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Reducing Bias When Judging

November 10, 2017

[4:105] We have sent down to you the scripture, truthfully, in order to judge among the people in accordance with what GOD has shown you. You shall not side with the betrayers.

Example of David

[38:21] Have you received news of the feuding men who sneaked into his sanctuary? [38:22] When they entered his room, he was startled. They said, "Have no fear. We are feuding with one another, and we are seeking your fair judgment. Do not wrong us, and guide us in the right path. [38:23] "This brother of mine owns ninety-nine* sheep, while I own one sheep. He wants to mix my sheep with his, and continues to pressure me."  

[38:24] He said, "He is being unfair to you by asking to combine your sheep with his. Most people who combine their properties treat each other unfairly, except those who believe and work righteousness, and these are so few." Afterwards, David wondered if he made the right judgment. He thought that we were testing him. He then implored his Lord for forgiveness, bowed down, and repented.*  

[38:25] We forgave him in this matter. We have granted him a position of honor with us, and a beautiful abode.

[38:26] O David, we have made you a ruler on earth. Therefore, you shall judge among the people equitably, and do not follow your personal opinion, lest it diverts you from the way of GOD. Surely, those who stray off the way of GOD incur severe retribution for forgetting the Day of Reckoning.

*38:24 In this clear example, 99 on one side vs 1 on the other side, David's extreme care to render the correct judgment caused him to ask forgiveness. Are we this careful?

Suspicion Is Sinful

[49:12] O you who believe, you shall avoid any suspicion, for even a little bit of suspicion is sinful. You shall not spy on one another, nor shall you backbite one another; this is as abominable as eating the flesh of your dead brother. You certainly abhor this. You shall observe GOD. GOD is Redeemer, Most Merciful.

 

We all have an inherent bias when we judge

How to judge fairly without bias? 

Abraham – I cut you choose

Divide-and-choose is mentioned in the Bible, in the Book of Genesis (chapter 13). When Abraham and Lot come to the land of Canaan, Abraham suggests that they divide it among them. Then Abraham, coming from the south, divides the land to a "left" (western) part and a "right" (eastern) part, and lets Lot choose. Lot chooses the eastern part which contains Sodom and Gomorrah, and Abraham is left with the western part which contains Beer Sheva, Hebron, Beit El and Shechem.

Genesis 13

5 Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. 6 But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. 7 And quarreling arose between Abram’s herders and Lot’s. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time. 8 So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.” 10 Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: 12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. 13 Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.

You Shall Not Bear False Witness

[4:135] O you who believe, you shall be absolutely equitable, and observe GOD, when you serve as witnesses, even against yourselves, or your parents, or your relatives. Whether the accused is rich or poor, GOD takes care of both. Therefore, do not be biased by your personal wishes. If you deviate or disregard (this commandment), then GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do

  

Witnessing A Will

[5:106] O you who believe, witnessing a will when one of you is dying shall be done by two equitable people among you. If you are traveling, then two others may do the witnessing. After observing the Contact Prayer (Salat), let the witnesses swear by GOD, to alleviate your doubts: "We will not use this to attain personal gains, even if the testator is related to us. Nor will we conceal GOD's testimony. Otherwise, we would be sinners."  

Dan Aeriely – An Extreme Take on The Ten Commandments Experiment

http://danariely.com/2012/07/01/an-extreme-take-on-the-ten-commandments-experiment-2/ 

[5:107] If the witnesses are found to be guilty of bias, then two others shall be asked to take their places. Choose two persons who were victimized by the first witnesses, and let them swear by GOD: "Our testimony is more truthful than theirs; we will not be biased. Otherwise, we will be transgressors."

 

What about when you have to judge other’s disputes. 

 

HOW TO DETERMINE GUILT AGAINST A LIAR

Trial by ordeal is judicial practice by which the guilt or innocence of the accused is determined by subjecting them to a painful, or at least an unpleasant, usually dangerous experience. The test was one of life or death and the proof of innocence was survival. In some cases, the accused was considered innocent if they escaped injury or if their injuries healed.

  • Trial by combat – two people in dispute would fight
  • Trial by Fire – person would have to walk over hot metals or holding a red hot iron – if after 3 days their wounds were healed they were innocent
  • Trial by Hot Water (like we saw)
  • Trial by Cold Water (would be bound and submerged in water)
  • Trial by Cross (hold hands in a cross or T-shape. First person to put hands down is the loser)
  • Trial by ingestion/poison (if survive they were innocent) 

Trial by Oil | National Geographic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgJXXo97D4c 

Let people self-incriminate without force on their own merit

Kind of Trial by Ordeal as Instituted in the Quran 

[24:4] Those who accuse married women of adultery, then fail to produce four witnesses, you shall whip them eighty lashes, and do not accept any testimony from them; they are wicked. [24:5] If they repent afterwards and reform, then GOD is Forgiver, Merciful.  

In the Torah, if someone gives a false testimony the punishment the accused would have gotten falls on the person bearing false witness 

Deuteronomy 19:

Laws of Landmark and Testimony 14“You shall not move your neighbor’s boundary mark, which the ancestors have set, in your inheritance which you will inherit in the land that the LORD your God gives you to possess. 15“A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed. 16“If a malicious witness rises up against a man to accuse him of wrongdoing, 17then both the men who have the dispute shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who will be in office in those days. 18“The judges shall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is a false witness and he has accused his brother falsely, 19then you shall do to him just as he had intended to do to his brother. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you. 20“The rest will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such an evil thing among you. 21“Thus you shall not show pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. 

TRUSTLESS SOCIETY – How to build a society where people voluntarily self-identify 

In Case of War

[60:10] O you who believe, when believing women (abandon the enemy and) ask for asylum with you, you shall test them. GOD is fully aware of their belief. Once you establish that they are believers, you shall not return them to the disbelievers. They are not lawful to remain married to them, nor shall the disbelievers be allowed to marry them. Give back the dowries that the disbelievers have paid. You commit no error by marrying them, so long as you pay them their due dowries. Do not keep disbelieving wives (if they wish to join the enemy). You may ask them for the dowry you had paid, and they may ask for what they paid. This is GOD's rule; He rules among you. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.

 

Solomon’s Judgment

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_az3eNb0fI 

 

Honesty is Our Responsibility 

One of the absolute top necessities for a society to prosper is the need for honesty. We make our decisions based on the information we have. If someone provides false information then we could make wrong decisions.

Crucial Advice

[17:36] You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them.

 

Investigate Rumors Before Believing Them

[49:6] O you who believe, if a wicked person brings any news to you, you shall first investigate, lest you commit injustice towards some people, out of ignorance, then become sorry and remorseful for what you have done.

 

Fearing the Lord is the start of wisdom

Proverbs 9: 

9vGive instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning. 10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Wisdom: A Great Treasure

[2:269] He bestows wisdom upon whomever He chooses, and whoever attains wisdom, has attained a great bounty. Only those who possess intelligence will take heed.

Stephan Molyneux – eliminating religion the fabric of society starts falling apart

[8:73] Those who disbelieved are allies of one another. Unless you keep these commandments, there will be chaos on earth, and terrible corruption. 

You Shall Keep Your Word

[16:91] You shall fulfill your covenant with GOD when you make such a covenant. You shall not violate the oaths after swearing (by God) to carry them out, for you have made GOD a guarantor for you. GOD knows everything you do. [16:92] Do not be like the knitter who unravels her strong knitting into piles of flimsy yarn. This is your example if you abuse the oaths to take advantage of one another. Whether one group is larger than the other, GOD thus puts you to the test. He will surely show you on the Day of Resurrection everything you had disputed. [16:93] Had GOD willed, He could have made you one congregation. But He sends astray whoever chooses to go astray, and He guides whoever wishes to be guided.* You will surely be asked about everything you have done.

Violating Your Oath: A Serious Offense

[16:94] Do not abuse the oaths among you, lest you slide back after having a strong foothold, then you incur misery. Such is the consequence of repelling from the path of GOD (by setting a bad example); you incur a terrible retribution. [16:95] Do not sell your oaths before GOD short. What GOD possesses is far better for you, if you only knew. [16:96] What you possess runs out, but what GOD possesses lasts forever. We will surely reward those who steadfastly persevere; we will recompense them for their righteous works.

 

Example of Adultery

[24:6] As for those who accuse their own spouses, without any other witnesses, then the testimony may be accepted if he swears by GOD four times that he is telling the truth. [24:7] The fifth oath shall be to incur GOD's condemnation upon him, if he was lying. [24:8] She shall be considered innocent if she swears by GOD four times that he is a liar. [24:9] The fifth oath shall incur GOD's wrath upon her if he was telling the truth. [24:10] This is GOD's grace and mercy towards you. GOD is Redeemer, Most Wise.

Divine Law

[64:11] Nothing happens to you except in accordance with GOD's will. Anyone who believes in GOD, He will guide his heart. GOD is fully aware of all things. 

[5:54] O you who believe, if you revert from your religion, then GOD will substitute in your place people whom He loves and who love Him. They will be kind with the believers, stern with the disbelievers, and will strive in the cause of GOD without fear of any blame. Such is GOD's blessing; He bestows it upon whomever He wills. GOD is Bounteous, Omniscient.

You Shall Not Bear False Witness

[5:8] O you who believe, you shall be absolutely equitable, and observe GOD, when you serve as witnesses. Do not be provoked by your conflicts with some people into committing injustice. You shall be absolutely equitable, for it is more righteous. You shall observe GOD. GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do. [5:9] GOD promises those who believe and lead a righteous life forgiveness and a great recompense. [5:10] As for those who disbelieve and reject our revelations, they are the dwellers of Hell.

God Defends the Believers

[5:11] O you who believe, remember GOD's blessings upon you; when some people extended their hands to aggress against you, He protected you and withheld their hands. You shall observe GOD; in GOD the believers shall trust.

 

Good things do not happen to bad people

Psalm 91

9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

[3:174] They have deserved GOD's blessings and grace. No harm ever touches them, for they have attained GOD's approval. GOD possesses infinite grace.

 

  • Abraham was thrown into the fire

[37:91] He then turned on their idols, saying, "Would you like to eat? [37:92] "Why do you not speak?" [37:93] He then destroyed them. [37:94] They went to him in a great rage. [37:95] He said, "How can you worship what you carve? [37:96] "When GOD has created you, and everything you make!" [37:97] They said, "Let us build a great fire, and throw him into it." [37:98] They schemed against him, but we made them the losers.

  • Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den (Book of Daniel Chapter 6)
  • Daniels constituents were thrown into the fire

Daniel 3:

The Fiery Furnace …25He said, "Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!" 26Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the furnace of blazing fire; he responded and said, "Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, come out, you servants of the Most High God, and come here!" Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego came out of the midst of the fire. 27The satraps, the prefects, the governors and the king's high officials gathered around and saw in regard to these men that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men nor was the hair of their head singed, nor were their trousers damaged, nor had the smell of fire even come upon them.… 

[85:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful [85:1] The sky and its galaxies. [85:2] The promised day. [85:3] The witness and the witnessed. [85:4] Woe to the people of the canyon. [85:5] They ignited a blazing fire. [85:6] Then sat around it. [85:7] To watch the burning of the believers. [85:8] They hated them for no other reason than believing in GOD, the Almighty, the Praiseworthy. [85:9] To Him belongs the kingship of the heavens and the earth. And GOD witnesses all things. [85:10] Surely, those who persecute the believing men and women, then fail to repent, have incurred the retribution of Gehenna; they have incurred the retribution of burning. [85:11] Surely, those who believed and led a righteous life, have deserved gardens with flowing streams. This is the greatest triumph.

  • Pharaoh and the magicians?
  • Joseph was thrown into the well, accused by the governor’s wife (twice)

    • We can’t affect the outcome, but we can trust in God that justice will be served

 

LET GOD JUDGE - Justice comes from God 

[42:39] When gross injustice befalls them, they stand up for their rights. [42:40] Although the just requital for an injustice is an equivalent retribution, those who pardon and maintain righteousness are rewarded by GOD. He does not love the unjust. [42:41] Certainly, those who stand up for their rights, when injustice befalls them, are not committing any error. [42:42] The wrong ones are those who treat the people unjustly, and resort to aggression without provocation. These have incurred a painful retribution. [42:43] Resorting to patience and forgiveness reflects a true strength of character.

[16:126] And if you punish, you shall inflict an equivalent punishment. But if you resort to patience (instead of revenge), it would be better for the patient ones. [16:127] You shall resort to patience—and your patience is attainable only with GOD's help. Do not grieve over them, and do not be annoyed by their schemes. [16:128] GOD is with those who lead a righteous life, and those who are charitable.

