Thursday, December 24, 2009

Yara Viking Ship, Largest Man Made Moving Machine on the Planet! - Jeremy Clarkson's Extreme Machines

Knock Nevis was built in 1979 at Sumitom Heavy Industries's Oppama shipyard as Seawise Giant for a Greek owner who proved unable to take delivery .

Size comparison of some of the longest ships. From top to bottom: Knock Nevis, Emma Maersk, RMS Queen Mary 2, MS Berge Stahl, and USS Enterprise (CVN-65).

The shipyard exercised its right to sell the vessel and a deal was brokered with Hong Kong Orient Overseas Container Line founder C. Y. Tung, to lengthen the ship by several meters and add 87,000 metric tons of cargo capacity through jumboisation.

Two years later she was relaunched as Seawise Giant.

After the refit, the ship had a capacity of 564,763 metric tons deadweight (DWT), a length overall of 458.45 meters (1,504.1 ft) and a draft of 24.611 meters (80.74 ft).

She had 46 tanks, 31,541 square meters (339,500 sq ft) of deck space, and drew too much water to pass through the English Channel.

From 1979 to 2004, she was owned by Loki Stream AS[2] and flew the Norwegian flag.

Damaged during the Iran–Iraq War while transiting the Strait of Hormuz, she was declared a total loss and laid up in Brunei.

At the end of the war she was towed to the Keppel Company shipyard in Singapore, repaired, and relaunched in October 1991 as the Happy Giant.

Jorden Jahre bought the tanker in 1991 for US$39 Million and renamed her Jahre Viking.

In 2004, she was bought by First Olsen Tankers Pte. Ltd.,[2][2] renamed Knock Nevis, and converted into a permanently moored storage tanker moored in the Qatar Al Shaheen oil field in the Persian Gulf.

Knock Nevis has just been renamed Mont, and reflagged with Sierra Leone, for a single voyage to India which will see the world's largest ever ship be scrapped.



Fed Ex Superbowl Commercial

One of the most funniest comercial videos I have came across. Fedex is creative to include humor as one their key ingredient for their commercial.

This has generated lots of people attention towards Fedex ads compared to their rivals ads.

So, when next time you and me want to send our parcel, most probably Fedex will come to our mind first.



TAP Airbus A310 Low pass turn Portugal Airshow 2007, Evora

Watch this great performance flight performed by Cap. César Brito no less than the TAP Airbus A310 fleet last Chief Pilot.

This awesome pilot have 4.000 hours on the A310 and TAP wanted to pay the best tribute for almost 20 years of service in TAP without an accident.

The airplane involved was CS-TEI and the co-pilot of that flight was Vitor Pereira.

Captain Brito is still flying and he knows well the terrain of Evora airfield. During the airshow, co-pilot was focused in altitude of the plane and continuesly updates to Capt Brito.

Plane was overhauled before the air show to reduce the failure risk.

Enjoy the video


Toyota Vios (funny commercial) The Irresistible Vios

Watch this funny toyota Vios commercial. Great idea for marketer. Totally irresistible ! Be careful with Vios parked at remote areas.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

UFO Pyramid over Moscow (WTF MUST SEE)

UFO Pyramid over Moscow - youtube
Clips of ufo sitting motionless in the sky of kremlin has become the most viewed youtube video in russian. There are two youtube videos, one in the night and another daylight.

The daylight video just shows a triangle-shaped unidentified flying object hovering over the Kremlin. The night video show the same object hovering over Moscow, taken from a car.

Not much information we know about these UFO phenomenon in Russia. Maybe the Russians could be in the midst of developing new type of war planes.

Or it might be just a prank. Whatever it is, hopefully it doesn't start shooting us like the Independence Day movie (ID4).








GE90-115B - World's Most Powerful Commercial Jet Engine

Specifically designed for the Boeing 777, the GE90-115B holds the world record for thrust totalling 127,900 pounds of thrust.

Engine Overview

The GE90 represents GE's investment in the future of wide-body aircraft. Over the past two decades, GE's CF6 and CFM56* engines have been chosen to power more than 50 percent of all new aircraft ordered with a capacity of 100 passengers or more.

The GE90 combines the best proven technology from these engine programs, NASA and military programs with advanced technology to provide a highly reliable, fuel-efficient powerplant for the next generation of wide-body aircraft.

Originally certified in 1995 at 84,700 pounds of thrust, today's GE90 engines power newer, more advanced Boeing 777 aircraft capable of flying farther, faster and more efficiently than their predecessors.

The most powerful derivative of the GE90, the GE90-115B, is the sole powerplant for Boeing's longer-range 777-300ER. The GE90-115B certified at 115,000 lbs. of thrust and has broken a number of aviation records.

The GE90-115B derated to 110,000 lbs. of thrust (GE90-110B) powers the Boeing 777-200LR and the world's largest, most capable twin-engine freighter -- Boeing's 777 Freighter. The 777 Freighter will offer unsurpassed efficiency to long-haul markets and provide more capacity than any other twin-engine freighter.

The Guinness Book of World Records recognized the engine as the "World's Most Powerful Commercial Jet Engine" in 2001 after it recorded an amazing 123,000 lbs. of steady-state thrust while undergoing initial ground testing. In late 2002, the engine shattered its original record by reaching 127,900 lbs. of thrust during required certification testing.

Since the introduction of Boeing's longer-range 777 in early 2000, the GE90 has been the best-selling engine for that aircraft family.

Snecma of France, Avio of Italy, and IHI of Japan are participants in the GE90 development program.








THE WORLD'S MOST POWERFUL ENGINE ENTERS SERVICE

World Most Powerful Engine - Wartsila RT-flex96C


12 September 2006

THE WORLD'S MOST POWERFUL ENGINE ENTERS SERVICE

The world's first 14-cylinder low-speed engine entered service on 1 September 2006 in a large, fast container vessel. Developed by Wärtsilä Corporation, the 14-cylinder Wärtsilä RT-flex96C engine is also the world's most powerful engine with an output of 80,080 kW (108,920 bhp) at 102 rpm.

The 14-cylinder Wärtsilä RT-flex96C engine is a major breakthrough for ship propulsion. It extends the power available to suit the new generation of large containerships while combining the benefits of proven, reliable engine designs with the complete flexibility of RT-flex common-rail technology.

Traditionally low-speed marine engines have been built with a maximum of 12 cylinders. However, when it was recognised some years ago that envisaged container ships would need more than was available from existing RTA96C and RT-flex96C low-speed engines, a solution was found to extend the engine power range to 80,080 kW by offering also 13- and 14-cylinder engines.

The 14-cylinder RT-flex96C is thus based on an already well-established 12-cylinder RT-flex96C design, which itself was developed from the RTA96C engine type widely applied in container ships since 1998. It thus benefits from the wealth of service experience with engines of the same type. To date there are more than 300 RT-flex96C and RTA96C engines in service or on order worldwide.

Adaptation for 14 cylinders

Extensive consideration was nevertheless given to the practicality of the increased numbers of cylinders and to ensure that the engines match everyone’s expectations in terms of safety, reliability and durability.

With regard to the engine structure, the opportunity had already been taken when adapting the RTA96C engine type to accommodate the RT-flex common-rail system to introduce certain modifications in all cylinder numbers for better manufacture. These changes also resulted in greater stiffness and reduced stresses in the structure. The revision also took into account the 14-cylinder engines to ensure that they had adequate structural strength and rigidity without further modification.

The crankshaft of the RT-flex96C has sufficient torque capacity for 14 cylinders, the material having been upgraded to enable an increased shrink fit for a greater design margin. The thrust bearing structure in RT-flex96C engines with a mid-gear drive has been revised to reduce deformations and stresses even with the increased thrust in the 14-cylinder engine when the vessel is equipped with a shaft motor.

Wärtsilä RT-flex common-rail system

The fully electronically-controlled Wärtsilä RT-flex common-rail system of the 14-cylinder engine brings important benefits to shipowners. It gives unrivalled flexibility in the way the engines operate, resulting in smokeless operation at all operating speeds, lower fuel consumption, reduced maintenance costs and lower steady operating speeds for better manoeuvring. The RT-flex system also has the potential for adaptation to future needs.

A visual feature of the 14-cylinder RT-flex96C is the modest size of the compact supply unit compared with the overall dimensions of the engine, and the absence of the full-length camshaft usual in mechanically-controlled engines. The supply unit with its fuel and servo oil supply pumps is on the engine side, at the mid length on a mid gear drive. There are two identical rail units, each for seven cylinders, along the side of the cylinder tops.

High-efficiency waste heat recovery


An important feature of the first ship installation of the 14 RT-flex96C is the high-efficiency waste heat recovery system. It contributes major savings in fuel consumption and reductions in exhaust gas emissions.

Exhaust gases of the ship’s main engine pass through an exhaust-gas economiser to generate steam for a turbine-driven generator. The turbogenerator set also includes an exhaust-gas power turbine driven by a portion of the exhaust gases diverted from the main flow through the engine’s turbochargers.

This high-efficiency waste heat recovery plant can provide an electrical output of up to about 12% of the main engine power. The generated electricity is supplied to the ship’s main switchboard and employed in a shaft motor to assist in ship propulsion. A portion of the steam from the exhaust economiser is utilised in shipboard heating services.

Energy recovery is maximised by adapting the engine to the lower air intake temperatures that are available by drawing intake air from outside the ship (ambient air) instead of from the ship’s engine room. The engine turbochargers are matched for the lower air intake temperatures thereby increasing the exhaust energy without affecting the air flow through the engine. There is thus no increase in the thermal loading of the engine and there is no adverse effect on engine reliability.



Media contact:
Marit Holmlund-Sund
Public Relations Manager
Wärtsilä Corporation
Direct tel: +358 10 709 1439
Direct fax: +358 10 709 1425
e-mail: marit.holmlund-sund@wartsila.com
Internet: www.wartsila.com


Notes to the editor:
Wärtsilä enhances the business of its customers by providing them with complete lifecycle power solutions. When creating better and environmentally compatible technologies, Wärtsilä focuses on the marine and energy markets with products and solutions as well as services. Through innovative products and services, Wärtsilä sets out to be the most valued business partner of all its customers. This is achieved by the dedication of more than 12.000 professionals manning 130 Wärtsilä offices in over 60 countries around the world.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Funny FAQs From Woot


Image Source : http://i.imgur.com/xQyRw.png

I came across this company after reading their customer service letter above.

Certainly their way of marketing is really creative and funny. Not the normal way of customer service, where we promise the best for our customer.

They even dare to threaten their customer :)

"You try to rip off us, we'll use these cables for something much appealing than carrying HD video. And we'll do it without leaving a mark. Don't try us."



GENERAL

What is Woot and who's behind it?

Woot.com is an online store and community that focuses on selling cool stuff cheap. It started as an employee-store slash market-testing type of place for an electronics distributor, but it's taken on a life of its own. We anticipate profitability by 2043 – by then we should be retired; someone smarter might take over and jack up the prices. Until then, we're still the lovable scamps we've always been. But don't take our word for it: see what the online community has to say at this Wikipedia article.


I see only one item, do you sell anything else?

No. We sell one item per day until it is sold out or until 11:59pm central time when it is replaced (see next entry for details). However, each item we sell is in stock and typically ships within 2-3 business days.


What is the schedule for new items?

The short answer: we offer a new item every single day. The details: a new product is released every morning at 12am central time, seven days a week. (If you're not a morning person, this can be described as every night at midnight. Better?) If a product sells out during its run, a new item will not appear until the next release time. You will know if a product is sold out, because the main page says "SOLD OUT" instead of "I want one". (Clever, eh?)


I missed yesterday's item, can I still get one?

No. Each woot.com product is discontinued at 11:59pm central time. That's that. Period. We may get more at a later date if we're lucky, but we offer no guarantees, we allow no backorders, and we have no waiting/notification lists. Too bad.


I want to talk to a live person there, can I call you?

No. We are busy sourcing new products and shipping orders. You can post a comment to our community board, but we don't guarantee we'll respond. You should Google for the manufacturer contact to get product answers – we suggest a dating service, magic 8 ball, or ouija board for general life solutions.


Will I receive customer support like I'm used to?

