Ten Lashes

September 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Sumayyah Meehan, TMO

cane

“Corporal punishment is as humiliating for him who gives it as for him who receives it; it is ineffective besides. Neither shame nor physical pain have any other effect than a hardening one.” 

~ Ellen Key

You hop in the car, fumble with the keys, start the engine and prepare to take that first sip of coffee as you back out of the driveway. This is the way that many Americans start their morning as they set out to work for the day. For most people, getting on the road safely and reaching your destination on time are the primary concerns. However, for the women of Saudi Arabia, there is a new concern to be considered before getting behind the wheel.

This past week Saudi Arabian national Shaima Ghassaniya was found guilty of driving without the permission of her government. Her punishment, which would be a mere slap on the wrist in America for the same “crime,” is flogging. By definition the word flogging means, “To beat severely with a whip or rod.” Ghassaniya is to be flogged a total of ten times with her punishment to undoubtedly serve as an example for other women in the kingdom that dare to drive.

There is no law on the books in Saudi Arabia that says women are legally barred from driving. However, there is a law that states anyone driving on the roads of Saudi Arabia must have license. The catch is that women are not issued drivers license. Denying a woman the right to drive means that she must rely on a male relative, or sometimes even a male chauffer, in order to travel. For women who are single, getting around without a car is often a nightmare.

The driving laws seem archaic compared to the full driving rights that women enjoy in neighboring Arab countries, like Kuwait and Oman. “I would be lost without my car,” laments Raina Ahmed who is a schoolteacher in Kuwait, “I have to drive myself to and from work every day. I also use my car to take my children for all of their doctor’s appointments.” Female drivers in other Arab countries share the roadways with their male counterparts and are often safer drivers.

The news of the Ghassaniya’s flogging punishment comes on the heels of another announcement that could have been promising for the women in the region. King Abdullah recently announced on state-run television that Saudi Arabian women have been granted the right to vote and run in local elections. However, they will have to wait until the year 2015 to exercise these newly given rights. Perhaps, by then, they will be able to drive themselves to the ballot box.

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Unawareness—A Sly Threat

January 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Unawareness of Deniers

The inner state of those who deny Allah’s existence and cannot stand to have His name be remembered or mentioned is considered to be the final stage of unawareness. Such people, who flounder in denial, are unloved and condemned by Allah. In addition, they have many negative and unpleasant attributes.

Deniers are rebellious, arrogant, selfish, irritable, hypocritical, and unbalanced liars who are ready to engage in any wickedness. When it is a question of their gaining an advantage, they become so overwhelmed with worldly ambition that they no longer even recognize their own father or mother. Ignoring all limits that stand in the way of getting their own way, they resort to falsity, immorality, and lawlessness to overcome all obstacles.

Their consciences are shrouded, and so they have no sense of mercy, compassion, and pity. Having no sensitivity toward those around them, they live only for themselves and to satisfy the selfish desires and passions of their egos. Their minds are so clouded by unawareness that they never think about Allah or even remember His name:

When Allah, the One and Only, is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter shrink back, shuddering.

Az-Zumar: 45

They deny the Hereafter’s existence and, to appease their consciences and justify their behavior, disparage religion and try to draw others down the same path. They are not aware of the wickedness they commit or of the eternal punishment awaiting them:

As for those who do not believe in the Hereafter, We have made their actions appear good to them, and they wander about blindly. Such people will receive an evil punishment and will be the greatest losers in the Hereafter.

An-Naml: 4-5

We created many of the jinn and humanity for Hell. They have hearts with which they do not understand, eyes with which they do not see, and ears with which they do not hear. Such people are like cattle. No, they are even further astray! They are the unaware.

Al-A‘raf: 179

As we see, deniers ignore the promised eternal punishment. Moreover, they are described in the Qur’an as being lower than animals, because they have been engulfed by unawareness. In other words, they are happy only when eating, drinking, and enjoying themselves, for they focus only on this world and are content to remain unaware of what is really important:

They know an outward aspect of this world’s life, but are heedless of the Hereafter.

