Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Skepticus Maximus

In the comments section of the article below on the DT website, someone called Skepticus Maximus said (and it includes some really amazing figures):

I read a (re-purposed) quote the other day re the climate alarmist conspiracy which went something along the lines of “....if someone repeats something loud enough, long enough and often enough, sooner or later the masses will accept it as fact...” – And this is precisely what has happened re AGW, esp with the mass media censure of any real balanced debate. Gormless Brown, Nic Sarkastic, Al Bore and all those other gullible idiots have either, (at best), picked up the undetermined fag end of an issue several years ago and decided to run with and champion the liberal do-gooder / “save the planet” element to win public vote, with save drowning polar bear approbation. As the politicos naively thought this was an open and shut case (and didn’t bother to acid test the motivations (let alone data) of ego-maniacal eco “experts” (and in which many science “experts” are often ego-nuts with esteem issues, bent on proving themselves right and being “cleverer” than their peers in my experience), who are gravy-train grant funded precisely to seek out confirmation bias to support the empathised political agenda / hand that feeds).

Or, at worst, (just as likely), the political elite didn’t even care about the “inconvenient truth” of this being emperor’s new clothes, but knew it was yet another of those golden, once-a-decade opportunities to distract and dupe the proletariat whilst achieving command and control with addition direct and stealth taxation and power gain.

A concept covered in depth in Naomi Klein’s interesting, (but flawed, rather verbose (could’ve been a mag article) and also a bit too militant left-wing for my liking, “Shock Doctrine” book – which can be summed up nicely (via someone else’s’ review words) in one para as:- `...a book about shock. About how countries are shocked - by wars, terror attacks, coups d'etat and natural disasters . And then they are shocked again - by corporations and politicians who exploit their fear and disorientation of this first shock to push through economic shock therapy. And then how people who dare to resist these shock politics are, if necessary, shocked for a third time - by laws, police soldiers and prison officers...'

But it’s a perfect analogy. Climate Change is an “unnatural disaster” now all of a sudden. Mankind controls the planet, such is our scientific pre-eminence (despite not even yet being able to cure the common cold). So just drop the following into the government controlled left wing news media in regular doses:- “...the earth is melting. FACT. Another 3 degrees (which doesn’t sound much given most of the sheep listening turn their car AC up and down by double that) and London & NY WILL be underwater and everywhere else will be desert – FACT. It’s all down to man – FACT (here’s a picture of a chimney belching out smoke – you’ve all seen a chimney right?, and there were four days of relatively warm weather in June right?, so it must be true. FACT). Plus here’s a list of 1,000 scientists you’ve never heard of (all left of centre sympathisers on research grants), who say it must be so. So it must be so. FACT – though you’ll never get to hear from the other 1,000 scientists with a neutral or opposing view as we and their peers will see to it they never get print or air time (apart from the odd loon we’ll roll out to ridicule and prove a point every now and then). And, before you know it, the earth is flat again! – FACT. And you, cowering, fearful, guilty and responsible children of the apocalypse, will have to pay for it in extra taxes to file down those sharp corners, revert to a mediaeval lifestyle for five generations and also keep schtum re any creeping doubt or slight dissent for fear of public ridicule, being made a social pariah or just plain fines or good old arrest for heresy.

What really galls me, is the machiavellian deviousness of the AGW acolytes. To the extent, JUST like religious fundamentalism, they are so arrogant, narrow minded and corrupt they don’t want to entertain any balanced debate whatsoever or have an open mind, but seek to crush and ridicule any opposition to their gravy train and eco-jihad by resorting to spoiler tactics and outright lying.

It’s also rather pathetic that in the process of brainwashing themselves and the mass public, CO2 has been turned into some metaphor for smog, soot - practically coal itself - being emitted from cars, planes and even our mouths. When in fact it is an invisible, tasteless, odourless, non toxic gas found naturally in the atmosphere which plants and trees feed on. But it has been wrapped up with blurred concepts of smoke, dirt, lethal carbon monoxide, rubbish, toxic pollutants et al. Something most AGW fanatics tend to forget when happily drinking fizzy water, beer, coke et al whilst enjoying their cold hemp and gravel salad by torchlight.

Real pollution by man and damage to the environment, de-forestation, destruction of natural habitat, accelerated extinction of species, using the oceans as a waste bin, food chain and ecology bastardisation et al, is not in debate, is not acceptable and needs to be dealt with, it’s a fact. That the planet has warmed is also not in debate. It does this, and cools down, all by itself on a regular basis – and has done, for millions of years. That’s also a FACT. (Though the AGW posse like to gloss over the fact is was rather a lot warmer, for a LONG time, only a 1,000 years ago in the mediaeval warm period, when the Vikings had settlements on grass meadows in Greenland, and to the best of my knowledge, they didn’t get there by EasyJet). But what should be in debate is that it is NOT a FACT that man-made C02 is causing any appreciable global warming or climate change. It’s a hypothesis, nothing more, and a pretty dubious one at that, with lots of shaky data obtained and massaged by nefarious means into shock and awe graphs to serve a political purpose.

Here’s a REAL fact to end with, which even the AGW lobby can’t dispute (well, unless they start providing “evidence” that the 78% nitrogen in the atmosphere is produced from toasters).

• Man made carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere each year – 28.5 billion tons p.a. - Sounds quite a lot.....until....
• Natural (plants, volcanoes, hot springs, oceans, animals et al) C02 emissions – 255 billion tons p.a.
• Amount of C02 at natural equilibrium in the atmosphere – 21 trillion tons [Mahdi: Allah Akbar! We humans are so insignificant. Can a drop in the ocean poison the entire ocean?]
• Total volume of atmosphere – 5.5 quadrillion tons
• Percentage of all man-made C02 as additional gas in entire atmosphere – 0.0000518% [Mahdi: Allah!]

And yet the climate alarmist experts can, with a straight face, confidently predict that a “catalyst” such as C02 (already naturally and safely found in volumes 1,000x mankind’s entire annual output) can, by an additional dose of a further 0.0000518% alone, be responsible for a planet-wide increase in temperature of between 20-50% (3-6 degrees over the 15c avg for past 1000 yrs, if alarmists extrapolations are to be believed), and the resulting total cataclysmic change to every known environment (down to the precise amount of sea-level change), in a linear extrapolation for the next 50-100 years, when meteorologists with supercomputers consistently fail to get the local 48hr weather forecast correct on more than 60% of occasions, every single day. But they suddenly have the skill, science and equipment to form a prognosis based literally on the effects of a drop in the ocean.... yeah, right.....

