Saturday, August 7, 2010

Muslimah

Happy Saturday Everyone!

I wish to thank Carlos Scienza for sharing his perspective in so open and honest fashion with all of us. Thank you so much Carlos!

This week we hear from Muslimah who is a Muslim Convert and I know you'll enjoy her post as well.

Here Is Muslimah's Introduction:

You can call me Muslimah. I'm a 21-year-old convert to Islam and I live in Helsinki, Finland. You can visit my blog at http://hijabchicblog.blogspot.com

1) What religion do you practice?
Islam.

2) Did you convert or were you born into this religion? If you converted, what did you need to do to convert? And what did you practice prior to converting?
I'm a convert to Islam. I was born into a Christian family, but I was never practicing because I simply didn't believe in Christianity. I took my Shahada (declaration of belief in the oneness of Allah SWT and acceptance of Muhammad as His Messenger) 4 years ago at the age of 17.

3) Would you consider yourself a moderate, conservative or other.
I consider myself a Muslim and there's only one way, one Islam. Islam is a universal religion, perfected by Allah SWT and it needs no moderation, alteration etc. The teachings of Islam are very clear, logical and pure, but unfortunately some people try to mess things up.

4) In your opinion, what makes you moderate/conservative/other?
What makes a person a Muslim? Submitting to God's will, so I try my best to follow the teachings of Islam - the holy Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), like every Muslim believer should.

5) What's your heaven/paradise like?
Eternal. Read the holy Quran for more specific information.

6) In your opinion, does everyone make it into heaven/paradise? If they do not, why?
No. I believe in the Day of Judgement and the Last Day, when every single human being is held accountable for his/her deeds and are judged by God, according to their actions in this life. The ones who were true believers and who did righteous deeds will make it into heaven out of God's Mercy and the disbelievers will end up in Hell.

"That Day, the people will depart separated into categories to be shown the result of their deeds. So whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it and whoever does an atom's weight of evil will see it." Quran 99:6-8

7) What makes your religion a good fit for you?
Islam is a very logical religion, it makes a lot of sense. It's an universal religion and the teachings of Islam go for every situation, every era, every race and every nation. Islam is a way of life and a meaning for life, like a complete guide to this life and hereafter. Islam was given to the mankind 1400 years ago and all the teachings and scriptures still make sense, because Islam was perfect from the beginning and allows no religious innovations. Allah says in the holy Quran:

"This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion."
[The Quran 5:3]


8) What are your holy days and what do you do to celebrate them?
Friday. Muslims do not celebrate the Sabbath like Jews and Christians do, but for Muslims Friday is the day when people gather to the Mosques for Friday prayer, Jum'ah. All Muslim men are required to attend Friday prayers and women can attend voluntarily.

Then we have 2 major Eids, 1) Eid al-Adha - celebrations start right after Hajj (the time of year when Muslims do pilgrimage to Mecca) and 2) Eid al-Fitr - which marks the end of the month of Ramadan, the holy month of Islamic lunar calendar and the month when Muslims fast.


9) Do you consider people of other faiths to be your friends?

Most of my friends are Muslims, too. The reason why I mainly choose to hang out with other Muslims is because I can really relate to them, we have much more in common than with people of other faiths. We have similar values and practices. For example, if I was spending time with non-Muslims, it would be a bit difficult for me to explain to them hey it's time for prayer, I have to go pray and many of the people I used to know before converting to Islam are nowadays getting involved in things I don't want to be a part of, for example many of them are dating, drinking alcohol, going to clubs and my religion doesn't allow such behaviour, so I'd rather stay away from them. Sooo, my question to the answer would be no, not really. I feel much more comfortable with other Muslims than with people of other faiths, however I still treat people of other faiths with respect.

10) Would you ever join people of another faith to celebrate one of their holy days? Please explain why?

