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Inrtoduction of Moderators

 
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abdullah



Joined: 25 Dec 2006
Posts: 18
Location: Toronto, ON

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 7:25 am    Post subject: Inrtoduction of Moderators Reply with quote

Salam

Can moderators provide their detail introduction, life, education, name of Islamic scholars/Organizations where they got religious knowledge, if converted what was the inspiration, especially about Dr. Shabbir Ahmed.Question

Thanks
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Dr. Shabbir
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Joined: 24 Dec 2006
Posts: 1329
Location: Florida, USA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr. Shabbir is not a moderator. Very Happy
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Wassalam,
SA
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Arnold Yasin Mol
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Salaam Aleikum,

Well dear Abdullah, where to begin? I'm 24 years old. Born and raised in Holland. As blond and blueeyed as God can make them. Grown up in a Catholic family. My father was a Sonar-engineer working for the NATO. He was away working abroad most of my youth.

When I grew up, I never saw Jesus really as a god or son of God. Weird really, for me God and Jesus were 2 seperate things. When I went into puberty, I lost my feel for God. The goal of Christian Religion didn't fulfill me, and I had a real interrest for science, which contradicted with the Bible. When I was about 18, I had a feel for God again, but couldn't do anything with it. Then I started to study Biochemistry where I met a moroccon classmate and we started to talk a lot. Finally he gave me his copy of the Quran, one of the worst Dutch translations there is, but of course it is done by a supported Imam, all the mosques only use that one.

He knew my greatest problem was that nothing concided with science, so my classmate said that the Quran completely coincided with science facts. I read the translation for 2 months. I don't know how, but I started to see it was from God. Something in my being, in my innerSelf got stirred. And me and my girlfriend decided to become Muslim. We got married and lived together exploring Islam. From the beginning on I rejected the notion of seperation between groups I experienced. I went to Turkish mosques and Moroccon, and saw myself just as a Muslim. I was so excited, so mezmerrized by this new life, this suddenly having a purpose. Life had a meaning it never had before.

Because of this I lost that which was my criteria before I became Muslim, my rationality and scientifical thinking. I believed in Hadith blindly, I loved the mystery and mythology it gave to my life, which I missed in my sterile and empty western life. You become a kid again, but this time belonging to a grown up group. I became known in my city for my knowledge and parents adressed me to teach their children Islam. I went to Turkey to see the Ottoman traces. I fell in love with Turkey, being in a Muslim country. But I started also to see the problems in the Muslim world.

Then suddenly something happened. My wife came up to me and asked me if I minded she wouldn't wear the head-scarf anymore. She was sick of Dutch people annoying her, but she was especially sick of the Muslim men harrassing her. There is a gravely distorted sexual moral in the Arabian Muslims that live in Holland. They believe they can say and do anything they want to a Muslim woman.

So I let her take of the scar as I didn't saw no function it it. I also never really cared about headscarfs. As I believed you must only follow rules when you understand them and submit to the reason behind it, not because the surroundings demand it. But to be sure I didn't say anything wrong, I called up her aunt. My wife's aunt was already Muslim for 25 years, and a known Muslima with unbelievable knowledge. I called her and explained her. And she said it was funny I called her with this question and told us to come over her place.

So we went, and when I sat down, her aunt looked at me and said; 'It wouldn't surprise me if you would walk away because of the things I'm going to say'. I was surprised to this, but I listened. And God be praised, I stayed....

She started to tell about the Quran not promoting any headscarfs. But this was only the beginning. She said the Quran also didn't allow any other source for Islam except the Quran itself. I was shocked, as the things she told me were so logical. All the contradictions I had hidden for myself that I had encountered in Islam were explained because of this. So I started to study the Quran and the history of Hadith.

When my research began to be questioned in the mosques, and when my wife's aunt was treathened with death, we seperated ourselves from the Muslims in my city. I started to study Islam non-stop. 24 hours a day. Every day. My wife lost interrest, as she never was converted through he Quran but by the Muslim lifestyle she was intruiged by. In this trial, we became seperated in thinking and ideas. When the Muslim Lifestyle fell away, also her interrest in Islam fell away. My research and findings didn't interrest her, and so I even seperated myself more to hide my grief. I at least had her aunt still, who was my study-companion.

