Tuesday, November 30, 2004

You Are Never Alone
Sometimes when the world's not on your side
You don't know where to run to
You dont know where to hide
You gaze at the stars in the sky
At the mountains so high
Through the tears in your eyes
Looking for a reason to replace what is gone
Just remember, remember
That you are never alone
Chorus: You are never alone
Just reach into your heart and Allah is always there
You are never alone
Through sorrow and through grief
Through happiness and peace
You will never be alone
So now, as you long for your past
Prepare for you future
But knowing nothing's gonna last
You see, this life is but a road
A straight and narrow path
To our final abode
So travel well O Muslim
and Paradise will be your home
and always remember that you are never alone
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Monday, November 29, 2004

Waking up in the morning morning, gotta make my prayer,
Am I really gonna make it, make it, when there is no one there...
Making trips to the Masjid, Masjid, even when its tough,
Am I going for the sake of Allah, am I showing off.
Gonna get me the knowledge, knowledge, gonna study Islam...
Am I going just to build my ego, so they call me the Man...

Does it matter if the people respect me, when its not for Allah.
When I know anytime he can take me, without one real dua.
Does it matter if they say I'm a big shot,
when I get no reward for my deeds,
And I'm dragged on the day of Resurrection,
Cause of the folks that I wanted to please.
Plus I know that Allah has the power,
To raise me up in their eyes if it need be.
So I should always make my intentions, for my Lord, Allah completely

Are my Intentions, alright, am I doing for Allah,
When I am looking deep deep down inside, do I have the right niyyah.

Wearing thoubs with a kufi, kufi,
Miswaks leather socks like the old days.
Am I trying to follow the Prophet, or am I seeking praise,
Giving talks on Islam to people, I be quoting hadith and Qur'an,
Is it really so they like how I'm speaking, and they say I'm the bomb.
Donating to Islamic centers, giving money so the deen can grow,
Am I giving for the sake of Allah, Or is it for show..

Many times I have found my intentions,
Are not what I want them to be,
I know I start on the right direction,
But shatan starts talking to me,
And I forget that without my niyyah, I'm just wasting my time,
My Intentions cannot bring the reward, when they're out of line.
So I pray to Allah to help me, to do everything for him only,
Doesn't matter if the people despise me,
Cause with Allah can never be lonely.

Yah Allah, accept this niyyah,
Coming from young Muslims striving to be belivers.
So on the day, our deeds you'll measure. Know we only did this strictly for your pleasure, Your pleasure,
your mercy your ajur, your jannah, forever and ever and ever.
And reward us for those who listen.
Heeded to the message, changing their condition.
And know that everything up until this point I ever written,
I submit as my repentance.
And if its blessings your sending my way,
I beg you hold them to the judgement day
so maybe in jannah you can look back and say...it was a lovely day, a lovely, a lovely day, yes a lovely day

Are my Intentions, alright, am I doing for Allah,
When I am looking deep deep down inside, do I have the right niyyah.
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Sunday, November 28, 2004

Remember the days when we were young
Trying to be cool trying to have fun
Oh we was cool because we had the black sunglasses
Cool because we making A's in all our classes
Thought we'd have some fun we went to high school
But then you go to college where everyone likes you
But in the end when the truth comes to light
You learn what you did wrong and what you did right
As a son of a crescent, I'm not an adolescent
I've done a lot of growing I consider it a blessing
Hmm, I think about my situation
I need to increase my Islamic education
But Shaitan, he's the master of temptation
His goal is to destroy the entire nation
'Cause every single day and every time we pray
There is something that the Muslims say
La'llaha ilallah, Muhammadur Rasulilah,
La'llaha ilallah, Muhammadur Rasulilah,

One day I was walking looking at creation
Thinking about the prophets and the revelation
That came down from the creator, there is no one that's greater
Than Allah Subhana Wata'alla He's the one that made you
What you are so you should thank Him for all that you've been given
Thank Him for the fact that you are even living
The knowledge that you get when you read the Qur'an
Righteous believers are the ones who understand
That every single day and every time we pray
There is something that the Muslims say
The knowledge in Qur'an is worth a lot of Mullah
Ayah after Ayah, Surah after Surah
You learn a lot of things necessary for survival
If you're felling down use it for revival
I've seen a lot of people do a lot of evil
They continue because they can not control their ego
But when this life is over people wonder where do we go
If you're living right you go to the one that has no equal
Yes that is the Jannah, the paradise that waiting
Choose the right religion for decisions that you're making
If you really want it, it's time to get with it
Come on everybody so you can get your ticket
'Cause every single day and every time we pray
There is something that the Muslims say
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Saturday, November 27, 2004

Where We Belong
Once, I was drowning in my fears
and the twinkle in my eye disappeared
and I had no way to look on
my horizon seemed to have gone
and my whole life, seemed empty and bleak
each day and night, the answers I seek
chorus: (1):
But when, the darkness seemed so strong
and I couldnt go on
to the sky I raised my hands
making right what was so wrong
I found the strength to carry on
up to heaven where I belong
In life, there are lessons to be learned
with steadfastness, paradise Is earned
and if, all hope seems to be gone
just hold on till after the storm
and if you ask, what purpose have I
why am I here, and why do I cry?
chorus: (2):
And when, the darkness seems so strong
and you just cant go on
pray for your helping hand
youll see the sun will rise again
youll find the strength to carry on
up to heaven where you belong
Cos life is but a journey for us all
we cry, we laugh, we run sometimes we fall
but through it all, always recall
God never gives, a burden too tall

