Islam, Oct - Dec 2012, Quran

Conference on the Real Personality of Prophet Muhammad

Centro Islámico Para Asuntos de la Mujer

In the name of Allah, most gracious and most merciful
All Praise be to Allah
Peace and blessings upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad, his family and his companions
Peace be upon you

ISLAMIC CENTER OF WOMAN’S AFFAIRS in order to provide the correct information about Islam and Muslims to the Guatemalan society, the center has done its first Islamic conference to general audience on the topic: “THE REAL PERSONALITY OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD” on
Saturday, October 6th, 2012.

For this activity, many Muslims and Non-Muslims have come and paid special attention to the topic and also asked questions which were answered.

People who came to the conference was given a free gift bag with Islamic books and pamphlets, they were also offered some food.

For this first conference, Muslims along with Non-Muslims have worked together. We ask Allah subhana wa ta’ala to reward them with the best…Ameen.

May Allah subhana wa ta’ala accept this work…Ameen.

Fátima Arias

July - Sept 2012, Quran

Tajweed Blog/ Blog Sobre Tajweed

By Julio C. Colón

October 3, 2011

As Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatu Allahi wa Barakaatuh,

I started a blog to transcribe tajweed rules into Spanish. There’s really no place to get it all in one place in Spanish that I know of. I hope to post up at least once a week. Please share with your Castillian-speaking friends.

He empezado un blog en español sobre la reglas de la ciencia de taywíd. Espero escribir una nota acerca de una regla por semana in sha’ Allah. Por favor comparte el blog con cualquier hermano/a que se interese en el tema.


Jan - Mar 2009, Quran

Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an

From MuslimBridges.org


Muslim Congressman Took Oath of Office on Thomas Jefferson’s Quran.
Keith Ellison finds book symbolic of U.S. founding fathers’ religious tolerance

Incoming Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison became the first Muslim member of the U.S. Congress January 4, 2007. swearing his oath of office on a copy of the Quran that belonged to the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. “Look at that. That’s something else,” Ellison, D-Minn., said as officials from the Library of Congress showed him the two-volume Quran, which was published in London in 1764.

Ellison took the ceremonial oath with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at his side. So many of Ellison’s family members attended the ceremony that it was done in two takes.

Ellison had already planned to be sworn in using a Quran, rather than a Bible. He learned recently about Jefferson’s Quran, with its multicolored cover and brown leather binding, and arranged to borrow it.

In a recent interview, Ellison spokesman Rick Jauert said the choice of Jefferson’s Quran was significant because it “dates religious tolerance back to the time of our founding fathers.”

“Jefferson was … one of the more profound thinkers of the time, who recognized even then that there was nothing to fear, and in fact there was strength in recognizing religious tolerance,” he said.

Although the Library of Congress is right across the street from the Capitol, library officials took extra precautions in delivering the Quran for the ceremony. To protect it from the elements, they placed the Quran in a rectangular box and handled it with a green felt wrapper once inside the Capitol.

Instead of using surface streets, they walked it over via a series of winding, underground tunnels – a trip that took more than 15 minutes. Guards then ran the book through security machines at the Capitol.

The Quran was acquired in 1815 as part of a more than 6,400-volume collection that Jefferson sold for $24,000 to replace the congressional library that had been burned by British troops the year before, in the War of 1812. Jefferson, the nation’s third president, was a collector of books in all topics and languages.

The book’s leather binding was added in 1919. Inside, it reads, “The Koran”, Jefferson marked his ownership by writing the letter “J” next to the letter “T” that was already at the bottom of pages, according to Mark Dimunation, chief of the Library of Congress’ rare book and special collections division.

Ellison, the first black member of Congress from Minnesota, was born in Detroit and converted to Islam in college. He said earlier this week that he chose to use this Quran because it showed that a visionary like Jefferson believed that wisdom could be gleaned from many sources.

Some critics have argued that only a Bible should be used for the swearing-in. Last month, Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Va., warned that unless immigration is tightened, “many more Muslims” will be elected and follow Ellison’s lead.

Ellison approached Goode on the House floor Thursday, introducing himself and offering to meet for coffee. According to Ellison, Goode said he’d be interested in doing that. The subject of Goode’s comments didn’t come up, Ellison said.

“Look, we’re trying to build bridges,” Ellison said. “We’re trying to help bring about understanding. We don’t want issues of misunderstanding and division to exist if they don’t have to.”

Jefferson’s 6,000-volume personal library was the largest in North America at the turn of the 19th century. He obtained his English translation of the Quran in 1765 as he was finishing his law studies at the College of William and Mary. The translation by British historian and solicitor George Sale first was published in 1734. The Quran, along with the rest of Jefferson’s books, became the basis of the Library of Congress after British troops burned the U.S. Capitol, destroying the old congressional collection in the War of 1812.

While Jefferson is best known for writing the Declaration of Independence, he also penned the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which served as a basis for the religion clauses in the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

In the Virginia statute, he wrote, “Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” He went on to say that denying a person the ability to hold an office of trust or declaring him unworthy of public confidence based on his religious beliefs was a violation of natural rights.

The document demanded “that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”

It is believed that Jefferson was inspired by the teaching of the Quran, prohibiting compulsion in religion and forcing religious doctrines. Also the foundation for “all men are created Equal” and “men are born free” are some of the indications for the Quran as a source for guidance “no compulsion in religion” Quran 2:256.

The Qur’an is “definitely an important historical document in our national history and demonstrates that Jefferson was a broad visionary thinker who not only possessed a Qur’an, but read it,” Ellison said in an interview with the Free Press. “It would have been something that contributed to his own thinking.” Ellison also said that Jefferson’s Qur’an “shows that from the earliest times of this republic, the Qur’an was in the consciousness of people who brought about democracy.”

The statute was one of Jefferson’s proudest achievements. He instructed that his tombstone should not refer to him as president of the United States but should remember him only as the author of the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, and the founder of the University of Virginia.

Islam, Jan - Mar 2006, Quran

Prophet Ibrahim: The father of the Prophets

From Islamicity.com


The birth of a Great Prophet

Ibrahim was born in a house of idolaters, in the kingdom of Babylon. His father Aazar was a well known idol sculptor that his people worshipped. As a young child, Ibrahim used to watch his father sculpting these idols from stones or wood. When his father was done with them, Ibrahim would use them as toys, riding on their backs, and kicking them at times. Then after a while, he would see these same statues in the temple, and people prostrating in front of them! Ibrahim asked his father: “Why do you take these toys to the temple?” His father said: “They are statues that represent our gods. We worship them, we ask favors from them, and we offer them presents.” Ibrahim’s mind rejected this idea, and he felt a repulsion towards the idols.

In search for the Truth

Time went by, and Ibrahim became a young man. He still could not believe that his people were worshipping the statues. He laughed whenever he saw them entering the temple, lowering their heads, silently offering the statues the best of their food, crying and asking forgiveness from them. He started feeling angry towards his people, who could not realize that these are only stones that could neither benefit nor harm them. They could not be gods, they have no power. God is Greater than what his people were worshipping, Most Powerful, Most Magnificent. One could not find Him sitting on a table in a temple!

One night, Ibrahim went up to the mountain, leaned against a rock, and looked up to the sky. He saw a shining star, and told his people: “Could this be my Lord?” But when it set he said: “I don’t like those that set.” The star has disappeared, it could not be God. God is always present. Then he saw the moon rising in splendor and told them: “Could this be my Lord?” But it also set. At daybreak, he saw the sun rising and said: t “Could this be my Lord, this is bigger?” But when the sun set he said: “O my people I am free from all that you join as partners with Allah! I have turned my face towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah.” Our Lord is the Creator of the heavens and the earth and everything. He has the power to make the stars rise and set. Ibrahim then heard Allah calling him: “O Ibrahim!” Ibrahim said trembling: “Here I am O my Lord!” “Submit to Me! Be a Muslim!” Ibrahim fell on the ground, prostrating and crying, he said: “I submit to the Lord of the universe!” Ibrahim kept prostrating until night came again. He got up and went back to his home, in t peace, full of conviction that Allah has guided him to the Truth.

