Found on Etsy: How a True Muslim Sees God.

Regardless what you hear in the media, a true spiritual person regardless even their religion or non religion will understand the subtleties and true interconnection of God within all of us, therefore there is no need to harm anyone ever-we are brothers and sisters from the same force.
A true Muslim is someone who actually earned the label from hard work and seeking. It is not a label your family gives you, or is passed down. It is a rite of passage in everyone’s life to become a submitter to God-“muslim”.

If you read the Quran, you see there is no religion, only a term to define a person who acted like Adam (after the fall), Abraham, Noah, Joseph, Muhammad, Jesus, and all the other exceptional souls that graced our world. So the only thing that constitutes being a Muslim is if you submit, lay down your ego, for something higher and more knowledgable than you-God.

Submit to compassion when angry if not being physically violated. Submit to understanding when you feel misunderstood. Submit to love when up against someone’s hate.

THAT is submission to God. Not waving a gun around trying to kill your brothers and sisters who make different life choices. That is only an unconscious and unaware person in spiritual matters. They may label themselves Muslim, but to a true muslim who did the seeking, and deep work towards understanding, they are not a submitter to God. They submitted only to their egos and desires…only to Satan.

Even though I am super busy planning my wedding, and moving to a new place, I always am looking for the Signs of God’s existence within others and nature as the Quran says you can surely find when you look with eyes opened.

On Etsy, a muslim man creates beautiful 3D art. Not even knowing him, but seeing his work I can tell he has found God within and understands.

Here is the beautiful photo of his work, with description:

“This piece of sculpture was created form one singular wavy line for the word Allah = God in Arabic calligraphy. The continuous line in the middle give the word Allah the feeling sense of floating above all.Allah “God” floating above the Nature ( represented here by green color) and in the sky (represented by the dark blue color). it is surrounded by a colored plexiglas frame to match the color of the whole scheme.”

If interested in buying his amazing inexpensive art, check out this link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/189521132/allah-god-floating-above-the-nature-in?ref=hp_rv

A Gif to Help Define God/Allah.

It isn’t much. But when this gif came across my facebook feed, I felt all my worries, fears and anxiety disappear. It is to me, the single most accurate description visually of God.

Most muslims will say, you can’t define Allah in any way…but I was never one to not try to solve unsolvable mysteries in this life. I see this gif as the perfect descriptive of Allah, visually.

Imagine that the background is completely black and void of stars, but this center source of energy is constantly firing and creating energy and light waves.

A force or energy that creates…then destroys after maximum potential is reached….and then recreates all over again for the sake of love. I would even say that this light is not God/Allah, but it is the force or energy BEYOND this light that expresses itself divinely that is God.

Do you feel it too when looking at this gif? Can you see both creation and destruction?

 

Why Do We Still Use the Moon and Star In Islam? Maybe We Shouldn’t.

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Take a look at the above image and I am sure you have heard the idea before that Allah is the moon god that Muslims pray to. But this is completely false and the Quran even warns people of Mecca who were pagans (before Islam) to NOT pray to the sun, moon and stars. The Quran reveals that Allah, the Arabic word of God, is something BEYOND the celestial bodies and created ALL that you see.

2:189

They ask you, [O Muhammad], about the new moons. Say, “They are measurements of time for the people and for Hajj.” And it is not righteousness to enter houses from the back, but righteousness is [in] one who fears Allah. And enter houses from their doors. And fear Allah that you may succeed.

This very line means that IF any one worships the moon or considers it more than a tool of measurement than it is as if they are concealing themselves from God and entering faith from the back door. It is a false faith and it not guided in truth.

6:74

And when he saw the moon rising, he said, “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said, “Unless my Lord guides me, I will surely be among the people gone astray.”

This line is Abraham noticing that the moon rises and sets, and God is this constant force, so the moon could never possibly be the God of Abraham. Also, science has revealed we have more than one moon, and more than one sun in our known universe. So easily God could not be ONE idea if it was a sun or moon.

Something that has bothered me a bit ever since I followed a path of Islam is the idea that Muslim states use a symbol to symbolize the religion.  Being interested in history I decided to do a little investigation into this symbolism of where it really came from since NEVER in the Quran is there any indication that the moon and star should symbolize Islam and faith of the Muslim world.

