The Soul of Hajj

Dr. Habib Siddiqui

1871031036.01._SCMZZZZZZZ_V1056533111_ The Soul of Hajj

No annual event on the face of the globe, religious or non-religious, compares to hajj in terms of the sheer number of participants, duration of the event and the breadth of agenda. In spite of this fact, it has always remained equally fascinating and mysterious to not only non-Muslims, who are barred from entering the holy city, but also to millions of Muslims, who had not performed hajj.

What then is hajj? In essence, hajj is man’s evolution toward Allah; his return to Him. It is a symbolic demonstration of the philosophy of creation of Adam (AS: alayhis salam), the first man. To further illustrate this, it may be stated that the performance of hajj is a simultaneous show or exhibit of many things. It is a show of creation. It is a show of history. It is a show of unity. It is a show of Islamic ideology. It is a show of Ummah, the community of Muslims. That is why, it is said in the Qur’an:

“And proclaim unto mankind the hajj …. That they may witness things that are of benefit to them.”1

Just as in any other good show or movie or theatre-play, the following conditions prevail in hajj. Allah is the Stage Manager. The theme portrayed is the actions of these main characters –- Adam, Haw’a (Eve), Ibrahim (Abraham), Hajar (Hagar), Isma’il (AS), and Shaytan (Satan). The main scenes are –- Masjid al-Haram, ‘Arafat, Mas’a (space between the mountains -– Safa and Marwa), Mash’ar (area between ‘Arafat and Mina) and Mina. Important symbols are –- Ka’ba, Safa, Marwa, day, night, sunshine, sunset, idols and rituals of sacrifice. The dress and make-up are –- ‘Ihram, halq and taqseer (part of ceremonies of hajj involving cutting of hair and nails, afterward).

Lastly, the player of the show is –- you –- the Hajji. You are the main feature of the performance. The role of Adam, Ibrahim, Isma’il (Ishmael) and Hajar in confrontation between Allah and Satan is all played by you. As a result, you are the hero of the show!

Hajj is a duty unto Allah for mankind, for him or her who can find a way or means to get there (Qur’an 3:97). It is not a tax on your wealth, but a duty. Thus, to qualify, you must be sane and wise to understand what you are getting into, and able-bodied to go through this task, and lastly, have the means or resources to perform hajj.

The rites of hajj are five – (1) ‘Ihram, (2) waiting at ‘Arafat, (3) Tawaf of the Ka’ba, (4) sa’iy or running between the Safa and the Marwa and (5) cutting or trimming of hair. Others are not pillars, although some may require kaffara or penalty, if not done. The person who puts on the ‘Ihram or cloth for either ‘Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) or hajj (greater pilgrimage) is called a Muhrim.

The months of hajj are the three. These are the Arabic months of Shawwal, Dhul-Qadah and first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. Thus, one cannot put on Ihram before Shawwal. Hajj and ‘Umrah are performed in three ways –- ifrad, tamattu and qiran.

1. Ifrad involves first performing hajj and then Umrah.
2. Tamattu is when one first performs Umrah and then hajj, both in the same year with some break in between the two.
3. Qiran is when one puts on the ‘Ihram with the intention of combining both hajj and ‘Umrah without any break in between the two.

There are ten etiquettes of hajj. These are:

    1. Requite all wrongdoings and satisfy all adversaries.
    2. Make provision for hajj from one’s lawful wealth.
    3. Learn the pillars of hajj and its ceremonies.
    4. Be kind and forbearing with others, lest the reward be nullified.
    5. Observe the obligations of prayers and its statutes.
    6. Be open-handed, maintain the poor and spend as much as he/she is able to.
    7. At the station of ‘Arafat, remember the Day of Judgment (Yawmil Qiamat).
    8. Should not miss visitation of the Prophet’s (S) grave in Madinah.
    9. After return from hajj, one should turn toward Akhirat (Hereafter).
    10. One should remember his parents and other close relatives who have passed away with pious prayers and make-up for them if they could not fulfill their obligations for hajj.

The steps of hajj are the following:

Miqat -– putting on ‘Ihram at designated places with wudhu.

The show of hajj begins with Miqat. At this point, the participant must change his/her clothes. Clothes show individuality, status, preference and distinction. They create superficial barriers that separate man from man. The concept of “I” (and not “We”) emerges which gives birth to discrimination. At Miqat you assume your original shape as a “man”, just one of “children of Adam” who will die one day. The cloth of ‘Ihram is, therefore, the anti-thesis to that “individualism”, it is the kafan (or burial shroud). You wear the kafan, the two pieces of cloth, just like everyone else. You join the mass, the multitude and become nothing or just a drop of water in the ocean that has no special identity of its own. An atmosphere of genuine unity prevails everywhere. It is a human show of Islamic unity, it is a show of universal brotherhood. The bodies were left in Miqat and the souls are motivated here. This is the beginning of your journey, your voyage to nothingness. There is no sex, no perfume, no shoes, no sewn clothes and head covers for men, no face mask, no cutting of hair or nails, i.e., absolutely no signs of aristocracy or distinction. In the state of Muhrim, you don’t even look in a mirror to see your own image. You don’t hunt any animal, you don’t uproot any plant. So you kill the tendencies of aggression by being peaceful to nature. You cease to remain or behave as somebody. Hajj is a movement to returning to Allah, just as Allah says in the Qur’an: Wa ilal-lahil maseer (24:42), meaning, “Unto Allah is the journeying.” All your selfish egos must be buried at Miqat. You witness your own dead body and visit your own grave. By sacrificing your individuality, you focus on reality, the basic purpose for which you were created – that being a slave unto Allah. Just as when you would be buried in two pieces of cloth, leaving behind all your wealth and worldly belongings, here in Miqat you practice a dress rehearsal for that inevitable event.

It is preferable that you enter Makkah during the daytime.

Each step you take toward Ka’ba, your heart pounds. The weight of being close to Allah’s house seems to get heavier and heavier. You are endowed with a mixed feeling of love and fear. Love, because you have waited this long to get here. Fear, because you don’t know whether you can endure the strain of rituals of hajj, fulfill your duty unto Allah and be born again as an innocent human being.

Make du’a (supplication) for Ka’ba upon seeing it.

Remember this is the Baital Haram -– the Sacred House — appointed by Allah (Qur’an 5:97). This is the first house of worship on the face of the globe. It is to this house that you face while praying. It is also the direction in which your face would be turned when you are buried as dead. It is the center of existence, faith, love, unity and life. It has its own history. It is called Baitil Masabatal-lin-nass wa amana, i.e., the House of resort for mankind and a sanctuary (Qur’an 2:125). It is also called Baitul Atiq -– the Ancient House –- in the Qur’an (22:29). Ibrahim (AS) prayed for its security and blessings.

You perform Tawaf (circumambulation) of Ka’ba seven times, unless it is time for a regular prayer led by an Imam, which you need to join in.

