The history of Vatican


A resignation of Pope Benedict have ignite my curiosity about Catholic Churches.

Vatican

Though the Vatican is a famous icon for Christianity, its name existed long before the advent of the religion. The name was first given to one of the hills on the side of the Tiber River, which is opposite to the Seven Hills of Rome.  

The city of the Vatican is a sovereign city-state located entirely within the boundaries of Rome. It is believed to be situated on the spot where St. Peter, a prominent figure in the history of Christianity, was martyred and buried around 2000 years ago. In 324 AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine, built the first papal church called the Constantinian Basilica over St. Peter’s tomb.

Till recently, St. Peter’s was the largest church that was ever built and is considered to be one of the holiest sites in Christendom.   The Vatican City expands over around 0.44 square kilometers and with a population of around 800 people, which makes it the smallest independent country in the world.

The Vatican territory includes important sites, such as St. Peter’s Square built between 1656 and 1667, the Apostolic Palace, which is the official residence of the Pope, the Sistine Chapel, which is very famous for its architecture that resembles King Solomon’s Temple in the Old Testament and was decorated by talented renaissance artists like Michelangelo and Raphael.

The “Voluntary Prisoner”

The Vatican City, which is the home of the Roman Catholic Church, is the only city that survived from the Papal States, which had been ruled for over a thousand years by religious papacy. The idea behind papal independence was to assure the complete freedom of the pope away from Roman princes and emperors. 

Pope who is the bishop of Rome and head of the Roman Catholic Church worldwide is considered for Catholics as St. Peter’s successor. According to the Bible, Jesus Christ named Peter as the “shepherd” or the “rock” of the church. Though Peter was never named a pope as the title came into existence much later, for Catholics he is considered to be the “first pope.” The analogy comes from the fact that the pope is the head of bishops as was Peter the head of apostles.

The pope had territorial control over some states in central Italy between the years 756 and 1870, and the Vatican was the capital of the Papal States. During the fights for the unification of Italy from 1860 to 1870, Italy gained back a lot of the papal territories, and Rome was established as the national capital of Italy. When the Italian armies were at the gate of Rome on the morning of September 20, 1870, Pope Pius IX was facing a hard choice. He ordered his soldiers neither to fight nor to resist the Italian forces as he realized that it was a lost war, and he wanted to avoid bloodshed.

Pope Pius IX did not want to surrender the city before it was attacked, as he was afraid that the world would recognize this act as a voluntary act of renunciation of his rights. He wanted to make it clear that he was forced to give up his temporal power, and that his sovereignty was breached by force.

In 1871, a law was issued to confine the territories of the papacy to only include the Vatican, the Lateran Palace, and the villa of Castel Gandolfo on the shore of Lake Albano. The government also granted the Pontiff a handsome amount of money as compensation for the lost revenue over seized territories. Though Pope Pius IX was adamant on revoking the law and constantly refused to abide by it, the Italian government thought they were extremely generous toward “Italy’s distinguished guests.”   Pope Pius IX refused to accept the government’s grant of money, and declared that this agreement was unilateral and did not represent the consensus of the two parties, so it should be considered null and void. He maintained his position of refusing to recognize the lawful and the rightful possession of Rome by the Italian government and refused to set foot on the soil of the seized territory, as this would mean that he accepted the Italian sovereignty.

Therefore, the pope declared himself as a “voluntary prisoner” in his Vatican Palace, yet he continued his duties and temporal power in a symbolic way.

Mussolini & the “Roman Question”

One of the proposals that were offered to Pope Benedict XV to solve the heated situation was to grant the pope full and unrestricted sovereignty over the Vatican, but the pope said that the Vatican is a palace not a territory. For the papal palace, it seemed absurd to grant the pope full sovereignty, yet he cannot exercise it anywhere. 

Long before Mussolini came to power as the head of the Fascist Party, he used to speak publicly about the importance of restoring the relationship with the Catholic Church. He asserted in Parliament that it is absurd for Italy to be in enmity with a church that 95 percent of its citizens were regarded as divinely authorized.

So, right after he seized power, Mussolini did not hesitate to state at every occasion how important the Papal Church is, and how appreciative he is to the role that religion plays in the national life. His determination to restore good relations with the pope did not stop at the level of positive speeches and words of appreciation. He actually walked the talk by restoring the crucifix in the classrooms, which was long removed by previous governments. Also, he made it mandatory in the curriculum in public schools to study religion after it was only supplementary. He also increased the allowance and the stipend paid by government to the parish priests.

While Mussolini promised not to interfere with the religious practices of other cults or religions, he declared and affirmed Catholicism to be the national faith of Italy.

Though Mussolini showed signs of good faith to reach some sort of reconciliation with the Holy See, the road was not paved, and it was not an easy ride. The greatest difficulty that faced the new Fascist government was the question of the position of the Vatican within the new Italian state and the division of authority.

It is well-known that both the Fascist government and the Vatican are at opposite poles. The pope stated numerously his dissatisfaction with the Fascist ideology of monopolizing the individuals by making their whole existence for the benefit of the state. The Church believes on the other hand that the individual exists for the glory of God.

For the next three years, Mussolini was negotiating secretly with the Vatican, and then he announced that there is an informal understanding that was reached between the state and the Vatican on points of dispute. Mussolini used to call the Vatican situation as the “Roman Question.”

