USA General Wesley Clark (Former Supreme Allied Commander Europe during the Kosovo operations, and author of the book Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosova, and the Future of Combat (May 2001)) during a 29 October 2001 interview on BBC HARD talk with Tim Sebastian said, about
the USA War on Terrorism: "... This campaign is not about the United States,
it is not even about 7,000 dead at the World Trade Center,
On this page I will describe some aspects of Islam, including the origins of Islam in Arabia and three examples of branches of Islam ( Abyssinian Islam; Sufi Islam; and Turkish Islam ) that have some peaceful characteristics ( Being part of humanity, they are not perfect, and if you study them closely you may conclude that some of them are not perfect examples of peace on earth. ). They are by no means the only examples of branches of Islam with some peaceful characteristics, and are listed here just because for one reason or another I personally find them interesting ( for instance, I have personal friends who are in each of the three branches of Islam that I discuss here ). Many other interesting examples exist, and I hope that, if you are interested in such things, you will read about them on other websites and publications:
Just as all Christians should not be blamed for the torture and killing of the Inquisition done in the name of Christianity, all of Islam should not be blamed for terroristic acts done in the name of Islam.
Islam has over a billion followers, so it is not surprising that it has many facets, not all of which get along with each other, and also that there are many conflicts between some facets of Islam and others. Consequently, there are many conflicting points of view, and many controversial points of view are expressed on the World Wide Web, from which I often quote on my web pages. Some of the quotations on this page are written by people with strong feelings on one side or the other of some of these controversies. I do NOT necessarily agree with the partisan positions taken in some of the quotes, but I DO quote them for two reasons: 1 - to present some underlying facts ( for example - the death of Husayn ibn Ali at Kerbala ); and 2 - to give readers some idea of the strength and depth of emotional feelings involved. Please be aware that if a quote appears to express very strong emotional feeling for one side of a particular controversy, then there are probably equally strong emotional feelings on the other side. I don't try to present all sides of all controversies, partly because of lack of space and time, and partly because I don't want to try to referee, judge, or decide such controversies. I just want to make readers of this page aware of the existence of controversies and depth of feelings involved, and leave it to each reader to investigate further and form independent opinions. On this page, quotes are set off by quotation marks " ", omissions and/or reorderings are denoted by ... , and brackets [ ] enclose comments made by me.
I agree with Jaseem Naeem that Islam is a unitary religion and that as such, it does not view itself as having various different types or branches.
I also agree that Islam has no place for innovation, but that statement could easily be misinterpreted, so I will try to explain it further. As I understand it, Islam views itself as a full and complete religion, the climax of a process of revelations to prophets over many centuries, with Muhammad being the final prophet and the Quran being brought from Allah to humanity through Muhammad as the final prophet of Allah. Therefore, there is no need to have further prophets, or to introduce anything new and different to Islam, and in that sense there should be no innovation.
However, as I see it, this does not mean that there should be no innovation ( in the sense of discovery of new facts by humans ) in such fields as science and medicine. If a cure for cancer were to be found by biochemists, then in my view that would be part of the plan of Allah, and it should be used to help the sick, and to fail to so use it would be to go against the will of Allah.
It is clear that Jaseem Naeem does not consider Sufism and the Nation of Islam to be part of Islam. It is, in my opinion, probably true that the vast majority of those who consider themselves to be Muslim followers of Islam would agree with Jaseem Naeem.
However, both Sufis and followers of the Nation of Islam do consider themselves to be Muslim followers of Islam. so that there is, as I see it, a clear disagreement between
Sufis and followers of the Nation of Islam.
As I said above, I don't want to try to referee, judge, or decide such controversies. Therefore, on this page, I will just take everybody at their word about their own religion, and I will include Sufis and followers of the Nation of Islam because they say that they are Muslim followers of Islam. Therefore, you, the reader of this web page and related pages, should be aware that:
Many other issues that come to my mind on reading the message from Jaseem Naeem are NOT decided by me on this web page. For example:
I will probably NOT put up any further examples, and I will probably NOT put up any further thoughts that I may have about Jaseem Naeem's message, because I don't have the time and space to put up anything remotely approaching a complete analysis of the issues of Islam, much less their resolution.
However, I do state here that I very much appreciate Jaseem Naeem's taking the time to send me a sincere and helpful message, and, whether or not anything further appears on this web page, I hope to continue learning about Islam, and many other things, during the rest of my life on Earth.
Here, for the record, is the full message from Jaseem Naeem to me:
Date: Sun, 12 May 2002 ...
From: Jaseem Naeem ...
Subject: A Respond to your site
I found your site on the web and read the part concerning 911. I was pleasently surprised by what you had written because I thought like most people you would go out and lash out on Muslim and especially Islam.
However, there were couple of things that I really think I should let you know about and it has nothing to do what happened on 911. When you talk about Islam, there seems to be a lack of research on it. The three "types" of Islam you present, I won't agree with them. First of all, in Islam, there is no place for 'orthodox' or moderate or any 'type' of Islam. Secondly, sufism has been severely criticized by Muslim scholars all over the world because they try to represent information that has no basis in Islam and if you research sufism you'll find that it is quite opposite of Islam's teachings. Therefore, majority of scholars say they are on the wrong path and 'sufis' have produced many innovations in Islam, and there's no place for any innovation in Islam. Lastly but not the least, you quote Mother Tynetta Muhammad, but I would like to tell you that Nation of Islam is not part of Islam. Whoever believes in Nation of Islam is a non-Muslim. The reason, the teachings of the Nation of Islam goes against the most fundamental teaching of Islam that there's no God but Allah (and has no partners) and Muhammad is His last prophet. You can find out whether I am right or not by going to a local mosque (not of the Nation of Islam for obvious reasons) and they can verify that Nation of Islam is not a version of Islam nor a sect of Islam, it is in fact another religion that's using Islam's popularity at least among African Americans to gain its followers.
So, please don't quote such 'authorities' as Tynetta Muhammad on Islam because if they are of Nation of Islam, they aren't even Muslims. I've criticized some of your points with all due respect and hope you don't mind my criticism. Also, I invite you to learn more about Islam.
I would love to hear back from you!
According to the xenohistorian.faithweb web site:
"... We know very little about Arabia's history before the seventh century A.D.. Part of the reason is because there has not been much archaeological investigation, and though we can read the numerous stone inscriptions left behind by the ancient Arabs, they help us little when no event mentioned by them can be found in the literature of other civilizations. Also, the modern Arab attitude can be a hindrance; most of them care little about their pre-Islamic history, calling it al-Jahiliyah, the age of ignorance. ... In the northwest, a tribe called the Anbat, or Nabataeans, formed a kingdom in Jordan and the Sinai peninsula. They prospered because of a good location on the trade routes and by use of water-conservation techniques whose efficiency has only recently been appreciated. Cisterns, dams, aqueducts, and water channels were all used; they terraced hills to prevent soil erosion. Modern Israelis have applied similar techniques for living in the Negev. The Nabataean capital, Petra, had superb natural defenses; it was in a valley with an entrance so narrow that four men standing abreast in it could hold off an invading army. Petra is first mentioned at the end of the fourth century B.C., when Antigonus I, one of Alexander the Great's generals, made an unsuccessful attempt to conquer it. The kings of Petra carved fine tombs and other buildings out of the pink sandstone that lined the valley walls; later Bedouins believed that djinni built them. ...