No. Well, not really. If you buy something you don't end up liking or you have what marketing people call "buyer's remorse," sell it on eBay. It's likely you'll make money doing this and save everyone a hassle. If the item doesn't work, find out what you're doing wrong. Yes, we know you think the item is bad, but it's probably your fault. Google your problem, or come back to that product discussion in our community and ask other people if they know. Try to call the manufacturer and ask if they know. If you give up and must return it to us, then follow on to the next FAQ entry.


How do I return a defective product?

Unless we specifically tell you not to, call the manufacturer of the product you bought. You will likely get a replacement of a new model or better item from them. If we still haven't dissuaded you, email rma@woot.com with your woot order number, the name of the product you are returning, and the detailed problem with the item. We will respond with return authorization by the next business day. Because we aren't likely to have a replacement in stock, you should be prepared for a refund-only option if that's all we can do. Know that return freight will be at your expense. Again, you will probably get a better deal from the manufacturer, or whoever else handling member service for that product.


Can Woot start listing sale prices in the blog entries?

No, not any time soon. Certain portions of our database have been seized by INTERPOL as part of an ongoing investigation into bootleg cigarette trafficking. Or, possibly, the Russian mafia has hacked our blog and disabled the price-listing function because it was somehow interfering with their spam operation. Or maybe we just don't feel like it. In any case, the answer is no.


Will Woot ever tell us how many units remain available in a given sale?

No. That would spoil the fun. But we will give you one hint, which brings us to...


Why is the "I Want One" button bouncing around?

Ah, that means we're in Urgent Mode. Act fast - a sellout is approaching! The bouncing button is like a nutty old prophet guy on the street wearing a signboard that says "THE END IS NIGH," only cleaner, less crazy, and more orange.


I see some orange flashing lights on the main page – what do they mean?

No, you aren't seeing a side effect from your allergy medication. You have found a Woot-Off, a short term frenzied mutation of our product posting procedure. In Woot-Off mode, a new product is launched immediately after the sellout of the previous deal. There is a half-Woot-life of 12 hours maximum on any product within a Woot-Off that does not sell out. The number of Woot-Off items, sequence, and quantity will not be announced. When Woot-Off mode is over, the orange lights will disappear and our normal schedule will resume. Depending on its success, this may be a mode we would go into once or twice a month for a relatively short duration of time (24-72 hours generally.)


Does Woot offer an RSS feed? Hey, what's an RSS feed anyway?

To answer your first question, yes. Simply subscribe to http://www.woot.com/blog/rss.aspx in your RSS reader to receive updates of all of our new items and new blog posts. Your life will immediately, measurably improve in ways you never thought possible.

To answer your second question: if you don't know what RSS is, how'd you ask the first question? Never mind; RSS is a way to receive headlines and article links whenever your favorite blogs and news sites update their content. All the cool kids are using it. To join in, you need to download and install an RSS reader – download your choice from this handy guide and follow the installation instructions. Once that's rolling, subscribe to http://www.woot.com/blog/rss.aspx. You'll never miss a Woot again, unless you do something foolish like fall asleep.


ORDERING

How do I create a Woot account?
Bold
Scroll up to the top of this page where it says "Hi. Are you new?" Click "Start here." You will need to supply a valid email address, a password of your choice, and a unique community nickname by which you will be known. Then click on the "woot me" button and your account is ready for buying products and using the forums. If you plan to buy, you can add your credit card and shipping info to your account here. You can also add or change it later by clicking on "My Account." Only one account per email address and credit card number is allowed.


What payment options do I have?

You can pay for your orders using VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, or Paypal. We do not accept checks, money orders, uncut gemstones, or broken promises.


What are my shipping options?

Currently, your shipping options are limited. An item can ship if you order it, or not ship if you don't. We will ship by common carrier and try to stick with the same service for most items. Right now, we are making Fed-Ex happy, but depending on a particular item, we could change to save cost.


How can I track my order?

Regardless of shipping method, you will get a tracking email once your order ships. You can check your order status by logging in and clicking the “My Account” tab at the top of the page. Your account page will list all your previous orders. Click on the order number to view tracking information for that order. Do not email us the next day asking when your item will ship. Take a breath. Have a cup of coffee. Patience in all things, grasshopper.


Why isn't my state/country/province listed; do you ship internationally?

No, we do not ship outside of the continental United States at this time. We do not ship to Canada, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming or Assinippi, Massachusetts at this time.


I'll take them all, what is my discount?

There is a maximum of 3 units purchased per order with 1 order per account each day. The shipping charge is only charged once so you'll save a slight amount on 2 or 3. You can't have them all. You have to share with the other boys and girls.


I'm a wholesaler/retailer/Bill Gates; can I buy from you in bulk?

No. You can buy a maximum of 3. Please don't ask again or we'll sprinkle some nasty microbes on your next order. Jeez, some people…


LAUNCH EVENTS

I see some kind of weird-looking pope hat on the main page. What's that about?

A Pope hat? Oh, that. It's supposed to be a rocket ship. In any case, that's our LAUNCH EVENT indicator! And boy, are you a lucky cuss. Spying the LAUNCH EVENT indicator is like catching sight of a leprechaun, or the elusive white whale. When you see it next to a Woot item, that item is available on Woot and nowhere else! Woot is the first and only place you can get such a doo-dad!


What do you mean “the first and only place?” Everything is attainable.

True, but assuming you're not a cat burglar, or an industrial spy, or the manufacturer's mistress, you won't have had an opportunity to pick up a Woot LAUNCH EVENT item before you see it here.


How come? Where do “LAUNCH EVENT” items come from?

It could be that you're looking at the item's initial market launch. Or it could be a special sneak preview just for Wooters. It could be that legislation banning the item has just expired. It could be that the item uses totally new technology bestowed upon us by a benevolent race of visiting aliens. (Overwhelmingly, it will be one of those first two.)


If this LAUNCH EVENT item isn't available anywhere else, how am I supposed to shop around and make comparisons?

Yeah, it sort of seems like you can't.


Why do you keep putting LAUNCH EVENT in all caps?

To fully convey its majesty.


Maybe I'll just wait until this item becomes more widely available, so I know what other users think of it.

If that's how you want to live your life, sure. Fine. There are those who would say that your type will inherit the earth. Until then, though, the rest of us will have all the coolest gizmos.


COMMUNITY

What is the Community?

The community section of Woot features four public forums. “Woots” is where we encourage everyone to post their comments, opinions, experiences, and share technical knowledge about each of our items. Does one of the items suck so bad that they should all be ritualistically burned en masse? Or perhaps a product rocks SO hard that everyone should sell their house, forget their past life, and buy a few of these up? You get the idea. “News” will carry announcements of new developments within the company, links to media pieces about Woot, that sort of thing. “Contests” is where our weekly contests will live, logically enough. And “Everything Else” is wide-open. This will be the only forum where users can start new topic discussions.


What's with the Blog?

Here, in the popular web log format, you'll find our daily items along with articles and links of interest to all our special little Wooters out there. Look for this section of the site to turn into quite the content carnival over the coming weeks. If you click on “comments” below a blog entry, you'll wind up at the forum discussion topic for that post.


How do I use the message board?

First, you will need a keyboard. Then you need a Woot account, which you can easily create by clicking “Start Here” or “My Account.” Once you're all logged in, simply go to “The Community,” click on the forum and topic in question, and then click on “Reply” or (in the Everything Else forum) “Post.” Feel free to let it fly, just keep it PG-13.


Which Woot staff people use the message boards?

We'll tell you, but you have to promise not to stalk us. As indicated by the fetching "Woot Staff Member" forum avatar, Snapster, Dave Bug, Luke Duff, Big D, Jason Toon, Solais, and Agnew are the real live Woot employees that you can rub e-shoulders with on the community boards. We've also recruited a few volunteer moderators and tagged them with a similar graphic. And any post by Administrator is official Woot bidness, too. Beware anybody else who seems to speak for us.


What is not allowed in the community?

First, the usual disclaimer – we're not responsible for the content of any user- submitted post in our community. In practice, we'll try to enforce some simple guidelines below. We want good and bad feedback and will not defend ourselves by means of censorship.
Do not post personal information such as addresses, phone numbers, etc.
Do not post any advertising to which you are related or stand to profit from the referral. (This means any reference to another site must be on topic, such as a lower price found, a product review, articles of particular interest to Wooters, etc.)
Do not post fake reviews (good or bad) of a product you have not physically used or seen used firsthand. Feel free to post what you've heard, just try to be clear and upfront about it.
Do not post anything that isn't safe for work, or safe for kids. Again, think PG-13. We're sure you're aware that there are plenty of forums on the web that would love to have your smut. This is not one of them, and we'll enforce it. Complain about it too much and we'll tell your grandma what a sicko you are.
Do not include any graphics in your signature that are larger than 5K in filesize, or in any other way obnoxious.
We know spamming and forum vandalism when we see it. We will enjoy ruthlessly destroying it. So bring it, chumps! Bring it!


THE PODCAST

What is this "podcast" you speak of?

It's an audio broadcast in mp3 form - basically an RSS feed that talks. The deal is, you use podcast software to subscribe to the podcasts you want to hear (more on that in a moment). Every time that podcast releases a new mp3 "episode", your software automatically downloads it for your listening pleasure. But seeing as how that's a pretty big hassle, we also let you directly download individual podcasts by clicking on the exclamation-point graphic to the left of the podcast title. And you can hit the "play" button on the little player just below the title to listen to a streaming version. All of these controls can be found on the front page of the site, and in the first post in that day's forum discussion. (Yes, past podcasts are still available for download through their respective forum discussions, hopefully forever.)


Why would I want to hear the Woot podcast?

Our podcast will pop up every weekday at midnight, to tell you about the new woot for the day, and to deliver an original song, skit, or other chunk of Woot-grade humor. They're all created by Matthew, one of the guys responsible for writing the famous Woot product descriptions.


So, the podcast is just somebody reading the product description from the site?

No, no no! Let us say it again: it will deliver an original song, skit, or other chunk of Woot-grade humor, five days a week. The sensibility will be the same, but the gags will all be fresh and exclusive.


I'm convinced. How can I subscribe to the Woot podcast?

If you want to use iTunes, click here and iTunes will start the process, all automatic-like. If you're hip to the game and you want to manually paste the URL of our podcast feed into iTunes or another podcast client, use http://www.woot.com/blog/rss.aspx, the same as our RSS feed. Our wise, witty, wonderful podcasts will begin appearing in your library every night like magical elves of pure sound. Enjoy.


Do I have to use an iPod or iTunes?

No. Don't be fooled by the name – podcasting is not just an Apple thing. The open-source partisans among you can use iPodder to download your podcasts, then play them however you play mp3s: on your computer's media software, your portable digital music player, whatevs. Just follow iPodder's instructions for subscribing. Or you can Google "podcast client" and see what you come up with. The point is, don't write off podcasting just because you're not down with the Jobs crew.


Can I hear the Woot podcast without going through the subscription process?

Why, yes. As we said above, you can also manually download an individual podcast mp3 by clicking the button next to the podcast title, or you can hear a streaming version by clicking the play button on the player. And both of those options are available on either Woot's front page and in the first post in that item's forum discussion. It's so easy, the only acceptable excuse for not listening is "I am a total lameoid who hates fun."


THE COMPANY

Where are you guys located?

In the hearts of gadget-loving skinflints everywhere, which happens to be just outside Dallas, Texas. A statistically insignificant few of us are based in St. Louis, Missouri.


Do you have a privacy policy? Is it a secret?

Yes, we do, and no, it's not a secret. Read it in full.


Can I work for Woot?

We don't know – can you? Check out our job listings and you tell us. We're not a huge operation, but we do have need of a few good homos sapiens from time to time. Repeatedly applying for jobs you are clearly not qualified for is a good way to wind up in our never-hire file


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How Genetics Work

How Genetics Work

Image Source : http://imgur.com/gallery/TKoOj

Abdullah bin Salam (question) :Why does a child resemble its father, and why does it resemble its maternal uncle?

Prophet Muhamad S.A.W (answer ) : As for the resemblance of the child to its parents: If a man has sexual intercourse with his wife and gets discharge first, the child will resemble the father, and if the woman gets discharge first, the child will resemble her.


