Exposing Atheist’s Extremism – Legitimising Abuse.

In the wake of recent events in France, the term secularism is again in discussion. I came across a post by Dhruv Rathee where he claimed something which was not so unusual for me to hear as i keep on hearing these type of arguments since long. To people like him, secularism is termed as a political manifestation of Atheism or in a loose sense a subjugation under man made laws which undermine any law which claims to be of divine origin. This manifestation embodies not only ever changing laws to suite majoritarian sentiments but also sneaks the right to mock, abuse and insult in the name of freedom of expression.

How else this could be as for the people of atheism, there is no objective moral standard. To them we are just protoplasmic creatures by chance struggling to be in an hierarchy in pursuit of following survival of fittest. Right, wrong, good, bad, morality, modesty etc. smells too religious. The very definition of morality do not exist as we are all “a random chance” and everything in universe is a meaningless cause and effect. Leave the issues to evolution and natural selection and nature will take care. This is what they believe in core and make victim of any other practice which is contrary to their satanic whims. To slip down to the roads of contempt, mocking and insulting by pretending it to be a healthy criticism they secretly enjoy what satan inspires him to do.

Let’s look at the post content.

“I took this photo in Venice 2 months ago. This is a portrait of a Nun, but look closely what it’s made of. It was showcased in an art shop which was 100 meters away from the most famous Church in Venice. This is extent of Blaspehmy which is normal in Europe. French Secularism, which has had its influence all over Europe accepts Blasphemy. Religious people living in Europe should learn to tolerate it. Otherwise they are free to live in hundreds of countries where Blasphemy where abusing gods is against the law. This post is in reference to the attacks happening in France today”

First of all Dhruv should understand that there is no such thing as blasphemy in Secular dictionary. So, saying that “… Europe accepts blasphemy makes no sense. For seculars, every religion is same piece of box (they call it idiot’s box or garbage box) and every God is same to them as they do not believe in any God. If he is referring that the religious people in Europe has accepted these acts as normal, well then they are not religious in the first place. A person is religious only if he/she has a full conviction that there is a creator of this universe and the sense of right and wrong emerging in heart and mind is a gift from spiritual realm which is further explained in revelations of prophetic traditions. Instead, Dhruv should say that non-religious secular population (practicing cultural aspects of a religion only) of Europe are neutralised to the idea of blasphemy.

The remark “Religious people living in Europe should learn to tolerate it” is an aggression. People have different sensitivities to the people they love. The picture you have posted for a Nun, with semi-nude pixels of women may be right to your moral standard. To prove his moral standard, Dhruv should post a similar picture of his sister, mother, wife/girlfriend and let other people enjoy the scene, if he is hypocrisy free in this subject here. What gives anyone right to make an image, painting or cartoon without a consent. Muslims in general do not make images, paintings or idols for any religious figures. Let it be Islamic or of any other faith. This is well known to the world. They consider this a crime. Even for the prophet Jesus, mother Mary muslim consider its portrayal to be a crime, but they do not go out and make a big deal for Christians considering they have the right to do what they want. At the same time we muslims do not expect anyone to make a portrayal of our beloved prophet Muhammad pbuh as we do not do it and we do not do it for any other faith as well.

Also, Dhruv suggest to let people migrate (if they are hurt) to a place where abusing God is blasphemy. This implies Dhruv advocates “abusing God” in a “secular” world. So, no matter how good in person you are, your relationship will always be at stake as your religious conviction is subjected to be abused legally (as per what Dhruv advocates here). Advocating “Abuse” in secular world is a manifestation of atheistic social values.

Is it not a double standard that Dhruv is suggesting to “Religious people living in Europe should learn to tolerate it“. Why someone should tolerate an act which he feels uncomfortable with? If someone makes a seminude picture of your mother, sister, daughter or wife and suggest you to tolerate it, how will you react? There is a big problem here in defining what should be tolerated and what shouldn’t be. For muslims, our holy prophet is beloved more than anything we imagine in this world and hereafter and if anyone make an insult to it will definitely hurt the feelings, and you are suggesting to tolerate it? I only wish you come across on the same crossroad where the whole world start mocking you the person you love most, be it your mother, wife, father, sister or yourself. It may be possible that you do not have this sensitivity of love as for materialists, love, sacrifice, virtues and kindness are nothing but chemical reactions manifesting in some psychological way. For them life is “survival of fittest”, mutation, biological evolution and majority wins.

Here is my comment for For my fellow muslims:

In situations where we face violent, abusive and coercive response, we are commanded to practice patience.

Holy Quran, Al-An’aam (6:68-72)

وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَ الَّذِينَ يَخُوضُونَ فِي آيَاتِنَا فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُوا فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ ۚ وَإِمَّا يُنْسِيَنَّكَ الشَّيْطَانُ فَلَا تَقْعُدْ بَعْدَ الذِّكْرَىٰ مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ

And when you see those who engage in [offensive] discourse concerning Our verses, then turn away from them until they enter into another conversation. And if Satan should cause you to forget, then do not remain after the reminder with the wrongdoing people.

وَمَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ مِنْ حِسَابِهِمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ وَلَٰكِنْ ذِكْرَىٰ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ

And those who fear Allah are not held accountable for the disbelievers at all, but [only for] a reminder – that perhaps they will fear Him.

وَذَرِ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا دِينَهُمْ لَعِبًا وَلَهْوًا وَغَرَّتْهُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا ۚ وَذَكِّرْ بِهِ أَنْ تُبْسَلَ نَفْسٌ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ لَيْسَ لَهَا مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلِيٌّ وَلَا شَفِيعٌ وَإِنْ تَعْدِلْ كُلَّ عَدْلٍ لَا يُؤْخَذْ مِنْهَا ۗ أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ أُبْسِلُوا بِمَا كَسَبُوا ۖ لَهُمْ شَرَابٌ مِنْ حَمِيمٍ وَعَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْفُرُونَ

And leave those who take their religion as amusement and diversion and whom the worldly life has deluded. But remind with the Qur’an, lest a soul be given up to destruction for what it earned; it will have other than Allah no protector and no intercessor. And if it should offer every compensation, it would not be taken from it. Those are the ones who are given to destruction for what they have earned. For them will be a drink of scalding water and a painful punishment because they used to disbelieve.

قُلْ أَنَدْعُو مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَنْفَعُنَا وَلَا يَضُرُّنَا وَنُرَدُّ عَلَىٰ أَعْقَابِنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَانَا اللَّهُ كَالَّذِي اسْتَهْوَتْهُ الشَّيَاطِينُ فِي الْأَرْضِ حَيْرَانَ لَهُ أَصْحَابٌ يَدْعُونَهُ إِلَى الْهُدَى ائْتِنَا ۗ قُلْ إِنَّ هُدَى اللَّهِ هُوَ الْهُدَىٰ ۖ وَأُمِرْنَا لِنُسْلِمَ لِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Say, “Shall we invoke instead of Allah that which neither benefits us nor harms us and be turned back on our heels after Allah has guided us? [We would then be] like one whom the devils enticed [to wander] upon the earth confused, [while] he has companions inviting him to guidance, [calling], ‘Come to us.’ ” Say, “Indeed, the guidance of Allah is the [only] guidance; and we have been commanded to submit to the Lord of the worlds.

وَأَنْ أَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَاتَّقُوهُ ۚ وَهُوَ الَّذِي إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ

And to establish prayer and fear Him.” And it is He to whom you will be gathered.

Holy Quran, Al-Maaida (5:105)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا عَلَيْكُمْ أَنْفُسَكُمْ ۖ لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ مَنْ ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ ۚ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

O you who have believed, upon you is [responsibility for] yourselves. Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided. To Allah is you return all together; then He will inform you of what you used to do.

Holy Quran, Aal-i-Imraan (3:20)

فَإِنْ حَاجُّوكَ فَقُلْ أَسْلَمْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّهِ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ ۗ وَقُلْ لِلَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ وَالْأُمِّيِّينَ أَأَسْلَمْتُمْ ۚ فَإِنْ أَسْلَمُوا فَقَدِ اهْتَدَوْا ۖ وَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلَاغُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ

So if they argue with you, say, “I have submitted myself to Allah [in Islam], and [so have] those who follow me.” And say to those who were given the Scripture and [to] the unlearned, “Have you submitted yourselves?” And if they submit [in Islam], they are rightly guided; but if they turn away – then upon you is only the [duty of] notification. And Allah is Seeing of [His] servants.

