Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Christmas And New Year Wishes.

To: The Readers of This Website,World Wide.

Dear Readers,
I wish the readers who adhere to the Christian Faith A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and beyond.

I wish the readers who are non-Christians A very Happy New Year and beyond.

And may the future be kind to the human conditions,in every country in the globe.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Part Two: The Imperative Requirements Of Sufism.

In Part One a conclusion has been reached to the effect that the essence of Sufism is quite similar,if not identical, to the essence of Islam. Hence, one may consider Sufism as, at least, a "persuasion" of Islam, if not a full pledged "Order" of Islam.

In this essay, an attempt will be made to outline the imperative requirements to become a genuine Sufi. These requirements are mainly four stages or rather levels a potential Sufi has to climb and go through as climbing on a ladder having four steps. That means one cannot possibly reach at the fourth step of the ladder without passing the first,second and third step. If you want to call them steps that is fine,if that helps you comprehend what is involved in each step and finally what is really involved in the totality of the four steps. The writer of this essay prefers to call the four steps as The Four Levels of Sufism. The first level is the foundation of the second level,and the first and second levels are the foundation of the third level,and finally the first,second and third levels are the foundation of fourth level.

The main intent of the writer of this essay is to try to provide the readers,especially the novice readers,with a degree of comprehension of Sufism and what a Sufi has to go through in order to become a genuine Sufi. It certainly is not easy to reach the final level.

The Imperative Requirements Of Sufism:
As mentioned in the Introduction above, in order to become a Sufi, one must go through and must understand the four essential levels of Sufism. Those four essential levels of Sufism are called by the writer of this essay, as The Imperative Requirement Of Sufism, for the purpose of stressing the extreme importance of understanding the four levels. The usage of the word,"Imperative" in the title seems to fit splendidly. Let us explore the four levels as briefly as possible:

Level One Is "Shari'ah" :
"Shari'ah" is an Arabic word that means a " Pathway", although most books and other essays called it "Religious Laws". Yes, the meaning of "Shari'ah" can be used to mean "Religious Laws", as long as the larger meaning of "Shari'ah" is not forgotten, but kept in mind. Since the fundamental intent of religious laws is to deal with the affairs of Muslims in justice and peaceable manners-a just and peaceable "Pathway". Such affairs can encompass a variety of human issues,ranging from marriage to divorce to burial to inheritance etc...and these affairs need some kind of an enlightenment to treat justly. Such an enlightenment is the" Religious Laws". The potential Sufi must know all the religious laws and become a reliable scholar in their interpretations. This is considered as an  external dimension of Sufism.

Level Two is "Tariqah" :
"Tariqah" is an Arabic word that means a "Method". A university student in chemistry or physics, for example, must be formally trained in a set of experiments in the laboratory to prove certain and well  specified theoretical principle or concept. The theoretical principle or concept has to stand the laboratory tests or laboratory scrutiny. Otherwise,the theoretical principle or concept will be false and consequently rejected. By a similar analogy,the potential Sufi must know his theoretical or rather the abstract values of his or her morality and ethics and spiritual belief and test them in the laboratory of the mundane world and see how strongly his inner self or her inner self can withstand the confusion,misery and entropy of humanity. In short, the potential Sufi must know his or her inner perception as he or she follows the worldly concepts of ethics,morality and justice provided by Shari'ah. This, too, is considered an external dimension of Sufism.

Level Three Is "Haqiqah" :
"Haqiqah" is an Arabic word that means the "Truth". When the word truth is written with capital "T" as such as "Truth",it means the "Absolute Truth", "The Divine" or God. As the potential Sufi passes the first two levels outlined above,he or she will know the inner meaning what he or she has experienced in Shari'ah and Tariqah. With such experiences the prospective Sufi will know the presence of God within himself or herself. In other words,the "Truth", within oneself cannot be attained without the tough experiences and test of time, as one encounters in Shari'ah and Tariqah. When that happens,the future Sufi will discover the spirit of God within his or her well being. This is considered an internal dimension of Sufism.

Level Four Is "M'arifah" :
"Ma'rifah" is an Arabic word that means, in the literal sense, "Epistemology", but epistemology has to do with the knowledge of the mundane world. It cannot be used as a meaning of "M 'arifah,since the word "M'arifah" has profound connection with the spiritual truth,not the mundane knowledge. What it really means is that the Sufi in this level has reached a level of profound knowledge characterized with
outstanding wisdom and spiritual thoughts, because of his or her inner communications with The Divine,meaning God.  Only very few, such as a Messenger of God,The Prophets,great Saints,Sages and Imams, can  reach such a level of Spiritual M'arifah . Nevertheless, genuine Sufis try to achieve communications with The Divine-God,through their own ways of Dervish dancing,music and poetry. This is considered the superior dimension of Sufism.

The Exponents Of Sufism :
The recorded history of Sufism shows so many people,Muslims and non-Muslims,who practice Sufism. It is beneficial to remember the following names as the most exponents of Sufism :

*  Al-Rumi.
*  Al-Gazali.
*  Ibn Arabi.

The poetry and prose of Al-Rumi are beautiful.  The wisdom of Al-Ghzali and Ibn Arabi are fascinating. They are worth exploring and learning from.



Monday, November 26, 2012

Part One: Is Sufism A Persuasion Of Islam ?

Although this essay was intended to be an attempt to answer the question:" Is Sufism A Persuasion Of Islam? ", the massive knowledge accumulated from reviews of, and researches about, Sufism and Sufis, had compelled the writer of this essay to divide it into two parts. Part One will be concentrated on answering the question as expressed previously and in the title of this essay. And Part Two will focus on the imperative requirements, in order to be a Sufis,since Sufism without Sufis will remain just a word, having concept and meaning,but with no adherents or practitioners. Hence, in order to develop an objective comprehension of the essence of Sufism, one must be familiar with what it really takes to be a Sufi. Hence, Part Two will show the readers the imperative levels or stages that a man or a woman must meet in order to become a genuine adherent to Sufism.  

