Thursday, September 27, 2007

President Ahmadinejad's Address at Colombia University

In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful...

The president recites verses from the holy Koran in Arabic.

"Oh, God, hasten the arrival of Imam al-Mahdi and grant him good health and victory and make us his followers and those to attest to his rightfulness."

Distinguished Dean, dear professors and students, ladies and gentlemen, at the outset I would like to extend my greetings to all of you. I am grateful to the almighty God for providing me with the opportunity to be in an academic environment, those seeking truth and striving for the promotion of science and knowledge.

At the outset I want to complain a bit from the person who read this political statement against me. In Iran tradition requires that when we demand a person to invite to be a speaker we actually respect our students and the professors by allowing them to make their own judgment and we don't think it's necessary before this speech is even given to come in with a series of claims and to attempt in a so-called manner to provide vaccination of some sort to our students and our faculty.

I think the text read by the dear gentleman here, more than addressing me, was an insult to information and the knowledge of the audience here. In a university environment we must allow people to speak their mind, to allow everyone to talk so that the truth is eventually revealed by all.

Certainly he took more than all the time I was allocated to speak, and that's fine with me. We'll just leave that to add up with the claims of respect for freedom and the freedom of speech that's given to us in this country.

Many parts of his speech, there were many insults and claims that were incorrect, regretfully.

Of course, I think that he was affected by the press, the media, and the political, sort of, mainstream line that you read here that goes against the very grain of the need for peace and stability in the world around us.

Nonetheless, I should not begin by being affected by this unfriendly treatment. I will tell you what I have to say, and then the questions he can raise and I'll be happy to provide answers. But as for one of the issues that he did raise, I most certainly would need to elaborate further so that we, for ourselves, can see how things fundamentally work.

It was my decision in this valuable forum and meeting to speak with you about the importance of knowledge, of information, of education. Academics and religious scholars are shining torches who shed light in order to remove darkness. And the ambiguities around us in guiding humanity out of ignorance and perplexity.

The key to the understanding of the realities around us rests in the hands of the researchers, those who seek to discover areas that are hidden, the unknown sciences, the windows of realities that they can open is done only through efforts of the scholars and the learned people in this world.

With every effort there is a window that is opened, and one reality is discovered. Whenever the high stature of science and wisdom is preserved and the dignity of scholars and researchers are respected, humans have taken great strides toward their material and spiritual promotion.

In contrast, whenever learned people and knowledge have been neglected, humans have become stranded in the darkness of ignorance and negligence.

If it were not for human instinct, which tends toward continual discovery of truth, humans would have always remained stranded in ignorance and no way would not have discovered how to improve the life that we are given.

The nature of man is, in fact, a gift granted by the Almighty to all. The Almighty led mankind into this world and granted him wisdom and knowledge as his prime gift enabling him to know his God.

In the story of Adam, a conversation occurs between the Almighty and his angels. The angels call human beings an ambitious and merciless creature and protested against his creation.

But the Almighty responded, quote, "I have knowledge of what you are ignorant of," unquote. Then the Almighty told Adam the truth. And on the order of the Almighty, Adam revealed it to the angels.

The angels could not understand the truth as revealed by the human being. The Almighty said to them, quote, " Did not I say that I am aware of what is hidden in heaven and in the universe?" unquote. In this way the angels prostrated themselves before Adam.

In the mission of all divine prophets, the first sermons were of the words of God, and those words -- piety, faith and wisdom -- have been spread to all mankind.

... Regarding the holy prophet Moses, may peace be upon him, God says, quote, "And he was taught wisdom, the divine book, the Old Testament and the New Testament. He is the prophet appointed for the sake of the children of Israel, and I rightfully brought a sign from the Almighty, holy Koran,"

The first words, which were revealed to the holy prophet of Islam, call the prophet to read, quote, "Read, read in the name of your God, who supersedes everything," unquote, the Almighty, quote again, "who taught the human being with the pen," unquote. Quote, "The Almighty taught human beings what they were ignorant of," unquote.

You see, in the first verses revealed to the holy prophet of Islam, words of reading, teaching and the pen are mentioned. These verses in fact introduced the Almighty as the teacher of human beings, the teacher who taught humans what they were ignorant of.

In another part of the Koran, on the mission of the holy prophet of Islam, it is mentioned that the Almighty appointed someone from amongst the common people as their prophet in order to, quote, "read for them the divine verses," unquote, and quote again, "and purify them from ideological and ethical contamination" unquote, and quote again, "to teach them the divine book and wisdom," unquote.

My dear friends, all the words and messages of the divine prophets from Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, to David and Solomon and Moses, to Jesus and Mohammad delivered humans from ignorance, negligence, superstitions, unethical behavior, and corrupted ways of thinking, with respect to knowledge, on the path to knowledge, light and rightful ethics.

In our culture, the word science has been defined as illumination.

In fact, the science means brightness and the real science is a science which rescues the human being from ignorance, to his own benefit. In one of the widely accepted definitions of science, it is stated that it is the light which sheds to the hearts of those who have been selected by the almighty.

Therefore, according to this definition, science is a divine gift and the heart is where it resides. If we accept that science means illumination, then its scope supersedes the experimental sciences and it includes every hidden and disclosed reality.

One of the main harms inflicted against science is to limit it to experimental and physical sciences. This harm occurs even though it extends far beyond this scope. Realities of the world are not limited to physical realities and the materials, just a shadow of supreme reality. And physical creation is just one of the stories of the creation of the world.

Human being is just an example of the creation that is a combination of a material and the spirit. And another important point is the relationship of science and purity of spirit, life, behavior and ethics of the human being. In the teachings of the divine prophets, one reality shall always be attached to science; the reality of purity of spirit and good behavior. Knowledge and wisdom is pure and clear reality.

It is -- science is a light. It is a discovery of reality. And only a pure scholar and researcher, free from wrong ideologies, superstitions , selfishness and material trappings can discover -- discover the reality.

My dear friends and scholars, distinguished participants, science and wisdom can also be misused, a misuse caused by selfishness, corruption, material desires and material interests, as well as individual and group interests.

Material desires place humans against the realities of the world.

Corrupted and dependent human beings resist acceptance of reality. And even if they do accept it, they do not obey it.

There are many scholars who are aware of the realities but do not accept them. Their selfishness does not allow them to accept those realities.

Do those who, in the course of human history, wage wars, not understand the reality that lives, properties, dignity, territories, and the rights of all human beings should be respected, or did they understand it but neither have faith in nor abide by it?

My dear friends, as long as the human heart is not free from hatred, envy, and selfishness, it does not abide by the truth, by the illumination of science and science itself.

Science is the light, and scientists must be pure and pious. If humanity achieves the highest level of physical and spiritual knowledge but its scholars and scientists are not pure, then this knowledge cannot serve the interests of humanity, and several events can ensue.

First, the wrongdoers reveal only a part of the reality, which is to their own benefit, and conceal the rest. As we have witnessed with respect to the scholars of the divine religions in the past, too, unfortunately, today, we see that certain researchers and scientists are still hiding the truth from the people.

Second, science, scientists, and scholars are misused for personal, group, or party interests. So, in today's world, bullying powers are misusing many scholars and scientists in different fields with the purpose of stripping nations of their wealth.

... And they use all opportunities only for their own benefit. For example, they deceive people by using scientific methods and tools. They, in fact, wish to justify their own wrongdoings, though. By creating nonexistent enemies, for example, and an insecure atmosphere, they try to control all in the name of combating insecurity and terrorism.

They even violate individual and social freedoms in their own nations under that pretext. They do not respect the privacy of their own people. They tap telephone calls and try to control their people.

They create an insecure psychological atmosphere in order to justify their warmongering acts in different parts of the world.

As another example, by using precise scientific methods and planning, they begin their onslaught on the domestic cultures of nations, the cultures which are the result of thousands of years of interaction, creativity and artistic activities.

They try to eliminate these cultures in order to separate the people from their identity and cut their bonds with their own history and values. They prepare the ground for stripping people from their spiritual and material wealth by instilling in them feelings of intimidation, desire for imitation and (inaudible) submission to oppressive powers and disability.

Making nuclear, chemical and biological bombs and weapons of mass destruction is yet another result of the misuse of science and research by the big powers. Without cooperation of certain scientists and scholars, we would not have witnessed production of different nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Are these weapons to protect global security?

What can a perpetual nuclear umbrella threat achieve for the sake of humanity? If nuclear war wages between nuclear powers, what human catastrophe will take place?

Today we can see the nuclear effects in even new generations of Nagasaki and Hiroshima residents, which might be witnessed in even the next generations to come.

Presently, the effects of the depleted uranium used in weapons since the beginning of the war in Iraq can be examined and investigated accordingly.

These catastrophes take place only when scientists and scholars are misused by oppressors.

Another point of sorrow: Some big powers create a monopoly over science and prevent other nations in achieving scientific development as well.

