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Selected Poems

Poetry by Adnan Onart

Read or listen to Adnan Onart's poem featured in this program, and enjoy three more — including:

» "Ramadan in Dunkin Donuts
» "Ribbon Time: The Moment"
» "Al Miraj"
» "Morning Prayer"

Selected Audio

30 Days of Ramadan Playlist

We received so many wonderful Ramadan stories from Muslims around the world. But, we only had 60 minutes for those voices. Rather than letting these stories collect dust, we created this playlist featuring 30 voices —one story per day for each day of Ramadan.

First Person

Expressions of Muslim Identity


The voices in this episode are only a sample of the many thoughtful reflections we received in response to our exploration of the many, varying expressions of Muslim identity. We created a dynamic map that allows you to read each Muslim's essay and see the broader geographical context.

Pertinent Posts from the On Being Blog

With all the focus on fasting, a Muslim man from Atlanta tells us that the sustenance of Islam's holiest month lies in focusing on letting God in.

1

A compelling multimedia report on life as a woman in Afghanistan.

Talking with your pre-teen son or daughter can be difficult enough, says Naazish YarKhan, without adding terrorism and its misguided association with Islam to the mix.

1

A collection of photos documenting the Islamic holy month.

Three young Muslim-Americans — Kamran, Tasneem, and Zahra — struggle to reconcile their "Muslim" and "American" identities. Why don't we hear more of this in the media?

Native Deen releases a music video for the My Faith, My Voice campaign "in response to the rising tide of Islamophobia facing America, especially in the wake of the New York Islamic cultural center controversy."

1

A glimpse into the lives of two Muslims in Australia.

About the Image

“If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.” -Flavia Weedn

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Ramadan: A Fast Track To A Larger World
Ramadan arrived in August this year. I'd grown accustomed to the Muslim month of fasting being an autumn affair. But because Ramadan follows the lunar calendar — moving back about ten days every year — the dawn prayer preparations are even earlier and the dusk fast-breaking meal later. It is a dramatic break from my normal routine.

Usually, I start thinking about my second cup of coffee before I'm barely halfway through my first. When I cannot decide between sweet and savory at breakfast, I order both. I don't have particularly caviar tastes, but like most middle-class Americans, if I want an iced tea in the afternoon, I go out and buy one. I live in the land of serial small desires, serially satisfied — and most of them revolve around food and drink. Eating is the way I pass my time, and how I plan my day.

But Ramadan is another country. And like any experience of elsewhere, the biggest difference lies not in the change in landscape, but in the altered perspective of the traveler.

My system slows down during Ramadan — it's the only way to make it through the day. I find myself noticing things I otherwise wouldn't, and feeling connected in ways I usually don't.

I pay attention to the hopeful look on the face of the guy selling bottles of water in the middle of Western Avenue. I'm walking too slowly to use the, "I don't have time excuse," with the woman selling the homeless newspaper on the corner. So I stop and buy a paper and ask how her day is going.

I remember one Ramadan when I was in college, walking out of an afternoon class, feeling my energy fading fast, and starting to feel a little sorry for myself. I overheard a classmate blithely say to a friend, "I'm starving, I haven't eaten since breakfast."

The line shocked me back into a kind of clarity. "You're not starving," I thought to myself. "And I may be very hungry right now, but I'm not starving either."

It's not the kind of thought I would have had at any other time of year, whether I skipped lunch or not.
Eboo Patel
Enlarge Courtesy of Eboo Patel

Eboo Patel is the Executive Director of the Interfaith Youth Core and the author of Acts of Faith.
Eboo Patel
Courtesy of Eboo Patel

Eboo Patel is the Executive Director of the Interfaith Youth Core and the author of Acts of Faith.

Frankly, if it was up to me, I wouldn't choose Ramadan. If I didn't feel required to fast, I probably wouldn't. That afternoon iced tea would keep calling my name, and I'd keep answering.

But after a while, I find something spiritually numbing about constantly getting what I want. It feels like I'm building a world that revolves around fulfilling my minor wishes. I know, intellectually, that I'm not the center of the universe, but my daily routine around food sure indicates otherwise. If it wasn't for Ramadan, I would just keep repeating that pattern every day, all year, for the rest of my life. And my world would feel smaller and smaller.

Ramadan is an expansion. Knowing that I am not allowed to eat or drink, I find different things to look forward to. I read more, and I pray more, and I spend more time with the people that I love most.

I find myself strangely grateful for my hunger and thirst, for the opportunity to put at the center of the universe something larger than my desire for a second cup of coffee.

