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The essence of the facts
#17
What is your purpose in life? What is the rationale behind our life? Why do we live in this life? These questions frequently intrigue people who try to find accurate answers.

People provide different answers to these questions. Some people believe the purpose of life is to accumulate wealth. But one may wonder: What is the purpose of life after one has collected colossal amounts of money? What then? What will the purpose be once money is gathered? If the purpose of life is to gain money, there will be no purpose after becoming wealthy. And in fact, here lies the problem of some disbelievers or misbelievers at some stage of their life, when collecting money is the target of their life. When they have collected the money they dreamt of, their life loses its purpose. They suffer from the panic of nothingness and they live in tension and restlessness.

Can Wealth Be an Aim?

We often hear of a millionaire committing suicide, sometimes, not the millionaire himself but his wife, son, or daughter. The question that poses itself is: Can wealth bring happiness to one’s life? In most cases the answer is NO. Is the purpose of collecting wealth a standing purpose? As we know, the five-year old child does not look for wealth: a toy for him is equal to a million dollars. The eighteen-year old adolescent does not dream of wealth because he is busy with more important things. The ninety-year old man does not care about money; he is worried more about his health. This proves that wealth cannot be a standing purpose in all the stages of the individual's life.

Wealth can do little to bring happiness to a disbeliever, because he/she is not sure about his fate. A disbeliever does not know the purpose of life. And if he has a purpose, this purpose is doomed to be temporary or self destructive.

What is the use of wealth to a disbeliever if he feels scared of the end and skeptical of everything. A disbeliever may gain a lot of money, but will surely lose himself.

Worshipping Allah as an Aim

On the contrary, faith in Allah gives the believer the purpose of life that he needs. In Islam, the purpose of life is to worship Allah. The term "Worship" covers all acts of obedience to Allah.

The Islamic purpose of life is a standing purpose. The true Muslim sticks to this purpose throughout all the stages of his life, whether he is a child, adolescent, adult, or an old man.

Worshipping Allah makes life purposeful and meaningful, especially within the framework of Islam. According to Islam this worldly life is just a short stage of our life. Then there is the other life. The boundary between the first and second life is the death stage, which is a transitory stage to the second life. The type of life in the second stage a person deserves depends on his deeds in the first life. At the end of the death stage comes the day of judgment. On this day, Allah rewards or punishes people according to their deeds in the first life.

The First Life as an Examination

So, Islam looks at the first life as an examination of man. The death stage is similar to a rest period after the test, i. e. after the first life. The Day of Judgment is similar to the day of announcing the results of the examinees. The second life is the time when each examinee enjoys or suffers from the outcome of his behavior during the test period.

In Islam, the line of life is clear, simple, and logical: the first life, death, the Day of Judgment, and then the second life. With this clear line of life, the Muslim has a clear purpose in life. The Muslim knows he is created by Allah. Muslims know they are going to spend some years in this first life, during which they have to obey God, because God will question them and hold them responsible for their public or private deeds, because Allah knows about all the deeds of all people. The Muslim knows that his deeds in the first life will determine the type of second life they will live in. The Muslim knows that this first life is a very short one, one hundred years, more or less, whereas the second life is an eternal one.

The Eternity of the Second Life

The concept of the eternity of the second life has a tremendous effect on a Muslims during their first life, because Muslims believe that their first life determines the shape of their second life. In addition, this determines the shape of their second life and this determination will be through the Judgment of Allah, the All just and Almighty.

With this belief in the second life and the Day of Judgment, the Muslim's life becomes purposeful and meaningful. Moreover, the Muslim's standing purpose is to go to Paradise in the second life.

In other words, the Muslim's permanent purpose is to obey Allah, to submit to Allah, to carry out His orders, and to keep in continues contact with Him through prayers (five times a day), through fasting (one month a year), through charity (as often as possible), and through pilgrimage (once in one's life).

The Need for a Permanent Purpose

Disbelievers have purposes in their lives such as collecting money and property, indulging in sex, eating, and dancing. But all these purposes are transient and passing ones. All these purposes come and go, go up and down. Money comes and goes. Health comes and goes. Sexual activities cannot continue forever. All these lusts for money, food and sex cannot answer the individual's questions: so what? Then What?

However, Islam saves Muslims from the trouble of asking the question, because Islam makes it clear, from the very beginning, that the permanent purpose of the Muslim in this life is to obey Allah in order to go to Paradise in the second life.

We should know that the only way for our salvation in this life and in the hereafter is to know our Lord who created us, believe in Him, and worship Him alone.

We should also know our Prophet whom Allah had sent to all mankind, believe in Him and follow Him. We should, know the religion of truth which our Lord has commanded us to believe in, and practice it


The purpose of life in this world in Islam and Christianity - ...

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#18
The calendar year of Islam begins not with the birthday of our prophet (peace be on him), not from the time that the revelation came to him (Bethat) nor from the time of his ascension to heaven, but with the migration (Hijra) from an undesirable environment into a desirable place to fulfill Allah's command. It was migration from a plot that was set by the leaders of the Quraysh who were plotting to kill prophet Muhammad, and to destroy the truth that today is being conveyed to mankind everywhere against tyranny and injustice. Their purpose was to destroy the foundation of the Islamic state, the Sunnah of the tradition of the prophet, and to prevent the revelation being delivered by Allah's messenger to mankind.


