Thursday, March 29, 2007

Greed...

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:

"If Adam's son had a valley full of gold, he would like to have two valleys, for nothing fills his mouth except dust. And God forgives him who repents to Him."

Sahih Bukhari Volume 008, Book 076, Hadith Number 447 Narrated By Anas bin Malik :

Which life to prefer?

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said: "This world (i.e. its pleasures and duration) in comparison with the Life in the Hereafter is (similar to the amount of water) one gets when he puts his finger in the sea. Let him then see what it returns with.”

Al-Mustaurad bin Shaddad (r.a) reported the above Hadith. Sahih Muslim Hadith 463. Book 1 Chapter 55 Excellence of Ascetic life from Riyad-us-Saliheen page no. 423

Commentary by Hafiz Salahuddin Yusuf

This Hadith shows the value of the Hereafter and its blessings compared to the worldly life. The proportion between the two is that the former is like an ocean while the latter is like the proportion of water left on one’s finger when dipped in the sea.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN: Moon-splitting: Miracle of Rasullulah

Among many miracles of Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings be upon him-salla Allahu alayhe wa sallam) one is splitting of the moon.
It was Narrated by Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him): "The people of Mecca asked Allah's Apostle to show them a miracle. So he showed them the moon split in two halves between which they saw the Hiram' mountain. (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Merits of the Helpers in Madinah (Ansaar), Volume 5, Book 58, Number 208)"
It is now proven in two ways:
1) By NASA photos.
A Picture from NASA:
2002 October 29
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will  download  the highest resolution version available.
A Lunar Rille
Credit: Apollo 10, NASA
Explanation: What could cause a long indentation on the Moon? First discovered over 200 years ago with a small telescope, rilles (rhymes with pills) appear all over the Moon. Three types of rilles are now recognized: sinuous rilles, which have many meandering curves, arcuate rilles which form sweeping arcs, and straight rilles, like Ariadaeus Rille pictured above. Long rilles such as Ariadaeus Rille extend for hundreds of kilometers. Sinuous rilles are now thought to be remnants of ancient lava flows, but the origins of arcuate and linear rilles are still a topic of research. The above linear rille was photographed by the Apollo 10 crew in 1969 during their historic approach to only 14-kilometers above the lunar surface. Two months later, Apollo 11, incorporating much knowledge gained from Apollo 10, landed on the Moon.
This is What God told us more than 1400 years ago:
In the Name Of Allah The Most Gracious The Most Merciful
((The Hour (of Judgment) is nigh, and the moon is cleft asunder.))
Sura 54:1(Al-Qamar( The Moon))
This lead a British citizen to embrace Islam after he saw a TV program by NASA. He read Quran and thought that moon splitting was nonsense. But he revised his stand after seeing the program.
2) By the Indian King of Kerala that witnessed it and had a journey to the Arab peninsula to meet the Prophet and be a Muslim. The journey he never came back from. He died on his way back in the Arab peninsula and was buried there. His descendents who remained faithful to their original religion allowed a mosque to be built in their kingdom and did not interfere with Muslims. Also they still exist and witness the truth of the story.
CHAKRAWATI FARMAS KING OF MALABAR, INDIA
The incident relating to King Chakrawati Farmas is documented in an old manuscript in the India Office Library, London, which has reference number: Arabic, 2807, 152-173. It was quoted in the book "Muhammad Rasulullah," by M. Hamidullah:
"There is a very old tradition in Malabar, South-West Coast of India, that Chakrawati Farmas, one of their kings, had observed the splitting of the moon, the celebrated miracle of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) at Mecca, and learning on inquiry that there was a prediction of the coming of a Messanger of God from Arabia (Detail given bellow), he appointed his son as regent and set out to meet him. He embraced Islam at the hand of the Prophet, and when returning home, at the direction of the Prophet, died at the port of Zafar, Yemen, where the tomb of the "Indian king" was piously visited for many centuries."
The old manuscript in the 'India Office Library' contains several other details about King Chakrawati Farmas and his travel[1].
The king spent weeks in seclusion. In the midst of his quiet life, he set out on the journey along with the Arab travelers who'd promised him earlier. On the way, they stopped by Koylandi and from there to Dharmapatnam where they halted for 3 days. Then they set out to Shehr Muqalla. On reaching there, they set for the Hajj pilgrimage and thereafter returned to Malabar. He aspired to spread the message of Islam. But on the way, he fell sick and breathed his last.
A tradition of the Holy Prophet has also been reported from one of the companions, Abu Saeed al Kaudri, regarding the arrival of Cheraman Perumel. "A king from India presented the Messenger of Allah with a bottle of pickle that had ginger in it. The Holy Prophet distributed it among his companions. I also received a piece to eat ". (Hakim reports in 'Al Musthadrak )
Umar Qazi's poem on Cheraman Perumal.
Umar Qazi was well aware of the story of Cheraman Perumal - the first Indian to accept Islam. He narrates it thus in one of his poems inscribed on the walls of Ponnani Juma Masjid.
Kodungallur was a center of festivals established by the great Emperor Cheraman Perumal .....
The major part of all the minor kingdoms were under his rule ...
As such, one day he saw he saw the moon split into two (a miracle of Holy Prophet performed in Arabia) on a clear cloudless night ....
As a result the love for Holy Prophet grew in his heart and he became the earliest Muslim of this nation....[2]
Moon Splitting in The Quran
The splitting of the moon is mentioned in the Holy Qur'an, Surah Al-Qamar (54), Verses 1-3:
The hour drew nigh and the moon was rent in twain.
And if they behold a portent they turn away and say:
Prolonged illusion.
They denied (the Truth) and followed their own lusts.
Yet everything will come to a decision.
Moon Splitting in Hadiths
Narrated Abdullah bin Masud: "During the lifetime of the Prophet the moon was split into two parts and on that the Prophet said, 'Bear witness (to thus).' (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Virtues and Merits of the Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 830)"
Narrated Anas: "That the Meccan people requested Allah's Apostle to show them a miracle, and so he showed them the splitting of the moon. (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Virtues and Merits of the Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 831)"
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: "The moon was split into two parts during the lifetime of the Prophet. (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Virtues and Merits of the Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 832)"
Narrated Anas bin Malik: "The people of Mecca asked Allah's Apostle to show them a miracle. So he showed them the moon split in two halves between which they saw the Hiram' mountain. (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Merits of the Helpers in Madinah (Ansaar), Volume 5, Book 58, Number 208)"
