Friday, February 25, 2011

Loonwatch vs. Translating Jihad - Part Two

This was first posted at Staring at the View:

In defending himself against critics, the Apostle Paul regretted in 2 Corinthians chapters eleven and twelve that his enemies forced him to adopt the same methods they used to attack him. "Since you are boasting about how much you have accomplished and how great you are," he said in essence, "Let me do the same thing."

Similarly in defense against a critic who points out a mistake, one is at times obliged to note that the critic makes the same type of mistake. Loonwatch recently went to great lengths to "expose" an innocent grammatical mistake committed by Arabic translator Al Mutarjim, but the writing of Loonwatch itself leaves much to be desired. At one point Loonwatch wrote:

Just imagine if a Chinese immigrant applied to be a fifth grade English teacher in Texas and if he stated that “I was official translated at other school I work for.” Immediately the employer would know that this applicant has very poor English and would not be appropriate for the position of English teacher.

I find it curious that a writer who just spent pages and pages criticizing an American who mistakenly chose an Arabic passive participle instead of the active participle for his screen name has no understanding of the use of the subjunctive case in English grammar. The subjunctive is used in "contrary to fact" sentences, or "what if" sentences. As soon as the writer began with "Just imagine if a Chinese immigrant applied...." he put his sentence into the "what if" category. The English rule of maintaining case is to continue using that case as long as the writer continues in the "what if" scenario. English uses past tense verbs in the subjunctive tense so that instead of  "has very poor English", as Loonwatch wrote, it should be "had very poor English".

Loonwatch is also unaware of the difference between direct and indirect discourse. The same paragraph read, "....and if he stated that "I was official...." Loonwatch had the choice of either using indirect discourse with the word "that", or direct discourse with quotation marks in the first person, but he couldn't do both. In other words, the sentence could correctly read ..and if he stated that he was (indirect discourse). It could also read...and if he stated, "I was..." (direct discourse) But you can't have both.

While we're at it, Loonwatch does not even know how to use the simple English article. He can either write "for the position of an English teacher" or "for the position of the English teacher", but he can't just leave it out.

A correct (although still not very-well written) paragraph would have read:

Just imagine if a Chinese immigrant applied to be a fifth grade English teacher in Texas and if he stated, “I was official translated at other school I work for.” Immediately the employer would know that this applicant had very poor English and would not be appropriate for the position of the English teacher.

So a writer who does not understand the use of the subjunctive case, has no awareness of the difference between direct and indirect discourse, and cannot even correctly use a simple English article criticizes an Arabic translator who mispronounced a single vowel in his screen name. Brilliant!

I am sure that Loonwatch would assure us that he understood English grammar perfectly well, but was just writing bil-ajalah (hastily). Haram alaykum Loonwatch! Have you no shame?

Loonwatch also states that students of Arabic learn the difference between Al Murtajim and Al Murtajam in Arabic 101, and proves this by showing a vocabulary list containing the word Al Murtajim "the translator". Loonwatch is being deceptive and misleading. The student might learn that particular vocabulary item in the first semester, but will not be taught the intricacy of the difference between an active and a passive participle in the derived verb measures until much later. Ayb alaykum Loonwatch! Shame on you!

American students, on the other hand, do learn how to use the definite and indefinite article in English in first grade, and the difference in direct and indirect discourse as well as the correct use of the subjunctive tense not much later. I wonder where Loonwatch was during those classes? Maybe his mind was wandering and he was thinking about his Hot Mama. Perhaps a friend just told him he looked like his mother, and he remembered his Prophet had stated a child would resemble the parent who first achieved orgasm in intercourse!

Hopefully Loonwatch is more proficient with Arabic grammar than he is with English. If so, I look forward to his grammatical explanation of the mistakes in ayah 56 of surat Al A'raf. Why is the ta in rahmat an open ta and not a ta marbutah as it should be? Why does qarib have tanween in the nominative case, rather than the accusative case as it should with an open ta? And if rahmat is being used as an adjective in the feminine gender, why is qarib masculine?

Loonwatch could scurry to find online sources that provide an explanation, but I can assure him none of them will be satisfactory. As is always the case, Muslims will do anything to avoid the issue. Rather than honestly answer my question, Loonwatch will probably pour over my blog to find something to attack me. After all, that's what he did with Al Mutarjim.

Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia: Womens' Suffrage Movement Is a "Machination" of the Enemies of Islam

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Shaykh 'Abd-al-'Aziz Al al-Shaykh, responded to a question in 2006 regarding whether women should be allowed to vote. The Grand Mufti responded, as seen below, by first blaming the whole issue of womens' rights and suffrage on "machinations" of Jews and Christians and other non-Muslims seeking to destroy Islam. Then he warns them against "open[ing] up the door of wickedness for the people of Islam" by pushing for these rights. He makes clear that the issue of womens' rights must be subservient to the more important issue of "serv[ing] the Islamic religion." The translation follows (original Arabic here):
Source:  Journal of Islamic Research, No. 78; Issue:  (Approximately) April to June 2006; from the fatwas of Shaykh 'Abd-al-'Aziz bin 'Abdallah bin Muhammad Al al-Shaykh

Question:  The community of educated and academic women is engaging in discussions about the political participation of women in the coming stage, and from there her entrance into the Shura Council and her participation in elections.  What is your Eminence's opinion of these proposals?

Answer:  I would like to direct an honest message to my educated and academic sisters.  I hope that they will pay good attention to it.  My sisters:  when Almighty Allah sent the Prophet (peace be upon him) from the Arabs, the enemies of Allah from among the Jews and Christians laid traps for him, with their knowledge that Allah would send a prophet at that time, and with their knowledge of his name and description, as they saw him with their own eyes. Allah said, "The people of the Book know this as they know their own sons; but some of them conceal the truth which they themselves know" [Qur'an 2:146]. The Almighty also said, "Those who follow the messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures),- in the law and the Gospel;- for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honour him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him,- it is they who will prosper" [Qur'an 7:157]. Jesus (peace be upon him) informed his people of the mission of this Noble Prophet (peace be upon him): "...giving Glad Tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad..." [Qur'an 61:6]. They were even waiting for him, and knew the time of his emergence, and his description, but they were hoping he would be from the tribe of Israel. When Allah Almighty sent him, and he was an Arab, they disbelieved in him: "And when there comes to them a Book from Allah, confirming what is with them,- although from of old they had prayed for victory against those without Faith,- when there comes to them that which they (should) have recognised, they refuse to believe in it but the curse of Allah is on those without Faith" [Qur'an 2:89]. For they disbelieved in our Prophet (peace be upon him), arrogantly and jealously. But it goes even further than that--they envied  the house of Islam for this true religion, and they know that it is true. Despite that, they did not follow it, and they would like the people of Islam to disbelieve in it, out of envy for them. Almighty Allah says: "Quite a number of the People of the Book wish they could Turn you (people) back to infidelity after ye have believed, from selfish envy, after the Truth hath become Manifest unto them" [Qur'an 2:109]. Their hatred and jealousy of the house of Islam has increased, to the point where they will waste no opportunity to disparage Islam and its followers, whether by obscene and abusive words, or by actions such as killing, sabotage, and others. Allah Almighty says: "If they were to get the better of you, they would behave to you as enemies, and stretch forth their hands and their tongues against you for evil: and they desire that ye should reject the Truth" [Qur'an 60:2].

My sisters, I am here to address the elite, educated, attentive Muslim woman. I have complete confidence in her religious awareness, and her zealousness toward her religion, the Islamic religion, and toward preserving it. Therefore I say that demands such as these need to be looked at again--do they serve the Islamic religion? Will they support the kinship and cohesiveness of the Islamic community? Will they lead to the raising up of this religion? My sisters, this is beyond the issue of recording opinions, or taking advantage of opportunities, or reserving seats, or other such things that we hear and read.

The issue, sisters, is on-going due to the machinations of the enemies of this community. They will spare no effort in bringing harm to us. They will spare no effort in dividing our side and dispersing our word. They will spare no effort in spreading fitna amongst us. Everything they promote under "womens' rights" in these days is a kind of machination. You know that the Prophet (peace be upon him) says:  "After me I have not left any affliction more harmful to men than women" [Sahih al-Bukhari, "(The Book of) Marriage," No. 5096; Sahih Muslim, "(The Book of) Remembrance, Supplication, Repentance, and Seeking Forgiveness," No. 2740]. He (also) said (peace be upon him): "The world is sweet and green (alluring) and verily Allah is going to install you as vicegerent in it in order to see how you act. So avoid (the allurement) of the world and women: verily, the first trial for the children of Israel was caused by women" [Sahih Muslim, "Book of Remembrance, Supplication, Repentance, and Seeking Forgiveness," No. 2742; Sunan al-Tirmithi, "The Trials," No. 2191; Sunan Ibn-Majih, "The Trials," No. 4000; Musnid Ahamd (3/19)].

