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Contemporary world

 by Ibrahim B. Syed, Ph. D. 
Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc.
7102 W. Shefford Lane
Louisville, KY 40242-6462, U.S.A.


"O my dear son! Establish worship and enjoin kindness and forbid iniquity, and persevere whatever may befall thee. Lo!  That is of the steadfast heart of things."

                                    …..Qur'an, Luqman, 31: 17.

The Muslims in America constitute about 6 million out of a total population of nearly 300 million. That is about 2 per cent. The Muslims are a tiny Island in the Ocean of America where the majority has non-Islamic values.

The  world is plagued by all sorts of problems:  social unrest, political instabilities, mass poverty and destitution, prostitution, homosexuality, sexual assaults on children, homicides, killings, drug addiction, alcoholism, domestic violence, family break-ups, juvenile delinquency, gun violence in schools and in the public, suicides and the so-called Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Aids).


In the United States, one million teen-age girls give birth to children out of wedlock per year. How many Muslim teen-age girls give birth to children out of wedlock?

Jahiliyyah Period

(REF:  The Life of Muhammad by Abdul Hameed Siddiqui)

The moral and socio- economic scene of today's world is uncannily similar to seventh century Arabia before the advent of Islam.

The tribes of Arabia held once a year, a general assembly, at 'Ukaz a place between Nakhlah and Ta'if. This fair, however, revived the scenes of Rome's greatest glory in gaiety (fun or joviality) and licentiousness (recklessness or decadence). Warriors of all tribes, sworn blood enemies for generations sat in open-air cafes and taverns (pub or saloon). Wine goblets were filled and emptied with alarming rapidity. Amidst this merrymaking the poets recited their poetical compositions, contending and vying (competing or contesting) with each other for the coveted (well-liked or in demand) first honour. A poet made a name for himself here or nowhere.

Drinking had in fact become a second nature with the Arabs. Wine and woman go together, and as a result of licentious drinking, fornication was very rampant (widespread or unchecked).  Imported slave girls from Syria and Iraq who afforded vast opportunities of sensual pleasures to the rich with their dancing and singing and all corruption, which usually goes with them.

Polytheism and idol worship were rampant (widespread or unchecked) in Arabia, so was tribalism and unrestrained pursuit of wealth and power. Most Arabs were nomads, with the tribal structure assuring them security. This stability was based largely on the tradition of "blood vengeance," which invariably resulted in an endless cycle of revenge. Society seemed even harsher in the cities. There were only a few cities like Makkah, Yathrib (later Madinat an-Nabi, city of the Prophet or for short Madinah), and Ta'if. A small number of rich and powerful families controlled the economy. Many of the poor were eternally entangled in a web of usury (riba). This system of riba turned them into virtual slaves. Slavery itself was commonplace. Women's status was also extremely deplorable and they were treated largely as chattel (disposable commodity or property or slaves), which was essentially another form of slavery. Marriage, inheritance, and divorce laws reflected the chauvinistic attitudes prevalent in the society. For example unlimited polygamy was widespread, primogeniture (first born of the family) was the rule and sons often inherited their father's wives. A husband could stop conjugal relations with his wife and abdicate all responsibilities toward her without divorcing her and letting her go free. This cruel treatment of wives called zihar (turning your back on something) was widely practiced.
Although females were oppressed and abused routinely, female infanticide was commonplace, and male progeny was a source of pride and status in society, the majority of deities were female. The three major deities, al-Lat, al'-Uzza, and al-Manat were considered the daughters of Allah. (Astaghfirullah)!

Decency and modesty had been swept away from the society by these drinking revelries (celebrations), so common and so frequent, and by the absence of any social discipline; the heathen Arabs had little regard for the sanctity of matrimonial relations. They took pride in flouting them and describing publicly their adulterous adventures.

