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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thanksgiving

May every day be  our Thanksgiving Day to God, the Most Merciful.
 
[2:152] You shall remember Me, that I may remember you, and be thankful to Me; do not be unappreciative.
 
[2:172] O you who believe, eat from the good things we provided for you, and be thankful to GOD, if you do worship Him alone. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving Day,

[14:7] Your Lord has decreed: "The more you thank Me, the more I give you." But if you turn unappreciative, then My retribution is severe.

[32:9] He shaped him and blew into him from His spirit. And He gave you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brains; rarely are you thankful.
[36:35] This is to provide them with fruits, and to let them manufacture with their own hands whatever they need. Would they be thankful?

[40:61] GOD is the One who designed the night so you can rest in it, and the day lighted. GOD bestows many blessings upon the people, but most people are not thankful.

 
Muhammed Irtaza

Free Will 2-256, 18-29

[2:256] There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.

[18:29] Proclaim: "This is the truth from your Lord," then whoever wills let him believe, and whoever wills let him disbelieve....

[6:104] Enlightenments have come to you from your Lord. As for those who can see, they do so for their own good, and those who turn blind, do so to their own detriment. I am not your guardian.
[10:99] Had your Lord willed, all the people on earth would have believed. Do you want to force the people to become believers?

[2:148] Each of you chooses the direction to follow; you shall race towards righteousness. Wherever you may be, GOD will summon you all. GOD is Omnipotent.

[73:19] This is a reminder; whoever wills, let him choose the path to his Lord.

Thank you and may God guide me,

Muhammed Irtaza

Monday, December 6, 2010

Quraan Conference Program Sequence

The purpose of this conference is to understand the issues and find ways to remove such fears in an open forum and restore the cohesiveness of our society and work towards building a safe and secure America

PROGRAM SEQUENCE
·         National Anthem
·         Pledge of Allegiance
·         Acknowledgements
·         How it got started – Jonathan Halsey
·         Purpose – to build a cohesive America
·         Misrepresented verses in circulation
·         Narrow it down to 10 Verses 
·         A short prayer
·         Methodology of reading the verses
·         Non-Muslim Panelists will read & explain a verse each
·         Conclusion – 1 minute comment from each  panelist
·         Recognition of Recent Awardees
·         Refreshments.
IN CO-OPERATION WITH:
     American Clergy Leadership Conference
     Dallas Peace Centerwww.DallasPeaceCenter.org
     Unity Church of Dallas - http://www.unitydallas.org/
     Universal Peace Federation – www.upf.org
     Fun Asia, banquet halls, theaters, catering www.Funasia.net
MODERATOR – Mike Ghouse

PANELISTS
Pastor George Mason - Wilshire Baptist Church
Rev. Petra Weldes – Center for Spiritual Living
Rev. Michael Jenkins – American Clergy Leadership
Dr. Harbans Lal – Guru Granth Sahib Studies
Pastor Eric Folkerth - United Methodist Church
Hon. Lon Burnam – Texas State Representative
Dr. John Norris – Professor of Theology, UD
Rev. Bill Matthews, Chair, Interfaith Council
Rev. Tony Brigmon, Mormon Church
            Dr. Karen Hollie, Protestant

MUSLIM PANELISTS
Imam Zia Shaikh, Irving Community Center 
Imam Shakoor, Warith Deen Muhammad Masjid
Hamid Sheikh, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community 
Dr. Basheer Ahmed, Muslim Community Center

QURAAN COPIES
CAIR – Council on Islamic Relations
ISNA – Islamic Society of North America 

KEY VOLUNTEERS
Rita Clarke and her team, Dallas Peace Center
Dr. Karen Hollie and her team, Life way Church
Esther Vasquez and her Team, Unification Church
Adil Khan, General Assistance

SERVICES
Aftab Chagani and his Staff – Audio & Video
Kevin Foresman, Video Technician
Syed Rafi, Banners and Signs

GRATITUDE TO:
           
Laura Sutherland, Unity Church of Dallas
Thank you.
Mike Ghouse

List of Difficult Passages in Quraan


Thank you for being a part of this event, one in a series of five events planned for next year.  Since our independence in 1776, we have been tested time and again by various political, economic and religious forces to divide us, however, at the end we have come out strong as one nation. The Civil War, the Great Depression, the World Wars, Pearl Harbor, Women’s rights, Abortion, the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, Budget Deficits, Unemployment, 9/11, the Iraq and Afghanistan War have all been difficult, but we will make it through and sanity will prevail.

