Wednesday, December 29, 2010

(6) Al-Muhagireen(The Immigrants) and Al-Ansar(The Supporters).

By Sodium

The residents of the city of Yathrib, (the name Yathrib has been changed to Medina),welcomed the Muslims, who escaped from certain death in Mecca,with festive activities, generosity and joy.

As the Muslim immigrants settled in Yathrib, (Medina now), they were called "Al-Muhagireen" which simply meant in Arabic,"The Immigrants". The residents of the city of Yathrip, (Medina now), who gave the immigrant Muslims the festive, generous and joyous welcome, were called "Al-Ansar". The word of Al-Ansar in Arabic means "The Supporters" and supporters they were, indeed, since they provided the immigrating Meccan Muslims with support, at the time when the Muslims needed it most. In fact, it was a break for the Muslims who fled the city of Mecca.

Because of the Muslims' devotion to the new religion in Arabia, they wanted to have a place in which they could pray together, a hub for all Muslims to pray in and listen to the preaching and wisdom of the Messenger of God, the Prophet Muhammad. A decision was, somehow, made to build a Mosque for that purpose. There was a slight problem that confronted Al-Muhagireen, (The Immigrant Muslims): They could not agree on the spot locatoin of the Mosque, yet to be built. There is a fascinating story behind picking-up the spot-location for the first Islamic Mosque, yet to be built,in the city of Yathrib, (Medina now). The fascinating story:

In order to overcome the disagreements among the Al-Muhagireen, (The Immigrants), the Prophet suggested to let his camel decide as to where the Mosque should be built. Initially, it was a shocking suggestion to the immigrants who had no idea what the good Prophet had in mind. How could a camel decide a location for building a Mosque. Their shock disappeared as the Prophet gave his wise suggestion which was to let the camel roam in the city as it pleases until it became exhausted from roaming and where the camel parked for resting would be the spot-location on the which the Mosque be built. All agreed with fascination, as the story tellers told it. So it was as the first Islamic Mosque was built in the city of Yathrib, (Medina now), based upon a fascinating suggestion and with the help of the Prophet's camel.

Indeed, the fascinating suggestion behind picking-up a spot-location for building a Mosque in the city of Yathrib, (Medina now), attests once more to the profound intelligence of Prophet Muhammad and equally profound his ability in solving disagreements amongst people in a peaceful manner. It was not the first time he had done so. He had done so before he became Prophet, when he was still a lad in Mecca's Ka'aba as it was described in an earlier topic of this series.

Because of the fact that Prophet Muhammad had to spend most of his time praying and preaching the new religion of Islam, he had to spend a great deal of time in the newly built Mosque. His followers realized that. As a result, they built for him and his family a residence attached to the Mosque. And because of the multitude of people who paid visits to the Mosque, for either to pray or to listen to the preaching and wisdom of the Prophet, it had become necessary for the female members of his household to wear modest attires to fit the circumstances that were developing in the vicinity of the newly built Mosque and the residence attached to the Mosque. Islam does not require Muslim women to cover their-selves completely, as some ignorant souls seem to think so. All it requires is to wear modest cloths. Nothing more and nothing less. Question: what sort of attires Christian women wear on Sunday, as they attend Christian churches across the globe? Modest attires. So do Muslim women, as they leave their homes.

As some Christian churches use bells to call their members for prayers, Islam came up with the idea to call for prayers by a beautiful human voice. And so it was the idea of "Muazen" started in Yathrib, Arabia. "Muazen" simply means a "Caller" in the Arabic Language. The first Muazen in Islam was Billal, the former Ethopian slave who was freed from slavery after he was converted to Islam through Abu Bakr Al-Sidiq who was the closest friend to the Prophet Muhammad, and after the death of the Prophet, he became the First Caleph in Islamic and Arabic history. The reason Billal was appointed the first Muazen in Islam was due to his beautiful voice.

The next topic will be "The Prophet Muhammad's Triumphant Return to Mecca.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

(5) The Escape Of Muslims From Mecca To Yathrib (Medina now)

By Sodium

The conversion from Pagan and other Arabia's religions to Islam had taken place first among the Prophet's Muhammad's immediate family and close friends and the underdogs. Among the underdogs was a slave by the name of Bilal bin Rabah, a former Ethiopian slave before becoming Muslim. Bilal's destiny after he accepted Islam was,and still is,a fascinating one, since he had/has become a hero among all Muslims till present time. In fact, many Muslim mothers have nmed their male babies Bilal, honoring that Ethiopian former slave who was number seven in the early converts to Islam. More about Bilal later on.

As more and more people had accepted Islam, as their new religion, there was no way out for the Messenger of God, (yes, that is the title I personally prefer to call him, since he had never called himself a prophet but a Messenger of God, but to avoid confusion, I would go along, for the moment and call him the Prophet Muhammad), not to practice his new religion in the open. The more Muslims practiced their religion in the open, the more resentments and rejections were publiclly expressed by the most powerful members of the Quraysh tribe who controlled Mecca and its three goddesses mentioned in an earlier topic already covered. Who had suffered the most were those Muslims who had no powerful men to protect them against hostility, ( remember the meaning of " murowah. " )  In this sense, Muhammad was protected by his uncle Abu Talib who took care of him while he was still a lad and after the death of his powerful grandfather, Abdul Mutalib. After Muhammad's uncle Abu Talib died, he had no one as powerful as his uncle to provide him with any protection. The Prophet Muhammad had become all on his own. He had to depend on his God given guidance to survive in Mecca whose Quraysh, the most powerful tribe, wanted to kill him and kill all his followers of Muslims. The hostility became unbearable for the Muslims in Mecca. The Prophet had to do something to save his own life and the lives of his fellow Muslims. He persuaded some of his followers to migrate to Ethiopia, the first African country to accept Christianity and became a Christian country before the appearance of Islam. Ethiopia had acted nobly by accepting those Muslims who fled from persecution in Mecca and gave them the religious asylum needed as protection to save their lives.

Just to show how bad the situation had become for Muslims in Mecca, the following two stories will make that point abundantly clear:

The Story Of Bilal, The Former Ethiopian Slave:

Bilal heard about the Prophet Muhammad, but never met him. Bilal knew Abu Bukr Al-Sideeq,the closest friend to the Prophet Muhammad. Through Abu Bukr, Bilal met with and listened to, Muhammad's new message. He immediately accepted Islam and became a good Muslim by the examplary role he played in the way he conducted himself as a Muslim. But, Bilal ended up having more terrible time with his master than he had before the conversion to Islam. His master was Umayyah ibn Khalaf, a notorious man who enjoyed torturing his slaves:

When Umayyah ibn Khalaf heard that Bilal, his slave, had become a Muslim he and his helpers started punishing Bilal every day to force him to repent and reject Islam and curse Muhammad: A huge rock used to be placed on Bilal's chest and demanded from him to reject Islam and Bilal kept responding under torture,"Ahad,Ahad,Ahad" meaning "God Is One, God Is One, God Is One", which in the final analysis, explicitly meant rejection not Islam, but the three goddesses most Arabs worshipped in the Kab'a in Mecca. The more Bilal defied his master, the more daily torture he was subjected to. One day,Abu Bukr Al-Sideeq was passing by and saw what Umayyah ibn Khalaf was doing to Bilal. He immediately intervened and offered to buy Bilal from Umayyah by asking for a price. Umayyah named his price and Abu Bukr accepted the high price and bought Bilal and immediately freed him from slavery. When the Prophet Muhammad heard what had Abu Bukr done, he was very pleased.

