Saturday, October 20, 2012

Reading on Fathi Yakan's To be a Muslim - In Islamic creed

Fathi Yakan : To be a Muslim 


1.1. The Creed (Aqidah)

The first requirement for a person who has accepted Islam as his way of life is to understand and accept certain teachings or elements of knowledge that one can know only from revelation. These are called the creed or Aqidah. The correct Aqidah has been revealed by all the Prophets, but most precisely in the Qura’n and sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). One learns the Aqidah as taught by the early generations of Muslims and by the great scholars who demonstrated their piety and true understanding about Islam.
The Aqidah of a Muslim may be diferentiated into the following five beliefs: belief in Allah; the final judgement; revelation through angels, books and messengers; charity; and prayer, as described in Surah al-Baqarah, verse 177:
It is not piety that you turn your faces towards East or West – But truly pious is he who believes in Allah and the
Last Day, and the angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; and spend of his substance, out of love for Him, upon his near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and those who ask, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage; and is steadfast in prayer, and gives regular charity; and (truly pious are) they who keep their promises whenever they promise, and are firm and patient, in pain (or su®ering) and adversity, and in times of peril. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing.
*The small letter (s) used in this book after the Prophet’s name stands for sall-allahu alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings be upon him).

1.1.1. Allah
1. The Creator of the universe is Allah, the Allknowing, the Almighty, and the One who needs no help. This is also demonstrated by the beauty and complexity of this universe. The parts of the universe each need one another in order to ensure their existence and stability. A single part cannot exist without the others.
Such a beautiful universe cannot come into existence without the design and sustenance of Allah the Almighty. Allah the Almighty has said:
If there were, in the heavens and the earth, other gods besides Allah, there would have been confusion in both! But glory be to Allah, the Lord of the Throne; (Far Exalted is He) above what they attribute to Him. [Qur’an 21:22]

2. Allah created this world with a purpose, and everything in it has its own divinely ordained purpose. Allah has the attribute of completeness, so everything he does has purpose and coherence. Allah’s purpose and goals for creating this world can be known only through His messengers or Words. Allah the Almighty has said:
Did you then think that We had created you in jest, and that you would not be brought back to us (for account)? Therefore exalted be Allah, the King, the Reality: There is no god but He, the Lord of the Throne of Honour! [Qur’an 23:115-116]
3. The purpose of life in this world is to know, serve and worship Allah. Allah the Almighty has said:
I have created jinns and men, that they may serve Me. No sustenance do I require of them, nor do I require that they should feed Me. For Allah is He who gives (all) sustenance, the Lord of Power, Steadfast (forever). [Qur’an 51:56-58]
4. The attributes of Allah are unlimited. The Qur’an mentions 99 attributes and many verses show the completeness of His uluhiyyah (godliness or worthiness to be worshipped). Among these attributes alqayyum (the self-subsisting), almuqaddam (the promoter. and albaqi (the eternal, as distinct from makhluk, or His creation. He has no son, no father, and no comparison. He does not need help from His creatures but His creatures do need help from Him. He is unique (al abid) in His being, attributes, work, and leadership. He is al ’alim (all-knowing), al hayy (the living), at wasi’ (the all-embracing), and has many other attributes unknown to us).

1.1.2. Final judgement
1. Paradise is the reward for the obedient mumin (believer) and hell-fire is the punishment for disbelievers. Allah the Almighty has said:
(When) some will be in the Paradise, and some in the blazing fire.’[Qur’an 42:7]
2. All members of mankind are able to do good and avoid evil through their e®ort and will, but one cannot do good without help and good fortune (taufiq) from Allah. Allah the Almighty has said:
By the soul and the proportion and order given to it, and its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right - truly he succeeds who purifies it, and he fails that corrupts it.[Qur’an 7-10]
Every soul will be (held) in pledge for its deeds.[Qur’an 74:38]
3. One should remain close to Allah whether alone or not. Allah, the Almighty has said:
Do you not see that Allah knows (all) that is in the heavens and on earth? There is not a secret consultation among three persons but He is the fourth among them nor between five but He is the sixth nor between fewer nor more but He is in their midst, wheresoever they be, in the end will He tell the truth of their conduct, on the Day of Judgement. For Allah has full knowledge of all things.[Qur’an 58:7]

1.1.3. Revelation
1. Allah has sent His messengers with the Books of revelation so that all of mankind may know Allah, their purpose in this world, and their final destination.
Prophet Muhammad (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is the final prophet among the prophets that Allah has sent. He was helped and strengthened by Allah with the Qur’an, the only miracle that lasts forever.
2. Allah alone has the right to make laws. The Shari’ah or law of Allah cannot be overruled. A Muslim is limited to ijtehad or intellectual e®ort in deriving laws from the shari’ah Allah the Almighty has said:
Whatever it be wherein you di®er, the decision thereof is with Allah: Such is Allah my Lord: in Him I trust, and to Him I turn? [Qur’an 42:10]
3. Human traditions and the opinion of the earlier generations of Muslim scholars in ta’wil (interpretation of the Qur’an and hadith) are important. The ta’wil made by the scholars of the later generations should not cause bitter arguments between traditionalist and modernist groups.

