Muhammad is not the father of any one of you men; he is God’s Messenger and the seal of the prophets: God knows everything. Believers, remember God often and glorify Him morning and evening. (Al Quran 33:40-42)
Jāvēd Ahmed Ghāmidī (Urdu: جاوید احمد غامدی) (born April 7, 1952) is a Pakistan Muslim theologian, Quran scholar, Islamic modernist, exegete and educationist. He is also the founding President of Al-Mawrid Institute of Islamic Sciences and its sister organisation Danish Sara. He […]
This debate should give us some basic insights about interpretation of the holy Quran, understanding of fundamental versus allegorical verses Written and collected by by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of […]
Jāvēd Ahmad Ghāmidī (Urdu: جاوید احمد غامدی) (born 1951) is a Pakistani Muslim theologian, Quran scholar, Islamic modernist, exegete and educationist. He is also the founding President of Al-Mawrid Institute of Islamic Sciences and its sister organisation Danish Sara. He became a […]
When trouble befalls man he cries out to Us, whether lying on his side, sitting, or standing, but as soon as We relieve him of his trouble he goes on his way as if he had never cried out to Us to remove his trouble. In this way the deeds of such heedless people are made attractive to them. (Al Quran 10:12)
The Economic Journal is one of the founding journals of modern economics first published in 1891. The journal remains one of the top journals in the profession and provides a platform for high quality, innovative, and imaginative economic research, publishing papers in all fields of economics for a broad international readership.
Philosophers once predicted that religion would die out as societies modernize. This has not happened. Today, more than four out of every five people on Earth believe in God. Religion seems to be serving a purpose that modernization does not replace.
New research finds that people become more religious when hit by natural disasters. They are more likely to rank themselves as a religious person, find comfort in God, and to state that God is important in their lives. This increase in average religiosity occurs on all continents, for people belonging to all major religions, income groups, and from all educational backgrounds.
Religiosity has increased nine times more in districts across the globe hit by earthquakes compared to those that were spared over the period 1991-2009. This is mainly because believers become more religious. It’s not that non-believers tend to take up religion in the aftermath of a natural disaster. They also generally do not go to church much more often. Rather, their existing personal beliefs intensify. Believers pass on some of this increased religious intensity through generations: Children of immigrants are more religious when their parents came from earthquake-prone areas.
Comparing religiosity across the globe is difficult. It’s difficult to compare the religiosity of a Muslim from Indonesia with the religiosity of an American Protestant. Instead, new research compares religiosity of the American Protestant only to other American Protestants and the Muslim Indonesian to other Muslim Indonesians. The main measures of religiosity used are based on surveys of more than 200,000 people across the globe. Sociologists have identified six particular questions that together span global religiosity: “How important is God in your life?”, “Are you a religious person?”, “How often do you attend religious services?”, “Do you find comfort in God?”, “Do you believe in God?”, and “Do you believe in life after death?”
The link between disasters and religiosity is also there for alternative measures of religiosity. In particular, google searches on religious terms, such as “God” or “Pray” increase with higher disaster risk. These measures may not be exact, which is not a problem for the methodology used. The methodology does not depend on exact measures of religiosity, but rather on a correct ranking of religiosity between societies.
The explanation for why religiosity increases in the face of disasters could be that people go to church for material aid, that people move in the face of disasters, or that disasters also affect development or other cultural values. However, it turns out that one main reason for the impact of disasters on religiosity is religious coping. The theory of religious coping states that people use religion as a means to cope with adversity and uncertainty. Empirical evidence suggests that people hit by various adverse life events, such as cancer, heart problems, death in close family, alcoholism, divorce, or injury are more religious than others.
Disasters provide a shock to adversity and uncertainty. Research shows that adversity and uncertainty can make people across the globe more religious. People do not necessarily think that God made the earth shake, but they might use their religion to deal with the situation. It is mainly Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and Jews who use their religion to cope with the experiences after natural disasters. Buddhists seem to be less affected. There are not enough people from other religions or spiritual groups in the data to draw any conclusions for their particular experience with coping.