The controversy over the Muslim Community Center in New York has unraveled the difficulties Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Wicca and others have endured.

Religion has been “abused” and “misused” to someone’s advantage, as Americans, are we going to let that happen? No, we can pull ourselves together and not fall for the tempters who have a gain in dividing us.  


The Verses that have been marketed as “Evil Verses” by those who have an interest in creating chaos and having a gain. There is always a gain for some one.
                                              Website – www.QuraanToday.com
           
Changes will come if we take the initiatives; the World Muslim Congress and the Foundation for Pluralism have embarked on an educational program for 2011 to deal with issues that divide us; Anti-Semitism, Gay and Lesbian acceptance, Gender issues, Woman President, Women Clergy, Racial Profiling, Islamophobia and other issues – the idea is to understand them and make a small effort in building cohesive societies.  Whether this will cause a change or not, I believe that without doing anything, no change can be expected. While the forces continue to produces negatives, we have to produce good things as well

IN CO-OPERATION WITH:
1. American Clergy Leadership Conference
2. Dallas Peace Centerwww.DallasPeaceCenter.org
3. Unity Church of Dallas - http://www.unitydallas.org/
4. Universal Peace Federation – www.upf.org
5. Fun Asia, banquet halls, theaters, catering www.Funasia.net


Verses of Quraan falsely marketed as “Evil Verses”.

Finding the truth is one’s own responsibility, as it frees one from suspicion, doubt, ill-will and malice, that is the secret of living a normal healthier life and building cohesive societies for all of us to live without fear of each other.

Prophet Muhammad in essence shared this wisdom, before you believe in malicious comments about others; you must verify them, lest you regret it when the truth emerges. Living a regret free life is one of the peaceful things to do. 

The following Verses are in circulation and many a times without verification if it is indeed the verse from Quraan or not.
The following group of 14 verses was the basis for the short documentary called Fitna produced by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders and sold to a few of our Senators and congress persons – A full response was given to this and is at:  http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2008/01/muslim-response-to-wilders.html
 1.      Give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom to those who disbelieve. 9:3

2.      Slay the idolaters wherever you find them. 9:5

3.      Don't let idolaters tend the sanctuaries. Their works are in vain and they will be burned in the Fire. 9:17

4.      Give tiding of a painful doom to Christians and Jews. 9:34

5.      If you refuse to fight, Allah will afflict you with a painful doom. 9:39

6.      Disbelievers go to hell. 9:49

7.      Those who vex the Prophet, for them there is a painful doom. 9:60

8.      Those who oppose Allah and His messenger will burn in the fire of hell. 9:63

9.      Allah promises hypocrites and disbelievers the fire of hell. Allah curses them. They will have a lasting torment. 9:68

10.  Fight the disbelievers and hypocrites. Be harsh with them. 9:73

11.  Allah will afflict disbelievers with painful doom in this world and the Hereafter 9:74

12.  For disbelievers there will be a painful doom. 9:90

13.  Don't pray for idolaters (not even for your family) after it is clear they are people of hell-fire. 9:113

14.  Fight disbelievers who are near you, and let them see the harshness in you. 9:123

The other verses in circulation:

  • Qur'an 2:65 mentions that Jews who broke the Sabbath were turned into Apes.
  • 3:151 We will put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers.  I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads; strike off the their tongue
  • Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends. (5:51)
  • The unbelievers are your inveterate enemy. (4:101)
  • Surely the vilest of animals in Allah’s sight are those who disbelieve. (8.55)
  • The unbelievers among the people of the book and the pagans shall burn forever in the fire of Hell. They are the vilest of all creatures. (98.6)"
  • Beat your wife if she does not listen to you 4:34
  • If anyone leaves Islam, kill him (4:89)

List of 40 + Verses listed at:

And this one 1:17 - http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2008/01/unlike-jews-or-christians-17.html


Here is a note from a Sikh leader who is doing the right thing by verifying. He writes, Dear Mike, you had mentioned that correct translation is available for Surah 15:26-30. However, a Sabd by Guru Nanak Ji had been misinterpreted by the Clerks in the court of Aurangzeb, and the same interpretation has been copied in Sikh literature for the last 350 years.”  My response is at - http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2010/08/quraan-surah-hijr-1526-30.html

God wants his creation to co-exist in harmony and the Qur’aan is God’s guidance to live in peace with oneself and what surrounds one; life and matter. The human weakness manufactures imaginary enemies and spins the wheels of evil in establishing such manufacture.  Of the 22 translations of Quraan available on the market today, 2 of them have been deliberately mistranslated for political gains; one was in 1042 by The European kings labeling themselves as Christians and the other one was in 1922 by a Muslim after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The holy Quraan has remained intact, and not a dot, comma or a period has changed in it.


About Us


The Foundation for Pluralism: Our mission is to encourage individuals to develop an open mind and an open heart toward their follow beings.

If we can learn to respect the otherness of other and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of the 7 billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. 

We believe that knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of a different point of view.

World Muslim Congress  
To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker, one who seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence of humanity. God wills for us to live in peace and harmony with his creation .

Our Mission is to work for a world of co-existence through inclusiveness and participation. Indeed we aspire to promote goodwill amongst people of different affiliations, regardless of their faith, gender, race, nationality, culture or any other uniqueness blessed by the creator.

OUR ANNUAL EVENTS:
- Unityday USA, since 2005
- Reflections on Holocaust & Genocides, since 2006
- Thanksgiving Celebrations, since 1993

Mike Ghouse runs the Foundation for Pluralism championing the idea of co-existence through respecting and accepting the otherness of other and has dedicated his life to nurturing the pluralistic ideals embedded in Islam through the World Muslim Congress. He is a regular commentator on the TV, Radio and Print media offering pluralistic solutions to the issues of the day. He is a speaker, thinker, writer and a peace activist. Mike's work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

Mike is available to speak on Pluralism, Islam, Civil Societies, Peace & Justice Saturday, December 04, 2010at your school, work place, seminars or place of worship.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Difficult Passages in Quraan

Verses of Quraan falsely marketed as “Evil Verses”.

Finding the truth is one’s own responsibility, as it frees one from suspicion, doubt, ill-will and malice,  that is the secret of living a normal healthier life and building cohesive societies for all of us to live without fear of each other..

Prophet Muhammad in essence shared this wisdom, before you believe in malicious comments about others, you must verify them, lest you regret it when the truth emerges. Living a regret free life is one of the peaceful things to do. Interestingly President Reagan had said, "Trust but verify".

God wants his creation to co-exist in harmony and the Qur’aan is God’s guidance to live in peace with oneself and what surrounds one; life and matter. The human weakness manufactures imaginary enemies and spins the wheels of evil in establishing such manufacture.  Of the 22 translations of Quraan available on the market today, 2 of them have been deliberately mistranslated for political gains; one was in 1042 by The Christian Europe and the other one was in 1922 by a Muslim after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The holy Quraan has remained intact, and not a dot, comma or a period has changed in it.


The following Verses are in circulation and many a times without verification if it is indeed the verse from Quraan. I have found the Verses Number quoted and it has taken me back to USC websites – and there is no such verse in Quraan.  Quraan is a document to help create just and peaceful societies.


