Archive for December, 2017

Knowledge/Restraint/Reward.

December 30, 2017

«Dios, inspirador y autor de ambos Testamentos, dispuso las cosas tan sabiamente que el Nuevo Testamento está latente en el Antiguo y el Antiguo está patente en el Nuevo

Qaroon (Korah), possibly the cousin of Prophet Musa (Moses) and Haroon (Aaron) Was so rich that even the keys of the safes were heavy for a group of very strong people.
This buried wealth he found, probably was that of Prophet Yousuf (Joseph).
Qaroon got proud of it and started harassing his people. His people warned him of his misbehavior.

He said, “I have this wealth because of my KNOWLEDGE”
People envious and desirous of worldly comforts acclaimed “Ah! Wish we could get wealthy like him. He sure is a lucky man” Qaroon (Korah) was swallowed by earth because he became ingrate.
People of KNOWLEDGE affirmed, Allah’s REWARD is much superior to worldly riches and is given to—true-believers, righteous and those who exercise RESTRAINT.

Now here are few lessons to be learned.
KNOWLEDGE is not a reason/basis for sustenance or wealth, but for steadfastness/perseverance.
RESTRAINT from indulging in forbidden things as— Wine, Women (except wives) reason for ZUHD. Allah’s REWARD for, who observe piety, good deeds, true belief, righteousness & RESTRAINT.
FURQAN (capacity to distinguish between good and bad) could be yet another SPECIAL FAVOR.
Qura’an (Surah Al Qasas V 76-80)

Originally published… 02/12/2015

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Is the United States of America better served by immigrant assimilation and the melting pot model or the mosaic approach of multiculturalism?

December 30, 2017

 

 

Image result for pic of diverse group of people

Not based on any research but my personal observations, the melting pot model of the USA is on the decline to a great extent. It is mostly being replaced by multiculturalism, as most of the new genre of immigrants have centuries-old religiously followed values and do not like to give them up by assimilating into an alien culture.

Melting pot assimilation model continued when the immigration was mainly from the western or quasi-western countries in which case the assimilation into almost similar culture was but a natural phenomenon. Melting post-assimilation has lost its efficacy and practicality due to the paucity of assimilable immigrants. Fusion results in the heavy and unstable nucleus with a violent burst of energy.

Multiculturalism is a trendy mosaic of the time and would continue as long as, the economic disparity exists between the East and the West.

It is, in my opinion, Multicultural mosaic is more beneficial than the melting post-assimilation model for the West in general and the USA in particular; for it would rearrange the cultural, ethical and social values; weeding out the aggression and indifference to vices out of the western societies, making them more humane and civilized.

The mosaic approach of multiculturalism entails a rearrangement of living constituents in a natural and organic way.

People from S.E Asia, South Asia, South America and even contiguous Mexico do not have an interest or inclination, despite becoming American citizens, to lose their distinct identities. The same goes for Muslims and to a lesser degree for Jews and some other religious groups.

Surprisingly, Indians are the only group of immigrants who show an uncharacteristic of South Asians eagerness to assimilate, even by pretending to act, talk and live like Americans. They would sacrifice their centuries-old traditions, social, cultural and moral values in a heartbeat. They would also give up their Indian Nationality for India does not allow dual Nationality. Seemingly it is the inferiority complex which is causing this weird behavior. Unfortunately, however, despite all this, they miserably fail in their endeavor owing to their ingrained traits and culturally regressive habits.

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Islamic State, An Enemy!

December 26, 2017

National Interest, Domineering or Just Hypocrisy?

 Raqqa: Islamic State’s Capital falls to US-backed Syrian forces—BBC News. (20th Sept 2017) Reuter reported it on 17th of Oct, 2017

There was important but least reported news about letting the Syrian local insurgents out of RAQQA. Ex-President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai revealed that IS fighters are present in Afghanistan and being supplied ammunition by the Coalition’s unmarked Helicopters. It, however, fell on deaf ears for people were at a loss to connect the two stories.

The US army transfer ISIS terrorists to Nangarhar of Afghanistan

Senior MP: US helicopters transfer tens of ISIS terrorists to Afghanistan

 

(Ahlul-Bayt News Agency) – A senior Afghan legislator revealed that the US helicopters have transferred a large number of ISIS terrorists to the province of Nangarhar in the Eastern parts of the country.

