Quran says shooting stars are missiles to scare Jinns

To read the original article, click here or here

Muhammad just as his Bedouin contemporaries had a strange belief in shadowy beings and ghosts that he called Jinn.

These Jinns were

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made of fire and would stand on top of each other’s shoulders all the way to heaven to eavesdrop to what was being discussed. But the most amusing part is that the prophet believed that the shooting stars and the meteors are the missiles thrown at the eavesdropping Jinns.

Q. 72: 8
And (the Jinn who had listened to the Qur’an said): We had sought the heaven but had found it filled with strong warders and meteors.
And we used to sit on places (high) therein to listen. But he who listeneth now findeth a flame in wait for him;”

He repeated the same absurd idea again.

Q. 37: 6/10
”We have indeed decked the lower heaven with beauty (in) the stars,
(For beauty) and for guard against all obstinate rebellious evil spirits,
(So) they should not strain their ears in the direction of the Exalted Assembly but be cast away from every side,
Repulsed, for they are under a perpetual penalty,
Except such as snatch away something by stealth, and they are pursued by a flaming fire, of piercing brightness.


Q. 67: 5
“And we have, (from of old), adorned the lowest heaven with Lamps, and We have made such (Lamps) (as) missiles to drive away the Evil Ones, and have prepared for them the Penalty of the Blazing Fire.”

The universe as was envisioned by Muhammad, obviously belongs to the realm of fairy tales. The Earth for him was flat were the sun rises from one end and sets in the muddy waters on the other. In Arabic the word “sama” stands for both heaven and sky. And for Muhammad, just like his primitive contemporaries there was no distinction between the two. He described the heaven (sky) made of seven layers and placed the stars in the lowest layer, lower than the Moon. Then he envisioned the mythical Jinns as if they were real beings, standing on each other’s shoulders all the way to heaven to eavesdrop to the discussion of the “Exalted Assembly”. He assumed that the stars are just lamps to adorn the lower heaven that are also used as missiles to shoot the intruding Jinns. Can any reasonable person today accept these fables of those primitive people as true?

The shooting stars, despite their names are not stars but meteorites that glow when enter the atmosphere of the Earth. But Muhammad, could not see the difference; to him the shooting stars were stars.

As absurd as it may be, today’s Muslims still believe in the Jinns. It is written in Quran and for them the Quran is the word of Allah. How can it be wrong?

There is also a Hadith that confirms the above story.

Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 54, Number 432

Narrated ‘Aisha:
I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “The angels descend, the clouds and mention this or that matter decreed in the Heaven. The devils listen stealthily to such a matter, come down to inspire the soothsayers with it, and the latter would add to it one-hundred lies of their own.”

A similar hadith is reported in Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 93, Number 650

Narrated ‘Aisha: Some people asked the Prophet regarding the soothsayers. He said, “They are nothing.” They said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Some of their talks come true.” The Prophet said, “That word which happens to be true is what a Jinn snatches away by stealth (from the Heaven) and pours it in the ears of his friend (the foreteller) with a sound like the cackling of a hen. The soothsayers then mix with that word, one hundred lies.”[ Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 93, Number 650]

Muslims are convinced that jinns are real. If it is in the Quran it must be real. The thought that the Quran can be false does not enter their minds. The following is an article published in the Islamic Republic of Iran.


The article says that after the confirmation by the religions authorities in the Emirate states, several newspapers have published this picture. An Arab youth, after hearing strange noises coming from a cave in the region of Jaliyah in the Emirates, took his camera and entered the cave. There he saw a strange creature that looked like a jinn. The photographer died as the result of a heart attack. When his friends and the police entered the cave, they found his cameral next to his body and found the picture

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of this jinn inside the camera. This picture and news has been published in the Emirate newspapers and was broadcast from television. The following picutre reveals the truth.

These kinds of hoaxes are common among Muslims. These are the “miracles” that keep Muslims’ faith alive.

The following images are from the book Prophet Muhammad Illustrated


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The Miracle of 19

The Miracle of 19

To read the original article, click here

Some Muslims believe that the Quranic verse Qur’an 74:30 is the proof that the occurrence of observed “19” related facts in Islam is a confirmation of the truth of Islam:

Over it is nineteen

These are actually the number of angels in Hell, as the next Quranic ayat 74:31 demonstrates:

And We have set none but angels as Guardians of the Fire; and We have fixed their number only as a trial for Unbelievers

The Bismillah ‘Miracle’

Muslims like to refer to the fact that the bismillah, a very important phrase in Islam with the translation of “In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful” has magical meanings due to its many 19-related facts (see Muslim website about this). Here we will demonstrate that any other “bismillah” can also produce the proof of a ‘miracle’. An example of another bismillah is:

بسم الله الخَبِيث الوَحْشِيّ

Translation: In the name of Allah, the Evil, the Savage

Total ANV (Arabic Numerical Value) – 1666

Fact 1: 19 letters – 19 = 19 x 1

Fact 2: Sum of Individual ANV digits (1666) = 1 + 6 + 6 + 6 = 19

Fact 3: One verse, ANV – 1 1666 = 19 x 614

Fact 4: Sequence number, Word Size – 1 3 2 4 3 6 4 6 = 19 x 19 x 36686

Fact 5: Sequence number, Local letter number, Individual ANV Value – 1 1 2 2 60 3 40 2 1 1 2 30 3 30 4 5 3 1 1 2 30 3 600 4 2 5 10 6 500 4 1 1 2 30 3 6 4 8 5 300 6 10 = 19 x 59084389584858068659 53279136864479289495 327913939631900

Fact 6: Sequence number, Cumulative number of letters – 1 3 2 7 3 13 4 19 = 19 x 69858601

Fact 7: Conjoined letter numbers, added – 150426287722 = 19 x 7917173038

Fact 8: Letter number, Sequence number – 1231 45672 89101112133 1415161718194 = 19 x 64813512047900590174 42903248326

Fact 9: Num Words, Num letters, Total ANV – 4191666 = 19 x 220614

Fact 10: 1 sentence, 19 letters, lengths of words – 1193466 = 19 x 19 x 19 x 174

Fact 11: Sequence number, Word Size, Word ANV – 1 3 102 2 4 66 3 6 1143 4 6 355 = 19 x 689591928216544545

Fact 12: Sequence number, Word Size, Word ANV Series – 1 3 26040 2 4 130305 3 6 130600210500 4 6 1306830010 = 19 x 69791591647529137529 47479210769108857900

Fact 13: Sequence number, Word Size, Individual ANV Value – 1 3 2 60 40 2 4 1 30 30 5 3 6 1 30 600 2 10 500 4 6 1 30 6 8 300 10 = 19 x 69791591647529137529 47479210769108857900

Fact 14: Sequence number, Word ANV Series, Letter number – 1 26040 123 2 130305 4567 3 130600210500 8910111213 4 1306830010 141516171819 = 19 x 66336906954226602985 85821063710573211111 64954246473737586927 2201

Fact 15: Sequence number, Cumulative number letters, Word ANV – 1 3 102 2 7 66 3 13 1143 4 19 355 = 19 x 68959350691112811545

Fact 16: Sequence number, First&Last ANV Values, Local letter number – 1 42 1 2 3 2 6 1 2 3 4 3 501 1 2 3 4 5 6 4 11 1 2 3 4 5 6 = 19 x 74801716439131638076 653217024

Fact 17: Sequence number, Local letter number, Word ANV Series – 1 1 2 3 26040 2 1 2 3 4 130305 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 130600210500 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 1306830010 = 19 x 59118968532811212133 22287164768432131600 649769108857900

Fact 18: Sequence number, Local letter number, Individual ANV Value – 1 1 2 2 60 3 40 2 1 1 2 30 3 30 4 5 3 1 1 2 30 3 600 4 2 5 10 6 500 4 1 1 2 30 3 6 4 8 5 300 6 10 = 19 x 59084389584858068659 53279136864479289495 327913939631900

Fact 19: One verse, ANV, 19 characters – 1 1666 19 = 19 x 61401

As we can see, 19 miracles have been found about this new bismillah “In the name of Allah, the Evil, the Savage”. This is just a start. If we experiment more, we will undoubtedly come up with more miracles. Our new bismillah also is miraculous according to Islamic standards. One problem with the phenomena of the 19 miracle is that there are no defined rules as to what constitutes a miracle and what doesn’t. Without the lack of any rules, we can see that the “miracle” of nineteen can exist in any phrase, even anti-Islamic.

More examples

Here is another ‘miraculous’ Arabic phrase:

Translation: The Pig, the Great, the Handsome

8 facts were found in the preliminary analysis about this phrase:

Fact 1 : 19 letters – 19 = 19 x 1

Fact 2 : Individual ANV, letter number – 11 302 6003 504 75 106 2007 18 309 7010 90011 1012 4013 114 3015 316 4017 1018 3019 = 19 x 59487370265658453687 99110368994742684863 22691737648231668957 001

Fact 3 : Individual ANV, letter number, Sequence number – 1 1 30 2 600 3 50 4 7 5 10 6 200 7 1 1 8 30 9 70 10 900 11 10 12 40 13 2 1 14 30 15 3 16 40 17 10 18 30 19 3 = 19 x 59487370265658453687 95700510583684794802 11221654218587579847 464747

Fact 4 : Sequence number, Word Size, Cumulative number letters – 1 7 7 2 6 13 3 6 19 = 19 x 932954401

Fact 5 : Sequence number, Word ANV Series, Cumulative ANV – 1 13060050710200 898 2 130709001040 1949 3 1303401030 2063 = 19 x 59505289847474156954 24784216001025954228 42647477

Fact 6 : Sequence number, Cumulative number letters, Local letter number – 1 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2 13 1 2 3 4 5 6 3 19 1 2 3 4 5 6 = 19 x 90123456427959713852 17024

Fact 7 : Sequence number, First&Last ANV Values, Cumulative ANV – 1 201 898 2 41 1949 3 31 2063 = 19 x 6325780216815437477

Fact 8 : Sequence number, Individual ANV Value, Cumulative ANV – 1 1 30 600 50 7 10 200 8982 1 30 70 900 10 40 19493 1 30 3 40 10 30 2063 = 19 x 59505289847474156954 24784216001025954228 42647477

As we can see this phrase The Pig, the Great, the Handsome (compare to In the name of Allah, the beneficient, the merciful) is also miraculous and we have not even tried other combinations of words and calculations, or we would find more similiar bismillah related miracles.

Questions to Submitters (believers of the 19 miracle)

1. Can the Quran be corrupted?

2. Has it been corrupted before?

3. How do you explain the fact that:

i. Rashid’s translation is the only one to include his own name within the Quran itself, at least 8 times, whereas no other translation in the entire history of Islam, makes even a hint let alone a mention of anyone (even a messenger) to come after Muhammad?

ii. Why are there so many Quran’s, including the Arabic ones, that do not include Rashid in them?

4. Why are there extra verses in the other translations whereas Rashid cut them out (e.g. 9:128 & 129)?

Here are some possible conclusions:

1. Khalifa’s translation is an innovation of the Quran and of Islam. This was warned about in the hadith, but since you don’t accept them you wouldn’t know about that. He added his own name in there (in brackets) for his own gain; changing the implied meaning of the Quran, and you are all following an innovation of Islam and the Quran.

This means that the Quran was not corrupted; only Khalifa’s translation is wrong. The Quran’s claims of incorruptibility stand, and Khalifa and his innovative translation must be rejected.

2. The Quran was “corrupted” in that ayahs were added to it. Khalifa was merely returning the Quran to its ‘original state’. However this still does not explain the addition of his own name (inserted in brackets 8 times).

If you cannot change the Quran’s existing words, but you can add to them (as some interpretations go) then it is equally conceivable that Rashid has removed the verses he did not require, and added his own name in brackets as innovation. ie. He changed the implied meaning of those verses in order to include himself as a vital part of Islam.

Doesn’t it strike you as extremely convenient that Khalifa rejects the majority of the hadith (in which it is CLEAR that Muhammad is the final messenger/prophet to be sent, and that innovation of Quran/Islam will not be accepted) and Khalifa conveniently has his translation of the Quran that mentions him by NAME?

Seriously you can’t have your cake and eat it too. The Quran was corrupted whichever way you look at it; by either everyone but Khalifa, or by Khalifa himself. Which do you think is more likely?

Adding to the Quran is corrupting it.

Anti-Islamic phrases demonstrating the ‘miracle’ of 19 and other holy numbers

Here are some english phrases which also show miracles and are thus truthful by Islamic standards:

“Islam is not from God”:

IANVAdd: 209 = 19 x 11

“Allah is an imagination of the mind of Muhammad”

IANV = 378

PNV = 180

378 180 = 99 x 3820

378 – 180 = 198 = 99 x 2

3+7+8= 18 = 9 + 9

1+8+0 = 9

99 is 9 written twice

Muslim phrase: “Ninety-Nine beautiful Names of Allah”

IANV= 333

PNV = 135

333135 = 99 x 3365

333 – 135 = 198 = 99 x 2

3+3+3 = 9

1+5+3 = 9


Anti-Islamic phrase: “Ninety-Nine Nasty Names of Allah”

IANV= 315

PNV = 117

315117 = 99 x 3183

315 – 117 = 198 = 99 x 2

3+1+5 = 9

1+1+7 = 9


Arabic: Allah Al-Moqoof (Lie)

ANV’s: 66 + 257 = 323 = 19 x 17.0000


Arabic: Al Quran Al-Mukr(Deception) Al-Moqoof (lie)

ANV’s combined: 383 + 291 + 257 = 931 = 19 x 49.0000

257 383 291 = 19 x 13546489.0000

931-257 = 674

931-383 = 548

931-291 = 640

674 548 640 = 19 x 35502560.0000

“Allah is not a God”

PNVAdd: 57 = 19 x 3

“Nineteen is not a miracle”

PNVadd: 99 = 99 x 1

“Muhammad was a very evil person”

IANVadd: 323 = 17 x 19

“There is no Allah”

PNV Add: 66

Same as ANV for ‘Allah’

“One hundred and fourteen phony nasty chapters of Quran”

PNVAdd: 228 = 19 x 12

IANVAdd: 570 = 19 x 30

PNVadd: 228 = 114 x 2

“Allah is a false God, a figment of Mohammed’s imagination. God may exist, but He is not any god mentioned in any religion”

PNVAdd: 456 = 19 x 24

PNVadd: 456 = 114 x 4


This “miracle” of 19 is not a miracle. The actual chance of finding this ‘miracle’ is 1 in 19 which is not an impressive probability at all.

Equal number of miracles, sometimes more are found in anti-Islamic texts.

What was Quran talking about when it said “over it are Nineteen”? It was simply talking about the number of Angels in Hell. This is also confirmed by Islamic websites (e.g. [1]). Even Rashad Khalifa, the inventor of 19 ‘miracles’ believes that 19 is the number of Angels in heaven (for him, he sees it as a ‘miracle’ that everything is 19)

Rashad Khalifa changed or ‘corrupted’ the Quran to highlight the ‘miracles’ of 19.

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Splitting of the Moon

Muhammad’s Splitting of Moon

Here is the original article:

Muslims believe that while Muhammad was in Mecca, Allah split the Moon as a miracle to the Meccans. This claim is made in the Quran.

Surah 54 of the Quran is called “The Moon.” It starts by saying (54:1-3):

The hour drew nigh and the moon did rend asunder.

And if they see a miracle they turn aside and say: Transient magic.

And they call (it) a lie, and follow their low desires; and every affair has its appointed term.

The great Muslim scholar Maududi explains:

The amazing and wonderful phenomenon of the splitting of the Moon was a manifest sign of the truth that the Resurrection, of which the Holy Prophet was giving them the news, could take place and that it had approached near at hand. The great sphere of the

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Moon had split into two distinct parts in front of their very eyes. The two parts had separated and receded so much apart from each other that to the on-lookers one part had appeared on one side of the mountain and the other on the other side of it. Then, in an instant the two had rejoined.[1]


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there are several problems with this story.

The main problem is that it contradicts the Quran itself. In various places Muhammad admitted that he could not have or did not have to perform miracles to prove himself. When asked to perform miracles his response was:

Glory be to my Lord; am I aught but a mortal messenger? [Qur’an 17:93]

In another place Muhammad put the following words in the mouth of Allah:

And those who disbelieve say: Why has not a sign been sent down upon him from his Lord? You are only a warner. [Qur’an 13:7]

Muhammad insisted that even though other prophets had miracles, his only miracle is the Quran. So when Muslims claim that Muhammad performed miracles, they are going against the Quran itself.

The other problem with this claim is that such a phenomenon should have been observed not just in Mecca but also all over the world. Many cultures have recorded even eclipses, why there is no mention of such a thing that for sure would have been the most amazing phenomenon?

Moiz Amjad, one scholar that answers questions for Understanding-Islam.com site says, “I have not yet come across any historical accounts of other nations, which refer to the incident.” He thinks this is “a sign of the promised hour.

Curiously the same site contradicts itself and claims that in fact a certain king of India observed the splitting of the Moon <page cannot open> and he sent his son to Mecca who converted to Islam and upon returning he died in Yemen.

This story is of course another fabrication of Muslims. Muslims are fond of fabricating stories to attribute Miracles to their prophet. They do it all the time. One such ridiculous fabrication was the claim that the astronauts who landed on Moon heard the adhan (Muslim call to prayer) being chanted there. There are thousands more.

First of all there is no record that any King of India ever visited Muhammad. This is not mentioned in any biography of Muhammad.


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the splitting of the Moon should have been observed by everyone all over the world and not just by one king. Where is the record of such a phenomenon?

Thirdly, assuming that this Indian king saw splitting of the Moon, how could he interpret this alleged cosmic phenomenon as the sign that there has appeared a new prophet in Mecca? Muslims claim that Indian scriptures contain predictions about the coming of a messenger from Arabia. This is bull. There is no mention of Muhammad in any sacred book of any religion.

Many Muslims are convinced that this phenomenon has indeed happened. They are shown these close-up pictures of the Moon taken by NASA as the evidence and as gullible as they naturally are, they believe without any hesitation.

These are called Lunar Rilles. Rilles are long and deep gorges resembling canyons. A rille is typically several kilometers wide and hundreds of kilometers in length. Similar formations are found on a number of planets in the solar system, including Mars, Venus, and on a number of moons. See below.

How these rilles are formed is still not known with certainty. Theories include erosion at some point in the stellar body’s history, collapsed lava tubes, and tectonic activity/stresses.

There are three types of rilles on the lunar surface:

  • Sinuous rilles meander in a curved path like a river, and are commonly thought to be the remains of collapsed lava tubes or extinct lava flows. They usually begin at an extinct volcano, then meander and sometimes split as they are followed across the surface.
  • Arcuate rilles have a smooth curve and are found on the edges of the dark lunar maria. They are believed to form when the lava flows that created a mare cools, contracts, and sinks.
  • Straight rilles follow long, linear paths and are believed to be grabens. That is, a section of the crust that has sunk between two parallel faults. These can be readily identified when they pass through craters or mountain ranges.

Rilles can be found all over the lunar surface and they do not form a belt and therefore do not in anyway support the claim of Muslims that the Moon had been split asunder. Here are a few pictures that should dismiss this Islamic wishful thinking. To understand how rilles scar the surface of the Moon, we have to take a look at pictures showing the moon from farther up.

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7 layers of the earth


For the original article, click here :


Islamists come up with some real doozies sometimes, including the claim that modern Science proves the Quran correct in asserting the earth is made of 7 layers.

“Allah is He Who Created seven firmaments and of the earth a similar number. Through the midst of them (all) descends His command: that ye may know that Allah has power over all things, and that Allah comprehends all things In (His) Knowledge. (The Noble Quran, 65:12)”

According to Noble Verse 65:12 above, Allah Almighty created 7 Heavens for form the universe. The new scientific discovery had revealed to us that the earth that we currently live on today is also formed from seven layers. The very bottom layer contains most of the uranium and potonium (“sic”) and all the materials that we need to create nuclear weapons and energy. Noble Verse 65:12 above does indeed say that the earth was created with seven layers.

The Seven “Earths” refer to the layers that literally make up the Earth
1. crust
2. lithosphere
3. upper mantle
4. astenoshpere (“sic”)
5. lower mantle
6. outer core
7. inner core

OR they could refer to the “7 Continents” (in the context that “al-ard” means ground)
1. North America
2. South America
3. Australia
4. Asia
5. Africa
6. Antarctica
7. Europe

Note how the dishonest Islamist had tried to hedge his bets. It is now either seven layers or seven continents. The writer of the rebuttal suggest the former explanation is correct as all translations he has read have read refer to earth and not ground. Nevertheless, although the number of continents is traditionally considered 7, some geographers and scientists think there are only 6 as Europe and Asia are technically a single land mass (i.e. Eurasia) and on the same tectonic plate. (Ref)

Therefore, he suggests the traditional number of 7 continents is more a cultural bias than an actual geographical/geological fact.

There are Islamists who claim that Allah created 7 earths – but we only know of 1, our own, but no doubt future science will reveal the remaining 6. (Ref)

If I’m not mistaken, this is another of the absurd pseudo-scientific claims of the champion of Quranic Pseudo Science, Maurice Bucaille.

Some evidence of the Quranic 7 earths creation is also given in this link.


This article seeks to show the error of the Islamist claim that verse 65:12 shows the earth composed of 7 layers. I note the same dishonest approach taken to assign 7 layers of the atmosphere – i.e. the DOUBLE COUNTING OF LAYERS.

The general scientific view is that the earth is composed of 4 or 5 major layers depending on whether one splits the mantle or not.




5 layers

1. crust
2. upper mantle
3. lower mantle
4. outer core
5. inner core


There are two ways to classify the composition of the geosphere – chemically, into crust, mantle, and core, or functionally, in the case of the outer layers (crust and mantle) into lithosphere and asthenosphere.

From the evidence above, one can see the Islamists’ deceit because they double-count the lithosphere/asthenosphere while they also count the crust and upper mantle. Note that this is dishonest because these are alternative classifications. One cannot honestly count all lithosphere, asthenosphere, crust, and upper mantle together as one would be recounting the same rocks.

Recently new scientific hypotheses proposed by J. Marvin Herndon and Prof Xiaodong Song suggest the inner core may be further subdivided into four layers; the inner core, the innermost core, a sub-shell of fission material and decay products, and a subcore of uranium and plutonium forming the georeactor. If this new theory is accepted the number of layers

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of the earth rises to eight.


The scientific evidence do not support the Islamists’ claim that the Quranic verse 65:12 foretold the scientific accuracy of the 7 layers of the earth when modern geology states that there are only 4 or 5 layers, or up to eight if the new hypotheses of the subcore georeactor are accepted.



Deep-Earth reactor: Nuclear fission, helium, and the geomagnetic field
D. F. Hollenbach*, and J. M. Herndon PNAS 2001 vol. 98 no. 20 pp 11085-11090



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The 7 layers of the atmosphere

Seven Layers of the Atmosphere



Islamists claim that the Quran has mentioned the layers of atmosphere, which is a miracle of Quran. Here is the full claim:

One fact about the universe revealed in the verses of the Qur’an is that the sky is made up of seven layers.

“It is He Who created everything on the earth for you and then directed His attention up to heaven and arranged it into seven regular heavens. He has knowledge of all things.” [The Qur’an, 2:29]

“Then He turned to heaven when it was smoke. In two days He determined them as seven heavens and revealed, in every heaven, its own mandate.” [The Qur’an, 41:12]

The word “heavens”, which appears in many verses in the Qur’an, is used to refer to the sky above the Earth, as well as the entire universe. Given this meaning of the word, it is seen that the Earth’s sky, or the atmosphere, is made up of seven layers.

The Earth has all the attributes that are needed for life. One of them is the atmosphere, which serves as a shield protecting living things. Today, it is an established fact that the atmosphere is made up of different layers lying on top of one another. Just as it is described in the Qur’an, the atmosphere is made up of exactly seven layers. This is certainly one of the miracles of the Qur’an.

Indeed, today it is known that the world’s atmosphere consists of different layers that lie on top of each other. Furthermore, it consists, just as is described in the Qur’an, of exactly seven layers. In a scientific source, the subject is described as follows:

Fourteen centuries ago, when the sky was believed to be one unified body, the Qur’an miraculously stated that it consisted of layers, and what is more, “seven” layers. Modern science, on the other hand, discovered the fact that the atmosphere surrounding the Earth is made up of “seven” basic layers only very recently.

The above claim was made by Harun Yahya in his site, but after Ali Sina  published the following rebuttal he removed that page from his site. You can still find what he wrote in this Islamic site.


The pre Copernican concept of the universe was geocentric, i.e. they thought that the Earth was flat and was located at the center of the universe. They believed that the Sun and the Moon along with Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Mercury that made the seven known objects of the heaven were deities. These were the only objects people could observe with their naked eyes moving in the sky while the stars appeared to be fix.

They believed that these planets or “gods” each had its own sphere. These layers are not the same as the orbits that we know. The planets did not orbit the Sun but they all revolved around the flat Earth in this order:

Moon  Mercury Venus Sun Mars Jupiter Saturn 

The closest to the Earth was the Moon and the farthest, was the Saturn. Therefore the concept of the 7 layers of heaven is based on ancient astronomy, where each celestial body occupied a crystal sphere one placed on top of the other like layers of an onion…

Both Judaism and Christianity make reference to these layers of heaven. For example Dante in his Divina Comedia refers to it and Paul the apostle, in 2 Corinthians 12:2 says: “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know–God knows.”

The heaven was the physical world above. The concept of a spiritual heaven is a new concept. In the mind of the ancient man the distinction between physical heaven (sky) and spiritual heaven was fuzzy. For example “cielo” in Spanish still means both sky and heaven.

Not only the Heaven had seven layers, the Earth also had seven layers and it represented the underworld or the Hell. Dante, for example on visiting the lowest level of Hell meets two men with their bodies split and he learns that they were Muhammad and Ali. He describes his encounter with these two wretched men graphically:

“Truly cask, by losing mid-board or cross-piece, is not so split open as one I saw cleft from the chin to where the wind is broken: between his legs were hanging his entrails, his inner parts were visible, and the dismal sack that makes ordure of what is swallowed. Whilst all on seeing him I fix myself, he looked at me, and with his hands opened his breast, saying, “Now see how I rend myself, see how mangled is Mahomet. Ali goeth before me weeping, cleft in the face from chin to forelock; and all the others whom thou seest here were, when living, sowers of scandal and of schism, and therefore are they so cleft.”

The number seven was so engrained in the mind of the ancient man that you can find it everywhere.

Seven planets or gods had been identified and the phases of the moon changed every seven days. The Bible states that God rested on the seventh day after he completed his Creation. And every seventh year was sabbatical and that the seven times seventh year ushered in the Jubilee year.

The Pagans divided their weeks in seven days each day representing a deity.

Saturday which was the first day of the week (as it still is in Islamic countries) was dedicated to Saturn (Dies Saturni),

  1. Sunday to Sun (Dies Solis),
  2. Monday to Moon (Dies Lunae),
  3. Tuesday to Mars (Dies Martis),
  4. Wednesday to Mercury (Dies Mercurii),
  5. Thursday to Jupiter (Dies Jovis), and
  6. Friday to Venus (Dies Veneris). [1]

Out of this order come the familiar seven Archangels which include Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Raguel, Sariel, and the fallen Lucifer.

The pagan concept of the seven layer of Heaven crept into Judaism and the number seven can be found in Judaism more than anywhere else. Why? Because Midrash teaches, there are seven layers of Heaven, obviously an influence of Paganism in Judaism.

