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  1. Hi Everyone, I just wanted to bring this series of live broadcasts on Islamic Enlightenment to you attention https://mixlr.com/islamic-enlightenment. There will be weekday-ly broadcasts at 9pm for the duration of this lockdown. Please tune in and share the link with anyone else who may be interested. So the next live broadcast will be tomorrow at 9pm. Thanks
  2. Hi Everybody, It is very nice to read so much information and so many opinions being exchanged with freedom and with respect. I generally agree with the well-informed explanations given above, both on the freedom of religion offered by Islam and the status of Prophet Jesus (Isa) (alaihi salaam - peace be upon him) in Islam. Thanks everyone.
  3. Hello woolyhead, Mr Fisk is correct; you have got that the fundamentals mixed up. But that is fine; that is the point of this topic - to spread awareness about Islam. So as Musims, we believe in Allah as the One True God. We then believe that Allah sent many messengers into the world to guide mankind to Allah. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ- salutations and peace be upon him) and Jesus (refered to as Prophet Isa - alaihi salaam - peace be upon him) were both two illustrious Messengers of Allah. Thanks for posting.
  4. Waldo, I do not want to be perceived to be criticising Saudi Arabia or China - I would be falling into the age-old 'religion to politics to power' trap, which is the real element that most non-religous people dislike (as opposed to religion itself). However, you are actually inadvertantly making a counter-argument that supports what I stated above. You claim Saudi Arabia and China/CCP have strong similarities in their approach to governing their countries and people. The first country is deeply religous while the second is strongly against religion. So, my point is that, any failings on their respective parts have nothing to do with religion/Islam.
  5. Hello Waldo, Apologies for the delayed response. You've raised an interesting topic. I believe Islam gives women a highly respected and protected status. The Holy Quran and the sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ- salutations and peace be upon him) contain numerous verses and statements on treating women well. Consider the following verses of the Holy Quran: “And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years -- give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.” “And live with them honorably.” This is a reference to how men should live with their wives. Also, consider the following specific sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ- salutations and peace be upon him): “I urge you to treat women well.” “Stay with her (reference to the mother of the companion asking the question) for Paradise is beneath her feet.” (Often re-worded to ‘Paradise lies at the feet of the mother’). “The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.” “Whoever has three daughters and is patient towards them, and feeds them, gives them to drink and clothes them from his riches, they will be a shield for him from the Fire on the Day of Resurrection.” Basically, as one would imagine, Islam instructs men to treat women well, especially the women of one’s family. The harrowing stories you allude to above are, of course, very unfortunate. I would assert that these incidents have very little to do with Islam, however. I am not even going to state that they are linked to a culture or a country (which the respective victims, with all due respect, seem to imply) because that would be unfair too. I am sure that the vast majority of families in the countries mentioned live together harmoniously. These incidents are simply occurrences of domestic violence by abusive families. Renunciation of Islam is a complicated topic, but that has nothing to do with women specifically (ie. any conditions/punishments apply to men and women equally). And, in the main feature story above, one of the main perpetrators of the violence was actually the mother of the victim. Sinilarly, the conduct of immigration authorities, and how they collaborate, is obviously beyond the realm or influence of Islam. Notwithstanding all this, it is, again, unfortunate and disturbing that a young woman cannot safely flee from an abusive domestic situation to a local in-country authority, although we could of course draw parallels to sad stories from here in the UK too. Regardless, any allegation of violence or torture by any victim should be investigated primarily by the local police. I am hopeful that this generally is the case in all Muslim countries, but the stories highlighted above obviously identify some kind of legal or welfare failure and a fatal lack of trust. Do please remember that upholding justice is a very serious requirement of Islam. I hope this helps you understand the true Islamic viewpoint.