This, too, is one of the surprises of our time. Some big powers do not want to see the progress of other societies and nations. They turn to thousands of reasons, make allegations, place economic sanctions to prevent other nations from developing and advancing, all resulting from their distance from human values and the teachings of the divine prophets.

Regretfully, they have not been trained to serve mankind.

Dear academics, dear faculty and scholars, students, I believe that the biggest God-given gift to man is science and knowledge. Man's search for knowledge and the truth through science is what it guarantees to do in getting close to God.

But science has to combine with the purity of the spirit and of the purity of man's spirit so that scholars can unveil the truth and then use that truth for advancing humanity's cause.

These scholars would be not only people who would guide humanity, but also guide humanity towards a better future.

And it is necessary that big powers should not allow mankind to engage in monopolistic activities and to prevent other nations from achieving that science. Science is a divine gift by God to everyone, and therefore, it must remain pure.

God is aware of all reality. All researchers and scholars are loved by God. So I hope there will be a day where these scholars and scientists will rule the world and God himself will arrive with Moses and Christ and Mohammed to rule the world and to take us toward justice.

I'd like to thank you now but refer to two points made in the introduction given about me, and then I will be open for any questions.

Last year -- I would say two years ago -- I raised two questions.

You know that my main job is a university instructor.

Right now, as president of Iran, I still continue teaching graduate and Ph.D.-level courses on a weekly basis. My students are working with me in scientific fields. I believe that I am an academic, myself. So I speak with you from an academic point of view, and I raised two questions.

But, instead of a response, I got a wave of insults and allegations against me. And regretfully, they came mostly from groups who claimed most to believe in the freedom of speech and the freedom of information. You know quite well that Palestine is an old wound, as old as 60 years. For 60 years, these people are displaced. For 60 years, these people are being killed. For 60 years, on a daily basis, there's conflict and terror. For 60 years, innocent women and children are destroyed and killed by helicopters and airplanes that break the house over their heads. For 60 years, children and kindergartens, in schools, in high schools, are in prison being tortured. For 60 years, security in the Middle East has been endangered. For 60 years, the slogan of expansionism from the Nile to the Euphrates is being chanted by certain groups in that part of the world.

And as an academic, I asked two questions; the same two questions that I will ask here again. And you judge, for yourselves, whether the response to these questions should be the insults, the allegations, and all the words and the negative propaganda or should we really try and face these two questions and respond to them? Like you, like any academic, I, too, will keep -- not yet become silent until I get the answer. So I'm awaiting logical answers instead of insults.

My first question was if -- given that the Holocaust is a present reality of our time, a history that occurred, why is there not sufficient research that can approach the topic from different perspectives?

Our friend referred to 1930 as the point of departure for this development. However, I believe the Holocaust from what we've read happened during World War II, after 1930, in the 1940s. So, you know, we have to really be able to trace the event.

My question was simple: There are researchers who want to approach the topic from a different perspective. Why are they put into prison? Right now, there are a number of European academics who have been sent to prison because they attempted to write about the Holocaust or research it from a different perspective, questioning certain aspects of it.

My question is: Why isn't it open to all forms of research? I have been told that there's been enough research on the topic. And I ask, well, when it comes to topics such as freedom, topics such as democracy, concepts and norms such as God, religion, physics even, or chemistry, there's been a lot of research, but we still continue more research on those topics. We encourage it.

But, then, why don't we encourage more research on a historical event that has become the root, the cause of many heavy catastrophes in the region in this time and age?

Why shouldn't there be more research about the root causes? That was my first question.

And my second question, well, given this historical event, if it is a reality, we need to still question whether the Palestinian people should be paying for it or not. After all, it happened in Europe. The Palestinian people had no role to play in it. So why is it that the Palestinian people are paying the price of an event they had nothing to do with?

The Palestinian people didn't commit any crime. They had no role to play in World War II. They were living with the Jewish communities and the Christian communities in peace at the time. They didn't have any problems. And today, too, Jews, Christians and Muslims live in brotherhood all over the world in many parts of the world.

They don't have any serious problems.

But why is it that the Palestinians should pay a price, innocent Palestinians, for 5 million people to remain displaced or refugees abroad for 60 years. Is this not a crime? Is asking about these crimes a crime by itself?

Why should an academic myself face insults when asking questions like this? Is this what you call freedom and upholding the freedom of thought?

And as for the second topic, Iran's nuclear issue, I know there is time limits, but I need time. I mean, a lot of time was taken from me.

We are a country, we are a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency. For over 33 years we are a member state of the agency.

The bylaw of the agency explicitly states that all member states have the right to the peaceful nuclear fuel technology. This is an explicit statement made in the bylaw, and the bylaw says that there is no pretext or excuse, even the inspections carried by the IAEA itself that can prevent member states' right to have that right. Of course, the IAEA is responsible to carry out inspections. We are one of the countries that's carried out the most amount of level of cooperation with the IAEA. They have had hours and weeks and days of inspections in our country, and over and over again the agency's reports indicate that Iran's activities are peaceful, that they have not detected a deviation, and that Iran -- they have received positive cooperation from Iran.

But regretfully, two or three monopolistic powers, selfish powers want to force their word on the Iranian people and deny them their right.

They tell us you don't let them -- they won't let them inspect. Why not? Of course we do. How come is it, anyway, that you have that right and we can't have it? We want to have the right to peaceful nuclear energy. They tell us, don't make it yourself, we'll give it to you.

Well, in the past, I tell you, we had contracts with the U.S. government, with the British government, the French government, the German government, and the Canadian government on nuclear development for peaceful purposes. But unilaterally, each and every one of them canceled their contracts with us, as a result of which the Iranian people had to pay a heavy cost in billions of dollars.

Why do we need the fuel from you? You've not even given us spare aircraft parts that we need for civilian aircraft for 28 years under the name of embargo and sanctions because we're against, for example, human rights or freedom? Under that pretext, you deny us that technology? We want to have the right to self-determination toward our future. We want to be independent. Don't interfere in us.

If you don't give us spare parts for civilian aircraft, what is the expectation that you'd give us fuel for nuclear development for peaceful purposes?

For 30 years, we've faced these problems for over $5 billion to the Germans and then to the Russians, but we haven't gotten anything.

And the words have not been completed.

It is our right. We want our right. And we don't want anything beyond the law, nothing less than international law.

We are a peaceful, loving nation. We love all nations.

At the end of President Ahmadinejad's speech, he responded to questions posed by some students.

MODERATOR: Mr. President, your statements here today and in the past have provoked many questions which I would like to pose to you on behalf of the students and faculty who have submitted them to me.

Let me begin with the question to which you just alluded.

The first question is: Do you or your government seek the destruction of the state of Israel as a Jewish state?

AHMADINEJAD: We love all nations. We are friends with the Jewish people. There are many Jews in Iran, leaving peacefully, with security.

You must understand that in our constitution and our laws and in the parliamentary elections for every 150,000 people, we get one representative in the parliament. For the Jewish community, for one- fifth of this number, they still get one independent representative in the parliament.

So our proposal to the Palestinian plight is a humanitarian and democratic proposal. What we say is that to solve this 60-year problem, we must allow the Palestinian people to decide about its future for itself.

This is compatible with the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations and the fundamental principles enshrined in it. We must allow Jewish Palestinians, Muslim Palestinians and Christian Palestinians to determine their own fate themselves through a free referendum.

Whatever they choose as a nation, everybody should accept and respect. Nobody should interfere in the affairs of the Palestinian nation. Nobody should sow the seeds of discord. Nobody should spend tens of billions of dollars equipping and arming one group there.

We say allow the Palestinian nation to decide its own future, to have the right to self-determination for itself. This is what we are saying as the Iranian nation.

MODERATOR: Mr. President, I think many members of our audience would like to hear a clearer answer to that question. The question is:

Do you or your government seek the destruction of the state of Israel as a Jewish state? And I think you could answer that question with a single word, either yes or no.

AHMADINEJAD: You asked the question, and then you want the answer the way you want to hear it. Well, this isn't really a free flow of information.

I'm just telling you what my position is. I'm asking you: Is the Palestinian issue not an international issue of prominence or not? Please tell me, yes or no? There's the plight of a people.

MODERATOR: The answer to your question is yes.

AHMADINEJAD: Well, thank you for your cooperation . We recognize there's a problem there that's been going on for 60 years. Everybody provides a solution. And our solution is a free referendum.

Let this referendum happen, and then you'll see what the results are.

Let the people of Palestine freely choose what they want for their future. And then what you want in your mind to happen there will happen and will be realized.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) second question, which was posed by President Bollinger earlier and comes from a number of other students:

Why is your government providing aid to terrorists? Will you stop doing so and permit international monitoring to certify that you have stopped?


AHMADINEJAD: Well, I want to pose a question here to you. If someone comes and explodes bombs around you, threatens your president, members of the administration, kills the members of the Senate or Congress, how would you treat them?