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Revolutionary Movie | Documentary Trailer

November 1, 2017

Revolutionary: Michael Behe and the Mystery of Molecular Machines

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ToSEAj2V0s

 

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Minimum Requirement For God’s Salvation

October 26, 2017

Minimum Requirements For Salvation

[5:69] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the converts, and the Christians; any of them who (1) believe in GOD and (2) believe in the Last Day, and (3) lead a righteous life, have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

Unity of All Submitters

[2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who  (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

 

INTRODUCTION

“While every religion has been corrupted by innovations, traditions, and false, idolatrous doctrines, there may be "Submitters" within every religion. There may be Submitters who are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or anything else. These Submitters, collectively, constitute the only religion acceptable to God. As emphasized by the theme on the front page of this book, all Submitters who are devoted to God ALONE, and do not set up any idols beside God, are redeemed into God's eternal kingdom (2:62). A criterion of the true submitters is that they will find nothing objectionable in the Quran.” 

All Believers Constitute the One Acceptable Religion

As expected from the Creator's final message, one of the prominent themes in the Quran is the call for unity among all believers, and the repeated prohibition of making any distinction among God's messengers. If the object of worship is one and the same, there will be absolute unity among all believers. It is the human factor, i.e., devotion and prejudice to such powerless humans as Jesus, Muhammad, and the saints that causes division, hatred, and bitter wars among the misguided believers. A guided believer is devoted to God ALONE, and rejoices in seeing any other believer who is devoted to God ALONE, regardless of the name such a believer calls his or her religion.

Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in God, (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord; they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve. [2:62, 5:69]

So does this mean that we don’t need to do our Salat, pay our Zakat, give to charity, believe in any of God’s messengers or scriptures, or angles?  

Minimum Requirement is this minimum to all people or does it vary from person to person?

I am going to argue that the minimum will vary from person to person

We know that Zakat is 2.5% of our income, but this does not mean everyone will give the same amount. For instance the person who makes more money will pay more than the person who makes less money. Both are meeting the requirement, but to look at what each person’s level of Zakat is will not be the right metric to determine if they are meeting the requirement, and I believe that the minimum requirement will operate in the same manner 

If you do not know about the Quran you are not responsible for following it.

If you do not know of God’s messengers you are not responsible for following them

God holds us responsible for what we know and our circumstances 

Greater Miracles Bring Greater Responsibility*

[5:114] Said Jesus, the son of Mary, "Our god, our Lord, send down to us a feast from the sky. Let it bring plenty for each and every one of us, and a sign from You. Provide for us; You are the best Provider." [5:115] GOD said, "I am sending it down. Anyone among you who disbelieves after this, I will punish him as I never punished anyone else."*

*5:114-115 The Quran's overwhelming miracle (Appendix 1) is described in 74:35 as "One of the greatest miracles," and brings with it an uncommonly great responsibility. 

Miracles Bring Greater Responsibility*

[2:211] Ask the Children of Israel how many profound miracles have we shown them! For those who disregard the blessings bestowed upon them by GOD, GOD is most strict in retribution.

*2:211 The Quran's mathematical miracle is a great blessing, and brings with it an awesome responsibility (please see 5:115).

[33:36] No believing man or believing woman, if GOD and His messenger issue any command, has any choice regarding that command. Anyone who disobeys GOD and His messenger has gone far astray.

Major Prophecy Fulfilled* God's Messenger of the Covenant

[3:81] GOD took a covenant from the prophets, saying, "I will give you the scripture and wisdom. Afterwards, a messenger will come to confirm all existing scriptures. You shall believe in him and support him." He said, "Do you agree with this, and pledge to fulfill this covenant?" They said, "We agree." He said, "You have thus borne witness, and I bear witness along with you."

Rejectors of God's Messenger of the Covenant are Disbelievers

[3:82] Those who reject this (Quranic prophecy) are the evil ones.

[4:159] Everyone among the people of the scripture was required to believe in him (Jesus) before his death. On the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them.

[24:61] The blind is not to be blamed, the crippled is not to be blamed, nor the handicapped is to be blamed, just as you are not to be blamed for eating at your homes, or the homes of your fathers, or the homes of your mothers, or the homes of your brothers, or the homes of your sisters, or the homes of your fathers' brothers, or the homes of your fathers' sisters, or the homes of your mothers' brothers, or the homes of your mothers' sisters, or the homes that belong to you and you possess their keys, or the homes of your friends. You commit nothing wrong by eating together or as individuals. When you enter any home, you shall greet each other a greeting from GOD that is blessed and good. GOD thus explains the revelations for you, that you may understand.

The Test for Early Generations

[48:16] Say to the sedentary Arabs who stay behind, "You will be invited to face powerful people and to fight them, unless they submit. If you obey, GOD will reward you with a generous recompense. But if you turn away again, as you did in the past, He will requite you with a painful retribution." [48:17] The blind is not to be blamed, the crippled is not to be blamed, and the sick is not to be blamed. Those who obey GOD and His messenger, He will admit them into gardens with flowing streams. As for those who turn away, He will requite them with a painful retribution. 

Apathy Condemned

[4:97] Those whose lives are terminated by the angels, while in a state of wronging their souls, the angels will ask them, "What was the matter with you?" They will say, "We were oppressed on earth." They will say, "Was GOD's earth not spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?" For these, the final abode is Hell, and a miserable destiny. [4:98] Exempted are the weak men, women, and children who do not possess the strength, nor the means to find a way out. [4:99] These may be pardoned by GOD. GOD is Pardoner, Forgiver.

So if you are whole and able

If you have the hearing, eyesight and mind

If you are more intelligent

If you are leader

If you are rich

If you have influence

You bear more responsibility than ones who are not

Someone who dies before the age of 40 will be forgiven

Someone who is born mentally or physically deficient will be forgiven

40: The Age of Decision*

[46:15] We enjoined the human being to honor his parents. His mother bore him arduously, gave birth to him arduously, and took intimate care of him for thirty months. When he reaches maturity, and reaches the age of forty,* he should say, "My Lord, direct me to appreciate the blessings You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and to do the righteous works that please You. Let my children be righteous as well. I have repented to You; I am a submitter."

Christians, too, Must Obey God's Messenger

[5:14] Also from those who said, "We are Christian," we took their covenant. But they disregarded some of the commandments given to them. Consequently, we condemned them to animosity and hatred among themselves, until the Day of Resurrection. GOD will then inform them of everything they had done.

The Quran: God's Message to the Jews and Christians

[5:15] O people of the scripture, our messenger has come to you to proclaim for you many things you have concealed in the scripture, and to pardon many other transgressions you have committed. A beacon has come to you from GOD, and a profound scripture. [5:16] With it, GOD guides those who seek His approval. He guides them to the paths of peace, leads them out of darkness into the light by His leave, and guides them in a straight path.

Salvation For Jews and Christians

[5:65] If only the people of the scripture believe and lead a righteous life, we will then remit their sins, and admit them into gardens of bliss.

They Must Believe in This Quran

[5:66] If only they would uphold the Torah and the Gospel, and what is sent down to them herein from their Lord, they would be showered with blessings from above them and from beneath their feet. Some of them are righteous, but many of them are evildoers.

 

(1) Believe in God? 

What does it mean to believe in God? Just his mere existence?

The devil believes in God. 

Believe in God means believing in God’s qualities

God is One

[17:42] Say, "If there were any other gods beside Him, as they claim, they would have tried to overthrow the Possessor of the throne."

[4:36] You shall worship GOD alone—do not associate anything with Him…

Most Gracious, Most Merciful, Most Just, All Knowing, All Powerful etc.

Knowing God

[10:61] You do not get into any situation, nor do you recite any Quran, nor do you do anything, without us being witnesses thereof as you do it. Not even an atom's weight is out of your Lord's control, be it in the heavens or the earth. Nor is there anything smaller than an atom, or larger, that is not recorded in a profound record.

God

[59:22] He is the One GOD; there is no other god besides Him. Knower of all secrets and declarations. He is the Most Gracious, Most Merciful. [59:23] He is the One GOD; there is no other god besides Him. The King, the Most Sacred, the Peace, the Most Faithful, the Supreme, the Almighty, the Most Powerful, the Most Dignified. GOD be glorified; far above having partners. [59:24] He is the One GOD; the Creator, the Initiator, the Designer. To Him belong the most beautiful names. Glorifying Him is everything in the heavens and the earth. He is the Almighty, Most Wise.

As we grow in our understanding God will allow us to better understand His character 

Appendix 9 - Abraham: Original Messenger of Islam

God Never Ordered Abraham to Sacrifice His Son God is the Most Merciful. He never violates His own law (7:28).

Any person who believes that the Most Merciful ordered Abraham to kill his son cannot possibly make it to God's Heaven. Such evil thought about God is grossly blasphemous. Nowhere in the Quran do we see that God ordered Abraham to kill his son. On the contrary, God intervened to save Abraham and Ismail from Satan's plot (37:107), and He told Abraham: "You believed the dream" (37:105). Undoubtedly, it was a dream inspired by Satan. God's irrevocable law is: "God never advocates sin" (7:28)

Examine All Inherited Information

[7:28] They commit a gross sin, then say, "We found our parents doing this, and GOD has commanded us to do it." Say, "GOD never advocates sin. Are you saying about GOD what you do not know?" 

If we believe then our actions should correspond to that belief  

So do we need to do our Salat?

If God tells us that Salat is a meal for our soul and we decide not to do our Salat it shows that we do not believe.

Traits of the Believers

[42:37] They avoid gross sins and vice, and when angered they forgive. [42:38] They respond to their Lord by observing the Contact Prayers (Salat). Their affairs are decided after due consultation among themselves, and from our provisions to them they give (to charity). [42:39] When gross injustice befalls them, they stand up for their rights. [42:40] Although the just requital for an injustice is an equivalent retribution, those who pardon and maintain righteousness are rewarded by GOD. He does not love the unjust. [42:41] Certainly, those who stand up for their rights, when injustice befalls them, are not committing any error. [42:42] The wrong ones are those who treat the people unjustly, and resort to aggression without provocation. These have incurred a painful retribution. [42:43] Resorting to patience and forgiveness reflects a true strength of character. 

If God tells us that Zakat is needed to attain God’s mercy and we choose not to pay Zakat does that mean we believe?

Requirements For Attaining God's Mercy: The Importance of Zakat

[7:156] "And decree for us righteousness in this world, and in the Hereafter. We have repented to You." He said, "My retribution befalls whomever I will. But My mercy encompasses all things. However, I will specify it for those who (1) lead a righteous life, (2) give the obligatory charity (Zakat),* (3) believe in our revelations, and [7:157] "(4) follow the messenger, the gentile prophet (Muhammad), whom they find written in their Torah and Gospel.* He exhorts them to be righteous, enjoins them from evil, allows for them all good food, and prohibits that which is bad, and unloads the burdens and the shackles imposed upon them. Those who believe in him, respect him, support him, and follow the light that came with him are the successful ones."

In addition to believing in God’s qualities if we believe in God we need to believe in His word

By following the Quran which is His proven word via the mathematical miracle of the Quran

 

(2) believe in the Last Day, 

Hadith & Sunna: Fabrications by the Prophet's Enemies

[6:112] We have permitted the enemies of every prophet—human and jinn devils—to inspire in each other fancy words, in order to deceive. Had your Lord willed, they would not have done it. You shall disregard them and their fabrications. Important Criterion [6:113] This is to let the minds of those who do not believe in the Hereafter listen to such fabrications, and accept them, and thus expose their real convictions.*

*6:113 The Quran provides criteria that tell us whether we truly believe in the Hereafter or merely give it lip service. These important criteria are stated here and in 17:45-46 and 39:45. *6:113-115 Upholding any source beside the Quran reflects disbelief in the Quran (Appendix 18). 

Quran, the Whole Quran, and Nothing But the Quran

[6:19] Say, "Whose testimony is the greatest?" Say, "GOD's. He is the witness between me and you that this Quran* has been inspired to me, to preach it to you and whomever it reaches. Indeed, you bear witness that there are other gods* beside GOD." Say, "I do not testify as you do; there is only one god, and I disown your idolatry." [6:20] Those to whom we have given the scripture recognize this as they recognize their own children. The ones who lose their souls are those who do not believe. [6:21] Who is more evil than one who lies about GOD, or rejects His revelations? The transgressors never succeed.

Quran: Fully Detailed*

[6:114] Shall I seek other than GOD as a source of law, when He has revealed to you this book fully detailed?* Those who received the scripture recognize that it has been revealed from your Lord, truthfully. You shall not harbor any doubt. [6:115] The word of your Lord is complete,* in truth and justice. Nothing shall abrogate His words. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient. Footnote [6:116] If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of GOD. They follow only conjecture; they only guess.

