Articles of Interest, January 24th, 2008

ESPN anchorwoman: ‘F— Jesus’

A Catholic advocacy group charges the sports TV network ESPN has failed to respond properly to a graphic rant by anchorwoman Dana Jacobson in which she “attacked Jesus Christ.”

Jacobson, reportedly intoxicated, was speaking at a celebrity roast in Atlantic City, N.J., when she unleashed a profane tirade, saying, “F— Notre Dame,” “F— Touchdown Jesus” and finally “F— Jesus.”

“Touchdown Jesus” is the popular moniker for a statue on the Notre Dame campus of Jesus raising his arms.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue said he pressed ESPN on the issue and received an e-mail with an unsatisfactory statement by Jacobson.

  • Completely unacceptable. This is not just a Catholic or Christian issue, this is emphatically a Muslim issue as well. As Muslims we are to be against the deliberate disrespect of the messengers of God. Jesus (as) and his honored position should be regarded with as much zeal as Prophet Muhammad (saw). Therefore, I call upon all Muslims to speak out against this and other profane instances against Jesus (as) but not in a way that creates or promotes violence. We should be healers as well as educators and this is a perfect opportunity to show that we can be both.

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Before Another Cycle of Anger

 

An Anti-Islam Movie: How to Respond?

Another tough choice is about to be experienced by Muslims worldwide — a choice between overreaction and sound reaction. Geert Wilders, leader of the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, is going to produce a movie that accuses Islam of being a violent religion. The movie will be presented in the Netherlands at the end of January 2008.

One can imagine the extent to which this movie can raise anger in the Muslim World when one knows more about Wilders. In addition to his intolerant stance against immigration and multiculturalism, his verbal assaults against Islam cross the ethical lines.

Unlike most of the critics of Islam and Muslims who tackle the practices and the interpretations, Wilders considers the Muslims’ holy book, the Qur’an, a problem in itself. Without any kind of profound reading or proper exposure, Wilders had radically asked to tear out parts of the Qur’an, and then he found it better to ban it completely.

Hatred and ignorance of Islam and endeavor to attract media attention may be some of the reasons behind Wilders’ stance. But three main points have to be discussed in-depth in light of this offensive attitude.

  • Look Muslims, we have to be smarter at playing this “game”. The buttons of ignorance and hate are purposely being pressed to see what we will do and how we will react. Wouldn’t it be great if we exercised one word in the face of this onslaught: Sabr (patience). Whenever we are disrespected in this way, let us remember that patience is the path that we must take.

U.S. Lawmakers Reach Tentative Economic Stimulus Deal

Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) — U.S. House leaders have reached a tentative agreement on economic-stimulus legislation that would give many Americans tax rebate checks of at least $300, congressional aides said.

The agreement between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, and House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio also includes tax incentives for corporate investment, said two aides familiar with the talks. It doesn’t include new spending for infrastructure or for extending unemployment benefits, the aides said.

Lawmakers are racing to enact a stimulus measure of about $150 billion to try to avoid a recession. The Federal Reserve this week made an emergency cut in its benchmark overnight lending rate, lowering it three-quarters of a point to 3.5 percent. President George W. Bush said last week that a stimulus plan is needed because of a “risk of a downturn.”

Pelosi and Boehner worked out details of the proposal with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson during three meetings yesterday. Pelosi and Boehner spoke again this morning and reached an agreement in principle, aides said. Leaders in both parties in the Senate will also review it, and some senators said they will seek changes.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said no final agreement has been completed with the administration.

  • I do not see how this is going to work without addressing the underlining costs associated with what is increasingly beginning to look like a recession. We are spending about half a million dollars a minute in Iraq, “made in America” brands and products are non-existent, our borders are a joke, and fuel costs among other things are going through the roof. I do not see how giving money to people that will spend it on products to help stimulate other non-American economies will help.

UN Rights Body Condemns Israel Over Gaza

GENEVA (AP) – The U.N.’s top human rights body on Thursday condemned Israeli military action in Gaza and the West Bank.

