Category Archives: News

Quran Made Easy – Mutfi Elias Has Passed Away

Yesterday it was made aware to me that Mufti AH Elias, the person behind Quran Made Easy, an English translation of the Qur’an with inline commentary had died. Shaykh Muhammad Yasir al Hanafi posted this notice on Facebook yesterday.

Just before every Ramadan I have posted a link to his translation of the Qur’an on Amazon Kindle. Some years ago when I came across his translation, I found it to be very illuminating and so thought it would be useful for both Muslims and non-Muslims. In that regard, I sent an email asking that he discount the cost of the translation temporarily for Ramadan. Subsequently, I was surprised to see that he had made it permanently free. May Allah reward him for his kindness. You too, can download his translation for your Android, iOS phones, as well as for your PC. The Kindle App is free for all devices and an Amazon account is also free, no credit card needed.

Here’s the link to get the Qur’an translation.

Verily, it is from Allah we come and it is to Him that we return.

and Allah knows best.

The Passing of Shaykh Muhammad Mustafa al ‘Azami

It is with a heavy heart that I convey the sad news of the passing away of my teacher, Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa Al-A’zami (rahimahullah).

The Sheikh was one of the world’s premier scholars of Hadith, and received his education at Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband, India (1952), al-Azhar University, Cairo (M.A., 1955),

mmazami

The Shaykh

and the University of Cambridge (Ph.D., 1966). He was Professor Emeritus at King Sa’ud University (Riyadh) where he also chaired the department of Islamic Studies.

He served as curator of the National Public Library, Qatar; Associate Professor at Umm al-Qura University (Makkah); Visiting Scholar at University of Michigan (Ann Arbor); Visiting Fellow at St. Cross College (University of Oxford); King Faisal Visiting Professor for Islamic Studies at Princeton; and Visiting Scholar at University of Colorado (Boulder). He was also an Honorary Professor at University of Wales (Lampeter).

His publications include Ageless Qur’an: A Timeless Text, The History of the Qur’anic Text, Studies in Early Hadith Literature, Hadith Methodology and Literature, On Schacht’s Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence, Dirasat fi al-Hadith an-Nabawi, Kuttab an-Nabi, Manhaj an-Naqd ‘ind al-Muhaddithin, and al-Muhaddithin min al-Yamamah. He had also edited numerous other works including Kitab at-Tamyiz of Imam Muslim, Muwatta of Imam Malik, Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah and Sunan Ibn Majah to name a few.
In 1980 he was the recipient of the prestigious King Faisal International Award for Islamic Studies.

In the western world, the Sheikh was best known for his critical investigation of the writings of the famous orientalists Ignác Goldziher, David Margoliouth, and Joseph Schacht.

I was fortunate to spend almost 15 years with the Sheikh learning from him and benefiting from his knowledge.

A great loss for the Muslim Ummah!

Source: Imtiyaz Damiel, Facebook.

Christian in Indonesia Speaks Up for Muslims

Following a recent visit to Dearborn, Michigan, Mark Zuckerberg spoke about his meeting with young Muslims who attend the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He had a lot to say, so I’ll share his post here:

His post did have an important message, but as with all messages on immigrants and Muslims, some really angry people found their way into the comments section. They didn’t have much pleasant things to say about Muslims, or immigrants. There was a lone voice that stood out though, a voice that few noticed, but which still stood up in support of Muslims. A Christian from Indonesia had this comment to offer us:

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I’ve blurred the name because I don’t want those angry people who disagree with their message being directed to this kind and considerate Indonesian Christian. The Qur’an speaks about Christians like these, it says:

“…and you will find the nearest of them in affection to the believers those who say, “We are Christians.” That is because among them are priests and monks and because they are not arrogant.” – Qur’an 5:82.

and God knows best.

William Lane Craig Concedes That Old Testament Stories Are Problematic

In a stunning admission, William Lane Craig, in response to a question sent to him has acknowledged that he has no good answer to problematic Old Testament stories. He says:

When people ask me what unanswered questions I still have, I tell them, “I don’t know what to do with these Old Testament stories about Noah and the ark, the Tower of Babel, and so on.” So I find myself in the same boat as you, Jon. I don’t have any good answer how to resolve these problems. Yet these unanswered difficulties have not kept me from Christian faith or from abandoning Christian faith. Why not?

Well, a large part of the reason, as you note, is that the truth of what C. S. Lewis called “mere Christianity” doesn’t stand or fall with such questions.

In essence, he’s claiming that the problems with the stories in the Old Testament should not effect some beliefs of Christianity, so it’s okay not to have answers to those questions. The problem here is that they do affect core Christian beliefs, namely the reliability of scripture, the truthfulness of scripture, the preservation of scripture and even salvation as it pertains to Jesus’s ability to hold or share false beliefs:

Since I have good reason to believe in his deity, as explained above, I would sooner admit that Jesus could hold false beliefs (that ultimately don’t matter) rather than deny his divinity.

Apparently Jesus who is God, can have false beliefs that “shouldn’t matter”. In other words, it’s okay if “God as a human”, was fallible with respect to his own theology! Quite the disaster this is.

 

and God knows best!

 

Missionary Mishap: Bible Thrown in Masjid in Act of Vandalism

Someone got the really intelligent idea to vandalise a Masjid (Mosque, Islamic Center). The criminal broke a few glass panes, a door, and damaged some woodwork. The incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning.

What stands out though is the Bible thrown into the Islamic Center’s prayer room. Not sure what logic the criminal was using. Maybe they thought the Bible would prevent Muslims from using the prayer room? Maybe they thought we viewed it as unclean as we do with pork? Maybe they thought the Bible would cast Muslims away?