I would like my sisters to be conscious of their reality, and perceive the weight of responsibility that is upon them, and not open up the door of wickedness for the people of Islam. We verily suffer from wicked men who rob women of their legitimate rights. We see some of them prevent them from receiving their inheritance, and others deprive them of their match when they offer them for engagement, and others beat their wives, and others prevent them from marrying, and so on. We suffer from this and warn against it, and make clear that it is forbidden. We demand that this reality which is terrible, humiliating, and far removed from what is (Islamically) lawful, be changed.

But I repeat, we should all stand hand-in-hand against the plans of our enemies. The issue is much bigger than the participation of women in the Shura (Council), or equality, or other such calls. The issue revolves around seeking to destroy the religion in its stronghold in this pure country, which witnessed the mission of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the appearance of the religion. The Prophet (peace be upon him) proclaimed that faith would return and go back to Medina as a snake returns to its hole.

Be shrewd, and beware that Islam comes before its people. Allah bless you, and may Islam and the Muslims benefit you.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Loonwatch vs. Translating Jihad - Part One

The following was first posted at Staring at the View:

A number of years ago reading Foreign Policy Magazine, I came across a scathing review by a Muslim Arabic-speaking professor of a State Department diplomat who had delivered a lecture in Arabic. The criticism was not directed at the ideology of the diplomat, nor the content of his lecture. What aroused the ire of the professor was that the speaker had misprounced an Arabic word; he had pronounced it with a fatha (the short "a" vowel), when it should have been a kesra (the short "i" vowel). "What could he possibly have to say of value," fulminated the professor, "When he cannot even speak Arabic properly?"

It takes a lot to shock me, but I remember being astounded by the emotional immaturity and intellectual dishonesty of that professor. He was totally unable to grasp the import of the diplomat's lecture because he could not get beyond the fact that he had mispronounced a word in Arabic.

I had forgotten the incident until I noticed today that the website loonwatch did the  same with Translating Jihad, whose author calls himself Al Mutarjim (the translator). When he first began the website, he made the grammatical mistake of calling himself Al Mutarjam (that which is translated). Ironically, he made the same mistake as the diplomat by using a fatha when he should have used a kesra. And just as the professor in his immaturity was unable to see beyond that mistake, loonwatch is the same.

I find it interesting that the mistake Al Mutarjim made is the same one Arabic speakers make all the time. Since words are usually unvowelled in Arabic, the words Al Mutarjim and Al Mutarjam in the Arabic press look exactly the same, AL-MTRJM. I can't tell you how many times I have been listening to an Arabic lecture or interview and heard the speaker self-correct as in, "wal-mutarjam la la, al-mutarjim" - "and the Mutarjam...no, I meant to say the Mutarjim."

After spending pages attacking Al Mutarjim, loonwatch then mocked the fact that after he recognized his grammatical faux pas he went back and corrected it. Hello? Is anybody home? That is what makes America great. When we make mistakes we correct them.

And that is the very thing Muslims are not allowed to do - recognize mistakes and self-correct. Muslims are the only people in the entire world who live in voluntary enslavement, unable to criticize their Prophet, his book, or their religion. Ask a Saudi archeologist why the Quran describes the dwellings carved in the rocks at Madayn Salah as houses built by the Thamudians when he knows they were tombs dug out by the Natabeans, and sense his discomfort. Ask an Indonesian embryologist why the Quran describes the fetus as an initial skeleton when her sonogram informs her that is not true, and watch her response. Ask an Islamic scholar why Muhammad promised heavenly rewards to those who killed geckos with one strong blow, and listen to him try to explain. Ask a doctor if it is true that you don't need to worry about insects dropping in your soup, because "one wing carries the illness, but the other carries the cure".

And if you are an intelligent young 17 year old Muslim girl, ask yourself if you could imagine yourself falling in love with the 62 year old man who had exiled your family from their home, beheaded your father and brother on the same day, tortured and beheaded your husband, and then raped you that night? Then ask yourself how you could possibly believe that about Muhammad's wife Safiya.