[Absolutely brilliant]

Monday, 30 November 2009

Climate change: this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation

Our hopelessly compromised scientific establishment cannot be allowed to get away with the Climategate whitewash, says Christopher Booker.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/6679082/Climate-change-this-is-the-worst-scientific-scandal-of-our-generation.html

Who's to blame for Climategate?
CO2 emissions will be on top of the agenda at the Copenhagen summit in December Photo: Getty

A week after my colleague James Delingpole , on his Telegraph blog, coined the term "Climategate" to describe the scandal revealed by the leaked emails from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, Google was showing that the word now appears across the internet more than nine million times. But in all these acres of electronic coverage, one hugely relevant point about these thousands of documents has largely been missed.

The reason why even the Guardian's George Monbiot has expressed total shock and dismay at the picture revealed by the documents is that their authors are not just any old bunch of academics. Their importance cannot be overestimated, What we are looking at here is the small group of scientists who have for years been more influential in driving the worldwide alarm over global warming than any others, not least through the role they play at the heart of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Professor Philip Jones, the CRU's director, is in charge of the two key sets of data used by the IPCC to draw up its reports. Through its link to the Hadley Centre, part of the UK Met Office, which selects most of the IPCC's key scientific contributors, his global temperature record is the most important of the four sets of temperature data on which the IPCC and governments rely – not least for their predictions that the world will warm to catastrophic levels unless trillions of dollars are spent to avert it.

Dr Jones is also a key part of the closely knit group of American and British scientists responsible for promoting that picture of world temperatures conveyed by Michael Mann's "hockey stick" graph which 10 years ago turned climate history on its head by showing that, after 1,000 years of decline, global temperatures have recently shot up to their highest level in recorded history.

Given star billing by the IPCC, not least for the way it appeared to eliminate the long-accepted Mediaeval Warm Period when temperatures were higher they are today, the graph became the central icon of the entire man-made global warming movement.

Since 2003, however, when the statistical methods used to create the "hockey stick" were first exposed as fundamentally flawed by an expert Canadian statistician Steve McIntyre , an increasingly heated battle has been raging between Mann's supporters, calling themselves "the Hockey Team", and McIntyre and his own allies, as they have ever more devastatingly called into question the entire statistical basis on which the IPCC and CRU construct their case.

The senders and recipients of the leaked CRU emails constitute a cast list of the IPCC's scientific elite, including not just the "Hockey Team", such as Dr Mann himself, Dr Jones and his CRU colleague Keith Briffa, but Ben Santer, responsible for a highly controversial rewriting of key passages in the IPCC's 1995 report; Kevin Trenberth, who similarly controversially pushed the IPCC into scaremongering over hurricane activity; and Gavin Schmidt, right-hand man to Al Gore's ally Dr James Hansen, whose own GISS record of surface temperature data is second in importance only to that of the CRU itself.

There are three threads in particular in the leaked documents which have sent a shock wave through informed observers across the world. Perhaps the most obvious, as lucidly put together by Willis Eschenbach (see McIntyre's blog Climate Audit and Anthony Watt's blog Watts Up With That ), is the highly disturbing series of emails which show how Dr Jones and his colleagues have for years been discussing the devious tactics whereby they could avoid releasing their data to outsiders under freedom of information laws.

They have come up with every possible excuse for concealing the background data on which their findings and temperature records were based.

This in itself has become a major scandal, not least Dr Jones's refusal to release the basic data from which the CRU derives its hugely influential temperature record, which culminated last summer in his startling claim that much of the data from all over the world had simply got "lost". Most incriminating of all are the emails in which scientists are advised to delete large chunks of data, which, when this is done after receipt of a freedom of information request, is a criminal offence.

But the question which inevitably arises from this systematic refusal to release their data is – what is it that these scientists seem so anxious to hide? The second and most shocking revelation of the leaked documents is how they show the scientists trying to manipulate data through their tortuous computer programmes, always to point in only the one desired direction – to lower past temperatures and to "adjust" recent temperatures upwards, in order to convey the impression of an accelerated warming. This comes up so often (not least in the documents relating to computer data in the Harry Read Me file) that it becomes the most disturbing single element of the entire story. This is what Mr McIntyre caught Dr Hansen doing with his GISS temperature record last year (after which Hansen was forced to revise his record), and two further shocking examples have now come to light from Australia and New Zealand.

In each of these countries it has been possible for local scientists to compare the official temperature record with the original data on which it was supposedly based. In each case it is clear that the same trick has been played – to turn an essentially flat temperature chart into a graph which shows temperatures steadily rising. And in each case this manipulation was carried out under the influence of the CRU.

What is tragically evident from the Harry Read Me file is the picture it gives of the CRU scientists hopelessly at sea with the complex computer programmes they had devised to contort their data in the approved direction, more than once expressing their own desperation at how difficult it was to get the desired results.

The third shocking revelation of these documents is the ruthless way in which these academics have been determined to silence any expert questioning of the findings they have arrived at by such dubious methods – not just by refusing to disclose their basic data but by discrediting and freezing out any scientific journal which dares to publish their critics' work. It seems they are prepared to stop at nothing to stifle scientific debate in this way, not least by ensuring that no dissenting research should find its way into the pages of IPCC reports.

Back in 2006, when the eminent US statistician Professor Edward Wegman produced an expert report for the US Congress vindicating Steve McIntyre's demolition of the "hockey stick", he excoriated the way in which this same "tightly knit group" of academics seemed only too keen to collaborate with each other and to "peer review" each other's papers in order to dominate the findings of those IPCC reports on which much of the future of the US and world economy may hang. In light of the latest revelations, it now seems even more evident that these men have been failing to uphold those principles which lie at the heart of genuine scientific enquiry and debate. Already one respected US climate scientist, Dr Eduardo Zorita, has called for Dr Mann and Dr Jones to be barred from any further participation in the IPCC. Even our own George Monbiot, horrified at finding how he has been betrayed by the supposed experts he has been revering and citing for so long, has called for Dr Jones to step down as head of the CRU.

The former Chancellor Lord (Nigel) Lawson, last week launching his new think tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation , rightly called for a proper independent inquiry into the maze of skulduggery revealed by the CRU leaks. But the inquiry mooted on Friday, possibly to be chaired by Lord Rees, President of the Royal Society – itself long a shameless propagandist for the warmist cause – is far from being what Lord Lawson had in mind. Our hopelessly compromised scientific establishment cannot be allowed to get away with a whitewash of what has become the greatest scientific scandal of our age.

