distinction had always been “Muslim,” “Jew,” and “Christian,” not Arab versus Jew. The assumption was that “Arabness” referred to a common shared culture and language, albeit with religious differences. …

Holy War

By I. F. Stone. A book critique for “Le conflit israélo-arabe” published in Les Temps Modernes, Paris, June, 1967


… Of all the nonsense which marks the Jewish-Arab quarrel none is more nonsensical than the talk from both sides about the Holy Land as a symbol of peace. No bit of territory on earth has been soaked in the blood of more battles …

*
  Living With The Holocaust:
The Journey of a Child of Holocaust Survivors

By Professor Sara Roy.
Senior research scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University.


… I stood there too, in stunned disbelief. I immediately thought of the stories my parents had told me of how Jews had been treated by the Nazis in the 1930s… What happened to the old man was absolutely equivalent in principle, intent, and impact: to humiliate and dehumanize. In this instance, there was no difference between the German soldier and the Israeli one …

Do not have children if they won’t be healthy!

By Tamara Traubmann. A shocking new study reveals how key figures in the pre-state Zionist establishment proposed castrating the mentally ill, sterilizing the poor and doing everything possible to ensure reproduction only among the `best of people.’


… Castrating the mentally ill, encouraging reproduction among families “numbered among the intelligentsia” and limiting the size of “families of Eastern origin” and “preventing … lives that are lacking in purpose” – these proposals are not from some program of the Third Reich but rather were brought up by key figures in the Zionist establishment of the Land of Israel during the period of the British Mandate….

  Articles

Israeli Troops Kill A Palestinian Ramadan Drummer!
Washington Post, Thursday, 28 November 2002, by John Ward Anderson

An Honourable Marriage
New Internationalist, Issue of June 2002, by Reem Haddad

“They are turning us into animals”
Questions & Answers by Israeli soldiers refusing to serve in the occupied territories 

When Khaled met Niva
Ha’aretz, Friday, 15 February 2002, by Ori Nir

In the Land of Christ, Christianity Is Dying
Grace Halsell, Link, Americans for Middle East Understanding AEMU, 1995

*  Zionism and the Future of Palestine
   Robert McGee

Weapons of the weak
Ha’aretz, Friday, 11 January 2002, by Salman Natoor

Giving birth in the Holy City in spite of shellfire and roadblocks
Independent, 24 December 2001, by Emma Williams

A Gaza Diary
Harper’s Magazine, October 2001 Issue, by Chris Hedges

Vigilantes take up arms, vow to expel ‘Muslim filth’!
USA Today, 4 September 2001, by Jack Kelley

CNN caves in to Israel over its references to illegal settlements!
The Independent, 3 September 2001, by Robert Fisk

Est-il interdit de critiquer Israël ?
Le Monde, August 30, 2001, par Pascal Boniface

L’engrenage fatal
Le Monde, August 30, 2001, par Michèle Manceaux

“Refuseniks” – Draft Resistance Grows in Israel
The Village Voice, Wednesday, August 22, 2001, by Alisa Solomon

Pinning their hopes on Hezbollah
Ha’aretz, Monday, June 11, 2001, by Ori Nir

A Letter from Nelson Mandela to Thomas L. Friedman
   28 March 2001

Can Crybabies Fight a War?
Jerusalem Post , February 18, 2000, By Arieh O’Sullivan

Quest for Justice
Kansas City Jewish Chronicle , November 10, 2000, By Judith Stone

For Israel, Land OR Peace
The Washington Post , November 26, 2000, By Jimmy Carter

Robert Fisk reports from QANA
The Independent , April 19-22, 2000, By Robert Fisk

List of Articles by Gideon Levy
Ha’aretz

(www.bintjbeil.com / 28.07.2011)

Why are the Muslims not united in their fasting?

Why are the Muslims not united in their fasting even though there is only one new moon for Ramadaan? In the past there was the excuse of there being no media or means of communication.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly:

The most likely reason for the differences in the start of the fast from one country to another is the difference in sighting the new moon. Such differences are well known and it makes sense that there are such differences.

