Saturday, March 17, 2007

The stirrings of the Lords Spiritual

As the House of Commons goes head-to-head with the Lords on reform of the Upper Chamber, there is a (rare) stirring from the Lords Spiritual. The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev John Gladwin, said of the 26 Church of England bishops and archbishops in the Lords: ‘We have been entrusted with the spiritual well-being of the people of this country. Over many centuries, it has been thought and practised that, in shaping our laws and customs in the character of governance of our country, Parliament should take account of our spiritual inheritance.’ Indeed it should, but this Labour Government has spent almost a decade riding roughshod over our 'laws and customs', so much so that those institutions which were constructed upon centuries of solid foundation now stand upon a distinctly shifting sand.

The Bishop of Durham, Dr Tom Wright, said that the Lords Spiritual were not there to hang on to some archaic public privilege, but to speak for God in the public domain. He described other faith leaders as being supportive of the bishops’ speaking out, but maintained that this would be far more difficult if they had to stand for election.

The Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, spoke against an all-elected second chamber, saying: ‘We should note that election does not bring the following: an age-range of 18-90; the breadth of experience through luck in life, sheer hard work, which leads to some appointments; specialist gifts in areas of life; and conscience and values which stem from beyond the elector.’ These made for wisdom, and, most importantly, freedom. Dr Sentamu said that the Lords Spiritual saw themselves not as representatives, but as connectors with the people and parishes.

Spiritual insight and an independent voice on the political process will be lost if the proposed reforms of the House of Lords go ahead. The consensus among the Lords Spiritual is that their quota of 26 should be retained; any tampering with this risks a move towards disestablishment. This is supported even by Lord Harries, formerly the Bishop of Oxford, though he qualified this with a request to the Statutory Appointments Commission to appoint distinguished people who could represent other Christian denominations and other faiths.

Cranmer has a slight concern over the possibility of Lord Hamza entering the legislature. It remains to be seen precisely how those who represent 'other faiths' will be selected. Islam has no unified voice, and an appointee from the Muslim Council of Britain is likely to be viewed as a compromised, establishment figure. Will there be a Shi'a as well as Sunni, and what of the Sufi? And will any of these representatives of Islam be female, and if not why not? And if no gender quota is to be imposed upon the Mohammedans, why should it be imposed upon the Lords Temporal?

And Cranmer wonders, amidst all this tampering and meddling, whether the Vatican will drop its long-held opposition to Lords-Cardinal...


Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Wasn't Bishop Harries in favour of de-anglicanizing the next coronation? Recent governments have been stripping away the institutions that ring the monarchy, so that what's left looks more and more like a Scandinavian anachronism.

17 March 2007 at 14:30  
Anonymous Colin said...

What about Hindus, Buddhists, Shiks, Taoists, Socialists, Environmentalists and Vodooists? And shouldn't the quotas for all these faiths be subdivided according to gender, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, age, class and hair colour to increase fairness, balance and harmony?

17 March 2007 at 14:52  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Colin,

Quite so, quite so.

His Grace was going to mention some of these others, if only out of deference to the sensitivities of Miss Jelly Bean, but since she has seen fit to go the way of all the other Mohammedans (maybe not quite the 'training' way of Mr Al-Amin), there seemed little point or purpose in burdening oneself with the flavour of political correctness.

Whether their Sikh Lordships will be divided into the turbaned and the un-turbaned is, as you point out, a further difficulty. There is no logical end to religious schisms, fractures, and denominations. And where will the 'cults' feature?

17 March 2007 at 15:11  
Anonymous billy said...

Your Grace, forgive me if I have said this before but if Christianity is right why do we bother pretending that other 'faiths' are of any worth at all?
I don't care what faiths people pretend towards, but I do care that their voice is thought to be worth anything in a country whose systems are based on centuries of Christian tradition.
What next? Give the left over sacrament to devil worshippers in a spirit of trust and cooperation?

17 March 2007 at 15:21  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

Cranmer said...
"It remains to be seen precisely how those who represent 'other faiths' will be selected."

I'm intrigued that you mentioned this, Cranmer. I was having a similar conversation on this very topic with the 'fellow Chrstian' I mentioned earlier on.

But come to think of it, the only Muslim who would in reality join the Lords, would be one who doesn't feel a fundamental need to strictly adhere to his religious beliefs. A 'devoted' muslim, would not in my opinion, enter the lords because British democracy differs from Sharia on a number of issues. He would therefore find it difficult to help run a system whose laws he cannot fully comply with. Having to live under such laws in inevitable, but helping in the formulation of such laws which challenge his religious beliefs, is a different matter altogether.

On your point about Sufis, well they would definately not be seen in the Lords, essentially because they are a minority in the U.K. and are therefore defeated in number by the Wahabi and the HTs (Hizbat-ul-tahrir).

I personally don't think we should have an Islamic Representative in the Lords (especially not from the MCB), primarily because this isn't an Islamic state. That, I can accept and agree with.

P.S. I never said that I was going to go away forever. I also mentioned something about 'lurking in the background'... remember?!

17 March 2007 at 15:41  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Lord Harries is the fly in the ointment - former Army Officer and former Christian - no doubt he'll want to donate his glad rags to Jeffrey John.

Harries is a good reason to abolish bishops even in the Church. Mind you a few redundancies might get us back to the limited number of bishops we had in 1900 when we had parishioners.

I cannot believe some of the weird little towns that have bishops - Bradford for one - an ancient bishopric from 1919.

Maybe we could manage with 2-3 Bishops per county in the era of telephone and fax - not just the House of Lords which is over-staffed - what do we have at present, 120 Bishops ?