The Missions of the Holy See

The Holy See was the name given to the government of the Roman Catholic Church. The Holy See diplomatic history began long before its independence. Since the medieval times, the Episcopal Church of Rome is considered to be an independent sovereign entity. Even when Italy took most of the Papal States in 1870, the Holy See maintained sending and receiving diplomatic missions.

In 1929, a political treaty was signed between the Holy See and Italy, according to which full sovereignty was granted to the Holy See in the Vatican City.

The Italian government had its own ulterior motives when it decided to solve the Roman question once and for all. Millions of Catholics around the globe will not be educated anymore by their priests that Italy is a “despoiler of the church.”

Missionary schools in the Near East might place extra importance on teaching Italian as an important language along with its history and literature. More importantly as some historians state, the political benefits of being the protector of Christianity in places like Syria and Palestine, which is a political advantage that France enjoyed, and now Italy can join in as well.   Though the pope’s liberty and independence are confined to such small piece of land in the Vatican, for the Catholics, his spiritual leadership in the Catholic World is universal with no boundaries set to confine it.

Deleting Christian related post


I am going to delete my provocative post related to Christianity which I write to counter one stupid Evangelist who think she is too good and know everything about my religion. That time, I was too new with blog, and I still don’t expect to have 3 years old blog and still working. Thanks to “those Evangelist” and “Islamophobia freak”.

Actually, the initial intention of this blog is to write about business, management, engineering, local politic which related to my work. There was no so such intention to make my blog to be theological blog.

Later, the blog transform to “Counter-Evangelist project”. For most one year and half, 2011-2012, I follow up with many Christian blog, Evangelist, Atheist, Agnostic, etc. I buy Bible, I read Bible, I learn their history, I subscribe to a good Christian/Atheist blog to understand how they think. I learn their scholar’s view.

In middle 2012, after I learn about their faith, I reluctant to counter them anymore as I use to be. How I going to counter a people who doesn’t understand or even analysis their own Bible. It make myself a bully to a weak people. Some of them are mannerly good, some are very arrogant, but they seem very confident with their faith. This another issue that I still wonder about Christianity, “faith without understanding”.

Experience

Most of Christian blog always talk about few main categories – God and Jesus, sin, crucifixion, 2nd coming, etc . Some how, I feel boring reading a same continuous idea which can not make as lesson learn. Many faithful Christian are actually supporting secularism and liberalism. I don’t know why, but I going to investigate this point.

Atheist blog are too focus on countering God (based on Christianity understanding). This people are clever, but they use their wisdom wrongly and the are too aggressive. Of course, they will denied it, but it quite a waste of time countering them.

Move on

I don’t want to follow up with Islamophobia blog anymore, because it built up my heart pressure and I believe it no more a threat to Islam. Their understanding are quite shallow which easily counter if we understand Islamic theology.

Our experience in countering secularism is well known. Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, and many more are initially secular country. Many other nation will follow up in  less than next 5 years. Less than 100 years after Ottoman fall down, we revive again, it was a great success which no other faith, religion, or nation can revive this fast.

Our history show that we are very persistent in defending our faith. History of Mongol, India, China, Middle East, Europe have recorded how we change the social, economy to better nation. It nothing impossible within Islam.

No need to play dirty

My advise to Muslim friend, based on my experience, we do not require to play dirty in defend our faith. Play smart and use your brain wisely, people will support you. If they keep provoke us, they going to pay for that in future. They going to be label “Intolerant religion” by their own people. I repeat by their own people.  Our local people Christian/ non-Muslim know how we works, so no need to worry. Even, we may have some controversy with our local, it always being settle before it become huge.

Just do our work, ignore them. Truth always prevail evil. So, keep remembering that. Propagate good deeds and wait for better tomorrow.

Note:

Anyone who still want to read my deleted post, please email me so I can email to you.

Indonesia’s Muslim schools draw Christians


indo-MMAP-md

Where can one find schools run by a Muslim organisation, the majority of whose students are non-Muslims?

Christian-Muslim relations in Indonesia are too often associated with conflict, disharmony and hostility, thus, it might be surprising for many to learn that such schools exist in different parts of Indonesia.

In some Christian Indonesian enclaves, Muhammadiyah (literally the followers of the Prophet Muhammad), one of Indonesia’s largest Islamic organisations, have established a number of schools where, in a few cases, 50 to 75 per cent of students are Christian.

This interesting phenomenon is found on some islands of Indonesia, for instance in the predominantly Catholic town of Ende on the island of Flores in the south-eastern part of Indonesia, and the predominantly Protestant town of Serui on the smaller island of Yapen in the eastern part of the country.

This point is highlighted by Dr Abdul Mu‘ti, senior lecturer at Walisongo State Institute for Islamic Studies in Semarang, Central Java, who conducted field work in some of these areas. His findings were presented recently at the International Research Conference on Muhammadiyah held recently in the University of Muhammadiyah in Malang, East Java.

Christian parents in fact, frequently make the decision to send their children to Muhammadiyah schools because of the high quality education and low cost, as well as the fact that the schools provide Christian religious education. They choose to provide the opportunity for their children to interact with Muslims, despite the availability of nearby Christian schools, for example in the case of Ende.

This implies that these Christian communities trust such institutions. They are unconcerned that learning in a Muslim school would pose a threat to their children’s religious beliefs. In fact, they do not see the religious difference as a problem and even highlight similarities among religions.

“Islam and Catholicism have many things in common. Both seek the good in people,” said a devout Catholic parent in Ende. Some parents see interfaith interaction, as well as the Islamic characteristics of the school, as something positive that state-run or other private schools do not offer.

