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Posts Tagged ‘Islam’

In the book The Universe by Isaac Asimov he writes about the parallax by which distance of a planetary body could be measured. One observer may sight the moon in the horizon while for the second observer it is overhead. In such a case the base of the triangle is the equal to the radius of the earth and the angle at the moon is the ‘equatorial horizontal parallax.’That is 57.04 minutes of arc. In other words from your known position in the earth and in relation to another you zero in whether it be the moon or truth or whatever. In the post ‘Web of knowledge’ I mentioned that the pure impulses of the baby are clouded over gradually by ways of the world that bear upon it. However the only way we can get at the reality of our moral sense is in relation to others. An anchorite may retreat from the world and yet he shall not take away the hold of the world. Like the saints of yore who even in a desert shall face temptation each according to his or her choosing. The fellow who from the fleshpots of Sin City went to the wilderness saw hills so smooth and it reminded him of the bosom of the harlots he had in the past fondled. You may imagine the kind of temptations he would have to face from that point on. Experience of the world is not be run away from but to be used as an ally to make your stand.
How many well meaning men and women adopt a monastical life and over a period of time are lured away into secret vices? Where lay the fault? It was not the cloisters but their own experience in contact with others led them astray.
ii
Suppose the blades of a fan are painted in primary colors and when the fan is switched on you do not see the same colors. Your mind has rearranged the individual colors into white. Similarly in Christian theology we speak of the Son, the Spirit and God as one. In Islam there is only one God. Think of the way two religions view the divine aspects of truth. One may aver one is obedient. But obedient to what? For some it would mean saying yes to the words mechanically without even entering into the spirit of the word. It is like one looking at his image in a mirror and forgetting it as soon as the back is turned.
There are three aspects of truth. Does a person submit to acknowledge his errors? The first step to break a bad habit is to accept it is a bad habit. Truth delivers one from repeating the same mistakes. It is a prelude to forgiving and dismissing it as of the past. Thus submissive nature is an aspect of Truth to gain an higher ground. Once freed from the past is it not prudent to substitute the place vacated with positive habits? Creative nature allowed the woman with a physical ailment to touch the hem of the garment of Jesus. She got her healing because her trust prompted to be creative in her mind what she ought to be as a result.
Submissive nature of the Son is one aspect; Regenerative Power of the Hoy Spirit is another aspect of Truth. Truth like God the Father completes the trinity. With which creative nature of Truth is made obvious. These three are all in one and co-equal.
Do I have a problem with the trinity of God? Oh no. It is the rule of three. Even among the crowd I know I am complete. A three plaited cord is not easily broken.
benny

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Imam arrested in Pakistan blasphemy case, stirring tensions-Reuters of Sept 2,2012
A Christian girl who was arrested under Pakistan’s controversial anti-blasphemy law may have moved a step closer to freedom on Sunday after police detained a Muslim cleric on suspicion of planting evidence to frame her.
Still, Rimsha Masih, whose arrest last month angered religious and secular groups worldwide, may be in danger if she returns from jail to her village.
Some Muslim neighbors insist she should still be punished, and said the detained imam was a victim.

Here is a news that makes anyone in the right senses wonder what it is to live in Pakistan? Pakistan is a failed state where law and order is non existent. From the time Islam went a-conquering they relied on each believer to do the only thing that brought the man on the top some peace and security. They were encouraged to spy on one another and report everything suspicious so law could nip the trouble in the bud. So law is meant law of the ruler. Thus we have seen in Libya where Moammar Gaddafi laid the law so he and his family could have peace and security. For extra security he had foreign mercenaries brought in. History of Islam is replete with examples how the powers that be relied on mob rule. If three witnesses come forward to damn a mentally deficient girl of blasphemy she can be summarily executed in the most heinous manner. This is what we have seen here. In Russia the other day we have seen how some girl’s punk group Pussy Riot was dealt for ‘blasphemy’. The Church leaders publicly interceded for clemency since the clergy is like shepherds and they are on earth to plead for mercy and understanding. In Pakistan all the religious schools (madrassas) are working overtime for only one thing. To descend to the lowest level of the rabble who may take away lives of all those they find as different. In their eyes Christians are different, women are different and mentally challenged are different. So they must be brought to heel over the trivial reasons in most cases. For example ‘Under Muslim Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy law, the mere allegation of causing offence to Islam can mean death. Those accused are sometimes killed by members of the public even if they are found innocent by the courts.
“Pour petrol and burn these Christians,” said Iqbal Bibi, 74, defending the imam on the steps of the mosque where he preaches in Masih’s impoverished village of Mehr Jaffer’. These religious fanatics cannot see worth in their only one Nobel Prize winner,they cannot even appreciate what is fair play. ‘This is not cricket but matter of human dignity and brotherly love. How can such a nation made up of brutes ever succeed? This will not raise the GDP of the nation;nor will it make Pakistan come anywhere within the top hundred among the Happiest nations. I am compelled to think religion was man’s biggest mistake since it gave the brutes among mankind to pontificate and judge from some madman’s incoherent outpourings. These brutes in their specially cut robes explain away these as ‘sacred text and doctrines and so on.’
benny

