What is Islam? De-mystifying the Islamic Way of Life By Hamza Andreas Tzortzis Presentation for London Met University 2 nd...
Introduction <ul><li>Context of discussion:  Social-Political & Popular Culture Implications </li></ul><ul><li>My backgrou...
The Importance of Investigation <ul><li>The Islamic perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Searching for truth is based upon ev...
Islam:   A Summary
What is Islam? <ul><li>Islam comes from the word to submit  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It shares the same root for the word pea...
Islam? Immigration Afghanistan Danish Cartoons Al-Qaeda Jihad Taliban 7/7 9/11 Irrational Oppression of Women Van Gogh Gee...
Islam: A Summary Intellectual Basis (Aqeeda) LIFE HONOUR WEALTH BELIEF STATE MIND SOCIETY God Him/Herself Others
The Essence of Islam <ul><li>Tawhid: The Oneness of God </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehensive concept that should permeate o...
5 Pillars of Islam <ul><li>The Shahada: Testimony of faith </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I bear witness that there is no God but...
Islam is not a religion <ul><li>Islam is not just about spirituality. </li></ul><ul><li>Islam deals with all aspects of hu...
The Islamic Intellectual Basis <ul><li>The conviction in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Existence of a Creator </li></ul></ul>...
The Existence of  God
The Existence of the Creator <ul><li>Kalam Cosmological Argument </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Atheist claim that the universe of ...
Some Examples <ul><li>The Library Book Example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You are waiting in a queue for a library book consis...
Astrophysical Evidence <ul><li>This conclusion is confirmed by physics </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘Big Bang’ </li></ul><ul><ul>...
Very Awkward for the Atheist <ul><li>Anthony Kenny of Oxford University: </li></ul><ul><li>“ A proponent of the big bang t...
Some additional supporting arguments… <ul><li>The probability of “Big Bang’s” low entropy condition existing by chance are...
123 Zeros! <ul><li>1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000...
A Note on War & Evil <ul><li>Some Atheists claim that there can not be a creator as religion has caused so much war and ev...
The Word of God:   The Qur’an
The Necessity of External Information <ul><li>Two possible Sources:  Introspection and Exo-spection (external evidence) </...
The Eternal Challenge <ul><li>Qur’an Chapter 2 Verse 23 </li></ul><ul><li>“ And if you are in doubt concerning that which ...
Six Main Arguments Rational Deduction Unique Literary Form Unique Genre Eloquence Six Main  Arguments Rhetoric Complexitie...
Unique Literary Form Prose Qur’an Poetry Saj’ Mursal Rhythmical  Patters Unique Arabic  Language
An Example of Superior Eloquence: Word Order <ul><li>Example:  </li></ul><ul><li>‘ You shall not kill your children becaus...
Meticulous Accuracy <ul><li>In the first verse when the killing is from want due to the poverty of the family, the Qur’an ...
Historical Fact <ul><li>Margoliouth, Muir and Zammit:  Historical fact that the Arabs at the time of revelation were maste...
They All Failed <ul><li>If the people best placed to challenge the Qur’an failed, then who can do it? </li></ul><ul><li>So...
God’s Word? <ul><li>Rational deduction </li></ul><ul><li>Is it from an Arab, Non-Arab, the Prophet (pbuh) or the Creator? ...
Non-Muslim Scholarship <ul><li>Consensus opinion on the superior nature of the Qur’an’s language. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;...
Miracle After Miracle <ul><li>My favourite….. </li></ul><ul><li>“ As tangible signs Qur’anic verses are expressive of an i...
Conclusion: A Miracle Indeed it is! <ul><li>Martin Zammit concludes in his book “A comparative Lexical Study of Qur’anic A...
What Does the Qur’an Say? <ul><li>What will explain to you what the steep path is? It is to free a slave, to feed at a tim...
What Does the Qur’an Say? <ul><li>...bear witness impartially: do not let the hatred of others lead you away from justice,...
The Last Prophet:   Muhammad  (p)
Belief in the Prophet <ul><li>We believe in the Prophet from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The proof of the Qur’an </li></ul></ul...
The Life of the Prophet <ul><li>Two main phases: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meccan Phase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Medinan Pha...
The Prophet’s Description <ul><li>Al-Hasan said to Hind, “Describe to me the way he spoke.” Hind said, “The Prophet of God...
The Prophet’s  (P)  Sayings <ul><li>Hadith </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition “Statement attributed to the Prophet  (p)” </l...
Islam &  Politics
Islam & Politics <ul><li>&quot;Neither as Christians or Jews, nor simply as intellectually responsible individuals, have m...
Economics <ul><li>The reality under secular capitalism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>'Relieved of their annual debt repayments, th...
A Just Economic Framework <ul><li>'…but God has allowed trade and forbidden usury…'  Qur’an 2:276 </li></ul><ul><li>“… in ...
Dealing with Minorities <ul><li>Imam Qarafi (Classical Islamic Scholar) summed up the responsibility of the Islamic system...
Problems <ul><li>Secularism has a severe problem in dealing with minorities, especially those with an alternative value sy...
Historical Examples <ul><li>&quot;Every honest Jew who knows the history of his people cannot but feel a deep sense of gra...
