Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Moslem

Part Two: “When we befriend death”; (Mar. 23, 2010)

 

How Globalization can function adequately for the poorer countries? (Mar. 24, 2010)

 

Darling, your insufferable love; (Mar. 25, 2010)

 

Blue sea eyes; (Mar. 25, 2010)

 

Cuddling in my arms; (Mar. 25, 2010)

 

Hiroshima is my City like; (Mar. 26, 2010)

 

Medina, the first Islam City-State; (Mar. 26, 2010)

Myth feeding on myths; (Feb. 19, 2010)

            I was reading a special issue of a French magazine on slavery and black literature and was taken aback by this strong and inevitable tendency of black intellectuals and black soul songs paying particular attention to the myth of Moses leading “his people” from Egypt to freedom.  This myth appears to form the cornerstone for what slaves in America wished to be a replica process to their emancipation.

            Without any exception, all black authors, intellectuals, orators, preachers, political and social leaders, from Olaudah Equiano (1745-97), to Frederick Douglas, to Du Bois, to Langston Hughes, to Frantz Fanon, to Martin Luther King, to Stokeley Carmichael, and even Malcolm X could not help but regurgitate the Moses myth to expressing their yearning for emancipation and human dignity.

            I don’t mind that a culture resurrects a myth to be upon their set of values.  Actually, the basic characteristic of a myth is that it is beautiful, especially the awesome imaginative creations, expressions on life, and good finally vanquishing evil. I have problem when people fail to recognize a myth and take it at face value as real story in history.  I have problem when black Protestants and Baptists go beyond the myth into coinciding it with Zionist movement ideology.  This is very odd since Zionism chased out people from their land and ended up establishing an apartheid “homeland”

            It is important to recognize that the story of Moses is a myth, a fantastic and emotionally encompassing myth, where slaves flee to freedom and survive hardship of desert climate and the multitude of tribal revolts under the guise of worshiping other Gods and a variety of multiple semi-Gods.  It is a myth even though we may fabricate reasonable conjectures to constructing feasible occurrence. One of the conjectures is that not all the fleeing people were slaves and not all were non Egyptians.  People fled when the ancient class of priesthood who adored God Amon overturned the only God Aton (the Sun) that King Akhenaton instituted.

            The story of Moses is a myth since there are no tangible proofs either in writing (in any language) or existing artifacts that may shed any bit of reality. If we know that the Old Testament was written in around 200 BC in Alexandria then what has been transferred as oral stories should not constitute factual happenings but smart stories reflecting customs, traditions, and set of values of people.

            Faith in one God, creator of man and the universe, has nothing to do with considering stories and sayings of assigned “prophets” to be adopted as act of faith.  You may like or dislike a few stories; you may adopt in actions and behavior what a few “prophets” said but there are no harms admitting that these myths describe reasonable ways of living, attitudes, and behaviors.

            I can understand why Malcolm X had to talk about Moses: he was a black Moslem and Islam combined the Jewish and Christian Books as intrinsic part of Islam faith.  I got into thinking. If it was not for Islam that sheltered and protected Jews from persecution of the Byzantium Empires then the Jewish religion would have disappeared.  The Zionist movement is a scorpion that could not help but sting its benefactor and protector from extinction.  The Zionist movement through its racist and apartheid system has driven many Moslems into extreme tendencies to be freed from occupation and apartheid domination in Palestine.

            I got into thinking that the limited and racist Neo-Conservative “Christians” in south USA got impressed by the beautiful and soul searching Negro soul songs and music referring to Old Testament stories; those tight-assed conservatives revised the fantastic lyrics and rhythms into petrified ideology.  It is unfortunate that diamonds, more often than not, fall on pork’s ears.

The barbaric Catholic Church; (October 13, 2009)

 

            There is a resurgence of Islamophobia in France couched under the pretext of discovering the origins of European civilization as a combination of Greek and Christian cultures. It would be worthwhile to set the historical facts straight for any meaningful reply.

            Since 325 AC to around 700 AC there was a Christian Empire dominated by Byzantium with Capital in Constantinople. This empire was to the east of the Euphrates River, crossing Turkey, Syria, and Iraq, all the way to England and including North Africa. It was basically a Mediterranean Sea Empire.  To the west of the Euphrates River there was a Persian Empire, mostly under the Sassanide Dynasty.  The Arabic Empire did not conquer the western part of Turkey which remained with the Byzantium Empire until 1450 when the Ottoman Sultan Muhammad 2 entered Constantinople and spread all the way to the borders of Vienna in Austria.

