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Posts Tagged ‘Allah’

Q.  I’m simply curious as to why a Greek would choose a religion that is so antithetical to his or her own culture. Beyond that, there are more general questions about Islam and its treatment of non-believers that I, as a non-believer, would like answered. Perhaps you can help.

A.  Thank you for asking about our religion and coming forth with your question.  I will answer the question based on my own experience as a Greek convert.  I know this is a really long post, but please bear with me.

(Special note to the questioner: Before we start, I have a special request, actually two.  First, I need you to forget about your culture for just a few minutes and think openmindely and objectively.  Second, I would like you to make a prayer.  I know you wouldn’t normally agree to this since you are an agnostic, but please, just try it.  It’s not going to hurt.  Turn to the one who created the heavens and the earth (whoever you think that is and even if it’s ‘unknown’) and say, ‘The one who created the heavens and the earth, if you have the power, strength and knowledge to create these, then you surely have the power to show me the truth. If you are out there, guide me to the truth, whatever that may be’  I know this might sound insane to you, but please trust me on this one. )

I’m serious, just try it.

For me, it all started when I was very young (about 7 years old, actually!) when I first started to contemplate on what the purpose of life is.  I’ve never really understood it but growing up, it would sometimes become a burning question that I did not have an answer to.  Without an answer, I would then often drift into “go with the flow” mode, where the purpose of life is the ol’ get a good education, get a good paying job, get married, by a house and a nice car…. and then, well, die.

I first met Muslims in my university classes.  Before that, they were always around me but I just never noticed.  I honestly naively thought that the entire world was full of Christians only! Can you believe it?  I thought it was a really strange thing that anyone would believe in some wierd god, oppress their women and speak some wierd language but I was still respectful to them because I felt sorry for them.

Later our discussions transformed into full-fledge debates at the student cafeteria.  I was their staunch opponent.  I started becoming more and more practising as a Greek Orthodox and going back to the church, perhaps because I felt that I had to defend my religion – everything that I was raised with. 

Without that much knowledge about Islam, it was harder to convince them that they were dead wrong, so when no one was looking, I would sneak into the library and try to find some books about Islam.  What I found were some books that looked like they were published 1000 years ago – they were so ancient, it seemed!  So, then I started to search online as well.  I needed some substantial evidence to prove that they were wrong.

Then everything changed.  I made a prayer that God show me the truth.   I wanted to know and I was so sincere in that prayer. 

I was absolutely sure that the truth would be Christianity and that the Muslims will soon find out but God had another plan for me. 

When no one was looking, I started to step back from my preconceived notions and started to think objectively for the first time in my life.  Why are Muslims so strict about not associating Jesus (peace be upon him) as God?  Don’t they know that we need Jesus to be a salvation for our sins?

I went to visit our local priest and asked him a lot of questions, especially about the trinity.  I finally had the guts to nonchalantly bring up the word ‘Islam’ (for all those Greeks out there, you know how hard that would be!) but as soon as I uttered that word, his eyes immediately bulged out of his head and he strongly suggested that I stay away from those bad people.  However, the problem was that he didn’t answer my questions with proper answers.  It was all a big run-around.

That just left me on my own to find out.  Slowly, with more and more research and evidence, my heart was realizing the truth of one God without partners but my mind was opposing it with all its might.  I just couldn’t even dream of leaving everything known to me – my religion, my culture, my family, my rituals and celebrations- behind.

Then it happened in my bedroom.  I was finishing up some more reading on the subject and contemplating heavily if Jesus is really God or not.  All of a sudden, within a few seconds, I felt something go through me very quickly, as if it was some fresh air or spirit washing out my heart and then BOOM (!), automatically, I felt this massive, I mean massive, sense of tranquility and almost said outoud, ‘Jesus is not God!’. 

Then immediately after that, I thought, ‘How in the world am I going to tell my parents that I am Muslim?’

I know what I am writing is going to be extremely difficult for some to believe.  No, I was not possessed by some devil or spirit.  Actually, I found when speaking to other converts that some of them related the same thing to me (before I even mentioned my story to them).  Now, after knowing more about Islam, I do believe that it was God answering my initial prayer and it was, perhaps, an angel, under the instruction of God, who cleansed my soul of the prior disbelief.

So, this is a super long post – sorry for that- so to conclude, I would like to answer your question, why would a Greek choose a religion so antithetical to his or her own culture?  Well, for a few reasons. 

First, it wasn’t my intention to do so.  In fact, it was the complete opposite but in my search for the truth, I found that it was that God is one without any partners.  I later found the answer to my question of what the purpose of life is explicitly mentioned beautifully in the Qur’an.

