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YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT MAN!!...
03-16-2009, 07:27 AM (This post was last modified: 03-16-2009 07:27 AM by sesame.)
Post: #1
YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT MAN!!...
You may be an atheist or an agnostic; or you may belong to anyone of the religious denominations that exist in the world today. You may be a Communist or a believer in democracy and freedom. No matter what you are, and no matter what your religious and political beliefs, personal and social habits happen to be YOU MUST STILL KNOW THIS MAN!

He was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation, laid down a moral code, initiated numberless social and political reforms, established a dynamic and powerful society to practice and represent his teachings, and completely revolutionized the worlds of human thought and action for all times to come.

HIS NAME IS MUHAMMAD, peace and blessings of Almighty God be upon him and he accomplished all these wonders in the unbelievably short span of twenty-three years.

Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him was born in Arabia on the 20th of August, in the year 570 of the Christian era, and when he died after 63 years, the whole of the Arabian Peninsula had changed from paganism and idol-worship to the worship of One God; from tribal quarrels and wars to national solidarity and cohesion; from drunkenness and debauchery to sobriety and piety; from lawlessness and anarchy to disciplined living; from utter moral bankruptcy to the highest standards of moral excellence. Human history has never known such a complete transformation of a people or a place before or since!

The Encyclopedia Britannica calls him "the most successful of all religious personalities of the world". Bernard Shaw said about him that if Muhammad were alive today he would succeed in solving all those problems which threaten to destroy human civilization in our times. Thomas Carlysle was simply amazed as to how one man, single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades. Napoleon and Gandhi never tired of dreaming of a society along the lines established by this man in Arabia fourteen centuries ago.

Indeed no other human being ever accomplished so much, in such diverse fields of human thought and behavior, in so limited a space of time, as did Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him. He was a religious teacher, a social reformer, a moral guide, a political thinker, a military genius, an administrative colossus, a faithful friend, a wonderful companion, a devoted husband, a loving father – all in one. No other man in history ever excelled or equaled him in any of these difficult departments of life.

The world has had its share of great personalities. But these were one sided figures who distinguished themselves in but one or two fields such as religious thought or military leadership. None of the other great leaders of the world ever combined in himself so many different qualities to such an amazing level of perfection as did Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him.

The lives and teachings of other great personalities of the world are shrouded in the mist of time. There is so much speculation about the time and the place of their birth, the mode and style of their life, the nature and detail of their teachings and the degree and measure of their success or failure that it is impossible for humanity today to reconstruct accurately and precisely the lives and teachings of those men.

Not so this man Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him. Not only was he born in the fullest blaze of recorded history, but every detail of his private and public life, of his actions and utterances, has been accurately documented and faithfully preserved to our day. The authenticity of the information so preserved is vouched for not only by faithful followers but also by unbiased critics and open-minded scholars.

TO BE CONTINUED....
At the level of ideas there is no system of thought and belief-secular or religious, social or political-which could surpass or equal ISLAAM the system which Muhammad peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him propounded. In a fast changing world, while other systems have undergone profound transformations, Islaam alone has remained above all change and mutation, and retained its original form for the past 1400 years. What is more, the positive changes that are taking place in the world of human thought and behavior, truly and consistently reflect the healthy influence of Islam in these areas. Further, it is not given to the best of thinkers to put their ideas completely into practice, and to see the seeds of their labors grow and bear fruit, in their own lifetime. Except of course, Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him, who not only preached the most wonderful ideas but also successfully translated each one of them into practice in his own lifetime. At the time of his death his teachings were not mere precepts and ideas straining for fulfillment, but had become the very core of the life of tens of thousands of perfectly trained individuals, each one of whom was a marvelous personification of everything that Muhammad peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him taught and stood for. At what other time or place and in relation to what other political, social, religious system, philosophy or ideology-did the world ever witness such a perfectly amazing phenomenon?

Indeed no other system or ideology secular or religious, social or political, ancient or modern – could ever claim the distinction of having been put into practice in its fullness and entirety EVEN ONCE in this world, either before or after the death of its founder. Except of course ISLAAM, the ideology preached by Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him which was established as a complete way of life by the teacher himself, before he departed from this world. History bears testimony to this fact and the greatest skeptics have no option but to concede this point.

In spite of these amazing achievements and in spite of the countless absolutely convincing and authentic miracles performed by him and the phenomenal success which crowned his efforts, he did not for a moment claim to be God or God's incarnation or Son – but only a human being who was chosen and ordained by God to be a teacher of truth to man kind and a complete model and pattern for their actions.