17 March 2007 at 16:07  
Anonymous Observer said...

But come to think of it, the only Muslim who would in reality join the Lords, would be one who doesn't feel a fundamental need to strictly adhere to his religious beliefs

You simply put a Muslim Academic into the Chamber who has a good sense of humour

17 March 2007 at 16:10  
Anonymous Colin said...

His Grace,

ought to be congratulated for his insight into the difficulties arising from an endless stream of schisms, especially, for his foresight concerning the turbaned problems of the Sikh Lordships.

Since His Grace is an honest and humble personality, he probably doesn't mind that I would like to draw the attention to Miss Jelly Bean's comment and the fact that the latter disproves His Grace's diagnosis of her suffering from an insufficiency in erudition and intelligence. Apparently, Miss Jelly Bean is not = Jelly Brain.

Miss Jelly Bean,

I would be most grateful if you could kindly improve my intelligence (His Grace and voyager's are much superior in this regard, I am sure) by informing me about the importance of HT for the topic under discussion. What is Hizbat-ul-tahrir ?

"this isn't an Islamic state. That, I can accept and agree with."

Naturally, this begs the questions: (1) What can you not accept and agree with in a non-Islamic state?,(2) And can you accept and agree with an Islamic state?


"what do we have at present, 120 Bishops ?"

How wonderful! Add to this all the other promisors of salvation whether from hell, capitalism or global warming, and it becomes clear that the anxiety industry is one of the most lucrative businesses.

17 March 2007 at 17:44  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

Hizbat-ul-tahrir (also pronounced as hizbut-tahrir or hizb-ut-tahrir), is an Islamic political party which seeks to spread the practise of Islamic law. They view themselves as Sunni, but are regarded as extreme by the moderate Sunnis. The Wahabi also regard themselves as Sunni, but are viewed as extremists by the moderate mainstream Sunnis.

Now you might ask, what defines a moderate or mainstream Sunni? Well, a number of things actually. Firstly, mainstream Sunnis belong to 4 main schools of though; those being the Hanafi, Shafi, Hanbali, and Maliki.
Secondly, such Sunnis also follow what they refer to as the 'siha-sitta'; the 6 most authentic compilations of the Ahadith of the Prophet.(HTs and Wahabi don't follow most of them).
Thirdly, the Sunni sect also has a spiritual side to it, which is esentially derived from Sufisim and the teachings of the early sufis and philosophers (an example of one such person would be Imam Al-Ghazali who is famous for his books such as 'Revival of the Religious Sciences' and 'The Incoherence of the Philosophers').
Fourthly, Sunnis also follow the very early interpretations (tafseer) of the Quran, which have been written by early Islamic Scholars (such as Tafseer-ibn-Kathir).

On Your question regarding what can/cannot be accepted in an Islamic State, well this could range from a very wide spectrum of issues. For example, the legislation passed in Parliament on crime and punishment, may differ from the laws in the Islamic penal system, and therefore contradict the Sharia. (Is this what you were asking? I might have misunderstood you).

17 March 2007 at 18:48  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

Thanks a lot for this most interesting explanation. I am impressed. You seem to be quite erudite in Islamic religion. Maybe I am able to learn some more details from you.

Since here is not the space to explain everything, I am wondering whether you might be able to provide us with links to websites describing the differences between Hanafi, Shafi, Hanbali and Maliki, and the very early interpretations (tafseer) of the Quran? Furthermore, how do the tafseer interpret the suras of the Quaran which are most worrisome for Westerners such as 98.6 and 9:29?

98.6 ” Those who disbelieve, among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will be in Hell-Fire, to dwell therein (for aye). They are the worst of creatures.“

9:29 ”Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

"On Your question regarding what can/cannot be accepted in an Islamic State, well ..Sharia .. Is this what you were asking?"

Not exactly. The reason for demands of the Islamic faithfuls for the Sharia is clear to me. However, since you said that you accept that GB is not an Islamic country, I was wondering whether you consider a country with Western or with Sharia laws as more desirable and why?

17 March 2007 at 21:53  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

In order to understand the following verse of the Quran which you quoted (9:29) you must first have awareness of the historical background during which time this verse was revealed to the Prophet.

This verse was revealed to the Prophet after the Peace Treaty of Hudaibiya took place between the Mushriqeen of Makkah (Pagans of Makkah), and the Muslims. By this time, 1/3 of Arabia was Islamic and had formed a powerful, well organised Islamic state. During this time, Islam became very widespread in Arabia and the Quraish (pagan tribe) of Arabia felt themselves losing power to the Muslims; hence broke the peace treaty. This led to a battle between the Muslims and the Quraish.
It is the same scenario with Iran and the UN. Iran as we know, has signed the 'nuclear non-proliferation treaty'. If they now decide to make a nuclear bomb, then they would consequently be breaking the treaty they originaly signed. This would therefore mean that the UN will have to take action against Iran for breaking the non-proliferation treaty. So the verse you quoted out of the Quran (9:29) was revealed to the Prophet to instruct him on how to deal with the Pagans at that time. This does not give permission to the Muslim to fight and kill any non-muslim they see in their day-to-day life. This was strictly during the time of the battle. The reason why this verse (9:29) is referring to 'the people of the book' (Jews and Christians) is due to the conflict between the Muslims and the Roman Empire which began even before the conquest of Makkah. One of the missions sent after the Treaty of Hudaibiyah to different parts of Arabia visited the clans which lived in the northern areas adjacent to Syria. The majority of these people were Christians who were under the influence of the Roman Empire. In contradiction to the principles of the peace treaty, they killed 15 Muslims, which consequently led to a battle between the Christians and the Muslims.

