The Power of Fashion Accessories

Nothing updates a wardrobe or changes a look of an outfit more than a few chunky chains and bracelets, a hip belt, a colorful handbag or a pair of this season’s most fashionable shoes.
Instead of spending a lot of money on outfits every season, you are better off buying some classic pieces, and then setting them off with some wow fashion accessories, which will say much more about your own personal style than clothes ever will.
“In the morning I think accessories first, then clothes second, says Hollywood celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe, in her book Style A To Zoe (Grand Central Publishing 2007) “You might be in your favorite jeans and flip-flops but once you throw on a great belt, you’re that much closer to looking fabulous.”
According to Zoe, accessories, far more than clothes, allow you to transform yourself and nurture your inner fashion chameleon. Our shoes, jewelry, sunglasses, belts and bags say much more about where we are in our lives – or where we’d like to be.

The Power of Stiletto Shoes

If you have never slipped on a pair of five-inch stilettos then you will be unaware of their magic powers. Whether you are a 20 or 40-something, you are never too old to experience the confidence and elegance that a pair of these tall-towers can provide. This doesn’t mean that you need to wear them on a regular basis, but donning a feminine pair of stiletto shoes can make you feel instantly elegant, and changes the look of an outfit in a blink. Take some favorite pieces from your wardrobe, team them with some high-heels and see the transformation, not only in your look but also in your self esteem.
If you don’t like the idea of teetering around in stilettos (walking in them takes some getting used to) then go for a compromise by wearing some high wedge-heels. These are easier to walk in and give you more support, but will still have the necessary effect.

The Power of the Handbag

Buying a trendy bag that is in fashion this season will update any of your favorite outfits. If you can’t afford this year’s “it” designer handbag, there are plenty of alternatives. Unless your bank account resembles Victoria Beckham’s there is no need to spend fortune on a bag which will only last a season. Just go for a purse that matches your personality, allowing you to create your sense of style.
If it’s a classic designer bag you are after, then you are better off investing in an original that lacks the fashionable buckles and statement pieces which date it more quickly. Something which will endure from season to season needs to be simple and lacking in bells and whistles. Staple colors include neutral blacks and browns but you can be more fashionable with a winter-white bag. Still practical and versatile, white has become the new black.

The Power of Sunglasses

Not only does a pair of sunnies protect you from the sun’s harmful rays and camouflage a late night, but they also make a great fashion statement. Oversized sunglasses are huge this year and donning a pair or Jackie O type or Paris Hilton style frames can instantly change your look from a plain Jane to a glamorous goddess. However, make sure that they suit your face, rather than swamp it.

Jewelry Box Basics

“Style is more about your eye than your bank account” says Zoe. “A cheap piece of costume jewelry can look ten times its cost.” Even the great Coco Chanel saw nothing wrong with mixing real and costume jewelry. It’s possible these days to pick up some great fashionable or vintage pieces for around $10 to $20 and you’ll love them just as much.
According to Zoe, all you need in your jewelry box basics is a simple chain, a dressy necklace, a statement-making cocktail ring, a bangle or cuff bracelet, a chunky (men’s) watch and a dressy one. If you wear earrings then a three pairs are essential to “ring” the changes, simple diamond studs, a pair of hoop earrings and some dangly or sparkly showstoppers that dazzle for evening.
Be right on trend with this summer's nautical theme; anchor pendants, rope bracelets and sailor belts.

Belt Up!

There has never been a better (or more fashionable) time to wear a belt. The smocked and billowy fashions of this year’s designer runways look great with a trendy cinched-waisted belt. Even if you are a bit on the large side, don’t shy away from wearing a belt. The right style belt can give you a waist, prevent you from looking larger than you are, and stop you from taking off like a hot-air balloon in this season’s diaphanous, billowing dresses.

Powerful Single-Statement Accessories

Fashion accessories on today’s runways are all about making a statement. Jewelry is chunkier, belts are bulkier and with this season’s oversized bags and embellished heels or metallics, shoes and handbags are no longer subtle. Add a cute or chic headband or mini turban to an outfit and see what effect it has. The nautical look this year is also supported by some great ship-shape accessories.
You are never too old to create your own sense of personal style. Just by adding one single wow piece, can make a difference to your both your outer look and your inner confidence. However, remember that whilst there is nothing fun and interesting in playing it subtle, also avoid "excessories". Resist the temptation to go overboard with too many look-at-me pieces. Avoid pairing oversized necklaces with huge earrings; go for simple chains which give you added length instead.
If you are not careful, wearing competing accessories will have the effect of making you look like a Christmas tree, so unless you want to resemble something akin to the festive season, remove any ornaments which are fighting for attention!

How To Add To Your Jewelry Collection

Thinking about adding to your jewelry collection?
Before you reach for the latest piece to catch your eye, take a good look in your jewelry box to assess what you already have. For just as you can get "stuck in a rut" with your clothing, so, too, can your jewelry accessorizing suffer from lack of creativity. Before you duplicate something you already have, take a few minutes to survey your current collection to see what you can REALLY use.
Let's start with some basics.
There are three categories of jewelry: fine, bridge, and costume.
Fine jewelry consists of metals like platinum, gold, and silver, and gems like diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds. Fine jewelry is the level we often aspire to but can only afford in small doses.
Diamond necklace

Bridge jewelry
 is better than costume but not as good as fine, and is made from semi-precious stones, natural woods, enamels, porcelains, and the like. If you can't afford fine jewelry, bridge pieces offer an excellent, long-lasting alternative.

Opal necklace

Costume jewelry
 is gentle on the budget and can add flair and fun to your casual looks. If you're a devotee of following the latest fads, costume jewelry is the way to go. You'll find it in a variety of price ranges, and some even emulate fine and bridge categories.

Flower necklace
Once you've looked over your collection, you'll probably notice that most of your pieces fall into one category. These are the pieces you wear the most or used to wear a lot of once upon a time (before babies, retirement, moving to a tropical island, or whatever).
So now's the time to ask yourself some serious questions, like:
* Which of my pieces need updating? Or replacing? Or repair?
* Could I extend my current jewelry wardrobe by adding a key piece like a long chain, a pendant, or diamond studs?
* Is it time to upgrade a favorite costume piece with a more durable bridge level look-a-like?
* Should I sell or give away some of my older, unworn pieces to make way for newer selections I WILL wear?
* Would I wear what I have more often if the whole mess were organized in a more user-friendly in a new, roomier jewelry box?
Now you've probably never given the matter this much thought before, but perhaps it's time to do just that. Often, we're given pieces that aren't "us" and that end up filling our jewelry boxes, never to see the light of day. Why smile through another monogrammed heart-shaped pendant when a stunning pin you've wanted costs just the same? Or add yet another gold chain when an onyx one would work with more outfits?
If you really want to do justice to your jewelry collection, take a few minutes to really go through what you have. Pull the things you don't wear, inventory the things you do wear, and make a list of what you need to round out your jewelry wardrobe. You'll be able to look good, save money, and invest wisely, all at the same time.

