Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Prophet Mohammad

Aicha, youngest wife of prophet Mohammad, is most important person in Islam

1. She became the first de-facto Imam of the Moslems after Mouhammad death. Moslems flocked from everywhere to listen to her interpretations and facts
2. She was the most educated and knowledgeable person in matter of Fikh (shari3at)
3. She relentlessly put the civil rights and political rights of women first.

4. She educated and trained many generations of women to fight for their acquired rights and they wrote their own marriage contracts and clauses to divorce their husbands if any clause was not satisfied. Scores of strong females applied her teaching in the first century after the prophet death.


5. She was the main person who for decades demonstrated the falsehood of countless Hadith (What supposedly close persons to Mohammad recounted of his life after his death) that tried to degrade and denigrate women status and rob them of their acquired rights


6. When Mohammad became a political figure in the City-State of Medina, she made sure to remind him of the ignored women rights in his verses and to re-edit them.

7. She was upfront and told him of the verses that he enunciated to serve his desires

8. She confronted Ali ben Abi Taleb, 4th Caliph and son-in-law of the prophet, that he is dragging his feet to put on trial those who assassinated the 3rd Caliph Othman bin Affan in Medina

9. She was harsh in her frequent fasting and minimal life-style, dedicated to learning and teaching the thousands who flocked to her residence to listen and ask her questions

Would this article be behind the burning of “The Tourist” Library in Lebanon (Maktabat al sa2e7)?

The article was published by Father Ibrahim Sarrouj, the library’s curator. Sarrouj has lived in Tripoli all his life and is known to being an encompassing person of the city’s diversity.

The article is about how Aicha, the most educated and beloved wife of Prophet Mohammad (one of 8), described the relationship with her husband who was about 48 years her elder.

Aicha tells of the hypocritical practices of Mohammad that didn’t match was he proselytized… I might translate this article in a separate post:

Aren’t you claiming to be the messenger of God?

Srour article

The country is burning, let’s not worry about a library.

Are the Words in Sourat Al Fatihat in Koran Syriac?

In the first 13 years of proselytizing Islam, Prophet Mohammad was mainly translating the content of religious books (Christian and Jewish) available in Mecca.

The original Koran was written in Aramaic language, before it was translated in the local Koreish Arabic slang (Mecca and Hijaz) in the peninsula.

ما صحّة أنّ مفردات سورة الفاتحة

في القرآن سريانية؟

أكد الباحث  غابرييل صوما، المختص بدراسة اللغات السامية والقديمة، أن آلاف مفردات اللغة العربية المعروفة حاليا هي كلمات آرامية سريانية وليست ذات أصل عربي، وإنما دخلت على اللغة العربية نتيجة تفاعل اللغات التي كانت منتشرة في منطقة بلاد ما بين النهرين مع جاراتها التي كانت معروفة آنذاك في منطقة شبه الجزيرة العربية.

وفي هذا السياق، ذكر صوما في كتابه “القرآن الذي أسيء تفسيره وترجمته وفهمه”، أن القرآن القديم كان مكتوباً باللغة الآرامية وليس اللغة الحالية (العربية) التي نعرفها اليوم.

ولفت إلى أن الكلمات الآرامية تنسحب على الغالبية العظمى من سور وآيات القرآن الكريم وعلى رأسها سورة الفاتحة التي يستهل بها القرآن سوره.

 

 

وفي قراءة صوتية له لسورة الفاتحة وباللغة الآرامية طلب صوما من كل من يقرأها مقارنة معاني مفردات الفاتحة مع مقابلاتها في اللغة الآرامية والتي كانت على الشكل التالي:

(بشيم، آلوهو، رحمان، رحيم — حمودو، لالوهو، رب، عالمين — رحمان، رحيم — ملك، يوم، دينو — أيكو، آت، نعبد، آتعنين- إهدولان، الصورتو، إيدميتقيم…) إلى آخره من آيات السورة.

وبالعودة إلى سورة الفاتحة المكتوبة باللغة العربية فإنه ما من مجال يدعو للشك في منطقية الطرح الذي يقدمه الباحث صوما، على الأقل في هذه السورة المعروفة مفرداتها لملايين البشر على وجه الأرض.

