In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
Allāh–the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
Mohammad–who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms.
(If Allāh wills)
On her father, a military leader, being assigned to Gaza, Occupied Palestine, NONIE DARWISH an apostate from Islam to Christianity wrote in her book Now They Call Me Infidel about her mother that: “as an obedient Egyptian wife she knew it was her duty to go with her husband. As did everyone in our culture, she subscribed to the fatalistic view that all was in Allāh’s hands.” (pp. 3-4). Nonie Darwish also states that she was reminded by a sheikh to always say “Insha-Allāh” (“if Allāh wills”). “But I did so with a sigh of slight revolt. I always hated to be reminded to say it. Everyone around me was so fatalistic. Even as a child, I sensed something wrong with that fatalism.” (Ibid. p. 35).
1. That “as an obedient Egyptian wife” her mother “knew it was her duty to go with her husband.” As if CHRISTIAN WOMEN are not to be obedient to their husbands. The Christian woman is mandated to a life of subjugation and degradation under her husband.
(Christians may not be practicing it but their God/ Scripture demands it, and heaven/paradise lies in obey-ing the commands/God. Muslim women who convert to Christianity believing that Christianity ameliorates their lot are woefully deluded –these Muslim women know even less about Christianity than they do about Islam. To trade Islam for Christianity, or for any other religion, is like trading the superior of an item for an inferior one; no religion can be shown to be superior to, or equal with, Islam. Islamic SHARI'AH IS THE SUPREME SYSTEM. Such Muslim women need to learn Islam and confront their males over their transgression against the injunctions of Allāh and demand their God-given rights. Whereas Islam has ennobledWOMAN and given her rights alongside man from the cradle all the way to paradise,CHRISTIANITY has woman mired in the bog of disgrace and degradation from birth to death and even beyond).
Here are the Biblical gems on women:
▪ “And if a man SELL HIS DAUGHTERto be a maidservant”–(Exodus 21:7).
▪ “Unto the woman He (God) said….thy desire shall be to THY HUSBAND, and HE SHALL RULE OVER THEE”–(Genesis 3:16).
▪ and “Let the woman learn in SILENCE with ALL SUBJECTION. But I SUFFER NOT A WOMAN TO TEACH, NOR TO USURP AUTHORITY OVER THE MAN but to be IN SILENCE–(1Tim. 2:11-12); “WIVES, SUBMIT YOURSELVES UNTO YOUR OWN HUSBANDS, AS UNTO THE LORD” “As the Church is subject unto Christ, SO LET THE WIVES BE TO THEIR OWN HUSBANDS IN EVERY THING” – “And the wife see that SHE REVERENCE HER HUSBAND”–(Ephesians 5:22-23, 33. The man being told to love his wife does not mean she is free from bondage. People also “love” their dogs and other pets and even bequeath fortunes to them. And Paul also instructs masters to be kind to their slaves–Ephesians 6:9; Col. 4:1).
▪ “And Adam was not deceived BUT THE WOMAN BEING DECEIVED WAS IN THE TRANSGRESSION”–(1 Tim. 2:14. Allah tells us that both Adam and Eve were deceived; and that they were forgiven–Qur’an 2:36-37; 7:20-22).
▪ “he (man) is the IMAGE AND GLORY OF GOD: but the WOMAN IS THE GLORY OF THE MAN. For the man is NOT of the woman; but the WOMAN OF THE MAN”–(1 Cor. 11:7-8), and “Neither was the man created for the woman; BUT THE WOMAN FOR THE MAN–(1 Cor. 11:9), “It is GOOD for a MAN NOT TO TOUCH A WOMAN. Nevertheless, TO AVOID FORNICATION, let everyman have his own wife”–(1 Cor 7:1-2. Allāh tells us that He created man and woman of the same substance and that they are mates of the other, has established marriage between them, that he might find peace and comfort in her, and has put between them love and compassion; that men and women are friends and protectors of the other; that husbands and wives are garments to the other and have mutual rights and spiritual equality, and will reside together in Gardens in the next life–(Qur’an 4:1, 3-4, 25; 7:189; 16:72; 25:54; 30:21; 9:71-72; 2:187; 2:228; 3:194, 197; 4:124; 24:30-31; 33:35; 36:56; 43:70; 49:13; 57:12, 18, 19).
▪ “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is NOT PERMITTED UNTO THEM TO SPEAK; but they are COMMANDED to be under obedience, as also saith the LAW. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at HOME: FOR IT IS A SHAME FOR WOMEN TO SPEAK IN THE CHURCH”–(1 Cor. 14:34-35. Today this law is violated and women are preachers in the Church). Clearly, permission to employ whatever methods are necessary to “rule” over the wife and to bring/keep her in “silence and in “all subjection’ are inherent and enshrined in these words of God and Paul. To take the matter further, authority for employing corporal punishment to discipline the rebellious wife who does not desire to be “ruled” over in “silence” and “all subjection” may be gleaned from the Biblical verses on child-rearing. God (and as Christians say Jesus is God, then Jesus) says: “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes;” “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying;” “Withhold not correction from the child: for if you beatest him with the rod, he shall not die, Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell” (and without doubt every “Christian” husband wants to deliver his stubborn/rebellious wife’s “soul from hell”)–(Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; 23:13-14). A Bishop is to be “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with ALL GRAVITY”–(1 Tim. 3:4). Even God beats and scourges His sons into obedience and those who are not are “bastards”: “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be WITHOUT CHASTISEMENT, whereof all are partakers, then are ye BASTARDS, and NOT SONS”–(Hebrews 12:6-8). Thus one can imagine what latitude the Christian husband is allowed to bring/keep his wayward wife in all subjection and for him to become a “Bishop” and even to get into heaven to sit “on the right hand of God.” A survey of wives of all Christian sects can be conducted to find out how many were “beaten” into “silence” and “all subjection.” Surely, not all the “battered” wives in Western countries are non-Christians.