Narrated 'Abdullah: "The moon was split ( into two pieces ) while we were with the Prophet in Mina. He said, "Be witnesses." Then a Piece of the moon went towards the mountain. (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Merits of the Helpers in Madinah (Ansaar), Volume 5, Book 58, Number 209)"
Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas: "During the lifetime of Allah's Apostle the moon was split (into two places). (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Merits of the Helpers in Madinah (Ansaar), Volume 5, Book 58, Number 210)"
Narrated 'Abdullah: "The moon was split (into two pieces). (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Merits of the Helpers in Madinah (Ansaar), Volume 5, Book 58, Number 211)"[3]
According to Maududi, the traditionists and commentators have agreed that this incident took place at Mina in Makkah about five years before the Holy Prophet's Hijra (migration) to Madinah.
The Moon had split into two distinct parts in front of their very eyes. The two parts had separated and receded so much apart from each other that to the on-lookers (in Makkah) one part had appeared on one side of the mountain and the other on the other side of it. Then, in an instant the two had rejoined.
This was a manifest proof of the truth that the system of the universe was neither eternal nor immortal, it could be disrupted.
This incident indicated that huge stars and planets could split asunder, disintegrate, collide with each other, and everything that had been described in the Qur'an on the Resurrection could happen.
The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) invited the people's attention to this event only with this object in view and asked them to mark it and be a witness to it. But the disbelievers described it as a magical illusion and persisted in their denial. They were reproached in Surah Al-Qamar (The Moon) for their stubbornness.
Other Relevant Notes
It is due to this incident about their king, the people of Malabar became the first community in India to accept Islam. Subsequently, they increased their trade with Arabs, as the Arab ships used to pass by their shores on the way to China before the advent of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Before Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Malabar also had a Christian community dating back from the earliest followers of Prophet Jesus ('Isa), pbuh. St. Thomas is believed to have migrated to India and died there. This community remained untouched by later theological developments in Christianity until the arrival of Portugese traveler Vasco da Gama.
When the British were consolidating their stronghold in India, they deployed the largest naval operation (on the shores of India) against the Muslims of Malabar[4].
Predictions of the coming of a Messanger of God from Arabia
Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) was commanded by God to inform that he was not the only Messenger of God to the world [Al Qur'an 46:9]. Scholars say that there had been some 124,000 Prophet sent to the world who preached in the language of the respective people [A Qur'an 14:4]. The true religion they preached and their scriptures got corrupted with passage of time (with the exception of Al Qur'an).
However, the message on the last and greatest Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) is retained till date in the scriptures of all major world religions.
The Hindu scriptures identify the greatest Prophet to come mentioning details of his birth, events of his life, his followers, etc. Some even give his Arabic name or its equivalents! This article will help creating right belief (Iman) in other religionists.
Further, it will help Muslims appreciate yet another facet of greatness of Prophet (Pbuh) and deepen their Iman. We will see here only a sample of the overwhelming evidences!
Prophet (Pbuh) Foretold in India (A) Hindu scriptures
There is no doubt that God sent Prophets (Pbuh) to people of India. There is no mention of any Indian Prophet or scripture in Holy Qur'an. But Bukhari records Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) as saying he was enjoying breeze wafting from India laden with fragrance of Tawhid (unity of God). The four Vedas (scriptures) of Hindus and their epics are said to be 5000-10,000 years old. They contain a great deal of monotheistic ideas, and of course, prophecies on Hadrath Muhammad (Pbuh).
Bhavishya Puran
This is a Sanskrit work of prophecies. The title means 'Book of the Future'. Since Hinduism is based in India it was, and still is, taken for granted that its sages will be born in India itself. Contrary to this belief the Book says that a great master will appear in a foreign country (mlechcha acharya) and live in a sandy region (marusthal). His name will be Mahaaamad. Within a short span of 18 couplets Mahaamad is mentioned five times.
There is an interesting information in Bhavishya Purana that Mahaamad would appear to Bhoj, ruler of Dhar, and say that he would establish the religion of meat eaters, by the command of Ishwar i.e. God.
There is a tradition that long afterwards, Bhoj got terrified on seeing the full moon split into two. Learned men consulted holy books and told him that it was one of the signs of the Universal Master to be born in a country to the West. Bhoj sent his minister to Prophet (Pbuh) in Arabia, who named the king Abdullah. The Tomb of Abdullah is still there at Dhar...
Mahabharat
This is a Hindu epic describing the struggle and triumph of good against evil. It was written by sage Vyas who also authored Bhavishya Purana. Mahabharata says that in the last eon called Kali Yug (in which we now live) a great sage will appear with name Mahaamad. He would preach about unity of God. He will be driven away from his native place by his own folk. By him the world would get peace. (Islam means peace). Mahabharat further says that cloud will provide him shade. It is recorded in history that Buhaira, the Christian priest of Syria observed this sign with Muhammad e in his boyhood and identified him as the last Prophet anticipated for millennia.
Kalki Puran
The signs and events of the final Avatar Kalki point out to final Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh). They fit those of Muhammad (Pbuh) neatly and perfectly. They are as follows;
  • Kalki will appear in the last on Kali Yug and will be the guide for the entire world.
  • He will be born on the 12th day of the month. Prophet (Pbuh) as born on 12th Of Rabiyyul Awwal).
  • His parents will be: Vishnu Bhagat and Soomati meaning servant of God (the Cherisher) and peace. (Messenger's (Pbuh) father's name was Abdullah, God's servant and mother was Amina refuge giver which includes the idea of 'peace'.)
  • He will be with a beauty par-excellence. His body will be fragrant.
  • He will get wisdom on a mountain. (Messenger (Pbuh) was conferred Prophethood on Mt.Hira)
  • He will receive a horse from God, which will be faster than lightning. Riding it he will go around the earth and seven skies. (During Mi'raj Prophet (Pbuh) got Buraq meaning lightning and toured the entire universe.)
  • Kalki will split the moon. Like Bhoj, Cheraman (Zamorin) Perumal the ruler of Indian kingdom of Kerala, witnessed splitting of the moon performed by Prophet (Pbuh). After gathering the facts he sailed to Arabia and became Muslim at Prophet's (Pbuh) hand. His Tomb is near the city of Salala in Oman[5].