Because Bilal had a beautiful voice, he was, later on, appointed to be the first "Muadhin" in Islam. "Muadhin" also " Muazen " in Arabic means " the man who calls Muslims for the prayer ." That appointment took place in Medina, not in Mecca where Muslims were trying to spare their lives.

The Story Of Omar,(also Umar)Ibn Al-Khattab, His Sister,(Fatima), And Her Husband:

The story shows how a powerful and highly respectable Meccan, Omar ibn Al-Khattab, a former enemy of Islam and its Prophet, willingly accepted Islam after an unpleasant confrontation with his sister, (Fatima), and her husband who became Muslims secretly. It is a telling story about the power of the language of the Qur'an, since Omar was highly respected in Mecca for his implaccable integrity and for being well known as a Man of letters, for his profound knowledge of the Arabic language. He was one of the judges who selected the best ten poems called "Al-Mualaqat Al-Asharah" that were hung in Souk Okaz for all Arabs of letters to enjoy reading. "Al-Mualaqat" means in Arabic "The Hung" . Al-Asharah means "The Ten". The net result in English is "The Hung Ten" of the best poems the Arab poets of ancient Arabia could produce.

How Omar turned from strongly anti-Islam and its Prophet to a devoted Muslim was,(and will remain), an attestation to the uniqueness of the Qur'anic Language that impressed Omar so profoundly to a point of accepting Islam immediately after reading some Qur'anic verses,his sister and her husband had and eventually showed them to Omar to read, after unpleasant verbal confrontation. After reading the verses Omar ibn Al-Khattab asked: "who wrote such a beautiful Arabic ?". It seems that,Omar the Man of Letters had prevailed.

Googling Omar or Umar ibn Al-Khattab will tell the readers every thing they care to know about Omar ibn Al-Khattab who once wanted to slay The Prophet Muhammad because he adhered firmly to his Paganism through which he and most Arabs worshiped the three goddesses, namely: Al-L'at, Al-Uza, and Manat that were kept in the Ka'aba in Mecca, briefly mentioned in topic (3) of this series of topics about Islam.

Although Omar's acceptance of Islam was a big plus and in many ways a historical event for Islam as the future events from then on would prove, still the Muslims in Mecca were undesirable elements and remained a threatened minority that were subject to slaughter en masse, any time.

In order to save the Muslims lives, the Prophet had accepted the invitation from some tribes in Yathrib, (Medina now), including the Jewish Arab tribes there, to migrate with his followers of Islam to Medina. So it was and the migration began or rather the escape from the threatening Mecca to Medina began in earnest.

How the escape of Muslims from Mecca to Yathrib, ( Medina now), had begun was, and still is, interesting story:

Some of the most powerful men of the Qurayish tribe, in Mecca, had decided to kill Muhammad, as he left his residence. So, they selected the actual killers who started watching the house in which Muhammad lived. Words about the murderous plot had, somehow, reached Muhammad. Before the killers could fulfill their murderous plot, Muhammad took a flight on camel to Medina, accompanied with a single companion. That single companion was his closest friend, Abu-Bukr Al-Sideeq. It was Ali ibn Abi-Talib, Muhammad's first cousin, who stayed in Muhammad's residence in Mecca, while Muhammad and Abu-Bukr Al-Sideeq fled to Medina. Eventually, the potential killers realized that the man who was staying in Muhammad residence was not Muhammad, but someone else. Hence, the murderous plot had failed. Later on, all Muslims in Mecca fled the city to Medina, leaving all their positions behind, to save their lives from the Pagans of Mecca.      

Saturday, July 10, 2010

(4) The Five Pillars Of Islam.

By Sodium

The five pillars of Islam are:

1- Witnessing: Publicly witness that there is no God but God, (Allah), and Muhammad is his Messenger.

2- Praying: Perform prayers to God five times a day: Dawn, Morning, Noon, Evening and Bed Time.

3- Zakat: Voluntary payment of  the Zakat, (financial or food contributions), to help the poor of the community.

4- Fasting: One must fast the whole month of Ramadan in each year. There are exceptions, however, depending on the mundane circumstances under which Muslims live.

5- Pilgrimage: Make once in a life time,the pilgrimage to Mecca, providing health and financial conditions permit to do so.

To be a good Muslim one must perform all of the five pillars listed above, with emphasis on the health and financial conditions, as noted in the fifth pillar.

Friday, July 2, 2010

(3) How Islam Appeared.

By Sodium

In the last essay entitled, "Early Life of Muhammad Before Becoming The Messenger Of God",it was made clear that Muhammad was a happily married man. He was blessed by truly loving wife and four daughters. Family-wise, his life was fulfilled to the fullest. At the top of that, the family was considered wealthy.

What had bothered Muhammad was something spiritual, since Arabia was spiritually in a state of flux or in a state of increasing entropy,or rather increasing social and religious disorder. To put it simply, it was in a state of chaos and endless confusion:

~ The Meccans, including Muhammad own clan worshiped mainly three goddesses made of stones. These goddesses were namely: Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat.

~ The Nebatean Arabs in the fascinating ancient antiquity of the city of Petra, in southern Jordan, worshipped a god named Hubal and was made of stone also.

~ There were some Arab tribes in other part of Arabia that worshipped the sun and the moon.

~ Other tribes in isolated part of Arabia built their own god from dates and worshipped the dates-god for a while, but when they felt hungry, they ate their own god made of dates.

~ There were, at least, five Jewish tribes in Arabia. The well known Jewish tribes were specifically: Nadir, Qaynuqa', Qurayzah, Thalabah,and Hudl and they worshipped a G-d as described in a book, a G-d no one ever saw. That's the way the Arabs of ancient Arabia saw their fellow Arab Jews as " The People of The Book. "

~ There were a small number of Christian Arabs who worshipped, like the Arab Jews, a God described in a book, a God no one ever saw. Waraqa, the oldest brother of Khadijah, Muhammad's loving wife, was well known Christian. Again, the Arab Pagans of ancient Arabia called their Arab Christian minority, " The people of The Book " also.

After the appearance of Islam, the Qur'an also called both Jews and Christian as " The People of The book " also.

While Arabia lived in such spiritual chaos and tribal war-fares, Muhammad was about 40 year old and started looking for what might be called spiritual serenity. He found his oasis of serenity for meditation in Mount Hira', a walking distance from Mecca. The meditation in Hira' had become a habit. It seems that Muhammad was looking for a spiritual guidance.