▪ Perhaps the ultimate Christian indignity towards women is during her menstrual period. He is forbidden to eat, drink, and sleep in the same bed with her; in fact, he is not allowed to touch anything she touches. The Biblical God (and as Christians say Jesus is God, Jesus) says: “When a woman has a discharge, if her discharge in her body is blood, she shall continue in her menstrual impurity for seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening. Everything also on which she lies during her menstruation impurity shall be unclean, and everything on which she sits shall be unclean. And anyone who touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. And whoever touches any thing on which she sits shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. Whether it be on the bed or on the thing on which she is sitting, when he touches it, he shall be unclean until evening. And if a man actually lies with her, so that her menstrual impurity is on him, he shall be unclean seven days, and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean”–(Lev. 15:19-24). Contrast this Christian’s treating the menstruating woman like a leper to that of Islam in which Allāh says about menstruation that “they are a hurt and a pollution. So keep away from women in their courses, and do not approach them until they are clean”–(Qur’an. 2:222). This injunction to not approach the menstruating woman does not mean that she is unclean; only that the flow is unclean and to not have sex with them. This is made clear by the Prophet Mohammad who is reported to have said in explanation to the above quoted verse of the Qur’an: “Associate with them (wives) in the houses and do everything except sexual intercourse”–(Abu Dawud Vol. 1, #258). And, “‘Aisha said: I would eat flesh from a bone when I was menstruating, then hand it over to the Prophet (may peace be upon him) and he would put his mouth where I had put my mouth; I would drink, then hand it over to him, and he would put his mouth (at the place) where I drank”–(Ibid. #259). Again, “‘Aishah said: The Apostle of Allāh (may peace be upon him) would recline on my lap when I was menstruating, then recite the Qur’an”–(Ibid. #260). And the classic: “‘Aishah said: The Apostle of Allāh (may peace be upon him) said to me: Get me the mat from the mosque. I said: I am menstruating. The Apostle of Allāh (may peace be upon him) then replied: Your menstruation is not in your hands”–(Ibid. #261. Also #’s 267-273). And whereas the Christian who has sex with his menstruating wife is “unclean seven days, and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean,” the Muslim who has sex with his menstruating wife (while it is unlawful to do so) needs only give charity–(Abu Dawud Vol. 1, #’s 264-266).
▪ And the Christian woman’s marriage misery: “I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the cause of un-chastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery;” “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery”–(Matt. 5:32; Luke 16:18. Unlike Allāh/Islam which allows amicable divorce when the parties can no longer live together the Christian woman is doomed to a life of marriage misery and to wilt her (youthful and beautiful) self in a loveless and even brutal marriage or risk being labeled “adulteress” (who are required to be stoned to death in Judeo-Christian law) from earth all the way to next world. And so does the man who should marry her. And whereas Allāh allows a divorced couple [who were married and divorced from their second or more partners] to remarry each other the Bible does not and considers the woman as being “defiled” [but the man is not “defiled;” talk about rabid misogyny]. And while the Muslim woman can initiate divorce, there is no mention of the Christian woman being able to do so. Here is what the Bible says about the divorced couple remarrying (and as Christians say Jesus is God, Jesus forbids the former couple remarrying): “When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he had FOUND SOME UNCLEANNESS in her: then let him WRITE HER A BILL OF DIVORCEMENT, and give it in her hand, and SEND HER OUT OF HIS HOUSE….And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand….Her former husband which sendeth her away, may NOT take her again to be his wife, after that she is DEFILED; for that is ABOMINATION BEFORE THE LORD”–(Deut. 24:1-4. Talk about “easy” divorce. This takes the crown. Interestingly, whereas Deut. [Moses] says a man can divorce his wife if he finds some “uncleanness” in her, Jesus, the Christians God and son of God, says that if anyone divorces his wife for any reason except “un-chastity” makes her an ‘adulterer’ yet he [Jesus] tells his people to do whatever the Scribes and Pharisees bid them do because they sit in Moses’ seat; and the Scribes and Pharisees follow the Mosaic law which says you can put away your wife for some “uncleanness.” Talk about a circle of confusion. Again the Mosaic law teaches an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but Jesus says to give the other cheek instead, yet he says to do what the Scribes and Pharisees says to do and the Scribes and Pharisees follow the Mosaic law which requires an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Another circle of confusion. The contradictions in Christianity are “staggering.” Matt. 23:2; Ex. 21:24; Matt. 5:38-39).
