Valentine Day, Birthdays, and Other Daze

{slide=Beautiful or Ugly} 

What commercial and cultural propaganda presents as beautiful is rooted in ugly paganism but most blind followers do not know.

By Khalid Baig

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{slide=Valentine's Day}

Consider Valentine's Day, a day that after dying out a well deserved death in most of Europe (but surviving in Britain and United States) has suddenly started to emerge across a good swath of Muslim countries. Who was Valentine? Why is this day observed? Legends abound, as they do in all such cases, but this much is clear: Valentine's Day began as a pagan ritual started by Romans in the 4th century BCE to honor the god Lupercus. The main attraction of this ritual was a lottery held to distribute young women to young men for "entertainment and pleasure"--until the next year's lottery. Among other equally despicable practices associated with this day was the lashing of young women by two young men, clad only in a bit of goatskin and wielding goatskin thongs, who had been smeared with blood of sacrificial goats and dogs. A lash of the "sacred" thongs by these "holy men" was believed to make them better able to bear children.

As usual, Christianity tried, without success, to stop the evil celebration of Lupercalia. It first replaced the lottery of the names of women with a lottery of the names of the saints. The idea was that during the following year the young men would emulate the life of the saint whose name they had drawn. (The idea that you can preserve the appearance of a popular evil and yet somehow turn it to serve the purpose of virtue, has survived. Look at all those people who are still trying, helplessly, to use the formats of popular television entertainments to promote good. They might learn something from this bit of history. It failed miserably) Christianity ended up doing in Rome, and elsewhere, as the Romans did.

The only success it had was in changing the name from Lupercalia to St. Valentine's Day. It was done in CE 496 by Pope Gelasius, in honor of some Saint Valentine. There are as many as 50 different Valentines in Christian legends. Two of them are more famous, although their lives and characters are also shrouded in mystery. According to one legend, and the one more in line with the true nature of this celebration, St. Valentine was a "lovers'" saint, who had himself fallen in love with his jailer's daughter.

Due to serious troubles that accompanied such lottery, French government banned the practice in 1776. In Italy, Austria, Hungry, and Germany also the ritual vanished over the years. Earlier, it had been banned in England during the 17th century when the Puritans were strong. However in 1660 Charles II revived it. From there it also reached the New World, where enterprising Yankees spotted a good means of making money. Esther A. Howland, who produced one of the first commercial American Valentine's Day cards called--- what else--- valentines, in the 1840s, sold $5,000 worth--when $5,000 was a lot of money--the first year. The valentine industry has been booming ever since.

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{slide=Halloween and Christmas} 

It is the same story with Halloween, which has otherwise normal human beings dressing like ghosts and goblins in a reenactment of an ancient pagan ritual of demon worship. Five star hotels in Muslim countries arrange Halloween parties so the rich can celebrate the superstitions of a distant period of ignorance that at one time even included the shameful practice of human sacrifice. The pagan name for that event was Samhain (pronounced sow-en). Just as in case of Valentine's Day, Christianity changed its name, but not the pagan moorings.

Christmas is another story. Today Muslim shopkeepers sell and shoppers buy Christmas symbols in Islamabad or Dubai or Cairo. To engage in a known religious celebration of another religion is bad enough. What is worse is the fact that here is another pagan celebration (Saturnalia) that has been changed in name ---and in little else--- by Christianity.

Competing in Sin

 

If there is a phrase that can describe the world today, it has to be "Competing in Sin!"

Many Muslim governments, groups and individuals have taken an un-Islamic path and are trying to do what non-Muslim governments, groups and individuals are doing. It is a competition in sin and Muslims are losing. About fourteen hundred years ago, one of the most beloved person of the Muslim ummah, Umar bin Abdul Aziz wrote a letter to a military commander and said:

Sin is even more dangerous than the ruses/tricks of the enemy. Amirul-Momineen bids upon Mansur that instead of taking fright of his enemy, he should fear transgressing the limits of Allah T’ala. We overcome our enemies in the battlefield only because of their vices and sins, for, had it not been so, we would not have had the courage to face them. We can not deploy troops in the same numbers as our enemies can do, nor do we possess the equipments they have got. Thus, if we equate ourselves with our enemies in misdeeds and transgressions, they would undoubtedly gain a victory over us by virtue of their numerical superiority and strength.  

