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Author wants to rebrand Muslims from terrorists to environmentalists
November 16th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

Author wants to rebrand Muslims from terrorists to environmentalists

Editor's Note: CNN's Maria Ebrahimji filed this Q&A.

Ibrahim Abdul-Matin is a second generation American Muslim, radio personality and a policy advisor in New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability.

In his new book, Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet, he challenges Muslims and non-Muslims to be stewards of the earth. He hopes the book will help rebrand  Muslims from terrorists to environmentalists.

Here's an edited transcript of our conversation:

What does Green Deen mean?

Green has become the catch-all word for being environmentally friendly. Deen in Arabic means religion but can also be translated to path or way. So a green deen is literally an environmentally friendly religion.

I use green deen to also mean finding inspiration in one’s faith to become more conscious about humanity’s effects on the planet. Islam is a green deen in many ways. First and foremost, Islam recognizes that while God is all-powerful, humans can and do impact the Earth.

Therefore, Islam provides guidance by way of the Quran and the Hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) on how to make that impact positive. This is basically what my book is about - what Islam teaches about protecting the planet.

Do Islam and other faiths have environmentalism in common?

Islam has a lot in common with other faiths as far as its environmentalist perspective. The principles of khalifah (stewardship) and amana (trust) are two examples.

I met an older Christian woman at the Washington, DC Green Festival in October and she described her understanding of humans' dominion over the earth as stewardship. She said that our role was to be responsible because we represent God.

She described khalifah almost verbatim as I describe it in the book. When I asked her why some people interpret dominion over the earth as control, she said, "because they don't understand that God has entrusted us with the planet."

Again, she described amana - our sacred trust with God - almost exactly as it's described in Islam. Simply put, she and I shared this essential message: if you love the creator, you must love creation.

Does a green deen have room for capitalism?

Critically, Green Deen looks at how the negative outcomes of capitalism have created pollution that we now have to clean up. Capitalism helped us overcome certain challenges but it created others.

We can tweak the money first and greed mantras to include different bottom lines, such as protection of the planet and public health benefits. The fundamental problem with capitalism, socialism, communism, and the other isms is that they reduce human beings to units of production. People are valued only by what they can produce.

Islam and other faiths base the value of a person on his/her relationship with the creator. A green deen affirms ambition, innovation, and competition, but not at the sake of the health and well-being of the earth and the health and well-being of humanity.

Thankfully, we are resourceful and can look at this as an opportunity. There is a market for making a building more energy efficient. There is a market for cleaning up oil spills. There is a market for finding greener, healthier and cleaner ways to live as we are already living.

Have your ideas gained traction in the U.S.?

Absolutely. In fact, my idea was to show how the idea of Islam being a green deen has been in existence for quite some time and that Muslim Americans have been and are using their understanding of Islam to protect the planet.

In the book I profile several Muslim Americans and how they are committed to reducing waste, thinking innovatively about energy, saving water and supporting local and organic food systems, all because they believe it is their duty as Muslims to do so.

For example, Qaid Hassan (of Chicago, Illinois) and Yasir Syeed (of Sterling, Virginia) are both young Muslims who strive to provide healthy, organic, and halal (lawful) meat for the Muslim community.

They developed partnerships with farms that treat animals well. Qaid and Yasir will tell you that in Islam, animals are not seen as raw materials here simply for human consumption. Animals have a noble role on this earth. They too worship God and are slaughtered for food only because God has given permission and has set standards and requirements of how to do so.

The animals must live a good life - allowed to roam free, eat grass and be communal with each other. One cannot slaughter animals consecutively. There must be time and space between each. The animal has just given its life for a human’s benefit. Reflection on the weight of this act is necessary. My book also makes a case for vegetarianism supported by Islamic teachings.

As my Muslim brother Zachary Twist says about his vegan lifestyle, “my relationship with Allah does not depend on eating meat.” There are a growing number of Muslim vegetarians in the country. Qaid’s Whole Earth Meats , and Yasir’s, Green Zabiha are doing well and gaining support everyday within the American Muslim community and beyond.

You have said that your father taught you that the “earth is a mosque, and everything in it is sacred.” What have you done in your own life to adhere to that?

I have always lived within my means. For example, ten years ago I was an Outward Bound instructor. My job was working with young people to foster personal growth through experiential learning in the wilderness. I made less than $10,000 that year but I ate healthy, slept well and lived a full life.

My job helped to feed me spiritually so I didn't need to fill up on material possessions to feel valuable. You see, treating the earth as sacred does not mean buying expensive organic fruits or hybrid cars. It means being conscious and aware of our consumption patterns, and reducing what we use in the first place. This is just as important, if not more, than properly disposing of what we've used.

How does your book contribute to changing perceptions of American Muslims?