The following group of 14 verses was the basis for the short documentary called Fitna produced by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders – a full response was given to this and is at: 
http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2008/01/muslim-response-to-wilders.html

1.      Give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom to those who disbelieve. 9:3

2.      Slay the idolaters wherever you find them. 9:5

3.      Don't let idolaters tend the sanctuaries. Their works are in vain and they will be burned in the Fire. 9:17

4.      Give tiding of a painful doom to Christians and Jews. 9:34

5.      If you refuse to fight, Allah will afflict you with a painful doom. 9:39

6.      Disbelievers go to hell. 9:49

7.      Those who vex the Prophet, for them there is a painful doom. 9:60

8.      Those who oppose Allah and His messenger will burn in the fire of hell. 9:63

9.      Allah promises hypocrites and disbelievers the fire of hell. Allah curses them. They will have a lasting torment. 9:68

10.  Fight the disbelievers and hypocrites. Be harsh with them. They are all going to hell anyway. 9:73

11.  Allah will afflict disbelievers with a painful doom in this world and the Hereafter. 9:74

12.  For disbelievers there will be a painful doom. 9:90

13.  Don't pray for idolaters (not even for your family) after it is clear they are people of hell-fire. 9:113

14.  Fight disbelievers who are near you, and let them see the harshness in you. 9:123

The other verses in circulation:

The purpose of this program is listed on the website www.QuraanConference.com along with several videos as documentary and TV interviews.  

In Surah 48, ayah 29, it says, Muhammad is Allah’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another? Through them Allah seeks to enrage the unbelievers.

Qur'an 2:65 mentions that Jews who broke the Sabbath were turned into Apes.”

Koran 60:4 sets out the Islamic position of hatred and enmity towards those who do not accept Allah and Muhammad.

3:151 We will put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers.  I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their tongue

Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends. (5:51)

Mohammed is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another. (48:29).

The unbelievers are your inveterate enemy. (4:101)

Surely the vilest of animals in Allah’s sight are those who disbelieve. (8.55)

The unbelievers among the people of the book and the pagans shall burn forever in the fire of Hell. They are the vilest of all creatures. (98.6)"

Beat your wife if she does not listen to you 4:34

List of  40 + Verses listed at :

And this one 1:17 - http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2008/01/unlike-jews-or-christians-17.html


As an example of individuals who are working on finding the truth, here is note from a leader from the Sikh Community 
Avtar Dhaliwal, July 27, 2010

Dear Mike,
Greetings. I hope by now you are well recovered from the exhausting Parliament meeting in Melbourne, Australia.

I am working on my article on Sacred Scriptures and its Intended use—misinterpretations.

Apparently, during my presentation, I did not apply the qualified translation which resulted in misunderstanding By our friend from Bombay. I apologize for not gathering my information correctly. I had applied the translation that was posted on the Internet by ‘Quran Explorer.com’. I have no intension of denigrating any sacred books.

You had mentioned that correct translation is available for Surah 15:26-30.
However, a Sabd by Guru Nanak Ji had been misinterpreted by the Clerks in the court of Aurangzeb, and the same interpretation has been copied in Sikh literature for the last 350 years.

I am trying to get the correct explication of the misinterpreted Sabd in Sikhism. In reference to that I need Correct translation of Surah 15:26-30.

Will you please, send the correct translation in the English language as well as in the Urdu language.
Thanks for time.
Wishing the best.
Avtar S. Dhaliwal
Tennessee, USA

Thank you
Mike Ghouse runs the Foundation for Pluralism championing the idea of co-existence through respecting and accepting the otherness of other and has dedicated his life to nurturing the pluralistic ideals embedded in Islam through the World Muslim Congress. He is a regular commentator on the TV, Radio and Print media offering pluralistic solutions to the issues of the day. He is a speaker, thinker, writer and a peace activist. Mike's work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

Friday, November 26, 2010

Quraan on Genocides and murders

Salamun Alykum.

Did the Prophet Muhammad really disobey the Quran and committed a crime of killing 900 Jews?! Muslims who read and understand the Quran know very well that such hadith was fabricated by the enemies of Islam.