Ibrahim invites his father to Islam

A new life started for Ibrahim. His mission now was to call his people to the Truth. He would start with his father who was the closest person to him, and whom he loved so much. He said to him in the softest and kindest voice: “O father! Why do you worship that which doesn’t hear, doesn’t see, and cannot avail you in anything? O father, I have got knowledge which you have not, so follow me. I will guide you to a straight path.” His father replied angrily: “Do you reject my gods, O Ibrahim? If you don’t stop I will stone you. Get away from me before I punish you.” Ibrahim said: “Peace be on you! I will ask forgiveness of my Lord for you.”

Ibrahim confronts his people and rejects their idols

He left his father after he lost hope to convert him to the right path, and directed his efforts towards the people of the town, but they rejected his call and threatened him. By Allah, he said, I shall plot a plan to destroy their idols. He knew that a big celebration was coming soon, where everybody would leave town for a big feast on the riverbank. After making sure that nobody was left in town, Ibrahim went towards the temple armed with an ax. Statues of all shapes and sizes were sitting there adorned with decorations. Plates of food were offered to them, but the food was untouched. “Well, why don’t you eat? The food is getting cold.” He said to the statues, joking; then with his ax he destroyed all the statues except one, the biggest of them. He hung the ax around its neck and left.

How big was the shock when the people entered the temple! They gathered inside watching in awe their gods broken in pieces. They wondered who might have done this? Then they all remembered that the young Ibrahim was talking evil of their idols. They brought him to the temple and asked him: “Are you the one who has done this to our gods?” Ibrahim said: “No, this statue, the biggest of them has done it. Ask them if they can speak.” “You know well that these idols don’t speak!” They said impatiently. “Then how come you worship things that can neither speak nor see, nor even fend for themselves? Have you lost your minds?”

They kept silent for a while, for he got a point there. Their minds and their senses were telling them that the Truth is with Ibrahim, but their pride prevented them to accept it, and reject the idols they were worshipping for generations. This they thought would be total defeat. They started yelling at him and shouting: “Burn him! Burn him! Take revenge for your gods!”

The Miracle: Allah saves Ibrahim from the fire.

The decision to burn Ibrahim to death was affirmed by the priests and the king of Babylon, Nimrod. The news spread like a fire in the kingdom, and people were coming from all places to watch the execution. A huge pit was dug up and a large quantity of wood was piled up. Then the biggest fire people ever witnessed was lit. The fire flames were so high up in the sky that the birds could not fly over it for fear of being burned! Ibrahim’s hands and feet were chained, and he was put in a catapult to throw him into the fire. At that time, Angel Jibreel came to him and said: “O Ibrahim! Is there anything you wish for?” Ibrahim could have asked to be saved from the fire, to be taken away, but no, he said: “I only wish that Allah be pleased with me.” The catapult was released, and Ibrahim was thrown in the heart of the fire. But Allah would not allow His Prophet to be killed, He ordered the fire: “O fire! Be coolness and safety for Ibrahim!” And the miracle happened. The fire obeyed and burned only his chains. Ibrahim came out from it as if he was coming out from a garden, peaceful, his face illuminated, and not a trace of smoke on his clothes. People watched in shock and said: “Amazing! Ibrahim’ s God has saved him from the fire!”

Ibrahim debates the Babylonian king, Nimrod

Ibrahim’s notoriety grew bigger after this event and the king of Babylon felt that his throne was in danger, and that he was loosing power, because he was pretending that he was a god. He sent for Ibrahim. He wanted to debate with him and show his people that he, the king is indeed the god, and Ibrahim was a liar. He asked Ibrahim: What can your god do that I cannot?

-My Lord is He Who gives life and death.” Ibrahim said
-I give life and death. I can bring a person from the street and have him executed, and I can grant my pardon to a person who was sentenced to death and save his life.” The king said proudly
-Well my Lord Allah makes the sun rise from the East. Can you make it rise from the West?
The king was confounded. He was beaten at his own game, on his own territory, in front of his own people! Ibrahim left him there speechless and went back to his important mission, calling people to worship the one and only God, Allah.

Allah blesses Ibrahim with a son to become a prophet

Only a woman named Sarah and a man named Lot believed in Allah, and followed Ibrahim. He realized that nobody else would listen to him, and decided to emigrate for the cause of Allah, and to spread His Message elsewhere. Before leaving, he tried once again to convert his father to Islam, but to no avail. Ibrahim said to his father and his people: “We are free of you and of whatever you worship besides Allah. We have rejected you and there has arisen between us and you enmity and hatred forever unless you believe in Allah and Him alone.”

Ibrahim, Lot and Sarah started their long travel. They crossed Babylon, went through Syria and Palestine calling people to Allah, helping the poor and doing good deeds. By that time Ibrahim married Sarah. Their hope was to have children who would spread the Message of Allah after their death. As for Lot, he emigrated to the land of Sodom and settled there.

Time went by and no children were born to Sarah. She realized she was sterile. She accepted her fate and submitted to the will of Allah. Ibrahim and Sarah moved to Egypt where the king gave Sarah a woman to be her servant. The woman’s name was Hajar. Sarah was seeing Ibrahim’ s hair getting white, and it grieved her to see his chance of having any child slipping away. She offered Hajar her servant as a wife to her husband, and prayed Allah to bless Hajar and Ibrahim with a child. And so came Ismail, a baby boy born to Hajar. How unselfish Sarah was! For her, the need to have an offspring who would carry the Message after Ibrahim was greater than her pride. Fourteen years later Allah rewarded Sarah with a son, Ishaq in spite of her old age.

Young Ismail and his mother alone in the desert of Makkah

Ibrahim woke up one day and asked Hajar to prepare herself and baby Ismail for a long travel. Ibrahim and Hajar kept walking, crossed a fertile land followed by barren mountains till they arrived at the Arabian desert. Ibrahim brought Hajar to a high hill called al-Marwa, made her and her baby sit under a tree, placed a bag of dates and some water near her, and set out homeward. Hajar ran after him and said: “Are you going to leave us in this desert where there is no one to keep us company?” She repeated this many times but he would not look back at her. She asked: “Has Allah ordered you to do so?” He said yes. “Then He will not neglect us.” She said. Ibrahim walked away until he got out of their sight, he raised his hands and prayed Allah: “O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring dwell in a valley with no cultivation, by Your Sacred House, in order that they may offer prayers. So fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and provide them with fruits, so that they may give thanks.”


Hajar went on nursing Ismail and drinking from the water until it was all used up. She became very thirsty and the child was crying. She left him on the al-Marwa hill and hurried to the nearest hill, as-Safa. She stood there and started looking at the valley keenly so that she might see somebody, but she could not see anybody. She descended from as-Safa, crossed the valley running and reached al-Marwa hill. She stood and started looking but could see nobody. She kept running between as-Safa and al-Marwa seven times. When she reached al-Marwa for the last time, she was exhausted, she sat next to the baby. Then she heard a voice. She stood up and said: “O whoever you might be! Have you got something to help me?’ She saw an angel, Angel Jibreel, digging the earth until water flowed! She built a little basin around it. She scooped water with her hands, drank, filled her water-skin, and nursed her baby. The place from which water flowed was Zamzam. Muslims till this day drink from the holy water of Zamzam, and during Hajj they walk between as-Safa and al-Marwa seven times to commemorate this event.

Some Arabs traveling through Makkah saw birds flying around alMarwa. “They must be flying around water.” They said. When they arrived at the water, they found Hajar and asked her: “Would you allow us to stay with you, and use the water from your well?” She agreed and was pleased by their company. The people sent for their families, settled there and became permanent residents. The whole valley became alive. Ismail grew up, learned Arabic, and later married a woman from amongst the Arabs.

