Tomb of Jesus….

It seems I don’t have much choice but to comment on this whole “Tomb of Jesus”thing.  I mean I could choose to ignore it, but I wanted to give a Muslim perspective, before something “crazy” is said.  It’s kinda like a preemptive strike of sorts.

Look, I know many of you have heard the story by now.  Let me make this clear:  wise Muslims, won’t even allow themselves to get caught up in this madness.

Muslims believe Jesus (saw) was a Prophet, a man, and the Messiah.  He was a servant of Allah (swt), everything he did, was not of his own will but according to the will of God Alone.  The Bible itself reports him of saying such.  We believe that Jesus (saw) ascended to heaven, much like Elijah in the Old Testament, and will return in the last day.  We don’t believe he died on the cross, but was saved from it, the book of Hebrews in the New Testament, alludes to this belief as well.

Therefore, whether or not he was a man, had a wife, family, etc. is a non-issue to Muslims. 

However, its silly to think that because you find a tomb that “coincidentally” has the names of Jesus and other Biblical figures on them, that somehow that’s irrefutable evidence.

Yeshuah, Maryam, etc. were common names of that era, and even today.  So it doesn’t prove anything.  My name is Robert, if 1000 years from now there was a tomb that says Robert of Virginia, how would you prove its me?

Come on people common sense should apply.

I believe the real controversy is the same as it was with the Da Vinci Code.  Not that these things are true, but it touches a nerve the Church and most Christians don’t want touched.  These accusations talk about the human Jesus (saw) and not the deified one.  It’s no secret to religious studies students and historians, that there was great controversy over this subject almost 2000 years ago, and still today.  The very foundation of modern Christianity lays on the belief that Jesus (saw) was more than a man.   Any suggestion to the opposite, of course will be met with hostility.

However, I suggest Muslims stay out of this.  We already believe that Jesus (saw) was a creation and not the Creator.  If we must get into this, let’s at least support our Christian brethren in the defense of this accusation about a tomb.  At the base level, it is a lie invented, because one thing we Muslims and Christians can agree about is that Jesus (saw) has no earthly tomb.  Where we disagree, is how that came about.

Other than that, let us make it clear that Jesus (saw) was a man and servant of God, did His will, was born of a virgin, ascended to heaven, and will return again.

I strongly suggest we leave it alone though.

2:255 GOD – there is no deity save Him, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting Fount of All Being. Neither slumber overtakes Him, nor sleep. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth. Who is there that could intercede with Him, unless it be by His leave? He knows all that lies open before men and all that is hidden from them,  whereas they cannot attain to aught of His knowledge save that which He wills [them to attain]. His eternal power overspreads the heavens and the earth, and their upholding wearies Him not. And he alone is truly exalted, tremendous.

اللّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لاَ تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلاَ نَوْمٌ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِهِ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلاَ يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلاَّ بِمَا شَاء وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ وَلاَ يَؤُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ (2:255)

The Show Last Night

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hostpage.aspx?host_id=2458

Well, last night was the first “big” show. It was a hectic night and all things considered, I think it went well. I did’nt have anyone call in or IM me, however, I still managed to make conversation with myself for about an hour. I started about 5-10 minutes late, a big no no, but it wasn’t without good reason. When I finally started the show, it wasn’t even 30 minutes prior that I had just landed in an airplane at the airport from Colorado to Virginia. I somehow managed to make it home, kiss my wife and log in. I’m pretty crazy and try to make my commitments. Either way, I talked a lot about Islam and the fear thereof, Iraq, and a bunch of other social commentary. I shot from the hip the whole hour, as I left my notes somewhere between Denver and Washington, DC, go figure. Insha’ Allah (God-willing) everything will go according to plan next week, and I will have a more “structured” show. Formally, my show will now be broadcast every Thursday night at 9pm ET, Insha’Allah. Feel free to call me and give me a piece of my mind. If you listened last night, please give me your feedback.

The Big Bad Islam?

