Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Merciful Established Himself on the Throne

Written by Member: Asim Awan
Country: United States of America
Date: 30-Sep-2005
The above phrase occurs in the Qur'an in seven places and is used in classical Arabic idiomatically. God Almighty has taken to running the affairs of creation. This verse is so profound in meaning, that it would be significant to analyze its implications: 1. Everytime it is preceded by a verse recounting that God Almighty created the heavens and the earth. It strikes at the very idea, held by Deists that God simply left the universe to run on its own. In fact, the Deist position leaves no room for religion. 2. This idea strikes at the very basis for idolatry. Idolatry has always acknowledged that although there was only One Creator for the universe, He was unconcerned with the welfare of man. He was so transcendent that it was beyond his Glory that he involve himself in the running of the universe. This led men to take other beings of worship so that "they may bring us nearer to God." The fact that God is continuously running the universe such that "everyday He is in a new splendour", should make man realize that only God is worthy to be worshipped, and only He is worthy to be called on for help. 3. God mentions his attribute Ar-Rahman. This teaches man some important points: a. As Ameen Ahsan Islahi points out, Ar-Rahman is an intensive form of fa'lan. This expresses 'great fervency and enthusiasm', and ultimately points out that it was the Almighty's abounding mercy that caused him to create and maintain the universe. His purpose is for a just and noble end. "My mercy overcomes my wrath." b. It is tantamount to pure ingratitude to take other beings for worship other than Allah. How can one even raise their hands to another, when they realize that God Almighty created us, and is maintaining us purely out of his Abounding Mercy? In fact, it is only with due recognition of this reality, that one does not fall into shirk. In Surah Baqarah, verse 163, God Almighty says, "Your God is one God. There is no god but Him. He is the Compassionate, the Ever-Merciful." This verse states the oneness of God first in the positive sense, and then in the negative sense. This is followed by the attributes Ar-Rahman, and Ar-Raheem. The mentioning of these attributes hold a significant place, for it is a recognition of these attributes that cause men to turn to God alone, and it is a lack of conviction in these attributes that cause man to fall into shirk. Hadeeth report the Prophet (S) saying upon hearing a supplicant to God use these two attributes, that the person has called upon God by his greatest names, such that he will not be refused. With this in mind, it would be wise to end on some reflections of the attribute of God Ar-Rabb. The reason is because the idea of rububiiyah conveys a similar idea to the phrase under discussion. God, according to surah Fatiha, is the Rabb of the vastness of creation. The root, r-b-b, according to Muhammad Ali, has the idea of fostering something in such a manner as to help it to attain one condition after another until it reaches the goal of completion. The implications of this are that every single creature needs the assistance of God to reach its full potential. Guidance is actually a manifest law in the universe, and permeates everything through and through. In the case of man, the rubbubiya of God manifests itself not only in material blessings, but spiritual blessings as well. Man was created with a dual nature, possessing both body and spirit, so his needs are two-fold. In Surah Fatiha, man recognizes that God is the Rabb of the vastness of Creation, which is an undeniable reality. Everything he sees around his is as if it was put in the service of him. This recognition ultimately impels him to implore his Lord for the fulfillment of his spiritual needs, including teaching him the proper way of worship. "You alone we worship, and you alone we seek help." Finally, God has responded to this natural urge by providing him revelation, ultimating reaching its 'perfect' form in the Qur'an. "Ar-Rahman, Has Taught the Qur'an, and Created man." The greatest manifestation of God is that he provides man with hidaya. When one acknowledges God is controlling the affairs of the world, than one realizes that "Have we not sent a warner?" is plain truth.

ANGELS

We believe in the existence of the angels of Allah and that they are "honored servants. They do not speak before He does, and they act only by His command" (21:26). Allah created them, and they worship and obey Him. Those who are in His presence do not disdain to worship Him, nor do they weary" (21:19).

Angels are concealed from us, so we cannot see them. Allah may show them to some of His servants. The Prophet Muhammad saw Gabriel in his real shape with six hundred wings that covered the horizons (Bukhari and Muslim). Gabriel took the form of a handsome human being who met Mary and engaged in conversation with her. He came to the Prophet while he was among his Companions in the appearance of an unknown man who did not show any trace of long travel, with very white clothes, and very black hair. He sat facing the Prophet, his knees to the Prophet's knees, peace be upon him, and his palms on the Prophet's thighs and talked with the Prophet. The Prophet later told his Companions that the man they saw was Gabriel (Bukhari and Muslim).

Angels' Functions: We believe that the angels are assigned certain functions. Among the angels is Gabriel, who is entrusted with revelation. He brings it down from Allah to whomever He wishes among His prophets and messengers.

Among them is Michael, who is in charge of rain and the growth of plants; Israfil, who is in charge of blowing the horn at the time of thunder-bolting and the resurrection; the Angel of Death, who takes away people's souls at the time of death. Among the angels is the one who is in charge of mountains; and Malik, the keeper of Hell.

Some angels are in charge of embryos in wombs, others are responsible for protecting human beings, and others are busy recording men's deeds: there are two angels for every person, "when the two angels receive (his deeds), one sitting on the right and one on the left, not a word he utters but by him is an observer ready" (50:18). Some other angels are in charge of questioning the dead after he is placed in his last abode. Two angels come to him and ask him about his Lord, his religion, and his prophet. There "Allah confirms those who believe with the firm saying, in the present life and the hereafter, and Allah leads astray the evildoers and Allah does what He wills" (14:27).

Some angels are in charge of the dwellers of Paradise: "The angels enter to them from every gate, saying: 'Peace be upon you for that you were patient. How excellent is your final home"' (13:24).

The Prophet, peace be upon him, told us that "seventy thousand angels enter or pray in the populous house in heaven every day. They never come back to it as long as they live" (because their turn will never come) (Bukhari and Muslim).

From www.muslimconvert.com

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Donald W. Flood: Quran The Last Revelation.

I comprehended that it was found imperative due to innovations attributed to Divine revelation that the need arose for another Prophet after Eesa (alaihissalam) with another revelation after the Gospel. This is why Allah sent Muhammad (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) with the last Message, (i.e., the Qur'an), to bring all of mankind back to the belief in and worship of One Allah, without partners or intermediaries. According to Muslims, the Holy Qur'an, the permanent ultimate source of guidance for mankind, offers a rational and historical elucidation of the magnificent role of Eesa (alaihissalam). The name Eesa (alaihissalam) is cited twenty-five times in the Qur'an, which contains a chapter called Maryam (Mary), named after the mother of Eesa (alaihissalam).

Regarding the Divine authenticity of this revelation, I found the following Qur'anic verses very compelling: "And it was not [possible] for this Qur'an to be produced by other than Allah, but [it is] a confirmation of what was before it and a detailed explanation of the [former] Scripture, about which there is no doubt, from the Lord of the Worlds." (10:37) And "And indeed, it is the truth of certainty." (69:51) Similarly, I was concerned about the adulteration of the Qur'an since this was a major problem with the previous revelations. I read that the Qur'an will never change or be abrogated: "Indeed, it is We who sent down the message [i.e., the Qur'an], and indeed, We will be its guardian." (15:9)

I was also informed about some of the scientific phenomena mentioned in the Qur'an, which give credence to the belief that the Qur'an is the literal word of Allah. There are verses describing human embryonic development, mountains, the origin of the universe, the cerebrum, seas, deep seas, and internal waves and clouds. It is beyond explanation that anyone, more than fourteen hundred years ago, could have known the facts, which were found or confirmed recently by advanced mechanisms and sophisticated scientific procedures.

Islam: The Essence and Culmination of Revealed Religions

Muslims believe that the essential purpose for which mankind was created is the worship of Allah. As He said in the Qur'an, "And I did not create the jinn [i.e., a type of creation, created by Allah from fire] and mankind except to worship Me" (51:56) Related to this, a well known Islamic scholar from the West says, "The most complete system of worship available to humans today is the system found in the religion of Islam, The very name 'Islam' means 'submission to the Will of Allah'. Although it commonly referred to as 'the third of the three monotheistic faiths, it is not a new religion at all. It is the religion brought by all the Prophets of Allah for humankind. Islam was the religion of Adam, Abraham, Moses and Jesus.''

In addition he states, "Since there is only One Allah, and humankind is one species, the religion that Allah has ordained for humans is [essentially] one... Human spiritual and social needs are uniform and human nature has not changed since the first man and woman were created”.

Uncovering the fact that the message of Allah has always been the same, I realised it is the duty of all human beings to seek the truth and not just blindly accept the religion that their society or parents follow, According to the Qur'an, "You worship besides Him not except [mere] names you have named, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority..." (12:40) Regarding fitrah [i.e., the inherent nature of man to worship Allah prior to the corruption of his nature by external influences], Prophet Muhammad (sallallaho aliahi wasallam) said, "Every child is born on Al-Fitrah, and his parents convert him to Judaism or Christianity or Magianism. As an animal delivers a perfect baby animal, do you find it mutilated?" Furthermore, Allah says, 'So direct your face [i.e., self] toward the religion, inclining toward truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know. " (30:30) Moreover, I learned there is no other religion acceptable to Allah besides Islam, as He clearly states in the Qur'an: "And whoever desires other than Islam as a religion, never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers. " (3:85). I deduced that man might neglect the guidance of Allah and establish his own standards of living. Ultimately, however, he will discover it is only a mirage that alluded him.


A Traveller
As I continued to read the Qur'an and learn about the sayings and doings of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaho aliahi wasallam) [the Sunnah], I noticed Islam views man as a traveller in this life and the 'Home' is in the next life for eternity. We are here for a short period and we cannot take anything with us from this life except our belief in Allah and our deeds. Thus, man should be like a traveller who passes through the land and does not become attached to it. As travellers on this journey, we must understand that the meaning of being alive is to be tested. Hence, there is suffering, joy, pain and elation. These tests of good and evil are intended to evoke our higher spiritual qualities. Yet, we are incapable of benefiting from these tests unless we do our best, have complete trust in Allah and patiently accept what He has destined for us.