Meanwhile, Ibrahim who had not seen his son since he was a baby, came back to Makkah to visit him. Upon arriving, he heard that Hajar had died, but Ismail was still living there. Ibrahim was yearning to see his son whom he loved and missed a lot. He saw Ismail under a tree near Zamzam, sharpening his arrows. When he saw his father, Ismail rose up, hugged him and greeted him. It was the happiest moment for both father and son. But Allah wanted to put them to test, and it was a tough test indeed. During one night, Ibrahim had a dream. He came to Ismail and said: “O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you as a sacrifice to Allah, so what do you think?” They both realized that this was an order from Allah. Ismail said without hesitation: “Do what you are commanded, you shall find me very patient insha Allah.” They had both submitted to the will of Allah. Ibrahim laid his son prostrate, put his forehead on the ground and directed a sharp knife towards his neck. At this very moment, Allah called him: “O Ibrahim! You have fulfilled the dream! Thus do We reward the good doers!” A big sheep was sent down from heaven to be slaughtered instead of Ismail, which Ibrahim did, and they both had a big celebration that day. This event is celebrated every year by all Muslims. It is Eid al-Adha where we slaughter the sacrificial sheep.

Ibrahim and Ismail kept on calling people to worship Allah. At that time there was no place built for the worship of Allah. Ibrahim wished there could be such a place where people would be in peace, and concentrate solely for the worship of Allah. His wish was answered when Allah ordered him to build the Sacred House, the Ka’bah. Ibrahim said to Ismail: “O Ismail, Allah has given me an order, will you help me execute it?” “Yes I will.” Ismail said. “Allah has ordered me to build a house here.” He said, pointing to a hillock higher than the land surrounding it. They went towards the place and started building the foundations of the Ka’bah Ismail brought the stones and Ibrahim built the walls, and when the walls became high, Ismail brought a large stone and put it in front of his father who stood over it and carried on building, while Ismail was handing him the stones. Both of them went on building and going around the Ka’bah, saying: “O our Lord accept this service from us.” When they finished the building, Angel Jibreel descended from heaven and showed Ibrahim the rituals of Hajj. Then Ibrahim stepped on the stone and called on people: “O people obey your Lord.” This large stone which Ibrahim stepped on is still there to this day near the Ka’bah. It is called Makam Ibrahim.

Thus ends the story of Ibrahim, the father of the prophets. From him descended all the prophets who came later, including Muhammad, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam. Ibrahim devoted all his life calling others to the True religion: Islam. Alone he stood against his people, his father, and even the mighty king of Babylon, and never flinched. Yet his method was always to gradually persuade them by bringing irrefutable proofs, that most often embarrassed those who refused to accept the Truth, but as Allah said: “Any whom Allah leaves to stray, there is none to guide!”

April - June 2005, Quran

The Qur’an Saved Me

By Daoud S. Ali

I was born in Los Angeles and then lived in Mexico for eight years. When my parents divorced, my mother brought my brother and me back to the United States. We settled again in Los Angeles.

I had a very modest upbringing. As a single parent, my mother did her best to provide for us. She worked as a seamstress in a sweatshop making minimum wage for 13 years.

Like many Mexican-Americans, I grew up as a Roman Catholic. I only went as far as my first communion and was not particularly devout. By the time I entered college, I was not thinking very much about religion.

During my first year in college, I read critiques of Christianity by Nietzsche, Feuerbach, and others, and this moved me further away from faith.

Then during my senior year, I met a beautiful young lady I found irresistible. She told me she was Muslim and answered some of my questions about Islam. I fell in love with her.

She told me that the only way we could marry was if I was a Muslim. By this point, I was more familiar with Islam, and the idea did not frighten me.

We married in 1994 following my college graduation. For the next four years, I was a nominal Muslim. I was not practicing as I should be. I was absorbed by a high-paying, high stress job at an IT firm and made little time, if any, for worship.

This all changed one night while driving home from work after a 36 hour shift. I began to feel dizzy, my heart was pounding, and my chest constricted, so I couldn’t breathe. I pulled over at the nearest exit and miraculously a hospital was right across the street.

That night, six years ago began my battle with panic attacks and anxiety. At the beginning, there were days when I could not imagine how I’d live until the following day.

During the darkest moments, it was the Qur’an and Allah’s mercy that pulled me through. I could not sleep and could barely eat for weeks on end.

As I lay awake every night, I would read the Qur’an. I read it cover to cover several times, each time seeing something new that touched my heart and made me reflect. Since then I have not abandoned prayer. While the panic attacks are gone, my love of this Deen remains.

Today, I live in Springfield, Massachusetts with my wife and two daughters. There are a lot of Latinos, mostly Puerto Rican. In the recent fire that burned Masjid Al-Baqi in Springfield, three Latino youth are the prime suspects.

Now more than ever, it is time for us to help present the message to Latinos. I launched Al-Mizaan (The Balance) Newspaper because I want to do something meaningful with my life for the sake of Allah SWT.

Daoud Ali is founder and Editor of Al-Mizaan Newspaper, a Muslim paper serving the New England Muslim community and its neighbors.

Islam, July - Sept 2004, Quran

Abu Huraira: The Beloved Narrator

By Hamzah Qassem

From Nida’ul Magazine


” ‘An Abi Huraira radiyallahu anhu qal, qala Rasul Allahi, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam….”
(On the authority of Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him, he said: Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w) said…)

Through this phrase millions of Muslims from early history of Islam to the present have come to be familiar with the name Abu Huraira, who you expect to find his name in most Hadith, Sirah or Fiqh books.

Abu Huraira (r.a.a) enjoyed a great talent, he was gifted with an extraordinary long term memory to the extent that he would hear a discussion or a speech and be able to reproduce the identical discussion or speech years later without changing or deleting one single word from it.

This great gift that Abu-Huraira enjoyed could have been the worst thing that could have happened to him as some people used his well known and authentic name to make up false Ahadith about our beloved Prophet, and link these false Ahadith to Abu Huraira (r.a.a). However, through hard and sincere efforts put in by some of the pious scholars who sacrificed their lives to preserve and save our beloved Prophet’s Ahadith (sayings) and save them from any harm by the enemies of Islam who tried to mislead Muslims by adding to them thing that were never said by the Prophet of Allah (s.w.t), Abu Huraira’s reputation was saved from their wrong doing until our present day.

Abu Huraira became a Muslim at the hands of At-Tufayl Ibn Amr who as the chief of the tribe to which he belonged. When he submitted to the truthfulness of this religion, he accompanied At-Tufayl to Makkah and had the privilege of meeting the noble Prophet (s.a.w.). The Prophet (s.a.w) asked Abu Huraira what his name was, “Abdu-Shams” (the servant of the sun), Abu Huraira replied. So he was introduced by the holy Prophet (s.a.w) to change his name to “Abdur-Rahman” (the servant of the Beneficent). However, he continued to be known among people as “Abu Hurrah” (the kitten’s father) because of his love for a cat he looked after and fed, and which used to stick to him wherever he went.

Abu Huraira lived with his mother who was still a Mushrik. He prayed for her and tried hard to convince her to join Islam, but she adamantly refused. One day when he was telling her about Islam she uttered some words about the Prophet which saddened Abu Huraira greatly. He went to the Prophet (s.a.w), his eyes full of tears and told him about what had happened between him and his mother. He also asked the Prophet to make supplication to Allah (s.w.t) for her to make her heart respond to Islam. The Prophet responded to Abu Huraira’s request and prayed for his mother. When Abu Huraira returned home he was delighted to hear his mother, who had just taken a shower, testifying that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Servant and His Messenger. So he rushed back to the Prophet with his eyes glowing with joy, and informed him that Allah had answered his prayers, and guided his mother to Islam. He then said: “O Allah’s Messenger, Ask Allah to make me and my mother lovable to the believing men and women”. So he (s.a.w.) said: “O Allah, make this servant of yours and his mother lovable to every believing man and woman”.