 This is a core mission of my book. Look, everyone wants to know where the moderate Muslims are. They’re everywhere. They go to work, they go to school. Frankly, they’re boring - which is why the media doesn’t do any stories about them.  Why would CNN do a story on Ali the doctor who spends his evenings watching ESPN?

So I’m creating the story by writing this book. I’m highlighting Sarah the Muslim who believes in recycling. As more and more Muslims come forward, describing the positive ways they are contributing to society - and they are, they’re just not advertising it - I believe people will stop focusing on the tiny percentage of Muslims who are extremists.

I hope my book will re-label Muslims from terrorist to activist or, even better, environmentalists. I want Muslims to be known as the people who save water.

As an American and Muslim, do you feel your identity is more challenged now than after 9/11?

 No, I don’t feel that my identity has been challenged more or less because of 9/11. I am a black man in America; my identity is already filled with considerable challenges. However, my identity as an African-American Muslim also creates an opportunity.

The nation wants to know: Is Islam compatible with America? Well, look no further than the 2.5 million black American Muslims in the United States. I find it interesting and, frankly, annoying that as the conversation about Islam in America has turned heated and the presence of Muslims in America questioned, the voices of the enormous black American Muslim population have not been heard or considered.

The American Muslim community is more diverse than immigrant Arabs and South Asians. The community is the most racially diverse in the country and includes East Asians, West Africans, people from all parts of the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and even white Americans.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Books • Environment • Houses of worship • Interfaith issues • Mosque

soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Reality

    Muslims still don't see the threat to world peace that Islam presents in the passages of the koran that demand death to all infidels and male Muslim control of the world by any means. (Or do they?) Until these passages are deleted, the words of Muslims will continue to fall on deaf ears and until these passages are deleted, no Muslim can be trusted.

    November 17, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
    • Muneef

      There is a Difference between a Believer and a Muslim
      http://www.tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=49&tid=49943

      Allah chastises the bedouins who, when they embraced Islam, claimed for themselves the grade of faithful believers. However, Faith had not yet firmly entered their hearts,
      (The bedouins say: "We believe." Say: "You do not believe, but say, `We have submitted,' for Faith has not yet entered your hearts...") This honorable Ayah provides proof that Faith is a higher grade than Islam, according to the scholars of the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah. 

      (I might give some men and give nothing to others, even though the latter are dearer to me than the former. I do not give them things for fear that they might be thrown on their faces in the Fire.)" This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs. Therefore, the Prophet made a distinction between the grade of believer and the grade of Muslim, indicating that Iman is a more exclusive grade than Islam. I mentioned this subject in detail supported by evidence, in the beginning of the explanation of the chapter on Iman in Sahih Al-Bukhari, all praise is due to Allah and all the favors are from Him. So this proves that the bedouins whom the Ayah mentioned were not hypocrites, rather they were Muslims in whose hearts Faith was not yet firmly established. They claimed a higher grade for themselves than the grade that they earned, and they were taught a lesson as a consequence. 

      November 17, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
    • Muneef

      " the Prophet made a distinction between the grade of believer and the grade of Muslim, indicating that Iman is a more exclusive grade than Islam".

      Well I guess I would like rather be at a higher grade? Therefore I declare Iman being a Mumen?! Since Quran in all verses was addressing Al-Mumonon " Believers" and not as Al-Muslomon "Muslims"?!

      Just hope now you got to understand the difference and not judge all as one...

      November 17, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  2. David Johnson

    I think you might have a better chance of making your case, for Muslims not being terrorists, if Muslims would stop killing people.

    All the blood tends to detract from your argument.

    November 17, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
    • MicheleG

      Precisely. Thank you.

      November 17, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
    • MicheleG

      Actually "detract" does not state it correctly. How about "total nullification?" "Void." "Egregious?" "Shameful?" "Invalidates?"

      November 17, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
    • Muneef

      Al-Hujraat Sura 49:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      O ye who believe! if a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest ye harm people unwittingly, and afterwards become full of repentance for what ye have done. (6) And know that among you is Allah's Messenger: were he, in many matters, to follow your (wishes), ye would certainly suffer: but Allah has endeared the Faith to you, and has made it beautiful in your hearts and He has made hateful to you unbelief, wickedness and rebellion: such indeed are those who walk in righteousness― (7) A grace and favour from Allah; and Allah is full of Knowledge, and Wisdom. (8).

      November 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
    • Muneef

      If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them: but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other, then fight ye (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah; but if it complies, then make peace between them with justice, and be fair: for Allah loves those who are fair (and just). (9) The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers: And fear Allah that ye may receive Mercy. (10).

      November 17, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
    • Muneef

      O ye who believe! let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not desist are (Indeed) doing wrong. (11).

      November 17, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
    • Muneef

      O ye who believe! avoid sus-picion as much (as possible): for sus-picion in some cases is a sin: and s-py not on each other, nor speak ill of each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the f-lesh of his dea-d brother? Nay, ye would abhor it...but fear Allah: for Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. (12).

