USA General Wesley Clark (Former Supreme AlliedCommander Europe during the Kosovooperations, and author of the book WagingModern War: Bosnia, Kosova, and the Future of Combat (May 2001))during a 29 October 2001 interview on BBCHARD 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 TradeCenter,
On this page I will describe some aspects of Islam, including theorigins of Islam in Arabia and three examples of branches of Islam (Abyssinian Islam; SufiIslam; and Turkish Islam ) that havesome peaceful characteristics ( Being part ofhumanity, they are not perfect, and if you study them closely you mayconclude that some of them are not perfect examples of peace onearth. ). They are by no means the only examples of branchesof Islam with some peaceful characteristics, and are listed here justbecause for one reason or another I personally find them interesting( for instance, I have personal friends who are in each of the threebranches of Islam that I discuss here ). Many other interestingexamples exist, and I hope that, if you are interested in suchthings, you will read about them on other websites andpublications:
Just as all Christians should not be blamed for the torture andkilling of the Inquisition done in the name of Christianity, all ofIslam should not be blamed for terroristic acts done in the name ofIslam.
Islam has over a billion followers, so it is not surprising thatit has many facets, not all of which get along with each other, andalso that there are many conflicts between some facets of Islam andothers. Consequently, there are many conflicting points ofview, and many controversial points of view are expressed on theWorld Wide Web, from which I often quote on my web pages. Some of thequotations on this page are written by people with strong feelings onone side or the other of some of these controversies. I do NOTnecessarily agree with the partisan positions taken in some of thequotes, but I DO quote them for two reasons: 1 - to present someunderlying facts ( for example - the death of Husayn ibn Ali atKerbala ); and 2 - to give readers some idea of the strength anddepth of emotional feelings involved. Please be aware that if aquote appears to express very strong emotional feeling for one sideof a particular controversy, then there are probably equally strongemotional feelings on the other side. I don't try to present allsides of all controversies, partly because of lack of space and time,and partly because I don't want to try to referee, judge, ordecide such controversies. I just want to make readers of thispage aware of the existence of controversies and depth of feelingsinvolved, and leave it to each reader to investigate further and formindependent opinions. On this page, quotes are set off by quotationmarks " ", omissions and/or reorderings are denoted by ... , andbrackets [ ] enclose comments made by me.
I agree with Jaseem Naeem that Islam is a unitary religion andthat as such, it does not view itself as having various differenttypes or branches.
I also agree that Islam has no place for innovation, but thatstatement could easily be misinterpreted, so I will try to explain itfurther. As I understand it, Islam views itself as a full andcomplete religion, the climax of a process of revelations to prophetsover many centuries, with Muhammad being the final prophet and theQuran being brought from Allah to humanity through Muhammad as thefinal prophet of Allah. Therefore, there is no need to have furtherprophets, or to introduce anything new and different to Islam, and inthat 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 theNation of Islam to be part of Islam. It is, in my opinion, probablytrue that the vast majority of those who consider themselves to beMuslim followers of Islam would agree with Jaseem Naeem.
However, both Sufis and followers of the Nation of Islam doconsider themselves to be Muslim followers of Islam. so that thereis, 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, ordecide such controversies. Therefore, on this page, I will justtake everybody at their word about their own religion, and I willinclude Sufis and followers of the Nation of Islam because they saythat they are Muslim followers of Islam. Therefore, you, the readerof this web page and related pages, should be aware that:
Many other issues that come to my mind on reading the message fromJaseem Naeem are NOT decided by me on this web page. For example:
I will probably NOT put up any further examples, and I willprobably NOT put up any further thoughts that I may have about JaseemNaeem's message, because I don't have the time and space to put upanything remotely approaching a complete analysis of the issues ofIslam, much less their resolution.
However, I do state here that I very much appreciate JaseemNaeem's taking the time to send me a sincere and helpful message,and, whether or not anything further appears on this web page, I hopeto continue learning about Islam, and many other things, during therest of my life on Earth.
Here, for the record, is the full message from Jaseem Naeem tome:
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 thexenohistorian.faithweb web site:
"... We know very little about Arabia's history before theseventh century A.D.. Part of the reason is because therehas not been much archaeological investigation, and though we canread the numerous stone inscriptions left behind by the ancientArabs, they help us little when no event mentioned by them can befound in the literature of other civilizations. Also, the modern Arabattitude can be a hindrance; most of them care little about theirpre-Islamic history, calling it al-Jahiliyah, the age ofignorance. ... In the northwest, a tribe called the Anbat, orNabataeans, formed a kingdom in Jordan and the Sinai peninsula. They prospered because of a good location on the trade routes and byuse of water-conservation techniques whose efficiency has onlyrecently been appreciated. Cisterns, dams, aqueducts, and waterchannels were all used; they terraced hills to prevent soil erosion.Modern Israelis have applied similar techniques for living in theNegev. The Nabataean capital, Petra, had superb naturaldefenses; it was in a valley with an entrance so narrow that four menstanding abreast in it could hold off an invading army. Petrais first mentioned at the end of the fourth century B.C., whenAntigonus I, one of Alexander the Great's generals, made anunsuccessful attempt to conquer it. The kings of Petra carvedfine tombs and other buildings out of the pink sandstone that linedthe valley walls; later Bedouins believed that djinni built them....
... In the east, Ubar underwent major construction around 350B.C. This marked the beginning of at least six centuries ofprosperity for the people of 'Ad, thanks to their incense andisolation. ... Frankincense remained the main commodity of theArabian trade network. The aromatic leaves of the myrrh plantfound similar uses; the Egyptians, for example, stuffed mummies withthem. Most Arab traders started from Yemen, went up the westArabian coast along a road that paralleled the Red Sea, and enteredthe Roman Empire at Petra or Damascus. Traders also went to and fromYemen by sea, connecting it with India and East Africa. Some haveeven suggested that the Wise Men of the New Testament might have beenArabs rather than Persians or some other sort of Orientals, becausethe gifts they brought (gold, frankincense, and myrrh) could all befound in southern Arabia. The trade became so lucrative thatthe Romans called Yemen Arabia Felix, or Happy Arabia. In 24B.C. Aelius Gallus, the Roman prefect of Egypt, sent an expedition toconquer Yemen; it failed, due to the rigors of the Arabian climate.Along the Hejaz caravan route, two oases, Mecca and Yathrib (latercalled Medina), grew into cities. ... Judaism became dominant inYathrib by the time of Mohammed.
