Friday, April 27, 2007

Marmaduke Pickthall - Quran Translator And Servant Of Islam

By kilamxx

Since the last half century or so, if one was looking up the English translation of a certain verse or passage of the Quran, then it would most probably be from one of two well known translations :- Marmaduke Pickthall’s The Meaning of the Glorious Koran and Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary. These two works are the most widely used in the English speaking world and yet not many of us know much about their authors. This blog will be on the author of the first, which was published in 1930, just eight years before the second.

Marmaduke William Pickthall was born in 1875 in London to Mary O'Brien and the Reverend Charles Grayson Pickthall, an Anglican clergyman. He was a contemporary of Winston Churchill at Harrow, the famous private school. From his early years, he perfected a talent for languages.

At the age of eighteen he traveled among the Arab population between Egypt and Syria for two years, picking up fluency in Arabic and a love for Islam. However, his attempt to convert to Islam was rejected by his teacher then, the Sheykh-ul-Ulema of the great mosque at Damascus.

He ended up back in England, got married to Muriel Smith in 1896 and started writing novels. Most of his novels were based on his experiences in the Middle East and were critically acclaimed by his contemporaries, among them being H. G. Wells.

Between writing novels he traveled extensively to the Arab world and Turkey. His affinity for the Turkish Caliphate led him to write in Turkey’s defense against the British Empire during the years leading to the First World War and thereafter. As Daphnée Rentfrow described in her biographical piece on Pickthall :-

More and more, it was becoming obvious to Pickthall and his readers that he was a strong and eloquent proponent of Islam and its varied cultures. Yet Pickthall's background assumed an adherence to the rule of the Church of England. His father and his father's father were clergymen; two step-sisters were Anglican nuns; it was through church contacts that Pickthall first went east. Little by little, however, the actions of the Christian community, especially missionaries, disappointed Pickthall. Before the war, Pickthall was still a practicing Anglican: but with loyalties split between the British and Turkish empires, Pickthall had a crisis of faith and nerves, evident in his writings for The New Age. Finally, in November 1917, at the last of a series of talks to the Muslim Literary Society on "Islam and Progress," Pickthall openly declared his acceptance of Islam. He took the name Mohammed and almost immediately became a pillar of the British Islamic Community.

In 1919, Pickthall worked for the London-based Islamic Information Bureau that among other things published the weekly Muslim Outlook. After completing his last novel the Early Hours in 1920, he departed for his new assignment in India to serve as the editor of the Bombay Chronicle.

India became home to the Pickthalls for the next fifteen years. Muslim communities throughout India invited Pickthall regularly to deliver Friday khutbas as well as lectures.

Ever since he converted to Islam, the mission of translating the Quran had always preoccupied Pickthall’s mind. He saw that there was an obligation for all Muslims to know the Quran intimately. Pickthall took a two-year sabbatical in Hyderabad to complete his translation of the meaning of the Quran, a work that he considered as the summit of his achievement. In 1930, Pickthall published The Meaning of the Glorious Koran. Pickthall maintained that the Quran, being the word of God could not be translated.

Pickthall returned to England in 1935 where he died a year later on May 19th. He is buried in the Muslim cemetery at Brookwood, Surrey. Sixteen years later another distinguished translator Abdullah Yusuf Ali joined him in this resting place.


1. Peter Clark, Marmaduke Pickthall: British Muslim; London: Quartet, 1986.

2. Daphnée Rentfrow, The True Call: Marmaduke Pickthall.

3. Marmaduke Pickthall: A Brief Biography (British Muslim Heritage).

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I Wish Guantanamo Was Like This

