Walking down memory lane on the Hajj of 2002 (1422H)

10 Zulhijjah 1437H | 12 Sept 2016

Today, 10 Zulhijjah 1437H (12 Sept 2016) is Eidul Adha, known in our part of the world as Hari Raya Haji or the Feast of the Sacrifice. Muslims the world over celebrate Eidul Adha to commemorate the ever readiness of Prophet Abraham (alahi salam) to submit to the Will of Allah pertaining to His command to sacrifice his only begotten son Ishmael (a.s.) which Abraham did, but was instantaneously turned to a miracle of the sacrifice of a ram, as the devoted father was about to slaughter his doting child.

However, being human, it was not easy for Abraham (a.s.) to do this. Along the way in his submission to Allah, Syaitan (the Devil) tempted Abraham and his family by trying to dissuade them from carrying out God’s commandment, and Abraham drove Satan away by throwing pebbles at him. In commemorating this rejection of Satan, stones are thrown at the symbolic pillars during the Stoning-of-the-Devil rite of the Hajj.

For Muslims who can make it to the hajj – one of the five Arkanul Islam (Pillars of Islam) – the pilgrimage is all woven around the trials and tribulations faced by Abraham and his family, i.e. Ishmael and Siti Hajar (Hagar, the wife of Abraham).

As the pilgrims are making their way back again to Mina after their overnight stay at Muzdalifah in the wee hours of 10 Zulhijjah, I’m overwhelmed with my own experience of my first and only pilgrimage to the Holy Lands in February to March of 2002 – a total of 34 days – some 14 years ago, that my mind keeps tracking on the movement of the pilgrims since the Day of Tarwiyah on 8 Zulhijjah (10 Sept 2016).

The Hajj in a nutshell

  • Hajj Season

The haj season is of three months. Syawal, Zulkaedah and Zulhijjah (the last three months of the Hijri Taqwim or Islamic calendar) are known as the months of hajj (bulan-bulan haji). This is to be distinguished from the Sacred Months, which are four with the addition of Rejab (the 7th month of the Hijri taqwim). The Saudi government added another month – Muharram (the first month of an Islamic new year) as the month of Hajj. This is not right but we can understand because it is not easy to clear the town of Mecca in a short time after a pilgrimage involving millions of people. During my time, there was a record of 10 million people in Mecca because it was a Hajj Akhbar (Major Hajj) in which the Day of Arafah fell on a Friday. The 7 million locals joined the foreign pilgrims of 3 million, resulting in a massive throng of crowds.

Friday itself is described as an Eid day in a hadith. The day of Arafah is only an Eid for those who are in Arafah because they are gathered there, unlike those from the nearby regions, who only gather on the Day of the Feast of Sacrifice. What is meant here is that if the day of Arafah falls on a Friday, it is two Eids in one, which is reminiscent of the Hajj Wida (Last Hajj) of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in which the Day of Arafah fell on a Friday. The Saudi’s motive in adding an additional month to the haj season is to ensure things get going for umrah (the lesser pilgrimage) by 1 Safar instead of 1 Muharam. Very utilitarian indeed!

  • The Hajj Rites Made Simple

The official start of the Hajj rites is on 8 Zulhijjah (Sat, 10 Sept 2016) known as the Day of Tarwiyah. Pilgrims, however, must perform the Tawaf Qudum (Welcome Tawaf) first. Tawaf is the rite of circumambulating around the Kaaba seven times in an anti-clockwise direction

Its official end is the Tawaf Wida (Goodbye or Last Tawaf). Tawaf Wida can be undertaken anytime after the second of the three Stoning-of-the Devil rites on 12 Zulhijjah (Nafar Awal) or after the Tawaf Ifadah with Sa’i rite (whichever comes later) has been performed.

But even after all these rites have been performed, one is still not a hujaj if one failed to perform the rite of Standing (Wukf) at Arafah. This is based on a hadith: “Hajj is Wukuf at Arafah.” (Bukhari & Muslim). One may be at Arafah in the morning of 9 Zulhijah but if one leaves Arafah before Zuhr, the Wukuf rite is deemed as not being performed because the time for the start of Wukuf rite is on the onset of Zuhr in Arafah (about 5.18pm Singtime/M’sian time). But it’s alright that after leaving Arafah before Zuhr, one comes back to Arafah at any time after Zuhr.

The end of Wukuf is before Fajr on 10 Zulhijah i.e. just before the Fajr azan (call to prayer) begins in Arafah. The best time (afdal) to perform Wukuf is during some part of the day on 9 Zulhijah (after Zuhr) and some part of the night of 10 Zulhijah. Hence it’s not advisable to leave Arafah before the setting of the sun (Maghrib) because it may affect the validity of one’s hajj. Bear in mind that a new day in Islam begins with the onset of Maghrib. So on the onset of Maghrib at Arafah during the Day of Arafah, it’s already 10 Zulhijjah.

Eidul Adha on 10 Zulhijah is known as the Feast of the Sacrifice. The stoning of the Devil rite first begins on this day. But this is different from the three days of the Stoning-of-the-Devil rite that begins on the first of the Tasyrik Days on 11 Zulhijah in that the stoning on 10 Zulhijjah involves one jamrat (pillar) only i.e. the largest Aqabah pillar.

The stoning rite on the days of the Tasyrik, which involves stoning seven times at each of the three pillars on each day (Jamrah Ula, Jamrah Wusta and Jamrah Aqaba), is compulsory on the first two days of Tasyrik (Nafar Awal i.e. 11 and 12 Zulhijjah) and it is optional on the third day (13 Zulhijah). This gives rise to a haj express package for those who need to go back to their home urgently by skipping the last stoning rite (on13 Zulhijjah) and then move to Mecca before the sunset of 12 Zulhijjah to do their Tawaf Ifadah with Sa’i (the walk between two hillocks at Mecca seven times), followed by the Tawaf Wida; or after the stoning rite on 10 Zulhijjah, they straight away go to Mecca for Tawaf Ifada with Sa’i, then come back to Mina on the 11 and 12 Zulhijah for the stoning rites, and then before sunset on 12 Zulhijjah, move to Mecca for Tawaf Wida.

After the stoning rite on 10 Zulhijah, the male pigrims will have to perform the tahalul, which involves shaving the heads. The tahalul also marks the end of putting on the ihram (unstitched two pieces of white clothing) garb and the permissibility for the donning of normal attires. But conjugal relation with spouse is still a no-no until tawaf ifada and sai have been completed.

Except for wukuf, it is all right if one misses all the other hajj rites provided penance (dam) for the missed rites is performed. Dam takes the form of fasting for a certain days or feeding the poor and needy.

The Day of Tarwiyah – 8 Zulhijah (Sat, 10 Sept 2016)

Millions of pilgrims in their white ihram garb in Mecca will make their way to Mina, a city of tents. They will spend the night there and occupy their time with proclaiming intermittently the talbiah (the proclaimation of Labaik kallahuma labaik.. Here I come oh Allah…), doing the wirid, zikir and doa (supplications), performing supererogatory prayers and reciting the Quran. Other than these, they all are encouraged to have a good rest in preparation for the fast-paced rites on the Day of Arafah and the Feast of the Sacrifice.

The Day of Arafah – 9 Zulhijah (Sun, 11 Sept 2016)

On the morning of the 9 Zulhijjah, all the pilgrims in Mina will make their way to Arafah, another city of tents. The Day of Arafah is also called the Day of Wukuf but it’s a misnomer to think that just because it is also called the Day of Wukuf, the Wukuf rite begins in the morning. Wukuf rite begins on the onset of Zuhr at Arafah. It is makruh (reprehensible) for the pilgrims to fast on the Day of Arafah. But for Muslims worldwide who do not perform the hajj, the fast of Arafah is highly recommended (sunnat muakad) because it will nullify all the sins of the previous year and the coming year.

On the onset of Zuhr in Arafah, the pilgrims will intermittently fill their time with proclaiming the talbiyah, doa, wirid, zikir, prayers and reciting the Quran. After performing the jamak qasr (combined and shortened) prayers, there will be a khutbah wukuf/Arafah (the wukuf/Arafah sermon) inside the tent. This will be followed by the standing (wukuf) at Arafah outside the tent where supplications of the mutawiff (hajj guides) will be greeted with chorus of Aamiin and accompanied by sobs and teary eyes of the pilgrims.

Another aspect of the Day of Arafah is Allah will accept all doas (supplications) done during the time of Wukuf, whether one performs the pilgrimage or not. Not one ulama or the classical jurists had ever suggested this to mean that one who supplicates outside Saudi Arabia (non pilgrims) needs to synchronize the timing of their doa with the time of Wukuf in Arafah. The classical jurists in this case were not literalists who were unaware of time difference but none has ever advocated that the supplication one makes outside Saudi Arabia must be synchronized with the time of Wukuf at Arafah in order for the supplication to be accepted.

It is only in this modern period due to the “smartness” of phone with a time converter app that the issue of sychronising with the time in Arafah was raised by “smart” people to ensure one gets the best time for one’s supplication to be fulfilled. This is analogous to the issue of debating the occurrence of the Night of Power (Lailatul Qadr) in which some people were of the opinion that it could not even be on the odd night of the last 10 days of Ramadan, as that odd night in a particular location will be in the day or an even night in some other locations. This kind of talk has never been a major topic of discussion among the classical jurist, and they were not “illiterates” when it comes to time difference in different locations. Hence, for those who are outside Saudi Arabia, the best time to supplicate on the Day of Arafah is still during wukuf at Arafah regardless of the time difference. But if one wish to avoid this fruitless discussion, then just take the view that supplications at any point during the Day of Arafah are maqbulah (granted).

Spending the night at Muzdalifah

On the onset of azan maghrib on the Day of Arafah, the millions of pilgrims will make their way to Muzdalifah to stay there for the night and to collect pebbles. The distance between Arafah and Muzdalifah is very near, perhaps about 10 to 15 minutes journey by car but because of the massive throngs of pilgrims and their buses, it could take more than an hour to reach Muzdalifah due to the human and traffic snarls. As the night is already10 Zulhijjah, the Takbir Raya could also be heard intermittently with the Talbiyah.

For some jemaah (pilgrims) who do not have a place to stay at Muzdalifah, it’s required of them to just ‘mabit’ i.e. singgah or stop a while at Muzdalifah. This means at any point after midnight at Muzdalifah, some jemaah will start moving back to Mina, the encampment that they stayed on the Day of Tarwiyah. But they must first collect their pebbles at Muzdalifah for the stoning rites. They will have to collect at least 70 pebbles if they were going to stone till 13 Zulhijjah. Otherwise 49 pebbles will suffice. They should also be mindful not to collect killer pebbles because if they miss the pillars, it’ll be their fellow jemaah that they’ll be stoning.

Feast of the Sacrifice (Eidul Adha) – 10 Zulhijjah

On arrival at Mina in the wee hours of 10 Zulhijjah, the pilgrims will perform the first-stoning-of-the-devil rite at the biggest pillar – Jamratul Aqaba with seven pebbles. After this is done, there are two ways of continuing the rites.

  • The pilgrims will shave their head and go for Tahalul Awal – meaning that the restrictions imposed on them for donning the ihram are lifted except for conjugal relations with their spouse. This means they can now don their everyday attire. The restriction on conjugal relation will continue until after they have performed their Tawaf Ifada and Sa’i at Mecca; or
  • The pilgrims will immediately leave for Mecca to do their Tawaf Ifada and Sa’i and then shave their heads at Mecca (Tahalul Qubra), which means all the restrictions of their ihram state are lifted including having conjugal relation with spouse. They then proceed to Mina to prepare for either the two-day stoning rites (Nafar Awal) or the three-day stoning rites (Nafar Akhir) of the Tasyrik

The Hajj ends after Tawaf Wida is performed when one leaves Mecca for good.

Wallahu ‘alam bi sawab

 

p.s. Express hajj package refers to performing the haj for only six or seven days. This is achieved by arriving in Mecca on 5th or 6th Zulhijjah (or the last day before the Saudi airspace for hajj is closed) via hajj qiran. By 12 Zulhijjah, the pilgrims would have completed all the rites and can leave Mecca for good after performing the Tawaf Wida.

 

From Kazaris to Askenazim – The Second Wave of Yajuj wa Majuj (Gog Magog) (Part 2)

Overview of Part 1

When the Kazaria Kingdom first appeared at the place where Gog and Magog were quarantined by Dhul-Qarnayn in the early 7th Century of the Christian Era (CE), the Byzantium Empire and the Sassanian Empire (Persia) were then the two superpowers of the day.

The might of the Sassanids was waning after the Byzantium had defeated them in 627 CE. The Muslims led by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) were then the rising superstar of the day, and when Caliph Umar Ibn alKhattab conquered Persia, the Muslims became the new superpower, side by side with the Byzantium.

The Muslim armies soon conquered Syria, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and surrounded the Byzantine heartland (present-day Turkey) in a deadly semi-circle, which extended from the Mediterranean to the Caucasus and the southern shores of the Caspian.

