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HEALTHY & PRODUCTIVE LIFE: DIET & EXERCISE

You’ve heard this song before and you know you should do it, but ... fill in the blank: you hate exercise, you have no time, the weather is lousy, the children are sick, you’re injured, you don’t get enough sleep as it is. If you can’t get out of the house, walk inside. Go up and down stairs, walk the hall, walk from room to room, walk in place.

The diet need not be strictly vegetarian, but it should emphasize plant-based foods. You have to eat the foods to reap the rewards.

Healthy Aging, With Nary a Supplement


By JANE E. BRODY
Published: January 11, 2010

The Great Recession, so I’m told, has been great for one segment of the economy — the makers of pills and potions that offer the promise of keeping people healthy. A middle-aged woman remarked as she perused the supplement shelves in my local health food store (I was buying bulgur): “I can’t afford to get sick. I lost my job and I have no health insurance.”

Each year millions of people fall prey to false promises that this, that or the other formula or fortified food can protect their hearts, prevent cancer, improve memory, strengthen their bones, uncreak their joints, build their muscles, even enable them to burn extra calories without moving.

The desire to achieve a healthy old age is laudable indeed, and will be even more so in the future. According to a projection of the century-long rise in life expectancy published in The Lancet in October, more than half the children born since 2000 in wealthy countries can expect to celebrate their 100th birthday.

If so many of us are destined to become centenarians, it is all the more important to be able to enjoy those years unencumbered by chronic disease and disability. There is no virtue in simply living long; the goal should be to live long and well.

But while much is known about how to raise the odds of a healthy old age, only a minority of Americans incorporate into their lives what is likely to give them the biggest bang for their buck. Like the woman in the health food store, they’d rather rely on supplements of vitamins and minerals, fish oils and herbs, perhaps washed down with pricey antioxidant juices.

Unfortunately, sound evidence for the benefits of most such products is sorely lacking; in some cases the best scientific evidence has shown no benefit, and in a few cases has even shown harm. Human chemistry is far more complex than visionaries thought just two decades ago, when reputable scientists pushed for fortifying foods with substances they believed would prevent cancer and heart disease.

The Longevity Diet

After decades of government guidelines and advice from friends, family and physicians, Americans have made some improvements in their eating habits. On average, we consume less red meat and saturated fat and somewhat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Our processed foods were recently stripped of artery-clogging trans fats, thanks to a campaign that challenged the food industry to better protect American hearts. And our pigs (though, alas, not our people) have gotten much leaner in recent years.

But, and this is a big but, we are a long way from consuming the kind of diet most closely linked to a low risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke and dementia. That diet need not be strictly vegetarian, but it should emphasize plant-based foods over the meat and other products that come from animals that eat plants. The closer to the earth we eat, the healthier — and leaner — we are likely to be.

Most of the evidence for the assumed health benefits of specific nutrients comes not from stuffing people with supplements but rather from observing the effects of eating foods rich in these nutrients. Supplements of antioxidants failed to protect against disease the way a diet rich in fruits and vegetables seems to. Rather than isolated nutrients, combinations of them, along with other perhaps unidentified substances in foods, are now thought to confer the observed health benefits.

You have no doubt heard much about the so-called Mediterranean diet, and with good reason. This eating style, in its classic form, is most closely linked to a healthy body and mind as people age: a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. It is loaded with nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits, beans and grains, fish and shellfish, but relatively little meat and poultry. Olive oil is the primary fat for cooking and eating, even replacing butter as a smear on bread.

But the Mediterranean diet does not come in a pill or potion. You have to eat the foods to reap the rewards. Consider also taking supplements of two nutrients in otherwise short supply — calcium and vitamin D. In addition to protecting bones from age-related decline, vitamin D in amounts of 800 to 1,000 international units daily for middle-aged and older adults may improve muscle strength (and thus reduce the risk of falls and fractures), help prevent several common cancers, counter depression and enhance cognitive function, various studies have suggested.

The second crucial ingredient is regular physical exercise. I know, you’ve heard this song before and you know you should do it, but ... fill in the blank: you hate exercise, you have no time, the weather is lousy, the children are sick, you’re injured, you don’t get enough sleep as it is. It’s easy to find reasons not to exercise.

It’s time to stop making excuses and make regular physical activity an integral part of your life, like eating, sleeping and brushing your teeth. You don’t decide every day to do these things, you just do them. Likewise with exercise.

Move for Good Health

The single most effective activity, studies have found, is an aerobic activity like brisk walking — about 30 minutes a day. If you can’t get out of the house, walk inside. Go up and down stairs, walk the hall, walk from room to room, walk in place. If walking doesn’t suit you, try dancing to music.

In a 2006 study of people aged 60 to 79, those who were assigned to walk briskly three days a week for 45 minutes a day experienced an increase in the brain’s volume, especially in regions involved in memory, planning and multitasking.

Even people already afflicted with chronic ailments — heart or lung disease, arthritis, diabetes, depression, early dementia — can reap significant health benefits from exercise, studies have found.

Americans have yet to learn what Hippocrates, the father of medicine, recognized in 400 B.C. “All parts of the body which have a function if used in moderation and exercised in labors in which each is accustomed, become thereby healthy, well developed and age more slowly; but if unused and left idle they become liable to disease, defective in growth and age quickly.”

So get off the couch and make this year the year you discover the joys and benefits of movement.

Source:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/health/12brod.html?em

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US EMBASSY IN KL ISSUED WARDEN'S NOTICE TO TOURISTS VISITING SABAH (DWIBAHASA)



Is there any connection US Embassy warden's Notice with the recent spate of ?vandalism ?arson on Malaysian Churches?



An Embassy "warden notice" is a routine alert issued by embassies all over the world on possible risks to travellers' safety.

It is not a travel alert, a travel warning or travel advisory each of which are considered much more far reaching and connotes a more serious and ongoing threat.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar has directed the state police chief to intensify patrols along the coast and islands around Sabah especially Semporna, Mabul and Sipadan.

Police Intensify Security Patrols In Sabah

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 (Bernama) -- The police have given an assurance that security patrols in the coastal areas and islands of Sabah will be intensified as a precautionary measure following a "warden notice" issued by the United States' embassy here that foreign tourists might come under attack by irresponsible elements n the area.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said tight security would always be maintained to ensure that the country was free of all types of threats that could jeopardise national security.

"I have directed the state police chief to intensify patrols along the coast and islands around Sabah especially Semporna, Mabul and Sipadan.

"We will always monitor the situation and take appropriate action, thus the people and tourists are asked to be calm and not to be worried because we are always on alert," he told Bernama when contacted.

He was commenting on the notice which warned that criminal and terrorist groups were planning attacks against foreigners in the islands off Sabah.

The notice posted on the embassy's website and dated Friday, said resorts located in isolated areas of eastern Sabah posed a concern.

It urged "extreme caution" in connection with any travel in isolated areas of eastern Sabah, including Semporna and the islands of Mabul and Sipadan.

It noted that the Abu Sayaf militant group, an al Qaeda-linked militant group based in the southern Philippines, which is a short boat ride from Sabah, had previously kidnapped foreigners from Sabah's secluded resort areas in the past.

A "warden notice" is a routine alert issued by embassies all over the world on possible risks to travellers' safety.

It is not a travel alert or a travel warning or travel advisory which are each considered much more far reaching and connotes a more serious and ongoing threat.

Such warnings or alerts are issued only after a discussion/notification to the governments concerned.

-- BERNAMA
=================================================================================
Polis Tingkat Kawalan Keselamatan Di Sabah

KUALA LUMPUR, 16 Jan (Bernama) -- Polis menasihati rakyat tempatan dan pelancong asing agar bertenang dan memberi jaminan akan meningkatkan kawalan keselamatan di kawasan pantai dan pulau di sekitar Sabah sebagai langkah berjaga-jaga ekoran pengeluaran satu "warden notice" daripada pejabat kedutaan Amerika Syarikat di sini bahawa anasir jahat akan menyerang pelancong asing di kawasan itu.

Timbalan Ketua Polis Negara, Tan Sri Ismail Omar berkata kawalan ketat akan sentiasa dijalankan dalam memastikan negara bebas daripada segala bentuk ancaman yang boleh menggugat keselamatan negara.

"Saya telah mengarahkan Ketua Polis Negeri itu untuk meningkatkan lagi kawalan di kawasan pantai dan pulau di sekitar Sabah terutama Semporna, Mabul dan Sipadan.

"Kita akan sentiasa memantau keadaan dan mengambil tindakan sewajarnya. Justeru rakyat dan pelancong diminta untuk bertenang dan tidak perlu bimbang kerana kita sentiasa berjaga-jaga," katanya kepada Bernama ketika dihubungi.

Beliau diminta mengulas mengenai notis itu yang memberi amaran bahawa kumpulan penjenayah dan pengganas sedang merancang untuk menyerang rakyat asing di pulau-pulau di sekitar Sabah.

