Link in Iran

Note: WordPress, the home for this blog, is still being filtered in Iran. Some persons there have ways of working around the filters. One Iranian friend has translated much of this blog into Farsi, and included it in her blog for persons there to read and respond. As they respond, she will then translate it into English and send to me for loading onto this blog. The link to her blog and the Farsi version is at http://zahrakarimi.blogfa.com/post-79.aspx or http://zahrakarimi.blogfa.com/post-80.aspx .

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What Iranians want Americans to know.

Submitted on 2011/01/30 at 2:06 pm
“What would you in Iran most like those of us in North America to understand about your country and your people?”

What I say is not an expectation; It is just a prayer, a hope and a will which cannot be realized by me or by you or by a certain nation alone or by the heart which is at the service of the mass media.
At the least, never let prejudices make you volunteers for being deceived. Borders are designed by powers and conquerors in order to satisfy their own desires. Hearts are never confined within geographical limits. There are always pressures which bury any voices of virtues, justice, benevolences, transcendence, peace and unity in the bosom of any cry. Who are the owners of our minds, our beliefs and our honesty?! Who can be at all, except the Almighty God who bestowed us a reason as an eye to see the way, a heart as an unbounded land to accept all, an affection to moderate our judgements about others and a will to grow ourselves. Certainly, the first enemy for such dignity is prejudice and the second are those who want us to be such a creation that they prefer.
Our holy book, the Qoran, teaches us that God bestowed hearts to humans in order to understand by it and also to warn us that encurring even a wrong conjecture about others is regarded as a big sin and advises us that although in some cases one may have the right to punish another one in revenge for a bad deed, to forgive is much better. It also informs us that there are always two sorts of people: first, those like prophets such as Abraham, Jesus and Mohammad, who can be perfect examples for any honest man and secondly,there are always some who just think of their own satanic and carnal benefits. Admittedly, those with satanic intention (often with a deceptive face) are always planning for deceiving the public by promising them a better future and threatening them of enemies that just they themselves know them.
No nation can reach at the treasure of growth, unless it finds what is in the hearts of other nations. It cannot be made possible by killing others or making them deprived or compelling them to submit themselves. Hearts respond to hearts and punches responds to punches.
Everything is better when we are sharing with others in the way of beneficence and are not just living for ourselves. If a group misjudges about another one, it does not mean that the victim does not have the right to remain in their belief. If some are a minority, that does not mean they are small. Magnificence is in the virtues we are following or looking for.
I hope that we achieve a condition in which we are no longer a ladder to enable a conqueror to achieve their own hopes at the expense of our separation from God, from appreciating each other, from peace and from that which makes us better than what we are now. The universe has things beyond our own desires, power and riches. We have to be sure that the world is much, much bigger than what we have made of it in our small minds (to enjoy its advantages like carnalities, powers, wealth and self benefits).
The question is that whether everything is for making us more fat or for making us more intimate. Intimacy, peace and development, cannot be fired from a gun or be grown on the rocks of hostility. God is the just one deserving to be a criteria for any judge and behavior because it is the source of all benefactions, and we take pride in the fact that we want life, welfare and blessings for everybody. One of the hardest works in the world is to know the real friend from the real enemy. One who lives with us within a same room, is not necessarily our brother and some of those who give some bait may have a net for decoying.
Wherever a voice is raised, ears are needed to hear, not a hand to give a slap.
We believe that American officials are hostile to us because 1- we want to be independent and 2- we teach others to be independent.
What we should be is more important than what we are. We need to listen to others and make an effort to find new ways for getting more proximity in our virtues and not for deleting each other.

JE, Iran

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Religious Rights

Spencer Bradford says:
January 5, 2011 at 5:39 pm
I am active in the U.S. in campaigns for human rights, opposing the death penalty in the U.S. and supporting Palestinian rights.

I’m informed by a human rights group that an Iranian pastor in the Full Gospel “Church of Iran” association, Youcef Nardarkhani, has been in prison since 2009 for protesting a requirement that his son study the Quran, and that 18 other Christians arrested in 2010 are also still in prison for faith-based offenses.

