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  #1  
Old October 27th, 2012, 03:19 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Default The story of a House.

Let me tell you a story of a house.

Long long time ago a son and his parents arrived in a valley.

A valley in the desert. Arid, deserted, hot. Rocky mountains on all sides.

They had been told to settle here. In this barren deserted valley.

As the story goes, later on, the father and son were told to build a house.

Where? They were told the place. Why? A similar house had once stood there.

Father and son obeyed. Day and night, months, years; the both of them toiled to build the house.

When the house was completed, the father was told to call the people to the house.

Call? Who? They were not aware of anyone that lived here and far away. In this desert.

Call the people to the house, the father was told.

But nobody is there to hear me, said the father. I am old, my voice is weak, there is
no one around. Who shall hear my call?, said the father.

You are commanded, Abraham ( PBUH) to call.. 'My job, continued the Voice, is to make the people hear My Call'.

Last Thursday, 25, Oct, 2012, 3 million people gathered in a deserted plain. They had started coming for this day by air, sea, land and some even on foot from months before. From every corner of the globe.

They were starting a journey to visit a house. Similar to the one the father and son had built those thousand of years ago. In the same place.

The travelers between them spoke hundreds of different languages. However, each one of them was heard to say ' We hear the Call, Our Lord. And we answer (obey)'. In one and the same language.

Visitors and those living now around this House, visit it throughout the year. The House is open 365 days, 24 hours per day. " We hear the Call, Our Lord. And we answer (obey).'

The photo is that of a key to the House and a Pouch to hold a key of the House of that time made hundreds of years ago.

It is only of historical significance. No more, no less.

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Last edited by Asher Kelman; October 28th, 2012 at 04:11 PM.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 12:08 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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An amazing story, Fahim.

Thanks for sharing!

Asher
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Old October 28th, 2012, 12:31 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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An amazing story, Fahim.

Thanks for sharing!

Asher
Thank you for stopping by.

Best regards.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 01:24 PM
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Is there an actual key, these days?
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Old October 28th, 2012, 02:14 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Is there an actual key, these days?
Asher, the Doors are kept locked. Whether it is a manual key or an electronic one, I don't know.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 01:54 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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I had mentioned the covering of The House. I did not show it then. Let me remedy that omission.

The image below was made today ( now ). It is a very very small portion of the actual covering that hung on the Walls of The House a few years ago.

It was gifted to me by a friend who lives in the city where The House is located.

There is no significance attached to the cloth, other than that it once adorned the walls of The House.


The city where The House is located is known as Umm Al-Qura. The city is also known, of course, as Bakkah.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 09:20 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Fahim,

This is very ornate. What is the golden thread made of? Is it metallic or just dyed yarn? Is this house holy or just historic? Is it the one referred to in the "The Quranic passage using the form Bakkah says: "The first sanctuary appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah, a blessed place, a guidance for the peoples."

Asher
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Old October 30th, 2012, 10:36 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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....
Fahim,

This is very ornate. What is the golden thread made of? Is it metallic or just dyed yarn? Is this house holy or just historic? Is it the one referred to in the "The Quranic passage using the form Bakkah says: "The first sanctuary appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah, a blessed place, a guidance for the peoples."

Asher
Asher, that is correct!!

Bakkah. Makkah. Umm Al-Qura.

The House. The Holy Kabaa. The House that Prophet Abraham ( PBUH ) and his son Prophet Ismail ( PBUH ) were commanded to build.

The structure of The House is covered with a black cloth; called the Kiswah in Arabic. The Kiswah is covered with verses from the Holy Quran.

The covering cloth of the Holy Kabaa has always been a center of attention, for this cloth is part of the sanctity and uniqueness of this Holy Site.

The Kiswah, throughout the ages ( from pre-Islamic times ) has been made from the most luxurious
quality of materials available. The Kiswah has gone through many stages and each time it has been manufactured from the best and most elegant of fabrics of that time.

In 1927, a factory was established, in Makkah, for the purpose of manufacturing the Kiswah on an annual basis.