Spirituality:  Purification of the Heart
Spirituality <ul><li>Affection & Love </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A man once came to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) wi...
Spirituality <ul><li>Remembrance of God </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Those who believe, and whose hearts find peace in the reme...
Do you know who you are? <ul><li>Do they not reflect within themselves?  Qur'an 30:8 </li></ul><ul><li>There is nothing cl...
Compassion & Love <ul><li>A'isha said, &quot;I was on a camel that was somewhat intractable and I began to beat it. The Pr...
Getting Closer to God <ul><li>Prayer </li></ul><ul><li>Fasting </li></ul><ul><li>Reciting the Qur’an </li></ul><ul><li>Tah...
Contemporary  Issues
De-Mystifying the “Cartoon Controversy” <ul><li>Cartoons: It is not a freedom of speech issue </li></ul><ul><li>How can ci...
De-Mystfying the Dutch Right Wing Calls to Ban the Qur’an <ul><li>Under the banner of “the war on terror” some European po...
The Correct Approach <ul><li>Many politicians who attack the Qur’an claim that Europe is based upon the Judeo-Christian he...
Necessary Tools <ul><li>In order to extract law from any secular text, the following is required: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kn...
De-Mystifying Islam & Women <ul><li>Two main reasons for this negative Islam & Women image: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The colo...
<ul><ul><li>1100 years this was not a subject of debate </li></ul></ul>De-Mystifying Islam & Women <ul><ul><li>Right to Vo...
De-Mystifying Jihad <ul><li>All nations seek to protect themselves and promote their values and influence </li></ul><ul><u...
De-Mystifying Science & Progress “ Lack of scientific development and progress in the Muslim world attributed to Islam” <u...
There was a civilization that was the greatest in the world. It was able to create a continental super-state that stretche...
When other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization thrived on them, and kept them alive. When censors threatened t...
Thank you! <ul><li>Email: a_tzortzis@yahoo.com </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile: 07988850946 </li></ul><ul><li>www.theinimitablequ...
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What Is Islam

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What Is Islam

  1. 1. What is Islam? De-mystifying the Islamic Way of Life By Hamza Andreas Tzortzis Presentation for London Met University 2 nd May 2008
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Context of discussion: Social-Political & Popular Culture Implications </li></ul><ul><li>My background: Previously a Secular Humanist – Greek Convert to Islam </li></ul><ul><li>Author & Public Speaker </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.theinimitablequran.com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>hamzatzortzis.blogspot.com </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Previous Debates with Dr Tidball, Mike Lake, Robert Scott, Pastor Harmit Jandhu, Dr Barbrook </li></ul><ul><li>Delivered presentations at UCL, Bristol, Kings College, Liverpool, Birmingham, Westminster, London Met., SOAS, York (Canada), Maastricht (Netherlands) and others. </li></ul><ul><li>Netherlands/Europe/America: The Banning of the Qur’an, Dutch Politics, Philosophy and Community Cohesion </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Importance of Investigation <ul><li>The Islamic perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Searching for truth is based upon evidence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is no blind thinking or blind adoption of the Islamic creed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Qur’an presents a unique psycholinguistic technique: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… for those who reflect </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… for those who think </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… for those who contemplate </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>When it is said to them: &quot;Come to what God has revealed; come to the Messenger&quot;: They say: &quot;Enough for us are the ways we found our fathers following.&quot; What! Even though their fathers had no knowledge and no guidance? </li></ul><ul><li>Qur’an 5:104 </li></ul>
  4. 4. Islam: A Summary
  5. 5. What is Islam? <ul><li>Islam comes from the word to submit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It shares the same root for the word peace (salaam) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Islam is the peaceful submission to the will God </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Muslims claim that it is only through submission to God will one find true inner and outer tranquility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But what do you think about when you hear the word ‘Islam’.....? </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Islam? Immigration Afghanistan Danish Cartoons Al-Qaeda Jihad Taliban 7/7 9/11 Irrational Oppression of Women Van Gogh Geert Wilders Terrorism Anti-Semitic Intolerant Extremism Ayaan Hirsi WMDs
  7. 7. Islam: A Summary Intellectual Basis (Aqeeda) LIFE HONOUR WEALTH BELIEF STATE MIND SOCIETY God Him/Herself Others
  8. 8. The Essence of Islam <ul><li>Tawhid: The Oneness of God </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehensive concept that should permeate ones whole life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Referring your whole life (spiritual, individual, social, political etc) to the Creator rather than the limited human mind and ones ego </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. 5 Pillars of Islam <ul><li>The Shahada: Testimony of faith </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is his servant and messenger” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Salah: Prayer </li></ul><ul><li>Sawm: Fasting </li></ul><ul><li>Zakat: Charity </li></ul><ul><li>Hajj: Pilgrimage to Mecca </li></ul>
  10. 10. Islam is not a religion <ul><li>Islam is not just about spirituality. </li></ul><ul><li>Islam deals with all aspects of human behaviour: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Economics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Politics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foreign Policy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Policy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Justice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crime </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community cohesion </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. The Islamic Intellectual Basis <ul><li>The conviction in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Existence of a Creator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Qur’an Being the Word of this Creator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Prophethood of Muhammad (p) </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. The Existence of God