      November 17, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
    • Muneef

      O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). (13).

      November 17, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
    • Muneef

      The desert Arabs, say "We believe." Say "Ye have no faith; but ye (only) say `We have submitted our wills to Allah.' for not yet has Faith entered your hearts. But if ye obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not belittle aught oft your deeds: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful." (14) Only those are Believers who have believed in Allah and His Messenger and have never since doubted but have striven with their belongings and their persons in the Cause of Allah: Such are the sincere ones. (15) .

      November 17, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
    • Muneef

      Say: "what! Will ye instruct Allah about your Religion?" But Allah knows all that is in the heavens and on earth: He has full knowledge of all things. (16) They impress on thee as favour that they have embraced Islam. Say "Count not your Islam as a favour upon me: nay, Allah has conferred a favour upon you that He has guided you to the Faith, if ye be true and sincere. (17) "Verily Allah knows the unseen of the heavens and the earth: and Allah sees well all that ye do." (18).

      November 17, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  3. MicheleG

    shut up muneef......

    November 17, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
    • Muneef

      You are right it might be for the best...

      Al-Hashr Sura 59:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      O ye who believe! Observe your duty to Allah. And let every soul look to that which it sendeth on before for the morrow. And observe your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is Aware of what ye do. (18) And be not ye as those who forgot Allah, therefor He caused them to forget their souls. Such are the evil-doers. (19) Not equal are the owners of the Fire and the owners of the Garden. The owners of the Garden, they are the victorious. (20) If We had caused this Qur'an to descend upon a mountain, thou (O Muhammad) verily hadst seen it humbled, rent asunder by the fear of Allah. Such similitudes coin We for mankind that haply they may reflect. (21) He is Allah, than Whom there is no other God, the Knower of the Invisible and the Visible. He is the Beneficent, Merciful. (22) He is Allah, than Whom there is no other God, the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One, Peace, the Keeper of Faith, the Guardian, the Majestic, the Compeller, the Superb. Glorified be Allah from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him). (23) He is Allah, the Creator, the Shaper out of naught, the Fashioner. His are the most beautiful names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorifieth Him, and He is the Mighty, the Wise. (24)..

      November 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  4. MicheleG

    When the sadistic judicial excesses and murders stop maybe you have a position worth listening to, but until then I, for one, will ignore you. Stop the murders. STOP the sadism and murders!

    November 17, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
    • Muneef

      Wonder what is the relation between Terrorism and Resistance? Or are they One?
      Any way no one has the magic word for ending all sides Vast-intrests vs Terrorism?
      If you call it religious then the way out is?

      Al-E-Imran Sura 03
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to an agreement between us and you: that we shall worship none but Allah, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside Allah. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him). (64)

      November 17, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  5. ART

    Forgot all these tactics of compromise. Its all about Jesus, period. Have you trusted in Him as the payment for sins?

    No Jesus, No peace, Know Jesus, Know Peace.

    November 17, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Art.
      Sorry to pop on to you like that but was not clear who you have addressed your comment to..but if I may speak on behalf of my self as a Muslim and speaking as per Quran tought us..
      We believe in Issa son of Mariam who was Created as a for the Children of Israel to guide them to the straight path after having became astray...but those who did not favor guidance and change have conspired on him but God has saved him from the crusifiction dying at latter stage and raised by God to heavens to be sent back again at latter stage..
      We believe as Issa being a Mircalous creation by God sent as a Prophet of God but not as being a son or being God him self in the so called Trinity...
      We do not believe therefore that he would have sacrificed him self as payment for any ones sins since the scrifices are known to be since Ibrahim were to be made from Sheep/Goats/ bulls/ Camals and not humans in the Ibrahimic God Religion. And only that would save all are the actions of good deeds and the mercy of God..

      November 17, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
    • ART

      The sacrifices from Abraham to Jesus were done to show the world that sin would not be paid for unless something had to die. No lamb/bull/etc. can take away the sins of a person but they were established by God to get the world ready for the Messiah Christ. God says that in order to live, something must die. In order to live forever with Him, Jesus had to die. This basic concept is shown in many ways, one being that in order for us to live, our food has to die. Even those that are vegetarians understand this concept.

      Believe in your heart, that Jesus died for your sins, and was raised again from the dead and confess these things with your mouth and you will be saved!!

      November 18, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
    • Abejita

      Thank you Art for sharing the gospel!

      @Muneef – I do appreciate you taking the time to share what the Quran says. Some Christians do know much of what the Quran says, many have studied other belief systems in pursuit of the truth, however there is only ONE truth. Jesus says that He alone is the WAY, THE TRUTH and the LIFE.