Christopher Booker's The Real Global Warming Disaster: Is the Obsession with 'Climate Change' Turning Out to be the Most Costly Scientific Blunder in History? (Continuum, £16.99) is available from Telegraph Books for £14.99 plus £1.25 p & p.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Beware the UN's Copenhagen Plot

Assalaam alaykum,

Please read this article: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,26268754-17803,00.html

The upcoming UN conference in Copenhagen is really nothing other then the setting up of a world government. We seek refuge in Allah.

Assalaam alaykum,

Mahdi

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Online Maliki Fiqh

Assalaam alaykum,

For those of you who follow the Maliki school, maybe you would be interested in some free online classes with a qualified teacher.

Please vist The Medina Way: http://www.themedinaway.com/site/

Assalaam alaykum,

Mahdi

Thursday, 24 September 2009

An interesting article amount feminism

Assalaam alaykum,

Please have a look at the linked article. I was unable to copy and paste it and remove the pictures but it is a very interesting perspective on what feminism is doing the institution of the family.

Assalaam alaykum,

Mahdi

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1215464/Why-I-loathe-feminism---believe-ultimately-destroy-family.html?ITO=1490#

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Shafi'i Fiqh website

Assalaam alaykum,

Alhamdulilah, a group of brothers have come together and made a wesbite dedicated to the fiqh of Imam Ash-Shafi'i. The website has only been up and running for a few weeks but they already have several very beneficial articles.

Please don't take my word for it. Have a look for yourself: http://www.shafiifiqh.com/

Assalaam alaykum,

Mahdi

Thursday, 3 September 2009

The European "Fatwa" Council and the start of Ramadan

Assalaam alaykum,

To begin, the word "fatwa" is written as such because the European Fatwa Council is not a genuine fatwa council. Shaikh Muhammad Said Ramadan Al-Bouti, in a lecture at the Islamic University of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on 23/03/2007, explained that before using the term "fatwa council" or "fiqh council" all the members on the council must be fuqaha or muftis, and this is simply not the case with this so-called European Fatwa Council. Very few of the members are genuine muftis. You can view the lecture at http://www.marifah.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=108&Itemid=71

Now, on the matter of moon sighting and Ramadan, this so-called fatwa council have said the following: [the original document can be found here: http://www.leedsgrandmosque.com/archive/fatwa-ramadan-en.pdf]

[European Council for Fatwa and Research
Statement on Determiniing the Start off the Bllessed Month off Ramadhan ffor the year 1430 Hiijjrii..
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all the worlds and peace and blessings be upon the one who was sent by Allah as a mercy to the worlds, upon his household, companions, and those who follow his path until the Day of Judgment.
The Secretariat General of the European Council for Fatwa and Research takes the opportunity of these blessed days to call on all the Muslims to hold fast to the rope of Allah (the most high), unite and gather together and remember the saying of Allah (the most high): “Hold fast, all of you, to the rope of Allah, and be not divided. Remember the blessing of Allah upon you: When you were enemies to each other, and He brought your hearts together, so that, you became brothers through His blessing. You were at the brink of a pit of Fire,
then He saved you from it. This is how Allah makes His signs clear to you, so that you may take the right path.” 3:103.
Perhaps the month of Ramadhan can be an opportunity for the Muslims to make up for that which they missed by bettering their conditions, establishing unity, and forsaking that which divides them so that Allah may change their circumstances to that which is better – “Surely, Allah does not change the condition of a people unless they change themselves.” 13:11.
The Secretariat General would like to emphasize the decision passed by the International Fiqh Academy, resolution number 18, during its third assembly in 1986 which stated that - La ‘ibra fi Ikhtilaf Al-matali’ – which means that no importance should be given to the different sighting-zones and if the crescent is sighted in any zone, it is binding for all other zones. This is due to the generality of the speech (‘umum Al-Khitab) of the prophet PBUH1: “Fast by seeing it and end the fast by seeing it”2. In addition, the European Council for Fatwa and Research in its nineteenth session highlighted the following with regards to establishing the start of the
lunar months: ]

Iktilaaf al-Matali' is actually the mu'tamad position of the Shafi'i school and can be found in Imam an-Nawawi's Al-Majmu' in volume 6, p.273. One can also consult Imam an-Nawawi's commentary of Sahih Muslim, particularly the hadith of Kuraib and Ibn 'Abbas:
5. The Chapter clarifying that for every locality is their own sighting and if they see the crescent in a locality its ruling is not established for those who are far from them.
(#1087) Yahya bin Yahya has related to us, and Yahya ibn Ayyub, and Qutaybah, and Ibn Hujr (he said Yahya bin Yahya: informed us, while others said: Ismael related to us, and he is Ibn Ja’far) from Muhammad (and he is Ibn Abi Harmalah) from Kuraib, that Umm al-Fadl, the daughter of al-Harith, sent him to Muawiyah in Sham. He said: ‘I arrived in Sham. I carried out her [Umm al-Fadl] task and the month of Ramadan came in, and I was in Sham. I saw the crescent on Friday night. Then I arrived in Madinah towards the end of the month. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas y asked me. Then he mentioned the crescent and said: “When did you see the crescent?” I said: “We saw it on Friday night.” He said: “You saw it?” I said: “Yes. The people saw it. They fasted and Muawiyah fasted.” He said: “But we saw it on Saturday night, and we will not stop fasting until we complete thirty days, or we see it.” I said: “Isn’t the sighting of Muawiyah and his fasting sufficient for us?” He said: “No, and this is what the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's prayers and peace be upon him, commanded us.
Yahya bin Yahya was not sure whether he said ‘sufficient for us’ or sufficient for you’.
Imam an-Nawawi: In this [chapter] is the hadith of Kuraib from Ibn ‘Abbas and it is clear evidence of the Tarjima and the strongest position amongst our companions is that the sighting is not general for all people, but rather it is specific to whoever is close by a distance in which one does not shorten the prayer. It is also said that if there is agreement of the region they are necessitated. It is also said that if the locale (iqleem) agrees [they must fast] and if not then no. Some of our companions hold that the sighting is general for all the people of the earth, and regarding this we say that Ibn ‘Abbas did not act on the information of Kuraib because it was one testimony and it cannot be established by one person. However, the outward purport of the hadith is that he [Ibn ‘Abbas] did not reject it for this reason but he only rejected it because the ruling of the sighting cannot be established for those far away.
[Taken from Sahih Muslim bi Sharh an-Nawawi v.7 p.172]
Imam an-Nawawi is being fair as he mentions the different positions. As for this counterfeit fatwa council, they choose to completely dismiss the mu'tamad position of the Shafi'i school, even though it comes from Imam an-Nawawi, who is a giant and a genuine faqih and mufti.