1.1.4. Charity
One should love Allah so much that one’s heart is always looking for Him. This love for Allah will impel one to good deeds, sacrifice, and struggle for His sake, so much so that one’s attachment to this temporary world and to one’s family cannot stop one from doing good deeds. He has said:
Say, if your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred, and nation or the wealth that you have gained, or the commerce in which you fear a decline, or the dwellings in which you delight - are dearer to you than Allah or His messenger and the striving in His cause then wait until Allah brings about His decision; and [know that Allah] does not guide the rebellious. [Qur’an 9:24]
One should sacrifice in the cause of Allah because one likes to taste the sweetness of faith. The Prophet said (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him):
Those who have three things will taste the sweetness of faith, namely, a love for Allah and His Messenger greater than for anything else, a love for another only because of Allah, and hatred of returning to kufr (unbelief) as strong as one’s hatred of being thrown into hell-fire. [Bukhari]

1.1.5. Prayer
1. One must serve Allah alone, and not admit any rivals to Him or partners. A Muslim worships Allah because Allah has ordered him through His Messenger to do so. Allah the Almighty has said:
For We assuredly sent amongst every people a messenger (with the command) serve Allah and avoid evil. [Qur’an 16:36]
2. Every Muslim should learn and try to understand the names or attributes of Allah. Abu Hurairah narrated a hadith that the Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:
Allah has 99 names, a hundred less one; everyone of you who memorizes them will be in Paradise. Allah is odd (not even) and Allah loves odd things. [Bukhari]
3. Allah should be remembered by reciting His names. Such dhikr or remembrance of Allah is the best medicine to cure the soul. It is also the most e®ective weapon to fight against problems of the world. Allah the Almighty told the Prophet to say:
He (Allah) guides to Himself all who turn to Him those who believe and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah - for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah human hearts find satisfaction. [Qur’an 13:28]
Allah, the Almighty has said:
If anyone withdraws himself from remembrance of Allah Most Gracious, We appoint for him an evil one to be his intimate companion. [Qur’an 43.36]
4. Man should ponder the creation of Allah, not his dhat or person. The Prophet said in one hadith:
Ponder the creation of Allah and not about the person of Allah, because you will not be able to comprehend it. [This hadith has been narrated by Abu Nuiam in al-Hilyah, and also by al-Asfihani in atTarghib uia-tarhib.]
5. One must fear only Allah. Such awe of Allah and fear of separation from Him strengthens one to abstain from all that is forbidden. Allah the Almighty has said:
And for those who fear their Lord unseen, for them is forgiveness and a great reward. [Qur’an 67:12]
Such as obey Allah and His messenger and fear Allah and do right will win (in the end). [Qur’an 24:7]
6. One should depend on Allah in every matter and make tawakul (trust in Allah). This generates such strength of commitment that one will feel at ease in everything one does. Allah the Almighty has said:
And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, su±cient is (Allah) for him. [Qur’an 65:3]
The Prophet (s) said:
Be mindful of Allah, and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of Allah; if you seek help, seek help of Allah. Know that if the nations were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that Allah had already prescribed for you, and if they gather together to harm you with anything, they would harm you only with something Allah had already
prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried. [Tirmidhi]
7. One should thank Allah for His mercy and unlimited gifts. Thankfulness is part of virtue. Allah, the Almighty has said:
And Allah has brought you forth from your mothers’ wombs knowing nothing but He gave you hearing and sight and intelligence and a®ections so that you might have cause to be grateful. [Qur’an 16:78]
A sign for them is the earth that is dead. We give it life and produce from it grain which you eat. And we produce orchards in it with date-palms and vines, and We cause springs to gush forth from it, so that they may enjoy the fruits of this (artistry). It was not their hands that made this. Will they not then give thanks? [Qur’an 36:33-35]
Allah has promised to increase His mercy for those who thank Him, and to punish those who are ungrateful. Allah the Almighty has said:
And remember when your Lord made [this promise] known: ”If you are grateful [to me], I shall most certainly give you more and more, but if you show ingratitude, truly My punishment is severe indeed.” [Qur’an 14:7]
8. One must repent to Allah and make istighfar (a statement of repentance). This act of repentance purifies one’s contrition and faith and instills a feeling of tranquility and peace in one’s heart. Allah the Almighty has said:
If anyone does evil or wrongs his own soul but afterwards seeks Allah’s forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. [Qur’an 4:110]
And those who, when they have done something to be ashamed of or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind and ask forgiveness for their sins.- and who can forgive sins except Allah - and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done; for such the reward is forgiveness from Allah. [Qur’an 3:135-6]

* will be continued : in Worship 

Thursday, July 21, 2011



Posted by moralsandethics on November 1st, 2006


Today in some societies, particularly in the West a woman can walk semi-naked in public, swim topless, patronize bars and clubs, smoke, drink, dance in discos and have sex with anybody she feels like.

She can even serve her boyfriend, like an unpaid prostitute, and be free to murder her unborn baby if she falls pregnant. She can also compete in the business world by using her body to promote commercial commodities.

At the end of the day she will be regarded as a truly ‘liberated’ woman!

In Islam, however, Liberation of women is far more serious, noble and dignified than just the burning of bras as is done in the so-called permissive societies where the fair sex is regarded as no more than a sex object. Today the West is very quick to condemn Islamic laws, which protect purity of purpose and the intermingling of the sexes at all levels of society.

Look at the glossy cover of any magazine or advertisements on TV and newspaper, you will find that most of these advertisements have scantily dressed women in alluring poses to attract the attention of men. This proves that the Western society considers woman only as a sex symbol.

The liberation of women in Islam is far superior to Western liberation as it allows women to live with respect, dignity and equality in society.

Equality does not mean aping and behaving like men or dancing to their carnal tunes; that would be an act of inferiority in the face of one’s own femininity.

A truly liberated woman always dresses decently and modestly. A true woman will never degrade her body and sell her dignity to the highest bidder. No woman is truly liberated if she is still the slave of her wayward conscience, bodily lust or infidelity.

However, in Islam, women, whatever their role as mothers, wives, sisters or daughters, command respect and have a constructive role to play in society. The Hijab itself gives an aura of freedom to the womankind, facilitating their movement and protecting them from provocation and wanton greed of the human wolves. Removal of the Hijab makes you vulnerable to the lust of men.


There are many sisters who have failed to understand the actual meaning of Hijab. Hijab technically means covering. Islam desires the preservation of social tranquility and familial peace. Hence, it asks women to cover themselves in their inter-actions with men, whom they are not related to.