The accessories are made of gold-plated silver wires wound over special reinforcing strands of modern metallic fibre threads. Modern sewing machines have been imported for this special purpose. Probably such machines are unprecedented in the world. One of a kind. These machines are now found in the Kiswah factory. The total annual cost of one Kiswah is estimated at between 5-7 million US dollars.

The Kiswah weighs approximately 650 kilograms and is made of pure silk dyed in black and padded with white cotton fabric.

The Kiswah is embroidered in Quranic verses, all made with threads of pure gold.

This is what you see in the image posted.

Thank you for stopping by.
Kindest regards.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 11:18 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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The Kiswah weighs approximately 650 kilograms and is made of pure silk dyed in black and padded with white cotton fabric.

The Kiswah is embroidered in Quranic verses, all made with threads of pure gold.
So, as it's covered with Quarinc versus, it would be at least as significant as a page of the Qu'ran. But then, is it of more significance and "holiness" once it leaves the place eat the end of that year? Were would one put these 650 Kg of tapestry with a further 50kg of gold?? Have any reached museums or private collections outside of the middle East? Where are they all? Is there a public record or do they go to people with influence who have enough security to guard them?

Asher
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Old October 30th, 2012, 11:54 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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So, as it's covered with Quarinc versus, it would be at least as significant as a page of the Qu'ran. But then, is it of more significance and "holiness" once it leaves the place eat the end of that year? Were would one put these 650 Kg of tapestry with a further 50kg of gold?? Have any reached museums or private collections outside of the middle East? Where are they all? Is there a public record or do they go to people with influence who have enough security to guard them?

Asher
Of course, the Kiswah and parts thereof are handled with the utmost respect for obvious reasons.
I am not influential and I have a small portion from the Kiswah. So have some of my friends!!

It is just cut into small pieces and distributed. It is found across the Muslim world.

But, and this is very important, it is not to become some sort of Talisman. It does not have any ' magical' powers.
It is a cloth that has Verses from the Quran written over it; it has adorned the walls of the most Sacred House for the Muslims in the most Sacred Mosque for the Muslims. It has to be treated with the utmost of respect, and handled with the greatest of care.

It is made by man. It fades. Gets soiled over time. Expose it to adverse weather, for sufficient time, and it shall begin to disintegrate.

I do not worship anything that is born/created/evolved, fades, disintegrates, and dies; however short or long the period of time that may take; and wherever it may exist.
And I do not need any sort of symbols for The One I worship. And neither do I need an intermediary between Him and me.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 01:07 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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And I do not need any sort of symbols for The One I worship. And neither do I need an intermediary between Him and me.
Fahim,

Now in Christianity, an important dogma is the "Trinity", with God being not one but the "Father Son and the Holy Ghost". Each is worshipped in prayers. Jesus depicted on a cross is is worshipped by all Christians, TTBOMK. In Catholicism, Mary, the mother of Jesus is also worshipped, (or venerated. Certainly devotees worship her statues and those of "saints". Across Catholic regions in Europe still have wonderful celebrative festivals in which figures of "saints" or Mary are carried in procession through ancient streets sometimes decorated for the occasion. Happenstance images of Mary appearing in trees or old paint, for example are seriously investigated by the Catholic Church, an if found genuine, maybe associated with a vision or some "substantial miracle", are might perhaps be even recognized as shrines.

How does this all work out in Islam. Are there instances of worship of statues or veneration of images beyond respect for the Qu'ran or the relative and simple sanctity of the building for prayers. So, while significant, things and personalities, (involved in Islam) are respected, they are not actual condiits, as in Christianity, if I understand it correctly? So is prayer ever to or through, the Prophet, or is prayer just invoke his holy name? In Judaism, for example, no figures nor worship of "saints", even the most learned of Rabbis, is allowed as this would be considered "idol-worship", the very matter that Abraham endeavored to turn his back on in declaring fidelity to one un dividable God. There's never prayer to Abraham or Moses. That would be unthinkable.

So how does Islam work this all out?