Would you reward them, or would you name them a terrorist group? Well, it's clear. You would call them a terrorist.

My dear friends, the Iranian nation is a victim of terrorism. For --26 years ago, where I worked, close to where I worked, in a terrorist operation, the elected president of the Iranian nation and the elected prime minister of Iran lost their lives in a bomb explosion. They turned into ashes.

A month later, in another terrorist operation, 72 members of our parliament and highest-ranking officials, including four ministers and eight deputy ministers' bodies were shattered into pieces as a result of terrorist attacks.

Within six months, over 4,000 Iranians lost their lives, assassinated by terrorist groups. All this carried out by the hand of one single terrorist group. Regretfully, that same terrorist group now, today, in your country, is being -- operating under the support of the U.S. administration, working freely, distributing declarations freely, and their camps in Iraq are supported by the U.S. government.

They're secured by the U.S. government. Our nation has been harmed by terrorist activities. We were the first nation that objected to terrorism and the first to uphold the need to fight terrorism.

We need to address the root causes of terrorism and eradicate those root causes. We live in the Middle East.

For us, it's quite clear which powers, sort of, incite terrorists, support them, fund them. We know that. Our nation, the Iranian nation, through history has always extended a hand of friendship to other nations. We're a cultured nation. We don't need to resort to terrorism. We've been victims of terrorism, ourselves. And it's regrettable that people who argue they're fighting terrorism, instead of supporting the Iranian people and nation, instead of fighting the terrorists that are attacking them, they're supporting the terrorists and then turn the fingers to us. This is most regrettable.

QUESTION: Mr. President, a further set of questions challenged your view of the Holocaust. Since the evidence that this occurred in Europe in the 1940s, as a result of the actions of the German Nazi government, since that -- those facts -- are well documented, why are you calling for additional research? There seems to be no purpose in doing so, other than to question whether the Holocaust actually occurred as a historical fact. Can you explain why you believe more research is needed into the facts of what are what are incontrovertible?

AHMADINEJAD: Thank you very much for your question. I am an academic, and you are as well. Can you argue that researching a phenomenon is finished, forever done? Can we close the books for good on a historical event? There are different perspectives that come to light after every research is done. Why should we stop research at all? Why should we stop the progress of science and knowledge?

You shouldn't ask me why I'm asking questions. You should ask yourselves why you think that that's questionable? Why do you want to stop the progress of science and research?

Do you ever take what's known as absolute in physics? We had principles in mathematics that were granted to be absolute in mathematics for over 800 years. But new science has gotten rid of those absolutisms, come forward other different logics of looking at mathematics and sort of turned the way we look at it as a science altogether after 800 years.

So, we must allow researchers, scholars, they investigate into everything, every phenomenon -- God, universe, human beings, history and civilization. Why should we stop that?

I am not saying that it didn't happen at all. This is not that judgment that I am passing here. I said, in my second question, granted this happened, what does it have to do with the Palestinian people?

Let me move on to ... AHMADINEJAD: Allow me. After all, you are free to interpret what you want from what I say. But what I am saying I'm saying with full clarity.

In the first question I'm trying to actually uphold the rights of European scholars. In the field of science and research I'm asking, there is nothing known as absolute. There is nothing sufficiently done Not in physics for certain. There has been more research on physics than it has on the Holocaust, but we still continue to do research on physics. There is nothing wrong with doing it.

This is what man wants. They want to approach a topic from different points of view. Scientists want to do that. Especially an issue that has become the foundation of so many other political developments that have unfolded in the Middle East in the past 60 years.

Why do we stop it altogether? You have to have a justified reason for it. The fact that it was researched sufficiently in the past is not a sufficient justification in my mind.

QUESTION: Mr. President, another student asks -- Iranian women are now denied basic human rights and your government has imposed draconian punishments, including execution on Iranian citizens who are homosexuals. Why are you doing those things?

AHMADINEJAD: Freedoms in Iran are genuine, true freedoms. Iranian people are free. Women in Iran enjoy the highest levels of freedom. We have two vice presidents that are female, at the highest levels of specialty, specialized fields. In our parliament and our government and our universities, they're present. In our biotechnological fields, our technological fields, there are hundreds of women scientists that are active -- in the political realm as well.

It's not -- it's wrong for some governments, when they disagree with another government, to, sort of, try to spread lies that distort the full truth.

Our nation is free. It has the highest level of participation in elections, in Iran. Eighty percent, ninety percent of the people turn out for votes during the elections, half of which, over half of which are women. So how can we say that women are not free? Is that the entire truth?

But as for the executions, I'd like to raise two questions. If someone comes and establishes a network for illicit drug trafficking that affects the youth in Iran, Turkey, Europe, the United States, by introducing these illicit drugs and destroys them, would you ever reward them?

People who cause the deterioration of the lives of hundreds of millions of youth around the world, including in Iran, can we have any sympathy to them? Don't you have capital punishment in the United States? You do, too.

In Iran, too, there's capital punishment for illicit drug traffickers, for people who violated the rights of people. If somebody takes up a gun, goes into a house, kills a group of people there, and then tries to take ransom, how would you confront them in Iran -- or in the United States? Would you reward them? Can a physician allow microbes, symbolically speaking, to spread across a nation? We have laws. People who violate the public rights of the people by using guns, killing people, creating insecurity, sells drugs, distribute drugs at a high level are sentenced to execution in Iran.

And some of these punishments, very few, are carried in the public eye , before the public eye. It's a law, based on democratic principles.

You use injections and microbes to kill these people, and they' re executed or they're hung. But the end result is killing.

QUESTION: Mr. President, the question isn't about criminal and drug smugglers. The question was about sexual preference and women.

AHMADINEJAD: In Iran, we don't have homosexuals, like in your country. We don't have that in our country. In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who's told you that we have it.

But, as for women, maybe you think that being a woman is a crime. It's not a crime to be a woman. Women are the best creatures created by God. They represent the kindness, the beauty that God instills in them. Women are respected in Iran. In Iran, every family who is given a girl, they are 10 times happier than having a son. Women are respected more than men are.

They are exempt from many responsibilities. Many of the legal responsibilities rest on the shoulders of men in our society because of the respect, culturally given, to women, to the future mothers. In Iranian culture, men and sons and girls constantly kiss the hands of their mothers as a sign of respect, respect for women. And we are proud of this culture.

QUESTION: Mr. President, I have two questions which I'll put together. One is, what did you hope to accomplish by speaking at Columbia today? And the second is, what would you have said if you were permitted to visit the site of the September 11th tragedy?

AHMADINEJAD: Well, here, I'm your guest. I've been invited by Columbia, an official invitation given for me to come here. But I do want to say something here.

In Iran, when you invite a guest, you respect them. This is our tradition, required by our culture. And I know that American people have that culture, as well. Last year, I wanted to go to the site of the September 11th tragedy to show respect to the victims of the tragedy, to show my sympathy with their families.

But our plans got overextended. We were involved in negotiations and meetings until midnight. And they said it would be very difficult to go visit the site at that late hour of the night. So, I told my friends then that they need to plan this for the following year so that I can go and visit the site and to show my respects.

Regretfully, some groups had very strong reactions, very bad reactions. It's bad for someone to prevent someone to show sympathy to the families of the victims of the September 11 event -- tragic event.

This is a respect from my side. Somebody told me this is an insult. I said, "What are you saying? This is my way of showing my respect. Why would you think that?" Thinking like that, how do you expect to manage the world and world affairs? Don't you think that a lot of problems in the world come from the way you look at issues because of this kind of way of thinking, because of this sort of pessimistic approach toward a lot of people, because of a certain level of selfishness, self-absorption that needs to be put aside so that we can show respect to everyone, to allow an environment for friendship to grow, to allow all nations to talk with one another and move toward peace?

What was the second question?
I wanted to speak with the press. The September 11th tragic event was a huge event. It led to a lot of many other events afterwards.

After 9 /11 Afghanistan was occupied, and then Iraq was occupied. And for six years in our region there is insecurity, terror and fear.

If the root causes of 9/11 are examined properly -- why it was happened, what caused it, what were the conditions that led to it, who truly was involved, who was really involved -- and put it all together to understand how to prevent the crisis in Iraq, fix the problem in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.

QUESTION: Mr. President, a number of questions have asked about your nuclear program. Why is your government seeking to acquire enriched uranium suitable for nuclear weapons? Will you stop doing so?
AHMADINEJAD : Our nuclear program, first and foremost, operates within the framework of law. And, second, under the inspections of the IAEA. And, thirdly, they are completely peaceful.

The technology we have is for enrichment below the level of 5 percent level. And any level below 5 percent is solely for providing fuel to power plants. Repeated reports by the IAEA explicitly say that there is no indication that Iran has deviated from the peaceful path of its nuclear program.

We are all well aware that Iran's nuclear issue is a political issue. It's not a legal issue. The international atomic energy agency has verified that our activities are for peaceful purposes.