As for your question regarding the different schools of thought amongst the Sunni sect and the early interpretations (tafseer) of the Quran, I don't usually get my info from websites. I prefer reading the orignal texts, although you might find this difficult since most of them are in Arabic, Persian, and only some have been translated to Urdu and English. (I read the Urdu and English since I'm not very good at Arabic and don't know Persian at all).

I hope this has helped. I'm not a Scholar or philosopher so I may not be able to answer all your questions, but I will try to answer those I can, to the best of my ability.

18 March 2007 at 11:23  
Anonymous Observer said...

but are viewed as extremists by the moderate mainstream Sunnis.

and is banned in most of Europe except Britain The Lax

Peace Treaty of Hudaibiya

The treaty held that the two sides

agreed to remove war from the people for ten years. During this time the people are to be security and no one is to lay hands on another. . . . Between us evil is to be abstained from, and there is to be no raiding or spoilation.

In the twenty-two months after signing the treaty, Muhammad significantly built up his power base. He made new conquests and formed alliances with powerful tribes, in particular with the Bani Khuza`a. As a result, by 630, he was considerably stronger vis-à-vis Quraysh than at the time of the signing. Quraysh did less well in terms of making new alliances, but it did ally with another strong tribe, the Bani Bakr.

Now, the Bani Khuza`a and the Bani Bakr lived near each other and had a long history of feuding - and feuding in Arabia, as in Appalachia, was passed on from generation to generation. In December 629, some of the Bani Bakr, possibly with Quraysh help, took vengeance on a party of the Bani Khuza`a, killing several of the latter. On hearing this news, Muhammad instantly opted for the most drastic response - to attack Mecca. It appears that he had decided the time had come to challenge the ultimate power base of Quraysh in their home city.

18 March 2007 at 11:33  
Blogger tim said...

...feuding in Arabia, as in Appalachia, was passed on from generation to generation.

How interesting, for my people to be used as an international example of feuding! I'm quite proud, to tell you honestly. My own family is rather poor in this respect, though. We've only been involved in one feud, to my knowledge, and it didn't even last beyond my childhood, much less multiple generations. It was over a property line dispute (we're particular over land) and the access of cattle to the creek. Nobody got shot, happily.

18 March 2007 at 12:47  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

Thank you for your kind explanations. You seem to be an honest person. I appreciate that. Your interpretation of the spread of Islam is nice and cozy. Being a sceptic, I wanted to know if the beautiful picture painted by you concerning Islam is in agreement with the findings of historical research. Therefore, I did some reading and this is what I found.

“Muhammad … ordered the assassinations of several people who had dared to mock him and his prophetic pretensions - notably, two poets, Abu 'Afak and 'Asma bint Marwan. Abu 'Afak was reputed to be over one hundred years old, and had dared to criticize in verse Muhammad's killing of another of his opponents.” (see, The Truth About Muhammad)

The first treatise about jihad was written by Abd al-Rahman al-Awzai (death 774) and Mohammed al-Shaybani (death 804). The Dutch historian Rudolph Peters calls it the „classical doctrine“. According to the latter, the umma has the duty to wage war against the infidels until they are converted or subdued. This war is termed jihad. Individually and in groups, Muslims have the duty for jihad until the world is dominated by Islam. Peace agreements of Islamic with non-Islamic rulers were considered as ceasefires. Djihad and Dhimmitude by historian Professor Egon Flaig. According to the latter and several others, the terrorism of Islamists against us is in agreement with the century-old interpretation and tradition of jihad.

From the beginning, Islamic troops committed massacres in the name of jihad, 698 in Carthage, 838 in Syracus; the infamous vizier of the caliphate in Córdoba, Al Mansur, waged in 27 years 25 jihads against the Christian empires of Northern Spain, 981 in Zamora, 987 in Coimbra, León, 2 x (985 and 1008) in Barcelona and Santiago de Compostela in 997. The jihads destroyed the numerous cities of Byzantine Anatolia, e.g. Amorium in 838. The cities of Anatolia have never recovered. The Seljuk Alp Arslan massacred entire Armenian cities, most horribly 1064 the capital Ani. One of the goal was the capture of slaves leading in the 8th century to the largest slaveholder society in history which needed a continuing supply of slaves and transformed the African continent into the largest supplier of slaves, a fate which Europe barely escaped.

If a lack of slaves developed, Emirs conducted jihads not only against non-Muslim populations but also against Muslims under the pretext that these were not true Muslims. This happened mainly in Africa and against black Africans, e.g. first in Songhay 1468, then in 1552 the Moroccans raided Mali and since the 18th century religious reformers waged jihads in the Sahel against the Muslim cities of the Haussa.

The Muslims waged war in order to establish the Sharia, a political system build on the apartheid of ruling and subdued people (dhimmi). The latter are the faithfuls of other book religions such as Christians, Jews, Zoriasters, Buddhists. The dhimmis had to wear special colors and cloths to be recognisable. They had to personally pay a special tax (Jizya) and on this occasion had to accept to be beaten on their head. In addition, they had to accept beatings from Muslims without resistance. The hand of the dhimmi was choped off if he hit back or he was executed. The testimony of a dhimmi against a Muslim was invalid. Muslims received only half of the penality if their delict was directed against a dhimmi. Especially burdensome was the Turkish rule: since 1360 up to 20% of all Christian children were deported as slaves and forcefully converted to Islam in irregular intervals. The Islamic countries were the last countries to abolish slavery. Some of them have reintroduced slavery in the past 15 years, e.g. in Sudan. Meanwhile, relief organisations have ransomed 80,000 slaves.

