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Islam, Salam, and Shalom, All Mean:

Peace!

By Prof. M.S. TAJAR


(Former Lecturer, University of the Philippines)

Islam, Salam, and Shalom, All Mean: Peace!


By Prof. M.S. TAJAR
(Former Lecturer, University of the Philippines)

Abstract
The very term Islam means peace as well as submission to God Almighty.
In order to understand the true Message of Islam and its peaceful Co-existence
with other religions, one should concentrate on the authentic sources of the Islamic
teachings i.e. The Holy Quran itself, and the life and the practices of the Holy
Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H.) during his own time, before the Islamic rule was
hijacked by some extremist fundamentalist, opportunistic Khalifahs, Sultans, Pashas,
immediately after the death of the Holy Prophet, up to the last Ottoman Caliph in
Turkey, in 1923.
The extremist Taliban, Wahhabis, Salafis, Boko Haram, and ISIS using the
name of Islam, have killed more Muslim men, women, and children (in Afghanistan,
Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen), than non-Muslims. And that shows how
much of Islamic faith they have, and how un-Islamic they have become!

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* The word Islam itself means: Peace/Shalom; It also means submission to the will of
the One and Only God.
* O you who have Faith! Enter into SILM (submission to One God/Peace) all
together; and follow not the Devil. Holy Quran, 2:208.
* (Tell the unbelievers, O Mohammad!) To you your religion, and to me, mine.
Holy Quran, 109:6
* There is no compulsion in religion... Holy Quran, 2:256
*If Islam means submission to the will of God, then we are all Muslims!
D.W. Goethe (1710-1782) in his Eastern Diwan after reading the Holy Quran.
A Confession
Before I start to explain further about those Quranic verses, which I quoted above, I
must have a confession, a mea culpa, so to speak, a religious confession, indeed. Especially,
considering the fact that I am now speaking in a prestigious Catholic institution, like The
University of Sto. Thomas, Manila, and more particularly because, I am at the presence of
some eminent Catholic Priests!
You know, I was born a Muslim, in a religious family, with an Alim as a father, and I
even grew up in the religious schools of the Holy City of Qom in Iran, which is the seat of the
Shi-ah Islam, as Vatican is to Catholicism, yet it took a German Lady Scholar like Annemarie
Schimmel (1922-2003) to remind me, or actually to awaken me to this reality, that: Islams
most earth-shaking Message was never Jihad, as some Taliban and Wahhabis and Salafis
are promoting falsely, in the name of this beautiful religion, (and their Western Neo-con
counterparts, among the Jewish and Christian communities, are also brandishing that same
slogan, and fighting fire with fire!) but rather, the most important Message of Islam is an
amazingly forgotten or over looked one, i.e.: A Peaceful Co-existence, with all other
religions, who wish to live in peace with us! (see my other research, titled: Jihad vs.
Ijtihad).
Miss Annemarie Schimmel, who spent her entire adult life studying Islam, and she
even lectured in some prominent universities of the Muslim and Western world, like the
Istanbul University in Turkey, the Punjab University in Pakistan, as well as the American and
German universities, not only quoted and explained these Quranic verses relating to a
peaceful co-existence with other religions of the world, but she also backed them up further,
by presenting the ways and practices of the Holy Prophet Mohammad P.B.U.H. during his own
life time, and his role, as the Supreme Leader of the Muslims, both as a spiritual leader, as
well as the head of the Islamic State in Arabia, circa 630 A.D. (In other words, the sunnah or
the authentic traditions of the Prophet).
Look at the following examples, for instance:
1.) The Holy Prophet and his true followers did not start any fight with the unbelievers
of Mecca, in their own City of Birth Mecca. In fact, it was they, who were being persecuted
by the people of Mecca, for their faith, and they had to migrate to other countries, like to the
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Christian Kingdom of Abyssinia (todays Ethiopia) or they had to move to Yathrib or Medina,
to save their own lives and especially their faith!
2.) All the major wars that took place, later, like the Badar, the Honain, the Khandaq, or
the Khaibar, etc. were in fact defensive reactions to the aggressions, that were perpetrated by
the Meccans, or by the others, against the Islamic community in Madinah.
(Yes, there were also some Ghazawat, those missionary acts to educate the Arab
Bedouins, and other masses, about a new Messenger and the Message, that there is only One
God, and Mohammad is His Messenger, and a call to Brotherhood, Unity, Equality before
The One God, and peace in the war-torn tribal land of Arabia, and beyond.)
But (as long as the Holy Prophet was alive) never there was any coercion or conversion to
Islam by force. Thats why, anyone who wanted to keep his old religion, could do so, but he
would have to pay a tax (as the Muslims also were obliged to pay Zakat, Khums, etc.) which
was called Jiz-ya, from the old Pahlavi/Persian word Ga-zeet (or Kharaaj from the old
Persian tax system, called Ha-raag etc.). In other words, while the attempt was to make a
unified Islamic country, among the divided tribes of Arabia, yet there was no coercion to
conversion to the faith at all (as were the Christian Inquisitions in Europe and particularly
in Spain, during the middle ages, or the Jewish persecutions of the Christians, or vice-versa,
in those days or even later by the European settlers in North and South America vs. the Red
Indian Natives, up to the mid-19th Century A.D). See The New York Times/March 9, 2015.
3.) In fact, during the life time of the Prophet Mohammad P.B.U.H. the Jewish community of
Khaibar were living side by side, in peace, with the Muslim community in the City State of
Madinah; The two communities were actually engaged in mutual cooperation, and in various
beneficial businesses with each other; Until finally, the Jews treacherously broke their peace
compact with the Muslims, and they also joined with the other enemies of the Islamic State in
the war of All Parties or Al-Ahzab (See Chapter 33 of the Holy Quran).