... In the east, Ubar underwent major construction around 350 B.C. This marked the beginning of at least six centuries of prosperity for the people of 'Ad, thanks to their incense and isolation. ... Frankincense remained the main commodity of the Arabian trade network. The aromatic leaves of the myrrh plant found similar uses; the Egyptians, for example, stuffed mummies with them. Most Arab traders started from Yemen, went up the west Arabian coast along a road that paralleled the Red Sea, and entered the Roman Empire at Petra or Damascus. Traders also went to and from Yemen by sea, connecting it with India and East Africa. Some have even suggested that the Wise Men of the New Testament might have been Arabs rather than Persians or some other sort of Orientals, because the gifts they brought (gold, frankincense, and myrrh) could all be found in southern Arabia. The trade became so lucrative that the Romans called Yemen Arabia Felix, or Happy Arabia. In 24 B.C. Aelius Gallus, the Roman prefect of Egypt, sent an expedition to conquer Yemen; it failed, due to the rigors of the Arabian climate. Along the Hejaz caravan route, two oases, Mecca and Yathrib (later called Medina), grew into cities. ... Judaism became dominant in Yathrib by the time of Mohammed.
Mecca was blessed with two major spirit-possessed objects: a meteorite (the famous Black Stone) and a spring (the Well of Zamzam). At some early date a cube-shaped temple called the Kaaba was built next to the spring, as a repository for the Black Stone.
[image from Virtual Hadj Tour web site]
360 idols were put outside the Kaaba, one for each day of the year. Many of these idols were plain stones, called betyls, and pilgrims practiced an unusual form of idol exchange, often leaving one of their own betyls behind so they could take a Meccan stone home with them. Soon pagans from all over Arabia were making pilgrimages to Mecca, giving the city a thriving tourist industry. ...Later on a number of traditions sprouted up concerning Mecca and the Old Testament patriarch Abraham. Zamzam was identified with the spring that nourished Ishmael and his mother Hagar in Genesis 21:19, after Abraham sent them away. Sometime after that Abraham is said to have visited them, and he built the Kaaba during his stay. Another Islamic tradition asserts that Abraham tried to sacrifice Ishmael on Mt. Arafat just outside of Mecca, not Isaac on Mt. Moriah, as the Biblical account tells us. ...
The tribes of Arabia were eventually drawn into the east-west struggle between the Romans and the Persians. ... Then came an economic slump, caused by a totally unexpected foreign development:
the rise of Christianity. This new religion taught that belief in God and a righteous lifestyle, not big offerings, brought salvation. Moreover, Christians favored simple burials over cremation and mummification. When Christianity became the official religion in Rome, the demand for frankincense and myrrh dropped dramatically; what little that was sold now went into rituals and cosmetics only. The kingdoms of Arabia, which Pliny had once described as "the richest nations in the world," collapsed into insignificance,
[Compare the economic dependence of the area on foreign consumption of frankincense and myrrh around 300 AD with its economic dependence on foreign consumption of oil now, 1700 years later.]
starting with Himyar. ... According to Arab legend, Ubar fell because it grew both wicked and rich, like Atlantis and Sodom. Four years of searing drought came after the collapse of the incense trade, but Shaddad, the king of the 'Ad, was vain and arrogant, believing himself to be a god. The Ubarites agreed, proclaiming, "Who is mightier than we?" The only dissenting voice came from Hud, a merchant of Jewish descent. ... The stage was now set for one of ancient literature's classic duels of morality: spirituality vs. materialism, God vs. gods, virtue vs. appalling customs like female infanticide. Arab stories claim that Hud was a champion of monotheism, a forerunner to Mohammed. Whether or not this was true, Shaddad ignored the warning, and instead sent a delegation of seventy men to Mecca, as if a big offering to the Meccan idols would bring back prosperity. No such luck; when they returned Ubar was suddenly destroyed. The legends aren't clear on what happened, except that it was a divine judgment; they make it sound like the wind brought a firestorm to overthrow the city.
The archaeologists who rediscovered Ubar in 1992 found that half of it fell into a sinkhole, sometime between 300 and 500 A.D. An earthquake apparently caused this, and if it happened at night, that would explain how the cataclysm killed most of the inhabitants. The ruined city was never rebuilt, and was soon forgotten. ...
At the end of the pre-Islamic era, south Arabia was a mixture of people from many religions: pagans, Jews, Christians of many sects, and Manicheans. Early in the sixth century, a Himyarite king named Dhu Nuwas converted to Judaism. Concerned with the growing power of Christianity and Byzantium, Dhu Nuwas allied himself with Persia. The Christians he persecuted appealed to the Christian king of Axum (Ethiopia) [Abyssinia] for protection, and he obliged by invading and conquering Himyar in 525. ...
The invaders tried to colonize Yemen, but with limited success. During their stay, the great Marib dam burst, and local agriculture never recovered from that setback. The Ethiopians made their next move in 570, when they sent an army up the Hejaz to destroy the pagan stronghold at Mecca. With it went an elephant, an animal never seen in Arabia before. That gave the expedition a lot of attention, but it did not bring a victory; some sort of epidemic broke out and forced the army to turn back ten miles short of its goal. A few years later the Ethiopian interlude ended, when the Persian navy arrived and turned Yemen into a Sassanid province. Even so, the elephant found a form of immortality in Arab folklore. For
it was in Mecca during "the Year of the Elephant" that the prophet Mohammed was born. ...".
According to a web page of Burak Sansal:
"... The sources available to us on Muhammad are Muslim, written in Arabic. They are principally in the form of the hadiths, the traditions, which are systematical efforts of choosing between good and not so good stories of Muhammad's life, often collected in the shape of suras. Bits and pieces of Muhammad's life is also recorded in the Koran. Little is known from other sources. The suras and hadiths available are the result of work from about 100 years after Muhammad's death, but are a continuation of a very accurate and living oral tradition. The compilations where built on historical criticism not very unlike what is the method in modern historical criticism. The oldest compilation now available, are the ones of Ibn Ishaq (d. Baghdad 768). The material is extensive,
[Compare the limited material on the life of Jesus in the Christian Canonical Gospels. Islamic sources (the Quran, hadiths, etc.) provide much material about Jesus beyond that in Christian Canonical Gospels - see Tarif Khaladi's book The Muslim Jesus (Harvard 2001), in which Tarif Khaladi says "... Jesus does not appear alone in ascetic-piestic literature. He is accompanied by other Qur'anic prophets ... Moses, David, Solomon, Job, Luqman ...[who] represents ancient ... wisdom ... , and John the Baptist ...".