The dangerous consequences of the Western culture of nakedness and permissiveness are before us. We should think twice before blindly trying to imitate Western life-styles.


Basically, the dress of ladies should cover the whole body except the face and hands (i.e. palms & fingers). Hair should not be exposed because Islam considers it as half of the total beauty of women. The Hijab could be of any form and color, a one-piece chader or a three-piece ensemble, as long as it is not tight fitting and does not attract people’s attention.


It seeks to imprison women: Those who feel that Hijab imprisons women should refrain from living in houses because it is nearer to a prison than Hijab.

It subordinates women: In fact, culture, which promotes nakedness, takes people nearer to the culture of animals. Wearing the Hijab, on the contrary, liberates women from the trap of Western fashion and maladies. It gives them greater, rather than less freedom and mobility.

Why only women? Science has confirmed that visual stimulation plays a predominant role in the physiology of men compared to women. The fact that the sex-industry in the West is targeted towards the male-market confirms it.

Victims of Ridicule: Some of our sisters come up with the excuse that the non-believers laugh at them if they observe Hijab and they feel degraded. They may laugh for a little while but after some time they will have no choice but to respect the Muslim women observing Hijab for their discipline, which could not be shaken, by their little laughs.

Let us not forget the famous phrase: The one who laughs last laughs the longest”.

Beauty is meant to be appreciated: True! But only by the husband. Hence women who truly love their husbands would never wish to be seen in public without Hijab.


Becoming an easy target of anti-social elements.

Causing great stresses, insecurity and suspicion in the minds of husbands, ultimately disturbing the familial harmony.

Instigating young people to deviate towards the path of lust and immorality.

Giving rise to cases of divorce, adultery, rape & illegitimate children.


Confidence in social participation as human being and not as sexual commodity.

Guarding one self from the lustful looks of men.

Not diverting people’s attention from constructive social work.

Improving the moral character of the society.

In conclusion, women can achieve true dignity and experience true emancipation by observing Hijab and not by discarding it.


Say to the believing man that they cast down their glance. Allah (s.w.t.) is aware of the things they do. Holy Qur’an (24:30) To cast down one’s glance, means not to look in a fixed way, not to stare. The sentence means, “Tell the believers not to stare at or flirt with women.”

Allah (s.w.t.) has given equal rights to both men and women; He forbids either sex claiming supremacy over the other. Allah (s.w.t.) states in the Quran: “The most honored of you in the sight of Allah (s.w.t.) is (he who is) the most righteous of you.” Holy Qur’an (49:13)

Human beings must distinguish themselves from animals by decent and disciplined behavior. But how many of us take this life with the seriousness it deserves? All of us originated from one father and one mother and belong to one big family, but it is unfortunate that many of us live without any sense of collective responsibility. We are one community and the action of one-person will not only reflect on other individuals but also the whole community.

What successful women have to say?

It is amazing the way things changed overnight when I started on with Hijab. I can feel the extra respect coming my way. People take me more seriously; friends at college think it looks very neat and smart, and I feel protected and confident when I step out. Dr. Mrs. N.Z.Vakil (Medical Student)

The most important thing about Hijab is that it gives you an identity of a Muslim. Moreover, it is another way of obedience to Allah’s (s.w.t.) command. People often gives me due respect which I would have not got without a Hijab. Travelling among men has become easy for me as it makes me feel safe and protected. It also gives me a lot of confidence and last but not the least this has brought me one step closer to Allah (s.w.t.). Therefore, I consider Hijab as a blessing from Allah (s.w.t.) and I thank him for His blessing. Reshma Qazi (Arts Student)

Initially I felt I would be looked down upon in society, but after wearing Hijab, I realized that people do not give you as much importance as you feel they should. The nearness, which I felt to Allah (s.w.t) by obeying His commandment, is beyond expression. Moreover wearing Hijab has created an aura of respectability in my environment and has enabled me to remember Allah (s.w.t.) more often. Mrs. S.A. Vakil (House Wife)

I feel that at present when demoralisation is increasing in the society, every woman should wear Hijab, It is the only thing which protects a woman and makes her feel secured. Shenaz. F. Raj (College Student)

In the modern society of today, a woman has always been looked upon as just another sexual object for the men. Why should one display one’s beauty for unwanted eyes to feast upon? The Hijab protects a woman’s honor and doesn’t arouse unwanted passion from the opposite sex. I feel if the women were to universally adopt the Islamic code of dressing, the rate of incidences of eves teasing, molestation, rape, etc. would be negligible. Wearing the Hijab gives me more confidence in myself as a woman and it doesn’t obstruct me in any way in my profession. Mrs. Salva I. Rasool (Graphic Designer)


FACTS about sexual assault:

1,900 raped every day in America

WASHINGTON-Nearly 1,900 women are raped every day in America, according to a study released on Thursday that paints a much grimmer picture than US Justice Department figures announced earlier this week.The National Victim Center, which promotes the rights of victims of violent crime, said 1.3 adult women are raped every minute and 683,000 US women are raped each year, based on a survey of more that 4,000 women, including 579 rape victims.

One in eight adult American women has been raped, bringing the total of rape victims to at least 12.1 million, it said.

The survey indicated that 61 per cent of all rape cases involve women under 18 and that 29 percent of all rapes occurred when the victim was less than 11 years old. - Reuters (Source: MID-DAY Bombay 25-4-92)

Somewhere in America, a woman is raped every 2 minutes. (National Crime Victimization Survey. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, 1996)

Sexual assault is down by half since 1993, yet there were still 248,000 sexual assaults in 2001.

About 10% of sexual assault victims are men.

One in six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape.

About 2/3 of sexual assaults are committed by someone who is known to the victim.

Less than 39% of sexual assaults are reported to law enforcement.

