intellectual property rights: This blogger firmly believes in intellectual and other property rights. Links have been given to the material including images and maps used from outside sources. The blogger requests pointing out any material that have escaped this policy.
Today: consumption kills eco-systems; fraud, greed, grand larceny and theft bring down world's finances; deceit, infidelity and instant gratification destroy families; murders and wars have left us without peace or stability. On top we have droughts, earthquakes, floods, storms, tsunamis … has the world gone mad! Submit now to Allah before it is too late - to the One and Only God, the Creator, Lord and Sustainer of the universe, Unique in His Person and Actions, without any blemish, weakness or relatives. Follow the Sunnah of Muhammad (the last Messenger and Prophet - upon whom be the peace and blessings of Allah), and join those who will be the really successful ones.

see end of page for buttoned useful links

Sunday, April 30, 2006



This is what we want, don't we?

What really is freedom?

Freedom from abuse,
Freedom from being lonely,
Freedom from boredom,
Freedom from criminals,
Freedom from filth,
Freedom from harassment,
Freedom from hunger,
Freedom from hurt,
Freedom from ignorance,
Freedom from overcrowding,
Freedom from police,
Freedom from violence,
Freedom from want,
Freedom from war,
Freedom of belief,
Freedom of choice,
Freedom of knowledge,
Freedom of speech,
Freedom of thought,
Freedom to be alone,
Freedom to be different,
Freedom to differ,
Freedom to explore,
Freedom to learn,
Freedom to listen,
Freedom to privacy,
Freedom to see the world,
Freedom to shelter and care when needed,
Freedom to sleep in,
Freedom to sleep out,
Freedom to talk,
Freedom to walk,


Are these freedoms absolute? Or are there some limits on these freedoms?


Who then is free?

· The kid whose parents are out at or looking for work, and who roams the streets all day

Or is that one free - who has to get up at four in the morning so as not to miss the first bus that takes him to within two kilometers of school. At least three kilometers of walk every morning, then a wait of an hour and half before the others arrive at school, and then after the school is over, the walk back to the bus-stop in the scorching mid-day sun. Sometimes walking on and on in the desert for at least 4 kilometers before space can be found on a bus.

Then, arriving home at four in the evening - hungry, thirsty, tired and sleepy.

Is that child free, or is that one whose parents cannot afford to send him to school?

· Discovering the world through books, reading what others have written, enjoying their way of expression, learning tools of analysis, knowing and analysing and expressing and communicating. Is that freedom to know of literature, geography, geology, chemistry, physics, the biological systems, the planets, the galaxies, the stars and what is happening in them, and how this knowledge has come about, and of civilisations past?

Is that freedom?

Or is it freedom to be able to while away the time without any care in the world?

· When receiving the High School graduation (Matriculation) certificate, did you know that you had now become a prisoner, that from now on, you were bound by what was written in that certificate.

Going on to College, to University, topping the lists, earning scholarships for even higher studies, were you becoming freer, or were the prison walls getting thicker?

· When going abroad, you need a passport and a visa. That defines and binds you even more. That puts you on registers, many of them. There is a trail, a track of where you have entered, where you have been, what you have done. That is another bit of record about you.

Are you free?

· When you start work, you are answerable to your boss and/or your client. There are times you think he is stupid, and is making unreasonable demands, but you have to put up with him, for the economy is never so buoyant that you will find another job quickly.

You are now a prisoner of the bills you have to pay. Are you free?

· As a middle class person, whose existence the government knows about and has traced you to your employer, you have to pay taxes. That is another prison wall. From now on, you have to file returns, you have to keep track of your earnings and spending, and savings, and you have to answer the taxman, who is in it for what he can get you to pay up or bribe him, for he keeps issuing notices.

Are you free, or is that person free who works in the informal, underground economy, whose existence the government knows of in a general way but who hasn't been identified and tagged as you have been. What benefits do you get as a taxpayer, or one who is in the records of the government?

· You marry, and does it bring freedom? From now on, your time is not your own. You have to cater to not just the needs, but also to the preferences of your spouse.

Are you free, or is that boy who did not earn enough to be considered for marriage?

· The babies arrive. Now you cannot sleep, for they sense when you are tired, and they will raise a wail to wake up the neighbours. You cannot take them to social functions, so your outings are curtailed.

Are you free, or is that childless couple down the street?

· The children grow to be school-going age. Now you have to hunt for schools that give quality education, within your means.

And you don't find them. There is so much trouble in schools, none is right. You want the children to develop critical thinking, and the schools want them to ape the West, or to memorise what the teacher says. The children are caught in between

No wonder they dream of escaping you and the school; they dream of being free.


· As the children's education progresses, the bills grow, and your salary does not grow as much as the bills.

Are you free?

· Somehow the children manage a University education, too. Now they have to find jobs, and in a stagnant or declining economy, it is your business to find them a job, otherwise your spouse will accuse you of failing in your duty as a parent. Soon it will be their turn to get married. And you have to find the ones suitable for them. All around you, the marriage market is flooded with moneyed people. It looks like business deals, and you are left out.

Are you free, or is that one who raised his children authoritatively, found them an apprenticeship, and married them off to the first person with a proposal.

· Your spouse keeps at you to have a shelter of your own. You borrow money right and left, as land and construction are very, very expensive. You buy or build a house, and now you are in even more trouble. Your creditors want their money back soon, and you have to cut down on your standard of living to start paying it back. The taxman wants to know how come you have bought it. The colleagues envy you, the subordinates want a little cash because you have now joined the prosperous, and they want bakhshish from you. As most of them come from feudal/rural backgrounds, this is what they expect. The civic authorities now want their own pound of flesh, every six months, in the form of property tax. They have put you in their records, too. This is yet another ring of prison walls around you.

Are you free, or that person who has built a mud house on common land?

· You have grown old. You need money now, and your pension is pitiably small, won't even pay for utilities. Your sight and hearing are failing. You cannot drive anymore. You cannot walk straight.

Are you free, or is that one who lived without scruples and has tons of money to buy the care he needs.

· Your parents and their parents and grandparents made sacrifices to throw off the yoke of British Imperialism, and they gave you a free country.

Are you sure it is a free country?

· Here the helicopters and planes of the US, based in Afghanistan, can bomb your country at will, killing innocent civilians, and the pretext is that they had intelligence that their wanted men were having a party.

Are you free?

· You want to see the world. You should have enough money, for it is not acceptable that you earn and pay as you travel. You should have a valid passport for which your biometric data is measured and recorded. Do you know where that data ends up?

In the US! Are you free?

· You also need a valid visa to where you want to go, and the travel and stay arrangements all made out. You cannot leave it to be what you decide at a later stage. When you do get the visa, and pass the immigration controls of your country, your face is scanned again, your passport details are noted, and where does the information about you go?

To the US!

Do you still feel free?

· NADRA is issuing you ID cards. Guess where the information will go?

Are you free?

· You go on the net. What emails you send, are scanned; what webpages you visit, are recorded. If there is something of interest to the powers that be, you can be hauled in, or come in for closer scrutiny. The records are kept here for at least three months.

Are you free?

· The phones you use, particularly mobiles, are monitored. Your words can trigger more active interference. Your voice is analysed, and checked against databases.
Is that freedom?

· Above you in the sky are satellites with cameras that can read the number plates of the car parked in you drive, or your street.

Are you free?

Where is freedom?

When we hear the adhaan, the muadhdhin says: "There is no god but Allah", and he says: "Allah is (the) Great(est)". Then it comes back to us that one day the misdeeds of these intruders will be read out to them, and all wrongs they have done will be avenged. They don't frighten us.

When we stand for Salah, we focus on Allah (swt), who has created and owns and controls everything, and we know nothing happens without His knowledge; that all in this world is a test; that all will be held accountable.

Freedom, at last!

Friday, April 28, 2006

to the Chief Justice of Pakistan

dear Chief Justice of Pakistan

assalamu alaykum

or rather wait! Please don't receive this salaam just yet, as I think there is a hitch.

You see I am glad that you have ordered an FIR under blasphemy laws against Google and Yahoo! and I was going to congratulate you, starting with salam, but this hitch cropped up!

The hitch!

An FIR needs to be registered urgently against the Government of Pakistan including the President and the Prime Minister and the lesser (although still high on a pedestal) Ministers, the entire Judicial Service of Pakistan, the lawyers, the petitioners, the wasiqa nawees (petition composers), the appellants, deponents and the defendents, the police, the prosecution and the defence teams, the court reporters, the news anchors, all associated in any way with the Judicial process , its reporting or its analysis. And I am really, really sorry to inform you that this includes the Justices of the courts, particularly the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the High Courts of the Provinces.