Pogromes? ? Since caliph Al-Mutawakkil (847 - 861) persecutions of Jews and Christians (forced conversions, expulsions and massacres) occurred in the Near East and Northern Africa. In Muslim Spain, comprehensive pogromes against Christians occurred 889 in Elvira and 891 in Sevilla. In Fez (Maroc), more than 6000 Jews were massacred in 1033. In 1058, the Christian Antiocha was converted to Islam with torture and death threats. The first pogrome against Jews in Europe happened 1066 in Muslim Granada. 1500 Jewish families were killed. 1135 the Jewish quarter of Córdoba was burned down. 1159 all the Christians of Tunis had the choice between conversion to Islam or death. At this time, the formerly vital Christianity of Northern Africa was annihilated. (From the article Islam wants to conquer the world by the historian Professor Egon Flaig)

The following story is from the article Islam’s Other Victims: India by Serge Trifkovic. India prior to the Moslem invasions was one of the world’s great civilizations. Tenth century Hindustan matched its contemporaries in the East and the West in the realms of philosophy, mathematics, and natural science. Moslem invaders began entering India in the early 8th century, on the orders of Hajjaj, the governor of what is now Iraq. Starting in 712 the raiders, commanded by Muhammad Qasim, demolished temples, shattered sculptures, plundered palaces, killed vast numbers of men — it took three whole days to slaughter the inhabitants of the city of Debal — and carried off their women and children to slavery. .. on his arrival at the town of Brahminabad massacred between 6,000 and 16,000 men.

In his book The Story of Civilization, famous historian Will Durant lamented the results of what he termed "probably the bloodiest story in history." He called it "a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex order and freedom can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without and multiplying from within."
The mountainous northwestern approaches to India are to this day called the Hindu Kush, "the Slaughter of the Hindu," a reminder of the days when Hindu slaves from Indian subcontinent died in harsh Afghan mountains while being transported to Moslem courts of Central Asia. The slaughter in Somnath, the site of a celebrated Hindu temple, where 50,000 Hindus were slain on Mahmud’s orders, set the tone for centuries. The gentle Buddhists were the next to be subjected to mass slaughter in 1193. The Mogul emperor Akbar is remembered as tolerant, at least by the standards of Moslems in India: only one major massacre was recorded during his long reign (1542-1605), when he ordered that about 30,000 captured Rajput Hindus be slain on February 24, 1568. Shah Jahan (1593-1666), the fifth Mogul Emperor and a grandson of Akbar the Great. Most Westerners remember him as the builder of the Taj Mahal and have no idea that he was a cruel warmonger who initiated forty-eight military campaigns against non-Moslems in less than thirty years.
Unlike Germany, which has apologized to its Jewish and Eastern European victims, and Japan, which has at least behaved itself since WWII, and even America, which has gone into paroxysms of guilt over what it did to the infinitely smaller numbers of Red Indians, the Moslem aggressors against India and their successors have not even stopped trying to finish the job they started.

The continued jihad of Muslims based on newspaper reports is shown in the following flash animation The bloody borders of Islam.

In conclusion, while having a high esteem for you as a charming and intelligent person, I consider jihad and sharia as a danger for human civilisation. It is well known that cooperation builds and wars destroy civilisations. Jihad and sharia belong to the latter.

Is is possibly, Miss Jelly Bean, that your interpretation is a bit too optimistic?

18 March 2007 at 23:05  
Anonymous Colin said...

Apologies for the typo: naturally, it is possible instead of possibly.

18 March 2007 at 23:23  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

Where do I start.
How about with a similar question to the one you raised at me 'is it possible that your interpretation of Islam is a bit too pesimistic?'

I'm not surprised though, especially after viewing the websites from which you gained your information. But since you are a sceptic (and I most apparently am not), I take it that our discussion shall maintain its format of me defending Islam with my one-sided evidence and research, and you criticising Islam with your one-sided evidence and research.

So where to begin. Firstly, you consider Jihad as a threat to the human civilisation, and believe that Islamic terrorists epitomise Jihad for what it truly means.

Allow me to shed some light upon this rather intricate subject matter. Jihad, is not only a term used for 'holy war', it has many other complex meanings and its level of interpretation may vary from a literal, to metaphorical level. The word Jihad also means to 'struggle' or to 'strive' against something. The very first form of Jihad which a Muslim must undergo, is 'Jihad-ul-nafs'. 'Nafs' means the inner being or the lower-self. This is where a Muslim must fight against his inner ('Satanic' shall we name them) desires and wordly lusts, in order to be at one with God and follow the 'Sirat-al-mustaqeem' (path of the righteous). The next level of Jihad, is fighting in the name of society in order to redeem and restore order and remove injustice from society.

This is just brief explanations of two types of Jihad. I believe the list continues upto 7 different types of Jihad (I can't remember the rest); the seventh and final form of Jihad being 'Jihad-fi-sabililah' (Jihad in the name of Allah). This form of Jihad is conducted in the battle field. It is the physical form of Jihad; what you may refer to as 'Holy War'.

Jihad is most certainly not the reciprocal of terrorism. The Islamic terrorists who think themselves as martyrs and hope to enter heaven by strapping suicde bombs to themselves and killing innocent people, are most certainly deluded. This is not the way of the Prophet, nor should any true Muslim adopt such a method of Jihad. In fact, I wouldn't even regard this as Jihad. (Let us not be so ignorant as to judge Islam by a bunch of extremists).