Competing in Sin!

{tab= 1. Outline} 

Outline

  • Surah Al-Teen
  • Comments on asfala safeleen
  • A careful analysis of Current world crises and the state of the Muslim Ummah is needed.
  • One of the letters of Umar bin Abdul Aziz to his military commander may give us an understanding.
  • Statistics
  • The sentences from the letter again
  • Ayah on unjust killing


 

 

سورة التين - سورة 95

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

1.     وَالتِّينِ وَالزَّيْتُونِ

2.     وَطُورِ سِينِينَ

3.     وَهَذَا الْبَلَدِ الْأَمِينِ

4.     لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ فِي أَحْسَنِ تَقْوِيمٍ

5.     ثُمَّ رَدَدْنَاهُ أَسْفَلَ سَافِلِينَ

6.     إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فَلَهُمْ أَجْرٌ غَيْرُ مَمْنُونٍ

7.     فَمَا يُكَذِّبُكَ بَعْدُ بِالدِّينِ

8.     أَلَيْسَ اللَّهُ بِأَحْكَمِ الْحَاكِمِينَ

THE FIG, THE FIGTREE, CHAPTER NO. 095

With the Name of Allah, the Merciful Benefactor, The Merciful Redeemer

095.001 By the Fig and the Olive,

095.002 And the Mount of Sinai,

095.003 And this City (Makkah) of security,-

095.004 We have indeed created man in the best of moulds,

095.005 Then do We abase him (to be) the lowest of the low,-

095.006 Except such as believe and do righteous deeds: For they shall have a reward unfailing.

095.007 Then what can, after this, contradict thee, as to the judgment (to come)?

095.008 Is not Allah the wisest of judges?

 

Yes Indeed!

 

This Surah tells us, among other things, that if a person does not have the true faith (Eiman) and is not striving for righteous deeds (amal-us-saleh), using The Holy Quran and Sunnah as The Guidance, then even though every person is created by the best of moulds, that person becomes the lowest of the low!   Asfala Safileen.

Islam is taken as a complete way of life. Righteous deeds therefore are not limited to prayers, Zakat and fasting.

{tab=2. An African Boy & a Vulture} 

The world we live in todayis filled with great number of occurrences of brutalities, blood baths and destructions caused by people. So many by Muslims, but so many more by non-Muslims. So if I can give a topic to this article, it is Muslims “Competing in Sin” with non-Muslims.

Our spiritually living hearts are feeling great pain at the sufferings of humanity caused by many governments, deviant groups and individuals. Today, a man may feel safer in a jungle surrounded by wild beasts than in many human societies. Wolves are claiming to be shepherds and they are complaining that the sheep is bad.

 

Look at the picture below very carefully:

 

 

In this 1994 Pulitzer Prize winning photograph, an African boy, nothing but a skeleton, was trying to crawl towards a U.N. Food Shelter, about one kilometer away. Behind his back, a few yards away was a vulture waiting for the boy to die to feast. The vulture did not attack the living boy. It could have. But it has God-given law that it follows. Even the animals have law of God that they obey. Not the man. So many governments, groups and individuals have become worst than the vultures!

{tab=3. Umar bin Abdul Aziz}

Umar bin Abdul Aziz (r.a.)

One way to understand the current world crises is by what Umar bin Abdul Aziz (r.a.) said in a letter he sent to one of his military commanders named Mansur. His words show his deep understanding of the Quran and Sunnah. You will see how it is so applicable today, even though he said so about 1400 years ago.

In his letter, he says that “sin is even more dangerous than the ruses/tricks of the enemy. Amirul-Momineen bids upon Mansur that instead of taking fright of his enemy, he should fear transgressing the limits of Allah T’ala. We overcome our enemies in the battlefield only because of their vices and sins, for, had it not been so, we would not have had the courage to face them. We can not deploy troops in the same numbers as our enemies can do, nor do we possess the equipments they have got.

