Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Metaphysical Musings....Still stuck to 'Letter to an agnostic friend'

Winstedt [ or was it him!? ] once observed,' Three Indians, when they have a 'get together' under a coconut tree, would discuss how to form a Union..."
Three Kelantanese, from Serambi Makkah, brought up on a staple diet of budu, Nasi Kerabu and Nasi Dagang, would on the other hand, get very '...physical'!......Read on.

From Tan Sri AWH,
Sunday 28/11/10

Nik Howk,
I know nuts about the big bang theory and the origins of
matter, but you may want to google professor penrose and the conformal
cyclic cosmology theory. Nothing ever stays the same, I am afraid.
It's freezing in London where I find myself currently, which explains
why my reading has extended to subjects I would not have bothered with
Salam and warmest regards, AWH.


Tan Sri,

Interesting. As usual if one is an agnostic, as Penrose, Carl Sagan et al are, imagination has to run wild.
For us all mere mortals, KUN[ be ], FAYAKUN [ so it is ], suffice.

The best thing to do on a freezing cold winter in London is to enjoy salmon curry! If your Mrs is around ask her to just do that....mashaallah.

Nik Howk



I differ slightly in my view vis a vis faith and the pursuit of
curiosity and knowledge. Faith should embolden us to reach out, touch
and discover what is out there, rather than retreat into an
obscurantist shell merely to preserve the beliefs we were taught and
hold. My own reading of Islamic history suggests to me that the desert
tribes of Arabia attained the pinnacle of the then developed world by
not merely clinging on to the quran and hadith; the sense of
confidence derived from having the revealed truth on their side
allowed them to open the ancient manuscripts of the Greeks and the
Indians to provoke their curiosity and enrich their minds and enabled
the great scientific and intellectual flowering of the Islamic golden
age, which alas passed so long ago and yet to return. But there again,
I am unlike you not a man of science and may have missed the point
that scientific 'truth' must be by definition debilitating to one's
aqidah. I find that notion odd to say the least.

Yes, kari kepala salmon has occasionally graced our dining table here,
but regrettably my beloved and most resourceful wife is not with me
this time. We have often surprised Malaysian guests with nasi kerabu
and dagang, as well as laksa kelantan in the surrey countryside. But I
am here to attend to the refurbishment of the country place (the
problem with ancient country houses is they are lovely over summer,
frigid in winter and like ancient mythical beasts demand the
occasional feeding of big pound notes), do a bit of business and catch
up with my two boys who are into their final year at university here.
So it is take away kebabs and sushi from pret a manger for the next
two to three weeks, I am afraid. But it is a bit of a relief to be
away from the beloved but much lamented motherland. Salaam and


Tan Sri,

I must have given you the wrong impression.....My thinking though slightly off tangent to yours,is actually in the same mould as yours:
Islam is liberating....
Some part of science which we cannot fit in yet with our current 'Islamic World view of creation' , we have two choice,
1. Wait for' better science ' to clarify.., or
2. Get back to our Qur'an, and reexamine the ayats within the context of present day scientific progress and postulation. Though science at the highest level is still very much 'postulative' and assumptive, the laymen may assume it is already absolute truth. If hypothetically we assume what we have now is already nearer to the absolute TRUTH, we should get back and renew our understanding of the Qur'an. Ibnu Katsir is great, Hamka and Ridha are great, but this is 2010, there is nothing in the 'rule book' that say a 800 CE interpretation and undertanding of The Words of God is ironclad! We are learning new things every period and when we get back to the Qur'an and look at the 'allegorical ayats' , lo and behold, TRUTH has been staring at us for 1400 years! It was only we, the ummah, who could not get beyond our very own self limiting 'kopiahs and turbans'.

Our understanding of the 'muthasyabihat' ayats[ the allegorical ayats] may be very much lacking and need to be reviewed in the light of new discoveries and enlightenment.We can do this but of course with great care and understanding. Muslim scientists do see more in the Qur'an than the average ulama' do but generally would not want to get embroil in the 'discussion' because our ummah by and large are still stuck at and 'lost' at the 'rantings, leaves and the branches', still querreling on minor issues of the right way to take an ablution, still pointing fingers at one another saying your Islam is heretical etc etc etc and this happening even at the higher 'ulama' level, amongst ulama'!....

The problem with contemporary knowledge and I mean science is that the significant players on the ground started with the premise that there is no creator in the 1st place. That is why People like Penrose et al go in circles using of course his mathematics, and presto come with his 'cyclic cosmology theory' of the 'time' before the Big bang.My analogy that we are gold fishes in a silver globe sitting on a windowsill in Manhattan come into perspective.

In science answers are very much related to the question one ask and the premise one assume. As such if, hypothetically,Darwin, Penrose, Carl Sagans and Hawkins are Muslims, and they have their basic premise right, we would not be entertained to the 'going around in circles'. The issues of the Big bang, evolution would have already been resolved......What we dont know we dont know ,and we have to work further on it. What we know would further enhance our view of the universe.

Science at the highest level is just a toy,we have our premise , we have a set of rules, we make hypotheses and end up with postulates....... but we contemporary Muslims are 'stuck' at the 'abluiton phase' in 2010. Our ulama are still cowed into submission, they dont dare speak. They dont dare get beyond their' kopiah..... our science is non existent....'.We are just flotsams pushed aside by the waves'.

'What is precisely the problem Sir, are the Muslims very few at that time?'
'No....they just lost THE TRUTH......'

We lost our bearing: La ilahaillallah, Muhammadarasullallah!
We got stuck and lost in the branches and leaves. We listen and follow other gods!

Nik Howk


From Nadzru Azahari,[ an old classmate ] somewhere in the desert land of Sudan.....

Dear Nik Howk,

Agnosticism is here to stay and will remain with and among us till the end of the human race. Like poverty, I guess, agnoticism is to be managed not eradicated. Agnosticism is an indivisible part of our philosophical stretch. Fortunately Islam in its social contract and social structure can tolerate and accept agnoticism in its milieu, perhaps a necessary rainbow in the mosaic of the ummah at large. Our muslim society at large is a very merry lot, we have seen all sorts and shades of beliefs within 'cosmopolitan islam' , just outside its pale or outright juxtapositional to it. Muslims have left Islam in droves, came back in droves, left again in droves and remain back in droves. Islam, uber alles of that, never died. We are all still around.

I had the misfortune of studying physics to post-tertiary level, swallowing some facts and deciphering others and cheated a lot, working backwards from desired results to obtain my graduation certificates. However, for a passage of life history and perhaps my own passion and proclivity in the study of history, geography and politics , of which I wasn't examined and did not contribute to the amelioration of the mediocrity of my Physics grades, the studies of the liberal arts drew me to my consolation with Islam and the faith and physics and its Big Bang never bothered me one bit.

For this I share, TanSri AWH view. I am always fascinated with the Quranic exposition of its layout guidelines on the organisation of human society. The history of the ummah , pre and post Mohammadan era jives with The Quran. Islam reached its height when outside elements crept into the Islamic milieu. Islam is cosmopolitanism at its zenith. I like the logic and lucidity of the Quranic exegeses on the promulgation of law and order. When reading the Quran, the language of which is a default to my comprehension and acquaintance, I rarely need a translation or rendition in a vernacular, I would relegate the parts of those not pertaining to matters of law and order into ' poetic and linguistic niceties' and I would concentrate on the former, like I am reading a treatise and a lexicograph. I would re-read on the narration on human history. So pedestrian is my reading of the Quran that at times, I would do it in between my reading the 'Al-Ahram' newspaper editorials in Cairo cafes, a monthly stopover for me.

Even my large travelling compendium of The Quran called ( in english) ' A lexicography of arabic grammar and linguistic exigence
of The Quran'. So a tafseer of Surah Al-Israa' for me will be a wonderful journey into the linguistic rationale of how and why the ayat and passage is so structured. The fact that it is about the Prophet's journey from the 'near mosque' to the ' far mosque' appears like a law journal to me. This copy is always with me and weighs 0.5 kg in my bag.

History has recorded that even when the Ottoman State stretched for all that it could, agnostics were everywhere. The prophet died without managing to expunge the pornographic literature of Ibnu Al-Qayyes. It is now back into contemporary arabic literature with a vengeance. So, agnoticism is much harder than that to expunge and hence we must expect them to be with us forever, big bang or no big bang. I guess if physics has not given us the big bang theory, a small bang theory would have been found.

I believe if agnostics are law abiding, men and women of high morals, honest and altruistic, I think we should respect and welcome them as part of our milieu, part of our mosaic and symphony.

Like TanSri AWH said, more or less,Islam would like to continue saying , ' marhaban and ahlan wa sahlan to all'. Islam needs to maintain a semblance of hegemony though, it is necessary for implemetation of laws ,social, structure and ettiquette, themselves dynamic and ever changing.

The Quran, fortunately is a very easy text. People came into Islam in droves because of that ( laxity as I said make people leave it in droves too, nothing wrong with this liberal swing I guess). The well defined position of the assumed existence of God in the Quran when immediately embedded well into a social web of order and structure of the human race and the environment, it is so beautiful and perfect that it leaves no wanting for the understanding of the lesser understood ayats and the big bang theory.

Take the Haj for instance. Itself coming from the rootword ' Hujjah' , like the malay word, it means the argument. So when we perform Haj we are in a state of ' argument' and ' justifying' the Abrahamic history of our Faith, from Adam till Mohammad, not leaving Judaism and christianity alongside. Even the ' Blackstone' has a part in the ' Hujjah'. It is supposed to be a practical historical trace of the history of men's quest for Godhood. At least in the Abrahamic cosmosphere.

