Sunday, November 25, 2007

What non-Muslims say about Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him)

Thomas Carlyle in 'Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History,' 1840

"The lies (Western slander) which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammad) are disgraceful to ourselves only."
"A silent great soul, one of that who cannot but be earnest. He was to kindle the world, the world’s Maker had ordered so

Thomas Carlyle in 'Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History,' 1840

"The lies (Western slander) which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammad) are disgraceful to ourselves only."
"A silent great soul, one of that who cannot but be earnest. He was to kindle the world, the world’s Maker had ordered so."

A. S. Tritton in 'Islam,' 1951

The picture of the Muslim soldier advancing with a sword in one hand and the Qur'an in the other is quite false.

De Lacy O'Leary in 'Islam at the Crossroads,' London, 1923.

History makes it clear, however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated.

Gibbon in 'The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' 1823

The good sense of Muhammad despised the pomp of royalty. The Apostle of God submitted to the menial offices of the family; he kindled the fire; swept the floor; milked the ewes; and mended with his own hands his shoes and garments. Disdaining the penance and merit of a hermit, he observed without effort of vanity the abstemious diet of an Arab.

Edward Gibbon and Simon Oakley in ‘History of the Saracen Empire,’ London, 1870

"The greatest success of Mohammad’s life was effected by sheer moral force."
“It is not the propagation but the permanency of his religion that deserves our wonder, the same pure and perfect impression which he engraved at Mecca and Medina is preserved after the revolutions of twelve centuries by the Indian, the African and the Turkish proselytes of the Koran....The Mahometans have uniformly withstood the temptation of reducing the object of their faith and devotion to a level with the senses and imagination of man. ‘I believe in One God and Mahomet the Apostle of God’ is the simple and invariable profession of Islam. The intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the honors of the prophet have never transgressed the measure of human virtue, and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion.”

Reverend Bosworth Smith in 'Muhammad and Muhammadanism,' London, 1874.

"Head of the State as well as the Church, he was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without the Pope's pretensions, and Caesar without the legions of Caesar, without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a police force, without a fixed revenue. If ever a man ruled by a right divine, it was Muhammad, for he had all the powers without their supports. He cared not for the dressings of power. The simplicity of his private life was in keeping with his public life."
"In Mohammadanism every thing is different here. Instead of the shadowy and the mysterious, we have history....We know of the external history of Muhammad....while for his internal history after his mission had been proclaimed, we have a book absolutely unique in its origin, in its preservation....on the Substantial authority of which no one has ever been able to cast a serious doubt."

Edward Montet, 'La Propagande Chretienne et ses Adversaries Musulmans,' Paris 1890. (Also in T.W. Arnold in 'The Preaching of Islam,' London 1913.)

"Islam is a religion that is essentially rationalistic in the widest sense of this term considered etymologically and historically....the teachings of the Prophet, the Qur'an has invariably kept its place as the fundamental starting point, and the dogma of unity of God has always been proclaimed therein with a grandeur a majesty, an invariable purity and with a note of sure conviction, which it is hard to find surpassed outside the pale of Islam....A creed so precise, so stripped of all theological complexities and consequently so accessible to the ordinary understanding might be expected to possess and does indeed possess a marvelous power of winning its way into the consciences of men."

Alphonse de LaMartaine in 'Historie de la Turquie,' Paris, 1854.

"Never has a man set for himself, voluntarily or involuntarily, a more sublime aim, since this aim was superhuman; to subvert superstitions which had been imposed between man and his Creator, to render God unto man and man unto God; to restore the rational and sacred idea of divinity amidst the chaos of the material and disfigured gods of idolatry, then existing. Never has a man undertaken a work so far beyond human power with so feeble means, for he (Muhammad) had in the conception as well as in the execution of such a great design, no other instrument than himself and no other aid except a handful of men living in a corner of the desert. Finally, never has a man accomplished such a huge and lasting revolution in the world, because in less than two centuries after its appearance, Islam, in faith and in arms, reigned over the whole of Arabia, and conquered, in God's name, Persia Khorasan, Transoxania, Western India, Syria, Egypt, Abyssinia, all the known continent of Northern Africa, numerous islands of the Mediterranean Sea, Spain, and part of Gaul.
"If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astonishing results are the three criteria of a human genius, who could dare compare any great man in history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws, and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples, dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and the souls.

"On the basis of a Book, every letter which has become law, he created a spiritual nationality which blend together peoples of every tongue and race. He has left the indelible characteristic of this Muslim nationality the hatred of false gods and the passion for the One and Immaterial God. This avenging patriotism against the profanation of Heaven formed the virtue of the followers of Muhammad; the conquest of one-third the earth to the dogma was his miracle; or rather it was not the miracle of man but that of reason.

