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August 6th, 2013
06:26 PM ET

Islam's `Night of Power' and the terror alert

Opinion by Hussein Rashid, special to CNN

(CNN) - During Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, there is a night that I look forward to every year.

This night is called Laylat ul-Qadr, which translates as the “Night of Power” or the “Night of Destiny.”

It is the night when Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammed received the first revelation of the Quran. He was in a cave, praying, when he hears the angelic voice of Gabriel speaking to him, bearing him a revelation from God.

CNN's Peter Bergen thinks that this night has symbolic meaning for al Qaeda, and perhaps it does.

Bergen speculated that the holy night might be the reason behind the recent uptick in al Qaeda's activity and the corresponding closure of U.S. embassies in Africa and the Middle East. I remain unconvinced of the causal link that Bergen tries to establish.

READ MORE: Drone strikes kill militants in Yemen; Americans urged to leave

More importantly, such links between Islamic holy days and militancy allow al Qaeda to continue to define what Islam is. For them, Islam is not a religion with spirituality, but is a political movement, where the holiest of days are simply calendar markers to run campaigns.

The Quran asks of believers, “What is Laylat ul-Qadr?” While older translations favored “power” or “destiny,” newer translations of the Quran simply keep qadr.

To me, Laylat ul-Qadr emphasizes the divine wonder and awe that Muslims should feel, and it offers an opportunity, as Ramadan winds down, to commit oneself to the best of intentions and actions.

It reminds us, as believers, that it is a night when God’s power is immanent, and that we can choose our destiny. The one word encapsulates the relationship between Creator and created, and the multiple meanings of the word is part of the deliciousness that I savor.

In that moment when the Quran is revealed, God’s power is made apparent to Prophet Muhammad. We, as Muslims, understand the sanctified and holy nature of Muhammad, to be able to receive this revelation.

We also recognize his humanity, as he reacts with disbelief and awe. As Muslims, we stay up all night in prayer on Laylat ul-Qadr, to recreate that experience of Prophet Muhammad. While we cannot receive revelation, we hope to achieve that proximity to God.

Despite the important nature of this night, there is no consensus as to its exact date.

Tradition holds that it is an odd numbered night during the last ten days of Ramadan. For example, my community of Shiah Muslims – holds that it is the 23rd night of Ramadan.

Other communities will select the 19th or 21st. Some people will stay in prayer every odd numbered date during those ten nights to make sure they honor the occasion.

Because of this lack of specificity, and because of the traditional practices associated with Laylat ul-Qadr, I remain unconvinced of Bergen’s data correlation.

However, it is plausible, as I can imagine al Qaeda saying qadr means “power,” and arrogating the divine attribute for themselves. I am not willing to cede that ground to them.

​There is a beauty and spirituality in Islam that attractions hundreds of million people the world over. When I choose my destiny, al Qaeda will have no part in it, nor in defining my faith.

Hussein Rashid teaches at Hofstra University in the Department of Religion. He is an associate editor at Religion Dispatches, a term member on the Council on Foreign Relations and fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. The views expressed in this column belong to Rashid.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Holidays • Islam • Opinion • Ramadan • Religious violence • Terrorism

soundoff (204 Responses)
  1. TheTruth

    dhimmis will either get overrun or killed. look up the word. The only way to fight islam is by the sword.

    August 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • ME II

      Apparently, that term only applies to non-Muslims in an Islamic state.

      August 7, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  2. Salero21

    So... I see in many of the photos a lot of people hanging around the Mosques doing nothing. Many are even sleeping on the floor of these Mosques. I'm I the only one that sees something strange in that? Then, how can anyone ask in light of what is clearly seen, why these people are feeble minded?

    August 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Sneakers

      I know, they forgot their begging cans, cardboard signs and stray dogs.

      August 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Salero21

      Reported

      August 7, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
      • Salero21

        Are you just a child of the devil or the Devil's child?

        August 7, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Huh?

      What?