10 Classic Fashion Accessories

Looking for accessories that might be missing from your wardrobe? Want to add a little “pizzazz” to the mix? Here’s a look at some classic fashion accessories, not including shoes or jewelry. We’ll look at those another time.
A Wide Brimmed Hat
A wide-brimmed hat is both stylish and practical in keeping the elements at bay. A felt hat for winter will keep your head warm and the snow out of your face, while a straw hat for summer prevent sunburn and provides
instant shade.
Wide-brimmed hat
Dark Sunglasses
Sunglasses help keep the sun out of your eyes and can immediately increase your “cool” quotient. Find frames that work with your face shape, and go cheap if you like variety, tend to lose them, or have small kids at home who can’t resist playing with your stuff.
Dark sunglasses
A Silk Scarf
A large, square silk scarf with a beautiful pattern can last for years and enjoy endless uses. Fold it various ways and use it as a headband, wind protection for your hair, a splash of color around your neck, wrist, or handbag, or even as a belt. While scarves go in and out of popularity, they’re never out of style.
Square silk scarf
Once upon a time, hand touching was considered too intimate between strangers, so women wore gloves of various lengths and styles throughout the day and evening to prevent inappropriate touch. Today, we wear gloves mostly for warmth, but they have much more use than that: they prevent blisters in sports, protect hands when gardening, and look elegant with evening attire. Wear them and draw comments.
Long evening gloves
A 1″ Leather Belt
Belts, like scarves, go in and out of style, but a dark, 1″ leather belt is a classic that will last you for years with proper care. Wear it with jeans, dresses, skirts, and shorts to fill those belt loops and finish the ensemble.
1" leather belt
Thigh-High Stockings
Women have worn hosiery for a thousand years to keep legs warm, and in the last century, to make legs look good with shorter hems. Wear thigh high stockings to add polish and keep you cool in summer, comfortable during pregnancy, and forever sexy to your man.
Thigh-high stockings
Trouser Socks
Wearing closed-toe shoes without socks or hosiery will make your foot sweat and your shoes damp and smelly. So don’t do it. Use trouser socks with pants and jeans to wick away foot moisture, polish your look, and extend the life of your shoes.
Trouser socks
A Leather Handbag
A dark, well-constructed leather bag in a simple style can take you to most day functions three seasons a year. If you opt for a color that goes with most of your wardrobe (black, brown, taupe), you can invest a lot, use it a lot, and get your money’s worth by the time you have to replace.
Leather handbag
Straw Handbag or Tote
A flat-bottom straw handbag or tote in a simple style will look fresh and appropriate with most of your summer-time wardrobe including – quite possibly – your business wear. Avoid cutesy things like beaded animals or sea creatures if you use it for work and want to be taken seriously.
Straw Handbag

Evening Bag
Evening is a time for dressing up and being elegant, so put on your heels and leave your big daytime bag at home. Evening clutches need to be large enough to carry credit cards, money, lipstick, and your keys, and can have a short chain handle that can be tucked in or left out. If you invest in one dark one and one light (or metallic) one, they should see you through years of use. I have a beautiful pearl bag my mother carried in the ’60’s that I still use a few times a year.

Evening bag
Now if you see things on this list that you don’t or won’t use, don’t buy them. That’s fine. But if you’re trying to fill out your wardrobe and cover all your accessory bases, use these as a guideline to fill in the holes.

Myth of Islam's Contribution to Human Civilization

Since the tragic incident of September 11, 2001 when 19 suicidal Muslim terrorists rammed airplanes into the World Trade Centre in New York and Pentagon Headquarters killing more than 3000 innocent people, Islam, as a religion, has come under serious scrutiny. A number of books, critically examining Islamic doctrine have been published, whilst volumes of articles and essays, critical of Islam are being published in print media and in the Internet on a daily basis. This is a new experience to Muslims. Indeed, despite being an evidently obscurantist religion, Islam has escaped its due share of criticisms for a long time. For example: hundreds of books and essays critical of Christianity or Hinduism have been freely available in the library and media for a long time whilst such materials on Islam have been virtually absent, since a few titles that were published were banned. Indeed, any attempt to criticize Islam has been silenced through Islamic "rogue justice" called Fatwa as has happened to Salman Rushdie, author of "Satanic Verses". The tragic event of 9/11 (2001) has acted as a catalyst in the hands of the critiques of Islam to invigorate their criticism of Islam. These critiques include moderate Muslims, ex-Muslims and non-Muslims.
As Islam is increasingly being portrayed as an obscurantist and a violent religion which promotes cruelty, armed militancy, human rights violation and a hindrance to progress and modernization, the Muslim apologists - who go by the label "moderate Muslims" - are desperately trying to defend Islam as a religion of peace, progress and modernity. In their desperation, Muslim apologists are often making extraordinary claims such as Islam's contribution to human civilization as a measure of Islam progressiveness. For example, a Muslim apologist of Bangladeshi origin, who is a professor at a college in New York, made the following claim in an Internet forum: "Equating a political ideology, that of the Jamaat-e-Islami (an Islamic political party in Bangladesh), with Islam is a gross insult to a great religion that has contributed to the lion's share of human civilization." Her claim that Islam contributed a lion's share to human civilization did not come with any supporting evidence or example. When an explanation was sought from the professor to support her claim, she remained silent. This essay will critically examine the contribution of Islam to world civilization. Because of the interrelatedness of the issue, contributions by other religions, namely Christianity and Judaism, would also be covered in a substantial way to give a comparative picture.

Examining Contribution of Religions to Civilization

Let us start with the greatest 20th century philosopher Bertrand Russell's assessment on the contribution of religions to human civilization. Lord Russell, in his famous essay "Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization?" has outlined a concise account of contributions made by religions (all religions) to human civilization [Ref: Why I am not a Christian, p.24]. Bertrand Russell could not find any significant contribution that religions, including Islam, might have made to human civilization. He wrote:
"My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race. I cannot, however, deny that it has made some contributions to civilization. It helped early days to fix the calendar and it caused Egyptian priests to chronicle eclipses with such care that in time they became able to predict them. These two services I am prepared to acknowledge, but I do not know of any others."