  6. Hello Everybody, I hope you are well and enjoying the lockdown relaxations safely and righteously. As our lives get busier again there will be less time for reflection, and I am struggling to prepare my next big post. In the interim, I wanted to highight the life of Muhammad Pickthall (https://www.globalvillagespace.com/remembering-muhammad-pickthall-qurans-first-credible-english-translator/) - a revert to Islam from the early 20th Century. As the linked article explains, he has widely been congratulated for writing the first credible English translation of the Holy Quran. A few verses that he translated are given below: Chapter 42 Surah Shuraa (Consultation) 1 Ha. Mim.* 2 Ain. Sin. Qaf.* 3 Thus Allah the Mighty, the Knower inspireth thee (Muhammad) as (He inspired) those before thee. 4 Unto Him belongeth all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, and He is the Sublime, the Tremendous. 5 Almost might the heavens above be rent asunder while the angels hymn the praise of their Lord and ask forgiveness for those on the earth. Lo! Allah is the Forgiver, the Merciful. *These are letters of Arabic alphabet that appear in the Holy Quran as verses - we do not fully understand their meaning or significance (only Allah knows). I hope you enjoyed this short post.
  7. Hello Flanker7, Mr Fisk and apelike, Thanks for your feedback. Flanker7 - point taken, thanks for highlighting that reading the post is becoming difficult. I agree with you, the long English translation is not needed each time (I was only adding that as a courtesy for English readers, but once or twice at the start will be sufficient). I would like to keep adding the small, concise Arabic salutation ﷺ - that is good practice, basically. Mr Fisk - 'copied and pasted' - wow, no chance! These are 100% genuine posts that I have written - you won't find these anywhere else! And they are catered for non-Muslim, English readers whilst providing the real, inside Islamic details of each subject. apelike - I don't really know when I am getting to the bottom of a page (still new to Sheffield Forum)! I am more than happy to take your questions, but I always envisaged that I would need to give you some subject content for you to ask about. And I re-emphasize that I don't think straying into 'preaching' is a bad thing (where do you draw the line, by the way?). Discussion is good, and preaching is good, but I certainly don't want to patronise or criticise anyone whilst doing either. I have been in this game for a long time now, and my reliance on Allah suggests, and experience has shown, that someone out there (I do not know who) is reading these posts and Allah is softening their heart towards Islam. This is the beauty of how Allah works. Please let me know how you found the content. I plan to compose two new parts to the post above (but could try to squeeze it into one if people prefer). The above post sets the scene really, the next parts will be more relevant to you and will contain messages within them for you. I'll take your comments on-board regardless. Please remember that to me, your feedback, even if negative, is a million times better than a polite silence and no response, so I really do appreciate your comments above. Thanks all three.
  8. Hi Everyone, I hope you are all well and safe. I have been working on a new, important post, but want to deliver it to you in manageable sections. Below is the first of three parts. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ- salutations and peace be upon him) Part 1 – Preparation for Prophethood Many years before the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ- salutations and peace be upon him) there lived in Makkah a tribal chief called Abdul Muttalib. Abdul Muttalib had numerous wives and these wives had borne him ten sons. In pre-Islamic Makkah, this abundance of male tribal members was a sign of prestige and power. The Arabs of Makkah generally followed a polytheist religion; although they were aware of and believed in Allah (or God), they also believed in many other gods. The moral teachings of their religion were weak and social morality was generally very low. Of his ten sons, Abdul Muttalib had two sons called Abu Talib and Abdullah. These two sons were full brothers (ie. they were from the same mother) and these brothers were therefore closer to each other than the rest. Abu Talib eventually had a large family of his own. Abdullah’s fate was different. Abdullah was a handsome young man and was married off to a noble lady called Amina. Shortly after their marriage, Abdullah embarked on a journey. As he was returning, he fell ill and sadly died. Amina was pregnant with his child and this was a traumatic setback to her. A few months later, however, Allah Most High provided her some relief when she safely gave birth to Abdullah’s son. The child was remarkable; the child was the Holy Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ- salutations and peace be upon him). Abdul Muttalib was overjoyed with the arrival of his beautiful grandson and paraded him around the Holy Ka’bah. He named the child Muhammad, which was a unique name at the time, and which meant ‘the praised one’. Even as a child, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ- salutations and peace be upon him) had a sublime character and personality, and people saw many blessings associated with him. However, life was going to get more difficult for the Holy Messenger (ﷺ- salutations and peace be upon him). His beloved mother, Amina, passed away when he (ﷺ- salutations and peace be upon him) was only six years old. He then moved into the care of his grandfather, Abdul Muttalib, but he also passed away a couple of years later. Having lost both parents and his powerful grandfather, the Holy Prophet (ﷺ- salutation and peace be upon him) finally fell into the care of Abu Talib, who would care for him until his adulthood. Abu Talib was indeed