Category: religion



by Jamshyd Osman

 

From a tiny clot she coagulates

Butterflies her conception generates

Instant thoughts of tiny feet & legs forming

Not a sign not even a warning

 

 

As an abstract thought she exists

Keeps us warm in these nights of drizzles & mists

 

 

With hope & glee we pen our lists

Praying that nine months pass devoid of any twists

Spawned in the heavens

Spawned off love

A gift of life from above

From decaying hearts sprigs buds of hope

Rejuvenating those who dwell without scope

 

 

We knit for her aspirations

Envision her treating patients

Making me tea, looking after me

Being my eyes when I can’t see

 

 

We supplicate for a righteous slave

Bowed head, in adversity brave

An advocate of the Truth

A sharp tongue against the brute

 

 

She will stand like an Oak among the palms

Just her eyes would flock lads in swarms

Even beasts submit to her charms

Anxious to cradle her in its arms

 

 

Her destiny by now prescribed

From her first words to being a bride

A miracle transformation inside

From her Maker’s workshop to our side

In her mother’s womb dwells my pride

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Hebrew Scriptures . . . Leviticus | ToC

Clean and Unclean Foods

11 The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them: 2Speak to the people of Israel, saying:
From among all the land animals, these are the creatures that you may eat. 3Any animal that has divided hoofs and is cleft-footed and chews the cud–such you may eat. 4But among those that chew the cud or have divided hoofs, you shall not eat the following: the camel, for even though it chews the cud, it does not have divided hoofs; it is unclean for you. 5The rock badger, for even though it chews the cud, it does not have divided hoofs; it is unclean for you. 6The hare, for even though it chews the cud, it does not have divided hoofs; it is unclean for you. 7The pig, for even though it has divided hoofs and is cleft-footed, it does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. 8Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean for you.
9 These you may eat, of all that are in the waters. Everything in the waters that has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the streams–such you may eat. 10But anything in the seas or the streams that does not have fins and scales, of the swarming creatures in the waters and among all the other living creatures that are in the waters–they are detestable to you 11and detestable they shall remain. Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall regard as detestable. 12Everything in the waters that does not have fins and scales is detestable to you.
13 These you shall regard as detestable among the birds. They shall not be eaten; they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the osprey, 14the buzzard, the kite of any kind; 15every raven of any kind; 16the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk of any kind; 17the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, 18the water hen, the desert owl,a the carrion vulture, 19the stork, the heron of any kind, the hoopoe, and the bat.b Continue reading

Pahela Baishakh  first day of the Bangla year. Pahela Baishakh is celebrated in a festive manner in both Bangladesh and West Bengal. In Bangladesh Pahela Baishakh is a national holiday. Pahela Baisakh falls on April 14 or 15.

Under the Mughals, agricultural taxes were collected according to the Hijri calendar. However, as the Hijri calendar is a lunar calendar, the agricultural year does not coincide with the fiscal. As a result, farmers were hard-pressed to pay taxes out of season. In order to streamline tax collection, the Mughal Emperor akbar ordered a reform of the calendar. Accordingly, Fatehullah Shirazi, a renowned scholar and astronomer, formulated the Bangla year on the basis of the lunar Hijri and Bangla solar calendars. The new Fasli San (agricultural year) was introduced on 10/11 March 1584, but was dated from Akbar’s ascension to the throne in 1556. The new year subsequently became known as bangabda or Bengali year. Continue reading


Dr. Muntasir Mamun.

 

 THE first day of the Bengali calender-year is celebrated as the New Year in Bangladesh. As Enamul Huq has written: “The first day of the festivities performed to mark the commencement of the New Year is actually a specific festival day.”


One such day is the Bengali New Year. Its main characteristic is that it is not a festival of the Hindus or the Buddhists alone. It is universal in nature. In fact, festivals not related to faith but secular in character are rare in the world. Enamul Huq visualizes this universality in the collected prayer for rain when men and women long for the clouds during the hot Bengali calender-year (corrsponding to Mid-April to Mid-May). He writes-“Praying to the clouds for water is another popular ritual of he Bengali New Year.”
Continue reading

The Tower of Babel

After the Deluge, Noah’s descendants settled in the lowlands of Sinear, not far from the Euphrates. The spoke a common language and formed a single community. Genesis 11 tells their story: ‘And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.’ In addition, the tower had to serve as a landmark to keep people together, despite the fact that God had commanded Noah and his sons to ‘replenish’ the earth (Genesis 9:1). Also, the tower could be used as a safe haven in case of a new flood.The Tower of Babel