HERE IS THE PHOTO OF ME TAKEN IN 1966. AND AS I SAID IN MY FIRST FEEDBACK EMAIL: MY ~"book"~ IS THE REASON WILLIAM MARRION BRANHAM AND I LOOK LIKE TWINS. IF YOU GO TO www.LivingWordBroadcast.com YOU CAN SEE THE PHOTO OF WILLIAM MARRION BRANHAM AND HOW MUCH HE LOOKS LIKE ME.

What would it do to ~“everyone’s”~ ~“attitude’s”~ about ~“everything”~ to see and understand exactly what the ~“paragraph”~ below ~“is”~ and ~“means”~?

And they are: The ~“seven churches”~, ~“seven Spirits”~, ~“seven golden candlesticks”~, ~“seven candlesticks”~, ~“seven stars”~, ~“seven lamps”~, ~“seven seals”~, ~“seven horns”~, ~“seven eyes”~, ~“seventh seal”~, ~“seven angels”~, ~“seven trumpets”~, ~“seven thunders”~, ~“seventh angel”~, ~“seven thousand”~, ~“seven heads”~, ~“seven crowns”~, ~“seven plagues”~*, *~“seven last plagues”~, ~“seven vials”~*, *~“seven golden vials”~, ~“seven mountains”~, ~“seven kings”~, ~“seven,”~, and ~“seventh, chry…”~.
LOOK! A ~“77”~ of ~“seven”~ ~“aligned”~! Reread “P.S.” on pg. 27!

You can see the (correct) ~"alignment"~ of these ~"seven..."~'s in an earlier version of my ~“book”~, in pdf format ~ for free ~ at www.LoveGodIsLove.org . Or send me an email and I will send you the latest version in pdf format: sev748@yahoo.com

~"Feeling"~ ~"led"~ almost ~"compelled"~ to ~"write"~ my ~"book"~ by ~"bolding"~ and ~"underlining"~ and placing ~"tildes"~ and ~"quotes"~ around many of the ~"words"~ and ~"phrases"~ throughout my ~"book"~, I ~"discovered"~ a ~"hidden"~ ~"alignment"~ of ~"seven..."~'s in the book of ~"Revelation"~! Do you think ~"this"~ "physical" ~"evidence"~ of ~"Spiritual Intelligence"~ (i.e. ~"God"~) might make more of ~"us"~ sit up and take notice of what it truly, truly means to ~"Love thy neighbour as thyself."~? I know that ~"God"~ has ~"given"~ me ~"this"~ ~"evidence"~ to share with the world. If ~"You"~ would like to help me get one of The Most Important ~"Co"~ written ~"books"~ of all time ~ to the world ~ call me! ~"God"~ has. 615-220-1599

The text below is the main body of this open~letter.

There is ~“evidence”~ of ~“God”~ in the ~“structure”~ of the ~“text”~ of my ~“book”~ ~“DIVINE 9/11 INTERVENTION”~. It is a TRUE story and it's free at www.LoveGodIsLove.org

(At www.MySpace.com/Love_God_Is_Love you can watch a 5 minute video of one ~“event”~ of this ~“Divine Intervention”~.)

March 1st, 2007
Dear Neighbour,
Hello ~ my name is Arnold Joseph White and I was born in Nashville, TN on July 7th, 1948, and (as with most people?) from time to time in my life, I have had “experiences” that could have possibly been the ~“Spiritual Realm”~ of ~“God”~ at work in my life ~ or not. I never had an experience that did not have a logical and rational explanation ~ until ~ 1996 or 1997 when I began to experience ~“things”~ that at that time, I concluded they were ~“things”~ I believed were from the ~ “psychic realm” ~ of ~ “psychic phenomena” ~ as ~ “psychic ability” ~ and ~ “psychic power” ~. But then ~ on December 15th, of 2000 ~ I witnessed ~“something”~ that as I tried to come to a rational explanation of what I was witnessing, the first thing that came to my mind ~ was ~ “witchcraft” ~. From that point on ~“these things”~ continued to escalate until early in 2002 when it “finally” dawned on me that what I was being ~“approached”~ by was ~“God”~. ~ “WHY?” ~ was not the first question that came to my mind; ~ “WHAT?” ~ was the first question. What do I do with this ~“Revelation”~ of this ~“Epiphany”~? Were ~“these things”~ for my own personal knowledge and mine alone? Or was I supposed to share with the world that ~ “My God! There actually is a God!” ~? It did not take me long to realize that I was being ~“called”~ to tell my story and share my beliefs about ~“these things”~. ~ So ~ I did.
Many of you ~ if not most of you ~ will have a real problem with much ~ if not most ~ of what ~“God”~ has ~“called”~ me to ~“speak”~. But that is not my problem. My problem has been to find a believable way to tell my story as best I could. And on my birthday 07/07/06 ~“God”~ gave me very strong ~“evidence”~ that ~“He”~ has ~“called”~ me to do what I am doing through an ~“alignment”~ of the ~“seven…”~’s from the book of ~“Revelation”~. It's on pg.’s 30, 31, 40 & 41 of my ~“book”~.

