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Archive-name: islam-faq/alt-newsgroup
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Last-modified: 1994/9/5
Version: 1.4

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        Copyright 1993,1994 Asim Mughal (

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1)	About Alt.Religion.Islam 
2) 	Reason for this discussion newsgroup
3)	Current statistics on alt.religion.islam
4)	Moderated Islamic Forums on USENET
5)	Introduction to Islam 
6)	Islamic History: 1- The coming of the
7)	Islamic History: 2- The rise of Islam
8)	Islamic History: 3- Islam in the Modern Age
9)	The future of Islam 
10)	The community of the faithful
11)	The five pillars of Islam
12)	No Trinity in Quran 
13)  	Sufi & marifat (gnosis)  Mailing Lists
14)	Books & Videos on Islam
15) 	Prayer Software on the net.
16)  	Quran on WWW	
17)	Islamic Hypercard Stacks by FTP
18)	This FAQ: Archive Info, History & Credits
Subject: 1) About Alt.Religion.Islam 

    Alt.Religion.Islam: Created Feb '94. 
    Status: Unmoderated. 

    This forum is for unmoderated discussion of Islam on USENET. 

    A number of USENET readers  in  general,  including  regular  readers of
    moderated forum  Soc.Religion.Islam  have  expressed  desire  to discuss
    Islam as a religion in an unmoderated environment. 

    It is left up to the reader to enforce the following recommended guide-
    lines for this forum. 

    1. Direct & indirectly related to Islam
    2. No Personal Attacks/Insults.

    In addition, those readers who  believe  their postings were relevant to
    Soc.Religion.Islam  and  were  unduely  rejected  may  find  an audience
    willing to read their articles. 


    Days in creation: 7 1/2 months (approx) 

    No. of Postings : 1962


    Alt.* hierarchy is not a  'main  stream'  hierarchy.  Quite a few of the
    sites don't carry it. 

    Due to the popularity of  the  forum,  alt.religion.islam.  It  is being
    suggested to move this  forum  under  7  main  hierarchies  in  the near

    CFV-1: talk.religion.islam 		  84 YES,  80 NO 	Oct 29, 1993
    CFV-2: talk.religion.islam 		 425 YES, 248 NO        Jul 20, 1994
    Proponent 'talk.religion.islam' (Basalat Ali Raja)

Subject: 2) Reason for this discussion news group

    >Date: 6 Apr 1994 11:52:05 -0500 

    The reason for this  discussion  group  should  be to teach Muslims more
    about Islam and to inform sincere non-Muslims about Islam. 

    >Date: Wed,  6  Apr  1994  23:07:07   EDT   
    >From:  Mansour  A.  Matboli <> 

    It is 100%  true  that  this  newsgroup  should  be  devouted  to better
    communication between muslims among  each other in one hand, and between
    muslims and senceer- non-muslims. I  noted that many people did reply to
    the chalange of Islam message,  which  was  not right. Those people have
    wasted alot of their time. It was alot better for them if they learned a
    new ayah or a new hadeath. 

Subject: 3) Current USENET statistics on alt.religion.islam

	Estimated Readership:	14,000

	Source: April '94 USENET statistics 

Subject: 4) Moderated Islamic Forums on USENET

    Asim Mughal(

    Soc.Religion.Islam: (Formed in 1989) 

    Moderated Discussion on Islam as a  Religion.  Guidelines:  Relevance to
    Islam & No personal attacks/Insults. 

    Bit.Listserv.Muslims: (Gatewayed to USENET in 1993) 

    At least once a week digest on  News,  Information, Articles & Issues of
    general on Islam  &  Muslims.  E-mail   subscription   available   from:

Subject: 5) Introduction to Islam 

    <ahmed@CIM.McGill.CA (Ahmed Helmy)> 

    Date: 3 Apr 1994 09:50:00 -0400 

    Islam is one of the world's great monotheistic  religions. The followers
    of Islam, called Muslims, believe in  one God- Allah in Arabic- and that
    Muhammad is his Prophet.  Today,  the  worldwide  community  of Muslims,
    which embraces the people of many  races  and  cultures , numbers nearly
    one billion. Historically, Saudi Arabia  has occupied a special place in
    the Islamic world as the very  heartland  of Islam. Indeed, it is toward
    the sacred Ka'abah, meaning "the  House  of God", in Makkah that Muslims
    turn devoutly in prayer five times a day. 

