The Event <ul><li>1426 years ago a window opened in the heavens and God (Allah ) spoke to mankind. </li></ul><ul><li>The message was the same that had come many times before in the history of mankind. </li></ul><ul><li>The difference was that this was the last time this message would be sent. </li></ul>The name of that message was ‘Islam’
Purpose of this presentation <ul><li>To encourage genuine scientific enquiry into the reality of the Creator and His Message </li></ul><ul><li>To open minds to the truth of Islam through a rational approach </li></ul><ul><li>To ask ourselves the question: What will happen to me when I die? </li></ul>
The three basis of Islam <ul><li>Belief in Allah and his Prophet </li></ul><ul><li>Divine origin of the Qur’an and Islam </li></ul><ul><li>Belief in the Day of Judgment when we will be brought to account irrespective of what we believed </li></ul>Because reality does not depend on belief for its existence
Let’s examine each of them From a standpoint of logic, not belief
Question for seekers of truth Qur’an 4:82: “ Do they not carefully consider the Qur’an ? If it had been from anyone other than Allah they would have found in it many contradictions."
Creation is not an accident <ul><li>Donald Page of the Princeton Institute of Advanced Study has calculated the odds against the formation of our universe without God putting in the necessary constants. And the figure comes out to be one out of 10,000,000 to the power 124. To see how impossible it is compare this number to the total amount of subatomic particles in the whole universe, which has been calculated to be 10 to the power 80. </li></ul><ul><li>According to physicists, if the neutron mass was 0.998 of its present mass, the decay of protons would make the existence of atoms impossible. There would be no life. The designer had life in mind when He set the balance. </li></ul><ul><li>Qur’an 55:7 "He (Allah) has set the balance." </li></ul>Detailed article is available on request
Why only one God <ul><li>If there were more than one God then different parts of the universe would not have worked with such uniformity as they did and as is always the case (when two or more create something), parts of the matter in the universe would have originated at different times. Yet scientists and laws are in agreement that the Big Bang was when all energy and matter originated in the universe. </li></ul><ul><li>Qur’an 23:91 " There has never been any other god besides Allah. Otherwise, each god would have declared independence with their creations, and they would have competed with each other for dominance. Allah be glorified; far above their claims." </li></ul><ul><li>Qur’an 21:22. "If there were in them (the heavens and the earth) other gods beside Allah, there would have been confusion in both." </li></ul>
So He said about Himself <ul><li>Qur’an: 112: "Say: He is Allah the One. Allah, the eternal, absolute. He begets not, nor was He begotten and there is nothing like Him.” </li></ul>Logically if Allah were like us, why would we worship Him?
Divine nature of the Qur’an Is also proof of the Prophethood of Muhammad The Messenger of Allah
<ul><li>Qur’an:3:190-91 Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of night and day there are indeed Signs for men of intelligence/understanding. Men who celebrate the praises of Allah standing sitting and lying down on their sides and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth (with the thought): "Our Lord! not for nothing have you created (all) this! Glory to You! give us salvation from the penalty of the fire. </li></ul>Invitation to intelligent people The first sign of intelligence is to recognize our Creator
<ul><li>The Qur'an is an eternal miracle. It was revealed to Prophet Muhammad who was unlettered. Yet it is acclaimed as the finest example of Arabic literary excellence of all time. </li></ul><ul><li>It also contains information about the universe that was not discovered by science until several centuries after the revelation. </li></ul><ul><li>It is the last Book of Allah sent for the guidance of all humanity through His last Prophet, Muhammad </li></ul>What is the Qur’an?