But the Kazars fiercely resisted the Muslims’ forward movement through the Caucasus and the southern shores of the Caspian Sea. And it soon transpired that a new triangle of power emerged, consisting of the Muslims, Christian Byzantium and the newly emerged Khazar Kingdom of the North who acted not as a superpower but as a Third Force.

It fell to the Khazars to bear the brunt of the Muslim attack in its initial stages, and to protect the plains of Eastern Europe from the Muslims. Because of their unique geographical location within the cusp created on either side of the Caspian and Black Seas and the frightful stone barrier of the Caucasus Mountains along their southern border, defending their land was made considerably easier. This would not have been the case if Dhul-Qarnayn’s Iron Wall had remained intact. In fact the Khazars would not have even existed as a kingdom with the Wall still intact. This situation of geography was, according to historians, one of the major factors in shaping the history of Eastern Europe, the European continent, and ultimately the world.

The inability to traverse the Caucasus successfully, made it logistically impossible for the Muslim armies to create an effective siege against the Roman capital of Constantinople. Many western historians and scholars are of the view that had the Muslims been able to outflank the capital across the Caucasus and round the Black Sea, the fate of the Roman Empire would probably have been sealed. It was this fortuitous situation, coupled with the military barrier presented by the Khazars themselves that prevented Europe from coming under the crescent moon of Islam and creating a very different history than that which has been destined by the Almighty Allah.

Another predilection of western historians was the contribution of Charles Martel who was credited with saving Europe from Islam at the battle of Tours-Poitiers in 732 CE. This Anglicanized version of history does not, either by ignorance or design, consider the fact that the Franco defence of Western Europe would have been futile had not the Khazars stopped the Muslim onslaught from the east.

The astounding historical result of all this is that the Khazar kingdom was able, eventually, to set up and depose an emperor from the throne of the greatest ruling power on earth at that time – the Roman/Byzantine Empire. This, apparently, was only the beginning, though the records of antiquity, until recently, have largely lost sight of this historically obscure but immensely influential people.

Predilection with the Muslims’ failure to conquer Europe

At this juncture, a brief digression: It seems there is a penchant among many western historians to dwell with relish and rather gleefully on the failure of the Muslims to capture Constantinople. Edward Creasy, for instance, believes that had Charles Martel failed at Poitiers, Islam would probably have overrun Gaul, and perhaps the remainder of Western Europe. Gibbon made clear his belief that the Umayyad armies would have conquered from Japan to the Rhine, and even England, having the English Channel for protection, with ease, had Charles not prevailed. On another occasion, Creasy said “the great victory won by Charles Martel … gave a decisive check to the career of Arab conquest in Western Europe, rescued Christendom from Islam, [and] preserved the relics of ancient and the germs of modern civilization.”

This kind of gleefulness in historical analysis fell somewhat out of style in the 20th century, when historians such as Barnard Lewis contended that the Muslim Arabs had little intention of occupying northern France.

From the Muslim’s point of view, they had a duty to spread the words of Allah to the four corners of the world peacefully and war is only resorted if this peaceful condition was not attained. They also believed that this duty involved only the expenditure of their best efforts, and then putting their total trust in Allah for the outcome, as it is only Allah who will decide whether the outcome of their efforts will be successful or not. So failure didn’t really matter to them except that that was what Allah had willed which they accepted graciously.

And so when they were stopped by the Khazars in 652 CE in their forward march to the Caucasus, there was nothing really for them to cry profusely. They accepted the defeat, changed tack and move westward in fulfilling their duty to disseminate the words of God until in 711 CE, a Berber force of about 7,000 soldiers under Tariq ibn Ziyad, loyal to the Umayyad Emir of Damascus, Al-Walid I, entered the Iberian peninsula from North Africa. At the Battle of Guadalete, Tariq ibn Ziyad defeated King Roderic, thus initiating the start of the Muslim presence in Spain (Andalusia).

And again from Spain, they moved successfully to conquer some parts of Italy and France, and when Charles Martel finally defeated them in 732 CE, they took their defeat in their strides, and focused on ruling Spain for almost 800 years. But that doesn’t mean Constantinople was out of bound for the Muslims because if it is meant for them, Allah will give it to them. And indeed, Allah gave it to the Muslims when in 1453 CE, the Ottoman Caliphate of Turkey captured the capital of the Greco-Roman Empire. Then 21-year-old Mehmed the Conqueror, the seventh sultan of the Ottoman Empire led the Muslim armies, while his antagonist was the Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI Palailogos.

The capture of Constantinople (and two other Byzantine splinter territories soon thereafter) marked the end of the Roman Empire, an imperial state that had lasted for nearly 1,500 years. It dealt a massive blow to Christendom, as the Islamic Ottoman armies thereafter were left unchecked to advance into Europe without an adversary to their rear. After the conquest, Sultan Mehmed II transferred the capital of the Ottoman Empire from Edirne to Constantinople. Several Greek and other intellectuals fled the city before and after the siege, with the majority of them migrating particularly to Italy, which helped fuel the Renaissance.

The conquest of the city of Constantinople and the end of the Byzantine Empire was a key event in the Late Middle Ages, which also marks, for some historians, the end of the Middle Ages. There is no sense of glee in the historical analysis of the Muslim historians on the fall of Constantinople and the demise of the Roman/Byzantium Empire, in comparison to the relish and gleefulness of western historians towards the earlier failures of the Muslims to conquer Constantinople or Europe for that matter. To this day, Constantinople (Istanbul) remains in Muslim hands.

Back to the Khazars, an interesting side note to the legendary Khazarian ferocity again reveals their budding nature as negotiators and consummate politicians, a talent that only intensified under Talmudic Judaism. In The Thirteenth Tribe, Arthur Koestler tells of the Byzantine Emperor, Theodosius II, who was intent on securing the friendship of the warrior race, “but the greedy Khazar chieftain, named Karidach, considered the bribe offered to him inadequate, and sided with the Huns. Attila the Hun defeated Karidach’s rival chieftains, installed him as the sole ruler of the Akatzirs [a name given the “White Khazars”], and invited him to visit his court. Karidach thanked him profusely for the invitation, and went on to say that ‘it would be too hard on a mortal man to look into the face of a god. For, as one cannot stare into the sun’s disc, even less could one look into the face of the greatest god without suffering injury.’ Attila must have been pleased, for he confirmed Karidach in his rule.”

The death of Atilla the Hun, however, precipitated the collapse of the Hunnic empire and left an Eastern European power-vacuum which the Khazars eventually filled. They then proceeded to subjugate all other surrounding tribes to the extent that, shortly after their defeat, those tribes went virtually unmentioned in subsequent historical accounts. The Khazars had just swallowed them up, historically speaking. The most difficult time they encountered in their conquests was from the Bulgars, who were “crushingly defeated” around 641 CE, with a great many migrating westward toward the Danube, and eventually establishing what is now modern Bulgaria.

 Conversion to Judaism

The reason for the conversion of Khazars to Judaism has a lot to do with politics. They realized that the two superpowers then – the Christian Byzantium and the Muslims – looked at them condescendingly not only because of their pagan beliefs like phallus worship but more so because they were not monotheist like the two superpowers. The Khazars felt being subtly pressured by the Christian Byzantium on the one hand to convert them to Christianity, and on the other hand by the Muslims to convert them to Islam. Nevertheless, the two superpowers were still in fear of them because of their distinctive traits as a warlike people who were ruthlessly brutal, exclusively belligerent and skillfully talented at flattery and treachery.

In order to maintain their sense of independence i.e. free from the sphere of influence of either superpowers and to gain the respect of the two superpowers for being monotheistic like them, the Khagan (King of Khazar) decided to convert to Judaism in the 8th century CE.

With consummate skills, they asked both the Byzantium and the Muslims to dispatch their clergy to Khazaria in a debate about monotheism. It was said that when they debated with the Christian clergy, they posed a question to the clergy on which of the two religions – Judaism and Islam – was the true religion. The answer from the Christian cleric was Judaism. Then in their debate with the Muslim cleric, they asked which of the two religions – Judaism and Christianity – was the true religion, and the answer from the Muslim cleric was Judaism. Hence, the issue was settled for them and soon the King converted to Judaism. In those days, when the King converted to a certain religion, all his subjects followed en masse, and thus the Khazaria Kingdom became a Jewish nation.

A Muslim will take this story with a pinch of salt because in the Quran, Surah AlMaida (5), verse 82, Allah says: “You will surely find the most intense of the people in animosity towards the believers [to be] the Jews and those who associate others with Allah; and you’ll find the nearest to them in affection to the believers those who say, “We are Christians.” That is because among them are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant.” Hence, in the account above, either the debating skill of the Khazars had been exaggerated or the Muslims had sent a third rate cleric to debate with the Khazars.

In my next post, I will touch on the rise of Gog and Magog in Europe when the Kazars while on the run in Eastern Europe after their Empire and land were destroyed by the Asiatic Rus from Kiev at around 1048 CE, reinvent and transformed themselves into Askenazi Jews – the heir of Gog and Magog. But first, a preview of the havoc that they had wreak in Europe during the 20th century… Read on…

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A Jewish Defector Warns America

by Benjamin H. Freedman

Introductory Note: Benjamin H. Freedman was one of the most intriguing and amazing individuals of the 20th century. Mr. Freedman, born in 1890, was a successful Jewish businessman of New York City who was at one time the principal owner of the Woodbury Soap Company. He broke with organized Jewry after the Judeo-Communist victory of 1945, and spent the remainder of his life and the great preponderance of his considerable fortune, at least 2.5 million dollars, exposing the Jewish tyranny which has enveloped the United States. Mr. Freedman knew what he was talking about because he had been an insider at the highest levels of Jewish organizations and Jewish machinations to gain power over our nation. Mr. Freedman was personally acquainted with Bernard Baruch, Samuel Untermyer, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Kennedy, and John F. Kennedy, and many more movers and shakers of our times. This speech was given before a patriotic audience in 1961 at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., on behalf of Conde McGinley’s patriotic newspaper of that time, Common Sense. Though in some minor ways this wide-ranging and extemporaneous speech has become dated, Mr. Freedman’s essential message to us — his warning to the West — is more urgent than ever before.

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Here in the United States, the Zionists and their co-religionists have complete control of our government. For many reasons, too many and too complex to go into here at this time, the Zionists and their co- religionists rule these United States as though they were the absolute monarchs of this country. Now you may say that is a very broad statement, but let me show you what happened while we were all asleep.

What happened? World War I broke out in the summer of 1914. There are few people here my age who remember that. Now that war was waged on one side by Great Britain, France, and Russia; and on the other side by Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey.

Within two years Germany had won that war: not only won it nominally, but won it actually. The German submarines, which were a surprise to the world, had swept all the convoys from the Atlantic Ocean. Great Britain stood there without ammunition for her soldiers, with one week’s food supply — and after that, starvation. At that time, the French army had mutinied. They had lost 600,000 of the flower of French youth in the defense of Verdun on the Somme. The Russian army was defecting, they were picking up their toys and going home, they didn’t want to play war anymore, they didn’t like the Czar. And the Italian army had collapsed.

Not a shot had been fired on German soil. Not one enemy soldier had crossed the border into Germany. And yet, Germany was offering England peace terms. They offered England a negotiated peace on what the lawyers call a status quo ante basis. That means: “Let’s call the war off, and let everything be as it was before the war started.” England, in the summer of 1916 was considering that — seriously. They had no choice. It was either accepting this negotiated peace that Germany was magnanimously offering them, or going on with the war and being totally defeated.

While that was going on, the Zionists in Germany, who represented the Zionists from Eastern Europe, went to the British War Cabinet and — I am going to be brief because it’s a long story, but I have all the documents to prove any statement that I make — they said: “Look here. You can yet win this war. You don’t have to give up. You don’t have to accept the negotiated peace offered to you now by Germany. You can win this war if the United States will come in as your ally.” The United States was not in the war at that time. We were fresh; we were young; we were rich; we were powerful. They told England: “We will guarantee to bring the United States into the war as your ally, to fight with you on your side, if you will promise us Palestine after you win the war.” In other words, they made this deal: “We will get the United States into this war as your ally. The price you must pay is Palestine after you have won the war and defeated Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey.” Now England had as much right to promise Palestine to anybody, as the United States would have to promise Japan to Ireland for any reason whatsoever. It’s absolutely absurd that Great Britain, that never had any connection or any interest or any right in what is known as Palestine should offer it as coin of the realm to pay the Zionists for bringing the United States into the war. However, they did make that promise, in October of 1916. And shortly after that — I don’t know how many here remember it – – the United States, which was almost totally pro-German, entered the war as Britain’s ally.

I say that the United States was almost totally pro-German because the newspapers here were controlled by Jews, the bankers were Jews, all the media of mass communications in this country were controlled by Jews; and they, the Jews, were pro-German. They were pro-German because many of them had come from Germany, and also they wanted to see Germany lick the Czar. The Jews didn’t like the Czar, and they didn’t want Russia to win this war. These German-Jew bankers, like Kuhn Loeb and the other big banking firms in the United States refused to finance France or England to the extent of one dollar. They stood aside and they said: “As long as France and England are tied up with Russia, not one cent!” But they poured money into Germany, they fought beside Germany against Russia, trying to lick the Czarist regime.