[1) Astronomical calculations have become one of the modern sciences which have reached a high level of
accuracy with regards to the movement of planets, especially the movement of the moon and earth.
Indeed, such calculations are able to decisively establish the relative position of planets in the sky and in
relation to other planets without any doubt or suspicion.
]

Another problem. This understanding flies in the face of what this Deen is all about. Imam an-Nawawi, a genuine mufti and faqih, quotes the great Maliki scholar, Imam Al-Maziri, also a genuine mufti and faqih:
'Al-Mazari said: ‘The majority of jurists hold that the meaning of his saying e ‘faqduru lahuis to complete the number as thirty as has been explained in the other hadith. They say: “It is not permissible to hold that it means the calculations of the astronomers because the people, if they are made responsible for this, will be put in a difficult situation because only a few people know [the science of astronomy] and the legislation is that the people know what the masses of them know, and Allah knows best.'
[Sahih Muslim bi Sharh an-Nawawi v.7 p.165-7]
The point being is that this Deen is the property of the laymen, not the scholars. What this counterfeit council is doing is making this Deen complicated for the laymen, placing them in hardship, and depriving them of the beautiful Sunnah of moon sighting, because moon sighting can be done by anyone.
[2) The time in which the Sun, Earth, and the Moon are aligned is called `iqtiran (and is sometimes also named istisrar, or `al-mahaq). This is a universal phenomenon which takes place at a specific time. This moment can be very accurately calculated according to the science of astronomy years before it takes place. This event indicates the end of the previous month and astronomically the start of the new month. `iqtiran can
occur at any time during the day or night. ]


[3) According to Shari’ah, the start of the new month can be established if the following conditions are fulfilled:
1. `iqtiran must have truly taken place before sunset.
2. The crescent is possible to be sighted by the naked eye or with the aid of observational tools anywhere on earth regardless of the sighting-zone, due to the generality in the prophetic speech on the start and end of fast. (La ‘ibra fi Ikhtilaf Al-matali’)
3. to accept the possibility to sight the crescent the following astronomical conditions must be fulfilled:
A) The crescent must set after sunset in the zone where it can be sighted.
B) The angle of the crescent’s position above the horizon at sunset must not be less than (5°) five
degrees.
C) The angle formed by the moon and the sun must be at least (8°) eight degrees. ]
Point 2 is incorrect. Ramadan, like all months of the lunar calendar, can only be established by the crescent being physically sighted. The possibility of it being seen or if it is seen with observational tools is simply not good enough. Imam Muslim and Imam an-Nawawi state the following:
2. The Chapter on the obligation of fasting Ramadan upon seeing the crescent and breaking it upon seeing the crescent and if it is obscured at the beginning or the end the month is completed as thirty days.
(#1080) Yahya bin Yahya has related to us. He said: ‘I read under Malik, from Nafi’, from Ibn ‘Umar y, from the Prophet e, that he mentioned Ramadan and said: “Don’t fast until you see the crescent, and don’t break [your fast] until you see it. And if it is obscured from you then count it (faqduru lahu).”
Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaibah related to us. Abu Usamah related to us. ‘Ubaid Allah related to us from Nafi’, from Ibn ‘Umar y, that the Messenger of Allah e mentioned Ramadan and brought his hands together, saying: ‘The month is such and such and such (and he tied his thumbs when saying the third) so fast upon seeing it and break [your fast] upon seeing it, and if it is obscured from you then count (faqdiru lahu) thirty.’
Imam an-Nawawi: (faqduru lahu) In an narration we have ‘count 30 days’, and in another narration we have ‘If you see the crescent fast and if you see it break [your fast] and if it is obscured from you then count it.’ In another narration: ‘If it is obscured from you then fast thirty days.’ In another narration: ‘If it is obscured from you then complete the number.’ In another narration: ‘If the month is obscured from you then count thirty.’ In another narration: ‘If it is obscured from you then count thirty.


These ahadith are not necessarily interpreted because they don't need to be. Seeing means seeing. It's interesting that this council chooses to use the same ahadith to dismiss the differing of sighting zones but they don't understand the ahadith to mean the pure, physical sighting of the moon. As an additional point, claiming that we only need to know that the crescent moon is there, using the argument that the verb ra’aa can also mean ‘to know’ based on Surah al-Fil [105] verse 1, is flawed because a semantic possibility is not the same as a contextual possibility, the former being not as restricted in number as the latter. If we wish to explore the semantic possibilities of ra’aa why not look at Surah as-Saffaat [37] verses 102-5, in which we see the same verb, and its noun, being used to mean ‘an opinion’ and to mean ‘a dream’. The same can be found in Surah Yusuf [12] verse 4-5. The ahadith about moon sighting, as with any text, must be understood in context. If not, we allow for the possibility that our lunar calendar could be based on people having dreams about the moon.

[4) Muslims in Europe should follow this principle when determining the start and the end of the lunar months especially the two months of Ramadhan and Shawwal. These dates should be established in advance in order to help them better perform and organise their worship and what linked to it from festivals and celebrations in the societies that they live in. ]

Establishing these dates in advance is innovation. This is not what we have been commanded to do. Please see Sahih Muslim bi Sharh An-Nawawi v.7 p.165-7. All months, not just Ramadan and Shawwal, are determined by the physical, naked-eye sighting of the moon. If it seen after 29 days then then month is 29 days. If it isn't seen the month is 30 days. It's that simple.

[5) The council advises its members, the Imams of the mosques, and the scholars of Shari’ah in Muslim and other communities to work on establishing a culture of respect for the decisiveness and accuracy of the astronomical calculations when it decides that sighting in their own geographical zone is not possible, because of the absence of `iqtiran. In such circumstances, calling to attempt sighting of the crescent or accepting claims for sighting in that zone is not acceptable. Based on the above the Secretariat General for the European Council for Fatwa and Research announces that with regards to the sighting of the crescent of the blessed month of Ramadhan for the year 1430 Hijri /2009 Gregorian the available astronomical data confirms the following:]

This counterfeit council is effectively encouraging believers to dismiss the Sunnah in favour of innovation. Naked-eye, physical moon sighting has served this Ummah for over a millennium, so why should it be dismissed now? Please see Imam al-Mazari's statement above. If one actually holds the position that astronomical calculations are superior to naked-eye moon sighting, i.e. believing them to be superior to what we have in the Sunnah of our Beloved Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, then this is a belittling of the Sunnah. This Deen is complete and can be applied in every time and place. Please see Al-Ma'idah 5:3. Believing that this Deen is somehow incomplete is kufr.