Second, after seeing all this truth, my priorties in life changed drastically.  I no longer was going with the flow for worldly success only.  I now had (and have) a primary goal of reaching paradise so whatever I can do to take me there, I will do.  If that is to leave some of my cultural aspects that contradict worshipping one God without associating partners, then I will do so. 

Third, becoming a Muslim does not mean I forfeit my culture.  In fact, Islam embraces diversity of all cultures.  For example, I have lots of friends who are Pakistani, Somalian, Arab, Greek, Bosnian, Canadian, British, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Spanish, etc who are Muslim.  Islam embraces culture and actually Islamic law is very dynamic in the sense that it changes with the people, culture, customs, generations, technology etc.

This is why we say we are Greek Muslim.  I hope that I have answered your question fully and that it has given you greater understanding of us.  I pray that the creator of the heavens and the earth show you the truth. 

I hope that we can create a discussion based on sincerity, honesty and respect.  I look forward to receiving your top 3-5 questions about the other aspects of Islam you have.

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We have approached the last 10 nights of Ramadan.  We are in the last stretch and it’s time to STEP UP.  Are you ready?  Here are some things you can do:

  • Focus on increasing your concentration (khushoo’) in prayer
  • Attend taraweeh prayers or itikhaf
  • Wake up early to pray longer qiyam-al-layl prayers
  • Donate your time or money (sadaqah or zakat) for a good cause
  • Write a huge dua list and go through it every day for the next 10 nights
  • Seek out Laylat-ulQadr

And don’t forget this beautiful dua:

One of the wives of the Prophet (saws) asked him the best supplication one could make to Allah in this blessed month, and the Prophet (saws) told her to pray like this: 

 

“Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa ‘fu ‘anna.”

 “O Allah, you indeed are the All-Forgiving. 

You love to Forgive; thus forgive me”.

 

What do you plan to do to take advantage of a reward that would count as 1000 months worth of reward?  List them here in the comments section.

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The day before Ramadan, I noticed I was getting symptoms of the flu and until today I’m still affected by it a bit.  Subhan Allah, the wierd thing is that I hardly ever get sick (alhamdulillah!) and I prayed that Allah make it a really blessed Ramadan for me but with my drowsiness, at first, I couldn’t put the two together.

Then after that, I heard of one brother getting into a car accident, a couple other brothers dying, another brother’s foot swelling up badly for no reason, a sister breaking her arm and another sister in bad health all of sudden.  Subhan Allah, may Allah have mercy on them.

So, it made me ponder.

And then I realized, this is by the mercy of Allah. 

What?  Doesn’t that sound a little off?  How can these accidents be a mercy?

It’s a mercy because of this hadith:

Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri and Abu Huraira, the Prophet (saws) said, “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.”  [Bukhari]

You know what the other super amazing thing is? The dua of the sick person* is accepted insha Allah.  And the triple bonus is that the dua of the fasting (until he breaks his fast)** is also accepted.

So, glad tidings to those who are sick!

—-

 

Notes:

[MOD note: I could not find if this hadith was sahih or not] The Prophet (saws) has said, ‘When you visit a sick person, then tell him to make dua for you, because his duas are (accepted readily) like the duas of the Angels.’ (Ibn Maajah)

** The prophet (saws) declared, ‘Three men whose dua is never rejected (by Allah) are: when a fasting person breaks fast (in another narration, the fasting person until he breaks his fast), the just ruler and the one who is oppressed.'[Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi – Hasan]

 

 


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This is possibly one of the best hand-crafted duas I’ve read in Ramadan.  Ma sha Allah, it was written by a Turkish brother who is helping out with the Greeks Rethink team.  May Allah reward him.  If you want an eman rush, read on:

 

 

O Allah, O Karim,
Please have Mercy on me.

O Allah, O Karim,
Please forgive me
for the sins I committed in the past
and those I will commit in the future.

O Allah,
have Mercy on all the Muslimeen,
and guide them.
Guide me O Allah,
and guide my parents,
my siblings, my cousins,
my aunts and uncles,
my nephews and nieces.

O Allah,
I ask You
to strengthen my iman and those around me.
I ask You to soften my heart
and to soften the hearts of the Believers.

O Allah,
forgive me for my shortcomings,
for only You are Perfect.

O Allah,
Please Forgive me
if I ever got too wrapped in a matter
that I didn’t have the time to utter Your Name.

