Blog Archives

Documentary: The Pole of Cold (Video)

info-pictogram1 This time James Brown is visiting Russia’s remote region Yakutia. This place is known as probably the coldest in the world – in winter, temperatures go down to minus 50 degrees Celsius. But people here are really warm and full of energy!
More documentaries…

Read the rest of this entry

Advertisements

Halal laughter and Muslim happiness

Source: muslimvillage.com

As a child, I used to laugh and run around. Joking and kidding each other were the norm, but the teachers of Islam whom I had come to know seemed sombre and didn’t think laughing was a grand idea.

Everything about the religion seemed serious, culling happiness at bay.

Many years later, I know for a fact that when new reverts come to Islam, many of them suddenly feel a paradigm shift in lifestyle that is not always positive. Although they find a lot of peace and serenity in this new religion, there is a persistent drone over how a Muslim should behave, without considering the questions “why”.

There’s the different dress-code, a constant need to be vigilant about their deeds. Some have to distant themselves from family and friends who are un-supportive.

Read the rest of this entry

Documentary: Is the American dream dead? (Video)

Schermafbeelding 2014-07-24 om 01.41.37

Watch

info-pictogram1 A Johns Hopkins University study shows that for big segments of the population the American dream is dead. Johns Hopkins University researchers followed nearly 800 Baltimore schoolchildren for decades. What they discovered isn’t pretty: These children’s fates “were substantially determined by the family they were born into.” Correspondent Adam May joins some of those children on a “tour” – from prison, to schools, to the blighted neighborhoods they called home – to understand what the chances really are of escaping urban poverty in America. Read the full story.

China’s “war on terror” is really a war on Islam

By: Simon Denyer

Sourcewashingtonpost.com

The month of Ramadan should have been a time of fasting, charity and prayer in China’s Muslim west. But here, in many of the towns and villages of southern Xinjiang, it was a time of fear, repression, and violence.

China’s campaign against separatism and terrorism in its mainly Muslim west has now become an all-out war on conservative Islam, residents here say.

Read the rest of this entry

Liz Marks Texting & Driving Story (Video)

info-pictogram1 The Benefits that can be gained from this video are so many that we had to share it with you guys. This is such a sad story but if we can learn from this girls tragic story it can help save many lives.

Read the rest of this entry

Beyonce Admits Illuminati Membership to Oprah Winfrey, Reports The Huffington Post? (Video)

info-pictogram1 Beyonce admits being a member of the Illuminati in Oprah Winfrey interview, according to a satire article published by The Huffington Post, but even though the article is satire, is it really that far from the truth? Mark Dice breaks it down.

Did Russia Really Promise Crimea To Turkey?

Banner1

Source: http://lostislamichistory.com/

As the current dispute over control of the Crimean Peninsula between Russia and Ukraine intensifies, there’s a claim making the rounds online that, if true, could have major repercussions for the region today. Most versions of the story claim that after Russia annexed Crimea in 1783, it signed a treaty which promised that if Crimea ever declared independence, it would automatically be transferred to the Ottoman Empire.

On March 11, 2014, the Supreme Council of Crimea declared its independence from Ukraine in the aftermath of the Euromaidan protests and the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych. That would mean that according to the 231 year old treaty’s provisions, the Crimean Peninsula would now legally belong to Turkey (the successor state to the Ottoman Empire). Many of the articles making this claim online have sensationalist headlines that declare that Crimea should now belong to Turkey or that Turkey now finds itself in the middle of the dispute between Ukraine and Russia. But is there any truth to this claim?

Read the rest of this entry

Ramadan in Central Virginia, USA: An Insider’s Perspective

ProductiveMuslim-Productive-Ramadan-World-Challenge-Ramadan-in-Central-Virginia-USA-Insiders-Perspective-600

By: Mahasin Shamsid-Deen

Source: http://productivemuslim.com/

Have you ever wondered how your brothers and sisters in the USA are experiencing their Ramadan? How is their experience similar/different from yours, and what could be the lessons learned for their fellow Muslims around the world?

In this article, we will discuss how Ramadan is like for a Muslim in Central Virginia, USA.

How Do Muslims in Your Area Prepare for Ramadan?

Alhumdulillah, the Ramadan experience in the US is as variable as the community. After residing in different parts of the country over a number of years, some consistencies have become the norm. Muslims themselves are made to be responsible for making Ramadan relevant and important since the US does not have a predominant Muslim population. There will be no advertising and promotion on the radio or television to either remind or enhance the experience.

However, in Central Virginia and many other areas of the country the local Imam will begin to devote a Friday khutbah to the subject and preparation of Ramadan usually the week before. If there is an Islamic school in the area, the staff will usually have it on the calendar and begin activities with the children.

