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samjac0
11-02-2014, 01:30 AM
Hello everyone,

Link is in the subject since I must post a few times before I can share it in the post.

I'm a student at George Fox University(a christian university) and represent a group of four students. Senior students and the George Fox faculty have banded together to learn about Islam in an attempt to break some of the stereotypes that have been created concerning Islam and Muslims. George Fox university has empowered seniors to present projects at an All-Campus Display late November to help educate attending students, faculty, and local residents about Islam.

---Our Project---
Talking within our group we have come to the conclusion that many false and negative stereotypes of Muslims exist in our culture. The the root of these negative stereotypes have spread mainly by the media and (sadly) American Christians, who are willing to accept what they hear on the news as truth without pursuing the knowledge themselves. We intend to fight these stereotypes but realize that, being Christians going to a Christian University, even the information we share will have bias and be filtered by our Christian worldview. We would love to include others in helping us present our findings by sharing your thoughts on the danger of unjust and uneducated stereotypes and how it has affected you or your friends. Our main presentation will be in the form of a 30-40 minute video as well as data from our survey.

Anyone who has an opinion is welcome to take the survey. Total time to complete varies but will average at about 6-10 minutes. You do not have to be an American to take our survey, I only ask that you have opinions of American media or American(non-Muslim) stereotypes about Muslims. Good or bad.

My hope is to challenge my fellow Christians to revaluate their perceptions of a beautiful people. Please help us by participating and responding personally in the survey. I will be monitoring this forum at least until the survey is done so if you have any wisdom on how I have presented the survey or any ideas on how to make it better, please personal message me.

Our goal is to have 300 people participate. You may look at that and say "that's easy!" but it have been very hard to get people interested.


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greenhill
11-02-2014, 01:40 AM
Peace to you.

I guess what makes it hard is that most do not want to get into arguments.. it is a sensitive subject.

Will check the link and perhaps later come back here to post further comments.

All the best

:shade:
Reply

samjac0
11-02-2014, 01:58 AM
Thank you Greenhill.

I will be looking forward to any comments you make.
Reply

greenhill
11-02-2014, 02:46 AM
Tried to go into the link you provided but it required you to register to go in. I don't like registering to into site for a 'one-off' use and be bombarded by constant newsletters and stuff in my email account. So, in short, I have not been able to do the survey.



Originally Posted by samjac0
sharing your thoughts on the danger of unjust and uneducated stereotypes and how it has affected you or your friends.
The main problem is not so much the ignorance of the everyday people, but the blindedness of people in authority who use fear as a way to propagate their agenda. Hence the spiral of misinformation and the escalation of the problems possibly leading to extreme action by certain quarters who have had enough of this.

There's still much to say but I will leave it for now as I have other matters to attend to for now....

Peace :shade:
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Ali Mujahidin
11-02-2014, 01:41 PM
If we take part in this survey, what guarantee is there that our personal information will not be abused?
Reply

Scimitar
11-02-2014, 02:07 PM
Originally Posted by samjac0
Hello everyone,

Link is in the subject since I must post a few times before I can share it in the post.

I'm a student at George Fox University(a christian university) and represent a group of four students. Senior students and the George Fox faculty have banded together to learn about Islam in an attempt to break some of the stereotypes that have been created concerning Islam and Muslims. George Fox university has empowered seniors to present projects at an All-Campus Display late November to help educate attending students, faculty, and local residents about Islam.

---Our Project---
Talking within our group we have come to the conclusion that many false and negative stereotypes of Muslims exist in our culture. The the root of these negative stereotypes have spread mainly by the media and (sadly) American Christians, who are willing to accept what they hear on the news as truth without pursuing the knowledge themselves. We intend to fight these stereotypes but realize that, being Christians going to a Christian University, even the information we share will have bias and be filtered by our Christian worldview. We would love to include others in helping us present our findings by sharing your thoughts on the danger of unjust and uneducated stereotypes and how it has affected you or your friends. Our main presentation will be in the form of a 30-40 minute video as well as data from our survey.

Anyone who has an opinion is welcome to take the survey. Total time to complete varies but will average at about 6-10 minutes. You do not have to be an American to take our survey, I only ask that you have opinions of American media or American(non-Muslim) stereotypes about Muslims. Good or bad.

My hope is to challenge my fellow Christians to revaluate their perceptions of a beautiful people. Please help us by participating and responding personally in the survey. I will be monitoring this forum at least until the survey is done so if you have any wisdom on how I have presented the survey or any ideas on how to make it better, please personal message me.

Our goal is to have 300 people participate. You may look at that and say "that's easy!" but it have been very hard to get people interested.

Hi Samjac0,

The Pope - you looked to see what he is involved in? www.acommonword.com - this should be a FIRST STEP for you guys.

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
A Common Word between Us and You

(Summary and Abridgement)
Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world’s population. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world. The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians.The basis for this peace and understanding already exists. It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God, and love of the neighbour. These principles are found over and over again in the sacred texts of Islam and Christianity. The Unity of God, the necessity of love for Him, and the necessity of love of the neighbour is thus the common ground between Islam and Christianity. The following are only a few examples:Of God’s Unity, God says in the Holy Qur’an: Say: He is God, the One! / God, the Self-Sufficient Besought of all! (Al-Ikhlas, 112:1-2). Of the necessity of love for God, God says in the Holy Qur’an: So invoke the Name of thy Lord and devote thyself to Him with a complete devotion (Al-Muzzammil, 73:8). Of the necessity of love for the neighbour, the Prophet Muhammad ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) said: “None of you has faith until you love for your neighbour what you love for yourself.”In the New Testament, Jesus Christ ( عليه سلام ) said: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. / And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’This is the first commandment. / And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)
———-
In the Holy Qur’an, God Most High enjoins Muslims to issue the following call to Christians (and Jews—the People of the Scripture):
Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a common word between us and you: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him). (Aal ‘Imran3:64)
The words: we shall ascribe no partner unto Him relate to the Unity of God, and the words: worship none but God, relate to being totally devoted to God. Hence they all relate to the First and Greatest Commandment. According to one of the oldest and most authoritative commentaries on the Holy Qur’an the words: that none of us shall take others for lords beside God, mean ‘that none of us should obey the other in disobedience to what God has commanded’. This relates to the Second Commandment because justice and freedom of religion are a crucial part of love of the neighbour.Thus in obedience to the Holy Qur’an, we as Muslims invite Christians to come together with us on the basis of what is common to us, which is also what is most essential to our faith and practice: the Two Commandments of love.
———-In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful,
And may peace and blessings be upon the Prophet Muhammad
A COMMON WORD
BETWEEN US AND YOU


==========
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful,
Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and contend with them in the fairest way. Lo! thy Lord is Best Aware of him who strayeth from His way, and He is Best Aware of those who go aright.
(The Holy Qur’an, Al-Nahl, 16:125)
(I) LOVE OF GOD