Ar-Rum: 7

Such people think only of this worldly life, even though Allah has sent prophets and messengers, as well as holy books and believers, throughout history to warn them of the Day of Judgment, when they will have to account for themselves. They have been reminded of their sins and that these will not be forgotten on that day. They have heard what will happen to them if they do not obey Allah’s commands and prohibitions, continue to ignore His advice, and do not repent of their wicked and corrupt lives: they will be rewarded with Hell’s endless punishment. The only way to avoid all these is to heed His warnings and correct their attitudes, live in a way that earns His pleasure so that they will not disgrace themselves on the Day of Judgment. However, only some of them will listen:

Humanity’s reckoning has drawn very close to them, yet they heedlessly turn away.

Al-Anbiya’: 1

The unawareness of those who have gone astray

Some individuals do not practice Islam according to the Qur’an, but according to what they have learned in their community and from their elders. In other words, they have inherited a false religious tradition from their ancestors and named it “Islam.” For this reason, even if they read the Qur’an they interpret it incorrectly. They are unaware of the truth handed down in the Qu’ran and the sayings of our Prophet (saas), and thus cannot be considered true believers:

When they are told: “Follow what Allah has sent down to you,” they say: “We are following what we found our ancestors doing.” What, even though their ancestors did not understand a thing and were not guided!

Al-Baqara: 170

When they are told: “Come to what Allah has sent down and to the Messenger,” they say: “What we found our ancestors doing is enough for us.” What! Even if their ancestors did not know anything and were not guided!

Al-Ma’ida: 104

When they are told: “Follow what Allah has sent down,” they say: “No, we will follow what we found our ancestors doing.” What! Even if satan is calling them to the punishment of the Blazing Fire?

Luqman: 21

It is stated in the Qur’an that these people do not practice the commands and prohibitions Allah prescribed in the Qur’an, but those devised by their ancestors. It is obvious from the Qur’an that they are heretics following satan, who is drawing them toward the eternal punishment of Hell. They associate others with Him by valuing their ancestors’ religion more than true Islam, and their own traditions more than the Qur’an. As a result, satan has used their ignorance, bigotry, pride and lack of intelligence to lead them astray. In other words, their own attitudes cause them to stray from the true path and adopt a distorted ancestral religion known to them as “Islam.”

This ancestral religion is very different from the Islam described in the Qur’an. For example, they pray when something is bothering them or when they feel they have exhausted all other possibilities; sometimes they even pray to receive worldly favors to satisfy their egos. Even though they may know what is actually said in the Qur’an about prayer, they do not really practice it. In fact, they do not give proper thanks to Allah, but only for something of importance to them. They do not have a correct view of the Qur’an and therefore ignore the countless blessings that Allah has given them and for which they must thank Him.

So, although they know that Allah exists, they ignore such verses as “Worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him” (Surat an-Nisa’: 36) and fall into the sin of association. They are so unaware of reality that they think that on the Day of Judgment, when everything will be revealed, Allah will accept their claim that they never committed such a grave sin:

On the Day We gather them all together, We will ask those who associated others with Allah: “Where are the partner-deities for whom you made such claims?” Then they will have no recourse but to say: “By Allah, our Lord, We were not idolaters.” See how they lie against themselves and how what they invented has forsaken them!

Al-An‘am: 22-24

… Turning toward Him. Fear (and respect) Him and perform (the obligatory) prayer. Do not be among the idolaters, those who split up their religion and form into sects, each faction exulting in what it has.

Ar-Rum: 31-32

As these verses reveal, the fact that they happily accept the perversity of those idolaters who divide their religion into sects show just how unaware they really are. Although they know their errors and understand what is right, they refuse to accept the truth out of a strong desire to continue being guided by their own passions and desires.

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Unawareness—A Sly Threat

December 31, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Continuation

Unawareness, as briefly defined in the introduction, is the condition of those people who are either unaware of Allah’s existence and the Hereafter, or, if they are aware, do not have the requisite sense of responsibility. As a result, they are unaware and careless. Sometimes, believers can become temporarily unaware due to a transient forgetfulness or distraction. In the case of unbelievers or those who ascribe equals to Allah, this can be a life-long condition that affects every aspect of life.

