Mass Shooting Day — Start the Count — 0001

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

In the United States of America, every day is a Mass Shooting Day. It is no longer news. It is the new normal.

Just as the daily news reports counted the days of the Iran Hostage Crisis, so should we count the days of mass shootings — until we put an end to it. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Unless I hear otherwise, I assume that this day and every day is a Mass Shooting Day.

I am starting the count today, June 17, 2017. This is day 0001. Hopefully, we will put an end to this scourge before I run out of numbers.

Mass Shooting Day 0001.

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A Remarkable Person

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

Today is his birthday, and I want to thank him for being born and coming into my life. He is one of the most remarkable people I have ever met.

I remember the first moment I saw him. I was on jury duty at the Bronx County Courthouse. During a lunch break, I went to the nearby mosque to perform salaah. I had just finished performing wudu (washing face, hands and feet, in preparation for salaah) when I turned around and saw him standing by the door, holding a mop. Apparently, it was his job to mop the floor and keep it decent after so many men had performed wudu. We looked at each other. He started to say something, but nothing came out.

The next thing I remember is that he and I had established a pattern of eating together and going to movies, once a week. Pleadingly, he would say, “I want to be with you” and “Take me home with you”. I was definitely not going to take him home, because he was only 16, and I was 35. And because I was abstinent and trying to not be homosexual (whatever that means). And because we were being watched by a gang (“community”) of “Muslim” men who prided themselves on having killed a man they claimed was having sex with “boys”. (I could never get clarification on the age of the “boys” in question.) And because this young man was surviving by exchanging sexual favors for money. (It had never occurred to me that treating him to dinner and a movie and occasionally giving him a little money — I didn’t have much to give — was supposed to be a prelude to sexual favors.)

Despite the fact that he was hyperactive and classified as “mentally challenged”, I genuinely enjoyed his company. To this day — thirty-six years later — he is the closest thing to a son I’ve ever had.

He wants me to write his book. This is a modest beginning.


He was born 52 years ago. His father was a crackhead and separated from his mother a week after he was born. His mother was alcoholic — drinking while he was in the womb. He is coping with the effects of that.

He has two sisters by a different father. Aside from the emotional insensitivity that seems to characterize most of his family, one of his sisters is a relatively decent person. The other sister is a dangerous psychotic who would occasionally cut up his clothing when she became angry with him — which was quite often. Their father is a man whose acts of brutality defy belief. (What type of man attacks his daughter with a hammer?)

When I met him, his mother was not feeding him. Out of the welfare money, she gave him thirty dollars a month — not enough for a slice of pizza a day. A skinny, hungry kid, growing up in the projects in the Bronx.

Into his world, when he was eleven, came Leroy, his mother’s boyfriend, who sexually abused him for five years. When he pleaded for help, his mother accused him of lying and his sisters told him that he liked it and that he was gay. This situation came to an end when the brute was caught stealing somebody’s TV and shot dead. (Apparently, a TV is more precious than a young man’s dignity.)

Gay men in the projects were giving him money in return for sex. As best I can tell, some of those men must have taken him out to nice restaurants. When I took him to nice places, he knew exactly how to behave. So, in return for sex, he was getting not only money and food, but some loving attention from older men.

When I met him, Leroy the Brute was dead. But, I suppose, the young man expected me to pick up the pattern of providing food and money in return for sex.

I know this is un-American, but I was actually being charitable. There was no quid-pro-quo. And, I enjoyed his company. His non-stop chatter was bit of a problem, but he was a sweet child. In effect, he was my child. I even berated him — going on and on about how much money I was spending on him. And then, when I was done, he would look at me with his big sad eyes and say, “You’re mad at me, aren’t you?” And I’d say to myself, “He didn’t hear a word I said.”

One evening, I took this hungry, hyper child to a movie on Lexington Avenue, not far from 59th Street. There was time before the movie, so we ate at this little joint across the street. We each got a half of a chicken, with sides, and it didn’t cost much. As usual, he was chattering non-stop — but he was also eating non-stop. I had to stop eating, in order to fully comprehend what I was seeing. Yes, it actually happened. In fifteen minutes — or less — using a knife and fork, he had cleaned half of a chicken to bare bones, while talking non-stop. I told him it was a miracle he hadn’t choked to death.