I discovered that the star and moon symbol did indeed belong to a pre-Islam people that worshiped the moon god Ur, and a few others. It also could have been for Diana who was the goddess of the moon in Ancient Greece. This moon and star was the pagan representation of this deity that they believed controlled the moon and stars. “Allah” a word that is more of an expression or adjective in Arabic can be used to describe an all seeing source. It is the word that Muhammad was given in the Quran when Gabriel related everything in Arabic for this particular era of the message from God. God is a word that is difficult to convey in meaning, but for communication purposes “Allah” was the word chosen to describe the One God that Abraham believed in with the Christians. Remember, Arabs in the Middle East did not speak English back then, but the word Allah conveyed the same meaning to others of faith.

Historically, there is NO evidence that Muslims during Muhammad’s time ever used a symbol to convey Islam. As there are no images used to symbolize God there should be none to symbolize faith. It was not needed and in my opinion still isn’t. I don’t use the symbol at all because I believe in only represents the Ottoman Turk Empire.

The Ottoman Turk Empire which was founded in 1229 AD was growing to be a large militant force.  The symbol of the moon and star became affiliated with the Muslim world as the flag was used to show conquest on certain land territory. Keep in mind this was about 629 years after Islam was re-established in the Middle East. “When the Turks conquered Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453, they adopted the city’s existing flag and symbol that we see today. Legend holds that the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman, had a dream in which the crescent moon stretched from one end of the earth to the other. Taking this as a good omen, he chose to keep the crescent and make it the symbol of his dynasty.” http://islam.about.com/od/history/a/crescent_moon.htm

Now, I am no one to judge, but as a Muslim, this symbol to me does not represent Islam. It represents Osman’s dynasty and the Ottoman Empire and if he wanted to make it the symbol of his nation as a proud moment in time-that’s his business, not mine.

It may be a good idea down the road to get back to the source of the Quran and to be rid of all symbols for Islam. Islam is a way of life, a path towards God and oneness with other monotheistic faiths. It is supposed to be free of symbols and labels. It’s very confusing today for a Jew or Christian to relate to Islam because of this moon and star. There is much Islam needs to get back to in order to stay focused on the original intent of the revelations for mankind.

I even get frustrated because wordpress will not let me use small “m”s when writing the word “Muslim”.  Because even though it is used as  a religious label to define a person’s belief, it reads as an adjective in the Quran.

3:84

Say, “We have believed in Allah and in what was revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Descendants, and in what was given to Moses and Jesus and to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [submitting] to Him.”

 

For unification purposes and our duty as muslims to help unite the faiths together in love and understanding, let’s not use the symbol. What do you say?

God creates all things.

Think what else is undiscovered or amongst us in the universe if this little guy can exist at the bottom of our ocean.

24:45

Allah has created every [living] creature from water. And of them are those that move on their bellies, and of them are those that walk on two legs, and of them are those that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.

 

Surah Al-Baqarah: Chapter 2 (line 210-220) The Cow

210. Are they waiting for God Himself to come to them in the shadows of the clouds, together with the angels, and thus the matter is settled? All things are returned to God.

211. Ask the Children of Israel how many clear signs We have given them. Whoever alters the blessing of God after it has come to him-God is severe in retribution.

212. Beautified is the life of this world for those who disbelieve, and they ridicule those who believe. But the righteous will be above them on the Day of Resurrection. God provides to whomever He wills without measure.

213. Humanity used to be one community; then God sent the prophets, bringing good news and giving warnings. And He sent down with them the Scripture, with the truth, to judge between people regarding their differences. But none differed over it except those who were given it-after the proofs had come to them-out of mutual envy between them. Then God guided those who believed to the truth they had disputed, in accordance with His will. God guides whom He wills to a straight path.

214. Or do you expect to enter Paradise before the example of those who came before you had reached you? Adversity and hardship had afflicted them, and they were so shaken up, that the Messenger and those who believed with him said, “When is God’s victory?” Indeed, God’s victory is near.