If we study Holy Quran, we will notice in numerous places Allah tells believers that the guidance is Allah’s affair and Muslims are only commanded to present the message in the best way possible. This is Dawa’h and this is what we do.

Holy Quran, Al-Baqara (2:213)

كَانَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً فَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ النَّبِيِّينَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنْذِرِينَ وَأَنْزَلَ مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فِيمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ ۚ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ فِيهِ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ أُوتُوهُ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ فَهَدَى اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ مِنَ الْحَقِّ بِإِذْنِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ

Mankind was [of] one religion [before their deviation]; then Allah sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. And none differed over the Scripture except those who were given it – after the clear proofs came to them – out of jealous animosity among themselves. And Allah guided those who believed to the truth concerning that over which they had differed, by His permission. And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path.

Our believe and conviction is sourced in the divine message of Holy Quran.

Holy Quran says:

“Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knows best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.”

(Qur’an: al-Nahl: -16:125).

Further it says:

“There should be no coercion(compulsion) in religion’

(Qur’an: al-Baqarah -2:256).

It also gives us specific limits of discourse as:

Holy Quran, Al-An’aam (6:107)

وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا أَشْرَكُوا ۗ وَمَا جَعَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا ۖ وَمَا أَنْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ بِوَكِيلٍ

But if Allah had willed, they would not have associated. And We have not appointed you over them as a guardian, nor are you a manager over them.

Hence, it is very clear with these verses that what we do is “to convey the message” of “submission to God’s will” only. We do not have any other intention. If people accept the message, reject the message, mock on us, abuse us or even harm us physically, we are not commanded to retaliate in any unlawful way in the course of Dawah. People who carry hate, will never be coherent with the message of love. We always pray for those who throw stones to our messages.

Further on Communal Harmony

This is a follow up note on our recent discussion happened over the religious harmony video [Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8liXJfq_xWo&t=91s%5D. In the response i explained: “how important it is to know the right understanding of a concept we believe in”. Only if we know what we believe in, 1) we will be able to reconcile our belief with our self, and 2) to an extension reconcile and live with peace with others. Knowing the differences is almost as important than knowing the communalities and gray areas. Further understanding the right concept gives us an opportunity to assess our own position as well, to whether we should carry on the belief system we are taught to or not. This is a stance taken when A) we are mature enough to question the status quo and B) ready to accept alternative options with peaceful reconciliations with whom we love and value to our life.

The next big question is: How does it work in different age groups, different social classes and different belief systems? Especially how the differences and commonalities are taught to younger generations?

I think the pertinent theme in the video portrayed is a very innocent lesson being taught by an innocent kid to an old man (a Muslim figure), that there is no difference in Gods people believe in, whether be a “Hindu idol present in a Mandir (referred Bhagwaan)” or Muslim’s God being remembered in a mosque (referred “Allah”). Is there a scope of disagreement in this proposition? Let’s see.

First of all the portrayal of the old man here is questionable as he is unable to explain the answers of young kid with right wisdom and correct understanding. The old man might be hesitant in receiving the offering for so many reasons. One conspicuous reason could be the “aastha” associated with an act of religious ritual. He must have been cautious that if he takes what is not supposed to be his, that may offend the family of that kid. We see these kinds of issues in society not only in religious circles but in our social transactions. Regarding the brief discussion of presence of Allah in Masjid and Mandir, the premise of kid’s argument is, what i will call is very innocent and natural. On the other hand, the response of old man is not so wise and in line with the Islamic teachings of such a discourse in hand.

Leaving religion aside, the old man should have explained the kid that this food is meant to be received by the person whom it is intended for (Obeying parents is more important here). For the sake of argument if we take in consideration that the child has got a notion that the food is being offered to a “God”, the old man should have explained that the food is made for mortal being like humans and animals and not for God. Instead, food can be given to poor and needy directly without any ritualistic means of religious nature.

For the question on, if Allah is everywhere, why is not he present in the Mandir, or conversely if we call referred deity “Bhagwan” to be present everywhere, why is he not in the Masjid, let’s analyse this premise in some specifics here. First of all, the deity referred in Hinduism (taught to general hindu masses) are considered as the intermediaries or tools (as swami Jaggi Vasudev aka Sadhguru refers in his talks) to practice spiritual exercise in an effort to realise divine presence, referred “God” in some sense. In Islam the term Allah is used for one God, who is the reason for all existence we see and is the creator of this space and time continuum we see and experience. There is a distinction in the concept in Islam as we believe Allah to be ultimate creator and separate from its creation (in an empirical sense), however Allah’s knowledge encompasses all the creation. This contrast is referred as Pantheism (in Hinduism) and Monotheism (in Islam). So for Muslims, a mosque is not a place where God or its any intermediaries exist in any form we can rationalise, however it is just a place where Muslims gather to remember Allah. Allah is beyond what we can comprehend or imagine and is not limited to a specific piece of land. The importance of Masjid exists as its sole purpose of existence is to facilitate group prayers and imparting religious knowledge. Nothing less nothing more. Whereas in Mandirs, we have specific deities, the priests, offerings and specific rituals of religious importance. This is the reason kid’s mother sent the food for a Pandit, as it is with a belief that with some rituals associated with specific jaap/mantras if the food is served to poor, ultimately its equivalent form will reach to the soul of deceased in heavenly realm. However, if the same food is served in Masjid, A) A masjid do not entertain food and religious rituals to satisfy any dead person in heavenly realm, B) It will be dishonest for a masjid Imam to take the food and upset the daughter (or son) of the dead person. The portrayal of old man’s hesitation reflects point (B), as in Indian subcontinent, getting offended on religious grounds cost dearly, even life and especially if you happen to be a minority [“Muslims minority in Hindu majority” or “Hindu minority in Muslim majority”].

How can we explain this difficult situation to a 7 years old kid?

Well, it starts at home. It starts with rising above superstitions and a sincere reconciliation with what we believe in. The Imam could have explained what is “God”, “Soul” and “Nature”  and should have advised the kid to feed the poor instead of offering on an idol (if the kid was a Hindu) or a dead person in a grave (if the kid was a Muslim). Parents should look for an opportunity to work on religious ethos, rather than dry practises. It is important to give a poor and needy a blanket, rather than offering chaadar on Dargah and feed the poor directly rather taking a redtape route via a stone idol in Mandir. If we practice religion with the right spirit, in line with scriptures and question superstitions, we will live a life of love and our actions will cement the differences, else we will be fighting on differences created by politicians and religious gurus. Religion is to acknowledge the spiritual component of our self which calls for being Good and tells us to avoid immoralities, and if we escape this calling we are just another animal in a race of survival of fittest, where nothing is Good or Bad, except to survive and excel in the race. We choose what we are destined for.

 

 

A miracle called water

Water is beautiful. As seas it is delightful to look at. People sit for hours at the shore, doing nothing but looking at the waves rolling against the land. As lakes it is no less captivating; its smooth surface, like a plain sheet, with ripples, is mysteriously soul-touching. Falling down the cliffs, its beauty is breathtaking. It evokes romantic feelings too as it manoeuvres across in rivers, taking odd turns. Springs have their own attraction. People travel long distances to drink in handfuls from a mountain spring. As ice spread over the landscape it is no less enthralling. And it lends beauty to mountain tops clothing them in glory. Falling down as snow, it offers another fascinating sight. And as a long-awaited downpour, it pulls people out into the open to receive it on their bodies. In fact, even in small quantities it is effective. As tears in women’s eyes, it helps soften the hearts of men.

Even its sound is beautiful. As it crashes down a waterfall with a roar, it invites people to come close. As waves, it pounds the land with a rhythmic corral-music. As mountain brooks, it makes a hustling sound that touches the soul. As it clatters on the roofs raining deep in night, people wake up from their slumber, but soon the noise merges with their dreams, and with the music of the noise steadily receding, they go back to a heavier and sweeter slumber. It is also a refreshing agent. A mere face-wash is refreshing. A bath can do by way of removal of fatigue, what nothing else can. A good shower freshens the face of the landscape to lift a downcast soul.

