Discovering the “Demons” of Islam: A Crash Course in Understanding the Djinn, From Multiple Perspectives.

First Posted: May 27, 2013 by LVCIFER (sharing his work) https://diabolicalconfusions.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/discovering-the-demons-of-islam-a-crash-course-in-understanding-the-djinn-from-multiple-perspectives/

Within my own research into the world of the paranormal, I began to start digging into anything I could to find out details in regards to malevolent hauntings and/or certain spirits. And at first, myself being Roman Catholic, obviously began to look inwards to my own religion for answers, but unfortunately, the topic of demonology pre-dates even my religion. So, my answer, it seemed, was to begin digging into other faith systems. I began to start studying the Hebrew religion of Judaism, and as you could imagine, that took up quite a lot of my time. Then, however, I came across something that made me take a step back, and reassess some patterns of thoughts that I had been forming.

This article is going to be a special one, because it is going to contain contributions from people who are more familiar with certain matters of faith than I am. They are not authors for the site, but simply people, both of which who choose to remain anonymous, who either have insight or personal experience in regards to this topic.

We are going to go in-depth the “demons” of the Islamic faith, the Djinn.

Now, I myself will openly admit that I am not particularly familiar with the Muslim religion, however, in the past few months, I have become increasingly interested in it from an academic point of view. You should also know that while this article is being published to coincide with the new year of 2013, I have been specifically researching this topic wince the year 2010, digging into forums, and weeding out people who I believed to be telling mistruths, etc., This article will be a collaboration between myself, sharing what I have learned, one other woman who has given her insight to this field from the point of view of a devout and faithful muslim, and a man, who, due to circumstances early on in his life with the Djinn, witnessed an honest-to-goodness exorcism of the Djinn, performed in Jordan. Both of these people have chosen to use the media of simple text to express themselves and offer their inputs, but this comes as the result of many phone interviews, facetime video calls, e-Mails and text messages, to make sure that during the fabrication of this article, I got every detail correct. In regards to their input, nothing has been changed, and every detail I included was given to me by these people. I have not changed a single thing, nor have I “beefed it up” to make it more entertaining or “commercialized”. When you read their contributions, it is 100% exactly how they intended for you to understand it.

With that being said, let me start off by explaining my understanding of the Djinn. I am going to be explaining this from the point of view of a Westerner, who is of Roman Catholic faith, and my views may not reflect those of Muslims or Hebrews. However, being that I have my hands into so many aspects of multiple religions, I personally feel that I have made some connections which others may argue and contest. Note that nothing I say should be taken as hard, concrete proof or evidence. I will state a great many facts, and then offer my insight to this, so please be warned.

For an extended view into what these entities are, you can watch videos by one of the authors who wrote a book or two on the topic, a Ms. Rosemary Ellen Guiley. Here are the links:

WHAT EXACTLY ARE THE DJINN?

From my understanding, the Djinn are sentient beings created by God/Allah. They were the masters of the Earth before mankind was, and it was taken away from them because God/Allah was displeased with how they were utilizing it. They do not remain on the same plane of existence as we are, and I will not even begin to try to tackle why that is. I do not pretend to know the answers to that, and anyone who does should be treated with skepticism.

The Djinn were beings, who were created from smokeless flame, and as such, are alleged to be extremely hot tempered. They are impulsive, intense, and very focused on their task at hand. At one point, they were the preferred species of God/Allah. As explained below by “Hana”, they were a vast and expansive race of beings. They engaged in much of the same function that we do: they had a purpose (“job”), they had families, they had communities and clans, and they had rulers (“kings”). One of these Djinn, named Iblis, forms a direct parallel to the Judeo-Christian Character of Haylel (הילל), otherwise known as Lucifer, or the Greek Phosphoros. The one main difference is that he was never an Angel. He was however, the most powerful of all of the Djinn, and he was even granted access to walk amongst Heaven “with the angels”, and he was also the only Djinn allowed to do this.

When God/Allah created man, Adam, he commanded all his angels and all of the Djinn to bow and kneel before this creation, and to love him. And at first, all did – except for Iblis, much like the story of Lucifer.

It is We who created you and gave you shape; then We bade the angels prostrate to Adam, and they prostrate; not so Iblis;

He refused to be of those who prostrate.

(Allah) said: “What prevented thee from prostrating when I commanded thee?”

(Iblis) said: “I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay.”

(Allah) said: “Get thee down from this: it is not for thee to be arrogant here: get out, for thou art of the meanest (of creatures).

Be thou among those who have respite.”

(Iblis) said: “Because thou hast thrown me out of the way, lo! I will lie in wait for them on thy straight way: Then I will assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left. Nor wilt thou find, in most of them, gratitude (for thy mercies).”

(Allah) said: “Get out from this, degraced and expelled. If any of them follow thee, Hell will I fill with you all.”

So as you can see, Iblis, once again prideful and arrogant, rebelled against the desires of God/Allah, and was forever cast out of Heaven, but also given the opportunity to terrorize mankind as a test to see who was loyal to the holy ways of the Lord, and who would stray.

Now, on top of that, there are other correlations between the demonic, as well as the Djinn, and Angels. While in my opinion, encountering ANY angel would be a terrifying experience due to their dual-existence being some of the holiest of creatures but always having one wing dipped in blood to enforce the wrath and vengeance of God/Allah as well, I could imagine that encountering one of these Djinn, being bitter envious of mankind in general would be quite a horrifying experience.

There are different “classes” of the Djinn, with each one having unique identifying traits. Some of the notes I have taken would explain these, so I’ll just simply dive into it and explain what those classes are: to “simplify” the information, I will not be referring to them in their native language, I will be using the “western” definitions here.

WHERE DOES “AZAZEL” COME INTO THIS?

There have been numerous claims that the fallen angel Azazel (עזאזל) was actually the name of Iblis before he was distorted and cast from heaven. As a matter of fact, the book The Vengeful Djinn, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley and Philip Imbrogno, ISBN 978-0-7387-2171-2, pages 17 & 18 address this issue. Let me first say though, that I have heard this numerous times before this book published it, however, I will quote them, as they did a rather decent job of explaining this.

In some early Islamic accounts, Iblis was once a powerful angel named Azazel. The name “Azazel” means “God strengthens” and this angel may have originally been a Semitic god of shepherd’s flocks who became demonized as Abrahamic religions flourished. Azazel is associated with the ritual of scapegoating as an expiation of sin, as described in Leviticus 16. In verse nine, God tells Moses that his brother Aaron shall take two goats and sacrifice them: one is to the Lord for sin and the second is for AzazeI, to be presented live for atonement, and then sent into the wilderness supposedly to the demon. This reference to the wilderness has led to beliefs that Azazel was a demon of the desert. Coincidentally, the desert is also considered to be Iblis’ home when Allah permits him to enter our world.

In the apocryphal story The Apocalypse of Abraham, Azazel is mentioned as the angel of disgrace, lies, evil, wrath, and trials. He is the lord of hell, confined to earth by God because he became enamored with it. In Judaic lore, AzazeI figures prominently in folk tales, along with another fallen angel, Samyaza (sometimes spelled Shemihazah or Shemhazai). Azazel refuses to bow to Adam when presented to God and the heavenly hierarchies. Islamic lore also tells of Azazel refusing to bow to Adam, and God casting him out of heaven and changing him into Iblis as a result. Although the angelic origin of Iblis contradicts Islamic beliefs, it is still considered by some scholars as a possible origin for this rebellious spirit.

According to Islamic belief, the evil that exists everywhere is due to corrupt humans and djinn who have turned their backs on Allah. Demons, fairies, ghosts, demonic possession, and even sightings of extraterrestrial aliens are believed to be the work of djinn, or in some cases, spiritually corrupt humans who have joined Iblis. If we take into account the reality of the existence of djinn, we can understand the paranormal’s great diversity. Rarely do djinn present their true identity to us. Instead, they enjoy taking on many disguises. Many djinn merely play a harmless game with us for their amusement, but some have a more deadly agenda.

Stories about the djinn reveal a long history of perceived injustices and indignities from their perspective, creating valid reasons (in their minds) for many of them to plot against humanity. Believing themselves to be wronged by God in favor of human beings, some djinn have carried a deep grudge for millennia. Add to that the abuses they believe they’ve suffered at the hands of one of the few men to ever have dictatorial control over them – King Solomon. In order for us to understand the djinn and their feelings about humans, we must study both their past and present interactions with our race.

Further than that, not that this is any type of authority, you can also view the entry on Wikipedia for Azazel, where even in there, it states basically the same information as above, under the “Azazel in Islam” section. You can view that informationhere.

THE DIFFERENT CLASSES / VARIANTS OF THE DJINN

THE GREEN DJINN

The classes of the djinn or divided amongst many, the first and weakest being that of the green djinn. They are the youngest of them all, and are not actually green, that is just how they’re classified in levels of rank and power. They can do many things such as manipulate the physical universe, but they are all different. It would be the equivalent of the youngest, and the most naïve. They can be playful, vengeful, sometimes kind, and most of the time cruel. As with people, they have different areas of expertise and talent. Some are better at different areas of skill such as the sciences, math engineering, art and other things.

It is been said that the green djinn only enter our world because they are curious about us. It is like a temporary vacation, from their world. One of the more common Islamic beliefs is that they live in holes.

One of the worst things that a person can do is to somehow find a way to offend this hole. That means any littering, disturbance, urination, or any other type of offensive activity that involves this hole could eventually wind up leaving a person to severe emotional, spiritual, and physical woes at the hands of the djinn. It is also said that these holes, which these djinn live in, eventually lead into an entire subterranean network otherwise known as the djinn world. Others believe something similar, such as these holes are simply entrances to portals which will lead us into the world of the djinn. As stated in The Vengeful Djinn, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley and Philip Imbrogno, ISBN 978-0-7387-2171-2, it is believed that just to enter into one of these portals will bring you into a different plane of existence. A different dimension in which the djinn are allegedly the masters in control.