Now those same Jews, when they saw the possibility of getting Palestine, went to England and they made this deal. At that time, everything changed, like a traffic light that changes from red to green. Where the newspapers had been all pro-German, where they’d been telling the people of the difficulties that Germany was having fighting Great Britain commercially and in other respects, all of a sudden the Germans were no good. They were villains. They were Huns. They were shooting Red Cross nurses. They were cutting off babies’ hands. They were no good. Shortly after that, Mr. Wilson declared war on Germany.

The Zionists in London had sent cables to the United States, to Justice Brandeis, saying “Go to work on President Wilson. We’re getting from England what we want. Now you go to work on President Wilson and get the United States into the war.” That’s how the United States got into the war. We had no more interest in it; we had no more right to be in it than we have to be on the moon tonight instead of in this room. There was absolutely no reason for World War I to be our war. We were railroaded into — if I can be vulgar, we were suckered into — that war merely so that the Zionists of the world could obtain Palestine. That is something that the people of the United States have never been told. They never knew why we went into World War I.

After we got into the war, the Zionists went to Great Britain and they said: “Well, we performed our part of the agreement. Let’s have something in writing that shows that you are going to keep your bargain and give us Palestine after you win the war.” They didn’t know whether the war would last another year or another ten years. So they started to work out a receipt. The receipt took the form of a letter, which was worded in very cryptic language so that the world at large wouldn’t know what it was all about. And that was called the Balfour Declaration.

The Balfour Declaration was merely Great Britain’s promise to pay the Zionists what they had agreed upon as a consideration for getting the United States into the war. So this great Balfour Declaration, that you hear so much about, is just as phony as a three dollar bill. I don’t think I could make it more emphatic than that.

That is where all the trouble started. The United States got in the war. The United States crushed Germany. You know what happened. When the war ended, and the Germans went to Paris for the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 there were 117 Jews there, as a delegation representing the Jews, headed by Bernard Baruch. I was there: I ought to know. Now what happened? The Jews at that peace conference, when they were cutting up Germany and parceling out Europe to all these nations who claimed a right to a certain part of European territory, said, “How about Palestine for us?” And they produced, for the first time to the knowledge of the Germans, this Balfour Declaration. So the Germans, for the first time realized, “Oh, so that was the game! That’s why the United States came into the war.” The Germans for the first time realized that they were defeated, they suffered the terrific reparations that were slapped onto them, because the Zionists wanted Palestine and were determined to get it at any cost.

That brings us to another very interesting point. When the Germans realized this, they naturally resented it. Up to that time, the Jews had never been better off in any country in the world than they had been in Germany. You had Mr. Rathenau there, who was maybe 100 times as important in industry and finance as is Bernard Baruch in this country. You had Mr. Balin, who owned the two big steamship lines, the North German Lloyd’s and the Hamburg-American Lines. You had Mr. Bleichroder, who was the banker for the Hohenzollern family. You had the Warburgs in Hamburg, who were the big merchant bankers — the biggest in the world. The Jews were doing very well in Germany. No question about that. The Germans felt: “Well, that was quite a sellout.”

It was a sellout that might be compared to this hypothetical situation: Suppose the United States was at war with the Soviet Union. And we were winning. And we told the Soviet Union: “Well, let’s quit. We offer you peace terms. Let’s forget the whole thing.” And all of a sudden Red China came into the war as an ally of the Soviet Union. And throwing them into the war brought about our defeat. A crushing defeat, with reparations the likes of which man’s imagination cannot encompass. Imagine, then, after that defeat, if we found out that it was the Chinese in this country, our Chinese citizens, who all the time we had thought were loyal citizens working with us, were selling us out to the Soviet Union and that it was through them that Red China was brought into the war against us. How would we feel, then, in the United States against Chinese? I don’t think that one of them would dare show his face on any street. There wouldn’t be enough convenient lampposts to take care of them. Imagine how we would feel.

Well, that’s how the Germans felt towards these Jews. They’d been so nice to them: from 1905 on, when the first Communist revolution in Russia failed, and the Jews had to scramble out of Russia, they all went to Germany. And Germany gave them refuge. And they were treated very nicely. And here they had sold Germany down the river for no reason at all other than the fact that they wanted Palestine as a so-called “Jewish commonwealth.”

Now Nahum Sokolow, and all the great leaders and great names that you read about in connection with Zionism today, in 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, and 1923 wrote in all their papers — and the press was filled with their statements — that the feeling against the Jews in Germany is due to the fact that they realized that this great defeat was brought about by Jewish intercession in bringing the United States into the war. The Jews themselves admitted that. It wasn’t that the Germans in 1919 discovered that a glass of Jewish blood tasted better than Coca-Cola or Muenschner Beer. There was no religious feeling. There was no sentiment against those people merely on account of their religious belief. It was all political. It was economic. It was anything but religious. Nobody cared in Germany whether a Jew went home and pulled down the shades and said “Shema’ Yisroel” or “Our Father.” Nobody cared in Germany any more than they do in the United States. Now this feeling that developed later in Germany was due to one thing: the Germans held the Jews responsible for their crushing defeat.

And World War I had been started against Germany for no reason for which Germany was responsible. They were guilty of nothing. Only of being successful. They built up a big navy. They built up world trade. You must remember that Germany at the time of the French Revolution consisted of 300 small city-states, principalities, dukedoms, and so forth. Three hundred separate little political entities. And between that time, between the times of Napoleon and Bismarck, they were consolidated into one state. And within 50 years they became one of the world’s great powers. Their navy was rivaling Great Britain’s, they were doing business all over the world, they could undersell anybody, they could make better products. What happened as a result of that?

There was a conspiracy between England, France, and Russia to slap down Germany. There isn’t one historian in the world who can find a valid reason why those three countries decided to wipe Germany off the map politically.

When Germany realized that the Jews were responsible for her defeat, they naturally resented it. But not a hair on the head of any Jew was harmed. Not a single hair. Professor Tansill, of Georgetown University, who had access to all the secret papers of the State Department, wrote in his book, and quoted from a State Department document written by Hugo Schoenfelt, a Jew whom Cordell Hull sent to Europe in 1933 to investigate the so-called camps of political prisoners, who wrote back that he found them in very fine condition. They were in excellent shape, with everybody treated well. And they were filled with Communists. Well, a lot of them were Jews, because the Jews happened to comprise about 98 per cent of the Communists in Europe at that time. And there were some priests there, and ministers, and labor leaders, and Masons, and others who had international affiliations.

Some background is in order: In 1918-1919 the Communists took over Bavaria for a few days. Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht and a group of other Jews took over the government for three days. In fact, when the Kaiser ended the war he fled to Holland because he thought the Communists were going to take over Germany as they did Russia and that he was going to meet the same fate as the Czar. So he fled to Holland for safety, for security. After the Communist threat in Germany was quashed, the Jews were still working, trying to get back into their former status, and the Germans fought them in every way they could without hurting a single hair on anyone’s head. They fought them the same way that, in this country, the Prohibitionists fought anyone who was interested in liquor. They didn’t fight one another with pistols. Well, that’s the way they were fighting the Jews in Germany. And at that time, mind you, there were 80 to 90 million Germans, and there were only 460,000 Jews. About one half of one per cent of the population of Germany were Jews. And yet they controlled all the press, and they controlled most of the economy because they had come in with cheap money when the mark was devalued and bought up practically everything.

The Jews tried to keep a lid on this fact. They didn’t want the world to really understand that they had sold out Germany, and that the Germans resented that.

The Germans took appropriate action against the Jews. They, shall I say, discriminated against them wherever they could. They shunned them. The same way that we would shun the Chinese, or the Negroes, or the Catholics, or anyone in this country who had sold us out to an enemy and brought about our defeat.

After a while, the Jews of the world called a meeting in Amsterdam. Jews from every country in the world attended this meeting in July 1933. And they said to Germany: “You fire Hitler, and you put every Jew back into his former position, whether he was a Communist or no matter what he was. You can’t treat us that way. And we, the Jews of the world, are serving an ultimatum upon you.” You can imagine what the Germans told them. So what did the Jews do?

In 1933, when Germany refused to surrender to the world conference of Jews in Amsterdam, the conference broke up, and Mr. Samuel Untermyer, who was the head of the American delegation and the president of the whole conference, came to the United States and went from the steamer to the studios of the Columbia Broadcasting System and made a radio broadcast throughout the United States in which he in effect said, “The Jews of the world now declare a Holy War against Germany. We are now engaged in a sacred conflict against the Germans. And we are going to starve them into surrender. We are going to use a world-wide boycott against them. That will destroy them because they are dependent upon their export business.” And it is a fact that two thirds of Germany’s food supply had to be imported, and it could only be imported with the proceeds of what they exported. So if Germany could not export, two thirds of Germany’s population would have to starve. There was just not enough food for more than one third of the population. Now in this declaration, which I have here, and which was printed in the New York Times on August 7, 1933, Mr. Samuel Untermyer boldly stated that “this economic boycott is our means of self-defense. President Roosevelt has advocated its use in the National Recovery Administration,” which some of you may remember, where everybody was to be boycotted unless he followed the rules laid down by the New Deal, and which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of that time. Nevertheless, the Jews of the world declared a boycott against Germany, and it was so effective that you couldn’t find one thing in any store anywhere in the world with the words “made in Germany” on it. In fact, an executive of the Woolworth Company told me that they had to dump millions of dollars worth of crockery and dishes into the river; that their stores were boycotted if anyone came in and found a dish marked “made in Germany,” they were picketed with signs saying “Hitler,” “murderer,” and so forth, something like these sit-ins that are taking place in the South. At a store belonging to the R. H. Macy chain, which was controlled by a family called Strauss who also happen to be Jews, a woman found stockings there which came from Chemnitz, marked “made in Germany.” Well, they were cotton stockings and they may have been there 20 years, since I’ve been observing women’s legs for many years and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen any cotton stockings on them. I saw Macy’s boycotted, with hundreds of people walking around with signs saying “murderers,” “Hitlerites,” and so forth. Now up to that time, not one hair on the head of any Jew had been hurt in Germany. There was no suffering, there was no starvation, there was no murder, there was nothing.

Naturally, the Germans said, “Who are these people to declare a boycott against us and throw all our people out of work, and make our industries come to a standstill? Who are they to do that to us?” They naturally resented it. Certainly they painted swastikas on stores owned by Jews. Why should a German go in and give his money to a storekeeper who was part of a boycott that was going to starve Germany into surrendering to the Jews of the world, who were going to dictate who their premier or chancellor was to be? Well, it was ridiculous.

The boycott continued for some time, but it wasn’t until 1938, when a young Jew from Poland walked into the German embassy in Paris and shot a German official, that the Germans really started to get rough with the Jews in Germany. And you found them then breaking windows and having street fights and so forth.

Now I don’t like to use the word “anti-Semitism” because it’s meaningless, but it means something to you still, so I’ll have to use it. The only reason that there was any feeling in Germany against Jews was that they were responsible for World War I and for this world-wide boycott. Ultimately they were also responsible for World War II, because after this thing got out of hand, it was absolutely necessary for the Jews and Germany to lock horns in a war to see which one was going to survive. In the meanwhile, I had lived in Germany, and I knew that the Germans had decided that Europe is going to be Christian or Communist: there is no in between. And the Germans decided they were going to keep it Christian if possible. And they started to re-arm. In November 1933 the United States recognized the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was becoming very powerful, and Germany realized that “Our turn was going to come soon, unless we are strong.” The same as we in this country are saying today, “Our turn is going to come soon, unless we are strong.” Our government is spending 83 or 84 billion dollars for defense. Defense against whom? Defense against 40,000 little Jews in Moscow that took over Russia, and then, in their devious ways, took over control of many other countries of the world.

For this country now to be on the verge of a Third World War, from which we cannot emerge a victor, is something that staggers my imagination. I know that nuclear bombs are measured in terms of megatons. A megaton is a term used to describe one million tons of TNT. Our nuclear bombs had a capacity of 10 megatons, or 10 million tons of TNT, when they were first developed. Now, the nuclear bombs that are being developed have a capacity of 200 megatons, and God knows how many megatons the nuclear bombs of the Soviet Union have.

What do we face now? If we trigger a world war that may develop into a nuclear war, humanity is finished. Why might such a war take place? It will take place as the curtain goes up on Act 3: Act 1 was World War I, Act 2 was World War II, Act 3 is going to be World War III. The Jews of the world, the Zionists and their co-religionists everywhere, are determined that they are going to again use the United States to help them permanently retain Palestine as their foothold for their world government. That is just as true as I am standing here. Not alone have I read it, but many here have also read it, and it is known all over the world.