British sailors held in Iran

By Yvonne Ridley
Date: 3 April 2007

I must confess that the events of the last few days involving British woman Faye Turney and her Royal Navy shipmates have filled me with mixed emotions.
Faye is a captive of the Iranian Government and I can't help drawing parallels with my days as a prisoner of the Taliban way back in September 2001.
Like Faye, I was simply doing my job and just like her I ended up being plastered across the world's newspapers portrayed as a victim of an evil, brutal regime.
Funnily enough, I went tresspassing too. Although to be fair to Faye she might not have realised she was entering Iranian waters whereas I was caught banged to rights for my illegal trip into Afghanistan without a passport and visa.
And, just like Faye, once my captors realised I was a nicotine addict, they kept me topped up in cigarettes for the duration of my ordeal.
Mercifully, the Taliban did not parade me with fag in gob for the media, that would have been too cruel ... my mother would never have forgiven me! She despised my cigarette habit and would certainly not have approved of me puffing away in public, stressed or otherwise.
I do hope Faye's ordeal does come to a rapid end. It is not much fun being anyone's prisoner but she should count her blessings that she's in the hands of the Iranians.
Imagine if she had been caught by the Americans? By now she would have been shaved, shackled and sodomised at the very least in her first week of capitivity.
She would almost certainly be wearing an orange jumpsuit after being thrown into a rat-infested cage via a rendition flight to Guantanamo.
I just thank God that she was, like me, captured by an evil, brutal regime instead of the US military!
George Bush and Tony Blair's indignation over her arrest, and the Western tabloid outpourings regarding Faye's black headscarf has certainly been something to behold. Although, with regard to the head covering, to a certain extent, I can see their point - by contrast the Taleban issued me with a rather fetching little hijab, a sort of autumnal blend of colours. Black can be too drab without the right accessories.
Muslims don't have any such fashion dilemmas when they find themselves in the hands of the British or the Americans because there's nothing like a good old fashioned hood over the head to hide your blushes, and some sticky tape across your mouth will certainly curtail such anti-social and potentially life-threatening habits like smoking.
We only know this because those nice folk from the US and British military were thoughtful enough to take lots of pictures and videos of their treatment of prisoners in Abu Ghraib, Basra, Guantanamo and elsewhere.
How thoughtful, as I say, to hide their identities and prevent them from being publicly paraded in the same way as Faye and her naval colleagues.
And of course a hood over the head would have stopped them from talking publicly infront of the cameras about how they strayed into Iranian waters under the orders of the UK military.
Mind you, the Brits appear to have become regular little chatterboxes haven't they? According to declassified US documents Khalid Sheikh Mohamed had to be coaxed with CIA watersports before he overcame his shyness.
I wonder if like the Australian David Hicks, the British naval crew will be allowed to enjoy five years in solitary confinement before being charged with anything?
Given the choice, what do you think Faye and her mates would prefer - Western justice Bush and Blair-style or Islamic justice?
Just in case you are struggling with an answer, here are some clues to help you supplied by my man in Virginia who has outlined below some of the CIA's Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.
All have been tried and tested on Muslim detainees at secret locations on military bases in regions from Asia to Eastern Europe.
* The Belly Slap: A hard open-handed slap to the stomach designed to cause pain, but not internal injury.
* Long Time Standing: Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours.
* The Cold Cell: The prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. Throughout the time in the cell the prisoner is doused with cold water.
* Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.
CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in. They said al Qaida suspect Khalid Sheik Mohammed, won their admiration when he was able to last between two and two-and-a-half minutes before begging to confess.
According to Larry Johnson, a former CIA officer and a deputy director of the State Department's office of counterterrorism: "What real CIA field officers know firsthand is that it is better to build a relationship of trust … than to extract quick confessions through tactics such as those used by the Nazis and the Soviets."
Ah, ha. So now we know. Those devious Iranians are trying to build up a relationship of trust with their captives by acting in a civilised manner.
Quick George, Tony ... get the Brits out now before it is too late!