Throughout history, these entities have taken on many different shapes and forms. Some of those shapes all depended on what type of mood this entity was in at the time that it chose to materialize. The shapes include: dogs, elves, a fairie, and even in some instances, they were known to take on the shape and form of an angelic entity.

THE BLUE DJINN

Then, there is the next class up ladder, the blue djinn. They are also called the marid, but despite their jump in class, there are not very many of them. Surprisingly, they are considered by many to be the most powerful of all of the djinn. They are known for being extremely reclusive, and if given the choice, they would rarely if ever interact with the human race. It is said in is Islamic believes and folklore, that the blue djinn, As heinous as they are, are responsible for saving the entire race of the djinn in a battle between all of them and the red djinn. For those of you who do not know, the red djinn are a different class of entity, and we will talk about them soon. Just for inclusion in this section of the article, the red djinn are worshipers of the Islamic equivalent to the Roman Catholic devil, Iblis.

In terms of strength and power, it is said that the blue djinn are the oldest and most powerful of them all, with their strength lying on a scale just that below the strength and power of an angelic being.

It is also said that the blue djinn were involved in a war. A war against heaven. According to the Islamic religion, when Allah ordered them to leave the physical world because they had to submit it to Adam, the blue djinn resisted and put up arms. They decided that they were going to literally launch a war against the Angels, and fight for their right to stay within this physical world. In the end, it is said that this war lasted a millennium, and the Angels eventually overtook the blue djinn. Not all of them agreed to go quietly, however, and many of the blue djinn chose to stay in our world, with their clans.

As time goes on, the blue djinn sit and wait, quiet, and calculating, and as they get stronger, their only purpose it is believed is so that they can use that strength and engage in a second war with the Angels so that they can fight to regain and retain their ability to live in our world.

THE RED DJINN

The red entities seemingly have only one reason to exist: to bring forth the destruction and the downfall of humankind. In Islamic folklore and belief, these entities would be the closest thing to the Roman Catholic and Judeo-Christian demons. They have abandoned all previous ties to their leaders, their families, their clans, and their God, in order to follow Iblis. They are most commonly described as being either the voice of reason, or the voice of destruction. As a matter of fact, a very common depiction of this particular breed of entity, is the popular notion of having one demon sit on your shoulder, and one angel sit on your other shoulder, and throughout your life, at every action, one or the other of them will whisper in your ear and sway you to make a decision of either good, or bad.

It is also believed that these entities, being the closest to the demonic, throughout history have been confused with such. The issue is, they are known for appearing in the form of reptilian-like creatures, and because they have no allegiances to anyone or anything other than that of pure evil, they are also allegedly responsible for many things such as possession, physical illness and some severe/intense hauntings.

THE BLACK DJINN

Not much is known about these reclusive entities, but in one mention, it has been said that they are the leaders and the rulers of the blue djinn. They are also known to rule over other large clans and it may in fact be possible that they are kings or in the least, a ruling class of entity over others. As I said, not much is known about this particular entity. It may be so simple that there is only one black djinn, and that he is the ruler of them all. This is not as far-fetched as you would think. However, not much is known so it cannot be proven one way or the other.

There is one very, very famous legend, known as the Testament of Solomon. In this testament, at the side of King Solomon, there was a black djinn. King Solomon had complete control over this entity, and whenever a green or a blue djinn defied their orders, it was the black djinn’s responsibility to punish these entities. In any event, regardless of who or where these legends came from, you can view the Testament of King Solomon here.

The other thing that is note worthy, is that at the current time, with what little is known about these particular entities, it seems that no matter what their status is, they are very important amongst the food chain in the djinn world. They are in positions of power, and it is power that has been gained by the rule of an iron fist. This is not something that they are elected to, this is something that they seem to have deserved, possibly by birthright, possibly by the natural selection. Unfortunately, we just don’t know.

THE YELLOW DJINN

There are different types of classes as we mentioned above and as you can tell from the writing of this article, not much is known about very many of them, but the least known of all of them is the yellow class of djinn. Quite honestly, there is nothing that I can tell you about them. The issue is, is that they are reclusive not only from humankind, but from their own kind as well. They seem to be the hermits and the recluses of their species.

THE BEHAVIOR OF THE DJINN

Apparently, they are very sensitive entities. They take offense very, very easily. They are known for being vindictive, and if the situation arises, they will try to get revenge against anyone who engages in any activity against them regardless of what the or original intent was. For example, if a human being has the audacity to try to exorcise these entities from a person that they have possessed, these entities will literally take offense and even though the exorcism may be successful if the conditions are right, just like in Roman Catholic and Judeo-Christian faiths, they may leave temporarily, but come back with a much greater tenacity and a larger force. In Roman Catholic and Judeo-Christian belief, it is said that when a demon is exercised, if the demoniac does not do something to change their life and live for the better, then that demon will return and it will be seven times as strong as it was, and it will bring seven times as many demons with it then were originally present. This is interesting to me, because it shows such a mirror in the three different faiths. So I guess we could chalk this up to being one of the many similarities that the djinn share with the classical definition of a demon.

Another similarity that I have noticed, between these djinn and the Roman Catholic/Judeo-Christian demons is that while neither one of them can actually perform genuine miracles, what they can do is perform the illusion of a miracle. Meaning, that they can make everything seem as realistic as possible, and they can confuse everyone into believing that they had just genuinely witnessed a miracle, but in fact in the end it was all just an illusion designed to get them closer to their goal, whatever that may have been. Another famous example of what the Roman Catholic/Judeo-Christian demons are guilty of, in this regard, is sickness and disease. What they are known for doing, is they will intentionally get a person sick and cause all types of physical ailments, and then when the person is at their spiritual and mental breaking point, this demon will suddenly appear as their miraculous savior, and agree to make them “better“, in exchange for something. Usually, a grant of permission of some kind. Sometimes, it will even be so bold as to promise the person perfect health, until the day they die, in exchange for “a piece of their soul“, their entire soul, or just a declaration stating that they turn away from or abandoned God. So in essence, the game is very simple: they create the problem, and then show up to fix it. Once they do take away what they had given in the first place, they wind up looking like the good guy and someone that you can trust, and in the end you wind up getting screwed. This is Manipulation 101. And they are masters of it.

It is said that these entities can influence a person’s thoughts, and dreams simply by whispering into its ear. It has also been said that they can even aggressively enforce suggestions that eventually become actions from this person that they are oppressing. Well they cannot actively engage with the physical world, they have been known to do small and minor yet distracting things that could affect a person, especially during a critical moment. For example, a man can be cleaning a firearm in his home, and when he puts it back together, a very loud crash could be heard in his house that startles him, accidentally forcing his finger to pull on the trigger which would eventually cause his death and look like a suicide. They can also lightly influence the environment causing you extreme stress and lack of sleep. What do I mean? Imagine going to bed, getting under the covers, and preparing to fall asleep. Now just as you are about to fall asleep, imagine that you hear a noise in or outside your bedroom. Imagine a phantom footstep that walks across your door’s threshold, or someone clearing their throat in the corner of your bedroom where you know there is no person there. Imagine hearing a whisper, or a whistle sound from within the room that you are currently in. Your eyes show you that there is no one there, your nerves start to wind up, setting you on edge. Your sixth sense kicks in, and all you can do is sit there panicking, and getting ready to run like hell. Now, imagine this every single day, for months at a time. It would be safe to assume that you would be constantly tired due to your lack of peaceful sleep at night. This would drain you, and force you eventually to both your mental and physical breaking point. For whatever reason, this is exactly what their endgame is.

Also noteworthy, the symbol of an evil djinn is a camel. They appear in many dreams.

NOW, MORE ON THIS “POSSESSION” BUSINESS…..

As stated at the beginning of this article, the djinn have been known to take possession of a person. The exact reasons for why they do this or how they are allowed to do this are currently unknown, but the fact remains that many times, this does in fact happen, and it crosses over throughout multiple religions. What do I mean by this? Many times, the activities of a djinn in your home will be naively classified as having a “poltergeist” when it is not the case. The same goes for possession. Many times, people not of the Muslim faith will be undergoing the entire ordeal of possession, and often times, once it escalates to the point where the Roman-Catholic church is involved, they will send out an exorcist to conduct the rituals, but upon completing multiple exorcisms, there will be no effect. Usually after much investigation, and much time being expended, the Priest-Exorcist will conclude that the possessing entity is not one of the Roman-Catholic faith, and but either of the Hebraic faith or of the Muslim faith, and at that time, the Priest-Exorcist has to contact and involve the clergy of those respective faiths. It is not uncommon for Priest-Exorcists to work with an Imam or a Rabbi to evict the possessing entity from it’s victim.

One of the most interesting things about the possession involving these entities is the fact that they claim to enter the body, and then travel through the person while being in the blood. This is, of course, after a period of what the Roman Catholics/Judeo Christians described as “diabolical oppression“. Just like possession in other religions, these entities are responsible for causing all types of physical ailments, such as problems speaking, problems hearing, problem seeing, and other events such as the inability to stand up straight, or chronic pains. Anyone who is familiar with the topic of possession in any of the previous religions I had mentioned will know that one of the set signs are of such possession is the nonsensical and maniacal activity that happens from a person who can no longer control themselves. They will appear to be genuinely insane, such as tearing their clothes off, or laughing hysterically. There are reports of the possessed being known to dance wildly, and engage in extreme sexual promiscuity. These entities can also be responsible for uncontrollable fits, loss of control of bodily functions, spasms, paralysis temporary or permanent, and many other physical ailments as well. Other forms of emotional assault, much like the Roman Catholic/Judeo-Christian demon, involves a severe depression of the person which can cause long-term depression, and consistent thoughts of suicide. Another issue, is that these entities can also enforce their own will upon a person they are possessing, which could result in acts of violence and or homicide. In time, this form of inflicted insanity can be used as their weapon, and as stated above, can push a person towards all sorts of crime and dangerous activity.