Regarding the saying that woman is “defiler” of man, the Book of Revelation (7:4-8; 14:1-4; and Matt. 19:28) states that 144,000 who will be JEWS (non-Jews, note well), and will all be MEN –consisting of 12,000 from each of the Twelve Tribes of Israel– will sit with Jesus in the next life judging the Twelve Tribes of Israel. About this 144,000 it is said: “These are they which were not DEFILED WITH WOMEN; for they are VIRGINS. These are they which follow the Lamb (Jesus) whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.” (God created man and woman to “fill the earth” and instilled in them passions for companionship to affect this; but Christians view this Divine scheme as sacrilege. A classic woman-hater). Regarding the 144,000 who will be with Jesus, one Christian apologist on the Internet suffered tremendous labor pains trying to baptize these literal “VIRGINS” into metaphorical ones. These 144,000 MEN are said to be the ones who remained “faithful to Jesus” by being celibates/”virgins” as Jesus was, as the Gospels say. That these are literal “virgins” “not defiled” by literal “women” is substantiated by the Bible itself. Jesus says in Matthew 5:32 that whoever marries a woman that is divorced for other than fornication “commits adultery.” Thus, woman here, even though she be married to the man “defiles” the man into an adulterer. Paul makes the matter clearer, he states that, but for avoiding “fornication,” “It is GOOD for a man NOT to touch a woman.” Why not? Because, as Paul says, “He that is UNMARRIED careth for the things that belong to the LORD, how he may please the LORD: But he that is MARRIED careth for the things that are of the WORLD, how he may please his WIFE”–(1 Cor. 7:32-33). In other words, when a man takes a wife his caring for God is compromised by his caring for his wife –or she “defiles” him or causes him to be “defiled.” Further, Paul declares that as the wife has no power over her own body but the husband has power over her: “likewise also the husband hath NOT POWER of his own body, but the WIFE (has power of him)”–(1 Cor. 7:4). These Biblical teachings show that sexual contact with a woman “defiles” the man spiritually; and no amount of the Christian apologist’s literary gymnastics can flip this fact over. These 144,000 “virgins” are physical “virgins” who were ”not defiled” by physical “women,” and as they were not married, and therefore had no “wifely” constraints, they devoted their entire life to the pursuit of the spiritual and were the true followers of Jesus who, as the Gospels show, lived a life of celibacy. The Good News Bible understands this and states: “The 144,000 people stood before the throne…. They are the men who have kept themselves pure by NOT having SEXUAL RELATIONS with WOMEN; they are VIRGINS.” The Gideons Bible concur: “These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they are CELIBATES.” (See CHRISTIANITY-144,000 VIRGINS).
▪ The Bible and the Christian’s God (Jesus) condemns woman as a betrayer of man. The Bible says: “Behold, everyone that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee (Jerusalem), saying, As is the mother, SO IS HER DAUGHTER”–(Ezek. 16:44). As Christians view woman as the “transgressor” (by virtue of her/Eve violating the command of God and eating of the forbidden fruit), and as she betrayed the man/Adam by giving him the fruit to eat, then according to this teaching of the Bible, every woman is a betrayer of man. In fact, according to Christianity every woman to be born and all the way to the Resurrection, is a betrayer of man. (Islam ABROGATED these teachings on women– Qur’an 16:101 and 2:106)
▪ The Christian’s God (and as Christian’s say Jesus is God, Jesus) even took a peek at the Jewish daughters “private parts” because of their flaunting: “Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their SECRET PARTS”–Isaiah 3:16-17).
From its declarations Christianity is not only misogynistic; Christianity is brutally and rabidly misogynistic. Whatever lofty status the Christian Woman is enjoying is due only to the dictates of modern culture. In contrast, as stated, Islam has ennobled WOMAN, liberated her, and given her rights unparalleled in the history of religions –it has given her rights alongside man from the cradle all the way to Jannah. She has nothing more for which to strive.
Islam is the Great Liberator of Woman!
Islam is the only Liberator Woman has known!
2. Regarding Nonie Darwish’s, “all was in Allāh’s hands.”
While everything is indeed in “Allāh’s hands” as He alone is the ultimate Power (and even Christians believe that God can do anything), and whereas man can have only what God gives as He alone can give sustenance –and which teaching is echoed by John the Baptist in John 3:27 that: “A man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven”– there is no “fatalism”/PREDESTINATION of man’s actions in Islam; there is “fatalism”/PREDESTINATION in Christianity. About predestination Muhammad Ali notes:
“A great deal of misunderstanding prevails about the doctrine of predestination and the absolute decree of good and evil by God. It is necessary first to understand the correct meaning of the Arabic words qadar and taqdir –the ideas commonly associated with their meaning being un-known both to the Qur’an and to Arabic lexicology. Qadar and taqdir, according to Raghib, mean the making manifest of the measure (kamiyya) of a thing, or simply measure. In the words of the same authority, God’s taqdir of things is in two ways, by granting qudra, i.e., power, or by making them in a particular measure and in a particular manner, as wisdom requires. An example of this is given in the taqdir of the date-stone, out of which it is the palm only that grows, not an apple or olive tree, or in the taqdir of the sperm of man, out of which grows man only, not any other animal. Taqdir is therefore the law or the ordinance or the measure which is working throughout the creation; and this is exactly the sense in which the word is used in the Qur’an.” (The Religion of Islam, pp. 309, 310. Emphasis, added) It is the laws accorded to nature/creation that are predestined.
