A DIVINE TEST : JERUSALEM-
WHY HAS ALLAH PUT OUR ANCESTORS AND NOW IS PUTTING US THROUGH ENDLESS TESTS DAY AFTER DAY?
AND WHY HAS JERUSALEM ALWAYS BEEN THE FOCAL POINT OF THE ABRAHAMIC FAITH FOR ALL THE ONGOING TESTS?
I would like to tell you my story about Jerusalem by starting with Abram which in Hebrew means''exalted father'';as an earlier name of Abraham and according to the Bible in Genesis Chapter 17,Verse 5 it says''Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram,but thy name shall be Abraham;for a father of many nations have I made thee''.This is the beginning of Abraham in the Bible.
However in the Qur'an Chapter(Surah)-Al Baqarah-2,Verse 124 it says:''And remember this when his Sustainer tried Abraham by His commandments and Abraham fulfilled them,He said:''Behold,I shall make thee a leader of men''.Abraham asked:''Will Thou make leaders of my offspring as well?'';Allah answered ''My covenant does not embrace the evildoers''.
Here I will refer you to the explanations of Prof.Bayraktar Bayraklı who in his 21 volume interpretation of the Qur'an Volume 2 page 211 dwells into the Qur'anic understanding of the word ''leader''corresponding in Arabic to the word ''İmam''.So according to his take an İmam can be the following five concepts according to the Qur'an:1-Religious leader as a prophet as mentioned in Chapter 2, Verse 125.Also Chapter 17 Verse 52. 2-The leader of a congregation during a prayer in a mosque as in Chapter 25, Verse 74.3-A role-model person as in Chapter 11 Verse 17.4-A guide showing the true path written in a holy script as in Chapter36,Verse 12.5-Leaders of infidels can also be İmams as in Chapter 9,Verse 12.
I must also comment on the way Allah answered ''my covenant does not embrace the evildoers'':Allah points out with this verse that once someone is chosen as a leader of a country and then becomes an evildoer by his own choice more like a tyrant and oppresses his own people and others as we see so many examples in our times is why Allah is not giving any assurance to Abraham's desire for his offsprings.That is why the easiest way out most people chose in order to blame the ''congregation of other religions''is mostly because of our own ignorance.We should stop sending the bill to Allah for all our differences as He explains why He created us from different nations and tribes in Chapter 49,Verse 13-''O men! Behold,We have created you all out of a male and a female,and have made you into nations and tribes,so that you might come to know one another.Verily the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the one who is mostly deeply conscious of Him.behold ,Allah is all knowing and all-aware.''So the more you understand the word meaning of ''litearafu''(come to know one another) according to Allah as the Qur'an is the word of Allah so it is not only in Arabic but also is Rabbic as well;more tolerant and happier we shall all become.
Therefore after all these explanations please warn anyone who may refer to an İmam as a ''Muslim Cleric'' as there is no intercession in Islam.We do not as Muslims need anyone to intercede between us and Allah as we worship Him directly so no one can redeem our sins in the name of a holy person as it is done by church fathers.Forgiveness only is granted by Allah as He alone is the sole redeemer.
Then I would like to point out one of the differences between The Bible and The Qur'an.It is to do with which son of Abraham was asked by Allah for sacrifice?According to The Bible it was the first wife Sarah that gave birth to Isaac;however according to The Qur'an it was Ishmael whose mother was Hagar.According to the Biblical texts Ishmael was fourteen years older than Isaac.
According to the Daily Bible printed in Eugene,Oregon by the Harvest House Publishers-(ISBN 0-89081-759-6): on page 43 one can read that when Isaac was three years old,Ishmael was seventeen years old and Ishmael was mocking young Isaac;by which time Sarah requested Abraham to take away his slave wife Hagar and his first son Ishmael in order to safeguard her son Isaac's right of inheritance.(as explained in Genesis Chapter 21 through verses 8-14).On page 44 is Abraham's ultimate test of Faith was when he is asked to sacrifice his younger son Isaac.(as explained in Genesis Chapter 22,verses 1 and 2).
However according to The Qur'an As-Saffat(Those Ranged in Ranks)Surah 37,Verses100-113 explains how Ishmael was born first and was put on trial for sacrifice and then was the birth of Isaac.Therefore these two boys were to have offsprings and the Muslims of today are related with the Jews and the Christians of today through our common father Abraham.This is why these three religions of the One Allah(God) are referred to as the Abrahamic Faith.I can give you a suggestion next if you want to further understand the differences between the two books;please read:''Do We Worship the Same God? Comparing The Bible and The Qur'an written by George Dardess-(ISBN-13:978-0-86716-731-3).
