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Puck
September 17, 2007, 05:08 PM
i'd been looking for some high resolution professional quality pictures of the kaba and have come up short. so i recently typed in the word in the search box of the photographers site i personally belong to. salih guler, a turkish photographers gallery came up. no kaba here but some of his work is so good that i just had to share it! anyone who enjoys beautiful pictures shall enjoy this -

http://photo.net/photos/salihguler

Miraz
September 17, 2007, 05:16 PM
Many Thanks Puck for sharing such wonderful pictures. Some of the works are simply brilliant.

Do you give permissions to download pictures to PC?

Puck
September 17, 2007, 05:33 PM
hi miraz,
they are not mine! i can only dream of taking such wonderful pictures one day. as for downloading them, i am sure the photographer would not mind your downloading them for personal pleasure. it's not that you are depriving him of anything.

if i took these, i'd be honored if someone wanted to download my works.

i know the thread title mentions Kaaba and i don't want to sound irreverent.. but the picture of the monkey really appealed to me!

puck

Miraz
September 17, 2007, 05:45 PM
Almost every section has some wonderful works. The fine touches are unique in some pictures. I liked the works in the monochrome system, they are one of the best works I have seen in black and white. Although I haven't seen many works before.

Correct me if I am wrong, I think you are a moderator of the photo.net forum and that's why I asked about the permission.

Murad
September 17, 2007, 05:52 PM
he is a muslim photographer?? he took some nasty photos. didnt expect that from a muslim.. otherwise all are nice pictures..

Puck
September 17, 2007, 05:57 PM
i am not a moderator in photo.net i am afraid. i am an ocassional moderator on another site but that caters for amateur club photographers within uk. photonet is on a different league!

if you are really intent upon getting his permission, let me know i shall find out his email or other contact details for you.


puck

Miraz
September 17, 2007, 05:57 PM
he is a muslim photographer?? he took some nasty photos. didnt expect that from a muslim.. otherwise all are nice pictures..

Murad brother, photography is a form of art. Look at those pictures and their fine tuning not the subject in a crude way, I am sure you will find them interesting.

And about the muslim name, many people are not practicing muslims and they find it OK to create similar form of arts.

Miraz
September 17, 2007, 06:01 PM
Thanks Puck for your clarification. I am seriously thinking about downloading some of the pictures and might be framing one or two.

If it's a standard practice that anyone can download them and use for non-commercial purpose, I don't want to give you the pain to find his e-mail address.

And I really appreciate your generous gesture.

Puck
September 17, 2007, 06:06 PM
he is a muslim photographer?? he took some nasty photos. didnt expect that from a muslim.. otherwise all are nice pictures..

hey murad,
he is turkish and based on the name i would assume that he is perhaps culturally muslim. i had a look at his gallery again and found exactly what you were referring to. however, i'd personally say that these are very dreamy representations of the body. apart from one picture in that selection, i find all the rest to be tasteful and flattering.
i am sorry if any of these shocked you. however, i really hadn't noticed them in a shocking light before you mentioned it, and even after close inspection, they don't appear nasty to my eyes. like miraz, i find the monochromes to be rather brilliant and focused on them mainly.
puck

Puck
September 17, 2007, 06:17 PM
Thanks Puck for your clarification. I am seriously thinking about downloading some of the pictures and might be framing one or two.

If it's a standard practice that anyone can download them and use for non-commercial purpose, I don't want to give you the pain to find his e-mail address.

And I really appreciate your generous gesture.

this guy appears to be a semi-pro to me. perhaps he is even a pro by now since the camera used is a nikon d2x. i noticed a ukranian photo magazine editors comment on his portfolio. the standard practice is for magazines to pay for published pictures. so i am assuming that salih is still a semi-pro. with that in mind, i would assume that downloading for non-commercial use is fine.

please do note that he would only put up a low resolution image on a gallery like this. the backup high resolution images would be on his computer somewhere. if you wanted a really good quality print, you will need them and perhaps his permission. so again, going by what you said, i think it should be quite alright to save them for personal pleasure.

i am not on his league and dare say that i have the talent to emulate him ever! i've only ever sold two pictures but they were framed and displayed at a local cafe. for the few online galleries i maintain, if anyone liked any of my pictures and wanted to download them, i'd feel honoured and would perhaps even send them a free professional print at my own cost!

my offer stands though if you did want his details!
take care
puck

Miraz
September 17, 2007, 06:20 PM
Here's some pictures of Jerusalem including Masjidul Aksa

http://photo.net/israel/jerusalem

And some fine work on Asia pacific (mainly indonesian) mosque artworks.

http://photo.net/photodb/member-photos?user_id=2399260&include=all

Puck
September 17, 2007, 06:22 PM
by the way, since we are in a bangladesh related forum, i could not pass without recomending a lad from chittagong who has some fine bangladeshi pictures. his name is manir mrittik and the gallery is below -
http://photo.net/photodb/member-photos?include=all&user_id=2179454

Puck
September 17, 2007, 06:24 PM
Here's some pictures of Jerusalem including Masjidul Aksa

http://photo.net/israel/jerusalem

And some fine work on Asia pacific (mainly indonesian) mosque artworks.

http://photo.net/photodb/member-photos?user_id=2399260&include=all


yes, all very interesting indeed. if you do find any high resolution images of the holy kaaba, do please post the url as well.

Miraz
September 17, 2007, 06:27 PM
i am not on his league and dare say that i have the talent to emulate him ever! i've only ever sold two pictures but they were framed and displayed at a local cafe. for the few online galleries i maintain, if anyone liked any of my pictures and wanted to download them, i'd feel honoured and would perhaps even send them a free professional print at my own cost!

my offer stands though if you did want his details!
take care
puck

Thanks puck. I will try to make couple of prints and frame them. If I find the resolution is not good enough to appreciate the fine work, I will defnitely come back to you for the contact details.

I have found some of your pictures quite interesting. I am a monochrome fan. In my eyes the best picture in your portfolio is the following one. :)

http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=5905360

Miraz
September 17, 2007, 06:31 PM
by the way, since we are in a bangladesh related forum, i could not pass without recomending a lad from chittagong who has some fine bangladeshi pictures. his name is manir mrittik and the gallery is below -
http://photo.net/photodb/member-photos?include=all&user_id=2179454

WOW!!! excellent! gold mine there.

Thanks for sharing.

Miraz
September 17, 2007, 06:37 PM
Look at this picture, flashback of memories and immediately took me home.

http://gallery.photo.net/photo/5312230-lg.jpg

Puck
September 17, 2007, 06:42 PM
I have found some of your pictures quite interesting. I am a monochrome fan. In my eyes the best picture in your portfolio is the following one. :)

http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=5905360

thanks for liking it. that is infact one of the two pictures that i have sold to a local assembly member!

i get a slight discount if ordering bulk prints from a pro printing firm in scotland. next batch shall get done in december and since you liked it so much, i shall be happy to send you one as a gift.

i exclusively shoot black and white and for that matter with very old (in most cases older than me) equipment. the negetives get developed by a friend of mine although they are not turned into prints. i then scan the negetives at home. those that appear a little better than the rest get scanned professionally or developed into prints. it's be fair to say that on average i get one frame out of 24 or 36 that are worth keeping! there are around 30 rolls to scan as i speak..