Subject: 6) Islamic History: 1- The coming of the Prophet

    <ahmed@CIM.McGill.CA (Ahmed Helmy)> 

    Around the year 570, Muhammad was born into a family of the ruling tribe
    of Makkah, the powerful and noble Quraysh. Makkah, a caravan city in the
    Hijaz region of northwestern  Arabia,  grew  around the Ka'abah, meaning
    "the House of God," a shrine of ancient origins built by Abraham and his
    son  Ishmael.  Pre-Islamic  Arabia  was  polytheistic;  some  360  idols
    representing the divinities of the Hijaz were housed in the Ka'abah. 

    Orphaned as a child, Muhammad  spent  several years of his boyhood among
    the Bedouins of  the  desert,  developing  a  love  for  the rich Arabic
    language that was the Bedouins' proudest art. 

    He learned the patience and  forbearance  of the herdsmen, whose life of
    solitude he came to understand and appreciate.  As a young man, Muhammad
    traveled widely with the trade  caravans  through  Palestine, Syria, and
    Yemen before dedicating his life to meditation. 

    In 610, God revealed His word to Muahmmad  through the Angel Gabriel. In
    this way, Muhammad became the  chosen  bearer  of the divine message and
    began proclaiming the oneness of God. 

    The name of this new  religion,  Islam,  means  "submission to God." The
    followers of Islam are called Muslims, meaning "those who submit." God's
    message as transmitted through Muhammad  was not unanimously accepted in
    Makkah. Pagan worshippers  threatened  by the new monotheistic religion,
    and merchants anxious  to  preserve   the  profitable  pilgrimage  trade
    intensified  their  opposition  to  the  followers  of  Islam[,  through
    torture, trade embargo and killing]. 

    To foil an assassination plot against him, Huhammad and a small group of
    Muslims emigrated to Madinah. This,  the Hijrah or emigration, dates the
    beginning of the Islamic era and  the  history of the Islamic community.
    In 629, Muhammad  reentered  and  conquered  Makkah  without  bloodshed,
    destroying the idols in Ka'abah, and  the inhabitants of Makkah embraced

    Source: Pamphlet"Saudi Arabia, Islam"2nd Ed.,1989. 

Subject: 7) Islamic History: 2- The Rise of Islam

    <ahmed@CIM.McGill.CA (Ahmed Helmy)> 
    Within a century, Islam  had  swept  across  the  Middle  East and North
    Africa-from modern Iraq to  the  shores  of  the  Atlantic Ocean. At its
    apogee, Islam held sway as far as Spain in the west, and India and China
    in the east-virtually the entire  known  world. By conversion, commerce,
    and  conquest,  Islam   introduced   a   comprehensive   faith   and  a
    political-legal system which  established  order and justice in a period
    of world chaos and disintegrating empires. 

    Islam fostered  the  flowering  of  brilliant   civilizations  and  the
    development of great centers of learning. It was a period of dynamism, a
    melding of ancient and new thought  from  east  to west, producing great
    contributions  in   medicine,   science,   mathematics,   physics,  law,
    astronomy, geography, architecture,  art, art, language, literature, and
    history. Islamic civilization-rich,  sophisticated, and varied-has taken
    its place among the cultural  achievements  of human history. The genius
    of Arab civilization set the stage for the European Renaissance. 

    Source: Pamphlet"Saudi Arabia, Islam"2nd Ed.,1989. 

Subject: 8) Islamic History: 3- Islam in the modern age.

    <ahmed@CIM.McGill.CA (Ahmed Helmy)> 

    With the shift of power to Western Europe  and the eventual colonization
    of parts of the Middle East, Islamic rule and the scope of its political
    influence began  to  diminish.  Nonetheless,  Islam  remained  a  strong
    spiritual and moral force in many countries and societies. 

