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Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html

Monday, April 07, 2014

JERUSALEM: An Islamic Perspective


The following article was a talk presented by Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi at the first meeting of American Muslims for Jerusalem (AMJ) in Washington, DC on April 17, 1999.
Photo credit: Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times

 The city of Jerusalem is very sacred to Muslims. It is one of the three most sacred cities in Islam. Jerusalem is called al-Quds al-Sharif (the Noble Sacred Place). In order to understand the sacredness of this city in Islam, one has to understand the faith structure of Islam.
There are three basic principles of faith in Islam:

  • Tawhid- Belief in the oneness of Allah
  • Risalah- Belief in the divine guidance through His chosen prophets and Messengers
  • Akhirah- Belief in life after death, divine judgment and heaven and hell
It is the second principle of faith in Islam that is directly related to our love and devotion to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem in the Islamic Faith
Islam recognizes all the Prophets and Messengers of Allah. The Quran has mentioned many Prophets by name. Their stories and teachings are told at varying length throughout the Quran. Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Zachariah, John, (Yahya) and Jesus are among the honored Prophets and Messengers of Allah according to Islam. Prophets David and Solomon are also recognized by Jews and Christians as great kings and patriarchs of ancient Isarel. However, in Islam they are honored as Allah’s great Prophets. The Quran not only narrated their stories, but also restored their honor by removing some of the charges and allegations there were made against their characters by earlier communities. In the Bible, Prophet David was accused of committing adultery (2 Samuel 11-12) and Prophet Solomon was accused of idolatry (1 King 11). The Quran absolved these prophets from all these charges (28:21-25; 38:30). This shows that David and Solomon are more revered and respected in Islam than in Jewish and Christian traditions.

Since the city of Jerusalem is historically associated with these prophets of Allah, it naturally becomes a sacred city to Muslims. Islam considers itself a continuation of the same spiritual and ethical movement that was begun by the earlier Prophets. Historically and theologically, Islam believes itself to be the true inheritor of the earlier traditions of the Prophets and Messengers of Allah. It is for this reason that the Quran called Palestine- the land associated with the lives of many God’s Prophets- as al-ard al-muqaddasa (the Sacred Land, 5:21) and its surroundings barakna hawlaha (God’s Blessed Precincts 17:1).

The sacredness of the city of Jerusalem, according to Islam, is in its historically religious reality. This is the city that witness the life and works of greatest Prophets and Messengers of Allah. Here, divine grace touched the earth repeatedly. Allah’s great Prophets and Messengers lived and moved in its valleys and streets. Thus as Makkah and Medina are blessed cities in Islam because of their association with Prophets Abraham, Ishmael and Muhammad, in a similar way, Jerusalem is blessed and important in Islam because of its association with other prophets of Allah, namely David, Solomon an Jesus. Jews and Christians do not recognize Ishmael and Muhammad as God’s Prophets and Messengers, and do not consider Makkah and Medina as sacred cities to them. The Muslims’ belief in Prophets Moses, David, Solomon, and Jesus, compel Muslims to recognize the sacredness and importance of Jerusalem.
Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi - Chairman of Fiqh Council of North America

Jerusalem in the Life of Prophet Muhammad
Due to its theological and religious status, Jerusalem had a very important place in the life of Prophet Muhammad. In the year 620 CE almost one and a half years before his Hijrah (migration) from Makkah to Medina, the well-known event of Isra and Miraj (Night Journey and Ascension) occurred. On this night, in a miraculous way, the prophet was taken on a momentous journey from Makkah to Jerusaelm and from there to the heavenly celestial abodes. The Night Journey was a great miracle that Muslims believe was give to Prophet Muhammas as an honor and as a confirmation of Makkah’s spiritual link with Jerusalem. The Night Journey from Makkah to Jerusalem is called al-Isra’ and the ascension from Jerusalem to the heaven is called al-Mi’raj. Both of these events took place on the same night. Angel Gabriel took prophet Muhammad from Makkah to Jerusalem. There it is reported that the Prophet stood at the Sacred Rock (al-Sakhrah al-Musharrafah), went to the heavens, and returned to Jerusalem where he met with many Prophets and Messengers and led them in prayers.

After these experiences the Prophet was brought back to Makkah. The story of Isra’ and Mi’raj is full of wonderful signs and symbols. It has been interpreted by Muslim thinkers, mystics and poets in deep and meaningful ways. The essential point is the Muslim’s deep devotion and spiritual connection with Jerusalem.