Puck
September 17, 2007, 06:50 PM
Look at this picture, flashback of memories and immediately took me home.

http://gallery.photo.net/photo/5312230-lg.jpg

i told you that he is good :)

some of the links i had posted in the pictures of bangladesh forum but i think it would be easier to view them through here -

http://www.patrickperon.com/Images/Bangladesh.asp

the following also has a few good quality pictures from bangladesh -
http://www.photo.net/photos/adnanbangladesh

the same chaps flickr gallery has a few more from bangladesh as well as other themes -
http://www.flickr.com/photos/adnanbangladesh

some very high quality pictures from bangladesh in the following gallery -
http://photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=528490

the following site contains wonderful photography from a bangladeshi photographer. some of the images are truly outstanding -
http://www.photo.net/photos/manikratan

a very interesting and varied gallery below with lots of pictures from bnagladesh. some of the pictures are worth framing! -
http://www.photo.net/photos/manirmrittik

a small gallety of interesting picture from bangladesh. this photographer is a professional (moving image) cameraman -
http://photo.net/photodb/member-phot...ser_id=2131744

a very small collection of interesting pictures from bangladesh
http://photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=181047

a small but truly worthwhile gallery of photographs from bangladesh. a few of these are true gems -
http://www.photo.net/photos/zahurul

this is a mixed gallery of pictures including many from bnagladesh. some wonderful monochromes really showing off his skill as an excellent street photographer -
http://www.photo.net/photos/Frederic%20Pascual

a good bangladesh based gallery with a wide array of pictures. unfortunately, they are all very small..
http://www.drik.net/index.htm

excellent black and whites from bangladesh -
http://photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=398729

Miraz
September 17, 2007, 06:51 PM
thanks for liking it. that is infact one of the two pictures that i have sold to a local assembly member!

i get a slight discount if ordering bulk prints from a pro printing firm in scotland. next batch shall get done in december and since you liked it so much, i shall be happy to send you one as a gift.

i exclusively shoot black and white and for that matter with very old (in most cases older than me) equipment. the negetives get developed by a friend of mine although they are not turned into prints. i then scan the negetives at home. those that appear a little better than the rest get scanned professionally or developed into prints. it's be fair to say that on average i get one frame out of 24 or 36 that are worth keeping! there are around 30 rolls to scan as i speak..

Puck, I am really touched by your offer.

I don't know how much is the true cost (considering the level of passion and hard work associated with it), but I will be happy to pay for a good piece of work if I can afford that.

Puck
September 17, 2007, 06:57 PM
Puck, I am really touched by your offer.

I don't know how much is the true cost (considering the level of passion and hard work associated with it), but I will be happy to pay for a good piece of work if I can afford that.

thats okay, it'd be a gift as promsied. i am a self-taught amateur and still learning the craft for that matter. if anyone likes anything i take, that in itself is the ultimate accolade. i shall contact you around december time for a postal address!

Miraz
September 17, 2007, 07:14 PM
yes, all very interesting indeed. if you do find any high resolution images of the holy kaaba, do please post the url as well.

I am not sure whether it will serve your purpose. Here's a link containing the landmark images around the world.

It has couple of images of holy Kaaba.

http://www.tobias-daniel.de/uebersee.html

Puck
September 17, 2007, 07:21 PM
not quite the resolution but a really useful site for which many thanks!

Miraz
September 17, 2007, 07:22 PM
And here's another link. I think the resolution should be OK here.

http://sonic-boom.deviantart.com/art/Holy-Kaaba-of-The-Holy-Mosque-26109133

Hatebreed
September 17, 2007, 07:27 PM
Here's one of my favourites-

http://flickr.com/photos/bdgamer/

Puck
September 17, 2007, 07:33 PM
And here's another link. I think the resolution should be OK here.

http://sonic-boom.deviantart.com/art/Holy-Kaaba-of-The-Holy-Mosque-26109133

thanks miraz. this is good enough except the website's imprint on it! i think this is getting to be a futile effort so off to bed now! thanks very much again for trying.

Puck
September 17, 2007, 07:35 PM
Here's one of my favourites-

http://flickr.com/photos/bdgamer/

i really like his father's picture. would love to see higher resolution version of that image. it's an unusual portrait in that it is so sharp but perhaps the monchrome adds something extra..

Hatebreed
September 17, 2007, 07:46 PM
i really like his father's picture. would love to see higher resolution version of that image. it's an unusual portrait in that it is so sharp but perhaps the monchrome adds something extra..
Yes, I quite like expression in that picture. You could ask him if you can see a high-res version of it.

BD-Shardul
September 18, 2007, 03:16 AM
Murad brother, photography is a form of art. Look at those pictures and their fine tuning not the subject in a crude way, I am sure you will find them interesting.

And about the muslim name, many people are not practicing muslims and they find it OK to create similar form of arts.

Islam has said that photography or art of human and animals is haraam. No matter form which artisitic viewpoint you look at a photo or art, if it contains human or animal, then it is simply not allowed in Islam. Period.

BD-Shardul
September 18, 2007, 03:22 AM
Also, I don't understand what the thread is about. It says pics of Kaba, but I don't see any pic of Kaba.

Miraz
September 18, 2007, 03:26 AM
Also, I don't understand what the thread is about. It says pics of Kaba, but I don't see any pic of Kaba.

It says the search for the picture of Kabaa. Look at post # 21 and # 23.

Miraz
September 18, 2007, 03:28 AM
Islam has said that photography or art of human and animals is haraam. No matter form which artisitic viewpoint you look at a photo or art, if it contains human or animal, then it is simply not allowed in Islam. Period.

In that case the avatar you are using is "haraam". Is that consistent with your views?

Sohel
September 18, 2007, 03:30 AM
Thank you Puck for this wonderful gift ... strirs up memories and feelings that will never leave me. This one brings back fond memories from the back-alleys of Fez. The very last adventure trip my late father and I took before his possible murder: -

http://img2.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/c69dc559bd.jpg (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/)

(On a different note, let's leave some of the insinuated judgement in this thread to Allah as reqiured by the Holy Qur-an, shall we?)

Nocturnal
September 18, 2007, 03:39 AM
nice pic sohel bhai.

BD-Shardul
September 18, 2007, 04:19 AM
In that case the avatar you are using is "haraam". Is that consistent with your views?

Well, Miraz Bhai, the avatar I am using is definitely haraam.

But, you will have to understand a fact that we are people of weak imaan. Our imaan is not strong like that of Sahaabae Keram or Tabe Tabeins. Thats why we commit many acts that are haraam or not allowed in Islam. We may be people of weak imaan, but that doesn't necssarily mean that we will have to say haraam act halal. One may perform a haraam act, but he will have to confess that it is haraam. Because Islam stricly forbiddens halalifying a haraam act.

For the Muslims who do not see any problem with nude photography saying that its all about looking at the nude photography from the artistic point of view, is actually trying to halalify a haraam act. They should not try to do that.

I hope you have understood what I am trying say.

Miraz
September 18, 2007, 04:26 AM
For the Muslims who do not see any problem with nude photography saying that its all about looking at the nude photography from the artistic point of view, is actually trying halalify a haraam act. They should not try to do that.

I hope you have understood what I am trying say.

Have I said that?

Look at those pictures and their fine tuning not the subject in a crude way, I am sure you will find them interesting.

And about the muslim name, many people are not practicing muslims and they find it OK to create similar form of arts.

I was talking from the viewpoint of the artist.

I have never said that it goes with the spirit of Islam (let alone saying halal) and I am not in a position to give FatWah on anything.

Leave it like this brother. We will be going nowhere from here.

BD-Shardul
September 18, 2007, 04:32 AM
Have I said that?



I was talking from the viewpoint of the artist.

I have never said that it goes with the spirit of Islam (let alone saying halal) and I am not in a position to give FatWah on anything.

Leave it like this brother. We will be going nowhere from here.

I didn't accuse you, Miraz Bhai, honestly speaking. I am extremely sorry if you feel offended. I was talking about some liberal Muslims. In personal life, I came across that type of Muslims many times.