There is about 1.4 billion cubic kilometer of water on earth of which humans consume an infinitesimal amount. Can water be ever used up? No. It is recycled. Because of nature’s water cycle, there is as much water on earth today as there ever was – or ever will be.  Water changes only from one form to another, and moves from one place to another. The water you drink now could have been in the Zam Zam well sometime back. It has passed through thousands of humans, animals and plants before it will go through your body. We are related to others of the humankind in more than one way.

What are the constituents of water? Oxygen and hydrogen: both are gases. But when the two are mixed in the ratio of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms a miracle happens. That miracle is water. And the bonding is pretty strong. It will require lot of energy to separate the two. (It will need to be heated to 2,0000 C, to break the bond and separate apart the oxygen and hydrogen atoms). When the mixture evaporates, therefore, it evaporates as water molecules. The oxygen and hydrogen atoms do not separate out. Had the bond broken when heated, we would be in serious trouble not knowing how to combine them together to get back our water.

To be sure, today, no more water comes into existence. That requires large amounts of oxygen and hydrogen in the atmosphere, and at the same pressure level. Oxygen happens to be there. It is about 25% of the atmosphere. But hydrogen is a trace element, i.e., found in small quantity. Further the two are not found at the same level in the atmosphere. Oxygen being 16 times heavier than hydrogen stays at lower levels, whereas hydrogen rises to upper levels, from where, some of it actually escapes into space. There is no opportunity for the two, therefore, to combine together.

The time of the earliest presence of water on earth, and its early quantities could not be determined scientifically. But it is not difficult to guess that once all water would have been in the atmosphere. As its both constituents – hydrogen and oxygen – are gases, they could have only been in the atmosphere, where by some mechanism, they coalesced and eventually came down as water to settle into the seas. (The Encyclopedia Britannica explains the process in quite some detail). It is conjectured that it must have rained heavily for thousands of years. The Qur’an is specific about it (50: 9), “And We sent down (in heavy quantities), from the heaven water, blessed, and brought out thereby gardens and the harvest-grain.” The word for bringing down is not simply anzalnaa but rather, nazzalnaa which is for exaggeration lending the meaning of bringing down heavily.

The Qur’an in fact seems to be quite assertive about the fact that water was once sent down from above in large quantities.

It is said, (78: 6-14),

“Have We not made the earth as a wide expanse, and the mountains as pegs? And (have We not) created you in pairs, and made your sleep for rest? And (have We not) made the night as a covering, and made the day as a means of subsistence? And (have We not) built over you the seven firmaments, and placed (therein) a light of splendour? And have We not sent down from the clouds water in abundance?”

Here the word used for abundance is thajjaajan which is used for pouring out in large quantities. Further, since all the blessings recounted above are those which occurred at the time of creation, the verse speaking of rain also seems to be speaking of the coming down of heavy amount of it in the earlier stages of the earth. Thus the Qur’an confirms the facts that science has been able to discover only lately. Asimov wrote: “In the early stages of the earth’s history, even if our planet was then moderately hot, all the water must have been in the form of vapour. Some geologists believe that the water was then concentrated in the atmosphere as a dense cloud of gas, and that, after the earth cooled, it fell in torrents to form the oceans.” (Asimov’s New Guide to Science, Isaac Asimov, Penguin Pub., 1984, p. 229).

This matches with the Qur’anic description (80: 25), “(Let man consider) How We poured forth water in great quantities.” (The original uses the word sabban which is like emptying a bucket full of water).

Water has properties that are so unique to it that it deserves to be called a miracle. It is the only element that is present on the earth as solid, liquid, and gas. No other substance appears in these three states within the earth’s normal range of temperature. And this temperature itself is possible because planet earth has been placed at the right distance. It is at 93 million miles from the sun in a sphere around it known as the eco-sphere. Nearer, the earth would have been too hot, and more distant, it would have been too cold, both conditions not favoring life.

That water is liquid has made possible the appearance of life on earth. No other common substance is liquid at ordinary temperatures. In fact, the temperatures at which water is a liquid are unusual. Water is a liquid between 00 C, its freezing point, and 100 C, its boiling point.  But other substances with a structure like that of water are not liquid in this temperature range. These substances include gases that contain two atoms of hydrogen, plus an atom of the elements. E.g., Tellurium, Selenium, or Sulphur.  Their formulas show how close they are to water: H2Te, H2Se, H2S. Thus, H2S is made from two atoms of  Hydrogen and one atom of Sulphur (just like two atoms of Hydrogen and one atom of Oxygen, which makes a molecule of water). But H2S does not become liquid. “At room temperatures, H2S is a gas, not a liquid. In fact, the temperature has to drop to -860 C before H2S freezes into solid:” (Cell and Molecular Biology, Gerald Karp, John Wiley & Sons, 1996, p. 37, f.n.). All these substances then, H2Te, H2Se, or H2S, although so close to water, are not found in liquid form on the earth at normal temperatures. If water behaved like these close relatives, it would be a liquid between about -1000 C and -900 C.  In that case, there would be no liquid water on earth because the earth’s temperatures are far higher than –1000 C.

Surface tension is another unique property of water. This property is the ability of a substance to stick to itself and pull itself together. Water’s surface tension is extremely high. A dripping tap shows how water sticks to itself. As the water drips, each drop clings to the tap, stretches, lets go, and then snaps into a tiny ball. Water molecules cling together so tightly that water can support objects heavier than itself. For example, a needle or a razor blade can float on water. Insects can walk on water. Water can also stick to other substances, such as cloth, glass, and soil. It is this property that helps us wipe water off our faces.

Another of water’s quality is its ability to climb up a surface against the pull of gravity. You can see water’s climbing ability in a glass of water. The water is higher around the edges, where it touches the glass. This quality helps it circulate through soil, and up through the roots and stems of plants. It also helps circulate blood, which is mostly water, throughout our bodies, since blood has to climb up from the feet to the heart and further up the head.

Yet another of water’s qualities is that it is a good solvent. It dissolves the hardest rocks as it runs over the land and seeps through the ground. In time, it carries the dissolved materials to the oceans where it undergoes circulation. It dissolves and carries the nutrients in the soil to plants and to the cells within plants. Water also dissolves the food that people and animals eat, and then carries this food to the cells. If the substances did not dissolve in water, like they do not in honey, then the stomach would have been unable to send the digested food to the cells of the body. Yet, strangely, when substances dissolve into water, water molecules do not hold them into strong bonds. But rather, in very weak bonds that separate out whenever need arises. E.g., it is the medium through which materials are transported from one compartment of the cell to another. However, once the material reaches the destination, magically, water is separated out from the nutrients, said thanks, and dismissed. Without water as the solvent and carrier, cells would not function.  Yet, water, although such a great solvent and also reactive with many agents, is the least reactive liquid compared to many alkalis and acids, which react very strongly and dissolve anything that gets in touch with them. Sulphur-dioxide for example, reacts strongly. It will make a hole if you poured a quantity of it in your palm.

If water did not make weak bonds with the material it dissolves, the dissolved material would have risen with water molecules when they rise up as vapors. For example, sea-water has about 1% of salts dissolved in water. There are other chemicals too. But, when water rises up, it breaks away from the other materials to escape as water molecule alone: without any impurity whatsoever. This is a great quality of water which is the sole reason for bringing us sweet water from the seas.

Allah said about this (56: 68-70), “Have you considered the water you drink? Did you bring it down from the clouds or was it We who brought it down? Had We wished, We could have made it bitter. Therefore, why do you not give thanks?”

Water stands apart from every other substance in one of its strange qualities. It contracts as it cools until just before freezing, after which it expands until it becomes ice. This is a unique property of water among all liquids. (And it seems it violates nature’s laws). Most substances contract as they grow colder. Water also contracts when cooled. But that is only up to 40 C. If cooled further, to say less than 40 C, it expands. At 00 C when it becomes ice it occupies more space than the same amount of liquid water since it has expanded. For this reason it floats over liquid water. This is a great property and absolutely essential for all life on earth. If ice had contracted, it would sink and settle at the bottom. If that was the case, each winter more and more of ice would accumulate at the bottom and slowly the entire water system would turn solid. What would remain is a thin sheet of water, at the top, and only in summer but the rest of it ice. In winter it will be all ice and water cycle would stop to function. The thin sheet of water would have absorbed the heat preventing the ice at the bottom from becoming liquid. But, because ice expands in volume, it floats at top so as to prevent the cooling of water below the surface. (In laboratory experiments, the upper part of a container of water with ice at bottom was heated from above to boiling temperature, but ice did not melt at bottom).  If not for this property, (a) most of the water on earth would be permanently frozen into vast beds of ice. (b) This also helps in cracking rocks through ice formation in fissures. This is very important for washing and bringing in more chemicals to the soil below.