"The idea of the unity of God, proclaimed amidst the exhaustion of the fabulous theogonies, was in itself such a miracle that upon it's utterance from his lips it destroyed all the ancient temples of idols and set on fire one-third of the world. His life, his meditations, his heroic revelings against the superstitions of his country, and his boldness in defying the furies of idolatry, his firmness in enduring them for fifteen years in Mecca, his acceptance of the role of public scorn and almost of being a victim of his fellow countrymen... This dogma was twofold the unity of God and the immateriality of God: the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with words.

"Philosopher, Orator, Apostle, Legislator, Conqueror of Ideas, Restorer of Rational beliefs.... The founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?"

Mahatma Gandhi, statement published in 'Young India,'1924.

I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind.... I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life.

Sir George Bernard Shaw in 'The Genuine Islam,' Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936.

"If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam."
“I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion for from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity."

"I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.”

Michael Hart in 'The 100, A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons In History,' New York, 1978.

My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the secular and religious level. ...It is probable that the relative influence of Muhammad on Islam has been larger than the combined influence of Jesus Christ and St. Paul on Christianity. ...It is this unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history.

Dr. William Draper in 'History of Intellectual Development of Europe'

Four years after the death of Justinian, A.D. 569, was born in Mecca, in Arabia, the man who, of all men, has exercised the greatest influence upon the human race... To be the religious head of many empires, to guide the daily life of one-third of the human race, may perhaps justify the title of a Messenger of God.

Arthur Glyn Leonard in 'Islam, Her Moral and Spiritual Values'

It was the genius of Muhammad, the spirit that he breathed into the Arabs through the soul of Islam that exalted them. That raised them out of the lethargy and low level of tribal stagnation up to the high watermark of national unity and empire. It was in the sublimity of Muhammad's deism, the simplicity, the sobriety and purity it inculcated the fidelity of its founder to his own tenets, that acted on their moral and intellectual fiber with all the magnetism of true inspiration.

Philip K. Hitti in 'History of the Arabs'

Within a brief span of mortal life, Muhammad called forth of unpromising material, a nation, never welded before; in a country that was hitherto but a geographical expression he established a religion which in vast areas suppressed Christianity and Judaism, and laid the basis of an empire that was soon to embrace within its far flung boundaries the fairest provinces the then civilized world.

Rodwell in the Preface to his translation of the Holy Qur'an

Mohammad's career is a wonderful instance of the force and life that resides in him who possesses an intense faith in God and in the unseen world. He will always be regarded as one of those who have had that influence over the faith, morals and whole earthly life of their fellow men, which none but a really great man ever did, or can exercise; and whose efforts to propagate a great verity will prosper.

W. Montgomery Watt in 'Muhammad at Mecca,' Oxford, 1953.

His readiness to undergo persecution for his beliefs, the high moral character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as a leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement - all argue his fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad an impostor raises more problems that it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history is so poorly appreciated in the West as Muhammad.... Thus, not merely must we credit Muhammad with essential honesty and integrity of purpose, if we are to understand him at all; if we are to correct the errors we have inherited from the past, we must not forget the conclusive proof is a much stricter requirement than a show of plausibility, and in a matter such as this only to be attained with difficulty.

D. G. Hogarth in 'Arabia'

Serious or trivial, his daily behavior has instituted a canon which millions observe this day with conscious memory. No one regarded by any section of the human race as Perfect Man has ever been imitated so minutely. The conduct of the founder of Christianity has not governed the ordinary life of his followers. Moreover, no founder of a religion has left on so solitary an eminence as the Muslim apostle.

Washington Irving 'Mahomet and His Successors'

He was sober and abstemious in his diet and a rigorous observer of fasts. He indulged in no magnificence of apparel, the ostentation of a petty mind; neither was his simplicity in dress affected but a result of real disregard for distinction from so trivial a source.
In his private dealings he was just. He treated friends and strangers, the rich and poor, the powerful and weak, with equity, and was beloved by the common people for the affability with which he received them, and listened to their complaints.

His military triumphs awakened no pride nor vain glory, as they would have done had they been effected for selfish purposes. In the time of his greatest power he maintained the same simplicity of manners and appearance as in the days of his adversity. So far from affecting a regal state, he was displeased if, on entering a room, any unusual testimonials of respect were shown to him. If he aimed at a universal dominion, it was the dominion of faith; as to the temporal rule which grew up in his hands, as he used it without ostentation, so he took no step to perpetuate it in his family.

James Michener in ‘Islam: The Misunderstood Religion,’ Reader’s Digest, May 1955, pp. 68-70.