 It has always been the intent of the writer to provide the readers with brief outlines of the subject matters he writes about; and avoid burdening the readers with unnecessary information that may confuse the novice reader.

Part One: Is Sufism A Persuasion Of Islam?
The title of this essay is related to an essay entitled, "Sufism And Sufis", dated May 5,2012 and published on this website. Therefore, it is recommended to read it, before reading what is coming bellow in this essay. It is easy to get. Just Google the following words:

Sufism And Sufis By Reviews by Sodium.

In that essay entitled, "Sufism And Sufis" of May 5,2012, the following question has been raised:

Is Sufism an integral part of Islam?

 The answer that was given was "Yes and No". Such an answer has not been satisfactory to some readers, not even to the writer of that essay of May 5, 2012. Hence, this attempt seems to be in order:

The "Yes" Answer is based on the fact that many Islamic scholars, Imams and Historians have considered Sufism as an order of Islam. Also, many of them such as Rumi and Al-Ghazali practiced Sufism and thus considered themselves Sufis.

The "No" Answer is based on the fact that some order of Islam,such as Wahabism,one of the most conservative order of Islam, does not consider Sufism as an integral part of Islam,since it does not believe that dancing,music,poetry and the arts in general, as essentials to worship God, while Sufism and Sufis do. In fact, Sufis are proud of their Sufism. Another reason that gives credence to the "No" Answer is the fact that there are people who are not Muslims, but practice Sufism in their spiritual meditations.

As one considers the facts supporting the "Yes" Answer and the facts supporting the "No" Answer,one finds himself or herself in a dilemma and has to accept both answers until a way is found out of the dilemma and thus consider themselves Sufis.

Perhaps,one way out of the dilemma is to compare the very fundamental tenets of Islam and compare them to the very fundamental tenets of Sufism:

Fundamental Tenets Of Islam:
~ Tawheed, meaning,the belief in the Oneness of God.
~  The Qur'an and authentic Hadiths are the ultimate references,to a Muslim 
~ Adherence to ethics and morality and cleanliness in conducting one's mundane or worldly life.
~ Charity.
~ Humility in prayers to, and love of, God.
~ Adherence firmly to the Five Pillars of Islam.

Fundamental Tenets Of Sufism:
* Tawheed, meaning, the belief in the Oneness of God.
*  The Qur'an and authentic Hadiths are the ultimate references, to a Sufi  
* Adherence to ehthics and morality and cleanliness in conducting one's mundane or worldly life.
* Charity.
* Humility in prayers to, and love of,God.
* Adherence firmly to the five pillars of Islam.
* Practicing dancing, music,singing, or poetry,as tools to reach to, and communicate with, The Divine (God).

Comparing the Fundamental Tenets Of Sufism with the Fundamental Tenets of Islam,as shown above,it is obvious that Sufism has all the six fundamental tenets of Islam. In fact,with the exception of  practicing dancing, music, singing, or poetry that Sufism embodies, all the other five fundamental tenets are identical to the fundamental tenets of Islam. Therefore, Sufism can be considered, at least, a Persuasion of Islam,if not a fully pledged Order of Islam.

Final Words:
The writer of this essay has deliberately used the word "Persuasion" instead of "Order", in due respect to those who do not consider Sufism as an "Order" of Islam, for the two facts pointed out and specified in the course of discussion, in this essay.




Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Scrutiny Of The Slogan:" A Lesser Evil Is Still An Evil.

By Sodium

The slogan, " A lesser evil is still an evil ", is morally and logically correct statement. I have no disagreement with the morality and logic of  such a fine statement. What I do have disagreement with is the intent behind using such a morally and logically fine statement in the last American Presidential campaign to defeat President Obama. During the campaign up to election day on November 6,2012, I had reviewed so many articles, columns and so many blogs that followed them; and the end result of my massive reviews had convinced me that the intent on using such a fine statement was solely used just to defeat President Obama in his bid for re-election. In fact, the voters who were Anti-Obama have changed, intentionally or unintentionally, the essence of a good and fine statement into a slogan, which is usually used in advertisement, publicity or propaganda. Some of them had even dared accusing the voters who planned to vote for the lesser evil, meaning voting for Obama, as being "dishonest? ". " Dishonest?" is my foot.

Because of all of the foregoing, I have found it compelling to write this essay, in order to expose the fallacy of turning a fine statement into a cheap slogan fits nicely for advertisement and propaganda purposes:

In our mundane world, there are only two absolute truths. They are:

~  Ceaseless Changes.
~  Death.

Since the day we are born, we go through Ceaseless Changes and finally we all encounter Death and die, as the following scheme shows:

Baby grows up to Kid----Youth---- Man ---- Middle Age ---- Old Age----- Death.

If one accepts his or her fate as the above scheme shows, he or she must also accept that every other truth in our mundane world must be relative to one other. In other words, what I see as the truth, some one else may not see it so, at all.

In short, as one accepts that the Ceaseless Changes and Death are the only absolute truths human beings encounter in their journey of life on Planet Earth, then and only then, it becomes clear that all other truths are relative, even the strength of the slogan," the lesser evil is still an evil ", is really in its relativity. In it one has "evil" and "lesser evil". Now, let us see how strong such a relativity is by examining  how a legitimate Court of Law handles and treat the following two different evils:

(1)  Deliberate Murder is evil.  Is not it?
(2)  Deliberate Theft, for the sole accumulation of wealth, is evil.  Is not it?

Both evils, listed above, are committed deliberately. Two questions:

Question One:
Is there a legitimate Court of Law, world wide, that can pass the same punishment on the two different acts of evil committed deliberately?  No, sir, there is none, in spite of the fact there is a common denominator connecting the two acts of evil, and that is the word or adverb," Deliberately ".