About 44% of rape victims are under age 18; about 15% are under age 12.

(Most numbers in the above charts have been rounded. All data compiled by RAINN from US Justice Department, Bureau of Justice Statisics: National Crime Victimization Survey 2001 and prior years; Sex Offenses and Offenders 1997. All studies are available at

Other Survey

According to the Justice Department, one in two rape victims are under age 18; one in six are under age 12. (Child Rape Victims, 1992. U.S. Department of Justice)

Two new studies of adolescent girls have found that 1 in 4 has been sexually or physically abused or forced by a date to have sex against her will. (New York Times, 10/1/97)

Every 90 seconds, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN). RAINN calculation based on 1999 USDOJ NCVS data.) Globally, at least one in three women and girls had been beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime. (UN Commission on the Status of Women, 2/28/00)

A new report suggests that one in five adolescent girls become the victims of physical or sexual violence, or both, in a dating relationship. (New York Times, 8/01/01)

In 2002, there were 247,730 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault. [2002 National Crime Victimization Survey,]Of these approximately 248,000 victims, about 87,000 were victims of completed rape, 70,000 were victims of attempted rape, and 91,000 were victims of sexual assault. [2002 NCVS]

Up to 4,315 pregnancies may have resulted from these attacks. [RAINN calculation based on 2002 NCVS and medical reports.

Because of the methodology of the National Crime Victimization Survey, these figures do not include victims 12 or younger. While there are no reliable annual surveys of sexual assaults on children, the Justice Department has estimated that one of six victims are under age 12. [Child Rape Victims, 1992]

Approximately 48% of victims are raped by a friend or acquaintance; 30% by a stranger; 16% by an intimate; 2% by another relative; and in 4% of cases the relationship is unknown. [2000 NCVS.]

One out of every six American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime (14.8% completed rape;2.8% attempted rape). A total of 17.7 million women have been victims of these crimes.[Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey, National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1998.]Age 12-34 are the highest risk years. Risk peaks in the late teens: girls 16 to 19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault. [2000 NCVS.]

for more details refer to

enjoy reading ...... wassalam.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Make a difference during Ramadan

I Can Keep Fasting In Ramadan Even When I Am Playing – Fredi Kanoute

Fredi explains how he makes the seemingly impossible a reality during a certain month each year...

Aug 24, 2009 10:00:00 AMFred Kanoute - Sevilla (AFP)

To be tremendously fit is a must for all professional footballers: a demand that leads some Muslim players to forgo the duty of fasting during Ramadan, preferring to fulfill their obligation when the football season ends. However, for Sevilla’s Freddie Kanoute, this is not the case.

The former Tottenham Hotspur striker believes it is possible for a modern footballer to remain in peak physical condition during the holy month.

The likes of Kanoute, along with Real Madrid's Mahamadou Diarra, Lassana Diarra, and Karim Benzema, are the talk of football world as doctors work around the clock to formulate a routine in order to keep them hydrated during the fasting process.

And as Spanish tabloids splash headlines about the fasting month and debates rage about whether players should even be allowed to fast and play during Ramadan - Kanoute insists he just wants to get on with it.

“I try to respect my faith and follow it as best I can,” Kanoute told

“It is sometimes harder to keep the fast because here in the south of Spain it is very hot, but I can do it, thank God.

“There are many Muslim footballers who people just do not know about in England in Spain, France and in many other leagues too. But having faith and practicing Ramadan is not something they wish to tell the world about.

“Personally, having faith helps my football and football helps me to be healthy and strengthens me. There is no conflict because people who know about Islam, they know that fasting empowers and does not weaken the Muslim.”

While Barcelona's fans are wondering if the likes of Eric Abidal, Seydou Keita and Yaya Toure - all Muslims - will be fasting, Real Madrid fans know of the importance their Muslim players - especially Mahamadou Diarra - place in their religion and his traditions.

“Every coach has respected my decision,” says Diarra on his Real Madrid profile page.

“They are difficult days during which one needs to eat, but it only lasts one month. I have another ten to play well.”

The Sevilla and Real Madrid players stance on Ramadan is shared by eminent specialist - Doctor Yacine Zerguni, a member of the FIFA and CAF Sports Medical Committees.

Zerguni collaborated with F-marc, the FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre, in a study on the effects of observing Ramadan for Muslim players: two professional football clubs in Algeria agreed to undergo biological, clinical and psychological tests before, during and after the month of Ramadan.

The study constituted a world first in this particular area and formed the foundations for scientific analysis of the potential impact of Ramadan on player performance.

“This month of physical and mental self discipline, which must also be free from any unhealthy or aggressive behaviour,” Zerguni told, when asked if Ramadan was compatible with the practice of top-level football.

“Ramadan is intended be a period of internal purification and meditation; a period of regeneration. It is far from harmful. Indeed, the psychological study of the personality formed an integral part of our research project.


Ramadan is intended be a period of internal purification and meditation; a period of regeneration. It is far from harmful.


“And although many players who were tested could not adapt to playing whilst fasting, one has to remember that it is highly likely that the effects of Ramadan are also linked to the spiritual qualities and physical capabilities of each athlete.

“Therefore certain players who continuously observe Ramadan when playing: their body can adapt because they are used to it - but many players can get tired. Players will have to work on effective pre- and post-match routines that will help them conserve energy and strength.”

Both Mahamadou Diarra and Kanoute place particular emphasis on the charity work during Ramadan. They donate a large portion of their earnings to charities in Mali with the hope of building a better future for their fellow citizens.

For Kanoute, a chance to “make a difference during Ramadan” is something very close to his heart.

“During Ramadan I give my all for my club and try not to let my team-mates and the fans down," he continued. "Everyone here has been very good to me and they understand. They also understand that during Ramadan you have a chance to reach out to those in need.