The Road to Paradise
It was very meaningful to learn about Paradise since this must certainly be the ultimate goal of every individual. Regarding this eternal home, Allah says, "And no soul knows what has been hidden for it of comfort for eyes [i.e., satisfaction] as a reward for what it used to do. " (32:17) 1 also became aware of a pleasure that is beyond all imagination, which is to be in the Presence of the Creator Himself. I wondered who are the souls worthy of such a reward? This reward of Paradise is too great to have a price. I was told the price is true faith, which is proven by obedience to Allah and following the Sunnah (way) of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaho aliahi wasallam).
I grasped that mankind must worship Allah to attain righteousness and the spiritual status necessary to enter Paradise. This means human beings have to comprehend that worship is as indispensable as eating and breathing and not a favour they are doing for Allah. Likewise, I found out that we need to read the Qur’an to find out what kind of people Allah wants us to be and then try to become as such. This is the road to Paradise.

Overcoming an Obstacle
At this point, I felt about 80% sure I wanted to become a Muslim, but something was holding me back. I was concerned about the reaction of my family and friends if they knew that I had become a Muslim. Shortly thereafter, I expressed this concern to a Muslim who told me that on Judgement Day, no one will be able to help you, not your father, mother nor any of your friends. Therefore, if you believe Islam is the true religion, you should embrace it and live your life to please the One who created you. Thus, it became very lucid to me that we are all in the same boat; every soul shall taste death and then we'll be liable for our particular belief in Allah and for our deeds.

A Meaningful Videotape
By this stage in my search for the truth, I was on the verge of embracing Islam. I watched an Islamic lecture on videotape about the purpose of life. The main theme of this lecture was that the purpose of life may be summed up in one word, i.e., Islam (peaceful submission to the Will of Allah).

An additional point was that, unlike other religions or beliefs, the term 'Islam' is not associated with any particular person or place. Allah has named the religion in the following Qur'anic verse: "Indeed, the Religion in the sight of Allah is Islam..." (3:19) Anyone who embraces Islam is called a Muslim regardless of that person's race, sex or nationality. This is one of the reasons why Islam is a universal religion.

Prior to my search for the truth, I had never seriously considered Islam as an option because of the constant negative portrayal of Muslims in the media. Similarly, it was disclosed in this videotape that although Islam is characterised by high moral standards, not all Muslims uphold these standards. I learned the same can be said about adherents of other religions. I finally understood that we cannot judge a religion by the actions of its followers alone, as I had done, because all humans are fallible. On that account, we should not judge Islam by the actions of its proponents, but by its revelation (the Holy Qur'an) and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaho aliahi wasallam).

The last point I picked up from this lecture concerned the importance of gratitude. Allah mentions in the Qur'an that we should be grateful for the fact that He created us: "And Allah has extracted you from the wombs of your mothers not knowing a thing, and He made for you hearing and vision and hearts [i.e., intellect that perhaps you would be grateful. " (16:78) Allah Almighty has also cited gratitude along with belief, and has made it clear that He gains nothing from punishing His people when they give thanks to Him and believe in Him. He says in the Qur'an, "What would Allah do with [i.e., gain from] your punishment if you are grateful and believe? ..." (4:147)

The Truth Unveils Itself
As soon as the videotape had finished, I experienced the truth being unveiled to my spirit. I felt a huge burden of sins flying off my back. Moreover, it felt like my soul was rising above the earth, refusing the makeshift delights of this world in favour of the eternal joys of the Hereafter. This experience, coupled with the long process of reasoning, solved the 'purpose of life puzzle'. It revealed Islam as the truth, thereby replenishing my 'spiritual landscape' with belief, purpose, direction and action. I therefore entered the gate of Islam by saying the declaration of faith required to become a Muslim: Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan Rasool Allah. (I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger). I was informed that this formal testimony confirms one's belief in all the Prophets and Messengers of Allah, along with all of His Divine revelations in their original form, thereby updating and completing one's religion to the last of the Prophets [Muhammad (sallallaho aliahi wasallam)] and to the final revelation of Allah [the Qur'an]. The following point became overwhelmingly clear to me: Had Eesa (alaihissalam) been the last Prophet of Allah and had the Gospel been the final book of revelation, I would have attested to that. As a result, I have naturally chosen to follow the final revelation from the Creator as exemplified by the Seal of the Prophets (sallallaho alaihi wasallam).

Impressions of a New Muslim
During my search to find the truth, the lesson, which, transcended all lessons, was that all objects of worship other than Allah are mere delusions. To anyone who sees this clearly, the only possible course is to bring one's own will and actions into complete unison with that of Allah. Acquiescing to the Will of Allah has enabled me to feel peace with the Creator, with others and finally, with myself. Consequently, I feel very grateful, that by the Mercy of Allah, I have been rescued from the depths of ignorance and have stepped into the light of truth. Islam, the true religion of all times, places and peoples, is a complete code of life which guides man to fulfil the purpose of his existence on earth, and prepares him for the Day when he will return to his Creator. Following this path in a devout manner enables one to gain the pleasure of Allah and be closer to Him amid the endless delights of Paradise while escaping from the punishment of Hellfire. Another bonus is that our present life will be much happier when we make such a choice.

A Deceptive Enjoyment

Embracing Islam has given me more of an insight into the illusive nature of this life. For instance, one basic object of Islam is the liberation of man. This is why a Muslim calls himself 'Abdullah', the slave or servant of Allah because enslavement to Allah signifies liberation from all other forms of servitude, and although modern man may think that he is liberated, he is in fact a slave to his desires. He is generally deceived by this worldly life. He is 'addicted' to hoarding wealth, sex, violence, intoxicants, etc. But above all, he is often seduced by the capitalist system that tends to work through the invention of false needs, which he feels must be satisfied instantly, As Allah says in the Qur'an, "Have you seen the one who takes as his Allah his own desire? Then would you be responsible for him? Or do you think that most of them hear or reason? They are not except as cattle. Rather, they are [even] more astray in [their] way. )” (25: 43-44)

Correspondingly, we should not let our zeal to enjoy the pleasures of this fleeting life and jeopardise our opportunity to enjoy the ecstasy of Paradise. As Allah says in the Qur'an, "Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire - of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return [i.e. Paradise]. Say, "Shall I inform you of something better than that? For those who fear Allah will be in gardens in the presence of their Lord beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally, and purified spouses and approval from Allah..." (3:14-15) Therefore, the real competition in this life is not the accumulation of wealth or the desire for fame; it is facing with one another to perform good deeds to please Allah, while having our lawful portion of enjoyment in this life.

The Right Path to Allah

There are many religious alternatives available to man and it is up to him to choose the one he wishes to follow. He is like a merchant with many goods in front of him, and it is his choice which one to trade in. He will obviously select the one he thinks will be the most lucrative. However, the merchant is unsure and has no guarantee of prosperity; his product may have a market and he may make handsome returns, but he could just as easily lose all of his money. In contrast, the believer in the Oneness of Allah who submits to His Will (a Muslim), is completely sure that if he follows the path of guidance [the Qur'an and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaho alaihi wasallam)], there will undoubtedly be success and reward waiting for him at the end of this path. Fortunately, this success also starts at the beginning of the path. Narrated by Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri (radhiallaho unho) - Allah's Messenger (sallallaho aliahi wasallam) said, "If a person embraces Islam sincerely, then Allah shall forgive all his past sins, and after that starts the settlement of accounts: the reward of his good deeds will be ten times to seven hundred times for each good deed, and an evil deed will be recorded as it is unless Allah forgives it.

Epilogue
Based on my search for the truth, I concluded that the precise way we believe in Allah and the deeds we perform determine our future condition for eternity. Our Creator is giving us all an equal chance, regardless of our circumstances, to earn His pleasure in preparation for Judgement Day, as in the following Qur'anic verses: "And obey Allah and His Messenger that you may obtain mercy. And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden [i.e., Paradise] as wide as the Heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous. " (3:132-133)

If we sincerely seek the truth of this life, which is Islam (peaceful submission to the Will of Allah), Allah will guide us there, Insha Allah. He directs us to examine the life and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaho aliahi wasallam), as he represents the best role model for mankind to follow. Furthermore, Allah directs us to investigate and ponder what He says in the Qur'an. One will see that the Qur'an is indeed like a persistent and strong knocking on a door, or loud shouts seeking to awaken those who are fast asleep because they are just completely absorbed by this life on earth. The knocks and shouts appear one after the other: Wake up! Look around you! Think! Reflect! Allah is there! There is planning, trial, accountability, reckoning, reward, severe punishment and lasting bliss!
Clearly and unequivocally, the best way to live and die in this world is as a righteous Muslim! When one comes to the conclusion that Islam is the truth, he should not delay in becoming a Muslim because he may die first, and then it will be too late.

A few months after embracing Islam, I found two verses in the Qur'an that mirror what the American Muslim told me regarding how we should live and die: "And Ibrahim (alaihissalam) instructed his sons and [so did] Yaqoob (alaihissalam), [saying], “O my sons! Indeed Allah has chosen for you this religion, so do not die except while you are Muslims." (2:132) And “O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him]." (3:102)

Truth about Jesus Steven Johnson (Farukh Abdallah)

Bismillahi r-Rahmani r-Rahim Assalamu aleikum I am going to talk about the truth about Jesus (peace be upon him!).

In the first part of the lecture I would like to consider some of the so-called Christian evidence for the Divinity of Jesus and with the short response to what I consider the best evidence that the Christians would have and then to conclude with what Islam has to say about Jesus, insha Allah.

So first let us consider some of the best Christian so-called evidence for the Divinity of Jesus.

Of course one body of evidence that Christians have historically pointed to was evidence that Jesus (peace be upon him!) is God are the miracles of Jesus.

For example, they like to point to the virgin birth of Jesus. But it is the fact that Jesus had the human mother, but no father.

But of course for centuries the Jews and more recently the Muslims have counted that evidence by reminding the Christians that Adam had neither the mother of the father, and yet of course Christians never claim that Adam is Divine.

The physical state of affairs of a virgin birth as miraculous as it is not proof of Divinity.


For example, we read in the New Testatment that Hebrews (chapter 7, verse 3). It says that "without father, mother or ancestry, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains the priest for ever".

It´s a very interesting verse, because that verse is not describing Jesus (peace be upon him!), rather if taken literally, as Christians take other verses in the Bible, it says that Melchizedek - an Old Testament figure - was without a father, without a mother, and that he is eternal.

So, using Christian logic, wouldn´t Melchizedek be God? And yet, no Christian says that Melchizedek is God. More often Christians would suggest, that since Jesus (peace be upon him!) had the power to cure the sick or even to raise the dead - that he must be God, because only God has power over life and death.

But the Bible itself demonstrates that claim is not logically founded.

For example, in the New Testament in the book of Acts (chapter 5, verse 15) we discover that families would bring their sick out into the street, so that the shadow of St.Peter could cast upon the sick people, and it says when the shadow of St.Peter was cast upon them - that they were cured.