Question Two:
Since a Court of Law is made up of human beings such as the Judge, Prosecutor, a Lawyer for Defense and Jurors who, by law, are the ones whose actions determine the level or degree of punishment each of the two different acts of evil must face. Since the actors in the Court of Law are human beings who, by law, can pass judgment on two different evils differently, why it is wrong for voters, who are also human beings, cannot  do similarly in an extremely important Presidential Election, as the Jurors and Judge do finally, in a Court of Law? The similarity is truly striking !

A Metaphor:
By way of metaphor, one may consider that the Voters, in a Presidential Election, as the Jurors in a Court of Law, which is the United States. The Voters, acting as Jurors must pass verdicts on two Presidential candidates, one seems and sounds to be more of an evil than the other one. Remember that with the exclusion of the two absolute truths,( Ceaseless Changes and Death ), all other truths are relative. Therefore, those voters who decided to pass their verdicts in favor of the greater evil could do so, since, they felt, it was their prerogative to do so. And those voters who decided to pass their verdicts in favor of a third party, could do so, since, they felt, it was also their prerogative to do so. Those voters who decided to pass their verdicts in favor of Obama were challenged by the slogan," the lesser evil is still an evil ", and even some of them accused the Independent Voters who decided to pass their verdicts in favor of Obama, as " dishonest? "  Most Unreal  !

Those who threw their tactical slogan," A Lesser Evil Is Still An Evil ", on the faces of Independent Voters who were in favor of Obama, in the American Presidential Election of 2012, should also throw it on the faces of the Judges and Jurors of all legitimate Courts of Law, across the United States of America. It is only fair to do so ! And then, it will be interesting to watch what would happen.




Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Note To The Readers Of This Website.

Dear readers,

Shortly, two essays will be posted on this Website. They are:

(1)  A  Scrutiny Of The Slogan: " The Lesser Evil Is Still An Evil ."
(2)  Is Sufism Considered A Persuasion Of  ISLAM ?

I have felt that I have to deal with the first topic (1),  due to the fact that the Independent Voters who decided to vote for  President Obama on November 6,2012 ( American Presidential Election ) were reminded mainly by the third party's (Green Party) supporters that " the lesser evil is still an evil ". It really was a challenge that was worth  exploring for the benefit of all readers who might be interested.

As to the second topic(2) listed above, I have noticed lately,while reviewing the readership of all the topics already published on this website, world wide, a lone reader was digging into the an essay entitled,"Sufism And Sufis" posted on this website on May 25,2012. I want to extend a hand to that reader,whoever he or she might be, and exploring with him or her more about Sufism that may benefit all readers who have interest to know more about the subject of " Sufism ".


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Observations About The Third American Presidential Debate.

By Sodium

The Observations :
(1)  The topic of the, " Third American Presidential Debate ",  between President Obama and Governor Romney, was supposed to be about the United States'  foreign policy. Romney tried more than once to dwell on the economy. the moderator of the debate, being a good man, was too kind to call Romney's attention to adhere firmly to the topic of the debate, foreign affairs. But, Obama responded forcefully in kind. I wish he did not;  and let the American voters reach their own conclusion about Romney's deviation from the topic.

(2)  Although two years ago, Obama, as the President of the United States, held an International Conference   on Nuclear Disarmament, attended by the majority of the countries that had/has nuclear weapons, no mention was made of such an extremely important subject for the safety of future generations of the human race. In spite of the fact that the Conference has not produced concrete resolutions, the fact that it was held, in the first place, should have a far reaching meaning, more than the eye could see, at the present time. None of all that was mentioned, let alone discussed constructively.

(3)  Iran should not develop nuclear weapons. Period. So should not any another country in the globe. Period. However, demanding from Iran to abandon its nuclear activities, while the members of the countries of the exclusive, " Nuclear Club ",  keep continuing stock-piling more nuclear arsenals, instead of  being a role model in reaching an international accord to eliminate and destroy all nuclear weapons in their arsenals, indicates, at least to the writer of this essay, mountains of hypocrisy. Certainly, both debaters, either overlooked this hard fact or ignored it. Either way, it simply does not make sense ignoring or overlooking nuclear disarmament, in such important Presidential Debate.

(4)  Sadly, both debaters were competing with one another for giving blind support to whatever Israel did, whether right or wrong. At the same time, ignoring the daily suffering of the human beings, the Palestinians whom Israel mistreats, humiliates, violates daily their human rights, through 45 years of military occupation of  Palestine. The question, " why they hate us? " becomes so foolish to ask.

(5)  The bloody conflict in Syria is so complex, military intervention will make it even bloodier. All major powers, ( U.S.A., Russia, China, France and Britain ), know that without their joint agreement to end the blood shed in Syria, through the United Nations' Security Council, the conflict will continue unabated, and the dangerous potentiality exists for the conflict in Syria  to spread out to the neighboring countries, including Israel, Turkey and Iran. Syria is not Libya. Unless the big powers act jointly, in good faith, all the efforts of Al-Akhdhar El-Ibrahimi, the United Nations' envoy to cease the hostility will fail, as all attempts of Kofi Anan, have failed before him. Ignoring this reality and substituting it with words of bellicosity, during the debate, is self defeating and will not stop the blood shed in Syria.

Conclusion :
The foregoing is only an outline of  a longer list of observations about the third debate. The intent in writing this essay is merely to help the readers who are interested in exploring more scrutiny, concerning the debate so that the American readers who are voters on November 6, 2012, will be more knowledgeable about both President Obama and Governor Romney and where they both stand on important issues in foreign policies, before they cast their votes. It is imperative for the voters to know as much as possible where each one of the candidates stands on these important issues, since the position of each debater, on the foregoing issues may determine the trend for war or peace, although constitutionally, only the United States Congress can decide whether the United States can go to war or not. But, never underestimate the Power of the Presidency of the United States of America.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Polygamy In Arabia Before Appearance Of Islam.

While the writer of this essay was reviewing recently the entries of the "Traffic Resources" of  the readership of this website, world wide, one particular entry had asked the following question :

Was there polygamy in Arabia before the Appearance of Islam ?

The answer to the above question is a BIG YES.