The Islamic calendar is reckoned from the time of migration (Hijra) of Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) from Mecca to Madina. The Prophet's decision to migrate from Mecca came after several years of inhuman treatment of the faithful by the powerful tribes who were united despite all their feuds to stop the spread of Islam.

Prophet Mohammad's decision to leave Mecca coincided with the infidel's plan to assassinate him. In 622 AD, the Quresh tribesmen held a meeting and decided that a band of young men, one from each tribe, should assassinate Prophet Mohammad collectively so that their responsibility for the murder could not be placed on any particular tribe.

On the eventful night, the Prophet asked his cousin Ali Ben Abutalib to take his place in bed to make the Meccans think that he was asleep. The Prophet himself slipped out unobserved alongwith his loyal follower Abu Bakr (who was chosen as the first C aliph after the death of the prophet). They secretly made their way to a cave named Thawr, not far from Mecca and lay in hiding there for a day or two until Abu Bakr's son reported that the search for him had been given up. Then the two set out from Madina on camel back. They reached Quba, on the edge of the Madina oasis, on 12th Rabiul Awwal. With Mohammad's arrival in Quba a new phase of his career and glory of Islam started.

This migration has a special significance in the history of Islam. It ended the Meccan period of humiliation and torture and began the era of success. His own people to whom he preached Islam for 13 years neglected the Prophet of Islam. But he was cordially received in Madina as an honored chief.

In Madina his power enhanced day by day. Here he was not only the religious leader but took the role of a politician and statesman too. Prophet Mohammad expired ten years after his migration to Madina but only in one decade he changed the course of human history.

In view of this special significance of the Prophet's migration the consultative body advised the Second Islamic Caliph, Omar ben Khattab, to start the Islamic year from the date of migration of the Prophet from Mecca to Madina.

According to early Moslem scholars, Abu Musa Al Shari drew attention of Omar to an improperly dated debenture or IOU which was payable in the month of Shaban but it was not clear which Shaban was actually meant, the present one or the coming one. Omar called the dignitaries for consultation who made several suggestions to begin the Islamic calendar.

Ali (who later became the fourth caliph) suggested the Hijra as the beginning of the Islamic year with Moharram as its first month. Consequently, Caliph Omar in 21 A.H. or 641 A.D introduced the Islamic calendar in its present form.

QURANIC GUIDANCE

The guidance about the Islamic calendar is taken from the following verses from the Holy Quran: (In the name of GOD most gracious and most merciful)

"Lo the number of the months with God is twelve months." IX:36.

"They ask thee, of new moons. Say: They are fixed seasons for mankind and for the pilgrimage." II:189.

"He it is who appointed the sun a splendor and the moon a light, and measured for her stages, that ye might know the number of the years, and the reckoning." X:5

The Islamic Calendar of 12 Lunar Months is determined by observation of the new moon with no effort by intercalation (addition) or other means to synchronize the Lunar year with the Solar year.

Seerah of Prophet Muhammed 27 - The Hijrah - Emigration to Madinah - Yasir Qadhi | March 2012

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utKZzIWZ0I4
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#19
The Quran does not differ from other scriptures
It is an article of faith for every Muslim to believe in all the prophets and messengers of Allah and all unadulterated revelations of God. Some of these scriptures are still extant today but not in their pristine form as a result of human alteration. The Quran is the only divine scripture which has stood the test of time because Allah has taken upon Himself the responsibility of preserving it “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption).” (Quran 15:9)

Other revealed scriptures before the advent of Prophet Muhammad, such as the Old Testament and the Gospel, were recorded long after the demise of the prophets to whom they had been revealed. In contrast, the entire Quran was written down in its complete form during the lifetime of Muhammad on pieces of palm bark, leather parchment and bone, and arranged in the order designated by the Prophet. In addition, tens of thousands of the Prophet's companions committed it to memory as it was being revealed.

The Quran is still memorized and read in its original Arabic text, and it continues to be taught and learned by millions of people the world over. In fact, with every succeeding generation of Muslims, the number of those who commit the whole Quran to memory has incredibly increased. There is no other book, religious or otherwise, which has been given this unparalleled care in recorded history.
The Quran presents all the prophets of Allah as belonging to one single brotherhood; all had a similar prophetic mission and conveyed the same basic message, namely, the invitation to the worship of Allah alone. The source of their message was one: Allah, or Almighty God. Even if the other Scriptures agree with the Quran in the fundamental aspects of the religion, they address a specific people. Due to this, its rulings and regulations are particular to them. It is attributed to Jesus in the Bible that he himself said: “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house (children) of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24)
On the other hand, the Quran was revealed to humanity at large and not to any specific nation “We have not sent thee but as a universal (Messenger) to men, giving them glad tidings, and warning them (against sin), but most men understand not.” (Quran 34:28)