With his great gift and talent, Abu Huraira realised that he was able to serve this religion a great deal. He realised that, because many of the early companions who had the most knowledge died in the battles in Allah’s cause, this religion needed people to preserve it, as in these days the companions used to write only the Qur’an fearing it might get mixed with the Hadith of the Messenger, if the latter was to be documented too. Even among those who had a great deal of knowledge, many of them were occupied by their trades and didn’t have as much free time as Abu Huraira to spend with the Prophet (s.a.w). Also the fact that he had an extraordinary long term memory meant that he could hear the Prophet’s teachings and be able to ask a writer to write them later knowing that he will not forget any of them. Therefore, during the four years Abu Huraira stayed with the Prophet (s.a.w) in Madinah, he set himself to accompany the holy Prophet to gain knowledge and memorise his sayings and teachings in order to preserve the word of Allah (s.w.t) and the teachings of his beloved Prophet (s.a.w). The Prophet (s.a.w.) himself directed Abu Huraira to an effective way to memorise his Hadiths, Abu Hurrah said: Allah’s Prophet one day said to us: “whoever spreads his dress until I finish my talk, and then takes hold of it, will not forget anything from what he heard from me”.

The fact that Abu Huraira set himself to preserve the teachings of the noble Prophet, meant that he was always close to the Prophet (s.a.w) in his stay in Madinah, as he had free time at his disposal, unlike the Muhajirin he did not work in trade and unlike the Ansar he did not have a land to look after. This enabled Abu Huraira to stay with the noble Prophet at Madinah and to go with him on journeys and expeditions.

He loved the Prophet a great deal, he was never tired of looking at the Prophet nor was he tired of listening to him. Often he would praise Allah for his good fortune and say “Praise be to Allah who has guided Abu Huraira to Islam, Praise be to Allah who taught Abu Huraira the Qur’an, Praise be to Allah who has bestowed on Abu Huraira the companionship of Muhammad (s.a.w)”.

Abu Huraira underwent much hardship and difficulties as a result of devoting his life to knowledge and companionship of the holy Prophet (s.a.w): “One day, my hunger became so severe that I placed a stone on my stomach. I then sat down in the path of the companions. Abu Bakr passed by and I asked him about an Ayah of the book of God. I only asked him so that he would invite me but he didn’t”.

Despite the fact that Abu Huraira set himself to preserving the word of Allah and the teachings of his Prophet, he by no means neglected his other duties as much of his time was spend in prayers and devotion to God. He often rotated staying up at night with his wife and his daughter, as he would stay up for a third of the night, his wife for another third and his daughter for a third, this way in the house of Abu Huraira no hour of the night would pass without Ibadah and Salat. Abu Huraira’s presence was also felt in the battlefield when needed to protect and establish the religion of Islam by the sword, as he lived all his life, since becoming a Muslim, as a soldier of Islam not missing a single battle with the holy Prophet (s.a.w).

After the death of the holy Prophet (s.a.w), Abu Huraira continued his duties in conveying the teachings of the Prophet (s.a.w). He went on preaching a great number of Ahadith, which made some of his friends curious of the large amount of Ahadith that he memorised in such a short time. Although the fact that he was able to memorise so many Ahadith was justified by the fact that he was dedicated to staying with the Prophet and due to the extraordinary ability to memorise speeches from the first time.

During the caliphate of Umar (r.a.a), Umar appointed him as a governor of Bahrain where he became quiet rich. Umar, being very scrupulous about the type of persons he appointed as governors, he was concerned that his governors should live simply and frugally and not acquire much wealth even through lawful means. When Umar (r.a.a) heard about Abu Huraira’s wealth he recalled him to Madinah, thinking that Abu Huraira had acquired his wealth through unlawful means.

When Abu Huraira arrived in Madinah, Umar questioned him about the way he acquired such a fortune. Abu Huraira replied “from breeding horses and gifts that I received”. Umar then ordered him to hand his fortune over to the treasury of the Muslims. Abu Huraira did as he was ordered and raised his hands to the heavens and prayed “O Lord, forgive Amir ul-Muminin”. After a while Umar called upon Abu Huraira and offered him to regain his position as the governor of Bahrain but Abu Huraira refused the offer. When he was asked by Umar why he refused his offer he replied “So that my honor would not be besmirched, and my wealth would not be taken and my back would not be beaten”. He then added “I also fear to judge without knowledge and speak without wisdom”.

Abu Huraira continued to live a righteous life, devoting himself to serve the religion of Islam and being kind to his mother as well as encouraging others to be kind to their parents. One day when Abu Huraira’s health was deteriorating quickly and his friends were praying for him to recover, he looked to the heavens and said “O Allah I love meeting you and ask you to love meeting me”. He then died in the year 59 after Hijra when he was seventy eight years old.

He died after having accomplished his duty and his desire to preserve and transmit the teachings of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w), leaving Muslims a great debt of gratitude for helping to preserve the teachings of the noble Prophet (s.a.w) and setting them a perfect example and platform to follow in preaching and conveying to the humanity what he and others had worked relentlessly, facing all sorts of hardships, in order to preserve. We ask Allah (s.w.t) to reward Abu Huraira and grant him the companionship of the holy Prophet in the hereafter just as he was granted his companionship in this world.

April - June 2004, Islam, Quran, Women in Islam

La Virgen María en Islam

Por Juan Galvan

Mucha gente se sorprendería al ver el amor que los Musulmanes sienten por la Virgen María, la madre de Jesús. En el Corán, a ninguna otra mujer se le da más atención que a María. Ella recibe más atención que a todos los Profetas con la excepción de Adán. En los 114 capítúlos del Corán, María esta entre las ocho personas en tener un capítúlo a su nombre. El decimonoveno capítúlo del Corán se llama Mariam, en honor a la Virgen María. ‘Mariam’ significa María en Árabe. El tercer capítúlo del Corán se llama Amran, el cuál es el padre de María. Los capítúlos de Mariam y Amran son de los capítúlos más bellos de todo el Corán. María (que en paz descanse) es la única mujer específicamente nombrada en el Corán. Existe un Hadiz auténtico en el cuál el Profeta menciona que: “La superioridad de Aisha con respecto a otras mujeres es como la superioridad de Tharid (un platillo de pan y carne) con respecto a otros platillos. Muchos hombres alcanzan el nivel de perfección, pero ninguna mujer ha alcanzado ese nivel a excepción de María, hija de Amran y Asia, y la esposa del Faraón.” (Bukhari 4.643). Verdaderamente, María y la esposa del Faraón son un verdadero ejemplo (Corán 6:11-12). La Virgen María posee un papel muy significativo en la religión del Islám. Ella es un ejemplo y una guía para la humanidad.

En el Corán, la historia de María comienza cuando ella todavía esta en el vientre de su madre. La madre de María dijo: “¡Señor! Yo te ofrezco en voto lo que hay en mi vientre. Aceptalo de mi. Tú eres ciertamente el Oyente y el Omnisciente.” (Corán 3:35). Ella deseaba a ese bebé en su vientre solo para servir a su creador. Cuando dio a luz a María ella dijo: “Señor, yo he dado a luz a una hija..” (Corán 3:36). Ella esperaba tener a un varón quien al crecer sería un líder religioso. Sin embargo, Dios tenía para ella un plan mejor. Dios es el que mejor planea. “�.y Dios sabía bien lo que ella había dado a luz. El varón no es como la niña. Yo la he llamado María y yo la coloco, asi como su descendencia, bajo Tú proteccion contra Satanas el expulsado.” (Continuacion de Corán 3:36) María literalmente significa Servidora de Dios.

