Friday, 26 May 2017

Ramadan starting tomorrow, Inshallah

Ramadan is starting tomorrow (27 May) in most countries Inshallah. Here are some links to help you:

Hadith and Fiqh on Ramadan fasting:

Fatawa related to Ramadan:

Medical benefits and Health issues in Ramadan:

Everything about Zakat:

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

When a Priest Recognized the Prophethood of Muhammad

Waraqa ibn Nafal was one of the most well-known Arab Christians living in Mecca during the 7th century. He had converted to Christianity from paganism. Historical accounts tell us that Nafal was a Nestorian priest, a respected man, and scholar of Christianity. In terms of his scholarly background, a Hadith (Bukhari) states that Nafal “… would write from the Gospel in Hebrew as much as Allah wished him to write.” It has also been reported by Block that Nafal may have been an Ebionite. The Ebionites, Block writes, “stressed the humanity of Jesus and the oneness of God, a Christology not likely to have elicited a negative response from the Qur’an.”
So how exactly is Nafal connected to Muhammad? After receiving the first Qur’anic revelation on Mount Hira, Prophet Muhammad returned home in disarray and confusion to Khadija, Muhammad’s first wife and the cousin of Nafal. Khadija proceeded to bring her husband to Nafal, who told them both that Muhammad had met Gabriel, the angel of revelation, just as Gabriel had visited Moses centuries earlier. A Hadith describes the encounter between Prophet Muhammad and Nafal:
“… The Prophet returned to Khadija while his heart was beating rapidly. She took him to Waraqa ibn Nafal who was a Christian convert and used to read the Gospel in Arabic. Waraqa asked (the Prophet), ‘What do you see?’ When he told him, Waraqa said, ‘This is the same angel whom Allah sent to the Prophet Moses. Should I live till you receive the Divine Message, I will support you strongly.”
Nafal eventually emerged as a keen supporter of Prophet Muhammad. As a Christian, he encouraged Muhammad to spread his monotheistic message, which suggests that Nafal indeed believe in the Prophet’s leadership and moral character. Oxford Islamic Studies notes that “according to tradition, [Nafal] assured Muhammad that his call to prophecy and message were genuinely from God. [Nafal] acknowledged that Muhammad’s recitation was identical to the revelation given to Moses.”
Some scholars describe Nafal as a “believer” or “Muslim” because he accepted Muhammad as a prophet of God. This very topic of Christians recognizing the prophethood of Muhammad is something that I tried to unpack in a previous article. Other scholars posit that Nafal had a significant influence on the development of Prophet Muhammad’s religious views. Katz, for example, claims that Muhammad had probably met Nafal long before his marriage to Khadija. According to Katz, Prophet Muhammad likely had at least 15 years of opportunity of religious discussions with Nafal, a man who knew the scriptures.
Nafal is an interesting case for analysis because, as Block notes, the Qur’an did not refute his Christian theology. This is a similar argument that I made in claiming that a Christian, such as myself, can recognize Muhammad as a prophet of God. The approach that Nafal adopted towards Muhammad and Islam reminds me of a few passages from the Bible, particularly in the Book of Matthew. In this Book, Jesus tells his disciples to be “People of Peace” and encourages them to find worthy people who are open, hospitable, and knowledgable. Fortunately, Nafal found Muhammad. Their relations give us an imperative historical friendship that shatters the myth that Christianity and Islam are incompatible entities.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

How are Muslims Portrayed in Hollywood OnePath Network OnePath Network

Muslims are arguably the most vilified group of people in the history of Hollywood. This article will reveal how Muslims are portrayed in Hollywood throughout its years in film production.
Since the emergence of Hollywood as the home of the U.S film industry, the various films made over the years have stolen the identity of numerous groups of people including the Muslim community. However, the consistency of negative Muslim stereotypes has remained from the earliest obscure Hollywood pictures to the most recent blockbuster action films.
The inheritance of exaggerated or fabricated images and tales from European travellers (200-150 years ago) have shaped the image of the Muslim we see today in our films. These images have become familiar within almost every film that depicts Muslims. So when Hollywood injects Muslims into their films they either cast them as:
  • The rich, amorous ‘sheikh’ that loves the white American women, with blue eyes and blonde hair.
  • The rich ‘sheikh’ who is trying to buy American Property.
  • The terrorist who is trying to end the American way of life.
Full article

