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Topics - Taro Hiroshi

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1
General Issues / Questions / How to spread the message of Al-Quran
« on: June 10, 2016, 02:26:53 AM »
Peace everyone,

I believe it's of utmost importance to spread the message of Al-Quran. And I think there are many simple, practical, inexpensive (cost-effective) and time-efficient ways to spread the message of Al-Quran. The importance of spreading the message of Al-Quran must not be underestimated, in my opinion. Because it seems that the message of Al-Quran can literally transform the lives of others and change the course of history. In a past post on this forum, I have written about why I think it's important to spread the message of Al-Quran (you can read it here).

In this post, I'd like to share some of my thoughts and views about how to spread the message of Al-Quran. It seems that most muslims on this forum, had to know some Quranic information and historical information about Hadith, before they could embrace "islam based on Al-Quran" aka monotheism. And if that's the case, then sharing Quranic information and historical information about Hadith to muslims, seem to be of utmost importance. But unfortunately, it seems that this approach won't convince the majority of muslims to alter/change their beliefs. For example, before I found "islam based on Al-Quran", I read a book that was written by a highly rational muslim thinker/author. In his book, he argued that islam is a rational and just religion. And in his book, he argued that islam is compatible with human rights, women rights and even science. His book had a lot of thought-provoking information about islam/quran. But his book had no thought-provoking information about Hadith. His book prepared me for learning about "islam based on Al-Quran." If I hadn't read his book, I would probably ignore/reject all the controversial facts that I discovered about Hadith some years later. It seems that controversial facts about Hadith won't convince the majority of muslims to alter/change their beliefs. It seems that controversial facts about Hadith will only convince a minority of muslims to alter/change their beliefs. Therefore, it seems that if one wants to appeal to the majority of muslims, then one must use a different approach.

I think in order to appeal to as many muslims as possible, one must use a twofold approach.

1) Share thought-provoking information about Hadith with others. For example, write an article/essay where you share thought-provoking information about Hadith. It seems that thought-provoking information about Hadith will appeal to a minority of muslims. Therefore, this approach seems to be a great approach to use if one wants to appeal to a minority of muslims.

2) Share thought-provoking information about islam/quran with others. But don't share any thought-provoking information about Hadith with others. For example, write an article/essay where you share thought-provoking information about islam/quran. But don't share any thought-provoking information about Hadith in your article/essay. It seems that thought-provoking information about islam/quran (minus Hadith) will appeal to the majority of muslims. Therefore, this approach seems to be a great approach to use if one wants to appeal to the majority of muslims.

I think if one uses a twofold approach, one will be able to appeal to as many muslims as possible. Therefore, I think it's prudent to use a twofold approach when it comes to spreading the message of Al-Quran.

As you all know, one way to spread the message of Al-Quran is by writing posts and participating in discussions on this forum. But I don't think this is the best way or the only way to spread the message of Al-Quran. In my view, there are many ways to spread the message of Al-quran outside of this forum. Therefore, I strongly recommend spreading the message of Al-Quran outside of this forum as well. But how can we spread the message of Al-Quran outside of this forum? Well, I believe there are many ways to spread the message of Al-Quran outside of this forum. As a matter of fact, there are more than 20 ways to spread the message of Al-Quran outside of this forum. Anyway, I'd like to share some information about different ways to spread the message of Al-Quran outside of this forum.

- Write articles, essays, short stories, poems and books about islam/quran and share them on a blog/website.
- Write comics about islam/quran.
- Write reviews of books about islam/quran.
- Write summaries of books about islam/quran.
- Translate articles about islam/quran from one language to another (you can read about this approach here).
- Participate in discussions/debates about islam/quran on chat rooms, forums, facebook and other places. 
- Make flyers with information about islam/quran and pass them out to people (you can read about this approach here).
- Make pamphlets with short texts about islam/quran and pass them out to people.
- Make leaflets with links to websites with "Quran study tools" and stick them up in Mosques and other places (click here).
- Make small posters about islam/quran and hang them on the walls at schools, universities/colleges, libraries and other places.
- Buy copies of books about islam/quran and give them to others (you can read about this approach here).
- Buy copies of translations of the Quran and give them to others.
- Scan books about islam/quran and get permission from the authors of those books to share them online.
- Have conversations about islam/quran with your family, friends, acquaintances and strangers.
- Send emails with information about islam/quran to muslims and people of other faiths.
- Give speeches at conferences, universities/colleges, prisons, libraries and other places. 
- Organize workshops about islam/quran at schools and other community centers.
- Interview muslim thinkers/authors about islam/quran.
- Create forums about islam/quran.
- Create infographics about islam/quran.
- Create videos about islam/quran.
- Create podcasts about islam/quran.

