Thursday, July 21, 2011

Islamic atttitude towards other religions

The correct title should be "The tolerance of Islam towards other religions".  The Prophet was for Islam.  Islam was not Prophet.  The Prophet derived the teaching and wisdom on tolerence from the Quran

[16:125] You shall invite to the path of your Lord with wisdom and kind enlightenment, and debate with them in the best possible manner. Your Lord knows best who has strayed from His path, and He knows best who the guided ones are.

[6:108] Do not curse the idols they set up beside GOD, lest they blaspheme and curse GOD, out of ignorance. We have adorned the works of every group in their eyes. Ultimately, they return to their Lord, then He informs them of everything they had done.  

[4:140] He has instructed you in the scripture that: if you hear GOD's revelations being mocked and ridiculed, you shall not sit with them, unless they delve into another subject. Otherwise, you will be as guilty as they are. GOD will gather the hypocrites and the disbelievers together in Hell.

[6:68] If you see those who mock our revelations, you shall avoid them until they delve into another subject. If the devil causes you to forget, then, as soon as you remember, do not sit with such evil people. 

[2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

[22:34] For each congregation we have decreed rites whereby they commemorate the name of GOD for providing them with the livestock. Your god is one and the same god; you shall all submit to Him. Give good news to the obedient.

  [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  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sharia Law documentary on Hilla

Hasan Mahmud, the author and producer of the Docu-Movie “Hilla” is driven by justice in general and justice for women in particular, a fundamental value of Islam. Indeed, if Islam were to be defined in one word, it would be Justice.
There were a lot of practices that Islam had negated but continue within a few societies. Culture runs deeper than religion, and some of the primitive practices like honor killing, female genital mutilation, and instant divorce without the consent of the wife continue till this day, even though Islam prohibits it.
Hilla is one such instrument; a deviant deterrent for men and women not to rush to divorce. If they do, the woman had to marry another man and fully consume the marriage and then if that other husband divorces her, she can come back and re-marry the first husband. What an agony! Even business is carried in such temporary marriages. Darn, that is again without her consent, the prophet liberated women and said, if a woman is unhappy with the marriage she can initiate divorce, it was a feminist idea in the 7th century while women were considered chattel everywhere in the world including Europe.
The Sharia laws like all other laws were devised to serve regret free justice. However the implementers have been men and mis-application of the law continues where ever there are divorces. Indeed, no society is free from the misapplication of laws including our own U.S of A. We have put many innocent people on Electric Chair in Texas.
This Docu-Movie is about dealing with Hilla marriage under Sharia law. The dialogues and characters of the Imam, father, bride, the teacher and college educated girl are authentic and are set in tiny Bangladeshi town. The language is Bengali with English subtitles. I have lived in a small village and a town and I can relate with the originality of the screenplay. I was absorbed and watched the 90 minute movie in one sitting.
When the movie Lagan was released, I wondered who is going to watch three hours of Cricket and the guys hitting the balls and fielders chasing it. But the movie became a classic and I have seen it twice and it’s been shown all over the world including Latin American resorts.
This documentary is gripping and dialogues are fascinating.
The Imam and the adopted father of the woman (her departed father’s friend and the Village-chief) want the marriage restored, as the husband, inadvertently uttered the words Talaq (divorce) three times inadvertently; it means the end of marriage, the divorce is final. What an oppressive tool!
They gather in the public square and bring all the books on Islamic jurisprudence, the Sharia books to read through to find solutions. It is a very powerful scene; the fact that so many books were to be read with different opinions will open up the eyes of those who are entrenched with a singular view. The local Imam asks the reader to read Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Shafii opinion as well. This deliberation needs to become a part of the culture to bring about a positive change. At the end the Quran wins in restoring Women Rights. A happy ending to the tension the viewer endures.
Hasan has subtly introduced a new norm in a small town environment. It encourages research and truthfully portrays the differences in opinions, it opens up people’s hearts and minds to do the basic thing; Justice.
Please watch and share
Scroll down for each one of the 15 parts of about 6 minutes each.
# # #
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer and a frequent guest on Hannity show and nationally syndicated Radio shows and Dallas TV, Radio and Print Media. He presides America Together Foundation and is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Over 1000 articles have been published on Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, India and cohesive societies. Two of his books are poised to be released this fall on Pluralism and Islam. He is available to speak at your place of worship, work, school, college, seminars or conferences. His work is encapsulated in 27 blogs, four websites and several forums indexed at MikeGhousedotnet.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Sharia will become a dominant theme in the 2012 Presidential Elections; the one who speaks the loudest earns the tea party support. I am not sure if we the Americans would gulp down their rhetoric or would have the time to question the veracity of the comments made by the candidates.