215. They ask you what they should give. Say, “Whatever charity you give is for the parents, and the relatives, and the orphans, and the poor, and the wayfarer. Whatever good you do, God is aware of it.

216. Fighting is ordained for you, even though you dislike it. But it may be that you dislike something while it is good for you, and it may be that you like something while it is bad for you. God knows, and you do not know.

217. They ask you about fighting during the Holy Month. Say, “Fighting during it is deplorable; but to bar others from God’s path, and to disbelieve in Him, and to prevent access to the Holy Mosque, and to expel its people from it, are more deplorable with God. And persecution is more serious than killing. They will not cease to fight you until they turn you back from your religion, if they can. Whoever among you turns back from his religion, and dies a disbeliever-those are they whose works will come to nothing, in this life, and in the Hereafter. Those are the inmates of the Fire, abiding in it forever.

218. Those who believed, and those who migrated and fought for the sake of God-those look forward to God’s mercy. God is Forgiving and Merciful.

219. They ask you about intoxicants and gambling. Say, “There is gross sin in them, and some benefits for people, but their sinfulness outweighs their benefit.” And they ask you about what they should give: say, “The surplus.” Thus God explains the revelations to you, so that you may think.

220. About this world and the next. And they ask you about orphans. Say, “Improvement for them is best. And if you intermix with them, then they are your brethren.” God knows the dishonest from the honest. Had God willed, He could have overburdened you. God is Mighty and Wise.

My Interpretation:

Archangel Gabriel is speaking to Muhammad in hurried tones that Muhammad must let the people know that inaction is a choice too, and if the people sit around waiting for a miracle, it will be too late to fight the good fight and do God’s will on earth. Then judgement of inaction will be done to the people that neglected to lift a hand to fight evil in the world. This has happened to the children of Israel where they saw the Signs and neglected them causing some to follow God and others to follow their own desires. So here Gabriel is telling Muhammad to ask them about these same Signs, in a rhetorical way.

There is also indication that the words of Moses from God, had been manipulated in some way and to understand the warning again for Islam now. Muhammad is supposed to warn others that by writing words not from God and passing it off as so, will cause major problems.

To those who disbelieve in a Creator this world seems to be all there is. So they covet, and hoard wealth and fame. They attach themselves to their egos and to the material realm of this earth making them disconnect from the spiritual. God allows for this illusion to look beautiful to those who claim there is nothing else besides this lifetime. But the true believers are grateful and found a balance between enjoying this life, but also knowing there is more to come in the hereafter. The eternal optimists are the true believers, the ones who see the sunshine through the clouds are the best of humanity is what this angel is saying.

To me this does not mean that atheists can not be good, but they will lack the imagination to experience something beyond our idea of Good, if they do not believe in the Creator of it.

213 is LIFE of this revelation to me. It is the proof of all unity of all human beings that shows ultimately how and why we were divided in order for a grand testing of souls to get back to the state we fell from. Those that do judge one messenger over another will not experience this unity and may have trouble experiencing the ALL. When you reject one prophet, but accept another, you are judging on something you know little about, but go by your subjective feelings. This is what Archangel Gabriel is teaching us not to do. He tells Muhammad to follow the guidance that we are one, and it is the righteous who will make no distinctions between God’s messengers. 

The reason why the books where manipulated was out of envy for one another. Something that was in the original Torah made the Christian leaders mad enough to conspire against them and vice versa with the Jews angry at the Christians. But all these matters return to God as we are judged for our bickering and unwillingness to see the other’s side.

Once again the monopoly on Heaven is being refuted by Gabriel who says that this idea is quite ridiculous because to say that only Christians or Jews will get to Heaven doesn’t explain the faithful servants that were “muslims” before these religions came about by the churches and temples.

Muhammad sincerely asks about charity and he is told that whatever good you do on earth is noted. Take care of those who seem to have less than you, treat them as family under one God. This is the beauty of Islam reflected here.