A Muslim cannot be a Muslim if he or she does not believe in Jesus. Muslims believe in Jesus and in all of Allah's prophets. It is a basic element of their faith to believe in all of His prophets and messengers. Muslims respect and revere Jesus and await his second coming. According to the Quran, he was not crucified but was raised into Heaven. Muslims consider Jesus among the prominent messengers of Allah - but not God or the son of God. Jesus' mother, Mary is considered a virtuous and noble woman, and the Quran tells us that Jesus was born miraculously without a father “The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be". And he was.” (Quran 3:59)


Many non-Muslims are surprised to find out that Islam considers, Jesus, the son of Mary, to be one of the greatest messengers of Allah. Muslims are taught to love Jesus, and a person cannot be a Muslim without believing in the virgin birth and in the miracles of Jesus Christ. Muslims believe these things about Jesus not because of the Bible, but because the Quran says these things about him. However, Muslims always emphasize that the miracles of Jesus, and of all other prophets, were only possible by "Allah's permission" and His will.


Muslims reject the idea that Allah has a son. The Quran stresses emphatically that God does not have a "son". Islam teaches that titles such as "Lord" and "Savior" are for Allah alone.
It should be clarified that when Muslims criticize some of the teachings of Christianity, they are not attacking Jesus Christ. Christian doctrines such as the "Trinity" and "Atonement" are criticized by Muslims simply because they did not originate from Jesus. And when they evaluate the Bible they are not referring to "God's word", but to writings that are claimed to be God's word. Muslims believe that the book known today as “The Bible” only contains remnants of God’s original messages, and that it has been tainted by human input and altered through numerous translations. Muslims believe the original Gospel was the words and teachings of Jesus, not those of the ‘disciples’, Paul or other church fathers who strongly influenced Christianity throughout history. Islam actually endorses Jesus when it insists on the pure monotheism that Jesus himself preached and followed.

Musa Cerantonio speaking in SLRC Annual Meet Part 1 - ...
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How The Bible Led Me to Islam (Musa Cerantonio)
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#20
لمن تصلي؟ هاشم في حوار مع مسيحي الجزء الأول
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لمن تصلي؟ هاشم في حوار مع مسيحي الجزء الثانى
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لمن تصلي؟ هاشم في حوار مع مسيحي الجزء الثالث
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لمن تصلي؟ هاشم في حوار مع مسيحي الجزء االاخير
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#21
The Quran says nothing about Jesus
Jesus was among the prominent messengers who were mentioned in detail in the Quran. In fact, there is a chapter in the Quran named Maryam (Mary) that speaks about Mary and her son Jesus. Jesus is also mentioned in various other places throughout the Quran. Here are some of the Quranic quotations regarding Mary and Jesus:


“Relate in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent her our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects. She said: "I seek refuge from thee to (Allah) Most Gracious: (come not near) if thou dost fear Allah." He said: "Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son.


She said: "How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?" He said: "So (it will be): Thy Lord saith, 'that is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us': It is a matter (so) decreed." So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: She cried (in her anguish): "Ah! would that I had died before this! would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!" But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm-tree): "Grieve not! for thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee; "And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree: It will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee. "So eat and drink and cool (thine) eye.


And if thou dost see any man, say, 'I have vowed a fast to (Allah) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into not talk with any human being'" At length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: "O Mary! truly an amazing thing hast thou brought! "O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman

unchaste!" But she pointed to the babe. They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?" He said: "I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet; "And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live; "(He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable; "So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)"! Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute. It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, "Be", and it is. Verily Allah is my Lord and your Lord: Him therefore serve ye: this is a Way that is straight.” (Quran 19:16-36)
Yusuf Estes - Jesus in Islam - YouTube

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#22
Islam opposed to knowledge and science
Islam is not opposed to knowledge and science. Knowledge is of two types: religious, which has to do with the understanding of the religious duties one is required to carry out, and temporal, which has to do with all that is needed to know with a view to living a comfortable and beneficial life.

A Muslim is required to acquire both types of knowledge. In fact, Islam advocated attaining knowledge and education at a time when the whole world was engulfed in utter ignorance. The first revelation the Prophet of Islam received from Allah was “Proclaim! (or read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created - Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood: Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,- He Who taught (the use of) the pen,- Taught man that which he knew not.” (Quran 96:1-5)

These verses represent the first spark ever to dispel the darkness of ignorance and barbarianism in which the world had long been immersed. And Allah reminded the Muslims of His immeasurable favour to humankind, saying: “It is He Who has sent amongst the Unlettered a messenger from among themselves, to rehearse to them His Signs, to sanctify them, and to instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom,- although they had been, before, in manifest error” (Quran 62:2)

The early generations of Muslims became, in a matter of years, a learned and refined nation in religious as well as worldly matters, after having remained in the darkness of ignorance for centuries. Islam awakened in man the faculty of intellect and motivated him to serve Allah, the one true God.