The responsibility falls squarely on us, the American Muslims to become contributors and participants in the well being, peace and prosperity of America. Muslims together, we can do it.
We are considering a Sharia conference in every major city in the US, it will be professionally developed with the help of our Imams and Scholars and those who have problems with it. We have to answer every possible question answered in the power point presentation each time a question gets asked.

If you have the will, it’s easy to do it.

Muslims together can work and build a safer and secure America for every one of the 301 Million Americans. This is your conference in your town, organized and managed by you. I hope all of us can call ISNA, CAIR, ICNA and other national organizations to take this project up.

We can do this for under $ 5000.00 per city. I have done over 40 events including the ones over 600 attendees within that budget. We should not expect the national organizations to put this event out, we have to do it on our own with their supervision to standardize the event. You’ll have to raise the funds locally- 100 Muslims $50/each or other combinations will do it. The question we have to ask is, are we willing to do it or find it comfortable to talk about our love of Islam without doing a thing.
I am a volunteer and will be happy to assist anyone anywhere.
Together we can come up with great plans and just do it.
For the starters, I have pulled a few key articles together; there are much better articles out there, Insha Allah, we will gather them all and urge Muslims to post on their sites, the more places it is published, the better off we are.


The articles range from simplicity for a lay person to understand ( Sumbul, Nezar , Nasim, Amjad and Mike’s articles) to Mainstream press writing ( Amy Sullivan and Justin Elliott), to Scholarly presentations ( Dr. Yusuf Zia Kavakci and Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq) . I hope to gather articles that are critical (Plenty) of Sharia as well. If you know a great article, please share, together we can complete the spectrum and add value to its understanding. I further request that you post this on your site or ask those who have a site to post. The more it shows up in search engines, the better off we are collectively.

As American Muslims we are committed to the safey, security and prosperity of every American. That's a pledge we take and act upon it.
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Sharia in one Gulp by Mike Ghouse
Sharia in its simplest form is a how-to manual based on the Qur'an and the Hadith (Prophet Muhammad's sayings). It is a human effort to understand the concept of justice enshrined in the Qur'an for day-to-day living.


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What Sharia law actually means – Justin Elliott

Sharia is more than simply "law" in the prescriptive sense. It is also a methodology through which a jurist engages the religious texts to ascertain divine will. As a jurist-made law, the outcome of this process of ascertaining divine will is called fiqh (positive law), which is the moral and legal anchor of a Muslim's total existence.

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Who's Afraid of Sharia? – Sumbul Ali Karamali

Hasn't the whole notion of shariah in America gotten a bit out of control? No, it hasn't -- it's gotten hugely, obscenely, ignorantly out of control. Aha! The six principles must be about killing infidels, veiling women, stoning people for adultery, honor killings and female genital cutting, right? Nope.

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Sharia the law system inspired by the Quraan - Wikipedia

Sharia is often referred to as Islamic law, but this is wrong, as only a small part is irrefutably based upon the core Islamic text, the Koran. Correct designations would be "Muslim Law", "Islam-inspired", "Islam-derived," or even "the law system of Muslims."This is well known to most Muslims, yet Sharia is always referred to as "based upon the Koran", hence it is the "will of God."