وأردف قائلاً: إن معرفتنا عن اللغات السامية تأتي من الكتاب المقدس ومن المخطوطات التي تركها الآموريون في منطقة ما بين النهرين (ماري) القريبة من الحدود السورية والعراقية…لافتاً إلى أن الآموريين هم أول من تكلم الآرامية وكان ملكهم يدعى حمورابي وهو مكون من 3 كلمات (آمو) تعني الشعب، (ييرو) يعني المدينة، و(رابي) يعني السيد أو كبير القوم…

واعتبر صوما أنّ المفسرين كانوا دائماً يتخبطون في معاني القرآن، فمرة لا يجدون المعنى للكلمة، ومرة أخرى الكلمة لا تتماشى مع سياق الجملة، وأخرى كلمة غريبة لا يعرفون لها معنى، كما أنهم وجدوا أنفسهم عاجزين عن تفسير الأحرف المتقطعة في أوائل السور والتي لم تفك رموزها ولا معانيها، وكلما تساءل الشخص ما معناها يقولون له “حروف إعجاز وليس لها معنى نعلمه نحن البشر”.

لكن إذا كان ليس لها معنى فلماذا تواجدها أصلاً هل لزخرفة المصحف؟…أليس هدف الله تعالى إيصال رسالة واضحة ومفهومة للبشر؟

To Hassan Nasr Allah, SG of Hezbollah: An Open Letter

I have the highest respect for the Hezbollah organization that saved Lebanon twice from becoming a total non-entity within the last decade.

Since Hezbollah is the most powerful political and social movement in Lebanon in number, organization, military training, and in readiness, it has the potential to either drive Lebanon to a secular democratic system or strengthen the multi-theocratic structure that the Lebanese have been subjugated to since independence in 1943.

This important social and political force can either spread havoc or strengthen the independence of Lebanon, depending on open dialogue and communication among all Lebanese political parties.

With Hezbollah, I feel that Lebanon is no longer just a State recognized by the UN, but has acquired the status of a Nation; a tiny Nation but with the potential of agreeing that we are one people under the law and against all contingencies.

Either we keep apprehensive of a planned “Wilayat Fakih” strategy, a stronger centralized theocratic system, or Hezbollah can be the catalyst for the Lebanese society to build a State that gives a meaning to the modern citizen, regardless of religious affiliation, genders, or “tribal and feudal” chattel mentality.

Either Lebanon eases its way to a unified modern State, with secular civil laws and equitable election laws, or we will end up with two drastic different groups:  The theocratic parties, representing the archaic current political structure, or the secular and democratic political parties representing the aspiration of the new generations.

There are roadblocks to the institution of a modern Lebanese political system. These roadblocks can be surmounted by open dialogue if “theocratic fundamentals”, from all religious sects, are not set are immune to discussion and out of the realm of rational dialogue.

First roadblock.  The Lebanese aspire to freedom of expressions, opinions, and gathering.  That the ambassador of Iran feels he is entitled to meddle in our internal affairs and pressure the authorities to censure a movie produced in Iran is not acceptable and for the following reasons:

First, Hezbollah is targeted by many enemies and has already a big load to confront on many fronts.  To offer a free handle for the enemies to confronting Hezbollah as anathema to free expressions is not productive.

Second, suppressing free opinions regarding Iran political system, or discussing gender discrimination, give the strong impression that Hezbollah is stooges to the Khomeini “Wilayat Fakih” theocratic concept.

Third, the more freedom of expressions are suppressed, the more opinions go underground,and the more the censured materials are spread and viewed as representing the facts and truths.

Second roadblock.  Hezbollah needs to lay off its “theocratic” myths.

The first religious myth is the “dress codes” to both male and female. Dress codes shouldn’t be a religious matters. Dress codes for man and woman have nothing to do with religious dogma.

In Mecca, during the life of Prophet Mohammad, only noble ladies wore the veil outside their homes, as a discrimination dress code of their rank from the other working women.  When the companions of the Prophet fled to Yathreb (Medina), at the onset of persecutions, the veil was not used in Medina:  Women had vast freedom; and they had their own mind.  Actually, it was a shock for the women of Yathreb seeing a few of the companions’ wives wearing veils, as if they considered themselves of nobler ranks! (see note 1)

I suggest to Hezbollah to take the bold decision of toning down the importance of dress codes and desist of spreading this myth. Women, who have no convictions that dress codes are of the domain of religious belief, should not be pressured to cheat on their convictions.  Extending liberty to exercising the power of individual rational thinking is the best asset for higher confidence in leadership and tighter cohesion in the ranks in dire circumstances. The leaders of Hezbollah should give examples within their own family and relatives of relaxing the dress code.

The second myth to get rid off is combining political and religious responsibilities.  It certainly is a proof of internal weakness in the organization when the Secretary General feels the need to offer the face of an Imam.

The Prophet Muhammad was upset with the central “Orthodox” Church of Byzantium (Constantinople) because it labeled one of the Christian sects in Mecca (the Ebionites) as “heretic”: Muhammad’s uncle Ain Warkat was the Patriarch of this Christian-Jew sect and he taught Muhammad to read and write in the Aramaic language, the language of the Bible that the sect read in.