As to Luqman, the only one of the above-listed Qur'anic prophets that is not given a prominent place in the Christian Canon, according to an Islamic Society of North America web page: "... Luqman was known in pre-Islamic Arabia as Luqman al-Hakim, that is Luqman the sage or the wise man. He was probably from Sudan. ...". ]
and the presentation of Muhammad in the early texts is straighforward: Different versions of stories are presented, and Muhammad himself is presented as a human being with both his good and his bad sides (the latter have been used by opponents of Islam to present Muhammad as a false prophet). Except from certain passages, the matierial bears few traces of being legendary, and was first told by people who knew Muhammad as a man, and told to people of the same epoque and cultural environment. These are very good reasons for us to treat the material on Muhammad's life as historical sources, and even more, as good historical sources. ...
Muhammads birth is said to have been in the "year of the Elephant", which one believes is pointing to the invasion from Yemen, where an elephant was brought along in order to smash the Ka'ba, an event which is dated to 570 AD (where Muhammad's recorded age at certain times, have been used as the main source for the estimation). ...
... while working as a trader ... Muhammad came to know the widow (and divorcee) Khadija, who was the owner of a caravan company where Muhammad was employed. At the age of 25 Muhammad married Khadija, then 40. Even if Khadija had children from both of her former marriages, she got 7 children with Muhammad. ...
... Muhammad received his first revelation in 610, on the mountain of Hira outside Mecca. The revelation came in a time when Muhammad searched for solitude. ... The first person to be converted to Islam, was ... Khadija, Muhammad's wife. ...
... A large part of Muhammad's followers had to seek refuge in Abyssinia in 615, due to the resistance among the Meccans to the message of Muhammad. ...".
[Abyssinian Islam was founded by peaceful sincere believers who sought refuge in Abyssinia from the coming violent conflicts. In fact, for hundreds of years Abyssinian Jews, Christians, and Muslims have lived together with no violent religious conflicts (although the area has recently had unfortunately violent political conflicts.)]
According to a xenohistorian.faithweb web page:
"... Mohammed stayed [in Mecca in 615] because his family connections protected him ... He came into the courtyard of the Kaaba
[images from islamic-city web site]
and suggested that the gods and goddesses of Mecca might be real after all, serving as saints or angels to mediate between God and man. ... These are the so-called "Satanic verses" that have caused much controversy among scholars of Islam. ... They [the Meccan establishment] enthusiastically received his [Mohammed's] recantation, but when he [Mohammed] saw the reaction he repented ... He [Mohammed] said that the devil had momentarily possessed his tongue, and denounced idolatry more vigorously than before. ...".
According to a Vedic Sword of Truth web page by Aditi Chaturvedi:
"... the Satanic Verses ... say: "Have Ye thought of Al-Lat and Al-Uzza and Manat the third, the other, these are the Gharaniq whose intercession is approved."(Quran 53:19-27) ...".
[Click here to see the revised version of Quran 53:19-27 that is currently accepted by Islam.]
According to a web page of Burak Sansal:
"... Khadija died in 619, and soon Muhammad remarried. Unlike in his marrige with Khadija, he chose to have several wifes, 9 is reported....
... resistance among the Meccans to the message of Muhammad ... continued, and was so fierce, that Muhammad had to escape in 622, and arrived in Yathrib [Madina], 300 km north of Mecca ... Muhammad enforced his position in the region, and in particular in Yathrib [Madina], through successful military campaigns, like the one at Badr in 624 ... and Ditsh in 627. ... In 630 Muhammad managed to take control over Mecca without any resistance. ...".
According to a web page of The Imam Ahmed Raza Academy:
"... ( 8 A.H. [A.D. 630]) ... Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) [Muhammad] then entered the Holy Kaaba and found it full of pictures and idols. He destroyed all the pictures and broke all the idols into pieces. While breaking the idols, he recited the following verse of the Holy Quran: "Truth has arrived and Falsehood perished; Falsehood, is by nature bound to perish." (Surah Hijr: Verse 81) ...".
According to a Vedic Sword of Truth web page by Aditi Chaturvedi:
"... Muhammad's uncle was one of the resident priests of the Shiv temple known as "Kaaba". This sacred sanctum was decorated in an extremely rich and beautiful fashion. The Kaaba was astronomically oriented to face the winds. The minor axis of the rectangular base of the Kaaba was solistically aligned towards summer sunrise and winter sunset. It contained 360 statues of Vedic deities and was a shrine primarily associated with sun worship. The temple was an architectural representation of an interlocking set of theories covering virtually all creation and comprehending chemistry, physics, cosmology, meteorology and medicine. Each wall or corner of the Kaaba was associated with a specific region of the world. Thus this glorious Hindu temple was made to symbolically represent a microcosm of the universe. ... Right at the centre of the Kaaba was the octogonal pedestal of Bramha the creator.
[image from islamic-city.com web site]
Today this very pedestal is called Maqam-E-Ibrahim by the Muslims. ... Muhammad destroyed all 360 idols, but even he could not summon the courage to completely obliterate the Shivling in the Kaaba. ...
...[ image of Black Stone Shivling from www.lexdex.com/cache/worship-mecca.htm ]...
... Today it lies broken at seven places and held together by a silver band studded with silver nails, bearing the name "Sangey Aswad" which came from the Sanskrit Ashwet meaning non-white or black stone. ... Muhammad ... made all image representation a sin ... oral recitation of Vedic scriptures was always done in a lyrical fashion, utilizing music ... Muhammad decided to forbid Music. ...". Another Vedic Sword of Truth web page by Aditi Chatuvedi says: "... The Kaaba temple, which was the heart of Mecca was their biggest testament to astral worship. It was a shrine devoted to the Sun, Moon, Planets and Galaxies. Besides the shrines of Shams (Surya or Sun), Manat (SoManath or Moon), Uzza (Oorja, Shakti as Venus), Dharrih (Suryoday or rising sun), etc. There were many shrines dedicated to stars and constellations such as the Krittikas (the Pleaides). There were 24 doorways to the temple, these doorways represented the 24 hours of the day. The 360 shrines represented the days of the year and each image was made to symbolically represent the ruling planet, in astrological terms. The seven circambulations (parikrama) symbolized the orbiting of the seven major planets.
[image from Virtual Hadj Tour web site]
The first three circuits were done fast and the remaining four slowly, in exact imitation of the planetary movements around the sun. ... One of the shrines in the Kaaba was also dedicated to the Hindu Creator God, Brahma ... The word "Abraham" is none other than a malpronounciation of the word Brahma This can be clearly proven if one investigates the root meanings of both words. Abraham is said to be one of the oldest Semitic Prophets.His name is supposed to be derived from the two Semitic words "Ab" meaning "Father" and "Raam/Raham" meaning "of the exalted", In the book of Genesis, Abraham simply means "Multitude". The word Abraham is derived from the Sanskrit word "Brahma". The root of Brahma is "Brah" which means -"to grow or multiply in number". In addition Lord Brahma, the Creator God of Hinduism is said to be the Father of all Men and Exalted of all the Gods, for it is from him that all beings were generated. Thus again we come to the meaning "Exalted Father". This is a clear pointer to the fact that Abraham is none other than the heavenly father Brahma . ...