2
Christianity/Judaism/Others / How Christianity came to Japan
« on: June 08, 2016, 03:49:30 PM »
Peace everyone,

Lately, I have been studying the history of Christianity in Japan (particularly the life and work of some European missionaries). In my view, European missionaries in Japan were extraordinarily dedicated to their work. And I think there are some important lessons to learn from their work (especially in regard to spreading the message of Al-Quran). In this post, I'd like to share some historical information about "How Christianity came to Japan." But before I do that, I would like to share some of my thoughts and views about this country.

Japan is a very unique and fascinating country, in my opinion. The Japanese name for Japan is Nippon or Nihon, which literally means "sun origin." And Japan is often called the "Land of the Rising Sun." Japan used to be my favorite country in the past. But it is no longer my favorite country. That being said, I still like Japan a lot. Unlike many countries in the west, Japan hasn't been involved in wars (since 1946). And as far as I know, Japan is the only country in the Asian continent that have had a pacifist constitution since WW2. In my view, Japan has the best constitution in the Asian continent and one of the best constitutions in the world. I think Japan is a very succesful country. Apparently, one of the secrets of Japan's success is due to its great constution. In the Japanese constitution, article 9 forbids war and a standing army. But unfortunately, the Prime minister of Japan has resolved to amend article 9 of the country's constitution. If that happens, then Japan might increase its military spending dramatically and engage in the foreign wars of its allies. If Japan does these things in the future, then this country might decline. Today the constitution of Japan only allows war in self-defence. And from my understanding of Al-Quran, islam only allows war in self-defence (2:119, 9:13 and 22:39). Therefore, the law regarding war in self-defence in the Japanese constitution, is similar to the law regarding war in self-defence in Al-Quran.

Japan has a history which goes back thousands of years. And Japan is an island country, which has been isolated for centuries. Japan is not a perfect country. But Japan's contributions to the world in regard to culture, science, technology, philosophy, fine arts and literature has been tremendous. No one can deny that Japan is one of the most highly developed countries in the world. Japan has a high life expectancy, low crime rate, advanced technology, ultra-reliable cars and the best railway system in the entire world. Unlike many countries in the world, Japan has been able to retain many of its old customs and tradtions. Although Japan isn't a perfect country, no one can deny that Japan has done exceptionally well. But how did Japan manage to become a succesful country under complete isolation from the rest of the world? I think the ancestors of the modern Japanese, laid the foundation of modern Japan. In my view, if it hadn't been for the ancestors of the modern Japanese, Japan wouldn't be a very succesful country in our era. Japan has a very fascinating history, in my opinion. And I think in order to understand how Japan became a succesful country, one has to study the history of Japan, but I digress. Let me share some historical information about "How christianity came to Japan."

In 1543, the Portuguese arrived in Japan. A big ship arrived on the shore and three portuguese merchants walked onto the beach. They were the first westerners to ever to set foot on Japanese shores. These strangers were unlike anyone the Japanese had ever seen. When the portuguese arrived in the year of 1543, Samurai guards quickly went to warn their masters. And the portugese were summoned by a daimyo (a feudal lord). The portuguese had very strange weapons. And the daimyo was fascinated by their weapons. The portuguese merchants showed the Daimyo how their weapons worked. And their weapons worked very well. After the Daimyo saw how well their weapons worked, he was fascinated and impressed by their weapons. Thus, he was interested in buying some weapons from them. He purchased two guns from them. Then he put his swordsmith to work in order to make copies of the guns he had purchased. Afterwards, he asked the portuguese merchants to give him shooting lessons.

Some years later Portuguese merchants traversed the oceans in search of new ports for trade. They were accompanied by Jesuit missionaries who searched for souls to save. The Jesuits were young and brave. And they were eager to spread the message of the Bible to others. The voyage to Japan took two years. It was a dangerous journey. But the Jesuits were willing to go through a lot of adversity in order to reach Japan. The Jesuit missionaries believed that Japan was ripe for conversion. They sent exciting reports back home. They thought that Japan was very mysterious and different. The missionaries were very impressed by the Japanese. And they thought that the Japanese were a remarkable race. The Japanese had a well-developed culture. And they had a very complex political system. They had gotten these things without any influence from Christianity. And without any influence from Europe. Therefore, the missionaries thought it was worthwhile to write back to Europe about their experiences. For the first time, Europeans dealth with asians on equal terms. In other words, they didn't deal with them as conquerors and conquered people.