Factoring in ALL of the ~“events”~ and ~“circumstances”~ that ~“led”~ to the ~“Revelation”~ this ~“alignment”~ was ~“hidden”~ in the book of ~“Revelation”~. It is ~“statistically impossible”~ for ~“this”~ to be a random, mindless, coincidence! This means this ~“sentence”~ is one of THE MOST IMPORTANT ~“Co”~ written ~“sentences”~ In All Of Human History! These are either ~“the last days”~ of ~“faith, hope, and love”~ or ~ these are ~“the last days”~ of –“doubt, despair and fear and loathing”–. So!
~“choose you this day (~ EVERYDAY ~) whom ye will serve;”~
Joshua 24:15
~ “You must be the change you wish to see in (~ YOURSELF ~)
the world.” ~ Mohandas Gandhi

~ “Love is the answer.” ~ ~“God is love.”~
Arnold Joseph White ~“a white”~
Call me? ~“God”~ has.
615-220-1599

~ “God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” ~
~“these things” ~ are in the King James Bible ~“7”~ times each.
~“I am the Lord thy God”~ ~“love thy neighbour as thyself.”~
~“the end of the world”~ ~“that which is right”~
~“the last days”~ ~“Jesus is the”~ ~“judge not”~
~“forgiveness”~ ~“message”~ ~“feel”~ and
~“a white”~
~“a prophet”~ is in the King James 53 times in ~“48”~ verses.
Is ~“7/7/48”~ my sign?

www.outskirtspress.com/divine911intervention
www.MySpace.com/Love_God_Is_Love (5 min. ~“video”~)
www.PatriotsQuestion911.com
www.LoveGodIsLove.org (Free copy in pdf.)
www.amazon.com
www.bn.com (Barnes & Nobel)
www.target.com
~“Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.”~ John 4:48

I used this picture on the front cover of my ~"book"~ for sale on line; it was taken during Christmas of 2002. In the lower left corner is the ~“outline”~ of a ~“wing”~ which is not on the blanket. It is in the air, above the blanket! In the upper right corner there is a ~“golden cloud-like swirl”~ of ~“shapes”~ in which I see an ~“Angel”~ standing, looking down on the child. And when you turn the picture to the left, the right wing of the ~“Angel”~ becomes the outstretched head and neck of ~“a white horse”~ running at full speed. The book of ~“Revelation”~ mentions ~“these things”~! Others have ~“seen”~ ~“other things”~ in the ~“golden-swirl”~. What do ~“You”~ see?

Your reflections on the many faces of Islam was a poridge of platitudes except for Ms. Romero's unabashed anger at everyone. However, it ignored the many fascinating questions about that particular closed logic system:

1) How did Islam conquer so much territory so quickly?
2) What powered its meteoric elevation of arts, science and commerce?
3) Why did it make women, the life givers, second class or worse?
4) Why did it implode after giving us (among other things) mathematics, superb buildings, paper money and texts, infectious disease wards and naming every star in the sky?

Your participant from Spain where Muslims, Jews and Christians still are tolerant likely knows the answers. When Suliman the Great destroyed the Crusader invasion, he allowed the survivors to leave the Holy Lands or stay and practice any religion they wanted. That was in stark contrast to the wholesale slaughter of Muslims and Christians by the Crusaders.

Partnering with Jews in the lands they conquered by superior swordsmanship allowed camel herding nomads to run the huge cities within a few hundred years of bursting out of Arabia. The major split in Islam diluted its power and both factions attacking the Jews literally cut off its head. Nations with that religion soon became second class in science and commerce and are to this day except for oil wealth which likely will be under pressure from other energy sources.

The relagation of women to servant class is simple Job-Security on the part of the men.

These are issues your program should be addressing.

Paul Wheeler

May I kindly offer:

It is said : The first word God said to Mohamad (peace be upon him as it should be upon all creations) was to read "not to surrender".

To listen to your stories; Some of your Moslem contributors stating the Koran and its stories of people whom talked about the prophet , is accepted without question, is most puzzling.

Perhaps was appropriate in the long past.

Pilgrimige should not be to Mecca, Undrestanding inequality of food distribution through Fasting should not be just for a month, Praying should not be by standing and kneeling to a direction at a specific time, giving to needy is not just by money based on your income only to a person.

The duty to "read" should be for all men and women. Without it any religion will always stay in one place if not limping backward into darkness.

This is what Ramamdan means to me.