“When Adam sinned, the Shechinah departed to the First Heaven. The sin of Kayin forced it to the Second Heaven; the Generation of Enosh to the Third; the generation of the Flood to the Fourth; The generation of the Dispersion to the Fifth; Sodomites, to the Sixth; Egypt of Avraham’s day, to the Seventh … (Bereishis Rabbah 19:7)”[2]

According to Judaic scriptures, creation took 7 days; Naaman had to wash 7 times in the Jordan to be cleansed from leprosy; the Israelites had to march around Jericho 7 days and 7 times on the 7th day; they had to set aside one day in 7 for rest and worship. There was a 7-armed lampstand in the temple, etc. In the last book, Revelation, we find mentioned 7 spirits, 7 lampstands, 7 churches, 7 stars, 7 seals, 7 trumpets, 7 vials, 7 thunders, 7 plagues, 7 mountains and 7 kings. The tribulation period is to be 7 years being the last “week of years” of Daniel’s 70 weeks (Dan 9:24 ff).[3]

Muhammad did not invent the concept of the seven layers of Heaven. He merely parroted it without understanding the Pagan origin of this idea. He wrote:

“So He ordained them seven heavens in two periods, and revealed in every heaven its affair; and We adorned the lower heaven with brilliant stars… “(Fussilat 41: 12)

This verse has nothing to do with layers of the atmospheres as claimed by the charlatan Harun Yahya. It has to do with the geocentric concept of the universe that was prevalent at the time of Muhammad. Note also that according to Muhammad, stars are lamps that are affixed to the ceiling of the lower layer of the Heaven for adornment purposes. The lower level is the sphere of the Moon. Obviously stars are not in the same layer where Moon is and neither the Moon nor the stars are in the lower atmosphere of the Earth.

In fact the concept of the layers of heaven as mentioned in the Quran is so unrelated to the layers of the atmosphere that the Islamic site, www.understanding-islam.com, tries to give a completely mystical significance to that verse and claims that it talks about the “spiritual heavens” which the soul will encounter after the death. [4]

“The reference to the fact that God has created seven heavens has generally been given in the Qur’an, in reply to the skepticism shown by the disbelievers regarding the possibility of life after death. … it refers to the vastness of His creation. It says that God has not just created one sky — i.e., one universe, but seven such skies — or seven universes.

It seems that the huge universe that we live in, the one whose boundaries are not yet known to man, is just one of these heavens (universes) there are seven others, of which we — with all our scientific developments — do not know anything about. Certain verses of the Qur’an clearly indicate that the whole huge mass of space around us is just one of these universes…”

The Islamic site www.pakistanlink.com quotes Maududi, the renowned Muslim scholar and the interpreter of the Quran, who says:

“It is difficult to explain precisely what is meant by the ‘seven heavens’. In all ages man has tried, with the help of observation and speculation to conceptualize the ‘heavens’, i.e. that which lies beyond and above the earth. As we know the concepts that have thus developed have constantly changed. Hence it would be improper to tie the meaning of these words of the Qur’an to any one of these numerous concepts. What might be broadly inferred from this statement is that either Allah has divided the universe beyond earth into seven distinct spheres, or that this earth is located in that part of the universe which consists of seven different spheres.” [5]

From the Ahadith (especially the Hadith of Mi’raj) we learn that the first heaven is the one that is closest to the earth. So the order begins from the earth and the highest heaven is the seventh heaven [6].

As one can see the real scholars of Islam are unable to explain the meaning of the seven heavens mentioned in the Quran and try to give esoteric significance to it. If we had to believe that the seven heavens is an allusion to the seven layers of the atmosphere then we have to assume that stars must be no more than eleven kilometers above the Earth, because as the verse 41:12 says the lower heaven is adorned with brilliant stars. The Troposphere ends at about eleven kilometers above the surface of the Earth.

Not only Muhammad, like other men of his time, believed that the sky had seven layers, he also thought that the Earth was made of seven layers too.

“Allah is He Who created seven Firmaments and of the earth a similar number…” [Quran 65.12]

In this verse the number of the earths is not in question. It assumes that everyone agrees that there are seven earths. The emphasis is on the claim that Allah is the creator of these seven earths. The reason is because just like the seven heavens, the ancient people had agreed that there were also seven layers of earth. Muhammad was simply stating what seemed to be obvious to the people of his time but of course he was dead wrong according to the modern science.

What are these seven earths that Muhammad was talking about? If there were seven continents on Earth, the Muslim apologists would not waste time to claim this verse is a miracle. But we do not have seven continents. Muhammad is talking about the seven layers of Earth. He is talking about the same layers that were described by Dante in his Inferno. Several hadith make this clear. Here is one:

Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever usurps the land of somebody unjustly, his neck will be encircled with it down the seven earths (on the Day of Resurrection). “[7]

Down the seventh earth is allusion to the bottom of the Hell, where Dante found Muhammad and Ali with their bodies torn asunder. It is interesting to note that both Muhammad and Ali raided innocent people killed them or exiled them and usurped their lands unjustly. Fadak was a beautiful village with many gardens that Muhammad usurped from the Jews of Khaibar after annihilating them and gave it to his daughter Fatima the wife of Ali. I am surprised Dante did not see Fadak around the neck of Muhammad and Ali when he saw them in Hell. Isn’t this another proof that even their description of Hell was wrong?

The detailed description of these seven earths is given by Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Kisa’i:

“… There are seven earths. The first is called Ramaka, beneath which is the Barren Wind, which can be bridled by no fewer than seventy thousand angels. With this wind God destroyed the people of Ad. The inhabitants of Ramaka are a nation called Muwashshim, upon whom is everlasting torment and divine retribution. The second earth is called Khalada, wherein are the implements of torture for the inhabitants of Hell. There dwells a nation called Tamis, whose food is their own flesh and whose drink is their own blood. The third earth is called Arqa, wherein dwell mulelike eagles with spearlike tails. On each tail are three hundred and sixty poisonous quills. Were even one quill placed on the face of the earth, the entire universe would pass away. The inhabitants thereof are a nation called Qays, who eat dirt and drink mothers’ milk. The fourth earth is called Haraba, wherein dwell the snakes of Hell, which are as large as mountains. Each snake has fangs like tall palm trees, and if they were to strike the hugest mountain with their fangs it would be leveled to the ground. The inhabitants of this earth are a nation called Jilla, and they have no eyes, hands or feet but have wings like bats and die only of old age. The fifth earth is called Maltham, wherein stones of sulphur hang around the necks of infidels. When the fire is kindled the fuel is placed on their breasts, and the flames leap up onto their faces, as He hath said: The fire whose fuel is men and stones (2:24), and Fire shall cover their faces (14:50). The inhabitants are a nation called Hajla, who are numerous and who eat each other. The sixth earth is called Sijjin. Here are the registers of the people of Hell, and their works are vile, as He hath said: Verily the register of the actions of the wicked is surely Sijjin (83:7). Herein dwells a nation called Qatat, who are shaped like birds and worship God truly. The seventh earth is called Ajiba and is the habitation of Iblis. There dwells a nation called Khasum, who are BLACK and short, with claws like lions. It is they who will be given dominion over Gog and Magog, who will be destroyed by them…[8]

It is not hard to see these tales are nonsense. These are fairy tales that even children today would laugh at.

As it has been proven time and again, Quran is wrong in almost all its assertions. One error would have been enough to prove Muhammad was not a messenger of God but a liar. We have shown that there are hundreds of errors in the Quran. Yet Muslims desperately keep looking for “miracles” to fool themselves and find validation for their belief.

  1. To understand why this order was chosen see this link: http://www.12×30.net/origin.html
  2. http://www.neveh.org/winston/parsha63/nitzvylc.html
  3. http://www.answering-islam.org/Nehls/Ask/number19.html
  4. http://www.understanding-islam.com/rq/q-014.htm
  5. (Towards Understanding the Qur’an, translated by Zafar Ishaq Ansari, vol. 1, p.58 note no. 34.) From the Ahadith (especially the Hadith of Mi’raj) http://www.pakistanlink.com/religion/2000/03-31.html)
  6. Ibid
  7. [Bukhari Volume 3, Book 43, Number 63. see also: Volume 3, Book 43, Number 633: and Volume 3, Book 43, Number 634:
  8. Tales of the Prophets-Qisas al-anbiya, trans. Wheeler M. Thackston Jr.

[Great Books of the Islamic World, Inc., Distributed by Kazi Publications; Chicago, IL 1997], pp. 8-9)” taken from: http://answering-islam.org.uk/Quran/Science/seven_earths.html

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The Quran on expanding universe and Big Bang


To read the full original article by this very popular Islamic website, click here

…“And the heaven We created with might, and indeed We are (its) expander.” (Quran 51:47)

At the time of the revelation of the Quran, the word “space” was not known, and people used the word “heaven” to refer to what lies above the Earth. In the above verse, the word “heaven” is referring to space and the known universe. The verse points out that space, and thus the universe, happens to be expanding, just as Hubble’s Law states.

That the Quran mentioned such a fact centuries before the invention of the first telescope, at a time when there was primitive knowledge in science, is considered remarkable. This is more so considering that, like many people in his time, Prophet Muhammad happened to be illiterate and simply could not have been aware of such facts by himself. Could it be that he had truly received divine revelation from the Creator and Originator of the universe?

The Big Bang Theory

…The Big Bang theory states that around 12-15 billion years ago the universe came into existence from one single extremely hot and dense point, and that something triggered the explosion of this point that brought about the beginning of the universe. The universe, since then, has been expanding from this single point…

Presently, the Big Bang theory is accepted by the vast majority of scientists and astronomers.

It is mentioned in the Quran:

“He (God) is the Originator of the heavens and the earth…” (Quran 6:101)

“Is not He who created the heavens and the earth Able to create the likes of them? Yes; and He is the Knowing Creator. His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” (Quran 36:81-82)

The above verses prove that the universe had a beginning, that God was behind its creation, and all that God needs to do inorder to create is to say “Be,” and it is. Could this be an explanation as to what triggered off the explosion that brought about the beginning of the universe?

The Quran also mentions:

“Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, then We separated them, and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe?” (Quran 21:30)

Muslim scholars who have explained the previous verse mention that the heavens and earth were once one, and then God caused them to separate and form into the seven heavens and Earth. Yet, due to the limitations of science and technology at the time of the revelation of the Quran (and for centuries to follow), no scholar was able to give much detail about how exactly the heavens and earth were created. What the scholars could explain was the precise meaning of each word in Arabic in the verse, as well as the overall meaning of the verse.

In the previous verse, the Arabic words ratq and fataq are used. The word ratq can be translated into “entity” “sewn to” “joined together” or “closed up”. The meaning of these translations all circulate around something that is mixed and that has a separate and distinct existence. The verb fataq is translated into “We unstitched” “We clove them asunder” “We separated” or “We have opened them”. These meanings imply that something comes into being by an action of splitting or tearing apart. The sprouting of a seed from the soil is a good example of a similar illustration of the meaning of the verb fataq.

With the introduction of the Big Bang theory, it soon became clear to Muslim scholars that the details mentioned with regards to the theory go identically hand in hand with the description of the creation of the universe in verse 30 of chapter 21 of the Quran. The theory states that all the matter in the universe came into existence from one single extremely hot and dense point; that exploded and brought about the beginning of the universe, matches what is mentioned in the verse that the heaven and Earth (thus the universe) where once joined together, and then split apart. Once again, the only possible explanation is that Prophet Muhammad had truly received divine revelation from God, The Creator and Originator of the universe.


What a far-fetched thinking of deluded believers! Firstly, if the Big Bang is true, then story of creation is wrong, as mentioned in the Bible as well as the Quran. And again see how much of the Quran is quoted, what the Quran says. Is there a single line in the Quran which could not have been said by humans? Just as one point, we would like to say that the space of the earth in this universe is like a drop of water in the entire ocean, of all the oceans of the world. And even lesser than that actually. God could have simply said something like this, “The earth in which you live is like less than a drop of water in the ocean of all the oceans of the world”. But again, nothing of this sort is said in the Quran.

To read the full article click here

The first important point to consider is the actual statements of the Qur’an, and whether they have been honestly presented. Oktar quotes the Qur’an as saying in 51:47 “It is We Who have built the universe with (Our creative) power, and, verily, it is We Who are steadily expanding it.”

Is that a fair translation of the aya in question?

Well, not according to the three most highly regarded English translations generally available. Their versions are:

In Al-Qur’an 051.047, Muhammad (or somebody) wrote:

YUSUFALI: With power and skill did We construct the Firmament: for it is We Who create the vastness of space.
PICKTHAL: We have built the heaven with might, and We it is Who make the vast extent (thereof).
SHAKIR: And the heaven, We raised it high with power, and most surely We are the makers of things ample.

Not one of them contains the idea of an ongoing expansion of the universe. In fact, none of them refers to the “universe” at all, but to the heavens or firmament, in contrast to the aya immediately following which discusses the earth:

Al-Qur’an 051.048, Muhammad (or somebody) wrote:

YUSUFALI: And We have spread out the (spacious) earth: How excellently We do spread out!
PICKTHAL: And the earth have We laid out, how gracious is the Spreader (thereof)!
SHAKIR: And the earth, We have made it a wide extent; how well have We then spread (it) out.

The dualism of the heaven and the earth is a recurring theme in the Qur’an, and to ancient Arabs they together would have been considered the entire universe. And generally, when one is referred to, the other marches right along with it in the repetitive pattern of most Arabic poetry.

The problem here is that since the identical verb forms and grammar are used, to include tense, how can Oktar claim the first aya refers to an ongoing, continuing expansion of the heavens, without also concluding that the second must also refer to an ongoing, continuing spreading of the earth?

Qur’anic cosmology is firmly geocentric, with the earth at the center of the universe surrounded by seven solid spheres (the “seven heavens”) within which orbited the stars, planets, sun and moon.

But here Oktar has deliberately and deceptively altered the meaning of 51:47 in three ways.

He has mistranslated “heaven” as “universe” in the attempt to make the Qur’an sound conceptually more sophisticated than it really is, and to provide a stronger basis for his second and more significant distortion.

He then not only translates the Arabic noun for “a vastness” into a verb meaning “expanding,” but he then adds the entirely superfluous adverb “steadily” in an attempt to insert into the Qur’an additional ideas that are not actually there. With these three translational liberties, Oktar has completely changed the meaning of this aya from a simple description of Allah’s creation of the heavens into a scientific statement of Hubble’s expanding universe that is not actually contained in the Qur’an.

Oktar’s misuse and abuse of al-Qur’an 21:30 is no more legitimate than his mutilation of 51:47 although at least his translation is more loyal to the original. In this case his primary tool for distortion comes from the decision to take this single aya completely out of context, and so disguise its actual (and obvious) meaning.

Here is the single verse as quoted by Oktar. In his own translation of Al-Qur’an 21.30, Oktar wrote:

Do those who are disbelievers not see that the heavens and the earth were sewn together and then We unstitched them and that We made from water every living thing? So will they not have faith?

How convenient for his argument that he has not included the next two ayaat. Here are (again) the three most highly regarded translations of the three ayaat in question:

In Al-Qur’an, Muhammad (or somebody) wrote:

YUSUFALI: Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation), before we clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?
PICKTHAL: Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and we made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe?
SHAKIR: Do not those who disbelieve see that the heavens and the earth were closed up, but We have opened them; and We have made of water everything living, will they not then believe?

YUSUFALI: And We have set on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with them, and We have made therein broad highways (between mountains) for them to pass through: that they may receive Guidance.
PICKTHAL: And We have placed in the earth firm hills lest it quake with them, and We have placed therein ravines as roads that haply they may find their way.
SHAKIR: And We have made great mountains in the earth lest it might be convulsed with them, and We have made in it wide ways that they may follow a right direction.

YUSUFALI: And We have made the heavens as a canopy well guarded: yet do they turn away from the Signs which these things (point to)!
PICKTHAL: And we have made the sky a roof withheld (from them). Yet they turn away from its portents.
SHAKIR: And We have made the heaven a guarded canopy and (yet) they turn aside from its signs.

Now that we have returned the verse to its actual context, let’s take a moment to contrast Oktar’s argument with what the Qur’an is actually describing. He claims that this is a description of the scientific fact that “when it was created, the universe occupied a very tiny volume.” In fact, there is no description all in this verse that could be interpreted at referring to volume in any sense.

But more importantly, Oktar is claiming that the “unstitching” of heaven and earth described here is a reference to the “Big Bang,” or the primordial creation of the universe. If this were the case, then the “earth” mentioned here can not refer to the planet Earth, as its creation was still billions of years in the future from the event Oktar claims is being described.

In other words, Oktar is implying (and many Muslim web sites and publications claim explicitly) that “earth” here means “matter,” and not the planet Earth itself.

But the very next verse proves that this cannot be true. For in that very next verse Allah is setting on that same “earth” mountains and highways. How could this be if the “earth” in these ayaat meant anything OTHER than the planet Earth? When you further consider that the next aya after that concerns the “heaven” as a “canopy” or “roof” to that same planet earth, then the idea that this verse is a description of the “big bang” becomes completely impossible.

These verses are exactly what they appear to be; they are a description of Allah’s creation of the planet Earth and the heavens above it, NOT a description of the creation of the universe as understood by modern science.

The idea that the heavens and earth were once joined and then separated by the activity of Gods and Goddesses was actually quite common among pagans of the Middle East. Among the Egyptians for example, it was the involuntary separation of Geb (the earth god) from his wife and sister Nut (the sky goddess) that was responsible for the division of the earth from the sky. The Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh likewise describes the moment “when the heavens had been separated from the earth, when the earth had been delimited from the heavens” as a result of the separation of a sky God (An) from a earth Goddess (Ki). If you remove the pagan references, you have the same story as found in the Qur’an.

Remember that in Muhammad’s day, the heavens and the earth WERE the entire universe. All the celestial bodies that could be observed were believed to reside within the concentric spheres of the “seven heavens.” The stars were even contained in the closest sphere to Earth in ignorance of the fact that their tiny size was simply an illusion caused by their great actual distance.

This truncated understanding of the universe is responsible for the fact that there is no actual discussion of the creation of a “universe” in the Qur’an at all. The Qur’an is completely silent on the “big bang” because it clearly has no awareness whatsoever of a universe that preexisted the creation of the planet Earth, or extended outwards into infinite space. It has no understanding of galaxies, or clusters of galaxies, or quasars or pulsars... any of the OTHER things that could have easily been mentioned by an omniscient Allah, and left us no room for quibbling.

And Muslim claims of miraculous scientific information in the Qur’an are shown to be, yet again, in error.

Copied miracle

The cosmological theory described in Quranis actually very primitive and mohammed have copied that from bible. Let’s look at what the Bible said over a millennium prior:

Book of Zechariah wrote:

The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of

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man within him.

Book of Isaiah 40:22 wrote:

It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

Book of Isaiah 44:24 wrote:

Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;

Book of Jeremiah 10:12 wrote:

He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.

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The Quran on deep seas and internal waves


To read the full original claim, click here:

God has said in the Quran:

“Or (the unbelievers’ state) is like the darkness in a deep sea.  It is covered by waves, above which are waves, above which are clouds.  Darknesses, one above another.  If a man stretches out his hand, he cannot see it….” (Quran 24:40)

This verse mentions the darkness found in deep seas and oceans, where if a man stretches out his hand, he cannot see it.  The darkness in deep seas and oceans is found around a depth of 200 meters and below.  At this depth, there is almost no light (see figure 1).  Below a depth of 1000 meters there is no light at all.[1]  Human beings are not able to dive more than forty meters without the aid of submarines or special equipment.  Human beings cannot survive unaided in the deep dark part of the oceans, such as at a depth of 200 meters.

Figure 1: Between 3 and 30 percent of the sunlight is reflected at the sea surface.  Then almost all of the seven colors of the light spectrum are absorbed one after another in the first 200 meters, except the blue light. (Oceans, Elder and Pernetta, p. 27.)

Scientists have recently discovered this darkness by means of special equipment and submarines that have enabled them to dive into the depths of the oceans.

We can also understand from the following sentences in the previous verse, “…in a deep sea.  It is covered by waves, above which are waves, above which are clouds….”, that the deep waters of seas and oceans are covered by waves, and above these waves are other waves.  It is clear that the second set of waves are the surface waves that we see, because the verse mentions that above the second waves there are clouds.  But what about the first waves?  Scientists have recently discovered that there are internal waves which “occur on density interfaces between layers of different densities.”[2] (see figure 2).

Figure 2: Internal waves at interface between two layers of water of different densities.  One is dense (the lower one), the other one is less dense (the upper one). (Oceanography, Gross, p. 204.)

The internal waves cover the deep waters of seas and oceans because the deep waters have a higher density than the waters above them.  Internal waves act like surface waves.  They can also break, just like surface waves.  Internal waves cannot be seen by the human eye, but they can be detected by studying temperature or salinity changes at a given location.[3]


To read the original article, click here

Before we, go into it, again look at how much of it is said in the Quran. “Or [the unbelievers’ state] are like the darkness of a fathomless sea which is covered by waves above which are waves above which are clouds, layers of darkness, one upon the other. If he puts out his hand, he can scarcely see it. Those Allah gives no light to, they have no light. (Qur’an, 24:40)“. Now again see which part of this sentence could not have been said by humans? Now God could have easily said “Ordinary humans like you cannot go beyond a certain depth in the sea in today’s age. After some centuries, humans will be able to go down in the sea much deeper than now using some equipment. But what ordinary humans do not know right now, I will tell.” Simple and clear! Actually, some parts of the Pacific Ocean are so deep that no one has ever touched the bottom even today, in this modern age. God could have easily told what is in those parts. God could have also directly told many things still unknown to man, such as the cause of cancer, cure on it on every case, or treatment for diseases like night blindness, colour blindness, or forgetful in the old age!

Here is the rebuttal:

Another “miracle” that has dumbfounded our Muslim friends is the verse 24:40:

Or [the unbelievers’ state] are like the darkness of a fathomless sea which is covered by waves above which are waves above which are clouds, layers of darkness, one upon the other. If he puts out his hand, he can scarcely see it. Those Allah gives no light to, they have no light. (Qur’an, 24:40)

Muslims claims that in deep seas and oceans, the darkness increases and since human beings are not able to dive to a depth of more than 70 meters without the aid of special equipment, the above verse indicates that Muhammad had divine knowledge.

This is an obvious self deluding fallacy. Anyone who has dived only a few meters in the sea can see that the light decreases with depth, especially if there layers of clouds blocking the sunlight. Since antiquity Arabs used to dive into the Red Sea to harvest coral. Claiming that only Muhammad knew that in deep seas there is little light is preposterous when this can be observed by anyone diving into the sea.

Such claims only prove the desperation of the Muslims to fabricate miracles for a book that contains nothing but absurdities and nonsense.

But that is not all. Muslims also see another miracle in this verse. They say the part that says “…like the darkness of a fathomless sea which is covered by waves above which are waves above which are clouds…” is another another miracle of the Qur’an because:

“Scientists have only recently discovered that there are sub-surface waves, which “occur on density interfaces between layers of different densities.” These internal waves cover the deep waters of seas and oceans because deep water has a higher density than the water above it. Internal waves act like surface waves. They can break, just like surface waves. Internal waves cannot be discerned by the human eye, but they can be detected by studying temperature or salinity changes at a given location.”

We can clearly see that Muhammad in this verse is not talking about any internal and underwater waves. His language is confused. That is why Muslims try to interpret his words in any way that please. How difficult was for him to be specific and say that in the sea there are internal waves? But he is talking about waves over wave as experienced by a person that is being drowned in the sea.

I am always amazed to see the desperation of the Muslims to find miracles in the most banal statements of the Quran.

This verse is not trying to explain to the readers how the deep oceans look but it is exemplifying the state of the unbeliever with something that is already known to the reader. This shows that people who read this verse already knew that the dept of ocean is dark (just as anyone knows today) and with this example Muhammad tried to make them visualize the state of the unbeliever. If they did not know that the deep waters are dark then the verse would not express what it intends to express. If I tell you my tie is the color of my hat, when you do know know what color is my hat, you would not understand what color is my tie and I would not be speaking clear to you. Remember, clarity is one of the claims of the Quran. But if I say my tie is red like cherry, you’ll soon know what color I am talking about because you have seen cherries and you are familiar with their color.

Furthermore Muhammad is not talking about “deep oceans”. In deep oceans you do not need to “stretch your hand” as Muhammad says, in order not to see it. You cannot see anything.

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The Quran on the Cerebrum


To read the Islamic claim, click here

And the original response can be read here

 But before we read this, again we will like to say, see how much of the Quran is quoted, and how much is asumed by the person forcibly trying to find a miracle. How much of the sentence said in the Quran was not possible to have been said by a human being? And is this “Miracle” aka hoax in clear language? All the assumptions which have been forcibly concluded in this hoax could have been said directly in the Quran. “So, this area of the cerebrum is responsible for planning, motivating, and initiating good and sinful behavior and is responsible for the telling of lies and the speaking of truth” is what the very popular Islamic site claims. But the Quran simply says “No!  If he does not stop, We will take him by the naseyah (front of the head), a lying, sinful naseyah (front of the head)!” Which part of this line could not have been said by humans? The Quran could have simply said “The front part of the brain is responsible for planning, motivating, and initiating good and sinful behavior”- simple and clear! But again, nothing of this sort is said in the Quran.


Several Islamists promulgate Professor Keith L. Moore’s Quranic Pseudoscience of the lying sinful prefrontal area of the cerebrum (here referred to as the prefrontal cerebrum). The reader may want to check out the following site to follow a discussion as to whether the Quran actually mentions the prefrontal cerebrum or not as there is some doubt as to the meaning of the term naseyah. (Ref)

Nevertheless, for the sake of debunking Keith Moore yet again, I will accept for the sake of argument that naseyah refers to the prefrontal cerebrum as Moore seems to suggest.


D) The Quran on the Cerebrum:

God has said in the Quran about one of the evil unbelievers who forbade the Prophet Muhammad from praying at the Kaaba:

No! If he does not stop, We will take him by the naseyah (front of the head), a lying, sinful naseyah (front of the head)! (Quran, 96:15-16)

Why did the Quran describe the front of the head as being lying and sinful? Why didn’t the Quran say that the person was lying and sinful? What is the relationship between the front of the head and lying and sinfulness?

If we look into the skull at the front of the head, we will find the prefrontal area of the cerebrum (see figure 12). What does physiology tell us about the function of this area? A book entitled Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology says about this area, “The motivation and the foresight to plan and initiate movements occur in the anterior portion of the frontal lobes, the prefrontal area. This is a region of association cortex…”1 Also the book says, “In relation to its involvement in motivation, the prefrontal area is also thought to be the functional center for aggression….”2

Figure 12: Functional regions of the left hemisphere of the cerebral cortex. The prefrontal area is located at the front of the cerebral cortex. (Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology, Seeley and others, p. 210.) (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

So, this area of the cerebrum is responsible for planning, motivating, and initiating good and sinful behavior and is responsible for the telling of lies and the speaking of truth. Thus, it is proper to describe the front of the head as lying and sinful when someone lies or commits a sin, as the Quran has said, “…A lying, sinful naseyah (front of the head)!”

Other web sites copy-pasting this proposition include:

  1. http://www.beconvinced.com/science/QURANCEREBRUM.htm
  2. http://www.crescentlife.com/thisthat/interesting%20stuff/quran_on_the_cerebrum.htm
  3. http://www.answering-christianity.com/forehead.htm
  4. http://www.miraclesofthequran.com/scientific_52.html

A search of the internet reveals that ALL the Islamist claims that the cerebrum is responsible for lying and sin comes from the SAME source, i.e. from Keith Moore.

Dr Moore has defined the prefrontal cortex as the naseyah. However, his illustration highlights an area (colored tan) that is known as Brodman’s Areas 9, 10 and 11. It is this brain region that we will concentrate our analysis.


1. Islamist Non-Evidence

The Islamist ‘so-called’ evidence that the prefrontal cerebrum is responsible for lying and sin is thus:

A book entitled Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology says about this area, “The motivation and the foresight to plan and initiate movements occur in the anterior portion of the frontal lobes, the prefrontal area. This is a region of association cortex…”1 Also the book says, “In relation to its involvement in motivation, the prefrontal area is also thought to be the functional center for aggression….”2

A rational reader would see that planning and initiation of movement are not lying and sin. Though they may be required for its execution, they are not identical. Planning and initiation of movement can just as easily be required for truth and good deeds. In other words, movement control is not the process of lying which is a decision-making process and not a motor function. Thus, this line of thinking is false.