Mecca was blessed with two majorspirit-possessed objects: a meteorite(the famous Black Stone) and a spring (the Well of Zamzam). Atsome early date a cube-shaped temple called the Kaabawas built next to the spring, as a repository for theBlack Stone.
[image from VirtualHadj Tour website]
360 idols were put outside the Kaaba, one for each day of theyear. Many of these idols were plain stones, called betyls,and pilgrims practiced an unusual form of idol exchange, oftenleaving one of their own betyls behind so they could take a Meccanstone home with them. Soon pagans from all over Arabia were makingpilgrimages to Mecca, giving the city a thriving tourist industry....Later on a number of traditions sprouted up concerning Mecca andthe Old Testament patriarch Abraham. Zamzam was identified with thespring that nourished Ishmael and his mother Hagar in Genesis 21:19,after Abraham sent them away. Sometime after that Abraham is said tohave visited them, and he built the Kaaba during his stay. AnotherIslamic tradition asserts that Abraham tried to sacrifice Ishmael onMt. Arafat just outside of Mecca, not Isaac on Mt. Moriah, as theBiblical account tells us. ...
The tribes of Arabia were eventually drawn into the east-weststruggle between the Romans and the Persians. ... Then came aneconomic slump, caused by a totally unexpected foreigndevelopment:
the rise of Christianity. This new religion taught that belief in God and a righteouslifestyle, not big offerings, brought salvation. Moreover,Christians favored simple burials over cremation andmummification. When Christianity became the official religionin 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 "therichest 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 fellbecause it grew both wicked and rich, like Atlantis and Sodom. Fouryears of searing drought came after the collapse of the incensetrade, but Shaddad, the king of the 'Ad, was vain and arrogant,believing himself to be a god. The Ubarites agreed, proclaiming, "Whois mightier than we?" The only dissenting voice came from Hud,a merchant of Jewish descent. ... The stage was now set for one ofancient literature's classic duels of morality: spirituality vs.materialism, God vs. gods, virtue vs. appalling customs like femaleinfanticide. Arab stories claim that Hud was a champion ofmonotheism, a forerunner to Mohammed. Whether or not this was true,Shaddad ignored the warning, and instead sent a delegation of seventymen to Mecca, as if a big offering to the Meccan idols would bringback prosperity. No such luck; when they returned Ubar was suddenlydestroyed. The legends aren't clear on what happened, exceptthat it was a divine judgment; they make it sound like the windbrought a firestorm to overthrow the city.
The archaeologists who rediscovered Ubar in 1992 found that halfof it fell into a sinkhole, sometime between 300 and 500A.D. An earthquake apparently caused this, and if ithappened at night, that would explain how the cataclysm killed mostof the inhabitants. The ruined city was never rebuilt, and wassoon forgotten. ...
At the end of the pre-Islamic era, south Arabia was a mixture ofpeople from many religions: pagans, Jews, Christians of many sects,and Manicheans. Early in the sixth century, a Himyarite king namedDhu Nuwas converted to Judaism. Concerned with the growing power ofChristianity and Byzantium, Dhu Nuwas allied himself with Persia. TheChristians he persecuted appealed to the Christianking of Axum (Ethiopia) [Abyssinia] for protection, andhe obliged by invading and conquering Himyar in 525. ...
The invaders tried to colonize Yemen, but with limitedsuccess. During their stay, the great Marib dam burst, andlocal agriculture never recovered from that setback. TheEthiopians made their next movein 570, when they sent an army up the Hejaz to destroy the paganstronghold at Mecca. With it went an elephant, an animal neverseen in Arabia before. That gave the expedition a lot ofattention, but it did not bring a victory; some sort of epidemicbroke out and forced the army to turn back ten miles short of itsgoal. A few years later the Ethiopian interlude ended, when thePersian navy arrived and turned Yemen into a Sassanid province. Even so, the elephant found a form of immortality in Arabfolklore. For
it was in Mecca during "the Year of the Elephant" that theprophet Mohammed was born. ...".
According to aweb page of Burak Sansal:
"... The sources available to us on Muhammad are Muslim, writtenin Arabic. They are principally in the form of the hadiths, thetraditions, which are systematical efforts of choosing between goodand not so good stories of Muhammad's life, often collected in theshape of suras. Bits and pieces of Muhammad's life is also recordedin the Koran. Little is known from other sources. The suras andhadiths available are the result of work from about 100 years afterMuhammad's death, but are a continuation of a very accurate andliving oral tradition. The compilations where built on historicalcriticism not very unlike what is the method in modern historicalcriticism. The oldest compilation now available, are the ones of IbnIshaq (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 isstraighforward: Different versions of stories are presented, andMuhammad himself is presented as a human being with both his good andhis bad sides (the latter have been used by opponents of Islam topresent Muhammad as a false prophet). Except from certain passages,the matierial bears few traces of being legendary, and was first toldby people who knew Muhammad as a man, and told to people of the sameepoque and cultural environment. These are very good reasons for usto treat the material on Muhammad's life as historical sources, andeven more, as good historical sources. ...
Muhammads birth is said to have been in the "year of theElephant", which one believes is pointing to the invasion from Yemen,where an elephant was brought along in order to smash the Ka'ba, anevent which is dated to 570 AD (where Muhammad's recorded age atcertain times, have been used as the main source for the estimation)....