He wanted to watch blood-and-gore movies. I wasn’t having it. So, we compromised on action movies. (I insist, you’ve got to believe me, that before I met him I was watching only the finest serious intellectual movies. Really.) Even then, his attention flagged. I remember how bored he was watching Aliens (the second Alien movie), until the aliens started killing people and the shooting started — then he was jumping around in his seat in uncontained excitement.

Over the years, his taste in movies changed. I remember he wanted to watch Regarding Henry. And he got a real kick out of Twins — imagining that he and I were twins like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito.

After his 21st birthday, I decided to risk inviting him to my apartment. That first night was a bit of drama. He’s addicted to soda pop. I don’t drink the stuff, and had none in my refrigerator. So he went out to the store. I should have gone with him, but I just gave him directions. It was dark out, but East 215th Street in the Bronx was (and still is, to my knowledge) in a safe neighborhood, and the store was just three blocks away, on Boston Road.

While he was gone, his mother called. I told her he had gone to the store and would be back soon. A half hour later, she called again. I myself was concerned, but I didn’t know what to do. Most disturbing, this was during the time when young Black men were disappearing in Atlanta. She called again, and he still wasn’t back. I could only imagine how worried a mother — even that kind of mother — would be when her son goes off with a stranger, and disappears. Eventually, I got a phone call from a neighbor. Apparently, my young man — lost and alone, wandering around in the dark in a strange neighborhood — had encountered a helpful neighbor. I went out to the sidewalk, and there he was, up in the next block, in the opposite direction from Boston Road. So, we let his mother know he was back. He spent the night, and that was that.

Over the next several years, he spent many nights in my apartment. We slept in the bed together. Fully clothed.

It had never seemed to me that he was homosexual. When we slept in the bed together, I became sure that he was not homosexual. His expectation was that he would have sex with me and I would take care of him. My policy was that (a) I would not have sex with him, and (b) I would not take care of him. And that’s how it went.

More to come. The crackhead girlfriend who said the baby was his. My stint as his payee. His family accusing me of theft. His first marriage, and divorce. His wonderful second, current, and (I hope) forever wife. And more.

And, of course, why I think he is such a remarkable person.


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Strategy 001

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

Preliminary notes on sources:

The forces of the corporate oligarchy are at war with the common people of America and of the world. War is strategy. War is not the strategic use of weapons. War often makes use of weapons to further strategy. It is necessary to study strategy and learn to translate the lessons of strategy from one arena (for example, the physical battlefield, or a symphonic movement) to another (our struggle).

(In regards to the urgent suggestion that you listen to symphonic music: Over 90% of Americans cannot hear music — they experience entertainment, which is, at most, a secondary aspect of a symphony — and cannot recognize that a symphonic movement demonstrates in various ways how to get from A to B. It requires attentive listening — work — and it requires that we have an intellectual grasp of what is happening. We have our current situation, A, and we want to reach a goal, B; a symphonic movement demonstrates various ways of doing that. The Germans, from Bach to Brahms, wrote the best symphonic music, and Germany is the most powerful nation in Europe — not a coincidence. Their music incorporates not only Italian, French and English influences, but Russian, Bohemian, Hungarian, Spanish and Gypsy, as well as African and African American influences. The primary value of continual exposure to symphonic music is that strategic thinking becomes instinctive. And it is also something our adversary is convinced we will never do. This is a key to victory: do something your adversary does not expect.)

These are preliminary notes on sources. We are up against a clever, vicious, relentless, cruel, and exterminating enemy. When calling some of us nigger and calling others “poor white trash” (behind their backs) and turning us against each other stops working, we need to be ready for whatever comes next — or be ready with a preemptive strategy. Or we can just continue marching and chanting. And then they elect Trump (or worse).