LOVE OF GOD IN ISLAM

The Testimonies of FaithThe central creed of Islam consists of the two testimonies of faith orShahadahsi, which state that: There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God. These Two Testimonies are the sine qua non of Islam. He or she who testifies to them is a Muslim; he or she who denies them is not a Muslim. Moreover, the Prophet Muhammad ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) said: The best remembrance is: There is no god but God’….iiThe Best that All the Prophets have SaidExpanding on the best remembrance, the Prophet Muhammad ( صلى الله عليه وسلم )also said: The best that I have said—myself, and the prophets that came before me—is: ‘There is no god but God, He Alone, He hath no associate, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things’iii. The phrases which follow the First Testimony of faith are all from the Holy Qur’an; each describe a mode of love of God, and devotion to Him.The words: He Alone, remind Muslims that their heartsiv must be devoted to God Alone, since God says in the Holy Qur’an: God hath not assigned unto any man two hearts within his body (Al-Ahzab, 33:4). God is Absolute and therefore devotion to Him must be totally sincere.The words: He hath no associate,remind Muslims that they must love God uniquely, without rivals within their souls, since God says in the Holy Qur’an: Yet there are men who take rivals unto God: they love them as they should love God. But those of faith are more intense in their love for God …. (Al-Baqarah, 2:165). Indeed, [T]heir flesh and their hearts soften unto the remembrance of God …. (Al-Zumar, 39:23).The words: His is the sovereignty, remind Muslims that their minds or their understandings must be totally devoted to God, for the sovereignty is precisely everything in creation or existence and everything that the mind can know. And all is in God’s Hand, since God says in the Holy Qur’an:Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the sovereignty, and, He is Able to do all things (Al-Mulk, 67:1).The words: His is the praise remind Muslims that they must be grateful to God and trust Him with all their sentiments and emotions. God says in the Holy Qur’an:
And if thou wert to ask them: Who created the heavens and the earth, and constrained the sun and the moon (to their appointed work)? they would say: God. How then are they turned away ? / God maketh the provision wide for whom He will of His servants, and straiteneth it for whom (He will). Lo! God is Aware of all things. / And if thou wert to ask them: Who causeth water to come down from the sky, and therewith reviveth the earth after its death ? they verily would say: God. Say: Praise be to God! But most of them have no sense. (Al-’Ankabut, 29:61-63)v
For all these bounties and more, human beings must always be truly grateful:
God is He Who created the heavens and the earth, and causeth water to descend from the sky, thereby producing fruits as food for you, and maketh the ships to be of service unto you, that they may run upon the sea at His command, and hath made of service unto you the rivers; / And maketh the sun and the moon, constant in their courses, to be of service unto you, and hath made of service unto you the night and the day./ And He giveth you of all ye ask of Him, and if ye would count the graces of God ye cannot reckon them. Lo! man is verily a wrong-doer, an ingrate. (Ibrahim, 14:32-34)vi
Indeed, the Fatihah—which is the greatest chapter in the Holy Qur’anvii—starts with praise to God:
In the Name of God, the Infinitely Good, the All-Merciful. /
Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds. /
The Infinitely Good, the All-Merciful. /
Owner of the Day of Judgement. /
Thee we worship, and Thee we ask for help. /
Guide us upon the straight path. /
The path of those on whom is Thy Grace, not those who deserve anger nor those who are astray. (Al-Fatihah, 1:1-7)
The Fatihah, recited at least seventeen times daily by Muslims in the canonical prayers, reminds us of the praise and gratitude due to God for His Attributes of Infinite Goodness and All-Mercifulness, not merely for His Goodness and Mercy to us in this life but ultimately, on the Day of Judgementviii when it matters the most and when we hope to be forgiven for our sins. It thus ends with prayers for grace and guidance, so that we might attain—through what begins with praise and gratitude— salvation and love, for God says in the Holy Qur’an: Lo! those who believe and do good works, the Infinitely Good will appoint for them love. (Maryam, 19:96)The words: and He hath power over all things, remind Muslims that they must be mindful of God’s Omnipotence and thus fear Godix. God says in the Holy Qur’an:
… [A]nd fear God, and know that God is with the God-fearing. / Spend your wealth for the cause of God, and be not cast by your own hands to ruin; and do good. Lo! God loveth the virtuous. / …. (Al-Baqarah, 2:194-5)…
[A]nd fear God, and know that God is severe in punishment. (Al-Baqarah, 2:196)
Through fear of God, the actions, might and strength of Muslims should be totally devoted to God. God says in the Holy Qur’an:
[A]nd know that God is with those who fear Him. (Al-Tawbah, 9:36) ….
O ye who believe! What aileth you that when it is said unto you: Go forth in the way of God, ye are bowed down to the ground with heaviness. Take ye pleasure in the life of the world rather than in the Hereafter ? The comfort of the life of the world is but little in the Hereafter. / If ye go not forth He will afflict you with a painful doom, and will choose instead of you a folk other than you. Ye cannot harm Him at all. God is Able to do all things. (Al-Tawbah, 9:38-39)
——–
The words: His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things, when taken all together, remind Muslims that just as everything in creation glorifies God, everything that is in their souls must be devoted to God:
All that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth glorifieth God; His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things. (Al-Taghabun, 64:1)
For indeed, all that is in people’s souls is known, and accountable, to God:
He knoweth all that is in the heavens and the earth, and He knoweth what ye conceal and what ye publish. And God is Aware of what is in the breasts (of men).(Al-Taghabun, 64:4)
As we can see from all the passages quoted above, souls are depicted in the Holy Qur’an as having three main faculties: the mind or the intelligence, which is made for comprehending the truth; the will which is made for freedom of choice, and sentiment which is made for loving the good and the beautifulx. Put in another way, we could say that man’s soul knows throughunderstanding the truth, through willing the good, and through virtuous emotions and feeling love for God. Continuing in the same chapter of the Holy Qur’an (as that quoted above), God orders people to fear Him as much as possible, and to listen (and thus to understand the truth); to obey (and thus to will the good), and to spend (and thus to exercise love and virtue), which, He says, is better for our souls. By engaging everything in our souls—the faculties of knowledge, will, and love—we may come to be purified and attain ultimate success:
So fear God as best ye can, and listen, and obey, and spend; that is better for your souls. And those who are saved from the pettiness of their own souls, such are the successful. (Al-Taghabun, 64:16)
——–
In summary then, when the entire phrase He Alone, He hath no associate, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things is added to the testimony of faith—There is no god but God—it reminds Muslims that their hearts, their individual souls and all the faculties and powers of their souls (or simply their entire hearts and souls) must be totally devoted and attached to God. Thus God says to the Prophet Muhammad ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) in the Holy Qur’an:
Say: Lo! my worship and my sacrifice and my living and my dying are for God, Lord of the Worlds. / He hath no partner. This am I commanded, and I am first of those who surrender (unto Him). / Say: Shall I seek another than God for Lord, when He is Lord of all things? Each soul earneth only on its own account, nor doth any laden bear another’s load…. (Al-An’am, 6:162-164)
These verses epitomize the Prophet Muhammad’s ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) complete and utter devotion to God. Thus in the Holy Qur’an God enjoins Muslims who truly love God to follow this examplexi, in order in turn to be lovedxii by God:
Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love God, follow me; God will love you and forgive you your sins. God is Forgiving, Merciful. (Aal ‘Imran, 3:31)
Love of God in Islam is thus part of complete and total devotion to God; it is not a mere fleeting, partial emotion. As seen above, God commands in the Holy Qur’an: Say: Lo! my worship and my sacrifice and my living and my dying are for God, Lord of the Worlds. / He hath no partner. The call to be totally devoted and attached to God heart and soul, far from being a call for a mere emotion or for a mood, is in fact an injunction requiring all-embracing, constant and active love of God. It demands a love in which the innermost spiritual heart and the whole of the soul—with its intelligence, will and feeling—participate through devotion.
——–
None Comes with Anything Better
We have seen how the blessed phrase: There is no god but God, He Alone, He hath no associate, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things—which is the best that all the prophets have saidmakes explicit what is implicit in the best remembrance (There is no god but God) by showing what it requires and entails, by way of devotion. It remains to be said that this blessed formula is also in itself a sacred invocation—a kind of extension of the First Testimony of faith (There is no god but God)—the ritual repetition of which can bring about, through God’s grace, some of the devotional attitudes it demands, namely, loving and being devoted to God with all one’s heart, all one’s soul, all one’s mind, all one’s will or strength, and all one’s sentiment. Hence the Prophet Muhammad ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) commended this remembrance by saying:
He who says: ‘There is no god but God, He Alone, He hath no associate, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things’ one hundred times in a day, it is for them equal to setting ten slaves free, and one hundred good deeds are written for them and one hundred bad deeds are effaced, and it is for them a protection from the devil for that day until the evening. And none offers anything better than that, save one who does more than that.xiii
In other words, the blessed remembrance, There is no god but God, He Alone, He hath no associate, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things, not only requires and implies that Muslims must be totally devoted to God and love Him with their whole hearts and their whole souls and all that is in them, but provides a way, like its beginning (the testimony of faith)—through its frequent repetitionxiv—for them to realize this love with everything they are.God says in one of the very first revelations in the Holy Qur’an: So invoke the Name of thy Lord and devote thyself to Him with a complete devotion (Al-Muzzammil, 73:8). o
LOVE OF GOD AS THE FIRST AND GREATEST COMMANDMENT IN THE BIBLE
The Shema in the Book of Deuteronomy (6:4-5), a centrepiece of the Old Testament and of Jewish liturgy, says: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! / You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.xvLikewise, in the New Testament, when Jesus Christ, the Messiah ( عليه سلام ) , is asked about the Greatest Commandment, he answers ( عليه سلام ) :
But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. / Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, / “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” / Jesus said to him, ” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ / This is the first and greatest commandment. / And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’/ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:34-40)
And also:
Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” / Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. / And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’This is the first commandment. / And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31)
The commandment to love God fully is thus the First and Greatest Commandment of the Bible. Indeed, it is to be found in a number of other places throughout the Bible including: Deuteronomy 4:29, 10:12, 11:13 (also part of the Shema), 13:3, 26:16, 30:2, 30:6, 30:10; Joshua 22:5; Mark 12:32-33 and Luke 10:27-28.However, in various places throughout the Bible, it occurs in slightly different forms and versions. For instance, in Matthew 22:37 (You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind), the Greek word for “heart” is kardia, the word for “soul” is psyche, and the word for “mind” is dianoia. In the version from Mark 12:30 (And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength) the word “strength” is added to the aforementioned three, translating the Greek word ischus.The words of the lawyer in Luke 10:27 (which are confirmed by Jesus Christ ( عليه سلام ) in Luke 10:28) contain the same four terms as Mark 12:30. The words of the scribe in Mark 12:32 (which are approved of by Jesus Christ ( عليه سلام ) in Mark 12:34) contain the three terms kardia (“heart”), dianoia (“mind”), andischus (“strength”).In the Shema of Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! / You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength). In Hebrew the word for “heart” is lev, the word for “soul” is nefesh, and the word for “strength” isme’od.In Joshua 22:5, the Israelites are commanded by Joshua ( عليه سلام ) to love God and be devoted to Him as follows:
But take careful heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Joshua 22:5)
What all these versions thus have in common—despite the language differences between the Hebrew Old Testament, the original words of Jesus Christ ( عليه سلام ) in Aramaic, and the actual transmitted Greek of the New Testament—is the command to love God fully with one’s heart and soul and to be fully devoted to Him. This is the First and Greatest Commandment for human beings. xIn the light of what we have seen to be necessarily implied and evoked by the Prophet Muhammad’s ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) blessed saying: ‘The best that I have said—myself, and the prophets that came before me—is: ‘There is no god but God, He Alone, He hath no associate, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things’ xvi, we can now perhaps understand the words ‘The best that I have said—myself, and the prophets that came before me’ as equating the blessed formula ‘There is no god but God, He Alone, He hath no associate, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things’ precisely with the ‘First and Greatest Commandment’ to love God, with all one’s heart and soul, as found in various places in the Bible. That is to say, in other words, thatthe Prophet Muhammad ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) was perhaps, through inspiration, restating and alluding to the Bible’s First Commandment. God knows best, but certainly we have seen their effective similarity in meaning. Moreover, we also do know (as can be seen in the endnotes), that both formulas have another remarkable parallel: the way they arise in a number of slightly differing versions and forms in different contexts, all of which, nevertheless, emphasize the primacy of total love and devotion to God xvii.
———-
(II) LOVE OF THE NEIGHBOUR