Changes after the Prophet Mohammad (632 A.D.)


I should also admit the fact that, after the death of the Prophet Mohammad P.B.U.H. (632
A.D.) the Islamic Faith and its Message of Peace, were hijacked by some fundamentalist
extremist groups, who were violent, not only against the non-Muslims, but they even
massacred the Peace loving Descendants of the Holy Prophet himself! (As did the Jews,
with the righteous children of Abraham, and as the extremist Christians did, after Jesus
Christ, at different periods, as well).
The history of Islam shows very clearly that some Khalifahs, Sultans and Pashas,
from the early days of this beautiful religion, up to the last days of the Ottoman Empire in
Turkey, in 1923, have abused the peaceful message of the Holy Prophet, and His Blessed
Descendants, or the Ahlul Bayt. And today, the extremist murderers of the ISIS/ISIL,
Taliban-Wahhabi-Salafi, Al-Shabab, Boko Haram, and Abu Sayyaf organizations, who have
murdered many Muslim men, women and children, in the Islamic countries like in
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Nigeria, Yemen, etc., are doing the same things, in the
name of Islam. These murderers have killed more Muslims, in the name Islam, than they have
killed non-Muslims. (Then you start to question their claims to Islam, in the first place, or the
hands behind them, who finance and lead them. As did the CIA to the Mujahidin of
Afghanistan/the Talibans of today!).

Just a week ago (March 20, 2015), we witnessed four suicide bombings by the
ISIS/ISIL, killing over a hundred Shiah Muslims (30% of the entire Muslims of the world) in
Yemen, while those poor people were praying the Friday prayer, in the mosque.
If you look at those murderous, heartless and brainless thugs (who look more like the
Jewish extremists calling Crucify him! Crucify him! rather than a person of Islam, i.e. of
peace or Shalom!) closely, then you will have a clear picture of how those extremist
elements (or the revisionists, as the political scientists would call them) have actually
hijacked the entire Message of Islam, and they have turned Islam of the Holy Prophet into a
totally different message i.e. of Hatred, Murder, Mayhem, Bloodshed and Misery to the
Muslims and the non-Muslims alike but still I would like to emphasize the fact that, they
have killed more Muslims than they have killed non-Muslims! (So, who are they, really?)
A Humble Suggestion
Taking all those facts into consideration, I would like to humbly suggest that in order
to better understand the true Message of Islam, we should concentrate our own research more
on the authentic Quranic verses and the well-documented preaching and practices of the
genuine Muslim leaders, i.e. the Holy Prophet of Islam and those whom he had approved of,
rather than the preaching and practices of those whom he did not approve of, and they were,
in fact, the Black Sheeps of Islam those who killed their own Muslim brethren, rather
than fight the invasions and aggressions against the Muslims, and thus showing their true
color!
Some More Quranic Verses
Now, to support further these views, and in order to shed more light on the true
Message of a peaceful co-existence with (and not violence against) the rest of humanity, that
Islam espouses, here are some genuine Quranic instructions to the Muslims, as well as to the
non-Muslims, and the rest of humanity, as a whole:
1) O Mankind! We have created all of you from a male and a female... (you are
actually brothers and sisters; so no discriminations) The best of you in the Eyes of
Allah are those who are purer in their characters. Holy Quran, 49:13
2) (O Mohammad!) Tell the People of the Book (Jews, Christians, Majais, Sabeians)
come to that word which is common between us (lets unite)... to worship none but
God Almighty! Holy Quran, 3:64
3) The Believers (Muslims) the Jews, the Christians, the Sabeians, anyone who
believes in God and does righteous deeds (even a Zoroasterian, Manechian, Abadian,
etc.), shall have their rewards with their Lord, and they have nothing to fear or to
worry about! Holy Quran, 2:62, and 5:72
4) And whosoever (Muslim or non-Muslim) who has done an iota of good, shall see
the rewards Holy Quran 99:7
5) Call to the Path of your Lord by wisdom (= Logic) and beautiful preaching; and
argue with them in the best and most gracious manner... Holy Quran, 16:125
6) If they (non-believers) argued with you, just tell them: I and my followers have
submitted ourselves to God Almighty! Holy Quran 3:20
7) ...And if they still refused, then your duty is just to convey the Message! (Ibid)
8) And if they refused, well, we have not sent you to guard over them (force anyone),
your duty is just to bring them the Message... Holy Quran, 42:48
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9) Allah is our Lord and (He is) also your Lord; to us our deeds, and to you, your deeds;
Let there be no quarrels between you and us! Holy Quran, 42:15
There are some 20 more similar verses in the Holy Quran, just to emphasize the fact
that the Holy Prophet of Islam P.B.U.H. came to preach, and not to push, or to pressure, the
people into the faith (because, according to the Holy Quran, there is no compulsion in
religion), and Prophet Mohammad continued the noble tradition of the great Prophets before
him, (Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc.) very faithfully, to the last day of his life on
this earth. But, what took place after him, or what some other extremists are doing in his
name today, is not Islamic, because, as they say: You can never be more popish than the
Pope! And I think the Bishops and the Priests in our gathering also agree with me,
wholeheartedly!
Pope Benedict XVI and Islamic Tolerance
Now, that we are talking about the misunderstood Message of Islam, which is
unfortunately twisted by some twisted-minded so-called Muslims themselves, and it is also
mistaken by some non-Muslims, and even by the Catholic Church hierarchy, I also would like
to discuss a little about what the former Pope, His Holiness Benedict XVI said, regarding
Islam and Christian encounters, which caused a lot of controversy, debates and even protests,
internationally.
On Sept.12, 2006 the Pope, while lecturing on the issue of Religious Tolerance (or
intolerance if you please) in the German University of Rosenberg, made some controversial
remarks about the violence in the history of Islam. Then he quoted a certain historian as
saying: During the siege of Constantinople (now Istanbul in Turkey) in 1391 A.D., while the
armies of Islam laid the siege around the city, inside it, the intellectual debate between Islam
and Christianity was also going on, between the Byzantine Emperor, Manuel II Paleologos
and a learned Persian Muslim, who represented the intellectual side of Islam (see The
International Herald Tribune Sept.14, 2006 p.1 The Lecture of Pope Benedict XVI, at the
Rosenberg University, Germany, Sept.12, 2006).
The Catholic Church later explained that the Pope was actually quoting the opinion of
a certain person, many centuries ago, when there was less information among the followers of
different religions, and less tolerance, which, I fully agree. And here I would like to quote
another Quranic verse, to show how favourable the Islamic views about other religions,
especially the Christianity, has been since the early days of Islam.
The Holy Quran says, and I quote:
(O Mohammad!) You will find the kindest religious folks to the Believers (Muslims)
those who are called Christians! Because, amongst them are the priests, the selfless
missionaries, and they are very humble people. Holy Quran, 5:82
(We have already seen this, very clearly, when the early Muslims, [Circa 610 A.D.]
who were being persecuted by their own Arab countrymen in Mecca, went to
Abyssinia/Ethiopia, and they were welcomed by the Christian King of Ethiopia, Emperor
Najashi, and his people).