How was it revealed? <ul><li>The Qur'an was revealed in stages through a period of about 23 years. </li></ul><ul><li>The Prophet received the first revelation in 610 CE, in the Cave of Hira in the Mountain of Light (Jabal-an-Noor), two and a half miles away from the city of Makkah </li></ul>The Angel Jibraeel (Gabriel) used to come with the Word of Allah
The first verses <ul><li>The first revelation was the first 5 verses of Surah (chapter) Al-Alaq (96:1-5) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>"Read in the name of your Lord who created, created man from a clot. Read, for your Lord is most Generous, Who teaches by means of the pen, teaches man what he does not know." </li></ul></ul>Allah invites mankind to ‘read’ His signs in the Universe around us
For whom is the Qur’an? <ul><li>The teachings of the Qur'an are universal, addressed to all people throughout the world until the end of time, regardless of their tribe, race, gender, nationality, creed or color. </li></ul><ul><li>They enlighten the soul, condemn all wrongs, order good deeds and call for the establishment of justice and fraternity through obeying Allah to whom we will all return and account for our actions. </li></ul>
How was the Qur’an preserved? <ul><li>Memorization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From the earliest revelation it was memorized by the Prophet himself as well as by many of his companions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Writing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scribes (there were 42, under Zaid bin Thabit) wrote down the revelation, which they read out to the Prophet to verify its correctness. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>As a source of the Shari`ah (Islamic Law) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Qur’an and the Sunnah are the sources of Islamic law and this has helped in preserving both through practicing the principles enshrined therein. </li></ul></ul>
The Qur’an and Science An Inherent Compatibility
Divine origin of the Qur’an <ul><li>The Qur’an is not the words of Prophet Muhammad . The author of the Qur’an is Allah himself </li></ul><ul><li>There are many proofs of this, some of which are mentioned in the following slides </li></ul>
Our Universe Signs of the Creator all around us
<ul><li>Qur’an 31:20 Do they [the disbelievers] not see that Allah has subjected for them whatsoever is in the heavens and on earth </li></ul><ul><li>Qur’an 54:49 " Indeed We have created everything with a set measure </li></ul><ul><li>Compare these statements in the Qur’an to what the physicist Paul Davies writes in his book, The Accidental Universe (1982): "The numerical values that nature has assigned to the fundamental constants, such as the charge on the electron, the mass of the proton, and the Newtonian Gravitational constant, may be mysterious, but they are critically relevant to the structure of the universe that we perceive. As more and more physical systems from nuclei to galaxies have become better understood, scientists have begun to realize that many characteristics of these systems are remarkably sensitive to the precise value of the fundamental constants. Had nature opted for a slightly different set of numbers, the world would have been a very different place and we would not be here to see it." (Davies 1982) </li></ul>The ‘Fundamental Constants’
<ul><li>Qur’an: 21:30 "Do not the unbelievers see that the Heavens and the earth were joined together, then We split them apart." </li></ul><ul><li>Professor Alfred Kroner, chairman of the Department of Geology at the Institute of Geosciences, Johannes Gutenburg University, Mainz, Germany stated about this verse in the Qur’an: "Somebody who did not know something about nuclear physics 1400 years ago could not, I think, be in a position to find out from his own mind for instance that the earth and the heavens had the same origin, or many others of the questions that we have discussed here. (Rehaili 1995)" </li></ul>The ‘Big Bang’ theory
<ul><li>The Expanding Universe </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Qur’an:51:47 "And the firmament, We constructed with power and skill and verily We are expanding it." </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Protective Atmosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Qur’an:21:32 "And We have made the atmosphere a protective roof, yet do they turn away from the Signs which these things point to." </li></ul></ul>The Expanding Universe