I surfed the net and found several Quran alone groups, but all had formed sects on their own. For me it was more about their proofs on Hadith and Quran, then on their concept of being the 'only real Muslims'. After a year of studying Islam based on the Quran as only Wahi, my wife and I had grown apart to much, and we decided to divorce. She had no interrest in Islam at all anymore, and did not follow the rules of the Quran anymore. She was a good wife and a respectable woman, but my life was Islam. I had so much faith in the Quran, her rejection of it was the same as rejecting me.

I came to live with my parents again. The first months were hard, but I got out of the misery and started my own life again. I climbed out of my seclusion I had lived in for more then a year, and started to live. I picked up old friendships again, Muslim and non-Muslims. Then after 3 months I met a Muslim girl, we started talking about Islam. And soon she agreed with my thinking. She had doubts about many things in Islam till she met me. I was amazed by her and we fell in love. InchAllah we want to get married this upcoming year. Her family doesn't want me because I'm white. But we ignore this racism. In Januari of this year I started to write articles, and finally ended up on Our Beacon. I followed the Quran alone already for 2 years, but most of my ideas still had Sunni background. Believe in miracles, jinn, my concepts of the Afterlife, I approached the Quran as a religious Book, and not as a Divine Constitution.

I started to read Parwez and Dr.Shabbir's work, and it took me a long time to change my mindstate. I had to let go of my ideas of personal salvation and belief int he supernatural. But when it finally all fell into place. Suddenly everything fitted. And the rest you know through my articles and posts. Now I'm busy with writings in Dutch and teaching Islamic History Classes in mosques. Step by step people are waking up in Holland. There are many people who see the Quran as the only real Wahi, and Hadith are approached with more logic and reason. But also we have large groups of Wahabi's and Al-Sunna who promote themselves under the young generations. Many young Muslim are looking for their identity, and these radical sects provides one for them.

But his is no problem in my eyes. Me and companions have the weapons and the strategy to make them less convincing for people. It will take a lot of patience, writing and lecturing. But step by step and with Allah's help we will get there.

It still amazes me every morning when I wake up, on the path I have walked to the pure Islam of the Quran. From being a Christian to Atheist drugdealer to Agnostic weedsmoker to Sunni to Muslim. Allah has given me a mission in my life, a purpose, and I would die for it. I'm gratefull to Allah for all the knowledge and insight He has given me, and especially for all the blessings. I now study Theology at Amsterdam College, where my Theology professors support my mission completely. They also have Dr.Shabbir's book, and demand all of my articles and books to read. They are really interrested and intruiged by this thinking. I hope in 2007 or 2008 to inshAllah start my study at the University of Leiden, studying Islam. Leiden University has the largest Islamic Library in Europe, containing ancient and mostly rare documents.

Taseer and me wanted to make a Quran-study site, where all important books, articles, video's, dictionary's and programs would be offered. Then Dr.Shabbir had the idea that me and Taseer took over his site, so he would have more time for his other projects and we would have a platform to achieve our goal with. The new forum was the first step. In time we hope to make Our Beacon.com the best Quran study site on the web, that promotes the pure Deen, but also teaches the Muslims to unite again as an Ummah inshAllah.

Mahmud Qasmi and Mateen Ahmed supported and guided us from the beginning, when plans were formed to take over the site. I thank them for this and may Allah bless them. They are smart and educated Muslims who have a good insight in the Quran and Islam. This is why me and Dr.Shabbir decided they should also be moderators.

