Schisms in Islam Several schools evolved among Muslims. The majority of Muslims belong to the school called Ahlul Sunnah Wal Jamaat. Shiites Muslims constitute the largest minority. The former follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad as interpreted by the four Imams: Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Ahmed bin Hambal, Imam Malik and Imam Shafi. The latter follow the interpretation of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, interpreted by Imam Ali and Imams from his family. The differences among Muslims occurred after the death of prophet Muhammad, in regard to his succession, and were of a political nature. The Sunni Muslims believe that the succession to Muhammad was left up to the people to decide, whereas the Shiites Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad had designated his cousin and son-in-law Ali as his successor. Since then kings, rulers, religious leaders have exploited these differences in order to achieve their selfish and material objectives. It must be emphasized that he fundamentals of the faith are common to all Muslims. All Muslims believe in One God. All Muslims follow one book, the Qur’an. All Muslims believe in Prophet Muhammad and strive to emulate him. All Muslims agree upon the basic tenets of Islam.
18- تحدي الجهل بالإسلام
18- Challenging ignorance on Islam
Challenging ignorance on Islam By Gary Leupp "We should invade [Muslim] countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." Columnist Ann Coulter, National Review Online, Sept. 13, 2001 "Just turn [the sheriff] loose and have him arrest every Muslim that crosses the state line." Rep. C. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland security and Senate candidate, to Georgia law officers, November 2001 "Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him. Christianity is a faith where God sent his Son to die for you." Attorney General John Ashcroft, interview on Cal Thomas radio, November 2001 "(Islam) is a very evil and wicked religion wicked, violent and not of the same god (as Christianity)." Rev. Franklin Graham, head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, November 2001. "Islam is Evil, Christ is King." Allegedly written in marker by law enforcement agents on a Muslim prayer calendar in the home of a Muslim being investigated by police in Dearborn, Michigan, July 2002. People with power and influence in the US have been saying some very stupid things about Islam and about Muslims since September 11. Some of it is rooted in conscious malice, and ethnic prejudice that spills over into religious bigotry. But some is rooted in sheer historical and geographical ignorance. This is a country, after all, in which only a small minority of high school students can readily locate Afghanistan on the map, or are aware that Iranians and Pakistanis are not Arabs. As an educator, in Asian Studies, at a fairly elite university, I am painfully aware of this ignorance. But I realize it serves a purpose. It is highly useful to a power structure that banks on knee-jerk popular support whenever it embarks on a new military venture, at some far-off venue, on false pre****s immediately discernable to the better educated, but lost on the general public. The generally malleable mainstream press takes care of the rest. I don't mean to suggest that the academic cognosenti, as a "class," habitually counter this ignorance and protest the imperialist interventions that Washington routinely undertakes. Some of them may indeed support the venture, cynically asserting that the advertised pre**** fulfills some sort of valid function, regardless of the lies and distortions that surround it. (I think of the depiction in the media of the "Rambouillet Accords" concerning Yugoslavia in 1999 as "the will of the international community," when one Contact Group member, Russia, rejected the US-dictated plan for Kosovo outright, and several European states only signed on after their arms were twisted nearly out of their sockets. I think of the calculated, extreme exaggeration of the number of Kosovar victims of Serbian forces as the bombing of Yugoslavia began. The lies surrounding that bombing were obvious to anyone studying the situation, but even some rather progressive academics were all for "Operation Allied Force.") American academe is---unfortunately--- whatever its right-wing critics may contend, not particularly left or anti-imperialist. In any case, such ignorance is not just a national embarrassment; it's really dangerous. Raw material for a made-in-USA version of fascism. To understand the contemporary world, we all need to know something about Islam - beyond the inane contribution of the Attorney General cited above. So I have prepared this little primer on Islam for Americans (suitable for ages 13 and above, so appropriate for high school use), dealing not with its theology so much as its general character as an important force in the world, presently encountering unprecedented, unprincipled attack from various quarters. (Oh, and by the way, I'm not a Muslim, but what those on the Christian right revile as a "secular humanist.") 