These are hard questions Muslims don't even allow themselves to think about, much less discuss. It's much easier to just kill the messenger. Or, in this case, attack Al Mutarjim.

Introducing "Staring at the View"

My buddy over at Staring at the View has agreed to start cross-posting his excellent articles here at Translating Jihad. Since 2008 he has been posting articles based on his analysis of Arabic-language media as well as reflections from his personal experiences. He has produced a lot of excellent articles analyzing the statements of Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, which has become especially relevant in recent weeks. So welcome to Staring at the View--I'm very excited to have him on board.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Who I Am, and Why I Am Here

al-Mutarjim responds to recent criticism from a website dedicated to "expos[ing]...anti-Muslim loons"

Why and How I Learned Arabic

From a very young age I believed that this country and its constitution were founded by the hand of God, and that it was His destiny for His children that we should be free to worship Him according to the dictates of our consciences. When the terrorist attacks of 9/11 were perpetrated by Muslims who claimed to be acting in the name of Islam, I, like most Americans, thought, "these people must be crazy." I wondered, "What religion could actually sanction this? Surely they are just twisting their religion." However, some time after that I became acquainted with a few books about Islam and Muhammad; notably Serge Trifkovic's The Sword of the Prophet and Robert Spencer's The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades. These books shocked me with the things that they revealed about Islam and its prophet. As I read through the quotations they included from Islam's sacred texts, I felt darkness. I knew something was wrong.

Thus I decided to read from the texts of Islam for myself--the Qur'an, the Sahih of al-Bukhari, The Life of Muhammad by Ibn Ishaq, The Reliance of the Traveller by Ahmad Ibn Naqib al-Misri, etc. As I did so, I came to know that there was something very dark about the teachings of Islam itself. It became apparent that terrorists who acted in the name of Islam were not merely inventing new doctrines or twisting old ones, but were carrying out Islam's actual teachings, such as the command to "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day" [Qur'an 9:29]. Being familiar with the teachings of Christ and the influence of His Holy Spirit, I was able to discern between the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the darkness of these sacred texts of Islam. With this knowledge, I resolved to work to expose this darkness, in order to defend this country and its inhabitants, and also to open the eyes of those already enslaved by Islam.

This leads me to Arabic. In the spring of 2007, I decided to begin studying Arabic. For financial and other reasons I did not have the opportunity to go to school to do so, so I studied on my own. I studied every day, and (mostly) followed a strict regimen of 2 hours of study per day, comprised of both Arabic reading and listening. After more than two years and countless hours of study, I was able to take and pass a professional-level Arabic exam, which measured my Arabic ability at ILR Level 3 "professional working proficiency" (which was also the highest possible score on the test). At that time, I also began working full-time as an Arabic translator. Miraculously, I was able to do all of this without ever having set foot in a formal Arabic-language classroom (I have since spent hundreds of hours in Arabic classes). I say this not to boast of my own abilities, but rather to testify to the hand of God in my life.

Al-Mutarajjam

But, when you learn a language unconventionally, you make unconventional mistakes. Yes, I did mistransliterate (not mistranslate) the word 'translator' when I chose to use that as my alias. The reason is simple:  having learned Arabic unconventionally, I learned to read and understand Arabic words, sometimes without knowing how to pronounce them. This can happen when dealing with a language that has no written vowels. Thus my name became 'al-Mutarajjam,' when it should have been 'al-Mutarjim.'

I later realized this mistake, but was hesitant to change since so many people already knew me by the name al-Mutarajjam. Finally, after receiving criticism for the name from another blogger, and after consulting with a native Arabic speaker about the matter, I decided to make the correction.

Translating Jihad

I started this blog in winter 2010 to expose the violent, intolerant, and totalitarian doctrines of Islam. It is common to hear these doctrines expressed candidly by Muslims when they are speaking to other Muslims in Arabic, but it is not so common to hear them expressed freely by Muslims speaking to Western audiences.