Last week, the US military helicopters transferred over 50 ISIS fighters to Barabad region of the town of Behsoud in Nangarhar province, Zahir Qadir said. He also disclosed that a container full of military equipment was also delivered to the ISIS terrorists in Nari Obeh region of Nangarhar province.

Syrian authorities have caught US military aircraft secretly transporting ISIS terrorists out of Syria to unknown destinations. 

US military caught transporting ISIS militants out of Syria

According to senior Syrian legislator Ammar al-Assad, the United States is helping ISIS to escape Raqqa, where Russian and Syrian forces are successfully defeating the terrorist organization.

Farsnews.com reports: Assad said that the US is now transferring the ISIL terrorists from Syria, especially Raqqa province, to unknown places.

 Raqqa was turned into rubble due to constant bombing by the Syrian, Russian and coalition forces and almost all of the three hundred thousand residents were forced to move out. The only ones left were well dug in Islamic State fighters.

Although IS presence in Raqqa was beneficial to almost all the parties to the conflict, but their presence by the Coalition forces was needed elsewhere; where the leader of the Western Pack (USA) is facing an uphill task; even after a decade of fighting (using technologically most advanced war toys) and spending over a Trillion Dollars—Afghanistan (known bastion of a ragtag army—TALIBAN and a GRAVEYARD of EMPIRES). Here it shall serve many purposes. Fight Taliban, Destabilize Pakistan; Pose an imminent threat to Iran, a proxy militia to West’s new Darling India–to help prop up the Indian role of a policeman in the area. India has supplied IS with atomic waste to be used in making of dirty bombs.  https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/ugly-face-of-western-darling-india/

Islamic State’s presence was beneficial to Basher Al Assad for decimating any of his opponents labeling them as IS fighters. It was pivotal for the Russian involvement in support of Syria. West’s involvement in the Middle East was also legitimized by the presence of IS. Moreover, it was fighting the Syrian army and Hezbollah fighters, the main targets of the Western forces.

IS fighters as per the agreement reached were transported out of their stronghold Raqqa for three days and nights; on private buses and trucks, for ultimate destination Afghanistan.

Basher Al Assad; an underdog, now the winner, holds 50 % or more of the Syrian land—12 out of 14 Governorates– as compared to 19 % before. He is acquiesced to continue as president of Syria and his removal has been shelved for good. Russia perpetuated her role in the Middle East in particular and the world in general.  President Donald Trump, during his recent trip, concurred with President Putin on a negotiated settlement of Syrian conflict, rather than the Military solution. What a capitulation to the Russian maneuvering!

Unfortunately, however, it is the Syrian civilians who got trampled in this fight of the elephants.

 End Result.

In 2016, from an estimated pre-war population of 22 million, the United Nations (UN) identified 13.5 million Syrians requiring humanitarian assistance, of which more than 6 million are internally displaced within Syria, and around 5 million are refugees outside of Syria. They were forced to abandon their homes and take refuge in neighboring countries, Europe and Turkey.

 More than five hundred thousands innocent civilians got killed.

(American Trade Tower attack (9/11), 3000-innocent killed, was avenged by destroying two un-related countries. 500k innocent killed then, by this very yardstick, would need 166.6 countries to avenge!).

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Do animals feel pain? [have intellect?]

December 24, 2017

Image result for Pic of an emotional reunion with an animal

“All living beings roaming/crawling/walking the earth and winged birds soaring in the sky are Peoples/communities like yourselves…” (Q, 6:38)

Animals, plants, everything created is endowed with consciousness, intellect and sense perception.

Pain is a complex experience involving sense and emotion. It is not simply how it feels, but how it makes one feel, be that a human or an animal? As far as domestic animals are concerned, we may, up to a certain extent, gauge their pain and feelings but that may not be so with the birds of prey. The Pain of the animals; who do not or cannot communicate, ought to be sensed/observed by an observer. Therefore, a rational being, who took responsibility, is responsible to do that and take care of the pain and suffering of the non-human sentient-beings.