But there are two or three powers that think that they have the right to monopolize all science and knowledge. And they expect the Iranian people, the Iranian nation, to turn to others to get fuel, to get science, to get knowledge that's indigenous to itself, to humble itself. And then they would, of course, refrain from giving it to us, too. So we're quite clear what we need.

If you have created the fifth generation of atomic bombs and are testing them already, what position are you in to question the peaceful purposes of other people who want nuclear power?

We do not believe in nuclear weapons, period. It goes against the whole grain of humanity. So let me just joke -- try to tell a joke here. I think the politicians who are after atomic bombs or are testing them, making them, politically, they are backward, retarded.

QUESTION: Mr. President, a final question. I know your time is short and that you need to move on. Is Iran prepared to open broad discussions with the government of the United States? What would Iran hope to achieve in such discussions? How do you see, in the future, a resolution of the points of conflict between the government of the United States and the government of Iran ?
AHMADINEJAD: From the start, we announced that we are ready to negotiate with all countries. Since 28 years ago, when our revolution succeeded and we established, we took freedom and democracy that was held at by a pro-Western dictatorship. We announced our readiness that besides two countries, we are ready to have friendly relations and talks with all countries of the world.

One of those two was the apartheid regime of South Africa, which has been eliminated. And the second was the Zionist regime. For everybody else around the world, we announced that we want to have friendly, brotherly ties. The Iranian nation is a cultured nation. It is a civilized nation. It seeks -- it wants talks and negotiations.

It's for it.

We believe that in negotiations and talks, everything can be resolved very easily. We don't need threats. We don't need to point bombs or guns. We don't need to get into conflicts if we talk. We have a clear logic about that.

We question the way the world is being run and managed today. We believe that it will not lead to viable peace and security for the world, the way it's run today. We have solutions based on humane values and for relations among states. With the U.S. government, too, we will negotiate -- we don't have any issues about that -- under fair, just circumstances with mutual respect on both sides.

You saw that in order to help the security of Iraq, we had three rounds of talks with the United States, and last year, before coming to New York, I announced that I am ready in the United Nations to engage in a debate with Mr. Bush, the president of the United States, about critical international issues.

So that shows that we want to talk. Having a debate before the all the audience, so the truth is revealed, so that misunderstandings and misperceptions are removed, so that we can find a clear path for brotherly and friendly relations.

I think that if the U.S. administration, if the U.S. government puts aside some of its old behaviors, it can actually be a good friend for the Iranian people, for the Iranian nation.

For 28 years, they've consistently threatened us, insulted us, prevented our scientific development, every day, under one pretext or another.

You all know Saddam, the dictator, was supported by the government of the United States and some European countries in attacking Iran.

And he carried out an eight-year war, a criminal war. Over 200,000 Iranians lost their lives. Over 600,000 Iranians were hurt as a result of the war.

He used chemical weapons. Thousands of Iranians were victims of chemical weapons that he used against us.

Today, Mr. Nobaveh, who is a reporter, an official reporter, international reporter, who was covering U.N. reports in the U.N. for many years, he is one of the victims of the chemical weapons used by Iraq against us.

And since then, we've been under different propaganda, sort of embargoes, economic sanctions, political sanctions. Why? Because we got rid of a dictator? Because we wanted the freedom and democracy that we got for ourselves? That, we can't understand.

We think that if the U.S. government recognizes the rights of the Iranian people, respects all nations and extends a hand of friendship with all Iranians, they, too, will see that Iranians will be one of its best friends.

Would you allow me to thank the audience a moment?

Well, there are many things that I would have liked to cover, but I don't want to take your time any further. I was asked: Would I allow the faculty at Columbia and students here to come to Iran? From this platform, I invite Columbia faculty members and students to come and visit Iran, to speak with our university students. You're officially invited.

University faculty and students that the university decides, or the student associations choose and select are welcome to come. You're welcome to visit any university that you choose inside Iran. We'll provide you with the list of the universities. There are over 400 universities in our country. And you can choose whichever you want to go and visit. We'll give you the platform. We'll respect you 100 percent. We will have our students sit there and listen to you, speak with you, hear what you have to say.

Right now in our universities on a daily basis there are hundreds of meetings like this. They hear, they talk, they ask questions. They welcome it.

In the end I'd like to thank Columbia University. I had heard that many politicians in the United States are trained in Columbia University. And there are many people here who believe in the freedom of speech, in clear, frank conversations.

I do like to extend my gratitude to the managers here in the United States -- at Columbia University, I apologize -- the people who so well organized this meeting today.

I'd like to extend my deepest gratitude to the faculty members and the students here. I ask Almighty God to assist all of us to move hand in hand to establish peace and future filled with friendship and justice and brotherhood.

Best of luck to all of you.

MODERATOR: I'm sorry that President Ahmadinejad's schedule makes it necessary for him to leave before he's been able to answer many of the questions that we have, or even answer some of the ones that we posed to him.

But I think we can all be pleased that his appearance here demonstrates Columbia's deep commitment to free expression and debate.

I want to thank you all for coming to participate.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Semua bertanggungjawab

seperti biasa, di malasyia, all but I bertanggungjawab.
kalau salah, semua org lain. kalau betul, semua diri sendiri.
kenapa menteri belia dan sukan tidak bertanggungjawab sama?

Semua bertanggungjawab

Oleh A. JAILANI ABDULLAH

KUALA LUMPUR – Menteri Belia dan Sukan Datuk Azalina Othman Said berkata, prestasi buruk skuad bola sepak negara dalam Piala Asia sepatutnya dipikul oleh semua pihak dalam Persatuan Bolasepak Malaysia (FAM) dan badan naungannya dan bukan hanya Tengku Abdullah yang meletak jawatan semalam.

Katanya, bukan Timbalan Presiden FAM itu sahaja yang seharusnya menanggung tanggungjawab terhadap kemalapan sukan bola sepak negara tetapi ia sepatutnya dipikul oleh semua pihak yang terlibat dengan badan yang menguruskan bola sepak.

“Adalah menyedihkan kerana begini akhirnya yang berlaku kerana bukan hanya Tengku Abdullah seorang yang bertanggungjawab terhadap jatuh bangun bola sepak negara dan kekalahan dalam Piala Asia. Ia adalah tanggungjawab bersama.

Kehilangan

“Kita kehilangan seorang pemimpin sukan yang berkebolehan tetapi saya percaya Tengku Abdullah telah membuat keputusan ini setelah berfikir semasak-masaknya.

“Saya harap penggerak bola sepak akan mendapat kesedaran dan melakukan sesuatu yang positif daripada keseluruhan episod duka ini,” kata Azalina.

Tengku Abdullah melepaskan kesemua jawatannya dalam FAM menerusi sepucuk surat semalam tanpa memberikan alasan.

Bagaimanapun Tengku Abdullah diketahui hampa dengan prestasi skuad negara yang menjadi budak belasahan dalam Piala Asia. Malaysia kalah 5-1 kepada China pada perlawanan pembukaan Kumpulan C Selasa lepas dan kelmarin kalah 5-0 kepada Uzbekistan.

Mengulas perkara yang sama, Ketua Pengarah Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN) Datuk Zolkples Embong berkata tindakan Tengku Abdullah itu tidak bermakna masalah bola sepak negara ini telah selesai.

“Kita kena tengok secara keseluruhan konsep pembangunan bola sepak kita... sehingga ke akar umbi. Walau siapapun yang mengisi tempat itu selepas ini perlu melihat kepada program pembangunan,” katanya.

“Tindakan Tengku Abdullah ini bukan jalan penyelesaian, tetapi saya tabik kepadanya kerana sanggup memikul tanggungjawab ini,” kata Zolkples.

Bekas Naib Presiden FAM, Datuk Paduka Basri Akil yang sering lantang mengkritik badan induk bola sepak negara itu, berkata: “Saya menghormati tindakan beliau... saya menganggapnya sebagai satu pengorbanan.

“Agak mengejutkan kerana tindakan ini dilakukan lebih cepat daripada keputusan awalnya sebelum ini yang mahu melepaskan jawatan pada kongres FAM tidak lama lagi.

“Tengku Abdullah telah berusaha dan berkorban selama 20 tahun pengorbanan untuk menaikkan martabat bola sepak Malaysia tetapi tidak tercapai dan sekarang telah memberi laluan kepada pihak lain.

“Saya harap akan timbul kesedaran terhadap keputusan Tengku Abdullah ini.”

Naib Presiden FAM, Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin pula terkejut dengan keputusan Tengku Abdullah itu.

“Saya tak sangka tindakan ini akan berlaku dan kami (Ahli Majlis FAM) tidak diberitahu,” katanya.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Muslim sportswomen need not cover up (Reuters)


here in Bolehland... anything is permitted The only forbidden thing is when you go against the big G, regardless of merit. may Allah bless Malaysia...

