Saturday, 10 November 2012

The Abrahamic faiths.

Some of you might have heard this term, others might have not. So to start, I want to explain more my chosen title. The Abrahamic faiths are three, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. They are monotheistic faiths that trace their common origin back to prophet Abraham.

~The story of Abraham~

Prophet Abraham plays a significant role in all three faiths. Specifically, it is believed that both the Jews and the Arabs are the descendants of prophet Abraham through his two sons, Ish'haaq and Isma'ail.
To explain a little further his story in the light of all three religions, prophet Abraham was born and originated from a city in ancient Iraq named 'Arr.' After marring an infertile woman, Sarah, it follows that he was unable to have children. Being offered a slave girl by the name of Hagar, later he was given permission by his wife, Sarah, to wed her in order for her to conceive so that they may have children. Hagar gave them the blessing of a son which they named Isma'ail and It was not long afterwards, that by Gods will, Sarah became impregnated and gave birth to another boy which they named Ish'haaq.

From initially not being able to conceive with his wife, Prophet Abraham was not only given the blessing of having two sons, but he was made the ancestor of many tribes and generations of prophets. He was the starting point in History which revived monotheism in a world which at the time was lacking this concept completely.

Many of the Jewish prophets descended from Isha'aq; prophet Moses and prophet Jesus are two main examples. Hagar, along with her son Isma'ail went to live in an area deep in the desserts in a place now known as Mecca. It was through Isma'ail that the Arabs originated and it was generations and tribes after, that the prophet Muhammad, as Muslims believe, descended. This is the common origin of both the Arabs and the Jews and the common ground of the three main monotheistic faiths, also referred to with obvious reason as, the Abrahamic religions.

I plan to produce a blog post where I will highlight, in even more detail, the common ground between the three faiths. I will show, with proof and understanding, that the three main and most common religions in the world preach the same message. Sit tight and pay attention.

~An introduction to the three faiths~

Judaism, in literal 'Judah-ism' was named after Judah, the fourth son of Jacob and Leah, according to the book of Genesis and is one of the ancestors of an ancient tribe of Israel. The religious scriptures they follow is called the Torah and is the part of the bible known as 'the old testament.'

Christianity is named after the 'Christ' which comes from the word Christos meaning anointed and translated from the Hebrew, 'Messiah.' This is of course referring to Jesus. When I quote, I shall quote from the old and new testament which covers both faiths, that being Judaism and Christianity.

Islam is the third monotheistic religion and comes from five root words in the Arabic language; Peace, submission, surrender, obedience and sincerity. The book that the Muslims follow is called the Qura'an and, as Muslims believe, this is the last and final testament.


Lets discuss monotheism, since this is the 'glue' that unites the three faiths.

The prophet Moses, in Arabic Musa (peace be upon him) was sent to the children of Israel, as all three religions agree, to deliver the monotheistic message and restore correct social order. He set the laws of God and laid down the ten commandments.

The first of the ten commandments listed in Exodus 20 as given to the Children of Israel at Mount Sinai and is also found in Deuteronomy 5, is;"Thou shalt have no other Gods before me" as quoted from the king James version and, in the new living translation, which is written in more common English;
"You must have no other god but me." 
The first of the ten commandments is center to not only Judaism, but all three faiths. It signifies monotheism, that there should be no other God but Him, the only God. It is a very straight forward message and you will find it is repeated through out the old and new testament and through out the Qura'an.

In Mark 12:28-29, we run into this theme again.

'One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus gave them a good answer,  he asked him, "of all the commandments, which is the most important?"'
"the most important one" answered Jesus, "is this: Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one."

Not three, but one.