Both the Muhammadiyah Senior High School in Ende and the Muhammadiyah Junior High School in Serui provide Christian students with a Christian religious education course taught by a Christian teacher. Indeed, in the Ende school, the course has been offered since 1971, long before the Indonesian law requiring such a class was issued in 2003.

In both schools, not only can one find Christian instructors teaching Christian religious education classes, but also Christian instructors teaching other subjects to Christian and Muslim students alike. These teachers find the experience of working in Muslim schools helps them better understand Islam and Muslims, a view shared by most of the students.

As Mu’ti’s survey shows, both Christian and Muslim students consider the experience in a multi-faith environment is remarkably helpful for building religious harmony.

Instead of being a source of religious tensions, the existence of schools run by Muslim organisations like Muhammadiyah has proven to bridge different religious communities, functioning as a safe space for interfaith encounters.

With young people growing in an environment characterised by peaceful religious cohabitation in Muslim-run schools in Indonesia’s Christian enclaves and elsewhere, one can hope for a more tolerant, inclusive, peaceful world – a better place to live for all.

Izza Rohman is a lecturer at UHAMKA University’s School of Education in Jakarta and a Tangsel-based translator.

Prof. Al-Attas’ view on the polemical usage of the word "Allah" by non-Muslims


On December 13, 2009, during the Worldview of Islam Seminar organized by the Assembly of Muslim Intellectuals or Himpunan Keilmuan Muda (HAKIM), there was a question being posted to Professor Al-Attas regarding the polemical usage of the word “Allah” by the non-Muslims.

Below is the transcript of his brief-but-yet-concise enlightening remarks. As a word of caution, though, one must not only rely on this brief transcript alone to understand the whole spectrum of Prof. Al-Attas’ view about this theological matter. Further thorough elucidation of his thought can be found in numerous works of this great  Muslim scholar of this age, such as Prolegomena to the Metaphysics of Islam, Islam and Secularism, Islam dalam Sejarah dan Kebudayaan Melayu and A Commentary on Hujjat al-Siddiq of Nur al-Din al-Raniri.

bible arab

Picture : Allah in Arabic (circled) from Arabic’s Bible

Question: The using of kalimah “Allah” by other people in this country

Answers by Prof. Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas:

Well I have been talking about this long time ago. I remember about this in ISTAC, when we first established ourselves (late 80’s and early 90’s), I think the Arcbishop of Penang was asking this question. And I have answered that.

And then we had a meeting with the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur and about all the representatives of Christianity, including the ministers, we had a meeting at ISTAC.

And I said, “Why you want to use the word ‘Allah’ for yourself?”

They said “we going to pray in Bahasa Malaysia”

That’s the way they put it. So my answers to them, “Why you have to change praying into Bahasa Malaysia. You have been praying in English all the time. Why suddenly change into Bahasa Malaysia?”

Ok, so they said they want to change so that it more patriotic. Then in that case I’m saying that “why don’t you use Tuhan while praying in Bahasa Malaysia? Because you are talking about God isn’t it?…God is not just a name…”Allah” is a name of this Being whom you called God… and in fact a Being whom even higher than what you called to be God”

And then I said, “ …and “Allah” is not from Bahasa Malaysia. It is not a national language. It belongs to the language of Muslim all over the world. Therefore your argument using this for the word “Allah” does not fit into your idea of God. Because “Allah” does not have a son,  It is not one of three (Trinity), that is why out of respect to Allah we can’t allow you to use this.“

But when we Muslim, when we write in English we say God, or when we talk to people we say God but we mean “Allah”…but they cannot say when they speak about God it means “Allah” as they don’t mean it.

So in this particular respect, we have to be clear about this, not was-was (hesitate)…whomever responsible in our governing, they have to be clear about this and to explain to others. 

We agree you want to use God, then use Tuhan as we also use that…but we understand in the Malay language that Tuhan is not a translation of Allah..that is why we say “tiada Tuhan melainkan Allah” not “tiada Tuhan melainkan Tuhan”. We don’t say “there is not God but God”..at least the ulama’ among the Muslim Malays, we understand what is the meaning of that (word “Allah”).

So “Allah” cannot be translated as no language has translated Allah. The Arabs themselves they only use that after Islam..although the word existed (before)..the Christians Arab they also did not use Allah (in theological, epistemological and ontological sense in the same manner as the Muslim)..if they say that it is just a language..they talking about language..because they say “Allah” like the Muslim when they (melatah)…

So it appears they want to do that in order to confuse the Muslim into thinking that all the same..that is why I say one of the problems about religion is the nature of God..about who Allah is..that is why in Arkanul Iman (The Pillars of Faith), the first thing is “amana billah”. 

“Who is this Allah?” and that need to be explain at higher institution in a proper way…

So we have answer the question. It is not proper to allow them using this, since they asking us and there is no point bringing this to court since this is not a matter of court to decide it whether they have the freedom to use it or not. It is up to the Muslims.

But then if they used it and said “in Indonesia they have use it, why can’t we?”…but it is because of the Muslims..if Muslims don’t care they will go on and use it..and in Indonesia they are using not only that, other things they even call it “choir” as “selawat”. Choir is not a “selawat”, as “selawat” is for Prophet..it’s not singing hymn..