He was nothing more or less than a human being. But he was a man with a noble and exalted mission-and his unique mission was to unite humanity on the worship of ONE AND ONLY GOD and to teach them the way to honest and upright living in accordance with the laws and commands of God. He always described himself as A MESSENGER AND SERVANT OF GOD, and so indeed every single action and movement of his proclaimed him to be.

A world which has not hesitated to raise to Divinity individuals whose very lives and missions have been lost in legend and who historically speaking did not accomplish half as much-or even one tenth-as was accomplished by Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him should stop to take serious note of this remarkable man's claim to be God's messenger to mankind.

Today after the lapse of some 1400 years the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him, have survived without the slightest loss, alteration or interpolation. Today they offer the same undying hope for treating mankind's many ills which they did when Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him, was alive. This is our honest claim and this is the inescapable conclusion forced upon us by a critical and unbiased study of history.

The least YOU should do as a thinking, sensitive, concerned human being is to stop for one brief moment and ask yourself: Could it be that these statements, extraordinary and revolutionary as they sound, are really true? Supposing they really are true, and you did not know this man Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him or hear about his teachings? Or did not know him well and intimately enough to be able to benefit from his guidance and example? Isn't it time you responded to this tremendous challenge and made some effort to know him? It will not cost you anything but it may well prove to be the beginning of a completely new era in your life.

Come, let us make a new discovery of the life of this wonderful man Muhammad, peace and blessings of God Almighty be upon him the like of whom never walked on this earth, and whose example and teachings can change YOUR LIFE[color] and OUR WORLD[/b][/color] for the better. May God shower His choicest blessings upon him!
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03-16-2009, 10:45 AM (This post was last modified: 03-16-2009 02:49 PM by clarence clutterbuck.)
Post: #2
RE: YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT MAN!!...
I haven't read the The Qu'ran yet, so maybe my thoughts are based on less than complete knowledge of what is being claimed here, but my impression of Mohammed (peace be upon his widely distributed atoms) is that the continued adherence of various Middle Eastern countries to what this man allegedly wrote 1400 years ago is a serious barrier to any kind of social progress for them. I'm thinking of countries like Saudi Arabia where women aren't allowed to drive cars or leave the house unless accompanied by a male ( I believe that as a generous concession by this male dominated society, they are allowed out if accompanied by a male child), and a woman's testimony in court is deemed to be half the value of a man's testimony, so you effectively need two women to counter the word of one man.

This kind of thing makes sense of Sacha Baron Cohen's comedy. Anyone seen "Borat?"

I also find it distasteful and repugnant how Mohammed - a mere bloke like any of us, has become a figure of idolatry - a fact amply demonstrated by the gushing praise of this thread. Why should an artist portraying Mohammed in cartoon form attract death threats from gangs of incensed cut-throats? Why should a celebrated English author who writes a novel that contains fantasies based on Mohammed's life be served with a fatwa (contract killing invitation) from a prominent geriatric Iranian Imam?

Why should an English woman teacher who innocently names a teddy bear "Mohammed" recieve the same kind of unthinking hateful invocations from crowds of baying zealots?

None of this speaks to me of a healthy, critical and realistic interest in a historical figure. The best that you can say about it is that it is off the scale lunacy and fanaticism.

Personally I think it would have been better if Mohammed had never existed - but maybe even then, the same people would have inevitably embraced some other historical figure who claimed to have the answer to life the universe and everything.

Perhaps his name would have been Brian, or something..
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03-17-2009, 02:52 AM (This post was last modified: 03-17-2009 03:49 AM by sesame.)
Post: #3
RE: YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT MAN!!...
Speaking on the character of Muhammad (pbuh), Mahatma Gandhi says in (Young India),


"I wanted to know the best of one who holds today's undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind....I became more than convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to this friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the 2nd volume (of the Prophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of the great life."
Prof. Ramakrishna Rao
"The personality of Muhammad, it is most difficult to get into the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of it I can catch. What a dramatic succession of picturesque scenes! There is Muhammad, the Prophet. There is Muhammad, the Warrior; Muhammad, the Businessman; Muhammad, the Statesman; Muhammad, the Orator; Muhammad, the Reformer; Muhammad, the Refuge of Orphans; Muhammad, the Protector of Slaves; Muhammad, the Emancipator of Women; Muhammad, the Judge; Muhammad, the Saint. All in all these magnificent roles, in all these departments of human activities, he is alike a hero."
Sarogini Naidu, the famous poetess of India says about Islam:
"It was the first religion that preached and practiced [color]democracy[/color]; for in the mosque, when the call for prayer is sounded and worshippers are gathered together, the democracy of Islam is embodied five times a day when the peasant and king kneel side by side and proclaim: 'God Alone is Great'… I have been struck over and over again by this indivisible unity of Islam that makes man instinctively a brother."