Movement of the Sun <ul><li>The sun's movement is not something that is evident to our eyes but requires specialized equipment to observe. </li></ul><ul><li>Qur’an: 21:33 "It is He who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon, all (the celestial bodies) swim along, each in its orbit with its own motion." </li></ul><ul><li>Qur’an: 36:39 “And the sun constantly journeys towards a homing place for it and for the moon, We have determined phases.” </li></ul><ul><li>Modern science discovered that the sun rotates around its axis every 26 days . The Qur’an mentions the movement of the sun, with its own motion, signified by the verb ‘Yasbahoon’ in Arabic. Thus according to the Qur’an the sun is not just flying through space but moving on its own, i.e. rotating. The sun is also continually on a journey in space towards its homing place, the solar apex, as mentioned in the Qur’an. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The Death of Stars </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Qur’an: 77:7-8 Assuredly what ye are promised must come to pass. Then when the stars become dim; </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Phases of the Moon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Qur’an:36:38-39 And the Sun runs his course for a period determined for him: that is the decree of (Him) the exalted in Might the All-Knowing. And the Moon We have measured for her phases (to traverse) till she returns like the old (and withered) lower part of date-stalk. </li></ul></ul>Death of Stars, Phases of Moon
Origin of all life from water <ul><li>Qur’an:21:30 Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of Creation) before We clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe? </li></ul><ul><li>Qur’an:25:54 It is He Who has created man from water: then has He established relationships of lineage and marriage: for thy Lord has power (over all things). </li></ul><ul><li>Qur’an:24:45 And Allah has created every animal from water: of them there are some that creep on their bellies; some that walk on two legs; and some that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills: for verily Allah has power over all things. </li></ul>
Queen ant & Queen bee <ul><li>Qur’an:68-69 And thy Lord taught the Bee to build its cells in hills on trees and in (men's) habitations; Then to eat of all the produce (of the earth) and find with skill the spacious paths of its Lord: there issues from within their bodies a drink of varying colors wherein is healing for men: verily in this is a Sign for those who give thought. (The Qur’an uses the female verb in describing the bee, in Arabic faslukee.) </li></ul><ul><li>Qur’an:27:18-19 At length when they came to a (lowly) valley of ants one of the ants said: "O ye ants get into your habitations lest Solomon and his hosts crush you (under foot) without knowing it." So he smiled amused at her speech; and he said: "O my Lord! so order me that I may be grateful for Thy favors which Thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents and that I may work the righteousness that will please Thee: and admit me by Thy Grace to the ranks of Thy righteous Servants.“ (The Qur’an uses the female verb Qalat to refer to the speech of the ant) </li></ul><ul><li>It is known only in modern times that in bee and ant colonies, it is the female queen that is the only one who gives directions to the entire colony. </li></ul>
Invisible barrier between seas <ul><li>Qur’an:55:19-20 He has let free the two bodies of flowing water meeting together. Between them is a Barrier which they do not transgress: </li></ul><ul><li>The French scientist Jacques Yves Cousteau conducted various undersea investigations at the Strait of Gibraltar and explaining these phenomena concluded: "Unexpected fresh water springs issue from the southern and northern coasts of Gibraltar. These mammoth springs gush towards each other at angles of 45 degrees forming a reciprocal dam. Due to this fact the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Oceans cannot intermingle (as quoted by Nurbaki)." </li></ul>
Isostacy & Mountain roots <ul><li>Qur’an:78:6-7 "Have we not expanded the earth and made the mountains as tent pegs" </li></ul><ul><li>Qur’an:31-10 " We have cast into the earth anchors lest it shake with you" </li></ul><ul><li>This fact was discovered less than 150 years ago by scientists and now accepted as a fundamental law in geology, the concept of Isostacy. M. J Selby in a standard-text on the subject entitled "Earth's Changing Surface (Clarendon Press, Oxford 1985) states: "G.B Airy in 1855 suggested that the crust of the earth could be likened to rafts of timber floating on water. Thick pieces of timber float higher above the water surface than thin pieces and similarly thick sections of the earth's crust will float on a liquid or plastic substratum of greater density. Airy was suggesting that mountains have a deep root of lower density rock, which the plains lack. Four years after Airy published his work, J.H Pratt offered an alternative hypothesis...By this hypothesis, rock columns below mountains must have a lower density, because of their greater length, than shorter rock columns beneath plains. Both Airy and Pratt's hypothesis imply that surface irregularities are balanced by differences in density of rocks below the major features (mountains and plains) of the crust. This state of BALANCE is described as the concept of ISOSTACY (Selby1985:32) ." </li></ul>
Within Ourselves Qur’an:55:18 Then which of the favors of your Lord will you deny?
