Faith and change: leaving music behind (Video)
One of the biggest issues facing today is the obsession with music, parties and dance clubs. This lifestyle undoubtedly distracts us from our purpose in life and keeps us away from the truth. This is the story of Aiman and Nour who turned around their lives completely and are now active practicing Muslims.
Time lapse Credit: Erin Collet
Vocal Background: Omar Esa
CELEBRATING THE NEW YEAR
By: Dr. Bilal Philips
January is named after Janus, the Roman god of doors and gateways. He was commonly depicted in statues, carvings and paintings as a two headed man with one head facing forward and the other head facing backwards. In 46BC Julius Caesar chose January 1st as the first day of the New Year as Janus symbolically represented the door to the New Year. Wild parties and orgies were held on the night before the New Year’s Day as a re-enactment of the chaos which Roman mythology depicted as preceding the cosmos or the ordered world whose organization was set by the gods. Furthermore, by that time, Janus had become, in practice, the highest god receiving the ritual sacrifices of Roman worshippers before the other gods, including the chief god, Jupiter.
Thus, in its essence the celebrations of the New Year on January 1stand New Year’s Eve, the night before, are a part and parcel of pagan religious rituals based on idolatrous beliefs in false gods. Consequently, it is completely Haraam (sinful and forbidden) for Muslims to participate in or adopt any of its related rituals, customs and symbols.
If a non-Muslim greets a Muslim, “Happy New Year”, the Muslim is not allowed to respond in a similar manner or say, “Same to you.” Instead, in order not to offend or hurt the feelings of non-Muslim friends or acquaintances, one may say instead, “Happy holiday.”
As for celebrating the New Year according to the Islamic calendar which begins with the month of Muharram, this is also not permissible from a number of perspectives. First and foremost, if one does so believing that it is pleasing to Allah to do so, thereby transforming it into an act of worship, it becomes a Bid‘ah or cursed innovation in the religion about which the Prophet (pbuh) said, “Every innovation in religion is misguidance and all misguidance leads to the Hellfire.” If one does so merely as a custom, it is still impermissible as it falls under the prohibition of imitation of pagan customs about which the Prophet (pbuh) said, “Whoever imitates a people becomes one of them.”
 Pope Gregory 13th who set the modern calendar, the Gregorian calendar, also officially fixed the first day of the year for ChristianEurope as January 1st in 1582.
The Gaza reconstruction game
By: Maureen Clare Murphy
A donor conference hosted in Cairo last week to raise funds for the reconstruction of war-devastated Gaza has boasted $5.4 billion in pledges from various Western and Arab governments.
Yet Israel is the true beneficiary of this aid money. The self-declared international community has once again footed the reconstruction bill as it arms Israel with the weaponry and ensures it the impunity that only rewards its brutal onslaught on Gaza and essentially guarantees its repetition.
Israel loses eight billion dollars and Arab parties join the boycott
Mustafa Barghouti, the secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative movement, has estimated that Israel has incurred losses of around eight billion dollars due to the boycott campaign against illegal settlements, equivalent to 20 per cent of their GDP.
Regarding the latest Palestinian efforts to escalate the settlement boycott, Barghouti revealed that an agreement has been made with 13 democratic Arab parties to form boycott committees in the Arab world.