Religious knowledge is essential, because, without it, one will not be able to perform his or her obligations in the prescribed manner. The Prophet said,
“To whomever He intends benefit, Allah grants understanding of the religion.”
Allah ordered the Prophet to pray to Him for advancement in knowledge "O my Lord! advance me in knowledge.” (Quran 20:114)
Beneficial worldly knowledge is also necessary, and Muslims are encouraged to acquire it in order to benefit themselves and their fellow men. When the early Muslims understood this fact, they surpassed other nations in development and productivity and carried the torch of knowledge for many centuries.


Islam made great advances in the fields of medicine, mathematics, physics, astronomy, geography, architecture, art, literature, and history, to mention but a few. Many important new procedures such as the use of algebra, Arabic numerals, and the concept of the zero –which was vital to the advancement of mathematics-, were transmitted to medieval Europe from Muslim countries. It was the Muslims who developed sophisticated instruments, including the astrolabe, the quadrant and good navigational maps which were to make possible the European voyages of discovery to the New World.
As T.W. Wallbank and A. Schrier put it:


“In medicine, mathematics, astronomy, chemistry and physics, Muslim achievements were particularly noteworthy. Well-equipped hospitals, usually associated with medical schools, were located in the principal cities. At a time when superstition still hampered the practice of medicine in western countries, Muslim physicians were diagnosing diseases, prescribing cures and performing advanced surgery... Probably the greatest of all physicians was the 9th century figure, Al-Razi, known in the West as Rhazes. He was the author of scores of scientific works, including a comprehensive medical encyclopaedia and a pioneering handbook on smallpox and measles.
A 10th century physician, Avicenna, (Ibn Sina) compiled a huge Cannon of Medicine which was considered the standard guide in European medical circles until the late 17th century... Important advances were made in algebra, analytical geometry and plane spherical trigonometry.”

The Quran itself is a book of guidance and it contains some amazing scientific facts. They are amazing because although they were revealed to Prophet Muhammad over 14 centuries ago, they were not really understood by man until scientists "discovered" them in very recent times. Although not meant to be a book of scientific facts as such, the Quran mentions certain realities that would only be recognized and appreciated through technological advancements in later centuries - further undeniable evidence and proof that it was not the work of Muhammad or of any person, but divine revelation from God.

"Ask the Sheikh" by Musa cerantonio ( Replacing Perfection ...

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"Ask the Sheikh" by Musa cerantonio ( Replacing Perfection ...

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#23
13. The Quran says that only Allah knows what is in the womb
Does this not contradict medical science? To answer this we should look at the verses that relate to this matter “and He Who knows what is in the wombs. Nor does any one know what it is that he will earn on the morrow: Nor does any one know in what land he is to die” (Quran 31:34)


“Allah doth know what every female (womb) doth bear, by how much the wombs fall short (of their time or number) or do exceed. Every single thing is before His sight, in (due) proportion.” (Quran 13:Cool
If one reads the Arabic text of this verse, they will find that there is no Arabic word that corresponds to the English word 'sex' or 'gender'. The Quran mentions only the knowledge of “what” is in the womb. Many have misunderstood this to mean the sex of the child in the womb, which is incorrect.

Today, science has indeed advanced, and we can easily determine the sex of the child in the womb of a pregnant mother using ultrasound scanning. Therefore, the above verse refers to every aspect of the fetus' present and future existence. What will be the child’s nature? Will the child be a blessing or a curse to the parents? What will happen to him or her throughout life? Will he or she do good or evil? How long will he or she live? Will he or she end up in Paradise or in Hell? Allah alone knows all of this... no scientist in the world, no matter how advanced the technology, will ever be able to determine these things about a child in the mother’s womb.


Do Quran Says No one knows What is in the Womb of the ...

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لماذا نعبد الله ونمجده وهو لا يحتاج لذلك؟ د ذاكر نايك Dr Zakir Naik
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#24
14. Human beings are created from dust and it also mentions that they are created from sperm. Isn't this contradictory?
“We made from water every living thing.” (Quran 21:30) And He said “O mankind! if ye have a doubt about the Resurrection, (consider) that We created you out of dust, then out of sperm, then out of a leech-like clot, then out of a morsel of flesh, partly formed and

partly unformed, in order that We may manifest (our power) to you; and We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term, then do We bring you out as babes, then (foster you) that ye may reach your age of full strength; and some of you are called to die, and some are sent back to the feeblest old age, so that they know nothing after having known (much)” (Quran 22:5)


“Just ask their opinion: are they the more difficult to create, or the (other) beings We have created? Them have We created out of a sticky clay!” (Quran 37:11)
In the preceding verses, Allah has mentioned various stages of human creation. The creation of man according to the Quran was first from water and dust, which when combined became clay. This refers to the creation of humanity's first ancestor, Adam. Then Allah decreed that his descendants would reproduce after that according to the same natural law that is applied to many other living beings.


Sometimes the Quran refers to semen as "water", meaning fluid. So when Allah says in the Quran that He created every living thing from water, it can indicate that everything in creation; humans, animals and plants have all been created from water and depend upon water for their continued existence. But a similar verse: And Allah has created every creature from water.10 can also mean that human beings and animals are created from their fathers' semen or sperm. This is confirmed by other verses, such as: Did We not create you from a liquid disdained?
As for scientific evidence, research has confirmed that the body of man, like that of other living beings, is made up predominantly of water, and that the elements of the human body are exactly the same as those found in the earth’s soil in greater or smaller quantities.
Are Humans Made by Dust or Sperm,Answer with Help of ...