... All Arabic copies of the Koran have the mysterious figure 786 imprinted on them ...
... This "magical" number is none other than the Vedic holy letter "OM" written in Sanskrit ...".
According to a web page of Burak Sansal:
"... The [Quranic] revelations [to Muhammad] changed the style during the 22 years of revelations, from more poetic in the beginning to more prosaic later, and in the content, it changed from warnings on what was to come to mankind from God if man didn't turn in direction of God's will, to regulations on behavior and rules for the society. These changes came parallel to changes in the position of Islam in the society. ...".
According to web pages of Burak Sansal on Ramadan and Turkish Holidays (which may no longer be on the web, but might be found cached by Google):
"... Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). ... The fast-month ends with the sighting of the new moon heralding the month of Shawwal and the Eid festival (bayram). Abd Allah b. Abbas reported that the Apostle of Allah, Muhammed (may peace be upon him), referring to Ramadan, declared: Do not begin to fast until you have seen the crescent and do not leave the fast until you see it, and if there are clouds, complete thirty days.... Islam has three holy nights each year,
According to a xenohistorian.faithweb web page:
"... Heraclius, [Roman] emperor since 610 ... began ... a seaborne invasion of Asia Minor from the south in 622. ... Four years of bloody battles in Armenia and Azerbaijan followed. Then Heraclius called in the Khazars, a fierce Turkic tribe that lived in Russia, and together they descended onto the plain of the Tigris. ... Persia sued for peace (628). The war ended with a Persian army still on the Asian shore of the Bosporus, and victorious Roman forces in Mesopotamia. ... While the ink was drying on the treaty between Byzantium and Persia, a strange message came out of the Arabian desert. ... It was a challenge from "Mohammed the Prophet of God," calling upon the recipient to acknowledge the one true God and to serve him. We know nothing else about the document. Identical copies went to the three most powerful monarchs in the world.
The most curious and positive response came from Taizong, the new [Tang Dynasty] emperor of China. Traveling by merchant ship, the letter took a whole year to reach him. He thought the message was an offer to trade, and accepted on those terms. The Chinese built a mosque in Canton for the spiritual welfare of the Arab traders who visited China. It still stands today, perhaps the oldest mosque in the world.
We have no record of Heraclius [Roman] receiving his copy; presumably he did, but did not answer it. This incident may have faintly amused the emperor.
However, at Ctesiphon they [Persians] knew about Mohammed, because of his meddling in Yemen and other Arab-populated areas on Persia's frontier. Kavadh tore up the letter, flung the pieces at the envoy, and ordered him to leave. The letter's author was just as angry when he learned of the Persian response. "Even so, O Lord!" Mohammed cried, "Rend thou his kingdom from him." ...".
According to a web page of Burak Sansal:
"... ...... in 632 he [Muhammad] was able to perform the hajj. ...
Soon after his return to Madina ... in 632 ... , he died in the presence of his favourite wife, 'A'isha (Ayse) and her father Abu Bakr, and Muhammad was buried in his own house, which had already served as a mosque for some years. The mosque still lies there, and is counted as the second most important mosque in Islam, and Madina the second most holy city. ...".
According to a maaref-foundation.com web page:
"... Aisha, Abu Bakr's daughter was sterile. Yet Khadija (A.S.) was the only wife of the Prophet who had children that survived. Moreover, that child of Khadija was Aisha's main adversary, Fatima. ...".
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica (Macropaedia, v. 22, 1987):
"... According to the Sunnah, or traditionalist faction ... the Prophet had designated no successor. The Muslims at Medina decided ... to elect ... Abu Bakr, father of the Prophet's favoured wife, Aishah. All of this occurred before the Prophet's burial (under the floor of Aishah's hut, alongside the courtyard of the mosque). ...
... According to the Shiah, or "Partisans" of Ali, the Prophet had designated as his successor his son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Tabib, husband of his daughter Fatimah and father of his only surviving grandsons, Hasan and Husayn. ...".
According to an al-islam.org web page:
"... The Prophet Abraham had come to ... Najaf ... along with Isaac; there had been many earthquakes in the vicinity, but while Abraham remained there, there were no tremors. ... Abraham insisted ... that the time would come when there would be a tomb there with a shrine, at which seventy thousand people would gain absolutely undisputed entrance to Paradise ...
... when one of the sons of Noah refused to enter the Ark, he said that he would sit on this mountain [at Najaf] until he would see where the water would come. A revelation came therefore to the mountain, "Do you undertake to protect this son of mine from punishment?" And all at once the mountain fell. to pieces and the son of Noah was drowned. In place of the mountain a large river appeared, but after a few years the river dried up, and the place was called Nay-Jaff, meaning, "the dried river." ...
... Ali once said that this ValIey of Peace [at Najaf] is part of Heaven and that there is not a single one of the believers in the world, whether he dies in the east or west, but his soul will come to this Paradise to rest. ... as per the prediction of Abraham, Imam Ali was buried here [Najaf]. ... During the reigns of the Umayyad Caliphs his blessed resting-place could not be disclosed, and so it was also under the Abbasids until the reign of Harun al-Rashid. But in the year 175 A.H. (791 A.D.), Harun happened to go hunting in these parts, and the deer he was chasing took refuge on a small piece of raised ground. However much he asked his hunting dogs to capture the quarry, they refused to go near this spot. He urged his horse to this place, and the horse too refused to budge; and on this, awe took possession of the Caliph's heart, and he immediately started to make inquiries of the people of the neighbourhood, and they acquainted him with the fact that this was the grave of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib, the cousin and son-in-law of the Holy Prophet. Harun ordered a tomb to be erected over the grave ...".
According to an al-islam.org web page by Ramzan Sabir:
"... Imam ... Al-Husain was a revolutionary person, a righteous man, the religious authority, the Imam of Muslim Ummah. As the representative of his grandfather Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Imam Husain ...[and]... as head of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) never recognized Mu'awiya nor his followers. Before him Imam Ali (a.s.) had fought battles against Mu'awiya because Mu'awiya continuously violated the Islamic principles.
Imam Al-Hasan (a.s.) had to swallow the bitter pill of making a peace agreement with Mu'awiya, in order to safeguard the security of the Ummah which was at stake. ... Imam Al-Hasan ... was poisoned ...Sensing that his death was imminent, the Imam designated his brother Al-Husain (a.s.) to be the third Imam. ... Imam Al-Hasan was 47 year old when he died of poisoning. ... When Husain (a.s.) was designated as the 3rd Imam he was 46 years old. Imam Husain (a.s.) carried on with his mission of teaching Islam as before. ... This process continued for several years when people began to hear ... that Mu'awiya wanted his son, Yazid, to succeed him. ...