Nik Howk, I thought that it is our christian brothers and the believe in Trinity that baffles Godhood and should be the bane of the agnostics. Not Islam and its simple explication of Godhood.




Nik Howk,

Correction, it is 'Eimru El-Qayyes' not ' Ibn El-Qayyes. He was the most prolific pornographic writer at the time of Our Prophet in Mekka. Eimru El- Qayyes genre of writing came back in modern arabic literature, hidden in the fictions of Abdel Rahman Mouneef and 'Alaa' El-Aswany.

So strong is the Meccan addicition to his works that it survived the 'pornographic ethnic cleansing of Mekka ' during the Prophet's return. I likened it to the survival agnosticism. It will always be there.

Nik Howk, it is like what you said, the 'rennaissance of ablution studies' came alongside the muslim society during all times of the islamic revivalism in its dynamic forms in modern Egypt and South East Asia. Our Algerian brothers expressed in french as ' archivisme motorise' ( the motorisation of the archaic, not dynamism of the revolutionary) Remember Kota Bharu in the 1950s, when Maahad Muhammadi became the centre of the revival of arabic literature ( the balaghah), independence movement, revival of political thoughts, following along with equal vengeance was the 'rennaissance of wudu' and tayammum culture'.

Look at the sprouting in recent days of ' Maahad Tahfiz' in our country. Something that did not take place in the height of Islamic education reform of Maahad Muhammadi in the 1950s. There was only 'balaghah , culture, political studies and arabic literature' then. HE Dr Fakhreddin the Malaysian Ambassador to Egypt retorted to me two weeks ago in Cairo, that of the Maahad Tahfiz students from Malaysia in Al-Azhar University, 50% flunk, the 50% that passed took extra years to repeat and out of that 5% could express and formulate their thoughts and writings in arabic. That is worst than the 'rennaissance of the ablution culture!'. The culture of rote learning so dearly developed in our country is a disaster to the reconstruction of religious thought in Islam. Nik Howk, I sympathise with you.




You are certainly right. But we do have to address the 'agnostics' or rather the 'relative agnostics' within our ummah.The guys, Richard Dawkins et al would put as '1 to 2' on his scale of '1 to 7'.Scale 1 being quite unsure whether god is there or not, and even if He is there, could not really be bothered.7 mean definitely sure there is no god! Surprisingly Dawkins put himself 6!

The 1-2 group,such new 'animals' exist in abundance and flourishing. These are people, born of Muslim parentage, tertiary in education, mostly overseas bred, steeped in science and pseudo science but lacking in Islamic knowledge and wisdom but yet insisting to be adherrent of the ways of Muhammad, nominal or otherwise. For them though, the dichotomy between revealed knowledge and science ' cannot be reconciled, and as an 'intellectual' group, that remain their querrel with God, like that good friend of mine to whom the letter was addressed.To them, any claim to being Muslims, is just 'cultural', Islam been handed to them by virtue of birth.

We tend to have deep attachment to this group because 'culturally' we still regard them to be 'us'. I am telling them Islam and science could be 100 % reconciled, if we are willing to look things in a less myopic way.Open up the hearts and minds a wee bit, be less stringent and didactic. Be less of the 'arrogance of the ignorant'.

Islam is pro science. Islam is indeed paradoxically liberating from the perspective of TRUTH.

Back to yourgoodself,Nadzru, In America, guys like are termed' Arabists':expert in the language and several dialects and cultures of the Arabs. If you are in America, you can make tons of money as 'consultants' like Hamid Karzai, Chelebi etc etc. My Arabic on the other hand is zero beyond, 'Min Aina Anta'[ where are you from?], and 'Mashaallah' and 'alhamdullaillah'.I Read the Qur'an like a ' bl..dy' mualaf and depend very much on Quranexplorer.com on daily basis.Despite this obvious handicap, I do not feel contemporary Muslims beyond the Arabic belt should be apologetic and need an Arabic crutch to know Islam deeper.Literature abounds in English to one's heart content to immerse in. Just the other day I was wacthing a u-tube 'lecture by a very young 'Wahabbi' punk preacher hitting away at Imam Ghazali, TJ Winter, Hamza Yusuf, Shaykh al Qardhawi and just about anybody who do not talk and think like them! My God!, even amongst the Saudis so called Ulama', the 'ablution and tayammun' culture is very much in vogue.They cannot think beyond that, straight jacketing Islam into sets of rules and rituals only,minus the most important part , the 'hearts'. Their perception of Islam is almost just at the 'spinal' level!.

Islam is not just for the Arabs, and the Arabs just form now only about 20 % of the total Muslims today. They are a small but significant minority.' Ignorant minority' if one were to go by that young punk of a preacher! I may post him on the blog some time and you can judge for yourselves.

It is definitely possible to delve deep into Islam without knowing a word of Arabic and this is a boon for humanity and a mercy of Allah. I have been doing this for 20 years going through several excellent tafseer work on the Qur'an and my emphasis now is really looking at 'pearls and gem' from those allegorical ayats. I tend to skip over the 'muhkam' ayats that deals with 'rules and standard laws'. Dangerous practice you might say but I like to live 'dangerously' from schooldays. Once in a while when I do come across a gem or two in my 'personal journey' through the Qur'an, I got my 'fix'. It is an addiction now.....But of course Nadzru, if one knows Arabic, that would be excellent, without any shadow of doubt! I would be the first to agree and salute but it is not a prerequisite. A generous, 'open heart' is.

To me in 2010, Arabic or no Arabic is not an issue in acquiring knowledge in Islam." Berkilau air di sungai, sudah tahu jantan betina ikan itu". Something to that effect. My Malay is really bad. Understanding science and accepting science vis a vis knowledge ,as part of Islam is. But science is just informations and facts. Islam is revealed wisdom. We present day Muslims should not be overwhelmed by science. It is imperative for all of us to be able to 'marry' these two.

Hearts only move when we can accept Islam at the intellectual level, otherwise like millions before us, despite years of Prayers and Du'a, eyes remain dry, and the collective rust and dust that accumulate over years of heedlessness would not move.....despite being Muslims! Huwallahualam.

Nik Howk

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Sobering Thought....My Personal Journey thru The Qur'an.

"And unto Allah belongeth the Unseen of the heavens and the earth, and the matter of the Hour (of Doom) is but as a twinkling of the eye, or it is nearer still. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things."
Surah Al Nahl, 'The Bee', 16 : 77

....Creation, the Big Bang, before The Big Bang,Doomsday,Post Doomsday..all belong to Him...and in His reckoning, all these are just 'as a twinkling of the eye, or nearer still'.

Looking from our perspective,the end of time would seem very far and quite impersonal to all of us, whatever age or period and stage we are in, but at the individual level, 'Doomsday' is just a breath away. Our own demise , at the individual level, represent the end of the universe for us. A sobering thought. From then on it is, simply put, 'Man Rabbuka!?'...Who is your Lord?....Who is your leader?....What is your Din?. Then we go through an indefinite period of Alam Barzarkh. Finally tomorrow or a century or couple of thousand years time, for all humanity, the Bigger Doomsday, followed a couple of millenium further down the lane, The Siratul Mustakim and the final weighing of Al Mizan.

The clever Muslim, an old sufi sage used to say, is 'a child of the hour'. He always plant one of his feet firmly on this side of the divide and the other in 'the hereafter'......that is the Big Picture! In constant dzikr and remembrance of Allah.

The much quoted Prophetic advisory was to work as if you are going to last a 1000 years and 'pray' as if you are going to die tomorrow.

And to put things in perspective, Imam Al Ghazali, in not so many words, added that 'it is not the volume that matters, it is in constancy'.

"What is more catastrophic than to go through this life in a state of stupor, heedless drunkenness, distraction and comatosed! It is better to be unsuccessful, a nobody, than to be in such a state of unawareness, inward stress and a billionaire!"

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gai Eaton : Life & Works...

Gai Eaton........

Gai Eaton, who died on February 26 aged 89, was a father figure to many white British converts to Islam and was regarded as one of contemporary Islam's most sophisticated thinkers.

A Charterhouse and Cambridge-educated former diplomat, Eaton became a Muslim in 1951 after studying the religion and spending a year in Cairo. Also known by the Muslim name Hassan Abdul-Hakeem, he went on to write several books and, as a consultant at the Islamic Cultural Centre at Regent's Park Mosque in London, played an important role in addressing public misconceptions about Islam.

[......excerpt from an obituary in The Daily Telegraph]

He was empowered by his deep attachment to living a faithful life in the contemporary world, combined with a profound suspicion of what modernity really had to offer in the advancement of the human being. He wrote as a Muslim, but those who read his works were from all faith backgrounds and none. He insisted that he was not a classically trained authority of the Islamic sciences, but he had a unique way with the English language that few writers on Islam could match. His admirers did not always share his philosophical perspectives, but few could deny his profound eloquence and high culture.

[...H. A Hellyer, Author of " Muslims of Europe" ]

Gai Eaton aka Hassan Abdul Hakeem [ 1921- February, 2010 ].
I was born in Switzerland of British parents, a child of war. At the time of my birth the final peace treaty ending the first world war, the treaty with Turkey, was being signed close by in Lausanne. The greatest tempest which had changed the face of the world had temporarily exhausted itself, but its effects were everywhere apparent. Old certainties and the morality based upon them had been dealt a mortal blow. But my family background was stained with the blood of conflict. My father already 67 when I was born, had been born during the wars against Napoleon Bonaparte. Both had been soldiers....