It is stated quite clearly in the Quran that the Muslim must "Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not do aggression, for Allah loves not the aggressors".

It has also been revealed in the Quran that "...for the prohibited month, and so for all things prohibited, there is the law of equality. If then any one transgresses the prohibition against you, transgress ye likewise against him. But fear Allah, and know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves".

On your point regarding Jizya (tax which the non-believers had to pay), well, let us analyse this verse of the Quran.
"Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued."

The Jizya as we already know, is a special tax which any non-muslim who was living under the Islamic state, had to pay. However, this was to the benefit of the non-muslim since it was used for his well being and protection. It's not that the Muslims didn't pay any form of tax. In fact, they had to pay large sums of charity which is compulsory for the Muslim. This charity would in return go to the poor and those in need (including the non-muslims). Therefore, if the Muslim is paying for the well-being of the non-muslim, it only seems fair that the non-muslim should make a contribution also. The only reason as to why the non-Muslims didn't pay the same form of Charity which the Muslims did, is because they were under no command to follow the Islamic law. They therefore had their own type of tax to pay for being members of that state.

I do apolise for the essay but it's difficult to explain all the details in such a manner of communication.

I know you think I'm being very optimistic and pro-Islam. But I do admit that Islam has had many problems to face in the past and after the Caliphate of the first 4 Imams came to an end, some of the Muslims who came to power were indeed brutal people and very wrong. They did not commit to the way of the Prophet, but I think that all the worlds major religions have had to face such problems some time during their history.

19 March 2007 at 18:45  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

Au contraire miss jelly bean, after the Caliphate of the first 4 Imams and during the four imams the emerging Islamic identity conformed very closely with ‘peaceful’ Mohamed, in fact they followed his example quite faithfully:

570 - Birth of Muhammad in Mecca into the tribe of Quraish.
577 - Muhammads mother dies
580 - Death of Abdul Muttalib, Muhammads grandfather.
583 - First journey to Syria with a trading Caravan
595 - Muhammad marries Khadijah a rich widow several years older than him.
595 - Second journey to Syria
598 - His son, Qasim, is born
600 - His daughter, Zainab, is born
603 - His daughter, Um-e-Kalthum, is born
604 - His daughter, Ruqayya, is born
605 - Placement of Black Stone in Kaaba.
605 - His daughter, Fatima, is born
610 - Mohammed, in a cave on Mt. Hira, hears the angel Gabriel tell him that Allah is the only true God.
613 - Muhammads first public preaching of Islam at Mt. Hira. Gets few converts.
615 - Muslims persecuted by the Quraish.
619 - Marries Sauda and Aisha (9 years old)
620 - Institution of five daily prayers
622 - Muhammad immigrates from Mecca to Medina, which was then called Yathrib, gets more converts.
623 - Battle of Waddan
623 - Battle of Safwan
623 - Battle of Dul-Ashir
624 - Muhammad and converts begin raids on caravans to fund the movement.
624 - Zakat becomes mandatory
624 - Battle of Badr
624 - Battle of Bani Salim
624 - Battle of Eid-ul-Fitr and Zakat-ul-Fitr
624 - Battle of Bani Qainuqa
624 - Battle of Sawiq
624 - Battle of Ghatfan
624 - Battle of Bahran
625 - Battle of Uhud. 70 Muslims are killed.
625 - Battle of Humra-ul-Asad
625 - Battle of Banu Nudair
625 - Battle of Dhatur-Riqa
626 - Battle of Badru-Ukhra
626 - Battle of Dumatul-Jandal
626 - Battle of Banu Mustalaq Nikah
627 - Battle of the Trench
627 - Battle of Ahzab
627 - Battle of Bani Quraiza
627 - Battle of Bani Lahyan
627 - Battle of Ghaiba
627 - Battle of Khaibar
628 - Muhammad signs treaty with Quraish.
630 - Muhammad conquers Mecca.
630 - Battle of Hunsin.
630 - Battle of Tabuk
632 - Muhammad dies.

632 - Abu-Bakr, Muhammads father-in-law, along with Umar, begin a military move to enforce Islam in Arabia.
633 - Battle at Oman
633 - Battle at Hadramaut.
633 - Battle of Kazima
633 - Battle of Walaja
633 - Battle of Ulleis
633 - Battle of Anbar
634 - Battle of Basra,
634 - Battle of Damascus
634 - Battle of Ajnadin.
634 - Death of Hadrat Abu Bakr. Hadrat Umar Farooq becomes the Caliph.
634 - Battle of Namaraq
634 - Battle of Saqatia.
635 - Battle of Bridge.
635 - Battle of Buwaib.
635 - Conquest of Damascus.
635 - Battle of Fahl.
636 - Battle of Yermuk.
636 - Battle of Qadsiyia.
636 - Conquest of Madain.
637 - Battle of Jalula.
638 - Battle of Yarmouk.
638 - The Muslims defeat the Romans and enter Jerusalem.
638 - Conquest of Jazirah.
639 - Conquest of Khuizistan and movement into Egypt.
641 - Battle of Nihawand
642 - Battle of Ray in Persia
643 - Conquest of Azarbaijan
644 - Conquest of Fars
644 - Conquest of Kharan.
644 - Umar is murdered. Othman becomes the Caliph.
647 - Conquest of the island of Cypress
644 - Uman dies and is succeeded by Caliph Uthman.
648 - Campaign against the Byzantines.
651 - Naval battle against the Byzantines.
654 - Islam spreads into North Africa
656 - Uthman is murdered. Ali become Caliph.
658 - Battle of Nahrawan.
659 - Conquest of Egypt
661 - Ali is murdered.
662 - Egypt falls to Islam rule.
666 - Sicily is attacked by Muslims
677 - Siege of Constantinople
687 - Battle of Kufa
691 - Battle of Deir ul Jaliq
700 - Sufism takes root as a sect of Islam
700 - Military campaigns in North Africa
702 - Battle of Deir ul Jamira
711 - Muslims invade Gibraltar
711 - Conquest of Spain
713 - Conquest of Multan
716 - Invasion of Constantinople
732 - Battle of Tours in France.
740 - Battle of the Nobles.
741 - Battle of Bagdoura in North Africa
744 - Battle of Ain al Jurr.
746 - Battle of Rupar Thutha
748 - Battle of Rayy.
749 - Battle of lsfahan
749 - Battle of Nihawand
750 - Battle of Zab
772 - Battle of Janbi in North Africa
777 - Battle of Saragossa in Spain

