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

The Death Of Innocence

I am sure you all have heard by now about the young Melbourne man, (boy), who just a few weeks ago blew himself up in Iraq, taking with him a few other innocent souls.
The Heraldsun headlines reads: What drove teen to place trust in Allah?
A very good question indeed, but one that many, the majority in the West, as a matter of fact, is not willing or is too scared to truthfully answer!
That boy was young enough to be my son, and I sincerely grieve for his family. Had he not got away to Iraq, though, he intended to blow people up in Melbourne instead – YOU could have been standing next to him, on that day! Think about it!
Apparently, he was an atheist. Nothing seriously wrong with that, but to go from no god at all to a god that seems to take pleasure in collecting pieces of innocent souls is definitely a serious matter!
He left behind quite a long letter stating his reasons for joining ISIS; a group of people that many of us consider it to be nothing but evil. But, how can you be evil if you kill in the name of Allah, as directed by Allah’s own command? Why should there be feelings of guilt or remorse?
In recent years, a lot of exotic words have entered our vocabulary and ‘Jihad’ is one of the most prominent.
It is an Arabic/Islamic word, of course, and many would have you believe that it has only got to do with the spiritual battle within the individual. That is partly true, and there are many good followers who truly strive to do the spiritual jihad, but their voices are hardly ever heard, and definitely none of them have the courage to come out to protest against those that are striving for the war jihad – not when their own beliefs put them at risk of losing their own lives for questioning the Holy Verses themselves.
Muslims themselves disagree on what jihad is supposed to mean. Many Muslims in the West deny that it has anything to do with violence. However, there are no less than 164 Jihad verses in Islam’s Holy Book, many of which speak of the battle against the unbeliever.
A good example is the following: Surat Al-Baqarah 2:191
‘And slay them wherever you catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith’.
Many would argue that verses like the one quoted above are taken out of context, but go and tell that to ISIS and all the other terror groups of the like around the world! See if they come to the same agreement!
http://quran.com/
http://sunnah.com/
The other prominent questions would be: ‘why would anyone blow himself up to pieces to kill in the name of god? How can we know that god is not deceiving us all? After all, it is god who created all, and if he commands one to kill the other simply because the other does not fit in with the Muslim believer, what is it telling me about that god. Could he really be the best of deceivers/plotters, after all?
What happens after this boy gathers up all his blown-up pieces and carries them to his god? What reward awaits him? What do the Qur’an and the Hadith say? What is the difference between a moderate and a fanatical believer? Why must one die for questioning their faith? Why do Muslims kill other Muslims in their thousands each year? Can god be the best of deceivers, and a trustful, loving Father at the same time?
So, if kids fall into the trap of becoming fanatical in their faith, what can we tell about the ones leading these kids into this promised bloodied but glorious end? Where are these leaders getting their blood-thirsty inspirations from?
We are all capable of making choices for ourselves. There is always a better way. Jesus said: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and over-burdened, and I will give you rest! Put on my yoke and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.”

Presently, the world needs prayers, lots of healing prayers! Let us strive to be part of that healing process.

13.03.2015

The Death Of Innocence

What’s Life Worth?

Dear Friends,

I know for a fact, that many of you do not really bother to know what happens immediately around you, let alone what happens in some god-forsaken country distant from our shores.
Lately, the news haven’t been that encouraging either. It is sad, it is very heartbreaking, indeed, to be aware of the terrible ways this world has been plunging into in recent times!
If one day I hear that some Christian walked into a rival Church strapped with explosives and metal ball bearings to blow himself up in the name of my God, with one specific intention of taking with him as many souls as possible, gathered around him, that would be the day I burn all my holy books and pray that my eyes are shut forever!
Sadly, we hear it so very often where Muslims blow themselves up among other Muslim believers, simply because they worshiped in the wrong Mosque! If they suffer such penalty for their religious disagreements, what better chances have we got, that view God from a completely different perspective?
Thankfully, my God is a Good God and His Grace has loved me before I was even expected to make my earthly appearance! Listen, to the beauty of life expressed in Psalm 139 of David, (Zabur of Dawud), and make it yours, too:

For it was You who created my being,
Knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I thank You for the wonder of my being,
For the wonders of all Your creation.
Already You knew my soul,
My body held no secret from You
When I was being fashioned in secret
And molded in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw all my actions,
They were all of them written in Your book;
Every one of my days was decreed
Before one of them came into being.

