eid Read the rest of this entry »

The Real Meaning of Religious Services

Three things are searched for in religious services: cause, important matter, real meaning.

Causes are related to the reasons of services, importantmatters are related to their benefits, and realmeanings are related with their purposes.

There can be no religious service without a real

meaning, because:

1. Allah does not get occupied with futility. The Koran says in this regard: “Or do you think that we created you in devoid of meaning and purpose? 23:115 A remuneration of futile in the Koran is “superstitious”. “They think about the creation of the skies and ground and they say: Our Lord you did not create these without meaning and purpose.” He has created everything with prerogative (righteously). To create something with prerogative is to create on the construction of a meaning and a purpose.

2. Services become services because of intentions. Intention is a state of consciousness. Consequently intention adds purposefulness and meaningfulness to services. No mention of intention can be made in a place of meaninglessness and purposelessness. This is valid for the sacrifice service. Intention designates the “real purpose” of a service.

Real meanings are sometimes confused with nuisances and sometimes they are confused with important matters. However reasons arerelated with purposes. Because reasoning is to “conclude” by way of judgment or it is to “adjudicate”. A reading oriented on the verses which say that books and hidden causes were given to prophets makes us reach the definition of “a reasoning that will put the book to life”. The reason for a service is to “connect” it somewhere. In other words it is to discover its meaning and purpose. It is to determine the part it plays in the realization of man. Maybe it is to determine where a human being is connected or to determine where it connects a human being. The reasons of religious services can be known sometimes with the open and constructive guidance of the dogmas commanding them and by way of circumstance presumption and sometimes by way of reasoning and induction. The hidden reason of the sacrifice service is contained in the verses 36 and 37 of the Pilgrimage section of the Koran which is the only part in the Koran explaining the purpose of Sacrifice.

The Hidden Reason of The Sacrifice service: The secret of exhibition Read the rest of this entry »

Is it a mere coincidence that someone comes and claims that Islâm has insulted the woman? The issue is in some way related to motherhood. How’s that? Once you look into the motives of the ‘modern’ gentlemen or ladies who claim that Islâm has insulted the woman, you will see how badly they have insulted the motherhood. This is their mid-point.

They employ many a technique of insulting the motherhood. Among these first comes treating mothers, who do the most honourable job in the world, as “jobless” women. In their opinion, one has to leave home in order to be working. One has to see the street and let the street see oneself. So that a woman counts as “being working”, it is made a condition for her to show herself to the public. She is required to do work from 8 o’clock in the morning till 9 o’clock in the evening (because the woman is a cheap labour force).

There are also other things that are necessary for these: They are the things which are stipulated by the modern visibility. It is absolutely impossible for one to go to work wearing the same clothes, having the same hair colour, in the same shoes and with the same handbag everyday! It is necessary to become renewed, to adapt one’s colour. It is required to have a dress suited to one’s hair, shoes suited to the dress, a handbag suited to the shoes, a wallet suited to the handbag and a mobile phone suited to it.

As for the items that are out of fashion, they have to be replaced. That’s why one has to follow the fashion. In brief one has to become oil in the production-consumption’s wheels and become flour in the production-consumption’s mill.

One has to work for all of these. How can one gain the resources to meet these expenses unless one works? If this too is not sufficient, one has to gain more and more. If it is not possible to gain more without spending more, one has to spend more. If it is not possible to gain more and more without showing oneself, one has to show oneself more. If it is necessary to attract more attention in order to show oneself more, one has to do so. If it is necessary to spend more than everybody else in order to do it, one has to do so. And, in order to spend more than everybody else, one has to gain more than everybody else.

Which was necessary for which? I got confused about it…

That which is done by a woman without leaving her home and doing regular paid work outside is not “work”. It is regarded as an “inability” and treated with contempt even by a loose woman curling her lip and saying ‘she is just a housewife’. The modern think that being a housewife, i.e. being a woman who looks after her home is a job which should be treated with disdain. Being a businesswoman is liked more. Being a streetwalker is even liked more than the other.

In the eyes of the modern, she plays duck and drakes (!) with her husband’s money. Is it her boss’s money? Or is it her superior’s scolding? Is it the unpleasant smell coming from the mouth of this and that man? Is it the humiliating condition endured in overcrowded buses and minibuses on the way to and from work? Well, they are part of the job, one would say. She is supposed to depend on anything else but not to make use of her husband’s earnings. She is supposed to receive a scolding from anyone whether it is the superior, foreman or boss, but not from her husband. Even a remark made by a street yahoo or a market macho lout is considered less harmful…

When talking about housewives, the first thing they would say is ‘Ugh! She is not free (!).’ In their opinion, Read the rest of this entry »

This is the title of a book I am slowly working on. This work prioritizes a stylistically critical approach to analyzing Siyar [works having as their subject the biography of the Prophet (SAWS)], Maghazi [works about the holy wars conducted for Islâm], Shamail [works depicting the character, good manners and looks of the Holy Prophet (SAWS)], Hilya [works illustrating the outward appearance, virtues and beautiful qualities of the Holy Prophet (SAWS)], Mujizat [works describing the miracles showed by the Prophets (AS)], and Hasais [works informing about the characteristics of the Prophet (SAWS)] which are each evaluated as an independent discipline by classical writers but which are all a part of the literature dealing with the life or an aspect of the life of the Holy Prophet (SAWS).