I advocate ending U.S. financial support for Israel based on their human rights violations and flagrant disregard for international law, but I also support terminating U.S. funding for Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt on the same basis of human rights violations. I don’t want to see military confrontation develop between the U.S. and Iran (and certainly not Israel and Iran), but neither can I support normalizing relationships with a regime that suppresses dissent with such profligacy and brutality (including the use of executions) as the current Iranian government. So I presently will not address Iran with my legislative representative and Senators in the U.S. Congress.

Is there any element in the Iranian government that recognizes this will be an enduring obstacle to any prospect for normalization of relations with the U.S., and is working to change that? Or is that simply not significant in current political priorities?

Reply

JE says:
January 30, 2011 at 2:05 pm
“I’m informed by a human rights group that an Iranian pastor in the Full Gospel “Church of Iran” association, Youcef Nardarkhani, has been in prison…”

Dear Mr. Bradford
1- For me, no matter where you are from or in which activities you are involved, it is important that you are a human with dignity, rights, and respects. Our prophet Mohammed said: Respect everybody, whether he/she is your fellow-religion or your fellowman. In our opinion, as long as one does not do a criminal or illegal act (according to Gods laws or ruling constitution of a country), one has to be considered as honest, free and respected, enjoying all kinds of justice, welfare and independence. No matter who one may be (be they a ruler or a clergy or a pastor or a teacher or a student or a police or …) , he/she is certainly responsible for every deed, especially when it is done in contrast to a country’s norms, laws, constitution and so on, so they may be praised or be punished.
2- What you heard is just what they said. What the media or political groups (sometimes in the form of social groups) say, certainly has some intention in behind that they do not like to speak about. So you are not to blame for hearing such news, but you are responsible for any prejudice you may make.
3- The political and social conditions of the word, especially under the pressure of Zionist groups, are such disturbed ones that one can hardly be sure about the fact that all that is said is reliable or even about who says it is right. As a solution, we probably should know more about who is really who. If you want to know us better, it may be good to investigate about Shia-Islam and our leaders and the Islamic revolution of Iran and its leaders, the motives behind it, and especially its enemies like Zionists.
4- Maybe the most important question about the major human –rights group is that: why do these people never react to the enormous oppressions made by Zionists, American, or British governments on the people of Afghanistan or Iraq. Why does no one cry for hundreds of innocent women and children who are killed or injured everyday by the soldiers of western major powers under the cover of terrorist-fighting or defending human rights. Why is an enormous amount of money spent in wars aimed at colonialism, but not for millions of hungry people in the world or against major illnesses.
5- It is very clear that nowhere in the world can one be punished just because he/she is a pastor. Otherwise, all pastor should be punished, though we can clearly see in the western countries that lots of women are deprived of education just because they are Muslims!!! See which countries have the most dark backgrounds in the field of massacring, bombing other lands, assassinating person of other nations, exploiting other poor countries, killing women and children, supporting tyrant regimes, … . I do not claim we are the best in the word, but at least I can say we have never done those such heinous works.
6- You know better that today all criminals and enemies of any country do their operations under all possible cover like social action or a pastor or a religious or a professor and other titles. Zionists, in order to give a dark international face of Iran, which is a cause of the rise of deprived people against oppressors, planned all-aspect conspiracies by activating individuals and groups in order to make the Iranians provide a hard reaction. When it is done, medias with global effects continue the program by reporting these reactions as deeds against human- rights or against world-peace or against freedom and so on. Certainly, blasphemy is a crime. What is sacred for a group should be esteemed by other groups. By the way, if these so-called pastors are real pious pastors, why do they never go to lands like Africa in order to save people from miseries, massacring and hostilities caused by the lack of religion and appropriate human condition? Why are they today so interested in Iran where lots of Christians were and are living with freedom and at the same time, respecting Iran’s constitution and religious norms. No, dear friend! They are not pastors; they work under the name and cover and the face of a pastor; they are soldiers of Zionists.