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Qur'an & Bible In The Light of Science - The Ultimat
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#25
انتهت الحصة! هاشم في حوار مع مسيحيين الجزء الأول
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انتهت الحصة! هاشم في حوار مع مسيحيين الجزء الثاني

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#26
15. Islam oppress women
In answering this question, we must differentiate between the teachings of Islam and the practice of some Muslims. Although some Muslim cultures oppress women, it often reflects local customs that are inconsistent, if not contrary to Islamic teachings. Islam expects its adherents to uphold the rights of women, to protect their social status and prevent their degradation in every way. Islam further holds that women are equal to men in their origin, their humanity, their honor and their accountability before God.


Today, Western societies have actually demoted women to sex objects. The United States of America is one of the leading advocates of the so-called “women’s liberation” movement. Ironically, it also has one of the highest rates of sexual assault and rape in the world. According to an FBI report, in the year 1990, an average of 1756 rapes were committed in the US every single day.
The idea that Islam treats women as second class citizens worth half a man is nothing but a myth. Islam elevated the status of women over 1,400 years ago by declaring them the sisters of men, giving them the right to education to the highest level, the right to choose a husband, the right to end an unhappy marriage, the right to inheritance, in general, the rights of a full citizen of the state. Not only material and physical rights, but those of kindness and consideration are equally specified and significant in Islamic law.


Men and women are two equally important component parts of humanity, and the rights and responsibilities of both sexes are equitable and balanced in their totality. Roles of men and women are complementary and collaborative. Although their obligations might differ in certain areas of life in accordance with their basic physical and psychological differences, each is equally accountable for their particular responsibilities. Ignoring these differences is surely unrealistic, but there is no reason to assume from them that one sex is either superior or inferior to the other in any way.
Under Islamic law, when a Muslim woman gets married she does not surrender her maiden name, but keeps her distinct identity.


In a Muslim marriage, the groom gives a dowry to the bride herself, and not to her father. This becomes her own personal property to keep, invest or spend, and is not subject to the dictates of any of her male relatives. The Quran places on men the responsibility of protecting and maintaining all of their female relatives. It means, as well, that a man must provide for his wife and family even if she has money of her own. She is not obligated to spend any of her money towards the maintenance of her family. This relieves a woman of the need to earn a living, but she can work if she chooses to do so or if her circumstances warrant it.
The family, like any other organization, needs order and leadership. The Quran states that the husband has a "degree" of authority over his wife, which means guardianship. It is important to note, however, that guardianship is in no way a license to be a tyrant within the household. Rather, it is a burden of responsibility for the husband to care completely for his wife and children.


أجمل رد على الإسلاموفوبيا Best answer to Islamophobia ...

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#27
Muhammad ibn (son of) Abdullah ibn (son of) Abdul Mutalib, was born on 12 Rabi 'Awwal in the year 570 C.E. (Christian Era) in Makkah, (today: Saudi Arabia) and he died in 633 C.E. in Yathrib (today: Madinah, Saudi Arabia)




In Arabic the word prophet (nabi) is derived from the word naba which means news. Thus we deduce that a prophet spreads the news of God and His message, they are in a sense God’s ambassadors on earth. Their mission is to convey the message to worship One God. This includes, calling the people to God, explaining the message, bringing glad tidings or warnings and directing the affairs of the nation. All the prophets were anxious to convey God’s message sincerely and completely and this included the last prophet, Muhammad. During his final sermon Prophet Muhammad asked the congregation three times whether he had delivered the message, and called on God to witness their answer, which was a resounding “yes!”.

As well as the essence of their call to One God, another accepted sign of the truth of the prophets is how they live their lives. The accounts of Prophet Muhammad’s life that we have inherited from our righteous predecessors illustrate that Muhammad’s Prophethood was guided by God from the very beginning. Long before, Prophethood Muhammad was being prepared to guide humankind to the straight path and his life experiences stood him in good stead for such a weighty mission. Then at the age of 40 when Prophethood was bestowed upon him, God continued to support and affirm his mission. Any account of Muhammad’s life is filled with examples of his exemplary character; he was merciful, compassionate, truthful, brave, and generous, while striving solely for the rewards of the Hereafter. The way Prophet Muhammad dealt with his companions, acquaintances, enemies, animals and even inanimate objects left no doubt that he was ever mindful of God.

Muhammad’s birth was accompanied by many so called miraculous events and the talk of the extraordinary events no doubt functioned as signs of Prophethood,

Special but not unique circumstances surrounded childhood of Prophet Muhammad and these undoubtedly had a bearing on his character. By the time he was eight years old he had suffered through the death of both his parents and his beloved grandfather Abdul Muttalib. He was left in the care of his uncle and great supporter Abu Talib. Thus even as a young boy he had already suffered great emotional and physical upheaval. Both the many chroniclers of Muhammad’s life and the Quran acknowledge his disrupted life.