Kind Regards,

PS Ms. Tippett & American public radio: God takes care of people whom take care of people. He/she will take care of you all, as you have taken care of me by providing me with room to grow.

Shad Zee (live happy)

I loved listening to this last week's program of the muslim's. It made me think of the many parents I know who are raising their children without any "structured" faith at all.
I am a mother of a 10 year old and feel that it is important to give my child some knowledge of a religion so that she can use that as a basis to discuss or evaluate other religions when she is older.
Just thought I'd comment on that.

Thanks for your time
Barb

Islam means to surrender. To me it is a natural way of life without question. My name is Queen Sheba and I took my shahada when I was 14.
I fell in love with this religion at the age of 11. I believe all of humanity are Muslim in some shape, form of fashion.I am often amazed at how many are practicing and being more aware of this faith which claims are races and ethnic groups globally. Being Muslims means beauty and freedom. Islam is splendor and all facets of this deen is remarkable. When you take notice to nature and people it is a reflection of various if not many verses in the Holy Quran.

It makes since to worship daily and teach others the same about the numerous rituals one practices dutifully.Gratitude is action in practice and not just by word of mouth. The African American Islamic Institute founded by our beloved Shaykh Hassan Cisse (may GOD be pleased with his work) was a very humble scholar and teacher who taught us much about Islam before he returned to GOD.

I hope by the sometimes negative coverage in the media about this glorious faith that one would pay attention enough to research our faith and hope it will unfold much light and education that they too can accept Islam as a way of life as I did many years ago.

Peace be upon you

The religious significant of smoke

The American Indian: The Blackfoot Indian grew only one plant, the tobacco plant. Other American Indian tribes smoked all types of different plants each tribe had their favorite, but the importance was the smoke, the peace pipe, and plants that had a reputation for peace and love. The cigar is given at birth to symbolize life, that spirit is sweet, the aroma remains with you to enjoy and then it’s gone, into a new form. The spirit that lingers and then flies away.
Anabaptist Experience life, Enjoy, celebrate Christ had died for your sins!
Buddha, Buddhism Strongly encourages the individual or group to make the burnt offering at least twice, once in the morning and once in the evening what you burn is up to you.
Christian Ashes to ashes dust to dust this burnt offering is a must. St. Anthony encouraged all people to smoke, the earlier the better; still celebrated each year in Italy. Christ died for our sins, your sins are like ashes you should aim for the ash tray, the right way, but it’s not the end of the world if you miss, as long as it’s done in peace.
Confucius Great Chinese philosopher had a hemp hat, a 2500 year old stash of high quality weed was found in the Gobies desert
Hindu Lord Shiva Encourages the people to smoke or eat hemp 2 or 3 times a day. Ash Wednesday is not just one day a year for holy is an opening for the living
Jewish The Holy Scriptures, These plants are your meat. God saw it and it was good. The smoke in the scriptures was not just for God, but from God.
Muslim The water pipe has been a good place to smoke, sit and praise God
Protestant The bible is revealed to the individual in Gods own time and way all things are possible under God as long as the moral of Christ is maintained, the power over the plants and animals granted to man in the first page of the Christian bible.
Pagan- Rainbow tribe, Amazon tribe, voodoo, all of these place a huge importance on making the burnt offering using hemp or other plants to reach a spiritual plane that does not fit into a computer

The American significant of smoke

History America first settlers survived because of tobacco, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew weed.
Law This country constitution was founded on “Gods nature and his Natural goodness” the supreme law that everyone is responsible for
Victory- WWI- WWII the tobacco farmer was exempt from service for national security reasons. The war was indirectly won because of tobacco “take 5 smoke em if you’ve got em “
Prosperity Tobacco has been important in trade and prosperity for the American people, hundreds of independent growers and tobacco shops that flourished in the 1920s and 1950s
Common since They recommended planting hemp along side roads and in farms for erosion control. Nicotine patch, designer steroids for athletics do you really believe they can’t control the crave?
Customs and culture people would leave cigs in a glass case for guest; the smoker was taken into consideration form ash trays on planes, restaurants, and cars. To free matches- one of the US presidents gave out free cigars. Pipes were not an excuse to harass the people but common place.
Science Henry Ford made a car out of weed they can make fuel out of weed. NASCAR was started and powered by moon shine
Health we do not recognize a profit driven organization that cannot tell every atom or cell in a plant much less dictate to a free American especially since they worship Apollo and swear to Hippocrates a Greek god making the Hippocratic Oath.
Nicotine is found in potatoes, Increased metabolism, weed is recommended by Canada and European medical communities, and is high in potassium, tobacco plants can be used to grow vaccines or vitamin C added. Statistics can be swayed to fit any argument; 2 out of every 3 accidents are caused by people not drinking or doing drugs. Man has had smoke in his lungs since the beginning of time. The blood of Christ is wine
Read more in the book ABOUT CHRISTIANS AND FREEDOM @Amazon.com

I am a 59 year old African-American Convert to Islam. I, like many other black people of the 60's, was very intrigued by the very pervasive Black Nationalist rhetoric of the time.