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Muslim convert from New York was sentenced on Friday to 11-1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to threatening the writers of the satirical “South Park” television show for their depiction of the Prophet Mohammad and to other criminal charges.
Jesse Curtis Morton, 33, who is also known as Younus Abdullah Muhammed, was put on three years of probation after he completes his prison term. The sentence was handed down in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, the U.S. Justice Department said.
Morton, who ran a website that encouraged Muslims to engage in violence against enemies of Islam, pleaded guilty in February to making threatening communications, using the Internet to put others in fear and using his position as leader of the Revolution Muslim organization’s Internet sites to conspire to commit murder.
“Jesse Morton sought to inspire Muslims to engage in terrorism by providing doctrinal justification for violence against civilians in the name of Islam,” U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said.
“His crimes not only put people’s lives forever in danger, but they also chilled free expression out of fear of retaliation by violent terrorists,” MacBride said in a statement.

I hold no truck with those who incite passion and terror, and those who beat the memory of the dead prophet. The Muslim convert changed his father’s faith for another. Ok, fine for one to get rid of unwanted baggage. Instead of feeling relieved that he came into a man’s estate, he saddled himself with another. What is the worth of religion in the way practiced these days by Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in Yemen, Pakistan,Kabul and in Nigeria? Hatred and pure nonsense whereas the prophet stood for something nobler. If Islam is a religion of peace what he did was wrong and senseless. He followed some idiots who take the name of Prophet and took the wrong road to urge violence. Only look at the needless slaughter of children and women! Just because terrorists want to create terror among ordinary folks or media attention they don’t mind killing their brethren as well. On that account itself they have repudiated their prophet’s words. So the fellow who threatened South Park writers merely was a tool to further the cause of terrorists.
Why should comedians harp on Mohammed? He is dead and there is no merit in poking fun at one who for great many is a revered figure. I am unashamedly a follower of Christ and yet I can admire him for the noble purpose he made his life’s work. Go make fun of the living, for a change. If you ridicule the hollow sounding political nit- wits who are ‘ready to fix the economy or immigration problem’ by some magic formula the jabs may have some effect. Prophet Mohammed, let him rest. He whether the west likes it not was a great prophet. If you study his life without prejudice and objectively you shall find he wanted to purify both Christian and Jewish religion of his time. He stood for something noble just as George Washington stood for something in terms of politics. Just as with all religion Prophet Mohammed was ill- served by his followers who were all jockeying for control, call it self interest. Now what benefit you can get by ridiculing him? It is just like beating a dog or a donkey after the beast has served you all its life. Even if you were to do this now you will be taken by the hand of law for cruelty to animals.
The new converts may not know for a believer despises such converts for their inability to be true to their belief.
From history you can see how these blind believers who dared not think themselves brought upon them the backwardness they merited. Now they can only bury in the Word and blindly fool around like puppets for some mad Ayatollahs and clerics. They lost Jerusalem just because of their inability to co-exist with their neighbors or go with the trends that made the homeless Jews to find a homeland in the 20th Century.
benny

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outline: Silk road carried trade,exchange of ideas, culture,religion- ups and downs