While Arabia was living in "Al-Jahiliyah",translation: "The Time of Ignorance" when it came to religion, Muhammad was meditating in the cave of Hira'.

What had happened next to Muhammad in the cave of Hira', while meditating, I personally had/have found difficulty in describing based on so many references I had reviewd. Therefore,I will quote from a book entitled, " The Life of Mahomet " by Sir William Muir, a Scottish orientalist, for that purpose, in spite of the fact that Muir was devoted to his Christianity and considered Islam a foe and should be defeated. I do so because I have found his description of what took place in cave Hira' between Muhammad and the Angel Gabriel was/is so fascinating and quite close to what I heard, in formal academic lectures, given by well known Islamic scholars I had the privilege of listening to, in both,in Jordan and Egypt, at different times, in the 1970 s and 1980 s:


Now in the night that the Lord was minded to be gracious unto him, Gabriel appeared to Muhamet in the cave, and holding a writing up before him said, " Read. " He,(Muhammad), answered, " I cannot. "  Whereupon came." Read! " cried Gabriel the second time; and thereupon, but only to escape the agony, Mahomet said, " What shall I read ? " Gabriel then went on-

" Read! in the name of thy Lord is most gracious
it is He that hath taught to write with the pen,
Hath taught man that which he knoweth not, Nay, verily, for man rebillious when he seeth himself becoming rich:

O' Mahomet, thou art the prophet of the Lord, and I am Gabriel."


Muhammad was completely shaken and he finally gathered himself and walked as fast as he could to reach his home. Still shaken, he told Khadijah, his loving wife, what took place in Hira' and thought it was a nightmare. To comfort him, Khadijah put him in her lap and told him that God did not make such a great happening as a nightmare. She insisted that God wanted him to be His prophet. As her Christian brother, Waraqah, heard of what had happened in Hira', he also insisted that was no nightmare, but God Wanted Muhammad to be his messenger. Muhammad was finally persuaded that was no nightmare but what God wanted him to do.

So, Muhammad kept his usual meditation at mount Hira' and eventually he had another encounter with Gabriel. And I quote from Sir William Muir's book mentioned above and in which Gabriel told Muhammad the following:


O thou art covered
Arise and preach,
And magnify thy Lord
And purify thy garments
And depart from all uncleanness
And show not favour seeking for thine own aggrandizement.


And more and more encounters with Gabriel took place and Muhammad started his new spiritual duty by preaching that there was only one God to worship and it was wrong to warship stones. He conducted his new message among his immediate family and relatives and close friends and they recited what Gabriel dictated to him. The first convert to this new message was his loving wife, Khadijah. As converts, beside family members, relatives and friends, came the new converts of slaves and poor people.

Balal is a name of a black African slave whose name is revered across the Muslim world, because of what he went through as he converted to the new religion. his story will be told in a later topic as appropriate.

And so it was, a new religion, called Islam, appeared in Arabia and subsequently would change the core of the social and spiritual confusion of the society from Jahiliyah, (Time of Ignorance), and entropic social disorder and disunity to a united Arabia with peace among its warring tribes. But, unfortunately the road to a peaceful Arabia was not easy, at all, as we shall see later on.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

(2) Early Life Of Muhammad Before Becoming The Messenger Of God

By Sodium

Perhaps,the best way to provide a clear picture of the early life of Muhammad,before he became the messenger of God,would be to do it in a chronological order:

570 A.D was the year in which Muhammad was born in the city of Mecca. His father was Abdullah bin Al-Muttalib and his mother was Amina bint Wahb. His father died at age of 25 and while Amina was pregnant with Muhammad. His mother took care of him until Muhammad reached the age of six when she took him to the city of Yathrib, (Medina now), an oasis town, approximately 280 miles north of Mecca. Amina, his mother wanted to stay with relatives so that Muhammad could pay visits to his father grave in Yathrib.

575 A.D is the year when Muhammad became an orphan, since his mother died on their way back to Mecca. In order to comprehend the difficulty in traveling 280 miles at that time is to remember that the travel was done on camels. She was buried in a small town called Abha, a place located between Mecca and Yathrib. Halima, his nursing maid took him to his grandfather, Abdul Al-Muttalib who was the most respected elder in Mecca,and who "presided over Mecca's Council of Elders". His grandfather was happy to have him as a substitute for the loss of his own son,Muhammad's father. From his grandfather, Muhammad learned the fundamental principles of statecraft.

578 A.D is the year when Muhammad's grandfather died. Muhammad was about eight years old. Muhammad had ended up in care of his uncle, Abu Talib. Abu Talib was a rather powerful figure in Mecca and hence Muhammad was under the protection of his father's brother, Abu Talib, for many years. It seems to me that because of his loss of his father, mother and grandfather, at such a tender age and living so many years as an orphan the following verses appeared in the Qur 'an after Muhammed became the Messenger of God:

"Amma Al-Yateema Fla Tunhar",translation:

Amma means but.

Al-Yateema means the orphan.

Fla means do not,or better yet, you must not.

Tunhar has several meanings: reject, belittle or insult or condemn.

The net and acceptable translation is the following:

"But the orphan you must not reject, belittle, insult or condemn".

In another verses of the Qur'an, the following already translated Sorah,(Picture or description) about the orphan:

"Did God not find you an orphan and give you shelter and care? And He found you wandering and gave you guidance. And He found you in need, and made you independent".

580-594 A.D. those are the years Muhammad spent as a teen ager, in which he worked as a shepherd to help his uncle, Abu Talib, who was a merchant of modest means. He also used to travel with his uncle as far away from Mecca as Syria, in business trips. The older merchants observed his honesty and conscientious behaviors and as a result they started calling him "Al-Ameen" which meant/means the honest one or the one worth trusting. The following story about Muhammad as a young man may attest to the intelligence and fairness of "Al-Ameen":

One day, after cleaning the Ka'b'a, the tribes of Mecca could not agree on which tribe should have the honor and prestige for raising the black stone to the roof of the Ka'b'a and they could not agree. Some of the wise men of the tribes suggested that in order to avoid bloodshed between the tribes, all tribes accept the verdict of the first man appears on entering the steps of the Ka'b'a. They all agreed and they all anxiously waited. All of the sudden "Al-Ameen",Muhammad appeared entering the Ka'ba's facilities complex. Every tribe was pleased it was "Al-Ameen" who would decide which tribe should raise the stone to the top of the Ka'ba. The leaders of the various tribes told "Al-Ameen" what they had already agreed and would accept his decision. Muhammad,"Al-Ameen" asked for time to think. Given. After a while he asked the leaders to bring him a carpet large enough for the purpose he had in mind. The carpet was brought. And then he asked the stone to be rolled into the middle of the carpet. It was done. Then he asked every tribe to choose one of its men to hold the carpet by part of its edges. Every tribe chose their own man.Then Muhammad asked them to raise the carpet, carrying the stone, all together and at one upward movement to the top of the Ka'ba. So it was done and the bloodshed was avoided and every tribe was pleased and honored by "Al-Ameen"'s intelligent decision.