Based on this, it is not possible to expect all the Muslims to start fasting at the same time, because this would mean that some of them were starting to fast before the new moon had been sighted and even before it had appeared.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about those who call for the ummah to be united in fasting and for the moon sighting to be based on its sighting in Makkah. He said:

This is impossible from an astronomical point of view, because the sighting of the new moon, as Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said, differs, according to the scientists who are well-versed in this field. Because it differs, then each country should have its own ruling, according to the reports and according to science.

The evidence from reports is the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month”

[al-Baqarah 2:185]

If it so happens that people in a remote region of the world do not see the new moon whereas the people of Makkah do see it, then how can the words of this verse apply to those who have not seen the new moon? The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Fast when you see it and stop fasting when you see it.” (Agreed upon). So if the people of Makkah, for example, see it, then how can we expect the people of Pakistan and countries further east to start fasting, when we know that that the new moon has not yet appeared in their region, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) connected the start of fasting to the sighting of the moon?

The scientific evidence is the correct analogy which we cannot contradict. We know that dawn appears in eastern regions of the earth before it appears in western regions, so if dawn has appeared in eastern regions, do we have to stop eating even though it is still night where we are? The answer is no. If the sun has set in eastern regions but it is still day where we are, is it permissible for us to break our fast? The answer is no. And the new moon is exactly like the sun, except that the timing of the new moon is monthly and the timing of the sun is daily.  The One Who said (interpretation of the meaning):

“and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your Sawm (fast) till the nightfall”

[al-Baqarah 2:187] is also the One Who said (interpretation of the meaning):

“So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month”

[al-Baqarah 2:185]

So the evidence of both the texts and science indicates that we should establish a separate ruling for each place when it comes to starting and ending the fast, and this should be connected to the physical sign which Allaah has described in His Book and which His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) established in his Sunnah, namely the sighting of the moon and the sighting of the sun or dawn.

End quote from Fataawa Arkaan al-Islam, p. 451.

And he said, explaining this analogy and supporting the argument of those who say that there should be different moon sightings:

They say that the monthly timings should be like the daily sightings. Just as different countries vary in the start and end of the fast each day, so too they must differ in the start and end of the month-long fast. The difference in daily timings is well known according to Muslim consensus; those who are in the east start fasting before those who are in the west, and they also break the fast first.

If we accept the differences in sighting with regard to daily timings, then we should also accept it with regard to the month.

No one can say that the verse “and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your Sawm (fast) till the nightfall” and the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) “When the night has come from here and the day has departed from here and the sun has set, then the faster may break his fast” are general in meaning and apply to all the Muslims in every region.

The same applies to the verse “So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month” and the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) “When you see it fast and when you see it stop fasting.”

As you see, this opinion is very strong, and the analogy is sound, the analogy between the monthly timing and the daily timing.

End quote from Fataawa Ramadaan, compiled by Ashraf ‘Abd al-Maqsood, p. 104

The Council of Senior Scholars issued an important statement on this topic, the text of which is as follows:

Firstly: The difference in moon sighting is something which is well known, and there is no difference among the scholars concerning this. Rather the difference of scholarly opinion has to do with whether the difference in moon sighting matters or not.

Secondly: The issue of whether the difference in moon sighting matters or not is a theoretical matter in which there is room for ijtihaad. Even people of great knowledge and piety differed concerning this matter. This is a type of difference which is acceptable, where the one who makes ijtihaad and gets it right will have two rewards, one for his ijtihaad and the other for getting it right, and the one who gets it wrong will be rewarded for his ijtihaad.

The scholars differed concerning this matter and there are two points of view. One is that the difference in moon sighting matters and the other is that it does not matter. Each group quotes evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and sometimes they quote the same text, such as when they both quote the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

“They ask you (O Muhammad) about the new moons. Say: These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage”

[al-Baqarah 2:189]

and the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Fast when you see it and stop fasting when you see it.”

That is because of different understandings of the texts, and different ways in which each group derives evidence from them.

Based on the considerations that the Council has seen and examined, and based on the fact that the difference of opinion on this matter does not have any effect that may lead to undesirable consequences, since this religion appeared fourteen centuries ago and we do not know of any period during which the ummah was united in moon sighting, the members of the Council of Senior Scholars think that matters should be left as they are and that this subject should not be stirred up. Each Islamic state should have the right to choose whichever opinion it wishes, based on the suggestions of its own scholars, because each view has its evidence and proofs.