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Friday, November 26, 2004



Thursday, November 25, 2004

TRANQUILITY.. Posted by Hello

america's tragedy---BY HAMZA YUSUF HANSON

America's Tragedy
By Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
This is an edited transcript of the talk that Shaykh Hamza Yusuf gave on Sunday, Sept. 30 th , 2001 at Zaytuna Academy and Institute in Hayward, California regarding his reflections on the Sept 11 th tragedy and his trip to the White House from which he had just returned. In this talk, he distinguishes what the terrorists did from what Islam teaches, addressing several important issues in regards to the tragedy such as the Islamic concept of jihad and martyrdom. Anyone wanting to gain a clear understanding of what the religion of Islam has to say about the calamitous event is sure to find this talk beneficial. If you would like to obtain the audio cassette of this talk, please go to
We should all realize that the outreach has been extraordinary in terms of the numbers of people contacting Muslim organizations and reaching out to the Muslims. I think some of these stories need to be documented because they are very profound and powerful stories, and I think that something very interesting like a book can come out of this. It may be titled, The Best of Americans in the Worst of Times or something similar to that.
A mosque was attacked in Seattle, and a group of Christians started an organization called, "The Peace Keepers" and actually went and guarded the mosque. Also, if you do not have a copy, I would get a copy of the tape the MCA (Muslim Community Association) in Santa Clara made of the love messages that they got. The tape is just of people calling up, and that was very powerful to listen to one after another, messages of love and support. By far, the majority of people who have called have called with those types of responses, and I think what we should see from this is that there are a lot of good people in this country. That in itself is very powerful.
There are a lot of people who do have the right sensibility. They also realize the stupidity of assuming the acts of a statistically insignificant number of people, whoever they were, represent the majority. In this country, there are almost 300,000,000 people; the attackers of Sept 11 th are amongst a number of very crazy people that would do very crazy things given the opportunity, and some of them have actually proven that, and they are the Timothy McVeighs of the world. So, I think that in it of itself, this outreach is something that we should all be very optimistic of.
On the other hand, we also should keep in mind that living in the Bay Area gives us a false sense about the pulse in some of the other parts of the country. The outreach we have experienced here is probably from some of the most educated and most tolerant people because this is a very tolerating area. It tends to embrace others and things considered strange, and that is something that people here pride themselves in, so we do have that here. Another aspect of this area is that it is very heavily populated with immigrants, and that in itself is good because those who work with immigrants see the human side which is always important. The immigrants, especially those coming from other countries where the social conditions are difficult, tend to know what these types of incidents mean.
In certain parts of this country, there is a lot of jingoism going on right now. There is a lot of anger. I flew across this country with a friend, who is a tall, dark-skinned Arab, and it was very shocking to see the eyes of others, and this is not paranoia. People looking at him as we were traveling were really frightened. There was real fear. We were in the front of the plane, so every time my friend got up, I looked back, and I noticed people would go into a state of rigor mortis as though they were thinking, "What's he going to do?!" and that is a tragedy. We traveled two weeks earlier, and people did not have those feelings.
Also, I have been across the country now four times in the last ten days, and the planes are empty. There are a lot of economic repercussions to this; 15,000 people have been fired from United Airlines. There are going to be disgruntle people. So, those elements are going to be there; there are hard times ahead.
Now, in terms of what happened in the last week, I think people need to understand. One of the things about many people is that they tend to be very shortsighted in a lot of ways; they do not look at long-term strategy. The Muslims are particularly this way. We have forgotten what strategic thinking is. The odd thing about it is that we had designed the classes this semester to teach strategic thinking. That is why we had the Battles of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam and Dr. Thomas Cleary's Art of War courses. It was not belligerence; it was quite the opposite. I was hoping we would learn from the battles of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam . I wanted us to explore how he planned and what the purposes of his actions were. You can see in his actions always an understanding of this long-range thinking. For example, Suraqa Ibn Malik was attempting to catch the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam to get a reward of 100 camels promised by the Quraysh to whomever brought the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam in. When he met him in the desert, the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "What did they offer you?"
He said, "100 camels."
The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "Suraqa, what would you think about wearing the bracelets of Khosroes?" and this is something that happened at the time of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam . He always saw way ahead, and that is wisdom. Even his ahadith apply until the end of time. That is the beauty of the ahadith . He was not speaking only to his community.
Look at the hadith : "If you leave one-tenth of what I have given you, you will be punished, but there is coming a time on my ummah that if they hold to one-tenth, they will go into paradise." Now, think of the strategic planning of that hadith . Think, had he just said to his sahaba , "If you leave one-tenth of what I have given you, you will be punished," what would that mean to us? We know what the sahaba did, but the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam was not speaking just to the sahaba ; he was speaking to us. He was speaking to people whom he knew would be in such difficult situations that holding on to their deen would be like holding onto burning coals. That is the beauty of Prophetic wisdom. He spoke to every time and every place, and he certainly spoke to the time and place that we are in because these are the fitan.
Fitin is Arabic. Fatanah means "to test gold." One of the things you can see in this time is that the basic material people are made of becomes apparent. Is it gold, is it silver, is it lead, or is it some kind of toxic element? You see what people are made of. Some people can act, and you are amazed at their humanity. Other people come out, and you are amazed at their inhumanity, but that is what fitnah does. It exposes people, and that is one of the wisdoms of tribulation.
I would like to talk about how people judge situations. Many people often judge a situation with the short-term in mind and without looking at the long-term implications. People who tend to get caught up in the moment of their short-term judgment lose an understanding that every moment is actually part of a continuum. Not only is the moment that we are in right now based on everything that preceded it, but it also will affect what follows it. There is no such thing as an isolated incident. Every incident in your life is related to the totality of your life. You cannot separate any individual life. That is why a human being is not judged for any individual incident, but you must look at the whole spectrum of growth.
One of the things that people do not like to do is allow people to grow. They want to pigeonhole you. However, conditions necessitate different responses: not every condition necessitates the same response. If you give the same response, you are a fool because there is a time for anger, and there is a time for forgiveness. There is a time when you need to get angry, and if you do not get angry, you are not responding appropriately to the situation. Our prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam got angry, so there is a time for anger, but there is never a time for wrath because wrath is excessive anger. There is never a time to lose your reason from anger. I know that some people will judge from outward appearance because that is all we have on which to base our judgments. The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "I was commanded to judge people according to their outward states," but Allah does not judge by the outward because Allah encompasses everything. " Muhitun bi 'ibaadihi : Allah encompasses his servants" to know their inward and their outward. " Ya'lamu sirrakum wa l'alaaniya : He knows your inward and your outward," and He judges actions by your intentions. Allah gave to his servants a means to maintain harmony for the believers: the idea of having a good opinion- husnu dhann . Having a good opinion of people is the principle upon which our teaching is based. We should look for an excuse for others and not assume the worst. We should always look to say, "perhaps, perhaps, perhaps," and come up with excuses. The hypocrite's nature is that he will always look for a reason to condemn. The munafiq will always say, "he did it because of this; he did it because of that" and try to find fault. That is unfortunate to mention.
In reality, what we have done too little of is build real institutional bases and have engaged in too much empty rhetoric. Now, it is coming back to haunt us. However, the Chinese symbol for crisis is also the symbol for opportunity, and I think this crisis that we are in is an opportunity. The power of the historical moment we are in is extraordinary because we are in an unprecedented situation. For the first time, large numbers of Americans actually want to understand what Islam is. Even the Iranian Revolution did not do this because that was again something that happened far away. Here is a time where it has come home, and people are trying to make sense of it.
I have been getting many calls from people wanting to know the concept of martyrdom. Martyrdom is not an alien concept to the West. The West has a history of martyrdom. The Christian Church honors martyrs. They are the highest people in the Church and are recognized as saints because they are people who died for their beliefs. Some of the people of the Revolutionary War were considered martyrs. Those are words that Westerners use. Martin Luther King Jr. and people like him are considered martyrs, so the concept is not alien to westerners. However, the idea of martyrdom being associated with violence against innocent individuals is such an atrocity to any sane person, and the travesty is when Islam is indicated here to have anything to do with this. That is why we just cannot see this incident in religious terms. It is really important to keep focusing on the fact that this act really does not have anything to do with Islam.
Unfortunately, in the past, we have had people whom we have been plagued with called the Khawarij . They emerged early on and were the first people who split from the rightly guided khulafa . They emerged from the time of Sayyiduna Uthman. These are the people who surrounded his house and actually killed him. One of the things about these people that is very problematic is that they are very "religious," and this is where the real crisis comes. These people display a religiosity about which our Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "You will hold your own prayer in contempt when you see their prayer." In other words, they will be praying so much, you will feel that you do not pray enough. Similarly, he sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam went on to say, "You will see them fast, and you will feel like you do not fast." They fast every other day or on Mondays and Thursdays, and you will feel contempt for yourself when you compare your fasts to theirs. He sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "They read the Qur'an, but it does not go past their throats." The ' ulama say this means that they read the words, but they do not know the meanings. There are verses in the Qur'an that if read outwardly, you will think they are a license to kill people, but that is not what the verses actually mean. The verse in Sura Tawbah was in clear reference to a group of people that broke the treaty with Muslims. The Muslims were commanded to fight them wherever they found them. They were a specific group of people, and that verse is not a generalized verse. It applies only to that time of treachery.
llah does not prevent you from being good to those who have not fought you or chased you out of your home. Be good to them, and share in your wealth with them. You can interact with and help non-Muslims. This is permitted in Islam. The Qur'an is a holistic body of guidance, and if you take parts of the Qur'an without understanding the holistic body, you will go astray. For this reason, Buddah Al-Jakany in Mauritania wrote a book, and in it, he said that every single group that has gone astray has used part of the Qur'an to prove their error. There is not a sect in the history of Islam that did not use the Qur'an as a foundation for their misguidance, not one. They all proved their points from the Qur'an.
When Ibn Abbas went to the Khawarij to try to speak with them, the Khawarij said that one of the reasons they rebelled against Sayyiduna Ali is because Sayyiduna Ali asked that a hakim be brought from Mu'awiya's group to sit with a hakim from his own group so that they would as arbitrators come to a decision on the particular matter. To this idea, the Khawarij said that the Qur'an says, " La hukma illa lillah : There is no judgment except Allah." Allah is the only one that can judge, and so they said, "What you have done is going against the book of Allah, Imam Ali." They said, "You do not understand the Qur'an. The Qur'an says, ' La hukma illa lillah .'" That was their slogan, literally: There is no judgment except Allah's. What did Imam Ali do? He sent Ibn Abbas to go and debate with them. He advised Ibn Abbas: If they debate with the Qur'an, debate with the other parts of the Qur'an; if they do not agree, then go to the hadiths .
So, Ibn Abbas went, and he argued with them. There were about 30,000 of them originally, and about 3,000 of those went over to the other side and joined Ibn Abbas because he convinced them with his arguments. He said, "Does not Allah all ow arbitration between a man and a wife? Does not Allah allow arbitration on haj j? You bring a hakim to decide what the penalty is." Ibn Abbas showed the m how in the Qur'an itself, Allah allows people to arbitrate, and thus he proved that Imam Ali was not going against the Qur'an. So, the point is that the Kh awarij have been a plague on the Muslim ummah from early time, and, I think out of the 1.3 billion people in this ummah , there are some people , unfortunately, who are misguided enough to think that by committing such horri fic acts, they were doing something good. That is the reality of it. Whatever it was and whoever was behind the recent events, the people who benefit from it ar e the enemies of Islam.
