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review 2017-03-09 16:51
Seven Years Gone: Undesirable (Volume 1)
Seven Years Gone: Undesirable (Volume 1) - Liz Iavorschi-Braun

 

Seven Years Gone: Undesirable (Volume 1) by Liz Iavorschi-Braun is a journey through a not-so-distant dystopian world where the protagonist shuns the collective "The Society" in a desparate last gasp to keep her individualism. Without giving away too much of this great story I'd like to add that there are a lot of parallels between what occurs in this novel vs the coming question Americans face in determining the future course of their country. This novel is well written and entertaining. I highly recommend it.

 

Source: liziavorschibraun.com/blog
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review 2014-10-27 00:00
Twenty Three Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad
Twenty Three Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad - علی دشتی,F.R. Bagley,Ali Dashti Warning: If you're an emotional Muslim I do apologize that I dared read this and review it, but because in Goodreads there is freedom of speech I do consider it my own right to have a voice. Simply skip this if you think it might be annoying. Thank you.


A compelling text,

An enlightening book written by a skeptic, rational and yet respectful to the prophet.

Perhaps some of the most important issues in order to choose a historical book – especially history of Islam which is mixed with so many doubts and superstitions – are to know:

1. The author himself, the academic works and papers, he did.
2. Publishers which were eager to publish his book.

For the second issue, this book that I added in Goodreads the publisher is Mazda pub, not a well known one (at least for me). By searching a few minutes in net, I found some wonderful results: according to this page some of the most important publishers of this book are:

1. Oxford Publication
2. Taylor and Frances

I think there are no other publishers more famous than these ones. And they assure the reader that this book is internationally and academically valid.

There are so many other famous skeptic Persian authors regarding to history of Islam, like Shojaeddin Shafa who his books Rebirth and After 1400 years are even more famous and popular here in Iran (definitely among banned books) but I couldn't find any English version for them. Surely, it doesn't mean that the information they have are not valid. Shojaeddinn Shafa is an awarded historian before the Islamic revolution in Iran and also he had many internationally awards like "The International Grand prize of Florence (1971)". Perhaps the reason that he didn't insist on publishing them in other languages was that he only wanted to show the real face of Islam to new generation of after revolution in Iran.

Shojaeddin Shafa (1918-2010)
Shojaeddin Shafa (1918-2010)

Ali Dashti, born in a Persian family in Bushehr, studied Islamic theology, history, Arabic and Persian grammar, and classical literature in Madrasas in Karbala and Najaf, both the most Islamic cities in Iraq. He didn't continue his career as a cleric; instead he became a journalist and published a newspaper (Shafaq-e Sorkh) in Tehran . He was appointed a Senator in 1954 until the Islamic revolution in 1979. He first published this book anonymously around 1974 in Beirut and at the age of 88 he died in Evin prison after being tortured by Khomeini's men.

Ali Dashti (1894-1982)
Ali Dashti (1894-1982)

This book covers more (as the title suggests) the last 23 years of prophet Mohammad's life with an introduction to his childhood, his loneliness, his illiteracy and working as a shepherd for his uncle. So desert was a good place for a child to think more about social injustice, God, idolatry and many other issues which could implant the dream of being a God messenger in a person. So he grew up and in his early twenties he was lucky enough to get married to a 40-year-old widowed rich woman- Khadija. So he didn't need to work, and he had enough time for spiritual rituals and for this he sometimes spent almost a month in a cave named hara . One night at his forty he came back home panicked and shivering. The angle of God, Gabriel, had come to the cave and said to him:

"Recite in the name of your Lord who created, created mankind from a clot of blood! Recite! And your Lord is bounteous, He who taught by the pen, taught mankind what they did not know."Sura 96 (ol-Alaq)"


But unfortunately the angle didn't come back for a while, some say for 3 days, other say 3 months or even 3 years. He was so depressed and he more than once thought of suicide, of throwing himself over a cliff.

Again those inspirations came and he began his prophetic career. The first person who believed in him was his wife.

Mohammad's prophetic career is divided into two important eras: when he is in Mecca –with just some a few followers-- the rich, the infidels ridicule him, call him insane, poet sick-- and when he migrates to Medina and starts his battles called ghazwa, the days of blood, killing and slaughtering.

Dashti makes a very interesting discussion about the difference between the kinds of inspiration that the prophet received in this two eras. When he is in Mecca he is the prophet of kindness, there's no obligation in religion everybody can have his/her own beliefs:

"There is no compulsion in religion. Right has been distinguished from wrong.Those who reject false deities and believe in God have grasped the firmest handle, which will never break." Verse 256, Sura 2 (ol-Baqara)


The infidels ask him for a miracle but each time God says to Muhammad in a very irrational way that even if I show you a miracle you won't believe in Islam. God even says in many verses that the real reason that you don't believe in Allah is that in fact God doesn't want so!!!

