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WillSmith456

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WillSmith456

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Religions and Ethics


Featured religions

Atheism
The ideas and views of people who don't believe in God.
Baha'i
One of the youngest of the world's major religions.
Buddhism
A way of living based on the teachings of Siddartha Gautama.
Candombl
A religion based on African beliefs, originating in Brazil.
Christianity
The world's biggest faith, based on the teaching of Jesus Christ.
Hinduism
A group of faiths rooted in the religious ideas of India.
Islam
Revealed in its final form by the Prophet Muhammad.
Jainism
An ancient philosophy and ethical teaching that originated in India.
Jehovah's Witnesses
A Christian-based evangelistic religious movement.
Judaism
Based around the Jewish people's covenant relationship with God.
Mormon
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Paganism
Contemporary religions usually based on reverence for nature.
Rastafari
A young religion founded in Jamaica in the 1930s.
Santeria
Afro-Caribbean syncretic religion originating in Cuba.
Shinto
Japanese folk tradition and ritual with no founder or single sacred scripture.
Sikhism
The religion founded by Guru Nanak in India in the 15th Century CE.
Taoism
An ancient tradition of philosophy and belief rooted in Chinese worldview.
Unitarianism
An open-minded and individualistic approach to religion.
Zoroastrianism
One of the oldest monotheistic faiths, founded by the prophet Zoroaster.


Edited by Pensacola.S_02 - 11 November 2007 at 2:35am

WillSmith456

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Atheism!

Atheism

Atheists are people who do not believe in a god or gods (or other immaterial beings), or who believe that these concepts are not meaningful.

Some atheists put it more firmly and believe that god or gods do not exist.


Atheism is the absence of belief in any Gods or spiritual beings. The word Atheism comes from a, meaning without, and theism meaning belief in god or gods.

  • Atheists don't use God to explain the existence of the universe.
  • Atheists say that human beings can devise suitable moral codes to live by without the aid of Gods or scriptures.

Reasons for non-belief

People are atheist for many reasons, among them:

  • They find insufficient evidence to support any religion.
  • They think that religion is nonsensical.
  • They once had a religion and have lost faith in it.
  • They live in a non-religious culture.
  • Religion doesn't interest them.
  • Religion doesn't seem relevant to their lives.
  • Religions seem to have done a lot of harm in the world.
  • The world is such a bad place that there can't be a God.

It is possible to be both atheist and religious. Virtually all Buddhists manage it, as do adherents of other religions,such as Judaism and Christianity.

But many atheists are also secularist, and are hostile to any special treatment given to organised religion.


Atheists and morality

Atheists are as moral (or immoral) as religious people.

In practical terms atheists often follow the same moral code as religious people, but they arrive at the decision of what is good or bad without any help from the idea of God.

WillSmith456

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Bah'



The Bah' faith is one of the youngest of the world's major religions.

It was founded by Baha'u'llah in Iran in the 19th century.

 

The Bah' faith is one of the youngest of the world's major religions. It was founded by Bah'u'llh in Iran in 1863.

Iran was then mainly a Muslim country, and the faith was proclaimed by a young Iranian, who called himself The Bb. He said that a messenger would soon arrive from God, who would be the latest in a line of prophets including Moses, Muhammad and Jesus Christ.

  • Bah'u'llh, which means the Glory of God in Arabic, was born Mirza Husayn Ali in 1817
  • Bah's believe that Bah'u'llh is the most recent Manifestation of God
  • Bah'u'llh himself stated that he is not God's final messenger
  • The Bah' faith accepts all religions as having true and valid origins
  • The idea of progressive revelation is of central significance for the Bah' faith
  • Bah'u'llh taught that God intervenes throughout human history at different times to reveal more of himself through his messengers (called Divine Messengers, or Manifestations of God)
  • The central idea of the faith is that of unity. They believe that people should work together for the common benefit of humanity

The followers of Bah'u'llh were descended from the Bbis - believers in the Bb who foretold the mission of Bah'u'llh.

There are 6 million Bah's in the world, in 235 countries and around 6,000 live in Britain.



Edited by Pensacola.S_02 - 11 November 2007 at 2:46am

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Buddhism




Buddhism is a tradition that focuses on personal spiritual development. Buddhists strive for a deep insight into the true nature of life and do not worship gods or deities.

Spiritual tradition

Buddhism is a spiritual tradition that focuses on personal spiritual development and the attainment of a deep insight into the true nature of life.

Buddhism teaches that all life is interconnected, so compassion is natural and important.

  • Buddhism is 2,500 years old
  • There are currently 376 million followers worldwide
  • There are around 151, 816 Buddhists in Britain according to the 2001 census
  • Buddhism arose as a result of Siddhartha Gautama's quest for Enlightenment in around the 6th Century BCE
  • There is no belief in a personal God. It is not centred on the relationship between humanity and God
  • Buddhists believe that nothing is fixed or permanent - change is always possible
  • The two main Buddhist sects are Theravada Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism, but there are many more
  • Buddhism is a very colourful faith with many festivals throughout the year
  • Buddhists can worship both at home or at a temple

 

The path to Enlightenment is through the practice and development of morality, meditation and wisdom.




Edited by Pensacola.S_02 - 11 November 2007 at 2:51am

WillSmith456

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Islam




Islam began in Arabia and was revealed to humanity by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Those who follow Islam are called Muslims.

Muslims believe that there is only one God. The Arabic word for God is Allah.


The word Islam means both 'peace' and 'submission'. It is the second largest religion in the world with over 1bn followers. The 2001 census recorded 1,591,000 Muslims in the UK, around 2.7% of the population.

There are several different groups of Muslims, but all of them, in every country and community, regard their faith as a bond between them, and as a major part of their identity.

  • Islam was revealed over 1400 years ago in Mecca, Arabia.
  • Followers of Islam are called Muslims.
  • Muslims believe that there is only One God.
  • The Arabic word for God is Allah.
  • According to Muslims, God sent a number of prophets to mankind to teach them how to live according to His law.
  • Jesus, Moses and Abraham are respected as prophets of God.
  • They believe that the final Prophet was Muhammad (peace be upon him).
  • Muslims believe that Islam has always existed, but for practical purposes, date their religion from the time of the migration of Muhammad.
  • Muslims base their laws on their holy book the Qur'an, and the Sunnah.
  • The Sunnah is the practical example of Prophet Muhammad.
  • There are five basic Pillars of Islam.
  • These pillars are the declaration of faith, praying five times a day, giving money to charity, fasting and a once in a lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca.

Chapter 1
Chapter 1, Some Evidence for the Truth of Islam 

God supported His last Prophet Muhammad  with many miracles and much evidence which proved that he is a true Prophet sent by God.  Also, God supported His last revealed book, the Holy Quran, with many miracles that prove that this Quran is the literal word of God, revealed by Him, and that it was not authored by any human being. This chapter discusses some of this evidence.

