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Monday, May 18, 2009

Wife beating - Qur'aan 4:34

This thing keeps popping up every few months and I am happy to reveiw and share another point of view. Finding the truth is your own responsibility.

Cultures determine one's behavior rather than the religion, indeed, religions are the product of environment; God says in Bhagvad Gita, "whenever unrighteousness takes over the society, I will emerge among you and reset the society to righteousness" and the Qur'aan, " to every nation, and to every tribe, there will be a messenger to put them back on the path of righteousness" and that's precisely what Jesus and Moses did; bring a sense of morality to the deviousness that preceeded them.

Religion is about justice, inclusiveness and common goodness.

Basam writes in his research paper, “A common criticism exists that Islam is an androcentric religion that authorizes the oppression of women both in public and private spheres. Wife beating is often cited to support this claim.”

Thanks to the variations in translations, it shows us the limitations of human understanding, and challenges us to strive to grasp the whole truth. What was hitherto cut and dry is no more. May be it is Allah's hint to us to get closer to understanding the truth. The monopolies would be gone and focus would be on the essence rather than literal meaning. Presently the 14 translations are available and Insha Allah it will be at http://www.worldmuslimcongress.com/ soon.
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Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar offers another meaning to the translation of the Arabic word "Idrib," traditionally translated as "beat," which has been mis-understood and abused over the centuries by men who would be abusive any way, whether they are Muslim or not. "Why choose to interpret the word as 'to beat' when it can also mean 'to go away' - either one from the other, may be it meant separation as a process of re-evaluation.

The passage is generally translated: "And as for those women whose ill will you have reason to fear, admonish them; then leave them alone in bed; then beat them; and if thereupon they pay you heed, do not seek to harm them. Behold, God is indeed most high, great!"
Instead, Bakhtiar suggests "Husbands at that point should submit to God, let God handle it -- go away from them and let God work His Will instead of a human being inflicting pain and suffering on another human being in the Name of God."

Insha Allah, I am working on presenting a paper on the myth of "wife beating" to our scholars and Imams to review, and if it is consistent with the essence of Qur'aan and if they concur, it will be a relief to the Muslim women around the world consistent with God being a just God.
I am optimistic with this particular development and welcome this new translation, even if it has a few flaws, it would wash off by the 15 other translations, but will take us closer to the essence of Qur'aan; Justice to one and all.

Continue: http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2007/03/woman-re-interprets-quraan.html


Jazak Allah Khair
Mike Ghouse

Introduction (Bassam and Syed)

A common criticism exists that Islam is an androcentric religion that authorizes the oppression of women both in public and private spheres. Wife beating is often cited to support this claim. The perception that Islam permits a husband to beat his wife resides with some non-Muslims and Muslims alike. Acknowledging this perception, we explore in this paper the Islamic legal perspective on wife beating specifically and wife discipline in general.The primary source of legislation on wife discipline in Islamic law is verse 34 of the fourth chapter of the Qur’an entitled “the Women.” The verse presents the disciplinary scheme in the latter sentence of the verse—hereafter referred to as the “Discipline Passage.” The verse in whole reads: (Husbands) are the protectors and maintainers of their (wives) because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to the women on whose part you fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them first, (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) spank them (lightly), but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means of (annoyance): for Allah is Most High, Great (above you all).

Continue: http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2008/01/wife-beating-434.html

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Abed and Ahmad, law students at Michigan State University, dispute the suggestion that wife beating is an accepted doctrine of Islam, although they posit a notion of permissible, rightly motivated, non-abusive physical discipline as a means of restoring proper marriage relations. It is a very difficult concept for us Westerners to accept.

Continue: http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2008/01/wife-beating-morale-434.html

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Qur'aan and the Big Bang Theory

We have got to remember that God is neither a body nor a being. Giving a shape or a descripion would amount to limiting the unlimited and defining the undefinable. God is what one perceives guided by different religious beliefs. God is the name to that which causes, creates and sustains what we know - Mike Ghouse

The following research is the work of Mohammad Irtaza.

[17:44] Glorifying Him are the seven universes, the earth, and everyone in them. There is nothing that does not glorify Him, but you do not understand their glorification. He is Clement, Forgiver.

[13:2] GOD is the One who raised the heavens without pillars that you can see, then assumed all authority. He committed the sun and the moon, each running (in its orbit) for a predetermined period. He controls all things, and explains the revelations, that you may attain certainty about meeting your Lord.

[13:3] He is the One who constructed the earth and placed on it mountains and rivers. And from the different kinds of fruits, He made them into pairs - males and females. The night overtakes the day. These are solid proofs for people who think.

[40:57] The creation of the heavens and the earth is even more awesome than the creation of the human being, but most people do not know.

The whole world that is known to us and everything in it is our universe. Many astronomers think that everything in our universe was once packed together in one lump. Then, about 15 billion years ago, there was a gigantic cosmic explosion which they call the Big Bang. According to them, our universe was created from that explosion!