[1) The crescent of the month of Ramadhan for the year 1430 Hijri will be born at 10:02 and 35 seconds GMT on Thursday 20th August 2009. This is at 13:02 and 35 second according to Makkah Al- Mukarramah local time.
2) Sighting is possible in large parts of south west Latin America. For example, in the city of San Diego the
sun sets at 18:17 while the moon sets at 18:51, that is 33 minutes after sunset. The crescent’s position above the horizon will be more than 5 degrees. In the city of Lima, Peru, the sun will set at 18:05 and the moon sets at 18:31, that is 26 minutes after sunset and its position above the horizon is 6 degrees.
3) Therefore, the first day of Ramadhan for the year 1430 Hijri shall be by the will of Allah (the most high) on Friday 21st Aug 2009.
We take this occasion to congratulate the Muslims on the coming of the blessed month and we ask Allah (the all high) to make it a month of goodness, blessing and glory for Islam and Muslims.
May Allah Accept from us and you the good deeds and all praise are to Allah the lord of the worlds.

The Secretariat General – Dublin
20th Sha’ban 1430 hijri, 11th August 2009.]


Most of the UK actually fasted on Saturday, August 22nd, largely due to the fact that the government of Saudi Arabia made a late announcement on Thursday August 20th. Their initial position was that Ramadan would start on the 21st. Nonetheless, for the sake of unity in the UK, Muslims living there should establish their own local calendar, for all the months. Astronomical calculations can only be used to dismiss an erroneous sighting, never to establish that a new month has begun. Following the government of Saudi Arabia is also an invalid position. The logical solution to this problem should be obvious; go back to the Sunnah.

Wa Al-Hamdu lillahi Rabbi Al-Alameen, wa as-Salatu wa As-Salaamu ala Rasulillah

Assalaam alaykum,


Related Posts

Moon Sighting: The Evidence from Sahih Muslim with Commentary by Imam Yahya Al-Nawawi

When is Ramadan?

Friday, 12 June 2009

Epistemology and the Nature of Reality

Assalaam alaykum,

I am writing this post because of a conversation I repeatedly have with a certain brother about 'ilm al-kalaam and the logical arguments that are currently circulating in western academic institutions. Today's discussion, albeit rather brief and informal, was about epistemology and the nature of reality, and of course it touched on how to answer certain individuals when they answer certain questions. This is a matter that I feel I need to get off my chest and insha'Allah some benefit will be found in what I have to say. I think numbered points would be the best way of going about this.

1) Not everyone on the face of this earth is sincerely seeking the Truth with the intention of submitting to it unconditionally once it has been found. How do we know this is true? Allah is Most Just and He rewards sincerity. If everyone on the face of the earth was sincerely seeking the truth and ready to submit to it, then the everyone on the face of the earth would be Muslim. They're not.

2) Allah called His Deen "Islam", i.e. submission, surrender, giving up, making peace etc. See 3:19, 3:85 and 5:3. "Islam" is the official name, not "The Religion of Truth", "The True Religion" or anything similar to that, even though such labels are correct. "Islam" is the official name because whether or not the Deen is true is not the issue. The truth of the Deen is actually obvious. The issue is whether or not the individual is capable of subduing his nafs, or his ego and his desires, and submitting to the Truth.

3) While 'Ilm Al-Kalaam seeks to answer people's questions about Islam and various theological subjects, there comes a point when no quality or amount of answers will do. A certain individual simply will not believe. Does this mean that Islam and the brilliant theologians that it has produced have failed to provide adequate answers? No. Someone disbelieves out of choice, as is made clear in 18:29. Al-Baqara, 2:6-7 is also extremely relevant here.

4) By examining the Qur'an and the Seerah and the various arguments and objections that the Quraysh and the disbelievers put forward, one will find no mention of them not understanding the message being presented, or of them being unconvinced. They ask for more signs but in reality, as Allah informs us, they are liars and they will never believe. [See 17:88-97] If the Qur'an itself isn't a clear sign and proof, especially amongst a people who are the most skilled and proficient in the Arabic language, then what is? The disbelievers, and the Quraysh notables in particular, disbelieved for their own selfish reasons. They feared that they would lose their temporal position of power and authority. They feared that the tribe would lose its status amongst the Arabs and thus much wealth.

5) As for disbelieving academics and scholars in the west today who always have new arguments and objections to Islam, are we, as Muslims, supposed to find theological and philosophical answers to all of them? What more proof do we need? See 14:10. The bulk of these arguments and objections, regardless of how sophisticated they may be, are really nothing more than a smokescreen, cunningly employed to cover the fact that they don't believe because, as a matter of fact, they don't want to. That's it. This case is very similar to many Muslims that I've met over the years who have been given several opportunities to learn Arabic, yet never have. Some have spent months or even years in an Arabic-speaking country. They come up with excuse after excuse as to why they haven't learned the language: the teacher was rubbish, the textbook was boring, the environment didn't allow me to focus, the course was too expensive, and so on and so on. Everytime a complaint is responded to and rectified another one pops up. What does this indicate? It indicates that this individual doesn't want to learn Arabic. He or she is simply not bothered. However, as a Muslim, this would be a shameful thing to admit. The same thing goes for these academics. They look better if they hide behind the smokescreen of appearing to be too intellectually sophisticated to accept Islam.

6) One of the silly arguments they like to put forward is the nature of reality. How do we know that this world is real? How is it more real than a dream? My question is: How does such a discussion benefit a Muslim? The fact is it doesn't. Playing semantic games about the word 'real' is a waste of time and another smokescreen, another excuse to turn away from Allah and fall down in pathetic, subservient obedience to one's nafs. As Muslims we believe in Allah. Allah is real; Al-Haqq. The Day of Judgement is real. This world is real, as opposed to dreams, because what we do in this world will be taken into account on the Day of Judgement. We will be asked about what we did in this world. We are not accountable for what we do in dreams, so in this sense, this most crucial sense, dreams are not real.

7) We believe in Allah and the Last Day. This is our focal point. This has to be at the forefront of our thoughts at all times. These disbelieving academics don't believe in Allah and the Last Day. They don't even believe in revelation, so they are left groping around in the dark and wasting their time on pointless discussions and arguments that are of absolutely no benefit. Should we really waste our time and try to respond to each and every one of their arguments? They want us to think that their problems are intellectual, that they're in the mind, but, as Allah tells us (2:10), their problems actually lie in the heart. In their hearts is a sickness, and no intellectual/rational/logical argument, no matter how brilliant, can cure a diseased heart, let alone a bring a dead heart to life.

May Allah guide us all to seek and acquire knowledge that is of benefit to us and may He protect us from delving into matters that are of no benefit, and all success lies with Him alone! Amin!