Trade along the route was adversely affected by the strife which built up between the Christian and Moslem worlds. The Crusades brought the Christian world a little nearer to Central Asia, but the unified Moslem armies under Saladin drove them back again. In the Fourth Crusade, the forces of Latin Christianity scored a triumph over their Greek rivals, with the capture of Constantinople (Istanbul). However, it was not the Christians who finally split the Moslem world, but the Mongols from the east.
Whilst Europe and Western Asia were torn by religious differences, the Mongols had only the vaguest of religious beliefs. Several of the tribes of Turkestan which had launched offensives westwards towards Persia and Arabia, came to adopt Islam, and Islam had spread far across Central Asia, but had not reached as far as the tribes which wandered the vast grasslands of Mongolia. These nomadic peoples had perfected the arts of archery and horsemanship. With an eye to expanding their sphere of influence, they met in 1206 and elected a leader for their unified forces; he took the title Great Khan. Under the leadership of Genghis Khan, they rapidly proceeded to conquer a huge region of Asia. The former Han city of Jiaohe, to the west of Turfan, was decimated by the Mongols as they passed through on their way westwards. The Empire they carved out enveloped the whole of Central Asia from China to Persia, and stretched as far west as the Mediterranean. This Mongol empire was maintained after Genghis’ death, with the western section of the empire divided into three main lordships, falling to various of his descendents as lesser Khans, and with the eastern part remaining under the rule of the Great Khan, a title which was inherited from by Kublai Khan. Kubilai completed the conquest of China, subduing the Song in the South of the country, and established the Yuan dynasty.
The partial unification of so many states under the Mongol Empire allowed a significant interaction between cultures of different regions. The route of the Silk Road became important as a path for communication between different parts of the Empire, and trading was continued. Although less `civilised’ than people in the west, the Mongols were more open to ideas. Kubilai Khan, in particular, is reported to have been quite sympathetic to most religions, and a large number of people of different nationalities and creeds took part in the trade across Asia, and settled in China. The most popular religion in China at the time was Daoism, which at first the Mongols favoured. However, from the middle of the thirteenth century onwards, buddhist influence increased, and the early lamaist Buddhism from Tibet was particularly favoured. The two religions existed side by side for a long period during the Yuan dynasty. This religious liberalism was extended to all.
Any history on the Silk Road would be incomplete without mention of Marco Polo. As a member of a merchant family from Venice he took the route. Starting in 1271, at the age of only seventeen, he trekked across Persia, and then along the southern branch of the Silk Road, via Khotan, finally ending at the court of Kubilai Khan at Khanbalik, the site of present-day Beijing, and the summer palace, better known as Xanadu.
postscript:
Mongol invasion was a turning point in the history of the region. Islam will fall back from what they had gained: all the turbulence,-force released by falling edifices of old beliefs, cultures muddied by trades, wars was for their taking. There was the Black Death that hit as far as Europe. Two thirds of Europe will succumb to it. History would never be the same. Islam will make a giant leap backwards and would never be the same.
(ack:http://www.ess.uci.edu/~oliver/silk.html;www.silk-road.com)
(To be Cont’d)

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II
trade carried ideas,culture route-religions,Buddhism, Christianity and Islam

This region along the Silk Road was taken over by Alexander the Great of Macedon, who finally conquered the Iranian empire, and colonised the area in about 330 B.C., superimposing the culture of the Greeks. Although he only ruled the area until 325 B.C., the effect of the Greek invasion was quite considerable.

By the third century B.C., the area had already become a crossroads of Asia, where Persian, Indian and Greek ideas met. This `crossroads’ region, covering the area to the south of the Hindu Kush and Karakorum ranges, now Pakistan and Afghanistan, was overrun by a number of different peoples. After the Greeks, the tribes from Palmyra, in Syria, and then Parthia, to the east of the Mediterranean, took over the region. They had adopted the Greek language and coin system in this region, introducing their own influences in the fields of sculpture and art.
The most significant commodity carried along this route was not silk, but religion. Buddhism came to China from India this way, along the northern branch of the route. The Eastern Han emperor Mingdi is thought to have sent a representative to India to discover more about this strange faith, and further missions returned bearing scriptures, and bringing with them monks and it is pertinent to note that the Himalayan Massif, an effective barrier between China and India made Buddhism in China more derived from the Gandhara culture by the bend in the Indus river, rather than directly from India.
Christianity also made an early appearance on the scene. The Nestorian sect was outlawed in Europe by the Roman church in 432 A.D., and its followers were driven eastwards. From their foothold in Northern Iran, merchants brought the faith along the Silk Road, and the first Nestorian church was consecrated at Changan in 638 A.D. This sect took root on the Silk Road, and survived many later attempts to wipe them out, lasting into the fourteenth century.
The height of the importance of the Silk Road was during the Tang dynasty, with relative internal stability in China after the divisions of the earlier dynasties since the Han. The 754 A.D. census showed that five thousand foreigners lived in the city; Turks, Iranians, Indians and others from along the Road, as well as Japanese, Koreans and Malays from the east. Many were missionaries, merchants or pilgrims, but every other occupation was also represented. Rare plants, medicines, spices and other goods from the west were to be found in the bazaars of the city. After the Tang, however, the traffic along the road subsided.
It was at this time that the rise of Islam started to affect Asia, with the Moslems playing the part of middlemen. The sea route to China was explored at this time, and the `Sea Silk Route’ was opened, eventually holding a more important place than the land route itself.
But the final shake-up that occurred was to come from a different direction; the hoards from the grasslands of Mongolia.
(to be continued)

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Rise of humans on the earth is a chronicle of mass migrations. Among these a road is surely a consequence of choices people make to reach their destination. In times of famine they sought places where food was in abundance. Later trade between peoples connected by roads. Road is the straight line between two points where geography has a say. In terms of geography we consider unfordable rivers, lakes and insurmountable mountains as features that stretch roads about. Of these we shall look at two roads in particular. These serve as locus for entire history of Europe and Asia to fan out. It brought about changes that none could have realized. Silk Road is one and the other is Appian Way which includes Roman road system as one whole.