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Sharia is Not what you think it is – Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid

When some American pundits call sharia, "a growing threat to the United States," Muslim Americans wonder what in the world are they talking about. Sharia is overwhelmingly concerned with personal religious observance, not with constitutions and laws.

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The Myths of Sharia Law in America – Amy Sullivan

If you are not vitally concerned about the possibility of radical Muslims infiltrating the U.S. gove
rnment and establishing a Taliban-style theocracy, then you are not a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination. In addition to talking about tax policy and Afghanistan, Republican candidates have also felt the need to speak out against the menace of "sharia."

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Sharia Value – Dr. Mohamed Omar Farooq

"While Islam under the leadership of Prophet Muhammad brought liberation and freedom from human bondage and ushered in scientific, technological, economic and cultural progress as part of a dynamic civilization, the Shariah as it is being presented today seems to do (and probably promise more of) just the opposite. Why? In this essay, it is argued that one pivotal problem has to do with some fundamental misunderstanding about Islam and Shariah.

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Sharia, Fiqh and Islamic Law – Imam Dr. Yusuf Ziya Kavakci Dr. Kavakci is one of the 500 most influential Imams in the world
Sharia recently became a hotly debated subject. Archbishop of England made a statement at the middle of many statements, that has given the opportunity of Islamic law and Shari to be discussed and debated by westerners and some times the discussion apparently was taken out context. It is, as I believe, a fact that Sharia, Fiqh in its early stages got established and developed in the wide area of the world, mainly where Roman law was dominant.

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Demystifying Sharia - Nasim Rehmatullah and Amjad Mahmood Khan

Shariah is a misunderstood and misused concept. Critics of Islam frequently employ terms like "creeping shariah" to stoke fear amongst the masses. The Park 51 controversy and the increasing media focus on Islam provide an opportunity to educate Americans about the true teachings and practices of Islam concerning shariah.

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Sharia law is not a threat – Nezar Hamze, Cair

You can’t turn on the news these days or pick up a newspaper without seeing or reading about Islam, Muslims or Sharia law. Unfortunately, most of what you hear is from politicians with a religious viewpoint or media outlets creating an illusion of an enemy.

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Mike Ghouse committed to nurturing the pluralistic values embedded in Islam. More about him at

Friday, July 8, 2011

Don’t make Allies with Jews and Christians 5:51

Qur'an , Sura Al-Ma'idah (The Table Spread) Verse: 5: 51

My Ghouse

This myth suits the right winger Muslims, Christians and Jews alike, whereas the moderate majority goes on living and befriending every one they connect with without regard to religion, race, ethnicity or culture.
Qur’an is a book of wisdom that guides humanity to find ways to co-exist in harmony, in spiritual terms that is Islam. God is not your property or mine, God belongs to all, we are all his, her or its’ creation and he loves his creation and offers that wisdom to every tribe, community and a nation. No one is above the other to him, only those who score 100 get extra recognition, all others pass and a few fails.

I know a few basics in Arabic; read and write and understand some. But there are enough translations out there to keep you up with its essence. I have resisted the temptation to learn Arabic – for I do not want to lose my ability to understand it as a non-Muslims would understand and bridge the gap as much as I can.

Here is the actual translation by Muhammad Asad;

Quran 5:51, (Asad) "O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for your allies: they are but allies of one another [72] and whoever of you allies himself with them becomes, verily, one of them; behold, God does not guide such evildoers. [73]"

[72] According to most of the commentators (e.g., Tabari), this means that each of these two communities extends genuine friendship only to its own adherents-i.e., the Jews to the Jews, and the Christians to the Christians-and cannot, therefore, be expected to be really friendly towards the followers of the Qur'an. See also 8:73, and the corresponding note

 Lit., "the evildoing folk": i.e., those who deliberately sin in this respect. As regards the meaning of the "alliance" referred to here, see 3:28, and more particularly 4:139 and the corresponding note, which explains the reference to a believer's loss of his moral identity if he imitates the way of life of, or-in Qur'anic terminology-"allies himself" with, non-Muslims. 