Muhammad abhorred central religious power and viewed it as the enemy for harmony and peace among the believers.  That is why the Prophet declined to name an Imam before his death, so that Islam should not be regulated by any religious central power; he could have named Ali as Imam and Ali would have been an excellent religious guide.

Preaching at every religious event as if in a Friday prayers, Hassan Nasr Allah is definitely sending the wrong message to the Lebanese:  The mixing of politics and religion is bound to lead to disaster.

We need to hear Hassan Nasr Allah political messages and wish he spares us his religious belief that is not the concern of the people at this junction.

What the Lebanese people, and many members of Hezbollah, understand is that Hezbollah is a shifty religious sect following the sect of the Iranian Guide in power.  For example, taking a religious story to drive through a political message, every now and then, is appropriate rhetorically, but when the entire speech is religious, the people get tired of too much chatting in matters they care less about.

Everyone should have his specialty, responsibility, and his target audience.

State business, political organization, and religion should not mix.

Lebanon has 18 formally recognized sects and we need not exacerbate our caste problems.  We need to be the vanguard to the other Arabic and Islamic States in running our life and strengthening our individual freedom for rational thinking.

Third religious myth. There is this boring and unsettling tendency at Hezbollah’s leadership to start their speeches with a long litany of the “honored” descendants of the Prophet Muhammad.

I understand that most diseases are inherited, but I have not stumbled on studies characterizing intelligence, learning, and wisdom attributed to inherited genes.  Actually, research have demonstrated that offspring of highly intelligent men to be born idiots, and vice versa. (See note 3)

Maybe it is time for Hezbollah to desist forcing on people untruths of super great offspring generated by the Prophet.  We must be inclined to pray even more forcefully for the offspring of the Prophet, because the odds are that they suffered immensely by the high expectations impelled upon them by ignorant and lazy-minded followers.

Maybe it is time to expect the next “Mahdi” to be born from the common people instead of some “noble” creed?

Fourth religious myth.  My fourth worry is this trend of re-writing history to please cultural propaganda of a nascent Islamic regional power such as Iran.  Shiaa have lived in northern Palestine, Lebanon, and northern Syria many centuries before the Turkish Safavid Empire ruled Iran in the 17th century and decided to adopt the Shiaa sect as the Kingdom religion.  The Shiaa had to flee the Arabic Sunni Caliphate Empire for two centuries and suffered frequent persecutions during the Ottoman Empire.

The Shiaa took roots in India and in the Maghreb in North Africa. From the Maghreb they converged to Egypt and ruled during the Fatimid Dynasty for over a century and enjoyed many converts in Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria when Baghdad’s central power was very weak.  For example, the city of Aleppo and its district was a major focal point for the Ismailia Shiaa.

The Shiaa also converged from India to Herat (west Afghanistan) and to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan before spreading to East Iran and the eastern shores of the Arabic Peninsula.  Consequently, the Shiaa in the Near East are its inhabitants and form an intrinsic part of the fabric of this region: they adopted the same customs and tradition.

If for political exigencies Hezbollah needs to select leaders who attended religious schools in Qom of Iran, then it does not follow that this short–term need should be the trend.  Hezbollah has no advantage to alienate the main religious center in Al Najaf or Kufa, simply because its members are Near Eastern and not Persians.

It will pay in the medium-term for Hezbollah to re-write the history of the Shiaa in Lebanon and changing their tradition for a far away civilization, and taking official sides for this Iranian Ayatollah or that, or this Iraqi Ayatollah or that.

The fact is that is Hezbollah is a Lebanese resistance movement, a resistance against any invader to Lebanon because it is the Lebanese people and not a branch, or an extension, or a mercenary force to any regional power. Changing culture and history of the Shiaa in Lebanon can be as a dangerous trend that might foment civil war.

Third roadblock.  Hezbollah has to desist challenging the international community:  It is counter productive to declare that no power on earth can execute the UN resolutions, not for 300 years.  These declarations are redundant, since they have been stated several times and the Lebanese knows what can be executed on the ground.

What Hezbollah can do is re-establishing the independence and credibility of Lebanon’s judicial system and let our legal institutions handle the legal process in Lebanon.  People brought to trial may have the choice of selecting Lebanon judicial system or the International Court procedures.  Hezbollah has to relax its speeches on this hot matter:

First, the submission of official names by the International Court (IC) on Lebanon  relieves Lebanon from this masquerade that has been dragging on for over 6 years:  The 4 names have been out of Lebanon for the last 30 years, and two of the names are believed to be virtual names, not registered as Lebanese “citizens”. The IC “bomb” landed but didn’t explode: Lebanon went on as usual.