They're all back home now laughing with the prospects of making some money with their stories while the 385 odd detainees at Guantanamo Bay are being tortured daily. Some of them are on a hunger strike now.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Don't Invest In Internet Investment Schemes

by kilamxx

The Malaysian National Fatwa Council has finally announced that it is forbidden for Muslims to invest in internet share schemes which promise fixed high returns. As reported in the Star (13 April 2007) :-

KUALA TERENGGANU: The National Fatwa Council has ruled that any form of share investment through the Internet that promises a steady profit is haram (forbidden) because of the elements of riba (interest) and gharar (chance).

In passing the fatwa (edict) yesterday, council chairman Prof Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Husin advised Muslims who dabbled in shares on the Internet, such as the Swiss Cash Mutual Fund, to withdraw their money.

There were many alternative investments based on Islamic principles, which they could participate in, he said after chairing the 77th National Fawta Council meeting here yesterday.

The fatwa has been long overdue, with more than 500,000 Muslims already involved in various internet investment schemes like SwissCash, BuyEbarrel and ABBFund (Utusan Malaysia13 April 2007).

Various Shariah experts have already elaborated on the haram elements in these types of investment, among them being Ustaz Zaharuddin Abdul Rahman at
An in-depth article(in Bahasa Malaysia) can be found here.

Beside the above mentioned names there are more than fifty other get rich quick schemes which use the convenience provided by the internet to lure victims to invest in the various plans they offer. Among others are;;;;;;;;; and

I would like to represent an excellent piece on a typical internet get rich quick investment scheme written by Exiang on his Exiang Blog.

Beware of E Barrel

Another pyramid scheme. The first time i heard of it is during December 2006 during my trip to Bentong Thailand. An uncle, obviously a rich boss is telling it to everyone on the bus.

The second time i heard bout it is during CNY, where my gf bro told me bout this. I shoot his mouth off.

Third time, i heard bout it from a friend of mine, that is around End of March.

I made a search to the domain name:, found the following facts:

1) The server is located in Hong Kong
2) The registrar is located in Singapore
3) The server is hosted by Kartz Global, world famous anonymous hosting company

Now, let me explain idea that i have gotten from this 3 facts

If I am the founder of Ebarrel, i would love to setup my server in hong kong mainly bcs of my target market of the huge population of chinese people in China. There is another fact: everyone that doing MLM is targeting China market as well.

Register my domain name in singapore could be a way to hide my real identity. I am definitely not an American.

Using anonymous hosting is more suspicious! Why would a International company wanted to hide his own real identity?

Conclusion, this is very obvious that EBarrel is not making money from investing in oil and energy. They are making money from the money you give to them for investment.

How it works?

I hav a sum of money as start cash, probably none too
Then i spread the news out
I just need 2-3 curious and yet greedy ppl to join
Then, i giv them the money as promise

Normally these ppl wont put 1000k directly
at starting, they will try with 100
but it's ok, nvm, coz at the starting I dont have such large amount of pay out capital too

I pay them money day by day
it is tempting and believing

After 3 months, they get back 100 + profit
Now, they will be greedy
i will be sure they will put the 100+profit back
some even add more money to reach 3% per day (different plan have different return rate, that is to encourage people to put in more money)

ok. they will spread around the news too
so my group of income growth

Last, all i need to do is let it expands... up to a point where it is impossible to cover anymore
i will close this company!
by tat time, i will be damm rich
and lots of late joiner will die

p/s: some of the big boss willing to invest big money into it bcs they think they will beable to quit before the company shut down

Sunday, April 08, 2007


This was a trial?

By Jennifer Daskal

Published: April 1, 2007


While the Bush administration might try to paint the guilty plea by David Hicks plea as a triumph, the truth is that the Australian's conviction shows in painful detail just how illegitimate and dysfunctional the military commissions truly are.

Five years after Guantánamo was opened to take detainees in the "war on terror," the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks are no closer to seeing justice done. The military commissions were supposed to prosecute the "worst of the worst;" instead, the very first conviction was for a mere nine months of continued incarceration, which would have been a slap on the wrist in the federal justice system that they abandoned as inadequate.