Supposedly the mere shadow of Peter had the power to cure the sick.

In Acts (chapter 14, verse 10), Paul says to a crippled man: "Stand up upon your feet. And the man was cured".

And Paul did not mention the name of Jesus (peace be upon him!) in order to cure the man.

In Acts (chapter 9, verse 40) St. Peter raises Tabitha from the dead. And he did not mention the name of Jesus in order to raise Tabitha from the dead.

Of course Christians claim and they should claim if they are good Christians, that the apostles receive power for these miracles from Jesus.

But it is not understandable why they stop there, why do they not say that Jesus (peace be upon him!) receives his power from God.

For example, when we read John (chapter 5, verse 30 and chapter 6, verse 38). It says that Jesus was supposed to have said: "I can do nothing on my own initiative.

As I hear, I judge. And my judgement is just, because I do not seek my own will, but the will of Him who sent me".

So if Jesus, (peace be upon him!) cures it is because it is the will of the One who sent him. Because Jesus by his own admission can do nothing on his own initiative.

Clearly the will of Jesus (peace be upon him!) is subordinated to the will of God, which is inconsistent with any claim that Jesus is equal to the Father.

St.Paul himself subordinated Christ to God the Father in authority.

In his letter to the Corinthians I (chapter 11, verse 3) Paul says that Christ is the head of every man and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.

Another typical verse of Paul is Corinthians I (chapter 15, verse 25). It says: "And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son himself will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to him. That God may be all in all".

We also learn in the letter to Phillipians (chapter 2, verse 9) that God has highly exalted Jesus.

So if Jesus is subject to God and relies upon God to exalt him, then Jesus cannot be God, unless there are levels of being God.

At most Jesus could be aimed lower God and not equal to the Father.

But elsewhere in the Bible Jesus himself blatantly denies any kind of equality with God. For example, in the Gospel of John (chapter 14, verse 28) he says, "I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am".

In what sense can the Father be greater than Jesus ?

Christians view Jesus as perfect. Their line of argumentation is very simple. Since only God is perfect and Jesus is perfect, then Jesus must be God.
In logic we dismiss that kind of an argument, we say it is the fallacy of the undistributed middle term.

Let me give you an example of that, to show you how illogical it is. If I said that Begin is tired and Reigan is tired then I would have to conclude that Begin is Reigan.

So obviously it is an illogical kind of argument. It is the same kind of argument that we find there. You don´t even have to be a Major in logic to see that that is illogical.

If you look to the Bible itself in the famous sermon on the mount in Matthew (chapter 5, verse 48), Jesus supposedly commands us to "be ye therefore perfect, as your Father who is in Heaven is perfect".

Again Jesus of course was paraphrasing the Torah. We find those words in Leviticus (chapter 19, verse 2).

But by commanding us to be perfect, or holy as it is said in Leviticus, to Jesus and God it means to indicate that we all have the potential to be God.

Well of course no orthodox Christian would make such a claim. The fact is that if Jesus lived a perfect life, then he was a perfect man, but a perfect man is not God.

Jesus was simply following the commandment revealed by God to Moses.

But whatever Jesus´s perfection in the New Testament is, he is always characterised or described as lower or subordinate to God the Father. And that subordinate role is seen in the fact that Jesus himself viewed himself as a messenger.

In Matthew (chapter 10, verse 40), and in John (chapter 5, verse 36) Jesus says, "...he who receives you, receives me and he who receives me, receives Him who sent me". That´s a very important verse, when it is considered along with verse such as John (chapter 12, verse 44). That says, "But Jesus cried out and said "he who believes in me, does no believe in me, but in Him who sent me"

. Also in John (chapter 13, verse 16) it says, "A slave is not greater than his master, neither a messenger - greater than the One who sent the messenger".

So Jesus is admitting both that he is a messenger and that the messenger is not as great as the One who send a messenger. It is very very clear.

Consistently the Gospel writers viewed Jesus as a human messenger, one mediator between God and man. That is evident in I Timothy (chapter 2, verse 5). Where Paul writes, "For there is one God, and also one mediator between God and men - a man Christ Jesus".

That whole doctrine was of course taken from file of Alexander. I don´t have time to go into that but if you have questions about it later I can go into it. So, I think we can see that if in some biblical verses Jesus is described as perfect, we can see from other verses that his perfection is only a human perfection. The Bible itself does not attribute perfect knowledge to Jesus.

Jesus freely admitted that there were things that neither he nor the Angels knew, but that only God knew.

For example, talking about the day of judgement, Jesus says in the Gospel of Mark (chapter 13, verse 32). He says that "of that day or hour no one knows, neither the Angels in Heaven, nor the Son, but the Father".

And there is a very curious verse in Luke (chapter 2, verse 52), that makes the following statement about Jesus.

It said and Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and in physical growth and in favour with God and men. If Jesus is God, then we would expect him to share in the omniscience and the all-knowingness of God and the All-knowing God cannot increase in wisdom.

Or returning to the issue of perfection. If Jesus is perfect, and how could he increase in favour with God. A very dangerous thing happened in Christian theology, when the theologians attempted to attribute Divinity to Jesus.

Paradoxically, human qualities were attributed to God.

That is seen very clearly in a passage from Ditrich Barnhafer "Letters and papers from prison". Let me read it: "God is teaching us that we must live as men who can get along very well without him.

That we should be able to get along without God. The God who is with us is the God who forsakes us, the God who makes us live in this world. Without using him as a working hypothesis is the God before whom we are ever standing, before God and with Him we live without God.

God allows himself to be edged out of the world and onto the cross. God is weak and powerless in the world. And that is exactly the way, the only way in which he can be with us and help us".

Barharfer describes God as weak and powerless in the world, that he can be edged out of the world and nailed onto a cross. What a short step it is from describing God as weak and powerless in the world to some other words that are even worse

. Neichure wrote: "Where has God gone - he cried. I shall tell you. We have killed Him. You and I. We are all His murderers. God is dead. God remains dead and we have killed Him."

If Christians call Barnhafer and Neitsche silly then they should remember that for two centuries after the council of Carsidn, their Fathers and faith debated about whether God could suffer

. These debates and paradoxes continue only substantiating the old claim that anything can follow from a contradiction.

Once you say that God can become man, then anything can happen. Then God can be even called weak and powerless or God can even die, if God can become a man.

Many Christians claimed that the greatest single piece of evidence that Jesus is God is the empty tomb. The Resurrection of Jesus. In fact Paul says that if Jesus did not raise from the dead, the Christian faith is worthless.

That it is completely empty. But unfortunately for the Christian the only evidence for the Resurrection is found in the Bible; and those Resurrection stories, those Resurrection narratives are extremely inconsistent on the details of the event.

For example, try to use the biblical narratives to determine which of Jesus´s followers actually came to the tomb and found that the tomb is empty. In Matthew (chapter 28, verse 1) we learn that Mary Magdalene and another woman named Mary came to the tomb.

Whereas in Mark (chapter 16, verse 1) it says that Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome were present.

Whereas in Luke (24:10) it says that Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of Jesus and other women were present.

Finally in John (chapter 20, verse 1) - it suggests that Mary Magdalene was all alone at the tomb.

There is no consensus on who actually saw Jesus in the empty tomb, or who actually saw the empty tomb. And of course although Christians refer to the empty tomb they do not actually mean that the tomb is completely empty when the individuals went there. According to Christians there was an angelic presence at the tomb

However the Gospels of Mark and Luke differ on how many angels were actually present at the tomb.

Mark (16:5) has one young male angel in the tomb. Luke (24:4) has two male angels in the tomb.

Another question that fundamentalist Christians, that evangelical type often pose is who moved the stone (as if this is a terribly important question).

I must confess that even as a Christian I couldn´t envision a more irrelevant question.

First, what difference does it make who moved the stone. Just give him a name - Bernish Warts.

What difference does it make?
What does it prove?

The issue was not who moved the stone, but whether the Bible is free from inconsistencies, such that it is even possible to determine the answer to that question.

In fact, the Bible equivocates on who moved the stone. In Matthew (28:2) one reads that when Mary Magdalene and Mary arrived at the tomb, an angel approached, rolled the stone away and then sat upon the stone.

In Mark (16:4) and in Luke (24:2) one discovers that when the women arrived at the tomb, the stone was already moved. Another very interesting question is where was Jesus before the empty tomb was being visited. Supposedly at some point to be for Easter, Jesus ascended into Heaven, because in Luke (23:43) he promises the thief on the cross that the thief would be with Jesus that day in Paradise. That Day would be - on Good Friday.

However in John chapter (20, verse 17), Jesus tells Mary Magdalene on Easter Sunday not to touch him, because He has not yet ascended to the Father.

According to these verses Jesus would either be unfortunately (I would not say this, but according to the verse Jesus was either lying to the thief or to Mary Magdalene! Astagfir Allah!)

Because he promised to see that thief in Heaven on Friday, but on Sunday He had not yet ascended to the Father, he had not yet gone to Heaven.
It is curious that according to the Bible Jesus changed His mind about being touched before his ascension because in Matthew (28:9) it says that both of the Maries grabbed Jesus´s feet before He ascended to the Father.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

For My Self Interest Let Them Convert To Islam.

I imagined myself a non-Muslim who is living in western countries. Then I red Islam I found that it has a lot of benefits to myself that I want people to convert to Islam and possibly me. There are my self-interests:
1- Very low crime rate.
2- No one will run me over while he is drunk.
3- No one will still my properties.
4- No one will give an STD to my family.
5- No one will bully my children.
6- No one will discriminate or oppress me.
7- No one will deceive me.
8- I will not be fearful and anxious from wicked people around me.
9- No poverty and all people taken care of.
10- I will have free speech and human dignity.
Your answer may be but in there countries Muslims are the least civilized this is due to their leaders that the west did its best to keep them in power. You may say terrors they are the products of their leaders and the west extreme injustice and oppression. You may say but they hate Jews or Christians false teachings of some retarded people. How we can call people to become Muslims if we would put them down. You may say what the guarantee that Muslims will be like you. Free speech and democracy make people find the right prevail.

Why They Should All Convert To Islam.