BanCricFan
September 18, 2007, 05:58 AM
Bd-Shardul,

Photography is not Haraam- just like your reflection on water. If the content or the purpose of the photo is decent, tasteful, creative and "Islamic" then why there should be a problem? Likewise, the representation of human or animal form through painting would also be allowed. The Hadith, perhaps, you're alluding to prohibits the making of human sculpture or statue, according to the interpretation of most scholars. Even then that too might be allowed! To understand Halal and Haram, one has to understand the "maqasid(purpose) of shariah". And Allah knows best!

But- you're right- nudity pushed in the guise of "art" will not be considered as art, Islamically speaking! Its not that muslims don't see any beauty in human body or form but its a matter of keeping private things private. Therefore, preventing any possible exploitation of human sexuality and using body as a mere object of display.

Btw, on human weakness: " Verily, Allah does not over-burden a soul more than it can bear". Therefore, lets not over burden ourselves- more so- with rigid and literalistic understanding of sacred texts.

Puck
September 18, 2007, 08:28 AM
Islam has said that photography or art of human and animals is haraam. No matter form which artisitic viewpoint you look at a photo or art, if it contains human or animal, then it is simply not allowed in Islam. Period.

photography was not invented in 610 A.D. but rather, some 1400 years after that. there were no cameras in arabia at the time of the prophet so 'islam' or your version of it could not have said anything against photography.

the quran forbade depictions of human beings or animals drawn on papyri or carved on stone. this is forbidden purely in the context of preventing new idols being drawn or made up by arabian tribes. the hanbali, maliki and shafi schools interpreted this as a total prohibition of imagery. again, a camera would not have existed in 8th and 9th century bagdad.

seen in the historical and cultural context, there is absolutely no restriction on photography that would spread happiness amongst all men and women, and that would fill the artistic and spiritual devoid in human beings.

if you can find a verse in the quran that states salih should not use his nikon d2x to take pictures, please kindly forward it. send the original arabic by the way ;)

BD-Shardul
September 19, 2007, 12:39 AM
Brothers, PLEASE read the following

Ruling on photographs

Question:
ASSALAMALEIKUM
My question is : IS the taking of PHOTOGRAPHS ALLOWED,(I know drawing pictures of living things is not allowed -but what about taking photograph's of people etc.), can you supply me with some evidence please. I need this information quickly.- Inshallah.
Jaazakala hair.


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

Photography (tasweer) means the taking of pictures of living, animate moving beings, like people, animals, birds, etc. The ruling is that it is forbidden on the basis of a number of reports, such as the following:

'Abdullaah ibn Mas'ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Those who will be most severely punished by Allaah on the Day of Resurrection will be the image-makers." (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see al-Fath, 10/382).

Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Allaah, may He be exalted, says: 'Who does more wrong than the one who tries to create something like My creation? Let him create a grain of wheat or a kernel of corn.'" (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see Fath al-Baari, 10/385).

'Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: "Shall I not send you on the same mission as the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent me? Do not leave any built-up tomb without levelling it, and do not leave any picture in any house without erasing it." (Reported by Muslim and al-Nisaa'i; this is the version narrated by al-Nisaa'i).

Ibn 'Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Every image-maker will be in the Fire, and for every image that he made a soul will be created for him, which will be punished in the Fire." Ibn 'Abbaas said: "If you must do that, make pictures of trees and other inanimate objects." (Reported by Muslim, 3/1871)

These ahaadeeth indicate that pictures of animate beings are haraam, whether they are humans or other creatures, whether they are three-dimensional or two-dimensional, whether they are printed, drawn, etched, engraved, carved, cast in moulds, etc. These ahaadeeth include all of these types of pictures.

The Muslim should submit to the teachings of Islam and not argue with them by saying, "But I am not worshipping them or prostrating to them!" If we think about just one aspect of the evil caused by the prevalence of photographs and pictures in our times, we will understand something of the wisdom behind this prohibition: that aspect is the great corruption caused by the provoking of physical desires and subsequent spread of immorality caused by these pictures.

The Muslim should not keep any pictures of animate beings in his house, because they will prevent the angels from entering. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "The angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or pictures." (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see al-Fath, 10/380).

But nowadays, unfortunately, one can even find in some Muslim homes statues of gods worshipped by the kuffaar (such as Buddha etc.) which they keep on the basis that they are antiques or decorative pieces. These things are more strictly prohibited than others, just as pictures which are hung up are worse than pictures which are not hung up, for how easily they can lead to glorification, and cause grief or be a source of boasting! We cannot say that these pictures are kept for memory's sake, because true memories of a Muslim relative or friend reside in the heart, and we remember them by praying for mercy and forgiveness for them.

Taking pictures with a camera involves human actions such as focusing, pressing the shutter, developing, printing, and so on. We cannot call it anything other than "picture-making" or tasweer, which is the expression used by all Arabic-speakers to describe this action.

In the book Al-I'laam bi naqd kitaab al-halaal wa'l-haraam, the author says: "Photography is even more of an imitation of the creation of Allaah than pictures which are engraved or drawn, so it is even more deserving of being prohibited… There is nothing that could exclude photography from the general meaning of the reports." (p. 42, see also Fataawa Islamiyyah, 4/355).

Among the scholars who have discussed the issue of photography is Shaykh Naasir al-Deen al-Albaani, who said: "Some of them differentiate between hand-drawn pictures and photographic images by claiming that the latter are not products of human effort, and that no more is involved than the mere capturing of the image. This is what they claim. The tremendous energy invested the one who invented this machine that can do in few seconds what otherwise could not be done in hours does not count as human effort, according to these people! Pointing the camera, focusing it, and taking the picture, preceded by installation of the film and followed by developing and whatever else that I may not know about… none of this is the result of human effort, according to them!

Some of them explain how this photography is done, and summarize that no less than eleven different actions are involved in the making of a picture. In spite of all this, they say that this picture is not the result of human action! Can it be permissible to hang up a picture of a man, for example, if it is produced by photography, but not if it is drawn by hand?

Those who say that photography is permitted have "frozen" the meaning of the word "tasweer," restriciting it only to the meaning known at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and not adding the meaning of photography, which is "tasweer" or "picture-making" in every sense - linguistic, legal, and in its harmful effects, and as is clear from the definition mentioned above. Years ago, I said to one of them, By the same token, you could allow idols which have not been carved but have been made by pressing a button on some machine that turns out idols by the dozen. What do you say to that?"
(Aadaab al-Zafaaf by al-Albaani, p. 38)

It is also worth quoting the opinion of some contemporary scholars who allow the taking of photographs but say that the pictures should not be kept: "The angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or pictures." (See al-Sharh al-Mumti', 2/198).

There are many bad things involved in the making of pictures. Besides the element of imitating the creation of Allaah - which is an accusation denied by many of those who make pictures - reality bears witness to the great extent of immorality and provocation of desires caused by the prevalence of pictures and picture-making nowadays. We must remove or blot out every picture, except when it is too difficult to do so, like the pictures which are overwhelmingly prevalent in food packaging, or pictures used in encyclopaedias and reference books. We should remove what we can, and be careful about any provocative pictures that may be found.

"So keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him as much as you can…" [al-Taghaabun 64:16 - interpretation of the meaning]

Photographs which are essential are permitted - such as those required for identity documents, or for identifying or pursuing criminals [e.g. "wanted" posters and the like - translator's note], or for educational purposes which cannot be achieved otherwise. The principle in sharee'ah is that we should not exaggerate about what is necessary.

We ask Allaah to accept our repentance and have mercy on us, and to forgive our excesses, for He is the All-Hearing Who answers prayers. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.




Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

Source: http://www.islam-qa.com/index.php?QR=365&ln=eng

BD-Shardul
September 19, 2007, 12:45 AM
Aslo please read the following excerpt from Saheeh Bukhari:

Sahih Bukhari: Volume 3, Book 34, Number 318.