Assalaam alaykum,

Mahdi

Thursday, 14 May 2009

A Demonstration that the Wahhabis are Khawarij

taken from the book 'Ihya al-Maqbur' pages 59-60.
by the late Muhaddith of the Age,
Imam Abu'l-Fayd Ahmad ibn Abi Abdallah al-Siddiq al-Ghimmari,
author of 143 books.


bismillahi'rrahmani'rrahim

As for the Qarniyyun, their land has not been blessed by Allah with any wali or salih since the beginning of Islam down to the present day. Instead, he only gave it the Qarn al-Shaytan ['the Devil's Horn'], whose followers were the Khawarij of the thirteenth and subsequent Islamic centuries. So fear God, and do not be like he who is beguiled by them, and supports their corrupt sect and worthless opinion, and their state of misguidance which was explicitly described by the Prophet (upon whom be blessings and peace), who characterised them as the 'Dogs of the Fire' [kilab al-nar], and informed us that they are the 'worst of all who dwell beneath the sky', and that they 'swerve from the religion as an arrow swerves away from its target,' and that they mouth among the best of sayings in the form of their prattlings about Tawhid, and implementing the Sunna, and combating bid'as - and yet, by Allah, they are drowning in bid'a; in fact, there is no bid'a worse than theirs, which causes them to 'swerve from the religion as an arrow swerves away from its target', in spite of their superficial efforts in worship and adherence to the religion. It is as the Prophet (upon whom be blessings and peace) declared: 'one of you would despise the prayer he says among them, and the fasting he completes with them; they recite Qur'an but it goes no further than their collarbones.'

It is for this reason that he refrained (upon him be blessings and peace) from making du'a for Najd in the way that he had prayed for the Yemen and for Syria, for he said: 'Allahumma bless us in our Yemen; bless us in our Syria' - and they said, 'And in our Najd, o Messenger of Allah?' (upon him be blessings and peace), but he repeated his prayer for the Yemen and for Syria; and they repeated their utterance; until he said, the second or the third time round, in order to explain why he would not pray for Najd:

'That is the place of earthquakes, and fitnas, and from it the Devil's Horn shall rise.' [Narrated by Bukhari.] And nothing has emerged from there to bring about earthquakes and fitnas in the religion like Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, who was astray and led others astray. Hence he was the Devil's Horn foretold by the Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace), and he abstained from offering prayer for Najd because of him, and because of the fitnas which would flow from his demonic da'wa. Whoever adheres to that da'wa has committed unambiguous kufr, and is destined for apostasy and 'swerving from the religion', as is visible in the case of the other mulhids [heretical unbelievers] of the age who are notorious for their ilhad, for in every case they began by holding fast to the sect of the Devil's Horn, as is well-known to scholars of experience and insight.

Wa-salla'Llahu 'ala sayyidina Muhammadin wa-'ala alihi wa-sahbihi kullama dhakaru a-dhakirun wa-ghafala 'an dhikrihi al-ghafilun.

wa'l-hamdu li'Llahi rabbi'l-'alamin


[I would like to thank www.masud.co.uk for this.]

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Fiqh us-Seerah


Assalaam alaykum,

All praise is for Allah.

Sheikh Ramadan Al-Buti's book, translated as The Jurisprudence of the Prophetic Biograghy, is a available to order from Sunni Publications (www.sunnipubs.com).

Sheikh Al-Buti shows again in this book why and how he is such a brilliant defender of the Faith. In an age when our Prophet, may Allah bless him grant him peace, is much maligned by Allah's enemies, a book like this is absolutely essential reading. Not only is the Seerah defended and explained, but the Sheikh details severals lessons and wisdoms that can be drawn from the Seerah in additions to dozens of fiqh rulings.

The translation has been available for a few years but sadly it is not a book that has been discussed and given the attention that it deserves. I can only do my part and with Allah alone is every success!

Assalaam alaykum,

Mahdi

UPDATE: This book is now available from Imam Books/الحداد.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Global Warming isn't true! Don't worry about it!

Assalaam alaykum,

Please find below yet antother article declaring that global warming is false and absolutely baseless. People all over the world are experiencing an incredibly cold winter, the coldest for years, so the game appears to be well and truly up. All praise be to Allah for exposing the liars and crooks that hold positions in governments and other 'environmental' organisations. Shame on them for concocting such a miserable crock of nonsense for the purpose of inflicting people with carbon taxes (i.e. more of your money to hand over to greedy banks), invading indivudal privacy and removing civil liberties.



All praise be to Allah who told us: "If a corrupt person comes to you with a piece of information then clarify it so that you don't afflict a people out of ignorance and thus come to regret what you have done." [Al-Hujurat 49:6]



If any government official, especially those at the highest level, endorses any sort of cause or campaign, be suspicious. The articles below are two of many that can be found all over the internet.