... When Yazid son of Mu'awiya declared himself as a ruler over the Ummah, he demanded Imam Al-Husain's (a.s.) allegiance of loyalty. Imam Husain on his part flatly rejected Yazid's rule ... Imam Husain ... decided to leave Medina along with his family to proceed to Mecca. When Al-Husain reached Mecca he received 12,000 letters from Kufa urging him to go to Kufa to be their leader, and be the Khalifa. ... Imam Husain ... decided to leave Mecca for Kufa to prepare for a confrontation with Yazid and his forces. ...
... Yazid['s] ... commanders ... assemble[d] a relatively large army, surrounding Imam Husain's camp in a desert called Karbala. ... Then they cut off the basic necessities to the camp, including access to water. The camp consisted of Imam Husain, his family, friends, and companions, all of whom stood fast and firmly with him. ... Karbala proved to be a clash involving Islamic truths versus falsehood, right versus wrong, belief versus disbelief, the oppressed versus the oppressor, faith against brute force. ... in Karbala ...[ on the day of Ashuraa, 10th of Muharram, Hijri 61 ]... Al-Husain the 57 year old grandson of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), sacrificed his totality and all he had, for one goal ... to let the truth triumph over falsehood eventually ... though this was at the expense of his life. ...".
According to an al-islam.org web page:
"... After the martyrdom of the family of the Prophet at Kerbala in 61 Hijri (681 AD) [ in which Husayn ibn Ali, grandson of Muhammad, was killed, a key event in the split of Islam into Shia and Sunni ], the Ummayad Caliph Yazid Ibne Moawiya did not stop there in the pursuit of his destruction. He sent a large contingent under the command of Haseen Ibne Namir to Madina which destroyed the Mosque of the Prophet. They did not stop there but proceeded to Makka and demolished the four walls of the Ka'aba ...
The Ka'aba successfully withstood the Karamatian invasion of 317/929, only the Blackstone was carried away which was returned some twenty years later.
In the year 1981 the Wahabis brought tanks inside the Ka'aba to crush the kahtani revolution against the Saudi regime and almost demolished the South Eastern Wall. This was later restored with the help of the Makkan people. ...".
According to an al-Hajj web page:
"... A major reconstruction of the Kaaba took place between May 1996 and October 1996. ... During this reconstruction the only original thing left from the Kaaba are the stones. All other material has been replaced including the ceiling and the roof and its wood. ... The president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) had the opportunity to go inside the Kaaba in 1998. He describes the following features: there are two pillars inside (others report 3 pillars); there is a table on the side to put items like perfume; there are two lantern-type lamps hanging from the ceiling; the space can accommodate about 50 people; there are no electric lights inside; the walls and floors are of marble; there are no windows inside; there is only one door; the upper inside walls of the Kaaba were covered with some kind of curtain with the Kalima written on it ...".
According to a web page by Lambert Dolphin:
"... In A.D. 691 Caliph Abd el-Malik commissioned the best architects to build the Dome of the Rock. ... The "Golden Dome" is not made out of gold but rather anodized aluminum. The original dome was wooden, later covered with brass, and then lead sheathing in 1448. The excess weight of the lead-clad dome caused grave concern for the entire building because of periodic severe earthquakes in Jerusalem and finally the anodized aluminum dome. Most recently, in 1993, a million dollars in gold foil was provided by the government of Saudi Arabia as a gift. As of this writing the installation of the gold leaf has now been completed and the dome is today resplendent in brilliant pure gold. ...
... Inside the Dome is an outcropping of the bedrock of Mount Moriah, the "Sacred Rock." ... Mount Moriah is a long, extended hill in Jerusalem, extending north from the City of David and extending beyond the present North wall of the Old City. That same hill is the traditional site of Abraham's sacrificial altar for Isaac, the threshing floor or Araunah, and the site of the First and the Second Temple. ... The Foundation Stone is not solid, beneath it lies a cave and a well known as "the well of souls." ...
... Since it is an historical fact that Mohammed never came to Jerusalem why is the Temple Mount considered holy to Muslims? One passage from the Koran does link Mohammed with Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. It is the seventeenth Sura, entitled "The Night Journey." In this Sura there is a dream or vision by Mohammed [some sources say occurring in the year A.D. 621] in which he is carried by night:
Islamic tradition identifies the first temple as Mecca and the second as Jerusalem. Mohammed's journey was with the Archangel Gabriel. Muslim belief says they rode together on a winged steed called El Burak ("lightning"). El Burak is not mentioned in the Koran, its first mention is two centuries after Mohammed's death in a document called Hadith, a collection of oral traditions. After they arrived at the Temple Mount, Mohammed and horse ascended through the seven heavens into Allah's presence. Various spots on the Mount were later indicated as the place where El Burak was tied up before the ascent into the presence of Allah. ...
... The Caliph's new shrine was deliberately built as a political, economic, and religious counter attraction to Mecca. Medina and Mecca, the two cities holy to Islam, were under the control of a rival Caliph. Abd El-Malik sought to build up the importance of Jerusalem as an Islamic center for pilgrimage and worship. The holy spot of Judaism was now to be identified with the spot where Mohammed's horse ascended to heaven. ...".
According to a web page of Burak Sansal:
"... Laylatul-Mi'raj (Mirac), the "Night of Ascension", commemorating Muhammad's ascent to heaven ... is traditionally celebrated on the night preceding the 27th of Rajab, when the mosques and the minarets are lighted and there is much devotional reading of popular accounts of the Mi'raj. ...".
According to a web page on Science, Knowledge, and Sufism, by Henry Bayman:
"... Although apparently naturalistic, Taoism is steeped in mysticism. In Sufism and Taoism, Toshihiko Izutsu has drawn attention to the convergence between the teaching of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu and that of the great Sufi sheikh, Ibn Arabi. But the Great Sheikh never studied Taoism; he merely made explicit what was already present in Koranic and Prophetic lore. We must conclude that the same Universal Reality was tapped independently at widely differing times and places.
In both the Koran and the sayings of the Prophet, knowledge in the most general sense is praised, without ever limiting it to either physical science or spiritual knowledge. If the Prophet said: "Seek knowledge, even if it be in China," he therefore presumably meant not just knowledge of physical things (such as paper, gunpowder, and silk), but also the esoteric traditions of the Chinese. Although Islam is self-sufficient, the Chinese perspective, viewed as an exotic subset of Islamic Sufism, sheds unexpected light on certain matters. It may be no coincidence, then, that China was singled out; after Islam- the religion to end all religions- and its precursor, Christianity, the highest form of esoteric knowledge is to be found in China.
In passing one might also mention Confucianism, which is like the ethical and exoteric counterpart of Taoism, and corresponds to the exoteric- outward- code of moral and social behavior in Islam. In Jung's classification of psychological types, the extravert is more socially oriented, while the introvert is more inwardly oriented and meditative. A universal religion must address both kinds of temperament. The whole, balanced human being should not be lacking in either aspect, nor should his religion; hence, the synthesis of social (ethical/legal) and psychological (mystical) precepts in Islam. The reason for calling this a "synthesis" is that the exoteric and esoteric aspects are entirely in harmony and nowhere in contradiction within the whole of Islamic doctrine. ...".
