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Historical-Research

Type: Opinion

Summary: 

Why do politicians and other religious illiterates intone the vacuous mantra that Islam is a ‘religion of peace’every time there is an atrocity like the Manchester bombing, last week? 9/11 should have stopped such nonsense in its tracks sixteen years ago. But no, they continue to inform us that Islamic terrorism has nothing whatever to do with ‘peaceful’ Islam.

Summary: 

In this article we intend to supplement the following excellent discussion of Q. 9:5 by our dear brother Silas: The Verse of the Sword: Sura 9:5 and Jihad

Our purpose is to examine Q. 9:5 and 29 in light of the testimony of Muslim sources in order to see whether these texts refer to defensive jihad, e.g. fighting only those who attack and oppress Muslims. Or do these texts actually command Muslims to attack and/or subjugate the disbelievers in the context of offensive military warfare for the purpose of expanding Islam politically and geographically.

The Passage

Summary: 

The problem faced by the orthodox religious authorities in the Muslim world, however, is very similar to that which confronted the Catholic Church in the 16th century: escaped genies are tricky things to get back into bottles. The same impulse that prompted Luther to affirm the primacy of scripture over Catholic doctrine has also long been at work in Islam. As far back as the 13th century, a scholar based in Damascus by the name of Ibn Taymiyya proposed that the surest way to know God’s purpose was to study the practices of the first three generations of Muslims: the “forebears”, or “Salafs”. Reports of what Muhammad and his earliest followers had done, so he argued, should always trump subsequent tradition. Like Luther, Ibn Taymiyya was condemned as a heretic; but he also, again like Luther, blazed a momentous trail.

Salafism today is probably the fastest-growing Islamic movement in the world. The interpretation that Isis applies to Muslim scripture may be exceptional for its savagery – but not for its literalism. Islamic State, in its conceit that it has trampled down the weeds and briars of tradition and penetrated to the truth of God’s dictates, is recognisably Salafist. When Islamic State fighters smash the statues of pagan gods, they are following the example of the Prophet; when they proclaim themselves the shock troops of a would-be global empire, they are following the example of the warriors of the original caliphate; when they execute enemy combatants, and impose discriminatory taxes on Christians, and take the women of defeated opponents as slaves, they are doing nothing that the first Muslims did not glory in.

Summary: 

But what Holland at no point mentioned was why he had not gone to film in another city which – mistakenly or otherwise – is far more important in Islam: Mecca. The reason is that Holland is not a Muslim and so is not only unable to film in Mecca but also is not allowed to go there.

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‘The British Muslim community will not allow Channel 4 to distort our faith and our history.’

Is that a threat? It doesn’t seem a very moderate way of responding to an interesting programme. He concludes:

‘The Ramadhan Foundation calls on Channel 4 to apologise for this programme, withdraw it from online viewing and also order an immediate inquiry into why this was allowed to be broadcast. How many Muslims Scholars, community leaders were given a copy of this programme before transmission? Whether historic facts in relation to Islam were verified by the presenter and who his sources were.’

Gosh! Did Channel 4 know that they had to pass their programmes by ‘community leaders’? Who will censor programmes for the rest of us?

Summary: 

Muhammad’s intelligence service eventually rivaled that of Byzantium and Persia, especially when it came to political information. He reportedly spent hours devising tactical and political stratagems, and once remarked that “all war is cunning,” reminding modern analysts of Sun Tzu’s dictum, “all war is deception.” In his thinking and application of force Muhammad was a combination of Karl von Clause­witz and Niccolo Machiavelli, for he always employed force in the service of political goals. An astute grand strategist, he used non­mili­tary methods (alliance building, politi­cal assassination, bribery, religious appeals, mercy, and calculated butchery) to strengthen his long-term position, sometimes even at the expense of short-term military considerations.

Muhammad’s belief in Islam and his own role as the “Messenger of God” revolutionized Arabian warfare and resulted in the creation of the ancient world’s first army motivated by a coherent system of ideological belief. The ideology of holy war (jihad) and martyrdom (shahada) for the faith was transmitted to the West during the wars between Muslims and Christians in Spain and France, where it changed traditional Christian pacifistic thinking on war, brought into being a coterie of Christian warrior saints, and provided the Catho­lic Church with its ideological justification for the Crusades. Ideology—whether religious or secular—has remained a primary component of military ventures ever since.

Summary: 

Gibson's book: Qur'anic Geography examines many geographical issues in the Qur'n. In the final section of his book he comes to the city of Mecca which is mentioned once in Skra 48. Qur'nic commentators have traditionally linked the location of Bekka (or “the place of the one who weeps much”) in Skra 3:96 with Mecca as well. (Pickthal 3:96, note) Added to this, there are numerous references in the Qur'n to the sacred place, the Ka’ba, and the house; terms which are universally associated with Mecca today. Nevertheless, the Qur'n itself does not tell us in so many words that the Ka’ba was located in Mecca. So in this section we will see to what extent historical documents support this commonly held view.

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So what have we learned from this page? While we have presented no conclusive evidence, we have tried to demonstrate that there are some discrepancies between the ancient descriptions of Mecca and what archeology and historians have learned about the current location of Mecca. Keep these things in the back of your mind as we move on to discuss the pilgrimages in Arabia in the page and see what conclusions Gibson comes to.

Type: Video

Summary: 

With so much of the world focused on ISIS these days, a group which uses and is absolutely dependent on the Qur'an and their prophet Muhammad for their authority, it is important to look at just how authoritative they both are historically.

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