No, I wouldn't join to celebrate the holy days of other religions. Imitating non-Muslims in their festivals implies that I'm pleased with their beliefs and practices and I accept them, which is the reason why it's forbidden for a Muslim to join the celebrations of other faiths. For example, joining a Christmas celebration would imply that I accept the pagan rite or that I accept Prophet Jesus as the son of God. Jesus, peace be upon him was a Prophet, just like Noah, Moses, Muhammad.

Allah says in the holy Quran 3:85 (interpretation of the meaning) “Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.”

11) What are your thoughts on the burka, and Shariah Law?

I myself am a Muslim woman, choosing to cover my entire body (including my face and hands) in front of men I'm not related to. The Shariah is better than any man-made law, because the Shariah is the word of God, based on the Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and therefore it's superior to any other system.

12) What are your thoughts on women not being allowed to become priests?

Islam permits women to lead other women in prayer but not a congregation with men in it. If there are both men and women, the Imam has to be one of the men and men will pray in the front row and women will pray behind them or in a separate women's section.

13) Does your place of worship segregate? If yes, how does this make you feel?
Yes, Islam forbids free mixing of unmarried men and women, in order to protect modesty. Modesty is very important in Islam and Islam encourages people, both men and women to protect their modesty.

14) How much does your religion affect your daily life and how much thought do you give it when making a decision? Does it affect in any way your decision on abortion, gay marriage, etc?

Islam is a religion and a way of life so yes, it definitely affects my life and I try my best to live my life according to the teachings of Islam.

15) How would you react/feel if your child wished to marry outside your religion?
Every parent wishes the very best for her/his children, so naturally I wish my children would also marry Muslims.

16) In your opinion, if someone is not of your faith, will they go to hell?

God only knows who will make it to the Paradise and who will end up in Hell.

17) Who do you think is not a practicing ----- in your religion and why? ie who in the public domain claims to speak for your religion? Do you agree with them or not?
Unfortunately, most people in the Western media especially and public domains talking about my religion are not speaking for Islam. Many of them are non-practicing Muslims who have adapted to the ways of non-Muslims, many of these people aren't even Muslims and many are Muslims without real knowledge based on the authentic scriptures, so I do not agree with them.

Muslims believe in One God, Angels, the Revelation, the Prophets, the Day of Judgement and divine Predestionation althougth people have free will.
There are 5 pilars of Islam: declaration of faith, the Prayer - we pray 5 times a day, fasting in the month of Ramadan, giving charity and pilgrimage to Mecca.

That's what makes one a Muslim.


18) Have you ever been the target of a hate crime? Please explain.

I've experienced racism and discrimination, especially when trying to get a job, but I have not been a target of a major hate crime.

19) Do you ever feel like your religion devalues you?

Absolutely not. I feel like Islam taught me about the value of a human being and especially about the value of a woman, which is unfortunately very widely misunderstood in most of the Western medias.

20) Does your religion give you peace of mind?
Yes.

21) Do you believe in reincarnation? Why or why not?
No. I believe in the Day of Judgement and Heaven and Hell.

15 comments:

  1. Anirudh Kumar SatsangiAugust 7, 2010 at 4:59 PM

    An article on Logic of Reincarnation by Steven J Rosen has been published in The Speaking Tree of 11the July 2010. In this article the author enquires what is it that reincarnates from one body to another? Is it the soul? the mind? the intellect? To understand this we should suggest answer to these questions. We all know that there are four fundamental forces in the universe viz., gravitation force, electromagnetic force, weak nuclear force and strong nuclear force. I have written a paper entitled ‘Gravitation Force is the Ultimate Creator’ and presented it at the 1st International Conference on Revival of Traditional Yoga held in Lonavla Yoga Institute, Lonavla in January 2006. In this paper I have defined soul (individual consciousness), mind and body. According to this every point of action of Gravitational Force Field is individual consciousness or soul, electromagnetic force as the force of mind and weak and strong nuclear force as the gross material force which constitute physical frame of body.
    Consciousness is All Intelligent and pervades everywhere. Although all other remaining three forces are also intelligent but they are subordinate to Gravitational Force. THIS DESCRIPTION WILL HELP TO UNDERSTAND ‘WHAT IS IT THAT REINCARNATES FROM ONE BODY TO ANOTHER.
    According to Buddhism this is not the supreme atman or soul that ties one life to another, instead it talks about past lives as evolvement of consciousness, emergence of a new personality from the same stream of consciousness.
    Unaccomplished activities of past lives are also one of the causes for reincarnation. Some of us reincarnate to complete the unfinished tasks of previous birth. The is evident from my own story of reincarnation:
    “My most Revered Guru of my previous life His Holiness Maharaj Sahab, 3rd Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith had revealed this secret to me during trance like state of mine. This was sort of REVELATION.
    HE told me, “Tum Sarkar Sahab Ho” (You are Sarkar Sahab). Sarkar Sahab was one of the most beloved disciple of His Holiness Maharj Sahab. Sarkar Sahab later on became Fourth of Spiritual Head Radhasoami Faith.
    Since I don’t have any direct realization of it so I can not claim the extent of its correctness. But it seems to be correct. During my previous birth I wanted to sing the song of ‘Infinite’ (Agam Geet yeh gawan chahoon tumhri mauj nihara, mauj hoi to satguru soami karoon supanth vichara) but I could not do so then since I had to leave the mortal frame at a very early age. But through the unbounded Grace and Mercy of my most Revered Guru that desire of my past birth is being fulfilled now.”

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  2. Anirudh Kumar SatsangiAugust 7, 2010 at 5:02 PM

    I am one the chief expounder and supporter of Gravitation Force Theory of God. This is most scientific and secular theory of God. This is the Theory of Universal Religion. I have given Higher Theory of Everything. Sometimes back I posted this as comments to a blog on:
    ‘Fighting of the Cause of Allah by Governing a Smart Mathematics Based on Islamic Teology’
    By Rohedi of Rohedi Laboratories, Indonesia. Rohedi termed my higher theory of everything more wonderful than which has been developed by Stephen Hawking. Some details are quoted below:
    rohedi
    @anirudh kumar satsangi
    Congratulation you have develop the higher theory of everything more wonderful than which has been developed by Stephen Hawking. Hopefully your some views for being considered for Unified Field Theory are recognized by International Science Community, hence I soon read the fundamental aspect proposed by you.
    I have posted my comments to the Blog of Syed K. Mirza on Evolutionary Science vs. Creation Theory, and Intellectual Hypocrisy. Syed Mirza seems to be a very liberal muslim. He responded to my comments as mentioned below.
    “Many thanks for your very high thought explanations of God.
    You said:
    “Hence it can be assumed that the Current of Chaitanya (Consciousness) and Gravitational Wave are the two names of the same Supreme Essence (Seed) which has brought forth the entire creation. Hence it can be assumed that the source of current of consciousness and gravitational wave is the same i.e. God or ultimate creator.
    (i) Gravitation Force is the Ultimate Creator, Source of Gravitational Wave is God”
    Whatever you call it, God is no living God of any religion. Yes, when I call it “Mother Nature” is the God generated from all Natural forces and Gravitational force is the nucleus of all forces or we can presume that Gravitation is the ultimate guiding principle of this Mother Nature we call it non-living God unlike living personal God of religions. I can not believe any personal God would do so much misery created for its creation. Hence, only non-living natural God can explain everything in the Universe. When we think of any living personal God, things do not ad up!”
    I have also discovered the mathematical expression for emotional quotient (E.Q.) and for spiritual quotient (S.Q.).
    Austrian Scientist Rudolf Steiner says,
    “Just as an age was once ready to receive the Copernican theory of the universe, so is our age ready for the idea of reincarnation to be brought into the general consciousness of humanity”.

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  3. this was a really good description of her beliefs ! I am quite impressed for her age how well focused and what a great description in terms of her faith for her .
    Thanks so much

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  4. I was hoping for a presentation of Islam that would help me understand it's value, this did not. It sounds hostile, unwelcoming and unsettling. I am concerned about the young womans health that she would subject herself to this.

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  5. Rox: Thanks for reading!