In my opinion, things having been endowed with any level of consciousness (cognizable or not) ought to have a sense of joy and gloom. Empirically conclusive evidence of this is difficult to come by unless a sustained scientific study is carried out. This is a tedious process. Qura’an, on the other hand, however, categorically declares that the entire—non-human– creation is created with the sense of obedience/praying to its Creator, and they are people/communities like us, {endowed with certain level of consciousness, intellect, sense of feelings, obedience and worship} although their mode of expression/communication may not be understandable by us. 

Here is the scientific research; which will shed more light on the above assertions.

The report was published in Current Biology by researchers Dr. Sara Letzer and Prof Dr. Onur Gunturkun in collaboration with Prof Dr. Christian Beste. Cognitive ability was assumed to be the anatomical cause of cerebral cortex. In birdshowever, there is no presence of such cortical structures. Therefore, according to this assumption, birds are incapable of performing complex functions like multitasking.

(Future Planning).

To demonstrate how smart an octopus can be, an octopus will be pulling two halves of a coconut shell together to hide inside. Later the animal may also stack the shells together like nesting bowls — and carts them away. “It suggests that the octopus is carrying these tools around because it has some understanding they may be useful in the future,”

For decades, researchers have studied how certain animals evolved to be intelligent, among the apes, elephants, dolphins and even some birds, such as crows and parrots. But all the scientific theories fail when it comes to cephalopods, a group that includes octopuses, squid and cuttlefish. Intelligence comprises sophisticated cognitive skills that help an animal thrive. That may include the ability to come up with solutions to the problem of finding food, for example, or a knack for planning for some challenge in the future. Intelligent animals don’t rely on fixed responses to survive — they can invent new behaviors on the fly. To measure animal intelligence, scientists observe creatures in the wild — watching a dolphin stick a sponge on its beak to avoid getting cuts from sharp rocks and coral, for example. Or they bring animals into the lab and offer them puzzles to solve, such as rewarding crows when they learn to rip paper into strips of just the right size

Following examples would testify to their consciousness, sense perception and intellect.

“The seven heavens and the earth and whatever is in them exalt Him. And there is not a thing except that it exalts [Allah] by His praise, but you do not understand their [way of] exalting. Indeed, He is ever Forbearing and Forgiving”. (Q, 17:44)

“See you not that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and “Ad-Dawab” (moving living creatures, beasts, etc.), and many of mankind? But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is justified. And whomsoever Allah disgraces, none can honor him. Verily! Allah does what He wills”.      (Q, 22:18)

Raven/Crow–Able and Cain–and his soul permitted to him the murder of his brother, so he killed him and became among the ­losers”. “Then Allah sent a crow searching in the ground to show him how to hide the disgrace of his brother. He said, ‘O woe to me! Have I failed to be like this crow and hide the body of my brother?’ And he became of the regretful.” (Quran 5:30-31)

“All living beings roaming/crawling/walking the earth and winged birds soaring in the sky are Peoples/communities like yourselves. We have left nothing out of the Record. Then to their Lord, they will be gathered all together” (Q, 6:38)

Ababil (Swallows)

Ababil (A bird أبابيل‎, translitabābīl) refers to the miraculous birds (identified as swallows) mentioned in Sura 105 of the Qura’an that protected the Ka’ba in Mecca from the Aksumite elephant army of Abraha, a self-styled governor of Himyar, by dropping small clay stones on them as they approached.

The bird (Hoopoe) informed Prophet Soloman about the people of Saba (Sheba of southern Arabia) and their Queen Sheeba, who used to worship Sun.

Whale-Fish

Prophet Jonah was thrown into the sea and swallowed by a big fish (whale)who was instructed to keep the Prophet safe in her stomach for few days, so that he may reflect, learn to be patient and ­repent. He was then regurgitated onto the shore as ordered by God.

AHADITH.

Hungry Camel.

Muslim transmitted that one day the Prophet (PBUH) along with some of his companions, entered the gardens of al-Ansar. A camel approached the Prophet with eyes filled with tears. The Messenger of Allah caressed his back and wiped his eyes and the camel calmed down. The Messenger then asked about his owner. When he showed up the Messenger said, ‘Don’t you fear God? This animal you own has complained to me that it is hungry and tired because you abuse him and don’t feed well.