a very caring and kind guardian and loved the Holy Prophet (ﷺ- salutation and peace be upon him), whom he could see was very special. The Holy Prophet (ﷺ- salutation and peace be upon him) grew into a very honest and caring young man. In Makkah, he became known as ‘As-Sadiq’ (The Truthful) and ‘Al-Amin’ (The Trustworthy). He tended to the poor, honoured his relatives and was entirely peaceful, humble and tranquil. Abu Talib had taken the Holy Prophet (ﷺ- salutation and peace be upon him) on trade journey when the latter was only twelve years old. Famously, a Christian monk called Bahira had recognised the young Muhammad (ﷺ- salutations and peace be upon him) as a future prophet. Abu Talib continued to provide further tradesman training to the Holy Prophet (ﷺ- salutations and peace be upon him), who eventually became an accomplished and honest trader. At one point, the Holy Prophet (ﷺ- salutation and peace be upon him) entered into an agreement with a noble businesswoman to undertake a trade mission for her. Upon his return, the noble lady was very impressed with the abundant gains he honestly brought her back. The noble lady, who had twice been widowed, very humbly and modestly sent a marriage proposal to the Holy Prophet (ﷺ- salutation and peace be upon him) through a friend and the Holy Prophet (ﷺ- salutation and peace be upon him) accepted. Abu Talib and another uncle helped to organise the wedding and the Holy Prophet (ﷺ- salutation and peace be upon him) became a happily married man at the age of twenty-five. For the next fifteen years, the Holy Prophet (ﷺ- salutation and peace be upon him) went on to have children and establish himself as a virtuous and successful member of Makkan society. Deep inside, however, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ- salutation and peace be upon him) was sad about the moral condition of the people around him. The pagan religion of the people of Makkah provided them with little moral teachings and they were indulged in heinous crimes like feudal violence, adulterous marital set-ups and even burying new-born daughters alive (for the want of sons instead). The Holy Prophet (ﷺ- salutation and peace be upon him) started to retreat to a cave to find peace, often for days on end. His beloved and devoted wife often visited to provide him with food and provisions. In the seclusion of the cave, the Holy Prophet (ﷺ- salutations and peace be upon him) was being prepared by Allah, to become the greatest divinely-inspired Messenger to humanity.
  9. Bendix – Assalaamualaikum – and congratulations on your recent reversion! I probably cannot answer your questions any better than the previous Muslims who have attempted, but I will try. I will also try to give you some context, which may help you understand. With regards to the Shahaadah (verbal ‘testification’ of faith – for the benefit of others reading this - after which point a person is regarded as a Muslim), I have not been able to confirm that it is obligatory to pronounce this in Arabic. I do think it probably is obligatory, or at least very important, to recite it in Arabic. Whenever I have helped someone through their Shahaadah, I have always provided them with the verbal translation in English first, and then helped them recite the words in Arabic. What I can tell you is that knowledge of what is being recited is a condition of the Shahaadah; getting the Arabic pronunciation perfect is not! As far as the Salaah (daily prayer) is concerned, let me give you some context. You are probably aware that in Salaah we have to recite Surah Fatihah (the opening chapter of the Holy Quran) and then the equivalent of any three additional verses of the Holy Quran in every Rakah (unit) of the prayer. Additional verses can also be recited, but the scholars of Islam state that this minimum portion of the Holy Quran (so Surah Fatihah plus three additional verses) must be recited very precisely. If the person praying speaks Arabic and decides to add an extra wa (‘and’), al ('the') or make any other minor changes of this nature, then that prayer is essentially invalid. Basically, what I am implying is that the key aspect is not to recite the prayer in Arabic, but it is to recite the Holy Quran very precisely and as perfectly as possible, exactly as revealed. If you were to recite a translation of the Holy Quran, then you can imagine how much variation there could be in the wording, and how it would compare with the above ruling. Remember that the Holy Quran, and the Salaah itself, has remained so pure and authentic over all these centuries, across the globe and across billions of Muslims. The consistency and unity in this this matter is part of the divine beauty of Islam. Arabic is not my native language either, but I cannot imagine reciting my prayers in English or, say, Urdu (my parents’ mother language). Of course, when you raise your hands for Dua (personal prayers outside Salaah), you can ask Allah and speak to Him in whichever language you like. But even then, it is good to know and start with some of the special prayers that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ - salutation and peace be upon him) recited in Arabic (including reciting salutations on him ﷺ - salutation and peace be upon him). Overall, you are correct, however. Allah knows exactly what is in our hearts and, to some extent, the requirement to recite all these blessed verses and prayers in Arabic is more of a divine formality. I know of a historical story from the early 20th century where there was a young woman in France who converted to Islam secretly and concealed it from her family. Assuming she did not have open access to an Arabic speaker to teach her, I have every hope and trust in Allah that He accepted her Shahaadah in whichever language she was able to pronounce it in, and any subsequent worship she was able to perform too. I hope this helps. Jazaakallah - thanks for asking.