In the event that you were ever possessed by a djinn, the first thing that you would have to do is to try to figure out which religion this entity believes in. Much like people, they have a complex belief system. They are not bound to one particular religion, as they have been granted free will. Just like people, they can believe in many different forms of religion or belief. So, for example, if this entity believes in the religion of Islam, obtaining the help of a Priest–Exorcist will be useless to you, because this entity does not believe in the God that this agent is trying to force it out in the name of. The same goes with the Jewish religion. If this entity believes in the Jewish religion, that Priest or Imam would not be able to expel this particular entity from a person, because that would not be appealing to the faith of the actual entity. Once you obtain an idea of what faith this entity believes in, then you would have to get a type of religious clergy from that particular religion to take care of this problem. And, as with most cases, that cannot be guaranteed to be successful, but your chances would greatly increase.

A QUESTIONABLE GENESIS?

Now, scholars have argued over the fact of whether or not the Prophet Muhammad was visited by an Angel, or a Djinn at first. This is in reference to the event that awakened him to begin acknowledging the visions that he was experiencing, and writing them into what eventually became the holy Quran. The Prophet Muhammad was known for going off into caves and meditating, and engaging in trances. Djinn are known cave-dwellers, and many of the Muslim religion believe that caves house portals into the realm that the djinn reside in. The story is as follows:

In the year 610, while in the cave one night during Ramadan, Muhammad was visited by a “creature” who ordered him in an authoritative, almost threatening voice, “READ!“. Muhammad replied to the creature, “I do not know how to read.”

The creature grabbed him with such a great force that he almost suffocated. It released him, and repeated the same command three times. On the third time, the creature gave him what later became the opening lines of sura 95:

Recite in the name of thy Lord who created,

Who created man of blood coagulated.

Read! Thy Lord is most beneficent,

Who taught by the pen,

Thought that which they knew not to men.

Now, even further, this “entity” followed the Prophet around for some time after this event, and this is the rest of that story:

Tradition holds that after issuing its commands, the creature disappeared. Muhammad went to sleep and awakened in the morning to hear words that seemed to be written on his heart: “O Muhammad, you are the Apostle of God and I am Jibril.”

According to the Al-Sira Al-Nabawiyya, a biography of the Prophet by Ibn Kathir, written in the fourteenth century, Muhammad ran from the cave, all the way back to Mecca, trembling with fear. He ran into his house and found his wife and implored her, “Cover me, cover me.” His wife asked him what was the matter. He told her of the creature he encountered in the cave and said he had to leave because he feared for his life. It is not clear at this point whether Muhammad thought the creature was a djinni or angel, but it was obvious he was very afraid of the creature that had accosted him.

From historical accounts of djinn and demons, we know they often make people do things they don’t want to by threatening them or using physical force. In Biblical accounts of angel encounters, people often feared the angels because they usually appeared when God was unhappy with a person; the angel was sent to chastise or punish. In the Arabic world, however, djinn would have been even more feared than a powerful angel.

Muhammad was able to see the creature from any angle he looked, implying it was multidimensional in nature. However, there is no record of an exact description of the entity. Muhammad was skeptical of the creatures true identity. He saw it on several occasions after the first encounter, but no one else could see it. The creature followed him from the cave and often appeared in his home.

Muhammad’s wife, Khadija, wanted to discover the true identity of the creature and so told her husband to inform her when the entity was present. When the creature finally appeared, she asked Muhammad to sit on her left thigh and asked him, “Can you still see the creature?”

He replied that he did. She then threw off her veil and asked Muhammad to sit on her right thigh. Khadija then asked him, “Can you still see the creature?” He replied, “No, it is gone.” Khadija then told Muhammad, “Be firm, by the name of Allah, he is an angel and not a demon.”

Islamic scholars interpret the test above as meaning that an angel would not stay to look at the uncovered part of a female body, but a demon would. Also, the creature was visible only when he sat on her left thigh and not her right. The pre-Islamic people believed that the proper sequence of things was from right to left. If the creature was also visible on the right, this meant to them that it would have been moving from left to right and against the balanced movement of the universe and against the will of Allah. Only evil djinn can do this – angels can’t. This test convinced Khadija that the creature was an angel, and not just any angel, but the Archangel Jibril. Muhammad still remained skeptical.

The Angel “Jibril” is also known in Judeo-Christian religion as “Gabriel”. And in this situation, since even the Muslim religion/community has decided that this creature was not a djinn or demon, it is to be taken as fact (for the intents and purposes of this story) that in this one case, an Angel did indeed appear in the form of a demon, or a djinn. Muhammad’s validity was questioned by his own people ferociously after this encounter, because they believed that this creature was indeed a djinn, and not an Angel, and accused him of retroactively fitting this part of his story to be told as if it were an Angel, to “clear the air“, I guess.

An interesting note though, is that many of the people in the day of Muhammad believed that he was in fact djinn-possessed due to his hobby of traveling to caves and meditating in an area that was known to house the djinn.

BUT WAIT, THEY CAN SHAPE SHIFT?!?

Yes. You read that correctly. They can change forms, and manipulate their appearance, just like demons can, in order to accommodate their purposes. One of the most identifying traits of the Djinn is the fact that ultimately, they are extremely insidious, and mischievous. They have been referred to throughout history as being “tricksters”, and they “get off” on completely confusing the minds of mankind. Many, many cultures throughout history have their own version of the “trickster”, but as time will attest, this is an instantly identifying feature that should begin to raise red flags if you begin to experience these types of things.

This is also one of the reasons that Muslims caution their children not to throw water, rocks, sticks, or other projectiles at black dogs or cats, because those are some of the preferred forms of the transforming djinn. They are also known famously for taking on the forms of birds, goats, mice, and even humans, depending on their agenda. Extremely interesting to note, the djinn cannot take the form of the Prophet Muhammad, but they can take the form of other prophets, especially in dreams.

Most of the time, however, the particular class of djinn that takes on a habit of using shapeshifting are the young, “green” djinn. Make no mistake though, when I refer to them as young, I mean that they are the youngest of the djinn, but they can still be hundreds and in some cases thousands of years old, and even though they are the “weakest” of the djinn, they are stronger than any human, and should be treated with caution. And some of the things that these types of djinn enjoy doing are haunting people who they feel deserve it for whatever reason. They will appear as apparitions in the middle of the night, if the opportunity arises, they will distort your vision, affect your reality, they will terrorize you through mirrors or other reflective surfaces, they will take on the form of animals to scare the hell out of you, they will appear as shadow figures, and so on. They will engage in such activities as banging on the walls, giving the appearance of a disembodied voice, whisperings, having particular items move from one place to another unexplainably, etc. They will also appear as creatures which are grotesque and intimidating in order to scare the living hell out of you. A rather common belief is that the djinn have seen how people react to hauntings, so they mimic the activities to further conceal their identities, and enforcing their existence of being “the hidden ones”.

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE DJINN, ANGELS, AND DEMONS

In the book The Vengeful Djinn, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley and Philip Imbrogno, ISBN 978-0-7387-2171-2, they offer a rather interesting take on the connection between the djinn and other paranormal entities. While this book is not widely accepted by Muslims, the connections that they offer are interesting to say the least. The chart that they offer can be found on pages 122 and 123, and has been re-created below:

DJINN ANGELS DEMONS
Have gender Have no gender Shape shift their gender
Live for thousands of years, eventually die into oblivion Live until the end of the universe Live longer than humans, eventually die and wither to their primordial state
Had original ties to angels Closest beings to God Had original ties to angels
Outcasts from God’s favor Enjoy God’s favor Outcasts from God’s favor
Inhabit dirty, polluted places Inhabit heavenly realms Inhabit dirty, polluted places
Eat and drink Do not eat or drink Eat and drink
Organized in families and clans Organized in hierarchies of powers and duties Organized like the military
Have sex with each other Do not have sex with each other Have sex with each other
Have sex with humans; can impregnate Some have sex with humans; can impregnate Have sex with humans; can impregnate
Shape shift to any form Shape shift to any form Shape shift to any form
Usually invisible unless they choose to be seen Usually invisible unless they are directed to be seen Usually invisible unless they are directed to be seen
Follow their own wills; some of the will of Iblis; converted follow the will of Allah Follow the will of God Follow the will of Satan
Duty is to self and own agendas; some to Iblis; some to Allah Duty is to glorify God Duty is to Satan to subvert humans
Do not speak directly to God Speak directly to God Do not speak directly to God
Deceitful, Trickster nature Messengers of God Deceitful, Trickster nature
Opportunistic interference in human affairs No intervention without direction from God Opportunistic interference in human affairs
Cause illness, bad luck, misfortune Provide support and help Cause illness, bad luck, misfortune
Possess humans and animals Do not cause possession Possess humans and animals
Can enter dreams Can enter dreams Can enter dreams
Knowledge of present and past but not future Knowledge of past, present, and future Knowledge of past, present, and future

So, as you can see, the similarities are striking and sometimes shocking. While there are more similarities and differences, the above chart provides a great “quick reference” visual to help you out in the event of a quick, basic question.

While there are many other connections that people have suggested or proposed, such as the connection to the djinn and extraterrestrials, ultraterrestrials, and other entities, I will not be including those due to the official content of this blog being almost exclusively dealing with matters of religious faith. And now, with that being said, that is the basic, Westerndescription of the Djinn. Now, I will include the beliefs of the Muslims directly from one of their faithful, a woman who only wants to be referenced as “Hana”. The below is in her own words, with no changes to her original contributions except to otherwise format it to “flow” with the rest of the article.

A WORD FROM THE FAITHFUL

The Mischievous Djinn: A Muslim View of the Paranormal

In recent years, thanks largely impart to the work of “PRS” (the Paranormal Research Society) and the show ‘Paranormal State’ on the A&E television network, there has been a growing discussion of spirituality and the paranormal. People are now asking questions about the origins of the experiences they have had, and the things they are seeing. After all of the “debunking” is done and evidence has been collected, sometimes you are still left with something that cannot be explained with known science. In those cases, we are left to wonder: is it the spirit of a dead loved one, a demon, a nature spirit (“elemental spirit”), or something else? How do you live with it, get rid of it, or understand it? The answers almost always return to the person’s religious beliefs. Each of us will carry our own answers to those questions based on what we believe in. What one person will accept as a deceased loved one coming by to say “hi” is viewed as a dark and evil entity trying to trick mankind. The reality though is that we may never know the complete answers. But, that does not stop us from seeking that knowledge.

