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Surah al-Anfal was revealed after the Battle of Badr in 2 A.H./624 C.E., and provides a full-length critique of the first major armed conflict between the forces of Islam and those of Unbelief. Given that the contents comprise a single discourse, it would seem that the entire surah was revealed in one piece rather than in fragments. However, it cannot be altogether ruled out that certain comments relating to problems which arose as a result of the Battle of Badr were revealed later and were subsequently incorporated into the main body of the surah without impairing the continuity and coherence of its narrative. Be that as it may, the surah is too well-organized and too neatly integrated for it to be considered the collection of several independent and disparate discourses.
This decisive victory made Islam a force to reckon with across all of Arabia. As a Western scholar has pointed out: `Prior to the battle of Badr, Islam was merely a religion. After Badr, it became the religion of the state, or the state itself.
The surah under discussion offers a critique of this great battle. However, the tenor of this critique is radically different from those made by the worldly rulers in their retrospective analyses of their victories. The salient features of the critique are as follows:
First, attention was drawn to the shortcomings which continued to be displayed by the Muslims. This was necessary in Order that they might make amends and strive to improve themselves further.
Second, the Muslims were also told how much they owed their victory to Divine help. This was a timely corrective needed to keep the Muslims from exulting in their own bravery and valour and from considering themselves decisive factors in their victory. They were • rather told to place trust in God alone and to obey God and His Messenger. The moral purpose for the sake of which the Muslims are required to engage in armed conflicts was also explained. Likewise, the moral virtues essential for success in the fight between truth and falsehood were elucidated.
The surah also effectively admonishes the different kinds of people then found — the polytheists, the hypocrites, the Jews, and those who had been taken as captives.
With regard to the spoils captured by the Muslims during the battle, they were told that they should not look upon them as their property. They should treat then as belonging to God and should hence thank God for them and be content with whatever portion had been laid down for them by God. They should also cheerfully accept to devote the portion of the spoils sanctioned by God to he devoted to promote His cause or to provide support for the poor and needy.
Some directives of immense moral value relating to war and peace were also given. These were very much needed at the time in order that the Muslims might be able to avoid the reprehensible practices of the pre-Islamic period. Adherence to those directives would not only establish their moral superiority but also show how Islamic concepts could be incorporated in practice.
Some provisions of the Islamic constitutional law were also laid down in order to define the status of the Muslims living in the Domain of Islam as distinct from those Muslims living beyond its boundaries.
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Towards Understanding the Quran In short, it was not for men to say who should and who should not receive any party of the spoils. This was a major conceptual reform. The war that a Muslim wages is not in order to accumulate worldly benefits. He resorts to it for the moral and social reform of the world and does so when the opposing forces make it impossible to bring about reform by means of persuasion and preaching. Being reformers, the Muslims should focus their attentions on their goal – the reform of the world – rather than on the material benefits which accrue to them incidental by way of God’s additional reward in lieu of their strivings. If the attention of Muslims is not diverted from material benefits to their true mission, it is likely that material benefits would become an end in themselves. Read more wwwpages: islamicstudies.info/tafheem.php?sura=8
This changing world
FROM A DISTANCE By Carmen N. Pedrosa
If there is anything more true, we live in a changing world. And while Duterte is a refreshing political personality for the Philippines, he did not invent change, It is part of humanity and the world we live in.
Still we must work for change. The problem comes when we refuse to change. In the present time and in the Philippines that is the situation. So I believe that our perspective is wrong if we blame Satan as the concept of evil. That is what I was taught in religion as a child. Evil or Satan is not obvious or simple with our limited knowledge. A materialistic society of fashion and other appearances of wealth can just be as evil.
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Evil does not present itself as evil. On the contrary, it presents itself as good. And that is the source of our wrong judgments. As a child, I was taught that Satan was an ugly red hot creature with a tail and horns. He is ugly so there should be no reason for men and women to flock to him. Evil or the personification of evil is more complex than Satan because he or it is presented as good and beautiful. We do not immediately recognize what is good and what is evil because evil would not have followers if it was to appear as evil.