Maybe it’s just me, and I doubt that very seriously, but it seems like more and more each day the fear of and about Islam is being stroked more and more everyday.   Ordinarily, I would use the term “Muslims” instead of “Islam” but, I’m not so sure that Muslim is appropriate anymore.  I think it’s time that we are blunt in our assessment.  Im convinced that both overtly and covertly there is a fear of Islam.  It’s in the news it’s in personal interactions, it’s appears to be all over this country, Europe, and pretty much many non-Muslim majority nations.

Now many will say, Salaam, you have lost it this time, or say I am reaching, and maybe that’s the case.  However, the more I hear the word “Muslim” no matter the source, somewhere in that dialogue, Islam is spoken about in such a way, as if Islam is an actual person, who wants to beat the speaker up.  I mean Islam is talked about in such a fearful tone that you would think the sky isn’t only falling, but is raining Qurans or something!

People go to great lengths to defame Islam.  Some in minor hardly noticeable ways, but also in very obvious ways.  I’m not going to pinpoint one particular demographic or individual, if the shoe fits wear it, you know who you are.  As I traverse the net, listen to conversation, and watch the news, it just seems to me that no one can mention Islam or Muslims without some negative retort, fearful rant, or purposeful defamation, even if the conversation was in a positive light.  It’s kinda like having a conversation and saying “oh well you did that great…for a woman” or insert the race, class, etc. of your choice.  It’s like people will mention Islam or Muslims and can’t wait to add that “but”.

There are many in this country and the “West” in general that are absolutely convinced that Muslims want to take over the world, impose sharia, etc. etc.  Some really believe that if their not “careful” one day a Sultan will be burning up the Constitution and the Adhan (call to prayer) will echo from the White House.

As extreme as that sounds, what’s even more extreme is the great lengths those of that mindset will go to in order to ensure that fantasy will not happen.  Therefore, they invent and theorize about every possible “Islamic” conspiracy in the world.  In fact, many will accuse me of representing that agenda, because I don’t fit the preconceived stereotype.  Im a US Marine Corps veteran, US citizen born and raised indigenous to this country, work for this government, etc. etc.  even still, I don’t escape the fear mongering.  I get into doors that many can’t imagine in my line of work, yet the scared will say, “Watch him”.

Everything any Muslim says these days, is criticized, unless of course you call for the death of infidels and a global Jihad, because of course, that’s normal.  It’s all that other stuff that needs to be scrutinized, you know like, making a living in peace as a loyal citizen,  crime free, etc.

I know at this point I’m just rambling, but I had to get some of this emotion out of me.  Only fear drives the actions we are witnessing.  The fear of Islam is motivated by many things, I believe they are:  Truth, Jealousy, and White Supremacy.  Let me explain…

The fearful masses are afraid of the Truth of Islam.  Whether you believe in Islam or not, just a casual look in the Quran will show you many truths, opposed to the lies that many live in our current systems and governments.  Look at the majority of Muslims and you will see disciplined, kind, and well meaning people.  Oft times our very lives bear witness of the truth of our religion.  Its very rare in the “West” to look at a person’s life to judge their religion, because many have made their religion a chore or something you do once a week or several times a year.  However, when they interact with Muslims, they don’t quite get it.  Even the most “Western” of us, are not of the “West” and it freaks them out.  Most Muslims fear Allah (swt) and observe their deen (religion), maybe not as good as we should, but we know and they know that if push comes to shove, Muslims are most likely to be faithful to their religion then others.  This truth, freaks them out, and causes fear.

The jealously I speak of is due to Islam and Muslims in of itself/themselves.  Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world hands down.  In these last 1400 plus years everything has been tried to stamp Islam out, or control Islam and the Muslims and nothing has worked.  Even after 9/11 and since, Islam conversions have soared more-so now during “bad” press than before.  It scares many, I believe there is a huge jealousy component in this fear.  With other religions on the decline, many of their places of worship closing down, and many rebelling against their traditions and dogmatic ideas, naturally, they would be jealous of a religion that has none of these problems even though defamation, bad press, and terrorists are active.  Even when you compare histories, no matter how you slant it, Islamic history stands out about the rest.  There were no Islamic Dark Ages, Inquisitions, Holocausts, Apartheid’s, etc.  Muslims pioneered the sciences, mathematics, medicine, etc.  and are still doing so today.  You can compare the religious books and hands down Islam wins again.  No translation errors, obscure histories, unresolved dogmatic ideas, revisions, etc.  in my experience, in the “west” Muslims tend to be more educated, knowledgeable, and care more about their religion than others.  These are all causes of jealousy.

