Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Surah 2. Al-Baqara (21 - 30)

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

21- O mankind! Worship your Lord, Who hath created you and those before you, so that ye may ward off (evil).
22- Who hath appointed the earth a resting place for you, and the sky a canopy; and causeth water to pour down from the sky, thereby producing fruits as food for you. And do not set up rivals to Allah when ye know (better).
23- And if ye are in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto Our slave (Muhammed), then produce a surah of the like thereof, and call your witnesses beside Allah if ye are truthful.
24- And if ye do it not - and ye can never do it - then guard yourselves against the fire prepared for disbelievers, whose fuel is of men and stones.
25- And give glad tidings (O Muhammed) unto those who believe and do good works; that theirs are Gardens underneath which rivers flow; as often as they are regaled with food
of the fruit thereof, they say: This is what was given us aforetime; and it is given to them in resemblance. There for them are pure companions; there for ever they abide.
26- Lo! Allah disdaineth not to coin the similitude even of a gnat. Those who believe know that it is the truth from their Lord; but those who disbelieve say: What doth Allah wish (to teach) by such a similitude? He misleadeth many thereby, and He guideth many thereby; and He misleadeth thereby only miscreants;
27- Those who break the covenant of Allah after ratifying it, and sever that which Allah ordered to be joined, and (who) make mischief in the earth: Those are they who are the losers.
28- How disbelieve ye in Allah when ye were dead and He gave life to you! Then he will give you death, then life again, and then unto Him ye will return.
29- He it is who created for you all that is in the earth. Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens. And He is Knower of all things.
30- And when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am about to place a viceroy in the earth, they said: Wilt Thou place therein one who will do harm therein and will shed blood, while we, we hymn Thy praise and sanctify Thee? He said: Surely I know that which ye know not.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Surah 2. Al-Baqara (11 - 20)

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

11- And when it is said unto them: Make not mischief in the earth, they say: We are peacemakers only.
12- Are they not indeed the mischief-makers? But they perceive not.
13- And when it is said unto them: Believe as the people believe, they say: Shall we believe as the foolish believe?
Are they not indeed the foolish? But they know not.
14- And when they fall in with those who believe, they say: We believe; but when they go apart to their devils they
declare: Lo! we are with you; verily we did but mock.
15- Allah (Himself) doth mock them, leaving them to wander blindly on in their contumacy.
16- These are they who purchase error at the price of guidance, so their commerce doth not prosper, neither are they guided.
17- Their likeness is as the likeness of one who kindleth fire, and when it sheddeth its light around him Allah taketh away
their light and leaveth them in darkness, where they cannot see.
18- Deaf, dumb and blind; and they return not.
19- Or like a rainstorm from the sky, wherein is darkness, thunder and the flash of lightning. They thrust their fingers in their ears by reason of the thunder-claps, for fear of death. Allah emcompasseth the disbelievers (in His guidance).
20- The lightning almost snatcheth away their sight from them. As often as it flasheth forth for them they walk therein, and when it darkeneth against them they stand still. If Allah willed, He could destroy their hearing and their sight. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Surah 2. Al-Baqara (1 - 10)

1. Alif. Lam. Mim.
2. This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off (evil).
3. Who believe in the unseen, and establish worship, and spend of that We have bestowed upon them;
4. And who believe in that which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) and that which was revealed before thee, and are
certain of the Hereafter.
5. These depend on guidance from their Lord. These are the successful.
6. As for the disbelievers, whether thou warn them or thou warn them not it is all one for them; they believe not.
7. Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom.
8. And of mankind are some who say: We believe in Allah and the Last Day, when they believe not.
9. They think to beguile Allah and those who believe, and they beguile none save themselves; but they perceive not.
10. In their hearts is a disease, and Allah increaseth their disease. A painful doom theirs because they lie.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


[1] In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

[2] Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds;

[3] Most Gracious, Most Merciful;

[4] Master of the Day of Judgment.

[5] Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek,

[6] Show us the straight way,

[7] The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

How Kind is Allah!

