Friday, October 24, 2008

World awaits US presidential poll

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Obama's campaign has attracted a great deal of global support [GALLO/GETTY]

As the US presidential campaign enters its final days, many people are already wondering how the new administration - regardless of who wins - will tackle the various diplomatic crises across the world.

Mark Seddon, Al Jazeera's diplomatic correspondent, examines how the US election will affect the world, what both candidates say they can offer, and who may be better at taking on the new challenges.

While I heard Republican strategists say that Barak Obama's campaign could be de-railed if he took time off to fly to Hawaii to visit his sick grandmother, I felt the visit to be something of a political masterstroke for him, even if he would clearly prefer his grandmother not to be ill.
Seddon's Diplomatic diary

Obama is putting family above politics and, what is more, he knows that the images that are already being played of him with his grandmother can only play in his favour.

The Democratic party has not yet encircled Washington DC, but they are getting close.
Obama and his Democratic Party look, and feel, like winners.

But their supporters will hope that they do not become triumphalist or complacent in the coming week.

Global impact?

Global markets will be watching the US election closely [AFP]

Liberal America is anticipating an Obama win, the more realistic among them believing that there could be a high state count for Obama, but that the overall vote could be a lot closer.

Don't forget - many voters tell pollsters what they think is the right thing to say, which is not necessarily a guide to what they will do in the ballot boxes.

So, what could this mean for the rest of us?

The US elections have consumed more media air time than any other because the US, for all its current economic woes, is still the only global superpower.

So how would an Obama victory play on the international markets, beginning in Wall Street?
What would it mean for Iraq, Iran, Israel and Palestine, or Afghanistan, or US' relations with Europe?
Conversely, what would a McCain win mean to the rest of the world?

If global opinion is anything to go by, an Obama win would be largely welcomed by much of the rest of the world that has become nervous of American unilateralism and which watched the chaos of Iraq unfolding.

Obama has already made clear that he favours a reduction in US troops in Iraq, but to all intents and purposes that is already happening.

The difference between the candidates may be that Obama will not be persuaded by the need to maintain costly military bases after any withdrawal.

On Iran and Afghanistan, Obama, as a reflective individual, may be personally drawn to more considered policy prescriptions, but much depends on the time realistically available for him to do it.

The urge to prove tougher than the Republicans may become overwhelming and especially in Afghanistan, where even Kabul is coming under attack from the Taliban.

McCain would favour an Iraq-style "surge", and Obama speaks from the same page.

Confidence question

Neither candidate offers much newon the Middle East conflict [GALLO/GETTY]

On the Middle East conflict, Obama very quickly fell into line with US establishment thinking, which is itself disproportionately influenced, some would argue, by the pro-Israeli lobby group, Aipac.

Obama's comments on Jerusalem, and his lack of firm commitment over the Palestinians, suggest that there would be little difference initially between an Obama administration or one led by McCain.

Obama's nervousness over the Middle East has been heavily influenced, no doubt, by the anti-Muslim rhetoric used by some of his more extreme political enemies who, although they cannot parade racism as easily as they once did, can make plenty of play with his middle name - Osama - with Middle America.

Should Obama win, we may have to wait a little while to witness any genuine foreign policy shifts aways for the established norms.

Much will depend on events, as ever, and Obama's confidence.

But there are differences and it would be a mistake to pretend otherwise.
McCain calls for a new "League of Democracies", a super G8 if you like, that could intervene where the UN Security Council cannot, an organisation that would be seen as confrontational by Russia and China.

So, in many respects, McCain would begin where George Bush, the current US president, left off.
So, for those who expect quantum leaps, prepare to be disappointed.

But change is in the air, whoever wins in a few day's time, of that we can be certain.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Farrakhan says 'new beginning' for Nation of Islam: What does this mean?

I really do not know what this really means. Throughout the 80s we saw Farrakhan play this game that the Nation was somehow now Muslim are coming closer to Islam. This may jsut be another one of his hoaxes. I will not believe the main untill I see it in plain black and white on the back page of the Final Call in the section of "What We Want What we Believe." I will finally believe it when that section no longer says that Master Fard Muhammad is Allah in Person. I will believe when it is affirmed that the Prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttallib (May Allah mention him among His angels) is the very last prophet and messenger of Allah.

AP – Mosque Maryam, headquarters of the Nation of Islam, is seen in this Thursday, Sept. 28, 2006 file photo …

Farrakhan says 'new beginning' for Nation of Islam

By SOPHIA TAREEN, Associated Press Writer Sophia Tareen, Associated Press Writer – Sat Oct 18, 7:37 am ET

CHICAGO – The Nation of Islam, a secretive movement generally closed to outsiders, has planned a rare open-to-the public event at its Chicago-based headquarters in what the Minister Louis Farrakhan deemed a "new beginning" for the group.

Hundreds of religious leaders of different faiths have been invited to the event planned for Sunday, a rededication of the group's historic Mosque Maryam on the city's South Side. Farrakhan is scheduled to speak.

"We have restored Mosque Maryam completely, and we will dedicate it to the universal message of Islam, and the universal aspect of the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad," Farrakhan said in an invitation letter. "It represents for the Nation of Islam, a new beginning."
The event comes just weeks after the death of Imam W.D. Mohammed, the son of Nation founder Elijah Muhammad, who broke with the group and moved thousands of African-Americans toward mainstream Islam.

The Nation purchased the mosque, a former Greek Orthodox church, in 1972 and has since been making renovations. The stately 1948 structure, embellished with a golden dome and topped with an Islamic crescent moon, is adorned with Quranic verses in Arabic.

Experts say opening the mosque's doors to the public is a calculated move.

"It is a very conscious effort to open the mosque up to the community and to rededicate the community to learning about Islam," said Aminah McCloud, a professor of Islamic studies at DePaul University. "Previously, the Nation has been open to people coming to visit it, but its members don't generally go anywhere else ... now there is a concerted effort."

While the Nation has espoused black nationalism and self-reliance since it was founded in the 1930s, in recent years members have reached out to other groups. For instance, the Nation has a Latino liaison and has become involved in immigrant rights rallies and marches. Also, the Minister Ishmael Muhammad, a top assisting minister at the mosque and widely thought to be a potential successor to Farrakhan, has talked about unity between all people, at times speaking in Spanish.

Farrakhan, 75, has haltingly tried to move the Nation toward traditional Islam, which considers the American movement heretical because of its view of Elijah Muhammad as a prophet — among other novel teachings. Orthodox Islam teaches that there has been no prophet after Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century.

He's also played down some of the group's more controversial beliefs. The Nation of Islam has taught that whites are descended from the devil and that blacks are the chosen people of Allah.
The event on Sunday also wraps up a week of events marking the 13th anniversary of the Million Man March, which Farrakhan began in 1995. That year, hundreds of thousands of people traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate.

On Thursday, Farrakhan spoke to inmates at Cook County jail urging self improvement, atonement and reconciliation, principles the Million Man March promoted.

Those values "can help reduce violence and anti-social behavior ... and have universal significance and will benefit those willing to listen," according to a statement from the Nation.
Farrakhan's Sunday speech will mark his second major public address this year and is among several smaller community and religious events he has attended.

His public appearances have surprised many since in 2006, he seceded leadership to an executive board while recuperating from serious complications from prostate cancer.

In February, Farrakhan appeared at an annual Saviours' Day event in Chicago and called Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama the "hope of the entire world" that the U.S. will change for the better. The Obama campaign quickly denounced Farrakhan's support, because of past comments about Jews that many have called offensive.

In the past months, Farrakhan has attended funeral services of W.D. Mohammed and Jabir Herbert Muhammad, both sons of the late Elijah Muhammad.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fear of Shirk

Kitaab At-Tawheed, Chapter: 2
Fear of Shirk

Allah , says:
" Verily, Allah forgives not that partners be set up with Him [in worship] but He forgives other than that to whom He pleases; and whoever sets up partners with Allah [in worship], he has indeed invented an enormous wrong" (Qur'an 4:48)

Shirk is the most dangerous of all sins, the wickedest and the most severely punished because of the dishonour and denigration of the Rabb, Almighty, All-powerful, and the likening of Allah to His creation which it entails. Allah informs us in this verse that He will not forgive the one who commits Shirk and dies as a Mushrik,1 but as for the one who dies believing in the Oneness of Allah , although he may have committed some sins, Allah has promised him forgiveness in accordance with His Will. Then He explains why the mushrik will not be forgiven, saying that by his association of partners with Allah , he has rejected Him and belied Him and committed a sin the like of which there is no other.

Benefits Derived From This Verse
1. That whoever dies being guilty of Shirk Akbar, will assuredly go to the Fire.
2. Whoever dies believing in the Oneness of Allah, although he may have committed major sins, may be forgiven if Allah, Most Glorified, Most High Wills.
3. In the verse is a reply to the khawarij,2 who charged those guilty of major sins with disbelief, and to the mu'tazilah,3 who believed that those guilty of major sins would spend eternity in the Fire.
4. Confirmation of the Divine Will which is one of His Attributes.
Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of Tawheed
That it proves that Allah Will not forgive those who are guilty of Shirk and this should be a warning to all.


Allah , says:
" And [remember] when Ibrahim said: "My Rabb! Make this city one of peace and security, and keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols" (Qur'an 13:35)

Allah , Most Glorified, Most High, informs us that Ibrahim (as ) supplicated Allah to make Makkah a place of safety and stability, because fear and chaos prevent people from performing their religious rituals. Then he followed this with another request to his Rabb: That He preserve him and his family from idol worship, for he knew the danger of that and he knew how easily people can be seduced by it.

Benefits Derived From This Verse
1. The virtue of Makkah over other cities.
2. Ibrahim's prayer for the security and stability of Makkah.
3. Evidence of the benefit of supplication.
4. That the original religion of all the Messengers is one: Belief in the Oneness of Allah.
5. The desirability of one's supplicating on behalf of his family.
6. The forbiddance of worshipping idols.
Relevance of This Verse to the Subject of Tawheed
That it proves that Ibrahim, with his strong faith, fears for himself and his family that they may be affected by Shirk; thus, the obligation upon us to fear Shirk is that much greater.


It is reported that the Prophet said: "Of the things which I fear for my Ummah, the thing which I fear most is minor Shirk. Then he was asked about minor Shirk, and he said: "It is ar-riyaa."4
The Prophet informs us in this Hadith that he fears for us, and that what he fears most for us is minor Shirk. This shows how kind-hearted and compassionate the Prophet was towards his Ummah, and how concerned he was for their good: He knew the dangers of minor Shirk, how it can strongly manifest itself in the community, polluting the pure monotheism of the Muslims, especially since it can afflict them without them even knowing it. This is why the Prophet warned them to beware of it.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith
1. The care and concern shown by the Messenger of Allah for his Ummah.
2. The division of Shirk into two categories: Major and minor.
3. That riyaa` is considered Shirk.
4. The obligation of asking the people of knowledge about matters which confuse them.
Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed
That the Hadith proves that Allah's Messenger feared for his Companions that they might unwittingly fall into minor Shirk; this, in spite of their strong faith and understanding of Islam and Tawheed. Therefore, we, with our comparatively weak faith and little knowledge, are even more obligated to fear both major and minor Shirk.


It is reported on the authority of Ibn Mas'ood (ra) that the Messenger of Allah said:
"Whoever died while supplicating another deity besides Allah , will enter the Fire." (Narrated by Bukhari)

The Prophet informs us in this Hadith that whoever adulterated that which should be purely for Allah (i.e. worship), by worshipping others besides Him, and died in this state, will have his abode in the Hell-fire.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith
1. Whoever died as a Mushrik will enter the Fire - If it was major Shirk, he will abide therein forever, but if it was minor Shirk, then Allah will punish him as much as He wishes, then he will be allowed to leave the Fire.
2. That a person will be judged upon his last act in this world.5
Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed
That the Hadith proves that whoever died calling upon a deity other than Allah , will enter the Hell-fire, therefore it is incumbent upon us to fear Shirk.


It is reported by Muslim, on the authority of Jabir (ra), that Allah's Messenger said:
"Whoever meets Allah , without associating partners with Him, will enter Paradise; and whoever meets Him as one who associated anything with Him, will enter the Fire.
The Prophet informs us in this Hadith that whoever died without associating partners with Allah - either in Rabbship or worship or in His Divine Names and Attributes is promised an abode in Paradise, while whoever died as a Mushrik, will abide in the Hell-fire.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith
1. Confirmation of the existence of Paradise and Hell.
2. That a person will be judged upon his last act in this world.
3. Whoever died believing in the Oneness of Allah , will not dwell forever in the Hell-fire, but will find his eternal abode in Paradise.
4. Whoever died as a Mushrik must dwell eternally in the Hell-fire.
Relevance of the Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed
That the Hadith proves that whoever died as a Mushrik will enter the Fire, and the knowledge of this obliges us to fear Shirk in all its manifestations.

1. Mushrik: One who commits Shirk.
2. Khawaarij: A deviant sect, who claimed that committing major sins takes a person out of the fold of Islam.
3. Mu'tazilah: A deviant sect, who denied the Divine Attributes of Allah (swt), and claimed that those who committed major sins would dwell eternally in the Hell-fire.
4. Narrated by Imam Ahmad.
5. It is reported on the authority of 'Abdullah Ibn 'Amr (ra) that Allah's Messenger said: "...verily, he whose abode will be Paradise, his final deed will be of the deeds of the people of Paradise, whatever he did (previously), and verily, he who is destined for the Hell-fire, his final deed will be of the deeds of the people of the Hell-fire, whatever he did (previously)." (Narrated by Ahmad and At-Tirmizi, who said it is hasan-saheeh-ghareeb i.e. somewhere between the classifications of saheeh (authentic) and hasan (good), though narrated at some point(s) in its sanad by only one narrator.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Benefit of Tawheed
by, Shaykh Muhammad Jameel Zeno

When pure tawheed is actualised in the life of an individual or the society it produces the best of results. From its results are the following:

1) Liberation of mankind from worship and submission to other than Allaah. The creation cannot create anything, rather they themselves are created. They are not capable of harming nor benefiting their souls. They are not capable of causing death nor giving life nor are they able to resurrect the dead.

So tawheed liberates man from every worship, except to his Lord, the One Who created him and then proportioned him.

It liberates his intelligence from deviation and delusions.

It liberates his mind from obedience, humility and submission to other than Allaah.

It liberates his life from the mastery of the rulers, the soothsayers and those who deem themselves divinely appointed over the slaves of Allaah.

Due to this, the leaders of shirk and oppression in the times of ignorance rose up against the call of the Prophets in general and particularly against the call of the Messenger, because of the fact that they understood the meaning of "La ilaaha lila Allaah" to be a universal pronouncement for the liberation of mankind, and the overthrowing of the tyrants from their false thrones, and the elevation of the faces of believers, those who do not prostrate except to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds.

2) The personality remains balanced. Tawheed aids the formation of a balanced personality, the preferred aim and direction of this life, and it unifies and consolidates its purpose. So the personality does not turn except to the only One worthy of worship, and it turns to Him in private and in open and it calls to him in private and in open, and it calls upon Him in ease and in adversity. As opposed to the Mushrik (pagan) who shares his heart between those who are worshipped besides Allaah, at times he turns to the living and at times he turns to the dead, and Yusuf said: "Oh my two companions of the prison, are many different lords better, or Allaah, the One, the Irresistible? [Qur'an 12:39]. So, the believer worships One Lord, he knows what is pleasing to Him and what is displeasing to Him, lie stops at whatever pleases Him and his heart becomes calm. As for the Mushrik, lie worships numerous deities, one he takes from here and another he takes from there and he is divided between them and he has no comfort.

3) Tawheed is the source of security for the people, because it fills the soul of the individual with peace and satisfaction. He does not fear anyone except Allaah and tawheed blocks the ways to fear of loss in provisions, the soul and the family, fear from mankind, inn, death and other than that from those things which are feared. The believer who worships Allaah alone. does not fear anyone except Him and because of this he feels secure whilst the rest of mankind fear and he feels satisfaction whilst the people are restless. This is the meaning that is indicated in the Qur'aan in His saying: "Those who believe and do not mix their belief with dhulm, they are those upon whom is security and they are the rightly guided" [6:82]. This security emerges from the innermost depths of the soul and not from any police guard which is the security of this world. As for the security of the Hereafter, then it is greater and more lasting for those who are sincere to Allaah and do not mix their tawheed with shirk, because shirk is a great dhulm.

4) Tawheed is the source for the strengthening of the soul, because it gives an individual a strong and formidable mental attitude, by which he fills his soul with hope in Allaah, confidence in Allaah and reliance upon Allaah, pleasure with His Decree, gives him patience upon His Tests and freedom from reliance upon the creation. This individual is firmly established, like the mountains, and when a calamity befalls him he asks his Lord to remove it and not the dead. The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) indicated this in his saying: "When you ask, then ask Allaah and when you seek help, then seek help from Allaah alone" [Hasan Sahih – Tirmidhi]. "If Allaah touches you with harm, none can remove it except Him" [Qur'an 6:17].

5) Tawheed is the foundation of brotherhood and equality, because it does not permit following those who take others as lords besides Allaah, since worship is for Allaah alone and worship to Allaah alone must be from all of mankind, and the head of them is Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) His Messenger and His chosen one.