594 A.D When Muhammad hit early 20 in age he was employed by a wealthy Meccan widow to handle her trading caravans from Mecca to Syria and from Syria to Mecca. The widow's name was Khadija bint Khawalayd. He always brought profits to her. She was impressed by his honesty and good character, she fell in love with him and eventually she proposed marriage and he agreed and they were married in 595. He was then 25 year old and she was 40 year old and they loved each other so dearly. They had six children: two sons who died in infancy and four daughters. They prospered as Mecca prospered.

As it may be seen that Muhammad's life was a happy one and really needed no religious act to disturb it, except that Arabia was in a state of religious flux and a lot of opposing religious forces were in contentions that did not allow the serenity Muhammad,"Al-Ameen",was looking for. About the age of 40, Muhammad started looking for the serenity he felt he needed. He found such a serenity in solitude and meditations in a cave of mount Hir'a, just a walking distance outside Mecca.

Operative words to remember from this rather lengthy essay are the following words:

Mount Hir'a.
Khadija,Muhammad's wife.
Yathrib, (Medina,now)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

(1) Arabia Before Appearance Of Islam.

By Sodium

In ancient time, Arabia used to include not only present-day Saudi Arabia,but also the current political entities of United Arab Emirates, State of Qatar, Sultanate Oman, Kuwait, Yemen and possibly western and southern Iraq where the Christian Ghasanite Arabs lived and also in southern Jordan where the Nabetean Arabs lived in their marvelous city of Petra. The ruin of Petra in southern Jordan is considered, now, one of the Seven Wonders Of The World. While the writer of this essay was stationed in Amman,Jordan in 1970's and 1980's, he had the opportunity to pay several visits, on different occasions, to Petra, along with his family. The more he visited Petra, the more he had/has become fascinated by its structural engineering that was all designed and built in rocks from beginning to end. The canals that where built in rocks to collect raining water had, indeed, a stroke of human genius.

Perhaps, that's why it took the Roman Empire so long to conquer Petra in spite of a very lengthy siege!

The whole point behind mentioning the geography of Arabia is to stress the fact that it was much bigger than nowadays Saudi Arabia and it embodied different tribes of Arabs, some of whom were Christians, (The Ghasanites tribes), and some tribes were Pagans like the Nebetean Arabs of Petra. Some were Jewish Arab tribes,(five tribes),who dwelled in Yathrib, (Medina now), and in the town of Khaybar of ancient Arabia.

It is well known that Yemen was also inhabited by Arab tribes who built well advanced civilization, especially in agriculture. The coffee that billions of human beings enjoy its aroma and taste every morning was first discovered and brewed in Yemen.

As it may be seen that the most advanced civilization occurred at the edges of the Arabian peninsula, while the inside center of Arabia was inhabited by Arab tribes who were waging tribal wars, against one another, for survival, since scarcity of water and green fields for grazing for their domestic animals were rare. Therefore, such tribal warfare is usually caused by a dispute over a well of water or grazing right on a rather slightly greener field. The most eminent factor behind such a tribal warfare was simply the harshness of their geographical and climatical environment, under which sustenance of life was extremely difficult to maintain.

However, central Arabia was inhabited by two kind of Arabs: Arabs who dwelled in cities like Mecca and Yathrib, (it is now called Medina), and Arabs who lived in tents in the harsh Arabian desert. In order to bear the harshness of the desert, all Arabs had to follow unwritten code of social behavior taught to them at a tender age from generation to the next. Such a code is called " muruwah ," written and pronounced also as, " muru,ah. It is very important to understand what "muruwah" means in order to comprehend the ethics of the inhabitants of the Arabian peninsula.

"Muruwah" meant a combination of things to all inhabitants of ancient Arabia:

~ It meant generosity.

~ It meant courage.

~ It meant patience.

~ It meant endurance.

~ It meant protecting the weaker members of the tribe or clan.

~ It meant adherence firmly to the determination to avenge any wrong doing done to the tribe.

~ It meant defying an enemy to the tribe.

~ It meant preserving the honor of the tribe.

~ It meant to be ready,at a short notice,to leap for the defense of relatives.

~ It meant obeying the order of the chief,with no question asked.

The central points behind all of the above are to remember at all time the following three realities of the harsh desert:

* Selfishness in hoarding foods and water by the wealthy Arabs was absolutely un- acceptable while others went thirsty and hungry. Therefore, a tribesman must be " karim," also written as " kareem, " meaning,  " generous. "

* Today's rich tribe may very easily ends up destitute tomorrow.

* No Arab adhering firmly to his "muruwah" will help another Arab, if the latter was terribly stingy and violated the unwritten code of "muruwah" in good days.

That was the human conditions in which Muhammad ibn Abdullah was born: Tribal warfare, the unwritten code of "muruwah", with different kind of religions, ranging from Christianity, mostly at the edges of Greater Arabia and Yemen to Judaism, mostly in the city of Yathrib, (Medina now),to paganism in the city of Mecca and fabulous Nebatean city of Petra, and to some Arab tribes worshipping the Sun and Moon.

The Arabs who did not follow Christianity or Judaism called their Christian and Jewish fellow Arabs: " The People Of The Book, " in reference to the Old Testament and the New Testament, Jewish Arabs and Christian Arabs respectively adhered to.

Arabia was religiously in a state of flux, since most Arabs had no book to follow like their Christian and Jewish minority of Arabs that lived in Greater Arabia, although they passionately were loyal to their goddesses that were kept in the Kab'ah, the holy cubic block of Black stone in the center of Mecca whose master was Qurraysh, the most powerful Arab tribe in all Arabia. Quraysh is Muhammad 's tribe that wanted to kill him, as we shall see later on.

From all of the foregoing, it is suggested to remember the following operative words:

Greater Arabia,
Tribal warfare,
muruwah and what it meant.
The People Of The Book,
The city of Mecca,
The city of Yathrib, (Medina now),
The powerful tribe of Quraysh.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Islam As Understood By An Agnostic.

Although the news coming out from the Middle East,especially from the website of Al-Jazeera( keep this website busy just commenting on the news being reviewed,I have chosen to start a series of reviews about Islam that may prove more productive and beneficial to those who have already expressed genuine desire to learn more about Islam.

In order to develop an acceptable comprehension of the essence of Islam,one may have to study the various topics or units amout Islam as an integrated whole,not as seperate units perse. In other words,one has to,at least,be familiar with all topics touched by Islam or caused by Islam,in order to understand one topic as it is connected to other topics.

Therefore,the following topics will be outlined and possibly discussed in the next few weeks,hoping a degree of enlightment will be the end result for everyone following these reviews:

(1) Arabia Before The Appearance Of Islam.