The Quran condemns genocide by giving an example of Pharaoh of Egypt:

[28:4] Pharaoh turned into a tyrant on earth, and discriminated against some people. He persecuted a helpless group of them, slaughtering their sons, while sparing their daughters. He was indeed wicked.

Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction of an ethnic, religious or national group. The Quran condemns genocide:

[2:84] We made a covenant with you, that you shall not shed your blood, nor shall you evict each other from your homes. You agreed and bore witness

It is satanic to use religion as an ideological tool in the oppression of others to meet corrupt and political agendas. The Quran strongly condemns such behavior:

[2:79] Therefore, woe to those who distort the scripture with their own hands, then say, "This is what GOD has revealed," seeking a cheap material gain. Woe to them for such distortion, and woe to them for their illicit gains.

The Quran prohibits and condemns killing innocent people(17:33, 6:151, 25:68). Grossness of murder can be understood from the following verse:

[5:32] Because of this, we decreed for the Children of Israel that anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people. Our messengers went to them with clear proofs and revelations, but most of them, after all this, are still transgressing.

[17:33] You shall not kill any person - for GOD has made life sacred - except in the course of justice. If one is killed unjustly, then we give his heir authority to enforce justice. Thus, he shall not exceed the limits in avenging the murder; he will be helped.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment:

[26:130] "And when you strike, you strike mercilessly.

[28:4] Pharaoh turned into a tyrant on earth, and discriminated against some people. He persecuted a helpless group of them, slaughtering their sons, while sparing their daughters. He was indeed wicked.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile:

[49:12] O you who believe, you shall avoid any suspicion, for even a little bit of suspicion is sinful. You shall not spy on one another, nor shall you backbite one another; this is as abominable as eating the flesh of your dead brother. You certainly abhor this. You shall observe GOD. GOD is Redeemer, Most Merciful.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person:

[2:178] O you who believe, equivalence is the law decreed for you when dealing with murder - the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the female for the female. If one is pardoned by the victim's kin, an appreciative response is in order, and an equitable compensation shall be paid. This is an alleviation from your Lord and mercy. Anyone who transgresses beyond this incurs a painful retribution.

[2:191] You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder. ...

[16:126] And if you punish, you shall inflict an equivalent punishment. But if you resort to patience (instead of revenge), it would be better for the patient ones.

[17:33] You shall not kill any person - for GOD has made life sacred - except in the course of justice. If one is killed unjustly, then we give his heir authority to enforce justice. Thus, he shall not exceed the limits in avenging the murder, he will be helped.

The Quran does not promote fighting but friendship with those who do not fight with believers on religious issues:

[60:8] God does not enjoin you from befriending those who do not fight you because of religion, and do not evict you from your homes. You may befriend them and be equitable towards them. God loves the equitable.

The Quran teaches us how to treat the non fighting enemies in their territories:

[9:6] If one of the idol worshipers sought safe passage with you, you shall grant him safe passage, so that he can hear the word of God, then send him back to his place of security. That is because they are people who do not know.

The Quran gives everyone the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion:

[2:256] There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.

According to the Quran, all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights:

[17:70] We have honored the children of Adam, and provided them with rides on land and in the sea. We provided for them good provisions, and we gave them greater advantages than many of our creatures.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind:

[2:136] Say, "We believe in GOD, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters."

[49:13] O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant.

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing:

[2:143] We thus made you an impartial community, that you may serve as witnesses among the people, and the messenger serves as a witness among you. ....

The Quran gives everyone the right to own property alone as well as in association with others:

[2:05] As soon as he leaves, he roams the earth corruptingly, destroying properties and lives. GOD does not love corruption.

[4:29] O you who believe, do not consume each others' properties illicitly - only mutually acceptable transactions are permitted. You shall not kill yourselves. GOD is Merciful towards you.