11 July 2007

PUTRAJAYA - Malaysia’s sports minister, a Muslim woman with a martial-arts black-belt, likes to lead by example: she does not wear a headscarf and insists that Muslim sportswomen do not have to cover up either.

Azalina Othman Said, 43, believes women offer the best chance of glory for a modern Muslim nation hungry for sporting success — but in trying to encourage more girls to take up sports, she is quietly holding the line against conservative Islam.

Wearing a tracksuit-top and pants, Azalina told Reuters in an interview in her office on Tuesday that Muslim sportswomen were free here to dress just like their non-Muslim rivals, whether in the pool, on the diving board or in the gymnastics arena.

“It’s never become an issue in Malaysia,” she said, declaring that women of all ages should, and do, feel free in this country to “wear shorts and jump around”.

“I mean we have Muslim gymnasts wearing tights and it’s never crossed anyone’s mind about how athletes are dressed. I am quite thankful that the people of Malaysia are still open-minded.”

But in reality not all Malaysians are so open minded.

In February, the Islamist government of the northeast state of Kelantan barred men from watching or officiating at a women’s national sports competition — and even in the absence of men, many athletes chose to compete wearing headscarves.

Malaysia prides itself on being a moderate Muslim country and its national government presents itself as a bulwark against Islamic extremists, but Malaysian society is widely seen to be bending to the global forces of conservative Islam.

In a country where 20 years ago women tended not to wear headscarves, religious police now prowl nightclubs and have detained women for immodest dress. This month, they hauled a singer away from a club for exposing too much of her back.

Religious authorities have so far stayed outside the sporting arena, and Azalina remains confident that it will stay that way.

But she warns that this cannot be guaranteed if there is a change to Malaysia’s formula of multi-racial coalition government, where the Muslim majority share power with non-Muslim parties representing ethnic Chinese and ethnic Indians.

“The day they change the government, I doubt it,” she said, shaking her head.

Malaysia’s quest for glory

Muslims make up about 60 percent of the population, but Muslim women are a minority among the nation’s top athletes, finishing well behind Malaysia’s minority-ethnic Chinese athletes in the traditional Olympic sports.

At the Asian Games in Doha last year, women won five of Malaysia’s eight gold medals but only one of these was claimed by a Muslim, in the team event for 10-pin bowling.

Azalina, who is a member of Sisters in Islam, a group that lobbies for Muslim women’s rights, does not believe religious conservatism is behind the shortfall of Muslim women in sport.

Instead, she said, poverty among Muslims, and social apathy about sport in general, were largely to blame. Almost all Muslims in Malaysia are ethnic Malays, many of whom live scattered in poor, rural villages with few or no sporting facilities.

“Poverty is an issue,” Azalina said. “I believe there’s no issue of gender. It’s not an issue of religion.”

Malaysia has never won an Olympic gold medal and has not made the podium at an Olympic Games since Atlanta in 1996. After the Athens games in 2004, the government sprang into action and formed a cabinet committee to revive its elite sports.

The government pumped extra money into football, hockey, badminton, squash, ten-pin bowling, gymnastics, aquatics and athletics. It is also developing an elite sports centre in Britain, putting its athletes closer to top coaches and competitions.

But Azalina says the real challenge will be to get all Malaysians, not just Muslims, out of their living rooms and onto the playing fields, where she spent a lot of her own youth—a task she says could take 10 to 20 years to achieve.

“It’s not just about winning medals,” she said.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

qoutes

" Leave your children enough for them to do everything, but not enough for them to do nothing "

Warren Edward Buffett

Friday, July 06, 2007

How much your domain name's value ?

jump to http://leapfish.com/ enter your domain name and hit enter.

mine is

Domain Name Appraised: araamy.blogspot.com
Combined Domain Name Appraisal Value Score:
73

Estimated Domain Name Value:

$146.00

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Monday, July 02, 2007

Gambar Najib bersama Altantuya

aku ada....
kerna kau pun ada...

eh...

dan mungkin bila nanti... kita akan bertemu lagi...

biskut chocfudge
kejap ada kejap tiada

malaysia boleh...

http://www.harakahdaily.net/bm/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8420&Itemid=28

Gambar Najib bersama Altantuya: Malaysia akan diperintah pembohong?
Penarik Beca
Sat | Jun 30, 07 | 12:13:39 AM

Semakin hari, saya semakin yakin wujudnya konsert perdana. Lantaklah, saya tidak boleh buat apa-apa untuk menghentikannya. Nanti saya akan dituduh menghina konsert. Saya juga sudah boleh mengagak kesudahan konsert itu, sama seperti orang yang tersenyum kegembiraan dan melambai-lamai sana-sini. Dia sudah tahu lagu merdu apa yang akan dinyanyikan.

Sila layari www.englishsection.com untuk Laman Utama English Section atau www.harakahdaily.net/wap/ untuk melayari HarakahDaily.Net menggunakan telefon bimbit GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) anda.

Persoalannya, bagaimana susun atur konsert itu dibuat? Adakah semua watak telah diberi arahan apa yang perlu dibuat? Atau hanya watak utama sahaja yang memegang skrip persembahan? Adakah watak-watak yang lain boleh melalak sesuka hati?

Sambil itu teringat pula kenyataan Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak ketika bergasak dengan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim di Ijok dahulu. Najib berkata, "Saya hanya lihat gambarnya (Altantuya) yang disiarkan oleh akhbar."

Hanya lihat gambar yang disiarkan oleh akhbar (yang disiarkan oleh akhbar sahaja!) bermaksud tidak pernah berjumpa dan bersua muka. Jauh lagi bertegur sapa dan bermesra. Jangan pandai-pandai nak menuduh wujudnya urusniaga. Jauh lagi adegan asmara!

Tetapi hari ini, dalam berita Malaysiakini bertajuk Najib seen with Altantuya, seorang saksi bernama Burmaa Oyunchimeg memberitahu mahkamah Shah Alam:

Altantuya had shown her the photo when she returned from a trip to France.

It is believed that the government official in the photograph is Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who has close ties with political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda.

Siapa yang cakap benar? Najib atau Burmaa? Kalau Najib benar, Burmaa pembohong. Kalau Burmaa benar, Najib pembohong.

Jika benar Najib pembohong, adakah negara ini akan terus diperintah oleh pembohong demi pembohong?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

kata-kata hikmah...

tiada siapa kebal undang-undang

yang ada ialah kebal dari dibawa mengadap undang-undang...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

kerja

semenjak dua menjak ni... kerje kena duduk kat office sampai 11 12 malam...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

merokok dan hukumnya menurut pandangan

Soalan:

Apakah pandangan ustaz tentang merokok dan hukumnya menurut pandangan
Islam, saya ada mendengar ada ustaz-ustaz yang mengatakan terdapatnya
ulama silam yang hanya menghukumnya sebagai makruh dan tidak haram, adakah
ia benar?

Jawapan :

Sebelum saya memasuki jawapan, suka saya mengingatkan bahawa pemerintah
kerajaan Islam silam, Sultan Murad ke-4 (memerintah 1623-1640 m) sangat
kuat memusuhi rokok, sehinggakan beliau pernah melaksanakan undang-undang
bunuh bagi penjual-penjual rokok dan perokok aktif di dalam Negara.

Adapun dari sudut hukumnya ; sebagai asasnya, para ulama berbeza pandangan
dalam menentukan hukumannya berdasarkan berbezanya tanggapan masing-masing
terhadap keburukan (mudarat) yang terhasil dari rokok. Hakikatnya, dalam
hal ini, sebarang fatwa mestilah dirujuk kepada "ahl az-zikr" dalam
halnya, "ahli az-zikr" dalam hal rokok adalah doktor perubatan (selain
ulama) yang mampu mengenalpasti impak buruk dari rokok kepada tubuh dan
kehidupan. Maka sebarang fatwa ulama yang tidak dibuat berlandaskan
maklumat lengkap dari para doktor perubatan atau pakar kimia adalah kurang
tepat dan tidak sepatutnya dijadikan pegangan.

Secara ringkasnya ulama terbahagi kepada 2 kumpulan dalam hukum rokok. Ia
seperti berikut :-

1) Haram : Ulama kontemporari yang mengatakan demikain adalah Dar Al-Ifta
Mesir, Lajnah Fatwa Saudi, Lajnah Fatwa Azhar, Seluruh ahli persidangan
Mencegah rokok ( persidangan di Madinah pada 2-5 Mac 1982) , Dr Yusof
Al-Qaradawi, Syeikh Mahmud Syaltut, Syeikh Sayyed Sabiq, Syeikh Ahmad
Syurbasi, Mufti Mesir Syeikh Ali Jumaat, Syeikh Atiyyar Saqar. ( Akhbar
al-Jumhuriyyah, 22 Mac 1979 ; Fatawa Muasiroh, 1/667; Al-Fatawa li Muhd
Syaltut, Yasalunaka oleh Syurbasi dan Fiqh As-Sunnah.

