"Fear Allah in your treatment of animals." [Abu Dawood]A companion came to him with the young ones of a bird in his sheet and said that the mother bird had hovered over them all along. He was directed to replace her offspring in the same bush (Mishkat, Abu Dawood)
During a journey, somebody picked up some birds eggs. The bird's painful note and fluttering attracted the attention of the Prophet (pbuh), who asked the man to replace the eggs. [Sahih Bukhari]
As his army marched towards Makkah to conquer it, they passed a female dog with puppies. The Prophet (pbuh) not only gave orders that they should not be disturbed, but posted a man to see that this was done.
He stated, "Verily, there is heavenly reward for every act of kindness done to a living animal."Read more...
Invasion of Paganism into Monotheism by Materialism
About 3500 years ago, the Pharaoh of Egypt had declared himself Lord, ruling his nation as if life and death were in his hands. There were people in Egypt, mostly the Israelites, who believed in One God, but were made slaves and severely persecuted to the extent that their boys were killed as they were born. The land was also filled with magicians and witchcraft was the fashion of the day. Paganism was prevalent including the cow worship.
Centuries have passed since the Pharaohs ruled Egypt and much has changed. The scientific and technological advancements have made us live luxuriously in many ways. Many in America believe in One God, live in prosperity and are far removed from the like of the persecutions of the Pharaohs of the past. At the same time, magic and witchcraft still exist in the American life, but in ways which are very different from the time of the Pharaohs. An example of such presence can be seen in the Harry Potter books and paraphernalia. Paganism also has its presence, for example, in the customs of Halloween. The Holy scriptures acknowledge existence of magic, but forbid its practice.
"Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead." (Deuteronomy 18:10-11)
The story of Prophet Moses’ encounter with the magicians appears in several places in the Holy Scriptures. Below is one such narration:
Moses said: "O Pharaoh! I am an apostle from the Lord of the worlds,- One for whom it is right to say nothing but truth about God. Now have I come unto you (people), from your Lord, with a clear (Sign): So let the Children of Israel depart along with me." (Pharaoh) said: "If indeed thou hast come with a Sign, show it forth,- if thou
tells the truth." Then (Moses) threw his rod, and behold! it was a serpent, plain (for all to
see)! And he drew out his hand, and behold! it was white to all beholders! Said the Chiefs of the people of Pharaoh: "This is indeed a sorcerer well-versed. "His plan is to get you out of your land: then what is it ye counsel?" They said: "Keep him and his brother in suspense (for a while); and send to the cities men to collect- And bring up to thee all (our) sorcerers well-versed."
So there came the sorcerers to Pharaoh: They said, "of course we shall have
a (suitable) reward if we win!" He said: "Yea, (and more),- for ye shall in that case be (raised to posts) nearest (to my person)." They said: "O Moses! wilt thou throw (first), or shall we have the (first) throw?" Said Moses: "Throw ye (first)." So when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them: for they showed a great (feat of) magic. We put it into Moses' mind by inspiration: "Throw (now) thy rod":and behold! it swallows up straight away all the falsehoods which they fake!
Thus truth was confirmed, and all that they did was made of no effect. So the (great ones) were vanquished there and then, and were made to look small. But the sorcerers fell down prostrate in adoration. Saying: "We believe in the Lord of the Worlds,- "The Lord of Moses and Aaron."
Said Pharaoh: "Believe ye in Him before I give you permission? Surely this is a trick which ye have planned in the city to drive out its people: but soon shall ye know (the consequences). Be sure I will cut off your hands and your feet on apposite sides, and I will cause you all to die on the cross." They said: "For us, We are but sent back unto our Lord: "But thou dost wreak thy vengeance on us simply because we believed in the Signs of our Lord when they reached us! Our Lord! pour out on us patience and constancy, and take our souls unto thee as those who bow to thy will! (The Holy Quran, 7:104-126)
Moses exposed the falsehood of the sorcerers. The sorcerers repented, gave up magic and became true believers of the God Almighty. Can the same happen with the makers of Harry Potter? The books are in effect promoters of paganism. They glorify magic and paganism while non-magical people, called Muggles, are despised and portrayed as boring, narrow-minded, and paranoid of magic. Not surprisingly, the main characters in the story have few noble qualities; they lie with impunity, use profanity, don't respect their elders, break rules regularly, and are unrepentant. And for all these qualities and more, the books are popular and are having an effect. Children have also gone crazy over Harry Potter memorabilia, surrounding themselves with Harry Potter T-shirts, posters, toys, costumes, wands, hats, etc.