The resolution, which also demands the lifting of the blockade on Gaza and calls for international action to protect Palestinian civilians, was proposed by Arab and Muslim countries and passed by 30 votes in favor, one against and 15 abstentions, during an emergency session of the 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council.

Canada voted against the measure. European countries abstained on the grounds that the resolution did not address the firing of rockets by Palestinian militants into Israel.

“We believe that this council should deplore the fact that innocent civilians on both sides are suffering,” Slovenia’s ambassador, Andrej Logar, said on behalf of the seven EU members of the council.

The United States is not a member of the council.

The Palestinian representative in Geneva said the resolution was intended to highlight abuses committed by Israel.

“We recognize Israel, but we are against what Israel is practicing against our people,” Mohammad Abu-Koash told journalists after the meeting.

During a debate Wednesday on the situation in Gaza, a majority of countries lined up to denounce the closure of Gaza’s border by Israel. The U.N.’s top human rights official, Louise Arbour, said the closure had caused “desperation” among Palestinians.

Israel, which is not a member of the council, did not take part in the two-day special session.

“I am glad that Israel did not participate in this circus,” said Itzhak Levanon, Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. office in Geneva.

  • Yes there is obviously something wrong, but what are countries willing to do about it? The lack of action and attention doesn’t help the Palestinians any and that is why Israel views any condemnation as a “circus” see Webster’s Dictionary entry under joke.

A Hamas member, left, and Egyptian security personnel, right, watch as Palestinians cross the border into Egypt after gunmen exploded the separated wall between Gaza Strip and Egypt, Wednesday.

Mubarak: Palestinians were allowed into Egypt on my orders

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from Gaza crossed into Egypt on Wednesday after gunmen destroyed about two-thirds of the Gaza-Egypt border wall, most of them returning after stocking up on food and other basic supplies.

UN personnel said they estimated the number of Palestnians who entered Egypt at 350,000. They added that some of those who left for Egypt have already returned to the Gaza Strip.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced that he had ordered his troops to allow Palestinians to cross into Egypt because they were starving.

On Wednesday, Palestinian gunmen blew holes in the wall, and tens of thousands of Gazans trapped in the Strip by a tight blockade poured into Egypt to buy food, fuel and other supplies that have become scarce.

  • Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t this prove just a little bit that something is wrong? What Muslim majority countries should do is open all their borders in protest and allow the ummah to come together…..

Fulton to pay students in after-school program

Creekside High and Bear Creek Middle will pay students $8 an hour for “Learn & Earn” program

Fulton County schools want to pay students to stay in school a little longer.Forty students from Creekside High and Bear Creek Middle schools in Fairburn will be the first to try the “Learn & Earn” program, where students will get paid to attend after-school tutoring programs.

Students will make approximately $8 an hour, and be eligible for bonuses if their grades improve, said Kirk Wilks, district spokesman. The initial students are in the eighth and 11th grades.

There will be a community kick-off Thursday at 3 p.m. in the Creekside High media center, 7405 Herndon Rd., Fairburn.

With the support of Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts, the pilot program will last 15 weeks and pay students for participation and performance. The object of the program is to determine if paying students to study will improve classroom attendance, grades and test scores, according to a news release from the district.

  • This is 100% proof that in many parts of the US our educational systems and schools are broken. Paying kids to go to school! Come on now, there is definitely a problem and this problem is a testament to why US children are falling behind the rest of the children of the world in education.

Sen Barack Obama in Lexington, S.C., January 22, 2008. (Photo: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Obama’s no Muslim but why no defense of Islam?

by Frank James

Chicago Tribune religion writer and blogger Manya Brachear asks this question on her blog, The Seeker: in underscoring that he is a Christian, should Sen. Barack Obama go further?

When he upholds his Christianity, should he emphasize for those who are Muslims and those who aren’t, that there’s nothing wrong with being Muslim?

Manya writes:

The repeated and false claims that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is a closet Muslim have prompted the candidate to reiterate that he is a committed Christian. But he stops short of saying that being Muslim wouldn’t be a bad thing. In addition to setting the record straight about his own faith, should Obama also give a shout-out to his Muslim brothers and sisters and defend Islam?