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica (Micropaedia, v. 11, 1987):
"... Sufism as an organized movement arose among pious Muslims as a reaction against the worldliness of the early Umayyad period (AD 661-749). ... Later, under the influence of speculative mysticism, Ibn al-Arabi [AD 1165-1240] produced a system which created a complete chasm between the law and Sufism. In societies, such as Islamic India, that had a strong pre-Islamic heritage of mysticism, this chasm became much wider. ... it was largely through the efforts of Sufi missionaries that Islam was extended into India, Central Asia, Turkey, and sub-Saharan Africa. ...".
According to a web page on Major Afghan Mujahideen Groups:
"... Mahaz-e-Milli Islami Afghanistan (National Islamic Front of Afghanistan) Led by Syed Ahmad Effendi Gaillani, a spiritual leader of Afghanistan's Sufi sect, the Qadiris, Mahaz too is Pashtun dominated and conservative. Gaillani who is related to Afghanistan's royal family, advocates the return of former King Zahir Shah. Despite his religious crcdentials, Gaillani is opposed to radical Islamists. His front is reported to be about 18000 strong. ...
... Jabba-e-Nejat-e-Milli Afghanistan (Afghan National Liberation Front) Led by Sebghatullah Mojaddidi, who is a theologian by training and a Pir (religious heed) of another important Sufi order, the Naqshbandi, this parly is also Sufi oriented and is opposed to radical Islamist ideology. Mojaddidi too has had links with the royalist establishment and consequently had dlifferences with Hikmatyar. This group is reported to have about 18000 cadres, operating mostly around Qandhar, Farah and Baghlan. ...".
According to a web page on Sufism in Chechnya:
"... Excerpts from: "Mystics and Commmissars: Sufism in the Soviet Union"X, Alexandre Bennigsen and S. Enders Wimbush,C. Hurst and Company, London, 1985. ... Contrary to the situation in other countries that have Sufi orders (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, the Arab countries), where fundamentalist currents and organisations are independent and often opposed to Sufi activity, in the Soviet Union fundamentalist and radical Sufi tendencies are often, but not always, in harmony. In the particular case of the North Caucasus, Sufi orders have gained control not only over fundamentalist trends but also over all national resistance movements from the late eighteenth century to the present day. ... Naqshbandi groups exist all over the world from Morocco to Indonesia, and from China to East Africa. ... The predominance of the Naqshbandiya over other brotherhoods may be explained by several factors.
... Present day Sufism is not monachist, it does not reject the world, and it has no ascetic trends. French scholars like to compare today's Sufi orders in Central Asia to the zawwiyya of North and West Africa, emphasizing their "maraboutic" character. British scholars are fond of looking for Hindo-Muslim syncretism in Central Asia Sufism, while the Turkish error lies in presenting Sufi brotherhoods as heterodox (Shi'a extremist) organisations comparable to the Bektashis. Pre-Revolutionary Russian scholars often emphasized the shamanist background of the Sufi orders. Post-revolutionary Soviet characterisations of the Sufi orders are typically bold, frequently amusing and usually wrong. To most Soviet scholars, the orders represent clandestine surrogate political organisations whose adepts are foreign agents, spies and saboteurs. More sober minds among them present the brotherhoods as heterodox sects, which of course, is also wrong. Western Marxists playing on a variation of this theme, insist on de-spiritualizing Sufism and reducing it either to a simple social protest or to ritual magic. We can also speak of an "Iranocentric" view of Sufism among some scholars, which consists of reducing Sufism in Central Asia and the Caucasus to fundamentalism "a la Khomeini". Finally, although the study of Sufism has come only recently to the United States, some American scholars have already fallen into an unfortunate and atypically unimaginative error; they insist that Sufism in the Soviet Union has little significance because there is only limited data on it. In fact, evidence is plentiful and revealing. ...".
According to a xenohistorian.faithweb web page:
"... The first Sufis ... rejected worldly wealth and the mechanical observance of rituals in favor of an inner spiritual life; all of them viewed God as a loving figure who was always close to his creations. ... a ninth-century mystic known as al-Hallaj ... preaching in Baghdad inspired a cry among the people for moral and political reforms. At one point he said "I am the Truth," causing orthodox theologians to conclude he was calling himself God. ... he was ... tried and sentenced to death by crucifixion. Appropriately, he went to his execution smiling and quoting Jesus: "Father, forgive them . . ." ... Sufism was made respectable by al-Ghazali (1058-1111), the greatest theologian Islam ever produced. His intellectual curiosity was boundless, and he investigated every creed he came across, from atheism to the most intense fanaticism. Finally he settled on Sufism as the way to come closest to God. Afterwards he wrote a book called The Revivification of the Sciences of Religion, which many regard as the last word on Sunni theology. ... Today only the puritanical Wahhabi of Saudi Arabia completely reject Sufism and its cult of saints. In India, on the other hand, Sufis became the leading missionaries of Islam. The Turks also found Sufism very attractive; there are more than 400 different Sufi orders in modern Turkey. ...".
According to a xenohistorian.faithweb web page:
"... the Allies put the Ottoman Empire on the chopping block when the war [World War I] ended. The Hejaz went to Sharif Hussein, and since nobody else wanted it, northern Yemen became independent, though Imam Yahya had supported the other side. Britain got to keep Iraq and the southern half of the Levant, now called Palestine, while the French received Syria and Lebanon. The British and French-occupied areas became known as "mandated territories," the idea being that an outside power would govern them until the natives were advanced enough politically to govern themselves. As it turned out, however, the term "mandate" was mainly a sop to the sentiments of the American president, Woodrow Wilson, and his dream, the League of Nations; the British and French ruled the mandates as if they were just some more colonies. ...
The Turks nearly suffered the same fate at Allied hands as the Arabs did. That they didn't was due to the willpower and drive of one man, the hero of Gallipoli, Mustafa Kemal. ... Kemal ... found himself facing enemies in every direction, while he was hard pressed just to clothe his troops (he required every home to supply a kit of underwear, socks and shoes). ... Italy and the new Soviet Union gave him aid, and while he had to give most of Transcaucasia to the Soviets, he did get to keep the Kars region of Armenia. That gave him a free hand to eliminate the Armenian separatists ... To the south, the French were concerned about their Syrian problem and purchased Kemal's neutrality by handing over Cilicia to him. ... in the west, the Greeks were coming closer, advancing two-thirds of the way to Angora before they were stopped. But stopped they were, on the banks of the Sakarya river. There, late in the summer of 1921, Greeks and Turks battled along a sixty-mile front for twenty-two days and nights. Kemal's tactic was to divide his army into individual units, each operating independently of the others, so that there was no Turkish line of defense to break. "There is no linear defense," he explained. "There is a surface defense, and the surface is the entire territory of the nation."