  10. Hi Everybody, I hope you are all well. I wanted to share a short post about the universal Mercy of Allah, before I move onto different aspects of the Islamic belief and faith. A very inspiring verse from the Holy Quran that I have recently been reciting is: Say: "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves! Despair not of the mercy of Allah, verily, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'' "And turn in repentance (and in obedience with true faith) to your Lord and submit to Him before the torment comes upon you….'' The greatest commentators of the Holy Quran have explained ‘transgressed against themselves’ to basically mean very excessive major sinning (and I dare not to quote the extent to which they have gone to define the severity of this sinning, including both sins against humanity and sins against Allah). However, they have then explained that this verse shows Allah is willing to forgive everyone, without exception. The condition that Allah imposes is simply that anyone who seeks forgiveness from Allah needs to repent and turn away from their bad deeds, and turn, instead, in faith, humility and obedience to Allah. On a more mundane level, I have heard local individuals say things like 'I am interested in Islam, but it is too late for me!' - that sentiment fits very comfortably within the scope of the verse above too. It is never too late to start developing a positive relationship with Allah; such is His Mercy and such is His Blessed Entity. Thanks again for reading.
  11. Hello Everbody, Thanks to everyone who has contributed on here - I have read through your posts and I really value all your opinions. I am also very impressed by the level of Islamic knowldge many of you possess. I certainly think Islam is tolerant and peaceful towards other religions. That does not need to prevent Muslims from inviting others to Islam, however. My understanding is illustrated by the the following authentic narration about the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wassalam - salutations and peace be upon him): "A young Jewish boy used to serve the Prophet (ﷺ - salutations and peace be upon him) and he became sick. So the Prophet (ﷺ - salutations and peace be upon him) went to visit him. He sat near his head and asked him to embrace Islam. The boy looked at his father, who was sitting there; the latter told him to obey Abul-Qasim (an honoury name for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wassalam - salutations and peace be upon him): and the boy embraced Islam. The Prophet (ﷺ - salutations and peace be upon him) came out saying: "Praises be to Allah Who saved the boy from the Hell-fire."" The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wassalam - salutations and peace be upon him) obviously had concern for this sick boy (I believe the boy died shortly after becoming Muslim) and therefore visited him. They must have obviously been on friendly terms, but the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wassalam - salutations and peace be upon him) had the primary concern of the boy's well-being in the afterlife. I think this is the embodiment of true Islamic concern for humanity - treat people well in this life, but always remain concerned about their afterlife. Keep safe, and thanks for reading and contributing.