Just as planets of our solar system orbit around the sun, you orbit around the world’s sun – the Ka’ba, and become part of a universal system. You demonstrate your love for Allah by making Tawaf around His house. Tawaf should be started from the corner stone -– the Black Stone, Hajr al-Aswad — with Ka’ba on the left. This is where you make a contract to join all the tribes of the earth, and become like a drop of water entering the ocean. The moment of truth has come and you must select your path, distinct from those who had rejected their Creator. Three of the seven Tawafs must be at a faster pace than normal walking. You should try to touch the stone with hand, and put your forehead on it and then kiss it. By touching the stone, you have shown your allegiance to your Creator, who had sent this very stone from the heaven, so that He could know your love for Him. By touching the stone, you have cut off all forms of allegiance to anything other than Allah, you have become free again from servitude of men and this world. During Tawaf, you become part of the cosmos. You forget about yourself. You are in love with the symbol of unity and servitude to Allah. You see nothing but His symbols, the Ka’ba and the Black Stone, Hajr al-Aswad. By denying yourself you have become a lover of Him just like Hajar who migrated to this land, barren and rugged, without vegetation, without any forms of subsistence, but with complete reliance in Her Lord, Allah (T). And Allah did not neglect either her or her infant son. He brought out the Zamzam well and let people settle there, making it the most important place in the Arabian peninsula. Remember that some rituals of hajj are, in reality, a memory of Hajar. Hijrah or migration is what Hajar did. Any migration like hers is a move toward civilization.

During Tawaf, everyone encircles the Ka’ba collectively. The movement is of one unit and there is no individual identification of men or women, black or white, red or yellow. The movement has transformed one person into the totality of a “people”. All of the “I’s” have transformed into “We,” establishing the universality of ummah with the goal of approaching Allah. Likewise, all your self-centeredness must go and transform into self-denial or ummah-centered activities. Allah’s way is the way of the people. In other words, to approach Allah, you must first approach people. That is why, individual activities in Islam are less meritorious than collective actions. You step out of the Tawaf cycle at the same place you started after completion of the seven orbits. This is just like being resurrected from the same spot where you would be buried.

After Tawaf, perform two rakah of prayer behind Maqam-e Ibrahim in which you pray Surah al-Kafirun in the first rakat and Surah al-Ikhlas in the second.

Maqam is a very blessed place for praying2. It is the nearest point to Allah. As a matter of fact, there is no place in this entire earth where you get more reward than this place for praying. The stone has the footprint of Ibrahim (AS), the rebel against the established despot of his time, Nimrod. He stood over this stone to lay the corner stone – Hajr al-Aswad and to re-construct the Ka’ba and to pray3. Do you now understand where you are standing? By standing on the same stone, you vow to become like Ibrahim Hanifah wa Khalil-Allah, the upright friend of Allah, who was uncompromising in his conviction of Tawhid. In Maqam, symbolically, you shake hands with Ibrahim (AS) by pledging the same dedication to Allah -– i.e., to be like Ibrahim and Isma’il (AS), his son.

Run between the mountains — Safa and Marwa — seven times, starting with the Safa and ending with the Marwa.

This is called Sa’iy. Literally it means search, a movement with an aim. It is depicted by running and hurrying. Here you act like Hajar, the mother of infant Isma’il. She had no food, no water, no shelter, neither for herself nor for her child, but only uncompromising, relentless faith that the God of Ibrahim (AS) will not leave her and her only son without sustenance. Remember, when Ibrahim (AS) left her and their only son, Isma’il (AS) near the valley of Makkah, Hajar asked him: “O Ibrahim, where are you leaving us, while there is no habitation of men nor any provision for food and drink? Who is going to look after us?” Ibrahim (AS) replied, “Ilal-lah (to Allah’s protection only).” She said, “Raditu billah (I am fully satisfied with Allah?” She also asked, “Have you done this to fulfill Allah’s command?” When Ibrahim (AS) confirmed that by saying, “Yes,” she simply said, “Well in that case, we have no fear, for Allah will not let us die without providing any provision [i.e., He will definitely provide for us in the middle of this desolate, barren desert].” [Bukhari] Do you see the strength of her trust in Allah? Away from the view of his wife and son, Ibrahim (AS) prayed, “Our Lord: Lo! I have settled some of my posterity in an uncultivable valley near unto Thy Holy House (Ka’ba), Our Lord! that they may establish proper worship. So, incline some hearts of men that they may yearn toward them, and You provide them with fruits in order that they may be thankful.” (Qur’an 14: 37). Soon, however, Hajar’s water and food were all gone, there was no milk or water or any food either for herself or for her child. She started looking out for water, running to the top of the mountain, Safa. No, there is no water anywhere. Then she comes down and looks at her infant to check if he is fine. She then goes to the top of the other mountain, Marwa, and takes a deep long look to fetch water. She was searching water, why? Because it is needed for physical salvation, for life to continue. So, should man work for livelihood, trusting in Allah. She searches again and again. After running seven times between these two mountains, she comes down from Marwa to see the condition of her infant son. She hears the sound of gushing water coming from near her son and is surprised to see an angel (Jibril) dig a well near the heel of her infant son. The gushing water from the well was making all that sound. She quickly puts a barrier around it so that water could be stored and that it did not overflow. And this well came to be known as the Zamzam. Muhammad (S) said, “May Allah bless the mother of Isma’il (AS). If she had not put that barrier around the Zamzam, instead of a well, the gushing water would have continued to flow like a spring [and flooded the entire valley].” It was a gift from Allah to the mother and son, and all those who came later. It is a mineral water rich with nutritional and medicinal power to cure man of many diseases. The Safa and the Marwa, thus, became among the signs, indications of Allah (Qur’an 2:158).

On the seventh day of Dhul-Hijjah, after the Zuhr prayer, Imam explains the meaning of hajj and exhorts people to go to the valley of Mina (nearly six miles north of Makkah) next morning after Fajr prayer.

Visit and stay at Mina on the eighth day (after arriving there in the morning) till the next Fajr (dawn prayer).

Go to ‘Arafat after sun has risen on the ninth, stopping on the way at Namirah and listening to khutbah before Zuhr (mid-day prayer).

Proceed to ‘Arafat (five miles further north) and seek Allah’s forgiveness there till Maghrib (prayer after sunset).

‘Arafat literally means knowledge and science. ‘Arafat represents the beginning of man’s creation, that of our forefather Adam. It was shaytan who misled our forefather by whispering to him saying: “O Adam! Shall I show you the tree of immortality and power that wastes not away?” (Qur’an 20:120) He caused the downfall of Adam and Haw’a (Eve). For years, they were separated from each other having descended at different places. It was in ‘Arafat that they met again. It was in a small rocky hill of Jabal al-Rahma in the center of ‘Arafat that their sins were forgiven by Allah. So, here in ‘Arafat, you act like Adam (AS) or Haw’a and seek forgiveness for you and your loved ones.

After sunset proceed slowly to Muzdalifah (halfway between ‘Arafat and Mina) without praying (Qur’an 2:198). However, the Imams Abu Hanifah and Sufyan al-Thawri (R) said it is permissible to pray Maghrib before reaching Muzdalifah.

Spend the night before Eid in Muzdalifah. Pray Fajr early. Collect pebbles there (70 per person).