[21:30] Do the unbelievers not realize that the heaven and the earth used to be one solid mass that we exploded into existence? And from water we made all living things. Would they believe?

[49:18] GOD knows all the secrets in the heavens and the earth; GOD is Seer of everything you do.

According to the cosmology, The Big Bang explosion sent the young universe flying out in all directions. Over vast ages of time, bits came together to make galaxies. The galaxies are huge groups of stars in space. The galaxies are still speeding apart today, and our universe is getting bigger!

[41:11] Then He turned to the sky, when it was still gas, and said to it, and to the earth, "Come into existence, willingly or unwillingly." They said, "We come willingly."

[25:61] Most blessed is the One who placed constellations in the sky, and placed in it a lamp, and a shining moon.

[51:47] We constructed the sky with our hands, and we will continue to expand it.

No one knows where all the material to make the universe came from in the first place!

[6:73] He is the One who created the heavens and the earth, truthfully. Whenever He says, "Be," it is. His word is the absolute truth. All sovereignty belongs to Him the day the horn is blown. Know-er of all secrets and declarations, He is the Most Wise, the Cognizant.

The Milky Way is the galaxy we live in. It is made up of all the stars we can see in the sky at night, and lots and lots more we cannot see. The Milky Way looks a bit like whirlpool. Astronomers usually give galaxies numbers instead of names. Only a few have names that tell us what they look like-the Whirlpool, the Sombrero, and the Black Eye, for example. There are about 1,000 billion stars in the Milky Way. Astronomers have worked out how big our universe is and how many stars it has. There are about 100 million trillion stars, in around 100 billion galaxies!

[22:18] Do you not realize that to GOD prostrates everyone in the heavens and the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and the animals, and many people? Many others among the people are committed to doom. Whomever GOD shames, none will honor him. Everything is in accordance with God's will.

[6:96] At the crack of dawn, He causes the morning to emerge. He made the night still, and He rendered the sun and the moon to serve as calculation devices. Such is the design of the Almighty, the Omniscient.

Stars are made of gases. The two main gases in stars are called hydrogen and helium. They are the stars' fuel. Stars make heat and light from them. Sometimes huge flame-like sheets of glowing gas shoot out from a star. These are called prominences.

[34:9] Have they not seen all the things in front of them and behind them, in the heaven and the earth? If we willed, we could have caused the earth to swallow them, or caused masses to fall on them from the sky. This should be a sufficient proof for every obedient servant.

All stars are born, live for a very long time, and then die. Stars are being born all the time. All stars are born in huge spinning clouds of gas and dust. Our Sun is a star. It was born 4.6 billion years ago. Most stars are like our Sun and shine steadily for nearly all their lives. Toward the end of their lives, stars like our Sun swell up and became as much as 100 times bigger. They turn into red giants. When it has used up all its gas fuel, a red giant shrinks down into a white dwarf. It is then about 10,000 times smaller, but still very hot!

[6:97] And He is the One who made the stars to guide you during the darkness, on land and on sea. We thus clarify the revelations for people who know.

[10:5] He is the One who rendered the sun radiant, and the moon a light, and He designed its phases that you may learn to count the years and to calculate. GOD did not create all this, except for a specific purpose. He explains the revelations for people who know.

A black hole can happen when a massive star dies. The star falls in on itself, squashing all its material and becoming smaller and smaller. In the end all that is left is a place light cannot escape from a black hole.

[17:99] Could they not see that the GOD who created the heavens and the earth is able to create the same creations? (That) He has predetermined for them an irrevocable life span? Yet, the disbelievers insist upon disbelieving.

The planets are not big or as hot as stars, and they cannot make light of their own. They were made from the leftovers of the same gas and dust cloud that gave birth to our star, the Sun. Our planet Earth is the only one in the solar system with water and living things on it. That makes it very special. It is the 3rd planet from the Sun, and it get just right amount of heat and light to keep us alive! Any closer, and it would be too hot. Any farther away, and it would be too cold!

[54:49] Everything we created is precisely measured

[36:36] Glory be to the One who created all kinds of plants from the earth, as well as themselves, and other creations that they do not even know.

[71:16] He designed the moon therein to be a light, and placed the sun to be a lamp.

[36:38] The sun sets into a specific location, according to the design of the Almighty, the Omniscient.
[36:39] The moon we designed to appear in stages, until it becomes like an old curved sheath.
[36:40] The sun is never to catch up with the moon - the night and the day never deviate - each of them is floating in its own orbit.

Everything in space has a pulling force called gravity - galaxies, star, planets like the earth, and even moons. Gravity holds things together and stops them floating off into space.

[35:41] GOD is the One who holds the heavens and the earth, lest they vanish. If anyone else is to hold them, they will most certainly vanish. He is Clement, Forgiving.

[25:45] Have you not seen how your Lord designed the shadow? If He willed, He could have made it fixed, then we would have designed the sun accordingly.
[25:46] But we designed it to move slowly.
[25:47] He is the One who designed the night to be a cover, and for you to sleep and rest. And He made the day a resurrection.