People convert to Islam for different reasons. The most important is it is real or not. Then come other fulfillments:
1- people are searching for morals.
2- Sinners who do not feel clean inside it clean them and give them a new life.
3- Politicians who are trying to find a perfect government.
4- Human rights advocates.
5- Humanists who wants fairness to all humans.
6- scientists who found the scientific miracles in Quran astonishing.
7- spiritual people who find in Islam the spiritual fulfillment.
8- Women who find the high regard to women in this religion.
9- philosophers who asking for the great meanings of life.
10- Artists who enjoys and appreciate the glory of the nature.
11- All people asking for our simple inquiries: is there is a creator? Did he connect with humans? Is there is after life? Is there is a soul and spirituality? The good and evil? Salvation to humans?....

4 U.S. Soldiers Have Converted to Islam

Sunday :: July 03, 2005

This is kind of interesting....Four U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq have converted to Islam while there. George Douglas is the latest.

Dr. Ziad Al-Fahdawi, a witness to the event, said that the soldier, George Douglas, recited the two creeds [?There is no god but God, and Mohammad is His prophet?] in The Mosque of Mohammad?s Presence after asking the mosque?s imam to witness his conversion to Islam. Douglas was reported as saying that he is certain that Islam is the best religion that a person could espouse, for its teachings of forgiveness, nobleness, love, righteousness and courage. When Douglas was finished with his declaration, the mosque attendants shouted ?Allahou-Akbar? [God is Greater] and embraced and congratulated him.

The American soldier then changed his name, as of May 30th, from George Douglas to Mujahed Mohammad. He also explained that he was very moved by the courage of the people of Fallujah, their stance as Arabs and Muslims, and their readiness to defend their country and to die for the liberation of their land, no matter what pretexts the invaders give for their aggression.

from www.talkleft.com

4 U.S. Soldiers Have Converted to Islam

Sunday :: July 03, 2005

This is kind of interesting....Four U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq have converted to Islam while there. George Douglas is the latest.

Dr. Ziad Al-Fahdawi, a witness to the event, said that the soldier, George Douglas, recited the two creeds [?There is no god but God, and Mohammad is His prophet?] in The Mosque of Mohammad?s Presence after asking the mosque?s imam to witness his conversion to Islam. Douglas was reported as saying that he is certain that Islam is the best religion that a person could espouse, for its teachings of forgiveness, nobleness, love, righteousness and courage. When Douglas was finished with his declaration, the mosque attendants shouted ?Allahou-Akbar? [God is Greater] and embraced and congratulated him.

The American soldier then changed his name, as of May 30th, from George Douglas to Mujahed Mohammad. He also explained that he was very moved by the courage of the people of Fallujah, their stance as Arabs and Muslims, and their readiness to defend their country and to die for the liberation of their land, no matter what pretexts the invaders give for their aggression.

from www.talkleft.com

The Failure Of The Western Civilization.

The western civilization has failed to provide to the human progress and soul. Though there is materilaistic progress it is in the same time become dangerous to humans. These are my points:
1- It is build on materialism.
2- It does not have sincerity.
3- It is artifical looks to the exterior.
4- It glorifies and worship figures in the community and then turn against them.
5- It is restless since the value is in the material which is never steady.
6- It is built on greed.
7- It says to you it is O.K to do it if no one can see you regardless of your position.
8- It creates a culture of corruption.
9- It creates sinful people then trash them unlike Islam which pull the hands of sinners and purify them.
10- It blinds the people about any external abuse or even expolitation of other countries it if keeps the western people affluent and well to do.
11- It creates wars and support the military industerial complex.
12- Same inventions it creates are the same that extrminate humans as the war machines and scandals with some medicines.
13- The same legal system it provides is the same that is strangulating the socities since laws comes before morals. It make people enemies and deceive one another.
14- The fear of western civilization of Islam is not because of terrorism but because it would not tolerate an anti-corruption religion.
15- It bended Christianity to agree with the heartless corrupted civilization and did not use Christianity to correct it.
Muslims are not waiting for the collpse of the western civilization but wants to revive it. It still have many good things though it started to loose it like opened honest governments and supporting human rights in other continents.

More Converts To Islam.

By Amira Al-Shariff
Yemen Observer
Oct 27, 2005 - Vol.VIII Issue 43

SANA’A - The number of foreigners who come to Yemen to convert to Islam is increasing, according to Abdul-Karim Al-Kohali, the Media Director of the Cultural Center for Foreigners’ Call. He said that 120 foreigners have converted to Islam from the center in the past two years alone.

He said increasing numbers of people decide to convert to Islam as they believe being a Muslim results in a meaningful life. The center helps prepare foreigners to convert to Islam, providing lessons on the Holy Qur’an, Arabic and the Islamic way of life.

Mohammed Abdullah, an American at the center, says he decided to convert after reading the Holy Qur’an. "I converted to Islam, after I had completed studies of my own religion, Christianity, and found many areas to be missing," he said. "So I began to ask a brother in Alaska about Islam, and became convinced that Allah (Subhanhu wa Ta’ala) is the one guide. He gave me the Holy Qur’an and I read it. Then I converted to Islam."

Haron, a convert also from America, said he became interested in Islam after talking to a friend when in prison. "I got into trouble and was sent to jail, where I made a friend who was a Muslim. He told me the positive things about Muslims, as well as telling me that having a girlfriend was not allowed. I thought about Islam, making comparisons between the Bible and the Qur’an and the differences between Christians and Muslims. Slowly I came to believe that the arguments I read in the Holy Qur’an were right." Haron says that being a Muslim has taught him exactly how he should conduct his life. "It told me what to do to be a good person. I had read stories in the Bible but it never taught me why I have to be good," he said. "But the Qur’an told me exactly what to do to be a good person. It also taught me about how I should act towards my wife and in business."

Naeem Harry, also from America, says he decided to convert to Islam while playing basketball. "I embraced Islam when I was in college playing basketball. I used to memorize the Bible, but sometimes I found I had difficulties in understanding parts because I thought there were contradictions. I would ask my preacher if it was a mistake, but he said I just had to believe. It made me question many parts of my life." It was then Naeem started to turn Islam instead. "I started studying the Holy Qur’an and converted to Islam. What amazed me about Holy Qur’an is that any question a person has, the answer is in the Holy Qur’an," he says. "That was the main reason that encouraged me to convert to Islam. One of the other things that amazed me in my college was that Muslims didn’t have mosque to pray in. Instead they prayed in the snow. I asked why they did so, and one replied that it was their duty to pray together. He gave me a book about monotheism, and I read it three or four times in a month. After that I told him I wanted to be a Muslim."

"I remember watching a TV debate between Muslims and Christians," Naeem continues, "where a man called Ahmed called people to Allah (Subhanhu wa Ta’ala) and said Islam had an answer to every question. One member of the audience asked him what answer Islam gave to what God was going to do with all the excess women in the world. He replied that because in Islam men can marry more than one woman, that was is one way to solve the problem." His friend Waseem, from the United Kingdom, converted to Islam four years ago. "When I was teenager I spent time in prison, where I heard about Islam," he said. "It made me think, and I decided I needed to follow it. Now I thank God who gave me this religion and changed my life, as I believe a life without Islam is meaningless."

Source: http://www.yobserver.com/cgi-bin/yobserver/exec/view.cgi/1/8535

© Copyright 2003-2004, Yemen Observer

Jesus Is A Great Prophet.

Son of God is a figure of speech which many other Prophets were labeled as for example; in the King James Version of the Bible
(Psalms 2:7) David is the begotten Son of God.
Many others in the Bible are called God's son;
Jacob God's firstborn son (Exodus 4:22)
Solomon is God's son (2 Samuel 7:13-14)
Ephraim is God's firstborn son (Jeremiah 31:9)
Adam is the son of God (Luke 3:38)
Other Prophets Preformed similar Miracles as Jesus ;
Ezekiel raised many from the dead (Ezekiel 37:1-9)
Joshua stopped the sun and moon for one whole day (Joshua 10:12-13)
Elisha raised the dead, resurrected himself, healed a leper, fed a hundred people with twenty barley loaves and a few ears of corn, and healed a blind man: (2 Kings 4:35, 13:21, 5:14, 4:44, and 6:11.)
Elijah raised the dead (1 Kings 17:22 and 14.)
Other Prophets were filled with the Holy Ghost;
Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost (Luke 1:67)
Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost (Luke 1:41)
Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 4:8)
Paul, filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 13:9)
Many other Prophets were called Lord for example;
Abraham (Genesis 18:12)
Esau (Genesis 32:4)
Joseph (Genesis 44:20)
David (1 Samuel 25:24)

Jesus taught Salvation comes from Submitting your will to God and Faith as Muslims do .

(Matthew 7:21-23) "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"

Why European women are turning to Islam

from the December 27, 2005 edition

By Peter Ford | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

PARIS – Mary Fallot looks as unlike a terrorist suspect as one could possibly imagine: a petite and demure white Frenchwoman chatting with friends on a cell-phone, indistinguishable from any other young woman in the cafĂ© where she sits sipping coffee.
And that is exactly why European antiterrorist authorities have their eyes on thousands like her across the continent.

NO, LISTEN: When Mary Fallot converted, her surprised co-workers asked if she had a Muslim boyfriend. Actually, she explained, she was drawn to Islam by the answers it provided.
PETER FORD In the Monitor
Wednesday, 01/04/06

Ms. Fallot is a recent convert to Islam. In the eyes of the police, that makes her potentially dangerous.

The death of Muriel Degauque, a Belgian convert who blew herself up in a suicide attack on US troops in Iraq last month, has drawn fresh attention to the rising number of Islamic converts in Europe, most of them women.

"The phenomenon is booming, and it worries us," the head of the French domestic intelligence agency, Pascal Mailhos, told the Paris-based newspaper Le Monde in a recent interview. "But we must absolutely avoid lumping everyone together."

The difficulty, security experts explain, is that while the police may be alert to possible threats from young men of Middle Eastern origin, they are more relaxed about white European women. Terrorists can use converts who "have added operational benefits in very tight security situations" where they might not attract attention, says Magnus Ranstorp, a terrorism expert at the Swedish National Defense College in Stockholm.

Ms. Fallot, who converted to Islam three years ago after asking herself spiritual questions to which she found no answers in her childhood Catholicism, says she finds the suspicion her new religion attracts "wounding." "For me," she adds, "Islam is a message of love, of tolerance and peace."

It is a message that appeals to more and more Europeans as curiosity about Islam has grown since 9/11, say both Muslim and non-Muslim researchers. Although there are no precise figures, observers who monitor Europe's Muslim population estimate that several thousand men and women convert each year.