Another interesting and positive point that I personally noticed in that lecture by Pope
Benedict was: While the war between the Turkish Ottoman Muslims and the Christian rulers
was going on, there was a religious debate also taking place, between the Byzantine
Emperor Manuel II and a Persian Muslim scholar.
That Persian Muslim scholar, like many other Persian Muslims, including the
Saracens (the Khorasanis, the Iranian Muslims) and their Islamic scholars, were the brains
of Islam, while the Ottoman Turks and the Arab rulers were involved in many un-Islamic
atrocities, for which all the Muslims are being accused and abused, until today.
This just goes to show that every coin has two sides and Islam is no exception (and
no matter how thin you slice the apple, still it has two sides!). The history of Islam is not just
those abuses of power by some power-hungry and war-mongering tribes of Arabia, or the
Turkish warriors, or the Taliban/Pashtun highlanders in the mountains of Afghanistan or
Pakistan! But, there is another side to it, which is tolerant, rational and intellectual, too, and
that is what we are trying to discover, here. (Note: The Persian/Saracen Muslim scholars
comprise some 80% of the entire Muslim intellectuals and philosophers in the history of
Islam. But unfortunately, and mistakenly, many of them have been called Arabs in the
world history books, just because of their Islamic (Arabic) names, and their religious
identity). The best known among the Persian Muslim scholars and intellectuals in the history
of Islam, are:
1.) Salman Al-Farsi (the first Persian convert to Islam, and a respectable scholar, the great
companion of the Holy Prophet of Islam, 622 A.D.),
2.) Jabir Bin Hayyan Al-Tusi Al-Kufi (of the Algebra, from whose name Jabir, the word
Algebra was born, and the founding father of Modern Chemistry in the world, which is
also called Alchemy and very much related to alcohol etc.),
3.) Imamul Haramain Al-Jowaini (the first Muslim scholar, to be called Imam of both
Mecca and Medinah),
4.) Fakhri Razi (the great interpreter/commentator/mofassir of the Holy Quran),
5.) Al-Khawrazmi (the father of Algorithm, from whose name Algorithm was born, a
pioneer in modern mathematics, the Arabic numerals, the Zero, the modern
geometry and engineering. Even the word engineering in Arabic language i.e. Hindasa
and Mohandis, both come from the Persian word Ha-andaza meaning The
Measurement),
6.) Imam Abu Hanifah (the Greatest Imam of the Sunni branch of Islam) from Kufa
(Kuppa = the Hills, an ancient Persian border outpost, now in Iraqs border with Iran),
7.) Imam Ahmad Hanbal (the second great Imam in the Sunni Islam), who was from Marv
City in ancient Persia. (His family name Hanbal and Hanibal are related).
8.) Imam Bukhari (collector of Al-Bukhari Hadith Book, the greatest book, after the Holy
Quran, according to the Sunnah Islam)
9.) Imam Muslim (author of the second great Book of Islamic Traditions/Hadith)
10.) Nasa-iy (of Nasa, Khorasan province of Persia) Al-Sahih III,
11.) Abu Dawood Sajestani of the Sistan-Baluchistan of Iran (Hadith) Al-Sahih IV,
12.) Tirmidi of Tirmiz, ancient central Asia/Persia (Hadith) Al-Sahih V,
13.) Ibne Maja Caspini (Qazwini), an expert in Islamic Traditions from Qazwin of Iran
(Hadith) Al-Sahih VI,
14.) Avecinna (Abu Ali Sina), the Greatest intellectual mind in the world, during the Middle
Ages, (See the International Herald Tribune, Oct. 11/2001),
15.) Razi (Rhazes, Zacharia, the Alchemist, the discoverer of the Industrial Alcohol and
also the Sulphuric Acid, etc. who was also a great physician, and retreated meningitis,
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chicken pox, and other diseases in 13th century A.D.) He was from Raga or Ray
City modern day Tehran.
Ibn-Hazm of Andalusia (a Saracen of Persian Origin, and a great Muslim scholar of
Spain 994-1064 A.D.)
Ali Zar-yab of Andalusia (a Saracen of Persian origin, and the greatest musician and
artist intellectual of Spain. Death 852 A.D.)
Al-Kirmani (the Saracen musician of Andalusa, Spain, Circa 860 A.D.)
Farabi (philosopher, linguist) from Farab/Faryab of Central Asia (inventor of several
musical instruments). He was also a great philosopher, known as the Second Master
after Aristotle.
Biruni (historian, geography master) from Central Asia, Ancient Persia,
Khawja Naseer Tousi (philosopher/astrologer) from Tus of Khorasan (=Saracen) [Note:
A part of the moon has been named after him, by the NASA],
Sheikh Tabarsi (Hadith) from Khorasan, Iran,
Sheikh Al-Ansari (Fiqah) from Shusha/Susa, Iran (=Shush-Tar City),
Qazi Nurullah Shush-Tari (Martyr of Islamic Education in India), 17th Century A.D.
Omar Khayyam (the great mathematician, and the creator of the worlds most accurate
calendar until today, which is called the Jalali calendar. By the way, he is also the
second best selling poet in the history of mankind, The Rubaiyyat of Omar Khayyam,
the most translated book, after the Bible!),