1. Islam has been around for approximately 1400 years. Established on the west coast of Arabia 900 years before European settlement in America, and spreading rapidly throughout Southwest Asia and North Africa soon thereafter, it was not designed as an anti-U.S. movement! The basic teachings or requirements of Islam are not difficult to grasp. They constitute the "Five Pillars of Islam": (1) profession that there is no God but God ("Allah," in Arabic), and his Prophet (the last of the prophets, the "seal of the prophets") is Muhammad; (2) daily prayer; (3) fasting during the month of Ramadan; (4) charity; and (5) the pilgrimage to Mecca. Whatever you may think of this package, it's not terribly threatening to the non-Muslim. 2. Islam's teachings are contained in a fairly compact book, the Qur'an, which Muslims believe was dictated to the Prophet Muhammad by the archangel Gabriel. They believe of it precisely what Jews and Christians believe of their ******ures: that is, it's the Word of God. This book, like the Bible, demands belief in monotheism; refers to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jesus, etc. (far more space is given to Mary, mother of Jesus, in the Qur'an than in the New Testament); has a substantial legalistic component reminiscent of the Old Testament Book of Leviticus, and poetic ******* as beautifully uplifting as the Book of Psalms. For religious and secular scholars alike, it is absolutely clear that Islam stems from the Judeo-Christian tradition. Indeed, we should think in terms of the "Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition." (Some fundamentalist Christians, of course, see Islam as the work of Satan, and medieval Christians in Europe saw it as a heresy rather than as "paganism. The point is---for better or worse---Muslims have a whole lot more in common with the dominant religious trends in the U.S. than do, say, Buddhists or Hindus.) 3. Muslims are about 20% of the world's population; Christians, about 30%. (The U.S. Muslim population is estimated between 5 and 8 million; U.S. Jews between 5 and 6 million). The global Jewish population is statistically quite small, so one can say the Judeo-Christian-Islamic population is roughly half the world's total. The consequences of a protracted religious war, pitting Christians and Jews against Muslims, are highly unpleasant to consider. 4. The Qur'an depicts Jews and Christians as "People of the Book," meaning that they have their own ******ures bestowed upon them by God (Allah is simply the Arabic world for God, related to the Hebrew Elohim; we should see it as analogous to the German word Gott, the French Dieu, or the Spanish Dios. It's not the personal name of a deity within a pantheon, like Thor, Aphrodite or Siva.) Muslim ******ure counsels respect for these communities, and indeed, in the history of Islam, within Islamic societies Jews and Christians have fared FAR better than non-Christians in Christendom. Muslims ruled all or part of Spain from around 800 to the late 15th century, when Columbus' great patrons, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella "drove the Moors (Muslims) out of Spain," forced everybody to embrace Catholic Christianity (or be killed), and promoted the exquisite Christian tortures of the Inquisition. Under Muslim rule, Christian and Jewish communities generally flourished from Spain to Iraq. On the other hand, until recent times, Christian intolerance prevailed throughout Europe. 5. The Qu'ran does NOT call upon Muslims to KILL all non-Muslims. It calls for the destruction of "infidels," meaning principally Arabs who, during the time of Muhammad, practiced idolatry and polytheism. Again: this is a seventh-century book, produced in a specific historical con****! It, and the Muslim religion, should be studied and understood objectively, dispassionately. Islam emerged very quickly, and within decades united under its banner-the banner of monotheism---the various tribes of Arabia. Its violent rejection of idolatry, however offensive to the modern, secular, humanist mind, is hardly unique. It can be compared to the ferocious suppression in Christian Europe of paganism (often associated with witchcraft). And for perspective, while the Qu'ran does call for the extermination of "infidels," the Old Testament is replete with its own exhortations to genocide. According to the Biblical narrative (of dubious historicity, but believed by hundreds of millions), the Hebrews under Joshua's leadership, invading Canaan from Egypt, killed twelve thousand "men and women together" in the town of Ai-because God wanted them to (Joshua 8:25). The Hebrews put all the people of Hazor to the sword (they "wiped them all out; they did not leave one living soul." Judges 11:14). The poetics of hatred are as conspicuous in the Bible as in the Qu'ran. A personal favorite of mine, from Psalm 137, refers to the Babylonians: "A blessing on him who takes and dashes your babies against the rock!" Such references are characteristic of Judeo-Christian-Islamic literature, and are best examined in historical perspective. 