  13. 13. The Existence of the Creator <ul><li>Kalam Cosmological Argument </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Atheist claim that the universe of matter is eternal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>However, that would be there has been an infinite set of past events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is no basis for infinity in the real world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There must be a sole cause for the universe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This cause must have a will as the cause could not exist without the effect if it was mechanical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The existence of a sole cause for the universe is supported by astrophysical evidence </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Some Examples <ul><li>The Library Book Example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You are waiting in a queue for a library book consisting of an infinite number of people. Will you ever get the book? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Soldier Example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A soldier requires permission of the soldier behind him to shoot. If there are an infinite number of soldiers, will he shoot? </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Astrophysical Evidence <ul><li>This conclusion is confirmed by physics </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘Big Bang’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical time and space were created </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Matter and energy were also created </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cambridge Astronomer Fred Hoyle: </li></ul><ul><li>“… shrunk down to nothing at all” </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘Big Bang’ model requires that something was created out of nothing. </li></ul><ul><li>But there has to be something there for the ‘Bang!’ to occur. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Very Awkward for the Atheist <ul><li>Anthony Kenny of Oxford University: </li></ul><ul><li>“ A proponent of the big bang theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that the…universe came out of nothing and by nothing” </li></ul><ul><li>But out of nothing, nothing comes! </li></ul><ul><li>Even atheists recognise this, David Hume: </li></ul><ul><li>“… I never asserted to absurd proposition as that anything might arise without a cause” </li></ul>
  17. 17. Some additional supporting arguments… <ul><li>The probability of “Big Bang’s” low entropy condition existing by chance are of the order of one out of 10 10 [123 Zeros] – Roger Penrose </li></ul><ul><li>This is equivalent of believing a talking Pink Elephant exists that was born on Pluto and flew hear on giant feather! [I made this up] </li></ul><ul><li>There are about 50 constants present in the ‘Big Bang’ that must have been fine tuned if the universe were to permit life </li></ul><ul><li>Their ratios must also have had to be fined tuned! </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore the chance hypothesis is implausible! </li></ul>
  18. 18. 123 Zeros! <ul><li>100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 </li></ul>
  19. 19. A Note on War & Evil <ul><li>Some Atheists claim that there can not be a creator as religion has caused so much war and evil. But was it not the secular political framework responsible for: 700,000 innocent deaths due to the current Iraqi occupation? 500,000 Iraqi children dead in the 10 year sanctions? Over 60 million preventable deaths is Africa due to unjust trade laws in the past decade? 70,000,000 Dead American Indians? World War 1 and 2? The occupation of Palestinian land? The genocide of Bosnians? The genocide of the Jews? Stalin? Hitler? Bush? The Vietnam War? The mass murder of new born baby girls in China? 250,000 dead Fillipinos? Hiroshima? The ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, Chechnians, Tibetans etc? The list can go on and on.... Therefore Secularism doesn't exist or is wrong! But this approach is irrational and does not facilitate intellectual discussion… </li></ul>
  20. 20. The Word of God: The Qur’an
  21. 21. The Necessity of External Information <ul><li>Two possible Sources: Introspection and Exo-spection (external evidence) </li></ul><ul><li>The Validity of Exo-spection and the Absurdity of Intropsection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Our finite minds cannot explain or fully comprehend the infinite </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Its like a knocking on the door… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychology: Individual Differences – Genetic, Environmental, Experience, Knowledge Limitation – therefore different answers! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Muslims do not have an explicit assumption about who God is </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>So if God said anything about Himself, then it is definitely externally revealed </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. The Eternal Challenge <ul><li>Qur’an Chapter 2 Verse 23 </li></ul><ul><li>“ And if you are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down to our servant (Muhammed pbuh ) then bring a chapter of the like thereof and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides Allah if you are truthful” </li></ul><ul><li>Falsification test: The Only Divine text to have a rational argument and a falsification test to prove its divinity </li></ul><ul><li>General Meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Historical Scholarly Approach </li></ul><ul><li>Six Main Arguments </li></ul>
  23. 23. Six Main Arguments Rational Deduction Unique Literary Form Unique Genre Eloquence Six Main Arguments Rhetoric Complexities of Classical Arabic Grammar
  24. 24. Unique Literary Form Prose Qur’an Poetry Saj’ Mursal Rhythmical Patters Unique Arabic Language
  25. 25. An Example of Superior Eloquence: Word Order <ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ You shall not kill your children because you cannot support them. We provide for you and for them .’ </li></ul><ul><li>Qur’an 80:151 </li></ul><ul><li>‘ You shall not kill your children for fear of want. We will provide for them and for you .’ </li></ul><ul><li>Qur’an 17:31 </li></ul>