Narrated Aisha: I bought a cushion with pictures on it. When Allah's Apostle saw it, he kept standing at the door and did not enter the house. I noticed the sign of disgust on his face, so I said, "O Allah's Apostle! I repent to Allah and His Apostle. (Please let me know) what sin I have done." Allah's Apostle said, "What about this cushion?" I replied, "I bought it for you to sit and recline on." Allah's Apostle said, "The painters (i.e. owners) of these pictures will be punished on the Day of Resurrection. It will be said to them, 'Put life in what you have created (i.e. painted).' " The Prophet added, "The angels do not enter a house where there are pictures."

cricket_pagol
September 19, 2007, 02:42 AM
i told you that he is good :)

some of the links i had posted in the pictures of bangladesh forum but i think it would be easier to view them through here -

http://www.patrickperon.com/Images/Bangladesh.asp

the following also has a few good quality pictures from bangladesh -
http://www.photo.net/photos/adnanbangladesh

the same chaps flickr gallery has a few more from bangladesh as well as other themes -
http://www.flickr.com/photos/adnanbangladesh

some very high quality pictures from bangladesh in the following gallery -
http://photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=528490

the following site contains wonderful photography from a bangladeshi photographer. some of the images are truly outstanding -
http://www.photo.net/photos/manikratan

a very interesting and varied gallery below with lots of pictures from bnagladesh. some of the pictures are worth framing! -
http://www.photo.net/photos/manirmrittik

a small gallety of interesting picture from bangladesh. this photographer is a professional (moving image) cameraman -
http://photo.net/photodb/member-phot...ser_id=2131744

a very small collection of interesting pictures from bangladesh
http://photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=181047

a small but truly worthwhile gallery of photographs from bangladesh. a few of these are true gems -
http://www.photo.net/photos/zahurul

this is a mixed gallery of pictures including many from bnagladesh. some wonderful monochromes really showing off his skill as an excellent street photographer -
http://www.photo.net/photos/Frederic%20Pascual

a good bangladesh based gallery with a wide array of pictures. unfortunately, they are all very small..
http://www.drik.net/index.htm

excellent black and whites from bangladesh -
http://photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=398729

Thanks PUCK... this is a gold mine!!! This is an excellent resource. I have to download some of these pictures when i get some free time.

Sumon77
September 19, 2007, 09:04 AM
Brothers, PLEASE read the following



Source: http://www.islam-qa.com/index.php?QR=365&ln=eng
thanks BD-Shardul bhai for the link. I was wondering, if photography is haraam, then is it applicable to recording video, as they are also sort of imitation (higher degree I guess) of living creations.

Sohel
September 30, 2007, 07:32 AM
My humble suggestion to all the Islamic-minded folk during this month of introspection, empathy, community service and atonement - please make appropriate repairs to your own moral compass and ethical radar in order to get back on your own straight path. Read the Qur-aan, understand and internalize the divine revelation and guidance therein, think about and feel what you're reading and submit to Allah and His omniscient judgment. Imposition of and coercion into a particular viewpoint using Islam is utterly useless in the long run. We are born alone and we will die alone, so let's do the thinking for ourselves too, shall we?

Here's a view on Islam beyond cultural and sectarian practices, please read on: -

http://img2.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/c11b17bba6.gif (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/)

"...O people of the Scripture, let us come to a common agreement between us and between you; that 1) we do not serve except God, and 2) do not set up anything at all with Him, and 3) that none of us takes each other as patrons besides God...." (The Message 3:64)

This website has been created for all people who have a desire to allow God into their lives and follow His path alone...

This website invites all people of various beliefs (Sunni, Shia, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Bahai, Agnostic, Humanist, and even Atheists) to come and examine for themselves the system of Submission/Islam which is based on God Alone.

Many of you may outwardly be content with your current faith or that which you inherited from your parents and community...but to some out there, there will always be a tugging at the back of their mind that 'there is something more', and that 'some things don't always make sense'...

If you are one of those people, then open your eyes, put on your thinking cap, and welcome to an open examination of the system of Submission/Islam which very few know about...

WHAT IS Islam?

The system of God "Islam/Submission" has been taught to us through God and His messenger and is fully outlined in the final Book of God (The Qur'an) which was revealed centuries ago...

The Qur'an claims legitimacy for itself and within itself, allowing NO room for self-made priests, or religious leaders, who have distorted and misquoted the Book of God to give themselves authority and partnership with the Almighty...

“'Shall I seek other than God as a judge when He has sent down to you this Scripture fully detailed?'” Those to whom We have given the Scripture know it is sent down from your Lord with truth; so do not be of those who have doubt." (The Message 6:114 )

"Say: 'Which is the greatest testimony?' Say: 'God is witness between me and you, and He has inspired to me this Qur'an that I may warn you with it and whomever it reaches, that you bear witness that along with God are other gods!' Say: 'I do not bear witness!' Say: 'He is only One god, and I am innocent of what you set up!'” (The Message 6:19)

"And We have come to them with a Scripture which We have detailed with knowledge; a guide and a mercy to those who believe." (The Message 7:52)

"We have revealed to you the Scripture with truth that you may judge between the people by that which God has shown you, and do not be an advocate for the treacherous. " (The Message 4:105)

"And the Day We send to every nation a witness against them from themselves, and We have brought you as a witness against these. And We have sent down to you the Scripture as a clarification for all things, and a guide and mercy and good tidings to those who have surrendered." (The Message 16:89)

"And We have sent down to you the Scripture with truth, authenticating what is present of the Scripture and superseding it. So judge between them by what God has sent down, and do not follow their desires from what has come to you of the truth. For each of you We have made laws, and a structure; and had God willed, He would have made you all one nation, but He tests you with what He has given you; so strive to do good. To God you will return all of you, and He will inform you regarding that in which you dispute." (The Message 5:48)

What about Obeying the Messenger?

The gravest crime the self-appointed scholars who claimed to be Muslim made was to give authority to the traditions (Sunna) and the books of Sayings (Hadith) ALONGSIDE the authority of God and His messenger. They believe that it was God who authorized such action by commanding the people to ‘obey God, and obey the messenger’…

"Whoever obeys the messenger has obeyed God; and whoever turns away, We have not sent you as a guardian over them." (The Message 4:80)

What is so sadly neglected is that the most critical aspects of the messenger’s life have been recorded and captured in the most detailed manner…not in the books of Hadith or tradition…but in the Holy Book itself. The questions that he was asked, and the answers (inspired by God) that he gave:

"They ask you about intoxicants and gambling. Say: 'In them is great harm, and a benefit for mankind; but their harm is greater than their benefit.' And they ask you how much are they to give, Say: 'The excess.' It is thus that God clarifies for you the revelations that you may think." (The Message 2:219)

"And they ask you concerning the Spirit. Say: 'The Spirit is from the command on my Lord, and the knowledge you were given was but very little.'" (The Message 17:85)

The list of questions and answers goes on throughout the Book of God…This is the life of the Messenger, and this is the ‘obedience’ of the messenger…Without ‘obeying the messenger’, we would inadvertently ignore nearly 1/3 of the Book of God which deals with his most authentic narrations authorized and inspired by God which we have been commanded to follow…

“Nor does he speak from personal desire. It is a divine inspiration." (The Message 53:3-4)

What is Difference between Islam and Today's PRACTICES?

In comparing the teachings of Islam as derived from the Book of God to the practices taught and enforced by the popular Sunni and Shia faiths (1.2 Bn followers), we find that the list is quite extensive, with some of the highlights as follows:

In Islam, the requirement to be a Muslim is to simply accept and live according to the ‘Straight Path’ (6:151-153), Vs. the Sunni or Shia 5-pillars which come from unauthorized books…

In Islam, abolishing Slavery is taught to be an act of righteousness (90:12-13), Vs. Sunni and Shia teachings which encourages slavery under war…

In Islam, women are never forbidden from praying or fasting during Menstruation (2:222), nor is there a specific dress code (i.e. the Headscarf) imposed on them beyond modesty, Vs. the Sunni and Shia which teach the undermining of women and forcing them to cover their hair and avoid praying or fasting at certain times...