There's no report of any miracle in the Quarn, any kind of miracle which is said that the prophet had done, is in fact said by Muslim historians.

Eventually it is said that the Quran is, itself, the miracle of the prophet! Some say considering that Mohammad was illiterate, it is so beautifully written and so poetic – despite some grammatical errors which were found.

When he is in Medina, he's powerful, he has many followers so the God here is very cruel and furious with non believers. When one of the prophet's followers askes him what they should do with the prisoners God answers:

"It is not for a Prophet to have prisoners until he has spread fear of slaughter in the land. You people want casual gain (i.e. ransom payments) in this lower world, while God wants (happiness in) the next world (for you).”verse 68 of sura 8 (ol-Anfal)


A very important question that Dashti raises here is by analyzing some verses we can realize that many of them are in fact said by Mohammad himself, like the first sura (ol-fateha):

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful!
Praise to God, the Lord of the Worlds,
the Compassionate, the Merciful,
the Master of the Judgement Day!
You (alone) we worship and from You (alone) we seek help.
Guide us to the straight path,
the path of those on whom You have bestowed bounty,
not of those with whom You are angry and who have gone astray!"

Dashti says:

These words cannot be God's words. From their content it is clear that they are the Prophet Mohammad's words, because they consist of praise to God, homage to God, and supplication for God's help. God himself would not say "Praise to God, the Lord of the Worlds, the Compassionate, the Merciful, the Master of the Judgement Day.


I had read this sura for uncounted times, but never noticed to this precise point which Dashti concentrates on it. And that's a reason that makes this book unputdownable. Nothing new is said, but yet his analyzing is so intriguing.

Even one of the Islamic interpreters rejected it as a sura! So wasn't it actually from Mohammad's own mind? This issue is even more interesting when we study the section about prophet's wives. Mohammad considered more privileges for himself: He could have more than 4 wives – the maximum number that a Muslim could have. Many people say that –-and what our teachers told us at schools-- he got married to them because of some political reasons. But he actually kept sleeping with all of them. While For a common person the sexual desire is decreasing as he gets older, Mohammad's is an invert process: He had only one wife during his youth and a harem in his old hood!

I really enjoyed reading this book. Living in an Islamic country means "only books that are appreciating Islam are available". I think this is not a good way – even for Muslims themselves- to read whole life only Islamic books and burn all other critics and bound yourself only with one way of thinking. Indeed, Mohammad was a great and very smart historical figure as Dashti too accepts this, but insisting on and sticking characteristics to him which make him someone coming from another world and heavenly prophet is wrong as Mohammad himself confesses to his weak points so many times in the Quran: he was a human being like other people.


Link to an English PDF:
23 Years

Persian PDF:
Bisto se saal
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review 2014-07-24 00:00
Deciphering End-Time Prophetic Codes: Cyclical and Historical Biblical Patterns Reveal America's Past, Present and Future Events, including Warnings and Patterns to Leaders
Deciphering End-Time Prophetic Codes: Cy... Deciphering End-Time Prophetic Codes: Cyclical and Historical Biblical Patterns Reveal America's Past, Present and Future Events, including Warnings and Patterns to Leaders - Perry Stone Again, fascinating.
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review 2013-11-30 01:45
Understanding Prophetic People - Review & Table of Contents
Understanding Prophetic People: Blessings and Problems with the Prophetic Gift - R. Loren Sandford

the author's characterization of a wilderness phase in the life of a believer can cause the reader to realize how important it is for Jesus to actively bring men to terms with the purposes He spoke into them. in retrospect, such phases can be recognized as the most significant time frames in the timelines of believers—just as it was for Israel. so the process can become intensely personal as manifestations of bitterness, confusion, anger and fear are being purged out. such expressions expose the self that one must leave behind—buried in the sand. all the while, the flesh will struggle against the action of such discomforts. ultimately, believers must learn how to rest in the LORD, and eat the Bread of Life from His hand.


 

  • Cover Page
  • Endorsements
  • Title Page
  • Copyright
  • Dedication
  • Forward
  • Introduction

 

I. Foundations

 

1. A Profile of the Prophetic Person

 

  • Rarely Happy
  • Burden Bearing
  • The Gift of Weakness
  • Eccentric Personalities
  • Self—Protections
  • Loneliness and Isolation
  • Uncommon Experiences
  • Awareness Deficits
  • The Fruit of Rejection
  • Life—Threatening Events
  • Overserious About Life in General
  • What the Church Needs to Do

 

2. Prophetic Ministry: An Overview

 

  • Definition of Prophetic Ministry
  • Definition of Prophetic Ministry
  • Prophetic Restoration
  • A Foundational Ministry
  • Prophetic Ministry Prepares God's People for His Purposes
  • Prophetic Dangers
  • Taking the Lord's Name in Vain
  • True Prophecy Is Undergirded with Humility
  • The Need for Testing
  • Test #1: Does this supposed word from God stand the test of Scripture?
  • Test #2: Does this word reflect the revealed nature and character of God?
  • Test #3: Does the word line up with what God is already doing and with what the Bible tells us God wants to do?
  • Test #4: Does it pass the reality check?
  • Test #5: Do any concrete realities accompany the prophetic word?
  • Test #6: Where prediction is part of the word, fulfillment becomes the determining test of validity.
  • Test #7: Whom does it exalt?

