Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Editorial: Muslim Heritage

This is the kind of statement that needs to be said, and am glad they did "Quite simply, the story of Arab and Muslim scientific excellence centuries ago is not the private property of only Arabs and Muslims. It is one for the entire world, Muslim and non-Muslim, to celebrate. " Indeed, that should be the case with every invention and every advancement.

Prophet Muhammad had defined a good deed as something you do that benefits the other, as the good work of people from the past is benefiting you. The specific example was about planting a tree, that would give shade and fruit to the wayfarer, an unselfish act; a good deed.

We appreciate the King Abdullah University and the US Library of congress for preserving the work for the future generatins.

Mike Ghouse

Editorial: Muslim Heritage
15 April 2008§ion=0&article=108962&d=15&m=4&y=2008

In an age when heritage in so many parts of the world is either ignored, Disneyized into theme parks or, worse still, subjected to the destructive onslaught of the bulldozer and the developer, it is encouraging to learn that the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the US Library of Congress plan to digitize all Arab and Muslim scientific records. The information, showing clearly the great achievements of Arab Muslim civilization, will be available free of charge on the Internet through the World Digital Library.

This is very significant and important news. One of the aims of the library, to be launched by UNESCO early next year, is the promotion of international and intercultural understanding. Access, at the touch of a mouse, to proof of past Arab scientific prowess will promote just that. For Arabs and Muslims, it will be cause for pride and should help strip away the destructive sense of intellectual inferiority to Western culture that has been such a debilitating element in much of Arab thinking over the past century. For non-Muslims, especially those who through blindness or malevolence continue to regard Muslims as backward and ignorant, it should be an eye-opener and thus do much to improve relations between the two groups

Quite simply, the story of Arab and Muslim scientific excellence centuries ago is not the private property of only Arabs and Muslims. It is one for the entire world, Muslim and non-Muslim, to celebrate. The part played by Arabs and Muslim scientists was momentous and influenced later European science. Some in the West have heard of Ibn Sina and Ibn Rushd under their Europeanized names of Avicenna and Averroes, but how many have heard of Yuhanna ibn Massuwayh and his work on allergy? Or Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya Ar-Razi who wrote the famous Al-Hawi, a 30-volume medical encyclopedia and studied the nature of smallpox 900 years before the Englishman Edward Jenner came up with a vaccine? Or Abdul Qasim Az-Zahrawi who was the father of surgery? How many know that thirteen hundred years ago the first known hospital was established in Damascus and that the first pharmacies appeared in Baghdad shortly after? How many know of the army of scientists and scholars that were there and in Islamic Spain, of their search for knowledge, of the discoveries made, the libraries established? How many know that much of the literature and philosophy of the ancient world was rediscovered in Europe through Arabic translations?

That this project is being undertaken by KAUST in collaboration with the US Library of Congress, one of the most important libraries in the world, is both worthwhile and encouraging. This is one of the first projects at KAUST; the university has the lofty aim of inspiring a new age of Arab scientific research and achievement. With this project, looking back to the golden age, one can say with some certainty that it looks set to become a center of excellence not just for Saudi Arabia but for the entire academic world.

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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.