Many people do not wonder why they were created; rather, they dally in the desires of their egos and therefore lead empty and useless lives. Following the logic of “living for the moment,” they seek to attain only the best and to enjoy as many of the world’s pleasures as they can. For them, what counts is making the best of their time, imagining that “we only have one life.” Thus, they try to fill their allotted days with as much pleasure and enjoyment as possible. They know they are going to die, and yet they are unaware of the eternal punishment awaiting them in Hell. And because they cannot conceive of Allah’s supreme power, they underestimate just how severe this punishment will be. (For details, see Harun Yahya’s Death, Resurrection, Hell). Some of the related verses areas follows:

If only you could see those who do wrong at the time when they see the punishment, that truly all strength belongs to Allah , and that He is severe in punishment.

Al-Baqara: 165

That Day no one will punish as He punishes, and no one will shackle as He shackles.

Al-Fajr: 25-26

When they are flung into it (Hell), they will hear it gasping harshly as it seethes. It all but bursts with rage. Each time a group is flung into it, its custodians will ask them: “Did no warner come to you?”

Al-Mulk: 7-8

Hell will suffice as a Searing Blaze! As for those who reject Our Signs, We will roast them in a Fire. Every time their skins are burned off, We will replace them with new skins so that they can taste the punishment. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.

An-Nisa’: 55-56

Most unaware individuals know of Allah’s existence but do not have an accurate knowledge of Islam. Therefore, they do not submit to Him. As a result, their lack of absolute trust in Him causes them to experience deep pain and sorrow when confronted with difficult and distressing situations. The smallest anxiety is enough to upset their lives, and they are known for their pessimism, unhappiness, and depression.

They pass long periods doing useless and meaningless things, which they call “being busy.” But this “useless busyness,” which makes them feel so important and indispensable, is just an empty distraction that fans the flames of their unawareness. In the Qur’an, Allah describes these vain distractions:

It may be that those who are unbelievers will wish that they had been Muslims. Leave them to eat and enjoy themselves. Let false hope divert them. They will soon know.

Al-Hijr: 2-3

Unawareness is like an insidious disease that engulfs those who have forgotten Allah and the Hereafter, that anesthetizes the mind and shrouds the intelligence. This drowsy unawareness prevents them from understanding the realities that assail and await them. Despite their power to see and hear, such people can no longer accurately interpret and judge what they see and hear. In fact, it shrouds their minds to such an extent that they spend all of their time trying to satisfy the endless desires of their egos. They can think of nothing else, for they have already transformed their desires and passions into deities:

Have you seen him who has taken his whims and desires to be his deity? Will you, then, be his guardian? Do you suppose that most of them hear or understand? They are just like cattle. Indeed, they are even further astray!

Al-Furqan: 43-44

One important aspect of unawareness is its ability to alienate people from reality and cause them to live in a dream world. For example, young people always think of the future and may feel happy thinking that their dreams will come true. As they get older, their dreams become more restricted and they try to relive them through souvenirs and reminders. Older people can easily find many memories to share with their loved ones, and retelling their memories lets them relive the excitement or sorrow of that moment.

With their minds fully occupied by dreams and memories, they have no room for those realities that deserve their full attention: the Hereafter, the Garden, and Hell. They are not connected to Allah, either in what they think or feel, and conceive of reality as just an unwanted, indistinct, dark space between dreams and memories. When reality somehow finds its way into their minds, they immediately stop thinking about it and return to their daydreams.

Unawareness can be compared to how people with poor eyesight see the world through an indistinct haze. They cannot see anything clearly or in detail until they put on their glasses. Only after doing that will they become aware of how little they could see without their glasses. Perhaps they had not seen anything at all.

Unaware people also have a similar (but more serious) type of conception deficiency: they cannot properly appreciate Allah’s existence, splendor, and honor. But when they approach Him with a true heart, pray to Him, contemplate Him, and respect the boundaries He has set for humanity, He may remove this deficiency so that they can obtain a clear understanding of reality.