  26. 26. Meticulous Accuracy <ul><li>In the first verse when the killing is from want due to the poverty of the family, the Qur’an emphasizes Allah’s provision over the parent thus they are mentioned first. </li></ul><ul><li>In the second verse however the killing of such innocent children is conceded by the fear of the future possibility of poverty, Allah assures one not do so by emphasizing the children before the family and how they will receive this provision. </li></ul><ul><li>The words are meticulously chosen even the letters are meaningfully used. No addition, elision, advancing, or retarding occurs but by careful design. This approach is unequalled in any human composition. It is only found in the Qur’an. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Historical Fact <ul><li>Margoliouth, Muir and Zammit: Historical fact that the Arabs at the time of revelation were masters in the use of Arabic </li></ul><ul><li>They were articulate users of the language but also held those skilled in the arts of linguistic composition in high esteem. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>“ It should be known that Arabs thought highly of poetry as a form of speech. Therefore, they made it the archives of their history, the evidence for what they considered right and wrong, and the principal basis of reference for most of their sciences and wisdom.” </li></ul><ul><li>Ibn Khaldun </li></ul>
  28. 28. They All Failed <ul><li>If the people best placed to challenge the Qur’an failed, then who can do it? </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the challengers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Musaylamah </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Quraish </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ibn Al-Mukaffa‘ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abu'l-'Ala Al-Marri </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yahya b. Al-Hakam al-Ghazal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sayyid 'Ali Muhammad </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ibn al-Rawandi </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bassar bin Burd </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sahib Ibn 'Abbad </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abu'l - 'Atahiya </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. God’s Word? <ul><li>Rational deduction </li></ul><ul><li>Is it from an Arab, Non-Arab, the Prophet (pbuh) or the Creator? </li></ul><ul><li>The Prophet and Hadith – Linguistic differences </li></ul><ul><li>The pre-requisite – Creator </li></ul><ul><li>No other rational explanation! </li></ul>
  30. 30. Non-Muslim Scholarship <ul><li>Consensus opinion on the superior nature of the Qur’an’s language. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;The Koran [sic] admittedly occupies an important position among the great religious books of the world…. it yields to hardly any in the wonderful effect which it has produced on large masses of men. It has created an all but new phase of human thought and a fresh type of character. It first transformed a number of heterogeneous desert tribes of the Arabian peninsula into a nation of heroes….&quot; G. Margoliouth </li></ul>
  31. 31. Miracle After Miracle <ul><li>My favourite….. </li></ul><ul><li>“ As tangible signs Qur’anic verses are expressive of an inexhaustible truth. They signify meaning layered within meaning, light upon light, miracle after miracle.” </li></ul><ul><li>Bruce Lawrence </li></ul><ul><li>“… and that though several attempts have been made to produce a work equal to it as far as elegant writing is concerned, none has as yet succeeded.” </li></ul><ul><li>F. F. Arbuthnot </li></ul>
  32. 32. Conclusion: A Miracle Indeed it is! <ul><li>Martin Zammit concludes in his book “A comparative Lexical Study of Qur’anic Arabic”: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Notwithstanding the literary excellence of some of the long pre-Islamic poems…the Qur'an is definitely on a level of its own as the most eminent written manifestation of the Arabic language.” </li></ul><ul><li>Rev. R Bosworth Smith concludes that the Qur'an, in his book &quot;Muhammad and Muhammadanism&quot;, is: </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;…It is the one miracle claimed by Muhammad, his standing miracle , and a miracle indeed it is.&quot; </li></ul>
  33. 33. What Does the Qur’an Say? <ul><li>What will explain to you what the steep path is? It is to free a slave, to feed at a time of hunger, an orphaned relative or a poor person in distress, and to be one of those who believe and urge one another to steadfastness and compassion Qur'an 90: 11-20 Are, then, they who are bent on denying the truth not aware that the heavens and the earth were once one single entity, which We then perted asunder? And that We made out of water every living thing? Qur'an 21:30 People, be mindful of your Lord, who created you from a single soul Qur'an 4:1 Every soul shall taste death Qur'an 3:185 If you are steadfast and mindful of God, that is the best course Qur'an 3:186 Why do you mix truth with falsehood? Why do you hide the truth when you recognize it? Qur'an 3:71 Why should you not fight in God's cause and for those oppressed men. women, and children who cry out, 'Lord, rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors! By Your grace, gives us a protector and give us a helper!'? The believers fight for God's cause, while those who reject faith fight for an unjust cause Qur'an 4:75-76 </li></ul>
  34. 34. What Does the Qur’an Say? <ul><li>...bear witness impartially: do not let the hatred of others lead you away from justice, but adhere to justice, for that is closer to the awareness of God. Be mindful of God... Qur'an 5:8 Man should reflect on what he was created from Qur'an 86:5 So truly were there is hardship there is also ease, truly where there is hardship there is also ease Qur'an 94:5-6 Read! in the name of your Lord who created: He created man from a clinging form Qur'an 96:1-2 By (the Token of) Time (through the ages), Verily Man is in loss, Except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy Qur'an 103:1-3 Woe to every slanderer, defamer. Who amasses wealth and considers it a provision (against mishap); He thinks that his wealth will make him immortal Qur'an 104:1-3 </li></ul><ul><li>Say, 'He is God the One, God the Eternal. He begot no one nor was He begotten. No one is comparable to Him.' Qur'an 112:1-4 </li></ul>
  35. 35. The Last Prophet: Muhammad (p)
  36. 36. Belief in the Prophet <ul><li>We believe in the Prophet from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The proof of the Qur’an </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Life of the Prophet Muhammad </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>His excellent character </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The prophesies in other scriptures </li></ul></ul>