And they also talk about..in Indonesia they are also confuse..Muslims..that is why this thing happen. Sometimes the language when you come across English words like “Prophet of Doom” in Indonesia they said “Nabi celaka” (doomed prophet). How can there be “Nabi celaka” (doomed prophet)? What is meant by the “Prophet of Doom” is…even the word Prophet in English does not mean “Nabi” only…it means “yang meramalkan malapetaka” (the one who foreseen disaster)..that what it means…so the “Prophet of Doom” means “yang meramalkan malapetaka” (the one who foreseen disaster), not “Nabi celaka” (doomed prophet).

They (the Muslims in Indonesia) seem not to bother about this. What we can say is that ultimately well they say “God is not Allah”…well if you want to use the word God, we are saying we also use the word God, we refer to Allah as we know and we are not saying that your God ultimately will not refer to Allah. You can’t run away from Allah. You can only escape Him and so in the Qur’an (surah An-Naas) says: “Qul aAAoothu birabbi annas, Maliki annas, Ilahi annas”. He (Allah) is saying “ I am the real Ilah (God) of naas (mankind)”, although mankind (non-Muslim) does not interpret it that way.

My comments:

If that is the case, that shows how persistent were the Christians in finding the loopholes be it in legal or cultural dimension to further their cause that might create confusion to the Muslim’s polity if not being mitigated by the governing authority of this land. 

As I iterated before, by having confused so-called Muslim authorities which normally appear in the silhouette of Salafism/Wahabbism as well the Modernist/Reformist (actually they are just the two sides of the same coin), the “public sphere” itself has been flooded with confused views which do no good to the Muslim’s cause in defending their creed from blasphemy. 

It is best to leave this matter to the Muslim scholars who have been trained as Theologians (mutakallimun), that possessed  in depth understanding on Islamic Theology, Islamic and Western Philosophy as well knowledge about the Western Civilization (which Christianity is one of the mosaic part of the whole picture) to deal with this issue succinctly. 

Most of them that I have known are the young protege of Muslim scholars who being trained by Prof. Al-Attas himself during his days in the “original” ISTAC like Prof. Wan Mohd. Nor Wan Daud (ATMA-UKM), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zainiy Uthman (IIUM),Prof. Alparslan Acikgenc (Fatih University), Dr. Mustafa Ceric (Grand Mufti of Bosnia-Hezergovina) , Dr. Zaidi Ismail (IKIM), Dr. Sani Badron (IKIM), Dr. Wan Azhar (IKIM), Dr. Farid Shahran (former VP of ABIM, IIUM) Dr. Wan Suhaimi Wan Abdullah (UM), Dr. Azizan Sabjan (USM), Dr. Adi Setia (IIUM ) Ustaz Asham Ahmad (IKIM), Ustaz Nik Roskiman (IKIM) while Prof. Al-Attas’ students from Indonesia who have fought  closely in this issue the likes of Dr. Syamsuddin Arif, Dr. Hamid Fahmy Zarkasyi, Dr. Adian Husaini, Dr. Khalif Muammar, Ustaz Adnin Armas, Dr. Ugi Suharto and many others. Do google their name for further references.

Improve Yourself


You sit with someone who is twenty years old and notice that he has particular etiquettes, logic and thought. You then sit with him when he is thirty to discover that he is exactly the way he was ten years ago and has not improved at all. Yet, you sit with others and you feel that they are actually taking benefit from their lives. You discover that they improve themselves on a daily basis. In fact, not an hour passes except that they improve either religiously or otherwise. If you wish to ponder upon the different types of people with respect to self-improvement, then think about the following:

There are those who like to watch those satellite television channels that help their general knowledge and intelligence grow. They benefit from other people’s experiences by watching constructive discussions, from which they learn the characteristics of debating and improve their language, understanding, and expertise in debate and persuasion.

Then there are those who cannot miss out on a series about a failed love story, or an emotional play, or a horror film, or films about useless fantasies with no link to reality at all.

Notice the difference between the two after five or ten years.

Which of the two would have improved the most in his skills and ability to fathom information, gain general knowledge, have the power to convince others, or successfully be able to cope with diverse situations? No doubt the first person!You will find the mannerisms of the first person to be completely different.

When he argues, he does so on the basis of legal references, facts and figures,while the second can only quote the words of actors and singers, so much so that one such person once said during a discussion, “Allah says: ‘Strive, my servant, and I shall strive with you!’’

We informed him that this is not a verse from the Qur’an.

His complexion changed and he fell silent. I then thought about the phrase and it occurred to me that it is an Egyptian idiom which was imprinted on his mind after watching a drama series!

Let’s look at it from another angle – that of reading newspapers and magazines. How many people take an interest in reading beneficial news and information that helps them in developing their personality, improves their skills and increases their general knowledge? Yet, how many are those who cannot read except sports and entertainment news? This is true to such an extent that many newspapers compete with each other by increasing the sports and entertainment pages at the cost of other sections. The same can be said about our gatherings and the things in which we spend our time.

Hence, if you would like to be a head instead of a tail, then eagerly try to practice all skills, regardless of what they may be. ‘Abdullah was an energetic person but lacking in certain skills.

One day, he left his home to pray Dhuhr in the mosque. It was his zeal for the prayer and respect for his religion which brought him out to pray. He was walking fast in order to reach the mosque before the Iqamah was given. On his way, he passed by a date-palm tree on top of which there was a man in uniform, working on the tree. ‘Abdullah became surprised and thought, “Who is this man that does not care about the prayer! It is as if he didn’t even hear the Adhan, or doesn’t care about the Iqamah, which is about to go!”