There lived an idolator in the past who made an idol out of stone and would worship it everyday. He would call it upon it by saying "Ya Sanam." For seventy years, he worshipped this idol. One day by mistake he uttered "Ya Samad" instead of Ya Sanam. Samad is a name of Allah which means The Self Sufficient Master. Allah Ta'ala immediately replied back to this idolator by saying "I am present oh My slave." The angels asked Allah why He replied to him since he didn't even call upon Him intentionally. Allah told the angels that for seventy years I have been waiting for this servant of mine to turn towards Me!
If a mother has only one child then how much would she love him? He would be the coolness of her eyes and the comfort of her heart. But if this son calls her saying "Mommy" more than four or five times, she would get irritated eventhough she loves him more than her ownself. On the other hand, when we call Allah once, He replies back to us 70 times by saying "Labbaik Ya Abdi (I am here oh My slave)." How unfortunate we are that we have not recognized our Allah who is so Kind, Merciful and Forgiving.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Life After Death.........

The question of whether or not there is life after death does not fall under the field of science, because science is only concerned with the classification and analysis of recorded data. Moreover, man has been busy with scientific enquiries and research, in the modern sense of the term, only for the last few centuries, while he has been familiar with the idea of life after death since times immemorial. All the prophets of God called their people to worship God and to believe in life after death. They laid so much emphasis on the belief in life after death that even a slight doubt in it meant denying God and made all other beliefs meaningless. The very fact that all the prophets of God have dealt with this metaphysical question so confidently and uniformly - the gap between their ages being thousands of years - goes to prove that the source of their knowledge of life after death, as proclaimed by them all, was the same, that is, Divine revelation.
We also know that these prophets of God were greatly opposed by their people, mainly on the issue of life after death, as their people thought it impossible. But in spite of that opposition, the prophets won many sincere followers. The question arises, what made those followers forsake the established beliefs, traditions and customs of their forefathers, regardless of the risk of being totally alienated from their own community? The simple answer is that they made use of their faculties of mind and heart and realized the truth.
Did they realize the truth through experiencing it? Not so, as the perceptual experience of life after death is impossible. Actually, God has given man, besides perceptual consciousness, rational, aesthetic and moral consciousness too. It is this consciousness that guides man regarding realities that cannot be verified through sensory data. That is why all the prophets of God, while calling people to believe in God and the life hereafter, appealed to the aesthetic, moral and rational sides of man. For example, when the idolaters of Makkah denied even the possibility of life after death, the Qur'an exposed the weakness of their stand by advancing very logical and rational arguments in support of it:
And he has coined for us a similitude, and has forgotten the fact of his creation, saying: Who will revive these bones when they have rotted away? Say: He will revive them who produced them at the first, for He is the Knower of every creation, Who has appointed for you fire from the green tree, and behold! you kindle from it. Is it not He who created the heavens and the earth, able to create the like of them? Yes, and He is indeed the Supreme Creator, the All-Knowing.
At another occasion, the Qur'an very clearly says that the disbelievers have no sound basis for their denial of life after death. It is based on pure conjectures:
They say, 'There is nothing but our present life; we die, and we live, and nothing but Time destroys us.' Of that they have no knowledge; they merely conjecture. And when Our revelations are recited to them, their only argument is that they say, 'Bring us our father, if you speak truly.' (Al-Qur'an 45:24-25)
Surely God will raise all the dead. but God has His own plan of things. A day will come when the whole universe will be destroyed and then again the dead will be resurrected to stand before God. That day will be the beginning of the life that will never end, and that Day, every person will be rewarded by God according to his good and evil deeds.
The explanation that the Qur'an gives about the necessity of life after death is what the moral consciousness of man demands. Actually, if there is no life after death, the very belief in God becomes irrelevant, or even if one believes in God, that would be an unjust and indifferent God: having once created man only to be unconcerned with his fate. Surely, God is just. he will punish the tyrants whose crimes are beyond count: having killed hundreds of innocent persons, created great corruptions in the society, enslaved numerous persons to serve their whims, and so forth. Man, having a very short span of life in this world, and this physical world, also, not being eternal, punishments or rewards equal to the evil or noble deeds of persons are not possible here. The Qur'an very emphatically states that the Day of Judgment must come and God will decide about the fate of each soul according to his or her record of deeds:
Those who disbelieve say: The Hour will never come unto us. Say: Nay, by my Lord, but it is coming unto you surely. (He is) the Knower of the Unseen. Not an atom's weight, or less than that or greater, escapes Him in the heavens or in the earth, but it is in a clear Record. That He may reward those who believe and do good works. For them is pardon and a rich provision. But those who strive against our revelations, challenging (Us), theirs will be a painful doom of wrath. (Al-Qur'an 34:3-5)
The Day of Resurrection will be the Day when God's attributes of Justice and Mercy will be in full manifestation. God will shower His mercy on those who suffered for His sake in the worldly life, believing that an eternal bliss was awaiting them. But those who abused the bounties of God, caring nothing for the life to come, will be in the most miserable state. Drawing a comparison between them the Qur'an says:
"Is he, then, to whom we have promised a goodly promise the fulfillment of which he will meet, like the one whom We have provided with the good things of this life, and then on the Day of Resurrection he will be of those who will be brought arraigned before God?" (Al-Qur'an 28:61)
The Qur'an also states that this worldly life is a preparation for the eternal life after death. But those who deny it become slaves of their passions and desires, and make fun of virtuous and God-conscious persons. Such persons realize their folly only at the time of their death and wish in vain to be given a further chance in the world. Their miserable state at the time of death, and the horror of the Day of Judgment, and the eternal bliss guaranteed to the sincere believers are very beautifully mentioned in the following verses of the Qur'an.
"Until, when death comes unto one of them, he says, 'My Lord, send me back, that I may do right in that which I have left behind!' But nay! It is but a word that he speaks; and behind them is a barrier until the day when they are raised. And when the Trumpet is blown there will be no kinship among them that day, nor will they ask of another. Then those whose scales are heavy, they are successful. And those whose scales are light are those who lose their souls, in hell abiding, the fire burns their faces and they are glum therein." (Al-Qur'an 23:99-104)
The belief in life after death not only guarantees success in the Hereafter, but also makes this world full of peace and happiness by making individuals most responsible and dutiful in their activities.
Think of the people of Arabia. Gambling, wine, tribal feuds, plundering and murdering were their main traits when they had no belief in a life hereafter. But as soon as they accepted the belief in One God and life after death, they became the most disciplined nation of the world. They gave up their vices, helped each other in hours of need, and settled all their disputes on the basis of justice and equality. Similarly, the denial of life after death has its consequences not only in the Hereafter, but also in this world. When a nation as a whole denies it, all kinds of evils and corruptions become rampant in that society and ultimately it is destroyed. The Qur'an mentions the terrible end of 'Aad, Thamud and the Pharaoh in some detail:
"(The tribes of) Thamud and 'Aad disbelieved in the judgment to come. As for Thamud, they were destroyed by the lightning, and as for 'Aad, they were destroyed by a fierce roaring wind, which he imposed on them for seven long nights and eight long days, so that you might see the people laid prostrate in it as if they were the stumps of fallen down palm trees.Now do you see remnant of them? Pharaoh likewise and those before him and the subverted cities. They committed errors and those before him, and they rebelled against the Messenger of their Lord, and He seized them with a surpassing grip. Lo, when the waters rose, We bore you in the running ship that We might make it a reminder for you and for heeding ears to hold. So when the Trumpet is blown with a single blast and the earth and the mountains are lifted up and crushed with a single blow, then on that day, the Terror shall come to pass, and the heaven shall be split, for upon that day it shall be very frail. Then as for him who is given his book in his right hand, he shall say 'Here, take and read my book! Certainly I thought that I should encounter my reckoning.' So he shall be in a pleasing life in a lofty garden, its clusters nigh to gather.Eat and drink with wholesome appetite for what you did long ago, in the days gone by.But as for him who is given his book in his left hand, he shall say: 'Would that I had not been given my book and known my reckoning! Would it had been the end! My wealth has not availed me, my authority is gone from me.'" (Al-Qur'an 69:4-29)
Thus, there are very convincing reasons to believe in life after death.
First, all the prophets of God have called their people to believe in it.
Secondly, whenever a human society is built on the basis of this belief, it has been the most ideal and peaceful society, free of social and moral evils.
Thirdly, history bears witness that whenever this belief is rejected collectively by a group of people in spit of the repeated warning of the Prophet, the group as a whole has been punished by God, even in this world.
Fourthly, moral, aesthetic and rational facilities of man endorse the possibility of life after death.
Fifthly, God's attributes of Justice and Mercy have no meaning if there is no life after death.