If my understanding is correct, the above quote from Bertrand Russell relates to the religious priest of Egypt preceding the birth of Jesus. Or, to be precise those two contributions were made by the ancient Egyptian religious priests before the arrival of Moses/Jesus. Even the Chinese Royal astrologers were able to predict Eclipse in 2134 BC, long before the birth of Moses, allegedly after 1200 BC. In other words, none of the three major Abrahamic religions, namely Judaism, Islam and Christianity, has made any contribution to human civilization. Instead, all these religions have only hindered progress and development of human civilization. A classic example of this is the plunging into the proverbial Dark Age of the Greek rationalism-inspired vibrant and fast- prospering Europe as soon as the anti-progressive and often cruel Christian ideology became part of the ruling machinery of Roman Empire in the early 4th century when Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great, became a Christian. The Western world, where religion is becoming increasingly extinct, those societies are making significant contributions to science, technology, human values and social development in recent times. On the other hand if we look at the Muslim world today - where people's religious fervor and adherence to religious rituals are very strong - we clearly see that these societies are making very little contribution to progress and development of their society and people and to the world at large.
Hence, we can safely take Russell's assertion "I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race" as true. As for Islam, this religion started with violence initiated by Prophet Muhammad himself. Prophet Muhammad is said to have fought 78 or more wars and only two of those were initiated by his opponents. He started his campaign to establish Islam as a true religion with the aim of capturing Ka'ba, the alleged House of God from the hands of the Meccan Pagans. However, by the time of his death Muhammad had conquered most parts of the Arabian Peninsula as a result of those 78 or more wars he had fought. Following his death, his successors stepped in the Prophet's footsteps and this bloody Islamic conquest continued as long as the brutal Arab and Persian Muslim rulers could, for the sake of spreading Islam that resulted in creation of the giant Islamic kingdom.
It should, however, be considered that the Islamic conquests were very different from those of other conquerors, like that of pagan "Alexander the Great". In the case of Alexander, once he conquered a land, the miseries of the conquered people were over since he quickly moved on to establish just governance whereby he rarely discriminated the conquered people. It should be noted that once Alexander established his huge Empire and instituted its capital in Persia, people in his Empire were better off than before, since he established good governance and a better justice system. He realized that, although conquered, those defeated people were intelligent, capable and worthy of respect. Subsequently, he continually pushed for equality amongst all the people in his kingdom irrespective of religion, race or culture. He also realized that racial differences are major a reason for conflicts amongst different people. Hence, he used to encourage inter-racial marriages amongst his people as a means to promote racial harmony. He hosted a feast, famously known as the "Marriage of the East and the West", at which several thousand Macedonian troops formally married Asian women. He also promoted cross-cultural exchanges and during his rule many cultural concepts from India and Arab world entered Europe whilst Greek cultural influence moved eastward to Asia and India.
On the other hand, the Muslim conquerors had invariably indulged in destroying the cultures of the subdued people. Furthermore, the conquered people in the Muslim kingdom had to continue to suffer as the Muslim rulers would impose various discriminatory measures literally to force them to accept Islam. The conqueror Muslims would even brutally persecute those conquered people if they refused to accept the religion of Islam. In Islamic kingdoms, non-Muslim had to pay Jiziya, a special high tax, tactically designed to force the non-Muslims into accepting Islam. It can be cited here that during the centuries of Muslim rule in the Indian subcontinent it is estimated that the tyrant Muslim rulers had killed some 50 million Hindus and indigenous people, whilst hundreds of Hindu temples were destroyed. Even Sultan Haider, the father of Tipu Sultan of Haiderabad, had ordered the destruction of many Hindu temples.
It must also be remembered that as per Islamic traditions set by Prophet Muhammad himself, once a country or domain was conquered Muslim army had every right to take the subdued male as slaves and their women as sex-slaves. Muslim conquest of India was no exception in this regard. It becomes evident that after conquering India, tens of thousands of people might have had been taken as slaves by the Muslims army. As an example: while being transported to Persia, some 100,000 Hindu slaves died in a mountain area in Afghanistan because of sudden ensuing of severe winter. This mountain is now known as the "Hindu Kush", meaning "Hindu death". This tragedy, which has never happened in any history of conquest, was of such great enormity that this mountain was so named to recognize the victims. It is always the rule of war: the conqueror takes the credit and not the vanquished.
We should also consider the fact that Bertrand Russell's book "Why I am Not a Christian" was published in 1956. Hence, if Islam had really made the lion's share of contribution to the progress of human civilization it must have happened only after this book was published in 1956. But to our knowledge, Islamic world has only degraded or obstructed the progress of all the fundamental aspects of excellence of our civilization in recent decades. For example, violation of human rights and the practice of unfair justice are rampant in the Islamic world. It is very clear, Islamic world has made no contribution whatsoever to the advancement of science and technology and neither has it made any worthwhile inputs in any other endeavors of human development during the last few decades.

Contribution to Civilization: The Religious Understanding

During discussions with the Islamic as well as other religious apologists, who often make extraordinary claims about great contributions of religions to civilization, I realized that the fundamental understanding of these people about the basic elements of human civilization are grossly flawed, despite their having a very high grade of modern education. I quote here one such highly educated religious person (probably a Christian) who described her idea of religions' enormous contribution to Civilization as follows:
"I would say the contribution is enormous; it actually gives the best thing that there is to people. It gives hope, it gives some kind of meaning to life, and it tells people that they are not alone but someone is watching over them all the time so that they are safe. You see you can have a band of army guarding you 24/7 and you still might feel unsafe, but if you believe in religion then you will probably feel even in the darkest lonely night you have no reason to fear. This is what religion contributes to human life, what more do you think human being needs?"