[1] See: "CHAKRAWATI FARMAS King of Malabar India" by Dr. Z. HAQ at http://cyberistan.org/islamic/farmas.html
[2] See: "Cheraman Perumal The First Indian To Accept Islam" at http://jaihoon.com/watan/perumalfirst.htm.
[3] See: "Did Prophet Muhammad really split the moon with his index finger" at http://www.answering-christianity.com/moon_split.htm
[4] See: "CHAKRAWATI FARMAS King of Malabar, India" by Dr.Z.HAQ at http://cyberistan.org/islamic/farmas.html
[5] See: "Ultimate Prophet (Pbuh) Foretold" by M. I. Liaqat Ali at http://www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/Park/6443/Muhammed/scriptures.html.

The Old Sock...

The Old Sock
A wise and saintly rich man, sensing his approaching death, called his son to his side and gave him these instructions: "My son, I shall be leaving you very shortly. On the day when I die, and they have washed my body and come to wrap it in the shroud, I want you to put one of my socks on my foot. This is my final request of you."

Soon after this, the old man did indeed die, leaving behind his goods and property, his children and his dependents. Family, friends, acquaintances and neighbours attended his funeral. The body had been washed and was almost completely wrapped in the shroud, when the son remembered his father's wish. Finding one of his old socks, he handed it to the washer of the dead, saying, "In accordance with my father's last request, please put this sock on his foot."

"That is quite impossible:' Said the man. “Such a thing is utterly impermissible in Islam. I cannot act against the Sacred Law." Despite this valid objection, the son insisted, “That was my father's final request; it must certainly be carried out."

The washer of the dead was unmoved. "If you won't take my word for it," he said, "go and ask the mufti. He will confirm what I tell you, that it is not permissible." Holding up the funeral, they consulted the mufti, preachers and scholars, all of whom declared that this was not permissible in Islam. Just then, an aged friend of the deceased interrupted the debate with these words to the son: "My boy, your late father entrusted me with a letter which I was to hand over to you after his departure. Here, this letter belongs to you." So saying, he gave him an envelope. Taken by surprise, the boy opened the envelope and read out the contents of his father's letter.

"My son, all this wealth and property I have left to you. Now you see: at the last moment, they won't even let you give me an old sock to wear. When you yourself come one day to be in my condition they will also refuse to let you keep anything but your shroud. Eight yards of shroud are all you will be able to carry over from this fleeting world into the Hereafter. So pull yourself together and be prepared. Spend the fortune I have left you, not for the satisfaction of vain desires, but in ways pleasing to Allah, that you may achieve honor in both worlds."

What beautiful advice and guidance for those who can understand! May the mercy of Allah be upon us all. Ameen.

Courtesy:- www.radioislam.co.za

Charity...

A man asked the Prophet (peace be upon him), "O Allah's Apostle! What kind of charity is the best?"

He (peace be upon him) replied. "To give in charity when you are healthy and greedy, hoping to be wealthy and afraid of becoming poor. Don't delay giving in charity till the time when you are on the death bed, when you say, 'Give so much to so-and-so and so much to so-and so,' and at that time the property is not (really) yours, but it belongs to so-and-so (i.e. your inheritors)."

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 4.11 Narrated by Abu Huraira

Story of my greatest achievement in life

My Reversion Story
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

My name is Sachin and I am 32 years old. My journey to Islam is a result of guidance offered to me by an Egyptian woman. Hence, I dedicate this story to her. She has become my spiritual guide and sister.

I belong to an orthodox but progressive Hindu family. There are four sects in Hinduism. I come from the Brahmin sect, the most prestigious and educated category among the Hindus. I followed my parental faith in the learning phase of childhood. My approach to the Almighty started as a pagan with polytheistic devotion to our Hindus gods, and I was quite aware of the sectarian discrimination that prevailed in my society.

I always wondered about the originator of this universe, His strength, vastness, and many more things. All answers to my queries about the Almighty were not answered by my parent's ideology. We human beings have selected some of our masterpieces and called them the Seven Wonders of the World. However, indeed these Wonders of the World stand nowhere in comparison to the creation of the Almighty. A mere glimpse, not of things far but of things around us, makes me tend to believe in the existence of a Supreme Authority who must be their Designer.

My mind was then caught between two ideologies: monotheism and polytheism.
Amazingly, my first active and realizable encounter with Islam was in 1989 (I was only 15) when my city fell into communal violence. The violence was widespread and killed innocent people. As a Hindu then, I was filled with anger toward Muslims. This wave of violence again struck my city in 1990 and 1992. I was a rigid Hindu then and took part in several anti-Muslim demonstrations in those tense years. When the situation calmed down, I developed some curiosity toward Muslims and Islam. Though I was not yet mature, indeed something from inside compelled me to begin to scrutinize Muslim society.

I belong to a society whose social infrastructure I have never respected, yet I have always noticed that a force unifies Muslim society. Initially I thought that, being a minority community in India, Muslims are bonded together for safety concerns. However, I soon realized that the unifying force is not driven by political or security measures. It is something else. With close scrutiny, I came to realize that this central force which bonds Muslims together is related to the first pillar of Islam, namely tawheed (the Oneness of God). Unlike my community where people are divided on account of their differences in rituals, ALL Muslims are unified by worshiping the same God, practicing the same `ibadat (acts of worship) — same salah (ritual prayer), fasting at the same time, etc. This exploration, though not driven by spirituality, indeed sowed the seeds of tawheed in my mind. I came to know the concept of monotheism. Until then, I never knew about the Oneness of God.

My mind was then caught between two ideologies: monotheism and polytheism. In 1994, I was preparing for my medical entrance exam. To study physics, I began to go to a Muslim professor. It was the month of Ramadan. One day I was there at the time of iftar (meal to break the fast), and heard the Adhan. A faint sound of the Adhan always crept to my house, but it was not understandable. For the first time then, I listened to an Adhan from a nearby mosque. The voice of the Adhan gave me gooseflesh. I felt in a state of mind like never before. It seemed to me as if the Adhan was rising from the mosque up to the heavens. I found myself in a sedative condition of utmost peace.

For the first time, I was able to know the Almighty, and I found myself on the doorstep of the religion of Allah.