Ulama silam yang mengatakan haram pula adalah Syeikh Muhd Alauddin haskafi
al-hanafi, syeikh sulaiman al-Bujairimi as-Syafie, Syeikh Mustafa
ar-Rihbani, Syeikh Ibrahim al-Laqqani al-Maliki dan ramai lagi. (Al-hukm
as-Syar'ir fi at-Tadhin, Kumpulan Ulama, Kementerian Kesihatan Sedunia,
1988, hlm 25-26)

Kumpulan ini semakin kuat mengharamkan apabila terdapat maklumat yang
menyebut terdapat unsur arak dan racun di dalam rokok, maka ia adalah
seperti darah dan bangkai yang diharamkan kerana unsur kotor dan racun (
seperti nikotin, tar, alcohol methnol, karbon monoksida, ammonia dan
lain-lain ) yang terkandung di dalamnya. ( Abu Ubaidah al-Mashur,
At-ta'liqat al-hisan dzayl tahqiq al-Burhan, hlm 28 ; Dr Abd Sabur
as-Shahin, As-Sajayir Halalun am Haramun,hlm 34-35 )

Pada tahun 1962, Fakulti Perubatan Diraja Britain mengesahkan kesan buruk
rokok terhadap kesihatan, pada tahun 1964 Fakulti Kedoktoran Amerika
mengeluarkan satu kajian setebal 387 halaman dan diterbitkan kandungannya
di akhbar yang menyebut "Merokok memudaratkan kesihatan secara pasti, ia
juga menyebut "rokok menjadi penyebab pelbagai penyakit membunuh " ( Rujuk
Mahmud Nazim, At-Tibbun An-Nabawi Wal 'Ilmi al-Jadid, 1/346 )

Maka dengan kenyataan-kenyataan ini Allah SWT menyuruh kita agar merujuk
kepada ahli dalam sesuatu ilmu sebagaimana erti firman Allah SWT " Maka
hendaklah kamu bertanya kepada yang berpengalaman" ( Al-Furqaan : 59 ) ;
Justeru, pandangan pakar perubatan dalam hal ini tidak boleh diketepikan
oleh para ulama dalam membuat sebarang fatwa.

Selain keburukan dari sudut kesihatan, ia juga boleh memudaratkan hubungan
kemasyarakatan dengan sebab baunya yang kuat dan busuk. Hal ini tidak
dibenarkan oleh Islam berdasarkan sabda Nabi SAW ertinya : " Tiada boleh
memberi mudarat dan membalas mudarat" ( Riwayat Malik, 1/122; Ad-Dar
Qutni, 4/228; Al-Hakim 2/66 ; Sohih kata Hakim, dan di atas syarat Muslim
kata az-zahabi, Albani : Ia punyai banyak jalan yang menguatkan satu sama
lain sehingga naik ke darjat Sohih)

Hadith lain pula menyebut : " Sesiapa yang memakan dari pokok ini ,
berkata bawang merah, bawang putih maka janganlah mendekati masjid-masjid
kami, sesungguhnya (bau yang busuk) itu menyakiti Malaikat sebagaimana ia
menyakiti manusia" ( Riwayat Al-Bukhari, KItab al-Azan, no 807 ; Muslim,
Kitab Masajid wa Mawadi' as-Solat, no 876 )

2) Kumpulan yang Memfatwakan Harus atau Melihat secara tafsil (terperinci)

Ulama yang dipihak ini adalah Syeikh Abd Ghani an-Nablusi, Syeikh Muhd
Amin Ibn 'Abidin, Syeikh Hasanain Makhluf (berpendapat hukumnya secara
terperinci menurut keadaan ), Syeikh Hasan Makmun.

Antara dalil mereka adalah asal segala sesuatu yang tidak mudarat adalah
halal dan beberapa dalil yang lain. Bagaimanapun, kesimpulan dalil mereka
adalah lemah kerana ia bersandarkan pandagan mereka tanpa maklumat
berkenaan keburukan dari sudut perubatan pada zaman itu. Hasilnya mereka
memberikan fatwa hanya berdasarkan bau asap rokok yang busuk dan
menggangu, justeru, sudah tentu bau yang busuk sahaja tidak mampu
menyebabkannya menjadi haram. Jelaslah pandangan mereka tidak mengambil
kira maklumat baru perubatan.

Justeru, pada hemat dan kajian saya, hukum yang lebih tepat adalah Haram
merokok kerana mudarat yang pelbagai dari sudut kesihatan tubuh sendiri,
orang lain, dan baunya yang mengganggu orang lain. Malah kaedah Islam
menyebut : "Ad-Darar Yudfa' Bi Qadaril Imkan" ; ertinya : "Kemudaratan
hendaklah ditolak sedaya upaya dan kemampuan" (Al-Madkhal Al-Fiqhil 'Am,
Syeikh Mustafa Az-Zarqa, 2/992)

Cuma Syeikh Al-Qaradawi di dalam Fatawanya (Fatawa muasiroh, 1/667)
menjelaskan hukumnya berkata ( dengan pindaan ) :-

a- Sekiranya seorang perokok cuba sedaya upaya memberhentikan tabiat
rokoknya, bagaimanapun ia gagal, maka ia patut terus mencuba dan diberikan
uzur setakat yang ia gagal. Perlulah ia menghalang dari menyebarkan
tabiatnya kepada orang lain.

b- Walaupun ianya haram, tapi tidaklah haramnya besar seperti zina,
mencuri dan lain-lain dosa besar. Setiap perkara haram ada tahapnya di
sisi Shariah, ada yang dikira dosa besar dan ada yang kecil. Dosa hasil
rokok bolehlah di katakan termasuk dalam dosa kecil. Bagaimanapun perlu
diingat, Ibn Abbas r.a menegaskan bahawa dosa kecil pasti menjadi besar
apabila berterusan atau kesannya benar-benar memudaratkan.

Kesimpulan Al-Qaradawi, rokok adalah haram secara pasti bagi yang belum
merokok, dan makruh bagi sesiapa yang telah terjebak sehingga sukar untuk
keluar darinya. Apa yang pasti, segala jenis usaha bagi memberhentikan
aktiviti buruk ini mesti dicari segera.

Wallahu a'lam.

Ustaz Zaharuddin Abdul Rahman

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Shaking Hands with Women: An Islamic Perspective

Question:

Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. I have a problem that undoubtedly many others face. It is shaking hands with women, especially relatives who are not mahram to me, such as my cousins, wives of uncles, or sisters-in-law. Many pious Muslims face this problem, particularly on certain occasions such as coming back from travel, recovering from an illness, returning from Hajj or `Umrah, or similar occasions when relatives, in-laws, neighbors, and colleagues usually visit, congratulate each other and shake hands with each other.

What I am asking is, is it proven in the Glorious Qur’an or the Sunnah that shaking hands with women is totally prohibited within the social and family relations when there is trust and no fear of temptation? I would appreciate if you would answer my question in the light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Wajazakum Allah Khairan.

Answer:

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear brother in Islam, first of all, we'd like to voice our appreciation for the great confidence you have in us. We hope that our efforts meet your expectation. May Allah help us all keep firm on the Straight Path, Amen!

In his response to the question, the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, states:

There is no doubt that shaking hands between males and females who are not mahrams (illegal for marriage) has become an intricate issue. Reaching an Islamic verdict on this issue away from extremism and dispensation needs a psychological, intellectual, and scientific effort so that the Mufti gets rid of the pressure of all imported and inherited customs unless they are based on the textual proofs of the Qur’an or the Sunnah.

Before tackling the issue in point, I would like to exclude two points on which I know there is agreement among the Muslim jurists of the righteous predecessors.

Firstly, it is prohibited to shake hands with a woman if there is fear of provoking sexual desire or enjoyment on the part of either one of them or if there is fear of temptation. This is based on the general rule that blocking the means to evil is obligatory, especially if its signs are clear. This ruling is ascertained in the light of what has been mentioned by Muslim jurists that a man touching one of his mahrams or having khalwah (privacy) with her moves to the prohibited, although it is originally permissible, if there is fear of fitnah (temptation) or provocation of desire.

Secondly, there is a dispensation in shaking hands with old women concerning whom there is no fear of desire. The same applies to the young girl concerning whom there is no fear of desire or temptation. The same ruling applies if the person is an old man concerning whom there is no fear of desire. This is based on what has been narrated on the authority of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him) that he used to shake hands with old women. Also, it is reported that `Abdullah ibn Az-Zubair hired an old woman to nurse him when he was sick, and she used to wink at him and pick lice from his head. This is also based on what has been mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an in respect of the old barren women, as they are given dispensation with regard to their outer garments. Almighty Allah says in this regard: “As for women past child bearing, who have no hope of marriage, it is no sin for them if they discard their (outer) clothing in such a way as not to show adornment. But to refrain is better for them. Allah is Hearer, Knower.” (An-Nur: 60)


Allah explains that there is no sin on the old barren women if they decide to remove their outer garments from their faces and such, so long as they do not do it in a manner in which they would be exposing their beauty wrongly.