LOVE OF THE NEIGHBOUR IN ISLAM

There are numerous injunctions in Islam about the necessity and paramount importance of love for—and mercy towards—the neighbour. Love of the neighbour is an essential and integral part of faith in God and love of God because in Islam without love of the neighbour there is no true faith in God and no righteousness. The Prophet Muhammad ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) said: “None of you has faith until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.”xviiiAnd: “None of you has faith until you love for your neighbour what you love for yourself.”xixHowever, empathy and sympathy for the neighbour—and even formal prayers— are not enough. They must be accompanied by generosity and self-sacrifice. God says in the Holy Qur’an:
It is not righteousness that ye turn your facesxx to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believeth in God and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the prophets; and giveth wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observeth proper worship and payeth the poor-due. And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are they who are sincere. Such are the pious. (Al-Baqarah2:177)
And also:
Ye will not attain unto righteousness until ye expend of that which ye love. And whatsoever ye expend, God is Aware thereof. (Aal ‘Imran, 3:92)
Without giving the neighbour what we ourselves love, we do not truly love God or the neighbour. o
LOVE OF THE NEIGHBOUR IN THE BIBLE
We have already cited the words of the Messiah, Jesus Christ ( عليه سلام ) , about the paramount importance, second only to the love of God, of the love of the neighbour:
This is the first and greatest commandment. / And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’/ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 22:38-40)
And:
And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31)
It remains only to be noted that this commandment is also to be found in the Old Testament:
You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbour, and not bear sin because of him. / You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:17-18)
Thus the Second Commandment, like the First Commandment, demands generosity and self-sacrifice, and On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. x (III) COME TO A COMMON WORD BETWEEN US AND YOU

A COMMON WORD

Whilst Islam and Christianity are obviously different religions—and whilst there is no minimising some of their formal differences—it is clear that theTwo Greatest Commandments are an area of common ground and a link between the Qur’an, the Torah and the New Testament. What prefaces the Two Commandments in the Torah and the New Testament, and what they arise out of, is the Unity of God—that there is only one God. For the Shemain the Torah, starts: (Deuteronomy 6:4) Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! Likewise, Jesus ( عليه سلام ) said: (Mark 12:29) “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one”.Likewise, God says in the Holy Qur’an: Say: He, God, is One. / God, the Self-Sufficient Besought of all. (Al-Ikhlas, 112:1-2). Thus the Unity of God, love of Him, and love of the neighbour form a common ground upon which Islam and Christianity (and Judaism) are founded.This could not be otherwise since Jesus ( عليه سلام ) said: (Matthew 22:40)“On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Moreover, God confirms in the Holy Qur’an that the Prophet Muhammad ( صلى الله عليه وسلم )brought nothing fundamentally or essentially new:Naught is said to thee (Muhammad) but what already was said to the messengers before thee(Fussilat 41:43). And:Say (Muhammad): I am no new thing among the messengers (of God), nor know I what will be done with me or with you. I do but follow that which is Revealed to me, and I am but a plain warner (Al-Ahqaf, 46:9). Thus also God in the Holy Qur’an confirms that the same eternal truths of the Unity of God, of the necessity for total love and devotion to God (and thus shunning false gods), and of the necessity for love of fellow human beings (and thus justice), underlie all true religion:
And verily We have raised in every nation a messenger, (proclaiming): Worship God and shun false gods. Then some of them (there were) whom God guided, and some of them (there were) upon whom error had just hold. Do but travel in the land and see the nature of the consequence for the deniers! (Al-Nahl, 16:36)
We verily sent Our messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance, that mankind may stand forth in justice…. (Al-Hadid, 57:25)
——–
In the Holy Qur’an, God Most High tells Muslims to issue the following call to Christians (and Jews—the People of the Scripture):
Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a common word between us and you: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him). (Aal ‘Imran3:64)
Clearly, the blessed words: we shall ascribe no partner unto Him relate to the Unity of God. Clearly also, worshipping none but God, relates to being totally devoted to God and hence to the First and Greatest Commandment. According to one of the oldest and most authoritative commentaries (tafsir) on the Holy Qur’an—the Jami’ Al-Bayan fi Ta’wil Al-Qur’an of Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Jarir Al-Tabari (d. 310 A.H. / 923 C.E.)that none of us shall take others for lords beside God, means ‘that none of us should obey in disobedience to what God has commanded, nor glorify them by prostrating to them in the same way as they prostrate to God’. In other words, that Muslims, Christians and Jews should be free to each follow what God commanded them, and not have ‘to prostrate before kings and the like’xxi; for God says elsewhere in the Holy Qur’an: Let there be no compulsion in religion…. (Al-Baqarah, 2:256). This clearly relates to the Second Commandment and to love of the neighbour of which justicexxii and freedom of religion are a crucial part. God says in the Holy Qur’an:
God forbiddeth you not those who warred not against you on account of religion and drove you not out from your homes, that ye should show them kindness and deal justly with them. Lo! God loveth the just dealers. (Al-Mumtahinah, 60:8)
———-
We thus as Muslims invite Christians to remember Jesus’s ( عليه سلام ) words in the Gospel (Mark 12:29-31):
… the LORD our God, the LORD is one. / And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’This is the first commandment. / And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’There is no other commandment greater than these.
As Muslims, we say to Christians that we are not against them and that Islam is not against themso long as they do not wage war against Muslimson account of their religion, oppress them and drive them out of their homes,(in accordance with the verse of the Holy Qur’an [Al-Mumtahinah, 60:8] quoted above). Moreover, God says in the Holy Qur’an:
They are not all alike. Of the People of the Scripture there is a staunch community who recite the revelations of God in the night season, falling prostrate (before Him). / They believe in God and the Last Day, and enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency, and vie one with another in good works. These are of the righteous. / And whatever good they do, nothing will be rejected of them. God is Aware of those who ward off (evil). (Aal-’Imran, 3:113-115)
Is Christianity necessarily against Muslims? In the Gospel Jesus Christ ( عليه سلام ) says:
He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters abroad. (Matthew 12:30)
For he who is not against us is on our side. (Mark 9:40)
for he who is not against us is on our side. (Luke 9:50)
According to the Blessed Theophylact’sxxiii Explanation of the New Testament, these statements are not contradictions because the first statement (in the actual Greek text of the New Testament) refers to demons, whereas the second and third statements refer to people who recognised Jesus, but were not Christians. Muslims recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah, not in the same way Christians do (but Christians themselves anyway have never all agreed with each other on Jesus Christ’s ( عليه سلام )nature), but in the following way: …. the Messiah Jesus son of Mary is a Messenger of God and His Word which he cast unto Mary and a Spirit from Him…. (Al-Nisa’, 4:171). We therefore invite Christians to consider Muslimsnot against and thus with them, in accordance with Jesus Christ’s ( عليه سلام )words here.Finally, as Muslims, and in obedience to the Holy Qur’an, we ask Christians to come together with us on the common essentials of our two religions …that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God … (Aal ‘Imran, 3:64).Let this common ground be the basis of all future interfaith dialogue between us, for our common ground is that on which hangs all the Law and the Prophets(Matthew 22:40). God says in the Holy Qur’an:
Say (O Muslims): We believe in God and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered. / And if they believe in the like of that which ye believe, then are they rightly guided. But if they turn away, then are they in schism, and God will suffice thee against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower. (Al-Baqarah, 2:136-137)
Between Us and YouFinding common ground between Muslims and Christians is not simply a matter for polite ecumenical dialogue between selected religious leaders. Christianity and Islam are the largest and second largest religions in the world and in history. Christians and Muslims reportedly make up over a third and over a fifth of humanity respectively. Together they make up more than 55% of the world’s population, making the relationship between these two religious communities the most important factor in contributing to meaningful peace around the world. If Muslims and Christians are not at peace, the world cannot be at peace. With the terrible weaponry of the modern world; with Muslims and Christians intertwined everywhere as never before, no side can unilaterally win a conflict between more than half of the world’s inhabitants. Thus our common future is at stake. The very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake.And to those who nevertheless relish conflict and destruction for their own sake or reckon that ultimately they stand to gain through them, we say that our very eternal souls are all also at stake if we fail to sincerely make every effort to make peace and come together in harmony. God says in the Holy Qur’an: Lo! God enjoineth justice and kindness, and giving to kinsfolk, and forbiddeth lewdness and abomination and wickedness. He exhorteth you in order that ye may take heed(Al Nahl, 16:90). Jesus Christ ( عليه سلام ) said:Blessed are the peacemakers ….(Matthew 5:9), and also: For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? (Matthew 16:26).So let our differences not cause hatred and strife between us. Let us vie with each other only in righteousness and good works. Let us respect each other, be fair, just and kind to another and live in sincere peace, harmony and mutual goodwill. God says in the Holy Qur’an:
And unto thee have We revealed the Scripture with the truth, confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher over it. So judge between them by that which God hath revealed, and follow not their desires away from the truth which hath come unto thee. For each We have appointed a law and a way. Had God willed He could have made you one community. But that He may try you by that which He hath given you (He hath made you as ye are). So vie one with another in good works. Unto God ye will all return, and He will then inform you of that wherein ye differ. (Al-Ma’idah, 5:48)
Wal-Salaamu ‘Alaykum,
Pax Vobiscum.
© 2007 C.E., 1428 A.H.,
The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, Jordan.
See: www.acommonword.com
Scimi
Reply