      August 7, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  3. Sneakers

    Solve a layer of physics down to the next level and you are in a different universe. Solve new laws of physics and you advance again. New universes are infinite.

    The trigger: when enough multi-verses are normalized, they intersect. There is no “science” to it. Change 0 and you have found another universe. In other words, 1 is now zero. New universe.

    August 7, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      "Crack is whack"

      August 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • ME II

      Planck might disagree.

      August 7, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
  4. Apple Bush

    A man once achieved notoriety when he plastered the walls, ceiling and floor of an entire room with memorabilia from his life. The most sacred of all life’s moments were represented. Birth, marriage, death.

    When he sold the house a few weeks later, he was asked why.

    The man said, “Because I want to see how the new owners will choose to decorate the room.” He snapped a photograph of the house and walked away.

    August 7, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      ok

      August 7, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Salero21

      In any season atheism is stupidity in Full bloom.

      August 7, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
      • Salero21

        Reported.

        August 7, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
  5. The Central Scrutinizer

    There are those who are religious that are considered fine, and those that are religious that are considered insane. Then there is Spam.

    August 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      For those of you who do not know, King Kukalaka pleaded with the gods to wrap the spam in seaweed with rice. And it was done.

      August 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        E pili mau na pomaika'i me 'oe

        August 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
      • Your Elephant God

        Thanks to the Haole Ghost?

        August 7, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • The Central Scrutinizer

          The Haole ghost made Spam Burgers?

          August 7, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          He got a special dispensation from the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

          August 7, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      We've got Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Spam,
      Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism and Spam,
      Zoroastrianism, Wicca, Buddhism and Spam,
      Baha'i, Jainism, Shinto and Spam,
      Sikhism, Scientology, Rastafarianism and Spam,

      and of course

      Spam, Spam, Spam and Spam.

      August 7, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
  6. The Central Scrutinizer

    If CNN locks you out of the blog, I know how the work around, just ask. You just have to hide your IP with a VPN.

    August 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Imaginary vocals and imaginary guitar notes exist only in the imagination of the imaginer.

      August 7, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      Ok....and.....

      August 7, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        You said those words first. You should explain their significance to me.

        August 7, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
        • The Central Scrutinizer

          I am not your IT instructor. I said exactly what I meant to say and it will my perfect sense to many, none to you.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I don't think you get it.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • The Central Scrutinizer

          Get what? I don't even think you were responding to the right post.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          You call yourself The Central Scrutinizer. Think about where the character of The Central Scrutinizer originates, then you'll get it.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
        • The Central Scrutinizer

          Ok, let's see. CS, Frank Zappa, Joe's Garage.... The CS enforces the laws that have not been passed yet, which I am doing....Ah! so the garage band??

          August 7, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          "Imaginary vocals and imaginary guitar notes exist only in the imagination of the imaginer" is a lyric prior the the epic Watermelon in Easter Hay solo.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
        • The Central Scrutinizer

          I see. You got me on that one!

          August 7, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Or, you could just abide by the user agreement. Oh wait, that means you'd have free will. Never mind.

      August 7, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
      • Alison Tschains

        Same stale sarcasm...not as clever as you think, Bill.

        August 7, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
  7. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    While older translations favored “power” or “destiny,” newer translations of the Quran simply keep qadr.

    Surely if you speak Arabic, translations are not required? Doubtless there is still room for interpretation.

    August 7, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Putrid protein

      I am on vacation and the Gideon's left a Qur'an AND a Bible in the hotel room. I have never seen that before.

      August 7, 2013 at 11:54 am |
      • Handy Hint

        Doubtful that you have a printer handy, but here's something you could slip into or onto The Bible. I'll bet there's a Quran adaptation of the warning too that you could find.