Kenyataan kedutaan itu menggesa agar langkah berjaga-jaga diutamakan dalam membuat sebarang perjalanan ke kawasan pedalaman di timur Sabah termasuk Semporna dan pulau Mabul serta Sipadan.

Nasihat perjalanan itu berkata kumpulan militan Abu Sayaf yang mempunyai kaitan dengan kumpulan Al-Qaeda yang berpangkalan di selatan Filipina, yang mudah didatangi dengan bot ke Sabah telah menculik warga asing daripada kawasan resot di Sabah tidak lama dahulu.

"Warden Notice" merupakan pemberitahuan rutin yang dikeluarkan oleh pejabat-pejabat keduaan di seluruh dunia mengenai kemungkinan risiko buat keselamatan pelancong.

Ia bukan nasihat perjalanan atau amaran perjalanan yang boleh dianggap sebagai lebih menyeluruh yang merangkumi ancaman yang lebih serius dan berterusan.

Amaran atau nasihat perjalanan hanya dikeluarkan selepas perbincangan dengan kerajaan terlibat diadakan.

Bernama

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BLOGGER AWAS! ANDA SEDANG DIPERHATI (DWIBAHASA)

Mursyidul Am PAS menyifatkan penulis blog yang cuba melaga-lagakan pihak tertentu khususnya dalam politik PAS Kelantan sebagai 'blogger celaka'.

Nik Aziz Kecam Penulis Blog Lebih Banyak Mengumpat

KOTA BAHARU, 15 Jan (Bernama) -- Menteri Besar Kelantan, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat sekali lagi mengulangi kritikannya terhadap penulis blog yang lebih dianggap sebagai mengumpat daripada memberi ilmu kepada pembaca.

Katanya tulisan blog banyak bersifat mengumpat orang lain dengan pelbagai isu dan meminta rakyat menapis maklumat yang tidak mendatangkan ilmu yang disalurkan oleh penulis dalam blog masing-masing.

"Blogger yang macam ini bukan boleh nak tambah ilmu, kerana banyak dok mengumpat orang. Kalau blogger boleh tambah ilmu tak apa," katanya ketika menyampaikan kuliahnya di Dataran Ilmu, di sini, pada Jumaat.

Baru-baru ini, Nik Aziz, Mursyidul Am PAS itu, menyifatkan penulis blog yang cuba melaga-lagakan pihak tertentu khususnya dalam politik PAS Kelantan sebagai 'blogger celaka'.

Dalam perkembangan lain, beliau mencadangkan pembuat kuih tradisonal di negeri itu mengambil langkah proaktif menukar nama-nama kuih tradisional yang tidak manis didengar, seperti kuih 'tahi itik'.

Katanya nama baru yang lebih sedap didengar boleh menarik orang ramai membelinya sesuai dengan keenakan kuih berkenaan.

Menurutnya, kalau nama kuih tradisional lain, seperti 'puteri mandi', 'jala emas' boleh dinamakan maka tidak ada sebab kuih 'tahi itik' juga ditukar kepada nama yang lebih sesuai.

-- BERNAMA
=====================================================================================
Nik Aziz hits out at bloggers who vilify rather than educate

KOTA BARU (Jan 15, 2010): Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat once again hit out at bloggers who are preoccupied with maligning and gossiping about others rather than disseminating useful knowledge to Net surfers.

"It's unfortunate that the blogs are not used to search for and increase one's knowledge but more for vilifying others over various issues.

"This type of bloggers are a bane. It's alright if they use their blogs to gain useful information to increase and share their knowledge," he said in his lecture at Dataran Ilmu, here, today.

Nik Aziz hence wants the people to be more discerning in accepting information from the blogsites.

At a recent news conference, he had described those bloggers who tried to cause friction among groups, especially in PAS internal politics, as damnable bloggers.

Nik Aziz was angry over a rumour circulating in the blogosphere that senior state executive councillor Datuk Husam Musa intended to quit his post due to the PAS political crisis in Kelantan.

The PAS spiritual leader said "humankind's blissful existence is not because of money, but because of Allah's blessings by practising a way of life approved by Him".

On another matter, Nik Aziz proposed that traditional 'kuih' (cake) makers in the state take proactive steps to change some of the kuih names like 'tahi itik' (duck faeces) to more palatable names to attract buyers.

"If there are beautiful kuih names like 'puteri mandi' (bathing princess) and 'jala emas' (golden net), there's no reason why the delicious 'tahi itik' cannot be changed to a better name," he said.

Explainer: Both jala emas and tahi itik are made with duck eggs, the former with the yolk which lends it the golden hue, and the latter with the leftover egg white. In this case, the tahi refers to "leftover" (the egg white), and not faeces.

Bernama/sun2surf

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VOODOO LAND HIT BY MASSIVE QUAKE


Haiti Earthquake Slide Show

Video Of Voodoo Land

Haiti Earthquake


• USGS: USGS called it the strongest earthquake since 1770 in what is now Haiti

• The quake struck on January 12, 2010 at 4:53 p.m.

• The 7.0 magnitude quake's epicenter hit just 10 miles west of Porte-au-Prince and its 2 million inhabitants

• 3 million people in need of emergency aid after major earthquake

• The major quake sent 33 aftershocks ranging in magnitude from 4.2 to 5.9

• The Red Cross dispatched a relief team from Geneva and the UN's World Food Program is flying in two planes with emergency food aid.

• The Inter-American Development Bank said it was immediately approving a $200,000 grant for emergency aid.

• Some 9,000 peacekeepers have been in Haiti since 2004, including 1,266 Brazilians.

• Haiti has no real construction standards.

• November 2008: Following the collapse of a school in Petionville, the mayor of Port-au-Prince estimated about 60% of buildings were shoddily built and unsafe in normal circumstances.


History of Haiti

• Discovered by Columbus in 1492.

• Haiti won its independence from France on January 1, 1804.

• Population of nearly 10 million people.

• Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

• 80% of the population in Haiti is living under the poverty line.

• Most Haitians live on less than $2 a day.

• More than two-thirds of the labor force do not have formal jobs.

• Haiti is slightly smaller than Maryland.

• The Haiti telecommunications infrastructure is among the least developed in Latin America and the Caribbean.

• Haiti has 14 airports; 4 have paved runways.

• Haiti’s capital is Porte-au-Prince, a coastal city with about 2 million inhabitants.

• After decades of dictatorship, former Roman Catholic priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide became Haiti's first freely elected leader in 1990.

• Aristide was ousted by a military coup in 1991 but reinstated with U.S. backing.

• Aristide was forced out of the country and into exile in 2004 by a rebellion of gangs and former soldiers.

• Democratic rule was restored in 2006.

• Haiti has been led by President Rene Preval since May 2006 when the country returned to constitutional rule.

• Haiti is one of the original members of the United Nations and several of its specialized and related agencies, as well as a member of the Organization of American States (OAS).

• In July 2004, $1.085 billion was pledged through 2006 at the World Bank Donors' Conference. Donors included the U.S., Canada, the EU, France, Sweden, Spain, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Greece, Norway, Mexico, and Ireland

Haiti


Capital: Port-au-Prince

Time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Land: 27,560 sq km (slightly smaller than Maryland)

Population: 9,035,536 (U.S. 307,212,123)

Population Growth rate: 1.84% (U.S. 0.98%)

Urban population: 47% of total population (U.S. 82% of population)

Ethnic groups: black 95%, mulatto and white 5%

Life expectancy at birth: 60.78 years (U.S. 78.11)

HIV/AIDS - deaths: 7,200 (2007 est.)

Religions: Roman Catholic 80%, Protestant 16% (Baptist 10%, Pentecostal 4%, Adventist 1%, other 1%), none 1%, other 3% - note: roughly half of the population practices voodoo

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 52.9%

Independence: January 1, 1804 (from France)

Chief of state: President Rene PREVAL (since 14 May 2006)

Head of government: Prime Minister Jean-Max BELLERIVE (since 7 November 2009)

U.S. Ambassador to Haiti: Ambassador Kenneth H. MERTEN

Haitian Ambassador to U.S.: Ambassador Raymond Joseph

GDP: $11.53 billion – 154th in the World (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,300 – 203rd in the world (2008 est.)

Labor force: 3.643 million (2008 est)

Population below poverty line: 80%



Economy

• GDP (purchasing power parity): $11.53 billion (2008 est.)

• GDP (official exchange rate): $6.943 billion (2008 est.)

• GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,300 (2008 est.)

• GDP - composition by sector: Agriculture: 28%, Industry: 20%, Services: 52% (2004 est.)

• Labor force: 3.643 million

• Labor force - by occupation: Agriculture: 66%

• Population below poverty line: 80% and 54% in abject poverty.

• Haiti now ranks 146th of 177 countries in the UN's Human Development Index.

• Haiti has no regular military forces. The Army, Navy, and Air Force have been demobilized.

