Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Islam is the final expression of Adam's religion  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 18/04/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - Arab News) A winner of the 2003 wilbur award for best book of the year on a religious theme author and poet appearing on ted koppel's 'nightline" documenting the haj michael wolfe describes his motivations for accepting islam.

i could not have drawn up a list of demands but i had a fair idea of what i was after. the religion i wanted should be to metaphysics as metaphysics is to science. it would not be confined by a narrow rationalism or traffic in mystery to please its priests. there would be no priests no separation between nature and things sacred. there would be no war with the flesh if i could help it. sex would be natural not the seat of a curse upon the species. finally i did want a ritual component daily routine to sharpen the senses and discipline my mind. above all i wanted clarity and freedom. i did not want to trade away reason simply to be saddled with a dogma.

the more i learned about islam the more it appeared to conform to what i was after.

most of the educated westerners i knew around this time regarded any strong religious climate with suspicion. they classified religion as political manipulation or they dismissed it as a medieval concept projecting upon it notions from their european past.

it was not hard to find a source for their opinions. a thousand years of western history had left us plenty of fine reasons to regret a path that led through so much ignorance and slaughter. from the children's crusade and the inquisition to the transmogrified faiths of nazism and communism during our century whole countries have been exhausted by belief. nietzsche's fear that the modern nation-state would become a substitute religion has proved tragically accurate. our century it seemed to me was ending in an age beyond belief which believers inhabited as much as agnostics.

regardless of church affiliation secular humanism is the air westerners breathe the lens we gaze through. like any worldview this outlook is pervasive and transparent. it forms the basis of our broad identification with democracy and with the pursuit of freedom in all its countless and beguiling forms. immersed in our shared preoccupations one may easily forget that other ways of life exist on the same planet.

at the time of my trip for instance 650 million muslims with a majority representation in 44 countries (now 57) adhered to the formal teachings of islam. in addition about 400 million more were living as minorities in europe asia and the americas. assisted by postcolonial economics islam has become in a matter of 30 years a major faith in western europe. of the world's great religions islam alone was adding to its fold.

my politicized friends were dismayed by my new interest. they all but universally confused islam with the machinations of some muslim tyrants. the books they read the new broadcasts they viewed depicted the faith as a set of political functions. almost nothing was said of its spiritual practice. i liked to quote mae west to them: 'anytime you take religion for a joke the laugh's on you."

historically a muslim sees islam as the final matured expression of an original religion reaching back to adam. it is as resolutely monotheistic as judaism whose major prophets islam reveres as links in a progressive chain culminating in jesus and muhammad (peace be upon them). essentially a message of renewal islam has done its part on the world stage to return the forgotten taste of life's lost sweetness to millions of people. its book the qur'an caused goethe to remark 'you see this teaching never fails; with all our systems we cannot go and generally speaking no man can go further.

traditional islam is expressed through the practice of five pillars. declaring one's faith prayer charity and fasting are activities pursued repeatedly throughout one's life. conditions permitting each muslim is additionally charged with undertaking a pilgrimage to makkah once in a lifetime. the arabic term for this fifth rite is haj. scholars relate the word to the concept of 'qasd' 'aspiration" and to the notion of men and women as travelers on earth. in western religions pilgrimage is a vestigial tradition a quaint folkloric concept commonly reduced to metaphor. among muslims on the other hand the haj embodies a vital experience for millions of new pilgrims every year. in spite of the modern content of their lives it remains an act of obedience a profession of belief and the visible expression of a spiritual community. for a majority of muslims the hajj is an ultimate goal the trip of a lifetime.

as a convert i felt obliged to go to makkah. as an addict to travel i could not imagine a more compelling goal.

the annual month-long fast of ramadan precedes the haj by about one hundred days. these two rites form a period of intensified awareness in muslim society. i wanted to put this period to use. i had read about islam; i (attended) a mosque near my home in california; i had started a practice. now i hoped to deepen what i was learning by submerging myself in a religion where islam infuses every aspect of existence.

i planned to begin in morocco because i knew that country well and because it followed traditional islam and was fairly stable. the last place i wanted to start was in a backwater full of uproarious sectarians. i wanted to paddle the mainstream the broad calm water.

concluded

n courtesy of islamreligion.com


 






  MENA News Headlines
 Aug 30 2014 - Syrian rebels attack peacekeepers in Golan HeightsArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) BEIRUT: Clashes erupted between Al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels and UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights on Saturday after the militants surrounded their encampment activists and ...

 Aug 30 2014 - World's first digital currency from Ecuador central bankArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) QUITO: Ecuador is planning to create what it calls the world's first digital currency issued by a central bank which some analysts believe could be a first step toward abandoning ...

 Aug 30 2014 - Japan's 'Golden Bolt': 103-year-old challenges world's fastest manArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) KYOTO Japan: Closing in on his 104th birthday a twinkle-toed Japanese sprinter has thrown down the challenge to the world's fastest man Usain Bolt telling him: 'let's ...

 Aug 30 2014 - Cricket: Sri Lanka overpower Pakistan to win ODI seriesArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) DAMBULLA: Seamer Thisara Perera claimed 4-34 and Tillakartane Dilshan hit an unbeaten 50 as Sri Lanka trounced Pakistan by seven wickets in the final one-dayer on Saturday to ...

 Aug 30 2014 - EU's Barroso warns Ukraine crisis near 'point of no return'Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) BRUSSELS: EU Commission head Jose Manual Barroso warned on Saturday that the crisis in Ukraine was reaching the point of no return after reports Russian troops were fighting in ...

 Aug 30 2014 - Egypt court gives 8 Brotherhood leaders life sentencesArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) CAIRO: A Cairo court has sentenced Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Mohammed Badie and seven others to life in prison on charges of planning riots murder and sabotage Egypt's ...

 Aug 30 2014 - Various projects enhance tourist potential in DuqmMuscat Daily
(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) The Special Economic Zone at Duqm is witnessing implementation of many tourism projects that strengthen the potentials of the zone to attract tourists and ...

 Aug 30 2014 - Ruthless activities of IS 'against islamic principles'Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) KOZHIKODE: The ISIS or their self proclaimed Khalifates/Islamic state does not represent Islam by any means Sheikh Aboobacker Ahmed general secretary of All India Sunni ...

 Aug 30 2014 - Back to school: Students aim to scale new heightsArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) An estimated 5.6 million boys and girls will go to school in the Kingdom when schools reopen after the summer and Ramadan vacations on Sunday.In a statement to the Saudi Press ...

 Aug 30 2014 - Al-Asheikh: Name and shame fraudstersArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Grand Mufti Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh called for drafting a list of those who are involved in forging real estate deeds valued at SR400 billion. 'Their names should be made public to ...

more...


 






Google

Live Currency Rates

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help