The Polytheists claim that Allāh, God, is responsible for the actions of man is rejected by Allāh, God, Himself: “Those who are polytheists say: If Allah pleased, we would not have set up (aught with Him), nor our fathers, nor would we have made anything unlawful. Thus did those before them reject (the truth) until they tasted Our punishment. Say, Have you any knowledge so you would bring it forth to Us? You only follow a conjecture and you only tell lies. Say, Then Allah’s is the conclusive argument; so if He had pleased, He would have guided you all”–(Qur’an 6:149, 150). Muhammad Ali explains:
“The polytheists’ contention here is that what they do is in accordance with the will of God, and this is condemned as a mere conjecture and a lie. And against it, two arguments are adduced. The first is that previous people were punish-ed when they persisted in their evil courses; if what they did was because God had so willed it, He would not have punished them for it. The second is that God had never said so through any of His prophets: “Have you any knowledge with you so you should bring it forth to Us?” And in the verse that follows, the argument is carried further: “If he had willed, He would have guided you all.” The conclusion is clear. If it were the Divine will that people should be compelled to one course that would have been the course of guidance. But men are not compelled to accept even the right way; much less could they be compelled to follow the wrong course. This is clearly laid down: “We have truly shown the way, he may be thankful or unthankful” (76:3). And again: “The truth is from your Lord, so let him who please believe, and let him who please disbelieve” (18:29). The Divine will is therefore exercised in the raising up of prophets, and in the pointing out of the courses of good and evil, and human will is exercised in the choice of one course or the other.” (The Religion of Islam, pp. 316, 317).
What is to be considered is that if Allah has pre-determined man’s life then His sending of prophets and revelations to guide us and to turn us from evil would be meaningless. If Allah has predetermined our fate then His instructions to us to pray, give charity, feed the poor and the orphans and the needy, and to free the slaves would all be pointless. That man has complete freedom of choice in his actions is made clear in the following verses of the Qur’an:
-“Have We not given him (man) two eyes, and a tongue and two lips, and pointed out to him the two conspicuous ways (of good and evil)? (90:8-10)
-“So He reveals to it (the soul) its way of evil and its way of good, he is indeed successful who purifies it, and he is ruined who corrupts it” (91:8-10)
-“Whoever does good it is for himself, and whoever does evil, it is against himself…But whoever repents after his wrong-doing and reforms, Allah will turn to him (mercifully). Surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful” (45:15; 5:39)
-“And wrong not men of their dues, and act not corruptly in the earth, making mischief” (26:183)
-“And whatever misfortune befalls you, it is on account of what your hands have wrought and He pardons much” (42:30)
-“Surely Allah enjoins justice and the doing of good…and He forbids indecency, and evil and rebellion. He admonishes you that you may be mindful” (16:90)
-“O men…follow not the footsteps of the devil. Surely he is an open enemy to you” (2:168).
Allāh instructs us to pray: “Guide us on the right path” and “My Lord, increase me in knowledge”–(Qur’an 1:5; 20:114). Clearly, the God who gives guidance, and Who increases His servants in knowledge could not predestine the actions of those servants –a robot or a puppet has no need of, or use for guidance and knowledge. Neither could Islam, which advocates pursuit of knowledge, be said to be backward or non-progressive.
Again, Allāh instructs us to “save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is men and stones”–(Qur’an 66:6). The God who tells us to “save” ourselves and families cannot be said to predestine us and our families; for then no one would be able to save himself and his family.
In Islam man’s fate is not written in the stars. In fact, 1400 years ago the Prophet Mohammad took the stars from the clutches of the astrologers and sat them firmly in the laps of the astronomers: declared the noble Messenger of God through Divine Revelation: “Allah has made subservient to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth”–(Qur’an 31:20; 45:13).
The belief that Allāh said that half of mankind is destined to hell and the other half to heaven is not a declaration of pre-destination; but, if such a saying was made by Allāh, it could only mean that Allah knowing that not all of mankind will follow His guidance, thus, (by their own choice) part will go to hell and part to heaven. In Islam man's destiny is carved by his own heart and head and hands: not by Allāh.
There is fatalism/predestination in Christianity. That man is born with sin condemns the unbaptized and the still-born to eternal perdition, and must be buried in unconsecrated grounds. That inherited sin is washed away by sprinkling water on the new-born is charm. Even superstition. And Jesus says not to think about tomorrow, God will provide as He provides for the flowers and the fowl; he advised in Matthew 6:25-34: “Therefore I say unto, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor as yet for your body, what ye shall put on…Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly father feedeth them….Consider the lilies of the fields, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin….Wherefore if God so clothe the grass of the field….Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall.be added unto you. Therefore take no thought about the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself, Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Fatalism at its pinnacle (perhaps this is why he had to curse a blameless and innocent fig tree for not getting any figs). If America (and Europe and elsewhere) should adhere to this dictum America (and others) would plummet from the pinnacle of progress like a giant lead ball into the black hole of backwardness. Where material progress is concerned not even Christians have any use for the Bible. Only when they torpedoed the Bible and turned to Islamic teachings did they begin to make material progress.1
3. Regarding Nonie Darwish stating she was being reminded by the sheikh to always say “Insha-Allāh” (“if Allāh wills”). “But I did so with a sigh of slight revolt. I always hated to be reminded to say it. Everyone around me was so fatalistic. Even as a child, I sensed something wrong with that fatalism.”