I have been writing columns for many years now and I find that I have written on this already. One of the most useful was one I wrote 16 years ago about “A more mature and spiritual world.” That column was sourced from Karen Armstrong’s “Fractured Fundamentalisms.” It is a good context for what is happening now with ISIS in the Philippines. It was sent to me by Ahmed Menaidy. “Why are there few Islamic democracies?”
Democracy is not created by an act of will. The form we know today emerged very gradually in the West. It was not simply dreamed up by political scientists or inspired statesmen but appeared as the result of a process of trial and error. Over time, we’ve found it to be the best way to run a modern society. In the 16th century, Europe and, later, what would become the United States began to create an entirely new kind of society. In what we call the premodern world, all civilizations were based economically on a surplus of agriculture, which could be used for trade. But at the time of the scientific revolution, the West began to create a society founded on technology and reinvestment of capital, enabling Europe and America to replicate its resources indefinitely.
This involved major change at every level of society, and it was a painful process. Modernity did not come fully into its own until the 19th century, and during that time the Western countries experienced revolutions, violent wars of religion, exploitation of workers in factories, the despoliation of the countryside, and great distress as people struggled to make sense of this profound change. It is similar to upheavals going on now in developing countries, including the Islamic countries, as they make this difficult rite of passage.
The new order demanded change on every level: social, political, intellectual, scientific and religious. And the emerging modern spirit had two main characteristics: independence and innovation.
There were declarations of independence in nearly all fields. The American Declaration of Independence was a modernizing document, and the war with Britain a modernizing war. But people also demanded independence intellectually: scientists could not permit themselves to be impeded by a coercive state or religious establishment; the Protestant Reformers who declared their independence of the Catholic Church were also forces for modernization. And innovation: Constantly people were making something new, breaking unprecedented ground, discovering something fresh. There was excitement as well as the distress that inevitably accompanies major change.
It was found that in order to be fully productive and thus provide a sound basis for the new civilization, more and more people had to acquire the modern spirit and therefore a modicum of education, even at a quite humble level. Printers, clerks, factory workers and finally women were brought into the productive process. Those societies that were secular and democratic seemed to work best. In Eastern Europe, countries that reserved the fruits of modernity for an elite, and that used more draconian measures to bring Jews into the mainstream, fell behind. It is important to note that this modernization took about 300 years. New ideas and ideals had time to filter down to society’ lower echelons, under the dynamic of its own momentum.
This has not been the case in the Islamic world. Here modernization has been far more accelerated, leaving no time for the trickle-down effect. Consequently, society has been polarized: only a privileged elite has been educated to take part in modern politics, while the vast majority find their society changing in ways that seem incomprehensible and bewildering.
Middle Eastern countries is not a society corrupted by the outmoded religion of “Islam,” but an imperfectly modernized society.
Islam is not inherently opposed to democracy, however, and this recent attack was not a war against democracy or freedom. There are principles in Islamic law, such as the need for shurah (consultation) before passing new legislation, which would be very compatible. And it is not strictly true that Islam is incapable of separating what we in the West call “church” and state. In practice, Muslims have perforce kept religion and politics separate. In the Shiite world, this separation of religion and politics was a sacred ideal, because all states were seen as corrupt. In the Sunni world, there was a de facto separation of religion and the political life of the caliphal court. The shariah, the Islamic legal system, began as a counterculture, as a white revolution against what they saw as the corruption of the court. The ulama (religious scholars) promoted a more egalitarian, principled and just system of law than was actually feasible in the realpolitik of the court, which had its own aristocratic culture, known as the adab. Muslims do have problems with the Western definition of democracy: “Government with the people, for the people and by the people,” is not tenable, because in an Islamic perspective God and not the people is sovereign.
Quran (Surah Al-Anfal, 8.02 – 8.04)
- When Allah is mentioned, they feel the fear of Him in their hearts;
- Their faith increases every time they hear and ponder over Quran’s verses;
- They put their trust in Allah, i.e. have Tawakkul on Allah;
- They (Muslim Believers) perform prayers regularly;
- They spend in charity in the path of Allah.