Even so, I might at least have had a homeland. I had none. Although born in Switzerland, I was not Swiss. My mother had grown up in France and loved the French above all others, but I was not French. Was I English? I never felt so. My mother never tired of reminding me that the English were cold, stupid, sexless without intellect and without culture. I did not want to be like them. So where-if anywhere-did I belong? It seems to me in retrospect, that this strange childhood was a good preparation for adherence to Islam. Wherever he may have been born and whatever his race, the Muslim's homeland is the Dar-ul-islam, the House of Islam. His passport, here and in the Hereafter, is the simple confession of Faith, La ilaha illa 'Llah. He does not expect - or should not expect - security or stability in this world and must always keep in mind the fact that death may take him tomorrow. He has no firm roots here in this fragile earth. His roots are above in That which alone endures.
But what of Christianity? If my father had any religious convictions he never expressed them, although - on his death bed, approaching 90 - he asked: `Is there a happy place?' My upbringing was left entirely to my mother. By temperament she was not, I think, irreligious, but she had grown up within a religious framework and she was hostile to what is commonly called organised religion. Of one thing she was certain; her son must be left free to think for himself and never be forced to accept second-hand opinions. She was determined to protect me from having religion `crammed down my throat'. She warned a succession of nursemaids who came and went in the house and accompanied us to France during the holidays that, if they ever mentioned religion to me, they would at once be dismissed. When I was five or six, however, her orders flouted by a young woman whose ambition it was to become a missionary in Arabia, saving the souls of those benighted people who were - she told me - lost in a pagan creed called `moslemism'. This was the first I had heard of Arabia, and she drew me a map of that mysterious land.
One day she took me for a walk past Wandsworth Prison (we were living in Wandsworth Common at the time). I must have misbehaviour some way for she gripped me roughly by the arm, pointed to the prison gates and said: `There's a red?haired man in the sky who will shut you in there if you're naughty!' This was the first I had heard of `God', and I did not like what I heard. For some reason I was afraid of men with red hair (as she must have known), and this particular one ? living above the clouds and dedicated to punishing naughty boys ? sounded very frightening. I asked my mother about him as soon as we got home. I do not remember what she said to comfort me, but the girl was promptly dismissed.

Eventually, much later than most children, I was sent to school or rather to a series of schools in England and in Switzerland before arriving, aged 14, at Charterhouse. Surely, with services in the school chapel and classes in `Scripture', Christianity should have made some impact upon me? It made no impact at all, either upon me or upon my school friends. This does not seem to me surprising. Religion cannot survive, whole and effective when it is confined to one single compartment of life and education. Religion is either all or it is nothing; either it dwarfs all profane studies or it is dwarfed by them. Once or twice a week we were taught about the Bible just as we were instructed in other subjects in other classes. Religion, it was assumed had nothing to do with the more important studies which formed the backbone of our education. God did not interfere in historical events, He did not determine the phenomena we studied in science classes, He played no part in current events, and the world, governed entirely by chance, and by material forces, was to be understood without reference to anything that might -or might not -exist beyond its horizons. God was surplus to requirements....
And yet I needed to know the meaning of my own existence. Only those who, at some time in their lives, have been possessed by such a need can guess at its intensity, comparable to that of physical hunger or sexual desire. I did not see how I could put one foot in front of the other unless I understood where I was going and why. I could do nothing unless I understood what part my action played in the scheme of things. All I knew I knew was that I knew nothing - nothing, that is to say, of the slightest importance - and I was paralysed by my ignorance as though immobilised in a dense fog.

Where should I seek for knowledge? By the time I was 15 I had discovered that there was something called `philosophy' and that the word meant 'love of wisdom'. Wisdom was what I sought, so the satisfaction of my need must lie hidden in these heavy books written by wise men. With a feeling of intense excitement, like an explorer already in sight of the undiscovered land, I ploughed through Descartes, Kant, Hume, Spinoza, Schopenhauer and Bertrand Russell, or else read works which explained their teachings. It was not long before I realised that something was wrong. I might as well have been eating sand as seeking nourishment from this quarter. These men knew nothing. They were only speculating, spinning ideas out of their own poor heads, and anyone can speculate (including a school boy). How could a 15 or 16-year-old have had the impudence to dismiss the whole of Western secular philosophy as worthless? One does not have to be mature to distinguish between what the Quran calls dhann ('opinion') and true Knowledge. At the same time my mother's constant insistence that I should take no notice of what others thought or said obliged me to trust my own judgment. Western culture treated these 'philosophers' as great men, and students in universities studied their works with respect. But what was that to me?
Some time later, when I was in the sixth-form, a master who took a particular interest in me made a strange remark which I did not at understand. `You are', he said, `the only truly universal sceptic I have known'. He was not referring specifically to religion. He meant that I seemed to doubt everything that was taken for granted by everyone else. I wanted to know why it should be assumed that our rational powers, so well adapted to finding food, shelter and a mate, had an applic beyond the mundane realm. I was puzzled by the notion that the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill' was supposed to be binding on those who were neither Jews nor Christians, and I was no less baffled as to why in a world full of beautiful women, the rule of monogamy should be thought to have a universal application. I even doubted my own existence. Long afterwards I came across the story of the Chinese sage, Chuangtzu, who, having dreamed one night that he was a butterfly, awoke to we whether he was in fact the man Chuangtzu who had dreamed that he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming that it was Chuangtzu. I understood his dilemma.
Yet, when my teacher made this remark, I had already discovered a key to what might be a more certain knowledge. By chance - although there is no such thing as `chance' -I had come across a book called 'The Primordial Ocean' by a certain Professor Perry, an Egyptologist. The professor had a fixed idea that the ancient Egyptians had travelled to part of the world in their papyrus boats spreading their religion, mythology, far and wide. To prove his case, he had spent many years researching ancient mythologies, and also the myths and symbols of 'primitive' peoples in our own time. What he revealed was an astonishing unanimity of belief, however different the images in which that belief was expressed. He had not proved his theory about the papyrus boats; he had, I thought, proved something quite different. It seemed that, behind the tapestry of forms and images, there were certain universal truths regarding the nature of reality, the creation of the world and of mankind, and the meaning of the human experience; truths which were as much a part as our blood and our bones.
One of the principal causes of unbelief in the modern world is the plurality of religions which appear mutually contradictory. So long as the Europeans were convinced of their own racial superiority they had no reason to doubt that Christianity was the only true Faith. The notion that they were the crown of the `evolutionary process' made it easy to assume that all other religions were no more than naive attempts to answer perennial questions. It was when this racial self-confidence declined doubts crept in. How was it possible for a good God to allow the majority of human beings to live and die in the service of false religions? Was it any longer possible for the Christian to believe that he alone was saved? Others made the same claim - Muslims, for example - so how could anyone be sure who was right and who was wrong? For many people, including myself until I came to Perry's book, the obvious conclusion was that, since everyone could not be right, everyone must be wrong. Religion was an illusion, the product of wishful thinking. Others might have found it possible to substitute `scientific truth' for religious `myths'. I could not, since science was founded upon assumptions regarding the infallibility of reason and the reality of sense-experience which could never be proved.

When I read Perry's book I knew nothing of the Quran. That came much later, and what little I had heard of Islam was distorted by prejudices accumulated during a thousand years of confrontation. And yet, had I but known it, I had already taken a step in the direction of Christianity's great rival. The Quran assures us that no people on earth was ever left without divine guidance and a doctrine of truth, conveyed through a messenger of God who always spoke to the people in their own `language', therefore in terms of their particular circumstances and according to their needs. The fact that such messages become distorted in the course of time goes without saying, and no one should be surprised if truth is distorted as it passes from generation to generation, but it would be astonishing if no vestiges remained after the passage of the centuries. It now seems to me entirely in accordance with Islam to believe that these vestiges, clothed in myth and symbol (the `language' of the people of earlier times), are directly descended from revealed Truth and confirm the final Message.
From Charterhouse I went on to Cambridge, where I neglected my official studies, which seemed trivial and boring, in favour of the only study that mattered. The year was 1939. War had broken out just before I had went up to the University and, in two years time, I would be in the army. It seemed likely, after all, that the Germans would succeed in killing me as I had always thought they would. I had only a little time in which to find answers to the questions which still obsessed me, but this did not draw me to any organized religion. Like most of my friends, I was contemptuous of the Churches and of all who paid lip-service to a God they did not know; but I was soon obliged to moderate this hostility. I remember the scene clearly after more than half-a-century. A few of us lingered on, drinking coffee, after the evening meal in the Hall of King's College. The conversation turned to religion. At the head of the table sat an undergraduate who was universally admired for his brilliance, his wit and his sophistication. Hoping to impress him and taking advantage of a brief silence, I said: `No intelligent person nowadays believes in the God of religion!' He looked at me rather sadly before answering: `On the contrary, nowadays intelligent people are the only ones who do believe in God', I would willingly have sunk out of sight under the table.
I had, however, a wise friend, a man forty years my senior, whom I found totally convincing. This was the writer L. H. Myers, described at that time as `the only philosophical novelist England has produced'. Not only did his major work, 'The Root and the Flower', answer many of these questions that gnawed at me, but they conveyed a marvellous sense of serenity united with compassion. It seemed to me that serenity was the greatest treasure that one could possess in this life and that compassion was the greatest virtue. Here, surely, was a man whom no tempest shake and who surveyed the turmoil of human existence with the eye of wisdom. I wrote to him, and he replied promptly. For the next three years we wrote to each other at least twice every month. I poured my heart out to him, while he, convinced that he had at last found in this young admirer someone who truly understood him, replied in the same vein. Eventually we met, and this cemented our friendship.
Yet everything was not as it seemed. I began to detect in his letters a note of inner torment, sadness and disillusionment. When 1 asked him if he put all his serenity into his books, leaving nothing for himself, he replied: 'I think your comment was shrewd and probably true'. He had given his whole life to the pursuit of pleasure and of `experiences' (both sublime and sordid, so he said). Few women, in high society or low, had been able to resist his astonishing combination of wealth, charm and good look, He, for his part, had no reason to resist their seductions. Fascinated by spirituality and mysticism, he adhered to no religion and obeyed no conventional moral law. Now he felt that he was growing old, and he could not face the prospect. He had tried to change himself and even repent his past, but it was too late. Little more than three years after our correspondence had begun, he committed suicide.