This definition of 'enormous contribution' by religion to human civilization possibly gives an indication as to why religions or the deeply religious people have never been part of the progress of civilization; instead, had acted as a serious impediment. If this idea on contributions of religions to civilization is to be taken as true, then it can be safely said that the middle-age world and her barbarian people were more civilized than those of today. It is because most of the people were more religious during that time when compared with those of present time. For example, today about 50% of the people in the Western Europe do not subscribe to the known Gods or religions, whilst people not believing in a God and Religion in the middle-age must have been a rarity. Following the logic of the religionists the middle-age world must had been a better civilization. Unfortunately, most philosophers, scientists and humanists, majority of whom have been heretics or skeptics of traditional religions and Gods, might have spoiled the good old civilization by pushing our world towards today's perceived degraded state.
Today, individual freedom and respect for human rights and dignity etc. define the absolute core elements of modern civilization. These defining elements of today's civilization are far different from what is claimed to be the defining essentials of civilization in religious terms as explained above. And definitely, religions have no critical value in the defining modern civilization. In fact, most of these elements which are the cornerstones of modern civilization have been and still are the enemies of all religions. This is because efforts to institute these defining elements of today's civilization have always collided with religions and they often have been achieved at the costly sacrifices of humanists and freethinkers. Indeed, these pivotal elements of today's civilization are becoming instrumental in kicking religions out of peoples' lives and hence today a good number of people around the world are atheists, skeptics and agnostics. Their number is continually on the rise. Thus, if we are to accept the above-mentioned definition of civilization proposed by the religious friends, we surely live in a much less civilized human society today compared to the one in which, say Prophet Muhammad, Jesus or Moses had lived and the civilization is rapidly turning uncivilized! So, to fulfill our  innate aspiration to reach to a higher level of civilization, it is probably time "we set the clock of our world backward and go back to the greater civilization of the time of Prophet Muhammad, Jesus or Moses or may be Adam" - if we are to follow the reason of the religionists. Leaving aside the sarcasm, we may surely conclude that the religiously-indoctrinated peoples' mind, brain and psyche are truly stunted or prejudiced about the whole idea of the progress and excellence of our world and civilization. This also probably explains the reason why religions as social institutions and the religious people have never been part of the progress of civilization but instead have acted as serious impediments.
More intelligent religious apologists, however, would mention the names of renowned scientists, philosophers and thinkers of their respective religions to claim the credit of contribution of their religions to civilization. For example, Christian would mention about Newton and Galileo et al., Jews will mention about Einstein or an array of modern-day Nobel laureates of Jewish origin whilst the Muslims would cite the name of great intellectuals of the past like Ibn-Sina, Al-Biruni and Omar Khaiyam et al. as well as more recent Nobel laureate such as late Professor Abdus Salam. These names indeed make a formidable case in favor of the religionists but such arguments cannot be given an automatic pass without raising a huge question mark about the role of religion in these individuals' contributions to science. We must consider the following points in this regard:
  1. How knowledgeable and dedicated they were in religion? How much did their religious knowledge help them in making their ground-breaking contributions?
  2. Were they closer to Gods like the Maolanas/Mullahs (Islam), Rabbis (Jewish), Priests/Pastors (Christianity) and Prophets?
  3. What are the contributions the alleged 140,000 Prophets (according to Islam) made to what defines today's civilization?
Many individuals, such as, Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Buddha, Confucius, Euclid, Epicurus, Democritus, Lucretius and Aristarchus et al., born long before the Prophets such as Muhammad and  Jesus, were all known to be pagan as per Abrahamic religions. But they had direct and profound influence in laying the foundation of today's world of excellence in science, education, human rights and justice. As civilization progresses, we keep distancing ourselves from whatever the alleged God-sent Prophets, namely Muhammad, Jesus and Moses et al. had advocated. It is a stark reality that the sole contributions of these Prophets, the Torah/Old Testament, Bible and Koran, have only stalled the progress of civilization to a higher level. The Jews and the Christians of today can mention scores of modern Nobel laureates of Jewish and Christians backgrounds to claim their respective religion's contribution to civilization. However, the following questions are needed to be answered before accepting such examples:
* Are those Nobel laureates going to agree to stoning-to-death of their spouses or anybody else if the latter committed adultery? ["If a man be found lying with a woman married to a husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her."............ "Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbor's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you." (Deuteronomy 22:22,24)]
* Are they going to agree to rip up pregnant women and chop the unborn embryo into pieces for whatsoever reasons? ["Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up." (Hosea 13:16)].

These God-given verses have been taken directly from the Bible. The Christians, however, deny these atrocious and barbaric edicts as alien to their religion since they are actually taken from the Jewish Old Testament. It should, however, be considered that Jesus did not himself write the New Testament; instead, Saint Paul is known to have authored major part of the New Testament. Jesus is said to have had whole-heartedly accepted and preached the Old Testament or Torah. In this regard Michael Hart says in his book "The 100":
"..Mathew and Luke give completely different versions of Jesus' last words; both of these versions, incidentally, are direct quotations from the Old Testament. It was no accident that Jesus was able to quote from the Old Testament; though the progenitor of Christianity, he was himself a devout Jew."

Old Testament, of course, is a part of the Bible and nowhere in the New Testament has Jesus ever rejected or denounced the Old Testament. It must also be understood that Christians believe the God of the Jews as the same God as their own. Hence, an all-correct, all powerful and all-knowing God's eternal and absolutely original teachings as prescribed in the Old Testament cannot be negated or overruled by the lesser than original ones outlined in the New Testament.
Yet, the great majority of the scientists, thinkers and philosophers of today do not subscribe to the fables of creationism or virgin birth of Jesus. For example, most scientists today would believe that in scientific term, Jesus was an illegitimate child, that is, the so-called Holy Ghost who is claimed (by Christians) to have impregnated Mary was none other than  a mortal human being. However, the punishment for these giant scientists for such blasphemy is death as has been prescribed by Jesus himself in the Bible:
And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the [world] to come. [Mat 12:32]

It is true that majority of the great scientists of modern times have Christian and Jewish root or background. But this does not automatically make these Christians and Jews or their great discoveries and contributions to be religious. For example, take the case of the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the melting-pot of all the greatest scientists worldwide. Interestingly, only 7% of the scientists of NAS believe in the known Gods or religions. Thus, the greatest minds of today, despite having Judeo-Christian backgrounds, are actually heretics to their religions. The punishment for these great minds, as per the Judeo-Christian religions, is death as outlined in the following Biblical verses:
"If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;" (Deuteronomy 13: 6)
"Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people." (Deuteronomy 13:8-9)