"No other religion in history spread so rapidly as Islam. The West has widely believed that this surge of religion was made possible by the sword. But no modern scholar accepts this idea, and the Qur’an is explicit in the support of the freedom of conscience."
“Like almost every major prophet before him, Muhammad fought shy of serving as the transmitter of God’s word sensing his own inadequacy. But the Angel commanded ‘Read’. So far as we know, Muhammad was unable to read or write, but he began to dictate those inspired words which would soon revolutionize a large segment of the earth: "There is one God"."

“In all things Muhammad was profoundly practical. When his beloved son Ibrahim died, an eclipse occurred and rumors of God 's personal condolence quickly arose. Whereupon Muhammad is said to have announced, ‘An eclipse is a phenomenon of nature. It is foolish to attribute such things to the death or birth of a human being'."

“At Muhammad's own death an attempt was made to deify him, but the man who was to become his administrative successor killed the hysteria with one of the noblest speeches in religious history: ‘If there are any among you who worshiped Muhammad, he is dead. But if it is God you Worshiped, He lives for ever'.”

Lawrence E. Browne in ‘The Prospects of Islam,’ 1944

Incidentally these well-established facts dispose of the idea so widely fostered in Christian writings that the Muslims, wherever they went, forced people to accept Islam at the point of the sword.

K. S. Ramakrishna Rao in 'Mohammed: The Prophet of Islam,' 1989

My problem to write this monograph is easier, because we are not generally fed now on that (distorted) kind of history and much time need not be spent on pointing out our misrepresentations of Islam. The theory of Islam and sword, for instance, is not heard now in any quarter worth the name. The principle of Islam that “there is no compulsion in religion” is well known.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Polygamy in Islam and other religions

Oscar wilde said, " "Bigamy is having one spouse too many. Marriage is the same."

Theres a few issues here, in the current period polygamy is seen as something strange, yet it is okay for a man to have a mistress or girlfriend outside his marriage.

Islam is a religion not just for this time but all time therefore polygamy maybe needed in some times not others. Due to the circumstances of that time, After the 2nd world war the German said that polygamy was permissible because of a shortage of men. In England there was such a thing called trigamy which was when a man married three times, this occurred here from the 7th to 19th centuries.

Philip Kilbride, an American anthropologist of Roman Catholic heritage, in his provocative book, Plural Marriage for our Time, proposes polygamy as a solution to some of the ills of the American society at large. He argues that plural marriage may serve as a potential alternative for divorce in many cases in order to obviate the damaging impact of divorce on many children. He maintains that many divorces are caused by the rampant extramarital affairs in the American society. According to Kilbride, ending an extramarital affair in a polygamous marriage, rather than in a divorce, is better for the children, "Children would be better served if family augmentation rather than only separation and dissolution were seen as options."

According to the Ethnographic Atlas Codebook, of the 1231 societies noted, 186 were monogamous. 453 had occasional polygamy, 588 had more frequent polygamy, and 4 had polyandry.

In Judaism, it was outlawed in the 11th century, Christianity
Saint Augustine saw a conflict with Old Testament polygamy, and wrote about it in The Good of Marriage (chapter 15, paragraph 17), where he stated that though it "was lawful among the ancient fathers: whether it be lawful now also, I would not hastily pronounce. For there is not now necessity of begetting children, as there then was, when, even when wives bear children, it was allowed, in order to a more numerous posterity, to marry other wives in addition, which now is certainly not lawful." He declined to judge the patriarchs, but did not deduce from their practice the ongoing acceptability of polygamy. In another place, he wrote, "Now indeed in our time, and in keeping with Roman custom, it is no longer allowed to take another wife, so as to have more than one wife living [emphasis added]."

The history of Mormon polygamy begins with claims that Mormonism founder Joseph Smith received a revelation from God on July 17, 1831 that some Mormon men would be commanded to practice "plural marriage". The July 12, 1843 recording of a Smith revelation on plural marriage is now canonized as scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants by the LDS Church[24].

In Islam, polygamy is allowed, with the specific limitation that men can only have up to four wives at any one time. However, the Qur'an specifically states that men who choose this route must deal with their wives as fairly as possible, doing everything that they can to spend equal amounts of time, money on each one of them. Although many Muslim countries still retain traditional Islamic law which permits polygamy, certain elements within Islam challenge its acceptability. For example, polygamy in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Syria, and Lebanon is prohibited by law. In other countries they have to prove their ability to look after the woman, in terms of housing and expenditure.

Thanks for asking the question because if you didn't then I wouldn't have looked into all this! The reason why women cannot have several men at the same time is because it causes friction that will cause murder and we cannot be sure you the child belongs to, even DNA testing is not as reliable as first thought.

Friday, November 09, 2007

My intentions are good. Is the road to Hell paved with good intentions?