In 1525, a man by the name of Francis Xavier (born in Spain), left his homeland in order to pursue his studies at the University of Paris. Francis would never return to his homeland. And he would never see his family again. In Paris, Francis met two other students, Peter Faber (Pierre Favre) and Ignatius of Loyola. These students would have a significant influence on his life. Ignatius had a humble and simple lifestyle. And he had devoted his life wholly to the Christian faith. Ignatius encouraged Francis to completely devote his life to the Christian faith. But Francis was an ambitious man with ambitious plans who wanted to accomplish earthly greatness. Therefore, the humble and simple lifestyle of Ignatius didn't appeal to him. However, Ignatius was determined to convince Francis to abandon his current lifestyle in favor of complete devotion to Christianity.

In his book, The lives of the primitive fathers, martyrs, and principal saints volume 12, the English Roman Catholic Priest and Hagiograper Alban Butler, writes:

...Francis, whose head was full of ambitious thoughts, made a long and vigorous resistance,  and bantered an rallied Ignatius on all occasions, ridiculig the meanness and poverty in which he lived as a degenerate lowness of soul. Ignatius repaid his contempt with meakness and kindness, and continued to repeat sometimes to him: What will it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his own soul. This made no impression on one who was dazzled with vain-glory, and, under pretences, joined false maxims of worldly decency in his idea of Christian virtue. Ignatius, assaulting him on  the weaker side, often congratulated with him for his talents and learning, applauded his lectures, and made it his business to procure him scholars: also on certain occasion when he was in necessity, he furnished him with money. Francis having a generous soul, was moved with gratitude, and considered that Ignatius was of great birth, and that only the fear of God had inspired him with the choice of the life which he led. He began, therefore, to look on Ignatius with other eyes, and to hearken his discourses... Sometime after this, having one day found Xavier more than ordinarily attentive, he repeated to him these words more forcible than ever: What will it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? and remonstrated, that so noble a soul ought not to confine itself to the vain honours of this world, that celestial glory was the only object for his ambition, and that it was against reason not to prefer that which is eternally to last before what vanishes like a dream. Xavier then began to see into the emptiness of earthly greatness, and to find himself powerfully touched with the love of heavenly things. Yet it was not without many serious thoughts, and grievious struggles, that this soul was overcome by the power of those eternal truths, and he took a resolution of squaring his life entirely by the most perfect maxims of the gospel. For this purpose he gave himself up to the conduct of Ignatius: and the direction of so enlightened a guide made the paths of perfection easy to him. From his new master he learned that the first step in his conversion was to subdue his predominant passion, and that vain-glory was his most dangerous enemy. His main endeavours therefore were bent from that time to humble himself, and confound his pride. And well knowing that the interior victory over our own heart and its passions is not to be gained without mortifying the flesh, and bringing the senses into subjection, he undertook this conquest by haircloth, fasting, and other austerities.

Ignatius had inspired Francis to devote his life to his faith rather than seeking for fame, power and glory. Francis' life had completely changed. Later, Francis became a Roman catholic Jesuit missionary. He did missionary work in Goa (India), Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Malacca (Malaysia and Singapore), Malaku Islands (Indonesia) and Japan. He also travelled to China.

In 1547,  Francis Xavier met a Japanese man by the name of Anjiro. Francis met Anjiro while he was in a Portuguese Ship in Malacca. Anjiro lived in exile in Malacca. And he was a speaker of Portuguese. So he was able to converse with Francis. He told Francis much about his former life in his beloved homeland. Anjiro was a man from the Samurai Class. He had commited a crime and fled from his homeland to avoid arrest. From Anjiro, Francis heard about the culture and customs of the ancient Kingdom of Japan. While Francis had a conversation with Anjiro aboard the ship, he asked him: "If I went to Japan, would the people become Christians?" Anjiro gave him this reply:

"My people would not immediately become Christians; but they would first ask you a multitude of questions, weighing carefully your answers and your claims. Above all, they would observe whether your conduct agreed with your words. If you should satisfy them on these points - by suitable replies to their inquiries and by a life above reproach - then, as soon as the matter was known and fully examined, the king [daimyo], the nobles, and the educated people would become Christians. Six months would suffice; for the nation is one that always follows the guidance of reason."

Francis was exceedingly excited and decided to plant the seeds of his faith in this Kingdom. Anjiro was going to be his guide, interpreter and translator in his mission to spread the message of the Bible. Anjiro became the first Japanese Christian. And he adopted the name of Paulo de Santa F? (Paul of the Holy faith).

The journey to Japan was a journey of great hardship. But this didn't discourage Francis to embark on this journey. He had made up his mind to visit Japan. And he had planned to dedicate his life to his mission.