  12. Hi Lex Luthor (I'm glad you found my post enlightening), and hello kidley and enntee, The story of the offering of Prophet Ibrahim (alaihis salaam – upon him be peace) is similar in the currently available Bible and the Holy Quran. The key difference is that the Holy Quran states that the son that Prophet Ibrahim (alaihis salaam – upon him be peace) offered was Prophet Ismail (alaihis salaam – upon him be peace) and not Prophet Ishaq (Isaac) (alaihis salaam – upon him be peace). I hadn’t read the current Biblical verses in detail before so thanks to kidley for contributing. Obviously, which son was offered is an important detail, but the key message of both versions of the story is that Prophet Ibrahim (alaihis salaam – upon him be peace) was extremely obedient to Allah, along with his son (it is clear from the Holy Quran that Prophet Ismail (alaihis salaam – upon him be peace) was fully aware of what was happening – see quote below), and Allah rewarded them for their obedience and compliance and, of course, did not let any harm come to either of his beloved slaves. Prophet Ibrahim (alaihis salaam – upon him be peace) is referred to as the ‘Khalil’ of Allah in Islam and in the Holy Quran, which he means ‘intimate, or very close, friend’ of Allah. For your interest, I have quoted below an epic passage of the Holy Quran that describes the incident: “And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said: "O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you. So look what you think!'' He said: "O my father! Do that which you are commanded, if Allah wills, you shall find me of the patient.'' Then, when they had both submitted themselves, and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead; We called out to him: "O Ibrahim!'' "You have fulfilled the dream!'' Verily, thus do We reward the doers of good. Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice; And We left for him among the later generations. "Salam (peace!) be upon Ibrahim!'' Thus indeed do We reward the doers of good. Verily, he was one of Our believing servants.” Thanks for reading!
  13. Hello again blackydog, In simple terms I would suggest that these 'fellow followers' are NOT 'permitted to kill each other within the teachings of the Quran.' The Sunni-Shia issue, which you are referring to obviously, actually started as a very superficial issue. It took decades to develop into a major political problem and then centuries to develop into a widespread violent issue. And it all happened after the Holy Quran was revealed and fully compiled. It is an unfortunate issue. It can be resolved, and I hope it does get resolved as soon as possible.
  14. Hi again Lex Luthor – many, many thanks for your kind wishes and even more thanks for asking such good questions. We’ll start with a historical account of the what the Holy Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ - salutations and peace be upon him) said about the two Eids: “When the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ - salutations and peace be upon him) came to Medina, the people had two days on which they engaged in games. He asked: What are these two days (what is the significance)? They said: We used to engage ourselves on them in the pre-Islamic period. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ- salutations and peace be upon him) said: Allah has substituted for them something better than them, the day of sacrifice and the day of the breaking of the fast.” The above account defines that Muslims have two days of celebration: The ‘day of sacrifice’ is referred to as Eid-ul-Adha. This is when Muslims remember the ultimate, monumental sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim (alaihis salaam – upon him be peace) was willing to make when he offered to sacrifice his beloved son, the Prophet Ismail (alaihis salaam – upon him be peace), following receipt of the command through successive divinely-inspired dreams. After he and his son had both proven their intent to comply, Allah stopped them from actually carrying out the sacrificing (or killing) and ordered Prophet Ibrahim (alaihis salaam – upon him be peace) to sacrifice a ram as a celebration for passing this extreme test of obedience. This Eid coincides with the days of Hajj, which is a larger celebration of the efforts and obedience of Prophet Ibrahim (alaihis salaam – upon him be peace) and his family. This topic probably justifies a post in itself. The ‘day of the breaking of the fast’ is referred to as Eid-ul-Fitr (this is the one that has just passed). This succeeds the month of fasting (Ramadhan) and is basically the 1st date of the lunar month that follows Ramadhan. Although the two days occur in different contexts, the activities undertaken on the days themselves are quite similar; a morning prayer and then general festivities and dining. There is special emphasis on sacrificing livestock on Eid-ul-Adha and sharing some of the meat with the poor. Your final question was about why Muslims celebrate the Eid on different days. In reality, this is all down to the phasing of the moon and when the new moon is sighted (since the Islamic months are lunar, and a new month starts with each new moon). On this basis, the new month can potentially commence in different parts of the world on different days, although probably not in the same country, which is what you have obviously observed. This year, Eid-ul-Fitr has been celebrated on the same day throughout in the UK, and almost everywhere in the whole world, which is a very rare occurence. I see this as a special gift for us this year; while coronavirus has separated us physically, Allah has brought us together spiritually. I hope this answers your queries. Thanks again for your time and questions.
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