The Scientific Miracles
in the Holy Quran

The Quran is the literal word of God, which He revealed to His Prophet Muhammad  through the Angel Gabriel.  The Holy QuranIt was memorized by Muhammad , who then dictated it to his Companions.  They, in turn, memorized it, wrote it down, and reviewed it with the Prophet Muhammad .  Moreover, the Prophet Muhammad  reviewed the Quran with the Angel Gabriel once each year and twice in the last year of his life.  From the time the Quran was revealed, until this day, there has always been a huge number of Muslims who have memorized all of the Quran, letter by letter.  Some of them have even been able to memorize all of the Quran by the age of ten.  Not one letter of the Quran has been changed over the centuries.

The Quran, which was revealed fourteen centuries ago, mentioned facts only recently discovered or proven by scientists.  This proves without doubt that the Quran must be the literal word of God, revealed by Him to the Prophet Muhammad , and that the Quran was not authored by Muhammad  or by any other human being.  This also proves that Muhammad  is truly a prophet sent by God.  It is beyond reason that anyone fourteen hundred years ago would have known these facts discovered or proven only recently with advanced equipment and sophisticated scientific methods.  Some examples follow.

A) The Quran on Human Embryonic Development:

In the Holy Quran, God speaks about the stages of man's embryonic development:

 We created man from an extract of clay.  Then We made him as a drop in a place of settlement, firmly fixed.  Then We made the drop into an alaqah (leech, suspended thing, and blood clot), then We made the alaqah into a mudghah (chewed substance)... 1 (Quran, 23:12-14)

Literally, the Arabic word alaqah has three meanings: (1) leech, (2) suspended thing, and (3) blood clot.

In comparing a leech to an embryo in the alaqah stage, we find similarity between the two2 as we can see in figure 1.  Also, the embryo at this stage obtains nourishment from the blood of the mother, similar to the leech, which feeds on the blood of others.3

Figure 1

Figure 1: Drawings illustrating the similarities in appearance between a leech and a human embryo at the alaqah stage. (Leech drawing from Human Development as Described in the Quran and Sunnah, Moore and others, p. 37, modified from Integrated Principles of Zoology, Hickman and others.  Embryo drawing from The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 73.)

The second meaning of the word alaqah is "suspended thing."  This is what we can see in figures 2 and 3, the suspension of the embryo, during the alaqah stage, in the womb of the mother.

Figure 2: We can see in this diagram the suspension of an embryo during the alaqah stage in the womb (uterus) of the mother. (The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 66.)  (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Figure 2 Click here to enlarge

   

Figure 3: In this photomicrograph, we can see the suspension of an embryo (marked B) during the alaqah stage (about 15 days old) in the womb of the mother.  The actual size of the embryo is about 0.6 mm. (The Developing Human, Moore, 3rd ed., p. 66, from Histology, Leeson and Leeson.)

Figure 3

The third meaning of the word alaqah is "blood clot."  We find that the external appearance of the embryo and its sacs during the alaqah stage is similar to that of a blood clot.  This is due to the presence of relatively large amounts of blood present in the embryo during this stage4 (see figure 4).  Also during this stage, the blood in the embryo does not circulate until the end of the third week.5  Thus, the embryo at this stage is like a clot of blood.

Figure 4: Diagram of the primitive cardiovascular system in an embryo during the alaqah stage.  The external appearance of the embryo and its sacs is similar to that of a blood clot, due to the presence of relatively large amounts of blood present in the embryo. (The Developing Human, Moore, 5th ed., p. 65.)  (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Figure 4 Click here to enlarge

So the three meanings of the word alaqah correspond accurately to the descriptions of the embryo at the alaqah stage.

The next stage mentioned in the verse is the mudghah stage.  The Arabic word mudghah means "chewed substance."  If one were to take a piece of gum and chew it in his or her mouth and then compare it with an embryo at the mudghah stage, we would conclude that the embryo at the mudghah stage acquires the appearance of a chewed substance.  This is because of the somites at the back of the embryo that "somewhat resemble teethmarks in a chewed substance."6 (see figures 5 and 6).

Figure 5: Photograph of an embryo at the mudghah stage (28 days old).  The embryo at this stage acquires the appearance of a chewed substance, because the somites at the back of the embryo somewhat resemble teeth marks in a chewed substance.  The actual size of the embryo is 4 mm. (The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 82, from Professor Hideo Nishimura, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.)

Figure 5

   

Figure 6: When comparing the appearance of an embryo at the mudghah stage with a piece of gum that has been chewed, we find similarity between the two.
A) Drawing of an embryo at the mudghah stage.  We can see here the somites at the back of the embryo that look like teeth marks. (The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 79.)
B) Photograph of a piece of gum that has been chewed.
(Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Figure 6 Click here to enlarge

How could Muhammad  have possibly known all this 1400 years ago, when scientists have only recently discovered this using advanced equipment and powerful microscopes which did not exist at that time?  Hamm and Leeuwenhoek were the first scientists to observe human sperm cells (spermatozoa) using an improved microscope in 1677 (more than 1000 years after Muhammad ).  They mistakenly thought that the sperm cell contained a miniature preformed human being that grew when it was deposited in the female genital tract.7

Professor Emeritus Keith L. Moore8 is one of the world's most prominent scientists in the fields of anatomy and embryology and is the author of the book entitled The Developing Human, which has been translated into eight languages.  This book is a scientific reference work and was chosen by a special committee in the United States as the best book authored by one person.  Dr. Keith Moore is Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.  There, he was Associate Dean of Basic Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine and for 8 years was the Chairman of the Department of Anatomy.  In 1984, he received the most distinguished award presented in the field of anatomy in Canada, the J.C.B. Grant Award from the Canadian Association of Anatomists.  He has directed many international associations, such as the Canadian and American Association of Anatomists and the Council of the Union of Biological Sciences.

In 1981, during the Seventh Medical Conference in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, Professor Moore said: "It has been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Quran about human development.  It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God, because almost all of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later.  This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of God."9  (To view the RealPlayer video of this comment click here Video Clip).

Consequently, Professor Moore was asked the following question: "Does this mean that you believe that the Quran is the word of God?"  He replied: "I find no difficulty in accepting this."10

During one conference, Professor Moore stated: "....Because the staging of human embryos is complex, owing to the continuous process of change during development, it is proposed that a new system of classification could be developed using the terms mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah (what Muhammad  said, did, or approved of).  The proposed system is simple, comprehensive, and conforms with present embryological knowledge.  The intensive studies of the Quran and hadeeth (reliably transmitted reports by the Prophet Muhammad's  companions of what he said, did, or approved of) in the last four years have revealed a system for classifying human embryos that is amazing since it was recorded in the seventh century A.D.  Although Aristotle, the founder of the science of embryology, realized that chick embryos developed in stages from his studies of hen's eggs in the fourth century B.C., he did not give any details about these stages.  As far as it is known from the history of embryology, little was known about the staging and classification of human embryos until the twentieth century.  For this reason, the descriptions of the human embryo in the Quran cannot be based on scientific knowledge in the seventh century.  The only reasonable conclusion is: these descriptions were revealed to Muhammad from God.  He could not have known such details because he was an illiterate man with absolutely no scientific training."11  (View the RealPlayer video of this comment Video Clip).