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Harun Yahya – Secrets of the Hypocrites

December 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Torment in Hell

1. The Worst Torment

Hypocrites, whom Allah describes in the Qur’an as deserving of even worse, will be punished with the greatest suffering in the Hereafter—in other words, with the torment of Hell:

. . . Do you, then, believe in one part of the Book and reject the other? What repayment will there be for any of you who do that except disgrace in this world? And on the Day of Resurrection, they will be returned to the harshest of punishments. Allah is not unaware of what you do.

Al-Baqara: 85

2. An Unremitting Suffering

Those are the people who trade the Hereafter for this world. The punishment will not be lightened for them. They will not be helped.

Al-Baqara: 86

Hypocrites will remain in Hell for all eternity and their suffering will never be lightened in any way.

3. A Fierce Punishment

Give news to the hypocrites that they will have a painful punishment.

An-Nisa’: 138

According to the Qur’an, the torment of Hell will be fierce and very great. Everyone there will be cast into the flames. Escape will be impossible. They will be bound with chains and iron shackles. They will be scourged with whips of iron. Hypocrites, whose only foods will be boiling water, pus, the tree of Zaqqum and thorns, will wish to leave Hell, but their suffering will never end or ever be alleviated.

The reason is that although they knew everything Allah required of them in this world, they followed their Earthly desires and turned their backs on the truth, declaring war on Allah and His religion.

4. The Most Humiliating Torment

The people in Hell will assume a frightening appearance and experience torment in all respects. Their bodies will be torn apart with fire, boiling water will be poured over their heads, and they will be forced to wear clothing made of tar and flame:

But those who strive against Our signs, trying to nullify them, will have a punishment most humiliating. (Surah Saba’: 5)

5. Curse of Allah

As we have seen, hypocrites will be surrounded with torments in all respects in Hell. Yet there is one torment even greater than all of these, and that is the curse of Allah—His refusal to speak with them and His humiliation and disparagement of them:

The repayment of such people is that Allah’s curse is on them and that of the angels and of all humanity.

Ali ‘Imran: 87

Those who conceal what Allah has sent down of the Book and sell it cheap, take nothing into their bellies but the Fire. On the Day of Resurrection Allah will not speak to them or purify them. They will have a painful punishment.

Al-Baqara: 174

6. They Will be All Alone

The people they imagined to be their friends in this world will be far distant from them in the Hereafter. Each will have his own sufferings, for which reason they will be able to find no friend or comforter, and they will remain all alone.

. . . You will not find any one to help them.

An-Nisa’: 145

In the Hereafter, moreover, they will curse the people they called closest to them in this world.

. . . But then on the Day of Resurrection, you will reject one another and curse one another. The Fire will be your shelter. You will have no helpers.

Al-‘Ankabut: 25

7. They Will Suffer Terrible Loss

There is no doubt that in the Hereafter they will be the losers.

An-Nahl: 109

Leaving behind the life of this world, which they imagined to be so profitable, they will die and enter Hell, their true abode. There they will see the true face of all things and realize that rather than having gained any profit, they have actually suffered a terrible loss. They will realize that everything they did in this world has been meaningless and cannot benefit them at all.

The Lowest Level of Hell

The hypocrites are in the lowest level of the Fire. You will not find any one to help them.

An-Nisa’: 145

As Allah reveals to us in the above verse, hypocrites inhabit “the lowest level of the Fire.” The reason for that, of course, is their two-facedness and their moral model based on strife.

We have touched on dozens of elements that determine hypocrites’ cunning natures. One aim behind our setting out these defects one by one is to show that hypocrites are among the cruelest people who have ever lived, and to provide a means of imparting that knowledge to all.

The reason why the hypocrites described right throughout this book are to be regarded as cruel and extreme is because they are people to whom knowledge has been given. In other words, they have been told of religious moral values and have learned the truth from believers, and even from the messenger of Allah himself. They have lived for a while according to those religious moral values, but then turned their backs on them and, of course, on Allah, on His messenger and the faithful, imagining that their life would be easier as deniers. Allah reveals that:

They swear by Allah that they said nothing, but they definitely spoke the word of disbelief and returned to disbelief after their Islam. They planned something, which they did not achieve and they were vindictive for no other cause than that Allah and His messenger had enriched them from His bounty. If they were to repent, it would be better for them. But if they turn away, Allah will punish them with a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter, and they will not find any protector or helper on the Earth.