A perfect example of this comes in a fatwa posted on the Arabic-language section of Islamonline.net, which was founded by Muslim Brotherhood leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, regarding the Prophet Muhammad having intercourse with his prepubescent wife 'Aisha. An excerpt of my translation follows:
...it is permissible to have sexual intercourse with a prepubescent girl. The Qur'an is not like the books of jurisprudence which mention what the implications of things are, even if they are prohibited. It is true that the prophet (PBUH) entered into a marriage contract with A'isha when she was six years old, however he did not have sex with her until she was nine years old.
A fatwa on the same topic on the English side of the site smooths over this uncomfortable bit of Islamic history:
As for the Prophet’s condition before this marriage, it clearly explained what we’ve said that it was a purely sublime aim and purpose that motivated him to marry `Aisha. That’s why the marriage was not consummated until sometime after the emigration to Madinah, when she had reached maturity.
The author of the article which calls me a fraud was unable to refute this translation, or any of my other translations. He spent hours on my site over several days, scrutinizing every piece of it. If he could have refuted any of them, he would have. I take pride in my work, which is to produce accurate translations exposing the violent and intolerant doctrines of Islam to the English-speaking audience. I invite all to come and scrutinize my work. One who has, native Egyptian and fluent Arabic speaker Nonie Darwish, reviewed a video I translated, and praised my translation, saying I had done an "excellent job."

Conclusion

I know that the Lord has given me a gift to be able to learn Arabic. I do not understand all the purposes of the Lord, but I do believe that He has a purpose for me in this work. So I will press on, and continue to work tirelessly to help the non-Arabic-speaking audience understand what Islam really teaches.

al-Mutarjim
Translating Jihad

(This post is in response to the article on loonwatch.com which seeks to discredit al-Mutarjim and Translating Jihad.)

Hamas Invites Muslim Brotherhood to Gaza

originally posted on Big Peace, 22 February

On Saturday (19 February) the leader of the Hamas government in Gaza, Ismael Haniyeh, extended an invitation to the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, to visit Gaza and lead their Friday prayers. Haniyeh hoped that this would be but an introduction to al-Qaradawi leading the prayers in Jerusalem. This shouldn’t be all that surprising, as Hamas’s own charter declares itself to be “one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood.” Perhaps this will only surprise those who say that the Muslim Brotherhood is a “largely secular” organization.


The translated report from qaradawi.net:
The President of the proposed Palestinian government, Ismail Haniyeh, invited the President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, on Saturday, 19 February, to visit Gaza, in appreciation of [al-Qaradawi’s] call to lift the blockade from Gaza. Haniyeh’s office said in a statement that [Haniyeh] telephoned al-Qaradawi and extended his congratulations to him and to the Egyptian people for “the victory of the revolution,” appreciating his pioneering role and his adoption of the issue of Palestine and Jerusalem, and the lifting of the blockade from Gaza.
Haniyeh invited al-Qaradawi to visit the Gaza Strip, “in order to lead the people and the multitudes in the Friday prayers in the Gaza Strip, which is considered to be on the outskirts of Jerusalem. We hope this will be an introduction to him leading the people in the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque.” [...]

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Al-Qaradawi Leads Friday Prayers in Cairo, Prays for the Conquest of Jerusalem

Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi delivers the Friday sermon in
Tahrir Square, 18 Feb 2011
The spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, made a triumphant return to Egypt yesterday to deliver the Friday sermon in Tahrir Square in Cairo before a huge crowd of Egyptian Muslims, after more than 30 years of being banned from doing so. During his sermon, he prayed for "the conquest of the al-Aqsa Mosque," which by extension means the conquest of Jerusalem. A translation of the relevant portion of his remarks follows, with the full transcript to come out at a later date (I'm still working on it) (see the video in Arabic here):
A message to our brothers in Palestine: I have hope that Almighty Allah, as I have been pleased with the victory in Egypt, that He will also please me with the conquest of the al-Aqsa Mosque, to prepare the way for me to preach in the al-Aqsa Mosque. May Allah prepare the way for us to (preach) in the al-Aqsa Mosque in safety--not in fear, not in haste. May Allah achieve this clear conquest for us. O sons of Palestine, I am confident that you will be victorious.
 The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: From Sacred Texts to Solemn History

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Al-Mutarjim on Big Peace: Top Islamic Scholars Say Jews and Christians Know Islam Is True, Purposely Removed Muhammad from the Bible

In my article on Big Peace this morning, I discuss the importance of certain fatwas issued by high-level Islamic shaykhs regarding Islam's view of Jews and Christians and the Bible:
Muslim spokesmen and Islamic apologists in the West love to trot out the “shared Judeo-Christian-Islamic heritage and values” line, insinuating that Muslims worship the same God as Jews and Christians, and also revere their prophets and scriptures. For example, Dr. John Esposito, director of the Saudi-funded Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown, asserted in his 1992 book Islam and the Straight Path that “Media images of Islam have often obscured the fact that Muslims, Jews and Christians share much in common. … Like Jews and Christians, Muslims worship the God of Abraham and Moses, [and] believe in God’s revelation and prophets…” Statements like these are carefully crafted to assuage Jewish and Christian misgivings about some of Islam’s violent and intolerant teachings. Unfortunately these statements have no basis in Islamic doctrine. When high-ranking Islamic clerics speak candidly on these same topics in Arabic, when they don’t think the West is listening, an entirely different picture emerges.