Islam accepts only One Lord, the Creator, Sustainer and Master of all,

while those I have named above, call the Justices Lords, and have been doing so continuously even after the birth of this country.

That is shirk, plain and simple.

Please order the police to register an FIR immediately against everyone I have listed, and please have a case prepared and heard on priority basis.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Iran to hang teenage girl

Iran to hang teenage girl attacked by rapists

Iran to hang teenage girl attacked by rapists
Sat. 07 Jan 2006
Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Jan. 07 – An Iranian court has sentenced a teenage rape victim to death by hanging after she weepingly confessed that she had unintentionally killed a man who had tried to rape both her and her niece.

The state-run daily Etemaad reported on Saturday that 18-year-old Nazanin confessed to stabbing one of three men who had attacked the pair along with their boyfriends while they were spending some time in a park west of the Iranian capital in March 2005.

Nazanin, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident, said that after the three men started to throw stones at them, the two girls’ boyfriends quickly escaped on their motorbikes leaving the pair helpless.

She described how the three men pushed her and her 16-year-old niece Somayeh onto the ground and tried to rape them, and said that she took out a knife from her pocket and stabbed one of the men in the hand.

As the girls tried to escape, the men once again attacked them, and at this point, Nazanin said, she stabbed one of the men in the chest. The teenage girl, however, broke down in tears in court as she explained that she had no intention of killing the man but was merely defending herself and her younger niece from rape, the report said.

The court, however, issued on Tuesday a sentence for Nazanin to be hanged to death.

Last week, a court in the city of Rasht, northern Iran, sentenced Delara Darabi to death by hanging charged with murder when she was 17 years old. Darabi has denied the charges.

In August 2004, Iran’s Islamic penal system sentenced a 16-year-old girl, Atefeh Rajabi, to death after a sham trial, in which she was accused of committing “acts incompatible with chastity”.

The teenage victim had no access to a lawyer at any stage and efforts by her family to retain one were to no avail. Atefeh personally defended herself and told the religious judge that he should punish those who force women into adultery, not the victims. She was eventually hanged in public in the northern town of Neka.

It is a grave miscarriage of Justice, a total misuse of the Shariah.
Please sign the petitions:

Monday, April 17, 2006

Quran against indecency and vain activity

Fawahish = indecency
Lagw = useless, vain

الســـلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
assalamu alaykum wa rematullahi wa barakatuhu

No, dear stabani, you are not being harsh at all. You should be harsher if it seems that I have claimed that I know everything about Islam. That was certainly not my intention. aoodhobillah wa astaghfirullah! Thanks for reminding me of my limitations. May Allah (swt) give you rewards for this.

I am glad you want proof. That is way it should be. It is important for us to know the source in original, and to be able to see things in context.

I assume you want proof about Fawahish. Here are some ayahs. Some people number Bismillah as a separate ayah in each Surah (except of course Surah Taubah, where it does not occur at all), so the numbers may be a little out if you have a copy with such numbering. It is always better to read at least a few ayahs preceding and following the one quoted. This is also necessary at times because the context is important.

The first figure quoted is the number of the Surah, the ones after the colon are the serial numbers of the relevant ayahs.


al-Aaraaf - 7:27-28

27. O Children of Adam! Let not Shaytan (Satan) deceive you, as he got your parents [Adam and Eve] out of Paradise, stripping them of their raiments, to show them their private parts. Verily, he and Qabeeluhu (his soldiers from the jinns or his tribe) see you from where you cannot see them. Verily, We made the devils Auliyaa' (protectors and helpers) for those who believe not.

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ لاَ يَفْتِنَنَّكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ كَمَا أَخْرَجَ أَبَوَيْكُم مِّنَ الْجَنَّةِ يَنزِعُ عَنْهُمَا لِبَاسَهُمَا لِيُرِيَهُمَا سَوْءَاتِهِمَا إِنَّهُ يَرَاكُمْ هُوَ وَقَبِيلُهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ تَرَوْنَهُمْ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا الشَّيَاطِينَ أَوْلِيَاء لِلَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ

28. And when they commit a Faahisha (evil deed, going round the Ka'bah in naked state, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.), they say: "We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has commanded us of it." Say: "Nay, Allah never commands of Faahisha. Do you say of Allah what you know not?

وَإِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَاحِشَةً قَالُواْ وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهَا آبَاءنَا وَاللّهُ أَمَرَنَا بِهَا قُلْ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْفَحْشَاء أَتَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

an-Nahl - 16:90

إِنَّ اللّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاء ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاء وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ
Verily, Allah enjoins justice and goodness, and giving (help) to kith and kin (i.e. all that Allah has ordered you to give them e.g., wealth, visiting, looking after them, or any other kind of help, etc.): and forbids shameful, indecent and evil deeds, and all kinds of oppression, He admonishes you, that you may take heed.

Lo! Allah enjoineth justice and kindness, and giving to kinsfolk, and forbiddeth lewdness and abomination and wickedness. He exhorteth you in order that ye may take heed.

Surely Allah enjoins the doing of justice and the doing of good (to others) and the giving to the kindred, and He forbids indecency and evil and rebellion; He admonishes you that you may be mindful.

Yusuf Ali
Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, that ye may receive admonition.

an-Noor - 24:19

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُحِبُّونَ أَن تَشِيعَ الْفَاحِشَةُ فِي الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
Verily, those who like that (the crime of) illegal sexual intercourse should be propagated among those who believe, they will have a painful torment in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allah knows and you know not.

Lo! those who love that slander should be spread concerning those who believe, theirs will be a painful punishment in the world and the Hereafter. Allah knoweth. Ye know not.

Surely (as for) those who love that scandal should circulate respecting those who believe, they shall have a grievous chastisement in this world and the hereafter; and Allah knows, while you do not know.

Yusuf Ali
Those who love (to see) scandal published broadcast among the Believers, will have a grievous Penalty in this life and in the Hereafter: Allah knows, and ye know not.

ash-Shurah - 42:36-39 particularly 37

36. So whatever thing you are given, that is only a provision of this world's life, and what is with Allah is better and more lasting for those who believe and rely on their Lord.

فَمَا أُوتِيتُم مِّن شَيْءٍ فَمَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا عِندَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ

37. And those who. shun the great sins and indecencies, and whenever they are angry they forgive.
وَالَّذِينَ يَجْتَنِبُونَ كَبَائِرَ الْإِثْمِ وَالْفَوَاحِشَ وَإِذَا مَا غَضِبُوا هُمْ يَغْفِرُونَ

38. And those who respond to their Lord and keep up prayer, and their rule is to take counsel among themselves, and who spend out of what We have given them.

وَالَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُوا لِرَبِّهِمْ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَمْرُهُمْ شُورَى بَيْنَهُمْ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ

39. And those who, when great wrong afflicts them, defend themselves.

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَهُمُ الْبَغْيُ هُمْ يَنتَصِرُونَ

related topics:

forbidding Munkar: al-Hajj - 22:41

الَّذِينَ إِن مَّكَّنَّاهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَمَرُوا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَنَهَوْا عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَلِلَّهِ عَاقِبَةُ الْأُمُورِ
Those (Muslim rulers) who, if We give them power in the land, (they) order for the [five compulsory, congregational] prayers, to pay the Zakat and they enjoin the good, and forbid evil. And with Allah rests the end of (all) matters (of creatures).

Those who, if We give them power in the land, establish worship and pay the poor-due and enjoin kindness and forbid iniquity. And Allah's is the sequel of events.

Those who, should We establish them in the land, will keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and enjoin good and forbid evil; and Allah's is the end of affairs.

Yusuf Ali
(They are) those who, if We establish them in the land, establish regular prayer and give regular charity, enjoin the right and forbid wrong: with Allah rests the end (and decision) of (all) affairs.

Lagw: al-Muminoon - 23: 1-11, particularly 3 (keeping away from vain and useless things) and 5-6

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ
In the Name of Allah, the Ever-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving!

