Lust And Adultery

Dear Friends,

Buddhism offers me the ‘Middle Path’, but that doesn’t seem right! Presumptuously, would I be forgiven and still attain Nirvana if I were to cheat on my wife just a little, so long as I do not over do it? Buddha had no problem abandoning his princess wife and baby child in the middle of the night to look for enlightenment. What if his journey took him onto another path with a completely different outcome to what we know today?
The Qur’an seems to have a better solution to that dilemma, since it acknowledges that men are weak in the flesh. There are many verses that give lustful comfort to the spiritually struggling men, (as Allah’s favourite creatures on earth), by allowing them to marry more than one wife. In fact, there can be up to four wives for each Muslim man, whether their female companions like it or not, plus additional sexual partners taken from among their husband’s possessions, (female slaves). Surat An-Nisa, (The Women), has sufficient substance in it, suggesting that male sexual domination is an expected privilege!
Furthermore, in the Hadiths we find the following: Abu Sirma said to Abu Sa’id al Khadri: O Abu Sa’id, did you hear Allah’s Messenger mentioning al-‘azl? He said: Yes, and added: We went out with Allah’s Messenger on the expedition to the Bi’l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing ‘azl (Withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah’s Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah’s Messenger, and he said: It does not matter if you do (it, or) not do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born. (Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3371)
So while the men are discussing whether or not they should observe ‘azl while they are away, their wives at home must guard their chastity, as in the Qur’an, Sura 3:34 ‘So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard.’
How much harder is Jesus in His command to His followers on sexual lust and women when speaking about adultery, (sexual intercourse between a married person and a person other than the spouse). Jesus specifically teaches that God created a couple to become one in marriage as man and wife – three becomes adultery!
Jesus also spoke these words: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge (pull) it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”
Jesus warns us that lust begins in the heart. He never shifted the guilt of sexual lust onto women, or suggested that women should completely cover their bodies, face, hands, feet and all, (even in the heat of Arabia)!
We are all capable of looking for a better way, yet we may struggle at times to stay on the right path on our own. Always remember that there is someone who could lead our way – we only need to ask and He will gladly be there for us. His name is Jesus!

Lust And Adultery

Adoption Of Children

Dear Friends,

To many of us, children are a blessing from God. Yet, unfortunately, not all religions look at the matter from the lens.
It was a surprise for me to discover that in Islam, or at least, in many Islamic countries, adoption as we know it in the West is not tolerated.
In an earlier letter, I wrote about Jesus and children, and when you read the following, taken from a longer article, you cannot but wonder with gladness and joy the legacy of the treatment of children that Jesus left us with!
The following excerpts are taken from: http://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1-300/jesus-loved-children-11629553.html
The familiar New Testament picture of Jesus taking a child in his arms and receiving him with love portrays an attitude of care and concern for children found nowhere else in the ancient world. Children, along with women, old men, and slave, were viewed as physically weak burdens on society who had little value to the wider life of the community. In Greece and Rome, it was an accepted practice to abandon unwanted children along the roadsides to die.
Jesus’ teachings concerning children were faithfully followed by the early church, (a legacy which is carried to this day), which believed that to receive a child in the name of Christ was to receive Christ Himself.
Christians began collecting infants abandoned by their parents and raised them as their own. If pagans took in such abandoned children, it was most often for immoral purposes. 
Why was the early Christian attitude toward children so unusual? Simply because it recognized the child as a person. Both children and adults were equal in the Kingdom of God.
Adoption of children was also practiced in Arabia before Islam, but the following link gives you, (though, incomplete), a suggestion as to why, suddenly, some time during Mohammed’s revelations, there was an abrupt end to formal adoption of children!                     http://www.al-islam.org/articles/adoption-islam-sayyid-muhammad-rizvi :referring to (Qur’an, Sura 33:4-5). In fact, many verses in the Qur’an Sura 33 shed more light on the Muslim adoption dilemma!
The implications set down by Islam in relation to adopting children is more akin to fostering or simply helping orphans! What is the point of taking in a child as your own, but that child cannot take your family name, has limited or no rights to inheritance, and the wearing of the hijab is applied within the house as if living with strangers!?
This, of course, was not always the case. It is well documented that Mohammed had adopted a son named Zayd, but what we are not told with equal conviction is that it was Mohammed’s desire and determination to marry his ‘adopted’ son’s wife Zaynab that, by the help of another revelation from Allah, was told that his adopted son is not his biological son anyway, so marrying Zaynab, after the couple divorced was to be permitted!
When Allah was trying to help Muhammad, Aisha, the youngest and most intelligent wife of Muhammad said her famous words, ‘O prophet, I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires.’
Needless to say, Muslim scholars categorically deny this. However, the following article: http://freethoughtblogs.com/taslima/2012/08/13/islams-most-terrible-law-it-prohibits-adoption-of-children/ – may help you understand better what the world would be like to millions of orphaned children, if only the Muslim world could revert back to the family laws of Arabia, when adopted children could freely become a complete and total part of the family!