In James 2:19, using 'the new living translation', one that I quite like, Jesus says:
"You say you have faith for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror."
A side note I'd like to discuss about the last point, Jesus says that the 'demons' believe in this, yet they still tremble in terror; what does this show? That even though they believe in the most important commandment, they still fear for themselves. What about those who don't believe in the main commandment or another version of the main commandment?
The message of monotheism is clear, especially in Judaism and Islam, but with Christianity is gets a little complex.There is the idea of a 'trinity' which states, from the christian point of view, that there are three Gods which together make one, a concept that isn't mentioned in the old or new testament but it is a concept that came years afterwards. It is believed that Paul had a mirage on his way to Bethlehem in which he saw Jesus telling him this, and so it began. What I find interesting is what Jesus tells his followers in Mathew 7:21.
"Not everyone who says to me 'Lord Lord' will enter heaven but he who does the will of my Father. Many will say to me on that day 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? and in your name drive out demons and preform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly 'I never knew you, away from me you evil doers!'"
To explain further, here Jesus is telling his followers, that not all who believe in him will enter heaven, but those who follow his father - God. He is putting the emphasis on those who forget the message and worship the messenger. Which group of people do we know today that refer to Jesus as 'Lord' and perform miracles and drive out demons in Jesus' name? It is those who elevate Jesus' status to a higher one than the Father, those who Jesus warned about. Even Jesus himself elevates the status of God higher than his own.
In John 5:30, in the 'new living translation' he says:
"I can do nothing on my own, I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgement is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will."

If Jesus was God, why would he make a statement like that? If he was God then he would be able to do all on his own, he would be able to judge by himself, his judgement would be all that matters! But he has said clearly, he carries out the will of the one who sent him, that is God.

The more you read the bible, the more you notice the statements that point you towards monotheism and no matter how long you search for statements that directly point towards the trinity, you will realize that this contradicts most of the statements that Jesus made himself, especially the first and most important commandment.

The most obvious is this; In Mathew 5:17 Jesus speaks and says something which abolishes the trinity, he says;
"Don't misunderstand why I have come, I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the law of the Prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose."
What is the law of Moses and the law of the prophets, I hear you ask? It is monotheism, pure monotheism. Jesus came to emphasize the first commandment, not to abolish it. This in itself contradicts the trinity.

In the Qura'an, we find that it is very firm in it's message about the aspect of monotheism.
In Surat a-Nisa, 4:171, it is written:

"Oh people of the scripture! Do not commit excess in your religion and do not say about God except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was but a messenger of God."
Here, the Qura'an is completely removing the idea of the trinity and it is giving both Jesus and God their rightful status. God is the only deity worthy of worship and Jesus was the mighty messenger of God.
Moses came and preached one, Jesus came and preached one, Paul came and preached three, Muhammad came and preached one. Which, to you, sounds like the anomaly?

The fact that Jesus has human characteristics proves that he is not a God, he is only human, a messenger of God. People then say, but Jesus is the 'son of God.' To you, I say this. The bible not only refers to Jesus as the son of  God but it also refers to many other prophets as the 'sons of God.' This is a term viewed by the Jewish bible as meaning someone who is close to God as a father is to his son.
We see this in Chronicles, 28:5-6 where David speaks and quotes what God has told him.
"And of all my sons, He has chosen Solomon, my son, to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. [David now Quotes God and continues] 'It is Solomon, your son who shall build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my son and I will be His father.'"
But then people say, 'Jesus is the begotten son of God since he had no father.' To you, I say this. Firstly, this isn't a term you would want to associate with your Lord, if he is all mighty, surely he would not beget. This is a human and animal characteristic and you are associating it with your Lord. Does it sit right? And if you refer to Jesus as God's only begotten son because Jesus had no father, then what about Adam? He had neither mother nor father.

The Qura'an is very clear about associating this characteristic with God, Infact, it is very clear about the description of God. In Surat Ikhlas, 112:3, as it is written in the Marmaduke pickthall translation;
"He begetteth not, nor is he begotten."
A very clear, straight forward statement.

I have come to the conclusion that the trinity is something that God has not taught, but it has been made by man. It is a fabrication, something outside the teachings of Jesus. There is no statement in the bible which presents this ideology clearly. If this, to the Christian, is believed to be what will save you in the next life, wouldn't God be more explicit about it? But what God was definitely explicit about, was the first commandment. Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Monday, 1 October 2012

purposeless creation.