1. Successful indeed are the believers,
قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ
2. Who are humble in their prayers,
الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ
3. And who keep aloof from what is vain,
وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُعْرِضُونَ
4. And who are givers of poor-rate,
وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِلزَّكَاةِ فَاعِلُونَ
5. And who guard their private parts,
وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُوجِهِمْ حَافِظُونَ
6. Except before their mates or those whom their right hands possess, for they surely are not blameable,
إِلَّا عَلَى أَزْوَاجِهِمْ أوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُومِينَ
7. But whoever seeks to go beyond that, these are they that exceed the limits; فَمَنِ ابْتَغَى وَرَاء ذَلِكَ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْعَادُونَ
8. And those who are keepers of their trusts and their covenant,
وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِأَمَانَاتِهِمْ وَعَهْدِهِمْ رَاعُونَ
9. And those who keep a guard on their prayers;
وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَى صَلَوَاتِهِمْ يُحَافِظُونَ
10. These are they who are the heirs,
أُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْوَارِثُونَ
11. Who shall inherit the Paradise; they shall abide therein.
الَّذِينَ يَرِثُونَ الْفِرْدَوْسَ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

Qualities of Ibaadur Rehman: al-Furqan - 25:63-76, particularly 68

63. And the servants of the Beneficent God are they who walk on the earth in humbleness, and when the ignorant address them, they say: Peace.
وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا
64. And they who pass the night prostrating themselves before their Lord and standing. وَالَّذِينَ يَبِيتُونَ لِرَبِّهِمْ سُجَّدًا وَقِيَامًا
65. And they who say: O our Lord! turn away from us the punishment of hell, surely the punishment thereof is a lasting
وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اصْرِفْ عَنَّا عَذَابَ جَهَنَّمَ إِنَّ عَذَابَهَا كَانَ غَرَامًا
66. Surely it is an evil abode and (evil) place to stay. إِنَّهَا سَاءتْ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَمُقَامًا
67. And they who when they spend, are neither extravagant nor parsimonious, and (keep) between these the just mean.
وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا أَنفَقُوا لَمْ يُسْرِفُوا وَلَمْ يَقْتُرُوا وَكَانَ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ قَوَامًا
68. And they who do not call upon another god with Allah and do not slay the soul, which Allah has forbidden except in the requirements of justice, and (who) do not commit fornication and he who does this shall find a requital of sin;
وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ وَلَا يَقْتُلُونَ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ وَلَا يَزْنُونَ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ يَلْقَ أَثَامًا
69. The punishment shall be doubled to him on the day of resurrection, and he shall abide therein in abasement;
يُضَاعَفْ لَهُ الْعَذَابُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَيَخْلُدْ فِيهِ مُهَانًا
70. Except him who repents and believes and does a good deed; so these are they of whom Allah changes the evil deeds to good ones; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
إِلَّا مَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا فَأُوْلَئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللَّهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا
71. And whoever repents and does good, he surely turns to Allah a (goodly) turning.
وَمَن تَابَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَإِنَّهُ يَتُوبُ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَتَابًا
72. And they who do not bear witness to what is false, and when they pass by what is vain, they pass by nobly.
وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الزُّورَ وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّوا كِرَامًا
73. And they who, when reminded of the communications of their Lord, do not fall down thereat deaf and blind.
وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِّرُوا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ لَمْ يَخِرُّوا عَلَيْهَا صُمًّا وَعُمْيَانًا
74. And they who say: O our Lord! grant us in our wives and our offspring the joy of our eyes, and make us guides to those who guard (against evil).
وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا
75. These shall be rewarded with high places because they were patient, and shall be met therein with greetings and salutations.
أُوْلَئِكَ يُجْزَوْنَ الْغُرْفَةَ بِمَا صَبَرُوا وَيُلَقَّوْنَ فِيهَا تَحِيَّةً وَسَلَامًا
76. Abiding therein; goodly the abode and the resting-place.

This is from:

There are other sites as well:

Finally, I thank you again for reminding me that there is so little I know, and even littler that I practice. If this makes anyone take up a study of the Quran and authentic Hadith, the context of revelations and other Islamic knowledge, maybe it will be counted as a good deed for me. :)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Censorship or not

see the whole discussion:

Censorship or not

also see:

Sex, now

9 From: a sane voice -

In reality, we have not achieved much yet. The blogspot ban has not been lifted. The government has not said a word to those it has muzzled in this fashion. It has not occurred to the government that it needs to listen and say something, for the simple reason that so far no one powerful enough has jpoined in. We do not want any politicians here, but we do need behind the scenes support of those the government will listen to. The number 102 as members may seem large to us in Pakistan, but it is nowhere near enough to bring about a change in government policy. It is just beginning to get noticed, and that too overwhelmingly by the writings of the members of this group.

I can see that censorship is unworkable on the net, and the efforts to curb it are hugely expensive. For these reasons I would not ask for censorship, but the freedom of speech thing cannot be absolute. It never is. Would a recipe on the net for bomb-making be freedom of speech? Can a crime such as incest be extolled on the net under the freedom of speech? It isn't that one has to go searching for indecent things to find them. They come onscreen all the time, and the time and energy to keep them off is quite tiring. As for the expense, we are spending huge amounts already for the benefit of the US.

The other day I was looking to learn about the grasslands called savanna or savannah. The search turned up a pornstar. Look, it is porn, and the actresses in it are called stars - surely a great abuse of language. It cannot be censored, but do we want all that goes by the name of freedom in the West here, too? In the US, there was a talk show where this family came onscreen. They are involved in incest - father, mother, son, daughter, all of them. They were quite open about it, and not only open, they were inviting others to join in. The porn sites adverise and invite people in group and pervert sex. It is sickening.

What is tolerated may become the norm. What is available in abundance, begins to get used. Have alcohol in abundance, and people will use it, and think nothing of it. Let pre- or ex-marital sex onscreen, and gradually people will see nothing wrong with it in real life.

Maybe I am in the minority here. I believe in what Allah (swt) says in the Quran. When He says that the nation of Lut (as) was destroyed for overt homosexual behavior, I believe it. When He says the people of Madyan was destroyed for unethical business transactions, I believe it. When He says the people of Ibrahim (as) and Nuh (as) were destroyed for idol worship, I believe it. I see these things being repeated in the world, and in our people, and I get a fright.

And I believe in the authentic sayings of the last Prophet (saaw). When he foretold the signs of the Qiyamah, I believe it. I see what he foretold coming true, and I am frightened, for my family, my friends, and for this greater humanity that in my belief, comes from the same father and mother - Adam and Eve.

And Allah has condemned those who spread indecency, or support its spreading, among other things.

10 From: -

Sane voice,

I think even the most liberal and open of societies recognise that absolute freedom of speech is not an ideal to apsire towards. This would undoubtably lead to hate-mongering extremists fanning violence and mistrust, and any healthy society would shut these people up, which is why Nazis are outlawed. I think the line is automatically drawn when 'free speech' is used to incite violence and hatred. There's nothing wrong with that. It's not 'absolute freedom' that we're discussing or aspiring to here and so your point, being rooted in semantics, is not really relevant.

We should be aiming for much greater freedom of expression that we are used to in this country. Unfortunately, our entire society is rooted in a mindset of subservient obedience, not just to government, but to our mullahs. This has prevented us from evolving and improving ourselves as a society. How many people do you know who would publically challenge and castigate an "islamic scholar" on some ridiculous 'fatwa' that he announced. For the most part, muslims believe that they have no authority to question these 'imams' in religious matters, because supposedly these 'imams' have far greater knowledge in such matters. If we lived in a more open society, we would be to engage in more critical self-appraisal. This is fundamental to the evolution of a healthy society. Freedom of speech is tool that a society uses to correct itself.

There may be many detractors of the US these days, but just take a look at how much heat Bush is getting these days. He's a president under fire. Given the experiences the US has had over Iraq, you can be sure a future American government will do everything it can to avoid getting itself in such a situation again. The immense criticism Bush is recieving these days will work one day towards creating an America that is more likely to pursue the diplomatic track to resolve it's conflicts in the future. This is how an open society operates. Before Bush, Americans thought it was okay to pre-emptively attack another ountry. Before Bush, Americans trusted their government when it told them an attack on another country was necessary for national security. Not anymore. Why? Because their open society worked to correct itself and instill a political climate that would make an unjust war very unlikely to occur again.

We need that self-correcting mechanism in our own society. How many Pakistani's will openly say "to hell with Kashmir, let's just make the LOC a border and end this 55 year old nightmare"? Can we say Pakistani society as a collectivity has done anything to positively influence our governments? If we had an open society, there would not be a media blackout in Balochistan. The press would raise hell to get there and find out what is really going on.

To say that we want 'freedom of speech' on our own terms is an contradiction in itself.

11 From: a sane voice -


:) I don't think it is semantics on my part.

You agree that "absolute freedom of speech is not an ideal to apsire towards" and yet you accuse me of contradiction with this statement: "we want 'freedom of speech' on our own terms is an contradiction in itself."

I do agree that we need to be able to discuss openly many things that this traditionally conservative society has kept locked up. We do need to stop those in authority from perpetuating their their hold on power and its benefits by branding all dissent as anti-state or anti-Islam. I do agree with having a more open, participative and socially responsible society.