Welcome to the world of materialism and paganism, where superstitions and the occult reign supreme in the hearts and minds of people, and where the twin forces have forged an "alliance of the willing" that is doing its "magic" on a global scale. This alliance however is not limited to Harry Potter books.
Halloween has been tied to pagans, like the Druids. Samhain was the name of the Druid god of the dead. The Druids were a religious order amongst the Celts. On October 31st they would try to appease their lord of death. These Druids also believed that witches rode on broom sticks and that ghosts were the cause of supernatural occurrences. The belief was that on the eve of the Celtic New Year (which for them was October 31), the souls of the dead people roamed the land of the living. The Devil, spirits and witches were also believed to be moving about and at the height of their power.
Halloween activities have found their roots in almost every walk of life. Driving around neighborhoods shows a large number of homes with Halloween displays. School teachers hold special Halloween parties. There may not be a single store, office or institution left without a display of Halloween. The entire nation appears to be celebrating Halloween. It is, therefore, not difficult to conclude that those who believe in monotheism are also participating in these activities. I leave it to the rabbis, pastors and imams to give their verdicts based on the Holy Scriptures, but I do have to ask those who believe in One God to read the Ten Commandments just one more time, especially the phrase, “…for I the Lord your God am a jealous God …”
What did Moses do when he found his nation made a calf? What would Moses do if he were among us? Deeds have no value without Faith and yet Faith demands obedience in action. Satan did not say that he does not believe in God. He disobeyed God and became the lowest of the low!
by Ishaq Zahid
Oct 21, 2007
Note: Some text about Harry Potter is taken from Khalid Baig's article. Some text about Halloween is taken from www.soundvision.com article on Halloween.
Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) asked people to shun notions of racial, family or any other form of superiority based on mundane things and said that righteousness alone was the criterion of one's superiority over another. It has already been shown how he mixed with everyone on equal terms, how he ate with slaves, servants and the poorest on the same sheet (a practice that is still followed in Arabia), how he refused all privileges and worked like any ordinary labourer. Two instances may, however, be quoted here:
Once the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) visited Saad Bin Abadah. While returning Saad sent his son Quais with him. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) asked Quais to mount his camel with him. Quais hesitated out of respect but the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) insisted: "Either mount the camel or go back." Quais decided to go back. [Abu Dawood]
On another occasion he was travelling on his camel over hilly terrain with a disciple, Uqba Bin Aamir. After going some distance, he asked Uqba to ride the camel, but Uqba thought this would be showing disrespect to the Prophet (s.a.a.w.). But the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) insisted and he had to comply. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) himself walked on foot as he did not want to put too much load on the animal. [Nasai]
The prisoners of war of Badr included Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet (s.a.a.w.). Some people were prepared to forgo their shares and remit the Prophet's (s.a.a.w.) ransom but he declined saying that he could make no distinctions. [Sahih Bukhari]
During a halt on a journey, the companions apportioned work among themselves for preparing food. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) took upon himself the task of collecting firewood. His companions pleaded that they would do it and that he need not take the trouble, but he replied,
"It is true, but I do not like to attribute any distinction to myself. Allah does not like the man who considers himself superior to his companions." [Zarqani, Vol. 4 pg. 306)]
by Athar Husain
An excerpt from the book entitled "The Message of Mohammad," by Athar Husain.
The following is a four years old article by Khalid Baig, but with a new movie out, it is worth reading before one decides to go to the cinema. (July 10, 2007)
Harry Potter: Facts about Fiction
Posted: 21 Rabi-u-Thani 1424, 21 June 2003
As expected there was much frenzy around the latest Harry Potter book. Bookstores and clubs around the world arranged special midnight parties and other events in celebration of the launching of the long-awaited fifth book in the series. A grandiose countdown was held in Times Square for the coming of the fifth book.
The book was set to break many old records. Online bookseller Amazon had already received one million pre-orders of the new book, its largest pre-order ever. Scholastic, the American publisher had ordered 8.5 million copies as the largest first printing ever. Worldwide, 13 million copies of the book had rolled off the presses in a massive print run.
The other books in the Harry Potter series have been translated into more than 55 languages, including Urdu, Persian, and Turkish. Nearly 200 million copies of the first four books have been sold in 200 countries.