For example, Shaykh Faysal al-Mawlawi, the Deputy Chairman of the European Council of Fatwa and Research, in a 2002 fatwa accused Jews and Christians of purposely corrupting the Bible, in order to remove all mention of Muhammad:
Allah Almighty sent down the Torah and the Gospel, and charged the Jews and Christians with guarding them. They (however) distorted and changed them. … The Qur’an is overflowing with verses (which) reveal the reasons for the distortion and change, among which was wiping out the description of the Messenger (peace be upon him) which (the Christians and Jews) could find written in the Torah and the Gospel… [see Qur’an 4:46 and 5:41].
[...]
Read it all.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fatwa: "The People of the Book Disgraced (Themselves) and Their Dhimmi Covenant by Distorting What (Allah) Sent"

This fatwa comes from Shaykh Faysal al-Mawlawi, the Deputy Chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, and is posted on IslamOnline.net. Here Shaykh al-Mawlawi explains that only the Qur'an has been preserved and protected by Allah, whereas the Bible has been corrupted and distorted by the Jews and Christians. He further argues that one reason for the Jews and Christians doing this was to wipe out all reference to Muhammad in the Bible, which Muslims often claim was originally in there. (See the original Arabic here.)

Title: The Divine Books between Allah's Guarding and Man's Distortion
Name (of the questioner): Muhammad 'Abdallah - Egypt
Date: 7 July 2002
Mufti: Shaykh Faysal al-Mawlawi

Question: I have a question, if you would be so kind as to answer it:  the Most High said, "We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)" [Qur'an 15:9].  Does this mean the Qur'an only, or does it also comprise the Torah and the Gospel?  How is the preceding verse reconciled with the saying of the Almighty:  "And before thee also the messengers We sent were but men, to whom We granted inspiration: if ye realize this not, ask of those who possess the Message" [Qur'an 16:43]?May Allah bless and benefit you.

Answer: In the name of Allah, praise be to Allah, and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah.

Allah Almighty sent down the Torah and the Gospel, and charged the Jews and Christians with guarding them. They (however) distorted and changed them. Then He sent down the Qur'an, and made it the eternal constitution for Muslims. Therefore Allah ensures its preservation (alone), excluding the rest of his books. The People of the Book disgraced (themselves) and their dhimmi covenant by distorting what (Allah) sent to them. The Almighty said, "...[those who] displace words from their (right) places..." [Qur'an 4:46], (and) "...they change the words from their (right) places..." [Qur'an 5:41]. There are many evidences in the Book of Allah Almighty and the Pure Sunnah to the distorting of the Torah and the Gospel. This indicates that Allah has preserved the Qur'an (alone), excluding the rest of his books.

(Here is) the fatwa of His Eminence, Counselor Faysal Mawlawi, Deputy Chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research:

The word 'message' carries more than one meaning, for several different meanings for it have been mentioned in the Noble Qur'an:

1- The Noble Qur'an. The Almighty said, "We have sent down the message."
2- The previous divine books. The Almighty said, "if ye realize this not, ask of those who possess the Message."
There are other meanings which are not necessary to mention here. Here we will (merely) say that the message of which Allah said, "We will assuredly guard it," is the Noble Qur'an alone.

Now the meaning of 'message' which (refers to) the previous divine books is not repeated in, "We will assuredly guard it." This is the difference between the two. The previous divine books have been distorted and changed. The Qur'an is overflowing with verses (which) reveal the reasons for the distortion and change, among which was wiping out the description of the Messenger (peace be upon him) which (the Christians and Jews) could find written in the Torah and the Gospel, as the verse mentioned. (Another reason) was to avoid punishments being carried out against them. When a man and woman from the Jews came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) to have their punishments given to them, for they had committed adultery, he declared that the punishment was stoning, as it was written in the Torah. They denied that the punishment was in the Torah, which they had with them. The Prophet (peace be upon him) discovered it in their Torah, and stoned them by the ruling of the Torah. 'Abdallah bin Salam, who was a Jewish rabbi who had become a good Muslim, corroborated the stoning verse in the Torah. (There are) many other reasons (for the changes), which are not necessary to mention.