[59:8] (You shall give) to the needy who immigrated. They were evicted from their homes and deprived of their properties, because they sought GOD's grace and pleasure, and because they supported GOD and His messenger. They are the truthful.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks:

[33:53] O you who believe, do not enter the prophet's homes unless you are given permission to eat, nor shall you force such an invitation in any manner. If you are invited, you may enter. When you finish eating, you shall leave; do not engage him in lengthy conversations. This used to hurt the prophet, and he was too shy to tell you. But GOD does not shy away from the truth. If you have to ask his wives for something, ask them from behind a barrier. This is purer for your hearts and their hearts. You are not to hurt the messenger of GOD. You shall not marry his wives after him, for this would be a gross offense in the sight of GOD.

[24:58] O you who believe, permission must be requested by your servants and the children who have not attained puberty (before entering your rooms). This is to be done in three instances - before the Dawn Prayer, at noon when you change your clothes to rest, and after the Night Prayer. These are three private times for you. At other times, it is not wrong for you or them to mingle with one another. GOD thus clarifies the revelations for you. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.

As the part of the peace process, the Quran urges on the polite treatment of captives:

[76:8] They donate their favorite food to the poor, the orphan, and the captive.
[76:9] "We feed you for the sake of GOD; we expect no reward from you, nor thanks.

War should be tolerated only to drive away aggression and tyranny:

[22:39] Permission is granted to those who are being persecuted, since injustice has befallen them, and GOD is certainly able to support them.
[22:40] They were evicted from their homes unjustly, for no reason other than saying, "Our Lord is GOD." If it were not for GOD's supporting of some people against others, monasteries, churches, synagogues, and masjids-where the name of GOD is commemorated frequently- would have been destroyed. Absolutely, GOD supports those who support Him. GOD is Powerful, Almighty.

The Quran urges believers to fight in the cause of God, without any worldly intentions:

[4:74] Those who readily fight in the cause of GOD are those who forsake this world in favor of the Hereafter. Whoever fights in the cause of GOD, then gets killed, or attains victory, we will surely grant him a great recompense.
[4:75] Why should you not fight in the cause of GOD when weak men, women, and children are imploring: "Our Lord, deliver us from this community whose people are oppressive, and be You our Lord and Master."
[4:76] Those who believe are fighting for the cause of GOD, while those who disbelieve are fighting for the cause of tyranny. Therefore, you shall fight the devil's allies; the devil's power is nil.

Victory should not lead to expansion or dominance but to advocate and establish righteousness:

[22:41] They are those who, if we appointed them as rulers on earth, they would establish the Contact Prayers (Salat) and the obligatory charity (Zakat), and would advocate righteousness and forbid evil. GOD is the ultimate ruler.

Thank you and may God guide me,

Muhammed Irtaza

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yoga and Quraan

http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2010/10/yoga-and-quraan.html

SHOULD CHRISTIANS (and other non-Hindus) BEWARE OF YOGA?
The president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Albert Mohler, caused a stir with a recent column decrying the practice of yoga by Christians. Eleven Texans including Mike Ghouse responds to the Texas faith panel. http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2010/10/texas-faith-should-non-hindus.html


Here is Mike's take including a reference to the Muslim clerics in Malaysia whose stand was similar to Albert Mohler, followed by Muhammad Irtaza's references from Quraan on the subject.
Mohler can chill.

It is human to protect oneself from perceived threats to his or her way of life and Al Mohler’s take on Yoga is the classic case of deficiency in one’s faith.  When
Galileo supported the view that Sun was at the center of the universe, the church condemned it as false and contrary to scripture, thus he was forced to spend the rest of his life under house arrest. The discovery shook up the guardians of religion; it was like pulling the rug out from under their feet.  It was a loss of control rather than the perceived depletion of faith. 

Mohler seems to be threatened with the popularity of Yoga, a beautiful practice to bring composure to oneself. He is obsessed with the idea that Yoga is a bait to lure his congregation away into “a spiritual practice that threatens to transform their own spiritual lives into a `post-Christian, spiritually polyglot’ reality”, and then he asks, “Should any Christian willingly risk that?” How mistaken can one be? Yoga is not a mutually exclusive practice, nor is it a religion; it is indeed a catalyst in achieving the union of mind and body that is central to all spirituality.