My affection for him endured and, in due course, I named my eldest son after him, but Leo Myers death taught me more than I could ever learned from his books, although it required some years for me to understand its full significance. His wisdom had been only in his head. It had never penetrated his human substance. A man might spend a life reading spiritual books and studying the writings of the great mystics. He might feel that he had penetrated the secrets of the heavens and the earth, but unless this knowledge was incorporated into his very nature and transformed him, it was sterile. I began to suspect that a simple man of faith, praying to God with little understanding but with a full heart, might be worth more than the most learned student of the spiritual sciences.
Myers had been profoundly influenced by a study of Hindu Vedanta, the metaphysical doctrine at the core of Hinduism. My mother's interest Raja Yoga had already pointed me in this direction. Vedanta now became my principal interest and, ultimately, the path that led me to Islam. This would seem shocking to most Muslims and astonishing to anyone who is aware that the very basis of Islam is an uncompromising condemnation of idolatry, and yet my case is by no means unique. Whatever may be the beliefs of the Hindu masses, Vedanta is a doctrine of pure unity, of the unique Reality, and therefore of what, in Islam, is called Tawhid. Muslims more than others, should have little difficulty in understanding that a doctrine of Unity underlies all the religions which have nourished mankind since the beginning, whatever idolatrous illusions may have overlaid `the jewel in the lotus' just as, in the individual, personal idolatry overlays the heart's core. How could it be otherwise, since Tawhid is Truth and, in the words of a great Christian mystic, `Truth is native to man'?
All too soon my time at Cambridge was ended and I was sent to The Royal Military College, Sandhurst, emerging after five months as a young officer supposedly ready to kill or be killed. To learn more about the arts of war I was then despatched on what was called `attachment' to a regiment in the north of Scotland. Here I was left to my own devices and occupied my time either reading or walking on the granite cliffs above the raging northern sea. This was a stormy place, but I felt at peace as I had never done before. The more I read of Vedanta and also of the ancient Chinese doctrine of Taoism, the more certain I was that I at last had some understanding of the nature of things and had glimpsed, if only in thought and imagination, the ultimate Reality beside which all else was little more than a dream. As yet I was not prepared to call this Reality `God', let alone Allah.
When I left the army I began to write, needing to express my thoughts as a way of putting them in order. I wrote about Vedanta, Taoism and Zen Buddhism, but also about certain Western writers (including Leo Myers) who had been influenced by these doctrines. Through a chance meeting with the poet T. S. Eliot, who was at that time head of a publishing firm, these essays were published under the title 'The Richest Vein', a quotation taken from Thoreau: `My instinct tells me that my head is an organ for burrowing, as some creatures use their snouts or forepaws, and with it I would burrow my way through these hills. I think that the richest vein is somewhere hereabout . . ..' But by now I had a new guide through the hills. I had discovered Rene Guenon, a Frenchman who had lived the greater part of his life in Cairo as the Sheikh Abdul Wahed.
Guenon undermined and then; with uncompromising intellectual rigour, demolished all the assumptions taken for granted by modern man, that is to say Western or westernised man. Many others had been critical of the direction taken by European civilization since the so-called `Renaissance', but none had dared to be as radical as he was or to re-assert with such force the principles and values which Western culture had consigned to the rubbish tip of history. His theme was the `primordial tradition' or Sofia perennis, expressed-so he maintained-both in ancient mythologies and in the metaphysical doctrine at the root of the great religions. The language of this Tradition was the language of symbolism, and he had no equal in his interpretation of this symbolism. Moreover he turned the idea of human progress upside down, replacing it with the belief almost universal before the modern age, that humanity declines in spiritual excellence with the passage of time and that we are now in the Dark Age which precedes the End, an age in which all the possibilities rejected by earlier cultures have been spewed out into the world, quantity replaces quality and decadence approaches its final limit. No one who read him and understood him could ever be quite the same again.
Like others whose outlook had been transformed by reading Guenon, I was now a stranger in the world of the twentieth century. He had been led by the logic of his convictions to accept Islam, the final Revelation and, as it were, the summing-up of all that came before. I was not yet ready for this, but I soon learned to conceal my opinions or at least to veil them. No one can live happily in constant disagreement with his fellow men women, nor can he engage in argument with them since he does not share their basic, unspoken assumptions. Argument and discussion pre-supposes some common ground shared by those involved. When no common ground exists, confusion and misunderstanding are unavoidable, if not anger. The beliefs which are the very basis of contemporary culture are held no less passionately than unquestioning religious faith, as was illustrated during the conflict over Salman Rushdie's novel, 'The Satanic Verses'.

Occasionally I forgot my resolve not to become involved in fruitless argument. Some years ago I was a guest at a diplomatic dinner party in Trinidad. The young woman beside me was talking with a Christian Minister, an Englishman, seated opposite. I was only half attending to their conversation when I heard her say that she was not sure she believed in human progress. The Minister answered her so rudely and with such contempt that I could not resist the temptation to say: `She's quite right - there's no such thing as progress!' He turned on me, his face contorted with fury, and said: `If I thought that I would commit suicide this very night!' Since suicide is as great a sin for Christians as it is for Muslims, I understood for the first time the extent to which faith in progress, in a `better future' and, by implication, in the possibility of a paradise on earth has replaced faith in God and in the hereafter. In the writings of the renegade priest Teilhard de Chardin Christianity itself was reduced to a religion of progress. Deprive the modern Westerner of this faith and he is lost in a wilderness without signposts.
By the time 'The Richest Vein' was published I had left England for Jamaica where I had a school friend who would, I knew, find me work of some kind. I had been described on the book's cover as `a mature thinker'. The adjective `mature' was singularly inappropriate: as a man, as a personality, I had barely emerged from adolescence, and Jamaica was an ideal place to work out adolescent fantasies. Only those with some experience of West Indian life in the immediate post-war years could understand the delights and temptations which it offered to those seeking `experience' and sexual adventure. Like Myers, I had no moral print such as might have restrained me. I was embarrassed when I began to receive letters from people who had read my book and imagined that I was an old man -`with a long white beard', as one of them wrote - full of wisdom and compassion. I wished I could disillusion them as quickly as possible and be rid of the responsibility they were putting upon me. One day a Catholic priest arrived in the Island to stay with friends; he had, he told them, just been reading a `fascinating book' by someone called Gai Eaton. He was astonished to hear that the author was actually in Jamaica and asked how he could meet me. His friends took him to a party at which they were told I might be found. He was introduced and, seeing before him such a foolish young man, gave me a long hard look. Then he shook his head in amazement and said quietly: `You couldn't have written that book!'