Grieving Palm Tree Trunk

Hadith narrated by Ibn Umar: The Prophet (PBUH) used to deliver sermons while standing beside or leaning against a Date Palm tree trunk. When he had the pulpit made and started using it instead, the Palm tree trunk started crying/weeping/grieving out of love for the prophet. So, Prophet approached rubbing it with his hand. It stopped crying/weeping/grieving. –Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 4, Book 56, Number 783-

Imam Qurtabi said: The person in whose house his cat is not fed and taken care of, whose caged birds are not attended to as due, cannot be counted amongst the–(Mohsinin)–doer of good.

Adultery by female-monkey

Sahih Bukhari] Vol, 5 – Book 58 – # 188                                                           

Narrated by Amr bin Maimun: During the pre-Islamic period of ignorance, I saw a she-monkey surrounded by a number of monkeys. They were all stoning it because it had committed illegal sexual intercourse. I too stoned it along with them.

guarding/companion Dod

The Islamic version of the story of “Seven sleepers of Pegasus” includes mention of a dog, who accompanied them into the cave and appears to keep watch. In Islam, these youths are referred to as the People of the Cave.

Research Finds That Pigeons Are Better at Multitasking Than Humans.

Honey-Bee

Honey-bee–Consider how your Lord has inspired Honey-bee “make your hives [geometrical masterpiece of the hexagonal honey-comb which is most economical, rational, as regards space and material] in the mountains, trees and higher places and in what people construct (for apiculture)” (Q, 16:68)

Mosquito Miracle! 

The mosquito, although weighing only one-thousandth of a gram, is a tiny creature with an extremely complex structure. It has about one hundred eyes, three complete hearts, a heat detector, a vaccine working as an anesthetic, an instrument for blood testing, a liquefying system, six knives in its nose, a digital X-ray machine to distinguish human skin in the dark, etc. Its development from egg to adult passes through three complicated stages with a change in color to avoid predators. It is a very good example of the complexity of some creatures. It is said in the Holy Qura’an: ”surely Allah is not disdainful to give an example of the smallest thing (such as Mosquito) or something above that,  and as for those who disbelieve, say: What is it that Allah means by this parable: By such a similitude Allah confounds many and enlightens many. He confounds none except the transgressors” (Q, 2:26) 

Plants

Prophet Jacob’s leprosy-ridden body was covered (for shadow) by a creeper and a goat used to come morning and evening to feed him, under the command of God (SWT).

Plants have a far greater ability to sense their world than appearances might suggest, has led to some remarkable claims about “plant Intelligence”, and even spawned a new discipline. Electrical signaling in plants was one of the key factors in the birth of “plant neurobiology” (a term used despite the lack of neurons in plants), and today there are plant researchers investigating such traditionally non-plant areas as memory, learning and problem-solving. These plants are moving with purpose, which means they must be aware of what is going on around them.

 Despite lacking eyes, plants such as Arabidopsis possess at least 11 types of photoreceptor, compared to our measly four. Plants seeing, smelling, feeling and, indeed, knowing to have echoes of The secret life of Plants.

 

Shakir2.wordpress.com

Note: originally published on Dec, 24th 2017 now updated and republished on 03/01/2019

Is Allah’s wrath; like Anger, a human weakness?

December 24, 2017

“Anger” is not a proper translation of the word “Ghazab” however, the closest proper English equivalent would be “wrath”. Allah’s wrath is one of His characteristics. It, however, is not a characteristic passed onto human beings as such—but a much milder version of it “anger”. Logically and rationally human beings are incapable of handling the intensity and wholesomeness of any of His Characteristics. Justice is also one of His characteristics and passed onto human beings in a similar fashion. “Unjustness” or “In-justice” however, is not one of His characteristics but human beings practice it due to their innate unsavory impulses. When human beings; despite His countless blessings; transgress; doing an injustice to His right(s); it results in His “wrath”, which is quite a logical and rational consequence.

Unlike Human being, Allah (SWT) is all knowing and is beyond “injustice”, therefore, His wrath would be perfectly justifiable. It is only the human being who could be wrong in his expression of anger. Whereas, getting angry impulsively would be a weakness associable with him But not with Allah (SWT).

(Note: My explanation of His attributes happened to be closer to Asharites doctrine).

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Tazkiyyah-a-Nafs, (Self-Control).