6. Islamic "fundamentalism" is not a species apart from other fundamentalisms, including the Christian, Jewish, and Hindu varieties. They are all anti-modern, anti-science, anti-intellectual, rarely harmless and potentially (if not necessarily) fascistic. They demand belief in received dogma, inscribed in ****s, rather than open-ended scientific inquiry. They either legitimate the existing order, or call for a return to a past social order in which class and gender relations were properly sorted out in line with the Divine Will. Some (including non-religious people in or from Muslim countries) criticize Islam (appropriately, in my view) for what they consider backward and reactionary features. This is not the place to deal with such criticisms, nor am I the right person to do it. I will merely observe what many others have observed: Christendom underwent the Enlightenment-an evolution towards secularism, rationalism, and scientific thought in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries-which the Islamic world, in general, has not yet experienced. To become "modern" (more specifically, to become capitalist), the West had to become more ideologically tolerant (i.e., less religious), and allow a freer market in ideas than had been possible when the Church monopolized learning. If mullahs monopolize education in much of the Muslim world, they serve a function identical with that of Europe's medieval Catholic clergy. But our own Enlightenment is not irreversible. Top U.S. officials reject the theory of evolution in favor of the ludicrous "theory" of "creationism," and seek to criminalize abortion on the grounds that a fetus is a human being created by God. Recent changes in U.S. law (allowing the use of vouchers to support religious schools at taxpayer's expense), and the failure of the courts to prosecute behavior which plainly violates the constitutional separation of church and state, demonstrate that medieval thinking and fundamentalism retain a strong hold in sections of U.S. society, and are well represented in the Bush administration. The American people are, I submit, far more threatened by Christian fundamentalism than its Islamic counterpart. And for a Pentecostalist Christian like John Ashcroft, who believes every word of the Bible literally, to inveigh against Islam (as he has) is (to use the English proverb) the "pot calling the kettle black." 7. Islamic fundamentalism (or what some, including CNN Moneyline's Lou Dobbs calls "Islamism," meaning a specifically political Islam) has NOT, historically, posed a great threat to Western interests (by which I mean corporate, oil, and geopolitical interests) but rather been exploited to SERVE those interests. Remember Lawrence of Arabia? What was his objective other than to forge a British alliance with the Hashemites, who would certainly qualify as "Islamists" by Lou Dobb's standards, during World War I? Later, the British boosted the Saudi royal family (patrons of the Wahhabi school of Islam, usually described as among the most conservative, embraced by Osama bin Laden as well as the Saudis in general) into power. The U.S. inherited Saudi Arabia as a client state after World War II, and we all know how well U.S. oil companies have done there ever since. (Aramco alone, prior to its nationalization in the mid-1980s, yielded some $ 3 trillion from the Arabian reserves.) The U.S. helped create, recruit, and finance the fundamentalist Mujahadeen, including some 30,000 young volunteers who came from throughout the Muslim world to fight "godless Communism" in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The U.S. encouraged them to view their war as a jihad (in the sense of a "Holy War," a meaning the term usually does NOT carry), and put many in contact with young Osama bin Laden, then an ally. The Reagan administration was in love with fundamentalist Islam, so long as it served its purposes. The California-based company Unocal was cordially negotiating right up to Sept. 11 with Afghanistan's Taliban for an oil pipeline through Afghan territory, State Department official and oilman Zalmay Khalilzad was arguing up through 1998 that the Taliban were friendly, potential business partners who did "not practice the anti-U.S. style of fundamentalism practiced in Iran." 8. Muslims of the world have many thoroughly LEGITIMATE reasons to resent U.S. policy. Nearly absolute support for the settler state of Israel in its relationship with the indigenous Palestinian people. Imposition of brutal sanctions on Iraq, contrary to logic and morality. Maintenance of bases throughout the Persian Gulf, in defiance of local sensibilities and interests. Support for brutal regimes, including that of the Shah of Iran and that of Indonesia's Suharto (who unquestionably has more blood on his hands than even that arch-villain and former U.S. buddy Saddam Hussein). 