I was serving in the U.S. Air Force at Wurtzsmith AFB in Oscoda, Mich. A friend with whom I was stationed began visiting the Nation of Islam temple in Saginaw and invited me along one Sunday afternoon. As you probably know, the Nation of Islam's teaching under the Hon. Elijah Muhammad was more of an ingenious means of teaching black self-reliance than it was a means of promulgating the religion of Islam. Nevertheless, I was greatly attracted to what was, until that time, the only "Islam" I had heard. Soon after that, I recieved orders for Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. While there, I feverishly studied the Holy Qur'an and learned to read it in the Arabic script. I am tempted to say that I found glaring contradictions between what I experienced in the Nation and the fundamental teaching of the Qur'an. On the contrary, I found that I was more prepared to embrace the Qur'anic teaching, once I became assured of my own humanity. Before the Nation of Islam, I existed on what could only be described as a sub-human level, living out a crude adaptation of a Christian mythos that was never designed for free Black people. A mythos that seems to discount the potential of the human mind.

The month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and of highest accolade in that it commererates the revealing of the first verses of the Qur'an to Muhammad. Ramadan is the Islamic month of fasting; where muslims do not take in anything by mouth, not even water from the dawn of sunrise until after the sun sets. The act of participating in the fast helps clear the mind and heart, allowing one to become closer to Allah, hearing the words of the Qur'an more clearly, because the body is not busy doing anything else. It is a time of deep intimacy, as one prays more often during the days of ramadan, deeping the understanding of the words of Muhammad. One of the core virtues of Islam is Zakat, meaning charity. It is though the acts of charity that muslims participate in during ramadam that they come to feel this deeping of personal spiritual intimacy with their beliefs. Muslims "open" or end their fast at sunset. They do this with a prayer, meal and celebration with others. Children are exempt from the practice of fasting during ramadam, until they reach puberty.

Many of the people who shared their stories on speakingoffaith.com told memories of their childhood and of their attempts to show reverence for their Islamic faith through fasting. There was the story stroy of the Bengali girl who while in the sixth grade wanted to participate in her first full fast. When she looked upon the calendar she saw that ramadan began on the day of her much anticipated field trip- to McDonald's. The young girl saw this as an opportunity to practice her religious virtures in spite of her classmate taunting her with french fries. She remained strong in her fast for most of the field trip, even giving away food that had been gifted to her by someone at the McDonalds who thought she meerly could not afford to purchase a meal. She gave away all of the food- except the french fries, which she could not pass up. I found this endearing because it shows the gentleness and beauty of a child with budding faith.

Thank you for providing this background and for all of the people that have responded to the call for their expressions Living Islam.
I grew up and have lived in a small rural MN area and for the most part have not lived more than 30 miles from where I grew up. I recently have had to travel to a larger city to find work and have (after 50 years) come in contact with people of different faiths (other than Christian) and have not wanted to offend anybody by asking what may appear to be silly questions.
The stories that the people have sent in have really helped me to gain some insight to their daily lives and a little about their faith. I especially liked the story from Mr. Allee Ramadan and how it took the fallout from 9-11 for him to reevaluate his life as a member of Islam and how he felt he had to try to blend in with all of the other students when he was growing up.
The reason that this touched me so much is that the community I grew up in could very well be the same community as he grew up in and I wonder if any of my fellow classmates felt the way he did (I hope not). I remember leaving school once a week for Bible study and really never gave it any thought if somebody in the class did not leave when the rest of the class did and can only imagine how they felt if they were left behind.
If you want to share this with Mr. Allee Ramadan that would be great as he opened my eyes to my childhood and how our community may have (without even trying) missed out on opportunities to make somebody feel welcome and to have learned from them at the same time. I am so proud that he has come from being a student that felt compelled to blend in to a proud member of Islam that let his voice be heard throughout the world.
Thank you MR Ramadan
Sincerely
Jerry Jasmer

I have read the transcripts for both the radio show on Ramadan and Living Islam. I am a Christian, but I am very curious about the Islam faith and have been doing what I can to seek the answers to my questions. I have taken a class on Monotheistic religions and learned some of the origins of Islam, but I have found that these 2 radio shows have given me more insight.