Asher
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Old October 30th, 2012, 01:10 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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And I do not need any sort of symbols for The One I worship. And neither do I need an intermediary between Him and me.
Fahim,

Most of us find religious artwork fascinating and most impressive.



"Al'Aqsa Mosque"
Jerusalem, Israel
Source





Hagia Sophia Dome Vertical Pano


Istanbul, Turkey source

Note the older original Christian Picture of that is still there to be seen by tourists!

Hagia Sophia (/ˈhɑːɪə soʊˈfiːə/; from the Greek: Ἁγία Σοφία [aˈʝia soˈfia], "Holy Wisdom"; Latin: Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia; Turkish: Ayasofya) is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. From the date of its dedication in 360 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople,[1] except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931, when it was secularized. It was opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.



Mosques with the great domes and calligraphic patterns are a wonder, but seem to have no pictures of things. Churches, though also having stunning architecture, by contrast, seem so very different altogether.

In my upbringing in the U.K, we had deep exposure to Christian traditions, culture and values. An important dogma is the "Trinity", with God being not one indivisible unity, but venerated as constituent "Father Son and the Holy Ghost". Each is worshipped in prayers. Jesus depicted on a cross is is worshipped by all Christians, TTBOMK. In Catholicism, Mary, the mother of Jesus is also worshipped, (or venerated. Certainly devotees worship her statues and those of "saints". Across Catholic regions in Europe still have wonderful celebrative festivals in which figures of "saints" or Mary are carried in procession through ancient streets sometimes decorated for the occasion. One great result of the attitude is the generation of exceptional stain religious artifacts: stain glass windows in churches, mosaics in Ravenna and beautiful illustrated manuscripts of the bible and "New Testament". Happenstance images of Mary appearing in trees or old paint, for example are seriously investigated by the Catholic Church, an if found genuine, maybe associated with a vision or some "substantial miracle", are might perhaps be even recognized as shrines. Some such images have fetched great value, as the famous toasted cheese sandwich. I keep my eye open but never had any such sightings!

Does "vehiclism" exist in Islam. You mentioned that portions of the cloth are never used as a talisman or considered to have magic healing powers.

Are there any accepted instances of worship of statues or veneration of images beyond respect for the Qu'ran or the relative and simple sanctity of the building for prayers. So, while significant, things and personalities, (involved in Islam) are respected, they are not actual condiits, as in Christianity, if I understand it correctly? So is prayer ever to or through, the Prophet, or is prayer just invoke his name, standing and memory? In Judaism, for example, no figures nor worship of "saints", even the most learned of Rabbis, is allowed as this would be considered "idol-worship", the very matter that Abraham endeavored to turn his back on in declaring fidelity to one un dividable God. There's never prayer to Abraham or Moses. That would be unthinkable.

So how does Islam work this all out?

Asher
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Old October 30th, 2012, 03:01 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Asher, before I answer your question, I would like to make a request. I am not a preacher nor the son of a preacher. I do not want to convert anyone. I do not want to get into an argument about religion. I am not trying to criticize any faith, belief and/or views held by anyone else. I respect your beliefs. Please respect mine.

A question has been asked of me. I shall try to respond to the best of my knowledge.
And I am a Sunni Muslim.

Thank you.

Islam forbids association of anyone/anything with Allah. Islam forbids praying to anyone/anything other than Allah. It is forbidden in Islam to have intermediaries when one calls Allah's name.
It is forbidden to pray to anyone other than Allah. Not to Prophets or anyone/anything else.

Doing so is idol worship. It is associating someone else with Allah. It is tantamount to stating that someone/something shares some powers with Allah. It challenges the very concept of the ' Oneness of Allah' in Islam.
It is forbidden. Allah, in Islam, forbids the engagement of so-called lobbyists.