I hope this introduction is what you intended. If you have any questions, please ask.
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Dr. Shabbir
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 7:29 pm    Post subject: Malik Faisal: My First Qur’anic Teacher Reply with quote

Malik Faisal: My First Qur’anic Teacher

Qur'anic Arabic: The Quraish Dialect:
(Humbly submitted from Preface to QXPii Audio.)
The Author of the Qur’an is none but Almighty God. Here is an English rendition of the Glorious Book by an ordinary servant of Allah, Shabbir Ahmed.
The work although close to translation, is more of a free understanding from within the Qur’an itself. This Divine Writ calls itself An-Nur (The Light) and light needs no extrinsic sources to show itself. Therefore, I have based my presentation on two principles:
1. Focusing on the language in which the Qur'an was revealed.
2. Making use of Tasreef, that is, how the Qur'an repeats its messages in various ways from very diverse vantage points.
The use of Tasreef along with a diligent study of the Book lets us look at the Qur’an in its Big Picture, and this indeed, gives us a phenomenal extra advantage toward its understanding.
I have rendered the terms and linguistics of the Qur’an using the Quraish dialect of Makkah since it is the Arabic dialect in which the Qur'an was revealed to the exalted Muhammad bin Abdullah, the Final Prophet, Messenger and Apostle of God (570-632 CE).
Being a young member of the royal medical staff, I had the good fortune of learning the Quraish dialect in the 1970s under the auspices of Malik Faisal bin Abdul Aziz and Malik Khalid bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia. In addition, the opportunity to socialize with the Bedouins was extremely beneficial since even today they frequently speak the Quraish dialect. Learning the dialect, by no means, amounts to absorbing the Saudi theology.
Some of the well known scholars who had the blessed fortune of having learned Arabic by socializing with the Bedouins:
- The Swiss Muslim Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in the 1810s.
- The British Muslim Sir Richard Burton in the 1850s.
- The German non-Muslim Heinrich von Maltzan during 1860s.
- The Austrian Muslim Leopold Weiss (Muhammad Asad) in the 1950s.
- The French surgeon Maurice Buccaille in the 1950s.
It is of paramount importance to know that the mentioned dialect is not extinct. It is very much alive and well in the Pre-Islamic and ‘Para-Islamic’ poetry and well preserved in some good dictionaries. The special role of the desert nomads, especially in the Empty Quarter, has already been mentioned.
The Empty Quarter is the second largest desert in the world following only the Sahara of Africa. It is located in the south eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula touching the capital Riyadh.
Especially, the Bedouins living in that area, speak the Quraish dialect. They live in tents and migrate with their camels, sheep and goats in search of nearby live oasis or water resources, primarily natural water springs. They live the simplest of lives and basically eat dates, melons, rice, wheat bread, chicken (rarely), lamb, and camel. They use plenty of camel milk and skin in different forms. They have a tough life, the temp going to 116 degrees F easily in the summer, fighting scorching winds and finding their ways through moving sand dunes. Almost every Bedouin is a master of stars, finding direction, time and even seasons through them.

