queenskin asked: Assalamu'alaikum brothers/sisters! Could you recommend other reliable websites where I can learn about Islam?
Peace and many blessings,
You know what both the Quran and Bible say about Jesus Christ? Both Holy Books say he was a peacemaker.
And you know what the Arabic term Muslim translates to? A peacemaker.
If someone asks you about how you religiously affiliate yourself, simply say, I am a peacemaker like my Christ and my Muhammad, and I am a lover of God.
to understand the implications of Islam, you must formulate a relationship with Quran.
[Youtube] When will Allah respond to my dua? Will Allah respond to my duas?
Rational deduction is the thinking process where logical conclusions are drawn from a universally accepted statement or provable premises. This process is also called rational inference or logical deduction.
In the context of the Qur’an’s uniqueness the universally accepted statement supported by eastern and western scholarship is:
“The Qur’an was not successfully imitated by the Arabs at the time of revelation”
From this statement the following logical conclusions can be drawn:
1. The Qur’an could not have come from an Arab as the Arabs, at the time of revelation, were linguists par excellence and they failed to challenge the Qur’an. They had even admitted that the Qur’an could have not come from a human being.
2. The Qur’an could not have come from a Non-Arab as the language in the Qur’an is Arabic, and the knowledge of the Arabic language is a pre-requisite to successfully challenge the Qur’an.
3. The Qur’an could not have come from the Prophet Muhammad due to the following reasons:
a. The Prophet Muhammad was an Arab himself and all the Arabs failed to challenge the Qur’an.
b. The Arabs linguists at the time of revelation never accused the Prophet of being the author of the Qur’an.
c. The Prophet Muhammad experienced many trials and tribulations during the course of his Prophetic mission. For example his children died, his beloved wife Khadija passed away, he was boycotted, his close companions were tortured and killed, yet the Qur’an’s literary character remains that of the divine voice and character. Nothing in the Qur’an expresses the turmoil and emotions of the Prophet Muhammad. It is almost a psychological and physiological impossibility to go through what the Prophet went through and yet none of the emotions are expressed in the literary character of the Qur’an.
d. The Qur’an is a known literary masterpiece yet its verse were at many times revealed for specific circumstances and events that occurred. However, without revision or deletion they are literary masterpieces. All literary masterpieces have undergone revision and deletion to ensure literary perfection, however the Qur’an was revealed instantaneously.
e. The hadith or narrations of the Prophet Muhammad are in a totally different style then that of the Qur’an. How can any human being express themselves orally over a 23 year period (which was the period of Qur’anic revelation) in two distinct styles? This is a psychological and physiological impossibility according to modern research.
f. All types of human expression can be imitated if the blueprint of that expression exists. For example artwork can be imitated even though some art is thought to be extraordinary or amazingly unique. But in the case of the Qur’an we have the blueprint – the Qur’an itself – yet no one has been able to imitate its unique literary form.
4. The Qur’an could not have come from another being such as a Jinn or Spirit because the basis of their existence is the Qur’an and revelation itself. Their existence is based upon revelation and not empirical evidence. Therefore if someone claims that the source of the Qur’an to be another being then they would have to prove its existence and in this case proving revelation. In the case of using the Qur’an as the revelation to establish Jinns existence then that would mean the whole rational deduction exercise would not be required in the first place, as the Qur’an would already have been established as a divine text, because to believe in Jinns existence would mean belief in the Qur’an in the first place.
5. The Qur’an can only have come from the Divine as it is the only logical explanation as all other explanations have been discarded because they do not explain the uniqueness of the Qur’an in a comprehensive and coherent manner.
No understanding of the Arabic language or the Quran’s message is assumed at this stage.
Acquire good modern translations of the Quran. If possible, try not to rely on any one translation. A greater quantity of translations will only serve to enrich the understanding of the message of a particular verse by providing the opinion of various commentators. Compare translations to understand how each commentator has attempted to render the Quranic passages. Some online translations are available from the Study Tools section here.
Read the Quranic verses in complete context with its surrounding verses. Many different events and stories from different time periods are often narrated together to derive a central core point and expose underlying wisdom. Identifying and appreciating the context of the verse is imperative. One of the most (if not the most) common mistakes made with regards the Quranic text is its misquotation and divorce from context.
Avoid reading the translators ‘comments’ usually in parentheses, which attempt to explain what the narrative means. This is a commentator’s opinion and depending on his or her theology, may not always be consistent with the Quran’s overarching theology. Grammatical conjunctions in parenthesis such as ‘and’, ‘not’, ‘yet’, ‘so’, ‘not only’, ‘whether’, are often a necessary requirement to enable the flow of a translation from one language to another. These are not really a problem in themselves other than they allow for the fluidity of the discourse.
