"It is God, Who sends the winds and they raise a cloud, then leads it to a dead land and revives the earth after its death, such is the Resurrection."
This verse relates a great physical and scientific evidence that Qur'an is the true word of God revealed to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It gives a scientific description about how winds and clounds are responsible for producing rain. Most of people know that the sun energy when reflected on the oceans causes vapour to rise through the air to generate clouds. The wind drives this clouds to move through the air carrying it across the continents.
Another scientific evidence is hinted in this verse about the rain being what stirs the revival of the earth. In 1827, a British scientist stated that the drops of rain when it flows on the soil causes some kind of movements of its particles, because the rain causes an eletric mass when it mingles with soil, that its particles began to move away from each other to leave room to the flow of water among the parts of the soil and help to the growth of vegetables and herbs.
"And you see the earth motionless, and when We pour water on it, it moves, flowers, and grows of each joyfull pair" (Chapter Al Haj)
The earth is descibed as dead mass stirred by water rain to creat plants and flowers of every kind. See how Qur'anic verses devellop each other when the 'motionless' earth is described as comming out of death. God describes the resurrection as a phyiscal process which is within the grasp of human understanding.
If we witness the resurrection in this physical world, why should we not witness it at the end of time! God says in the Holy Qur'an:
O People, if you should be in doubt about the Resurrection, then indeed, We created you from dust, then from a sperm-drop, then from a clinging clot, and then from a lump of flesh, formed and unformed-that We may show you. And We settle in the wombs whom We will for a specified term, then We bring you out as a child, and then that you may reach your maturity. And among you is he who is taken in death, and among you is he who is returned to the most decrepit age so that he knows, after [once having] knowledge, nothing. And you see the earth motionless, and when We pour wateron it, it moves, flowers, and grows of each joyfull pair" (Chapter Al Haj)
Traditional and common beliefs held, and for long, that the external signs of anxiety are reliable indicators of a person's truthfulness or deceitfulness. However, our common experiences have shown that this is not always the case. There are, indeed, people who can tell lies without showing any external signs of anxiety. It is quite simple; when lying becomes a currently repeated action, the signs of anxiety would not be triggered any more. So, would it be wise to, always, refer to external signs as mere reliable sources of information? Shouldn't this trigger us to learn more about the components of our brain and see its different fuctions from breathing, speech and movement to moral reasoning and free-will? A scientist in biological pyscology (I forgot his name) stated that a truthful answer is automatic, but a deceitful one requires always something more; a double effort to proveit.Magnetic resonance imaging techniques, called as lie detectors, which we have been introduced to lately, have indicated that 'the act of lying triggers activities in the brain that sends blood to the prefrontal cortex (the area behind the forhead,or called as the forelock), which controls several psychological processes, and is labelled as the center of decision-making and moral reasoning.The prefrontal cortex or forelock is called in Qur'anic terminology as the 'Nasiya',and it has been refered to in Qur'an as the area of lies and moral reasoning and there are many verses in Qur'an refering to this area of the brain. For this reason, I will cite the surah of al Alaq, one of the Meccan verses which are short but are embedded with numerous scientific data pushing more to logical reasoning about faith. God says in this Surah:
"...No, indeed Man trangresses, as he sees himself as self-sufficient. Indeed, to your lord is the return. Have you seen the one who forbids a servant when he prays? Have you seen if he is upon guidance and enjoins righteousness? Have you seen if he denies (the truth) and turns away? Does he not know that God sees? No, if he does not desist, We will, surely, drag him by the forelock.A lying, sinning, forelock.Let him call his associates, We will call the angels of Hell. No, do not obey him, but prostrate, and draw near (to God)."
God refers in this part of the Surah to the well known personality of Abu Jahl, one of the unbelievers and oppressors of Muslim communities during the beginning of the call to Islam in Mecca. So, these verses have been revealed as a response to his corrupted and sinful character. What is striking in this Surah is that God refers to the forelock of this person as a lying and sinful one, which triggers the question: why does God refer to the forelock and not to the person himself as sining and lying? Most traditional commentators of Qur'an have stated that the forelock is metaphore of the person himself. However, with the advent of modern biological pyscology it has been stated that the forelock (Nasiya) or as they call "the prefrontal cortex" is an area of the brain which is responsible for most of our psycological responses, decision-making and moral reasoning (sinning forelock). Look, Qur'anicterms are simple and clear: a lying, sinning forelock, which means that this part of the brain is the one responsible for lies-telling, and moral reasoning.