He was right, and I faced, as I had done in Leo Myers' case and have done on many occasions since then, the extraordinary contradictions in human nature and, above all, the gulf that often separates the writer setting down his ideas on paper from the same man in his personal life. Whereas the aim in Islam is to achieve a perfect balance between different elements in the personality so that they work harmoniously together, point in the same direction and follow the same straight path, it is common enough in the West to find people who are completely unbalanced, having developed one side of themselves at the expense of all the others. I have sometimes wondered whether writing or speaking about wisdom may not be a substitute for achieving it. This is not exactly a case of hypocrisy (although the saying, `Physician, heal thyself!' applies) since such people are entirely sincere in what they write or say, indeed this may express what is best in them; but they cannot live up to it.
After two-and-a-half years I returned to England for family reasons. Among those who had written to me after reading my book were two men deeply versed in Guenon's writings who had followed him into Islam in its Sufi dimension. I met them. They told me that I might find what I was obviously seeking, not in India or China but closer to home and within the Abrahamic tradition; that is to say in the Sufi dimension of Islam. They asked when I intended to start practising what I preached and seek a `spiritual path'. It was time, they suggested gently but firmly, for me to think about incorporating into my own life what I already knew theoretically. I answered politely but evasively, having no intention of following their advice until I was much older and had exhausted the possibilities of worldly adventure. I did however begin to read about Islam with growing interest.
This interest aroused the disapproval of my closest friend who had been working in the Middle East and had developed a strong prejudice against Islam. The notion that this harsh religion had a spiritual dimension seemed to him absurd. It was, he assured me, nothing more than outward formalism, blind obedience to irrational prohibitions, repetitive prayers, narrow bigotry and hypocrisy. He told me stories of Muslim practices which, he thought, would convince me. I remember in particular the case he mentioned of a young woman dying painfully in hospital who had summoned the strength to get to her feet and move her iron bedstead so that she could die facing Mecca. My friend was sickened by the thought that she had added to her own suffering for the sake of a `stupid superstition'. To me, on the contrary, this seemed a wonderful story. I marvelled at this young woman's faith, distant as it was from any state of mind that I could imagine.
Meanwhile, I could not find work and was living in poverty. I applied for almost every job that I saw advertised, including the post of Assistant Lecturer in English Literature at Cairo University. This was foolish or so I thought. I had taken my degree at Cambridge in History and knew nothing of literature before the nineteenth century. How could they consider employing someone so unqualified? But they did consider it and the employ me. In October of 1950, at the age of 29, I set off for Cairo the very moment when my interest in Islam was taking root.
Among my colleagues was an English Muslim, Martin Lings, who made his home in Egypt. He was a friend of Guenon, a friend also of the two men with whom I had talked in London, and he was unlike any I had ever met before. He was the living embodiment of what, until then, had been no more than theories in my mind, and I knew that I had finally met someone who was all of a piece, whole and consistent. He lived in a traditional home just outside the city and to visit him and his wife, as I did almost every week, was to step out of the noisy bustle of modern Cairo and enter a timeless refuge in which the inward and the outward were undivided and in which the supposed realities of the world to which I was accustomed had but a shadowy existence.
I needed a refuge. I had fallen in love with Jamaica, if it is possible to fall in love with a place, and I hated Egypt simply because it was not Jamaica. Where were my Blue Mountains, my tropical sea, my beautiful West Indian girls? How could I ever have left the only place that had ever felt like home to me? But that was not all, far from it; I had left not only a place also a person, a young woman without whom life now seemed empty and hardly worth living. I learned then what the word `obsession' really means; a painful lesson but a useful one for those who try to understand themselves and others. Nothing in my previous life had any value; the reality was my need for the one person who occupied my thoughts morning to night and stepped into my dreams. When, in the course of my duties, I read love poetry aloud to my students, tears ran down my cheeks and they told each other: `Here is an Englishman with a heart. We thought all Englishmen were cold as ice!'
These students, particularly a small senior group of five or six, were also a refuge. I might hate Egypt for being 8,000 miles from where I wanted to be, but I loved these young Egyptians. I rejoiced in their warmth, openness and the trust they placed in me to teach them what they needed to know; and soon I began to love their faith, for these young people were good Muslims. I had no more doubts. If I ever found it possible to commit myself to a religion - to imprison myself in a religion - this could only be Islam. But not yet! I thought of St. Augustine's prayer: `Lord, make me chaste, but not yet', knowing that throughout the ages other young men, thinking that they had an ocean of time before them, had prayed for chastity or piety or a better way of life, but with the same reservation; and many had been taken by death in this same state.

All things being equal, I might never have overcome my hesitations. Intending eventually to accept Islam, I might have postponed the decisive act year after year and still been saying `Not yet!' when age crept up me. But all things were not equal. The longing for Jamaica and for that person grew instead of diminishing as the months passed, as though feeding upon itself. I awoke one morning to the realisation that only lack of money prevented me from returning to the Island. I made enquiries and found that, if I travelled on the deck of a steamer, I could make the journey for £70. I was sure I could save this sum by the end of the university term, and my life was at once transformed. Knowing that escape was close, I could even begin to enjoy Cairo. But one question now demanded a firm answer, and the answer could no longer be postponed. The opportunity to enter Islam might never come again. Before me was an open door. I thought that, if I did not walk through it, that door might close forever. Yet I knew what kind of life I would be living in Jamaica and doubted whether I would have the strength of character to live as a Muslim in that environment.

I made a decision that must, with good reason, seem shocking to most people, and not only to my fellow Muslims. I decided-as I put it to myself -to `sow a seed' in my heart, to accept Islam at once in the hope that the seed would one day germinate and grow into a healthy plant. I will offer no excuses for this, and I would blame no one for accusing me of insincerity and a false intention. But it is possible that they may be underestimating God's readiness to forgive human weakness and His power to bring forth plant and fruit from a seed sown in barren ground. In any case, I was under a kind of compulsion and knew what I had to do. I went to Martin Lings, poured out my story and asked him to give me the Shahada, in other words to accept my Testimony of Faith. Although hesitant at first, he did so. Full of fear and yet joyful, I prayed for the first time in my life. Next day, for this was Ramadan, I fasted, something that I could never have imagined myself doing. Soon afterwards I told my senior students the news and their delight was like a warm embrace. I had thought previously that I was close to them, but now I understood that there had always been a barrier between us. Now the barrier was down, and I was accepted as their brother. In the six weeks that remained before my secret departure (I had not told my Head of Department that I was leaving) one of them came every day to teach me Quran. I looked at my reflection in the mirror. The face was the same, but it masked a different person. I was a Muslim! Still in a state of amazement I boarded ship in Alexandria and sailed away to an uncertain future.
[ Excerpt from: Islam and The Destiny of Man ]

"In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful"

By the declining day,
Lo! man is a state of loss,
Save those who believe and do good works,
and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.

Surah Al Asr, 'The declining day', 103 : 1-3
Translation of The Noble Qur'an by Marmaduke Pickthal.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Still on Trinity: " Going in Circles"

"In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful"

"Say: He is Allah, the One!
Allah, the eternally Besought of all!
He begetteth not nor was begotten.
And there is none comparable unto Him."
Surah Al ikhlas, 112 : 1-4
Translation from The Noble Qur'an by Marmaduke Pickthal

Friday, November 26, 2010


The role of Paul of Tarsus in shaping this belief and the belief in Trinity

The notion of Jesus as son of God is something that was established under the influence of Paul of Tarsus (originally named Saul), who had been an enemy of Jesus, but later changed course and joined the disciples after the departure of Jesus.

Later, however, he initiated a number of changes into early Christian teachings, in contradiction, for instance, to disciples like Barnabas, who believed in the Oneness of God and who had actually lived and met with Jesus.

Paul is considered by a number of Christian scholars to be the father of Christianity due to his additions of the following ideas:

that Jesus is the son of God,

the concept of Atonement,

the renunciation of the Law of the Torah.

Paul did these things in hopes of winning over the Gentiles (non-Jewish people). His letters are another of the primary sources of information on Jesus according to the Christian tradition.

The original followers of Prophet Jesus opposed these blatant misrepresentations of the message of Jesus. They struggled to reject the notion of the Divinity of Jesus for close to 200 years.

One person who was an original follower of Jesus was Barnabas. He was a Jew born in Cyrus and a successful preacher of the teachings of Jesus. Because of his closeness to Jesus, he was an important member of the small group of disciples in Jerusalem who had had gathered together following the disappearance of Jesus.

The question of Jesus's nature, origin and relationship with God was not raised amongst Barnabas and the small group of disciples. Jesus was considered a man miraculously endowed by God. Nothing in the words of Jesus or the events in his life led them to modify this view.

The Gospel of Barnabas was accepted as a Canonical Gospel in the Churches of Alexandria till 325 CE Iranaeus (130-200) wrote in support of pure monotheism and opposed Paul for injecting into Christianity doctrines of the pagan Roman religion and Platonic philosophy. He quoted extensively from the Gospel of Barnabas in support of his views. This indicates that the Gospel of Barnabas was in circulation in the first and second centuries of Christianity.

In 325 (CE), a council of Christian leaders met at Nicaea and made Paul's beliefs officially part of Christian doctrine. It also ordered that all original Gospels in Hebrew script which contradicted Paul's beliefs should be destroyed. An edict was issued that anyone in possession of these Gospels would be put to death.

The Gospel of Barnabas has miraculously survived though.The original copy, well kept under secrecy in the Vatican library under lock and key


From The Noble Qur'an,
as translated by Marmaduke Pickthal

"Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not "Three" - Cease! (it is) better for you! - Allah is only One God. Far is it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son."
The Noble Qur'an

"The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) had passed away before him. And his mother was a saintly woman. And they both used to eat (earthly) food. See how We make the revelations clear for them, and see how they are turned away! (75) Say: Serve ye in place of Allah that which possesseth for you neither hurt nor use? Allah it is Who is the Hearer, the Knower. (76) Say: O People of the Scripture! Stress not in your religion other than the truth, and follow not the vain desires of folk who erred of old and led many astray, and erred from a plain road. (77) Those of the Children of Israel who went astray were cursed by the tongue of David, and of Jesus, son of Mary. That was because they rebelled and used to transgress. (78) They restrained not one another from the wickedness they did. Verily evil was that they used to do! (79)"
Al Maida , 'The Table Spread', 5 : 75-79

"On the day when We shall gather the righteous unto the Beneficent, a goodly company. (85) And drive the guilty unto Hell, a weary herd, (86) They will have no power of intercession, save him who hath made a covenant with his Lord. (87) And they say: The Beneficent hath taken unto Himself a son. (88) Assuredly ye utter a disastrous thing (89) Whereby almost the heavens are torn, and the earth is split asunder and the mountains fall in ruins, (90) That ye ascribe unto the Beneficent a son, (91) When it is not meet for (the Majesty of) the Beneficent that He should choose a son. (92) There is none in the heavens and the earth but cometh unto the Beneficent as a slave. (93)"
Surah Maryam, 19 ; 86-93

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Scholarly Discussion with Donelle Bergeson[ M. Divinity]

"Laila haillallah Muhammadarasullallah"
There is no god but God, Muhammad is His messenger.
The second part of the shahadah is the 'syariah' part, one can just follow the way of Muhammad as the ulama' do or teach via the hadith and the sunnah.'There is no god but God', this first part of the shahadah requires true faith. There is no short cut to this. It has to come through ilm, ilm and ilm......We have to know our Qur'an.