greenhill
11-02-2014, 04:20 PM
I see the word "stereotype" repeated several times. Is it about that or misconceptions or any other, for that matter.

I'll ask what made it go this way? God (Allah) created Adam, pbuh. It would make sense that the same God (Allah) would send His messengers throughout human history to guide mankind on to His path,. The major ones were Moses with the Torah, David with the Psalms, Jesus with the Bible and Muhammad (pbut) with the Quran.

What has happened? It became 3 distinct religions. The only difference is that the Quran has remained the only guide that remains in its original words. Unchanged and unchallengeable.

I'm prone to think that it is known to the upper echelons of both Jewish and Christian clergy about the undeniable truth of the Quran that doubts must be sown by these stereotypical and misconception propaganda to draw the masses away.

That's all I want to say for now.

Peace :shade:
Reply

samjac0
11-02-2014, 05:49 PM
Originally Posted by Ali Mujahidin
If we take part in this survey, what guarantee is there that our personal information will not be abused?
You do not have to register or share any personal information to take the survey.
We gain no personal information about you as the participant. Not even an IP address. You can avoid all personal questions if you like and just answer the yes/no questions. All responses our valuable.

If you do have comments to share we will assume that you want them heard. It's the reason why you took the time to type them right?

Do this answer your question?
Reply

samjac0
11-02-2014, 06:02 PM
[QUOTE=greenhill;2836597]Tried to go into the link you provided but it required you to register to go in. I don't like registering to into site for a 'one-off' use and be bombarded by constant newsletters and stuff in my email account. So, in short, I have not been able to do the survey.

Hi Greenhill,

Thank you for sharing your opinions! I will keep them in mind and with your permission, use them in our presentation. (anonymously)

If you ever want to write more you are welcome, I would love to read it.

I'm sorry if you were asked to register. This shouldn't have happened. Are you referring to the register page after you complete the survey? That's an add the website puts in themselves *after* the survey is completed.

It's kind of like saying "now that you have completed this survey, try making your own. All you have to do is register!" It has nothing to do with us and you can exit the browser when you hit that page.

Hope this helps. :shade:





The main problem is not so much the ignorance of the everyday people, but the blindedness of people in authority who use fear as a way to propagate their agenda. Hence the spiral of misinformation and the escalation of the problems possibly leading to extreme action by certain quarters who have had enough of this.

There's still much to say but I will leave it for now as I have other matters to attend to for now....
Reply

Scimitar
11-02-2014, 06:31 PM
I took part in the survey, and I will put my answers here.

1. Do you feel that Islam is portrayed primarily positive or negative in American media?
Positive / Negative / neither - please specify

2. Please explain what about American media makes you feel that Islam is either positive, negative, or neither.

terms such as Islamists, Moozlums, and other derogatory terms - also factor in the very post 911 words of George Bush when he quite despicably said "this is a crusade" - meaning, a holy war - and in the context he used it in - a war against Islam... since then, Muslim Majority countries have been attacked by the USA under the pretense of a war on terror - the real terror is the USA sending its troops to middle eastern countries which have nothing to do with 911.

3. Have you or your faith been offended by a Muslim or Islamic stereotype in the past?

Sure we all have at some point. This is not exclusive to any one group. I fail to see how this question will help you in your survey. Anyway, my answer:

Yes / No / Not Sure

Non Muslims have sometimes joked that as a Muslim I am also a potential terrorist - I find this really offensive but keep quiet and smile because I don't want to aggravate a joke into a situation, no matter how untasteful the joke was.

5. What do you believe is one of the more hurtful Muslim or Islamic stereotypes?

The western world has so many ill gotten stereotypes of Islam due to the MSM brainwashing the west, that it's quite difficult for me to pick just one... what I will say though, is that these stereotypes are never justified - we're in the 21st century, we lived through the lives of some greats in the past 100 years, did we not learn anything? Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, all hoped to break the idea of stereotype - yet they are rife in the west today... may i ask you a question? Why do the MSM always create these untypical stereotypes in the media? Are the pushing an agenda to push public opinion towards invading yet more Muslim lands?

6. Does the way American media portrays Islam and Muslims affect your daily life?

Yes / No

7. Please explain your answer from the previous question

I don't watch TV



etc etc etc... I wonder how this info will be used?

Scimi
Reply

greenhill
11-02-2014, 09:55 PM
Originally Posted by Scimitar
Moozlums
You are funny! Ha ha ha! :D
Reply

Ali Mujahidin
11-03-2014, 12:53 AM
Originally Posted by samjac0
You do not have to register or share any personal information to take the survey.
We gain no personal information about you as the participant. Not even an IP address. You can avoid all personal questions if you like and just answer the yes/no questions. All responses our valuable.