Did He not find you (O Muhammad) an orphan and gave you a refuge? (Quran 93:6)

Muhammad’s uncle Abu Talib was poor and struggled to keep his family fed, thus during his adolescence Muhammad worked as a shepherd. From this occupation he learned to embrace solitude and developed characteristics such as patience, cautiousness, care, leadership and an ability to sense danger. Shepherding was an occupation that all the prophets of God we know of had in common. ‘…The companions asked, “Were you a shepherd?” He replied, “There was no prophet who was not a shepherd.”’[1]

In his teens Muhammad sometimes travelled with Abu Talib, accompanying caravans to trade centres. On at least one occasion, he is said to have travelled as far north as Syria. Older merchants recognized his character and nicknamed him Al-Amin, the one you can trust. Even in his youth he was known as truthful and trustworthy. One story that is accepted by most Islamic scholars and historians is the account of one of Prophet Muhammad’s trips to Syria.

The story goes that the monk Bahira foretold the coming Prophethood and counselled Abu Talib to “guard his nephew carefully”. According to biographer Ibn Ishaq, as the caravan in which Prophet Muhammad was travelling approached the edge of town, Bahira could see a cloud that appeared to be shading and following a young man. When the caravan halted under the shadow of some trees, Bahira “looked at the cloud when it over-shadowed the tree, and its branches were bending and drooping over the apostle of God until he was in the shadow beneath it.” After Bahira witnessed this he observed Muhammad closely and asked him many questions concerning a number of Christian prophecies he had read and heard about.

The young Muhammad was distinguished among his people for his modesty, virtuous behaviour and graceful manners, thus it was no surprise for his companions to see him, even as a youth many years before Prophethood, shun superstitious practices and keep away from drinking alcohol, eating meat slaughtered on stone altars or attending idolatrous festivals. By the time he reached adulthood Muhammad was thought of as the most reliable and trustworthy member of the Meccan community. Even those who concerned themselves with petty tribal squabbles acknowledged Muhammad’s honesty and integrity.

Muhammad’s virtues and good moral character was established from a young age, and God continued to support and guide him. When he was 40 years old Muhammad was given the means to change the world, the means to benefit the whole of humanity


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#28
16. Muslim women are forced to wear the veil
The matter of women's dress might seem trivial to some, especially in today’s Western societies; however, Islam assigns to it moral, social and legal dimensions. Islam has defined the roles of men and women by allocating certain duties to each and granting certain rights to each. This is in order to maintain a proper balance in society. When men and women observe the proper Islamic dress, they not only protect their own honor and reputation, but they contribute greatly towards peace and order in society.


In general, there are certain guidelines concerning Muslim women’s dress. Their garments should not be tight or translucent as to reveal the shape of what is covered. They must cover their entire bodies except the hands and face. This mode of dress is called "Jilbaab" which refers to a woman's outer garment, with which she is entirely covered. Muslim women do not dress modestly in obedience to their fathers, brothers or husbands, but only in obedience to God’s commandments.
Both men and women are expected to be chaste and modest and avoid any type of dress and conduct that may invite temptation. Both are instructed to look only at what is lawful for them to see and to guard their chastity. Allah directs men first and then women in the Quran:

“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty

except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss.” (Quran 24:30-31)



The additional requirement for women to conceal their adornment and natural beauty is due to their greater need for privacy and protection. Except in the company of close relatives, a woman is required to cover her entire body with loose fitting garments with the exception of her face and hands.
The Quran states why Allah has prescribed particular dress regulations for women “O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran 33:59)
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#29
17. Islam permit polygamy
Polygamy is a form of marriage wherein a person has more than one spouse. Polygamy can be of two types. The first type is called polygyny, where a man marries more than one woman, and the other is polyandry, where a woman marries more than one man. In Islam, a limited form of polygyny is permitted, whereas polyandry is completely prohibited.


In contrast to Islam, one will not find a limit for the number of wives in the Jewish Talmud or the Christian Bible. According to these scriptures, there is no limit to how many women a man may marry. Therefore, polygyny is not something exclusive to Islam but was practiced by early Christians and Jews as well. According to the Talmud, Abraham had three wives, while King Solomon had hundreds of wives. The practice of polygyny continued in Judaism until Rabbi Gershom ben Yehudah (955-1030 CE) issued an edict against it.