B) The Quran on Mountains:

A book entitled Earth is a basic reference textbook in many universities around the world.  One of its two authors is Professor Emeritus Frank Press.  He was the Science Advisor to former US President Jimmy Carter, and for 12 years was the President of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC. His book says that mountains have underlying roots.1  These roots are deeply embedded in the ground, thus, mountains have a shape like a peg (see figures 7, 8, and 9).
 

Figure 7

Figure 7: Mountains have deep roots under the surface of the ground. (Earth, Press and Siever, p. 413.)

Figure 8 Click here to enlarge

Figure 8: Schematic section.  The mountains, like pegs, have deep roots embedded in the ground. (Anatomy of the Earth, Cailleux, p. 220.)  (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Figure 9 Click here to enlarge

Figure 9: Another illustration shows how the mountains are peg-like in shape, due to their deep roots. (Earth Science, Tarbuck and Lutgens, p. 158.)  (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

This is how the Quran has described mountains.  God has said in the Quran:

 Have We not made the earth as a bed, and the mountains as pegs?  (Quran, 78:6-7)

Modern earth sciences have proven that mountains have deep roots under the surface of the ground (see figure 9) and that these roots can reach several times their elevations above the surface of the ground.2  So the most suitable word to describe mountains on the basis of this information is the word 'peg,' since most of a properly set peg is hidden under the surface of the ground.  The history of science tells us that the theory of mountains having deep roots was introduced only in the latter half of the nineteenth century.3

Mountains also play an important role in stabilizing the crust of the earth.4  They hinder the shaking of the earth.  God has said in the Quran:

 And He has set firm mountains in the earth so that it would not shake with you...  (Quran, 16:15)

Likewise, the modern theory of plate tectonics holds that mountains work as stabilizers for the earth.  This knowledge about the role of mountains as stabilizers for the earth has just begun to be understood in the framework of plate tectonics since the late 1960's.5

Could anyone during the time of the Prophet Muhammad  have known of the true shape of mountains?  Could anyone imagine that the solid massive mountain which he sees before him actually extends deep into the earth and has a root, as scientists assert?  A large number of books of geology, when discussing mountains, only describe that part which is above the surface of the earth.  This is because these books were not written by specialists in geology.  However, modern geology has confirmed the truth of the Quranic verses.
 

C) The Quran on the Origin of the Universe:

The science of modern cosmology, observational and theoretical, clearly indicates that, at one point in time, the whole universe was nothing but a cloud of 'smoke' (i.e. an opaque highly dense and hot gaseous composition).1  This is one of the undisputed principles of standard modern cosmology.  Scientists now can observe new stars forming out of the remnants of that 'smoke' (see figures 10 and 11).
 

Figure 10

Figure 10: A new star forming out of a cloud of gas and dust (nebula), which is one of the remnants of the 'smoke' that was the origin of the whole universe. (The Space Atlas, Heather and Henbest, p. 50.)

Figure 11 Click here to enlarge

Figure 11: The Lagoon nebula is a cloud of gas and dust, about 60 light years in diameter.  It is excited by the ultraviolet radiation of the hot stars that have recently formed within its bulk. (Horizons, Exploring the Universe, Seeds, plate 9, from Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc.)  (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

The illuminating stars we see at night were, just as was the whole universe, in that 'smoke' material.  God has said in the Quran:

 Then He turned to the heaven when it was smoke...  (Quran, 41:11)

Because the earth and the heavens above (the sun, the moon, stars, planets, galaxies, etc.) have been formed from this same 'smoke,' we conclude that the earth and the heavens were one connected entity.  Then out of this homogeneous 'smoke,' they formed and separated from each other. God has said in the Quran:

 Have not those who disbelieved known that the heavens and the earth were one connected entity, then We separated them?...  (Quran, 21:30)

Dr. Alfred Kroner is one of the world's renowned geologists.  He is Professor of Geology and the Chairman of the Department of Geology at the Institute of Geosciences, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany.  He said: "Thinking where Muhammad came from . . . 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."2  (To view the RealPlayer video of this comment click here Video Clip).  Also he said: "Somebody who did not know something about nuclear physics fourteen hundred years ago could not, I think, be in a position to find out from his own mind, for instance, that the earth and the heavens had the same origin."3  (View the RealPlayer video of this comment Video Clip).

D) The Quran on the Cerebrum:

God has said in the Quran about one of the evil unbelievers who forbade the Prophet Muhammad  from praying at the Kaaba:

 No!  If he does not stop, We will take him by the naseyah (front of the head), a lying, sinful naseyah (front of the head)!  (Quran, 96:15-16)

Why did the Quran describe the front of the head as being lying and sinful?  Why didn't the Quran say that the person was lying and sinful?  What is the relationship between the front of the head and lying and sinfulness?

If we look into the skull at the front of the head, we will find the prefrontal area of the cerebrum (see figure 12).  What does physiology tell us about the function of this area?  A book entitled Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology says about this area, "The motivation and the foresight to plan and initiate movements occur in the anterior portion of the frontal lobes, the prefrontal area. This is a region of association cortex..."1  Also the book says, "In relation to its involvement in motivation, the prefrontal area is also thought to be the functional center for aggression...."2

Figure 12 Click here to enlarge

Figure 12: Functional regions of the left hemisphere of the cerebral cortex.  The prefrontal area is located at the front of the cerebral cortex. (Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology, Seeley and others, p. 210.)  (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

So, this area of the cerebrum is responsible for planning, motivating, and initiating good and sinful behavior and is responsible for the telling of lies and the speaking of truth.  Thus, it is proper to describe the front of the head as lying and sinful when someone lies or commits a sin, as the Quran has said, "...A lying, sinful naseyah (front of the head)!"

Scientists have only discovered these functions of the prefrontal area in the last sixty years, according to Professor Keith L. Moore.3

E) The Quran on Seas and Rivers:

Modern Science has discovered that in the places where two different seas meet, there is a barrier between them.  This barrier divides the two seas so that each sea has its own temperature, salinity, and density.1  For example, Mediterranean sea water is warm, saline, and less dense, compared to Atlantic ocean water.  When Mediterranean sea water enters the Atlantic over the Gibraltar sill, it moves several hundred kilometers into the Atlantic at a depth of about 1000 meters with its own warm, saline, and less dense characteristics.  The Mediterranean water stabilizes at this depth2 (see figure 13).
 

Figure 13 Click here to enlarge

Figure 13: The Mediterranean sea water as it enters the Atlantic over the Gibraltar sill with its own warm, saline, and less dense characteristics, because of the barrier that distinguishes between them.  Temperatures are in degrees Celsius (C). (Marine Geology, Kuenen, p. 43, with a slight enhancement.)  (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Although there are large waves, strong currents, and tides in these seas, they do not mix or transgress this barrier.