He shouted in anger, “Get down and pray!”

The man responded coldly, “OK, OK…”

He said, again, “Hurry up and pray, you donkey!”

The man screamed, “You called me a donkey?!” He then took a branch of the tree and descended in order to hit him over the head with it! ‘Abdullah hid his face with his headscarf so the man wouldn’t recognize him and went on to the mosque. The man descended from the tree in anger, went to his house, prayed and rested for a while. He then returned to the tree to finish his job.

Then ‘Asr time came and ‘Abdullah went to the mosque again.

On his way he passed by the same tree and noticed the same man working. He decided to change his method altogether and said, ‘As-salamu ‘alaykum! How are you?”

The man replied, “Al-hamdulillah, I am fine!”

He said, “Give me some good news. How are the dates this year?”

The man said, “Al-Hamdulillah.”

‘Abdullah said, “May Allah give you success and provision, make your life easy for you, and not deprive you of the reward for your work!”

The man was overjoyed at hearing this supplication and said “ameen” to the prayer.

‘Abdullah then said, “It seems that you are so preoccupied with work that perhaps you didn’t notice the Adhan for ‘Asr prayer. The Adhan has been called and the Iqamah is about to be given. Perhaps you should get down, relax a little and get ready for prayer. After the prayer you can get on with your work again. May Allah keep you healthy.”

The man said, “Insha Allah… Insha Allah…” and began to descend gently.

He then turned to ‘Abdullah, shook his hand warmly and said, “I would like to thank you for your excellent manners. As for the one who passed by me at Dhuhr time, I wish I could see him and show him who the real donkey is!”

The result…

Your skills of dealing with others determine how they deal with you.

by Dr. Muhammad Adb’ Al Rahman Al- Arifi – (Enjoy Your Life) is from the famous Banu Khalid Tribe in Saudi Arabia (descendents of the Sahabi Khalid bin Walid) graduated from Saudi universities and learn from scholars such as Shaykh Abdullah bin Qu’ud, abd al-Rahman bin Nasir al Barrak and various other scholars.  He  is a prominent figure in the field of Islamic Da’wah and has authored more than twenty published works.

The Story of Habil and Qabil


“Able and Cain”The First Crime on Earth

Allah the Almighty says:

And  (O  Muhammad (pbuh) recite to them (the Jews) the story of the two sons of Adam (Habil and Qabil) in truth; when each offered a sacrifice (to Allah), it was accepted from the one but not from the other. The latter said to the former:  “I will surely kill you.” The former said: “Verily, Allah accepts only from those who are Al-Muttaqun (the pious).” “If you do stretch your hand against me to kill me, I shall never stretch my hand against you to kill you: for I fear Allah, the Lord of the `Alamin (mankind, jinn, and all that exists).” “Verily, I intend to let you draw my sin on yourself as well as yours, then you will be one of the dwellers of the Fire; and that is the recompense of the Zalimin (polytheists and wrong-doers);” So the Nafs (self) of the other (latter one) encouraged him and made fair-seeming to him the murder of his brother; he murdered him and became one of the losers; Then Allah sent a crow who scratched the ground to show him to hide the dead body of his brother; He (the murderer) said: “Woe to me! Am I not even able to be as this crow and to hide the dead body of my brother?” Then he became one of those who regretted.  (Al–Ma’idah, 27-31)

Narrated As-Sadiy on the authority of Abu Malik and Abu Salih after Ibn ‘Abbas (r.a) and on the authority of Ibn Mas`ud and other Companions that Adam (pbuh) used to get the male brought by one birth married to the female brought by the other. Hence, it was supposed hat Abel would get married to Cain’s sister who was better and more beautiful than anyone else. At the same time, Cain wanted to keep her for himself. Adam (pbuh) ordered him to allow’ Abel to marry her, but he totally refused. Then, Adam (pbuh) ordered both (Abel and Cain) to offer a sacrifice to Allah Almighty. Meanwhile, Adam set forth towards Mecca to perform Pilgrimage. Just before leaving, Adam tried to entrust (the affairs of) his children to the heavens, the earth and finally to the mountains, but all declined to shoulder the (heavy) trust. Thereupon, Cain accepted the trust and after Adam went away they (Abel and Cain) offered their sacrifices to Allah. Abel offered a fat she-goat, while Cain offered a bundle of bad plants. Later, a fire came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifice offered by Abel and left untouched that of Cain. Cain became livid with rage and said to his brother: I will kill you so as not to marry my sister, Abel said: Verily, Allah accepts only from those who are Al-Muttaqun (the pious).

‘Abdullah Ibn `Amr (r.a) said:

By Allah! The murdered (Abel) was stronger (than the murderer, Cain), but he refused to stretch his hand against his brother to kill him due to his piety and God-fearing.

Abu Ja`far Al-Baqir mentioned that Adam (pbuh) was present there when they offered their sacrifices. After Abel’s sacrifice was accepted, Cain said to his father, Adam: “It was accepted only from him because you invoked Allah for his sake.” And, he secretly intended something against his brother. One day, Abel was late and Adam sent Cain to look for him. The two brothers met and Cain said: “Your sacrifice was accepted and mine was not.” Abel said:

“Verily, Allah accepts only from those who are Al-Muttaqun (the pious) .” Cain got angry and hit his brother with an iron rod and Abel fell dead at once.