            In around 1000 a major schism in Christianity split the Catholic Church of Rome with the Christian Orthodox Church of Constantinople. Actually, the initial Crusade campaigns had for objective to conquer Constantinople and coerce the Orthodox Church into uniting with Rome. That is what took place and Constantinople was ransacked and burned before the Crusading forces marched on toward Jerusalem. The other successive Crusading incursions had for objective to capture Egypt and free the spice routes directly to Europe without paying taxes to the Moslem Kingdoms along the maritime and land caravan routes.

            Thus, from 325 to 1450 Europe was Christian.  Why Greek civilization, if Europe insists on taking the source of its culture from antique Greece, was not prevalent during over 11 centuries?  Why Europe remained barbaric till the 15th century?  Is it because the Christian dogma of Rome was barbaric and refused other civilizations and cultures to infiltrate Europe?  Certainly the Christian clerics were at least bilingual, mostly Latin and Greek, and consequently, if Greece had any culture it would have been translated into Latin. Some would give the lame excuse that the scholars in Europe, mostly the clerics, could read the Greek manuscripts in their original forms and had no need to translate any manuscripts into Latin or other live languages; this would be another proof that the Catholic Church of Rome was barbaric and refused philosophical and scientific disciplines to penetrate into Europe.

            Europe experienced a demographic surge around 1000 AC; it is after getting in contact with the Near East culture and civilization (under Arabic/Islamic kingdoms) during the Crusading campaigns that culture entered Europe from the open door.  Even after the total defeat of the Crusaders in 1200 the Near East culture permeation would continue via Andalusia in southern Spain. The Arabic/Moslem civilization in Spain was the main source for the transfer of sciences into Europe until the “Christian” Spanish monarchs conquered completely Spain in around 1400 and chased out Moslems and Jews from its territory.

            Greece after Aristotle did not produced much in culture.  It was just a brilliant century for the City-State of Athens during Pericles period, as so many glorious periods for a dozen other City-States that dotted the Mediterranean shores and the Euphrates River, from Mary, Harran, Edessee, Ugharite, Tripoli, Byblos, Beirut, Sidon, Tyr, and much later Alexandria, Antiochus, and Ephesus, and on that scholars and archeologists have to start focusing on for the origins of civilizations.  The proof is that the Byzantium Empire that was established in Greece for over 11 centuries is no where mentioned as source for any worthwhile civilization.

            Macedonian warriors under Alexander conquered the Near East; it is not because the Near East people, from Alexandria, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and coastal Turkey, who assimilated the Greek language and spread their own culture and civilization in the Greek language that Europe has to claim its civilization to Greece. Europe should not. It is the Near East culture and civilization that assimilated the languages of the various conquerors (Mesopotamians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs from the Arabic Peninsula, Ottomans from the Turkish Plateau, French colonialism, and English colonialism) that absorbed and disseminated the fundamental cultures and civilizations to its neighboring environment.  

            It is not because of the invasion of nomadic warriors from the Arabic Peninsula that Arabic civilization should be labeled Arab.  Why the Mogul Empires that lasted longer than many Empires and stretched much further than many are not given any civilization?  It is a shame that Europe still feels the urge to attribute civilization to military conquering warriors.

 

Note: The title was meant to be catchy to drive through the purpose of the topic. I have no zeal to dwell into religions of any kinds. I would like readers to refer to my recent post “Damascus saved the Greek culture”.

Women  IN ISLAM: Divorce (Part 7)

 

Note: The political applications and practices by the various Moslem sects do not necessarily correspond to the intention of the original message of the Prophet Muhammad.

 

Prophet Muhammad said: “Divorce is the most hateful of all lawful things in the sight of Allah”.

Divorce is allowed as a last resort.  If divorce were forbidden, animosity and adultery may become rampant.

To save individuals and society from the greater evils, divorce has been permitted. However, it is not a step to be taken lightly or hastily. Sincere attempts at reconciliation are to be made first and – as in the case of marriage – the rights and welfare of women are to be upheld.

 

Imam al Ghazzali (1058 CE), who is honored with the title of Hujjat al Islam, wrote in ‘The Proof of Islam‘: “the greatest care should be taken to avoid divorce, for, though divorce is permitted, yet Allah disapproves of it. If divorce becomes essential then the woman should be divorced kindly, not through anger or contempt, and not without a valid reason. After the divorce, a man should give his former wife a present and not announce to others any of her shortcomings.”

 

The Koran advises a couple who are facing difficulties in their marriage to appoint arbiters.  In sourat al Nissaa it is read:” If you fear a breach between them twain, appoint (two) arbiters, one from his family and the other from hers; if they wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation…But if they disagree (and must part), Allah will provide abundance for all from His All-Reaching bounty.”