Islamic Golden Age and Contribution to Civilization

Similarly, Muslims, whenever they talk about Islam's contributions to civilization, also quickly point to the great Muslim poets, philosophers and scientists, namely Omar Khayam, Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd et al. of the so-called Islamic Golden Age, spanning from 8th to the 14th century. There is no denying the fact that these great Muslim people have made significant contributions to human society. But we must address the essential question: "How good Muslims were they?" The truth is, they were hardly good Muslims and in correct religious term, many of them would qualify to be apostates of Islam and indeed, the-then Islamic clerics had called them heretics.
During the so-called Islamic Golden Age (8th-14th century), the Islamic world was most advanced in Science, Technology, Industries, trading and in many other fields compared to other parts of the world. Indeed, during that  period, Islamic world produced many scientific, literary and philosophical genius, such as Omar Khayam (1048-1122), Al-Zahrawi (936-1013), Al-Khowarizmi (780-850); Al-Biruni (973-1050), Al-Kindi (801-873), Al-Battani (850-929 CE), Ibn-Sina (973-1037), Abdallah al-Ma'arri (973-1057), Omar Khayam (1048-1122), Ibn-Rushd (1128-1198) and Jalaluddin Rumi (Birth 1207) amongst others.
There is no doubt about the greatness of these genius intellectuals who were indeed without any parallel in their fields of scholarship amongst the compatriots from other religions on the world stage. However, there is something very interesting about that period of Islamic Golden Age - from the time preceding and following that period. It should first be considered that that was the time, when the Christian world of Europe went into the grip of the Christian Churches which plunged the fast progressing and prospering Europe, inspired by Greek philosophy of Hellenistic Age into the proverbial Dark Age. However, exactly the opposite was happening in the Islamic world during this time. Greek rationalism and philosophy disappeared from Europe but emerged in the nascent Islamic world which gave rise to a new Islamic doctrine called Mutazili, originated during the period of 'Abbasid Caliphate' (749-847 AD).
Mutazili theology originated in the 8th century in al-Basrah (also called Besra), the great Iraqi City, when Wasil Ibn 'Atta' left the teaching lessons of al-Hasan al-Basri after a theological dispute. Thus, Ibn 'Atta' and his followers were labeled "Mutazili" which means "deserter of Islam". The Mutazili theology expanded on the logic and rationalism of Greek philosophy, seeking to combine them with Islamic doctrines, and show that they were inherently compatible.
During this period, several questions were being debated by Muslim theologians, including whether the Qur'an was created or eternal, whether evil was created by God, the issue of predestination vs. free will, whether God's attributes in the Qur'an were to be interpreted allegorically or literally, and whether sinning believers would have eternal punishment in hell. Mu'tazila thought attempted to address all these issues.
The Mu'tazila ideology believed that Koran was created by Mohammad; it was not the words of Allah. They believed that Prophet Muhammad could not have direct conversation with the allegedly visually perceptible Allah, who is claimed to be invisible and imperceptible in the Koran. And this doctrine, which amounts to absolute heresy, as per Islam, was promoted by the-then Abbasid Caliphates Haroon al-Rasheed (763-809) and was made the official court belief by his son, the great Caliph al-Mamun. Caliph al-Mamun even instituted inquisition-style persecution, called Mihna in Arabic meaning Ordeal (833-848), for those who would not accept the Mutazili ideology, instead of Koranic Islam. The most famous victims of the Mihna were Ahmad Ibn Hanbal who was imprisoned and tortured, and the judge Ahmad Ibn Nasr al-Khuza'i who was crucified.

Fragile: Handle with Care

When breakable goods are shipped, they are stamped with a distinctive sign--"Fragile: Handle with Care". Even though the Quran, the holiest book on Earth, does not carry the warning, Quran-maniacal Muslims do handle it with the same attitude, as if the holy book will shatter into pieces. Apparent respect shown towards this book is not because of its contents. Instead, it has become a religious mandate, propagated by extensive propaganda and it is an exhibition of a natural human instinct to worship something, whether it be an idol or a book. Muslims believe that thawab (a spiritual reward) is earned every time a portion of the book is recited. It's a kind of credit card that offers mileage on flying-the more you charge the card, the more points you earn.
Is the book that Muslims are holding in their hands today nothing but a replica of the master copy, which Allah has preserved in his sacred library? All Muslims of the world would unanimously vote for "Yes". Their assessment is not based on facts but on a Quranic verse that says, "This is a Glorious Quran, (inscribed) in a tablet preserved!" (Q85:21). So, did Allah use his gigantic copier machine, creating thunder and storm, to make copies of his Quran?
Not really!
In today's world, people would reject any attempt of initiating a new religion. If someone did try, he would immediately be put in a straightjacket and sent to a psychiatric hospital. The same rule applies to Muhammad; his claim of receiving commands from Allah is an outright lie. However, for the sake of this article, let's pretend that Allah revealed the Quran.
Whenever a verse was revealed to Muhammad, it was memorized by his associates and sometimes written on pieces of wood, deerskin, palm leaves, bones, etc.
Why were those verses written on wood, deerskin, bones and palm leaves?
Historical records show that Ts'ai Lun, a Chinese official, reported the invention of paper to the Chinese Emperor in 105 AD, 500 years before the era of Muhammad. Recent archeological investigations, however, claim the actual invention may have been around 140-86 BC in Gansu province of China. Although the word "paper" came from "papyrus", there is a significant difference between these two. Papyrus was a type of plant found in Egypt along the Nile River. Approximately 5000 years ago, Egyptians made flat and uniform sheets from these trees for writing purposes.
Maybe China was a little too far from Arabia and Allah was not able to help Muhammad with paper. How about using papyrus, which was available in Egypt? In another archeological discovery, a roll of papyrus more than 2000 years old was found in Egypt. This papyrus contains 112 short poems of a Greek poet and they are in good condition. Allah could have easily commanded, "O prophet! Get a bundle of papyrus and write down what's sent to thee!" But it did not happen.
People used to make false a Quran when Muhammad was alive. We read in verse 2:79,
"And woe unto those who write the scripture with their own hands and then say, 'This is from God,' that they may in this way obtain a small gain. Woe unto them for what their hands have written and woe unto them for what they gain thereby!"
Despite the possibility of creating a false Quran, Allah or Muhammad never thought about the importance of compiling the Quran and putting the verses in the form of a book. Apparently, the foremost method of preserving the Quran was memorization. Some verses were written on stones, bones and leaves, without realizing the fact that goats love to eat leaves. Yes, a darned animal with four legs known as a goat ate a piece of the all-powerful Allah's Quran. "Narrated by Hazrat Ā'ishah that ayat-e-Rajm and ayat Raza'at were revealed, they were written on something. I kept them under the cart, meanwhile the holy prophet died and we became busy and one GOAT came and ATE those ayyat" (Ibn-e-Maja).
A'ishah had a problem with domestic animals before. In another instance, in order to resolve a scandal, a slave girl, Barirah, testified (al-Tabari, p.1523), "The only fault I ever found in 'Ā'ishah is that, when I was kneading my dough and ordered her to watch it, she fell asleep over it, and the pet sheep (or a goat) came and ate it." It's very normal for a little child; however, a goat eating the Quran is a noteworthy phenomenon that will have an enduring effect on believers of Islam.