On the other hand, Allah says, "Maybe you hate a thing, but in it is much good for you." The reality of the situation is that immense good can come out of the tragedy. US News and Report , which is one of the major news journals, had an article on jihad that I could not have done a better job writing. I was amazed. It was an excellent article explaining the rules of jihad . My God, millions of people are going to read this and have to confirm that these are very human rulings. They mentioned not poisoning wells, not killing livestock, not cutting down fruit trees; that is Islam. I think an intelligent person is going to have to reason that if that is their reason in war, then the attacks on September 11 th certainly have nothing to do with Islam. Unfortunately, we have other elements in the media that have a very serious agenda, and this is evident to anyone who has been watching some of the media, particularly, Fox. They are hardliners. I think what they did to Muzammil Siddiqi was a horrific thing to do to him because it just does not represent Muzammil Siddiqi. You have Muslims that were supporting what they believe to be a legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people in their fight.
I have never and I will never agree with suicide bombings. That has never sat right with me, ever. I think it is just so antithetical to the truth of Islam, and I have always had that problem with it. No one can ever find anywhere, in the last 13 or 14 years of my public speaking, where I have condoned that. I have never been comfortable with that or comfortable with any types of terror because my understanding of Islam is that it is a chivalrous religion. It is a religion that demands honor in engagement, and my belief is that I would rather die than reduce myself to the level of these types of people because I know they certainly use it against us. They do. However, as Umar Mukhtar pointed out, when they wanted to kill the Italian prisoners and he refused to let them, they said, "Well, they do it to our prisoners," and he replied, "But they are not our teachers."
These people are not our teachers. They did not teach us how to fight. We have laws and rules, and those are our principles. On 60 Minutes the other night, four of us were interviewed, and they interviewed us for three hours. They give you enough rope to hang yourself, and then they kind of edit from that. It is very tricky business talking to these people. During the three-hour interview, I was asked, "Where does this idea come from if it is not from Islam?" I replied that it is an old idea called The End Justifies the Means , and it is a philosophy alien to Islam because we believe that if the ends are noble, the means have to be consistent with the ends. We believe in noble ends, and therefore our means have to be consistent with those ends because if you say the ends justify the means, what you are saying is you can use ignoble means to achieve noble ends, and that is inconsistent logically. That is the philosophy here, and it is not from Islam.
I think that we have a lot of work to do. In chemistry, there is something known as dissipated structures. Prigogine got a nobel prize for showing that when massive turbulence is created in a system of chemical bonds that breaks all those bonds, what happens is they re-bond at a more complex level than the initial. It goes to a higher level, and this is consistent also with nuclear fusion. The point is that these types of things should actually force us to go to a higher level of understanding and operation, not to a lower level. This should literally force us to raise the level of our discourse, to raise the level of our understanding, and to do a lot more than we were doing before because there is no room for sleep anymore. Get your sleep that you need for your body, but the rest of the time, you have to be awake, and if this does not do it to wake us up, nothing is going to do it, really, because we are now in danger. We hope for the best, but the danger is repeated incidents and more blame because even if a White Supremacist group does anything, who is everybody going to blame when it happens? They are going to blame Muslims, right?
This is the time now to reach out and build bridges as fast as we can with as many people as we can, to get out there, to extend hands to anybody who is offering hands of friendship and understanding right now; we have to reach out to them and really try to create some understanding. Part of what we really have to focus on and what I want you to understand is that Islam's word for calling others to Islam is da'wah , which in the Arabic language means "invitation to a banquet." What we have to remember is what Muhammad Zakariya said, "An invitation is only real if it's open to rejection," and that is the beauty of our Lord: He has given an invitation and is not forcing anybody to go to the banquet.
When we look at the people out there, they have every right to believe what they believe, to be doing what they are doing because it is consistent with where they are. Our job is only to present Islam in the best way, and there are two responses that we hope for: either somebody sees it as the beauty that it is and the truth that it is and is welcome to join us or a person gains a heightened appreciation for this incredible, human tradition because it is part of the tapestry of human civilization, and we have, I think, the greatest contribution. That is something we are all proud of, and it is something they need to find out about and learn about so that at least they can appreciate it. There will always be the disgruntled few who are going to hate you anyway, and Allah mentioned that in the Qur'an; there is always going to be that, but I do not think that represents a majority of people, yet the majority can be manipulated by that minority, unfortunately, especially with the means that they have in their hands. You can see: they can paint day night and night day, black white and white black. They can call war "peace" and peace "war," and people start believing it. They can call murder "collateral damage," and it sounds a lot nicer. "Collateral damage" sounds a lot nicer than slaughtering innocent civilians. It has got a nicer ring to it, and that is called a euphemism: "kicked the bucket" – he did not kick the bucket; he dropped dead. It is just a euphemism like, "retired to the farm." That is how they say in idiomatic English, "he died": "he retired to the farm." He did not retire to the farm; he stopped breathing.
I mentioned what happened in the last week, and I will just tell you, it was a very difficult trip. I was asked by somebody I know, and whom people probably know, who works in the White House. He is a Muslim, the son of a very prominent Muslim, and he called me up and said, "They're asking for somebody to come to talk to the President and represent the Muslims, and I thought that you would be the best person in my estimation to do that. So could you come?" So, I talked to Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, and he said that it was a fard on me. He said, "You have to go." I went, and I was part of I think about 30 religious leaders there. The Head of the Mormon Church, the Head of Billy Graham Ministries, his son Franklin Graham, the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church, the Archbishop of the Catholic Church in America, and a lot of other very prominent religious leaders were there. There were also a Tibetan Lama, one of the heads of a national Sikh organization, and Methodist Bishops. A lot of different people were present.
From that group, a handful, six of us were asked to meet with President Bush in the Oval Office. So, I put forth four points, and we were given quite a bit of time. I was allowed to say everything I wanted to say. I gave a copy of The Essential Koran to the President, and the night before, I spent a couple hours going through the book and putting Post-Its on all of the verses that I thought were most pertinent. I said, "I know you're very busy, so I put these in so that if you don't have time to read the whole book, you can read these verses." I also gave him a book called Thunder in the Sky which is a book Thomas Cleary translated on the humanistic use of power. In other words, it is about how to use power to benefit humans and not to harm them. I also gave him a piece of calligraphy done by Muhammad Zakariya, who did the Eid stamp.
When I called Muhammad Zakariya, he was in Virginia; he lives a few miles away from the Pentagon, and he was writing what is called a hilyah in calligraphy from the Shifa' of Qadi Iyaad. He was writing a description of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam from Umar ibn Al-Aws. Muhammad Zakariya told me what was the sentence he was writing when he heard the explosion. The beauty of this is that only Allah can do this. That was for Muhammad Zakariya because Allah is the Author of this; Allah is the One who has decreed all of this, and that moment was for Muhammad Zakariya, and then it was related to the President because it ended up going there. Muhammad Zakariya told me that the sentence he was writing when he heard the explosions was " Wa kana salla llahu 'alayhi wa sallam la yadfa'u sayyi'ah bi sayyi'ah, wa lakin wa ya'fu wa yaghfiru : He would never repel an evil with another evil, but he forgave, and he condoned." Allahumma salli 'alayh . And that is our teaching.
That is his description of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam , and that is how we know that no matter what America has done to Muslims anywhere, our teaching is that we do not repay evil with evil, and that is Islam. It is not all this rage and anger that is out there. That is Islam, and it is a hard thing to do except when you remember that this is dunya , and you are looking at infinity; you are not looking at dunya ; you are not looking at 50, 60, 70 years; you are looking at infinity, and you want Allah to forgive you for your own evil. Is not that what we all want? We just want forgiveness on yaum al-qiyaamah because we are all guilty. We think that we are independent from Allah. We are all guilty from that perspective. The point is, here he was writing that, and I told the President that. I said, "When the Pentagon was struck, Muhammad Zakariya was writing that the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam did not repel an evil with an evil." Similar incidents occur, and that is the beauty of our deen . This is a true story; it is not made up. Muhammad Zakariya is saadiq . He is truthful; he does not lie, and I believe him. I do not need any witnesses – the angels were the witnesses. Those are our two just witnesses.
The points that I made at the White House were four. The first was emphasizing, and it had to be reiterated again and again, that Islam does not have anything to do with this, that this is not the teaching of Islam. It is a religion that teaches mercy and compassion, and when it uses martial force, it uses it with just laws, and non-combatants are never involved. It is based on legitimate authority, not on vigilantism. We do not believe in vigilantism; we do not believe in outlaws; we do not believe in Robin Hood. It is kind of interesting that in this culture, Robin Hood is a hero because he stole from the rich and gave to the poor, and even more bizarre is the story of Samson. I told them on 60 Minutes , which I doubt they will air, that Samson is the first suicide bomber, and he is in the Bible. If you do not know the story of Shamshun, Samson was in the temple of the Philistine, and he was an Israeli. He asked where the pillars that hold up the temple were, and he went in chains, and he pushed them, killing himself and everybody else as revenge for the Israelis against the wrongs of their enemies. That story is in the Bible, and I was taught that as a child. Samson was presented as a hero. That story is not in the Qur'an; it is conspicuously absent from the Qur'an.
The second point I made to the President was the danger of polarization. I said that this could polarize the world, and we could get a self-fulfilling prophecy of Samuel Huntington's Clash of Civilizations , such as China and Islam versus the West. Nobody wants that; there is no benefit in that, except for warmongers: people who make money off of the death of other people.
I also spoke about the idea of a consensus. I had already spoken to Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, and I had also conveyed that to some Arab Ambassadors. I told them that I felt there should be a summit meeting of the most prominent Muslim 'ulama in the Muslim world to declare terrorism as inconsistent with the teachings of Islam and that it is prohibited by ijma' , consensus of the scholars. I said the attacks should be just rejected by an ijma' . I also suggested that there should be one done by the Abrahamic religions in someplace like Rome or Jerusalem, where there is a declaration that the taking of innocent lives is not consistent with the teachings of the prophets, whether it is state terrorism or individual terrorism. Both forms of terrorism are rejected by religion, and let them be seen as what they are: as political means to political ends because that is what they are. They are political means to political ends, and that is not what the prophets came to teach. They came to teach prophetic means to prophetic ends.
Then the last point I made to the President was about oppression. I said that this country had a responsibility in creating just regimes because of the power that this country has and that we have to recognize that the oppression and the extreme circumstances in the Muslim world breed the type of extremism that exists in some parts of the Muslim world.
I think that the Muslims are incredibly moderate. The Iraqis have displayed incredible patience, perseverance, and lack of animosity and hatred. Muslims are a testimony to patience at times of adversity. Ismail Faruqi was in a debate once, and I heard this from a man who was present at that debate. He said that someone was saying how terrible the Muslims were, and Ismail Faruqi said that you see the Muslims now with their corruption, and you go to the countries, and you can laugh at how corrupt these countries are, but have you seen us suffer? He asked, have you seen what happens to us when we get afflicted with pain and suffering? He said, then you will know who we are because when we lose all our money, we do not jump out of buildings. We say, " Ma sha' Allah; la quwwata illa billah : Whatever Allah wills happens; there is no power except by Allah," and that is the truth. The Muslims have been incredibly patient in the light of all this, and that is because we do have hope, and we know that despair is Iblis, and we know that ya'as is prohibited in Islam. We do not despair. " La tay'asu min rawhillah : Do not despair from this spirit that God sends." Do not despair of it, and that is why in the worst of times, Allah sends that madad (help), and you should all know that. It is Allah who sends that. It is Allah who gives people that strength to get through even the most horrific times because if He did not send that, we would all go crazy; we would lose our minds; we would go totally insane.