This post is dedicated for those who are searching, who wonder why they wake up in the morning and repeat the same daily routine, for those who are uncertain whether significant events are the result of coincidence or fate - those who cleverly question their existence. This post has been written for you. But, If you are content with your own answers, or worse, the answers of others and you do not long for certainty then really, do not continue to read the following.

There are many certainties in life, your birth and death are only two of them. This is something everyone can agree on; we were all created and we will all die. What lies between these two certainties is what I will write about and explore; life and its purpose.

The reason there is so much confusion and many different answers to this one question is because we are asking the wrong source, we are asking ourselves. Asking the creation it's purpose would be illogical but asking the creator the purpose for its creation would seem more logical, would it not? Whether you believe in a higher being or not, this is a very straight forward concept and can be applied to not only a greater being, but also manufactures, engineers, artists. They are the ones who know best their creations and their purposes whether it's a car, building or picture. So to get to the answer of our initial question, ask yourselves this, would we as human beings really know our own purpose in the first place? and now, ask yourselves this; If we don't know, then who does?

We see mankind in a confused state trying to approach this from many aspects, whether it'd be scientific, philosophical or even religious. It seems we know the purpose for even the pen we write with, but not our own. Technology has advanced, education systems have advanced, our knowledge has advanced yet we still can't answer this one question which I'm sure has played (and will play) on the minds of many.

You may believe in evolution, but personally I believe there are too many flaws and un-answered questions in this theory. At the end of the day, it is just that; a theory. If I found a perfectly sculpted statue in a barren land, I would not Jump to the conclusion that it was the result of many random events, with the right circumstances, over the right time. In fact, for the one who thinks this, you'd label as lacking common sense. So how about something that is clearly more complex than a statue, what about human beings? Are we the product of many random events over time, or would you label the one who thinks this as lacking common sense?

If evolution, to you, makes perfect sense, then do not continue to read the following.

If the concept of evolution is flawed and you can't seem to figure out how we got here, then lets think about the most straight forward concept we can come up with. How about, a creator. Are you turning away at this point because of the negative press associated with this concept? I find it fascinating that the one who believes in such a flawed theory such as evolution is looked at by society as the wise one and the one who believes in a straight forward approach such as a creator is then the one labelled as 'lacking common sense and uncertainty in life.' The perfection of this creation, the human being, the earth we live in, is far too great for us to comprehend. Even with advancement, we can not recreate something similar. The answer simply can not come from mankind.

We all know the saying 'think outside the box' but I doubt that many of us do that. It has become instilled in ourselves that 'thinking outside the box' is incorrect, that we are supposed to take what we are fed as truth and not even contemplate breaking off the main body of thought; society. Personally, I think two factors play a part in this. We fear what is outside the box and the highest authority of the box or we are too caught up to even think about thinking outside the box. If you fall into either category, then you are most definitely enslaved by social order.

Don't limit your thoughts.

Johann Wolfgang once said:
"None are more enslaved than those who think they are free." 
If you were to assess your position in society, it would be difficult to say you weren't under it's mirage yet we have teenagers who tell themselves because they do not listen to mainstream music, they are somehow broken from society. What a delusional race indeed. But when someone, through their appearance, is fighting the social order or demand of society, such as a woman who refuses to expose her body, then they are looked at negatively. Do you see how social order has corrupted our trail of thought, do you see how double standards have been embedded within out society as the norm? This is why you are telling yourself that believing in a higher being goes against order because it is perceived as being out of order. What I say to you is, are you sure you are following the correct order?

We should all aim not to initially understand better what is inside the box but we should aim to understand beforehand what is outside the box and by doing that, we will automatically understand what's inside the box to a much higher level. My advice to you would be, don't limit your thoughts. Are you ready to break off from the main body and go beyond the barriers or are you satisfied wearing your chains? If you're busy polishing your chains, please, do not continue to read the following.