In his book, Tanegashima - The arrival of Europe in Japan, the Danish Scholar of Japanese literature and philosophy, Olof G. Lidin, writes:

...it was a long way from Goa to Japan, and the route via Malacca was infested with pirates and made difficult by storms. But with faith in God he set out. And why should he be scared? God was on his side and, as he wrote, ?God is the master of all storms and stronger than all pirates.?

In 1549, Francis Xavier arrived in the Japanese shores of Kagoshima. He was accompanied by Anjiro and five other men. Kagoshima was the capital of Satsuma (the southernmost province of Japan). Francis became the first Christian missionary in Japan. He was received well by the prince (lord) of Satsuma.

In his book, The Awakening of the East: Siberia - Japan - China, the French Economist, Pierre Leroy-Beaulieu, writes:

... The Prince received the saint favorably, and the Princess insisted upon him composing for her benefit a summary of the Articles of the Christian Faith, together with the translation of the principal prayers. St. Francis immediately edited a Japanese version of the Cathecism and a translation of the Credo.

Francis was very impressed by some aspects of Japanese society. Japan had a highly ordered political and social system, excellent schools and a high literacy rate. Francis was very interested in learning about Japan and was eager to spread his faith in this alien country. The Japanese certainly made a favourable impression on him. Ten weeks after he had arrived in Japan, he wrote a letter to the Jesuits in Goa. In his letter, he wrote:

By the experience which we have of this land of Japan, I can inform you thereof as follows. Firstly, the people whom we have met so far, are the best who have yet been discovered, and it seems to me that  we shall never find among heathens another race to equal the Japanese. It is a people of very good manners, good in general, and not malicious; they are men of honor to a marvel, and prize honor above all else in the world. They are a poor people in general; but their poverty, whether among the gentry or those who are not so, is not considered as shame. They have one quality which I cannot recall in any people of Christendom; this is that their gentry howsoever poor they may be, and the commoners howsoever rich they may be, render as much honor to a poor gentleman as if he were passing rich. On no account would a poverty-stricked gentleman marry with someone outside the gentry, even if he were given great sums to do so; and this they do because they consider that they would lose their honor by marrying into a lower class. Whence it can clearly be seen that they esteem honor more than riches. They are very courteous in their dealings one with another; they highly regard arms and trust much in them; always carrying sword and dagger, both high and low alike, from the age of fourteen onwards. They are a people who will not submit to any insults or contemptous words. Those who are not of gentle birth give much honor to the gentry, who in their turn pride themselves on faithfully serving their feudal lord, to whom they are very obedient. It seems to me that they act thus rather because they think that they would lose their honor if they acted contrarily, than for fear of the punishment they would receive if disobedient... They are men who never gamble, because they consider it a great dishonor, since those who gamble desire what is not theirs and hence tend to become thieves. They swear but little, and when they do it is by the Sun. There are many persons who can read and write, which is a great help to their learning quickly prayers and religious matters. It is a land where there are but few thieves in some kingdoms, and this is by the strict justice which is executed against those that are, for their lives are never spared. They abhor beyond measure this vice of theft. They are a people of very good will, very sociable and very desirous of knowledge; they are fond of hearing about things of God, chiefly when they understand them. Of all the lands which I have seen in my life, whether those of Christians or of heathens, never yet did I see a people so honest in not thieving. Most of them believe in the men of old, who were (so far as I understand) persons who lived like philosophers; many of them adore the Sun and others the Moon. They like to hear things propounded according to reason; and granted that there are sins and vices among them, when one reasons with them pointing out that what they do is evil, they are convinced by this reasoning.

Francis spent the first year learning the Japanese language and translating several Christian writings (with the help of others). In Japan, Francis made use of the method of philosophical and theological discussion. Initially, he spoke to people in the streets. But later, he decided to change his approach. His approach became more personal and he had conversations and discussions with people in their houses. Francis was surprised by the depth of the Japanese soul. He wrote:

"The Japanese have the highest moral sense of any infidels that I have ever seen and they are so desirous of knowledge that they never leave off from asking questions and discussing all that we tell them."

Francis and his companions were successful in regard to spreading the Christian faith in Japan. The translation of the teachings of Christianity enabled them to spread their faith to many people in this country. Francis's efforts were considered as extraordinary and his work inspired other missionaries to come to Japan in order to spread their faith in this country.

In his book, The Civilization of Europe in the Renaissance, the British Historian John Hale, writes:

And to move further east still, from St Francis Xavier's first mission to Japan in 1549, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian Jesuits learned the language and tried to grasp the nature of the nine religious sects they identified there in order to argue the Christian case against them. Constantly in their letters and reports, they compared Europeans with Japanese customs... ?I am sending you? , wrote St Francis to his superiors at home, ?a copy of the Japanese alphabet; their way of writing is very different from ours because they write their lines from the top of the page down to the bottom. I asked Paul [a convert] why they did not write in our way? He explained that as the head of a man is at the top and his feet are at the bottom, so too a man should write from top to bottom.?