The Jewish Sephardic communities continued the practice until as late as 1950, when an Act of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel extended the ban on marrying more than one wife, thus prohibiting the practice for all Jews. In the early teachings of Christianity, men were permitted to take as many wives as they wished, since the Bible placed no limit on the number of wives a man could marry. It was only in recent centuries that the Church limited the number of wives to one.
At a time when men were permitted an unlimited number of wives, Islam limited the number to a maximum of four. Before the Quran was revealed, there was no upper limit for polygyny and many men had scores of wives. It gives a man permission to marry two, three or four women, on the condition that he deals with all of them equitably, benevolently and justly, as indicated by Allah's statement “Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one” (Quran 4:3)


It is not incumbent upon Muslims to practice polygyny. In Islam, taking an additional wife is neither encouraged nor prohibited. Furthermore, a Muslim who has two, three or four wives may not be a better Muslim as compared to a Muslim who has only one wife.
John Esposito, a professor of religion and international affairs and Islamic studies at Georgetown University, writes: "Although it is found in many religious and cultural traditions, polygamy is most often identified with Islam in the minds of Westerners. In fact, the Quran and Islamic Law sought to control and regulate the number of spouses rather than give free license." He continues: "The Quran allows a man to marry up to four wives, provided he can support and treat them all equally. Muslims regard this Quranic command as strengthening the status of women and the family, for it sought to ensure the welfare of single women and widows in a society whose male population was diminished by warfare, and to curb unrestricted polygamy." (John Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path)
There are certain circumstances which warrant the taking of another wife. For example, if there is a surplus of unmarried women in society, especially during times of war when widows are in need of shelter and care. Infant mortality rates among males are higher when compared to that of females. During wars, there are usually more men killed than women. Statistically, more men die due to accidents and diseases than women. The average life span of females is also generally longer than that of males. As a result at any given time in practically any given place, there is a shortage of men in comparison to women. Therefore, even if every single man got married to one woman, there would be millions of women who would still not be able to find a husband.



In Western society, it is not uncommon for a man to have girlfriends, or if he is married, to have extramarital affairs. Seldom is this practice scorned, despite the harms that stem from it. At the same time, polygyny is banned in western society although it produces none of these adverse effects; rather it preserves the honor and chastity of women. Within a second, third or fourth marriage the woman is a wife, not a mistress; she has a husband who is obligated by Islamic law to provide for her and her children, not a “boyfriend” who may one day cast her aside or deny knowing her if she becomes pregnant.

There is no doubt that a second wife who is lawfully married and treated with honor is better off than a mistress without any legal rights or social respect. Islam strictly prohibits and penalizes prostitution, fornication, and adultery and permits polygyny under strict conditions.


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#30
18. A man is permitted to have more than one wife, then why can’t a woman have more than one husband?
Islam teaches that Allah has created men and women as equals, but not as identical beings. They are different, physically, biologically and physiologically and each have different capabilities. Their roles and responsibilities are therefore different but they complement one another.
Some may object to a man having the right to more than one wife by insisting that, in fairness, women should also be able to practice polyandry. However, the following few points could be part of the reason behind its prohibition by God:
a) One of the benefits of polygyny is that it solves the problem of women outnumbering men.
b) In general, men are polygamous by nature while women are not.
c) Islam assigns great importance to the recognition of parents, both the mother and father. When a man has more than one wife, the parents of children born in such marriages can easily be identified. But in the case of a woman marrying more than one husband, only the mother of children born within the marriage would be known without resorting to laboratory tests. Psychologists tell us that children who do not know their parents, the father in particular, undergo severe mental disturbances and trauma, and often have unhappy childhoods.
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#31
19. Islam impose harsh punishments for sex outside marriage
Punishment in Islam has a social purpose, which is to dissuade others from committing the same crime. The nature of the punishment depends on the seriousness of the crime in question. Nowadays, some are opposed to the Islamic punishment for fornication and adultery because they see it as disproportionate or too harsh a punishment. The basic problem here is the different standards by which the severity of the crime is measured.


Islam views adultery as a very serious crime, because it undermines the very foundation of the family system upon which the whole superstructure of the society is built. Illicit relationships destabilize the family and bring about the breakdown of the system. Family breakdown imperils the physical and mental health of future

generations, which in turn leads to a vicious circle of decadence, dissipation, and dissolution. Therefore, it is imperative that all measures must be taken to protect the family. That is why Islam emphasizes protection of the family by imposing severe punishments for activities that threaten the family foundation. These punishments are the same for men and women alike.


There is no overstating of the fact that Islamic punishments are only a part of a vastly larger integrated whole. There are essential conditions for the application of prescribed punishments in Islam:
First, Muslims are strongly encouraged to marry whenever possible, providing a lawful means of gratification. Prophet Muhammad said:
“O youths, whoever of you can afford marriage (financially and physically) let him get married; for indeed it lowers the gaze, and keeps one chaste; whoever cannot get married, he should fast, for it safeguards him.”

A man may legally take as many as four wives as long as he treats each of them equitably and justly. In cases of confirmed incompatibility or dissatisfaction, a wife has the right to request the dissolution of the marriage.


Second, Muslims, whether married or unmarried, must adhere to proper dress and behavior guidelines at all times. Privacy is to be respected and compromising situations strictly avoided as a matter of obedience to Allah.


Third, only a legitimate Islamic government has the right to implement these punishments. Such an Islamic government must establish justice as its core value in all affairs so that the social and cultural environment of the country is congenial for the moral life of its citizens. It is only after the above two conditions have been fulfilled that a government is entitled to implement Islamic punishments on its land, and only then does the court gain the authority to judge a case according to its provisions.


