by Imran H. Khan

Water was not what I had in mind this early in my read of Quran, but with so much going on related to it, I decided to discuss it earlier than later. Water as we know it is the source of life. When NASA sends its probes to different heavenly bodies, one of the key pieces of information is the presence of water. Indeed one of the key recent discoveries recently have been the presence of water on the poles of the Moon and the possibility of it on Mars. So it is not surprising to find multiple references to water in different contexts in Quran.

“We have made every living thing out of water.” (Sura 21 The Prophets, ayat 30).

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by Imran H. Khan

Before I try to approach the Quran from a rational perspective, it is worthwhile considering if God in the Quran wanted us to approach it this way. Religions in general are a belief systems in which metaphysical and other worldly issues are expounded upon.  Or is it that God wanted it us to take a dogmatic approach in which reason has little to no play. I could not have found a greater emphasis on understanding than the strong words of the following suras.

“Indeed, the worst of living creatures in the sight of Allah are the deaf and dumb who do not use reason..” [8:22]

“We have made it a Quran in Arabic, that ye may be able to understand (and learn wisdom)” [43:3]

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by Imran H. Khan

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim “In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate”

Today is the first day of the Islamic month of Ramadan. It is the ninth month of the lunar based Islamic calendar and has a special place, as it is in this month the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammad PBUH (Peace Be Upon Him). It is also the month when all Muslims fast from dawn to sun set.  Ramadan is a time of reflection, practice of greater self-discipline, self-control,  sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate; thus encouraging actions of generosity and charity.  I have for many years taken time to read the meaning of the Quran in order to understand what God was trying to convey. To my surprise I uncover new meanings every time I read it. One year I decided to approach the Quran as an engineer, and to make things more interesting, as a non Muslim. So this year I am going to write, what I understood as a non believing engineer, about the  Quran for both Muslims and non Muslims; Believers and Non-Believers. Since this blog is also about human affairs, there could be nothing more relevant than covering this month, as 1.4 billion humans will be fasting during the long days of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

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by Imran H. Khan

Salman Ahmed is a well known musician out of Pakistan and South Asia. He is the founder of one of the most famous rock bands out of that region by the name of Junoon. He has recently written a book by the name of “Rock and Roll Jihad“. When I first heard about the book and the title it struck me as something odd. Rock and Roll and Jihad had until now not been said in the same sentence. Jihad in Arabic language means to strive. In the Islamic religious sense it means  “striving in the cause of God”. Jihad has been classified either as al-jihād al-akbar (the greater jihad), the struggle against one’s soul (nafs), or al-jihād al-asghar (the lesser jihad), the external, physical effort, often implying fighting.  Having had seen Salman grow from a cute little child to what he is now, it does not take much to understand how he has used his musical skills to achieve social activism in fighting injustices, bigotry, national animosities, disease, religious misunderstandings, religious radicalism and the list goes on.

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by M. Salahuddin Khan

Debates about mosques in different parts of the country are growing in number and intensity. As they do, fueled by conflating terrorist ambitions with the vast generality of Islam that is 20% of the world’s population, some fundamental questions arise about the moral and constitutional aspects of such debates and the forces that energize them.

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