At-Tawba: 74

Therefore, they bear a greater burden of responsibility than—and are quite distinct from—those to whom knowledge has not been imparted; in other words, to people who have not been called to religious moral values and the Qur’an, and who have thus never been followers of Islam. The suffering they experience in the Hereafter will be far worse than the latter, as is revealed by Allah. That is because hypocrites appear to be religious during the course of their lives, avoiding any number of telltale sins that would enable them to be identified by believers. In their hearts, however, they harbor no obedience towards Allah and His messenger but on the contrary, feel a cunning hatred of and enmity towards them. It is only natural and just that such people should deserve the worst punishment in Hell, because hypocrites have witnessed the finest examples of moral values in the community of the faithful, have lived in the most peaceful environment, and have experienced great love and respect. However, although they have known nothing but goodness and beauty from believers, still they manage to feel hatred for them because of the sickness in their hearts.

Moreover, because they were proud and arrogant in the face of believers during their time in this world, Allah will humiliate and belittle them.

The position of the hypocrites is described thus in one hadith:

On the Day of Qiyamah, the one in the vilest of conditions will be a two-faced person.

Sahih Bukhari and Muslim

They seek to deceive believers in this world but in the Hereafter, will beg them for even the slightest help. Yet of course believers will not be taken in by this. Thanks to the infinite justice of Allah, they will live for all eternity among His blessings.

Verses speak of hypocrites’ endless lamentation in Hell:

That Day the men and women of the hypocrites will say to those who believe, “Wait for us so that we can borrow some of your light.” They will be told, “Go back and look for light!” And a wall will be erected between them with a gate in it, on the inside of which there will be mercy but before whose exterior lies the punishment. They will call out to them, “Were we not with you?” They will reply, “Indeed you were. But you made trouble for yourselves and hung back and doubted and false hopes deluded you until Allah’s command arrived. The deluder deluded you about Allah. So today no ransom will be accepted from you or from those who disbelieved. Your refuge is the Fire. It is your master. What an evil destination!”

Al-Hadid: 13-15

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Bishop Williamson Rejects Holocaust Denial Punishment

October 22, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

IsraelNN.com

British Roman Catholic Bishop Richard Williamson said on Sunday that he rejected the idea that he should be subject to punishment in Germany for denying the Holocaust on Swedish television, adding that he tried to prevent the interview from being broadcast there, according to a report by the German weekly Der Spiegel. Bishop Williamson’s German lawyer confirmed that the bishop had applied to a Nuremberg state court to issue an injunction, but said it was rejected in February.

The interview was conducted near the Bavarian city of Regensburg, shortly before the bishop’s excommunication was lifted by Pope Benedict XVI. Prosecutors in Regensburg applied last week for an order of punishment against Williamson, accusing him of incitement. A judge is expected to rule on whether to issue a fine next week.

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PAKPAC Condemns Attacks on Christians

August 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Press Release

PakistanFlag-1 August 3rd, 2009, Maryland, The Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee (PAKPAC) joins all our fellow Pakistani Americans in condemning the recent incidents in Pakistan, when a small but organized group of thugs attacked a village in Gojra, Pakistan and took innocent lives of Christian minority community members and then destroyed their homes. These extremists claimed to commit these inhumane acts and atrocities as a response to an alleged blasphemy of the Holy Qur`an.

PAKPAC asks the Government of Pakistan to arrest the perpetrators of these crimes and extend severe punishment to them for the murder of the innocent people. Punishment to such people should be strong enough to serve as a strong deterrent to anyone in Pakistan who dares to contemplate such actions.

PAKPAC extends condolences to all the faith communities in Pakistan, and ensures them that we support them towards eradicating these hate-based, misguided beasts who go against the very basic teachings of the Qur`an and Islam that they pretend to protect.

We ask the larger society in Pakistan to get seriously involved in a meaningful and focused dialogue to look at how various laws are being abused in stripping the minorities in Pakistan of their rights. We need to enlighten ourselves and the world on how these crimes are against the principles and spirit of the creation of Pakistan and the core essence and teachings of the Quran.

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