When ice melts or water evaporates, heat is absorbed from the environment. Heat is released when the reverse happens. This is known as latent heat. The latent heat of freezed water is again one of the highest of all known liquids. If not for this property, (a) the climate would be subject to far more rapid changes. Small lakes and rivers would vanish and reappear constantly. (b) Warm-blooded animals would have a far harder time ridding their bodies of heat. E.g., a person’s body working hard for an hour “generates energy equal to 1,000 kilocalories of heat” (Michael J. Denton), which would raise the temperature of the body by 10 degrees, killing instantly if the heat is not released to the atmosphere. The body does this by sweating “and the heat required for the sweat to evaporate is taken from the body, which thus becomes cooler” (Gerald Karp). Actually, as Denton points out, “the large heat capacity, high latent heat of evaporation, heat conductivity, and low viscosity (of water) conspire to serve the end of temperature regulation in a large organism like a man” (Nature’s Destiny, p. 42).

Water is different from all other elements in one another quality: specific heat. The thermal capacity or specific heat of water, (which is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of water by one degree centigrade) is higher than most other liquids. If not for this, the difference between summer and winter would be extreme and weather patterns would be less stable. It takes in lots of heat before boiling. It boils at 100 C. Had it boiled at lower temperatures, the earth, whose temperature is largely controlled by the watery sea, would have had very different weather conditions. We might quote Asimov again: “In general, the greater the molecular weight, the higher the boiling point. Water, with a molecular weight of only 18, boils at 100 C., whereas Propane, with more than twice this molecular weight (44), boils at much lower temperature of – 420C.” (Asimov’s New Guide to Science, Isaac Asimov, Penguin Pub., 1984, p. 476). This is another quality that is essential for life’s survival. E.g., humans need to remove their body heat. Otherwise they would die from internal heat.

We are far from finished with water’s very strange properties. The thermal conductivity of water, (which is the capacity to conduct heat), is four times greater than any other common liquid. Without this, it would be harder for cells which cannot use convection currents to distribute heat evenly throughout the cell. The thermal conductivities of ice and snow are low. If they were high, the survival of many forms of life in the higher latitudes would be lost. Also, water would cool more rapidly and small lakes would be more likely to freeze completely.

Again, water has a very high surface tension: the highest than any liquid except Selenium. This helps draw the water up through the soil within the reach of the roots and assists its rise from the roots to branches in tall trees. If surface tension of water was the same as most other liquids, tall trees would not have received water at the top branches.

We should consider another property of water: its viscosity. The viscosity of tar, olive oil, or sulfuric acid, are 10 billion times, one hundred times and twenty-five times that of water. Water’s viscosity is almost the lowest among the liquids. If it was higher, marine life would have been either extremely difficult, or impossible. Living bodies couldn’t move in water. If viscosity was slightly higher, any movement of material within the cell would be impossible. In fact, the cells themselves wouldn’t have been able to replicate, or move about. Blood circulation through extremely tiny capillaries would have been impossible if the viscosity of water was any higher. And, strangely, if the viscosity was lower, blood circulation would yet be more difficult.

The density of Water is one gram per cubic centimeter. This plays a very important role in marine life. If water was a little more dense all the living organisms in the sea would have been possible only at the top surface. There would be no life at the bottom of the sea. And if was a fraction less dense, all marine life would sink to the bottom of the sea, without the possibility of any life at the upper level.

Life, therefore, depends entirely on the strange properties of water. Protoplasm is the basis of all living matter, and the vital power of protoplasm depends on the constant presence of water. Also, replication is the key to the propagation of life. But no replication would be possible without water. Indeed, it is hard to even think of life except in a liquid state. A little consideration tells us that gases cannot be the ingredients of a living body. For atoms in a gas are volatile, always moving about, jutting into each other, and bouncing away. How can we create a cell with complicated machinery inside with the help of atoms floating around? Or, consider solids. Each atom in a solid is tightly held and is under compression from all sides. How could we make cells from it and make them replicate themselves?

It is not surprising then, that the Qur’an should have spoken so much about water in a very meaningful way. It compared this life to the cycle of water.

It is said (18: 45), “Strike for them the example of the life of the world: Like water that We sent down from heaven. Then the vegetation of the earth mingled with it (and grew up). Then it became dry and broken which the winds scatter about. And Allah has Power over everything.”

We might quote Michael J. Denton here, “.. Water gives the appearance of being uniquely fit for the type of carbon-based life that exists on earth. Every one of its chemical and physical properties seems maximally fit not only for microscopic life but also for large warm-blooded organisms such as mammals.. If the properties of water were not almost precisely what they are, carbon-based life would in all probability be impossible. Even the viscosity of ice is fit. If it were any greater then all the water on earth might be trapped in vast immobile ice sheets at the poles. If the thermal properties of water were even slightly different, the maintenance of stable body temperatures in warm-blooded organisms would be problematical. No other liquid comes close to water as the ideal medium for carbon-based life.” (Nature’s Destiny, The Free Press, 1998, p.19).

The greatest surprise however is from the other miracle, the Qur’an, which asserts that all life is created of water.

It says (24: 45), “Allah created all creations from water.”

This is a statement the like of which is found in no other book as old as the Qur’an. The information as it came 1400 years ago is amazing. For, it is science of the modern times alone that informs us that not only all life is water, but it is impossible to have life, as we understand it, without water. In fact, not only is life impossible without water, but water is the major component of all life: A human is 60 – 65% water.  An elephant is about 70% water, a potato 80% and tomato 95%. If our body loses 20% of its water, we will die in a short time. That is true of all living bodies. We all live in water as much as fishes do.

J.Z. Young adds his voice: “It has been suggested that Ammonia might substitute for water in life-like systems elsewhere in the universe. But Ammonia is liquid only between -770 C and -330  C. A further serious disadvantage is that solid Ammonia is denser than the liquid, whereas ice floats. Furthermore, if ammonia was split by organisms as water is by photosynthesis, it would presumably produce Nitrogen, which would never have filled the place that oxygen has in making energy available for life.” (An Introduction to the Study of  Man, J.Z. Young, ELBS pub., 1979, p. 25).

In another place the Qur’an asserts (21: 30), “Have not the unbelievers seen that the heavens and the earth were joined together; then We burst-separated the two; and that We created all living being from water? Will they not then believe?” And it said about the human beings (25: 54), “It is He who created out of water a man, and then appointed for him kindred by blood and kindred by marriage.”

And the messenger who brought the Qur’an, seems to have well understood the implications. When asked at a well by a suspecting and could-be informer as to where he was from, he replied, “We are of water” and moved off. The man quipped while he looked at the fading figures of the Prophet and his two Companions: “Water? Which water? Of Iraq?”

We can conclude with Michael J. Denton’s remark, “There is indeed no other fluid which is remotely competitive with water as the medium for carbon-based life. If water did not exist, it would have to be invented. Without the long chain of vital coincidences in the physical and chemical properties of water, carbon-based life could not exist in any form remotely comparable with that which exists on earth.” (Nature’s Destiny, p. 46).

Source: Young Muslim Digest, Editorial, July-2003

https://messageofislaam.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/a-miracle-called-water/

The Obvious Crime of Dr. Zakir Naik.

In a casual discussion some of my friends says Dr. Naik demean and mocks other religions. He says only Islam is the best religion.

When truth is presented, its our attitude which decide how we take it. Dr. Naik talks equally about the wrong practices of Islam which has attracted a sizeable opposition in muslim community as well.

Those people who are not ready to accept the truth will always find good speech, advise and deeds offensive. They say there is no absolute right and wrong. Whatever suits to our taste, desires, logic and understanding is right. They think morality as an evolutionary process, and don’t expect any criticism from holy scriptures. To them holy scriptures are just for bookshelves, an identity to belong to, a tool to be executed in the matter of life, death and special occasions. This is darkness, disbelief and superstition. They stand for “don’t preach, and don’t correct, we are happy”. They don’t want to offload burden of ignorance, custom, culture and developed hatred they carry for others.