Then let us find out when did Abraham live according to the Biblical sources?Within the Old Testament Contents Period of the Patriarchs lasted between circa 2100-1525 BC.As so far the archeologists have not uncovered any graffiti reading ''Abraham was here''these dates show us some 4100 years before our times.In the Old Testament as in the Qur'an it all started with Adam and Eve and then Noah comes followed by Abraham.
However the archeologists in our times have uncovered Göbeklitepe,near Şanlı Urfa(ancient Edessa) in South Eastern Turkey,a mound covering some twenty temples side by side and have dated it to be 12000 years old.The discovery was done;twenty four years ago by the late Prof.Klaus Schmidt from Germany.This discovery baffled most Old and New Testament theologians as the sight was eight thousand years before Abraham.I am sure the future will bring more discoveries making the study of religions more interesting based on the new data to be uncovered.However let me give you my take regarding the discovered artifacts of Göbeklitepe.You can find pictures and reports about Göbeklitepe and its very first temples of mankind so far discovered if you search the internet.A three dimensional animal figure carved on a stone T-shaped pillar some five meters tall that weighs fifteen tons predating the English Stonehenge by seven thousand years and the Egyptian Pyramids by six thousand five hundred years.How can one explain these facts by what is available with the Old and the New Testaments?Italian scholars claim that Renaissance started in İtaly with the paintings of Giotto in the fourteenth century,however we have a church mosaic in the Saint Sophia Museum in İstanbul which dates back to the tenth century,predating the paintings of Giotto by four hundred years.So the art of making three dimensional paintings when compared with Göbeklitepe artifacts which are 12000 years old is beyond ones grasp.This is a long debate that is ongoing at this time so which civilization does Göbeklitepe belong to is any ones guess right now.Could they have been extraterrestrial?Is that how come they could carve stone pillars with three dimensional animal figures thousands of years earlier than Renaissance and is that the real reason why they did so on stone which they knew would last until we discovered the earliest temples of mankind?Is that why they covered the mound a thousand years later or stopped using it and then the nature covered it? Who knows?
However the Qur'an Chapter 2-Al-Baqarah Verses 30-35 gives us an explanation towards our understanding which is:2/30-''When thy Sustainer said unto the angels:Behold,I am about to create one;upon earth who shall inherit it.They said:Will Thou place on it such as will spread corruption thereon and shed blod;whereas it is we who extol Thy limitless glory,and praise Thee and hallow Thy name.Allah answered:Verily,I know that which you do not know''.2/31-''And He imparted unto Adam the names of all things (knowledge,know-how),then He brought them within the ken of the angels and said:declare unto Me the names of these things,if what you say is true.''2/32-''They replied:Limitless art Thou in Thy glory!No knowledge have we other than what you have imparted unto us.Verily,Thou alone art all-knowing,truly wise.''2/33-''Said He:O Adam convey unto them the names of these things.And as soon as Adam had conveyed unto them their names,Allah said:Did I not say unto you,Verily I alone know the hidden reality of the heavens and the earth,and know all that you bring into the open and all that you would conceal.''2/34-''And when We told the angels,Prostrate yourselves before Adam!They all prostrated themselves except Iblis(Satan) who refused and gloried in his arrogance;and thus he became one of those who deny the truth.''2/35-''And We said :O Adam ,dwell thou and thy wife in this garden,and eat freely thereof,both of you,whatever you may wish;but do not approach this one tree,lest you become wrongdoers.''