Good question. Manya continues:

…But after a year of rumors, some Muslims say it’s time for Obama to take his response a step further and remind voters that his religion shouldn’t matter. They say he should take the opportunity to point out that Islam is one of the many religious traditions that makes America great. “At this point, he should call out people’s bigotry,” said Salam al-Marayati, executive director of The Muslim Public Affairs Council. He and other religious leaders defended Obama when the rumor mill first fired up last year. A letter signed by 11 Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders denounced the rumors as a calculated attempt to “divide us as children of God.”

As the attacks continue, though, Obama should denounce “this kind of religious litmus test in politics which is anathema to our Bill of Rights and reframe the conversation,” al-Marayati said. Being labeled a Muslim isn’t an insult, he said.

A source familiar with the Obama campaign said that’s unlikely to happen. It’s not the Muslim characterization that bothers Obama. It’s that his faith, which plays a significant role in his life, has been mischaracterized. Period.

“The primary goal is truth,” the source said. “It’s important to set the record straight.”

Posted by Frank James on January 23, 2008 12:35 PM

  • That’s a great question, however we have to use common sense here. As evidenced by what’s been said and is being said on the net about Obama and Muslims, not to mention the very comments in this article, If Obama said anything about Islam in this country, he will be crucified upside down by the right and all the hate mongerors in this country disgused as republicans and Christians.

Turks uneasy at plan to drop headscarf ban

Turkey’s socially conservative government took a large step on Thursday towards ending a ban on women wearing headscarves at universities, in a move that could spark another fierce tussle with the country’s powerful secular establishment.

The governing Justice and Development party (AKP), which has its roots in political Islam and is riding a rising tide of conservatism in this country of 70m Muslims, reached agreement with an opposition party to lift the constitutional ban on the headscarf on campus and presented the issue as one of civil and religious freedom.

The ban was introduced after a military coup in 1980 and has been enforced at state universities with varying degrees of zealousness since then by the higher education board, a key institution in the safeguarding of Turkey’s founding secular ideals.

Polls show a large majority of Turkish citizens oppose the ban, however.

“The issue is a bleeding wound in higher education [and] has to be solved,” the AKP said in a joint statement with the Nationalist Action party, which draws its electoral support from the same socially conservative suburban, small-town and village parts of Turkey as does the government.

  • I have to admit, I have always thought this was stupid. A “Muslim” country that has a problem with Islamic practice! In my opinion it’s always been about appeasing the West. I wish Muslims would grow a pair add some common sense and realize that you don’t have to abandon religion in order to be contemporary. You can still practice freedom for all in the context of your religion, especially Islam once you drop regional and tribal culture and embrace the culture of God.

Sincerity in Religious Acts

Note: Several of the quotes below refer to “Dissimulation” which means to hide under a false appearance or to disguise or hide true feelings, thoughts, or intentions.

1. Wahb b. Munabbih would say: “Whoever seeks worldly advancement through his religious acts, God will invert his heart and record him amongst the people destined for Hell.”2. Al-Hasan al-Basri relates that Jesus, Peace upon Him, said: “Whoever endeavors to implement his religious knowledge is a true friend of God.”

3. Sufyan b. Tahwri used to say: “My mother advised me: ‘My son! Only seek religious knowledge if you intend to implement it. Otherwise, it will be a source of torment for you on the Day of Resurrection.’ ”

4. Dhun-Nun al-Misri was asked: “When does the servant know that he is sincere in religion?” He replied: “When he asserts himself to the fullest in worship while desiring to gain no esteem with the people because of that.”

5. Muhammad b. al-Munkadir used to say: “I love to see the brothers being at their very best during the night [in humble devotion] for surely that is nobler than being at ones very best during the day. The reason for this is that during the day one is seen by people while during the night one is seen by the Lord of the Worlds.”

6. It was once asked of Yunus b. Ubayd: “Have you seen anyone worship like Hasan al-Basri?” He replied: “I have not seen anyone speak as he spoke, so how could I see anyone worship as he did? His sermons would cause hearts to weep; the sermons of others do not even move eyes to tears.”