Exercise much caution with footnotes and commentaries (Arabic Tafsir). In these Tafsirs, commentators elucidate Quranic verses pinning meanings to verses which may not always be consistent with context and other Quranic narratives. There are good commentaries which remain true to the Quran’s own context and usage of words. However, there are many inconsistent and misleading commentaries which can rely on the commentator’s personal theology.
Others make use of specific traditions, authorities, indiscriminate use of earlier historians and classical interpretations (without due critique) and develop particular theological points based on problematic Islamic secondary sources. In this way, much is ‘read into’ the Quranic text which is quite unnecessary and misleading. It is best to keep consistent with the text and to appreciate the subtleties and discretion imparted by the Quran. See related article  below. Here, a good understanding of Arabic is undoubtedly useful or at minimum, a word-word translation of the Quran to study the text for yourself. A good word-word translation is provided in the Study Tools section here by Zaheen Fatima Baig as an example.
Highlight and underscore areas which are not readily clear on first reading. The Quran consistently repeats its message in various ways and in multiple contexts, to cement an underlying core theme. Patience here will pay many dividends. You will note often a particular point is clarified in another part of the Quran providing further information and in a completely different perspective. Smaller pieces are slowly put together to frame a wider understanding.
Read the Quran completely from cover to cover with a highlighter pen or pencil, with a view to make copious notes. Any further re-readings of the Quran will only serve to refine and deepen the understanding of the narratives uncovering further layers of wisdom.
Identify similar subjects and themes and pool them together from different parts of the Quran to study together as one piece. Usually a good index helps, but a comprehensive personal index that you have collated on the basis of your own study is best.
The Qur’an is a dynamic and intrusive text that constantly seeks to engage with the inner dispositions of man. The Qur’an achieves this by asking profound questions concerning natural phenomena, life and the universe.
However the Qur’an does not stop at addressing these themes, it also asks about man himself. Who is he? Where is he going? What is he? It eloquently asks the question “Do they not reflect within themselves?”
The above verse doesn’t only refer to the human body but refers to ourselves in general which includes physiological and psychological dimensions. We often contemplate and reflect on the universe outside of ourselves, but we seldom meditate on the micro-universe within ourselves. Although there is so much to write about concerning human physiology, the purpose of this note is to discuss one of the most important oversights of our thinking: the self.
Human beings experience things all the time, this note you are reading is an experience and even talking about your experience is an experience. However the ultimate reality that we know from any experience is the experiencer itself, in other words ourselves.
When we realise that there is a first-person, an “I”, “me” or “mine” we come to face a profound mystery, the Philosopher Roy Abraham Varghese puts it nicely, he writes, “To reverse Descartes, ‘I am, therefore I think…’ Who is this ‘I’? ‘Where’ is it? How did it come to be? Your self is not just something physical.”
The self is not a physical thing; it is not contained in any cell or biological structure. The most unchallenged and intuitive reality is that we are all aware, but we cannot describe or explain what this awareness is. One thing that we can be sure of is that the self cannot be explained biologically or chemically, the main reason for this is that science doesn’t discover the self; it’s actually the other way round. For science to try and explain the truth of the self would be tantamount to arguing in a circle! Even scientists recognise this, the physicist Gerald Schroeder points out that there is no real difference between a heap of sand and the brain of an Einstein.
The advocates of a physical explanation for the self end up in a muddle as they require answers to even bigger questions such as ‘how can certain bits of matter suddenly create a new reality that has no resemblance to matter?’
So if the self cannot be explained physically then the next question must be asked, ‘how did it come to be?’ The history of the universe indicates that consciousness just spontaneously arose and language emerged without any evolutionary forerunner. So where did it come from?
Even the neo-atheists have failed to come to terms with the nature of the self and its source, because no physical explanation is coherent enough to convince. The best-seller and popular atheist Richard Dawkins almost admits defeat concerning the self and consciousness, he states “We don’t know. We don’t understand it.”
The best explanation for the nature and source of the self is that it came from a source that is thinking, aware and conscious. How else can the self, which is an entity with a capacity to reflect and experience, manifest itself? It cannot have come from unconscious matter incapable to experience and ponder.
Simply put matter cannot produce concepts and perceptions, therefore we can conclude that the self cannot have a material basis but must have come from a living source that transcends the material world; and this is best explained by God. No other answer provides an adequate explanation for this phenomenon.
 Qur’an 30:8
 There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist changed his Mind. Anthony Flew with Roy Abraham Varghese. Appendix A, p 180.
 Richard Dawkins and Steeve Pinker, “Is Science Killing the Soul?” The Guardian-Dillons Debate, Edge 53. April 8, 1999.