Yes fighting is a bad thing, but there are times in life when war is warranted and so Gabriel says that you must always fight to defend the innocent from any form of oppression in life. To not fight them, is worse for humanity in the long run. Many heroes through out time sacrificed their lives for the sake of others, and Gabriel acknowledged this and said this is why fighting is good for you while they can not see the positive effects just yet. The muslims from what I understand were a peaceful group that was being targeted by Mecca leaders so they were given permission here to fight back.

Alcohol and gambling are easy pathways to sin. They can be used as benefits in having fun with friends and family. They can bring a small enjoyment to life, but most people can not contain it to just this. Gabriel knows this and warns Muhammad that it is BEST for people to not pursue these things in life as they can dull the senses and cause economic situations that are not worth the suffering. Some muslims are very strict in their no alcohol intake while others can see there are greater sins in life, than this and are careful with excessive drinking. I will let you choose your own paths…

Orphans are something that seemed to be a big problem in society in 600 A.D. So Muhammad is given guidance to treat them justly and to not use them sexually, financially, or any other ways as God and his Angels are always watching.

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Surah Al-Baqarah: Chapter 2 (line 190-200) The Cow

190. And fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not commit aggression; God does not love the aggressors.

191. And kill them wherever you overtake them, and expel them from where they had expelled you. Oppression is more serious than murder. But do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque, unless they fight you there. If they fight you, then kill them. Such is the retribution of the disbelievers.

192. But if they cease, then God is Forgiving and Merciful.

193. And fight them until there is no oppression, and worship becomes devoted to God alone. But if they cease, then let there be no hostility except against the oppressors.

194. The sacred month for the sacred month; and sacrilege calls for retaliation. Whoever commits aggression against you, retaliate against him in the same measure as he has committed against you. And be conscious of God, and know that God is with the righteous.

195. And spend in the cause of God, and do not throw yourselves with your own hands into ruin, and be charitable. God loves the charitable.

196. And carry out the Hajj and the Umrah (pilgrimage) for God. But if you are prevented, then whatever is feasible of offerings. And do not shave your heads until the offering has reached its destination. Whoever of you is sick, or has an injury of the head, then redemption of fasting, or charity, or worship. When you are secure: whoever continues the Umrah until the Hajj, then whatever is feasible of offering. But if he lacks the means, then fasting for three days during the Hajj and seven when you have returned, making ten in all. This is for he whose household is not present at the Sacred Mosque. And remain conscious of God, and know that God is stern in retribution.

197. The Hajj is during specific months. Whoever decides to perform the Hajj-there shall be no sexual relations, nor misconduct, nor quarreling during the Hajj. And whatever good you do, God knows it. And take provisions, but the best provision is righteousness. And be mindful of Me, O people of understanding.

198. You commit no error by seeking bounty from your Lord. When you disperse from Arafat, remember God at the Sacred Landmark. And remember Him as He has guided you. Although, before that, you were of those astray.

199. Then disperse from where the people disperse, and ask God for forgiveness. God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.

200. When you have completed your rites, remember God as you remember your parents, or even more. Among the people is he who says, “Our Lord, give us in this world,” yet he has no share in the Hereafter

My Interpretation:

Carried on from the last post, we see that this was a terrible time of war 600 yrs after Jesus. Polytheists were still murdering innocent people and attacking villages. Muhammad is being prepared by Gabriel to let him know the allowances he is given by God. There is going to be attacks on Muhammad and his peaceful muslims, since the Mecca leaders do not want to loose their wealth and their status-given to them by their “gods”. How easy for a pagan leader to call themselves divine when there are no holy books written by these deities! This is why Muhammad must harden and strengthen himself against the “disbelievers” who are and will continue to try to murder Muhammad’s growing alliance of Muslims.

Many people today take these verses for being violent commands by Muhammad. But what they fail to do is to bring history into context of the meaning. They are not understanding the historical time when monotheism was greatly warred against by the pagans in charge. Monotheism was not as popular, nor as big as polytheist worship in many parts of the world. God is prescribing self defense of the righteous because by sheer logic, if the righteous believers never fought back, today Mecca would be pagan and who knows what darker path it could have lead mankind down. When I hear about the ancient civilizations claiming blood sacrifices suffice their nature gods…I shudder to think what we would experience today, if we never received guidance from above.