If you do have comments to share we will assume that you want them heard. It's the reason why you took the time to type them right?

Do this answer your question?
Alright, I am taking your word for it. So here's what happened after I took the survey.
http://i.imgur.com/5fKqYJ9.png

I think the survey can be improved. How? That's something your professor is paid to teach, isn't it?
Reply

samjac0
11-03-2014, 08:35 PM
Originally Posted by Scimitar
I took part in the survey, and I will put my answers here.

1. Do you feel that Islam is portrayed primarily positive or negative in American media?
Positive / Negative / neither - please specify

2. Please explain what about American media makes you feel that Islam is either positive, negative, or neither.

terms such as Islamists, Moozlums, and other derogatory terms - also factor in the very post 911 words of George Bush when he quite despicably said "this is a crusade" - meaning, a holy war - and in the context he used it in - a war against Islam... since then, Muslim Majority countries have been attacked by the USA under the pretense of a war on terror - the real terror is the USA sending its troops to middle eastern countries which have nothing to do with 911.

3. Have you or your faith been offended by a Muslim or Islamic stereotype in the past?

Sure we all have at some point. This is not exclusive to any one group. I fail to see how this question will help you in your survey. Anyway, my answer:

Yes / No / Not Sure

Non Muslims have sometimes joked that as a Muslim I am also a potential terrorist - I find this really offensive but keep quiet and smile because I don't want to aggravate a joke into a situation, no matter how untasteful the joke was.

5. What do you believe is one of the more hurtful Muslim or Islamic stereotypes?

The western world has so many ill gotten stereotypes of Islam due to the MSM brainwashing the west, that it's quite difficult for me to pick just one... what I will say though, is that these stereotypes are never justified - we're in the 21st century, we lived through the lives of some greats in the past 100 years, did we not learn anything? Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, all hoped to break the idea of stereotype - yet they are rife in the west today... may i ask you a question? Why do the MSM always create these untypical stereotypes in the media? Are the pushing an agenda to push public opinion towards invading yet more Muslim lands?

6. Does the way American media portrays Islam and Muslims affect your daily life?

Yes / No

7. Please explain your answer from the previous question

I don't watch TV



etc etc etc... I wonder how this info will be used?

Scimi
Thank you Scimi,

We will use what we think are the most well written comments and a few graphs in a lecture/presentation. The rest will be on display so people can come up and read them once the presentation is done.

We have similar questions that we will be using in video interviews with leadership and members of local mosques.
Reply

samjac0
11-03-2014, 08:43 PM
Originally Posted by Ali Mujahidin
Alright, I am taking your word for it. So here's what happened after I took the survey.


I think the survey can be improved. How? That's something your professor is paid to teach, isn't it?
Thank you for your input. Your responses are well written and I appreciate it. You do not need to share how the survey can be improved. It was more geared as an invitation.

If you think it can be improved AND you want to share your ideas I would welcome them.
Reply

OmAbdullah
11-04-2014, 07:09 PM
islamicboard.com/general/134324445-christian-seeking-opinions-muslims-https-www-surveymonkey-com-gnbbqkr-post2836616.html#post2836616

This post is really praiseworthy, mashaa Allah la quwwatah illa bi Allah. This brother has tried his best to fulfill the right of da'wah. keep it on and the other Muslims must follow. But some of the very important points are missing and it is my duty to Allah Almighty to mention those points for the perfection of the statement.
Surah Al-Ikhlaas:
Say: HE is Allah, The Only One (The Unique One). Allah is Self-Sufficient (everyone depends on HIM and HE doesn't depend upon anyone). He neither begoted nor was begotten, (HE has no son, no father, and no daughter). Nor is there to HIM any equivalent, (He has no partner, there is none like unto HIM).


Laa ilaha illa Allah, There is no god but Allah, There is no god except Allah. The Western Muslims usually write the translation as: there is no God but God. This is a very wrong translation. Allah is the personal name of Allah and it is a proper noun. Ilah is a common noun which means god. "There is no god but god" will be "laa ilaha illa Ilah."We cannot say that "Allah" is merely the proper noun of Ilah because we find "Allah" at the top of the Asmaa'i Husnah (the beautiful names of Allah) so "Allah" is the personal name of the Only one God.

Aeesa alaihi salaam (Jesus) was a great Prophet and Messenger of Allah. Allah created him from a virgin named Maryam (Mary) in a miraculous way to show us that HE can create in any way. Allah created Adam alaihi salaam from clay and said to it, "Be" and it became a great creation,a human being. Allah created Hawa (Eve) alaiha salaam from the left rib of Adam alaihi salaam. Allah has been creating numerous human beings by the union of a father and a mother, this is also the Greatness of Allah because no one else can create a child in this way which seems to us a usual way. Then Allah created Jesus only from a female, so that a man cannot think or say that it was impossible to create a child only from a female without union with a man. Thus all these are the signs of the Greatness of our very kind Lord Allah Almighty. This is a very bad injustice to call Jesus God or the son of God!!! Why??? Cannot the Christians believe in the excellent abilities, and power of The Unique Creator, The Lord and The Only One God, the One WHO created the heavens and the earths! We can see HIS wonderful creation and can try to imagine HIS Greatness! Oh we must fear HIM, it may be that we die due to HIS fear by such imagination!!! Allah told us in the Holy Quraan, chapter 79 that the creation of heaven is harder than the creation of mankind, and Allah did create the heavens! Allah said in the Holy Quraan chapter 5 verses 72—77:
They have certainly disbelieved who say, " Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary" while the Messiah has said, "O Children of Israel, worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord." Indeed, he who associates others with Allah - Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.
They have certainly disbelieved who say, " Allah is the third of three (in Trinity) ." And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment.
So will they not repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) had passed away before him. And his mother was a woman of truth. And they both used to eat (earthly) food. See how We make the revelations clear for them, and see how they are turned away!

Say: "Will ye worship, besides Allah, something which hath no power either to harm or benefit you? But Allah,- He it is that heareth and knoweth all things."
Say (O Muhammad SAW): "O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Exceed not the limits in your religion (by believing in something) other than the truth, and do not follow the vain desires of people who went astray in times gone by, and who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the Right Path."

Please remember that the Tawheed of Allah, The Creator, God and Lord is a very sensitive matter, It means the absolute Oneness of God and not to associate any partner or relative to Him. It is the bases of all of the three leligions and all of the Prophets were sent to teach mankind this basic Faith and the obedience of all Commands of Allah. Without this basic Faith, the abode shall be Hell which is a very bad and painful place to go to. Anyone who is sincere to himself, must protect himself from Hell by believing in Tawheed.

Another very important point is to believe in the Judgment Day in the Hereafter, the reward in Paradise to the believers and righteous ones and terrible punishment to the unbelievers and wrong doers in Hell. All of the Makki surahs in the Holy Quraan put great emphasis on the belief in the Life Hereafter and the Final judgment to come to pass. In fact all of the nations who were killed and destroyed utterly in the past, didn’t believe in the Life Hereafter and judgment Day. When a person believes that he is accountable and in case of disbelief and/or disobedience to Allah Almighty he shall suffer surely control his nafs amarah. Nafs Amarah is one of the three kinds of nafs. It is the nafs which accepts satanic invitation to lust desires. Mankind is required to control his nafs amarah and to listen to the nafs lawwamah (the nafs that always stops from evil deeds, and regrets and becomes restless after committing a sin). Commonly it is known as dhameer or conscience. Allah has made it a proof of the coming of the Day of Judgment. Please read and understand the chapter 75 ( Al Qiyamah, that is the Resurrection) in the Holy Quraan.
When a person doesn’t believe in the Hereafter, Judgment Day, and the existence of Hell and Paradise he becomes free of any responsibility. Then he. oppresses his moral sense, listens to satan and follows his lust desires. The result is arrogance, cruelty, theft and killing etc. So peace is lost in his location. If such unbelievers increase in number and no power controls them, the result will be lack of peace. When the cruelty of such arrogant disbelievers increased beyond limits then Allah’s Wrath came upon them which cut their roots forever. But the human beings always repeat the same unbelief, arrogance, sins and meet the same end, alas! alas!