Only a fraction of converts are attracted to radical strands of Islam, they point out, and even fewer are drawn into violence. A handful have been convicted of terrorist offenses, such as Richard Reid, the "shoe bomber" and American John Walker Lindh, who was captured in Afghanistan.

Admittedly patchy research suggests that more women than men convert, experts say, but that - contrary to popular perception - only a minority do so in order to marry Muslim men.

Spielberg Munich courts controversy

By Adla Massoud in New York

Sunday 01 January 2006,
Steven Spielberg calls Munich his 'prayer for peace'
Munich, Steven Spielberg's long awaited political thriller about targeted assassinations, has generated much controversy within the Jewish community in the US.
Based on a book called Vengeance by Canadian journalist George Jonas, the film opens with black and white television footage taken on 5 September 1972, during the summer Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.

An American newsreader reports on the kidnapping of Israeli Olympic athletes by Palestinian fighters of the Black September group.

Eventually, 11 Israelis, five Palestinians and two German police officers are killed in a shootout.

What happens next never makes the evening news. Golda Meir, then Israeli prime minister, instructs intelligence agents to hunt down and kill surviving perpetrators in Europe.

The film, which Spielberg calls his "prayer for peace", was recently voted one of the 10 best films of 2005 by the American Film Institute.

My comment is a lot of Israeli leaders are heroes to their country and religion and same for Palestinian leaders. Spielberg wants us to look beyond that so we can establish everlasting peace. When Israeli came to the promise land for the Arab it was an act of terrorism. If we have a spirit of understanding it was religiously right for them and geopolitical right after the Nazi atrocities. Spielberg is trying to heal the wounds not to open it. I got his message.

Monica's Story

"I was guided to Islam by my heart and emotions"

I was raised in the technologically-advanced atmosphere of Japan. I lived a peaceful, sedentary life and was blessed with a caring family and the tools to succeed in my studies and work. All avenues were open for me to enjoy an easy and fulfilling life.

My family was religiously Buddhist like many Japanese people, however my connection to Buddhism had been poor since my early childhood, and my parents were unconcerned with my devotion. Nevertheless, since my earliest days, many questions regarding the universe, existence, and life circled in my mind. They would remain with me until I reached the age of twenty when I finished my collegiate studies and began to work amongst the clouds as a flight attendant for a Japanese airline. I hoped to find peace and meaning through work but rather a great emptiness in my life persisted. There was something missing from my life and I desperately hoped to find out what it was.

Allah, the Controller of all affairs, willed that in 1988 I would work as a translator for a Japanese delegation to a tourism agency in Egypt for the duration of one year. Through my new colleagues, I came to learn about Islam. After completing the year abroad, I returned to Japan and decided to study Islam in the hopes that I might find the answers to my lifelong questions.

The information that I had previously gathered about Islam from school and television was not only extremely limited but also severely distorted. Such is the same with most Japanese people who read and hear about nothing but violence coming from the Muslim word.

When I returned to Japan, I went to the Islamic Center in Tokyo and asked for a translation of the Holy Qur'an in Japanese. I would visit the center repeated over a period of three years as I studied Islam with the local scholars. With the passage of time, my understanding and appreciation of Islam increased remarkably. I found the answers to the philosophical questions that had been hounding me for so many years in this beautiful religion.

I was impressed by the status of women in Islam. The Muslim woman is protected and honored, and her feelings, mind, and decency are respected much more so than I had previously imagined. I began to seclude myself and ask Allah to guide me to the Truth and educate me about it. I began to meditate upon the created world in order to see the Hand of Allah behind it. I would meditate upon the trees, flowers, birds, animals and the carefully crafted design and balance that ruled them. I felt that Allah had in fact two books: the spoken book in the form of the Holy Qur'an and the silent book in the form of the universe and all its miracles and majesties.

Thus, I saw Allah in His creation and I was guided to Islam by my heart and emotions. I felt the Light of Allah fill my heart. An overwhelming happiness overcame me as my imaan (faith) grew and I felt as if Allah was with me at every moment.

Allah, the Controller of all affairs, willed that I would work as a flight attendant on a particular flight to and from Indonesia for the period of a year. I was taken by the Indonesians' temperament and their adherence to the Qur'an in their daily lives. The Indonesians that I befriended helped me to understand Islam better and increase my love towards it.

I faced several difficulties with my family but I had resolved that I must be a Muslim despite all hurdles that lay before me. I began to perform the five prayers in their correct times, and I exerted great effort in memorizing verses of the Qur'an to enable me to do this correctly.

In 1991, I traveled to Egypt to announce publicly my conversion to Islam at the famous al-Azhar University. I found work in Egypt to live on and soon married an Egypt Muslim man. I remained in Egypt and with time, Allah blessed me with a beautiful daughter named Maryam - the only female name specifically mentioned in the Qur'an.

al-Hamdu lilah (all praises be to Allah), I currently live a happy life with my new religion and my new Muslim family. I am spending a lot of time and effort memorizing the Qur'an, and whenever time permits, my husband and I study the Qur'an together and read certain Islamic texts together. I hope to one day guide my family to Islam, in shah Allah (God willing) soon. Generally speaking, the Japanese people are missing a major component of a happy life, despite their technologically-advanced civilization. I believe that great numbers of them would enter Islam in if they had the proper understanding. They are looking for such answers, and there is no doubt that they are in great need of them.

Big Brother Is Watching and Listening To You by Eric Margolis

Americans should not be shocked to learn that Big Brother has been eavesdropping on their telecommunications. It’s been an open secret for years that the hush- hush National Security Agency’s big electronic ears on the East and West coasts of the USA have been hoovering up all international phone, fax, and email communications.

When you call your aunt in Palermo, or your friend in Egypt, or your girlfriend in Paris, NSA’s super computers pick up and process the transmission. State of the art programs search the messages for key words, locations, repetitions and patterns of interest. This process has been going on long before 9/11.

I have always wondered what government listeners do with highly sensitive financial information passing between corporations, banks and securities or commodity markets. Obviously, there is enormous potential for the state listeners to profit from secret information about mergers, acquisitions, large trades of stocks or commodities, and the movement of currencies.

One may expect a huge scandal to erupt one day when it is revealed that US intelligence agencies used secret financial data to speculate in markets and produce huge profits to pay for "black" operations not authorized by Congress. A prime example of such hanky panky was the Reagan administration’s notorious arms for hostages deal back in 1980's and the diversion of funds from Iran to pay for the Nicaraguan contras.

The Bush administration went one step further by giving NSA – and probably the Pentagon’s intelligence agencies – the power to listen in on domestic communications supposedly "linked to terrorist activities."

At first glance, such permission might make some sense at a time when extremists may be plotting attacks within the US. A secret security court is supposed to grant permission for such intercepts. But according to Congressional records, only five cases out of 18,000 were turned down by the rubber-stamp court.

But the Bush White House went much further by simply ignoring the security court altogether, leading to the resignation in protest of one of its judges. As usual, vague national security concerns were cited by the administration as a reason to ignore due process of law and the constitution.

Unfettered government electronic and data-mining surveillance of its citizens is a genie that once released from its legal bottle becomes a grave menace to democratic society. So-called terrorism is such a loose and flexible concept that it can easily be applied to just about any activity.

Soviet bloc security agencies knew that the most effective way of monitoring "anti-state" activities was by massive random checking. Stop one thousand citizens, or monitor their calls, and a small percentage of potential malefactors, real or imagined, and enemies will be turned up.

East Germany took this sinister practice to the extreme. Its security agency, the Stasi, monitored at least half of all phone and telex calls, employed an army of informers, ran routine spot checks of pedestrians, and even retained tens of thousands of samples of the body scents of "subjects of interest."

Give any intelligence or security agency carte blanche to spy on citizens and it will eventually take this power to extremes. It’s only a small step from monitoring real subversive activities to spying on anyone who disagrees with current government policies. Their friends and relations will also fall under suspicion.

Electronic spying develops its own bureaucratic momentum. Data mining, which tracks and correlates such diverse activities as air travel, credit card purchases, bank and credit card records, tax payments, and association memberships, is the greatest leap forward for totalitarian governments since the Stasi’s millions of index files on individual citizens.

Last week we learned that the FBI had been spying on such "potential terrorist groups" as vegetarians and animal rights activists. This is both ludicrous and extremely scary. PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has come under particular attention by the FBI. I just sent them a cash contribution to aid their work in fighting cruelty to animals and the stomach-churning horrors of factory farming.

I can assume that my name is now on an FBI file as a potential subversive. An electronic file that meshes with "no-fly" lists, tax records, Homeland Security watch lists and god knows what else. When vegetarians and animal rights groups come under FBI scrutiny, along with librarians and anti-war protestors, we know that Big Government has crossed the Rubicon from defending the republic to targeting all who in any way oppose its policies, or those who simply look suspicious and uncooperative.

As Benjamin Franklin wisely noted, government is like fire: a useful servant but a terrible master. We have now reached that point in the United States where a non-mortal threat to the nation – assorted would-be terrorists – is being allowed to endanger the world’s second oldest and most admired democracy.

There is no such thing as a little domestic spying, or a limited repression of dissidents. Once this evil process begins, it is almost impossible to halt. Electronic files live on no matter what efforts are made to curtail their use or destroy them. They are every security agency’s most precious asset and stock in trade.

Congress bears a heavy responsibility for having allowed this danger to develop under its very nose. Ever since 9/11, most of our gutless legislators have averted their eyes to the growing totalitarian impulses of the current administration. Now, belatedly, some members of both houses are finally taking alarm at the grave erosion of America’s freedoms.

But the majority of our legislators are still too brain dead, or terrified of being called "soft on terrorism," or too servile to the party line, to exercise their responsibility as the premier arm of government. At least the US court system is slowly beginning to react to the blatant violations of the constitution and domestic and international law.

Every totalitarian state has used the bogeyman of internal or foreign threats to justify the expansion of their repressive and intrusive powers. The Soviet Cheka (secret police) was created to fight "anti-state elements." The Gestapo was unleashed after the German Reichstag was burned down by "communist terrorists." Now, Muslims Under Our Mattresses is the 2005 version of the 1950’s "Reds Under Our Beds," except that the Reds were a real threat while no major domestic terrorist threat to the US has been uncovered in spite of the arrest of over 2,000 Muslims in America.

As we enter 2006, there is still time for Americans to stop this dire threat to their freedoms, but not very much. Who will follow vegetarians and animal activists onto state security’s watch lists? Rosicrucians, Christian Scientists, bird watchers or liberal Democrats?