.
Lamartine, HISTOIRE DE LA TURQUIE, Paris, 1854, Vol. II, pp. 276-277.
"If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and souls. . . his forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death; all these attest not to an imposture but to a firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was twofold, the unity of God and the immateriality of God; the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with words.

"Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?"
W. Montgomery Watt , (MOHAMMAD AT MECCA, Oxford, 1953, p. 52.)

"His readiness to undergo persecutions for his beliefs, the high moral character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement - all argue his fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad an impostor raises more problems than it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history is so poorly appreciated in the West as Muhammad."

.
Bosworth Smith, (MOHAMMAD , London, 1874, p. 92.)

"He was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without Pope's pretensions, Caesar without the legions of Caesar: without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue; if ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by the right divine, it was Mohammed, for he had all the power without its instruments and without its supports."
Edward Gibbon and Simon Ocklay, (HISTORY OF THE SARACEN EMPIRE, London, 1870, p. 54.)

"It is not the propagation but the permanency of his religion that deserves our wonder, the same pure and perfect impression which he engraved at Mecca and Medina is preserved, after the revolutions of twelve centuries by the Indian, the African and the Turkish proselytes of the Koran. . . The Mahometans have uniformly withstood the temptation of reducing the object of their faith an devotion to a level with the senses and imagination of man. 'I believe in One God and Mahomet the Apostle of God' is the simple and invariable profession of Islam. The intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the honours of the prophet have never transgressed the measure of human virtue, and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion."

.
George Bernard Shaw

If a man like Muhamed were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness. Read the following writings of other Western authors...

.
Annie Besant, (THE LIFE AND TEACHINGS OF MUHAMMAD,Madras,1932, p. 4.)

"It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great Prophet of Arabia, who knows how he taught and how he lived, to feel anything but reverence for that mighty Prophet, one of the great messengers of the Supreme. And although in what I put to you I shall say many things which may be familiar to many, yet I myself feel whenever I re-read them, a new way of admiration, a new sense of reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher."

"But do you mean to tell me that the man who in the full flush of youthful vigour, a young man of four and twenty (24), married a woman much his senior, and remained faithful to her for six and twenty years (26), at fifty years of age when the passions are dying married for lust and sexual passion? Not thus are men's lives to be judged. And you look at the women whom he married, you will find that by every one of them an alliance was made for his people, or something was gained for his followers, or the woman was in sore need of protection."

.
Michael H. Hart, (THE 100: A RANKING OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS IN HISTORY, New York: Hart Publishing Company, Inc., 1978, p. 33.)

"My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular level."

.
In the Encyclopedia Britannica

"Muhammad is the most successful of all Prophets and religious personalities."

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John Austin "Muhammad the Prophet of Allah," in T.P.'s and Cassel's Weekly for 24th September 1927.

"In little more than a year he was actually the spiritual, nominal and temporal rule of Medina, with his hands on the lever that was to shake the world."
John William Draper, (A History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, London 1875, Vol. 1, pp. 329-330.)

"Four years after the death of Justinian, A.D. 569, was born at Mecca, in Arabia the man who, of all men exercised the greatest influence upon the human race . . . Mohammed . . ."

.
Thomas Carlyle

"how one man single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades."

.
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03-17-2009, 03:55 AM (This post was last modified: 03-17-2009 04:10 AM by sesame.)
Post: #4
RE: YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT MAN!!...
(D.C. Sharma, The Prophets of The East, Calcutta, 1935, pp. 12)

"Muhammad was the soul of kindness, and his influence was felt and never forgotten by those around him."

.
Prof. C. Snouck Hurgronje

"The league of nations founded by the prophet of Islam put the principle of international unity and human brotherhood on such universal foundations as to show candle to other nations." He continues: "The fact is that no nation of the world can show a parallel to what Islam has done towards the realization of the idea of theLeague of Nations."