        "Warning: Someone has placed this book here in an attempt to recruit you for their religion. They want you to believe that this is literally a magic book; however, its contents are not based on reason, logic, or factual evidence. This book is a collection of selected Middle Eastern folk histories eventually written down by people who lived well after the time of Jesus, and has been selectively edited since that time. The stories originated from uneducated Iron-Age men who were likely prone to superst.itious explanations for everything in the world around them. Most of the themes, and many of the details, are clearly derived from earlier mythology in the Mediterranean and Middle East.

        Nevertheless, this book is being presented to you not only as fact, but as inerrant words dictated by the one supreme supernatural force in the universe (the Christian God), and someone is attempting to convince you to reorient your entire life according to it. The reader is encouraged to take that seriously, to weigh the statements in this book against research and observations on the knowable world, and to consider them in relation to the thousands of other religions from throughout history that also profess with absolute certainty to be the one “Truth.”

        Why the warning? Because this book indeed has been placed here to recruit you to join and serve a specific religious group, and because religious absolutism in all of its forms has been a significant impediment to rational thought, to advances in science and medicine, to social justice, and to world peace. Despite claims of loving benevolence, Christianity has also been used to justify war, slavery, se.xism, racism, h.omophobia, mutilations, intolerance, and oppression of minorities. There are many good reasons to question religion as a force for good among humanity. Please consider these issues as you reflect upon the claims made in this book."

        August 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
      • Putrid protein

        Interesting. I was kidding of course.

        August 7, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
      • Your Elephant God

        And the Hindu Bible is not far behind:

        https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/12/hindu-holy-book-coming-to-a-nightstand-near-you/comment-page-3/

        August 7, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        I have stayed in hotel rooms with a Bible and a Qu'ran. I have stayed in rooms with a Bible and the Book of Mormon (boy is that a fun, meaning odd, read).

        Naturally the Gideon's only place the bible.

        August 7, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I liked reading the Qu'ran.

      August 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
  8. Goodbye Horses

    Fuckfarts. This article is awful.

    August 7, 2013 at 10:42 am |
  9. Ken

    God already revealed Himself to mankind in the form of Jesus Christ and through the word as written in the Bible.
    Why would God need a messenger again 7 centuries later only to nullify what His revelation and in what Jesus said and did? The Bible clearly says that you cannot add or remove to the word as written in the Bible, every other religion that follows this revelation is therefore not true.

    August 7, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      God revealed himself through Abraham and had to do it again, and Noah, and Moses, so why is it so hard to believe god would have to do it again. Notice the common denominator, god keeps scewing it up.

      Unless it is all just a bunch of Bronze age fairy tales....then it makes perfect sense.

      August 7, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      There is no evidence of any divinity regarding Jesus. It's possible he didn't even exist as a man, so claiming he is a god or a messenger of a god is ridiculous.

      August 7, 2013 at 10:52 am |
      • Reality

        From Professors Crossan and Watts' book, Who is Jesus.

        "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

        “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

        “While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "

        “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

        I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

        See also Professor Crossan's reviews of the existence of Jesus in his other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

        Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published similar books with appropriate supporting references.

        Part of Crossan's The Historical Jesus has been published online at books.google.com/books.

        There is also a search engine for this book on the right hand side of the opening page. e.g. Search Josephus

        See also Wikipedia's review on the historical Jesus to include the Tacitus' reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

        From ask.com,

        "One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals, exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not blunt) writing style.

        Then there are these scriptural references:

        Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

        Added suggested readings:

        o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

        2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
        – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