Muzdalifah is part of Mash’ar-ul-Haram. Our Prophet Muhammad (S) prayed for long duration here. You must be in Mash’ar by the nightfall (while you were at ‘Arafat during the day). Darkness engulfs you in Mash’ar. ‘Arafat is knowledge, it requires daylight for clear vision. Mash’ar literally means consciousness and understanding. Such blossom at night through deep reflection or meditation. So, Mash’ar is the stage of insight while ‘Arafat was the stage of experience. Intuition needs no light. It can see in the darkness. It is the stage between knowledge and love, or ‘Arafat and Mina. Here you reflect upon yourself and strengthen your spirit. Are you not in the right way? Are you ready to fight against Satan or his insinuations? In Makkah, during tawaf you joined the crowd and became part of them. Here you are alone, despite being within a crowd. Here you are for yourself only. Therefore, confess your sins to Allah. And this night is a good cover for your tears. Take preparation for tomorrow by getting ready tonight. There is a great battle in which you have to participate tomorrow. So, collect your weaponry – the pebbles – before the day breaks. The pebbles will be used against your enemy. You have to act like Ibrahim (AS) here just as he fought against the insinuations of Satan on his way to sacrifice his beloved son, Isma’il (AS).

Go back to Mina and throw seven stones at Jamrat-ul Aqabah, reciting Takbir each time. The remainder 63 stones should be thrown over the next three days of Ayyam al-Tashriq (11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul Hijjah) at a rate of 21 stones per day. Every day, throw the first 7 stones at Jamarah near Mina, and the last seven at Jamarat al-Aqabah, located closer to Makkah.

The tenth day has arrived. This is the day for sacrifice of animal. You are armed with weapons to fight Satan, the enemy of your forefather, the devil who tried to confuse Ibrahim (AS). Mina literally means love. Ibrahim (AS) felt too much love for his only son, Isma’il (AS). And Allah wanted to test how great or how real his love was for Him. Ibrahim (AS) saw a vision of sacrificing his most beloved son. That was the command from Allah to test Ibrahim (AS) of his love and devotion. Can Ibrahim (AS) pass this test? He ponders on this unusual, rather cruel, test. He has grown old and he has no other offspring. In his very old age, Allah has listened to his prayer and has blessed him with this son through his second wife, Hajar. As a thanksgiving for answering to his prayer, he has named his son, Isma’il4.

Yet, Ibrahim (AS) was asked to settle Isma’il and his mother in the valley of Makkah when the child was still an infant. And now that the lad has become old enough to walk and reason, Allah wants him to sacrifice that son to prove that his true love is only for Allah. Just ponder on this for a moment5. Don’t you get a chill in your back? Satan tries to create doubt in his mind: ‘O Ibrahim, are you sure you want to sacrifice your son, your true love, your joy, the meaning of your existence, the fruit of your life; who would there be after you to worship your Lord; don’t you have heart, any soft feelings toward your son?’ Ibrahim (AS) is momentarily confused. Should he or shouldn’t he carry out Allah’s command, “you must sacrifice your son?” Is he dreaming or is it the reality? No, there is no confusion what he saw in his vision is crystal clear; God truly wants him to sacrifice his beloved Isma’il. He wins over Satan, the sneaking whisperer. But then Satan returns and tries to digress him from his task. Ibrahim (AS) wins over again. But Satan does not give up that easily, he tries to create confusion for the third time. Ibrahim (AS) wins over Satan’s temptations yet for the third time. He is mentally all prepared to carry out the task. His choice is obvious – absolute obedience and devotion to Allah; Isma’il must be sacrificed. He wanted to share the message with his lad. Thus, he talks to his young lad, Isma’il (AS), of his dream and asks his opinion. And what does this “gentle” son (whom the Qur’an calls Ghulamin Halim) reply? He calmly says: “O my father! Do that which you are commanded. Allah willing, you shall find me of the steadfast.”6 He answers like the rock of Gibraltar!

What did you expect? Did you expect the son of Ibrahim (AS), the upright, to be any less faithful than his father? So, here in Mina, you act like Ibrahim (AS), the soldier of Tawhid (monotheism), ready to defeat, subdue or shoot down your real enemy, the Satan within you representing your personal egos, desires, cravings, and preferences. These “other” things, the “idols”, were distracting you from the true worship of God. But here in Mina, you are now ready to fight against these taghoots (demi-gods) to show your true devotion and obedience to Allah. You fight Satan just as Ibrahim (AS) had fought against him. To mimic that event, you throw stones at Satan at the three Jamarats.

Udhiya (Qurban) or sacrifice an animal, saying only Bismillah.

When both the father and the son – Ibrahim and Isma’il (AS) – had surrendered to Allah and Ibrahim (AS) had flung Isma’il (AS) down upon his face and was about to put the knife on his son’s neck, Allah called Ibrahim (AS): “O Ibrahim! You have already fulfilled the vision.”7 Ibrahim (AS) doesn’t have to sacrifice his son. Instead, he should sacrifice this ram, which has been sent to him, as ransom for Isma’il (AS). Unlike the false-gods of polytheism, Allah, the One True God, is not bloodthirsty. He just wanted to check where Ibrahim (AS) stood in his devotion and love, whether he was capable of overcoming his personal feeling of love for his son to please Allah. A lesson was taught by Allah –- from now on there would be no human sacrifice in the altar of God. Sacrifice of a halal animal whose meat you can eat and distribute among the poor is a sufficient substitute.

Ponder again. What was Ibrahim (AS) asked to sacrifice? It was nothing short of the most beloved thing/entity among his possession. But when he was ready, his Isma’il was returned unto him, unscathed and unharmed. And he was made a model for humanity: “And We left for him [Ibrahim (AS)] among the later folk (the salutation): Peace be unto Ibrahim. Thus do we reward the good.”8 If you love something more than you love Allah, then that thing has become your idol and you must be ready to sacrifice that. Are you ready to slaughter your worldly desires, worldly love, your Isma’il in Mina in order that you be free from all attachments save those of Allah? If you are, then slaughter a goat, sheep, ram, cow or camel as a ransom towards your Isma’il. As Dr. Shariati rightly puts it,

To offer a sheep instead of Isma’il is a “sacrifice”, but to sacrifice a sheep just for the sake of sacrifice is “butchery”!9

For surely Allah says, “Their flesh and their blood do not reach Allah, but the devotion from you reaches Him.”10

Men should shave their head or trim their hair, at least, one-quarter of head. Women should not shave their head, but only trim slightly at the end of the lock of a hair.
After the Qurban (sacrifice) of the animal, you have almost completed the basic requirements of hajj, so you can make an end of your unkemptness11. You have defeated Satan but you may not have succeeded in completely killing it. You may have defeated him outside but he comes back inside of you. So, you should stay the next three days in Mina and continue with your battling of the Satan at Jamarat.

After shaving or trimming the hair, you should go to Makkah and make the Tawaf of visitation and run seven times between the Safa and the Marwa. Then your hajj is complete and you can come out of ‘Ihram.

This is the latter tawaf of the Ka’ba12, performed after you return from Mina. In Mina, you have defeated Satan and renewed your ties with Allah by following the footsteps of Ibrahim (AS). When you first approached Ka’ba you had not, by then, purified yourself. You were still impure and unconscious. In ‘Arafat you gained consciousness. In Mina you purified yourself. So, this is appropriate that you do the tawaf and sa’iy in the purified state before you return home. During the rituals of hajj you played the roles of Ibrahim (AS) and Hajar. Do not replace your role-playing to something else when you return. Like Hajar, always trust in Allah. Like Ibrahim (AS) fight the fire of Nimrod, i.e., oppression. Like Ibrahim (AS) be prepared to sacrifice your Isma’il, i.e., love or desires, for the sake of your faith. That is the essence of hajj. You return to Allah the way He wanted you to be: a slave totally dedicated to his/her Master.