Please refer to the following hadith for the full text of hadith (Prophet Saying)

Volume 4, Book 55, Number 546:

Narrated Anas:

When 'Abdullah bin Salam heard the arrival of the Prophet at Medina, he came to him and said, "I am going to ask you about three things which nobody knows except a prophet: What is the first portent of the Hour? What will be the first meal taken by the people of Paradise? Why does a child resemble its father, and why does it resemble its maternal uncle" Allah's Apostle said, "Gabriel has just now told me of their answers." 'Abdullah said, "He (i.e. Gabriel), from amongst all the angels, is the enemy of the Jews." Allah's Apostle said, "The first portent of the Hour will be a fire that will bring together the people from the east to the west; the first meal of the people of Paradise will be Extra-lobe (caudate lobe) of fish-liver. As for the resemblance of the child to its parents: If a man has sexual intercourse with his wife and gets discharge first, the child will resemble the father, and if the woman gets discharge first, the child will resemble her." On that 'Abdullah bin Salam said, "I testify that you are the Apostle of Allah." 'Abdullah bin Salam further said, "O Allah's Apostle! The Jews are liars, and if they should come to know about my conversion to Islam before you ask them (about me), they would tell a lie about me." The Jews came to Allah's Apostle and 'Abdullah went inside the house. Allah's Apostle asked (the Jews), "What kind of man is 'Abdullah bin Salam amongst you?" They replied, "He is the most learned person amongst us, and the best amongst us, and the son of the best amongst us." Allah's Apostle said, "What do you think if he embraces Islam (will you do as he does)?" The Jews said, "May Allah save him from it." Then 'Abdullah bin Salam came out in front of them saying, "I testify that None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah." Thereupon they said, "He is the evilest among us, and the son of the evilest amongst us," and continued talking badly of him.

Round Like a Shot

Round like a shot... Going to bed the other night, I noticed people in my shed stealing things. I phoned the police but was told there was no one in the area to help. The policeman said they would send someone over as soon as possible. I hung up.

A minute later I rang again. 'Hello', I said, 'I called you a minute ago because there were people in my shed. You don't have to hurry now, because I've shot them.' Within five minutes there were half a dozen police cars in the area, plus helicopters and an armed response unit. They caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the officers said: 'I thought you said you'd shot them.' To which I replied: 'I thought you said there was no one available.'

Article by Tony Gladstone



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why Bank Of America Fired Me

Bank of America fired Jackie Ramos after she took a stand against the bank's $15 "convenience" charges and $39 over-the-limit fees so she could sleep better at night.

"There was something inherently evil about my job," the 23-year-old said in a YouTube video she uploaded on Nov. 27, two days after her termination.

Ramos, of Fairburn, Ga., worked as a "customer advocate," which involved calling people who fall behind on credit card payments and either encouraging them to pay or modifying their accounts. But not all customers qualify for modification programs that will help them, and Ramos grew tired of saying no after six months on the job.

"So I stopped denying people," said Ramos. "I helped people get on programs that they didn't necessarily qualify for but who definitely needed the help."

Bank of America declined to comment on Ramos's video but confirmed her account of the firing.

"Ms. Ramos clearly violated some bank policies, particularly around misrepresenting customer information," said spokesman Tony Allen. "Perhaps more egregious, she encouraged customers to misrepresent their information."

Allen said that as of Oct. 31, Bank of America has modified over one million customer accounts totaling $10 billion in outstanding debt by lowering interest rates or modifying monthly payments. He said the bank expects to modify between 1.2 and 1.5 million consumer and small business credit card accounts in all of 2009.

In an interview with HuffPost, Ramos emphasized that she did not make the video out of any bitterness toward Bank of America, and she said that she does not consider her former employer any worse than other credit card companies -- she's angry about the whole system.

"I feel like there's a real credit problem in this country," she said. "Too many people are complacent... Slavery was also legal at one point in time. It was the law. Now we have 30 percent interest rates, $39 late fees and over-limit fees. I want the laws changed. I want the federal government to protect its people and do what it's supposed to do."

YouTube has been an effective venue for bank customers outraged that an industry kept afloat with taxpayer dollars is raising fees, interest rates and minimum monthly payments. Ann Minch of Red Bluff, Calif. won a reduced interest rate after she declared a "debtors' revolt" in September. Her video spawned imitators such as former Bank of America employee Ben Frasier of Douglas, Ore., who said "Bank of America will stop at nothing to turn an insane profit at your expense."

Personal finance guru Suze Orman hailed the "debtors' revolt" and said banks should take notice.

In her video, Ramos said she'd never forget one customer in particular -- a 24-year-old mother with cancer who'd recently lost her mom and husband but still wanted to pay off a $6,000 debt. The woman didn't qualify for any program that would help her.

"She sobbed on the phone telling me she couldn't afford the 30 percent interest... that we had her account on. She couldn't afford the $39 late fee, the $39 over-limit fee. She told me that we were her first credit card when she turned 18, we were her only credit card, and that she was a loyal customer. And given the time to be on this earth a little while longer she would have always remained a loyal customer.

"According to Bank of America, she doesn't have enough income to be put on a program, but she can however keep paying the high interest rates on the account, and fees, because at the end of the day, it is her account, she did rack up the debt, she was late, and she did deserve the 29.99 percent interest rate."

Ramos lives with her fiance and two-year-old son in Fairburn, Ga.

Source : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/07/jackie-ramos-bank-of-amer_n_381940.html



Monday, December 14, 2009

The first video on Youtube, Me at the zoo

This was the first youtube video posted by one the Youtube founders Jawed Karim.

Youtube was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim who were former PayPal employees. In November 2006, YouTube was bought by Google Inc. for $1.65 billion.



Monday, November 30, 2009

Answering Terrorism - Defending the Transgressed

Very good article written by Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti to answer terrorism and the current trend of radical muslims blowing up their own brothers and innocent non muslim to achieve their political agenda.

May Allah (S.W.T) bless Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti for his good work.

Original Source : http://www.livingislam.org/maa/dcmm_e.html


Defending the Transgressed: Mudafi' al-Mazlum

By Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti

Mudâfi' al-Mazlum bi-Radd al-Muhâmil 'alâ Qitâl Man Lâ Yuqâtil


With An Introduction By Shaykh Gibril F Haddad

Fatwa Against The Targeting Of Civilians

© 2005 Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti

This text is also in pdf <>
It has been published by Amal Press in a volume with other authors entitled 'The State We Are In: Identity, Terror and the Law of Jihad', and published seperately as a booklet by Aqsa Press and Warda Publications.


Contents


Introduction by Shaykh Gibril F Haddad
Glossary
Defending the Transgressed By Censuring The Reckless Against The Killing Of Civilians
Initial Question
Excerpt from an Article by a Group called 'al-Muhajiroun'
Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti's Fatwa
Fasl I. The Target: Maqtûl
Fasl II. The Authority: Âmir al-Qitâl
Fasl III. The Method: Maqtûl bih
Hâsil (Legal Outcome)
Masâ'il Mufassala (Various Questions)
Tatimma (Conclusion)
Select Bibliography


Introduction

down

In the Name of God, the All-Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Gentle reader, Peace upon those who follow right guidance!
I am honored to present the following fatwa or "response by a qualified Muslim Scholar" against the killing of civilians by the Oxford-based Malaysian jurist of the Shafi`i School and my inestimable teacher, Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti, titledDefending the Transgressed by Censuring the Reckless against the Killing of Civilians.

The Shaykh authored it in a few days, after I asked him to offer some guidance on the issue of targeting civilians and civilian centers by suicide bombing in response to a pseudo-fatwa by a deviant UK-based group which advocates such crimes.

Upon reading Shaykh Afifi's fatwa do not be surprised to find that you have probably never before seen such clarity of thought and expression together with breadth of knowledge of Islamic Law applied (by a non- native speaker) to define key Islamic concepts pertaining to the conduct of war and its jurisprudence, its arena and boundaries, suicide bombing, the reckless targeting of civilians, and more.

May it bode the best start to true education on the impeccable position of Islam squarely against terrorism in anticipation of the day all its culprits are brought to justice.

Dear Muslim reader, as-Salâmu `alaykum wa-rahmatuLlâh:
Read this luminous Fatwa by Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti carefully and learn it. Distribute it, publicize it, and teach it. Perhaps we will be counted among those who do something to redress wrong, not only with our hearts as we always do, but also with our tongues, in the fashion of the inspired teachers and preachers of truth.

I have tried to strike the keynote of this Fatwa in a few lines of free verse, mostly to express my thanks to our Teacher but also to seize the opportunity of such a long-expected response to remind myself of the reasons why I embraced Islam in the first place.

A TAQRIZ – HUMBLE COMMENDATION:

Praise to God Whose Law shines brighter than the sun!
Blessings and peace on him who leads to the abode of peace!
Truth restores honor to the Religion of goodness.
Patient endurance lifts the oppressed to the heights
While gnarling mayhem separates like with like:
The innocent victims on the one hand and, on the other,
Silver-tongued devils and wolves who try to pass for just!

My God, I thank You for a Teacher You inspired
With words of light to face down Dajjal's advocates.
Allâh bless you, Ustadh Afifi, for Defending the Transgressed
By Censuring the Reckless Against the Killing of Civilians
!
Let the powers that be and every actor-speaker high and low
Heed this unique Fatwa of knowledge and responsibility.

Let every lover of truth proclaim, with pride once more,
What the war-mongers try to bury under lies and bombs:
Islam is peace and truth, the Rule of Law, justice and right!
Murderous suicide is never martyrdom but rather perversion,
Just as no flag on earth can ever justify oppression.
And may God save us from all criminals, East and west!


By permission of Shaykh Afifi I have done some very light editing having
to do mostly with style, spelling, or punctuation such as standardizing
spacing between paragraphs, providing in-text translations of a couple
of Arabic supplications, adding quotation marks to mark out textual
citations, and so forth.

I also provided the following alphabetical glossary of arabic terms not
already glossed by the Shaykh directly in the text

May Allâh Subhânahu wa-Ta'âlâ save Shaykh Muhammad Afifi here and hereafter, may He reward him and his teachers for this blessed work and grant us its much-needed benefits, not least of which the redress of our actions and beliefs for safety here and hereafter.

Blessings and peace on the Prophet, his Family, and all his Companions,
wal-hamdu liLlâhi Rabb al-'âlamîn.