<ul><li>Qur’an 41: 53: “We will show them Our Signs in the universe and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this (Qur’an) is the truth. Is it not sufficient in regard to your Lord that He is a Witness over all things?” </li></ul>The challenge of the Qur’an
<ul><li>Qur’an:16:4 “Allah fashioned man from a small quantity (of sperm” </li></ul><ul><li>Qur’an:23:13-14 “Then We placed him as a drop in a place of rest. Then We made the drop into a leech like structure..." </li></ul><ul><li>Qur’an:32:9 “And He (Allah) gave you hearing and sight and feeling and understanding." </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. E. Marshall Johnson Professor of Anatomy, concluded after studying verses from Qur'an: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>"The Qur'an describes not only the development of external form but emphasizes also the internal stages - the stages inside the embryo of its creation and development, emphasizing major events recognized by contemporary science... so I see nothing in conflict with the concept that divine intervention was involved..." </li></ul></ul>Embryology
Testimony of scientists <ul><li>Keith Moore, head of the department of anatomy, at the University of Toronto, was shown verses of the Qur’an dealing with the microscopic stages of the human embryo. He was so surprised at what he found that he went back and revised the history of embryology in his standard texts on the subject. The books that Keith Moore authored are used at prestigious institutions like Yale and at universities all around the world. He stated, after being unable to provide an explanation on how microscopic details of the embryo could be accurately described in a book written before the discovery of the microscope: "It is clear to me that these statements (in the Qur’an on embryology) must have come to Muhammad from God. This proves to me that Muhammed must have been the Messenger of God or Allah." (Rehaili 1995) </li></ul>
Circulation of blood & food <ul><li>Qur’an:16-6 "And surely in the cattle, there is a lesson for you. We give you to drink of what is inside their bodies, from between digested food and blood, pure milk, pleasant to those who drink it." The above verse of the Qur’an calls our attention to the food distribution function of blood. It should be kept in mind however that this information was made known to the west by William Harvey, 1000 years after the Prophet’s death. If he was the author of the Qur’an (as his enemies claim) how would he have known, at the time that he lived that digested food is transported via blood and then becomes the constituent of milk secreted by the mammary glands? </li></ul>
Maurice Bucaille <ul><li>Maurice Bucaille, one of the first to popularize the linking of the Qur’an and Science, in his best selling books, The Bible, the Qur’an and Science , and What is the Origin of Man , concluded that given the history of the origin of the Qur’an, it could not have been the work of a man or group of men living in Arabia or anywhere else at that time, considering the nature of the scientific information in the Qur’an. Lecturing at the French Academy of Medicine, he concluded on the subject: "It makes us deem it quite unthinkable for a man of Muhammad's time to have been the author of such statements on account of the state of knowledge in his day. Such considerations are what give the Qur’anic revelation its unique place and forces the impartial scientist to admit his inability to provide an explanation which calls solely on materialistic reasoning.” (Bucaille 1985) </li></ul>
Resurrection of the dead <ul><li>Qur’an: 75:1-6 I do call to witness the Resurrection Day; And I do call to witness the self-reproaching spirit; (eschew Evil). Does man think that We cannot assemble his bones? Nay We are able to put together in perfect order the very tips of his fingers. But man wishes to do wrong (even) in the time in front of him. He questions: "When is the Day of Resurrection? </li></ul><ul><li>Qur’an: 75:36-40 Does Man think that he will be left uncontrolled (without purpose)? Was he not a drop of sperm emitted (in lowly form)? Then did he become a leech-like clot; then did (Allah) make and fashion (him) in due proportion. And of him He made two sexes male and female. Has not He (the same) the power to give life to the dead </li></ul>So why then will we still not believe?
And on the Day of Judgment? <ul><li>Qur’an:32-10-12 And they say: "What! when we lie hidden and lost in the earth shall we indeed be in a creation renewed?" Nay they deny the meeting with their Lord! Say: "The Angel of Death put in charge of you will (duly) take your souls: then shall ye be brought back to your Lord. If only thou couldst see when the guilty ones will bend low their heads before their Lord (saying:) "Our Lord! We have seen and we have heard: now send us back (to the world): we will work righteousness: for we do indeed (now) believe. </li></ul>But on that day nothing can be changed
All that we need to do today… <ul><li>Accept in our heart that there is nobody worthy of worship except Allah who created us and sustains us and who will kill us and resurrect us and who we will stand before to be judged. </li></ul><ul><li>And accept that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger </li></ul>Its as simple as that to become a Muslim!!