O Allah,
Please Forgive me for all the salat I missed
because of ignorance or laziness,
Please Forgive me for all the fasts I didn’t make up,
thinking it was “alright, since I fasted most of the days anyway.”

O Allah,
Please Forgive me
for the penny I never dropped
into the metal cup for the homeless man begging on the street.

O Allah,
Please spark the love of Islam in my heart
and in the hearts of every single Muslim
until it gets implanted in their children
and their childern’s children and so on.

O Allah,
I ask that You help me for I am weak
and will only grow stronger by Your Strength,
so Allah Please Strengthen me
to fight Shaitan and his whispers.
And if I ever fell into his trap
and followed my desire,
then sincerely forgive me,
for that displays not only my weakness,
but Your Greatness as well.

O Allah, Please lighten the punishment in the grave
for those before us and those after us.
Please Allah, lighten the punishment
and please shed light into every Muslim’s grave.

O Allah, if I ever was too afraid
to stand up for Your Deen
because of what others would think,
then Forgive me, for I was a fool for doing so.

O Allah, Please Protect me and each Muslim,
and Protect especially the orphans and the widows.

O Allah, Please Strengthen the faith
of the destitute Muslims around the world,
so they have hope to live.


O Allah, if I ever forgot to do du’a
for even one suffering Muslim,
then Forgive me
for then it is as if I haven’t done du’a
for the entire ummah.

O Allah,
Please be the Light of my eyes, ears and heart.

O Allah,
Please be the Light on the sides of me
and the Light behind me
and the light in front of me.

O Allah, Please Forgive me
for all the foul words I spoke
either out of ignorance or
because I was trying to be “cool.”

O Allah, please forgive me
if I never stopped to think about You,
due to “other important things.”

O Allah, Please Forgive me
for not having enough time
or creating time for reading the Qur’an.

O Allah, Please Forgive me
for listening to music
and wasting time watching Harram on TV and the Internet

O Allah, please forgive me
for all the yelling I’ve done
and the arguments I’ve been in.
For the only time the voice should be raised is for Your Praises!

O Allah, Please Forgive me
for my disrespect towards my family,
elders, siblings and friends.

O Allah, Please Forgive me
for any backbiting I have been accused of,
whether I did it consciously or unconsciously.

O Allah, Rab al-Alamin,
Forgive me,
Forgive me for everything.
So for everyone,
every single Muslim,
dead or alive,
I do du’a that you forgive them
for all their sins.

O Allah,
Please Please Please
help the suffering Muslims
of Kashmir, Palestine, Chechnya,
Bosnia, Gujarat, Nigeria,
Iraq, Afghanistan and everywhere around the world.

Please O Allah, make the Mujahedeen victorious,
and let the beauty of Islam reign!

O Allah, Give victory to the Muslims!

O Allah, Please let True Islam reign!

O Allah, Please increase our knowledge
of Your Deen and this world.

Oh Allah, Please Help us all and guide us,
for You are Everything to us.

O Allah,
I cannot stress how much I ask
for Your Forgiveness and Your Guidance.

O Allah,
I fear You,
I fear You soooo much words cannot describe.
I fear the day when I will meet You,
and I WILL meet You.
When we are one on one,
and I have no one’s help or support.
No-one can take the blame for me
nor I for them.
The only thing I will have is a little book given to me by You that has my deeds.

O Allah,
Please Forgive me for my thoughts,
for even though I get sinned only for my actions,
I cannot help but feel guilty for my thoughts
and I ask You to Forgive me for them and to clear my mind of any impurities

until You become the Only thing on my mind.

O Allah,
Please Forgive me
if I ever did anything out of gain
for this life and not for Your pleasure.
If I ever did anything to “show off”
then Please Forgive me for that.

O Allah,
I do du’a
that You grant us all God-Fearing spouses
and grant us righteous children.

O Allah,
I do du’a that You continue to strengthen this ummah
until the Day of Resurrection.

O Allah,
Forgive me
for whatever I have not mentioned,
for I am bound to forget


….but You,


through Your Greatness…

You Never Forget.

O Allah,
Please Grant
all the Muslims
Jannah-tul-Firdaus.

O Allah,
I ask that You shed Your Mercy
on all the Prophets (peace be upon them)
and on all the Angels (peace be upon them).

Lastly, I do du’a
You shed Your Mercy
on the Prophet Muhammad,
his family and companions.

I do du’a
that you grant Muhammad
the Highest Station in Paradise.

Rabinna Aataina
Fiduniya Hasinathow
Wa Fil Akhirati Hasinathow,
Wakina Adhab innaar

Ameen.