There are too many verses in the Quran that forbid such associations, sharing of attributes, equating
anything with Allah. These verses are direct, clear, very specific and not subject to interpretation.
" I am nearer to my creation than his/her carotid artery; take My name and I shall answer; and do not associate anyone/thing with Me."
" There is no Allah but The One Allah. He begot no one, and He was not begotten…"
" Abraham, shall you follow the path of your forefathers that took idols and associates before Me?…"


Now, after the above, I know that in various parts of the Muslim world, there are monuments to ' saints'. People visit the graves of these ' holy ' men. Ask them to grant them their needs/wishes. They bring offerings and gifts to these shrines.
There are in some muslim countries ' holy' people that say some ' words', some prayers and blow it over water and one is supposed to drink it for whatever purpose one approached this ' holy ' person.
Or wear something around one's neck for protection against evil.

Islam forbids such beliefs and practices.

A historical example:
When Prophet Mohammed ( PBUH ) died, the people of Madinah were traumatized . The women, children, and men were crying openly. They were shocked. Some even wanted to kill those that brought such news.
Abu Bakr, Prophet Mohammed's best friend, climbed the mud steps of the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah ( btw, Prophet Mohammed's small house was attachéd to the mosque ) and addressed the
shocked population gathered there. And this is what he said..

" Those that believe in Mohammed ( PBUH ) know that Mohammed ( PBUH ) is dead.
Those that believe in the God of Mohammed ( PBUH ) know that He shall forever live.
I bear witness that there is no Allah except Allah and that Mohammed ( PBUH ) is His Prophet."

Abraham ( PBUH ) did not bring his religion. Neither did Moses ( PBUH ). Neither did Jesus ( PBUH ).
And neither did Mohammed ( PBUH ).

All the Prophets proclaimed only one religion. That which was revealed to them.
" Abraham, you are commanded to proclaim that there is no God but one God ".
" Tell them ( Mohammed ) that we do not differentiate between any of the Prophets of Allah.
There is no God but one God. "
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Old October 30th, 2012, 03:29 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Before I answer your question, I would like to make a request. I am not a preacher nor the son of a preacher. I do not want to convert anyone. I do not want to get into an argument about religion. I am not trying to criticize any faith, belief and/or views held by anyone else. I respect your beliefs. Please respect mine.
Of course, Fahim, we have mutual respect and do not wish to denigrate any faith here. Of course, we can imagine that good systems can be created without religious agendas, but we still recognize beauty and wisdom, however, expressed.

The tiny steps towards civilization, that man has made over the eons, is formalized in religion. Some practices have fallen by the wayside, for example, animal sacrifices in Judaism, but much remains in values that help provide a scaffolding for man to rise above the animal in each of us. Folk didn't just wake up one morning and have tools of logic and rationalism. We learned in fits and starts and altogether this patchwork of traditions, wisdom and knowledge is what makes man unique and what makes cultures have an identity and pride. Where we are now, it seems obvious to respect the right of the poor and powerless. It seems reasonable to look after the sick and help the widow and orphan. Due process and respect for our individual human worth before judges are considered our basic right in any society. I'd argue that it don't come from "no where" but was refined and collected in the religious and then in also refined further in the secular traditions of our forefathers.

So respect for religion and appreciating the beauty in different cultures is part of our tribute to the positive contributions of faith. From the news, we'd imagine that all religions need wars. While many terrible wars have been waged, right now, religion is most often not a cause for war, if it occurs, it's an excuse for political purposes. I don't wish to whitewash where we've gone terribly wrong in the name of religious zealotry. All who are read in history know these tragic excesses. However, here, right now in OPF, I enjoy this level playing field where respect and appreciation for what is valuable is common to all of us is our normal standard we work towards and stand by, for both believers and non-beleivers too. I for one am against all ideas of hegemony and exclusivity. After all, the one God we all ascribe to, (if we believe in the monotheistic form of God) (as well as the one just god non-beleivers could choose to invent for man's benefit), would NEVER exclude people for using a variant prayer or place of worship or deny entry into his home for any of his children! We don't support religion in OPF, nor oppose it, just celebrate beauty as we see it! Here in the tapestry you share is centuries of ideas, culture and belief and cloth embroidered in gold!