• Haiti has a small Coast Guard.

• The Haitian National Police has nearly 10,000 officers.

• The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti consists of a military component of up to 6,940 troops and a police component of up to 2,211 police.

As of November 30, 2009 (latest data), the UN peacekeeping staff in Haiti consisted of:

- 9,065 total uniformed personnel (7,031 troops and 2,034 police)

- 488 international civilian personnel

- 1,212 local civilian staff

- 214 United Nations Volunteers

• Countries that contributed military personnel include: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Jordan, Nepal, Paraguay, Peru, Phillipines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, United States and Uruguay.

• Countries that contributed police personnel include: Argentina, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Columbia, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Guinea, India, Jamaica, Jordan, Madagascar, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Togo, Turkey, United States, Uruguay and Yemen.

Other Haitian Natural Disasters

• August and September 2008: Four separate hurricanes or tropical storms - Tropical Storm Fay and hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike - in the space of 30 days killing a total of 793 people and leaving more than 300 others missing, according to government figures. About 60 per cent of the country's harvest was destroyed and entire cities were rendered desolate and uninhabitable.

• September 2004: Hurricane Jeanne deluged the tiny Caribbean country. Resulting flooding and landslides killed up to 2,500 people and displacing thousands more.

• September 1998: Hurricane George killed more than 400 people while destroying 80 per cent of all the crops in the country.

• 1994: Hurricane Gordon killed over 1000 Haitians.

• 1963: Hurricane Flora killed over 8000 people, making it the 6th most deadly hurricane ever.

• 1954: Hurricane Hazel killed more than 100 people and destroyed several towns. The storm also wiped out 40 per cent of the coffee trees and 50 per cent of the cacao crop.

• November 1946: The largest recorded earthquake in modern times on the island of Hispaniola was an 8.1-magnitude temblor that produced a tsunami and killed 1,790 people. Centered in the Dominican Republic, it extended into Haiti.

• 1935: An unnamed storm killed more than 2000 people.


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GARIS PANDUAN PENDAFTARAN SEKOLAH ANAK WARGA ASING

Pendaftaran sekolah bagi anak-anak warganegara asing di sekolah kerajaan,

1. Bagi warganegara Myanmar atau Rohingya yang mempunyai permit pekerjaan di negara ini, mereka boleh mendaftarkan anak mereka di sekolah kerajaan, tetapi mesti berpendapatan melebihi RM3,500 serta mempunyai dokumen yang sah dan dikenakan yuran sebanyak RM120 bagi sekolah rendah, manakala RM240 untuk sekolah menengah.

2. Bagi pelarian atau pemegang kad Pesuruhjaya Tinggi Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu Untuk Pelarian (UNCHR) pula, mereka tidak boleh mendaftarkan anak mereka di sekolah kerajaan,

3. Bagi rakyat asing yang berkahwin dengan warganegara ini, dokumen pengesahan daripada ketua kampung atau penghulu sudah mencukupi, tetapi masih perlu membayar jumlah yuran yang sama.

Sumber: IPTA Tidak Wajar Tawar Program Pendidikan Sekolah Rendah

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A COMMON WORD BETWEEN US AND YOU




In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

A Common Word between Us and You

(Summary and Abridgement)

Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world’s population. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world. The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians.

The basis for this peace and understanding already exists. It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God, and love of the neighbour. These principles are found over and over again in the sacred texts of Islam and Christianity. The Unity of God, the necessity of love for Him, and the necessity of love of the neighbour is thus the common ground between Islam and Christianity. The following are only a few examples:

Of God’s Unity, God says in the Holy Qur’an: Say: He is God, the One! / God, the Self-Sufficient Besought of all! (Al-Ikhlas, 112:1-2). Of the necessity of love for God, God says in the Holy Qur’an: So invoke the Name of thy Lord and devote thyself to Him with a complete devotion (Al-Muzzammil, 73:8). Of the necessity of love for the neighbour, the Prophet Muhammad said: “None of you has faith until you love for your neighbour what you love for yourself.”

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ said: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. / And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. / And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)

In the Holy Qur’an, God Most High enjoins Muslims to issue the following call to Christians (and Jews—the People of the Scripture):

Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a common word between us and you: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him). (Aal ‘Imran 3:64)

The words: we shall ascribe no partner unto Him relate to the Unity of God, and the words: worship none but God, relate to being totally devoted to God. Hence they all relate to the First and Greatest Commandment. According to one of the oldest and most authoritative commentaries on the Holy Qur’an the words: that none of us shall take others for lords beside God, mean ‘that none of us should obey the other in disobedience to what God has commanded’. This relates to the Second Commandment because justice and freedom of religion are a crucial part of love of the neighbour.

Thus in obedience to the Holy Qur’an, we as Muslims invite Christians to come together with us on the basis of what is common to us, which is also what is most essential to our faith and practice: the Two Commandments of love.

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful,

And may peace and blessings be upon the Prophet Muhammad

A COMMON WORD BETWEEN US AND YOU

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful,

Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and contend with them in the fairest way. Lo! thy Lord is Best Aware of him who strayeth from His way, and He is Best Aware of those who go aright.

(The Holy Qur’an, Al-Nahl, 16:125)

(I) LOVE OF GOD

LOVE OF GOD IN ISLAM

The Testimonies of Faith

The central creed of Islam consists of the two testimonies of faith or Shahadahsi, which state that: There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God. These Two Testimonies are the sine qua non of Islam. He or she who testifies to them is a Muslim; he or she who denies them is not a Muslim. Moreover, the Prophet Muhammad said: The best remembrance is: ‘There is no god but God’….ii

The Best that All the Prophets have Said

Expanding on the best remembrance, the Prophet Muhammad also said: The best that I have said—myself, and the prophets that came before me—is: ‘There is no god but God, He Alone, He hath no associate, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things’iii. The phrases which follow the First Testimony of faith are all from the Holy Qur’an; each describe a mode of love of God, and devotion to Him.

The words: He Alone, remind Muslims that their heartsiv must be devoted to God Alone, since God says in the Holy Qur’an: God hath not assigned unto any man two hearts within his body (Al-Ahzab, 33:4). God is Absolute and therefore devotion to Him must be totally sincere.

The words: He hath no associate, remind Muslims that they must love God uniquely, without rivals within their souls, since God says in the Holy Qur’an: Yet there are men who take rivals unto God: they love them as they should love God. But those of faith are more intense in their love for God …. (Al-Baqarah, 2:165). Indeed, [T]heir flesh and their hearts soften unto the remembrance of God …. (Al-Zumar, 39:23).

The words: His is the sovereignty, remind Muslims that their minds or their understandings must be totally devoted to God, for the sovereignty is precisely everything in creation or existence and everything that the mind can know. And all is in God’s Hand, since God says in the Holy Qur’an: Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the sovereignty, and, He is Able to do all things (Al-Mulk, 67:1).

The words: His is the praise remind Muslims that they must be grateful to God and trust Him with all their sentiments and emotions. God says in the Holy Qur’an:

And if thou wert to ask them: Who created the heavens and the earth, and constrained the sun and the moon (to their appointed work)? they would say: God. How then are they turned away ? / God maketh the provision wide for whom He will of His servants, and straiteneth it for whom (He will). Lo! God is Aware of all things. / And if thou wert to ask them: Who causeth water to come down from the sky, and therewith reviveth the earth after its death ? they verily would say: God. Say: Praise be to God! But most of them have no sense. (Al-‘Ankabut, 29:61-63)v

For all these bounties and more, human beings must always be truly grateful:

God is He Who created the heavens and the earth, and causeth water to descend from the sky, thereby producing fruits as food for you, and maketh the ships to be of service unto you, that they may run upon the sea at His command, and hath made of service unto you the rivers; / And maketh the sun and the moon, constant in their courses, to be of service unto you, and hath made of service unto you the night and the day./ And He giveth you of all ye ask of Him, and if ye would count the graces of God ye cannot reckon them. Lo! man is verily a wrong-doer, an ingrate. (Ibrahim, 14:32-34)vi

Indeed, the Fatihah—which is the greatest chapter in the Holy Qur’anvii—starts with praise to God:

In the Name of God, the Infinitely Good, the All-Merciful. /

Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds. /

The Infinitely Good, the All-Merciful. /

Owner of the Day of Judgement. /

Thee we worship, and Thee we ask for help. /

Guide us upon the straight path. /

The path of those on whom is Thy Grace, not those who deserve anger nor those who are astray. (Al-Fatihah, 1:1-7)

The Fatihah, recited at least seventeen times daily by Muslims in the canonical prayers, reminds us of the praise and gratitude due to God for His Attributes of Infinite Goodness and All-Mercifulness, not merely for His Goodness and Mercy to us in this life but ultimately, on the Day of Judgementviii when it matters the most and when we hope to be forgiven for our sins. It thus ends with prayers for grace and guidance, so that we might attain—through what begins with praise and gratitude— salvation and love, for God says in the Holy Qur’an: Lo! those who believe and do good works, the Infinitely Good will appoint for them love. (Maryam, 19:96)

The words: and He hath power over all things, remind Muslims that they must be mindful of God’s Omnipotence and thus fear Godix. God says in the Holy Qur’an:

… [A]nd fear God, and know that God is with the God-fearing. / Spend your wealth for the cause of God, and be not cast by your own hands to ruin; and do good. Lo! God loveth the virtuous. / …. (Al-Baqarah, 2:194-5)…

[A]nd fear God, and know that God is severe in punishment. (Al-Baqarah, 2:196)

Through fear of God, the actions, might and strength of Muslims should be totally devoted to God. God says in the Holy Qur’an:

…[A]nd know that God is with those who fear Him. (Al-Tawbah, 9:36) ….