It is difficult to resist drawing analogies between the seventh century world and the state of the human morality in today's world at the turn of the new millennium. The nuclear man-woman, two-parent family, as a core unit of society has eroded seriously in the West. Brazen sexual exploitation in the media is commonplace and illicit sex condoned and even accepted. Violence at home, against women, children, and violence in the streets, is frightfully routine. Substance abuse is widespread, with United States as the largest consumer of drugs in the world. Alcoholism is rampant, especially among college students, with only feeble attempts being made to address the problem. The lessons from the AIDS epidemic are being swept under the rug of political correctness. African- Americans have been liberated as slaves for a century and a half, yet many are still trapped in an unending cycle of poverty and discrimination, which is in a way a form of economic slavery.
The unraveling (straightening out) of the moral fabric in today's society must weigh heavily on the minds of individuals with insight. They can draw personal solace and inspiration from the life of Prophet Muhammad (SAS).

It is said that while he was young as a herdsman Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had a companion whom he asked to take over his duties while he (young Muhammad (SAS)) spent the night in town in some recreation (such as liquor bars or Disco bars) as other youths were wont (established custom) to do in those days. Before he reached his destination, however, Muhammad's (pbuh) attention was arrested by a wedding in one of the houses on the way. He stopped there to listen to the sounds emanating from the house and fell asleep. He came back to Makkah on another occasion for the same purpose, and again on the way his attention was arrested by the sound of beautiful music. He sat down on the street to listen, and again fell asleep. The temptations of Makkah had no power over the disciplined soul of Muhammad (SAS) whose prime concern was contemplation. This is not surprising. Far lesser men than Muhammad (SAS) have also overcome these temptations. He led a life far removed from vice and immorality, and found his pleasures in immersing himself in thought and contemplation.


 The Arab tribal society of the Seventh century, whose structure was based on greed, debauchery, and violence, was changed in a very short time, by the Prophet (pbuh), into a society with one of the highest moral standards in history. Compassion, humility, devotion to God and egalitarianism (social equality) replaced the old well-entrenched tribal attitudes of pride in wealth, family and class, cruelty toward fellow humans and self-centered behavior. Women, for the first time in history, had rights and dignity, and the vulnerable and weak sections of the society were protected. Sexuality was removed from public prurience (that which incites lasciviousness (Driven by lust. Preoccupied with or exhibiting lustful desires) or lust) and became private and wholesome. Wealth was re-circulated so that even the smallest capillaries of the society were infused with energy and indigence (poverty or destitution) became nearly extinct.


Alcohol in Soft Drinks

It is well known that some soft drinks, such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, contain among their ingredients a tiny amount of alcohol, which is used to dissolve some constituents of the drinks such as color, flavor, etc. Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola, for example, contain different types of flavors, considered to be secrets of the trade, these flavors dissolve in alcohol, which is no more than two to three parts in one thousand (0.03-0.02 %) in these drinks

Such soft drinks are considered to be permissible halal from the Islamic point of view, according to the rules for eating and drinking in the Islamic legal law.

The concept behind these rule is that if a small amount of a prohibited substance X is mixed with a dominant permissible substance Y till substance X loses all its attributes such as taste, color, and smell, substance x loses the qualifications of being impure and prohibited by having being dissolved in substance Y.

This conclusion is supported by a ruling by Ibn Taymmiah in his Fatawa (21/502), and by the recommendations of the ninth Medical Fiqh Seminar of the Islamic Medical Science Organization, which met in Aldar Albayda’ in Morocco in June 1997.

The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA)

Natural and artificial flavors containing alcohol.

In the food industry, alcohol is the second common solvent after water. Some of the flavors like vanilla cannot be made without alcohol. One cannot imagine foods and drinks like, ice cream, cakes and cookies, soft drinks. Etc. without the use of alcohol. IFANCA (The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America) considers alcohol as an unavoidable impurity in the food systems. Muslim countries, which import food products, accept foods containing small quantities of alcohol.