30.05.2015

Adoption Of Children

Jesus and Children

Dear Friends,

The morality of any person who holds office in high places is often judged by how they relate to others under their influence, and especially how they behave and relate to children.

Jesus frequently made spiritual references using children as examples. Children displayed the innocence that Jesus often spoke about for proud adults to embrace God’s Kingdom.

Jesus said: “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” 

But Jesus also made a striking point when that:  “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but Him who sent me.”

The Bible also tells us that:

– Jesus said: “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.

– Jesus healed a child of a foreign woman: “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

– Jesus cast a demon out of a child: Jesus rebuked the demon, and the demon came out of the boy, and the boy was healed instantly.

– Jesus raised a child from the dead: Jesus took the girl by the hand and said to her, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up.

– Jesus used a child’s loaves and fish to feed five thousand people: “There was a boy there who had five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” (But) Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” And He miraculously fed five thousand people with five loaves and two fish!

– Jesus said: “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of  heaven. Whoever humbles himself  like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
When Jesus came to the temple, children cried “Hosanna! In the Highest!”, (used to express adoration, praise, or joy)
But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things He did and the children shouting in the temple courts, they were angry and annoyed.
“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked Him.
“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read in the scriptures,
“‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”

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Furthermore, Jesus was beyond any sexual desire! No woman was to be His intimate companion during His ministry, let alone a child, as legally practiced in so many countries around the world – a practice, which traces its roots to the foundation of other religions, and which destroys so many young girls.
Presently, around the world, thousands upon thousands of children, (especially girls), are suffering for their faith, or because of their faith. Many are forced into child-soldiers. Many are sold into slavery, sexual or otherwise. Many have been killed because of their faith, and many others have been religiously indoctrinated to the point, they no longer remember who they are! Many are suffering because of circumcision, (genital mutilation). Many are forced as child-brides and robbed of their childhood innocence!
Jesus said very clearly: “If anyone causes one of these little ones to stumble, it would be better for them, (the evil doers), if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.”

Jesus and Children

Which Holy Book?

Dear Friends,

Recently, one of you asked me why sometimes I include verses from both the Qur’an as well as the Bible when I write to you. (Please remember that what I write to is what I understand of any particular subject, but I do my research before I commit myself. You may refute, oppose or completely negate my opinions at any time).
On most occasions, I do bring up verses from both Holy Books, because both religions mention similar topics and include similar characters.
Both Islam and Christianity, as well as Judaism, are claimed to be Abrahamic  religions. That is, religions whose people believe Abraham was an important person in the foundation of their faith. Abrahamic religions believe in just one God.
The Christian Bible, which is believed to be inspired by God, is made up of two parts:
First part – The Old Testament, (before Jesus), or as it is also known as, the old covenant of Moses with God of Israel, (covenant means, a formal agreement between God and mankind to do or not do something specified).  There are 39 individual books within the Old Testament. The main focus of these books is the observance of God’s Law.
Second part – The New Testament, (after Jesus), or as it is known as, the new covenant of Jesus sealed by His blood. There are 27 individual books and letters within The New Testament. The better known of these are the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The New Testament was written between 10 and 65 years after Jesus was crucified.
The main message of the New Testament is for Christians, and anyone else who searches Jesus in their lives, to live by the Grace of God, (which I already wrote about).
Note: It is wise to know and understand that there are also the Gnostic Gospels, which is a collection of about 52 ancient texts based upon the teachings of early church spiritual leaders, but these were written from the 2nd to the 4th century after Jesus’ death. Unfortunately, these books have been the base subject of a lot of confusion aimed at contradicting what the original teaching of Jesus is according to The New Testament.
The Holy Qur’an, (also known as Koran): The composition of the Qur’an, which is the most Holy Book of Islam, is roughly the same length as that of the New Testament. The word itself means “recitation.”  It is a series of “revelations” that Muhammad claimed to have received from Allah, through the angel Gabrielle, at various times in his life and then dictated those revelations to scribes who wrote them down. It was written roughly around 1300 years ago. The book is divided into 114 Suras (chapters) that contain ayat (verses). These verses are not necessarily in chronological order. The Qur’an was compiled in the years and decades following Muhammad’s death from snatches of writings, and especially from the memory of his companions. The words of the Quran are said to be the literal, eternal words of Allah himself, relevant to all people at all times, (in which case, it is unclear why personal directives to Muhammad from Allah were also included, and what is their benefit to humanity). 

The message of moral values in the Qur’an is somewhat obscure, because on the one hand it orders  the believers to be dignified, modest, trustworthy, kind, faithful, mature, and responsive, but on the other hand, it is the only major religion to do away with the rule of general kindness towards non-believers found in all other major religions and philosophies of this world.

26.03.2015

Which Holy Book?