      A few scriptures came to mind in response to your comment:

      John 1:1-5 ~ In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

      Hebrews 10:4 ~ It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

      Hebrews 10:8-10 ~ First He (Jesus) said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

      Collosians 1:15-20 ~ The Son (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

      November 18, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
  6. Reality

    Again, the larger issues are the flaws in all religions. Quoting single pa-ssages from the hal-lucination and myth-based koran has no meaning with respect to the major flaws and errors of Islam. Once again Muslims still have problems coming to grips with these errors:

    1. Belief in "pretty/ugly, wingie thingies".

    2. Belief that an hal-lucinating, illiterate Arab did actually talk to the "pretty Gabriel" in the hot "Gabe" cave and therein received the war-mongering and anti-female words and resultant laws now listed in the koran.

    3. That Sunnis are superior to Shi-ites in all aspects of life. And Shi-ites think the same way about Sunnis.

    4. That Islam is perfect and the koran inherently condones no sin even though the 24/7, 800 year-old blood feud between Sunnis and Shiites gives significant credence that greed, hate, suicides, as-sa-ssinations, maiming, and murder are condoned by the koran. Having multiple wives also gives significant credence to the sins of r-ape, ad-ultery, lu-st and pol-ygamy. The co-ndoned treatment of these wives gives credence that the koran allows the sins of hatred, anger and greed

    November 17, 2010 at 12:08 am |
    • Muneef

      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

      Hud Sura 11:
      And, O my people! Act according to your power, lo! I (too) am acting. Ye will soon know on whom there cometh a doom that will abase him, and who it is that lieth. And watch! Lo! I am a watcher with you. (93).

      Hud Sura 11:
      And say unto those who believe not: Act according to your power. Lo! We (too) are acting. (121) And wait! Lo! We (too) are waiting. (122) And Allah's is the Invisible of the heavens and the earth, and unto Him the whole matter will be returned. So worship Him and put thy trust in Him. Lo! thy Lord is not unaware of what ye (mortals) do. (123)

      November 17, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  7. Gary

    muslims in Afganistan are good popi farmers.

    November 16, 2010 at 9:21 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Gary.

      Muslims are not all as pure as crystal and poverty have made it worse some would do worse than that but still would pray and ask God forgiveness and some would do with out praying or ask forgiveness...
      So leave those Muslims and go for God and the Quran becoming better than those in loss.

      November 16, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
  8. Sum Dude

    @Muneef the munificent

    Are you just trying to keep busy or something? Why post things for Reality to read? Surely you are wasting your time???

    November 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Sum Dude.

      Hi dear, aren't you reading? Any others reading? Well that is sufficient for me and after all that you call waste of time is rewarded by Allah having been of good intentions..
      Al-Muddaththir Sura 74:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      O thou enveloped in thy cloak, (1) Arise and warn! (2) Thy Lord magnify, (3) Thy raiment purify, (4) Pollution shun! (5) And show not favour, seeking wordly gain! (6) For the sake of thy Lord, be patient! (7). 

      November 16, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Muneef

      Ah.
      No I wasn't reading much. Just enough to see that you are quoting stuff again. 😛

      November 16, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Sum Dude.

      Sorry for you but I am sure Reality is reading and feel by heart that his place is among the righteous never matter when but when he is ready and got it all figured out...to decide.

      November 16, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Muneef

      Reality is probably among the righteous right now, putting on his shoes and checking himself for hidden GPS units. 😀
      Thanks for your concern and generosity, O Muneef the Munificent, Mighty Purveyor of Long-winded Texts!
      😛

      November 16, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Sum Dude.

      Although liked the sound of the name you gave me but The Munificent is one of many God Allah's names...and such names normally come with Abdul Al Kareem or Abdul Al Gowad which means the Slave/Worshiper of the Munificent...any way thanks.
      But about Reality I wonder what you meant by " Checking himself for hidden GPS units "??
      This times only target short texts I have quoted and any way ignore it is you do not like it but from me I feel relieved to have the Quran speaks for it self rather than my poor words and grammar. IMG_0158.GIF

      November 16, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Muneef

      If you don't want me calling you "the generous" I will stop. You just seem so willing to give us these quotes I thought it showed a sort of generosity on your part. And I thought it might be funny, too.
      As for the "GPS units", I was making a joke for Reality's benefit because you said to him, "Your footprints are being registered and that means every move,sight,thought,touch,said and on that promised date you will be held accountable or rewarded for...!"
      So I joked about footprints and GPS units (which are global positioning system devices used to pinpoint a location).
      It can also make humorous reference to leaving one's shoes outside a mosque, the differences between shoes and feet, and many other things. Humor is difficult to explain, as is Reality. 😀

      November 16, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Sum Dude.

      Dear I would rather have my name as it is, thank you and hope I can contrbute more Insha'a Allah.

      Funny joke you made of Reality... But see how the Quran has mentioned about the prints which is now most important to have in all registrations formalities. Any way the word has a wider meaning than that since it means what ever you did in your life is recorded..in that register.