By 1570, there were thousands of Christians in Japan. But from 1587 onwards, the persecution of Christians began. The persecution of Christians would last for more than 250 years. In 1603, the Tokugawa Shogunate was established in Japan. In 1614, Tokugawa Ieyasu banned the practiced of Christianity in this country. All foreign missionaries were expelled from Japan. And many christians were martyred. Later, it was believed that there were no Christians left in this country. But many Christians in Japan went underground and secretly survived. They survived by pretending to be Buddhists or Shintoists. During the Tokugawa era, Japan was isolated from the outside world in order to prevent Christian influence from spreading in this country. During this era, Holland was the only country which was allowed to have contact with Japan. In 1873, the Japanese government lifted the prohibition of Christiany. And Christians were allowed to practice their religion once more.

References:

- The Lives of the Primitive Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints volume 12 by Alban Butler.
- Rediscovering Japan, Reintroducing Christendom: Two Thousand Years of Christian History in Japan by Samuel Lee.
- Tanegashima - The Arrival of Europe in Japan by Olof G. Lidin.
- The Awakening of the East: Siberia - Japan - China by Pierre Leroy-Beaulieu.
- The Christian Century in Japan: 1549-1650 by Charles Ralph Boxer.
- The Civilization of Europe in the Renaissance by John Hale.
- The world of St. Francis Xavier by VV.AA.. 
- Japan's Hidden Christians: 1549-1999 volume 2 by Stephen R. Turnbull.

3
What is the nature of God? / An essay: Who created God?
« on: June 03, 2016, 05:33:38 PM »
Who created God?

Over the last few years I have had some conversations about theological matters with atheists and agnostics. And a question I have been asked is this: "Who created God?"

It seems that many atheists reject the fact that there is "one God" just because they don't believe that something can exist without being created.

These are ideas that an atheist might ponder upon:

If there is only one God, then which entity created it? If an entity created God, then this means that another creator (another God) has existed in the past but vanished, or has existed in the past and still exists. If another creator has existed in the past but vanished, or has existed in the past and still exists, then this means that the notion that there has always been only "one God", is false.

This is why I believe that atheists are wrong in regards to monotheism: 

In my opinion, there has always been only "one God". And the reason why I believe that there has always been only "one God", is because the Quran suggests that the God was not begotten.

Quran 112:3 He does not beget, nor was He begotten.

According to the above-mentioned verse, God was not begotten (born). If God was not begotten, then no entity could have created God. If no entity could have created the God, then this means that God is eternal. If God is eternal, then this means that God has no beginning and no end. This reasoning (which is supported by verse 112:3 in the Quran) leads me to the conclusion that no entity could have created God. No entity can create that which is eternal (has no beginning and no end). Because it is a logical impossibility to create something which is eternal (has always existed).

Quran 39:62 God is the Creator of all things, and He is Guardian over all things.

Quran 40:62 That is God, your Lord, Creator of all things. There is no god except He, so why do you deviate?

According to the above-mentioned verses, God is the creator of everything. If God is the creator of everything, then this means that no entity could have created it. Because no entity can create that which has created everything. In other words, no one can create the creator of everything. This reasoning (which is supported by verse 39:62 and 40:62 in the Quran) leads me to the conclusion that no entity could have created God. Because it is a logical impossibility to create the creator of everything.

So who created God? Nothing. No one. The quranic evidences in this this essay proves that the arguments regarding "the creation of God" are rooted in falsehood. 

Note: This essay was written in November 2014. It has been edited. A few parts of it has been changed.

4
General Issues / Questions / The Quranic stance on ghosts
« on: May 26, 2016, 06:34:49 PM »
Peace everyone,

Many people believe that ghosts exist. They believe that ghosts are the souls/spirits of those who have died. They believe that there are haunted places. And they believe that there are souls that wander the earth after they are dead. Do ghosts exist? Are there any places that are haunted by ghosts? And are there any souls that wander the earth after they are dead? What is the Quranic stance on ghosts? There are several Quranic verses that sheds light on this issue. Thus, it's critical to use Quran as a criterion to know its stance on ghosts. But before we explore the Quranic stance on ghosts, let's take a look at the history of ghosts, and let's take a look at some facts about people's beliefs regarding ghosts.