During the Mi’raj, the Prophet is reported to have received from Allah the command of five daily prayers (Salah) that al Muslims must perform. Upon his return to Makkah, the Prophet instituted these prayers. It is significant to note that he made Jerusalem the direction (al-Qiblah) which Muslims must face while during their prayers. Jerusalem is thus called Ula al-Qiblatain (the first Qiblah). The Prophet and the early community of Islam worshiped in the direction of Jerusalem during their stay in Makkah. After the Hijah Muslims in Medina also continued to use the direction of Jerusalem for almost seventeen months. Then came the command of Allah to change the direction from Jerusalem to Makkah (2:142-150).

Muslim commentators of the Quran and historians have explained the meaning and purpose of this change. Suffice it to say that the change of the Qiblah in no way diminished the status of Jerusalem in Islam. The Kabah in Makkah was meant to be the Qiblah from the beginning, because the Quran said that it was the First House (Awwal Bait 3:96) established for mankind to worship. The Kabah, however, was full of idols when Prophet Muhammad began preaching his message of Tawhid (the Oneness and Transcendence of Allah). A separation had to be made between the people and the former pagan worship they had done at the Kabah. Jerusalem served that purpose very well by distancing the people from their pagan and idolatrous associations. Once monotheism was fully established in the minds and hearts of the believers and the Kabah’s position with Abraham with monotheism was made clear, the way was open to restore the Kabah as the original direction of prayers. There are many instances of this type of change (or abrogation, naskh, in Islamic legislation. Visiting the graves was forbidden in the beginning, but later was permitted because Muslims had learned the difference between visiting the grave sites and ancestor worship. In the beginning Prophet Muhammad forbade his people to write his own words except that which was the Word of Allah. Later, he gave them permission to write Hadith as well.

It is interesting to note that the Kabah in Makkah was the original direction of prayers for all the prophets of Allah. According to a Hadith, the black stone (al-Hajar al-Aswad) had been in Makkah at the place of the Kabah since the time of Adam. It was the Prophets Abraham and Ishmael who built the Kabah under Allah’s command and direction (2:125-127). The city of Jerusalem was established as a religious center for the Israelite people by Prophets David and Solomon around the year 900 BC. This was almost one thousand years after the time f Prophet Abraham and the building of the Kabah. Thus one can say that the Kabah had a historical primacy over Jerusalem. Furthermore, it is important to note that the bible says that the early Israelites in Jerusalem used to turn in the southern direction when making their most sacred prayers and offerings (Exodus 27:9ff; 40:24). The Kabah is in the southern direction of Jerusalem. Thus, we can say that the Kabah was also the Qiblah for the earlier Israelite communities as well.

Jerusalem in the Early History of Islam
Jerusalem came under Islamic rule during the time of the second Caliph Umar in the year 638. It was a peaceful conquest. The ruling patriarch of the city, Sophronius, offered the keys of the city to the Caliph himself.

Upon entering the blessed city, the Caliph asked about the site of the mosque of David (al-Masjid al-Aqsa) and the blessed Rock from where the Prophet ascended in Mi’raj which was a desolate place at the time. Romans had destroyed the so-called Temple in the year 70 CE and no non-Christian or Christian ruler after that ever tried to build any place of worship there. According to historians, it was a garbage dump, a dunghill for the people of Jerusalem. Umar, upon learning that was the site of the Masjid and the place where from the Mi’raj took place, cleaned the site with his own hands and put his forehead in prayer on the ground. The Masjid al-Aqsa was built in that area. Later, the Dome of the Rock and a more elaborate mosque were built there in 691 CE. Those were, perhaps, the first most expensive sacred monuments built in the history of Islam.

Jerusalem was always held in great esteem by Muslims. The Prophet said: “A journey should not be taken (with the intention of worship) except to three mosques: the Sacred Mosque in Makkah, my Mosque in Medina and Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem.”

On the basis of this Hadith, Muslims always considered it as a religious obligation to visit the city of Jerusalem, its mosque and its sacred and blessed precincts. Often, pilgrims to Makkah made it a point to visit Jerusalem, as well, on their way to Makkah and Medina.

Muslim rulers and philanthropists built many hostels, schools, and other religious centers in and around the city. They purchased land and dedicated it as a waqf (endowment) for religious purposes. The entire city is virtually a waqf land which is non-salable and non-transferable.

Many Muslim scholars also migrated and settled in the city of Jerusalem. Al-Aqsa Masjid was a great seat of learning. Thousands of pious people and scholars made stipulations in their will to be buried in Jerusalem upon their death. There are thousands, perhaps millions of Muslims’ graves in the city of Jerusalem.