We have established two levels of control points for alcohol in foods and ingredients:

Less than 0.1 per cent in the food items.

Less than 0.5 per cent in food ingredients.

At the above levels, one cannot detect the presence of alcohol by taste, smell or sight.

These guidelines are for the food industry to make halal certified products, however, where should one draw the line, is up to the individual Muslim consumer based on the available knowledge and his or her own commitment.

The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America

5901 N. Cicero Ste. 309, Chicago, IL 60646
TEL: (773) 283-3708
FAX: (773) 283-3973



 Nation of Islam

Why Afro-Americans want to join the Nation of Islam?

The answer is to lead a moral life, a life of temperance a life of Tee-totallers. To be dignified members of the society.

Life Magazine of May 1979 issue pictorially depicted the reformation of Muslim inmates in a San Francisco prison. The Muslim inmates were free from Drugs and Alcohol and never practiced Homosexuality.

Story of an Atheist from a communist country

A man from the former Soviet Union immigrated to the United States when he was young.  When he became old, he was worried about life after death or life hereafter, although he was an atheist. He studied the following religions thoroughly.






Finally he became a Christian, as the Christian priest assured him Paradise if he believed in Jesus Christ as his savior.  As a Christian he studied the problems of Christian society and developed second thoughts and was inclined towards Islam for its five pillars of faith and the disciplined life of a Muslim.

Corruption in Muslim countries and World's most corrupt countries


In a developing Muslim country the following corruptions are found.

·        Water in pot before milking the cow.

·        Drug tampering

·        Coffee tainted with tamarind powder

·        Ghee (melted butter) tainted with Crisco

·        Cereals, like rice and wheat tainted with pebbles to weigh more

·        One Muslim by the name of Abdul Sattar (not his real name)  has registered an organization called "Abdul Sattar Academy for Islam Research"  D.B.U. (doing business as ) "Academy for Islamic Research". Peddling or marketing the business in the name of Islam.  THIS IS HARAM.

A list of the world's most corrupt countries has been released recently by Transparency International a Berlin-based voluntary organization claiming to be fighting corruption all over the world by exposing corrupt practices everywhere. Topping the list are four Islamic countries namely Bangladesh (in 2001 and 2002 it is listed first), Nigeria (used to be Number One), Indonesia and Azerbaijan. Pakistan is a close seventh with many other Muslim countries following it. Nigeria, Bolivia and Colombia are rated the most corrupt countries, and Denmark, Finland and Sweden the least corrupt, in an index published by Transparency International, a non-government pressure group. In the year 1997 Transparency International, found Bangladesh occupying the fourth position among the corrupt countries. Being among the top ten on any account was news indeed. Bangladesh has since made incredibly tremendous progress in this particular field. Transparency International again came out with the astounding disclosure that Bangladesh topped the list of 91 countries it surveyed in 2001.

These countries are Muslim countries that have been bestowed with a religion that puts so much emphasis on honesty, truth, righteousness and other attributes of personal behaviour. Then why is the Muslim Umma so weak in its moral fiber? One reason that comes to mind is probably that our Ulama or religious preachers do not stress upon the importance of a righteous character or sound personal character.

They, in fact, indirectly connote that acts like offering or accepting bribe, adulterating foodstuff and medicines, hoarding, black marketing, exploiting the helpless, indulging in nepotism, defeating merit and justice, are but small vices which can be condoned by saying an extra prayers, by extra fasting or by going for Hajj. The result is that the Islamic Ummah is in a deep abyss of moral decadence.

The need of the hour is that the Ulama or religious preachers should stress upon the fact that God does not forgive deliberate acts of sin just by saying extra prayers, extra fastings or by performing a religious rite.

The Ulama or religious Preachers must emphasize the need for 'Jihad-e-Akbar', that is, jihad against personal desires, lust and greed. And that is the service Islam needs most, today. DO NOT JUDGE A CAR BY ITS DRIVER.


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