I find it fascinating to learn from other people’s view points and sources of information. It is a comparative religions study; a mix of attempting to break modern misconceptions, going back to scriptural texts, exploring deep rooted mythologies, and opening new doorways of understanding; all to try to answer the questions which still elude concrete answers. To offer one more view point, one more color palette in the mosaic of religious understandings, I am sharing the teachings of my own faith: Islam.

As Islam is an Abrahamic religion (monotheistic religion that worships the universal God of Abraham), there are many similarities with Judaism and Christianity. Yet, for all that is so similar, there are always details that are very different. One of the most obvious areas of similarity and difference is right at the beginning of the story… the creation of intelligent life.

The Three Intelligent Beings

The Quran (the Muslim book of Scriptures) tells us that God (Allah) created three beings of great intelligence: Angels, Djinn and Humankind.

The Angels are described as beings made from pure light, most likely the first of God’s creations. In the Quran, Angels are said to be completely obedient to God as they have no free will. Thus, Angels are assigned all sorts of tasks according to the will of God.

Djinn, however, are described as creatures made of smokeless fire. These are the first of God’s intelligent beings to be given the gift of free will. Like Angels, the Djinn exist on a separate plane of existence from Humankind. They can see and interact with us, but we cannot see them in their natural state.

Humankind was the third of God’s intelligent creations. It is described that God made Adam from the mud of the earth and also bestowed him with the gift of free will.

Iblis and the Resentment of Humanity

When God created Adam, God commanded all of the Angels to bow down to Adam and all did except for Iblis. This part gets a little confusing for many. This basic statement is given twice in the Quran (Quran 2:34 and Quran 18:50). In both, Iblis is listed as being with the Angels during this event. In the first passage (Quran 2:34), Iblis is said to be proud of being among the disbelievers who have disobeyed God. In the second of the two (Quran 18:50), Iblis is said to be (or become, depending on the translation) a Djinn. Most scholars accept Iblis as being a Djinn as he obviously, from both passages, had free will and was thus able to choose to disobey the commands of God.

Because of this disobedience, Iblis is sent away from God and cursed to Hell for eternity. He begs God for a respite to his punishment and is granted the time to wait until Judgment Day. During his time on Earth waiting for his final judgment, Iblis is granted permission to test Humankind to sin.

Basically, this is an Islamic version of the Judeo-Christian story of the Fallen Angel (Lucifer), but in this version the culprit is Djinn rather than Angel. Because so many people correlate the story of the Fallen Angel with Lucifer, Lucifer is a common translation for Iblis. However, the Biblical scriptures do not assign any name for the Fallen Angel, so there is some debate. I have recently read from several sources that Samael, Azazel, and other names have also been connected to the Fallen Angel story. As I am not a scholar, so, I will not attempt to argue one way or the other. These are just the facts.

But, from this beginning, Iblis holds anger toward God and Humanity, in much the same way that a middle child will show resentment toward their parents and new baby sibling. But, the anger grows even more so for Iblis as he is punished for his disobedience. And like the story of the Fallen Angels in the Bible, many chose to follow Iblis in this show of anger and new purpose to tempt Humankind to sin.

In this rebellion against God’s command, Iblis then earns the title of Shaytan (Satan). In Arabic, Shaytan means “mischievous, insolent or rebellious one”. It is a title given to all who rebel against God. Thus, all of the Djinn that follow Iblis are also called ‘Shaytans’. Though the word is actually a direct version of the English word Satan, in context it is much more similar in use to the word Devil, with Iblis being THE Devil, and his minions are little, lesser devils. And it is here, knowing the Devil and his minions, that we then venture into the world of paranormal experiences.

Djinn, Demons and the Paranormal

Remember here that Djinn are beings with free will. Not all Djinn follow the leadership or desires of Iblis. There are Djinn that are said to be Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or other religions. Some are nice toward Humankind while other are ambivalent or mischievous. But, many have chosen to follow Iblis and show malice and/or malevolency toward Humans. But, what does any of this mean for the paranormal?

Well, let’s look at their role in the religious mythology of Islam as well as their capabilities.

Djinn are said to fall into five (5) main categories: dwellers, souls, devils, evil spirits, or strong spirits (rough translations of the actual categories). The “dwellers” (also called haunters) are those that choose to live with or around Humans, and these are the weakest. Think of these ones as the basic ghost hauntings. The “souls” are the ones that specifically attach themselves to children. I understand these to be more of the “imaginary friend” types. The “evil spirits” are stronger than the typical “devils” and just as malicious in intent. The strongest are the “strong spirits” (Ifrits), and these are possibly the most famous for being written in the “Jinni of the Lamp” stories from the Arabian Nights. They are strong, ill-tempered and rather slow in intelligence.

The “devils” are a bit more interesting. As we commonly hear from some Christian groups, many believe that there are no human spirits wandering the earth, but rather they are all Demons or Angels and nothing in between. From there, you have some people who have expressed a view that Demons are the Fallen Angels that chose to follow the “Fallen Angel” that was caste out of heaven. Others say that Demons are creatures created by Satan to do his bidding. I certainly will not argue either way on that one either. But, in both cases, Demons are viewed as evil beings doing the bidding of Satan and working to tempt Humankind into sin. In this way, the “devils” (Shaytans) of the Djinn are holding the same role as Demons.

Now, as I mentioned before, Djinn are beings that God created of smokeless fire. They exist on a separate plane of existence from us so that they can see and interact with our world, but we cannot see them unless they choose to show themselves. The very name “Djinn” basically translates to “those who are hidden or concealed from sight”. They quite literally can live in our homes, our places of work or anywhere else and we would not know unless they choose to make themselves known. Because they are naturally not very fond of Humanity, they tend to prefer to live in places with less Human traffic, such as forests, cemeteries, warehouses, abandoned buildings, attics, closets, and even restrooms.

Djinn are reported to be able to move objects in our world without us seeing them, as they are exceptionally strong, can live for hundreds, sometimes even thousands of years, can learn several languages, are incredibly fast, capable of speaking to us or making noises that we cannot see where they originate, able to show themselves to us as they choose (changing shapes to look like animals, deformed beings, or even like Humans depending on their goals), with some that are able to fly, able to invade a Human’s mind and affect their dreams, or speak to them personally, even affecting a person’s health.

Right here, you can see why this can be interesting in the field of paranormal research. These beings are connected to reports of object levitation, phantom noises, disembodied voices, strength, speaking in tongues, looking like deformed creatures or dead Aunt Betty, and possession… and they tend to live in cemeteries, attics, and other creepy abandoned places. So yeah, this seems to sum up a large percentage of paranormal reports.

Impact?

Should we fear Djinn? Well, honestly, it seems that those Djinn who are ambivalent about Humankind are simply not as likely to interact with us. So, those that do interact are mostly going to be those of strong feelings one way or the other. And as even the nice ones can get pissy if they feel insulted or if they fall in love with a human (yes, there are reports), then I would say you just don’t want to interact with them. Better to be safe than sorry.

Can Djinn control us? No. Djinn have been permitted by God to interact with us and to tempt us. They cannot force anyone to do something they don’t want to do. But they can, however, much like the demons of the Judeo-Christian world, take possession of our bodies.

Can Djinn be controlled? Yes. The Quran tells stories of King Solomon controlling the Djinn and forcing them to work for him. They helped him court the Queen of Sheba, build palaces and more. There are many other reports of controlling Djinn, but it is mostly seen as witchcraft and thus shunned by most Muslim communities. However, there is still the common use of Quranic verses being carved or painted on walls, amulets, blue clothing, and other things being used to try to keep Djinn away. That in itself is an attempted form of control.

Once again, you can read the ‘Testament of Solomon’ in it’s entirety HERE.

Can we exorcize Djinn? Yes. As with many religions where possessions are reported, there are Islamic exorcisms. However, it is interesting to remind everyone here that Djinn can be of any religion. Some possessions can occur where the Djinn doing the possessing is not of the same faith as the person they possess. This can complicate things when the exorcist tries to remove them in the name of X, Y, or Z faith and the Djinn does not acknowledge their authority, based on the faith of the individual Djinn conflicting with that of the holy person conducting the exorcism. This is, however, very rare. Most possessions tend to be by Djinn who are serving Iblis. They do not follow a monotheistic religion as they have rebelled against God. In those cases, it is the power of God himself that casts them out. Remember, they most likely believe in God, as they are choosing to defy him. So, a Priest, a Rabbi, or an Imam could all effectively exorcize the Djinn through strong faith and the will of God.

There are a lot of other interesting facts and folklore stories of Djinn to talk about. But, I hope this helps everyone to understand just what Djinn are and how they relate to the paranormal. If you would like to learn more about Iblis or Djinn, I would suggest some of the sources listed below at the end of the article:

SO, YOU’VE BEEN POSSESSED BY A DJINN….

We touched upon this a little bit higher on in this article, but we didn’t go into too much detail about this, because what it all boils down to is the fact that there is not an incredible amount of information that is offered to people outside of the Islamic faith. For thousands of years, the Djinn have been successful in staying hidden from the prying eyes of mankind, and it is this exact reason why most people – those who have not come into contact with them – only pass on verbal stories of them, oral tradition, folklore and superstition. I personally know that I have not given all of the details I couldhave given, because ultimately, I feel that it would be straying off the topics and by delivering more statements and facts, they would only raise more and more questions, much like in the topic of demonology, and this article would be written with no end in sight, as it would be constantly updated indefinitely. So in regards to Djinn possession and exorcism, I decided that instead of writing about suppositions and guesswork, I would attempt to get the story straight from the horse’s mouth. I have conducted interviews with a few people, and listened to their stories. There is one interview that will be posted here, as an update to this article in the near future, but let me tell you, “chilling” is the proper word to use for this descriptive encounter.