December 31, 2005

Eric Margolis [send him mail], contributing foreign editor for Sun National Media Canada, is the author of War at the Top of the World. See his website.

Copyright © 2005 Eric Margolis

Eric Margolis Archives

JOURNEY TO ISLAM

Source: http://www.islam.com.kw/3.htm#MY
Fr. Antony was a Catholic priest in Sri Lanka. His tale of becoming a true believer and adopting a name Adulrahman for him is quite interesting. Being a Christian priest he was well versed with the teachings of the Bible. He quotes the Bible frequently as he sits to narrate his journey to Islam. While reading the Bible he found many contradictions in it. He goes on quoting verses from the Bible in Sinhalese language and points out the ambiguity.

“He quotes Isaiah 29:12 [the original article referenced Esaiah 9:12, which was a typo. Thanks to community member centurian for the correction - Editor] which reads like this.” And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith; I am not learned.” This verse is a prophecy towards prophet Mohammed (pbuh), because Mohammad (pubh) was an unlettered prophet and when he was an unlettered prophet and when he was asked by Angel Gabrielto read out the first divine revelation upon him he said, “I am not learned” Contrary to the Christian belief that Jesus is God, Acts 2:22 of the Holy Bible considers Jesus as a man. It says, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words, jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourself also know.”



Christianity and the other religions, do not define the prophehood according to him. Nor does Bhudda and is silent about the other prophets. Contrary to this it is compulsory in Islam to believe in all the formaer Prophets and to revere them. According to Abdulrahman this belief is quite convincing and appealing to every body.



Abdulrahman says that there is no reason for the restriction that a Roman Catholic priest cannot marry, when the priests of many other sects of Christianity can marry. Abdulrahman was pondering over the confusions of Christian belief. Meanwhile he got an Audio Cassette of a converted Christian priest Sri Lanka Shareef D Alwis. Cassettes of Ahmad Deedat also attracted him. His continuous efforts to find the truth finally resulted in reversion to Islam. Fr. George Antony



Abdulrahman, hails from the Rathnapura village of Sri Lanka. He was rendering his services as a priest in Katumayaka church. He has ten years of training of the priesthood to his credit.



He wrote letters to his mother introducing Islam. After months of studies she followed the path of her son and embraced Islam. Abdurahman’s only sister is working in Greece. His father and sister still remained Christians.



Abdurahman gave up his highly respected career as a priest for the sake of truth. He happily sacrificed all material gains for the spiritual triumph. He is now working as a trainee in Islam Presentation Committee of Kuwait.

War Without End.

Only Justice, Not Bombs, Can Make Our Dangerous World A Safer Place

by Robert Fisk

This was the year the "war on terror" - an obnoxious expression which we all parroted after 11 September 2001 - appeared to be almost as endless as George Bush once claimed it would be. And unsuccessful. For, after all the bombing of Afghanistan, the overthrow of the Taliban, the invasion of Iraq and its appallingly tragic aftermath, can anyone claim today that they feel safer than they did a year ago?

We have gone on smashing away at the human rights we trumpeted at the Russians - and the Arabs - during the Cold War. We have perhaps fatally weakened all those provisions that were written into our treaties and conventions in the aftermath of the Second World War to make the world a safer place. And we claim we are winning.

Where, for example, is the terror? In the streets of Baghdad, to be sure. And perhaps again in our glorious West if we go on with this folly. But terror is also in the prisons and torture chambers of the Middle East. It is in the very jails to which we have been merrily sending out trussed-up prisoners these past three years. For Jack Straw to claim that men are not being sent on their way to torture is surely one of the most extraordinary - perhaps absurd is closer to the mark - statements to have been made in the "war on terror". If they are not going to be tortured - like the luckless Canadian shipped off to Damascus from New York - then what is the purpose of sending them anywhere?

And how are we supposed to "win" this war by ignoring all the injustices we are inflicting on that part of the world from which the hijackers of September 11 originally came? How many times have Messrs Bush and Blair talked about "democracy"? How few times have they talked about "justice", the righting of historic wrongs, the ending of torture? Our principal victims of the "war on terror", of course, have been in Iraq (where we have done quite a bit of torturing ourselves).

But, strange to say, we are silent about the horrors the people of Iraq are now enduring. We do not even know - are not allowed to know - how many of them have died. We know that 1,100 Iraqis died by violence in Baghdad in July alone. That's terror.

But how many died in the other cities of Iraq, in Mosul and Kirkuk and Irbil, and in Amara and Fallujah and Ramadi and Najaf and Kerbala and Basra? Three thousand in July? Or four thousand? And if those projections are accurate, we are talking about 36,000 or 48,000 over the year - which makes that projected post-April 2003 figure of 100,000 dead, which Blair ridiculed, rather conservative, doesn't it?

It's not so long ago, I recall, that Bush explained to us that all the Arabs would one day wish to have the freedoms of Iraq. I cannot think of an Arab today who would wish to contemplate such ill fortune, not least because of the increasingly sectarian nature of the authorities, elected though they are.

The year did allow Ariel Sharon to achieve his aim of turning his colonial war into part of the "war on terror". It also allowed al-Qa'ida's violence to embrace more Arab countries. Jordan was added to Egypt. Woe betide those of us who are now locked into the huge military machine that embraces the Middle East. Why, Iraqis sometimes ask me, are American forces - aerial or land - in Uzbekistan? And Kazakhstan and Afghanistan, in Turkey and Jordan (and Iraq) and in Kuwait and Qatar and Bahrain and Oman and Yemen and Egypt and Algeria (there is a US special forces unit based near Tamanrasset, co-operating with the same Algerian army that was involved in the massacre of civilians the 1990s)?

In fact, just look at the map and you can see the Americans in Greenland and Iceland and Britain and Germany and ex-Yugoslavia and Greece - where we join up with Turkey. How did this iron curtain from the ice cap to the borders of Sudan emerge? What is its purpose?

These are the key questions that should engage anyone trying to understand the "war on terror".

And what of the bombers? Where are they coming from, these armies of suiciders? Still we are obsessed with Osama bin Laden. Is he alive? Yes. But does he matter?

Quite possibly not. For he has created al-Qa'ida. The monster has been born. To squander our millions searching for people like Bin Laden is about as useless as arresting nuclear scientists after the invention of the atom bomb. It is with us.

Alas, as long as we are not attending to the real problems of the Middle East, of its record of suffering and injustice, it - al-Qa'ida - will still be with us.

My year began with a massive explosion in Beirut, just 400 metres from me, as a bomb killed the ex-prime minister Rafiq Hariri. It continued on 7 July when a bomb blew up two trains back from me on the Piccadilly line. Oh, the dangerous world we live in now. I suppose we all have to make our personal choices these days.

Mine is that I am not going to allow 11 September 2001 to change my world. Bush may believe that 19 Arab murderers changed his world. But I'm not going to let them change mine. I hope I'm right.

Copyright 2006 The Independent

First Family Visit As a Muslim

Texas Muslim, Juan Galvan, shares his experience of explaining to his Mexican-American family about his conversion to Islam.

As I fly home to Austin, Texas, I remember the days before my conversion to Islam. I am reminded of Armando, a Latino Muslim. He helped introduce me to Islam. While pointing to the East and then the West, Armando said, "Look what God has given us. He created everything. God is All-Powerful." He had just finished praying magrib. The beauty of the sunset is still present in my mind.

"Truly, in remembering God do hearts find rest," God states in the Qur'an 13:28.

Looking outside this window, I cannot help grinning as I look to my left and then to my right. I found the true purpose of life. The purpose is not to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Instead, we must accept God as God. We Muslims acknowledge the true nature of our Creator. By doing so, we accept our own purpose as servants of our Creator.

I am on my way home after visiting my family for the first time after my conversion to Islam. People who knew nothing about Islam surrounded me. My fourteen-year-old sister Cathy asked, "Isn't Muhammad your God?" "Uh, no," I replied. My parents, my brother, and my five sisters all live in Pampa, Texas. My dad and I joked about each other's religion.

"Why are you praying to that carpet?" he asked.

"Why do you have statues of dead people on your wall?" I asked, pointing to the large Jesus cross in the living room.

On my first day home, I went to Cathy's room to pray after seeing a cross and religious images on my parent's wall. No crosses or Jesus pictures in her room. However, there was a huge Backstreet Boy's poster. I figured it was a lesser of two evils. My parent's have statutes or pictures of Jesus and Mary on almost every wall in their house. I have a great relationship with my family. Mexican-American households are well known for their love of family and religion.

During my visit to Pampa, I spent much of my time discussing Islam. People who ask you why you chose "that religion" are asking for Dawah. I gladly provided answers. My dad said, "My mom was Catholic, and I'll be a Catholic when I die."

Mexican-Americans seem to think that their ancestors have always been Roman Catholic. Our ancestors from Spain were Muslim. Our ancestors from Mexico were pagan. Clinging on to a religion simply because of tradition is insane. I refuse to be a blind follower. I am Muslim because I believe Islam is true.

While visiting my family, I spoke frequently about Islam. If you love something, you discuss it any chance you get. I hope I did not annoy my family. I gave my brother a copy of the Qur'an and a small introductory book about Islam. I bookmarked www.LatinoDawah.org and www.HispanicMuslims.com on my family's computers. I copied several Islamic related files to their computers hoping they would accidentally run across them. I asked questions that only the true religion of God can answer.

God is three? Jesus is God? Original sin? We find the answers to such questions by studying the fundamentals of Islam: the Oneness of God, prophethood, and the Day of Judgment.

I spent much time trying to clear up misconceptions about Islam. Why aren't Americans better informed about Islam? Americans have many questions about Islam. Many times, it is good to bring those questions out in the open. I wanted my sister to understand that Islam is not oppressive to women. I wanted to explain why Muslim women cover. Eventually, I would ask her,

"Do you know why women wear scarves?" She simply replied, "Nuh uh." I feared her reply would be, "What? You think I dress like a slut or something?"

I explained that Muslims believe that women should not be treated as sexual objects. I also explained that Islam is like risk management. Men and women are both instructed to lower their gaze.

On my way to Pampa, the airport security was very tight. A security guard checked my bags. He saw my Qur'an, my Islamic literature, my Islamic audiotapes, and my prayer rug. I hope I did not scare the security guard. I considered praying at the Austin airport before stepping onboard the plane but I did not want to give any passengers a heart attack. After telling my brother about this, he suggested that I return home with a flight instructor's manual. Soon after the September 11 attacks, my dad asked my mom,

"What'd he get himself into?"