What types of disasters increase religious beliefs? According to the theory on religious coping, people mainly use religion to cope with large, negative, and unpredictable events. Using religion for coping is part of what is termed emotion-focused coping, in which people aim to reduce the emotional distress arising from a situation. When people face perceived negative, but predictable events, such as an approaching exam or a job interview, they are more likely to engage in problem-focused coping, where they aim to tackle directly the problem that is causing the stress. Likewise, religiosity increases more in response to unpredictable disasters, compared to predictable ones. Of the four main geophysical and meteorological disasters, earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions elevate peoples’ beliefs, while tropical storms do not. Indeed, meteorologists have a much easier time predicting storms than seismologists have in predicting earthquakes. Further, earthquakes in areas that are otherwise rarely hit increase religiosity more than earthquakes in areas that are often hit. In addition, larger earthquakes increase religiosity more than smaller earthquakes.
Featured image credit: Praying Hands by Couleur. Public Domain via Pixabay.
Jeanet Sinding Bentzen is an Associate Professor at the department of economics at the University of Copenhagen. Her research focuses broadly on identifying the deep determinants of economic development. Her recent research includes studies on the causes and consequences of religion for society. This research is part of the new and growing field called the ‘economics of religion’.
Say, ‘Just think: if all your water were to sink deep in the earth who could give you flowing water in its place?’ (Al Quran 67:30)
Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times
Allah sent some one hundred and twenty four thousand prophets to establish His Divinity. As, the human mind was being slowly polished under Divine guidance, even the top ranking prophets like Moses, had to show temporary, almost magical miracles, like turning staff into snake and make his hand shine and glow to plead his case. Eventually, the time was ripe in the 7th century that Allah decided to send His final scripture, the holy Quran, as the final message for the whole of mankind. The prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, who was the recipient of this final book, called it his biggest and everlasting miracle. Miracle indeed it is!
The Quran appeals to the study of nature and laws of nature that were to be understood centuries later as it pleads its case for Monotheism, not once, not twice, not three times, but almost in every Surah of the Quran.
Dr. Abdus Salam, who received Nobel Prize in physics in 1979, said the following in his Banquet speech:
The creation of Physics is the shared heritage of all mankind. East and West, North and South have equally participated in it. In the Holy Book of Islam, Allah says
“Thou seest not, in the creation of the All-merciful any imperfection, Return thy gaze, seest thou any fissure. Then Return thy gaze, again and again. Thy gaze, Comes back to thee dazzled, aweary.” (67:3-4)
This in effect is, the faith of all physicists; the deeper we seek, the more is our wonder excited, the more is the dazzlement for our gaze.
I am saying this, not only to remind those here tonight of this, but also for those in the Third World, who feel they have lost out in the pursuit of scientific knowledge, for lack of opportunity and resource.
Allah was declaring His creativity in the creation of the universe, as proof enough for his Divinity and Monotheism, in a pithy language in the above quoted verses of Surah Al Mulk, in Salam’s speech.
Going to the main theme of this article, which is water, there are at least 85 mentions in the Quran of water. The Quran calls water a great blessing and says, “And We send down from the sky water which is full of blessings, and We produce therewith gardens and grain harvests.” (Al Quran 50:9) The Quran also says that Allah created human kind from water (25:54), not only that, the Quran adds, all life forms were created from water (21:30 and 24:45).
Water is a part of the photosynthetic process that is energy supply for the whole of the plant kingdom and eventually indirectly for all the animals as well on our planet earth. In the past we knew it only in the form of a chemical equation. In a recent publication in Nature that is nicely covered by National Geographic, Kern and his team extracted the protein structure that splits water, to provide electrons for the whole process, known as Photosystem II, from bacteria to study how it behaves. By bombarding these structures with lasers and x-rays, they were able to take snapshots of the process at an atomic scale, as described in the journal Nature. These techniques revealed that water-splitting takes place in multiple steps, which had never been observed before.
Water has a very strange chemical property. The anomalous expansion of water is a strange and an abnormal property of water whereby it expands instead of contracting when the temperature goes from 4 degree centigrade to zero degree, and it becomes less dense. The density is maximum at 4C and decreases below that temperature. the less dense ice rises to the top in a frozen lake or sea and there is liquid water underneath for all the water life and fish to survive. The anomalous expansion of water helps preserve aquatic life during very cold weather.
When the verses of the Qur’an concerning the role of water in man’s existence are read in succession today. they all appear to us to express ideas that are quite obvious. The reason for this is simple: in our day and age, we all, to a lesser or greater extent, know about the water cycle in nature.