My emphasis would be equally on these, not just freedom of speech, but social responsibilty as well.

I disagree with "to hell with Kashmir" attitude, but I accept that you (and others, including the much derided Mullah) have a right to discuss this (and all possibilities) as an alternative without fear of being intimidated.

As for the US, and the UK, etc. well, I really do not know how to put my views across, but I will give it a try. Many years ago, there was a war being fought by the US. There were atrocities - carpet bombings, Napalm, defoliating agents.

And there was opposition to war - much opposition, throughout the world, in the US itself. More than a million (maybe two million) VietNamese died in the war. 58,000 Americans died too, before the US called it quits. Some of us naively thought that the US would no longer engage in such wars.

What we thought came out to be wrong.

Some years ago, a US President was caught lying. He decided to resign so as to escape being impeached. We thought US Presidents would no longer lie to their electorate.

What we thought came out to be wrong.

The self-correcting mechanisms of the established democracies have not stopped them from exploiting the third world and waging wars on us.

12 From: stabani -

Look, I for one completely disagree with your analysis, a sane voice, yet the comments that you made here could have been censored as well. I am more than happy to debate that with you in email, but currently using thiis as a group to discuss freedom of speech is quite useless.

I actually talked about started a new group before. I actually suggest doing just that. Look, people in this group are quite against the whole blogspot ban, but yet they are pro-censorship.

I suggest opening up a "freedom of speech in Pakistan" (get a better name though) group and asking people who believe in that to join. People should be more than welcome to post things contrary to the point, like a sane voice just did.

As for freedom of speech and the argument that if you let it be available people will do it, It's quite a useless argument.

If you have faith in your religion, you wouldn't. I'm sorry, but you can't block people's rights just because you don't have the faith and don't want to spread that faith forward. Look, when I have kids, I will tell them that porn is wrong, I'll tell them that violence is wrong. The internet or no internet, it depends on how strong you foster your children. Claiming that the internet helps to spread this and make it available is quite wrong. It's like claiming that EVERY single person living in the U.S with free acess to everything is corrupt. It simply is not like that.

As for the whole America/UK analogy, it's quite useless really. Atrocities like the ones in Iraq are reported on the net, so are atrocities Musharraf commits. Really, blocking of speech and websites will not even cause the fire that it did before. It will completely remove the whole threat that media posses and causes people to be better, to keep a clean record. Simply do a google search for any name, you'll come out with the history and geography of everyone, including, in some cases, websites that they visit or frequently visit.

"The self-correcting mechanisms of the established democracies have not stopped them from exploiting the third world and waging wars on us. " Aren't third world countires exploiting themselves? Haven't you looked at the history of Pakistan? One corrupt official after another! Do you really worry about other countires when our own country is so damn corrupt?

As for the self-correcting mechanisms, no government method is perfect. None come close. Whether be authoritarian, millitary, or democratic, government simply is not perfect. What do you think, that millitary rule will save us all? Haven't you looked at the rap sheet of our millitary? It's people who are corrupt, It's people who are not perfect. This is a materialistic world. Deal with it. Trying to stop the information will not end the problem.

And why is the West at war with people of Iraq, Iran and such? Because their own governemnts have not been able to be powerful enough. We have not fostered the things that are necessary for success. they tried to fly down civil liberties, tried to be cruel. You live in a world, you have a moral responsibility.. And all this coming from a guy who is generally anti-West.

13 From: a sane voice -

I am not sure whether it is I who does not understand, or who is unable to make his point across, or is it you stabani. I will take it to be myself. :)

Since you do not want to debate this here, I won't, but I will try to summarise where I think I have not been able to make myself clear.

drpak agrees with me that absolute freedom of speech does not exist. My point is that this implies limits on the freedom of speech. Do you agree? If you do, who will set those limits? The standards for these limits vary, from culture to culture.

Should we set our own, or should we copy the US or Europe?

As for your statement (my rephrase) that people won't be corrupted if corruption is available, I disagree. The more something is available, the more normal it seems to engage in it. If it is a matter of choice only, why are hard drugs prohibited. Why is there such a hue and cry over the heroin trade? To take your argument forward, let freedom of choice be available in this sphere as well.

You talk of people's rights. I guess you mean individual rights. A society has rights, too. My neighbour considers it his right to dump his garbage wherever he deems fit. Let us assume you are a strong fosterer of children, but many are not as lucky or as strong as you are.

I have not claimed, nor will ever claim, that everyone in the US is corrupt but since you brought it up, FYI, the porn business in the US is estimated to be of the order of $14 billion, and it is going to Wall Street. Can you have a guess at the number of "stars" in this industry? Add to this the number in the sex trade: call girls, pros, escorts, asseurs, and you will be amazed. This does not include those who engage in consensual sex without any payment. Have you any idea of the number of single mothers in the US, in Europe?

Have you looked at how attitudes to extra-marital sex have changed over the years?

I agree that many leaders of the third world countries are corrupt. I was responding to the view of drpak that since the US is a democtracy, the people will learn from what has been reported, and will not have such a war again. He has overlooked the fact that the US elected Mr Bush again, with an increased majority to boot. Then I outlined that history (and not too distant a history) should have taught these democracies about not electing those type of people again. I am not against democracy, but here again I am not taken in. Plus, as a Muslim, I think that Muslim democracies should make their laws within the framework of Islam.

There are a lot of freedoms we lack. There are some freedoms we can do without.

Finally, I am not anti-West at all, but in the debacle of the third world, there is considerable contribution from the West (and the USSR in the past). Hvae you read the book: "Confessions of an Economic Hitman"? It is worth reading.

I am sorry if this has come out to be a debate. You didn't want it here.

14 From: KO -

Dear sane voice,

One does not need the internet for perversions and access to porn.

As evidence, I give you every video store in Karachi. Might not be every store, but certainly the majority. Including those run by mullahs, families, and otherwise respectable people. The rupee is very powerfull.

I also point out, it is much easier for the govt. to stop the manufacturing and sale of porn in video stores then it is on the internet. The govt. will never succeed in the first, so it stands to reason they will also not succeed in the second.

You point out that the US spends 14 billion dollars on porn. The number is meaningless. It is a 11 trillion dollar economy.

The US spends more money than that on just about anything you might care to name, from donating to charity to pet care.

Corruption is relative. Here in Pakistan we spend more on porn and less on health care.

By your corruption yardstick of measuring the amount spent on porn, the US is full of walking talking saints.

15 From: a sane voice -

good post, KO

I agree that there is plenty wrong with our society, and we need to work on those. There is something wrong in the West, too, and since the West's economy (and military might with the hidden urge to use it) is so large, we are affected by it. And the distinction between our cultures is getting blurred. After all, the world is fast going global. :)

How did porn come to Pakistan?

It was during the rule of Zia. He had throttled every means of peaceful protest and expression. I don't know who, but someone for some people suggetsed to him that the introduction of Indian movies would make the masses docile.

The same introduction of docility happened in the UK (also in Europe) when the unemployment rate became too much for the government to handle. The creation of jobs just wasn't enough. In fact, the jobs were shrinking. That was in the sixties, (called the swinging, liberal, emancipated sixties). So, healthy unemployment benefits were doled out. The dole was previously considered a shameful thing to be on. It was advertised that this is a social responsibilty and right of the unemployed individual. Beer was made cheap. Sexy adverts appeared everwhere. The previously prudish British were maneuvred into becoming more liberal. X-rated films beagn to be shown on the BBC. A BBC female News anchor, previously the epitome of the posh British lady, showed a lot of leg in a new TV business. The older lot were shocked, but soon the new order took over.

Point is that these "entertainment" things are introduced to take the mind of the population off its real problems.

The size of the economic slice and numbers in the sex trade are far, far more than the porn section indicates. 14 billion dollars are not insignificant. Add the rest as I said in my previous post, and you will get an idea of the problem. Maybe you don't see it as a problem. I do.

I do not have the relevant data for Pakistan. Would be interesting to compare.

For me, what Allah says in the Quran about those who spread or try to spread such indecency is sufficient. I agree that technologically and costwise the ban on anything produced abroad on the net is very difficult to block. Note that child porn is illegal in many Western countries.

When I look at the growth of such activities, I see a gradual increase in perversion as the availablity increases.

You have not responded to the rest of my post.

16 From: KO -

> When I look at the growth of such activities, I see a gradual increase
> in perversion as the availablity increases.

Welcome to the future.

You have not responded to the rest of my post.

You already have a definite viewpoint of the world - I don't see how I can add further to it.