7. Yahya b. Mu’adh was asked: “When will a servant be considered sincere?” He answered: “When his character becomes like that of a suckling babe. It does not care if it is praised or condemned.”

8. Fudail b. ‘Iyad used to say: “As long as a person consciously seeks acceptability from people, he will not be safe from insincerity in his religion.”

9. Abu Iyas al-Antaki was known to say: “Whoever strives for sincerity in his outward actions, while his heart is concerned about what people think of him, is seeking the impossible. This is so because sincerity is the life-giving water of the heart and dissimulation kills it.”

10. Yusuf b. Asbat used to say: “I have never sincerely reviewed my religious actions except that I found myself guilty of dissimulation.”

11. Al-Hasan al-Basri used to say: “Whoever rebukes himself in the presence of others has in fact engaged in an act of praise.”

12. Ibn Sammak used to say: “If one guilty of dissimulation in his religious knowledge and actions were to inform people of his true motivations they would hate him and consider him a fool.”

13. Ibrahim b. Adham would say: “Do not ask your brother about his fast. For were he to say, ‘I am fasting,’ his soul would be pleased with that. On the other hand, were he to say, ‘I am not fasting,’ his soul would be saddened by that. Each response is an indication of dissimulation. That is a source of disgrace for the questioned and a means whereby the questioner can know his brother’s concealed imperfections.”

14. ‘Abdullah b. al-Mubarak used to say: “A man will be circumambulating the Ka’ba while dissimulating before the people of Khurasan.” It was said: “How could that be?” He rejoined: “He is pleased if the people back in Khurasan are saying, ‘So and so is in Mecca right now circumambulating the Ka’ba or pacing between Safa and Marwa. Cheers to him!’ ”

15. Fudail b. ‘Iyad would say: “We encountered people who would dissimulate in their religious acts. Now they dissimulate with actions they have not even performed.”

16. Abu Ayyub as-Sakhtiyani used to say: “Among the forms of dissimulation with actions you have not performed is exalting yourself over others by mentioning the insightful speech and expressions of religious scholars. That which you are using to exalt yourself with is not the fruit of your effort, nor from your intellectual derivation.”

17. Ibrahim b. Adham used to say: “One who loves for people to speak good of him, [while unconcerned about how he stands with God], has attained neither true God Consciousness nor sincerity in religion.”

18. Ikrima was known to have said: “Constantly try to have a sincere intention, because dissimulation does not substitute for a good intention in religious acts.”

19. Al-Hasan al-Basri used to say: “People enter Heaven and Hell based on their actions. However, their perpetuity in either of those two abodes is based on their intentions.” Note: Actions are a necessary condition for entering Paradise. However, they are not sufficient. Ultimately, anyone’s entrance into Paradise will only occur due to the mercy of God.

20. Abu Dawud al-Tayyalisi used to say: “It is incumbent upon a scholar when he edits his compilation that he intends to assist the Religion, and not to be praised by his contemporaries for excellent writing.”

21. It is related that every act God accepts is great even if it is small, and every act He rejects is small even if it is great.

22. Fudail b. ‘Iyyad used to say: “If the truthful prophets such as Ishmael and Jesus, peace upon them, were asked about their truthfulness, how about liars like us?”

23. Imam ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, May God be pleased with him, used to say: “There are three indications of a dissimulator: He is lazy in his worship in private; he conveys his supererogatory prayers sitting when alone and standing when with others; and he increases his devotional acts when praised just as he decreases them when rebuked.”

24. Sufyan al-Thawri was known to have said: “Every devotional act I performed in front of others I did not consider of any consequence, because of the incapacity of people like us to have true sincerity towards God in the presence of others.”

25. Ibrahim al-Taymi used to dress like an ordinary man. Therefore, no one except his companions knew he was a scholar. He used to say: “A person sincere to God hides his good deeds as much as he hides his bad deeds.”

26. Sufyan al-Thawri used to say: “It is rare for a scholar who attracts a large crowd to his lessons not to become conceited.”