That was the gist of what I said to the President. Then I was asked to be the guest that night of the First Lady, and I was told that there was going to be a speech. I had no idea that it was going to be the way it was; I really did not, but that is the situation I was in, and my intentions in it were trying to do what I could do in this type of a crisis. You have to do what you think is the right thing and the best thing for the overall benefit, I would say not just for Muslims but for everybody: Al-maslaha al-'amma . I think we have a concern for humanity in general and certainly for the Muslims in particular. Always the ummah is paramount, but we are also supposed to be caretakers of humanity. That is a task that we were given by Allah, so we should not act without the rest of humanity in our considerations.
I would like to emphasize something here. I thought that the most profound person and the one who seemed to be the most genuine person of all those people that I met was Rabbi Joshua Haberman. He defended Islam when he spoke to President Bush. At one point, I looked over at him when we were in the Roosevelt room or some other room. Mayor Giuliani, the Governor of New York, and the Chief of Staff were also present, and Rabbi Joshua was sitting in the corner reading something in Hebrew. Everybody else was 'schmoozing,' so I went over to the Rabbi, and I asked, "What are you reading?"
He said, "Well, I'm reading the Psalms," and he was. He seemed like a genuine person, and we spoke quite a bit. He said that the tragedy of this is that Americans are so ignorant of Islam; they do not know the greatness of its civilization; they do not know the history, and they really think that this represents Islam, and this is the real tragedy. He also said that as somebody who has studied Islam, he knows that the easiest religion for a Jewish person to convert to is Islam. Wallahi , that is what he said. He said, "Your shari'a is not that different from what Musa was given." There are good people out there. That person was genuine, and that is what I got from him. I asked him, "Are you a student of Martin Buber?" and he said, "Yes." That is what Martin Buber was about-just having real regard for other human beings, and I think that, as Muslims, we need to inculcate that in our relations with other people. When some of the Muslims say " kuffar ," there is this disdain and contempt for people. Listen to those love messages to MCA, and see if you can say " kuffar " with the same kind of contempt and disdain. Those are good human beings. The disdain and contempt we should have is for ourselves for not reaching out to those people, for not being true representatives of Islam because Allah teaches us a du'ah in the Qur'an: " Rabbana la taj'alna fitnatan liladhina kafaru : O our Lord! Do not make us a tribulation for those who do not believe in this religion," and in a lot of ways, we have become the biggest barrier.
I think we have an immense opportunity, and this is a time when we really need to reach out and go out there with respect, recognizing that they have their ways. What we need to have is some mutual understanding of each other, of our communities, and of their communities. I got a call from the head of the Christian Businessmen's Association – they're all CEOs of business – and he called me and said that he read the interview I had done in the San Jose Mercury and that he would really like me to come and address their business association. We continued talking, and he said, "The thing that troubles me most is the arrogance of our country." He also said, "If you do not have humility in your heart when you have power, God will destroy you." This is what he said to me. We often forget that they have truth in their Books, yet we believe in the Bible; we believe in the Injil , and there is truth in there, and there are people who do read those truthful things. One of the Bishops said to the President in the Oval Office, "You have to remind people what the Bible says: "Vengeance is Mine sayeth the Lord." That is what he said: "Vengeance is Mine, sayeth the Lord." He advised the President not to take vengeance because that is what people want when they get hurt, and vengeance is not from any of the prophetic traditions.
Another thing that happened in the White House was that I told the President that Infinite Justice is an attribute of God and that by using that name, it is like saying that you are God, and the President was shocked. He said, "You know, we don't have any theologians down in the Pentagon, and they name this stuff," and so they changed the name. Alhamdulillah . A friend of mine told me that during the sixties, somebody used the term in a speech, "a hail-Mary play," and he said that he read an article in the Egyptian newspaper that was trying to prove that this was a crusading conspiracy because this politician had used the phrase, "a hail-Mary play." He explained that Egyptian scholars do not know American football, and the writer was simply using a sports metaphor. That is what we find when we demystify power. A lot of it is just our own ignorance here. People need to hear the truth, but if you are harsh or hard-hearted, people will not listen to you. They will just flee from you. I think that we have allowed too much harshness into our discourse, and I can say that for my own self in some of the past talks I have given. We need to really rethink a lot about what we say in our discourses.
Q: Could you clarify what you told President Bush and what his reaction was to what you told him? And what is your view on measures either against Afghanistan or the Taliban?
Shaykh Hamza: I thought he seemed to be listening very attentively to what I had to say. When I mentioned a couple things, he confirmed them: he said "I agree with you wholeheartedly." He also mentioned to one of the aides that what we had to say was useful. I think about four or five times, he came up to me and shook my hand very firmly and thanked me as what seemed to be a very hearty thanks for just coming and edifying him. So, that was my take on it. I was impressed: there were only three of us who spoke in the meeting, including Franklin Graham, who said he was willing to go wherever to service the troops if there was going to be a war; and the Jewish man, who said that he hoped that the President would reconsider the war and that he thought that war was the worst thing that they could do. He also asked people to pray, to go back to their communities and pray.
I did mention Afghanistan to him. I told him that the Afghanis have been so hard-hit, and they cannot take anymore and that the vast majority of them are innocent people. I mentioned that more innocent blood is going to further polarize the world, and that there are going to be more Muslims who view America as inherently belligerent towards Muslims, and this could turn into a major Muslim-Christian battle. He said that this was also a major fear of theirs. He said that he was rebuked for using the word "crusade." He said when he said it he did not mean any religious connotation, but it was the first word that came to him, so there seems to be a real concern here. I think that there was deliberation here because it looked like they were just going to go bomb like crazy at first, and I'm really hoping and praying to Allah that it doesn't escalate.
Q: What is the best way to do da'wah if one does not have much knowledge?
Shaykh Hamza: I would talk to ING about that. One of the things that I am hoping for is that people who have been students here, who should have learned something, get more involved. Not everybody is a public speaker, but there are a lot of things you can do. You can write letters to the editor; you can support people, but we need more people to get active. We have a real dearth of spokespeople for Muslims right now, and we need intelligent discourse. The beauty of intelligence is that people recognize it, and they listen to it. If you make sense to people, they tend to respond. Unfortunately, people who are called sophists, who are people that use sophistry and demagogy, can do the same thing, but whenever you get a sophist against somebody who is logical, you will always see the sophist lose. The dialogues of Socrates are some of the best examples because he went up against some brilliant sophists, and they would always fall apart when he would debate them because he knew how to pull their arguments apart. That is why I think that if Muslims could get out there and just speak from the heart, it would make a real difference.
I think duplicity is a really dangerous thing. Our public and private discourses have to be the same because one of the things they are trying to do now is undermine the public discourse of the Muslims. What they did to Dr. Siddiqi was really malignant because he was at the National Cathedral and gave that prayer, and he also met with President Bush, and they had him on Fox News from some old video saying that he supported Hizbullah and Hamas and things like that. Then they were calling him, "terrorist in the White House" and things like that. We are no longer in the little leagues anymore. We have hit mainstream. Muslim voices are getting on major networks. There are people who make their livelihood assassinating the characters of other people, so we have to pray for our brothers and sisters out there as well. They can take things out of context; they can manipulate; they can do what ever they want, but Allah is the Protector of those who believe. Allah protects those who believe.
Q: How should women wear the hijab ?
Shaykh Hamza: I think that the area that we are in is probably one of the safest areas in America, but there are other areas where it is dangerous. Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah gave a fatwa, and it was a very good, sound fatwa. His point was that if Muslim women were in danger of being harmed or accosted, they should not go out, and if they have to go out, he said that they are not obliged to wear the hijab . That is what he said. He gave all his usuli proofs for it, so I would stipulate with that that if there are dire circumstances, then that is a dire rukhsa from a person with a valid license in Islamic law because Islam is an intelligent religion. The laws are there to serve human beings; we are not there to serve the law. We are there to serve Allah, and that is why whenever the law does not serve you, you are permitted to abandon it, and that is actually following the law. That is where the confusion lies because people do not realize that. The law is for our benefit, not for our harm. Therefore, if the law harms us, we no longer have to abide by it. For example, pig is prohibited because it harms us, but if we are going to die without eating pig, we do not follow the law anymore because now the law says eat the pig. If you are worshipping the law, then you cannot understand that. You cannot worship the sacred law because the law is there to serve you; it is for your maslaha , your benefit, and that is our fiqh .
At night, especially, people have to be careful. It is always better to be in groups. Generally in most places, people will come to your defense. There is a lot of sensitivity in this area. There are non-Muslim women all over the country who have been wearing scarves in solidarity with the Muslim women. It has been shown all over. I would recommend having a PR campaign. Show pictures of Mary Magdalene or the Virgin Mary since they are basically wearing the hijab , and explain that this is a sign of purity as it always has been, so people should not desecrate it. Do this to remind them that it is from their own tradition. Also, have a picture of a nun next to a Muslim woman, and ask why is one pure and the other impure? By what criteria are you judging? You can do things like that just to take things home to people.
Q: What should we do about sending children to school these days, and how should we advise them to deal with teasing?
Shaykh Hamza: The first question is very serious because there are a lot of children in the schools who are being blamed by people. Children really can be very cruel. I hate the idea of group mentality, groupthink, cliques, gangs, and clubs because children really suffer in such environments. School is meant to be a place where you enhance your mind, not where the mind is shrunk, so I think it is time to consider home schooling or Muslim schools. I think public schools are difficult places, but people are different. If you are in a more educated area, I think you will come across more people who do not have those attitudes. Also, in the real underbelly areas, underclass areas, people, especially African-American communities, tend to know about Islam, and they know Islam is a good thing. A lot of African-Americans in this culture have a good view of Islam, and that is positive because there has been a lot of work done in those areas to take that message out to people.
I thing there is more of a problem in the middle-America type scene. I think you need to talk to your children a lot. My son saw one of those films of these hooded guys breaking in, and there was a cross that he attacked. My son said to me, "Oh, those could not be Muslims," and I asked why not? He replied, "A Muslim would never attack a cross." That is just how he saw it, and that is true. We do not desecrate crosses. That is a sacred symbol of their religion. Sayyiduna Umar did not desecrate crosses when he went into Jerusalem. Jerusalem was opened by the Muslims; the keys were given to the Muslims.
This is an opportunity for our children to be proud and to let others know, "terrorism is not my religion." Do not teach them to be cow-tailed and to capitulate to that type of pressure. It is important for them to be affirmative. Children tend to respect courage. The thing a bully loves most is that you just fall apart. If you stand up to him, even if you lose the fight, everybody has respect for you afterwards.
Q: What do you think about the Taliban?
Shaykh Hamza: I do not like to get into Afghani politics because it is very complicated, but I think we should be against war. I personally am totally against modern warfare; I really am. I think Muslims should be much more outspoken about the prohibitions. Gai Eaton wrote a book saying that Muslim scholars have taken positions about emulsifiers and biscuit ingredients that are dubious, but somehow, they just have not really come out and condemned modern warfare for what it is; it is evil. Modern warfare uses weapons of mass destruction, and we do not believe in weapons of mass destruction. We can say they have them, so we need them. Well, take that to its logical conclusion. They can destroy us, so we have to be able to destroy them. Well, if everybody can destroy everybody else, I guess we are all going to be destroyed. It is called, "Mutually Assured Destruction: MAD." That is what they used to call it in the Cold War. The logic used is that if they can wipe us all out, we should at least be able to get our missiles off before their missiles hit us and wipe us all out; at least we will wipe them all out too, so we all get wiped out, and nobody wins. Great. That is not an end or aim of shari'a . You cannot kill with fire, which eliminates nuclear power. No one can kill with fire except the Lord of fire. You cannot poison, so there goes biological and chemical warfare. "Do not poison the wells of your enemies." Well, what does that mean? Who is going to drink the water? They are and their animals, which means they would die of chemicals. So, we are told, do not use chemical warfare either. There goes modern warfare. In addition, we are prohibited from indiscriminate killing. So, we should speak out against this stuff. We should be at the forefront of the movement against weapons of mass destruction, really.
