Archive | February 16, 2011

A True Revolutionary Who Evolved a Spiritual Nationality

A True Revolutionary Who Evolved a Spiritual Nationality

 

What non-Muslims say about the Prophet Mohamed (PBUH)

 

 

The Prophet Mohamed (SAW) has been described as the ‘greatest man that ever lived.” His teachings produced an ever growing base of loyal supporters who cherish his ideals that there is Only One God, that man has been born free, that man’s role is to serve God by serving humanity, that racism, slavery, discrimination and injustice are against human nature and that we have been created by God and we have to return to Him either in a state of purity or corruption of our soul.

The life of the Prophet Muhammad is a story of overpowering pathos and beauty. It is history, tragedy, enlightenment compressed into one tale. It is also a story virtually unknown to the West.

-Barnaby Rogerson

During the month of Ramadhan in 610 CE, an Arab businessman had an experience that changed the history of the world. Every year at this time, Muhammad ibn Abdullah used to retire to a cave on the summit of Mount Hira, where he prayed, fasted and gave alms to the poor. He had long been worried by what he perceived to be a crisis in society. –  Karen Armstrong

It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great Prophet of Arabia, who knows how he taught and how he lived, to feel anything but reverence for that mighty Prophet,

one of the great messengers of the Supreme. And although in what I put to you I shall say many things which may be familiar to many, yet I myself feel whenever I re-read them, a new way of admiration, a new sense of reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher.- Annie Besant

It was the genius of Mohammad, the spirit that he breathed into the Arabs, through the soul of Islam that exalted them. That raised them out of the lethargy & low level of tribal stagnation up to the high watermark of national unity and empire. It was in the sublimity of Mohammad’s deism, the simplicity, the sobriety, and purity it inculcated the fidelity of its founder to his own tenets, that acted on their moral and intellectual fibre with all the magnetism of true inspiration – Arthur Glyn Leonard

He was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without Pope’s pretensions, Caesar without the legions of Caesar: without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue; if ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by the right divine, it was Mohammed, for he had all the power without its instruments and without its supports.”- Bosworth Smith

Serious or trivial, his daily behaviour has instituted a canon which millions observe this day with conscious memory. No one, regarded by any section of the human race as Perfect Man, has ever been imitated so minutely. – D.G. Hogarth.

Muhammad had in fact finally achieved victory by an ingenious policy of non-violence; the Qur’an adamantly opposes force and coercion in religious matters, and its vision – far from preaching exclusion and separation- is tolerant and inclusive. –  Karen Armstrong

The good sense of Mohammed despised the pomp of royalty. The Apostle of God, submitted to the menial offices of the family, he kindled the fire, swept the floor, milked the ewes, and mended with his own hands his shoes and garments – Edward Gibbon

He was born in Arabia in the year 570 C.E. (common era), started his mission of preaching the religion of Truth, Islam (submission to One God) at the age of forty and departed from this world at the age of sixty-three. During this short period of 23 years of his Prophethood, he changed the complete Arabian peninsula from paganism and idolatry to worship of One God, from tribal quarrels and wars to national solidarity and cohesion, from drunkenness and debauchery to sobriety and piety, from lawlessness and anarchy to disciplined living, from utter bankruptcy to the highest standards of moral excellence. Human history has never known such a complete transformation of a people or a place before or since. -The Genuine Islam (Singapore, Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936)

I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality.  It is the only religion, which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence, which can make itself appeal to every age. The clergymen in the middle ages, as a result of discrimination and ignorance, had painted a dim picture for Mohammed. They considered him an enemy for Christianity! However, after researching his personality, I discovered that he was a great man. He was never an enemy for Christianity; rather he should be called the saviour of humanity.

I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today. – George Bernard Shaw

Never has a man set himself a more sublime aim to subvert superstitions, which had been interposed between man & his Creator, to render God unto man and man unto God; to restore the rational & sacred idea of divinity amidst the chaos of the material & disfigured gods of idolatry.

Never has a man undertaken a work so far beyond human power with so feeble means. Never has a man accomplished such a huge and lasting revolution in the world. If greatness of purpose, smallness of means & astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man to Mohamed? – Lamartine

On the basis of a Book, every letter of which has become law, he created a spiritual nationality, which has blended together peoples of every tongue and of every race. He has left to us the indelible characteristic of the Muslim nationality, the hatred of false gods & the passion for the One & immaterial God. The idea of the Unity of God was in itself such a miracle that upon its utterance from his lips, it destroyed all the ancient temples of idols. – Lamartine

I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind… I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends & followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These, and not the sword, carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle.