In many cultures, stories of ghosts have been told to others. As a matter of fact, they have been told for thousands of years. The earliest history of ghosts, dates back to Mesopotamia. In Mesopotamian religion, there are many references to ghosts. Ancient Mesopotamians believed that ghosts could show themselves to people on earth if they needed to right some wrong. In Christianity, there are a few references to ghosts in the Hebrew Bible. For example, in the first book of Samuel, a disguised King Saul searches for a medium. He finds the Witch of Wendor and makes her summon the ghost of Samuel. The notion of ghosts was regarded as pagan by the medieval church. However, after the Reformation, ghosts became popular with Catholics. The belief in ghosts was also widespread in Egyptian culture. The ancient Egyptians believed that people's souls or spirits would continue to exist after death. And they believed that the souls and spirits of the dead could help/assist or harm those who were alive. If, for instance, the rites of burial had not been observed properly, or the living had committed some sin before or after the death of a person, the soul or spirit of that person would redress the wrong. There are also references to ghosts in Chinese culture. According to Chinese culture, ghosts take many forms based on how a person died. And ghosts are often harmful. In ancient China, many people believed that the souls of the deceased would continue to exist, and that they must be kept happy by offerings and honor. This is evidenced by the practice of ancestor worship. During the ghost month (the seventh month in the Lunar calendar), and especially in on the fifteenth day of The Ghost Festival, ghosts receive a lot of attention. In the past, ancient Celts, Greeks, Romans, Indians and Mesoamericans also believed in ghosts.   

According to a Harris poll from 2014, 42 percent of Americans believed in ghosts. And a poll from 2013 conducted by YouGov in UK, found that 52 percent of the respondents indicated that they believed in ghosts. Also, in Asia a lot of people believe in ghosts. They have kept their belief in ghosts regardless of the rise of science, skepticism, secularism and modernism. Even in secular and technologically advanced countries like Japan and Taiwan, the belief in ghosts is still high. In liberal Scandinavia, a high percentage of people in this region are atheists and agnostics. But even though a high percentage of people in this region are atheists and agnostics, there is still a high percentage of people who believe in ghosts. The notion of ghosts haven't been proven by science. Most scientists are skeptical regarding the existence of ghosts. But spooky stories and reality TV shows about ghost hunters, continue to reflect our culture's fascination with ghosts. Robert Clarke, an author, argues that England is the most haunted country in the world. In London, 50 Berkeley Square has been known as the most haunted house in that city. However, when Roger Clarke mailed Maggs, the antiquarian booksellers who have been there since 1938, he got this reply: "There are absolutely no first-hand accounts of anything. It?s fiction reversing into reality." Similarly, belief in ghostly possession had almost disappeared in the United States until the movie The Exorcist came out in 1971. Now this belief is widespread. A celebrated ghosthunter once remarked this: "People don't want the debunk, they want the bunk."

According to the Quran, the souls of humans are taken by God when they die. This means that the souls of dead humans can not assist or harm people on earth. There are no verses in the Quran that supports the idea of haunted places, or souls that wander the earth after they are dead. And there are no references to ghosts in the Quran. Since the souls of humans are taken by God when they die, then this means that their souls can not remain on earth. Hence there souls can not haunt people or places. In verse 39:42, the Quran clearly states that the souls of humans are taken by God when they die. 

Quran 39:42 God seizes the souls at the time of their death; and for those that have not died, during their sleep. He then keeps those that have been overtaken by death, and He sends the others back until a predetermined time. In that are signs for a people who will think.

According to the Quran, the souls of humans will be raised on the day of reckoning/resurrection. And according to the Quran, none in the heavens can perceive when they will be resurrected. This means that those who are dead, can not perceive when they will be resurrected. These teachings of the Quran suggest that those who are dead are unconscious or are living in another state of existence. Since the souls of those who are dead will not be resurrected until the day of reckoning/resurrection, then this means that their souls can not remain on earth. Thus, there souls can not haunt people or places. In verse 23:15-16, the Quran clearly states that people will be resurrected on the day of reckoning/resurrection. And in verse 27:65, the Quran clearly states that none in the heavens can perceive when they will be resurrected. 

Quran 23:15-16 Then after that, you will die. Then you will be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection.

Quran 27:65 Say: "None in the heavens or the earth know the unseen except God. And they do not perceive when they will be resurrected."

According to the Quran, the dead can not hear the living. So if a man or woman says that he or she has spoken to the ghost of a dead person (e.g. his or her mother), and that the ghost of the dead person have been able to listen to him or her,  then he or she is telling a lie. Since the Quran states that the dead can not hear the living, then it is impossible for the dead person to hear a man or woman that speaks to that dead person. In verse 27:80, 30:52 and 35:22, the Quran clearly states that the dead can not hear the living.