Then there is the big bad white supremacy.  In truth, I don’t think you can truly contextualize any historical injustice or fear in Western history without thinking about the effects of white supremacy on the minds that caused the actions of the oppressors.  I don’t  literally mean all white people when I say white supremacy, what I’m saying is the poison of the white supremacist mindset is so ingrained in “western culture” that is majority white by the way, that any perceived “foreign” or non-white system, idea, religion, etc. is immediately attacked at both the conscious and sub-conscious levels.  Islam to many, is something Arab, it comes from a people of color who are nothing like their white counterparts.  Listen to how many talk about Islam:  “primitive”, “barbaric”, “ancient”, etc. etc.  these are some of the same terms that have always been levied against non-whites in “western history”.  I believe on many levels, part of this fear is rooted in this sickness.

Maybe its just me, maybe Im part of the tin foil club that believes in Area-51, the X-files, etc.  however, I find it hard to believe that there truly isnt in inate fear of Islam these days.  If there isnt, then Im probably the paranoid, fearful, freak, but I seriously doubt it.

Controversial as this post may appear, get over it, these are just my thoughts and Im in a blunt mood.

Seriously though, I know that oftentimes as Muslims we are our own worse enemies and there is a lot out there that we do that doesn’t help ease the fear, but my point is that on the levels I’m witnessing, I’m not so sure its all our doing.  I believe there is more to the equation then we are willing to admit at times.

Just my thoughts,

Peace

Should we change abortion laws?

As many of you may know by now, the world’s youngest premature baby has survived and is doing well. According to ABC News:

Amillia Sonja Taylor, born Oct. 24 after just less than 22 weeks in the womb, will spend a few extra days in the hospital as a precaution.

Amillia, now a relatively robust 4½ pounds, was about to be released from Baptist Children’s Hospital in Florida, but today doctors unexpectedly decided to postpone her release.

A hospital spokeswoman told The Associated Press that she did not have details on why doctors had changed their minds about sending Amillia home.

On Monday, Amillia was between 25 and 26 inches long, doctors said. She was 9½ inches long and weighed 10 ounces at birth.

Amillia is the youngest surviving premature baby, born after just 21 weeks and six days in the womb.

The only known premature babies that have survived so young prior to her were all born at 23 weeks. The average pregnancy is between 37 weeks and 40 weeks long.

So what does this mean for abortion laws, the pro-choice, and pro-life crowds? The life of this child proves in my opinion without a shadow of a doubt that babies can survive being born WITHIN the first trimester.

Most abortion laws will not allow abortions after the first and some as late as the second trimester. Some will say that is because babies are nothing more than fetuses at this point. Pro-lifers have been saying all along that is not true. So who is right?

Personally, I have battled and walked the fence on this issue. I fundamentally believe that everybody has the God-given right of choice and free will. I believe that its next to sin to interfere with one’s choice. So for the most part I tend to be pro most things that people want to legally do that doesn’t infringe on the rights of others. I know, most Muslims will say I’m in error, but heh, Allah (swt) alone knows best.

I normally can retort to most things fast and firm, but this single issue has been a pain for me. When exactly does life start? Is a developing fetus an individual worthy of protection from others, or part of it’s mother to be developed or aborted at the whim of the mother? I’m of the understanding and belief that according to my religion (Islam duh) life begins when a child takes their first breath and the soul enters the body. Any Islamic scholar feel free to correct me. However, there is a catch 22 in Islam if that is true. According to my Janazah (Islamic funeral) book, one can conduct the Janazah prayer for children that die as young as 4 months within the womb, i.e. stillborn. To me, that means that life must begin earlier than birth and more importantly, according to Islamic law, a child is only a child after the first trimester, hence no Janazah within the first trimester. Now any Islamic scholar feel free to correct me.