When I closed the second volume (of the Prophets biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life – Mahatma Gandhi, (Young India), 1924

If ever man on this earth found God; if ever man devoted his life to God’s service with a good & great motive, it is certain that the Prophet of Arabia was that man; Not only great; but of the greatest man that humanity has produced –  Major Arthur Glyn Leonard

This unparalleled combination of secular & religious influence, which I feel, entitles Mohammed to be considered the most influential single figure in human history – Michael H Hart “The 100 : A Ranking of the 100 most influential persons in History, New York, 1978)

“The league of nations founded by the prophet of Islam put the principle of international unity and human brotherhood on such universal foundations as to show candle to other nations.” – Prof. Hurgronje

Orphanages had sprung up for the first time under the teaching of the Prophet Mohamed, the Prophet of Islam. The world owes its orphanages to this Prophet, who himself was born an orphan – Professor Nassignon

“It seems to me that Muhammad was a very ordinary man. He could not read or write. In fact, he was illiterate. We are talking about 1400 years ago.

You have someone who was illiterate making profound pronouncement and statements that are amazingly accurate about scientific nature.

I personally cannot see how this could be mere chance. There are too many accuracy’s and, like Dr. Moore, I have no difficulty in my mind in concerning that this is a divine inspiration or revelation, which led him to these statements.”- Dr. T.V.N. Persaud, Professor of Anatomy and Head of the Department of Anatomy, and a professor of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada

As a scientist, I can only deal with things, which I can specifically see. I can understand embryology and developmental biology. I see no evidence to refute the concept that this individual Muhammad had to be developing this information from some place… so I see nothing here in conflict with the concept that Divine intervention was involved in what he was able to write…” -E. Marshall Johnson, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, and Director of the Daniel Baugh Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

It is not the propagation, but the permanency of his religion, that deserves our wonder. The same pure & perfect impression, which he engraved at Mecca and Medina is preserved – Edward Gibbon & Simon Oakley

These observations make the hypothesis advanced by those who see Muhammad as the author of the Qur’an untenable.

How could a man, from being illiterate, become the most important author, in terms of literary merits, in the whole of Arabic literature?

How could he then pronounce truths of a scientific nature that no other human being could possibly have developed at that time, and all this without once making the slightest error in his pronouncement on the subject? – Maurice Bucaille at the French Academy of Medicine in 1976.

Thinking about many of these questions and thinking where Muhammad came from, he was after all a Bedouin.

I think it is almost impossible that he could have known about things like the common origin of the universe, because scientists have only found out within the last few years with very complicated and advanced technological methods that this is the case – Professor Alfred Kroner (Geologist)

From: Islam in the Media

True Wealth

True Wealth

One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the purpose of

showing his son how the poor people live so he could be thankful for his wealth.

They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be “considered” a very poor family.

On their return from their trip, the father asked his son:

“How was the trip?”

“It was great, Dad.”

“Did you see how poor people can be?” the father asked.

“Oh yeah” the son replied.

“So what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father.

The son answered:

“I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.”

“We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.”

“Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.”

“We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.”

“We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.”

“We buy our food, but they grow theirs.”

“We have walls around our property to protect us; they have friends to protect them.”

With this the boy’s father was speechless.

Then his son added, “Thanks dad for showing me how poor we are.”

More Moral Tales

The Highs and Lows of Testosterone

 

A thousand goals have there been hitherto, for a thousand peoples have there been. Only the fetter for the thousand necks is still lacking; there is lacking the one goal. As yet humanity hath not a goal. But pray tell me, my brethren, if the goal of humanity be still lacking, is there not also still lacking- humanity itself? - Nietszche

The Highs and Lows of Testosterone

By Hwaa Irfan

Researchers have recently found that testosterone artificially taken under the tongue has a negative impact on one’s level of empathy, an important tool in understanding others. To mind read others is an important step in empathy, which is greater in women than men, and this was found to be diminished in volunteers who took testosterone. The finding s published in the National Academy of Science were by researchers at the Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and Cambridge University in the U.K.

Testosterone is one of a group of male hormones; a natural steroid produced by the human body (mainly the ovaries, and testes) like estrogen and aldosterone. All steroidal hormones begin life as cholesterol, so the hype about too much cholesterol being bad should be ignored if the debate does not define good or bad cholesterol – in other words humans need cholesterol. Enzymes in the adrenal glands convert cholesterol to cortisol, and from cholesterol to testosterone by the enzymes in the gonads for example.