O ye who believe! What aileth you that when it is said unto you: Go forth in the way of God, ye are bowed down to the ground with heaviness. Take ye pleasure in the life of the world rather than in the Hereafter ? The comfort of the life of the world is but little in the Hereafter. / If ye go not forth He will afflict you with a painful doom, and will choose instead of you a folk other than you. Ye cannot harm Him at all. God is Able to do all things. (Al-Tawbah, 9:38-39)

The words: His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things, when taken all together, remind Muslims that just as everything in creation glorifies God, everything that is in their souls must be devoted to God:

All that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth glorifieth God; His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things. (Al-Taghabun, 64:1)

For indeed, all that is in people’s souls is known, and accountable, to God:

He knoweth all that is in the heavens and the earth, and He knoweth what ye conceal and what ye publish. And God is Aware of what is in the breasts (of men). (Al-Taghabun, 64:4)

As we can see from all the passages quoted above, souls are depicted in the Holy Qur’an as having three main faculties: the mind or the intelligence, which is made for comprehending the truth; the will which is made for freedom of choice, and sentiment which is made for loving the good and the beautifulx. Put in another way, we could say that man’s soul knows through understanding the truth, through willing the good, and through virtuous emotions and feeling love for God. Continuing in the same chapter of the Holy Qur’an (as that quoted above), God orders people to fear Him as much as possible, and to listen (and thus to understand the truth); to obey (and thus to will the good), and to spend (and thus to exercise love and virtue), which, He says, is better for our souls. By engaging everything in our souls—the faculties of knowledge, will, and love—we may come to be purified and attain ultimate success:

So fear God as best ye can, and listen, and obey, and spend; that is better for your souls. And those who are saved from the pettiness of their own souls, such are the successful. (Al-Taghabun, 64:16)

In summary then, when the entire phrase He Alone, He hath no associate, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things is added to the testimony of faith—There is no god but God—it reminds Muslims that their hearts, their individual souls and all the faculties and powers of their souls (or simply their entire hearts and souls) must be totally devoted and attached to God. Thus God says to the Prophet Muhammad in the Holy Qur’an:

Say: Lo! my worship and my sacrifice and my living and my dying are for God, Lord of the Worlds. / He hath no partner. This am I commanded, and I am first of those who surrender (unto Him). / Say: Shall I seek another than God for Lord, when He is Lord of all things? Each soul earneth only on its own account, nor doth any laden bear another’s load…. (Al-An’am, 6:162-164)

These verses epitomize the Prophet Muhammad’s complete and utter devotion to God. Thus in the Holy Qur’an God enjoins Muslims who truly love God to follow this examplexi, in order in turn to be lovedxii by God:

Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love God, follow me; God will love you and forgive you your sins. God is Forgiving, Merciful. (Aal ‘Imran, 3:31)

Love of God in Islam is thus part of complete and total devotion to God; it is not a mere fleeting, partial emotion. As seen above, God commands in the Holy Qur’an: Say: Lo! my worship and my sacrifice and my living and my dying are for God, Lord of the Worlds. / He hath no partner. The call to be totally devoted and attached to God heart and soul, far from being a call for a mere emotion or for a mood, is in fact an injunction requiring all-embracing, constant and active love of God. It demands a love in which the innermost spiritual heart and the whole of the soul—with its intelligence, will and feeling—participate through devotion.

None Comes with Anything Better

We have seen how the blessed phrase: There is no god but God, He Alone, He hath no associate, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things—which is the best that all the prophets have said—makes explicit what is implicit in the best remembrance (There is no god but God) by showing what it requires and entails, by way of devotion. It remains to be said that this blessed formula is also in itself a sacred invocation—a kind of extension of the First Testimony of faith (There is no god but God)—the ritual repetition of which can bring about, through God’s grace, some of the devotional attitudes it demands, namely, loving and being devoted to God with all one’s heart, all one’s soul, all one’s mind, all one’s will or strength, and all one’s sentiment. Hence the Prophet Muhammad commended this remembrance by saying:

He who says: ‘There is no god but God, He Alone, He hath no associate, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things’ one hundred times in a day, it is for them equal to setting ten slaves free, and one hundred good deeds are written for them and one hundred bad deeds are effaced, and it is for them a protection from the devil for that day until the evening. And none offers anything better than that, save one who does more than that.xiii

In other words, the blessed remembrance, There is no god but God, He Alone, He hath no associate, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things, not only requires and implies that Muslims must be totally devoted to God and love Him with their whole hearts and their whole souls and all that is in them, but provides a way, like its beginning (the testimony of faith)—through its frequent repetitionxiv—for them to realize this love with everything they are.
God says in one of the very first revelations in the Holy Qur’an: So invoke the Name of thy Lord and devote thyself to Him with a complete devotion (Al-Muzzammil, 73:8).



LOVE OF GOD AS THE FIRST AND GREATEST COMMANDMENT IN THE BIBLE

The Shema in the Book of Deuteronomy (6:4-5), a centrepiece of the Old Testament and of Jewish liturgy, says: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! / You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.xv

Likewise, in the New Testament, when Jesus Christ, the Messiah , is asked about the Greatest Commandment, he answers :

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. / Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, / “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” / Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ / This is the first and greatest commandment. / And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ / On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:34-40)

And also:

Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” / Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. / And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. / And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31)

The commandment to love God fully is thus the First and Greatest Commandment of the Bible. Indeed, it is to be found in a number of other places throughout the Bible including: Deuteronomy 4:29, 10:12, 11:13 (also part of the Shema), 13:3, 26:16, 30:2, 30:6, 30:10; Joshua 22:5; Mark 12:32-33 and Luke 10:27-28.

However, in various places throughout the Bible, it occurs in slightly different forms and versions. For instance, in Matthew 22:37 (You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind), the Greek word for “heart” is kardia, the word for “soul” is psyche, and the word for “mind” is dianoia. In the version from Mark 12:30 (And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength) the word “strength” is added to the aforementioned three, translating the Greek word ischus.
The words of the lawyer in Luke 10:27 (which are confirmed by Jesus Christ in Luke 10:28) contain the same four terms as Mark 12:30. The words of the scribe in Mark 12:32 (which are approved of by Jesus Christ in Mark 12:34) contain the three terms kardia (“heart”), dianoia (“mind”), and ischus (“strength”).
In the Shema of Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! / You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength). In Hebrew the word for “heart” is lev, the word for “soul” is nefesh, and the word for “strength” is me’od.
In Joshua 22:5, the Israelites are commanded by Joshua to love God and be devoted to Him as follows:

“But take careful heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Joshua 22:5)

What all these versions thus have in common—despite the language differences between the Hebrew Old Testament, the original words of Jesus Christ in Aramaic, and the actual transmitted Greek of the New Testament—is the command to love God fully with one’s heart and soul and to be fully devoted to Him. This is the First and Greatest Commandment for human beings.

In the light of what we have seen to be necessarily implied and evoked by the Prophet Muhammad’s blessed saying: ‘The best that I have said—myself, and the prophets that came before me—is: ‘There is no god but God, He Alone, He hath no associate, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things’ xvi, we can now perhaps understand the words ‘The best that I have said—myself, and the prophets that came before me’ as equating the blessed formula ‘There is no god but God, He Alone, He hath no associate, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things’ precisely with the ‘First and Greatest Commandment’ to love God, with all one’s heart and soul, as found in various places in the Bible. That is to say, in other words, that the Prophet Muhammad was perhaps, through inspiration, restating and alluding to the Bible’s First Commandment. God knows best, but certainly we have seen their effective similarity in meaning. Moreover, we also do know (as can be seen in the endnotes), that both formulas have another remarkable parallel: the way they arise in a number of slightly differing versions and forms in different contexts, all of which, nevertheless, emphasize the primacy of total love and devotion to God xvii.