Even if the US and Israel detonate the bomb by remote control, most likely the bomb is totally outdated and rotten and will do no damage that the Lebanese have endured in the last decade.

Second, the blade of the sword of the International Court on the assassination of late Rafiq Hariri PM has been blunted:  Hezbollah did a good job discrediting this politicized court.  The Lebanese have learned that the legitimacy in the institution of this special International Court is to be desired. Why? (See note 4)

Lebanon is a very tiny, highly volatile, unstable society, and NOT immune to radical revolts. Let us declare Moratorium on:

 First, a Moratorium on spreading religious myths

Second, a Moratorium on absolute monarchs and dictators who have been spreading the poison that Arabs and Islamic people are not fit for democratic systems and rational thinking.  The “Arab Spring” uprising are one step in that direction.

There are many other roadblocks to a unified Lebanon on the highway of modern Statehood, and I might expand on this open letter.

Note 1: Prophet Muhammad did not bring the issue of dress codes until he married many women for political exigencies.  Sexual rumors spread about a few of his wives: Muhammad had to ask his wives to wear veils and long dresses when stepping out of their homes in order to minimize their recognition by the public.  Thus, a particular and local case needs not be extended to whole communities and to people of different cultures.

Note 2:  Mecca Patriarch Ain Warkat translated his “Bible” into the Aramaic slang spoken in Mecca, which was called Arabic.  The Prophet goal was to unite the “heretic” sects under common denominators by discarding the abstract notions that divided among them; after all, they all followed the daily rituals of the Jewish customs that they inherited by tradition.

Note 3:  The Prophet Muhammad did not die suddenly; he felt terribly sick for 8 days and realized that he is to die soon.  The Prophet was fully conscious many times and he said the Morning Prayer before he died in the arms for his beloved and young wife Aicha. If the prophet wanted a close relative to inherit the title of Imam he would have done so; he still had two daughters and two son-in-laws and many close relatives who were Moslems. (Muhammad had four daughters, all married, and two sons; two of the married daughters died before him and his two sons died in infancy before reaching the age of 4).

Note 4: The entire International Court on Lebanon is not legitimate:

First, the UN has no basis to seeking chapter seven:  Lebanon was not experiencing any civil war, and no massacres were witnessed.  A “legitimate” government was running the country.  What of the far more serious cases of “crimes against humanity” of President  Bashir of Sudan that UN is waiting to be captured and yet being warmly welcomed in China? What of Qadhafi and his son…? What of Bush Jr., Ramsfield, Tony Blair,…

Second, the Lebanese government of Seniora PM was barely representing 30% of the people when it demanded for the institution of this court.  All the Shiaa ministers (representing 60% of the people) had quit the government.  And the ministers of the Christian political party of the Tayyar (representing more than 50% of the Christians) had also quit the government.  By the Constitution, if one of the main religious group is out of the government then, the government is not “legitimate”…

Note 5:  You may read the second part of the open letter https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/part-2-open-letter-to-hassan-nasr-allah-general-secretary-of-hezbollah/

Most plausible resolution to the revolt in Libya

Libya is 1,700,000 sq.km vast, the third largest State in Africa after Algeria and Sudan (before the referendum for partition).  Barely 6 million citizens inhabit this large State, and most of them are urban dweller along the 1,700 km coastal line in Tripoli, Bengazi, Misrata, Al-Bayda, Sert… The over 3 million foreign workers have vacated or are located in refugee camps in Tunisia…

The date February 15 for the start of the revolt in Libya was no coincidence.  Qadhafi orchestrated vast demonstrations throughout Libya to commemorate the cartoons published in Danmark “satanizing” the Prophet Mohammad.  It turned out that demonstrators in the second largest city in Libya changed the purpose of the march to lambasting the regime.  The police forces fired live munitions on the demonstrators, civilians were killed, and the fire spread.

Is it my imagination or I am not following very closely what’s going on in Libya?  I sense that the media have shifted their attention to Syria.  I used to watch streams of videos showing Libyan insurgents “cleaning” a town one day, and the Qadhafi “brigades” launching counter-offensives and re-cleaning the captured town the next day.  It was sort of regular vacuuming operations: Not of dust and dirt, but of “traitors and unwanted civilians”…

It makes sense to lay down the historical and cultural background of what constitute the eastern region (called Cyrene, or Shark or sun up) and the western region called Tripoli (or Gharb or sun down).  The Phoenician merchants established several trading posts in the western region more than 35 centuries ago, and then Carthage became the dominant power in the 5th century BC.  Greece started establishing trading posts in the eastern region around the 6th century BC.