Thus, if we equate ourselves with our enemies in misdeeds and transgressions, they would undoubtedly gain a victory over us by virtue of their numerical superiority and strength.”

About fourteen hundred years ago, Umar bin Abdul Aziz told us that when we compete in sins, we loose! We loose in the Akhirah and we loose in this world. And certainly, the loss in the Hereafter is far greater than any loss in this world!

{tab=4. Some Statistics} 

SOME STATISTICS:

To understand this point further, I want to give you a brief on some statistics, especially from the twentieth century. These statistics come from an article, titled, “Christian versus Muslim Violence in History.”

 

We can look at the start of Christianity and see how millions of Christians were tortured and killed by Christians, but let us just pick a few major events from the history.

 

The Crusades

The European armies were saying, as they slaughtered Jews and both Christian and Muslim Arabs: “Kill them all, God will know his own.”

Europe's Reformation and Counter Reformation Era

Two thirds of the Christian population of Europe was slaughtered by Christians

The African slave trade

Claimed the lives of 10 million

The Colonial Conquests

Estimates for the number of Native Americans slaughtered by the Europeans in North, Central and South America run as high as 20 million within three generations.

The 20th century's Western Civilization took warfare to new extremes

A conservative estimate puts the total number of brutal deaths in the 20th century at more than 250 million. Of these, Muslims are responsible for less than 10 million deaths. Christians, or those coming from Christian backgrounds account for more than 200 million of these! The greatest death totals come from World War I  and World War II. In World War I, about 20 million killed, at least 90% of which were inflicted by “Christians”. In World War II ( 90 million, at least 50% of which were inflicted by “Christians,” the majority of the rest occurring in the Far East).

In the 20th century alone

 

Western and/or Christian powers have been responsible for at least twenty times more deaths than have Muslim powers in the whole of Islamic history.

In the 20th century, Rawanda, 1994

Witness the slaughter of 900,000 Rwandans in 1994 in a population that was over 90 % Christian

1992-1995 Bosnia

The genocide of over 300,000 Muslims and systematic rape of over 100,000 Muslim women by Christian Serbs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based on these and other events, the article draws a conclusion:

“The horrible truth is that, numerically and statistically speaking, Christian Civilization is the bloodiest and most violent of all civilizations in all of history, and is responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths. Even so, Muslims will never associate this violence and blood bath with the teachings of Jesus (peace be on him).”

When we look at recent brutal events, we find that Muslims killed Muslims in Iraq-Iran war and Iraq-Kuwait war. Additionally, certain deviant groups of Muslims caused the tragedy of 9/11, hijacked planes, killed innocent civilians, and some of which is still going on.

These are events as if these people and groups are trying to compete in sin!

As a result of some of these evil events, non-Muslim governments and groups have killed several hundred thousand people in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.

{tab=5. Conculding Remarks}

CONCLUSIONS:

As far as unjust killings are concerned, let us remember what the Holy Quran says:

 

Speaking about the first murder committed by a son of Adam, Allah T’ala says in Surah 5, Ayat 32:

 

مِنْ أَجْلِ ذَلِكَ كَتَبْنَا عَلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنَّهُ مَن قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الأَرْضِ

 فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَلَقَدْ جَاء تْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا

 بِالبَيِّنَاتِ ثُمَّ إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنْهُم بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فِي الأَرْضِ لَمُسْرِفُونَ

5.32. On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.

This ayah teaches us that ONE unjust killing is one too many!

This commandment applies to the Israelites, to the followers of Jesus (a.s.) and to Muslims.

 But who is following it?

Muslims should, even if no one else does.

 

Islam is a message for the salvation of humanity. It is to save not to destroy people. Islam is not terrorism. It is not for self revenge. It is not hate, it is love. Law of Islam is based on The Holy Quran and Sunnah. It is not what others do. There is a strict code of Law even in wars.  [Read at http://www.islam101.com/rights/hrM4.htm ]

 

Those Muslims who go against the teachings of Prophet Muhammad(s.a.a.w.) and commit crimes against humanity have to face Allah T'ala one day and answer to the Almighty. We all do! There is a Day of Judgment for all mankind! Let us be true followers of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.). Let us not compete in sins!