Driven by this realization of peace and spirituality, I bought a copy of the Qur'an, and I started reading it. With every word I read, my brain was being washed. By the grace of God, I went on smoothly to accept the word of God surah after surah. It was so simple, distinct, and clear. I wandered through the content of the Qur'an, from the way of dealing with your neighbor to the creation of universe. When I reached Surat Al-Ikhlas (Chapter 112), I literally lost my sense of equilibrium. Its four ayahs pierced my heart. Allah says what can be translated as:

[Say: He is Allah, the One and Only;
Allah, the Eternal, Absolute;
He begetteth not, nor is He begotten;
And there is none like unto Him.]

I can say for sure that such a clear concept of God is not found in any other religious scriptures. The question of what God is like has always disturbed me, and I wonder at how distinctly God has defined Himself in such four lines. As I read this surah, it seemed to me as if the Almighty was Himself explaining His own attributes in such simple language in front of my eyes. For the first time, I was able to know the Almighty, and I found myself on the doorstep of the religion of Allah. As a student of science, I was also stunned by the scientific facts mentioned in the Qur'an. My trust in the Qur'an and the prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) was established.

However, I remained at the doorsteps of the religion of God for a long time. I was not able to free myself from the captivity of my inherited faith. Though I was not following it, a fear always overcast my mind of the repercussions of accepting Islam. Hence, my journey to Islam came to a halt for awhile. However, after this pause, Allah the All-Knower sent me a soul to guide me to my destination. She gave me a gentle push to enter the religion of God. In the month of Ramadan on my birthday I accepted Islam upon her encouragement. That soul is now my spiritual sister. Allah guided me to realize His Oneness, to endorse the truth of the Qur'an as His authentic word, and to accept Prophet Muhammad as the Seal of the Prophets in my heart long before I practiced the pillars of Islam. However, I owe her credit for giving me the courage to eventually make my decision and be a true Muslim.

Though I expect a tough reaction from my father, my submission to Allah is firm.
I never felt myself close to God as a non-Muslim and never felt a sense of satisfaction through my acts of worship. With the acceptance of Islam, there has been an enhancement of my spirituality, as now I pray as a monotheist to the real Creator of the universe. Now I spend my late evening hours in the mosque instead of wasting them among friends. After offering my salah, I reach a state of mind that I can only describe as peaceful. I am trying to apply the word of Allah in every activity in my life. My dedication toward my wife has multiplied. The vulgarity that frequently overtook me now seems to have subsided. My family members say I have changed in many aspects. Above all now, I am committed and submitted to the real Lord of this universe.

Except my wife and mother, no one is aware of my Islamic identity. My wife is a simple woman who willingly accepted her Muslim husband. My mother does not comment on this issue except advising me to be fully devoted to whatever path I follow. Though I expect a tough reaction from my father, my submission to Allah is firm. My father and brothers are big critics of Islam, and the issue of jihad is their weapon. I am trying to teach Islam to my wife, and in fact, one of my goals is to be committed to da`wah after I enrich my knowledge of Islam.

Though I find myself amidst many problems related to my new identity, I am striving hard to dedicate myself spiritually to Allah. My spiritual sister tries endlessly to provide me with the knowledge I need about certain issues and to back me with spiritual strength.

Many times I wonder whether it is reality or fiction that I am now a submitter to Allah. Every individual is born as a Muslim. Therefore, I prefer to call my inclusion in the Ummah of Islam (nation of Muslims) as a reversion and not conversion. For me, being a Muslim is the greatest reward from the Almighty. Hereby, I pray that Allah enlightens the dwellers of dark.
Regards.
Sachin.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)said: "The worst people in the Sight of Allah on the Day of Resurrection will be the double faced people who appear to some people with one face and to other people with another face."

Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 008, Book 073, Hadith Number 084 Narrated by Abu Huraira:

Meeting

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said: "When you are three persons sitting together, then no two of you should hold secret counsel excluding the third person until you are with some other people too, for that would grieve him."