  37. 37. The Life of the Prophet <ul><li>Two main phases: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meccan Phase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Medinan Phase </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Meccan: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Revelation of the Qur’an </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oppression, boycott, torture and aggression </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stoning in Taif </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The death of Khadijah and his Uncle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Point of no hope… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Medinan: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Treaty of Aqabah </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hijrah </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The first community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Political authority </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Permission to fight oppression </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The dawn of a new civilisation </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. The Prophet’s Description <ul><li>Al-Hasan said to Hind, “Describe to me the way he spoke.” Hind said, “The Prophet of God, peace and blessings be upon him, was continually full of concern. He was constantly deep in thought. He had no rest, and would not speak without a reason. He would be silent for long periods of time. He would begin conversations, and end them clearly and distinctly and would speak in a way that combined many meanings in few words. He spoke with excellence, and there was no excess in it, nor unnatural brevity. He was gentle by nature and not coarse, nor was he contemptuous of anyone. He would extol the favours he received, even when they were few and small. He never found fault with them. He never criticized the food or drink that was prepared for him, nor did he overly praise it. No one would stand against his anger when matters of the Lord’s truth were opposed, until he had triumphed, but he would never get angry for his own sake, nor would he ever seek to win such an argument. He would gesture with his whole palm, to point. When he was astonished, he would make his palm face upwards. He used his hands frequently as he spoke, and would strike his left palm with his right thumb. When he would get angry, he would turn away and avert his gaze, and when he was full of joy he would lower his eyes. Most of his laughing was as smiling; when he did laugh, it was not loud, and he would show his teeth a bit like they were hailstones.” </li></ul>
  39. 39. The Prophet’s (P) Sayings <ul><li>Hadith </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition “Statement attributed to the Prophet (p)” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hadith Science: Scientific classification of hadith </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some Hadith </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Actions are in accordance to the intentions” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“… spread the salaam” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ If you love your brother, say to him ‘I love you’” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ You must love for your brother/human what you love for yourself” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Whoever has been given gentleness has been given a good portion, in this world and the next.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The best of jihad is a word of truth to a tyrant ruler” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ O people!  Your God is one and your forefather (Adam) is one.  An Arab is not better than a non-Arab and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab, and a red (i.e. white tinged with red) person is not better than a black person and a black person is not better than a red person, except in piety.” </li></ul></ul>
  40. 40. Islam & Politics
  41. 41. Islam & Politics <ul><li>&quot;Neither as Christians or Jews, nor simply as intellectually responsible individuals, have members of Western Civilisation been sensitively educated or even accurately informed about Islam… even some persons of goodwill who have gained acquaintance with Islam continue to interpret the reverence for the prophet Muhammad and the global acceptance of his message as an inexplicable survival of the zeal of an ancient desert tribe. This view ignores fourteen centuries of Islamic civilisation, burgeoning with artists, scholars, statesmen, philanthropists, scientists, chivalrous warriors, philosophers… as well as countless men and women of devotion and wisdom from almost every nation of the planet. The coherent world civilisation called Islam, founded in the vision of the Qur'an, cannot be regarded as the product of individual and national ambition, supported by historical accident.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Lex Hixon, The Heart of the Qur’an </li></ul>
  42. 42. Economics <ul><li>The reality under secular capitalism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>'Relieved of their annual debt repayments, the severely indebted countries could use the funds for investments that in Africa alone would save the lives of about 21 million children by 2000 and provide 90 million girls and women with access to basic education.' UNDP Human Development Report 1997, p. 93 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>'225 people own more wealth than the poorest 2.5 billion people.' UNDP Human Development Report 1998 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>'There is a very broad consensus among African governments that the IMF and World Bank terms are often harsh and unsuitable, generating severely adverse effects on the overall economies of these countries especially with regard to agriculture, manufacture and foreign trade' </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conference of the Institute for African Alternatives, Onimode, B. [ed.], The IMF, the World Bank and African Debt, Zed Books, 1989. </li></ul></ul>
  43. 43. A Just Economic Framework <ul><li>'…but God has allowed trade and forbidden usury…' Qur’an 2:276 </li></ul><ul><li>“… in order that it may not make a circuit between the wealthy among you.” Qur’an 5:7 </li></ul><ul><li>The Prophet Muhammad said: &quot;The son of Adam has no better right than that he would have a house wherein he may live and a piece of cloth whereby he may cover his nakedness and a piece of bread and some water.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>If these economic principles - No Interest, Distributive Justice and the Economic philosophy of providing basic necessities for all citizens before accumulating mass wealth – were the driving force behind western economic policy, the world would be very different. </li></ul>