In Islam, a man or women may leave a Will, after settlement of debt (4:12), Vs. Sunnis who refuse to accept wills if there are any direct descendants...

In Islam, Monogamy is the basis for normal relationships, while polygamy is only allowed in cases involving marrying the mothers of orphans under the man’s guardianship (4:3), Vs. Sunnis where a man may be a polygamist simply if he can afford to, and Shia which allow sex for pleasure (Mut’a)...

In Islam, Divorce is enforceable only after a two-phase period, and it may be made nullified if the couple reconcile before the end of this period (65:1, 65:4), Vs. Sunni teachings that destroy families by allowing a divorce to occur on the spot with no waiting period and no nullification...

In Islam, Thieves do not have their hands cut-off, but are made to work until they return that which is stolen (12:76), Vs. Sunni and Shia teachings which brutally amputate the hands causing disability...

In Islam, no one is allowed to be killed or Stoned for adultery (24:2), Vs. Sunni and Shia laws of stoning married adulterers to death...

In Islam, absolute Freedom of Faith is allowed (2:256, 10:99; 18:29; 88:21-22), Vs. Sunni and Shia requiring apostates to be killed and rejecting the practice of other faiths...

In Islam, people are acknowledged as being diverse and each is to be respected for his/her level of spiritual growth. A Submitter ‘Muslim’ must work to attain the status of Faithful ‘Mumin’ (49:14), Vs. Sunni and Shia teachings that all followers of their religion must think, act, and even look the same (cult syndrome)...

In Islam, War can only be declared in cases of self-defence - no offensives (2:190), Vs. Sunni and Shia teachings allowing raids and attacks on any people who are considered non-Muslim by their standards...

In Islam, Pilgrimage is a centre for gathering of nations and for all to witness the benefits of being together (22:27-28), Vs. Sunni and Shia bringing in polytheistic rituals and superstition (touching of black stone, circling 7 times, etc..)...

In Islam, a Year is a luni-solar count made of 365-days (17:12, 9:36), with all the seasons fitting-in-place Vs. Sunnis teaching it to be a lunar one based on 354 days which creates confusion of seasons and time…

In Islam, males and females are not required to be Circumcised (32:7), Vs. Sunni and Shia teachings requiring all males to be circumcised and females in some cases...

In Islam, music, statues, gold and silk are all Lawful (7:32-33, 16:116), Vs. Sunni beliefs forbidding silk & gold for men, and forbidding music & statues for all...

In Islam, rule of Government is under the constitution of the Qur'an through consultation and free-speech (5:48, 42:38). Vs. Sunni teachings which allow the rise of dictators or monarchs, and Shia teachings which uphold self-appointed religious leaders based on genealogy.

Therefore, the clearest difference is that Islam is a monotheistic, clear, consistent, dynamic, progressive, balanced system...a system that eliminates conjectures, hearsay, fairy tales and contradictions...therefore it eliminates hardship, confusion, chaos, and division. It is a system which puts more accent on the usage of intellect, reason, pondering over God, His Creation, meaning of life, pondering over everything...While the sects represent superstition, unfair treatment for non-cult members, inequality of the sexes, oppression of human rights, inability to contribute to human progress, amputations or physical violence, regression of ideas and thoughts to primitive levels of barbarism, and most importantly setting-up partners with the One True God and thus promoting polytheism.

God Alone

For the Sunnis and Shia who are shocked by the words they have been reading, we invite you to seek God Alone with your heart and your mind and to give-up all the previous wasted years of idolatry and polytheism that you have unknowingly been party to...For our Lord tells us that it is never too late to seek His forgiveness:

"Say: 'O My servants who transgressed against themselves, do not despair of God's mercy. For God forgives all sins. He is the Forgiver, the Merciful.'" (The Message 39:53)

But be warned, while only God knows the fate of an individual, by simply turning away without verifying what has been said here can bring the gravest of consequences:

"And who is more wicked than one who is reminded of his Lord’s verses but he turned away from them, and he forgot what his hands had done. We have made veils upon their hearts from understanding them, and a deafness in their ears. And if you invite them to the guidance, they will never be guided." (The Message 18:57)

Now ask yourself: Will God Alone be enough for you?

"And when God Alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter are filled with aversion; and when others are mentioned beside Him, they rejoice!" (The Message 39:45)

Why is Islam for me?

This is what it all boils down to, a "what's in it for me" outlook that is very human and very natural...Well, the answers that may sway you to 'God Alone' and let you abandon your current faith, whatever the costs may be, are as follows...

"And if the town’s people had only believed and been aware, then We would have opened for them blessings from the sky and the land; but they denied, so We took them for what they used to earn." (The Message 7:96)

Islam guarantees victory (30:47, 22:38-39, 47-7).

Islam guarantees prosperity and abundance (7:96, 41:30-31).

Islam guarantees maximum freedom for the people - freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom to travel, and freedom of economy (2:256, 10:99, 88:21-22).

Islam guarantees human rights for all the people, regardless of their race, color, creed, social status, financial situation, or political affiliation (5:8, 49:13).

Islam guarantees a political system that is based on consultation and the freedom for open expression (42:38).

Islam guarantees a society that upholds and maintains the highest standards of moral behavior.

Islam guarantees a maximum regard for people's lives and properties.

Islam guarantees prevalence of love, courtesy, peace, and mutual respect among the people, and with other world communities (3:110, 60:8-9).

Islam guarantees environmental protection as a result of deterring pollution through conservation and prohibition of wasteful practices (30:41).

If you are convinced that a dignified, prosperous, righteous, logical, and practical way of life is your desire, then Islam is for you. You can begin to change your life immediately by putting-aside all that you have been raised to believe in and objectively taking a fresh-start by reading-up on the topics we discussed and many more in the words of God in His Book, and discover for yourself with no prejudice or interference.

"That is because God was not to change anything He bestowed to a people, unless they change what is in themselves. God is Hearer, Knowledgeable." (The Message 8:53)

"GOD ALONE"
SAY NO TO ANYTHING ELSE

Link:http://www.free-minds.org/

NOI to anyone ... :)

BD-Shardul
September 30, 2007, 06:14 PM
Since this forum is the private property, I have to be careful what I say. I cannot create mess in other people's house. But just I want to say,

The above description about Islam is nothing but a defamation on Islam. This is also extremely offensive.

Read the Qur-aan, understand and internalize the divine revelation and guidance therein, think about and feel what you're reading and submit to Allah and His omniscient judgment. Imposition of and coercion into a particular viewpoint using Islam is utterly useless in the long run

Can anyone become engineer or doctor just by studying books of engineering or medicine by himself without going to university and studying under professors? If someone cannot understand those simple books, how come one can understand the Quran, the greatest of all books, by simply reading it? What a joke.

I promptly want to ask people, who advocate that people should just read, and understand Quran, How much linguistic skill do you have in Arabic? Can you speak, read, and understand Arabic? Do you know Arabic Grammar? If your answer is NO, then you cannot claim that just following the Quran will lead you to the right way. Because what you are doing is following the translation, and among many translations, some are wrong, and some are right. How do you differentiate between two if you do not read and understand the original version?