    MysticTourist: What is it about Islam that sounds hostile and unwelcoming to you?

    I'm in the best of health, thanks to God. Being a Muslim means submitting yourself to God's will and this is what I'm trying my best to do. I try my best to follow God’s final revelation to mankind, by which I mean the holy Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.

    I couldn't fully explain the value of Islam by answering these question - after all, this was an interview rather than an essay/presentation of Islam. The essential thing about Islam is the tawheed, Oneness of God. Islam is a monotheistic religion and calls people to worship only Almighty God and not associate anything or anyone with God. There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah.

    The primary source of every Muslim’s belief is the holy Quran. So if you want to learn more about Islam, read the Quran. The interpretation of the meaning is available at http://tanzil.info and http://quran.com

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  6. Hijab Chic,

    I am glad you are in good health. I am a secular mystic and live a life of singular devotion, to God. I place my confidence in God, only in God. I believe no man who writes or speaks a word and then claims it is God's word. I have greater confidence in God than that. The notion that anyone should rely on another person or some written word to know God or of God, speaks very poorly of God. Can God do anything on God's own or does God always require supervision and intervention? Do we really believe that God needs to be managed by words, written by men, long ago? I have no use for any god who can not represent gods-self.

    Any man or woman who claims to speak for or represent God is not to be trusted. Words written or otherwise can allude to God but Gods word is not understood this way. God knows each of us personally and that is how we know God; or we do not know God.

    The notion that women are in some way inferior to men is a sin, not against God, that is not possible. It is a sin against ourselves. Against humanity. Modesty is a virtue but exaggeration is not. The burka far to often is a tool for oppression. Shariah Law is based on the written word of God and so it is corrupt. God does not does not write words. Do we have any confidence in God or do we trust the words of men and those who claim to speak for God?

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  7. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi,

    Thank you very much. I thoroughly enjoyed your comments and in my own experience have long considered the same to be true. Thank you for articulating it.

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  8. MysticTourist,
    I'm sorry but your comment does not make any sense at all. Are you suggesting that we should follow our own lusts and desires rather than God's divine guidance? To claim that you can obey God without following the Scripture creates a contradiction, because how are you supposed to worship God, obey God and live a life that pleases God, if you don't have the knowledge? How can you act justly without guidance?

    Allah says in the holy Quran:
    ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ
    "This is the Book, whereof there is no doubt, a guidance to those who are Al-Muttaqun [the pious and righteous persons who fear Allah much - abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden and love Allah much - perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained]."
    [Quran 2:2]

    We are in a great need of God's guidance. We cannot claim to be worshipping One God only if we are to declare ourselves as gods and if we are to believe that God exists but wants us to follow our own lusts and desires rather than God's guidance. This is exactly how satan takes over people's minds and makes them follow his whispering and their own lusts and desires. And how does satan trick people into following him? By hypnotism and by introducing hypnotism as a new science for the "benefit" of mankind. Satan wants to teach people that "you are god" in order to make people believe that satan does not even exist, so that people would sell their souls to satan and follow him, their own lusts and desires of the worldly life. Just think of the newly introduced "religions", philosophies and ideologies...

    For example the advanced levels of Scientology teach that all religions are the result of mental implants and that prior to founding the Dianetics movement, L.Ron Hubbard who "created" Scientology studied occult magick in an attempt to achieve power and he came to believe that everyone could become God by ridding themselves of the mental implants that we call "religions". This is what many people have fallen a victim to.

    Another example would be Rhonda Byrne's philosophy based on the law of attraction, called "The Secret" which simply teaches that you can become your own god and you can have whatever you want, you can achieve anything you want, for example money and fame. This is exactly how satan enters the human mind - trough the worldly desires of wealth, fame and women/men. How does it all get started? Satan starts off by whispering these thoughts to human beings and by introducing thoughts of wanting something material and achieving something big that would bring them fame and admiration. When the desire grows stronger to the extent that the human mind is willing to do anything to achieve it, then satan tricks the person to make a vow to dedicate his/her life and worship to satan and to sell the soul to him.