G.F. Haddad
Day of Jumu`a after `Asr
1 Rajab al-Haram 1426
5 August 2005
Brunei Darussalam

GLOSSARY

ahl = [1] people; [2] qualified adherents or practicioners
`aql = intellect, reason
Ahâdith al-Ahkâm = hadîthic proof-texts for legal rulings
`amal = deed, action
asl = see usul
Âyât al-Ahkâm = Qur'ânic proof-texts for legal rulings
bâb = chapter or legal subject
Banû Âdam = human beings
dâbit = see dawâbit
darûra = necessity
dawâbit = pl. of dâbit = standard or pricipal rule
Doctor Angelicus = The Angelic Scholar, a title given to Thomas Aquinas,
the great theologian of the western Church.
da`i = summoner or preacher
dunyâ = this world, this life
fâ'ida = benefit
faqîh = see fiqh
fard `ayn = personal obligation
fard kifâya = communal obligation
far`i = adj. from far`, see furu`
fasl = see fusûl
fatwâ = legal opinion, legal response
fiqh = Islamic jurisprudence, the expertise of the faqîh; adj. fiqhî = legal
fitna = strife, temptation, seduction, delusion, chaos, trial and
tribulation
fitra = sane mind and soul, primordial disposition
fuqahâ' = pl. of faqîh (q.v.)
furû` = pl. of far`, [1] branches (of the Law), secondary legal texts;
[2] corollaries, corollary legal principles
fusûl = pl. of fasl = sections or legal particulars
Hadîth = saying of the Prophet Muhammad, upon him blessings and peace
halâl = lawful, permitted
harâm = categorically prohibited, unlawful
hâsil = legal outcome
hukm [shar`i] = legal status, legal ruling
Iblîs = Satan
Ihsân = Excellence, the pinnacle of religious practice
Ijmâ` = Consensus
ijtihâd = independent judgement, personal decision
insâf = fairness, setting things right
Jâhilî = lit. ignorant; a pre-Islamic or pagan Arab
Jamâ`a = the Orthodox Community
Jamâl al-Shuhadâ' = The Beauty of Martyrs, the title of the
murdered vizier Nizâm al-Mulk
Jihâd = moral or military struggle by the mujâhid
khilâf = (juridical) disagreement
khilâfiyya = fem. adjective from khilâf
= having to do with (juridical) disagreement
madhhab = school of Law
makrûh = detestable, abhorrent, abominable, disliked, legally offensive
maqâsid = pl. of maqsad, objective or ends
maqsad = see maqâsid
masâ'il = pl. of mas'ala = question or legal discussion or case
masâ'il mufassala = detailed questions and answers
mas'ala = see masâ'il
maslaha = welfare, public/general good
mubâh = indifferently permissible
mufassir = exegete
muftî = one who formulates fatwâs or formal legal responses
Muhaqqiq = The Careful Examiner, a title given to Imâm al-Kurdî,
one of the last great jurist of our School
mujâhid = one who does jihâd (q.v.)
mukallaf = legally-responsible Muslim
mushâraka = mutual or reciprocal matter
nafs = ego, self
nasîha = faithful, sincere advice
qadâyâ = pl. of qadîya = issue or legal context
qâdî = judge in an Islamic court of law
qâ'ida = see qawâ'id
qâtil nafsah = self-killer, suicide
qawâ'id = pl. of qâ'ida = maxim or legal principle
qawl = saying or legal position
qitâl = warfare, battle
sabab al-wujûd = raison d'être
sabr = patient endurance and fortitude
Sahâbî = Companions of Prophet Muhammad, upon whom blessings and peace
Salaf = Pious Predecssors, early authorities
shahîd, pl. shuhadâ' = self-sacrificing believer
who dies for the sake of God alone, "martyr"
shar`i = adj. legitimate in the eyes of the
Shari`a (Islamic Law), lawful, legal
siyar = military expeditions
sunna = way, path
sûra = a chapter of the Qurân
Tâbi`î = Successor of the Companions
tafakkur = reflection
tafsîl = detailed legal discussion
tahluka = self-destruction
thaghrîr bil-nafs = risking one's life
tatimma = conclusion
tawakkul = reliance upon God
thawâbit = pl. of thâbit = axiom
Umma = the Muslim Community at large
usûl = pl. of asl = foundational principle; adj. usûlî
wahm = imaginative faculty or emotions
wasâ'il = pl. of wasîla, means
wasîla = see wasâ'il


Defending the Transgressed By
Censuring The Reckless Against
The Killing Of Civilians

Fatwa
according to
the Madhhab of Imâm Shâfi'î
by
Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti


Initial Question
If you have time to address this delicate issue for the benefit of this mercied Umma which is reeling in fitna day in and day out, perhaps a few blessed words might use a refutation of the following text as a springboard?
I would like you to read the following article which highlights some of the problems we are facing, and [shows] why it is quite possible that young Muslims turn to extremism. The article was issued by "Al-Muhajiroun" not long ago, headed by Omar Bakri Mohammed, and whatever our reservations about the man, it is the content I am more concerned about, and it is possibly these types of writings which need to be confronted head-on.


Excerpt from an Article by a Group called 'al-Muhajiroun':

AQD UL AMAAN: THE COVENANT OF SECURITY

The Muslims living in the west are living under a covenant of security, it is not allowed for them to fight anyone with whom they have a covenant of security, abiding by the covenant of security is an important obligation upon all Muslims. However for those Muslims living abroad, they are not under any covenant with the kuffar in the west, so it is acceptable for them to attack the non-Muslims in the west whether in retaliation for constant bombing and murder taking place all over the Muslim world at the hands of the non-Muslims, or if it an offensive attack in order to release the Muslims from the captivity of the kuffar. For them, attacks such as the September 11th Hijackings is a viable option in jihad, even though for the Muslims living in America who are under covenant, it is not allowed to do operations similar to those done by the magnificent 19 on the 9/11. This article speaks about the covenant and what the scholars have said regarding Al Aqd Al Amaan - the covenant of security. [...]

Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti's Fatwa

bismillahi r-rahman al-rahim
al-hamdulillah alladhi yahuddu l-harba wa-la yuhibbu l-mu'tadina wa s-salatu wa-s-salamu 'ala qa'idi l-ummah alladhi huwa asbaru 'ala adha l-a'da'i bi-futuwwatin kamilatin wa-muru'atin shamilatin wa-'ala alihi wa-ashabihi wa-jayshihi ajma'in!

[In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate.
Praise be to God Who sets the boundaries of war and does not love transgressors! Blessings and peace on the General of the Community, the most patient of men in the face of the harm of enemies, with perfect chivalry and complete manliness, and upon all his Family, Companions, and Army!]

This is a collection of masâ'il, entitled:
Mudâfi' al-Mazlûm bi-Radd al-Muhâmil 'alâ Qitâl Man Lâ Yuqâtil
[Defending the Transgressed, by Censuring the Reckless against the Killing of Civilians], written in response to the fitna reeling this mercied Umma, day in and day out, which is partly caused by those who, wilfully or not, misunderstand the legal discussions of the chapter on warfare outside its proper contexts (of which the technical fiqh terminology varies with bâb: siyar, jihâd, or qitâl), which have been used by them to justify their wrong actions. May Allâh open our eyes to the true meaning [haqîqa] of sabr and to the fact that only through it can we successfully endure the struggles we face in this dunyâ, especially during our darkest hours; for indeed He is with those who patiently endure tribulations!

There is no khilâf that all the Shafi'i fuqahâ' of today and other Sunni specialists in the Sacred Law from the Far East to the Middle East reject outright [mardûd] the above opinion and consider it not only an anomaly [shâdhdh] and very weak [wâhin] but also completely wrong [bâtil] and a misguided innovation [bid'a dalâla]: the 'amalcannot at all be adopted by any mukallaf. It is regrettable too that the above was written in a legal style at which any doctor of the Law should be horrified and appalled (since it is an immature yet persuasive attempt to mask a misguided personal opinion with authority from fiqh, and an effort to hijack our Law by invoking one of the many qadâya of this bâb while recklessly neglecting others). It should serve to remind the students of fiqh of the importance of the forming in one's mind and being aware throughout of the thawâbit and the dawâbit when reading a furû'text, in order to ensure that those principal rules have not been breached in any given legal case.

The above opinion is problematic in three legal particulars [fusûl]:

(1) the target [maqtûl]: without doubt, civilians;

(2) the authority for carrying out the killing [âmir al-qitâl]: as no Muslim authority has declared war, or if there has been such a declaration there is at the time a ceasefire [hudna]; and

(3) the way in which the killing is carried out [maqtûl bih]: since it is either harâm and is also cursed as it is suicide [qâtil nafsah], or at the very least doubtful [shubuhât] in a way such that it must be avoided by those who are religiously scrupulous [wara']. Any sane Muslim who would believe otherwise and think the above to be not a crime [jinâya] would be both reckless [muhmil] and deluded [maghrûr]. Instead, whether he realizes it or not, by doing so he would be hijacking rules from our Law which are meant for the conventional (or authorized) army of a Muslim state and addressed to those with authority over it (such as the executive leaders, the military commanders and so forth), but not to individuals who are not connected to the military or those without the political authority of the state [dawla].

The result in Islamic jurisprudence is: if a Muslim carries out such an attack voluntarily, he becomes a murderer and not a martyr or a hero, and he will be punished for that in the Next World.

Fasl I. The Target: Maqtûl
The proposition: "so it is acceptable for them to attack the non-Muslims in the west", where"non-Muslims" can be taken to mean, and indeed does mean in the document, non-combatants, civilians, or in the terminology of fiqh: those who are not engaged in direct combat [man la yuqâtilu].

This opinion violates a well known principal rule [dâbit] from our Law:

"la yajUzu qatlu nisA'ihim wa-la SibyAnihim idhA lam yuqAtilU"

[it is not permissible to kill their [i.e., the opponents'] women and children if they are not in direct combat.]

This is based on the Prophetic prohibition on soldiers from killing women and children, from the well known Hadith of Ibn 'Umar (may Allâh be pleased with them both!) related by Imams Malik, al-Shafi'i, Ahmad, al-Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi, al-Bayhaqi and al-Baghawi (may Allâh be well pleased with them all!) and other Hadiths.

Imam al-Subki ( raDiy-Allahu-anhu.gif may Allâh be pleased with him!) made it unequivocally clear what scholars have understood from this prohibition in which the standard rule of engagement taken from it is that: "[a Muslim soldier] may not kill any women or any child-soldiers unless they are in combat directly, and they can only be killed in self-defence" [al-Nawawi, Majmû', 21:57].

It goes without saying that men and innocent bystanders who are not direct combatants are also included in this prohibition. The nature of this prohibition is so specific and well-defined that there can be no legal justification, nor can there be a legitimate shar'î excuse, for circumventing this convention of war by targeting non-combatants or civilians whatsoever, and that the hukm shar'î of killing them is not onlyharâm but also a Major Sin [Kabira] and contravenes one of the principal commandments of our way of life.

II. The Authority: Âmir al-Qitâl
The proposition: "so it is acceptable for them to attack the non-Muslims in the west whether in retaliation for constant bombing and murder taking place all over the Muslim world at the hands of the non-Muslims," where it implies that a state of war exist with this particular non-Muslim state on account of its being perceived as the aggressor.

This opinion violates the most basic rules of engagement from our Law:

"amru l-jihAdi mawkulun ila l-imAmi wa-ijtihAdihi wa-yalzamu r-ra'iyyata TA'atuhu fImA yarAhu min dhalika"

[The question of declaring war (or not) is entrusted to the executive authority and to its decision: compliance with that decision is the subject's duty with respect to what the authority has deemed apropriate in that matter.]

and

"wa-li-imamin aw amirin khiyarun bayna l-kaffi wa l-qitAli"
[The executive or its subordinate authority has the option of whether or not
to declare war ].

Decisions of this kind for each Muslim state, such as those questions dealing with ceasefire ['aqd al-hudna], peace settlement ['aqd al-amân] and the judgment on prisoners of war [al-ikhtâr fi asîr] can only be dealt with by the executive or political authority [imâm] or by a subordinate authority appointed by the former authority [amîr mansûbin min jihati l-imâm]. This is something Muslims take for granted from the authority of our naql [scriptures] such that none will reject it except those who betray their 'aql [intellect]. The most basic legal reason ['illa aslîyya] is that this matter is one that involves the public interest, and thus consideration of it belongs solely to the authority:

li-anna hadhA l-amra mina l-masAliHi l-'Ammati
allati yakhtassu l-imAmi bi-n-naZari fI-hA
.

All of this is based on the well known legal principle [qâ'ida]:

taSarrufu l-imAmi 'ala r-ra'iyyati manUTun bi l-maSlaHati
[The decisions of the authority on behalf of the subjects
are dependent upon the public good].

And:

fa-yaf'alu l-imAmu wujUban al-aHaZZa li-l-MuslimIna li-ijtihAdihi
[So the authority must act for the greatest advantage
of (all of) the Muslims in making its judgement].

Nasîha: Uppermost in the minds of the authority during their deliberation over whether or not to wage war should be the awareness that war is only a means and not the end. Hence, if there are other ways of achieving the aim, and the highest aim is the right to practice our religion openly (as is indeed the case in modern day Spain, for example, unlike in medieval Reconquista Spain), then it is better [awlâ] not to go to war. This has been expressed in a few words by Imam al-Zarkashî ( raDiy-Allahu-anhu.gif may Allâh be pleased with him!):

wujUbuhu wujUbu l-wasA'ili lA l-maqASidi
[Its necessity is the necessity of means, not ends.]

The upshot is, whether one likes it or not, the decision and discretion and right to declare war or jihâd for Muslims lie solely with the various authorities as represented today by the respective Muslim states - and not with any individual, even if he is a scholar or a soldier (and not just anyone is a soldier or a scholar) - in the same way that an authority (such as the qâdî in a court of law: mahkamah) is the only one with the right to excommunicate or declare someone an apostate [murtad]. Otherwise, the killing would be extra-judicial and unauthorized.

