Showing posts from August, 2011

The blessed Night of Power

The blessed month of Ramadan is coming to an end. The first one-third of the month was for seeking mercy, the middle one-third for forgiveness and the last one-third for salvation from the Fire of Hell. In the last part of this month lies hidden the Night of Power or Decree (Laylatul Qadr) about which Allah says in the Qur’an: The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. (97:3) As to the reason behind revelation of this powerful verse of the Qur’an, Imam as-Suyuti (rahmatullahi alayh) mentions in his book "Lubaabun Nuqool" that once Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, meaning - may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) [herein after abbreviated as (S)], mentioned about the story of a person from among the Children of Israel who had strived (jihad fi-sabilillah) in the path of Allah for 1000 months. Upon hearing this, the Sahabah (companions) were astonished and at the same time they became very despondent on the basis that how will they ever be

Disturbing Evangelical Trends in Politics of America

An emerging Christian movement that seeks to take dominion over politics, business and culture in preparation for the end times and the return of Jesus is establishing a presence in American politics. The leaders are considered apostles and prophets, gifted by God for this role. The International Apostolic and Prophetic Movement was named the New Apostolic Reformation, or NAR, by its leading architect, C. Peter Wagner. Rachel Tabachnick has been researching and writing about this movement. She says although the movement is larger than the network of apostles organized by Wagner, and not all those connected with the movement describe themselves as part of Wagner's NAR, the apostles and prophets of the movement have an identifiable ideology that separates them from other Evangelicals. Two ministries in the movement, The Call, led by Lou Engle, and the International House of Prayer, led by Mike Bickle, helped organize Rick Perry's recent prayer rally, where apostles and pr

Essence of Ramadan

Muslims throughout the world are now observing Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting in accordance with the dictates of the Qur’an – the Muslim Holy Scripture, in which they are commanded by Allah: O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint (Taqwa). (2:183) The word "Ramadan" comes from the Arabic root word for "parched thirst" and "sun-baked ground." Through fasting, a Muslim experiences hunger and thirst, and sympathizes with those in the world who have little to eat and drink every day. It teaches him/her to be charitable. Through increased charity, Muslims develop feelings of generosity and good-will toward others. As is clear from the above Qur’anic verse, the essence of fasting is learning Taqwa, which is more than self-restraint (translated above). It is God-consciousness which endows the person (the Muttaqi) to be aware of the presence of Allah in every moment o

Bangladesh’s Political Insanity?

In recent days, the Economist of the U.K. seems to have taken more than a casual interest about the sad state of politics inside Bangladesh, which has been a nasty partisan one with an illiberal democracy for the last two decades. While such an interest may be a boon to stir a healthy debate about the health of a failing democracy, I was not too happy with the partisan tone of the analyst who wrote on August 13 under the pseudonym Banyan. It is absurd to take such pieces seriously when we even don't know who has written the piece. The politics in Bangladesh has been abused by those in power with a winner-takes-all attitude. This trend was neither started by the ruling Awami League when in 2008 it swept to power in a landslide, nor will it probably end with its fall. The ruling party never learns how to compromise and build consensus across the aisle on the parliament floor. It carries out partisan policies and takes draconian measures, all aimed at marginalizing its opposition,

Terrorism in Norway – How to avoid it in the future?

If Australia is the ‘land down under,’ then surely Norway is the ‘land up above’ with the sun never completely descending beneath the horizon in areas north of the Arctic Circle during the summer months of May-July (and hence the more common name ‘Land of the Midnight Sun’). Norway has a history of active pacifism that while being anti-war has never meant being apolitical. During the World Wars (WW) I and II, the country maintained a neutral stance. And yet, during the WW I it suffered heavy losses to its shipping, and was occupied for five years by the Third Reich during the WW II. In 1949, partly due to its failure to maintain its traditional policy of neutrality in the war, Norway became a founding member of the NATO and the UN. It is this activism in international affairs, which catapulted Norway to take a leading role in hosting the Oslo Accords (1993) towards resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The Accords affirmed a Palestinian right of self-government within the Oc