Therefore, dear friend! If you ask me whether it is correct that a so-called pastor is arrested or punished in Iran, I say yes. But if you ask me that whether he is punished just because he is a Christian pastor, I, in response, just can advise you to think more. And if you want to talk about the death penalty, I should say it is an independent issue and you have the right to investigate about it.
Best regards,
JE,
Iran.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

How can we work together for peace?

David Powell says:
October 25, 2010 at 12:37 pm
I will try to start some discussion from both sides of the pond, by asking this question -How does your religion and culture encourage peace between people?

Reply
Zahra Karimi says:
January 19, 2011 at 9:46 pm
This comes from the Book “Jesus, Mary and Christianity Islamic Perspective”, By Mohammad Ali shomali. (Translated)

Islam like other Abrahamic faith believes in unity of God. God is ONE; He has no partner and there is nothing like Him. The obvious result of this conception of God is that the universe must be harmonious and consistent. This harmony and consistency in the divine creation extends to His revelations. Divine messages communicated to the people through His messengers are to be harmonious too. If they are revealed by the same God to the recipient (human beings) who have the same nature and the same fundamental needs in order to show them the path towards the best possible perfections and happiness, they must be similar in nature and identical in essence. Of course, depending on varying conditions and factors some details may change.

Thus, Muslims believe in conformity of all divine revelations and prophecies. They confirm and believe in all the Prophets and consider all believers in God to be members of the same community of faith. Unity of God manifests in unity of His revelations and must be echoed in unity of all believers in God.

One of the best means of achieving this unity and brotherhood is to know each other, to overcome historical prejudices that prevent objective understanding between each other and to build upon commonalities.

The Holly Qoran as Muslims’ book is a revelation from the Lord of the world. It has been protected through whole last FOURTEEN centuries and is considered as the reliable source for Muslims all over the world.

Some sentences from the Qoran put great emphasis on the unifying of the Prophets, their scriptures and their missions, such as:
“We make no distinction between any of His messengers.” (2:285)

Among Prophets, some are more outstanding. Jesus was one of the five greatest prophets. “Mary was chosen above women of the world.” (3:42)

From Islamic perspective Jesus and Mary are respected highly in Islam. On the other hand about Muslim-Christian relations, the Qoran shows great affections for the Christians because of their humility, their search for truth and their sympathy with the Muslims. For example, we read in the Qoran:

“…and you will find the nearest among men in love to the believers (to be) those who say: “We are Christians:” because they are not arrogant. When they listen to that which has been revealed unto the Messenger, [Mohammad] you see their eyes overflow with tears because of their recognition of the Truth.” (5:82&83)

It is clear now that Christians and Muslims are very close to each other; they share a lot and there is no reason why there can not be a strong sense of unity between them. Indeed, there are many reasons that call on them to come together and to work together for the betterment of mankind.

Zahra

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

What in the world is this Blog about?

This blog has been designed as a place for Muslims in Iran and Christians in North America to communicate openly and honestly about their lives and their beliefs, to learn from each other, and to build trust and promote peace between our peoples. That is the reason for the name of the site, with Shalom being the Christian word most often expressed for Peace and Salam being the Islamic word often used for Peace.

This idea has come from persons from both Iran and the United States who have already been communicating individually by email as E-Pals (Pen-Pals) for the last couple of years. They share a desire to find ways to continue to increase opportunities for communication and to develop understanding relationships. Anyone who shares this desire is invited to propose questions or register comments in the sections to the right.

You may start a discussion by asking any question or by providing any comments, or you may enter an on-going discussion by providing responses to the questions.

Note: This is intended to be a very safe place for discussions, where honesty is comfortable. Let us do our best to ensure that this continues, by being positive and affirming to others as often as possible.

Please come to this site often and participate! Together, we can all be ambassadors for peace in our world.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Jesus in the Qur’an

How is Jesus described in the Koran?

Here is the answer from an Iranian E-Pal.

I don’t know have you ever read these verses of Holy Quran about your and our Holy prophet Jesus and his Holy mother Miriam. We, Muslims believe on whole prophets and we have respect for them and God has learned us a lot about some of them in Quran.

