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Archive for December, 2007

An American Christian priest, Severedo Royce, now known as Ali Guatemala, has embrased Islam and was one among the 17,000 American Muslims who performed Haj this year. Speaking to the Sausi daily Asharq Alawsat, he said in his final year workwd as a staunch evavgelist. His focus of attention was on the inmates in the prisons of Queen City, Texas. Explaining the circumstances that led to his conversion to Islam he said: “As a divinty student one had to be well-acquainted with the sacred books of the other reveale religious. I had to read the Holy Quran and the very first verse I read was the turning point nin my life. It is the opening lines of the chapter entitled “Cow”. This is the Book;in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah”. It was and affirmative statement about this Book that rules out any suspicion or doubt.

“When   I began reading further I found many basic points contradicting my Christian faith. So I sougt the help of my superiors in the church. They evaded my questions and advised me not to read the Quran too much because it is the “work osf a Satan!””. As time passed by I became increasingly convinced that the Quran is truly a divine revelation, inimitable and imposible to be the work of any human being. I went through a turbukeny period on inner conflict but I was firm in my prayers that the the Almighty should guide me to the true religion. Ultimately I decided to become a Muslim. I had to face sever opposition and anger forom my family members. My sisters, who is a Jew by faith, frightened me saying that the Muslims may kill me. I was physically seized with this fear and stayed away form the mosque for some time. But ultimately I discovered that it wasan imaginary fear. My sister herself conceded that the Muslims had not deceived me.

Ehen I arrived here(Makkah) and entered the precincts of of the Holy Ka’aba, I began to tremble and weep in an involuntary manner. I could regain my compousure only after some time. I have for the past five years been using sleeping tablets for getting sleep. But when I arrived in Mina I fell asleep naturally. It is something that I have been missing for so many years”.

 Source is Weekly Gulf Times,Doha Qatar, Friday, December 28,2007

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Question: I hope you can help me,    I became a Muslim a couple of years ago,   My family are finding it hard to accept mu ibada (worship).   But recently I have made a fuss about my salat    and insited I must pray. Alhamdulillah they have accepted it after seeing I became upset and         depreesed  at living in  a house where I was not allowed to practice my basic pillars of Islam. They       are  ask my questions,    of which one of them is “Why do we face the Ka’ba if we are not    worshipping it as we prostrate  towards itu?”  I tried to explain that it is not the Ka’aba but Allah to whom      we prostrate and the   ka’aba is for reasons of unity anda that because it was it was the first house  of Allah.  I  would       be grateful   if  you  could  help  me  by explaining this further so  I can  understand it my  self and   explain this  to my   family and other kuffar (non muslims). And also please       can you        make dua that they        are guided on the right path.-Abdullah. 

Answer: Praise be to Allah. Praise be to Allah Who has guided you to Islam; we ask Him to make you steadfast in it until you meet Him, for  He is all Hearing, Ever responsive. Praise be to Allah Who has made you keen to pray and to practice your religion openly. We aske Allah to guide your family and to grant you the joy of seeing them become Muslim… Ameen. With regard to our facing the Ka’aba, you should note, may Allah bless you, that in this universe there is none other than the Sreator and the created, worshippers and the One Who is worshipped. The Creator and the OneWho is rightfully worshipped is Allah alone; every thing other than Him is created and worshipps Him either willingly and by choise-which is the case with the believers-or by force, which is the case of kaafirs and sinners, whose submission to Allah consist of their being subjugated to His power either to benefit or harm themselves.

Allah is the One Who has given them life, and when He wills He will cause them to die. If Allah wills, He can make the sick, and is He wills He can heal them. He can make them rich whenever He wants and make them poor whenever He wants. Glory and praise be to Him, there is no Lord besides Him and none worthy of worship except Him. With regard to his believing slaves, they are tried and tested in this brief,transient world. If they succeed in remaining steadfast in worshipping their Lord and and attaining the highest degree of submission to Him, He will compensate  them for that, by His kindness and grace, with Paradise in which there is that which no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and it has not not entered the heart of man. Among these tests is the fact thar Allah commands them to do some things for which their minds cannot comprehend the wisdom behind them, they can only submit and obey.

This is in order to   distinguish those who  are sincere  in their claims    to be believers from those who are insincere. For Allah is the Creator of reason, and He is the One     Who issues the command, so whoever responds and submits, and says”I hear and obey, even though I do  not understand the reason, because I admit my mortality, my weakness and my mortality, my weakness  and my submission to Allah, for  Allah cannot be questioned as to what He odes’-such a one is a believer who, it is hoped,     will   prosper and succeed in this world and in the Hereafter. This is how the Companions of  the    Prophet       (peace and blessings of  Allah be upon him) were, as al-Bukhari(1597 and Muslim(1270)    narrated in their Saheehs that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab(may Allah be pleased  with him) said of the Black Sone  when he kissed it:”By Allah,, I know that you are only a stone anda you can neither bring benefit   nor cause harm.  Were it not that I had seen the Mesenger of Allah kissing you I would not have kiused    you.” So when  we Muslims pray facing the direction of the Ka’aba, we do so because Allah has commanded us  to do that.If he had commanded us to pray facing in any other direction, we would have had to do that.       The same applies to many other acts of worship, We pray Dhuhr with four ra’ahhs and Maghrib     wuth three and fajr with two, because Allah has commanded us to do so. We perform Tawaaf     seven times around the Ka’aba, and we stone the Jamaraat seven times, and we do not do more than that under any circumstances. All of that is because that is what Allah has commanded us to do. So  whoever bears this thought in mind whilst doing these acts of worship will undoubtedly increase in submission to Allah; this     will increase hais faith and bring him closer to his lord. Thus he will find great joy and immense happiness and deep contentment in his heart, which will make him long for worshipand love it, because     when does actof worship he will feel that he is doing them for Allah, and were it not for Allah,      he would not do them.    So every act to Allah and increase him in faith until he meets Allah anda Allah          will honour him as      He honours his righteous slaves. But for the one who is stubborn        and and arrogant, and saya,  “ I will not do it until I understand”, this is likeIblees who rebelled against Allah and said,   as Allah tells us the meaning): “Shall I prostrate mu self to one hom You created from clay?” (al-Israa’ 17:61) 