Just the beginning of a few of the problems that Islam has given the rest of the world

19 March 2007 at 22:09  
Anonymous Voyager said...

"Crusade, is not only a term used for 'holy war', it has many other complex meanings and its level of interpretation may vary from a literal, to metaphorical level. The word Crusade also means to 'struggle' or to 'strive' against something."

19 March 2007 at 22:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Islam’s Western apologists sometimes claim that since the Arabic word, Jihad, literally means “fight” or “struggle,” it refers to an “inner struggle” rather than holy war.

This is extremely difficult to reconcile with the Qur’an, which, for example, exempted the disabled and elderly from Jihad. This would make no sense if the word is being used merely within the context of spiritual struggle. It is also unclear why Muhammad would use graphic language, such as smiting fingers and heads from the hands and necks of unbelievers, if he were merely speaking of personal development.

With this in mind, Muslims themselves usually admit that there are two meanings to the word, but insist that “inner struggle” is the “greater Jihad,” whereas “holy war” is the “lesser.” In fact, this misconception is based only on a tiny handful of extremely weak and unreliable hadith.

By contrast, the most reliable of all Hadith is that of Bukhari. The word, Jihad, is mentioned over 200 times in reference to the words of Muhammad and each one is a clear connotation to holy war. By contrast, Bukhari does not contain a single reference to Jihad within the context of “personal struggle.”

19 March 2007 at 22:50  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

The first Crusade began in 1095… 460 years after the first Christian city was overrun by Muslim armies, 457 years after Jerusalem was conquered by Muslim armies, 453 years after Egypt was taken by Muslim armies, 443 after Muslims first plundered Italy, 427 years after Muslim armies first laid siege to the Christian capital of Constantinople, 380 years after Spain was conquered by Muslim armies, 363 years after France was first attacked by Muslim armies, 249 years after Rome itself was sacked by a Muslim army, and only after centuries of church burnings, killings, enslavement and forced conversions of Christians.

By the time the Crusades finally began, Muslim armies had conquered two-thirds of the Christian world.

Europe had been harassed by Muslims since the first few years following Muhammad’s death. As early as 652, Muhammad’s followers launched raids on the island of Sicily, waging a full-scale occupation 200 years later that lasted well over two centuries and was punctuated by massacres, such as that at the town of Castrogiovanni, in which 8,000 Christians were put to death. In 1084, ten years before the first crusade, Muslims staged another devastating Sicilian raid, burning churches in Reggio, enslaving monks and raping an abbey of nuns before carrying them into captivity.

In theory, the Crusades were provoked by the harassment of Christian pilgrims from Europe to the Holy Land, in which many were kidnapped, molested, forcibly converted to Islam or even killed. (Compare this to Islam’s justification for slaughter on the basis of Muslims being denied access to the Meccan pilgrimage in Muhammad’s time).

The Crusaders only invaded lands that were Christian. They never attacked Saudi Arabia or sacked Mecca as the Muslims had done (and continued doing) to Italy and Constantinople.

The period of Crusader “occupation” (of its own former land) was stretched over less than two centuries. The Muslim occupation is in its 1,372nd year.

The period of Crusader “aggression” compresses to about 20 years of actual military campaign, much of which was spent on organization and travel. (They were from 1098-1099, 1146-1148, 1188-1192, 1201-1204, 1218-1221, 1228-1229, and 1248-1250). By comparison, the Muslim Jihad against the island of Sicily alone lasted 75 grinding years.

Unlike Jihad, the Crusades were never justified on the basis of New Testament teachings. This is why they are an anomaly, the punctuation of fourteen centuries of relentless Jihad that began long before the Crusades and continued well after they were over.

What other religion calls sin and excess, Islam calls the will of Allah.

19 March 2007 at 23:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even though many Muslims earnestly believe that their religion prohibits the killing of innocent people by acts of terrorism, the truth is certainly more complicated. This is why the Jihadis and their detractors are both able to point fingers at the other, while confidently insisting that they are the true Muslims.

In fact, the definition of an “innocent person” is far more ambiguous in Islam than Muslim apologists will lead others to believe. So, also, is the definition of terrorism.

First, consider that anyone who rejects Muhammad is not considered to be “innocent” under Islamic law. The most protected and respected of all non-Muslims are the dhimma, the “people of the book.” These would specifically be Jews and Christians who agree to Islamic rule and pay the jizya (tribute to Muslims). Yet, the word “dhimmi” comes from the Arabic root meaning “guilt.”