And what will happen then?? <ul><li>Qur’an:25;70-1 But if he repents, believes and works righteous deeds, Allah will change the evil of such persons into good and Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful. And whoever repents and does good has truly turned to Allah with an (acceptable) conversion </li></ul><ul><li>The Mercy of Allah is such that not only will he forgive our sins but will change them into good deeds. If only we are ready to accept and obey Him. </li></ul>
Popular Notions and Prejudices about Islam Frequently Asked Questions and their Answers
The Prophet of Islam What others say about him
John William Draper A history of the Intellectual Development of Europe, Vol. 1 <ul><li>“Four years after the death of Justinian, A.D. 569, was born at Mecca in Arabia, the man who of all men, has exercised the greatest influence upon the human race…Mohammad….” </li></ul>
Major Arthur Glyn Leonard Islam – Her Moral and Spiritual Value, London 1927, p.20-1 <ul><li>“ Mohammad was no mere spiritual peddler, no vulgar time-serving vagrant, but one of the most profoundly sincere and earnest spirits of any age or epoch. A man not only great, but one of the greatest (i.e. truest), men that humanity has ever produced. Great, not simply as a prophet but as a patriot and a statesman: a material as well as a spiritual builder who constructed a great nation, a greater empire and more even than all three, a still greater Faith, true moreover, because he was true to himself, his people and above all, to his God.” </li></ul>
<ul><li>“ The theory of Islam and Sword for instance is not heard now frequently in any quarter worth the name. The principle of Islam that there is no compulsion in religion is well known. Gibbon, a historian of world repute says, "A pernicious tenet has been imputed to Mohammadans, the duty of extirpating all the religions by sword.This charge based on ignorance and bigotry, is refuted by Qur'an, by history of Musalman conquerors and by their public and legal toleration of Christian worship. The great success of Mohammad's life had been effected by sheer moral force, without a stroke of sword.” </li></ul>Prof. K. S. Ramakrishna Rao, Head of the Department of Philosophy, Government College for Women University of Mysore, Mandya-571401 (Karnataka). Mohammed The Prophet - Re-printed from "Islam and Modern age", Hyderabad, March 1978.
<ul><li>“ The personality of Muhammed, it is most difficult to get into the whole truth of it….There is Muhammed, the Prophet. There is Muhammed, the General; Muhammed, the King; Muhammed the Preacher; Muhammed the Philosopher; Muhammed the Statesman; Muhammed the Orator; Muhammed the Reformer; Muhammed the Protector of Slaves; Muhammed the Emancipator of Women; Muhammed the Judge; Muhammed the Saint. And in all these magnificent roles, in all these departments of human activities, he is alike, a hero.” </li></ul>Prof. K. S. Ramakrishna Rao, Head of the Department of Philosophy, Government College for Women University of Mysore, Mandya-571401 (Karnataka). Mohammed The Prophet - Re-printed from "Islam and Modern age", Hyderabad, March 1978.
Jules Masserman U.S. psychoanalyst, Time Magazine, July 15, 1974 <ul><li>Leaders must fulfill three functions – provide for the well-being of the led; provide a social organization in which people feel secure and provide them with a set of beliefs. </li></ul><ul><li>People like Pasteur and Salk are leaders in the first sense. People like Gandhi and Confucius on one hand and Alexander, Caesar and Hitler on the other are leaders in the second and perhaps the third. Jesus and Buddha belong in the third category alone. </li></ul><ul><li>Perhaps the greatest leader of all times was Mohammad who combined all three functions.” </li></ul>
<ul><li>“ Some one has said that Europeans in South Africa dread the advent of Islam -- Islam that civilized Spain, Islam that took the torch light to Morocco and preached to the world the gospel of brotherhood.The Europeans of South Africa dread the Advent of Islam. They may claim equality with the white races. They may well dread it, if brotherhood is a sin. If it is equality of colored races then their dread is well founded.” </li></ul>Mahatma Gandhi in Young India
Mahatma Gandhi again….. in Young India <ul><li>“ I become more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days. </li></ul><ul><li>It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard fro pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers and his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. </li></ul><ul><li>These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle.” </li></ul>
Dr. Annie Besant The Life and Teachings of Muhammad <ul><li>“ It is impossible for anyone who studies the life & character of the great Prophet of Arabia, …., to feel anything but reverence for that mighty Prophet, one of the great messengers of the Supreme. …I myself feel whenever I re-read them, a new way of admiration, a new sense of reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher.” </li></ul>
Sir George Bernard Shaw ‘The Genuine Islam,’ Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936 <ul><li>“ I have studied him – the wonderful man – in in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ he must be called the Savior of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving the problems in a way that would bring much needed peace and happiness. </li></ul><ul><li>I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.” </li></ul>