What is all this craze about?
The series chronicles the growing up of a young orphan wizard named Harry Potter who attends a secret magic boarding school called Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Harry is a very unique wizard. His parents are killed while he is a baby by a wicked powerful wizard named Voldemort, but generally called "you-know-who" or "he-who-must-not-be-named". Voldemort fails in his attempt to kill Harry and instead is nearly destroyed when his magic rebounds on him. Harry is left with a lightning shaped scar on his forehead.
Harry is sent to live with his "muggle" (non-magical people) relatives for the next ten years. He lives a miserable life, tormented by his aunt and uncle and his spoiled cousin. They attempt to keep him from knowing that he is a wizard.
Then, suddenly a letter arrives from Hogwarts on his eleventh birthday, changing his life completely. Harry finds out he is a wizard and rather famous for his encounter with the evil lord Voldemort. Despite opposition from his aunt and uncle, Harry goes to the wizard boarding school where he meets new people, including his best friends Ron and Hermione. Harry discovers that he has both admirers and enemies.
Each book details the events of one school year.
The main characters in the story have few noble qualities; they lie with impunity, use profanity, don't respect their elders, break rules regularly, and are unrepentant.
While the books are characterized by most people as innocent fantasy and entertainment, they contain many evil messages - not all of which are subtle.
The books glorify magic and sorcery. Harry and his classmates regularly cast spells, brew potions, learn to tell the future, communicate with the spirits of the dead, train magical animals, and ride brooms. They study astrology, crystal gazing, numerology, transfiguration, and divination. Darker things occur as well such as murder, human sacrifice, drinking of unicorn blood, etc. The fight between good and evil in this book is actually a conflict between "good magic" and "evil magic", both of which are evil.
The books are in effect promoters of paganism. They glorify magic and paganism while non-magical people, called Muggles, are despised and portrayed as boring, narrow-minded, and paranoid of magic.
Not surprisingly, the main characters in the story have few noble qualities; they lie with impunity, use profanity, don't respect their elders, break rules regularly, and are unrepentant.
And for all these qualities and more, the books are popular and are having an effect. It is the "in" thing to purchase the book. And not just the book. Children have gone crazy over Harry Potter memorabilia, surrounding themselves with Harry Potter T-shirts, posters, toys, costumes, wands, hats, etc.
The media has been glorifying the book that glorifies sorcery.
Welcome to the world of capitalism and paganism, where superstitions and the occult reign supreme in the hearts and minds of people, and where the twin forces have forged an "alliance of the willing" that is doing its "magic" on a global scale.
Capitalism is all about maximization of profits and if that requires appealing to the lowest instincts and the darkest recesses of human nature, so be it. Millions of dollars have been spent on advertising the latest craze on billboards, buttons, bumper stickers, and posters etc. U.S. publisher Scholastic alone has planned a $4 million marketing budget for this single book - among the largest advertising budgets ever for a book.
The media machine --- equally adept at political, cultural, and commercial propaganda --- has been doing its part faithfully, paying a great deal of attention to the smallest events relating to the coming of the fifth book. It has been glorifying the book that glorifies sorcery.
Even if it were innocent entertainment (which it is not) the extreme devotion would be unjustified. But this culture is given to extremes and incidents of mass craziness are nothing new in it. The cabbage patch dolls craze in the 1980s was similar to current craze over the Harry Potter books. The Cabbage Patch Dolls were the fad of the 1980s. The most distinctive feature about them was that each doll looked a bit different from others and came with its own unique name and birthday, "adoption papers," and a "birth certificate." Marketing gimmick and television coverage combined to make sales explode starting in 1983. Chartered planes were used to bring the dolls from the overseas manufacturing plants to meet the ever increasing demand. Fist fights among eager customers often broke out in retail stores when a shipment of dolls arrived. In 1985, Coleco posted record sales of $600 million, thanks to their Cabbage Patch Kids.
When life has no higher purpose, entertainment and fun become the over-riding goal in life. When there is no belief in or clear concept of God as Creator and Master of the universe, superstition, sorcery, and the occult become fascinating.
When life has no higher purpose, entertainment and fun become the over-riding goal in life.
It is a reflection on the state of the society that there has been scarce opposition to this series that promises to become darker with each new release.