    As colonial rule gave way to  new,  self-governing  nations  in the 20th
    century, Islam reemerged on  the  world  stage  as a major political and
    economic force. Despite great changes  in traditional societies, as well
    as the demands of the contemporary age, Islam has grown as a dynamic and
    universal religion with a continued impact on world affairs. 

Subject: 9) The future of Islam
    <ahmed@CIM.McGill.CA (Ahmed Helmy)> 

    Today, Islam is resurgent and  flourishing  in virtually every corner of
    the world. Islam continues  to  address  human  needs as it has for more
    than 1,400 years with compassion,  creativity,  and a deep commitment to
    God.  Dedicated  Muslims   are   striving   to  meet  the  challenge  of
    modernization while remaining faithful to traditional Islamic values. 

    Source: Pamphlet"Saudi Arabia, Islam"2nd Ed.,1989. 

Subject: 10) The community of the faithful:

    <ahmed@CIM.McGill.CA (Ahmed Helmy)> 

    Islam is at once a religion and a total way of life. It prescribes order
    for individuals,  societies,  and  governments,  codifying  law,  family
    relationships, matters of business,  etiquette, dress food, hygiene, and
    much more. The ummah,  or  community  of  believers,  is  unified across
    national boundaries by its  conscious  acceptance  of the oneness of God
    and its mission on earth.  There  is  no  human  hierarchy  to intervene
    between man and God; in the eyes of Islam, all people are equal. 

    The Qur'an is the cornerstone of Islamic faith. Muslims believe that the
    Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, is  the  word  of God as revealed to the
    Prophet Muhammad in the  Arabic  language.  It  is regarded as the final
    revelation, as Muhammad is  regarded  as  the final Prophet-"the seal of
    the prophets." For over  1,400  years,  the  Qur'an  has illuminated the
    lives of Muslims with  its  eloquent  message,  shaping  their  everyday
    lives, anchoring them to a unique  system  of law, and inspiring them by
    its guiding principles. 

    The sunnah,"way"  for  devout  Muslims  to  follow,  recounts the deeds,
    sayings, and silent approval of  the  Prophet Mohammad regarding details
    of community  life.  It  complements  and  supplements  the  Qur'an  and
    embodies  the  meticulously  documented  traditions  and  sayings of the
    Prophet as preserved by his companions  in a body of writings called the

    The Qur'an and the sunnah provide the  framework for Shariah, the sacred
    law of Islam, which  governs  all  aspects  of  the  public and private,
    social and economic, religious and political life of every Muslim. 

    Source: Pamphlet"Saudi Arabia, Islam"2nd Ed.,1989. 

Subject: 11) The five pillars of Islam 
    <ahmed@CIM.McGill.CA (Ahmed Helmy)> 

    Despite the great body of  tradition  and  law, the practice of Islam is
    essentially  personal-between  God  and  the  believer.  Islam  has five
    primary obligations or pillars of faith that each Muslim must fulfill in
    his or her lifetime. 

    1- Shahadah. 

    Profession of faith, is the first pillar  of Islam. Muslims bear witness
    to the oneness of God by reciting the creed "there is no god but God and
    Muhammad is the messenger of God."  This  simple  yet profound statement
    expresses a Muslim's complete  acceptance  of,  and total commitment to,
    the message of Islam. 

    2- Salah. 

    Ritual prayer or devotional  worship,  is the second pillar. The Islamic
    belief is  based  on  the  belief  that   individuals   have  a  direct
    relationship with God. There  are  no  earthly  intermediaries in Islam.
    Rather, the world's  Muslims  turn   individually  and  collectively  to
    Makkah,  Islam's  holiest  city,  to   offer   prayers  at  dawn,  noon,
    mid-afternoon, sunset, and  evening.  In addition, Friday congregational
    service is also required. Although  salah  can be performed alone, it is
    meritorious to perform it with another  or with a group. The word mosque
    comes from the Arabic masjid,  meaning  "place of prostration." Although
    it is permissible to pray at  home,  at  work,  or  even outdoors, it is
    recommended that Muslims perform salah in a mosque. 