Even during the period of the Ottoman caliphate, for example, another Muslim authority elsewhere, such as in the Indian subcontinent, could have been engaged in a war when at the same time the Khalifa's army was at peace with the same enemy. This is how it has been throughout our long history, and this is how it will always be, and this is the reality on the ground.

Fasl III. The Method: Maqtûl bih
The proposition: "attacks such as the September 11th Hijackings is a viable option in jihâd,"where such attacks employ tactics - analogous to the Japanese "kamikaze" missions during the Second World War - that have been described variously as self-sacrificing or martyrdom or suicide missions.

There is no question among scholars, and there is no khilâf on this this question by any qâdî, muftî or faqîh, that this proposition and those who accept it are without doubt breaching the scholarly consensus [mukhâlifun li-l-ijmâ'] of the Muslims since it resulted in the killing of non-combatants; moreover, the proposition is an attempt to legitimize the killing of indisputable non-combatants.

As for the kamikaze method and tactic in which it was carried out, there is a difference of opinion with some jurists as to whether or not it constitutes suicide, which is not only Haram but also cursed. In this, there are further details. (Note that in all of the following cases, it is already assumed that the target is legitimate - i.e., a valid military target - and that the action is carried out during a valid war when there is no ceasefire [fi hâl al-harb wa-lâ l-hudnata fihi], just as with the actual circumstance of the Japanese kamikaze attacks.)

Tafsîl I: If the attack involves a bomb placed on the body or placed so close to the bomber that when the bomber detonates it the bomber is certain [yaqîn] to die, then the More Correct Position [Qawl Asahh] according to us is that it does constitute suicide. This is because the bomber, being also the maqtûl [the one killed], is unquestionably the same as the qâtil [the immediate and active agent that kills] =qâtil nafsah [self-killing, i.e. suicide].

Furu': If the attack involves a bomb (such as the lobbing of a grenade and the like), but the attacker thinks that when it is detonated , it is uncertain [zann] whether he will die in the process or survive the attack, then the Correct Position [Qawl Sahîh] is that this does not constitute suicide, and were he to die in this selfless act, he becomes what we properly call a martyr or hero [shahîd]. This is because the attacker, were he to die, is not the active, willing agent of his own death, since the qâtil is probably someone else.

An example [sûra] of this is: when in its right place and circumstance, such as in the midst of an ongoing fierce battle against an opponent's military unit, whether ordered by his commanding officer or whether owing to his own initiative, the soldier makes a lone charge and as a result of that initiative manages to turn the tide of the day's battle but dies in the process (and not intentionally at his own hand). That soldier died as a hero (and this circumstance is precisely the context of becoming ashahîd - in Islamic terminology - as he died selflessly). If he survives, he wins a Medal of Honour or at the least becomes an honoured war hero and is remembered as a famous patriot (in our terminology, becoming a true mujâhid).

This is precisely the context of the mas'ala concerning the "lone charger" [al-hâjim al-wahîd] and the meaning of putting one's life in danger [al-taghrîr bil-nafs] found in all of the fiqh chapters concerning warfare. The Umma's Doctor Angelicus, Imâm al-Ghazâlî ( raDiy-Allahu-anhu.gif may Allâh be pleased with him!) provides the best impartial summation:


“If it is said: What is the meaning of the words of the Most High:

{wa-lA tulqU bi-aydIkum ila t-tahlukati}
{and do not throw into destruction by your own hands!}
(al-Baqara, 2:195)?

"We say: There is no difference [of opinion amongst scholars] regarding the lone Muslim [soldier] who charges into the battle-lines of the [opposing] non-Muslim [army that is presently in a state of war with his army and is facing them in a battle] and fights [them] even if he knows that he will almost certainly be killed. The case might be thought to go against the requirements of the Verse, but that is not so. Indeed, Ibn 'Abbâs (may Allâh be well pleased with both of them!) says: [the meaning of] "destruction" is not that [incident]. Instead, [its meaning] is to neglect providing [adequate] supplies [nafaqa: for the military campaign; and in the modern context, the state should provide the arms and equipment and so forth for that for which all of this is done] in obedience to God [as in the first part of the Verse which says:

{wa-anfiqU fI sabIli LlAhi}
{And spend for the sake of God} (al-Baqara, 2:195)
]. That is, those who fail to do that will destroy themselves. [In another Sahâbîauthority:] al-Barâ' Ibn 'Âzib [al-Ansâri (may Allâh be well pleased with them both!)] says: [the meaning of] "destruction" is [a Muslim] committing a sin and then saying: 'my repentance will not be accepted'. [A Tâbi'î authority] Abû 'Ubayda says: it [the meaning of "destruction"] is to commit a sin and then not perform a good deed after it before he perishes. [Ponder over this!]

In the same way that it is permissible [for the Muslim soldier in the incident above] to fight the non-Muslim [army] until he is killed [in the process], that [extent and consequence] is also permissible for him [i.e., the enforcer of the Law, since the `â'id (antecedent) here goes back to the original pronoun [dâmir al-asl] for this bâb: the muhtasib or enforcer, such as the police] in [matters of] law enforcement [hisba].

However, [note the following qualification (qayd):] were he to know [zanni] that his charge will not cause harm to the non-Muslim [army], such as the blind or the weak throwing himself into the [hostile] battle-lines, then it is prohibited [harâm], and [this latter incident] is included under the general meaning ['umûm] of "destruction" from the Verse [for in this case, he will be literally throwing himself into destruction].

It is only permissible for him to advance [and suffer the consequences] if he knows that he will be able to fight [effectively] until he is killed, or knows that he will be able to demoralize the hearts and minds of the non-Muslim [army]: by their witnessing his courage and by their conviction that the rest of the Muslim [army] are [also] selfless [qilla al-mubâla] in their loyalty to sacrifice for the sake of God [the closest modern non-Muslim parallel would be 'to die for one's country']. By this, their will to fight [shawka] will become demoralized [and so this may cause panic and rout them and thereby be the cause of their battle-lines to collapse].”
[al-Ghazali, Ihya', 2:315-6]

It is clear that this selfless deed which any modern soldier, Muslim or non-Muslim, might perform in battle today is not suicide. It may hyperbolically be described as a 'suicidal' attack, but to endanger one's life is one thing and to commit suicide during the attack is obviously another. And as the passage shows, it is possible to have both situations: an attack that is taghrîr bil-nafs, which is not prohibited; and an attack that is of the tahluka-type, which is prohibited.

Tafsîl II: If the attack involves ramming a vehicle into a military target and the attacker is certain to die, precisely like the historical Japanese kamikaze missions, then our jurists have disagreed over whether it does or does not constitute suicide.

Qawl A: Those who consider it a suicide argue that there is the possibility [zannî] that the maqtûl is the same as the qâtil (as in Tafsil I above) and would therefore not allow for any other qualification whatsoever, since suicide is a cursed sin.

Qawl B: Whereas those who consider otherwise, even with the possibility that themaqtûl is the same as the qâtil, will allow some other qualification such as the possibility that by carrying it out the battle of the day could be won. There are further details in this alternative position, such as that the commanding officer does not have the right to command anyone under him to perform this dangerous mission, so that were it to be sanctioned, it could only be when it is not under anyone else's orders and is the lone initiative of the concerned soldier (such as in defiance of the standing orders of his commanding officer).

The first of the two positions is the Preferred Position [muttajih] among our jurists, as the second is the rarer because of the vagueness of a precedent, and its legal details are fraught with further difficulties and ambiguities, and its opposing position [muqâbil] carries such a weighty consequence (namely, that of suicide, for which there is Ijmâ' that the one who commits suicide will be damned to committing it eternally forever).

In addition to this juristic preference, the first position is also preferable and better since it is the original or starting state [asl], and by invoking the well-known and accepted legal principle:

al-khurUju mina l-khilAfi mustaHabbun
[To avoid controversy is preferable.]

Finally, the first position is religiously safer, since owing to the ambiguity itself of the legal status of the person performing the act - whether it will result in the maqtûlbeing also the qâtil - and since there is doubt and uncertainty over the possibility of its either being or not being the case, then this position falls under the type of doubtful matters [shubuhât] of the kind [naw'] that should be avoided by those who are religiously scrupulous [wara']. And here, the wisdom of our wise Prophet ( MHMD may Allâh's blessings and peace be upon him!) is illuminated from the Hadith of al-Nu'man ( raDiy-Allahu-anhu.gif may Allâh be well pleased with him!):

"fa-mani ttaqA sh-shubuhAti istabra'a li-dInihi wa 'irDihi"
[He who saves himself from doubtful matters will save his religion and his honour.]

(Related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, al-Tabarani, and al-Bayhaqi with variants.)

Wa-Llâhu a'lam bis-sawâb! [God knows best what is right!]

Fa'ida: The original ruling [al-asl] for using a bomb (the medieval precedents: Greek fire [qitâl bil-nâr or ramy al-naft] and catapults [manjanîq]) as a weapon is that it ismakrûh [offensive] because it kills indiscriminately [ya'ummu man yuqâtilû wa-man lâ yuqâtilû], as opposed to using rifles (medieval example: a single bow and arrow). If the indiscriminate weapon is used in a place where there are civilians, it becomesharâm except when used as a last resort [min darûra] (and of course, by those military personnel authorised to do so).


Hâsil

From the consideration of the foregoing three legal particulars, it is evident that the opinion expressed regarding the 'amal in the above article is untenable by the standards of our Sacred Law.

As to those who may still be persuaded by it and suppose that the action is something that can be excused on the pretext that there is scholarly khilâf on the details of Tafsil II from Fasl III above (and that therefore, the 'amal itself could at the end of the day be accommodated by invoking the guiding principle that one should be flexible with regards to legal controversies [masâ'il khilâfiyya] and agree to disagree); know then there is no khilâf among scholars that that rationale does not stand, since it is well known that:

lA yunkaru l-mukhtalafu fIhi wa-innamA yunkaru l-mujma'u 'alayhi
[The controversial cannot be denied; only (breach of) the unanimous can be denied.]

Since at the very least, it is agreed upon by all that killing non-combatants is prohibited, there is no question whatsoever that the 'amal overall is outlawed.

The qâ'ida, which is expressed very tersely above, means, understood correctly, that an action about which there is khilâf may be excused, while an action that contravenes the Ijmâ' is categorically rejected.


Masâ'il Mufassala

Question I

If it is said: "I have heard that Islam says the killing of civilians is allowed if they are non-Muslims."

We say: On a joking note (but ponder over this so your hearts may be opened!): the authority is not with what Islam says but with what Allâh (Exalted is He!) and His Messenger ( MHMD may His blessings and peace be upon him!) have said!

But seriously: the answer is absolutely no; for even a novice student of fiqh would be able to see that the first dâbit above concerns already a non-Muslim opponent in the case of a state of war having been validly declared by a Muslim authority against a particular non-Muslim enemy, even when that civilian is a subject or in the care [dhimma] of the hostile non-Muslim state [Dâr al-Harb]. If this is the extent of the limitation to be observed with regards to non-Muslim civilians associated with a declared enemy force, what higher standard will it be in cases if it is not a valid war or when the status of war becomes ambiguous? Keep in mind that there are more than 100 Verses in the Qur'ân commanding us at all times to be patient in the face of humiliation and to turn away from violence [al-i'râd 'ani l-mushrikîn wa l-sabr 'alâ adhâ l-a'dâ'], while there is only one famous Verse in which war (which does not last forever) becomes an option (in our modern context: for a particular Muslim authority and not an individual), when a particular non-Muslim force has drawn first blood.

Question II

If it is said: "What about the verse of the Qur'an which says {kill the unbelievers wherever you find them} and the Sahih Hadith which says 'I have been ordered to fight against the people until they testify'?"

