Sunday, March 13, 2011

Do You Pray Like Your Fathers?

Don't forget to click on any colored word, if you'd like to see the external source!

The Abrahamic religions have a wide history, forming Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Each having its holy books, recently called: Old Testament, New Testament, and Final Testament. Nonetheless, everyone realizes that there is good and bad people everywhere, which has nothing to do with the person’s religion, nor represents the religion’s concept. It is very easy to criticize anything and anybody, like a religion for example, however, it is easier to look for the true similarities between these religions, to understand what they really are about. Accordingly, if we take a look at the ancient way of prayers, as written in all three testaments, we can realize that the old practices don’t commonly exist in our generation. Muslims believe that these practices have been first taught by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to be delivered from generation to generation, as mentioned in the Final Testament (Quran 21:72-73). Furthermore, to make it understandable to all faiths, it is easier to separate the types of prayers to recognize what each faith practices. Summing up, all prayers are based on a straight spiritual connection with thy creator, worshipping and submitting to him alone, as ordered in all three testaments (Exodus KJV 23:25; Matthew 26:41; Quran 22:78). Therefore, I hope the following details help explain the most common prayers, with it’s variety of benefits.

Most popular is the supplication prayer, which is mostly practiced by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The supplication prayer is basically a direct connection to God--with no mediators: either, asking for mercy or support on something, thanking God for all his blessings, or a combination of both. Many believers consider supplication prayers a way to get closer to God almighty, while others are kind of selfish to only connect to God when they need him the most, ignoring the main blessings they already have, like health and wealth. Furthermore, there has been some research by MD. Randolph C. Byrd, regarding 393 cardiac patients, whom were sorted to two groups. The people of the first group was frequently supplicating to God, while the others didn’t. Therefore, the research concluded that the first group needed less assistance and medication than the second, confirming that the supplication prayers did have a noticeably affect on their health. Nevertheless, these prayers can be made in any position, however, many verses in the Bible mentions that Jesus was praying while prostrating to God: “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39).

Afterward comes the contact prayer, which is a mandatory prayer in Judaism and Islam. These prayers are considered ancient in Judaism, as only a fraction of Jews currently practice it. Most Muslims believe that these prayers are mandatory too, however, some Muslims still give them a low priority in their life. The first stage is ritual ablution, as a preparation for prayers, by washing their exposed body parts like hands, face, and feet. Both Jews and Muslims were ordered in their holy books--Old Testament and Final Testament--to be in a clean state before praying to God. Nevertheless, recent scientific studies discovered that these practices have many health benefits like preventing skin cancer, teeth and gum diseases, impurity diseases, etc. These studies were also gathered by Lamya Tawfik, in her article titled: The Preventive and Healing Wonders of Ablution. Nevertheless, most of these steps were mentioned in the Bible, practiced by King David (2 Samuel 12:20), and also Aaron and Moses (Exodus 40:31).

Furthermore, comes the second stage, which is the contact prayer itself. It was ordered as a type of worship to God: three times a day in Judaism, and five times a day in Islam. The contact prayer is a combination of physical movements (like standing, bowing, and prostrating), along with reciting the words of God--holy books. However, it’s believed that supplicating when prostrating during contact prayer is the closest connection to God; where the holy books stated that most prophets did so too: like Abraham “...fell on his face: and God talked with him...” (Genesis 17:3), Joshua “...fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD...” (Joshua 7:6), Aaron and Moses “...fell upon their faces, and said, O God...” (Numbers 16:22), Elijah “...cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees” (1 Kings 18:42), and last but not least, King David “...fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times...” (1 Samuel 20:40).

More interesting, the contact prayers even prevent you from doing bad deeds, help you to arrange accurate timing and schedules, and even makes you exercise unintentionally. Furthermore, Noor Mohideen mentioned in his website that contact prayers have multiple heath benefits too, like reducing the risks of high Cholesterol, Alzheimer, and Cancerous Tumors; because of the blood flow during the practice.

Last type is the guidance prayer, which is very special but can’t be faked. Guidance prayer is mostly used by Muslims, however, it requires an extremely strong faith in God’s will and judgment. The prayer is all about seeking God’s judgment on a situation or decision you’re deeply concerned about, being confused of what to do or what to expect. I’ve been in an extremely critical situation, that most humans can’t handle. I made a contact prayer with the intention of guidance, following the supplication to faithfully accept God’s will. Asking God to bring this thing closer if it’s good for me, or take it away if it’s bad for me, “you’re the all knowing, the most merciful”. It’s the time when a person lets go of what he thinks about, and keeps the faith that God will prevent any harm to happen. I relaxed afterwards, and the risk I had was gone after some time. The most important thing is to have the faith to stop thinking about your situation, as the Final Testament also states: “...But you may dislike something which is good for you, and you may like something which is bad for you. GOD knows while you do not know” (Quran 2:216).