In closing, let me quote from Ali bin Uthman al-Jullabi al Hujwiri’s (R) Kashf al-Mahjub. A certain man came to Junayd [al-Baghdadi] (R). Junayd asked him whence he came. He replied: “I have been to hajj.” Junayd (R) said: “From the time when you first journeyed from your home have you also journeyed away from all sins?” He said, “No.” “Then,” said Junayd (R), “you have made no journey. At every stage where you halted for the night did you traverse a station on the way to Allah?” He said: “No.” “Then,” said Junayd (R), “you have not trodden the road stage by stage. When you put on the Ihram (pilgrim’s garb) at the proper place did you discard the attributes of humanity as you cast off your ordinary clothes?” “No.” “Then you have not put on the Ihram. When you stood on ‘Arafat did you stand one instant in contemplation of Allah?” “No.” “Then you have not stood on ‘Arafat. When you went to Muzdalifa and achieved your desire did you renounce all sensual desires?” “No.” “Then you have not gone to Muzdalifa. When you circumambulated the Ka’ba did you behold the immaterial beauty of Allah in the abode of purification?” “No.” “Then you have not circumambulated the Ka’ba. When you ran between Safa and Marwa did you attain to the rank of safa (purity) and muruwwat (virtue)?” “No.” “Then you have not run. When you came to Mina did all your wishes cease?” “No.” “Then you have not yet visited Mina. When you reached the slaughter place and offered sacrifice did you sacrifice the objects of sensual desire?” “No.” “Then you have not sacrificed. When you threw the stones did you throw away whatever sensual thoughts were accompanying you?” “No.” “Then you have not yet thrown the stones, and you have not yet performed the pilgrimage. Return and perform the pilgrimage in the manner which I have described in order that you may arrive at the station of Ibrahim (AS).”

May Allah grant us the vigor to follow the dictates of hajj so that this duty is acceptable unto Him.

This essay is mostly based on the book Hajj: Reflection on Its Rituals by Dr. Ali Shariati.

Footnotes

  1. Qur’an, 22: 27-8 []
  2. Qur’an, 2:125 []
  3. Quran, 2:125 []
  4. Meaning: God listened [to my prayer] []
  5. Qur’an 37:102 []
  6. Qur’an, 37:102 []
  7. Qur’an, 37:104-5 []
  8. Qur’an, 37:108-9 []
  9. Dr. Ali Shariati, Hajj: Reflection on Its Rituals []
  10. Qur’an, 22:37 []
  11. Qur’an, 22:29 []
  12. Qur’an, 22:29 []

12 Comments

  1. I deeply regret sounding arrogant in my previous posts. I believe there is no excuse for arrogance, but perhaps I can explain it by simply saying I have become very tired and therefore careless in my choice of words. I deeply regret it.

    I believe I’m “tired” largely because it’s so hard to get people to stay on one subject for even a few minutes. I began my comments here by quoting Muhammad’s urging of believers to “draw no lines” between the Prophets-and I’m ending up reading the interesting–but completely off the point–article mentioned in the previous comment. No where in any of the three Holy Books is there any mention of the resurrection of the land the ancient Egyptian’s called “Palestine.” But the resurrection of Israel is repeatedly mentioned by the Prophets, and the “gathering” of the Jews from all the nations where they were “scattered.” We desperately need the members of all three religions to alter their understanding. The Jews need to recognize “the Messiah Jesus.” The Christians need to recognize that the Messiah Jesus is a “servant of God,” as Muhammad identified him, not “God the Son.” And the Muslims need to recognize that they were never meant to replace the Jews and Christians, but to correct the errors made by the Hebrew and Chrisitian clergies. I began this discussion by simply pointing out that the Muslims could take the leading role in transforming the world by “believing Muhammad.” It’s evolved into an “argument” over modern day Palestine, which has nothing to do with the Prophets.

  2. Assalamu’alykum. It is ammusing to see such an intense and impassioned debate on Palestine and Israel under the article, The Soul of Hajj. Regardless, it was great to observe three views on this pressing issue. I commend Abdur Rahman, Al-Qur’an wa Sunnah, and Jane B. Drake for participating in such a vital discourse. I agree most with AR and AQWS. Jane B. Drake, I believe is a genuinely good hearted person. I agree with her aspirations of peace and mutual harmony. However, I found nothing in the arguments of the others that went contrary to her exalted ideals. I do not believe anyone was advocating violence. I really appreciated AR’s and AQWS use of substantial historical evidence, and their arugments that serve as efficacious refutations that get at the core of the strife. I did not appreciate Jane’s arrogance towards the information, statistics, etc… provided. As AQWS said, it did seem that she was being dismissive of others and making their arguments “obsolete.” The last comment by AQWS really hits the heart of this altercation. I will not presume to continue out of fear that my speech may become “obsolete” by Jane B. Drake. However, If I am gratned permission I wish to impart a worthwhile study by Habib Siddiqui which can be accessed at http://www.palestine-pmc.com/d.....038;id=806. I kindly advise everyone to read that article and learn more about the Palestinian/Israel conflict. I hope we no do not have any further comments that lack sound evidence to prove an argument. So if anyone is against what I have written, please take the time to read that article. Thank you for your time and patience. I pray that Allah, Lord of all that exists, grants us a solution to this world dillema in the near future.

  3. You’re not listenting, you never have and you never will. I’m sure you heard the hogwash statements many times, and I’m also sure that you never studied the issues yourself to evaluate the claims as either true or false. You just don’t want to believe it because it goes against what you stand for, unified faiths for a terrorist state of Israel. All this talk about turning our hearts to one another, what happened to turning our hearts towards innocent palestinians, victims of a oppressive regime. You my friend are also interpreting your verse as you see fit. You are doing what you apparently detest. Saddly, I am going to avoid responding to you again because you are stubborn, read this— The recent escalation and crisis in Palestine, arising from a disproportionate Israeli response to an Israeli soldier being taken as a ‘hostage’ by armed Palestinians has re-focussed international attention on the area, whilst partially relegating media focus on Iraq.

    The conflict has also brought public focus again on the continued debate over the legality of the creation and existence of Israel despite the claims of efforts towards a two-state solution. The pendulum gravitates between rejection of the Israeli state, a view interestingly not only held by Muslims, but also Christians and a number of Jews; and between its legitimacy lent to it by its colonial creators that is imposed and protected by regional tyrant rulers over the Muslims and an ever-present Israeli military.

    60 years of existence as a state has been associated with 60 years of arguments and struggle. However, the essence of the debate has become deliberately lost in translation and side-tracked by the absurd assertion that being anti-state of Israel and/or anti-Zionist is synonymous to being anti-Jew and anti-Semitic. Subsequently, much legitimate political debate and expression has been hijacked with this false, disingenuous, emotive, deceptive and irrelevant connection.

    To avoid falling into this trap and be falsely labelled – so that we can focus on a meaningful perspective on whether the state of Israel has a right to exist, let us go directly to remove the impediment and red-herring: “The assertion that being anti-Israel and/or anti-Zionist is synonymous to being anti-Jew and anti-Semitic is absurd, disingenuous and a concerted deliberate attempt to stifle legitimate political views that argue the illegitimacy of the Israeli state and the fundamental right to oppose it.”