(2) Early Life Of Muhammad Before Becoming The Messenger Of God.

(3) How Islam Appeared.

(4) The Five Pillars Of Islam.

(5) The Escape Of Muslims From Mecca to Yathreb(Medina,now).

(6) Al-Muhagireen(The Immigrants) And Al-Ansar(The Supporters).

(7) Muhammad's Triumphant Return To Mecca.

(8) The Language OF The Qura'n.

(9) Interpretation Of The Verses Of The Qura'n.

(10) The Greatness Of Islam.

(11) The Meaning Of Jihad In Islam.

(12) The Status Of Women In Islam.

(13) Islamophobia.

(14) Recommended Reading/References

I shall attempt to be as brief as possible,except where it is necessary to dwell on the topic for badly needed elaborations. I hope I need not do that. I shall see.

If one single,sincere and honest reader or follower of this blog extracts some benefits from the above series,I will be content and will be satisfied,indeed. If no such a reader or follower exists,I will regret the waste of time.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Turkey's Erdogan: Hero of the Hour in the Arab/Muslim World

By Sodium

Israel's inhuman blockade of Gaza for the last three years and the late Israeli military operation, in the high sea,35 miles off the coast of Gaza, against Turkish ships carrying humanitarian aids of foods and medicines for the sieged people of Gaza, the result of which were at least 9 peace activists dead ( some news paper put the dead at 16 ) and undisclosed numbers wounded, mostly Turkish nationals, had / has compelled Mr.Ragab Tayyeb Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey to take tough measures against Israel, once upon a time Turkey was an ally to Israel.

Indeed, it is amazing how the political equilibrium can shift so drastically in the shifting sands of the Middle East.

Among Mr. Erdogan's tough measures against Israel's military arrogance are the following steps or issues Mr. Erdogan had / has made publicly clear for the whole world to see and hear:

(1) He ( Mr.Erdogan ) has already canceled the military exercises Turkey was supposed to conduct with Israel military forces.

(2) He has declared publicly that Turkey will never abandon the Palestinians in Gaza as human beings need badly humanitarian assistance.

(3) He has made it clear to Israel that Turkey will never forget the legal status of Jerusalem which in reality negates every illegal steps Israel had / has so far done in East Arab Jerusalem which included kicking the Palestinians from their homes by force of arms and then allow Jews only to live there. The whole purpose of such horrible Israeli actions is to make the Jewish residents in East Jerusalem the majority instead of the current Palestinians majority.

(4) There are newspapers report that Mr. Erdogan may even go further than that and decrease the staff of the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv in Israel to the minimum allowed. Same newspapers reported that he may even cancel all business dealings already singed with Israel.

Because of the foregoing reasons, Mr.Erdogan who is Turkish, not an Arab, has all of a sudden become the hero of the hour in the Arab and Muslem world. Based on my reviews of several newspapers in the Arab world, the vast majority of the people in the streets of the Arab world have expressed immense admiration for Mr.Erdogan. One columnist wrote that if Erdogan could run in the schedule elections in Egypt in 2011 and in the Tunis 'election scheduled for 2014,he could / can win in those two Arab countries handily. I may add by land slide. In fact, he can win every election that may be held honestly in every state of the 22 states that make-up the Arab world.

Most likely, the repercussions of the Israeli military actions against the Turkish ships called " Marmara, " carrying humanitarian aids to the people of Gaza will not be over for some times to come. Already some steps have already taken in Europe as well as in Turkey to bring legal charges against some leaders in the Israeli leadership. Whether or not, such actions will produce tangible punishment against Israel, only the future will reveal.     

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Notes On Israel's Unhelpful Recent Behavior

By Sodium

It seems to me that the current Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has an arrogant talent that is neither compatible with the spirit of good international behavior, nor is it compatible with what really good for the Israeli people in the long-run. As a person who has spent practically a large segment of his adult life advocating peace in that troubled region of the globe, I truly regret the unwise and unhelpful behavior of the Netanyahu's government. Although any veteran observer of the Middle East scene can cite several obstacles created intentionally or un-intentionally by the current Israeli government, this essay will concentrate on only two issues that the Netanyahu's government has failed so miserably in handling:

Refusal to attend the recent meeting for the NON-POLIFERATON of nuclear weapons called for recently by President Obama, the end result of which might have been a new Middle East, FREE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS, including Iran was not serving the best interest of Israel's security in the long-run, let alone the road for a just peaceful Middle East. I regret the fact that I am compelled to pass judgment on such a detrimental behavior and call it arrogant practiced by a bunch of Israeli politicians who could not see further than the tips of their noses. Reasons:

~ Israel security lies NOT in its Nuclear weapons. In fact, the estimated 200 atomic bombs Israel has, should be considered a burden on its own internal security. The proof of what I am saying, here, is the catastrophic nuclear leak/accident that took place in Chernobyl, Russia, displacing more than 300,000 ( three hundred thousand )people, annihilating all forms of life, plants and animals, leaving behind incredible devastated Chernobyl for untold years to come. Some radiation has reached neighboring countries such as Ukraine and Belarus. There is no assurance that a similar accident would not happen in Israel or other countries having nuclear reactors or nuclear weapons. The difference between Israel and other countries with nuclear facilities, Israel is a small tiny little country while the other members of the nuclear club are much larger area-wise. Hence, the devastation in Israel would be unbearable. De-population of Israel will be inevitable. Hence, the result is clearly; that would be the demise of the whole Zionist project

~ Neither Israel's long-term security lies in its total dependence on the U.S., militarily and financially, since America has changed drastically from a CREDITOR nation to DEBTOR one. The foreign debt of the U.S. has reached unprecedented level. Some economists have predicted that the U.S. would never be able to pay back its foreign debt. In such kind of circumstances, who in his or her right mind expects the keep giving away billions of dollars to Israel, Egypt etc...?  No way. The sooner Israel and other countries realize what is coming, the better for everyone involved. Congressman Ron Paul of Texas said publicly on the floor of the U. S House of Representatives: " We are broke. "

~ Israel security lies NOT in terrorizing the Palestinians, Lebanese and the rest of the Arab world, by its almost untamed and unleashed American powers of all sort, military, diplomatic and political powers in the world stage. The more it brutalizes the Palestinians, the more extreme militants it creates for future vengeance. And the sweep of history is neutral. Today, Israel has the upper-hand. Thanks to the American powers. But, who is foolish enough to guarantee that this Israel's military supremacy will last forever? Human history tells us that powerful empires were reduced to ashes by other newly founded by strong and determined men and women to conquer the world. In short, the cycle of human history is profoundly telling

Question: where then Israel's security lies?