The start of Ramadan is anticipated but always a bit chaotic as there is no governmental agency or television announcement of its start.

Muslims wait around their phones and computers for the sighting of the hilal to begin the month. Many Muslims who have migrated from different parts of the world and now reside in the US often hear from family members and pass information along. Nonetheless, most of the time a message is left on the answer machine of the local masjid/Islamic centre that people are asked to call after midnight. Some will use the internet to update with mass emails and even some smaller or technologically advanced communities will send out mass text messages. Some years, the evening news will announce that Ramadan has begun in whatever Muslim country is at war or in the news at the moment.

Not surprisingly, the end of Ramadan in the united states follows the same ritual as the beginning as far as informing people when and where the Eid-ul Fitr prayer will be held. In every city that I have lived in the US, at least one masjid/Islamic centre is observing this Eid prayer on a different day. As many masjid/Islamic centre have become very ethnically divided over the past 20 years, some Eid prayers will be almost exclusively one nationality or if there is a ‘unified’ Eid prayer, the community will splinter into ethnic subgroups for Eid activities. This is especially disconcerting to new converts or those Muslims who do not have Muslim families as they are often alone.

It seems that community support really means a lot over here. How does the community help those less well off during Ramadan?

During the month of Ramadan many local mosques will sponsor either nightly taraweeh or have ‘weekend’ taraweeh prayers. Also, some localities will have restaurants and individuals sign up in advance to sponsor an iftar and dinner for anyone attending the mosque at night, while smaller communities will usually only have a potluck or family sponsorship of food once a week. In recent years in many locations, especially Central Virginia – Ramadan has become synonymous with fundraising. Islamic schools, individuals building a masjid, the Islamic centre itself and Muslim groups/initiatives will pick a night usually a weekend and bring in a guest speaker while they provide food to breakfast and serve dinner for those at the mosque – for a fee. The speaker will spend the time between Maghrib and Isha discussing the benefits and needs for those in attendance to donate. Usually, those in the mosque may breakfast for free, but must pay to eat. This practice can and has led to congregants being subjected to a fundraiser every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the month. Since attendance at the masjid is higher on the weekend evenings some here in Central Virginia have begun to complain that this practice takes away from the spirituality of the month,

Brotherhood and congregation within the home is less specific. Many use the masjid/Islamic centre as their sole social source while others have gatherings in their homes for those within their own ethnic group or madhab. New converts are usually not invited to breakfast with Muslims at their house unless they are in the ‘known’ crowd, so their only iftar is usually within the masjid/Islamic centre. This is often true of those Muslims who do not have Muslim family members as well.

What about taraweeh? What are your tips to attend regularly and make the most out of it?

When Ramadan is in the summer and the fasting days are 15+ hours, Muslims are more able to have an iftar at their home and then go to the masjid for Taraweeh. When Ramadan is in the winter, and the days are so short, iftar and dinner seems to revolve around the masjid only.

American Muslims will usually read the Qur’an during the month of Ramadan, usually taking in one-thirtieth each day. Interestingly, this is done in addition to going to the nightly taraweeh where the Quran is recited in Arabic. Many will read the translations each day so they can understand exactly what is being recited to them at night.

Read the rest of this entry

Q&A: Was Muhammad Really a Man of Peace?

Source: OnIslam.net

Question and answer details
Name of Questioner: Mark
Reply date: 2014/07/07
Question: Why should we believe in a religion that began by a man who fought 68 battles, at least some offensive in nature? Was Mohammed really a man of peace, as his last words were to curse the Christians and the Jews? When Jesus was attacked and taken to the cross to be tortured – he gave himself up – his last words were to forgive those who tortured him. How could Muhammad really be a man of peace?
consultant: Dr. Mohsen Haredy

 

Salam (Peace) Dear Mark,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

Throughout his life, the Prophet (peace be upon him) spared no efforts in calling his people to God’s message with wisdom and good admonition.

Due to tribal conflicts, the people of Quraysh rejected the message and put the Prophet and his Companions to persecution. He was forced to leave Makkah and go to Madinah where he was also unable to preach Islam in peace.

Forced to defend God’s religion, the Prophet participated in seven battles only. In these battles the least destruction was done. Prophet Muhammad was the first to introduce the rules of war or combating. No children, women and old men are to be harmed. No trees, animals or houses of worship are to be destroyed. He put an end to the barbaric wars. Prophet Muhammad never gave orders to kill innocent people.

No battle was instigated by Muslims. All battles were in reaction to an attack on Muslims. The Prophet used to offer peace first. The Prophet asked the combatants to honor the treaties drawn up between Muslims and their opponents. Whenever the enemy laid down arms, the Prophet stopped fighting.