    3- Zakat. 

    Almsgiving, is the third pillar and  like prayer is considered a form of
    worship. Social responsibility is  considered  part  of one's service to
    God; the obligatory act of zakat  enshrines  this duty. Zakat prescribes
    payment of fixed proportions of a  Muslim's  possessions for the welfare
    of the entire community and in  particular  for its neediest members. It
    is equal to 2.5 percent of an  individual's  total  net worth. excluding
    obligations and family expenses. 

    4- Sawm. 

    Fasting, during the holy month of Ramadan is the fourth pillar of Islam.
    Ordained in the qur'an, the fast  is  an act of deep personal worship in
    which Muslims seek  a  richer  perception  of  God.  Fasting  is also an
    exercise in self-control whereby one's  sensitivity is heightened to the
    sufferings of the poor.  Ramadan  begins  with  the  sighting of the new
    moon, after which abstention from  eating,  drinking, smoking, and other
    sensual pleasures is obligatory from dawn to sunset. 

    Ramadan also is a joyful month. Muslims  break their fast at sunset with
    a special  meal,  iftar,  "break-fast;"   perform  additional  nocturnal
    worship, tarawih, after evening prayer;  and throng the streets in moods
    that are festive and  communal.  The  end  of  Ramadan  is observed in a
    spirit of joyous achievement  by  four  days  of  celebration called eid
    al-fitr, the feast of the  Breaking  of  the  Fast. Customarily, it is a
    time for family reunion and the favored holiday for children who receive
    new clothing and gifts from family members and friends. 

    5- Hajj. 

    Meaning "visit to the revered  place,"  the pilgrimage to Makkah, is the
    fifth pillar and the most significant manifestation of Islamic faith and
    unity in the world. For those Muslims  who are mentally, physically, and
    financially able to make the faithful journey to Makkah, the hajj is the
    peak of their religious life. 

    The hajj is a worldwide  gathering  of  over  two million Muslims to the
    holy city, and a remarkable  spiritual  happening. In performing hajj, a
    pilgrim follows the order of a  ritual  as  Muhammad performed the rites
    during his last pilgrimage. 

    The five pillars of  Islam  define  the  basic  identity  of the Muslims
    -their faith, beliefs, and  practices-which  binds  together a worldwide
    community of believers into a fellowship of shared values and concerns. 

    Source: Pamphlet"Saudi Arabia, Islam"2nd Ed.,1989. 

Subject: 12) No Trinity in Quran 

    <   (Muhammad  Ridha)>  
    Date:  Tue, 5 Apr 1994 07:17:49 GMT 


    Many non-Muslims  who  have  been  starting  reading  the  Qur'an  asked
    question: "What is the meaning of  the  word WE in the Qur'an when it is
    used in referring to  Allah?"  Some  Christians,  who  are  ignorant  of
    Arabic, have been arguing that the Qur'an itself approves the concept of
    Trinity (God has three 'personalities': Father, Son, Holy Spirit). 

    For clarification, I try to answer the question above... 

    In Arabic, there are two forms of plural: 1. Plural of more than one, 2.
    Plural of respect. 

    The following is taken from the  book  "ELEMENTARY MODERN STANDAR ARABIC
    1" edited by: Peter F.Abboud (Professor  of Arabic, University of Texas,
    Austin),  Earnest   N.McCarus   (Professor   of  Arabic,  University  of
    Michigan), published by:  Cambridge  University  Press,  1989, on pages:


    5. The "royal we" and the use of the plural of respect 

    In Arabic, as in English and other European languages, the "royal we" is
    often used instead of  "I"  by  persons  in  high  office. Indeed, it is
    probably more common in  Arabic;  it  is  illustrated  by  the following
    sentence taken from an  imaginary  letter  sent  by the President of one
    country to another: 

    'TalabNAA min waziiri  khaarijiyyatiNAA  an yanqula ilaiKUM ra'yaNAA fii
    dzaalika al-amr' 

    (in English: I have asked my  Minister  of  Foreign Affairs to convey to
    you my view on that matter). 