Sources:

Liddell Hart, B.H., Strategy

Arnold-Forster, Mark, The World at War

The World at War (documentary TV series, available on DVDs)

Middleton, Drew, Crossroads of Modern Warfare

Warriors: Zulu Siege (DVD) (History Channel)

Capoeira: Quilombos (Wikipedia article)

Battleplan (documentary TV series, available on DVDs)

DVDs:

  • war of independence
  • war of 1812
  • Mexican war
  • civil war
  • president grant
  • Spanish-American war
  • wwI
  • wwII
  • Korean war
  • Vietnam war

symphonic works (assorted suggestions, among the most challenging and rewarding):

  • first movement, Beethoven’s 5th symphony
  • first movement, Beethoven’s 9th symphony
  • the first symphony (entire) of Brahms
  • first movement, Brahms’ 1st piano concerto
  • concerto for two violins (entire) of J.S. Bach
  • Leonore Overture #3 of Beethoven
  • any or all of the fugues of J.S. Bach’s The Art of the Fugue
  • first movement, Brahms’ 4th symphony
  • the second symphony (entire) of Gustav Mahler (90 minutes, if you are really interested and feel up to it, my favorite symphony and a profound inspiration on the meaning of life; live performance is best, but DVDs are available)

I recommend listening to various items by James Brown (the words are not the point):

  • “Cold Sweat”
  • “I Feel Good”
  • “Superbad”
  • “Get on the Good Foot”
  • “There It Is”
  • the medley from the end of “Bewildered” through “I Got the Feeling” to “Give It Up or Turn It Loose” on the Sex Machine album, and compare this truncated and intense version of “I Got the Feeling” to the original version
  • and others (maybe I’ll add them later) — there is something special that James Brown was channeling, and it is well worth becoming acquainted with

You probably don’t actually listen to any music, least of all James Brown. 90% of Americans have lost or failed to develop the faculty for hearing music. And don’t know what music actually is — not what it has become.

The word “music” comes from the ancient African word “muse” — which means a messenger from the highest realm. The pyramid-builders said that the muses helped them build the pyramids. In military strategy, we want to gain control of the high ground. Developing the faculty for actually hearing music means that you are connecting to the highest realm, above any highest ground that thing-people (people who are convinced hat physical reality is the only reality) can conceive. Or, as a friend said when I asked how are we going to defeat these people — juju. Non-physical, transcendent power.

When we have mastered the combined forces of juju and symphonic music, these thing-people cannot possibly defeat us.

 

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To Plan or Fail to Plan

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

I propose a Continental Congress.


The corporate oligarchy has used the Republican Party to increase its control of this nation. They have opposed the unions. They have opposed FDR’s New Deal. They have opposed LBJ’s Great Society. And they opposed and continue to oppose everything that Obama did or tried to do.  They pit White against Black, Christian against Muslim, Straight against Gay, and everybody against immigrants. They hate women and children. And they want the poor to die.

They have stolen the federal government and most of the state governments. They now have control of the legislative, the executive, and the judicial branches of the federal government. And they are planning a Constitutional Convention.


There is talk of Impeachment.

In the presidential line of succession, there are eighteen (18) layers of unacceptable Republican miscreants who must be removed.

Impeachment will not remedy this situation.


There was an effort to have the Supreme Court nullify the 2016 election.

The Supreme Court refused to consider it.

To undo the successful and illegitimate Republican campaign to gain control of the government, we would need to nullify the national elections of 1968, 1972, 1980, 1984, 2000, and 2004. In every one of these elections, the Republicans used strategies of deceit and wrongful disenfranchisement.

Nullification is too extreme and yet still not adequate to remedy this situation.


For the last 49 years, believers in democratic government have been outflanked by a party — the Republican Party — that is at war with democratic government. The Democratic Party — which needs to stop being an instrument of corporate interests — has been waging politics, while the Republican Party has been waging war.

The best defense is a good offense.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

In order to avoid the twin and not necessarily alternate disasters of unbearable oppression and violent conflict, we must plan, prepare, and take pre-emptive action.

Ignorance and despair are our worst enemies.

We must study. We must have moral commitment and unrelenting determination. And we must act first, and force the enemies of democracy to react.

Study. Study. Study.

Form study groups. Study the history of this nation. Study the history of nations. Study the history of the nations in Europe and Africa from which most of our population is drawn.

Study strategy and the history of warfare. Be willing to engage in physical violence, if necessary, but have sufficient mastery of strategy to render physical violence a nonviable option for our adversaries. In the Revolutionary War, the colonists re-took Boston without firing a shot. How did they do that?

We must have faith, and avoid descending into the paranoia that destroys so many progressive efforts.