      November 17, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
  9. Reality

    What drove the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon? The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means. Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed. Then we can talk about the safety of mosques and what is taught therein. Until then, no male Muslim can be trusted anytime or anywhere.

    November 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Reality.
      Your footprints are being registered and that means every move,sight,thought,touch,said and on that promised date you will be held accountable or rewarded for...!

      Ya-Seen Sura 36: 
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
       Sin. (1) By the wise Qur'an, (2) Lo! thou art of those sent (3) On a straight path, (4) A revelation of the Mighty, the Merciful, (5) That thou mayst warn a folk whose fathers were not warned, so they are heedless. (6) Already hath the word proved true of most of them, for they believe not. (7) Lo! We have put on their necks carcans reaching unto the chins, so that they are made stiff-necked. (8) And We have set a bar before them and a bar behind them, and (thus) have covered them so that they see not. (9) Whether thou warn them or thou warn them not, it is alike for them, for they believe not. (10) Thou warnest only him who followeth the Reminder and feareth the Beneficent in secret. To him bear tidings of forgiveness and a rich reward. (11) Lo! We it is Who bring the dead to life. We record that which they send before (them), and their footprints. And all things We have kept in a clear Register. (12).

      November 16, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
    • Muneef

      Al-E-Imran Sura 03
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to an agreement between us and you: that we shall worship none but Allah, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside Allah. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him). (64) O People of the Scripture! Why will ye argue about Abraham, when the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed till after him? Have ye then no sense? (65) Lo! ye are those who argue about that whereof ye have some knowledge: Why then argue ye concerning that whereof ye have no knowledge? Allah knoweth. Ye know not. (66) Abraham was not a Jew, nor yet a Christian; but he was an upright man who had surrendered (to Allah), and he was not of the idolaters. (67) Lo! those of mankind who have the best claim to Abraham are those who followed him, and this Prophet and those who believe (with him); and Allah is the Protecting Guardian of the believers. (68) A party of the People of the Scripture long to make you go astray; and they make none to go astray except themselves, but they perceive not. (69) O People of the Scripture! Why disbelieve ye in the revelations of Allah, when ye (yourselves) bear witness (to their truth)? (70) O People of the Scripture! Why confound ye truth with falsehood and knowingly conceal the truth? (71).

      November 16, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Reality.

      Al-Baqara- Sura 02:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Alif. Lam. Mim. (1) This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off (evil). (2) Who believe in the Unseen, and establish worship, and spend of that We have bestowed upon them; (3) And who believe in that which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) and that which was revealed before thee, and are certain of the Hereafter. (4) These depend on guidance from their Lord. These are the successful. (5).

      November 16, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Reality
      Hey, man! It sounds like they've got a thing for your footprints. GPS, audits, the whole nine yards. Wear shoes. They won't know what to do with that. 😀

      November 16, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Reality.

      Ibrahim Sura 14:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Alif. Lam. Ra. (This is) a Scripture which We have revealed unto thee (Muhammad) that thereby thou mayst bring forth mankind from darkness unto light, by the permission of their Lord, unto the path of the Mighty, the Owner of Praise, (1) Allah, unto Whom belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. and woe unto the disbelievers from an awful doom; (2) Those who love the life of the world more than the Hereafter, and debar (men) from the way of Allah and would have it crooked: such are far astray. (3) And We never sent a messenger save with the language of his folk, that he might make (the message) clear for them. Then Allah sendeth whom He will astray, and guideth whom He will. He is the Mighty, the Wise. (4). 

      November 16, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Reality.

      Ibrahim Sura 14:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Seest thou not how Allah coineth a similitude: A goodly saying, as a goodly tree, its root set firm, its branches reaching into heaven, (24) Giving its fruit at every season by permission of its Lord? Allah coineth the similitudes for mankind in order that they may reflect. (25) And the similitude of a bad saying is as a bad tree, uprooted from upon the earth, possessing no stability. (26) Allah confirmeth those who believe by a firm saying in the life of the world and in the Hereafter, and Allah sendeth wrong-doers astray. And Allah doeth what He will. (27) 

      November 16, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Reality.

      Ta-Ha Sura 20:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Ta Ha. (1) We have not sent down the Qur'an to thee to be (an occasion) for thy distress (2) But only as an admonition to those who fear (Allah)― (3) A revelation from Him Who created the earth and the heavens on high. (4) (Allah) Most Gracious is firmly established on the Throne (of authority). (5) To Him belongs what is in the heavens and on earth, and all between them, and all beneath the soil. (6) If thou pronounce the word aloud, (it is no matter): for verily He knoweth what is secret and what is yet more hidden. (7) Allah! there is no god but He! To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. (8) 

      November 16, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  10. NM

    please check out http://www.islamicsolutions.com/world-day-of-god-2010/

    November 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  11. Muneef

    Good Night and Eid Mubarak to all Muslim Sisters and Brothers...Eid Mubarak to all God believers God of Ibrahim,God the one and only..may God unify our souls and bless us all with never lasting peace, justice and prosperity...Amen.