Greece and Carthage could not resolve the partition militarily and they decided on a dividing line that is 50 kilometers east of actual Sert.  The Roman Empire conquered all of Libya but the Hellenistic culture (and later Byzantium) weighted heavily in the easter region, and remained based in Alexandria (Egypt), while the Tripoli region was more impressed by the latin culture, and remained polarized toward Carthage.

In 643 AC, the Islamic/Arabic empire started its expansion and occupied Egypt, Libya, and all of the Maghreb, before crossing into Spain and establishing the Andalusia Empire in Europe. In 1050, the Fatimid dynasty in Egypt (leaning toward the Shiaa Moslem sect) in order to punish the Sunni Moslems in Libya dispatched two Arabic tribes in the Arabic Peninsula (current Saudi Arabia) to relocate in Libya.  The Banu Hillal tribe settled in the Tripoli region and the Salami tribe in the Benghazi region.  The Ottoman Empire with Capital Istambul dominated Libya since 1550: The western governor or Pasha relied on the Maghreb people to secure self-autonomy, while the easter governor was more allied to the Pasha of Egypt.

Itali decided in 1911 to secure a colony, since France and England had their colonies in Africa. France occupied all of western Africa (Francophone States) and England occupied western Africa and south Africa.  During the fascist Mussoli regime, Itali managed to occupy all of Libya, after two decades of military operations, installing detention camps, and forcing most of the people in the desert towns toward relocating in the urban centers on the sea for efficient control.

After WWII, England encouraged the monarch Senusi to becoming the monarch of Libya:  The constitution was of a federal-type model with two self-autonomous States, with Benghazi the central Capital.  As oil was discovered, the Constitution was changed for a unified State till 1969, as Qadhafi succeeded in his military coup d’ etat and shifted the capital to Tripoli and neglected the easter region that was still pro-monarchic. 

France was responsible, for a short duration after the WWII and before the Independence of Libya in 1953, of the South-Western desert of Sebha and controlled the South-North axe route that most African immigrants used to reaching the Mediterranean Sea and which was used as the preferred land route for trading among the Sahara States and tribes. 

Consequently, there is a high homogeneity of the population in Libya: 90% are “Arabic” and speak the same slangs, while 5% are of Berber origin (Algeria and Morocco), and another 5% related to African tribes from Niger and Chad.

The most plausible resolution, after satisfying the pre-requisite of ceasing the power of Qadhafi and his bloody sons, is the following:

First, Libya would be federated into two States:  The eastern State based in the Capital Benghazi, and the western State based in the Capital Tripoli.  The Federal government would be relocated to the city of Sert, in the middle of the long coast line of 1,700 kilometers, the historical dividing line between the two concentration of people and tribes (and where Qadhafi was born).

Second, the oil revenue (constituting 90% of the GNP) will be split into three parts: 40% to each State and 20% for maintaining the central government and its key federal institutions such as army, foreign affairs, currency…

Third, federal revenues will be proportionally budgeted and allocated to the people living in the deep desert oasis such as Kufra and Sebha.

Note: I might add more details to that article, or decide to publish it in several parts.

Misguided sense of Dignity? Dignity has roots….

Customs and traditions are based on sets of rules and rituals that a community tacitly acknowledges and agrees upon.  Dignity is implicitly to abide by these customs.

There is individual pride, but dignity is a collective criteria and you have two choices:

Either you disagree and remain in the community as a pariah 

Or You move on to another community with compatible dignity and be considered a foreign member until your descendants might be included as full members.

History did not record any influential individual, a monarch or a prophet, who managed to change the dignity criteria in his community during his life time:  Slight rules evolved after his death, due to his determination and political acumen.

Dignity developed from “rituals of sexual relationship”.

Dignity evolved to trade rituals, to religious rituals, to organization rituals (castes and classes) to set of rights and responsibilities (Constitutions for citizenship), but the climax of dignity has its roots in basic relationship rituals .  A few examples might set the proper framework for further development on dignity.

In around 510 BC, Rome was ruled by a monarch, King Tarquin.

The king’s son Sextus got jealous of a citizen boasting to him how happy he was with the beauty and chastity of his wife Lucrece. Sextus barged in the house of Lucrece and blackmailed her and raped her.  Lucrece gathered the extended members of her family and told them the story and then, she committed suicide in front of the assembly.  The peasants got angry for their trampled dignity, revolted, and chased out of the city all the members and cousins of the monarch’s family.  The consequence was a new system of government:  Two consuls are to be elected for one year and thus insuring two levels of check and balance.  This form of governance was successful for 5 centuries until the reign of the Caesars dominated.