What are we going to do? The life you save may be your son’s. Your boys may be on their way to that war tonight; and you don’t know it any more than you knew that in 1916 in London the Zionists made a deal with the British War Cabinet to send your sons to war in Europe. Did you know it at that time? Not a person in the United States knew it. You weren’t permitted to know it. Who knew it? President Wilson knew it. Colonel House knew it. Other insiders knew it.

Did I know it? I had a pretty good idea of what was going on: I was liaison to Henry Morgenthau, Sr., in the 1912 campaign when President Wilson was elected, and there was talk around the office there. I was “confidential man” to Henry Morgenthau, Sr., who was chairman of the finance committee, and I was liaison between him and Rollo Wells, the treasurer. So I sat in these meetings with President Wilson at the head of the table, and all the others, and I heard them drum into President Wilson’s brain the graduated income tax and what has become the Federal Reserve, and I heard them indoctrinate him with the Zionist movement. Justice Brandeis and President Wilson were just as close as the two fingers on this hand. President Woodrow Wilson was just as incompetent when it came to determining what was going on as a newborn baby. That is how they got us into World War I, while we all slept. They sent our boys over there to be slaughtered. For what? So the Jews can have Palestine as their “commonwealth.” They’ve fooled you so much that you don’t know whether you’re coming or going.

Now any judge, when he charges a jury, says, “Gentlemen, any witness who you find has told a single lie, you can disregard all his testimony.” I don’t know what state you come from, but in New York state that is the way a judge addresses a jury. If that witness told one lie, disregard his testimony.

What are the facts about the Jews? (I call them Jews to you, because they are known as Jews. I don’t call them Jews myself. I refer to them as so-called Jews, because I know what they are.) The eastern European Jews, who form 92 per cent of the world’s population of those people who call themselves Jews, were originally Khazars. They were a warlike tribe who lived deep in the heart of Asia. And they were so warlike that even the Asiatics drove them out of Asia into eastern Europe. They set up a large Khazar kingdom of 800,000 square miles. At the time, Russia did not exist, nor did many other European countries. The Khazar kingdom was the biggest country in all Europe — so big and so powerful that when the other monarchs wanted to go to war, the Khazars would lend them 40,000 soldiers. That’s how big and powerful they were.

They were phallic worshippers, which is filthy and I do not want to go into the details of that now. But that was their religion, as it was also the religion of many other pagans and barbarians elsewhere in the world. The Khazar king became so disgusted with the degeneracy of his kingdom that he decided to adopt a so-called monotheistic faith — either Christianity, Islam, or what is known today as Judaism, which is really Talmudism. By spinning a top, and calling out “eeny, meeny, miney, moe,” he picked out so-called Judaism. And that became the state religion. He sent down to the Talmudic schools of Pumbedita and Sura and brought up thousands of rabbis, and opened up synagogues and schools, and his people became what we call Jews.

There wasn’t one of them who had an ancestor who ever put a toe in the Holy Land. Not only in Old Testament history, but back to the beginning of time. Not one of them! And yet they come to the Christians and ask us to support their armed insurrections in Palestine by saying, “You want to help repatriate God’s Chosen People to their Promised Land, their ancestral home, don’t you? It’s your Christian duty. We gave you one of our boys as your Lord and Savior. You now go to church on Sunday, and you kneel and you worship a Jew, and we’re Jews.” But they are pagan Khazars who were converted just the same as the Irish were converted. It is as ridiculous to call them “people of the Holy Land,” as it would be to call the 54 million Chinese Moslems “Arabs.” Mohammed only died in 632 CEA, and since then 54 million Chinese have accepted Islam as their religious belief. Now imagine, in China, 2,000 miles away from Arabia, from Mecca and Mohammed’s birthplace. Imagine if the 54 million Chinese decided to call themselves “Arabs.” You would say they were lunatics. Anyone who believes that those 54 million Chinese are Arabs must be crazy. All they did was adopt as a religious faith a belief that had its origin in Mecca, in Arabia. The same as the Irish. When the Irish became Christians, nobody dumped them in the ocean and imported to the Holy Land a new crop of inhabitants. They hadn’t become a different people. They were the same people, but they had accepted Christianity as a religious faith.

These Khazars, these pagans, these Asiatics, these Turko-Finns, were a Mongoloid race who were forced out of Asia into eastern Europe. Because their king took the Talmudic faith, they had no choice in the matter. Just the same as in Spain: If the king was Catholic, everybody had to be a Catholic. If not, you had to get out of Spain. So the Khazars became what we call today Jews. Now imagine how silly it was for the great Christian countries of the world to say, “We’re going to use our power and prestige to repatriate God’s Chosen People to their ancestral homeland, their Promised Land.” Could there be a bigger lie than that? Because they control the newspapers, the magazines, the radio, the television, the book publishing business, and because they have the ministers in the pulpit and the politicians on the soapboxes talking the same language, it is not too surprising that you believe that lie. You’d believe black is white if you heard it often enough. You wouldn’t call black black anymore — you’d start to call black white. And nobody could blame you.

That is one of the great lies of history. It is the foundation of all the misery that has befallen the world.

Do you know what Jews do on the Day of Atonement, that you think is so sacred to them? I was one of them. This is not hearsay. I’m not here to be a rabble-rouser. I’m here to give you facts. When, on the Day of Atonement, you walk into a synagogue, you stand up for the very first prayer that you recite. It is the only prayer for which you stand. You repeat three times a short prayer called the Kol Nidre. In that prayer, you enter into an agreement with God Almighty that any oath, vow, or pledge that you may make during the next twelve months shall be null and void. The oath shall not be an oath; the vow shall not be a vow; the pledge shall not be a pledge. They shall have no force or effect. And further, the Talmud teaches that whenever you take an oath, vow, or pledge, you are to remember the Kol Nidre prayer that you recited on the Day of Atonement, and you are exempted from fulfilling them. How much can you depend on their loyalty? You can depend upon their loyalty as much as the Germans depended upon it in 1916. We are going to suffer the same fate as Germany suffered, and for the same reason.

Source: Sweet Liberty – With God, All Things Are Possible

Askenazic Jews – the descendants of Yajuj Wa Majuj (Gog and Magog)?

Basmala-the-Bismillah-phrase-Arabic-islamic-Calligraphy-10

 

 

 

Islamic Eschatology

My sensitivity, sympathy and empathy were often aroused each time I saw video clips on Facebook which showed the brutal treatment of the soldiers of the Zionist regime of Israel on UNARMED, HARMLESS and HELPLESS Palestinian kids, women and the elderly.

Social media like Facebook has done a great service in creating an awareness of such brutalities of the Zionist regime. And people from all over the world and all walks of life greeted this absurdity of the most powerful military in the region to brutalise the weakest sector of the Palestinian society with deep disgust, judging from the comments to the video clips. But what amazed me is the elegant silence of world leaders, supranational bodies such as the UN, OIC, IMF, World Bank and the mainstream media on such brutalities. Are they part of the conspiracy too – a brutal one at that? I don’t think so simply because I don’t believe in conspiracy theories until the facts are proven.

Just a stone’s throw away is another episode of brutality, this time in Syria, where all parties to the conflict – the Assad regime backed by Russia, the Mujahidin backed by the US and the devilish ISIS army of terror who some say is the creation of the Israeli Mossad, locked in a battle to conquer Syria – were guilty of the most horrendous brutality in modern time.

Why does it have to come to this? My mind toys with the idea that could all these happenings signify a prelude to heralding that phase of time called the End of History.

Of course, I’m not referring to the End of History as postulated by Francis Fukuyama who in 1989, seeing the imminent collapse of the Berlin Wall, wrote an essay on The End of History that proposed the advent of western liberal democracy as heralding the endpoint of humanity’s sociocultural evolution and the final form of human government.

“What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government,” said Fukuyama in his 1989 essay.

Oh, how off the mark Fukuyama was, as to this day Western liberal democracy is still not the norm in many parts of the world. It only gave President George W Bush an excuse to invade Iraq under the pretext of spreading democracy to the Iraqis, in addition to punishing Saddam Hussain for stockpiling non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

The End of History I have in mind is based on Islamic Eschatology in which the End of History will precede the End of Time. The End of History in Islamic Eschatology coincides with that time when the Truth (Haq) will vanquish Falsehood (Bathil) and reign supreme for a number of years. But before the Truth reigns supreme, the period preceding it will be filled with horrendous Falsehood, which will result in untold miseries and sufferings for humankind.

For the uninitiated, eschatology refers to the branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of humankind. Specifically it is a set of belief concerning death, the end of the world, or the ultimate destiny of humankind.

The End Time, which features prominently in the various eschatology of several world religions is a period in the future also known as end of days, last days, final days or eschaton.

From the Islamic perspective, eschatology or Ilmu Akhir Zaman is therefore the branch of Islamic scholarship that studies Yawm al-Qiyamah (the Day of Resurrection) or Yawm ad-Din (Day of Judgement). This is believed to be the final assessment of humanity by Allah, with annihilation of all life, resurrection and judgment.

But before this End of Time happens, falsehood in the form of wickedness, cruelties, betrayals and atrocities known as the Age of Great Temptations (The Age of Fitan) will mushroom on this Earth which will culminate in the End of History in which Falsehood will perish at the hands of Truth, and everlasting reign of peace and goodwill on Earth will prevail for some times. Finally, this too will come to an end with the End of Time.

So bear in mind the difference between the End of History and the End of Time.

One aspect of the eschatology of Islam that has riveted my mind is the coming of Yajuj wa Majuj (Gog and Magog) before the period of the End of History. They will work the worst kind of excesses and atrocities on the surface of the Earth. Who are these Gog and Magog? One interesting view has it that this could well be the Askenazic Jews who were instrumental in establishing the Zionist movement which led to the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

If this is true, no wonder they are so cruel, wicked and brutal. Read on…

p.s. There is at present a preponderance of the Askenazic over the Sephardic Jews. As late as 1960s the Sephardic Jews numbered only about 500,000, compared with the Ashkenazim of the same period estimated at approximately 12 million. Statistical figures for the contemporary demography of Ashkenazi Jews, oscillate between 10 million and 11.2 million, about 75% of Jews worldwide

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Askenazic Jews – the descendants of Yajuj Wa Majuj (Gog and Magog)?

By Jamari Mohtar | Aug 31, 2016

“There wasn’t one of them who had an ancestor who ever put a toe in the Holy Land. Not only in Old Testament history, but back to the beginning of time. Not one of them! And yet they come to the Christians and ask us to support their armed insurrections in Palestine by saying, “You want to help repatriate God’s Chosen People to their Promised Land, their ancestral home, don’t you? It’s your Christian duty. We gave you one of our boys as your Lord and Savior. You now go to church on Sunday, and you kneel and you worship a Jew, and we’re Jews.” But they are pagan Khazars who were converted just the same as the Irish were converted. It is as ridiculous to call them “people of the Holy Land…”

 – Benjamin Freedman, A Jewish Defector Warns America in a   speech at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. in 1961

The subject of Gog and Magog appears in the Quran in Surah Alkafh when Allah says:

“And they ask you (O Muhammad) about Dhul-Qarnayn. Say: “I will recite to you about him a report. Indeed, We established him upon the earth, and We endowed him with [the knowledge of] the right means to achieve anything [that he might set out to achieve]; and so he chose the right means [in whatever he did].”

[And he marched westwards] till, when he came to the setting of the sun, it appeared to him that it was setting (as if) in a dark, turbid sea; and near it he found a people. Allah said: “O Dhul-Qarnayn, either you punish [them] or else adopt among them [a way of goodness]. He answered: “As for him who does wrong, we will punish him. Then he will be returned to his Lord, and He will punish him with a terrible punishment. But as for him who believes and does righteous deeds, he will have a reward of Paradise, and we shall make binding on him [only] that which is easy to fulfill.”

[And then he marched eastwards] till, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found that it was rising on a people for whom We had provided no coverings against it: thus [We had made them, and thus he left them]; and We did encompass with Our knowledge all that he had in mind.

[And he marched on] till, when he reached [a pass] between the two mountain-barriers, he found beside them a people who could scarcely understand a word [of his language]. They said: “O Dhul-Qarnayn, indeed Gog and Magog are spoiling this land. May we, then, pay unto thee a tribute on the understanding that thou wilt erect a barrier between us and them?” He answered: “That wherein my Sustainer has so securely established me is better [than anything that you could give me]; hence, do but help me with [your labour’s] strength, [and] I shall erect a rampart between you and them!

“Bring me ingots of iron!” Then, after he had [piled up the iron and] filled the gap between the two mountain-sides, he said: “[Light a fire and] ply your bellows!” At length, when he had made it [glow like] fire, he commanded: “Bring me molten copper which I may pour upon it.” And thus [the rampart was built, and] their enemies were unable to scale it, and neither were they able to pierce it. Said [Dhul-Qarnayn]: “This is a mercy from my Sustainer! Yet when the time appointed by my Sustainer shall come, He will make this [rampart] level with the ground: and my Sustainer’s promise always comes true!” [Quran, Alkafh (18): 83-98].