The Greatest Criterion*

[39:45] When GOD ALONE is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter shrink with aversion. But when others are mentioned beside Him, they become satisfied.*

*39:45 Despite the clear commandment in 3:18 that the First Pillar of Islam is proclaiming: "Ash-hadu An Lã Elãha Ellã Allãh (there is no other god beside God)," the majority of "Muslims" insist upon adding the name of Muhammad. This Greatest Criterion alerts us that rejoicing in adding the name of Muhammad, or any other name, exposes disbelief in the Hereafter. See also Footnote 17:46.

You Shall Not Make Any Distinction Among God's Messengers

[2:285] The messenger has believed in what was sent down to him from his Lord, and so did the believers. They believe in GOD, His angels, His scripture, and His messengers: "We make no distinction among any of His messengers." They say, "We hear, and we obey.* Forgive us, our Lord. To You is the ultimate destiny." 

The Most Important Commandment*

[3:18] GOD bears witness that there is no god except He, and so do the angels and those who possess knowledge. Truthfully and equitably, He is the absolute god; there is no god but He, the Almighty, Most Wise.

[63:1] When the hypocrites come to you they say, "We bear witness that you are the messenger of GOD."* GOD knows that you are His messenger, and GOD bears witness that the hypocrites are liars.

Disbelievers Cannot Understand Quran

[17:45] When you read the Quran, we place between you and those who do not believe in the Hereafter an invisible barrier. Quran: The ONLY Source [17:46] We place shields around their minds, to prevent them from understanding it, and deafness in their ears. And when you preach your Lord, using the Quran alone,* they run away in aversion.

(3) leads a righteous life,

Righteousness Defined

[2:177] Righteousness is not turning your faces towards the east or the west. Righteous are those who believe in GOD, the Last Day, the angels, the scripture, and the prophets; and they give the money, cheerfully, to the relatives, the orphans, the needy, the traveling alien, the beggars, and to free the slaves; and they observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat); and they keep their word whenever they make a promise; and they steadfastly persevere in the face of persecution, hardship, and war. These are the truthful; these are the righteous.

[3:92] You cannot attain righteousness until you give to charity from the possessions you love. Whatever you give to charity, GOD is fully aware thereof.

Attributes of the Righteous

[3:133] You should eagerly race towards forgiveness from your Lord and a Paradise whose width encompasses the heavens and the earth; it awaits the righteous, [3:134] who give to charity during the good times, as well as the bad times. They are suppressors of anger, and pardoners of the people. GOD loves the charitable. [3:135] If they fall in sin or wrong their souls, they remember GOD and ask forgiveness for their sins—and who forgives the sins except GOD—and they do not persist in sins, knowingly.

Traits of the Righteous

[25:63] The worshipers of the Most Gracious are those who tread the earth gently, and when the ignorant speak to them, they only utter peace. [25:64] In the privacy of the night, they meditate on their Lord, and fall prostrate. [25:65] And they say, "Our Lord, spare us the agony of Hell; its retribution is horrendous. [25:66] "It is the worst abode; the worst destiny." [25:67] When they give, they are neither extravagant, nor stingy; they give in moderation. [25:68] They never implore beside GOD any other god, nor do they kill any soul—for GOD has made life sacred—except in the course of justice. Nor do they commit adultery. Those who commit these offenses will have to pay.

Additional Traits of the Righteous

[25:72] They do not bear false witness. When they encounter vain talk, they ignore it. [25:73] When reminded of their Lord's revelations, they never react to them as if they were deaf and blind. [25:74] And they say, "Our Lord, let our spouses and children be a source of joy for us, and keep us in the forefront of the righteous."

(1) The Righteous

[2:3] who believe in the unseen, observe the Contact Prayers (Salat),* and from our** provisions to them, they give to charity. [2:4] And they believe in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed before you,* and with regard to the Hereafter, they are absolutely certain. [2:5] These are guided by their Lord; these are the winners.

Can you call someone who witnessed God’s miracle and message and chooses not to follow it righteous?

This shows that their actions do not match their belief

 

 

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King of Chaos –  By Dr. Rashad Khalifa

October 19, 2017

King of Chaos –  By Dr. Rashad Khalifa (Video Link)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU5hzVjRo2Q

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Want vs. Earn

October 13, 2017

 

Two economist are walking past a car dealership and see a fully restored 1967 Chevy Camaro for sale and one of the economist says wow – I really want that car. And the other economist laughs and says no you don’t

The last thing you want to do is explain a joke, but since that joke isn’t inherently funny we will make this exception.

If the economist really wanted the car he would be willing to part way with his money for that car. Or if he didn’t have the money he would get an extra job earn extra money to obtain that car. Since he wasn’t willing to make the tradeoff then he didn’t “really want to get that car”

Common shortcoming for all of us

A lot of things in life we want to have but we are not willing to do the work to do what it takes to obtain it

Adam and Eve is an example of people wanting what they have not earned

[7:20] The devil whispered to them, in order to reveal their bodies, which were invisible to them. He said, "Your Lord did not forbid you from this tree, except to prevent you from becoming angels, and from attaining eternal existence."

[20:120] But the devil whispered to him, saying, "O Adam, let me show you the tree of eternity and unending kingship."

Immediate Results with No To Little Work

Marketers and advertisers use these tricks all the time

                        The quick way to get rich

                        The easiest way to lose weight 

Penn Jillette – "There is only one trick in magic, and that is that we are willing to work harder than you think we will." 

 

Example of Darren Brown - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHNq4SQxyv0               

 

How to Lose Weight in 4 Easy Steps – Aaron Bleyaert

https://medium.com/@AaronBleyaert/how-to-lose-weight-in-4-easy-steps-1f135f7e1dec

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mbp0DugfCA

1.) NO BEER

2.) PORTION CONTROL

3.) HAVE YOUR HEART BROKEN

4.) NO FRUIT JUICE

 Guy sneaks into Floyd Mayweather vs. Connor McGregor fight  

The Sedentary

[9:42] If there were a quick material gain, and a short journey, they would have followed you. But the striving is just too much for them. They will swear by GOD: "If we could, we would have mobilized with you." They thus hurt themselves, and GOD knows that they are liars.

[17:11] The human being often prays for something that may hurt him, thinking that he is praying for something good. The human being is impatient. 

[21:37] The human being is impatient by nature. I will inevitably show you My signs; do not be in such a hurry.

The Secret – The law of attraction – whatever you think about you will attract 

People think about wanting money and all they get is more wanting of money

God knows exactly how much we can handle and if He was to give us one penny more than we can handle we would transgress.

Materials of This World: All That The Disbelievers Get

[43:33] If it were not that all the people might become one (disbelieving) congregation, we would have granted everyone who disbelieves in the Most Gracious mansions with silver roofs, and stairs upon which they could climb. [43:34] Their mansions would have impressive gates, and luxurious furnishings. [43:35] Also many ornaments. All these are the temporary materials of this lowly life. The Hereafter—at your Lord—is far better for the righteous.

Growth only occurs in states of discomfort

Moses with his teacher – how can you stand that which you do not understand 

Karate Kid – wax on wax off

So instead of asking for more provisions think about asking God for the ability to handle more provisions

Solomon's Exemplary Devotion

[38:30] To David we granted Solomon; a good and obedient servant.

[38:31] One day he became preoccupied with beautiful horses, until the night fell.

[38:32] He then said, "I enjoyed the material things more than I enjoyed worshiping my Lord, until the sun was gone.

[38:33] "Bring them back." (To bid farewell,) he rubbed their legs and necks.

[38:34] We thus put Solomon to the test; we blessed him with vast material wealth, but he steadfastly submitted.*

[38:35] He said, "My Lord, forgive me, and grant me a kingship never attained by anyone else. You are the Grantor."

[38:36] We (answered his prayer and) committed the wind at his disposal, pouring rain wherever he wanted.

[38:37] And the devils, building and diving.

[38:38] Others were placed at his disposal.

[38:39] "This is our provision to you; you may give generously, or withhold, without limits."

[38:40] He has deserved an honorable position with us, and a wonderful abode.

*38:32 Solomon missed his afternoon prayer because of his horses. To nullify Satan's possible claim that Solomon loved his horses more than loving God, he got rid of his horses.

“History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up.” ―Voltaire

Societies are founded by stoics and fall by epicureans

            Doing the hardwork vs. pleasure seeking

            Instant gratification

Persevere past failure

Cyrus the Great - Pasargadae remained the capital of the Achaemenid empire until Cambyses II moved it to Susa; later, Darius founded another in Persepolis.

Easy choice, hard life hard choice easy life

            Steadfastly persevere

[47:31] We will certainly put you to the test, in order to distinguish those among you who strive, and steadfastly persevere. We must expose your true qualities.

[90:10] Did we not show him the two paths? [90:11] He should choose the difficult path. [90:12] Which one is the difficult path? [90:13] The freeing of slaves. [90:14] Feeding, during the time of hardship. [90:15] Orphans who are related. [90:16] Or the poor who is in need. [90:17] And being one of those who believe, and exhorting one another to be steadfast, and exhorting one another to be kind. [90:18] These have deserved happiness.

when you haven’t earned something you give it up easily

Now that we know this - what is it that we really want? 

[53:24] What is it that the human being desires? [53:25] To GOD belongs both the Hereafter, and this world.

[7:26] O children of Adam, we have provided you with garments to cover your bodies, as well as for luxury. But the best garment is the garment of righteousness. These are some of GOD's signs, that they may take heed. [7:27] O children of Adam, do not let the devil dupe you as he did when he caused the eviction of your parents from Paradise, and the removal of their garments to expose their bodies. He and his tribe see you, while you do not see them. We appoint the devils as companions of those who do not believe.

Choose Your Priorities Carefully This Life

[17:18] Anyone who chooses this fleeting life as his priority, we will rush to him what we decide to give him, then we commit him to Gehenna, where he suffers forever, despised and defeated.

The Hereafter

[17:19] As for those who choose the Hereafter as their priority, and work righteousness, while believing, their efforts will be appreciated.

[17:20] For each one of them we provide; we provide those and these from your Lord's bounties. Your Lord's bounties are inexhaustible.

[17:21] Note how we preferred some people above others (in this life). The differences in the Hereafter are far greater and far more significant.

[42:20] Whoever seeks the rewards of the Hereafter, we multiply the rewards for him. And whoever seeks the materials of this world, we give him therefrom, then he receives no share in the Hereafter.

[4:134] Anyone who seeks the materials of this world should know that GOD possesses both the materials of this world and the Hereafter. GOD is Hearer, Seer.

 

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Free Will, Change & Righteousness

October 6, 2017

Sam Harris argues trying to convince someone there is no free will does not negate that there is still no free will – he equates this to knowing that 2 + 2 = 4 – regardless if you know this information or not doesn’t change the fact.

I would disagree if you know 2 + 2 = 4 then that changes your decisions and the way you engage in life. So if information can change our trajectory in life then therefore there is free will because we can pick and choose what knowledge we pursue. (with a caveat 19:75, 76)

Belief changes our mind and ultimately changes our understanding

Neuroplasticity shows that our brains can change. When our brains change it changes our biology. Molecules of emotion. When someone has their brain controlled that makes there hand want to move there is another part of us that wills for the hand not to move out of our control.  – Candace Pert

God designed a system in this world where whatever it is we believe God will lead us by that belief.

This is apparent with the list of cognitive biases that we have that make us so believable to whatever it is we want to believe. 

[10:9] As for those who believe and lead a righteous life, their Lord guides them, by virtue of their belief. Rivers will flow beneath them in the gardens of bliss.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

[19:75] Say, "Those who choose to go astray, the Most Gracious will lead them on, until they see what is promised for them—either the retribution or the Hour. That is when they find out who really is worse off, and weaker in power."

[19:76] GOD augments the guidance of those who choose to be guided. For the good deeds are eternally rewarded by your Lord, and bring far better returns. 

Tragic Statement: "My mind is made up!"

[2:88] Some would say, "Our minds are made up!" Instead, it is a curse from GOD, as a consequence of their disbelief, that keeps them from believing, except for a few of them.

So how do we change if God veils some people from believing?

[7:146] I will divert from My revelations those who are arrogant on earth, without justification. Consequently, when they see every kind of proof they will not believe. And when they see the path of guidance they will not adopt it as their path, but when they see the path of straying they will adopt it as their path. This is the consequence of their rejecting our proofs, and being totally heedless thereof.

[45:23] Have you noted the one whose god is his ego? Consequently, GOD sends him astray, despite his knowledge, seals his hearing and his mind, and places a veil on his eyes. Who then can guide him, after such a decision by GOD? Would you not take heed? 

How do we come out of being veiled?

How do we know we are fooled vs. if we have the truth?