Here the object of discussion deals with other than these two cases. There is no surprise that shaking hands with women is haram (unlawful) according to the viewpoint of those who hold that covering all of the woman’s body, including her face and the two hands, is obligatory. This is because if it becomes obligatory to cover the two hands, then it would become haram for the opposite sex to look at them. And, if looking at them is unlawful, then touching them would become haram with greater reason because touching is graver than looking, as it provokes desire more.

But it is known that the proponents of this view are the minority, while the majority of Muslim jurists, including the Companions, the Successors and those who followed them, are of the opinion that the face and the hands are excluded from the prohibition. They based their opinion on Almighty Allah’s saying, “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent …” (An-Nur: 31) So where is the evidence on prohibiting handshaking unless there is desire?

In fact, I searched for a persuasive and textual proof supporting the prohibition but I did not find it. As a matter of fact, the most powerful evidence here is blocking the means to temptation, and this is no doubt acceptable when the desire is roused or there is fear of temptation because its signs exist. But when there is no fear of temptation or desire, what is the reason for prohibition?

Some scholars based their ruling on the action of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) on the day of the Conquest of Makkah. When he wanted to take the pledge of women he said to them, “Go, for you have given your oath of allegiance.” But it is known that the Prophet’s leaving a matter does not necessarily indicate its prohibition, as he may leave it because it is haram (forbidden), makruh (reprehensible), or because it is not preferable. He may also leave it just because he is not inclined to it. An example of this last is the Prophet’s refraining from eating the meat of the lizard although it is permissible. Then, the Prophet’s refraining from shaking hands with women (other than his wives) is not evidence of the prohibition, and there should be other evidence to support the opinion of those who make shaking hands absolutely prohibited.

However, it is not agreed upon that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) refrained from shaking hands with women to take their oath of allegiance. Umm `Atiyyah Al-Ansariyyah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported another narrative that indicates that the Prophet shook hands with women to take their oath of allegiance. This is unlike the narration of the Mother of the Believers `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who denied this and swore that it had not happened.

It is narrated that `A’ishah, the wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), said, “When the believing women migrated to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), they would be tested in accordance with the words of Allah, ‘O Prophet! If believing women come unto thee, taking oath of allegiance unto thee that they will ascribe nothing as partner unto Allah, and will neither steal nor commit adultery nor kill their children, nor produce any lie that they have devised between their hands and feet, nor disobey thee in what is right, then accept their allegiance and ask Allah to forgive them. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.’ (Al-Mumtahanah: 12)” `A’ishah said, “Whoever among the believing women agreed to that passed the test, and when the women agreed to that, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said to them, ‘Go, for you have given your oath of allegiance.’ No, by Allah, the hand of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) never touched the hand of any woman, rather they would give their oath of allegiance with words only.” And `A’ishah said, “By Allah, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) only took the oath of allegiance from the women in the manner prescribed by Allah, and the hand of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) never touched the hand of any woman. When he had taken their oath of allegiance he would say, ‘I have accepted your oath of allegiance verbally.’” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)

In his explanation of the saying of `A’ishah, “No, by Allah, the hand of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) never touched the hand of any woman …” Al-Hafizh Ibn Hajar said: she swore to ascertain the news as if she (`A’ishah) wanted to refute the narration of Umm `Atiyyah. It is narrated on the authority of Ibn Hibban, Al-Bazzar, Al-Tabari, and Ibn Mardawih that Umm `Atiyyah said in respect of the story of taking the oath of allegiance of women, “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) held out his hand from outside the house and we (the immigrating women) held our hands from within the house, then he said, ‘O Allah, bear witness.’” In another narration reported by Al-Bukhari, Umm `Atiyyah said, “… thereupon a lady withdrew her hand (refrained from taking the oath of allegiance)…” This narration indicates that they (the immigrating women) took their oath of allegiance by shaking hands. Al-Hafizh said: we reply to the first saying that holding out hands from behind a veil is an indication of the acceptance of the allegiance even if there was no shaking of hands. As for the second narration, withdrawing hands indicates the postponement of accepting the pledge of allegiance or that taking the pledge of allegiance happened from behind a veil. This is supported by that narration of Abu Dawud on the authority of Al-Sha`bi that when the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) wanted to take the pledge of allegiance of the immigrating women he brought a garment and put it over his hands saying, “I do not shake hands with women.” Furthermore, in his book Maghazi, Ibn Is-haq is reported to have said that when the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) wanted to take the pledge of allegiance of the immigrating women, he would dip his hands in a vessel and a woman would dip her hands with him in the same vessel.

Al-Hafizh Ibn Hajar said: it is possible that taking the pledge of allegiance happened on more than one occasion. Sometimes, it happened without touching hands by any means, as narrated by `A’ishah. Another time it happened that the women’s oath of allegiance was accepted by shaking their hands with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), as narrated by Al-Sha`bi. A third time it happened that they dipped their hands in the vessel as mentioned by Ibn Is-haq.

The most correct view seems to be that it occurred on more than one occasion, if we realize that `A’ishah talked about taking the pledge of allegiance from the immigrating women after the Truce of Al-Hudaibiyah, while Umm `Atiyyah talked about what seems to be the oath of allegiance of the believing women in general.

By transmitting these narrations, I mean to clarify that the evidence of those who are of the opinion that shaking hands with women is prohibited is not agreed upon, as is thought by those who do not resort to the original sources. Rather, there is some controversy concerning this evidence.

Furthermore, some contemporary Muslim scholars have based their ruling concerning the prohibition of shaking hands with women on the Hadith narrated by Al-Tabari and Al-Baihaqi on the authority of Ma`qil ibn Yassar that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “It would be better for one of you to have himself stabbed on the head with an iron needle than to touch a woman that is illegal for him.”

Here, the following should be noted:

1. The scholars and Imams of Hadith have not declared the authenticity of this Hadith. Some of them say that its narrators are trustworthy, but this is not enough to prove the authenticity of the Hadith because there is a probability that there is an interruption in the chain of narrators or there was a hidden cause behind this Hadith. That is why Muslim jurists in the periods that followed the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) have not based their ruling on the prohibition of shaking hands with women on this Hadith.

2. Some Hanafi and Maliki jurists stated that the prohibition is not proven unless there is a certain qat`i (definitive) piece of evidence such as textual proofs from the Glorious Qur’an or authentic Hadiths on which there is no suspicion regarding the chains of narrators.

3. If we suppose that the above-mentioned Hadith is authentic, it is unclear to me that the Hadith indicates that it is prohibited for males and females who are not mahrams to shake hands. That is because the phrase “touch a woman that is illegal for him” does not refer to the mere touching without desire as happens in normal handshaking. But the Arabic word “al-mass” (touching) as used in the Shar`i texts of the Qur’an and the Sunnah refers to one of two things:

1. Sexual intercourse, as reported by Ibn `Abbas in his commentary to Almighty Allah’s saying, ‘… or ye have touched women …’. He stated that “touching” in the Qur’an refers figuratively to sexual intercourse. This is clear in the following Qur’anic verses that read: “She (Mary) said: ‘My Lord! How can I have a child when no mortal hath touched me?’” (Al `Imran: 47) and “If ye divorce them before ye have touched them …” (Al-Baqarah: 237)

2. Actions that precede sexual intercourse such as foreplay, kissing, hugging, caressing, and the like. This is reported from our righteous predecessors in the interpretation of the word “mulamasah”.

Al-Hakim stated in his Al-Mustadrak `Ala as-Sahihain: Al-Bukhari and Muslim have narrated many Hadiths that show that the meaning of the word “lams” (touching) refers to actions that precede sexual intercourse. Among them are:

a) The Hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “…The hands fornicate. Their fornication is the touch ...”

b) The Hadith narrated by Ibn `Abbas that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “You might caress her.”

c) The Hadith narrated by Muslim that Ibn Mas`ud is reported to have said that a person came to Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) and told him that he had kissed a woman or touched her with his hand or did something like this. He inquired of him about its expiation. It was (on this occasion) that Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, revealed this Qur’anic verse that reads “Establish worship at the two ends of the day and in some watches of the night. Lo! good deeds annul ill deeds …” (Hud: 114)

d) `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) is reported to have said, “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) used to visit us (his wives) and it was his habit to kiss and caress us and do actions other than sexual intercourse until he reached the one whose turn was due and he stayed there.”

e) `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud is reported to have said in his commentary to Almighty Allah’s saying, “… or ye have touched women, …” that it refers to actions that precede sexual intercourse for which ablution is obligatory.

f) `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have said, “Kissing is to be considered among the touching acts, so perform ablution if you do.” (Al-Mustadrak, vol. 1, p. 135)

Hence, the opinion of Imam Malik and the substantial meaning of the legal verdict issued by Imam Ahmad in this respect are that the touching of a woman that nullifies ablution is that which is accompanied by desire. And this is the way they interpreted Almighty Allah’s saying, “… or ye have touched women, …”

That is why Sheikh Al-Islam Ibn Taimiyah regarded as weak the opinion of those who interpreted “mulamasah” or (touching) in the Qur’anic verse to mean mere touching without desire. In this regard, he says, “As for the nullification of ablution with mere touching, it does agree with the original rulings of the Shari`ah, the unanimous agreement of the Companions and the traceable traditions reported in this respect. Moreover, those who held this opinion have not based their ruling on a textual proof or an analogical deduction.”