We say: It is well known among scholars that the following verse,

{fa-qtulU l-mushrikIna Haythu wajad-tumUhum}
{kill the idolaters wherever you find them}(al-Tawba, 9:5)
is in reference to a historical episode: those among the Meccan Confederates who breached the Treaty of Hudaybiyya [Sulh al-Hudaybiyya] which led to the Victory of Mecca [Fath Makka], and that therefore, no legal rulings, or in other words, no practical or particular implications, can be derived from this Verse on its own. The Divine Irony and indeed Providence from the last part of the Verse, {wherever you find them} - which many of our mufassirs understood in reference to place (i.e., attack them whether inside the Sacred Precinct or not) - is that the victory against the Meccans happened without a single battle taking place, whether inside the Sacred Precinct or otherwise, rather, there was a general amnesty [wa-mannun 'alayhi bi-takhliyati sabîlihi or naha 'an safki d-dima'] for the Jâhilî Arabs there. Had the Verse not been subject to a historical context, then you should know that it is of the general type ['amm] and that it will therefore be subject to specification [takhsîs] by some other indication [dalîl]. Its effect in lay terms, were it not related to the Jahilî Arabs, is that it can only refer to a case during a valid war when there is no ceasefire.

Among the well known exegeses of "al-mushrikîn" from this Verse are: "al-nâkithîna khâssatan" [specifically, those who have breached (the Treaty)] [al-Nawawi al-Jawi,Tafsîr, 1:331]; "al-ladhîna yuharibunakum" [those who have declared war against you] [Qâdi Ibn 'Arabi, Ahkâm al-Qur'ân, 2:889]; and "khâssan fî mushkrikî l-'arabi dûna ghayrihim" [specifically, the Jâhilî Arabs and not anyone else] [al-Jassâs, Ahkâm al-Qur'ân, 3:81].

As for the meaning of "people" [al-nâs] in the above well-related Hadith, it is confirmed by Ijmâ' that it refers to the same "mushrikîn" as in the Verse of Sura al-Tawba above, and therefore what is meant there is only the Jâhilî Arabs [muskhrikû l-'arab] during the closing days of the Final Messenger and the early years of the Righteous Caliphs and not even to any other non-Muslims.

In sum, we are not in a perpetual state of war with non-Muslims. On the contrary, the original legal status [al-asl] is a state of peace, and making a decision to change this status belongs only to a Muslim authority who will in the Next World answer for their ijtihâd and decision; and this decision is not divinely charged to any individuals - not even soldiers or scholars - and to believe otherwise would go against the well-known rule in our Law that a Muslim authority could seek help from a non-Muslim with certain conditions, including, for example, that the non-Muslim allies are of goodwill towards the Muslims:

[la-yast'Inu bi-mushkrikin illA bi-shurUTin
ka-an takUna niyyatuhu Hasanatan li-l-MuslimIna
).

Question III

If it is said: "I have heard a scholar say that 'Israeli women are not like women in our society because they are militarised'. By implication, this means that they fall into the category of women who fight and that this makes them legitimate targets but only in the case of Palestine."

We say: No properly schooled jurists from any of the Four Schools would say this as a legal judgement if they faithfully followed the juridical processes of the orthodox Schools relating to this bâb; for if it is true that the scholar made such a statement and meant it in the way you've implied, then not only does this violate the well-known principal rule above (Fasl I: "It is not permissible to kill their women and children if they are not in direct combat"), but the supposed remarks also show a lack of sophistication in the legal particulars. If this is the case, then it has to be said here that this is not among the masâ'il khilâfiyya, about which one can afford to agree to disagree, since it is outright wrong by the principles and the rules from our usûl and furû'.

Let us restate the dâbit again, as our jurists have succinctly summarised its rule of engagement: a soldier can only attack a female or (if applicable) child soldier (or a male civilian) in self-defence and only when she herself (and not someone else from her army) is engaged in direct combat. (As for male soldiers, it goes without saying that they are considered combatants as soon as they arrive on the battlefield even if they are not in direct combat - provided of course that the remaining conventions of war have been observed throughout, and that all this is during a valid war when there is no ceasefire.)

Not only is this strict rule of engagement already made clear in our secondary legal texts, but this is also obvious from the linguistic analysis of the primary proof-texts used to derive this principal rule. Hence, the form of the verb used in the scriptures,yuqâtilu, is of the mushâraka-type, so that the verb denotes a direct or a personal or a reciprocal relationship between two agents: the minimum for which is one of them making an effort or attempt to act upon the other. The immediate legal implication here is that one of the two can only even be considered a legitimate target when there is a reciprocal or direct relationship.

In reality [wâqi'], this is not what happens on the ground (since the bombing missions are offensive in nature - they are not targeting, for example, a force that is attacking an immediate Muslim force; but rather the attack is directed at an overtly non-military target, so the person carrying it out can only be described as attacking it - and the target is someone unknown until only seconds before the mission reaches its termination).

In short, even if these women are soldiers, they can only be attacked when they arein direct combat and not otherwise. In any case, there are other overriding particulars to be considered and various conditions to be observed throughout, namely, that it must be during a valid state of war when there is no ceasefire.

Question IV

If it is said: "When a bomber blows himself up he is not directing the attack towards civilians. On the contrary, the attack is designed to target off-duty soldiers (which I was told did not mean reservists, since most Israelis are technically reservists). The innocent civilians are unfortunate collateral damage in the targeting of soldiers."

We say: There are two details here.

Tafsîl A: Off-duty soldiers are treated as civilians.

Our jurists agree that during a valid war when there is no ceasefire, and when an attack is not aimed at a valid military target, a hostile soldier (whether male or female, whether conscripted or not) who is not on operational duty or not wearing a military uniform and when there is nothing in the soldier's outward appearance to suggest that the soldier is in combat, then the soldier is considered a non-combatant [man lâ yuqâtilu] (and in this case must therefore be treated as a normal civilian).

A valid military target is limited to either a battlefield [mahall al-ma'raka or sahat al-qitâl] or a military base [mu'askar; medieval examples are citadel or forts; modern examples are barracks, military depots, etc.]; and certainly never can anything else such as a restaurant, a hotel, a public bus, the area around a traffic light, or any other public place be considered a valid military target, since firstly, these are not places and bases from which an attack would normally originate [mahall al-ra'y]; secondly, because there is certain knowledge [yaqîn] that there is intermingling [ikhtilât] with non-combatants; and thirdly, the non-combatants have not been given the option to leave the place.

As for when the soldiers are on the battlefield, the normal rules of engagement apply.

As for when the soldiers are in a barracks or the like, there is further discussion on whether the soldiers become a legitimate target, and the Qawl Asahh [the More Correct Position] according to our jurists is that they do, albeit to attack them there is makrûh.

Tafsîl B: Non-combatants cannot at all be considered collateral damage except at a valid military target, for which they may be so deemed, depending on certain extenuating circumstances.

There is no khilâf that non-combatants or civilians cannot at all be considered collateral damage at a non-military target in a war zone, and that their deaths are not excusable by our Law, and that the one who ends up killing one of them will be sinful as in the case of murder, even though the soldier who is found guilty of it would be excused from the ordinary capital punishment [hadd], unless the killing was found to be premeditated and deliberate:

[aw ata bi-ma'siyyatin tujibu l-hadda].

If not, the murderer's punishment in this case would instead be subject to the authority's discretion [ta'zîr] and he would in any case be liable to pay the relevant compensation [diya].

As for a valid military target in a war zone, the Shâfi'î School have historically considered the possibility of collateral damage, unlike the position held by others that it is unqualifiedly outlawed. The following are the conditions stipulated for allowing this controversial exception (in addition to meeting the most important condition of them all: that this takes place during a valid war when there is no ceasefire:)

(1) The target is a valid military target.

(2) The attack is as a last resort [min darura] (such as when the civilians have been warned to leave the place and after a period of siege has elapsed).

wujUb al-indhAri qabla l-bad'i bi-l-qatli
li-annahu lA yajUzu an yaqtula illA man yuqAtilu

(3) There are no Muslim civilians or prisoners.

(4) The decision to attack the target is based on a considered judgement of the executive or military leader that by doing so, there is a good chance that the battle would be won.

(Furthermore, this position is subject to khilâf among our jurists with regard to whether the military target can be a Jewish or Christian [Ahl l-Kitâb] one, since the sole primary text that is invoked to allow this exception concerns an incident restricted to the same "mushrikin" as in the Verse of Sura al-Tawba in Question II above.)

To neglect intentionally any of these strict conditions is analogous to not fulfilling the conditions [shurût] for a prayer [salât] with the outcome that it becomes invalidated [bâtil] and useless [fasâd].

This is why the means of an act ['amal] must be correct and validated according to the rule of Law in order for its outcome to be sound and accepted, as expressed succinctly in the following wisdom of Imam Ibn 'Ata'illah (may Allâh sanctify his soul!):

man ashraqat bidayatuhu ashraqat nihayatuhu
[He who makes good his beginning will make good his ending.]

In our Law, the ends can never justify the means except when the means are in themselves permissible, or mubâh (and not harâm), as is made clear in the following famous legal principle:

wasIlatu T-TA'ati TA'atun wa-wasIlatu l-ma'Siyati ma'Siyatun
[the means to a reward is itself a reward and the means to a sin is itself a sin.]

Hence, even a simple act such as opening a window, which on its own is only mubâhor halâl, religiously entailing no reward nor being a sin, when a son does it with the intention of his mother's comfort on a hot summer's day before she asks for it to be opened, the originally non-consequent act itself becomes mandûb [recommended] and the son is rewarded in his 'amal-account for the Next World and acquires the pleasure of Allâh.

wAllâhu a'lam wa-ahkam bi-s-sawab!
[God knows and judges best what is right!]

Question V

If it is said: "In a classic manual of Islamic Sacred Law I read that "it is offensive to conduct a military expedition [ghazw] against hostile non-Muslims without the caliph's permission (though if there is no caliph, no permission is required)." Doesn't this entail that though it is makrûh for anyone else to call for or initiate such a jihâd, it is permissible?"

We say:

lA ghazwata illA fi l-jihAdi
[there can be no battle except during a war!]

Secondary legal texts, just as with primary proof-texts (a single Verse of the Qur'an from among the relatively few Âyat al-Ahkâm or a Hadith from among the limited number of Ahâdith al-Ahkâm), must be read and understood in context. The conclusion drawn that it is offensive or permissible for anyone other than those in authority to declare or initiate a war is evidently wrong, since it violates the principal rule of engagement discussed in Fasl II above.

The context is that of endangering one's life [taghrîr bi-nafs] when there is already a valid war with no ceasefire, as seen in the above example from the Ihyâ' passage, but certainly not in executive matters of the kind of proclaiming a war and the like. This is also obvious from the terminology used: a ghazw [a military act, assault, foray or raid; the minimum limit in a modern example: an attack by a squad or a platoon (katîba)] can take place only when there is a state of jihâd [war], not otherwise.

Fâ'ida Imâm Ibn Hajar ( raDiy-Allahu-anhu.gif may Allâh be pleased with him!) lists the organizational structure of an army as follows: a ba'th [unit] and several such together, a katîba [platoon], which is a part of a sariyya [company; made up of 50-100 soldiers], which is in turn a part of a mansar [regiment; up to 800 soldiers], which is a part of a jaysh [division; up to 4000 soldiers], which is a part of a jahfal[army corps; exceeding 4000 soldiers], which makes up the jaysh 'azîm [army]. [Ibn Hajar, Tuhfa, 12:4]

In our School, it is offensive but not completely prohibited for a soldier to defy, or in other words to take the initiative against the wishes of, his direct authority, whether his unit is strong or otherwise. In the modern context, this may include cases when soldier(s) disagree with a particular decision or strategy adopted by their superior officers, whether during a battle or otherwise.

The accompanying commentary to the text you quoted will help clarify this for you:

[Original Text:] It is offensive to conduct an assault [whether the unit is strong (man'a) or otherwise; and some have defined a strong force as 10 men] without the permission of the authority ([Commentary:] or his subordinate, because the assault depends on the needs [of the battle and the like] and the authority is more aware about them. It is not prohibited [to go without his permission] (if) there is no grave endangering of one's life even when that is permissible in war.) [Ibn Barakat, Fayd, 2:309]

Question VI

If it is said: "What is the meaning of the rule in fiqh that I always hear, that jihâd is afard kifâya [communal obligation] and when the Dâr al-Islâm is invaded or occupied it is a fard 'ayn [personal obligation]? How do we apply this in the context of a modern Muslim state such as Egypt?"