Rev. Bosworth Smith “Mohammed and Mohammedanism”, 1874 <ul><li>“ By a fortune absolutely unique in history, Mohammed is a threefold founder, of a nation, of an empire and of a religion. </li></ul><ul><li>He was Caesar and Pope in one, but he was Pope without the Pope’s pretensions and Caesar without the legions of Caesar: without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue, if ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by right Divine, it was Mohammed, for he had all the powers without its instruments and without its supports.” </li></ul>
Alphonse de Lamar tine Historie de le Turquie, Paris 1854, Vol.11.Pages 276-77 <ul><li>“ If greatness of purpose, smallness of means and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who would dare to compare any great man in history with Muhammad? </li></ul><ul><li>Philosopher, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational beliefs, of a cult without images, the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and one spiritual empires, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?” </li></ul>
Dr. Sarojini Naidu IDEALS OF ISLAM, vide Speeches & Writings, Madras, 1918 <ul><li>“ It was the first religion that preached and practiced democracy; for, in the mosque, when the call for prayer is sounded and worshippers are gathered together, the democracy of Islam is embodied five times a day when the peasant and king kneel side by side and proclaim: 'God Alone is Great'... I have been struck over and over again by this indivisible unity of Islam that makes man instinctively a brother.” </li></ul>
Sharma & Guillaume <ul><li>Diwan Chand Sharma </li></ul><ul><li>The Prophets of the East, Calcutta 1935, p.122 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Muhammad was the soul of kindness and his influence was felt and never forgotten by those around him.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Alfred Guillaume, </li></ul><ul><li>Islam, Harmondsworth, London, 1954, p.2 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ At the outset let it be said that Muhammad was one of the great figures of history….His ability as a statesman faced with problems of extraordinary complexity is truly amazing.” </li></ul></ul>
Thomas Carlyle On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History, London 1888,p.61 <ul><li>“ His household was the frugalest; his common diet barley-bread and water; sometimes for months there was not a fire once lighted on his hearth. They record with just pride that he would mend his own shoes, patch his own cloak. A poor, hard-toiling, ill provided man; careless of what vulgar men toil for. </li></ul><ul><li>No emperor with his tiaras was obeyed as this man in a cloak of his own clouting. During his three and twenty years of rough trial, I find something of a veritable hero necessary for that of itself.” </li></ul>
De Lacy O’Leary Historian in “Islam at the cross road” <ul><li>“History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myth that historians have ever repeated.” </li></ul>
John Esposito, Professor, Georgetown University & Advisor to the US Government on Islamic affairs, in 'The Islamic Threat': Myth or Reality? <ul><li>“ I regard 'fundamentalism as too laden with Christian presuppositions and Western stereotypes, as well as implying a monolithic threat that does not exist ; more fitting general terms are "Islamic Revivalism" or "Islamic Activism", which are less value-laden and have roots within the Islamic tradition. </li></ul><ul><li>Islam possess a long tradition of revival (tajdid) and reform (islah) which includes notions of political and social activism dating from early Islamic centuries to the present day.” </li></ul>
About double standards: John Esposito <ul><li>"Focus on "Islamic fundamentalism" as a global threat has reinforced a tendency to equate violence with Islam, to fail to distinguish between illegitimate use of religion by individuals and the faith and practice of the majority of the world's Muslims who, like believers in other religious traditions, wish to live in peace.” </li></ul>
About double standards: John Esposito <ul><li>“ To uncritically equate Islam and Islamic fundamentalism with extremism is to judge Islam only by those who wreak havoc, a standard not applied to Judaism and Christianity. Fear of fundamentalism creates a climate in which Muslims and Islamic organizations are guilty until proven innocent. Actions, however heinous, are attributed to Islam rather than to a twisted or distorted interpretation of Islam.” </li></ul>
And the effect of this: John Esposito <ul><li>“ Thus, for example, despite the historic track record of Christianity and Western countries in conducting warfare, developing weapons of mass destruction, and imposing their imperialist designs, Islam and Muslim culture are portrayed as somehow peculiarly and inherently expansionist and prone to violence and warfare (jihad)“. </li></ul>
Equality of Men and Women <ul><li>In Islam there is complete equality between men and women in all respects of duties and rewards and a difference in responsibilities in relation to their nature of creation. </li></ul><ul><li>One is not superior to the other; only different in terms of some responsibilities, like the upbringing of children. </li></ul>