27. Al-Hasan al-Basri passed by Tawus as he was relating prophetic traditions to a large gathering in the Sacred Mosque. Al-Hasan drew near to him and whispered into his ear: “If you are proud to have attracted such a large audience you should get up and leave.” Tawus left immediately.

28. Sufyan al-Thawri would usually only allow three people to sit in his circle. One day he noticed that the circle had grown quite large. He stood up, shaken, and exclaimed: “We have been afflicted with pride! I swear by God! If the Commander of the Faithful, ‘Umar, had seen my likes seated in such a gathering he would have made me get up and leave, lamenting: ‘Your likes are not fit to teach.’ ” When Sufyan would sit to relate prophetic traditions, he would sit crossed-legged in a fearful state. If a cloud passed overhead he would remain silent until it went by, saying: “I feared that it might be full of stones which it would unleash against me.”

29. Abu Huraira, may God be pleased with him, used to say: “Were it not for a single verse in the Qur’an I would not have taught you. [That verse is] Surely those who conceal what we have revealed of truth and guidance after we have expounded it to people in the Scripture, they are cursed by God and cursed by all entitled to curse.” (Quran 2:159) When Sufyan al-Thawri ceased teaching prophetic tradition, Abu Huraira’s saying was related to him. He responded: “If I knew that even one student was seeking knowledge sincerely for the sake of God, I would go to his house to teach him, and not even burden him [to come to me].”

30. Hatim al-Asamm used to say: “No one sits to teach sacred knowledge in the mosque except one seeking worldly gain, or one ignorant of the tremendous responsibilities associated with that [station].”

31. Despite Ibn ‘Abbas’ vast knowledge, may God pleased with him and his father, he would say upon the conclusion of one his sessions of Qur’anic exegesis: “Let us conclude our gathering by collectively seeking God’s forgiveness.”

32. Shaddad b. Hakim used to say: “Whoever possesses the following three characteristics should instruct people; if not, then he should leave off teaching. He reminds people of God’s favors in order that they give thanks for them; he reminds them of their sins in order that they repent from them; and he reminds them of their enemy in order that they beware of him.”

33. Ibn Wahb was known to say: “I asked Imam Malik about Al-Rasikheen bil-‘Ilm, who are they?” He said: “They are the scholars who implement their knowledge, and there is nothing mightier than knowledge for it allows its possessor to rule over kings.”

34. Ibn Mubarak was asked: “Who do you consider the real people?” He replied, “The sincere scholars who implement their knowledge.” He was then asked: “Who are the kings?” He responded: “Those whose hearts are detached from the world.” It was then inquired: “Who are the riff raff?” He answered: “Those who sell their knowledge, devotional acts, and religion for worldly benefit.”

35. Al-Hasan al-Basri used to say: “The scholars are the lights of their respective ages. Each scholar is a lamp of his age by which people seek illumination. Were it not for the true scholars people would become like animals.”

36. Sufyan al-Thawri would also say: “Knowledge is enlivened by active search and sincere implementation, and it dies through neglecting these two things.”

37. ‘Ikrima used to say: “Do not teach those who will not pay the price of knowledge.” It was said: “What is that price?” He said: “That the scholar places it with one who will implement it.” Note: In other words a willingness to implement what one learns is the price of knowledge.”

38. Al-Sha’bi used to say: “Among the etiquette of the true scholars is that when they learn something they implement it. At that point, implementation preoccupies them from the people. When they are preoccupied from the people they are sought after. When they are sought after they flee away fearing that they might be cast into tribulation.”

39. It is related by prophetic tradition: “The most severely punished person on the Day of Resurrection will be a scholar who did not benefit from his knowledge.” And, “A time will come when the devout people in a particular place will be ignorant, and their scholars will be corrupt.” Tabarani

40. Al-Hasan al-Basri used to say: “Do not be like one who studies like a scholar but acts like a fool.”

41. Ibrahim b. ‘Utba used to say: “The most remorseful person on the Day of Resurrection will be a scholar who used his knowledge to arrogate himself over the common folk.”