As far as the three nations, Jews, Christians and Muslims are concerned, they are not fighting on the bases of the religion. In fact those who are fighting and killing the innocent, are far away from any religion. The truth is that it is only the Muslims who are killed only because they are true Muslims. No Christians and no Jews are killed. The question is that who are killing the Muslims all over the world, in their own houses, their own streets, and cities of their own homelands. The evil actions of such enemies of Islam are so much terrorizing that according to the suffering Muslims, dogs were left on mothers and they were made eaten by dogs in their own houses. The excuse for such wickedness and terrorism was only that the mother was asked to tell about the whereabouts of her sons, she answered that she didn’t know. This was sufficient reason to leave the dogs on her! But the media has spread the news that it is the Muslims who are violent, killers and terrorists! Another noticeable point is that when innocent men, women and children were killed by chemical weapons in Gaza and in many other places with different kinds of weapons, many Christians and Jews did protests in Western countries against the killing. Many Muslims also felt pain but they couldn’t do protest due to extreme oppression. It seems like this is the era of terrible oppression on Muslims. They are killed, accused of terrorism and violence. But they have to remain silent and cannot say a word to defend their honor. O Allah, What an oppression on the innocent Muslims!
As I mentioned above the Christians and Jews protested for the attacks on the Muslims. Then how can we say that they are fighting against the Muslims?
In fact it seems that each of the three nations, the Jews, The Christians and the Muslims are now divided in to two parts. One those who believe in the Judgment Day and they fear their accountability to the Almighty God. So their hearts are soft with mercy for others. The second kind of all of the three nations is like empty boxes with only the name of their religion. They have no Faith in the Judgment Day. So they have lost the sense of accountability to their Lord. Accordingly they consider themselves free and they believe that they can do whatever they like. Allah Almighty God leaves Devils on such unbelievers. Their hearts have become harder than stones and they are straying more and more until they will be caught by their death and shall reach Hell. Alas! While killing the innocent, they forgot that they will also die. So now one can see Muslims and non Muslims busy in the act of killing, while at the same time many non- Muslims feel sympathy for the oppressed ones and do protest for their protection. The differencee of these two big groups present in all of the three religions is their Belief and Unbelief in the Judgment Day.
Reply

OmAbdullah
11-04-2014, 07:54 PM
I am sorry because in the post some of the words got missing by some mistake. It is in the paragraph about the Belief in the Judgment Day. In its 7th line some words are missing between suffer and control. It is like this: "When a person believes that he is accountable and that in case of disbelief and/or disobedience to Allah Almighty he shall suffer terrible punishment in Hell in the Hereafter then he will surely control his nafs amarah."

I hope that this writing will help in understanding the statement.
Reply

fatimataybia46
11-05-2014, 09:44 AM
Yes, you are right. There are a great number of stereo types and the main reason is the media. Media have played a major role in formation of the stereo types and the solution will be >> Media. Media can recover the wrong concept by improving the image.

Originally Posted by samjac0
Hello everyone,

Link is in the subject since I must post a few times before I can share it in the post.

I'm a student at George Fox University(a christian university) and represent a group of four students. Senior students and the George Fox faculty have banded together to learn about Islam in an attempt to break some of the stereotypes that have been created concerning Islam and Muslims. George Fox university has empowered seniors to present projects at an All-Campus Display late November to help educate attending students, faculty, and local residents about Islam.

---Our Project---
Talking within our group we have come to the conclusion that many false and negative stereotypes of Muslims exist in our culture. The the root of these negative stereotypes have spread mainly by the media and (sadly) American Christians, who are willing to accept what they hear on the news as truth without pursuing the knowledge themselves. We intend to fight these stereotypes but realize that, being Christians going to a Christian University, even the information we share will have bias and be filtered by our Christian worldview. We would love to include others in helping us present our findings by sharing your thoughts on the danger of unjust and uneducated stereotypes and how it has affected you or your friends. Our main presentation will be in the form of a 30-40 minute video as well as data from our survey.

Anyone who has an opinion is welcome to take the survey. Total time to complete varies but will average at about 6-10 minutes. You do not have to be an American to take our survey, I only ask that you have opinions of American media or American(non-Muslim) stereotypes about Muslims. Good or bad.

My hope is to challenge my fellow Christians to revaluate their perceptions of a beautiful people. Please help us by participating and responding personally in the survey. I will be monitoring this forum at least until the survey is done so if you have any wisdom on how I have presented the survey or any ideas on how to make it better, please personal message me.

Our goal is to have 300 people participate. You may look at that and say "that's easy!" but it have been very hard to get people interested.

Reply

MuslimInshallah
11-05-2014, 12:04 PM
Assalaamu alaikum nbegam,

I feel your sincerity and decency in your post. But I would like to clarify some things.

Originally Posted by nbegam


Laa ilaha illa Allah, There is no god but Allah, There is no god except Allah. The Western Muslims usually write the translation as: there is no God but God. This is a very wrong translation. Allah is the personal name of Allah and it is a proper noun. Ilah is a common noun which means god. "There is no god but god" will be "laa ilaha illa Ilah."We cannot say that "Allah" is merely the proper noun of Ilah because we find "Allah" at the top of the Asmaa'i Husnah (the beautiful names of Allah) so "Allah" is the personal name of the Only one God.
I would translate this as : there is no god (lowercase g) but God (uppercase G). Just as I might translate "ArRahman" as the Compassionate, or "AlLatif" as the Gentle. Of course, some richness of the original Arabic word may be lost. This is a universal problem in translation, no matter which language.

I use the word God, especially when talking with non-Muslims, because I know how they are likely to understand it. Capital G God is generally understood as meaning that Omniscient, all-Powerful Creator. But Allah (in the minds of uninformed people of my culture. And I know, because this is what I understood as a child) has connotations of idolatry. (May Allah Forgive us).

You may call me a "Western" Muslim. It saddens me, frankly. Because this carries a lot of negative meanings in the minds of many, and suggests that we are divided. I would prefer to see both you and I as sisters in Islam. (smile) We may not agree on everything, but that is because we are humans. (twinkle) I don't agree on everything with my immediate neighbours, either.

There is also a misperception among some non-Arabic speaking Muslims that the word Allah is exclusive to Muslims. This is not so. I personally have met Arab-speaking Christians who use Allah to mean their own understanding of the Creator. And I think you would agree with me, that we Muslims do not have this particular understanding.

Originally Posted by nbegam
Aeesa alaihi salaam (Jesus) was a great Prophet and Messenger of Allah. Allah created him from a virgin named Maryam (Mary) in a miraculous way to show us that HE can create in any way. Allah created Adam alaihi salaam from clay and said to it, "Be" and it became a great creation,a human being. Allah created Hawa (Eve) alaiha salaam from the left rib of Adam alaihi salaam. Allah has been creating numerous human beings by the union of a father and a mother, this is also the Greatness of Allah because no one else can create a child in this way which seems to us a usual way. Then Allah created Jesus only from a female, so that a man cannot think or say that it was impossible to create a child only from a female without union with a man.
I'm not sure whether I would say that Allah Created Adam (PBUH) from clay. It suggests that this clay was already existing, and that Allah merely transformed it. I think I would say: (made) of clay. The word "clay" is also just a translation, and in fact, several words describing what human beings are composed of are mentioned in the Qur'an, and contrasted with what the Unseen Ones are made of. I personally understand that Allah Said : Be! And Created a creature made of matter.

I believe that the story of Eve being created from the rib of Adam (PBUH) is taken from Christian and Jewish sources (and I have read such, though unfortunately, I do not recall the exact reference. It was in a book, long ago). The Qur'an does not state this (creation from a rib), and I have not seen an authentic hadith that states this either. There is one hadith that likens a woman to a rib, but that is to explain that her nature is different to that of men, and that to try to force her to be the same as a man would damage her (while there are straight bones in the body, there are also other-shaped ones, like ribs. If one were to try to straighten a rib, this would break the rib, and it would also not be able to function as Allah Created it to). It says nothing about her creation from a rib of Adam (PBUH). If you know of a source for your belief, could you give it to me? I would be very interested.

I'm also not sure that Allah Made Isa (PBUH) from his mother. I have understood the Qur'an as saying that Allah Made Isa the same way He Created Adam (PBUH). That is: He Just Said "Be!" and Isa (PBUH) came into existence inside his mother. I have also understood that, in Islam, the mother of a child is the woman who gives birth to him or her. It does not necessarily imply a genetic relationship.

But these are my understandings. I may be wrong.



Originally Posted by nbegam
As far as the three nations, Jews, Christians and Muslims are concerned, they are not fighting on the bases of the religion. In fact those who are fighting and killing the innocent, are far away from any religion.