Pity you did not “sensed,” not even now, to ask for an expla-nation of the saying. As only Allāh knows the future and we do not know if we will be alive at that time, then when we say that we will do something in the future we are only assuming that we will be able to do it. Thus, Insha Allah signifies ‘if God gives us life and well-being at that point in time’ then we will do that thing (and if there is no other matter of greater importance to prevent us from fulfilling our promise). It does not mean that God will dictate for us. Also it does not mean that if we did not do the thing we promised, that God did not permit us to do it –that we can sit idly not caring to do it and lay the blame on God, that God did not allow us to do it. If we have health and well-being and nothing of greater importance to attend to at the time to fulfill our promise, and yet do not fulfill our promise, then we are in neglect.
1. The view that Muslim religious freedom in the West is due to Christian tolerance is a grand illusion. This tolerance is the result of the disempowerment of the Church and the empowerment of secularism –Europe may be the offspring of Christianity but she is not an adherent of the Church. The Church has always been an enemy to knowledge and to the “Other.” Her history is testimony to this –from the slaughter and forced conversion in the Holy Land and Spain to the Americas; and on the intellectual front, the panoramic pen of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din (Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, responding to the Bishops Of Salisbury & London in the early 1900’s):
“It is all very well for your missionaries to point to the great charitable institutions, hospitals, schools, etc., for suffering humanity run on Christian lines. “But one fails to see why these charitable institutions should be ascribed to a religion which could not give birth to them for more than seventeen hundred years. They are the growth of modern culture and owe their origin to quite different external causes, the greatest among them being Islam in Spain. Islam speaks highly of these charities in its teachings, and brought them into existence in all Muslim countries within two centuries after its birth. Islam can claim superiority to modern culture in one respect–Muslim Universities opened their doors at Baghdad in the days of Nizam-ul-Mulk, and in Granada in the days of Abdul Rahman to students without distinction of caste, colour or creed, where they were looked after, boarded and lodged at the public expense.”a
….the greatest opposition that the rise of culture received in the West, at each stage, came from the Church camp. Perhaps you will say that it was an outcome of the mediaeval savagery and ignorance. But such is not the case. The teaching of the Bible, I am afraid fanned the fires of opposition. The Church saw the justification of their hostility to science in the sacred writ.
The Christians, who were the inheritors of the civilization of the ancients, pace the teachings of Holy Writ, not only did not continue the researches of their predecessors, but destroyed them, so that, as Draper points out in his book, A History of the Intellectual Development of Europe,b nearly two thousand years had to intervene between Archimedes and Newton, nearly seventeen hundred years between Hipparchus and Kepler, nearly twenty centuries between Hero, whose steam-engine revolved in the Serapion, and James Watt who revolutionized the industry of the world. What a fearful blank!
Dogmatized Christianity placed an embargo on freedom of thought. The Church destroyed all that it believed it could not turn to its own advantage. History can multiply in support of this characteristic of the Church, but I would content myself with quoting one–the destruction of the invaluable library of Serapis, at Alexandria in 389, by the Archbishop Theophilus of Alexandria. Gibbon says, in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empirec: “The valuable library of Alexandria was pillaged and destroyed, and nearly twenty years afterwards the appearance of empty shelves excited the indignation of every spectator whose mind was not totally darkened by religious prejudice.”
Exaggerated miracles and superstitions–those mental cankers–together with persecution and suppression, represented the sum total of what was offered as a substitute for the learning and scholarship of the ancients –and full one thousand years had to pass before Europe once more attempted to scale the same heights from which mankind had been pushed back down into the deepest abyss of mental depravity.
Instead of turning the mind of the people towards intellectual development and thought, the Church –the pious intolerance of the Church– on the contrary, penned it in, within very close, narrow boundaries, to transgress which was nothing less than a sacrilegious crime against the sanctity and holiness of the words of Holy Writ, which was regarded as infallible, and everything spoken against it as tantamount to heresy.
Now let us search the pages of Holy Writ and we would see that it is in them that lie embedded the baneful seeds of pious persecution, of the branding of learning as magic to be punished like treason, of a justification for sending Galileo to prison, Bruno to the stake, and of the murder of Hypatia, the renowned commentator on Plato.
Neither the theory of evolution, nor geography, nor geometry, nor mathematics, nor astronomy, nor the science of education–in fact, nothing that could be classed as knowledge and which we in the twentieth century are proud of–escaped the ravaging hands of the Fathers of the Church, who found a fertile field for persecution in the words of Holy Writ.