I have been curious to really know and experience what being a Muslim is like. What is it like to be a devout Muslim- is it like being a devout Christian as I am? What are the core beliefs in Islam in comparison to Christianity? I feel more of these questions have been answered by being able to listen to people living life instead of reading from a book. Thank You.

I have worked in a primarily muslim business for the past two years and have seen the passion they have for their religion and all the practices that come with it especially Ramadan. I have also learned how beautiful the Muslim religion is.

After listening to this broadcast and also listening to the personal stories of the people that I work with it has spread a new light on it all for me. The first year I worked there and Ramadan came around I actually fasted with them, and let me tell you it was not easy. I made it through three weeks but then caught a cold and had to take medicine and eat food during the day to get better. Even if you take the religious meaning away from this practice it is something we all should think about. The way I was told and the way I think about it is that it is a way to show appreciation for all the things people have gone through and suffered through to allow us to be where we are today. It really made me look back and think about what its like to go just a day without food and water and how some people do that for long periods of time.

In the end it made me appreciate the passion and adherance that Muslims show toward their religion and the laws of their religion. I think the most important thing that I have learned is that Muslims as a whole are nothing like the images that we see on tv. And not to make blanket stereotypes about Islam from the extremist terrorists we see and hear about, and they in no way are like the quiet peaceful people that most Muslims are.