(II) LOVE OF THE NEIGHBOUR

LOVE OF THE NEIGHBOUR IN ISLAM

There are numerous injunctions in Islam about the necessity and paramount importance of love for—and mercy towards—the neighbour. Love of the neighbour is an essential and integral part of faith in God and love of God because in Islam without love of the neighbour there is no true faith in God and no righteousness. The Prophet Muhammad said: “None of you has faith until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.”xviiiAnd: “None of you has faith until you love for your neighbour what you love for yourself.”xix

However, empathy and sympathy for the neighbour—and even formal prayers— are not enough. They must be accompanied by generosity and self-sacrifice. God says in the Holy Qur’an:

It is not righteousness that ye turn your facesxx to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believeth in God and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the prophets; and giveth wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observeth proper worship and payeth the poor-due. And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are they who are sincere. Such are the pious. (Al-Baqarah 2:177)

And also:

Ye will not attain unto righteousness until ye expend of that which ye love. And whatsoever ye expend, God is Aware thereof. (Aal ‘Imran, 3:92)

Without giving the neighbour what we ourselves love, we do not truly love God or the neighbour.



LOVE OF THE NEIGHBOUR IN THE BIBLE

We have already cited the words of the Messiah, Jesus Christ , about the paramount importance, second only to the love of God, of the love of the neighbour:

This is the first and greatest commandment. / And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ / On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 22:38-40)



And:



And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31)

It remains only to be noted that this commandment is also to be found in the Old Testament:

You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbour, and not bear sin because of him. / You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:17-18)

Thus the Second Commandment, like the First Commandment, demands generosity and self-sacrifice, and On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.



(III) COME TO A COMMON WORD BETWEEN US AND YOU

A Common Word

Whilst Islam and Christianity are obviously different religions—and whilst there is no minimising some of their formal differences—it is clear that the Two Greatest Commandments are an area of common ground and a link between the Qur’an, the Torah and the New Testament. What prefaces the Two Commandments in the Torah and the New Testament, and what they arise out of, is the Unity of God—that there is only one God. For the Shema in the Torah, starts: (Deuteronomy 6:4) Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! Likewise, Jesus said: (Mark 12:29) “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one”. Likewise, God says in the Holy Qur’an: Say: He, God, is One. / God, the Self-Sufficient Besought of all. (Al-Ikhlas, 112:1-2). Thus the Unity of God, love of Him, and love of the neighbour form a common ground upon which Islam and Christianity (and Judaism) are founded.
This could not be otherwise since Jesus said: (Matthew 22:40)“On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Moreover, God confirms in the Holy Qur’an that the Prophet Muhammad brought nothing fundamentally or essentially new: Naught is said to thee (Muhammad) but what already was said to the messengers before thee (Fussilat 41:43). And: Say (Muhammad): I am no new thing among the messengers (of God), nor know I what will be done with me or with you. I do but follow that which is Revealed to me, and I am but a plain warner (Al-Ahqaf, 46:9). Thus also God in the Holy Qur’an confirms that the same eternal truths of the Unity of God, of the necessity for total love and devotion to God (and thus shunning false gods), and of the necessity for love of fellow human beings (and thus justice), underlie all true religion:

And verily We have raised in every nation a messenger, (proclaiming): Worship God and shun false gods. Then some of them (there were) whom God guided, and some of them (there were) upon whom error had just hold. Do but travel in the land and see the nature of the consequence for the deniers! (Al-Nahl, 16:36)

We verily sent Our messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance, that mankind may stand forth in justice…. (Al-Hadid, 57:25)

Come to a Common Word!

In the Holy Qur’an, God Most High tells Muslims to issue the following call to Christians (and Jews—the People of the Scripture):

Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a common word between us and you: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him). (Aal ‘Imran 3:64)

Clearly, the blessed words: we shall ascribe no partner unto Him relate to the Unity of God. Clearly also, worshipping none but God, relates to being totally devoted to God and hence to the First and Greatest Commandment. According to one of the oldest and most authoritative commentaries (tafsir) on the Holy Qur’an—the Jami’ Al-Bayan fi Ta’wil Al-Qur’an of Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Jarir Al-Tabari (d. 310 A.H. / 923 C.E.)—that none of us shall take others for lords beside God, means ‘that none of us should obey in disobedience to what God has commanded, nor glorify them by prostrating to them in the same way as they prostrate to God’.

In other words, that Muslims, Christians and Jews should be free to each follow what God commanded them, and not have ‘to prostrate before kings and the like’xxi; for God says elsewhere in the Holy Qur’an: Let there be no compulsion in religion…. (Al-Baqarah, 2:256). This clearly relates to the Second Commandment and to love of the neighbour of which justicexxii and freedom of religion are a crucial part. God says in the Holy Qur’an:

God forbiddeth you not those who warred not against you on account of religion and drove you not out from your homes, that ye should show them kindness and deal justly with them. Lo! God loveth the just dealers. (Al-Mumtahinah, 60:8)

We thus as Muslims invite Christians to remember Jesus’s words in the Gospel (Mark 12:29-31):

… the LORD our God, the LORD is one. / And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. / And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.

As Muslims, we say to Christians that we are not against them and that Islam is not against them—so long as they do not wage war against Muslims on account of their religion, oppress them and drive them out of their homes, (in accordance with the verse of the Holy Qur’an [Al-Mumtahinah, 60:8] quoted above). Moreover, God says in the Holy Qur’an:

They are not all alike. Of the People of the Scripture there is a staunch community who recite the revelations of God in the night season, falling prostrate (before Him). / They believe in God and the Last Day, and enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency, and vie one with another in good works. These are of the righteous. / And whatever good they do, nothing will be rejected of them. God is Aware of those who ward off (evil). (Aal-‘Imran, 3:113-115)

Is Christianity necessarily against Muslims? In the Gospel Jesus Christ says:

He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters abroad. (Matthew 12:30)

For he who is not against us is on our side. (Mark 9:40)

… for he who is not against us is on our side. (Luke 9:50)

According to the Blessed Theophylact’sxxiii Explanation of the New Testament, these statements are not contradictions because the first statement (in the actual Greek text of the New Testament) refers to demons, whereas the second and third statements refer to people who recognised Jesus, but were not Christians. Muslims recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah, not in the same way Christians do (but Christians themselves anyway have never all agreed with each other on Jesus Christ’s nature), but in the following way: …. the Messiah Jesus son of Mary is a Messenger of God and His Word which he cast unto Mary and a Spirit from Him.... (Al-Nisa’, 4:171). We therefore invite Christians to consider Muslims not against and thus with them, in accordance with Jesus Christ’s words here.

Finally, as Muslims, and in obedience to the Holy Qur’an, we ask Christians to come together with us on the common essentials of our two religions … that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God … (Aal ‘Imran, 3:64).
Let this common ground be the basis of all future interfaith dialogue between us, for our common ground is that on which hangs all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:40). God says in the Holy Qur’an:

Say (O Muslims): We believe in God and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered. / And if they believe in the like of that which ye believe, then are they rightly guided. But if they turn away, then are they in schism, and God will suffice thee against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower. (Al-Baqarah, 2:136-137)



Between Us and You

Finding common ground between Muslims and Christians is not simply a matter for polite ecumenical dialogue between selected religious leaders. Christianity and Islam are the largest and second largest religions in the world and in history. Christians and Muslims reportedly make up over a third and over a fifth of humanity respectively. Together they make up more than 55% of the world’s population, making the relationship between these two religious communities the most important factor in contributing to meaningful peace around the world. If Muslims and Christians are not at peace, the world cannot be at peace. With the terrible weaponry of the modern world; with Muslims and Christians intertwined everywhere as never before, no side can unilaterally win a conflict between more than half of the world’s inhabitants. Thus our common future is at stake. The very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake.
And to those who nevertheless relish conflict and destruction for their own sake or reckon that ultimately they stand to gain through them, we say that our very eternal souls are all also at stake if we fail to sincerely make every effort to make peace and come together in harmony. God says in the Holy Qur’an: Lo! God enjoineth justice and kindness, and giving to kinsfolk, and forbiddeth lewdness and abomination and wickedness. He exhorteth you in order that ye may take heed (Al Nahl, 16:90). Jesus Christ said: Blessed are the peacemakers ….(Matthew 5:9), and also: For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? (Matthew 16:26).

So let our differences not cause hatred and strife between us. Let us vie with each other only in righteousness and good works. Let us respect each other, be fair, just and kind to another and live in sincere peace, harmony and mutual goodwill. God says in the Holy Qur’an:

And unto thee have We revealed the Scripture with the truth, confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher over it. So judge between them by that which God hath revealed, and follow not their desires away from the truth which hath come unto thee. For each We have appointed a law and a way. Had God willed He could have made you one community. But that He may try you by that which He hath given you (He hath made you as ye are). So vie one with another in good works. Unto God ye will all return, and He will then inform you of that wherein ye differ. (Al-Ma’idah, 5:48)



Wal-Salaamu ‘Alaykum,
Pax Vobiscum.