Like all stars, our Sun is a huge ball of super-hot gas. The outside temperature of the Sun is 10,000 deg. F. The Sun is the only star that is close enough to the Earth for us to feel heat. The next nearest star to Earth is called Proxima Centauri. Our Sun's light takes 8.3 minutes to reach us, but Proxima Centauri's takes 4.3 years!

[14:33] He has committed the sun and the moon in your service, continuously. He has committed the night and the day to serve you

[31:29] Do you not realize that GOD merges the night into the day and merges the day into the night, and that He has committed the sun and the moon in your service, each running in its orbit for a specific life span, and that GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do?

One day the Sun will use up all its gas fuel and die. Our planet, the Earth, has eight neighbors. Together they make a family of nine planets which travel around the Sun. We call the Sun, and all the space bodies that whirl around it, the solar system. Beside the Sun and the planets, the solar system includes moons, mini planets called asteroids, and comets.

[14:33] He has committed the sun and the moon in your service, continuously. He has committed the night and the day to serve you

Moons are rocky bodies that orbit planets. Jupiter has sixteen moons. Mercury and Venus are the only planets that do not have moons. All the other planets have at least one. Our Earth has one moon. The Earth's moon is dry, dusty and lifeless. There is no air to breath or water to drink. On July 20, 1969, two American astronauts became the first living trying ever to set foot on the moon. Astronauts left the moon in the lunar module containing 21 kg. of rocks that had belongs to the moon!

[54:1] The Hour has come closer, and the moon has split.

[67:3] He created seven universes in layers. You do not see any imperfection in the creation by the Most Gracious. Keep looking; do you see any flaw?

[65:12] GOD created seven universes and the same number of earths. The commands flow among them. This is to let you know that GOD is Omnipotent, and that GOD is fully aware of all things.

The size of our solar system is extremely insignificant in compare to our vast universe where it belongs. Our universe is the smallest and the innermost of all seven universes. Our universe is estimated to span distances in excess of twenty billion light years! The second universe surrounds our universe and is very large. The third universe surrounds the second universe and is even larger. The outermost universe is the seventh universe. No number exists to describe the size of this outermost universe! The incomprehensible vastness of these seven universes is within the fist of God's hand!

[39:67] They can never fathom the greatness of GOD. The whole earth is within His fist on the Day of Resurrection. In fact, the universes are folded within His right hand. Be He glorified; He is much too high above needing any partners

[41:12] Thus, He completed the seven universes in two days, and set up the laws for every universe. And we adorned the lowest universe with lamps, and placed guards around it. Such is the design of the Almighty, the Omniscient

[81:1] When the sun is rolled.
[81:2] The stars are crashed into each other.
[81:3] The mountains are wiped out.

[77:8] Thus, when the stars are put out.
[77:9] The sky is opened up.
[77:10] The mountains are blown up.
[77:11] The messengers are summoned.
[77:12] That is the appointed day.
[77:13] The Day of Decision.

Some astronomers think that the galaxies may one day start falling back toward each other until they crash together in a Big Crunch! In cosmology, the Big Crunch is a hypothesized collapse of the universe upon itself after its eventual stoppage of expansion! Is it not true that the Big Crunch is not a hypothesis, not a theory but an informidable law of God Almighty that will surely take place on the appointed day, the Day of Decision!

[7:187] They ask you about the end of the world (the Hour), and when it will come to pass. Say, "The knowledge thereof is with my Lord. Only He reveals its time. Heavy it is, in the heavens and the earth. It will not come to you except suddenly." They ask you as if you are in control thereof. Say, "The knowledge thereof is with GOD," but most people do not know

[75:9] And the sun and the moon crash into one another.
[75:10] The human being will say on that day, "Where is the escape?"
[75:11] Absolutely, there is no escape.
[75:12] To your Lord, on that day, is the final destiny.

[10:5] He is the One who rendered the sun radiant, and the moon a light, and He designed its phases that you may learn to count the years and to calculate. GOD did not create all this, except for a specific purpose. He explains the revelations for people who know.
[10:6] Surely, in the alternation of night and day, and what GOD created in the heavens and the earth, there are proofs for people who are righteous.

[10:18] They worship beside GOD idols that possess no power to harm them or benefit them, and they say, "These are our intercessors at GOD!" Say, "Are you informing GOD of something He does not know in the heavens or the earth?" Be He glorified. He is the Most High; far above needing partners.

[12:103] Most people, no matter what you do, will not believe.
[12:104] You are not asking them for any money; you simply deliver this reminder for all the people.
[12:105] So many proofs in the heavens and the earth are given to them, but they pass by them, heedlessly!
[12:106] The majority of those who believe in GOD do not do so without committing idol worship.

Thank you and God bless you,

M. Irtaza

Ref: 1. http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov//
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/
3. http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/
4. Quran - translated by Dr. Rashad Khalifa