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
"Alif. Lam. Mim. Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. He hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture with truth, confirming that which was (revealed) before it, even as He revealed the Torah and the Gospel. Aforetime, for a guidance to mankind; and hath revealed the Criterion of right and wrong. Lo! those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah, theirs will be a heavy doom. Allah is Mighty, Able to Requite (the wrong). Lo! nothing in the earth or in the heavens is hidden from Allah. He it is Who fashioneth you in the wombs as pleaseth Him. There is no God save Him, the Almighty, the Wise."
Surah Al Imran,'Family of Imran', 3 : 1-6
Translation of The Noble Qur'an by Marmaduke Pickthal

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Christmas, Santa Claus and Islam...

Labels within present day Muslims : Salafi, Wahhabi, Sufi., etc etc and etc........

"In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds,
The Beneficent, the Merciful.
Owner of the Day of Judgement,
Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help.
Show us the straight path,
The path of those whom Thou hast favoured. Not (the path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray."
Surah Al Fatihah, 1 : 1-7
Translation of The Noble Qur'an by Marmaduke Pickthal


Islam is universal. For Arabs, Causcasians, Mongoloids, Polynesians, Malays, Indians and Negroids;whites, red, brown, black and yellow....along the 'straight path',it is Allah's mercy that there exist minor variations here and there to contain the great cross cultural and time divides. These are issues of leaves and branches, 'rantings' and twigs.The Big Tree consists of Shahadah, prayer, zakat,fasting and Haj. The main trunk and central doctrine is one and one only," Laila haillallah, Muhammadarasullallah "; there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is HIS last messenger. The earlier we present day Muslims stop pointing fingers to one another trying and claiming to out best one another, the better it would be for the ummah of Muhammad. Otherwise we will just remain as 'flotsams' pushed aside by the 'waves of time'!!!.


Wahhabi (Arabic : الوهابية, Al-Wahhābīyya) is a Sunni Islamic sect based on the teachings of Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab, an 18th century scholar from what is today known as Saudi Arabia, who advocated purging Islam of what he considered impurities. Wahhabism is the dominant form of Islam in Saudi Arabia.It is often referred to as a "sect" or "branch" of Islam, though its supporters and some opponents reject such appellations. It has developed considerable influence in the Muslim world in part through Saudi funding of mosques, schools and social programs.
The primary Wahhabi doctrine is Tawhid, the uniqueness and unity of God.Ibn Abd-al-Wahhab was influenced by the writings of Ibn Taymiyya and questioned medieval interpretations of Islam, claiming to rely on the Qur'an and the Hadith.He attacked a "perceived moral decline and political weakness" in the Arabian Peninsula and condemned idolatry, the popular cult of saints, and shrine and tomb visitation.

Al Ghazali.....

“In the bloom of my life, from the time I reached puberty before I was twenty until now, when I am over fifty, I have constantly been diving daringly into the depth of this profound sea and wading into its deep water like a bold man, not like a cautious coward. I would penetrate far into every mazy difficulty. I would scrutinize …!”
Imam Al Ghazali

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Message.....the movie

"Alif. Lam. Mim. This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off (evil). Who believe in the Unseen, and establish worship, and spend of that We have bestowed upon them; And who believe in that which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) and that which was revealed before thee, and are certain of the Hereafter. These depend on guidance from their Lord. These are the successful."
Al Baqarah, 'The Cow', 2 : 1-5
Translation of The Noble Qur'an by Marmaduke Pickthal

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Real Love....A Sufi Perspective; Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

Real Love.....A Sufi perspective, Shaykh Hisham Kabbani‏

" Neither the heaven nor the earth contain Me but the human heart with piety can contain Me.."

"Alif. Lam. Ra. (This is) a Scripture which We have revealed unto thee (Muhammad) that thereby thou mayst bring forth mankind from darkness unto light, by the permission of their Lord, unto the path of the Mighty, the Owner of Praise, Allah, unto Whom belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. and woe unto the disbelievers from an awful doom; Those who love the life of the world more than the Hereafter, and debar (men) from the way of Allah and would have it crooked: such are far astray.'
'Abraham' , 14 : 1-3
Translation of The Noble Qur'an by Marmaduke Pickthal

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Conversation with Robert Fisk

This 'Conversation with Robert Fisk' must have been recorded some 4 years ago but is still relevant today for lessons yet unlearned.....

"....I am surprised if there would not be more 911's.."..Robert Fisk

Friday, November 19, 2010

Aidil Adzha letter to an Agnostic Friend....A Rebuttal by Dato HC

Dear Dr Nik Howk,

I have just seen your thoughtful letter to your friend, with the call-sign of 'jublintan65', that you copied to me. He is, I think, an intelligent person, because anyone who has never doubted his belief may not have thought deeply about it. He is courageous because he faces his doubts head on. Mother Theresa had severe bouts of doubt about her faith, and spoke about it to her confessor and to close friends. Even W, in his latest presidential memoir, confessed to earlier periods of doubt, though I think he lacked the faculty and stamina to delve below the surface. Had he persisted in the good habit of asking questions, Iraq would be a less tragic place today. You also made mention that we had a brief polemical session. True. The conversation took the "orange and apple" path, and came to an end.

I am writing this brief comment because I noted your rhetorical question to jublintan65 - where you asked him to ponder, what could have happened in the time, in the few seconds, just before the Big Bang?

First of all, let me comment that people of most faiths, mainly of the Book, have moved their goal posts many, many times in history, as science progressed with new knowledge and understanding of the human condition and the reality of the cosmos. At first followers are told to believe that the world was created 10,000 years ago, and that the sun went up in the East and came down in the West. Then, science proved it to be otherwise. Oh, sorry, there has been a mistake - it is then agreed that the heliocentric view is right after all, the world is indeed round, and it goes around the sun.

Science proved the existence of dinosaurs. Nope, followers are told, there never were such creatures as dinosaurs. They would have been mentioned in the Book. Then, the position changed to yes, there were, but it all happened 10,000 years ago, and man had lived side by side with those horrifying creatures... Evolution? Absolutely not! Heresy! But the proof, one piling upon the other at many levels, from fossil remains to DNA, became too irresistible. Today the Vatican is setting up a university to study Evolution in a scientific way, to see if it can be explained by doctrine.

You are a man of science, Doc, and I respect you as an accomplished professional. I am sure you can see the inconsistencies that are being bandied about today. I can see that jublintan65 is an educated person who deals with doubts in a humble and rational manner. It is a good approach. We should think for ourselves, not be told what to think or do. This is not arrogance. Far from it. It is humility of the ignorant to seek to understand, and to be kind and civil to all.

Let me digress a little. A good friend of mine took an overseas friend (a Caucasian visitor) to visit and admire the architecture of a beautiful mosque here. He made sure that the visitor was modestly and respectfully dressed, with slacks and a long-sleeved batik. My friend and the imam knew each other from regular Friday prayers. But when the imam saw my friend with the visitor, he chased them both out of the compound. He scolded my friend, "Why do you bring najis here?". Now, must we give is to a group that think that way? My wife and I have enjoyed visiting the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. Many non-Muslim tourists, I noticed, were welcome to view the historic building. Why then, in this country, are non-Muslims called "najis", and are treated as such? I am deeply saddened. But I digress.

I return to your question, what happened at the time just before the Big Bang? Have I framed the question correctly, just as you meant it? I assume that I have. The answer is, as I think you already know, time and space began with the Big Bang. The time-space continuum started with the Big Bang. Therefore it makes no logical sense to ask what happened at the time just before the Big Bang, because there was no such thing as Time, or Space, then. That this is counterintuitive, I agree, and it takes some time to grasp it. Just as the concept of a round Earth was difficult for the Medieval man to grasp. Or the incredible speed of light to those unfamiliar with Physics, even today. Or how a particle can be in two places at the same time (according to the Heisenberg Uncertainly Principle that you know well). And many other aspects of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. Our brain, in the millions of years of evolution, did not develop in the way we can understand this because these dimensions - the very large and the very small, were never necessary for our survival. Our intuitions were shaped in such a way as only to help us fend off the real challenges (e.g. hunger, thirst, predators, etc.) to our survival.

So Doc, and jublintan65, it would seem that it is not logical to ask "What happened at the time before the Big Bang. Because time, and space, had not happened yet. In other words, it would as illogical as asking, "What happened just before I had dinner tomorrow?" Dinner tomorrow had not happened yet. In truth, we are the prisoners of our intuition,
an intuition that has been honed over millions of years of evolution. And counter-intuition is not always easy to grasp.

Those who ask out of curiosity do so out of humility and honesty. Many Muslims scholars, and many students of the Book, explore their uncertainties with honesty, always seeking an answer that makes sense. Jublintan65 should not feel uncomfortable. It is natural to try and scratch an intellectual itch. It is just possible that a few of those who reject honest questions "into sensitive areas" do so out of a sense of absolute certainty and, perhaps, a bit of hubris. And also, could it be, a bit of fear?

Salams and best wishes in the season of Eid-il Adha.




Many thanks to you for your erudite response and a 'Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adzha' both to you and 'The Datin'.

Yes certainly my question on the milliseconds and million years before the 'Big Bang' was a planted one! Only a hardcore materialist/agnostic/atheist would notice this obvious 'slip of the mind' and retort back and say that the 'time-space-matter' continuum is non existent.

Nothing exist before the Big Bang??!! Stephan Hawkings, Carl Sagan and that currently famous Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins,author of "The God Delusion" all agreed that there was nothing before The Big Bang. Not even time and most importantly not even God.