My mom cried after hugging me goodbye. I tried to hold back my tears. I hope that she cried because she would miss me and not because she feared I would join the Taliban. As I look outside my window, I see glimpses of the Texas Panhandle. I see canyons then farms and deserted roads then canyons again. I am reminded of Father Dale. During a Sunday sermon, he admitted,

"While I was a priest in Hawaii, I would see a beautiful beach and palm trees on my way to work. Now, I see miles and miles of cotton on my way to work!"

Father Dale has since left the priesthood and has gotten married. Maybe he will embrace Islam next. You never know.

Looking outside my window, I must thank God for the canyons, the cotton, and the other gifts He has given us.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Righteousness is the only way to our salvation.

If I shut up the heavens and there is no rain; if I command the locusts to ravage the land; or if I let loose pestilence against My people, when My people, who bear My name, humble themselves, pray, and seek My favor and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear in My heavenly abode and forgive their sins and heal their land." II Chronicles 7:13-14
This is not applied to Jews only but to Christians and Muslims as well. All our salvation depends on us. If we choose to go back to him and forget about our disputes he will enlight our way and help us to establish his kingdom in earth. If the most powerful, rich and controlling are resisting and want the world to stay as it is they are inviting God's wrath.
The world strugle is not between religions but the rightous of all religions and non-religions against the rich, corrupt and controlling world powers. The righteous from all religons and non religions have to put their hands together and make the world not only better but wonderful place to all of us. Do you really think tyrants and the corporate-political complexes will let us control the world. They want all of us including politicians under the mercy. The Saudi family for example control a lot of politicians in the western world. Do they really care if a poor palatinan struggles to live or the Americans and jihadists die in Iraq. They care about their huge whealth and control of their kingdom. Do you really think a military corporation would care if people dies in thousands while it is making a lot of profit and testing its weapons. The righteous have to unite. The elite will try to make it a holy war or religious war to get the western media and the Americans in their side. In the same time they communicate in the dark with the Arab tyrants to maintain the control of the world by the rich and corrupt while keeping the masses aside.

Building Abrahamic Partnerships (DI-650)

Building Abrahamic Partnerships (DI-650)
Winter/Spring 2006

This eight-day intensive training program offers a practical foundation for mutual understanding and cooperation among Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Participants learn about the tenets and practices of the three faiths, study texts from their respective scriptures together, attend worship at a mosque, synagogue, and church, and acquire pastoral skills useful in interfaith ministry. Combining the academic and the experiential, the course includes ample time for socializing over meals and during breaks. Building on Hartford Seminary’s strengths as an interfaith, dialogical school of practical theology, this team-taught program is a resource for religious leaders who are grounded in their own traditions while open to the faith orientations of other communities.
Hartford Seminary 77 Sherman Street Hartford, CT 06105 860-509-9500 info@hartsem.edu

As I always sats we are not mixing religions or making new religions but we need to:
1- Debate religions politely.
2- Forget about our geopolitical anger when we discuss religion.
3- No compulsion in religion.
4- However ot convert to another religion you have to do it very scintificaly. Debate, doubt, criticize and if very convinced convert.
5- Muslim advise you to submit to Islma even with no faith to Islam as a very last resort since submitting even with a little faith and good deeds quite possibly win you the great eternity and save you from hell fire. Even if it is like a bet I would bet on the thing that if does not make me win does not make loose.
6- If people kept their religions we can at least live in understanding and have peaceful coexistance. As well we use the basic human values of our relgions insetad of relgious animosity, hate and wars.

Can a Man Be God?

I can go on for a long column to disprove that from the scriptures. However, I can use only one line:
If any man goes to the rest room he is not God.

Can we find an explanation of the great universe?

We realize that no family can function properly without a responsible head, that no city can prosperously exist without sound administration, and that no state can survive without a leader of some kind. We also realize that nothing comes into being on its own. Moreover, we observe that the universe exists and functions in the most orderly manner, and that it has survived for hundreds of thousands of years. Can we, then, say that all this is accidental and haphazard? Can we attribute the existence of man and the whole world to mere chance.

In the world then there must be a Great Force in action to keep everything in order. In the beautiful nature there must be a Great Creator who creates the most charming pieces of art and produces everything for a special purpose in life. The deeply enlightened people recognize this creator and call him Allah 'God'. He is not human because no human can create or make another human. He is not an animal nor is He a plant. He is neither an idol nor is He a statue of any kind because none of these things can make itself or create anything else. He is different from all of these things, because He is the maker and keeper of them all. The maker of anything must be different from and greater than the things which he makes.

Scientists, even though they are able to reproduce human and animal life through artificial processes like in-vitro fertilization and cloning, cannot accomplish these feats without the basic elements of human life that consist of genes and cells and other organic properties. Scientists are not able to create these things. Even the processes that are used by scientists to accomplish various procedures originated from a source whose intellect was obviously far greater than those who seek to discover and imitate the creative processes.

Man cannot attain to his true humanity and acquire peace of mind unless he realises this aim for which he was created. But how can he do this! God, being merciful and Just, has helped him in many ways. He granted him an originally good nature that is inclined to know and serve its true Lord. He granted him a mind that possesses a moral sense and the ability to reason. He made the whole universe a natural book full of signs that lead a thinking person to God. But to make things more specific, to give him more detailed knowledge of his Lord, and to show him in a more detailed manner how to serve Him, God has been sending down verbal messages through His prophets chosen from among men, ever since the creation of man. Hence the description of these messages in the Qur'an as guidance, light, signs, reminders, etc.

How do you disbelieve in God(THE CREATOR), seeing that you were dead and He gave you life! Then He will cause you to die, then He will give you life, then unto Him you will return." [Al Qur'an (2:28)]

. How do you deny the Cause of your existence? It is like a machine denying the existence of its maker and not obeying his or her commands

The Atheist position is indeed hopeless. The believer has hope. If there is a God and there is life after death then the believer wins. If there is no God or no life after death the believer loses nothing. On the other hand, the Atheist loses badly if he wakes up to discover himself in the afterlife. In sum, if there is no afterlife both the believer and the Atheist are safe. But if there is an afterlife then the Atheist loses. The only one who can possibly lose is the Atheist.

On the other hand, it is the Atheist who is wasting his life. His life has no purpose but temporary enjoyment. But such enjoyment is always tempered by nagging doubts about whether or not life is heading in the right direction. It is the believer who lives in quiet confidence that God's promise is true.

From: Islamic web site.

The Gospel of Jesus : by James M. Robinson

Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist
Like many others throughout history, Robinson thinks he knows what Jesus really preached. But considering his credentials, he just may have a good head start. The former director of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, he was the intimately involved in making the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Gnostic gospels became part of the public discourse. He also organized the Internal Q Project that reconstructs the original sayings of Jesus, and it is this analysis in particular that has helped shaped his thesis. According to Robinson, Jesus' original gospel is now obscured by the canonized literature. The message is intense and simple: trust God to look out for you by providing people who will care for you, and listen to him when he calls on you to provide for them. It is a "radical trust in and responsiveness to God" that can make society function as God's kingdom. Much of the important writing takes place in the first couple of chapters, while later chapters (including the complete Q sayings) bolster his theses. Although overly fond of exclamation points, Robinson adds a valuable addition to the Jesus cannon. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Book Description

We all know the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, but what was the gospel of Jesus? That is, what was the original "good news" the first disciples heard from Jesus? What did Jesus really say that started the dramatic movement in Galilee that grew to become the largest religion in the world?

Jesus's original gospel has been lost from sight, hidden behind the version preferred by the church. We have put him on a pedestal, rather than walked in his footsteps. In The Gospel of Jesus, James M. Robinson, the preeminent expert on the earliest sources of information about Jesus, provides the primary texts in all their unvarnished honesty to get to the true historical message of Jesus -- what Robinson calls "a brittle, upsetting, comforting, challenging gospel." The Gospel of Jesus draws on a combination of the most ancient and authentic texts to reveal what Jesus really said and to illuminate what he may still have to say to us today.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Why Muslims Want The West To Convert To Islam.

A lot of things can come out of this conversion.
1- Ending the clash of civilization.
2- To help the west to liberate us from our tyrants and re-establish our Islam.
3- To help us to get rid of terrorism that the west created.
4- To prepare the world for the second coming of Christ.
5- To get the best of the Islamic values and the institutions of democracy.
6- To eliminate poverty.
7- To organize the world so we can use the resources of the earth and prevent wars, crimes, fight diseases...
8- The everlasting game of oppressive Arab regimes and the west promise to liberate us is not working. Geopolitically is not even feasible to them.
9- To work out with China and Russia to get the best to all their peoples and ours.
10- Any nuclear exchange is practically likely to destroy the world.
11- All social diseases of western civilization that resulted from materialism will go away by the inner peace and serenity Islam gives to Muslims.
There is no compulsion in religion. As a pragmatic Muslim I like people to believe in Islam through debating, criticizing and disputing it. But they have to go all the way and read different opinions. We need pragmatic Muslims within western societies. New Convert should be looked as Muslim Christians or Jewish Muslims. No convert to any religion should be discriminated against.

Aaron's Journey to Islaam

by Aaron "Haroon" Sellars
Why did I accept Islam? This is a question that I have been asked many times by others, and a question that I have asked myself many times. Firstly, it was the Will of God because it is He that changes hearts and guides someone to a way that is straight! Secondly, because I was looking for the truth, the real truth and nothing but the truth! Thirdly, because there were doctrinal elements in my previous religion of Christianity that at first hearing seemed acceptable but when reflected, analyzed, and prayed upon, proved to be not only unacceptable but also contradictory, inconsistent, and even blasphemous! But why ISLAM? Why, when I was looking for the real and whole truthdid God guide me to Islam and not to one of many religions available to man or just another branch of Christianity? The answer to this important question was to unfold as I took my first steps towards my spiritual quest.

The basic seed of God-consciousness was implanted in me from birth, byt my soul was moulded to the teachings of the Christian church. My religious upbringing was never something that was forced, nor was it just occasional or just habitual. It seemed to be a natural and essential part of the fibre of my family. One of my fondest childhood memories till this day is of my mother reading me Bible stories every Sunday. But when I reached my teens and especially when I entered college, that spiritual nuturing became tainted more and more.