Also those who had tranlated Quran, had had to take the help from hadeeth. Those who didn't made wrong interpretations and that created confutions and misconceptions. Because, the each of the sentence in the Holy Quran encrypts a very deep, and insightful meaning, and it cannot be unlocked properly without the explanation of hadeeth, no matter how pundit you are in Arabic. So, the importance of hadeeth is clearly visible here: any attempt to translate, or understand Quran ignoring hadeeth will definitely lead to misinterpretation, and that is exactly what happened with the "Chamchikas" of that freemind.org website.

BD-Shardul
September 30, 2007, 06:21 PM
One may find "taking help from the explanation of hadeeth" and "the requirement of Arabic linguistic skill" as preconditons of interpreting Quran opposite. They are not. Both the hadeeth and the Quran are originanlly written in Arabic.

BanCricFan
September 30, 2007, 09:06 PM
My humble suggestion to all the Islamic-minded folk during this month of introspection, empathy, community service and atonement - please make appropriate repairs to your own moral compass and ethical radar in order to get back on your own straight path. Read the Qur-aan, understand and internalize the divine revelation and guidance therein, think about and feel what you're reading and submit to Allah and His omniscient judgment. Imposition of and coercion into a particular viewpoint using Islam is utterly useless in the long run. We are born alone and we will die alone, so let's do the thinking for ourselves too, shall we?

Here's a view on Islam beyond cultural and sectarian practices, please read on: -



NOI to anyone ... :)

No offence was taken but I was rather appalled by the FALLACY of this post!!!

There are so many school-boy errors in understanding "Islam" in that post, particularly, in the Islam Vs practice section! It seems like the approach of that site has been -in keeping with all-things-modern- "Islam made easy" type. There are far too many FALLACIES here for me to de-bunk. Time is of essence ,esp, in Ramadan!

Let me just mention this- Islam has been defined and been practised over a milenia now. We certainly DON'T need a "free-minds.org" to re-invent Islam for us. The wheel has been invented!

Just a few examples of FALLACIES:

"In Islam, the requirement to be a Muslim is to simply accept and live according to the ‘Straight Path’ (6:151-153), Vs. the Sunni or Shia 5-pillars which come from unauthorized books…"

Unauthorized books?? There is no Islam without Salah- "prayer (salah) is the difference between a muslim and a non-muslim" (Sahih Hadith). There is no Islam without Zakah. The proof is the "Battle of apostates" where Sayyidina Abu Bakr (R) declared Jihad upon the renegades who refused to pay Zakah...

"In Islam, abolishing Slavery is taught to be an act of righteousness (90:12-13), Vs. Sunni and Shia teachings which encourages slavery under war… "

According to whom? Where is the evidence?

"In Islam, women are never forbidden from praying or fasting during Menstruation (2:222), nor is there a specific dress code (i.e. the Headscarf) imposed on them beyond modesty, Vs. the Sunni and Shia which teach the undermining of women and forcing them to cover their hair and avoid praying or fasting at certain times..."

Islam allows prayer (salah) during menses- its news to me! I have studied Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh) for five years and I'm not boasting. One of the major conditions of Salah is ritual purity (tahara) and blood (menses) is impure in Islamic fiqh! As for fasting, its more of a facilitation for womenfolk than a prohibition. But they have to make up the days they missed later on. While they dont need to make up the prayers they missed. Allah, indeed, is Merciful!...Oh, hijab- long discussion!

In Islam, a man or women may leave a Will, after settlement of debt (4:12), Vs. Sunnis who refuse to accept wills if there are any direct descendants...

...?? please explain.

"In Islam, Monogamy is the basis for normal relationships, while polygamy is only allowed in cases involving marrying the mothers of orphans under the man’s guardianship (4:3), Vs. Sunnis where a man may be a polygamist simply if he can afford to, and Shia which allow sex for pleasure (Mut’a)..."

So who is interpreting the verse here? ... "Mary two, three or four but if you fear (not being able to be just) then mary one..." al-qur'an

"In Islam, Divorce is enforceable only after a two-phase period, and it may be made nullified if the couple reconcile before the end of this period (65:1, 65:4), Vs. Sunni teachings that destroy families by allowing a divorce to occur on the spot with no waiting period and no nullification... "

No, it doesn't allow. Fatwas given by some "half-alims" are no evidence against the entire school.

"In Islam, absolute Freedom of Faith is allowed (2:256, 10:99; 18:29; 88:21-22), Vs. Sunni and Shia requiring apostates to be killed and rejecting the practice of other faiths... "

Nope, it dosn't! Only those apostates who commits high treasons against Islam. The general rule has been banishment or exile.

BTW, it is right about the "stoning" though. Its not from Islam.

BD-Shardul
October 1, 2007, 12:38 AM
No offence was taken but I was rather appalled by the FALLACY of this post!!!

There are so many school-boy errors in understanding "Islam" in that post, particularly, in the Islam Vs practice section! It seems like the approach of that site has been -in keeping with all-things-modern- "Islam made easy" type. There are far too many FALLACIES here for me to de-bunk. Time is of essence ,esp, in Ramadan!

Let me just mention this- Islam has been defined and been practised over a milenia now. We certainly DON'T need a "free-minds.org" to re-invent Islam for us. The wheel has been invented!

Just a few examples of FALLACIES:

"In Islam, the requirement to be a Muslim is to simply accept and live according to the ‘Straight Path’ (6:151-153), Vs. the Sunni or Shia 5-pillars which come from unauthorized books…"

Unauthorized books?? There is no Islam without Salah- "prayer (salah) is the difference between a muslim and a non-muslim" (Sahih Hadith). There is no Islam without Zakah. The proof is the "Battle of apostates" where Sayyidina Abu Bakr (R) declared Jihad upon the renegades who refused to pay Zakah...

"In Islam, abolishing Slavery is taught to be an act of righteousness (90:12-13), Vs. Sunni and Shia teachings which encourages slavery under war… "

According to whom? Where is the evidence?

"In Islam, women are never forbidden from praying or fasting during Menstruation (2:222), nor is there a specific dress code (i.e. the Headscarf) imposed on them beyond modesty, Vs. the Sunni and Shia which teach the undermining of women and forcing them to cover their hair and avoid praying or fasting at certain times..."

Islam allows prayer (salah) during menses- its news to me! I have studied Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh) for five years and I'm not boasting. One of the major conditions of Salah is ritual purity (tahara) and blood (menses) is impure in Islamic fiqh! As for fasting, its more of a facilitation for womenfolk than a prohibition. But they have to make up the days they missed later on. While they dont need to make up the prayers they missed. Allah, indeed, is Merciful!...Oh, hijab- long discussion!

In Islam, a man or women may leave a Will, after settlement of debt (4:12), Vs. Sunnis who refuse to accept wills if there are any direct descendants...

...?? please explain.

"In Islam, Monogamy is the basis for normal relationships, while polygamy is only allowed in cases involving marrying the mothers of orphans under the man’s guardianship (4:3), Vs. Sunnis where a man may be a polygamist simply if he can afford to, and Shia which allow sex for pleasure (Mut’a)..."

So who is interpreting the verse here? ... "Mary two, three or four but if you fear (not being able to be just) then mary one..." al-qur'an

"In Islam, Divorce is enforceable only after a two-phase period, and it may be made nullified if the couple reconcile before the end of this period (65:1, 65:4), Vs. Sunni teachings that destroy families by allowing a divorce to occur on the spot with no waiting period and no nullification... "

No, it doesn't allow. Fatwas given by some "half-alims" are no evidence against the entire school.

"In Islam, absolute Freedom of Faith is allowed (2:256, 10:99; 18:29; 88:21-22), Vs. Sunni and Shia requiring apostates to be killed and rejecting the practice of other faiths... "

Nope, it dosn't! Only those apostates who commits high treasons against Islam. The general rule has been banishment or exile.

BTW, it is right about the "stoning" though. Its not from Islam.

Both thumbs up for U, BanCricFan bhai.