My God is a Good God. The life He breathes into all humanity would never permit me, or anyone else that trusts in Him, to eliminate those that do not believe what I believe, in His Holy name!

What’s Life Worth?

Jesus On Worship and Prayer

Dear Friends,

Jesus introduced to us a simpler way of prayer and worship.
When the teachers of the Jewish law asked Him when the Kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said: “The Kingdom of God does not come with observation – no one will say, ‘look here!’ or ‘look there!’, for the Kingdom of God is within you!”
When asked by a Samaritan woman about the places of worship, He said: “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. But a time is coming—and now is here—when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to be his worshipers. God is spirit, and the people who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Jesus also warns us to: “Stay awake and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
His advice to us is that, “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites! They love to stand up and pray in the houses of worship and on the street corners, so that everyone will see them. But when you pray, go to our room, close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you’.”
And Jesus also told us that: “When you pray, do not use a lot of meaningless words, as the pagans do, who think that their gods will hear them because their prayers are long. Do not be like them. Your Father already knows what you need before you ask him. This, then, is how you should pray”

‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our wrongdoing, as we also have forgiven those who do us wrong.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.’

Prayer is the expression of our inner spiritual needs. Through prayer and reading of Holy Scriptures we can find strength of spirit, guidance and wisdom, joy and inner peace. By our own nature, it is easier for us to fail from doing what is right. Jesus said: “How narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to truth and life, and there are so few who find it!”

Jesus On Worship and Prayer

The Miracles Of Jesus – (edited and supplemented from an article by Laura Barron)

Dear Friends,

Jesus’ miracles are often seen in light of his claims to be the Messiah. (Messiah – original meaning – The promised and expected deliverer of the Jewish people).
In the Quran, Jesus is also referred to as Isa (Jesus) Al (the) Masih (Messiah). However, since it is a borrowed word that is not within the Arabic language, there is no specific meaning to it other than that he was a prophet of some importance!
During the time of Jesus, Jews were looking for a Messiah to rescue them from Roman oppression. The fact that the Messiah would have supernatural powers was part of that expectation. About 700 years earlier, the prophet Isaiah spoke of a time when “the eyes of the blind [would] be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped…the lame [would] leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.…”, when referring to the coming of the Messiah.
Although it was assumed that the Messiah would work miracles, the Jewish people’s primary desire was to have a political leader who would challenge the Roman military occupation of their land and liberate them. In fact, on one particular occasion when Jesus accomplished the miracle of multiplying the loaves of bread and the fish to feed five thousand people, the crowds attempted to take Jesus by force to be that anticipated political saviour.
It is interesting to note that Jesus rejected demonstrations of power designed to prove his divine role. He also warned people that they should not make public spectacles of healings. Jesus’ miracles might have been a sign that he was a prophet or anointed (anoint – to dedicate oneself to the service of God) rabbi, but on their own, miracles do not provide absolute proof that he was the promised Messiah of Israel.
History reports other individuals with miracle working powers, so miracles were not unique to Jesus only. This, then, would suggest that the miracles that Jesus performed were not sufficient on their own merits to demonstrate that He was in fact The Messiah.
Even though Jesus’ miracles were not the only biblical proof of His anointing, they were important in confirming His identity; the rabbi Nicodemus knew that Jesus was a teacher “come from God” because of the miraculous signs he performed. His miracles supported the Truth of his teaching.
In John’s gospel we read, “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son (incarnation) of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”
The only miracle that appears in all four Gospels is the feeding of the five thousand mentioned above. This sign demonstrated power over nature as well as an understanding of basic human need. Jesus is called “the Bread of Life” in the New Testament. He made the claim that He had the ability to feed all of our needs. Jesus wanted people to know that his expression of power was a sign of “the kingdom of God come upon them.”
If the purpose of Jesus’ miracles was to confirm He is the Messiah, and point to his message, then what was his message? One of the clearest examples in conjunction with a miracle is found in Mark 2:1-12. Before Jesus told the paralytic to get up, He proclaimed, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” What was the real miracle here? Was Jesus himself, who spoke with the authority of God, although encased in human flesh, the real miracle?
Jesus told the teachers of the Law, “Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
The multitude of those in need that, over the centuries, came to Jesus to be healed were not only rewarded with physical wholeness after ridding them of their bodily inabilities, but more importantly, it left them feeling spiritually cleansed and liberated from any past wrongdoings, and more importantly, His teaching is the mirror that reflects their behaviour.
In addressing the people of Israel, God is accredited with these words: “All the miracles and mighty acts which I performed for you were not with the object that you should give Me a reward, but that you should honour Me like dutiful children and call Me your Father.”