As you can see in these verses clearly, Muhammad is given clear orders to only be assertive, not aggressive towards these tribes. Muhammad must never kill out of anger or revenge off their land, but if the enemy comes towards them and fights them at their mosques and sacred spaces, then it is allowed to fight back and kill them back. If they pull back their armies, then Muhammad must pull back his. It is a big responsibility to be a representative of God’s Mercy and Forgiveness, and Muhammad is given the allowance to do so.

As I try to tell people who are afraid of Islam and misunderstand it, terrorism would be a tactic of the enemies of God and the angels-not a honorable way of  war.

Charity is always mentioned and we are reminded to be aware of the needs of others, even during war time. Going to Hajj and doing the pilgrimage is important for muslims of any generation. It brings you closer to understanding Islam and purifies you in a sense. This is why the head is shaved just as the  Buddhist and Christian monks did at one point for spiritual reasons, it purifies you and helps you lose attachments to superficial beauty and earthly matters. 

All muslims are called to do pilgrimage by God, BUT once again God understands your life and knows what you can do and can not do. God understands the intents and desires of a person, even if their bank account does not allow it. So here Archangel Gabriel is saying, muslims should find a way to go, but also to know that it is no sin on them if they can not. They can make up for their absence during it in other ways, such as donations, fasting for 10 days, and charities. Hajj is a time to remember what is important in life in service and worship to God.

The Hajj going by JUST the Quran states that 4 months are sacred and should be observed as so. Four months you may not fight, have sex, and be conscious of what you do. There seems to be a truce called between the polytheists and muslims at this time, and it is called for Muhammad to not fight anyone at this time of spiritual observance. My guess is that it gave each side time to think about the importance of the war and decide whether or not it is worth losing lives over.

Arafat is the mountain that people lived on and could then go down to the Kabbah to observe worship. Today it is where muslims move from to the Kabbah to sit together and pray during the pilgrimage. There is arguments about what four months are sacred. By going strictly with logic, I believe that they are the last 4 months from Ramadan, which changes every year depending on Lunar Calendar. 

The reason I see this is because after such a holy month when the Quran was said to first come down in the Night of Power, it seems that 4 months after that would be needed to observe and allow for this holy time to spread to others and permeate society. To me in this Quran, pilgrimage can be done at any time during these 4 months instead of squeezing millions of muslims into a few days as it is done today. I am not so sure God prescribed a holiday, as much as a time of great reflection to take up 4 months of your year, every year. By sheer logic-this could alter a person immensely, in a good way. It could make people more reflective in nature if they needed to stop their bickering and human endeavors for four months. That is a lot of time, to think about what to do with the other 8 months and to appreciate what has been given to you already.

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Surah Al-Baqarah: Chapter 2 (line 180-190) The Cow

180. It is decreed for you: when death approaches one of you, and he leaves wealth, to make a testament in favor of the parents and the relatives, fairly and correctly-a duty upon the righteous.

181. But whoever changes it after he has heard it, the guilt is upon those who change it. God is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

182. Should someone suspect bias or injustice on the part of a testator, and then reconciles between them, he commits no sin. God is Forgiving and Merciful.

183. O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become righteous.

184. For a specified number of days. But whoever among you is sick, or on a journey, then a number of other days. For those who are able: a ransom of feeding a needy person. But whoever volunteers goodness, it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew.

185. Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed. Guidance for humanity, and clear portents of guidance, and the Criterion. Whoever of you witnesses the month, shall fast it. But whoever is sick, or on a journey, then a number of other days. God desires ease for you, and does not desire hardship for you, that you may complete the number, and celebrate God for having guided you, so that you may be thankful.

186. And when My servants ask you about Me, I Am near; I answer the call of the caller when he calls on Me. So let them answer Me, and have faith in Me, that they may be rightly guided.

187. Permitted for you is intercourse with your wives on the night of the fast. They are a garment for you, and you are a garment for them. God knows that you used to betray yourselves, but He turned to you and pardoned you. So approach them now, and seek what God has ordained for you, and eat and drink until the white streak of dawn can be distinguished from the black streak. Then complete the fast until nightfall. But do not approach them while you are in retreat at the mosques. These are the limits of God, so do not come near them. God thus clarifies His revelations to the people, that they may attain piety.