This might sound absolutely ridiculous, but some people, especially extremist Christians do hold some crazy beliefs when it comes to Islam. There was an incident where Christians stood and threw crosses at a Muslim while he was praying… So it isn’t exactly a unique incident for an extremist Christian to do something as silly as this.

The center has a donation page set up at Go Fund Me, do donate and help them recover.

and Allah knows best.

Ravi Zacharias Caught Lying About Credentials Again

In 2015, Ravi Zacharias was outed for manufacturing claims about his scholarship regarding being a visiting scholar at Cambridge University. This led to him acknowledging and then removing the claim from his website. This year, the same person who did the first investigation has done a second video demonstrating that Ravi has lied again, this time about studying quantum physics at Cambridge University:

Why does Ravi have the need to continuously pad his credentials? We all agree that lying is a sin, therefore as a leader of an international ministry, why doesn’t he seem to understand that making fraudulent claims about oneself is wrong? It’s simply unjustifiable. To call Ravi to be truthful in his actions and descriptions about himself, we are asking those who are interested in the truth to send Ravi an email at the following address: PR@RZIM.ORG

The subject line is as follows: Did Ravi Zacharias really study quantum physics at Cambridge?

The email body is as follows:

Dear Mr. Zacharias and Ms. Malhotra:

I write you in a spirit of inquiry, not challenge. Serious allegations, purporting to be carefully-researched and based on publicly available information, have been made that Mr. Zacharias has systematically exaggerated his academic credentials.

And while I have formed no conclusion as to the merits of these charges, I can see no harm in Mr. Zacharias publicly responding to them. Indeed, given the growing concern about these allegations, it seems that no legitimate purpose will be served by Mr. Zacharias continuing to remain silent.

In furtherance of the truth, might you kindly address the following questions?

Did Ravi Zacharias ever enroll in, or audit, a physics class taught by John Polkinghorne at Cambridge University?

Was Mr. Zacharias ever “a visiting scholar at Cambridge University”? If so, is there a reason that this claim was removed from his website after he was criticized for making it? How does Mr. Zacharias respond to the email statement allegedly made by the Cambridge Office of External Affairs that his attending classes at the University whilst on sabbatical at Ridley Hall would not have made him a visiting scholar at their University?

At page 205 of his autobiography, Mr. Zacharias writes about spending time at Cambridge University where, he says, “I was invited to be a visiting scholar.” Given that Mr. Zacharias’ sabbatical supervisor, Jeremy Begbie, has stated, in writing, that Mr. Zacharias was only a “visiting scholar” at Ridley Hall (which is not a constituent part of the University), might you kindly state who it was who invited Mr. Zacharias to be a visiting scholar at Cambridge University itself?

Mr. Zacharias has claimed to have been “a senior research fellow” at Oxford University. Is this claim true? Was the position in fact an honorary one? If so, is there a reason that in February of 2103 Mr. Zacharias said in an Apologetics315 interview “If I’m in an academic forum, then the fact that I’m a senior research fellow at Wycliffe Hall Oxford University, that’s a credential with which I work in the academy”? Is there a reason the entire Senior Research Fellow claim has been removed from his website?

Mr. Zacharias’s bio and publicity materials refer to him as “Dr. Zacharias.” Does Mr. Zacharias have a PhD or other academic doctorate? If not, how might he reply to the concern that his routine use of the title “Dr.” is likely to create a false impression in significant numbers of people?

The jacket of Mr. Zacharias’s book New Birth or Rebirth? says “Zacharias holds three doctoral degrees.” His publisher bios at Random House and Penguin refer to him holding multiple doctoral degrees. These make no mention of such degrees being honorary. What responsibility does Mr. Zacharias have to ensure that those promoting the sales of his books make clear that his doctorates are exclusively honorary? (This question may, of course, be disregarded if Mr. Zacharias has in fact earned an academic doctorate.)

Thank you very much for your anticipated cooperation in shedding light on these important issues.

Sincerely,
[Your Name Here]

More details to follow.

Israeli Knesset Introduces New Law to Ban Women from Holiest Site

The “Only Democracy” in the Middle East, Israel, has had 16 lawmakers introduce a bill that would effectively ban women from wearing shawls at the Western Wall, from reading Torah at the Western Wall and from other religious practises. Haaretz reports:

A group of 16 members of the ruling coalition submitted a bill to the Knesset on Sunday that would prohibit any practices at the Western Wall that are not deemed strictly Orthodox. The bill would prevent women from wearing prayer shawls and tefillin, from reading from a Torah and from blowing a shofar at the Jewish holy site.

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Western Wall (center-foreground), Masjid as Sakhra (background).

It would also prevent men and women from holding mixed services at the area known as the upper plaza, right above the gender-separated prayer plazas adjacent to the actual wall. If passed into law, the bill would constitute a major setback for Women of the Wall, the multi-denominational feminist prayer group, which has been holding a monthly prayer service at the Western Wall for the past 27 years. Many of the participants in this service wear prayer shawls and tefillin, and the group has been fighting for years to be allowed to read from a Torah scroll at the site.

Those who violate its restrictions would face heavy sanctions: six months in prison or a 10,000-shekel fine.

The push for this ban, comes from the same sect of Judaism that banned women from driving in London, in order to protect the women’s modesty. This also follows from a related sect of Judaism banning women from going to University, due to the possibility of women learning dangerous things, the decree was made in New York but applies to the sect’s followers worldwide.

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Christian and Nationalist groups have yet to protest this oppression of women in the Middle East’s “only democracy”, they have also yet to complain about the religious Jewish groups importing oppressive and archaic religious laws into their secular countries as much as they have complained about the Shari’ah being “anti-women” and barbaric.

and God knows best.

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