You talk of single mothers and how they are the signs of a depraved soceity - need I point out that here in Pakistan we kill women about to become 'single mothers' in the name of honor? And that makes Pakistan society less depraved? What about women trapped in marriages which they cannot leave out of fear? That also makes this society less depraved, I assume.

As for your statement (my rephrase) that people won't be corrupted if ... corruption is avaiable, I disagree.

And I disgree with your statement. Hell, I think it is flat out wrong. If you go back to the Koran, it also disagrees with you. So does the Bible for that matter. Hell, Allah granted Satan a worldwide agency on promoting corruption. And the Koran
goes on to say that the pure of heart will not be corrupted.

There is this city called Amsterdam, which legalized a few drugs some years back. It has now the lowest usage of those drugs in Europe, and shrinking.

You ask How did porn come to Pakistan?

Take a look at the Kama Sutra, and the history books dating back a few thousand years. Now I guess you'll say that those are Hindu, and hence not Pakistani. Well, then float down the Indus River, which is very much in Pakistan, and you'll see a couple of massive whorehouses dating back to Moghul times, frequented by the Moghuls.

Pakistan has a long tradition of porn, dating back many centuries. You can see some of those ancient porn shows being put on today, in any city, any night: what is a mujra but a soft-porn show?

17 From: Danial -

What is wrong with porn? I mean people who regularly visit porn websites are any less civilized than the people who don't enjoy porn at all? Is this state's responsibility to make sure that I am a good Muslim?

What if I am a non-Muslim?

What if I am an atheist?

Is this state's responsibility to make sure that I think in the given boudaries of Holy Book even when I do not believe in the sacred text?

If some people think that state is responsible for restricting access to porn which is something dirty that people like me enjoy in our privacy. How about banning masturbation and making laws against it? how about censoring the clothes? Lets outlaw skinfits and the display of undergarments at the packaging of mercury underwear and banyan.


18 From: a sane voice -

look at this article in the guardian, published on Saturday April 15, 2006:,,1753327,00.html

20 From: a sane voice -

الســـلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
assalamu alaykum wa rematullahi wa barakatuhu

KO, yes I do have a worldview, based on what I have seen or read or experienced in the East and the West, and what I have learnt from the Quran and the Sunnah. Perhaps you have a worldview, too, and the point of this interaction is to learn where we are coming from, if not to convince. :)

I have already agreed with you that Pakistani society has a lot of flaws that need to be corrected. Most of the things you have pointed out (mujras, exploitation of women and others who are "weak", etc.) are the result of our society's feudal background. You won't find me defending Pak society, but there are pitfalls too in aping the West, so you won't find me rooting for everything Western, either.

All societies have problems. Third world societies, particularly Muslim ones, are passing through a transformation from feudalism to capitalism, and that is an added difficult adjustment for them to make. If we have lots of things to be ashamed of and to correct, should we add to our society the things that are wrong in other societies as well?

What I would like is that we should take what is beneficial, and reject what is harmful; not copy the West without thinking.

I believe the Quran and Sunnah give us the yardstick with which to judge what to take, and what to reject.

You are right in our having a Hindu past, and why would I deny it. My ancestors were Hindu. I have the shajra to prove it.

I was very happy to see your bit about the Quran telling us that Satan will try to lead us astray. I agree wholeheartedly, and have argued with others that this will happen in all societies. Only our job is not to make it easy for Satan but to keep trying so as not to let Satan have his way. I had just explained how the video thing came to Pakistan. Sorry, but the Quran agrees with me; it lays down that when Ibaadur Rehman come into power, they enjoin good and forbid evil, (the evil includes Fawahish).

Did you look at the Guardian article I gave a link to?

The effect of legalisation of drug usage needs looking into, but does this argument mean the usage will go down if only we legalise what we know to be wrong. So perhaps we should legalise everything - bribery, theft, dacoity, ...

Friend Danial,

what are states or societies? Why do they have laws? What are these laws to be based on?

There are societies which have (in theory) a complete separation of "church" and state. They have constitutions, and lawmakers make laws within these. When the electorate or the lawmakers think that the constitution is "behind" times, these lawmakers can modify the constitution, or the electorate may be asked directly for a revision.

It so happens that the majority of Muslims in this country (and that includes me) regard the Quran and the Prophet's Sunnah (related in authentic Hadith) as our constitution, and that this constitution is perfect, we cannot modify it.

That constitution does lay down some rules for society. However, for a pretty long time, the people who have implemented this or are trying to have it implemented, have not been able to see that in many cases the constitution allows for a great width in making judgements. (This was just an aside).

Isn't it a crime for bribes to be passed, even when it is in the privacy of one's house?

By and large, Islam does not allow invasion of privacy. So what one does in the privacy of one's home (watching porn, even extra-marital or illegal sex) is not something for which mutawa (religious police) should peep into one's house. Porn, however, does have harmful effects, particularly on society. Even if it didn't, the fact that it falls under "Fawahish" makes it forbidden in Islam. So while the religious police shoouldn't raid any house to see if someone is watching porn, the sale and distribution is prohibited, and that ban would be implemented in an Islamic state.

What you think (and believe) is not the issue. We all should have complete freedom in belief and thoughts. You may be (and probably are) a better Muslim than me; but that is for Allah (swt) to decide on Judgement Day. I have no desire to have a relative judgement on who is a better Muslim and who isn't.

Monday, April 10, 2006

A failure of scholars or Muslims?

Sheikh, Scholar, 'Alim, 'Ulema, Maulana, Mullah, Allamah, Imam, etc...

Below I reproduce an article by Yahya Emerick and the link: I think most of us are to blame for not putting in enough thought or effort. And I emphasize that this does not reflect on ALL scholars. The emphasis (bold and italics) have been added by the blogger.

The Confusion of the Scholars

The Confusion of the Scholars

by Yahiya Emerick

Have you ever been confronted with such stupidity that you were speechless? It happens all the time and in all spheres of life. The person driving ahead of you can't make up their mind whether to turn left, right, stop, go or travel ahead. The teenager is wearing a full "uniform" of baggy pants, shaved head, ear-ring and gold chains and exclaims he's being "unique." Or my favorite example is that of a man at an auto auction who yelled out "three hundred" when the auctioneer just lowered the price to fifty. Stupidity is sometimes an art form and many people spend a lifetime perfecting it. Usually, the strange actions and behavior of others have little immediate impact on our lives. It often takes a long time for the stupid actions of some to build up to a point where the rest of us suffer.

Take for instance the problem of the United Nations. Two-faced people will stand up and tell us that it's the forum for the world and that it's committed to world peace, conflict resolution, justice, etc... But after almost fifty years of bungling, this front for Western, secular domination has prolonged more wars than it solved. The UN's budget is riddled with corruption and inefficiency and UN headed military missions come with more feebleness, bad action and/or inaction than anything else. (Think Bosnia, Somalia, Korea, Rwanda, etc...) Twenty years ago it didn't matter as the two superpowers kept the world on a tight leash. But now that one superpower is gone, the UN's stupidity and confusion is unable to keep the last superpower in check, let alone tin-pot dictators. The prolonged weakness now makes the world more dangerous.

What about Muslims? Are there any incredibly stupid actions which have built up to a dangerous level. Of course! Of the many to choose from, which one am I going to pick on today? Yep, you guessed it. I'm going to point out how some (not all) "scholars" have steered us wrong and taken us away from the path of Islam.

You often hear the terms, Sheikh, Scholar, 'Alim, 'Ulema, Maulana, Mullah, Allamah, Imam, etc... There are so many people with these titles in front of their names that it's dizzying. You know how so many Muslims are into the whole "Doctor" thing? Seeking status by having everyone call them Doctor? Well, the whole scholar thing is there too and it's much older than the Western oriented "Doctor" worship. (Sometimes you see people writing their names as "Dr. Sheikh whatever." Now that's funny.

Here's the problem I see. When I first became a Muslim, I read so many books that extolled the wondrous virtues of the Islamic system. That is the system that I love. And one of the things that was mentioned over and over was that there was no clergy in Islam. No "Holy" men or intermediaries between Allah and people. Then I was introduced into the whole culture of "Scholars." That's where my alarm bells started to ring.

Of course, I have nothing against a person acquiring a lot of knowledge, whether it's for Islamic learning or worldly benefit. I have nothing against the concept of the scholar, the doctor, the engineer, etc... I do have a problem if some people use those terms as a cover for their arrogance and mistakes and then it affects me in a negative way, either directly or indirectly.