Muslims also recognize the rights of Christians and Jews who hold the city dear to their hearts and sacred in their faiths. Under Islamic rule they were allowed to visit the city and many of them were given permission to settle there. When Caliph Umar made the treaty with Patriarch Sophronius, it was agreed, at the request of the Christian patriarch that “No Jews will live with them in Aelia.” The Muslims relaxed this rule and Jews were again permitted by Muslims to return and live there. During their ninety-year rule (1099-1187), the Crusaders banned both Jews and Muslims from the city.
The city of Jerusalem is very important to Muslims. Muslims have a right to this city religiously, historically and legally. There are three important points to remember about Islam and Jerusalem:

  • In the entire history of Jerusalem, from the time of Prophet David until the present, Muslims have ruled the city the longest.
  • Muslims maintained the sacredness of the city in the full sense of the word.
  • Muslims established and practiced the most tolerant multi-religious and multi-faith character of Jerusalem.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Who and what is a terrorist?

The label "terrorist" is one of the most exploited and hypocritical political terms used in our modern time. 

It is regularly used by our government to describe the targets of our CIA's drone attacks (who mostly turned out to be innocent civilians) or those who oppose our foreign invasions. It is used by Israel to describe Palestinians who oppose its illegal and brutal occupation of their land. It was used by the psychotic Qaddafi to describe brave Libyans who demanded freedom. It is used by the butcher Assad to describe and slaughter Syrians who revolted against his dictatorship for freedom and democracy. It is what Al-Sisi calls pro-democracy Egyptians who oppose his military coup. It is how Bahrain labels Bahrainis who demand equal rights and democracy. It is what China calls persecuted Uighurs and Tibetans who demand basic human rights. It is what India calls the occupied people of Kashmir for demanding freedom...

There are certainly groups such as Al Qaeda, Jewish Defense League, KKK, Neo-Nazis, and many others which have engaged in terrorism and deserve to be labeled "terrorist". However, by falsely accusing their legitimate opponents of being terrorists, governments that are actually engaging in terrorist-like behavior seek to dehumanize those opponents in order to justify human rights violations and murder against them and their communities. The manipulation of the term also leads to the trivialization and normalization of real acts of terror committed by such governments or actual terrorist groups and individuals. 

Therefore, next time you hear the term "terrorist", remember that it could be about a real terrorist, a freedom fighter, a pro-democracy activist, or some browned-skinned collateral damage.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Anti-Muslim bigot Gaubatz quits "fighting to expose Pure Islam"; accuses fellow Islamophobes of promoting bigotry to "make a lot of money"

Infamous self-declared anti-Islam bigot, Dave Gaubatz, just announced his retirement from his fight to "expose pure Islam".  In his "retirement" email sent to his supporters (shown below), Gaubatz, provides us with the proof for what we have long known and which is that the Islamophobia industry is driven by frauds and liars who are promoting fear of Islam for personal financial gain.

Gaubatz is the brain (or lack of it) behind some outlandish conspiracy theories such as Muslim interns are sent by CAIR to spy on Congress and that Muslims are on a secret mission to islamize America!!


Email from Gaubatz

Sent: Sat, Nov 9, 201
Subject: Dave Gaubatz Retiring From The Counter-terrorism World


Dear Americans and Other Loyal Patriots Around the World Who Are Fighting Everyday to Expose 'Pure Islam'

I am retiring from the close knit world of reporting on Islamic issues.

I want to express my thanks and deep appreciation for everyone who has followed my work on counter-terrorism and other National Security matters.  I also want to say Merry Christmas (a few weeks early) to everyone and I wish you and your families a safe and joyous holiday.  There will soon come a time this blessed Christian holiday will be limited to how it is celebrated in America.  We are already seeing it at  schools, work, and in most shopping centers.  This is coming about because of the power and influence of Islam.

I have chosen this Christmas card because in many ways it hits home to people who love their countries and do not want Islamic issues to dominate the minds of the  politicians, media, and other city, county, state, and federal government leaders.

Christmas has always meant a time of happy days for family, uplifting the spirits of the sick and elderly, and most important it gives our children a day of laughter and love the world over.  Of course we know there is no Santa Claus in a bright red suit, but for many of us Santa Claus lives within and comes out during Christmas time.

I also want to wish my many Jewish friends the world over a "Happy Hanukkah". The Jewish people have been victimized for over 1400 years by Islamic leaders.  Always support our Jewish friends.
I want peace for everyone who practices any religion that is not filled with hate and violence since its inception. I hope someday the millions of Muslims who identify with the Islamic religion, but also want peace for all regardless of their religion, to stand up and leave the ideology (Islam) that is set on destroying Israel and any person or government who stands up for this beautiful country.

