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11 months ago  ::  Sep 23, 2013 - 4:13AM #31
Posts: 5,127

Here is a nice article on history...



                Byzantium and Islam            


                Age of Transition            

           [ Source: ]

March 14–July 8, 2012


Accompanied by a blog, a catalogue, and an Audio Guide       

Moderated by Merope on Dec 20, 2013 - 12:30PM
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10 months ago  ::  Oct 26, 2013 - 6:04AM #32
Posts: 5,127

This new book opens a untold story of American history. How the founding fathers of America shown great respect to Islam. This openess of founding fathers made America a great country with unique values.


Check it out....


Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders

 In this original and illuminating book, Denise A. Spellberg reveals a little-known but crucial dimension of the story of American religious freedom—a drama in which Islam played a surprising role. In 1765, eleven years before composing the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson bought a Qur’an. This marked only the beginning of his lifelong interest in Islam, and he would go on to acquire numerous books on Middle Eastern languages, history, and travel, taking extensive notes on Islam as it relates to English common law. Jefferson sought to understand Islam notwithstanding his personal disdain for the faith, a sentiment prevalent among his Protestant contemporaries in England and America. But unlike most of them, by 1776 Jefferson could imagine Muslims as future citizens of his new country.

 Based on groundbreaking research, Spellberg compellingly recounts how a handful of the Founders, Jefferson foremost among them, drew upon Enlightenment ideas about the toleration of Muslims (then deemed the ultimate outsiders in Western society) to fashion out of what had been a purely speculative debate a practical foundation for governance in America. In this way, Muslims, who were not even known to exist in the colonies, became the imaginary outer limit for an unprecedented, uniquely American religious pluralism that would also encompass the actual despised minorities of Jews and Catholics. The rancorous public dispute concerning the inclusion of Muslims, for which principle Jefferson’s political foes would vilify him to the end of his life, thus became decisive in the Founders’ ultimate judgment not to establish a Protestant nation, as they might well have done.

 As popular suspicions about Islam persist and the numbers of American Muslim citizenry grow into the millions, Spellberg’s revelatory understanding of this radical notion of the Founders is more urgent than ever. Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an is a timely look at the ideals that existed at our country’s creation, and their fundamental implications for our present and future.

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9 months ago  ::  Oct 29, 2013 - 12:48PM #33
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Prof. Intisar Rabb on Harvard Law Faculty

September 19, 2013 by  

By Sophy Bishop

Intisar Rabb, a newly named faculty member, photographed in the Law LibraryIntisar A. Rabb, a leading expert on Islamic Law and legal history, will join the faculty of Harvard Law School beginning Spring 2014, with an appointment as a tenured Professor of Law.

Rabb is currently associate professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and Law at New York University School of Law, where she holds a joint appointment at the NYU Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Department and the NYU School of Law. At HLS, she will be a faculty director of the Islamic Legal Studies Program.

Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow said: “Intisar is a first-rate scholar; she engages across historical and present-day legal issues and materials with nimbleness and contagious curiosity. We are delighted she is joining this community and look forward to supporting her keen interest in using the web and other tools for sharing accurate information about the Middle East and Islamic legal traditions with students, scholars, journalists and people all over the world. Generations of students and colleagues at HLS, at Harvard, and beyond will benefit enormously from her expertise, her teaching, and her wonderful way of engaging others in discussion of important issues.”

In 2012, Rabb served as a visiting associate professor of law at Harvard Law School. From 2011 to 2013, she was a fellow at HLS’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, where she worked with a team to develop an online database aimed at connecting legal scholars and media producers with credible, authoritative information about trends in Islamic law. In 2010, she was named a Carnegie Scholar for her research on “Islamic Law and Legal Change: The Internal Critique,” which examines criminal law reform in the Muslim world.

Said Rabb: “I am thrilled to be joining Harvard Law School: the ideal community in which to further explore and teach concepts of Islamic law, legal history, and comparative law in an interdisciplinary way. My colleagues at HLS are stellar scholars and teachers; I found the students I taught there to be consistently sharp and engaged; and the library resources—especially for the study of Islamic and Middle Eastern law—are unparalleled in any North American law school. In addition to continuing down the many avenues of intellectual engagement there, I look forward to coming back to the HLS classroom and to the library. I also look forward to building the Islamic Legal Studies Program to its full potential.”

Rabb holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies (with a focus on Islamic Law) from Princeton University. Her dissertation, which won the Princeton NES Bayard and Cleveland Dodge Memorial Thesis Prize for Best Ph.D. Dissertation, focused on the history and function of legal maxims in Islamic law. In addition to her Ph.D., Rabb earned a B.S. from Georgetown University in Government and Arabic in 1999, a M.A. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton in 2005 and a J.D. from Yale Law School, in 2006.

She served as a law clerk to the Hon. Thomas L. Ambro of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, from 2006 to 2007, and subsequently worked with members of the bench and bar in the United Kingdom as a Temple Bar Scholar through the American Inns of Court. Rabb speaks Arabic and Persian and has reading proficiency in French, German, and Spanish.

Her publications include: “The Burden and Benefit of Doubt: Legal Maxims in Early Islamic Law” (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2014); “Law and Tradition in Classical Islamic Thought,” co-edited with Michael Cook, Najam Haider, and Asma Sayeed, (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013) and “Qāḍī Justice: Courts and The Administration of Justice in Early Islamic Law and Society” (Cambridge University Press, under contract).

Currently, Rabb serves on the board of the Journal of Islamic Law and Society and as an executive Board Member on the Section on Islamic Law and as chair-elect of the Section on Comparative Law for the American Association of Law Schools. In the past, she has served as a guest editor of the Journal of Law and Religion.