    In this sentence, the plural  pronoun  "ilaiKUM"  is used instead of the
    singular to convey RESPECT. It is not  at all unusual in Arabic to use a
    plural form (pronoun, adjective, verb)  in this way as a sign of respect
    for the person addressed. 


    In the case of the word "NAHNU" (We) and its derived words (Us, Our), is
    used by God in addressing Himself for  showing the plural of RESPECT. It
    does not imply trinity. The Qur'an very clearly states: 

    "Verily I am Allah: There is no god  but I, so serve thou Me..." (20:14)
    "Say: He is Allah, The One and Only." (112:1) 

    "Verily, in blasphemy indeed are  those  who  say that God is Christ the
    son of Mary (Jesus)." (Q. 5:17) 

    The other clear-cut proof, is the  attitude  of those pagan Arabs in the
    time of the Prophet Muhammad who know well about Arabic, as their mother
    tounges. Everytime the Prophet  recited  to them verses from the Qur'an,
    they tried constantly to entangle him. But in the case of the word "We",
    they never argued with him. 

Subject: 13) Sufi Mailing Lists/Newsgroup(s).


	(Salahuddin Ahmad)
	There are two informal discussion groups that deal more 
	specifically with Sufism:      &	(For Muslims Only)	(Open to all)

	(		(Gnosis Mailing List)
	maintainer:	Dean Edwards


	soc.religion.shamanism 	(Moderated)
	soc.religion.gnosis	(Moderated)

	Please read the relevant FAQs on the above newsgroups for more


<Blake Ross <>> Aug 19, 1994

Summary: The above Sufi & tarq

Also, I would like to inform you that, as a resource for Muslim and 
non Muslim individuals interested in Sufism, seekers may contact the 
International Association of Sufism (IAS). They will be on-line in a 
couple of weeks. For now, IAS may be contacted at PO Box 2382 San 
Rafael CA 94912 Attn Dirs: Shah Nazar Ali Kianfar / Dr. Nahid Angha 
people may call the IAS office (9-5PM PCT) at 415 472 6959.

IAS is a non-sectarian, non-denominational, California non-profit 
organization advocating Sufi, Shia Muslim, Muslim and general spiritual
points of view. Membership is open to all, dedicated individuals.

Blake Ross

Subject: 14) Books & Videos on Islam

	< (Abdulrahman Al-Ali) 
	June 08, 1994

Asslamu alaikum
   I would strongly recommend the following to anyone considering
Islam seriously.
1- Try to read Quran and Hadith of the Prophet (PBUH). They are the
   best and most trusted source of information about Islam. After
   that try to find a recognized publisher of Islamic material.
   In North America there are at least two excellent publishing houses:
   a) World Assebmly of Muslim Youth (WAMY). A publisher of many famous
      books about Islam. For example, Toward Understanding Islam by
      Abul A'la Mawdudi. They also publish all Ahmed Deedat's books.
      Their address:
      P.O. Box 8096
      Falls Church, VA 22041.     (They also have some free books about Islam)
   b) American Trust Publications. One of their best books is, Islam in Focus,
      by, Hammudah Abdalati. Their address:
      American Trust Publications
      10900 W. Washington St.
      Indianapolis, IN 46231
2- At the begining, try to contact with Muslims who have similar cultural
   background. It will help you alot.
   For your case, I would like to recommend the following lectures on
   videotapes. The following are just examples:
   a) Americans Becoming Muslims, by br. Jeffrey Lang.
   b) ========= ======== =======, by sr. Aminah Assilmi.
   c) My Journey from Christianity to Islam, by sr. Nancy Ali.
   You can obtain the above videotapes and many others from:
   Ghazali Islamic Videotapes
   217 Pinecone Drive
   Lawrence, Kansas 66046
   Tel (931)-841-9768
   I'm sure you know that Islam doesn't discriminate people based on
   their color, race, or sex. They are all equal in the sight of Allah.
   So, please don't think I'm advising you not to socialize with other
   Muslims who have different cultural background than you.
3- The best organization to contact is the Islamic Society of North
   America (ISNA). They will provide you with many useful information.
   They will also help finding the nearst Islamic center in your area.
   ICNA is also a good and active Islamic organization.
   Please note that I'm not affiliated with any organization mentioned
   in this email. I'm solely recommending them because of their performance
   and their good reputation.
   I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the wonderful
   world of Islam. May Allah be with you.
   I pray to Allah to guide us all to his stright path, ameen.
Subject: 15) Prayer Software