Just a digression on the reason (asbabu nuzul) why the above verses was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). When the Prophet (pbuh) began his mission in Mecca, which lasted for 13 years, the questions uppermost in the minds of the leaders of Mecca were, “Was Muhammad really a prophet? Or was he just a convincing fake? How could we find out?” They finally decided to consult the Jewish rabbis in Yathrib (Medina) about the problem, since Jews had had more dealings with prophets in the past and the rabbis were knowledgeable in the scriptures.

The rabbis advised the leaders of Mecca to ask Muhammad three questions. If he knew the answers to those questions, then he was truly a prophet. The first question was about some young men of long ago, who had left their people and had had a wondrous experience. The second question was about a traveler who had journeyed to the ends of the earth in the east and the west. The third question was about the Spirit, and what it was.

The leaders of Mecca hurriedly sent messengers to Muhammad (pbuh) to ask him the three questions. The Prophet (pbuh) told them to return the following day and he would have the answers for them. However, he failed to add, “in sha Allah,” that is, “if Allah wills.” By the next day he had not received any revelation to help him answer the questions, and he had to ask the messengers to return the following day. This was repeated for fifteen days, while the people of Mecca laughed at Muhammad’s inability to answer the three questions. Finally Jibril appeared to the Prophet (pbuh), and told him the three answers. He also explained the reason for the delay. In Surah Al-Kafh (18: 23-24) is the warning that one should not plan to do anything in the future, without saying, in sha Allah. All that we hope to do is only accomplished by the will of Allah.

The first question was about some young men who remained steadfast in their worship of one God, while the rest of their people turned to the worship of idols. No one is sure of the number of youth involved. That knowledge is Allah’s alone, although many scholars have disputed over the number. To escape persecution, the young men hid in a cave, where Allah caused them to fall asleep for about three hundred years (only Allah knows the exact length of time). They had a dog with them, and to anyone who happened to see them they would have appeared to be awake, and the person would have been filled with fear of them. When they finally awoke, it seemed to them as if only a short time had passed. It was when one of them was sent down to the town to buy food that they learned they had slept for centuries. The account of these sleepers is in the Quran, Surah Alkafh (18): 9-25.

The answer to the second question was about a great traveler identified as Dhul-Qarnayn, “the owner of two horns.” He had great power and had been given the ways and means to do all things. He traveled to the setting of the sun, which set in a murky pool. Nearby there lived a people over whom Dhul-Qarnayn had authority to punish or reward. He chose to punish those who did wrong and then send them back to Allah to be further punished. Those who believed in Allah and were righteous would be rewarded. Then he journeyed to the rising of the sun, where he found a people who had been provided with no protection against the sun. Those people he left completely alone.

As part of his answer to the second question, Muhammad (pbuh) gave information about a third journey, which Dhul-Qarnayn made. He traveled to a place between two mountains, where the people understood scarcely anything about Allah. They asked for his help in building a barrier between them and two beings called Yajuj and Majuj. In return for his assistance they promised to pay tribute to him. However he did not desire tribute. He replied that the power, which he received from Allah, was better than any tribute, which they could offer him. And so he helped them erect a barrier of iron and lead, which Yajooj and Majooj were powerless to climb over or dig through. But the Quran warns that on a day appointed by Allah, they would break out of their place of confinement and cause great destruction. This would be one of the signs that the Day of Judgment was near. The story of Dhul-Qarnayn can be found in the Quran Surah Al-Kafh (18): 83-98.

The third question, about the Spirit, had the shortest answer. The Quran Surah Al-Isra (17): 85 says that the Spirit comes by command of Allah, and that mankind does not have the knowledge to fully understand it. The Jews disputed that they had been given full knowledge in the Torah, but Allah tells us that their knowledge is very small, in comparison to Allah’s knowledge, which could not be recorded even if all the trees on earth were pens and all the seas were ink.

Despite Muhammad (pbuh) having answered all their questions successfully, the rabbis did not recognize him as a prophet, and the Meccan leaders did not follow the rabbis’ earlier advise to follow him as a prophet. But many other people were convinced and the number of believers increased. As the numbers of believers increased, the opposition felt increasingly threatened and resorted to persecution of the followers of Muhammad.

So back to the narrative on Dhul-Qarnayn and Gog Magog – who was Dhul- Qarnayn and who were Gog and Magog?

Some Muslim commentators opined that Dhul-Qarnayn was the Greek King, Alexander the Great of Macedonia, hence the name Iskandar (Alexander) Dhul-Qarnayn was bandied about. But the way the Quran described Dhul-Qarnayn left no doubt that he was a monotheist who was endowed by Allah with power, knowledge and wisdom while Alexander the Great was a Greek pagan believing in the existence of a multitude of Gods.

Perhaps some of the mufasirins (Quranic commentators) who believed that Dhul-Qarnayn was Alexander the Great was influenced by the legend popularized by Jewish historian Titus Flavius Josephus (born Joseph ben Matityahu) who flourished in the 1st century CE (Christian Era). According to that legend, Gog and Magog were locked up by Alexander the Great behind iron gates in the Caspian Mountains, generally identified with the Caucacus Mountains (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, and The Jewish War). This legend must have been current in contemporary Jewish circles by this period, and maybe the reason why the Jewish rabbis of Medina included it in one of the three questions to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the hope of getting more details on Gog and Magog.

A clear idea of who Dhul-Qarnayn was, was given by the great Muslim scholar Imam Ibn Kathir [born 1300 (701H), died 1373 (774H)] in his historical work, Al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah (The Beginning and the End) when he said:

“At the time of Abraham (peace be on him), there was a king called Dhul-Qarnayn. He performed Tawaf around the Ka’bah with Abraham (peace be on him) when the latter first built it; he believed in Abraham and followed him. Dhul-Qarnayn was a good man and a great king. Allah gave him great power and he ruled the east and west. He held sway over all kings and countries, and travelled far and wide in both east and west.”

Ibn Kathir, when discussing the origins of Yajuj wa Ma’juj – the people who traditionally inhabited the area between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, which was where the Khazar Kingdom was originally situated – specifically states that “Gog and Magog are two groups of Turks, descended from Yafith (Japheth), the father of the Turks, one of the sons of Prophet Noah (alahi salam).”

Dhil-Qarnayn’s Iron Wall

Somewhere near Derbend in Central Asia, Hissar District, about 150 miles southeast of Bukhara, there is a very narrow defile, with overhanging rocks, on the main route between Turkestan and India: latitude 38 degrees North; longitude 67 degrees East.  It is now called in Turkish Buzghol-Khana (Goat-house), but was formerly known as the Iron Gate (Arabic, Bab  al Hadid; Persian, Dar-i-ahani; Chinese, T’i-men-kuan).

There is no iron gate there now, but there was one in the 7th century, when the Chinese traveller Hiouen Tsiang saw it on his journey to India.  He saw two folding gates cased with iron hung with bells.  Nearby is a lake named Iskandar Kul, connecting the locality with Alexandar the Great.  We know from history that Alexandar, after his conquest of Persia and before his journey to India, visited Sogdiana (Bukhara) and Maracanda (Samarqand).  We also know from Al Maqdis, the Arab traveller and geographer, who wrote about 375H (985-6 CE) that the Abbasid Caliph al Wathiq (842-846 CE) sent out a mission to Central Asia to report on this Iron Gate. They found the defile 150 yards wide: on two jambs, made with bricks of iron welded together with molten lead, were hung two huge gates, which were kept closed. Nothing could correspond more exactly with the description in the Quran, Surah Alkafh (18):95-96

The Khazars – the first wave of Gog and Magog post Dhul-Qarnayn era

We can safely assume that after the Iron Wall built by Dhul-Qarnayn was in placed, the whole area of Gog and Magog in Central Asia covering an immense land area of over a million square miles extending from western Hungary/Austria eastward to the Aural Sea, north to the Upper Volga, and its southern region extending to the Caucasus Mountains between the Black and Caspian seas were free from the machinations and chicaneries of Gog and Magog. The place was so peaceful that this paved the way for the Silk Route to be discovered which in turn encouraged trade among nations.

Now, fast forward from the time of Dhul-Qarnayn to the 7th century. Out of the blue, there lived at the place where Gog and Magog had been quarantined by Dhul-Qarnayn, the Khazars who were a semi nomadic Turkic warlike people, ruthlessly brutal and exclusively belligerent. They lived between 650 to 1048 CE in a region near the Caspian Sea. For some three centuries (650 – 965 CE) the Khazars dominated the vast area (800,000 square km) extending from the Volga-Don steppes to the eastern Crimea and the northern Caucasus. In fact, an embryonic state of Khazaria began to form sometime after 630 CE.

It was around this time that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) got an inkling that the Iron Wall built by Dhul-Qarnayn had been breached by Gog and Magog based on a Hadith narrated by Zainab bint Jahsh (r.a): “… once the Prophet (pbuh) awoke from such a sleep that his face was red and he said: ‘There is none worthy of worship except Allah. Woe to the Arabs, from the great evil that is approaching them. Today a gap as big as this has opened up in the wall of Yajuj and Majuj …’ and the Prophet (pbuh) indicated the size of the hole by forming a ring with his index finger and thumb.” (Bukhari)

According to Rutgers University Professor Peter Golden in his book, An Introduction to the History of the Turkic Peoples: Ethnogenesis And State Formation in the Medieval and Early Modern Eurasia and the Middle East, published in 1992, an embryonic state of Khazaria began to form sometime after 630 CE, when it emerged from the breakdown of the larger Göktürk Qağanate. The tribes that were to comprise the Khazar empire were not an ethnic union, but a congeries of steppe nomads and peoples who came to be subordinated, and subscribed to a core Türkic leadership.

Earlier in 627 CE, the Roman Emperor Heraclius, formed a military alliance with the Khazars for the purpose of a final defeat of the Persians, marking the first time the Khazars were involved in an international relation with a superpower. Upon the first meeting of the Khazar King Ziebel with the Roman Emperor, the Khazars displayed, in full array, their skills at diplomatic flattery – skills that would serve them well and would not disappear with their kingdom. Gibbon recorded this in his Fall of the Roman Empire:

He “with his nobles dismounted from their horses,” says Gibbon, “…and fell prostrate on the ground, to adore the purple of the Caesar.” So enamored was the Byzantine Emperor with this display of obeisance that it eventually led to the offer, along with many riches, of the Caesar’s daughter Eudocia in marriage. That union never took place due to the death of Ziebel while Eudocia was en route to Khazaria. However, in 730 CE, a marriage between a Khazar princess and the heir to the Byzantine Roman Empire resulted in an offspring who was to rule Byzantium as Leo the Khazar. Thus the “King of the North” had skillfully managed to place himself on the throne of the Roman Empire.

Back to the 627 CE Byzantium-Kazar alliance, the Byzantium managed to be victorious in their final battle with the Persians despite a treachery from their ally, the Kazars, who left them at a crucial time during the battle. Although the Sassanids were defeated, it was the Muslims under Caliph Umar al-Khattab who finally finished off once and for all the Sassanian Empire.

It seemed that these traits of being ruthlessly brutal, exclusively belligerent and skillfully talented at flattery and treachery were so successfully passed on to their descendants when the latter managed to convince Britain not to surrender to Germany during World War I in 1916 because they (the descendants) will convince the US to enter the war on the side of the British… oops I’m jumping the gun, more on that later.

In the early part of the 7th century, Islam came northward through the same Kasbek Pass the Khazars had used, and began a long war with the Northern Kingdom. The major attempt of the Muslim armies to take control of the Transcaucasus came in 622 CE while Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) was still leading Islam. The Muslim armies soon conquered Persia, Syria, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and surrounded the Byzantine heartland (present-day Turkey) in a deadly semi-circle, which extended from the Mediterranean to the Caucasus and the southern shores of the Caspian. This began a long series of incursions by both sides (Khazaria and Islam) that lasted for another thirty years. In 652 CE, Caliph Uthman ibn Affan (r.a.), sent a Muslim army led by Abdal-Rahman ibn-Rabiah to the Caucasus. This army was routed by the Khazars, with the death of four thousand Arab soldiers, including their commander.

Later, there was a brief period of Muslim incursion into Khazaria where Caliph Marwin II, in a surprise, two-pronged attack, drove the Khazars as far back in their own land as the Volga region. His only terms for peace were that the Kagan (King of Khazar) convert to Islam, with which the Khazar king complied, but apparently only long enough for the Muslim Caliph to withdraw back across the Caucasus. This incident preceded by only a few years the Khazar monarch’s conversion to Judaism. Most historians agree as to the motivation behind the Caliph’s withdrawal. The Muslim ruler apparently realised that, unlike the more civilised Persians, Armenians or Georgians, the barbaric Khazars could not be kept under military rule at such a distance.

This first wave of Gog and Magog which began after the Dhul-Qarnayn’s Iron Wall was breached, ended when the Asiatic Rus from Kiev ransacked Kazaria which by then had become a Jewish kingdom. The remnants of the Khazars fled to nearby Hungary, Southern Russia and Bulgaria where the second wave of Gog Magog appeared in European soils, wreaking havoc to Europe in the form of World War I and World War II.