Concluding the importance toward Jews, Christians, and Muslims to take care of the teaching of their fathers, while it’s clearly stated in their holy books. Nevertheless, Muslims also believe that who doesn’t prostrate to God on earth wont be able to do so at the day of judgment, as they refused to worship their creator on earth (Quran 68:42-43); which makes it important for believers to worship God while they can, as there is no way back at the day of judgment. Hence, there has been many ways of prayer, however, most believers still don’t follow their fathers’ way, even though it is scientifically healthy, too. My advice is to build a stronger connection with God, and his glory will always be with you. Return to the original guidance of God in his holy books, and you will always be blessed and thankful.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Religion or Mythology

Note: Don't forget to click on any colored word, if you'd like to see the external source!

Generation after generation, humans are adapting new habits, knowledge, and myths. It is funny what makes knowledge on the same line with mythologies. Many nations concentrate on discoveries and economies, however, keep a red line when it comes to belief. Why are many religious habits unquestionable if their scholars claim they are true? Besides, people hear about worshiping many idols, cows, gods, sons of god, bhagwans, ...etc. The claim of the dying and resurrection of the son of god also had similar stories throughout: Egyptian son of god, Horus; Persian sons of god, Mithra and Tammuz; Greek son of god, Dionysus; Indian sons of god, Yeshua and Krishna. Isn’t there supposed to be one true son and many fake, or are they all just the same human-made mythology? They all talk about historical miracles, but was any of them ever proven? These doubts still fill many minds. Many humans seem to be relaxed and calm, refusing to even think about their own faith. Do they really agree that they should listen like a baby, believing in whatever is told to them? So let us look at some figures to critically think for ourselves, which is a religion and which is a mythology.
Lets first understand the historical sequence, as most criticizing are history related between the following called religions. The Abrahamic religion, forming the unity of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Believing in Adam, starting life with basic knowledge from God as the first man on earth; following his continues prophecy descendants to Noah, where history still couldn’t prove exact dates; descending to Abraham, born on 1996 BC, forming great nations through his first two sons, Ishmael and Isaac; the second son Isaac, descending to Moses on 1392 BC and Jesus Christ on 4 BC; the first son Ishmael, descending to Muhammad on 570 AD. Furthermore, many beliefs came in-between like Horus, the Egyptian son of God, worshipped around 2200 BC. Dionysus, the Greek son of God, worshiped around 1400 BC. Mithra, the Persian son of God, was first worshipped by Zoroastrianism around 600 BC, which was also a religion of the Roman Empire before Christianity around 200 AD. Buddha, founder of Buddhism faith, born on 560 BC. Yaksha and Nagas were worshipped by Hinduism around 400 BC.
After all, we realize from history many interfered mythologies, copying similar stories from one religion to another; fighting against each other in the late centuries, each claiming to be the true source. If there really is one God like most religions explain, wouldn’t he had his sons introduce each other? Or are they all just myths, stealing stories and delusions from each other to sound similar? Obviously, the Egyptian and Greek mythologies already ended many generations ago, having nothing to do with the modern religious attacks. In addition, there are many claims from Zoroastrian scholars that the Abrahamic religion is based on their stories; claiming that Zoroastrianism is 1500 BC, with no historical evidence. At the same time, Abrahamic religion scholars claim that Zoroastrianism is mostly taken from the Abrahamic religion. So, even if they claim to be 1500 years before Christ, Abrahamic religion still holds an earlier history and wider scientific fundamentals, which are explained further. Additionally is Buddhism: many Buddha scholars explained that Buddhism is not a religion like many claim, but a way of life; while it can be practiced along with any faith. Therefore, should we really call those religions? Especially when the only scientific details they have are stolen from the Scrolls of Abraham!