Not in Islam it isn't.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing of God be upon him) said, "Actions depend on intentions." so if your intention is good and the action doesn't work out. Then you are rewarded for your good intention.

In fact there is another prophetic narration that states if a person has a bad intention and doesn't do the wrong action and leaves it. This is written as a good action!

So what about when someone does a good action - a Muslim is rewarded ten times what anyone else is and this increases with sincerity. And if this is doubled in Ramadan, like double points on your store card.

So, in Islam if your intentions are good there is reward and if your intentions are bad yet you don't do the wrong action then you are rewarded. So tell me where does a Muslim loose?

Your intentions are good and expect a reward. For a Muslim good intentions help you on the path to paradise.

The reward of Muslim women in paradise

The Quran states in the chapter called "The Woman" [4:32]

"Women shall derive benefit from what they aquired. Ask, therefore, God [to give you] out of His bounty: behold, God has indeed full knowledge of everything."

So anyone thinks that women will not get anything and that the reward of men is better, better read the Quran and check himself. Women will be rewarded for they have aquired of good deeds and righteous actions. Do not let men fool you into thinking that somehow women are going to get less than men. This is simply not true read the verse and reflect.

Men and women will be rewarded appropriate for their good works in this world and a woman does a lot more than a man! So who do you think is going to get more reward? The one who does little or the one who does a lot? It's quite simple isn't? She will be rewarded for looking after her family, cooking, cleaning etc; if done with an sincere intention for God/Allah.

Don't you think that God/Allah is just and will give more to women, if they have done more? Yes of course he will. Anyone who does more will get more and anyone who does less will not be oppressed.

A righteous woman’s beauty in paradise is more than the beauty of the maidens in paradise. So much so that they will almost be jealous! If a maiden of paradise spat in the sea, all the seas would turn sweet, so what then would be the beauty of a righteous Muslim woman in heaven? Amazing!

One scholar told me that the rewards of the women in the Quran is implied because they are more bashful than a man. A man needs it to be spelt out to him and a woman can read between the lines.

"They shall have whatever they wish with their Lord." [Qur'an: Surat Zumar, 34]

In Paradise, if we wish for something, it will be there before us. No one will find anything less than everything they could possibly wish for; this includes women.

It can be a neglected question sometimes there is an emphasis on the reward of men and not on the reward of women. Therefore know, women that God is just and you will not be wronged; your reward is ample and awaiting you.

Please answers below this is also link to another answer

Women's reward in Paradise in Islam

As well as the answer below...

So your question is what will women get in paradise? A female teacher answers this question below:

"In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Praise be to Allah. May the peace and blessings of Allah shower upon our Beloved Messenger, his family, companions, and those who follow them.

Dear questioner,

The Qur'an gives women spiritual parity with men in terms of their status before Allah, their religious obligations, and the recompense of their deeds. The pleasures of paradise, including pure and righteous companions, are not exclusively for men. Allah says in Surat al-Baqarah verse 25, "But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness, that their portion is Gardens, beneath which rivers flow. Every time they are fed with fruits there-from, they say: "Why, this is what we were fed with before," for they are given things in similitude; and they have therein companions pure (and holy); and they abide therein (for ever)."

These "companions pure (and holy)" are called azwaj mutahhara in Arabic. Azwaj is the plural of zawj, which means mate, spouse, or companion. The promise in this verse is directed at the believers at large, both males and females, that they will have righteous spouses awaiting them in Paradise. Some scholars have said that if a believer so desires, she or he will be reunited with their spouse from earthly life.

Although the Qur'an mentions hur al-ain for men, or "wide-eyed virgins," this does not necessarily preclude the existence of handsome male companions for female believers.

And Allah knows best.

Umm Salah (Zaynab Ansari)"


Monday, November 05, 2007

Have you heard the joke about the Priest, the Rabbi and the Imam?

There was an Egyptian king who wanted to see which religion was true, Christianity, Judaism, Islam.

He called a Priest, a Rabbi and an Imam, to see which one would present the best argument.

The Christan priest was told to go first, he said no the Jews were here first so the Rabbi should go first. They argued then agreed for the Imam to go first.

The Imam was asked to present his case, he said, “If the Jews are right then the Muslims and Christians are okay because believe in Moses. If the Christians are right then the Jews have a problem and the Muslims are okay because we believe in Jesus. But if the Muslims are right then the Jews and Christians have a problem because they don’t believe in Muhammad.” (peace and blessings of God be upon him).

New Blog

Peace be upon you

This is a new blog dedicated to answering the questions that are commonly asked of Muslims.

The letter below the title is a letter that the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) sent to invite a leader of the time to Islam. This is what we seek to do here. We hope to answer your question to clear up any misconceptions about Islam that you may have.

God willing this site will be useful for all who seek guidance.