Reform must precede revolution. Otherwise, we replace one oppressive regime with another oppressive regime.

We must love God, and we must love each other. That is the basis for reform.


I propose a Continental Congress.


Strategy 001

 

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Because It’s There

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

she climbed
she climbed

up and up
despite frequent
obstacles

when she reached
the bald summit
she proclaimed
“I am king of the “

WAP!

“How’d that
pesky ant
get on my head?”

10 Ramadaan 1438
June 5, 2017

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Supremacy and Abuse in the White Mind

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

In the white mind, supremacy is abusive.

From the notable historical examples of American history and Nazi Germany to the fictional example in the Star Trek movie “The Wrath of Khan”, racial superiority manifests itself in the abuse of those considered to be inferior races.

White people who call themselves Christians and claim to revere the “Prince of Peace” violently attack, enslave, and abuse the so-called “inferior races”.

White people — who began emerging from the self-created hellhole of Europe only a few centuries ago — have exterminated entire continents of other human beings, and have shown no remorse or regret to this day. No violent invasion or conqueror, no colonial power, had made Europe an ignorant and impoverished hellhole. They had done this to themselves. And yet, having erupted from their misery, having descended upon the unsuspecting peoples of the wider world — killing, conquering, enslaving, exploiting —  enriching themselves and impoverishing others, they consider themselves to be a superior race.

In the white mind, supremacy is abusive.

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Drexel Burnham Lambert, RICO, and Trump

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

Finally, we hope, a refreshing darkness at the end of a long painfully orange tunnel.

In 1990, I was working in the word-processing center at Drexel Burnham Lambert (“Drexel Burnham“, for short), a major Wall Street investment banking firm. I was a temporary, but there were some permanent employees there. One day, a junior executive came into the Center, sat us down, and told us that despite all the sensational front-page news about the notorious Michael Miliken, about junk bonds, and about Drexel Burnham going down, our jobs were safe. Drexel Burnham was not going down.

The next day, the front page headline of The New York Times screamed, “Drexel Burnham Goes Bankrupt”.

In 1988, Drexel Burnham had been threatened with an indictment under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO“). Rather than be indicted under RICO, the firm chose to plead guilty to lesser felonies.

If Drexel had been indicted under RICO statutes, it would have had to post a performance bond of up to $1 billion to avoid having its assets frozen. This would have taken precedence over all of the firm’s other obligations—including the loans that provided 96 percent of its capital base. If the bond ever had to be paid, its shareholders would have been practically wiped out. Since banks will not extend credit to a firm indicted under RICO, an indictment would have likely put Drexel out of business. By at least one estimate, a RICO indictment would have destroyed the firm within a month. Years later, Drexel president and CEO Fred Joseph said that Drexel had no choice but to plead guilty because “a financial institution cannot survive a RICO indictment.” (Wikipedia)

 As of this writing (May 5, 2017), there are reports of two grand juries that have convened and at least one of them is considering RICO indictments and may be considering issuing warrants to 28 or as many as 42 individuals connected to the Donald J. Trump election campaign.

The primary value of the RICO statute is that the threat of a RICO indictment pressures the potential defendants into pleading guilty to lesser felonies. If, for example, Donald J. Trump were to be indicted under RICO, it would likely bankrupt him and his entire organization — merely an indictment, no trial, no conviction. Better to plead guilty to lesser felonies and not be completely bankrupted.

Then, what happens to a sitting President who has pleaded guilty to “lesser felonies”? As you may recall, Richard M. Nixon resigned in order to avoid an imminent impeachment. But, there was a different breed of Republican in those days. They could work with the Democrats, and actually govern.

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This New Black Music Is Terrible Awful Trash

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

African Americans have been saying that the new black music is terrible for over a century.

I was born in 1945, my mother was born in 1916, and her father was a trustee and the choirmaster at the New Chapel Baptist Church in Plymouth, North Carolina. In those days, church people called blues and jazz “devil music”. Most of today’s comments about the music we hear on the radio simply continues this tradition. We love the music we grew up with. And most of the new stuff is terrible awful trash. (“Devil music.”)