It was said: Cain killed Abel by throwing a rock at his head while he was asleep. It was also said: Cain choked Abel violently and bit him to death as beasts do. However, Abel’s saying when Cain threatened to kill him: If you do stretch your hand against me to kill me, I shall never stretch my hand against you to kill you:

for I fear Allah, the Lord of the” Alamin (mankind, jinn, and all that exists) (Al-Ma’idah, 28)

indicated his good morals and ethics, his fear from Allah, and perfect piety that he may harm his brother, in contrast with the odious deed intended by his brother, Cain. For this, Abu Bakrah (r.a) reported Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) as saying:

“‘When two Muslims confront each other and the one amongst them attacks his brother with a weapon, both of them get into Hell-Fire.’ He (Ahnaf, one of the sub-narrators) said: ‘I said, or it was said: Messenger of Allah! It may be the case of one who kills, but what about the slain (why he would be put in Hell-Fire)?’ Thereupon, he (Peace be upon him) said: ‘He also intended to kill his companion.  “

Allah the Almighty says: 

Verily, I intend to let you draw my sin (on yourself) as well as yours, then you will be one of the denizens of the Fire; and that is the recompense of the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers)}. (Al-Ma’idah, 29)

i.e. I do not intend to fight against you though I am myself far stronger and tougher than you are, but you will  (draw my sin on yourself as well as yours), i.e. you will bear the sin of murdering me along with your previous sins.

Narrated Imam Ahmed, Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi on the authority of Sa’d Ibn Abu Waqqas his statement upon the ordeal of `Uthman Ibn `Affan that reads: I testify that Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said: “There will be soon a period of turmoil in which the one who sits will be better than one who stands and the one who stands will be better than one who walks and the one who walks will be better than one who runs.”  Someone said: ‘Allah’s Messenger! What is your opinion if someone entered my home and stretched his hand to kill me?’

Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said: ‘Be just like the son of Adam (Abel). “Narrated by Ibn Mardwiyah after Hudhaifah Ibn Al- Yaman in another wording as saying: “Be just like the best of Adam’s two sons.”

Imam Ahmed transmitted after Mu`awiyah and Waki` their saying: We were told by Al- A ` mash on the authority of `Abdullah Ibn Murrah after Masruq after `Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud (r.a) as saying: The Prophet (pbuh) said, “None (no human being) is killed or murdered (unjustly), but a part of responsibility for the crime is laid on the first son of Adam who invented the tradition of killing (murdering on earth).  ” (Ahmed’s Musnad)

However, there is a cave, called the “Blood Cave”, in a mountain located to the northern part of Syria. It is thought to be the scene of the crime where Cain killed his brother Abel. The people living there came to know this through the People of the Book (Christians and Jews) and only Allah Almighty knows the validity or realness of this. .Al-Hafiz Ibn `Asakir mentioned in the biography of Ahmed Ibn Katheer that “He (Ahmed) saw in a dream Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him), Abu Bakr, `Umar and Abel. Ahmed came to know from Abel –who took an oath of that- it was his own blood (that was spilt there (in that very cave)). Abel said that he had asked Allah Almighty to make the invocations and supplications offered in that place acceptable. Allah accepted his own invocations and His Messenger, Muhammad (Peace be upon him) believed in that and said: I (Allah’s Messenger), Abu Bakr and `Umar used to visit that place every Thursday. “However, it is to be stated that this narration represents only a vision. Even if it were true, no religious ruling can ever be based on such a thing; and Allah knows best!

Allah Almighty says: {Then, Allah sent a crow who scratched the ground to show him how to hide the dead body of his brother. He (the murderer) said: “Woe to me! Am I not even able to be as this crow and to hide the dead body of my brother? “Then he became one of those who regretted}. (Al-Ma’idah, 31) Some interpreters said: “After Cain had killed his brother, he carried him on his back for a full year (not knowing what to do with his brother’s corpse!).” Others said: He carried him on his back for one hundred years till Allah Almighty sent two crows who fought against one another. One of them was killed. The murderer scratched the ground to hide the body of the dead crow. Seeing him doing that, Cain said: Woe to me! Am I not even able to do as this crow and to hide the dead body of my brother? Then, he buried the body of his dead brother and covered it with earth.

Historians said: Adam became very sick at heart and felt great sorrow for his dead son, Abel. Mujahid said: Cain was brought punishment very soon afterwards. On the same day he killed his brother, Abel, his foot was tied up to his thighbone and his face was forcibly directed up to the sun disk. His face used to go where the sun goes as a way of punishment and penalty in return for what he had done to his own brother. Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“There is no sin more recurring punishment (very rapidly) in the present life, along with what awaits for its doer in the Hereafter, than transgression and severing the ties of relationship.  “

Imam Abu J a’ far mentioned in his  Tarikh “History” on the authority of some people who had said: Eve gave birth to forty children through twenty births. Ibn Ishaq viewed the same and he mentioned their names in detail. However, nothing is sure of their names or numbers. Only Allah knows best and no one else can know their exact number! Others said: there were one hundred and twenty births, in each one a male and a female were born. The first among them were Cain and his sister Qalimah, and the last ones were `Abdul Mughith and his sister Ummul Mughith. Then, humans increased in number and spread into the earth. Allah Almighty says: {O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women; and fear Allah through Whom you demand (your mutual rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship).

Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you}. (An-Nisa’, 1)

Historians said: Adam did not die till he saw from among his progeny and offspring four hundred thousand persons (400.000). Only Allah knows best!