In fact, polygamy was very rampant in Arabia before the appearance of Islam. A man could marry as many wives as he could afford to support. It was even socially acceptable, if not normal , for a husband to have as many as 30 wives. Yes, you just have read it correctly : 30 wives. Unreal !  Is not it?

Something Is Worth Remembering :

One of the great achievements of Islam has been the fact that it has reformed the social order or disorder of  Arabia by providing strict instructions to its adherents to limit the number of wives a man can marry is four, with the following tough condition or requirement : If a man cannot treat all four wives equally, ( humanly an impossible task ), such a man must not marry four wives, but only one.

Since it is humanly impossible to treat all four wives in equal fairness and justice, the vast majority of the Muslim men of the Twenty First Century restrict themselves to marrying only one wife.

Recommendation :

To understand more fully the answer to the question, " was there in Arabia polygamy before the appearance of Islam ? ",  it is highly recommended to read the following essay published on this website :

(12)  The Status Of Women In Islam ,dated May 20,2011.

It is number (12) of a series of 14 different topics about Islam.

In order to get topic number (12), just keep clicking at the bottom of the newer essays ,the label which says "Older Post".

Happy Reading.............

Sunday, October 7, 2012

President Obama Deserves Second Term.

Dear Readers,

I have followed President Obama's actions, and in-actions as well, since he has been elected President in 2008 presidential election, with a large margin against his Republican opponent, Senator John MaCain.

Although I have some disagreement with some of  Obama's actions and in-actions as well, I have tried to see the WHOLE FOR-EST of issues he has to deal with, instead of concentrating my sight on a tree or two or three. Yes, Obama has failed in delivering on some issues, or perhaps his hands were tied, and thus, he could not do much about them.

Therefore, my vote in the presidential election on November 6,2012 will be cast, once again, for President Obama. Reasons :

(1)  Obama has inherited from Bush-Cheney Administration  huge problems and extremely unfavorable circumstances in all fronts-internally and internationally.

(2)  To be specific,he has  inherited two wars : One in Iraq and the second one in Afghanistan. He withdrew the American military forces from Iraq. I wish he has done the same in Afghanistan, since Afghanistan is well known in recorded history to have been the grave yard for conquerors and empires. It seems to me that the pressure from certain power groups in the United States was so immense on him he just could not repeat what he had done in Iraq : military forces withdrawal from Afghanistan as well.

(3)  Obama has inherited horrible economic and financial  conditions America has not encountered since The Great Depression of 1930's : economic meltdown, bankrupt financial institutions and automobile manufacturers and accelerating unemployment and expensive heath care system most Americans could not afford, especially in an  environment of rising unemployment.

I can go on giving more reasons why I intend to vote again for Obama,but lest I burden the readers with more reasons,I would like to stress the fact that Obama has done splendidly, as one examines all of the above problems he has to deal with. He has improved the health care system for the majority of Americans,not as much as one might like,but good enough for a start. Yes,there is more to be desired in this particular issue.

As to the big problem of rate of unemployment, his administration has succeeded in decreasing it from 16 percent to 7.8 percent. Just to appreciate such an achievement, one has to remember that just two years ago the rate of unemployment was around 16 to 18 percent. Even some reports put the figure at 20 percent. Obama's and his team have done an admirable job, by any standard, on the unemployment issue.

In the international arena, President Obama initiated an International Conference on Nuclear Disarmament about two years ago. In my view, this is one of the most encouraging attempt to get rid of all nuclear weapons, world wide. Although the conference did not come up with concrete resolutions,the fact it was held and attended by most countries that has nuclear weapons is by itself encouraging. It seems to me that such a conference has a far reaching objective than the eye can see. It is only the beginning, if humankind  cares to save itself from total and mutual destruction by the nuclear arsenals it has in stores in thousands upon thousands of tons. I tip my hat, in due respect, to President Obama for making the initiative.

Final words : To those readers of this website,who have no idea who I am and what I stand for, I submit the following information, not because I must do so,but because I would like to help out as much as I can :

~  I am an INDEPENDENT AMERICAN VOTER, leaning slightly to the left. I have never been a member of the Democratic Party, nor the Republican Party. I vote according to what my conscience dictates. During my adult life, I voted for moderate Republicans nominees as much as I voted for Democratic Party;s nominees. In short, I cherish my INDEPENDENCE, and have no intent to change. Period.

As to voting to a third party, I did vote for Ralph Nader in the Presidential election of 2000. He received only 4 percent of the total votes. I will not vote to third party again, unless the third party is credible enough to have a fair chance of defeating the nominees of  the two major parties, meaning the nominee of the Republican Party and the nominee of the Democratic Party, as well.

Yes, I will adhere to the lesser evil idea, rather than throwing my vote away for a third party candidate who has no chance of winning whatsoever.

All the above outline is not to influence any voter. Not at all.

Please consider this essay as an attempt  to make it clear to the readers of this website where I stand on various issues, as they may read future essays that may touch some of the issues mentioned in this article.




Monday, October 1, 2012

Chris Hedges Is At It Again With Another Excellent Column.

I must admit that I have been fascinated by the writings of  Chris Hedges. Therefore, I have always looked forward to read what he writes, whether in the books he writes or the columns he posts every Monday on Truthdig's website.

I have just finished reading his latest column, entitled :

" What Is Happening to Muslims Will Happen to the Rest of Us ", dated October 1, 2012.

In the above column of his, Heddges  is adhering firmly to the moral high ground, in connection to violation of the U.S. Constitution and justice system and one of the most cherished American ideals : innocent until proven guilty by a legitimate Court of Law.

I highly recommend to the readers of this website to take their time and read Chris Hedges' column specified as quoted above, at the following website :

Happy reading...........  


Friday, September 21, 2012

An Outstanding Column By Chris Hedges,Against War

A Brief Outline About Chris Hedges:

Mr. Chris Hedges is an author of several books,a columnist and journalist He worked for The New York Times and covered wars and crises in the Middle East, Latin America and Eastern Europe. He is a graduate of  the School of Divinity of Harvard University.