We are a creation, by our nature we are in need of a creator. Asking further, who created the creator, contradicts the statement within itself. Is it in the nature of the creator to be created? No, but it is in the nature of the creation to be created. These statements are very straight forward, by being able to apply them to more than one situation, you know for certain they do not lack common sense. Try applying evolution to more than one situation, does it still make sense? Identifying how we got here is one thing, but to identify why we got here in the first place is another. Again, would it seem logical to ask and answer this question ourselves? lets pose this question to our creator.

"And I have not created Jinn and men except that they should serve me" -Qura'an 51:56.
You might think that this is a statement from a book written hundreds of years ago, outdated, contain flaws and lacks understanding of modern society. Are you sure you would like a book that goes in accordance with modern society or have you seen modern society for what it really is? Is it the book that contains flaws or is it modern society? Personally, I wouldn't believe blindly, I'd need some sort of evidence to show me that I can have solid faith in a book. So let us explore this book.

There are a few simple facts that distinguishes this book as being unique, being different. Keeping in mind this book was written 1400 years ago, the depth of accurate scientific context it contains exceeds any level of intelligence or advancement that many years ago. This in itself distinguishes it from any other religious scripture. If science is your criterion, then put each religious scripture to it's test. I have not found any other religious book that lies in its accordance other than the Qura'an. But please, don't believe me, look for yourself!

Click this link to read the many miracles of the Qura'an, whether scientific, mathematical or even historical. 

I would say 'consider these facts with an open mind' but you don't need to have an open mind to consider these straight forward logical facts. They are simple and easy to follow. Have you broken your chains yet? If you are still associating Islam with the negative image portrayed by the media, then you most certainly have not. The main issue with moving forward is the social order that exists. Our minds have been manipulated, only certain knowledge has been exposed and we are only allowed to think inside the box. For those who claim that the Qura'an is still not a distinguishable book, please, do not continue to read the following.

You are not always fed the truth.

Sometimes there are only so many factual and logical responses you may ignore, how many times can you turn away from them? Are your running away from the truth or are you looking for something in accordance with society and whats acceptable with social order? Society is a fickle thing, it changes within a year. If it's certainty you want, then certainly this is something you shouldn't take as your guidance, rather you should follow something with a solid ground. We were all created and we will all die. These are two certainties we can all agree on, what lies between them is grey but it is your choice to make matters black and white, to follow logic and straight forward concepts, to search outside the box, to stop polishing your chains and to break them instead.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Iraq: a million dead people doesn't equal liberation.

It seemed like it was a cartoon, a film, a Hollywood production. Two towers collapsing by hijacked planes? It felt surreal.
The next day the atmosphere in school had changed so suddenly. I was looked at differently. People would whisper around me and I’d pretend I didn’t hear what they were saying. I’ll never forget that feeling, the feeling of being an outsider; and all for what? For being Muslim? Did I commit these attacks myself? Do I even support such atrocities?
I was sitting at the dinner table in the canteen opposite my class mate. Conversation started and soon broke out into name calling. ‘Mini Osama Bin Laden’ was what he had said. I broke into tears. He was sent to the head masters office, and I slowly walked back to class wiping my eyes. Half way through the lesson I was pulled back out to be faced by the head master himself. ‘Has he returned back to class?’ he asked me, and after replying no he gave me a particular look I won’t forget, a look to say that I had over reacted. Looking back at the incident, was he trying to imply that somehow this was justifiable? That the racial abuse I had received ‘wasn’t as bad’ as I had made out? That’s when I knew the world had changed for the worse. That’s when I knew that I wasn't just going to be looked at differently in school; I was going to be seen differently by society.