Jesus tried to modify the Jewish daily rules and rituals (the 265 positive commandments relative to the number of bones in the human body and 365 negative commands to improve one negative tendency every day).  Jesus failed in his lifetime.  After his death, most of the disciples reverted to the same Jewish criteria of dignity.

St. Paul took on the task of transforming the criteria to be compatible to the spirit of Jesus’ message.  Soon, St Paul had to compromise as the disciples in Jerusalem visited each Christian community that Paul established in order to setting their comprehension of dignity “right”.  Most of the compromises were related to abridging women status, responsibilities, and rights in the communities.

In the western medieval period, the Roman Catholic Church instituted its customs and rituals and subjugated the other Christian schismatic sects to abiding by the same understanding of “Christian dignity“.  Consequently, the successive crusading campaigns, although financed by the merchants in order to conquering Egypt and opening up the shorter maritime route for the trade of spices and perfume, were launched by arousing the ignorant population for their “trampled” dignity in the pilgrimage locations such as Jerusalem.

Prophet Mohammad failed in his lifetime to transform the meaning of dignity in the nomadic customs.  Mohammad had to compromise and revisit prior verses in order not to lose everything.

Again, the newer versions were related to women status, rights, and inheritance.

Nothing changed in the customs and traditions of the tribes.  After Muhammad death, many people started collecting hadith, of what the Prophet said or did, in order to emulate this proper conducts  Aisha, the most learned and beloved wife of Muhammad, spent her life confronting and correcting extravagant hadiths.

Later, every monarch hired faqihs (religious scholars and judges) to inventing or interpreting hadith out of context to suit his interests.

As the Omayyad dynasty selected Damascus for Capital of the Islamic Arabic Empire, the Moslems were confronted with urban customs and a different meaning for dignity.  The elite Arabs from the Arabic Peninsula were merchants and were familiar with the Syrian urban and mostly Christian traditions; thus, the administration relied on the converted Christians and for the translation of manuscripts of other civilization.

In the 11th century, most of the Central Asian and Caucasus people were Moslems:  They favored and enjoyed stories on Muhammad’s sayings and deeds (the hadith) and cared less for the Coran’s message. Thus, they declared that the Coran is not to be interpreted or commented.  If there are contradictions in verses then, tough luck; read and move on.  The Coran was no longer the main source for what is dignity and honor to Moslems, but the stories told on Muhammad.

Modern western European “democracies” and republicanism established political structures compatible with a revised meaning of dignity, following higher levels of freedom of expression and dissemination of knowledge and education.

State social programs were promulgated and they became acquired rights for the citizens such as retirement, health care, education…

The problem was that the democratic system was transformed into giving far more privileges and responsibilities to the elite classes (and their appointed unethical and immoral technocrats) to govern and rule in the name of the citizens once the votes are in.

The trend was exacerbated as the elite governing oligarchy realized that people are willing to trade the dignity of sharing in policy making with greed and amusement (the apolitical citizen).  Consequently, credit cards with limits surpassing 50 times the yearly earning were invented for the citizens to indulge in consumer products and be amused.

The latest financial crash is turning the situation around:  There is no more free money to distribute.  The citizens are mainly angry with their cowardice and irresponsible behaviors by trading the dignity of responsibility in the political process to greed and amusement.  The new motto is:  “Amusement is a bonus after a job well done.”

The citizens were no fouls, but they had not the courage and determination to getting involved in studying and analyzing political and social programs before a dime is spent.

The citizens were accustomed to a form of lower level of dignity and now they are struggling to getting back to the streets.  How many scapegoats are to be sacrificed before the citizen is willing to return to shouldering his duties and responsibilities?

The poorer nations can no longer afford to support misplaced sense of western dignity.  The poorer classes in these capitalist systems can no longer suffer misplaced sense of dignity of the higher classes.

Note:  This article was published more than 15 months before the current Arab mass uprising in almost every Arabic State.  The upheaval take its roots to the want of regaining lost dignity:  Indignity or zul is the driving force behind this determined upheavals against absolute monarchs, dictators, and oligarchic infamous behaviors toward the common citizens.

The Syrian uprising has added the most basic of dimensions saying:  “We are not hungry.  We are not demonstrating for lack of food.  We want to fight the indignity (zil) and infamy we have been subjugated to for 40 years.”

No ruler can withstand the wrath of a people who is brandishing “dignity”as its motto. The Egyptian people are back to Tahrir Square:  It is about time that the army general staff relinquish power to civilian mechanisms.

Personally, I will consider that the Arab mass uprising have reached a qualitative level once the civic demand for equality between genders is the cornerstone for political transformation.  It would mean that religion is no longer the hidden power driving the people, but equal and equitable basic human rights.