Israel's security lies in the hearts and minds of the people of the Arab world whose population exceeds the three hundred million, ( 300,000,000 million ), backed by additional 1.5 billion non-Arab Muslims. That is about a total of 1.6 billion. Yes, you read it right, BILLION. Unfortunately, Israel has failed so miserably in realizing this extremely important point for its long-haul security needs. It seems that the Israeli leadership has unlimited capacity for thinking of only short-haul security needs, which are essentially based on the sorrow of the military might that certainly cannot be sustained forever. Human history attests to that: from the Babylonian warrior, Nabukhednazzer, to Alexander the Great, to the Persian, Roman and Arab empires, to Gengiz Khan, to the Crusaders who built city-states in the Middle East that lasted for about 200 years, to Saladin, (or Salh El-Deen,in Arabic), who finally succeeded in defeating the Crusaders in the great battle of "Hitteen" to mark the beginning of the end for the Crusaders presence in the Middle East, to the Ottoman empire, to British and French colonial rule, as one of the worst diplomatic treachery resulting from World War One, and finally the treachery reached its culminating apex in the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, after World War Two. Israel needs not to be kicked out like the Crusaders, if it just finds its way in dealing with the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world appropriately. Arabs and Jews lived peacefully with one and another for centuries. And certainly can do so again, if they are left alone to weed out their differences.

Militarily attacking ships, mainly Turkish ships, loaded with humanitarian aids such as foods and medicines for the 1.5 million Palestinian people in Gaze, who have been sieged and blockaded for the last three years by the Israeli arm forces is not going to help any party, including Israel. The ships were cruising in international water when they were attacked by the Israeli military,  killing 9 humanitarian activists and wounding undisclosed number. Israel, in this case not only violated well established international laws by blockading Gaza, but with this attack has also demonstrated that it has no respect for human lives and acted as a bunch of barbarian pirate thugs and should be held accountable and must be investigated properly and punished justly according to international laws of the seas.

A nation that is acting as a bully does not want to live in peace in its vast surrounding of Arab neighborhood, but it seems to want to send a message to the Arab world that it is the bully boss in the neighborhood, in spite of the fact that it is really in an Arab neighborhood. Unless Israel starts learning how to walk humbly with its enemy in order to achieve genuine peace, the cycle of violence and possibly regional wars, unfortunately for the people of the region and the world, will be the rule, not the exception.

I do hope that the Arab people will continue exhibiting patience with Israel s' bellicose and belligerent behaviors, lest a regional war erupts, which would be a disaster to all the people of the region and, most likely, the rest of the world, because of global dependency, especially in energy resources..



Friday, May 28, 2010

Ralph Nader and Election of 2000

By Sodium

Because I was recently involved in an unpleasant debate about Ralph Nader and Presidential election of 2000,it is probably in order to re-assess Nader's influence on election 2000,if any.

There were wild accusations lodged against Ralph Nader because Al Gore lost the election to George W. Bush in 2000,inspite of the fact that the result of the election was really determined by the Supreme Court decision of 5:4. In other words, George W. Bush was not ELECTED but APPOINTED by a one vote majority in the Supreme Court. And yet, Ralph Nader was to blame by those who were looking for excuses to blame, whether it was Ralph Nader or some body else in Ralph's position, the excuses or rather the accusations had to be lodged, any way.

The major accusations publicly declared against Ralph Nader were / are the following:

* Because of Ralph Nader, Al Gore lost the election to George W. Bush by a slim margin. If Ralph was not running, Al Gore would have been elected President.

* One absurd claimer had claimed that George W. Bush won the 4 electoral votes of New Hampshere by only 1,000 votes. If Nader was not running Al Gore would have one those 4 electoral votes and subsequently would have won the Presidency.

* If Ralph Nader was not running all the 24 or 27 (I cannot remember the exact number) electoral votes of Florida would have been won by Al Gore and hence the White House.

* Ralph Nader has an ego problem for he keeps running for President and thus he keeps spoiling the Presidential election for the Democrats.

In my personal reviews, all the above accusations are excuses at best, or false at worst. Reasons:

(1) When Al Gore loses his home state of Tennessee, ( 11 electoral votes)which could have put him at the top and thus would have won the Presidency ), that alone indicates that Al Gore and his handlers ran a poorly coordinated campaign.

(2) The claim that George W. Bush had won the 4 electoral votes of New Hampshere by only 1,000 votes was incorrect, because the final tally of the votes for that state indicated that Bush won it by approximately 4,000 votes. Hence, if Nader was not running and the votes that were casted for Ralph were divided between Bush and Nader in the exact proportions that gave Bush the 4 electoral votes, still Bush would have won the state by even a wider margin. In addition, Senator John MaCain won New Hampshere in the two Republican primaries of 2000 and 2008, indicating there was a trend there that could not be ignored-favoring the Republicans.

(3) It was so obvious that Al Gore and his handlers kept a distance from the Clintons. This was proven to be a blunder, since many African American voters did not bother to vote in Florida because former President Bill Clinton was so popular in the African American community to a point that they dubbed him, in admiration, as " the first Black American President. " In other words, they sensed the drift, while some of their leaders were calling for unity but with no avail from the Al Gore's camp. In addition, Al Gore and his handlers declined to meet with Florida's leaders of the Florida's Muslim Americans, while George W. Bush met with them and received their 64,000 (sixty four thousands) as a result of his meeting with their leaders. That was so, according to former Congressman Paul Findley of Illinois, who had / has close contacts with the Muslim communities in the United States. He certainly wrote a book about them and their achievements entitled "Silent No More". His article about the 2000 presidential election, has been published in the magazine called "The Washington Report On Middle East Affairs" of January / February,2001 attested to that.

(4) As to the accusation that Ralph Nader was serving his own selfish ego as he keeps running for President and keeps spoiling the election for the Democrats, it was / is false also. It is well reported in the media that Nader intention from running was not to spoil the election to the Democrats but rather to keep certain issues alive in the campaign. He offered not to run, if the Democratic candidates would adopt just three issues out of a list of 20 issues and discuss them in the campaigns. Unfortunately, his offers were ignored or rejected. That neutralized the ego accusation.

Based on the reasons outlined above, Ralph Nader was not the cause for Al Gore's loss of the 2000 election to George W. Bush.

Al Gore had defeated Al Gore by running a poor campaign and no body else had defeated him.

For more proofs that prove that Ralph Nader was not the cause for the Democrats in losing the Presidential election of 2000,please check the following link:


Monday, May 10, 2010

Chris Hedges and his Critics

By Sodium

Recently,I was involved in debating a fine poster on one of the forums of Truthdig website. The poster impressed me by his usually unoffensive responses. However,he criticizes the writing of Chris Hedges often but not really frequently. I could never figure out to what group of the five groups of critics I categorized through the last three years of taking notes about the weekly hard core critics of Hedges. Hence,this fine poster has compelled me to review my files that I have accumulated in the last three years as a regular blogger at Truthdig website.

My files indicate that the hard-core critics who want desperately to refute or,at least,discredit the writings of Chris Hedges are five different groups,motivated by different causes and hence categorized accordingly:

(1) The Extreme Right Evangelical Christians: This group of critics hates the guts of Hedges because he has exposed their agenda for the U.S.the main point of which is to control the political structure of America and change it from secular type of government to a Christian one. Anyone who stood against their attempts to fulfill their agenda must be fought and marginalized.