Quran 27:80 You cannot make the dead hear, nor can you make the deaf hear the call when they turn their backs and flee.

Quran 30:52 You cannot make the dead listen, nor can you make the deaf hear the call when they have turned their backs.

Quran 35:22 Nor equal are the living and the dead; God causes whoever He wills to hear; and you cannot make those who are in the graves hear.

According to the Quran, the dead can not speak. So if a man or woman claims that the ghost of a dead person (e.g. his or her mother), has spoken to him or her, then he or she is telling a lie. Since the Quran states that the dead can not speak to the living, then it is impossible for a dead person to speak to the living. Thus, it's obvious that the souls of the dead have no ability to speak to the living. In verse 6:111 and 13:31, the Quran suggests that the dead can not speak. 

Quran 6:111 And if We had sent down to them the angels, and the dead spoke to them, and We had gathered before them everything, they still would not believe except if God wills. Alas, most of them are ignorant.

Quran 13:31 If there were a Quran/recitation with which mountains were moved, the earth were sliced, or the dead were made to speak? No, to God is all matters. Did not those who acknowledge know that if God wished He would have guided all the people? As for those who reject, until God's promise comes true, a disaster will continue to strike them or alight at near their homes because of what they do. God does not breach the appointment.

In this post, we have seen that there are no verses in the Quran that supports the idea of ghosts that haunt places, or souls that wander the earth after they are dead. The Quran teaches/instructs the servants of the God to use their reason (8:22 and 2:171). The Quran doesn't support superstitious beliefs (4:51). The Quran doesn't support blind following (17:36, 6:116 and 10:36). The Quran advises the servants of the God to not follow their fathers, but instead follow the revelations of the God (2:170). The Quran teaches/instructs the servants of the God to use their reason (2:171 and 8:22). Finally, the Quran suggests that the concept of ghosts is a myth (39:42, 23:15-16, 27:65, 27:80, 30:52, 35:22, 6:111 and 13:31).

5
Peace everyone,

A few years ago I found a book that has a short guide for translating a text from one language to another. With regards to translation, it's the best guide I have found in my lifetime.

A paragraph from chapter 13 in the book:

The first thing to remember is that translation is the transfer of meaning from one language to another. It is not the transfer of words from language to language. You must translate the meaning of what is being said, rather than do it word-for-word. This is because languages are not just different words. Different languages also have different grammar, different word orders, sometimes even words for which other languages do not have any equivalents. The English spoken by a scientist may have words which a simple farmer cannot even start to imagine. And the farmer is likely to have words for things the technologist never dreamed of.

If you want to translate articles/books (about islam/quran) from one language to another, then you might find this guide very useful/helpful/handy.

You can read the translation guide in this link:

http://www.thenewsmanual.net/Manuals%20Volume%201/volume1_13.htm

6
Off-Topic / ChildSafe Movement - Don't create more orphans
« on: May 02, 2016, 01:01:48 PM »
Peace everyone,

The Quran suggests that kind words and utterances are better than charitable deeds which are followed by harm (2:263). Also, I think there are some very good Quranic guidelines regarding orphans in verses 4:2, 4:6 and 4:10. 

It seems that good/trustworthy orphanages are orphanages which have a strong focus on reintegration, education and community development. And it seems that good/trustworthy orphanages are orphanages which rescues orphans and reunites them with their families and communities.

I'd like to share a short animated video with you. The video only lasts 1 minute and 16 seconds. It's a very interesting and insightful video, in my opinion. And I think it contains a powerful and life-changing message. Therefore, I highly recommend watching it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_T0frGOMZk

You can read about the principles/philosophy of "ChildSafe Movement" in this website.

http://www.thinkchildsafe.org/thinkbeforedonating/

I highly recommend reading this text (scroll down to the read the text).

The Real Picture

http://www.thinkchildsafe.org/thinkbeforedonating/the-real-picture/

And I highly recommend reading this text (scroll down to read the whole text).

http://www.thinkchildsafe.org/thinkbeforedonating/support-the-issue/

If you like the video and the information in the links above, please spread the word. If the message of ChildSafe Movement is shared with many people, it might have the potential to make a huge difference in the lives of millions of people in the world.