Q: Should Muslims support and participate with Leftist groups who are working for justice and anti-war movements?
Shaykh Hamza: I think that there are a lot of good people in such movements. For example, the people with KPFA are good people. Also, my brother was saying he wants to put an Afghani flag on his car, and my mother keeps saying, "We are to blame." She was in the Civil Rights era, and she did a lot of work in the anti-war movements. She is against all that stuff. She said we pay our taxes, and so we have some complicity in all this stuff that is happening. There are a lot of Americans who know that. They are an intelligent minority because a lot of people do not know. Even intelligent, educated Americans have no knowledge of what goes on in the rest of the world, and you know that. You see it again and again. Really, intelligent people who are really good in their fields know nothing about the types of suffering that are going on in other parts of the world.
On the other hand, from a Quranic perspective, we also have to get out of pointing our fingers and blaming the West all the time because that is an empty, disempowering road to go down. Muslims need to take some responsibility for why we have the most corrupt countries on the planet. You just cannot blame the West for that. Nobody puts a gun to your head and forces you to take bribes, but that is what happens in the Muslim countries. You can blame it on the conditions, but what brought about the conditions? The West? Well, what brought about the West? Allah is in charge of the universe or not? He gives His dominion to whomever He pleases. In other words, Muslims are not the only ones who get dominion in this world, and if He gives it to other than Muslims, it is because Muslims cannot handle it. Think about that.
Everybody says the Americans do all this terrible stuff around the world. The only reason that Muslim countries are not doing it is because they do not have the power. That is why they can only do it to their own population, and I am serious about this. All they can do is torture, persecute, and oppress their own population because they are not able to do it outside of their own country whereas there is a lot of bad stuff going on outside this country and bad stuff that goes on inside this country as well, but that is the reality of it. We are in a bad situation all around, but this is the best world that we have, and it is the one that Allah gave us. This is it, and all we can do is work to make the whole thing better. That is our role, historically. As Muslims, we have to stand for the truth and with those who speak the truth whether it comes from us or from others.
Q: Recently a co-worker asked me if I could say that Osama Bin Laden is a non-Muslim and if he truly did this act. How should I respond?
Shaykh Hamza: I think it is important to tell people that murder is not a reason for being out of Islam. Whether he did this or not, he claims he did not do it, and people are presumed innocent until proven guilty. There needs to be due process of the law in terms of this incident. In terms of Bin Laden, from what I have heard from his own mouth in taped broadcasts, which I have seen, he has some serious misconceptions about Islamic law because you cannot claim that American civilians are halal to kill; you cannot say that. No matter what your disagreements are with the foreign policy of this country, civilians are civilians, and we do not believe in killing innocent civilians.
Now, I have never met him; I do not know him, and I really do not know very much; I have only heard clips and such. Irrespective of who he is, I know that at one time, he was considered a hero and a freedom fighter by the Reagan administration. That is a fact. He was trained by the CIA. He was initially sent to Afghanistan by the Saudi government's backing, and he collected a lot of money. He built some hospitals and some charity organizations; he did a lot of good in that area. Now, though, the problem is that according to Islamic law, he does not represent legitimate state authority. He has no authority to declare war on anybody. He is not the khalifah . If he represents 3,000 men, those people are whom he represents. There are a lot of Muslims around the world that feel this kind of solidarity with him, and I think that it is misplaced emotionalism. It is a romantic type of image of an individual standing up. It is like David versus Goliath, and as I explained to Ed Bradley, America loves underdogs that stand up against all odds. Hollywood movies are filled with these types of characters.
Saddam Hussein is considered a hero to some Muslims. The guy is one of the worst criminals in the history of Muslim rulers. The man is a criminal. He has killed incredible amounts of people, gassed his own people and other Muslims, but here is a guy that postures and says, "the Mother of all Battles," and unfortunately the Muslims are in a beleaguered, defeated, and humiliated state, and so anybody that raises their head and shows this kind of posturing is seen as a hero by a lot of Muslims who feel this gung-ho type of thing. However, it is very dangerous for us to say that Osama Bin Laden represents Muslim law because he does not. He does not have that authority, and people have to understand that by shari'a , he does not have that authority. The only people who can declare jihad are legitimate rulers, and none of these groups has that legitimacy. I am sorry, but that is shari'a , and I challenge anybody to bring textual evidence for proof otherwise.
Q: In an interview, you mentioned that the Qur'an never used the word jihad to imply fighting and the Qur'an never mentioned hur al-'ain .
Shaykh Hamza: I did not say the Qur'an never mentions hur al-'ain . I said that the 72 virgins is not in the Qur'an. It is in the hadith . About jihad , there is no verse where jihad is specifically used to refer to war, and you can look through the entire Qur'an. When Allah speaks about war, He uses the word qital .Jihad is a general, comprehensive term that includes a military endeavor that is for the truth, but it has the broadest meanings in the Qur'an. It includes all that Muslims struggle to do. For example, building schools is a jihad ; fighting the nafs is a jihad ; and so forth. That is why the Qur'an does not limit the word. Juhud just means struggle, and that was what I meant in the interview. There are verses where it does refer to martial combat, but it does not specifically limit the term to that one use, and that is why we do not have a "holy war," so to speak. The struggle for the sake of Allah is a high thing.
What I said about hur al-'ain is that the 72 virgins is not mentioned in the Qur'an. I did say that you have to be very careful about literalism with the Qur'an. For example, the Qur'an says about Allah, "there is nothing like Allah," and then what does Allah say after that? He says, "and He is the All-Hearing and the All-Knowing." Well, how would you know what All-Hearing and All-Knowing is if you did not have hearing and knowing? Also, Allah sees, so how would you know what sight is if you did not have sight? Allah gave you sight, but is your sight like the sight of Allah? Absolutely not.
Now, Allah says about jannah that it is something no eye has seen, and it never occurred to the human heart. So, when you look at the other descriptions of paradise in the Qur'an, you have to know that those are approximations. Do not think that Allah is describing physical types of things that we know of in this world. That is what Imam Al-Ghazali said, and that is what the 'ulama say. One of the things that some people are trying to use against Islam is that they say we envision paradise as being this type of sexual romp or something like that, which is a terrible thing. For the human being, the highest level of pleasure is in sexual relations, and therefore, it would be appropriate, according to what Imam Al-Ghazali says, to give some indication of the pleasures of paradise by talking about something that human beings know about, which is that experience, because the majority of human beings do not have intense mystical experiences in their life. There are mystics who do have these experiences that are very profound and intense, but most people do not. The most intense experience that they will have of pleasure is in this act, and when Allah describes the pleasures of paradise, He uses those examples because they are close to people's understandings.
That is not to say that hur al-'ain do not exist because they are real. However, to think that they are somehow related to the bestial elements of this world is incorrect. Allah says that these are pure beings. Paradise is total purity, so, it is about purity; its not about anything that relates to the mud of this world; that is euros. It is in the world. So, I said that because I think that sometimes people misunderstand the way Muslims view paradise. For example, what is in it for the women? What do the women get? Well, jealousy is removed from their hearts, they say. Allah says that both of them get their rewards. Believing men and believing women get the same rewards in paradise. Another thing to remember is that the highest station in paradise is the presence of Allah; it has nothing to do with any sensual description. The lowest jannah is the jannah of food and drink, and those are just approximations. Do not think that paradise is going to be just eating and drinking like here. It is not.
Q: Would the firefighters in New York be considered shahid by Islamic shari'a ?
Shaykh Hamza: I think that is for Allah to judge. I believe people are taken to account based on what they know. According to Imam Al-Ghazali, and Shaykh Murabit al-Hajj told me this as well, if people have not heard the message of Islam, they are not taken to account for Islam. I think that people who do good deeds, according to our beliefs, are rewarded for the good that they do. Even Abu-Lahab is given water in the hellfire for freeing a slave the day that the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam was born, and that is in a sound hadith . If Abu Lahab, the worst enemy of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam is rewarded for the good he did in this world, our Lord is a Just Lord, and He rewards good. So, what I did say is that if there were martyrs in this situation, then certainly they would be those people, but I cannot say who is a martyr and who is not. Even if a Muslim dies fi sabilillah , you hope that he is a martyr, but you cannot say with any certainty because it is for Allah to decide if it was sincerely for the sake of Allah, but they were heroic people; they were good people. The man I sat next to that night in Washington was one of the heroes of that day, and I told him it is an honor sitting next to you. He was an Irish fireman from New York, and he said in response, "Don't say that. I shouldn't even be here; I was just doing my job." That is literally what he said to me in total sincerity. Then I said to him, "You guys did a great job," and he said, "No, we didn't." He said, "We should have gotten a lot more people out of there," and he said the city has a lot to answer for because that was a very poorly executed operation. He said a lot more people should be alive.
Q: A number of non-Muslims asked me about what they could do to help. What should I tell them?
Shaykh Hamza: Finding out about Islam is a really good thing to do to help. I would really recommend Dr. Thomas Cleary's, The Essential Koran . I think it is a really useful introduction because the Qur'an has verses about which even Muslims need to know the interpretations, and there are all these translations out there without interpretations. There are verses like, "strike them if they're disobedient" referring to women, and the outward of that ayah does not mean what it appears, and it cannot be used to justify domestic violence.
Written Questions:
Shaykh Hamza: This question is about the shooting of the Muslim woman in the head in public. I have never heard of that as a punishment. I know that if you look at the hudud , what are called the penal laws of Islam, you are supposed to try to avoid implementing these penal punishments as much as you are able to, and that is the real spirit of the shari'a . I would say that Afghanistan is in a condition right now where you cannot implement the had punishments. Sayyiduna Umar removed had punishments during a famine because people who would not normally steal were stealing, and I think that conditions are extreme in Afghanistan right now. For instance, with adultery, you have to look at how many men have been killed in Afghanistan. How many women are completely on their own now? The shari'a is a merciful law. It teaches people to look for mercy.
I think people locally really need to help ING. They need more volunteers, more full-time people, and you need to sacrifice with your wealth and your time as well. I think it is really important to help those organizations that are most effective. I feel sorry for the entire Afghani population, not just there, but here as well. They are people who have just seen too much pain and suffering, like the Palestinians and like other Muslim peoples, and our hearts need to be with them; they really do. The Jews have seen a lot of suffering also; they really have. A lot of what goes on in Palestine is a result of the type of interiorization of the abuse and humiliation that they experienced in Europe, and a lot of people do not realize that. They have internalized that humiliation and treatment. Dr. Cleary mentioned how they used to make the Jews run naked through the streets in European cities and whip them and spit on them. People forget that. So, there is a lot of suffering out there, and I think that we should be more compassionate.
Q: If Bin Laden does go to trial, who should try him?
Shaykh Hamza: He has allegiance to the king of Saudi Arabia, and that is who his bay'ah is with. All Saudi citizens are required to take bay'ah with the king of Saudi Arabia, so that is their concern.
Q: My family is non-Muslim, and the more I try to tell them that this was not Islam, the more angry they get with me. What should I do?
Shaykh Hamza: That is sad because my family had an opposite reaction. I am really sorry about that. This is one of the unfortunate repercussions.
Q: What should I do to help if I lack knowledge?
Shaykh Hamza: I think that the best way to help, if you do lack the knowledge and things like that, is to support the organizations that are doing this type of work. That is the best you can do.
I want to thank all of you, in sha Allah , for coming. Don't give up. If anyone wants to know who is really behind the conspiracy, know that it is Iblis. He is our avowed enemy, so just recognize that, and do not go into despair. Do dhikr ; remember Allah; do the Prophetic Invocations or other dhikr . Do dhikr . This is a time to really be in a state of dhikr . Have love, mahabba ; have some love. This is a time to put aside our petty differences because we are facing much, much greater things. Really, have some respect for your Muslim brothers and sisters. As for the ones who are making mistakes out there, just forgive them, and know that they are trying. There are some fools amongst us, and they are often worse than our enemies. Like they say, give me an intelligent enemy and not a stupid friend. It is Arab proverb because they say a stupid friend harms you when he thinks he is trying to help you. At least with an intelligent enemy, you know he is trying to harm you. So, barak Allah fikum .