.
Geoffrey Parrinder

"No great religious leader has been so maligned as Prophet Mohammed. Attacked in the past as a heretic, an impostor, or a sensualist, it is still possible to find him referred to as "the false prophet." A modern German writer accuses Prophet Mohammed of sensuality, surrounding himself with young women. This man was not married until he was twenty-five years of age, then he and his wife lived in happiness and fidelity for twenty-four years, until her death when he was forty-nine. Only between the age of fifty and his death at sixty-two did Prophet Mohammed take other wives, only one of whom was a virgin, and most of them were taken for dynastic and political reasons. Certainly the Prophet's record was better than the head of the Church of England, Henry VIII."

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James A. Michener, "ISLAM: THE MISUNDERSTOOD RELIGION," in READER'S DIGEST (American edition), May 1955, pp. 68-70.

"Muhammad, the inspired man who founded Islam, was born about A.D. 570 into an Arabian tribe that worshipped idols. Orphaned at birth, he was always particularly solicitous of the poor and needy, the widow and the orphan, the slave and the downtrodden. At twenty, he was already a successful businessman, and soon became director of camel caravans for a wealthy widow. When he reached twenty-five, his employer, recognizing his merit, proposed marriage. Even though she was fifteen years older, he married her, and as long as she lived, remained a devoted husband.

"Like almost every major prophet before him, Muhammad fought shy of serving as the transmitter of God's word, sensing his own inadequacy. But the angel commanded "Read." So far as we know, Muhammad was unable to read or write, but he began to dictate those inspired words which would soon revolutionize a large segment of the earth: "There is one God."

"In all things Muhammad was profoundly practical. When his beloved son Ibrahim died, an eclipse occurred, and rumours of God's personal condolence quickly arose. Whereupon Muhammad is said to have announced, "An eclipse is a phenomenon of nature. It is foolish to attribute such things to the death or birth of a human being." "At Muhammad's own death an attempt was made to deify him, but the man who was to become his administrative successor killed the hysteria with one of the noblest speeches in religious history: "If there are any among you who worshipped Muhammad, he is dead. But if it is God you worshipped, He lives forever."

.
Dr. Nazmi Luka, Christian from Egypt

".. Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was not like anyone in his attributes and characteristics. He enjoyed all graces of the other prophets (Peace be upon them all) and was a true hero; therefore, any impartial person should respect his example and greet his manhood."


IS THAT ENOUGH OR WE CAN CONTINUE.......................
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03-17-2009, 02:11 PM (This post was last modified: 03-17-2009 02:13 PM by clarence clutterbuck.)
Post: #5
RE: YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT MAN!!...
Character references for Mohammed from various dead people are rather boring really, and certainly no longer accurate, if they ever were. With Mr Mohammed being an illiterate person, I can't help feeling that he probably had little to do with either the content or writing of the Qu'ran.

From my limited aquaintance with it, the Qu'ran consists of plagiarised material from the Bible reiterated in garbled form with a heavy emphasis on hellfire punishment for unbelievers. I bought the book recently and read the first few pages to see if it would draw me in with the quality of its content, but quickly became disillusioned with the incessant threats of retribution towards unbelievers. It was like being harangued by a belligerent drunk in a bus queue, and I was grateful to break off after a short time and seek something more interesting to read. Admittedly, this disdain may be the result of a clash of cultures and the Qu'ran may be a brilliant book for those who can stomach it. For instance, to those poor kids who are packed like sardines into Madrasses in Pakistan, nodding like retards and being trained to recite the whole thing verbatim from beginning to end, prior to being sent out into the wide world wearing a height of fashion bomb belt under their clothing, it probably seems like the best thing since sliced bread.

Sorry. I'm concentrating on the negative here. The majority of the world's 1.3 Muslims don't go around murdering people by blowing themselves up, so it's silly to tar them all with the same brush.

What about an acceptance of modernity among Muslims like an admittance of equal rights for women and a recognition that humans are not the result of the special creation of the first human couple but are part of the animal kingdom and descended from a common ancestor with the chimpanzees?

I would be ever so impressed if there is a prominent modern Muslim person who accepts this fact, as some prominent Christians claim to. Is there such a thing as a Muslim evolutionist?

Note: Please feel free to challenge my ignorant prejudices, if this is what they are. I'm open to argument.
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03-17-2009, 03:15 PM
Post: #6
RE: YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT MAN!!...
Thank you very much dear sesame.

May Allah reward you a good reward.