The Prophet also introduced unprecedented rules for Prisoners of War (POWs). Muslims treated those captured during wars kindly, and thus Muslims set good examples for 21st. century world on how POWs should be treated.

The actual fighting in Islam should be to help the oppressed people. (An-Nisa’ 4:75) This is the type of fighting for which there is a great reward in the Hereafter.

Fighting in Islam is allowed against those who wage war against them. This is termed today as war in self-defense. At the same time, Muslims are urged not to commit aggression. (Al-Baqarah 2:190) When there is a space for peace, Muslims are ordered to accept it. (An-Nisaa’ 4: 90)

As for cursing the Jews and Christians you referred to in your question, it should be understood in its proper context. The Prophet was warning Muslims against taking his grave a place of worship as the Jews and Christians did with the graves of their Prophets. He was assuring Muslims that he was no more than a human being like them and like the Prophets who came before him.

Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him)

You are referring to Prophet Jesus who when he was attacked and taken to the cross to be tortured, he gave himself up and his last words were to forgive those who tortured him.

First, Muslims do not agree with the biblical narration of the crucifixion of Jesus and his death on the cross. Muslims believe that God saved Prophet Jesus from death on the cross and that he will come back to earth as a just ruler. See for example the following answers for more details:

The Alleged Torture and Crucifixion of Jesus

The True Story of Jesus

Jesus: The Inspired Teacher

The Story of Jesus son of Mary

Top 30 Questions & Answers on Jesus in Islam

Prophet Muhammad’s Forgiveness

If we read the Prophet’s authentic biography, we will see how the Prophet reacted to the different situations in which he was attacked. A prime example is what the people of At-Ta’if did with the Prophet. They stoned him and injured him severely. The Prophet forgave them and prayed to God that He may guide them to Islam. Prophet Muhammad’s message is about mercy, forgiveness, and peace.

Throughout Islamic history, people of other faith communities practiced their beliefs freely and they were never forced to convert to Islam. The best description of the Prophet’s tolerance towards such communities is given in the following words of the Quran:

{To you be your religion, and to me be mine.} (Al-Kafirun 109:6)

Prophet Muhammad gave the best example of forgiving his opponents and co-existing with them in peace in the Constitution of Madinah whose authenticity is confirmed by Muslims and even non-Muslim scholars. In this Constitution, the Prophet explained the rights of non-Muslim communities on Muslims and the Muslim’s obligations towards to the non-Muslim communities in Madinah. You may wish to check these links for further details:

The Madinah Covenant

Covenant of Madinah: A Roadmap for Coexistence

What would you say, dear Mark, about a man who after returning from the battlefield used to tell his Companions: “We have returned from the lesser jihad (going to war) to the greater jihad (the struggle of the soul)”?

The Prophet considered self improvement and self purification more important than going into war. Can this man be a man of war?

Muslims believe that their duty towards their religion is to call others to it. The issue of guiding people to accept Islam is left to God. The Prophet was told in the Quran:

{… your only duty is to deliver the message…} (Ash-Shura 42:48)

This compels one to argue that Prophet Muhammad never fought to impose Islam on his enemies. The principle is:

{Let be there no compulsion in religion…} (Al-Baqarah 2:256)

{Say, ‘Now the truth has come from your Lord: let those who wish to believe in it do so, and let those who wish to reject it do so.’} (Al-Kahf 18:29)

Therefore, Islam had spread all over the world by the word not the sword.

If some still claim that Prophet Muhammad was a man of violence, what would you say about this quote from the Old Testament?

[They devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it – men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.] (Joshua 6:21)

This is nothing more than total destruction and mass murder.

Dear Mark, what would you say about a man who enters a city victorious after being forced to leave it? This is what happened with Prophet Muhammad when he entered Makkah in the 8th Hijri year without fighting.

He was in a strong position and he could take revenge on the people who severely tortured him and his Companions. On the contrary, he set the best example of mercy and forgiveness and told the people of Makkah: “Go your way as you are free.”

Now, I ask you, Mark: Was Muhammad a man of peace?

Before answering this question let me explain that there is a difference between Islam as a religion and the way some Muslims practice it. Islam is a peaceful religion, but some Muslims are not always up to the expectations when personal interests and political biases prevail.

Now, it is safe to conclude that the argument that Muhammad was not a man of peace is a false one based on failure to read his biography correctly and understanding the circumstances that surrounded his defensive battles.

I hope this answers your questions.

Thank you again for your questions, and please keep in touch.

Salam.

Useful Links

Prophet Muhammad’s Mercy, Justice and Love

Prophet Muhammad: A Conqueror of Hearts

Prophet Muhammad and Freedom of Faith