    Yet another example would be Kabbalah. Kabbalah literally means to challenge God. The Freemason occult is based upon occult mysticism and teaches that you don't have to rely on God for salvation, but to realize that you are responsible for your own fate and that you can become your own god and control your own future. Kabbalist mysticism is the basis for Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, the Illuminati and many other occult organizations and secret societies.

    Aleister Crowley, 1875–1947 was an English occultist and writer who claimed to have received The Book of the Law from an entity named Aiwass, which was to serve as the foundation of the religious and philosophical system he called Thelema which teaches "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law".

    Many different names, but same agenda and same deception! They're all satanic and the great deception is to make people believe that God does not exist and to make people follow satan and their own desires instead.

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  9. MysticTourist,

    you cannot criticize the Shari'a - the Law of Allah by claiming that since it is based on the written word of God, it is corrupt or old fashioned. The holy Quran is the word of Allah, which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad salAllahu aleihi wa sallam through Angel Gabriel. The Quran was memorized by Muhammad, his Companions and the early generations of Muslims. It was impossible for anyone to change even one letter of the Quran because there were so many people who had memorized the entire Quran - letter by letter.

    To believe that Prophet Muhammad (or any other human being) wrote the Quran, is a huge misconception. First of all Prophet Muhammad salAllahu aleihi wa sallam was an illiterate man, he could neither read nor write. Secondly, the Quran itself challenges the reader to produce even one chapter like the chapters of the holy Quran and until this day, no one has ever been able to do this even though the shortest Surah in the Quran consists of 10 words only. Allahu Akbar!

    Need more proof? Well, I will provide you evidence. One of the greatest things about Islam is that it does not rely on blind faith but everything can be proven.

    Allah says in the holy Quran:
    فَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ ۚ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللَّـهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا
    "Do they not then consider the Quran carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have therein much contradictions."
    [Quran 4:82]

    There are no contradictions in the holy Quran. The Quran contains many scientific facts that have been discovered or proven by modern day scientists only very recently. For example the human embryonic development in surah 23 ayas 12-14 to name one. There are also many scientific facts about mountains in the holy Quran for example mountains having underlying roots in surah 78 ayas 6-7 which the modern science discovered in 1865. Another scientific fact about mountains revealed in the Quran is that the mountains stabilize the crust of the earth in surah 16 aya 15, this was infact discovered by the modern day scientists in the late 1960's. Another scientific fact mentioned in the book of Allah is the barrier between the two seas that meet and that they do not transgress. This was mentioned in surah 55 ayas 19-20 and in surah 25 aya 53 God mentions the partition between fresh and salty water. This was also discovered by the modern scientists only very recently! There are also many scientific facts mentioned about clouds in surah 24 aya 43. How could have any human being known something like this 1400 years ago?

    The Quran also challenges its reader:

    إِن كُنتُمْ فِي رَيْبٍ مِّمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلَىٰ عَبْدِنَا فَأْتُوا بِسُورَةٍ مِّن مِّثْلِهِ وَادْعُوا شُهَدَاءَكُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّـهِ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ فَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلُوا وَلَن تَفْعَلُوا فَاتَّقُوا النَّارَ الَّتِي وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ ۖ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْكَافِرِينَ
    "And if you are in doubt about what We have sent down upon Our Servant [Muhammad], then produce a surah the like thereof and call upon your witnesses other than Allah, if you should be truthful. But if you do not - and you will never be able to - then fear the Fire, whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers."
    [Quran 2:23-24]

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  10. Hijab Chic,
    Thank you for interest and dialog. We all experience God, and God does experience us, empirically. It is in this way that God guides us. Word's can allude to God but no word written or spoken can be the word of God. If we could insult God we would by insisting God can not present Gods-self. That we should have to rely on someone else's experience in order to know God is a contradiction.

    I would not compare myself, or any human being, to God. It is not lustful to live a life of devotion to God

    Having met Satan I accept Satan's existence. It has been my observation that this is a temporal being without durability and born of our tension with God. To speak or write about God is honorable. To claim to possess or speak God's word is false. Anyone making such a claim wields undue influence.