I have chosen to retire from calling the alarm to the impending increase in violence the world over which is in the name of Islam.  I have studied Islam the world over for over 30 years, and did my research from the inside out. I have simply grown tired from expressing the obvious about the dangers of Islam.  Over and over I have provided first-hand evidence about the dangers Islam presents to the people throughout the world who want peace.

There are large numbers of Americans and others who do understand the dangers of  'Pure Islam', but unfortunately they do not control our governments and have been silenced by the supporters of Islam within our own government.  Have our leaders  chosen Islam and Sharia law above the foundations of Christianity and Judaism which formed America, because of their ignorance, or because they are in bed politically and financially with Islamic leaders and Islamic governments. My work within our  government as a federal law enforcement officer leads me to believe our government leaders align themselves with Islamic leaders and Islamic based governments such  as Saudi Arabia because in today's times they have the power and money.  The leaders and media who value the rights of Sharia law over our U.S. Constitution are traitors to America.

Since my book (Muslim Mafia) came out in 2009, I have seen both sides of the aisle, both from the liberals and conservatives.  I have of course been called every name in the book by Islamic leaders and their supporters, but I never thought I would  be so harshly attacked by non Muslim Americans from both sides of the aisle.  I  have always presented first-hand evidence and provided the information to people without political correctness, or worrying if it may offend some politician or journalist.

There are many conservative counter-terrorism people and organizations that regardless of the cruelties Islam has inflicted on innocent people across the world for 1400 years, and continue to do so even today, will still use words and phrases like, "Islam has been hijacked, "Radical Muslims", "Lone Wolf Muslim terrorists", and "Moderate Muslims".  There is no such thing as Islam being hijacked by radicals.

  Islam is Islam today as it was 1400 years ago: violent and filled with hatred.

  Terrorist incidents like in Ft. Hood and Boston were not lone wolf attacks. These Muslims were carrying out orders given to Muslims by Prophet Mohammed.  There are no 'Moderate Muslims'.  There are practicing Muslims and non- practicing Muslims.

It is as simple as that.

Since 2009 I have met virtually every conservative organization and their leaders who are working to expose Islam...at least from one looking from the outside in.

  There are many good people fighting the fight from within these organizations,  but the majority of the 501 non profit conservative organizations saying they are engaging Islam in head to head battle, are nothing more than business corporations fighting for the big bucks.  I am referring to these conservative leaders who are fighting against each other (from the inside) for the $50,000 and $100,000 plus donations.

If the average American knew how much fighting goes on between rival non- profit  conservative organizations, they would cancel their membership from these groups and work alone to expose Islam.  Do not allow anyone to tell you these 501 conservative acronyms are not businesses and their leaders do not make very high salaries.  Many of their salaries are in excess of $150,000 plus. I believe most started out for  the right reasons, but soon found out they can make a lot of money.  It would be ok if they made a lot of money if the work they were doing was making a difference.

 From the outside it looks like a difference is being made, but since the conservative groups are non-profit organizations, the federal government has the final say on  what they can and can't say.
Some people will argue that I have made a large amount of money since my book came out.  I turned over the royalties of my book to WND to assist them in the legal fees.  WND is an outstanding organization and you should support them. The last two years I travel to organizations across America to speak at travel costs only.

 The few donations I have received goes directly into research.  I live from payday to payday as many Americans.

Most people realize Fox News is partially owned by Saudi persons, so there is only a limited amount of negativity or exposure of Islam one can do on Fox News.  The  leaders of conservative non profit groups are careful to not offend Fox News owners because it would mean they would no longer be invited on this media outlet.  Therefore counter-terrorism professionals continue to be politically correct toward Islamic issues.  America will lose the war against Islam because there are very few Americans who have large audiences who will give it to the American people straight. This is simply that the Islamic ideology is our number one enemy and the only way to protect America is to expose Islam as a hate and violent filled ideology that has no place in America or the world.

Since it is nearly Veteran's Day, I want to close this period of my life and with what short time I may have, I want to devote my attention to working with veteran organizations that are helping our troops with combat PTSD issues. Many people do not realize there are thousands upon thousands of vets with combat PTSD.  When a  troop loses his sight, an arm, leg, or more visible injuries, their families, friends, and others stay with them and help them return to as normal life as possible.  The vast majority of troops with combat PTSD are most often discarded by their families and friends because PTSD is an invisible injury.  I want to do what I can for these troops.   

Respectfully and God Bless you all, Dave Gaubatz ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Best Wishes,

dave gaubatz