 

In order to dissolve a marriage, it is essential to pronounce a declaration of “talaq”. There are three types of talaq (divorce) that are practiced among Muslims:

First, talaq ahssan – (the preferable type of divorce): After issuing one pronouncement of divorce, the couple wait for the ‘iddah (waiting period, which consists of three menstrual cycles of the wife, usually three months). During this time, all possible attempts at reconciliation should be made. The husband may take his wife back at any time during the ‘iddah period. During the period of iddah the man must oblige to either keep the woman in the same home or at least furnish her with a comfortable apartment, which is easily accessible to him. Further, the man must provide for her as if no divorce has taken place.

At the end of the iddah or waiting period if reconciliation has failed then the marriage is broken. In sourat al-Talaq it is read: “And fear Allah, your Lord: and turn them not out of their houses, nor shall they (themselves) leave, except in case they are guilty of some open lewdness, those are limits set by Allah: and any who transgress the limits of Allah, does verily wrong his (own) soul: you know not if perchance Allah will bring about thereafter some new situation.”

Second, talaq hassan – is a divorce where a man pronounces talaq to his wife in three consecutive state of purity.

Third, talaq bid’i where the husband issues three pronouncements of divorce at one time. According to the majority of jurists, this talaq is valid but it is against the spirit of the Shari’ah and so the man is an offender in the eyes of the law.  The last Talaq bid’i is considered a serious act against the Islamic teachings. The second Caliphate Umar, a close companion of the Prophet, used to whip the husband who pronounced divorce thrice at once and in the same sitting.

 

The sourat al-Baqarah (virginity) it is read: ” When you divorce women, and they fulfill the term of their (‘Iddah), either take them back on equitable terms or set them free on equitable terms; but do not take them back to injure them, (or) to take undue advantage; if any one does that, he wrongs his own soul.

Do not treat Allah’s Signs as a jest, but solemnly rehearse Allah’s favors on you, and the fact that He sent down to you the Book and Wisdom, for your instruction. And fear Allah, and know that Allah is well-acquainted with all things.”

Islam treads the middle ground in the divorce concept, and safeguards the rights of women. It neither prohibits divorce, thereby imprisoning women, nor does it regard divorce as an insignificant decision.

The right to divorce is not restricted to the husband. The woman may also seek a dissolution of the marriage by means of a process known as faskh, whereby she applies to the Qadi (Judge) for an annulment of the marriage.

The wife may seek faskh  (annulment) in several cases, including: apostasy (renunciation of Islam) by the husband; lack of equality of status (kafi’ah); lack of compatibility; spoiling of marriage (fasad); incurable impotence on the part of the husband and if the husband ill treats the woman (nushuz). The above cases present valid grounds for a woman to seek divorce from her husband. If the couple come to a mutual agreement for separation and get divorced then this is called khul.

 

In sourat al Nissaa it is read: “If the wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband’s part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves; and such settlement is best…”

 

Islam has decreed justice for both sexes in the case of divorce. Although the act of divorce is disliked, it is permitted for the sake of weak human souls who cannot always find comfort and solace in the marriage relationship. This is mainly due to lower tolerance levels, high expectations in others and needless desires.

WOMEN IN ISLAM: Marriage (Part 5, April 22, 2009)

 

Note: The political applications and practises by the various Moslem sects do not necessarily correspond to the intention of the original Prophet Muhammad’s message.

 

        Mariage is encouraged in Islam at an early age.  This tradition is widespread in underdeveloped countries regardless of religions.  Islam considers sexuality to be a natural part of life, which is to be channeled into a healthy marriage life to avoid exploitation of women through prostitution, pornography, and rape.

 

        The Prophet Muhammad advised Muslims: “Whoever is able to marry should marry; that institution will help the Moslem lower his gaze and guard his modesty”. Islam regards marriage as necessary and has raised it to the level of being a positive virtue and described it as being half the faith.

 

        Marriage is a consented contract between two equal parties; neither male nor female should be forced into a marriage. Islam clearly states that a marriage contracted without the free consent of the woman is null and void. The Prophet said: “No widow should be married without consulting her, and no virgin should be married without her consent.” Allah said: “When one of you seeks to marry a woman, if he is able to have a look at the one he desires to marry, let him do so”.

 

        As an equal partner, the Muslim woman may stipulate conditions in the marriage. The woman may stipulate, prior to marriage, the transfer of divorce power to herself, restricting the husband to one wife only, and clearly defining the conditions of maintenance. Muslim wives have always been allowed and expected to keep their maiden names after marriage.