    November 16, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  12. Iqbal khan

    And for some people like Reality this is the answer,listen and watch both parts....

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUcAUNI0U6A&w=640&h=360]

    November 16, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Iqbal Khan.
      Excullent choice brother and a speacial Eid Mubarak greeting. May Allah reward our choices and efforts with our people the People of Ibrahim and the Holy Books and may God Guide us all to the straight Path of ever lasting Justice and Peace of our souls to direct worship to God free from pains and sadness....Amen

      November 16, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  13. Shahrazad

    Subhan'Allah, my brother! Thank you for your work & your words. We don't call attention to our "good deeds" because we're submitting to Allah(swt), loving our Creator.
    May Allah(swt) grant you Peace.

    Eid Mubarak!

    November 16, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
    • Reality

      Some more "skinnies" about Islam:

      From Sir Salman Rushdie's book "Satanic Verses", p. 376, paperback issue – for those 1 billion Muslims to read as they are forbidden to purchase or read said book:

      One of the passages that prompted the crazed Ayatollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa against Sir Rushdie:

      1Mahound = Mohammed
      Gibreel = Gabriel

      "The faithful lived by lawlessness, but in those years Mahound – or should one say the Archangel Gibreel? – should one say Al-Lah? – became obsessed by law.

      Amid the palm-trees of the oasis Gibreel appeared to the Prophet and found himself spouting rules, rules, rules, until the faithful could scarcely bear the prospect of any more revelation, Salman said, rules about every da-mn thing, if a man farts let him turn his face to the wind, a rule about which hand to use for the purpose of cleaning one's behind.

      It was as if no aspect of human existence was to be left unregulated, free. The revelation – the recitation- told the faithful how much to eat, how deeply they should sleep, and which se-xual positions had received divine sanction, so that they leamed that so-domy and the missionary position were approved of by the archangel, whereas the forbidden postures included all those in which the female was on top.

      Gibreel further listed the permitted and forbidden subjects of conversation, and earmarked the parts of the body which could not be scratched no matter how unbearably they might itch.

      He vetoed the consumption of prawns, those bizarre other-worldly creatures which no member of the faithful had ever seen, and required animals to be killed slowly, by bleeding, so that by experiencing their deaths to the full they might arrive at an understanding of the meaning of their lives, for it is only at the moment of death that living creatures understand that life has been real, and not a sort of dream.

      And Gibreel the archangel specified the manner in which a man should be buried, and how his property should be divided, so that Salman the Persian got to wondering what manner of God this was that sounded so much like a businessman.

      This was when he had the idea that destroyed his faith, because he recalled that of course Mahound himself had been a businessman, and a damned successful one at that, a person to whom organization and rules came naturally, so how excessively convenient it was that he should have come up with such a very businesslike archangel, who handed down the management decisions of this highly corporate, if noncorporeal, God."

      November 16, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
    • Muneef

      Sura 16:125 to 128

      An-Nahl

      Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way. Lo! thy Lord is Best Aware of him who strayeth from His way, and He is best aware of those who go aright. (125) If ye punish, then punish with the like of that wherewith ye were afflicted. But if ye endure patiently, verily it is better for the patient. (126) Endure thou patiently (O Muhammad). Thine endurance is only by (the help of) Allah. Grieve not for them, and be not in distress because of that which they devise. (127) Lo! Allah is with those who keep their duty unto Him and those who are doers of good. (128)

      November 16, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
    • Muneef

      Sura 41:34 to 36
      Fussilat

      The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo! he, between whom and thee there was enmity (will become) as though he was a bosom friend. (34) But none is granted it save those who are steadfast, and none is granted it save the owner of great happiness. (35) And if a whisper from the devil reach thee (O Muhammad) then seek refuge in Allah. Lo! He is the Hearer, the Knower. (36)

      November 16, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
    • Muneef

      Sura 06:160 to 165
      Al-Anaam

      Whoso bringeth a good deed will receive tenfold the like thereof, while whoso bringeth an ill-deed will be awarded but the like thereof; and they will not be wronged. (160) Say: Lo! As for me, my Lord hath guided me unto a straight path, a right religion, the community of Abraham, the upright, who was no idolater. (161) Say: Lo! my worship and my sacrifice and my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the Worlds. (162) He hath no partner. This am I commanded, and I am first of those who surrender (unto Him). (163) Say: Shall I seek another than Allah for Lord, when He is Lord of all things? Each soul earneth only on its own account, nor doth any laden bear another's load. Then unto your Lord is your return and He will tell you that wherein ye differed. (164) He it is Who hath placed you as viceroys of the earth and hath exalted some of you in rank above others, that He may try you by (the test of) that which He hath given you. Lo! Thy Lord is swift in prosecution, and Lo! He verily is Forgiving, Merciful. (165) .