Ishaq Zahid

Sept. 1, 2006

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The Angel of Mountains Was Ready to Crush

`Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: I asked the Prophet (PBUH) "Have you ever experienced a day harder than the day of the battle of Uhud?'' He replied, "Indeed, I experienced them (dangers) at the hands of your people (i.e., the disbelievers from amongst the Quraish tribe). The hardest treatment I met from them was on the Day of `Aqabah when I went to Ibn `Abd Yalil bin `Abd Kulal (who was one of the chiefs of Ta'if) with the purpose of inviting him to Islam, but he made no response (to my call). So I departed with deep distress. I did not recover until I arrived at Qarn ath-Tha`alib. There, I raised my head and saw a cloud which had cast its shadow on me. I saw in it Jibril (Gabriel) (PBUH) who called me and said: `Indeed, Allah, the Exalted, heard what your people said to you and the response they made to you. And He has sent you the angel in charge of the mountains to order him to do to them what you wish.' Then the angel of the mountains called me, greeted me and said: `O Muhammad, Allah listened to what your people had said to you. I am the angel of the mountains, and my Rubb has sent me to you so that you may give me your orders. (I will carry out your orders). If you wish I will bring together the two mountains that stand opposite to each other at the extremities of Makkah to crush them in between.''' But Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "I rather hope that Allah will raise from among their descendants people as will worship Allah the One, and will not ascribe partners to Him (in worship).''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. Read more...

What They Say - Part I

What is said about the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

In the Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

During the centuries of the crusades, all sorts of slanders were invented against Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). But with the birth of the modern age, marked with religious tolerance and freedom of thought, there has been a great change in the approach of Western authors in their delineation of his life and character. The views of some non-Muslim scholars regarding Prophet Muhammad, given at the end, justify this opinion.

But the West has still to go a step forward to discover the greatest reality about Muhammad and that is his being the true and the last Prophet of God for the whole humanity. In spite of all its objectivity and enlightenment there has been no sincere and objective attempt by the West to understand the Prophethood of Muhammad (pbuh). It is so strange that very glowing tributes are paid to him for his integrity and achievement but his claim of being the Prophet of God has been rejected explicitly or implicitly. It is here that a searching of the heart is required, and a review of the so-called objectivity is needed. The following glaring facts from the life of Muhammad (pbuh) have been furnished to facilitate an unbiased, logical and objective decision regarding his Prophethood.

Read more...

Surely the guilty shall not prosper!

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إِنَّهُ لاَ يُفْلِحُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ 

 