Dr. Naik do not say undermine any other religion or culture however he corrects people’s belief and call for what is in the scriptures to be followed.

However this calls people to change and follow the true religion. Most of the people with their continued disbelief have hardened their heart so much that any correction call seems offensive and satanic proud calls for rejection.

This is not religion A vs. religion B. This is about a personal inclination towards goodness. If we do not want to be good and do not get an urge for moral upliftment, we resist and follow our desires.

These are the same people who conspired with Roman Empire against Jesus(pbuh). These are the same people who killed Gandhi. MalcomX and JFK. They can’t handle truth. “You smell logical, truth, … Well” Bang. You are dead. Echo my sentiments, else face the wrath of my sentimental lynching.

These are the same people who stoned Muhammad(pbuh) in Taif. We are in power, we are more, we control politics. How dare you stand with your truth?

These are the same who boycotted Rasulullah(pbuh) in Makkah. The same evildoers of no consciousness.

Dr Naik. Dr Zakir Naik is fortunate to live the life of those who we take as an inspiration. It’s a victory to stand on truth like a lion and be killed rather hiding, killing self consciousness and to be in herd of greedy wolves.

#SupportZakirNaik
#SupportTheTruth

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Following verses are from Holy Quran worth reminding.

Holy Quran Chapter 22, 52-60

Satan’s Influence

52. Whenever We sent a messenger or a prophet before you ˹ O Prophet ˺ and he recited ˹ Our revelations ˺, Satan would influence ˹ people’s understanding of ˺ his recitation. But ˹ eventually ˺ Allah would eliminate Satan’s influence. Then Allah would ˹ firmly ˺ establish His revelations. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. 53. All that so He may make Satan’s influence a trial for those ˹ hypocrites ˺ whose hearts are sick and those ˹ disbelievers ˺ whose hearts are hardened. Surely the wrongdoers are totally engrossed in opposition. 54. ˹ This is ˺ also so that those gifted with knowledge would know that this ˹ revelation ˺ is the truth from your Lord, so they have faith in it, and so their hearts would submit humbly to it. And Allah surely guides the believers to the Straight Path. 55. Yet the disbelievers will persist in doubt about this ˹ revelation ˺ until the Hour takes them by surprise, or the torment of a terminating[ 664] Day comes to them.

Justice on Judgment Day

56. All authority on that Day is for Allah ˹ alone ˺.[ 665] He will judge between them. So those who believe and do good will be in the Gardens of Bliss. 57. But those who disbelieve and deny Our revelations, it is they who will suffer a humiliating punishment. 58. As for those who emigrate in the cause of Allah and then are martyred or die, Allah will indeed grant them a good provision. Surely Allah is the Best Provider. 59. He will certainly admit them into a place they will be pleased with. For Allah is truly All-Knowing, Most Forbearing.

Divine Justice

60. That is so. And whoever retaliates in equivalence to the injury they have received, and then are wronged ˹ again ˺, Allah will certainly help them. Surely Allah is Ever-Pardoning, All-Forgiving.

اسلام اور ریاست — ایک جوابی بیانیہ‘‘ پر تنقیدات کے جواب میں لکھا گیا

[’’اسلام اور ریاست — ایک جوابی بیانیہ‘‘ پر تنقیدات کے جواب میں لکھا گیا۔]

اِس میں شبہ نہیں کہ خلافت کا لفظ اب کئی صدیوں سے اصطلاح کے طور پر استعمال ہوتا ہے، لیکن یہ ہرگز کوئی دینی اصطلاح نہیں ہے۔ دینی اصطلاحات رازی، غزالی، ماوردی، ابن حزم اور ابن خلدون کے بنانے سے نہیں بنتیں اور نہ ہر وہ لفظ جسے مسلمان کسی خاص مفہوم میں استعمال کرنا شروع کر دیں، دینی اصطلاح بن جاتا ہے۔ یہ اللہ اور اُس کے رسولوں کے بنانے سے بنتی ہیں اور اُسی وقت قابل تسلیم ہوتی ہیں، جب اِن کا اصطلاحی مفہوم قرآن و حدیث کے نصوص یا دوسرے الہامی صحائف سے ثابت کر دیا جائے۔ صوم، صلوٰۃ اور حج و عمرہ وغیرہ اِسی لیے دینی اصطلاحات ہیں کہ اُنھیں اللہ اور اُس کے رسولوں نے یہ حیثیت دی ہے اور جگہ جگہ اُن کے اصطلاحی مفہوم میں استعمال کیا ہے۔ لفظ ’خلافت‘ اِس کے برخلاف عربی زبان کا ایک لفظ ہے اور نیابت، جانشینی اور حکومت و اقتدار کے معنی میں استعمال ہوتا ہے۔ یہ اِس کے لغوی مفاہیم ہیں اور قرآن و حدیث میں ہر جگہ یہ اپنے اِن لغوی مفاہیم ہی میں سے کسی ایک مفہوم میں استعمال ہوا ہے۔ چنانچہ قرآن کی جو آیات ’خلیفہ‘ اور ’خلافت‘ کے الفاظ کو اُن کے ترجمے میں بعینہٖ قائم رکھ کر لوگوں کو یہ باور کرانے کے لیے پیش کی گئی ہیں کہ قرآن نے یہ لفظ کسی خاص اصطلاحی مفہوم میں استعمال کیا ہے، اُنھیں کسی مستند ترجمے یا تفسیر میں دیکھ لیجیے، حقیقت اِس طرح واضح ہو جائے گی کہ آپ کے پاس بھی تبصرے کے لیے کوئی الفاظ باقی نہیں رہیں گے، جس طرح کہ میرے ناقدین میں سے ایک صاحب علم کے پاس نہیں رہے ہیں۔ میں یہاں دو جلیل القدر علما کے تراجم پیش کیے دیتا ہوں۔ ملاحظہ فرمائیے:

۱۔ سورۂ بقرہ (۲) کی آیت ۳۰۔

’’اور جب کہا تیرے رب نے فرشتوں کو، مجھ کو بنانا ہے زمین میں ایک نائب۔‘‘ (شاہ عبدالقادر)

’’اور جب کہا تیرے رب نے فرشتوں کو کہ میں بنانے والا ہوں زمین میں ایک نائب۔‘‘ (مولانا محمود الحسن)

۲۔ سورۂ ص (۳۸) کی آیت ۲۶۔

’’اے داؤد، ہم نے کیا تجھ کو نائب ملک میں، سو تو حکومت کر لوگوں میں انصاف سے۔‘‘ (شاہ عبدالقادر)

’’اے داؤد، ہم نے کیا تجھ کو نائب ملک میں، سو تو حکومت کر لوگوں میں انصاف سے۔‘‘ (مولانا محمود الحسن)

۳۔ سورۂ نور (۲۴) کی آیت ۵۵۔

’’وعدہ دیا اللہ نے جو لوگ تم میں ایمان لائے ہیں اور کیے ہیں اُنھوں نے نیک کام، البتہ پیچھے حاکم کرے گا اُن کو ملک میں، جیسا حاکم کیا تھا اُن سے اگلوں کو۔‘‘ (شاہ عبدالقادر)

’’وعدہ کر لیا اللہ نے اُن لوگوں سے جو تم میں ایمان لائے ہیں اور کیے ہیں اُنھوں نے نیک کام، البتہ پیچھے حاکم کرے گا اُن کو ملک میں، جیسا حاکم کیا تھا اُن سے اگلوں کو۔‘‘ (مولانا محمود الحسن)

’نائب‘ اور ’حاکم‘ کے الفاظ اِن آیتوں میں ’خَلِیْفَۃ‘ اور ’اِسْتِخْلَاف‘ کا ترجمہ ہیں اور صاف واضح ہے کہ اپنے اندر کوئی دینی مفہوم نہیں رکھتے، الاّ یہ کہ کوئی شخص یہ دعویٰ کرنے کا حوصلہ کر لے کہ عربی زبان کا ہر وہ لفظ جو قرآن میں استعمال کیا گیا ہو، دینی اصطلاح بن جاتا ہے۔