Abraham

[21:51] Before that, we granted Abraham his guidance and understanding, for we were fully aware of him.* Footnote [21:52] He said to his father and his people, "What are these statues to which you are devoting yourselves?" [21:53] They said, "We found our parents worshiping them." [21:54] He said, "Indeed, you and your parents have gone totally astray." [21:55] They said, "Are you telling us the truth, or are you playing?" [21:56] He said, "Your only Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, who created them. This is the testimony to which I bear witness. [21:57] "I swear by GOD, I have a plan to deal with your statues, as soon as you leave." [21:58] He broke them into pieces, except for a big one, that they may refer to it. [21:59] They said, "Whoever did this to our gods is really a transgressor." [21:60] They said, "We heard a youth threaten them; he is called Abraham." [21:61] They said, "Bring him before the eyes of all the people, that they may bear witness." [21:62] They said, "Did you do this to our gods, O Abraham?"  

Abraham Proves His Point

[21:63] He said, "It is that big one who did it. Go ask them, if they can speak." [21:64] They were taken aback, and said to themselves, "Indeed, you are the ones who have been transgressing." [21:65] Yet, they reverted to their old ideas: "You know full well that these cannot speak."

Secondly, cognitive dissonance is the moment when we see the fault in our logic and we have the ability to change. If we choose to capitalize on it, it is for our own good. And if we choose not to then it is to our own detriment.  

https://aeon.co/ideas/cognitive-dissonance-helps-old-dogs-with-their-new-tricks

 Abraham's Courageous Debate

[2:258] Have you noted the one who argued with Abraham about his Lord, though GOD had given him kingship? Abraham said, "My Lord grants life and death." He said, "I grant life and death." Abraham said, "GOD brings the sun from the east, can you bring it from the west?" The disbeliever was stumped. GOD does not guide the wicked.

Like being on a train track with the occasional opportunity to change tracks 

[13:11] Shifts (of angels) take turns, staying with each one of you—they are in front of you and behind you. They stay with you, and guard you in accordance with GOD's commands. Thus, GOD does not change the condition of any people unless they themselves make the decision to change. If GOD wills any hardship for any people, no force can stop it. For they have none beside Him as Lord and Master.

[9:115] GOD does not send any people astray, after He had guided them, without first pointing out for them what to expect. GOD is fully aware of all things.

Cognitive Dissonance and Changing One's Heart 

Examine Yourself

[18:103] Say, "Shall I tell you who the worst losers are?

[18:104] "They are the ones whose works in this life are totally astray, but they think that they are doing good."

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool. – Richard Feynman

 

************************************* 

Righteousness is all that matters 

What is the real self – people select the best version of themselves as their real self

Phineas Gage

Phineas P. Gage (1823–1860) was an American railroad construction foreman remembered for his improbable survival of an accident in which a large iron rod was driven completely through his head, destroying much of his brain's left frontal lobe, and for that injury's reported effects on his personality and behavior over the remaining twelve years of his life‍—‌effects sufficiently profound (for a time at least) that friends saw him as "no longer Gage." 

Scenario #1

Phineas is extremely kind; he really enjoys helping people. He is also employed as a railroad worker. One day at work, a railroad explosion causes a large iron spike to fly out and into his head, and he is immediately taken for emergency surgery. The doctors manage to remove the iron spike and their patient is fortunate to survive. However, in some ways this man after the accident is remarkably different from Phineas before the accident. Phineas before the accident was extremely kind and enjoyed helping people, but the man after the accident is now extremely cruel; he even enjoys harming people. 

Scenario #2

Phineas is extremely cruel; he really enjoys harming people. He is also employed as a railroad worker. One day at work, a railroad explosion causes a large iron spike to fly out and into his head, and he is immediately taken for emergency surgery. The doctors manage to remove the iron spike and their patient is fortunate to survive. However, in some ways this man after the accident is remarkably different from Phineas before the accident. Phineas before the accident was extremely cruel and enjoyed harming people, but the man after the accident is now extremely kind; he even enjoys helping people. 

All participants rated whether they thought the (improved or deteriorated) man after the accident was still Gage. They rated this on a scale from 1 (still the same person) to 7 (not the same person); those who read the deterioration scenario rated on average 3.48, while those who read the improvement scenario rated on average 2.68. Those who read and rated the ‘Improvement Case’ were more inclined to see the man after the accident as still Gage than those who read the scenario based on the classic ‘Deterioration Case’. This suggests that large changes do not always affect perceived personal identity in the same way: intuitions about personal identity can depend on the direction of change.

Further evidence that direction of change affects identity can be seen in popular examples. Take, for example, ‘The Enemy Within’ (1968), an episode of the original Star Trek television series. A transporter malfunction splits the ship’s Captain Kirk into two people, one with the properties of his negative side, the other with the properties of his positive side. Positive-Kirk and Negative-Kirk are both dissimilar from the original captain, yet the ship’s crew refers to Positive-Kirk as Captain Kirk and Negative-Kirk as the impostor. Improved Positive-Kirk is taken as identical and deteriorated Negative-Kirk as non-identical to the original.

https://aeon.co/essays/how-a-change-for-the-worse-makes-for-a-different-person

When someone rights an obituary they focus on the good things the person did in life (not the bad) 

[7:26] O children of Adam, we have provided you with garments to cover your bodies, as well as for luxury. But the best garment is the garment of righteousness. These are some of GOD's signs, that they may take heed.

[2:245] Who would lend GOD a loan of righteousness, to have it repaid to them multiplied manifold? GOD is the One who provides and withholds, and to Him you will be returned.

[57:11] Who would like to loan GOD a loan of righteousness, to have it multiplied for him manifold, and end up with a generous recompense? 

[64:17] If you lend GOD a loan of righteousness, He will multiply the reward for you manifold, and forgive you. GOD is Appreciative, Clement.

 

 

 

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Do We Have Free Will?

September 28, 2017

Matrix Reloaded – Neo visits the Oracle

Neo: I suppose the most obvious question is, how can I trust you?

Oracle: Bingo! It is a pickle, no doubt about it. The bad news is, there's no way if you can really know whether I'm here to help you or not. So it's really up to you. Just have to make up your own damn mind to either accept what I'm going to tell you, or reject it. (she holds something out to him) Candy?

Neo: (pauses) You already know if I'm going to take it?

Oracle: Wouldn't be much of an Oracle if I didn't.

Neo: But if you already know, how can I make a choice?

Oracle: Because you didn't come here to make a choice. You've already made it. You're here to try to understand WHY you made it. (Neo takes the candy, but just holds it) I thought you'd have figured that out by now.

There is no free will as everything is biologically determined

RadioLab - Fault Line - man has seizures has brain surgery increases sex drive gets addicted to porn. Has major OCD with porn collection. Downloads the most foul disgusting acts and then gets caught by police? Should he be held responsible?

http://www.radiolab.org/story/317627-fault-line/

One of the characteristics of God is that He is All Knowing. This means that even before we were created He knows every single one of our actions.

God is Omniscient

Profound Fact*

[57:22] Anything that happens on earth, or to you, has already been recorded, even before the creation. This is easy for GOD to do.

[16:1] GOD's command has already been issued (and everything has already been written), so do not rush it.* Be He glorified; the Most High, far above any idols they set up. 

God already knows who is going to heaven and hell

The Disbelievers

[39:71] Those who disbelieved will be led to Hell in throngs. When they get to it, and its gates are opened, its guards will say, "Did you not receive messengers from among you, who recited to you the revelations of your Lord, and warned you about meeting this day?" They will answer, "Yes indeed. But the word 'retribution' was already stamped upon the disbelievers." 

[40:6] Thus, the judgment of your Lord is already stamped upon those who disbelieve, that they are the dwellers of Hell.

For instance if I give my kids a choice of eating ice cream or rocks – I know they are going to choose the ice cream. Does that mean that they did not have a choice in this matter?

God knows us better than we know ourselves 

[50:16] We created the human, and we know what he whispers to himself. We are closer to him than his jugular vein.

[8:24] ...You should know that GOD is closer to you than your heart, and that before Him you will be summoned.

  

[40:56] Surely, those who argue against GOD's revelations without proof are exposing the arrogance that is hidden inside their chests, and they are not even aware of it. Therefore, seek refuge in GOD; He is the Hearer, the Seer. 

Is there Free Will? 

Freedom of Choice

[33:72] We have offered the responsibility (freedom of choice) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they refused to bear it, and were afraid of it. But the human being accepted it; he was transgressing, ignorant.*

Great Feud

The Great Feud [38:67] Say, "Here is awesome news. [38:68] "That you are totally oblivious to. [38:69] "I had no knowledge previously, about the feud in the High Society.*

Planets, stars, animals accepted God’s gracious offer while the human being did not he wanted to choose for himself

Before we came down as humans, we were offered a choice, but we opted for the freedom of choice. We wanted to see the demonstration ourselves.

[21:51] Before that, we granted Abraham his guidance and understanding, for we were fully aware of him.*

*21:51 Was Abraham so smart as to discover God, or, did God grant him the intelligence because He knew that he deserved to be saved? As it turns out, this whole world was created to redeem those among us who deserve redemption. When the angels suggested that all the rebels, humans and jinns, must be banished out of God's kingdom, God responded that 'I know what you do not know' (2:30). At the same time, this world proves Satan's incompetence as a god (App. 7).

We had no say in:

  • Who our parents or siblings are
  • When or where we would be born
  • If they we would be rich or poor or an orphan
  • What skin color, apperance, height, bone structure 
  • Epigenetics

Decision to follow God or follow Satan

The Devil is the Other Alternative

[36:60] Did I not covenant with you, O Children of Adam, that you shall not worship the devil? That he is your most ardent enemy? [36:61] And that you shall worship Me alone? This is the right path. [36:62] He has misled multitudes of you. Did you not possess any understanding? 

Interesting difference between “freedom of choice” vs. “Free will”

God is the Doer of Everything*

[4:78] Wherever you are, death will catch up with you, even if you live in formidable castles. When something good happens to them, they say, "This is from GOD," and when something bad afflicts them, they blame you. Say, "Everything comes from GOD." Why do these people misunderstand almost everything?

Nothing Bad Comes From God

[4:79] Anything good that happens to you is from GOD, and anything bad that happens to you is from you. We have sent you as a messenger to the people,* and GOD suffices as witness.

*4:78 Bad things are consequences of our own deeds (42:30, 64:11), though God is the doer of everything (8:17). God created the fire to serve us, but you can decide to put your finger in it. We thus hurt ourselves. It is God's law that if you put your finger in the fire, it will hurt. 

[42:30] Anything bad that happens to you is a consequence of your own deeds, and He overlooks many (of your sins).

[64:11] Nothing happens to you except in accordance with GOD's will. Anyone who believes in GOD, He will guide his heart. GOD is fully aware of all things. 

God Is Doing Everything*

[8:17] It was not you who killed them; GOD is the One who killed them. It was not you who threw when you threw; GOD is the One who threw. But He thus gives the believers a chance to earn a lot of credit. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.

[36:47] When they are told, "Give from GOD's provisions to you," those who disbelieve say to those who believe, "Why should we give to those whom GOD could feed, if He so willed? You are really far astray." 

Distinguish who would do better:

[57:25] We sent our messengers supported by clear proofs, and we sent down to them the scripture and the law, that the people may uphold justice. And we sent down the iron, wherein there is strength, and many benefits for the people. All this in order for GOD to distinguish those who would support Him and His messengers, on faith. GOD is Powerful, Almighty.

[67:2] The One who created death and life for the purpose of distinguishing those among you who would do better.* He is the Almighty, the Forgiving.

The Test is Mandatory

[29:2] Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe," without being put to the test? [29:3] We have tested those before them, for GOD must distinguish those who are truthful, and He must expose the liars.

[47:31] We will certainly put you to the test, in order to distinguish those among you who strive, and steadfastly persevere. We must expose your true qualities.

Believe For Our Own Good

Believe For Your Own Good

[39:7] If you disbelieve, GOD does not need anyone. But He dislikes to see His servants make the wrong decision. If you decide to be appreciative, He is pleased for you. No soul bears the sins of any other soul. Ultimately, to your Lord is your return, then He will inform you of everything you had done. He is fully aware of the innermost thoughts.

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Gog and Magog – Possible Metaphor

September 22, 2017
 
 
Splitting of the moon
[54:1] The Hour has come closer, and the moon has split.*
 
The Computer Is The Creature*
[27:82] At the right time, we will produce for them a creature, made of earthly materials, declaring that the people are not certain about our revelations.
 