[The refusal of Confederate General Joseph Johnston to use such a tactic at the end of the USA Civil War led to the present unity of the USA.]
Fighting for their lives and country, the Turks wore down the Greeks, and by the end of the year the scales had tipped Kemal's way. ... The new Turkey had no pretensions about becoming an empire; it accepted that its position would be that of a middle-rate power. There were many of these in eastern Europe now (Poland, Finland, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia), and Kemal told the Allies that just like the peoples of those other states, the Turks had been oppressed by a tyrannical monarchy. Negotiations ... produced the Treaty of Lausanne (July 1923). In this accord the Allies recognized the new Turkish frontiers, canceled the capitulations and debts of the Ottoman Empire, and arranged for the exchange of Turkish and Greek minorities caught on the wrong side of the border ...
Mustafa Kemal spent the rest of his life transforming Turkey into a modern, western nation. Few leaders have ever shaped a nation as quickly and permanently as he did. On October 29, 1923, he declared Turkey a republic, with himself as its first president. Five months later he began his program of secularization, by abolishing the caliphate. Within a month Moslem religious colleges and law courts followed the caliph into oblivion. Thus, Turkey became the first Moslem country to practice Western-style separation of church and state. ...
... 1925 ... saw a Kurdish rebellion in the part of Turkey nearest to Iraq, led by Seyh Said, hereditary chief of the Naksbendi dervishes. ... Within three months the revolt had been stamped out, and Kurdish hopes for an independent Kurdistan were dashed, as they would be in Iraq and Iran later. A side effect of this was that all Sufi lodges and tombs of the saints were closed for the remainder of Kemal's lifetime. ...
... Modernization was Kemal's only faith, and by that he meant the adoption of anything the West used. He introduced Western calendars and clocks, adopted the metric system, and encouraged orchestras to play Western music. Traditional Moslem practices such as polygamy and begging were outlawed, womens' education was promoted, and voting rights were extended to all citizens. He banned the fez, in favor of brimmed European hats, and encouraged women to take off the veil. Mustafa Kemal's favorite project was the overhauling of the Turkish language. He helped prepare a twenty-nine-letter Latin alphabet to replace the Arabic script used previously ... History books ... stressed the achievements of the Turkish people as a whole. The Sumerians and Hittites, and every ethnic group that had once lived on the Central Asian steppes, were all claimed as Turks ... ".
According to a submission.org web site:
"... DR. RASHAD KHALIFA was born in ... 1935 in ... Egypt, Kafr El-Zayat. His father was a religious leader for a large Sufi group ... he was inspired into using the computer to study the Quran and its mysterious letters (initials) at the beginning of the chapters of the Quran. ... Dr. Khalifa's study ... resulted in the discovery of one of the greatest miracles of the Quran, as God described it in 74:35. This miracle is based on number 19, mentioned in sura 74. ... The momentous discovery that "19" is the common denominator of the Mathematical Miracle of the Quran became a reality in January, 1974. .... A superhuman mathematical system pervades the Quran and serves to guard and authenticate every element in it. ...
[ Rashad Khalifa's mathematics of the Quran is interesting. For example, He says:"... Why 19 ? Because 19 means "God Is One" ..."; and
"... this is the message of Quran. ...... The Quran consists of 114 chapters, and this number is a multiple of 19 ( 19x6 ). The last chapter is No. 114, and consists of 6 verses.
... The first Quranic revelation consisted of 19 words ... found in the first 5 verses of Chapter 96
... The first Quranic revelation consisted of 76 letters, and the number 76 is a multiple of 19 ( 76 = 19x4 ) ...
... At the time of revelation of Quran, the numerals as we know them today were not in existence. Instead, the alphabet letters were used as numerals ... In Arabic, the word "One" means "Waahid" ... the numerical value ... is ... [ 6+1+8+4 = 19 ] ...".
There are many more interesting things, such as that Sura 72, about Jinn, has 28 verses, etc. ... Compare such things with the mathematical structure of the Torah.
Also note that Rhashad Khalifa uses Muhammad's revised version of Sura 53:19-27 of the Quran, as set out on a submission.org web page:
- "... The Flimsy Idols
- [53:19] Compare this with the female idols Allaat and Al-`Uzzah.
- [53:20] And Manaat, the third one.
- [53:21] Do you have sons, while He has these as daughters?
- [53:22] What a disgraceful distribution!
- [53:23] These are but names that you made up, you and your forefathers. GOD never authorized such a blasphemy. They follow conjecture, and personal desire, when the true guidance has come to them herein from their Lord.
- [53:24] What is it that the human being desires?
- [53:25] To GOD belongs both the Hereafter, and this world.
- [53:26] Not even the angels in heaven possess authority to intercede. The only ones permitted by GOD are those who act in accordance with His will and His approval.
- *53:1-18 Muhammad was summoned to the highest universe to receive this Quran into his heart. The stars fell away as he traveled through them at millions of times the speed of light. Subsequently, the Quran was gradually released to his memory. Please see Appendix 28.
- [53:27] Those who disbelieve in the Hereafter have given the angels feminine names. ...".
and does not advocate the Satanic Verses version in which Allaat, Al-Uzzah, and Manaat are given approval. ]
... Nineteen years after the Prophet Muhammad's death, during the reign of Khalifa `Uthman, a committee of scribes was appointed to make several copies of the Quran to be dispatched to the new Muslim lands. The copies were to be made from the original Quran which was written by Muhammad's hand ... The Prophet, of course, had written the Quran in its chronological order of revelation ... together with the necessary instructions to place every piece in its proper position. The last sura revealed in Medina was Sura 9. Only Sura 110, a very short sura, was revealed after Sura 9, in Mina. The committee of scribes finally came to Sura 9, and put it in its proper place. One of the scribes suggested adding a couple of verses to honor the Prophet. The majority of scribes agreed. `Ali was outraged. He vehemently maintained that the word of God, written down by the hand of His final prophet, must never be altered. Ali's protest is documented in many references, but I cite and reproduce here the classic reference AL ITQAAN FEE 'ULUM AL QURAN by Jalaluddin Al-Suyuty, Al-Azhareyyah Press, Cairo, Egypt, 1318 AH, Page 59 ... Translation: `Ali was asked: "Why are you staying home?" He said, "Something has been added to the Quran, and I have pledged never to put on my street clothes, except for the prayer, until the Quran is restored." ...
... the Quran's mathematical code ... rejects ONLY the false injections 9:128-129. ... The translation of the two false verses is "A messenger has come to you from among you who wants no hardship to afflict you, and cares about you, and is compassionate towards the believers, merciful. If they turn away, then say, 'Sufficient for me is God, there is no god except He. I put my trust in Him. He is the Lord with the great throne.' " ...