The verse, "if ye realize this not, ask of those who possess the Message," is speaking to the infidels of Quraysh, who rejected that the Prophet should be a man, for the verse had come down, "And before thee also the messengers We sent were but men," or mortal men. Then He spoke to them again, "Ask," in other words, O infidels of Quraysh, (ask) the people of the Torah and Gospel about this, "if ye realize it not."

The verse asked them to ask the People of the Book about that because the infidels of Quraysh had a friendly relationship with them, and they were neutral. Therefore they were comfortable with them, and would listen to them more than they would the Prophet (peace be upon him) and those that were with him. In most verses, the 'People of the Book' is understood to mean just 'the Jews,' because they were in closer proximity to the people of Mecca and Medina than the Christians were. It was well-known among the Jews that the prophets were men and not angels, such as Moses, David, Solomon, Joseph, and so on.

Allah knoweth best.
Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that's Conspiring to Islamize America

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia Rules that Whoever Insults the Prophet Must Be an Apostate, Atheist, Christian or Jew

(Update:  Corrected text below in italics.)

This is an undated fatwa from the website of from Saudi Arabia's highest-ranking cleric, the Grand Mufti Shaykh 'Abd-al-'Aziz bin 'Abdallah Al al-Shaykh. He explains that whoever insults Muhammad must be either an apostate, an atheist, a Christian, or a Jew. The Grand Mufti is basically saying that whoever insults the Prophet is an infidel, as many other Islamic clerics have stated (see here, here and here, for example), but for some reason chooses to express it in a more round-about fashion. The Grand Mufti does acknowledge disagreement from scholars on whether repentance can be accepted from such a person, but declines to directly address the topic of whether he should be killed. (See the original Arabic here.)
Question: The best of Allah to you. Someone asked me (this question), saying: "What is the ruling on one who insults the Prophet (peace be upon him), or criticizes his noble person? Will his repentance be accepted?

Answer: There is no doubt that (in regards to) insulting the Prophet, whoever is known to have faith in his heart, or whoever has one iota of faith, cannot offend the noble position [i.e. of Muhammad]. For insulting the Prophet cannot be done except by a man who is a hypocrite, if he had been called to Islam. For he is a hypocrite or, Allah forbid, an apostate from Islam and an atheist, Allah forbid, after the doctrine of the communists and the like, or a Christian or a Jew. But a Muslim, if he disobeys, even if he is a guilty sinner, he cannot insult Muhammad (peace be upon him). For this is the benevolence of Allah upon his creation: "Allah did confer a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a messenger from among themselves, rehearsing unto them the Signs of Allah, sanctifying them, and instructing them in Scripture and Wisdom, while, before that, they had been in manifest error" [Qur'an 3:164]. Some scholars say that insulting the Prophet is a sin for which no repentance is accepted, because this is the right of the Prophet if he were alive, for he (peace be upon him) (could) waive his right during his life. However, after his death it is necessary to take his right, and (therefore) no repentance is accepted from he who insults him. Some (however) believe that repentance is accepted. The important thing is that insulting him is heinous and detestable, and never comes from a heart which has tasted faith. We ask Allah for good health, and for Allah's blessings on Muhammad.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hamas Denies Involvement in Egypt Protests