Now let me give you my take for the above mentioned five verses:First of all how did the angels know that the Halifa(Caliph)(Leaader) to be crated was going to spread corruption and shed blood?Secondly why did Allah teach Adam all the names first before giving Adam and all the angels His Divine test?Thirdly why did Allah ask the angels to prostrate before Adam who after all was a human being?Fourthly why did the Satan refuse to prostrate before Adam?Finally why was one tree chosen by Allah when they were told not to approach that particular tree? Next I will summerize the answers according to Prof.Bayraktar Bayraklı's 21 Volumes of Interpretation of the Qur'an:
1-The story of the Abrahamic Faith begins with the creation of Adam and Eve.Neither of the three Holy Scriptures have revealed an approximate date to the creation of Adam and Eve.But we understand from Surah Al-Baqarah 2/30 that the angels seem to know even before our Adam was created that he is going to shed blod and spred corruption.So this leads us to understand that there were other Adam's before ours.On the other hand one may think how on Earth the angels could dare to question Allah's decision but Allah tells them that is His scenario and only He knows the outcome and that the angels do not have the answer to His verdict.This will also facilitate our correct understanding of the Göbeklitepe temples and other possible older places of worship on earth to be uncovered in the future.2-Qur'anic teaching revealed to mankind that Allah never ever tests anyone or any community unless he sends them a Prophet who revealed the true message of Allah with the language of that community before he starts to give them Divine Tests.Therefore unless a person is educated giving him/her a Divine Test is not His understanding of Justice.There are so many verses in the Qur'an where Allah says I warn you now so you will be unable to turn around on the day of judgment and say ''O I did not know this'' or'' allow me to go back to the earth and rectify my wrongdoings''.This is when Allah will say:''My Verses had come to you but you denied them and chose to be an infidel;so you will have to except the outcome of your own choice''.Please read the Surah Az-Zumar(The Throngs)-39/57-59 which is:39/57-''or lest he should say,''If Allah had guided me I would surely have been among those who are conscious of Him''39/58-''or lest he should say when he becomes aware of the suffering that awaits him-would that if I had a second chance in life so that I could be among the doers of good!''39/59-''But Allah will reply-Yes indeed my messages did come unto thee but thou gave them the lie,and you were filled with false pride and were amongs those who denied the truth.''Therefore Allah thought Adam the names(knowledge of things) before giving them His Divine Test.So if you did not know this verse until now that means you will have no excuse on the Day of Judgment unless we rectify our wrongdoings before it is too late.Better late than never.3- The reason why Allah asked the Angels to prostrate before Adam even though he was a human being or the very first prophet of Allah is not because of his status or being human,but the Divine Wisdom was revealed to Adam and in fact the Angels were revering to the revelation of Allah as the Divine Message.It is exactly the same in our times those people who do not have the know-how will not only show respect to those who have the know-how but end up paying immensely in order to purchase the formula needed to produce whatever they are paying for.That is why the people who are involved in the Information technology have accumulated wealth second to none as ''the correct information''is the most valuable commodity in the world.This is slightly different than what CNN says:''information is the most valuable commodity in the world''as there is plenty of information available within the social media but which is correct can only be deciphered by those who have the correct information.4-As we know the Satan refused to prostrate before Adam because of his pride.Allah punishes anyone who is proud of himself.According to my understanding of the Qur'an we should use the word ''honour''rather than ''pride'' in our conversations.This is why people who decided to be Muslim later on in their lives would use the following terminology:''when I was honoured with Islam''.I watched many videos of such people and that phrase was the common denominator when they were interviewed.They ended up reading the Qur'an and by using their wisdom chose to be a Muslim.We should also understand that a man only prostrates before his/her creator.Otherwise doing that would be considered as polytheism.Therefore the Satan in this case is not prostrating to the human side of Adam but rather to the newly selected prophet of Allah.He is simply in prostration to the Divine Wisdom revealed to Adam alone by Allah.This is easy to understand as in our daily lives we show reverence to people who have the know-how.People pay for know-how. Information is the most important commodity in the world says CNN but I will accept this motto as long as the information is correct.5-Let us imagine the Garden of Paradise where this test was applied to Adam and Eve.That was their environment to live.So they could eat any fruit with the exception of one.That was their test.They were told not to approach that particular tree.It was an order like do not even think about going near that tree.This is the same warning we all have today.This is how the Satan works.The human soul is under constant attack from the followers of Satan who whispers delusionary anxiety only to the God fearing people.The Satan is not interrested with the infidels as they are not his customers.He has nothing to sell to the atheists.His major clientele are those who worship Allah(God).So the initial test of mankind was activated by one fruit tree.The progress of mankind took centuries before they were put through different tests.Like alcohol in Islam took sometime to be implemented as they were not ready at the time of Adam to make wine for example is why only the fruits from that one tree was forbidden.
One thing is for sure that The Ottoman Turks controlled this religious city for four hundred and one years between 1517 and 1918 as an outside force just like the Roman Empire did in the past and like the State of Israel does since 1948;and look at the blood shed in the last seventy years verses the Ottoman Peace that kept it together for four centuries without a racial conflict.