    As for the core discussion about the legitimacy of Israel as a state, it connected to four claims – Ethical, Historical, Religious and Political.

    Ethical

    There is no ethical basis for the legitimacy of Israel, since it was simply unethical and immoral to displace a population forcibly from their lands, converting them to refugees without meaning, then terrorise them to accept the illegal acquisition of their lands. We would assume by the twisted logic of considering it ethical to force a population to leave their homes, possessions and lands that this would make President Mugabe policy in Zimbabwe of forced eviction of ‘whites’ acceptable? It would also make it ethical for someone to enter Bush’s Texas’s Ranch, force him out and claim the ranch for himself, possibly leaving Bush with the barn and to accept this, making the barn his home and being prevented to take appropriate actions to claim all of the ranch back?

    We don’t think so and doubt this would be considered ethical and moral… and neither was it evident when Argentina sought to claim the Falkland Islands and the British government responded in April 1982, under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, by fighting Argentina in the Falklands War to keep it under British rule. Let us also keep a perspective on this – the Falkland Islands only has a population of 3,000 in comparison to Palestine which has a population 4 million (excluding those forced to flee to neighbouring Jordan and those absorbed into Israel). Given Britain’s experience on giving Palestine away from her mandate to a foreign people, why was this precedent not applied to the Falklands and the islands given to Argentina (who have historical claim to the islands)? Was this an unethical action by the British government not to give the Falklands Islands, like they did with Palestine? Given that there is discussion amongst British politicians to commemorate the Falklands war, clearly Britain doesn’t believe so. Therefore, if the British can fight to liberate a small relatively insignificant island from occupation to safeguard its population (and commemorate this), then why cannot the Palestinians do the same and repel the illegal occupation of their lands?

    What is unethical is not the position of the Palestinians to struggle for the liberation of all the occupied lands, but the hypocritical double standards of the western powers.

    Historical

    The historical argument that is frequently quoted is often connected to the ethical angle. As for the historical claim, it stems from the view that the ancestors of the Jews were the first to inhabit the plains of Palestine; therefore this grants them the right to the land. This was a similar argument, was it not, that Iraq held concerning Kuwait? Surely the colonial powers should have supported Iraq when it entered Kuwait in 1990 based on Iraq’s historical claim (more so since Saddam was a western agent), similar to when they supported the Zionist historical claim to Israel and paved the way for the Zionists to achieve this aim? On the contrary, whilst the Palestinians were forcibly evicted to make way for the Zionist entity, Iraq’s entry into Kuwait precipitated the Gulf War. Therefore it should be noted that the historical argument is not only weak, which we will endeavour to summarise later, but suffers from the same illogical double standards. For the sake of completion of argument, if one follows the logic of this argument, then the following examples of historical claims should be equally applied, with equal resolution, force and determination to return land to its original inhabitants:

    a) Lands in America returned to the native Indians
    When the Europeans landed, there were probably about 10 million Indians populating America north of present-day Mexico. It is believed that the first Indians arrived during the last ice-age, approximately 20,000 – 30,000 years ago. The initial enthusiasm with which the Indians greeted the Europeans soon turned to conflict due to the European colonial material greed. The conflicts led to the Indian Wars, the Indian Removal Act and other acts culminating in the last major war, which was the massacre in 1890 of Indian warriors, women, and children at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. From a period of a brutal policy of forced assimilation that lasted until the 1960’s, aside from token gesture Indian reservations, native Indians until today have been denied their right to re-possess their ancestral lands

    b) Lands in Australia returned to the native Aborigines
    From 1788, when the British officially landed, until today force (military and otherwise) has been used to strip the native Aboriginal people of their lands. The Aboriginal people fought to protect their lands but the British declared this continent terra nullius — that the land was empty and belonged to no-one when they colonised it. For over 200 years the lie of terra nullius was the cruel and brutal cover for the mass murder, for the refusal to recognise Australia’s indigenous race as people, for the forced removal of children from their families, for the inhuman exploitation of the labour of Aboriginal people, for the racist treatment and apartheid Aboriginal people have been subjected to. Terra Nullius was also the justification for the denial of land rights. Though in 1992, the High Court of Australia recognised the concept of Native Title, stating it had existed before settlement and had continued after colonisation. However, the court adjudged that the Native Title was extinguished whenever land had been sold or set aside for some other purpose. Little has changed since then.

    What we clearly witness in the above two examples is a repugnant disguised policy of discrimination, denial of land return and political authority upon those people with legitimate historical claims (except Israel, of course). Therefore, possessing an historical right carries neither value nor worth as a basis of argument. So why is Israel made an exception? Clearly, the historical arguments are flawed and selectively applied – but this is typical from an international community that is hostage to political expediency and established upon the evil ideology of capitalism that serves the prime interests of the capitalists.

    Where does this leave the Zionist historical claim, aside from being meaningless and irrelevant? A brief review on the history of Palestine reveals two interesting points. Firstly, that the history is disputed, so there is no clear proof of the Zionist claim anyway. Secondly, most historians conclude the Canaanites were the earliest known inhabitants of Palestine (3rd millennium BC). The Canaanites were the earliest known inhabitants of Palestine (3rd millennium BC). Egypt was the first adjacent power to conquer the region (3rd millennium BC). During the 2nd millennium BC Egyptian hegemony and Canaanite autonomy were challenged by various invaders – and only then did the ‘Israelites’ appear (Semitic tribes from Mesopotamia). Therefore, even the Zionist historical claims are at least unproven and at best a deliberate contortion.

    Religious

    Politically, Palestine holds no significance for Jews – since like Christianity, Judaism does not possess nor articulate a political structure, institutions or processes to deal with state and society.

    However, it is clear that Judaism has been hijacked by the Zionist movement, which has taken Judaic principles and ideals and fused them within a capitalist and ruthless political agenda that dreams of a ‘greater Israel’ – whilst according to the Torah, the Jews are forbidden to have their own state or political sovereignty while awaiting the messianic era. To this end, the religious argument and justification is false and is best represented by Jews themselves.

    A number of orthodox Jews, like the Neturei Karta, state their refusal to, “…recognise the right of anyone to establish a “Jewish” state during the present period of exile.” They oppose the, “…so-called “State of Israel” not because it operates secularly, but because the entire concept of a sovereign Jewish state is contrary to Jewish Law.”

    Quoting the Talmud, Orthodox Jews refer to Tractate Kesubos (p. 111a), stating that it teaches that Jews shall not use human force to bring about the establishment of a Jewish state before the coming of the universally accepted Moshiach (Messiah from the House of David).

    The likes of Neturei Karta further aim to distance Judaism from Zionism by stating, “The true Jews remain faithful to Jewish belief and are not contaminated with Zionism.” Likewise they, “deplore the systematic uprooting of ancient Jewish communities by the Zionists, the shedding of Jewish and non-Jewish blood for the sake of Zionist sovereignty,” and that, “The world must know that the Zionists have illegitimately seized the name Israel and have no right to speak in the name of the Jewish people!”

    Therefore, we would safely conclude that there is no religious basis for the existence of the state of Israel. We wonder whether orthodox Jews who espouse these views are chastised, tried and imprisoned by western governments for promoting such views and labelled as ‘anti-Semitic’ or imprisoned for holding ‘terrorist’ views on the destruction of Israel? We don’t think this is the case, since the likes of Neturei Karta hold year round global demonstrations, including in New York and London – with placards, which if held by Muslims – they would be instantly arrested and tried under racial/religious discrimination laws or some terror legislation.