 

3. What Prophetic Ministry is Not

 

  • Prophetic Ministry Is Not a Bible Substitute
  • Modern Prophets Do Not Have Authority to Command
  • Prophetic Ministry Is Not to Be Equated with Mystical Experiences
  • Prophetic Ministry Is Not "Sanctified Psychic Reading"
  • Prophetic Ministry Is Not Warfare

 

4. The Prophetic Task

 

  • Edification
  • Exhortation
  • Consolation
  • Admonition
  • The Watchman
  • Prophetic Portfolio

 

5. The Prophet as Intercessor

 

  • Getting the Words Right
  • The Limits of Authority
  • A Special Class of People
  • Prayer Cover
  • Prophetic Declarations
  • The Hidden Role of the Prophet

 

6. The Office of Prophet

 

  • Prophetic Presence
  • Self—Validating Authority
  • In the Eyes of the Body of Christ
  • Substance and Specificity
  • Signs of a True Prophet
  • Creative Edification
  • Perceptive Insight
  • Restoration and Healing

 

II. Hearing God

 

7. Meditation

  • Sound
  • Repetition
  • Stillness
  • Pondering
  • The Choice

 

8. Numbers 12: Visions and Dreams

  • Visions
  • Visions as Encounters with God
  • Mental Images, Trance States and Open Visions
Dreams
  • Natural Dreams
  • Direct Dreams
  • Symbolic Dreams
  • Dream Interpretation

 

9. The Voice of God

  • Mouth to Mouth
  • Dark Sayings
  • The "Nathan Prophet"
  • Journaling
  • Conclusion

 

III. Training and Placement

 

10. The Necessity of Wilderness Sojourns

  • Pathema
  • Calling, Wilderness, Return
  • Joseph
  • David
  • Saul Who Became Paul
  • Functions of the Wilderness
  • Function #1: The Desperate Craving
  • Function #2: Testing
  • Function #3: Secure Identity
  • Function #4: Rest
  • Function #5: Restoration
  • Function #6: Preparation
Wilderness Dangers
  • Danger #1: Anger and Bitterness
  • Danger #2: Loss of Faith
  • Danger #3: Apostasy
  • Danger #4: Rebellion
  • Danger #5: Disobedience
  • Danger #6: Turning to Other Powers

 

11. Still Deeper in the Dark Night of the Soul

  • The Promise in the Barren Womb
  • The Dark Night in Psalm 88
  • Verses 1—3
  • Verse 4
  • Verse 5
  • Verse 6
  • Verse 7
  • Verse 8
  • Verse 9
  • Verse 10
  • Verse 11—12
  • Verse 13
  • Verse 14
  • Verse 15
  • Verses 16—17
  • Verse 18
Nine Purposes for the Dark Night of the Soul
  • Purpose #1: Abandonment of Hope of Personal Reward
  • Purpose #2: Exposure and Purification of Defects
  • Purpose #3: Abandonment and Despair of Self
  • Purpose #4: Faith without Agenda
  • Purpose #5: Rest for the Higher Function of the Spirit
  • Purpose #6: Love for God
  • Purpose #7: Purity of Fellowship with Him
  • Purpose #8: Humility
  • Purpose #9: Radical Compassion
Conclusion

 

12. Issues of Placement in the Church

  • A Three—Pronged Diet
  • Platforms and Authority
  • Approaches
  • Testing
  • Pastoral Oversight
  • Misplaced Emphasis
  • Conclusion
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text 2013-07-03 23:44
Islamic Books
The Holy Quran (English-Yusuf-Ali) - Anonymous,Abdulmomen jameli
The Translation of the Meanings of Summarized Sahih Al-Bukhari: Arabic-English - محمد بن إسماعيل البخاري,Muhammad Muhsin Khan
Sahih Muslim (7 Vol. Set) -
Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar): Biography of the Prophet - Sheikh Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarkpuri
Fortress of the Muslim: Invocations from the Qur'an & Sunnah - سعيد بن علي بن وهف القحطاني,Darussalam Research Division
The Ideal Muslimah - Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi
The Prophetic Medicine -
Stories of the Prophets - Imam Ibn Kathir,Fortress iPublications
Islamic Dress Code for Women - ABDUL REHMAN ABDULLAH
The Fundamentals of Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism) - Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips

Islamic Books.

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