The Holy Quran mentioned that there is a barrier between two seas that meet and that they do not transgress.  God has said:

 He has set free the two seas meeting together.  There is a barrier between them.  They do not transgress.  (Quran, 55:19-20)

But when the Quran speaks about the divider between fresh and salt water, it mentions the existence of "a forbidding partition" with the barrier.  God has said in the Quran:

 He is the one who has set free the two kinds of water, one sweet and palatable, and the other salty and bitter.  And He has made between them a barrier and a forbidding partition.  (Quran, 25:53)

One may ask, why did the Quran mention the partition when speaking about the divider between fresh and salt water, but did not mention it when speaking about the divider between the two seas?

Modern science has discovered that in estuaries, where fresh (sweet) and salt water meet, the situation is somewhat different from what is found in places where two seas meet.  It has been discovered that what distinguishes fresh water from salt water in estuaries is a "pycnocline zone with a marked density discontinuity separating the two layers."3  This partition (zone of separation) has a different salinity from the fresh water and from the salt water4 (see figure 14).

Figure 14 Click here to enlarge

Figure 14: Longitudinal section showing salinity (parts per thousand ) in an estuary.  We can see here the partition (zone of separation) between the fresh and the salt water. (Introductory Oceanography, Thurman, p. 301, with a slight enhancement.)  (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

This information has been discovered only recently, using advanced equipment to measure temperature, salinity, density, oxygen dissolubility, etc.  The human eye cannot see the difference between the two seas that meet, rather the two seas appear to us as one homogeneous sea.  Likewise, the human eye cannot see the division of water in estuaries into the three kinds: fresh water, salt water, and the partition (zone of separation).

F) The Quran on Deep Seas and Internal Waves:

God has said in the Quran:

 Or (the unbelievers' state) is like the darkness in a deep sea.  It is covered by waves, above which are waves, above which are clouds.  Darknesses, one above another.  If a man stretches out his hand, he cannot see it....  (Quran, 24:40)

This verse mentions the darkness found in deep seas and oceans, where if a man stretches out his hand, he cannot see it.  The darkness in deep seas and oceans is found around a depth of 200 meters and below.  At this depth, there is almost no light (see figure 15).  Below a depth of 1000 meters there is no light at all.1  Human beings are not able to dive more than forty meters without the aid of submarines or special equipment.  Human beings cannot survive unaided in the deep dark part of the oceans, such as at a depth of 200 meters.

Figure 15

Figure 15: Between 3 and 30 percent of the sunlight is reflected at the sea surface.  Then almost all of the seven colors of the light spectrum are absorbed one after another in the first 200 meters, except the blue light. (Oceans, Elder and Pernetta, p. 27.)

Scientists have recently discovered this darkness by means of special equipment and submarines that have enabled them to dive into the depths of the oceans.

We can also understand from the following sentences in the previous verse, "...in a deep sea.  It is covered by waves, above which are waves, above which are clouds....", that the deep waters of seas and oceans are covered by waves, and above these waves are other waves.  It is clear that the second set of waves are the surface waves that we see, because the verse mentions that above the second waves there are clouds.  But what about the first waves?  Scientists have recently discovered that there are internal waves which "occur on density interfaces between layers of different densities."2 (see figure 16).

Figure 16

Figure 16: Internal waves at interface between two layers of water of different densities.  One is dense (the lower one), the other one is less dense (the upper one). (Oceanography, Gross, p. 204.)

The internal waves cover the deep waters of seas and oceans because the deep waters have a higher density than the waters above them.  Internal waves act like surface waves.  They can also break, just like surface waves.  Internal waves cannot be seen by the human eye, but they can be detected by studying temperature or salinity changes at a given location.3

G) The Quran on Clouds:

Scientists have studied cloud types and have realized that rain clouds are formed and shaped according to definite systems and certain steps connected with certain types of wind and clouds.

One kind of rain cloud is the cumulonimbus cloud.  Meteorologists have studied how cumulonimbus clouds are formed and how they produce rain, hail, and lightning.

They have found that cumulonimbus clouds go through the following steps to produce rain:

1)  The clouds are pushed by the wind: Cumulonimbus clouds begin to form when wind pushes some small pieces of clouds (cumulus clouds) to an area where these clouds converge (see figures 17 and 18).

Figure 17 Click here to enlarge

Figure 17: Satellite photo showing the clouds moving towards the convergence areas B, C, and D.  The arrows indicate the directions of the wind. (The Use of Satellite Pictures in Weather Analysis and Forecasting, Anderson and others, p. 188.)  (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Figure 18 Click here to enlarge

Figure 18: Small pieces of clouds (cumulus clouds) moving towards a convergence zone near the horizon, where we can see a large cumulonimbus cloud. (Clouds and Storms, Ludlam, plate 7.4.)   (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

2)  Joining: Then the small clouds join together forming a larger cloud1 (see figures 18 and 19).

Figure 19 Click here to enlarge

Figure 19: (A) Isolated small pieces of clouds (cumulus clouds).  (B) When the small clouds join together, updrafts within the larger cloud increase, so the cloud is stacked up.  Water drops are indicated by . (The Atmosphere, Anthes and others, p. 269.)  (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

3)  Stacking: When the small clouds join together, updrafts within the larger cloud increase.  The updrafts near the center of the cloud are stronger than those near the edges.2  These updrafts cause the cloud body to grow vertically, so the cloud is stacked up (see figures 19 (B), 20, and 21).  This vertical growth causes the cloud body to stretch into cooler regions of the atmosphere, where drops of water and hail formulate and begin to grow larger and larger.  When these drops of water and hail become too heavy for the updrafts to support them, they begin to fall from the cloud as rain, hail, etc.3

Figure 20: A cumulonimbus cloud.  After the cloud is stacked up, rain comes out of it. (Weather and Climate, Bodin, p.123.)

Figure 20

Figure 21

Figure 21: A cumulonimbus cloud. (A Colour Guide to Clouds, Scorer and Wexler, p. 23.)

God has said in the Quran:

 Have you not seen how God makes the clouds move gently, then joins them together, then makes them into a stack, and then you see the rain come out of it....  (Quran, 24:43)

Meteorologists have only recently come to know these details of cloud formation, structure, and function by using advanced equipment like planes, satellites, computers, balloons, and other equipment, to study wind and its direction, to measure humidity and its variations, and to determine the levels and variations of atmospheric pressure.4

The preceding verse, after mentioning clouds and rain, speaks about hail and lightning:

 ....And He sends down hail from mountains (clouds) in the sky, and He strikes with it whomever He wills, and turns it from whomever He wills. The vivid flash of its lightning nearly blinds the sight.  (Quran, 24:43)

Meteorologists have found that these cumulonimbus clouds, that shower hail, reach a height of 25,000 to 30,000 ft (4.7 to 5.7 miles),5 like mountains, as the Quran said, "...And He sends down hail from mountains (clouds) in the sky..." (see figure 21 above).