        30-60 CE Passion Narrative
        40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
        50-60 1 Thessalonians
        50-60 Philippians
        50-60 Galatians
        50-60 1 Corinthians
        50-60 2 Corinthians
        50-60 Romans
        50-60 Philemon
        50-80 Colossians
        50-90 Signs Gospel
        50-95 Book of Hebrews
        50-120 Didache
        50-140 Gospel of Thomas
        50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
        50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
        65-80 Gospel of Mark
        70-100 Epistle of James
        70-120 Egerton Gospel
        70-160 Gospel of Peter
        70-160 Secret Mark
        70-200 Fayyum Fragment
        70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
        73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
        80-100 2 Thessalonians
        80-100 Ephesians
        80-100 Gospel of Matthew
        80-110 1 Peter
        80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
        80-130 Gospel of Luke
        80-130 Acts of the Apostles
        80-140 1 Clement
        80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
        80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
        80-250 Christian Sibyllines
        90-95 Apocalypse of John
        90-120 Gospel of John
        90-120 1 John
        90-120 2 John
        90-120 3 John
        90-120 Epistle of Jude
        93 Flavius Josephus
        100-150 1 Timothy
        100-150 2 Timothy
        100-150 T-itus
        100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
        100-150 Secret Book of James
        100-150 Preaching of Peter
        100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
        100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
        100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
        100-160 2 Peter

         4. Jesus Database, http://www.faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/intro.html –"The JESUS DATABASE is an online a-nnotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
        5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
        6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.o-rg/wiki/Jesus_Seminar
        7. http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/785509/item785509biblicalartifacts.html – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT
        8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
        9.The Gn-ostic Jesus
        (Part One in a Two-Part Series on A-ncient and Modern G-nosticism)
        by Douglas Gro-othuis: http://www.equip.o-rg/articles/g-nosticism-and-the-g-nostic-jesus/
        10. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
        Presented on March 18, 1994
        ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
        11. The Jesus Database- newer site:
        wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
        12. Jesus Database with the example of S-u-pper and Eucharist:
        faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/jdb016.html
        13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
        mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
        13. http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/jesus.htmm- Historical Jesus Studies
        14. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
        15. D-iseases in the Bible:
        http://books.google.com/books/about/The_d-iseases_of_the_Bible.html?id=C1YZAAAAYAAJ

        16. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
        theologians, ethics, etc.
        religion-online.o-rg/

         17. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
        18. Writing the New Testament- e-xisting copies, o-ral tradition etc.
        ntgateway.com/
        19. JD Crossan's c-onclusions about the a-uthencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the c-onclusions of other NT e-xege-tes in the last 200 years:
        http://wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.p-hp?t-itle=Crossan_Inventory
        20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
        21. Luke and Josephus- was there a c-onnection?
        in-fidels.o-rg/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
        22. NT and beyond time line:
        pbs.o-rg/empires/pe-terandpaul/history/timeline/
        23. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
        harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
        24. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
        25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
        27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
        28. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
        29. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

        August 7, 2013 at 11:24 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I merely hypothesized. I believe in the historical Jesus.

          August 7, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • Thinker...

          Reality, please stop posting your giant walls of text. Give a link to the info or something. The giant text walls are just annoying and most people don't read them. As far as I'm concerened I actually prefer Lionlylamb's innane ramblings to your text walls.

          August 7, 2013 at 11:53 am |
        • Reality

          For the reading-challenged:

          • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

          • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

          • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

          • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

          • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

          August 7, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
      • Reality

        Thinker,

        That is why they have the scroll bar. And most readers want proof i.e. more than one reference to make a point.

        August 7, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          I'm with thinker on this one. They're too much.

          August 7, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Ken

      Believing in Christ as the Savior is a personal choice. As far as His divinity, IT IS WRITTEN!

      August 7, 2013 at 11:08 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        So is The Lord of the Rings. Why not worship Sauron?

        August 7, 2013 at 11:09 am |
        • Ken

          It is your choice to worship God or gods as you have listed.

          August 7, 2013 at 11:11 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I agree completely. It's an individuals choice what they wish to believe in or not believe in, but that doesn't mean I can't criticize irrational beliefs and behavior.

          August 7, 2013 at 11:13 am |
        • Thinker...

          No no no no. You don't worship Sauron! He isn't even a god! If you like evil you worship his boss Melkor. If you like good you pick one of the other gods or Illuvatar/Eru as he is the creator! It's odd, but that would probably be a better religion than the current ones; the gods don't care if you believe in them or not, only that you oppose evil when you see it.