Even further than that, there are quite a few YouTube videos depicting what is allegedly an authentic Islamic exorcism of the Djinn. While I cannot verify the authenticity of said videos, I can state that just as with Catholic and Hebrew exorcisms, information such as this is extremely hard to come by, if not completely impossible. Video of such an event – authentic video – is a rarity that you should be considered lucky to come by. Here are a quick few that you can take a look at:

CONCLUSION

After everything is said and done, as with most things involving faith, no one can tell you what to believe. These entities are manipulative, vindictive, playful, mischievous, envious, vengeful, irrational, violent, and most importantly, powerful. There are very specific ways on how to remove one of them from your home, life, or body, but in each one of those situations, it is extremely plausible that on their way out, they will do something to severely damage you, as a last act of defiance. These are not entities to be played with, and I certainly do not recommend summoning them to do your bidding, as things almost always turn out badly. There are literally so many things that I opted not to include in this article, as I stated above, because it can all be found out via your own research. Such things could potentially be dangerous to the reader who becomes excited at the things the djinn can do for the amateur conjurer. I did not go into the magic they possess, or how they can affect someones lives if you can “properly control them”, as King Solomon did. These are things that I have left out with good reason, and I hope that you, reader, can understand that.

There is no denying that these entities seem to have an uncanny similarity to the demons of other religions. They share too many of the same traits to be ignored, or to be simply discarded. While the fact remains that the djinn are not the same entities as demons, their trickster nature allows them to portray themselves as demons by simply mimicking them perfectly. Since the Djinn were never angels, they could never properly be referred to as demons. Many people will generally refer to them as “demons” to avoid taking the time to properly explain what and who they are. Unfortunately, I myself have been in this exact situation, where I had to dumb myself down, and simplify the terminology so that people could understand better, but I hated referring to the djinn as a demon. This is my response to that, because from this point on, whenever I am asked what the djinn are, I can refer them to this article. And now, so can you. Once again, I truly hoped that you enjoyed learning about this elusive and intense collection of entities that have been around much longer than we have. And also, please take the time, if you are genuinely interested in the topic, to read some of the books and resources listed below. They are literally chock full of knowledge and information.

FURTHER READING:

Australia Muslim school rejected

From the BBC

Anti-Islamic immigration slogan on protester's hat

The New South Wales town does not have a large Muslim population

Authorities in an Australian town have rejected proposals to allow an Islamic school to be built there.

Councillors for Camden, a small town on the outskirts of Sydney, unanimously voted against the proposed school for 1200 pupils.

The councillors said they based their decision solely on planning grounds, citing an internal report about its environmental impact.

The proposed development had met with fierce local opposition.

Camden’s authorities received some 3,200 submissions from the public about the school and only 100 in favour.

Tensions reached their height last November when two pigs’ heads were left on the site of the proposed school. Pork products are forbidden for consumption according to Islamic dietary laws. Continue reading “Australia Muslim school rejected”

What if Rajiv Gandhi hadn’t unlocked the Babri Masjid in 1986?

This article first appeared in the online version of the newsmagazine
‘Outlook India’ (issue dt. 23 August 2004) at the URL
http://outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20040823&fname=UCol+Koenraad&sid=1

In 1985, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi gave in to Muslim pressure in the Shah Bano affair. Overruling a secular court�s decision that the repudiated wife Shah Bano was entitled to alimony from her ex-husband, he enacted a law abolishing the alimony provision in conformity with the Shari�a. Since India, unlike secular states, already had religion-based Civil Codes, this concession merely brought the minor matter of alimony under the purview of the prevailing arrangement. More importantly, it prevented riots.

Only months later, Gandhi restored the balance by giving the Hindus something as well: he ordered the locks on the Ram Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid in Ayodhya removed. Until then, a priest had been permitted to perform puja once a year for the idols installed there in 1949. Now, all Hindus were given access to what they consider as the birthplace of Rama, the prince posthumously deified as an incarnation of Vishnu.

Fundamentally, this decision didn�t alter the Ayodhya equation. Architecturally, the building was and remained a mosque, while functionally, it had been and continued to be a Hindu temple. That is why in my opinion, not taking this decision wouldn�t have changed the Ayodhya developments except in their timing. The different players, their strategies and goals, and their resolve to pursue these, all remained the same. The Babri Masjid Action Committee and the Vishva Hindu Parishad would have gone about their �business� just the same.

However, the VHP would have been forced to continue pushing the rather petty demand for removing the locks, rather than move on to the more ambitious and more mobilizing next step of planning the construction of a new temple. Most probably, the BJP would likewise have reaped smaller dividends from such a campaign. In 1989, it might not have jumped as high as 86 seats. Conversely, Congress might not have lost the North-Indian Muslim vote to the Janata Dal. In 1989, it could have remained just strong enough to cobble together a coalition rather than leave the initiative to the unwholesome and unstable Janata-BJP-Communist combine. So, at the level of party politics, Rajiv Gandhi�s decision may have made a big difference. Continue reading “What if Rajiv Gandhi hadn’t unlocked the Babri Masjid in 1986?”

“Danish Queen Masterminded Muhammad Cartoon Affair”

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark was the villain behind a hate campaign against Islam and Muslims which culminated in the Danish Cartoon affair. At least that is what some Danish imams maintain. On 30 September 2005 the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten published twelve cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. According to the imams it was the Queen who instigated this when in April 2005 she urged the Danish people to resist Islam.

This allegation was made to Arab newspapers, officials and politicians by Danish imams, touring the Middle East nine months ago in order to stir up hatred and violence against Denmark. The imams claimed Margrethe had urged the Danes to fight the Muslim minority in the country.

This information was revealed last Summer by the Danish Foreign Ministry, which had been informed by Det Dansk-Egyptiske Dialoginstitut, the Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Institute. The imams also claimed that the Danish government and the Danish people were behind the hate campaign. Hanna Ziadeh, the media researcher for the Det Dansk-Egyptiske Dialoginstitut, said the imams’ aim was to make the entire Danish people responsible for the Muhammad cartoons.

The imams also told the Islamic world that their voice was excluded from the Danish media and that more “horrible reviles” against Islam were being planned in Denmark, including blasphemous films and threats to burn down mosques. Ziadeh said the information he gathered was only from about ten interviews given by the imams to as many large Middle Eastern newspapers. However, the imams talked to many more Arab media, including several TV stations. Only a small part of the false information which the imams spread in the Middle East is actually known in the West. Continue reading ““Danish Queen Masterminded Muhammad Cartoon Affair””

How $30 Billion US Aid package to Israel impacting Gaza Siege, and Southland Muslims.

Press Release – Believers Vs. Unbelievers: The Manipulated Clash

  For Immediate Release
Press contact :
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January 25, 2008 Temecula, California.  While our country is completely preoccupied with the election and the looming recession of our economy, Israel — our American government’s close ally who just received our generous $30 billion aid package — is engaging in what has been called a war crime and genocide against the Palestinian population in Gaza.

Human Rights organizations of all religious persuasions have been speaking out against the Gaza siege, joined by an expanding outcry from non-governmental and governmental organizations throughout the world.    While leaders of the Muslim community in the US are calling for a special prayer during the Muslim Friday Prayers today, MuslimBridges.org is calling on all Churches and Synagogues to join with Muslims in prayers, and denounce the Israeli siege during the Jewish services on Friday night and Saturday, and the Christian services on Sunday.

Israel has imposed a complete lock-down of Gaza, this most densely populated place on earth. That means not only sealed borders and no access to food or medicine, but gas and electricity are also shut down. It is more than a miserable existence; it is a slow death.   Many are now calling it a war crime.  This siege intensified immediately after the $30 billion generous aid package was handed to Israel during the recent President Bush visit to Israel.

“Israel thinks it can get away with it because we are too busy with our problems, but this time it is different. Now people are fed up and recognize that Israel is often the aggressor behind our mess.  What really concerns us now is that other crises may surface, such as a war with Iran, or another scandal bigger than the Mohammed cartoon, just to shift the attention away from the Gaza Siege,” said R. Shahman, an activist with MuslimBridges.org.

In anticipation of a potential scandal, MuslimBridges.org is looking to the Interfaith community to publicly denounce hate and slander against Muslims, and communicate to all people of faith that slander is not a result of “clash of religions,” Rather it is a clash of “Believers Vs. Unbelievers,” often manipulated for political reasons to avert attention from the real challenges facing all of us.

MuslimBridges.org applauds the support of all believers from Churches and faith-based organizations such as the Rabbis of NETUREI KARTA in Monsey N.Y., who make a clear distinction that Judaism absolutely rejects Zionism and speak out against the brutal occupation of Palestine by Israel.   This is in complete contrast to the so called “Top Rabbis of Israel” who are advocating genocide and carpet bombing against all Christians and Muslims in Gaza, “ruled that there was absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians during a potential massive military offensive on Gaza aimed at stopping the rocket launchings” said Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu — one of the most senior theocrats in the Jewish State (The Jerusalem Post, May 30, 2007).

“We hope and expect our friends in Churches and Synagogues will denounce the Israeli siege, and any possible slander, just as every Islamic Center and Muslim organization in the US is providing a clear position standing against terrorism, putting it in writing and signing the Fatwa against terrorism,” stated Mrs. Shahman

Leaders of Churches and Synagogues are encouraged to participate in the following actions:

  1. Power of prayer:  To Join with Muslims in prayers for Peace and Justice in Palestine, the occupied Land.   May God ease the suffering and bring about a peaceful solution.
  2. To denounce the use by Israel of American taxpayers’ money to starve Gaza into a slow genocide and to demand a freeze on all aid given to Israel paid for by our tax money. The following Links are offered on MuslimBridges.org so that every member of a church or synagogue can simply send a clear message to our elected officials demanding immediate intervention.
    Contact White HouseContact your SenatorContact your Representative
  3. To educate congregations that slander, hate and siege and slow death of a rival group has no place in faith.  Educational tools, articles and books are available through MuslimBridges.org.