Malik Faisal Shaheed
King Faisal was a King only by title but truly he was a saint. He used to sit with us on the floor in the royal palace. He shunned being called Malik, "Say Faisal!" Few people know that he was a scholar of the Qur'an par excellence.
A man of few words and very dignified manners, a humble yet imposing personality, he was a very affectionate father figure to us. He would never mind any questions and spoke fluent Arabic, English and French. He was easily the most outstanding mu'min I have seen in my life.
One day, the youngster Shabbir gathered all his courage and asked, "Please tell us the best way to learn the Qur'an." His answer was brief and to the point, "My dear son! Remember that the Qur'an explains itself. Learn the ancient Makkah dialect and socialize with the nomads." With this, he appointed a teacher for us (10 young doctors) to learn the pre-Islamic poetry in relation to the Qur'an.
I never saw him sitting on his throne except when in the company of foreign diplomats. With him, we always ate what he ate. The man never gave himself a special treatment or sought a special seating. He would stand up to welcome us and stand up to say farewell without fail.
I can call him the living Qur'an. He never raised his voice, never showed arrogance and he was extremely good as a patient. Never did I hear the word "ouch" from him when going through a medical procedure.
Just casually reciting some verse(s) in a conversation, if we made a mistake in recitation, he wouldn't ever say we were wrong. Rather, he would gently ask us to read again.
Malik Faisal was very fond of telling us young doctors to ride the camels at least twice a week maintaining that it was the best thing for physical fitness.
His joy knew no bounds when one day he heard from me that I would even decline to drink non-alcoholic beer. Often, he would repeat, "If you wish to attain supreme success in both lives, love Prophet Muhammad (S), yes, love him, yes again, love him in word and action."
When Z.A. Bhutto was the PM of Pakistan, he called an international Islamic conference in Lahore in 1973. The proposal came forward that Malik Faisal be accepted as the AMIRUL MU'MINEEN of the entire Ummah. The work was moving ahead in that direction but ..... Alas!
When he was shot in March 1975 right in the middle of his chest, I was one of the first medical men to see him. We knew that the bullets had gone through his heart and that his moments were numbered. Can you believe that there was no groaning at all? The only words he was uttering repeatedly were what the Prophet (S) had uttered, "Allahumma Rafiqil A'la" (Allah is the Supreme Companion.)
Ah, those 8 years of my life, including the initial times of Malik Khalid as well, what wonderful memories!
Malik Faisal bin Abdul Aziz was a unique figure in the Saudi Dynasty. His predecessor, Malik Saud bin Abdul Aziz had spoiled the image of Islam, the Arabs and his illustrious father, Malik Abdul Aziz, the founder of the desert Kingdom.
Saud was a classic picture of pomp and luxury. He drank heavily, was a notorious womanizer, extremely prodigal and cared little for the welfare of the nation. The royal family and the council of ministers dethroned him in 1964. Fahd, after Khalid, was similar but, because of frequent intoxication and ill health, he wielded little power. He was King only as a formality. He was more powerful as the Crown Prince when his health was better and Malik Khalid was ailing, aging).
Malik Faisal (1906-1975) was quite the opposite, a man of extraordinary piety and the most noble character expected of a true mu'min. Saudi Arabia truly shifted into high gear and started flourished during his rule (1964-1975).
King Khalid was a simple, honorable gentleman who only graciously followed Faisal's policies although with much less vigor. The ailing Khalid was not very intelligent and he was no reformist.
Such was Faisal's consciousness of time that we could fix our watches by his scheduled appearance to the audience. One morning, he desired to meet with us at 8:30 AM. We young doctors were all at the palace at 8:15. I was looking at my beautiful golden RADO watch, the most elite and fashionable gift of that era. The King had given it to me only two weeks ago and I still have it, looking and working brand new after 34 years of constant use. But that morning! - Well, the watch was showing 8:29 and there was no sign of the King arriving. I was getting delighted at about to find some imperfection for once in the mu'min of the century. Nay, exactly at 8:30 the silk curtain moved and therefrom entered the lone, slim, awe-inspiring figure of the King with his trade-mark dignified smile saying, "Assalam alaikum, Sabah al-Khair, Ya Ahlan!" (Peace be unto you all, have a blissful morning, O Welcome, all of you).
There was a serious revolt by the unruly Saudi employees of ARAMCO, Dahran against the American officers and their families one late night of 1972. Law enforcement personnel were too few to quell the rebellion. The provincial governor frantically called the King at 2 AM. The Malik did not know how to panic. He had been the right hand of his great father since age 12 during all his expeditions! He calmly ordered, "Do not fight. Move everyone to safety. Save lives. Make a video." You can imagine how successful the strategy was. It saved bloodshed and every single culprit was caught the next morning.
Malik Faisal repeatedly used to say that memorization of the Qur'an was not a dire need of the modern times when we have millions and millions of copies available and millions more printed every year. Only the congenitally blind should become HUFFAZ (memorizing guardians of the Qur'an).