    Political

    The development of Palestine in contemporary political history has three distinct periods, which are: firstly, under Islamic rule; secondly, under the British Mandate from 1922, by the League of Nations; and finally under Israeli rule. Without any shadow of doubt, only under the rule of Islam did the people (Muslims, Jews and Christians) find great levels of security, stability and ease. It is well documented, by non-Muslim historians, that Jews sought refuge under the Islamic authority, the Khilafah, from persecution in Europe, particularly the infamous Spanish Inquisition in 1492.

    As for British rule, in 1922, Palestine was placed, by the League of Nations, under British Mandate until 1948, when the state of Israel was established. During this mandate, all the people, particularly the Arabs suffered at the hands of a discriminatory policy that enacted laws assisting Jewish immigration to Palestine and acquisition of land by Jews. During this time, the local Arab population (Muslims and Christians), dismayed that they were being slowly swamped in their own country by foreign immigrants, rose more than once in revolt against the immigration policy of the British Government.

    As for Israeli rule since 1948, little needs to be said about the apartheid, brutal, discriminatory and racist nature of the state – both against the Muslim/Christian Arab populations (in Israel and the Palestinian refugee camps) and against Jews themselves of Oriental and African descent. A number of documents by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch re-affirm what the world has witnessed for 60 years of the brutal disregard of human life and blatant discrimination, resulting in the consistent tension for the region as a whole. Therefore, politically, Israel will never provide a basis for political stability in the region given its innate racist philosophy, Zionist political agenda and sustained opposition from a people that have been forcibly displaced and will continue to work for the complete liberation of Palestine from Zionist and colonial control.

    In conclusion, the legitimacy of Israel is established upon deceit, dishonesty and hypocrisy. It reality it has no legitimacy and the ethical, historical, religious and political claims are false and twisted. The occupied people of Palestine have the legal right to oppose occupation and strive for the complete liberation of Palestine. This is a right for the people of Palestine; a right that exists for ethical, historical, religious and political reasons – unlike the false reasons that the proponents of Israel have claimed.

    Source: KCom Journal

  4. I believe in the Lord God of Abraham, as He is revealed by all the Prophets from Abraham through Muhammad. Therefore, I also believe in “the Messiah Jesus,” as Muhammad identifies him. And I believe in the promises God has provided for His images, including the promise conveyed by Jesus, who told us that someday, God’s images will do “greater things” than he did when he lived on earth.

    My desire is to help us avoid the “gross darkness” of a nuclear winter, as the Prophet Isaiah precisely described it. To avoid the “darkness”, the Prophet Malachi said we must turn our hearts to each other. Believers cannot turn our hearts to others unless we learn about God and our Messiah from all the Prophets.

    Having lived 79 years, I’ve heard more than enough of the manmade “hogwash” that has been said—especially these days—that contradict or nullify God’s promises. For anyone to take it upon himself to alter God’s promises appears to me to be the epitome of ignorance. I’ve written a book, and maintain a website and a blog presenting the combined teachings of all the Prophets. And I readily discuss subjects with anyone who will do so civilly. But I am not inclined to discuss the last comment, suggesting that I listen to people who have no respect for the Sacred Teachings of the Prophets, as they have been preserved and passed down to us. They are our ONLY source of knowledge about God. Everything else is pure imagination by humans “who know not what they do.”

  5. As salamu’alykum everyone. Hello Jane Drake, it is interesting to see how you remain dismissive of other people’s views and obstinate in your own. It is appalling that your response did not touch on the heart of AR’s comments. You simply remain ignorant and respond emotionally. History and evidence is needed, where are your proofs to your claims and assertions? The verse you persist to display as justification resembles the verses terrorists use. They take them out of context and use it to further their agenda. You keep saying that Muslims are trying to make other scriptures obsolete and justify their right to the land, and then go on to say that Jews have the right to the land because thier book says so. What makes you any different? I wonder if you even read these scriptures, did you read the story when Moses and his people escaped the Pharoah and Moses asked his people to return to phillistine and they refused. If you studied history, you would know that Jews were kicked out of the “promised land” many times. So when does this prophecy apply? You must have found all this insignificant. All Israel is committing is “legalized” terrorism all to fulfill underlying political motives. Why, if God wanted these people to return to their land, did they have to kill millions of people, commit hundreds of massacres, Jenin being one I’m sure you remember, but Muslim blood does not matter to you as long as you get your land. I don’t think they were Muslims intent on eradicating Israel, they were just civilians innocently going about their business in a territory that Israel felt they needed to capitalize on. All your talk about not knowing if scriptures have been corrupted is foolish, you simply are denying something you know if realized by majority could jeapordize your mission. Instead of repeating yourself again and again try to read what others write and answer appropriately. I advise you to visit these websites read the articles, analyze them, and make an educated judgment. Read a little before you commence to write your next response.
    http://harunyahya.com/palestine11.php
    http://www.bismikaallahuma.org.....the-bible/
    http://www.bismikaallahuma.org.....ed-really/
    http://www.bismikaallahuma.org.....an-church/
    http://www.bismikaallahuma.org.....borrowing/

    I ask the bismika allahuma team to kindly respond to Jane B. Drake. We need to educate people like her about the issue of the reality of corruption of previous scriptures, and the reality of the Palestine and Israel conflict. Once again I request someone more educated than I to repudiate her silly statements. You’re not fooling anyone, you don’t want peace and reconciliation betwen the warring people. You want acceptance of a racist/ terrorist state and have Muslims to leave their homeland. May Allah reward the bismikaallahuma.org team for their great efforts.

  6. All we can know about the teachings delivered by the Prophets has been recorded in the Scriptures of each religion. Therefore, it is very easy for people to dispute some of those teachings! They only need to quote the “scholars” who “suspect” the Scriptures were “tampered with.” In truth, no one has any proof whatsoever that tampering occurred, since no one can produce the so-called “original text” to compare with the so-called “altered text.” So, everyone who reads any of the ancient Scriptures has a choice. He can either believe what is written, or discredit what he doesn’t like. But I try to avoid discussions with people who “discard” portions of any Scriptures. I discuss what is written and I accept the Prophets’ recorded words as “God-given teachings.” Consequently, I will repeat what I first posted here, which no one has “answered,” except to infer that the words I quote are the products of “tampering.”

    (Begin quote): About 3,400 years ago, before the Hebrews had even entered the “Promised Land,” Moses warned his people of a future day, when they would be “…driven out [of the Land] to the farthest parts under heaven…” (Deut. 30:4). But Moses also assured the Israelites that God “…will have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you” (Deut. 30:3).

    If, today, Muslims truly believed Muhammad, they would believe “what was given to Moses.” And they would rejoice in the resurrection of Israel as Moses foretold. Instead, countless Muslims, “believe in some [prophets] but deny others,” while they prepare to “wipe Israel off the map.” (End quote)

    As I see it, Moses’ prophecy, along with others that elaborate on it, tell us what is happening today. Granted, some orthodox Jews believe that Israel cannot be “resurrected” until the Messiah comes, but, again, that is their clergy’s interpretation, which they’ve embraced. It is not the commonly held belief among Jews, who simply believe the Prophets foretold the resurrection of Israel, as it is written in the Hebrew Scriptures.