Spreading Fear In The Truth

Dear Friends,

My heart aches today, and my eyes are overwhelmed with tears to see the ancient city of Hatra in Iraq, another world heritage site, being destroyed in the name of someone’s faith!
What a way to convince the nations of the world to accept their interpretation of the truth!
I don’t know what is the hardest to watch – the beheading of innocent non-Muslim believers, including children, or the destruction of these ancient, man-made marvels around us.
The problem is that these acts of madness are the result of the insecurity that their faith gives them.
Why would these men feel the need to destroy historical sites depicting what our ancestors believed in, if not out of their own fear that these images might install doubts into their own beliefs?
And, why else would these men slaughter their victims with the same sacrificial cry they slaughter their animals, if not because down deep inside they fear that what Jesus said, was about men like them?
Jesus said: “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because THE LIGHT IS NOT IN HIM.” (note that Jesus said in him and not on him, implying that He is referring to Spiritual Light).
Obviously, whatever their reasoning behind their willful destruction, one thing we must be sure of; these men never read in their holy books what Jesus said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” (note: there was no cultural, racial or religious specification in this command to love the neighbour). I suppose, it is easier to love a God who is an invisible spirit, but much harder to love your neighbour whom you may not always agree with!
Or perhaps, these forsaken lost men never heard of Jesus’ Golden Rule: “Treat other people exactly as you would like to be treated by them – this is the essence of all true religion.”
I pray that True Light will shine on these people too, as my God wants everyone to reach salvation from their spiritual failures and wrongdoings.

8.03.2015

Spreading Fear In The Truth

Which Way To Follow!

Dear Friends,

You may have heard on the news that at least 15 people were killed and more than 75 wounded when suicide bombers detonated their charges minutes apart near the entrances of two churches – one Catholic, the other Anglican – near each other in Lahore, capital of Punjab province in Pakistan. The Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the blasts, and threatened more attacks. They are at war with good people that are not at war with them! It has to be noted that in Pakistan, Christians are less than 2% of the population.
Needless to say, there were no mass protests anywhere in the Western countries following the bomb attacks. These victims don’t necessarily count; they are not Charlie, of course, and besides, I suppose one would say, why should anyone protest anyway, when Jesus Himself promised His followers persecution and death when He said: “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things about you falsely on account of me. Rejoice and be glad because your reward is great in heaven.”
These Christians were not chanting vile slogans and death threats against any other religion! They were gathered to profess their faith in God according to their Gospel, (Injil). To the killers, however, The Gospel, (which by the way means, The Good News), must have something in it that threatens the weak foundations of these believers, and therefore they feel compelled to kill Christians in Pakistan and elsewhere.
Now there is one massive dilemma that no one wants to mention – these Christians, like so many others, died as martyrs for their faith according to Jesus’ teaching, but the suicide bombers also believe they are martyrs for their cause, as their Holy Qur’an states:
‘Think not of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead. No, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of the Lord; they rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah’. (Sura 3:169
So, in the end, it all comes down to Virtues, (the qualities of  being morally good or righteous)!
Mohammed said: ‘Jihad (holy fighting in Allah’s cause) is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know’. (Sura 2:216)
Jesus said: ‘Treat others as you want them to treat you. This is what the Law and the Prophets are all about’.

Which Way To Follow!

Water of Life (addressed to my work colleagues)

Dear Friends,

In my attempt to introduce Jesus to you, and at the same time, I try and give you a better understanding as to why Easter is celebrated in this beautiful and blessed country of ours, I have come to realize that the task is not so straightforward, and the challenge is much larger than I anticipated!
In our mix of good friends (work colleagues), there are of course those who have a good understanding of what I write about from time to time. However, I am beginning to realize that many of you have very little, or no idea at all, of what my writing  may be referring to!
It is a bigger challenging task on my part, as to introduce Jesus to you, it is inevitable for me to mention ‘God’ at some point or other, and I know some of you have never had to deal with that concept before I came into your lives, while others have a completely different understanding of what that God is or may be, to the one presented to you by me.

We are a great blend of Christians, Muslims, Buddhist, Hindus and those without any particular godly beliefs!
As a result, I had almost come to the point where I thought I should not bother you any longer, and let everyone go your own way, along whichever current the rivers of your lives may carry you.
I would like to very sincerely declare to you that I am NOT introducing Jesus to you with the hope that you leave behind the faith you were brought up in by your own parents or other circumstances.
May I remind you that Jesus never came with the intention of forcing upon anyone a new religion: Jesus Himself said: This is what I told you while I was still with you: everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’
But, there is this strong, external desire that works within me to wish you all to come and rest in calmer waters should you thirst for it! And I, personally, find that calm and restful water whenever I go back to the Words of Jesus, as they become to me that saving line to grip onto, especially when the water-flow in my life is a raging torrent!

Water of Life (addressed to my work colleagues)