(2) The Israel's Apologists or as some writers dubbed them,"The Israel's Firsters": Those Firsters also hate the guts of Hedges because more than once he has exposed in some of his columns,Israel's inhuman atrocities being committed on daily basis against the Palestinian people. He wrote several column on this topic but one column would remain an outstanding one,entitled "Starving Gaza". It can be found in Truthdig's archive.

(3)The Neoconservatives: It is well known that the neoconservatives were the ones who instigated the illegal and immoral war against Iraq,especially those who wrote and signed the "Project for the New American Century",(PNAC) for short. The irony about those warmongering hawks is the fact that none of them has served in the military,and yet they are,indeed,warmongers to the hilt. Because of this fact,some writers dubbed them as the "Chicken Hawks" for sarcasm. Why they hate Chris Hedges? Because Hedges has been against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the top of that,Hedges wrote several columns specifically against what was going on in Iraq,exposing and discrediting their unparalleled blunder in the entire history of the U.S. One especially effective column was entitled,"Beyond Disaster". It can be found in Truthdig's archive.

(4) The Hard-Core Democrats: No need to elaborate on this group,since it is to be expected that they hate Hedges's guts for being an exponent in criticizing President Obama. And from the very start of the election campaign,Hedges has supported Ralph Nader for the presidency. Thus,hating Hedges by them may be understandable but not necessarily correct or even legitimate.

(5) The Show Off Critics: This group embodies a a variety of posters. Just to name a few,the following subgroups will give an idea of their various composites:
A. Posters who likes to parade their phony "knowledge?". Plagiarism cannot be
ruled out.
B. Bloggers who like to high jack the forums to express their ideology. They are
usually rude and they have no courtesy for Hedges and his columns.
C. The strong believers in the "Conspiracy Theory" in every major events,
ranging from Kennedy assassination to the tragic event of 9/11.
D. The silly posters who enjoy using sarcasm against Hedges and everyone else
except their friends of bloggers who shower the m with complements. One
blogger called those friends "The Boiler Room Club".

Final words: In spite of all those five groups of critical posters,the numbers of bloggers who have shown support to and admiration for Chris Hedges far exceed the number of all of his critics combined in the ratio roughly 2:1. This is a rough estimate,on my part,by counting the number of pros and cons posted on a particular forum of Truthdig. This healthy ratio may rise or fall,depending upon what Hedges writes and of course on the level of interest.

I regret the fact that I could not assign the fine blogger I had debated recently to any group cited above. He/she is a class by himself or herself,because his/her approach to debating is very healthy

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The "Great Soul" of India and his "Ahimsa".

This topic is about Mahatma Gandhi who is considered the father of non-violence resistance for the achievement of political objectives. In many of his writings and communications with other persons of his time,he often mentioned the word "Ahimsa". Hence,the first question that comes to mind is: what is "Ahimsa"? "Ahimsa" is a Hindu 's word and means simply "Non-Violence". That is not enough to understand Gandhi's perception of "Ahimsa","Non-Violence". In order to be able to do so,one must absorb and assimilate correctly the following issues:

(1) Gandhi was not only a citizen of India,but also a citizen of the British Empire.

(2) The mighty military power of the British Empire,especially its Navy had ruled the world and Gandhi had to live and accept that giant reality. In other words,he had to deal with his British rulers in a rational way,not in an emotional manner. And he had done so admirably.

(3) Gandhi's Perception of "Ahimsa","Non-Violence".

No need to dwell on points (1) and (2),since anyone who is interested can find their details in the Internet or,better yet,in reliable history books in a good library. Therefore,an attempt will be made below only on point (3) cited above:

(3) Gandhi's Perception of "Ahimsa","Non-Violence:

If one follows carefully Gandhi's statements and communications with others,one may notice that "Ahimsa" meant not only "Non-violence" to Gandhi but also "Love of Humanity". Perhaps,that is why he had never hated the British while he fought their military occupation and certainly their decades of colonization of his beloved India. His statement,"HATE THE SIN,NEVER THE SINNER",may explain his fundamental belief and noble philosophy toward the British as human beings he could not ignore his connection to them through a commonality called "HUMANITY". Therefore,the greatness of Gandhi stems not only from the fact that he forced Great Britain to withdraw from India without firing a single shot,but equally important was the fact that he really never hated the British,the colonizers of his beloved homeland. Hence,his greatness stems from two unique feats: Non-Violence and Love of his fellow human beings who happened to be the British,his colonizers and,in many ways,his tormentors as well.

Human history is full of violence in which empires ascended on the ashes of other empires defeated and the cycle of violence has its own dynamic with no end in sight, until Gandhi came along and proved by adhering firmly to his perception of "Ahimsa" through determination,endurance,patience,diligence,dedication and love for humanity, an empire could be defeated without firing a single shot against it. And as a result a Culture of Non-violence was intruduced. Dr. Martin Luther King of the U.S.A. and Neslson Mandela of South Africa had adopted Gandhi's Culture of Non-Violence and had succeeded in achieving freedom for their people,in varying degrees.

To summarize,one may conclude the following facts about Gandhi and his poverty stricken India:

FACT ONE: In order to comprehend Gandhi's Culture of Non-Violence,there are three pre-requisites that must be fully understood:
(A) Gandhi's as a citizen of India and a citizen of the British empire.
(B) The extent of the military might of Great Britain,especially its Navy which really ruled the world,including,of course,India.
(C) Gandhi Perception of "Ahimsa",meaning Non-Violence.

FACT TWO: Gandhi's greatness stems not only from forcing the British Empire to withdraw from India without firing a single shot against them,but also from the fact that he had never hated them. The proof of that was the fact that he unequivocally supported Britain's war efforts against the Nazi of Germany.

FACT THREE: Until his assassination,he was true to his belief in the superiority of "Ahsima" over or to "Himsa",translation: "Ahimsa,Non-Violence" and "Himsa,Violence".

FACT FOUR: After the British were forced to leave the Indian subcontinent,India emerged as the largest democracy the human kind had ever seen.

FACT FIVE: Economic changes in India have been tailing political changes since poverty is still wide spread. Gandhi's efforts have produced the excellent political changes. What India needs now an ECONOMIC GANDHI.

FACT SIX: Gandhi will remain one of the most towering figures of the 20TH century,whether his critics like or not. Hence,describing him as the "GREAT SOUL" of India fits the occasion,indeed.

For further reading on Mahatma Gandhi,the following books are highly recommended:

Mahatma Gandhi
His Life And Ideas
Charles F. Andrews.

The Gandhi Reader
A Soursebook of His Life and Writing
Edited by
Homer A. Jack.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thoughts on Edward Said and T.E. Lawrence

By Sodium

The late Dr. Edward Said is a giant of giants, when it comes to the subject of orientalism. His book titled, “ ORIENTALISM ”, is the gold standard when it comes to exposing the English language orientalists for what they actually were and are. He had to take two years sabbatical from his university job to do the researches required, in order to write “ORIENTALISM”.