At the present time, he writes a column every Monday. His column appears on Truth Dig Website every Monday.

I have followed the writings of Chris Hedges for,at least, the last 20 years. Accordingly, I have reached the conclusion that his eloquence,honesty and broad knowledge are rarely matched by his American peers. No one needs to take my words. Just read his columns and books and reach your own conclusion.

My Own Essay About One Particular Column Written By Chris Hedges :

On March 19,2012, Chris Hedges has written a column entitled, " Murder Is Not an Anomaly in War ".

I had read the above specified column when it was first published on Truthdig Website and I had reviewed it again last week and I thought it would be beneficial to the interested readers to share what I wrote then about the column entitled, " Murder Is Not an Anomaly in War " :

The whole column, from the beginning to the last word of it, is a gem. However, the most eloquent and genuine gems are the following brilliant quotations, constructed as an integral parts of the whole essay or column :

Quotation One :
" I,too,belong to the species ( human being ) "  J. Glass Gray wrote of his experience in World War II. " I am ashamed not only of my own deeds, not only of my nation's deeds, but of  human deeds as well. I am ashamed to be a man. "

Quotation Two :
" Force", Simon Wall wrote, " is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second  it crushes, the second it intoxicates. "

Quotation Three ( A Poem By Catullus ) :
" By strangers  coasts and water and many days at sea
I come here at the rites of your working,
Bringing for you, the dead, these last gifts of the living
And my words-vain sound of the man of dust,
Alas,my brother,
You have been taken away from me. You have been taken away from me
By cold chance, turned a shadow, and my pain.
Here the foods of the old ceremony, appointed
Long ago for the starving under the earth;
Take them; your brother's tears have them wet; and take
Into eternity my hail and farewell. "

End of quotations.

It is, indeed, a brilliantly constructed and eloquent piece against wars. I  have enjoyed reading it again and again and again. Beautiful !!

Notes To The Readers Of This Website :

Any reader who is interested in reading, " Murder Is Not an Anomaly in War " by Chris Hedges can dig in the archives of Truthdig Website and read it there:

It is truly worth the time in digging it and worth the time in reading it as well.

Happy reading.......  



Monday, August 20, 2012

Body Language In International Diplomacy.

The Picture above shows Hussein Tantawi, Head of the Egyptian Military Higher Council, welcoming Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States of America, in Cairo Egypt.

Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States of America had made a diplomatic visit to Cairo, Egypt, just recently. She met first with Muhammad Mursy, the newly-elected President of Egypt and later on she met with Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Head of the Egyptian Military Higher Council.

The Jordanian newspaper daily, Alarab Alyawm, has published the picture shown above, as Tantawi and Clinton were shaking hands. It is so obvious that the hand of Mrs. Clinton was holding the hand of Tantawi so strongly, while her eyes wide-opened and looking straight at Tantawi 's face, while Tantawi's face had a shy smile and his eyes were looking, somehow, down,not straight into the eyes of  Clinton. Please see the picture shown above.

It seems to me that Clinton was trying to tell Tantawi that by the strong hand-shake and looking straight into his eyes, the following unspoken diplomatic gestures: you might be the highest commander of the whole Egyptian military, but I, Hilary Clinton, represent the government of the United States of America that was / is showering your military with annual military aid. The body language in this case had said it all, and no words were necessary to be said by Clinton to Tantawi to get the meaning of her body language. By the same token, Tantawi's shy smile and gesture of obvious humility was telling Clinton that I got the hint and you are most welcome, Mrs. Secretary.

The whole Clinton-Tantawi 's encounter in body language has reminded me of the superb body language of the late King Hussein of Jordan. He was a master when it came to body language in international diplomacy. During my stay in Amman, Jordan, managing a technical business operations in the whole Middle East and part of North Africa, for an American multi-national corporation, in the 1970's and 1980's, I saw countless times the late King Hussein on the Jordanian television receiving visitors at his Raghadan palace in Amman. He always sat at the very edge of a big comfortable chair with his both hands in his lap. That was to show utmost respect to his visitors whoever they might have been: Heads of State, Prime Ministers, military Generals etc...I had never seen him moving his hands, while talking with his visitors. I had never seen him sitting on his comfortable royal chair crossed legged, or in any other manner except sitting always at the very edge of it and his both hands in his lap.

While mentioning the late King Hussein's body language, it may be of interest to describe his body language, as he received King and Queen of Spain at Amman Airport: He received them at the bottom of their airplane's stair. He had shaken the hand of the King of Spain as normally as could be, but as the Queen of Spain stepped forward, King Hussein bend his head down as he held her hand for the usual hand shake and kissed the Queen's hand. It was a touching sight in a profound way. I thought it was beautiful to see on Television the late King Hussein of Jordan kissing the hand of  a visiting Queen. I had made a point, that day, of  watching the news at 8:00 p.m. on the Jordanian Television, in order to see again King Hussein kissing the hand of Queen of Spain. I was so disappointed as the Jordanian Television omitted that part of the royal reception at Amman's Airport, due to protestations raised by certain groups of Jordanian citizens who did not like to see their king kissing the hand of a visiting queen. Most unfortunate !!

One might have some disagreements with the policies of the late King Hussein of Jordan, but one could not refrain from admiring the body language he mustered in receiving his visitors and guests-most outstanding in human conduct,characterized with splendid royal humility, rarely matched, indeed

Another well known world figure who knew how to win the profound admiration of people, and probably their votes as well, was President Dwight Eisenhower who was the President of the United States of America for two terms in the 1950's. His genuine and admirable smile could disarm voters, Heads of State alike.

In short, the body language in international diplomacy can have a profound effect, if used appropriately in the right time and place and circumstances.     



Sunday, August 19, 2012

Eid Al-Fitr.

I wish all my Muslim friends and readers of this Website A Very Happy Eid Al-Fitr,full of joy and celebrations across the Islamic World.

May the future be kinder to all Muslims and the rest of the human race, And may the future bring genuine understanding and tolerance among all religions of the world.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Great Book About ISLAM.

For those human being who are genuinely are trying to understand Islam the way it should be understood,free of bias and prejudice,the following book is a must read:

What Everyone Needs To Know About ISLAM
John L. Esposito

Dr. Esposito is a Professor of Religion and International Affairs at Georgetown University in Washigton DC area. He is also" the Founding Director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

I have just finished reading the above book. It is worth every penny of the $ 21.95 I paid for purchasing it(Hard Cover). It is absolutely fascinating in its categorical division of the topics and subject matters. And it is even more fascinating in the ease in presenting the subject matters to the readers through questions and answers teaching techniques.

The book is divided into the following categorical divisions:

(1)  General Information.

(2)  Faith and Practice.

(3)  Islam and Other Religion.

(4)  Customs and Culture.

(5)  Violence and Terrorism.

(6)  Society,Pollitics,and Economy.

(7)  Muslims in the West.

Each subject matter listed above is discussed in questions and answers technique. For example,let us take number (6) Customs and Culture,of the list given above. It covers 29 important questions for which 29 responding answers were immediately given beneath each question such as:

~  Why does Islam seperate men and women?
~  Are Women second class citizens in Islam?
~  What kind of roles did women play in early Islam?
~  Why do Muslim women wear veils and long garments?
~  Why aren't women allowed to work or drive in Islam?
~  Why do Muslim men wear turbans or caps?
~  Why do Muslim men wear beards?
~  Does Islam require circumcision?

The above questions should be enough to to give an idea about the kind of questions the book contained and immediately answered the question right below it. Let us take the first question of the above list of questions and give only the first paragraph of the detailed answer provided by the book:

Why does Islam seperate men and women?

"Many,though not all,Muslim societies practices some gender segregation-the separation of men and women-to various degrees, in public spaces such as mosques,universities, and the marketplace. Thus in many mosques men  and women have seperate areas for prayer or are separated by a screen or curtain. Unmarried men do not mix with unmarried women outside of very specific context, such as family gatherings or a meeting between two potential spouses that occurs in the presence of a chaperone. Seclusion, which differs from the public segregation of the sexes, is the practice of keeping women within the home so that they have no contact with public space. Although gender segregation and seclusion are practice in some Muslim societies, in many Muslim countries, from Egypt and Tunisia to Malaysia and Indonesia, men and women, especially in the cities and towns, increasingly study and work together. In our modern, globalizing world, where two incomes are often necessary to maintain a household, women are increasingly joining the work forcee and breaking down the gender space"

That is only the first paragraph of the answer given to the above question. Anyone interested in reading the rest of the detailed answer should get it directly from the book. The answer given above is only an example to make the comprehension of the content of the book easy to grasp.

The beauty of this book is centered in the fact that if you have one single question about Islam you need not read the entire book to get the answer,rather you need only to locate the question in the book and get the answer immediately below the question you are interested in. It is so beautifully easy.



Thursday, June 21, 2012

What is Irony?

It seems that some writers have some difficulties in expressing themselves as they try to use the word "Irony" or "Ironic" correctly. Because of a bit of difficulty I encountered in understanding what they were trying to convey to me,as a reader of their posts when the word "Irony" or Ironic" was involved in a sentence or paragraph or sigment of their posts,I felt that an attempt must be made in explaining what I understood and how I used the word "Irony" or " Ironic" in an English sentence correctly. To do that there are requirements a blogger must know in order to use these two word correctly. The main requirements are the following two points:

~ The meaning of  " Irony".
~ Why it is necessary to use it in some specific cases.

As to the meaning of "Irony",it really means the opposite of what it is used to describe or define. Examples will be given later.

As to why it is necessary to use in in some writings has to do for being the only way possible to express literally two opposing,or rather contradictary meanings by one word. Or to make easier to understand its proper use,one may consider it as the connecting word necessary to use in order to connect two opposing or contradictory meanings of a situation or a description or a case. Anyone who is familiar with the 20 Figurative Speech Words can easily understand what has been outlined in the foregoing so far. I believe Irony is number 9 nin the list of the 20 words.

Examples For Understanding The Exact Meaning Of Irony:
In the early 1960's,I worked in a research department related to my field of formal training. One of my working colleges weighed at least 400 pounds,an intelligent and nice fellow in every aspect one could wish a college to be. Just imagine how a fellow weighing 400 pounds to be. He was just too fat or if one wish to be polite one may say that he was just obese. He has areal name but no one in the department called him by his real name. Instead,his co-workers called him "Tiny",instead of calling him "Fatty".  He had no problem,at all,in responding to the call as I and other co-workers called him," Tiny". In fact,I believed that he preferred to be called "Tiny" rather than "Fatty". I worked in that department several years and I had never knew "Tiny"'s real name. Now from this description of a real situation I can write the following sentence using the word "Irony" or "Ironic":

It is an irony that a man who is so fat and big is called "Tiny".


It is ironic that a coworker who weighed 400 pounds was called "Tiny" by his coworkers.

Another Example:
What one may call a person who does not practice what he or she preaches?

One may call him a " HYPOCRITE",but one may use ELEQUENTLY the word,"Irony" or "Ironic" ,instead of the word,"HYPOCRITE" ,such as follows:

It is an irony that the Preacher does not practice what he preaches.

It is ironic that the Preacher does not practice what he preaches.


Final words: I do hope that the above outline will prove helpful to the readers of this website and to those who are interested in the topic.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gems By Columnist Chris Hedges.

Column Title: America in the Time of Empire:

At one point Chris Hedges writes the following truism:

"Dying empires cling until the very end to the outward trappings of power."

The fact he uses the plural,"empires", is an indication that his knowledge of the human history is profound.