42. The Commander of the Faithful, ‘Umar b. al-Khattab, was known to say: “The thing I fear most for this Muslim community is a scholar who manifests knowledge on his tongue but has ignorance in his heart.”

43. Sufyan al-Thawri used to say: “Knowledge will cry out to action [to join it]. If it answers all is well. If it does not knowledge departs.”

44. ‘Abdullah b. al-Mubarak used to say: “A person will continue to be a scholar as long as he thinks that there is someone in his land more knowledgeable than he. If he thinks he is the most knowledgeable of all he has displayed his ignorance.”

45. Yahya b. Mu’adh usd to say: “When a scholar chases the world his nobility vanishes.”

46. Al-Hasan al-Basri used to say: “The punishment of the scholars is in the death of their hearts, and the death of their hearts occurs when they use devotional acts for worldly gain. Such actions draw them close to people obsessed with the world.”

47. Al-Makhul used to say: “One who learns the Qur’an, gains religious knowledge, and then goes to the house of the political authorities without a pressing need, sinks ever deeper into Hell with each step he takes.”

48. The Commander of the Faithful, ‘Umar b. al-Khattab, used to say: “If you see a scholar who loves the world be suspicious of his religious integrity, for every lover will devote himself to that which he loves.”

49. Ibrahim al-Taymi used to say: “I never measured my action against my speech except that I found my actions to be liars.”

50. Ibrahim b. Adham used to say: “We speak impeccable Arabic, we never make a grammatical error. However, our actions are constantly errant, we are never impeccable [in our intentions].”

Compiled by Imam Zaid Shakir.
You can visit his website at: NewIslamicDirections.com

If you would like to share quotable quotes from scholars CLICK HERE

Principles of Success

According to the Quran, Prophet Muhammad was the most excellent example for all of humanity. Even non-Muslim historians recognize him to be one of the most successful personalities in history.

In 1946 Reverend R Bosworth-Smith in “Mohammed & Mohammedanism.” wrote about the Prophet:

“Head of the state as well as the Church, he was Caesar and Pope in one; but, he was pope without the pope’s claims, and Caesar without the legions of Caesar, without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue. If ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by a right divine It was Mohammad, for he had all the power without instruments and without its support. He cared not for dressing of power. The simplicity of his private life was in keeping with his public life.”

In 1978 Michael Hart in his book ” The 100 Most Influential Persons In History”, selected Prophet Muhammad as the most influential person in history and had this to say about his choice:

“My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the secular and religious level… It is this unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history.”

The Prophet’s words and actions show us the way to achieve success, not just in this world but in the hereafter as well.

In short, the Prophet of Islam was a positive thinker in the full sense of the word. All his activities were result-oriented. He refrained from all negative elements of behavior that are counter-productive to achievement such as hate, envy, arrogance, greed, etc.

All the actions of the Prophet were solely based on a pure intention to please God.

By studying the life of the Prophet we can identify some of the principles of success.

The First Principle:

Take the easier path. This principle is well explained in a saying of A’ishah. She said:

Whenever the Prophet had to choose between two options, he always opted for the easier choice. (Bukhari)

To choose the easiest option means that you should evaluate your options and choose the most feasible. One who begins from this starting point will surely reach his goal.

The Second Principle:

See advantage in disadvantage. In the early days of Makkah, there were many problems and difficulties. At that time, a guiding verse in the Quran was revealed. It said:

With every hardship there is ease, with every hardship there is ease. (94:5-6).

This means that if there are some problems, there are also opportunities at the same time. The way to success is to overcome the problems and avail the opportunities.

The Third Principle:

Change the place of action. This principle is derived from the Hijrah. The Hijrah was not just a migration from Makkah to Madinah, it was a journey to find a more suitable place to put Islam into action.

Physical migration and perseverance is an important element in establishing Justice and Peace. This also planted the roots of intellectual migration from the subjugated minds to an awakened spirit.

