Islam

I am an artist; I use words to create art.
My intent is to create beautiful art with the words I use.
I am not always successful in creating beautiful art with the words I use, but I have no desire to create art that offends people to the point of them wanting to harm others.
I know that recently someone created a film that was not beautiful, and was offensive enough to cause some people to want to harm others. Such actions are wrong. Certainly, people should not desire to hurt others because of the actions of an inconsiderate filmmaker, but the inconsiderate filmmaker should never have created something which was intended to upset others.
The words which Allah, the Merciful and Just, shared with Muhammad (Peace be upon him) through the Archangel Jibril (Gabriel) should be revered. Christians, Muslims, and Jews share many of the same words, prophets, and angels. Clearly we need to do the will of Allah, Jehovah, and God. Such will is neither to offend nor harm others.
I believe our ability to create is a gift which we need to use to create beauty, not discord.

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I hear the voice of Jibril (1) in a song
He sings to me iambic words of God
Begin, believe, behave, become, belong
His voice rings out from Mecca (2) to Riyadh (3)
Begin the hajj (4) across the desert sand
Believe that I recite (5) His Holy Word
Behave as if His power’s in your hand
Become a healer like Al Imran’s bird (6)
Belong to Allah, Merciful and Just
The God of Islam, Father to us all
The Torah says He made us all from dust (7)
Sharia (8) saves the world from Adam’s Fall
I listen to the words of Jibril’s song
And find the place where all my words belong.

(1) Jibril is Arabic for the Archangel Gabriel, the messenger of God.
(2) Mecca is the birthplace of Muhammad, peace be upon him, and a site of the composition of the Quran.
(3) Riyadh is the capital and largest city of Saudi Arabia.
(4) Hajj is a pilgrimage required by all believers once in their life.
(5) Quran literally means “recitation.”
(6) Surat Al Imran verse 49, in the Quran, speaks of Isa (Jesus) performing miracles such as making a clay bird and breathing life into it.
(7) Genesis 2:7
“God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
(8) Sharia is Islamic law.

I sent this poem to Ali Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, and received the following reply:

“Dear Scott,

Thank you so much for contacting us. We really appreciate both your support and understanding and we thank you for your beautiful sonnet. In fact Sheikh Ali Gomaa is always keen on building bridges of communication with world religions aiming at disseminating a culture of peace and coexistence. Unfortunately, as you stated, these heinous acts of bigotry aiming at inflaming rage and hatred jeopardize our efforts in building a better and harmonious world for all of us. We hope that the people of reason all over the world would stand firmly against these irresponsible acts to avoid such heinous events in the future.

We thank you once again for your kind letter and we hope you stay in touch.”

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