Now if all this is true according to my understanding, it becomes quite clear why Im torn on the abortion issue. Up until I heard about this child I was content to not worry about the issue unless it was a “late term” abortion within the second trimester, prior to that, I was non-affected, because I believed that since there is no Janazah anyway, there really wasn’t a child to be concerned about.

So here we come full circle: We have this child born at a little over 21 weeks and is doing well. So what are we to think? What am I supposed to believe? Now don’t get me wrong, no matter how you slice it, I believe abortion is a horrible, irresponsible, and borderline sinful act, however I believe people have the right to sin, if they want. In other words, I believe that its not my job to concern myself with another’s sin, outside of council of course and those I personally know.

Back and forth, back and forth I know, but I believe this has to be addressed. Should we revisit our abortion laws, or abolish it all together? If a fetus is an individual life to what extent are we to protect it? Are we to protect the fetus to the extent of denying the rights of the mother or parents? What about women who are raped, have terminal illness, may die during childbirth, etc.?

If I had to choose a position, I would probably be between the pro-life and pro-choice crowds, but that shouldn’t surprise my readers by now, should it? Did I mention I was a Libra. 🙂 (I know, Islamically, that’s a no no…)

Confederate Flag: Hate or Heritage?

I was inspired to write about this after hearing a lively “debate” on CNN between several black and white guests about this flag and the cultural, racial, political, etc. implications behind this flag. 

To sum up the question(s) basically, the issue was raised as to what we should do with this flag.  The supporters claim “heritage”, the naysayers claim “hate”.  The truth is, to some it represents heritage, although the debate is still open to what kind, and to some it does represent hate and oppression.

I have noticed in my short sojourn on this planet, that no matter how many supporters of this flag claim heritage, most if not all blacks in America who are descendants of slaves only see this when show this flag:

Personally, I can’t stand this flag or what it represents, in my humble opinion.  I do recognize a person’s right to display and believe what they want.  I also bear witness that every white person that displays this flag is not a racist, or even remotely prejudiced.  However, I believe that this flag represents TREASON, divisiveness, hate, and intolerance.  Those who flew that flag as their national standard, wanted to destroy the union.  Some say for states rights some say for slavery, but no matter how we debate either or and/or compare the relationships between, the truth is, theirs was a treasonous state that wanted to see our nation fall, no different than the “Islamofascists” today.  They were willing to go to war and die for this period.  After their defeat those who wanted the “struggle” to continue continued to carry the banner many this time behind the cover of white sheets.  They wanted to see black people in chains, dead, or relegated to sub-humanism.  Now I haven’t quite figured out how in this day and age, its about heritage and not hate, it completely baffles me.  In fact, I’m curious to know what glorious heritage is worthy of remembering as it relates to this flag.

So where does that leave us?  What should we do with this flag?  Personally, I believe that America has ONE flag and to raise any other flag in competition, especially one that represented a nation that wanted to destroy us is wrong.  It’s one thing to fly another countries flag, it’s another to raise the flag of Al-Qaeda.  Maybe its just me.

It's Official…The First Show

After days of tossing and turning, I have finally decided on an actual day and time for my show “The American Muslim“. For now that is….Im going to be broadcasting Thursday nights at 9:00 pm ET starting this Thursday February 22. I plan to be discussing victory in Iraq and the general war on terrorism, going over some of the weeks headlines, and a section I like to call “ask a Muslim” where basically a caller gets to grill me about Islam and Muslims in general. I will start out this segment with a response to Dr. Blogstein’s question at the close of my warm-up show, where he asked about the “72 virgins”.

I hope my readers listen and more importantly call in.

Peace

It’s Official…The First Show

After days of tossing and turning, I have finally decided on an actual day and time for my show “The American Muslim“. For now that is….Im going to be broadcasting Thursday nights at 9:00 pm ET starting this Thursday February 22. I plan to be discussing victory in Iraq and the general war on terrorism, going over some of the weeks headlines, and a section I like to call “ask a Muslim” where basically a caller gets to grill me about Islam and Muslims in general. I will start out this segment with a response to Dr. Blogstein’s question at the close of my warm-up show, where he asked about the “72 virgins”.

I hope my readers listen and more importantly call in.

Peace