بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Bismillah, ar-Rahman, ar-Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful
SURAH 21: AL ANBIYA’ (The Prophets)
- Translation by Prof Thomas Irving
In the name of God, the Mercy-giving, the Merciful!
(I) * Men turn aside through indifference even though their reckoning approaches. * No fresh reminder ever comes to them from their Lord except they listen to it as they play away, * their hearts distracted. Those who do wrong consult together privately; “Isn’t this [man] just a human being like yourselves? Will you succumb to magic while you can see it happening?”
* Say: “My Lord knows whatever is spoken in Heaven and Earth; He is Alert, Aware.” ** “Rather”, they say, “it’s a jumble of dreams! In fact, he has made it all up! Indeed, he’s a poet. Let him bring us a sign such as the first men were sent with.”
* No town that ever believed before have We wiped out. Will they believe? * Before you We have sent only men whom We inspired. Ask people with [long] memories if you do not know it already. * We did not grant them bodies which did not eat food, nor were they immortal. * Then We confirmed the Promise for them, and saved them as well as anyone We wished to, and wiped out those who were dissipated. ** We have sent down a Book to you which contains your Reminder. Will you not use your reason?
(II) * How many a town which had been doing wrong did We demolish, and raise up other folk in its stead? * When they felt Our might [approaching], they rushed headlong away from it!
* Do not rush away; return to what you were luxuriating in and your dwellings, so that you may be questioned. * They say: “Alas for us! We have been doing wrong.” ** Such an appeal as theirs will never cease until We leave them withered away like a crop in need of harvesting. * We did not create Heaven and Earth and whatever lies in between them while just playing around.
Creation is Serious
* If We had wanted to adopt it as a pastime, We would have adopted it within Our very presence, had We ever done so. * Rather We hurl Truth against falsehood, so it knocks it down. Then it disappears. You are the ones [who need] to worry because of what you are describing.
The God of Everyone
* He owns whoever is in Heaven and Earth. Anyone who is with Him is never too proud to do Him service, nor are they even wearied;
** they celebrate [Him] night and day; they never pause. * Or have they taken gods from earth who will raise the dead?
* If there were other gods
in either [Heaven or Earth]
besides God [Alone],
they would both dissolve in chaos.
Glory be to God, Lord of the Throne,
beyond what they describe!
* He will not be questioned
about what He does,
while they shall be so questioned.
* Yet do they still adopt other gods instead of Him? Say: “Bring on your proof! This is a Reminder for anyone who is with me, as well as a Reminder for whoever came before me.” Instead, most of them do not recognize the Truth, so they avoid it.
** We did not send any messenger before you unless We inspired him with the fact there is no deity except Me, so serve Me!
* They say: “The Mercy-giving has adopted a son.” Glory be to Him! Rather they are honored servants; * they do not try to speak ahead of Him, while they act at His command. * He knows what lies in front of them and what is behind them; while they do not intercede except for someone who has been approved. They are apprehensive and hence in awe of Him. * Should any of them say: “I am a god as well as He,” that person We shall reward with Hell. Thus We reward wrongdoers!
(III)** Have not those who disbelieve seen how Heaven and Earth were once one solid mass which We ripped apart? We have made every living thing out of water. Will they still not believe? * We have placed headlands on earth lest it should sway while they are on it, and have placed mountain passes on it as highways so they may be guided. * We have placed the sky as a roof which is held up even though they shun its signs! * He is the One Who has created night and daylight, and the sun and the moon; each floats along in an orbit.
* We have not granted immortality to any human being before you; so if you should die, will they become immortal?
** Every soul shall taste death. We will test you (all) with something bad and something good as a trial; then to Us will you be returned!
* Whenever those who disbelieve see you, they never accept you unless it is to ridicule you: “Is this the person who mentions your gods?”, while they disown any mention of the Mercy-giving!
* Man has been created from impatience.
I will show you My signs
so do not try to hurry Me up.
* They say: “When will this promise be, if you are (all) so truthful?” * If those who disbelieve only knew about the time when they will not fend the Fire off from their faces nor from their backs, nor will they be supported. ** Rather it will come upon them suddenly and dumbfound them; they will not manage to cast it off nor will they be allowed to wait. * Messengers have been ridiculed before you, till whatever they were sneering at swept in around those who had been ridiculing them.”
(IV) * Say: “Who shields you night and day from the Mercy-giving?” Indeed they are evasive about mentioning their Lord! * Or do they have gods who can defend them from Us? They can neither assist themselves nor yet are they accompanied by Us. * Rather We have let such persons and their forefathers enjoy themselves until life seems to last too long for them. Do they not see how We come to the earth to clip it off along its borders? Will they turn out to be the winners?
** Say: “I am warning you only through inspiration.” The deaf will not hear the Appeal even when they are warned [directly]; * if a breath from your Lord’s torment should ever touch them, they would say: “It’s too bad for us! We have been doing wrong.” * We shall set up scales for justice on Resurrection Day, and no soul will be dealt with unjustly in any way. Even if the weight of a mustard seed should exist, We would bring it along; sufficient are We as Reckoners!
A Prophet’s Gifts
* We brought Moses and Aaron the Standard and radiance, plus a Reminder for the heedful, * [all those] who dread their Lord even though [He is] Unseen. They are (also) anxious about the Hour. ** This is a blessed Reminder We have sent down; so why are you (all) so distrustful concerning it?
Abraham and Idols
(V) * We gave Abraham his integrity long ago, and We were (fully) Conscious of him * when he told his father and his folk: “What are these images which you are so devoted to?” * They said: “We found our forefathers serving them.” * He said: “You and your forefathers have been in such obvious error.”
** They said: “Have you brought us the Truth, or are you just a trifler?” * He said: “Rather your Lord is the Lord of Heaven and Earth, and the One Who originated them, while I am another witness for that. * By God, I am planning to confound your idols once you have turned your backs!”
* So he broke them into fragments except for the biggest one of them, so that they might return to (question) it. * They said: “Who did this to our gods? He must be some wrongdoer!” ** They said: “We heard a young man mentioning them; he is called Abraham.” * They said: “Bring him before the people’s eyes so they may witness it.”
* They said: “Is it you who has done this to our gods, Abraham?” He said: “Rather this biggest one of them did it. Ask them, if they are able to speak up.”
* They turned to one another and said: “You yourselves are the wrongdoers!” ** Then they hung their heads: “You knew those things do not utter [a word].” * He said: “So do you worship something instead of God that neither benefits you in any way nor does it harm you? * Shame on you and on whatever you worship instead of God [Alone]! Dont you use your reason?” * They said: “Burn him up and support your gods if you must be doing something!”
* We said: “Fire, be cool, and safe for Abraham!” ** They wanted to outwit him, so We made them lose the most. * We rescued him and Lot, [bringing them] to a land which We had blessed for [everyone in] the Universe. * We bestowed Isaac and (then) Jacob on him as an additional boon; each We made into honorable men. * We made them leaders who guided (others) by Our command and We inspired them to perform good deeds, keep up prayer, and pay the welfare tax. They have been serving Us.
* And Lot We gave discretion and knowledge, and saved him from the town which had been performing wicked deeds. They had been such evil folk, perverts. ** We admitted him into Our mercy; he was such an honorable man!
(VI) * When Noah had cried out previously, We responded to him, and saved him and his family from serious distress. * We delivered him from a folk who had rejected Our signs. They had been such evil folk that We drowned them all.
David and Solomon
* And when David and Solomon both passed judgment on the field where some people’s sheep had strayed to pasture there at night, We acted as Witnesses for their decision. * We made Solomon understand it. Each We gave discretion and knowledge, and We let David develop the mountains and the birds which celebrate [Us]. We were Active [in this]. ** We taught him how to manufacture coats [of mail] for you, to protect you from your own violence. Yet are you ever grateful?
* Solomon had wind as a storm which blew at his command over the earth which We had blessed. We were Conscious of everything. * Some devils there were who dived for him and performed other work besides that. We acted as Guardians over them.
* And Job, when he cried out to his Lord: “Adversity has afflicted me while You are the most Merciful of the Mercy-granting!”, * We responded to him and removed any adversity he was facing, and We gave him his household and the same as them besides, as a Mercy from Our presence and a Reminder for worshipers.
** And Ishmael, Idris and [Ezekiel] with the Commission-were all patient. * We admitted them to Our mercy; they were honorable. * And the Man in the Whale when he stormed off angrily, and thought We would never have any power over him; yet he cried out in the darkness: “There is no deity except You! Glory be to You! I have been a wrongdoer.” * We responded to him and saved him from grief. Thus We save believers. * And Zachariah when he cried out to his Lord: “My Lord, do not leave me childless, even though You are the Best of heirs.” ** We responded to him and bestowed John on him, and restored his wife [to childbearing] for him. They had always competed in doing good deeds and appealed to Us eagerly yet reverently. They were so humble towards Us.
* And she who guarded her chastity, so We breathed some of Our spirit into her, and set both her and her son up as a sign for [everyone in] the Universe.
* This community of yours [forms] one nation, while I am your Lord, so worship Me. * They have carved up their own affair among themselves; yet everyone will be returning to Us.
The Final Promise
(VII) * Anyone who performs some honorable deeds while he is a believer will never have his effort spurned. We will be Writing it down for him. ** Yet a ban has been placed on any town We have wiped out; they shall not return * until when things are opened up for Gog and Magog and they come swarming down from every hillside * and the true Promise is approaching: then behold it will be staring into the eyes of those who have disbelieved: ‘Alas for us! We have been so heedless concerning this. Indeed we were wrongdoers.”
* You and anything you worship instead of God [will serve as] pavement for Hell! You are being led to it; * if those had been gods, they would not have been led there; yet everyone will remain in it for ever. *** They will [find people] moaning in it while they will not [be able to] hear in it.
* Those whose finest deeds have preceded them will be sent far away from it by Us; they will not hear it even as a rustle while they will live for ever in what they themselves have been longing for. * The greatest dismay will not sadden them while angels will welcome them with: “This is your Day which you have been promised!”
* [It will be] a day when We shall roll up the sky just as a scroll for books is rolled up; just as We began with the first creation, so We shall do it all over again as a promise binding on Us which We have been Acting on. ** We have written in the Psalms following the Reminder; “My honorable servants shall inherit the earth.” * In this is a proclamation for folk who are worshipful.
* We have merely sent you as a mercy
for [everybody in] the Universe.
* Say: “It has only been revealed to me that your god is God Alone. Are you committed to (live in] peace?” * If they should turn away, then Say: “I have announced it to you all alike. If I only knew whether what you are promised is near or far away!” ** He knows anything one says out loud and He (also) knows whatever you conceal. * If I only knew whether it may mean a trial for you as well as enjoyment for a while.”
* He said: “My Lord, judge with Truth,” and “Our Lord is the Mercy-giving Whose help is sought against what you describe.”
Night of Declaration; Bara’at Night (Arabic: ليلة البراءة, translit. Laylat al-Bara’at) or Mid-Sha’ban (Arabic: نصف شعبان, translit. Niṣf Sha‘bān) is a Holy Night specially recognized as or declared sacred for religious use and authority by various Muslim communities on the Day between 14 and 15 Sha’ban, that means the Full Moon Night in the Month of Sah´ban. It is regarded as a Night when the fortunes of men for the coming year are decided and when Allah(swt) may forgive sinners.
One feature both parts of the world will have a view of this week is our full moon on Wednesday, May 10. This is just two days prior to the moon at apogee, meaning its point farthest away from the earth. At this distance, the moon is a little over 400k kilometers from us. Whereas at perigee, its point closest to the earth, it is a little over 350k kilometers away. When you pair perigee with a full moon or new moon it is referred to as a supermoon. We are close to a supermoon this month as the new moon occurs the day before perigee. wwwpages: darksky.org/the-night-sky-and-you-3/
New Moon May 25 19:44 UTC (A Standard, Not a Time Zone. UTC is the time standard commonly used across the world. The world’s timing centers have agreed to keep their time scales closely synchronized – or coordinated – therefore the name Coordinated Universal Time.)
wwwpages: moongiant.com/moonphases/ 30 day lunar phases explained: Due to constantly being in motion and position from earth, may or may not appear exactly in 1 moment then still the closest representation from last nights viewing.15 Sahban is also a reminder to the people that Ramadan is just 15 days away.
Airborne Wireless Network [AWN] is developing a fully meshed network, while current technologies only allow for a “single path” solution. Read more wwwpages: airbornewirelessnetwork.com
Both calendars correspond differently with respect to date and time even though they are interconnected. Using Earth’s Axis tilting motion and rotation the solar year hence helps to count the seasons. The lunar calendar is accurate in the sense that it measures the passage of time by the phases of the moon, being more over Global in nature with regards to its exact reflection on the other side of the World. Where as the latter calendar proposes opposite seasons for each Hemisphere. Both systems rely on each other and are equally correct.
Take heed of the lessons of Shaban
Our learned admonish us;
قد مضى شهر رجب، ودخل شعبان، وفاز من فاز بالتقرب والاستعداد في رجب لرمضان، ودخل شعبان والناس عنه غافلة
Rajab has passed and Shaban has entered; successful are those who successfully prepared themselves with proximity to Allah in Rajab for Ramadān; but now that Shaban has entered, people are heedless/neglectful.
On the night of Nisf Shaban, leading to the special month of Ramadan; let us acknowledge that the right thing to do is always the best thing to do. Let us do all forms of good with the best of intentions; and avoid any form of evil in all of its dimensions. Realize that our deeds are evaluated and that we will be held accountable. Let us not be argumentative and hateful, let us rather be loving and compassionate. In keeping with the name of Shaban, the ever increasing, May Allah increase us in goodness and heed the Prophetic advice (as documented by Tibrani); “Do not engage in any act unless it is good; do not say anything unless it is beneficial.” [Microsoft releases updated patch] wwwpages: computerweekly.com/news/450418770/Businesses-urged-to-apply-Windows-patch-to-avert-WannaCry-attacks
Islam 101: Understanding the misunderstood religion
Ibrahim Mohamed, opinions contributor / wwwpages: collegiatetimes.com
Currently, the Islamic faith is under tremendous scrutiny from all sides. I often suspect that pundits who deliver their ideological quips regarding my faith do not have much in the way of direct experience nor understanding when it comes to this tender subject. The purpose of this column is to communicate information on the needlessly enigmatic subject of Islam.
Islam is a popular religion. The faith has nearly 1.6 billion practitioners — thus making it the second most practiced religion behind Christianity. Nearly 23 percent of the world is Muslim. The faith is currently growing at a rate that is believed to be the fastest among all major belief systems. Unfortunately, the previous sentence might give some readers cause for alarm. However, these impulses might be neutralized with increased exposure to Muslims and knowledge of the Islamic faith.
The word “Islam” in Arabic means submission. Muslims are those who submit to Allah (“God”). The faith is not named after a particular people, like Judaism, or a particular individual, like Christianity.
Interesting side note: the word “God” is derived from the old Germanic word “Gott” or “Gud,” meaning “to invoke or sacrifice to.” Knowing as much as we know about Jesus, or “Isa” in Arabic, he most likely never referred to his deity as “God.” However, there is ample evidence that the namesake he used for his deity had a pronunciation closer to “AaLaH” or “AlaHa,” a generic root word for “God” in Aramaic.
The necessary beliefs in Islam are of Allah, the angels, the Quran (Islamic holy scripture), the prophets, the Last Day (day of judgement) and the afterlife. A pivotal belief in Islam is that there is an inherent separation between the Creator and the creation. In Islam, Allah is the one creator and deity, and his creations possess no holiness or supreme powers. This logic is extended to all of the prophets. We believe that the prophets were humans of the highest character and piety, yet they were not worthy of worship.
Also, since no humans hold holiness, we see no need to confess our sins to men, or to seek spiritual endowment from anyone other than Allah. Allah states in the Quran that He rewards good behaviors, among the most frequently mentioned of these are speaking the truth, being kind to family, honoring parents, giving charity, feeding the poor, freeing slaves and studying. Allah also states in the Quran that He punishes bad behaviors; among these are the worship of idols, stealing from orphans, disobeying one’s parents, cheating on one’s spouse, giving false testimony, committing murder or suicide, or enslaving a free person.
Interesting fact: the words “heaven” and “hell” are both repeated in the Quran exactly 77 times.
There is a profound degree of weight in Islam’s messages and, like all powerful messages, they can be used for depravity in the wrong hands. Many men, as we have seen throughout history, exploit feelings of fear, passion and awe to achieve the same old patriarchal end goals: autocracy, the subjugation of women and the suppression of freedom. This has happened with other faiths and other cultures, although Islam does not necessarily promote a single culture. The fault is not in the faith itself, but in the individual practitioners and the misguided outsiders.
This assertion is shared by top United States security officials. Current United States National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster states that terrorists are “un-Islamic” and that we should avoid the term “radical Islamic terrorism” because it is inaccurate.
In my opinion, the best way to neuter terrorism by self-proclaimed Muslims is to ensure that the majority of Muslims around the world have ensured human dignity and fair treatment. When groups of people feel that they are under attack, they tend to lose objectivity and are more prone to radicalization. When Muslims see the injustices being carried out in places like Syria, Palestine and Iraq, it causes many of them — us — to feel demoralized, threatened or resentful.
Under these conditions, the most brutal and archaic of voices in the Muslim world are granted credibility. This phenomenon is present across all societies, including the United States. The brutality here perhaps is not on the level of the Middle East, but neither is the perceived threat among the citizenry. Canada, in the minds of radicals, has issued the Muslim world few sleights, and as a result, their nation has experienced considerably fewer terror attacks than other western nations. Terrorism is unacceptable under any circumstance, but we would be wise to understand and limit its causes.
Back to discussing the faith itself — in Islam, practice is based upon five essential pillars:
Shahada: to declare one’s belief in Allah and the prophetic role of Muhammad.
Salah: to pray five times a day (dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset and evening).
Zakat: to give charity to those in need.
Sawm: to fast from food, liquids and other bodily pleasures during daylight hours in the month of Ramadan.
Hajj: to make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime if it is physically and financially feasible.
Some other interesting nuggets pertaining to the practice of Islam:
Abstinence is to be practiced until marriage.
Mind-altering substances are prohibited.
The consumption of swine is prohibited.
While Islam is a strict faith compared to many other belief systems, an often under-communicated aspect of our faith is the great mercy of our Creator. Two epithets that we regularly use for Allah are “Al Rahman” and “Al Raheem,” which translate to “the most compassionate” and “the most merciful.” Human beings sin, naturally — Allah understands, and He rewards our struggle and attempts at self-improvement. In fact, it could be said that Allah grades on a curve. The more difficult our fight to righteousness, the greater our reward with Him in the end.
A source of grave misunderstanding regarding the Islamic faith concerns the word “jihad,” which literally means “struggle.” The concept of jihad revolves around a struggle for the greater good and the study, practice and preaching of Islam. Unfortunately, in the term’s original usage, there was a lot of room left for interpretation. While both suicide and murder are explicitly listed as some of the worst sins in our entire faith, many people imagine that some gruesome combination of the two ensures paradise and 72 virgins — I can assure you quite the contrary.
There are many ways to fight for the greater good; in fact, I hope I am enacting jihad right now.
Also, many people assume that the Islamic faith is hostile toward the world’s other religions. This is not so. Our Quran reads, “Rest assured that Believers (Muslims), Jews, Christians and Sabians — whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and performs good deeds — will be rewarded by their Lord; they will have nothing to fear or to regret (22.40).” The Prophet’s life mission, endowed upon him by his Creator, was to spread the word of Islam. Yet, when it came to the sizable Jewish community right in Madinah, he established a peace agreement with them and allowed them to continue practicing their religion in peace.
In a letter to the Christian king of Abyssinia, he ends, “I have conveyed the message and now it is up to you to accept it. Once again, peace be upon him who follows the true guidance.” He employed no harassment — and he was the Prophet. Muslims believe that they know the truth, when people believe they know a truth that others do not, they like to get others up to speed. However, many Muslims around the world today would be wise to remember the Prophet’s gentle and earnest ways.
Another source of misunderstanding regarding the Islamic faith revolves around the female usage of hijab — a garment often worn to cover hair. Many in the West have made the argument that the hijab and the burka, a garment that covers nearly the full female body, are instruments of female subjugation. While it is true that some men, like in all societies, attempt to levy control over what the women in their proximity wear, I would argue that the original and true purpose of these garments was to conduce female humility and equality.
Last time I checked, men like to see what women look like — and as candidly as possible. This ogling can have adverse effects for women, including the inciting of passions in unwanted onlookers and the disregard for female cognitive and personal abilities. Islamic scholar Muhammad al-Bukhari states that “a woman is married for her deen (piety), her wealth or her beauty. You must go for the one with deen.” This quote expresses that the quality of a woman should be determined by her character, rather than her beauty or wealth. Martin Luther King Jr. expressed his view on the very meaning of human equality when he stated that his children should “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Humility is an essential value in our faith, and it is not only mandated in the dress of females. Males must stay covered from their shoulders to their knees and refrain from accessorizing with gold or silk.
Contrary to the beliefs of many, Islam since the beginning has mandated women’s rights. In Islam, women have a right to property, education, lawsuit initiation, divorce initiation, alimony and suffrage. Also, falsely slandering a woman’s reputation is a grave sin — as well as spousal abuse and forced marriage. Our beloved Prophet’s own wife, Khadija, could arguably be seen as an original proponent of feminism. She was a reputable businesswoman who traded goods from Mecca to Yemen, had a history of turning down marriage proposals, asked the Prophet to marry her, gave charitably and was the very first person to accept Islam after our Prophet. We revere her.
Interesting fact: the words “man” and “woman” are both repeated in the Quran exactly 23 times.
I will end this article with translations of some popular Muslim phrases:
Assalam Alaikom — “Peace be upon you.” — This phrase is a common greeting.
Allahu Akbar — “Allah is great.” — This phrase can be said out loud or simply thought of on a regular basis.
Alhamdulillah — “Praise be to Allah.” — This phrase is commonly used to express satisfaction with life.
Inshallah — “If Allah wills.” — This phrase is commonly used when Muslims plan or ponder future events.
Bismillah — “In the name of Allah.” — This phrase is commonly used before a Muslim starts something.
Subhanallah — “Glory to Allah.” — This phrase is commonly used to express amazement in regard to things.
Mashallah — “God has willed.” — This phrase is commonly used to express amazement in regard to human achievement.
La ilaha illa Allah — “There is no god but Allah.” — This phrase can used at any time.
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AxonVR’s HaptX system is an enormous metal box with some buttons and blinking lights. It’s very much a prototype. You put on a HTC Vive headset, stick your left hand into the box, and then experience the magic of a tiny virtual deer taking a warm and fluffy nap on your outstretched palm.
AxonVR’s mystery box is able to replicate tactile and thermal sensations, with force feedback. It does it all at once, and very compellingly. The resolution of the tactile sensations is spectacular, from the edges of a cube, to the roundness of an apple, to the tiny prancing hooves of the deer. And when the deer tucks its little hooves underneath itself and lays down, you can feel how warm and soft its belly is. The warmth is immediate, just like you’d expect, and it is the same with the dragon blowing fire, or the ice cube sliding around. There’s no noticeable latency, and the thermal sensations are powerful enough to be completely convincing. Ice feels like, well, ice, and fire feels like you’d imagine fire feeling if you could hold it without actually burning yourself.
Read more: wwwpages: axonvr.com/#virtual-reality-you-can-feel