Monday, January 3, 2011

Islam, Iman, Ihsan 

"One day we were sitting in the company of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, when there appeared before us a man dressed in pure white clothes, his hair extraordinarily black. There were no signs of travel on him. None of us recognized him. He sat with the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. Resting his knees against his and the palms of his hands on his thighs, he said, 'O Muhammad, tell me about Islam'.

The Messenger of Allah replied, 'Islam is to testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to establish the prayer, pay the zakat, observe the fast of Ramadan, and perform the pilgrimage to the House if you are able to do so'.
He said, 'You have spoken the truth,' and we were amazed at him asking and then verifying that he had spoken the truth. He then said, 'Inform me about Iman'.

He replied, 'It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Last Day, and in the divine destiny of both good and evil'.
He said, 'You have spoken the truth'.
He then said, 'Tell me about Ihsan'.
He said, 'It is to worship Allah as if you see Him, for though you do not see Him, surely He sees you'.

He then said, 'Inform me about the Hour'.
He replied, 'The one who is asked knows no more than the one who is asking'.
He said, 'Tell me some of its signs'.
He said, 'That the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress, and barefoot, destitute shepherds will compete with one another in the building of magnificent buildings'.

Then he (the questioner) went on his way but I stayed with him (the Prophet) for a long while.
He said to me, 'Umar, do you know who this questioner was?'
I replied, 'Allah and His Messenger know best'.
He said, 'He was Gabriel. He came to instruct you in your religion'.''
Sahih Muslim
-------------------------------related by 'Umar

Zionism and The Holy Sanctuary of Muslims

Dome of the Rock, also known as Temple Mount or Haram al-Sharif, in Jerusalem. (Jewish source)
Wikepidia: Groups such as the Temple Mount and Eretz Yisrael Faithful Movement wish to relocate the Dome to Mecca and replace it with a Third Temple. Since Muslim religious foundations own the Dome and consider it particularly sacred such actions would inevitably lead to violence. Many Israelis are ambivalent about the movement's wishes. Some religious Jews, following a rabbinic dictum, feel that the Temple should only be rebuilt in the messianic era, and that it would be presumptuous of people to force God's hand. However, some Evangelical Christians consider this a prerequisite to Armageddon and the Second Coming. This view is steeped in the belief that there will be a prophetic rebuilding of the Temple in place of the Dome of the Rock.

By Joel Richardson
© 2010 

In a historically unprecedented development, a famous Turkish Muslim leader and a prominent group of Israeli rabbis have joined together on one of their declared goals, to rebuild the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Adnan Oktar, who uses the pen name of Harun Yahya, is a controversial but highly influential Muslim intellectual and author with over 65 million of his books in circulation worldwide. Oktar recently met with three representatives from the re-established Jewish Sanhedrin, a group of 71 Orthodox rabbis and scholars from Israel, to discuss how religious Muslims, Jews and Christians can work together.

The vision of God's Holy Mountain may not be all that far off. The Obama administration has also suggested that Jerusalem could become an international city that would be shared by peoples from all three Abrahamic faiths.

The Temple Mount
The religious Jews still practice ancient Biblical customs and laws. These often clash in attitude with the non-religious Jews relative to the rebuilding of the Temple. Some say that the Third Temple cannot be built until the Messiah comes. Others say, the Temple must be built now in preparation for His coming. Some regard the actual site of the rock to be imperative to building the Third Temple, while others believe it may be built on the northern end of the Temple Mount without disturbing the Mosque which is now over the rock. The rock is where Abraham sacrificed Isaac in type and the rock where David sacrificed at the threshing floor. David designated this site for the House of the Lord, bought the property ,and gave it to Solomon with the pattern and instructions for building the first Temple

The Online Guide to Al-Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem

AT THE HEART OF JERUSALEM is the Noble Sanctuary, Al-Haram al-Sharif, enclosing over 35 acres of fountains, gardens, buildings and domes. At its southernmost end is Al-Aqsa Mosque and at its centre the celebrated Dome of the Rock. The entire area is regarded as a mosque and comprises nearly one sixth of the walled city of Jerusalem.

The first qibla, or direction of prayer, revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was towards Jerusalem. Significantly, it was Al-Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem that was the destination of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, on the famous Night Journey referred to in the Qur'an and hadith. It was here that Muhammad led the prophets in prayer and it was from here that he ascended through the heavens visiting the prophets again on his way to the sidrat al-muntaha, the Lote Tree of the Furthest Limit, and his encounter with his Lord.

Say: We believe in God and
that which is revealed unto us
and that which was revealed
unto Abraham, and Ishmael,
and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes;
and that which Moses and Jesus received,
and that which the prophets received
from their Lord. We make no
distinction between any of them,
and unto Him we have surrendered.
------------------------------Qur'an 2:136

The word "Zionism" has several different meanings:

1. An ideology - Zionist ideology holds that the Jews are a people or nation like any other, and should gather together in a single homeland. Zionism was self-consciously the Jewish analogue of Italian and German national liberation movements of the nineteenth century. The term "Zionism" was apparently coined in 1891 by the Austrian publicist Nathan Birnbaum, to describe the new ideology, but it was used retroactively to describe earlier efforts and ideas to return the Jews to their homeland for whatever reasons, and it is applied to Evangelical Christians who want people of the Jewish religion to return to Israel in order to hasten the second coming. "Christian Zionism" is also used to describe any Christian support for Israel. 

2. A descriptive term -  The term "Zionism" was apparently coined in 1891 by the Austrian publicist Nathan Birnbaum, to describe the new ideology.  It is also used to describe anyone who believes Jews should return to their ancient homeland.

3. A political movement - The Zionist movement was founded by Theodor Herzl in 1897, incorporating the ideas of early thinkers as well as the organization built by Hovevei Tziyon ("lovers of Zion"). 

"Zionism" derives its name from "Zion," (pronounced "Tzyion" in Hebrew) a hill in Jerusalem. The word means "marker" or commemoration. "Shivath Tzion" is one of the traditional terms for the return of Jewish exiles.  "Zionism" is not a monolithic ideological movement. It includes, for example, socialist Zionists such as Ber Borochov, religious Zionists such as rabbi Kook, revisionist nationalists such as Jabotinsky and cultural Zionists exemplified by Asher Ginsberg (Achad Haam).

Zionist ideas evolved over time and were influenced by circumstances as well as by social and cultural movements popular in Europe at different times, including socialism, nationalism and colonialism, and assumed different "flavors" depending on the country of origin of the thinkers and prevalent contemporary intellectual currents.  Accordingly, no single person, publication, quote or pronouncement should be taken as embodying "official"  Zionist ideology.