What Is The Cost of Practicing Islam?

Muslims seem to behave like drug addicts who always need more of the same stuff to relieve their withdrawal symptoms. Muslims just cannot face the crisis head on and cure themselves from this seventh century ideology; instead, they ask for more. This stimulated me to write this essay about the price we are paying for practicing Islam and the price humanity has paid for keeping Islam alive for so long.
Although I am not an economist, I delved into this topic to highlight the sheer economic non-sense inherent in Islam. This analysis will remind us of some idea of what sort of money we are talking about, rather than being an accurate estimate of the price that the Muslims pay for practicing their faith. Mind you, in this analysis, I have not even taken into account the price we are paying for jihad because all the money in the world does not bring back one lost life. Mohammed ruled in Medina for only ten years, during which he fought over seventy aggressive wars! This tradition of Islamic warfare continued immediately after his death and has been continuing up to our time.
Units of Measurements
Let us first agree on how to calculate the cost and which currency to use. The easiest way is to avoid any national currency so that we do not have to do any conversions. I am going to use man-hours as a unit of measurements. Let us agree that a one man -hour is the work produced when a man works for one hour.
An average person works eight hours a day and five days a week. The rest of the time should be used for rest and family/ leisure activities which are as essential to life as work itself is, if not more. I am not a pure economist or a qualified engineer, but I am told that building a commercial aircraft is one of the most complicated engineering projects of our time because of the millions of components involved. Such a massive project apparently costs a staggering one million man-hours
The cost of reading the Quran
Reading is normally a very efficient utilisation of time. It is usually informative and educational and can be a relaxing and very enjoyable pastime activity. We may dislike or disagree with what we read, but we still consider the time spent in reading as useful because of the information obtained about the subject or even about the knowledge about the writer or publisher. However, it is unlikely that anyone will read the same book again and again, certainly not everyday, regardless of how interesting the book is.
The Arabs came across the Quran some 1400 years ago and they didn't like it. But when Mohammed seized power he forced it on them using his claim of divine authority. This is not at all similar to forcing the Red book on the Chinese, it is far worse. The Arabs, now called Muslims under Mohammed's Islamic regime, were forced to revere the book, read it everyday and brainwash their children with it.
A Muslim cannot allow his mind, for even one second, to think of the Quran as a boring book, full with absurdities, because of the intense fear built in his mind since childhood. Muslims have a built in internal system that automatically oppresses their minds and stops them from ever thinking of expressing their true feelings towards their religion. They are conditioned to believe that such bad thoughts are not theirs but from Satan, therefore, should be rejected outright.  
Muslims are supposed to read the Quran on daily basis, and at least once in a year (in Ramadan) If only one tenth of Muslims (i.e., at least 100 million Muslims) read the Quran once in a year that means three billion man-hours are spent just to read the Quran once in a year. That is assuming a speed of twenty pages an hour for thirty days, and is enough to produce three thousands commercial jets! Come to think of this!!
Just think of how many tens of thousands of Muslims are engaged at this moment of time in debates trying to cover up the mistakes in the Quran and re-interpret its verses to defend its nonsense. Just ponder on what Muslims could do with those billions of man- hours by just ignoring a book that says things like the earth is flat and the sun orbits the earth.
The annual cost of Reading the Quran is: three billion man-hours a year
The cost of prayers
An average Muslim will spend at least an hour a day to perform the five daily prayers. Men, who ideally should go to the mosque to perform their prayers, spend even more time.  Islamic societies, like Saudi Arabia, where all men have to go to mosques for prayers, allocate about half an hour for each prayer during which all businesses must stop completely. More time is needed for special prayers like Friday and Eid prayers. This, what an Islamic government would enforce once in power in any Islamic country. If only one tenth of Muslims are keen worshipers, then we have more than two hundreds and fifty millions man- hours wasted just to perform the five daily prayers!
Multiply this number by 335 days (After subtracting Ramadan days, which is calculated separately) and we get a figure of 83.750.000.000
The annual cost of performing the prayers is: 83.750.000.000 man-hours a year
The cost of Hajj
About two million people perform hajj every year, a ritual which takes only few days to complete. However, in practice, it takes a Muslim an average of ten days to complete the ritual. The official Hajj holiday in Saudi Arabia is actually about two weeks. Actual Hajj is just around an hour's hard work, Simple calculations will give us a figure like 480 millions man-hours lost, assuming the two million people dedicated ten days each for the Hajj. The pilgrimage of course affects all Muslims everywhere and involves considerable preparations and extra financial demands.
And there are health and safety issues too. Saudi Arabia, being an oil rich country, is currently capable to provide some essential facilities for the pilgrimage. However, this remains far from enough. Every year we hear about the thousands who are killed and injured due to stampedes, illnesses and cross infections. It is a common knowledge that everybody that comes back from the Hajj usually comes back with a respiratory infection.
In every Islamic country, there are special government departments to organise the journey to the Hajj. This is more evident in Saudi Arabia which employs extra measures and deploys extra staff to deal with such a massive influx of people. Assuming the country has only five millions of employees who have to stop working for only ten days then four hundreds million man- hours are lost just in Saudi Arabia. Add this to above figure of 480 millions man- hours we get a total of 880 millions man-hours. Considering other Islamic countries losses then a one billion man-hours lost must be a very conservative estimate.