... while working as a trader ... Muhammadcame to know the widow (and divorcee) Khadija, who was the owner of acaravan company where Muhammad was employed. At the age of 25Muhammad married Khadija, then 40. Even if Khadija had children fromboth of her former marriages, she got 7 children with Muhammad....
... Muhammad received his first revelation in 610, on the mountainof Hira outside Mecca. The revelation came in a time when Muhammadsearched 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 inAbyssinia in 615, due to theresistance 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 axenohistorian.faithweb web page:
"... Mohammed stayed [in Mecca in 615] because his familyconnections protected him ... He came into the courtyard of theKaaba
[images from islamic-cityweb site]
and suggested that the gods andgoddesses of Mecca might be real after all, serving as saints orangels to mediate between God and man. ... These are theso-called "Satanic verses" that have caused much controversyamong scholars of Islam. ... They [the Meccan establishment]enthusiastically received his [Mohammed's] recantation, butwhen he [Mohammed] saw the reaction he repented ... He[Mohammed] said that the devil had momentarily possessed histongue, and denounced idolatry more vigorously than before. ...".
According to aVedic Sword of Truth web page by Aditi Chaturvedi:
"... the Satanic Verses ... say: "Have Ye thought of Al-Lat andAl-Uzza and Manat the third, the other, these are the Gharaniq whoseintercession is approved."(Quran 53:19-27) ...".
[Click here to see the revised versionof Quran 53:19-27 that is currently accepted by Islam.]
According to aweb page of Burak Sansal:
"... Khadija died in 619, and soon Muhammadremarried. Unlike in his marrige with Khadija, he chose to haveseveral 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 particularin Yathrib [Madina], through successful military campaigns,like the one at Badr in 624 ... and Ditsh in 627. ... In 630 Muhammadmanaged to take control over Mecca without any resistance. ...".
According to aweb page of The Imam Ahmed Raza Academy:
"... ( 8 A.H. [A.D. 630]) ... Sayyiduna Rasulullah(sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) [Muhammad] then entered theHoly Kaaba and found it full of pictures and idols. He destroyed allthe pictures and broke all the idols into pieces. While breakingthe idols, he recited the following verse of the Holy Quran: "Truthhas arrived and Falsehood perished; Falsehood, is by nature bound toperish." (Surah Hijr: Verse 81) ...".
According to aVedic Sword of Truth web page by Aditi Chaturvedi:
"... Muhammad's uncle was one of the resident priests of theShiv temple known as"Kaaba". This sacred sanctum was decorated in an extremely richand beautiful fashion. The Kaaba was astronomically oriented to facethe winds. The minor axis of the rectangular base of the Kaaba wassolistically aligned towards summer sunrise and winter sunset. Itcontained 360 statues of Vedicdeities and was a shrine primarily associated with sunworship. The temple was an architectural representation of aninterlocking set of theories covering virtually all creation andcomprehending chemistry, physics, cosmology, meteorology andmedicine. Each wall or corner of the Kaaba was associated with aspecific region of the world. Thus this glorious Hindu temple wasmade to symbolically represent a microcosm of the universe. ...Right at the centre of the Kaaba was the octogonal pedestal ofBramha the creator.
[image from islamic-city.comweb site]
Today this very pedestal is called Maqam-E-Ibrahim by theMuslims. ... Muhammad destroyed all 360 idols, but even hecould not summon the courage to completely obliterate theShivling in the Kaaba. ...
...[ image of Black Stone Shivling fromwww.lexdex.com/cache/worship-mecca.htm]...
... Today it lies broken atseven places and held together by a silver band studded withsilver nails, bearing the name "Sangey Aswad" which came from theSanskrit Ashwet meaning non-white or black stone. ... Muhammad... made all image representation a sin ... oral recitation ofVedic scriptures was always done in a lyrical fashion, utilizingmusic ... Muhammad decided to forbid Music. ...". AnotherVedicSword of Truth web page by Aditi Chatuvedi says: "... The Kaabatemple, which was the heart of Mecca was their biggest testament toastral worship. It was a shrine devoted to the Sun, Moon, Planets andGalaxies. Besides the shrines of Shams (Surya or Sun), Manat(SoManath or Moon), Uzza (Oorja, Shakti as Venus), Dharrih (Suryodayor rising sun), etc. There were many shrines dedicated to stars andconstellations such as the Krittikas (the Pleaides). There were 24doorways to the temple, these doorways represented the 24 hours ofthe day. The 360 shrines represented the days of the year andeach image was made to symbolically represent the ruling planet, inastrological terms. The seven circambulations (parikrama)symbolized the orbiting of the seven major planets.
[image from VirtualHadj Tour website]
The first three circuits were done fast and the remaining fourslowly, in exact imitation of the planetary movements around thesun. ... One of the shrines in the Kaaba was also dedicated tothe Hindu Creator God, Brahma... The word "Abraham" is none other than a malpronounciation of theword Brahma This can be clearly proven if one investigates the rootmeanings of both words. Abraham is said to be one of the oldestSemitic Prophets.His name is supposed to be derived from the twoSemitic words "Ab" meaning "Father" and "Raam/Raham" meaning "of theexalted", In the book of Genesis, Abraham simply means "Multitude".The word Abraham is derived from the Sanskrit word "Brahma". The rootof Brahma is "Brah" which means -"to grow or multiply in number". Inaddition Lord Brahma, the Creator God of Hinduism is said to be theFather of all Men and Exalted of all the Gods, for it is from himthat all beings were generated. Thus again we come to the meaning"Exalted Father". This is a clear pointer to the fact that Abrahamis none other than the heavenly father Brahma . ...
... All Arabic copies of the Koran have the mysterious figure 786imprinted on them ...
... This "magical" number is none other than theVedic holy letter "OM" written in Sanskrit ...".
According to aweb page of Burak Sansal:
"... The [Quranic] revelations [to Muhammad]changed the style during the 22 years of revelations, from morepoetic in the beginning to more prosaic later, and in the content, itchanged from warnings on what was to come to mankind from God if mandidn't turn in direction of God's will, to regulations on behaviorand rules for the society. These changes came parallel to changesin the position of Islam in the society. ...".