However, as has been made abundantly clear in 60:7-9 (and implied in verse 57 of this surah), this prohibition of a "moral alliance" with non-Muslims does not constitute an injunction against normal, friendly relations with such of them as are well-disposed towards Muslims. It should be borne in mind that the term wali has several shades of meaning: "ally", "friend", "helper", "protector", etc. The choice of the particular term - and sometimes a -combination of two terms-is always dependent on the context.(Quran Ref: 5:51 )."

Quran 60:7-9

Quran 60:7 (Asad),  [But] it may well be that God will bring about [mutual] affection between you [O believers] and some of those whom you [now] face as enemies: for, God is all-powerful - and God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.  
Quran 60:8 (Asad), As for such [of the unbelievers] as do not fight against you on account of [your] faith, and neither drive you forth from your homelands, God does not forbid you to show them kindness and to behave towards them with full equity: for, verily, God loves those who act equitably.

Quran 60:9 (Asad), God only forbids you to turn in friendship towards such as fight against you because of [your] faith, and drive you forth from your homelands, or aid [others] in driving you forth: and as for those [from among you] who turn towards them in friendship; it is they, they who are truly wrongdoers!

When there is a conflict with one, you make allies with the other to find solutions, it is human nature. But If there is already an alliance between the other two, as it is explicit in the verse, then you proceed with caution, a common human trait, as the purpose of finding solutions gets stinted. You are on your own to figure out the best solution.

When Ferdinand expelled Jews and Muslims, they were allies against Christian ire at that time, they were allies in Spain, and they were allies in Jerusalem during the crusades.

The Palestinian Christians and Muslims are allies against Israel's occupation, and you find different combinations to find security and balance among those who are oppressed.

The reference to evil doers applies to those who are evil doers and resist finding a peaceful solution. Evildoers are those who are a hindrance to a peaceful existence, and it could be Muslims, Jews, Christians or anyone.

Despite how the verse is interpreted by the right, the Muslims and Jews were allies in Spain and elsewhere, indeed the Jewish history calls it their Golden period. The Israel Palestinian conflict has really goofed up a lot of equations, giving it different colors and nuances.

Indeed the right wingers among Muslims believe the verse to mean not to make friends with Jews and Christians. That is not the case with most moderate Muslims as they see them fellow beings in a belief in the oneness of God.

Now if the Circumcision ban, Kosher/ Halal ban gains grounds Jews and Muslims will be allies against a common threat to their existence, again it is a natural thing, as Quraan calls it Fitra. I was one of the first Muslims to stand up with Jews on many occasions including the impending-but-going-to-failed ban on circumcision.

( )

The nature of right wingers no matter what religion they wear translates into pre-emptive attacks as a measure of security. They are insecure and constantly live in imagined threats, and pump themselves to explode on to others, some bomb other nations, some attack on public media. The real clash occurs between the right-wingers of religions and politicians and not the majority of good people.

I am friends with humanity regardless of their religion. I have chosen to be a Muslim and I will remain one with no bias towards one single human being. I am writing a piece called Mukhlooqul Aalameen – an extension of Rabbul Aalameen to Rahmatul Aalameen to Mukhlooqul Aalameen, that is the ultimate in Islamic spirituality, you become Brahma where no distinctions between you and another being fade.

Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive Societies and nurturing the pluralistic values embedded in Islam for the good of humanity. What is good for Muslims has got to be good for the world and Vice-Versa to sustain peace and harmony on the planet.

Thank you, Mike, for your response. As a follow-up question to your response, may I ask you if you know the Arabic of the Quran and if you are familiar with the terms and the words that the people of the Tribe of Quraish used in the time of the Prophet Muhammad?

You say that Yusuf Ali was influenced by the Mufassirs in his translation of the Quran. Perhaps, you are correct in your understanding, but would you please explain who those Mufassirs were and where they got their knowledge from?