... look at the consequences:
... Dr. Khalifa ... proclaimed that Quran is the ONLY acceptable law in this great religion. He also emphasized the fact that all the known hadiths books are corrupted beyond recognition and can only be used for its historical value and not for religious guidance or laws. ... When Dr. Khalifa's view about Quran alone was published ... Many of the Muslim Scholars who cheered him for the Mathematical Miracle of the Quran tried to play down its significance even at the expense of the truth. ... After they failed in assailing his character and in diverting the people away from his call to go back to the Quran, they assassinated him in January, 1990. ...".
According to a pbs.org web page:
"... El Hage was born in 1960 into a Catholic family in Sidon, Lebanon. He grew up in highly Islamic Kuwait, where his father worked for an oil company. ... In 1978, El Hage moved to Lafayette, Louisiana, to attend the University of Southwestern Louisiana (USL). ... At the beginning of the Afghan war against the Soviet Union, El Hage left Louisiana and traveled to Pakistan to enroll in mujahedeen war training programs. ... By January 1985, El Hage returned to the United States and to USL. Later that year, he traveled to Arizona to marry an 18-year-old American Muslim named April. ... El Hage worked at several minimum wage jobs, including city custodian. In 1989, he was granted U.S. citizenship. ...
... Dr. Rashad Khalifa was an imam in Tucson, Arizona who some felt was unorthodox. He used numerology to try to prove that the Koran was written by God. The imam also let men and women pray together and wear non-traditional dress. New York prosecutors say that in the first days of 1990, El Hage was called up by a "tall man" from New York who suddenly arrived in Arizona and said he was there to check Rashad Khalifa. El Hage entertained him at his house and drove him to the mosque, prosecutors say. Several weeks later, Khalifa was found murdered in the kitchen of the Mosque. Several members of the radical Islamic sect, Al Fuqra, were convicted for conspiring to commit the murder, but no shooter has ever been convicted. ...
... Soon after, El Hage moved his growing family to the suburban community of Arlington, Texas. ... According to a confession Abouhalima later gave U.S. Attorneys, Abouhalima contacted El Hage in 1990 to purchase assault weapons to be used against radical Jewish Rabbi Meir Kahane. Kahane was murdered in November 1990 in New York City. ... evidence shows he [El Hage] was friends with many people who were later convicted in the World Trade Center and New York City Landmark bombing cases. On March 8, 1991, El Hage signed in to visit El Sayyid Nosair at the Riker's Island. Nosair was serving a sentence for gun charges stemming from the Meir Kahane murder case. Both El Sayyid Nosair and Mahmud Abouhalima were central figures in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and both have been convicted in that crime. ... In early 1992, El Hage moved his family to the Sudan and he began working as a secretary for Osama bin Laden. ... In 1994, El Hage left the Sudan for Kenya and became director of a Muslim charity organization called "Help Africa People." ... During his time in Kenya, El Hage stayed in contact with members of bin Laden's inner circle. ... Another bin Laden associate, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, also known as Haroun Fazul, moved into El Hage's house in Nairobi during this period and began to work for El Hage as a secretary. ... Haroun Fazul, according to prosecutors, was a key player in the Nairobi embassy bombing in August of 1998--accused of renting the house where the bomb was built and driving the lead truck in the bombing. ... Another man charged in the bombing, Mohammed Saddiq Odeh, has admitted during his interrogation that he knew El Hage in Kenya ... Odeh was captured trying to enter Pakistan just after the bombings and provided investigators with the first link that the bombings were conducted by people working for Osama bin Laden. ... El Hage moved back to the suburban community of Arlington, Texas and got a job ... at the Lone Star Tire Store ... On September 15, 1998, El Hage testified before the grand jury investigation into the Africa bombings. ... Several days later, El Hage was arrested and charged with perjury. On October 7, 1998, a new indictment was returned by the grand jury, expanding the charges against El Hage to include conspiracy to kill United States nationals. In May, 2001, he was found guilty by a federal jury of both perjury and conspiracy. ...".
According to a 6 May 2003 article by Roger-Pol Droit in the Manchester Guardian Weekly for 22-28 May 2003, Le Monde section:
"...[In his book]... The Syro-Aramaic Reading Of The Koran ... Christoph Luxenberg (a pseudonym) ... ask[s] ... what exactly is the language of the Koran?
The answer is of course Arabic. But which Arabic? The problem arises from the fact that the oldest known manuscripts of the Koran contain only consonants. It was only later ... that a system of diacritical dots was invented to indicate vowels, thus making it possible to distinguish between words written in the same way but pronounced differently. Luxemberg ...[read]... some of the obscurer passages using Syro-Aramaic .... a language spoken widely in the 6th and 7th centuries ...
... In the Mary Sura (XIX, 24) for example, the newborn Jesus tries to comfort his mother. The traditional ... text reads: "Do not be sad! Your Lord has put your feet in a stream." A Syro-Aramaic interpretation produces: "Do not be sad! Your Lord has made your delivery legitimate." ...
[ However, a widely known English translation by Maulana Muhammad Ali (first edition 1917, subsequently revised and corrected, see www.muslim.org) says, for the Mary Sura (19, 24-25): "... So a voice came to her from beneath her: Grieve not, surely thy Lord has provided a stream beneath thee. And shake towards thee the trunk of the palm-tree, it will drop on thee fresh ripe dates. ...
[footnote commentary:] This shows that Mary gave birth to Jesus while on a journey; hence the reference to water and food ... such as one can only find in a journey ... She may have had recourse to the trunk of a palm-tree to find a support in the throes of childbirth. ... The Qur'an does not accept that Jesus was born on 25th December. It was the time when fresh ripe dates are found on palm-trees. ... Bishop Barnes says ... that the 25th of December was taken from the Persian cult, Mithra, being the God of the invincible sun ...".
My comment is that the Mualan Muhammad Ali English translation does not seem particularly obscure to me. ]
... Even more surprising is the transformation of the celebrated houris (virgins) in the gardens of Paradise [see The Mountain (52, 20)]. Instead of "wide-eyed virgins" we should, he says, read
"white raisins" ...... of "crystal clarity". ...".
I conclude this page with a quote from a Document written by Minister, Writer, Music Composer and wife of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad -- Mother Tynetta Muhammad, March 28, 1996:
"... THE NATION OF ISLAM WAS founded on the basis of peace and as an answer to a prayer of Abraham to deliver his people who would be found in servitude slavery in the Western Hemisphere in this day and time.
The Flag of Islam with the symbols of the Sun, Moon, and the Stars, represent the Universe and is also a Banner of Universal peace and Harmony.
Our Holy Temples of Islam were established in America as sanctuaries of peace and higher learning into the Knowledge of the Oneness of God.
Our schools are called Universities of Islam and teach the higher meaning of Islam which is Mathematics. ...
... In spite of the controversy and clamor surrounding the Nation of Islam and it's Divine Leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan, we are forging ahead in the Spirit of Almighty God, Allah, to unite with all of humanity in the Oneness of God, where all people of goodwill of every Race and of every Nation may participate in the Universal Expression of the Principles of Peace and the Brotherhood of man. ...