Rumi (the great Islamic scholar, Sufi and the overall best selling poet in the entire
history of the world literature!). His shrine is now in Kunya, present day Turkey. (His
Persian Divan is translated into 100 languages).
Imam Tabari (the greatest interpreter of the Holy Quran in the History of Islam), from
Tabaristan of Persia
Abul Faraj Al-Isfahani (Lexicon), author of the classic Arabic work Al-Aghani (897967 A.D.)
Shaikh Sah-rewardi (Sufi),
Maula Sadra of Shiraz (Philosophy),
Ibne Muskuyah (Philosophy) [Note: his family name is derived from the Persian word
Musk/Mushg, as are the names of Mask-Va (Moscow), Muscat and De-mascus, and
the Iranian cities of Meshgin-Shahr and Andi-Meshg],
Al-Taftazani (Arabic Grammar),
Al-Zamakh-Shari (Arabic Literature/Hadith/Quran),
Abdul Qadir Gilani (=Jangi Doost, the Great Sufi Teacher 1077-1166 A.D.),
Kwaja Mo-inud din Cheshti of Ajmeer (India),
Yaqub Al-Kindi (whose last name is a Persian word meaning The Scholar, The
Citizen but, he is called an Arab Philosopher by mistake!). This great man was the
first philosopher in the Islamic history.
Mohammad Al-Kolaini (of Kolain, near Tehran, today), of Hadith and Islamic
Traditions.
Allamah Majlisi (Master of Islamic Traditions and Hadith) of Isfahan, Iran,
Sibwaih of Shiraz (the father of Arabic Grammar and the creator of Kasra, Fatha,
Damma, and Tanwin for Arabic language and the Holy Quran.) Ref. Amordad
Weekly/Tehran/January 03, 2015/p.8
Hafiz of Shiraz (The greatest and the best poet ever to walk the Earth! according to
his American translator, Daniel Ladinsky [see The Gift, Collection of Hafizs poems,
1998 N.Y., USA]. Hafiz was also adored and worshipped by J.W. Goethe, the greatest
poet of Germany and Europe, as a whole).
Khalil bin Ahmad Farahidi, the first man who produced an Arabic Dictionary
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42.) Firuz Abadi, the father of Arabic Lexicon/Dictionary, whose famous Dictionary AlQamus became the Standard word for Dictionary in Arabic Language (like Zerox for
the photo copier!),
43.) Al-Shahristani of the Classic Milal wa Nihal in Arabic language,
44.) Ibne Moqaf-fa (Ruz Beh also called The Father of Arabic Prose) the Persian
translator of the 1,000 Persian stories into Arabic, which is mistakenly labelled as The
Arabian Nights; Ibne Moqaf-fa of Persia, was also the first man who translated the
Greek books of logic and philosophy into Arabic. This caused an explosion of Greek
wisdom mixed with the Islamic philosophy, and thats how the Islamic Civilization
(mistakenly called the Arab Civilization, just because it was written in Arabic) was
born. This young (36 year old) genius translator, was later burned alive, Inquisition
style, by some Arab rulers, who were so jealous of his perfect Arabic language, and
books, that they accused him of blasphemy, and trying to write in perfect Arabic, in
order to challenge the Holy Book of Islam, i.e. Al-Quran! Gentlemen! Thats what I
call the Hijacking of Islam by the extremists.
45.) Ibn Khallikan the famous Muslim historian (mistaken as an Arab, but his real name
speaks for itself, that he was from the well known Barmaki Persian aristocrats, the
prime minister of Haarun Ar-Rashid, the Abbassid Caliph). He is from Irbil (now part of
Iraq) one of the ancient historic cities of the Kurdish/Persian people. His full name is:
Ahmad --- Al-Barmaki, Al-Irbili. (See The Persian Names by Maneka Gandhi/India
1994 p.180).
46.) Jama'lud Din Asad Abaadi (known as Al-Afghani 1838-1897 A.D.) the pioneer of
the Back-to-Islam-Movement in the Arab and the Muslim world. (See the
International Herald Tribune, Jan.12/2005). This man, whose identity as an Iranian
was discovered later, was called by the Egyptian extremist, fundamentalist, Wahhabi
author Mr. Rashid Rada (1920s) as: A dog from the Persian dogs! (Kalbun min kilabil
Ajam!)
But, to defend that silent man from the barks of these jealous guys, I would like to
introduce his personality further to my readers and to the generations to come, long
after we are all gone:
Seyyed Jamalud Din Asad Abaadi went far beyond his country (Iran) and he influenced
some of the greatest minds in the Arab and the Muslim world, from Afghanistan and
India up to Turkey, Egypt, Syria and even Europe, and here is how:
1. The national poet of Turkey (and a host of other Turkish intellectuals) Mr. Yurda
Qul (1869 1944) was one of the students of Jamalud Din, and a great follower
and fan of him, when the teacher used to lecture in Istanbul Academy, in the
1870s.
So were the great Turkish reformers like, Saeed Nursi, Mohammad Aakif, etc.,
etc.
In the Arab world, the greatest Islamic scholar of Egypt in the last 200 years,
Sheikh Mohammad Abdoh (1849 1905) who later on became the Rector of the
Al-Azhar University in Egypt (the oldest university in the world?) and the Grand
Mufti of the Sunni Islam, had also the honor of being one of the students of
Jamalud Din.