It was mid-march 2003, the TV was open to the Arabic Al-Jazeera news channel where there was live coverage of the start of the Iraq war. I remember the image on the screen so vividly. The sky was dark, misty, almost blue-ish and there was a serenity in the atmosphere that was soon to be destroyed, to be history to the people of Iraq by the aimless explosions that followed. The dark sky lit up with every explosion that took place, the smoke would ascend and fill the area and my mother would silently weep every time. It’s not easy to see your mum cry for the first time as an eleven year old child but I fought back the tears, I held my emotions in - I did it for my mother. ‘We didn’t think it would happen, there were too many people, politicians, who strongly disagreed,’ I remember my mother saying on the phone to her relatives. But it did happen, it has happened and there wasn’t anything we could do to stop it, even marching across London in protest didn’t work.
The next day at school I walked in and whilst my class mates were innocently playing in the play ground unaware, I ran into the cloak rooms, hung up my bag and coat, sat down, put my hands to face and cried. I let it all out. One of the most common thoughts that ran through my head continuously was ‘will I ever be able to see Iraq one day? Will I ever be able to meet my relatives that my mother talks about all the time before misfortunate events take them away from me forever?’ This was war. No one’s life was guaranteed.

didn't understand and I still don’t understand why all of a sudden the dictatorship of Sadam and the livelihood of the Iraqi people mattered so much to the world, why they had to invade their country, terrorise and murder their people all in the name of ‘democracy.’  In the words of Lowkey, ‘a million dead people doesn't equal liberation,’some ‘liberation’ this turned out to be. 

In the minds of many, the reason the United States went to war with Iraq is still not clear, yet there was and still are a great amount of people who support this war. But at such a time in our history, people were heedless, people wanted revenge, they wanted a nation to target, a group of people to direct their anger towards, which is only their human nature acting up. But human nature also consists of starting wars, wanting power, causing destruction. We should re-evaluate our human nature and abide by the laws of ‘right and wrong’ whether human nature falls into these categories or not. They claimed that Iraq had WMD, yet they found none and murdered millions. They stole, lied, cheated. They destroyed..NO, they TEARED APART my country. The people were physically exhausted, mentally tired and just sick of this so called ‘Democracy.’ The statistics for poverty, death, deformed births, and even suicide rose significantly. I don’t care what anyone has to say, the dictatorship of Sadam never ruined the country like this war did. In the total 35 years of his reign, around 3,000 lives were lost to his dictatorship. In the 6 years of the Iraq war, the IBC (Iraqi body count) shows that over 100,000 lives were lost along with our economy, our dignity, our pride. Can anyone in their right mind tell me what this war has accomplished? I’ll tell you what! It’s accomplished power, military bases, less competition, oil, profit, money but definitely not democracy. This is a term unknown to the Iraqi people and used so freely by the American Government, and now with this pathetic Iraqi ‘puppet government’ in power, I’m certain it’s a term that will never be known to the Iraqi people.

It’s a land I've never set foot on, a land I’ve never lived on, a land I’ve never seen, never experienced. Yet even after this war and the fall of our great country that once was, I still have a burning love inside for it, one that will never die. I guess no matter what, this unknown land to me will always play a part in who I am.

Friday, 3 August 2012

My first post: Thoughts into words.

After contemplating for a while whether to start a blog or not, I finally got the encouragement I was looking for. I'm usually expressing my thoughts and opinions frequently, maybe too much sometimes, but hey, I genuinely feel I need to tell the world about what's inside my head; not that my thoughts alone are extremely important, but I see it more like this; who's thoughts aren't important? I feel our youth need to grow up with encouragement enough to voice their thoughts, after all, action will *never* start with out thought. As the saying goes 'thoughts lead to action' and what a sad reality it is that people don't realise this enough. What a  sad reality it is that people don't understand the power of words. If this wasn't the case, why would God chose to forever contain His sacred guide to our dependent life in a Holy book? Why are libraries still running successfully even though we have advanced technology to replace them? Words have an effect on people more than you imagine, it's how we communicate to each other and how God communicates to us; maybe now you can understand the significance of my chosen title. They feel I voice my opinions too much? I feel they grew up never being told to have any. And so it continues, a generation of silent sheeple, a youth without opinions, a nation with no voice. If you gain anything from this post, let it be this; silence is not and never will be THE 'answer.'