BY Dr. Sherif Abdel Azeem
According to the Bible, a man must fulfill any vows he might make to God. He must not break his word. On the other hand, a woman's vow is not necessarily binding on her. It has to be approved by her father, if she is living in his house, or by her husband, if she is married. If a father/husband does not endorse his daughter's/wife's vows, all pledges made by her become null and void:
"But if her father forbids her when he hears about it, none of her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand ....Her husband may confirm or nullify any vow she makes or any sworn pledge to deny herself" (Num. 30:2-15)
The Ditches of Fire in Najran
Surah Al-Buruj mentions ditches of fire in which believers of Allah T'ala were thrown in due to their beliefs. Several stories have been mentioned by the scholars in this regard. Below is one such real tale.
The best known event of ditches of fires for the believers perhaps relates to Najran, as related by Ibn Hisham, Tabari, Ibn Khaldun, the author of Mujam al-Buldan and other Muslim historians. The story goes as follows:
Tuban Asad Abu Karib, king of Himyar (Yaman), went to Yathrib once where he embraced Judaism under the influence of the Jews, and brought two of the Jewish scholars of Bani Quraizah with him to Yaman. There he propagated Judaism widely. His son Dhu-Nuwas succeeded him. Dhu-Nuwas attacked Najran which was a stronghold of the Christians in southern Arabia so as to eliminate Christianity and make the people accept Judaism. (Ibn Hisham says that these people were true followers of the Gospel of the Prophet Jesus.) In Najran, Dhu-Nuwas ordered people to accept Judaism but they refused to obey. Thereupon he caused a large number of people to be burnt in the ditches of fire and slew many others with the sword until he had killed nearly twenty thousand of them.
The True Religion Of God
By Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
THE RELIGION OF ISLAM
The first thing that one should know and clearly understand about Islam is what the word "Islam" itself means. The religion of Islam is not named after a person as in the case of Christianity which was named after Jesus Christ, Buddhism after Gautam Buddha, Confucianism after Confucius, and Marxism after Karl Marx. Nor was it named after a tribe like Judaism after the tribe of Judah and Hinduism after the Hindus. Islam is the true religion of "Allah" and as such, its name represents the central principle of Allah's "God's" religion; the total submission to the will of Allah "God". The Arabic word "Islam" means the submission or surrender of one's will to the only true god worthy of worship "Allah" and anyone who does so is termed a "Muslim", The word also implies "peace" which is the natural consequence of total submission to the will of Allah. Hence, it was not a new religion brought by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) I in Arabia in the seventh century, but only the true religion of Allah re-expressed in its final form.