And finally, any case that comes before the court for judgment must be investigated thoroughly and proper evidence brought before the court to satisfy all the requirements of Islamic law. Conviction is subject to strict conditions, which are most difficult to fulfill. This means that, in reality, the punishments are seldom carried out without the connivance of the criminal, and serve primarily as deterrents.

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#32
Christmas and 25th of December
Many Christians are unaware that the true spirit of reverence which Muslims display towards Jesus and his mother Mary spring from the fountainhead of their faith as prescribed in the Holy Quran. Most do not know that a Muslim does not take the name of Jesus , without saying Eesa alai-hiss-salaam i.e. (Jesus peace be upon him).


Jesus is commonly considered to have been born on the 25th of December. However, it is common knowledge among Christian scholars that he was not born on this day. It is well known that the first Christian churches held their festival in May, April, or January. Scholars of the first two centuries AD even differ in which year he was born. Some believing that he was born fully twenty years before the current accepted date. So how was the 25th of December selected as the birthday of Jesus ?

Grolier's encyclopedia says: "Christmas is the feast of the birth of Jesus Christ, celebrated on December 25 ... Despite the beliefs about Christ that the birth stories expressed, the church did not observe a festival for the celebration of the event until the 4th century.... since 274, under the emperor Aurelian, Rome had celebrated the feast of the "Invincible Sun" on December 25. In the Eastern Church, January 6, a day also associated with the winter solstice, was initially preferred. In course of time, however, the West added the Eastern date as the Feast of the Epiphany, and the East added the Western date of Christmas".

So who else celebrated the 25th of December as the birth day of their gods before it was agreed upon as the birth day of Jesus ? Well, there are the people of India who rejoice, decorate their houses with garlands, and give presents to their friends on this day. The people of China also celebrate this day and close their shops. Buddha is believed to have been born on this day. The great savior and god of the Persians, Mithras, is also believed to have been born on the 25th of December long before the coming of Jesus .

The Egyptians celebrated this day as the birth day of their great savior Horus, the Egyptian god of light and the son of the "virgin mother" and "queen of the heavens" Isis. Osiris, god of the dead and the underworld in Egypt, the son of "the holy virgin", again was believed to have been born on the 25th of December.

The Greeks celebrated the 25th of December as the birthday of Hercules, the son of the supreme god of the Greeks, Zeus, through the mortal woman Alcmene Bacchus, the god of wine and revelry among the Romans (known among the Greeks as Dionysus) was also born on this day.

Adonis, revered as a "dying-and-rising god" among the Greeks, miraculously was also born on the 25th of December. His worshipers held him a yearly festival representing his death and resurrection, in midsummer. The ceremonies of his birthday are recorded to have taken place in the same cave in Bethlehem which is claimed to have been the birth place of Jesus .

The Scandinavians celebrated the 25th of December as the birthday of their god Freyr, the son of their supreme god of the heavens, Odin.

The Romans observed this day as the birthday of the god of the sun, Natalis Solis Invicti ("Birthday of Sol the invincible"). There was great rejoicing and all shops were closed. There was illumination and public games. Presents were exchanged, and the slaves were indulged in great liberties. These are the same Romans who would later preside over the council of Nicea (325 CE) which lead to the official Christian recognition of the "Trinity" as the "true" nature of God, and the "fact" that Jesus was born on the 25th of December too.

In Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon says: "The Roman Christians, ignorant of his (Christ's) birth, fixed the solemn festival to the 25th of December, the Brumalia, or Winter Solstice, when the Pagans annually celebrated the birth of Sol " vol. ii, p. 383.

Christians opposed to Christmas

There are several Christian groups who are opposed to Christmas. For example, they take the verse from the Bible in Jeremiah 10:2-4 as an admonition against decorating Christmas trees.

The King James Version reads: "Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen.... For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."

In order to understand this subject, it is helpful to trace some of the history of Christmas avoidance, particularly its roots in Puritanism.

The Puritans believed that the first-century church modeled a Christianity that modern Christians should copy. They attempted to base their faith and practice solely on the New Testament, and their position on Christmas reflected their commitment to practice a pure, scriptural form of Christianity. Puritans argued that God reserved to himself the determination of all proper forms of worship, and that he disapproved of any human innovations - even innovations that celebrated the great events of salvation. The name Christmas also alienated many Puritans.


Christmas, after all, meant "the mass of Christ." The mass was despised as a Roman Catholic institution that undermined the Protestant concept of Christ, who offered himself once for all. The Puritans' passionate avoidance of any practice that was associated with papal Rome caused them to overlook the fact that in many countries the name for the day had nothing to do with the Catholic mass, but focused instead on Jesus' birth. The mass did not evolve into the form abhorred by Protestants until long after Christmas was widely observed. The two customs had separate, though interconnected, histories.

As ardent Protestants, Puritans identified the embracing of Christianity by the Roman Emperor Constantine in the early 300s CE as the starting point of the degeneration and corruption of the church. They believed the corruption of the church was brought on by the interweaving of the church with the pagan Roman state. To Puritans, Christmas was impure because it entered the Roman Church sometime in this period. No one knows the exact year or under what circumstances Roman Christians began to celebrate the birth of their Lord, but by the mid-300s CE, the practice was well established.

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