This verse may raise a question.  Why does the verse say "its lightning" in a reference to the hail?  Does this mean that hail is the major factor in producing lightning?  Let us see what the book entitled Meteorology Today says about this.  It says that a cloud becomes electrified as hail falls through a region in the cloud of supercooled droplets and ice crystals.  As liquid droplets collide with a hailstone, they freeze on contact and release latent heat.  This keeps the surface of the hailstone warmer than that of the surrounding ice crystals.  When the hailstone comes in contact with an ice crystal, an important phenomenon occurs: electrons flow from the colder object toward the warmer object.  Hence, the hailstone becomes negatively charged.  The same effect occurs when supercooled droplets come in contact with a hailstone and tiny splinters of positively charged ice break off.  These lighter positively charged particles are then carried to the upper part of the cloud by updrafts.  The hail, left with a negative charge, falls towards the bottom of the cloud, thus the lower part of the cloud becomes negatively charged.  These negative charges are then discharged as lightning.6  We conclude from this that hail is the major factor in producing lightning.

This information on lightning was discovered recently.  Until 1600 AD, Aristotle's ideas on meteorology were dominant.  For example, he said that the atmosphere contains two kinds of exhalation, moist and dry.  He also said that thunder is the sound of the collision of the dry exhalation with the neighboring clouds, and lightning is the inflaming and burning of the dry exhalation with a thin and faint fire.7  These are some of the ideas on meteorology that were dominant at the time of the Quran's revelation, fourteen centuries ago.
 

H) Scientists' Comments on the Scientific Miracles in the Holy Quran:

The following are some comments of scientists1 on the scientific miracles in the Holy Quran.  All of these comments have been taken from the videotape entitled This is the Truth.  In this videotape, you can see and hear the scientists while they are giving the following comments.  (To view the RealPlayer video of a comment, click on the link at the end of that comment.  For a copy of this videotape, please visit this page.)

1)  Dr. T. V. N. Persaud is Professor of Anatomy, Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health, and Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  There, he was the Chairman of the Department of Anatomy for 16 years.  He is well-known in his field.  He is the author or editor of 22 textbooks and has published over 181 scientific papers.  In 1991, he received the most distinguished award presented in the field of anatomy in Canada, the J.C.B. Grant Award from the Canadian Association of Anatomists.  When he was asked about the scientific miracles in the Quran which he has researched, he stated the following:

"The way it was explained to me is that Muhammad was a very ordinary man.  He could not read, didn't know [how] to write. In fact, he was an illiterate.  And we're talking about twelve [actually about fourteen] hundred years ago.  You have someone illiterate making profound pronouncements and statements and that are amazingly accurate about scientific nature.  And I personally can't see how this could be a mere chance.  There are too many accuracies and, like Dr. Moore, I have no difficulty in my mind that this is a divine inspiration or revelation which led him to these statements."  (View the RealPlayer video of this comment Video Clip)

Professor Persaud has included some Quranic verses and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad  in some of his books.  He has also presented these verses and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad  at several conferences.

2)  Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson is the Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.  Formerly, he was Professor of Ob-Gyn and the Chairman of the Department of Ob-Gyn at the University of Tennessee, Memphis, Tennessee, USA.  He was also the President of the American Fertility Society.  He has received many awards, including the Association of Professors of Obstetrics and Gynecology Public Recognition Award in 1992.  Professor Simpson studied the following two sayings of the Prophet Muhammad :

{In every one of you, all components of your creation are collected together in your mother's womb by forty days...}2

{If forty-two nights have passed over the embryo, God sends an angel to it, who shapes it and creates its hearing, vision, skin, flesh, and bones....}3

He studied these two sayings of the Prophet Muhammad  extensively, noting that the first forty days constitute a clearly distinguishable stage of embryo-genesis.  He was particularly impressed by the absolute precision and accuracy of those sayings of the Prophet Muhammad .  Then, during one conference, he gave the following opinion:

"So that the two hadeeths (the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad ) that have been noted provide us with a specific time table for the main embryological development before forty days.  Again, the point has been made, I think, repeatedly by other speakers this morning: these hadeeths could not have been obtained on the basis of the scientific knowledge that was available [at] the time of their writing . . . . It follows, I think, that not only there is no conflict between genetics and religion but, in fact, religion can guide science by adding revelation to some of the traditional scientific approaches, that there exist statements in the Quran shown centuries later to be valid, which support knowledge in the Quran having been derived from God."  (View the RealPlayer video of this comment Video Clip)

3)  Dr. E. Marshall Johnson is Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Developmental Biology at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.  There, for 22 years he was Professor of Anatomy, the Chairman of the Department of Anatomy, and the Director of the Daniel Baugh Institute.  He was also the President of the Teratology Society.  He has authored more than 200 publications.  In 1981, during the Seventh Medical Conference in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, Professor Johnson said in the presentation of his research paper:

"Summary: The Quran describes not only the development of external form, but emphasizes also the internal stages, the stages inside the embryo, of its creation and development, emphasizing major events recognized by contemporary science."  (View the RealPlayer video of this comment Video Clip)

Also he said: "As a scientist, I can only deal with things which I can specifically see.  I can understand embryology and developmental biology.  I can understand the words that are translated to me from the Quran.  As I gave the example before, if I were to transpose myself into that era, knowing what I knew today and describing things, I could not describe the things which were described.  I see no evidence for the fact 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."4  (View the RealPlayer video of this comment Video Clip)

4)  Dr. William W. Hay is a well-known marine scientist.  He is Professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA.  He was formerly the Dean of the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami, Miami, Florida, USA.  After a discussion with Professor Hay about the Quran's mention of recently discovered facts on seas, he said:

"I find it very interesting that this sort of information is in the ancient scriptures of the Holy Quran, and I have no way of knowing where they would come from, but I think it is extremely interesting that they are there and that this work is going on to discover it, the meaning of some of the passages."  And when he was asked about the source of the Quran, he replied: "Well, I would think it must be the divine being."  (View the RealPlayer video of this comment
Video Clip
)

5)  Dr. Gerald C. Goeringer is Course Director and Associate Professor of Medical Embryology at the Department of Cell Biology, School of Medicine, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA.  During the Eighth Saudi Medical Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Professor Goeringer stated the following in the presentation of his research paper:

"In a relatively few aayahs (Quranic verses) is contained a rather comprehensive description of human development from the time of commingling of the gametes through organogenesis.  No such distinct and complete record of human development, such as classification, terminology, and description, existed previously.  In most, if not all, instances, this description antedates by many centuries the recording of the various stages of human embryonic and fetal development recorded in the traditional scientific literature."  (View the RealPlayer video of this comment Video Clip)

6)  Dr. Yoshihide Kozai is Professor Emeritus at Tokyo University, Hongo, Tokyo, Japan, and was the Director of the National Astronomical Observatory, Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan.  He said:

"I am very much impressed by finding true astronomical facts in [the] Quran, and for us the modern astronomers have been studying very small pieces of the universe.  We've concentrated our efforts for understanding of [a] very small part.  Because by using telescopes, we can see only very few parts [of] the sky without thinking [about the] whole universe.  So, by reading [the] Quran and by answering to the questions, I think I can find my future way for investigation of the universe."  (View the RealPlayer video of this comment Video Clip)

7)  Professor Tejatat Tejasen is the Chairman of the Department of Anatomy at Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand.  Previously, he was the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the same university.  During the Eighth Saudi Medical Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Professor Tejasen stood up and said:

"During the last three years, I became interested in the Quran . . . . From my study and what I have learned from this conference, I believe that everything that has been recorded in the Quran fourteen hundred years ago must be the truth, that can be proved by the scientific means.  Since the Prophet Muhammad could neither read nor write, Muhammad must be a messenger who relayed this truth, which was revealed to him as an enlightenment by the one who is eligible [as the] creator.  This creator must be God.  Therefore, I think this is the time to say La ilaha illa Allah, there is no god to worship except Allah (God), Muhammadur rasoolu Allah, Muhammad is Messenger (Prophet) of Allah (God).  Lastly, I must congratulate for the excellent and highly successful arrangement for this conference . . . . I have gained not only from the scientific point of view and religious point of view but also the great chance of meeting many well-known scientists and making many new friends among the participants.  The most precious thing of all that I have gained by coming to this place is La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadur rasoolu Allah, and to have become a Muslim."  (View the RealPlayer video of this comment Video Clip)

After all these examples we have seen about the scientific miracles in the Holy Quran and all these scientists' comments on this, let us ask ourselves these questions:

n  Could it be a coincidence that all this recently discovered scientific information from different fields was mentioned in the Quran, which was revealed fourteen centuries ago?

n  Could this Quran have been authored by Muhammad  or by any other human being?

The only possible answer is that this Quran must be the literal word of God, revealed by Him.
 

(3) Biblical Prophecies on the Advent of
Muhammad , the Prophet of Islam

The Biblical prophecies on the advent of the Prophet Muhammad  are evidence of the truth of Islam for people who believe in the Bible.

In Deuteronomy 18, Moses stated that God told him: "I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.  If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account." (Deuteronomy 18:18-19).1

From these verses we conclude that the prophet in this prophecy must have the following three characteristics:

1)  That he will be like Moses.

2)  That he will come from the brothers of the Israelites, i.e. the Ishmaelites.

3)  That God will put His words in to the mouth of this prophet and that he will declare what God commands him.

Let us examine these three characteristics in more depth:

1)  A prophet like Moses:

There were hardly any two prophets who were so much alike as Moses and Muhammad .  Both were given a comprehensive law and code of life. Both encountered their enemies and were victorious in miraculous ways.  Both were accepted as prophets and statesmen.  Both migrated following conspiracies to assassinate them.  Analogies between Moses and Jesus overlook not only the above similarities but other crucial ones as well.  These include the natural birth, the family life, and death of Moses and Muhammad  but not of Jesus.  Moreover Jesus was regarded by his followers as the Son of God and not exclusively as a prophet of God, as Moses and Muhammad  were and as Muslims believe Jesus was.  So, this prophecy refers to the Prophet Muhammad  and not to Jesus, because Muhammad  is more like Moses than Jesus.

Also, one notices from the Gospel of John that the Jews were waiting for the fulfillment of three distinct prophecies.  The first was the coming of Christ.  The second was the coming of Elijah.  The third was the coming of the Prophet.  This is obvious from the three questions that were posed to John the Baptist: "Now this was John's testimony, when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was.  He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, "I am not the Christ."  They asked him, "Then who are you?  Are you Elijah?"  He said, "I am not."  "Are you the Prophet?"  He answered, "No." (John 1:19-21).  If we look in a Bible with cross-references, we will find in the marginal notes where the words "the Prophet" occur in John 1:21, that these words refer to the prophecy of Deuteronomy 18:15 and 18:18.2  We conclude from this that Jesus Christ is not the prophet mentioned in Deuteronomy 18:18.

2) From the brothers of the Israelites:

Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac (Genesis 21).  Ishmael became the grandfather of the Arab nation, and Isaac became the grandfather of the Jewish nation.  The prophet spoken of was not to come from among the Jews themselves, but from among their brothers, i.e. the Ishmaelites.  Muhammad , a descendant of Ishmael, is indeed this prophet.

Also, Isaiah 42:1-13 speaks of the servant of God, His "chosen one" and "messenger" who will bring down a law.  "He will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth.  In his law the islands will put their hope." (Isaiah 42:4)Verse 11, connects that awaited one with the descendants of Kedar.  Who is Kedar?  According to Genesis 25:13, Kedar was the second son of Ishmael, the ancestor of the Prophet Muhammad .

3) God will put His words in the mouth of this prophet:

The words of God (the Holy Quran) were truly put into Muhammad's  mouth.  God sent the Angel Gabriel to teach Muhammad  the exact words of God (the Holy Quran) and asked him to dictate them to the people as he heard them.  The words are therefore not his own.  They did not come from his own thoughts, but were put into his mouth by the Angel Gabriel.  During the life time of Muhammad , and under his supervision, these words were then memorized and written by his companions.

Also, this prophecy in Deuteronomy mentioned that this prophet will speak the words of God in the name of God.  If we looked to the Holy Quran, we will find that all its chapters, except Chapter 9, are preceded or begin with the phrase, "In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful."
 

Another indication (other than the prophecy in Deuteronomy) is that Isaiah ties the messenger connected with Kedar with a new song (a scripture in a new language) to be sung to the Lord (Isaiah 42:10-11).  This is mentioned more clearly in the prophecy of Isaiah: "and another tongue, will he speak to this people" (Isaiah 28:11 KJV).  Another related point, is that the Quran was revealed in sections over a span of twenty-three years.  It is interesting to compare this with Isaiah 28 which speaks of the same thing, "For it is: Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there." (Isaiah 28:10).

Note that God has said in the prophecy of Deuteronomy 18, "If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account." (Deuteronomy, 18:19).  This means that whoever believes in the Bible must believe in what this prophet says, and this prophet is the Prophet Muhammad .

(4) The Verses in the Quran That Mention Future Events Which Later Came to Pass

One example of the events foretold in the Quran is the victory of the Romans over the Persians within three to nine years after the Romans were defeated by the Persians. God has said in the Quran:

 The Romans have been defeated in the nearest land (to the Arabian Peninsula), and they, after their defeat, will be victorious within bedd' (three to nine) years....  (Quran, 30:2-4)

Let us see what history tells us about these wars.  A book entitled History of the Byzantine State says that the Roman army was badly defeated at Antioch in 613, and as a result, the Persians swiftly pushed forward on all fronts.1  At that time, it was hard to imagine that the Romans would defeat the Persians, but the Quran foretold that the Romans would be victorious within three to nine years.  In 622, nine years after the Romans' defeat, the two forces (Romans and Persians) met on Armenian soil, and the result was the decisive victory of the Romans over the Persians, for the first time after the Romans' defeat in 613.2  The prophecy was fulfilled just as God has said in the Quran.