 

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A few days ago, I stumbled upon a Hellenic polytheist forum (yes they do exist!) where someone insisted (without proof) that Jews, Christians and Muslims worship different gods, so of course I had to chime in to correct this misconception.

Religion must come with proof, so this one is for you.

The word, Allah, is the perfect description that Arabic Jews, Arabic Christians and Muslims (of all cultures) use to refer to God.  For proof of this, all you have to do is go to Arabic lands and talk to people of these three faiths to see it.  You can also look at the Christian Bible to see that they translate God as Allah in Arabic.

In fact, before English was officially used in 1066AD, what do you think people used to refer to God? It would be impossible for Moses, Jesus or Muhammad (peace be upon them all) to say the word God because English didn’t even exist then!

As for the etymology of the word, we can break it down to root letters, which is very similar in Hebrew, Aramaic (the language Jesus spoke -peace be upon him) and Arabic.

 

A Jew explains why Allah is the one and only God

Note: Christians do believe in the Creator, Allah, but attribute partners or idols to Him.

Did Jesus say Allah?  See for yourself!

Note: for the Passion of the Christ movie, they went to the only place in the world where people still speak the language of Jesus – Aramaic in Syria.

As for the meaning, it literally translates to “the God”, referring to the only One true God.  This word is very unique (unlike English) because it has no gender (cannot be made male or female) and it cannot be made plural. 

In other words, this meaning rejects any human characteristics like god or goddess and also shows that there are no other gods that exist purely from the uniqueness of the word “Allah”.

How amazing is that?!

 

Note: for more information, visit http://www.godallah.com.

 

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(I fell in love with this quote when I read it.)

 

 

  

 

I asked for strength

And Allah gave me difficulties

I asked for wisdom

And Allah gave me problems to solve

I asked for prosperity

And Allah gave me muscles and a brain to work

I asked for courage

And Allah gave me danger to overcome

I asked for patience

And God placed me in situations where I was forced to wait

 I asked for love

And Allah gave me troubled people to help

I asked for favors

And Allah gave me opportunities

I received nothing I wanted

I received everything I wanted

 

My prayer has been answered.

 

What did you ask for?  What did you get?

 

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Is it pronounced A-L-L-A-H or A-L-L-A?
Is the emphasis on the first syllable AL- or the last syllable -LAH?

If the H is pronounced, is it a light H or a hard H?

What if you don’t have a light H sound in your language, like the Greeks?

 

This can be difficult to determine since people pronounce it differently. Often, in slang, people will pronounce it AL-LA, emphasizing the first syllable but the correct way to pronounce God’s name is to emphasize the last syllable and pronounce the H sound ever so lightly.

 

AL-LAH

 

In the Greek language, we got the emphasis part down but there is a problem. We don’t have an equivalent letter for the light H sound so the closest H sound we have is the harder H sound which turns out to be a nasty -KH sound at the end, almost like someone is coughing up phlem! So the closest we have is Αλλάχ, or AL-LAKH. So, if you are reading Islamic literature in Greek or want to pronounce it correctly, please keep this in mind.

 

Also, if you haven’t read about this miracle about the pronunciation of Allah, read on to be amazed:

 

 

A psychologist from Netherlands, Professor Van der Hoven announced his discovery about the effect of reading the Quran and repeating the word “Allah,” both on patients and on normal persons. The Dutch professor confirms his discovery with studies and research applied on many patients over a period of three years. Some of his patients were non-Muslims, others do not speak Arabic and were trained to pronounce the word “Allah.” Clearly, the result was great, particularly on those who suffer from dejection and tension. Al Watan, a Saudi Daily reported that the psychologist was quoted to say that Muslims who can read Arabic and who read the Quran regularly can protect themselves from psychological diseases.

 

The psychologist explained how each letter in the word “ Allah” affects healing of psychological diseases. He pointed out in his research that pronouncing the first letter in the word “Allah’ which is the letter “A” released from the respiratory system, controls breathing. He added that pronouncing the velar consonant (L) in the Arabic way, with the tongue touching slightly the upper part of the jaw producing a short pause and then repeating the same pause constantly relaxes the aspiration. Also, pronouncing the last letter, which is the letter (H) makes a contact between the lungs and the heart and in turn this controls the heartbeat.

 

What is exciting in the study is that this psychologist is a non-Muslim, but interested in Islamic sciences and searching for the secrets of the Holy Quran. Allah, the Great and Glorious says: “ We will show them Our signs in the universe and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this Quran is the truth.” (Holy Quran-42:53).

 

 

 

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