According to Benjamin Freedman, himself a Jew and an apparent long-time associate and confidant of presidents and statesmen, in an address presented in 1961 at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., the Khazars were so belligerent and hostile that they were eventually run out of Asia and scattered amongst the nations of Eastern Europe. Heinrich von Neustadt, around 1300, wrote of them as the “terrifying people of Gog and Magog.”

More on the reasons for the conversion of the Khazars to Judaism, and at what stage of the Gog and Magog wave we are in now, in my next post. Stay tuned.

Wallahu’alam bi sawab

Combining the fast of Syawwal with other fasts

Fast-paced events in the capitals of the West

As I’m writing this, we are already entering the final week of Syawwal, the tenth month (the equivalent of October in the Gregorian calendar) of the lunar-based Hijri taqwim (Islamic calendar).

This time round, Syawwal seems to be a month full of fast-paced events taking place in the world. Early into Syawwal, as the ummah was celebrating Eidul Fitr to mark the end of fasting in the holy month of Ramadan, we were greeted with an upset – Portugal claiming the crown of the Euro football championship for the first time by beating France, the favourite to win.

This was soon followed by another epochal event of Britain having a second woman prime minister since the 1980s with Theresa May holding the rein of power in Westminster, leading Britain into negotiations with the European Union (EU) in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. Whether Theresa may (pun unintended) turn out to be another Iron Lady in the mould of the redoubtable Margaret Thatcher; or better still a newly minted Steel Lady; or worse a Wood Lady, and worst, a Plastic Lady bending to the will of the EU in the negotiations (from the perspective of Britons of course), only time will tell.

Not enough with these two exciting, and perhaps heart-rending Euro events (France in losing the trophy, and Britain in exiting EU), the month of Syawwal also saw high drama in Turkey about a fortnight ago when a putsch by some members of its military outside the chain of command to take over the country was outmanoeuvred by its President, Recep Taiyyip Erdogan in what analysts say was an epochal event – the utilisation of technology in the form of the app known as Facetime by Erdogan to rally the Turkish people to go out to the streets to defeat the “putschists”.

Turkey is still reeling from the aftermath of the failed coup – the massive arrests of those in the military, judiciary and police alleged to be involved in the coup, plus Erdogan’s declaration of a three-month emergency period have spurred a concern in the EU and the US of a retrogression from democracy. It is difficult to blame Erdogan in this regard when he was reportedly marked for death during the failed coup despite being a legitimate, democratically elected President of Turkey. And mind you, it is not as if the attempted coup was bloodless.

Moreover, at that critical time when the direction of where the wind was blowing as the coup was progressing was uncertain, the support of the US and EU can at best be described as lukewarm. In saying “we are monitoring the situation in Turkey”, instead of an unequivocal statement of support for a democratically elected Head of State and his government, the seed is sown for distrust and suspicion among friendly nations in international relations.

Perhaps what Obama, John Kerry and leaders of EU need is a crash course in PR 100 in International Relations because this is definitely not the way to treat one of your closest allies, however disagreeable you are with his domestic policies and leaning.

Remember, the world owes it to Turkey in the fight against the radical Isis or Deash, as it’s willing to let its Incirlik air base be used by US and Nato forces in the fight against Isis. Any actions or nuances that reflect the sense of ungratefulness towards Turkey could lead to a dramatic tragedy with the endgame of ‘biting the hands that feed you”.

And finally… the US Department of Justice (DoJ) media conference last week in which a complaint of a civil action in rem was filed by the US authorities to seize the assets in US allegedly bought by using the siphoned money from the Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund, 1MDB in what is dubbed as the biggest claim ever filed by Kari (the Kleptocracy Assets Recovery Initiatives… kari yang amat pedas dan tegas) to the tune of USD 1 billion.

This has riveted attention back to Malaysia, causing the ringgit to fall again to the 3.00 level against the Singapore dollar, after strengthening to a very good level of 2.94 in the week before the DoJ announcement.

All eyes are now on the DoJ for subsequent actions and follow through. But for most Malaysians, the burning and pertinent questions are: will justice ever be meted out to the perpetrators of, in the words of AG Loretta Lynch, “the international conspiracy to launder money misappropriated from 1MDB”, and most importantly of all is, when will we (the Malaysian people as a whole) ever get our looted money back!

The last question is a bit mind boggling… would it be conceivable for a new US Administration, say under Donald Trump, to return the money when the dust has settled. For all we know, he might have some side deals with the perpetrators before even the dust has settled, as the saying goes money makes the world go round and round… that by the way is a joke Mr Trump! Don’t get worked up as you have already achieved the extraordinary feat of being crowned as the Republican nominee for the coming November elections which was unthinkable a year ago…

What a month Syawwal turns out to be… God knows whether there will be more high dramas or the epochal ones (doesn’t matter lah drama swasta or drama awam…) on the world stage as Syawwal bids us goodbye. In the meantime, hope it is not too late to wish Eid Mubarak to all Muslims…

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Combining the fast of Syawwal with other fasts

By Jamari Mohtar | July 28, 2016

I am triggered to restart my blogging hobby when a dear friend asked me to find some ahadith soheh (authentic sayings of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w), as evident that it is perfectly okay to combine the six-day fast of Syawwal with other voluntary fasts encouraged by the Prophet (s.a.w).

Two voluntary fasts of the Prophet s.a.w (i.e. his Sunnah) in question are the fasting on each Monday and Thursday, and the 3-day fast on the 13th, 14th and 15th of each month of the Islamic calendar known as white day fasting (Ayyaum al Bead). The question here is whether while performing the six-day fast of Syawwal, one can also simultaneously combine it with these two voluntary fasts.

What happens here is let say one begins the Syawwal fast on 13 Syawwal which happened to be the Monday of 18 July, then one can also perform simultaneously the white day fast and the Monday fast, giving a phenomenon of 3-in-1 fast. All one has to do is to insert the three niyyah (intentions) of performing the three fasts before performing the first of the six-day fast of Syawwal.

But this 3-in-1 fast takes place only on the Monday of 13 Syawwal as the three-day white day fast ended on the Wednesday of 15 Syawwal. So from Tuesday to Wednesday (14 to 15 Syawwal), one will experience a 2-in-1 fast – Syawwal fast and the white day fast. However, the Thursday of 16 Syawwal is still a 2-in-1 fast – although the white day fast has ended, there is the sunnatic Thursday fast to replace it. By Friday 17 Syawwal, it’s back to a 1-in-1 fast of Syawwal.

It gets interesting here because it brings to mind a conversation of two years ago when an Ustaz told me one can also combine the Syawwal fast with a qada fast (making up of a missed fast of Ramadan on any day after Ramadan and before the onset of the next Ramadan, provided the reason for missing the fast is a legitimate one. Of course, one cannot fast on the few days designated by Islam as forbidden to fasting).

Although this is new to me at that time, it raises the spectre of a 4-in-1 fast on the Monday of 13 Syawwal, a 3-in-1 fast from the subsequent Tuesday to Thursday (14 to 16 Syawwal), and a 2-in-1 fast from Friday to Saturday, assuming the number of the qada (make-up) fast of Ramadan is six.

When I told the dear friend about this 4-in-1 fast, she cautioned me that although she has no problem with the 3-in-1 fast as her request is just a matter for her to be doubly sure that there is a hadith pertaining to it, she is not so sure whether the 4-in-1 fast is permissible since a number of asatizah had told her it is not, for one cannot combine a qada fast as it has to stand on its own.

Small mind

This is a classic case of one Ustaz says can and another says cannot, but it is alright because it is a discussion on issues of khilaf – periphery matters that have no repercussion on the fundamentals of the religion. It was discussion of this nature that had stimulated the minds and intellect of the Muslims of the past such that they inherited a dynamic and progressive civilization that held sway over a large swathe of lands stretching from China to Spain.

But a proviso though: Discussion on such issues must be conducted with an open mind by nipping at the bud the self-centred tendency to prove one is always right with a khilaf opinion, come what may; or having a personal agenda to label your adversary in discussion as deviant i.e. Syiah, Salafi, Wahabi, Sufi etc for holding a view contrary to yours. These are small-minded people whom you can see lurking in the social media with their favourite pastime of putting down others that differ from them on peripheral matters, despite being the adherents of the same religion.

The fact of the matter…

Now, here’s a blow-by blow the argument for combining fast (whether it’s a 2-in1, 3-in-1 or 4-in-1) as discussed by the classical fuqaha (jurists):

First the points of agreement

  • The Hadith “Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with six days from Syawwal, it is as if they fasted the entire year” is an authentic hadith.
  • The direct general meaning of the above Hadith is, if one fasts on any 6 days (even make-ups or qada) in Syawwal, one gets the reward of performing the sunna of fasting six days of Syawwal
  • It is not obligatory to perform one’s make-up fasts before performing voluntary fasts, though one should not perform the latter in a way that unduly delays the completion of one’s qada.  This depends on one’s circumstances and adeptness at fasting regularly.

Points of disagreement

  • An obligatory fast cannot be combined with voluntary fast because they are of a different genre. The obligatory fast must be completed first. A make-up fast is obligatory, so it has to be cleared first.
  • Although not obligatory, there is greater merit in completing the make-up (qada) fast of Ramadan before attempting the six-day fast of Syawwal.

As there is no need to belabour the point in matters that are in agreement, my focus is on the points of disagreement. As to the first point of disagreement, the issue is this: how can you focus on the voluntary stuff when your obligatory stuff is in abeyance. This is a valid point especially in the case of solat (prayer). Why would one need to focus consistently on performance of the voluntary night prayers and other nawafil prayers when he or she is in the habit of wilfully ignoring the performance of the five daily, obligatory prayers?

This is different from a situation in which one occasionally misses the five daily prayers (i.e. not habitual, after all to err is human) and tries to make up the missed obligatory prayers by performing as many nawafil prayers as possible and carry a huge expectation of hope against hope that the performance of these voluntary prayers will be accepted by Allah as a redemption for the occasional lapses in the obligatory prayer.

The situation is graver in the case of solat as compared to fasting because in an authentic Hadith, it is said that in the Day of Judgement, solat will be the first item in the agenda that is being scrutinised. If your five daily prayers are not in good stead by wilfully ignoring them in a habitual manner, Allah doesn’t even bother to look at your other good deeds.

But for other ibadah (rites of worship) other than solat, some jurists say that it is permissible to subsume the intention of a voluntary deed under an obligatory one, and as such, combining the make-up (qada) fast of Ramadan, which is obligatory with other voluntary fasts is acceptable.

In an attempt to reconcile this issue of obligatory vis-à-vis voluntary fast, some fuqaha opined that the reward is higher for one who completes the six day Syawwal fast after completing the qada fast compared to one who perform them before completing the latter fast.

But other jurists pointed out if this is the case, why would the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet s.a.w) who were the upholders of Sunnah were in the habit of delaying their make-up fast of Ramadan until near the end in Syaaban, the month just before the next Ramadan.

From an authentic Hadith of Aisyah and other Hadith of other Sahabahs, we know there was a “mad” rush to perform the qada fast of Ramadan in Syaaban and this gave rise to the misconception of the “special” virtue of fasting in the month of Syaaban which was further exacerbated by a number of weak and fabricated Ahadith extolling the special virtues of fasting in the month of Syaaban. The Sahabah in actual fact were fasting in Syaaban not so much because of the special virtue of Syaaban; they were merely rushing to meet a deadline of ‘paying’ back their missed Ramadan fast because the next Ramadan is around the corner!

This raises two interesting questions.

  • First, why would there be a “mad” rush among the Sahabahs to make up the qada fast of Ramadan in Syaaban if the qada fast can be combined with the 6-day fast of Syawwal? The assumption here is being the upholders of Sunnah, they must have already performed their six-day Syawwal fast (a Sunnah) while still owing the performance of their qada Ramadan fast.
  • Two, does it befit Sahabahs as the upholder of Prophet Sunnah to delay an obligatory matter till to the last minute?

As to the first question, the mad rush refers to those who missed their Ramadan fast for more than six days. Because the voluntary Syawwal fast is only six days, you can only combine this voluntary fast with the obligatory qada fast for a maximum of six days. If you missed the Ramadan fast for, say 14 days for whatever reasons allowed by the Syariah, then the mad rush in this case refers to making up the balance which is (14-6) 8 days in Shaaban.

On the second question, unlike solat which many Ahadith had admonished on the habit of delaying it to the last minute, as for e.g. performing the Zuhr prayer at 4.30pm when Asr is at 4.50pm, there is no such admonition for delaying the qada fast of Ramadan till the last minute. One can see it as Allah’s Mercy and Compassion to us. A period of 12 months is given to repay back what is owed to Him without any insistence to settle it immediately. A Generous, Merciful, Compassionate Allah indeed!

Err… perhaps it’s a “number game” actually…

The following is my own view on the issue. You can agree or disagree with it or even ignore it. No sweat because as I said earlier this is an issue that does not have any repercussion on the fundamentals of the faith.