According to web pages of Burak Sansal on Ramadanand TurkishHolidays (which may no longer be on the web, butmight be found cached by Google):
"... Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down theQur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance andjudgment (between right and wrong). ... The fast-month ends with thesighting of the new moon heralding the month of Shawwal and the Eidfestival (bayram). Abd Allah b. Abbas reported that the Apostle ofAllah, Muhammed (may peace be upon him), referring to Ramadan,declared: Do not begin to fast until you have seen the crescent anddo 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 axenohistorian.faithweb web page:
"... Heraclius, [Roman] emperor since 610 ... began ... aseaborne invasion of Asia Minor from the south in 622. ... Four yearsof bloody battles in Armenia and Azerbaijan followed. Then Heracliuscalled in the Khazars, a fierce Turkic tribe that lived in Russia,and together they descended onto the plain of the Tigris. ... Persiasued for peace (628). The war ended with a Persian army still on theAsian shore of the Bosporus, and victorious Roman forces inMesopotamia. ... While the ink was drying on the treaty betweenByzantium and Persia, a strange message came out of the Arabiandesert. ... It was a challenge from "Mohammed the Prophet of God,"calling upon the recipient to acknowledge the one true God and toserve him. We know nothing else about the document. Identicalcopies 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 bymerchant ship, the letter took a whole year to reach him. He thoughtthe message was an offer to trade, and accepted on those terms.The Chinese built a mosque in Canton forthe 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 havefaintly amused the emperor.
However, at Ctesiphon they [Persians] knew about Mohammed,because of his meddling in Yemen and other Arab-populated areas onPersia's frontier. Kavadh tore up the letter, flung the pieces at theenvoy, and ordered him to leave. The letter's author was just asangry when he learned of the Persian response. "Even so, O Lord!"Mohammed cried, "Rend thou his kingdom from him." ...".
According to aweb page of Burak Sansal:
"... ...... in 632 he [Muhammad] was able to perform thehajj. ...
Soon after his return to Madina ... in 632 ... , he died in thepresence of his favourite wife, 'A'isha (Ayse) and her father AbuBakr, and Muhammad was buried in his own house, which hadalready served as a mosque for some years. The mosque still liesthere, and is counted as the second most important mosque inIslam, and Madina the second most holy city. ...".
According to amaaref-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 thatsurvived. 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 ... theProphet had designated no successor. The Muslims at Medinadecided ... to elect ... Abu Bakr, father of the Prophet's favouredwife, Aishah. All of this occurred before the Prophet's burial (underthe floor of Aishah's hut, alongside the courtyard of the mosque)....
... According to the Shiah, or "Partisans" of Ali, the Prophethad designated as his successor his son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Tabib,husband of his daughter Fatimah and father of his only survivinggrandsons, Hasan and Husayn. ...".
According to anal-islam.org web page:
"... The Prophet Abraham had come to ... Najaf... along with Isaac; there had been many earthquakes in thevicinity, but while Abraham remained there, there were no tremors.... Abraham insisted ... that the time would come when there would bea tomb there with a shrine, at which seventy thousand people wouldgain absolutely undisputed entrance to Paradise ...
... when one of the sons of Noah refused to enter the Ark, he saidthat he would sit on this mountain [at Najaf] until he wouldsee where the water would come. A revelation came therefore to themountain, "Do you undertake to protect this son of mine frompunishment?" And all at once the mountain fell. to pieces and the sonof 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 calledNay-Jaff, meaning, "the dried river." ...
... Ali once said that this ValIey of Peace [atNajaf] is part of Heaven and that there is not a single one ofthe believers in the world, whether he dies in the east or west, buthis soul will come to this Paradise to rest. ... as per theprediction of Abraham, Imam Ali was buried here [Najaf].... During the reigns of the Umayyad Caliphs his blessedresting-place could not be disclosed, and so it was also under theAbbasids until the reign of Harun al-Rashid. But in the year 175A.H. (791 A.D.), Harun happened to go hunting in these parts, andthe deer he was chasing took refuge on a small piece of raisedground. 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 possessionof the Caliph's heart, and he immediately started to make inquiriesof the people of the neighbourhood, and they acquainted him with thefact that this was the grave of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib, the cousinand son-in-law of the Holy Prophet. Harun ordered a tomb to beerected over the grave ...".
According to anal-islam.org web page by Ramzan Sabir:
"... Imam ... Al-Husain was a revolutionary person, arighteous man, the religious authority, the Imam of Muslim Ummah. Asthe representative of his grandfather Prophet Muhammad (pbuh),Imam Husain ...[and]... as head of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) neverrecognized Mu'awiya nor his followers. Before him Imam Ali (a.s.)had fought battles against Mu'awiya because Mu'awiya continuouslyviolated the Islamic principles.
Imam Al-Hasan (a.s.) had to swallow the bitter pill of making apeace agreement with Mu'awiya, in order to safeguard the security ofthe Ummah which was at stake. ... Imam Al-Hasan ... was poisoned...Sensing that his death was imminent, the Imam designated hisbrother Al-Husain (a.s.) to be the third Imam. ... Imam Al-Hasan was47 year old when he died of poisoning. ... When Husain(a.s.) was designated as the 3rd Imam he was 46 years old. ImamHusain (a.s.) carried on with his mission of teaching Islam asbefore. ... This process continued for several years when peoplebegan to hear ... that Mu'awiya wanted his son, Yazid, to succeedhim. ...
... When Yazid son of Mu'awiya declared himself as a ruler overthe Ummah, he demanded Imam Al-Husain's (a.s.) allegiance ofloyalty. Imam Husain on his part flatly rejected Yazid's rule... Imam Husain ... decided to leave Medina along with his family toproceed to Mecca. When Al-Husain reached Mecca he received 12,000letters from Kufa urging him to go to Kufa to be their leader, and bethe Khalifa. ... Imam Husain ... decided to leave Mecca for Kufa toprepare for a confrontation with Yazid and his forces. ...