Here are some verses from chapter Miriam(Mary) in Holy Quran:

And mention, [O Muhammad], in the Book [the story of] Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place toward the east.(16)

And she took, in seclusion from them, a screen. Then We sent to her Our Angel, and he represented himself to her as a well-proportioned man.(17)

She said, “Indeed, I seek refuge in the Most Merciful from you, [so leave me], if you should be fearing of Allah .”(18)

He said, “I am only the messenger of your Lord to give you [news of] a pure boy.”(19)

She said, “How can I have a boy while no man has touched me and I have not been unchaste?”(20)

He said, “Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, ‘It is easy for Me, and We will make him a sign to the people and a mercy from Us. And it is a matter [already] decreed.’ (21)

So she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a remote place.(22)

And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She said, “Oh, I wish I had died before this and was in oblivion, forgotten.”(23)

But he called her from below her, “Do not grieve; your Lord has provided beneath you a stream(24)

And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates.(25)

So eat and drink and be contented. And if you see from among humanity anyone, say, ‘Indeed, I have vowed to the Most Merciful abstention, so I will not speak today to [any] man.'(26)

Then she brought him to her people, carrying him. They said, “O Mary, you have certainly done a thing unprecedented.(27)

O sister of Aaron, your father was not a man of evil, nor was your mother unchaste.”(28)

So she pointed to him. They said, “How can we speak to one who is in the cradle a child?”(29)

[Jesus] said, “Indeed, I am the servant of Allah . He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet(30)

And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long as I remain alive(31)

And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant.(32)

And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive.”(33)

That is Jesus, the son of Mary – the word of truth about which they are in dispute.(34)

It is not [befitting] for Allah to take a son; exalted is He! When He decrees an affair, He only says to it, “Be,” and it is.(35)

[Jesus said], “And indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is a straight path.(36)

In the name of God

here are some other verses about Jesus in Holy Qoran:

Chapter 5: AL-MAEDA (THE TABLE (food) from heaven)

Those who say that Allah is the messiah, son of Mary are indeed those who disbelieved. Say: ‘who then could prevent anything from Allah, if he willed to destroy the messiah, son of Mary, together with his mother and all the people of the earth? For Allah is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and all that lies between them. He creates what he will and has power over all things. (17)

The Jews and the Nazarenes say: ‘we are the children of Allah and his loved ones. ‘Say: ‘why then does he punish you for your sins? Surely, you are mortals amongst what he created. He forgives whom he will, and punishes whom he will. For Allah is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them. All shall return to him (18)

People of the book! After an interval during which there were no messengers, our messenger (Muhammad) has come to clarify (your religion) to you, lest you should say: ‘no bearer of glad tidings or a Warner has come to us. ‘Indeed, there has come to you a bearer of glad tidings and a Warner. Allah has power over all things. (19)

And we sent, following in their footsteps (prophet) Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which was before him in the torah, and gave him the gospel, in which there is guidance and light, confirming that which was before him in the torah, a guide and an admonition to the cautious. (46)

The unbelievers are those who say: ‘Allah is the messiah, the son of Mary. ‘But the messiah said: ‘children of Israel worship Allah, my lord and your lord. ‘He who associates anything with Allah, Allah has indeed forbidden paradise to him, and his abode shall be in the fire. The harm doers shall have no helpers. (72)

Indeed those who say: ‘Allah is the third of the trinity’ became unbelievers. There is but one god. If they do not desist in what they say, a painful punishment will afflict those of them that disbelieve. (73)

Will they not turn to Allah in repentance and ask his forgiveness? He is forgiving, merciful (74)

The messiah, the son of Mary, was not except a messenger, other messengers had gone before him. His mother was in the state of sincerity, they both ate food. See how we make plain to them our signs. Then, see how perverted they are (75)