  44. 44. Dealing with Minorities <ul><li>Imam Qarafi (Classical Islamic Scholar) summed up the responsibility of the Islamic system to the non-Muslim when he said: </li></ul><ul><li>“ It is the responsibility of the Muslims to the People of the Dhimma to care for their weak, fulfil the needs of the poor, feed the hungry, provide clothes, address them politely, and even tolerate their harm even if it was from a neighbour, even though the Muslim would have an upper hand. The Muslims must also advise them sincerely on their affairs and protect them against anyone who tries to hurt them or their family, steal their wealth, or violates their rights.” </li></ul><ul><li>The Qur'an explains: </li></ul><ul><li>“ O You who believe! Indeed We have created you from a single male and female and We have made you into nations and tribes so that you know each other, Verily the noblest among you in the sight of Allah is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold Allah is all knowing, all aware.” Qur'an 49:13 </li></ul>
  45. 45. Problems <ul><li>Secularism has a severe problem in dealing with minorities, especially those with an alternative value system.   </li></ul><ul><ul><li>UK, Netherlands, France, Turkey, USA </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Islamic system, allows Non-Muslim citizens to have their own courts and judges to settle family law disputes and other matters related to their personal lives and religion. </li></ul><ul><li>Sir Thomas Arnold in his book ‘The Call to Islam' points out that under the Ottoman Sultans (Islamic System) the Christian Patriarch and the Grand Synod could decide all matters of faith and dogma without any interference of the State, something that was never the case under the previous Byzantine emperors. </li></ul>
  46. 46. Historical Examples <ul><li>&quot;Every honest Jew who knows the history of his people cannot but feel a deep sense of gratitude to Islam, which has protected the Jews for 50 generations, while the Christian world persecuted the Jews and tried many times 'by the sword' to get them to abandon their faith.&quot; Uri Avnery, An Israeli journalist, who was originally a member of the right wing Revisionist Zionist movement. </li></ul><ul><li>After 1453 Jews were encouraged to immigrate from Europe. A letter from one Rabbi to his persecuted brethren in Europe urging settlement in the promised land states: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Here in the land of the Turks we have nothing to complain of. We possess great fortunes; much gold and silver are in our hands. We are not oppressed with heavy taxes and our commerce is free and unhindered. Rich are the fruits of the earth. Everything is cheap and every one of us lives in peace and freedom...” </li></ul>
  47. 47. Spirituality: Purification of the Heart
  48. 48. Spirituality <ul><li>Affection & Love </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A man once came to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) with a piece of cloth and something in his hand. The man said: &quot;I saw a group of trees and heard the sound of young birds. I took them and put them in my garment. Their mother then came and began to hover around my head. I showed (the chicks) to her, and she fell on them. I wrapped them (all) with my garment. They are now with me.&quot; The Prophet said to his companions: &quot;Are you surprised at the affection of the mother for her young?. . God is more affectionate to His servants than a mother to her young ones . Take (the chicks) back and put them where you found them.&quot; Ref: Sunan of Abu Dawood, Hadith 1359 </li></ul></ul>
  49. 49. Spirituality <ul><li>Remembrance of God </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Those who believe, and whose hearts find peace in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find peace.” Qur'an 13:28 “Therefore remember Me. I will remember you.” Qur'an 2:152 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Allah the Exalted says: 'I am as my slave expects me to be, and I am with him when he remembers Me. . .'” Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim Abdullah bin Busr (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: One of the Companions said, “O Messenger of Allah. There are many injunctions of Islam for me. So tell me something to which I may hold fast.” He said, “Keep your tongue wet with the remembrance of Allah.” Narrated by At-Tirmidhi </li></ul></ul>
  50. 50. Do you know who you are? <ul><li>Do they not reflect within themselves? Qur'an 30:8 </li></ul><ul><li>There is nothing closer to you then yourself. If you don't know yourself, how will you know others? You might say, &quot;I know myself&quot;, but you are mistaken....The only thing you know about yourself is your physical appearance. The only thing you know about your inside [ batin , your unconscious] is that when you are hungry you eat, when you are angry, you fight, and when you are consumed by passion, you make love. In this regard you are equal to any animal. You have to seek the reality within yourself....What are you? Where have you come from and where are you going? What is your role in the world? Why have you been created? Where does your happiness lie? If you would like to know yourself....the reality of your existence is in your inwardness. Everything is a servant of your inward heart. Al-Ghazali, The Alchemy of Happiness </li></ul>
  51. 51. Compassion & Love <ul><li>A'isha said, &quot;I was on a camel that was somewhat intractable and I began to beat it. The Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, said, 'You must be compassionate. Whenever there is compassion in something, it adorns it, and whenever it is removed from something it disgraces it.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, said, &quot;By the one who has my soul in His hand, you will not enter the Garden until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I point out to you something which will make you love one another if you do it? Make the greeting widespread among you.&quot; [Muslim] </li></ul><ul><li>Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, said, &quot;A man visited a brother of his in another village and God positioned an angel to wait for him on his way.&quot; He mentioned the hadith to his words, &quot;Allah loves you just as you love him for His sake.&quot; [Muslim] </li></ul>
  52. 52. Getting Closer to God <ul><li>Prayer </li></ul><ul><li>Fasting </li></ul><ul><li>Reciting the Qur’an </li></ul><ul><li>Tahajjud: Night prayer </li></ul><ul><li>Contemplation </li></ul><ul><li>Dhikr: Remembrance of God </li></ul><ul><li>Voluntary Charity </li></ul><ul><li>Seeking knowledge </li></ul>
  53. 53. Contemporary Issues