... Yazid['s] ... commanders ... assemble[d] arelatively large army, surrounding Imam Husain's camp in a desertcalled Karbala. ... Then they cutoff the basic necessities to the camp, including access to water. Thecamp consisted of Imam Husain, his family, friends, and companions,all of whom stood fast and firmly with him. ... Karbala proved to bea clash involving Islamic truths versus falsehood, right versuswrong, 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 ProphetMuhammad (pbuh), sacrificed his totality and all he had, for one goal... to let the truth triumph over falsehood eventually ... thoughthis was at the expense of his life. ...".
According to anal-islam.org web page:
"... After the martyrdom of the family of the Prophet atKerbala in 61 Hijri(681 AD) [ in which Husayn ibn Ali, grandson of Muhammad,was killed, a key event in the split ofIslam into Shia and Sunni ], the Ummayad Caliph Yazid IbneMoawiya did not stop there in the pursuit of his destruction. He senta large contingent under the command of Haseen Ibne Namir to Madinawhich destroyed the Mosque of the Prophet. They did not stop therebut proceeded to Makka and demolished the four walls of theKa'aba ...
The Ka'aba successfully withstood the Karamatian invasion of317/929, only the Blackstone was carried away which was returned sometwenty years later.
In the year 1981 the Wahabis brought tanks inside the Ka'aba tocrush the kahtani revolution against the Saudi regime and almostdemolished the South Eastern Wall. This was later restored with thehelp of the Makkan people. ...".
According to anal-Hajj web page:
"... A major reconstruction of the Kaaba tookplace between May 1996 and October 1996. ... During thisreconstruction the only original thing left from the Kaaba are thestones. All other material has been replaced including the ceilingand the roof and its wood. ... The president of the Islamic Societyof North America (ISNA) had the opportunity to go inside the Kaaba in1998. He describes the following features: there are two pillarsinside (others report 3 pillars); there is a table on the side to putitems like perfume; there are two lantern-type lamps hanging from theceiling; the space can accommodate about 50 people; there are noelectric lights inside; the walls and floors are of marble; there areno windows inside; there is only one door; the upper inside walls ofthe Kaaba were covered with some kind of curtain with the Kalimawritten on it ...".
According to aweb page by Lambert Dolphin:
"... In A.D. 691 Caliph Abd el-Malik commissioned the bestarchitects to build the Dome of the Rock. ... The "Golden Dome"is not made out of gold but rather anodized aluminum. The originaldome was wooden, later covered with brass, and then lead sheathing in1448. The excess weight of the lead-clad dome caused grave concernfor the entire building because of periodic severe earthquakes inJerusalem and finally the anodized aluminum dome. Most recently, in1993, a million dollars in gold foil was provided by the governmentof Saudi Arabia as a gift. As of this writing the installation of thegold leaf has now been completed and the dome is today resplendent inbrilliant pure gold. ...
... Inside the Dome is an outcropping of the bedrock of MountMoriah, the "Sacred Rock." ... Mount Moriah is a long, extended hillin Jerusalem, extending north from the City of David and extendingbeyond the present North wall of the Old City. That same hill is thetraditional site of Abraham's sacrificial altar for Isaac, thethreshing floor or Araunah, and the site of the First and the SecondTemple. ... The Foundation Stone is not solid, beneath it lies a caveand a well known as "the well of souls." ...
... Since it is an historical fact that Mohammed never came toJerusalem why is the Temple Mount considered holy to Muslims?One passage from the Koran does link Mohammed with Jerusalem and theTemple Mount. It is the seventeenth Sura, entitled "The NightJourney." In this Sura there is a dream or vision by Mohammed[some sources say occurring in the year A.D. 621] in which heis carried by night:
Islamic tradition identifies the first temple as Mecca and thesecond as Jerusalem. Mohammed's journey was with the ArchangelGabriel. Muslim belief says they rode together on a winged steedcalled El Burak ("lightning"). El Burak is not mentioned in theKoran, its first mention is two centuries after Mohammed's death in adocument called Hadith, a collection of oral traditions. After theyarrived at the Temple Mount, Mohammed and horse ascended through theseven heavens into Allah's presence. Various spots on the Mount werelater indicated as the place where El Burak was tied up before theascent into the presence of Allah. ...
... The Caliph's new shrine was deliberately built as apolitical, economic, and religious counter attraction to Mecca.Medina and Mecca, the two cities holy to Islam, were under thecontrol of a rival Caliph. Abd El-Malik sought to build up theimportance of Jerusalem as an Islamic center for pilgrimage andworship. The holy spot of Judaism was now to be identified with thespot where Mohammed's horse ascended to heaven. ...".
According to aweb page of Burak Sansal:
"... Laylatul-Mi'raj (Mirac), the "Night of Ascension",commemorating Muhammad's ascent to heaven ... is traditionallycelebrated on the night preceding the 27th of Rajab, when the mosquesand the minarets are lighted and there is much devotional reading ofpopular accounts of the Mi'raj. ...".
According to aweb page on Science, Knowledge, and Sufism, by Henry Bayman:
"... Although apparently naturalistic, Taoismis steeped in mysticism. In Sufismand Taoism, Toshihiko Izutsu has drawn attention to the convergencebetween the teaching of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu and that of the greatSufi sheikh, Ibn Arabi. But the Great Sheikh never studied Taoism; hemerely made explicit what was already present in Koranic andProphetic lore. We must conclude that the same Universal Reality wastapped independently at widely differing times and places.
In both the Koran and the sayings of the Prophet, knowledge in themost general sense is praised, without ever limiting it to eitherphysical science or spiritual knowledge. If the Prophet said:"Seek knowledge, even if it be in China," he thereforepresumably meant not just knowledge of physical things (such aspaper, gunpowder, and silk), but also the esoteric traditions of theChinese. Although Islam is self-sufficient, the Chinese perspective,viewed as an exotic subset of Islamic Sufism, sheds unexpected lighton certain matters. It may be no coincidence, then, that China wassingled out; after Islam- the religion to end all religions- and itsprecursor, Christianity, the highest form of esoteric knowledge is tobe found in China.
In passing one might also mention Confucianism, which is like theethical and exoteric counterpart of Taoism, and corresponds to theexoteric- outward- code of moral and social behavior in Islam. InJung's classification of psychological types, the extravert is moresocially oriented, while the introvert is more inwardly oriented andmeditative. A universal religion must address both kinds oftemperament. The whole, balanced human being should not be lacking ineither aspect, nor should his religion; hence, the synthesis ofsocial (ethical/legal) and psychological (mystical) precepts inIslam. The reason for calling this a "synthesis" is that the exotericand esoteric aspects are entirely in harmony and nowhere incontradiction within the whole of Islamic doctrine. ...".
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica(Micropaedia, v. 11, 1987):
"... Sufism as anorganized movement arose among pious Muslims as a reaction againstthe worldliness of the early Umayyad period (AD 661-749). ...Later, under the influence of speculative mysticism, Ibnal-Arabi [AD 1165-1240] produced a system which created acomplete chasm between the law and Sufism. In societies, such asIslamic India, that had a strong pre-Islamic heritage of mysticism,this chasm became much wider. ... it was largely through the effortsof Sufi missionaries that Islam was extended into India, CentralAsia, Turkey, and sub-Saharan Africa. ...".
According to aweb page on Major Afghan Mujahideen Groups:
"... Mahaz-e-Milli Islami Afghanistan (National Islamic Front ofAfghanistan) Led by Syed Ahmad Effendi Gaillani, a spiritualleader of Afghanistan's Sufi sect, the Qadiris, Mahaz too isPashtun dominated and conservative. Gaillani who is related toAfghanistan's royal family, advocates the return of former King ZahirShah. Despite his religious crcdentials, Gaillani is opposed toradical Islamists. His front is reported to be about 18000strong. ...
... Jabba-e-Nejat-e-Milli Afghanistan (Afghan National LiberationFront) Led by Sebghatullah Mojaddidi, who is a theologian by trainingand a Pir (religious heed) of another important Sufi order, theNaqshbandi, this parly isalso Sufi oriented and is opposed to radical Islamistideology. Mojaddidi too has had links with the royalistestablishment and consequently had dlifferences with Hikmatyar. Thisgroup is reported to have about 18000 cadres, operating mostly aroundQandhar, Farah and Baghlan. ...".
According to aweb page on Sufism in Chechnya:
"... Excerpts from: "Mystics and Commmissars: Sufism in the SovietUnion"X, Alexandre Bennigsen and S. Enders Wimbush,C. Hurst andCompany, London, 1985. ... Contrary to the situation in othercountries that have Sufi orders (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey,the Arab countries), where fundamentalist currents andorganisations are independent and often opposed to Sufi activity,in the Soviet Union fundamentalist and radical Sufi tendencies areoften, but not always, in harmony. In the particular case of theNorth Caucasus, Sufi orders have gained control not only overfundamentalist trends but also over all national resistance movementsfrom the late eighteenth century to the present day. ... Naqshbandigroups exist all over the world from Morocco to Indonesia, and fromChina to East Africa. ... The predominance of the Naqshbandiyaover other brotherhoods may be explained by several factors.
... Present day Sufism is notmonachist, it does not reject the world, and it has no ascetictrends. French scholars like to compare today's Sufi orders inCentral Asia to the zawwiyya of North and West Africa, emphasizingtheir "maraboutic" character. British scholars are fond of lookingfor Hindo-Muslim syncretism in Central Asia Sufism, while theTurkish error lies in presenting Sufi brotherhoods as heterodox(Shi'a extremist) organisations comparable to the Bektashis.Pre-Revolutionary Russian scholars often emphasized the shamanistbackground of the Sufi orders. Post-revolutionary Sovietcharacterisations of the Sufi orders are typically bold, frequentlyamusing and usually wrong. To most Soviet scholars, the ordersrepresent clandestine surrogate political organisations whose adeptsare foreign agents, spies and saboteurs. More sober minds among thempresent the brotherhoods as heterodox sects, which of course, is alsowrong. Western Marxists playing on a variation of this theme, insiston de-spiritualizing Sufism and reducing it either to a simple socialprotest or to ritual magic. We can also speak of an "Iranocentric"view of Sufism among some scholars, which consists of reducing Sufismin Central Asia and the Caucasus to fundamentalism "a la Khomeini".Finally, although the study of Sufism has come only recently to theUnited States, some American scholars have already fallen into anunfortunate and atypically unimaginative error; they insist thatSufism in the Soviet Union has little significance because there isonly limited data on it. In fact, evidence is plentiful andrevealing. ...".
According to axenohistorian.faithweb web page:
"... The first Sufis ... rejected worldly wealth and themechanical observance of rituals in favor of an inner spiritual life;all of them viewed God as a loving figure who was always close to hiscreations. ... a ninth-century mystic known as al-Hallaj ...preaching in Baghdad inspired a cry among the people for moral andpolitical reforms. At one point he said "I am the Truth," causingorthodox theologians to conclude he was calling himself God. ... hewas ... tried and sentenced to death by crucifixion. Appropriately,he went to his execution smiling and quoting Jesus: "Father, forgivethem . . ." ... Sufism wasmade respectable by al-Ghazali (1058-1111), the greatesttheologian Islam ever produced. His intellectual curiosity wasboundless, and he investigated every creed he came across, fromatheism to the most intense fanaticism. Finally he settled on Sufismas the way to come closest to God. Afterwards he wrote a book calledThe Revivification of the Sciences of Religion, which many regard asthe last word on Sunni theology. ... Today only the puritanicalWahhabi of Saudi Arabia completely reject Sufism and its cult ofsaints. In India, on the other hand, Sufis became the leadingmissionaries of Islam. The Turks also found Sufism veryattractive; there are more than 400 different Sufi orders inmodern Turkey. ...".