So was the great Egyptian author and scholar, Fareed Wajdi, and several other
Egyptian literati.
And last, but not the least, was his great follower, Dr. Mohammad Iqbal, the
Indian born national poet of Pakistan (November 9, 1877 - April 21, 1938) and the
ideologue behind the creation of the first Islamic Republic, in 1947, who probably
got that idea from the teachings of Asad Aabaadi,(=The Islamic Revivalism)
although, he never met the great teacher, personally.
Plus many other great Muslim leaders, who directly or indirectly, were influenced
by Asad Aabaadis views, even when he himself was in Paris in 1884, publishing
his monumental magazine Al- Orwatul Woth-qa, in Arabic language, in order to
awaken the Arab world to the Back-to-Islam movement, and the Islamic
Renaissance (O boy! O boy! What an interesting Persian dog/cat? he was!)
47.) Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini (1904 - 1989 C.E..) the greatest spiritual-political
leader of the Muslims in the last 1,000 years. He lead a successful Islamic Revolution
(1979 C.E.) and he established the Islamic Government (as did the Holy Prophet in 622
A.D.). There is no other example of any similar Islamic Revolution/Government in the
world history like it, except the first one that was established by the Holy Prophet P.B.U.H.
himself!
No wonder, Ahmad Bin Bella, the revolutionary leader of Algeria, called it: The
Miracle of our Age! (see Time Magazine, Apr. 1979). And Anwar Sadat, the president
of Egypt described the Irans Islamic Revolution as A Phenomenon that never had
happen before nor can it be happening again!
But the most prominent among the Persian Muslim scholars, was;
48.) Imam Mohammad Al-Ghazzali of Khorasan (=Saracen), who according to some
Western orientalists, and several Muslim Jurists, was: The greatest scholar in Islam,
after the Prophet Mohammad, himself!)**
Thats why even Ibn Khaldun, the pioneering Muslim sociologist from North Africa
(1332 - 1406 A.D.), clearly stated that: The biggest group of Islamic scholars were the
Ajams! (the Persians). (See: A.A. Velayati, The Civilizations of Islam and Iran,
Tehran, 2005 p.560)
49.) Sheikh Attar Neishapuri ( ) the greatest Sufi Poet after Jalalud Din Rumi (Attar was
a town mate with great Omar Khayyam Neishapuri)e.

