Thursday, October 15, 2009

MOHAMED'S POST HERE!


Muslims & Christians .. "A Common Word"


by Mohamed Fadly

At Georgetown university in Washington, a wonderful experience of cultural talk is going on. A conference among senior Muslim scholars including the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Dr. Ali Gomaa, and Amr Khaled, the famous Muslim preacher who have wide fame among Muslim youth, and senior Christian scholars. Political personalities are attending the conference from among them are Tony Blair, Professor John Esposito and Anwar Ibrahim. This two-day conference will take the "Common Word" initiative to the next stage by focusing on global issues and initiatives for change. Global political and religious leaders, scholars, media, and community representatives will discuss and develop concrete proposals to advance global peace and security between Muslim and Western societies. This bright experience started 3 years ago, when Pope Benedict XVI offered a speech offending Muslims around the world. An action that was faced by a wise reaction from 38 Islamic authorities and scholars from around the world, representing all denominations and schools of thought, joined together to deliver an answer to the Pope in the spirit of open intellectual exchange and mutual understanding. The number expanded a year later to be 138 Muslim scholars, clerics and intellectuals coming together to declare the common ground between Christianity and Islam. All major Muslim countries were represented in the message that is addressed to all Churches and indeed all Christians all over the world. The uniqueness of this initiative is that it depends on the teachings of the two great prophets, Muhammad and Jesus (Peace Be Upon Both of Them).

In a related event at Johns Hopkins University organized by US Institute of Peace, Dr. Ali Gomaa will discuss the challenge of moderation in Islam. Dr. Gomaa has been a regular critic of violence being practiced in the name of Islam, and has written extensively on spirituality, prevention of violence, human rights, women's equality and peacemaking. Dr. Gomaa has a wide fame among Muslims and particularly in Egypt. Following is the Summary of the introduction to the initiative..

Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world's population. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world. The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians.

The basis for this peace and understanding already exists. It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God, and love of the neighbour. These principles are found over and over again in the sacred texts of Islam and Christianity. The Unity of God, the necessity of love for Him, and the necessity of love of the neighbour is thus the common ground between Islam and Christianity. The following are only a few examples:

Of God's Unity, God says in the Holy Qur'an: "Say: He is God, the One! / God, the Self-Sufficient Besought of all!"(Al-Ikhlas, 112:1-2). Of the necessity of love for God, God says in the Holy Qur'an: "So invoke the Name of thy Lord and devote thyself to Him with a complete devotion"(Al-Muzzammil, 73:8). Of the necessity of love for the neighbour, the Prophet Muhammad said: "None of you has faith until you love for your neighbour what you love for yourself."

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ said:"Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. / And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. / And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."(Mark 12:29-31) In the Holy Qur'an, God Most High enjoins Muslims to issue the following call to Christians (and Jews—the People of the Scripture):"Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a common word between us and you: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him)."(Aal 'Imran 3:64)

The words:"we shall ascribe no partner unto Him"relate to the Unity of God, and the words:"worship none but God", relate to being totally devoted to God. Hence they all relate to the First and Greatest Commandment. According to one of the oldest and most authoritative commentaries on the Holy Qur'an the words: "that none of us shall take others for lords beside God", mean 'that none of us should obey the other in disobedience to what God has commanded'. This relates to the Second Commandment because justice and freedom of religion are a crucial part of love of the neighbor.

Thus in obedience to the Holy Qur'an, we as Muslims invite Christians to come together with us on the basis of what is common to us, which is also what is most essential to our faith and practice: the Two Commandments of love.



Thursday, October 01, 2009

Ayatollah Exposed!


Leader Or Exterminator? - by Parvin Darabi


Ayatollah Khomeini's Religious Teachings on Marriage, Divorce and Relationships


"A woman may legally belong to a man in one of two ways; by continuing marriage or temporary marriage. In the former, the duration of the marriage need not be specified; in the latter, it must be stipulated, for example, that it is for a period of an hour, a day, a month, a year, or more."

"A man can marry a girl younger than nine years of age, even if the girl is still a baby being breastfed. A man, however is prohibited from having intercourse with a girl younger than nine, other sexual act such as forplay, rubbing, kissing and sodomy is allowed. A man having intercourse with a girl younger than nine years of age has not comitted a crime, but only an infraction, if the girl is not permanently damaged. If the girl, however, is permanently damaged, the man must provide for her all her life. But this girl will not count as one of the man's four permanent wives. He also is not permitted to marry the girl's sister."

"A father or a paternal grandfather has the right to marry off a child who is insane or has not reached puberty by acting as its representative. The child may not annul such a marriage after reaching puberty or regaining his sanity, unless the marriage is to his manifest disadvantage."

"Any girl who is of age, that is, capable of understanding what is in her own best interest, if she wishes to get married and is a virgin, must procure the authorization of her father or paternal grandfather. The permission of her mother or brother is not required."

"A marriage is annulled if a man finds that his wife is afflicted with one of the seven following disabilities: madness, leprosy, eczema, blindness, paralysis with aftereffects, malformation of the urinary and genital tracts or of the genital-tract and rectum through conjoining thereof, or vaginal malformation making Coitus impossible."

"If a wife finds out after marriage that her husband is suffering from mental illness, that he is a castrate, impotent, or has had his testicles excised, she may apply for annulment of her marriage."