Thirdly: The Council has studied the issue of proving the new moon by means of calculation, and what has been narrated in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and they have studied the comments of the scholars on this matter. They have decided unanimously that astronomical calculations carry no weight in determining the new moon with regard to Islamic matters, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Fast when you see it and stop fasting when you see it.” And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not fast until you see it, and do not stop fasting until you see it.” And because of other evidence to that effect.

End quote, from Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 10/102.

( www.islamqa.com / 28.07.2011)

Ramadhan Mubarak 2011

Tijd
maandag 1 augustus om 19:00 – 30 augustus om 19:00

Locatie
Global

Gemaakt door:

Meer informatie
Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

The Bismillah Promotions & Event Management Group Europe would like to wish all our past & current clientele a happy & prosperous Ramadhan Mubarak 2011.

The Quran instructs us:-

“Ramadan is the month during which the Quran was revealed, providing guidance for the people, clear teachings, and the statute book. Those of you who witness this month shall fast therein. Those who are ill or traveling may substitute the same number of other days. Allah wishes for you convenience, not hardship, that you may fulfill your obligations, and to glorify Allah for guiding you, and to express your appreciation.” [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:185]

Ramadan :-

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar, is considered as one of the holiest months of the year. It was in 610 A.D. when the prophet Muhammad was said to have received revelations from God that later became Islam’s holy book, the Quran (Koran).

The Quran (2:185) states that it was in the month of Ramadan that the Quran was revealed. In fact, Ramadan commemorates that part, of the Muslim year, when “the Qur’an was sent down as a guidance for the people” and also for the ” judgment between the right and wrong”. Another verse of the Quran (97:1) states that it was revealed “on the night of determination,” which Muslims generally observe on the night of 26-27 Ramadan.

The holy season begins with the sighting of the crescent moon on the evening following the new moon and lasts for 29 or 30 days depending on the lunar cycle. According to the Quran, Muslims must see the New Moon with the naked eye before they can begin their fast. The practice has arisen that two witnesses should testify to this before a qadi (judge), who, if satisfied, communicates the news to the mufti (the interpreter of Muslim law), who orders the beginning of the fast. It has become usual for Middle Eastern Arab countries to accept, with reservations, the verdict of Cairo. Should the New Moon prove to be invisible, then the month Sha’ban, immediately preceding Ramadan, will be reckoned as 30 days in length, and the fast will begin on the day following the last day of this month. Ramadan, the ninth month, is observed throughout the Muslim world as a month of fasting. The end of the fast follows the same procedure. By fasting, Muslims believe they can learn the discipline and self-restraint that Mohammed preached. Thus fasting is taken as a form of worship and a time of empowerment.

Even though from dawn to sunset, Muslims abstain from food, drink(Water) and all sensual pleasures, that doesn’t mean food is entirely out of the picture.Two main meals are taken each day during Ramadan. The souhoor begins each day before dawn and the aftar breaks the fast after sunset. At the sundown each day the fast is broken with the dates and water or the apricot drink. Mostly this is followed by a traditional soup like lentil and a salad like ‘fattoushi’. However, the main meal can be anything. There are no restrictions, olives, cheeses, meats, everything just goes. Every family has its traditional dishes to enjoy. Also sweets are also an important part of Ramadan food. Usually ladies at home prepare the special Ramadan dishes for the evening meal. Many go out to give the women a break. Visits are exchanged for a community get together and feasts within their own faith. But it is not prudent to indulge in eating too much while after the fast. Because the stomach shrinks during this fast. In fact, the fast loses its meaning with an indulgence.

JazakAllah al khair,

Ramazan Abid (NL) The Bismillah Promotions & Event Management Group Europe

Ismail Patel (UK) The Bismillah Promotions & Event Management Group Europe

Egypt’s Islamists and Secularists avoid confrontation and join hands for yet another Friday of protest

Thousands will take to Tahrir one more time on Friday as groups from all shades of the political spectrum, from Islamists to liberals to socialists, find common ground against the current government.

 
 
Tahrir Square

Protesters walk past T-shirts with the word “Egypt”, hung by a street vendor, as people enter Tahrir Square in Cairo July 8, 2011
 
This Friday, 29 July 2011, hundreds of thousands of people will take to streets and squares all across Egypt to participate in one more massive million man march. But this Friday will be markedly different from other Friday mass protests that have taken place since Mubarak fell almost seven months ago.