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

...When you do not know what you are doing and what you are doing is the best -- that is inspiration. Author: Robert Bresson Posted by Hello


Some of those who do not completely understand that matter is actually a complex of perceptions formed in the brain fall into error and draw wrong conclusions. For example, some people understand the explanations about matter being an illusion to mean that matter does not exist. Others think that matter exists as an illusion only when we are looking at it, but when we are not looking at it, it does not exist. Neither of these ideas is correct.
First, to say that matter does not exist, or that people, trees or birds do not exist is definitely wrong. All of these things exist and have been created by God. But, as we have explained from the beginning of this book, God has created all these things as an image or a perception. That is to say, after God created these things, He did not give them a concrete independent existence. Every one of them continues to be created at every moment.
Whether we see them or not, all these things are eternal in God's memory. All those things that have existed before us, and that will exist after us, have already been created by God in one single moment. As has been explained in the earlier chapter, time is an illusion; God created time and He is not bound by it. Therefore, those things that will exist for us in the future have been created in one moment in God's sight and they currently exist. But we cannot see them yet because we are bound by time.
Just as those things we will see in the future (or will exist in the future for us) are present every moment in God's memory, so, in the same way, things in the past do not cease to exist, but are present in God's memory. For example, when you were a fetus in your mother's womb, the day when you started to learn how to read and write, the moment you picked up your first school report, the moment you first drove a car, the time an old lady smiled at you when you gave her your seat on a bus, and other such things you experienced in the past, together with all the moments you will experience in the future, are at this moment in God's memory and will remain there for eternity
Every state of the butterfly you see in the picture-from the time it is an egg to when it enters its cocoon, from the time it leaves the cocoon and begins to fly to the time it dies-is vividly present in God's sight. In God's sight the butterfly is leaving the cocoon now, beginning to fly now and dying and falling to the ground now.
Suppose you kick a stone as you walk along a path. The time when you would kick that stone was determined and created in your fate even before you were born. The fact that this stone fell off a larger piece of rock, and every stage at which each of its cracks and recesses was formed-all of these were present in the sight of God even before you kicked the stone.
The same thing is true of a dead butterfly you see in a garbage can or a dry leaf falling from a tree onto your head. From the time the butterfly was still a caterpillar to the time it left its cocoon, from the time its wings dried to the time it fell into the garbage, everything was predetermined in its fate. In God's sight, the living butterfly and the dead butterfly continue continue to exist and will continue to exist eternally.
Everything Is Recorded In The Mother Of The Book
As we explained in the foregoing section, God created in one moment every event and every creature that we perceive as past and future. In the Koran it is revealed that the fates of every human being and every other creature are hidden in the Mother of the Book:
And truly, it is in the Mother of the Book, in Our Presence, high in dignity, and full of wisdom. (The Koran, 43: 4) … We possess an all-preserving Book. (The Koran, 50:4) Certainly there is no hidden thing in either heaven or earth which is not in a Clear Book. (The Koran, 27: 75)
In other verses, God says that everything that happens in heaven and on earth is recorded in this book. Those who disbelieve say, "The Hour will never come." Say: "Yes, by my Lord, it certainly will come!" He is the Knower of the Unseen, Whom not even the weight of the smallest particle eludes, either in the heavens or in the earth; nor is there anything smaller or larger than that which is not in a Clear Book. (The Koran, 34: 3) It is revealed in these verses that, since the universe was created, everything animate and inanimate, every event which happens are the creation of God and are therefore in His knowledge. In other words, all these things are in God's memory. The Mother of the Book is a manifestation of God as the Preserver (Al-Hafiz).
Events in the past are vividly and clearly experienced in God's memory as present events. For example, the workers making the pyramids are carrying their materials now, getting tired now, getting thirsty and drinking water now.
Past And Future Are Actually Experienced In The Present
Because time does not exist in the sight of God, all things happen in a single moment, that is in the "present". All events which we think of as past and future are present to God; in His sight everything is much more clear and vital than we can perceive. For example, at this moment Jonah is being cast into the sea as a result of the drawing of lots; Joseph is being thrown in to the well by his brothers; he is eating his first meal in prison and leaving the prison. At this moment Mary is speaking with Gabriel; Jesus is being born. At this moment Noah is driving the first nail into the ark and leaving the ark with his family at the place God chose for them. The mother of Moses is putting his cradle into the water, Moses is receiving his first revelation from God in the bush, he is dividing the sea and the believers are passing through it. At this moment Pharaoh and his army are being drowned as they cross through the sea and Moses is speaking with Khidr, Khidr is repairing the walls of the orphan children. Those who asked Dhu'l-Qarnayn to build a barrier to protect them are at this moment presenting their request and Dhu'l-Qarnayn is building the rampart that was not to be breached until the Day of Judgment. Abraham is at this moment warning his father, breaking down the idols of the pagans, and the fire they threw at him is giving Abraham coolness. Muhammad is at this moment receiving a revelation from Gabriel and he is being taken from Masjid al-Haram to Masjid al-Aqsa. At this moment an earthquake is destroying the people of 'Ad. The dwellers in Paradise are on their thrones engaged in mutual conversation; the dwellers in Hell are being consigned to the flames suffering in great sorrow for which there is no remedy or recourse. God sees and hears all these things, in this moment, with a far greater clarity than we can imagine. God can hear sounds at frequencies that we cannot hear and He can see things that we cannot see. All the events and sounds that we can perceive and not perceive are all present in the sight of God and experienced at every moment in all their vividness. None of these things is ever lost but continue in God's memory with all their details.