Does Islam Promote Violence?

Doesn’t Islam promote violence, bloodshed and brutality since the Qur’an says that Muslims should kill the kuffar where ever they find them?

A few selected verses from the Qur’an are often misquoted to perpetuate the myth that Islam promotes violence, and exhorts its followers to kill those outside the pale of Islam.

1. Verse from Surah Taubah
The following verse from Surah Taubah is very often quoted by critics of Islam, to show that Islam promotes violence, bloodshed and brutality:
"Kill the mushriqeen (pagans, polytheists, kuffar) where ever you find them."[Al-Qur’an 9:5]

2. Context of verse is during battlefield
Critics of Islam actually quote this verse out of context. In order to understand the context, we need to read from verse 1 of this surah. It says that there was a peace treaty between the Muslims and the Mushriqs (pagans) of Makkah. This treaty was violated by the Mushriqs of Makkah. A period of four months was given to the Mushriqs of Makkah to make amends. Otherwise war would be declared against them. Verse 5 of Surah Taubah says:
"But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is oft-forgiving, Most merciful."[Al-Qur’an 9:5]
This verse is quoted during a battle.

3. Example of war between America and Vietnam
We know that America was once at war with Vietnam. Suppose the President of America or the General of the American Army told the American soldiers during the war: "Wherever you find the Vietnamese, kill them". Today if I say that the American President said, "Wherever you find Vietnamese, kill them" without giving the context, I will make him sound like a butcher. But if I quote him in context, that he said it during a war, it will sound very logical, as he was trying to boost the morale of the American soldiers during the war.

4. Verse 9:5 quoted to boost morale of Muslims during battle
Similarly in Surah Taubah chapter 9 verse 5 the Qur’an says, "Kill the Mushriqs where ever you find them", during a battle to boost the morale of the Muslim soldiers. What the Qur’an is telling Muslim soldiers is, don’t be afraid during battle; wherever you find the enemies kill them.

5. Shourie jumps from verse 5 to verse 7
Arun Shourie is one of the staunchest critics of Islam in India. He quotes the same verse, Surah Taubah chapter 9 verse 5 in his book ‘The World of Fatwahs’, on page 572. After quoting verse 5 he jumps to verse 7 of Surah Taubah. Any sensible person will realise that he has skipped verse 6.

6. Surah Taubah chapter 9 verse 6 gives the answer
Surah Taubah chapter 9 verse 6 gives the answer to the allegation that Islam promotes violence, brutality and bloodshed. It says:
"If one amongst the pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah; and then escort him to where he can be secure that is because they are men without knowledge."[Al-Qur’an 9:6]
The Qur’an not only says that a Mushriq seeking asylum during the battle should be granted refuge, but also that he should be escorted to a secure place. In the present international scenario, even a kind, peace-loving army General, during a battle, may let the enemy soldiers go free, if they want peace. But which army General will ever tell his soldiers, that if the enemy soldiers want peace during a battle, don’t just let them go free, but also escort them to a place of security?
This is exactly what Allah (swt) says in the Glorious Qur’an to promote peace in the world.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Was Islam Spread by the Sword?

How can Islam be called the religion of peace when it was spread by the sword?

It is a common complaint among some non-Muslims that Islam would not have millions of adherents all over the world, if it had not been spread by the use of force. The following points will make it clear, that far from being spread by the sword, it was the inherent force of truth, reason and logic that was responsible for the rapid spread of Islam.

1. Islam means peace.
Islam comes from the root word ‘salaam’, which means peace. It also means submitting one’s will to Allah (swt). Thus Islam is a religion of peace, which is acquired by submitting one’s will to the will of the Supreme Creator, Allah (swt).

2. Sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace.
Each and every human being in this world is not in favour of maintaining peace and harmony. There are many, who would disrupt it for their own vested interests. Sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace. It is precisely for this reason that we have the police who use force against criminals and anti-social elements to maintain peace in the country. Islam promotes peace. At the same time, Islam exhorts it followers to fight where there is oppression. The fight against oppression may, at times, require the use of force. In Islam force can only be used to promote peace and justice.

3. Opinion of historian De Lacy O’Leary.
The best reply to the misconception that Islam was spread by the sword is given by the noted historian De Lacy O’Leary in the book "Islam at the cross road" (Page 8):
"History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myth that historians have ever repeated."

4. Muslims ruled Spain for 800 years.
Muslims ruled Spain for about 800 years. The Muslims in Spain never used the sword to force the people to convert. Later the Christian Crusaders came to Spain and wiped out the Muslims. There was not a single Muslim in Spain who could openly give the adhan, that is the call for prayers.

5. 14 million Arabs are Coptic Christians.
Muslims were the lords of Arabia for 1400 years. For a few years the British ruled, and for a few years the French ruled. Overall, the Muslims ruled Arabia for 1400 years. Yet today, there are 14 million Arabs who are Coptic Christians i.e. Christians since generations. If the Muslims had used the sword there would not have been a single Arab who would have remained a Christian.

6. More than 80% non-Muslims in India.
The Muslims ruled India for about a thousand years. If they wanted, they had the power of converting each and every non-Muslim of India to Islam. Today more than 80% of the population of India are non-Muslims. All these non-Muslim Indians are bearing witness today that Islam was not spread by the sword.

7. Indonesia and Malaysia.
Indonesia is a country that has the maximum number of Muslims in the world. The majority of people in Malaysia are Muslims. May one ask, "Which Muslim army went to Indonesia and Malaysia?"

8. East Coast of Africa.
Similarly, Islam has spread rapidly on the East Coast of Africa. One may again ask, if Islam was spread by the sword, "Which Muslim army went to the East Coast of Africa?"

9. Thomas Carlyle.
The famous historian, Thomas Carlyle, in his book "Heroes and Hero worship", refers to this misconception about the spread of Islam: "The sword indeed, but where will you get your sword? Every new opinion, at its starting is precisely in a minority of one. In one man’s head alone. There it dwells as yet. One man alone of the whole world believes it, there is one man against all men. That he takes a sword and try to propagate with that, will do little for him. You must get your sword! On the whole, a thing will propagate itself as it can."

10. No compulsion in religion.
With which sword was Islam spread? Even if Muslims had it they could not use it to spread Islam because the Qur’an says in the following verse:
"Let there be no compulsion in religion:Truth stands out clear from error"[Al-Qur’an 2:256]

11. Sword of the Intellect.
It is the sword of intellect. The sword that conquers the hearts and minds of people. The Qur’an says in Surah Nahl, chapter 16 verse 125:
"Invite (all) to the way of thy Lordwith wisdom and beautiful preaching;and argue with them in ways that arebest and most gracious."[Al-Qur’an 16:125]

12. Increase in the world religions from 1934 to 1984.
An article in Reader’s Digest ‘Almanac’, year book 1986, gave the statistics of the increase of percentage of the major religions of the world in half a century from 1934 to 1984. This article also appeared in ‘The Plain Truth’ magazine. At the top was Islam, which increased by 235%, and Christianity had increased only by 47%. May one ask, which war took place in this century which converted millions of people to Islam?

13. Islam is the fastest growing religion in America and Europe.
Today the fastest growing religion in America is Islam. The fastest growing religion in Europe in Islam. Which sword is forcing people in the West to accept Islam in such large numbers?

14. Dr. Joseph Adam Pearson.
Dr. Joseph Adam Pearson rightly says, "People who worry that nuclear weaponry will one day fall in the hands of the Arabs, fail to realize that the Islamic bomb has been dropped already, it fell the day MUHAMMED (pbuh) was born"
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