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« "For us beauty is eyes and brows, and the rest is empty talk!" | Main | Respect, always. Submission, never. »

February 17, 2006

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But what about a simple explanation: since there are so many Mohammeds, "Prophet" simply points out which one is meant. In Hispanic countries there are many Jesus namesakes; they say Jesucristo to distinguish their Savior from the rest. I also am a Sissy (to my baby sister), so you would be Sissy Willis to her.

Good point, Pat. Like Sissy Willis vs. Sissy, however, Jim Angle's "the Muslim prophet Mohammed" does the trick without any shades of Dhimmitude. :)

Fine-tuning is always a good thing.

I've always gone with Muhammad.
Of course when you tag a story about this topic, it's a huge pain in the ass 'cuz you have to include all the different spellings.
Let's call the whole damn thing off already.

p.s. Sissy, I have finally recovered from the rant I took from the good Imam last week. Good thing, this story has taken on a life of its own. I'd hate to have to cringe every time the cartoon flap comes up.

WE'RE #1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(i always be a little jingopistic 'round the olympics)

jingopistic?
Ya'll know i *meant* jingoistic, right?
;D

A SHEPHERED WHO CHANGED THE WORLD

1] His forehead was noble, prominent, and bespoke a generous mind. His smile put joy into you. His eyes, black with a touch of brown, were well opened. His hand, on greeting, was strong. His step was as light
as if he were treading on water. When he turned to look at you, he turned with his whole body. He was Muhammad, the Messenger of God.

Muhammad was born in the year 570 AD. His father Abdullah never held his son. He died when Muhammad was still in the womb, leaving him a legacy of only five lean camels and a few sheep. When he was six,
Muhammad's mother Amina died and he was left twice an orphan. His uncle Abu Talib took him as his own so the boy was never at a loss for a home. Abu Talib even brought him up to Syria with the caravan,
schooling him in the occupations of Makkah, trade and transportation.

He began to trade in a small way, as his father had done before him. Those merchants of Makkah counted well, but they couldn't write or read. Muhammad was never taught.

Muhammad had been a shepherd and had led out the sheep in the morning, foraging for the black fruit of the arak thorn on the mountainsides of Makkah, 'All the prophets',he said 'have been shepherds of sheep.' As always, even in his ordinary occupation, Muhammad was not an ordinary
man. God chose to reveal His Word to an illiterate man, as if He needed a man who had neither guile, nor sin in the written word, an untempted man, who could not fall into the traps for a little knowledge.

2] Before Islam, in the desert, a child's fate was known even before its toes were out of its mother's body. If the child was male it was safe and celebrated; if female, unsafe and whispered over. Had they a
sufficiency of girls in the family or too many in the tents of the tribe, she could be doomed. When she had bitten the cord, she was taken out into the desert and the sand was shoveled over her.

Muhammad always attracted children as if he had some music within himself that only they could hear. He spoke language of every age and would joke with children using jokes the same size as their own.

3] Muhammad performed no miracles. He did not cure the sick or miraculously ease the hurt of the beaten slave or raise any dead; he did not walk on water or cause iron to swim, as Elisha did. 'I am but a man… I am but a man…' he would mutter to those well-meaning people who thought to please him by congratulating him on the Heaven that is
sure his, '…and I don't know what God has in store for me.' Muhammad never said more than the common sense of Islam.


4] Muhammad lived within the human capacity and died the human death. Yet, God gave him a gift greater than he gave to any of His Prophets, He revealed to him the Word. The Qur'an, a sure guide, is a miracle for all.

5] 'Islam is surrender to the will of God, Who is One God without partners. Islam is doing right to all men, of every race, degree and color. Being servants of sole Sovereign Allah, all men are equal in
Islam. Islam was revolution. Muhammad was not only preaching a new measure of God, he was also teaching a new measure of man. Islam threatened property, whether large of small, with Zakat (welfare tax): those who have must share with those who have not, in money, produce and possession. The evil of the world is property, that no one should
possess more than he needs, that Muhammad had only two shirts, one for washing and one for wearing. Islam threatened the power of the merchant nobility, whether personal of political, by giving rights of the tribe. Muslims owed themselves to God, not to their families.

Muhammad gave prime importance to learning and beneficence to fellow-beings. 'The ink of the scholar is even more precious than the blood of the martyr.' These were the Prophet's words. 'Work is devotional service' and 'God loves the hand of a workman,' he would say.

6] Muhammad, the last of the Prophets, was the first to teach mankind kindness to animals. Your may go to Hell for cruelty to a cat, he said, and there will be a reward for anyone who gives water to a being
that has a tender heart.

He forbade to overload the animals, to ride two on a donkey or to over-estimate the strength of the camel. He had quick eye against cruelty, and woe to any man who hurt an animal without cause – he
might feel the frown of a prophet.

When the ten thousand strong soldier-saints were marching on Makkah, Muhammad led the whole army a hundred yards off the road to avoid disturbing a bitch in the labor with a litter of pups. These are the Rules of War:

You may not hurt a woman, or a child.
You may not harm the man who works in the field.
You may not harm old men or take advantage of cripples.
You may not cut down fruit trees.
You may not take a drink of water without permission or food without payment.
You may not tie up a prisoner or force him to walk while you ride.
The enemy who surrenders to you must be treated kindly by you.
You must beware of harming children.