Moses and his people are fleeing through the divided sea now and being saved. Pharaoh and his army are being covered by the sea now and being drowned. Noah's ark and Solomon's temple are being built now. All these things are now present in God's memory, much more vividly and clearly than we can know.
This is also true of all the events in your life. For example, the foundation of the house left to you by your grandfather is at this moment being constructed. Your father is now being born in this house. The moment you first started to talk is happening now. You are now eating the meal you will "actually" eat ten years from now. The reality that all these examples present us with is this: no moment, no event or no existing thing has ever, or will ever cease to exist. As a film we are watching on television is recorded on a film strip and composed of several frames, and as our not seeing some of the frames does not mean that they do not exist, so it is with what we call "the past" and "the future".
Every moment is hidden as a single moment in God's memory-from the time a seed falls to the ground from a banana tree, to the time bananas are picked from the tree, packaged and sent to market, then sold in the market, brought home, and put in a fruit basket. Every moment is vividly experienced in God's sight. No state of the banana is destroyed in God's sight but remains hidden there forever.

It is very important to understand one point correctly: none of these images is like a memory or a dream. All of them are vivid as if you were experiencing them at this moment. Everything is vitally alive. Because God does not give us these perceptions, we see them as past. And God can show us these images whenever He wants to; by giving us the perceptions proper to these events, He can make us experience the events. From these examples it can be seen that for God, past and future are both the same. For this reason, nothing is hidden from God, as is pointed out in this verse;
(Luqman told his son): "My son, even if something weighs as little as a mustard-seed and is inside a rock or anywhere else in the heavens or earth, God will bring it out. God is All-Pervading, All-Aware." (The Koran, 31: 16)
Every moment of the demolition of this building is present in God's memory. Every moment--from the laying of the foundation to the moment when it is destroyed--will remain present forever without being lost.
To Those In Paradise Who Desire To See It, God Can Show The Past Just As It Happened
If a servant of God in Paradise wishes, God can show him things from the earthly life just as they happened. For example, if a person in Paradise asks God to let him see his dead dog alive again, his burned house before it was destroyed, or the Titanic before it sank, God can show it all to him even more vivid that it was before. For example, as the Titanic makes its way on the sea, the fish surrounding it will all be in the same place as at that moment and the passengers will be discussing the same things using the same words. Or ancient great civilizations can be seen in the high point of their splendor and wealth. A person who is curious about the Inca civilization can see any period of this civilization whenever he wishes. Because every event continues to be lived eternally with the same vividness in God's memory, the person who wants to see an event will find everything present the same as it was.
In one verse, God reveals that in Paradise people will have everything they desire: ... You will have there all that your selves could wish for. You will have there everything you demand. (The Koran, 41: 31) If those in Paradise wish it, God will show them every worldly image and occurrence that will give them sorrow but will make them happy and joyous. This is a great blessing that God has prepared for His worthy servants in Paradise.
The Importance Of This Matter For Human Beings This matter is of great importance for human beings because everything that happens to us in a day, even things we have forgotten by the time evening comes, the way we act, our attitudes and every thought that crosses our minds are unforgotten and kept in God's sight. For example, a person gossiping with his friend forgets this; it is not important to him. But that moment when he gossiped remains forever in God's sight. Or if a person has a negative thought about Muslims, that thought, the moment he thought it, the expression on his face and the sentences he used all remain forever in God's sight. Or the self-sacrifice with which a person feeds his friend although he himself is hungry will remain eternally in God's sight together with the circumstances of that moment, and the attitude and the thoughts that were expressed. Or a person who remains patient in a difficulty for God's sake and speaks kind words to the one who is troubling him will not have his fine moral behavior lost, but kept for eternity. And on the Day of Judgment, God will question all the good and evil deeds that a person has committed; those things which people have done but forgotten will confront them unforgotten and unchanged. Some people will even be surprised that the book they are given in the course of the reckoning is so detailed and they will say, The Book will be set in place and you will see the evildoers fearful of what is in it. They will say, "Alas for us! What is this Book which does not pass over any action, small or great, without recording it?" They will find there everything they did and your Lord will not wrong anyone at all. (The Koran, 18: 49) For this reason, a person aware of this reality must never forget that his every act and thought are locked for ever in God's memory and will continue to exist there; he must take care and fear the Day of Judgment.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