Mohammad is gentle, Mohammd is light
Mohammad the prophet was very polite

Mohammad was calling people to Paradise
Mohammad was honest, Mohammad is right

Peace be upon you dear Mohammad
during the day and during the night
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03-19-2009, 09:25 AM
Post: #7
RE: YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT MAN!!...
Clarence,
all those thinkers and scientists r not enough?....i think their knowledge can't be compared with u.....it is unfair to make a comparison!!!!!.....
fair is an essential feature in manhood.....
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03-19-2009, 12:44 PM (This post was last modified: 03-19-2009 01:46 PM by clarence clutterbuck.)
Post: #8
RE: YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT MAN!!...
As mentioned previously I haven't read the Qu'ran or studied Islam in depth, so my views may come with a strong hint of possibly unjustified prejudice, for which I apologise. I get my impressions of Muslims from media reports of world events and reading stuff on the internet.

In my humble opinion, most people are alright in small doses, and Mohammed was probably no exception. However, no one deserves the kind of uncritical adulation that you are heaping here upon a dead historical figure, and it is decidedly not a good thing that Mohammed has become this icon who is regarded to be above criticism, and the Muslim world is locked in a mediaeval mentality, unable to evolve and progress.

The example I cited of Saudi Arabia where the status of women is probably slightly below that of a dog, does not speak to me of a people who are in possession of some superior God-given moral system. The sight of a woman wearing one of those black, Darth Vader style bodybags with a grudgingly provided slit for her eyes has to be one of the saddest sights in the world, and can't help but suggest to me that the male imposed worldview that would compel a woman to wear such a garb is seriously past its sell by date.

I recently signed a petition against Sharia Courts being allowed legality in this country, because of my concern that I do not want to see Muslim human rights abuses, particularly against women, taking place here where we enjoy democracy and relative gender equality.

[Image: a682~s192x384.jpg]
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03-19-2009, 01:12 PM
Post: #9
RE: YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT MAN!!...
Quote:TO BE CONTINUED....

I can hardly wait.
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03-20-2009, 07:49 AM (This post was last modified: 03-20-2009 07:50 AM by sesame.)
Post: #10
RE: YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT MAN!!...
[Image: 82468Niqab10.jpg]
Why I Shed Bikini For Niqab

The New Symbol of Women’s Liberation

By Sara Bokker (may that reply u....why she choose to be lower than dog!!!.....as u described!!!....in the end u will know who is the dog?!!)

I am an American woman who was born in the midst of America’s “Heartland.”I grew up, just like any other girl, being fixated with the glamour of life in “the big city.”Eventually, I moved to Florida and on to South Beach of Miami, a hotspot for those seeking the “glamorous life.”Naturally, I did what most average Western girls do.I focused on my appearance and appeal, basing my self-worth on how much attention I got from others.I worked out religiously and became a personal trainer, acquired an upscale waterfront residence, became a regular “exhibiting” beach-goer and was able to attain a “living-in-style” kind of life.

Years went by, only to realize that my scale of self-fulfillment and happiness slid down the more I progressed in my “feminine appeal.” I was a slave to fashion. I was a hostage to my looks.

As the gap continued to progressively widen between my self-fulfillment and lifestyle, I sought refuge in escapes from alcohol and parties to meditation, activism, and alternative religions, only to have the little gap widen to what seemed like a valley. I eventually realized it all was merely a pain killer rather than an effective remedy.

By now it was September 11, 2001.As I witnessed the ensuing barrage on Islam, Islamic values and culture, and the infamous declaration of the “new crusade,” I started to notice something called Islam.Up until that point, all I had associated with Islam was women covered in “tents,” wife beaters, harems, and a world of terrorism.

As a feminist libertarian, and an activist who was pursuing a better world for all, my path crossed with that of another activist who was already at the lead of indiscriminately furthering causes of reform and justice for all.I joined in the ongoing campaigns of my new mentor which included, at the time, election reform and civil rights, among others.Now my new activism was fundamentally different.Instead of “selectively” advocating justice only to some, I learned that ideals such as justice, freedom, and respect are meant to be and are essentially universal, and that own good and common good are not in conflict.For the first time, I knew what “all people are created equal” really means.But most importantly, I learned that it only takes faith to see the world as one and to see the unity in creation.

One day I came across a book that is negatively stereotyped in the West--The Holy Qur’an.I was first attracted by the style and approach of the Qur’an, and then intrigued by its outlook on existence, life, creation, and the relationship between Creator and creation.I found the Qur’an to be a very insightful address to heart and soul without the need for an interpreter or pastor.