The Role of Muslims
In this current state of hysteria, Muslims should have played an important role in opposing this book and exposing the flaws of this culture. It is the duty of Muslims to guide the world, rather than blindly follow the ignorant masses. The Qur'an commands us in Surah Al-Kahf, "And don't obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond all bounds." [Al-Kahf 18:28]
Yet, unfortunately, we find very little opposition or reflection from Muslims, many of whom have chosen to blindly follow the pop culture. Many Muslims have assured themselves that the books are harmless fiction. Others even claim them to be beneficial because they encourage reading. Reading what? It does not occur to them to ask that question.
Islam prohibits both pointless entertainment (lahw) and sorcery. But countless Muslims seem to be unaware of that. And they are the ones fascinated by Harry Potter.
The present barren period of classical scholarship, together with the increasing paucity of our knowledge of ancient languages, has crippled modern taste in its efforts to appreciate any such attempts as I intend to make in that direction. The following pages have produced a series of most able articles from the Rev. Professor 'Abdu 'l-Ahad Dawud, but I wonder if there are many, even among the hierarchy of the Christian Church, who could follow the erudite exposition of the learned Professor. All the more do I wonder when he seeks to carry his readers into a labyrinth of languages, dead and done with thousands of years ago. What about Aramaic, when very few even among the Clergy are able to understand the Vulgate and the original Greek version of the New Testament? More especially when our researches are based simply upon Greek and Latin etymology! Whatever may be the value of such dissertations in the eye's of others we, nowadays, are absolutely incapable of appreciating them from the angle of erudition; for the oracular ambiguity attached to the prophetic utter- ances to which I allude makes them elastic enough to cover any case. The "least" in the prophecy of St. John the Baptist may not be the son of Mary, though he was looked upon as such contemptuously by his own tribe. The Holy Carpenter came from humble parentage. He was shouted down, mocked and discredited; he was belittled and made to appear the "least" in the public estimation by the Scribes and Pharisees. The excess of zeal displayed by his followers in the second and third centuries A.D., which was ever prone to jump at anything in the form of a prophecy in the Bible, would naturally induce them to believe that their Lord was the person alluded to by the Baptist.
However, there is another difficulty in the way. How can a person rely on the testimony of a book admittedly filled with folk-lore? The genuineness of the Bible has univer- sally been questioned. Without going into the question of its genuineness, we may at least say that we cannot depend on its statements concerning Jesus and his miracles. Some even go so far as to assert that his existence as an historical person is questionable, and that on the authority of the Gospels it would be dangerous to arrive at any apparently safe conclusion in this matter. A Christian of the Funda- mentalist type cannot well say anything against my statement of the case. If "stray sentences" and detached words in the Old Testament can be singled out by synoptic writers as applicable to Jesus, the comments of the learned writer of these erudite and absorbing articles must command every respect and appreciation even from the Clergy. I write in the same strain, but I have tried to base my arguments on portions of the Bible which hardly allow of any linguistic dispute. I would not go to Latin, Greek, or Aramaic, for that would be useless: I just give the following quotation in the very words of the Revised Version as published by the British and Foreign Bible Society.
We read the following words in the Book of Deuteronomy chapter xviii. verse 18: "I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee; and I will put my words in his mouth." If these words do not apply to Prophet Muhammad, they still remain unfulfilled. Prophet Jesus himself never claimed to be the Prophet alluded to. Even his disciples were of the same opinion: they looked to the second coming of Jesus for the fulfillment of the prophecy. So far it is undisputed that the first coming of Jesus was not the advent of the "prophet like unto thee," and his second advent can hardly fulfill the words. Jesus, as is believed by his Church, will appear as a Judge and not as a law-giver; but the promised one has to come with a "fiery law" in "his right hand."
In ascertaining the personality of the promised prophet the other prophecy of Moses is, however, very helpful where it speaks of the shining forth of God from Paran, the mountain of Mecca. The words in the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter xxxiii. verse 2, run as follows: "The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints; from his right hand went a fiery law for them."
In these words the Lord has been compared with the sun. He comes from Sinai, he rises from Seir, but he shines in his full glory from Paran, where he had to appear with ten thousands of saints with a fiery law in his right hand. None of the Israelites, including Jesus, had anything to do with Paran. Hagar, with her son Ishmael, wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba, who afterwards dwelt in the wilder- ness of Paran (Gen. xxi. 21). He married an Egyptian woman, and through his first-born, Kedar, gave descent to the Arabs who from that time till now are the dwellers of the wilderness of Paran. And if Prophet Muhammad admittedly on all hands traces his descent to Ishmael through Kedar and he appeared as a prophet in the wilderness of Paran and re- entered Mecca with ten thousand saints and gave a fiery law to his people, is not the prophecy above-mentioned fulfilled to its very letter?