We say: It is fard kifâya for the eligible Muslim subjects of the state in the sense that recruitment to the military is only voluntary when the state declares war with a non-Muslim state (as for non-Muslim subjects, they evidently are not religiously obligated but can still serve). It becomes a fard 'ayn for any able-bodied Muslim when there is a conscription or a nationwide draft to the military if the state is invaded by a hostile non-Muslim force, but only until the hostile force is repelled or the Muslim authority calls for a ceasefire. As for those not in the military, they have the option to defend themselves if attacked even if they have to resort to throwing stones and using sticks [bi ayyi shay'in aTAqUhu wa-law bi-HijAratin aw 'aSA].

Furu': When it is not possible to prepare for war [and rally the army for war (ijtimâ' li-harb), and a surprise attack by a hostile force completely defeats the army of the state and the entire state becomes occupied] and someone [at home, for example] is faced with the choice of whether to surrender or to fight [such as when the hostile force comes knocking at the door], then he may fight. Or he may surrender, provided that he knows [with certainty] that if he resisted [arrest] he would be killed and that [his] wife would be safe from being raped [fâhisha] if she were taken. If not [that is to say, even if he surrenders he knows he will be killed and his wife raped when taken], then [as a last resort] fighting [jihâd] becomes personally obligatory for him. [al-Bakri, I'ânat, 4:197].

Reflect upon this legal ruling of our Religion and the emphasis placed upon preserving human life and upon the wisdom of resorting to violence only when it isabsolutely necessary and in its proper place; and witness the conjunction between the maqâsid and the wasâ'il and the meaning of the conditions when fighting actually becomes a fard 'ayn for an individual!

Question VII

If it is said today: "In the (Shafi`i) Madhhab, what are the different classifications of lands in the world? For example, Dar al-Islam, Dar al-Kufr and so forth, and what have the classical ulema said their attributes are?"

We say: As it is also from empirical fact [tajrîba], Muslim scholars have classified the territories in this world into: Dâr al-Islâm [its synonyms: Bilâd al-Islâm or Dawla al-Islâm; a Muslim state or territory or land or country, etc.] and Dâr al-Kufr [a non-Muslim state, territory etc.]

The definition of a Muslim state is: "any place at which a resident Muslim is capable of defending himself against hostile forces [harbiyyûn] for a period of time is a Muslim state, where his judgements can be applied at that time and those times following it." [Ba'alawi, Bughya, 254]. A non-Muslim who resides in a Muslim state is, in our terminology: kâfir dhimmi or al-kâfir bi-dhimmati l-Muslim [a non-Muslim in the care of a Muslim state].

By definition, an area is a Muslim state as long as Muslims continue to live there and the political and executive authority is Muslim. (Think about this, for the Muslim lands are many, varied, wide and extensive; and how poor and of limited insight are those who have tried to limit the definition of what a Muslim state must be, and whether realizing it or not thus try to shrink the Muslim world!)

As for a non-Muslim state, it is the absence of a Muslim state.

As for the Dâr al-Harb [sometimes called, Ard al-'Adw], it is a non-Muslim state which is in a state of war with a Muslim state. Therefore, a hostile non-Muslim soldier from there is known in our books as: kâfir harbî.

Furu': Even if such a person enters or resides in a Muslim country that is in a state of war with his home country, provided of course he does so with the permission of the Muslim authority (such as entering with a valid visa and the like), the sanctity of akâfir harbî's life is protected by Law, just like the rest of the Muslim and non-Muslim subjects of the state. [al-Kurdi, Fatâwâ, 211-2]. In this case, his legal status becomes a kâfir harbî bi-dhimmati l-imâm [a hostile non-Muslim under the protection of the Muslim authority], and for all intents and purposes, he becomes exactly like the non-Muslim subjects of the state. In this way, the apparent difference between a dhimmî and a harbî non-Muslim becomes only an academic exercise and a distinction in name only.

The implications of this rule for the pious, God-fearing and Law-abiding Muslims are not only that to attack non-Muslims becomes something illegal and an act of disobedience [ma'siya], but also that the steps taken by the Muslim authority and enforcers, such as in Malaysia or Indonesia today, to protect their places, including churches or temples, from the threat of killings and bombings, are included under thebâb of amr bi-ma'ruf wa nahi 'ani l-munkar [the duty to intervene when another is acting wrongly; in the modern context: enforcing the Law], even if the Muslim enforcers [muhtasib] die in the course of protecting non-Muslims.

Question VIII

If it is said: "What land classification are we in the European Union, and what is thehukm of those who are here? Should they theoretically leave?"

We say: It is clear that the countries in the Union are non-Muslim states, except for Turkey or Bosnia, for example, if they are a part of the Union. The status of the Muslims who reside and are born in non-Muslim states is the reverse of the above non-Muslim status in a Muslim state: al-Muslim bi-dhimmati l-kâfir [a Muslim in the care of a non-Muslim state] and from our own Muslim and religious perspective, whether we like it or not, there are similarities to the status of a guest which should not be forgotten.

There is precedent for this status in our Law. The answer to your question is that they should as a practical matter remain in these countries, and if applicable, learn to cure the schizophrenic cultural condition in which they may find themselves - whether of torn identity in their souls or of dissociation from the general society. If they cannot do so, but find instead that their surroundings are incompatible with the life they feel they must lead, then it is recommended for them to leave and reside in a Muslim state. This status is made clear in the fatwa of the Muhaqqiq, Imam al-Kurdi ( raDiy-Allahu-anhu.gif may Allâh be pleased with him!):

"He ( raDiy-Allahu-anhu.gif may the mercy of Allâh - Exalted is He! - be upon him!) was asked:
"In a territory ruled by non-Muslims, they have left the Muslims [in peace] other than that they pay tax [mâl] every year just like the jizya-tax in reverse, for when the Muslims pay them, their protection is ensured and the non-Muslims do not oppose them [i.e., do not interfere with them]. Thereupon, Islam becomes practiced openly and our Law is established [meaning that they have the freedom to practice their religious duty in the open and in effect become practicing Muslims in that non-Muslim society]. If the Muslims do not pay them, the non-Muslims could massacre them by killing or pillage. Is it permissible to pay them the tax [and thereby become residents there]? If you say it is permissible, what is the ruling about the non-Muslims mentioned above when they are at war [with a Muslim state]: would it or would it not be permissible to oppose them and if possible, take their money? Please give us your opinion!

The answer:

Insofar as it is possible for Muslims to practice their religion openly with what they can have power over, and they are not afraid of any threat [fitna] to their religion if they pay tax to the non-Muslims, it is permissible for them to reside there. It is also permissible to pay them the tax as a requirement of it [residence]; rather, it is obligatory [wâjib] to pay them the tax for fear of their causing harm to the Muslims. The ruling about the non-Muslims at war as mentioned above, because they protect the Muslims [in their territory], is that it would not be permissible for the Muslims to murder them or to steal from them.
[al-Kurdi, Fatawa, 208]

The dâbit for this mas'ala is:

wa-in qadara 'ala iZhAri d-dIni wa-lam yakhafi l-fitnata fi d-dIni wa-nafsihi wa-mAlihi lam tajib 'alayhi al-hijratu
[if someone is able to practice his religion openly and is not afraid of trouble to his religion, life and property, then emigration is not obligatory for him.]

Furu': Our Shâfi'î jurists have discussed details concerning the case of Muslims residing in a non-Muslim state, and they have divided the legal rulings about their emigration from it to a Muslim state into four sorts (assuming that an individual is capable and has the means to emigrate):

1. Harâm: It is prohibited for them to leave when they are able to defend their territory from a hostile non-Muslim force or withdraw from it (as in the case of a border state, buffer area or disputed territory) and do not need to ask for help from a Muslim state. The reason is that their place of residence is already, technically [hukman], a 'Muslim state' even though not in name [sûratan], since they are able to practice their religion openly even though the political or executive authority is not Muslim; and if they emigrated it would cease to be so. This falls under the fiqhîclassification of Dâr Kufr Sûratan Lâ Hukman, which is equivalent to Dâr Islâm Hukman Lâ Sûratan.

2. Makrûh: it is offensive to leave their place of residence when it is possible for them to practice their religion openly, and they wish to do so openly.

3. Mandûb: leaving becomes recommended only when it is possible for them to practice their religion openly, but they do not wish to do so.

4. Wâjib: it becomes obligatory to leave when it is the only remaining option, that is, when practicing their religion openly is not possible. A legal precedent is the case after the Reconquista in Spain (which is no longer the case today) when the Five Pillars of the Faith were actively proscribed, so that, for example, the Muslim houses were required to keep their doors open after sunset during the fasting month of Ramadân in order that the authority could see that there was no breaking of the fast.

Question IX

If it is said: "Would you say that in the modern age with all the considerations surrounding sovereignty and inter-connectedness, these classical labels do not apply any longer, or do we have sufficient resources in the School to continue using these same labels?"

We say: As Imam al-Ghazâlî would say:

idhâ `urifa l-ma`nâ falâ mushâhhata fî l-asmâmî
[Once the real meaning is understood, there is no need to quibble over names.]

Labels can never be relied upon; it is the meaning behind them that must be properly understood. Once they are unpacked, they immediately become relevant for all times; just as with the following loaded terms: jihâd, mujâhid and shahîd. The result for Muslims who fail to notice the relevance and fail to connect the dots of our own inherited medieval terms with the modern world may be that they will live in a schizophrenic cultural reality and will be unable to associate themselves with the surrounding society and will not be at peace [sukûn] with the rest of creation. Just as the sabab al-wujûd of this article is a Muslim's misunderstanding of his own medieval terminology from a long and rich legacy, the fitna in the world today has been the result of those who misunderstand our Law.

Pay heed to the words of Mawlânâ Rûmî (may Allâh sanctify his secrets!):

Go beyond names and look at the qualities, so that they may show you the way to the essence.

The disagreement of people takes place because of names. Peace occurs when they go to the real meaning.

Every war and every conflict between human beings has happened because of some disagreement about names.

It's such an unnecessary foolishness, because just beyond the arguing there's a long table of companionship, set and waiting for us to sit down.

End of the masâ'il section.

Tatimma

It is truly sad that despite our sophisticated and elaborate set of rules of engagement and in spite of the strict codes of warfare and the chivalrous disciplines which our soldiers are expected to observe, all having been thoroughly worked out and codified by the orthodox jurists of the Umma from among the generations of theSalaf, there are today in our midst those who are not ashamed to depart from these sacred conventions in favour of opinions espoused by persons who are not even trained in the Sacred Law at all let alone enough to be a qâdî or a faqîh - the rightful heir and source from which they should receive practical guidance in the first place. Instead they rely on engineers or scientists and on those who are not among its ahl, yet speak in the name of our Law. With these "reformist" preachers and da'îs comes a departure from the traditional ideas about the rules of siyar/jihâd/qitâl, i.e., warfare. Do they not realize that by doing so and by following them they will be ignoring the limitations and restrictions cherished and protected by our pious forefathers and that they will be turning their backs on the Jamâ'a and Ijmâ' and that they will be engaging in an act for which there is no accepted legal precedent within orthodoxy in our entire history? Have they forgotten that part of the original maqsad of warfare/jihâd was to limit warfare itself and that warfare for Muslims is not total war, so that women, children and innocent bystanders are not to be killed and property not to be needlessly destroyed?

To put it plainly, there is simply no legal precedent in the history of Sunni Islam for the tactic of attacking civilians and overtly non-military targets. Yet the awful reality today is that a minority of Sunni Muslims, whether in Iraq or Beslan or elsewhere, have perpetrated such acts in the name of jihâd and on behalf of the Umma. Perhaps the first such mission to break this long and admirable precedent was the Hamas bombing on a public bus in Jerusalem in 1994 - not that long ago. (Reflect on this!)

Immediately after the incident, the almost unanimous response of the orthodox Shâfi'î jurists from the Far East and the Hadramawt was not only to make clear that the minimum legal position from our Sacred Law is untenable for persons who carry out such acts, but also to warn the Umma that by going down that path we would be compromising the optimum way of Ihsân and that we would thereby be running a real risk of losing the moral and religious high ground. Those who still defend this tactic, invoking blindly a nebulous usûlî principle that it is justifiable out of darûrawhile ignoring the far'î strictures, must look long and hard at what they are doing and ask the question: was it absolutely necessary, and if so, why was this not done before 1994, and especially during the earlier wars, most of all during the disasters of 1948 and 1967?