For example, as you well know, there are many competing groups of Muslims today in the ideological wars. There are the Saudi-funded Salafies, the Iranian funded Mullahs, the Egyptian/Syrian Brotherhood groups, the Tablighi Jamaati people, the mysterious Hizb at Tahreer, the Jamati Islami groups, the African American Muslim groups, the secularist Indo-Pak groups and about twenty others. Each group has its own scholars who "prove" to the faithful that the other groups are inferior. These same "scholars" often issue "Fatwas" or religious verdicts about items of concern for individual members and life goes on in the happy dreamland of exclusive truth.

These groups often issue contradictory Fatwas and rarely ever work together on anything. How many of you have been to a gathering of one of these or other groups where the "big scholar" is treated like a celebrity? Well-wishers and sycophants fawning all over him. (It's always a "Him.") What's the average, concerned Muslim supposed to think when the "scholars" are often so full of pride and arrogance that they are repulsive? The hierarchy involved in the "scholar" system in amazing! The big Maulanas are usually the fattest. The medium Maulanas have shorter beards and smaller bellies, while the Maulana wanna-bees are thin and stand off in the fringes of the great procession. (Don't get angry at me for pointing out what everyone knows.)

So where does the stupidness come in? There are several areas to look at and the first is on the issue of who is a "Scholar" or "Sheikh?" Allah is very harsh against the Jews and the Christians for considering their priests and rabbis as people who could make religious judgments without consulting Allah's revelations. The priests made the eating of pork allowed for Christians, with no authority from Allah or from Prophet Jesus, while the rabbis made laws such as a woman could not be in the house during her period and that milk and meat could not be eaten together. In this respect, the people "worshipped" their leaders besides Allah.

Sadly, this is exactly what Muslims have done for the last thousand years. In the early days of Islam, no one went around with ostentatious titles, as if they were somehow set apart from the rest of the people. Everyone was usually addressed as brother or sister. No one earned overly glorified titles, either, just because they studied with a Sahabi. The only real special term that I have ever come across which was frequently used by the Prophet to describe others is 'Alim (learned person). And this term was never used in the sense of a "priest" or Holy man. It was just that: a person who is learned.

In Madina, everyone was "learned" to one extent or another. The trader knew how to practice Islam, the housewife knew how to practice Islam and the traveler knew it too. If someone needed to ask a question about Islam that they didn't know, they would go to a friend or neighbor. For really detailed questions, they might consult someone who was known to be a teacher. But they wouldn't fawn all over the teacher nor would the teacher dress or act in such a way as to set him or herself apart from the rest of the believers.

Centuries passed and a funny thing happened. The Islamic world spread in so many different directions and millions of people were becoming Muslims. The common knowledge of Islam was not so common anymore. If a Muslim teacher went to any area where Islamic knowledge was scarce, suddenly, everyone was wanting to be around him. The teacher became special. (Think of Sufi-style Sheikh worship for example.) Fast forward many more centuries. There are millions of Muslims, but few know much about Islam. Teachers have become "holy" men and have such titles as "Sheikh" or "Maulana". They are a special class, or caste, of people who are sought after and revered by people who want to see their "god" in the flesh because the concept of an unseen Creator is too intellectual for most. (Hence, Muslim "Saints!")

So what of the world today? Any person who learns a few dozen ahadith and one or two ajza is calling himself a scholar and making pronouncements about Islam to his flock who knows little. I have met people who knew little about Islam calling themselves Imam, or Sheikh or whatever. Who made them Imam? Who promoted them to the role of a guardian of the Deen? Was it their ignorant followers? Was it by virtue of the fact that they attended some madrasa in another culture? Is it because they're rich? Who knows? All I know is that a real scholar doesn't call himself by a title. He doesn't need it. A real knower of Islam realizes he knows so little and is humble. A title makes him feel uncomfortable. That is a real Muslim leader. But what we have mostly is a clergy class. (Think of that hadith about the Day of Judgment where the pretentious scholar is thrown in Hell.)

And what do the self-appointed scholars say? The stupidity is amazing! (These are all actual Fatwas:) One scholar will say that chewing gum does not break the fast. Another says that using a fork is haram. A third says that eating McDonald's meat is okay while a fourth says of it, no way. One scholar says human cloning is halal, while another says it's haram. One local scholar in New York says the Sunnah is not important and that most ahadith are fabricated. One in Egypt says that wife-beating is okay if the wife doesn't make an effort to look pretty while another says that mortgages are allowed under duress. (Have you ever heard the Fatwa that living in America is haram? It's there.) Each one of these scholars backs up their arguments with Qur'an and hadith, in a usually twisted way, and then says anyone who does otherwise is a kafir.

The Muslim masses, especially in the West, become very confused. The Blessed Prophet advised us to ask the learned people if a tough question comes up, but we have incredibly un-learned people leading us. I'm sure you are all aware of that hadith where the Prophet said that Allah doesn't punish a nation until the learned are no more. I'm sure you'll agree that having a lot of "scholars" doesn't preclude learning being gone.

The biggest confusion among the scholars that I've seen is the issue of Bida', or innovation in the Deen. The blessed Prophet once remarked that if anyone brings something new into Islam that it would be rejected. On another occasion, he said, referring to Islam, that every innovation was a wrong and that every wrong will be in the fire. So what have some of our self-proclaimed scholars gone and done? They have included ordinary, everyday things in this definition of Bida'. Even though the Prophet was talking about people changing the beliefs and practices of Islam, our "scholars," in their infinite wisdom, have said that any new invention after the time of the Prophet is also an "innovation" in Islam.

I'm sorry, I have no clue how a new type of saddle, weapon, hairbrush, toothpick or shovel can possibly be called an innovation in the Deen. (comment from timbuktu: I haven't come across this extreme. It looks like an exaggeration). They have no relation to the Deen. Everyday items for common use are just that, ordinary aspects of life. Of course, these "scholars" apply this rule selectively. They will take a plane when they go to Hajj, instead of riding a horse. They'll use a microphone instead of shouting and they'll print their ideas in books. (Remember, the Blessed Prophet did not use any printed books in his da'wah.) Oh my gosh! Bida'! (Look at page 691 of Reliance of the Traveller and you will read a hadith where the Prophet encourages good innovations. I guess the scholars didn't read that hadith from Sahih Muslim.)

If you think I'm exaggerating, then ponder over the things I've written. Have you seen anything like it? Have you seen pride on the faces of those who claim to be scholars? Which brings me to my last point. Many scholars make Islam seem totally distant and unreachable. How many times have I been sitting in a Masjid or lecture hall and saw some scholar expounding on Islam in an overly-technical way? Why do you think that teenagers and twenty-something Muslims run away from the Masjid? The scholars use too much Arabic terminology and don't explain things in a digestible way. If it's Sunnah to speak to people according to their level, why do our self-appointed leaders speak as if they're addressing a gathering of scholars all the time?

Don't get mad at me. Don't write angry letters about me. I'm telling you the truth. Listen, I understand the Arabic terminology. I understand even the most difficult concepts. Perhaps you do also. But the average Muslim has no clue what Taddabur is or what derivative verbs are or what Tassawaf is or what Usuli Fiqh is. We have ninety percent of our "next generation" one step away from kufr and these "scholars" give lectures that few of the youth, teenagers, converts or average Muslims can understand.

Of course, the older, immigrant Muslims may understand some of the speech or du'at because they grew up in a Muslim country and heard of some of the concepts. But Islamic knowledge is cut off in the generation raised in the West. Don't the "scholars" of Islam realize this? They are acting like they are teaching in Medina when in fact they are in pre-Islamic Mecca. (Do you know how many da'wah workers mess up their da'wah by using excessive Arabic grammar and concepts that American people don't understand?)

I've often lamented that in our Masajid and centers, in many cases, the Imams and "Scholars" have no clue about the needs of their community. They often can't counsel, teach effectively or even show compassion and understanding. I'm just glad that there are a few good scholars around. I just wish there were more, that they could be in the majority. Then we wouldn't have the confusion and stupidity on such a high level making it difficult for all of us. I know of one Masjid where the Imam carries a gun and has pulled it on Muslims in the Masjid! (How did he get to be an Imam?)

Have you ever heard of a Doctor of Divinity? It's a special degree that Christians usually get before they can become priests or ministers. The candidate must not only study the beliefs and teachings of his or her religion, they must also study: marriage counseling, youth psychology, administration, public speaking, philosophy, comparative religion, management, writing, literature, etc... Why doesn't the board of directors of Masjid X, Y or Z require this from their Imams and resident "scholars"? In many communities I've been in, the Imam, who is almost always a hafiz, is the least respected because all he knows is the Qur'an, he usually has no practical knowledge of anything else whatsoever. The Islamic movement needs real, well-rounded and versatile leaders. We need humble people who don't hide behind titles and enter exclusive "scholar's" clubs.