 

        The wife is a spiritual and moral being who is brought into union with a man on the basis of a solemn pledge which Allah is called upon to witness. The Prophet said: “You have seen nothing like marriage for increasing the love of two people”. In sourat Al-Rum (Byzantium) it is read: “And among His Signs is this; that He created mates from among yourselves; that you may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.”  In sourat al-Aaraf (customs) it is read: “It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might dwell with her (in love).

 

        In Islam, there is no notion of woman being responsible for the “Fall” or of being the first sinner and therefore responsible for all of mankind’s woes. There is no idea of man being created out of superior material and woman out of base matter. Woman is made equal, both men and women are the progeny of Adam, so both have similar souls. In sourat al Shura (counsel) it is read: “(He is) the Creator of the heavens and the earth: He has made for you pairs from among yourselves”.  In sourat al Nissaa (women) it is read: “Mankind! Reverence your Guardian – Lord Who created you from a single Person, created, of like nature, his mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women – fear Allah, through Whom you demand your mutual (rights).”

 

     Islam does not view woman as the instrument of the devil or evil creature. The Koran describes woman as muhsanah (charitable), a fortress against evil, because a good woman helps her husband maintain the path of righteousness.  Muslim men are continually admonished to treat their wives kindly. To those men who oppress their wives then the sourat al Nissaa said: “O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should you treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the dower you have given them – except when they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary, live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If you take a dislike to them it may be that you dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good.”

 

      

        Men are commanded by Allah to consort with women amicably and honourably. They should refrain from harshness in speaking to and dealing with them. Behaviour that goes against standards of morality and common courtesy is prohibited. Such wicked and brutal conduct is the sign of ignorance (jahidyyah) which Islam came to abolish.

 

        The Prophet Muhammad attended to his own personal needs; he helped his wives in the house, he stitched and mended his own clothes, and kept a cheerful climate when he entered the house.  He demonstrated that a man is never too great to clean and look after himself, and he imparted the following advice:  “The best among you is the one who is best to his family, and I am the best among you to his family”.  “The most perfect believers are the best in conduct and the best of you are those who are best to their wives. By assisting your wives in their household duties, you will receive the reward of sadaqah (charity)”   In his famous speech given during his Farewell Pilgrimage, the Prophet reminded the Muslims of the importance of treating women equitably: “O people, fear Allah with regard to women..”

 

        Islam regards men and women as equal partners who should cooperate in making the home, be loyal, considerate and dependent upon one another. They should work together to overcome any problems and obstacles, work together to overcome the shortcomings of each partner, and present a united front to the outside world. They should also provide companionship and comfort to one another.  Islam clearly recognises the equal potential and ability of the sexes, but Allah has created human beings in a manner whereby men and women are better suited for complementary tasks.

The Century of Islam, (March 11, 2009)

 

The 20th century was the communist century, particularly of the Soviet Union and China, as the nemesis for the liberal and capitalist world. 

The 21st century was predicted to be the century of Liberal Capitalist America after the fall of the Berlin Wall: “Liberal capitalism” was advancing globalization and the free flow of capitals to national markets by international financial companies. The prediction of the end of “History” and the implementation of US-type of “democracy”quickly ended with the worst financial crisis of all time (2008), and the emergence of many players in world economics and politics. 

 

 After the September 9, 2001 Twin Towers attack, supposedly planned by al Qaeda, the Bush Jr. Administration spewed his venom for a decade on Islam, as the major enemy to democracy and a stable world order.

This century is showing the definite characteristics that it is of Islam. 

The superpowers have targeted Islam to be the main nemesis for stable world order: 

The superpowers need to create a focused enemy for its people.

Before I broach on current events and realities, a little history is in point.  Islam was the world civilization for over 9 centuries.  Three centuries of Eastern Arab Empire that was first located in Damascus and then in Baghdad.  The Arab/Islam Empire shifted its center of gravity in the next two centuries to the west or the Maghreb Empire, and particularly in Spain or Andalusia.  

Two centuries of Islamic domination were marshaled by the Ottoman Moslem Empire in Turkey in the 16th and 17th centuries; another two centuries of the Moslem Mogul Empire in India, and one century of the Islamic Safavid Empire in Iran in the 18th century. 

These civilizations waned after Portugal and Spain circumnavigated the Oceans to bypass Egypt for direct trade with India and Far East Asia. In fact, the various Crusaders campaigns failed because they could not conquer Egypt, where the major trade routes intersected before reaching Europe, the main target and purpose of the crusaders financial backers.  Christian Europe owes it to the Moslem Empires to be saved from the multitudes of invasions originated in Mongolia and Central Asia by the Mogul and Tatar hordes.