The Fourth Principle:

Make a friend out of an enemy. The Prophet of Islam was repeatedly subjected to practices of antagonism by the unbelievers. At that time, the Qur’an enjoined upon him the return of good for evil. And then, as the Quran added:

You will see your direst enemy has become your closest friend. (41:34)

It means that a good deed in return of a bad deed has a conquering effect over your enemies. And the life of the Prophet is a historical proof of this principle.

The greatest example of amnesty was shown by the Prophet after the blood-less conquest of Makkah. All enemies of Islam were granted pardon including Hinda, the wife of Abu Soofyaan who had disemboweled the martyred body of Hamza, the Prophet’s uncle. In spite of her detestable mutilation of Hamza’s body, the Prophet forgave her.

The Fifth Principle:

Education is central to success. After the battle of Badr, about 70 of the unbelievers were taken as prisoners of war. They were educated people. The Prophet announced that if any one of them would teach ten Muslim children how to read and write he would be freed. This was the first school in the history of Islam in which all of the students were Muslims, and all of the teachers were from the enemy rank.

The Sixth Principle:

Don’t be a dichotomous thinker. In the famous battle of Mutah, Khalid Ibn Walid decided to withdraw Muslim forces from the battlefield because he discovered that they were disproportionately outnumbered by the enemy. When they reached Madinah, some of the Muslims received them by the word ‘O deserters!’ The Prophet said: ‘No, they are men of advancement’.

Those Madinan people were thinking dichotomously, either fighting or retreating. The Prophet said that there is also a third option, and that is to avoid war and find time to strengthen yourself. Now history tells us that the Muslims, after three years of preparation, advanced again towards the Roman border and this time they won a resounding victory.

The Seventh Principle:

Do not engage in unnecessary confrontation. This principle is derived from the treaty of Hudaybiyyah. At that time, the unbelievers were determined to engage Muslims in fighting, because they were in an advantageous position. But the Prophet , by accepting their conditions unilaterally, entered into a pact. It was a ten-year peace treaty. Until then, the meeting ground between Muslims and non-Muslims had been on the battlefield. Now the area of conflict became that of ideological debate. Within two years, Islam emerged as victorious because of the simple reason of its ideological superiority.

The Eighth Principle:

Gradualism instead of radicalism. This principle is well-established by a Hadith quoted in Bukhari. A’ishah says that the first verses of the Qur’an were related mostly to Heaven and Hell. After some time when faith had taken hold in peoples hearts, God revealed specific commands to desist from unjust and self-deprecating social practices that were prevalent in the Arabian dark ages. This is a clear proof that for social changes, Islam advocates the evolutionary method, rather than the revolutionary method.

The Ninth Principle:

Be pragmatic in controversial matters. During the writing of the Hudaybiyyah treaty, the Prophet dictated these words: ‘This is from Muhammad, the Messenger of God.’ The Qurayshan delegate raised objections over these words. The Prophet promptly ordered the words to be changed to ‘Muhammad, son of Abdullah’. This simple change placated the Qurayshan delegate.

These are just some of the principles by which the Prophet of Islam conducted his life. His achievements have been recognized by historians as the supreme success. We would be wise to live by following his example.

You have indeed in the Messenger of God a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in God and the Final Day .. (Quran 33:21)

Adapted from the “Principles of Success in the Light of Sirah” by Wahiduddin Khan – Renaissance Islamic Journal

Five reasons not to fear a $200 Linux PC

Linux is not just for computer whizzes.

In fact, buying Linux and learning how to use it are easier than ever, thanks to the open-source operating system’s expanding presence in affordable computers and mainstream retail outlets.

In quick succession, the number of mass-market, sub-$200 desktops has tripled–from one to three–in less than three months. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month, small form-factor PC maker Shuttle debuted its $199 KPC. The catch? It’s not preloaded with Windows, but an operating system based on Linux. Then last week, Mirus and Linspire collaborated on the Mirus Linux PC, which is now for sale at Sears.com. It’s $299 (although an included $100 rebate brings it to $199), and is preloaded with Freespire 2.0, an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution.