En el Corán 3:37, Dios confirma que el ha aceptado a María tal como su madre lo ha pedido. Dios ha hecho que María crezca en belleza y pureza. Fué asignada al cuidado de un Pastor de nombre Zacarías. Lo cuál es muy importante ya que muy pocas mujeres tienen esa gran oportúnidad. “�.Cada vez que Zacarías entraba a verla en el santúario, encontraba cerca de ella alimentos. El dijo: ¡Oh María! ¿De donde te vienen esos alimentos? Ella respondio: Me vienen de Dios. Dios da favores a quien desea sin medida.” (Corán 3:37). Al escuchar la respuesta de María, “Entonces Zacarías suplico a su Señor exclamando: ¡Señor Mio! Dame, de Tú parte, una descendencia excelente, porque Tú eres quien escucha los ruegos.” (Corán 3:38) Aúnque su esposa era estéril y el era ya un viejo, Dios bendició a Zacarías y a su esposa Elizabeth con Juan. Juan es conocido en la Biblia como “Juan el Bautista.” Zacarías estaba esceptico después de escuchar a los angeles anunciar el nacimiento de Juan. Como respuesta a su escepticismo: “Dios dijo: Es asi como Dios hace lo que le place.” (Corán 3:40) “Juan será jefe, casto, profeta de la gente virtúosa.” (Corán 3:39)

En el Corán se explica también el milagroso embarazo de María. “Menciona en el Corán la historia de María, cuando ella se retiro de su familia en un lugar hacia el Oriente. Ella puso un velo entre ella y ellos. Nosotros le enviamos Nuestro Espiritú, el angel Gabriel, en forma de un hombre perfecto.” (Corán 19:16-17) Después de ver al angel, ella dijo: “Yo me refugio contra ti, donde el Misericordioso. Si tú eres piadoso (no te acerques a mi).” (Corán 19:18) El angel Gabriel respondio: “Yo soy un mensajero de tú Señor y vengo a anunciarte el don de un hijo puro.” (Corán 19:19) Su siguiente respuesta es obvia. Ella pregunta: “¿Como podre tener un hijo, siendo que ningun hombre me ha tocado y yo no soy corrompida?” (Corán 19:20) El angel Gabriel le dijo: ¡Asi será! Tú Señor ha dicho: ¡Esto es facil! Y nosotros haremos de él un signo para las gentes y una misericordía de nuestra parte . Esto es algo que ya se ha decretado.” (Corán 19:21) María después resulta embarazada.

Jesús (paz y bendiciones sean con el) es un Profeta y un Mensajero. Un mensajero es un Profeta al cuál se le ha dado una revelación de Dios. Por otro lado la Tora le fué revelado a Moisés, y el Evangelio fué revelado a Jesús. Los Mensajeros son una misericordía, una guía, y una señal de Dios. “Y Dios le enseñará (a Jesús) el Libro y la Sabiduría, la Tora, y el Evangelio. Y el será el mensajero para los hijos de Israel (y les dira): Yo vengo a vosotros con un signo por parte de vuestro Señor. Yo hare, para vosotros, de barro, la forma de un pájaro y soplare de el y con el permiso de Dios se convertirá en un pájaro. Y curo a los ciegos de nacimiento, a los leprosos y resucito a los muertos con permiso de Dios. Y os dire lo que vosotros coméis y lo que vosotros guardáis en vuestras casas. Todo esto es un signo para vosotros sí sois creyentes. Yo he venido a confirmaros la Tora que habéis recibido antes que yo y a permitiros algo de lo que os estaba prohibido. Yo he venido hasta vosotros con un signo de vuestro Señor. Temed a Dios y obedecedme. Dios es mi Señor y vuestro Señor. Adoradle. Ese es el sendero de la rectitúd.” (Corán 3:48-51) Dios escoge a mensajeros para ayudarnos a resolver preguntas tales como: ¿Que sucede después de que muero? ¿Que esta bien y que esta mal? ¿Existe un mundo supernatúral? ¿Cuál es el propósito de mi creación? Jesús ha llamado a la gente para que vengan a un solo Dios. Solo por gracia de Dios, Jesús es capaz de conceder milagros. “Cuando Jesús presintió la incredulidad de ellos, de los judios, les dijo: ¿Quienes serán mis auxiliaries en el camino de Dios? Los apostoles respondieron: Nosotros somos los aliados de Dios. Nosotros creemos en Dios y que seas testigo que a El nos hemos sometido.” (Corán 3:52)

Después de concebir a Jesús, María huyo a un lugar apartado (Corán 19:22) “Los dolores del parto la llevarón hacia el tronco de una palmera y dijo: ¡Que desgracia la mia! Si hubiese muerto antes de esto y hubiese sido olvidada completamente” (Corán 19:23) “Entonces una voz la llamo desde abajo de ella diciendo: No te aflijas. Tú Señor ha hecho correr bajo tús pies un riachuelo. Sacude hacia ti el tronco de la palmera que hara caer sobre ti dátiles frescos y maduros. Come pues y bebe y que se tranquilice tú ojo (deja de llorar), pero si tú ves a alguien di: He hecho un voto al Misericordioso de ayunar (ayunar en el sentido de no hablar con nadie) y hoy no hablare con ningun ser humano.” (Corán 19:24-26) Jose, los Magos y el pesebre no se mencionan en el Corán. Dios fué el unico proveedor de María. Los Musulmanes no aceptan el nacimiento virgen de Jesús como una evidencia de la divinidad de Jesús. “Para Dios, Jesús es como Adán que creo del polvo y después le dijo: Se y el fué.” (Corán 3:59) La creacion de Adán fué aún más milagrosa puesto que fué creado sin madre y sin padre.

Cuando María trae al bebé a su gente, ellos dicen: “¡Oh María! Tú has hecho una cosa extraña. ¡Oh hermana de Aaron! Tú padre no era un hombre de mal y tú madre no era una corrompida.” (Corán 19:27-28) Después María señala al bebé. “Ellos dijeron: ¿Como hablaremos con un niño que aún esta en la cuna?” (Corán 19:29) Después un milagro ocurre, el cuál no es mencionado en la Biblia. En defensa de su madre, Jesús dice: “Yo soy un servidor de Dios. El me ha dado el Libro y me ha hecho profeta. El me ha hecho bendito donde me encuentre y me ha recomendado la oración y el Zakat³ mientras viva, y la bondad con mi madre. Y no me ha hecho violento ni desgraciado, y que la paz sea conmigo el día en que nací, el día en que muera, y el día en que resucite vivo.” (Corán 19:30-33) El hecho que la virgen diera luz a Jesús fué una señal. “Y aquella que había preservado su castidad. Nosotros soplamos en ella Nuestro Espíritú, proveniente de Nosotros e hicimos de ella como de su hijo, un milagro para el universo.” (Corán 21:91)

Todos los Profetas anteriores confirman la unidad de Dios (Tawhíd). Asi como la Santa Trinidad es fundamental como concepto de Dios en el Cristianismo, Tawhíd es la teoría fundamental de Dios en el Islám. Dios existe independientemente de cuálquier religión. Los Musulmanes no creen en el concepto de la Santa Trinidad (Corán 5:73). Dios no es Jesús (Corán 5:72). En el Día del Juicio, cuando a Jesús se le pregunte si ha llamado a venerarlo a él y a su madre como si fuéran dos Dioses, Jesús dira: “¡Gloria a Ti! ¿Como podría yo decir lo que no tengo derecho a decir? Sí lo hubiera dicho, ciertamente Tú lo sabrías, porque Tú sabes lo que hay en mi, y yo ignoro lo que hay en Ti. Solo Tú eres quien conoce lo oculto.” (Corán 5:116) La gente no debería de venerar ninguna de las creaciones de Dios, incluyendo a Jesús y a María. No debemos de asignar a ninguna de las creaciones de Dios sus atributos y caracteristicas divinas. “El es Dios. El Creador, el que da comienzo de nada, es el Formador. De El son los más bellos nombres. Todo lo que hay en los Cielos y en la tierra le glorifica. Pues El es el Potente, el Sabio.” (Corán 59:24)

Aúnque Dios puede hacer todas las cosas, El solo puede hacer las que sean consistentes con su Natúraleza fundamental. Engendrar a un hijo no es congruente con la Natúraleza magnifica de Dios (Corán 19:35,92). Algo compatible con su Natúraleza fundamental es el perdon. Aúnque Adán y Eva no pudieron seguir viviendo en el Paraíso, Dios los perdonó después de haberse arrepentido de su pecado (Corán 2:35-37). Nosotros los humanos somos los responsables de nuestros propios actos y no serémos castigados por las acciones de otra persona (Corán 53:38-42). Por lo tanto, los Musulmanes rechazan la doctrina del pecado original. Aún y aúnque Adán y Eva fuéron castigados, Dios es misericordioso y le manda a la humanidad guías para vivir. “Nosotros dijimos: Descended de aqui todos vosotros. Cuando yo os envié un guía, los que le sigan, estarán al abrigo de todo temor y desgracia.” (Corán 2:38)