The words of the prophecy in Habakkuk are especially noteworthy. His (the Holy One from Paran) glory covered the heavens and the earth was full of his praise. The word "praise" is very significant, as the very name Muhammad literally means "the praised one." Besides the Arabs, the inhabitants of the wilderness of Paran had also been promised a Revelation: "Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare His praise in the islands. The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war, he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies" (Isaiah).
In connection with it there are two other prophecies worthy of note where references have been made to Kedar. The one runs thus in chapter 1x. of Isaiah: "Arise, shine for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee ... The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come.. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory" (1-7). The other prophecy is again in Isaiah "The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim. The inhabitants of the land of Tema brought water to him that was thirsty, they prevented with their bread him that fled. For they fled from the swords and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war. For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Within a year, according to the years of an hireling, and all the glory of Kedar shall fail: And the residue of the number of archers, the mighty of the children of Kedar, shall be diminished" Read these prophecies in Isaiah in the light of one in Deutero- nomy which speaks of the shining forth of God from Paran. If Ishmael inhabited the wilderness of Paran, where he gave birth to Kedar, who is the ancestor of the Arabs; and if the sons of Kedar had to receive revelation from God; if the flocks of Kedar had to come up with acceptance to a Divine altar to glorify "the house of my glory" where the darkness had to cover the earth for some centuries, and then that very land had to receive light from God; and if all the glory of Kedar had to fail and the number of archers, the mighty men of the children of Kedar, had to diminish within a year after the one fled from the swords and from the bent bows - the Holy One from Paran (Habakkuk iii 3 ) is no one else than Prophet Muhammad. Prophet Muhammad is the holy offspring of Ishmael through Kedar, who settled in the wilderness of Paran. Muhammad is the only Prophet through whom the Arabs received revelation at the time when the darkness had covered the earth. Through him God shone from Paran, and Mecca is the only place where the House of God is glorified and the flocks of Kedar come with acceptance on its altar. Prophet Muhammad was persecuted by his people and had to leave Mecca. He was thirsty and fled from the drawn sword and the bent bow, and within a year after his flight the descen- dants of Kedar meet him at Badr, the place of the first battle between the Meccans and the Prophet, the children of Kedar and their number of archers diminish and all the glory of Kedar fails. If the Holy Prophet is not to be accepted as the fulfillment of all these prophecies they will still remain unfulfilled. "The house of my glory" referred to in Isaiah lX is the house of God in Mecca and not the Church of Christ as thought by Christian commentators. The flocks of Kedar, as mentioned in verse 7, have never come to the Church of Christ; and it is a fact that the villages of Kedar and their inhabitants are the only people in the whole world who have remained impenetrable to any influence of the Church of Christ. Again, the mention of 10,000 saints in Deutero- nomy xxx 3 is very significant. He (God) shined forth from Paran, and he came with 10,000 of saints. Read the whole history of the wilderness of Paran and you will find no other event but when Mecca was conquered by the Prophet. He comes with 10,000 followers from Medina and re-enters "the house of my glory." He gives the fiery law to the world, which reduced to ashes all other laws. The Comforter - the Spirit of Truth - spoken of by Prophet Jesus was no other than Prophet Muhammad himself. It cannot be taken as the Holy Ghost, as the Church theology says. "It is expedient for you that I go away," says Jesus, "for if I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I depart I will send him unto you." The words clearly show that the Comforter had to come after the departure of Jesus, and was not with him when he uttered these words. Are we to pre- sume that Jesus was devoid of the Holy Ghost if his coming was conditional on the going of Jesus: besides, the way in which Jesus describes him makes him a human being, not a ghost. "He shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear that he shall speak." Should we presume that the Holy Ghost and God are two distinct entities and that the Holy Ghost speaks of himself and also what he hears from God? The words of Jesus clearly refer to some messenger from God. He calls him the Spirit of Truth, and so the Qur'an speaks of Prophet Muhammad, "No, indeed, he has brought the truth, and confirmed the Messengers." Ch.37:37