You may ask Who are the three Muhammad? Let me enumerate as follows:

1. Muhammad (SAWS) that is excluded from the life by being treated as a superhuman or an angel.

2. Muhammad (SAWS) that is perceived at the level of a postman between ALLÂH (SWT) and man, as if performing the function of a connecting cable.

3. Muhammad (SAWS) that is unlike and opposite to these; that is such as introduced by the Noble Qur’ân as an example of the morals set in it.

Besides this category, some Islamic disciplines also have one-sided ways of understanding the Holy Prophet (SAWS):

1. Understanding the Prophet (SAWS) as somebody indefatigably speaking, whose life consisting of nothing but talking.

2. The Sufis perceiving the Prophet (SAWS) as somebody who is a little secluded, a little elitist, a little bit delirious, but always sunk in mystery and necessarily extraordinary.

3. Islâmic jurisprudence scholars perceiving the Prophet (SAWS) as somebody constantly setting rules, Read the rest of this entry »

The holy month of Ramadan, deemed the sultan of the other 11 months and a time of bountiful blessings, today leaves its place to the month of Shawwal, which begins with the holiday of Eid al-Fitr. Eid al-Fitr is a three-day holiday that marks the end of the month of fasting.

Eid is an Arabic term meaning “festivity” or “celebration” while fitr means “to break the fast” and can also mean “nature” from the word “fitra.” Eid falls on the first day of Shawwal, the month which follows Ramadan on the Islamic calendar. It is a time to give in charity to those in need and celebrate with family and friends the completion of a month of blessings and joy.

On the first day of eid, Muslims wake up very early and pray the morning prayer. Afterwards, they eat a small meal, a symbolic act that reminds them that Ramadan is over. They then gather in mosques to perform the eid prayer — congregational prayers held for the occasion of eid. The prayer is made up of two cycles and is followed by a sermon. Worshippers greet and hug one another in a spirit of peace and love after the congregational prayer in celebration of one another’s eid. They later scatter to visit their families and friends, give gifts to one another and make phone calls to distant relatives to convey good wishes for the holiday. The eid lasts for three days and is generally an official holiday in Muslim countries.

Muslims around the world share in the great blessing of the tranquil and spiritual eid morning. It is a joyous occasion
with important religious significance, celebrating the increase in piety with which Allah blesses the world during the month of Ramadan. It is a day of forgiveness and moral victory as well as of brotherhood and unity. Muslims celebrate not only the end of fasting, but also thank Allah for the help and strength that he bestowed upon them throughout the month of fasting, during which they endured their fast with not only a physical but also a spiritual asceticism — that is, they have controlled their stomachs, their tongues and their hearts, so they have successfully passed the test of servanthood. It is a time of giving and sharing.

Common greetings during this holiday are the Arabic greeting “Eid Mubarak,” (May your eid be blessed). Turks and Muslims living in areas where the Ottoman presence heavily influenced local customs say “Bayramın Mübarek Olsun” during eid, also meaning “May your eid be blessed.”

Muslims put on their best clothes, called “bayramlık” in Turkey, often purchased just for the occasion. They visit loved ones and pay their respects to the deceased in cemeteries.

Young ones kiss the right hand of the elderly and press it to their forehead as a gesture of respect. Children go around their neighborhood to wish everyone a happy eid and collect candy and chocolate. Guests are offered eau de cologne and traditional sweets such as baklava and lokum (Turkish delight). Young visitors are generally offered a small amount of money.

Television and radio stations broadcast a variety of special eid programs, which include movie specials, musical programs and celebratory addresses from celebrities and politicians.

Candy store owners and patisseries wait for eid with great expectations as the festivity brings with it an increase in sales and, therefore, rising profits. They begin preparing months before the occasion and try to attract customers with colorful and delicious delicacies.

The exact day on which eid falls depends on the sighting of the new moon — the hilal, which is only visible just after sunset. Muslims look for the hilal to determine the beginning and end of Islamic months.

Many Muslim countries around the world have hilal-sighting committees that declare the beginning and end of the months. Hilal sighting was recommended by the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). The following are some sayings (hadith) of the Prophet on the subject of sighting the new moon: “Do not fast until you see the new moon and do not break the fast until you see it.” “Whenever you see the new moon [of Ramadan], observe the fast. And when you see the new moon of Shawwal, break it. If [due to clouds] the actual position of the moon is concealed from you, you should then observe the fast for 30 days.”