There are also many other verses in the Quran and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad  that mention future events which later came to pass.

(5) Miracles Performed by
the Prophet Muhammad 

Many miracles were performed by the Prophet Muhammad  by God's permission.  These miracles were witnessed by many people.  For example:

n  When the unbelievers in Makkah asked the Prophet Muhammad  to show them a miracle, he showed them the splitting of the moon.1

n  Another miracle was the flowing of water through Muhammad's  fingers when his companions got thirsty and had no water except a little in a vessel.  They came to him and told him that they had no water to make ablution nor to drink except for what was in the vessel.  So, Muhammad  put his hand in the vessel, and the water started gushing out between his fingers.  So, they drank and made ablution.  They were one thousand five hundred companions.2

There were also many other miracles that were performed by him or which happened to him.
 

(6) The Simple Life of Muhammad 

If we compare the life of Muhammad  before his mission as a prophet and his life after he began his mission as a prophet, we will conclude that it is beyond reason to think that Muhammad  was a false prophet, who claimed prophethood to attain material gains, greatness, glory, or power.

Before his mission as a prophet, Muhammad  had no financial worries.  As a successful and reputed merchant, Muhammad  drew a satisfactory and comfortable income.  After his mission as a prophet and because of it, he became worse off materially.  To clarify this more, let us browse the following sayings on his life:

n  Aa'isha, Muhammad's  wife, said, "O my nephew, we would sight three new moons in two months without lighting a fire (to cook a meal) in the Prophet's  houses."  Her nephew asked, "O Aunt, what sustained you?"  She said, "The two black things, dates and water, but the Prophet  had some Ansar neighbors who had milk-giving she-camels and they used to send the Prophet  some of its milk."1

n  Sahl Ibn Sa'ad, one of Muhammad's  companions, said, "The Prophet of God  did not see bread made from fine flour from the time God sent him (as a prophet) until he died."2

n  Aa'isha, Muhammad's  wife, said, "The mattress of the Prophet , on which he slept, was made of leather stuffed with the fiber of the date-palm tree."3

n  Amr Ibn Al-Hareth, one of Muhammad's  companions, said that when the Prophet  died, he left neither money nor anything else except his white riding mule, his arms, and a piece of land which he left to charity.4

Muhammad  lived this hard life till he died although the Muslim treasury was at his disposal, the greater part of the Arabian Peninsula was Muslim before he died, and the Muslims were victorious after eighteen years of his mission.

Is it possible that Muhammad  might have claimed prophethood in order to attain status, greatness, and power?  The desire to enjoy status and power is usually associated with good food, fancy clothing, monumental palaces, colorful guards, and indisputable authority.  Do any of these indicators apply to Muhammad ?  A few glimpses of his life that may help answer this question follow.

Despite his responsibilities as a prophet, a teacher, a statesman, and a judge, Muhammad  used to milk his goat,5 mend his clothes, repair his shoes,6 help with the household work,7 and visit poor people when they got sick.8  He also helped his companions in digging a trench by moving sand with them.9  His life was an amazing model of simplicity and humbleness.

Muhammad's  followers loved him, respected him, and trusted him to an amazing extent.  Yet he continued to emphasize that deification should be directed to God and not to him personally.  Anas, one of Muhammad's  companions, said that there was no person whom they loved more than the Prophet Muhammad , yet when he came to them, they did not stand up for him because he hated their standing up for him,10 as other people do with their great people.

Long before there was any prospect of success for Islam and at the outset of a long and painful era of torture, suffering, and persecution of Muhammad  and his followers, he received an interesting offer.  An envoy of the pagan leaders, Otba, came to him saying, "...If you want money, we will collect enough money for you so that you will be the richest one of us.  If you want leadership, we will take you as our leader and never decide on any matter without your approval.  If you want a kingdom, we will crown you king over us..."  Only one concession was required from Muhammad  in return for that, to give up calling people to Islam and worshipping God alone without any partner.  Wouldn't this offer be tempting to one pursuing worldly benefit?  Was Muhammad  hesitant when the offer was made?  Did he turn it down as a bargaining strategy leaving the door open for a better offer?  The following was his answer: {In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful}  And he recited to Otba the verses of the Quran 41:1-38.11  The Following are some of these verses:

 A revelation from (God), the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful; a Book whereof the verses are explained in detail; a Quran in Arabic, for people who know, giving good news and warning, yet most of them turn away, so they do not listen.  (Quran, 41:2-4)

On another occasion and in response to his uncle's plea to stop calling people to Islam, Muhammad's  answer was as decisive and sincere: {I swear by the name of God, O Uncle!, that if they place the sun in my right-hand and the moon in my left-hand in return for giving up this matter (calling people to Islam), I will never desist until either God makes it triumph or I perish defending it.}12

Muhammad  and his few followers did not only suffer from persecution for thirteen years but the unbelievers even tried to kill Muhammad  several times.  On one occasion they attempted to kill him by dropping a large boulder, which could barely be lifted, on his head.13  Another time they tried to kill him by poisoning his food.14  What could justify such a life of suffering and sacrifice even after he was fully triumphant over his adversaries?  What could explain the humbleness and nobility which he demonstrated in his most glorious moments when he insisted that success is due only to God's help and not to his own genius?  Are these the characteristics of a power-hungry or a self-centered man?

(7) The Phenomenal Growth of Islam

At the end of this chapter, it may be appropriate to point out an important indication of the truth of Islam.  It is well known that in the USA and the whole world, Islam is the fastest-growing religion.  The following are some observations on this phenomenon:

n  "Islam is the fastest-growing religion in America, a guide and pillar of stability for many of our people..." (Hillary Rodham Clinton, Los Angeles Times).1

n  "Moslems are the world's fastest-growing group..." (The Population Reference Bureau, USA Today).2

n  "....Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the country." (Geraldine Baum; Newsday Religion Writer, Newsday).3

n  "Islam, the fastest-growing religion in the United States..." (Ari L. Goldman, New York Times).4

This phenomenon indicates that Islam is truly a religion from God.  It is unreasonable to think that so many Americans and people from different countries have converted to Islam without careful consideration and deep contemplation before concluding that Islam is true.  These converts have come from different countries, classes, races, and walks of life.  They include scientists, professors, philosophers, journalists, politicians, actors, and athletes.  (To read the stories of people who have converted to Islam, please visit the links at Stories of New Muslims.)

The points mentioned in this chapter constitute only some of the evidence supporting the belief that the Quran is the literal word of God, that Muhammad  is truly a prophet sent by God, and that Islam is truly a religion from God.
 

Chapter 2
Chapter 2, Some Benefits of Islam 

Islam provides many benefits for the individual and the society.  This chapter mentions some of the benefits gained through Islam for the individual.