188. And do not consume one another’s wealth by unjust means, nor offer it as bribes to the officials in order to consume part of other people’s wealth illicitly, while you know.

189. They ask you about the crescents. Say, “They are timetables for people, and for the Hajj.” It is not virtuous that you approach homes from their backs, but virtue is to be pious. So approach homes from their doors, and observe God, that you may succeed.

190. And fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not commit aggression; God does not love the aggressors.

My Interpretation:

Here is a set of rules or guidelines Gabriel is giving Muhammad to help bring civilization back on track. We see in this a few things that have possibly been a problem in other societies, as in Mecca. The written will is something to be treated seriously and to not lie about. The image I get is that after people died, much like today, the leaders confiscated their land and wealth leaving nothing behind to the family. So the testified will was brought forwards for the arabs of Arabia so that wealth is passed down justly.

Fasting is prescribed to the people and possibly for a few reasons:

 1. Scientifically- medical science studies have shown the benefits to fast every once in a while to reboot your system and speed of metabolism. 

2. Spiritually- it can give meaning to the gift of food we are given from God, and a means to learn appreciation. 

3. Socially- to help feed a whole village and share in the food that is grown or farmed with each other or learn what fellow mankind who are starving experience and to build empathy. 

As someone who fasts, I can tell you that the benefits are real. Many other religions and spiritual teachers did it as well. Buddha was known to have fasted for 40 days under the Bodhi tree in order to reach his point of enlightenment and understanding of things. Fasting has been done by Jesus, Moses, and possibly all messengers of God to reach that state of elevated understanding.

Notice that fasting is not a rigid concept, but a healthy teaching to humans at this point. If you miss your fasting days during the Ramadan then it is required to give to charity so that some form of personal sacrifice is made and felt in the spirit of altruism. But NOTHING should be a hardship and know that God is Merciful, knowing your heart and your intentions to do good.

Sex is allowed by God now, ever since the “fall” from the Garden, but it is ordained to be pious about it. A woman and a man have their freedom to enjoy sexual relations anytime, except for during observations at the mosques, which is really using common sense. Be private and enjoy each other, but have balance will all things. You may have sex on fasting nights, and then continue the fasting the next day.

The time of fasting is different according to where you live in the world, but generally it is from dawn of the first light of day to first break of night. Refer to Islam fasting time calculators to see what the times are in your area of the world. I will say, it is not so important to be exactly on the dot with this, as remember God does not wish to give hardship. Muslims should refrain from stressing so much for this. Do what feels natural during this time, and with your best effort.

Once again Muhammad is reminded that taking any properties, belongings, of each other that do not belong to each other is something that God reflects upon.

The moon has been something that has been worshiped as a deity by pagan tradition, so this is where Gabriel tells Muhammad to let the people know the moon is for to keep time through its phases only, not to worship as a god. The idea of back doors is something I can imagine being a problem in the past. Possibly people would go through each other’s homes and steal things as they saw fit. So asking people to go through a front door is two things, 1. more polite and adds to neighborly consideration. 2. a safety feature to make sure your house can not be entered without you present.

There is an esoteric way I can see this warning as, the idea of worshiping moon or sun gods, is the “back door” of worshiping God. It is not going about it in the right or direct way. Showing appreciation to the moon is not showing appreciation for all things in life since the moon or sun can be responsible for the whole universe.

And lastly is the most misunderstood line of all-this is speaking about the self defense of their own homes and people. As it says God does not like aggression or aggressors, and anyone using their common sense can understand the difference between direct self defense and aggressive war or murder. 

I also tell people today that terrorism is NOT something that Islam prescribes ever and they would be called “transggressors” for coming onto U.S soil and attacking. I do not feel in my heart these men were muslims in the very definition of the word, along with millions of other muslims today who are constantly speaking out. 

Terrorism is not part of any faith and would be more following the path of Satan to spread chaos and destruction, rather than God’s Will to spread peace.