A similar call was made in Malaysia a year ago, the Muslim clerics called Yoga was Hinduizing their faith and wanted to ban the practice of Yoga in their country, likewise, the radicals among Hindus routinely vandalize the stores that sell Valentines cards claiming that it is an invasion of their culture. The Middle Eastern nations ban display of religious symbols in public space for the fear that they may lose their flock. 

The power of faith is stronger than anything out there, even though it is an intangible possession; people have given up their lives but not their faith. Historic events like Masada, Inquisitions, Bilal, Guru Tej Bahadur and several other events of the world stand testimony to one’s commitment to faith. People should have the freedom to pursue happiness and spiritual fulfillment.  

The insecurity of self proclaimed guardians of faith is exhibited by their desire to keep a tighter leash on their followers without realizing that humans are born to be free, you cannot bind them through fatwas, but freedom. 
   
Should we stick to the earlier Christian belief that God gave the life and let’s not give medicine to the sick, because it has pagan or Muslim origins?

Throughout the history of mankind, men and women have sought methods and systems that can keep them from getting off the handle; that can ease them from tensions and bring peace of mind and tranquility to one. 

When you are scattered with too many things in a given moment, you take a break, have a cup of coffee, go for a walk, meditate or make a list. This act of refreshing oneself is called yoga, getting your act together, bringing your body and mind together to function well.

Yoga is neither Christian nor Hindu; it is a beautiful gift that originated in India for the benefit of mankind to function cohesively.  All individuals and nations should give and receive the good without labeling it.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker on Pluralism and Islam offering pluralistic solutions to the media and public on issues of the day. His blogs and sites are listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/ 

# # # FROM QURAAN/ COMPILED BY MUHAMMAD IRTAZA


Salaam.
 
It is a great blessing from God that He committed in our service everything. The Quran does not exclude yoga from His blessings.  Yoga is one of Creator's wonderful creations. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that yoga can make us feel good!
[45:13] He committed in your service everything in the heavens and the earth; all from Him. These are proofs for people who reflect.

Yoga has been practiced for more than 5,000 years.  Most Westernized yoga classes focus on learning physical poses, which are called asanas. They also usually include some form of breathing technique and possibly a meditation technique as well. Some yoga classes are designed purely for relaxation. But there are styles of yoga that teach us how to move our body in new ways. Choosing one of these styles offers the greatest health benefits by enabling us to develop our flexibility, strength, and balance

[16:18] If you count GOD's blessings, you cannot possibly encompass them. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

[5:87] O you who believe, do not prohibit good things that are made lawful by GOD, and do not aggress; GOD dislikes the aggressors.

[7:32] Say, "Who prohibited the nice things GOD has created for His creatures, and the good provisions?" Say, "Such provisions are to be enjoyed in this life by those who believe. Moreover, the good provisions will be exclusively theirs on the Day of Resurrection." We thus explain the revelations for people who know.

Thank you and may God guide me,
Muhammed Irtaza

Monday, October 18, 2010

Q5:8 - Do not deviate from Justice

5.8

Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo koonoo qawwameena lillahi shuhadaa bialqisti wala yajrimannakum shanaanu qawmin AAala alla taAAdiloo iAAdiloo huwa aqrabu lilttaqwa waittaqoo Allaha inna Allaha khabeerun bima taAAmaloona
Topics discussed in this Verse:
[Allah's attributes:Aware (Well_acquainted)] [Fear of Allah] [Justice] [Kabah]



·  5:8 (Asad) O YOU who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in your devotion to God, bearing witness to the truth in all equity; and never let hatred of any-one [19] lead you into the sin of deviating from justice. Be just: this is closest to being God-conscious. And remain conscious of God: verily, God is aware of all that you do.