The region separating China from Europe and Western Asia has Taklimakan desert, known as `Land of Death'; caravans throughout history have skirted its edges, from one isolated oasis to the next. The land surrounding the Taklimakan is equally hostile. To the northeast lies the Gobi desert, almost as harsh in climate as the Taklimakan itself; on the remaining three sides lie some of the highest mountains in the world. To the South are the Himalaya, Karakorum and Kunlun ranges, which provide an effective barrier separating Central Asia from the Indian sub-continent. Only a few icy passes cross these. Coming from the west or south, the only way in is over the passes.
On the eastern and western sides of the continent, the civilisations of China and the West developed. The western end of the trade route appears to have developed earlier than the eastern end, principally because of the development of the empires in the west, and the easier terrain of Persia and Syria.
In the west, the Greek empire was taken over by the Roman Empire. It is often thought that the Romans had first encountered silk in one of their campaigns against the Parthians in 53 B.C, and realised that it could not have been produced by this relatively unsophisticated people. The Romans obtained samples of this new material, and it quickly became very popular in Rome, for its soft texture and attractiveness. They reputedly learnt from Parthian prisoners that it came from a mysterious tribe in the east, who they came to refer to as the silk people, `Seres’. The Parthians quickly realised that there was money to be made from trading the material, and sent trade missions towards the east just as Rome sent their own agents out to explore the route, and to try to obtain silk at a lower price. In short this trade route to the East was seen by the Romans, as a route for silk rather than the other goods that were traded.

The name `Silk Road’ itself does not originate from the Romans, however, but is a nineteenth century term, coined by the German scholar, von Richthofen. The description of this route to the west as the `Silk Road’ is somewhat misleading. Firstly, no single route was taken; crossing Central Asia several different branches developed, passing through different oasis settlements. The routes all started from the capital in Changan, headed up the Gansu corridor, and reached Dunhuang on the edge of the Taklimakan.
In addition to silk, the route carried many other precious commodities. Caravans heading towards China carried gold and other precious metals, ivory, precious stones, and glass, which was not manufactured in China until the fifth century. In the opposite direction furs, ceramics, jade, bronze objects, lacquer and iron were carried. Many of these goods were bartered for others along the way, and objects often changed hands several times. There are no records of Roman traders being seen in Changan, nor Chinese merchants in Rome, though their goods were appreciated in both places. ( To be Cont’d)

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Syyed Qutb (1906- 1966)
He is regarded as the father of modern fundamentalism and described by his (Arab) biographer as “the most famous personality of the Muslim world in the second half of the 20th century”. Born in Egypt and his stay in the USA clarified his Islam roots,- and for all his anarcho-Islamic position, he dared to think his own thoughts and died in prison for his unflinching stance and he died by hanging for plotting to overthrow the government.
Qutb, is being increasingly cited as the figure who has most influenced late bin-Laden, the al-Qaida leader. Yet outside the Muslim world, he remains virtually unknown. Associate professor of history at Creighton University, John Calvert, states that “the Al Qaeda threat” has “monopolized and distorted our understanding” of Qutb’s “real contribution to contemporary Islamism.” Every prophet might as well place a rider about his life and works with this caveat,’ save me from my disciples!’ Likewise man whose only credentials is his thoughts may put them in words lest he should be misinterpreted. Even so he requires such a caveat. Qutb in his work Fi Zalal al-Koran (In the Shadow of the Koran), a commentary on the Koran in 30 volumes which began to appear in 1952 has been vilified for espousing a pernicious doctrine for which the blame lies elsewhere. What is his work? In writing already certain paraphrasing has undergone from what he had in mind, but for which think how clear the Quran would be to render any commentary as superfluous? Syyed Qutb suffers for this reason and his doctrinal position is an exposition of the explanation of Islam scholars who have already claimed their position as uncontestable. Is this what the blessed prophet had in mind? Your guess is as good as mine.
benny

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