The Role of the Saracens in Islamic (Arab?) Civilization


In the early history of Islam, the Saracens (Khorasanis, the Persian Muslims/Iranians)
lead the nation of Islam; and they carried on with its civilization, from Central Asia up to
China and India, and from Persia up to the North Africa, and eventually, the Persian Muslim
general, called Tariq Bin Ziad of the City of Hamedan, Iran (the man after whom Gibraltar
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was named) conquered Spain in 711 A.D.1, and he and his followers, started the first and the
best universities in Europe of the Dark Ages, where the Christians, the Jewish and the
Muslim scholars, studied and researched, together, in peace!( In those days, when the
European kings and nobility could not even write their own names, the peasants in the
Muslim Spain could read and write! All this, thanks to the Saracen Muslim rule in
Andalusia! See Joseph Macapes The Moorish City of Spain.
This noble Saracen tradition was continued by another Saracen (Persian Muslim)
ruler, called Musa Bin Nosair (the Persian governor of North Africa, who had sent Tariq bin
Ziad for the Andalusian expedition a year earlier, and the Spanish town of
Valdemossa=Baldah Moosa, or Moosa City is named after himsee Khadamatby
Prof.M.Motahhari p.608) and this lead to: The Glory that was Al-Hambra... a tolerant
culture and civilization, that is unparalleled in Europe, up to this day!***
While the Europeans (the Swiss, the French, the Belgians, the Dutch, the Germans,
and even the Vatican) are not tolerant of a minaret of a Muslim Mosque today, the Saracens
of Spain, in the 8th century A.D. were building or even financially supporting the Churches,
the Synagogues, the Mosques, the Universities, for every human being be it a Jew, a
Gentile, a Christian, an Atheist, a Muslim or anything else!
This Saracen tradition of the Persian Muslims, and their tolerance for other religions,
is evident even today in this highly polarized world, and these dangerous times. There is
probably not a single Al-Qaeda member among the Persian Muslims! Thats why, we can see
that in the tragedies of the 9/11 in New York City, and the 7/7 of London and Madrid and
Mumbai, ISIL, ISIS, etc. the suicide bombers, came from the Arab Saudis, Yemenis,
Moroccans, Egyptians, Pakistanis, and even some home-grown bombers in France, Germany,
the USA. But, not even a single Saracen (Khorasani/Iranian) has ever been indicated in such
illogical atrocities, against the Muslims or the non-Muslims, for that matter.
The role of the Persian Muslims, since the early days of Islam, has always been
tolerance, intellectual contributions to the Islamic Science, Mathematics, Medicine,
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Tariq Bin Ziad, who conquered Spain, was the slave of Musa Bin Nosair, and being a
slave, he could not be an Arab, because the Arabs would not make a slave of their own,
but only from the other nations i.e. Mawali/Maula
(=Ajami/Persian/African/Berber/Turkish, etc.) see: A. A. Velayati The Islamic and Persian
Civilizations Tehran, 2005 p. 759.
Now, compare that Arab slavery of the conquered nations (i.e. Mawali) with Cyrus the
Great of Persia, who some 2,500 years ago, upon conquering Babylonia, liberated all the
enslaved Jews, and he declared Slavery as illegal, in the entire Persian Empire, the first
empire in history. (See: World History: by Philip Grossier, New York, USA, 1974, p. 17).
Also, check the Cyrus Cylinder of the Human Rights the Clay Tablets, some 2,500 years
old, which is now at the possession of the British Museum.
This was done by Cyrus of Persia, some 2,500 years ahead of Abraham Lincoln, in the
USA (February 12, 1809 April 15, 1865) and the slave trading nations of Europe, like
Portugal, England, France, etc.
Now, was Cyrus the Great also a Saracen or Khorasani? I dare say: He was the
father!

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Chemistry etc.etc., which are unfortunately recorded in the world history books as, The Arab
Civilization, Arabesque, Moorish (Moroccan). But, the truth of the matter is that, as the
Pope also observed, (and Ibne Khaldun, the eminent Muslim sociologist stated, even before)
the intellectual side of Islam, almost always has been represented by the non-Arabs,
especially the Persian Muslim scholars; We can even see that the greatest musician of
Andalusia, in Spain, during the 8th century was a Persian Muslim (Saracen) by the name of
Ali Zar-yab (Arabs call him Zarib!) whose last name is a Persian word that means
goldsmith / gold miner.
Ali Zar-yab: The first man of the European Renaissance
Ali Zar-yab (791-852 A.D.) was a true man of the Renaissance in Europe, during the
9 century, long before Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519 A.D.), and other newly awakened
intellectuals in Florence, or the rest of Europe, appeared in the 14th-17th centuries! Zar-yab,
the Persian Muslim artist of Andalusia, Spain, was the pioneering man, who in the 9 th century
A.D. taught fashion designing to the Europeans!, and he also taught them the three square
meals a day! instead of the normal Europeans two meals a day (probably because of
poverty, lack of food or even lack of education and sophistication). See Gardesh-gari,
Cultural Magazine, Tehran, March, 2005.***
th