The King, being a master scholar, craved for modernization within the vast limits of the Qur'an. He knew Islam is not to be bound in orthodoxy. The extreme orthodoxy had reason to dislike him.
His political acumen was unrivalled. The world remembers his very effective embargo of oil during the Arab-Israeli war of 1973. I saw even his opponents, some western oil officials and top diplomats, admiring the man's integrity, empathy, foresight, trustworthiness and courage during that period of turmoil.
In 1974, Malik Faisal wanted to popularize girls' education in the country, liberate women and began using television as a very useful tool in this regard.
Malik Faisal's namesake nephew, young Faisal who had been studying chemistry in the US, moved back to Saudi Arabia in Feb 1975. He was the assassin who fatally shot the saintly King in the chest on that fateful day in March 1975.
When the mu'min of the century was assassinated, there were two common views behind the tragedy.
1. The student Faisal had remained an extremist and he hated his reformist uncle.
2. The West were terribly apprehensive of the rising international popularity and influence of Malik Faisal.
May Allah bless his 'self'!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q&A with Arnold Yasin from Holland
AY: Would he have accepted the approach you have now on Islam?
SA: Well, I was a doctor but young student of Islam, 23 y/o in 1970 and he was a great scholar. Malik Faisal subscribed to Al-Islam and not to N2I which I had very skeptically grown up with. He had very similar ideas as we have today but the environment was not conducive even for the King.
The Grand Mufti of the Kingdom, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Baaz was a staunch N2I and was he a powerful blind man, O My God! And so were the other elite in the Kingdom, all N2I.
I consider Malik Faisal Shaheed my first true living Qur'anic teacher. Masjid, school and neighborhood, had all been N2I. Fortunately, my elders were all very moderate and took ritualism very lightly. I regard Allama Iqbal (d. 1938) as my first Islamic and philosophical mentor posthumously through his powerful Urdu and Persian poetry (I was born in 1947, 9 years after the great Allama died).
AY: Is he the same King that financed M.Bucaille?
SA: Yes, when he was the Crown Prince and also Leopold Weiss (Muhammad Asad).
AY: How was your life with the Bedouins?
SA: Oh, Wow! Excellent! They are very hospitable and grateful people. I used to treat anyone who would approach me day or night. The tough desert life has made them very shrewd. They are able to recognize sincerity before you blink.
The Bedouins brought sheep and goats, dates and fruit and all kinds of gifts at our beautiful home every day so that I could host the non-stop lines of affectionate visitors. Amazingly, most of the time we never knew who left the gift items in our front-yard at night! Such was their selflessness. Their families would help my wife and mother in the huge kitchen all the time 7d/wk and keep the house neat.
The government, the Saudis including the nomads honored my parents who visited us twice a year when my father got 45 days of vacation from his work in Karachi. They used to request them to let our whole family stay in Saudi Arabia all our lives. Hundreds of Saudi men, women and children were crying when we were finally departing in 1980.
AY: Do you still have contact with the Royal Family?
SA: Our family left Saudi Arabia during the gentle Malik Khalid's rein primarily for the education of our little kids, back home to the USA. Fahd as the crown prince had little liking for me since I had to consistently decline his indulgences, wine and dance parties etc. So, there has been an absolute breakdown of communication with the royal family from 1982 until today. Fahd became the King in 1982.
"SHARAB, SHABAB, KEBAB" (Wine, beautiful women and rolled lamb kebobs) was the motto of Fahd's life. He was lewd and indecent like King Saud bin Abdul Aziz. He had a one way love affair with the British P.M. Margaret Thatcher. Almost instinctively he used to call her the most gorgeous and sexy woman on earth, "Want to see a heavenly houri? See Margaret!" He was crrrraaazzzzy about her, I don't know why Smile I criticize him only because he was a King and an international figure badly hurting the image of Islam. Otherwise, we must avoid backbiting.
AY: To keep in the middle and profess your own opinion is true faith.
SA: You see why the Qur'an lays so much emphasis on thinking, reflection and independent analysis.
AY: I have Asad's book on his travels through Arabia, called 'The Road to Mecca', I will look the King up, see how Asad has experienced the King. Do you know the book dear Doctor?
SA: I do have the wonderful book and read it many years ago. Muhammad Asad would hesitate to acknowledge the Crown Prince Faisal openly because of a deviant King Saud and a strongly N2I but powerful Grand Mufti at that time.
The Grand Mufti died in 1999 at the age of 93. Only in the last year of his life did he revert to the Qur'an and, communicating with me through an old professional colleague of mine, he asked me to write THE CRIMINALS OF ISLAM. The Urdu and English editions have a brief introduction from him!
Unfortunately, his successor is reported to be a strongly sectarian N2I as well.
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Wassalam,
SA
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