 

After the Indonesian dictator Suharto died, his successor Bahr el Din Habibi invested over one billion dollars to develop a small civilian airplane.  The “Financial Times” mocked the new President for investing on airplanes that can be purchased with much higher quality and performance. The West was purposely belittling what they perceived as the new challenges coming from the largest Moslem Nation in matter of knowledge and technology. Habibi meant to build new generations of Moslems that can manufacture instead of being simple consumers.  Habibi said “Money comes and goes. Human brains can be purchased but how can we secure loyalty to a nation and to citizens?”

            The Ottoman Empire was later weakened by relying too heavily on its mercenaries the “Inkisharia” (soldiers raised from foreign slaves), the Arab Empire was destroyed from the interior by relying on foreign mercenaries.

            Pakistan had to build the first Moslem atomic bomb in order to challenge India’s bomb.  As Zhu Fikar Ali Bhutto said “we will have to build the atomic bomb even if we end up eating grass”. Actually, Bhutto was overthrown and put to death because he challenged the West for building the bomb.

            Iran is facing constant pressure from the West for manufacturing its own arms, munitions, missiles, atomic power generators, and space satellites.

            India has more Moslems than Pakistan, Indonesia, and Egypt combined.  The middle classes of Indian Moslems and Chinese Moslems are nearly as large as the total USA population.

            Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, and Nigeria are almost continents of their own in size and populations and they are acting and behaving as self-sufficient nations. 

The West has to start trading knowledge and technologies without any pre-conditions if it seeks peace, security, stability, and prosperity.  War is a losing option for both parties and no one can hope to emerge winner anyway

I have mentioned in several articles that the five nations in the UN with veto power are negotiating to partition Sudan for its huge raw materials, oil reserves, and water resources.  This adventure is doomed to fail unless they negotiate a fair deal with the people in Sudan and the most populous Moslem nations in Africa such as Egypt, Nigeria, and Kenya in Africa.

Note 1: The “Arab Spring” revolts against dictators and absolute monarchies have set the tone for democratic systems in the Arabic States.  The major underlying factor for this mass indignity is the realization that western governments encouraged dictator and absolute monarchy regimes for an entire century in order to maintaining the “Moslem” people subjugated and unable to grow and develop. 

Note 2: Sudan had a referendum for partition, but it does not seem that problems will vanish any time soon in Sudan:  The exploitation of oil and mineral resources will resume unabated, and turmoil in north and south Sudan will be enhanced even further.

Islam: the two messages of Jesus and Mohammad (February 3, 2009)

A challenge to all theologians: Islam is one of the Christian sects.

 

 

            Islam means submission (to God, the one and only).  This is a challenge to all theologians, religious researchers, and philosophers of all religious denominations (monolithic or not).  My hypothesis is:  The religious message of the Prophet Muhammad, during the first 13 years of proselytizing in Mecca, is identical to one of the Christian sects.  Let me suggest the following procedure or protocol:

 

 First, select all the religious Christian sects from the first to the Nicee council in 425; then select the remaining Christian sects after Nicee to the split between Rome and Byzantium around the year 1000, then the Christian sects that were formed between 1000 to the Martin Luther schism, then all the modern Christian sects from Protestantism, Calvinism, Baptism, Methodism, Episcopalian, Armenians (Catholic and Orthodox), and all the sects in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere.

 

Second, develop taxonomy of attributes in order to categorize all these Christian sects.

 

Third, allocate all the sects to one of six categories or more if need be.

 

Fourth, select the verses in Islam that correspond to the period before the flight of the Prophet Muhammad to Medina or Yathreb

 

Five, assign each verse in that period to the taxonomy of step two.

 

Six, allocate the message of the prophet Muhammad in one of the categories chosen in step three.

 

The foundation to my hypothesis stems from reading a manuscript titled “Islam in its two messages: Christ and Muhammad” The author of the book is late Antoun Saadeh, a Lebanese of Christian Geek Orthodox denomination; the book was written in 1942 and Saadeh proves that Islam is almost identical to the message of Christ when we analyze the verses of the Koran pronounced during Muhammad proselytizing of his message before the legislation period for the new community in Medina. 

 

Since Christianity is an amalgam of many sects that split into schisms in the last two thousand years, then I figured that, from a scientific perspective, it would be more appropriate to differentiate Christianity according to sects.  It would also be fitting to study Islam by analyzing the various Moslem sects; though the variations would be based more on the legislations and Hadith than the fundamental spiritual content during the first 13 years of the message.


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