December 24, 2017

“And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect” (Q,18:28)

Improvisation

Keep your-self (Nafs) restrained/subdued by being in the company of those, who keep busy remembering their Lord, day and night (morn, eve) seeking His pleasure/approval/mercy. Do not let your-self (Nafs) evade their company by being attracted to the adornments of fleeting life (temporary worldly life). Do not be in the company of someone whose heart, We have rendered, barren of Our remembrance. The one who is the slave of his desires and, his disposition is utter neglect. 

 

(This may have also provided a justification (deduced) for   “Majalis” & “Halaqa”— group chanting, Mahafil—e–Sama’a etc—for ordinary people and the people of Sufi orders)

Liberalism; A precursor to Atheism

December 24, 2017

Liberalism–a precursor to Atheism– is, in essence, a euphemism for an anti-religion ranting. It banishes its followers from thinking beyond spatiotemporality; depriving them of the most fulfilling domain–spirituality; fearing lest they find the validation of Divine Philosophy (religion based universal rules for human life/behavior) instead, which is above and beyond the jurisdiction of evidentiary empiricism and materialism espoused by liberalism and a kind of its anti-thesis–neo-liberalism.

https://shakirmumtaz.wordpress.com/2017/09/01/why-islam-cannot-be-liberalized/

shakir2.wordpress.com

Needless (Poor) king of the Kings!

December 24, 2017

The one who is, selfless and sincere to the purpose of life; goodness towards others and, obedience to the Creator. He would never have to question anyone’s intention or motive for he is free of the expectations and needs. Sin (covetousness) is the destruction of the station of the needless. Needless (Poor) is the king of the Kings; for the covetousness and expectations are his slaves, and the Kings are slaves of their covetousness and expectations.

He (PBUH) said, “Have no desire for this world, Allah will love you; have no desire for what people possess, people will love you.” [Ibn Majah]

In the world of selfishness and materialism virtue becomes too feeble to even register.

shakir2.wordpress.com

Demonizing, Repressing a Religious Minority!

December 19, 2017

 

 

 

DEMONIZING AND REPRESSING A RELIGIOUS MINORITY BECAUSE IT HAS DIFFERENT MORAL VALUES THAN THE MAJORITY CAN HAVE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES.
A classically American approach that protects the many religious streams running together to form the American cultural heritage rather than damming one in favor of another. As historian Denise Spellberg observes of Thomas Jefferson’s view of Islam, “In the formation of the American ideal and principles of what we consider to be exceptional American values, Muslims were, at the beginning, the litmus test for whether the reach of American constitutional principles would include every believer, every kind, or not.” Jefferson didn’t care for Islam (or any organized religion, for that matter). But he understood that America would be stronger if citizens favoring one stream of its heritage vigorously argued its merits without seeking to place legal limits on those arguing for the merits of a different stream.
Shakir2.wordpress.com

Denise A. Spellberg (born c. 1958) is an American scholar of Islamic history. She is an associate professor of history and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Spellberg holds a BA from Smith College (1980) and a Ph.D. (1989) from Columbia University.

Books

Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: The Legacy of ‘A’isha Bint Abi Bakr. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders, New York: Knopf, October 1, 2013; ISBN 978-0307268228

Theological Epistemology

December 17, 2017

Is there such a thing as historical-epistemological theology? It investigates the theory of theological knowledge, belief as it matures and evolves throughout the ages?

Epistemology came into use in the second half of the 18 century whereas the Divine religions go back to the beginning of the Creation and Islam goes back to 6th Century. Therefore Divine religions predate the latent philosophical concepts and terminology. On the other hand, however, there is sure a mode of progression in the monotheism—-Sabianism, Judaism, Christianity and finally Islam. (The theme of monotheism remained focal and constant)

Its critical analysis, however, was not left to the human contemplation or logical reasoning alone but was answered, affirmed through the scriptures and the Prophetical delineations.

Repeated interpolation of the previous scriptures is a vivid example of the defective, maneuvered and contrived application of human reasoning and logic.

It, for the most part, therefore was put to an end by the Divine Himself by declaring in Holy Qura’an that your religion “Islam” has been perfected.

Contemplation, on ancillary matters, however, would continue until the end of the time; through Ijtihad; by the competent scholars and consensus thereupon, being essentials for the correct conclusions/solutions.

This process, nevertheless, is above and beyond the scope of mundane philosophical constructs and terminologies.

For lot, more info on related matters/issues read shakir2.wordpress.com


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