###

MuslimBridges.org is a non-profit faith-based California Corporation founded in December 2006, and run one-hundred percent by volunteers.  It was founded with the mission to help spread peace, and to build bridges between people of all faiths-Jews, Christians and Muslims.  The website, launched on Jan 22, 2007, is non-commercial, not-for-profit and does not accept donations.  For additional details on the organization and the programs please visit:  http://www.muslimbridges.org/.

Dutch Muslims urge calm over Quran film

Freedom of expression is Secularists screaming & shouting criticisms of Islam & Muslims, making insulting movies, music, plays, etc. & its against Freedom of Expression when Muslims protest the injustice being done & standing up for their RIGHTS.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A Dutch Muslim group appealed Thursday for calm at home and abroad in reaction to an anti-Quran film a right-wing politician says he is making.

Geert Wilders, leader of the far-right Freedom Party, says his film will portray the Quran as a “fascist book” that incites violence and intolerance of women and homosexuals.

The Dutch director of a previous film critical of Islam was murdered by a Muslim radical on an Amsterdam street in 2004, prompting a backlash that included the torching of several mosques.

The moderate National Moroccan Council said Thursday it will try to “neutralize the threat” posed by the upcoming film, which Wilders says is still under production.

“At the moment, practically all Muslim groups … are working to ensure a peaceful and responsible reaction” to the film, said the group’s chairman, Mohamed Rabbae, at a news conference in The Hague.

“We will have succeeded if, after the film, Mr. Wilders is frustrated,” Rabbae said. “If he sees there are no riots and Muslims are cleverer and more democratic than he thinks.”

Wilders has yet to find a broadcaster prepared to air the film once it is finished. But he has said that if he cannot find one, he will post it on the Internet.

Even though it is uncertain the film will ever be broadcast, the government has put cities on alert for possible violence. It has also warned its overseas embassies about a possible reaction similar to the one that erupted across the Muslim world over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad printed in a Danish newspaper in 2005.

“That a 10-minute film that’s never been shown may lead to riots, boycotts and other bad things, says everything about the nature of Islam,” said Wilders in an open letter Thursday. “Nothing about me.”

Wilders’ party holds nine of the Dutch parliament’s 150 seats.

In the past, he has said that half the Quran should be torn up and has compared it with Adolf Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf.” He has claimed the Netherlands is being swamped by a “tsunami” of Islamic immigrants.

Wilders said his film will not closely resemble “Submission,” the short film written by right-leaning former Dutch lawmaker Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

“Submission” criticized the treatment of women under Islam, citing Quranic verses that appeared to justify abuse.

The film’s director, Theo Van Gogh, was murdered in 2004. A Muslim extremist shot him numerous times, slit his throat and used a knife to pin a letter to his chest threatening the life of Hirsi Ali. She now lives in the United States under 24-hour guard.

Rabbae said his group represents the majority of the more than 850,000 Muslims living in this nation of 16.3 million.

The group also will call on Dutch Muslims who feel victimized or insulted by the film to file criminal complaints against Wilders for racial or religious vilification.

© 2008 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Policy Exchange Thinktank fabricated report on “extremist Mosques”

This is just another example of the propaganda war against Muslims being waged by the Western media. Michael Gove is a known Islamophobe, and he is the person responsible for producing that fabricated report on the “hijacking of British Islam”. This is another example of the neo-con extremists propagating their anti-Islamic agenda through the media. Micheal Gove has links to the American neo-cons and is a known sympathiser to their cause.

http://www.islamophobia-watch.com/islamophobia-watch/2007/12/13/evidence-of-extremism-in-mosques-fabricated.html

A rightwing thinktank which claimed to have uncovered extremist literature on sale at dozens of British mosques was last night accused of basing a report on fabricated evidence.

The report by Policy Exchange alleged that books condoning violent jihad and encouraging hatred of Christians, Jews and gays were being sold in a quarter of the 100 mosques visited. But BBC2’s Newsnight said examination of receipts provided by the researchers to verify their purchases showed some had been written by the same person – even though they purported to come from different mosques. Several receipts also misspelled the names or addresses of the mosques where the books were supposedly sold.

The report, the Hijacking of British Islam, was based on the work of four teams of two researchers each who visited 100 mosques. They claimed to have found the controversial material in bookshops attached to 25 mosques, including one at Regent’s Park, London, and others in Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Oxford and High Wycombe.

Inayat Bunglawala, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “Policy Exchange produced a report that was given a lot of publicity, and Newsnight deserve credit for exposing the incredibly shoddy and dubious methodology that Policy Exchange have resorted to. It would seem that Policy Exchange had already decided what they wanted to say about mosques and just went out to find or should I say invent the evidence to justify their prejudices.”

Guardian, 13 December 2007
http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,,2226704,00.html

Watch video of yesterday’s Newsnight programme here
http://news.bbc.co.uk/player/nol/newsid_4670000/newsid_4679900/4679986.stm?bw=bb&mp=wm&news=1&bbcws=1

For Osama Saeed’s comments, see Rolled Up Trousers, 12 December 2007

The Newsnight investigation concentrated on mosques in and around London but, as Osama points out, questions about the credibility of the Hijacking of British Islam report were raised at the time by the Edinburgh Central Mosque – where nobody had come across the literature that Policy Exchange claimed to have discovered on their premises.

Islamic Renaissance now


By Hamid Golpira

The Islamic world is at the crossroads — either we have an Islamic Renaissance now or we will experience many years of backwardness.

The Islamic world has been in decline for over five centuries.

Once we experienced a golden age, and there is good reason to mourn its loss.

But the Moor’s last sigh shouldn’t last 500 years.

Something must be done to rectify the problem now.

It seems that we need a bit of etherealization, which is an expression used by historian Arnold Toynbee to describe what takes place when a civilization is flourishing.

So how do we etherealize the Islamic world?

Well, first we have to understand what we got right in the golden age.

To start an Islamic Renaissance, we have to return to our roots, but this does not mean returning to the past as Taleban-type elements would like to do.

We have to balance modernity and tradition.

And this is what we got right at the advent of Islam and during the golden age.

We understood and adapted to the times we lived in while maintaining our religious ideals.

We had spirituality and also academic scholarship and science.

Muslims never had a great Dark Ages where science was superstitiously rejected like the Europeans experienced.

However, we are in the middle of a 500-year decline that is like a dark age.

We Muslims have to understand that we live in the Information Age.

Yet, we must learn how to balance Information Age modernity and Islamic tradition.

We should not become materialists with little or no spirituality, like the Westerners, but we should also not try to become spiritual people disconnected from the times we live in.

Everything is in the balance and we must learn to strike that balance.

The new Islamic Renaissance must be an Information Age Islamic Renaissance because this is the era we live in.

The beauty of Islam is that it is adaptable to every era.

When the Europeans were in the middle of their Dark Ages, the Islamic world reached the heights of art, culture, science, philosophy, literature, architecture, and many other fields.

Many historians say the Islamic civilization actually inspired the European Renaissance.

So what went wrong in the Islamic world?

The answer is obvious.

We forgot who we are. We lost our identity.

We lost sight of that beauty of Islam which is adaptable to every era.

Most of the Islamic world was colonized by the Europeans, and our identity crisis became exacerbated.

After the colonial era ended, we became the victims of neocolonialism.

Even the minds of most Muslims have become colonized in the ongoing cultural war.

South African revolutionary Steve Biko once said: “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”

The Muslims broke up into different groups.

One group is influenced by the Westerners and tries to be secular materialists like them. They are sometimes called moderate Muslims but most of them are not very Muslim at all in reality.

Another group rejects the West and has adopted a form of Islamic traditionalism that is sometimes called fundamentalism but which is really not fundamentalism because they are out of touch with the modern world, whereas the fundamental teachings of Islam require Muslims to be in tune with the times we live in.

A third group rejects both of these approaches and opts for a form of Islamic mysticism disengaged from the world, which is not really Islamic mysticism because true Islamic mystics are engaged with the world and seek to help people, especially the oppressed masses and those who are spiritually lost.

All of these groups are going in the wrong direction, but each of them also has a piece of the answer.

We Muslims must synthesize these three approaches to regain our identity and start the new Islamic Renaissance.

We must utilize Information Age technology, but avoid getting lost in materialism.

We must hold fast to the Islamic tradition and the Islamic law, the sharia, but avoid stiff interpretations of the law, arrogant self-righteousness, and intolerance.

And we must understand mysticism and live the mystical life, but avoid selfish individualism and narcissistic fantasy.

If we can do this, we can reconnect with the beauty of Islam which is adaptable to every era, balance modernity and tradition, regain our Islamic identity, and start the new Islamic Renaissance.

Masters of torture – Dwarfing Abu Ghraib

Few years ago, a Palestinian family immigrated to the US and settled in Southern California.  The father is such a wonderful man, he has a “Gold Tooth” quite visible once you see him smile.  How he got his gold tooth is the subject of this story full of twists and turns, injustice, sadness, patience, and hope for liberation.

Unable to get any work in the occupied territories, he managed to get a work contract in Saudi Arabia.

With hard and honest work, he was doing very well and things really looked good for a change.  After a couple of years of non stop work, he was missing his family, and could not take the separation any longer.  He arranged to take a full month vacation and unite back with his family in the occupied territories.

The flight was short, but once he arrived, he had to follow strict security procedure by the Israeli authorities.  He heard many comments about the many gifts he brought for his family.  He explained about his absence for two years, finally was able to go home after 8 hours of intensive questioning and searches.

He made it home at last.  He was excited; his family was beyond joy to see him.  It was almost the perfect reunion.

In the middle of the night they woke up to the sound of loud commotion and knocking on the door.  “BAM BAM BAM open the door”, “Open the door now. BAM BAM BAM”. Continue reading “Masters of torture – Dwarfing Abu Ghraib”

Mark Twain and the Sins of Our Race

War Foretold

When I resorted to Mark Twain’s writings I attempted to escape, at least temporarily from my often distressing readings on war, politics and terror. But his “The Mysterious Stranger”, although published 1916, still left me with an eerie feel. The imaginative story calls into question beliefs that we hold as a “matter of course” – a favorite phrase of his. It summons the awful tendencies of “our race”: our irrational drive for violence, be it burning ‘witches’ at the stake or engaging in wars that only serve the “little monarchs and the nobilities.” 