    To dismiss those prophecies as “false” is, in essence, to dismiss the Hebrew Scriptures. I absolutely do not believe that all Muslims want to do that, especially in light of Muhammad’s teachings against believing some Prophets and denying others! Yet, unfortunately, the Muslims with the strongest public voice these days follow the same path Christians traveled before them: they dismiss the Hebrews Scriptures as “obsolete” and proceed to establish themselves as the heirs of the “Holy Land.” And that is what I “blame on” the clergies of Christianity and Islam.

  7. Assalamu ‘alaikum everyone. I really enjoyed this debate, it was very captivating. I really appreciated Jane and ‘Abdur Rahman’s opinons. However, in all honesty, I too did not know where Jane was going with their comments. What was she trying to prove or present. Abdur Rahman had a much better method of presenting his ideas, because he provided examples, evidence, and so on. I have read most of the things that AR alluded to and they are accurate and authentic. Contrary to Janes claim that his response was hackneyed, his response highlighted things that the majority of people do not know or realize. The truth is Janes comment is more common and widespread than AR’s. AR tried to effectively disseminate the truth and for that Jane associates him with millions of muslims who want to plunge the world with darkness. Comments like those should not be allowed, they are not conducive to understanding and tolerance rather they induce racism and hatred. Jane your comments are all theoretical and biased and why did you dismiss such practical, impartial and objective criticism by AR? I await a response by AR on your latest comment.

  8. I am sorry Jane I cannot agree with you at all on this post. My post did not encourage nuclear war as a means of ending this atrocious period in human history, in fact I stated that an intellectual battle is necessary. Debates and dialogue are the methods that will facilitate understanding and hopefully expediate the peace process. My post simply stated that we cannot accept or tolerate a criminals offense under the premise that if we are against it then more violence will ensue. We cannot accept transgressions or else the oppressor will recieve it as an open door to commit more heinous acts. Justice is what needs to prevail, when I gave the example of you invading my house and me retaliating to defend my people, I was not legitamizing violence rather I was explaining that it is the natural instinct that one is disposed to. You cannot villify merely one side as the media does in terms of Palestinians. How come not once did you state that Israel must stop its oppressive and brutal purges upon civilians? There has to be a non-partisan approach, we have to juxtapose the two perspectives in order to find a solution.

    Do not be so injudicious, a Muslim cannot dismiss all the prophets ways except “clergy” interpretations of Prophet Muhammad’s ways. Prophet Muhammad’s way is comprised of all the prophets traditions with some improvements and new practices. The Qur’an teaches mankind lessons by using examples of the lives of 25 of the greatest Prophets inspired by Allah. By dismissing any of them, we would be committing kufr, disbelief. Christians and Jews are held in such high esteem in the Qur’an that we call them the people of the book. We can eat from their food, marry from their people, and coexist with them peacefully. This is what Prophet Muhammad(saas) and his companions did in the past. Prophet declared that jews and christians living under an Islamic state should be protected under law, their churches and synagogues are to be guarded from any destruction, exempt from military duty, and they have the right to profess their religion. This is the paramount reason why non-muslims lived in harmony with muslims for so long. Jews even advanced alongside the Muslims in spain. This is the Qur’anic injunction of how to live with non-muslims. When we are to debate with them, we are are involved in a discourse with them we are to speak from the best words in a gentle manner and not treat them harshly. We are following the Sunnah, tradition, of all the Prophets, however, this was not the primary focus of my post. Unfortunately once again your post does not have a logical flow, here you are saying that Muslims should be following the tradition of the past prophet’s and then you go on to speak about acceptance of Israel and then back to embracing ideas from all different faiths. First of all my post and Muslims in general are not opposed to the Sunnah of other prophets and reconciliation between faiths, after all that was what the Prophet Muhammad(saas) did., this is an obligation for us. Following the prophets has nothing to do with accepting Israel in fact it runs contrary to the message of the Prophets. The concept of Muslims teaching that the previous scriptures have been corrupted is correct and it is based on evidence. This is not a question of historical obscurity, history proves that this is true. Christian and Jewish scholars themselves agree and have written many books pertaining to the corruption of their holy books. There is no doubt that there is beautiful ideals that remain in those scriptures but it is tainted with man-made concepts and perceptions. We as Muslims are simply following the true message of what all the Prophets brought down to this earth.

    It is beautiful that you try to embrace all the teaching of the Prophets but you contradict yourself when you speak of millions of Muslims who seek nuclear solutions to conflicts. You contradict yourself when you speak of a legitamate state of Israel. Nowhere in these religious scriptures is there a command to execute religious discrimination, racism, and mass murders all to establish “pure” blood of a “chosen” people on a “promised” land as the zionists proclaim, keep in mind I do not use “jews” because all this goes against the Torah. Have you not heard the voices of orthodox jews who join hands with Muslims against the occupation of Palestine by Israel. O, you must have dismissed those voices as “obsolete.” My friend the truth will prevail, and there will come a time when Muslims, Christians, and Jews unite against Israel. History is our biggest weapon against the zionists, history explains it all. So, advocates of Israel can hide behind this false religious claim, but truth will inevitably come and triumph over falsehood. No one is against a state for the jews, even though orthodox jews believe it is discordant to jewish teachings, they are against Israel in Palestinian lands. Why don’t we go ask Germany to set aside a place for the “chosen” people, ” hey uh yea we’re like uh chosen by God, so u wanna like give us a whole chunk of land, o hey I almost forgot were you not the people that killed millions of my people. O wow, silly me, and all this time I was bashing Muslims for their rejection of Israel in Palestine. You guys are supposed to be giving us reparations. Plus most of our population is descendants of Russian tribes, lets go establish a state there, I’m sure Russia will welcome us with open hands.” Christians and Jew know best that Israel is in the wrong, so I advise you to stop villifying millions of Muslims and venerating Zionists. There are wrong doers in every faith, and they do not represent their religion in its true state, just as Al-qaeda does not and Zionist Israelis do not. to end, I have to say that your last comments take away from your “all-embracing” approach when you say that I am with millions of muslims who wish to plunge the earth with darkness all to prove my point, probably one of the most ignorant and racist comments you have written yet.

    I was using history, evidence, a pragmatic approach to this turbulent issue. We have to be honest, open minded, and practical if we wish to solve anything, we cannot simply resort to impassioned, bias, and erroneous accusations as you have. Villifying your opponent is something you obviously like to do, but I will not be tempted to do the same. Just as my first post, all I ask is that we get to the points and show both sides of this issue. Assalamu’alykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu to all my brothers and sisters and May Allah guide all the truth seekers to the Islam, the religion of truth. Alhamdulillahir rabbil ‘alameen was salaatu was salaamu ‘ala Rasulullah. Allah give us strength and knowledge to become victorious over the wrongdoers, and Ya Allah end this bloodshed and establish peace in the Middle East, restore it to its prestine position where it had been when Caliph Umar ruled and Salahudeen Ayyubi. Dear friend, Jane, we are not enemies, I will not treat you as one do not treat me as one. We are seekers of peace, we will inshaAllah work together to attain this peace and understanding that this world is dire need of.