"If a wife has her marriage annulled because her husband is unable to have sexual relations with her either vaginally or anally, he must pay her as damages one-half of her mehryeh (her price) specified in the marriage contract. If the husband or wife annuls the marriage for any of the above-mentioned reasons, the man owes nothing to the woman if they have had sexual relations together; if they have not, he must pay her the full amount of the dowry."

"A Moslem woman may not marry a non-Moslem man; nor may a Moslem man marry a non-Moslem woman in continuing marriage, but he may take a Jewish or Christian woman in temporary marriage."

"A woman who has contracted a continuing marriage does not have the right to go out of the house without her husband's permission; she must remain at his disposal for the fulfillment of any one of his desires, and may not refuse herself to him except for a religiously valid reason. If she is totally submissive to him, the husband must provide her with her food, clothing, and lodging, whether or not he has the means to do so."

"A woman who refuses herself to her husband is guilty, and may not demand from him food, clothing, lodging, or any later sexual relations; however, she retains the right to be paid damages if she is repudiated."

"If a man who has married a girl who has not reached puberty possesses her sexually before her ninth birthday, inflicting traumatisms upon her, he has no right to repeat such an act with her."

"A man who has contracted a continuing marriage may not leave his wife for so long a time as to allow her to question the validity of the marriage; however, he is not obligated to spend one night out of every four with her."

"A husband must have sexual relations with his wife at least once in every four months."

"A woman who has been temporarily married in exchange for a previously established dowry has no right to demand that her daily expenses be paid by her husband, even when she becomes pregnant."

"A temporary marriage, even though only one of convenience, is nevertheless legal."

"A man must not abstain from having sexual relations with his temporary wife for more than four months."

"If a father (or paternal grandfather) marries off his daughter (or granddaughter) in her absence without knowing for a certainty that she is alive, the marriage becomes null and void as soon as it is established that she was dead at the time of the marriage."

"To look upon the face and hair of a girl who has not reached puberty, if it is done without intention of enjoyment thereof, and if one is not afraid of succumbing to temptation, may be tolerated. It is however recommended that one not look upon her belly or thighs, which must remain covered."

"To look upon the faces and hands of Jewish or Christian women, if this is not done with intention of enjoyment thereof, and if one does not fear temptation, is tolerated."

"A woman must hide her body and her hair from the eyes of men. It is highly recommended that she also hide them from those of prepubic boys, if she suspects that they may look upon her with lust."

"If a man is called upon, for medical reasons, to look upon a woman other than his wife and to touch her body, he is permitted to do so,but if he can give such care by only looking at the body he must not touch it, and if he can give it by only touching, he must not look at it."

"A woman who becomes pregnant as a result of adultery must not have an abortion. If a man commits adultery with an unmarried woman, and subsequently marries her, the child born of that marriage will be a bastard unless the parents can be sure it was conceived after they were married."

"A child born of an adulterous father is legitimate."

"The best person to breast-feed a newborn baby it its own mother. It is preferable that she not ask to be paid for such service, but that her husband pay her for it of his own free will. If the sum the mother asks for is greater than that charged by a wet nurse, the husband is free to take the child from its mother and turn it over to the wet nurse."

"A man who repudiates his wife must be of sound mind and past the age of puberty. He must do so of his own free will and without any constraint; therefore, if the formula for divorce is spoken in jest the marriage is not annulled."

"A woman temporarily married, say, for a month or a year, has her marriage automatically annulled at the end of that time, or at any other time when the husband releases her from the balance of her engagement. It is not necessary for this that there be any witnesses, or that the woman have had her period."

"A woman who has not yet reached the age of nine or a menopausal woman may remarry immediately after divorce, without waiting the hundred days that are otherwise required."

"A woman who has had her ninth birthday, or who has not yet entered menopause, must wait for three menstrual periods after her divorce before being allowed to remarry. If a woman who has not reached her ninth birthday or who has not entered menopause gets temporarily married, she must, at the end of the contract or when the husband has released her from part of it, wait two menstrual periods or forty-five days before marrying again."

"If the father or paternal grandfather of a boy has him marry a woman for a temporary marriage, he may prematurely cancel it in the boy's interest, even if the marriage was contracted before the boy reached the age of puberty. If, for example, a fourteen-year-old boy has been married off to a woman for a period of two years, they may return her freedom to the woman before this time has run its course; but a continuing marriage cannot be broken in this way."

"If a man repudiates his wife without informing her of it, and continues to meet her expenses for a period of, say, a year, and at the end of that time informs her that he got a divorce a year earlier and shows her proof of it, he may require that she return to him anything he has bought or given her during that time, provided that she has not used it up or consumed it, in which case he cannot demand its return."

"If a child dies within the mother's womb and it is a danger to her life to leave it there, it must be extracted in the easiest way possible; it can. if need be, cut into pieces; this should be done by the woman's husband or a midwife."

"A woman who wishes to pursue her studies toward the end of being able to earn her living through respectable work, and who has a male teacher, may do so if she keeps her face covered and has no contact with men; but if-that is inevitable, and religious and moral tenets are thus undermined, she must give up her studies. Girls and boys who attend coeducational classes in grammar schools, high schools, universities, or other teaching establishments, and who, in order to legalize such a situation, wish to contract a temporary marriage may do so without the permission of their fathers. The same applies if the boy and girl are in love but hesitate to ask for such permission."

(Teachings of Ayatollah Khomeini, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution)


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