My Dad (born in 1914, and still going strong) came of age with big band Swing music. Bebop lost him. My brother and I missed the birth of bebop and came of age listening to Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue — with John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley. (Thelonious Monk was my man!) And we caught the birth of Hard Bop. I didn’t discover the early beboppers until I started teaching the history of jazz (at Antioch College in Ohio) in 1971. Charlie Parker (“Bird”) was legendary, especially so because he had died young. (“Bird lives!” was inscribed into the wooden desk-tops at my very special mostly-white High School of Music & Art.) But I didn’t know his music, or the sounds of his colleagues Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, and several others, until over 20 years after they had flourished. To my Dad, this amazing, brilliant, creative music was terrible awful trash. (I’m exaggerating; he just said it sounded chaotic and confusing.)

After Swing, jazz stopped being popular music. The beboppers had lost most of the jazz audience — largely because most people could not dance to the new music. People danced to Swing. After Swing, people danced to rhythm-and-blues.

I couldn’t dance, but I loved the music. If I was in New York City and Martha and the Vandellas were performing at the Apollo, I would be there — fifth row, aisle seat. (I nearly lost my knees when the women rushed the stage for Wilson Pickett.) I saw all kinds of shows at the Apollo. (I remember Joe Simon came out, after being repeatedly announced, he was still buttoning his clothes.) I saw The Temptations (with David Ruffin). And I may have even caught James Brown there.

I discovered James Brown in 1967. I had bought an LP with “I Feel Good” on it. As soon as that music hit me, I jumped up and danced around the room.

Today’s music. Ah, yes. Well, I started losing touch with popular music when I joined Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam in 1974. The last big hit I remember from that time is Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” — flashback to an image of me dancing in bell-bottom pants and platform shoes in a gay bar in Dayton, Ohio, in 1973, crazy happy having a good time (without some hypocritical self-righteous so-called “straight” people getting on my case). In actual fact, when I heard Run-DMC‘s album Raising Hell (was it 1983?) I rushed out and bought it. I don’t like all rap. But I do like a lot of rap.

I am from the Bronx, and hip-hop was born in the Bronx. You may dispute it, but Afrika Bambaataa and DJ Kool Herc — that’s the Bronx. Hip-hop started out addressing the social issues of our time. And rap has provided a medium for young people to express their minds. And, never forget this, music and art education were taken out of the public schools, and hip-hop demonstrates the explosive creativity of African Americans — which should (and probably does) terrify the white power structure. African Americans make world-changing art out of deprivation. This has been true since plantation slavery.

Co-optation has also been true since plantation slavery. From the minstrels through Hollywood and the Internet. The white power structure has used one devious means or another to control and re-direct African American culture.

So, we hate the music we hear on the radio? The new stuff? But, how much of it is genuine? Certain people get paid and played, and others get ignored. We African Americans have yet to establish a viable cultural infrastructure of our own. We want to be in “their” award ceremonies, and we have our own award ceremonies. Neither of these are an authentic cultural infrastructure of our own. Imitating white people in black-face is not African American culture. We need to start from the ground up — and, this is essential, protect our fledgling growth from co-optation, usually disguised as success.

The question I ask about new popular music is this: Will the young people who love the big hits of today, still love them tomorrow — ten, twenty, or thirty years later? Throughout the history of popular music, there have been times when many memorable songs were produced and other times that failed to produce memorable songs. And today’s big hit may be forgotten tomorrow, while some little-noticed item might be well-remembered many years later.

I’m over 70 and rarely get out. I never listen to the radio at home. While driving, I listen to NPR and The Classical Station — or I just turn the damn radio off (usually because I actually do get tired of hearing white people doing their white people thing). Once — not too many months ago — while driving to Fayetteville, 50 miles east of my home, I tuned into a hip-hop station and listened for over an hour. I thought most of the music was inventive and original. Unfortunate for me, I have virtually no social interactions with people who identify with the music I was listening to. (Note to self: Make an effort to get out and meet those people.) (Note to my dear readers: Off-hand, I can remember three incidents when I was getting into a collaborative relationship with people outside my professional comfort-zone, two of them involving hip-hop; one of them disappeared and I was unable to re-establish contact, and the other two died suddenly and mysteriously of “natural” causes. This may sound paranoid — as James Baldwin would say — but we are being manipulated.)

Most of us — on Facebook and other social media — are just interacting with people who agree with us. All of us need to get out more.