In the past few months, well known radical youth organisations such as the 6th of April Movement and the Revolution Youth Coalition have called most Friday protests. On and off, two of the main Islamist political forces in the country, the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist organisations, have selectively chosen whether to participate or not in these protests based on their stance towards the set of demands others put forward at different times.

In fact, different political forces that took part in the January uprising seemed to be moving apart since liberal forces split with Islamist forces in March during the debate over the referendum on constitutional amendments, which centered on the role Islam should play in politics in a new Egypt.

Only a week ago, it seemed that the country had become irreversibly polarised between two major political camps over questions of state and religion and positions towards the ruling military council and the cabinets of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf.

On the one hand, some radical youth groups were moving in the direction of losing all trust in Sharaf and the council. For example, families of the martyrs of the January 25 Revolution and thousands of supporters have been occupying Tahrir Square and other squares around the country since 8 July.  

Revolutionaries argued that they had no choice but to occupy Tahrir in order to pressure what they believed to be non-responsive ministers and military generals on a number of issues such as military trials against civilians and the rights of martyrs’ families.

In recent weeks, many revolutionaries seemed to be running out of patience with the government. Some activists were beginning to call for the resignation of Sharaf and others even raised the slogan of ‘Down with the Military Council’.

On the opposite end, many Islamists, in concert with the media, increasingly charged that the Tahrir rebels were pushing the country towards instability and chaos.

Worse yet, Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, the most conservative Islamist political force in Egypt, incited the public against Tahrir by issuing a statement that accused the square protesters of being “communists and secularists who want to hijack political power by formenting strife between the people and the army.”

Just a few days ago, last Saturday, tensions ran very high on all sides. Unknown thugs attacked Tahrir protesters who were peacefully marching on the headquarters of the military council and brutalised 300 people in the central Cairo district of Abbassiya along the aborted march route.

Many Islamists publicly rejoiced that what they called “a violent plot against our army” had been defeated, and seemed to imply that Tahrir troublemakers got what they deserved.

Given this increasingly tense and polarised atmosphere in the country, very few people could have predicted what actually took place just days after the Abbasiya “massacre”.

Yesterday, in a seemingly bizarre and sudden turn of events, major youths organisations, many Salafist groups and the Muslim Brotherhood, groups that were at each other’s throats less than a week ago, have reached an agreement to join forces in Tahrir and elsewhere in Egypt around certain common demands.

These forces reached this agreement not as a result of a lengthy process of discussion in which each one realised that they all share common aims and goals. In fact, both sides seemed to be headed towards physical confrontation in Tahrir on 29 July.

On the one hand, the Salafist Call, one of the largest Islamist groups in the country, had been mobilising for weeks for a million man march to take place in Tahrir on 29 July to oppose the military council’s plans to adopt so-called “supra-constitutional” guidelines on the process of preparing a constitution, and also to defend what it sees as the “Islamic identity of the nation” against those it accused of attempting to steer the country in a secular, liberal direction.

As the day of 29 July approached rapidly, rumours were spreading that some Salafists were not just organising a peaceful march but were actually preparing to mobilise supporters to forcefully end the 20-day old Tahrir sit-in.

Meanwhile, families of the martyrs and their supporters who have been at the centre of the Tahrir sit-in continued to insist that they will not cede the square to anyone until the government meets their demands that officers who shot protesters in the January uprising be prosecuted.

All this changed suddenly in the last few days.

First, revolutionary groups began to realise that their right to use peaceful tactics such as sit-ins and marches were being threatened by the government and counter-revolutionary thugs.

Therefore, many revolutionaries began to formulate a political response to the attack by thugs on peaceful protesters in Abbasiya, ideological attacks in the media on the Tahrir sit-in, as well as the military council’s attempt to smear their own political motivations.

On Monday, the Group of 21, a coalition of 21 radical youth organisations and parties that has played a key role in organising the current Tahrir sit-in, held a press conference to defend its decision to call for a peaceful march on the military council.

In the conference, youth activists from the Revolution Youth Coalition, the National Front for Justice and Democracy as well as Islamic imams who took part in the march placed all blame for violent acts that took place in Abbasiya on thugs and the police. Activists counter-charged that violence could have been averted if it was not for the fact that the military police stood by and watched in silence as hundreds of thugs bombarded protesters with rocks and Molotov cocktails for over two hours.