He also taught the Europeans the sophisticated Persian (Islamic) table manners of
using spoon and fork, etc. that Europe did not know about (and even some non-Persian
Muslims also dont know, until today!).Before Martin Luthers Protestant movement, some
Catholics of Germany believed that fork was actually a tool of the Devil!( see DW-TV,
German channel Oct. 31/2010)
To better understand the Saracen contributions to the European culture, one should
also take note of the Latin (Moorish) music in the Iberian Peninsula - Spain, Portugal and
later on, in Latin America, like the Oud, the Dulcimer, the flute, the Sarabandan Dances, the
Flamenco, the Poetry, the Gitanos, as well as the Mosaics of Al-Hamra, and its Heavenly
Fountains, the Shiraz of Xeres, the Turkish Bath, the paper Industry of Andalusia, the
Pendulum and the early clocks, the compass, the Persian Wheel in Europe, the Damasin
Swords steel (=Metallurgy) the Austrolabe, Rosa Lutea (=Persian yellow) the Persianas or
the so called Venetian Blinds and Azimina (=Ajamin=Persian Arts in Europe) etc. all with
Saracen (Persian) influences.****
All those cultural, intellectual and civilized practices and religious tolerance, (in the
9th century A.D.) were being promoted and practiced by the Saracens (Persian Muslims) in
the heart of Europe (from Cordova to Sicily and up to the gates of Paris) even as the
Spaniards and the Catholic Church at that time, were busy with their own infamous
Inquisitions!. They were burning alive thousands of their own Christian brethren, as well
as the Jews and the Muslims, or any other infidels and deviant persons, that they could
find, like Galileo Galilei, and many other scientists, philosophers, intellectuals and free
thinkers, for their crimes of thinking or believing other than the Catholic Church! (Maybe the
Taliban of today have also learned their lessons of brutality and intolerance from those
Medieval Inquisitions, otherwise, the true Islam has never taught its followers to commit
brutality and murder, as far as the clear verses of the Holy Quran, and the genuine teachings
and the practices of the Holy Prophet Mohammad P.B.U.H. and his Blessed Ahlul Bayt, are
concerned).

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The Spanish Intolerance


While the Muslim Saracen rulers of Spain were so tolerant of the Jews and the
Christians, their opponents, i.e. the Catholic Kings of Spain, were the exact opposite. They
are known in history, as Los Reyes Catolicos. They were so intolerant of other religions
that finally King Ferdinand (1452-1516 A.D.) and Queen Isabel of Spain (the great-greatgrandparents of the present King of Spain, King Juan Carlos) expelled all the Muslims and
the Jews (1480/90s A.D.) who were living in Spain for almost 800 years or more! They
forced others to convert into Catholicism, or to be put to death - a true example of the
Inquisitions, ethnic cleansing and religious bigotry and intolerance, made in Spain.
(According to Joseph Macape in his book Moorish city of Spain if Spain had not expelled
the Muslims, the progress of the western worldEurope and America would have been faster
and America could have been discovered much earlier!)
These tragic events of religious intolerance, which took place in 1480/90s A.D. lead
to the destruction of Granada, Cordoba, Civilia, the Madinat Zahra, etc. and the end of a
glorious era (the glory that was Spain) of the peaceful co-existence among the peoples of
different faiths, in Europe, or anywhere else for that matter!
However, In the year 2000, the then President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr.
Mohammad Khatami (another Saracen?), came up with the idea of the Dialogue of
Civilizations and he presented it as a resolution, to the United Nations, which was officially
adopted by the U.N. General Assembly, and the year 2001 was officially declared by the U.N.
as the year of the Dialogue of Civilizations. It took place just a few months before the
September 11, 2001 tragedy in New York City, and the rest, as they say, is history!
As the Romans used to say: Que tempora, Que Moris! (What a time! What a moral
bankruptcy!).
Footnotes:
* Note: Islam is probably the only religion in the world that its very name means its
Ideology and its ideology is its name, i.e. Peace/Shalom, plus the Submission to God
Almighty. Meanwhile, Judaism refers to a certain tribe or a race, Christianity to the Person
of Christ, Zoroastrianism refers to the Persian Prophet Zoroaster, Manechianism to another
Persian Prophet called Maani; the same is with Hinduism, Buddhism, Janism, etc.
**With regard the Jews persecuting the Christians, the Bible is full of many horror accounts,
too. And in Arabia before Islam, there was a haulocaust of the Christians of Najran (in
todays Saudi Arabia) by a Jewish king of Arabia, named Dhu Nuwas. That haulocaust
against the Christians of Arabia by an Arabian Jewish Kingdom took place in 523 A.D. a
century before the birth of Islam! What can you say to that? (For details see Robert F. Worth
in The New York Times Oct.22/2010 p.5).
***Speaking of the Saracens in North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, etc.) its
interesting to note that in less than 200 years, some 30 Persians/Khorasanis/Saracens, ruled in
those lands as Governors or Sultans. Some of their descendants still exist in North Africa.
(see Prof.M.Motahhari Khadamat11th ed.p.395).