Something else was impressive about Dr. Edward Said: He was born to a Christian family and he was raised as Christian. And to my knowledge, he never changed his religion, but he understood the essence of Islam as it should be understood; and he defended Islam more effectively than any Muslim could in the United States of America. If one wishes to explore this point further, one should read his book entitled, “ COVERING ISLAM ”.

The British and French governments before, during, and after the First World War wanted to achieve the following accomplishments in the Middle East:

~ Defeat the Ottoman empire which colonized the whole Middle East, under the banner of Islam and clean the region from all influences of the Ottoman empire.

~ Divide the whole region into separate political entities with political borders, customs and passport controls, in accordance to the SECRET agreement signed by Britain’s and France’s officials during the war. This SECRET agreement, later on, became well known as the Sykes-Picot Accord, based on the names of the British and French offials who signed it. What was known geographically then as “Greater Syria” under the Ottoman colonialism was divided into the following states:

Syria, Lebanon, Palestine,Trans Jordan, Iraq and Kuwait which was really part of Iraq before the discovery of oil in it, ( for objectivity, I must say that Saddam Hussein was correct when he claimed in 1990-1991 that Kuwait was an integral part of Iraq. )

What had helped T. E .Lawrence, ( Lawrence of Arabia ), in tricking and deceiving “those Arabs” was the fact he was very fluent in the Arabic language and knew very well the essence of the Arabic culture, especially the culture of the Bedouin Arabs who admired him for that, at the time.

I had read the monumental book titled, “ Seven Pillars of Wisdom ”  by T.E.Lawrence. I do recall that there was a point in the book where Lawrence was honest with himself, expressing doubt in fulfilling Britain’s promises made to the Arabs. It is good for one to be honest with oneself, but what is the use of that honesty when one cannot be truthful with his/her friends and the Arab people who trusted him.

After the defeat of the Ottoman empire in Wolrd War One, the winners, Britain and France with the silence of Lawerance of Arabia, ( the great friend of the Arabs), had committed political crimes against the dream of the people of the Arab of the Middle East. Instead of fulfilling the promise that Britain made to Sharif Ali ibn Al-Husein, ( father of Prince Feisel, friend of Lawrence ), the whole Arab world was divided into seperate states, each having its own governments, with passport control,  as well as teriff and customs control. To force the political will of Britain and France on the region, British and French troops could be seen across the Arab world which was considered as an integrated whole under the Ottoman empire; when a traveler could travel freely, from the Turkish city of Istanbole, in the east, to the Moroccan city of Casablanca, in the west, without going through passport and customs controls, as had been the case since Britain and France created so many puppet states for themselves across the Arab World. It was clear that the policy of both Britain and France was "Divide and Rule" which had set the stage for the creation of Israel, against the consent of the Palestinian Arab majority and Palestinian Jewish minority who lived to gather in peace for generation after generation to a point of baby setting for each other, as their family circumnstances dictated to do so.

It is true that at the end, when it became clearly apparent that it was really too late, that T.E.Lawrence did his best to get the best deal possible from the British government, then, for his friend, Prince Faisal ibin Al-Hussein whom Lawrence had admired greatly, and who had urged all Arabs to fight the brutal Ottoman’s rule, under the leadership of his friend, Lawrence.

Yeah, T.E.Lawrence had got the British empire to make Prince Faisal as King of Iraq, but at the same time, Britain exiled his old father to Cyprus because the old man insisted that Britain should fulfill its promises made to him before and during the First World War. The old man died in exile in Cyprus which was then a British colony, but he was buried in his beloved Jerusalem in Palestine, before Israel was created in 1948.

The people of the whole Middle East region continue to suffer because of the instability and turmoil created by colonial powers politics. All one has to attest that is to review two documents:

~   Sykes-Picot Accord: an agreement that was secretly signed, during World War One, by Sykes, a British diplomat and Picot, a French diplomat; through which they divided the Arab world amongst themselves to rule. Since then, the Arab people have been paying a heavy price because of what the accord has done to them as a whole.

~  The Balfour Declaration: At the apogee of its power, the British empire gave that infamous declaration in which it had promised the Zionist movement , through its diplomat Lord Balfour, to create a Jewish homeland for Jews in Palestine. Beside its military might, Britain had no right,  whatsoever, to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine without the consent of the inhabitants of Palestine at that time. In fact, the whole declaration was accomplished through a deal of " Horse Trading " between Lord Balfour and a Zionist leader named Chaim Weisman, who was a well known Organic Chemist and who discovered an organic compound called " Acetone " which could be used in making some chemical weapons. Chaim Weisman wanted a written declaration which he got and Lord Balfour wanted the chemical formula, as to how to synthesize " Acetone, "  which he got in return. "Horse Trading" ?  You bet it was !

When Israel was created in 1948, Chaim Weisman was declared as Israel's first president.   

Where were the Palestinians, ( including the Palestinian Jews ), and the Arabs, while all the above was taking place ?  Just a question !

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The 100 Most Influential Persons in Human History

By Sodium

Anyone who is truly interested in knowing the true greatness of the Prophet Muhammad should review the following book:


It is a Citadel Press Book.
It is published by Carol Publishing Group.

Dr.Michael H. Hart has meticulously listed the one hundred persons who has most influence in the human history: The Prophet Muhammad came as number one,at the top of the list.

It is interesting to note that the one who is listed in the second place: it is not Jesus,nor is it Moses. Isaac Newton is listed in the second slot.

Jesus is listed in the third position and Moses in the fifteen.

For all the one hundred listed as the most influential persons in human history,please consult the book which you might be able to find in your local library.

By the way,I am not a Muslim. I was born to Christian father and mother who were devotees to the Greek Orthodox Church. I personally follow no particular religion. You may call me as an AGNOSTIC. Period. I cherish OBJECTIVITY in everything I read,see or hear.

By Sodium,March 3,2010 at 5:45 pm.

Sumac Chicken

Recipe for chicken with sumac

- chicken breasts and legs, skinless
- sumac
- onions

1. lightly roll chicken in sumac.
2. place in suitable pot, add one inch water at the bottom.
3. cut two large onions into one inch peices, roll them lightly in sumac.
4. place chicken at the top of the sumac in the pot.
5. bake in oven at 460 degrees fehrenheit for one hour.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Za'atar Chicken

Recipe for Chicken with Za'atar

-several chicken breasts and legs
-a few onions
-za'atar (mixture of thyme, sumac & sesame seeds)
-olive oil

1. Coat chicken with za'atar, place in bottom of large pot.
2. Cut onions into quarter pieces then coat with olive oil and za'atar, place on top of chicken.
3. Add a dash of olive oil and very little water to bottom of pot.

Cover pot, and bake at 460 degrees for one hour. Serve with bulgar or rice.