He goes further in describing how and to what  the dying empires cling; in such a beautifully arranged system of constructive series of thoughts, one after another, written in such talented ways; leaving only full-stops(dots) to seperate them for easier comprehension , or at least for easier reading. The following sentances are some of the gems being extracted from the above specified column for their eloquence and truism:

~ " They (the fading empires) mask their weakness behind a costly and technically advanced military."

~ " They (the fading empires) pursue increasingly unrealistic imperial ambitions."

~ " They ( the fading empires) stifle dissent with effecient and often ruthless mechanism of control."

~ " They (the fading empires) lose the capacity for empathy, which allows them to see themselves  through the eyes of others, to create a world of accommodation rather strife."

~ " The creed and noble ideas of the nation become empty cliches ,used to justify acts of greater blunder , corruption and violence." 

~ " By the end ,there is only a raw lust for power and a few willing to confront it."

End of quote.

The above saddening realities,beautifully and eloquently expressed,were written five years ago,and to be exact,they were written on November 26,2007. Since then, the trends of such saddening realities have become more so, to a point that even the most optimists can no longer ignore.

In short, the almost prophetic nature of  these realities make the writing of Chris Hedges the most needed at this juncture of the present time.

A thousand cheers for the honesty and eloquence of Chris Hedges .......       

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sufism And Sufis.


This essay is being dedicated to Merrie for her thoughtfulness and purity of heart. Merrie is an electronic friend I have communicated with for many years in the past,but unfortunately I have never met.

                                                                                                          May 5,2012

Why This Essay Now?

During the time I was fulfilling the promise I had made to other electronic friends who had expressed interest in learning more about Islam, and in the middle of presenting to them a series of 14 different topics about Islam, I received a completely unexpected E-mail from Merrie. It was totally unexpected since we did not communicate with one another for sometimes. What is of interest to this essay was what she wrote about Sufism in the E-mail she sent me,and I quote:

"I ran across this website and thought instantly of you and that you might enjoy it. I do not know if you appreciate Sufism as it is a special order of Islam but there are some beautiful thoughts that I've seen written by Sufis.
May you be well,

She accompanied  her E-mail with the following essay:

"The Beauty of Mathematics and the Love of God  Darvish <<"

It was a beautifull essay. And anyone who may be interested in reviewing it can do so through the following link:

The whole content of her E-mail has touched me to the core, to a point of blaming myself for forgotten to include Sufism and Sufis in the series I was providing and I promised then my other electronic friends that I would write a special essay about Sufism after finishing the series made of 14 different topics about Islam.

However,I thought of inserting Sufism in the series I was handling then. It just did not work. Hence,this essay about Sufism and Sufis is being written now.

Definitions Of Terms:

In order to comprehend Sufism ,one must ask the questions:

Question: What is Sufism?

Answer: According to some authorities on Sufism,it is a philosophy that uses poetry, music and dancings to worship and communicate with God. That is the way for those who are seeking an enlightenment with God.

Question: But where the word, Sufism, came from?

Answer: It came from the Arabic word,"Suf" which meant "wool."

Question: what, "Suf ", which meant/means, "wool",  has to do with a philosophy called Sufism?

Answer: It had happened that the adherents of Sufism wore cloths made of "Suf" , meaning "wool". Hence, they are called Sufis. For a single one person he or she is called Sufi without the "s". In Arabic,the correct words are asfolows

Sufi for a single male person who follows Sufism.
Sufieh for a single female person who follows Sufism.
Sufian or Sufiyyn for two male persons who follow Sufism,depending on the grammer of the two words.
Sufiatan or Sufiatyyn for two female persons who follow Sufism,depending on thegrammer of the two word.
Sufiuoon or Sufieen for male plural,depending on the grammer of the two words in the sentemce.
Sufiaat for female plural.

Question: Is Sufism an integral part of Islam?

Answer: Yes and No,depending whom you asked. Some Islamic schools of thoughtsthe like the Wahabi in Saudi Arabia,do not consider Sufism as an integral part of Islam. Most  Islamic schools of  thoughts consider,however Sufism as an integral part of Islam. For details about the shools of thoughts in Islam,please review the topic entitled,"(9)Interpretations Of The Verses Of The Qura'n" ,as they were outlined in the series made of 14 different topics about Islam in this website. The schools of thoughts are called "Mathahib" in Arabic.

Question: What are the tenants of Sufism?

Answer: The main tenant of Sufism is the "Tawheed" (also written as Tawhid), which means "The One-ness of God". So is the Tawheed with regards to all other Islamic schools of thoughts. Hence,Sufism shares its fundamental tenant with all other Islamic schools of thoughts,that is the "Tawheed" or "The One-ness of God". Therefore, Sufism is an integral part of Islam. What taints a little doubt about this fundamental fact about Sufism is the fact that there are so many people who are NOT Muslims, but  follow and practice Sufism.

Although the fundamental tenant is the same with all other Islamic shools of thoughts as one examines the details of the tenants of Sufism,one may discover that even in the details Sufism's tenants are quite similar,if not identical to the details that embodied in the good teachings in Judaism,Christianity and Islam. The best I could find from a rather lengthy researches to provide more credence to this conclusion was/is what a Sufi commentator by the name of Qushayri provdes about his Sufism,(as quoted in Sufism: An essential introduction to the philosophy and practice of the mystical traditionof Islam,by Carl W. Ernst,PhD):

"Sufism is entry into examplary behavior and departure from unworthy behavior."

"Sufism means that God makes you die for yourself and makes you live in him."

"The Sufi is single in essence,nothing changes him ,nor does he change anything."

"The sign of the sincere Sufi is that he feels poor when he has wealth, is humble when he has power, and is hidden when he has fame."

"Suffism means that you own nothing and are owned by nothing."

"Sufism means entrusting the soul to God and most highfor whatever he wishes."

"Sufism meansseising spiritual realities and giving up on what creaturespossess."

"Sufism means kneeling at the door of the Beloved, even if he turns you away."

"Sufism is a state in which the conditions of humanity disappear."

"Sufism is a blazing lightning bolt."