I don't want anyone to think I'm speaking out against the concept of scholars. I'm not. I repeat, I'm not. I'm speaking out against the laziness in the Ummah which has let our standards for what a scholar should be drop so low that anyone, regardless of intelligence can claim to be a scholar, and then have people follow him. (Do you know how many "Imams" I've seen carrying sticks to beat their students of Qur'an?) I'm also speaking out against those who have acquired such a high level of knowledge but then don't know how to relate it to the people. (Do you know how many big scholars I've seen drunk on their own knowledge while the people around them are lost?)

Some brothers from Saudi Arabia once told me an interesting thing. They said that in their country, everyone tries to get their children on the doctor track in the schools. If the child isn't smart enough to do that, then they try to direct them to the engineer track. But if they fail in that also, then they send them to the religious schools to be an Imam, and that is the lowest level of respect in society. May Allah help us to reclaim the middle ground and bring the knowledge of the real scholars to the masses who are in desperate need of it. Ameen.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Sonia Naz was beaten blue

"The News" reported today that Sonia Naz was beaten blue by her ex-brothers in laws. The news is in the paper, but does not appear in the online issue.

Sonia is a young mother of three who entered the National Assembly in the mistaken thought that she would get justice, and was jailed for sullying the hallowed premises by her commoner presence.

Her husband had been detained illegally in Faisalabad. The Suprintendant of Police (SP for short), Faisalabad, pressured his family for a hefty bribe, and wasn't satisfied with the family's selling their factory (looms) and handing the money over. She visited the elderly SP whom she saw as a father figure, and eventually went to Islamabad where she was directed towards the National Assembly where she could find a Member of the Parliament. She roamed the premises and blundered into the Assembly Hall where only the "elected" can sit. She then made the mistake of sitting next to a woman MP, whose privilege was thus violated. Sonia was hence arrested by order of the august Speaker of the House.

When released from jail on bail, Sonia went missing, and as it turns out, she was subjected to an attempted rape by the SP. When he was unsuccessful, she was raped by his deputy the orders of the SP.

She disappered, and eventually told her story to the papers.

She was later divorced by said husband for bringing this shame into the papers.

The stories that are online are here:

links to Sonia Naz stories

Her sisters were similarly divorced for the shame(!).

Society is sick. The government is sick. These do not conform to Islam's social values.

First year as a Muslim

Dr. McAuliffe wrote this one year after his conversion to Islam.

My first year as a Muslim

My dear brothers and sisters,

I pray Allah grants you His peace in your minds and in your hearts. I am somewhat nervous about writing this letter because of two reasons. One is my lack of depth of Islamic knowledge, the other is because of attitudes and behaviors in our community that I have found very disturbing. I have only been a member of this community for one solar year, but frankly, I see little difference than in the Christian communities of which I have been a part. Like those communities there is a small group of people, always the same people, who try to organize and run activities and day-to-day operations. Others either criticize or simply do nothing at all. I have heard Muslims question the piety of other Muslims, indeed, have heard Muslims implying (and saying outright) that another Muslim is "kafr". I have heard so many truly hateful comments about certain communities among the People of the Book that I don't know quite how to respond. I have watched men run outside, play frisbee and football, socialize and have fun while two sisters sit for hours all alone and with nothing to do and no one else to talk to. This was supposed to be "protecting them". From who? From what? I know personally about sexual assault-- two members of my family are victims of such crimes, yet with my Muslim brothers I feel like I am not trusted. Honestly, what I saw was not "protection", but a form of cruelty and meanness. I walk to the masjid and see on the grounds: diapers, tissues, popsicle sticks, partially eaten food, cigarette butts, coke cans, cups, candy wrappers, etc. and I think, "How many Muslims walked by this and didn't pick it up? Why wasn't it thrown in the garbage in the first place?" I have taken on the editing of the newsletter, and I have received complaints which is fine. I ask the person to write the complaint-- I'll publish it (yes, even if critical of what I am doing) but I get nothing. When I am here working on the newsletter only two or three people are ever here for prayer. To a new Muslim, sorry brothers and sisters, you aren't setting a very good example! I tell you, if this is Islam I want nothing to do with it.

But I know this is not Islam. Islam is kindness and compassion. Islam is strong faith in the existence of Allah, though unseen, and belief that the Qur'an is a revelation from the One True God to us. Islam is following the best example of Muhammad (PBUH) but what is the Sunnah exactly? Is it how he wore his clothes or his facial hair, or is it the type of person he was. And if it is both which is more important? None of us use rocks to clean ourselves with, but isn't that Sunnah?? Muhammad (PBUH), to my reading, was so very, very kind, flexible, sensitive, easy. It just seems like many of us emphasize the outer form of the Sunnah at the expense of the inner form-- and thus our inner form is filled with harshness.

But of course, that is only one small group of Pittsburgh Muslims. Because I have seen many people who are what I would think Muslims would try to be. Their personalities are gentle and kind. They have smiles on their face-- smiles that cover up pain as they see what a state our ummah is in. They are often trying their very best to do whatever they can and they bear the slings and arrows of others' criticism with much more patience than I have! How hard they seem to be trying to go beyond their cultural conditioning into the universally human life-style of Islam. They are examples to me. Without them I would have stopped coming to any masjid in Pittsburgh months ago. How sad that so many of them come only to jumah prayer. When I ask why they don't do something to change things they sadly shake their heads and walk away. How did they get so dejected?

I have three suggestions:

1. We must stop centering our attention on what is wrong with the other person and concentrate on what is wrong with us as individuals. We need to take our own moral inventory rather than concentrating on the defects of others. Only Allah and that person can take their moral inventory. As part of this we need to foster the virtues of patience and compassion in ourselves. We need to ask "what can I do" rather than "what is the other person doing".
2. The administrative structure of the masjid needs to be changed: how people are nominated and chosen to serve on the Executive Committee needs to be updated. Perhaps people need to serve in these positions for two years and should be people who live here permanently.
3. We need to read, read, read! We need to learn, learn, learn! We need to know about sociology, anthropology, and psychology so we can confront the challenges that face us when so many different cultural groups have been thrown together. We must have the courage to reject aspects of our own culture that is not Islamic and adopt those from other cultures that may be more in line with Islam. This will take incredible amounts of courage and open-mindedness. Allah can give us these gifts if we ask and are sincere.

Jeremiah McAuliffe

Failure of Muslim-American Leadership

The writer Dr. Jeremiah D. McAuliffe, Jr. wries a long piece on his ten years as a Muslim convert. It is a must-read, although there are many places one would disagree with him, but he does deserve a read and a discussion.

From his page 1:

About ten years ago, a year after my conversion to Islam, I wrote an open letter to the Muslim community regarding my first year as a Muslim. It was not a positive letter-- addressing issues of sexism, gross expressions of hatred towards “the People of the Book”, and the general absence of responsibility and accountability in our community. The letter was published in the community newsletter I was attempting to establish, and it was ignored. A few years later, yet again attempting to establish a community newsletter, I wrote that we had a legacy of producing hurt, alienated people who leave the community and do not return to the mosques. This too was ignored.

Ten years ago was also the beginning of the internet. I opened the Islamic discussion forum on America Online (twice—there were so few people on AOL at that time the forum closed at first due to lack of traffic), and established my own web site where I placed “My First Year as a Muslim” for all to read. It never elicited very much response. But then, a couple of years ago, I began regularly receiving e-mails from Muslim-Americans, and others, who validated and affirmed my comments and observations as true to their experience. The letter made the rounds of web sites and mailing lists, even attracting the attention of some journalists. I could tell when the letter was on a new mailing list because at times my own mailbox would be flooded with responses affirming the presence of major problems within the Muslim-American community and leadership. Those who have responded don’t realize it was written so long ago. Many are no longer involved with their local communities—a legacy of hurt, frustration, alienation and resentment that is not uncommon, nor unusual, and has been going on for at least a decade, if not two

From his page 3:

Think of your own local community. In spite of how we love to trumpet that Islam is growing and growing try and remember how many American converts you have seen come in, stay for a while, and then disappear. Try and remember how many people you have seen walk in, curious about Islam, never to return. In my locale I have seen this regularly for years. Indeed, I’m the odd bird to have stuck around so long, most are gone within a year or two.

Why is this? Why do they leave? And if they have experience of functioning worship communities why are they unable to exert a positive influence on the development of their new dysfunctional worship communities?