A leader of Hamas, which describes itself as "one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood," insisted yesterday that his movement has nothing to do with the events in Egypt, and blasted the media for circulating these "rumors." (See the original Arabic here.)
Hamas: The Crisis in Egypt Is an Internal Affair, and Is Not Connected With Us
Amal Ruslan, youm7.com, 6 February 2011
The Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip emphasized its denial of media reports which have accused it of being involved in some of the protests witnessed in Egypt.  The government of Hamas in the Gaza Strip stressed its respect for the private matters of Arab and non-Arab countries, denying suspicious attempts to toss the Gaza Strip and the (Hamas) movement into some of the events in Egypt.  Salah al-Bardawil, a leader in the (Hamas) movement, said, "The repeated attempts from some media outlets in Egypt to throw the Hamas movement and the Palestinian people in Gaza into the middle of the events and the popular movement in Egypt are a strange thing."
Al-Bardawil expressed that, "These attempts have no purpose except to damage the Hamas movement, and to antagonize the West against it, as well as to flee from an objective analysis of what is happening in Egypt, and to export the crisis to Gaza."  (He said this), stressing that Hamas has a fixed policy of non-intervention in the internal affairs of any Arab or non-Arab country, and of not transporting the battle from inside Palestine to any other arena.
At the same time, the President of the Government Media Office in Gaza, Hassan Abu-Hashish, stated that what has been said are rumors attempting to cast Palestinian people and groups in the Gaza Strip into the events in Egypt.  (He described) these attempts as misguided and misleading, whose goal was to divert attention and confuse, and to invite new aggressive Israeli and international moves.
He pointed to the role of the Interior Ministry in the Hamas movement to control the border with Egypt, which is in the highest interest of the people.  (He called upon) the media to exercise caution and prudence, and to work with the utmost responsibility in the face of these leaks and accusations, and to refer to official sources and documented agencies before dealing with (anyone else).
 Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

International Union of Muslim Scholars Issues Statement in Support of the Egyptian Protests; Calls the Protests a 'Jihad'

Just like the Muslim Brotherhood, they're also talking about the new government in democratic and constitutional terms--for now.  See the original Arabic here.
The International Union of Muslim Scholars Calls on al-Azhar and the Egyptian Elite to Join the
Protesters
IslamOnline.net, 31 Jan 2011
"Those who have been killed in the Egypt protests are considered martyrs by Allah."
The International Union of Muslim Scholars announced that it stands with the popular Egyptian revolution, and supports Mubarak and his regime stepping down and allowing the Egyptian people to choose for themselves.
In a statement released on Sunday, 30 Jan 2011, the Union counselled President Mubarak to "Fear Allah for the blood of the Egyptians, of which there is no need to shed any more."  The report stated, "Thirty years was enough for you, President.  Go and let the people resolve its own affairs and construct an interim government, which will oversee the election of a new constituent assembly to give birth to a new constitution that will include all of the principles and values aspired to by the people after their long trial since the year 1952."
The Union declared that the 150 (people) who were shot and killed by security officials, "or by the self-employed thugs and criminals, they are martyrs for Allah." [The Union] considered that "Those that were slain are martyrs, for they were killed unjustly and aggressively, for leaving their homes for the purpose of jihad.  They enter into the meaning of the noble saying:  'The master of martyrs is Hamza bin 'Abd-al-Muttalib and a man who stood up to an oppressive ruler where he ordered him and forbade him so he [the ruler] killed him." [...]
 Social Justice in Islam, by Sayyid Qutb

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Unnamed Sources: Coptic Church Calls on Copts to "Participate with Their Muslim Brothers" In Protests Against Mubarak Regime

Possibly some short-sightedness from the Coptic Church (see Arabic here):

The Church Calls on Copts to Participate with their Muslim Brothers in the Coming Protests

by Michael Faris, Copts United, 27 Jan 2011

Copts United learned from unnamed church sources, that the Coptic Church, as well as Coptic activists and clerics--after witnessing the current scene of protests which has unfolded, which is led by Egyptian youth, far from the various political and religious parties and fronts, and has expressed in a civilized manner their demands, petitions, and concerns--is urging Copts to participate with their Muslim brothers in the coming protests, in a civilized manner, far from violence, theft, looting, and anarchy.

The sources added that the Church will not stand in the way of Coptic participation with their Muslim brothers in the upcoming protests, as long as they don't harm the country, and they demand legitimate national rights for all, with the utmost humanity and respect.
A Lonely Minority: The Modern Story of Egypt's Copts

Video: Egyptian Shaykhs Pronounce Death on Those Who Insult Muhammad

In a video I just translated, three Egyptian Shaykhs (Abu-Bakr al-Hanbali, Muhammad Hassan, and Abu-Ishaq al-Huwayni) pronounce the Islamic ruling on one who insults the Prophet:  he is an infidel, and must be killed. (To be fair, Muhammad Hassan in this video only says that he is an infidel.) Could this soon be the law of the land in Egypt?  Perhaps, if the Muslim Brotherhood is able to take power, whose motto declares, "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope."



Direct link to video

The Muslim Brotherhood: The Organization and Policies of a Global Islamist Movement (The Middle East in Focus)