But the beginning of the low-cost computer trend actually started last fall. The Everex gPC showed up on the shelves of Wal-Mart for $198, a low price even for a desktop PC. It’s bundled with speakers, a mouse, and a keyboard, and it comes with 24-hour tech support. The operating system is called gOS, a version of Ubuntu 7.10. Sure, that may be almost unpronounceable for most average consumers, but despite that, Wal-Mart is having trouble keeping the gPC in stock.

Top Earmark-er Clinton Grants $303,000 to Gay Lobby Group

(CNSNews.com) – A group that lobbies for needle exchanges, for allowing more immigrants with HIV/AIDS to legally enter the country, and for condom distribution in prisons received a $303,000 federal earmark pushed by Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.).

That was one of 261 earmarks Clinton personally helped usher through Congress. That’s more earmarks than any other member of Congress seeking the presidency, according to an analysis by the watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW).

This specific appropriation is from the Department of Justice and is aimed at fighting methamphetamine use – that’s what the Gay Men’s Health Crisis Center is supposed to do with the taxpayer-funded money.

Clinton announced the grant in October 2007, a month after receiving a $750 donation and a $250 donation from Felix Lopez, an attorney for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and for a clinic based in New York.

A number of other non-profit organizations in New York state that received Clinton earmarks also had employees who contributed to her presidential campaign or political action committee, HillPAC.

  • Open thine eyes people. 🙂

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Dutch Braced For ‘Koran Insult’ Backlash

If I insult you, am I responsible for your violence?

It’s a question being debated in the Netherlands this week as Dutch embassies around the world beef up their security ahead of the release of a film on the internet which allegedly insults the Koran. It’s reported to show the Koran being torn up and otherwise desecrated.

The extreme right wing politician Geert Wilders has made the ten minute film promoting his belief that the Koran inspires people ‘to do the worst things’. His views have inspired him to talk about a ‘Tsunami of Islamisation’ in Europe, for the Koran to be banned, and for Dutch Muslims to either give up their religion or leave the country.

These remarks have gained his party nine seats in the 150 seat parliament and himself a 24 hour police guard.

He needs it. The last Dutchman to make a film which angered some ended up with a knife in his chest attached to a note insulting Jews and Christians. Theo Van Gogh’s murderer, an Islamist, also attempted to behead his victim in the street.

  • Sick people are willing to do sick things, it would be equally sick if we Muslims give this idiot the publicity he is seeking. Let’s pray for him and instead of violence, let’s give to the orphans and needy. From now on when this crap is done, let’s just do more good.

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Rice offers Iran prospect of normal ties

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday she believed the nuclear stand-off with Iran could be resolved diplomatically but that Tehran must not be allowed to become a nuclear weapons power.

Just one day after getting agreement on a draft U.N. Security Council resolution against Tehran, Rice offered the incentive of a “more normal relationship” and expanded trade if Iran gave up sensitive nuclear work, according to the prepared text of her speech to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

“Ultimately, though, we believe that we can resolve this problem through diplomacy,” Rice said according to the text, which was distributed by conference organizers.

“If Iran would suspend its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities – which is an international demand, not just an American one – then we could begin negotiations, and we could work over time to build a new, more normal relationship,” she said.

Rice said this new relationship could be defined not by fear and mistrust but growing cooperation, expanding trade and exchange, and the peaceful resolution of differences.

In a conciliatory note after weeks of anti-Iranian rhetoric by the Bush administration, Rice said the United States had no desire for Iran to be a “permanent enemy”.

“Iranians are a proud people with a great culture, and we respect the contributions they have made to world civilization,” she said.

But she said Washington had real differences with Iran’s government, from its pursuit of a nuclear weapon to support for terrorism and what the United States sees as Tehran’s destabilizing policies in Iraq.

  • Dear Secretary Rice, I’m not sure Iran wants it to be honest.

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2 Comments

  1. I agree about what you said about the ESPN anchor. As followers of Islam, we should be OUTRAGED even more so than the Christians and Catholics over what was said about Jesus(AS). This will not only bring us closer together, but will be subliminal dawah to Christians.

    Reply

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