BanCricFan
October 1, 2007, 09:46 AM
Also those who had tranlated Quran, had had to take the help from hadeeth. Those who didn't made wrong interpretations and that created confutions and misconceptions. Because, the each of the sentence in the Holy Quran encrypts a very deep, and insightful meaning, and it cannot be unlocked properly without the explanation of hadeeth, no matter how pundit you are in Arabic. So, the importance of hadeeth is clearly visible here: any attempt to translate, or understand Quran ignoring hadeeth will definitely lead to misinterpretation, and that is exactly what happened with the "Chamchikas" of that freemind.org website.

Spot on , masha-allah!

Its amongst the signs of end of time ('alamat al-qiyamah) that some muslims will deny the importacnce of Hadith and will only "accept" the Qur'an. We seek refuge in Allah from that!

Great Muslim fuqaha (jurists) have deducted Salah (namaz) as one of the pillars of Islamic way of life. They have arrived to this deduction because of oft-repeating verses of Glorious Qur'an (verses which couples Iman with Salah and Zakah) and sayings of the Prophet (Hadith). Interestingly, Qur'an doesn't describe how to perform the Salah- how many Rakats, prayer order, how to prostrate (Sajdah), the prostration of forgetfulness etc. I wonder those who deny Hadith (or understanding of the Hadith scholars and jurists) how will they perform the canonical Salah??

Puck
October 1, 2007, 10:07 AM
little knowledge and little ability to be logical among certain forum members is showing up again. i wonder if this is just narrowminded, stupidity, a bit of both or maybe even a case of having too much time to waste!

the spirit of sohel's post is the spirit of islam. that islam is idealised peace to be achieved through personal endeavours. the ultimate goal is achieve peace within the self, within home and then within the community.

a through grounding of arabic, its etymology, historicism, cultural context would not go a miss. once you have studies those, we'd be happy to listen to future diatribes.

BD-Shardul
October 1, 2007, 02:14 PM
little knowledge and little ability to be logical among certain forum members is showing up again. i wonder if this is just narrowminded, stupidity, a bit of both or maybe even a case of having too much time to waste!

the spirit of sohel's post is the spirit of islam. that islam is idealised peace to be achieved through personal endeavours.

A post that has straightforwardly renounced the validity of hadeeth by saying "unauthorised books" has been labeled as the post that contains the true spirit of Islam.

The heart of this poor, illogical, stupid, stubborn, and narrominded man has finally sank. Don't wanna argue anymore. With all due respect, I want to say that there will always be some liberal poeple who will never see despite having eyes, and who will never listen despite having ears. Our holy prophet has failed to convice them, what an idiot like me can do?

Sohel
October 2, 2007, 11:31 AM
Brother BanCricFan,

It was never my intention to offend anyone, least of all you in this matter. I am rather fond of your cricket-related posts and enjoy your company in match threads quite a bit. Your specific insights into technical and other elements of the sport add quality and value to my time here in BC. Your passion for the sport is something many of us share and cherish in this forum ... :)

By quoting from the aforementioned website, my intent was simply to put forth an “Allah Only”, “Quraan Only” anti-sectarian, unifying view of Islam from practicing Muslims. My comments merely suggested that we read and understand the Quraan as responsible Muslims, willfully submit ourselves to Allah at a deeply personal, meaning spiritual, intellectual and physical level, and utilize the guidance revealed in the Holy Quraan to attain personal and communal - not sectarian – happiness as Allah’s creations in this world and the next. My personal views of sectarianism and endless blame games are based on the following words: -

The Quraan, chapter 28 (Al-Qisas), verse 15:

"And he went into the city at a time of unvigilance on the part of its people, so he found therein two men fighting, one being of his party and the other of his foes, and he who was of his party cried out to him for help against him who was of his enemies, so Musa struck him with his fist and killed him. He said: This is on account of the Shaitan's doing; surely he is an enemy, openly leading astray."

Arabic: وَدَخَلَ الْمَدِينَةَ عَلَى حِينِ غَفْلَةٍ مِّنْ أَهْلِهَا فَوَجَدَ فِيهَا رَجُلَيْنِ يَقْتَتِلَانِ هَذَا مِن شِيعَتِهِ وَهَذَا مِنْ عَدُوِّهِ فَاسْتَغَاثَهُ الَّذِي مِن شِيعَتِهِ عَلَى الَّذِي مِنْ عَدُوِّهِ فَوَكَزَهُ مُوسَى فَقَضَى عَلَيْهِ قَالَ هَذَا مِنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِنَّهُ عَدُوٌّ مُّضِلٌّ مُّبِينٌ

The Quraan, chapter 30 (Ar-Rum), verse 31 to 32:

"Turning to Him, and be careful of (your duty to) Him and keep up prayer and be not of the polytheists. Of those who divided their religion and became seas every sect rejoicing in what they had with them."

Arabic: مُنِيبِينَ إِلَيْهِ وَاتَّقُوهُ وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَلَا تَكُونُوا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُوا دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُوا شِيَعاً كُلُّ حِزْبٍ بِمَا لَدَيْهِمْ فَرِحُونَ


And from Ali Ibn Abi Talib’s words quoted in Nahj al-Balagha: -

"You should know that you have again reverted to the position of the [pagan] Bedouin Arabs after immigration to Islam, and have become different sects (Shia's) after having been once united. You do not possess anything of Islam except its name, and know nothing of belief save its show. You would throw down Islam on its face in order to defame its honor and break its pledge for brotherhood which Allah gave you as a sacred trust on His earth and a source of peace among the people. Be sure that if you incline towards anything other than Islam. the unbelievers will fight you. Then there will be neither Gabriel nor Michael, neither Muhajirun nor Ansar to help you, but only the clashing of swords, till Allah settles the matter for you…You have broken the shackles of Islam, have transgressed its limits, and have destroyed its commands!"

The Quraan was revealed for the benefit of all of mankind, not as a “rocket science” to an elite few to interpret and try to impose its meaning upon others by intentionally and inadvertently taking advantage of our needs and senses of inadequacy, submission and wonder. We are all born with natural, Allah-given abilities that may be nurtured and enhanced through scholarly and other endeavors, but those value additions in no way allow for a de facto priesthood for us to sheepishly follow by assigning such prohibitive and from my daily readings of the Holy Quraan - prohibited partnerships.

Scholars have a limited role to play in Islam within that particular context as per the Holy Quraan, the ONLY divinely revealed and subsequently authorized book for Muslims. At this Information Age of higher literacy, better contextual and semiotics-based translations and transliterations of Quraanic Arabic with all of its elliptical nuances, and finally greater access to information than perhaps any other point in human history – the onus is on all individual Muslims find their own Way as guided by the seal of divine revelations in our Abrahamic tradition. This type of endeavor is as old as Islam as revealed in the Holy Quraan itself. I am going to quote from the Holy Quraan once again to provide the rationale for the aforementioned view.