The same day, the 6 April Movement held its own press conference to clear its name and to refute military council allegations that it receives foreign funding. The movement volunteered itself for investigation by the government, telling the military council, literally, to put up or shut up.

The images of the bloody attack on protesters in Abbasiya brought back to the country memories of the NDP’s bloody attack on Tahrir on 2 February in what became known as the “Battle of the Camel”.

Many supporters of the Tahrir sit-in who were beginning to agree with media propaganda that the sit-in might have gone on too long quickly sympathised with those who were attacked in Abbasiya. Rank and file members in some Islamist groups, such as radical youth in the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist Call, pressured their leaders to declare solidarity with the victims of the Abbassiya attacks and to take a more positive stance towards the Tahrir sit-in in general.

By Tuesday, the Group of 21 had decided to build towards a massive united mobilisation on 29 July to expose and reject what it saw as attempts by the media and the military council to use divide and conquer tactics in order to weaken the revolutionary camp by smearing some revolutionaries or allowing attacks on others.

Here, members of the Group of 21 reached a conclusion that, despite differences on questions of the constitution and so on, it was important that followers of different Islamist organisations and other revolutionary youth groups who agree on the basic democratic and social justice goals of the 25 January Revolution join forces on Friday, 29 July, in Tahrir to send a message of unity to the public.

In fact, as early as Sunday, representatives from the Group of 21 and other forces on the broad left had already started negotiating with representatives of various Islamist movements at the offices of the liberal El-Shorouk daily newspaper to search for common ground and to attempt to co-sponsor a 29 July mobilisation.

As the week went on, certain leaders in the Salafist Call and in the much more pro-military council Muslim Brotherhood started to soften their tone towards the Tahrir sit-in.

By the morning of Wednesday, 27 July, the Group of 21 and representatives of various Islamist political organisations had reached an agreement on unifying their disparate calls for two separate rallies in Tahrir on 29 July into one major call.

More than 25 political parties and coalitions, from Islamist to liberal to socialist, agreed on a unified list of demands for the Friday demonstration.

Incredibly, Ibrahim El-Hodeiby, a liberal Islamist activist who followed the negotiations, told Ahram Online that Islamist groups and the left agreed to drop demands around their own separate views in the controversial debate of constitution or elections first, in order to build a united front.

At a press conference at the leftist El-Badil newspaper in downtown Cairo, representatives of all groups told reporters that they agreed to call this Friday’s mobilisation “The Friday of the People’s Will and United Front,” and settled on five common demands.

Signatories to the statement included the Revolution Youth Coalition, the Popular Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, the Salafist Youth, the Popular Socialist Alliance, the Workers Democratic Party, the Beginning Movement, the Egyptian Social-Democratic Party, the Egyptian Current Party, the Revolutionary Socialists, the Free Islamic Coalition, and, incredibly, Gamaa Islamiya itself.

The five common demands that groups agreed on were: 1) an end to military trials for civilians; 2) justice for the martyrs; 3) swift trials for Mubarak cronies; 4) a minimum wage for workers; and 5) a call on the government to issue a treason law to punish those who corrupted political life in the Mubarak era.

With under a week to go before the trial of former president Mubarak is set to open, millions of Egyptians are now preparing for another mass mobilisation to fight for the revolution’s unfinished goals of democracy and social justice.

However, this time, protesters will do so in a more united way.

This afternoon, in a throwback to the divisive language that dominated the political discourse at the beginning of the week, Deputy Prime Minister Ali El-Selmi in the new government of Sharaf ridiculed those sitting in Tahrir by denying that they were the “real” revolutionaries of 25 January.

However, by the end of the day, El-Selmi could not count on the support of many political figures that would have supported his comments just hours earlier.

Indeed, the Egyptian Front for Peaceful Change and many others who are excited by the prospect of a united front against “divisive tactics” wasted no time in publicly condemning, and even mocking, the deputy prime minister’s comments.

For the time being, revolutionaries of all shades and on both side of the political “aisle” in Egyptian politics have managed to find key common ground in their quest for change.

( english.ahram.org.eg / 28.07.2011)