God looked down upon these industrious souls, and judged that in their ambition they were trying to equal him. So he decided to punish them with the Confusion of Tongues. Since people could no longer understand each other, they were scattered over the earth at last. The site of the event would from that day on be known as Babel, apparently meaning ‘confusion’. Continue reading

Apocrypha

The origin of the word apocryphon is Greek, meaning “closed” or “hidden”. This refers to the books being kept away from common souls. St. Jerome (Hieronymus, ca. 342-420) used the word to indicate the books that were not part of the Jewish Bible, the Tanakh, but were included in the Greek Septuagint Bible. Today the word usually refers to a series of mostly pre-Christian religious books not part of the official, canonical Bible.

Most of the apocryphal books in the King James Version are part of the Old Testament in the Catholic Bible. Catholics refer to these books as deuterocanonical: they are part of the Bible (i.e. canonical), but became so only after the first list had been determined (hence deutero). The deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament are: Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, Baruch, 1 en 2 Maccabees and the Additions to Daniel and Esther. Some books in the New Testament are also considered deuterocanonical: Hebrews, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, James, Jude and Revelation. Protestants, however, regard these books as fully canonical. Continue reading

April 10, 2007

CARLSBAD, Calif. — On a marquee outside and on a banner inside, Pilgrim United Church of Christ proclaims, “All are welcome.” Sustained by the belief that embracing all comers is a living example of Christ’s love, Pilgrim now faces a profound test of faith.

In late January, Mark Pliska, 53, told the congregation here that he had been in prison for molesting children but that he sought a place to worship and liked the atmosphere at Pilgrim.

Mr. Pliska’s request has plunged the close-knit congregation into a painful discussion about applying faith in a difficult real-world situation. Congregants now wonder, are all truly welcome? If they are, how do you ensure the safety of children and the healing of adult survivors of sexual abuse? Can an offender who accepts Christ truly change? Continue reading

The word “Muslim” means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background. Becoming a Muslim is a simple and easy process that requires no pre-requisites. One may convert alone in privacy, or he/she may do so in the presence of others.

If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion of God, then, all one needs to do is pronounce the “Shahada”, the testimony of faith, without further delay. The “Shahada” is the first and most important of the five pillars of Islam.

With the pronunciation of this testimony, or “Shahada”, with sincere belief and conviction, one enters the fold of Islam.

Upon entering the fold of Islam purely for the Pleasure of God, all of one’s previous sins are forgiven, and one starts a new life of piety and righteousness. The Prophet said to a person who had placed the condition upon the Prophet in accepting Islam that God would forgive his sins:

“Do you not know that accepting Islam destroys all sins which come before it?” (Saheeh Muslim)

When one accepts Islam, they in essence repent from the ways and beliefs of their previous life. One need not be overburdened by sins committed before their acceptance, but if the sin involved usurping a right of another human, such as stealing, then they should strive their utmost to return what was wrongly taken. The person’s record is clean, and it is as if he was just born from his mother’s womb. One should try as much as possible to keep his records clean and strive to do as many good deeds as possible.

The Holy Quran and Hadeeth both stress the importance of following Islam. God states:

“The only religion in the sight of God is Islam.“ (Quran 3:19)

In another verse of the Holy Quran, God states:

“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (their selves in the Hellfire).” (Quran 3:85)

In another saying, Muhammad, the Prophet of God, said:

“Whoever testifies that there in none worthy of being worshipped but God, Who has no partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and Prophet, and that Jesus is the Slave of God, His Prophet, and His word[1] which He bestowed in Mary and a spirit created from Him; and that Paradise (Heaven) is true, and that the Hellfire is true, God will eventually admit him into Paradise, according to his deeds.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari) Continue reading

Pattani, Thailand- Unknown assailants attacked an Islamic
boarding school and mosque with war weapons in Yala province, part of
Thailand’s troubled deep South, in a dawn assault that left 16
injured, police said.
Police said the unknown assailants used M-79 rocket-propelled
grenade launchers to fire on the school in Yaha district of Yala, 760
kilometres south of Bangkok, an area that is already under curfew.

The attack injured 16 people, most of whom were teenage students,
said a Yaha police officer who asked to remain anonymous.

A grenade was also fired on a nearby mosque shortly after the
school attack, but no one was injured.

Yaha has been under a night to dawn curfew since last month, when
suspected Muslim militants attacked a passenger van in broad
daylight, killing eight Thai-Buddhists, including three women, but
spared the life of the driver, a Thai-Muslim.
Continue reading