Say: ‘will you worship instead of Allah that which owns neither harm, nor benefit for you? Allah is the hearer, knower. ‘(76)

when Allah said: ‘( prophet) Jesus, son of Mary, remember the favor upon you and on your mother; how I strengthened you with the holy spirit (Gabriel), to speak to people in your cradle and of age (when he descends and dies); how I taught you the book and wisdom, the torah and the gospel; and how, by my permission, you fashioned from clay the likeness of a bird, and breathed into it so that, by my permission, it became a living bird. How, by my permission, you healed the blind man and the leper, and by my permission you brought the dead forth; and how I protected you from the children of Israel when you brought them clear signs; whereupon the unbelievers among them said: “this is nothing but plain magic”.(110)

When I revealed to the disciples to believe in me and in my messenger they replied: “we believe, bear witness that we submit.”(111)

When the disciples said: ‘o (prophet) Jesus, son of Mary, can your lord send down to us a table( food) from heaven? ‘He replied: ‘have fears of Allah, if you are believers. ‘(112)

‘We wish to eat of it, ‘ they said, ‘so that we can satisfy our hearts and know that what you said to us is true, and that we become witnesses to it. ‘(113)

‘Allah, our lord, ‘ said (prophet) Jesus, the son of Mary, ‘send down upon us a table out of heaven that shall be a festival for us the first and the last of us and a sign from you. And provide for us; you are the best of providers. (114)

Allah replied: ‘I am sending it to you. But whoever of you disbelieves thereafter I shall punish him with a punishment that I do not punish anyone from the worlds. (115)

And when Allah said: ‘(prophet) Jesus, son of Mary, did you ever say to the people: “take me and my mother for two gods, other than Allah?” ‘Exaltations to you, ‘ he said, ‘how could I say that to which I have no right? If I had said that, you would have surely known. You know what is in myself, but I do not know what is in yours. Indeed, you are the knowledgeable of the unseen (116)

I spoke to them of nothing except that which you ordered me, that you worship Allah, my lord and our lord. I witnessed them whilst living in their midst and ever since you took me to you, you have been the watcher over them. You are the witness of everything. (117)

If you punish them (for their disbelief), they surely are your subjects; and if you forgive them, surely you are the almighty, the wise. ‘(118)

Allah will say: ‘this is the day the truthful shall benefit by their truthfulness. They shall live forever in gardens underneath which rivers flow. Allah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with him. That is the great winning. (119)

to Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and what is in them. he has power over all things.(120)

Also more verses are available:

chapter4: an-Nesa (women)

And for their saying, ‘we killed the messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, the messenger (and prophet) of Allah. ‘They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but to them, he (the crucified) had been given the look (of Prophet Jesus). Those who differ concerning him (Prophet Jesus) are surely in doubt regarding him, they have no knowledge of him, except the following of supposition, and (it is) a certainty they did not kill him. (157)

Rather, Allah raised him up to him. Allah is almighty, the wise(158)

The messiah would not despise being a worshiper of Allah, nor would the angels who are near. Whosoever despises worshipping him, and becomes proud, he will surely assemble them all to him (172)

As for those who believe and did good deeds, he will pay them in full their wages, and he will increase them from his bounty. as for those who despise and became proud, he will punish them with a painful punishment, and they will find neither a guide nor a helper for themselves, other than Allah(173)

enshaallah God will absolve all of us

Submitted by Reality Researcher

Posted in Jesus in the Koran | 7 Comments

E-Pals

What if 1000s of regular citizens of the United States and Iran were to begin discussions by email about how each of us can work together for peace between our countries? What if this included 1000s of Christians and 1000s of Muslims sharing about ways in which their faiths encourage peace, and learning from each other? Could this eventually lead to better relations between our two countries? Yes, I believe so!

The Iran/U.S. E-Pals program was begun nearly two years ago as a program to match Christians in the U.S. with Muslims in Iran, to allow persons from both countries to learn more about each other and to each do their part in a very personal way to work toward world peace. We can all be ambassadors for our countries. 

This blog now allows persons an opportunity to enter into group discussions.  

If you have come to this page and do not have an E-Pal, and would now like to be matched with someone for discussion, please contact me by leaving a comment below.

Blessings and Peace, David Powell

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments