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Below are the 7 most recent journal entries recorded in quran's LiveJournal:

    Friday, November 18th, 2005
    9:34 pm
    Thanksgiving Verses
    With Thanksgiving coming up ...

    [Quran 2:172] O you who believe, eat from the good things we provided for you, and be thankful to GOD, if you do worship Him alone.

    [Quran 22:36-37] ... Once they are offered for sacrifice, you shall eat therefrom and feed the poor and the needy. This is why we subdued them for you, that you may show your appreciation. Neither their meat, nor their blood reaches GOD. What reaches Him is your righteousness. He has subdued them for you, that you may show your appreciation by glorifying GOD for guiding you. Give good news to the charitable.



    May God help us remember that the real benefit from His provisions is the spiritual growth from being appreciative of them.
    Thursday, November 17th, 2005
    12:22 am
    God is neither male nor female
    The concept of gender has meaning only in a corporeal existence. It has a logical purpose for human beings and other creatures that need to reproduce and find peace in a mate. And, even for humans, the soul does not have gender. It does not need to.

    God, the Almighty, Most High, is neither male nor female. Gender does not apply to the Lord.

    While it is true that God is referred to as "He" in the Quran. The words "He" and "She" do not necessarily imply natural gender in Arabic. Thus, when God is referred to as "He," this does not suggest gender at all. God be glorified; He is neither male, nor female.

    In the English language, there is no such gender neutral pronoun (that is not demeaning; one cannot use the word "it" respectfully for God). Also, there has often been a culturally prevalent view of God, "the Father", as a male entity in certain parts of the world. This has perhaps unfortunately contributed to a "male image" of God. One does not find such a reference to God in the Quran. It is always without any implication of gender.
    Wednesday, November 16th, 2005
    11:05 pm
    What Islam says about Drugs and Alcohol
    Some people feel the Quran leaves room for doubt on the issue of consuming intoxicants or drugs. The argument stems on whether God explicitly "forbids" them, or simply "condemns" them. To the sincere seeker, it's pretty much the same. They see that God calls these substances: "abominations of the devil" and that He says "you shall avoid them".

    The word used for intoxicants is "Khamr" from the root word "Khamara" which means "to cover." Thus, anything that covers or hinders the mind is prohibited. This includes anything that alters the mind, such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, alcohol, hashish, and anything else that affects the mind.

    [Quran 2:219] They ask you about intoxicants and gambling: say, "In them there is a gross sin, and some benefits for the people. But their sinfulness far outweighs their benefit." They also ask you what to give to charity: say, "The excess." GOD thus clarifies the revelations for you, that you may reflect,

    [Quran 5:90] O you who believe, intoxicants, and gambling, and the altars of idols, and the games of chance are abominations of the devil; you shall avoid them, that you may succeed.


    It's possible God left the door slightly ajar for a few of reasons including:
    1. There may be medical reasons where these need to be taken (purpose is not intoxication)
    2. A test for those who wish to go astray

    God knows best. He also knows our innermost intentions. May He guide us and keep us on the right path.
    Sunday, November 13th, 2005
    3:52 pm
    Do we believe to satisfy God's vanity? and other questions...
    Q1. Does God require us to believe for His own vanity?

    Of course not. Our worship is for our own souls. Our own good.

    [Quran 17:7] "If you work righteousness, you work righteousness for your own good, but if you commit evil you do so to your own detriment. ...

    [Quran 39:7] If you disbelieve, GOD does not need anyone. But He dislikes to see His servants make the wrong decision. If you decide to be appreciative, He is pleased for you. No soul bears the sins of any other soul. Ultimately, to your Lord is your return, then He will inform you of everything you had done. He is fully aware of the innermost thoughts.


    Q2. So, if it is for our own good, why do we say we do it to "please God"?

    Because they are the same thing in this case. God wants what's best for us. He is pleased when we do what's for our good. It is like our parents. They love us, and are happy when we do things that are positive. When we are young, we may not always understand this love. We may rebel. As we grow older though, we grow to see that they did indeed have our best interests at heart.

    The only difference is, parents are human and sometimes they make mistakes. With God -- He is infallible. So anytime we do the things that please Him, we know we're doing the things that are good for our own souls.

    Isn't that so beautiful as well? You try to do the things that please the One you love. And in doing so, the One you love, ensures that you do the things that lead to eternal happiness. The more we "give up", the more we gain. No other relationship can give us this. But it's all up to us. We have to choose and want to love God. And, in that choice lies the strongest bond. One that never breaks, and lasts for eternity.

    [Quran 2:256] There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.

    [Quran 31:22] Those who submit completely to GOD, while leading a righteous life, have gotten hold of the strongest bond. For GOD is in full control of all things.

    All praise be to God.
    3:28 pm
    Does Allah really want us to kill all unbelievers?
    A number of people, particularly those who have not read the Quran themselves, fully believe that God does indeed enjoin muslims to kill all the unbelievers.

    Today, I came across an article that insisted the Quran is full of such cruel views.

    To quote: ... The Koran also enjoins all Muslims to fight and kill nonbelievers: "When you meet the unbelievers, strike off their heads; then when you have made wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives" (Surah XLVII.4)...

    The problem with such quotations, is that the verse is usually taken out of context. Unfortunately, there are a number of articles (even by supposedly unbiased and reputed authors) that expound this view.

    So what does the Quran really say in this case? I went and checked a few translations. Here are the results (sorted alphabetically by translator). The emphasis / bold font is mine (to highlight the context).

    [Quran 47:4]

    If you encounter (in war) those who disbelieve, you may strike the necks. If you take them as captives you may set them free or ransom them, until the war ends. Had GOD willed, He could have granted you victory, without war. But He thus tests you by one another. As for those who get killed in the cause of GOD, He will never put their sacrifice to waste. (Khalifa)

    Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (is the ordinance). And if Allah willed He could have punished them (without you) but (thus it is ordained) that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain. (Pickthall)

    And when you meet in regular battle those who disbelieve, smite their necks; and, when you have overcome them, by causing great slaughter among them, bind fast the fetters - then afterwards either release them as a favour or by taking ransom - until the war lays down its burdens. That is the ordinance. And if ALLAH had so pleased, HE could have punished them Himself, but HE has willed that HE may try some of you by others. And those who are killed in the way of ALLAH - HE will never render their works vain.

    Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been God's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of God,- He will never let their deeds be lost. (Yusufali)


    The story is similar when we read any of the other verses that people use to suggest: "Allah wants you to kill unbelievers." If people read the context (including the surrounding verses), they would see that the verses are talking about war. There is no such decree to "kill all the unbelievers" in the Quran. Instead -- God proclaims absolute freedom of religion (2:256). Aggression is prohibited (2:190), and fighting is allowed only self-defence. It is only in battle / war that permission is granted to fight and kill.

    God is The Peace. God is Compassionate, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. God is *not* cruel or bloodthirsty. Nor does He want His followers to be so.
    Monday, August 22nd, 2005
    3:42 pm
    The Quranic view on Terrorism
    We live in an age where the good name of Islam is associated by many with the wrongful acts of terrorists. Those who commit acts of terror, murder and cruelty in the name of God (Allah in Arabic) are not only destroying innocent lives, but are also betraying the values of the faith they claim to represent.

    Nothing can justify the killings of innocent people, and no act of terror will ever serve the cause of Islam or any religion of God.

    We should not support groups or individuals who commit such brutal and un-Islamic acts. Nor should we allow our faith to be held hostage by the criminal actions of some people acting outside the teachings of the Quran, the holy book of Muslims.

    God clearly condemns these types of acts in the Quran.

    [Quran 6:151] "You shall not kill, for God has made life sacred, except in the course of justice. These are God's commandments to you, that you may understand."

    The laws of the scriptures that apply to the Christians and Jews are repeated and emphasized for the Muslims also.

    [Quran 5:32] "We decreed for the children of Israel that the killing of one person, who did not commit murder or vast corruption, is the same as killing all the people; and the sparing of one life is the same as sparing the lives of all the people."

    The religion of Islam should not be confused with terrorists or their brutal actions. God never approves of terrorism. Any people who call themselves Muslims and kill innocent people are, by the definition of the Quran, not Muslims, but simply killers.
    Monday, May 24th, 2004
    2:06 pm
    About Quran
    Peace be upon you,

    This blog is dedicated to spreading the truth about the Quran -- the scripture I believe is the Final Testament of Submission. The religion of Submission to God (in Arabic Islam), contrary to popular belief, was started by Abraham and not Muhammad. Since then, all the prophets of God including Moses, David, Jesus and Muhammad have brought scriptures. Some of these scriptures were oral, others were lost over time. Each brought new wisdom and guidance and confirmed all previous scriptures.

    [Quran 2:136] Say, "We believe in GOD, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters."

    [Quran 22:78] You shall strive for the cause of GOD as you should strive for His cause. He has chosen you and has placed no hardship on you in practicing your religion - the religion of your father Abraham. He is the one who named you "Submitters" originally. Thus, the messenger shall serve as a witness among you, and you shall serve as witnesses among the people. Therefore, you shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and hold fast to GOD; He is your Lord, the best Lord and the best Supporter.


    The Quran confirms previous scriptures (10:37) and supersedes them (5:48).

    [Quran 5:48] Then we revealed to you this scripture, truthfully, confirming previous scriptures, and superseding them. You shall rule among them in accordance with GOD's revelations, and do not follow their wishes if they differ from the truth that came to you. For each of you, we have decreed laws and different rites. Had GOD willed, He could have made you one congregation. But He thus puts you to the test through the revelations He has given each of you. You shall compete in righteousness. To GOD is your final destiny - all of you - then He will inform you of everything you had disputed.



    What does the Quran bring to us? To put it simply - enlightenment, healing, guidance and mercy.

    [Quran 10:57] O people, enlightenment has come to you herein from your Lord, and healing for anything that troubles your hearts, and guidance, and mercy for the believers.

    It invites to the paths of peace

    [Quran 5:15-16] ... A beacon has come to you from GOD, and a profound scripture. With it, GOD guides those who seek His approval. He guides them to the paths of peace, leads them out of darkness into the light by His leave, and guides them in a straight path.


    Peace be upon you!


    References:
    http://www.quranbrowser.org
    http://www.submission.info/quran/index.html
    http://www.submission.info/quran/appendices/appendix9.html
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