Eventually I hit a moment of truth: my new-found self-fulfilling activism was nothing more than merely embracing a faith called Islam where I could live in peace as a “functional” Muslim.

I bought a beautiful long gown and head cover resembling the Muslim woman’s dress code and I walked down the same streets and neighborhoods where only days earlier I had walked in my shorts, bikini, or “elegant” western business attire. Although the people, the faces, and the shops were all the same, one thing was remarkably distinct--I was not--nor was the peace at being a woman I experienced for the very first time.I felt as if the chains had been broken and I was finally free.I was delighted with the new looks of wonder on people’s faces in place of the looks of a hunter watching his prey I had once sought.Suddenly a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.I no longer spent all my time consumed with shopping, makeup, getting my hair done, and working out. Finally, I was free.
Of all places, I found my Islam at the heart of what some call “the most scandalous place on earth,” which makes it all the more dear and special.

While content with Hijab I became curious about Niqab, seeing an increasing number of Muslim women in it. I asked my Muslim husband, whom I married after I reverted to Islam, whether I should wear Niqab or just settle for the Hijab I was already wearing.My husband simply advised me that he believes Hijab is mandatory in Islam while Niqab is not.At the time, my Hijab consisted of head scarf that covered all my hair except for my face, and a loose long black gown called “Abaya” that covered all my body from neck to toe.

A year-and-a-half passed, and I told my husband I wanted to wear Niqab.My reason, this time, was that I felt it would be more pleasing to Allah, the Creator, increasing my feeling of peace at being more modest.He supported my decision and took me to buy an “Isdaal,” a loose black gown that covers from head to toe, and Niqab, which covers all my head and face except for my eyes.

Soon enough, news started breaking about politicians, Vatican clergymen, libertarians, and so-called human rights and freedom activists condemning Hijab at times, and Niqab at others as being oppressive to women, an obstacle to social integration, and more recently, as an Egyptian official called it--“a sign of backwardness.”

I find it to be a blatant hypocrisy when Western governments and so-called human rights groups rush to defend woman’s rights when some governments impose a certain dress code on women, yet such “freedom fighters” look the other way when women are being deprived of their rights, work, and education just because they choose to exercise their right to wear Niqab or Hijab.Today, women in Hijab or Niqab are being increasingly barred from work and education not only under totalitarian regimes such as in Tunisia,Morocco, and Egypt, but also in Western democracies such as France, Holland, and Britain.

Today I am still a feminist,but a Muslim feminist,who calls on Muslim women to assume their responsibilities in providing all the support they can for their husbands to be good Muslims. To raise their children as upright Muslims so they may be beacons of light for all humanity once again. To enjoin good--any good--and to forbid evil--any evil.To speak righteousness and to speak up against all ills.To fight for our right to wear Niqab or Hijab and to please our Creator whichever way we chose.But just as importantly to carry our experience with Niqab or Hijab to fellow women who may never have had the chance to understand what wearing Niqab or Hijab means to us and why do we, so dearly, embrace it.

Most of the women I know wearing Niqab are Western reverts,some of whom are not even married. Others wear Niqab without full support of either family or surroundings. What we all have in common is that it is the personal choice of each and every one of us, which none of us is willing to surrender.

Willingly or unwillingly, women are bombarded with styles of “dressing-in-little-to-nothing” virtually in every means of communication everywhere in the world.As an ex non-Muslim, I insist on women’s right to equally know about Hijab, its virtues, and the peace and happiness it brings to a woman’s life as it did to mine.Yesterday, the bikini was the symbol of my liberty, when in actuality it only liberated me from my spirituality and true value as a respectable human being.

I couldn’t be happier to shed my bikini in SouthBeach and the “glamorous” Western lifestyle to live in peace with my Creator and enjoy living among fellow humans as a worthy person.It is why I choose to wear Niqab, and why I will die defending my inalienable right to wear it.

Today, Niqab is the new symbol of woman’s liberation to find who she is, what her purpose is, and the type of relation she chooses to have with her Creator.

To women who surrender to the ugly stereotype against the Islamic modesty of Hijab, I say:You don’t know what you are missing.

To you, the ill-fated corrupting conquerors of civilization, so-called crusaders, I say: BRING IT ON.

Sara Bokker is a former actress/model/fitness instructor and activist. Currently, Sara is Director of Communications at "The March For Justice," a co-founder of "The Global Sisters Network," and producer of the infamous "Shock & Awe Gallery
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