There are two conflicting descriptions of the Creation as contained in the first and second chapters of Genesis, and they have led some to believe in the six-day theory, and others in the instantaneous idea. Luther declared, “the world, with all creatures, was created in six days,” but he also believed that it was done in an instantaneous way. Calvin preached the six-day idea. The Church presented the Bible as infallible, and all ideas regarded as against the cosmogony of the Bible were punished severely. A certain Vanini had the misfortune to believe in the theory of evolution. He was at once branded as atheist; and on the evidence of De Francon, the Judge de Catel in the tribunal of Toulouse, found Vanini guilty and sentenced him to have his tongue torn out from his mouth and to be burnt alive. …..
The spheroidicity of the earth is denied by the Bible. There are many passages which uphold the geocentric theory, i.e. that the earth is the centre of the solar system and that the sun and the stars revolve around it.
“The world also shall be stable, that it be not moved” (1 Chron. 16:30).
“Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever” (Psalm 104).
“And after these things, I saw four angels, standing on the four corners of the earth” (Rev. 7:1).
“The Devil taketh him (Christ) up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world” (Matt. 4:8).
The Christian Fathers taught that Jerusalem was the centre of the world, and quoted Ezekiel 5:5, which reads: “Thus saith the Lord God: This is Jerusalem, I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her.”
“St. Paul taught that the Gospel had been preached to all nations, and that, therefore, there were no more nations to be discovered. This teaching discouraged any attempt at geographical investigation and the finding of new continents. It was to the Muslim universities in Spain that Columbus learned that the earth was spheroid, for one of the Muslim educational appliances was the globe. Columbus was convinced of the spheroidicity of the earth, but the Bishop of Ceuta showed him his error by quoting from the Bible, and a Bull was issued by Pope Alexander VI, in 1493, to the same effect, but he was not deterred from his aim. The idea that there were people on the opposite side of the earth had long before been taught by Cicero and Pliny, and believed by many in Greece and Rome, but when it was taught in Christendom, it was met with the severest criticism. Lactantius, speaking with reference to the heretical doctrine of the globular form of the earth, said: “Is there anyone so senseless as to believe that the crops and the trees on the other side of the earth hand downward and that men have their feet lighter than their heads? If you ask them how they defend these monstrosities, how things do not fall away from the earth on that side, they reply, The nature of things is such that heavy bodies tend towards the centre, like the spokes of a wheel, while light bodies, such as clouds, smoke and fire, tend from the centre, to the heavens, on all sides. Now, I am at a loss what to say of those, who, when they have once gone wrong, steadily persevere in their folly and defend one absurd opinion by another.”
St. Augustine quoted the Scriptures to prove that there could be no Antipodes. He said that the Almighty would not allow men to live on the opposite side of the earth because they would not be able to see Christ at his second coming. He said, “Scripture speaks of no such descendants of Adam.” He quotes the 19th Psalm and St. Paul’s saying that Gospel has been carried “to the ends of the world,” and contended that as the teachers had not gone to the opposite sides of the earth, there was no such place. He quotes Job 26:11 about “the pillars of heaven” in support of his argument.
The new ideas were denounced as “empty and false.” “The miserable fiction of Eusebius had subverted the chronology of Manetho and Eratosthenes, the geometry of Euclid and Appolonius was held to be of no use, the geography of Ptolemy a blunder. …” (Draper). In 1316 an Italian physician, named Peter of Abano, was called to account for the new heresy of the spheroidicity of the earth by the Inquisition; he fortunately escaped the torture by the intervention of a natural death. Cecco d’Ascoli, a noted astronomer, was compelled to vacate his professional chair at Bologna, and was burned alive at Florence, 1327.
Cosmas said: “The earth is a parallelogram, flat and surrounded by four great seas. At the edges of these seas rise immense walls, closing in the whole structure. These walls support the vault of the heavens, whose edges are cemented to the walls; walls and vault shut in the earth and all the heavenly bodies.” He supports his description by many passages from Holy Writ, e.g. “It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth,…that stretcheth out the heavens like a curtain, and spreadeth them out like a tent to dwell in” (Isaiah 40:22).
Passages in the Bible, as, “The earth standeth fast for ever,” “Sun, stand thou still upon Gideon, and thou moon, in the valley of Ajalen,” made the Fathers of the Church uphold that the earth was in the centre of the solar system. Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher (580-500 B.C.), taught what is known as the heliocentric sys-tem of astronomy. His system placed the sun in the centre and around it in circular orbits the planets revolved in the following order: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. Philolaus and Aristarchus followed with the same theory, but it was not heard of again till the fifth century A.D. when Martianus Capella resuscitated it. Then it disappeared for another thousand years, till it was rediscovered and established by Nicholas Copernicus. Its sporadic appearance and disappearance as due to no other cause but Holy Writ. Copernicus’s book, The Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies (The Qur’an 21:33; 36:40 inform us about this truth in the 7th century), was first published in 1543, when the author was on his deathbed. The great astronomer had not dared to publish it for thirty solid years, for the bloodthirsty vengeance of the Church loomed large before his eyes. He sent it to a friend, Osiander, who wrote a soporific preface to the book, whereby he sought to camouflage the views of the author by saying that they were to be taken rather as fiction than as fact. The book, when published, was placed in the feeble hands of the astronomer, who smiled and died in peace. But in spite of the lulling precautions taken by Osiander, it was seized and condemned and excited furious comments. Fromundus, from the Cathedral of Antwerp, said: The Copernican theory cannot be true, because the wind would constantly blow from the east; we should with great difficulty hear sounds against such a wind; buildings and the earth itself would fly off with such a motion.” Martin Luther wrote: “People gave ear to an upstart astrologer, who tried to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens, or the firmament, the sun and the sun….this fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy, but Sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand and not the earth.” Calvin was equally loud in his denunciation of the Copernican theory.