It is entirely too facile to say “they weren’t really Muslims to begin with.” These are people who are often relatively well-read in religions and religious thought. They are often people who have been searching, researching, questioning, and looking for The Truth. They’ve often read more, and more widely about Islam than have many who were born into the religion. It is a cliché (but clichés are based in realities) that “there is no one so convinced as a convert.” How could any organization lose such people and alienate them to such a degree and with such regularity? One would almost have to make an effort to do that.

This problem is not particular to converts, but holds true for many of those born into the religion as well. One only needs to take a look at the disparity in numbers between any daily salat (masjid empty) and an ‘Eid dinner (masjid jammed) to know that many—many? most!—of those born into the Qur’anic religious traditions are, for all intents and purposes, just as absent, lost, and “disappeared” as so many of the converts and people interested in Islam.

So, what’s the problem?

Our leadership is the problem. The people in positions of authority are the problem.

As I have said above, his piece deserves a reading, and a discussion.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Pakistan: Stone age man used dentist drill

Stone age man used dentist drill Dental drills in Pakistan 9000 years ago!

The researchers studied the drilled areas using an electron microscope.

Stone age people in Pakistan were using dental drills made of flint 9,000 years ago, according to researchers. Teeth from a Neolithic graveyard in Mehrgarh in the country's Baluchistan province show clear signs of drilling. Analysis of the teeth shows prehistoric dentists had a go at curing toothache with drills made from flint heads.

The team that carried out the work say close examination of the teeth shows the tool was "surprisingly effective" at removing rotting dental tissue. A total of eleven drilled crowns were found, with one example showing evidence of a complex procedure involving tooth enamel removal followed by carving of the cavity wall. Four of the teeth show signs of decay associated with the drilled hole.

"In all cases, marginal smoothing confirms that drilling was performed on a living person who continued to chew on the tooth surfaces after they had been drilled," the reserchers reported.

The form of dental treatment seen at Mehrgarh continued for about 1,500 years, before the practice was stopped in the area.

Flint drill heads are found abundantly at the Mehrgarh site, among assemblages of beads made of bones, shell and turquoise. Writing in Nature, the authors suggest that skills developed by bead craftsmen also worked well on teeth.

Mehrgarh straddles a route between Afghanistan and the Indus Valley to the south.

The researchers, led by Roberto Macchiarelli of the University of Poitiers, France, said it was an early site for agriculture, where barley, wheat, cotton and agriculture were grown.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

an American success story!<

Savanna Samson (born Natalie Oliveros on October 14, 1974 in Rochester, New York) is a xxxxxgraphic actress. Her name sometimes leads to confusion with Savannah, the adult actress who committed suicide in 1994.

adult? are other actresses children?

Samson trained as a ballerina throughout her childhood and teen years growing up in Watertown, New York, which gave her an edge when she became an exotic dancer at Scores Gentlemen's Club in New York City in the mid 1990s. She soon started making regular appearances on Howard Stern's radio and E! cable network shows.

hmmm, exotic dancer?
Gentlemen's Club

Her fiance's fantasy was to marry a porn star, so Samson made an adult movie with Rocco Siffredi in 2000 and gave the video to her husband on their wedding night.

?????? what a perfect gift (US style) to give one's husband on the wedding night!

The movie, along with her appearances on Howard Stern, grabbed the attention of Vivid Entertainment producers. In 2002, Samson became a contract actress for Vivid (a.k.a a "Vivid Girl").

contract actress?

She has recently become an author, contributing chapters to How To Have A XXX Sex Life (published by Regan Books).

surely would make a bestseller, US-style!

She also started a wine company in 2006, Savanna Wines. Her first vintage is called "Always Savanna Vino Rosso". Samson has four sisters and a son who was born shortly before Samson signed her Vivid contract.

Despite her career and lifestyle, Samson says she is a devout and practicing Catholic.

some devotion and practice!

Savannah Sampson

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Prophet's reformation of Society

The Qura'n and the last Prophet (saw) are very specific about the nature of relationship among the human beings. The Holy Prophet paraphrased several verses in Qura'n in his last sermon to describe this relationship in his last sermon, which is considered the first ever charter of human rights in the history of mankind.

Here is how he proclaimed the emancipation of human beings:

Equality of Human Beings

O’ Ye people! Allah says, O’ people We created you from one male and one female and made you into tribes and nations, so as to be known to one another. Verily in the sight of Allah, the most honoured amongst you is the one who is most God-fearing. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab and for a non-Arab over an Arab, nor for the white over the black nor for the black over the white except in God-conciousness.

Further he proclaimed that his family will have only two previliges

All mankind is the progeny of Adam and Adam was fashioned out of clay. Behold; every claim of privilage whether that of blood or property, is under my heels except that of the custody of the Ka’bah and supplying of water to the pilgrims, O’ people of Quraish, don’t appear (on the Day of Judgement) with the burden of this world around your necks, whereas other people may appear (before the Lord) with the rewards of the hereafter. In that case I shall avail you naught against Allah.

On His descendents

During his life-time the Holy Prophet (pbuh) ended any special status for his family (and extended family) by explicitly forbidding his family to receive Zakat (mandatory alms) and Sadqah (charity and gift). Therefore, any Syed from his time on cannot benefit financially from other Muslims in the name of being a Syed. Thus Holy Prophet culminated any chance of creating any hierarchy among the Muslims on the basis of one's origin or family - and he started it from his family first. But he did ask Muslims to help and take care of his family. So if a Muslim wants to help a poor Syed finacially he may do so but cannot do so thru zakat and sadaqah. God, in his ultimate benevolence, may consider it an act of kindness to ones fellow human being but helping a Syed financially does not releive one from his financial obligations towards soceity.

Sanctity of Human Life

Behold! All practice of the days of ignorance are now under my feet. The blood revenges of the days of ignorance are remitted. The first claim on blood I abolish is that of Ibn Rabiah bin Harith who was nursed in the tribe of Sa’ad and whom the Hudhayls killed. All interest and usurious dues accruing from the times of ignorance stand wiped out. And the first amount of interest that I remit is that which Abbas ibn Abd-al Muttalib had to receive. Verily it is remitted entirely.

Respect for others' Property & Honor

O’ people! Verily your blood, your property and your honour are sacred and inviolable until you appear before your Lord, as the sacred inviolability of this day of yours, this month of yours and this very town (of yours). Verily you will soon meet your Lord and you will be held answerable for your actions.

Rights of Women

O’ people! Verily you have got certain rights over your women and your women have certain rights over you. It is your right upon them to honour their conjugal rights, and not to commit acts of impropriety, which if they do, you are authorised by Allah to separate them from your beds and chastise them, but not severely, and if they refrain, then clothe and feed them properly.

Behold! It is not permissible for a woman to give anything from the wealth of her husband to anyone but with his consent.

Treat the women kindly, since they are your helpers and not in a position to manage their affairs themselves. Fear Allah concerning women, for verily you have taken them on the security of Allah and have made their persons lawful unto you by words of Allah.

Rights of Inheritence

O’ people! Allah, the Mighty and Exalted, has ordained to every one his due share (of inheritance). Hence there is no need (of special) testament for an heir (departing from the rules laid down by the Shari’ah).

Preservation & Sacredness of Institution of Marriage

The child belongs to the marriage-bed and the violator of wedlock shall be stoned. And Reckoning of their (deeds) rests with Allah.

He who attributes his ancestry to other than his father or claims his clientship to other than his master, the curse of Allah is upon him.

Financial Obligations & Responsibility

All debts must be repaid, all borrowed property must be returned, gifts should be reciprocated and a surety must make good the loss to the assured.

Law & Justice

Beware! No one committing a crime is responsible for it but himself. Neither the child is responsible for the crime of his father, nor the father is responsible for the crime of his child.


Nothing of his brother is lawful for a Muslim except what he himself gives willingly. So do not wrong yourselves.

Brotherhood & Kindness

O’ People! Every Muslim is the brother of every other Muslim, and all the Muslims form one brotherhood. And your slaves; see that you feed them with such food as you eat yourselves, and clothe them with the clothes that you yourselves wear.

Abolition of Racial Superiority

Take heed not to go astray after me and strike one another’s necks. He who (amongst you) has any trust with him, he must return it to its owner.

O’ people! Listen and obey, though a mangled Abyssinian slave is appointed your Amir , provided he executes (the Ordinance of) the Book of Allah among you.

Finality of the Message & Prophethood

O’ people! No Prophet would be raised after me and no new Ummah (would be formed) after you.

Verily I have left amongst you that which will never lead you astray, the Book of Allah, which if you hold fast you shall never go astray.

And beware of transgressing the limits set in the matters of religion, for it is transgression of (the proper bounds of) religion that brought destruction to many people before you.