  54. 54. De-Mystifying the “Cartoon Controversy” <ul><li>Cartoons: It is not a freedom of speech issue </li></ul><ul><li>How can civilisations initiate a positive debate and dialogue with insults </li></ul><ul><li>The Qur’anic framework builds positive relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom of speech doesn’t exist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Defamation laws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Libel laws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hate speech </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perjury </li></ul></ul>
  55. 55. De-Mystfying the Dutch Right Wing Calls to Ban the Qur’an <ul><li>Under the banner of “the war on terror” some European politicians have used the current political narrative to serve their interests </li></ul><ul><li>Right wing politicians are calling for the ban of the Qur’an and are propagating that Islam as an ideology is inferior to Secularism </li></ul><ul><li>Without a debate or a frank discussion, how can these claims be made? </li></ul><ul><li>To highlight the political opportunism – Netherlands under its current political framework suffers from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>48% increase in robbery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>35% increase in violent crime </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>24% increase in drug trafficking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>105% rise in prison population in the past 10 years (1991-2001) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>15% increase in homicide </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Where are the detailed and comprehensive policies on these issues? Are they really interested in their people and their country? </li></ul><ul><li>Politicians who advance that secularism is the only way forward should be humbled by the statistics </li></ul>
  56. 56. The Correct Approach <ul><li>Many politicians who attack the Qur’an claim that Europe is based upon the Judeo-Christian heritage. </li></ul><ul><li>Can not the following be taken as the basis for violence, hatred and oppression? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ If you hear it said about one of the towns the Lord your God is giving you to live in, that wicked men have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, ‘Let us go and worship other gods’. Then you must enquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. Destroy it completely both its people and its livestock.” Bible, Deuteronomy 13: 12-16 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dutch Constitution Article 97 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(1) All Dutch nationals who are capable of doing so shall have a duty to cooperate in maintaining the independence of the State and defending its territory. (2) This duty may also be imposed on residents of the Netherlands who are not Dutch nationals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If we use the same line of thinking that the politicians who attack Islam and the Qur’an use, then can it not be concluded that the above statements can be used as a means to murder, oppress and terrorise human beings? </li></ul><ul><li>However, there is a consensus that this is not the case due to other principles and concepts. This is the way Islam and the Qur’an should be viewed too. </li></ul>
  57. 57. Necessary Tools <ul><li>In order to extract law from any secular text, the following is required: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge of the language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relevant education in Law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legislative changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UK Law Rules of Interpretation: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Literal Rule: Literal Meaning of the Words </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Golden Rule: Take the whole of the statue rather than a few texts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Purposive Rule: Ascertain what the craftsman intended </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mischief Rule: Looks at what the circumstances and history when that law was created </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>This is similar with the Qur’an: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Qur’an is a source of law and must be treated as such </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Politicians are in no position to understand the Qur’an with regards to Law, Foreign Policy, Economics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1400 years of intellectual scholarship have refined and developed this process of extracting law </li></ul></ul>
  58. 58. De-Mystifying Islam & Women <ul><li>Two main reasons for this negative Islam & Women image: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The colonial removing of Islam as a reference point </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The enfranchisement of women an their negative treatment – especially during the colonial period </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The impact: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Forced marriages, oppression, female genital mutilation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Honour killings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Myth of ‘Equality’: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Western concept that has developed from its own history </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flawed: Equality is ill defined as the standard is the man </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pressures on women </li></ul></ul>'Not one of us seems to be able to give 100% of themselves to their job and 100% of themselves to their family and 100% of themselves to taking care of themselves.“ Lisa Belkin, 'Life's Work:Confessions of an Unbalanced Mom'
  59. 59. <ul><ul><li>1100 years this was not a subject of debate </li></ul></ul>De-Mystifying Islam & Women <ul><ul><li>Right to Vote </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Right to Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Right to be involved in Political Process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Right to Work, Profession and Equal Wage (Doctor, Lawyer, Accountant, Professor, Engineer, Civil Servant, CEO of company, etc…) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Right to Own Property </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Right to choose in Marriage </li></ul></ul>&quot;A Muslim who has two daughters whom he treats well when they accompany him or when he accompanies them is admitted to Paradise“ A woman came to the Prophet of Islam stating her father had given her in marriage against her wishes to his nephew. So the Prophet gave her the choice of repudiating the marriage “ The most perfect in faith amongst believers is he who is best and kindest to his wife.” A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Messenger of God! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship? The Prophet said: Your mother. The man said, ‘Then who?' The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man further asked, ‘Then who?' The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man asked again, ‘Then who?' The Prophet said: Then your father. <ul><li>Equality in Islam </li></ul><ul><li>Same in humanity, but rights and responsibilities differ in areas; equality not considered </li></ul>