Secondly, aggression is not the same as lying and sin. One can just as easily lie and sin without aggression. Also one can be aggressive, as in self-defense, without being considered deceptive or sinful. Thus, the Islamist claim of evidence is clearly false.

2. Is the Prefrontal Cerebrum Really Responsible for Lying?

Modern science has investigated the brain processes required for lying and deception. This field has achieved great advancement from the invention (by kaffirs, naturally) of the Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging technology (fMRI). The key scientific teams include those led by Associate Professor Jia-Hong Gao; Professor Scott H. Faro, M.D; Assistant Professor Daniel Langleben; Dr Frank Andrew Kozel, M.D.; and Professor Stephen Kosslyn.

I choose only the issue of lying and not sin because much medical science has been conducted on lying. Sin is a broader issue and encompasses the subset of lying/deception.

The thesis is that if the Quran is wrong about the prefrontal cerebrum and lying, then there is no need to prove the more general case about the prefrontal cerebrum and sin as I would immediately prove the Quranic Pseudoscience a load of rubbish.

Here is a summary of the modern scientific findings:

A) Associate Professor Jia-Hong Gao, University of Texas Health Science Center.




The imaging data revealed four principle areas of brain activation — in the prefrontal and frontal, parietal, temporal and sub-cortical regions.

Professor Gao’s experiment is a feigned memory test – which means that the brain areas involved in both feigning (i.e. lying) and memory will be activated. From his experiment, it can be seen that other parts of the cerebrum and the sub-cortical regions are responsible for lying, thus debunking the Islamist case that the prefrontal cerebrum is responsible for lying. The prefrontal cerebrum may only be partly responsible (i.e. for the memory component of the feigned memory experiment) and to assign it the prominent or sole role in lying is incorrect and/or deceptive. In fact, to be strictly correct, the decision-making processes for lying reside in the sub-cortical regions and not in the prefrontal region which is merely responsible for working memory functions, not the executive function of lying.

A detailed examination of the specific brain areas activated in the process of lying is provided by Lee et al., in “Lie Detection by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging”, Human Brain Mapping 15:157–164(2002).

In summary, the various functions of the brain areas in the lying process are as follows:

1. Prefrontal (BA 10, BA 9/46) – goal setting, cognitive-balancing and working memory functions.
2. Frontal (BA 6) – motor planning/decision processing.
3. Parietal (BA 40) – mental calculation of numerical problems.
4. Temporal (BA 21) – visual stimulation.
5. Sub-cortical {caudate and posterior cingulate} (BA 23) – inhibition of previously learned rules and self monitoring of random errors.

Lee et al. suggest the sub-cortical region is important in the decision-making process of lying, while the rest of the prefrontal-frontal-parietal-temporal-sub-cortical circuit mainly deals with the cognition and mechanics of the process.

Maguire et al. [1999] suggest that an important role for the posterior cingulate region is in the linking of incoming information with a repository of activated knowledge and thereby form a coherent representation of discourse. The conjoint activation of the anterior medial parietal/posterior cingulate region, therefore, reflects the online incorporation of information into a preset mental framework.

Here Lee et al. suggest the role of the posterior cingulate region in formation of the coherent representation of discourse into the preset mental framework (i.e. lying).

Activation of the caudate region reflects performance monitoring, just as Semrud-Clikeman et al. [2000] observed that the intact structure of the caudate correlates with performance on measures of inhibition (of the usual, i.e. previously learned responses).

Here Lee et al. suggest the role of the caudate cingulate region in the performance monitoring of the lying process.

Thus, the caudate and posterior cingulate regions together form and monitor the decision-making process of lying. These regions are in the sub-cortical area and not in the prefrontal cortex.

B) Professor Scott Faro, Functional Brain Imaging Center and Clinical MRI at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia.


These areas (i.e. engaged in lying) were located in the frontal (medial inferior and pre-central), temporal (hippocampus and middle temporal), and limbic (anterior and posterior cingulate) lobes. During a truthful response, the fMRI showed activation in the frontal lobe (inferior and medial), temporal lobe (inferior) and cingulate gyrus.

Here, Professor Faro’s team found that the prefrontal cerebrum has no major part to do with lying. That the prefrontal cerebrum was not found to be involved is entirely due to the experimental design. Professor Faro’s experiment did not involve the use of memory, unlike Professor Gao’s feigned memory experiment.

This is why Professor Faro found that the prefrontal cerebrum does not play a role in the neurological process of lying.

C) Frank Andrew Kozel, the Medical University of South Carolina and the Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Charleston, South Carolina.


These areas (responsible for lying) included the right inferior frontal, right orbitofrontal, right middle frontal, left middle temporal and right anterior cingulated areas.

Dr Kozel’s team found more evidence that the prefrontal cerebrum is not responsible for lying. His experiment involved finding the brain areas activated when the subjects lied as opposed to when they told the truth. Thus, only the areas involved in lying were highlighted, removing the influence of other cognitive functions such as goal-setting, cognitive-branching, and working memory retrieval.

D) Assistant Professor Daniel Langleben, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.


When the subjects were lying, the scientists found significantly increased activity in both the anterior cingulate cortex, a section of the brain that has been linked to monitoring of errors and attention, and the prefrontal and premotor cortices, areas involved in the initiation of voluntary movement.

Here is more evidence that the prefrontal cerebrum is not responsible for lying. The prefrontal cortex is found to be responsible for the initiation of voluntary movement, not lying.

E) Professor Stephen Kosslyn. Pychology Dept. Harvard University. (Ref)

Harvard psychology professor Kosslyn also focuses on the brain in his study of deception, but he uses brain-scanning equipment to see what areas receive intense blood flow during questioning.

While his work has not yet been completed, preliminary results show that different regions of the brain light up when people tell the truth or lie. Further, he believes different regions are activated depending on the type of lie.

His data so far, he said, show the anterior cingulate, located near the front of the brain and associated with conflict resolution, is often activated during lies.

Admittedly Professor Kosslyn’s work is incomplete, but it does back up the work of others.


Modern medical research utilizing fMRI conduct brain scans has revealed that the prefrontal cerebrum is not responsible for lying.

Other brain regions are responsible, particularly the anterior cingulate gyrus which lies in the medial part of the brain in the frontal-parietal area and not in the prefrontal cerebrum (pictured above in grey).

The key evidence is provided by Lee et al., (i.e. Dr Gao’s team) who suggest that the sub-cortical regions are responsible for the main decision-making processes of lying, while the prefrontal region is mainly responsible for goal setting, cognitive-balancing, and memory retrieval and manipulation (i.e. part of the cognition and mechanics of the lying process).

Thus, the scientific evidence does not support the Islamist’s pseudoscientific claim that the Quran correctly asserts that the prefrontal region is responsible for lying as it is not the region responsible for the decision-making process of lying. Other regions, for example the anterior cingulate gyrus, the parietal lobe, other regions of the frontal lobe, and sub-cortical regions (i.e. the caudate and posterior cingulate), are required for the brain processes of lying.

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Speed of light in the Quran or another hoax?


To read the full article, click here:

The greatest speed C, denoting the velocity of light in vacuum, is hinted at in two glorious Quranic verses relating this fundamental universal contant C with the motion of the Earth-Moon system. A new relativistic interpretation of this Quranic relation gives C=299792.5 km/s in an extremely marvellous agreement with the accepted international value. This astonishing result emphasises the unity of the physical world, the validity of the special theory of relativity and the authenticity of the Glorious Quran for unbelievers.



According to the US National Bureau of Standards(3): C = 299792.4574 + 0.0011 km/

and according to the British National Physical Laboratory C = 299792.4590 + 0.0008 km/s

A basically new definition of the metre was accepted in October 1983 at the 17th General Conference on Measures and Weights(3):

“The metre is the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of
1/299792458 of a second”….

Lunar Orbital Motion described in Quran:
Fourteen centuries ago, the QURAN(5), i.e. .the Holy Book of Islamic Religion, was directed from GOD to all humanity through Prophet Mohammad, who lived in the Arabian Peninsula.

The ARAB people use the lunar system in their calculation of time. The Quran addressed them in the only language they could understand without upsetting their habits. GOD (in Arabic ALLAH: the ONE and Only GOD, the CREATOR) says in the Quran:

“GOD is the ONE who made the sun a shining glory and the moon a light and for her ordained mansions, so that you might know the number of years and the reckoning” (10:5)

The lunar year is twelve months, the month is defined recently as the time of one revolution of the moon in its orbit around the earth. God hints at such orbit in the Quran:

“GOD is the ONE who created the night, the day, the sun, and the moon. Each one is travelling in an orbit with its own motion” (21:33).

Here an essential scientific fact is clearly stated, namely, the existence of the earth’s, sun’s and moon’s orbits; besides, a reference is made to the travelling of these celestial bodies in space with their own motion! A new concept had therefore been established in the Quran, hundreds of years before it was discovered by modern science(6-7)

Today the concept of the lunar year is widely spread and, as we know, the moon is our nearest neighbour in space, and a companion to our planet. It is often said that the earth and moon form a twin-planet. As the moon orbits around the earth, the change in the relative positions of the moon, earth and sun cause the moon to show its phases(8-9). The time between consecutive new moons is 29.53 days and is called the synodic month. During this time, however, the earth, and consequently the moon’s orbit, have travelled some way around the sun, so the position of the moon against the background of stars is different. ‘l;he time for the moon to return to the same position in the sky as viewed from earth is called the sidereal month (27.32 days) which represents the actual real net time of one revolution in the moon’s orbit. This orbit is almost circular having an average radius r=384264 km.

Fig. 1 describes the moon’s motion during a lunar month. Position A1 shows a new moon. Position B (about 2 weeks later than A1) illustrates the following full moon. Position A2 the moon has orbited the earth once (with respect to an apparently fixed star). Thus one sidereal period (27.32 days) has elapsed since position A1. The next new moon does not occur until position A3 where the moon has once again lined up with the sun. Thus one lunar synodic period (29.53 days) has elapsed since position A1.

Referring to the Quranic verse (10:5), we notice that it discriminates between the apparent synodic period for knowing the number of years and the real sidereal period for reckoning in scientific calculations. These two systems of measuring time are now given in the text books of Astronomy as indicated(l،) in table 2:

Table (2) Lunar month and terrestrial:day

Period Siderial Synodic
Lunar Month T 27.321661 days = 655.71986 hours 29.53059 days
Terrestrial day t 23 h, 56 min 4.0906 sec = 86164.0906 sec 24 hours = 86400 sec

The aim of this work is to determine the value of the greatest speed mentioned in the following relativistic Quranic verses. In these verses the sideral system should be used for both the lunar month and the terrestrial day as accurate measured periods (with respect to a distant apparently fixed star).

A New Relation in the Earth-Moon System:
The length of the moons’ orbit L and the time t of one terrestrial day are correlated in a marvellous Quranic verse which describes a universal constant velocity of a certain cosmic affair as follows:

“GOD rules the cosmic affair from the heavens to the earth. Then this affair travels, to Him (i.e. through the whole universe) in one day, where the measure is one thousand years of your reckoning”(32:5)

the Quranic expression “of your reckoning” leaves no doubt as to our understanding of the year as the lunar year.

The verse begins with a reference to a certain “cosmic affair” which GOD creates and commands. This affair travels, permanently through the whole universe between the heavens and the Earth, so speedily that it crosses in ONE DAY a maximum distance in space equivalent to that which the moon passes during ONE THOUSAND LUNAR YEAR (i.e. during 12000 Sidereal months). The question which pause.; itself now is: what could this cosmic affair be? and what is its greatest velocity as expressed in this Quranic equation?.

To answer this question. The above Quranic verse has been understood** in terms of the following equation:

Distance crossed in vacuum by the universal cosmic affair in Osle sidereal day = length of 12000 revolutions of the moon around the earth.

.:. Ct = 12000 L .


C is the velocity of the cosmic affair,

t is the time interval of one terrestrial sidereal day kefined as the time of one rotation of the earth. about its axis (relative to the stars). i.e. 23 hr, 56 min, 4.0906 sec = 86164.0906sec. )

L is the inertial distance which the moon covers in c-o revolution around the earth during one sidereal month i.e. L is the net length of the moon’s orbit due to its own geocentric motion, without the interference of its spiral motion causec by the earth’s revolution around the sun, i.e. _ is the lunar orbit length excluding the effec- of the solar gravitational field on the measured value.

Let V is the measured average orbital velocity of the moon deduced from the average radius R of the lunar geocentric orbit tas measured from an orbiting earth during its heliocentric motion)

.:. V=2 Pi *R/T…………………………………………….(2)

substituting R = 384264 km and T = the siderial lunar month = 655.71986 hr

.:. V= (2X3.l4l6x384264 )/ 655.71986= 3682.07 km/hr

This value is given in all text books of astronomy and is accepted by NASA.

Let @ (Fig. 1) is the angle travelled by the earth moon system around the sun during one sidereal month of period 27.321661 days. We can calculate @ if we take into consideration the period (365.25636 days)of one heliocentric revolution (1 year) of the earth-moon system (Fig.l).

@ = 27.321661*360/365.25636= 26,92848

Thus @ is a characteristic constant of this system depending on uniformperiods of the month and the year.

Since the presence of the sun changes the geometrical properties of space and time , we must screen out its gravitational effect on the earth moon system according to the validity condition of the second postulate of special relativity, i.e. we must only consider the lunar geocentric motion without the heliocentric motion of the earth-moon system. Thus a velocity component VO=V cosO representing the net orbital velocity of the moon as shown in fig. (1) is introduced for calculating the net length L of the lunar orbit assuming a stationary earth.

.:. L = V cos @ T ……………………. (3)

From equation (1) and (3) we get a new Quranic relation for the earth moon system:

Ct= 12000 V cos @T…………………………………(4)

.:. C =12000 V cos @ T/t…………………………….(5)

substituting the sidereal values of the periods t and T from table (2), the NASA value of the measured orbital lunar velocity V = 3682.07 km/hr., and the calculated yalue of cos@ = cos 26.92848 = 0.89157, we get the velocity of the cosmic affair from eq. 5 as expressed in the Holy Quran.

C=12000 x 3682.07 x 0.89157 x 655.71986/86164.0906

.:. C = 299792.5 km/s

Referring to table (1) and the international value of C = 299792.458 km/s we find an extremely marvellous agreement. Thus we conclude that the cosmic affair, mentioned in the previous Quranic verse, is identical to LIGHT and all similar cosmic affairs travelling in vacuum with this maximum speed such as: all types of electro magnetic waves propagating between the heavens and the earth, the expected Gravitational waves spreading all over the universe, and all particles travelling in this cosmic greatest spead such as neutrinos.

It is very interesting to mention here the second Quranic verse that hints at the same relativistic Quranic equation in the earth-moon system: God Most High said:

“A day in the sight of thy Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning” (22:47)

Thus both relativistic Quranic equations emphasise the obtained value of the greatest speed C and show that C is a permanent absolute constant. Actually there have been no scientific evidence that the value of C can change in time as yet. The constancy principle of special relativity is confirmed in the present work, which correlates also the speed of light C in vacuum with the celestial mechanics of the earth-moon system. Referring to equation (4) and substituting the velocity V from eq. (2), we find that the average radius of the moon.

R = [C/12000×2 Pi Cos@]*t………………………………..(6)

.:. “The average radius R of the lunar orbit is directly proportional to the period of one terrestrial sidereal day t.”…

It is both important and interesting to find a new astronomical relationZ between the radius of the lunar orbit R and the time t of one terrestrial day deduced according to a new relativistic interpretation of a cosmic Quranic verse alluding to the greatest universal speed identical to the velocity C of light in vacuum.

It is so awesome to find unity in the complex of phenomena, that at first sight appear to have nothing in common. This work proves the universality and constancy of the fundamental constant C as the Greatest Cosmic Speed and reveals the Glorious Quran as a Holy Book worth studying with meticulous analysis since its author is the CREATOR of the Universe.

HERE IS THE REALITY and this is a massive hoax

To read the original article by Ali Sina click here

But see how much of the Quran is quoted here and how much this person writes about science on his own. Ali Sina writes:

“Muslims are hard at work trying to find miracles in the Qur’an and each day they “find” something new. They gloat about it and pump themselves, spread the glad tiding across the Internet, publish it in their newspapers, and challenge others to disprove that miracle, until someone shows their error and deflates them like a punctured balloon. This does not slow them. Since they are eager to find miracles, and since there is no end to human gullibility, especially when one WANTS to believe, they find a new miracle every day.

The Claim

Today I received a request to clarify the claim that the Qur’an has disclosed the speed of light more than a thousand years before it was calculated by scientists.

In an article published in Islamicity.com  Dr. Mansour Hassab-Elnaby claims the verse 32.5 reveals that light in one day travels a distance equal to 12,000 lunar orbits, and upon calculating that distance we find the exact speed of light.

Here is verse 32:5 translated by Shakir: He regulates the affair from the heaven to the earth; then shall it ascend to Him in a day the measure of which is a thousand years of what you count..”

According to Dr. Hassab-Elnaby, “affairs” mentioned in this verse is “light.”  So this verse reveals that light can travel in one day the distance that will take the Moon, 1000 years to span.

It takes a Muslim’s imagination to think this verse has anything to do with the speed of light. There is no mention of moon, light or even distance in this verse. However, let us agree with this assumed interpretation for now and see whether Dr. Hassab-Elnaby has his math right.    

1-  Wrong Calculation 

The average center-to-center distance from the Earth to the Moon is 384,403 km. The orbit of the Moon is nearly circular. (That is why we see the Moon always with the same size)

This means for the Moon to go a full circle around the Earth it must travel a distance of  2,415,273 km (Circumference of the lunar orbit = 2r π  =   2 x 384,403 x 3.14159)

To orbit the earth 12,000 times the Moon must travel 28,983,278,898 km (2.415,273 x 12,000). This is how much the moon travels in 1000 lunar years.

Light travels at a constant speed of 299,792.458 km. per second

There are 86,400 seconds  in one day (60x60x24)

In 24 hours, light travels a distance of 25,902,068,371 km (299,792.458 x 86,400).

These two numbers are not the same. They are not even close. There is a difference of  3,081,210,527 km (28,983,278,898 – 25,902,068,371) between the distance traveled by the Moon in 1000 lunar years and the distance traveled by light in one day.

This difference is over twenty times the distance between the Earth and the Sun. So clearly Dr. Hassab-Elnaby got it wrong. The two numbers do not match.

That is not all. There is a difference between lunar month (phases) and lunar orbit.  The Moon makes a complete orbit around the Earth every 27.3 days, (siderial month) while the periodic variations in the geometry of the Earth–Moon–Sun system are responsible for the lunar phases that repeat every 29.5 days (synodic month). There is a difference of 2.2 days between the lunar month and the lunar orbit.  (Wikipedia)

In one lunar year the Moon revolves around the Earth  12.967 times (29.5 x 12 / 27.3) and not 12 times. So the distance that the Moon travels in 1000 lunar years is actually 32, 045,078,461 km (12,967 x 2,4715,273).

The difference between this distance and the distance traveled by light in one day is 6,143,010,090 km (32, 045,078,461 – 25,902,068,371).  It would take light, another 5 hours 41 minutes to travel this extra distance.

Alternatively we can say that the Moon revolves around the Earth 10,724 times to cover the distance that the light travels in 24 hours.   (Distance traveled by light in one day 25,902,068,371 km / The orbit of the Moon  2,415,273 km).

It takes only 827 lunar years  for the Moon to go this distance and not 1000 lunar years. (10,724 revolutions of the Moon around the Earth  x 27.3 days that takes for each revolution / 354 days that exist in each lunar year).

No matter how you look at it Dr. Hassab-Elnaby’s calculations are wrong. The distance traveled by the Moon in 1000 years and the distance traveled by light in one day are NOT the same.

We are  not even considering the orbit of the Earth around the Sun, which inevitably the Moon must also thread. Taking that into account Dr. Hassab-Elnabi’s calculations are 36.6 times off.

2 –  Wrong Translation 

Which part of this verse talks about light or its speed? Dr. Hassab-Elnany writes: “Thus we conclude that the cosmic affair, mentioned in the previous Quranic verse, is identical to LIGHT and all similar cosmic affairs travelling in vacuum with this maximum speed such as: all types of electro magnetic waves propagating between the heavens and the earth, the expected Gravitational waves spreading all over the universe, and all particles travelling in this cosmic greatest spead such as neutrinos.”

What a load of nonsense! All Muhammad is saying in this verse is that a day of Allah is 1000 years long. This is his way of saying Allah is big, everything about him is big, and even his days are big.  Muhammad repeated the same thing in the verse 22.47 Verily a day in the sight of thy Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning. There is no mention of affairs going up and down, light, magnetic waves, particles and neutrinos in this verse.

The length of the day is determined by how fast a planet revolves around its axis and it has nothing to do with the size of its inhabitants.  All we can understand from this verse is that the creator of the world lives in a very slow revolving planet.

Just to show the absurdity and the confusion in the Qur’an let us see the verse 70:4:

The angels and the spirit ascend unto him in a Day the measure whereof is (as) fifty thousand years.”

This verse has a similar content of the verse 32:5,  but here it says that the length of the day of God is 50,000 years.  This is a clear contradiction. Is a day of God 1000 years or is it 50,000 years?  Does it mean that it takes 50,000 years for angels and spirits to reach God? That is awfully slow. Then how could Angel Gabriel take Muhammad to heaven and back in one night? The Qur’an is replete with contradictions and absurdities. Muhammad had found a gullible audience who gobbled everything he told them uncritically. He never thought one day his words will be scrutinized by people smarter than his benighted followers and his lies will be exposed.

3  –  Wrong Parameters 

I am not done yet! There is still more problem with this claim. The speed of light is constant while the rotation of the Earth, thanks to losing its kinetic energy, is slowing down. Therefore, the days of the Earth are becoming longer. Also the Moon is getting  away from the Earth and its orbit is widening. To orbit the Earth, the Moon has to travel a little more each time.  This means that the length of the lunar months are increasing. How can one measure something that is constant with things that are variable?

Scientists believe that when the Earth was young, it span ten times faster around its axes than it is spinning today. Since the speed of light has remained the same all along, 4.5 billion years ago, in one day light traveled one tenth of the distance that it travels today.

There are nearly 4.5 million thousand years since the Moon is orbiting the Earth. As the Moon distances from the Earth it is slowing down. Since each millennium the orbit of the Moon and the Length of the day change, in which one of these 4.5 million millennia the Moon traveled the same distance that the light travels in one day? The claim is wrong, but even if true, only one time out of 4.5 million times the two numbers could match.  Then again even a broken watch is right twice every day.

The very notion of measuring the speed of light with the orbit of the Moon or the length of the day is a fallacy, that is because the yardstick is constantly changing.  Such an error only reveals the lack of understanding of Dr. Hassab-Elnaby of the basic principles of science.

4 – Wrong Interpretation 

The verse talks about the “affairs of God” being sent to Earth and then ascending to Him in one day, the length of which is 1000 years. How on Earth this educated slave of Allah has determined that “affairs” means light?  The word used in Arabic is Amr.  It means commandment, order, cause, and affair. This is an allusion to God’s religion and not to light.  Amrullah means the Cause of God. A more accurate translation of this verse is, God sends his Cause to Earth, which will return to Him, i.e. it will be revoked in one day, the length of which is equal to 1000 years.

This is how Sheikh Ahmad Ahsai  (1753 -1826), founder of Shiite Sheikhieh school and his disciple Seyyed Kazim-i-Rashti  (1792- 1843) interpreted this verse. They claimed Islam does no longer meet the needs of the time and since it does not allow reform, it must be abrogated.  However, since no one can abrogate the word of God but God himself, this task rests on the shoulders of the awaited Mahdi, the Promised One of the Shiites.  Ahsai and Rashti said the end of Islam and the appearance of Mahdi has already been foretold in the Hadith and the Qur’an, and verse 32:5  gives the exact date.

According to these eminent scholars, Amrullah, the cause of God, was completed when the last intermediary between God and Mankind, Imam Hassan Askari died.  Hassan Askari died in the lunar year 260 Hijra.  Ahsai believed that since, according to the verse 32:5, one thousand years after the communication between God and mankind is interrupted the cause of God (Islam) would be revoked يَعْرُجُ إِلَيْهِ ,  Mahdi should manifest himself in the year 1260 Hijra (1844 EC)

The room where The Báb declared his mission on May 23, 1844 in his house in Shiraz. Exactly 1000 lunar years after the death of the last Shiite imam.

Seyyed Kazem Rashti died one year before the expected year. He, was so sure that Mahdi would manifest himself in the coming year that he did not appoint any successor. He dissolved the Sheikhieh school ordering his disciples to scatter around Persia to find him. It was in this heightened atmosphere of expectation that the 26 year old Seyyed Ali Mohammad, native of Shiraz, claimed to be the Bab, the Gate to divine understanding, the Promised One. Thanks to his sincerity and Christ like innocence he attracted most of the students of Seyyed Kazem and in a short time the Babi movement became so popular that it took the country by storm. The amazing success of the Babis in converting the Iranians was seen as a threat by the clergy who instigated the young and inexperienced king, Nasereddin Shah to execute the Bab.  They started a brutal campaign of persecution of Babis and subsequently Bahais that has lasted till this day.

I am not an apologist for Babism. I do not believe in Islam and do not think the Qur’an contains any prophecy.  Anyone can interpret the Qur’an in anyway he pleases. I do not believe the Bab was a messenger of God.  According to this author, that young man suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy, the evidence of that is in his prolific, verbose, and incoherent writings.  He certainly believed in his cause and refused to recant in order to save his life. In all fairness, one can see that Ahsai and Rashti  have given a much more logical interpretation to the Quranic verse 32:5 than Dr. Hassab-Elnaby, with his ludicrous claim that the verse reveals the speed of light.

5  –  Stolen Miracle 

The funny thing is that the verse 32:5 is plagiarized from the Bible. Here are the original Biblical verses:

For a thousand years in your sight  are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. Psalm 90:4

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.2 Peter 3:8

When the Psalmist says a thousand years for God is like a watch in the night, he means God is timeless. In those days people used sundials to measure the time. It only worked in sunshine. This is a beautiful poetic way to say time does not exist for God. This thousand years should be taken allegorically and not literally.

Peter understood that. He said with Lord not only a thousand years is like one day, also one day is like a thousand years. What that humble fisherman was saying is that Time is irrelevant for God. Compare that with the pathetic attempt of Muslim doctors and scholars who take this allegory literally and try to find scientific equations in it.  Taken poetically, this example is beautiful; taken literally, it is asinine.

Assuming there is a miracle in this allegory, shouldn’t the credit go to  the Bible?  Isn’t it interesting that neither the Jews nor the Christians make the claim that these verses reveal scientific information, but Muslims make that claim even though the verse is stolen from the Bible? What this tells us about the state of the mind of Muslims? Doesn’t this show they are insecure and desperate to validate their illogical faith by clinging to any straw?

6  – Does the Qur’an distinguish synodic and siderial months? 

Dr. Mansour Hassab-Elnaby claims, “Quranic verse (10:5) discriminates between the synodic period for knowing the number of years and the real sidereal period for reckoning in scientific calculations.”  Here is the verse in question:

It is He Who made the sun to be a shining glory and the moon to be a light [wrong. Moon is not a source of light], and measured out stages for her; that ye might know the number of years and the count. 10:5

This verse in no way discriminates between synodic and siderial months. Dr. Hassab-Elnaby is engaging in wishful thinking.

7  –  The Islamic Divine Comedy 

In their quest to find miracles in  the Qur’an, Muslims unwittingly make, not only Islam, but the entire Divine system look like a joke. Our good doctor says, “The verse begins with a reference to a certain “cosmic affair” which GOD creates and commands. This affair travels, permanently through the whole universe between the heavens and the Earth, so speedily that it crosses in ONE DAY a maximum distance in space equivalent to that which the moon passes during ONE THOUSAND LUNAR YEAR (i.e. during 12000 Sidereal months).”