 This is sufficient to demonstrate the  seriousness  of  arguing  against  the syariah   on the basis of reason. Rather Allah has described one of the most unique characteristics of the pious believers as being belief in the Unseen. Allah says(interpretation of the meaning):       ”This is the book(the quran) wherof there is no doubt, a guidance to those who are Al-Muttaqoon(the pious believers   of Islamic Monotheism who fear Allah much(abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden)     and love Allah much(perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained). Who be;ieve in the   Ghayb (the unseen) and perform As-Salaah(Iqaamat-as-Salaah),  and spend  out of    what    we   have provided for them”(Al-Baqarah 2:2-3). So the first characteristic by bwhich the believers are di distinguishe4d from others is the fact that they believe in the unseen or that which they cannot grasp,     whether that is in a literal, physical sense or in a mettaphrical, intellectual sense.

What wen should point out here is that our prayer facing the direction  of the     Ka’aba has nothing to do with the structure of the Ka’aba, rather it has to doa with its location.     If    it  werw to be destroyed, we would still pray in that direction, not to that structure. Hence we find   that nowadays  Muslim pray on the second storey and om the roof of the Grand Mosque in theSanctuary   of Makkah, facing the direction of the Ka’aba even though it is not directly in front of them. This is   what millions   of Muslim do throughout the world, praying in direction of the Ka’aba even though they cannot see it. This demonsntrates the great difference between the laws of Islam and the actions of mushrikeen (polytheists)    whose worship of their idols,stones anda trees ceases to wxist. Thefore if the Mushrik cannot see   his object to worship or idol, he does not face the direction of that thing.

 Source is Weekly Gulf Times Doha Qatar, Friday,Dec. 21.2007.

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Prominet Islamic scholar Sheiikh Yusuf al-Qardawi, who is convalescing at his residence in Doha after underghoing treatment for  a fracture in his spinal cord, spoke to a local Atabic daily on a wide range of issues concerning Islam and Muslims. The following are some excerpts:

“When one looks at the issues affecting Islam, Muslims and the Arab nation in the present-day world, there is very little to cheer. But I never despair. We shoulh understand that with every night there ia a dawn; and for every stumbing block there is a way out. Islam will ultimately emerge and show the way to the rest of world that is getting fragmented by diverse ideas and ideologies.

 “ As a firm believer in the wisdom of abiding by the middle path on which Islam lays greta emphasis, I think extremism in all its hues can be rooted out. The clash of ideas and outlooks that we witness between Hamas and the Fatah organization is something that should not be happeing. It is really unfortunate that these two indigenous entities in Palestine should be opposing each other. I have in many occasions tried to prevail on the leaders of both the sides to meet and talk and settle their differences. It is also unfortunate that the leaders of Fatah continue to be adamant and do not wish to9 enter into a dialogue with Hamas. I call upon everyone conserned with this issue anda upon our Arab leaders in general to do their best to solve this problem.

“ Hamas, in spite of being democratically elected in a free and fair manner to lead the Palestinian nation, is being opposed from all quarters. Ultimately we have to do all we can to help the people of Palestine in their just cause. However, to assert one’s cause and commitment to a political agenda one should not resiort to suicidal attacks on crowded areas that result in the death of many innocent lives, irrespective of which camp or party the dead belong to. Such incidents have occurred frequently in Palestine and Algeria. I have on each occasion deplored such acts and emphasized that they do more harm than any good to our cause.

“ The successful emergence of the Justice and Development party in Tukey is a shining example of how committed Muslims can assert their presence and go ahead with their political agenda. They are also being critised and condermned but truth will prevail in the end. The hue and cry from America on Iran’s nuclear progrmme and the resultant danger is totally unjustified. I feel that Iran has the right to make use of its nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes. No one objects to the nuclear warheads possessed by Israel. It is one-side logic. If Iran’s nuclear capability was a threat to Gulf Co-operation Council countries, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinijad would not have attended the recent GCC summit held in Doha. Our fear of Iran in some ways an extension of our fear of the Sia scool of thought. But we should not exaggerate such fears. When it comes to actual dealing with that school of thought there are clearly laid out principles based on the Islamic faith that can be made use of. I have explained these principles in a book, entitled The Rules and Principles for Achieving Proximity Between the Different Schools of Thught in Islam”.

Source is Gulf Times,Doha Qatar, Friday, December 21,2007.

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