  60. 60. De-Mystifying Jihad <ul><li>All nations seek to protect themselves and promote their values and influence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FOREIGN POLICY (2 Main Stages – Only via a legitimate Islamic State) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invitation to belief (intellectual engagement) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Material Engagement to remove the obstacle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No Guantanamo Bay </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No Terrorism </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No Abu Ghraib </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No exploitation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Torture prohibited – Bush vetoed outlawing of ‘waterboarding’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>&quot;The U.S.A. has supplied arms, security equipment and training to governments and armed groups </li></ul><ul><li>that have committed torture, political killings and other human rights abuses in countries around the </li></ul><ul><li>world.” </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;If they turn on the radars we're going to blow up their goddamn SAMs (surface-to-air missiles). </li></ul><ul><li>They know we own their country. We own their airspace... We dictate the way they live and talk. </li></ul><ul><li>And that's what's great about America right now. It's a good thing, especially when there's a lot of oil </li></ul><ul><li>out there we need.&quot; - U.S. Brig. General William Looney </li></ul><ul><li>300 years Colonial History: </li></ul><ul><li>France in Africa </li></ul><ul><li>UK in Africa, Indian Sub-continent, Americas, Australasia </li></ul><ul><li>Netherlands in Indonesia (East Indies Company) – massacre in Aceh </li></ul><ul><li>Plundered wealth, exploited, racism, brutality, massacres, denial of rights </li></ul><ul><li>Islamic View: To Remove Oppression & Injustice </li></ul>
  61. 61. De-Mystifying Science & Progress “ Lack of scientific development and progress in the Muslim world attributed to Islam” <ul><li>CHEMISTRY </li></ul><ul><li>Experimental Method </li></ul><ul><li>Chemical Processes such as Sublimation, Liquefaction, Oxidisation, Crystallisation, Filtration </li></ul><ul><li>Distillation of Petroleum </li></ul><ul><li>Production of Kerosene, Antiseptics, Soaps </li></ul><ul><li>Apparatus such as Alembic, Still </li></ul><ul><li>Perfumery </li></ul><ul><li>Guns/Explosives </li></ul><ul><li>MATHEMATICS </li></ul><ul><li>Arabic Numbers </li></ul><ul><li>Spherical & Analytical Trigonometry </li></ul><ul><li>Algebra </li></ul><ul><li>‘ 0’ </li></ul><ul><li>Algorithms </li></ul><ul><li>Determining roots of quadratic equation </li></ul><ul><li>Geometry </li></ul><ul><li>PHYSICS/ENGINEERING </li></ul><ul><li>Force, Motion and Light </li></ul><ul><li>Hydrostatics </li></ul><ul><li>Hydraulic apparatus </li></ul><ul><li>Elasticity of air </li></ul><ul><li>Magnetic Needle </li></ul><ul><li>Science of Optics </li></ul><ul><li>Spherical & parabolic mirrors </li></ul>&quot;The debt of our science to that of the Arabs does not consist in startling discoveries or revolutionary theories, science owes a great deal more to Arab culture, it owes its existence.” Robert Briffault, &quot;Making of Humanity&quot; Jabir ibn Haiyan, al-Kindi, al-Khwarizmi, al-Fargani, al-Razi, Thabit ibn Qurra, al-Battani, Hunain ibn Ishaq, al-Farabi, Ibrahim ibn Sinan, al-Masudi , ibn Sina
  62. 62. There was a civilization that was the greatest in the world. It was able to create a continental super-state that stretched from ocean to ocean, and from northern climes to tropics and deserts. Within its dominion lived hundreds of millions of people, of different creeds and ethnic origins. One of its languages became the universal language of much of the world, the bridge between the peoples of a hundred lands. Its armies were made up of people of many nationalities, and its military protection allowed a degree of peace and prosperity that had never been known. The reach of this civilization's commerce extended from Latin America to China, and everywhere in between. And this civilization was driven more than anything, by invention. Its architects designed buildings that defied gravity. Its mathematicians created the algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers, and the creation of encryption. Its doctors examined the human body, and found new cures for disease. Its astronomers looked into the heavens, named the stars, and paved the way for space travel and exploration… Ex-CEO of HP - CARLY FIORINA - SEPTEMBER 2001 &quot;WHAT DOES OUR FUTURE DEMAND OF LEADERS TODAY?&quot;
  63. 63. When other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization thrived on them, and kept them alive. When censors threatened to wipe out knowledge from past civilizations, this civilization kept the knowledge alive, and passed it on to others. While modern Western civilization shares many of these traits, the civilization I'm talking about was the Islamic world from the year 800 to 1600, which included the Ottoman (Caliphate)… Although we are often unaware of our indebtedness to this other civilization, its gifts are very much a part of our heritage. The technology industry would not exist without the contributions of Arab mathematicians. It was leadership based on meritocracy, not inheritance. It was leadership that harnessed the full capabilities of a very diverse population-that included Christianity, Islamic, and Jewish traditions. This kind of enlightened leadership - leadership that nurtured culture, sustainability, diversity and courage - led to 800 years of invention and prosperity. In dark and serious times like this, we must affirm our commitment to building societies and institutions that aspire to this kind of greatness.
  64. 64. Thank you! <ul><li>Email: a_tzortzis@yahoo.com </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile: 07988850946 </li></ul><ul><li>www.theinimitablequran.com </li></ul><ul><li>hamzatzortzis.blogspot.com </li></ul><ul><li>Alhamdulillahir Rabbil’Alameen </li></ul><ul><li>[All Praises & Thanks Due to the Lord of the Worlds] </li></ul>

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