 
Zul-Qarnain: The One With the Two Horns or Two Generations
[18:83] They ask you about Zul-Qarnain. Say, "I will narrate to you some of his history."
[18:84] We granted him authority on earth, and provided him with all kinds of means.
[18:85] Then, he pursued one way.
[18:86] When he reached the far west, he found the sun setting in a vast ocean, and found people there. We said, "O Zul-Qarnain, you can rule as you wish; either punish, or be kind to them."
[18:87] He said, "As for those who transgress, we will punish them, then, when they return to their Lord, He will commit them to more retribution.
[18:88] "As for those who believe and lead a righteous life, they receive a good reward; we will treat them kindly."
[18:89] Then he pursued another way.
[18:90] When he reached thefar east, he found the sun rising on people who had nothing to shelter them from it.
[18:91] Naturally, we were fully aware of everything he found out.
[18:92] He then pursued another way.
[18:93] When he reached the valley between two palisades, he foundpeople whose language was barely understandable.
Gog and Magog*
[18:94] They said, "O Zul-Qarnain, Gog and Magog arecorruptors of the earth.Can we pay you tocreate a barrier between us and them?"
[18:95] He said, "My Lord has given me great bounties. If you cooperate with me, I will build a dam between you and them.
[18:96] "Bring to me masses of iron." Once he filled the gap between the two palisades, he said, "Blow." Once it was red hot, he said, "Help me pour tar on top of it."
[18:97] Thus,they could not climb it, nor could they bore holes in it.
[18:98] He said, "This is mercy from my Lord. When the prophecy of my Lord comes to pass,He will cause the dam to crumble. The prophecy of my Lord is truth."
[18:99] At that time, we will let them invade with one another, then the horn will be blown, and we will summon them all together.
[18:100] We will present Hell, on that day, to the disbelievers.
[18:101] They are the ones whose eyes were too veiled to see My message. Nor could they hear.
[18:102] Do those who disbelieve think that they can get away with setting up My servants as gods beside Me? We have prepared for the disbelievers Hell as an eternal abode.
 
Zul-Qarnain as Cyrus II aka Cyrus the Great - King of Persia
 
Two Generations: Two Persian Kings descendants followed Cyrus - Cambyses I (Son) & Xerxes (Grandson)

Daniel 8:

Vision of a Ram and a Goat

8 In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, Daniel, after the one that had appeared to me at first. 2 In the vision I was looking and saw myself in Susa the capital, in the province of Elam,[a] and I was by the river Ulai.[b]3 I looked up and saw a ram standing beside the river.[c] It had two horns. Both horns were long, but one was longer than the other, and the longer one came up second. 4 I saw the ram charging westward and northward and southward.All beasts were powerless to withstand it, and no one could rescue from its power; it did as it pleased and became strong.
5 As I was watching, a male goat appeared from the west, coming across the face of the whole earth without touching the ground. The goat had a horn[d] between its eyes. 6 It came toward the ram with the two horns that I had seen standing beside the river,[e] and it ran at it with savage force. 7 I saw it approaching the ram. It was enraged against it and struck the ram, breaking its two horns. The ram did not have power to withstand it; it threw the ram down to the ground and trampled upon it, and there was no one who could rescue the ram from its power. 8 Then the male goat grew exceedingly great; but at the height of its power, the great horn was broken, and in its place there came up four prominent horns toward the four winds of heaven.
 

Gabriel Interprets the Vision

15 When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I tried to understand it. Then someone appeared standing before me, having the appearance of a man, 16 and I heard a human voice by the Ulai, calling, “Gabriel, help this man understand the vision.” 17 So he came near where I stood; and when he came, I became frightened and fell prostrate. But he said to me, “Understand, O mortal,[j] that the vision is for the time of the end.”
18 As he was speaking to me, I fell into a trance, face to the ground; then he touched me and set me on my feet. 19 He said, “Listen, and I will tell you what will take place later in the period of wrath; for it refers to the appointed time of the end. 20 As for the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia. 21 The male goat[k] is the king of Greece, and the great horn between its eyes is the first king. 22 As for the horn that was broken, in place of which four others arose, four kingdoms shall arise from his[l] nation, but not with his power.
 
Daniel 8 (the eighth chapter of the Book of Daniel) tells of Daniel's vision of a two-horned ram destroyed by a one-horned goat (an allegory for the transition from the Persian to the Greek eras in the Near East), followed by the history of the "little horn", which is Daniel's code-word for the Greek king Antiochus Epiphanes.[1]
 
Gog and Magog As Possible Cybersecurity Threat For The Future
It is probably not a coincidence that two of the top-trending news stories of July 2017 were, in the first case, a warning from billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk that artificial intelligence (AI) poses an “existential threat” to human civilization, and, in the second case, the announcement that an AI experiment sponsored by Facebook was, according to some sources, “shut down” after researchers discovered that the chatbots they programmed had begun communicating with one another in a private language of their own invention.
 
 
 
Penetration testing (also called pen testing) is the practice of testing a computer system, network or Web application to find vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit.
 
Firewall: a part of a computer system or network that is designed to block unauthorized access while permitting outward communication.
 
 
*21:96 By the year 2270 AD, thanks to God's mathematical miracle in the Quran (Appendix 1), America will be the heart of Islam, and billions around the globe will have believed in the Quran (9:33, 41:53, 48:28, 61:9). Gog and Magog (allegorical names of villainous communities), will be the only bastions of heathenism, and they will attack the submitters. That is when the world will end (15:87, 18:94, Appendix 25). Gog and Magog are mentioned in 18:94 & 21:96, 17 verses before the end of each sura; this may indicate the time of their appearance.
 
*18:94-98 One of my duties as God's Messenger of the Covenant is to state that Gog and Magog, the final sign before the end of the world, will reappear in 2270 AD (1700 AH), just 10 years before the end. Note that Gog and Magog occur in Suras 18 and 21, precisely 17 verses before the end of each sura, representing 17 lunar centuries (see 72:27 and Appendix 25).
 
6. Gog and Magog: they re-appear, in accordance with God's plan, in the year 1700 AH (2271 AD). Gog and Magog are mentioned in 18:94 and 21:96. If you count the verses from 18:94 to the end of Sura 18, you find them 17. If you count the verses from 21:96 to the end of Sura 21, you find them also 17. This is the Quran's sign that Gog and Magog will re-appear in 1700 AH.
 
 
 

 

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Usury

September 12, 2017

Usury Prohibited*

[2:275] Those who charge usury are in the same position as those controlled by the devil's influence. This is because they claim that usury is the same as commerce. However, GOD permits commerce, and prohibits usury. Thus, whoever heeds this commandment from his Lord, and refrains from usury, he may keep his past earnings, and his judgment rests with GOD. As for those who persist in usury, they incur Hell, wherein they abide forever.

[2:276] GOD condemns usury, and blesses charities. GOD dislikes every disbeliever, guilty.

*2:275-278 It is an established economic principle that excessive interest on loans can utterly destroy a whole country. During the last few years we have witnessed the devastation of the economies of many nations where excessive interest is charged. Normal interest—less than 20%—where no one is victimized and everyone is satisfied, is not usury.

Divine Guarantee

[2:277] Those who believe and lead a righteous life, and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), they receive their recompense from their Lord; they will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

[2:278] O you who believe, you shall observe GOD and refrain from all kinds of usury, if you are believers.

[2:279] If you do not, then expect a war from GOD and His messenger. But if you repent, you may keep your capitals, without inflicting injustice, or incurring injustice.

[2:280] If the debtor is unable to pay, wait for a better time. If you give up the loan as a charity, it would be better for you, if you only knew.

[2:281] Beware of the day when you are returned to GOD, and every soul is paid for everything it had done, without the least injustice.

Usury Prohibited*

[3:130] O you who believe, you shall not take usury, compounded over and over. Observe GOD, that you may succeed. [3:131] Beware of the hellfire that awaits the disbelievers. [3:132] You shall obey GOD and the messenger, that you may attain mercy.

*3:130 Interest on bank deposits and interest charged on loans are lawful if they are not excessive (5-15%). Banks invest and their profits are passed on to the depositors. Since all parties are happy and no one is victimized, it is perfectly lawful to take interest from the bank (see 2:275).

 

[4:29] O you who believe, do not consume each others' properties illicitly— only mutually acceptable transactions are permitted.

The Law of Equivalence

[5:45] And we decreed for them in it that: the life for the life, the eye for the eye, the nose for the nose, the ear for the ear, the tooth for the tooth, and an equivalent injury for any injury. If one forfeits what is due to him as a charity, it will atone for his sins. Those who do not rule in accordance with GOD's revelations are the unjust.

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Daniel C. Peterson: Atheism or Faith - What Does It Matter

September 4, 2017

Dr. Daniel Peterson delivers a message to the 2017 FairMormon Conference. July 2017.

Dr. DANIEL PETERSON

A native of southern California, Daniel C. Peterson received a bachelor’s degree in Greek and philosophy from Brigham Young University (BYU) and, after several years of study in Jerusalem and Cairo, earned his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Peterson is a professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic at BYU, where he has taught Arabic language and literature at all levels, Islamic philosophy, Islamic culture and civilization, Islamic religion, the Qur’an, the introductory and senior “capstone” courses for Middle Eastern Studies majors, and various other occasional specialized classes. He is the author of several books and numerous articles on Islamic and Latter-day Saint topics–including a biography entitled Muhammad: Prophet of God (Eerdmans, 2007)—and has lectured across the United States, in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, and at various Islamic universities in the Near East and Asia. He served in the Switzerland Zürich Mission (1972-1974), and, for approximately eight years, on the Gospel Doctrine writing committee for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He also presided for a time as the bishop of a singles ward adjacent to Utah Valley University. Dr. Peterson is married to the former Deborah Stephens, of Lakewood, Colorado, and they are the parents of three sons.

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The Great Debate: Dr. Rashad Khalifa vs. Dr. Abdel Rahman

August 28, 2017

The Great Debate, Dr. Rashad Khalifa Vs. Dr. Abdel Rahman

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWVsaSy9HXg

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The Privileged Planet

August 21, 2017

The Privileged Planet, utilizing stunning computer animation, interviews with leading scientists, and spectacular images of Earth and the cosmos, explores a startling connection between our capacity to survive and our ability to observe and understand the universe. Is this correlation merely a coincidence? Or does it point to a deeper truth about purpose and intelligent design within the cosmos?

For example, the Earth is the only planet in the entire solar system that can experience a perfect solar eclipse. The proportions between the Earth, moon, and sun are perfect. Such that, the moon is 400x smaller, but also 400x closer to the earth than the sun.

While the effects of a solar eclipse are awe-inspiring the scientific significance is even greater. Because of a solar eclipse, we were able to confirm Einstein's theory of relativity in 1919, additionally, we were able to use light spectroscopy to determine the makeup of the sun as being predominately hydrogen and helium.

This finding allowed us to apply this to other stars in our universe. When this was done it confirmed that the galaxies that are farther away from the earth are also moving proportionally faster than the galaxies closer to us. When this was mapped and extrapolated it confirmed the big bang.

While we are not at the center of the universe, it does appear that we are perfectly positioned to observe the universe and appreciate the blessings we have in this cosmic lottery.

[21:30] Do the unbelievers not realize that the heaven and the earth used to be one solid mass that we exploded into existence? And from water we made all living things. Would they believe?

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Rules of Conduct

August 14, 2017

[6:52] And do not dismiss those who implore their Lord day and night, devoting themselves to Him alone. You are not responsible for their reckoning, nor are they responsible for your reckoning. If you dismiss them, you will be a transgressor.

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Intro To The Mathematical Miracle of Quran

August 7, 2017

The Quran's Common Denominator

[74:30] Over it is nineteen.

[74:31] We appointed angels to be guardians of Hell, and we assigned their number (19)

(1) to disturb the disbelievers,

(2) to convince the Christians and Jews (that this is a divine scripture),

(3) to strengthen the faith of the faithful,

(4) to remove all traces of doubt from the hearts of Christians, Jews, as well as the believers, and

(5) to expose those who harbor doubt in their hearts,

and the disbelievers; they will say, "What did GOD mean by this allegory?" GOD thus sends astray whomever He wills, and guides whomever He wills. None knows the soldiers of your Lord except He. This is a reminder for the people.

[74:32] Absolutely, (I swear) by the moon.

[74:33] And the night as it passes.

[74:34] And the morning as it shines. One of the Great Miracles

[74:35] This is one of the great miracles.

[74:36] A warning to the human race.

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Protection From Temptation

August 1, 2017

 

 To Be Protected From Satan

[23:97] Say, "My Lord, I seek refuge in You from the whispers of the devils.

[23:98] "And I seek refuge in You, my Lord, lest they come near me."

 

An Important Commandment*

[16:98] When you read the Quran, you shall seek refuge in GOD from Satan the rejected.

[16:99] He has no power over those who believe and trust in their Lord.

[16:100] His power is limited to those who choose him as their master; those who choose him as their god.

 

The Test Begins 

[7:12] He said, "What prevented you from prostrating when I ordered you?" He said, "I am better than he; You created me from fire, and created him from mud."