The believers are iedend brothers [in Isle2mic religion]. (Al-Hujuraat: 10)And He The Most Mighty, The Most Majestic said: The believers, men and women, are Auliye2' (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of oadne another… (At-Tawba : 71)And The Prophet (sallahAllaahu alayhi wasallam) said : The believer to another believer is like the structure [like a wall] ; each part strengthens the other,' and then he co-enjoined his fingers. (Agreed upon)And he (may Allaah's blessings and good mention be upon him) also said: The example of the believers in their relationship, and their love, and their having mercy upon each other ; is like the example of oadne body part to the rest of the body; if oadne part is affected then the whole body complains of fever and pain. (Agreed upon)And he (may Allaah's blessings and good mention be upon him) also said: The Muslim is the brother of another Muslim; he does not oppress him, nor does he deceive him, nor does he give him up to the enemy, nor does he look down oadn him. (Narrated by Muslim)And help comprises of many things –according to the ability, and depending oadn the situations – whether it is intellectually or physical [things], or whether it is from the general Muslims through wealth, and food, and medicine, and clothing, and other things. Or whether it is from the Islamic Arab nations through making it easy and possible that the aid reaches them, and by taking a sincere position in regards to their [the Palestinian Muslims] matter, and by supporting their case in the gatherings, and seminars, and the international conferences: And all of these are from the ways of co-operation upon good and piety – which is something that is ordered- in the statement of The Exalted : Help you oadne another in virtue, righteousness and piety… (Al-Maaida : 2)And also from those ways is: to direct sincere advice to them [the Muslims in Palestine], and to direct them to that which is of good and of benefit to them. And from the greatest of those is to make du'aa for them -at all times – so that their tribulation is lifted, and their affliction is raised, and that their situation is rectified, and that their statements and actions become good.Upon this, we also advise our Muslim brethren in Palestine to have fear of Allaah – The Exalted- and to return to Him, just as we advise them to be united; upon the truth, and to leave off divisions and splitting up, and not to give a chance to the enemy – who has taken advantage of it – and will continue to use it in enmity and oppression.And we also encourage and emphasize our brethren to take the causes which will lead to lifting the oppression directed at their land – while having complete sincerity to Allaah The Exalted – in [those and all other] actions, and to seek His pleasure, and to seek His assistance – through righteous actions, and prayers, and consulting the scholars and people of wisdom; in all their matters – iedend that is a way of being facilitated [to that which is good] and establishment.Just as we call oadn to the intellectuals in the world and the international meetings; to have an open look at this catastrophe – with a look of insight, intellect, and equality – so that the Palestinian community can be given its rights. And so that the oppression be lifted from it: such that they live in a honourable life. And at the same time we thank all -the nations and individuals- who have initiated in aiding and helping them.We ask Allaah by His Beautiful Names and His Lofty Attributes; that He lifts the despair oadn this Ummah, and that He strengthens its religion, and to raise its statement, and to aid His allies, and to disgrace His enemies -and to return back their plots against themselves- and to save the Muslims from their evil, Indeed He is the Patron, and the oadne who is Most Able of all that. And may His blessings and good mention be upon our Prophet Muhammad, and also his family and his companions and those who follow them upon good; upto the Last Day.The grand mufti of Saudi Arabia,President of the Council of Senior Scholars,Shaykh Abdul-'Azeez Ibn Abdullaah Aal ash-Shaykh.Member of Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and VerdictsSource : The Madeenah Journalالخميس, 1 يناير 2009واس الرياضحثت اللجنة الدائمة للبحوث العلمية والإفتاء بالمملكة المسلمين الوقوف مع إخوانهم الفلسطينيين والتعاون معهم ونصرتهم ومساعدتهم والاجتهاد في رفع الظلم عنهم بما يمكن من الأسباب والوسائل تحقيقاً لإخوة الإسلام ورابطة الإيمان، معتبرة أن مايجري في غزة إجرام وظلم في حق الشعب الفلسطيني.وأوضحت اللجنة أن النصرة شاملة لأمور عديدة حسب الاستطاعة ومراعاة الأحوال سواء كانت مادية أو معنوية ، وسواء كانت من عموم المسلمين بالمال والغذاء والدواء والكساء وغيرها، أو من جهة الدول العربية والإسلامية بتسهيل وصول المساعدات لهم وصدق المواقف تجاههم ونصرة قضاياهم في المحافل والجمعيات والمؤتمرات الدولية والشعبية.ودعت اللجنة عقلاء العالم والمجتمع الدولي للنظر في الكارثة بعين العقل والإنصاف لإعطاء الشعب الفلسطيني حقوقهجاء ذلك في بيان صدر عن اللجنة حول ما يجري في قطاع غزة من قتل وحصار وتشريد فيما يلي نصه:الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه ، ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين. وبعد:فإن اللجنة الدائمة للبحوث العلمية والإفتاء في المملكة العربية السعودية تابعت بكل أسى وحزن وألم ما جرى ويجري على إخواننا المسلمين في فلسطين وفي قطاع غزة على الخصوص من عدوان وقتل للأطفال والنساء والشيوخ وانتهاك للحرمات وتدمير للمنازل والمنشآت وترويع للآمنين ، ولا شك أن ذلك إجرام وظلم في حق الشعب الفلسطيني.وهذا الحدث الأليم يوجب على المسلمين الوقوف مع إخوانهم الفلسطينيين والتعاون معهم ونصرتهم ومساعدتهم والاجتهاد في رفع الظلم عنهم بما يمكن من الأسباب والوسائل تحقيقاً لاخوة الإسلام ورابطة الإيمان ، قال الله تعالى :” إنما المؤمنون إخوة” (الحجرات 10) وقال عز وجل :” والمؤمنون والمؤمنات بعضهم أولياء بعض” (التوبة 71) وقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم :” المؤمن للمؤمن كالبنيان يشد بعضه بعضاً وشبك بين أصابعه “ متفق عليه، وقال أيضاً عليه الصلاة والسلام :”مثل المؤمنين في توادهم وتراحمهم وتعاطفهم مثل الجسد الواحد إذا اشتكى منه عضو تداعى له سائر الجسد بالحمى والسهر “(متفق عليه) وقال عليه الصلاة والسلام: “ المسلم أخو المسلم لا يظلمه ولا يخذله ولا يسلمه ولا يحقره” رواه مسلم.والنصرة شاملة لأمور عديدة حسب الاستطاعة ومراعاة الأحوال سواء كانت مادية أو معنوية ، وسواء كانت من عموم المسلمين بالمال والغذاء والدواء والكساء وغيرها، أو من جهة الدول العربية والإسلامية بتسهيل وصول المساعدات لهم وصدق المواقف تجاههم ونصرة قضاياهم في المحافل والجمعيات والمؤتمرات الدولية والشعبية ، وكل ذلك من التعاون على البر والتقوى المأمور به في قوله سبحانه وتعالى : “ وتعاونوا على البر والتقوى “ (المائدة 2).ومن ذلك أيضاً بذل النصيحة لهم ودلالتهم على ما فيه خيرهم وصلاحهم ، ومن أعظم ذلك أيضاً الدعاء لهم في جميع الأوقات برفع محنتهم وكشف شدتهم وصلاح أحوالهم وسداد أعمالهم وأقوالهم. هذا وإننا نوصي إخواننا المسلمين في فلسطين بتقوى الله تعالى والرجوع إليه سبحانه ، كما نوصيهم بالوحدة على الحق وترك الفرقة والتنازع وتفويت الفرصة على العدو التي استغلها وسيستغلها بمزيد من الاعتداء والتوهين.ونحث إخواننا على فعل الأسباب لرفع العدوان على أرضهم مع الإخلاص في الأعمال لله تعالى وابتغاء مرضاته والاستعانة بالصبر والصلاة ومشاورة أهل العلم والعقل والحكمة في جميع أمورهم ، فإن ذلك أمارة على التوفيق والتسديد.كما أننا ندعو عقلاء العالم والمجتمع الدولي بعامة للنظر في هذه الكارثة بعين العقل والإنصاف لإعطاء الشعب الفلسطيني حقوقه ، ورفع الظلم عنه حتى يعيش حياة كريمة، وفي الوقت نفسه نشكر كل من أسهم في نصرتهم ومساعدتهم من الدول والأفراد.نسأل الله بأسمائه الحسنى وصفاته العلا أن يكشف الغمة عن هذه الأمة ، وأن يعز دينه ، ويعلي كلمته وأن ينصر أولياءه ، وأن يخذل أعداءه ، وأن يجعل كيدهم في نحورهم ، وأن يكفي المسلمين شرهم ، إنه ولي ذلك والقادر عليه. وصلى الله وسلم على نبيا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.سماحة المفتي العام للمملكة العربية السعوديةرئيس هيئة كبار العلماءالشيخ عبدالعزيز بن عبدالله بن محمد آل الشيخوأعضاء اللجنة الدائمة للبحوث العلمية والإفتاء