So, if “touching” in Almighty Allah’s saying “… or ye have touched women, …” refers to touching with hands, kissing or the like, as said by Ibn `Umar and others, then it is known that when “touching” is mentioned in the Qur’an or the Sunnah it refers to that which is accompanied by desire. We would like to cite here the following verse that reads, “… and touch them not, while ye are in retreat in the mosques …” Here, it is not prohibited for the one who retreats to the mosque for devotion and worship to touch his wife without desire, but touching that is accompanied by desire is prohibited.

Also, this includes the Qur’anic verses that read “O ye who believe! If ye wed believing women and divorce them before ye have touched them, then there is no period that ye should reckon …” (Al-Ahzab: 49) “It is no sin for you if ye divorce women while yet ye have not touched them …” (Al-Baqarah: 236) For if he (the husband) touches his wife without desire, then the waiting period is not required and he is not required to pay her the whole dowry, according to the agreement of all Muslim scholars.

So, whoever assumes that Almighty Allah’s saying, “… or ye have touched women, …” includes general touching without desire has exceeded far beyond the language of the Qur’an and that of people. For if “touching” in which a man and a woman are included is mentioned, it is known that it refers to touching with desire. Similarly, if “sexual intercourse” in which a man and a woman are included is mentioned, it is well known that it refers to actual sexual intercourse and nothing else. (See the collection of Fatawa Sheikh Al-Islam Ibn Taimiyah, vol. 21, pp. 223-224)

In another context, Ibn Taimiyah stated: The Companions had debate regarding Almighty Allah’s saying, “… or ye have touched women, …”. Ibn `Abbas, supported by a group, held the opinion that touching here refers to sexual intercourse and added: Allah is modest and generous. He euphemizes with what He wills in respect of what He wills. Ibn Taimiyah added: This opinion is believed to be the most correct.

The Arabs disagreed regarding the meaning of touching: does it refer to sexual intercourse or actions that precede it? The first group said that it refers to sexual intercourse, while the second said that it refers to actions that precede it. They sought the arbitration of Ibn `Abbas, who supported the opinion of the first group and regarded that of the second as incorrect.

By transmitting all these sayings, I mean to show that when the word “al-mass” or “al-lams” (touching) is used to mean what a man does to a woman, it does not refer to mere touching but rather refers to either sexual intercourse or actions that precede it such as kissing, hugging, and any touching of the like that is accompanied by desire and enjoyment.

However, if we investigate the sahih (sound) Hadiths that are narrated from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), we will conclude that the mere touching of hands between a man and a woman without desire or fear of temptation is not prohibited. Rather, it was done by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), whose actions are originally a source of legislation. Almighty Allah says: “Verily in the Messenger of Allah ye have a good example …” (Al-Ahzab: 21). It is narrated on the authority of Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said, “Any of the female slaves of Madinah could take hold of the hand of Allah's Messenger and take him wherever she wished.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)

The above mentioned Hadith is a great sign of the modesty of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

Furthermore, it is reported in the two Sahihs that Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to visit Umm Hiram bint Milhan, who would offer him meals. Umm Hiram was the wife of `Ubadah ibn As-Samit. Allah's Messenger once visited her and she provided him with food and started looking for lice in his head. Then Allah's Messenger slept putting his head in her lap, and afterwards woke up smiling. Umm Hiram asked, ‘What causes you to smile, O Allah's Messenger?’ He said, ‘Some of my followers who (in a dream) were presented before me as fighters in Allah's Cause (on board a ship) amidst this sea cause me to smile; they were as kings on thrones …’”

Al-Hafizh Ibn Hajar has mentioned lessons that are deduced from this Hadith: The guest is permitted to nap in a house other than his own on condition that he is given permission and there is no fear of fitnah. According to this Hadith a woman is also permitted to serve the guest by offering him a meal, drink or the like. Furthermore, a woman is permitted to look for lice in his head, but this last was an object of controversy. Ibn `Abd Al-Barr said, “I think that Umm Hiram or her sister Umm Sulaim had breast-fed the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him). So, each one of them had become his foster mother or his foster aunt. That was why he (the Prophet) used to sleep in her house and she used to deal with him as one of her mahrams.” Then he (Ibn `Abd Al-Barr) mentioned what indicates that Umm Hiram was one of the Prophet’s mahrams, as she was one of his relatives from his maternal aunts, since the mother of `Abd Al-Muttalib, his grandfather, was from Banu An-Najjar.

Others said that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was infallible and could control his sexual desires even from his wives, so what about other women who were illegal for him while he was granted infallibility from doing any wrong action or obscenity? This was one of his distinctive traits.

Al-Qadi `Iyad replied that the distinctive traits of the Prophet are not proven by personal interpretations of Hadiths. As for his infallibility, it is indisputable, but the original ruling is that it is permissible to take the Prophet’s actions as a model unless there is evidence that this action is one his distinctive traits.

Furthermore, Al-Hafizh Al-Dumyati said: It is wrong to claim that Umm Hiram was one of the maternal aunts of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) either by reason of marriage or fosterage. Those who breast-fed the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) are well known. None of them was from the Ansar except the mother of `Abd Al-Muttalib. She was Salma bint `Amr ibn Zaid ibn Lubaid ibn Khirash ibn `Amir ibn Ghunm ibn `Adyy ibn An-Najjar. While Umm Hiram is the daughter of Milhan ibn Khalid ibn Zaid ibn Judub ibn `Amir ibn Ghunm ibn `Adyy ibn An-Najjar. Umm Hiram has a common ancestor with Salma only in their grandfather `Amir ibn Ghunm. So, they are not among his mahrams because it is a metaphorical relationship. Al-Hafizh Al-Dumyati added: If this is proven, it is reported in the Sahih books of Hadith that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used not to enter any house in Madinah except the house of Umm Sulaim besides those of his wives. When he was asked why, he said, “I take pity on her, as her brother (Hiram ibn Milhan) was killed in my company.”

If this Hadith has excluded Umm Sulaim, then Umm Hiram is granted the same exclusion as her because they are sisters and resided in the same house; each one of them had her own apartment beside their brother Hiram ibn Milhan. So, the case is mutual between them, as reported by Al-Hafizh ibn Hajar.

Moreover, Umm Sulaim is the mother of Anas ibn Malik, the servant of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and it was the habit of people that the master mixed with his servant and his family and did not deal with them as outsiders.

Then, Al-Dumyati said: There is no indication in the Hadith showing that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had khulwa (privacy) with Umm Hiram, as this might have happened in the presence of a son, a servant, or a husband.

Ibn Hajar replied: This is a strong likelihood, but it does not refute the original argument represented in looking for lice in the head and sleeping in her lap.

Ibn Hajar added: The best reply is that it is one of the distinctive traits of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) (See Fath Al-Bari, vol. 13, pp. 230-231).

What I conclude from the aforementioned narrations is that the mere touching is not haram. So, if there exists reasons for mixing as that between the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and Umm Hiram and Umm Sulaim and there is no fear of fitnah, then there is nothing wrong with shaking hands when there is a need for it, such as when returning from travel, the non-mahram male relative visiting his female relative, and vice versa, especially if this meeting happens after a long period.

Finally, I would like to ascertain two points:

Firstly, shaking hands between males and females who are not mahrams is only permissible when there is no desire or fear of fitnah. But if there is fear of fitnah, desire, or enjoyment, then handshaking is no doubt haram (unlawful). In contrast, if either of these two conditions (that there is no desire or fear of fitnah) is lacking between a male and any of his female mahrams, such as his aunt or foster sister or the like, then handshaking will be haram (although it is originally permissible).

Secondly, handshaking between males and females who are not mahrams should be restricted to necessary situations such as between relatives or those whose relationships are established by marriage. It is preferable not to expand the field of permissibility in order to block the means to evil and to be far away from doubt and to take the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as a model when there is no proof that he shook hands with a non-mahram woman. Also, it is preferable for the pious Muslim, male or female, not to stretch out his/her hand to shake the hand of anyone of the opposite sex who is not mahram. But if he/she is put in a situation that someone stretches out his/her hand to shake hands with him/her, then he/she can do that.

I have tried to clarify the detailed ruling of the issue here in order to inform those who are in the dark about it how to behave while sticking to the tenets of their religion. Also, when the detailed Islamic ruling is explained and people are fully aware of it, there will be no room for personal justifications that are not supported by legal backing.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007