          What's funny is that the Silmarillion actually helped me realise that the bible was just as imaginary. Once I realised I was starting to believe a work of fiction that was the beginning of the end of my theism.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Duly noted.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Ken, Belief is not a choice. That is a lie religion spreads to make sense of its non-sense. I can't suddenly believe my father is an alien and is from Pluto. People are given information and decide if the information is valid or invalid or undetermined. If one presupposes the information is valid BEFORE critically evaluating it, that is a receipe for delusion, and that is what religion wants, especially CHristianity.

        August 7, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • Ken

          Being a Christian is definitely a choice a person has to make for themselves. A person is not by default a Christian because their parents are Christian.

          August 7, 2013 at 11:27 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Ken, you are right, indocrination typically has to take place in order to believe things that can't be demonstrated. It is a hallmark of faulty logic to accept a premise without properly vetting the evidence first.

          How many times have you been told not to believe things just because they are written down....and yet you and every religious leader ask people to do just that. Religion would rather people just accept their claims without further thought. Look at what you wrote above...."IT IS WRITTEN".....so what?

          August 7, 2013 at 11:49 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Do you believe Britain is an island? How can you be certain?

          August 7, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Yes Bill I can be as certain of that as anything else that can be tested and verified. I can go to Britain and sail around it. I can then walk around the coast and end up in the same spot as I started. I can read other peoples accounts of doing the same thing. I can look at satelite images and maps. I can also note there is not a credible claim or dissention that it is not an Island. If I accept your premise I would have to question the very concept of reality. Your question is not just absurd it is patronizing and can be rejected out of hand.

          Your religious claims about your god don't even compare. You can't even demonstrate some Deistic version of a god much less the Catholic version you espouse.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
        • MD

          How many times have you been told you have to a footfall star or some other ball game star or some other star by your parents? Did that indoctrination help?

          August 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          MD,

          I think I get what you are tying to say but I really don't think that is a good comparison to being told something by your parents, and other authority figures, is literally true and yet when questioned they cannot produce 1 shred of verifiable evidence.

          Wanna try again?

          August 7, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
  10. Lateralus

    "He was in a cave, praying, when he hears the angelic voice of Gabriel"

    Hmmmmm now who was he praying to?
    Since the "message" wasnt yet revealed to him how did he know to whom or what to pray?

    August 7, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Arabic Abrahamism existed before Islam.

      August 7, 2013 at 10:39 am |
      • Lateralus

        Great, that doesn't prove that was what Muhammad believed. Perhaps you can provide a source?
        Most Arabs were polytheist at the time.

        August 7, 2013 at 10:59 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I never said anything about what Muhammed said being true nor did I say most Arabs weren't polytheist (although animist is probably a more accurate description). All I said was that some Arabs were Abrahamists pre-Islam.

          August 7, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Rick

      What is 'Abrahamists"???

      August 7, 2013 at 11:10 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Those who follow one of the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Bahá'i, Christianity and Islam) or the Abrahamic deity (Yahweh).

        August 7, 2013 at 11:15 am |
        • Rick

          Did you coin this word 'Abrahamists? You need to study before you loosely coin definitions.

          August 7, 2013 at 11:24 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Are you retarded?

          August 7, 2013 at 11:27 am |
      • Marty

        @Rick, as you can see, ignorance is bliss for some tools.

        August 7, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Who's ignorant?

          August 7, 2013 at 11:32 am |
        • Rick

          Spouting nonsense and betraying ignorance make it look like a real fool.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          What nonsense? Is it my fault you never heard the word Abrahamist before?

          August 7, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
      • Alison Tschains

        Yes, Rick is apparently retarded.

        August 7, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
  11. Honey Badger Don't Care

    Just another group of delusional fools duped into believing something that someone made up.

    The Arabic culture was a great source of learning until it was corrupted by religion. So sad.