یہی صورت حال احادیث و آثار کی ہے۔ اُن میں بھی لفظ ’خلافت‘ اور اِس کے تمام مشتقات اُنھی مفاہیم میں استعمال کیے گئے ہیں جو اوپر بیان ہوئے ہیں، یہاں تک کہ جانشین کے معنی میں لفظ ’خَلِیْفَۃ‘ خود اللہ تعالیٰ کے لیے بھی استعمال ہوا ہے۔ یہی سبب ہے کہ ’ہدایت یافتہ حکومت‘ یا ’نبوت کے طریقے پر حکومت‘، جیسے مدعا کو ادا کرنا مقصود ہو تو اُس کے لیے یہ لفظ تنہا کافی نہیں ہوتا، بلکہ اِس کے ساتھ ’راشدہ‘ اور ’علیٰ منہاج النبوۃ‘ جیسی تعبیرات کا اضافہ کرنا پڑتا ہے۔ ہمارے علما نے اِسی طرح کی تعبیرات کو مقدر مان کر خلافت کو ایک اصطلاح بنایا ہے۔ اِس لحاظ سے یہ مسلمانوں کے علم سیاست اور عمرانیات کی ایک اصطلاح تو یقیناًہو سکتی ہے، جیسے فقہ، کلام، حدیث اور اِس طرح کے دوسرے علوم کی اصطلاحات ہیں، مگر دینی اصطلاح نہیں ہو سکتی۔ اللہ اور رسول کے سوا کسی کی ہستی نہیں ہے کہ وہ کسی لفظ کو دینی اصطلاح قرار دے۔ یہ اُنھی کا حق ہے اور کسی لفظ کے بارے میں یہ دعویٰ کہ وہ دینی اصطلاح ہے، اُنھی کے ارشادات سے ثابت کیا جائے گا۔ یہ ابن خلدون کے مقدمے سے ثابت نہیں کیا جا سکتا۔

رہی یہ بات کہ دنیا میں مسلمانوں کی ایک ہی حکومت ہونی چاہیے اور یہ اسلام کا حکم ہے تو قرآن سے واقف ہر صاحب علم جانتا ہے کہ وہ اِس طرح کے کسی حکم سے یکسر خالی ہے۔ دو حدیثیں، البتہ اِس کے حق میں پیش کی جاتی ہیں: اُن میں سے ایک یہ ہے کہ رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم نے فرمایا: بنی اسرائیل پر نبی حکومت کرتے تھے۔ چنانچہ ایک نبی دنیا سے رخصت ہوتا تو دوسرا اُس کی جگہ لے لیتا تھا، لیکن میرے بعد کوئی نبی نہیں ہے، حکمران، البتہ ہوں گے اور بہت ہوں گے۔ پوچھا گیا: اُن کے بارے میں آپ ہمیں کیا حکم دیتے ہیں؟ آپ نے فرمایا: پہلے کے ساتھ عہد اطاعت کو پورا کرو، پھر اُس کے ساتھ جو اُس کے بعد پہلا ہو۔* دوسری یہ ہے کہ جب دو حکمرانوں کی بیعت کر لی جائے تو دوسرے کو قتل کر دو۔ ** اِس دوسری حدیث پر تو اگرچہ سند کے لحاظ سے بھی بہت کچھ کلام کیا گیا ہے، لیکن برسبیل تنزل مان لیجیے، تب بھی یہ حقیقت ناقابل انکار ہے کہ اِن حدیثوں میں وہ بات ہرگز نہیں کہی گئی جو اِن سے ثابت کرنے کی کوشش کی جاتی ہے۔ اِن میں جو کچھ کہا گیا ہے، وہ یہ ہے کہ مسلمان اگر اپنی حکومت کے لیے کسی شخص کے ہاتھ پر بیعت کر لیں اور اِس کے بعد کوئی دوسرا بغاوت کر کے اٹھ کھڑا ہو اور لوگوں کو بیعت کی دعوت دے تو ہر مسلمان کو پہلی بیعت پر قائم رہنا چاہیے۔ نیز یہ کہ اگر دوسرا اپنی حکومت کا اعلان کر دے اور کچھ لوگ اُس کی بیعت بھی کر لیں تو اُس کو قتل کر دیا جائے۔

یہ، ظاہر ہے کہ ایسی ہدایات ہیں جن کی معقولیت ہر شخص پر واضح کی جا سکتی ہے۔ چنانچہ رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم کے دنیا سے رخصت ہو جانے کے بعد جب انصار میں سے ایک شخص نے یہ تجویز پیش کی کہ انصار اور مہاجرین، دونوں میں سے ایک ایک حکمران بنا لیا جائے تو سیدنا عمر نے اِسی اصول پر فرمایا کہ یہ تو ایک نیام میں دو تلواریں ہو جائیں گی اور صدیق اکبر رضی اللہ عنہ نے بھی اِس موقع پر لوگوں کو متنبہ کیا کہ ایک ہی مملکت میں دو حکمران نہیں ہو سکتے۔ اِس لیے کہ اِس کا نتیجہ یہی نکلے گا کہ سخت اختلافات پیدا ہو جائیں گے، صلاح کے بجاے فساد بڑھے گا، پورا نظم منتشر ہو کر رہ جائے گا اور رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم نے لوگوں کو جس طریقے پر چھوڑا تھا، اُس کی جگہ یہ بدعت لے لے گی کہ ایک ہی مملکت میں دو لوگ حکومت کر رہے ہوں گے۔ ***

اِن روایتوں کی نسبت اگر خدا کے پیغمبر کی طرف صحیح ہے تو آپ نے جو کچھ فرمایا، وہ یہی تھا۔ اِن سے یہ بات کسی منطق سے بھی برآمد نہیں کی جا سکتی کہ اسلام نے اپنے ماننے والوں کو دنیا میں ایک ہی حکومت قائم کرنے کا حکم دیا ہے اور اسلام کے داعی اگر کبھی امریکہ، برطانیہ یا دنیا کے کسی دوسرے ملک میں لوگوں کی اکثریت کو مشرف بہ اسلام کرنے میں کامیاب ہو جائیں تو اِن احادیث و آثار کی رو سے وہ اپنے ملک میں اپنی الگ حکومت قائم نہیں کر سکتے اور اگر کریں گے تو گناہ گار ہوں گے، جس طرح کہ اِس وقت پچاس کے قریب ممالک کے مسلمان ہو رہے ہیں۔
علما کو متنبہ رہنا چاہیے کہ خدا کے دین میں جو بات جتنی ہو، اُسے اتنا ہی رکھا جائے۔ یہ کسی عالم اور فقیہ اور محدث کا حق نہیں ہے کہ وہ لوگوں کو ایک ایسی بات کا مکلف ٹھیرائے جس کا مکلف اُن کے پروردگار نے اُن کو نہیں ٹھیرایا ہے۔ چنانچہ میں نے لکھا ہے اور ایک مرتبہ پھر دہرا رہا ہوں کہ جن ملکوں میں مسلمانوں کی اکثریت ہے، اُن کی ایک ریاست ہاے متحدہ کا قیام ہم میں سے ہر شخص کی خواہش ہو سکتی ہے اور ہم اِس کو پورا کرنے کی جدوجہد بھی کر سکتے ہیں، لیکن اِس خیال کی کوئی بنیاد نہیں ہے کہ یہ اسلامی شریعت کا کوئی حکم ہے جس کی خلاف ورزی سے مسلمان گناہ کے مرتکب ہو رہے ہیں۔

[۲۰۱۵ء]

_____

* بخاری، رقم ۳۴۵۵۔ مسلم، رقم ۱۸۴۲۔
** مسلم، رقم ۱۸۵۳۔
*** السنن الکبریٰ، بیہقی، رقم ۱۶۵۴۹۔ ۱۶۵۵۰۔

____________

https://www.javedahmedghamidi.org/#!/blog/5aa583115e891e8f44a39f3b

Islamic Shariah

Screen Shot 2019-03-24 at 9.45.45 amIn the mountains of Northern New Mexico at the world famous Abiquiu Madressah, Hamza Yusuf elaborates on the six elements thatshari’ah seeks to preserve in society. Part of the widely popular Deen Intensive program, this session is an opportunity to see a unique side of Imam Hamza within the context of an informal and interactive study group. After a comprehensive look at how shari’ah preserves the deen, this session covers five other areas: the preservation of life, lineage, wealth, intellect and honor. Other topics discussed: religion vs. ritual, the power of superstition, morality, the permissibility of adoption, changing one’s name upon converting to Islam, punishment for theft and adultery, public/private education, and extremism.