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****During the Inquisitions the Spaniards would recognize the Muslims(Moors) from the
True Catholics by checking whether they had taken a bath recently or not! If they were
bathed then they were Muslims. (see: Dr.Ali Mazaheri, La Vie De Musulman Au Moyen
Age Paris -1982 p.28). Even worse was the case of Queen Isable, the one who together with
her husband, Ferdinand, expelled Muslims and Jews from the Iberian Peninsula, in 15th
century. She, who hated Muslims for bathing too often, once bragged about taking bath
only twice in her entire life! Once when she was born, and second time when she married her
husband!
*****According to Ibn Batutah in his Travels during the Mughal rule in India, there were
so many Iranians, and so much of the Persian influences, that every foreigner was called
KhorasaniPersian/Saracen.(see Mr. Nuri, A. The Persian Civilization Tehran, Iran
2001 p.631).
******No wonder, the Holy Prophet Mohammad had already prophesied, that: If
knowledge be found in the stars, there will be some Persians to obtain it! (see Sahih
Muslim Vol.4/P.1352 under The merits of the people of Persia)
*******Making paper, was one of the many gifts of the Saracens (Persian Muslims) to
Spain, from where it also spread to the rest of Europe, which did not know about paper
before!
The Saracen paper industry (which they also got from the Chinese) went from Spain
to Italy in 1279 A.D., and from there to France in 1348, then to Germany (of Gutenberg!) in
1390 and finally into (the Industrialized) England in 1495 A.D. (see Dr. A.A. Velayati
Persian and Islamic Civilizations, Tehran 2005 p.04.
********The Saracen artists also influenced the Venetian arts and architecture, as one can
clearly see in the building of the churches, monuments or facilities (Persiana or the Venetian
Blinds being one of them). In European paintings during the Renaissance, you could see
many guys with Muslim features, attires, like turbans, and oriental looks; Those were mostly
the influences of the Persians/Saracen artists in Venice in those days, like Mahmoud AlKurdi, who lived and painted in venice,during the early 16th century A.D.
*********Madinat Zahra, the city built by the Muslim Caliphs of Spain, was the largest city
in European history, that was built from scratch. Its ruins were discovered in 1911-see BBC.
Dec. 5/2010.
References:
1. The Holy Quran (English Translation) by Prof. Mir Ahmad Ali and Tafseer of H.I.
Aqa Puya, with the transliteration of Prof. M.S. Tajar, Published by the Muslim
Academy of the Philippines, 2009 and by the National Bookstore in 2010 (Third
Edition).
2. The Holy Quran (English Translation) by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Published by the
Iranian Muslim Students Assn. of the Philippines, with Transliteration by Prof. M.S.
Tajar, 1985.
3. Nahjul Balaagha, Lectures of Imam Ali, by Sayyid Radhi and Ibne Abil Hadid,
Ansarian Publications, Qom/Iran, 2003.

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4. Prophet Mohammad and his Household (Ahlul Bayt) by Ustad Abdus Samad 10 th
Edition, Islamic Research Center, Manila, Philippines, 2005.
5. 100 Questions and Answers About: Shi-ah, Sunnah and Wahhabism by Ustad
Abdus Samad, Published by the Islamic Research Center, Manila, Philippines, 2007.
6. A Brief Study of the Holy Quran, by Amid al-Qommi, printed by the Iranian
Muslim Students Assn. of the Philippines, 1981.
7. Principles of Islamic Government, by Prof. M.S. Tajar, published by the Iranian
Muslim Students Assn. of the Philippines, 1982.
8. Islamic Civilization and the Contribution of Persia a Research work by Prof. M.S.
Tajar and Dr. Abdi Bakhtiari of the University of the Philippines, Diliman, 2009.
9. Echo of Islam, the Iranian Magazine (English Ed.), March 2010.
10. Mahjubah, the English Magazine for the Muslim Women, Tehran, Iran, May 2009.
11. Gardesh-gari Tourism and Culture Magazine, Iran, September 2000.
12. Al-Wahdah, Iranian Cultural Magazine (Arabic Ed.), March 2010
13. Persian and Islamic Civilizations by Dr. A.A. Velayati (former Foreign Minister of
Iran, 1980-1988) Tehran, 2005
14. Khadamaat by Prof. M. Motah-hari, Tehran, Iran1998.
15. Sahih Muslim by Imam Muslim Nishapuri/Beirut/Lebanon 2005
16. Parsi and Muslim Names by Maneka Gandhi and Prof. Ozair Husain/India/1994
17. Al-Maurid English-Arabic Dictionary/Beirut/2001
18. Amid Persian Dictionary/Mr. Hassan Amid/Tehran/1989
19. The New York Times/International Weekly/USA/March, 2015
20. Islamic Far East, by Isaac Donoso, University of the Philippines Press/2013.

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