As the Iraq war rages on, Twain’s words ring truer by the day. “The loud little handful will shout for war…Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will out shout them and presently the anti-war audiences will thin and lose popularity. Before long you will see the most curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men. And now the whole nation will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open.

“Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after the process of grotesque self-deception.” 

Twain, whose genius undoubtedly surpasses time and space, wrote the above passages nine decades before the world’s leading statesmen, President George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair forged their case for war, based on falsities and refused to examine any refutations; they rallied millions, investing on their ignorance and blind patriotism to carry out a war whose outcome is akin to genocide. Continue reading “Mark Twain and the Sins of Our Race”

mezquitas (mosques) of Cordoba,Spain


The Great Mosque of Cordoba extended and revised architectural review

When the Umayyad were supplanted by the Abbasids in 750 and the centre of Islam relocated from Damascus, Syria to Baghdad, Iraq, a Umayyad prince named Abed Al-Rahman I moved to Spain where Muslims were already established & founded a dynasty with Cordoba as its capital. The kingdom flourished, lasting for nearly 300 years (756-1031). In 929 a restored Umayyad caliphate was set up in Cordoba, in rivalry with the Abbasids in Baghdad: by any standard, Cordoba was the richest, most sophisticated city in Europe.

The Great Mosque of
Cordoba’s original construction under Abed Al-Rahman I – Part 1
The Great Mosque of
Cordoba‘s original construction under Abed Al-Rahman I – Part 2
The first mosque extension under Abed Al-Rahman II
Building work on the Great Mosque of Cordoba by Abed AI-Rahman III

The extension under al-Hakam II
The last extension under Al-Mansor

The Great Mosque Of Cordoba’s Pictures



Magnificent
Interiors

The Great Mosque, Cordoba

 

The Great Mosque of Cordoba’s original construction under Abed Al-Rahman I – Part 1
The Great Mosque of
Cordoba‘s original construction under Abed Al-Rahman I – Part 2
The first mosque extension under Abed Al-Rahman II
Building work on the Great Mosque of Cordoba by Abed AI-Rahman III

The extension under al-Hakam II
The last extension under Al-Mansor

The Great Mosque Of Cordoba’s Pictures

Mosques in Spain

n/a

Related books

Islamic Art and Architecture: From Isfahan to the Taj Mahal Art historian Henri Stierlin explores a dazzling 1,000-year-old decorative tradition in Islamic Art and Architecture: From Isfahan to the Taj Mahal.

Gardens, Landscape, and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain The Gardens, Landscape, and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain offers a new interpretation of the history of gardens in Spain during the period of Islamic rule from the eighth through the fifteenth centuries.

Muslims challenge Christians’ use of Cordoba mosque

 

Europe Features

By Sinikka Tarvainen Jan 3, 2007, 8:29 GMT

‘; var PageContent= ‘Cordoba/Madrid – Few buildings are as emblematic of Europe\’s Muslim past as the Great Mosque in Cordoba.

\nThe southern Spanish city was once the capital of Moorish Spain, where the mosque was promoted as the third Islamic pilgrimage site after the Kaaba of Mecca and the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

\nDeclared a United Nations World Heritage Site in 1984, the stunning mosque pays tribute to the architectural and artistic achievements of Muslim Spain, which also shone as a beacon of science and scholarship in 10th-century Europe.

\nCordoba residents still often call the building \’mezquita\’ (mosque), though it has in fact been used as a cathedral since the 13th century when Christian troops conquered the city from the Moors.

\nA mysterious dim light typical of Catholic churches now surrounds the forest of pillars ending in red-and-white-striped arches, which has been compared to a Muslim tent in the desert.

\nA Catholic altar, a choir stall and chapels have been erected inside, mingling with Islamic features such as the mihrab or prayer niche.

\nSo who does the building, with a prayer hall measuring 23,400 square metres, belong to?

\nIs it the heritage of Arab-Berber-Spanish Moors, who ruled large parts of Spain for some 800 years and for whom emir Abd ar-Rahman I started building it in the 8th century?

\nOr does it belong to Christians, who completed their Reconquest of Spain from the Moors in 1492 and whose King Charles V financed the mosque\’s definitive conversion into a cathedral in the 16th century?

\nUntil recently, few Spaniards questioned the Catholic Church\’s exclusive use of the building, but the arrival of some 800,000 mainly Moroccan Muslim immigrants over the recent years has raised new questions about the sanctuary.

\nThousands of Spaniards have also reclaimed their Muslim roots, converting to Islam in cities such as Granada, once a Moorish stronghold.

\nMansur Escudero, a convert who heads Spain\’s Islamic Board, prayed in front of the mosque recently to claim Muslims\’ right to use it for prayer.

\nThe board has written to Pope Benedict XVI, proposing that the mosque be turned into an ecumenic temple where Christians, Muslims and representatives of other religions could pray together and \’bury past confrontations.\’

\nIt has sent a similar letter to Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

\nSpain\’s Islamic organizations have distanced themselves from Osama bin Laden\’s call on Muslims to \’reclaim Al-Andalus,\’ the traditional name for Moorish Spain.

\nThey condemned the 2004 Madrid train bombings, staged mainly by Moroccan Islamists, which killed 191 people.

\nThe mosque, a building with an \’enormous symbolic power,\’ could show the way for a \’universal spirituality,\’ Audalla Conget, secretary of the Islamic Board, told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa in a telephone interview.

\n\’Spain could be the key that opens the door to peace,\’ he says, recalling the Moorish period when Christians, Muslims and Jews lived in a relative harmony.

\nAfter the Reconquest, however, Spanish identity was largely based on a militant brand of Catholicism as a sign of differentiation from Islam.

\nIt is only recently that Spaniards have begun toning down traditions which could be offensive to Muslims, for instance removing a statue of Saint James \’the Moorslayer\’ from Santiago de Compostela cathedral.

\nSome villages have modified traditional plays or spectacles in which \’Christians\’ kill \’Moors.\’

\nRicardo Blazquez, the head of Spain\’s Episcopal Conference, initially showed sympathy towards the idea of Muslims praying at the Cordoba mosque, but the conference quickly issued a statement saying he had not authorized any Islamic prayers at the cathedral.

\nCordoba bishop Juan Jose Asenjo rejected the Islamic Board\’s request, saying joint use of the temple would confuse believers and promote religious indifference.

\nThe Vatican has rejected earlier petitions by Muslims to pray at the Cordoba mosque, but Conget was hopeful that Benedict XVI would have a more favourable attitude.

\nThe Cordoba bishop\’s negative answer contrasts with \’interesting gestures\’ by the pope, such as praying at an Istanbul mosque, he said.

\nA spokeswoman at the Cordoba bishop\’s office declined to comment, saying the office had \’nothing to add\’ to what the bishop said earlier.

\n© 2007 dpa – Deutsche Presse-Agentur‘; PrintArticle();//–>

Cordoba/Madrid – Few buildings are as emblematic of Europe’s Muslim past as the Great Mosque in Cordoba.

The southern Spanish city was once the capital of Moorish Spain, where the mosque was promoted as the third Islamic pilgrimage site after the Kaaba of Mecca and the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

Declared a United Nations World Heritage Site in 1984, the stunning mosque pays tribute to the architectural and artistic achievements of Muslim Spain, which also shone as a beacon of science and scholarship in 10th-century Europe.

Cordoba residents still often call the building ‘mezquita’ (mosque), though it has in fact been used as a cathedral since the 13th century when Christian troops conquered the city from the Moors.

A mysterious dim light typical of Catholic churches now surrounds the forest of pillars ending in red-and-white-striped arches, which has been compared to a Muslim tent in the desert.

A Catholic altar, a choir stall and chapels have been erected inside, mingling with Islamic features such as the mihrab or prayer niche. Continue reading “Muslims challenge Christians’ use of Cordoba mosque”

Muslims in Spain

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Written by http://www.euro-islam.info
Wednesday, 26 April 2006

Demographics

 

Spain’s interaction with the Muslim world extends back to the 9th century and Islamic expansion into Europe. Most Muslims were expelled in 1492, although there is strong evidence that some did remain behind and publicly proclaimed Catholicism but privately practiced Islam. This tendency faded over time, and the Muslim presence in Spain disappeared until the 1960s.

 

 

 

Initially, many Moroccans entered the tourist industry on the Mediterranean coast. They were primarily undocumented and transient, often attempting to get into France. The profile of these Moroccans began to shift, and they began to come from the Spanish protectorate area in northern Morocco, and settle in Catalonia.

 

As countries further north of Spain began controlling immigration more tightly, many immigrants began settling in Spain so that by the late 1970s it is estimated there were 100,000 Moroccans in Barcelona.

 

Since the 1980s most of the growth of the Muslim population has been due to family reunification. Current estimates put the Muslim population of Spain at 500,000, predominantly Moroccan.

 

Other points of origin include Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq whose citizens came as students and entrepreneurs. By 1977 these numbers expanded to include Palestinian refugees, and in 1979 Iranian refugees. While socially important, demographically their impact is minimal.

 

An important group of Muslims in the country is composed not of migrants, but of converts. In the 1970s there seems to have been a marked increase in the number of Spaniards accepting Islam. Various theories have been put forward as to why this might be the case, including the need to recover an authentic Spanish identity by look back at the period of Muslim rule. The result has been that in the mid-1990s converts had founded over half the Muslim groups. Current estimates place their numbers at 6,000 individuals.

 

Labor Market

 

Muslim immigrants tend to be employed in the lower sectors of the economy, such as service and labor.