Otro Profeta, con un mensaje similar al de Jesús, nace después en Arabia en el Siglo VI. También el motivaba a la gente a adorar a un solo Dios. Aúnque el Profeta Mohamed (que la paz y bendiciones esten con el) no sabía ni leer ni escribir, pudo recitar hermosos versos del Corán tal y como le fuéron revelados. El Corán es un hermoso milagro, una señal, una misericordia, un aviso, una guía para la gente. Mohamed es el último Profeta de una lista de Profetas a los cuales incluye Noé, Abrahán, Moisés y Jesús (la paz y bendiciones sean con todos ellos). Todos los Profetas fuéron modelos para la gente vivir justa y rectamente. El Sunnah² del Profeta Mohamed, sus dichos, sus ejemplos, sus tradiciones son también consideradas como una revelación. Su Sunnah² esta escrita en varios libros de Hadiz¹. “Vosotros teneis en el Mensajero de Dios un ejemplo excelente de conducta para el que tenga esperanza en Dios y en el Día Final e invoque mucho a Dios.” (Corán 33:21)

Cuando la gente escucha la palabra “Islám,” por lo general piensa que es una religión organizada, que comenzo con el Profeta Mohamed. Sin embargo, en Árabe, la palabra Islám viene de la raiz “salema” que significa paz, pureza, sumision, y obediencia. En el sentido religioso, Islám significa paz y pureza alcanzada por la sumisión a los deseos de Dios y obediencia a su ley. Los Musulmanes son aquellos que se someten. Creen que todo ser que se someta a los designos de Dios siguiendo la revelación divina de los Mensajeros anteriores se les puede llamar Musulmanes. Partiendo de este concepto, los Musulmanes creen que los seres humanos somos la continuación de la fe de Jesús y María. “Acuerdate cuando los angeles dijeron: ¡Oh María! Dios te ha elegido y te ha purificado. Dios te ha escogido de entre todas las mujeres del mundo. ¡Oh María! Obedece a Tú Señor, prosternate e inclinate con los que se inclinan.” (Corán 3:42-43) María, Jesús, y sus discípulos han sido todos Musulmanes porque se han sometido a Dios.

Dios creo a la gente para que le sirvan a El y para vivir la vida de acuerdo a sus enseñanzas y guías. “Asios todos a la cuerda de Dios. No os separéis. Acordaos del favor que Dios os concedió cuando eráis enemigos. Es El quien reconcilió vuestros corazones. Después por su gracia habeis llegado a ser humanos. Estabáis al borde de un abismo de fuego. Es El quien os ha salvado. Asi es como Dios os muestra sus signos para que seáis bien guiados.” (Corán 3:103) “Aquel que desee otra religión que el Islám, no será aceptado por Dios en la vida futúra y será de los perdedores.” (Corán 3:85) Lo podemos confirmar gracias a los que atestiguan que Dios solo es uno y aceptan su revelación final en nuestras vidas cotidíanas. “¡Oh Creyentes! Temed a Dios como se debe temed y no lleguéis a la muerte antes de ser Musulmanes.” (Corán 3:102) No existe nada en el mundo que valga la pena venerar más que Dios, y Mohamed es su Mensajero.

Nota de Termino:
Al escribir a cerca de La Virgen María, quise evitar cuálquier tipo de confusión para los no-Musulmanes. Este artículo fué escrito y dirigido a una audiencia no-musulmana. Por consiguiente usé terminos en inglés y figuras familiares para los Cristianos en lugar de utilizar términos en Árabe. Por ejemplo “Isa” significa Jesús en Árabe; y “Yahya” significa Juan en Árabe. Al-lah significa literalmente “Dios” en Árabe. Cuando nos referimos a Dios, los Musulmanes prefieren utilizar el termino “Al-lah” parta remarcar su unidad. Tambien evité el uso de terminos e iniciales generalmente usados entre Musulmanes tales como SWT, PBUH, SAWS, RA, y AS. De antemano ofrezco una disculpa si ofendí a alguien con este escrito.

Traducido por Rocio Martinez-Mendoza

April - June 2004, Islam, Quran, Women in Islam

The Virgin Mary in Islam

By Juan Galvan

Many people may be surprised that Muslims love Mary, the mother of Jesus. In the Quran, no woman is given more attention than Mary. Mary receives the most attention of any woman mentioned in the Quran even though all the Prophets with the exception of Adam had mothers. Of the Quran’s 114 chapters, she is among the eight people who have a chapter named after them. The nineteenth chapter of the Quran is named after her, Mariam. Mariam means Mary in Arabic. The third chapter in the Quran is named after her father, Imran. Chapters Mariam and Imran are among the most beautiful chapters in the Quran. Mary (peace be upon her) is the only woman specifically named in the Quran. An authentic Haddith states that the Prophet said, “The superiority of ‘Aisha to other ladies is like the superiority of Tharid (i.e. meat and bread dish) to other meals. Many men reached the level of perfection, but no woman reached such a level except Mary, the daughter of Imran and Asia, the wife of Pharaoh.” (Bukhari 4.643). Indeed, both Mary and Pharoah’s wife are an example (Quran 66:11-12). The Virgin Mary plays a very significant role in Islam. She is an example and a sign for all people.

In the Quran, Mary’s story begins while she is still in her mother’s womb. The mother of Mary, said: “O my Lord! I do dedicate into Thee what is in my womb for Thy special service: So accept this of me: For Thou hearest and knowest all things.” (Quran 3:35). She wanted the baby in her womb to serve only the Creator. When Mary was delivered, she said: “O my Lord! Behold! I am delivered of a female child!” (Quran 3:36). She had expected her baby to be a male child who would grow up to be a scholar or religious leader. However, God had a better plan. God is the best of planners. Quran 3:36 continues “�and God knew best what she brought forth- ‘And no wise is the male like the female. I have named her Mariam, and I commend her and her offspring to Thy protection from Satan, the Rejected.'” Mariam literally means “maidservant of God.”

In Quran 3:37, God states that He accepted Mary as her mother had asked. He made Mary grow in purity and beauty. She was assigned to the care of a priest named Zacharias. This is interesting considering few women were given this opportunity. “Every time that he entered (her) chamber to see her, he found her supplied with sustenance. He said: ‘O Mary! Whence (comes) this to you?’ She said: ‘From God. For God provides sustenance to whom He pleases without measure.'” (Quran 3:37). Upon hearing Mary’s answer, “There did Zakariya pray to his Lord, saying: ‘O my Lord! Grant unto me from Thee a progeny that is pure: for Thou art He that heareth prayer!'” (Quran 3:38). Although his wife was barren and he was very old, God blesses Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth with John. John is known as “John the Baptist” in the Bible. Zacharias was skeptical after the angels announced John’s birth. The response to his skepticism was “Doth God accomplish what He willeth” (Quran 3:40). John would become a noble and chaste Prophet as the angels had stated (Quran 3:39).

The Quran discusses Mary’s miraculous pregnancy as well. “Relate in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent her Our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.” (Quran 19:16-17). After seeing the angel, she said: “I seek refuge from thee to (God) Most Gracious: (come not near) if thou dost fear God.” (Quran 19:18). The angel Gabriel responded: “Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a pure son.” (Quran 19:19). Her next response is expected. She asked: “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?” (Quran 19:20). The Angel Gabriel said: “So (it will be): thy Lord saith, ‘That is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us.’ It is a matter (so) decreed.” (Quran 19:21). Mary then becomes pregnant.