No sword, no threat, no twist, no broken bone, no bribe can bring a
man to belief. It is God, not man, Who decides who will believe in
Him.

No soul can believe
Except by the wish of God,
Will you then compel mankind
Against their will to believe?
(Al Qur'an, Surah Jonah, Verse 100)

How then Islam spread by the sword? But no matter how many times you prove an impossibility there will always be someone to say it is a certainty.

7] At that time, before the Prophet gave women their rights, Makkah was a city of scandalous inequality. A few women were well placed and well-to-do, like Hind and Khadijah, but the rest of the sex were poor
and oppressed. They were men's chattels and their cisterns; by day their backs bent forward and by night their backs bent back. Indeed, it was a mystery that in Makkah, women were either prayed to or preyed
upon. Three of the highest gods in the House of Kaa'ba, Al-Uzza, Manat, and Al-Lat, were female. But they did as little for their own sisters as they did for their brothers.

When Muhammad was preaching the equality of women in Arabia, in France a council of Christian bishops was meeting to decide if women had souls or not. Before Muhammad, a man might marry as often as his thighs desired or his camels provided. Some had ten in bed, some twenty, each one crawling over the other to get closest to her king.

Islam limited the wives to four, with a commandment that made it more comfortable to have only one. All four must be treated equally and their claims on marriage must be satisfied equally by turn. If their
claims could not be satisfied, a man could take one wife only.

In the desert it was customary to have many wives, not just because men are rapacious but also because men are generous. So the limitation of the wives was a bewilderment that at first seemed an unkindness, even a cruelty, to women.

Muhammad did not stop there – how could he, with an angel upon his heart? He insisted that women, though different, were equal to men.

The difference is easy to find, men are clustered and women are cleft, but to see equality in sex you had to shade your eyes. He told them that women are complementary to men, each is the guardian of the other. Both must submit to the same last judgment and both will inherit he same fate.

8] At twenty-five Muhammad married hadijah, who was then nearly forty years old and twice widowed. This marriage was so perfect and it was the first step up towards his mission. Khadijah freed him from poverty, allowing him to undergo the hard work of the soul, the lonely agonies and contemplations, the doubts and uncertainties that were his education. She comforted him in his despair and, when they called him a liar, she alone remained true'. She was the first to believe in his
mission.

9] Muhammad was alone in a cave on Mount Hira when the Angel Gabriel came in to him.

Gabriel said: 'Read!' Muhammad replied: 'I cannot read.'
Gabriel commanded again:
READ! In the name of your Lord,
Who created man from a sensitive drop of lowly cell, Who teaches man what he knew not…

Muhammad knew that the message from God was written within him.

In the month of Ramadan, in the blessed night of Majesty, as called Lailat Al-Qadr, God gave man his daylight. In this night God permitted Gabriel, the Holy Spirit, to bring down the Holy Writ. In this night
God endowed His Apostle Muhammad, with his first knowledge. In this night, Khadijah also believed and became mother of the Believers. In this night God sent His mercy to mankind. In the Qur'an it is revealed
that this night is better than a thousand months. Some say it is the seventeenth, others the twenty-third, or twenty-fifth, while others insist on the twenty-seventh – yet only God Himself knows when this
night falls.

10] God's revelations to His Prophet were not in words as we use them to each other – surely God make our mouths as the very hollows of our heads! The Message was pressed down on Muhammad's heart, and only
after the Prophet had got up and come back to us did God permit him to recall the inspiration in words. But not one syllable, not one noun or verb was out of its proper order. Then it was written down on skin or
bark or shoulder-bone of sheep – whatever was at hand. All was as Gabriel gave it, unaltered. The Qur'an is a miracle without works, a victory without processions, even a book without writers. Of the immense lamps of the early verses one illumination is:

Say: God is One,
The Eternal God,
He begets none,
Nor was He begotten,
No one is equal to Him.

11] Every day now, five times a day, through all minarets from the voice of muezzins you hear those words:

God is Most Great. God is Most Great.
I witness that there is no Sovereign except God.
I witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.
Come to Salah*. Come to Salah.
Come to good work. Come to good work.
God is Most Great. God is Most Great.

*Salah is allegiance-service to God.

==========================================

Observation of Muhammad Asad about Islam:

"An Islamic state," Muhammad Asad posits in The Principles of State and Government in Islam, "is not a goal or an end in itself but only a means: the goal being the growth of a community of people who stand up
for equity and justice, for right and against wrong—or, to put it more precisely, a community of people who work for the creation and maintenance of such social conditions as would enable the greatest
possible number of human beings to live, morally as well as physically, in accordance with the natural Law of God, Islam."

Asad further believed that modern and future Muslims had considerable
flexibility to deal creatively—through ijtihad, independent thinking—with an ever-changing world and its attendant challenges. But he believed that they must, when carrying out ijtihad, be bound by the
Qur'an and the sunnah. He believed that in all matters which were clearly enjoined by the shari'ah, sovereignty belonged to God alone, but in most other areas, such as the form of the political system to be adopted, God in His wisdom had given the believers the right, and imposed on them the duty, to exercise their reason and to arrive at
the appropriate decision for their time by mutual consultation. Asad laid great emphasis on the Qur'anic principle of consultation; he gave no quarter to totalitarian systems of government, which he thought were pernicious and anti-Islamic.

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