7
Discuss Latest World News / Defend Brazil
« on: April 25, 2016, 05:28:31 PM »
Peace everyone,

I would like to share an article with you that sheds light on what is happening in Brazil these days. The article I am about to share is written  by the the philosopher and investigative journalist Andre Vltchek. And I think it's a very interesting and informative article. Andre Vltchek seems very knowledgeable when it comes to geo-politics and history, and he has written some excellent articles for the independent news website "Globalresearch." I don't agree with everything he says in his articles., but I definitely think he raises some good points in them. For those who are interested in geo-politics and history, I highly recommend reading his articles. Anyway, here is his article.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/04/22/defend-brazil/

8
Questions/Comments on the Quran / Are Malaika angels?
« on: April 24, 2016, 11:17:58 AM »
Peace everyone,

According to "traditional islam" malaika means angels (female creatures with wings). But does the Quranic evidence suggests that the word Malaika means angels (female creatures with wings)? 

Quran 37:150 Or did We create the Malaika as females while they witnessed?

Quran 43:19 And they have claimed the angels who are with the Almighty are females! Have they been made witness to their creation? We will record their testimony, and they will be asked.

Quran 6:9 And (even] if We had appointed an angel as Our message-bearer, We would certainly have made him [appear as] a man - and thus We would only have confused them in the same way as they are now confusing themselves.

Also see the two different translations of the word Malaika in verse 35:1 below.

Shabbir Ahmed 35:1 All praise is due to God, the Originator of all Highs and Lows. He appoints His universal forces, having multiple functions e.g. message-bearers. He increases in creation as He wills. Certainly, God has appointed due measure for all things and events.

Monotheist translation 35:1 Praise be to God, Initiator of the heavens and the earth; maker of the angels as messengers with wings of two, and three, and four. He increases in the creation as He wishes. God is able to do all things.

Are Malaika angels? And do Malaika have wings? It would be interesting to hear your thoughts and opinions regarding this topic.

9
Off-Topic / Dear moderators.
« on: December 29, 2015, 09:48:21 PM »
Dear Moderators,

I would like to delete 5 of my posts on FM (due to some personal reasons). I understand that you are very busy. But I would be very grateful if you help me. Can you help me?

Peace.

10
Peace everyone,

In this thread I would like to share some articles and books with you. The articles and books I'm going to share are interesting and insightful/enlightening, in my opinion. Some of the articles and books I'm going to share in this thread are new, while others are old (I have shared them in past threads in FM).

As mentioned earlier, the articles and books I'm going to share are interesting and insightful/enlightening, in my opinion. However, there are some articles and books which I like more than others. For example, I like the articles and books of Wahiddudin Khan a lot. Wahiduddin Khan is a noted muslim scholar/author in India. He has a reformist vision on islam. His books are in English, Hindi, Urdu and other languages. He has translated the Quran from Arabic to English. And he has received several awards in the past. In my view, he is a force to be reckoned with. I think that he has written many excellent articles and some good books about islam/quran and life in general. You can read about Wahiduddin Khan in this interview.

In my first post in this thread, I'll share the articles and books of Wahiduddin Khan. And in my second post in this thread, I'll share the articles and books of some other muslim authors.

Articles:

Judging Islam on reason

http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/judging-islam-reason

Ungodly activities in the name of God

http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/ungodly-activities-name-god

You can do planning based on remnants

http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/you-can-do-planning-based-remnants

Taking your blessings for granted

http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/taking-your-blessings-granted

Old Age Could Be A Blessing

http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/old-age-could-be-blessing

Adversity shapes our character
 
http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/adversity-shapes-our-character

Motivation is greater than favour

http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/motivation-greater-favour

Finding happiness is in your hands

http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/finding-happiness-your-hands

Happiness can not be purchased

http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/happiness-cannot-be-purchased

Follow your impulse

http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/follow-your-impulse

Usefulness makes us invisible force

http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/usefulness-makes-us-invincible-force

How can man introspect?

http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/how-can-man-introspect

Teamwork leads to great achievement

http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/teamwork-leads-great-achievement

Rebuilding the nation

http://cpsglobal.org/sites/default/files/rebuilding-the-nation-the-hindustan-times-7th-august-1995.pdf

Democracy in Islam

http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/democracy-islam

Science bears witness

http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/science-bears-witness

Religion and scientific reasoning

http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/religion-and-scientific-reasoning

Science at the door of religion

http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/science-door-religion

Science was born out of Islamic revolution

http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/science-was-born-out-islamic-revolution

How can the universe help a seeker reach truth?

http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/how-can-universe-help-seeker-reach-truth

Books:

The Call of the Quran

http://cpsglobal.org/sites/default/files/TheCalloftheQuran.pdf

The Moral Vision

http://cpsglobal.org/sites/default/files/The-Moral-Vision.pdf

Islam Creator of the Modern age

http://www.alrisala.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Islam-creator-of-Modern-Age-Complete-.pdf

Islam Rediscovered: Discovering Islam from its Original Sources

http://www.muslim-library.com/dl/books/English_Islam_Rediscovered.pdf

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