The written language has been invented seven thousand years ago in southern Iraq and the kingdoms of Sumer, Babylon, Akkad and Assyria managed to have sophisticated administrative systems, precise calendars, and astronomic knowledge.  The alphabet was discovered five thousand years ago in the City-State of Byblos (Phoenicia, and current Lebanon).  

The Phoenicians instituted a maritime civilization and were the masters of the Mediterranean Sea for over 6 centuries (1300 to 600 BC) in trades, commerce and artisanal skills; they established “democratic” City-States where the City-State inhabitants would elect representatives in the noble and aristocratic classes.  The Phoenicians built trading centers or villages along the coasts and in all the Islands.

The Canaanites, of which the Phoenicians were the maritime branch, had established City-States along the main rivers (Euphrates and Al Assy rivers) such as Marie, Homs, Hama, Jerusalem, Antiochus…The Phoenicians built Thebes in Greece, centuries before Athens existed.  Alexander would completely destroy Thebes before leading his army to current India’s borders.

Pre-Socratic philosophers immigrated from the eastern part of the Mediterranean City-States (current Turkey, Syria, and lebanon) to Athens in order to educate its noble citizens to the art of rhetoric, dialectic, and math in order for the aristocratic class to having an edge for successfully running to political positions. They were paid handsomely as teachers and that is why they flocked to Athens:  Democratic Athens had high demand of the intellectual and administrative skills of the Phoenicians.

In China, Confucius was instituting his moral system for good governance and the raising of the “good man”: “Practice good morality in society before studying sciences and acquiring knowledge.”

Socrates battled with the sophism (wise attitudes) of these teachers who turned philosophy into an art of rhetorical clever communication; Socrates instituted a school of rational dialogue.  Platon, a disciple of Socrates, transcribed the dialogues and instituted his own school of philosophy in Athens.  Aristotle, was a student at Platon’s school for 18 years and he established the experimental method (empiricism) for rational investigations (into cause and effects phenomena and categorized matters and scientific fields of studies, backed by advances in arithmetic and geometry.

Aristotle’s works would have gone into oblivion, as so many manuscripts of famous scholars, if not for the Phoenician scholars who translated, commented, interpreted Aristotle’s works into their Aramaic language (spoken by Jesus), later called Syria.  The newly built city of Alexandria became a lighthouse of knowledge; scholars translated scientific, religious, and philosophical manuscripts and invented new fields of sciences.

In India of the 3rd century BC, the monarch Asoka ruled for 35 years and sent missionaries and delegates to all the known civilized world such as Syria, Egypt, Greece, and Persia and resurrected the Buddhist religion that was verging into oblivion amid the Hindu continent.  Asoka chiselled in 84,000 huge stone columns the principles and laws of Buddhism and his laws (dharma) dispersed thousands upon thousands of these columns at every major road intersections.  The island of Sri Lanka became Buddhist at that period.

Hundreds of Christian sects dominated the landscape of the Near East, from Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece. Every sect had its particular religious books for sources of belief and a style of living.  Mostly, they relied on the Jewish laws and differed on the nature of Jesus.  The Virgin Mary was rarely mentioned as source of devotion or as a saint.  

In Alexandria around 320, a priest known as Arius explained that Jesus is a distinct entity than God and that the Holy Ghost proceeds only from God.  This line of theology is accepted by the Goths, the Ostrogoth, and all the people in Germany and in Eastern and central Europe.

In 325, Emperor Constantine decided that Christianity (barely representing 10% of the population) should be the official religion of the Byzantium Empire, though he remained pagan.  The New Christian Church was modified to include three Gods (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost for Virgin Mary) as the pagans were accustomed to worshiping trinity of  Gods.  The pagan symbolism and pageantry were included in Catholicism after the conclave of Nicaea.  

Since this conclave, the Roman/Byzantium Empire was wracked in civil wars among dozens of Christian sects or schisms known as heretics and supported by various monarchs and princes.  Among those sects we have the Homeans, the Anomoean, the Monophysitism, the Nestorians (that would advance with its message into China and translate its version of the New Testaments into Chinese), … One of the schism settled in Mecca (Arabic Peninsula); the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad was the Patriarch of the sect and Muhammad was his closest assistant. The Roman/Byzantium Empire would wage internal religious/political battles ways into the 13th century.  Frequently, two Popes would be elected, backed by a coalition of monarchs.  Then another cycle of internal religious wars would restart in the 16th century with Protestantism, Calvinism, and Huguenot.

In the 6th century AC, the Roman scholar and politician Anicius Boethius (Boece) translated and commented Aristotle’s works into latin.  Aristotle’s works had to wait the Arab/Islamic Empire to settle in Damascus (around 660) before his works are resurrected from oblivion. Why?