    I have just one confidence. I am confident only in God. As for religion, I do not believe it. I believe God.

    God has never written a word. No written word can be the word of God. Do we trust God or do we trust words and men who claim to speak for God?

    Nothing can exist except that there would first be understanding. In this way everything is understood and can written about or otherwise made apparent. It has always been that way. Even 1400 years ago.

    God has greater compassion and understanding then to prepare for us an everlasting hell. Hell is a place we prepare for ourselves and it lasts only as long as temporal bodies do.

    I do not expect that you should believe as I do. We each have our own life and what we are given to do. I recognize God in this way; Compassion, Understanding and Truth. This is what I trust and what guides me. I am certain they are of God and so my trust is in God.

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  11. بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
    قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا الْكَافِرُونَ ﴿١﴾ لَا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ ﴿٢﴾ وَلَا أَنتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ ﴿٣﴾ وَلَا أَنَا عَابِدٌ مَّا عَبَدتُّمْ ﴿٤﴾ وَلَا أَنتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ ﴿٥﴾ لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ

    Say, "O disbelievers, (1) I do not worship what you worship. (2) Nor are you worshippers of what I worship. (3) Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship. (4) Nor will you be worshippers of what I worship. (5) For you is your religion, and for me is my religion." (6)

    The holy Quran Surah al Kafiroon 109

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  12. >> Kabbalah literally means to challenge God.

    This is untrue and perhaps borderline racist. It literally means, "receiving," from God of course. It comes from the root KBL which means to receive and Arabic has the same KBL which means the same thing.

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  13. Hijab Chic to SJ: I wasn't referring to the word "Kabbalah" but the entire belief system. To believe that you don't have to rely on God for salvation, but to realize that you are responsible for your own fate and that you can become your own god and control your own future - that literally means to challenge God.

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  14. Hijab Chic, noone in real Kaballah teaches to not rely on God. There is no contradiction in taking responsibility for yourself in the real world (which everybody in the world teaches) and relying on God, a concept that began in Judaism, the ORIGINATOR of monotheism.

    By the way Hijab Chic, what's with the Koran saying to not take Jews or Christians for friends (Surah 5:51)? Aren't you challenging Allah if you are on good terms with anyone here?

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  15. The word translated as "friend" in this ayah (5:51) does not mean friend as you use it. This is why a translation of the Qur'an is not considered to be the Holy Book.

    This word 'wali' means protector/sponsor/custodian/friend meaning that Muslims should be responsible to protect their own people and seek protection from within first.

    here is an explanation of the events surrounding the revelation of this verse:
    Imam Ibn Kathir has mentioned that some scholars say that this verse (i.e. the one you referred to) was revealed after the Battle of Uhud when Muslims had a set back. At that time, a Muslim from Madinah said, "I am going to live with Jews so I shall be safe in case another attack comes on Madinah." And another person said, "I am going to live with Christians so I shall be safe in case another attack comes on Madinah." So Allah revealed this verse reminding the believers that they should not seek the protection from others, but should protect each other. (See Ibn Kathir, Al-Tafsir, vol. 2, p. 68)

    this is a more correct translation of the verse you presented:
    "O you who believe! Do not take Jews and Christians as your patrons. They are patrons of their own people. He among you who will turn to them for patronage is one of them. Verily Allah guides not a people unjust. (Al-Ma'dah 5: 51)"

    it also says in the Qur'an:
    "[O you who believe! Take not for protectors (awliya') your fathers and your brothers if they love unbelief above faith. If any of you do so, they are indeed wrong-doers.] (Al-Tawbah 9: 23)"

    [O you who believe! Take not for patrons unbelievers rather than Believers. Do you wish to offer Allah an open proof against yourselves?] (An-Nisaa’ 4:144)

    [Let not the Believers take the unbelievers as their patrons over against the Believers…] (Aal-'Imran 3: 28)

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