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8 months ago  ::  Dec 11, 2013 - 8:30AM #34
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The Queen is to appoint aristocrat who converted to Islam as her High Sheriff

The Earl of Yarborough, who took the name Abdul Mateen after he became a Muslim, has been nominated as the Queen's High Sheriff of Lincolnshire

While the Prince of Wales has been praising the unifying strengths of the Commonwealth, the Queen is preparing for an eye-catching appointment back home.

Mandrake hears that an aristocrat who converted to Islam has been nominated to be the High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, the monarch’s representative in the county.

The Earl of Yarborough, who uses the name Abdul Mateen, will take the unpaid role next year.

On the death of his father in 1991, he inherited the bulk of the £68 million estate, which includes Brocklesby Park in Lincolnshire, 27,500 acres of farmland, and one of Britain’s finest private art collections.

His father was quite a character. At his village carol service, he once read the lesson about the shepherds deserting their flocks to see the baby in Bethlehem.

“I’d just like to say,” he told the startled congregation, “that if these men had been my shepherds, I’d have sacked them.”

A Mandrake plant?

Her husband's ancestral home, Alnwick Castle, pictured above, doubles as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films, but the Duchess of Northumberland could be the new J K Rowling.

Rowling’s publisher, Bloomsbury, is to publish a series of novels inspired by the duchess and the Poison Garden she created at Alnwick.

The books will be about a half-human, half-plant creature called Weed, who is given miraculous powers by innocuously eating poisonous and hallucinogenic herbs, which he uses to fight evil.

Bloomsbury is also in talks about a possible television series and a film dramatisation. Sounds wizard.

Moderated by world citizen on Dec 20, 2013 - 11:05AM
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3 months ago  ::  May 01, 2014 - 3:08AM #35
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Genital Mutilation Is Anti-Circumcision
4/24/2014 - Religious - Article Ref: IC1404-5727

By: Rabbi Allen S. Maller
IslamiCity* -


Female genital excision has been banned in Egypt since 2008. Now, for the first time, a doctor is about to stand trial for carrying out the procedure, with a court date set for April 24, 2014 in Aga.

Human rights organizations fought for prosecution in this case, believing that the death of a thirteen year old girl last June offered the chance for a precedent-setting verdict against an ingrained custom, which supporters generally refer to as female circumcision.

It is totally false to compare the custom of female genital mutilation to the religious practice of male circumcision.

First, while there are great medical benefits from removal of the foreskin of a male, especially in reducing the spread of HIV; there is no medical benefit to a female from the removal of her clitoris and labia.

In Africa, Jewish and Muslim men have much lower rates of AIDS than uncircumcised Christian men. 

Second, there is no evidence that female genital mutilation promotes chastity and preserves a woman's virtue. Having a considerate, loving and faithful husband does much more to promote a woman's virtue than female genital mutilation.

Third, male circumcision is a religious requirement; female genital mutilation is only a tribal custom, originating in sub Sahara Africa; which is now being spread by religious extremists to Asia and the West as part of a reaction against the rising rate of girls going to school and woman going to work outside the home. 

Evidence that female genital mutilation is a only a custom comes from the fact that in rural Egypt even Coptic Christians mutilate their daughters genitals. 

Also female genital mutilation had been denounced by all the major Islamic scholars in the Muslim world.

Finally, male circumcision is derived from the God inspired practice if Abraham and Muhammad.

God said to Abraham (Genesis 17:7): "I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you...

(8-12) "And I will give to you, and to your offspring after you, the land where you are now an alien, all the land of Canaan, for a perpetual holding; and I will be their God. And God said to Abraham, "As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised


"You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. Throughout your generations every male among you shall be circumcised when he is eight days old,"

And Allah ordered Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to follow the religion of Ibrahim (peace be upon him). When Allah said (Qur'an 16:123) "Then We inspired you: 'Follow the religion of Ibrahim, the upright in Faith'." And part of the religion of Ibrahim is, as is evident from the verses cited above, to practice circumcision.

Abraham was an old man when he circumcised himself, thus becoming a good example that one is never to old to do God's will. As a Hadith says: Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: " Prophet Ibrahim circumcised himself when he was eighty years old and he circumcised himself with an axe." (Related by Bukhari, Muslim & Ahmad.) 

Abraham's first born son Ishmael, was a young boy when he was circumcised, so Muslims do not have to circumcise their son's on an exact date. A Hadith states: When Ibn Abbas was asked "How old were you when the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) died?" He replied, "At that time I had been circumcised. At that time people did not circumcise boys till they attained the age of puberty (Baligh)." (Bukhari) 

Prophet Muhammad himself selected the 7th day after birth to circumcise his own grandsons: Abdullah Ibn Jabir and Aisha both said: "The Prophet (peace be upon him) performed the Aqiqah of al-Hasan and al-Hussein (the prophets grandsons) circumcising them on the 7th. Day." (Related in al-Bayhaq & Tabarani) 

Thus, for Jews circumcision is a sign of the covenant that God made with Abraham and his sons Ishmael and Isaac and their descendants for future generations. 

For Muslims it is a sign or their close connection to Abraham which is also celebrated each year at the annual Hajj ceremonies. 

For both Muslims and Jews it is a sign that one who submits to God's commandments and covenant cannot expect a life without some pain and suffering. When endured for the right reasons it always leads eventually to great spiritual benefits. 

Female genital mutilation is the exact opposite of circumcision both medically and religiously.


Rabbi Allen S. Maller retired after serving for 39 years as Rabbi of Temple Akiba in Culver City, California. His web site is


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