Finally — What is “Black”? What is “African”? And, when we talk about African Americans, is there a “we”?

Posted in Current Events, Getting Our Music Back, History, music | Leave a comment

Assassinations and Consequences and Questions — Lincoln and Lumumba and Others

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America, was assassinated on April 14, 1865.

Patrice Lumumba, first Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo, was assassinated on January 17, 1961.

We, here in the United States, speculate endlessly on what might have happened had Lincoln lived to pursue his plans for Reconstruction in the aftermath of the Civil War. Most of us believe that the history of Reconstruction and of the United States would be vastly different had Lincoln lived.

How many of us speculate about what might have happened had Lumumba lived? Would the Great African War have occurred? Would the vast majority of the richest nation on earth (in resources) — now called the Democratic Republic of the Congo — still be living in the dregs of poverty?

What would the history of our time be had our own nation, the United States of America, not carried out or engineered the assassinations or depositions of such progressive leaders as Mossodegh of Iran, Martin Luther King, Allende of Chile, and others (“regime change“)?

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Ramadan 1438 A.H. (May-June 2017)

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

Ramadan, the ninth month of the lunar calendar, is the month of daily fasting from dawn until sunset for Muslims. This year (2017), Ramadan  is expected to begin on Friday, May 26 or Saturday, May 27, at sundown — depending on whichever evening the new lunar crescent is first seen. The Muslim calendar consists of twelve lunar months, with no adjustment to accommodate the solar year. The year 1438 A.H. (“after Hijrah”) of the Muslim calendar runs from October 2, 2016 to September 20, 2017 of the Christian calendar.

The Muslim calendar begins the year of the Hijrah, the migration from Makkah (Mecca) to Madinah (Medina) of Prophet Muhammad and his followers; they were persecuted in Makkah for serving the Creator of the heavens and the earth (called “God” by English-speaking Christians, and called “Allah” by Muslims, Arabic-speaking Christians, and ancient Israelites) instead of serving idols. (The ancient Israelites did not call the Creator “Jehovah” or “Yahweh”; these words were invented by modern Christian and Jewish scholars, based on a fanciful interpretation of the Hebrew scriptures.)

Ramadan will last 29 or 30 days, depending on the visibility of the new lunar crescent at the end of the month. The first day of the next month, Shawwaal, is a day of observance called “Eid-ul-Fitr”. This day is expected to coincide with Sunday, June 25, 2017. Muslims observe this occasion by gathering for a special congregational prayer in the early morning, and spending the rest of the day (and perhaps the next two days, as well) socializing and feasting.

The reason we fast during the month of Ramadan is because this is the month in which the revelation of the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad began, 14 centuries ago. Prophet Muhammad is acknowledged — by Muslim and non-Muslim historians — as the most influential single human being in recorded history. (The influence of Jesus Christ is shared with St. Paul, who spread Christianity to more people and did much to establish Christian doctrines; there is no “St. Paul” of the Muslims.) The global influence of Prophet Muhammad is a result of the Qur’an.

Fourteen centuries ago, most human beings lived in ignorance and slavery. Sixty percent of the people in the Roman Empire were outright slaves, and religious freedom and human rights were unknown even for so-called “free” people. More Christians were persecuted and killed for their faith under the Christian leaders of the Roman Empire than under the previous pagan leaders. Under the Muslim leaders, who freed the countries of Africa and the Middle East from Roman domination, Christians were free to serve God according to their faith.

Because of the message of the Qur’an, we have a civilization today in which literacy is taken for granted (the first word of the revelation was the command, “Read!”), human rights and religious freedom are global concerns (“No compulsion in religion” says the Qur’an), a scholarly and scientific revolution has taken place, and slavery has been widely abolished (the Qur’an says, “Free the slave”). You might want to read The Influence of Islam on Medieval Europe, by W. Montgomery Watt (Edinburgh University Press). Muslims have been far from perfect, but the message and legacy of the Qur’an is, literally, a Godsend.

O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you, even as it was prescribed for those before you,  so that you may practice righteousness.

The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion (of right and wrong).

Qur’an, 2nd soorah (Soorat-al-Baqarah) (The Heifer), aayaat 183 and 185

 

Posted in History, Identity, Notices, Ramadan, Reality | Leave a comment