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Archive for May, 2009

Did Jesus live to age 120 years?

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Submitted by Bashir.


Is it possible that Jesus lived until age 120?  Why did HMGA write that this was true?  Do prophets live half the age of their predecessor?  What is Kanzulummal? 
 
Here is the so-called hadith that was used to prove that Jesus lived until the age of 120:
 
“The Holy prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: “Gabriel informed me that every successive has lived to half the age of his predecessor. And verily jesus, son of mary, lived to 120 years. Therefore, I think, I may reach the age of sixty. (Kanzulummal Vol. 11 page 479).
 
1.      Treasure of the Doers of Good Deeds(Arabic: Kanz al-Ummal fi sunan al-aqwal wa’l af`al is a known 8 volume set Islamic hadith collection, collected by Islamic Scholar Ala’Uddin Ali al-Muttaqi ibn Hisam-Uddin al-Hindi, Al Muttaqi was born 888AH, CE 1472 in Burhanpur which is a town situated in modern day Southern Madhya Pardesh on the banks of the river Tapti, India. 
 
This book of hadith was written almost 800 years after the death of the prophet.  Why is Kanzul-ummul given precedence to over the sahih and sunan books?  Prophets do not live half the years of their predecessor prophet, that’s totally irrational!  Why did HMGA use this hadith, I just cant understand it. 
 
Muslims cannot rely on any other books of hadith for theory.  Muslims must rely on the sahih and sunan books.  Muslims cannot rely on a book of tradition that was written some 800 years after the death of the HP. 
 
For the AMI, if the AMI believe that this hadith is true, then HMGA(assuming that he is a prophet), he should have lived to roughly 30 years of age.  The fact is that this tradition is totally false.  I don’t think that any scholar can prove that this is true.  If so, I would love to see it! 
 
HMGA has placed Kanzul-ummal above all the sahih and sunan books, not to mention the Koran.  I cant explain this action of his.  I hope that someone can explain this to me. 
 
See-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanzul_Ummal
  
Here are some other hadith books that the sunni adhere to:
 
Al-Muwatta
Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal— 780-855
Sunan al-Darimi — 868
Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah — 923
Sahih Ibn Hibbaan — 965
Al-Mustadrak alaa al-Sahihain — 1014
Mawdu’at al-Kubra— 1128-1217
Riyadh as-Saaliheen— 1233 – 1278
Mishkat al-Masabih – 1340
Talkhis al-Mustadrak — 1274-1348
Majma al-Zawa’id — 1335-1405
Bulugh al-Maram — 1372-1449

Kanz al-Ummal — 1500s

Standards for a Divine as outlined in Quran

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Submitted by Ikram.


 
Standards for a Divine as outlined in Quran

Islam is a living religion; periodic revival of the Message of Quran through persons who have and will claim to be divines is expected. Any such claimant to divine-hood and those who follow him have to meet the standards set in the Quran, which were originally outlined for Muhammad PBUH and the Umma. The following is a sampler of those standards.

La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammad-ur rasul-ullah

“There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”

The above declaration is the fundamental oath for a Muslim. It identifies the source of belief (Allah) and the messenger (Muhammad PBUH). By referring to Muhammad PBUH as “The Messenger,” the oath precludes any future messengers i.e. prophets. It also prevents a Muslim from alluding to Muhammad PBUH as no more than a human, unlike other religions whose followers over period of time, out of love for their respective messenger coupled with their ancestral and inherent idolatrous traditions, attributed godliness to their messengers. Thus this oath preserves the fundamental monotheistic pristinity of Islam.

33:40. Muhammad is no father to any man among you…

Muhammad PBUH had no male lineage. Irrespective, his descendents have no inherited divine status. However, it does not prevent them from attaining spiritual elevation and leadership through self-refinement.

39:3. Beware! sincere and true obedience is due to Allâh alone. Those who choose others as a patron beside Him (say), `We serve them only that they may bring us near to Allâh in station.’ (It is absolutely wrong.)…

Thus patronizing any person, even Muhammad PBUH, cannot be used as a crutch by anyone for a spiritual uplift. Muhammad PBUH thus cannot be invoked.

2:79. It is not given to a human being that Allâh should give him the Book, the sovereignty and the prophethood and then he should say to the people, `Be servants to me beside Allâh.’ He would rather say, `Be you the sole devotees of (Allâh) the Lord, for you teach the Book and because you study (it).’

2:80. Nor would (it be possible for him that) he bid you take the angels and Prophets as your lords. Would he bid you disbelieve after you have submitted yourselves (to the will of God)?