The Six Elemnts of Shariah

  • Preserving the Deen i.e. Tawheed i.e. Islamic monotheism
  • Preserving life
  • Lineage
  • Property
  • Intellect
  • Honour

The Five principle of Jurisprudence

  • Intention
  • Certainty is the foundation and not ruled by doubt.
  • Difficulty necessitate facilitation
  • Harm is removed
  • Norms are binding

Reflecting on Al-Ghazali

The more I read and study Al-Ghazali (may God have mercy on him), the more I realise his work is relevant for us in the 21st Century. His focus was the human heart. He realised that all of our actions were ultimately a derivative of our spiritual state.

Deeply studying the Quran and Prophetic traditions, Al-Ghazali understood that the human heart was the locus of felicity. If it was pure and sound, we would attain success. If it was corrupted and hardened, we would face self-inflicted degradation. From his work we understand that our hearts – in their constant wavering – must be softened with the remembrance of God and kept in check by traversing the path of annihilating the ego.

Al-Ghazali’s work is so relevant for us in our era. We live in a time that celebrates the ego. Don’t misunderstand me here, I’m not referring to other communities – as many like to point the finger and externalise blame. I’m referring to the Muslim community. Just reflect on social media. Everyone wants to be right, no one wants to be wrong; everyone wants to look good, no one wants to look bad; everyone wants to impose, no one wants to be imposed upon. These are the elements of the ego.

Reflect on the Quranic character of shaytaan (interestingly the root of this word means to be away; in essence, removed from God’s mercy and guidance). He disobeyed God and did not bow to Adam. He thought he was better than Adam. He implied God was wrong. He wanted to look good and he did not want to be imposed upon. He refused to obey the ultimate authority: God. From this point of view, shaytaan is our teacher. He teaches us what not to be. He is the ultimate manifestation of a grotesque ego.

Recently, I’ve noticed these elements of the ego in myself, and unfortunately in others. When the general public have come to hear unsubstantiated claims about someone’s sin or mistake, many of their reactions have been nothing short of shaytaanic. Condemnations, hatred, ridicule, self-righteousness, mockery, haughtiness, arrogance and judgements abounded. How many of us had the initial reaction of sadness and concern for the one who may have fallen prey to their lowly desires? How many of us actually supplicated to our Lord to forgive them, elevate them, and shower them with His boundless mercy? How many of us adopted the Islamic ethic of rejecting and disbelieving all unproven accusations? We have been so quick to attack and condemn. We reduced and defined the person by their alleged mistake, not by their consistent goodness.

In reality we saw our selves in the sinner. We didn’t like what we saw. So we turned into devils.

We failed this spiritual test. We sought to destroy the one who erred and in doing so built ourselves a larger ego. This spectacle of egoism says more about ourselves than anything else. We salivated like a pack of hungry hyenas, devouring a rotten carcass. However, while masticating on the flesh and bones, we realised that we were eating our own selves. This self-cannibalism exposed us. It brought out the worse in us.

We must reflect on our inner selves. What motivated these reactions? Why were our responses so dark? Why have we forgotten that we are reflections of each other? Why have we forgotten our sublime ethics?

“The believer is a mirror of another believer.” The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

We have become blinded to the fact that the reflection in the mirror is our own selves. Someone’s sadness is your sadness. Their happiness is your happiness. Their sin is your sin. When we see a blemish in the mirror do we wipe the mirror, or ourselves?

Let’s not forget that a grotesque ego is worse than the sins of the limbs. So what this must teach us is – using the words of Al-Ghazali – that if we aspire to the achieve the state of a tranquil soul, “do not occupy yourself with admonishing others if you have not first admonished yourself.”

May God purify our hearts.

If only we knew.

“The Day [of resurrection] when there will not benefit [anyone] wealth or children. But only one who comes to God with a sound heart.” The Qur’an, Chapter 26, Verses 88 to 89

[If you found this beneficial please share]

—� Br Hamza Tz.

Image Courtesy: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/300826450104449560/

My Dawa’h Experience with a Potential Undercover State Agent.

In this post i would like to share my Dawa’h experience. This experience is related to a specific event which is a kind of a learning in dealing with potential “state agents” “state intelligence officers”, “undercover agents” or “spies” you may call, who often disguise themselves as common civilans and try to probe people. I believe that this is good, as it helps in knowing potential trouble makers, terrorists or people with extreme ideologies who can harm fellow human beings. However, i also believe that, at times these tactics are used to fix vulnerable people in crime and carry out specific acts which helps state’s foreing policies in home policies and abroad.

In this example the conversation i am presenting and the person [referred Mr. X] i am referring is not confirmed to be associated with any state authority. This is just an assumption that he could be a spy and doing a regular investigation for potential security threats in the country. For some reason i am not disclosing the name/identity of this person.

The reason for such a discussion with you guys is to make people aware on how should we approach Dawah and avoid any situation of confrontation. As we all understand and practice the commandments of Holy Quran which command us to convey the message only and do not try to force, or take any means which is against the peaceful engagement. Though we practicing muslims who read and understand Quran understand these points, many people not, and hence these tests come while in Dawah.

Its worth reminding and explaining here why we do Dawah to a “larger audience”. There are few obvious questions which come in mind when people see muslims in field distributing Quran and Islamic literature.

  1. Are they here to convert people?
  2. Do they have any political agenda?
  3. Do they hate non-Muslims?
  4. Are they terrorists?
  5. Do they have any ulterior motive?

IMG_6899

We are not doing Dawah to go and convert people to Islam. Period. The affair of hearts belong to Allah and it is Allah’s divine wisdom that we have so many religions, phoilosophy, race and culture. We consider this life as a test for human beings in myriad of diverse situations which are not in human control and is a part of overall destiny of this universe. The diversity we see around is a part of the same wisdom and test and we should respect the status quo. We do dawah with a simple purpose to “convey the message of Islam” only since it is commanded to do so. It helps in dealing Islamophobia, interact with people and share common understanding.

We do not have any political ulterior motive. We do Dawah since we believe that there is a creator of this vast, precise and beautiful universe and the creator commands believers to convey the divine message to humanity. We believe in the message of Quran and the prophecies of prophet Muhammad pbuh which is taking the shape of relaity every day. Dawa’h is a common practice till the end of time for all muslims to practice as we believe that there is no more further prophet to come. We believe that in the day of judgement Muslims will be judged on the basis of how much they practiced and conveyed the message of Islam.

IMG_5755We can not invite people to the message of Islam unless we love, respect and understand people. Some people get this idea that we are boasting the superiority of Islam over other religion or religious superiority of muslims over non-muslims. This is not the case. What we are doing is first to “present the Islamic message” and then “to invite people” to true monotheism, which is an integral essence of all world’s major religions. Invitation and boasting superiority are two diffferent attitude. We believe that the concept of monotheism and the “word of Almighty God” is intact in its pure form, preserved in the Holy Quran. We are neither terrorists nor sympathises with any crime committed in the name of religion or any other non-religious ideology. We do not have any anti-state agenda in mind or any ulterior motive to participate in any unlawful activity against the state. Islam grounds you in humility, gratefulness and peace. Our believe and conviction is sourced in the divine message of Holy Quran.

Holy Quran says:

“Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knows best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.”

(Qur’an: al-Nahl: -16:125).

Further it says:

“There should be no coercion(compulsion) in religion’

(Qur’an: al-Baqarah -2:256).

It also gives us specific limits of discourse as:

Holy Quran, Al-An’aam (6:107)

وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا أَشْرَكُوا ۗ وَمَا جَعَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا ۖ وَمَا أَنْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ بِوَكِيلٍ

But if Allah had willed, they would not have associated. And We have not appointed you over them as a guardian, nor are you a manager over them.

Hence, it is very clear with these verses that what we do is “to convey the message” of “submission to God’s will” only. We do not have any other intention. If people accept the message, reject the message, mock on us, abuse us or even harm us physically, we are not commanded to retaliate in any unlawful way in the course of Dawah. People who carry hate, will never be coherent with the message of love. We always pray for those who throw stones to our messages.

In situations where we face violent, abusive and coercive response we are commanded to practice patience (as in video above taken in one Dawah session).