The annual cost of the Hajj is: one billion man-hours.
The cost of Ramadan fasting
Muslims in general like to consider Ramadan as a month dedicated for fasting and worshipping. Working hours in most Islamic countries are reduced substantially, as Muslims do not allow normal daily activities to affect the spiritual atmosphere.
Muslims start the working day late and finish early and spend the day hours in a state of physical and mental exhaustion, because of the state of hypoglycaemia secondary to their fasting. However, Muslims just love to deny this simple physiological fact, and try to convince themselves that fasting is good for health, and will produce a typical Islamic research that defies the academic standards and designed to produce results to prove their point.
During the evenings, Muslims suffer of dumping syndrome due to eating too much after fasting for too long. They may suffer of headaches and may feel unable to do their normal activities. Muslims will then be busy performing taraweeh prayers that take about an hour to complete. They will also perform other keyam prayers after midnight that takes another hour to complete. 
Suhur is a meal taken very late at night, when the usual medical recommendation is not to eat before retiring to bed. But suhur is a meal that is recommended by Muhammad; therefore, Muslims will just eat it regardless of any medical advice. After that there is a fajr (morning) prayer, which needs to be performed before eventually retiring to bed in the early morning. Undoubtedly, this will reflect on the next day activities. In other words, it will be another day wasted.
It doesn't matter how many Muslims actually observe fasting, because the reduction in the working hours affects everyone. If only one fourth or one fifth of Muslims go to work, that is about two hundreds and fifty millions people. Working hours officially drop from eight to six hours during Ramadan that gives us about five hundreds millions man- hours lost every day. Multiply that by 30 and you get fifteen billions man-hours lost during the month of Ramadan alone! Now, calculate, how many jet aircrafts could be produced with this staggering number of man hours? And that is assuming the rest of the working hours are efficiently used which they are not.
The annual cost of fasting is: fifteen billions man-hours.
By adding all the above billions of wasted man-hours we get a figure of:
102.750.000.000 man-hours.
The intellectual cost 
The above astronomical numbers are dwarfed compared to the tax Islam imposes on Muslim's intellectual activities. A true Muslim believes that science is about learning Quran and Hadith( Muhammad's sayings and deeds) they say in Arabic: alelmu  aya aw hadith, which means just that. The Arabic word for Muslim clerics is ulama which mean scientists! Other sciences, like physics and maths, are considered to be only auxiliary.
It is the duty of Muslims to read the Quran as many times as possible, and preferably know it by heart. They also need to know its interpretation. After the Quran comes the hadith and sunna which Muslims are also expected to know in some details. Having done that, Muslims have to read the sirah, which is the life story of Muhammad, and the rest of Islamic history. For non-Arabs, we can add the time spent in mastering the Arabic language. A Muslim must know at least the basics of sharia law in order not to miss out in the race to paradise. Muslims must know what to say when they wake up in the morning, and what to say when they go to bed at night.  They must know what duaa (prayers) to say at the beginning of a meal, or at the end of it. They need to know which duaa to say as they go to the toilet or step outside the house or when they travel. There is a duaa for every occasion.  
Having completed all that, a Muslim is expected to keep up to date with current Islamic sciences and research. For example, they are expected to know about the therapeutic capabilities of reading the Quran and hadith and their applications to their daily lives. A very important Islamic science is called altebbu alnabawi meaning medicine according to the prophet. Muslims believe that just mentioning the word Allah is very soothing to the mind, while dipping both wings of a fly in one's food provides cure from illness. True Muslim doctors and intellectuals believe in these Islamic medicines more than they believe in their text books or man-made medicines, and will direct their scientific research to prove their point. They will manipulate scientific and medical research; in the same way they manipulate the Quranic interpretation, to produce results to their liking.
True Muslims must believe in Jinns (invincible creatures) as a very influential factor in causing illness and family crises to humans, and they are expected to learn from the Quran and sunna how to deal with these creatures. Muslims also believe in dreams and will read books and waste hours in front of televisions to learn about the interpretations of dreams according to the Quran and sunna. Dreams are believed to be messages from Allah (or may be from the Satan) which needs to be decoded! Almost every Middle Eastern television channel has dedicated programmes to educate people on how to interpret dreams or deal with jinns.
Having completed all those rituals and Islamic mumbo-jumbo, and Muslims still have some free and functioning brain cells, they may learn some other sciences. But true Muslims do not normally waste their time reading about other civilizations or religions, and those few who do, only do so for the purpose to learn how to attack it. True Muslims do not believe in music, photography, paintings, sculptures, performing arts or any fine arts. All these are sins!
It is a very sad fact that in a Muslim's library you can only find books related to Islam or, if there is still some room, the Islamic view of other cultures. You will not find a true Muslim reading about Hindu or Chinese cultures because they are, to Muslims, not even worth reading.
Let us put a dollar value to the man-hours wasted in Islamic activities. Assume an average wage of USD 10.00 per hour.
Now, multiply this average wage rate with the staggering figure of 102.75 billion man-hours.
Total annual cost of practicing Islam is incalculable! It is more than one trillion USD per year. Yeah, the Muslims are just throwing away more than a trillion dollars/year doing Islamic mumbo-jumbo! No wonder, worlds poorest countries are the Islamic nations!
It seems to me that Muslims underachieve because they do not have time!