The Miracles Of Jesus – (edited and supplemented from an article by Laura Barron)

The Miracles of Jesus (as mentioned in the Qur’an)

Description: A look at some of the miracles of Jesus mentioned in the Qur’an, with brief comparison with Christian sources.
By IslamReligion.com – Published on 22 May 2006 – Last modified on 25 June 2012

Jesus in the Quran holds one of the highest statures amongst the Prophets. Unlike other Prophets who performed miracles, Jesus himself was a miracle, as he was born of a virgin mother, and Allah describes him and his mother Mary as such:
“…and We made her (Mary) and her son (Jesus) a sign for the worlds.” (Quran 21:91)
Nonetheless, in the Quran, Jesus is described as having many miracles not bestowed upon other prophets. Allah says:
“And We gave unto Jesus, son of Mary, clear miracles” (Quran 2:87)
The following is a brief description of the miracles performed by Jesus mentioned in the Quran.
1. A Table Laden with Food
In the fifth chapter of the Quran, “The Table Laden with Food” – named after this miracle of Jesus, God narrates how the disciples of Jesus requested him to ask Allah to send down a table laden with food, and for it to be a special day of commemoration for them in the future.
“When the disciples said: O Jesus, son of Mary! Is your Lord able to send down for us a table spread with food from heaven? He said: Observe your duty to Allah, if ye are true believers. They said: We desire to eat of it and our hearts be at rest, and that We may know that you have spoken truth to us, and that We may be witnesses thereof. Jesus, son of Mary, said: ‘O Allah, our Lord, send down for us a Table laden with food out of heaven, that shall be for us a recurring festival, the first and last of us, and a miracle from You. And provide us our sustenance, for You are the best of providers!” (Quran 5:112-114)
Since the occasion was to be “for us a recurring festival,” it is likely the Last Supper,[1] also called the Lord’s Supper, Breaking of Bread, Eucharist, or Communion. The Eucharist has always been at the center of Christian worship.
2. While Still in the Cradle
One of the miracles mentioned in the Quran, although not mentioned in the Bible, is that fact that Jesus, while still in the cradle, spoke out to protect his mother Mary from any accusations people may have placed on her due to having a child without a father. When she was approached about this strange incident after her childbirth, Mary merely pointed to Jesus, and he miraculously spoke, just as Allah had promised her upon annunciation.
“He shall speak to people while still in the cradle, and in manhood, and he shall be from the righteous.” (Quran 3:46)
Jesus said to the people:
“I am indeed a slave of Allah. He has given me the Book and made me a Prophet, and He has made me blessed wherever I may be. And He has enjoined upon me prayers, and to pay the alms, as long as I live and (He has made me) kind to my mother, and He has not made me insolent, unblessed. And may Peace be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and on the Day I shall be raised to life.” (Quran 19:30-33)
3. And It Becomes a Bird
Allah mentions a miracle given to none other in the Quran but Jesus, one which is quite parallel to how Allah himself created Adam. This miracle was one which none can argue its greatness. Allah mentions in the Quran that Jesus says:
“I create for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird with God’s permission.” (Quran 3:49)
This miracle is not found in the New Testament, but it is found in the non-canonical ‘Infancy Gospel of Thomas,’ “When this boy, Jesus, was five years old, he was playing at the ford of a rushing stream… he then made soft clay and shaped it into twelve sparrows… but Jesus simply clapped his hands and shouted to the sparrows: “Be off, fly away, and remember me, you who are now alive!” And the sparrows took off and flew away noisily.” (Infancy Gospel of Thomas:2 – written between 140-170 after Christ)