Yet, political and cultural influence are still corrupting the original religious principles, till this moment. For example, Judaism got rid of the historical son of god myths; but many Jews are still influenced by the Zionist politics, clamming to have the right of the holy land of Jerusalem, by force. Also stating that the land is for the descendants of Abraham, but denying that the Arabs are descendants of Abraham, too. Jerusalem has been a multi-faith land for thousands of years, holding historical architecture of many faiths. I really don't believe it should stay occupied by a single faith state like Israel: killing and kicking out Arab Jews, Christians and Muslims from their homes. Some Zionist Jews still claim that Palestine is a new name given by Arabs, even though their holy book mentions the name of the land, stating, “And Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time” (Genesis KJV 21:34). Another example, is the influence that is still dividing Christians, having different opinions in many core beliefs of Christianity. Jesus, the Messiah--savior, always taught to worship God and pray to God, not himself. Nevertheless, Muslims are recently claimed to be terrorists, even though their holy book never allowed so, stating: “O you who believe, do not consume each others' properties illicitly - only mutually acceptable transactions are permitted. You shall not kill yourselves. GOD is Merciful towards you” (Quran 4:29). Furthermore, those regime radicals, whom call themselves Muslims,  don’t even represent 1% of the 1.6 billion population. Likewise, an estimate of 5% still disbelieve that HIV is the cause of Aids. Should we believe that, too? History explains that the Holy Roman Empire also ruled and forced Christianity in many nations, murdering in the name of Christ. In addition, Phillip Jenkins, a professor of Humanities in the Pennsylvania State University, discussed his studies about more bloody scriptures in the Bible than the Quran on Aljazeera TV. However, that still doesn’t mean all Christians are terrorists, as those versus are actually against murdering innocents and only allowed self defense. Nevertheless, to logically conclude which is a religion and which is a mythology: we need to separate political and cultural influence from the religion, to understand what is it really about.
Furthermore, science is always based on continues experiments and opinions, while those opinions are changeable at anytime; however, when it comes to a situation when a scientific opinion matches an oldie sacred text, we can realize that the match is not a random guess or a peek from the future. The creation of the universe has been written since the period of Noah and Abraham--a couple thousand years ago, way before science ever discovered some of it, like creatures, earth, sun, moon, stars, planets, etc. During the Internet era, many near-death experiences have been publicly shared, explaining the feeling of heaven and hell. Maybe we can’t believe one or two story tellers, but now we hear hundreds living extremely far from each other and having the same story: the good people explained the bright light through a tunnel, like space, feeling glory and hope; while the sinners are seeing other sinners they knew, like thieves and murderers, constantly burning and screaming, shouting that there is no way out. Therefore, the Final Testament’s description of shooting stars is clear now: stopping whom tries to exceed the skies without God’s permission (Quran 37:6-10). In other words, the good souls do have the permission to leave our skies, but the demons that try to sneak are pursued by a shooting star; while scientists still can’t unitedly explain what a shooting star really is. Another scientific match with a sacred text is the human embryonic development. Professor Keith L Moore is a founding member of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists. He was also honored and awarded by many international associations, too. He is the author of the book entitled The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, widely published and translated to many languages. His research was recently done with extremely advanced technologies, proving the exact stages of a human embryonic development with graphs (Moore 65-82); however, he was shocked to read the exact same stages in a 1400 year-old holy book, including the strong meaning of the Arabic terms alagah and mudgah :
We created the human being from an extract of clay. Subsequently, we reproduced him from a tiny drop, that is placed into a well protected repository. Then we developed the drop into a alaqah [leech, suspended thing, and blood clot], then developed the alaqah into a mudgah [chewed substance], then created the mudghah into bones, then covered the bones with flesh. We thus produce a new creature. Most blessed is GOD, the best Creator.  (Quran 23:12-14)
Professor Moore announced his belief in the Final Testament afterwards, at the Seventh Medical Conference in Dammam, Saudi Arabia in 1981. His book is widely used in many universities. Also, many known anatomists confirmed his same claim about the Final Testament, like Dr. Gerald C. Goeringer, Dr. E. Marshall Johnson, and Dr. T.V.N. Persaud. Nevertheless, comes the long criticizing of the Final Testament's statement of the split of the moon, saying that the moon has been dead for billions of years. Thus, NASA recently published an official video and close pictures of the moon, stating that they discovered that the moon is still active, shrinking toward some scarps--which looks like a crack in the image, while they couldn't explain what is causing so. Check out the speech of Dr. Tom Watters, from NASA's Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
Concluding that any miracles in a real religion can be proven with science by time, while mythologies are easily believed and also easily forgotten, too, by time. A human doesn’t need to be a scientist to believe, as logic is built in our mind. Hate and division are man-made, so humans can still avoid them. Mythologies are also man-made, but people still fall for them! Hence, we should separate political and cultural influence to realize what the real religion is, while funny mythologies have no-where to run. Anybody can personally attack or criticize anything, but reality will always prove itself. I encourage everyone to focus on the used resources to criticize a religion, which will give you an idea how nonsense the claims really are.