It is clearly evident to any Muslim who possesses a basic understanding of Islam that the greatest and most important aim of Islamic law is the deterrence of evil or the reduction of harm, and the attainment of good or its increase. The establishment of a harmonious and successful way of life depends upon this principle. This is why the Islamic law – that is, the law of Allah – is never contrary to the basic needs of humanity, or establishes anything in contradiction to sound logic.
Allah, the Exalted, says:
“Help you one another in virtue, righteousness and piety; but do not help one another in sin and transgression.” [Al-Qur’an 5:3]
The final Prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him, said, “Whoever sees an evil, he should change it by his hands; if he could not do so, then he should change it by his tongue; if he could not do so, then he should do that by his heart, which is the least of faith.” [Muslim]. The Prophet, in this hadith (saying), did not allow the Muslim to remain idle and incapacitated when witnessing injustices while he is able to change them.
Subsequently, it is an obligation upon every Muslim to achieve this aim, whether in part or in its totality. However, it is apparent that it is virtually impossible to attain this objective in its absolute sense, in the majority of cases; yet, in spite of this, the Muslims must endeavour to carry out the necessary means that enable them to achieve this objective.
Based on this, it is obligatory for those Muslims living under the shadow of man-made law to take all the necessary steps and means to make the law of Allah, the Creator and the One who sustains, supreme and manifest in all aspects of life. If they are unable to do so, then it becomes obligatory for them to strive to minimise the evil and maximise the good.
So the achievement of a full democracy is not simply a matter of setting up a parliament, and it is nearly always contested. Religion can sometimes facilitate the struggle. It can be a modernizing factor, and some forms of fundamentalism in the Middle East can be seen as enabling people to make the painful rite of passage to modernity more easily.”
The earliest form of soccer was played by the Chinese in the second and third centuries. It was called tsu-chu.
Watch: Florida kicker making an 81-yard field goal in practice — 17 yards longer than the NFL record Eddy Piñeiro
The word “soccer” actually comes from England, where the modern version of the game originated.
In England, there were two types of football: rugby football and association football.
The slang term for rugby football was “rugger,” and the slang for association football was “assoc.” The word “assoc” gradually evolved into “soccer,” which was much easier to say.
When association football was introduced to North America, gridiron football (the type played by the NFL and in the Super Bowl) was already well established. To avoid confusion, Americans adopted the British nickname “soccer” for the new sport.
Canada Named ‘Most Reputable Country’ In Time For 150th Birthday wwwpages: cbc.ca/sportslongform/entry/how-canada-invented-american-football-baseball-basketball-and-hockey 3X3 READY TO ROCK TOKYO 2020 3×3 basketball has been played almost since the invention of basketball in 1891. In 2020 it will open a new chapter in its history as one of the brand new events on the programme of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. SEE YOU ON THE COURT!
Super Soccer Noggins
Pick your Super Soccer Noggin and Lead them to victory in various wacky tournaments!
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Love for one’s country is undoubtedly a good trait that imbues people with a sense of loyalty and a desire to coexist peacefully with others, regardless of religion and cultural background.
NATION-BUILDING THROUGH PATRIOTISM By Muhammad Hisyam Mohamad
As recorded in the history of Islam, after migrating (hijrah) to Medinah and having successfully established a Muslim state there, the Prophet Muhammad could still hardly forget the place he grew up in.
In a hadith narrated by al-Tirmidhi, the Prophet was reported to have pined for Mecca: “How sweet of a land you are and how dear you are to me, and if it were not that my people expelled me from you, I would not have lived in other than you.”
The feelings of attachment and love to the land where one was born and grew up are natural. With the Prophet, the hostility and harassment by his own tribe of Quraish, which led him to emigrate to Medinah, could not at all turn his love off for the land where his memory began.
Besides being his motherland, another factor that made this affection even stronger is that Mecca has always been the most loved land to Almighty Allah.
In Malay literature, a proverb goes to the same effect, “tempat jatuh lagi dikenang, inikan pula tempat bermain” or literally translated somewhat as, “(if) the place where we fell is cherished, what more where we played (during childhood)”.