© 2007 C.E., 1428 A.H.,
The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, Jordan.
See: www.acommonword.org or: www.acommonword.com


NOTES


i In Arabic: La illaha illa Allah Muhammad rasul Allah. The two Shahadahs actually both occur (albeit separately) as phrases in the Holy Qur’an (in Muhammad 47:19, and Al-Fath 48:29, respectively).

ii Sunan Al-Tirmidhi, Kitab Al-Da’awat, 462/5, no. 3383; Sunan Ibn Majah, 1249/2.

iii Sunan Al-Tirmidhi, Kitab Al-Da’awat, Bab al-Du’a fi Yawm ‘Arafah, Hadith no. 3934.
It is important to note that the additional phrases, He Alone, He hath no associate, His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things, all come from the Holy Qur’an, in exactly those forms, albeit in different passages. He Alone—referring to God Y—is found at least six times in the Holy Qur’an (7:70; 14:40; 39:45; 40:12; 40:84 and 60:4). He hath no associate, is found in exactly that form at least once (Al-An’am, 6:173). His is the sovereignty and His is the praise and He hath power over all things, is found in exactly this form once in the Holy Qur’an (Al-Taghabun, 64:1), and parts of it are found a number of other times (for instance, the words, He hath power over all things, are found at least five times: 5:120; 11:4; 30:50; 42:9 and 57:2).

iv The Heart In Islam the (spiritual, not physical) heart is the organ of perception of spiritual and metaphysical knowledge. Of one of the Prophet Muhammad’s greatest visions God says in the Holy Qur’an: The inner heart lied not (in seeing) what it saw. (al-Najm, 53:11) Indeed, elsewhere in the Holy Qur’an, God says: [F]or indeed it is not the eyes that grow blind, but it is the hearts, which are within the bosoms, that grow blind. (Al-Hajj, 22:46; see whole verse and also: 2:9-10; 2:74; 8:24; 26:88-89; 48:4; 83:14 et al.. There are in fact over a hundred mentions of the heart and its synonyms in the Holy Qur’an.)
Now there are different understandings amongst Muslims as regards the direct Vision of God (as opposed to spiritual realities as such) God, be it in this life or the next—God says in the Holy Qur’an (of the Day of Judgement):

That day will faces be resplendent, / Looking toward their Lord; (Al-Qiyamah, 75:22-23)
Yet God also says in the Holy Qur’an:

Such is God, your Lord. There is no God save Him, the Creator of all things, so worship Him. And He taketh care of all things. / Vision comprehendeth Him not, but He comprehendeth (all) vision. He is the Subtile, the Aware. / Proofs have come unto you from your Lord, so whoso seeth, it is for his own good, and whoso is blind is blind to his own hurt. And I am not a keeper over you. (Al-An’am, 6:102-104)

Howbeit, it is evident that the Muslim conception of the (spiritual) heart is not very different from the Christian conception of the (spiritual) heart, as seen in Jesus’s words in the New Testament: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8); and Paul’s words: For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I am known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

v See also: Luqman, 31:25.

vi See also: Al-Nahl, 16:3-18.

vii Sahih Bukhari, Kitab Tafsir Al-Qur’an, Bab ma Ja’a fi Fatihat Al-Kitab (Hadith no.1); also: Sahih Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Al-Qur’an, Bab Fadl Fatihat Al-Kitab, (Hadith no.9), no. 5006.

viii The Prophet Muhammad said:

God has one hundred mercies. He has sent down one of them between genii and human beings and beasts and animals and because of it they feel with each other; and through it they have mercy on each other; and through it, the wild animal feels for its offspring. And God has delayed ninety-nine mercies through which he will have mercy on his servants on the Day of Judgement. (Sahih Muslm, Kitab Al-Tawbah; 2109/4; no. 2752; see also Sahih Bukhari, Kitab Al-Riqaq, no. 6469).

ix Fear of God is the Beginning of Wisdom

The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said: The chief part of wisdom is fear of God—be He exalted (Musnad al-Shahab, 100/1; Al-Dulaymi, Musnad Al-Firdaws, 270/2; Al-Tirmidhi, Nawadir Al-Usul; 84/3; Al-Bayhaqi, Al-Dala’il and Al-Bayhaqi, Al-Shu’ab; Ibn Lal, Al-Makarim; Al-Ash’ari, Al-Amthal, et al.) This evidently is similar to the Prophet Solomon words in the Bible: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of Wisdom …. (Proverbs 9:10); and: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. (Proverbs 1:7)

x The Intelligence, the Will and Sentiment in the Holy Qur’an

Thus God in the Holy Qur’an tells human being to believe in Him and call on Him (thereby using the intelligence) with fear (which motivates the will) and with hope (and thus with sentiment):

Only those believe in Our revelations who, when they are reminded of them, fall down prostrate and hymn the praise of their Lord, and they are not scornful, / Who forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of that We have bestowed on them. / No soul knoweth what is kept hid for them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do. (Al-Sajdah, 32:15-17)

(O mankind!) Call upon your Lord humbly and in secret. Lo! He loveth not aggressors. / Work not confusion in the earth after the fair ordering (thereof), and call on Him in fear and hope. Lo! the mercy of God is near unto the virtuous. (Al-A’raf, 7:55-56)

Likewise, the Prophet Muhammad r himself is described in terms which manifest knowledge (and hence the intelligence), eliciting hope (and hence sentiment) and instilling fear (and hence motivating the will):

O Prophet! Lo! We have sent thee as a witness and a bringer of good tidings and a warner. (Al-Ahzab, 33:45)

Lo! We have sent thee (O Muhammad) as a witness and a bearer of good tidings and a warner, (Al-Fath, 48:8)

xi A Goodly Example

The love and total devotion of the Prophet Muhammad r to God is for Muslims the model that they seek to imitate. God says in the Holy Qur’an:

Verily in the messenger of God ye have a goodly example for him who hopeth for God and the Last Day, and remembereth God much. (Al-Ahzab, 33:21)

The totality of this love excludes worldliness and egotism, and is itself beautiful and loveable to Muslims. Love of God is itself loveable to Muslims. God says in the Holy Qur’an:

And know that the messenger of God is among you. If he were to obey you in many matters, ye would surely fall into misfortune; but God hath made the faith loveable to you and hath beautified it in your hearts, and hath made disbelief and lewdness and rebellion hateful unto you. Such are they who are the rightly guided. (Al-Hujurat, 49:7)

xii This ‘particular love’ is in addition to God’s universal Mercy which embraceth all things (Al-A’raf, 7:156); but God knows best.

xiii Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitab Bad’ al-Khalq, Bab Sifat Iblis wa Junudihi; Hadith no. 3329.

Other Versions of the Blessed Saying

This blessed saying of the Prophet Muhammad’s r, is found in dozens of hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad r) in differing contexts in slightly varying versions.

The one we have quoted throughout in the text (There is no god but God, He alone. He hath no associate. His is the sovereignty, and His is the praise, and He hath power over all things) is in fact the shortest version. It is to be found in Sahih al-Bukhari: Kitab al-Adhan (no. 852); Kitab al-Tahajjud (no. 1163); Kitab al-‘Umrah (no. 1825); Kitab Bad’ al-Khalq (no. 3329); Kitab al-Da‘awat (nos. 6404, 6458, 6477); Kitab al-Riqaq (no. 6551); Kitab al-I‘tisam bi’l-Kitab (no. 7378); in Sahih Muslim: Kitab al-Masajid (nos. 1366, 1368, 1370, 1371, 1380); Kitab al-Hajj (nos. 3009, 3343); Kitab al-Dhikr wa’l-Du‘a’ (nos. 7018, 7020, 7082, 7084); in Sunan Abu Dawud: Kitab al-Witr (nos. 1506, 1507, 1508); Kitab al-Jihad (no. 2772); Kitab al-Kharaj (no. 2989); Kitab al-Adab (nos. 5062, 5073, 5079); in Sunan al-Tirmidhi: Kitab al-Hajj (no. 965); Kitab al-Da‘awat (nos. 3718, 3743, 3984); in Sunan al-Nasa’i: Kitab al-Sahw (nos. 1347, 1348, 1349, 1350, 1351); Kitab Manasik al-Hajj (nos. 2985, 2997); Kitab al-Iman wa’l-Nudhur (no. 3793); in Sunan Ibn Majah: Kitab al-Adab (no. 3930); Kitab al-Du‘a’ (nos. 4000, 4011); and in Muwatta’ Malik: Kitab al-Qur’an (nos. 492, 494); Kitab al-Hajj (no. 831).

A longer version including the words yuhyi wa yumit—(There is no god but God, He alone. He hath no associate. His is the sovereignty, and His is the praise. He giveth life, and He giveth death, and He hath power over all things.)—is to be found in Sunan Abu Dawud: Kitab al-Manasik (no. 1907); in Sunan al-Tirmidhi: Kitab al-Salah (no. 300); Kitab al-Da‘awat (nos. 3804, 3811, 3877, 3901); and in Sunan al-Nasa’i: Kitab Manasik al-Hajj (nos. 2974, 2987, 2998); Sunan Ibn Majah: Kitab al-Manasik (no. 3190).