So, if even the dhimma have a measure of guilt attached to their status (by virtue of having rejected Allah’s full truth), then how can non-Muslims who oppose Islamic rule or refuse to pay the jizya be considered “innocent?”

Within the Islamic community itself there is a category of Muslims who are also said to bear guilt – greater even than the average non-believer. These are the hypocrites, or “Munafiqin,” whom Muhammad referred to in the most derogatory terms. A hypocrite is considered to be a Muslim in name only. They are distinguished either by an unwillingness to wage holy war or by an intention to corrupt the community of believers.

In addition to the murky definition of innocence, there is also the problem of distinguishing terrorism from holy war. Islamic terrorists never refer to themselves as terrorists, but always as holy warriors (Mujahideen, Shahid, or Fedayeen). They consider their acts to be a form of Jihad.

Holy war is something that Muhammad commanded in the Qur’an and Hadith. In Sura 9:29, he establishes the principle that unbelievers should be fought until they either convert to Islam or accept a state of humiliation under Islamic subjugation. This is confirmed in the Hadith by both Sahih Muslim and Bukhari.

In many places, the prophet of Islam says that Jihad is the ideal path for a Muslim, and that believers should “fight in the way of Allah.” There are dozens of open-ended passages in the Qur’an that exhort killing and fighting – far more than ones of peace and tolerance. It is somewhat naïve to think that their inclusion was of historical value only and not intended as a present-day imperative.

Combine the Qur’anic exhortation to holy war with the ambiguity of innocence, and a monumental problem develops that cannot be covered over with semantics. Not only is there a deep tolerance for violence in Islam, but also a sharp disagreement and lack of clarity over the conditions that justify this violence... and just whom the targets may be.

Even many Muslims who claim to be against terrorism still support the “insurgency” in Iraq, for example, and often entertain the accusation that there is a broader “war against Islam.” Although the Americans in Iraq are trying to protect innocent life and help the country rebuild, Muslims around the world and in the West believe that it is legitimate for Sunnis to try and kill them.

Enjoying the sanction of holy war, the Mujahid reasons that it is permissible to attack fellow Iraqis – the ones helping the Americans… even if they are a democratically-elected government. These non-combatants and combatants alike are believed to be the “Munafiqin” assisting the enemy “Crusaders.”

Although we use Iraq as an example here, this is the same rationale that is ultimately behind all Islamic terror, from the Philippines to Thailand. Wherever the religion of Islam is a minority, there are always radicals who believe that violence is justified in bringing it to dominance - just as Muhammad taught by example in places like Mecca and the land of al-Hirath.

And what of the so-called “innocents” who suffer from the bombings and shootings? Even in Muhammad’s time they were unavoidable. The much-touted hadith in which Muhammad forbade the killing of women also indicates that there were such casualties in his conflicts.

If there is any doubt that he believed that the forbidden is sometimes necessary, it should be put to rest by an incident in which Muhammad's men warned him that a planned night raid against an enemy camp would mean that women and children would be killed. He merely replied “they are of them,” meaning the men.

This is the slippery slope that is opened by the sanction of holy war. What starts out as the noble cause of self-defense against a perceived threat gradually devolves into a "let Allah sort them out" campaign through a series of logical steps that ultimately leads to the sublime goal of Islamic rule.

Islam is not intended to co-exist as an equal with other religions. It is to be the dominant religion, with Sharia as the supreme law. Islamic rule is to be extended to the ends of the earth, and resistance is to be dealt with by any means necessary.

Apologists in the West often shrug off the Qur'an's many verses of violence by saying that they are only relevant in a “time of war.”

19 March 2007 at 23:18  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

Woh! I've really heated things up here havn't I.

Something tells me that no matter how hard I try, none of you are going to agree with me, which is fair enough since the choice is yours to make.

Its as the blessed Quran states, say Oh Muhammad 'I do not worship what you worship, nor do you worship what I worship, nor will I be a worshiper of what you worship, nor will you be a worshiper of what I worship. For you is your religion, and for me is mine'.

This does not mean that I don't want to argue or have this discussion with you (I love to debate!). But I think words are not fit to describe, for it is a matter of experience. If someone from the time of birth has never eaten a banana, no matter how long you take (it may be all your life), you will never be able to describe or explain the taste of that fruit to the one who has no knowledge of it. At the end, you will grow tired and state 'taste it for yourself, then you will have awareness of its true flavour'.

May peace be upon the followers of the right path. Amen!

20 March 2007 at 06:42  
Anonymous Observer said...

Not only is there a deep tolerance for violence in Islam

It is its very core because the L. Ron Hubbard of the 7th Century manufactured his own Personality Cult modelled on Judaeo-Christianity and Zoroastrianism to make himself the Man-God

20 March 2007 at 07:23  
Anonymous Colin said...

Hi Miss Jelly Bean,

Thank you for your extensive explanations. I was away for two days and I see that you got the debate going. Congratulations.

You wrote "let us analyse this verse of the Quran."

I think actions speak much louder than words!

"Such evil deeds could religion prompt." Lucretius (96 BC - 55 BC), De Rerum Natura

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." Steven Weinberg

Miss Jelly Bean, you may believe whatever you like and hopefully become happy with it as long as you don't want to dominate other people's lifes. Unfortunately, that's what your Islamic co-religionists are up to. While I respect you as a person and as a human being, I have to tell you that aggression uncivilized and evil whether promoted in the name of an ideology or religion.

20 March 2007 at 21:47  
Blogger Merseymike said...

We should be governed by those we elect - there should be no place for self-important religionists other than those who seek and win election.