The Door to Eternal Paradise

God has said in the Quran:

 And give good news (O Muhammad) to those who believe and do good deeds, that they will have gardens (Paradise) in which rivers flow....  (Quran, 2:25)

God has also said:

 Race one with another for forgiveness from your Lord and for Paradise, whose width is as the width of the heavens and the earth, which has been prepared for those who believe in God and His messengers....  (Quran, 57:21)

The Prophet Muhammad  told us that the lowest in rank among the dwellers of Paradise will have ten times the like of this world,1 and he or she will have whatever he or she desires and ten times like it.2  Also, the Prophet Muhammad  said: {A space in Paradise equivalent to the size of a foot would be better than the world and what is in it.}3  He also said: {In Paradise there are things which no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human mind has thought of.}4  He also said: {The most miserable man in the world of those meant for Paradise will be dipped once in Paradise.  Then he will be asked, "Son of Adam, did you ever face any misery?  Did you ever experience any hardship?"  So he will say, "No, by God, O Lord!  I never faced any misery, and I never experienced any hardship."}5

If you enter Paradise, you will live a very happy life without sickness, pain, sadness, or death; God will be pleased with you; and you will live there forever.  God has said in the Quran:

 But those who believe and do good deeds, We will admit them to gardens (Paradise) in which rivers flow, lasting in them forever....  (Quran, 4:57)



(2) Salvation from Hellfire

God has said in the Quran:

 Those who have disbelieved and died in disbelief, the earth full of gold would not be accepted from any of them if one offered it as a ransom. They will have a painful punishment, and they will have no helpers.  (Quran, 3:91)

So, this life is our only chance to win Paradise and to escape from Hellfire, because if someone dies in disbelief, he will not have another chance to come back to this world to believe.  As God has said in the Quran about what is going to happen for the unbelievers on the Day of Judgment:

 If you could but see when they are set before the Fire (Hell) and say, "Would that we might return (to the world)!  Then we would not reject the verses of our Lord, but we would be of the believers!"  (Quran, 6:27)

But no one will have this second opportunity.

The Prophet Muhammad  said: {The happiest man in the world of those doomed to the Fire (Hell) on the Day of Judgment will be dipped in the Fire once.  Then he will be asked, "Son of Adam, did you ever see any good?  Did you ever experience any blessing?"  So he will say, "No, by God, O Lord!"}1

(3) Real Happiness and Inner Peace

Real happiness and peace can be found in submitting to the commands of the Creator and the Sustainer of this world.  God has said in the Quran:

 Truly, in remembering God do hearts find rest.  (Quran, 13:28)

On the other hand, the one who turns away from the Quran will have a life of hardship in this world.  God has said:

 But whoever turns away from the Quran,1 he will have a hard life, and We will raise him up blind on the Day of Judgment.  (Quran, 20:124)

This may explain why some people commit suicide while they enjoy the material comfort money can buy.  For example, look at Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam), formerly a famous pop singer who used to earn sometimes more than $150,000 a night.  After he converted to Islam, he found true happiness and peace, which he had not found in material success.2

(4) Forgiveness for All Previous Sins

When someone converts to Islam, God forgives all of his previous sins and evil deeds.  A man called Amr came to the Prophet Muhammad  and said, "Give me your right hand so that I may give you my pledge of loyalty."  The Prophet  stretched out his right hand.  Amr withdrew his hand.  The Prophet  said: {What has happened to you, O Amr?}  He replied, "I intend to lay down a condition."  The Prophet  asked: {What condition do you intend to put forward?}  Amr said, "That God forgive my sins."  The Prophet  said: {Didn't you know that converting to Islam erases all previous sins?}1

After converting to Islam, the person will be rewarded for his or her good and bad deeds according to the following saying of the Prophet Muhammad : {Your Lord, Who is blessed and exalted, is most merciful.  If someone intends to do a good deed but does not do it, a good deed will be recorded for him.  And if he does do it, (a reward of) ten to seven hundred or many more times (the reward of the good deed), will be recorded for him.  And if someone intends to do a bad deed but does not do it, a good deed will be recorded for him.  And if he does do it, a bad deed will be recorded against him or God will wipe it out.}2

Chapter 3
Chapter 3, General Information on Islam


 




Edited by Pensacola.S_02 - 11 November 2007 at 3:07am

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Candombl





Candombl is a religion based on African beliefs which is particularly popular in Brazil. It is also practised in other countries, and has as many as two million followers.

Candombl is a religion based on African beliefs which is particularly popular in Brazil. It is also practised in other countries, and has as many as two million followers.

  • The religion is a mixture of traditional Yoruba, Fon and Bantu beliefs which originated from different regions in Africa. It has also incorporated some aspects of the Catholic faith over time.
  • A religion which combines elements of many religions is called a syncretic religion.
  • Enslaved Africans brought their beliefs with them when they were shipped to Brazil during the slave trade.
  • The name Candombl means 'dance in honour of the gods'.
  • Practitioners of Candombl believe in one all powerful God called Oludumar who is served by lesser deities. These deities are called orixas. (They can also be called voduns and inkices.)
  • Candombl practitioners believe that every person has their own individual orixa which controls his or her destiny and acts as a protector.
  • Music and dance are important parts of Candombl ceremonies. Specially choreographed dances are performed by worshippers to enable them to become possessed by the orixas.
  • There is no concept of good or bad in Candombl. Each person is only required to fulfil his or her destiny to the fullest, regardless of what that is.
  • Candombl is an oral tradition and therefore has no holy scriptures.
  • The first official temple was founded at the beginning of the 19th century in Salvador, Bahia in Brazil.
 


Edited by Pensacola.S_02 - 11 November 2007 at 6:37am

WillSmith456

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WillSmith456

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Posted: 11 November 2007 at 6:43am | IP Logged
Christianity




Christianity is the world's biggest religion, with about 2.1 billion followers worldwide. It is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ who lived in the Holy Land 2,000 years ago.

For ease of navigation, we include as Christian any group that sincerely regards itself as Christian, and whose beliefs are based on the teaching of Jesus.

 

Christianity is the most popular religion in the world with over 2 billion adherents. 42 million Britons see themselves as nominally Christian, and there are 6 million who are actively practising.

  • Christians believe that Jesus was the Messiah promised in the Old Testament.
  • Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
  • Christians believe that God sent his Son to earth to save humanity from the consequences of its sins.
  • One of the most important concepts in Christianity is that of Jesus giving his life on the Cross (the Crucifixion) and rising from the dead after the third day (the Resurrection).
  • Christians believe that there is only one God, but that there are three elements to this one God:
    • God the Father
    • God the Son
    • The Holy Spirit
  • Christians worship in churches.
  • Their spiritual leaders are called priests or ministers.
  • The Christian holy book is the Bible, and consists of the Old and New Testaments.
  • Christian holy days such as Easter and Christmas are important milestones in the Western secular calendar

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