Jesus (peace be upon him) is a Prophet and a Messenger. A Messenger is a Prophet who is given revelation from God. Whereas the Torah was revealed to Moses, the Gospel was revealed to Jesus. Messengers are a mercy, guidance, and sign from God. “And God will teach him (Jesus) the Book and Wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel, and (appoint him) as a messenger to the Children of Israel, (with this message): ‘I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by God’s leave. And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I bring the dead into life, by God’s leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe. (I have come to you) to attest the Torah which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was (before) forbidden to you. I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord. So fear God, and obey me. It is God Who is my Lord and your Lord; then worship Him. This is a Way that is straight.'” (Quran 3:48-51). God appointed messengers to help us answer questions such as: What happens after I die? What’s right and wrong? Does a supernatural world exist? What’s the purpose of my creation? Jesus was calling people to the worship of only God. Only by God’s leave was Jesus able to perform miracles. “When Jesus found unbelief on their (the disciples) part he said: ‘Who will be my helpers to (the work of) God?” Said the disciples: “We are God’s helpers: We believe in God, and do thou bear witness that we are Muslims.'” (Quran 3:52).

After conceiving Jesus, Mary went away with the baby to a distant place (Quran 19:22). “And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree. She cried (in her anguish): ‘Ah! would that I had died before this! would that I had been a thing forgotten!'” (Quran 19:23). “But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm-tree): ‘Grieve not! for thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee; And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree: It will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee. So eat and drink and cool (thine) eye. And if thou dost see any man, say, ‘I have vowed a fast to (God) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into no talk with any human being.'” (Quran 19:24-26). Joseph, the magi, and manger are not mentioned in the Quran. God was Mary’s only Provider. Muslims do not accept the virgin birth of Jesus as evidence of Jesus’ divinity. “The similitude of Jesus before God is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: ‘Be.’ And he was.” (Quran 3:59). Adam’s creation was even more miraculous because he was born without father and mother.

When she brings the baby to her people, they said: “O Mary! truly a strange thing has thou brought! O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!” (Quran 19:27-8). Mary then points to the baby. They said: “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?” (Quran 19:29). Then a miracle occurs that is not mentioned in the Bible. In defense of his mother, Jesus said: “I am indeed a servant of God. He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet; And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live; (He hath made me) kind to my mother, and not overbearing or unblest; So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)!” (Quran 19:30-33). The virgin birth of Jesus was a sign. “And (remember) her who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her of Our spirit, and We made her and her son a sign for all peoples.” (Quran 21:91).

All previous Prophets confirmed the oneness of God, Tawheed. Whereas the Holy Trinity is the fundamental concept of God in Christianity, Tawheed is the fundamental concept of God in Islam. God exists independent of religion. Muslims do not believe in the concept of Holy Trinity (Quran 5:73). God is not Jesus (Quran 5:72). On the Day of Judgment, when Jesus is asked if he had called people to worship him and his mother as two gods, Jesus will say: “Glory to Thee! Never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, Thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, Thou I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden.” (Quran 5:116). People should not worship any of God’s creation, including Jesus and Mary. We must not assign any of God’s creation His divine attributes and characteristics. “He is God the Creator, the Maker, the Shaper. To Him belong the Names Most Beautiful. All that is in the heavens and the earth magnifies Him; He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (Qur’an 59:24).

Although God can do all things, He only does things that are consistent with His fundamental nature. Begetting a son is not consistent with God’s magnificent nature (Quran 19:92, Quran 19:35). Consistent with His fundamental nature is forgiveness. Although Adam and Eve could no longer live in the Paradise, God forgave Adam and Eve for their sin after they sincerely repented (Quran 2:35-37). We are responsible for our own deeds and will not be punished for the deeds of another person (Quran 53:38-42). Therefore, Muslims reject the doctrine of original sin. Although Adam and Eve were punished, God would still be merciful by sending Guidance to mankind. “We said: ‘Get down all of you from this place (the Paradise), then whenever there comes to you Guidance from Me, and whoever follows My Guidance, there shall be no fear on them, nor shall they grieve.'” (Quran 2:38).

Another Prophet with a message similar to Jesus’ would later be born in Arabia in the sixth century. He also called people to the worship of only God. Although unable to read and write, Muhammad (peace be upon him) would recite beautiful verses of the Quran as they were revealed to him. The Quran is a beautiful miracle, a sign, a mercy, a warner, and a guidance for all people. Muhammad is the last Prophet from a line of Prophets that included Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (peace be upon them). All Prophets were models for righteous living. Muhammad’s Sunnah, his sayings, example, and traditions, is also considered revelation. His Sunnah is expressed in various books of Haddith. “Indeed in the Messenger of God you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) God and the Last Day, and remembers God much.” (Quran 33:21).

When people hear the word “Islam,” they usually think of the organized religion of Islam that began with the Prophet Muhammad. However in Arabic, the word Islam comes from the root “salema” which means peace, purity, submission, and obedience. In the religious sense, Islam means peace and purity achieved by submitting to the will of God and obedience to His law. Muslims are those who submit. Muslims believe that all those who submitted to the will of God by following the divine revelation of previous Messengers were themselves Muslims. So coming from this understanding, Muslims believe that we are part of one continuing faith community with Jesus and Mary. “Behold! the angels said: ‘O Mary! God hath chosen thee and purified thee- chosen thee above the women of all nations. O Mary! worship thy Lord devoutly: Prostrate thyself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down.'” (Quran 3:42-43). Mary, Jesus, and the disciples were all “Muslims” because they submitted themselves to God.

God created all people to worship Him and to live life based on His teachings and guidance. “And hold fast, all together, by the Rope which God (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude God’s favor on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth God make His Signs clear to you that ye may be guided.” (Quran 3:103). “If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to God), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost.” (Quran 3:85). We accomplish this by bearing witness to God’s oneness and accepting His final revelation in our daily lives. “O ye who believe! Fear God as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam.” (Quran 3:102). There is none worthy of worship but God, and Muhammad is His messenger.

End Note:
While writing about the Virgin Mary, I wanted to avoid as much confusion as possible among nonMuslims. My article was written with a nonMuslim audience in mind. Consequently, I used English terms and figures familiar to Christians rather than those in Arabic. For example, “Isa” means Jesus in Arabic, and “Yahya” means John in Arabic. Allah literally means “The God” in Arabic. When referring to God, Muslims prefer the term “Allah” to assert His oneness. I also avoided using terms of respectability commonly used among Muslims such as SWT, PBUH, SAWS, RA, and AS. I apologize if I have offended anyone.

Dawah, Islam, Jan - Mar 2003, Quran

The Prophet’s Night Journey

The Prophet’s Night Journey From Makkah To The Farthest Mosque In Jerusalem, And Ascent To The Heavens
Sardar, Ziauddin. “MUHAMMAD: Aspects of His Biography.” Excerpt.
The Islamic Foundation: Leicester, UK. 1982.

On the night of the twenty-seventh Rajab, Muhammad (peace be upon him) was in a deep sleep in a house in Makkah when (Gabriel) woke him up. With the archangel was Al-Buraq: an animal unique in creation. It resembled lightning in swiftness and lustre, was of clear white colour, medium in size, smaller than a mule and taller than an ass, and so quick in movement that it put its feet in the farthest limits of sight. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sat on the back of Al-Buraq and in a twinkling, he travelled from Makkah to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, where he led all the Prophets of the past in prayer. He was then taken to the sacred rock, from where he ascended to the Heavens.

Glorified (and Exalted) is He (Allah), Who had His slave Muhammad (peace be upon him) for a journey by night from Al-Haram Mosque (at Makkah) to Al-Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem) whose surroundings we have blessed so that we might show him (Mohammed) of our signs, proofs, lessons, etc! Verily, He is All-Hearer, the All-Seer. The Qur’an 17:1

When they reached the first heaven Gabriel asked the guardian angel to open the door of heaven. It was opened and he saw Adam, the progenitor of mankind. The Prophet (peace be upon him) saluted him and the other welcomed him and expressed his faith in Muhammad’s Prophethood. He saw the souls of martyrs on his right and those of the wretched on his left.

Gabriel then ascended with the Prophet to the second heaven, asked for opening the gate and there he saw and saluted John, son of Zachariya (Yahya bin Zakarlya) and Jesus, son of Mary. They returned the salutation, welcomed him and expressed their faith in his Prophethood. Then they reached the third heaven where they saw Joseph (Yusuf) and saluted him. The latter welcomed the Prophet and expressed faith in his Prophethood.