 

Education

 

The OECD collects data on education from various statistical agencies within the country, the majority of which comes from census data from the year 2000. The OECD classifies educational achievement using the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED): ISCED 0/1/2: Less than upper secondary; ISCED 3/4: Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary; ISCED 5A: “Academic” tertiary; ISCED 5B: “Vocational” tertiary; ISCED 6: Advanced research programs. 0-2 are considered low, 3-4 as medium, and 5 and above are considered high. This data is not reported by religion, but does have country of origin as reported by the respondent. It is thus possible to construct an approximate picture of the educational achievement of the population in the country with ancestry from predominately Muslim countries. One significant problem is that some countries, such as India and Nigeria, have large Muslim populations but the immigrant population cannot be readily classified as predominately Muslim or non-Muslim. As such, the educational data is split by predominately Muslim origin, predominately non-Muslim origin, and a separate category for those whom classification would not seem justified. Proportions are for all reported data, individuals with no reported ancestry or education are excluded.

 

High

Medium

Low

Muslim

11%

13%

76%

Non-Muslim

20%

17%

63%

Indeterminate

17%

20%

63%

 


 

State and Church

 

In Spain, although special treatment of any religious organization is considered illegal, the state does have agreements with the Vatican that give the Catholic Church unique rights. Some, but not all, have been extended to Islam and other faiths, although these religions do not receive state funding through the tax system. Despite the legal status of Islam, recognized in 1992, there have been di Continue reading “Muslims in Spain”

Islam’s Claim on Spain

The white minaret of the new Great Mosque of Granada doesn’t overshadow a nearby church but is nonetheless a testament to Spanish Muslims’ pride in their history in “Al Andalus,” the region of southern Spain now known as Andalusia

GRANADA, Spain – Across a valley of fragrant cedars and orange trees, worshipers at the pristine Great Mosque of Granada look out at the Alhambra, the 700-year-old citadel and monument to the heyday of Islamic glory.

Granada’s Muslims chose the hilltop location precisely with the view, and its unmistakable symbolism, in mind.

It took them more than 20 years to build the mosque, the first erected here in half a millennium, after they conquered the objections of city leaders and agreed, ultimately, to keep the minaret shorter than the steeple on the Catholic Iglesia de San Nicolas next door.

Cloistered nuns on the other side of the mosque added a few feet to the wall enclosing their convent, as if to say they wanted neither to be seen nor to see.

Many of Spain’s Muslims long for an Islamic revival to reclaim their legendary history, and inaugurating the Great Mosque last year was the most visible gesture. But horrific bombings by Muslim extremists that killed nearly 200 people in Madrid on March 11 have forced Spain’s Muslims and non-Muslims to reassess their relationship, and turned historical assumptions on their head.

“We are a people trying to return to our roots,” said Anwar Gonzalez, 34, a Granada native who converted to Islam 17 years ago. “But it’s a bad time to be a Muslim.”

Spain has a long, rich and complex history interwoven with the Muslim and Arab world, from its position as the center of Islamic Europe in the last millennium to today’s confrontation with a vast influx of Muslim immigrants. Continue reading “Islam’s Claim on Spain”

Galloway’s last punch at Blair

Sense & Insensibility
Galloway’s last punch at Blair
Shahnoor Wahid

If you are wondering who has most gall among the present lot of British MPs then you will invariably end up with the name George Galloway, the Labour MP, for a number of reasons. This gregarious and wickedly witty MP with a runaway tongue is known for his anti-Bush and Blair utterings, which, at times, even his staunch supporters find difficult to digest.Galloway has an everlasting reservoir of invectives, all tailor-made, to launch his attacks on his two prized political enemies. He has been the most vocal critique of the Iraq policies of Britain and the USA, and he never tried to hide his feelings in private or in public.

But many across the world found his way with words not quite palatable, which, more often than not, touched upon the profane, to say the least. But, no doubt, this burly politician is pure entertainment to the non-political and non-partisan audience. Continue reading “Galloway’s last punch at Blair”

Does the Quran or Muhammad promote violence?

 
 

 

 

     

 

1


Audio Does the Quran or Muhammad promote violence?

Does the Quran or Muhammad promote violence?

By: Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq
IslamiCity* –

 

Toward Understanding Muhammad:
Some issues in peace and violence

 

In the aftermath of September 11 when President Bush visited the Islamic Center of Washington DC, both to reassure the Muslims in America and to create public awareness against prejudice, he remarked: “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace.” Of course, Bush is, first and foremost, a politician and therefore his remarks should be taken with a grain of salt – actually, a lot of salt.

 

The American President was quickly rebuffed even by a number of his compatriots, who vehemently disagreed with the President’s diplomatic stance. “… a large number of foreign policy hawks — some of them with advisory roles in the Bush administration — have joined religious conservatives in taking issue with Bush’s characterizations. … they say the claim is dishonest and destined to fail.” [Conservatives Dispute Bush Portrayal of Islam as Peaceful] A pro-Israel, conservative or neocon, Daniel Pipes, sermonized that since calls for “Death to America” in 1979 in Iran, “… some 600 Americans have been murdered by militant Muslims. And still the U.S. government fails to ‘proclaim militant Islam our strategic enemy’ but instead goes along with blandishments about ‘good Muslims’ and ‘true Islam’ being a religion of peace.” [Militant Islam Is Still Enemy No.1]

 

In contrast to the above two categories of non-Muslim stance, there are two parallel camps within Muslims. One camp on the fringe has no qualms in taking a public position that Islam enjoins fighting and subduing the non-Muslims, and this is a sublime religious duty. They urge the Muslims to take up a combative struggle – armed if necessary – to resist the evil of the “infidels” (kuffar) and to facilitate Islam’s victory over others. They cite the example of the Prophet as to how under his leadership the world of the unbelievers was subdued.

 

Repudiating this group of extremist Muslims, there is the broader Muslim community that finds an echo of their own position in what President Bush said and they would like the world to know that Islam means peace and Islam is peaceful. Period. This group is very much troubled by the hate-mongering and violent posturing of the fringe extremists among Muslims. Thus, they would like to underscore and highlight the essential dimension of Islam, which in their view is peace.

 

So, is Islam essentially intolerant and violent or is it essentially tolerant or peaceful? The fact of the matter is that in presenting Islam as essentially peaceful or violent, there is a false and an unacceptable reductionism, and trying to cast Islam in such reductionist framework inevitably leads to either misunderstanding or misrepresentation.

 

A few premises

 

At the center of this whole debate are three aspects: the Qur’an, the life of the Prophet, and the historical experience of Muslims. But first let me identify a few pertinent premises.

 

(1) Muslims hold the Qur’an as the ultimate source of divine guidance. Even the Prophet could not have contradicted the Qur’an, let alone anyone else. (2) The Qur’anic verses should not be taken in isolation from other verses or from the Prophetic experience. (3) The Qur’anic verses, commands or otherwise, have different levels of priority; some are general in scope and are to be treated or upheld as norms, while other verses might be contextual, delimited or transitional. (4) Life is an integrated whole, and Islam is a guidance for the whole life in a comprehensive or holistic manner, where a sense or goal of balance is of supreme importance. And (5) life needs to be treated as life, which from the Islamic viewpoint should be understood as based on Fitrah, the innate human nature.

 

Some historical observations Continue reading “Does the Quran or Muhammad promote violence?”

Kemalist Ideology- Turkish National Secular Movement

Kemalist Ideology (“Atatürkçü Düşünce”), also known as Kemalism (“Kemalizm” or “Atatürkçülük”) and Six Arrows, is based on Mustafa Kemal Atatürk‘s six principles (Altı Ok) during the Turkish national movement. The principles were not defined as an ideology during the life of Atatürk, but formulated later on. It constitutes ground rules for state nationalism in Turkey.

History

The history of the concept of Kemalism can be traced back to Second Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire. The political experience of the Ottoman Empire, through Tanzimat, and the First Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire were synthesized into Kemalism.

 

Republican People's Party logo, and six principles as arrows

 

Republican People’s Party logo, and six principles as arrows

The Republican People’s Party was established by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on October 29th, 1923, about a week before the declaration of the Republic of Turkey on the September 9th. The party uses the ideology to symbolize itself. Continue reading “Kemalist Ideology- Turkish National Secular Movement”

WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF Tazkiyyah?

WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF Tazkiyyah?

Tazkiyah means The purification of one’s heart and the soul.

“Allah conferred indeed a great favor on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger (i.e., Muhammad-sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) from among themselves reciting unto them His Verses (i.e., the Qur’an ) and purifying them (from sins by their following him) and instructing them in the Book (i.e., the Qur’an ) and Wisdom (i.e., the Sunnah), while before that they had been in manifest error.” – The Qur’an 3:164.

The Qur’an and Sunnah are the only sources for tazkiyah. The Prophet Muhammad- sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam-is the purest of mankind in soul and his character was that of Qur’an. There is none who approaches him in this. For this reason he is the model for tazkiyah. Allah says: “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow…” – The Qur’an 33:21.

The Prophet’s Companions and the rest of Salaf-us-Saliheen are also, as a whole, a fine model to follow in tazkiyah. There is no way of drawing closer to Allah except by adhering to what the Prophet Muhammad-sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam-came with.

The Prophet-sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam-has said: “If anyone introduces into this affair of ours anything which does not belong to it, it is rejected.” – Al-Bukhari and Muslim. Continue reading “WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF Tazkiyyah?”

What If Iran Had Invaded Mexico?

5 April 2007
by Guest Blogger

by Noam Chomsky

Unsurprisingly, George W. Bush’s announcement of a “surge” in Iraq came despite the firm opposition to any such move of Americans and the even stronger opposition of the (thoroughly irrelevant) Iraqis. It was accompanied by ominous official leaks and statements—from Washington and Baghdad—about how Iranian intervention in Iraq was aimed at disrupting our mission to gain victory, an aim which is (by definition) noble. What then followed was a solemn debate about whether serial numbers on advanced roadside bombs (IEDs) were really traceable to Iran; and, if so, to that country’s Revolutionary Guards or to some even higher authority. Continue reading “What If Iran Had Invaded Mexico?”