,,,,Wherever you go, go with all your heart. Author: Confucius Posted by Hello


Who Is It That Experiences All These Perceptions? So far we have established that everything we perceive takes place in our brains, and that we have no need for the outside world or material beings to experience these perceptions. At this point we face a question which would be asked by anyone who thinks on this subject a little bit. As we know, the electric signals coming from the cells in our eyes are transformed into an image in our brains. For example, the brain interprets some electrical signals coming to the visual center in the brain as a field filled with sunflowers. In reality, it is not the eye that is seeing.
Therefore, if it is not our eyes which are seeing, what is it that sees the electrical signals as a sunflower field, at the back of our brain, in a pitch dark place, without feeling any necessity for any eyes, retina, lens, visual nerves or pupil and enjoys the view in the sight?
Or who is it that hears (without needing an ear) the voice of a very close friend, becomes happy on hearing it, and misses it when he cannot hear it, when the brain is totally sound proof? Or who is it in the brain that feels the fur of the cat when stroking it, without having any need for a hand, fingers or muscles? Who is it that feels sensations such as heat, cold, and a sense of consistency, depth, and distance, as they originate in the brain? Who is it that smells the lemon, lavender flower, rose, melon, watermelon, orange, and barbecued meat inside the brain (even though the brain is smellproof), and feels hungry because of the smell coming from the grill? We have thus far discussed how everything we perceive continuously is actually formed inside our brains. Who is it then that sees the sights in a brain as if watching television, and becomes excited, happy, sad, nervous, or feels pleasure, anxiety or curiosity while watching them? Who is responsible for the consciousness which is capable of interpreting everything seen and everything felt? What is the entity in the brain that has consciousness and throughout life is capable of seeing all the sights shown to him in a dark, quiet head, that is capable of thinking, and reaches conclusions and makes decisions in the end? It is obvious that it is not the brain, made up of water, lipid and protein, and unconscious atoms, that perceives all this and is responsible for consciousness. There must be a being beyond the brain. Despite being a materialist, Daniel Dennett ponders the above question in one of his books:
My conscious thinking, and especially the enjoyment I felt in the combination of sunny light, sunny Vivaldi violins, rippling branches - plus the pleasure I took in just thinking about it all - how could all that be just something physical happening in my brain? How could any combination of electrochemical happenings in my brain somehow add up to the delightful way those hundreds of twigs genuflected in time with the music? How could some information-processing event in my brain be the delicate warmth of the sunlight I felt falling on me? For that matter, how could an event in my brain be my sketchily visualized mental image of … some other information-processing event in my brain? It does seem impossible. It does seem as if the happenings that are my conscious thoughts and experiences cannot be brain happenings, but must be something else, something caused or produced by brain happenings, no doubt, but something in addition, made of different stuff, located in a different space. Well, why not?24
On the other hand, R. L. Gregory questions the existence of the entity in the back of the brain, which sees all sights:
There is a temptation, which must be avoided, to say that the eyes produce pictures in the brain. A picture in the brain suggests the need of some kind of internal eye to see it - but this would need a further eye to see its picture… and so on, in an endless regress of eyes and pictures. This is absurd.25
Materialists who believe that nothing exists except matter cannot understand this particular question. Who does this "internal eye", which sees and perceives things seen and reacts to such things, belong to? In the following passage, Karl Pribram describes this important search by science and philosophy for the identity of the perceiver:
Philosophers since the Greeks have speculated about the "ghost" in the machine, the "little man inside the little man" and so on. Where is the I-the entity that uses the brain? Who does the actual knowing? Or, as Saint Francis of Assisi once put it, "What we are looking for is what is looking".26
Although many people venture close to this reality in answering the question "who is the entity that sees", they hesitate to accept all of its implications. As demonstrated in the examples above, in discussing the entity in our brains, some refer to the "little man", while others say "the ghost in the machine", some refer to "the being using the brain" while some say "the internal eye". All these terms have been used to describe the entity beyond the brain which possesses consciousness, and the means of reaching this entity. However, materialist assumptions keep many people from understanding the true nature of this being which actually sees and hears. The only source that answers this question is religion. In the Koran, God states that He created man in a physical way initially and then "breathed His Spirit" to the man He created: When your Lord said to the angels, "I am creating a human being out of dried clay formed from fetid black mud when I have formed him and breathed My Spirit into him, fall down in prostration in front of him!" (The Koran, 15: 28-29) (He) then formed him and breathed His Spirit into him and gave you hearing, sight and hearts. What little thanks you show! (The Koran, 32: 9) In other words, the human being has another existence besides its physical body. That entity inside the brain which says "I am seeing" the sight inside the brain, and "I am hearing" the sound inside the brain and aware of its own existence, and which says "I am me", is the soul given to human beings by God. Any human being with a mind and a conscience can understand this: the being that watches every incident inside the brain-watches as if looking at a screen throughout his life-is his soul. Every human being has a soul that sees without the need for an eye, hears without the need for an ear and thinks without the need for a brain. The materialistic view-which maintains that matter is the only thing that exists, and that human consciousness is only a result of some chemical reactions in the brain-is in a quandary about this issue. To see this it might be instructive to ask the following questions to a materialist: o Sight is formed in our brains but what is it that watches this sight in our brains? o Try to see in your mind's eye your neighbor living downstairs in your apartment building when he is not with you. Who is it that vivifies this person so clearly in your imagination down to the details of his costume, the lines in his face, the whites in his hairs; the tone of his voice, the way he speaks, the way he walks? A materialist will be unable to give a satisfactory answer to such questions. The only explanation to these questions is the soul given to man by God. However, materialists do not accept the existence of any being other than matter. For this reason the truth explained in this book deals a massive blow to atheist materialist thought, and constitutes a subject that materialists refuse to discuss most.
Who Lets Our Souls Watch All Of These Views? At this level there is another question that should be asked: Our soul watches the sights in our brains. But who is it that creates these sights? Could the brain itself form a bright, colorful, clear, shadowy sight and form a whole world through electrical signals in a tiny space? The brain is no more than a wet, soft, curvy piece of meat. Could a simple piece of meat like this create a sight clearer than any that could be provided by a television set with the latest technology, without any snow or horizontal jitter? Could a vision of such high quality be formed inside a piece of meat? Could this wet piece of meat form a stereo sound of higher quality than a stereo hi-fi system with the highest technology, without any sizzling noises? Of course, it is impossible for a brain, which is made of one and a half kilograms (four pounds) of meat to form such perfect perceptions.
Here we arrive at another truth. Since together with everything surrounding us, the body we have, our hands, arms and faces are the shadow beings, then our brains are also shadow beings. Thus we cannot say that this brain which is itself actually only a visual sensation, forms these visual sensations.
Bertrand Russell points out this truth in his work The ABC of Relativity, Of course, if matter in general is to be interpreted as a group of occurrences, this must apply also to the eye, the optic nerve and the brain.27
Realizing this fact, French philosopher Bergson said in his book, Matter and Memory, that "the world is made up of images, these images only exist in our consciousness; and the brain is one of these images."28 Who, then, is the being that shows these sights to our souls, with all their reality and clarity, and lets us live a life with all of these perceptions and without any interruptions? The being that shows all the sights to our souls, lets us hear all the sounds, and creates all the tastes and smells for our pleasure, is the Lord of all the worlds, the creator of everything, God.
One Of The Most Important Dilemmas Of Materialism: Human Consciousness Materialist philosophy can never explain the source of human consciousness, i.e. the qualitative experiences that belong to the human soul. For the materialist philosophy, matter is the only thing that exists. Qualities belonging to the soul of a human being, such as consciousness, thought, decision-making processes, happiness, excitement, longing, enjoyment and judgment can never be explained in the materialistic concept. Materialists pass quickly over this subject saying "human consciousness is only the result of the functions of the brain". A materialist scientist, Francis Crick summarizes this materialistic claim as follows:
Your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.29
However, such a claim cannot be defended by either science or logic. The materialist prejudices lead materialists to make such explanations regarding the qualities of a soul that belongs to human beings. In order not to accept the fact that there is a being beyond the material world, they attempt to reduce human intelligence to matter and make such claims that have no relation with intelligence or logic. The science writer John Horgan, although sympathetic to the materialist position called "reductionism", points out the following problems with Francis Crick's claims:
In a sense, Crick is right. We are nothing but a pack of neurons. At the same time, neuroscience has so far proved to be oddly unsatisfactory. Explaining the mind in terms of neurons has not yielded much more insight or benefit than explaining the mind in terms of quarks and electrons. There are many alternative reductionisms. We are nothing but a pack of idiosyncratic genes. We are nothing but a pack of adaptations sculpted by natural selection. We are nothing but a pack of computational devices dedicated to different tasks. We are nothing but a pack of sexual neuroses. These proclamations, like Crick's, are all defensible, and they are all inadequate.30
Of course, these explanations are all inadequate and they are definitely not logical. Any fanatic materialist is in fact aware of this truth. Not surprisingly, Thomas Huxley, the foremost advocate of Darwin also stated that consciousness cannot be explained by the interaction of neurons: "How it is that anything so remarkable as a state of consciousness comes about as a result of irritating nervous tissue, is just as unaccountable as the appearance of the Djin, when Aladdin rubbed his lamp."31
It is very clear that mere cells cannot give a person consciousness, intelligence, the ability to think and talk, and feelings such as love, compassion, mercy, longing.
From Huxley's time until the present, the failure to explain human consciousness through neurons hasn't changed. However, this is not because of the inadequacy of science regarding this issue. In contrast, especially towards the end of the 20th century, there have been many developments in the field of neurology with many mysteries being solved. However, these findings have showed that human consciousness can never be reduced to matter and the reality lies beyond the material. One of the leading Darwinist-materialist writers in Germany, Hoimar Von Ditfurth, also confesses the fact that the currently adopted methods cannot describe human consciousness:
With our present research in natural history and genetic development, it is obvious that we will not be able to give an answer to what consciousness, spirit, intelligence and feelings are.That is because psychic-consciousness level is the highest level that evolution has arrived, at least in this world. Therefore, although we are able to look at the other stages and phases of evolution from the outside, by rising above them, again by the help of our consciousness, we are unable to approach consciousness (or spirit) itself in a similar way. That is because no level higher than consciousness is available to us.32
American philosopher and doctor of mathematics, William A. Dembski, states in his article, "Converting Matter into Mind", that the bio-chemical functioning of neurons in the human brain and which mental functions it involves have been understood, although qualities such as decision making, wishing, or reasoning cannot be "reduced to matter". Dembski also points out that specialists on consciousness have realized the error of reductionism;
…Cognitive scientists abandon hope of understanding this higher level through the lower neurological level. …Thus while the commitment to materialism persists, the hope of explaining human intelligence at the neural level, which for the materialist is the logical level, is not a serious consideration 33
It is impossible to describe consciousness with a materialist worldview, regardless of the extent of scientific development. As details of the brain surface, it becomes clearer that the mind is irreducible to matter. Materialists must put aside their prejudices and think deeper and research further if they are to understand the concept of human consciousness, as it is impossible to define the real meaning of consciousness through matter. Consciousness is a function of the soul that is given to man by God.
Questions For Materialists It is totally illogical to state that thoughts, judgments, decision mechanisms, or feelings (such as happiness, excitement, and disappointment) are merely the results of the interaction of neurons in the brain of a human being. Materialists who consider this issue more deeply are aware of this truth. The famous materialist, Karl Lashley, made the following comment towards the end of his career, even though he had defended the idea for years that human consciousness could be reduced to matter:
Whether the mind-body relation is regarded as a genuine metaphysical issue or a systematized delusion, it remains a problem for the psychologist (and for the neurologist when he deals with human problems) as it is not for the physicist. . . . How can the brain, as a physico-chemical system, perceive or know anything; or develop the delusion that it does so? 34
Lashley drew attention to this conflict in one single question. However, there are many other details that materialists must consider. The explanations listed below illustrate some of the issues that reveal the impasse of the materialist approach, and which must therefore be considered in depth : o Stating that thoughts, excitements and feelings are products of neurons is to claim that such things are the products of the unconscious atoms, or products of the sub elements of atoms, such as quarks or electrons. o Unconscious atoms cannot know the feeling of happiness or sadness and neither can they enjoy music, taste, good friendship or a chat with a friend. o Unconscious atoms cannot be Darwinist or materialist and come together to write a book. o Unconscious atoms cannot view themselves or the nerve cells that form themselves under an electron microscope and reach scientific solutions from their research. o What is meant by the statement "consciousness is in the neurons of our brains"? Neurons, just like other cells, are made of cell membrane, mitochondria, DNA and ribosomes. Therefore, according to the materialists, where does consciousness lie in these things? If they suppose that consciousness is a result of chemical reactions between the neurons and electrical signals, they are mistaken, because they cannot explain a single "chemical reaction with consciousness". Nor can they show us an "electric wave" that starts to "think" at a certain voltage level.
If materialists think sincerely about these issues, they will realize that all people including themselves are different from groups of neurons or bunches of atoms. Despite being a materialist, the brain specialist Wolf Singer, admits this fact by saying "In this confusing material of the universe there is 'something' that perceives itself as 'I am'." 35 This "something" that the scientist refers to is actually the soul that is given to the human being by God. Due to this soul possessed by the human being, a person can think, be happy, get excited, produce new ideas, or oppose the ideas of others, or know the concepts such as honour, respect, love, friendship, loyalty, sincerity and honesty. The neurons and atoms that form human beings cannot think, make decisions, produce philosophical ideas or know the feeling of love, compassion or affection. Materialists, when they are alone, know this truth and accept it. However, due to their regarding their materialist prejudices as the requirement of science and reason, they cannot come to accept this absolute reality. On the other hand, the predicament they put themselves into just to defend materialism, and the illogical ideas they accept, actually cause much greater damage to them. A person who says "Our thoughts are the product of our atoms and neurons" is no different than a person who thinks his or her dreams are real, or a person who invents incredible stories like fairytales and then believes in them. The truth is actually this: a human being is a being that possesses a soul given by God, and with this soul, he can think, talk, be pleased, make decisions, establish civilizations and manage countries.