    August 7, 2013 at 8:36 am |
  12. Reality

    Gabriel never existed!!!!!! No Gabriel, no communiques from heaven and therefore Islam has no foundation!!!

    from Google Translate:
    غابرييل لم تكن موجودة!!!!!! لا غابرييل، لا بالبيانات من السماء، وبالتالي لا يوجد لديه أساس الإسلام

    And of course no Gabriel makes Ramadan a waste of time.

    Added details are available upon written request:

    August 7, 2013 at 7:50 am |
    • Lawrence

      Emotionalism always hides lack of study. Immediate dismissal lends itself more to opinionated impulses rather than learned discourse.

      August 7, 2013 at 7:55 am |
      • Reality

        As requested:

        From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi----–

        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!!!)

        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.

        The First Five of the 77 Branches:

        "1. Belief in Allah"

        aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-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 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!!!!

        Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

        Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

        August 7, 2013 at 8:00 am |
        • Lawrence

          Well, you misunderstand me – I agree with you in one aspect, that Islam is an apostate faith, a false representation of the truth. What I disagree with you on is the existence of the miraculous, and the supernatural.

          August 7, 2013 at 8:06 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Lawrence,

          ALL religions are a false representation of the truth.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:44 am |
        • Reality

          For Lawrence:

          The Apostles'/Agnostics’ Creed 2013: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

          Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
          and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
          human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

          I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
          preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
          named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
          girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

          Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
          the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

          He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
          a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
          Jerusalem.

          Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
          many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
          and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
          Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
          grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
          and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
          called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

          Amen
          (references used are available upon request)

          August 7, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  13. Lawrence

    I've never understood how the Quran can compell people to read the Holy Bible, since they believe that BOTH are from God, but the Bible says "If we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than what we have preached, let him be accursed..." And Islamists believe that their text was received from an angel, and it certainly IS different from the Bible... Truely, Islamists are accursed if they will not repent of their sins of beleiving in a god who is no god.

    August 7, 2013 at 7:25 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Believers in things that can't be demonstrated (religions) have very little problem rationalizing their own beliefs. You are proof of that as well.

      August 7, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • ME II

      @Lawrence,
      I think Muslims believe that all Abrahamic religions come from the same source and were spoken of accurately by various prophets, Adam, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, etc.
      Now whether their words were recorded correctly and preserved in today's Bible is another story.
      Do you believe in the Gospel of Thomas, Judas, etc.?
      Most Christian denominations, when pressed will revert to belief in the Bible, or scripture, "in all the original autographs", or some such variation.

      August 7, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  14. Abdullah

    An accurate rebuttal to the made-up story of Bergen. Of course all dick, hairy, and idiot are Islam-experts these days, Bergen is no exception.
    But the Islamophobes commenters can't take anything non-negative about Islam. They are full of hatred.

    August 7, 2013 at 6:27 am |
  15. Islam Indonesia always peace and love

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC6OmI1f0rw&w=640&h=360]

    Watch this video and you will find , what is islam and kultur in Indonesia. the beautiful country.

    August 7, 2013 at 3:41 am |
    • Reality

      During a major upheaval in Indonesia in the late 1990s, s-ex-crazed Muslim men gang-ra-ped dozens of Chinese women in shops, homes and even in the streets, shouting in Arabic, “Allahu Akbar!” (God is great!)*

      *http://www.colorq.org/humanrights/Indonesia/Jakarta.htm

      August 7, 2013 at 7:57 am |
      • Reality

        o Islam gives women almost no rights and treats them like fodder for the male species as so bluntly noted by Aya-an Hi-rsi Ali in her autobiography, In-fidel.

        "Thus begins the extraordinary story of a woman born into a family of desert nomads, circu-mcised as a child, educated by radical imams in Kenya and Saudi Arabia, taught to believe that if she uncovered her hair, terrible tragedies would ensue. It's a story that, with a few different twists, really could have led to a wretched life and a lonely death, as her grandmother warned. But instead, Hi-rsi Ali escaped – and transformed herself into an internationally renowned spokeswoman for the rights of Muslim women."

        ref: Washington Post book review.

        some excerpts:

        "Some of the Saudi women in our neighborhood were regularly be-aten by their husbands. You could hear them at night. Their scre-ams resounded across the courtyards. "No! Please! By Allah!"