9. Muslims typically DO NOT hate the U.S. as an abstract concept, reject U.S. culture in toto, or seek the destruction of American civilization. Many are, indeed, uncomfortable with some aspects of American behavior, as are most people in the world, from Central America to Japan. But a Zogby International poll, released June 11 of this year, shows that in nine Muslim countries, including Bangladesh and Malaysia, the most admired foreign country is the U.S. 10. Muslims and Jews in Palestine/Israel have NOT always hated one another, and the current Middle East conflict does NOT go back many centuries. Rather, it began with the influx of foreign Jews into the region after World War I, which became a flood as a result of the Holocaust, and with international support resulted in the formation of Israel as a specifically Jewish state in 1948. Jewish settlement and terrorism (well-********ed by the Jewish Israeli historian Ilan Pappe) resulted in the displacement of 750,000 Palestinian Arabs (including both Christians and Muslims). The Arab-Israeli conflict is not, fundamentally, about Islam, or a clash between Islam and other faiths, but about this-worldly land grabbing, settlement, dispossession and oppression that has enraged the Muslim world, as it should enrage any thinking, moral human being. Unfortunately, fundamentalist Christians in this country tend to depict this history of injustice as the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, and they will brook no dissent when it comes to the Zionist cause that they have embraced as their own. ("God gave them the land, so don't bother me with historical details. End of discussion.") Hard to imagine a delusion more injurious to world peace and to the cause of justice. Finally: In understanding Islam, Americans should give some thought to one of the pivotal episodes in world history, the Crusades, or Wars of the Cross, that ripped up the Holy Land between 1096 and 1291. During these two centuries, European Christians seeking to "win back for Christendom" territory that had fallen to the Muslim Turks-territory that had been ruled by Muslims since the early seventh century anyway, on terms generally agreeable to Jews and Christians as well as Muslims-committed unspeakable atrocities. In July 1099 Jerusalem was conquered, the Roman Catholic soldiers massacring all the Muslim and Jewish inhabitants, including women and children. Nor was the Crusaders' zeal exhausted upon non-Christians; frustrated at lack of success in Palestine in 1204, they instead sacked Constantinople (modern Istanbul), then the center of Eastern Orthodoxy. In comparison, the behavior of the Muslim armies was chivalrous, the twelfth-century Kurdish leader Saladin in particular winning high praise from Christians and Muslims alike for his humanity. The Islamic world remembers the Crusades; George Bush, like many Americans, is clueless about them. Hence his amazingly dim-witted reference to the "War on Terrorism" as a "Crusade" last September 16-a statement that produced immediate, widespread outrage in the Muslim world. No offense intended, no doubt. But such ignorance, in action, in a world where religious prejudice generates idiotic action from Belfast, to the Balkans, to Gujarat, to the Moluccas, is perilous ignorance indeed. Gary Leupp is an an associate professor, Department of History, Tufts University and coordinator, Asian Studies Program
19- رد بعض الشبهات عن الإسلام (1)
19- Answering Some Misconceptions about Islam 1
Answering Some Misconceptions about Islam Islam rejects Jesus because: Jesus is not accepted as `the Son of God' ***************** The Qur'an and Sunnah both teach us emphatically and without any doubt that the Creator considers the statement of the Trinity to be a great falsehood. The Qur'an states (translation): [19:88-93] They say: "(Allah) the Most Merciful has begotten a son!" Indeed you have put forth a thing most monstrous! At it the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin, that they should invoke a son for (Allah) the Most Merciful. For it is not consonant with the majesty of (Allah) the Most Merciful that He should beget a son: Not one of the beings in the heavens and the earth but must come to (Allah) the Most Merciful as a servant. However, the misconception that Jesus is rejected does not follow from the reason given above. It is more precise to say that identifying Jesus as `the Son of God' is rejected. As a Messenger of Allah, Jesus is accorded the same honor that all the Messengers are given, as the following verse attests to (translation), [2:136] Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed to us and that which was revealed to Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have surrendered. [Arabic "Muslimoon"] ************************************************** ************ Islam is a racist, afro-centric cult because: Nation of Islam espouses the superiority of the black man ************ One of the great misconceptions of the twentieth century is that the so-called `Nation of Islam' is a Muslim community, or more precisely: a community which submits to Allah by following the Qur'an and Sunnah. The `Nation of Islam' is a man-made way of life which borrowed some elements of Islam and then mixed them with a large number of inventions and lies to reach their present doctrines. It suffices to point out the `Nation of Islam's deviation in two areas. First, they reject the essence of Islam by concocting a story wherein the Creator takes the form of a black man. From their on-line publications, we