Sahih Bukhari Volume 008, Book 074, Hadith Number 305. Narated By 'Abdullah

Monday, March 26, 2007

I'm Doing This For Allah

'I am doing this for God'
By Carmen Sesin
On a hot summer day, Stefani Perada left work for the day in West New York, NJ, and stepped outside in her long jilbab, the flowing clothes worn by many Muslim women.
Meanwhile, other Latinas in the mostly Hispanic neighbourhood were taking advantage of the warm day, walking around in shorts and midriff-exposing halter tops.
Perada, 19, who converted to Islam just over a year ago, is still trying to become acclimated to certain customs, such as the jilbab and the hijab, which covers her head and hair.
"Mostly it's because of how your friends and family are going to look at you," she said. "They look at you like, 'Why is she wearing that, it's so hot.'"
But, she said, "I am doing this for God, and one day I will be rewarded for what I am doing."
And there's an immediate benefit: She's not harassed as much by men when she walks down the street.
"You know how guys [say], 'Hey Mami, come over here?' I used to always hate that. I would cross the street just to get away. Now you still get some guys that are still curious, but it's much less," she explained. "They are going to look at me for me, and not for my body."
Perada is not alone as a Hispanic woman converting to Islam.
The exact number of Latino Muslims is difficult to determine, because the US Census Bureau does not collect information about religion.
However, according to estimates conducted by national Islamic organisations such as the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) there are approximately 40,000 Latino Muslims in the United States.
Likewise, it is difficult to break-down the number of Latino converts to Islam into male versus female.
But, according to anecdotal evidence and a survey conducted by the Latino American Dawah Organization (LADO), whose mission is to promote Islam within the Latino community in the United States, the number of Latinos converting to Islam tilts slightly in favour of women - with 60 per cent women to 40 per cent men.
Juan Galvan, the head of LADO in Texas and the co-author of a report "Latino Muslims: The Changing Face of Islam in America," explained that those numbers are unscientific, but based on the results of a voluntary survey that has been conducted on the LADO website since 2001.
"From observation and experience those numbers are correct," Galvan said.
"From my personal experience, there are definitely more Latina Muslims than Latino men," he added.
Galvan explained that there "just seem to be more" Latina Muslims at the various events he attends through his work with LADO.
At the Islamic Education Center of North Hudson, 300 of the people who attend the mosque are converts, and 80 per cent are Latino converts.
In addition, out of the Latino converts, 60 per cent are women, according to Nylka Vargas, who works at the mosque with the Educational Outreach Program.
Peter Awn, an Islamic studies professor at Columbia University, says there is no doubt that the number of Latinos converting to Islam is growing.
Louis Cristillo, an anthropologist who focuses on Islamic education at Columbia University, points out there are several indicators that reflect the growing trend of Latinos converting to Islam.
For example, there are a number of regional and national organisations that cater to Latino Muslims, and there are even support groups that can be found online specifically for Latino converts – in particular "Hispanicmuslims.com", as well the LADO organization at "latinodawah.org".
In fact, Latino Muslims in this country had been celebrating the annual Hispanic Muslim Day with different activities throughout the day.
Converting to Islam can be shocking for families who are largely Catholic and harbour stereotypes of Muslims, specifically concerning women.
Perada says her mother, who is Colombian, accepted her decision to convert, because she never really pushed her into Catholicism.
However, her father, who is of Italian origin, has had a tough time dealing with it.
"Sometimes he says things about the way I dress," said Perada adding, "He'll say, 'Why do you have to dress that way. I'm Christian. I don't walk around with a cross in my hand.' He always complains to my mom about it, but with me he just keeps it to himself. But I know for him it is very hard," Perada said.
Vargas, 30, from the Islamic Education Center, is of Ecuadorian and Peruvian descent.
She says her family is already accustomed to the idea of her being Muslim, since it has already been ten years since she converted.
But she recalls the days in which her family was dealing with the initial shock of her new faith.
"When I started being more visible, that's when things started getting weird. My sisters couldn't understand why I would cover myself. They thought I was being oppressed or brainwashed," said Vargas.
She admits it was difficult at first to adjust to certain customs, such as wearing the hijab or a headscarf and having to pray five times a day.
"First it felt kind of weird to be covered, but after a while it [the headscarf] becomes your hair. I refer to my hijab as my hair," she said.
Like other ethnic groups, Latinos convert for a variety of reasons. Some, says Cristillo, grew up in inner-city areas ravaged by poverty, drugs and prostitution, and were attracted in part by the fact that some Islamic communities were very active in cleaning up the neighbourhoods.
Vargas, meanwhile, says she questioned many things about the Catholic faith in which she was raised and felt an emptiness in Christianity.
Galvan, from LADO, pointed out that many people come to Islam through people that they know, "friends, co-workers, classmates, or husbands."
Professor Awn said that many Latinas find there is a greater sense of economic and social stability in Islam and that it also represents "a return to traditional values."
In that regard, Awn does not think Islam is any more patriarchal than other traditional religions, but recognised that "the younger generation is looking for a more progressive form of Islam."
And Perada does not feel that her adherence to the Muslim faith restricts her freedoms as a woman.
"If I get married, I know I am going to work, but I am going to be there for my kids, too," said Perada, dismissing any notions that Islam would prevent her from living the life of any other modern woman.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Welcome Back To Islam!