Last updated January 29, 2009 11:04 a.m. PT
Murdock: Even left now laughing at global warming
DEROY MURDOCKSYNDICATED COLUMNIST
SAN FRANCISCO -- So-called "global warming" has shrunk from problem to punch line. And now, Leftists are laughing, too. It's hard not to chuckle at the idea of Earth boiling in a carbon cauldron when the news won't cooperate:
Nearly four inches of snow blanketed the United Arab Emirates' Jebel Jais region for just the second time in recorded history on Jan. 24. Citizens were speechless. The local dialect has no word for snowfall.
Dutchmen on ice skates sped past windmills as canals in Holland froze in mid-January for the first time since 1997. Defense Minister Eimert van Middelkoop, who inhabits a renovated 17th Century windmill, stumbled on the ice and fractured his wrist.
January saw northern Minnesota's temperatures plunge to 38 below zero, forcing ski-resort closures. A Frazee, Minnesota dog-sled race was cancelled, due to excessive snow. Snow whitened Surf City, North Carolina's beaches. Days ago, ice glazed Florida's citrus groves.
As Earth faces global cooling, both troglodyte right-wingers and lachrymose left-wingers find Albert Gore's simmering-planet hypothesis increasingly hilarious:
"In terms of (global warming's) capacity to cause the human species harm, I don't think it makes it into the top 10," Dr. Robert Giegengack, former chairman of University of Pennsylvania's Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, told the Pennsylvania Gazette. Giegengack voted for Gore in 2000, and says he likely would again.
Commentator Harold Ambler declared Jan. 3 on HuffingtonPost.com that he voted for Barack Obama "for a thousand times a thousand reasons." He added that Gore "owes the world an apology for his actions regarding global warming." He called Gore's assertion that "the science is in" on this issue "the biggest whopper ever sold to the public in the history of mankind."
"Not only is it false that human activity has any significant effect on global warming or the weather in general, but for the record, global warming is over," retired Navy meteorologist Dr. Martin Hertzberg wrote on carbon-sense.com. The physical chemist and self-described "scientist and life-long liberal Democrat" added: "The average temperature of Earth's atmosphere has declined over the last 10 years. From the El Nino Year of 1998 until Jan. 2007, it dropped a quarter of a degree Celsius (0.45 degrees Fahrenheit). From Jan 2007 to the spring of 2008, it dropped a whopping three-quarters of a degree Celsius (1.35 degrees Fahrenheit). Those data further prove that the fear-mongering hysteria about human-caused global warming is completely unjustified and is totally counterproductive to our Nation's essential needs and security."
"It is a tribute to the scientific ignorance of politicians and journalists that they keep regurgitating the nonsense about human-caused global warming," veteran Left-wing commentator and Nation magazine columnist Alexander Cockburn wrote. "The greenhouse fear mongers rely on unverified, crudely oversimplified models to finger mankind's sinful contribution -- and carbon trafficking, just like the old indulgences, is powered by guilt, credulity, cynicism, and greed."
Some leftists believe the collective hallucination of warmism distracts from what they consider urgent progressive priorities:
"The most destructive force on the planet is power-driven financiers and profit-driven corporations and their cartels backed by military might," University of Ottawa physics professor Dr. Denis Rancourt has written. "The global warming myth is a red herring that contributes to hiding this truth."
Social historian Dr. David Noble of Canada's York University concurs. He has lamented that warmism is "diverting attention from the radical challenges of the global justice movements."
Geophysicist Dr. Claude Allegre, previously Education Minister in France's late 1990s Socialist government, denounced the "prophets of doom of global warming." He sounded amused in a September 2006 L'Express article. "The ecology of helpless protesting has become a very lucrative business for some people."
"The so-called 'consensus' on man-made global warming is not holding up," Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., told his colleagues Jan. 8. "It is becoming increasingly clear that skepticism about man-made global warming fear is not a partisan left vs. right issue."
So-called "global warming" has accomplished the impossible: It has united liberals and conservatives in laughter.
Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. E-mail him at
deroy.Murdock@gmail.com


[The original article can be found at http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/397959_murdockonline30.html]


Arctic Sea Ice Increases at Record Rate



Arctic Sea Ice Increases at Record Rate



Guest Post by Jeff Id on February 3, 2009
Something I’ve been interested in for the last several months is sea ice data. What makes it interesting is that as I understand it, models demonstrate the poles should be most sensitive to global warming leading the planet temp, especially in the Arctic. Recently I have been able to process the monthly and daily gridded arctic data as provided by NSIDC. The daily values allow a better analysis of trend than can be provided by the monthly data.
If you’re like me you recall the claims of fastest melt rate ever were made about 2007 , I fully believed them, because the graphs showed a much more negative value than in the previous 30 years as shown in Figure 1 below.

Click for larger image
This effort was originally intended to investigate how bad the melt rate was in comparison to the natural variation, I didn’t get that far yet. Accessing and processing the gridded data was critical to the analysis, so I spent the time reading the literature and writing code. Having full access to the NSIDC data allows some interesting analysis, they do an excellent job on their site.
There are two primary algorithms used for processing ice data NasaTeam and Bootstrap. The descriptions of the data state the difference between the two is very small and the sets are interchangeable except that bootstrap is recommended for trend analysis in research publications. Bootstrap is only provided in monthly data format while NasaTeam is provided in both monthly and daily provided you’re willing to download over 1G of data, write code to process it, refit the land and missing data mask and sum the results. I am. Also, NasaTeam provides a near real time version of the polar ice data which has a different land mask and hasn’t been processed for missing data. This data isn’t as clean but I wanted to use it. I applied the same land mask as the rest of the series to insure that there was a consistent baseline for trend analysis. The missing data from Jan 2008 onward created noise in the series which I simply filtered out using a 7 day sliding window filter.
The mask looks like this Figure 2

The brown is land, black edges on land are coastline and light blue is the satellite data not measured. This mask is applied consistently through the entire data series. There was some question about masking on one of my other posts at WUWT where visually the land area seemed to change size, in the case of the NSIDC data they apply masks consistently except for the satellite hole and the near real time data.
The NasaTeam version of the arctic ice data looks like the plot below for 2009 (note the small size of the satellite data hole). This graph was created in R using the actual Nasa Team masks and data. I used the worst case land and polar masks to adjust the entire dataset to eliminate problems with consistency. Figure 3

Of course it’s an interesting picture, but what I wanted to know when I started this post was how bad was the worst melt rate in history and what is the actual melt area. In the plot below the arctic is losing sea ice at a rate of only 56K km^2/year. Of course sea ice area went up in the Antarctic during the same time frame though. Note the strong recovery in 08 of Figures 1 and 4, which actually exceeds values of most of the record, matching data back to 1980. Much of this is first year ice so the melt in 08 was expected to be a new record.

Click for larger image
If you recall, in 2007 and 08 we were treated to headlines like this, which most of us accepted with a shrug.
Scientists warn Arctic sea ice is melting at its fastest rate since records began
NASA data show Arctic saw fastest sea ice melt in August 2008
Arctic Just Witnessed Fastest August Ice Retreat in History
I processed and analyzed the NasaTeam land area and missing data masks spending hours understanding different variances they list on their own website. After nearly everything I could find (except satellite transitions errors) was corrected (a different post) and corrections for variance in the measured pixel size, the final result in 30 day trends of arctic sea ice looks like the graph below (Figure 5). This graph is a derivative of the ice area plot. The maximum peaks and valleys represent the maximum rates of change in 30 day periods through the ice record.

Click for larger image
Looking at this plot of the 30 day slopes of actual NASA gridded data, the maximum ice melt rate occurs in 1999 and in 2004 not in 2007. Surprisingly the maximum ice growth rates occur in 2007 and 2008, I don’t remember those headlines for some reason. Don’t forget when looking at the 2008 - 09 peak, the data is preliminary and hasn’t been through the same processing as the other data. From looking at the unprocessed data I doubt it will change much.
Certainly the 30 year arctic trend in ice area is downward, even the most committed global warming scientist has to admit this happens regularly in climate along with regular 30 year uptrends. The questions are, did we cause it or not, and was CO2 the instigating factor. The rapid recovery of ice levels has to have some meaning regarding the severity of the problem. This goes directly in the face of accelerated global warming and the doom and gloom scenarios promoted by our politicians and polyscienticians.
Why are my conclusions different from the news reported records? I think it’s likely due to the fact that the scientists used the monthly data which is processed using a weighted filter of the daily data that incorporates a longer time frame than a single month. This means their use of the monthly data to establish a monthly trend was in error and the real record down trends were actually set in 1999, 2003 and 1984. While the record uptrends were in 2007, 2008 and 1996.