The college scene is where most people of religious background either completely abandon that upbringing or like in my case, just put it on pause. It's really hard not to when you are surrounded by co-ed dorms, open promiscuity, easy access to alcohol, 24 hour parties, and curfew-free nights. There weren't any churches around campus that I was interested in so my Sundays began to feel like any other day of the week. While in college experienced many things and learned many lessons of life but one parti-cular experience had brought me right to the edge of cliff of death! The situation was so unexpected so shocking, so overwhelming, that I honestly felt that the only solution was suicide. It took someone whom I had known for just a little while, breaking down and crying when he realized what I was about to do, for me to just pause and think. I thought that something was truly wrong if this guy had a higher value for my life than I did. As I stood there, I never felt so empty in my life. There was thie big void where my soul was supposed to be and I felt like Moses (pbuh) and his followers being chased by the enemy from all sides only to be confronted by the impassable Read Sea! I realized that it was time to make the call they had made. The call of faith-the call of God!

I decided to return to the church of my youth, a Baptist church in Washington D.C. I heard that there was a new pastor preching there that was thorough and I decided to try him out. Praise God, the preacher was young, dynamic, and effective. He really made the Bible come to life in his sermons and made living for God seem real and worthwhile. Coming from the position of a person who was ready to kill himself, these messages were beginning to fill my emptiness and make me want to live and give life another chance. I remember the nervous excitement of accepting the call to new mem bership at church and the newness and freshness of being dipped into the water at my baptismal ceremony. I felt reborn! Clean1 Witht he lips I accepted Jesus (pbuh) as my "lord and saviour" but deep down in my hearth, I was just reaccepting the reality of God in my life! As I went deeper in my walk of faith the problem that had almost caused me to slay myself vanished like an illusion! Life it was only there to make me turn to my Creator! This gave me a new drive, motivation, and a sense of purpose. I became very active to the extent of encouraging a few of my friends to join the church. I would watch and listen to the pastor in awe, day dreaming of becoming one myself. I honestly felt that the best thing to do for a living would be to help people turn to God. Something that had proven to be so successful in my life. But at the same time I was always very open-minded, especially when it came to spiritual truth, I think this is what made me a vessel to receive the full truth, in Islam.

After a while I began a private hobby of studying world religions. The first book I read, "The Religion of Man", was actually one that I had borrowed from a friend. The first chapter I read was the chapter on Islam and it was a tremendous surprise! It began with a little Arabian history and a biography of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)followed by an eplanation of the basic tenants and doctrines of Islam. I could not believe the similarity and relationship that it had with Christianity. It wasn't some foreign religion made up by some foreign man who worshipped some foreign God. It was the true Abrahamaic (pbuh) religion, revealed through a man whose very lineage traced back to Abraham's (pbuh) first son Ishmael (pbuh) who worshipped the same one true God. This further fed my curiousity and interest in Islam. I had decided to keep myself open so I also read the history and doctrines of Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Native American spirtuality, and other smaller religious sects, cults, and movements. Buddhism seemed to renounce the world too much yet was not clear on the after0life. In Hindudism the worship seemed too loose and unfocused with it's great deity residing in many reforms, Judaism seemed basically true but had had too much of a racial bias, and Native American to vary by the tribe. Islam was the only one whose theology and practices seemed truly universal. The information that I had gathered so far was not enough to make me want to change my religion but that was soon to change when I came into contact with the Qur'an!

I was working at a music store where a young woman used to come to the store with whom I used to have general conversations and on one occasion happened to bring up the topic of Islam. I then found that she was a Muslim and she told me that I could get more information on Islam at a little session that her fatehr helped teach with some other Muslim. I was both nervous and excited at my first visit but it was my first time being around real Muslim! I was initially impressed by the racial variety, the simple environment, and the warm humbleness of the attendants. They answered a few basic questions of mine but I was there mostly to listen. When it was prayer time, I quietly watched from a distance with a smile. Seeing all the men, women, and children bow in unison and put their faces flat against the ground in prayer seemed a little strange and funny, yet so humble, so unified, and so natural. It seemed like this was the ultimate way that we as God's creations were supposed to pray. I recalled in my mind accounts in Bible of other prophets like Abraham, Moses, and Gesus (pbuh), throwing themselves to the ground in humility and prayer to God yet this is not the way we prayed in church as "Christians", but the Muslims did! Jesus (pbuh) told us to greet each other by saying "Peace be with you", yet we Christians didn't do this. It was the Muslims who greeted each other saying "As-Salaamu Alaikum" which means "Peace be with you". In Christianity only "orthodox" nuns covered their heads and bodies, but this was a standard practice of modesty, chastity and humbleness for millions of practicing Muslim women who were interactive members of the society. It wasn't something reserved for the "orthodox". I left that little session engulfed in a maze of thoughts.

When I saw my Muslim friend at the music store again I thanked her and told her how wonderful it was and that I was sure to return. She then asked me if I had a Quran yet. I said "No". I thought that the Quran was only in a foreign language and that I couldn't read it but she said that she would give me an English translations from the original Arabic. I gladly accepted the offer and was even more excited when I recieved it! "WOW! My first real Quran". I couldn't wait to start reading it. The first thing I did was to look up Jesus(pbuh) in the index and look up every verse it listed under his name. This was the prophet that I was raised on and was dear to me so I had to know what God had revealed in this book kabout him. If it degraded, ridiculed, or rejected him in any way I was going to close the book and leave Islam alone. I agreed when I read that God was not three in one but one in an exclusive and unique sense. I agreed even when I read that Jesus (pbuh) was born of a virgin but was not God's "Son". When I was studying idioms in ancient Hebrew and other Semitic languages "Son" meant nearness and was used in the old testament in reference to other people and prophets, the term "Son of God" meant one who was near and closely attached to God, as the term "Son of man" meant one near and close to man. Incidentally, the use of the term "Son of man" outnumbers the use of the term "Son of God" in reference to Jesus (pbuh). Even thought, in the Quran Jesus (pbuh) was always referred to as the "Son of Mary". God revealed that the birth of Jesus (pbuh) was like that of Adam (pbuh)-He merely said "BE" and "He was", and Adam had neither a physical father or mother and no one worshipped him as the "Only Begotten Son of God"! I agreed when I read taht Jesus(pbuh) was not God in human form but a human prophet that was created by God, sent by God and who himself needed, depended on, feared, and prayed to God. I agreed when I read that the Jews had no victory in killing him and that God raised him to Himself. But when I read that they also did not crucify him I was in shock! The impact of the 157th verse in the 4th chapter of the Quran was to dramatically change my life from that point on!

I'm not one to just accept something right away or to just reject something right away. I investigate. In the day I would reflect on that one verse, and at night I would pray over it. I would beg God in tears to show me in a dream what actually happened in detail to Jesus (pbuh) if he was not crucifed. What was real? What was false? I wanted to know badly. I was looking hard. Examining, searching, debating. The soul was the most important thing in the world to me and mine was on a quest. I always wanted to know my Creator and serve my Creator but I wanted to make sure that I knew Him the right way and I wasn't going to let up until I found what I felt was the right path.

When I finally stopped waiting for that big dream and asked myself "Well, what does this word crucifixion mean for the Christian?". For the Christian this word meant salvation! Salvation meaning the deliverance from the penalty of sin which was spiritual death in Hell. It also meant success in this life and the next. To me this is the vital thing that religion must give man or else it is useless. To say that if Jesus (pbuh) was not crucified, there's no way that God Almighty could forgive His beloved mankind did not sound right. Jesus(pbuh) was very dear to my heart and to think that the Loving, Forgiving Do sent him on earth only to be murdered for an innumerable mass of suns that he himself never committed did not seem fair or even sensible. If God could create the whole universe by saying "Be" and "IT WAS" then why couldn't He do the Smae for the iny littler sinner who is admitting his guilt and asking Him for forgivness? Why couldn't He say to the person "Be forgiven" and he or she is forgiven? Why was the murder and blood of an innocent man a necessity for this forgivness? I said to myself, "If this book can map out a plan of salvation that has nothing to do with murder or blood then I will submit to God and His plan".

This made me deeply review my Bible and try to find what was essential necessity for salvation. The Jews and the Muslims never put anything in betweem them and their prayer to God so why did the Christians? There was nothing in between Adam and God, or Abraham and God, or Moses and God, or David and God, or Jesus and God! God had taught throught the Bible that a person was individually responsible for his sins and that no one else could pay for or be penalized for them. Jesus(pbuh) was preaching repentance and telling people that their sins were forgiven before this supposed crucifixion! So why all of a sudden was the blood of one martyr necessary for humanity to be forgiven? This issue of sacrifice, blood, and forgivness seemed to be summed up in just a few verses in the Holy Quran.

Concerning sacrifice chapter 22:37, had the answer, "It is not their meant nor their blood that reaches God, it is your piety that reached Him. He has made them(animals) subject to you, that you may glorify God for His guidance to you". Concerning sin and forgiveness God revealed in chapter 12:87, "No one despairs of God's mercy except those who have no faith". Also, in chapter 39:53 "do not despair of God's mercy for God forgives all sins. He is indeed OFTEN Forgiving and Most Merciful". I found exacting parallels in the Bible in Pslms 30:5, 32:5, 62:1-2, 1st Samuel 15:22-23, Luke 15:7-10, Ezechiel 18:20-35, Isaiah 12:2-3, and Luke 7:47-50, 10:25, 18:24, and many others if you just look them up and reflect. When I read in the Quran in chapter 10:57, "O mankind! There has come to you a direction from you Lord and a healing for the diseases in your herats-and for those who believe, A Guidance and a Mercy!" I said to myself "This is it. This IS THE WORD OF GOD!!"

My Muslim Friend from the music store had shown me a mosque that to my surprise was 10 minutes away from my home! On my second visit to the mosque, I declared my faith in 1994 and stated that "There is no God worthy to be worshipped except the ONE, Most High God or Allah. That Muhammad (pbuh) is His Last Messenger to mankind. That the Quran is the last revealed and written will and testament of Allah to and for mankind to follow until the Day of Judgment". I had finally come home and found peace! As I gradually built my faith and practice in ISLAM, I found that Islam was not the religion of killers and terrorists! It is the true religion of humankind, nature and all creatures seen and unseen. Islam is by name the religion of those who seek peace and success through obedience and submission to the will of Allah! I had found the path to success, the path to true salvation! Allah in the revelation of the Quran has refocused all forms of worship, prayer, fear and thanx to Him and Him alone! You are High, Lord of all creations, and has reminded mankind and all creations of their true place-dependent and subservient to Allah and Allah alone!