Holy Quran, Al-An’aam (6:68-72)

وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَ الَّذِينَ يَخُوضُونَ فِي آيَاتِنَا فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُوا فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ ۚ وَإِمَّا يُنْسِيَنَّكَ الشَّيْطَانُ فَلَا تَقْعُدْ بَعْدَ الذِّكْرَىٰ مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ

And when you see those who engage in [offensive] discourse concerning Our verses, then turn away from them until they enter into another conversation. And if Satan should cause you to forget, then do not remain after the reminder with the wrongdoing people.

وَمَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ مِنْ حِسَابِهِمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ وَلَٰكِنْ ذِكْرَىٰ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ

And those who fear Allah are not held accountable for the disbelievers at all, but [only for] a reminder – that perhaps they will fear Him.

وَذَرِ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا دِينَهُمْ لَعِبًا وَلَهْوًا وَغَرَّتْهُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا ۚ وَذَكِّرْ بِهِ أَنْ تُبْسَلَ نَفْسٌ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ لَيْسَ لَهَا مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلِيٌّ وَلَا شَفِيعٌ وَإِنْ تَعْدِلْ كُلَّ عَدْلٍ لَا يُؤْخَذْ مِنْهَا ۗ أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ أُبْسِلُوا بِمَا كَسَبُوا ۖ لَهُمْ شَرَابٌ مِنْ حَمِيمٍ وَعَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْفُرُونَ

And leave those who take their religion as amusement and diversion and whom the worldly life has deluded. But remind with the Qur’an, lest a soul be given up to destruction for what it earned; it will have other than Allah no protector and no intercessor. And if it should offer every compensation, it would not be taken from it. Those are the ones who are given to destruction for what they have earned. For them will be a drink of scalding water and a painful punishment because they used to disbelieve.

قُلْ أَنَدْعُو مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَنْفَعُنَا وَلَا يَضُرُّنَا وَنُرَدُّ عَلَىٰ أَعْقَابِنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَانَا اللَّهُ كَالَّذِي اسْتَهْوَتْهُ الشَّيَاطِينُ فِي الْأَرْضِ حَيْرَانَ لَهُ أَصْحَابٌ يَدْعُونَهُ إِلَى الْهُدَى ائْتِنَا ۗ قُلْ إِنَّ هُدَى اللَّهِ هُوَ الْهُدَىٰ ۖ وَأُمِرْنَا لِنُسْلِمَ لِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Say, “Shall we invoke instead of Allah that which neither benefits us nor harms us and be turned back on our heels after Allah has guided us? [We would then be] like one whom the devils enticed [to wander] upon the earth confused, [while] he has companions inviting him to guidance, [calling], ‘Come to us.’ ” Say, “Indeed, the guidance of Allah is the [only] guidance; and we have been commanded to submit to the Lord of the worlds.

وَأَنْ أَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَاتَّقُوهُ ۚ وَهُوَ الَّذِي إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ

And to establish prayer and fear Him.” And it is He to whom you will be gathered.

Holy Quran, Al-Maaida (5:105)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا عَلَيْكُمْ أَنْفُسَكُمْ ۖ لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ مَنْ ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ ۚ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

O you who have believed, upon you is [responsibility for] yourselves. Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided. To Allah is you return all together; then He will inform you of what you used to do.

Holy Quran, Aal-i-Imraan (3:20)

فَإِنْ حَاجُّوكَ فَقُلْ أَسْلَمْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّهِ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ ۗ وَقُلْ لِلَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ وَالْأُمِّيِّينَ أَأَسْلَمْتُمْ ۚ فَإِنْ أَسْلَمُوا فَقَدِ اهْتَدَوْا ۖ وَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلَاغُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ

So if they argue with you, say, “I have submitted myself to Allah [in Islam], and [so have] those who follow me.” And say to those who were given the Scripture and [to] the unlearned, “Have you submitted yourselves?” And if they submit [in Islam], they are rightly guided; but if they turn away – then upon you is only the [duty of] notification. And Allah is Seeing of [His] servants.

If we study Holy Quran, we will notice in numerous places Allah tells believers that the guidance is Allah’s affair and Muslims are only commanded to present the message in the best way possible. This is Dawa’h and this is what we do.

Holy Quran, Al-Baqara (2:213)

كَانَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً فَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ النَّبِيِّينَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنْذِرِينَ وَأَنْزَلَ مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فِيمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ ۚ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ فِيهِ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ أُوتُوهُ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ فَهَدَى اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ مِنَ الْحَقِّ بِإِذْنِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ

Mankind was [of] one religion [before their deviation]; then Allah sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. And none differed over the Scripture except those who were given it – after the clear proofs came to them – out of jealous animosity among themselves. And Allah guided those who believed to the truth concerning that over which they had differed, by His permission. And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path.

The person i am referring here (let’s call him Mr. X) was one individual who used to come to our Dawah table regularly. He used to discuss variety of subject. Religion, economics, prophecies and end of times. Long interesting conversations, sometime argumentative however it all turns in a graceful end almost all the times as our discussion were never personal and the open points were always discussed in next meetings.

Let’s look into the message exchanges now, and how it went further.

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One night, i got a disturbing video from Mr. X. In this video a lady was harassed and eventually someone was teasing behind her. If you notice the discussion as in image above, you can notice the provocation he is trying to generate. If you give a benefit of doubt, you may call the person too zealous, but a person in his 50s do not behave so impulsive to my experience. This was clearly an exercise to test the water. The reason i can think of (i may be wrong), is to test how this person reacts to such information.

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It may look a bit cowardice response, but this is how we should deal with whatsapp or any social media forwarded message. What can be done if an incident of such nature has occured. In Islam it is not advised to retaliate in a situation to satisfy self, but the action should be for the sake of Allah. Of course, if you are in the bus, seeing such incident happening, you will try to intervene. Any decent person, whether muslim or not, will try to protect a lady being harassed or molested. But, once the incident has happened the best we can do is to report it to proper authorities and assist police in finding the culprit and cooperate with judiciary.

You may also see from the content of message that he is trying to probe me and finding my response, that if i am anti-western or not. A person practicing Islam can not practice favoritism across any human being. Islam makes a person neutral to race, culture, country or color. The only boundary a muslim cares is the one drawn by Almighty which separates believers, hypocrites and disbelievers. Muslims do not have luxury to feel proud and practice hate. In Dawa’h we should be very careful to the intention and only if we are sincere to what we speak, will be able to stand in these tough situations.

Mr. X stopped communication after few days and he disappeared and i do not see him since then. His phone is not reachable.

May be Mr. X got the message that the Islam these guys on streets are talking is really a religion of peace.

I wish all the best for Mr. X. May Almighty guide you, me and rest of mankind in practicing peace.

 

We are deluded, deceived, and forgetful of God

In our universe, there are animals that can withstand their own body weight many times over, and seeds that can germinate from heat of fire. We live on a planet with over 6000 languages and over eight million species. We live in a universe where the human mind can discover weapons that can wipe out the earth, and produce ideas that can prevent those weapons from firing. We live in a universe that, if one one of its innumerable atom is split, can release an immense amount of energy. We live on a planet which, if hearts are united, can use that energy for peace.

Yet, some of us are not compelled to give God – who created the universe and everything within it – a standing ovation; to stand, glorify, and praise him.

We are deluded, deceived, and forgetful of God, the one who created us

“O Mankind, what has deceived you concerning your Lord, the Generous?” (Quran: 82:6)

Hamza Andreas Tzortzis

Forgiveness and Approval

If i were to put you in a room with all your favourite games, gadgets, friends, loved ones, food and drink, but you knew that in five minutes you, the world and everything in it would be destroyed, what value would your possession have? They wouldn’t have any at all.

However what is five minute or 657436 hours (equivalent to 75 years)?

It is mere time.

Just because we may live for 75 years doesn’t make a difference. In the atheist worldview it will all be destroyed and forgotten. This is also true for Islam. Everything will be annihilated. So in reality this world intrinsically has no value; it is ephemeral, transient and short-lived.

Nonetheless, from an Islamic perspective the world has value because it is an abode for getting close to God, good deeds and worship, which lead to eternal paradise.

So it is not all doom and gloom. We are not on a sinking ship. If we do the right thing, we can get God’s forgiveness and approval.

“There is a terrible punishment in the next life as well as forgiveness and approval from God; so race for your Lord’s forgiveness. — Quran 57:20-21

— Hamza Tz.