[7:13] He said, "Therefore, you must go down, for you are not to be arrogant here. Get out; you are debased."

[7:14] He said, "Grant me a respite, until the Day of Resurrection."

[7:15] He said, "You are granted a respite."

[7:16] He said, "Since You have willed that I go astray,* I will skulk for them on Your straight path.

[7:17] "I will come to them from before them, and from behind them, and from their right, and from their left, and You will find that most of them are unappreciative."

[7:18] He said, "Get out therefrom, despised and defeated. Those among them who follow you, I will fill Hell with you all.

[7:19] "As for you, Adam, dwell with your wife in Paradise, and eat therefrom as you please, but do not approach this one tree, lest you fall in sin."

[7:20] The devil whispered to them, in order to reveal their bodies, which were invisible to them. He said, "Your Lord did not forbid you from this tree, except to prevent you from becoming angels, and from attaining eternal existence."

[7:21] He swore to them, "I am giving you good advice."

[7:22] He thus duped them with lies. As soon as they tasted the tree, their bodies became visible to them, and they tried to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise. Their Lord called upon them: "Did I not enjoin you from that tree, and warn you that the devil is your most ardent enemy?"

[7:23] They said, "Our Lord, we have wronged our souls, and unless You forgive us and have mercy on us, we will be losers."

[7:24] He said, "Go down as enemies of one another. On earth shall be your habitation and provision for awhile."

[7:25] He said, "On it you will live, on it you will die, and from it you will be brought out."

  

Humans Fail to Make a Firm Stand*

[20:115] We tested Adam in the past, but he forgot, and we found him indecisive.

[20:116] Recall that we said to the angels, "Fall prostrate before Adam." They fell prostrate, except Satan; he refused.

[20:117] We then said, "O Adam, this is an enemy of you and your wife. Do not let him evict you from Paradise, lest you become miserable.

[20:118] "You are guaranteed never to hunger therein, nor go unsheltered.

[20:119] "Nor will you thirst therein, nor suffer from any heat."

[20:120] But the devil whispered to him, saying, "O Adam, let me show you the tree of eternity and unending kingship."

[20:121] They ate from it, whereupon their bodies became visible to them, and they tried to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise. Adam thus disobeyed his Lord, and fell.

[20:122] Subsequently, his Lord chose him, redeemed him, and guided him.

[20:123] He said, "Go down therefrom, all of you. You are enemies of one another. When guidance comes to you from Me, anyone who follows My guidance will not go astray, nor suffer any misery.

 

James 1:13-18

13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

 

God Protects the Believers From Sin

[12:23] The lady of the house where he lived tried to seduce him. She closed the doors and said, "I am all yours." He said, "May GOD protect me. He is my Lord, who gave me a good home.* The transgressors never succeed." Footnote [12:24] She almost succumbed to him, and he almost succumbed to her, if it were not that he saw a proof from his Lord. We thus diverted evil and sin away from him, for he was one of our devoted servants. 

 

Luke 22:40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”

 

[74:38] Every soul is trapped by its sins.

 

 

 

 

 

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Fractal Design of Quran

July 24, 2017

An object is Fractal when it has the property that the structure of its constituent parts reflect the structure of the whole and at various scales. The classic example would be a tree, where a branch of the tree held upright is as the whole tree, and even a leaf of a tree has in its veins a tree like branching structure. Thus a Fractal object is said to be self similar. Another property of Fractal objects is Nesting, i.e. the smaller constituents that make up the whole object and that reflect the structure of the whole object, are themselves contained within it. But then these smaller copies of the whole, themselves contain even smaller copies reflecting itself and the whole; and so on and so forth potentially ad infinitum. – Fractal.org

 

Benoit Mandelbrot - Hunting the Hidden Dimension Nova (2008)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbK92bRW2lQ

 

The Strange Similarity of Neuron and Galaxy Networks

http://nautil.us/issue/50/emergence/the-strange-similarity-of-neuron-and-galaxy-networks

 

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Prophecy of The Smoke

July 17, 2017

Joe Rogan Podcast 

Episode 986 – Interview with Maynard James Keenan - lead singer from tool 

http://podcasts.joerogan.net/podcasts/maynard-james-keenan-2

 

[57:4] He is the One who created the heavens and the earth in six days,* then assumed all authority. He knows everything that enters into the earth, and everything that comes out of it, and everything that comes down from the sky, and everything that climbs into it. He is with you wherever you may be. GOD is Seer of everything you do.

 

Sura 44, Smoke (Al-Dukhãn)

[44:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

[44:1] H. M.

[44:2] And this enlightening scripture.

[44:3] We have sent it down in a blessed night, for we are to warn.

[44:4] In it (the scripture), every matter of wisdom is clarified.

[44:5] It is a predetermined command from us that we send messengers.

[44:6] This is a mercy from your Lord. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.

[44:7] Lord of the heavens and the earth, and everything between them. If only you could be certain!

[44:8] There is no other god beside Him. He controls life and death; your Lord and the Lord of your ancestors.

[44:9] Indeed, they are doubtful, heedless.

The Smoke: A Major Prophecy*

[44:10] Therefore, watch for the day when the sky brings a profound smoke.*

[44:11] It will envelop the people; this is a painful retribution.

[44:12] "Our Lord, relieve this retribution for us; we are believers."

God's Messenger of the Covenant*

[44:13] Now that it is too late, they remember! An enlightening messenger had come to them.*

[44:14] But they turned away from him, saying, "Well educated, but crazy!"

[44:15] We will relieve the retribution for awhile; you will soon revert.

 The Quran Must Be Translated

[26:198] If we revealed this to people who do not know Arabic. [26:199] And had him recite it (in Arabic), they could not possibly believe in it. [26:200] We thus render it (like a foreign language) in the hearts of the guilty. [26:201] Thus, they cannot believe in it; not until they see the painful retribution. [26:202] It will come to them suddenly, when they least expect it. [26:203] They will then say, "Can we have a respite?" [26:204] Did they not challenge our retribution? [26:205] As you see, we allowed them to enjoy for years. [26:206] Then the retribution came to them, just as promised. [26:207] Their vast resources did not help them in the least. [26:208] We never annihilate any community without sending warners. [26:209] Therefore, this is a reminder, for we are never unjust. 

False Messengers Incapable of Preaching the Worship of God ALONE*

[26:210] The devils can never reveal this. Footnote [26:211] They neither would, nor could. [26:212] For they are prevented from hearing. [26:213] Therefore, do not idolize beside GOD any other god, lest you incur the retribution.

God's Messenger of the Covenant*

[26:214] You shall preach to the people who are closest to you.  [26:215] And lower your wing for the believers who follow you. [26:216] If they disobey you, then say, "I disown what you do." [26:217] And put your trust in the Almighty, Most Merciful. [26:218] Who sees you when you meditate during the night. [26:219] And your frequent prostrations.

[13:40] Whether we show you what we promise them, or terminate your life before that, your sole mission is to deliver (the message). It is us who will call them to account.

[46:35] Therefore, be patient like the messengers before you who possessed strength and resorted to patience. Do not be in a hurry to see the retribution that will inevitably come to them. The day they see it, it will seem as if they lasted one hour of the day. This is a proclamation: Is it not the wicked who are consistently annihilated?

[34:46] Say, "I ask you to do one thing: Devote yourselves to GOD, in pairs or as individuals, then reflect. Your friend (Rashad) is not crazy. He is a manifest warner to you, just before the advent of a terrible retribution."

[11:8] And if we delay the retribution they have incurred—for we reserve it for a specific community—they say, "What is keeping Him?" In fact, once it comes to them, nothing can stop it, and their mocking will come back to haunt them.

God's Messengers Challenged

[17:90] They said, "We will not believe you unless you cause a spring to gush out of the ground. [17:91] "Or unless you own a garden of date palms and grapes, with rivers running through it. [17:92] "Or unless you cause masses from the sky, as you claimed, to fall on us. Or unless you bring GOD and the angels before our eyes.

[52:44] When they see masses falling from the sky, they will say, "Piled clouds!"

[34:2] He knows everything that goes into the earth, and everything that comes out of it, and everything that comes down from the sky, and everything that climbs into it. He is the Most Merciful, the Forgiving.

[34:9] Have they not seen all the things in front of them and behind them, in the heaven and the earth? If we willed, we could have caused the earth to swallow them, or caused masses to fall on them from the sky. This should be a sufficient proof for every obedient servant.

  

Daniel 2 – New International Version (NIV)

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep. So the king summoned the magicians,enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers[a] to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king, he said to them, “I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means.[b]

Then the astrologers answered the king,[c] “May the king live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”

The king replied to the astrologers, “This is what I have firmly decided: If you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble. But if you tell me the dream and explain it, you will receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. So tell me the dream and interpret it for me.”

Once more they replied, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”

Then the king answered, “I am certain that you are trying to gain time, because you realize that this is what I have firmly decided: If you do not tell me the dream, there is only one penalty for you. You have conspired to tell me misleading and wicked things, hoping the situation will change. So then, tell me the dream, and I will know that you can interpret it for me.”

10 The astrologers answered the king, “There is no one on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer. 11 What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans.”

12 This made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon. 13 So the decree was issued to put the wise men to death, and men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death.

14 When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact. 15 He asked the king’s officer, “Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?” Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. 16 At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him.

17 Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 18 He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven 20 and said: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. 21 He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. 22 He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king.”

Daniel Interprets the Dream

24 Then Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to execute the wise men of Babylon, and said to him, “Do not execute the wise men of Babylon. Take me to the king, and I will interpret his dream for him.”

25 Arioch took Daniel to the king at once and said, “I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who can tell the king what his dream means.”

26 The king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar), “Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?”

27 Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come.Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind as you were lying in bed are these:

29 “As Your Majesty was lying there, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen. 30 As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than anyone else alive, but so that Your Majesty may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.

31 “Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. 34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.

36 “This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. 37 Your Majesty, you are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; 38 in your hands he has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.

39 “After you, another kingdom will arise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. 40 Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. 41 Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. 42 As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.

44 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. 45 This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.

“The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. 47 The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.”

 

 

Revelations Chapter 9  

The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes. During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.

The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. 10 They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. 11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer).

 

Blessings in Disguise 

[7:94] Whenever we sent a prophet to any community, we afflicted its people with adversity and hardship, that they may implore. [7:95] Then we substituted peace and prosperity in place of that hardship. But alas, they turned heedless and said, "It was our parents who experienced that hardship before prosperity." Consequently, we punished them suddenly when they least expected.

 

Sebastian Junger: Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging 

"The last time the United States experienced this kind of unity was— briefly— after the terrorist attacks of September 11. There were no rampage shootings for the next two years. The effect was particularly pronounced in New York City, where rates of violent crime, suicide, and psychiatric disturbances dropped immediately. In many countries, antisocial behavior is known to decline during wartime. New York’s suicide rate dropped by around 20 percent in the six months following the attacks, the murder rate dropped by 40 percent, and pharmacists saw no increase in the number of first-time patients filling prescriptions for antianxiety and antidepressant medication. Furthermore, veterans who were being treated for PTSD at the VA experienced a significant drop in their symptoms in the months after the September 11 attacks. One way to determine what is missing in day-to-day American life may be to examine what behaviors spontaneously arise when that life is disrupted." 

 

Submitters Persepective March 1990 page 3 - Prophecy of The Smoke

http://www.masjidtucson.org/publications/books/sp/1990/mar/page3.html

 

Appendix 25 - End of the Worldhttp://www.masjidtucson.org/quran/appendices/appendix25.html

http://www.masjidtucson.org/quran/appendices/appendix25.html

 

Apophis 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/99942_Apophis

2.7% that it would hit Earth on April 13, 2029. Additional observations provided improved predictions that eliminated the possibility of an impact on Earth or the Moon in 2029. However, until 2006, a possibility remained that during the 2029 close encounter with Earth, Apophis would pass through a gravitational keyhole, a small region no more than about 965 kilometres (600 miles) wide,[8][9] that would set up a future impact exactly seven years later, on April 13, 2036. 

 

 

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Getting What You Want vs. Wanting What You Have

May 22, 2017

[2:61] Recall that you said, "O Moses, we can no longer tolerate one kind of food. Call upon your Lord to produce for us such earthly crops as beans, cucumbers, garlic, lentils, and onions." He said, "Do you wish to substitute that which is inferior for that which is good? Go down to Egypt, where you can find what you asked for." They have incurred condemnation, humiliation, and disgrace, and brought upon themselves wrath from GOD. This is because they rejected GOD's revelations, and killed the prophets unjustly. This is because they disobeyed and transgressed.