“For me, my charity is very important. I wanted to help with charity work for some time and a few years ago I went ahead with it and The Mali Children’s Village cares for orphaned and vulnerable children. There is a very big need to work with children here, especially orphans.

“My father was born a Muslim but as an orphan, he didn’t really know a lot about it, but he did try to teach me a few things. Children are our future and we should always try to ensure they are safe and have a good upbringing.”

source : Mohammed Bhana,

For more information on Freddie Kanoute's charity, head to

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Prophetic Tradition on The Genetic Code

Science and Sunnah: The Genetic Code

Dr. Ibrahim B. Syed
Clinical Professor of Medicine
University of Louisville School of Medicine
Louisville, KY 40292
President, Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc
7102 W. Shefford Lane
Louisville, KY 40242-6462
Website: http://WWW.IRFI.ORG


On the authority of Abu 'Abd ar-Rahman 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud (May Allah be pleased with him), who said: The Messenger of Allah (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and he is the truthful, the believed, narrated to us:

Verily the creation of each one of you is brought together in his mother's belly for forty days in the form of seed, then he is a clot of blood for a like period, then a morsel of flesh for a like period, then there is sent to him the angel who blows the breath of life into him and who is commanded about four matters: to write down his means of livelihood, his life span. His actions, and whether happy or unhappy. By Allah, other than Whom there is no god, verily one of you behaves like the people of Paradise until there is but an arm's length between him and it. And that which has been written overtakes him and so he behaves like the people of Hell-fire and thus he enters it; and one of you behaves like the people of Hellfire until there is but an arm's length between him and it. And that which has been written overtakes him and so he behaves like the people of Paradise and thus he enters it. It was related by al-Bukhari and Muslim,

(Ref: An-Nawawi's "Forty Hadith". Translated by Ezzeddin Ibrahim and Denys Johnson-Davis. The Holy Koran Publishing House, Damascus, Syria, 1977, pp. 36-38.)

There are some Muslim thinkers who do not like the interpretation of Qur'an or Sunnah in terms of scientific terminology. However, the author believes there is nothing wrong in attempting to understand or interpret "Islam" in the light of modern knowledge. Through this article the author wants to encourage freethinking, stimulate research ideas among Muslim scholars, scientists and students so that our understanding of Qur'an and Sunnah can be furthered.

This Sunnah deals with the creation of human beings which is mentioned in great detail in Al-Qur'an. However, the astounding and astonishing matter about this Hadith is the angel who blows the breath of life into man and writes down four matters: (1) his means of Livelihood, (2) his life span, (3) his actions, and (4) whether happy or unhappy.

Before the scientific discovery of the Genetic Code and the award of Nobel Prizes to the three discoverers in 1968, it was humanly impossible to scientifically understand this Hadith. In 1990s, we are able to unravel the genetic code with regard to a person's inheritance of certain disease carrying genes. This information may tell us about an individual's life span and/or whether he will be happy or unhappy. Science is yet to discover the genes responsible for a person's "rizq" (food habits, dietetic profile, etc.) and a person's "actions" or behavior such as Type A, B, or C personality.

The present article attempts to show our current knowledge in our ability to perform genetic screening in order to understand a person's inheritance of carrying or developing a certain disease through the study of that person's genes. Our knowledge is still incomplete and we are very far away in attaining the knowledge about the four matters mentioned in this Hadith.

Inside the nucleus of a living cell there are 46 chromosomes which are visible only when the cell divides. The chromosomes are made of DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid. A certain length of the DNA is called the gene. That length of DNA that codes for complete synthesis of a protein is also called a gene. Along the 46 chromosomes of every human cell are some 100,000 genes. The U.S. Government is funding a $3 billion, 15-year Human Genome Project, under the joint leadership of the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Energy, which will allow scientists to know exactly where on our chromosomes each of our 100,000 genes reside. Among these 100,000 genes, there are a few genes, which can be lethal. Every person has a unique set of these seven or eight deadly genes. They are usually hidden, but in the wrong environment or in combination with certain other genes they can express themselves in dangerous ways. Some families carry genetic diseases for generations and they know what type of lethal genes they carry. Most of the people do not know if they carry any genetically defective genes.

In the near future it is possible to get a blue print of our genetic inheritance-and with the knowledge of the most likely cause of our own death. This test can be performed by walking into a physician's office and giving a blood sample with a finger prick. The results of the test reveal if a person has any defective genes that will cause a certain disease or the result may be negative in which case that person will not carry the disease. Most of the adult-onset diseases involve several genes. For example there are at least 17 genes responsible for just one aspect of coronary heart disease-and the genes express themselves only under certain conditions. For most of the genetic diseases it is impossible to predict with a certainty. Geneticists now say that diabetes, hypertension, and cancer run in families. In other words these diseases are genetically inherited. Geneticists can treat adults for the presence of a handful of relatively rare genes - among them those that cause Huntington's disease (causes progressive brain degeneration); adult polycystic kidney disease (causes gradual loss of kidney function); polypsos (this condition leads to colon cancer); hemochromatosis (which could cause liver failure); and certain forms of cancer such as retinoblastoma, some leukemias, and small-cell carcinoma of the lung.

There are two important questions, which have not been answered so far. The first one is whether knowledge of the information is itself potentially hazardous to the individual; and the second one is whether institutions will misuse that knowledge to promote their own dominance and control.

There are two types of tests: prenatal tests and genetic screening tests. The prenatal tests inform future parents of a child's chances of inheriting a condition for which the parent is a carrier-Tay-Sachs disease, sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis- or of inheriting a condition from which a family member has already died-muscular dystrophy, hemophilia, beta-thalassemia. The genetic screening test tells the adults about their own genetic destiny. But do we really want to know? Are we willing to learn the details of our genetic destiny-especially when it involves diseases for which there is no cure? Are we capable of understanding the uncertainties inherent in this high-tech fortunetelling?