Despite the colossal personal character of Muhammad PBUH, he is by decree barred from self-exaltation before fellow Muslims, as even an imagination of such an act would defeat the pristinity and the very purpose of the Message. Such hygiene in faith must be followed posthumously as well.

2:151. Just as (the Ka`bah is a means to your guidance so,) We have sent to you a great Messenger from among yourselves who recites to you Our Messages and purifies you and teaches you the Book and the Wisdom and teaches you what you did not know.

And that Muhammad PBUH was just not only a mail carrier of the Message, but an actual living manifestation of the Message and a teacher of the Message, both during his lifetime and afterwards as well. There is no obscurity in Muhammad’s intentions and actions.

6:20. Those whom We have given this perfect Book recognise him (-the Prophet Muhammad) as they recognise their own sons…

10:16. …I had indeed lived among you a (whole) lifetime before this (claim to Prophethood. Was not my truthfulness undisputed?). Will you not then refrain (from opposing me)?’

Muhammad PBUH is just not a stranger riding through a town in history but is a real life figure who lived a “human” life to its fullest, a life that has a very detailed historical record. He showed no disparity between professing, preaching and practicing of the faith.

17:95. Say, `Had there been angels on the earth (in place of human beings) walking about secure and sound We (too) would have invariably sent down an angel from heaven as a Messenger to them.’

46:9. Say, `I am no novel (Apostle) among the Messengers nor do I know what will be done to me (on your behalf) or to you. I simply follow what is revealed to me and I am nought but a plain Warner.’

72:20. Say, `I invoke only my Lord and I associate no one with Him (as His partner).’

72:21. Say, `I have no power to avoid either harm from you or to do some good to you.’

72:22. Say, `Surely, none can grant me shelter against Allâh if I disobey Him, nor can I find any refuge besides Him.

72:23. `(My responsibility is), only to convey what is revealed (to me) from Allâh and complete the mission of Prophethood.’…

And that Muhammad PBUH was just a humble non-super-human Messenger whose duty and burden were deliverance of the Message. Attributing to him any mythological miracles or non-human attributes would be absurd.

7:188. Say, `I have no power over (bringing) any gain or (avoiding) any harm to myself save to the extent that Allâh will. And had I known the unseen I would surely have secured a great deal of good (for myself) and no harm would ever have come to me. I am only a Warner (to the wicked) and a Bearer of good tidings (to the people who believe)

And Muhammad PBUH, despite having succeeded in a momentous and almost a non-human task within his own lifetime, is no more than a mere mortal.

108:1. Verily, We have bestowed upon you (O Muhammad!) abundance of good (both of this life and of the Hereafter).

108:2. Therefore observe Prayer for the sake of your Lord and offer sacrifice (to Him).

108:3. Surely, it is your enemy who is cut off entirely (from all good and prosperity and is deprived of Spiritual issues).

And history is witness to the success of Muhammad PBUH, both during his lifetime and afterwards, and to the failure of his opposition, of both individuals and institutions. And what a success! (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_100&oldid=291047691)

7:157. `Those who follow this perfect Messenger, the Arab Prophet whom they find described in the Torah and the Evangel which are with them, who enjoins upon them that which is right and forbids them that which is wrong, and who makes lawful for them all the pure and good things, and makes unlawful all the impure and bad things, and who relieves them of their heavy burden and shackles that weigh them down. Indeed those who believe in him and honour him and serve him and follow the light that has been sent down with him, it is these who will attain their goal.’

In summary, the purpose of Muhammad (PBUH) and his entrusted Message is simply to unburden the mankind from the idols that are still rampant physically, socially and in the minds.

[The Holy Quran – Translation by Allamah Nooruddin]

Abortion

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Submitted by Ikram.


Abortion is hot topic issue in every U.S. election and a major right-left divide exemplified by the protests last week when honorary doctorate was conferred on President Obama at Notre Dame University http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgJoM_7zo4c. The main argument for anti-abortion movement, which is primarily a Catholic view, is that life starts at conception. 

Quran addresses early life as children, which could be extended to include intrauterine period. As far as killing and maltreatment of children is concerned, Quran is very clearly against it e.g. 

17:31. And do not kill your children for fear of want. It is We Who provide for them as well as for you. Indeed, the killing of them is a great sin. 

6:137. Just (as their associate-gods turned the polytheists away from Allâh) so did they make (even so monstrous a deed as) the killing of their children seem fair to a large number of the polytheists, with the result that they ruin them and that they obscure for them their religion. And if Allâh had (enforced) His will they would not have done so, so leave them alone and that what they forge. 