Equality of Men and Women <ul><li>Qur'an 49:13 O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female. </li></ul><ul><li>Qur'an 4:1 O Mankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord, Who created you from a single person, created of like nature his mate, from them scattered countless men and women. Fear Allah, through whom you demand your mutual rights and reverence the wombs (that bore you), for Allah ever watches over you. </li></ul><ul><li>Qur'an 3:195 Never will I waste the work of a worker among you, whether male or female, the one of you being from the other. </li></ul>
Comparison of some of the Rights of Women & Men <ul><li>Right to own property and income. She need not share it with the husband at all. </li></ul><ul><li>Right to be paid to bring up children including nursing them </li></ul><ul><li>Right to marry anyone of their choice </li></ul><ul><li>Right to divorce the husband even without his consent and to have this written in the marriage contract </li></ul><ul><li>Right to receive the Mehr (bridal present) and not to pay any dowry at all </li></ul><ul><li>Wife has a right in the husband’s property and income. It is the duty of the husband to support the wife unconditionally. </li></ul><ul><li>Right to have the wife obey him in all matters that are not against Islam. </li></ul><ul><li>Right to divorce the wife for specific reasons in the presence of 2 witnesses after first exhausting all avenues of resolving differences </li></ul><ul><li>The wife need not serve her husband’s parents or family </li></ul>
Women as an example for all time <ul><li>Qur’an 66: 10-12: Allah sets forth, for an example to the unbelievers, the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were both under two of our righteous servants, but they were false to their husbands and they profited nothing before Allah on their account, but were told: 'Enter you the Fire along with others that enter! And Allah sets forth, as an example to those who believe, the wife of Pharaoh. Behold she said: 'O my Lord! Build for me, in nearness to You, a mansion in Paradise, and save me from Pharaoh and his doings, and save me from those who do wrong.' And Mary, the daughter of Imran, who guarded her chastity. We breathed into her body of Our Spirit and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of His revelations and was one of the devout. </li></ul>
<ul><li>In Islam men and women are equally directed to be modest and to dress and conduct themselves in a way that sets them apart from others and makes them recognizable as Muslims. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Qur’an 33:59 O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e.screen themselves completely except the eyes). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed and Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Qur’an 24:30 Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do. </li></ul></ul>The Veil Symbol of Freedom or Oppression?
Is this Freedom or Oppression? <ul><li>33% of women in America are unwed mothers bringing up children born out of wedlock on their own. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Beauty Contests’ which treat women as a sex object and reinforce the myth that unless a woman is attractive to men she is worthless. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Proms’ in Western schools where girls who can’t get a partner (because they are not attractive) commit suicide every year. </li></ul><ul><li>Peer pressure on girls to have boy friends and be attractive to boys by dressing provocatively (case in point: TV serials about schools) </li></ul><ul><li>Using the female body as an object to attract attention in liquor, car, motorcycle, advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Teen pregnancy, abortion, free sex, teen magazines: are these signs of freedom or of female enslavement by a male dominated society </li></ul>
<ul><li>Why despite all the hype about women’s rights, America feels it can’t even think of a woman President in the next 20 years? (Gallup Poll, 1998) </li></ul><ul><li>Why women executives and workers in the US are paid less than their male counterparts to this day? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is it that despite all the noise, the number of female top executives in American & European industry or government is still a miniscule number? </li></ul>Did you ever wonder?
<ul><li>When a western woman stays at home to look after the house and kids she's sacrificing herself and doing good for the household, but when a Muslim woman does so, she "needs to be liberated"? </li></ul><ul><li>When anyone chooses to express their identity in the form of their dress or way of life this is acceptable but when a Muslim does it, it is seen as adversarial? </li></ul><ul><li>When a person of another faith (Zionist, IRA, VHP, Bajrang Dal, Khalistan, LTTE) kills someone, religion is not mentioned, but when a Muslim is charged with a crime, it's Islam that goes to trial? </li></ul>Did you ever wonder?
<ul><li>Why a nun can be covered from head to toe and she’s respected for devoting herself to God, but when a Muslim woman does that, she’s “oppressed”? </li></ul><ul><li>Why a Jew, Sikh or Hindu can grow a beard and he’s just practicing his faith, and when a Muslim does that, he's an “extremist”? </li></ul><ul><li>Why a Hindu can go to the temple every day and wear viboodhi (ash) on his forehead, or a Sikh can wear a turban to work but when a Muslim prays regularly and wears Islamic dress he is a “fundamentalist”? </li></ul>Did you ever wonder?
But then again, why is it after all that, that Islam is still the fastest growing religion in the world?
<ul><li>For further information please feel free to contact me by email: </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>Thank You Very Much