        "The Pakistanis were Muslims but they too had cas-tes. The Untou-chable girls, both Indian and Pakistani were darker skin. The others would not play with them because they were unt-ouchable. We thought that was funny because of course they were tou-chable: we to-uched them see? but also hor-rifying to think of yourself as un-touchable, des-picable to the human race."

        "Between October 2004 and May 2005, eleven Muslim girls were ki-lled by their families in just two regions (there are 20 regions in Holland). After that, people stopped telling me I was exa-ggerating."

        "The kind on thinking I saw in Saudi Arabia and among the Brotherhood of Kenya and Som-alia, is incompatible with human rights and liberal values. It preserves the feu-dal mind-set based on tr-ibal concepts of honor and shame. It rests on self-deception, hypro-cricy, and double standards. It relies on the technologial advances of the West while pretending to ignore their origin in Western thinking. This mind-set makes the transition to modernity very painful for all who practice Islam".

        August 7, 2013 at 7:58 am |
  16. Ramadan Kareem

    Hope you were able to make the most of the Night of Power. Nothing brings peace to the heart more than the spiritual connection to our Lord.

    August 7, 2013 at 3:16 am |
    • Putrid protein

      Nothing happened over here. Just drinking and smoking.

      August 7, 2013 at 3:25 am |
    • Howard

      Unfortunately for peace-loving Muslims everywhere, as long as they keep the Prophet on a pedestal, a prophet who spread his faith with an army and violence, it will be difficult for peace-loving members of other religions to take Islam seriously. Muslims would do well to consider that it is possible to praise the Prophet for the good that he did while also disavowing the violence he committed.

      August 7, 2013 at 4:39 am |
      • BIll

        nice twist on things, there are always two sides to a conflict, what you saw as violence, others saw as defense and a response to oppression. get your facts straight. his military campaigns were to defend Islam, not to spread it. It was the caliphs that came after his death that spread Islam. There were no military campaigns to spread Islam under Muhammads leadership outside the arabian peninsula.

        August 7, 2013 at 5:59 am |
        • Reality

          Obviously, Mohammed's message got lost somewhere:

          To wit:

          As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

          The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

          ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

          and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

          and more recently

          1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

          1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

          2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

          3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. Iraqi civilians killed as of 05/10/2013/, 113,249-123,978 mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

          4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

          5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

          6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

          7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

          8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

          9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

          10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

          11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

          12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

          13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

          14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

          15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

          16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

          17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

          18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

          19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

          20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

          21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

          22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

          23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

          o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT
          o
          BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.
          The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."

          25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

          (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

          26 ) September 12, 2012
          U.S. AMBASSADOR KILLED
          Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

          27) Boston Marathon horror – April 2013, four dead, hundreds injured and maimed for life. A
          Continued below:

          August 7, 2013 at 7:54 am |
  17. Derp

    Al-Qaeda probably translated in English to "the boogeyman."

    August 7, 2013 at 2:58 am |
    • Putrid protein

      Dumb probably translates to Derp.

      August 7, 2013 at 3:15 am |
  18. Putrid protein

    You can't know until the real fear is played before you.

    August 7, 2013 at 2:47 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Adorn thyself then with stink and sludge, for that is all.

      August 7, 2013 at 2:50 am |
    • Putrid protein

      At the time it seemed lovely. Then the fools opened the cabinet. The dust settling far and wide.

      August 7, 2013 at 3:13 am |
  19. Apple Bush

    Too much is bad, but way too much is amazing.

    August 7, 2013 at 2:24 am |
    • Apple Bush

      We didn't know.

      August 7, 2013 at 2:42 am |
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About this blog

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.