[17:11] The human being often prays for something that may hurt him, thinking that he is praying for something good. The human being is impatient. [17:12] We rendered the night and the day two signs. We made the night dark, and the day lighted, that you may seek provisions from your Lord therein. This also establishes for you a timing system, and the means of calculation. We thus explain everything in detail.

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Has Science Discovered God?

April 4, 2017

Patience

March 6, 2017

Patience 

Happiness is expectations minus reality

Patience is dictated by expectations

[16:1] GOD's command has already been issued (and everything has already been written), so do not rush it.* Be He glorified; the Most High, far above any idols they set up. 

[43:33] If it were not that all the people might become one (disbelieving) congregation, we would have granted everyone who disbelieves in the Most Gracious mansions with silver roofs, and stairs upon which they could climb. 

[10:11] If GOD hastened the retribution incurred by the people, the way they demand provisions, they would have been annihilated long ago. However, we leave those who do not believe in meeting us in their transgressions, blundering.

Things are happening in the background that we cannot see even though from our perspective it looks like nothing is happening

Example of farmer planting seeds

  1. Difference between no and not yet

[17:11] The human being often prays for something that may hurt him, thinking that he is praying for something good. The human being is impatient. [17:12] We rendered the night and the day two signs. We made the night dark, and the day lighted, that you may seek provisions from your Lord therein. This also establishes for you a timing system, and the means of calculation. We thus explain everything in detail.

Being deliberate about waiting (patience) not lazy

Waiting vs. doing nothing

How to Spread God's Message

[16:125] You shall invite to the path of your Lord with wisdom and kind enlightenment, and debate with them in the best possible manner. Your Lord knows best who has strayed from His path, and He knows best who are the guided ones. [16:126] And if you punish, you shall inflict an equivalent punishment. But if you resort to patience (instead of revenge), it would be better for the patient ones. [16:127] You shall resort to patience—and your patience is attainable only with GOD's help. Do not grieve over them, and do not be annoyed by their schemes. [16:128] GOD is with those who lead a righteous life, and those who are charitable.

Patience as a strategy

[42:39] When gross injustice befalls them, they stand up for their rights. [42:40] Although the just requital for an injustice is an equivalent retribution, those who pardon and maintain righteousness are rewarded by GOD. He does not love the unjust. [42:41] Certainly, those who stand up for their rights, when injustice befalls them, are not committing any error. [42:42] The wrong ones are those who treat the people unjustly, and resort to aggression without provocation. These have incurred a painful retribution. [42:43] Resorting to patience and forgiveness reflects a true strength of character.

Waiters = Servers

While you wait you serve

[28:22] As he traveled towards Midyan, he said, "May my Lord guide me in the right path." [28:23] When he reached Midyan's water, he found a crowd of people watering, and noticed two women waiting on the side. He said, "What is it that you need?" They said, "We are not able to water, until the crowd disperses, and our father is an old man." [28:24] He watered for them, then turned to the shade, saying, "My Lord, whatever provision You send to me, I am in dire need for it." [28:25] Soon, one of the two women approached him, shyly, and said, "My father invites you to pay you for watering for us." When he met him, and told him his story, he said, "Have no fear. You have been saved from the oppressive people." 

Joseph Exonerated

[12:51] (The king) said (to the women), "What do you know about the incident when you tried to seduce Joseph?" They said, "GOD forbid; we did not know of anything evil committed by him." The wife of the governor said, "Now the truth has prevailed. I am the one who tried to seduce him, and he was the truthful one.

Example of Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman 1974 – Rumble in the Jungle

 

[10:109] Follow what is revealed to you, and be patient until GOD issues His judgment; He is the best judge.

[21:37] The human being is impatient by nature. I will inevitably show you My signs; do not be in such a hurry.

 

HUMANS FORGET

Example of Joesph in prison

[12:42] He then said to the one to be saved "Remember me at your lord."* Thus, the devil caused him to forget his Lord, and, consequently, he remained in prison a few more years.

Moses and the Teacher

[18:69] He said, "You will find me, GOD willing, patient. I will not disobey any command you give me."

The human being is forgetful

[18:73] He said, "I am sorry. Do not punish me for my forgetfulness; do not be too harsh with me."

[39:8] - When the human being is afflicted, he implores his Lord, sincerely devoted to Him. But as soon as He blesses him, he forgets his previous imploring, sets up idols to rank with GOD and to divert others from His path. Say, "Enjoy your disbelief temporarily; you have incurred the hellfire."

[17:11] The human being often prays for something that may hurt him, thinking that he is praying for something good. The human being is impatient. [17:12] We rendered the night and the day two signs. We made the night dark, and the day lighted, that you may seek provisions from your Lord therein. This also establishes for you a timing system, and the means of calculation. We thus explain everything in detail.

 

CONSISTENCY

[14:40] "My Lord, make me one who consistently observes the Contact Prayers (Salat), and also my children. Our Lord, please answer my prayers.

[2:238] You shall consistently observe the Contact Prayers, especially the middle prayer, and devote yourselves totally to GOD.

[70:34] They consistently observe their contact prayers (Salat) on time.

What you do every day is more important than what you do every once in a while  

Why do we observe the Contact Prayer or show up to Friday Prayer?

[20:14] "I am GOD; there is no other god beside Me. You shall worship Me alone, and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) to remember Me.

 

 

 

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Strategy vs. Wishful Thinking

January 2, 2017

[7:46] A barrier separates them, while the Purgatory* is occupied by people who recognize each side by their looks. They will call the dwellers of Paradise: "Peace be upon you." They did not enter (Paradise) through wishful thinking.

The Worst Losers

[57:13] On that day, the hypocrite men and women will say to those who believed, "Please allow us to absorb some of your light." It will be said, "Go back behind you, and seek light." A barrier will be set up between them, whose gate separates mercy on the inner side, from retribution on the outer side. [57:14] They will call upon them, "Were we not with you?" They will answer, "Yes, but you cheated your souls, hesitated, doubted, and became misled by wishful thinking, until GOD's judgment came. You were diverted from GOD by illusions.

[15:2] Certainly, those who disbelieved will wish they were submitters. [15:3] Let them eat, enjoy, and remain blinded by wishful thinking; they will find out.

All Believers Are Redeemed, Regardless of the Name of Their Religion [2:111] Some have said, "No one will enter Paradise except Jews or Christians!" Such is their wishful thinking. Say, "Show us your proof, if you are right.”

 

Examine Yourself

[18:103] Say, "Shall I tell you who the worst losers are? [18:104] "They are the ones whose works in this life are totally astray, but they think that they are doing good.”

[59:18] O you who believe, you shall reverence GOD, and let every soul examine what it has sent ahead for tomorrow. You shall reverence GOD; GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.

EGO

[2:54] Recall that Moses said to his people, "O my people, you have wronged your souls by worshiping the calf. You must repent to your Creator. You shall kill your egos. This is better for you in the sight of your Creator." He did redeem you. He is the Redeemer, Most Merciful.

[12:53] "I do not claim innocence for myself. The self is an advocate of vice, except for those who have attained mercy from my Lord. My Lord is Forgiver, Most Merciful.”

DEVIL

[35:6] The devil is your enemy, so treat him as an enemy. He only invites his party to be the dwellers of Hell.

 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/michael-phelpss-coach-shares-his-secrets-1463089497

The books offers some insights into how. Bowman once stepped on Phelps’ goggles before a race, cracking them, so that they would fill with water and teach him how to race blind. That came in handy when Phelps’ goggles filled with water at the Beijing Games, in a race he won.

 

1 Samuel:

32 David said to Saul, “Let no one’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are just a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father; and whenever a lion or a bear came, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after it and struck it down, rescuing the lamb from its mouth; and if it turned against me, I would catch it by the jaw, strike it down, and kill it. 36 Your servant has killed both lions and bears; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 David said, “The Lord, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine.” So Saul said to David, “Go, and may the Lord be with you!”

 

SOLOMON AND QUEEN OF SHEBA

[27:27] (Solomon) said, "We will see if you told the truth, or if you are a liar.

[27:28] "Take this letter from me, give it to them, then watch for their response."

 

[27:29] She said, "O my advisers, I have received an honorable letter.

[27:30] "It is from Solomon, and it is, 'In the name of GOD, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.'*

[27:31] "Proclaiming: 'Do not be arrogant; come to me as submitters.'"

[27:32] She said, "O my advisers, counsel me in this matter. I am not deciding anything until you advise me."

[27:33] They said, "We possess the power, we possess the fighting skills, and the ultimate command is in your hand. You decide what to do."

[27:34] She said, "The kings corrupt any land they invade, and subjugate its dignified people. This is what they usually do.

[27:35] "I am sending a gift to them; let us see what the messengers come back with."

 

[27:36] When the hoopoe returned to Solomon (he told him the news), and he responded (to Sheba's people): "Are you giving me money? What GOD has given me is far better than what He has given you. You are the ones to rejoice in such gifts."

[27:37] (To the hoopoe, he said,) "Go back to them (and let them know that) we will come to them with forces they cannot imagine. We will evict them, humiliated and debased."

 

Joseph Keeps His Brother

[12:70] When he provided them with their provisions, he placed the drinking cup in his brother's bag, then an announcer announced: "The owners of this caravan are thieves."

[12:71] They said, as they came towards them, "What did you lose?"

[12:72] They said, "We lost the king's cup. Anyone who returns it will receive an extra camel-load; I personally guarantee this."

[12:73] They said, "By GOD, you know full well that we did not come here to commit evil, nor are we thieves."

[12:74] They said, "What is the punishment for the thief, if you are liars?"

[12:75] They said, "The punishment, if it is found in his bag, is that the thief belongs to you. We thus punish the guilty."

[12:76] He then started by inspecting their containers, before getting to his brother's container, and he extracted it out of his brother's container. We thus perfected the scheme for Joseph; he could not have kept his brother if he applied the king's law. But that was the will of GOD. We exalt whomever we choose to higher ranks. Above every knowledgeable one, there is one who is even more knowledgeable.

[12:77] They said, "If he stole, so did a brother of his in the past." Joseph concealed his feelings in himself, and did not give them any clue. He said (to himself), "You are really bad. GOD is fully aware of your accusations."

[12:78] They said, “O you noble one, he has a father who is elderly; would you take one of us in his place? We see that you are a kind man."

[12:79] He said, "GOD forbid that we should take other than the one in whose possession we found our goods. Otherwise, we would be unjust."

[12:80] When they despaired of changing his mind, they conferred together. Their eldest said, "Do you realize that your father has taken a solemn pledge from you before GOD? In the past you lost Joseph. I am not leaving this place until my father gives me permission, or until GOD judges for me; He is the best Judge.

[12:81] "Go back to your father and tell him...

THE ONE THING BY GARY KELLER | ANIMATED BOOK REVIEW

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnFd34zXbY8&t=219s

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Why I Celebrate Hanukkah as a Follower of the Quran

December 25, 2016

Why I Celebrate Hanukkah as a Follower of the Quran

happy-hanukkah-1

Our family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, and this has not been much of a topic of conversation until this year as our oldest daughter started preschool where she was exposed for the first time to the excitement other kids felt for all the festivities leading up to December 25th.

For background, the reason we don’t celebrate Christmas is for two reasons.

The first reason is because as followers of the Quran we are not to make distinctions between any of God’s messengers and therefore it is prohibited to celebrate the birth of one of God’s messengers, Jesus, at the exclusion of all the others.

Say, “We believe in GOD, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters.” – Quran 2:136

The second reason is that the Christmas holiday was founded on paganism which is also prohibited in the Quran. This may be controversial to some, but rather than taking my word for it I’ll defer to someone with more credibility amongst the Christian community, Pat Robertson.

Pat Robertson & Christmas

 

So what were we to do? In one hand, we would be defying the commandments of the Quran if we celebrated Christmas, and in the other hand we would be alienating our child for not being able to experience the excitement that her peers were having.

Therefore, we settled for a third option. We decided that as a family we would celebrate Hanukkah. While Hanukkah is traditionally only celebrated by people of Jewish decent its origins comes from the principle of freedom of religion.

The Story of Hanukkah

 

In summary, Hanukkah was founded to celebrate the victory of the Maccabees, who were fighting on the side of religious freedom to worship God freely, against Antiochus IV, who wanted to force people to worship his gods. This is a principle anyone can stand for despite the name of their faith, and is a truth that is heavily advocated in the Quran.

There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient. – Quran 2:256 

Had your Lord willed, all the people on earth would have believed. Do you want to force the people to become believers? – Quran 10:99

O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant. – Quran 49:13

To most people it may seem strange to follow the Quran and celebrate Hanukkah, but do you know which people are addressed the most frequently in the Quran? It is the Children of Israel. In fact, the Quran is replete with the history of the Jewish people.