find that the `Nation of Islam' believes in ...one God (Allah) and that Allah (God) appeared in the Person of Master W. Fard Muhammad, July, 1930; the long awaited `Messiah' of the Christians and the `Mahdi' of the Muslims... However, the Creator states in the Qur'an (translation), [6:103] No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision: He is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things. The `Nation of Islam' also claims that white men are `devils', and that black people are in general superior to all other races. However, from the Sunnah, specifically in the Messenger of Allah's farewell sermon, we find the Messenger (pbuh) saying: All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over a white - except by piety and good action. There are many other beliefs which the `Nation of Islam' holds which take it outside of Islam. It is interesting to note that in the mid-1970's, the overwhelming majority of the group realized its errors and converted to true Islam. There is, however, a splinter group which remains active today . ************************************************** ********** Islam produces a lazy, uneducated society because: fatalism is OK . ************** The reasons given for this misconception are false, and the misconception itself is actually refuted directly by the Qur'an and Sunnah. While it is true that the Creator is the source of everything to us, it is not true that this can be used as an excuse for humanity to hide behind as the following verses from the Qur'an state (translation), [16:35] The worshippers of false gods say: "If Allah had so willed, we should not have worshipped anything but Him - neither we nor our fathers,- nor should we have prescribed prohibitions other than His." So did those who went before them. But what is the mission of messengers but to preach the Clear Message? [43:20] They (the idolators) say, "If it had been the will of (Allah) the Most Merciful, we should not have worshipped such (deities)!" Of that they have no knowledge: they do nothing but lie! Allah has taught us via the Qur'an and Sunnah that we all have a certain amount of free will. This free will must be exercised properly in accordance with the Qur'an and Sunnah to please the Creator. This is plenty of motivation for all Muslims to push themselves to be the most knowledgeable, effective Muslims they can be. If Muslim societies today are not meeting their potential, it is surely not due to their knowledge of Islam, rather it is their ignorance of this way of life. The importance of seeking knowledge and working are made clear in the Sunnah. From the Sunnah, specifically in the study of the Sunnah called Sunan Abu-Dawud, we find: [9:1637] Narrated Anas ibn Malik: A man of the Ansar came to the Prophet (pbuh) and begged from him. He (the Prophet) asked: Have you nothing in your house? He replied: Yes, a piece of cloth, a part of which we wear and a part of which we spread (on the ground), and a wooden bowl from which we drink water. He said: Bring them to me. He then brought these articles to him and he (the Prophet) took them in his hands and asked: Who will buy these? A man said: I shall buy them for one dirham. He said twice or thrice: Who will offer more than one dirham? A man said: I shall buy them for two dirhams. He gave these to him and took the two dirhams and, giving them to the Ansari, he said: Buy food with one of them and hand it to your family, and buy an axe and bring it to me. He then brought it to him. The Apostle of Allah (pbuh) fixed a handle on it with his own hands and said: Go, gather firewood and sell it, and do not let me see you for a fortnight. The man went away and gathered firewood and sold it. When he had earned ten dirhams, he came to him and bought a garment with some of them and food with the others. The Apostle of Allah (pbuh) then said: This is better for you than that begging should come as a spot on your face on the Day of Judgment. Begging is right only for three people: one who is in grinding poverty, one who is seriously in debt, or one who is responsible for compensation and finds it difficult to pay. Also from the Sunnah, specifically in the study of the Sunnah called Sunan Ibn Majah, we find that the Messenger of Allah said: Seeking knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim. Knowledge of the Qur'an and Sunnah are clearly the best types of knowledge, and knowledge which benefits humanity is good as well. The Qur'an and Sunnah do not condemn the study of this earth and in fact the Creator encourages us to investigate the world we live in according to the following verse from the Qur'an (translation), [3:190-191] Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, there are indeed Signs for people of understanding. People who celebrate the praises of Allah, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (with the thought): "Our Lord! not for nothing have You created (all) this! Glory to You! Give us salvation from the penalty of the Fire." ************************************************** ************** http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/notislam/misconceptions.html