      November 16, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Reality.
      @Sum Dude.

      Did you get the whole idea or shall i need the tafsir for you? Start from here entering Sura and Verses numbers and there it is:

      http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3138&Itemid=573

      November 16, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Shahrazad.

      Kindly find what we are told to do:

      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Al-Anaam Sura 06:
      Say (O Muhammad): O my people! Work according to your power. Lo! I too am working. Thus ye will come to know for which of us will be the happy sequel. Lo! the wrong-doers will not be successful. (135).

      Al-Tawba Sura 09:
      And say (unto them): Act! Allah will behold your actions, and (so will) His messenger and the believers, and ye will be brought back to the Knower of the Invisible and the Visible, and He will tell you what ye used to do. (105).

      Hud Sura 11:
      And, O my people! Act according to your power, lo! I (too) am acting. Ye will soon know on whom there cometh a doom that will abase him, and who it is that lieth. And watch! Lo! I am a watcher with you. (93).

      Hud Sura 11:
      And say unto those who believe not: Act according to your power. Lo! We (too) are acting. (121) And wait! Lo! We (too) are waiting. (122) And Allah's is the Invisible of the heavens and the earth, and unto Him the whole matter will be returned. So worship Him and put thy trust in Him. Lo! thy Lord is not unaware of what ye (mortals) do. (123)

      Az-Zumar Sura 39:
      Say: O my people! Act in your manner. Lo! I (too) am acting. Thus ye will come to know (39).
       

      November 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  14. Sum Dude

    For some reason, the fact that common fertilizers can be used to make explosives keeps coming to mind.

    November 16, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Sum Dude.
      The intentions and deeds comes first depending of which any,every and each thing has two paths , it is either can be made for use as a tool of peaceful intentions,deeds or it can be directed for use as a tools for war intentions,deeds?
      mankind would use knife to slice bread and as well would use it to make a kill and to make a slaughter.? So as every thing of you may think of...! So inorder to bring peace it is needed that you bring justice on earth for those compressed by corrupted systems and international unlawful politics ,organized coldwars and invasions.

      November 16, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Muneef
      Hi Muneef! Yes, you make some good points there. I agree with pretty much everything in your post. It's a miracle! 😀

      I would not say that everything has only two paths, though. Many things have more than two possible paths. But that is a small difference anyway. I hope you are having a good day? Not worried too much about people far away, I hope?
      😀

      November 16, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Muneef
      I should add that I was using satire and allusion in my post. I'm not expecting everyone to make explosives. Fertilizer is also a euphemism for lies, and using lies can cause explosive reactions in people. Too obscure, yeah, I know. ...

      November 16, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  15. Muneef

    Tafsir sura 08: 61 Ibn Kathir.

    (61. But if they incline to peace, you also incline to it, and trust in Allah. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.) (62. And if they intend to deceive you, then verily, Allah is All-Sufficient for you. He it is Who has supported you with His help and with the believers.) (63. And He has united their (believers') hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allah has united them. Certainly He is All-Mighty, All-Wise.)
    (64. O Prophet! Allah is sufficient for you and for the believers who follow you.)

    November 16, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  16. Muneef

    Take it as in Traffic lights...Take the Green to Go and to be Cautious at Yellow and Red to Stop?

    Green Deen..means Green God...Let us all go for green...Grean means peace,food and industry...Green means Water and Sustainable Life for Earth and Earhtly Creations...

    Our lives at the moment and for many many years has been on the Yellow and Red but never had Greens and the Challange is how to reach that and make it workable with out having to be Yellow and Red?? i wish for this project and holy task all the success and within short time... when then can replace wars industry towards Green industry of peace and justic with which all will be able to live in prosperity and brotherly as neighbour to neibour..? Amen.

    November 16, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
    • Muneef

      Sura 08:61 to 64
      Al-Anfal
      And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it, and trust in Allah. Lo! He, is the Hearer, the Knower. (61) And if they would deceive thee, then lo! Allah is Sufficient for thee. He it is Who supporteth thee with His help and with the believers, (62) And (as for the believers) hath attuned their hearts. If thou hadst spent all that is in the earth thou couldst not have attuned their hearts, but Allah hath attuned them. Lo! He is Mighty, Wise. (63) O Prophet! Allah is Sufficient for thee and those who follow thee of the believers. (64)

      November 16, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
  17. .

    sounds great. but he's got a whole lot of work to do.

    November 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
  18. Reality

    How Muslims of all races can save themselves:

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, are you ready?

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs/tenets.

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave attended to by his wives before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    November 16, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  19. Reality

    Once a day WARNING for new commentators:

    • The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".