O Children of Israel, remember My favor which I bestowed upon you, and that I blessed you more than any other people. – Quran 2:47, 2:122

What unites us as believers is the devotion to God alone, and as believers we should put aside our prejudices and cherish the victories that grant us the freedom to worship God freely by the believers who came before us, irrespective of the name of their faith. 

Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve. – Quran 2:62 & 5:69

Culture is not something we are born with it is something we adopt. We can’t choose the land we are born, who are parents are, or what we look like, but what we can choose are the decisions we make and the principles we stand by. Hanukkah is founded on a beautiful premise that promotes monotheism and the freedom of religion, and as a follower of the Quran is something that I whole-heartedly adopt as a celebration to have with my family this year and for years to come, God willing.

Then we revealed to you this scripture, truthfully, confirming previous scriptures, and superseding them. You shall rule among them in accordance with GOD’s revelations, and do not follow their wishes if they differ from the truth that came to you. For each of you, we have decreed laws and different rites. Had GOD willed, He could have made you one congregation. But He thus puts you to the test through the revelations He has given each of you. You shall compete in righteousness. To GOD is your final destiny—all of you—then He will inform you of everything you had disputed. – Quran 5:48

May we all be appreciative of the freedoms we have. 

– Salãmun ‘Alaykum (Peace be upon you) & Happy Hanukkah 

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Self-Righteousness

October 16, 2016

20 Easy Ways to be a Self-Righteous Christian

http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/164408-sammy-adebiyi-20-easy-ways-to-be-a-self-righteous-christian.html


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Fire-Maker

September 18, 2016
Fire-Maker
From computers to airplanes to life-giving medicines, the technological marvels of our world were made possible by the human use of fire. But the use of fire itself was made possible by an array of features built into the human body and the planet. Join biologist Michael Denton as he investigates the amazing story of how humans and our planet were exquisitely designed to harness the miraculous powers of fire and transform our planet. For more visit http://privilegedspecies.com/

00:0000:00

Tony Robbins - Achievement vs. Fulfillment

August 29, 2016
Tim Ferriss Podcast - Tony Robbins – On Achievement Versus Fulfillment
http://fourhourworkweek.com/2016/08/10/tony-robbins-on-achievement-versus-fulfillment/
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Encouragement

August 20, 2016

How Will You Measure Your Life - Clay Christensen at TEDxBoston.

August 13, 2016

How Will You Measure Your Life - Clay Christensen at TEDxBoston


00:0000:00

God of Wonders

August 7, 2016

God of Wonders Documentary (2009)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAuGRhZsMCs
00:0000:00

How to Change the World

July 22, 2016

Commencement speech by Naval Adm. William H. McRaven to The University of Texas at Austin in 2014

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K13p1DlsDMQ
00:0000:00

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

June 26, 2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5EPymcWp-g

https://www.amazon.com/Expelled-Intelligence-Allowed-Ben-Stein/dp/B001BYLFFS
Big science has expelled smart new ideas from the classroom ... What they forgot is that every generation has its Rebel! That rebel, Ben Stein (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) travels the world on his quest, and learns an awe-inspiring truth … that educators and scientists are being ridiculed, denied tenure and even fired – for the crime of merely believing that there might be evidence of design in nature, and that perhaps life is not just the result of accidental, random chance. To which Ben Says: Enough! And then gets busy. NOBODY messes with Ben.
00:0000:00

Fasting

June 10, 2016
[2:184] Specific days (are designated for fasting); if one is ill or traveling, an equal number of other days may be substituted. Those who can fast, but with great difficulty, may substitute feeding one poor person for each day of breaking the fast. If one volunteers (more righteous works), it is better. But fasting is the best for you, if you only knew.


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Unlocking the Mystery of Life

December 28, 2015

http://www.unlockingthemysteryoflife.com/

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Wealth

December 20, 2015

Matthew [6:24] "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

[43:33] If it were not that all the people might become one (disbelieving) congregation, we would have granted everyone who disbelieves in the Most Gracious mansions with silver roofs, and stairs upon which they could climb.
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Malala Yousafzai Nobel Peace Prize Speech 2014

December 6, 2015

Apathy

November 30, 2015

Apathy Condemned

[4:97] Those whose lives are terminated by the angels, while in a state of wronging their souls, the angels will ask them, "What was the matter with you?" They will say, "We were oppressed on earth." They will say, "Was GOD's earth not spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?" For these, the final abode is Hell, and a miserable destiny.

[4:98] Exempted are the weak men, women, and children who do not possess the strength, nor the means to find a way out.

[4:99] These may be pardoned by GOD. GOD is Pardoner, Forgiver.

 

Apathy Condemned

[5:79] They did not enjoin one another from committing evil. Miserable indeed is what they did.

[5:80] You would see many of them allying themselves with those who disbelieve. Miserable indeed is what their hands have sent forth on behalf of their souls. GOD is angry with them and, consequently, they will abide forever in retribution.

[5:81] Had they believed in GOD, and the prophet, and in what was revealed to him herein, they would not have befriended them. But many of them are evil.

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Dis-Honesty The Truth About Lies

November 23, 2015

God is Doing Everything - Sermon by Dr. Rashad Khalifa 1987

November 9, 2015

Information Enigma

November 4, 2015

Information Enigma 

Discovery Institute (http://www.discovery.org/id/)

Stephen C. Meyer – Author of Darwin’s Doubt and Signature in the Cell

Douglas Axe – Phd in Molecular Biology

Information drives the development of life. But what is the source of that information? Could it have been produced by an unguided Darwinian process? Or did it require intelligent design? The Information Enigma is a fascinating 21-minute documentary that probes the mystery of biological information, the challenge it poses to orthodox Darwinian theory, and the reason it points to intelligent design. The video features molecular biologist Douglas Axe and Stephen Meyer, author of the books Signature in the Cell and Darwin’s Doubt.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA-FcnLsF1g&feature=youtu.be

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Wonder of Creation: Soil: The Foundation of Life, Part I

October 27, 2015

Wonder of Creation: Soil: The Foundation of Life, Part I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEETdcLYhsQ

[18:45] Cite for them the example of this life as water that we send down from the sky to produce plants of the earth, then they turn into hay that is blown away by the wind. GOD is able to do all things.

[71:17] And GOD germinated you from the earth like plants.

 

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Be Honest With All The People

October 19, 2015
Be Honest With All People 
[3:75] Some followers of the scripture can be trusted with a whole lot, and they will give it back to you. Others among them cannot be trusted with a single dinar; they will not repay you unless you keep after them. That is because they say, "We do not have to be honest when dealing with the gentiles!"* Thus, they attribute lies to GOD, knowingly. 

You Shall Not Bear False Witness 
[4:135] O you who believe, you shall be absolutely equitable, and observe GOD, when you serve as witnesses, even against yourselves, or your parents, or your relatives. Whether the accused is rich or poor, GOD takes care of both. Therefore, do not be biased by your personal wishes. If you deviate or disregard (this commandment), then GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.
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Simulation Theory and Quantum Biology

October 12, 2015
[6:32] The life of this world is no more than illusion and vanity, while the abode of the Hereafter is far better for the righteous. Do you not understand?!

[30:39] "O my people, this first life is a temporary illusion, while the Hereafter is the eternal abode."

[57:20] Know that this worldly life is no more than play and games, and boasting among you, and hoarding of money and children. It is like abundant rain that produces plants and pleases the disbelievers. But then the plants turn into useless hay, and are blown away by the wind. In the Hereafter there is either severe retribution, or forgiveness from GOD and approval. This worldly life is no more than a temporary illusion.

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Privileged Species

October 4, 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoI2ms5UHWg

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Saudi Arabia: Worst in Hypocrisy and Disbelief

September 26, 2015
God's System: Twelve Months Per Year*
[9:36] The count of months, as far as GOD is concerned, is twelve.* This has been GOD's law, since the day He created the heavens and the earth. Four of them are sacred. This is the perfect religion; you shall not wrong your souls (by fighting) during the Sacred Months. However, you may declare all-out war against the idol worshipers (even during the Sacred Months), when they declare all-out war against you, and know that GOD is on the side of the righteous.
Altering the Sacred Months* 
[9:37] Altering the Sacred Months is a sign of excessive disbelief; it augments the straying of those who have disbelieved. They alternate the Sacred Months and the regular months, while preserving the number of months consecrated by GOD. They thus violate what GOD has consecrated. Their evil works are adorned in their eyes. GOD does not guide the disbelieving people
*9:37 The Sacred Months according to the corrupted Muslim World are Rajab, Zul-Qe`dah, Zul Hijjah, and Muharram (7th, 11th, 12th and 1st months of the Islamic Calendar). A careful study of the Quran, however, reveals that they should be Zul-Hijjah, Muharram, Safar, and Rabi I (12th, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd months). See Appendix 15.
[9:1] An ultimatum is herein issued from GOD and His messenger to the idol worshipers who enter into a treaty with you.
[9:2] Therefore, roam the earth freely for four months, and know that you cannot escape from GOD, and that GOD humiliates the disbelievers.
[9:5] Once the Sacred Months are past,
Custodians
[8:34] Have they not deserved GOD's retribution, by repelling others from the Sacred Masjid, even though they are not the custodians thereof? The true custodians thereof are the righteous, but most of them do not know.
Question to the Arabs
[9:19] Have you considered the watering of the pilgrims and caring for the Sacred Masjid a substitute for believing in GOD and the Last Day, and striving in the cause of GOD? They are not equal in the sight of GOD. GOD does not guide the wicked people.
Saudi Arabia will head the UN Human Rights Panel
Not only has Saudi Arabia executed more than 100 people already this year, mostly by beheading (a rate of 1 execution every two days), and not only is it serially flogging dissidents, but it is reaching new levels of tyrannical depravity as it is about to behead and then crucify the 21-year-old son of a prominent regime critic, Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who was convicted at the age of 17 of engaging in demonstrations against the government.
Human Rights Watch Report 2014 
Saudi Arabia continued in 2014 to try, convict, and imprison political dissidents and human rights activists solely on account of their peaceful activities. Systematic discrimination against women and religious minorities continued. Authorities failed to enact systematic measures to protect the rights of 9 million foreign workers. As in past years, authorities subjected hundreds of people to unfair trials and arbitrary detention. New anti-terrorism regulations that took effect in 2014 can be used to criminalize almost any form of peaceful criticism of the authorities as terrorism.
The Arabs
[9:97] The Arabs are the worst in disbelief and hypocrisy, and the most likely to ignore the laws that GOD has revealed to His messenger. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.
[9:98] Some Arabs consider their spending (in the cause of God) to be a loss, and even wait in anticipation that a disaster may hit you. It is they who will incur the worst disaster. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.
[9:99] Other Arabs do believe in GOD and the Last Day, and consider their spending to be a means towards GOD, and a means of supporting the messenger. Indeed, it will bring them nearer; GOD will admit them into His mercy. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
 
Retribution Doubled for the Hypocrites*
[9:101] Among the Arabs around you, there are hypocrites. Also, among the city dwellers, there are those who are accustomed to hypocrisy. You do not know them, but we know them. We will double the retribution for them, then they end up committed to a terrible retribution. Footnote
[9:102] There are others who have confessed their sins; they have mixed good deeds with bad deeds. GOD will redeem them, for GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
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Placement Test

September 22, 2015

Sura 1 - The Key (Al-Fãtehah)

September 15, 2015

For a full list of episodes go to www.QuranTalk.podbean.com

- Peace
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Constantine, Paganism and Christrianity

September 7, 2015

[5:17] Pagans indeed are those who say that GOD is the Messiah, the son of Mary. Say, "Who could oppose GOD if He willed to annihilate the Messiah, son of Mary, and his mother, and everyone on earth?" To GOD belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, and everything between them. He creates whatever He wills. GOD is Omnipotent.

[5:72] Pagans indeed are those who say that GOD is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah himself said, "O Children of Israel, you shall worship GOD; my Lord and your Lord." Anyone who sets up any idol beside GOD, GOD has forbidden Paradise for him, and his destiny is Hell. The wicked have no helpers.

[5:73] Pagans indeed are those who say that GOD is a third of a trinity. There is no god except the one god. Unless they refrain from saying this, those who disbelieve among them will incur a painful retribution.

For a full list of episodes check out www.qurantalk.podbean.com

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Radhanath Swami - Influence without Affluence - Cambridge Nov 2014

August 29, 2015

Finding Purpose Through Humility and Confidence in God

August 24, 2015

For a full list of episodes go to www.qurantalk.podbean.com

[47:21] Obedience and righteous utterances are expected of them. If only they showed confidence in GOD, when mobilization was called for, it would have been better for them.
[52:26] They will say, "We used to be kind and humble among our people.
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Mentioning Only God in Our Prayers

August 17, 2015

For a full list of episodes go to www.qurantalk.podbean.com

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