To help you to understand where the roots are to this ''Ottoman Peace-Pax Ottomana'' I shall leave you all with Karen Armstrong's book;''Holy War-The Crusades And Their Impact On Today's World''(ISBN:0-385-72140-4).So on pages 533 and 534 Karen Armstrong says:''When Israelis are awakened at dawn by the call to prayer of the muezzin(the chanter),have their conversations interrupted,or are forced to suspend their activities until the sometimes deafening call to prayer is over,they are being regularly reminded of a fact which many would prefer to forget.Problems will not disappear just because we choose to forget about them.It is important that Christians and Jews should be reminded of the Muslim presence in a land where Arabs are treated as second-class citizens.All three of the traditions of historical monotheism are dedicated to peace and benevolence;all three have ,at different times of their history,been committed to the ideal of toleration.But it is particularly sad that The Mosque of Omar,which was built in memory of Omar's courteous act and his vision of the continued coexistence of the three religions in Jerusalem,should now make the call to prayer a defiant reminder.It is a symbol of the bad relations that have existed between the three religions ever since the Crusades.
Once the last echoes of the muezzin faded away,my Israeli companions became recognizable human beings once more.The reason why we were standing outside the was that very soon we were going to be locked up in it for several hours and we wanted to enjoy the fresh air beforehand.Ever since the Ottoman time,the key to the church has been in the keeping of a Muslim.The Turks were driven to this measure,not because they wanted to control the Christians in Jerusalem,but because the different Christian sects who had chapels in the huge complex of the Holy Sepulchre Church were in a constant state of war.One sect was continually locking the others out,and eventually the Turks(Ottoman Turks) decided that this intolerable state of affairs must cease:none of the Christian sects should have the key;instead a neutral Muslim would supervise the locking of the church.Because we wanted to have the church to ourselves while we were filming,we went inside at seven o'clock when it was closed to the public.We watched the great doors swing to and heard the Muslim custodian turn the key in the lock.Until he came back at midnight there was no way to get out.
Because of this terrible acrimony that still exists between the different Christian denominations,each sect has a time during the night when it has exclusive control of the church,on a rota basis.We always preferred to film when the Greek Orthodox were having their turn,because they were far more tolerant than the Latins who were represented by the Franciscans.In this respect things have not changed much since the time of the Crussades,except that the Greeks now truly loathe the Latins,instead of merely despising them.''
Another book written by Karen Armstrong is ''Muhammad A Prophet For Our Time''(ISBN-13:978-0-06-059987-6) will probably give you more information as to why Michael H.Hart placed Prophet Muhammad #1 in his book ''The Top 100 Ranking Of The Most Influential Persons In History in 1978.(ISBN-08065106684)So here is my take:
1-If you want to learn more about what happened historically in Jerusalem then read books from several sources.But whoever tells you they have ruled and lived in Jerusalem for three thousand years then tell them to be honest.
2-Our creator;Allah sent to the human kind so many prophets starting with Adam and ending with Muhammad.Muslims revere all other prophets like their own prophet.That is an order of the Qur'an.So if your religion also integrates your faith in the same manner then please stop those people who are trying to associate Islam with radicalism or terrorism because if you associate one of God's religions with terrorism;then by mistake you may hurt the feelings of Allah who created us all and by choice some of us have become Muslims.In other words would you like somebody else to label Christianity or Judaism with terrorism?All I am asking for is a little bit of ''empathy''.
3-May be President Donald Trump;one morning, on twitter as a good Christian may tell us all how he intends to reallocate the key for the Church of The Holy Sepulchre in the hands of a Christian family and end their dispute that has been going on for centuries.After all its their key and why should Muslims act as the custodians when they are immensly mistreated.At least in your Christian neighborhood did you hear any one of your church going friends showing their appreciation towards Muslims for playing the role of a peace maker as the custodians of the holiest Christian church in the world?
In the Qur'an Surah Al-Insan(Man) Verse 3 says-76/3-''Verily,We have shown him the way.And it rests with him to prove himself either grateful or ungrateful.''In other verses Allah labels man to be an ungrateful creation.He expects man to be grateful because of the life he has given to each one of us.Richness beauty and status are some of those blessings that we share as humans.So the question ''to be or not to be'' is:When do you plan to make peace with yourselves,with your families,with your countrymen? And finally I think it is high time we forget all this hatred and learn how to forgive one another and learn from one anathor so we can start to enjoy each others company.
İstanbul,Türkiye,14 January,2018-Sunday 20:30 local time...And thank you all.
THE TEARS OF A CROCODILE-Something I chose for you from the internet.
A FINER WORLD IS POSSIBLE-
I really hope so....I think you know by now what I mean.
Same evening 20:40