If however, we consider the various concepts the ancients had on this subject, it becomes clear that the data in the Qur’an do not embody the mythical concepts current at the time of the Revelation which had been developed more according to philosophical speculation than observed phenomena. Although it was empirically possible to acquire on a modest scale, the useful practical knowledge necessary for the improvement of the irrigation, the concepts held on the water cycle in general would hardly be acceptable today.
Thus it would have been easy to imagine that underground water could have come from the infiltration of precipitations in the soil. In ancient times however, this idea, held by Vitruvius Polio Marcus in Rome, 1st century B.C., was cited as an exception. For many centuries therefore (and the Qur’anic Revelation is situated during this period) man held totally inaccurate views on the water cycle. Two specialists on this subject, G. Gastany and B. Blavoux, in their entry in the Universalis Encyclopedia (Encyclopedia Universalis) under the heading Hydrogeology (Hydrogéologie), give an edifying history of this problem.
“In the Seventh century B.C., Thales of Miletus held the theory whereby the waters of the oceans, under the effect of winds, were thrust towards the interior of the continents; so the water fell upon the earth and penetrated into the soil. Plato shared these views and thought that the return of the waters to the oceans was via a great abyss, the ‘Tartarus’. This theory had many supporters until the Eighteenth century, one of whom was Descartes. Aristotle imagined that the water vapour from the soil condensed in cool mountain caverns and formed underground lakes that fed springs. He was followed by Seneca (1st Century A.D.) and many others, until 1877, among them O. Volger . . . The first clear formulation of the water cycle must be attributed to Bernard Palissy in 1580. he claimed that underground water came from rainwater infiltrating into the soil. This theory was confirmed by E. Mariotte and P. Perrault in the Seventeenth century.
In this day and age when humanity is looking for water and life on planet mars, the last verse of Surah Mulk, which was mentioned as an epigraph, becomes even more poignant: “Say, ‘Just think: if all your water were to sink deep in the earth who could give you flowing water in its place?'” (Al Quran 67:30) For additional details, I refer you to another of my articles on this theme: The holy Quran and the Water Stores of Our Planet.
In a long passage of Surah Al Waqiah, as Allah talks about His Providence and Creativity in creation of different things, there is a special mention and challenge about water: “Reflect on the water which you drink? Is it you who send it down from the clouds, or do We? If We so pleased, We could make it bitter. Why, then, are you not grateful?” (Al Quran 56:67-69)
And when My servants ask thee about Me, say: ‘I am near. I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he prays to Me. So they should hearken to Me and believe in Me, that they may follow the right way.’ (Al Quran 2:186)
Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times Joel Osteen has no less than a thousand, half hour wonderful presentations, about positive thinking, hope, optimism and success. […]
Joel Osteen Very Articulate about Avoiding Pork https://t.co/ErsLkud5eh via @wordpressdotcom — TheMuslimTimes (@TheMuslimTimes2) February 22, 2018 Suggested reading by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times about […]
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Say, ‘O People of the Book! come to a word equal between us and you — that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partner with Him, and that some of us take not others for Lords beside Allah.’ But if they turn away, then say, ‘Bear witness that we have submitted to God.’ (Al Quran 3:64)
Surely, the Believers, and the Jews, and the Christians and the Sabians — whichever party from among these truly believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good deeds — shall have their reward with their Lord, and no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve. (Al Quran 2:62)
Surely, those who have believed, and the Jews, and the Sabians, and the Christians — whoso believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good deeds, on them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve. (Al Quran 5:69)
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
This discussion is very helpful and hopeful at the same time, every segment of this discussion needs an open intellectual discussion, for example; slavery in Islamic world was not abolished by Sharia but through secular law.
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Mohammad Tawhidi is an Australian Shia Muslim influencer and reformist Imam. Tawhidi has been embraced by a number of Western far-right and Islamophobic groups. Tawhidi had earlier held Sadiq Hussaini Shirazi as his marja taqlid. Since 2015, Tawhidi has stated that […]
Epigraph: “As often as we approach the Quran, it always proves repulsive anew; gradually, however, it attracts, it astonishes, and, in the end forces admiration.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Written […]