Another longer version including the words bi yadihi al-khayr—(There is no god but God, He alone. He hath no associate. His is the sovereignty, and His is the praise. In His Hand is the good, and He hath power over all things.)—is to be found in Sunan Ibn Majah: Kitab al-Adab (no. 3931); Kitab al-Du‘a’ (no. 3994).

The longest version, which includes the words yuhyi wa yumit wa Huwa Hayyun la yamut bi yadihi al-khayr—(There is no god but God, He alone. He hath no associate. His is the sovereignty, and His is the praise. He giveth life, and He giveth death. He is the Living, who dieth not. In His Hand is the good, and He hath power over all things.)—is to be found in Sunan al-Tirmidhi: Kitab al-Da‘awat (no. 3756) and in Sunan Ibn Majah: Kitab al-Tijarat (no. 2320), with the difference that this latter hadith reads: bi yadihi al-khayr kuluhu (in His Hand is all good).

It is important to note, however, that the Prophet Muhammad r, only described the first (shortest) version as: the best that I have said—myself, and the prophets that came before me, and only of that version did the Prophet r say: And none comes with anything better than that, save one who does more than that.

(These citations refer to the numbering system of The Sunna Project’s Encyclopaedia of Hadith (Jam‘ Jawami‘ al-Ahadith wa’l-Asanid), prepared in cooperation with the scholars of al-Azhar, which includes Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abu Dawud, Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Sunan al-Nasa’i, Sunan Ibn Majah, and Muwatta’ Malik.)

xiv Frequent Remembrance of God in the Holy Qur’an

The Holy Qur’an is full of injunctions to invoke or remember God frequently:

Remember the name of thy Lord at morn and evening. (Al-Insan, 76:25)

So remember God, standing, sitting and [lying] down on your sides (Al-Nisa, 4:103).

And do thou (O Muhammad) remember thy Lord within thyself humbly and with awe, below thy breath, at morn and evening. And be not thou of the neglectful (Al-‘Araf, 7:205).

… Remember thy Lord much, and praise (Him) in the early hours of night and morning (Aal ‘Imran, 3:41).

O ye who believe! Remember God with much remembrance. / And glorify Him early and late (Al-Ahzab, 33:41-42).

(See also: 2:198-200; 2:203; 2:238-239; 3:190-191; 6:91; 7:55; 7:180; 8:45; 17:110; 22:27-41; 24:35-38; 26:227; 62:9-10; 87:1-17, et al.)

Similarly, the Holy Qur’an is full of verses that emphasize the paramount importance of the Remembrance of God (see: 2:151-7; 5:4; 6:118; 7:201; 8:2-4; 13:26-28; 14:24-27; 20:14; 20:33-34; 24:1; 29:45; 33:35; 35:10; 39:9; 50:37; 51:55-58; and 33:2; 39:22-23 and 73:8-9 as already quoted, et al. ), and the dire consequences of not practising it (see: 2:114; 4:142; 7:179-180; 18:28; 18:100-101; 20:99-101; 20:124-127; 25:18; 25:29; 43:36; 53:29; 58:19; 63:9; 72:17 et al.; see also 107:4-6). Hence God ultimately says in the Holy Qur’an:

Has not the time arrived for the believers that their hearts in all humility should engage in the remembrance of God …. ? (Al-Hadid, 57:16);

…. [S]lacken not in remembrance of Me (Taha, 20:42),

and: Remember your Lord whenever you forget (Al-Kahf, 18:24).

xv Herein all Biblical Scripture is taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

xvi Sunan Al-Tirmithi, Kitab Al-Da’wat, Bab al-Du’a fi Yawm ‘Arafah, Hadith no. 3934. Op. cit..

xvii
In the Best Stature

Christianity and Islam have comparable conceptions of man being created in the best stature and from God’s own breath. The Book of Genesis says:

(Genesis, 1:27) So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

And:

(Genesis, 2:7) And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

And the Prophet Muhammad said: Verily God created Adam in His own image. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitab Al-Isti’than, 1; Sahih Muslim, Kitab Al-Birr 115; Musnad Ibn Hanbal, 2: 244, 251, 315, 323 etc. et al.)

And We created you, then fashioned you, then told the angels: Fall ye prostrate before Adam! And they fell prostrate, all save Iblis, who was not of those who make prostration. (Al-A’raf, 7:11)

By the fig and the olive / By Mount Sinai, / And by this land made safe / Surely We created man of the best stature / Then We reduced him to the lowest of the low, / Save those who believe and do good works, and theirs is a reward unfailing. / So who henceforth will give the lie to the about the judgment? / Is not God the wisest of all judges? (Al-Tin, 95:1-8)

God it is Who appointed for you the earth for a dwelling-place and the sky for a canopy, and fashioned you and perfected your shapes, and hath provided you with good things. Such is God, your Lord. Then blessed be God, the Lord of the Worlds! (Al-Ghafir, 40:64)

Nay, but those who do wrong follow their own lusts without knowledge. Who is able to guide him whom God hath sent astray ? For such there are no helpers. / So set thy purpose (O Muhammad) for religion as a man by nature upright - the nature (framed) of God, in which He hath created man. There is no altering (the laws of) God’s creation. That is the right religion, but most men know not—/ (Al-Rum, 30:29-30)

And when I have fashioned him and breathed into him of My Spirit, then fall down before him prostrate, (Sad, 38:72)

And when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am about to place a viceroy in the earth, they said: Wilt thou place therein one who will do harm therein and will shed blood, while we, we hymn Thy praise and sanctify Thee ? He said: Surely I know that which ye know not. / And He taught Adam all the names, then showed them to the angels, saying: Inform Me of the names of these, if ye are truthful ./ They said: Be glorified! We have no knowledge saving that which Thou hast taught us. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower, the Wise. / He said: O Adam! Inform them of their names, and when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not tell you that I know the secret of the heavens and the earth ? And I know that which ye disclose and which ye hide. / And when We said unto the angels: Prostrate yourselves before Adam, they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever… / And We said: O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and eat ye freely (of the fruits) thereof where ye will; but come not nigh this tree lest ye become wrong-doers. (Al-Baqarah, 2:30-35)

xviii Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Iman, Hadith no.13.

xix Sahih Muslim , Kitab al-Iman, 67-1, Hadith no.45.

xx The classical commentators on the Holy Qur’an (see: Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Al-Jalalayn) generally agree that this is a reference to (the last movements of) the Muslim prayer.

xxi Abu Ja’far Muhammad Bin Jarir Al-Tabari, Jami’ al-Bayan fi Ta’wil al-Qur’an, (Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 1st ed, 1992/1412,) tafsir of Aal-‘Imran, 3:64;Volume 3, pp. 299-302.

xxii According to grammarians cited by Tabari (op cit.) the word ‘common’ (sawa’) in ‘a common word between us’ also means ‘just’, ‘fair’ (adl).

xxiii The Blessed Theophylact (1055-1108 C.E.) was the Orthodox Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria (1090-1108 C.E.). His native language was the Greek of the New Testament. His Commentary is currently available in English from Chrysostom Press.

COMPLETE LIST OF SIGNATORIES

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JAMBATAN KOTA KLANG DITUTUP MULAI 22 JAN 10

Laluan Shah Alam Ke Pelabuhan Klang Dan Banting Melalui Jambatan Kota Akan Ditutup


SHAH ALAM, 12 Jan (Bernama) -- Laluan Persiaran Sultan Ibrahim ke Jambatan Kota di Klang yang menghubungkan Shah Alam dengan Klang Selatan, Pelabuhan Klang dan Banting akan ditutup kepada semua lalu-lintas mulai 22 Jan ini.

Majlis Perbandaran Klang (MPK) dalam satu kenyataan berkata, penutupan laluan itu adalah bagi kerja-kerja pembinaan jalan di bawah Sistem Penyuraian Lalu-lintas Bandar Klang Utara, yang kini telah menghampiri Jambatan Kota yang merentasi Sungai Klang.

"Berikutan penutupan itu, pengguna laluan Persiaran Sultan Ibrahim dari Shah Alam atau Jalan Sireh akan dilencongkan ke Jalan Batu Tiga untuk menuju ke Klang Selatan, melalui Jambatan Musaeddin atau terus ke Kapar/Meru melalui Jalan Pasar.

"Bagi pengguna yang ingin ke Kapar, Meru dan Pelabuhan Klang , mereka boleh menggunakan Lebuhraya North Klang Valley Expressway terus ke Lebuhraya Shapadu.

"Bagi yang ingin ke Banting, Bandar Botanik, Bukit Tinggi, Taman Andalas, Taman Klang Jaya dan Taman Sentosa pula, mereka dinasihatkan supaya menggunakan Lebuhraya Kesas," kata MPK.