I thank you for this opportunity to show your programme and audience my situation. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion is precious. Even more important is freedom FROM religion.

I am atheist who has rejected Islam after having the great privilege and lucky to study the great minds of civilization who gave me healing from this disease of ignorance and brainwashing stupidness called religion. To name a few: Hume, Russell, Kant, Nietsche, Einstein, Dawkins, Hitchens. But I am from a country famous to be named Cradle of Islam that now passed a law that makes me a terrorist.

So I have to hide my real name and any signs that shows myself to them to protect me from the persecution and the prosecution. And to protect my family.

So you will say as so many say to defend Islam; Oh but this is not the real Islam, it is the fundamentalism. The real Islam is peaceful and justice and tolerance. To you I say read the Qur’an:

9:23 O you who believe! Do not take for friends and allies (even) your fathers and your brothers if they love disbelief more than faith: if any of you do so, they are the wrong doers.

3:86 How shall God guide those who reject faith after their belief and after they bore witness that the Messenger was true and after clear (signs) had come unto them? God guides not unjust people.
3:87 They are those whose recompense is that on them (rests) the curse of God, of the angels, and of all humankind.
3:88 They will abide therein. Their torment will not be lightened and they will not be given any respite -
3:89 Except for those that repent after that, and make amends (by righteous deeds), for, verily God is forgiving, most merciful.
3:90 But surely those who disbelieved after their belief and then went on increasing in their disbelief, never will their repentance be accepted; for they are those who have gone astray.
4:137 Surely those who believe, then disbelieve, then believe (again) and (again) disbelieve, and go on increasing in disbelief, God will not forgive them nor guide them nor guide them on the way.
16:106 Whoever disbelieved in God after his belief – not he who is forced to do so while his heart is content with faith but he who opens his breast to disbelief - on such wrath from God, and theirs will be a great torment.

Sorry for my poor English. I hope you can understand me.

thank you

I am not religious but I did grow up in Detroit. The call to prayer is a background sound of my life as it is for most Detroiters. We really don't get the antipathy to Muslims. A Muslim from Detroit is a Detroiter and the biggest arguments between us tends to be about our sports teams.

Ramadan, is something different however. The breaking of the fast is where you come to the Mosque and sit with friends and, of course, argue about whether the Lions should have drafted a CB or not. Ramadan makes us a family even given all of our differences.

I will add this. When we do picnics out on the island, the Muslims don't plan it because there ain't going to be no barbeque or alcohol. This may seem shallow but all our lives our intertwined.

I am headed, in a few days to a lunch, with my friends:. one is Jewish, one is Muslim and none of us agree on anything except the unspoken fact that we are all human beings.

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is a professor at the University of South Florida. She grew up in Kuwait.

is co-host of the Al Jazeera America TV show, “The Stream.” He’s a playwright, and a first-generation Pakistani-American.

emigrated from Russia to Dallas, Texas when she was eight years old. She grew up in the Russian Orthodox Church.

is Mexican-American, a lawyer, and a single mother. She lives in Seattle.

is a scholar of modern history with a focus on the Middle East. He has taught in the U.S., Turkey, and Spain.

is a PhD student in New York City studying Arabic and Comparative Literature.

is a program officer in the Education and Training Center/International at the United States Institute of Peace.

is a poet. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he and his wife are active Muslim members of a Unitarian Universalist congregation.

grew up in Istanbul and now lives and teaches elementary school in New York.

is a Pakistani-American living in suburban Chicago.

is a retired federal prosecutor and the father of 11 children. He lives in New York.

is a campaign communications specialist for the Service Employees International Union.

is an attorney specializing in labor and employment issues.

is a photographer living in Dallas, Texas.

lives in Dallas, Texas where she volunteers with the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation.

is a Mancunian who converted to Islam in 1993.

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