Another noticeable point is that when innocent men, women and children were killed by chemical weapons in Gaza and in many other places with different kinds of weapons, many Christians and Jews did protests in Western countries against the killing. Many Muslims also felt pain but they couldn’t do protest due to extreme oppression. It seems like this is the era of terrible oppression on Muslims. They are killed, accused of terrorism and violence. But they have to remain silent and cannot say a word to defend their honor. O Allah, What an oppression on the innocent Muslims!
As I mentioned above the Christians and Jews protested for the attacks on the Muslims. Then how can we say that they are fighting against the Muslims?
In fact it seems that each of the three nations, the Jews, The Christians and the Muslims are now divided in to two parts. One those who believe in the Judgment Day and they fear their accountability to the Almighty God. So their hearts are soft with mercy for others. The second kind of all of the three nations is like empty boxes with only the name of their religion. They have no Faith in the Judgment Day. So they have lost the sense of accountability to their Lord. Accordingly they consider themselves free and they believe that they can do whatever they like. Allah Almighty God leaves Devils on such unbelievers. Their hearts have become harder than stones and they are straying more and more until they will be caught by their death and shall reach Hell. Alas! While killing the innocent, they forgot that they will also die. So now one can see Muslims and non Muslims busy in the act of killing, while at the same time many non- Muslims feel sympathy for the oppressed ones and do protest for their protection. The differencee of these two big groups present in all of the three religions is their Belief and Unbelief in the Judgment Day.
I have shortened your text a little to get to the essence of your point. This, I feel is a very beautiful message. You are seeing the commonality between groups. Personally, I believe that it is Shaitan who tries to divide us till we fear and fight one another and end up behaving badly with one another. It seems to me that we must gather together all people of decency, no matter what we call ourselves, in order to counter Shaitan's whispers.


May Allah, the One and Only, Bless you nbegum, for your sincerity and efforts.
Reply

OmAbdullah
11-06-2014, 09:51 PM
Wa alaikum assalaam wa rahmatu Allahi wa barakaatuh, dear Musliminshallah, may Allah bless you in this world and in the Hereafter. Regarding your points I am writing the following:
Ar –Rahman and Al-ateef are the beautiful names of Allah which tell us about HIS Great Qualities. So we can translate Ar- Rahman into The Compassionate, and Al-Lateef into The Gentle or Kind, or The Knower of minute details (of everything). I have the understanding that God, the Only One has only one personal name “Allah” while all of HIS other names tell us HIS great and beautiful Qualities. Therefore I don’t translate Allah into God. Allah said, wa ilahukum ilahunwahid ( And your God is one God) Here Allah didn’t use Allah, so the translation is god or God. For Allah Almighty I will write God as I did above. But I shall not translate Allah into God. Some old translations of the tafseer (Commentary) of the Holy Quraan have written God for Allah, but in the recent ones the scholars have written Allah for Allah. Alhamdulillah. I choose the translation from the recent ones and I consider them more correct.
I am very sorry that my words “The Western Muslims” hurt you. Subhaan Allah! We are all like one body. Allah knows my love and respect for all of the Muslims of the world including all West and all East + the Middle East. In fact this is related to our Faith, the stronger the faith the greater the ties of love for each other. This is because Allah has guaranteed such love among the Muslims of our Ummah. Lack of love and respect for Muslims indicates weakness of eemaan, May Allah protect us from weak faith, aameen. Your grief is my grief. It was just a statement in general. You are right when you use the word God while talking to the non- Muslims. Even I do the same because they are not familiar with or they may not accept the word Allah. So we have to proceed for preaching with hikmah (the Quraanic Wisdom). But I will write Allah when I translate the Kalmah Tayyibah which is laa ilaha illa Allah. I didn’t find any translation of “Allah”, therefore I shall not translate it into God or any other meaning. This is my limited knowledge and the rest Allah knows best. May Allah forgive us our mistakes and guide us on the Right Path, aameen.
Regarding Aeesa or Isa alaihi salaam, you wrote , “I am also not sure that Allah made Isa (PBUH) from his mother.----------- it does not necessarily imply a genetic relationship.”
This is a very wrong understanding about Isa alaihi salaam. I am giving evidence from the Holy Qraan and its tafseer that he was from the descendants of Ibraheem alaihi salaam. In the verses 83----86 of chapter 6 ( Al- An’Aam ) of the Holy Quraan Allah gave the names of many prophets who were among the descendants of Ibraheem alaihi Salaam. Hadhrat Maryam and Hadhrat Isa alaihima salaam were from Bani Israel, that is the children of Israel. Israel was the 2nd name of Yaqoob ( Jacob ) alaihi salaam. He was the grand son of Ibraheem alaihi salaam. If someone claims that Isa alaihi salaam had no genetic relation with Maryam (Mary ), then he either doesn’t know or he denies these verses of the Holy Quraan, (of course, a Muslim shall not deny). Please don’t forget that his genetic relation with Yaqoob (Jac ob), Is-haq, and Ibraheem (ibraham) alaihim salaam is only and only through Maryam ( Mary ) alaiha salaam. In the modern times with Scientific knowledge, we can say that the miracle was as follows:
The usual method of reproduction of a male child is; X + Y genes. Gene X comes from the mother and gene Y comes from the father. In case of Isa alaihi salaam it was only one X gene from the mother and it was easy for Allah to produce him from X gene without the presence of a Y gene. ( Allah knows best the details, I am writing only the details of the modern science, may Allah forgive me). Adam alaihi salaam was created without any type of genes. These are all the great abilities of Allah. We must actually focus on the Greatness of Allah and shouldn’t go into other details because they are beyond our understanding. What is required from us in Islam is to think about the Greatness of Allah and bow down to Him. Allah gave the quality of burning to fire. So the usual understanding is that fire burns everything that is put in it. Therefore, be careful of fire. When Ibraheem alaihi salaam was thrown into a big fire by the rejecters of Faith, it became cool for him and didn’t burn him in the least. Can science or any kind of knowledge explain this? No! Only the Holy Quraan and the Sunnah informs us that these are the signs of the Greatness of your Lord, So worship HIM only.
About Eve ( Hawa ) alaiha salaam: I remember that I read in a hadeeth Shareef, that she was produced from the left rib of Adam alaihi salaam. (Allah knows best about the saying of HIS Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon him)). I am sorry as at present I have no book of hadeeth. Some Muslims have given strange statement about the qualities of woman in general, due to the above hadeeth and they attributed the strange statement to Muhammad salla Allaho alaihi wa sallam. But I will not say anything in this regard. The Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon him) said that anyone who says something and intentionally attributes it to the Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon him) , he makes his place in Hell. This is the translation of a hadeeth in my own words ( and Allah knows best about the hadeeth).
I know and believe that men and women are all the creation and servants of Allah. Allah didn’t make any defect in our creation. Allah’s Justice is so pure that a defect in nature will make the accounting lighter. It means that if women had got defect in their nature from Allah, then surely they would not be accuse able and punishable for the actions done due to the defect. We, the women, are fully accountable in our field, and we have no defect insha Allah. Your statement in this regard seems to be more accurate than the one that I came across. It is true that we are physically weaker. This is because our field of action does not put on us a burden of heavy work.
And may Allah bless you and us all, aameen.
Reply

Signor
11-08-2014, 03:15 PM
Assalamu Alaykum MuslimInshallah

Originally Posted by MuslimInshallah
I'm not sure whether I would say that Allah Created Adam (PBUH) from clay. It suggests that this clay was already existing, and that Allah merely transformed it. I think I would say: (made) of clay. The word "clay" is also just a translation, and in fact, several words describing what human beings are composed of are mentioned in the Qur'an, and contrasted with what the Unseen Ones are made of. I personally understand that Allah Said : Be! And Created a creature made of matter.
It seems like concept of 'Alam al Khalq (World of Creation) and 'Alam al-'Amr (the World of Command) is unknown to you.This is why you mixed two things separate in nature,interestingly,they are the one which make a Human being "Insaan",from best of stature to lowest of the low.I am really busy these days so will explain whenever I get time or maybe someone else will come to shed some light on this subject Inshaa Allah.

Originally Posted by MuslimInshallah
It says nothing about her creation from a rib of Adam (PBUH). If you know of a source for your belief, could you give it to me? I would be very interested.