So for us in OPF, it's a privilege and gift that you provide us, letting us know more of your faith and some of the beautiful traditions. This way, we can get a more realistic appreciation of the ideas and feelings behind one of the major sets of beliefs man has known.

Asher
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Old October 31st, 2012, 02:57 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Thank you Asher.

A little denser writing, but answers the question that you asked of me. One sentence. A complete answer.

In the Arabic language and grammar, there is a phrase which rightfully accounts for the problems one faces when translating Arabic words into another language; Arabic to English, for example.
This becomes even more pronounced when the choice of Arabic words ( and the grammar ) represent the highest forms of Arabic eloquence, literature and poetry. Arabic, at the summit of its magnificence and eloquence! The Words of The Holy Quran.

This expression ( phrase )in Arabic is " Jawa-mai Al-Klm "; which would roughly translate in English as one, or a few, word/s with a vast meaning.

As an example let's consider something you might be familiar with: The opening words of the Holy Quran: " In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious ( Beneficent, Compassionate), The Most Merciful. " This sentence in Arabic: " Bismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm ".

Let's take this opening verse ( sentence ) from the Holy Quran and see how the " Jawa-mai Al-Klm " would apply in this instance; in a very brief explanation.

There are thousands of books; written by various scholars from thousands of years ago to the present that deal with one subject.

The subject: The meaning of the Words " Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim " !!. The root of both these words is " Rhm ". We are now only at the opening Verse of The Holy Quran!!

Ar-Rahman is the Possessor of an Infinite Attribute ( Allah ). Ar-Rahim is the One ( Allah ) That distributes from this Attribute continuously..from before all the beginnings to beyond all the ends.

Something else, in answer to your question, is contained in what I have described. He is The Sole Possessor of this Attribute; and He is The Sole Distributor from this Attribute of His ( In the example the Attribute is Mercy, Compassion ). There are no associates; there are no intermediaries. In sharing His Attribute; or in The Distribution process. These two Words, by and of themselves, preclude any linkage to/of associates and/or intermediaries.
It is He, and He alone. Ask from Him directly That which you want; and you shall be given directly That which you asked of Him. In the example quoted..Ask Him directly for mercy; He shall give you directly
from His infinite Mercy.


Another verse ( actually two words ) from the Holy Quran. Engraved on the small portion of the Kiswah
that I have. I was offered a few alternate pieces. I just happened to choose this one.

The engraving reads ( translation ): " The Everlasting ( Always in Existence, Has Always existed, Shall Always exist ) One.;
The next word is " Ya Qayyuom ". Difficult to put in words. Remember what I mentioned about the pinnacle of Arabic eloquence!

Let me try.." Ya Qayyuom "..The One Who does not need ( never needed, never shall need ) any support ( Self Sustaining ) to Exist. But He that provides Support to everything in order that it ( shall, can, may ) exist.

Best regards.

p.s. It is worth remembering that the loftiest example in the Arabic Language ( written and spoken ) of its Vocabulary, Eloquence, Poetry, Literature, verse, Grammar and Grandeur is The Holy Quran.

The person, through whom these Words of Revelation were conveyed, the man who was chosen to speak These Words , was illiterate. He could neither read nor write.

Asher, remember the story of the old man, frail, nearing death who said " my voice is weak, who shall hear my call, my Lord" ?

The Arabic Language. My grand daughter speaks and writes it. She is 6 years old. She has begun to memorize the Holy Quran. Later on she shall learn that what appears as a comma in the image above
cannot be replaced with what appears as a slanted dash in the image shown. She shall know that the a pause is required after a certain verse. She shall also know when a pause is not required. When she shall be able to recite the Holy Quran by memory, she would know when someone has omitted a dash, a full stop, a pause, a comma, an inflexion, mis-pronounced a Word, or simply forgotten it. If she herself makes a mistake, there would be her friends and their friends to correct her. And she would make sure that she continuously recites The Book, so as to be certain of her memory.

" We have Revealed the Word. And We Shall Guard ( Protect ) it. " ( The Holy Quran ).
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