How could such a tactic be condoned by one of our Rightly Guided Caliphs and a heroic fighter such as 'Alî (may Allâh ennoble his face!), who when in the Battle of the Trench his notorious non-Muslim opponent, who was seconds away from being killed by him, spat on his noble face, immediately left him alone. When asked later his reasons for withdrawing when Allâh clearly gave him power over him, he answered: "I was fighting for the sake of God, and when he spat in my face I feared that if I killed him it would have been out of revenge and spite!" Far from being an act of cowardice, this characterizes Muslim chivalry: fighting, yet not out of anger.

In actual fact, the only precedent for this tactic from Muslim history is the cowardly terrorism carried out by the "Assassins" of the Nizari Isma'îlîs. Their most famous victim from a suicide mission was the wise minister and the Defender of the Faith, who could have been alive to deal with the fitna of the Crusades: Nizâm al-Mulk, the Jamâl al-Shuhadâ' (may Allâh encompass him with His mercy!), assasinated on Thursday, the 10th of the holy month of Ramadan 485/14 October 1092.

Ironically, in the case of Palestine, the precedent was set not by Muslims but by early Zionist terrorist gangs such as the Irgun, who, for example, infamously bombed the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on 22nd July 1946. So ask yourself as an upright and God-fearing believer, whose every organ will be interrogated: do you really want to follow the footsteps and the models of those Zionists and the heterodox Isma'îlîs, instead of the path taken by our Beloved (may Allâh's blessings and peace be upon him!), who for almost half of the (twenty-three) years of his mission endured Meccan persecution, humiliation and insults? Is anger your only strength? If so, remember the Prophetic advice that it is from the Devil. And is darûra your only excuse for following them instead into their condemned lizard-holes? Do you think that any of our famous mujâhids from history, such as 'Ali, Salâh al-Dîn, and Muhammad al-Fâtih (may Allâh be well pleased with them all!) will ever condone the article you quoted and these acts today in Baghdad, Jerusalem, Cairo, Bali, Casablanca, Beslan, Madrid, London and New York, some of them committed on days when it is traditionally forbidden by our Law to fight: Dhû l-Qa'da and al-Hijja, Muharram and Rajab? Every person of fitra will see that this is nothing other than a sunna of perversion.

This is what happens to the Banû Adam when the wahm is abandoned by 'aql, when one of the maqâsid justifies any wasîla, when the realities of furû' are indiscriminately overruled by generalities of usûl, and most tragically, as illustrated from the eternal blunder of Iblis, when Divine tawakkul is replaced by basic nafs.

Yes, we are one Umma such that when one part of the macro-body is attacked somewhere, another part inevitably feels the pain. Yet at the same time, our own history has shown that we have also been a wise and sensible, instead of a reactive and impulsive, Umma. That is the secret of our success, and that is where our strengths will always lie as has been promised by Divine Writ: in sabr and intawakkul. It is already common knowledge that when Jerusalem fell to the Crusading forces on the 15th of July 1099 and was occupied by them, and despite its civilians having been raped, killed, tortured and plundered and the Umma at the time humiliated and insulted - acts far worse than what can be imagined in today's occupation - that it took more than 100 years of patience and legitimate struggle under the Eye of the Almighty before He allowed Salâh al-Din to liberate Jerusalem. We should have been taught from childhood by our fathers and mothers about the need to prioritize and about how to reconcile the spheres of our global concerns with those of our local responsibilities - as we will definitely not escape the questioning in the grave about the latter - so that by this insight we may hope that our response will not be disproportionate nor inappropriate. This is the true meaning [haqîqa] of the true advice [nasîha] of our Beloved Prophet ( MHMD may Allâh's blessings and peace be upon him!): to leave what does not concern one [tark ma lâ ya'nîh], where one's time and energy could be better spent in improving the lot of the Muslims today or benefiting others in this world.

Yes, we will naturally feel the pain when any of our brothers and sisters die unjustly anywhere when their deaths have been caused directly by non-Muslims, but it mustbe the more painful for us when they die in Iraq, for example, when their deaths are caused directly by the self-destroying/martyrdom/suicide missions carried out by one of our own. On tafakkur, the second pain should make us realize that missions of this sort, when the means and the legal particulars are all wrong - by scripture and reason - are not only a scourge for our non-Muslim neighbours but a plague and great fitna for this mercied Umma, and desire insâf so that out of maslaha and the general good, it must be stopped.

To this end, we could sum up a point of law tersely in the following maxim:

lA yaj'alu Z-ZulmAni th-thAniya Haqqan
[two wrongs do not make the second one right]

If the first pain becomes one of the mitigating factors and ends up being used as a justification by our misguided young to retaliate in a manner which our Sacred Law definitely and without doubt outlaws (which makes your original article the more appalling, as its author will have passed the special age of 40), then the latter pain should by its graver significance generate a greater and more meaningful response. With this intention, we may hope that we shall regain our former high ground and reputation and rediscover our honour and chivalrous qualities and be no less brave.

I end with the first ever Verse revealed in the Qur'an which bestowed the military option only upon those in a position of authority:

wa-qAtilU fI sabIli LlAhi l-ladhIna yuqAtilUnakum
wa-lA ta'tadU inna LlAha lA yuHibbu l-mu'tadIna

{And fight for the sake of God those who fight you: but do not commit excesses, for God does not love those who exceed (i.e., the Law)}
(al-Baqara, 2:190).

Even then, peace is preferred over war:

wa-in janaHU li-s-salmi fa-jnaH la-hA wa-tawakkal 'ala LlAhi

{Now if they incline toward peace,
then incline to it, and place your trust in God}
(al-Anfal, 8:61)

Even if you think that the authority in question has decided wrongly and you disagree with their decision not to war with the non-Muslim state upon which you wish war to be declared, then take heed of the following Divine command:

yA ayyhuhA l-ladhIna AmanU aTI'u l-LAha wa-aTI'u r-rasUla wa-uli l-amri minkum

{O believers, obey Allâh, and obey the Messenger, and those with authority among you!}
(al-Nisa', 4:58)

If you still insist that your authority should declare war with the non-Muslim state upon which you wish war to be declared, then the most you could do in this capacity is to lobby your authority for it. However, if your anger is so unrestrained that its fire brings out the worst in you to the point that your disagreement with your Muslim authority leads you to declare war on those you want your authority to declare war on, and you end up resorting to violence, then know with certainty that you have violated our own religious Laws. For then you will have taken the Sharî'a into your own hands. If indeed you reach the point of committing a violent act, then know that by our own Law you would have been automatically classified as a rebel [ahl al-baghy] whom the authority has the right to punish: even if the authority is perceived to be or is indeed corrupt [fâsiq]. (The definition of rebels is: "Muslims who have disagreed [not by heart or by tongue but by hand] with the authority even if it is unjust [jâ'ir] and they are correct ['adilûn]" [al-Nawawî, Majmû', 20:337].)

That is why, my brethren, when the military option is not a legal one for the individuals concerned, you must not lose hope in Allâh; and let us be reminded of the words of our Beloved ( MHMD may Allâh's blessings and peace be upon him!):

afDalu l-jihAdi kalimatu Haqqin 'inda sulTAnin jA'irin
[The best Jihad is a true (i.e., brave) word in the face of a tyrannical ruler.]
(From a Hadîth of Abû Sa'îd al-Khudrî ( raDiy-Allahu-anhu.gif may Allâh be well pleased with him!) among others, which is related by Ibn al-Ja'd, Ahmad, Ibn Humayd, Ibn Mâjâh, Abû Dawûd, al-Tirmidhî, al-Nasâ'î, Abû Ya'lâ, Abû Bakr al-Rûyânî, al-Tabarânî, al-Hâkim, and al-Bayhaqî, with variants.)

For it is possible still, and especially today, to fight injustice or zulm and taghût in thisdunyâ through your tongue and your words and through the pen and the courts, which still amounts in the Prophetic idiom to jihâd, even if not through war. As in the reminder [tadhkira] of the great scholar, Imâm al-Zarkashî: war is only a means to an end and as long as some other way is open to us, that other way should be the course trod upon by Muslims.

Ma shâ-Allâh, how true indeed are the Beloved's words, so that the latter mujâhid or activist will be no less brave or lacking in any courage with his or her campaign for a just cause in an oppressive country or one needing reforms than the former mujâhidor patriot who fought bravely for his country in a just war.

fa-t-taqillaha wa-raji' mufatashata nafsika wa-islaha fasadiha wa-huwa hasbuna wa-ni'ma l-wakil wa-la hawla wa-la quwwata illa billahi l-'aliyyi l-'azim! wa-salawatuhu 'ala sayyidina Muhammadin wa-alihi wasallim waradiyAllâhu tabaraka wa-ta'ala 'an sadatina ashabi rasulillahi ajma'in wa-'anna ma'ahum wa-fihim wa-yaj'aluna min hizbihim bi-rahmatikaya arhama r-rahimin! Âmin!

[Fear God, and go back to controlling your self and to curing your wickedness! For indeed, He is enough for us: what an excellent guardian! There is no help nor power except through God, the High and Mighty! May His blessings and peace be upon our master, Muhammad, and his Family! And may He be pleased with our leaders, the Companions of the Messenger of God, one and all! And may we be together with them and in their company, and may He make us among their Troop! By Your Mercy, O Most Merciful of those who show mercy, Amen!]

May this be of benefit.

With heartfelt wishes for salâm & tayyiba
from Oxford to Brunei,
Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti
16th Jumâdâ' II 1426
23rd July 2005

Select Bibliography:

Ba'alawî, Abd al-Rahmân. Bughyat al-Mustarshidîn fi Talkhis Fatawa ba'd al-Muta'akhkhirîn. Bulaq, 1309 H.

al-Bakri. Hâshiyat I'ânat al-Tâlibîn. 4 vols. Bulaq, 1300 H.

al-Ghazâlî. Ihyâ' 'Ulum al-Dîn. Edited by Badawî Ahmad Tabânah. 4 vols.
Cairo: Dâr Ihyâ' al-Kutub al-'Arabiyya, 1957.

Ibn 'Arabî, Qâdî. Ahkâm al-Qur'ân. Edited by 'Alî Muhammad al-Bajawî. 4 vols. Cairo: Dâr Ihyâ' al-Kutub al-'Arabiyya, 1957-8.

Ibn Barakât. Fayd al-Ilâh al-Mâlik fi Hall Alfâz 'Umdat al-Sâlik wa-'Uddat al-Nâsik. Edited by Mustafâ Muhammad 'Imâra. 2 vols. Singapore: al-Haramayn, 1371 H.

Ibn Hajar al-Haytamî. Tuhfa al-Muhtâj bi-Sharh al-Minhâj al-Nawawî in Hawâshî al-Shirwanî wa-Ibn Qâsim 'alâ Tuhfa al-Muhtâj. Edited by Muhammad 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Khâlidî. 13 vols. Beirut: Dâr al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya, 1996.

al-Jassâs, Ahkâm al-Qur'ân. 3 vols. Istanbul: Dâr al-Khilâfa al-'Âliya, 1335-1338.

al-Kurdi. Fatâwa al-Kurdi al-Madanî. In Qurrat al-'Ayn bi-Fatâwâ 'Ulamâ' al-Haramayn. Edited by Muhammad 'Alî b. Hussayn al-Mâlikî. Bogor: Maktaba 'Arafât, n.d.

al-Nawawî. al-Majmu' Sharh al-Muhadhdhab. Edited by Mahmûd Matrajî. 22 vols. Beirut: Dâr al-Fikr, 1996.

al-Nawawî al-Jâwî. Marâh Labîd Tafsîr al-Nawawî: al-Tafsîr al-Munîr li-Ma'âlim al-Tanzîl al-Mufassir 'an Wujûh Mahâsin al-Ta'wîl al-Musammâ Marâh Labîd li-Kashf Ma'nâ Qur'an Majîd. 2 vols. Bulaq, 1305 H.
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