Abu Hurairah (ra) relates that the Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: Treat women kindly. Woman has been created from a rib and the most crooked part of the rib is the uppermost. f you try to straighten it, you will break it and if you leave it, alone, it will remain crooked. So treat women kindly. (Bukhari and Muslim)


These articles can lead to better understanding Inshaa Allah.
http://www.onislam.net/english/ask-a...the-quran.html
http://www.islamawareness.net/Adam/adam.html

A little bit related:
http://www.howtodothings.com/religio...muslim-husband
Reply

JaquibWahanna
11-12-2014, 07:08 PM
Hmmm sensitive
Reply

MuslimInshallah
11-16-2014, 02:15 AM
Originally Posted by nbegam
Regarding Aeesa or Isa alaihi salaam, you wrote , “I am also not sure that Allah made Isa (PBUH) from his mother.----------- it does not necessarily imply a genetic relationship.”
This is a very wrong understanding about Isa alaihi salaam. I am giving evidence from the Holy Qraan and its tafseer that he was from the descendants of Ibraheem alaihi salaam. In the verses 83----86 of chapter 6 ( Al- An’Aam ) of the Holy Quraan Allah gave the names of many prophets who were among the descendants of Ibraheem alaihi Salaam. Hadhrat Maryam and Hadhrat Isa alaihima salaam were from Bani Israel, that is the children of Israel. Israel was the 2nd name of Yaqoob ( Jacob ) alaihi salaam. He was the grand son of Ibraheem alaihi salaam. If someone claims that Isa alaihi salaam had no genetic relation with Maryam (Mary ), then he either doesn’t know or he denies these verses of the Holy Quraan, (of course, a Muslim shall not deny). Please don’t forget that his genetic relation with Yaqoob (Jac ob), Is-haq, and Ibraheem (ibraham) alaihim salaam is only and only through Maryam ( Mary ) alaiha salaam. In the modern times with Scientific knowledge, we can say that the miracle was as follows:
The usual method of reproduction of a male child is; X + Y genes. Gene X comes from the mother and gene Y comes from the father. In case of Isa alaihi salaam it was only one X gene from the mother and it was easy for Allah to produce him from X gene without the presence of a Y gene. ( Allah knows best the details, I am writing only the details of the modern science, may Allah forgive me). Adam alaihi salaam was created without any type of genes.
About Eve ( Hawa ) alaiha salaam: I remember that I read in a hadeeth Shareef, that she was produced from the left rib of Adam alaihi salaam. (Allah knows best about the saying of HIS Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon him)). I am sorry as at present I have no book of hadeeth. Some Muslims have given strange statement about the qualities of woman in general, due to the above hadeeth and they attributed the strange statement to Muhammad salla Allaho alaihi wa sallam. But I will not say anything in this regard. The Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon him) said that anyone who says something and intentionally attributes it to the Prophet (Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon him) , he makes his place in Hell. This is the translation of a hadeeth in my own words ( and Allah knows best about the hadeeth).
Assalaamu alaikum nbegum,

I appreciate the time and effort you put into this post. And I apologize for not getting back to you earlier. (smile) I have only a limited amount of minutes in my day, alas! And my children have been sick, so…

Regarding genetics, I feel that perhaps this is a field that is not clear for you. I tried looking up some youtube videos for you, that might explain a little how this works, but there were two problems: 1) If you are in Pakistan, you won't be able to see them, and 2) I could not find one that sums everything up simply. I'm afraid you'd have look at several to get a better understanding of the subject.(smile) If you google "meiosis", you can find some interesting videos on the genetics of reproduction.

Essentially, you could not have a functional human being with no genetic code. Not only are genes necessary for reproduction, but they are used every moment you are alive. The genetic code is like a library of recipes of how to do and make everything you need in the human body. When the cell is not dividing, the code is unrolled and available for reference in the nucleus of the living cell. To state that Adam (AS) had no genes is incorrect. It just is not possible. He would need these to live, plus he would need them to transmit to his offspring his share of the information on how to grow and live.

(smile) Furthermore, of the 46 chromosomes that make up the normal human genetic code, the "Y" chromosome is absolutely necessary in order to have a male. And this one chromosome can only come from the father, as only men have this chromosome. If you have only the genetic information from the mother, you could only produce a female child. And this is assuming that the child would be a clone, perhaps. Or that two ova could fuse. Which does not happen, to the best of my knowledge.

Unless you want to say (May Allah Forgive us!) that half of the genetic code came from Maryam (May Allah Be Pleased with her), and the other half from Allah (!!!), I cannot see how you can say that Isa (AS) could genetically be of Maryam! I personally find this line of thought profoundly shocking!

And unnecessary.

I had a look at the passage you quoted (6: 83-86), as well as others in the Qur'an. I'm afraid that this passage does not actually prove your point. It could be pointed out that Lut (AS) was not a descendant of Ibrahim (AS), though he was a relative. I read several ayat on the creation of Isa (AS), and I cannot see how I am incorrect on stating that Allah said "Be!" and Isa came into being, in the same way that Allah said "Be!" and Adam (AS) came into being. However, I have not done a complete search of all the passages in the Qur'an and the ahadith, so I cannot as yet analyze this in depth.

But I would like to point out that, in Arabic, a person may be referred to as a "father", yet actually be an uncle or a grandfather, or other male ancestor. And, to the best of my knowledge, in Islam, the "mother" is the person who bore the child. Which is why, if a woman has a surrogate child, Islamically, the child would be considered hers, not the genetic mother's. At least, I have heard this said before (in a lecture) in the context of reproductive technologies.

It is therefore my understanding that Isa (AS) would be considered the child of Maryam, even if he was not her genetic child. And his male relatives on his mother's side would be considered his male ancestors.

(smile) But if anyone has further information on this topic, I am very open to considering it.

(smile) Regarding the ahadith about woman and the rib. I think I found the source of the confusion. I looked up on sunnah.com the ahadith on this. And there are essentially two versions transmitted. One says that Woman is like a rib (the prefix "ka" is used, which means "similar to") and the other says that she was created from a rib (the preposition "min" is used, which means "coming from, out of"). Interestingly, Adam (AS) is not mentioned in the ahadith that I saw. The rest of the text is consistent, and the message is one about not trying to force women into being that which they are not. The text is not concerned with the creation of women. I incline, therefore, to the understanding that the original discourse was aimed at teaching men who get frustrated with women being different from themselves, and thinking to try to make women act and think like themselves. And therefore, that the simile is the more correct understanding. And as I have read in the past (sorry, I no longer know where I read this, and this part of my library is not accessible to me at present), the Christian and Jewish stories about the creation of woman from the rib of Adam being well-known in the early days of Islam, they may well have influenced the understanding of this teaching story.

(smile) Anyway, thank you nbegum for this fruitful discussion. While I feel I still have things to learn on these topics, I feel that this discussion has caused me to learn more. (big smile) And I love to learn!

May Allah, the High, Who Knows, Guide us in our efforts to understand.
Reply

MuslimInshallah
11-16-2014, 02:32 AM
I accidentally posted the same post twice.
Reply

MuslimInshallah
11-16-2014, 02:59 AM
Originally Posted by Signor
Assalamu Alaykum MuslimInshallah



It seems like concept of 'Alam al Khalq (World of Creation) and 'Alam al-'Amr (the World of Command) is unknown to you.This is why you mixed two things separate in nature,interestingly,they are the one which make a Human being "Insaan",from best of stature to lowest of the low.I am really busy these days so will explain whenever I get time or maybe someone else will come to shed some light on this subject Inshaa Allah.
Assalaamu alaikum Signor,

(smile) Thank you for the links. I did have a look at them. However, I must say that I prefer primary (such as Qur'an and ahadith) or secondary (scholarly) sources. I find these more reliable and intellectually satisfying.

(gleam of interest) The discourse about the World of Command vs Creation sounds fascinating. If you wish to give me a few pointers, I would appreciate that. But if you are too busy, I can research it myself over time. From what I understand, this is way of understanding Revelation. Even if I do not fully agree with a particular interpretation of Revelation, I find that each new way of looking at Allah's Words adds richness of understanding. Like the Sufi story of the mice exploring the elephant in the dark, each heart that seeks to understand comes away with a little bit of understanding, but never even comes close to the whole. But the more mice we listen to, it seems to me, the more we could perhaps understand.


May Allah, the Sublime, Forgive us if we misunderstand, and Guide us to better understandings.
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