A- < (Shahid Mahmood)> <Date: 23 Feb 1994 18:47:54 GMT>

There is in fact a program available via ftp. It calculates the prayer timing for any specific year or a month of it. It does incorporate the Hanfi/Shafii or any other shool of thought by user defined options. You are required to specify the LAt/Long coordinates of the location of interest.
In order to get it do:

== This information is no longer current = Sept 05, 1994 
% ftp
username: Anonymous
Password: <Your Email Address>
cd /pub/islam
get IslamicTimer-2.0.shar.Z


The file is in shell archive (shar). use uncompress and sh command
By the way, the same site has sahih bukhari as well in the directory
cd /pub/islam/Bukhari.Z

To get the geo-coordinates of a sites in USA, do the following:

telnet 3000
then enter your [zip_code], or [city,state].

Whwn you start writing your own program, let me know because I have 
some suggestions.  Jazakallah.

B- < (Fahmi Amhar)> <Date: 24 Feb 1994 >

Download from by anonymous ftp.
The program is in /pub/incoming/
Read the manual at first!
The Author of MAWAQIT
C- Ftp:
   Login: anonymous
   Dir:   /pub/calmsa  
Subject: 16) Quran on WWW 

<stjeanp@hazelnut (Pat St. Jean)>

  I wanted to let everyone know that I have put a copy of the Qur'an on my
world wide web site over here.  Anyone with a web browser can access it at


Subject: 17) Islamic Hypercard Stacks by FTP 

< (IHussain) 23 Aug 1994 17:32:00 -0300


There are several hypercard stacks on various
Islamic subjects available by anonymous ftp
at some of the info-mac mirror sites.

At in the pub/info-mac/info/nms/
directory there are a number of stacks including
one that teaches children the proper pronunciation
of surah al-fatiha.

The same site also has the following new stacks:
- dua 2.0-hc.hqx (several duas from one of the
earliest prayer books in Muslim history
- isa 3.01-hc.hqx (A detailed text and graphic
presentation of the Muslim view of Jesus)

Subject: 18) This FAQ: Archive Info, History & Credits.

ARCHIVE: This FAQ is archived & availble thru anonymous FTP, gopher &
         world-wide web.

        Anonymous FTP:

        1. SITE:
           Directory:   /pub/usenet/news.answers/islam-faq/alt-newsgroup

        2. SITE:
           Directory:   /pub/usenet/news.answers/islam-faq/alt-newsgroup

        3. SITE:
           Directory:   /pub/calmsa/faq.ari 


        1.SITE: 70
          Path:                 Computing Information/
                                CCO anonymous ftp archive/

        2.SITE 70
          Path:                 Resources relating to Islam/
				FAQ alt.religion.islam [Usenet Newsgroup]

        Word-Wide Web:

        URL for USENET FAQs:

        URL for this FAQ:


V 1.0	April 25, 1994  Total Items # 13
V 1.2   June  08, 1994  Items #3, #13,#14 are new. #15 Edited 
V 1.3   June  26, 1994  New Item #15 
V 1.4   Sept  05, 1994  New Item # 16, #1,#13,# 15 updated 

CREDITS: Ahmed Helmy, Muhammad  Ridha, Hussain Helmy, Salahuddin Ahmad,
	 Abdulrahman Al-Ali, Blake Ross, Pat St Jean, I Hussain

End of A.R.I. FAQ Digest

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