6:140. Certainly, they suffer a loss (those) who kill their children in folly (and) ignorance, and forbid (themselves) what Allâh has provided for them; forging lies in the name of Allâh. They have indeed gone astray and they are not rightly guided. 

And Quran goes even further by decreeing to prevent unwanted children by banning indecencies, which Christian world protects as a right: 

6:151. Say, `Come, I will rehearse to you what your Lord has made binding on you; it is that you shall associate not any thing as partner with Him, and that you shall be good to parents, and that you waste not your children because of poverty. It is We Who make provisions for you as well for them too. (Allâh has also enjoined upon you that you) approach not indecencies, whether open or hidden, and that you kill no soul which Allâh has made sacred, except in the cause of justice.’ This has He enjoined you with, so that you may (learn to) abstain (from evil). 

But, where Quran differs from Catholic point of view is that it defines start of life after embryo has reached a certain level of maturity and is a separate entity from the mother tissue as follows: 

23:12. We create a human being from an extract of clay;

23:13. Then We reduce him to a drop of sperm (and place him) in a safe depository;

23:14. Then We form the sperm into a clot; then We develop the clot into a lump of flesh; then We fashion bones out of this lump of flesh, then We clothe the bones with flesh, thereafter We evolve him into another being. Therefore blessed be Allâh the Best of Creators. 

At a molecular level, the Catholic doctrine implicitly defines start of a new separate life when the nucleic acids of both parental gametes mix. But this is a flawed argument. Mixing of different nucleic acids happens all the time e.g. when a virus infects a human cell, it embeds into the host DNA. Viral nucleic acid mixing with the host DNA is commonly called infection. And subsequently as part of host defenses there is constant shedding of such infected cells (with nucleic acids from two different sources) from the body, which cannot be termed as abortion. 

As to what is that embryonic stage of another being (23:14) referred above, I would let an embryologist comment on it. By common knowledge it is probably at about a month old embryo. 

[The Holy Quran – Translation by Allama Nooruddin]

Philosophy of Rejection of Divines – A Quranic view

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

Submitted by Ikram.


In the religious tradition of the world, we see a repeating pattern where a prophet comes to certain people; a book is revealed; the believers reap success; then there is a gradual decline of the spirit of the message and status of the believers; future generations await the return of the same or similar prophet in the hope that he will return the believers to previous glory and in the process win battle victory over the disbelievers. And when the divine finally arrives, the same people who awaited him in the first place reject him at the door. Why?

 

If one follows the religious thought, one sees that over the time monotheistic traditions are diluted or distorted; some of the religions turn polytheistic; mythology takes hold; priesthood emerges which solidifies its hierarchy; organized religions take shape which soon spreads its tentacles into the socio-economic-political fabric of the society; there is constant struggle between the secular and religious wings; and then the divine arrives who is rejected. Why?

 

Besides Mithra for Zoroastrians, Kalki Avtar for Hindus, Meeta for Buddists, for Jews, Christians and Muslims there is a common name of Messiah.

 

Following quote (http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/363/viewall/) unless interpreted allegorically reflects a mythology no less than those of Greeks or Romans with the only difference that Muslims have not yet carved statues or made paintings of various characters addressed therein:

 

“God will send the Messiah, son of Mary, who will descend at the white minaret on the eastern side of Damascus wearing two garments, lightly dyed with saffron, his hands resting on the wings of two Angels.  When he lowers his head, beads of perspiration will fall from it, and when he raises it up, beads like pearls will scatter from it.  Every non-believer who smells him will die, and his breath will reach as far as he is able to see.” (Saheeh Muslim)

 

This kind of phenomenon is fully addressed in Quran where it clearly elucidates the metaphysical expectations of the expecting from the expected divine:

 

17:90. And they say, `We will never believe unless you cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth,

17:91. `Or there be a garden of date-palms and vines for you, and you cause the streams to gush forth abundantly in its midst,

17:92. `Or, as you assert (and claim that it shall happen), cause the heaven to fall down upon us in fragments, or bring Allâh and the angels face to face with us,

17:93. `Or, there be a house made of gold for you, or you ascend into the heaven; but we will not believe in your ascending till you bring down to us a book that we can read.’…

 

But the fact of the matter is that a divine has to come into this world through a natural birth, childhood, adolescence, middle age, reaches his maturity before declaring his revelations in plain words and actions which might seem too simplistic to the onlookers:

 

17:93. … (Say), `Glory be to my Lord! I am not but a human being (sent as) a Messenger.’