According to axenohistorian.faithweb web page:
"... the Allies put the Ottoman Empire on the chopping blockwhen the war [World War I] ended. The Hejaz went toSharif Hussein, and since nobody else wanted it, northern Yemenbecame independent, though Imam Yahya had supported the other side.Britain got to keep Iraq and the southern half of the Levant, nowcalled Palestine, while the French received Syria and Lebanon. TheBritish and French-occupied areas became known as "mandatedterritories," the idea being that an outside power would govern themuntil the natives were advanced enough politically to governthemselves. As it turned out, however, the term "mandate" was mainlya sop to the sentiments of the American president, Woodrow Wilson,and his dream, the League of Nations; the British and French ruledthe mandates as if they were just some more colonies. ...
The Turks nearly suffered the same fateat Allied hands as the Arabs did. That they didn't was due to thewillpower and drive of one man, the hero of Gallipoli, MustafaKemal. ... Kemal ... found himself facing enemies in everydirection, while he was hard pressed just to clothe his troops (herequired every home to supply a kit of underwear, socks and shoes).... Italy and the new Soviet Union gave him aid, and while he had togive most of Transcaucasia to the Soviets, he did get to keep theKars region of Armenia. That gave him a free hand to eliminate theArmenian separatists ... To the south, the French were concernedabout their Syrian problem and purchased Kemal's neutrality byhanding over Cilicia to him. ... in the west, the Greeks were comingcloser, advancing two-thirds of the way to Angora before they werestopped. But stopped they were, on the banks of the Sakarya river.There, late in the summer of 1921, Greeks and Turks battled along asixty-mile front for twenty-two days and nights. Kemal's tacticwas to divide his army into individual units, each operatingindependently of the others, so that there was no Turkish line ofdefense to break. "There is no linear defense," he explained."There is a surface defense, and the surface is the entire territoryof 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 theGreeks, and by the end of the year the scales had tipped Kemal's way.... The new Turkey had no pretensions about becoming an empire; itaccepted 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 Alliesthat just like the peoples of those other states, the Turks had beenoppressed by a tyrannical monarchy. Negotiations ... produced theTreaty of Lausanne (July 1923). In this accord the Allies recognizedthe new Turkish frontiers, canceled the capitulations and debts ofthe Ottoman Empire, and arranged for the exchange of Turkish andGreek minorities caught on the wrong side of the border ...
Mustafa Kemal spent the rest of his life transforming Turkey intoa modern, western nation. Few leaders have ever shaped a nation asquickly and permanently as he did. On October 29, 1923, hedeclared Turkey a republic, with himself as its first president.Five months later he began his program of secularization, byabolishing the caliphate. Within a month Moslem religious collegesand law courts followed the caliph into oblivion. Thus, Turkeybecame the first Moslem country to practice Western-style separationof church and state. ...
... 1925 ... saw a Kurdish rebellion in the part of Turkey nearestto Iraq, led by Seyh Said, hereditary chief of the Naksbendidervishes. ... Within three months the revolt had been stamped out,and Kurdish hopes for an independent Kurdistan were dashed, as theywould be in Iraq and Iran later. A side effect of this was that allSufi lodges and tombs of the saints were closed for the remainder ofKemal's lifetime. ...
... Modernization was Kemal's only faith, and by that he meant theadoption of anything the West used. He introduced Westerncalendars and clocks, adopted the metric system, and encouragedorchestras to play Western music. Traditional Moslem practicessuch as polygamy and begging were outlawed, womens' education waspromoted, and voting rights were extended to all citizens. He bannedthe fez, in favor of brimmed European hats, and encouraged women totake off the veil. Mustafa Kemal's favorite project was theoverhauling of the Turkish language. He helped prepare atwenty-nine-letter Latin alphabet to replace the Arabic script usedpreviously ... History books ... stressed the achievements of theTurkish people as a whole. The Sumerians and Hittites, and everyethnic group that had once lived on the Central Asian steppes, wereall claimed as Turks ... ".
According to asubmission.org web site:
"... DR. RASHAD KHALIFA was born in ... 1935 in ... Egypt,Kafr El-Zayat. His father was a religious leader for a largeSufi group ... he was inspired into usingthe computer to study the Quran andits mysterious letters (initials) at the beginningof the chapters of the Quran. ... Dr. Khalifa's study ...resulted in the discovery of one of the greatest miracles of theQuran, as God described it in 74:35. This miracle is based on number 19, mentioned in sura 74. ... The momentous discoverythat "19" is the common denominator of the Mathematical Miracle ofthe Quran became a reality in January, 1974. .... A superhumanmathematical system pervades the Quran and serves to guard andauthenticate 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 thereign of Khalifa `Uthman, a committee of scribes was appointed tomake several copies of the Quran to be dispatched to the new Muslimlands. The copies were to be made from the original Quran which waswritten by Muhammad's hand ... The Prophet, of course, had writtenthe Quran in its chronological order of revelation ... together withthe necessary instructions to place every piece in its properposition. The last sura revealed in Medina was Sura 9. Only Sura 110,a very short sura, was revealed after Sura 9, in Mina. The committeeof scribes finally came to Sura 9, and put it in its proper place.One of the scribes suggested adding a couple of verses to honorthe Prophet. The majority of scribes agreed. `Ali wasoutraged. He vehemently maintained that the word of God, written downby the hand of His final prophet, must never be altered. Ali'sprotest is documented in many references, but I cite and reproducehere the classic reference AL ITQAAN FEE 'ULUM AL QURAN by JalaluddinAl-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 toput on my street clothes, except for the prayer, until the Quran isrestored." ...
... the Quran's mathematical code ... rejects ONLY the falseinjections 9:128-129. ... The translation of the two false versesis "A messenger has come to you from among you who wants no hardshipto afflict you, and cares about you, and is compassionate towards thebelievers, merciful. If they turn away, then say, 'Sufficient for meis God, there is no god except He. I put my trust in Him. He is theLord with the great throne.' " ...