Sweet competition between candy, chocolate

Though candy used to top the list of delicacies offered to visitors during Eid al-Fitr, chocolate seems to have dethroned it in the last couple of years.

Şebnem Nasi, the general manager of the Ülker Chocolate marketing department, stated that there is stiff competition between candy and chocolate in Turkey during eid. “A person consumes around one-and-a-half to two kilograms of chocolate a year. The consumption of candy is more or less the same. Though chocolate consumption was not very common in Turkey in the past due to its high price, it has seen an increase in recent years and is now able to compete with candy consumption,” she said.

Dentists have, however, warned people not to eat too many sweets during Eid al-Fitr as it may lead to tooth decay.

Duran Tekin, a dentist in Kayseri, said consumption of sweets increases considerably during eid. “Sweets may stick to the surface of teeth and easily be turned into acid by bacteria. Frequent consumption of sweets may lead to decay if one does not brush one’s teeth after eating them,” he said.

He noted that if one cannot brush one’s teeth after eating sweets, he should eat a carrot, an apple or a cucumber to reduce the production of acid in the mouth to a minimum. “Hosts should therefore offer one of these to their guests after candy or chocolate,” he said.

Tekin also added even a glass of water helps prevent tooth decay after consuming sweets. “Acidic beverages also contribute to tooth decay. Choose ayran or fruit juice instead of acidic beverages,” he said.

Officials warn drivers to be extra cautious on the road

Officials have warned drivers to be more careful when driving during the eid vacation, saying roads and highways will be more crowded than usual. They noted that the number of casualties in traffic accidents significantly rises during these vacations, calling for greater attention and full compliance with traffic regulations. Drivers are particularly being cautioned to avoid drinking and driving as well as speeding.

Interior Minister Beşir Atalay on Sunday called on everyone to respect traffic rules and not turn the eid into a day of mourning. “All precautions will be taken not to pave the way for accidents. For a more peaceful eid, traffic rules should be abided by,” he said.

Drivers’ chambers released similar warnings, as well. Representatives of drivers’ chambers from various Turkish cities warned drivers to be extra cautious when driving during the eid.

“Drivers should be calm and refrain from speeding and violating traffic rules. If they intend to drive to more distant cities, they should sleep well before getting behind the wheel and fasten their seatbelts. They should absolutely abstain from alcohol before driving and rest at regular intervals,” they said.

30 September 2008, Tuesday

BETÜL AKKAYA

love islam mosque

One does not discuss love, one lives and feels it. To discuss love is to speak where there are no more words left. A human can only talk about love. O my dear reader! Read this piece of writing as the one “about love”.

Love is like light, lovelessness is like darkness. Darkness can’t have a source. Darkness is the state when there is no light. But there must always be a source for light. There can be no love without a source as there can be no light without a source.

Allâh (Swt) Is the Source of love. The river of love falls down from Allâh (Swt). For He (Swt) Is Al-Wadûd. The Name Al-Wadûd is in double voice. This voice is characterized by bearing in itself both active and passive forms. So, the Name Al-Wadûd means both “the Most Loving One” and “the Most Loved One”. To put it in other words, this name denotes both “the Ever Loving One” and “the One Wishing to be loved”. That’s the difference distinguishing this Name from others.

Allâh (Swt) Is Ar-Razzâq, “He Provides sustenance”. Allâh Is Al-Khalaq, “He Creates”. Allâh Is Al-Ghaffâr, “He Forgives”. Allâh Is Ar-Rahmân and “ He Has mercy”. These and the like Names are single-sided. But when it comes to the Name Al-Wadûd everything changes. A double-sided relationship begins: both loving and wishing to be loved. Here lies the difference of love.

“A-L-H” is an isolated form of the name Allâh. Only 7 compositions can be obtained by changing the position of these letters. All of these indicate only one meaning: love. His Most Beautiful Names, Al-Asmâ’u’l-Husnâ, are the reflections of His (Swt) Love in the prism of names. The Names Ar-Rahmân and Ar-Rahîm, which are repeatedly recited by Muslims as part of Basmala, show that He (Swt) Is full of love and He Does whatever He Does with love.

Love attributed to Allâh (Swt) is expressed in words “Hubb” and “Wudd”. As for the word “Ashq”, which could also be rendered love in English, it is never used for the Divine Love in the literature dealing with the Noble Qur’ân and Sunnah. Because “Ashq”, which etymologically denotes “ivy” and “gripping and hanging on to the loved one like an ivy”, expresses the human love.