Among the many poor victims of the Church, who took up the Copernican theory and advanced it, was Giordano Bruno. He was hunted from country to country. From Italy, his native land, to Switzerland, France, England, Germany, his persecutors ever on his trail. Upon his return to Venice, he was apprehended, and imprisoned in the Piombo for six years. During his travels, he had delivered lectures in England and written many books, and had criticized the teachings of the Bible. He said: “The Bible teaches that the earth is a flat surface supported by pillars; that the sky is a firmament –the floor of heaven. But the truth is that the universe is infinite, and that it is filled with self-luminous and opaque worlds, many of them inhabited; (Allāh says there are beings in the earth as well as in the heavens–Qur’an 19:93-95; 42:29);that there is nothing above and around us but space and stars.” Bruno was transferred from Venice to Rome on the demand of the spiritual authorities and handed over to Cardinal San Severino. He was arraigned before sixteen cardinals, who put him several questions and demanded a recantation. Bruno replied, “I neither ought nor wish to recant.” They tried to exact a recantation through torture, but they failed, for mental strength cannot be broken by material weapons. They declared this magnificent character to be an “impenitent and obstinate heretic” and sentenced him to death in 1600 by a fire made slow, to increase the torture. How time has mocked at the Church is shown by a splendid statue of Bruno, unveiled by the Rationalists in 1899, on the very spot where he was burned alive.
Galileo Galilei, who adorns the list of the Church victims, was another well-known martyr to the cause of science. His crime was that he had demonstrated the truth of the Copernican theory. The Church was set, also, against mathematics, and had denounced the geometry of Euclid. Caccini was promoted by the Church for his brilliant denunciation of geometry and Mathematics, such as “geometry is of the devil” and “mathematicians should be banished as the authors of heresies.” Pope Paul V, fortified by his archbishops and cardinals, condemned Galileo and his teachings. They said: “If there are other planets, since God makes nothing in vain, they must be inhabited; but how can their inhabitants be descended from Adam? How can they trace back their origin to Noah’s ark, and how can they have been redeemed by the Saviour?” (As noted above, Allāh says there are beings in the earth as well as in the heavens–Qur’an 19:93-95; 42:29).
Galileo was summoned to Rome by Pope Paul V in 1616, where he tried to convince them by requesting the Fathers of the Church to look through the little telescope which he had invented. Many declined, and those who did “denounced the satellites as illusions of the devil.” Father Clavius declared that “to see the satellites of Jupiter, men had to make an instrument which would create them.” Another bold statement made by Galileo was that the moon shines by reflected light. (Allāh tells us this in Qur’an 91:1-2; 25:61; 71:15-16). The wrath of the Church knew no bounds, for this statement of his contradicted the “truth” of Genesis that the moon ‘is a great light.” He was tried by the Holy Inquisition and his opinions condemned. In defence Galileo said that the Bible was not intended to serve as a book science. But it seems this is what they wanted the Bible to pass for. And should we blame them for this, in view of the fact that they did nothing else but give their due to the infallible words of Holy Writ? Pope Paul V issued a decree in the following words: “The doctrine of the double motion of the earth about its axis and about the sun is false and entirely contrary to Holy Scripture.” But again, in 1652, Galileo published his book, the Dialogo, thinking that the new Pope Urban VIII would be more tolerant than his predecessor, but he was just as bigoted. He placed Galileo and his book, the first edition of which had been exhausted and had found great favour with thinking minds, in the hands of the Holy Inquisition. Galileo had a friend, named Castelli, who had to forfeit his benefice for trying to save his friend Galileo. The aged Galileo as thrown into a dungeon, and forced to recant in the following words: “I, Galileo, being in my seventieth year, being a prisoner and on my knees before your Eminences, having before my eyes the Holy Gospel, which I touch with my hands, and abjure, curse and detest the error and the heresy of the movements of the earth.”
What else could the broken-hearted, aged Galileo do under the circumstances? He recalled to memory how the Church had burned Bruno alive, and that if he would not recant the same fate awaited him. What the Inquisition was he knew well!
Nevertheless the Holy Inquisition was not content with a mere recantation. It sent him into exile for the rest of his life, persecuted his friends, suppressed his writings, and went so far as to torture those, like Campanella, who had the temerity to write in defence of Galileo.
Now let us see what it was which the Church wanted the people to believe instead. Cardinal Barberi says: “Animals which move have limbs and muscles; the earth has no limbs or muscles, therefore it does not move. It is angels who make Saturn, Jupiter, the Sun, etc; turn round. If the earth revolves, it must also have a centre to set it in motion, but only devils live there; it would therefore be a devil who would impart motion to the earth.”