Allah, the Almighty says:

{It is He Who has created you from a single person (Adam), and (then) He has created from him his wife [Hawwa' (Eve)], in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her.

When he had sexual relation with her, she became pregnant and she carried it about lightly. Then when it became heavy, they both invoked Allah, their Lord (saying):

“If You give us a Salih (good in every aspect) child, we shall indeed be among the grateful. ”  But when He gave them a Salih (good in every aspect) child, they ascribed partners to Him (Allah) in that which He has given to them. High be Allah, Exalted above all that they ascribe as partners to Him}. (Al-A’raf, 189, 190)

Adam was mentioned first to draw the attention of the reader of the Qur’an, then whom was mentioned second was the whole race of mankind. This is done by way of mentioning the whole race of mankind after mentioning the forefather thereof; Allah the Almighty says: 

{And indeed We created man (Adam) out of an extract of clay (water and earth). Thereafter We made him (the offspring of Adam) as a Nutfah (mixed drops of the male and female sexual discharge and lodged it) in a safe lodging (Womb of the woman)}. (Al-Mu’minun, 12, 13);

and in: 

{And indeed We have adorned the nearest heaven with lamps, and We have made such lamps (as) missiles to drive away the Shayatin (devils)}. (Al-Mulk, 5)

Where it is well-known that the “lamps as missiles”  are not the same as lamps of adornment, but He turned from a single category or person to the whole race.

Adam (Peace be upon him) was. the father of mankind. He was created by the Hand of Allah Who breathed out of His Soul into him, Who made the Angels prostrate themselves before him, Who taught him names of everything, and Who made him dwell in His spacious Paradise. Narrated Ibn Hibban in his Sahih  on the authority of Abu Dharr his saying: “I said,  0  Allah’s Messenger! How many were the Prophets of Allah?’ He (Peace be upon him) said: ‘One hundred twenty -four thousands.’ I said:  ‘O  Allah’s Messenger! How many were the Messengers among them?’ He (Peace be upon him) said: ‘Three hundred and thirteen, a great number!’ I said:  ‘O  Allah’s Messenger! Who was the first among them? ‘He (Peace be upon him) said: ‘Adam.’ I said:  ‘O  Allah’s Messenger! Was he a Prophet sent with a Message?’ He (Peace be upon him) said: ‘Yes, Allah the Almighty created him with His Hand, then, breathed into him out of His Soul, then, He fashioned him (in a very proper manner).  “

In the Night Journey Hadith that can be found in the two  Sahihs -Al-Bukhari and Muslim -Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said: 

“So the gate was opened and we went over the nearest heaven and there we saw a man sitting with some people on his right and some on his left. When he looked towards his right, he laughed and when he looked towards his left he wept. Then he said, ‘Welcome!  0  pious Prophet and pious son!’ I asked Gabriel: ‘Who is he?’ He replied: ‘He is Adam and the people on his right and left are the souls of his offspring. Those on his right are the people of Paradise and those on his left are the people of Hell and when he looks towards his right he laughs and when he looks towards his left he weeps. ” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Regarding the Prophetic Hadith that reads: “Then, I passed by Yusuf (Joseph) and I found him to be granted half of beauty.”Some scholars explained that it means that he was given half of the beauty Adam was granted. Indeed, this is very suitable and convincing! That Allah, the Almighty created Adam, fashioned him by His Hand and breathed into him out of His Soul, for all these Allah the Almighty must have created the best of all things.

It  was narrated on the authority of  `Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar and’ Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr that:  When Allah the Almighty created Paradise, the Angels said: “‘Our Lord! Make this for us for You created for mankind the present world in which they eat and drink.’ Allah the Almighty said: ‘By My Glory and Loftiness! I will not equalize between the pious from among those whom I created with My Hand, and those whom When I said “Be “, they were!”  It  was narrated in the two Sahihs -Bukhari and Muslim that Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him)reported Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) as saying:  Allah, the Exalted and Glorious created Adam in His own image with His length of sixty cubits, and as He created him He told him to greet that group, and that was a party of angels sitting there, and listen to the response that they give him, for it would form his greeting and that of his offspring. Adam then addressed them: Peace be upon you! They (the angels) said: May there be peace upon you and the Mercy of Allah, and they made an addition of “Mercy of Allah “. So he who would get into Paradise would get in the form of Adam, his length being sixty cubits, then the people who followed him continued to diminish in size up to this day.  “(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Worshiping Grave of Righteous Man


In the Sahih (i.e. AI-Bukhari and Muslim), ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

“Umm Salamah mentioned to Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) that in Abyssinia she saw a church full of pictures and statues. He (pbuh) a place of worship over his grave and set up all kinds of pictures and statues. They are the worst of all creatures before Allah. They combine the two evils; worshipping at the graves and-making graven images and statues.”

Also in Al-Bukhari and Muslim it is reported that `Aishah (r.a) narrated:

When the death approached Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) he began to draw a piece of cloth (bed sheet) over his face, (sometimes covering and sometimes removing because of distress), he (pbuh) said in this state: “Allah’s curse be upon the Jews and the Christians for taking the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.” Thus he (pbuh) warned the people about their actions. Had there not been any fear of making the Prophet’s grave a place of worship, his (pbuh) grave would have been as open as the graves of his Companions (r.a).

Muslim reported from Jundub bin Abdullah ( r.a) who narrated:

I heard the Prophet (pbuh) say only five days before his death: “I am free and clear towards Allah of having any of you as my Khalil (especially close friend). Verily, Allah has taken me as His Khalil just as He had taken Ibrahim ( pbuh) as a Khalil. If I would have taken anyone from my Ummah as a Khalil, I would have taken Abu Bakr ( pbuh) as a Khalil.