Adult polycystic kidney disease comes late in age and causes degenerative condition of the kidneys resulting in gradual loss of kidney function. It is carried on a single, dominant gene. If a man has the disease, then his son has a 50-50 chance of having the gene and if he has two daughters, their chances of having the disease is also 50-50. Usually this disease strikes when one is in his or her 110's. The genetic test only tells whether a persons has the gene that causes the disease, but it doesn't tell whether that person gets the disease in his UO ' s or in his late 60's. No treatment exists to prevent kidney failure in polycystic kidney patients.

There is a certain amount of unwillingness on the part of humans to know their future. However there are individuals who have taken the tests for the occurrence of Huntington's disease which is a neurological disease, a progressive and untreatable brain and muscle degeneration with symptoms that usually show themselves in the 40's. The chances of inheriting this disease

causing gene is also 50-50. Those who took the test and whose results were positive, there were no instances of suicide and only one of severe depression, and one marital breakup among the 71 patients screened.

Nancy Wexler of the Hereditary Disease Foundation says "If the information is limiting, enervating, depressing, if it tears at your self-esteem, if it gives you nothing to do, it might be better not to know." She devoted her professional life to the search for the gene for Huntington's disease which killed her mother and for which she and her sister are at risk.

Scientists stress that the results of genetic testing are ambiguous: genes alone do not determine a disease's prognosis. One can say whether or not an individual appears to have the gene, and those who have the gene have gone on to develop the disease. But one cannot say anything about when the disease will start, what will be the course of the disease, and what will be the relevant aspects of the illness.

The danger comes when imprecise tests are used inorder to predict the future, and when institutions actually use them to construct the future: when employers refuse to hire or train individuals at high risk of dying in their prime; when health-insurance companies insist on knowing the genetic profiles of their potential subscribers before paying for pre-existing genetic conditions; when schools require a permanent genetic record to anticipate which children will exhibit behavioral problems or learning disabilities. In United States genetic discrimination already exists. The risk of increasing the number of people defined as unemployable, uneducable or uninsurable exists. Genetic tests can identify employees who are susceptible to workplace toxins and companies may prohibit hiring such employees because they may contract occupational illnesses. 17 companies out of 500 had used genetic tests within the last 12 years, and 59 were considering the possibility. There is the danger of using the genetic tests for purposes of "eugenics." Eugenics means the deliberate manipulation of the gene pool with the idea of creating a master race. Defective people walking around may not be allowed to reproduce for the betterment of society.

Many of the conditions that will be uncovered through genetic studies are not life threatening, but might not fit into some societal scheme: genetic dyslexia, for example; genetic shyness; genetic arrogance; genetic left-handedness.

It is known that left-handed people have shorter life expectancies, which is relevant to insurance companies. But left-handed people may suffer for lack of knowledge whether left-handedness occurs for reasons other than genetic. They may be construed from birth as brain-damaged.

Allah is all knowing.

Source :

Tuesday, April 27, 2010



by Shahid Athar,M.D.

*Clinical Associate Professor, Indiana University School of Medicine, and Chair, Medical Ethics Committee, Islamic Medical Association of North America. Presented at "Islam in America Conference" DePaul University, Chicago, September 29, 1995.

Medical Ethics: An Islamic Perspective

The introduction of newer technology in medicine in areas of life support in terminal patients, abortion, organ transplantation, biotechnical parenting, and care of AIDS patients has posed Muslim physicians and patients some new questions of ethics. The ethics is not being right or wrong, all black or all white, but as having shades of gray. It is the process of making better decisions or worse decisions compared to the worst decision. Islamic medical ethics are based on the priciples of the sanctity of human life and safeguarding its values, taking the lesser of the two evils. We look upon these issues from the perspective of Muslim physicians in that we have to face the dilemma in medical ethics on a daily basis.

Life, though short as it may look on this planet, is still a precious gift from God. Since we did not create our life, nor are the owners of it, we should not have the absolute power over it either. For our soul and spirit to live in our body for a certain period can be compared to living in a beautiful, leased apartment or house. The only thing which the landlord would like the tenant to do is to live with certain rules and regulations and do things to improve upon the apartment or house rather than destroy it. We have a duty to preserve our life and to use it for glory and pleasure in the service of God as the quality of life would permit.

The guiding principle in Islamic medical ethics which is mentioned in Quran and also in the Torah is, "If anyone has saved a life, it would be as if he has saved the life of the whole of mankind." However, the question that we are faced with, in terms of saving life, is at what cost and what quality. Does the quality of life modify our decision-making process and when resources are scarce, who takes precedence, the individual or the community?

In addition to the emphasis on preserving life and the quality of life, the principles of biomedical ethics include promoting and restoring health, alleviating suffering, respecting patients' autonomy, doing medical justice, telling the truth, and doing no further harm.

We, the physicians, cannot remain aloof from the religion of our patient as we ourselves, in patients not only expect me to help them in arriving at a medical decision, but also ask me to pray for them. If we, the physicians, understand the religion of our patients, we can communicate to them better and help them make viable decisions and comply with a prescribed treatment. Sickness precipitates questions about himself and his future in the mind of a patient and drives him closer to God, whatever his distance might have been at the beginning of the illness. During illness, many patients go through spiritual growth and find their spirituality at the end. A physician's own belief may influence his treatment options for the patient's outcome. For example, a physician who is totally against abortion will never advise his patient to undergo an abortion, and a physician who does not value the sanctity of life may become a suicide-doctor. The Muslim physician, knowing that we have no right to take our own lives, should not assist his patient in that, either.

Some of the rules of medical ethics include a) respect for the autonomy and b) beneficence.
People are autonomous in the decision-making process if they are able to understand and make intelligent decisions for themselves which are intentional and voluntary. The right of patient self- determination accepted by the State is based on this principle.