Friday, 19 May 2017

The Mother's Struggle in the Quran

".. And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother carried him in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination." (Surah Luqman: 14)

Monday, 15 May 2017

The extraordinary ways in which China humiliates Muslims

CHINESE officials describe the far western province of Xinjiang as a “core area” in the vast swathe of territory covered by the country’s grandiose “Belt and Road Initiative” to boost economic ties with Central Asia and regions beyond. They hope that wealth generated by the scheme will help to make Xinjiang more stable—for years it has been plagued by separatist violence which China says is being fed by global jihadism. But the authorities are not waiting. In recent months they have intensified their efforts to stifle the Islamic identity of Xinjiang’s ethnic Uighurs, fearful that any public display of their religious belief could morph into militancy.

Xinjiang’s 10m Uighurs (nearly half of its population) have long been used to heavy-handed curbs: a ban on unauthorised pilgrimages to Mecca, orders to students not to fast during Ramadan, tough restrictions on Islamic garb (women with face-covering veils are sometimes not allowed on buses), no entry to many mosques for people under 18, and so on.

But since he took over last August as Xinjiang’s Communist Party chief, Chen Quanguo has launched even harsher measures—pleased, apparently, by his crushing of dissent in Tibet where he previously served as leader. As in Tibet, many Xinjiang residents have been told to hand their passports to police and seek permission to travel abroad. In one part of Xinjiang all vehicles have been ordered to install satellite tracking-devices. There have been several shows of what officials call “thunderous power”, involving thousands of paramilitary troops parading through streets.

Last month, new rules came into effect that banned “abnormal” beards (such as the one worn by the man pictured in front of the main mosque in Kashgar in south-western Xinjiang). They also called on transport workers to report women wearing face veils or full-body coverings to the police, and prohibited “naming of children to exaggerate religious fervour”. A leaked list of banned names includes Muhammad, Mecca and Saddam. Parents may not be able to obtain vital household-registration papers for children with unapproved names, meaning they could be denied free schooling and health care.
Residents have also been asked to spy on each other. In Urumqi, the region’s capital, locals can report security threats via a new mobile app. People living in Altay in northern Xinjiang have been promised rewards of up to 5m yuan ($720,000) for tip-offs that help capture militants—over 200 times the local income per person.

Across Xinjiang residents have been asked to inform the authorities of any religious activities, including weddings and circumcisions. The government is also testing its own people’s loyalty. In March an official in Hotan in southern Xinjiang was demoted for “timidity” in “fighting against religious extremism” because he chose not to smoke in front of a group of mullahs.
Mr Chen is widely rumoured to be a contender for a seat in the ruling Politburo in a reshuffle due late this year. Displays of toughness may help to ingratiate him with China’s president, Xi Jinping, who has called for “a great wall of iron” to safeguard Xinjiang. Spending on security in Xinjiang was nearly 20% higher in 2016 than the year before. Adverts for security-related jobs there increased more than threefold last year, reckon James Leibold of La Trobe University and Adrian Zenz of the European School of Culture and Theology at Korntal, Germany.
Uighurs have been blamed for several recent attacks in Xinjiang. In one of them in February, in the southern prefecture of Hotan, three knife-wielding men killed five people and injured several others before being shot dead by police (local reports suggested the violence occurred after a Uighur family was punished for holding a prayer session at home). Officials may be congratulating themselves on the success of their tactics; reported large-scale attacks by Uighurs inside and outside Xinjiang have abated in the past 18 months. Yet as in Tibet, intrusive surveillance and curbs on cultural expression have fuelled people’s desperation. “A community is like a fruit,” says a Uighur driver from Kashgar. “Squash it too hard and it will burst.”