For your information, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is the cradle of Islam and whose only official language is Arabic, has approved only one English translation of the Quran and it is by Yusuf Ali. His translation was scrutinized by a committee of Arabic speaking scholars of Quran, Hadiths, and Tafsir and they also looked into each word Yusuf Ali has used in his translation.

Only after a thorough examination of his translation and commentary, was Ali's translation approved for being very close to the Arabic words of the Quran - a privilege and honor that no other translator of the Quran has been able to earn from the very nation of which Muhammad was a son and a Prophet!

Now coming to Mohammad Asad, he has translated verse 5:51 almost in the same words that Yusuf Ali and Pickthall have used in their respective translations. Asad's translation reads:

"O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors of each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily God guideth, not a people unjust."

Since Asad appears to you to be more credible in the translation of the Quran than other translators, can you please tell me if you agree with the above translation of his and if you follow what Allah has clearly told the Muslims in regard to their relationship with the Jews and Christians?

As a Muslim, do you take the Jews and the Christians to be your friends and if you do, can you please tell me if you have not become a Jew (if you have taken a Jew as your friend) or a Christian (if you have taken a Christian as your friend)?

Or, do you think that the passages of the Quran, like the above, need to be changed, or "interpreted" differently, keeping our present time and circumstances in mind?

You're considered and educative discourse will be very helpful to me. Thanks.


From: ""
Sent: Fri, July 8, 2011 10:01:15 AM

Subject: Re: Logans Challenge to Frequent Sean Hannity Guest Mike Ghouse


Muhammad Asad is by far the best, not absolutely, but relatively.
While Yusuf Ali, Pickthall were the early ones, they were going in circles and were influenced by the Mufassirs of the yore. Need fresh thinking.
The bad ones are done by the Europeans and Hilali Khan
In a message dated 7/8/2011 11:08:18 A.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:
You have written:

"Robert Spencer, Geert Wilders, Brigitte Gabriel, Nonie Darwish, Wafa Sultan, Alan Dershowitz, Ali Sina and a host of others are guided by those translations and it suits them to sell hate and frightened nincompoops write those checks. "
Could you please let me know which translation of the Quran into English you believe is correct and it is done by whom? In other words, whose translation of the Quran you have read or are reading to make the above claim? Thanks.
Mohammad Asghar
From: ""
Sent: Thu, July 7, 2011 10:10:05 PM
Subject: Logans Challenge to Frequent Sean Hannity Guest Mike Ghouse

Facts don't matter to some. They did not matter to Bush
I am pleased to respond to Logan’s challenge on the net hoping he and his friends will be open to seeing another point of view. I pray that he and his friends read this with an open mind and an open heart. (of the 3200 words nearly 2400 are quotes from Quraan)
Each one of us bears responsibility to do his or her share of work in creating cohesive societies where everyone feels safe and secure, and trust one another to make life easier for one and the others. You and I are responsible for our own actions and we have to do our share of good in creating such societies. We have a choice not do a thing and not hear from any.
Just around the crusades, the European kings commissioned a hostile Quran translation to foster warfare against Muslim invaders to get their subject to go fight for them. Then after the fall of Ottoman Empire, a Muslim turns around and produced a hostile translation of Quran to inflame Muslims against Christians and Jews.
Religions were introduced to bring sanity to people, most people get it and few don’t. There are a few Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jews and others who don’t get their religion and resort to oppression and hate mongering without realizing it. If they spend their energy on building peace we will have a much better society to live.
Robert Spencer, Geert Wilders, Brigitte Gabriel, Nonie Darwish, Wafa Sultan, Alan Dershowitz, Ali Sina and a host of others are guided by those translations and it suits them to sell hate and frightened nincompoops write those checks.
I am willing to discuss this further, if there is intellectual discussion without judgments, if not, don’t expect me to correspond any further. I have referenced some material below where a few men have run off instead of dealing with the issues they raised.

Here is my respose to Logann's challenge:
Your comments at the site are appreciated.

Mike Ghouse