The Big Bang just happened to happen. Then you have billions of stars and gallaxies moving outwardly. Then in a very localised minute portion of the universe molecules got together and under the right environment form genes and later form microbes.Millions of years later, microbes coalesce and form multicellular organism algae, and many more millions of years, fishes,amphibions....then apes........then MAN after several quantum leaps! All by chance. Darwinian theory. No 'Gardener'!

You guys can accept these odd which amount to one to several billion billion billion billion billion chance of a happening but Dawkins and the likes of him can go on stage and say that God being there behind The Big Bang is an impossibility![ see Man Rabbuka, another article ]

By Allah,if this is not the mother of all intellectual arrogance, what is!?
Oxford U is famous for it's beautiful gardens. They do not have gardeners there.The plants and trees just organised and arrange themselves after years of genetic selections, weathering and students and professors walking by!

"Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and we made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe? (30) And We have placed in the earth firm hills lest it quake with them, and We have placed therein ravines as roads that haply they may find their way. (31) And we have made the sky a roof withheld (from them). Yet they turn away from its portents. (32) And He it is Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. They float, each in an orbit. (33) We appointed immortality for no mortal before thee. What! if thou diest, can they be immortal! (34) Every soul must taste of death, and We try you with evil and with good, for ordeal. And unto Us ye will be returned." (35)
Surah Al Anbiya [ The Prophets ], Chapter 22 : 30-35

We in Islam can accept The Big Bang, no big deal. It is a non issue. As I said earlier, and I hope my friend ZZ share the same feeling now after several days of soul searching, Evolution as it is understood now, is not yet palatable on the 'plate' and cannot blend in for some.It could well be, or it may not, and we await for 'better science' to clarify things further. That Vatican move to set up a faculty to delve deeper into evolution is a positive step. As I have said earlier, it should not be an issue for us Muslims. Islam is about truth, we just need to keep our hearts and minds open even if our ulama' in the sciences have not yet even enter into the scientific discourse! Since the fall of the Ottomans, we have been stuck in the 'branches and lost within the leaves'.

As science goes, the goal posts keep changing. ZZ, you Dato' and your good friend Dawkins and myself, we are just mere gold fishes in an opaque silver goblet placed near a windowsill in down town Manhattan. All of us can hear the din and the traffic downstairs and we know things must be real busy but if that Dawkins fellow wants to tell us that from the noise and the din he can surmise and able to know exactly all the nooks and corners of the intricate New York subway and the streets, and on top of that also know what goes on in the head of President Obama that is his own funeral. If ZZ and you would like to follow as well, I have no argument. This is a free world, even within the narrow confine of the opaque silver goblet! That analogy Dato' , in essence, summaries the over glorified human intellect. We, even hard-core scientists and cosmologists, know very little, even at this point in time when we already think we know almost everything!

"And if all the trees in the earth were pens, and the sea, with seven more seas to help it, (were ink), the words of Allah could not be exhausted. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise. Your creation and your raising (from the dead) are only as (the creation and the raising of) a single soul. Lo! Allah is Hearer, Knower"
Surah Al Luqman, 31 : 27-28

Scientists can spend their whole lives studying and contemplating on subatomic particles and the secret of the cosmos but the mysteries of the human soul and that of human consciousness is outside the realm of all of them. All these tools of modernity will not be able to measure or perceive the depth of the human heart.

" They ask you about the human soul. Tell them you know but very little"...

There we are, we are back one whole circle. Imam Ghazali scoured the arid desert of Iraq for years to clear up the desert in his heart. He came back with the simple realization that, that desert in his heart could only be an oasis of understanding and wisdom when he opens up his to Him.........Is not God sufficient for His servants?
The rest will rightfully fall into their respective places.....including evolution my dear ZZ since your querrel with Allah is just over the issue of evolution. Yes, even evolution!

Let us listen to TJ Winter, another Oxford don, who gave a lecture recently on " Is not God sufficient for His servants ". If Dato' care to listen carefully, it is still 'apples and oranges', but both can coalesce if we care to open our hearts to HIM.

Dato', you will still insist yet again by saying I am discussing 'apples' while you are talking 'oranges' and both cannot mix.
Frankly , to be truthful, I have no patience for people like Dawkins. Once one has reach that state, of '5 or 6' in his scales of things, I would rather leave him alone. Hopefully ZZ and your goodself are still at '1 or 2', that there is God somewhere but you would not care a lot about WHO HE IS; and can still be persuaded to 'turn around' insyaallah!

"Say: O disbelievers! I worship not that which ye worship; Nor worship ye that which I worship. And I shall not worship that which ye worship. Nor will ye worship that which I worship. Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion."

Dawkins and the likes of him are atheists one might say. In my book they have a religion. They worship their own ego and their limited intellect !


Dr Nik Howk

1...Dawkins' Scale of Things:.....The Arrogance of the Intellect....
according to Richard Dawkins, a distinction between agnosticism and atheism is unwieldy and depends on how close to zero we are willing to rate the existence of any given god-like entity. Since in practice it is not worth contrasting a zero probability with a probability that is nearly indistinguishable from zero, he prefers to categorize himself as a "de facto atheist". He specifies his position by means of a scale of 1 to 7. On this scale, 1 indicates "100 per cent probability of God." A person ranking at 7 on the scale would be a person who says "I know there is no God..." Dawkins places himself at 6 on the scale, which he characterizes as "I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there", but leaning toward 7. About himself, Dawkins continues that "I am agnostic only to the extent that I am agnostic about fairies at the bottom of the garden."

2.....Another example of... Arrogance of the Intellect
let us move over to Florida and see a debate..

Frankly, to me, being brought on a staple diet of science very early on, I am still not bias about it's contribution with respect to us. It however does not explain everything and I do not need science to validate God, fullstop.

Most importantly,there is 'The Designer' Who design, create and own The Big Bang....whether there follows an evolution of the species so many million million years after the formation of the universe leading to man, or whether there is not, is inconsequential to me at present in the understanding and the acceptance of HIM.

I would await for 'better science' to clarify evolution further in a more clear way. Presently there is too much IMAGINE, IMAGINE, IMAGINE with respect to evolution. In the West it has taken the status akin to a religion!.
Even if say in a 100 years finally 'better science' does clarify evolution further, that in my mind would not negate the role of 'The Gardener'. More than anything else, if such a situation is reached His role as an INTELLIGENT DESIGNER is more enhanced.

Khutabah Series: The Way Forward...TJ Winter

TJ Winter, Prof in Divinity , Oxford U.Translator of Imam Ghazali's treatise 'Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife' and his other works.

Timothy John "Tim" Winter (born 1960), also known as Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, is a British Muslim researcher, writer, columnist and teacher - widely known as one of the world's leading Islamic scholars. His profile and work have attracted significant media coverage both in the Muslim World and the West. Conversant in both traditional Islamic scholarship and Western thought and civilization, Winter has made contributions in the following areas: Muslim-Christian relations, Islamic ethics, Sufism, Islamic theology, Hadith studies, orthodox Muslim responses to extremism, sexuality in Islam, Islam and gender, Islam and the West, British Islam, religious life in Ottoman Turkey, and the Scriptural Reasoning project.

"And when they came in before Joseph, he took his parents unto him, and said: Come into Egypt safe, if Allah will! (99) And he placed his parents on the dais and they fell down before him prostrate, and he said: O my father! This is the interpretation of my dream of old. My Lord hath made it true, and He hath shown me kindness, since He took me out of the prison and hath brought you from the desert after Satan had made strife between me and my brethren. Lo! my Lord is tender unto whom He will. He is the Knower, the Wise. (100) O my Lord! Thou hast given me (something) of sovereignty and hast taught me (something) of the interpretation of events - Creator of the heavens and the earth! Thou art my Protecting Friend in the world and the Hereafter. Make me to die submissive (unto Thee), and join me to the righteous. (101) This is of the tidings of the Unseen which We inspire in thee (Muhammad). Thou wast not present with them when they fixed their plan and they were scheming. (102) And though thou try much, most men will not believe. (103) Thou askest them no fee for it. It is naught else than a reminder unto the peoples. (104) How many a portent is there in the heavens and the earth which they pass by with face averted! (105) And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners (unto Him). (106) Deem they themselves secure from the coming on them of a pall of Allah's punishment, or the coming of the Hour suddenly while they are unaware? (107) Say: This is my Way: I call on Allah with sure knowledge. I and whosoever followeth me - Glory be to Allah! - and I am not of the idolaters. (108) We sent not before thee (any messengers) save men whom We inspired from among the folk of the townships - Have they not travelled in the land and seen the nature of the consequence for those who were before them? And verily the abode of the Hereafter, for those who ward off (evil), is best. Have ye then no sense? - (109) Till, when the messengers despaired and thought that they were denied, then came unto them Our help, and whom We would was saved. And Our wrath cannot be warded from the guilty. (110) In their history verily there is a lesson for men of understanding. It is no invented story but a confirmation of the existing (Scripture) and a detailed explanation of everything, and a guidance and a mercy for folk who believe."

epic story of Prophet Joseph from.
Surah Yusuf, 12 : 99-111
Translation of The Noble Quran by Marmaduke Pickthal

TJ Winter is right, Muslims do have a narrative of PEACE to the rest of the world. PEACE that is not clouded by falsehood, ideology and petty egoism.
'they attribute partners (unto Him)'....In this 21st century, 'our partners' are no longer the 'tok pekong' under the big tree or 'idols in the temples'.'Partners' here are our egos, intellect,all the false isms and ideology.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

An Aidil Adzha Letter to an Agnostic Friend.....