-- BERNAMA

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SELANGOR AKAN KUATKUASA ENAKMEN KAWALAN PENGEMBANGAN AGAMA BUKAN ISLAM

Mais dengan kerjasama Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (Jais) dan pihak polis akan menguatkuasakan segera Enakmen Kawalan Pengembangan Agama Bukan Islam di Kalangan Orang Islam.

Sultan titah Selangor teguhkan pendirian

SHAH ALAM - Sultan Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah bertitah agar Kerajaan Negeri teguh dengan pendirian mengharamkan penggunaan kalimah Allah oleh agama lain bagi memelihara akidah umat Islam.

Baginda menitahkan Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (Mais) membincangkan dengan teliti mengenai keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi pada 31 Disember lalu yang membenarkan penggunaan kalimah Allah oleh gereja Katolik.

Pengerusi Mais, Datuk Setia Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa berkata, baginda bertitah demikian ketika beliau, Mufti Selangor, Datuk Mohd Tamyes Abdul Wahid dan Peguam, Datuk Salehuddin Saidin menghadap Sultan berhubung isu itu, 5 Januari lalu.

“Baginda turut menitahkan supaya Mais memaklumkan kepada rakyat bahawa terdapat undang-undang yang menghalang penggunaan kalimah Allah dalam memerihalkan agama bukan Islam,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian pada sidang media selepas mesyuarat Mais bagi membincangkan keputusan yang dibuat Hakim Mahkamah Tinggi, Datuk Lau Bee Lan di sini, semalam.

Terdahulu 4 Januari lalu, Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim menegaskan Kerajaan Negeri boleh menghalang pihak yang menggunakan nama Allah bagi merosakkan Islam.

Sehubungan itu, Mais berharap Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin dan Majlis Raja-Raja Melayu untuk campur tangan dalam isu penggunaan kalimah Allah itu.

“Mais merafak sembah Seri Paduka Baginda untuk menggunakan kuasa di bawah Perkara 130 Perlembagaan Persekutuan untuk merujuk isu ini.

“Campur tangan Raja-raja Melayu dalam urusan ini amat diperlukan kerana ia bukan saja menyentuh bidang kuasa raja-raja dalam agama Islam tetapi sensitiviti umat Islam,” katanya.

Mohamad Adzib berkata, Mais dengan kerjasama Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (Jais) dan pihak polis akan menguatkuasakan segera Enakmen Kawalan Pengembangan Agama Bukan Islam di Kalangan Orang Islam.

Sinar harian

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PENGAJIAN KITAB INJIL

Kebanyakan Kitab Injil atau BIBLE yang digunakan oleh penganut Kristian di Sabah dan Sarawak dicetak di Indonesia. Sebuah Lembaga bernama Lembaga Alkitab Indonesia mengusahakan alihbahasa Alkitab dalam bahasa Indonesia. Lembaga Alkitab Indonesia adalah sebahagian dari United Bible Society, sebuah organisasi yang mengerjakan penerjemahan Alkitab di seluruh dunia.

Lembaga lainnya yang mengusahakan terjemahan dalam bahasa-bahasa Indonesia adalah Lembaga Biblika Indonesia, milik Gereja Katolik Roma di Indonesia.

Sejak tahun 1970-an Lembaga Alkitab Indonesia maupun Lembaga Biblika Indonesia telah bekerja sama untuk menghasilkan satu versi yang sama dari Alkitab berbahasa Indonesia. LAI juga terus memperbarui terjemahannya agar menyesuaikan dengan perkembangan bahasa Indonesia. Dari Alkitab Terjemahan Lama (TL), Alkitab Terjemahan Baru (TB), Alkitab Bahasa Indonesia Sehari-hari (BIS), hingga yang terakhir Alkitab Terjemahan Baru Versi 2 (resmi direvisi tahun 1997).

Injil biasanya mengandung arti:
  1. Pemberitaan tentang aktivitas penyelamatan Allah di dalam Yesus dari Nazaret atau berita yang disampaikan oleh Yesus dari Nazaret. Inilah asal-usul penggunaan kata "Injil" menurut Perjanjian Baru (lihat Surat Roma 1:1 atau Markus 1:1).

Read More “PENGAJIAN KITAB INJIL”  »»

NGO MUSLIM BANTU POLIS CEGAH PENCEROBOHAN GEREJA (DWIBAHASA)

Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia, Persatuan Cina Muslim Malaysia, Majlis Permuafakatan Ummah, Pertubuhan Peribumi Semenanjung, Darussyifa, Persatuan Kebangsaan Pelajar Islam Malaysia, Kongres India Muslim Malaysia, Persatuan Ulama Malaysia dan Islamic Information and Services Foundation (IIS) adalah antara NGO yang mengambil bahagian dalam pemantauan gereja selepas waktu tengah malam. Tidak pasti sama ada PEKIDA terlibat atau tidak. Foto sebelah kiri sekadar hiasan.


NGO Islam mula pantau keselamatan gereja

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — Sukarelawan dari pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO) Islam telah mula memantau dan mengawasi kawasan gereja di sekitar Lembah Klang.

Seramai 10 sukarelawan telah melakukan rondaan dari pukul 11 malam tadi di kawasan gereja yang terletak di sekitar kawasan Kampung Pandan dan Brickfields.

Timbalan Yang Dipertua dan Setiausaha Kerja Badan Tarbiah Sejagat (Batas) Danny Azar berkata jadual rondaan diatur sebanyak dua kali iaitu dari pukul 11 malam sehingga 2 pagi dan 4 pagi sehingga waktu subuh.

“Setakat ini pihak kami telah mula meronda dan kami bukan setakat singgah malahan juga berjumpa pihak gereja dengan mengenalkan diri kami,” katanya kepada Bernama.

Batas ialah antara 130 NGO yang telah menyatakan komitmen semalam untuk menjadi “mata dan telinga” kerajaan dalam menangani sebarang ancaman ke atas rumah ibadat penganut agama Kristian.

Langkah itu diambil ekoran tiga insiden cubaan membaling bom buatan sendiri di tiga gereja iaitu di Gereja Metro Tabernacle di Desa Melawati, Gereja Assumption di Petaling Jaya dan Gereja Life Chapel di Damansara baru-baru ini.

Antara NGO lain yang terlibat ialah Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia, Persatuan Cina Muslim Malaysia, Majlis Permuafakatan Ummah, Pertubuhan Peribumi Semenanjung, Darussyifa, Persatuan Kebangsaan Pelajar Islam Malaysia, Kongres India Muslim Malaysia, Persatuan Ulama Malaysia dan Islamic Information and Services Foundation (IIS).

Inisiatif itu dilaporkan telah mengumpulkan seramai 60 sukarelawan bagi menjalankan pengawasan dan pemantauan di kawasan gereja sekitar Lembah Klang mulai semalam.

Sementara itu, ahli Gereja Katolik Holy Rosary di Brickfields, Angelina Soo, 28, berkata pihaknya berterima kasih kepada pihak NGO Islam dan menghargai tangggungjawab serta keprihatinan mereka dalam menjamin keselamatan dan kesejahteraan tempat ibadat itu.
Malaysian Insider
=====================================================================
Muslim NGO bodies begin church security patrols

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 11, 2010): Volunteers from Muslim non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have begun patrolling church areas in the Klang Valley.

Ten volunteers had begun patrolling from 11pm yesterday in church areas in Kampung Pandan and Brickfields.

Deputy chief and working secretary of Kerja Badan Tarbiah Sejagat (BATAS) Danny Azar said the patrol schedule was 11pm to 2am and 4am till dawn.

"We have started patrolling and we also meet church officials to identify ourselves," he said.

BATAS is among 130 NGOs which have committed to be the "eyes and ears" of the government to face any threat to Christian churches.

This is being done following three incidents of fire bombing at the Metro Tabernacle Church in Desa Melawati, the Assumption Church in Petaling Jaya and the Life Chapel Church in Damansara recently.

Among NGOs involved are Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia (PPIM), Persatuan Cina Muslim Malaysia (MACMA), Majlis Permuafakatan Ummah (Pewaris), Pertubuhan Peribumi Semenanjung (Perkasa), Darussyifa, Persatuan Kebangsaan Pelajar Islam Malaysia (PKPIM), Kongres India Muslim Malaysia (Kimma), Persatuan Ulama Malaysia (PUM) and Islamic Information and Services Foundation (IIS).

The initiative has roped in 60 volunteers.

Meanwhile, a member of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Brickfields, Angelina Soo, 28, said they were thankful to the Muslim NGOs and appreciated their care and sense of responsibility to ensure the security of churches.

Bernama/sun2surf

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FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS' VERSIONS OF ATTACKS ON CHURCHES

Video: Malaysian Church Firebombed

4 More Churches Attacked in Malaysia

Read More “FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS' VERSIONS OF ATTACKS ON CHURCHES”  »»
 

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