Monday, August 18, 2008

When is it Convenient to go against 'Prophecy'?

Asslaamu alaikum, wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu,

It is known that some Jews and Evangelical Christians provide Biblical justification of the illegal occupation of Jerusalem by Jews. Other parts of the area are being annexed gradually and systematically at will. Many Jews from all over the world are given citizenship on the basis of their Jewish faith, to fill up these occupied lands at the detriment of their Arab neighbors(Christians and Muslims).

Biblical support for these acts is often in reference to Zechariah 8: 7-8 which says; "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness." Another reference is to Isaiah 43: 5-6 which says; "Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth..." Most of the Jewish immigrants over the years have been Jews with Caucasian background, who are somewhat educated, and can easily adjust to the life in Israel. That sounds very great for prophecies coming to pass.

According to this news article from Newsweek, some Jewish immigrants are not part of the prophecy. The article says of one Ethiopian with Jewish roots, Abe Damamo; "[his] remote village uses donkeys for transportation and has no bathrooms. Damamo has no formal education and speaks no language but his own." It is obvious that it will take some time and resources to integrate this man into a modern Israeli society. The articles also says that "...most Ethiopian immigrants over age 35 go straight onto welfare after reaching Israel..."

Could this be an economically motivated decision to stop Jewish immigrants from migrating to Israel? If the United States, Argentina, and Yemen can produce people of the Jewish faith, why not Ethiopia? If some of these Jews from all over the world can easily adapt to life in Israel, and are granted entry into Israel, why not grant entry to those who find it hard to adapt? The prophecies of the Bible they latch unto when convenient, are now calling on the Israeli government for fulfillment. Is this a racial issue, or is it economical? Either one is an obstruction of 'prophecy.'

Wa Salam.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Qur'an Contradictions: "How many angels spoke to Mary?"

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu.

The perfection of the Qur'an has often been challenged, and skeptics go to far lengths to assert their positions. One of such methods used, is hastily looking for any and everything they are unable to understand in the Qur'an , and calling it a contradiction. Some of these claims mostly go unanswered, largely due to complacence on the part of Muslims, thereby causing antagonists to perpetuate these erroneous claims.

One of such alleged contradictions is the disparity between the translation of Surah Imran(3): 42,45 and Surah Maryam(19): 17. The following are from one of the English translations of The Qur'an:

  • 3:42 --AND LO! The angels said: "O Mary! Behold, God has elected thee and made thee pure, and raised thee above all the women of the world.

وَإِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللّهَ اصْطَفَاكِ وَطَهَّرَكِ وَاصْطَفَاكِ عَلَى نِسَاء الْعَالَمِين

  • 3:45 --Lo! The angels said: "O Mary! Behold, God sends thee the glad tiding, through a word from Him, [of a son] who shall become known as the Christ Jesus, son of Mary, of great honour in this world and in the life to come, and [shall be] of those who are drawn near unto God.

إِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلآئِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللّهَ يُبَشِّرُكِ بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنْهُ اسْمُهُ الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَجِيهًا فِالدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ

  • 19:17-- and kept herself in seclusion from them, whereupon We sent unto her Our angel of revelation, who appeared to her in the shape of a well-made human being.

فَاتَّخَذَتْ مِن دُونِهِمْ حِجَابًا فَأَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهَا رُوحَنَا فَتَمَثَّلَ لَهَا بَشَرًا سَوِيًّا

Notice, that in Surah 3:42,45, the expression used is "Al Malaaikatu" (الْمَلاَئِكَةُ)

which literally means "the angels" while the expression used in Surah 19: 17 is not angel but "Spirit," "Ruhanaa"(رُوحَنَا)

So, linguistically, there can be no numerical contradiction between two different expressions with two different meanings, especially as these two expressions do not even emphasize number.

Furthermore, the expression "Al Malaaikatu" literally means "the angels." This expression can also take the linguistic pattern that God uses in The Qur'an to refer to Himself. God refers to Himself in the first person plural. This is a general theme in the Qur'an. Anyone who is familiar with the Arabic language instantly realizes the reason for this. "I" is a generic term used by humans in language, but since the status of God is above that of humans, the word "We" is rightly used to denote superior status.

So, when God speaks of particular angels given specific responsibility, like the angel of death, or the angel to whom righteous humans are sent, He refers to them as "Al malaaikatu" denoting a superior status than other angels.

Therefore, "Al Malaaikatu" which in some verses is translated as "the angels," should have been translated as "The Angel." The translation should reflect a proper noun for a superior status, instead of pluralizing the term.

We can see again, that what is often considered as a contradiction is based in part, on careless translations, and more as a result of hasty conclusions on the part of skeptics.

Wa Salam.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Muhammad: "A Fictional Character..."

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu,

I recently received the hard copy of
this post from a very new acquaintance. This happened after a long and interesting conversation about various topics including religion, philosophy, metaphysics, and occultism.

Without delving into an analysis of the conversation, I would like to address the content of the post. At least, part of the content as the assertions are derived from the same method-- forming a link between expressions in different languages irrespective of exclusivity. The author of the content of the post claims that personalities like Abraham, Moses, Isaac, Ishmael, Jesus, and Muhammad(pbut) are fictional, and gives " the Whites and their offspring" the credit.

According to the post, "Muhammad" is a corruption of "Mu Hap Meht." Even though both expressions may sound alike and an argument of borrowing/corruption may seem plausible to someone who is unaware of both languages(Arabic and Kamit), both expressions have starkly different meanings.

The author of the post says that "Mu Hap Meht" means "waters of the northern Nile." However, "Muhammad" means "one who is praised." These two meanings are clearly different. Muhammad is derived from two expressions; 'Mu' and 'Hamd.' It is evident that even after breaking down both expressions, the root words are not synonymous.

There is proof that Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) did exist and was not just "a fictional character." The Qur'an that was revealed through him is still alive in print and in memory. The people who lived during his time; companions and foes, attest to his existence and noble character.
The Prophet(pbuh) was buried here and these are some of his possesions.

Wa salam.