Beware! Those who proceeded before you, used to make their Prophets’ graves into places of worship. Beware! Don’t take (any) graves as places of worship. I forbid you to do so.”

He (pbuh) forbade this at the end of his life.

After this [forbidding of taking graves as Masjid (place of worship)], he cursed anyone who did any such deed within this context. Prayer at the graves is one of these deeds, even if no Masjid has been built. This is the meaning of his (pbuh) words “He feared (his grave) would be taken as a Masjid”. The Companions never built any place of worship around his grave. Any place which is intended for prayer or where prayer is performed has indeed been taken as a Masjid. Just as the Prophet (pbuh) said:

“The whole earth has been made for me a Masjid and it is pure and clean.”

Ahmad has reported with a good Sanad that Ibn Mas’ud (r.a) narrated in a Marfu’ Hadith (tradition traced to the Prophet (pbuh) himself):

“The most evil men are those upon whom the (signs of) Hour (of Resurrection) comes while they are still alive, and those who take graves as places of worship (Masjid)”. [This tradition was also reported by Abu Hatim in his Sahih.]

How many have suffer because of YOU!


This question should be ask by all the people, all Muslim, and myself.

  • How many have lost their future because of you?
  • How many injustices are you carrying right now?
  • How many orphans are living on the street because of you?
  • How many have you treated unfair?
  • How many widows are homeless because of you?
  • How many homes have been demolished?
  • How many have lost their entire life because of you?

If you really never do all this thing, you may have a good heart.

but you may have done indirectly, it may in term of writings, commands, supporting, voting, speeches,  or you don’t even notice that you doing it right now.

Consider not that Allah is unaware of that which the Zalimun (Cruel, Polytheists, Wrong-Doers, etc.) do, but He gives them respite up to a Day when the eyes will stare in horror. (Quran 14:42)

  The prayer people who are suffer is very powerful. Allah have many direct line, one of direct lines is prayer of unjustly treated. Some of punishment may come as direct or indirect punishment. One of the punishment is unhappy family, problematic children and etc.

The messenger of Allah said to Ali ibn Abi Talib: Beware of the supplication of the unjustly treated, because there is no shelter or veil between it (the supplication of the one is suffering injustice) and Allah (swt). (Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim)

May Allah lead me and you to righteous path.

Slave in Quran


Some one keep telling me she have done an extensive research regarding slavery in Quran – and that is a stupid claim. I have compile and summarize verse in Quran that have word “slave”. So I would like to give my rebuttal.

Allah has command the righteous Muslim to spend their money for ransom the slaves. This verse is showing that Muslim are very concern for freeing slave which none in others religion.

It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah.fearing. (Quran 2: 177)

In below passage God said it is better to married slave rather than unbeliever (idolaters) woman. Here Allah have raise the status of slave to become equal as free-man or free woman. After married with slave woman, the owner CAN NOT sell him as normal slave ever, because he already is already become his wife. A son born from his womb will become a free man.

Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the Fire. But Allah beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: That they may celebrate His praise. ( Quran 2: 221)

In law of Islam, freeing a slave is being put as priority, i.e “accident kill” such car accident, or etc. This show a commitment of Muslim to freeing slavery.

Never should a believer kill a believer; but (If it so happens) by mistake, (Compensation is due): If one (so) kills a believer, it is ordained that he should free a believing slave, and pay compensation to the deceased’s family, unless they remit it freely. If the deceased belonged to a people at war with you, and he was a believer, the freeing of a believing slave (Is enough). If he belonged to a people with whom ye have treaty of Mutual alliance, compensation should be paid to his family, and a believing slave be freed. For those who find this beyond their means, (is prescribed) a fast for two months running: by way of repentance to Allah. for Allah hath all knowledge and all wisdom. (Quran 3: 92)

Some time we like to give an oaths, and later we can fulfill it. Allah have give a way to release you from oath, one of the way is freeing slave.

Allah will not call you to account for what is futile in your oaths, but He will call you to account for your deliberate oaths: for expiation, feed ten indigent persons, on a scale of the average for the food of your families; or clothe them; or give a slave his freedom. If that is beyond your means, fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths ye have sworn. But keep to your oaths. Thus doth Allah make clear to you His signs, that ye may be grateful. (Quran 5: 89)

Some time slave prefer to freeing themselves from his owner, owner are required to write in writing (contract) with his slave for freeing himself for certain sum. In this verse show that, slave also can keep their own property and wealth to free himself. If how how he going to free himself.

In verse also, Quran have forbid the owner to use his maid as prostitute or concubine or mistress, but Quran not forbid to married a slave (as per verse 2:221), and become wife.

Let those who find not the wherewithal for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allah gives them means out of His grace. And if any of your slaves ask for a deed in writing (to enable them to earn their freedom for a certain sum), give them such a deed if ye know any good in them: yea, give them something yourselves out of the means which Allah has given to you. But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity, in order that ye may make a gain in the goods of this life. But if anyone compels them, yet, after such compulsion, is Allah, Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (to them), (Quran 24: 33)

Conclusion

In Quran, not much been have been told about slavery (as per someone claim), most of the verse is about releasing a slave.

So, I become confuse why such claim being told. If you dare to compare, compile and compare with your own scripture, see anything different?