The second principle is that of beneficence, which obliges persons to benefit and help others. This principle requires positive action to prevent what is bad or harmful, to remove what is bad or harmful, and to do, or promote, what is good and beneficial.

The Islamic principle of forbidding what is wrong and enjoining what is good illustrates this. The knowledge of medical technology obliges Muslim physicians to offer what medical justice requires. Medical justice by itself is a principle of fair distribution of benefits and burdens. Justice requires that persons receive that which they deserve and to which they are entitled. These principles involve decisions to allocate scarce health resources. The actual implementation of this principle remains somewhat controversial. Physicians' response to individual justice differs at times with "societal" justice.

Another rule is nonmaleficence. This principle obliges persons to refrain from harming others including refraining from killing them or treating them cruelly. It is one of the non-intervention.

It also requires the person to exercise due care so that they do not unintentionally harm others such as malpractice in medical or surgical care. Let us discuss the questions of rights and obligations.

These rights mavbe considered in relation to the right to die, the right to abort a viable fetus, the right to have a child in case of infertility, or the right to donate or receive an organ, or the rights of the individual whose disease maybe due to an deviant lifestyle. Not only should we discuss the right of the individual, but also the rights of the spouse, relatives, physician and other care- givers, the unborn, and God. While discussing the rights, we must also discuss the obligations of the State, community, the individual, the spouse, and the relatives.

In the question of the right to live or die, the question is should one prolong the life or the misery. Who determines (the unconscious patient, the family, or the doctor), that the plug should be pulled and the life support system stopped? What is the definition of death, acceptable to both the medical technology and Islamic jurists? Is a living will justified? Is stopping the life support system an act of mercy, a medical decision, a murder, or a financial decision?

While Islam gives importance to saving life, it also makes it clear that dying is part of the contract with God and part of the journey on this planet. The final decision of the term is up to God. The quality of life is equally, if not more important than the life span on this planet.

Physicians and the family should realize the limitations of medical technology and should not attempt to do heroic measures for a terminally-ill patient who is in a vegetative state and cannot be resurrected to a quality of life acceptable to him. The heroic measures taken at the beginning of life like saving a premature baby are more justifiable than at the end of the life span. We consider euthanasia an act of murder. We do not see the difference between the gun used by a husband for his dying wife and the syringe used by the physician for his dying patient; both are weapons of death no matter what the intention of the killer was.

The ethical questions in the area of organ transplantation are what are the rights of the living donor, the dead body, and the recipient. To prolong life, does the recipient have a right to take away the organ from the dead? Is the sale of the organs justified? Is the taking of animal organs justified? Is accepting organs from aborted fetuses justified? Is harvesting fetuses to get more fetal tissue justified? Is the cost of transplantation worth the benefit derived from it? The total cost of heart transplantation is in excess of several hundred thousand dollars, with an average post-transplantation life of two to three years, and the quality of post-transplantation life is not necessarily the same level as it was before the development of end-stage heart disease. I have not seen a single heart transplant patient going back to work.

Transplantation, in general, is permitted especially if it is a gift from a living donor to another living person. From the Islamic perspective, transplantation from the dead to the living may not be permitted unless a free will is available before the death of the person. The relatives and the physicians should respect the rights of the dead body even though their intention to save another life is noble.

The ethical questions in cases of abortion are when does life begin? If a fetus is a living individual than is terminating its life a murder? What are the rights of the fetus? Who guards those rights? Do both parents even if unwed have the same rights over the life of the fetus? What should be done with the pregnancy that is the outcome of a rape? Should all such pregnancies be terminated?

What if the women wants to keep her baby even if she did not want it to begin with? Is promoting or not preventing abortion which will lead to more sales of aborted fetuses for transplantation of fetal tissue and organs or their delicate skin to make expensive cosmetics justified? Islam believes that life begins when the zygote is formed.

The women of pagan Arabia, before Islam, killed their infants for the fear of poverty or the shame of birth of a girl. Both of these acts have been condemned in Quran, but the women of today are killing their infants not for either cause but to sustain and enjoy the life of sexual freedom. God reminds them: "Such as took their religion to be mere amusement and play, and were deceived by the life of the world. That day shall We forget them as they forgot the meeting of this day of theirs, and as they were wont to reject Our Signs." (Qur'an 7:51).

There are many questions in the area of biotechnicall reproduction and surrogacy. Infertility is a disease and to desire to seek a cure for the disease is Islamic. However, this has to be done within the life span of an intact marriage between husband and wife. The marriage is a legal contract not only between man and a woman, but also between God and the couple. Thus the question is whether the child was born of an intact legal marriage or outside the marriage. In case of a surrogate father, who is the real father and does the child have the right to know his identity? In case of a surrogate mother, who is the real mother, the one whose ovum is being used or the one who lets her uterus be used? Is renting the uterus with money for this purpose allowed or justified?

A woman who does not want to go through pregnancy, labor, or lactation can donate her ovum every month to different women, technically, to hire a uterus and have many children. In the case of mothers renting their own uterus in place of their daughters', with the sperm of their son-in law, totally disrupts the concept of marriage and social norms and of lineage. The Qur'an is specific in terms of lineage and definition of motherhood. It says, "No one can be their mother except those who gave them birth" (Qur'an 58:2). Qur'an also says, "He has established the relationship of lineage and marriage" (Qur'an 25:54).

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has become the plague of the century. In the United States alone, over 220,000 have been diagnosed and half of them have already died. The ethical questions as to the care of AIDS are:

  • Who will pay for the cost of the billion of dollars spent on the care of AIDS patients since the insurance companies do not insure them?
  • should the AIDS patient be quarantined and forced to change their lifestyle?
  • should IV users be given free, clean needles, syringes and drugs since IV drug use and AIDS are very easily correlated?
  • should HIV positive carriers carry an ID card?
  • should everyone be tested for HIV without their knowledge, and if so, what should be done with the positive results in terms of employment and medical care?
  • does paying for AIDS cases by the public or the government mean that they endorse the lifestyle of the patient? and
  • should Muslim physicians care for AIDS patients?