Prophet Mohammad had encouraged and demanded that Moslems seek knowledge, even from China. Muhammad said that many verses in his message are confusing and needed the interpretation of scholars.  Muhammad said: “Science is more meritorious than prayer.  A single man of  science has more power over demon than a thousand devotees.  Among the servants of God, only scholars fear God.”  Thus, Moslem scholars undertook to translate available knowledge into the Arabic slang of Mecca from the Syriac manuscripts relying heavily on the “Syrian” scholars and later, on the persian scholars during the Abbassid dynasty.  

There is this anecdote told by Calif Al Maamun: “I met Aristotle in my dream and I ask him “What is considered good?”  Aristotle replied: “What is good to reason.”  I asked: “And after reason?  He replied: “What is shown as good in revelation”  I said: “And after?”  He replied: “Good is what consensus agrees on” I said: “And after?”  Aristotle said: “There is no more of what after.”

The Syrians, Christians and Moslems, endeavored to translating the works of Platon, Aristotle, Galen, Plutarch, and Plotin (the Enneades that summarize Aristotle’s theology).  Geometry of Euclides, astronomy and medicine are taught in freshly built Arabic universities.  In the 7th century, Al Kindi wrote: “Though the Greek scholars fell short in sciences, they opened up the instruments for acceding to multiple types of knowledge.”   Al Farabi insisted on the necessity of separating intellectual speculation from rational reflection.  Ibn Sina (Avicenna) wrote in the 10th century, 300 manuscripts, of which 50 are in scientific fields and 40 in medicine; one particular medical book, the  “Canon of medicine” was taught in western Europe as a fundamental course till the 18th century.  The physician Ibn Zhur (Avenzoar), living in Andalusia, is reputed in all Europe.  The geographer Al Idrissi is considered in Europe as the “geography professor”.  Ibn Bajja made the apology of sciences and learned people; he said: “Ignorant people see the world as if they lived in a cavern and the only light they received was a diffused one:  They could discriminate among colors, and thus, have no coherent knowledge of the real nature.”

In the 12th century, many tribes in Central Asia and the Caucasus converted to Islam and were the backbone of the Islamic army by then.  These new converts believed literally in the Koran and refused any rational interpretations or commentaries.  Islamic civilization started its steady decline since then, except in Iran and Andalusia (Spain).

Papal Rome, backed by rich merchants, galvanized the Christians into a series of crusading campaigns in the Near East.  The official purpose was to liberating Jerusalem from the Moslem “infidels”; the tacit goal was capturing Egypt for direct maritime route for the spice and aroma trade coming from Far Eastern Asia Islands.  The rich merchant families and nobility in Europe got addicted to spices and aromatic products and prices were increasing by frequent wars along the land caravans in Moslem Kingdoms.  Three targeted campaigns to invading Egypt failed and the merchants were reluctant to investing in the established mini Christian Kingdoms in the Near East.  The fourth crusading campaign in 1204 sacked Constantinople and reduced the Byzantine Emperors to figure heads.

Then Ibn Rushd was born in the 12th century in Cordoba (Islamic Andalusia) and wrote: “Have no fear searching for truth in sciences.  Truth cannot contradict truth; sciences is in accord with God’s revelations; God has nothing to fear when you use your rational intelligence to discovering the universe and the causes of phenomenon”:   That is basically what Ibn Rush (known as Averroes) tried to convey to civilization through his abundant writings in medicine, sciences, astronomy, philosophy, jurisprudence, and theology.  Ibn Rush, known as “Al hafid” (the grandson of the famous judge of the city) published abundant books; among them, 88 volumes on Aristotle’s works in 20,000 pages supplied with commentary and interpretation.

Moise ibn Maimuna (Maimonides), 12 years younger than Ibn Rushd and originally from Cordoba, was at the period settled in Cairo and was the official physician of the Caliph.  Maimonides was the direct beneficiary of Ibn Rushd rational and scientific works.  He wrote: “We may dispense of Platon’s works:  Aristotle’s works suffice since they are the foundations and roots of scientific rational methods.  Aristotle’s works cannot be comprehended without the commentaries of Ibn Rushd.”

In 1497, Papal Rome encouraged the institution of a university in Padoua (Italy) to teaching Aristotle’s works and be translated directly from ancient Greek.  It was a strategy of ignoring the influence of Islamic culture that was spreading in Catholic Europe.  The Renaissance scholars dared not communicate the sources and references of their knowledge and learning. Since then, European scholars have continued this custom of deliberately ignoring seven centuries of Islamic civilizations when accounting for western Europe civilization.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

April 2020
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