    • More than one web address will also activate “waiting for moderation”. Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

    “Raison's Filter Fiber© (joking about the copyright)

    1. Here's my latest list – this seems like a good spot to set this down, as nobody's posting much on this thread.....
    --–
    bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to post that wonderful argument:
    Many, if not most are buried within other words, but I am not shooting for the perfect list, so use your imagination and add any words I have missed as a comment (no one has done this yet)
    – I found some but forgot to write them down. (shrugs).
    s-ex
    c-um.........as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, etc.
    sp-ic........as in disp-icable (look out Sylvester the cat!)
    ho-mo...whether ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, etc.
    t-it.........const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, etc.
    an-al......ban-al
    sh-it
    fu-ck...
    who-re
    tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, (an unexpected one)
    pr-ick
    sl-ut
    c-lit
    va-g....as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant
    hor-ny
    ar-se....yet "ass" is not filtered!
    nip-ple
    po-rn
    c-ock
    nig-ger
    cu-nt
    b-itch
    ra-pe
    jacka-ss...but ass is fine lol
    p-is.....as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, etc.
    soft-ware
    Ja-panese
    There are more, so do not assume that this is complete.
    -–
    okay words that you might not expect to be filtered....!!!
    beaver
    penis
    ass
    crap
    damn
    anal
    anus
    sphincter
    testicles
    testes
    pubic
    boob
    --

    Here's a word to add to the banned list: co-co-on
    whether it's c-oc, or co-on, this is ridiculous.”

    November 16, 2010 at 9:58 am |
    • CNN Moderation Filter tips - latest edition!

      bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN "awaiting moderation" filter:

      Many, if not most are buried within other words, but I am not shooting for the perfect list, so use your imagination if you can't find the offending letter combination.

      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ----–
      s-ex.....as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      fu-ck
      c-um.....as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, etc.
      sp-ic....as in disp-icable, etc.
      jacka-ss
      ho-mo....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, etc.
      who-re
      t-it.....as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, etc.
      sh-it
      tw-at....as in wristw-atch, etc.
      pr-ick
      va-g.....as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      hor-ny...as in tho-rny
      ra-pe....as in gr-ape, thera-peutic, etc.
      c-ock
      cu-nt....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      co-on....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      ar-se
      p-is.....as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, etc.
      nip-ple
      ft-w.....as in soft-ware
      sl-ut
      wt-f.....also!!!!!!!
      j-ap.....as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc...this is one I had forgotten,as I only encountered it elsewhere...
      ef-fing..as in ef-fing filter

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this is complete.
      -–
      okay words that you might have thought were bad...lol

      penis
      ass
      crap
      damn
      anal
      anus
      sphincter
      testicles
      testes
      pubic
      boob
      -–
      The CNN / WordPress filter also filters your EMAIL address and name as well – so you might want to check those.
      I have found the best way to re-submit is to hit the back button, look for and fix the problem, delete your cookies, and then hit "post".
      There are also "technical" ways past the filter to create "banned" words that are spelled correctly, like "html ent-ities" (google it without the dash) also known as unicode strings.

      p.s. All "Smilies" supported by this blog can be found at: en.support.wordpress.com/smilies/

      p.p.s. Reality, you aren't keeping up with the times! Get yourself modernized and quit using that old cruddy list. -SD 😛

      November 16, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
    • jeff

      @CNN Moderation Filter tips – never heard of regex, I guess?

      November 16, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
    • donavon

      ill somehow manage to not say shfincter in the belief blog. thanks for the warning

      November 16, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @donavon – you failed. Thanks for coming by.

      November 16, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
    • donavon

      lol- how do you figure sum dude?

      November 16, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @jeff – you have a suggestion on something we can add to the list to make it more helpful?
      Regex is not directly relevant to dealing with the CNN moderation filter, so I didn't include it.
      Have you really researched regex? It's a mess.
      We don't get a lot of web designers in here, so I'm just tryin' to keep it real. Thx.

      November 16, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @donavon
      You said, "ill somehow manage to not say shfincter in the belief blog. thanks for the warning"

      You DID manage to say "shfincter", so you failed. Simple. 😛

      November 16, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
    • donavon

      lol yeah you're right- i thought he was saying it was an outlawed word, so i spelled it differently- double fail.

      November 16, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @donavon
      lol
      That's my list, btw – but feel free to make your own or copy what I've made like Reality keeps doing.
      The idea is to help people post regardless of what they are trying to say. Anything we post belongs to CNN anyway, so there's not much of a copyright issue here. 😛
      Plus, I'd like to see more than just the usual polarized comments.

      November 16, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      Latest addition to the list:

      koo-ch...as in koo-chie koo-chie koo....it must be a baby filter and needs time to grow!

      November 16, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
  20. Baba Rum Raisin

    Islam - We're not evil.. we're just like you – only better. We're black, too. And now you've gone and 'annoyed' us.

    November 16, 2010 at 8:54 am |
    • Ironwil

      Wow. That was so funny and inventive.

      November 16, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
    • Eric R.

      I thought it was spot on. Pretty snarky.

      November 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.