A Geological American center argued that the Japan Tsunami followed by earthquakes caused the island to drift away from its region some centimeters away; even the earth's pivot is reported to have drifted some centimeters away from its normal center. This led me to think about the phenomena of plate tectonics and try to understand how the oceanic movement could cause this continental drift. Plate tectonics is the geo-scientific branch which describes the movements of the earth and is based on 'continental drift' and 'sea floor spreading' theories. The German geologist,Alfred Wegner, argued that today's continents were once a single landmass called as 'Pangaea'. Due to the constant motions of the earth crust,the landmass began to drift away to form the seperate continents that we witness nowadays. 'Sea floor speading' helps to explain the theory of continental drift. Due to the constantmotionsof molecules within the oceanic fluid (called current convection) the sea floor moves and carries the continents along with it, causing its drifting away.
These are scientific data which proves that the globe has been built on the logic of expansion. The same way as the cosmos expands, as stated in the Qur'anic verse: "Indeed, We have built the heaven with might, and We are expanding it", the earth as well is expanding as the Qur'an says:
It is He Who stretched out the earth and placed firmly embedded mountains and rivers in it and made two types of every kind of fruit. He covers over day with night. There are Signs in that for people who reflect. (Surat Ar-Ra‘d, 3)
The spreading or the strechting out of the earth comes with the sense of constant movement and expansion, and through this process of the earth's expansion, the verse talks about the mountains and rivers being formed. Is this a coincidence? Indeed no, because it has been scientifically proved that the mountain building (even earthquakes, and volcanic activity) happen along the boundaries of the litosphere (the solid outer layer of the earth) and astenosphere (the weaker and the deeper part of the earth). Furthermore, as explained above the continents are rooted within the ocean, and so when the continents drift apart, or in simple terms, when the earth expands, this would result in the formation of rift valleys or rivers, because the expansion happens at the level of the continent not at the sea bed. So the formations of mountains and rivers is caused by the expansion of the earthas it has been scientifically proved.
Some would just argue that the Qur'anic verses do not come with scientific details, I tell them that the Qur'an is meant to be a book of guidance relying on 'physical evidences' about creationism (but not a book of science), and so it gives constant hints to these scientific evidences throughout the Qur'an leaving Mankind to come up with the details and the scientific explanation of each data. Another stunning verse in Qur'an speaks about the motion of the mountains, which is in fact related to the constant movement of the earth underneat. God says in the Holy Qur'an:
"And you see the mountains you reckoned to be solid, moving past like clouds."
In appearance, the mountains seem to be motionless, but, in fact, they are moving, due to the movement of the earth crust. God also says in the Qur'an, refering to the geological function of the mountains as preventive of earth shocks:
"We placed firmly embedded mountains on the earth, so it would not move under them."
These data were the result of modern scientific finding, how could any one leaving in the desert land, where no phenomena could be noticed, or when the means of scientific research was not available. Again this does not mean that Qur'an is a book of science, but a book of human guidance based on factual and physical evidences about the truthfulness of the message of Islam.
Part of the social reform that Islam came with, many years ago, is to stop abusing the elderly. Indeed, the treatement of the elderly has been a common concern between all Abrahamic religions, but a great part of Islamic teachings is dedicated to the respect of parents, namely mothers. In the Sunnah (a branch studying the daily behaviours and teachings) of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), abusing parents is considered as a major sin, which is put on equal status with disobeying God, the Al-Mighty, because disobedience to parents is viewed in Islam as desobedience to God. A man came to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and asked about the major sins, the holy Prophet replied, "To associate someone with Almighty God, to disobey parents, to kill unlawfully, and to give false evidence". This Prophetic saying is the top of justice towards the elderly, because it just saysthat abusing the parents is quite like associating partners with God, or slaughtering, or giving false testimonies. This evokes that abusing parents , in Islam, leads people, despite any of their righteous deeds, to be exposed to the punishement of the hereafter. It was reported by Muslim scolars that a man who has lived at the era of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), was well known for his righteous deeds, from prayers, fasting, to charity actions; his only defect that he was disobedient to his old mother, and as left her to live alone, while he was enjoying his life with his wife. When this man was dying, people wondered how this 'righteous' man, despite of his prayers and fasting could not utter the last testification of Islam, eventhough he struggled to say it in vain.This incident was reported to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and asked if he could meet this old woman, which she accepted, to ask her about the son's treatement to her during his life.She complained to the Prophet that he neglected her in his life time and how she feels bad about it. The Prophet (pbuh) told her that her son is dying and could not utter Shahada, and asked her if, despite that, she could forgive her son and supply, which did, willingly. Right after news came to the Prophet that the man uttered the testification and died in peace. This is one of the most wonderfull stories, which shows how Islam is on behalf the good treatement of elders, and how their feelings count in the eyes of God.