Last Monday, Hicks, clean-shaven and long-haired, entered the brand-new, air-conditioned courtroom, escorted by two U.S. Army sergeants, and sat down in front of his parents, who had met with him earlier that day for the first time in over a year.

Hicks began the day with three lawyers - his military defense counsel, Major Dan Mori, and two civilians - but within hours he was down to one and pleading guilty to a single count of material support for terrorism, a crime that is normally prosecuted in federal court.

First to go was the assistant defense counsel. The judge, Ralph Kohlmann, unsure whether a civilian government employee could serve as defense counsel, decided not to give the defendant the benefit of the doubt and provisionally dismissed her.

The response from Hicks: "From my understanding, I just lost a lawyer."

Next up was Joshua Dratel, chief defense counsel for Hicks for several years. He was also dismissed by the judge, because while he agreed to abide by all "existent" rules, he refused to agree to "all" rules for the tribunal without first knowing what those rules stated. "I'm shocked because I just lost another lawyer," said Hicks, and counsel number two left the courtroom.

The judge then rejected the remaining defense attorney's request for more time to file motions. This judge would give Major Mori just 13 days to prepare file all legal motions in a totally new system with specially created rules and regulations - and even new crimes.

A highlight of the day was the judge's fashion lesson, when he explained the nuances of "business dress" to Hicks, who was wearing a short-sleeved khaki prison garb. The judge suggested the former kangaroo skinner choose his preferred combination of jacket, tie, and button down shirt before the next proceeding: Such proper attire would ensure that Hicks was adequately protected by the presumption of innocence.

But if Hicks, already detained for over five years, thought that this presumption carried little weight, who could really argue? After all, he had just watched his two civilian defense counsels barred from representing him, and every substantive motion denied in proceedings that had barely begun. He might reasonably have wondered what chance he had of receiving a fair trial when judge, jury and remaining counsel all report to the same executive that once lumped him together with the "vicious enemies" and "killers" housed at Guantánamo Bay.

A few minutes before 9 p.m., Hicks entered a plea of guilty - apparently choosing not to test his fate in a system that deems statements obtained through severe physical abuse an acceptable form of evidence.

And, four days later, the court disclosed a plea agreement that appeared to be more about protecting the government against disclosure of abuse than prosecuting any alleged terrorist. In exchange for a sentence of nine months incarceration, the government extracted a statement that Hicks had not been subjected to "illegal" treatment. This is a concession that means little for a government that interpreted waterboarding (mock drowning) as compliant with U.S. and international law at the time of Hicks' arrest. Moreover, the agreement includes a one-year gag rule - a provision that serves the sole purpose of hiding the very conduct the United States denies.

The U.S. secretary of defense, Robert Gates, has urged President George W. Bush to move the Guantánamo Bay detainees to the United States, warning that any proceedings held in Guantánamo will be viewed as illegitimate in a way that could further undermine the broader war effort. This latest proceedings do little to assuage those fears.

The president should listen to his defense secretary's advice. He should charge the detainees in federal court, where established rules and procedures will give the trials the legitimacy needed to restore the reputation of the United States as a leading proponent of the rule of law. Doing so would focus the world's attention on the alleged crimes of the detainees, rather than the flaws of the system.

Jennifer Daskal, advocacy director for the U.S. program at Human Rights Watch, was in Guantánamo Bay monitoring the Hicks military commission proceedings.

Source:International Herald Tribune

What about the two Malaysians still being held there for alleged
terrorist activities?

You can be sure that Mohd Farik Amin and Mohammed Nazir Lep are being tortured just like the other fellow detainees at Camp X-ray.

The Malaysian government should demand that they be extradited back to Malaysia to be given a fair trial instead of just asking Washington to give them the same treatment that Hicks got at the kangaroo court.

After being subjected to
the kind of torture that the US put their prisoners through, anyone is just about ready to sign any confession put to him.

Come on Pak Lah, we can hardly hear your voice above the screams of the prisoners having their limbs electrified!

Also see Set Our People Free