Poetry of Sufism:

The Islamic genious and hence Sufism's genious stems from the Qur'an,the Muslims' Holy book. No poet could make beautiful Arabic poetry or writer of beautiful Arabic proses could do so without profound knowledge of the beautiful language of the Qur'an.

Sufism has produced so many poets but one Sufi poet will immediately comes to mind is Jalal el-Deen el-Romi who was not only a Sufi poet,but also jurist as well. He spent his entire life trying to emulate the way Prophet Muhammad had conducted his daily life. His love of God was unshakable. Some of his poetry:

O' myy God,don't let me in the hand of this unreliable self.
Don't make me agree with anyone but youI run to You from deceits,troubles of myself,
I am Yours.
Don't give myself  back to me.

I come to you without me,come to me without you.
Self is the thornin the sole of the soul.
Merge with others,
If you stay in self,you are grain a grain,you are a drop,
If you merge with others,you are an ocean,you are a mine.

I am neither a Christian nor Jew
Neither Persian nor Moslem.
I am from neither East nor West
Neither from land,norfrom water.

Note from the  writer of this essay:

This essaymay be considered the gate way for those interested in developing a more profound comprehention of Sufism and Sufis like Jalal eL-Deen el-Rumi. Sufism and Sufis make a fascinating and most interesting topic to pursue further. All one needs to learn more is to have time,patience and genuine desire to learn more.

Good Luck.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Apology To The Readers Of This Website.

For the last three weeks I have very difficult time keeping my computer working properly and connected to the Webpage of the Internet. It seeems now the difficulties are overcome and I hope it is going to be permanent,since I was told it was fixed two weeks ago and only worked okay for two hours and stopped working and I faced the same difficulties as before. Hence,I am not sure how long it is going to work this time. Sooner or later,a solution to the difficulties must be found.

Therefore,please accept my sincere appology for any inconvenience encountered by you,due to the difficulties I have been encountering in keeping my computer connected to the Webpage of the Internet. And Thank you for your understanding and patience.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

(14) Recommended Reading/References

By Sodium

Anyone who may be able to read and understand the following references listed below will,most likely,end-up an Islamic scholar with distinction.

The main purpose of the list given below is to provide the interested readers with reliable references to check and be certain what he or she may encounter about Islam is authentic,or at least is not erroneous information stems from either by ignorance,at best,or by Islamophobic propaganda against Islam and Muslims,at worst.

Even if one knows no Arabic,the English translation that is given below every Surat is extremely helpful. That is true about the Qur'an used as a reference in this series. As to the Hadith,Sahih al-Bukhari is given in English from beginning to end. Likewise,the books written by Karen Armstrong and Edward Said-So,there should be no problem using these references,in the English language.

As to "Tyseer El-tafseer's four volumes" and "Serat Al-Nabi's two parts",one must be very fluent in the Arabic language in order to use them as references. The intent of listing them,here,is for those interested readers who are fluent in the Arabic language.

The List of Recommended Reading / References:

* Surat Al-Fatehah-The Holy Qur'an: After googling this Surat,as "SURAT AL-FATEHAH",every other Surat of the Qur'an is given with its corresponding English meaning,(translation),immediately below it,as Sahih International. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR BOTH GROUPS OF READERS,WHETHER THEY ARE FLUENT IN ARABIC OR NOT.

* Sahih al-Bukhari About the Hadiths: Wikipedia,the free encyclopedia provides excellent information about the Hadiths. It is imperative to review the history of the Hadiths in order to appreciate the importance of the AUTHENTICITY of every Hadith.

* Tyseer El-Tafseer(also,Tafsir),meaning: Making Interpretation(Qur'an)Easy/Easier,
Almujalad Al-Awal,meaning: The First Volume.
Ibrahim Qattan.

* Tyseer El-Tafseer(also,Tafsir),meaning: Making Interpretation(Qur'an)Easy/Easier,
Al-Mujalad Al-Thani,meaning: The second Volume.
Ibrahim Qattan.

* Tyseer El-Tafseer(also,Tafsir),meaning: Making Interpretation(Qur'an)Easy/Easier,
Al-Mujalad Al-Talet,meaning: The Third Volume.
Ibrahim Qattan.

* Tyseer El-Tafseer(also,Tafsir),meaning: Making Interpretation(Qur'an)Easy/Easier,
Al-Mujalad Al-Rabi',meaning: The Fourth Volume.
Ibrahim Qattan.

* Sirat Al-Nabi,meaning: Conduct of the Prophet,
Al-Juso' Al-Awal,meaning: The First Part or First Volume..
Abu(father of)Muhammad Abdel Malik ibn Hashim.

* Sirat Al-Nabi,meaning:The Conduct of the Prophet,
Al-Juso' Al-Thani,meaning: The second Part or The Second Volume.
Abu(father of)Muhammad Abdel Malik ibn Hashim.

* Muhammad: A Prophet For Our Time,
Karen Armstrong.

* Covering Islam,
Edward Said.

Final words from the Author of this Series:
The author of this series apologizes for the length of time it took him to complete the series. some of the delay was beyond his control,due to some serious issuues with his health,plus the Arab Awakening,(misnomer,Arab Spring) of which some were peaceful and some bloody that have been occuring in the Arab world for the last consecutive 12 months and counting which compelled him to spend considerable amount of time watching Al-Jazeera out of sheer curiosity and profound interest whether the Arab youths were going to succeed in their revolutions or not.

However,he has promised some of his readers to complete the series,regardless how long it was going to take. One thing he is grateful for is the fact that he finally completed the series,as he has promised,with thanks to the patience of the interested readers.

The author of this series does hope that those readers who have followed the 14 topics-series from beginning to end feel comfortable with it,but above all they have learned something they have not known about Islam before following this series. May the future show that it is indeed the case.


The next topic will be selected shortly. Meanwhile,if any reader is interested in E-mailing his website,he or she can do so through the following E-mail address:

Feel free to do so anytime. Thank you.