As for Hubb, it means “seed, pip, kernel”. The word Hububat (i.e. cereals) arises from here. It is obvious why love is called “Muhabbah”: Love is the seed of the tree of creation. And the human, who is the noblest fruit of the tree of creation, is the fruit of the seed of love, which bears its own seed in itself.

A fruit proves its faithfulness to its root by love. Human’s love to Allâh (Swt) is like this, too. That’s why it is stipulated by the Divine Revelation that the biggest share in love should be allotted to Allâh: “Those who believe love Allâh (Swt) more than anything”. And the Holy Prophet (Saws) is commanded to say the following: “Say: If you love Allâh (Swt), follow me so that Allâh (Swt) Loves you, too”.

Wudd expresses a special kind of love. This kind of love can only be bestowed. Since it bears an extract from its Giver (Swt), this love is eternal. Read the following Qur’ânic verse: “Ar-Rahmân will bestow (eternal) love (wudd) onto those who believe and do righteous good deeds.” It must be for this very reason that in the first years the Divine Revelation gave its addressees glad tidings of Paradise and threatened them with Hell while in later period, when they matured, the Divine Revelation gave glad tidings and warned by saying “Allâh (Swt) Loves – Allâh (Swt) Does Not Love”. This is indicative of how high a degree is reached by love in the relation between Allâh (Swt) and slave.

There is also fake love as there is a fake of everything. The true love puts in order, spurious love spoils. If at source it is not from Allâh (Swt), it is false love, and the one marketing it is a forger. The love which does not take its origin from the holy is not love but passion. Since love makes itself abundant it makes the human free, but passion arrests and enslaves. Those who call passion love, do the love itself an injustice by supposing the loneliness of two persons to be love.

The modern age has three false gods: power, money and sex. These make up the trinity of the lifestyle based on the belief that there is only the life of this world. Nowadays, the false god of sex is marketed under the name of “love” as part of the operation of global degradation. The holy thing entrusted to us, which we call life, has never been such a plaything in the hands of adulterers and adulteresses as it is now. Libido has never captured the consciousness to such an extent as it has today. The brokers of lust have never had so many clients all together.

The blowing up of sex under the name of “love” is a natural continuation of the global degradation operation. The aim of this operation is to make life senseless and purposeless, that is to say without Allâh (Swt). This is the real terror on which one should declare war. Because it is the terror of morals. This terror poses a threat to the whole human race. Enterprises engaged in marketing adultery under the name of “St. Valentine’s Day” are part of the terror of morls.

A person who cannot say “No” to adultery cannot say “Yes” to love. For adultrery poisons love. Poisoned love causes the human being, who is the most honourable of the creation, to resemble an insect that, after mating, stings and poisons its female. It makes the human being the most disgraceful of the creation, “like animals, even lower than them”, as worded by the Noble Qur’ân. Chastity starts to decay where there is no more privacy left, respect starts to decay where there is no more chastity left, disposition starts to decay where there is no more respect left. And nature starts to decay where there is no more disposition left.

If the nature has decayed, no one can hold that human. No one can set a limit for lust. No one can draw a mark for somebody saying “Amusement is mine, I can do whatever I want”. In the end, it comes to a seventeen-month-old baby. Laments for a seventeen-month-old baby having been a victim of rape expressed by a person who doesn’t say no committing adultery with a seventeen-year-old are similar to “crocodile tears”.

Let everyone bear the following in mind: There is either a limit or there are no limits at all.

Mustafa Islamoglu

17th century madrasa manuscript
17th century Turkish manuscript showing a Madrasa in Istanbul.

Did you know that the Arabic word for mosque is Jami’ and the Arabic for university is Jami’a? A thousand years ago the first universities emerged within mosques where religion and science sat comfortably side by side.

Building on knowledge from Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, Chinese and Indian Civilisations, Muslims developed a learning culture where enquiring minds searched for truths based on scientific rigour and experimentation. In almost every field of knowledge, Muslims made new inventions and discoveries with practical outcomes that helped develop society.

Muslim charitable institutions provided the first scholarships to support students.Courses were difficult and medicine was particularly gruelling, and just like in universities today, examinations were long and difficult.

School Zone Highlights

Explore the unique link between mosques and universities in Islam more than 1000 years ago.
As more and more students attended universities, ijazas, or certificates, were awarded to those who graduated. These ijazas could be the origin of the word ‘baccalareus’. Today the International Baccalaureate is a qualification for international students.
Learn about advances made by Jabir ibn Hayyan’s research in the field of chemistry.
Known in the west as Geber, he is considered to be the founder of chemistry due to his enormous contributions to the field.
Discover the origins of the term chairperson or ‘chair’.
Over a thousand years ago, Muslim schools and universities had study circles with groups of students gathered around a professor who was seated on a chair or kursi. It is this notion that evolved into a professional position, the chairperson.

Other School Zone topics: Read the rest of this entry »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.