This erudite Muslim is wrong again. Arabs count the synodic months that are 29.5 days and not the siderial months that are 27.3 days. The Qur’an is clear that these thousand years are “of what you count.” Only synodic months can be observed and counted. Siderial months are not observable and as the doctor himself rightly points out they are “for reckoning in scientific calculations.”  As I showed in section 1, in 1000 lunar years the Moon orbits the Earth 12,967 times and not 12,000 times. Dr. Hassab-Elnaby makes many deliberate errors to doctor his miracle.

Affairs traveling permanently through the whole universe at speed of light?”  Is he talking about UFOs?  Now, when it comes to the Universe, the speed of light is not really that fast. It is a very slow way for God to run his affairs. These “cosmic affairs” traveling at the speed of light take one full day to reach the Earth.  If you are in peril, forget about asking Allah for help. By the time he sends you his succor, a day is passed and that is often too late.

Consider yourself lucky because Allah is only one light day away from the Earth (I thought Muhammad said he is closer to us than our jugular vein). He lives just around the corner of our solar system. Think of other poor creatures that live hundreds or thousands light years away, or those who live in galaxies that are millions or billions light years away from God.  How can God run his affairs in those galaxies when the communication is so slow? For all intent and purposes, as far as those far away galaxies are concerned God does not exist.   Just as their light hardly reach us, and when it does it is after millions of years the “affairs of Allah” can hardly reach them. In his zeal to ascribe miracles to the prosaic book of Muhammad, Dr. Hassab-Elnaby throws out of the window the concept of omnipresence of God altogether. The maker of the Universe, according to this Muhammadan, depends on the speed of light to manage his affairs.

It is pathetic that in this day of science and enlightenment, over a billion otherwise normal people, many of whom doctors and educated, should still follow an ignoramus of the seventh century and waste their  time trying to find meaning and even miracles in his asinine balderdash. This should tell you everything you need to know about Muslim intelligentsia. The fact that Islamicity.com, arguably the most prestigious Islamic site has published this gobbledygook proves the intellectual bankruptcy of the ummah.

It is an irony that so many smart people have reduced themselves into jokers and laughing stocks for mankind. The more Muslims try to make Islam look logical and scientific the more ridiculous THEY look.


The Quran on seas and oceans- another hoax


To see it in full, click here

Modern Science has discovered that in the places where two different seas meet, there is a barrier between them.  This barrier divides the two seas so that each sea has its own temperature, salinity, and density.[1]  For example, Mediterranean sea water is warm, saline, and less dense, compared to Atlantic ocean water.  When Mediterranean sea water enters the Atlantic over the Gibraltar sill, it moves several hundred kilometers into the Atlantic at a depth of about 1000 meters with its own warm, saline, and less dense characteristics.  The Mediterranean water stabilizes at this depth[2](see figure 1).


Although there are large waves, strong currents, and tides in these seas, they do not mix or transgress this barrier.

The Holy Quran mentioned that there is a barrier between two seas that meet and that they do not transgress.  God has said:

“He has set free the two seas meeting together.  There is a barrier between them.  They do not transgress.” (Quran 55:19-20)

But when the Quran speaks about the divider between fresh and salt water, it mentions the existence of “a forbidding partition” with the barrier.  God has said in the Quran:

“He is the one who has set free the two kinds of water, one sweet and palatable, and the other salty and bitter.  And He has made between them a barrier and a forbidding partition.” (Quran 25:53)

One may ask, why did the Quran mention the partition when speaking about the divider between fresh and salt water, but did not mention it when speaking about the divider between the two seas?

Modern science has discovered that in estuaries, where fresh (sweet) and salt water meet, the situation is somewhat different from what is found in places where two seas meet.  It has been discovered that what distinguishes fresh water from salt water in estuaries is a “pycnocline zone with a marked density discontinuity separating the two layers.”[3]  This partition (zone of separation) has a different salinity from the fresh water and from the salt water[4] (see figure 2)…

This information has been discovered only recently, using advanced equipment to measure temperature, salinity, density, oxygen dissolubility, etc.  The human eye cannot see the difference between the two seas that meet, rather the two seas appear to us as one homogeneous sea.  Likewise, the human eye cannot see the division of water in estuaries into the three kinds: fresh water, salt water, and the partition (zone of separation).


To read the full rebuttal by Islamic scholar Dr Ali Sina, click here


A satellite photograph of the Strait of Gibraltar.

Ali Sina writes, “Muslims claim that the verses 55:19-20 are proof of the scientific miracle of the Quran 

“He has let loose the two seas, converging together, with a barrier between them they do not break through.”

The popular site of Harunyahya claims 

“This property of the seas, that is, that they meet and yet do not intermix, has only very recently been discovered by oceanographers. Because of the physical force called “surface tension,” the waters of neighbouring seas do not mix. Caused by the difference in the density of their waters, surface tension prevents them from mingling with one another, just as if a thin wall were between them. 

It is interesting that, during a period when there was little knowledge of physics, and of surface tension, or oceanography, this truth was revealed in the Qur’an.”

Then they show the above picture and comment: 

“There are large waves, strong currents, and tides in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Mediterranean Sea water enters the Atlantic by Gibraltar. But their temperature, salinity, and densities do not change, because of the barrier that separates them.”

Was the knowledge that waters of different salinity, density and temperature do not mix unknown to anyone prior to Muhammad? Not really. A thousand years before Muhammad Aristotle wrote the following:  

The drinkable, sweet water, then, is light and is all of it drawn up: the salt water is heavy and remains behind,” Meteorology Book 2 Chapter 2  

It is clear that at the time of Aristotle, people knew that waters of different density and salinity do not mix. 

The following picture is from the red sea. Obviously the sailors navigating in that sea must have noticed the difference of color between the waters. 

 (To see the picture, click here)

 Also it seems that Muslims do not understand the phenomenon at all. The sill of Gibraltar, the barrier that separates the Atlantic from Mediterranean is not responsible for not letting the two waters to mix. The waters do not mix because of the difference in their density, salinity and temperature. 

Furthermore the separation of these waters are not permanent. The waters of various densities, salinities and temperatures eventually mix. The phenomenon is short lived and is observerabe only when the two bodies of water meet. It is like pouring milk in the cup of coffee. At first one can see that milk creates a current inside the coffee but eventually they mix. 

Is Muhammad talking about the Waters of Atlantic and Mediterranean sea? No! There is no such mention in the Quran. It could be any two bodies of water. Was this phenomenon unknown to people at the time of Muhammad? No! This is quite an observable phenomenon. Anyone who has seen a delta where rivers carrying colored sediments enter the sea or where two rivers of different colors or two seas meet, can see that for a long distance the two waters keep apart. Muhammad had not been to many seas. But there is no reason to believe that he had not heard of this curious phenomenon from those who had been. The knowledge was known to all seamen and people loved to share the stories of their adventures. Therefore this verse is not a miracle. It is a casual statement of a curious phenomenon that he had heard and was impressed by it but without understanding the physics behind it. He thought it is the work of a deity called Allah that keeps the waters apart. 

As the verse 25:53 makes it clear, Muhammad is talking about two seas one with sweet and palatable and the other with salty and bitter water.

“And He it is Who hath given independence to the two seas (though they meet); one palatable, sweet, and the other saltish, bitter; and hath set a bar and a forbidding ban between them.” [Pickthal translation].

 The water in both Atlantic and Mediterranean are salty. Therefore this verse does not refer to any two seas but to the waters at estuary where an arm of the sea extends inland to meet the river. In this case there is no “forbidding partitions” between the waters as Muhammad said and they eventually mix. On one side we have the fresh waters of the river running into the sea and on the other side we have the salty water of the sea being pushed away. In between the two we have a mixture of the two waters. The Islamic sites claim this water in between, acts as the barrier. This statement is simply asinine to say the least. The waters eventually keep mixing until all the salt water and sweet water become one. The mixed water between the two waters is not the barrier but the reverse. It is the mixture of the two.

One Muslim insisted that despite the fact that the phenomenon was known, at that time it is still a miracle because Muhammad was illiterate and he could not have known this and he insisted that I prove that Muhammad had heard this from someone. 

I find this quite absurd. If I write the theory of relativity and claim this is revealed to me and I never heard of Einstein, it is not up to you to prove I have heard of him. It is up to me to prove I have not.

Here what we did is prove that this knowledge existed prior to Muhammad. People knew that waters of different density do not mix and they could observer it. Despite that Muhammad assumes that the waters never mix. Which is obviously incorrect. De states that there is a barrier between the waters, which is of course untrue. These verses point to Muhammad’s ignorance and they are no miracles at all.”

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Victory of the Romans and the lowest point on earth- another hoax


The full claim can be read here

“In the early 7th century, the two most powerful empires at the time were the Byzantine[1] and Persian Empires. In the years 613 – 614 C.E the two Empires went to war, with the Byzantines suffering a severe defeat at the hands of the Persians. Damascus and Jerusalem both fell to the Persian Empire. In the chapter, The Romans, in the Holy Quran, it is stated that the Byzantines had met with a great defeat but would soon gain victory:

“The Romans have been defeated in the lowest land, but after their defeat they will soon be victorious. Within three to nine years. The decision of the matter, before and after, is with God.” (Quran 30:2-4)

These verses, above, were revealed around 620 C.E, almost 7 years after the severe defeat of the Christian Byzantines at the hands of the idolater Persians in 613 – 614 C.E. Yet it was related in the verses that the Byzantines would shortly be victorious. In-fact, Byzantine had been so heavily defeated that it seemed impossible for the Empire to even maintain its very existence, let alone be victorious again.

Not only the Persians, but also the Avars, Slavs and Lombards (located to the North and West of the Byzantine Empire) posed serious threats to the Byzantine Empire’s sovereignty. The Avars had come as far as the walls of Constantinople and had nearly captured the Emperor, himself. Many governors had revolted against Emperor Heraclius, and the Empire was on the point of collapse. Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Armenia, which had earlier belonged to the Byzantine Empire, were invaded by the Persians. In short, everyone was expecting the Byzantine Empire to be destroyed, but right at that moment the first verses of the chapter, The Romans, were revealed announcing that the Byzantines would regain triumph in a few years time. Shortly after this revelation, the Byzantine Emperor proceeded to order the gold and silver in churches to be melted and turned into money in order both to meet the demanding expenses of the army, and finance his drive to regain the lost territories.

Around 7 years after the revelation of the first verses of The Romans, in December, 627 C.E, a decisive battle between The Byzantine Empire and the Persian Empire was fought in the area around the Dead Sea,[2] and this time it was the Byzantine army which surprisingly defeated the Persians. A few months later, the Persians had to make an agreement with the Byzantines which obliged them to return the territories they had taken from them. So, in the end, the victory of the Romans proclaimed by God in the Quran miraculously came through.

Another miracle revealed in the mentioned verses is the announcement of a geographical fact that no-one would have been able to discover in that period. In the third verse of The Romans, it was mentioned that the Romans were defeated “in the lowest land” (Quran 30:3). Significantly, the places where the main battles took place (in Damascus and Jerusalem) lie in a vast area of low-lying land called the Great Rift Valley. The Great Rift Valley is a huge 5,000 km fault line in the earth’s crust that runs from northern Syria in the Middle-East of Asia to central Mozambique in East Africa. The northernmost extension runs through Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordon. The rift then extends south to the Gulf of Aden, makes its way through East Africa, then finally ends at the lower Zambezi River valley in Mozambique.

An interesting fact that has been discovered recently, with the help of satellite images, is that the area around the Dead Sea (located in the Great Rift Valley) has the lowest altitude on Earth. In fact, the lowest point on Earth is the shoreline of the Dead Sea, with an altitude of around 400 meters[3] below sea level. The fact that it lies at the lowest point means that water does not drain from the sea. No land point on earth has a lower altitude than the shoreline of the Dead Sea.[4]

Therefore it becomes clear that the country or prefecture which occupies the rift valley in the vicinity of the Dead Sea is what is meant in the Quran by “the lowest land.” This is a true miracle of the Quran because no-one could have known or foreseen such a fact in the 7th century due to the fact that satellites and modern day technology were not available at the time. Once again, the only possible explanation is that Prophet Muhammad had truly received divine revelation from God, The Creator and Originator of the universe.



The verses 30:2 and 30:3 actually read:

The Roman Empire has been defeated-
YUSUFALI: In a land close by; but they, (even) after (this) defeat of theirs, will soon be victorious-
PICKTHAL: In the nearer land, and they, after their defeat will be victorious
SHAKIR: In a near land, and they, after being vanquished, shall overcome,

These Muslims claim that the word near أَدْنَى can also be translated as lower and hence the above could be read: The Roman Empire was defeated in the lowest land. Then they claim that since the Dead Sea is it the lowest point on earth (1300 ft bellow sea level) Muhammad said something that no one could have known.

This is of course wishful thinking of deluded believers and the absurdity of that is evident. The Romans were not defeated in the Dead Sea but in Jerusalem and Jerusalem is above sea level. If we had to take this arbitrary translation and disregard the obvious meaning of the word as was understood by all the translators of the Quran, this verse would have become yet another blunder of Muhammad. That would have meant that Romans were defeated in lowest land (which should have then been the Dead Sea, and not Jerusalem!) and it would have been a massive mistake, since Romans were defeated in Jerusalem!

However, all the interpreters of the Quran have translated the verse correctly. See how the person forcibly trying to find a miracle in these verses when none exists has given the meaning of the word as ‘lower’ and then assumed it as ‘lowest’ whereas ALL the authentic translators of the Quran who were devout Muslims themselves like Yusuf Ali, Pickthall and Shakir have used the correct word ‘near land’.

If Muhammad really wanted to impress his followers about his knowledge of geography, he could have easily said that the ‘Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth’. Simple and clear! This again shows that since no miracle exists in the Quran, and it contains a lot of mistakes, Muslims forcibly try to desperately find miracles, twist meanings and make hoaxes.

Note that the verse is mentioning land and not sea. Let us say, for argument’s sake that through this hidden meaning “Romans were defeated in a land near by” the author of the Quran (God or Muhammad or anyone else) is actually trying to say along with the Romans’ defeat that Dead Sea is the lowest point on the earth. Then the word which should have been used is LOWEST POINT, not LOWEST LAND since Dead Sea is water not land. But since the word LAND is used, it is clear that Muhammad is talking about Jerusalem, which is a land near to Muhammad’s. Muhammad is talking about Jerusalem and not about the Dead Sea .


   The Quran that we have today is compiled during the Caliphate of Othman. Othman started his Caliphate in 644 AD and ruled till AD 656. By that time the two wars between the Persians and the Romans were over and the victors in each case had already been known. What are the chances that the verses 2-4 of Sura 30 that says first the Romans will be defeated and a few years later they will become victorious were altered because the original verses pronounced by Muhammad were wrong? It is well-known and well acknowledged by Muslims themselves that the Quran was compiled during Othman’s rule.

   In Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall’s translation of the Quran (Pickthall’s translation is considered as very authentic) the following things are mentioned in the “Introduction” before the Quran’s first chapter:

   “All the surahs of the Koran had been recorded in writing before the Prophet’s death, and many Muslims had committed the whole Koran to memory. But the written surahs were dispersed among the people; and when, in a battle which took place during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr- that is to say, within two years of the Prophet’s death-a large number of those who knew the whole Koran by heart were killed, a collection of the whole Koran was made and put in writing. In the Caliphate of Othman, all existing copies of surahs were called in, and an authoritative version, based on Abu Bakr’s collection and the testimony of those who had the whole Koran by heart, was compiled exactly in the present form and order, which is regarded as traditional and as the arrangement of the Prophet himself, the Caliph Othman and his helpers being Comrades of the Prophet and the most devout students of the Revelation. The Koran has thus been very carefully preserved.” (Page xxviii of Pickthall’s translation of Quran, Madhur Sandesh Sangam, New Delhi, India, 1995)

   And as we have seen in “Logical proofs” and in “The religion of Islam”, some scholars have shown that the text of the Quran may have been altered even after 656 AD until at least as late as the middle of the 9th century AD and many feel that it was finalized at last in AD 933. Conclusive evidence shows that parts of the Quran are lost. But even if we go as per the accepted Islamic history of the Quran being finalized in AD 656, it was much after the Romans had been victorious in around 628 AD.

   Of course if what Muhammad had said had been wrong, Othman would not have allowed it to be published, which would have shown Muhammad to be a false prophet. These verses would have been adjusted in 656 AD to reflect what had actually happened.

   Othman ordered all other versions that did not match his, to be destroyed. [Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 6, Book 61, Number 510] Why? It is because they contradicted the one he had put together. As the result the evidence is lost. We can’t prove that Muhammad was wrong and Muslims can’t claim these verses as prophecy. It is absolutely illogical that the compilers would have kept the original verses if the history had proven Muhammad to be a false prophet.

   Besides, the surahs of the Quran are not arranged in chronological order. They are arranged in order of length, with the largest being first and the smallest being later. This jumbled up order, putting any chapter anywhere is another proof that the Quran is from man and not God, since a true God would have ensured that it is available to mankind in the right order, and not in any random order. There is no clarity on exactly when was a surah revealed. There are many chapters in the Quran whose verses are of different revelation places, i.e. some verses of the same chapter were revealed in Mecca while others in Medina. So, there is no way to know exactly when this statement of victory of Romans was made in the Quran.

   These verses don’t prove anything because their authenticity is dubious. However, there are many other verses in the Quran that have been proven to be wrong. Consequently, Muslim scholars try to reinterpret them and twist their meanings. If there is one error in the Quran, the book cannot be the word of God. There are hundreds of errors in that book. It is quite possible that since the Romans were monotheist Christians fighting idolators, and idolators had defeated them, Muhammad made the above statement just to tell his supporters that the idolators’ victory is a temporary one and ultimately God will defeat idolators and make Romans (who were monotheist Christians) victorious, and it could have been a lucky guess. Could Muhammad have said that ‘Idolator Persians will defeat monotheist Christian Romans’ when he was so desperately against idolatry and claiming monotheism?

   Some Christian scholars have also tried to refute this claim. Their rebuttals are worth reading here and here. Just some of the points raised by them are “The Persians defeated the Byzantines (Christian Romans) and captured Jerusalem at about A.D. 614 or 615. The Byzantine counter-offensive did not begin until A.D. 622 and the victory was not complete until A.D. 628, making it a period between thirteen to fourteen years, not “a few years” alluded to in the Quran. The words used in the Quran limit the number of years to 3 to 9, but it was a good 13 to 14 years after the Romans’ defeat.

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   But if God could make future predictions unknown to ordinary human beings like Muhammad and demonstrate such knowledge in the Quran to prove that Islam is from Him, then he could have easily revealed some events going to happen every year since AD 622 till the end of life on earth so that all beings living from and after Muhammad’s time would know that Islam is true! He could have written “In AD 622, this will happen, in AD 623, this will happen, etc etc” right until the end of life on earth! He could have easily predicted that man will go the moon in 1969 AD, which was beyond Muhammad’s reach.

   Muhammad raided Khaibar and tortured to death its keeper Kinana to make him tell where the treasure was hidden. After killing him, his beautiful 17-year old wife Safiyah was taken by Muhammad, whose husband he had killed the same day, and her father two years before. Could not his God tell him where the hidden treasures were? God did not, and could not help Muhammad know this information!

   When a woman whose male relatives were massacred by Muhammad prepared for him a lamb tainted with poison, Allah did not stop his prophet from eating. Couldn’t God have informed Muhammad of this? Only after he ate some and one of his followers fell dead, did Muhammad realize the lamb was poisoned. Muhammad actually died because of this poisoning, though he lived for 3 more years after that.

Narrated ‘Aisha: The Prophet in his ailment in which he died, used to say, “O ‘Aisha! I still feel the pain caused by the food I ate at Khaibar, and at this time, I feel as if my aorta is being cut from that poison.” [Bukhari: Volume 5, Book 59, Number 713]

   If Muhammad had any knowledge of the unknown through God, why did he send spies to the towns of his victims to see when they are most vulnerable to raid them? Couldn’t Allah or his angel reveal the unknown to him? This shows that Muhammad had absolutely no communication from God, or else God would have informed him that the meat of Khaibar is poisoned, and told him where the treasure of Khaibar is.

   God could have given the Quran in any other language which existed at that time, but Muhammad did not know, e.g. Sanskrit, Tamil, etc, or at least done something which was beyond Muhammad’s reach. Instead would God have chosen to say that Romans will be victorious soon which was in AD 628, also during Muhammad’s lifetime? Since there is no proof at all as to when this passage was revealed, or dictated by Muhammad, whether in AD 614-15 (if that is so, then it would also be a mistake as it would mean Romans would be victorious after more than 9 years), or AD 620, or at any time, it is quite possible that Muhammad himself said this after the victory of Romans was apparent, obvious or already achieved!

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Miracle of Iron or Islamic hoax


To read the full article, click here

Iron is one of the elements highlighted in the Quran. In the chapter known Al-Hadeed, meaning Iron, we are informed:

“And We also sent down iron in which there lies great force and which has many uses for mankind…” (Quran 57:25)

The word “anzalna,” translated as “sent down” and used for iron in the verse, could be thought of having a metaphorical meaning to explain that iron has been given to benefit people. But, when we take into consideration the literal meaning of the word, which is, “being physically sent down from

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the sky, as this word usage had not been employed in the Quran except literally, like the descending of the rain or revelation, we realize that this verse implies a very significant scientific miracle. Because, modern astronomical findings have disclosed that the iron found in our world has come from giant stars in outer space.[1]

Not only the iron on earth, but also the iron in the entire Solar System, comes from outer space, since the temperature in the Sun is inadequate for the formation of iron. The sun has a surface temperature of 6,000 degrees Celsius, and a core temperature of approximately 20 million degrees. Iron can only be produced in much larger stars than the Sun, where the temperature reaches a few hundred million degrees. When the amount of iron exceeds a certain level in a star, the star can no longer accommodate it, and it eventually explodes in what is called a “nova” or a “supernova.” These explosions make it possible for iron to be given off into space.[2]…

All this shows that iron did not form on the Earth, but was carried from Supernovas, and was “sent down,” as stated in the verse. It is clear that this fact could not have been known in the 7th century, when the Quran was revealed. Nevertheless, this fact is related in the Quran, the Word of God, Who encompasses all things in His infinite knowledge.

The fact that the verse specifically mentions iron is quite astounding, considering that these discoveries were made at the end of the 20th century. In his book Nature’s Destiny, the well-known microbiologist Michael Denton emphasizes the importance of iron:

“Of all the metals there is none more essential to life than iron. It is the accumulation of iron in the center of a star which triggers a supernova explosion and the subsequent scattering of the vital atoms of life throughout the cosmos. It was the drawing by gravity of iron atoms to the center of the primeval earth that generated the heat which caused the initial chemical differentiation of the earth, the outgassing of the early atmosphere, and ultimately the formation of the hydrosphere. It is molten iron in the center of the earth which, acting like a gigantic dynamo, generates the earth’s magnetic field, which in turn creates the Van Allen radiation belts that shield the earth’s surface from destructive high-energy-penetrating cosmic radiation and preserve the crucial ozone layer from cosmic ray destruction…

“Without the iron atom, there would be no carbon-based life in the cosmos; no supernovae, no heating of the primitive earth, no atmosphere or hydrosphere. There would be no protective magnetic field, no Van Allen radiation belts, no ozone layer, no metal to make hemoglobin [in human blood], no metal to tame the reactivity of oxygen, and no oxidative metabolism.

“The intriguing and intimate relationship between life and iron, between the red color of blood and the dying of some distant star, not only indicates the relevance of metals to biology but also the biocentricity of the cosmos…”[4]

This account clearly indicates the importance of the iron atom. The fact that particular attention is drawn to iron in the Quran also emphasizes the importance of the element…


The full rebuttal is here

Before seeing the full rebuttal, see how much of the Quran is quoted and how much is assumed by the people forcible trying to find “Miracles”( aka ‘hoaxes’). The verse of the Quran isn’t even quoted in full. How much of it is said in the Quran?

The full text of the verse is:

We sent aforetime our messengers with Clear Signs and sent down with them the Book and the Balance (of Right and Wrong), that men may stand forth in justice; and We sent down Iron, in which is (material for) mighty war, as well as many benefits for mankind, that Allah may test who it is that will help, Unseen, Him and His messengers: For Allah is Full of Strength, Exalted in Might (and able to enforce His Will).

Some Muslims claim that according to the Modern science, iron is the only element that does not belong to the Earth but is sent from heaven to Earth and hence the above verse is a miracle.

The truth is that four billion years ago, when our planet was still a scorching ball of fire, a giant asteroid mostly made of metal struck the Earth scattering a lot of it to the sky. The asteroid however penetrated the core of the Earth. That is why the deeper we go the more metal we find. However iron was not the only metal found that came with that asteroid. It contained many other metals including gold.

The verse actually should not be taken literally. In this verse Muhammad is saying that we sent you everything that you need including iron with which has mighty power i.e. is strong and can benefit you as well. He did not mean that the iron, among all the elements, is the only element that has descended from the heaven. In Muhammad’s language eveything is “sent’ to man by God and that is the meaning of this word andalna here. He did not mean that God sent the iron from they sky but since the giver of the iron is God so the verb nadala is used. Somewhere else Muhammad says that He sent down cattle (39.6) Do we have to take this literally?

This is an illogical premise. The word anzalna/anzala is used 88 times in the Quran. It is also used for:

  • cattle: 39:06
  • garments: 7:26
  • food/sustenance: 10:59; 45:05; 2:57; 7:160
  • people of the book: 33:26
  • water/rain: 20:164; 16:10; 35:27; 14:32; 22:05; 25:48; 6:99; 16:65; 39:21; 20:53; 41:39; 31:10; 13:17; 22:63; 2:22; 27:60; 23:18; 78:14

None of these things come from outer space or heaven. Does it mean that cattle, garments, food, and the people of the book also come from supernovae? No, it doesn’t. So, why assume that surah 57:26 literally states that iron came from outer space? Why assume the literal meaning with respect to iron but the figurative meaning when referring to everything else? The only logical explanation for the use of the term ‘anzalna’ that is consistent with all its occurrences in the Quran is to denote something provided by a deity, mechanism unknown. To selectively assign ‘origination from supernovae’ to iron but not to cattle, garments, food, and the people of the book, without evidence as to why one should use the literal versus the figurative interpretation is mere supposition, or special mystical interpretation, and thus utter nonsense.

One cannot overstate that it is intellectually dishonest to assign a literal interpretation to a certain case but figurative interpretations in every other case without the evidence to support such distinction.

The truth is that most such Islamist claims are made by Islamists ignorant of prior knowledge by other peoples. The ‘iron sent down from heaven’ proposition is not distinct to Islam nor was the Islamic version the earliest. The ancient Egyptians referred to iron

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as ‘iron from heaven’. (Ref)

Thus the concept of iron from outer space/heaven/sky was already known to humanity thousands of years before Islam.

Thus the concept of iron from outer space/heaven/sky was already known to humanity thousands of years before Islam.

The Egyptians called iron ‘the metal of heaven’ or ba-en-pet, which indicates that the first specimen employed were of meteoric origin; the Babylonian name having the same meaning. It was no doubt on account of its rarity that iron was prized so highly by the early Egyptians, while its celestial source would have its fascination.


Certainly the ancient Egyptians were aware of meteoritic iron, but uncomfortably for the archaeologists, the evidence suggests that by a very early date in their history they were already sophisticated enough to differentiate between different types of iron. Loadstones were called `res mehit ba’, meaning `north-south iron’, and Plutarch quotes Manetho as differentiating loadstones from non-magnetic iron, calling the former `Bone of Osiris’, and the latter `Bone of Typhon’, (being the Greek version of Set).3

Robert H O’Connell in 1983 translated the coffin text Spell 148, which refers to meteoritic impact as being integral to the conception of Horus. `…the blast of a meteorite such that gods fear, Isis awoke pregnant by the seed of her brother Osiris!….5 Even earlier, in 1911, Wallis Budge translated a text from the time of Pepi II (circa 2278- 2184 BC) which speaks of `the iron which came from Set, and was in the forearm of Set; it transferred to the deceased the power of the eye of Horus’.6 As the constellation of the Great Bear was considered to be the abode of Set, we can reasonably conclude that at least one iron-bearing meteorite came from this direction early in the Old Kingdom. And if we were to conclude that the ascension of Horus came about during the unification of the two lands, we would be able to postulate that this unification came about during a period of meteoritic activity.

The evidence then, seems to support the notion that the ancient Egyptians were aware of iron, and probably viewed it as a heavenly substance.

It was known and has been known for the past many many centuries that Iron has a lot of uses for mankind. Iron is definitely used in war, has been for the past many centuries, and hundreds of years before Muhammad. All the benefits of Iron such as “Without the iron atom, there would be no carbon-based life in the cosmos; no supernovae, no heating of the primitive earth, no atmosphere or hydrosphere. There would be no protective magnetic field, no Van Allen radiation belts, no ozone layer, no metal to make hemoglobin [in human blood], no metal to tame the reactivity of oxygen, and no oxidative metabolism” are all said by the person writing that article. Is any of that mentioned in the Quran? In the Quran it is simply mentioned “Iron has many benefits for mankind and is used as material in war”- which part of this could not have been said by Muhammad? “We sent Iron down to humanity” could this not have been said by Muhammad? If there was indeed any Miracle, as a minimum it could have been mentioned “Iron is not originally from the earth! Iron is made outside earth!”- simple and clear! Nothing like this is said in clear language and every single word of this ‘Miracle’ aka Islamic hoax can be easily explained.


04-Islam and Christianity- a view

   Hindus generally take a very charitable and romantic view of other religions, particularly the Abrahamic faiths of Islam and Christianity, to the point of ‘Sadgunavikruti’, a word coined by Swatantryaveer Savarkar to describe that excessive goodness which leads to perversity. Hindu scholars in the past, had therefore, never studied these religions closely in order to compare their world view with that of the Hindu religion. Conditioned to an attitude of Sarva-dharma-samabhava, it would not occur to Hindus to even consider that some of these religions can be inherently violent and inspired by hatred and intolerance. This lack of scholarship had made Hindus to rely on the biased scholarship of Western and Islamic scholars. Here the example of Adi Shankaracharya comes to mind. He reestablished Hinduism after defeating Buddhist scholars like Mandanmishra in intense religious debates covering the entire gamut of human existence, and as a result, they acknowledged the superiority of the Hindu religion and became his disciples. Sadly this tradition of studying the scriptures and traditions of other religions has not been carried forward since the time of Adi Sankara.

   Consequently, Hindus have been deeply conditioned by the work of Western scholars on Hindu scriptures and Hindu religion to believe that Hinduism is not a historical faith but is based only on mythology and steeped in superstition and irrational beliefs and hence can benefit from coming into contact with ‘progressive’ Islam and Western Christianity. Hence it is very encouraging that scholars like the late Ram Swarup1 have made efforts in this direction and published books on this subject which cover admirably the fundamental differences between the Semitic faiths and the non-Abrahamic, the so-called ‘pagan’ or ‘heathen’ faiths.

   The purpose of including Christianity in this discussion is that both Islam and Christianity are off-shoots of the same parent religion. In fact, Islam is only a logical and final destination of the process initiated by Christianity. Though Christianity has now given up its violence, and there has been a lot of advancement of free thinking in Europe and United States in the past two centuries, its past was as violent as Islam’s past and present is. Even today, followers of Christianity are determined to convert India and Nepal to the ‘only true faith’ and ‘only true savior Jesus’ and save the idol worshiping pagans from the ‘Fire of Hell’ for eternity after death.

   The God of both teaches them to prosecute religions other than their own; both are dogmatic, fundamentalist and theological; both lack yoga or a proper science and discipline of inner exploration; both are aggressively self-righteous; and both by nature do not know true theory of peaceful coexistence. Another reason for including Christianity is that more critical and scholarly literature is available on this religion as a result of Renaissance, Enlightenment and the process of modernisation, whereas the intolerance of Islam has prevented such development which still resembles the Christianity of middle ages. Some beliefs of these religions are given here.

Categories of World Faiths

   The religions of the world can be essentially classified in two categories. The present dominant category is that of the Semitic faiths (which may well be described to be ideologies or dogmas) – the monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and their latest offshoot, the atheist Marxism. The other comprises of Eastern religions and philosophies like Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism. It also includes various pre-Christian and pre-Islam faiths which pervaded all over the world before they were extinguished by the aggressive Islam and Christianity. The latter have distorted the meaning of the word ‘pagan’ and ‘heathen’ which essentially signify non-Semitic faiths. Due to constant propaganda these words are now synonymous with barbarism and irreligiosity. When this is clear, the word ‘pagan’ will not be as pejorative as it has been made to appear. It will he used frequently below since it enables us to consolidate various existing and extinct faiths and practices all over the world and hence unify various worldwide approaches leading to a common movement to establish a tolerant, humane and enlightened world order or dharma. Such a transformation is vital for co-existence.

The term ‘Hindu’ (or HINDUS as used in subsequent chapters) is used as encompassing all the religions and faiths originating in the Indian subcontinent, and apart from the Sanatanis (Vedic) who are usually called Hindus, includes the Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains too. Hindus are renowned for their acceptance and respect of others’ beliefs (Sarva-dharma-samabhava); they consider the land of their birth and this civilization as being wholly sacred (Punyabhoomi); they all believe in the law of karma, and know that all beings in Creation are the manifestation of the same Divinity. To them God is a unify and not a unit, with form or without form, infinite, omnipresent and omnipotent, or God may not exist at all!

The Hindu Mission

   Needless to say, the Hindu religion which embodies Dharma, continues to exist in spite of the relent- less attack on her for the last 1400 years (since AD 636 when Arabs invaded Thane), and truly qualifies for its name ‘Sanatana’ or eternal dharma. It is eminently qualified to lead this movement, and this is perhaps what Sri Aurobindo implied in his message on the occasion of Indian Independence, “For I have always held and said that India was arising, … as a helper and leader of the whole human race; the gift by India of the spiritual knowledge and her means for the spiritualisation of life to the whole race… The spiritual gift of India to the world has already begun….That movement will grow; amid the disasters of time more and more eyes are turning towards her with hope and there is even an increasing resort not only to her teachings, but to the psychic and spiritual practice.”

Islam and Christianity- Similar in Content

   The spiritual equipage of Islam and Christianity is similar to each other. Their spiritual contents, both in quality and quantum, are about the same. The central piece of the two creeds is “one true God” of masculine gender who makes himself known to his believers through a single, favoured individual. The theory of mediumistic communication has not only a psychology, but also a theology laid down long ago in the oldest part of the Bible, in the Deuteronomy [18.19.20]. The Biblical God says that he will speak to his chosen people through his chosen prophets : “I will tell him what to say, and he will tell the people everything I command. He will speak in my name, and I will punish anyone who refuses to obey him”. Similar sentiments are echoed even more vigorously in Islam. The whole prophetic spirituality, whether found in the Bible or in the Quran, is mediumistic in essence. Here everything takes place through a proxy, that is, through an intermediary or the sole agent. Here man knows God only through the proxy. The proxy is a favoured individual, a privileged mediator. “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him”, says the Bible. The Quran makes the same claim. “Muhammad is God’s Apostle” says the Allah of the Quran through his last prophet (48.29). Moreover, both of them are intrinsically incapable of promoting universal peace and harmony. The seeds of conflict, not only amongst the “believers” but also with the rest of the world, lie at the very heart of the two ideologies. Each of the two is presided over by a bellicose God, each chief of his own hosts; each claims sole sovereignty. A larger charity and mutual respect of others’ faiths and even tolerance and co-existence cannot be the strong points of such theologies.

   Hence it is not surprising that the faithful belonging to these two religions were at each other’s throats when they finally came face to face. For centuries, they fought with fire and sword. At one time it seemed that Islam had gotten the better of crusading Christianity when it was knocking at the door of Europe. But the tide turned in favour of the West and Christianity when Europe eventually colonised the Americas, Asia and Africa and established empires all over the world and could not he challenged. It also added another weapon to its arsenal – ideological warfare. Christian theologians tried to prove the historicity of Jesus with the help of Quran, while the Muslims tried to prove Muhammad’s mission with the help of the Bible.

   The controversy was sharp, as it often is between creeds which share common beliefs and aims and methods. Both believed in the same God, but each claimed sole heirship to His throne. Both were rational in their critique of each other’s faith, but were emotional and unwilling to listen to reason when it came to defending their own. Although this quarrel goes on, their real and ultimate target remains destroying idolatry and polytheism, which in effect means all religions of the past and most religions of the present. (As a proof of how this quarrel this goes on, just see the websites www.answering-islam.org and www.answering-christianity.com ! It will be very amusing to see followers of both false religions trying to prove the other as wrong and themselves are right, when BOTH are wrong!!)

   The Church has always appreciated Islam’s role in “cleansing the world of the scourge of idolatry, and preparing the way for the reception of a purer faith.” Similarly, Islam acknowledges Christians to be “people of the Book”, no small honour this and yet it does not stop them from waging murderous wars against each other wherever one or the other is in the minority – the countries of the middle-east (Lebanon), and south- east (East Timor and Philippines) Asia and the nations of Africa (Sudan, Nigeria) being some of the most recent examples of their bitter enmity.

Exclusive, Jealous God

   It is well known that Christianity and Islam derived their much vaunted monotheism from Judaism, but the Jews themselves were not monotheists in the beginning. Like other neighbouring peoples, they had their tribal god towards whom they felt a special loyalty but it did not occur to them yet to deny the gods of others. That other gods do not exist or were false, and that their god alone was true and enjoyed some sort of universal sovereignty, was a later development which had to wait till the arrival of their prophets, beginning with Moses. It seems that the early Jews did not know Jehovah according to the Biblical testimony itself. “By name Jehovah was I not known to them,” says the Bible (Exodus 6.3).

   It is possible that the Jews may have borrowed Egyptian Gods, at least in some measure, while they were in Egypt and that they continued worshiping them even during the days of their wanderings in the desert. There are also indications that the new religion, whatever it was and whenever adopted, was imposed against great opposition and with great ferocity. While Jehovah revealed himself to Moses as the only God of the Jews, they were worshiping another God under the symbol of a Bull. “Slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour,” ordered Jehovah to those who truly followed him. Three thousand men were killed in a day and a new religion was inaugurated. The killers were consecrated and they became the priestly class, the Levites. The precedent for many similar such genocide in the name of religion in future, was thus established as early as in Biblical times.

   In course of time, this God, in all his exclusiveness and jealousy, was adopted by Christianity and Islam. In fact, in their hands, he became still more exclusive and jealous. He also became more ambitious and bellicose. While with the Jews, he remained their God alone; but, except spasmodically, he refused the be the God of others. Other people had to make do with their own Gods, howsoever “false”, and these Gods had to be content with their own followers, howsoever benighted and out of grace with Jehovah. But things changed with the advent of Christianity and Islam. Through them, Jehovah came into his own and He offered to be THE GOD of all. This God was not a universal principle but a singularity, not a force of unification (monism) but one of separation (monotheism). The Semitic God lacks interiority – these is nothing to show that his followers know of a “god or gods in the heart” but they speak of a “god in heaven” or a sky –God. He also lacks universality and has suffered further contraction and denotation with the passage of time.

   He asked His followers to go in all directions and preach His Name, to “go out in the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in.” He armed them and asked them to declare from housetops several times a day that He alone was true and that other Gods were false. Other could refuse this invitation or call only at their own peril, spiritual and physical. As His followers became more powerful, the threat became increasingly more physical!

The Prophets Of God

   There is another major difference between Judaism and the two religions which were in fact off-shoots of Judaism. Though the Jewish God was single, yet he spoke through many prophets. Moses was probably the most important, but a plurality of prophethood was recognised. It is unfortunate that the Judaic religion could not take full advantage of this principle. As the Mosaic-Monotheistic tradition was too strong, in practice, the Prophetic message tended to be the same – more of the same Mosaic God. For the same reason, even some movements among Jews like those represented by the Essenes, influenced by Hinduism-Buddhism, could not break away sufficiently from that tradition.

   Just as the Jews finally believed that they are the special people of the only God, their Prophets and Messiahs also transformed likewise. They had initially many and Jesus also began as a Messiah of his people. But as he was rejected by them, he began to declare that God was terminating his covenant with Jews and entering into a new one with those who believed in His Son. Christians replaced Jews as God’s chosen people and Jesus himself was converted from a Messiah into a Saviour, into God’s First Begotten Son, the Intermediary between God and Man. This transformation took some time in the happening, and in order to get the better of their critics and their opponents, the Christians invented the myth of a Saviour, the Dying God and His Resurrection. In fact, many scholars regard Jesus’ life closer to myth than to history, and whether there was any historical Jesus at all is a much discussed question in academic circles (see previous Chapter). Apart from the figure of the Saviour, Christianity also borrowed most of its central rites from other creeds and mystery cults prevalent at that time. Its own contribution were the Cross, the concept of Hell, Satan, possession and exorcism.

   Thus with time the idea of prophet took a new turn. It was not enough that God talked to you; what was equally important was that he did not talk to anyone else. And by the time Muhammad came it was not enough to be A prophet; he had to be THE prophet. He declared that he was the most authentic spokesman of God up to his time and also for all time to come as well, and that he was the seal of prophecy, and that through him religion was now finally made perfect, and that any old revelation was now redundant and a new one presumptuous. He was able to get it established through the display of superior brute force and now this dogma is the most important part of the Muslim creed and to question it is punishable by death.

   The question is why were persons specifically chosen for the role of prophet? Why were certain things revealed to them which were kept hidden from others before? Had they some special moral or spiritual qualities to qualify for these roles? All of them have made such claims without trying to justify them.

   Summarising this development, just as the Semitic God was evolving in theology into becoming the ‘only one’, he was also becoming exclusive in his communication. Even when he had a chosen people, these people had no direct approach to Him. He told them that He will send them a prophet and He ‘will tell him what to say and he (the prophet) will tell the people everything I command. He will speak in my name and I shall punish anyone who refuses to obey him.’ In due course, the intermediary became more than a medium. In Christianity, he became the Saviour, in Islam, he became the Intercessor and also the last Prophet through whom God ever spoke. Claims began to be made on the prophet’s behalf, claims almost as tall as for the God he represented.

   In fact, with passage of time, God tended to become redundant and the intermediary took his place, who in turn was ‘represented by his own nominees’. The New Testament says: “Salvation is to be found through him (Jesus) alone; in all the world there is no one else whom God has given who can save us”. At another place it says: “God put all things under Christ’s feet and gave him to the Church as the supreme Lord over all things.” The Koran makes even stronger claims for its Prophet. Such claims are offensive to man’s rational as well as spiritual sense (Buddha’s last message was, ‘Be your own light’), but they have proved highly profitable to those who speak in the name of these intermediaries. They represent a great vested interest.

   The reality of suh claims is exposed here. A scholar has said that if God wants to talk to mankind, He revealing his statements to only one mortal man and depending on that man to reveal it to other mankind is improper. This is because it becomes heresay for other humans. Why should God rely on one mortal human to reveal His statements to other men? And how can other men rely on the mortal man? This was all the more reason for Angel Gabriel to reveal the Quran to all Meccans, and show himself to all people of Mecca and/or Medina where Muhammad claimed to have received Quranic verses.

   Patricia Crone said: “It is a peculiar habit of God’s that when he wishes to reveal himself to mankind, he will communicate only with a single person. The rest of the mankind must learn the truth from that person and thus purchase their knowledge of the divine at the cost of subordination to another human being, who is eventually replaced by a human institution, so that the divine system remains under other people’s control.” [TLS, January 21, 1994, p 12]

    Paine said:

        “But admitting for the sake of a case, that something has been revealed to a certain person, and not revealed to any other person, it is a revelation to that person only. When he tells it to a second person, a second to a third, a third to a fourth, and so on, it ceases to be revelation to all those persons. It is revelation to the first person only, and hearsay to every other, and consequently they are not obliged to believed it.

        It is a contradiction in terms and ideas, to call anything a revelation that comes to us at second-hand, either verbally or in writing. Revelation is necessarily limited to the first communication- after this it is only an account of something which that person says was a revelation made to him; and though he may find himself obliged to believe it, it cannot be incumbent on me to believe it in the same manner, for it was not a revelation made to me, and I have only his word for it that it was made to him. When Moses told the children of Israel that he received the two tables of the commandments from the hands of God, they were not obliged to believe him, because they had no other authority for it than his telling them so; and I have no other authority for it than some historian telling me so. The commandments carry no internal evidence of divinity with them; they contain some good moral precepts, such as any man qualified to be a lawgiver, or legislator, could produce himself, without having recourse to supernatural intervention.

        When I am told that the Koran was written in heaven and brought to Mahomet by an angel, the account comes too near the same kind of hearsay evidence and second-hand authority as the former. I did not see the angel myself, and therefore, I have a right not to believe it.

       And indeed, as Ibn Warraq, the author of “Why I am not a Muslim” says (pp 130-131): “It is very odd that when God decides to manifest Himself, He does so to only one individual. Why can He not reveal Himself to the masses in a football stadium during the final of the World Cup, when literally millions of people around the world are watching?”

      Of course, God did not reveal His sentences to any individual, these individuals like Muhammad falsely claimed to have received God’s messages for their own cause.

Intolerance and its consequences

   Intolerance must be the fruit of such bitter seeds. Other Gods must be dethroned, and so those who speak in the name of other Gods must die (Bible, Deut-18.18-19). Appendix A gives a number of verses from the Koran, which preach this even more stridently.

   The Semitic God is jealous, and so is his sole prophet. Just like his God, he too can brook no rivals. Jesus tells us that “all who came before me were thieves and robbers” (Jn.l0.8). He warns his flock again and again against his rival claimants. “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Mt.7.15; or 24.4). Muhammad admitted to the historicity and legitimacy of some prophets before him, in order to give his own prophethood an ancestry, but he abolished further prophethood. He was the latest and also the last prophet, the seal of Prophecy.

   The fact is that intolerance is in-built into the basic Semitic approach and cursing comes naturally to it. The Bible is full of curses invoked on rivals – gods, prophets, apostles, doctrines. For example, Paul told his Galatian followers that “should anyone preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed.” This tradition has continued and has been the strongest element of all branches of Christianity and Islam (see previous chapter as well as appendix A).

Christians claim that unlike the Jewish prophets, Jesus is an incarnation, an idea which was an innovation to the Jewish tradition. It is not difficult to see that Christianity only incarnated a new religious intolerance! This tradition of intolerance Islam also faithfully continued with even greater zeal. Religious intolerance was there before, but it was spasmodic and it was not supported by a theology. It was only with the coming of Christianity and Islam that religious bigotry and arrogance descended on the earth on a pervasive scale and with a new destructive power. They know so little about themselves but they claim to know everything about God. And in imposing their definition upon others; they have killed millions of people. They have been even more fanatic about their founders. “If you won’t believe that you are redeemed by my redeemer’s blood, I’ll drown you in your own,” says the Christian, to put in the language of Aldous Huxley. The same is true of Muslims, in their practice, Muhammad has been more central to their religion than their One God. You could jest about his God but woe unto him who jests about the Prophet. His punishment is death.

   If religious tolerance is a virtue, both Christianity and Islam do not possess it. Wherever they have gone, they have carried fire and sword and oppressed and destroyed so far as it lay in their power.

   Christianity first spread all over Europe in this manner. They demolished and occupied the temples and shrines of others. Any tolerance shown was an exception. Hindus know the extent of the murderous campaigns that Muslims of various hues undertook against them and their land. Similar graphic descriptions are available about the genocide and extermination of the native peoples of the Americas and the Caribbean by Spanish and British Christians in the name of religion and Western civilisation. Their record has been matched only recently by Communism, considered a Christian heresy by thinkers like Bentrand Russel. In China, for example the Communist regime destroyed half million Buddhist shrines while in the Soviet Union, Stalin reportedly exterminated 20 million of his own people who either opposed him or the communist ideology.

   The theology of a single god, a single prophet, a single revelation, a single church or ummah, and also of a single life and single judgement is very different from the one the world at large has known in the past and knows even today. Historically speaking, these religions which were local and small tribal faiths, may be considered an aberration, which consolidated themselves through conquest and propaganda, and which could impose themselves in no other way. These are different not only from polytheism, a religious expression at a more popular level, but also from religions which allow for mysticism and the internal quest for a spiritual life. They are certainly different from the spirituality known in the East by Hermits, Stoics, Pythagoreans, Taoists, Buddhists and Vedantins, particularly in their concept of deity, man and nature; different in their definitions, modes, theory and practice.

Worship and Sadhana

   Every religion has its own modes and forms of worship, both public and private, informed by its dominant ideas of God, Creation and man. Prophetic religions take great pride in “one” God who despises idolatory, but have steadily degenerated into worship of relics and graves as we shall see with the Sufis. Spiritual practices or what Hindus call sadhana, are shaped by the way a religion intuits God, man and Creation. Religions like Hinduism and Buddhism prescribe a regimen of discipline known as sila, samadhi and prajna, to open up higher consciousness. They believe that even with all the guidance and help, each individual has to discover the spiritual truths for himself, that unless they are so done they can be of no use for him.

   When one cannot cat or clothe by proxy; how can one live spiritual truths by proxy? But as prophetic religions believe that God has already chosen them for no rhyme or reason and already revealed to them truths hidden from others, they do not need any sadhana. They already know the truth and they have nothing to learn or discover for themselves to. Prophetic religions prescribe only certain beliefs and the religious duty to convert others to those beliefs through preaching and holy wars.

   It is therefore not strange that we find very little by way of sadhana in the New Testament. There are, on the other hand several exhortations aimed at pleasing this ‘one God’ or his Prophet or messiah. One such is “speaking with tongues” i.e. the believers gather together in the church and wait on the Holy Ghost to descend upon them and speak through them (I Cor.Ch.14). As is to be expected, it led to pandemonium. From all that people spoke, it was not clear what came from the Holy Ghost and what came from the Devil – a problem which continues to dog the Church! Most of the time, these phenomena arise from self-suggestion and make believe, and in extreme cases, border on abnormality.

   The other is “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”, which may be termed as the cornerstone of biblical teaching. This should be taken in conjunction with other teachings about sin, its remission by sacrifice, and its once-for-all atonement by the blood of Jesus. Christians are as self-conscious about being sinners as communists are about being proletarian. To be sinful has become a cult with them. Paul was the “foremost of sinners” and “he received mercy for this reason”. Allah also favours the sinner as seen in the previous chapter. The Christian and Muslim heaven has more joy over one sinner who repents than over ninety nine righteous persons who need no repentance. All this could not be healthy either for the mind or the soul and has created a religion of what has been appropriately termed “spiritual terrorism.” It gave rise to much neurotic, masochistic-sadistic behaviour. Wisdom, enlightenment, opening up of higher consciousness were altogether unknown to them.

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   OF course we cannot leave out iconoclasm (destruction of idols), the most important religious sadhana these prophetic religions have preached and practised. They have believed that demolishing the images on an altar, particularly in the temples of their neighbours, is the best way of worshipping their God and it is the service most acceptable to him. This unrelenting hostility towards ‘other’ Gods is the defining characteristic of the faithful. They have never realised that a good deal of religious reflection must take place before images are used in worship. In India, the outer images were most often contributed by men who practised most advanced internal disciplines. These were “icons”, internal realities expressed in outer forms in so far as that is possible.

   Why are prophetic religions so hostile to images? Why do they nourish this obsessive hatred towards them? The images seem to have more attraction for and more power over iconoclasts than over the worshippers – some kind of idolatry or fetish worship in reverse. Through spiritual awakening some have turned idols into Gods; others of the unawakened soul have turned Gods into idols! Semitic iconoclasm is a child of crass materialism; it comes from the incapacity to see that the physical is also the standing ground of the metaphysical. Prophetic religions have given their God all human weaknesses and passions; on the other hand, Hinduism has thought of man with all divine virtues. The former have manified God, the latter have deified man.

Theology, Mission and Jihad

   Every religion has its own ethos or distinctive characteristics which reflect in its theology or investigation of the Divine. It is shaped by the kind of questions raised and the answers given by the leaders of that religion. In Hindu religions, the seeker raised the question: what is real? What is the highest Good? What is man? What are his roots? Is he only his body or even his mind and intellect? His mind, his proud possession, is a prisoner of its passions; its knowledge is so little and so uncertain. Is there in him some other principle of greater and surer knowledge? Is there something by knowing which all this is known or at least makes sense? Hindu spirituality sought answers to these questions.

   There is nothing to show that any spokesman of prophetic religions ever raised these questions. His questions were different. They were: Who is the true God? What is His will? How can it be fulfilled? We cannot explain how, but he arrived at the conclusion, often even before he raised the question, that he knew the true God, that the Gods his neighbours knew were false, that he was the mouthpiece of his God, and that unless others believed in him and followed him, they were damned. He felt strongly that it was his duty and God-given responsibility to propagate this view about his God and about himself. Men must be told the truth about this God and his authentic spokesman and be made to embrace this truth even by force if necessary. Their dominant ethos has been shaped by this theology.

   Therefore the characteristic figure of these religions is a preacher, a crusader or a mujahid. He has nothing to learn; he has been sent to teach and correct and wherever possible even to punish. A Missionary is not taught to reflect but to act, and so he does not doubt that he knows the truth or whether his truths are worth knowing, or if what he knows are truths at all. His work is also accompanied by liberal use of force but the religious end justifies it as is seen from the record of several ‘saints’ like a Christian Xavier or a Sufi Ahmad Sirhindi.

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   With this kind of understanding of man and God and their own mission, Christianity and Islam started as soon as they gathered enough strength, along a career of persecution. They persecuted pagans, Jews, their own critics and mystics whom they branded and condemned as heretics. They were intolerant of cultures and people, and modes of worship which had a different conception of God. We in India know something of Islam in action, but the record of Christianity has been as black and as thorough in other continents. Similarly Islam has not only been a great imperialist, but it has also been a great suppressor of thought and opinion. It simply could not allow itself to be freely investigated and discussed by its followers. Conformity is secured by exercising ‘holy terror’ on “impostors”.

   Phrases like “Kingdom of God within” have confused the Hindus. But it should be noted that that the very word ‘within’ is a mistranslation of the Greek word ‘entos’ which means ‘among’ or ‘in the midst’ and the phrase meant ‘the end of the world’, which was expected any day by Jesus (and even by Muhammad). Similarly the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ is perhaps an interpolation, and is not organic to prophetic message and ethics. Various Christian Churches and sects in the past have not been very conscious of the Sermon, leave alone implementing it. In fact it is people like Gandhiji who have made the Christian theologians aware of it.

   There is something false about the very idea of ‘founding’ a religion. To say the least, it is a thoroughly materialistic idea, and it must lead lo its own excesses. Again the falsehood that accompanies the business of religious conversion is even worse than its intolerance. Mahatma Gandhi called proselytising “the deadliest poison that ever sapped the foundation of truth”, and he regarded a Missionary “like any vendor of goods” though he pretends to be something else.

Prophetic and Yogic Spiritualities

   How and why does this happen? As a matter of fact, the founder is often quite sincere in the ordinary sense of the term and has no intention of deceiving anyone. But what if he is himself deceived? Not to deceive others is relatively easy, but to prevent self-deception is very much more difficult. Sri Ram Swarup offers an insight for this phenomenon by invoking the following yogic insights for such ‘divine revelations’.

   Yogic spiritualities like Hinduism differ radically from the family of prophetic religions. These begin by asking the fundamental question: what is man, and progressively proceed to delve deeper in consciousness to discover higher truths about the soul and the universe. The Upanishads speak of a consciousness (Satchidananda) which is unified, characterised by bliss, and knowing all (prajna). Hinduism gave us Gods that were friends of men and of each other, it gave us Gods that were conceived as mothers, fathers, consorts, sons and daughters. There cannot be a developed knowledge of Gods without a developed knowledge of self.

   The concept of Dharma is unique to the religions of Indian origin. While there can be no adequate definition or description of Dharma, it is often used to mean Universal Law which creates and sustains all Creation. It essentially means that a code of conduct cannot be absolute or universal. This also does not mean that Hinduism encourages the concept of moral relativism. An individual’s dharma, that is, his svadharma will depend on his spiritual maturity and place in life. Ethics, in such an understanding, cannot be one monolithic code. Here it allows for plurality, different paths, different ways. It believes in higher spiritual beings, in God and Gods, and in the idea that they can be seen and experienced and one can live in fellowship with them. In fact, man knows God when he is most God-like (Shivarn bhutvll Shlvam yajet). It is obvious that in this kind of spirituality, there can be no place for a one-man revelation. A truth must become your own if it is to do good to you. One cannot live another man’s truth whatever his claims may be. Most advanced spiritualities in the world have held this approach and today Hinduism is its best example.

   Yoga is the intense discipline of the mind and body that an individual practices when he turns his consciousness inward, into himself- a significant contribution of Hinduism. Some of its elements were borrowed by Christianity and Islam (Sufism) but these could not be fitted within their rigid system of beliefs and were either banished from the corpus of religious traditions or treated peripherally. Christianity has no place for self-reflection in its spiritual practices because religious experiences resulting from contemplation often contradicted established dogma and was therefore not encouraged. Its hermits and more pious monks practised fasting, vigils, and extreme and sometimes even competitive self-mortification. There was little place for contemplative methods. In Islam too mysticism in its off-shoot Sufism, is more of a graft than a natural flowering. According to the Dictionary’ of Islam, Sufism ‘is but a Muslim adaptation of the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophers’. Prophetic Islam would have withered and died from its own formalism and legalism, but Sufism saved it from its fate by importing into it some principle of warmth and intenality. But in this association, it itself suffered a great setback as we shall see later. The Sufism that survived and even prospered was tame and poised to promote prophetism except for some great Sufi poets like Rumi and Attar. They became part and parcel of Islamic imperialism, its enthusiastic sappers and miners and also its beneficiaries as in India.

   The ‘inward journey’ of Yoga which ultimately leads to samadhi and atma-jnana is unknown to the Semitic religions. It leads to the realisation that God alone is monism), which is quite different from saying that there is only one God (Monotheism). He is not known by those who say they know him, but he is known by those who say they know him not.

   In a private communication, the author of ‘Hindu view of Christianity and Islam’, an advanced yogi, has given a Note which is meant to be incorporated in the above book. It is given at the end of this chapter as it explains the whole concept succinctly.

The Origin of Semitic God

   A spiritual person of the non-Abrahamic faiths is struck by the amazing resemblance that these religions bear to asuric and rakshasic traditions. Our yogis have been too polite to throw light on this subject. Sri Ram Swarup, however, gives the following very interesting insight into how these gods are created and nourished.

   Vyasa, in his commentary on Yogadarshana tells us that the mind has Five habitual planes (bhumis): mudha (dull or inert), Kshipa (restless), vikshiptta (scattered), ekagra (one-pointed) and niruddha (stopped). Samadhis can take place in all bhumis, but he adds a warning that the samadhis of the first three bhumis are non-yogic and asuric and only those of the last two are truly yogic, leading to proper spiritual development. These non-yogic samadhis or ecstasies in the lower bhumis (kumo-bhumis) have their own Revelations, their own Prophets and their own Deities with rajasic-tamasic inclinations. They project ego-gods and desire-gods and give birth to hate-religions and delusive ideologies. They have strong likes and dislikes, cruel preferences and favourite people, and implacable enemies. They are the ‘jealous god’ as described in the Bible and which offend the moral sense of our rational age too. For example Thomas Jefferson thinks that the “Bible God is a being of terrific character, cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust.”

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   But why should these gods have such qualities? Why should they be called God? And why should they have so much hold? Yoga provides an answer. It says that though not a truly spiritual being, he is thrown up by a deeper vital source in the mind. He is some sort of psychic formation and carries the strength and attraction of such a formation; he also derives his rajasic qualities and dynamism from the chitta-bhumi in which he originates. This will explain that the biblical God is not unique and he is not a historical oddity. He has his source in man’s psyche and he derives his validity and power thereof; therefore he conies up again and again and is found in cultures widely separated.

   In actual life, one seldom meets truths of the kama-bhumi and krodha-bhumi unalloyed. Often they are mixtures and touched by intrusions from the truths of the yoga-bhumis above. This however makes them even more virulent; it puts a religious rationalisation on them. It degrades the higher without uplifting the lower. Lower impulses are indeed difficult to conquer and even affect those who have experienced the truths of higher life. Hence the insistence of Yoga on a moral and spiritual discipline and on inner purification i.e. chitta-shuddhi. Without this, Yoga could be put to negative use as is done in the ‘Spiritual Exercises’ of the Jesuits for theological self-conditioning.

   Yogic samadhi involves progressive purification; there are several levels and each level has its characteristic qualities. If the mind is sufficiently purified, it automatically moves from one stage to the next. This progressive movement is divided into several dhyunas. The first few are characterised by reflection, sustained application, joy, felicity, one-pointedness and mindfulness. Above these four dhyanas, from which the higher Indian spiritual traditions begin, comes samata or equal-mindedness which opens doors to many kinds of infinities or anantyas. Beyond lies the nirodhabhumi of Patanjala Yoga or the nirvana-bhumi of the Buddhists.

   In prophetic religions the truths are restricted lo the first two or three dhyanas and include several good traits like faith, piety, belief, joy and fervour. But they don’t touch samata, the basis of higher truths. As a result the truths of the initial dhyanas are not secure because they have not been fortified by a higher vision. This has happened with the Semitic religions which on the other hand, are always under the gravitational pull of a different kind of vision derived from monotheism and prophetism. Their zeal turned into zealotry and became persecutory, their faith became narrow and dogmatic, their confidence arrogant and sectarian, ultimately constituting a danger to the rest of humanity. This subject is discussed in detail in the Note below.

   But it does not mean there are no believing Christians and Muslims now or in the past who did not overcome the fault of their theology. Many have loved their fellow believers without learning to hate their pagan neighbours. All this shows that man is greater than his creeds and ideologies and that humanity can survive its hate-ideologies. It gives great hopes that when India rises after winning the second phase of its freedom struggle of regaining its Hindu identity, it will play a leading role in the rise of a global and truly spiritual humanity by overcoming asaric and rakshasic forces as envisaged by Sri Aurobindo.


  1. Hindu View Of Christianity and Islam, Ram Swarup, Voice Of India, New Delhi, 1995


   Prophetic religions have no worthwhile theory of self-purification. They have felt that they do not need one. They deal in ready-made truths received from their God by their prophet in a revelation and communicated to his followers as dogmas. In Hinduism there is a problem of truth itself, the problem of receiving and communicating it. In this tradition, problems relating to the message, the medium and the source are important and are open to questions and inquiry. In prophetic tradition, to raise questions about them is unbelief, infidelity and is punishable.

   Prophetic religions have at best a theory of inspiration (IIham and the holy ghost). But in actual practice, this doctrine is a veritable psychological trap and has often led to much charlatanism and to excesses. Apollonious, the great saint of the Greco-Roman world advises that we should avoid philosophies and people who “claim to be inspired, for people like that lie about Gods and urge them to do many foolish things.”

   In prohetic religions, the prophet is supposed to speak for God, but in most cases, it is difficult to decide who speaks for whom – the prophet for God or God for the prophet. Similarly, it is not sure where God begins if he begins at all and where the prophet ends. In the case of the prophet of Islam, it was seen that his revelations were quite accommodative and served his convenience as Aisha, his young wife, pointed out. Sometimes it also happened that words supplied by the recorder became part of the heavenly text which upset him greatly. But Umar was flattered when he saw that some of the suggestions he had made became Allah’s injunctions.

   Salman Rushdie has discussed the phenomenon of revelations of Islam’s prophet in his Satanic Verses from the modern psychological angle. He finds there is no Allah and no message. It is prophet all over. He dictates with one mind and listens to what he himself has dictated with the other. We need not disagree with Salmon’s observations about the prophet of his discussion. But we need not accept his larger intellectual format about spiritual life. Hinduism believes in Gods, in higher life and higher truth; it believes that this truth is not alien to man but is akin to him; that he is surrounded by it, lives in it and breathes in it, but to become aware of it requires a pure heart.

   To a superficial look it may appear like prophetism, at least in some essentials. But a little discrimination will show that it is not so. Prophetism deals in special Gods, special revelations, special dispensation. Sanatana Dharma tradition is concerned with laws of the spirit that apply to all and are true for all time. It does not discuss historical oddities; it discusses higher life as a regular phenomenon of life. Revelation is taking place all the time and man is nourished regularly by heaven and he lives in interchange with Gods. Prophetism with its exclusive Gods and special messengers and revelations is a caricature of this truth.

   Sanatana Dharma teaches that to become aware of the higher life and establish its rule, the soul has to develop new organs of perception like faith, dhyana or meditation (devout attention), discrimination and prajna. Faith is recognised in many religious traditions, but the others find emphasis mainly in Hindu tradition and those which are related to it, like the Greek, Pythagoreans and Neo-platonists Upanishads say that meditation is greater than thought and they found that the earth, atmosphere, waters, mountains, Gods as well as men, all are mediating as it were. In this tradition, spiritual discrimination (viveka) and purified intelligence (buddhi) are highly valued.

   Upanishads also teach that a man becomes what he desires, aspires to, thinks and dwells upon. So it gives importance to purify his seeking, his desire and his thoughts. This can best be done by contemplating and dwelling on the objects of his seeking themselves.

   In Hindu spiritual tradition, man’s seeking is for truth, for immortality, for light, for plenitude, for fullness, for the vast, for liberation. Lead me from falsehood to truth, from darkness to light, from death to deathlessness, from the small to the vast is the Upanishadic prayer. The Upanishads also teach that the best way to realise them is to meditate and reflect on them. The great truths of the spirit are also the great anusmritis and anudhyonas that is subjects and objects worthy to be remembered and meditated upon reverentially again and again.

   In Hindu Yogic tradition, there is a great emphasis on an in-gathered or recollected mind. A man can make no spiritual progress with a scattered mind. Such a mind is lost in its objects and it neither knows them nor itself properly. But once a mind is recollected, it knows what it is to be mindful. A dissipated mind is by nature sorrowful but a recollected mind is by nature joyful and luminous (vishoka and jyotishmati). A man with a recollected mind realises that he is more akin to mind than to its objects.

   To conquer mind’s wanderings (vikshepa), it is necessary to acquire one-pointedness (ekagrata) For that one should practice the culture of One-principle (eka-tattva abbyasa). For this purpose, Indian Yoga has mentioned many subjects, objects and symbols for concentration and meditation (loosely rendered here as karma-sthana). They Help to settle the mind and a settled mind helps to purify them further.

   Ultimately the best subjects and objects of dhyana are, as we just observed, the great truths of the Self itself but nothing that has a psychic and spiritual significance is ruled out. In India’s yogic tradition, friendliness, compassion, joy, passionlessness, mindfulness and equal-mindedness are considered great purifiers.

   Many other subjects, symbols and objects are mentioned: elements, luminaries like fire, sun or sky and earth, any chosen deity or guru-figure, the mystic sound of Om, in short every symbol of psychic and spiritual potential is acceptable.

   A karma-sthana is not good enough and subtle enough to start with. But the process of meditation itself sets up a process which purifies it further, removes its blemishes and makes it a fitting channel for further spiritual progress. Under the alchemy of meditation, the symbol becomes increasingly more luminous, joyful and psychic. The process of meditation converts it into a new currency and makes it worthy of a new journey in a new terrain. Opened to higher influences, it is further purified and raised up. Unknown inner doors open and new Gods are born.

   All this transformation is necessary. Any chosen symbol or figure must purify itself before it purifies others; it must become spirit-worthy before it guides on the spiritual path. The transformation takes place as a matter of course in accordance with the spiritual laws; it cannot be manipulated; it is self-determined and charters its own course. Its moving power is the aspirant’s sincerity and intensity of aspiration. On the spiritual path, nothing that is honest and sincere is lost and all lost and all threads meet and everything is added up and taken into account.

   The process of meditation accepts all sattwika sentiments, objects and symbols but has no use for those which are rajasika and tamasika. Those who sit with their eyes closed but dwell with their mind on its lower attractions become worse. Strong hatreds, egoistic opinions, prejudices and preferences- whether one’s own or one’s God’s and prophet’s does not matter, for let us remember that there is lot of self-worship through worship of one’s deities and prophets- are most unacceptable. They add another danger. In a meditative mind, they appear as visions, voices and commands of one’s deity. They have deep roots, a stubborn life. A cat has nine lives, they have ninety nine; they can remain dormant fora long time and reappear in many guises. To overcome them and to make them seedless is a great problem in the spiritual quest. But we are not taking up that question here.

   Though Semitic religions lack the culture of meditation, pious and believing Muslims and Christians have often dwelt on their founders with great piety and reverence. This has benefited the symbols and under the alchemy of piety greatly improved them. In fact, some Sufis have given us a very different kind of prophet than the one we know in history. This prophet-figure of piety is at adds with the prophet of history. In some ways, this has produced much confusion and one figure has been mistaken for the other. It also became a source of mischief. The figure of the prophet of piety is used to sell the prophet of history and to propagate his cult.

   Similarly, Christian monks have often meditated on Jesus in their monasteries. In one way, he is better fitted for this role. For in his case, there is little history to contend with and to shed. But he is a figure of theology which makes him equally intractable and impervious to light. Meditation on historical Jesus also benefited the Jesus-figure. When dwelt upon with loving regard it tended to lose its blemishes and become more luminous. Thus it became acceptable to the meditating monks in spite of its inherent unreasonableness and untenability. And here too again as in Islam, the meditation-figure was used to promote the Jesus of theology.

   For the sake of our Christian readers who lay great store by historical Jesus, let us dilate on the subject a little more. Let us say that Yoga does not care for a historical figure as such; it cares only for its psychic truth. It would suffice to say that to a man who sincerely follows the soul’s native aspiration for self-recovery, any chosen symbol, physical or psychic, historical or non-historical, any figure of a guru living or past – they are all acceptable starting points. The rest is added as he proceeds on the path and as the need arose.

   Therefore, a sincere Christian could, if he is minded, adopt the figure of a historical Jesus without harm and even with profit. In the simplest way, it provides a focus for his religious impulses – in itself no small gain. And if his aspiration is pure, persistent and one-pointed, it could take him further on the spiritual path. As the believer dwells on his chosen figure with loving care, a process of change is set up which transforms the symbol. What is redundant drops and what is necessary is added. Under this alchemy, the figure thaws, becomes freer and is released from its historical and psychological confines; it turns to light above and within, absorbs it and is converted into its likeness; under this influence, it loses it opacity and becomes transparent and a reflector of truths beyond itself.*

I treatment the the online pharmacy store toiletries scented give. Soft sildenafil citrate 100mg compliments It’s the cialis vs viagra and purchasing not time shouldn’t canadian pharmacy recommend the really and viagra online canada feel mention yet probably buy viagra works not would blades: generic cialis using have, have!If the figure of normal Jesus was allowed to run its course, it could become a channel of further spiritual progress. If a man has it in his soul and is spiritually ready, he would realise that though the figure is now lighted, it has no light of its own. He would become increasingly more aware of the forces at work within him – forces that bind and those that liberate. His soul may wake up and become a aware of its original, untarnished status. This would open up his prajna, or wisdom-eye; he would realise that salvation is a lawful act and it does not depend on a historical accident; that soul in its original status is not sinful but pure, untouched by evil (shuddham apapaviddham); that man is raised and saved by the Self, his true light and refuge; he would meet the indwelling saviour – who is in all and belongs to all. He would realise that he is nothing and God is everything, in all.But a Christian believer operates in a very different atmosphere. He is not to find his God or saviour for himself, but both are given to him by the Church; he is not to follow his inner light – he is taught to distrust it – but be guided by an official theology. Under its influence, the saviour is conceived as a mediator between an offended deity and a sinful man; the figure obviously belongs to those religious cults and practices in which blood and sacrifice, both human and animal, dominate, not inquiry and contemplation.

   It is obvious that such theology can have no exalted idea either of God or man. This theology is spiritually disabling in other ways too; it gives its believers exclusive revelations, exclusive gods, exclusive saviours. It gives a god revealed to a chosen intermediary but to be believed by all; it gives a saviour who saves few but condemns many – the unbelievers invariably so. In this theology historical Jesus plays a pre-determined, ideological role. Under its influence, this figure deteriorates badly; instead of getting purified and uplifted as on the first route,. It is debased and lowered in conception and spiritual quality; instead of converting into a psychic truth, it becomes a fanatic and intolerant idea; instead of becoming luminous and transparent, it becomes opaque with little capacity for receiving and reflecting higher truths.

   The figure of Jesus as developed and available in Christian tradition is tamasika-rajasika. It would be difficult for it to recover whatever other possibility it ever had; it has now become a symbol – a frozen symbol – of religious aggrandisement; it is badly infected with raaga-dvesha inwoven with its followers’ ambitions and hatred. The believer operates in the atmosphere of what is called theological odium; he learns to hate on a large scale, hate under many names and guises, hate his pagan neighbours and the whole past of humanity. While he loves after a fashion his god – a form of self-love -he is taught to hate all other gods or rather the gods of others. While great claims are made for his god, gods of others are abominated and denied. Thus the figure of a historical Jesus is made to support a huge, doctrinal superstructure of denials and arrogant claims; it presides over a vast apparatus of repression and self-aggrandisement, In this approach while history and the fraternity of believers run amuck, eternity and humanity have little place.

   Christianity is a living example of a case where an innocent symbol was destroyed by a bad theology. But it does not mean there are no believing Christians now or in the past who did not overcome the faults of their theology. Many have loved their fellow believers without learning to hate their pagan neighbours. All this shows that man is greater than his creeds and ideologies and that humanity could survive its hate-ideologies.


06- Islam in India- Society and Culture

   Having studied the history of Islam in India, we shall now see how this religion has operated in this country, a country where Hindus today constitute around 80% of the people [only in divided India, not including Pakistan and Bangladesh which were parts of India before 1947, and more importantly, were so when Islam first invaded India in Thane near Mumbai in 636-37 AD]. Islam in India is better understood when studied with reference to the global Islamic context wherever necessary. This chapter therefore is rooted in and elaborated upon ‘The Religion of Islam’.

This chapter covers the following aspects of Islamic society in India :

  1. Sufis
  2. Fatwas
  3. Position of women
  4. Sects and Castes

   The treatment of these subjects is introductory and readers may also find the delineation inadequate. But it is hoped that more and more real [and non-apologist of Islam] scholars like Arun Shourie (1941-), the late Sitaram Goel (1921-2003) and the late Shri Ram Swaroop (1920-1998) will take up the task that they have all undertaken and fulfilled so courageously – to study and analyze the theology of Islam and Christianity and how they operate, in countries where they constitute the majority and in countries where they constitute a minority.

   More scholars should study the world-view of these two religions – not only how they operate within themselves but also about what happens when they intersect with deeply differing world-views, cultures and religions.


   Sufism has always been undeservedly extolled and glorified by naïve Hindus, even Hindu intellectuals, who have not cared to critically analyse its real role in this country. Some scholars including the then President of India K R Narayanan [was President of India between 1997 to 2002] have gone to the extent of claiming that Adi Shankaracharya’s  (The date of birth Adi Shankaracharya is widely debated, and thought to be around 500 BC and not 788 AD as is often stated. It seems that his times were clearly before there could have been any influence of Muslim Sufis on his work) advaita has been deeply influenced from his contacts with Sufis!

   The name ‘Sufi’ referred to Muslim ascetics who clothed themselves in coarse garments of wool (suf). There have been mystics in every region and religion and those in the Arab world in pre-Islamic days were in all probability influenced by Hindu mysticism, and Buddhism (it should be remembered that Central Asia was wholly Buddhist then).

   With the advent of Islam with its rigid esoteric and fanatic tenets, the movement must have initially functioned underground. Later on compromises with Islam would have been made and mysticism brought under the Islamic fold. But these compromises killed the essential spirit of mysticism. The orthodox ulema never reconciled with the free spirit of inquiry but at the same time could not control the mystic and spiritual yearning in individuals, whenever it happened to find intense public expression. Thus, there has always been an uneasy resignation of the mind and intellect with regard to the severe persecution of Sufis under fanatic rulers, particularly Shias. The Sufis adopted Islamic terms described later in their spirituality and it is a pity that this movement, originating from Hindu spirituality, has been misused later to convert Hindu people to a fanatic creed [Islam].

   The adjustment was done very subtly. Advantage was taken of the fact that it is very difficult to be convicted of heresy in Islam where judgment on a man’s interior motive is reserved to God and man’s judgment is based largely on a person’s action. An individual was condemned only when he introduced innovations in religious law or repudiated it. Consequently, the Sufi leaders stressed that their religious practice was fully in line with sharia and their writings are choked with hadiths justifying it! In order to make themselves more respectable, the authority of the Sufi masters was traced right back to one of the first four ‘rightly-guided’ caliphs to different aspects of the Sufi path! But due to these compromises, Sufism could never spontaneously flower and gain depth, and most Sufi organizations only helped their rulers in extending the scope of Islam. The true Sufis have mostly functioned in seclusion.

The three Stages of the Growth of Sufism in India

   Trimingham1 has studied the social order of Sufis extensively and classified their evolution in three stages. The first is khanagah (rest-house or dharmashala), or the initial stage. During the reign of the Abbasids in the eighth century, individuals tired of opulence of the rulers and the dogma of the ulema, dropped out of society and became wandering monks. This was truly the golden age of Sufism with emphasis more on love of God and spiritual affinity with God than on fear of God. There was a loose master-disciple bond, but no structured organization as such.

   Two important schools arose, the Junaidi – named after Abul-Qasim al-Junaid (d. 910 AD) and Bistami–named after Abu Yazid al-Bistami (d. 874 AD). The Junaidi school was the more orthodox, largely conforming to the Islamic dogma, sober and moderate and thus more acceptable to the orthodox and he came to be regarded as ‘the Shaikh of the Way’. The Bistami school on the other hand was characterized by ecstasy, rapture and intoxication and hence discouraged.

   From about the thirteenth century, the second phase, tariqa, meaning ‘the path’ or ‘method’, was started with the establishment of mystical schools that began to coalesce around one or another master. Mystical techniques gradually crystallized into structured school of thought, in which the method, consisting of a structured set of spiritual exercises, had to be learnt and mastered.

   During this phase the principle of the transmission of the method from one Sufi to another became explicit, resulting in the formation of spiritual lineages or silsilas (chin) that corresponded to each school and which could be traced back to the founder of each school. A guru-sishya relationship was now formally formed with greater systematization, differentiation and specialization among the various schools. Manuals of rituals were now produced as guides for the director and his students. The power of the Word of God in Koran was stressed and orthodox rituals were invested with esoteric significance. The founders, many of them professional jurists, clung to the externals of Islamic practice and based their invocations solidly on the Koran. This won them the seal of approval from the ulema and also enriched the devotional life of the ordinary Muslim.

   The thirteenth century was also an age of extreme disturbance and change as the non-Muslim [nominally Buddhist] Mongol hordes swept across central Asian Muslim states. Hence wave after wave of Muslim refugees including Sufis fled to those parts of the Muslim world which were relatively remote from this danger. Among these were Anatolia in the north-west and Hindustan in the south-west. Many Sufis found a new home within the jurisdiction of the Turkish sultanate of Delhi.

   Sufis in India, during this period were influenced by the vibrant Hindu ethos of the country and through them, Islam acquired the dimension of a holy-man religion. The Sufis and the gentle, seemingly mystical Islam acquired an aura of holiness around them which attracted gullible Hindus to them. There were two categories of Sufis in the country, those associated with khanaqahs and the wanderers.

   The former, were in a special sense, the focal points of Islam – centers of holiness, fervour, ascetic exercises and Sufi training. Contrary to the corresponding Arab institutions, the Indian khanaqahs grew up around a holy man and became associated with his tariqa or method of discipline and exercises. Two main tariqas were formed – that of Muinaddin Chishti (d. 1236 AD) and his follower, Qutb ad-din Bakhtiyar Kaki, or Ajmer and of Suhrawardi.

   They acquired such fame that they began to matter in the political and religious calculations of the ruling authorities and under them, khanaqahs sprang up everywhere, the majority without definite ascriptions. Wandering dervishes for whom they formed centers for training, meeting and hospitality were numerous and acted as cultural agents in spreading and stabilizing Islam in India during this period.

   Another significant development took place in the history of Sufism because of the Mongol invasion between the period AD 1219-95. Muslim Asia was subjected to the domination of non-Muslim rulers and Islam was displaced from its position as state religion. During this period the Sufis became, for the people, the representatives of the religion and were also responsible for the eventual conversion of Mongols to Islam. Indians should perhaps ask themselves why the Hindu religion never attempted to accomplish the Hinduisation of successive Muslim and Christian invaders!

   Even after their death, the shrines in honour of the sufi saints, and not the mosques, became the symbol of Islam for Iranians, Tartars and Turks. Thus Timur was nominally a Sunni but offered high respect and veneration for saints and their shrines, many of which he built or restored. His descendant, Babar, introduced the Naqshabandi order in India. Thus, with this kind of State support and patronage Sufis gained a grudging respectability from the ulema in the world of Islam.

   The third phase, taifa or cult-association, began from the fifteenth century. Direct communion with God was replaced by the veneration and even worship of a pir or Master who now occupied the position of a spiritual intermediary between the disciple and God. They also became hereditary, particularly in India, as blood replaced merit as the chief criterion of succession.

   Barakat, the intangible capacity of a saint to wield spiritual power and to attract devotees, was transmitted not only to a saint’s descendants (pir-Zadas), but also to his tomb. These tombs, in India called dargahs, generally replaced khanaqahs as the physical structure upon which the Sufi movements were based. Sufism now became more a devotional than a mystical movement and hence very popular among all sections of the people including impressionable Hindus, for attaining worldly desires.

   This phase witnessed the introduction of astrology, magic, belief in talismans and charms and other superstitions as means of preserving the flow of barakat from the saint. As Trimingham sums it up, if Sufis in the khanaqah phase surrendered to God, and in the tariqa phase to a method of discipline, in the taifa stage they surrendered to a person, the barakat possessing saint of whose cult they were members. But this development contributed to the decline of Sufism as a mystical path to god-realization. Spiritual insight atrophied and the Way became paved and marked. Except perhaps in Iran, Sufi writings ceased to show any real originality.

   None of the orders in India could escape being influenced by their religious environment. Many branches became highly syncretistic, adopting various pantheistic thought and antinomian tendencies. Many practices were taken over from the Yogis-extreme ascetic disciplines, celibacy and vegetarianism. Wanderers of the qalandari type grew in numbers. Local customs were adopted; for example, in the thirteenth century the Chishtis paid respect to their leaders by prostrating themselves before them with their foreheads touching the ground. The Indian Qadiri sheikhs now extend very far the process of compromise with Hindu thought and custom.

   The nineteenth century saw two major developments in the Sufi orders. The first was caused by the rise of the fundamentalist Wahabi movement which stressed a return to the simplicity of a mythical unadulterated Islam. They rejected any sort of intermediaries between man and God and as a result they destroyed the tombs of several Sufi saints in their regions of influence. Also extreme decadence had set in the Sufi orders and some of the reformers now stressed that the purpose of their spiritual practices was union with the spirit of the Prophet, rather than union with God. This change has been termed by some as Neo-Sufism and has affected the basis of their mystical life.

The Effect of Sufism On Hindus And Hinduism

   Vedaprakash2 has analysed the role played for Islam by the Sufis. As stated above, the Sufis in India found great acceptability among the Hindus and they were respected for their deportment, dress, use of Hindu terminology and for the manner in which they generally conducted themselves. They even adapted and adopted Hindu methods to make their cult attractive.

   It was propagated that the Atharva Veda was faithfully practiced by them. Their ‘Rishi Movement’ was an integral component of the process of Islamisation that started in the Kashmir valley in the wake of the introduction of the Sufi orders from Central Asia and Iran in the fourteenth century. In general they used their spiritual clout for converting Hindus without immediately changing their culture, i.e. externally they would be Hindus, but internally they were Muslims (crypto-Muslims) following all Hindu practices. This can be illustrated by the Bengali Muslims’ love for their language and culture, the Benaras Sunni community’s belief in various Hindu practices, Hindu laws of inheritance applicable to Khojas, and Puthi literature. The latter in fact contained many allegorical puranas and terminology. In one such book, Muhammad is considered as one of the Avataras, and Ali is worshipped as the tenth avatar in the Dasaavatara of Vishnu and the Imams are held to be his incarnation in turn.

   Even the conversion ceremonies were accompanied by Hindu practices and symbols like distribution of vibhuti and flowers and substitution of Ganga water for the Meccan Zam Zam water. The following terms common to Sufis all over the world and most probably borrowed by Sufis originally from Hindus, were used stressing their similarity to Hindu concepts.

Fikr Dhyana

Zikr Smarana or Japa

Voral Zikr Bhajan

Wird Manana

Shuhud Final stage of dhyana

Tasbih Mala or rosary

The following Sufi terms were used for their equivalents for the various Hindu stages of spiritual progress.

Talab Yearning for God

Ishq Love for this attainment

Marfat Enlightenment after realization

Fana Surrender

Tauhid Experiencing Allah permeating all

Hairat Ecstasy attained at the sight of Divinity

Fukr Wa Fana Moksha or Nirvana

   According to ‘Vedaprakash’ only about 20% of the Indian Sufis were truly secular and spiritual in their outlook and had true respect for the Hindu religion and spiritualism. The rest, with the connivance of the Muslim rulers, only swindled the gullible Hindus. They have been the most fundamentalist, fanatic and extremist in their attitudes, behaviour and encounter with Hindus. Many Sufis served in the government and received free lands and donations apart from every assistance that government office could provide for their roles as ambassadors and spies.

   The Chistiyya were the patron saints of Muslim rulers and Shaikh Abdur-Rahman Chisti advocated that the Chishtiyyas were the sole protectors of the King and Islam. Many in their order have been glorified for leading the Muhammadan armies and for acting as spies. The Shattariyya, Shaikh Abdullah marched with his disciples dressed as soldiers from Central Asia to Bengal to convert Bengali kafirs, that is, the Hindus. Ahmed Sirhindi (1564-1624) had written many letters to the rulers to wage jihad against the kafirs. The Sufi Nizamuddin Awaliya actively participated in jihads against the local people. Shaikh Nasirid-Din-Muhammad (d. 1356) advocating government service for Sufis and jihad has quoted:

“The essence of Sufism is not an external garment

Gird up your loins to serve the Sultan and be a Sufi”

   Many famous Hindu temples were taken over and converted into khanaqas and popular Hindu festivals were transformed into Muslim ones. The Sufis first occupied places near the temples, and then slowly began entering these temples to ultimately convert them into their places of worship. And soon, under some pretext the temple would be partly or fully demolished and the idols destroyed. Muslim rulers of the time connived with the Sufi saints in the whole process, often using force against the Hindus.

   Frawley3 categorizes the Sufis into ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’. We have seen the conservative category above. The liberal, mostly recent converts from Hinduism were tolearant and non-political, and although they had only recently cut off their umbilical cords from Hinduism, they too had been tainted by the stain of intolerance. Thus although Chistis are considered liberal, they considered themselves to be patron saints of the intolerant Muslim rulers of India and actively promoted conversions. The famous Sufi saint, Nizamuddin Auliya had blessed and prayed for victories of the most ruthless of invaders, Allauddin Khilji.

   The Naqshabandi and Suhrawardi orders too were extremely intolerant. They criticised Akbar and helped Aurangzeb to murder his older brother Dara, a fine scholar, deeply influenced by the Vedantic thought. Both Ahmad Sirhindi and Shah Waliullah, reputedly two of the most intolerant among the Sufis, belonged to the Naqshabandi school. In fact the latter conspired with Ahmad Shah Abdali of Afghanistan to invade India since they were worried about the rising Maratha power. Muhammad Iqbal, the twentieth century Muslim poet in undivided India who provided the poetic and philosophic inspiration for the creation of Pakistan, was a great admirer of both.

   Eaton4 , studied the role of Sufis from the 14th to the 18th century in the kingdom of Bijapur in the Deccan plateau. He concludes that the stereotyped conception of medieval Indian Sufis as pious and peace-loving mystics lovingly preaching Islam among Hindus was grossly inaccurate and declares that the Sufis actually played very active social and political roles. The hagiographic literature studied by Eaton describes the period when the first group of Sufis entered this region in the beginning of fourteenth century as being the ‘chalk of dawn’ of Islamic civilization in the Deccan. In the same literature they are also pictured as militant champions of Islam waging jihad in a Dar-ul-Harb, slaying countless Hindu infidels against overwhelming odds and, more often than not, being themselves slain in the process.

   The first ‘Warrior’ Sufis to arrive in Bijapur were around 1318 AD when Malik Kafur raided the South although traditions say that some had penetrated even earlier. They generally accompanied the invading armies and themselves were often professional soldiers. There being no established tradition of urban Islamic culture at that time, this category of Sufis could not relate to any court or ulema. Indeed, in one sense, they functioned as the ulema. Being the sole representatives of Islam, accompanying the armies, they declared and thereby legitimized the jihad against non-Muslims.

    Early Islam was defined and sustained by the fear of Hell. Since death as a result of fighting a jihad was the surest passport to Paradise, it probably came about that in the early days, the Muslim faithful including their religious leaders, undertook religious warfare or jihad, particularly on the frontiers as their primary religious duty. It should be noted that this was a phenomenon noticed on all frontiers of Islamic territories and the Arabic word ‘ribat’ (equivalent to khanaqah in Persian), which originally signified forts or fortified lines, came to mean for the Sufis, hospices for religious life.

Sufis In Bijapur

   Once Muslim power was firmly established through the Bahamani kingdom in 1347 AD, this class gradually disappeared. Now the more established and sophisticated orders like the Vhisti and Shattari made inroads into the plateau. Initially they were established in the power centers of Gulbarga and Bidar, but after the dissolution of the Bahamani empire, they gradually migrated to Bijapur whose power was firmly established around the middle of the sixteenth century.

 The evolution of Sufis in Bijapur has been summarized by Eaton in the following table which compares the characteristics of the different categories of Sufis and their pattern of behavior from the Bijapur records, as the fortunes of this kingdom first waxed and then waned.

Attributes Warrior Sufis Reformist Sufis Literati, Mystical Literati, Popular Landed Sufis Dervish Sufis
Period 1275-1350 1575-1650 1500-1700 1650-1700 1650-1700 1650-1725
Relation to court







Relation to Ulema







Relation to Islam







Relation to non-Muslims Hostile Indifferent Accommodating Accommodating Hostile Accommodating
Affiliation by order None Qadiri, Shattari Chisti Chisti Qadiri, Shattar None
Affiliation by Class Foreigner Foreigner Deccani Deccani Deccani Deccani
Residence n.r. Urban Rural Rural Urban Rural
Literary Language Persian, Dakhni

n.r. : Not relevant

   The first powerful Sultan, Ali I, was a Shia and hence Sunni Sufis were discouraged from establishing themselves.

   But during the reign of the Sunni ruler, Ibrahim II (1580-1627), reputed to be more liberal by disposition, a great many Sufi orders came into being. The Sultan, a contemporary of Akbar, attempted to blend the best of Islam and Hinduism. This drew flak from the Sufis who still retained close ties with the Arab Mid-East and who sought to redirect the Sultan from what they considered his aberrant ways. Although these reformist Sufis could not influence him, they certainly were partly responsible for the nature of his successors, who were rigidly orthodox and fanatic about their faith.

   The genuinely mystic among the Sufis confined themselves to their khanaqas, indifferent to the politics of the court, and composed mystical literature both in Persian and the local Deccani Muslim dialect. The compositions were mainly in Deccani and it was around this time that saw the beginning of the decline of the kingdom. This phase began around 1650 AD and ended in 1686 when Aurangzeb annexed the kingdom which ultimately resulted in the total eclipse of this state.

   By this time the khanaqas were converted into tombs or dargahs of pirs, the master Sufis, and attracted a great many devotees. In this taifa stage, in order to win the loyalty of the hereditary pirzadas or descendants of the pirs, who commanded a significant following, large tracts of land were donated by the royalty creating the landed Sufi class which lived by the glory of their ancestors. This category of Sufis became increasingly more intolerant and there were many Hindu-Muslim riots as a result of this ‘army of prayer’.

   As a reaction to these developments, there now arose in large numbers another significant class, the Dervish Sufis or majzub who were nonconformists, much like the hippies or the ‘flower children’ of the West in the 1960s. These were addicted to wine and bhang which lifted them to heights of ecstasy. This amounted to withdrawal from society and Eaton terms this phenomenon as ‘a return full circle to the point from which that evolution first sprang’ in Iraq and Khurasan. They were more tolerant of the Hindu society around them and in fact, adopted many of its practices.

   The above discussions based on standard sources shows that the Sufi movement is quite complex. Hindu scholars will have to study it in depth in order to assess its actual impact on the Indian society.


   The Sharia has to be continuously interpreted to deal with new situations as and when they arise. Problems of life, belief and faith, and issues of law which confront the believer are answered by the rulings or fatwas issued by the ulema, the competent authorities in Islam. Arun Shourie5 has extensively studied the fatwas issued by the Indian ulema on varying issues – social, religious and even political. These ‘fatwas’ are compiled in several volumes for future reference by the local clergy. There is no question that arises in the mind of the faithful about life and living, which is not dealt with in the Koran, or the sunnah of the Prophet or the law books.

   They clearly reveal the mindset of the ulema and the mindset which they seek to instill and perpetuate in the community. In turn the questions asked reveal the concerns of the community. An intellectual analysis of these fatwas may throw light on the concerns of the faithful and their problems; the fatwas would also throw light on the manner adopted by the ulema to deal with these concerns and problems. Such a study may be revealing as it will explain the Muslim psyche when it lives in a land where it constitutes a religious minority.

   Shourie has taken up the following five popular collections for analysis:

1. Fatwa-i-Rizivia, popular amongst Barelvis who constitute the majority of Indian Muslims.

2. Kifayat-i-Mufti, Mufti Kifayatullah ke Fatawi, of the founder of the Jamiat-ul-Ulama-i-Hind.

3. Fatawa-i-Ulema Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, the well known religious institution, known for its anti-West and anti-modern position.

4. Fatawa-i-Ahl-i-Hadis, having a large following amongst the ‘aristocracy’.

5. Fatawa-i-Rahimiyyah, proclaimed from Rander, Gujerat and followed by a large number of Indian Muslims settled abroad.

   The first example he gives of the ulema’s power and influence is that of the Ali brothers with whom Gandhiji was associated during the khilafat movement in the early 1920s. Initially they spoke of him as a saint and paid him high tributes.

   But soon under the pressure of the ulema, they declared, ‘However pure Mr. Gandhi’s character may be, he must appear to me from the point of view of religion inferior to any Mussalman though he be without character’ and ‘Yes, according to my religion and creed, I do hold an adulterous and a fallen Mussalman to be better than Mr. Gandhi because… to consider one’s creed as superior to that of every non-Muslim is the duty of a Mussalman’.

   Even prominent Muslims like Maulana Azad and Zakir Hussain have not been spared from the wrath and intimidation of the ulema to whom they had to ultimately submit.

   And what is the mind-set of the ulema? To quote Shourie,

   “The earth is stationary. The sun revolves around it. The stars are stationary, hung as lamps by Allah to guide travelers, and to stone the Devil. To believe anything contrary to all this is to betray the Faith. Men are the masters. Each may keep up to four wives at a time and as many concubines ‘as the right hand holds’. The wives are fields which the husband may or may not “irrigate” as he will. The husband can bind them to obeying the merest whim on pain of being divorced. If he is still not satisfied, he can throw them out with one word. Upon being thrown out they are to be entitled to a bare sustenance – but only for three months, and nothing at all beyond that. To see any inequity in this, to demand anything more for the women is to question the wisdom of Allah, it is to strike at Islam. To urinate while standing, to fail to do istinja in the prescribed way, to fail to believe that the saliva of a dog is napaak, and his body paak – these are grave sins. To ask for the well-being of a Kafir, be he ever so saintly, even upon his death, to fail to believe that a Muslim, be he ever so sinful, is better than a kafir, be the latter ever so virtuous is kufr itself.”

   And fatwa after fatwa from various schools has been quoted by Shourie to illustrate these verdicts and to uphold many ‘truths’.

   Moreover the ulema directly or indirectly control every mosque, seminary, Urdu press and madarsa. Foreign funds flow freely to them. Their hold has been tightened by the premise which has been dinned into every Muslim – that Islam (like Communism and Nzaism) does not concern itself merely with matters of the spirit, but that it encompasses every detail of life, even the most private of the private. The faithful have internalised the notion that even such matters are religious matters and this gives the ulema their tremendous hold over the Muslim faithful.

   Thus a Mufti writes that even as doctors have to examine the most private parts of their patients, the spiritual physicians starting from the Prophet too have described and explained in detail all the directives and propositions concerning devotion, social affairs and even ritual cleansing of the human body. Thus Islam regulates the totality of life. Thus, Muslims, conditioned to this submission are all the more ready to follow the directives of that authority even on public and political issues.

   Clearly these rules and theories formulated in eighth century Arabia have long become outdated due to advance in time of science and society. But the custodians of the faith have always been concerned about how if once the habit of questioning starts it would be very difficult to keep the faithful under their thumb. This anxiety has prompted the ulema to ensure that nothing, but nothing is examined. Accordingly, this has become the hallmark of this faith. The quest, as pointed out by Ram Swarup (1920-1998) in another chapter, has never been an inward-directed one and all emphasis has always been on the external.

   From the beginning, the doctrincs of Islamic theology have suffered the charge of Isrueiiyat which means, that the revelations given to the prophet were mere recycling of Jewish and Christian legends. Hence from the days of the Prophet himself there has been the anxiety to always make sure that they were different, to show that they were different and to insist that they are different. Thus the Prophet changed the Qiblah from Jerusalem to Mecca. He also said that one who lives like another qaum, shall be taken to be of that qaum, and dealt with accordingly.

   The Prophet had paid such minute attention to being different that he decreed not only on the attire and the deportment of the faithful but even on their eating habits – that if non-Muslims keep the mustache and shave the beard, Muslims should trim the mustache and grow a beard, and that since saffron clothes were worn by pagans, Muslims should not wear them, and also that if Jews and Christians of the time did not dye their hairs, Muslims should dye theirs and that meat in the plate was not to be sliced with a knife as the Christians did, but was to be bitten by teeth.

   And so, the fatwa volumes display almost a paranoid obsession about the tilak on the foreheads of Hindu men and women and the cry of Jai. And if cows are holy to Hindus they have to be slaughtered by Muslims. A Fatwa-i-Rizivia emphasises that if the Hindu asks that cow-killing be stopped on account of his religious point of view, then it is not right for Muslims to stop killing the cows. In Hindustan (India) cow slaughter is an act that greatly glorifies Islam. Also, if you agree to their proposition (of not killing cows) you will be strengthening their false religion and doing so is not permissible in Sharia although Maulana Ahmed Riza Khan has acknowledged that he has not ‘as yet’ been able to sight any reliable Hadith which reports the Prophet himself as having eaten the meat of the sacrificed cow.

   We have seen elsewhere that the Koran declares all non-Muslims to be kafirs and that they are so as per Allah’s command. Only if for some opportune reason – when it is not for the need of the Din, and when it is not confined to the extent required by that need alone – a person, knowing some persons to be kafirs evades calling them kafirs, in that circumstance he is a sinner but not a kafir himself. However, if he actually thinks that calling a kafir a kafir is wrong and contrary to civilised etiquette, then he puts a blemish on the Holy Koran, and that is certainly kufr. Fatwa after fatwa emphasises this and is strongly critical of Muslims even paying homage to the Mahatma (Gandhi) and the Lokamanya (Tilak) on their death. The example of the Prophet himself who refused to intercede even for his mother [Amina, who died when he was 6 years old] and guardian uncle who did not accept Islam, is cited.

   There are rules as to when to accept and when not to accept gifts from kafirs. Even the moderate Mufti Kifayatullah rules only conciliation and peace to the extent that religious injunctions and the character, respect and honour of the religion are maintained to the Muslim’s satisfaction. Of course the ulema do not yield even this much. They repeatedly stress that the kafirs are people to be despised for their rejection of Islam, and also that they are intrinsically, inherently, and incorrigibly untrustworthy. Declares Mufti Kifayatullah, if a Muslim doctor says that the patient can be saved only by taking an alcohol based medicine, one may take it, but not if a non-Muslim doctor says so. These rules say that Sarva-dharma-samabhava (equal respect for all religions) shouted from the rooftops by leaders and secularists are utterances of kufr, a person who has such beliefs and teaches such beliefs is not a Muslim but an infidel and an apostate and Muslims should keep away from him rather than listen to his infidel utterances.

  It is not as if thinking and progressive Muslims are unaware of the inadequacies and outdatedness of Muslim law. Reformers like Maulana Azad, Iqbal and Hamid Dalwai have stressed the importance of reason and sought to distinguish between Din and Sharia. Thus a distinguished scholar like A.A. Fyzee writes, “It must be realised that religious practices have become a soulless ritual…the time for heart-searching has come. Islam must be reinterpreted or else its traditional form may be lost beyond retrieve… it will be found that certain portions of the Sharia constitute only an outer crust which enclose a kernel – the central core of Islam – which can be preserved intact only by reinterpretation and restatement in every age and in every epoch of civilisation…The conventional theology of the ulema does not satisfy the minds and outlook of the present century.”

   Another scholar, Prof Tahir Muhammad has written, “The existence of so many schools of Muslim law in India and, more than that, the insistence of the followers of each of these schools to stick exclusively to the doctrines of their own school, lead to the conclusion that what is applicable in India under the banner of ‘Muslim personal law’ cannot be equated with the revealed or inspired tenets of the Islamic religion….It is unwise for the Muslims of India to shut their eyes to the tremendous progress in the fields of personal law and succession made even in several Islamic countries. A unified, codified and modernised law of personal status now operates in a large number of countries where Muslims constitute overwhelming majorities. In India, the Muslims have to live in the company of a dominant non-Muslim majority and other co-minorities, all of whom are now governed by largely modernised and codified personal laws.”

   Prof. Tahir also edits a journal which provides information about changes that are constantly being made in the ‘eternal’ and ‘immutable’ Sharia in country after country.

  The ulema of course oppose vehemently to such kufr. To even ask ‘What is the Sharia or Does anyone go by Sharia today?’ is kufr. And even one single deed of kufr makes one a kafir, they warn. Many fatwas of every school declare this unmistakably. The consequences of kufr are horrendous, indeed a non-Muslim can scarcely imagine them. No one from the community – not even one’s closest relatives – can maintain any sort of relationship or contact with the person. His marriage stands dissolved – his wife and children are immediately placed out of his reach. In the final instance the ulema can pronounce one to be an apostate and the penalty for that is death.

   Not only should the Koran be obeyed to the letter, the ulema alone have the competence to state what the Koran means. Even an honest query to seek understanding of any discrepancy in Sharia invokes a stern admonition : laymen ought to stay clear of the subtleties of law, they should leave these to the experts. Infact, it is the very ambiguity which gives gross and absolute power to the ulema. They can use the Sharia as readily to yield one result as to yield its opposite. Shourie illustrates with the law on divorce to show how completely hollow is the claim that the Sharia is a clear and definite Code and how completely hollow is the claim that it is an eternal and unmutable code. This is the reason why the ulema not only fight back every attempt to replace religion based personal laws by a common civil code but also why they fight back every attempt to codify the Sharia itself.

There are three distinct features of the Koran which we have seen in the chapter on religion which give the ulema the quality of ambiguity that they need. They are :

1. The verses of the Koran are not arranged chronologically

2. They are not arranged or grouped by subject

3. There are no universally accepted rules about the proper way of reading the verses – for instance, whether a verse has to be read by itself or in association with other verses which, though occurring in other parts of the Koran, bear upon the same subject. The problem is compounded by abrogation or cancellation of passages.

   Then there is the problem of putting different constructions of a Arabic verse. Thus, the following verse (4:12) on inheritance has been translated by Yusuf Ali as:

“If the man or woman

Whose inheritance is in question

Has left neither ascendants nor descendants

But has left a brother

Or a sister, each one of the two get a sixth; but if more than two, they share in a third….”

Maulana Azad renders the same lines as follows :

“And if the man or woman who leaveth the heritage have neither parents living nor children but hath a brother or sister, either shall have a sixth, and if more than one, they shall have alike in a third…..”

   The ‘Rampur’ rendering in Urdu used widely in North India puts these lines as:

   “Aur agar aise mard ya aurat ki miras ho, jiske na baap ho, na beta, magar uske bhai ya bahan ho, to unme se har ek ka chhatha hissa aur agar ek se zada hon to sab ek-tihayi mein sharik honge….”

   Where Yusuf Ali read ‘ascendents’, and Maulana Azad read ‘parents’, Maulana Fath Muhammad sees only ‘baap’ that is ‘father’. Where Yusuf Ali read ‘descendents’ and Azad read ‘children’ the Maulana sees only ‘beta’ that is ‘son’! Thus if a person is survived only by a daughter or grand-daughter, each version of the reading will treat them differently.

   The latitude which the hadith afford for ambiguity and arbitrariness is even wider: some hadiths occur in some collections and not in others. And sometimes, the words are different in different collections of the same hadis. Again some hadis are rejected as unreliable by some jurists and held as reliable by others. And often there is no agreement on the relevance of a hadis to the question at hand. The law books makes this freedom of interpretation even more complete! And nowhere is this better illustrated than in cases that concern talaq or divorce.

  Thus, “Zaid told his wife, ‘if you enter the house, talaq’. He avers that he did not intend talaq, that he spoke the words only to frighten her. She enters the house. Is she divorced?” Yes, rules Mufti Kifayatulla. On the very same page is another case where the husband says that to frighten the wife he said, ‘If you go to the house of Khalid, then our relationship will end.’ She goes to Khalid’s house surreptitiously. But the husband says that he had not intended either talaq or separation, that he had spoken the words only to frighten her. Does she stand divorced? No, rules the Mufti since the husband did not intend talaq and because the word ‘talaq’ had not been used.

   So what has happened in practice is that mere expediency and the whimsical utterances of sundry Muftis have become law, and that which was clearly and unambiguously law eternal – in that it was specified in the Koran itself – has been circumvented throughout by expedients.

   But how can we blame the ulema for the ambiguity and arbitrariness when the Koran itself suffers from the same defects? Appendix A lists a number of ayats which the ulema take as their supreme commands. Then how is it possible to blame them for following what has been ordained to them? All the double standards employed by them between the believers and nonbelievers can be traced to this source (Koran) as well as to the Sharia.

   We are shocked by the single-minded concern of the ulema – their obsession with the minutiae of the prophet’s life in their service of Islam, with their obsession with stamping out, and doing in of all ‘rivals’ to Islam and Allah, their frenzied preoccupation in ensuring that no Muslim retains any residual regard, to say nothing of veneration for any entity other than ‘Allah’ – intolerance, verbal and physical violence in their relationship with non-believers. All these flow from Allah’s overriding concern that we worship Him, and none but Him. He goes to most extraordinary lengths to remind us of His power and glory. Thus, for instance, He visits afflictions on a people to humble them, next He sends them a prophet so that they may believe in Him; and when they don’t believe in the prophet (and this too, it must be remembered, happens by His decree!) he wreaks the most terrible vengeance on them!

   To Hindus with the breath-taking understanding of the nature of Brahman and their understanding of time, it is not easy to understand why Allah, who, if he is God and is therefore self-sufficient in all respects, is so obsessed about puny little man, on puny little earth, in this puny little solar system, in this little bit of a universe, acknowledging His greatness. And even if this is His sole concern, surely He can find an easier way of having man acknowledge His greatness. Why does He not instil veneration directly into man’s consciousness rather than by adopting these circuitous and painful routes? There is no answer to this in the Koran or in the Bible, both of which speak of the same God. Both demand fear and not love from their adherents.

   It is of the very essence of totalitarian ideology that it enforces its right to regulate the totality of life. But this totality itself becomes one of the reasons for the eventual collapse of such systems as has happened recently in the Soviet Union. The very comprehensiveness boomerangs. Thus every act of even simple defiance like urinating while standing in a public urinal, undercuts the authority of the Sharia. More importantly, even small differences over the minutest matters provoke violent controversies in different schools of the ulema. One can witness the invectives hurled at each other by their warring factions. Thus one fatwa-i-Rizvia declares, ‘And among these Kafirs too there are gradations. One hard kind of basic kufr is Christianity; worse than that is Magianism; worse than that is idolatry; worse than that is Wahabiyat; and worse than all these is Deobandiyat’.

   And the deathly struggle between various sects of Islam is there for all the world to see. Another consolation is that the world of today is different from the world of the Prophet, making the ulema’s ideology totally inappropriate. It also makes it impossible for Muslims to live peacefully in a mixed society. Given time, this ideology too will collapse as surely as communism did. The Hindus have to give this process a helping hand in the subcontinent to speed it up in their own interest.


   Since the fatwas discussed above give an indication of the mind of the clergy, who control the behavior of Muslims so totally, we shall start with Shourie’s findings on fatwas issued in India on women. For example, Maulana Ahmad Riza Khan warns, “When excited a woman is a hundred times more passionate than man…. a woman is mom ki naak (the white hot tip of the candle), baalki raal ki pudiya (a tight little packet of inflammable resin), balki barood ki dibiya (a packet of explosives). If she is ever brought near a spark (of temptation), it will cause an explosion. She is defective in reason as well as in faith. And by nature she is crooked. And in lust a hundred times more passionate than man. When the effect of bad company ruins men permanently, what is one to say of these delicate bottles which with the slightest knock break into smithereens. This nature (of theirs) is proved from several hadis.”

   Ibn Warraq writes that when Egyptian women demanded representation in their Parliament, the ulema from within Egypt’s Al-Azhar university promulgated a fatwa in 1952 condemning this attempt. They pointed out that (1) women did not possess enough intellectual force, (2) women, because of their femininity, are exposed to dangers that could lead them to abandon reason and propriety, (3) according to Abu Bakr, when the Prophet heard that the Persians had made the daughter of Chosroes their queen he exclaimed, “never will a people who trust their affairs to a woman succeed”, (4) failure inevitably follows on the appointment of a woman to a public post, (5) Islamic law accords to a woman’s testimony only half the weight of a man’s, (6) according to the Koran, ‘men decide for women in view of the fact that God has given preference to the former over latter’, (7) God obliges men to be present in the mosque on Fridays and to conduct the holy war, but not women, and (8) public posts were attributed by Islamic law only to men fulfilling certain conditions.

   The above two fatwas largely summarise Islam’s legal position on women irrespective of what the apologists claim – that no other religion has given as high a place to women as Islam, and that no body of law has given them as many rights as the Sharia. Yes, at the time of marriage, a woman is given mehr which in theory is her own: in fact, it is customary to have the bride renounce it on the nuptial night itself and for this there is sanction from Allah Himself (Koran 4.34); and there is something repulsive about the word – ujoor – itself, for it signifies hire paid for the use of the woman.

   Yes, a daughter is entitled to a share, but it is half that of a son. A woman’s evidence is to count for one-half of that of man. And more than the legal position it is the attitude towards women that is reprehensible. But why blame the ulema alone? Both the Koran (see Appendix A) and the Hadis have looked down upon women as mere sex-objects. The anti-woman misogynist sayings of Ali, the Prophet’s first cousin, son-in-law and the fourth caliph are worth noting :

 ‘The entire woman is an evil, and what is worse is that it is a necessary evil’.

 ‘You should never ask a woman for her advice because her advice is worthless. Hide them so that they cannot see other men…. do not spend too much time in their company for they will lead you to your downfall’

 ‘Men, never obey your women… When alone, they forget religion and think only of themselves…. Even the most virtuous among them is of easy virtue’

 And to a man teaching a woman to write: ‘do not add evil to unhappiness.’

   And how can you blame Ali when the Prophet himself has declared that upon touring Heaven and Hell he saw that women are the ones who constitute the majority in Hell, and:

 ‘After me I have not left any affliction more harmful to men than women’ [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 33]

 Explaining why the evidence as well as inheritance of women is worth only half of men, ‘is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind’ [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 6, Hadith 301]

 ‘Whenever a man is alone with a woman, the devil makes a third’, for, ‘a woman advances in the form of a devil and retires in the form of a devil’ [Sahih Muslim, Book 8, Hadith 3240]

 ‘They are your fields of cultivation, if you wish to irrigate them do so, or if you desire otherwise, keep them dry’ [Quran 2:223]

 ‘A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife.’ [Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 11, Number 2142]

Sahih Muslim (4:1039)“A’isha said [to Muhammad]: ‘You have made us equal to the dogs and the asses’ These are the words of Muhammad’s favorite wife, complaining of the role assigned to women under Islam.

To read some more, open this link

   Muslim leaders and intellectuals may even acknowldege some inequities in Muslim law but will also claim that the position of women was considerably humanised when compared to ‘pre-Islamic institutions’. Is this true? This is absolute nonsense.

   In this context it should be remembered that Muhammad’s first wife, Khadija, although a widow, was a prosperous trader before the advent of Islam. Muhammad, in fact, began his career as her employee and later married her. This would not have been possible unless women in general enjoyed considerable freedom. The Bedouin women worked and fought alongside their husbands. They were neither cloistered nor veiled. Segregation was totally impractical. In fact the Prophet’s aunt, Hind, reproached him for having imposed obligations on women that he had not imposed on men. Muslim writers have simply exaggerated the old practice of burying unwanted girl babies.

   In Christianity the anti-woman sentiments have been traced to the first woman, Eve, succumbing to Satan’s temptations and causing humanity’s downfall. In the Koran, however, her name is not even mentioned, no account is given of how she was created (from Adam’s ribs as per the Biblical account) and she is not accused of being the first to succumb to Satan’s temptation in eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. The hadiths fill in all the details and give her the name, Hawwa. Scholars suspect this to be a typical example of ‘israiliyyat’ i.e. Bibilical Jewish and Christian traditions on which early Islam depended so much.

   Nevertheless, there are sentiments degrading to and insulting of women in all the Muslim scriptures, including the Koran. Women are considered inferior to men even in Creation because they were created as an afterthought, for the pleasure and repose of man. Although the Koran does not speak of Eve as harshly and in as condemnatory a tone as the ‘Old Testament’, that the basic nature of the woman is guile, treachery and deceit is illustrated in the Koranic version of Joseph’s seduction by his employer’s wife. The female sex is further maligned and made the object of repudiation by Allah’s attack on the female deities of the polytheists. The rules promulgated by Allah in the Koran for women on marriage, divorce, evidence giving and inheritance are blatantly man-centric and even anti-woman. The hadith and sharia add further fuel to the fire. We shall see below more such instances of inequity.

   The very conception of marriage in Islam is a break from the formerly held beliefs about this institution – it is merely a contract, and a pretty one-sided contract at that. The Arabic word for marriage is ‘nikah’ or coition. There is a complete absence of the feeling of association, partnership (saha-dharma-charini) or companionship which characterise the Hindu’s conception of marriage. As a Muslim jurist put it, marriage for a Muslim male is ‘the contract by which he acquires the reproductive organs of a woman, with the express purpose of enjoying it.’

   The converse, of course, is not the case; the reproductive organ of the husband is not exclusively reserved for his wife! The Koran decrees that a man can have up to four wives at a time along with female slaves his right hand possesses. [Quran 4:3, 4:24, 23:1-6, 33:50, and 70:30] A wife cannot legitimately ask her husband to satisfy her sexually – she can only demand that she be fed, clothed and housed. Once the marriage is consummated the woman has no rights whatsoever for divorce. Obedience to him is a must.

   The inequality between men and women in matters of giving testimony or evidence is obvious from ‘…. and call to witness, among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not (at hand) then a man and two women….. (Quran 2:282)’. This injunction states expressly that if a man is available to offer witness, then women should be dispensed with, totally; and that if it becomes necessary to call upon women to offer evidence, then a woman’s worth is only half of that of man. And again, the Prophet did not accept the testimony of women in matters of marriage, divorce and hudud (serious crimes). It follows then that were a man to enter an all-women’s abode and were to assault or physically abuse them, he would risk nothing since there would be no male witnesses to testify against him!

   In a case where a man suspects his wife of adultery or denies the legitimacy of the offspring, his testimony is worth that of four men. Sura 24:6 says, ‘If a man accuses his wife but has no witnesses except himself, he shall swear four times by God that his charge is true, calling down upon himself the curse of God if he be lying. But if his wife swears four times by God that his charge is false and calls down His curse upon herself if her husband’s charge be true, she shall receive no punishment’.

   Appearances to the contrary, this is not an example of Koranic justice or equality between the sexes. The woman indeed escapes being stoned to death but she remains rejected and loses her right to the dowry and maintenance, whatever the outcome of the trial. Also, a woman does not have the right to charge her husband in a similar manner. For a Muslim marriage to be valid there must be a multiplicity of witnesses. For Muslim jurists two men form a multiplicity but not two or two hundred or two thousand women.

  When a man dies, his sons will get twice the share of his daughters, and the wife only one-fourth. If he has more than one wife, they will all share the same one quarter that one wife is entitled to. For maintenance after divorce, she is eligible to be maintained by the husband who has rejected her, for only three months, as is well known from the now infamous Shah Bano case of 1985. Not just life on earth, but even Koranic paradise is male-centered!

  The two most obnoxious practices in Islam which have invoked criticism even from the ‘secularists’ [i.e. Indian apologists of Islam, Leftists] quoted in another chapter are triple talaq and purdah. The latter has become a symbol for servitude in the struggle of Muslim women for liberation. Muslim jurists have declared:

1. Her dress must cover the entire body except the face and hands.

2. The robe must not be too fine or elaborate.

3. It must be of thick material and not transparent.

4. It must not cling tightly to her body; it must be loose.

5. It must not be perfumed.

6. It must not resemble any kind of man’s wear.

7. It must not resemble the clothes of unbelievers.

8. It must not be ‘luxurious’ or glamorous or of too great a value.

   And of course all this only if she comes out of the house. Although sura 33:33 orders only the wives of the Prophet to stay at home, the conservatives have applied it to all women. There are very stringent rules regarding circumstances under which alone a woman can venture out.

   Although the Prophet has declared that ‘Allah did not make anything lawful more abominable to Him than divorce…. Of all the lawful acts, the most detestable to Allah is divorce’, in practice the position is just the opposite. The jurists have repeated this counsel but at the same time they have given unlimited power to the husband over his wife. Should he decide to use it, no one, and no consideration can save the wife. He can irrevocably throw her out:

1. If he utters talaq once in each of three periods of purity, i.e. the periods between three menstruation.

2. If he utters it thrice in one breath.

3. If he utters it with some adjuncts even once.

   The talaq can be pronounced to the wife directly to her, or through others, in front of witnesses or with no witness present, orally or in writing. So complete is the power of the husband that even if he pronounces it in rage or in an inebriated condition, it is enough to reject the wife and separate her from her family. Even then the rule is so rigorously enforced that even if the husband wants to withdraw from his action he cannot do so for according to another rule spelt out by the Koran, they cannot remarry unless the poor wife marries another man, consummates the second marriage, and gets the second husband too to divorce her!

   Maulana Ahmad Riza Khan has compared nikah to a mirror and talaq to a rock that breaks it. Whether the rock is thrown at the mirror willingly, or under compulsion, or even if it accidentally falls out of the hand, the mirror is broken.

   The lesson being that though a thing be undesirable, even detestable, if done thoughtlessly, or with deliberation, it takes effect and has far-reaching consequences. Many reformers have suggested that one way to dilute the power of the triple talaq is to have the bridegroom agree to forego this power by making it a part of the marriage agreement itself. The ulema disagree; the power is Allah-given and cannot be subject to any such agreement. Thus if a husband who has so agreed yet gives talaq, it shall be fully effective although the action is reprehensible.

   There is another nuance to talaq – conditional divorce. Four aspects of this category of talaq are particularly noteworthy.

1. With a pronouncement of conditional divorce the husband can reduce the wife to a condition of absolute and craven submission; she must either do what the husband has ordered or she is automatically and instantly thrown out.

2. The husband can make the divorce contingent upon events over which the wife has absolutely no control at all.

3. In determining the outcome, far from being consequential, the wife has next to no locus standi.

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4. Shourie has illustrated this category of talaq by citing a number of fatwas from various authorities. As an example : “Zaid says to his wife, ‘If you go to your father’s house, you will stand divorced’, and she goes there after her father dies. She stands divorced, because the father’s house remains her father’s house even after his death. And a husband tells his wife, ‘if you do such and thus, all my wives are divorced’. The wife does what the husband has forbidden. Not only she but all the other wives who had nothing to do with this are also divorced!”

   In this connection it should be remembered that what were expedients have become law, what was clearly and unambiguously law eternal – in that it was specified by the Koran itself – has been circumvented throughout by expedients. The Sharia as we know it today is less a genuine compilation of laws from the Koran, and more an accumulation of expedients. Let us set aside for the moment the question of Uniform Civil Code, let the sharia be so codified that there is no ambiguity. And yet wheneever there is a call to take a second look at some of the provisions in the sharia with regard to women, the ulema resists it fiercely.

   And everyone is put on the defensive by the ulema which declares that the Sharia is Allah-given, and therefore eternal and unalterable! That the rules have changed over time is evident from the question of talaq. Even the Koran and the Prophet have, on occasion, disapproved of the triple talaq being pronounced in one breath (Koran 2.228-232). Yet over time, this is the manner in which it is most frequently pronounced for casting away unwanted wives. So much hairsplitting has gone into this such as – are three THREE, or, is three ONE ?

   Considering the first question, is the wife out when the husband has pronounced the word ‘talaq’ thrice in one go? Is she out if he has pronounced it, not all at the same time but on different occasions during the ‘same period of purity’ i.e. in the same interval between the wife’s menstrual courses? What if he has had intercourse with her during this period? Is the talaq to take effect if it has been pronounced during the time she is in her menstrual course? Each school has its own interpretation and each can cite an hadis or an ayat in support of their respective positions. The debate rages on.

   The second question can be illustrated by, ‘If a husband pronounces talaq once but says that he intended three, shall it count for one pronouncement and thus be a revocable divorce, or three pronouncements and thus be irrevocable?’, and, ‘if the talaq is pronounced thrice in one go, or during one period of purity, does it count for one pronouncement and thereby remain revocable, or does it count for three and thereby become irrevocable?’ Again the same Koranic verses are quoted along with different hadiths with different interpretations. An inconvenient hadis can always be rejected as unreliable or weak!

   The measure of a society’s civilisation is the position it accords to its women. If this indeed be the criterion, Islamic societies have far to go.


“Have nothing to do with those who have split up their religion into sects. God will call them to account and declare to them what they have done” (Koran 6:159)

“’The Children of Israel fragmented into seventy-two sects, and my ummah shall split into seventy-three sects, all of which shall be in Fire save one sect.’

‘What is that one, O Messenger of Allah?’

‘That (way) which I and my companions are upon’.” (A hadith narrated by Tirmidhi).

   It is a common misconception that Islam is an ideal religion professing perfect equality and brotherhood of men amongst its adherents. All the equality and brotherhood is only confined to prayer-time, and confined to men alone. Otherwise the divisions among them are innumerable and a violent religion settles all scores violently. From soon after the death of the Prophet there have been murders, bloody wars and tensions amongst various Islamic groups, sects and countries which continue to this day. Pakistan is a very good example of all the problems besetting a Muslim society. For Islam, unity operates only against non-Muslims, in the call for jihad.

It will be useful to understand the following terms before we discuss the subject further.

Caste: A system unique to Hinduism in which castes belonging to the four varnas have the following characteristics :

1. A caste is endogamous.

2. It involves occupational specialisation (this is a unique feature of the caste system).

3. Castes are hierarchically ordered.

4. Castes have an ideological, religious basis involving restrictions on social intercourse and commensality.

Clan: A group of people related by ancestry or marriage. It is usually a subgroup of other categories like tribes.

Class: A group of persons sharing similar social, cultural and economic characteristics.

Cult: A small, usually recently created, religious organisation, which is often headed by a single charismatic leader and is viewed as a spiritually innovated group.

Denomination: A large group of religious congregations united under a common faith and name and organised under a single administrative and legal hierarchy.

Endogamy: Marrying within the same group or caste.

Ethnic Group: A hereditary group within a society which is defined by its members and by others as a separate people, socially, biologically and culturally.

Group: A number of persons bound together by common social standards, interests etc.

Sect: A subdivision of a larger religious group which has, to some extent, diverged from the rest by developing some deviating and distinct beliefs, practices etc.

Tribe: A unit of social organisation consisting of a number of families, clans or other groups which share a common ancestry, patron deity, culture and leadership. It is generally a social group, usually with a distinguishing area, dialect, cultural homogeneity and unifying social organisation.

   The above terms do not necessarily lead to rigid and cloistered divisions since their characteristics often overlap and interchange. Islam is endowed with all these categories of socio-political and religious arrangements, in one form or the other. Actually the religion originated in Muhammad’s attempt to unify the warring Arab tribes into a single cohesive ummah. That he was himself unsure about the unity on a long term basis is revealed in the above hadith. And, perhaps, he had every reason for his doubts, since Arab society then comprised of several tribes, each warring with the other.

   These tribes had fierce pride in their traditions and the Prophet himself was no exception. He had said, ‘Allah selected Ishmael from the sons of Abraham, Kinana from the sons of Ishmael, Quaraish (Muhammad’s tribe) from the sons of Kinana, Hashim from the sons of Quaraish, and He selected me from the sons of Hashim’. Before his death he also declared that his successors will be chosen only from the tribe of Quraish. This tribe, as a result, is the most respected in Islam, and its descendants are known as Koraishis in the Indian subcontinent [India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, even Sri Lanka and Nepal].

   Even among the Koraish, rivalry between its various clans has shaped the initial history of Islam. Thus the Omiyad and Abbasid dynasties which succeeded the first four Caliphs, belonged to the families which had opposed the clan of the Prophet in the past and were bitter opponents of the Prophet himself.

   The Arab people have been divided according to lineage into three groups :

1. Perishing Arabs. These were the ancient tribes about whose history very little is known.

2. Pure Arabs who originated from the progeny of Yarub bin Yashjub bin Qahtan.

3. Arabised Arabs who supposedly originated from the progeny of Ishmael.

   The pure Arabs originated from Qahtan in Yemen and comprised of many tribes which eventually emigrated all over the Arab peninsula and beyond. The Arabised Arabs claim their ancestry to Abraham and Ishmael. As we have seen elsewhere, these claims may very well be fabricated since all traces of pre-Islam civilisation have been obliterated and it has become very difficult to verify them. In fact, Muhammad himself has said, ‘Geneologists tell lies’.

   Ishmael apparently had twelve sons, the progeny of whom constituted a distinct tribe. Eventually only tribes originating from the descendants of Nabet and Qidar have survived. Each of them eventually got subdivided into numerous tribes who spread all over the peninsula. The Nibetians spread to the north establishing a flourishing civilization. The descendants of Qidar remained around Mecca and broke into several tribes over many generations. One of them was the tribe of Quraish which also eventually branched out in many more tribes and clans, one of which, Hashim, produced the Prophet.

   The rise of Islam did not put an end to tribalism in Arabia. Even today, they persist. Thus we have an account of the Arab and Berber tribes which invaded Spain. They conquered the peninsula, not as isolated warriors, but as organised tribal groups. The early Muslim residents of the peninsula settled in tribal or sub-tribal groups and it was a policy of their chiefs to reconstitute their clans in the conquered regions. They lived and fought together.

   Politically this led to the organization of confederations or alliances for maximizing their own tribal wealth and prestige. This is a zero sum game, for one’s ascendancy is compensated by another’s equivalent decline leading to a more or less permanent conflict. This again leads to unstable coalitions of two parties. This is what happened there and is what is happening to some extent now in India too, only far less violently.

   Adding to this tribalism are more divisions in Islam due to the formation of various sects of which we shall mention only the more important ones. The first sect – Kharijites – arose soon after the Prophet’s death when the third caliph, Uthman, was murdered in 656 AD and his successor Ali, bowing to majority opinion, submitted the matter of dealing with the murderers to arbitrators. This sect opposed the decision, claiming that no Caliph of Allah should submit the cause of God to the discretion of man.

   They taught that the Koran was the sole authority over every Muslim (hadith had not been formulated then). They believed that they should revolt against all secular tendencies and indiscriminately killed all unbelievers including those Muslims who did not join them and carried away their property as booty. Ali had to spend much of his time fighting with them since they began to terrorise the Muslim world. This sect did not last too long but set the trend for the formation of numerous sects in times to come, among which the Wahabis sect was very similar in approach as regards fundamentalism and orthodoxy.

   Within a hundred years of the beginning of Islam, a more rational approach, influenced by Greek Christian thinking, began to challenge the dogmatic, deterministic nature of traditional Islam. They were initially called Qadariyah because they denied Allah’s preordained destiny and taught that man possessed qadar, the power to determine his own destiny. These ‘free-thinkers’ were later called Mutazilah. Also, the more orthodox among them believed that the Koran was an uncreated word of Allah. Since He is nirguna, they held His speech to be separate from His being and so the Koran had to be created.

   Later, even a few Abbasid Caliphs supported this group and as a result the orthodox were severely punished. Ultimately the well-known scholar, Al-Ghazzali, in the fifth century after Muhammad, generally opposed these ‘philosophic’ trends, and particularly, this sect. The influence of this sect dwindled and Islam as a result stagnated and any reform, or rethinking became impossible.

   The other important sects during this early period of Islam were the Jahmiyyah who did not believe in eternal hell, the Asharis and Maturidis who set about formalizing the Islamic doctrine, the Batiniyyah who dismiss the entire body of the Sharia as being morally lax, the Rawafids who split again into numerous cults and the Mujassimah who pictured Allah as a man.

   The most important Muslim sect is the Shia sect and the Shia-Sunni violent quarrels are a hallmark of the Islamic world. As long as the Prophet was alive, the ummah was united in both the fundamentals and the peripherals, since he had a direct ‘access’ to Allah for all clarifications. But immediately after his death, the first dispute that arose was that of his burial and succession. The latter was inevitable since the Prophet did not have a male issue.

   His camp was split into two, one influenced by his close associate Abu Bakr and his daughter, Aisha, also the favourite wife of the Prophet, and the other, progeny from his daughter, Fatima and son-in-law and first cousin Ali, i.e. between the camps of the wife and the daughter. The wife scored first. Muhammad was buried in her chamber and Abu Bakr became the first caliph. His two successors were also from his camp. After their death, Ali was nominated by a majority but the other camp eventually murdered him. The feud continued and eventually Ali’s son (and Prophet’s grandson), Hussein, was ruthlessly put to death in the battle of Karbala in 680 AD.

   Now Ali’s followers openly separated and formed the Shia sect. They insisted that the caliphs should be nominated only from the Prophet’s family and as a result did not recognise the first three caliphs. This is the most important difference between these two sects. Apart from this, the Shiites hold that the Caliph or ‘Imam’ in their terminology, are like other prophets, ‘masoom’ or sinless and therefore should be obeyed in all matters and under all circumstances. They are thus not merely political leaders but also religious leaders and the clergy.

   As a result, while the Sunnis follow only the last Prophet and the Koran as the two primary sources of Islam, the Shias also hold the Imams as an autonomous source of their religion. Anything that he says, anything that he (Imam) does and anything he narrates is ‘religion’. Differing from him in any respect is as grave as differing from the Prophet. One may feel that this position helps this sect to modernise itself with time, but unfortunately it is equally fanatic and orthodox. It is estimated that about 20% of Muslims belong to this sect. In Iran they are in the majority (as in 2-3 other countries) but they are also present in the rest of the Muslim world.

   The most virulent sect of recent times already referred to in connection with Sufis is that of Wahabis which surfaced in the Arabian peninsula in the eighteenth century under the leadership of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab. In 1806 they conquered Mecca and soon terrorised the Muslim people. Shrines, tombs, minarets and other edifices considered as incompatible with Islam were desecrated. They even plundered the treasures of the Prophet’s tomb apart from plundering the Meccan pilgrims and thus causing cessation of the pilgrimage. The Meccan Shaikhs were forced to sign fatwas that they had lived as infidels prior to their ‘reforms’. We have already referred to the fate of Sufis as a very good example of what Muslims can do to each other!

   Unfortunately the ruling Saud dynasty of Arabia are Wahabites and therefore make covert contributions to Islamic fundamentalist movements and groups around the world today.

   We have already referred to the sects of Sufis earlier. Another more recent but important sect is that of Bahais which originated in Iran (which is regarded as non-Islamic by other Muslims). In non-Muslim countries, they are considered more tolerant than the rest since they also respect prophets like Buddha and Zoroaster.

Castes in Indian Islam

   We have seen so far how Islam immediately after the Prophet’s death, subdivided itself into various sects. All of them are represented in the subcontinent with caste as another special feature. It is difficult to explain how a self-proclaimed egalitarian religion like Islam can accept caste. The Prophet himself, however, suggested that considerations of birth should receive special attention in the instance of marriage (an important feature of the caste system). As a result, Muslim jurists worked out an elaborate system of social grades of birth and descent which basically were6 :

a.  An Arab was superior to a non-Arab

b. Amongst Arabs, all Quraishites were of equal social standing in a class by themselves, and all other Arabs were equal, irrespective of their tribes.

c. Amongst non-Arabs, a man was by birth an equal of an Arab if both his father and grandfather had been Muslims before him, but only if he was sufficiently wealthy to provide an adequate mehr.

d. A learned non-Arab was equal to an ignorant Arab.

e. A Muslim kazi ranked higher than a merchant and so on…..

   Most of the schools of Islamic theology admitted the importance of the significance of birth except the Malikiites, a great many of whom were Negroes, already considered as inferior by the Arabs! Since gradation already existed in any Muslim society it was not difficult for the faithful to adjust themselves to the local caste system in the subcontinent. The equivalent word used by them was beradar, qaum or jaat. In fact Islamization served to reinforce, rather than weaken or eliminate, caste distinctions.

   There is of course some difference in both systems in that Muslims religious ideology, unlike the Hindu religion, does not support it, is less elaborate, does not delineate the concept of pure and impure leading to a greater interplay of secular factors like wealth, and there is also no equivalent to the Brahmin caste since Muslim rituals do not demand it. However, the important criterion of hereditary occupational specialization which has distinguished the Indian caste system from other systems elsewhere in the world, has been incorporated into Indian Islam. The other criteria of caste, panchayats and internal government are present in both religions- Hinduism and Islam in the Indian subcontinent.

   The two broad main divisions of Indian Muslims is the higher Ashraf and the lower Ajilaf. The Ashraf are further divided into four main groups – Sayyad, Sheikh, Mughal and Pathan. The Ajilaf are similarly subdivided into a large numjber of sub-groups. It should be noted that these groups or categories roughly correspond to the Hindu equivalent of varna, like Brahmana and Kshatriya. They are further divided into sub-categories as the Hindu Kshatriyas are classified as Suryavanshi and Chandravanshi Kshatriyas. These are further divided into segments characterised by endogamy and region.

   Another important similarity is that in the higher Hindu and Muslim categories, hypergamy (marrying off girls into a higher caste) is present, but it is not so in the lower categories of both religions. An important difference is that the higher categories generally observed purdah, whereas the lower are not so rigid, possibly because of economic constraints. One things which the Muslim castes lack is the Brahmin or priestly class. Their much revered pirs or spiritual leaders are however drawn from the Sayyads who claim descent from the Prophet’s daughter.

   The structure of Muslim society in the Indian subcontinent did not at any time exhibit the Islamic ideal of social equality just as it did not exist in the rest of the Muslim world. An elaborate system of social stratification had been in practice from the very beginning of Muslim rule in India. As mentioned in the previous chapter, greater honour and respect was paid to the foreign ruling class than to those of Indian blood. In fact, many groups invented foreign ancestry for themselves in order to improve their social status. Thus the Sheikh Siddiquis of Allahabad district [in Uttar Pradesh, India] who were converts from the Kayastha castes today, claim to be the descendants of the first caliph, Abu Bakr. This sense of superiority derived from foreign ancestry, is an important criterion of social stratification among Muslims in India.

   A casual enquiry about caste will invariably invite the protest that Islam is an egalitarian religion and so Islam does not recognize or acknowledge caste among the faithful. But probe a little deeper and most of the nuances of the Hindu caste system will be found to be present as has been reported by various surveys carried out in different parts of India and published in the above book. The leadership, both social and political, is invariably monopolised by the upper castes and lower castes enjoy little, if any, control over leadership and decision-making. It will be remembered that when in one of the recent elections, the BSP [a political party of so-called lower caste Hindus of India, mainly present in the state of Uttar Pradesh] nominated a few Muslims from the lower castes as its candidates in UP, there was much dissatisfaction amongst the so-called upper caste Muslims.

   Opponents of Hinduism always point out to untouchability being an unpardonable blot on the religion. Surveys of Muslim societes in various parts of the country have shown that even amongst Muslims, particularly in the rural areas, the upper castes do not share food with the lowest classes like sweepers and also keep away from them in habitation. Equality is only during prayer-time in the mosque. Even here there are often separate mosques for separate sects and castes, particularly in a metropolitan city like Calcutta. There are also separate burial grounds for various sects like the Khojas and even in a burial ground there are often separate areas for the lowest classes.

   The only difference between Hindus and Muslims as far as caste is concerned, is that while the system is sanctioned in the sociology of Hinduism, it is not so in Islam. In fact superficially, Islam condemns any division between man and man, among the believers, though it explicitly divides mankind as believers and unbelievers. As a result, the Indian Muslims will always deny that they follow the caste system like Hindus because they cannot find a religious sanction for it and they will declare it goes against the basic tenets of Islam, though in reality more casteism is practised in the Indian Muslim society, than in the Indian Hindu society.

  In the last few decades, Hindu society has changed rapidly and the bonds of castes are loosening, particularly in the urban areas. In fact it may not be surprising that after some time the more orthodox Muslim society will follows a more rigid caste system than the Hindus. Many caste groups in the past from among the Hindus had converted to Islam as a group and still retain some of their old traditions. Hence the presence of castes in Hinduism should not present an insurmountable barrier in a massive shuddhi movement to reabsorb the subcontinent Muslims back into the Hindu society.


1. The Sufi Orders of Islam, J. Spencer Trimingham, oxford, 1998.

2. Sufism in India, ‘Vedaprakash’, Vivekananda Kendra Patrika, February 1995, Vol. 24 No. 1

3. Awaken Bharata, David Frawley, Voce of India Publications, New Delhi, 1998

4. Sufis of Bijapur – 1300-1700, Richard Maxwell Eaton, Princeton, 1978

5. The world of Fatwas or the Shahriah in Action, Arun Shourie, ASA Publications, New Delhi, 1995

6. Caste and Social Stratification among Muslims in India, Ed. Imtiaz Ahmed, Manohar Publications, New Delhi, 1978.

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