For the mindful, both the proverb and hadith bring out a significant message on the spirit of patriotism or love for one’s country.
Praise be to Allah.
Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“It is Allah Who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof (i.e. seven). His Command descends between them (heavens and earth), that you may know that Allah has power over all things, and that Allah surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge.”
In this verse Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, tells us that He created seven heavens and seven earths, between which His command descends; this refers to His laws and commandments, and His decrees by which all things are controlled and His signs are made clear, so that His slaves may know that to Him belong the creation and the command, and that He has the utmost wisdom and perfect might; to Him belong the most beautiful names and sublime attributes; not even the weight of an atom (or small ant), in the highest heaven or the lowest earth, is beyond His power and knowledge; and so that they may know that He is able to bring people back to life after they have died, and raise them up and resurrect them from their graves, so that they will love Him and worship Him, and they will be obedient to Him and to His Messengers. This is the purpose for which He created mankind.
It is, undoubtedly, a good trait which imbues people with a sense of loyalty and desire to coexist peacefully with others regardless of religion and cultural background.
With a pre-emptive value, it could be employed in creating a reconciliatory direction among diverse communities, sectors and stakeholders.
Thus, patriotism creates a common platform and understanding for people of different races and beliefs in a country to work together in a positive and constructive manner in nation-building activities.
This is possible as those with patriotic hearts will always be willing to trade off their comfort for the sake of the country’s interest.
The spirit of patriotism will also permeate positive values and instil good ethics in all walks of life. Indirectly, this will drive off all sorts of negative influences which could possibly bring damage to the national agenda.
In addition, loyalty to the homeland will ensure enemies of the state stay away from the border fence as people will fight tooth and nail to keep the sovereignty and dignity of their nation intact.
Islam, too, does not prohibit Muslims from expressing loyalty to their motherland or the country where they live.
As a matter of fact, it enjoins establishing good relations with one’s fellow countrymen. The Prophet had shown exemplary quality in this manner when he maintained good relations with the Jews living in Medinah.
This is also in line with verse 60 in which Allah expresses to the effect: Allah does not forbid you to respect those who have not made war against you on account of (your) religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely, Allah loves the doers of justice.
In Malaysia, the spirit of patriotism among citizens is rather seasonal in nature. It shoots up high and is evident mainly during Independence Day celebrations. Thanks to the media, campaigns as well as activities carried out by both government and commercial sectors drum up the spirit without which Hari Merdeka would perhaps pass as another public holiday.
Or it could only be seen as an annual congregation waiting for the clock tower to strike midnight on Aug 31 followed by spectacular fireworks, live entertainments and concerts.
However, over the past few months, the patriotism displayed by Malaysians has taken a different turn. No doubt, the tragedies and traumas that happened have caused this change.
The entire nation was saddened and shared the pain, what more the grieving family members of the victims.
A few weeks ago, this newspaper reported the findings of a survey on the National Patriotism Index by the National Civics Bureau (BTN).
A total of 1,200 respondents involved were asked about seven dimensions pertaining to patriotism which include loyalty to the monarchy, national language and Malaysia concept.
The findings reveal that Malaysians are rated “B” for patriotism with an average score of 3.8 out of 5, which was deemed “not bad” by the BTN director-general.
Perhaps by current standards, the results are reasonable given that the respondents were, after all, students of six public and private institutes of higher learning.
Unlike our founding fathers who had to struggle and face unimaginable hardships in their cause to free the country from about 450 years of colonial bondage; or those who were born in the late 1950s to early 1970s when national security and socio-economic issues remained the priority for the government to tackle; the post-modern generation are born and bred practically in comfort and a conducive environment.
Hence, we must admit that a clear distinction exists between how the two generations appreciate and express their love to the country.
Furthermore, different eras entail different challenges which require engagement of different approaches.
The young generation no longer need to carry arms or brave battlefields like their grandparents did; yet, they need to nurture the sense of belonging to the country and dispel all negative thoughts and ill feelings that give rise to xenophobia, to be able to contribute effectively and meaningfully in their own way in the nation-building process.