The Prophet, in the company of Gabriel, then reached the fourth heaven where he met the Prophet Enoch (Idris) and saluted him. Prophet Enoch returned the salutation and expressed faith in his Prophethood. Then he was carried to the fifth heaven where he met the Prophet Aaron (Harun) and saluted him. The latter returned the salutation and expressed faith in his Prophethood.

In the sixth heaven he met Moses (Musa) and saluted him. The latter returned the salutation and expressed faith in his Prophethood. Muhammad (peace be upon him) on leaving, saw that Moses began to weep. He asked about the reason. Moses answered that he was weeping because he witnessed a man sent after him as a Messenger (Muhammad) who was able to lead more of his people to the Paradise than he himself did.

Then Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) reached the seventh heaven and met Abraham (lbrahim) and saluted him. The latter returned the salutation and expressed faith in his Prophethood. Then he was carried to Sidrat-al- Muntaha (the remotest lote tree) and was shown Al-Bait-al-Ma ‘mar [(the much frequented house) which is like the Ka’bah (Sacred House) encompassed daily by seventy thousand angels, so that the angels who once encompassed it would not have their turn again till the Resurrection]. He was then presented to the Divine Presence and experienced the thrill of witnessing the Divine Glory and Manifestation at the closest possible propinquity. There the Lord revealed unto His servant that which He revealed, and ordained fifty daily prayers for him. On his return, he spoke to Moses that his followers had been enjoined to pray fifty times a day. Moses addressing the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Your followers cannot perform so many prayers. Go back to your Lord and ask for a remission in number.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) turned to Gabriel as if holding counsel with him. Gabriel nodded, “Yes, if you desire,” and ascended with him to the Presence of Allah. The All-Mighty Allah, Glory is to Him, made a reduction of ten prayers. He then descended and reported that to Moses, who again urged him to request for a further reduction. Muhammad (peace be upon him) once more begged his Lord to reduce the number still further.

He went again and again in the Presence of Allah at the suggestion of Moses for reduction in the number of prayers till these were reduced to five only. Moses again asked him to implore for more reduction, but he said: “I feel ashamed now of repeatedly asking my Lord for reduction. I accept and resign to His Will.”

While he (Gabriel) was in the highest part of the horizon, Then he (Gabriel) approached and came closer, And was at a distance of two bows length or (even) nearer. So (Allah) revealed to His slave Muhammad (peace be upon him) through (Gabriel) whatever He revealed The Qur’an 53 : 8-10

Creation moved on to continue its expansion. At sunrise, Muhammad (peace be upon him) sat, remembering Allah, in his particular place in the Haram Mosque. Abu Jahl, his lifelong enemy, came and enquired: “0 Muhammad, have you one of those marvelous tales we hear from you so often to tell us this morning ?” The Prophet described his night journey from Makkah to Jerusalem, the Isra’, and his ascension to the heavens, the Al-Mi’raj. The people of Makkah knew that Muhammad had never been to Jerusalem. Could he describe the city for them? Muhammad obliged.

What about the journey from Makkah to Jerusalem? Did Muhammad see anything en route?

“In the valleys of Makkah,” replied the Prophet, “I met a caravan, one whose camel had taken fright and run away. I warned them of this. Then I saw another caravan that had encamped for the night. Outside the principal tent stood a jar of water with a cover on it. I drank water from the jar and replaced the cover as it was before. This same caravan is now approaching Bayda and will shortly enter Makkah. It is led by a dark grey camel, carrying a double load, one half black and the other of various colours.”

The people of Makkah went out of the city and found a caravan answering to the description given by the Prophet. They questioned the members of the caravan about the jar of water, and obtained satisfactory answers. They even discovered the caravan whose camel had run away, and they confirmed that in that very valley the members of the caravan heard a voice warning them of the camel’s escape.

Abu Jahl asked Abu Bakr, “Do you believe in the extraordinary adventure of your Prophet? He pretends to have accomplished in the night the journey from the sacred Mosque of Makkah to the Al Aqsa Mosque of Jerusalem-there and back!” Abu Bakr’s answer was a cool ‘yes’. “What ever Muhammad says is true and I believe it. If he maintains that he went up to the seventh heaven in one hour and came back in the same space of time, I would still have faith in his declarations”.

Abu Jahl’s attempt to cast doubts into the minds of the believers succeeded only in strengthening their beliefs. The unbelievers of Makkah were astonished at the Prophet’s detailed description of the Jerusalem mosque and his encounter with the caravans. For them truth was bitter. They retaliated by increasing their hostilities towards the Muslims. It became increasingly obvious that the Muslims no longer had any option but to migrate from Makkah. The revelations of the Qur’an prepared Muslims for this move. The revelations after the Mi’raj deal with various issues of state policy-human rights, economic guidance, penal reforms, educational ideals and social relations. All these were pointers towards a new era.

Oct - Dec 2002, Quran

Review of 3 Spanish Qurans

A Brief Review of 3 Spanish translations of the Quran
by Alejandro Hamed


It used to be really difficult to find an English translation of the Quran. That has now changed, as various translators and publishers work to regularly improve the quality of their translations of the Book of Allah. Today, Spanish translations of the Quran are where English ones once were. They are few and far between. However, with the growing number of Spanish-speaking Muslims, mostly converts to Islam, this is changing. Br. Alejandro Hamed is one of these Spanish-speaking Muslims. He has reviewed three current translations of the Quran in Spanish. Here are his thoughts.

I have obtained the following three translations of the Quran in Spanish: the revised third edition of ‘El Noble Coran’ (Darussalam, Riyadh, December 1997), the Spanish translation of the Quran by Abdel Ghani Melara Navio (a Spaniard who converted to Islam in 1979) and the third US edition of “El Coran” (Tahrike Tarsile Quran, New York, 1992), the Spanish translation of the Quran by the Spaniard Julio Cortes.

For many years, I have had a copy of “El Sagrado Coran” (El Nilo, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1953). This is a translation by two Muslims of Argentinean background, Ahmed Abboud and Rafael Castellanos. I have compared a number of the verses of the Quran as given by these three different translations. Before I give you some of my impressions, let me quote a couple of other opinions.

Thomas Irving, in his introduction to Julio Cortes’ edition writes: ‘…Another translation has been published in the Argentina, which has not reached my hands. The translator is a Muslim…….Up to now, the best version is that by the Spaniard Julio Cortes….’. I presume that the other translation Irving is referring to is the one by Abboud and Castellanos.

Muslim-American author and educator Yahiya Emerick, in the chapter Hispanic-Americans of his book ‘How to tell others about Islam’ writes: ‘The most widely available (Spanish translation) is that of Julio Cortes, although many native speakers dislike the style Cortes used. The translation of Rafael Castellanos, El Sagrado Coran, is more appealing.’

Here are my impressions.

Aboud and Castellanos’ translation
This translation is far superior in style, elegance and eloquence to the other two. It takes more liberties in constructing sentences in Spanish, but it remains true to the meaning of the Arabic original (to the extent possible, of course). This translation is often easier to read and grasp than the other two. Aboud and Castellanos’ translation is preceded by a brief biography of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), a list of short Hadiths, and an account of the great spiritual and material advances that humanity owes to the Quran. This translation does not contain an analytical index.

Abdel Ghani Melara’s translation
This is an acceptable translation. The somewhat plain Spanish he uses lacks the force and eloquence of the version by Abboud and Castellanos, and it is sometimes less clear. On the other hand, I believe it tries to remain closer to the original Arabic text on a word-by-word basis. It provides commentaries to some verses of the Quran. However, the commentaries are brief and few in number. Melara’s translation contains a glossary but no analytical index. It is readily available in different sizes and in Spanish-only or in a Spanish-Arabic version.

Julio Cortes’ translation
You can add me to the list of native Spanish speakers that dislike this translation. The choice of words, the construction of the sentences, the rhythm of the text, they all leave much to be desired. However, it does contain a glossary and an analytical index.