The Bible dabbles in anthropology as well! The Bible contains a so-called chronology, childish as it is, by which it is claimed we can trace the antiquity of man and his pedigree. The Christian Fathers were generally agreed that man had his beginning about six thousand years ago, and would not tolerate any other view but that Adam was the first man. The advancing of any other view was looked upon as a contradiction of the apparent chronology of the Bible, and its criticism a crime. When La Peyrère, about the middle of the seventeenth century, published his work, Pre-Adamites, in which he claimed that men existed before Adam, the Parliament of Paris burned his book. La Peyrère was imprisoned by the Grand Vicar of the Archdiocese of Mechlin until he retracted the statement.
(Pre-Adamites: Allāh tells us that there was a long time over man when nothing was known of him–Qur’an 76:1. And Muslim scholars are of the view that there were many Adams before our Adam. That this Adam was not the first man seems to be borne out by the fact that after Cain killed Abel, Cain is said to have gone to the land of Nod where he knew his wife who conceived–(Genesis 4:16-17). Since Cain and Abel were the only two children, and there is no mention of any other children so that Cain could be said to have taken a sister as wife, where then did Cain find this woman for wife if there were no other human beings on the earth? As noted, the verses of the Qur’an are either of basic or allegorical in meanings–Qur’an 3:6).
The pagan world of the Greeks and Romans had made a beginning in geological knowledge, but when Christianity appeared on the world’s stage all such beginnings were nipped in the bud. In the middle of the eighteenth century Buffon published the results of his studies in geology. The faculty of Sorbonne compelled him to make and publish a recantation, which ended with these words: “I abandon everything in my book respecting the formation of the earth, and generally all which may be contrary to the narration of Moses.” But a century later the tables were turned, and the power of the Church had waned in 1830, for by this time science had made so much progress, and people had begun so far to recover from the Christian blight, that Charles Lyell, the author of Antiquity of Man (1863) and Principles of Geology (1830), was not made to suffer from the Holy Inquisition.
Gregory I–who has won the attribute of the Great– distinguished himself by his rage for destruction, for his enmity towards all higher education. This “Slave of the Slaves of God” had one principle in view: “Ignorance is the mother of devotion”; and with this standpoint not only did he commit to the flames all the mathematical studies of Rome, but also burned the precious Palatine Library, which was founded by the Emperor Augustus. He destroyed the greater part of the writings of Livy; he forbade the study of the classics; he maimed and mutilated the architectural remains of the ancient days–(Draper, vol. 1, p. 357).
The schools of philosophy were closed, the last of them in 529. The renowned commentator on Plato, Hypatia, was cruelly put to death by St. Cyril, in 414, in the open market of Alexandria, Draper says: “She was assaulted by Cyril and a mob of many monks, stripped naked in the street, she was dragged into a church and killed by the club of Peter the Reader. The corpse was cut in pieces, the flesh was scraped from the bones with shells, and the remnants cast into the fire. For this frightful crime Cyril was never called to account–(Draper, vol. 1, p. 324).
The hatred of learning was such that, in the words of Draper, “every manuscript which could be seized was burnt.” Throughout the east, men in terror, destroyed the libraries for the fear that some unfortunate sentence contained in any of the books should involve them and their families in destruction.”
But to ascertain the truth of our statement, we need not go so far back. We can always expect the Church to live up to its historic past. It is in our own living memory that Francisco Ferrar was murdered in 1909, in Spain, for the sole offence that he wanted to educate the people. And the Church hated education, as it has always hated it. It is said he was stood against the prison wall, and before the shots were fired he said in a clear and fearless voice: “Aim straight, my brothers. Long live the modern school!” No regretting, no cringing, no recanting ever escaped his lips. And the fact that only very recently one of the Italian cities has decided to remove the street name of Francisco Ferrar from one of its thoroughfares, intensifies the truth of this statement that the Church is the same to-day, yesterday and for ever. The only condition is opportunity.
There is one thing that is remarkable in the history of material science in relation to Christianity and Islam. In the case of the former, as long as religion kept its hold on its adherents, Europe made no progress in any way, but when the Western mind became emancipated from canonical rule and Church thralldom, civilization came in leaps and bounds in every form. On the other hand, Islam, at its very advent, gave a tremendous impetus to science and culture. In its various departments, modern civilization owes its salient factors to Islam, but unfortunately, in modern days–notably in the last two centuries– our mundane prosperity and success began to prove too intoxicating to keep our steps sober and steady; we ceased from treading in the footprints of our ancestors, and turned our backs on Muslim principles of life.”
“The Western nations made their present progress when they liberated themselves from the hold of Church religion and began to think independently for themselves on Islamic lines.” (a- b- c)(Open Letters To The Bishops Of Salisbury & London, pp. 45-56, 147. a Three Great Prophets of the World, by Lord Headley, p. 14. b Vol, I, p. 387. c Chap. xxviii, p. 132. London (Dent’s). Emphasis/color added).
As late as 2008, the Pope is accused of being “hostile to science”–(Toronto Star, Sat; Jan; 19, 2008, p. A21). Rather than bemoan Muslim presence in Europe, Pope Benedict XVI should be singing praises to Muslims. But for Muslims “Christian” Europe would yet be waltzing around with flint tools and torches.