[The original article along with the charts and diagrams can be found at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/02/03/arctic-sea-ice-increases-at-record-rate/]

Monday, 19 January 2009

The Covenant of Consistency

Alhamdulilah, an answer to 'A Common Word' has been compiled and is now available from http://www.htspub.com/.

Alhamdulilah, it is good to see that most Muslims here in Morocco are clear about salvation and what it means to be an Orthodox Muslim as opposed to a cultist or disbeliever. However, it is Muslims inhabiting English-speaking contries in the west, i.e the UK, the US and Canada, that are having difficulty grasping this absolutely fundamental axiom of our faith: Islam is THE Truth and the only gateway to salvation.

This is not suprising considering how our so-called 'community leaders' have immersed themselves heavily in inter-faith and regularly use terms such as 'Abrahamic faiths', and then go on to refer to Jews and Christians as 'believers', even though Allah has made it clear that Ibrahim, alaihi as-salaam, was neither a Jew nor a Christian (see 3:64-68, which interestingly enough comes right after the verse that was used to support 'A Common Word'. If only they had kept reading.) and that the believers are only those who believe in Allah and His Messenger (see 24:62 and 49:15).

The Qur'an has been translated into English several times and is widely available. While the threat of eternal judgement can and will cause offense to many, it is much better to be open and honest about this matter. We, as Muslims, do not believe that salvation is possible unless one submits to Allah and believes that there is no god but Him and Muhammad, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger. At this juncture I would recommend that people refer back to the article 'The Purpose of Life' at http://www.newmuslims.co.uk/, [Update: this article is now available here.] which contains several unequivocal verses from the Qur'an. I myself have come accross many instances, online and in person, in which a Muslim has tried to dance around this issue and a disbeliever then grows frustrated and starts quoting what Allah has said regarding eschatology, at which point the Muslim tries to retreat and back away, only increasing the disbeliever's sense that he is being lied to and/or something is being hidden from him.

These same voices in the west spend a lot of time and effort talking about 'religious tolerance' and start muddying the water and confusing common believers about the use of terms such as 'kafir' and 'non-Muslim'. First of all, religious tolerance is not the issue, and we have been commanded to tolerate kufr, i.e. the kufr of the people of the Book. We have not been commanded to accept it, though. This is made clear by Allah in 3:85. Playing around with the word 'kafir' is also problematic.

Imam Al-Maidani, the great Asha'ari Hanafi scholar of the 13th century AH, in his commentary on Imam at-Tahawi's creed text, explains that if something carries the attribute of size it should be called 'big' and if it has the attribute of smallness then it should be called 'small', so if someone carries the attribute of kufr then of course he or she is a 'kafir'. (p.90) The term 'kafir' is not derogatory but is merely a theological classification, and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah be pleased with him and raise his rank, said that 'kuffar' (plural of kafir) come in three types: the ignorant, the arrogant, and the antagonisic. The first type has not been presented with the faith, but this does not mean he is entirely ignorant because this person testified to Allah's Lordship before entering this world. See 7:172. This verse also indicates that the default state of a human being is belief in Allah, not kufr, and this is why the verb kafara also means 'to cover up'. The second and third categories have been presented with the faith but the latter is more rigid in his rejection, such that he actively works against Islam. These last two categories are understood.

Back to the first. This person has not accepted Islam, so regardless we have to present the faith to them. He or she is still technically a kafir. There is no third option. Labelling them 'non-Muslim' on the grounds that they may accept faith later, i.e. 'how do we know?', is a baseless argument because Allah has not commanded us to make judgements and verdicts regarding that which we don't know and can't know. We have only been commanded to judge by what Allah has made us privy to. If someone is not a Muslim they're a kafir, and if they're not a kafir they must be a Muslim. Because I don't know the future I have no way of knowing that all the Muslims I know personally will die as Muslims. Of course I pray that they do but does that mean I should refer to them as 'non-kafirs'? I can only judge by the here and now, and right now they're Muslims. I don't what they will be like in the future and I don't even know what they're like when they're not in my presence. However, based on what I do know and what they've told me, they're Muslims, and that's enough.

In closing, I remind myself and whoever may be reading this that we must show love and compassion to disbelievers and pray for their guidance. Our differences with them are theological; not personal. See 28:56. We should love them and love for them to be guided. What we hate is kufr. Allah hates to see them reject faith (see 40:10) and so should we.

And with Allah alone is every success!

Your brother in Faith,

Mahdi

p.s. Regarding the words 'non-Muslim' and 'kafir' and their usage, you will notice that it is most common amongst Asians and Arabs. It should be noted that the traditional Muslim lands that these people come from, i.e. from Morocco to India, have been subjected to brutal wars and oppression for over 200 years now, by and large at the hands of Europeans and Americans. You will notice that while most Asians and Arabs (and I am generalising), especially the older generation and those who have emigrated to the UK and/or US, are bitter towards the Americans and Europeans , at the same time they are full of admiration and yes, fear. Hence, when face to face with the descendants of their ancestors' colonial masters (e.g. anything from an inter-faith meeting to the workplace), the term 'non-Muslim' is used, but in private, and especially when angry about some recent event, the term 'kafir' is used, and is definitely meant in a derogative fashion.

If you are a new believer or a newly committed believer, please bear this point in mind. Arabs and Asians are collectively suffering from a very severe inferiority complex and carry an acute vicitim mentality due to what has happened over the past 200 years, most notably the events of the colonial period. Time and time again these people have been invaded and defeated, invaded and defeated, invaded and defeated. What just happened in Gaza, may Allah help those people, is just the latest in a long, long series. It shouldn't come as surprise that these people are not full of self-esteem and confidence, but they are full of anger and resentment. Think of a child at school who is bullied on a daily basis. In public he respects the bully, but in private he is very bitter.

The cry 'why are we a defeated ummah?' is not only expressed by the laity but confirmed by their scholars, even though the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, described this Ummah as marhuma, i.e. one that is shown mercy, and its punishment is in this life while its reward is in the next.

Therefore, while there are many brilliant scholars in the Arab world and the Indian sub-continent, who can teach many or all of the sciences, be wary of taking on their social and political views and mindsets. A victim mentality or inferiority complex is very dangerous for a new or newly committed believer, who needs to have confidence and pride in his or her faith.

And our last call is All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all Creation!