Welcome Back To Islam!
One never converts to Islam, but only returns to his or her original nature
...............................
Michelle Hutchins: Why I Embraced islam
Posted 7/25/2004. Exclusively contributed to www.welcome-back.org by Michelle Hutchins.
"Allah has blessed me in so many ways. He has given me a wonderful family who is very accepting of me, he has given me a wonderful husband whom I can come to with all my needs, a husband who lives Islam and teaches me more and more about Islam everyday. Allah has given me opportunities to share Islam with others and I am forever grateful to Him for His many blessings."
Background
I was born to wonderful parents who were not always so wonderful. But as a child your parents are all you have, and no matter what they do you think they are wonderful. My parents especially my father drank, did drugs, and occasionally my dad would hit mother. My parents divorced when I was six and my brother was not even a year old, later remarrying again.
At the age of six I was pretty much the caretaker of my brother while my mom worked. We would visit my dad and step-mom on the weekends and that is when I began going to church with them. Junior year of high school was when I decided to except Jesus into my heart and live my life as a dedicated Christian, although I had my struggles to live right. It seems that for everything I did I was going to go to Hell, and therefore I struggled to be perfect so I would not end up in Hell.
As my spiritual relationship with God grew I began to take on roles in the church. I sung in the choir, taught Sunday school and children's church. I became the vice president of the ladies minister, and also had a clown ministry going. I decided, in 1999, to take my dedication to God to a higher level by taking a class called the M.A.P (Ministerial Affirmation Program) in the Church of God, which was to affirm that one truly wanted to go into the ministry for the Church of God. In 2000 I finished this class and started the M.I.P. (Ministerial Internship Program), which is basically to complete the internship.
I began my intern under a male pastor in the Church of God. This pastor did not want women to have any authority at all. During this internship some things happened that really hurt my spirit. I began questioning myself and my relationship with God. I did not know whether I should or should not obey this pastor. I felt I needed to obey him because he was grading me on the program. I continued and eventually graduated from M.I.P in May of 2001.
I stayed at that church and continued working there. However, I never took my license test to be an ordained minister in the Church of God because of the hurt this man had caused me. But I realize that because of the hurt he caused me, God blessed me and that is how my journey to Islam began.
Meeting the First Muslim
In September of 2001 we all know the tragedy that happened but for me September of 2001 was where my life began to take shape.
On September 14th 2001, I went to a ladies conference to hear a lady pastor speak. That night really started me on a life long journey to worship God and only God. The speaker was Janice Jostrand and she spoke from Hosea Chapter 2. She talked about how God wanted to get us into a one on one relationship with Him. I always thought I had that type of relationship with Him but because of the things that had happened in my internship program, I felt as though I worried about people more and Him less. That night I prayed to God to give me this type of relationship with Him. Janice Jostrand said that if we prayed for this, then people and things that keep us from God would slowly fall by the waste side. She was right. The choice I made that night changed my life and my journey to Islam soon began.
After that, I met a young man whom was not of American decent and I was not sure what his religion was. When I found out that he was a Muslim we talked about his feelings of Sept. 11th and politics. He was very knowledgeable about his religion and to my surprise my religion as well. Unbeknown to me, Allah had just placed the first step for me toward Islam.
We began to talk more frequently about religion. I never tried to convert him, and nor he tried to convert me. He would ask me questions about my religion. I thought I knew the answers but when asked to back them up by scripture, I could not. This became frustrating to me because despite taking all these biblical classes and tests, I did not have any evidence for my answers.
I began to do an in-depth study into Christianity and Islam. I started to find a lot of similarities between the two religions, but also differences. I found that Muslims believed in the Prophets I believed in, in the miracles, in Virgin Mary, in the Day of Judgment and Hell, and in Jesus' return to earth in the final days. The main difference that I found was that Islam rejects the belief that Jesus is the Son of God.
Studies in Christianity
I am a little different from most converts in that I believed whole-heartedly in the Trinity. I could not comprehend what would happen to me if I denounced Jesus by saying that he was not the Son of God. This is where my struggles began. I had to find out for myself what the Bible said about Jesus. The first thing I studied was the authenticity of the Bible which I found to be disturbing. I found that the original manuscripts of the Bible were not available. I knew that we had many versions of the Bible but that never bothered me until I realized that people took it upon themselves to change the Bible starting at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD.
I went on to study about the differences in the Old Testament and the New Testament. I always heard that we should live by the New Testament now because Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament by God becoming flesh and dying on the cross to save all mankind from their sins, provided that they only believe in him. I found scripture that disproved this theory in Micah 7:18, Psalm 78:38-39, Isaiah 43:25, Jeremiah 36:3, Isaiah 55:7, Psalm 32:5, Proverbs 16:6, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Ezekiel 18:21-30, Proverbs 21:3, Hosea 6:6, Micah 6:6-8, Isaiah 1:11-18, and in many other places.
I also found that Paul, who was a Jewish Pharisees, is really the true founder of Christianity. In Matthew 23:15, Jesus (pbuh) had something to say about Paul's sect: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
Paul was a very big persecutors of the followers of Jesus and here are some places that refer to this: Galatians 1:13-15, Acts 8:1-3, Acts 9:1-2, Acts 9:41, and Acts 6:5. Paul took everything that Jesus said and worked against it. Jesus said in Matthew 5:18-19: For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be Fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Yet Paul abolished many laws that Jesus observed. Here are some sayings of Paul: And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law(Gentiles), as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law" (I Corinthians 9:20), ...I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some (I Corinthians 9:20) and ...all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. (I Corinthians 6:12).
Paul was the major player in Christianity and I followed him because I did not know all the details. I continued to find that Jesus (pbuh) never said he was God. He always talked about God as being greater than him and he prayed to God just as we do. It made no since to me that if he were God, then why he would be praying to himself.
One should understand that these conclusions came only after intensive studying. I truly believe that Jesus was God before I began to study. Now I see many references where that he tells us to worship God, such as John 4:2, John 4:23, Matthew 7:21, Matthew 22:37, and where he prays to God, such as Matthew 26:39, Matthew 26:42,44, Mark 1:35, Mark 14:35,39 Luke 5:16, and Luke 22:41.
The more I read the bible the more I found that there was only one God and I was to worship Him only and that was exactly what I had prayed for Sept 14th, 2001. The Bible says:
Know therefore this day, and consider [it] in thine heart, that the LORD he [is] God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: [there is] none else. (Deuteronomy 4:39),
Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3),
For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name [is] Jealous, [is] a jealous God. (Exodus 34:14)
Ye [are] my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I [am] he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, [even] I, [am] the LORD; and beside me [there is] no savior. (Isaiah 43:10-11)
Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I [am] the first, and I [am] the last; and beside me [there is] no God. (Isaiah 44:6)
That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that [there is] none beside me. I [am] the LORD, and [there is] none else." Isaiah 45:6 "For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I [am] the LORD; and [there is] none else. (Isaiah 45:18)
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I [am] God, and [there is] none else. (Isaiah 45:22).
I started to study more about Islam after this and I found that Islam was different from many religions. It was the only religion that was not named after a person. It simply meant submission to the will of Allah (God), which again is what I prayed for on Sept 14th, 2001. I began to see Islam and Muslims for who they were not as the media project them to be.
In November 2002, I found a local mosque here in Greenville, SC, and that was my second step to Islam. It took several visits to the Mosque to finally meet up with one of the sisters. I was very persistent and I began asking many questions. Alhumdulillah, the sister I met was very knowledgeable about Islam. She had some knowledge about Christianity but not much. I began to attend the mosque regularly and in January 19th 2003, I converted to Islam.
Challenges Faced as a Muslim
If I tell you that my life as a Muslim was easy I would be lying and so I will not commit that sin. After submitting to the will of Allah my challenge as a Muslim began. My first challenge was praying. I could not pray like the Christians and I did not know how to pray as a Muslim. I went back to the sister whom I first met and she taught me along with other sisters how to pray. I had one advantage: the wonderful Muslim man in the first part of my story was teaching me Arabic and verses of the Qur'an to help me say my prayers in the original language instead of in my mother tongue. Alhamdulillah, I learned how to pray very quickly and I was off to my next challenge: my parents.
How could I break my parents hearts! They knew me as a faithful Christian lady. They would not be happy to know that I was now a Muslim. Their understanding about Muslims was that they worship a false God, have a false Prophet, and, of course, had to be trained to be terrorists. I decided to hold off on telling my parents about my conversion until I gradually tell them Islam. I began by talking to them about what I had studied and showing them things I had found in the Bible to be questionable, and they began to question themselves as well. Almost a year passed before I told them that I was a Muslim, but by then they were already used to my way of thinking and it was not to shocking for them. My parents could only respond to me by saying: "Well we know you are much more happier now and you seem to be at such peace with yourself."
Now that my parents accepted my decision, my biggest challenge came. And that was to obey Allah and begin to wear Hijab. It really was a challenge. I wore hijab to the mosque and that was it. I chose not to wear it out in public or around my family for fear of what they would say. I did wear hijab in public but only sometimes. I made the choice to wear hijab full time in May of 2004 when I got married so I could follow the Qur'an and protect myself. Hijab came with occasional remarks, such as "You aren't going to wear a diaper on your head are you? What are you suppose to be?" A young man once pointed his finger at me and saying, "Bang! Bang!" But my decision has been the best one of my life. I chose to not fear the people and only fear Allah and that helped me a lot. I also answer those questions and remarks with "I'm a Muslim" or "Grow up!"
Faith and Reliance on Allah
My life as a Muslim has just started but yet it is not easy, and no one said it would be. There is a verse from the Quran that I hold fast to. It says:
Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. (Quran 2:256)
I know that I have grasped the most trust worthy hold that will never break. I fear Allah and only Allah, and I know since the first time I came in contact with Islam that He heard my prayers.
Allah has blessed me in so many ways. He has given me a wonderful family who is very accepting of me, he has given me a wonderful husband whom I can come to with all my needs, a husband who lives Islam and teaches me more and more about Islam everyday. Allah has given me opportunities to share Islam with others and I am forever grateful to Him for His many blessings.
Whoever reads this story, I request him or her to pray to Allah to guide my family to Islam so that on the Day of Judgment we can be there all together. The seed has been planted. Let us hope that it will grow.
+++
Believe it or Not:
What A SURPRISE!
[Islam & Christianity]
  • The word 'Christian' or 'Christianity' never found in 'Bible', but found many places in Holy Quran!
  • The word 'Bible' never found in the pages of Bible, but found mentioned in Holy Quran - many times.
  • The word 'Trinity' (fundamental pillar of Christianity) not found in Bible, But found in Holy Quran!