In the Hadith above on the basis for performing the 6-day fast of Syawwal, the only number specified in the Hadith other than the six (days) is one (year). In the hadith below which is an authentic hadith, an additional number is given.

“Whoever fasts for six days after Eidul Fitr has completed the year: whoever does a good deed (hasanah) will have ten hasanah like it.”

Two other Ahadith clarify what hasanah means in relation to fasting:

“Allah has made for each hasanah ten like it, so a month is like fasting ten months, and fasting six days completes the year.”

“Fasting for the month of Ramadan brings the reward of ten like it, and fasting for six days brings the reward of two months, and that is the fasting of the whole year.”

The above Ahadith in essence are giving a mathematical formula on why the fast of Ramadan plus the six-day fast add up to one year i.e. 12 months. Here’s how it works:

Since one hasanah (good deeds) = 10 hasanahs,

Therefore, one month of fasting in Ramadan = 10 (1×10) months of fasting.

6 days of fasting in Syawwal = 60 (6×10) days.

As one month comprises 30 days, hence 60 days = 2 months.

Therefore total is 12 (10+2) months of fasting.

So the bottom line lies in getting the reward of a year long fast for fasting just 36 days. It doesn’t matter whether you complete the 36 days early or at the last minute in Syaaban, as long as it is done before the onset of next Ramadan, and six of the 36 days of fasting were done in Syawwal. Some may achieve this 36-day fast earlier say in Syawwal, some at the last minute in Syaaban and others in between Syawal and Syaaban. It doesn’t matter. As soon as the 36-day fast is completed, all will get the same reward of following the Sunnah of the Prophet. It is in this sense that it’s just a number game.

Wallahu a’lam bi sawab.

 

p.s. There is no need to get worked up on these differences of opinion. You can either accept the premise of this post that it is alright to combine obligatory fast with voluntary or even qada fast. Or you can  disagree with it and do such fasts separately. Nay, you can even agree with the main point of this article theoretically but in your daily life, you do not practise it because you observe the fasts separately.

p.p.s. I actually did not fulfil the request of my dear friend, as indeed there is no hadith, which explicitly say you can combine the various fasting simultaneously. It’s just a matter of interpretation of all the Ahadith concerned. The beauty of Islam lies in the creative way it encourages one to use and exercise the intellect to get a better understanding of religious principles and obligations via the use of ijtihad (logical reasoning) which will impact positively on our ability to problem-solve the daily difficulties in other aspects of our life – from the smallest “headache” to the biggest crisis of life. However, this permission to be creative does not apply to the fundamental aspects of religion.

Grexit’s limited impact on Asian economies

By Jamari Mohtar

Singapore Correspondent

Focus Malaysia | July 4, 2015

 

Emerging economies such as Malaysia and Indonesia most vulnerable while Singapore, China and India will remain unscathed

THE start of a phase in the eurozone economy known as the Greek exit or Grexit took place on June 30 when Athens was unable to repay €1.6 bil (RM6.65 bil) it owes the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The day before, global stock markets including those in the emerging economies were battered on the expectation that Greece will default.

Nobody can know for sure what the wider effect of Grexit might be on economic and financial confidence until it happens. However, analysts are unanimous that the immediate fallout will not be that great.

Will there be financial market contagion in Asia?

In theory at least, there shouldn’t be a repeat of the financial market contagion, which dogged earlier stages of the Eurozone crisis when Greece was similarly in danger of falling out of the euro.

Most analysts are in agreement that even if the exit is messy, it’s not entirely clear there will be a crash. A Greek default, they say, will cause some further short-term turmoil in markets, which are already 5% or more off their peaks of earlier this year.

The reason for this optimistic view is this time around, Europe and the US will be able to confront the risk of contagion with a strengthened policy toolkit, including new mechanisms to monitor and support banks, and a system of swap lines to inject liquidity. In Japan, the central bank is already pumping unprecedented monetary stimulus.

According to Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific Chief Economist at IHS Global Insight, the impact of a Greek default on Asia will depend on the extent of the contagion. If the EU is successful in ring-fencing Greece, then contagion to the rest of the Eurozone may be limited.

“While there is likely to be initial turbulence in global financial markets and a flight to safe haven currencies and assets, notably to the US dollar and US Treasuries, the contagion effects to Asia may be limited if the rest of the Eurozone is successfully ring-fenced from the Greek exit,” says Biswas.

Other analysts point out that Asia has bolstered its own defences since the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998 when central banks have adopted floating exchange rates and expanded their foreign exchange reserves to deal with market meltdowns. India central bank Governor Raghuram Rajan was reported to have built up a record stockpile of about US$355 bil of foreign exchange reserves.

The region’s buffers were further strengthened after the 2008 financial crisis when a number of central banks established temporary and permanent swap lines with the US Federal Reserve (Fed) to be used in the event of a liquidity crisis.

Also Asian banks have done much to boost their liquidity and capital positions since the last crisis, and these are reasons why the fallout from Grexit in Asia shouldn’t be as severe as that of a couple of years ago. Also, unlike in 2012-13, European governments now hold most of Greek sovereign debt.

A different story if Spain and Portugal also affected

However, one thing analysts seem to agree is that when Grexit affects the peripheral nations of Eurozone such as Spain and Portugal, all bets are off.

“In a more severe contagion scenario where vulnerable Eurozone countries such as Spain, Portugal and even Italy could be impacted by contagion and investor doubts about whether these countries might also eventually exit the Eurozone, the Euro could depreciate more sharply,” says IHS Global Insight’s Biswas.

In the case of a severe contagion, a flight to safe haven assets could hit Asian emerging market currencies, equity markets and local bond markets as investors re-balance their portfolios to the US dollar and US Treasuries.

“The impact of a Greek exit from the Eurozone with significant contagion effects would also hurt Asia, lowering GDP growth in the Asia-Pacific region by 0.3% in 2016. This is mainly due to the impact effects on trade and turbulence in financial markets,” adds Biswas.

Vulnerable Asian currencies

Some analysts agree that Malaysia and Indonesia are two emerging economies likely to be most affected in the event that the Grexit becomes a severe contagion.

A pullback by European banks from Asian markets remains a key risk. If European banks cut back on their exposure to Asia, then a sell-off in emerging market is a possibility.

According to Nomura’s economics team, the Bank for International Settlements’ consolidated banking statistics show that besides Asia’s two financial hubs – Hong Kong and Singapore – the economy most exposed to European bank claims on an immediate borrower and ultimate risk basis is Malaysia.

As of the end of last year, European banks had debt claims of 17.7% of Malaysia’s GDP, the highest in Asia compared to runner up South Korea, with only 8.7% of its GDP.

In addition, money has been leaving Malaysia – an oil exporter – this year even without the Grexit. Malaysia’s financing gap, defined as current account minus portfolio outflows (in equity and bond) runs a good 4.1% of its foreign exchange reserve.

Indonesia will be vulnerable too. Its financing gap is at 3.9% of its GDP. Both the rupiah and ringgit have been depreciating during the first half of this year due to some investor concerns about moderating economic growth and their current account positions.

Both countries also have a relatively high share of foreign ownership in their domestic stock market and local bond markets, making the rupiah and ringgit more vulnerable if global investors re-balance their portfolios to safe haven assets, notably to US dollar and US Treasuries.

But some Malaysian observers feel that the ringgit’s poor performance – the worst performing currency in the first half of this year – is inconsistent with the sound fundamentals of the Malaysian economy.

“We have had good Q1 GDP growth numbers, inflation rate, private and public debt and reserves. But why does the ringgit plunge badly?” ask Malaysian businessman, Dato Rais Hussain.

Singaporean property consultant, Edmund Teo says the direct impact of the Grexit on Asian emerging economies will be quite limited since exports exposure to Greece is relatively low, hovering around 2-3%.

“But we can have indirect effects on Asia including Malaysia through slower exports to Europe. Currency volatility and monetary policy issues can also influence the economies in this region,” adds Teo.

It seems that a messy resolution to the eurozone crisis, with Greece defaulting on its debts and tumbling out of the euro is not the only threat to instability in the world economy.

In general, analysts tell FocusM there are three other threats – a US recovery that will force the US Fed to raise interest rates, a renewed rebound in the oil price, prompted by growing geopolitical chaos in the Middle East, and a hard landing in China.

“The most likely bigger threat is an American boom, which through higher rates would in turn cause capital flight from the developing world and might therefore also trigger another emerging market crisis,” says Teo.

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When exactly will Grexit occur?

ON June 27 in the midst of negotiations, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras surprised many when he announced a referendum set for July 5 for the Greek people to vote on whether they will agree to the bailout terms offered by eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Eurozone finance ministers then refused to extend the current bailout programme after it runs out on June 30, and Athens defaulted on the €1.6 bil (RM6.65 bil) it owed the IMF.

So effectively, the Greek exit (Grexit) from the euro began on July 1. However, that’s not the way Greece sees it. It says if the referendum on July 5 sees the Greek people giving a resounding yes to the bailout terms, then Grexit is deemed to have not occurred. On the other hand, if their vote is a resounding no, then Grexit effectively begins.

There are so many permutations, twists and turns in this Greek tragedy. Tsipras argues that saying no to the bailout terms is not tantamount to quitting the euro.

But it is hard to see the country surviving for long without a functioning banking system. And if the people say no, the most plausible way of reopening the banks would be to bring back the Greek currency, the drachma.

A key factor in the referendum will be what the electorate thinks they are voting for. If they believe saying no means quitting the euro, they will probably vote for a yes. But if they think they are just voting to reject the creditors’ proposals, they may well vote for a no.

But even if they say yes, it’s not certain Greece will avoid a return to the drachma. Without a new bailout deal, it won’t be able to repay the next instalment either, this time to the European Central Bank on July 20. It will then be hard to pretend the government isn’t bust.

And to complicate matters further, Greece has threatened to seek a court injunction against the EU institutions, both to block the country’s expulsion from the euro and to halt asphyxiation of the banking system.

“The Greek government will make use of all our legal rights,” said the finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis. “We are taking advice and will certainly consider an injunction at the European Court of Justice. The EU treaties make no provision for euro exit and we refuse to accept it. Our membership is not negotiable,“ he told the media.

Universal health coverage a boon for Singaporeans

By Jamari Mohtar

Singapore Correspondent

Focus Malaysia | June 27, 2015

 

MediShield Life will offer better protection and higher payouts, and cover all citizens and permanent residents, including those with pre-existing illnesses

 THE World Health Organisation (WHO) defines universal health coverage (UHC) as all people receiving the health services they need without suffering financial hardship when paying for them.

WHO also says if people have to pay most of the cost out of their own pockets, the poor will be unable to obtain many of the services they need and even the rich will be exposed to financial hardship in the event of severe or long-term illness.

Forms of financial risk protection that pool funds (through tax, other government revenues, and/or insurance contributions) to spread the financial risks of illness across the population, and allow for cross subsidy from rich to poor and from healthy to ill, increase access to both needed services and financial risk protection.

It also dispels the myths about UHC as follows:

  • It is not just health financing, it should cover all components of the health system to be successful: health service delivery systems, health workforce, health facilities or communications networks, health technologies, information systems, quality assurance mechanisms, governance and legislation;
  • It is not only about assuring a minimum package of health services, but also about assuring a progressive expansion of coverage of health services and financial risk protection as more resources become available;
  • It does not mean free coverage for all possible health interventions, regardless of the cost, as no country can provide all services free of charge on a sustainable basis.
  • It comprises much more than just health; taking steps towards UHC means steps towards equity, development priorities, social inclusion and cohesion.

This rigorous notion of UHC means not many countries can be considered as having UHC. But of all countries that have UHC, Singapore probably is the only one that makes it mandatory on its citizens. As making the scheme mandatory will result in higher premiums, the government will directly help Singaporeans with their premiums by giving various subsidies, especially to the needy.

When the Singapore Parliament passed the MediShield Life Scheme Bill on Jan 29, it was hailed by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong as marking the coming together of all Singaporeans to “build a health-care safety net that leaves no one behind”, paving the way for a UHC to be implemented end of the year.

The Singapore UHC known as MediShield Life will replace the existing MediShield Scheme. The latter is a basic healthcare insurance that helps to pay for large hospital bills and expensive outpatient treatments such as dialysis and chemotherapy for cancer. It is basic because it is sized for subsidised treatment in the public hospitals.

On the other hand, MediShield Life will offer better protection and higher payouts for all citizens and permanent residents for life, including the very elderly and those who have pre-existing illnesses, so that patients pay less Medisave/cash for large bills.

Unlike MediShield, MediShield Life covers everyone, including those with pre-existing conditions. MediShield Life has higher claim limits for hospital bills and outpatient cancer treatment than MediShield and there is no more lifetime claim limit in contrast to MediShield which has a lifetime claim limit of S$300,000 (RM839,183).

This level of benefits for MediShield Life just like the current MediShield, is based on expenses in B2/C class wards in public hospitals. Patients who choose to stay in a B1/A class ward or in private hospitals will get the same level of benefits, pegged to the estimated B2/C class expenses.