So far, it has been established that testosterone is responsible for primary and secondary sexual characteristics as well as virility, energy level, fertilization capability, distribution of fat in the body as well as sexual urges dropping 1% every year for men 40 and over. The New England Research Institutes, U.S.  has also found through a long term study on 1,667 men aged 40 – 70 that increased obesity in men is linked to the natural decrease in testosterone and the loss of a spouse highlighting how vulnerable testosterone is to external factors. It is also influential in:

  • Gender determination
  • Pre- birth weight
  • Sexual preferences
  • Regulating sex drive
  • Emotional and physical strength , shape, hairiness, deep voice,  odor
  • Masculinization of the brain (grey matter) in childhood
  • Sperm production and quality
  • Sexual performance
  • Assertiveness

In addition lower testosterone levels in older men seemed to play a role in cognition with the affect testosterone supplements having a moderate redress as was found in the study by Dr. Oliver Beauchet of Saint-Etienne University Hospital.

Influencing Factors

The level of testosterone in the body fluctuates throughout the day with a string of processes involved affecting the regularity in which testosterone is produced, and released into the blood stream, but around 60% of that testosterone is inactivated by a protein. Because of the complex chain of events within the body, there is room for many interruptions at the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the male testes amongst others.

Physiologically the interruptions include:

  • Damaged/dis-eased testicles
  • Contracting mumps after puberty
  • Radiation treatment/ chemotherapy
  • Vasectomy
  • Emotions

External:

  • A diet high in meat and poultry due to oestrogen content.
  • Physical stress
  • Exposure to dioxins, phthalates
  • Fathering and the expression of emotions to offspring
  • Drugs
  • Pollutants

Increasing Factors:

  • Casual sports and sexual intercourse
  • Tight clothing e.g. jeans
  • Aggression, competition
  • Pregnant women
  • Female odor
  • Autumn (northern hemisphere)

It has been found that levels of testosterone increases prior to a competitive-aggressive challenge/event, continues to go up if victorious, but decreases if unsuccessful. Amongst competitors of a judo match, the level of testosterone compared with the person’s level of satisfaction not the outcome, and in a chess tournament testosterone rose by a 10% average for winners, and where the results were close, but decreased after winning when it became apparent beforehand that the win would be easy. In a boot camp of 17 young male offenders, the testosterone levels dropped markedly with the exception of 6 who went into camp with a “bad attitude” and refused to feel defeated. Hence in all cases, the outcome of testosterone level was as result of emotions and cognition, not the technical outcome or exertion.

Self, Self, and More Self!

It has also been found that the amount of sleep influences the level of testosterone in the blood in the mornings as discovered via research by the University of Chicago. That might not be a bad thing when it comes to cooperation – a declining attribute in relationships, family life, and global governance today.

Research by the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL (University College London),  testosterone  contributes to being over opinionated at the expense of cooperation. Their research involving 17 pairs of female volunteers. Female volunteers were used because if males are given testosterone, their own level of testosterone will increase.

All strangers to one another the volunteers were tested over two days a week apart. They were given a testosterone supplement the first day, and a placebo on the second day. It was found that cooperation resulted in higher performance group-wise, as in any group or society. However, the level of cooperation was greatly reduced when volunteers were given the placebo, in fact the volunteers were more egocentric.

“When we are making decisions in groups, we tread a fine line between cooperation and self-interest: too much cooperation and we may never get our way, but if we are too self-orientated, we are likely to ignore people who have real insight,” explained Dr Wright.

Sources:

Collingwood, J. “Emotions and Weight Affect Testosterone Levels.” http://psychcentral.com/lib/2007/emotions-and-weight-affect-testosterone-levels/

Goldstein, J. “Male Aggression.” http://www.warandgender.com/wgmaleag.htm

Honk, J et al. “Testosterone Administration Impairs Cognitive Empathy in Women Depending on Second-to-Fourth Digit Ratio.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1011891108. http://www.sciencedaily.com¬ /releases/2011/02/110209105556.htm

Kimura, D, and Hampson, E. “Cognitive Pattern in Men and Women Is Influenced By Fluctuations in Sex Hormones.”  Current Directions in Psychological Science. American Psychological Society.  1994.

Nauert,R. “Sleep Influences Testosterone Levels.” http://psychcentral.com/news/2007/04/03/sleep-influences-testosterone-levels/723.html

Travison, T.  et al. “A Population-level Decline in Serum Testosterone Levels in American Men. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 92:196–202. http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/newscience/reproduction/2006/2006-1210travisonetal.html

Wright, N.D. et al, Testosterone disrupts human collaboration by increasing egocentric choices. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 2012; DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2011.2523

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