Bin-Ladin Denies Involvement in the 9/11 Attacks

Ummat Interviews Usamah Bin-Ladin
28 September 2001

Bin-Ladin Denies Involvement in the 9/11 Attacks

Source: Khilafah.com, 10 Oct 2001

The Al-Qaidah group had nothing to do with the 11 September attacks on the USA, according to Usama bin Ladin in an interview with the Pakistani newspaper Ummat. Usama bin Ladin went on to suggest that Jews or US secret services were behind the attacks, and to express gratitude and support for Pakistan, urging Pakistan’s people to jihad against the West. The following is the text of an interview conducted by a "special correspondent", published in the Pakistani newspaper Ummat on 28 September, place and date of interview not given.


UMMAT: You have been accused of involvement in the attacks in New York and Washington. What do you want to say about this? If you are not involved, who might be?

USAMA BIN LADEN: In the name of Allah (God), the most beneficent, the most merciful. Praise be to Allah, Who is the creator of the whole universe and Who made the Earth as an abode for peace, for the whole humankind. Allah is the Sustainer, who sent Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) for our guidance. I am thankful to the Ummat Group of Publications, which gave me the opportunity to convey my viewpoint to the people, particularly the valiant and momin (true Muslim) people of Pakistan who refused to believe the lies of the demon (Pakistani military dictator General Pervez Musharraf).

I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children and other people. Such a practice is forbidden even in the course of a battle. It is the United States, which is perpetrating every maltreatment on women, children and common people of other faiths, particularly the followers of Islam. All that is going on in Palestine for the last 11 months is sufficient to call the wrath of God upon the United States and Israel. There is also a warning for those Muslim countries, which witnessed all these as a silent spectator. What had earlier been done to the innocent people of Iraq, Chechnya and Bosnia? Only one conclusion could be derived from the indifference of the United States and the West to these acts of terror and the patronage of the tyrants by these powers that America is an anti-Islamic power and it is patronizing the anti-Islamic forces. Its friendship with the Muslim countries is just a show, rather deceit. By enticing or intimidating these countries, the United States is forcing them to play a role of its choice. Put a glance all around and you will see that the slaves of the United States are either rulers or enemies of Muslims.

The U.S. has no friends, nor does it want to keep any because the prerequisite of friendship is to come to the level of the friend or consider him at par with you. America does not want to see anyone equal to it. It expects slavery from others. Therefore, other countries are either its slaves or subordinates. However, our case is different. We have pledged slavery to God Almighty alone and after this pledge there is no possibility to become the slave of someone else. If we do that it will be disregardful to both our Sustainer and his fellow beings. Most of the world nations upholding their freedom are the religious ones, which are the enemies of the United States, or the U.S. itself considers them as its enemies.

The countries which do not agree to become the U.S. slaves are China, Iran, Libya, Cuba, Syria [Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Sudan, Indonesia, Malaysia] and Russia. Whoever committed the act of 11 September are not the friends of the American people. I have already said that we are against the American system, not against its people, whereas in these attacks, the common American people have been killed. According to my information, the death toll is much higher than what the U.S. Government has stated. But the Bush Administration does not want the panic to spread. The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; the people who are a part of the U.S. system, but are dissenting against it. Or those who are working for some other system; persons who want to make the present century as a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity so that their own civilization, nation, country, or ideology could survive. They can be anyone, from Russia to Israel and from India to Serbia. In the U.S. itself, there are dozens of well-organized and well-equipped groups, which are capable of causing a large-scale destruction. Then you cannot forget the American-Jews, who are annoyed with President Bush ever since the elections in Florida and want to avenge him.

Then there are intelligence agencies in the U.S., which require billions of dollars worth of funds from the Congress and the government every year. This [funding issue] was not a big problem till the existence of the former Soviet Union but after that the budget of these agencies has been in danger. They needed an enemy. So, they first started propaganda against Usama and Taleban and then this incident happened. You see, the Bush Administration approved a budget of 40 billion dollars. Where will this huge amount go? It will be provided to the same agencies, which need huge funds and want to exert their importance. Now they will spend the money for their expansion and for increasing their importance. I will give you an example. Drug smugglers from all over the world are in contact with the U.S. secret agencies. These agencies do not want to eradicate narcotics cultivation and trafficking because their importance will be diminished. The people in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Department are encouraging drug trade so that they could show performance and get millions of dollars worth of budget. General Noriega was made a drug baron by the CIA and, in need, he was made a scapegoat. In the same way, whether it is President Bush or any other U.S. President, they cannot bring Israel to justice for its human rights abuses or to hold it accountable for such crimes. What is this? Is it not that there exists a government within the government in the United Sates? That secret government must be asked as to who carried out the attacks.

UMMAT: A number of world countries have joined the call of the United States for launching attacks on Afghanistan. These also include a number of Muslim countries. Will Al-Qa'idah declare a jihad against these Islamic countries as well?