Premium subsidies

With better protection and higher payouts, premium for the MediShield Life will inevitably have to be higher than those for MediShield. However, to ease the transition to a universal coverage of the MediShield Life later this year, the government will directly help Singaporeans with their MediShield Life premiums by giving the following subsidies:

  • Premium Subsidies (up to 50%) for lower to middle-income Singaporeans with household monthly income per person of $2,600 and below and living in residences with an Annual Value of $21,000 and below. Individuals who own multiple properties will not be eligible. Permanent Residents will receive half the applicable Singaporeans;
  • Pioneer Generation Subsidies and Medisave top-ups for the Pioneer Generation (up to 60%) ranging from 40-60% and up to $800 a year respectively, regardless of household income and Annual Value of residences. With the Pioneer Generation subsidies and Medisave top-ups, all pioneers will pay lesser MediShield Life premiums than MediShield premiums today;
  • Transitional Subsidies for the first four years of MediShield Life for all Singaporeans regardless of household income and Annual Value of residences. This is to phase in the impact of the premium increases and is over and above the premium subsidies for lower to middle-income Singaporeans. In the first year of MediShield Life in end 2015, the government will pay for 90% of the net increase in premiums. The transitional subsidies will be stepped down to 30%, 60% and 80% of the net increase in the second, third and fourth year of MediShield Life respectively; and
  • Additional Premium Support for all needy Singaporean families on a case-by-case basis to provide help for those who are unable to afford premiums even after the subsidies provided by the government.

Letters sent out for eligibility assessment

To minimise cash payment for Singaporeans, Medisave may be used to pay the full MediShield Life premiums after subsidies. Singaporeans can also use their Medisave to help pay for their family members’ premiums.

Ahead of its implementation later this year, the Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) is firming up details for Singaporeans on their premium subsidies. Since May, 1.2 million households had received a letter from the MOH asking them to update their household information. This is to enable the Ministry to determine their eligibility for MediShield Life premium subsidies.

For this Household Check Exercise, which has a deadline of June 19 was extended to June 23 when about 350,000 households have yet to confirm their household information.

The ministry says a very small number of Singaporeans opted out of granting the Government access to their financial information for the eligibility assessment. As such, those households will not be eligible for Premium Subsidies.

However, they will still receive Transitional Subsidies and Pioneer Generation Subsidies, if eligible.

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What about the health coverage by insurance companies?

Many Singaporeans laud the move to introduce universal coverage through MediShield Life as something that is compassionate and timely in view of the higher life expectancy of the people.

“I like the idea of giving coverage to those who have pre-existing conditions in their health. Why penalise them for some thing which is not their fault? I can understand the need for them to pay higher premium but I just can’t fathom the practice of excluding them. This feature of not excluding them is what I like most in MediShield Life,” says a retiree Sue Mochtar.

Home maker Nancy Tan lauds the effort by the government to give heavy premium subsidies in the first few years of MediShield Life’s implementation.

“And the government even differentiate between citizens and permanent residents in that the latter gets only half of the Premium Subsidies that Singaporeans get and none the Transitional Subsidies that Singaporeans enjoy. This is indeed a policy of Singaporeans first,” adds Tan.

However, many wonder whether their Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) managed by private insurers will duplicate the MediShield Life.

The level of benefits for MediShield Life is based on expenses in B2/C class wards in public hospitals, and hence patients will get the same level of benefits, pegged to the estimated B2/C class expenses, if they choose to stay in a B1/A class ward or in private hospitals.

Patients who want additional coverage of bills in these higher class wards or in private hospitals can sign up for an IP, managed by a private insurer,

Under the IPs offered by private insurers AIA, Aviva, Great Eastern, NTUC Income and Prudential, Medisave can also be used to pay for the premiums in whole or in part.

IPs already comprise two parts – the MediShield portion and the additional private insurance coverage. Those covered under IPs currently enjoy the combined benefits of MediShield, which is run by the CPF Board, and the additional benefits of the additional private insurance coverage, which is run by private insurers.

When implemented, MediShield Life will automatically replace the current MediShield portion in the IP. As MediShield/MediShield Life is a sub component of IP coverage, there is no worry about duplication in coverage between MediShield Life and the IP.

As MediShield Life will cover all pre-existing conditions, all IP policyholders will also enjoy MediShield Life coverage for life, for any pre-existing conditions – even if the additional private insurance coverage by the private insurer has excluded pre-existing condition.

The patients will have peace of mind in knowing that they will continue to remain covered at the basic level, even if they have exclusions on their IP cover or drop their IP cover.

A pre-existing condition is a medical condition or illness that an individual already has before he is covered under an insurance plan.

If the health condition developed after the start of the insurance cover with MediShield or an Integrated Shield Plan, the patient will not be considered to have a pre-existing condition and will not need to pay Additional Premiums for this condition.

If the health condition developed before the start of the MediShield or Integrated Shield Plan coverage, depending on how serious the condition is, the patient may need to pay Additional Premiums of 30% for a period of 10 years.

Ministry of Health is finalising the detailed list of serious medical conditions that would incur Additional Premiums, with specialist input from clinicians.

More details will be released at a later date.

Examples of serious pre-existing conditions for which one may have to pay Additional Premiums include cancer, kidney failure, stroke and heart disease.

www.focusmalaysia.com

Fathers have special position too!

Today is Father’s Day.

Fathers in Islam seem to be a misunderstood lot because of the emphasis on the precedence of kind treatment of one’s mother over one’s father.

There is no doubt at all that in Islam the mother is to be accorded three times the likes of kindness and good treatment over the father.

This is based on a reliable tradition, in which Prophet Muhammad s.a.w told a person to be kind to his mother in response to that person’s question on whom he should render kindness. Three times he put the same question to the prophet, and three times he got the same answer. When he asked the fourth time, he was told to be kind to his father, indicating that the mother’s right took precedence over that of the father.

However, this does not mean at all this precedence over the mother is at the expense of the father in the sense that one should take the attitude of care-less towards Dad or ignore him completely.

Even in math, a ratio of 3 is to 1 can never be the case of a zero attention to Dad. If you give your Mom 2 units of attention, it means Dad is to be given 2/3 of that attention; if it’s 1 unit of attention, Dad should be given 1/3 of that attention. Zero attention to Dad is a non-starter.

In one hadith, the father is given an important right that was not given to the mother: “The Prophet s.a.w said: “The pleasure of the Lord is in the pleasure of the father, and the displeasure of the Lord is in the displeasure of the father.” (Tirmidhi reported by Abdullah Ibn Amr).

In many other soheh Ahadith, the special unique position of a father is given as follows:

Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that Allah’s Messenger said: “No child can compensate his father unless he finds a slave, and buys him and sets him free.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

Abu Darda’ heard the Prophet s.a.w says: “The father is the middle door of Paradise (i.e. the best way to Paradise), so it is up to you whether you take advantage of it or not.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

One day Abu Hurairah r.a saw two men walking together and enquired of the younger one, “Who is this man to you?” to which the young man replied, “He is my father.” Abu Hurairah advised him by saying, “Do not call him by his name, do not walk in front of him, and do not seat yourself before he does.”

The following Hadith below is remarkable in that it has driven me to tears on account of the pain suffered by a troubled father.

Al-Qurtubi has reported from Sayyidna Jabir ibn Abdullah (ra) that a man came to the Holy Prophet and complained that his father was taking away what belonged to him. He said: “Go and ask your father to come here.”

Right then, came Jibrail and told the Holy Prophet saw: “When his father comes, ask him about the words he has composed in his heart and which his own ears have not heard yet.”

When this man returned with his father, the Prophet saw said to the father: “Why is it that your son complains against you? Do you wish to take away what belongs to him?” The father said: “You better ask him on whom do I spend other than his paternal or maternal aunts or myself.”

After that, he asked the father of the man: “What are those words that have not yet been heard by your own ears?” The father said, “O Rasulallah, Allah Taala increases our faith in you through everything.” Thereby he meant that he (saw) got to know what was not heard by anyone, which was a miracle indeed. Then, he submitted: “It is true that I had composed some lines of poetry within my heart, something not heard even by my own ears.”

The Prophet saw said: “Let us hear them.”

Then he recited the following lines of poetry he had composed:

“I fed you in childhood and took care of you when young. You lived on my earnings alone

When on some night, you became sick, I spent the whole night remaining awake and restless because of your sickness

As if your sickness was my own and not yours and because of which my eyes kept shedding tears throughout the night

My heart kept trembling lest something happens to you, though I knew that the time of death is fixed, being neither early nor late

So, when you reached the age of maturity that I had always been looking forward to

Then you made hard-heartedness and harshness my return as if you were the one doing me favours and giving me rewards

Alas, if it was not possible for you to fulfil my right as a father, you could have at the least done what a good neighbour would have done

So, you could have given me the least right of a neighbour and abstained from becoming miserly in my case in my own property.”

After having heard these verses of poetry, Prophet saw held the son by his shirt and said: “Go, You and your property, everything belongs to your father.” (Tafsir al-Qurtubi, p. 246, V. 10).

The point of this post is not and never to question at all the precedence of right and special position of mothers in relations to the fathers but rather to emphasise that superior right of precedence of the mothers over fathers can never be used to justify taking a care-less attitude towards the father or ignoring him as if he doesn’t exist in the household especially in his old age.

Both our parents are in effect a team in ensuring our future in the life to come. References to parents have been made at least 15 times in the Holy Qur’an. There are numerous traditions of the Prophet Muhammad on this subject.

Abu Umamah reported that a man asked: “Ya Rasulullah saw what are the rights of parents over their children?” He (saw) replied: ” They (mom and dad) are your paradise and your hell” (Ibn Maja).

Please take note that the above hadith is graded as dhaif but I like the matan (content) so much that I have included it in this post.

Allah swt said: “And lower to them shoulders with humility and meekness and say my Lord have mercy upon them (both) as they brought me up when I was little.”

Being grateful to your parents makes you grateful to Allah swt and ungratefulness to them is ungratefulness to Allah swt. One who does not prove to be thankful to the parents, he is lacking thankfulness to Allah. “Be grateful to Me and to both your parents.” (Luqman Verse 14).

The prayers of our parents for us are also a great source of Allah’s swt blessing for us in this worldly life, as the Prophet of Allah said: “Nothing but supplication can annul predestination and nothing but obedience (kindness to them) to the parents can prolong life. A man is deprived of his provision for his sins he commits.” (Ibn Maja reported by Thauban).

“Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or more attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say, “my Lord! bestow on them Thy Mercy, even as they cherished me in childhood.” (Quran 17: 23,24)

The only exception to the above command is made in the following verse:

“We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents; but if they strive (to force) thee to join with Me anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not.” (29:8)

According to a Hadith, “If a person looks with love at his parents, God writes in his favor the reward equal to the performance of one Hajj.”

A Hadith-e-Qudsi reported the following about the status of parents: “God has commanded that if anybody prays equal to the invocations performed by the prophets, such prayers will do no good if that person has been cursed by his or her parents.”

It has also been related that the very first words, which have been written on the Lauh-e-Mahfuz (The Heavenly Preserved Tablet) are: “I am God, and there is no deity except Me. I am pleased with those with whom their parents are pleased, and I am displeased with those with whom their parents are displeased.”

Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said: “On the Day of Judgment, my person will not be seen by those who drank liquor, those who on hearing my name did not invoke the blessings of God on me, or those who were cursed and disowned by their parents.”

Ali ibn al-Husain (as) is reported to have said: “The right of your mother on you is that you should know that nobody could endure the trouble and the conditions under which she protected you and nourished you with the juice of her life, and tried with her heart and soul to satisfy all your needs in relation to hunger, thirst, dress, etc. She passed sleepless nights, suffering anxieties. She provided you with shelter against heat and cold, and protected you from ailments. It is not possible for you to compensate her, or thank her enough for all the services, except that God may give you guidance for that. The right of your father on you is that you should know that it is he who brought you into existence, and you are a branch of the tree of his life.”

Are good deeds of the children severed once one or both of their parents had gone? Nope.

It was narrated that Abu Usaid, Malik bin Rabi’ah, said: “While we were with the Prophet saw, a man from the Banu Salamah came to him and said: “O Messenger of Allah, is there anyway of honoring my parents that I can still do for them after they die?’ He said: “Yes offering the funeral prayer for them, praying for forgiveness for them, fulfilling their promises after their death, honoring their friends and upholding the ties of kinship which you would not have were it nor for them.”

And finally, wishing all fathers including myself a happy and blessed Father’s Day.

To all my children, despite my shortcomings, I hope I have been a good father to all of you and given you the best that I could in your education and upbringing, though I know very well I can never compete with your Umi in these two departments of life for I have just come across a Hadith, as I did some research to write this post that: “The best gift from a Father to his child is education and upbringing.” Hadith of At-Tirmidhi on the authority of Sa’id Ibn Al-‘as.

May you all grow up to be fine young men and women as I can see now, and that you all remain my wonderful sons and daughter till death do us part! Aameen.