  9. Which family linage did Quran say prophets of God comes from?

  10. Mr. Rahman, You are doing exactly what numberless Jews and Christians do: You briefly mention teachings from your Holy Book and then proceed to discuss at length the teachings of your clergy. The clergies of all three religions have interpreted their own Scriptures in ways that exalt their own religion while declaring the others false or obsolete. And those interpretations have brought us to the brink of the nuclear war and winter precisely described by the Prophet Isaiah, who told us “…darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the peoples…”(Isa. 60:2). But the Hebrew Prophet Malachi said we could avoid that “darkness” if we will LEARN TO TURN OUR HEARTS TO EACH OTHER (Malachi 3:24/4:6). Although you dismiss those Prophets as “obsolete,” if you survive the nuclear war, you’ll remember them when you are sitting in the prophesied darkness that you did nothing to prevent, and, in fact, helped to create—by dismissing all the Prophets’ teachings except your CLERGY’S interpretations of your own.

    Unless we embrace the teachings about our Lord God and the Messiah He promised to send us–teachings delivered by the Prophets of Judaism, Christianity and Islam–we will not be able to turn our hearts to each other. Those teachings NEVER contradict each other. It’s the clergies who interpret them who have created the contradictions. It is very sad that you are the only Muslim who chose to answer my post–and very sad that you chose to answer with the hackneyed arguments I hear everywhere. I am simply one voice embracing the teachings of all the Prophets (through a book, a website and a blog). While you speak for millions of people who are willing to plunge the earth into darkness in your effort to “prove” you are right. By sheer number, I expect your “side” will win–if you consider a nuclear war “winning” the argument!

  11. First of all just to provide the verse mentioned by Jane and the two other verses that follow after –
    4:150 VERILY, those who deny God and His apostles by endeavouring to make a distinction between [belief in] God and [belief in] His apostles, and who say, “We believe in the one but we deny the other,” and want to pursue a path in-between –
    4:151 it is they, they who are truly denying the truth: and for those who deny the truth We have readied shameful suffering.
    4:152 But as for those who believe in God and His apostles and make no distinction between any of them- unto them, in time, will He grant their re­wards [in full]. And God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.

    You are correct in the idea that Muslims make no distinction between any of the Prophets of God, however your argument falls apart when you say Muslims are then required to believe in the “words of God” brought to Jesus and Moses. First of all, it is evident that their messages were corrupted and distorted by man. Hence, Allah revealed His last and complete message to mankind in the Qur’an. Also your perception of Isreal may be influenced by zionist rhetoric. The Palestinian and Israeli conflict has been prevalent for quite some time. It has caused countless deaths and has been the source of great turmoil for generations. As a young child all I knew about the conflict was seeing a map ( pre-1940) that had the country of Palestine, then later (post-1940) that had Israel in its place. That had sparked some curiosity and resentment in me. As a Muslim, my fellow peoples land was stolen and their country was minimized to the point of few dots on the map. Later in my life I have come to know more about the situation, both religiously, politically and historically. Zionists (not following the torah) stated they had a historical claim as well as a religious claim to the land of Palestine. However, historically, the children of Israel were not the first occupiers of the land just one among the many and they never had rule of all of Palestine. Canaanites and Philisteens ruled the land of Palestine and modern day Palestinians are descendants of them who ruled for about 5000 years. Zionists often invoke the Book of Genesis (15:16) which states: “In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” The “seed” or son meant here is Ishmael – the first born. What we know from history is that this “promise” was only fulfilled through the Arab descendants of Ishmael, the forefather of Muhammad (P), and not ever by any descendant of Isaac. Today more than 80% of Jews in Palestine have no historical relationship to it and they belong to tribes from southern Russia(Habib Siddiqui). During Muslim rule/ottoman empire and others before, Palestine was a land of peace where people of all 3 religions lived together in harmony. Now it is filled with death and dissent. I agree with most middle east experts who say that if there is to be peace in Palestine, it has to be ruled like the ottoman empire and Caliph Umar ruled before.

    Please do not repeat old views that hold no weight. Where were you going with this comment of yours? First of all you must think objectively, are you blind, dumb, and or deaf? Is it Isreal who is the victim? Do not decieve yourself, your conscience will definately tell you that Isreal is carrying out one of the greatest genocides in the history of mankind. How can such thoughtful people let a population of violent, barbaric criminals perpetuate their blatant massacres of an innocent people. Have you read about the apartheid wall, have you read about the draining of natural resources, have you read about the house demolitions? Please we need people to think clearly and look for a appropiate solution not some naive request to stop Islamic militants. If you came to my house, killed my mother and father, and raped my sister, would you expect me to step away and kiss your hand. No, I would fight you and defend my people. Do not be so inconsiderate of the palestinian peoples right to live. The violence in the middle east will only end when Israel leaves occupied lands. Forgive me if I came out a bit harsh, whoever you may be I ask Allah to guide you to the truth. Honestly I could not understand your stance on the issue you were writing about. Basically, if Muslims will unite together to fight intellectually against the mighty oppressive giant, Israel, we can easilly subdue it and restore peace. Indeed there is the key to peace and harmony among faiths in the message of Muhammad(saas), Muslims should do their outmost to revive his blessed teachings. Whatever mistakes I have made, May Allah forgive me, and whatever is good and right is from Allah, all praise is due to him. Once again my friend, clear your heart, I believe you have the right intentions, but like all of us who suffer from ignorance, you must study these issues in depth and By Allah you will uncover the real truth. Take care and May Allah guide your steps in all your affairs.

  12. While I find your explanation of Muslim customs well presented and very interesting, I wonder how you will react to my comments on a course of action that is of far more importance, which Muslims could pursue in these dangerous days. I title my suggestions: If Muslims Believed Muhammad,
    They Could Transform the World

    Through the Koran, Muhammad tells Muslims to “Say: We believe in God and what was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael, to Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and what was given to Moses and Jesus and the prophets. We discriminate against none of them” (The Family of Imran 3:84).

    Another time, Muhammad warns Muslims against drawing “…a line between God and His apostles, saying: ‘We believe in some but deny others….’” (Women 4:150).

    About 3,400 years ago, before the Hebrews had even entered the “Promised Land,” Moses warned his people of a future day, when they would be “…driven out [of the Land] to the farthest parts under heaven…” (Deut. 30:4). But Moses also assured the Israelites that God “…will have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you” (Deut. 30:3).

    If, today, Muslims truly believed Muhammad, they would believe “what was given to Moses.” And they would rejoice in the resurrection of Israel as Moses foretold. Instead, countless Muslims, “believe in some [prophets] but deny others,” while they prepare to “wipe Israel off the map.”

    In other words, if Muslims believed the Prophets who preceded Muhammad and drew no “line” between them, they would humbly admit to God and the world, “We have been wrong to fight against Israel.” And an astonished world would behold Israel’s deadly enemies evidencing incredible faith, unmatched by Jews and Christians throughout their bloody history!

    If militant Muslims and their supporters renounced their ignorant rejection of Israel and transformed themselves into peaceful believers in Abraham’s God, astounded Jews and Christians would be hard-pressed to renounce their own ignorant dismissal of Muhammad as a “false prophet” and Islam as a “false religion.”

    Then, Jews and Christians, following the Muslims’ unique example, could finally abandon their own erroneous manmade teachings about “the Messiah Jesus” (Women 4:171) and embrace Muhammad’s messages about him, which Jews and Christians have always scorned — the very messages that could create peace among all “believers.”

    If Muslims believed Muhammad….

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