... look at the consequences:
... Dr. Khalifa ... proclaimed that Quran is the ONLYacceptable law in this great religion. He also emphasized thefact that all the known hadiths books are corrupted beyondrecognition and can only be used for its historical value and not forreligious guidance or laws. ... When Dr. Khalifa's view about Quranalone was published ... Many of the Muslim Scholars who cheered himfor the Mathematical Miracle of the Quran tried to play down itssignificance even at the expense of the truth. ... After they failedin assailing his character and in diverting the people away from hiscall to go back to the Quran, they assassinated him in January,1990. ...".
According to apbs.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 workedfor 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, ElHage left Louisiana and traveled to Pakistan to enroll in mujahedeenwar training programs. ... By January 1985, El Hage returned to theUnited States and to USL. Later that year, he traveled to Arizona tomarry an 18-year-old American Muslim named April. ... El Hage workedat several minimum wage jobs, including city custodian. In 1989, hewas granted U.S. citizenship. ...
... Dr. Rashad Khalifa was an imam in Tucson, Arizona whosome felt was unorthodox. He used numerology to try to prove that theKoran was written by God. The imam also let men and women praytogether and wear non-traditional dress. New York prosecutors saythat in the first days of 1990, El Hage was called up by a "tallman" from New York who suddenly arrived in Arizona and said he wasthere to check Rashad Khalifa. El Hage entertained him at hishouse and drove him to the mosque, prosecutors say. Several weekslater, Khalifa was found murdered in the kitchen of theMosque. Several members of the radical Islamic sect, Al Fuqra,were convicted for conspiring to commit the murder, but no shooterhas ever been convicted. ...
... Soon after, El Hage moved his growing family to the suburbancommunity of Arlington, Texas. ... According to a confessionAbouhalima later gave U.S. Attorneys, Abouhalima contacted El Hage in1990 to purchase assault weapons to be used against radical JewishRabbi Meir Kahane. Kahane was murdered in November 1990 in New YorkCity. ... evidence shows he [El Hage] was friends with manypeople who were later convicted in the World Trade Center and NewYork City Landmark bombing cases. On March 8, 1991, El Hage signed into visit El Sayyid Nosair at the Riker's Island. Nosair was serving asentence for gun charges stemming from the Meir Kahane murder case.Both El Sayyid Nosair and Mahmud Abouhalima were central figures inthe 1993 World Trade Center bombing and both have been convicted inthat crime. ... In early 1992, El Hage moved his family to theSudan and he began working as a secretary for Osama bin Laden.... In 1994, El Hage left the Sudan for Kenya and became director ofa Muslim charity organization called "Help Africa People." ... Duringhis time in Kenya, El Hage stayed in contact with members of binLaden's inner circle. ... Another bin Laden associate, Fazul AbdullahMohammed, also known as Haroun Fazul, moved into El Hage's house inNairobi during this period and began to work for El Hage as asecretary. ... Haroun Fazul, according to prosecutors, was a keyplayer in the Nairobi embassy bombing in August of 1998--accused ofrenting the house where the bomb was built and driving the lead truckin the bombing. ... Another man charged in the bombing, MohammedSaddiq Odeh, has admitted during his interrogation that he knew ElHage in Kenya ... Odeh was captured trying to enter Pakistan justafter the bombings and provided investigators with the first linkthat the bombings were conducted by people working for Osama binLaden. ... El Hage moved back to the suburban community of Arlington,Texas and got a job ... at the Lone Star Tire Store ... On September15, 1998, El Hage testified before the grand jury investigation intothe Africa bombings. ... Several days later, El Hage was arrested andcharged with perjury. On October 7, 1998, a new indictment wasreturned by the grand jury, expanding the charges against El Hageto include conspiracy to kill United States nationals. In May, 2001,he was found guilty by a federal jury of both perjury andconspiracy. ...".
According to a 6 May 2003 article by Roger-Pol Droit in theManchester 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 MaulanaMuhammad Ali (first edition 1917, subsequently revised and corrected,see www.muslim.org) says, for theMary Sura (19, 24-25): "... So a voice came to her from beneath her:Grieve not, surely thy Lord has provided a stream beneath thee. Andshake towards thee the trunk of the palm-tree, it will drop on theefresh ripe dates. ...
[footnote commentary:] This shows that Mary gave birth toJesus while on a journey; hence the reference to water and food ...such as one can only find in a journey ... She may have had recourseto the trunk of a palm-tree to find a support in the throes ofchildbirth. ... The Qur'an does not accept that Jesus was born on25th December. It was the time when fresh ripe dates are found onpalm-trees. ... Bishop Barnes says ... that the 25th of December wastaken from the Persian cult, Mithra, being the God of the invinciblesun ...".
My comment is that the Mualan Muhammad Ali English translationdoes 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 aDocument written by Minister, Writer, Music Composer and wife of theHonorable Elijah Muhammad -- Mother Tynetta Muhammad, March 28,1996:
"... THE NATION OF ISLAM WAS founded on the basis of peace and asan answer to a prayer of Abraham to deliver his people who would befound in servitude slavery in the Western Hemisphere in this day andtime.
The Flag of Islam with the symbols of the Sun, Moon, and theStars, represent the Universe and is also a Banner of Universal peaceand Harmony.
Our Holy Temples of Islam were established in America assanctuaries of peace and higher learning into the Knowledge of theOneness of God.
Our schools are called Universities of Islam and teach the highermeaning of Islam which is Mathematics. ...
... In spite of the controversy and clamor surrounding theNation of Islam and it's Divine Leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan, weare forging ahead in the Spirit of Almighty God, Allah, to unite withall of humanity in the Oneness of God, where all people of goodwillof every Race and of every Nation may participate in the UniversalExpression of the Principles of Peace and the Brotherhood of man....