17:94. And nothing has prevented the people from believing when the guidance came to them except their sayings, `Has Allâh raised a human being (like us) as a Messenger?’

 

Quran ridicules such mythological expectations as follows:

 

17:95. Say, `Had there been angels on the earth (in place of human beings) walking about secure and sound We (too) would have invariably sent down an angel from heaven as a Messenger to them.’

 

With the above underpinnings of myth inspired human mind and its counter reaction to a divine, any Messianic advent will naturally suffer such dogmatic rejection. I see the case of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmed as no different. For such a divine rejection:

 

17:96. Say, `Allâh suffices as a witness between me and you. Surely, He is Ever Aware of and sees His servants full well.’

17:97. He whom Allâh guides (to the straight and right path) is the only one rightly guided, but those whom He abandons to perish, you will find no protecting friends for them apart from Him…

 

[The Holy Quran – Translation by Nooruddin]

Another example of Indian Muslim loyalty to British rule

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri.


In The Light, UK edition, May 2009 , Dr. Zahid Aziz has written an article ‘The Muslim State of Bhopal in India and British rule’. In his article the author pointed out how Muslim opponents of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (HMGA) sahib took pride in acknowledging loyalty of prominent Indian Muslims to their British rulers. But when it comes to writings of HMGA in which he called himself as law abiding citizen of crown, he is accused of being a ‘creation’ and ‘subservient agent’ of British imperialism by same Muslim of Indo-Pak origin.

On April 29, 2009 I was visiting Windsor Castle (England), as a tourist. In rooms open to public there are glass show cases displaying gifts presented to British Kings and Queens. In one such room there is a glass show case that has swords, shields, and body armor/ battle dress of Sultan Tippu of Maysore, India. On the lower shelf of this show case are two swords studded with jewels, that were presented to King George V of UK on occasion of Delhi Durbar by Sultan Kaikhusrau Jahan Begum of Bhopal (granddaughter of Sikandar Begum) in 1911.

It is mind boggling to see double standards of Muslim opponents of HMGA. On one hand public display of loyalty of Indian Muslims is proudly narrated by Muslim opponents of HMGA and on the other hand statements of HMGA in which he iterates his faithfulness to government, that provided freedom of religion to her Muslim subjects, to answer charges of rebelliousness are construed as ‘agent of British rulers working against interests of Muslims and Muslim unity’.

Sura al-mursalat

Friday, May 8th, 2009

This has been submitted by Ikram.


I came across the following verses of “Al-Mursalât – Those Sent Forth – Translation by Nooruddin” with corresponding contextual implications coming to my mind which are enclosed in […] below:

77:1. I call to witness those (messengers of Truth) who are sent forth to spread goodness (in continual series), [literally – Prophets, Mujaddids]
77:2. Those that drive off forcefully (falsehood and forces of evil as chaff is carried before the wind), [by divine truth and logic]
77:3. And those that spread (the truth) far and wide, [by uplift of the followers/believers in all aspects of life, and their success becomes a global moral force to reckon with and the truth spreads by their example and dialogue]
77:4. And those that fully distinguish (the right from the wrong),
77:5. And those carrying the Message of (rising to) eminence far and wide (- the Qur’ân),
77:6. (And those presenting this source of eminence) in an attempt to purify (some) from the abomination of sin and to warn (others),
77:7. Verily, that which you are promised must come to pass.
77:8. So when the small stars will be made to lose their light, [literally – light pollution in urban centers where most of population lives; allegorically – prominent power centers e.g. British Empire, Lehman Brothers etc.]
77:9. And when the heaven shall be opened, [literally – by science and technology e.g. spaceships, (hubble and chandra) telescopes etc.; allegorically – unveiling of truth by free mind]
77:10. And when the mountains shall be blown down to pieces, [literally – highways; allegorically – dogmas and clergy of any religion]
77:11. And when the Messengers shall be made to appear (in the guise of one person) at the appointed time. (It is after that the Resurrection shall take place).

*** Then who is alluded by 77.11?

*** Is it Prophet Muhammad PBUH? But the verse speaks of the future while it was being revealed to him and that too in context of “end of times”?

*** Is it Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, who claimed to be a Mujaddid and allegorical representation of Jesus, Krishna, Mehdi etc.? But to my knowledge he did not refer to this verse in his claims.

Other comparative translations can be viewed at: www.islamawakened.org/Quran/default.htm