USAMA BIN LADEN: I must say that my duty is just to awaken the Muslims; to tell them as to what is good for them and what is not. What does Islam say and what do the enemies of Islam want. Al-Qa'idah was set up to wage a jihad against infidelity, particularly to counter the onslaught of the infidel countries against the Islamic states. Jihad is the sixth undeclared pillar of Islam. [The first five being the basic holy words of Islam ("There is no god but God and Muhammad is the messenger of God"), prayers, fasting (in Ramadan), pilgrimage to Mecca and giving alms (zakat).] Every anti-Islamic person is afraid of jihad. Al-Qa'idah wants to keep jihad alive and active and make it a part of the daily life of the Muslims. It wants to give it the status of worship. We are not against any Islamic country. We do not consider a war against an Islamic country as jihad. We are in favour of armed jihad only against those infidel governments, which are killing innocent Muslim men, women and children just because they are Muslims. Supporting the U.S. act is the need of some Muslim countries and the compulsion of others. However, they should think as to what will remain of their religious and moral position if they support the attack of the Christians and the Jews on a Muslim country like Afghanistan. The orders of Islamic Shariah [jurisprudence] for such individuals, organizations and countries are clear and all the scholars of the Muslim brotherhood are unanimous on them. We will do the same, which is being ordered by the Ameer-ul-Momeneen [the commander of the faithful] Muhammad Omar [leader of the Taleban] and the Islamic scholars. The hearts of the people of Muslim countries are beating with the call of jihad. We are grateful to them.

UMMAT: The losses caused in the attacks in New York and Washington have proved that giving an economic blow to the U.S. is not too difficult. U.S. experts admit that a few more such attacks can bring down the American economy. Why is Al-Qa'idah not targeting their economic pillars?

USAMA BIN LADEN: I have already said that we are not hostile to the United States. We are against the [U.S. Government] system, which makes other nations slaves of the United States, or forces them to mortgage their political and economic freedom. This system is totally in the control of the American Jews, whose first priority is Israel, not the United States. It is clear that the American people are themselves the slaves of the Jews and are forced to live according to the principles and laws laid down by them. So the punishment should reach Israel. In fact, it is Israel, which is giving a blood bath to innocent Muslims and the U.S. is not uttering a single word.

UMMAT: Why is harm not caused to the enemies of Islam through other means, apart from the armed struggle? For instance, urging the Muslims to boycott Western products, banks, shipping lines and TV channels.

USAMA BIN LADEN: The first thing is that Western products could only be boycotted when the Muslim fraternity is fully awakened and organized. Secondly, the Muslim companies should become self-sufficient in producing goods equal to the products of Western companies. Economic boycott of the West is not possible unless economic self-sufficiency is attained and substitute products are brought out. You see that wealth is scattered all across the Muslim World but not a single TV channel has been acquired which can preach Islamic injunctions according to modern requirements and attain an international influence. Muslim traders and philanthropists should make it a point that if the weapon of public opinion is to be used, it is to be kept in the hand. Today's world is of public opinion and the fates of nations are determined through its pressure. Once the tools for building public opinion are obtained, everything that you asked for can be done.

UMMAT: The entire propaganda about your struggle has so far been made by the Western media. But no information is being received from your sources about the network of Al-Qa'idah and its jihadi successes. Would you comment?

USAMA BIN LADEN: In fact, the Western media is left with nothing else. It has no other theme to survive for a long time. Then we have many other things to do. The struggle for jihad and the successes are for the sake of Allah and not to annoy His bondsmen. Our silence is our real propaganda. Rejections, explanations, or corrigendum only waste your time and through them, the enemy wants you to engage in things which are not of use to you. These things are pulling you away from your cause. The Western media is unleashing such a baseless propaganda, which makes us surprise but it reflects on what is in their hearts and gradually they themselves become captive of this propaganda. They become afraid of it and begin to cause harm to themselves. Terror is the most dreaded weapon in modern age and the Western media is mercilessly using it against its own people. It can add fear and helplessness in the psyche of the people of Europe and the United States. It means that what the enemies of the United States cannot do, its media is doing that. You can understand as to what will be the performance of the nation in a war, which suffers from fear and helplessness.

UMMAT: What will be the impact of the freeze of Al-Qa'idah accounts by the U.S.?

USAMA BIN LADEN: God opens up ways for those who work for Him. Freezing of accounts will not make any difference for Al-Qa'idah or other jihad groups. With the grace of Allah, Al-Qa'idah has more than three alternative financial systems, which are all separate and totally independent from each other. This system is operating under the patronage of those who love jihad. What to say of the United States, even the combined world cannot budge these people from their path. These people are not in hundreds but in thousands and millions. Al-Qa'idah comprises of such modern educated youths who are aware of the cracks inside the Western financial system as they are aware of the lines in their hands. These are the very flaws of the Western fiscal system, which are becoming a noose for it and this system could not recuperate in spite of the passage of so many days.

UMMAT: Are there other safe areas other than Afghanistan, where you can continue jihad?

USAMA BIN LADEN: There are areas in all parts of the world where strong jihadi forces are present, from Indonesia to Algeria, from Kabul to Chechnya, from Bosnia to Sudan, and from Burma to Kashmir. Then it is not the problem of my person. I am a helpless fellowman of God, constantly in the fear of my accountability before God. It is not the question of Usama but of Islam and, in Islam too, of jihad. Thanks to God, those waging a jihad can walk today with their heads raised. Jihad was still present when there was no Usama and it will remain as such even when Usama is no longer there. Allah opens up ways and creates loves in the hearts of people for those who walk on the path of Allah with their lives, property and children. Believe it, through jihad, a man gets everything he desires. And the biggest desire of a Muslim is the life after death. Martyrdom is the shortest way of attaining an eternal life.

UMMAT: What do you say about the Pakistan Government policy on Afghanistan attack?

USAMA BIN LADEN: We are thankful to the Momin and valiant people of Pakistan who erected a blockade in front of the evil forces and stood in the first file of battle. Pakistan is a great hope for the Islamic brotherhood. Its people are awakened, organized and rich in the spirit of faith. They backed Afghanistan in its war against the Soviet Union and extended every help to the mojahedeen (freedom fighters) and the Afghan people. Then these are very Pakistanis who are standing shoulder by shoulder with the Taleban. If such people emerge in just two countries, the domination of the West will diminish in a matter of days. Our hearts beat with Pakistan and, God forbid, if a difficult time comes we will protect it with our blood. Pakistan is sacred for us like a place of worship. We are the people of jihad and fighting for the defense of Pakistan is the best of all jihads to us. It does not matter for us as to who reforms Pakistan. The important thing is that the spirit of jihad is alive and stronger in the hearts of the Pakistani people.

Source: Ummat, Urdu-language daily newspaper based in Karachi, Pakistan -
Friday, 28 September 2001 - pages 1, 7.
Source: BBC Monitoring Service.