4. Healing the Blind and the Leper
Similar to the New Testament[3], The Quran also mentions Jesus to a have healed the blind and lepers.
“I also heal the blind and the leper.” (Quran 3:49)
The Jews during the time of Jesus were quite advanced in the science of medicine and were quite proud of their achievements. For this reason, miracles of this nature were given by Allah to Jesus, ones which the Jews could well understand that no force in nature could perform its like.
5. The Resurrection of the Dead
“…and I bring to life the dead, by the permission of Allah.” (Quran 3:49)
This, like the creation of a bird, was a miracle of incomparable nature, one which should have caused the Jews to believe in the prophethood of Jesus without doubt. In the New Testament, we read three cases where Jesus brought the dead back to life by Allah’s permission – the daughter of Jairus (Matt 9:18, 23; Mark 5:22, 35; Luke 8:40, 49), the widow’s son at Nain (Luke 7:11), and Lazarus (John 11:43).
6. The Provisions of Today and Tomorrow
Jesus was given the miracle of knowing what people had just eaten, as well as what they had in store for the coming days. Allah says.
“I inform you too of what things you eat, and what you store up in your houses. Surely in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.” (Quran 3:49)
A Demonstration of Truth
Similar to other prophets, Jesus performed miracles to convince sceptics of his truthfulness, not to demonstrate his divinity. The Quran says:
“Surely in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.” (Quran 3:49)
These miracles were performed only by the Will of Allah, had he not willed them to occur, they could never come to be. Allah explicitly states this in the Quran, saying that they were:
“…by the permission of Allah” (Quran 3:49; 5:10)
According to the Qur’an, the fact remains that indeed it was not through his own will that Jesus or any other prophet performed miracles. Rather, they were performed only by Will of Allah Almighty – a fact also explicitly stated in the Bible:
“A man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through him in your midst.” (Acts 2:22)

What this (Muslim) article does not tell you about Acts 2 is this: “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know— Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.”

http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/352/

The Miracles of Jesus (as mentioned in the Qur’an)

The Miracles Of Jesus

Dear Friends,

Dualism in relation to miracles or signs, is the presence of two worlds: one that can be easily seen and explained, and the other a hidden, or spiritual one that only something like Faith can help understand. When that spiritual world overrides the physical one, we have a miracle.
But the Gospel writers did not think of miracles and signs in this dualistic way. From their point of view, there are not two worlds at all – just one, and God is its sole Creator and Sustainer. Everything that happens in the universe is the powerful work of God. Whatever happens in the world, in other words, is His action in His world. As a result, Jewish and Christians thought of ‘miracles’ is not an invasion from some kind of a parallel external world, but as special examples of God’s preserving power in His creation.
In terms of the quantity and quality of evidence, the reports about Jesus’ baffling deeds are without historical parallel. Even if we grant that there were other healers and exorcists in Jesus’ day, the fact is, we know almost nothing about them. We certainly do not know how they themselves understood their own work.
In contrast, here, then, is a unique dimension of the evidence about Jesus: not only do we possess credible reports from others about his fame as a miracle worker, we have several credible statements from his own lips about this aspect of his ministry.
“And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (As written in the Gospel of John 20:30-31)

(article edited from online sources)

The Miracles Of Jesus