The Islamic response to AIDS is, in brief, directed at a different level, firstly, to prevent the disease by having a sexual lifestyle prescribed by God. In those cases where AIDS can be acquired without a sexual contact, for example, by transfusion in case of hemophiliacs, all measures should be taken to protect the individual. After AIDS has been acquired, it should be treated like any other chronic disease.

We never question the lifestyle of patients with other diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, nor do we discriminate against them or stop caring for them. Thus Muslim physicians have an obligation to continue caring for AIDS patients while taking the necessary precautions for themselves at the same time when participating in preventive measures and education.

The Rights of God

Last but really most important, nobody seems to talk about the rights of the Creator. The Creator of life and death has certain rights over His Creations which man should acknowledge. They are:

  • He should be believed in,
  • His will and injunction should be sought,
  • Once known, His and His messengers' decisions should be given preference over man's ever changing opinion (Qur'an 33:36),
  • No deliberate attempt should be made to go against the will of God (36:77).

Shahid Athar, M.D., Inc.
8424 Naab Road, Suite 2D
Indianapolis, IN 46260
Tel: (317) 872-5159

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Inadequacy of Western Methodology

Methodology and the Inadequacy of Western Methods

Methodology ( in scientific study) is the fields of scientific inquiry concerned with the examination of the methods used in the study of natural and human phenomena. A scientific method consists of a number of rules a researcher must follow in the study of the subject matter of his research. Those researchers who apply scientific methods may claim that the knowledge produced by their research is scientific.

The researcher must use methods currently acknowledged by the scientific inquiry. however a new method could be applied provided he demonstrates its soundness. The determination of the soundness of scientific methods is the task of methodology.

Methodology is thus the fields of scientific inquiry into justification, description, and explanation of the rules and procedures which constitute scientific methods. As such, methodology is not confined to description of scientific procedures, but involves the analysis of the grounds which justify their use.

The Inadequacy of Western Methods

1. Modern Western methods have had an empiricist bias which culminated in contemporary times in the logical positivistic approach embodied in western behaviorism. they have abandoned behaviorism under pressure from its critics.

2. Throughout the last three centuries, Western scholarship was able to completely eliminate revelation as a source of knowledge, thereby reducing it into the level of mere fiction and myth.

source : The foundation of knowledge ( Louay Safi)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Religious Views on Eating Pork

Why is the eating of pork forbidden in Islam?

By : Dr Zakir Naik

The fact that consumption of pork is prohibited in Islam is well known. The following points explain various aspects of this prohibition:

1. Pork prohibited in Qur’an

The Qur’an prohibits the consumption of pork in no less than 4 different places. It is prohibited in 2:173, 5:3, 6:145 and 16:115.

"Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which hath been invoked the name of other than Allah." [Al-Qur’an 5:3]

The above verses of the Holy Qur’an are sufficient to satisfy a Muslim as to why pork is forbidden.

2. Pork prohibited in the Bible

The Christian is likely to be convinced by his religious scriptures. The Bible prohibits the consumption of pork, in the book of Leviticus

"And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you".

"Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch, they are unclean to you."[Leviticus 11:7-8]

Pork is also prohibited in the Bible in the book of Deuteronomy

"And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you. Ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass."

[Deuteronomy 14:8]

A similar prohibition is repeated in the Bible in the book of Isaiah chapter 65 verse 2-5.

3. Consumption of pork causes several diseases

The other non-Muslims and atheists will agree only if convinced through reason, logic and science. Eating of pork can cause no less than seventy different types of diseases. A person can have various helminthes like roundworm, pinworm, hookworm, etc. One of the most dangerous is Taenia Solium, which is in lay man’s terminology called tapeworm. It harbours in the intestine and is very long. Its ova i.e. eggs, enter the blood stream and can reach almost all the organs of the body. If it enters the brain it can cause memory loss. If it enters the heart it can cause heart attack, if it enters the eye it can cause blindness, if it enters the liver it can cause liver damage. It can damage almost all the organs of the body.

Another dangerous helminthes is Trichura Tichurasis. A common misconception about pork is that if it is cooked well, these ova die. In a research project undertaken in America, it was found that out of twenty-four people suffering from Trichura Tichurasis, twenty two had cooked the pork very well. This indicates that the ova present in the pork do not die under normal cooking temperature.

4. Pork has fat building material

Pork has very little muscle building material and contains excess of fat. This fat gets deposited in the vessels and can cause hypertension and heart attack. It is not surprising that over 50% of Americans suffer from hypertension.

5. Pig is one of the filthiest animals on earth

The pig is one of the filthiest animals on earth. It lives and thrives on muck, faeces and dirt. It is the best scavenger that I know that God has produced. In the villages they don’t have modern toilets and the villagers excrete in the open air. Very often excreta is cleared by pigs.

Some may argue that in advanced countries like Australia, pigs are bred in very clean and hygienic conditions. Even in these hygienic conditions the pigs are kept together in sties. No matter how hard you try to keep them clean they are filthy by nature. They eat and enjoy their own as well as their neighbour’s excreta.

6. Pig is the most shameless animal

The pig is the most shameless animal on the face of the earth. It is the only animal that invites its friends to have sex with its mate. In America, most people consume pork. Many times after dance parties, they have swapping of wives; i.e. many say "you sleep with my wife and I will sleep with your wife." If you eat pigs then you behave like pigs. We Indians look upon America to be very advanced and sophisticated. Whatever they do, we follow after a few years. According to an article in Island magazine, this practice of swapping wives has become common in the affluent circles of Bombay.

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