It was also reported by Muslim scolars that Asmaa bint Abu Bakr relates that her unbelieving mother had come from Makkah to Madinah to meet her. Her mother was not a Muslim and followed pagan tribal customs and beliefs. Asmaa enquired from the holy Prophet how she was supposed to treat her. The holy Prophet (pbuh) told her to be kind and considerate and to behave towards her as was a mother's due from a daughter. These are one of the numerous Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on behalf of elders. The Prophet Muhammd (pbuh) also said:
"a person is indeed disgraced, who does not earn Paradise by caring for his parents during the life time and old age of his/her parents".
This is the Sunnah of the Prophet , and what about Qur'an?
God says in the Holy Qur'an:
"And We have enjoined upon man, kindness to his parents. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his bearing and weaning [period] is thirty months. At lenght, when he reaches strenght and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, "My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have turned to you in repentence, and indeed, I am of the Muslims." (Chapter Ahqaf)
Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents. If one of them or both of them reach old age with you, do not say to them a word of disrespect, or scold them, but say a generous word to them. And act humbly to them in mercy, and say, “My Lord, have mercy on them, since they cared for me when I was small.” (Chapter Israa)
Indeed, blogging has played a major part in develloping within me a great love and an inner need to write about Islam. The aim I cherish behind writting is not gaining converts (as many do believe about us), although it is remains a wish, but what I am concerned with, in the first place, is to defend Islam against accusations, advertisements, and contemporary laws banning Hijab (veil) , minarets and mosques in the West, attempting to burn or produce "false and distorted" copies of the Quran, drawing caricatures about the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and the list is long. More than once, I find whole blogs written just for the sake of promoting hatred against Muslims, and trying to use Quranic verses, taken out of its real context, and using them as proofs to back up their false premise aboutIslambeing "spread by the sword" or obliging people to convert, which is not the case with the Quran. the best example of this is the well-known Quranic citation " there is no compulsion in religion". Yes, this sums up all about the whole issue, but, yet, I still have many points to elaborate regarding this statement. First of all, it would be nice to understand that conversion in Islam is restricted by some conditions. Once, a member in Blogster said that when a non-Muslim man wishes to marry a Muslim woman, he find himself obliged to convert. Ok, I would, yes, he would convert, but why? For the sake of Allah, of Islam no!! This happens most of the time, but this is, but, a kind of formality; no more! and his "apparent" conversion will never be considered by God, untill he submits to a set of conditions before pronouncing " the attestation of faith" (Ashahada), which is "I bear witness that there is no god, but God, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God".
1- Knowledge: Ashahada can never be accepted by God, if the person in question has no idea about its implications. Ashada does not only mean believing in Allah and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) alone; it means that we should believe in all Abrahamic Religions, all Holy Books (Injeel, Torah, Bible...), in all Prophets of God (Jesus, Moses, Zakaria, Yusuf...), in destiny wether good or bad, in Heaven and Hell, life and after-life, without which our faith would never be complete.
2- Certainty (Al Yaqeen): Allah says in the Holy Quran "Verily, the believers are only those who truly believe in Allah and His Messenger, and then doubt not"
3-Sincerity and thrutfulness: sincere and heart-felt devotion to God, being the only one deserving worship. In Islam, good deeds are driven by intentions (a heart-felt decision to do good and believe in Allah)
4- Love and affection to Allah and His messenger, that when we love any human, it should only for the sake of Allah.
5-Submission and surrender: Allah says in the Holy Quran "And he who submitts himself to Allah, and does good, he has surely grasped a strong handle"
6- Acceptance and conformity to the teachings of Islam.
These are the set of divine conditions imposed upon any person converting to Islam. Throughout history, people have converted for different reasons either by inter-marriage or for some political and private interests, as happened with the Jews of Beni Qurayza at the time of the Prophet ( if you are interested about the subject you can refer to my note "Hints on the life of the Prophet (pbuh)). Yet, these are but formal conversions, and does not prove in any way these set of people are Muslims on sight of God or the Islamic law.
Tell me dear readers, how can Islam forces Man to convert if this act is wholly regarded by Quran and Sunnah as a heart-felt submission, a feeling of affection of love towards Allah and His Prophet ? How can Islam forces hearts to feel love towards Allah and His Prophet (pbuh), certainty, and truthfulness of belief? Sorry, but this sounds really silly, how can the Prophet and the Quran be accused of spreading Islam through violence, while he says that Islam is, first and formost, a heart-felt belief and submission? (submission here is often mistaken to be physical, while it is a heart-felt surrender to Allah)
"There is no compulsion in religion", simply, means that there is no compulsion in love or in certainty or truthfulness of belief.
Yet, some people would come to provide me with Quranic "proofs" that Islam promotes violence. Yes, there are Quranic verses speaking about Jihad, but this another issue, which I will try to explain in my next note ,if God wills (Inchaalah). For the time being, I leave you to ponder over this, and see to what extent would you understand the whole issue.