The Qur'anic term falah (prosperity, success) used in the above verse (last part of verse 10:17) has been understood by some to signify such things as longevity, worldly prosperity and other worldly attainments. Under this false impression, they tend to believe that if a claimant to prophethood attains material prosperity and longevity or if his message is spread around, then he ought to be considered a genuine Prophet because he has indeed attained 'prosperity'. Had he been an impostor, it is argued, he would soon have been assassinated, or would have starved to death, and, in any case, his message would not have spread around. Such an absurd line of argument can only be pursued by those who are altogether ignorant of the concept of falah (prosperity) as envisaged in the Qur'an, who are unaware of God's law of respite regarding evil-doers, and who are altogether unappreciative of the special meaning in which the term has been employed in the present context.
In order to fully understand what is meant by saying that 'the guilty shall not prosper', a number of things ought to be borne in mind. In the first place, the Qur'anic statement that "the guilty shall not prosper' is not made with a view to providing a yardstick that might be applied by people so as to determine the truth or falsity of the claimants of prophethood. The verse does not seek to stress that all those who 'prosper' after claiming to be a Prophet are truly Prophets, and that those who do not prosper after making such a claim are not so. The point of emphasis here is altogether different. Here the Prophet (peace be on him) is being made to say that since he knows fully that those guilty of inventing lies against Allah could not prosper, he would not dare make any claim to prophethood if such a claim was false.
On the other hand, the Prophet (peace be on him) also knew that the unbelievers were guilty of rejecting the true signs of God and of declaring a true Prophet of God to be an impostor. In view of that monstrous guilt, it was quite apparent to the Prophet (peace be on him) that they would not prosper.
Moreover, the Qur'anic term falah (prosperity, success) has not been used in the limited sense of worldly success. Rather, it denotes that enduring success which admits of no failure regardless of whether one is able to achieve success in the present phase of one's existence or not. it is quite possible that someone who calls people to falsehood might enjoy life and nourish in a worldly sense, and he might even be able to attain a substantial following for his message. But this is not true prosperity or success; rather it constitutes total loss and failure. Contrarily, it is also possible that someone who calls people to the truth might be exposed to much persecution and be overwhelmed by pain and suffering. It is possible that even before he is able to create any significant following, he is continually subjected to persecution and torture. In the Qur'anic view, such an apparently tragic end constitutes the very zenith of such a person's success rather than his failure.
Moreover, it should be remembered that it has been amply elucidated in the Qur'an that God does not punish evil-doers instantly: that He rather grants them a fair opportunity to mend their ways. Not only that, if the evil-doers misuse the respite granted by God to perpetrate further wrongs, they are sometimes granted an even further respite. In fact, at times a variety of worldly favours are bestowed upon such evil-doers in order that the potential for wickedness inherent in them might be fully exposed by their actions, proving that they do indeed deserve a very severe punishment. Hence, if an impostor continues to enjoy periods of respite and if worldly favours are lavished upon him this should not in any way give rise to the notion that he is on the right path.
In the same way as God grants respite to other evil-doers. He also grants respite to impostors. There are no grounds whatsoever for believing that the respite granted to other evil-doers would not be granted to those impostors who lay false claim to prophethood. We may well call to mind that Satan himself has been granted a respite until Doomsday, It has never been indicated that although Satan is granted a free hand to misguide human beings, as soon as he throws up an impostor claiming prophethood such a venture is instantly nipped in the bud.
In order to refute the view expressed above it is possible that someone may refer to the following verse of the Qur'an: Now if he [i.e. Muhammad] would have made up, ascribed some sayings to Us, We would indeed have seized him by the right hand, and then indeed would have cut his life-vein (al-Haqqah 69: 44-6).
Even a little reflection makes it obvious that the verse in question does not contradict the view we have expressed above. For, what the present verse says relates to a principle which God follows in dealing with true Prophets. Were any such Prophet to falsely claim something to be a revelation from God, he would instantly be seized by God's wrath. To argue to the contrary that all those who are not seized by God's wrath are necessarily genuine Prophets is simply a logical fallacy devoid of any justification. For the threat of instant Divine wrath embodied in this verse is applicable only to true Prophets, and not to impostors who, like other evil-doers, are granted a respite.
This can be well understood if we bear in mind the disciplinary rules laid down by different governments for their officials. It is obvious that those rules are not enforced in respect of ordinary citizens. Were the latter to lay any false claim to being a government official, he would be subjected to the normal rules of the criminal code relating to the conviction of those who are guilty of fraud rather than to the disciplinary rules meant for government officials. Under this analogy, an impostor who claims to be a Prophet, would be dealt with by God along with other evil-doers who commit evil, and who, as we know, are not necessarily punished immediately.
In any case, as we have pointed out earlier, the verses quoted above were not revealed so as to provide the criterion to judge the truth of anyone who lays claim to prophethood. This verse should not be considered to mean that if a celestial hand stretches forth to cut off the life-vein of a claimant to prophethood, such a person is an impostor; and if that does not happen, he is a genuine Prophet. Such a weird criterion would have been needed only if no other means were available to judge the genuineness of a claimant to prophethood. But as things stand, a Prophet is known by his character, by his work, and by the contents of his message. (Tafheemul Quran)

Short Quotes

Gentle

"By the grace of Allah, you are gentle towards the people; if you had been stern and ill-tempered, they would have dispersed from round about you" [Qur'an 3:159]