I feel humbled by your frank admission yesterday to me about your inner 'crisis of faith'. Actually I would not be telling you the truth if I hide the fact that I have been waiting all these 25 years or so for your frank admission. A long wait indeed my friend, but while on one hand I was worried for your soul if you happened to be called back 'inter-state, yet on the other, I have to respect your 'personal' space.Now that you have 'open up' your inner sanctum to me I feel free and felt duty bound to ' grind' and 'burn' you. It has been a long long wait so pardon my 'language if you find it a wee bit tough! I am certainly not going to allow you go away un-bruised for the trepidation you have caused us, your close friends, to suffer in silence all these years... Nonetheless when it does come yesterday, I could not gather my wit fast enough to give you on the spot a fair rebuttal on behalf of all of us who have faith in Him. Thus this letter today..

Your 'existential vacuum' is not unique. Even Imam Ghazali, hujjatul Islam as he was known in the Muslim world then and now, had a much bigger 'spiritual confusion' than you, when he was at the height of his career as the doyen of Nazamiyah University, a well known centre of excellence during his time. His students were not only from all the Muslim hinterland of that time, they were also non Muslims from Europe.St Thomas Aquinas, the biggest hujjatul Trinity ever [ 'intellectual ammo' for Trinity.When Paris, London and Florence were still in darkness and plagued with rats and pestilence, Muslim's Serville, Cordoba and Baghdad were cities of 'Light' both figuratively and literally in 1100 CE ], was one of his students!. That speaks volume of Imam Ghazali's stature. A man of his spiritual stature, having a crisis of faith at the pinnacle of his career!

"It was, he says in his auto biography, due to his realization that there was no way to certain knowledge or the conviction of revelatory truth". He was then very much in cosmology and astronomy, and just watching the movement of the sun and the moon, suddenly made him realised that he might have been teaching and preaching all along just an illusion ,far from absolute truth. He took off for several years and disappeared into the desert of Syria. Whatever crisis he had while within the straight jacket of Islamic orthodoxy was duly healed by years of self examination in the dry arid land of Iraq being close to Islamic sufism. Years later he reappeared in Baghdad a renewed man, even stronger in his conviction . From then on Imam Ghazali tried to bridge the gap between Islamic orthodoxy and the mystics. The result was a brilliant long treatise on ' The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife' and the voluminous IHYA. He was the mujadid of that century . The man responsible for bringing renewal to Islamic knowledge that was on the wane.

What are you and I compared to the intellectual and spiritual height of Al Ghazali?

You tell me you cannot accept Islam and the faith because to you ,' EVOLUTION' in the 21st century stands out like a sore thumb as the ultimate , almost absolute truth, and your reading and discourse so far about Islam and Muslim's status with respect to "EVOLUTION" is just a total rejection of it. This to you is untenable. Apart from that you have no querrel with the tenets of Islam. Alahamdullillah!

ZZ, as always the perfect intellectual, as I have known you for the last 25 years or so.:You have no querrel with Islam but you cannot accept Allah because the Muslims, presently cannot accept Evolution. So evolution to you now is the only sticking point. Mashaallah!

I always maintain that Allah does not need science to validate Himself but for the sake of your line of thinking I will attempt to come to your level and try to rationalise a reasonable position which I hope both you and I can accept.

To me at least presently EVOLUTION is no big deal. The last word on evolution, to my rather simplistic mind, is not yet sealed however much we all think about it, science being science. I know you may disagree with me vehemently, since you are a Zoology- Botany specialist since High School and top your Med School in UK in your undergraduate days, and thus you think you can assume a monopoly of knowledge on this subject.....OK if you are still not happy, so hypothetically allow me to change gear...Let us say I accept your contention that Evolution is already an absolute truth!!! That still cannot change my faith in Allah and Islam.

Just because a bunch of top Muslim ulama' now cannot figure out how to put Evolution on the 'Islamic plate' to blend along with Islam does not mean a negation of Allah and His message.[ A bunch of them in our very own Malaysia cannot still figure out when is the exact right day for Hari Raya after so many years, so what is the big deal!!??]. I am not agreeing with you but I am putting myself in your position and am saying to you even then my position on Allah and His message does not change an iota. To me this is just that this bunch of 'scientific ulama'' still not being able to decipher the proper meaning and ramifications of the 'muthasyabihat ayats' in The Quran . There are several hundreds of these ayats in the Quran which are purely allegorical waiting for fuller comprehension, waiting for better science or better ulama' who can enter into much higher cerebral discourse.

'Our' sciences or rather our Muslim scientists with an Islamic bent have not reach that level of sophistication just yet , not helped by the main body's inertia towards ijtihad and using the grey mater beyond 12th century...Ijtihad stopped at the 12th century. The totally stupidest perception that what need to be thinked and conceptualised has been fully thought and worked up and there is no more necessity for intellectual discourse beyond the magical demarkation of the 12th century....The death of ijtihad and so with it , THINKING. And this is not the fault of Islam...This is our monumental fault which contribute to our ummah's malaise currently..

We just have to concede that our level of knowledge is still 'not there'. Our ulama' in the sciences have not even join in the 'discourse'. We are million miles at the back, but we know the universe has been there millions of years before the animal world, and the microbial world has been in existence millions of years before the animal world and the mammalian world is just a newcomer on the scene. I can accept that in Islam. This is not against my Islamic faith and belief. Of course the rest of our ulama' have no clue. They are not even in the discourse!

My problem now is putting Evolution on the 'Islamic plate'. That to me is a scale of 'grey areas'... I would just put the question of Evolution on the 'back burner' and come back to it later....So what? There are zillion other grey areas in this world.

Allah in one of His surah[ apakahnamadiadah surah itu!] in His Divine Letters,The Noble Qur'an, in just 2 ayats Said to this effect, from my limited and humble understanding at least:

"You numbskulls think that it is difficult for Me to create you from nothing to someone alive with emotions and lust and oftentimes stupidity and stubborn-headedness, then died and reborn again! I just say,Be [ Kun], and so it be![ Fayakun].
Just think for a moment you numbskulls! The universe is many hundred thousand times more difficult in complexity and sheer size for Me to create and I need to just say, Be[ Kun], and so it be ![ Fayakun]"

ZZ, If I am God, I would add ' What the bloody heck!' and add a few long expletives which your type of guys really deserve!....and a couple of very tight slap on the face as well for being so bloody insolent and 'bengang'!

"Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and we made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe? (30) And We have placed in the earth firm hills lest it quake with them, and We have placed therein ravines as roads that haply they may find their way. (31) And we have made the sky a roof withheld (from them). Yet they turn away from its portents. (32) And He it is Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. They float, each in an orbit. (33) We appointed immortality for no mortal before thee. What! if thou diest, can they be immortal! (34) Every soul must taste of death, and We try you with evil and with good, for ordeal. And unto Us ye will be returned." (35)
Surah Al Anbiya [ The Prophets ], Chapter 22 : 30-35
Translation of The Noble Qur'an by Marmaduke Pickthal

If this is not referring to the so-called " Big Bang" which some of your very clever agnostic friends like Stephen Hawkins, Carl Sagan and Dawkins like to refer to, I personally do not know what else!

And have some of your clever friends ever asked themselves whatever happened a millisecond before the Big Bang? A million years before the Big Bang?? What they cannot imagine and cannot measure in their very limited 'heads' cannot be there?? My God this is the mother of all arrogance! We are just like gold fishes in a silver goblet on a table by the window in a down town Manhattan apartment. Even the cleverest of us 'gold fish' with triple digit IQ cannot be expected to know the ways and by-ways in New York, the twist and turns of its million streets, let alone read the mind of President Obama.

"And if all the trees in the earth were pens, and the sea, with seven more seas to help it, (were ink), the words of Allah could not be exhausted. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise. Your creation and your raising (from the dead) are only as (the creation and the raising of) a single soul. Lo! Allah is Hearer, Knower. Hast thou not seen how Allah causeth the night to pass into the day and causeth the day to pass into the night, and hath subdued the sun and the moon (to do their work), each running unto an appointed term; and that Allah is aware of what ye do? That (is so) because Allah, He is the True, and that which they invoke beside Him is the False, and because Allah, He is the Sublime, the Great."
Surah Luqman, 31 : 27-30

That "false God" that Allah is alluding to is modern man's present insolent arrogance to our 'akal', intellect. 'What I cannot see ,cannot measure and cannot perceive is not there'.

You and I know that this universe is an ever expanding universe composing of billions of gallaxies and the diameter from one extreme end of light to the furthest extreme end of light is a couple of billion light years away!!

So why this very selective myopia then??

There are a million mysteries science cannot explain, and just because the present Muslims now cannot put EVOLUTION on the plate for you to understand, you cannot say yes to Allah!!!

I would like to resort back to my expletives but since you are my good friend and today is Eidil Adzha, I say 'Maaf, Zahir Batin' to you. Come over to my place and and join me for 'Nasi Dagang', for all of us are just transient visitors on this planet. Our final station ,insyaallah, is Jannatul Firdaus.

Insyaallah, with His guidance and blessing, all of us will be OK.

Dr Nik Howk:

PS: If you are still not convinced,
Surf Prof Mahdi's lecture on audio. He was a quantum physicist who retired some years ago in Malaysia and founded the Khalifah movement.
He 'saw' Allah in Quantum physics. He is the man for you.
Sadly he died several years ago of pancreatic cancer.