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Surah Al-Baqarah: Chapter 2 (line 170-180) The Cow

170. And when it is said to them, “Follow what God has revealed,” they say, “We will follow what we found our ancestors following.” Even if their ancestors understood nothing, and were not guided?

171. The parable of those who disbelieve is that of someone who calls upon someone who hears nothing except screaming and yelling. Deaf, dumb, and blind-they do not understand.

172. O you who believe! Eat of the good things We have provided for you, and give thanks to God, if it is Him that you serve.

173. He has forbidden you carrion, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and what was dedicated to other than God. But if anyone is compelled, without desiring or exceeding, he commits no sin. God is Forgiving and Merciful.

174. Those who conceal what God revealed in the Book, and exchange it for a small price-those swallow nothing but fire into their bellies. And God will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them, and they will have a painful punishment.

175. It is they who exchange guidance for error, and forgiveness for punishment. But why do they insist on the Fire?

176. That is because God has revealed the Book in truth; and those who differ about the Book are in deep discord.

177. Righteousness does not consist of turning your faces towards the East and the West. But righteous is he who believes in God, and the Last Day, and the angels, and the Scripture, and the prophets. Who gives money, though dear, to near relatives, and orphans, and the needy, and the homeless, and the beggars, and for the freeing of slaves; those who perform the prayers, and pay the obligatory charity, and fulfill their promise when they promise, and patiently persevere in the face of persecution, hardship, and in the time of conflict. These are the sincere; these are the pious.

178. O you who believe! Retaliation for the murdered is ordained upon you: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the female for the female. But if he is forgiven by his kin, then grant any reasonable demand, and pay with good will. This is a concession from your Lord, and a mercy. But whoever commits aggression after that, a painful torment awaits him.

179. There is life for you in retaliation, O people of understanding, so that you may refrain.

180. It is decreed for you: when death approaches one of you, and he leaves wealth, to make a testament in favor of the parents and the relatives, fairly and correctly-a duty upon the righteous.

My Interpretation:

Here is Archangel saying that this has been said before and the leaders of Mecca say that they will continue to follow their ancestor’s traditions even though they were not the right way. Muhammad is told to warn the pagan leaders, and leaders of other religions that by lying about Islam or concealing what was revealed to them, from the masses, will cause them to suffer in the afterlife. Fire being swallowed in their bellies to me is not a physical fire, but instead a way to say that their guilt will burn them from inside one day when the truth comes out.

Muhammad also is to give them a list of things NOT to eat which is carrion, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and what was dedicated to other than God. This makes sense in many ways since they are harmful for the body, and the food that has been sacrificed for other gods, has bad energy attached to it. You never know about the unseen world of spirits and what people evoke through ritual. We must always be careful.

There is a suggestion that those who constantly fight over the Book (Gospel and Torah), are in deep discord and can not hear anything while they fill themselves with anger and become blind with hatred for each other. Once again, as I type this I only envision a few leaders of each religion in this position. The ones who have sat at the high seats of power and have controlled what ultimately is taught to an illiterate society who can not read the scrolls themselves.

Righteousness expressed here is very important. I show this to everyone I can, to show it is not one faith, or even a religion you need to belong to, it is how well you follow these ideas: charity, orphan and children care, homeless care, freeing of slaves (not prisoners-there is a big difference during these times of war), belief in the angels, Books, words from the messengers, prayer, and hard work to do goodness on earth. This to me, is how all good people can connect together.

Along with being righteous, you must also be brave and not allow evil or injustice to expand. So war is prescribed in order to prevent further bloodshed. This is the battle cry of Muhammad and God and the angels are behind the good people, as they defend their homes and their lives, from the extremely angry Mecca leaders.

However, it is KEY to see that God is Merciful and says that you should stop all revolutions or wars, if they cease and come to their senses. But if they do not, then God says that self defense and defense of land is always allowed.

Lastly, there is a testament to a “will” law that developed. Gabriel is telling Muhammad that the wealth that the people make, you can not take with you in death as the Egyptians once believed, and to give to those who are your family and close relatives. Today we have this law, and it is wonderful so that the state does not claim your home or property once you die. This is the way your bloodline can survive and live on, even after you are long gone.