Their contributions are hardly beneficial in any case.

22 March 2007 at 11:18  
Anonymous Voyager said...

We should be governed by those we elect

No we should NOT. WE do not grant unrestricted power to tyrants however they come to power.

Politics is not Absolute - it is currently the oppression of the populace by criminal gangs who exploit political power for their own personal financial reward.

We live in an era of elected demagogues serving the interests of cliques and lobbyists and using the machinery of the State to suppress, repress, and oppress

26 March 2007 at 09:01  
Anonymous Colin said...


"We live in an era of elected demagogues serving the interests of cliques and lobbyists and using the machinery of the State to suppress, repress, and oppress."

I couldn't agree more.

27 March 2007 at 20:18  
Blogger srizals said...

Would anyone care to explain the annihilation of millions of Christians in the war of the roses, the IRA bombings, the world wars. Were they the struggles of Christianity or Muslims?
The slavery of the blacks African by Americans? US civil wars,British dominion of the Irish n the Scottish. Were they ignited by Muslims, or Christians? Who claimed they were the follower of the 10 commandments , Thou shalt not kill, but kill n plunder almost all human race in this world. The Vietnamese, The Red Indians, the Incas, the Aztecs, the Malays, the Chinese, almost every human race knew very well your Christian generosity.
Wondered why Hindus remained majority all this while after bein systematically cleansed n tortured by their Christians invaders, sorry Sultan. N the Christian French invented guillotine to slaughter their own, off with their head scarfs nowadays. Napoleon, British vs the dutch vs the French etc. etc. Hutu vs Tutsi, Christian Africans, U c, we can never rival ur scale of wars. Yes, we are n were at wars from time 2 time, but ur wars were always on the genocide level, the extinction of millions, 6 millions Jews rn't comparable with anything, if what u said is true.Associating Pogroms with us, Muslims, Is it an Arabic term or somethin, sure does sound funny n more like Latin or Anglo Saxon kinda language. What slander, The great Ottoman Empire even had Jewish Officers, 2 many 2 good 4 them in the end, I think. They initiated the Hebrews mass immigration to Palestine from throughout the world, whether they were the decendents of the Israelite or simply Jew converts, mostly from Russia. The Latin America wasn't that Latin, u know, Most South East Asia were under cruel British n Dutch rules, n u kill n plunder us before we could kill all ur sailors, since we thought that Christian men r good.
U enslaved people all around the world, steal their wealth, n then call upon ur subdued people the Commonwealth. What's common, since all the wealth has been robbed by U.

12 July 2009 at 18:43  
Blogger srizals said...

Only the dreaded Irgun was crazy enough to terrorize u, eh. U, can never justify our wars with ur wars. Remember Ain Jalut? No, I'm not talking about David vs Goliath, a Palestinian giant, n they kept on tellin the world there is no such people called Palestinian n yet they kept on bragin about David n Goliath, Just like u eh, twister of the truth. I'm talkin about when the Mongols were there at the door steps of the Kingdom of Heaven that is built of the massacre of the Muslims n Jews. Who came out to meet them, while u snug cowardly within the walls of the cities.
Spanish Inquisitions anyone? The medieval torture apparatus, the Iron Maiden, the Iron thongs, can u find one torture tools that could rival urs in the Muslim nations? Ops, Iron thongs r not for torture, its 4 safety precautions, yeah that's right, n u said we treat our women like u..
You said u r not allowed to take other gods but the One god, n yet u mocked Him, by saying that He, the Exalted one, had a son, a begotten son, what exactly does it mean? N who is the wife, the holy ghost, n then it makes them four not trinity! U r so confused, that when u r doin the killin, it is justified.
The Japs bombed legitimate military target, n what did U Christians do to them? Instead of fighting n dying bravely in the battle field, u nuke their cities, killin hundred of thousands, babies, children, old ones, even their wonder pets. N Japan wasn't even a nuclear power at that time. N u r so scared 2 suffer the same fate. U sure out class us Muslims, even the worst one, if it is true, the things u said. But I will give u the benefit of the doubt. But the millions that had perished in wars, conflicts of the world was n is because of U, the lovingly n peaceful Imperial Christians whose gluttony for the flesh n gold out best the rest of the human race.
Ask the world, they know. U hate us, your immigrants, but love our wealth, n crimes of ages that goes unforgiven but forgotten by the powerful imperialism powers, the Great Britain, Spain, France n Holland, U brought the human race to their knees, remember? In the name of Christianity, N till this day hasn't issued an apology to the countries that it had oppressed n stole its wealth. U prosper on the blood of the innocence for centuries n u dare 2 question Islamic tax.
U compare Jesus with Muhammad, well let me try 2 explain this 2 u, Jesus was alone with only a small numbers of Hawarians, the Israelite had abandoned him, while Muhammad is accepted by his people, n they stand behind him. Would u think it would be logic 4 him 2 wage a war, with such a small number of followers with the dreaded Roman armies. Well, Muhammad had his people behind him, an army 2 face his oppressors.
We, Muslims r allowed 2 fight back those who threaten us with cruelty n slavery, drive us out of our homeland. U, what ur excuse, U weren't allowed 2 kill remember? N Jesus never fought any war, so what's ur excuse?
Do u know that most of the Islamic offenses in the syariah, up to certain levels, requires a Muslim to free a slave if he has one? Why? Where's the rational, since u said Islam is a religion of slavery. The first converts of Islam were slaves, or u weren't aware of it?

12 July 2009 at 18:44  

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