"...O people of the Scripture, let us come to a common agreement between us and between you; that 1) we do not serve except God, and 2) do not set up anything at all with Him, and 3) that none of us takes each other as patrons besides God...." (The Message 3:64)

“'Shall I seek other than God as a judge when He has sent down to you this Scripture fully detailed?'” Those to whom We have given the Scripture know it is sent down from your Lord with truth; so do not be of those who have doubt." (The Message 6:114 )

"Say: 'Which is the greatest testimony?' Say: 'God is witness between me and you, and He has inspired to me this Qur'an that I may warn you with it and whomever it reaches, that you bear witness that along with God are other gods!' Say: 'I do not bear witness!' Say: 'He is only One god, and I am innocent of what you set up!'” (The Message 6:19)

"And We have come to them with a Scripture which We have detailed with knowledge; a guide and a mercy to those who believe." (The Message 7:52)

"We have revealed to you the Scripture with truth that you may judge between the people by that which God has shown you, and do not be an advocate for the treacherous. " (The Message 4:105)

"And the Day We send to every nation a witness against them from themselves, and We have brought you as a witness against these. And We have sent down to you the Scripture as a clarification for all things, and a guide and mercy and good tidings to those who have surrendered." (The Message 16:89)

"And We have sent down to you the Scripture with truth, authenticating what is present of the Scripture and superseding it. So judge between them by what God has sent down, and do not follow their desires from what has come to you of the truth. For each of you We have made laws, and a structure; and had God willed, He would have made you all one nation, but He tests you with what He has given you; so strive to do good. To God you will return all of you, and He will inform you regarding that in which you dispute." (The Message 5:48)

Link to the Message, a translation of the Holy Quraan: http://www.free-minds.org/quran/

Link to the website: http://www.free-minds.org/

All of the specific points brought up by you, including the concept of “authorization”, the Messenger(PBUH) and others are addressed with Quraanic references in the easy to explore website and my quotation from the website. I personally find equating, for all practical purposes, the reverence for a revealed text to man made text, and empowering scholars restricted in their role according to the revelation, to the point of becoming intermediaries between Allah and our salvation, nothing less than heartbreaking and tragic. No intentional or inadvertently semantic twists or doublespeak can mitigate the actual power relations at play there.

Some of those power relations become dangerous once they seek to impose knowledge masquerading as debate with its own set of absolutist dogmas and rules of men, and exercise power without the possibility of role reversal and playing GOD in their judgments. Divisions with easy answers in a world where other men do the thinking for us, ultimately benefit those who profit from such divisions as a source of socio-political power. There is great indignity in speaking for others in a universe created by the only omniscient and omnipotent Creator who has created it in ways we’re just beginning to understand as modern scientific knowledge since Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, Chaos Theory, the Human Genome Project, and incredible advances since in physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics.

Now to the website in question. Allow me to quote again from its front page.

For the Sunnis and Shia who are shocked by the words they have been reading, we invite you to seek God Alone with your heart and your mind and to give-up all the previous wasted years of idolatry and polytheism that you have unknowingly been party to...For our Lord tells us that it is never too late to seek His forgiveness:

"Say: 'O My servants who transgressed against themselves, do not despair of God's mercy. For God forgives all sins. He is the Forgiver, the Merciful.'" (The Message 39:53)

But be warned, while only God knows the fate of an individual, by simply turning away without verifying what has been said here can bring the gravest of consequences:

"And who is more wicked than one who is reminded of his Lord’s verses but he turned away from them, and he forgot what his hands had done. We have made veils upon their hearts from understanding them, and a deafness in their ears. And if you invite them to the guidance, they will never be guided." (The Message 18:57)

If you are genuinely interested, I humbly suggest that you explore it closely and treat its contents fairly from its own point of view. I have no desire to argue with you or anyone about the contents of the website without everyone acquiring detailed, contextual knowledge of what those contents are. For example, on the matter of polygamy raised by you, you may wish to look at the following article: -

POLYGAMY

One of the most wide spread myths that has been associated with God's religion over the centuries is the issue of "Polygamy". It is customary for people when they think of Islam, or even when they embrace Islam, that they automatically have a license to marry more than one wife (upto a maximum of 4).

Men tend to fantasize that this is due to the high sexual libido that God has given them and that it is part of their Homo-Sapien right of male domination.

Even women in the Islamic world have come to accept the idea of Polygamy as being ordained by God and therefore not open for debate or questioning. The woman in Islamic society may not like the idea of sharing her husband with other women, but it is a fact of life she has been taught to accept and respect.

Did the Lord of the Universe realize that Muslim men were hormone driven animals that needed the sexual satisfaction of more than one mate? Or is it us who as usual interpret God's revelations with our desires rather than our brains?.

Where in the Quran can we find this command that justifies Polygamy?

"You shall hand over to the ORPHANS* their rightful properties. Do not substitute the bad for the good, and do not consume their properties by combining them with yours. This would be a gross injustice. If you fear that you will not be equitable towards the ORPHANS*, then you may marry their mothers. You may marry two, three, or four. If you fear lest you become unfair, then you shall be content with only one, or with what you already have. Additionally, you are thus more likely to avoid financial hardship." (4/2-3)

"They consult you concerning women: say, "GOD enlightens you regarding them, as recited for you in the scripture. The mothers of ORPHANS* that you wish to marry but do not give them their due dowries, you shall be just. The rights of young boys must also be protected. You shall treat the orphans equitably. Whatever good you do, GOD is fully aware thereof." (4/127)

* Orphans in Arabic (Yatama) is used for a child who has lost his father. A child who has lost his mother is not considered an Orphan in Arabic.

Any reader of the above verse does not have to be a genius to understand that Polygamy is CONDITIONAL that a person wants to be equitable towards the ORPHANS!.
But WHO are these ORPHANS that we are responsible for yet it is likely that we will not treat them favorably?.

Again, we do not have to look beyond the tip of our noses for the answer:

"Do not give those who are immature the money which God has ENTRUSTED you with. You shall provide for them from it and cloth them, and say to them what is just. You shall test the orphans when they reach puberty. As soon as you find them mature enough, GIVE THEM THEIR PROPERTY..." (4/5-6)

You must be the GUARDIAN to these Orphans and caretaker to their inheritance BEFORE even considering Polygamy. It is not just for a man to just pick children off the street and claim that he will marry their mother. The man must be the Guardian to the children appointed by their deceased father or because they (the Orphans) are from his blood.

After laying out the rules in which Polygamy is allowed, we are also dealt with more restrictions in the Quran:

"You can NEVER be equitable in dealing with more than one wife, no matter how hard you try. Therefore, do not be so biased as to leave one of them hanging. If you correct this situation and maintain righteousness, GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful." (4/129)

So, as we have it DETAILED in God's Book:

1. Orphans placed in our guardianship are to be treated fairly.
2. If we fear biased-ness or unfairness in treatment, we MAY marry their mother.
3. We MUST pay their mother her dowry as in the case of a normal marriage.
4. We MUST NOT be biased in our dealings with either wife.

Under these circumstances it becomes very clear how God's perfect system will be a shield for children who have lost their fathers and need protection in this world, rather than a license for sexual fantasies as most are led to believe.

May the Lord grant us His mercy for all the wrong we have done.

Link:http://www.free-minds.org/women/polygamy1.htm

Anyway, again I apologize if I have offended you in any way because that was not my intent. However I stand by what I’ve posted and eagerly await Allah’s judgment for all of my actions. I shall end with the following: -

"Hast thou not turned thy vision to those who have been given a portion of the Book? They are invited to the Book of Allah, to settle their dispute, but a party of them Turn back and decline." (Quraan 3:23)

"Such are the Ayaat of Allah, which We rehearse to you in truth: then in what HADEETH will they believe besides Allah and His Ayaat? (Quraan 45:6).

"And when God Alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter are filled with aversion; and when others are mentioned beside Him, they rejoice!" (The Message 39:45)

Then the Messenger will say:

“O my Lord, truly MY PEOPLE neglected the Quraan”. (Quraan 25:30).

I bid you peace my brother, Sohel.

Sohel
October 4, 2007, 03:23 AM
For those not duly familiar with Quraanic Arabic, here are a couple of links to the Holy Quraan translated in easy to understand English. Any useful, linguistic, semiotic or otherwise erudite critique is most welcome.

http://www.geocities.com/masad02/

http://www.free-minds.org/quran/

A gentle reminder: purely dogmatic jingoism masquerading as "debate" or "dispute" without proper erudition only leads to further embarrassment of all involved. It is sad to try and "refute" what one hasn't examined in detail or in good faith without angry and bitter preconceptions ... :)