The Narcissistic Allah

A good person never expects anything in return, when he does a good deed to another. He would never expect the other person to thank him for the rest of his life, or bow five times a day before him, nor would he curse him or hate him for not thanking him. 
Now examine the concept of Allah in Islam. Muhammad said that Allah did us a favour by creating us (though we never asked him to). Then he DEMANDS that we bow before him five times a day to thank him, and please his vanity by chanting he is great (Allah-oh-Akhbar) and that there is no one else besides him. He doesn't just demand, but threatens to throw us into hell if we do not do this. Also, for those who do not follow him (the non-believers), he secures a burning hell.  
Only an evil person would behave thus-use threats and punishments to coerce helpless people to chant his praise five times a day and assure him that there is no one else besides him. If Allah is good, he would be just concerned about our happiness, not to assert his power over us and his vanity. Also, Allah lacks self-esteem, as no person with self respect would force others to respect him and force them not to worship anyone else. A truly great person doesn't need others to tell him he is great and doesn't bully others in praising him only and no one else.
Also, a good person doesn't praise himself. He in fact remains humble even when his accomplishments are praised by others. Only a parasite and a very empty vessel brags about himself and praises himself with his own mouth. Now, let us suppose that the Koran has indeed come from Allah. Witness that the Koran is heavily laced with verses praising Allah. If Allah is the source of the Koran, then he has spared no effort in praising himself. He has called himself the Exalted, the Supreme, the Most Compassionate and Merciful, the Sovereign, the One, The Source of Peace, to just name a few. Not only has he praised himself, but he demands his followers to regularly chant the Koran and praise him with the most fanciful salutations. Based on this, can anyone say that he is good? He is more a petulant, narcissist worthless creature.  
Allah resembles more to Saddam Hussein, a dictator than to a real god. All that a dictator is concerned is in ruling the people, that the people Submit their wills to his will, and no one else's, praise him and thank and him for everything. Those who do not follow him (the non-believers), he would usually torture and lock them away in some dungeon (the hell in Islam).
It matters little whether the person who does not bow before him five times and worships no one (an atheist) or someone else (as Hindus and people from other religion) are good people, moral and caring. All he is concerned, as any bloody dictator, is that they submit to his will, which is the essence of the word Islam (submission). Similarly, it matters little to him if the people who do bow five times before him are immoral and ruthless and evil doers --- he will allow them to come to heaven eventually.
Also note that he enjoins his people to spread his glory and name by spreading Islam to get more people to bow before him. He doesn't tell them just to love each other and help one another, irrespective of being believers or idol-worshippers. He exhorts them to convert the non-believers and if necessary use violence. In certain passages in the Koran, as widely documented, the followers are asked to use force on the non-believers. It matters little whether his followers have evil doers and live like animals, as the present state of the world testifies. All that is important to him is that they worship him and with that he is content.
This is the core of Islam, which is really indefensible. Hence, the need for censorship at gunpoint, the need to murder people (as the Holland filmmaker Van Gogh), or pass death sentences on people who expose Islam (such as Taslima Nasreen). Hence the blasphemy laws in Pakistan and other Islamic countries. The fact is that if one has the Truth with him, then he need not be afraid of what others say-another person's disagreeing cannot change the Truth or Reality. It is only when one knows that one is wrong, so wrong that the first person to disagree or criticize you can crumble your entire system, that you need to murder him when he speaks.

Establish Khilafah Today

1. What is the Khilafah?
The Khilafah is the name given to the Islamic system of government. When we say that Muslims must establish Khilafah, we mean that Muslims must establish an Islamic state, with an Islamic system of government ruled by the Islamic Shariah.
The name Khilafah comes from the Arabic word "Khaleefah", which means the successor. The name "Khaleefah" is the title given to those Islamic leaders who came as successors to prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Another name for the Khaleefah is Ameer-ul-Mo'mineen, which means "leader of the faithful".
Muslims must perform the bay'ah on the Khaleefa, which means to select him as a leader and to trust him to rule by the word of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'Ala). This means that the Khaleefah must implement Islamic laws, the Shariah, in all the lands under the Khilafah. The Khilafah must include all nations in the world where the population is predominantly Muslim, and all Islamic Shariah laws must take effect in these lands with respect to all issues in the society.
2. What about Muslim countries that exist today?
Islam came as a uniting religion, meant to unite all of mankind under one rule, the rule of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'Ala). Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'Ala) has warned us in many ayat in the Qur'an that we must not be seperated or divided into groups and we must all be one community and one Ummah. Therefore, the current state of affairs of the Muslim Ummah is not acceptable from an Islamic point of view. All Islamic nations must be united as one nation, one people, brothers and sisters in Islam, with one leader.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also warned in many ahadith that we must not be split up into groups, and that all Muslims are like one inseperable body. In order to be true Muslims, we must follow the commands of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'Ala) and his messenger (pbuh), and we must unite ourselves into a single nation and a single Ummah under one leader.
Therefore, establishing a Khilafah uniting all Muslim nations is a religious duty on every Muslim, and it is just as important as establishing salat, fasting Ramadan and giving zakat. Not only is it a religious duty on every single Muslim, but it will also lead to economic prosperity, justice, peace and security for all Muslim communities living throughout the world.

Who is Allah?

Meaning of the Word Allah:
Allah is the Arabic word for "God." It is also considered by Muslims to be one of the names of God. Therefore, whenever Muslims mention Allah, they are simply referring to the one true God. In fact, even non-Muslim Arabs such as Christian Arabs use the word Allah to refer to God.
The term Allah has no plural or gender. This shows its uniqueness when compared with the word god which can be made plural, gods, or compared, goddess. To a Muslim, Allah is the Almighty, Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who is similar to nothing and nothing is comparable to Him. Islam rejects likening Allah to any of his creation.

Why We Usually Write "(swt)" After Mentioning Allah:
Most Muslims append "(swt)" after mentioning Allah. This is an acronym for the Arabic words: "Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala," which roughly translated means "The most glorified, the most high." It is a way for Muslims to glorify Allah when mentioning His name.

Is Allah the Same God Worshipped by Christians and Jews?
Muslims believe that there is only one true God. While various nations and people claim to have various God's with various names, attributes and abilities, Muslims believe that there is in fact only one God.
Therefore, while Muslims do not agree with others about some of the attributes of God, we believe that there is only one God. For example, Muslims do not agree with the Christian belief of trinity, and in fact this is considered blasphemy as Islam teaches that there is only one God, not three.

Allah (swt) as Described in the Holy Qur'an:
The only source of information we have as humans about Allah is through divine knowledge sent to mankind through messengers. The holy Qur'an, which is the word of God revealed to humanity through God's messenger, gives us some information about Allah:
Allah (swt) said: "Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him." (Holy Qur'an, Chapter 112, verses 1-4)
Allah (swt) said: "Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Guardian and Disposer of all affairs. To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth: and those who reject the Signs of Allah, it is they who will be in loss. Say: 'Is it someone other than Allah that ye order me to worship, O ye ignorant ones?'" (Holy Qur'an, Chapter 39, verses 62-64)
Allah (swt) said: "Behold! they fold up their hearts, that they may lie hid from Him! But even when they cover themselves with their garments, He knoweth what they conceal, and what they reveal: for He knoweth well the (inmost secrets) of the hearts. There is no moving creature on earth but its sustenance dependeth on Allah: He knoweth the time and place of its definite abode and its temporary deposit: all is in a clear Record." (Holy Qur'an, Chapter 11, verses 5-6)
Allah (swt) said: "No son did Allah beget, nor is there any god along with Him: (if there were many gods), behold, each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have Lorded it over others! Glory to Allah! (He is free) from the (sort of) things they attribute to Him! He knows what is hidden and what is open; too high is He for the partners they attribute to Him!" (Holy Qur'an, Chapter 23, verses 91-92)
Allah (swt) said: "He is God; there is no god but He, He is the Knower of the unseen and the visible; He is the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate. He is God, there is no God but He. He is the King, the All-Holy, the All-Peace, the Guardian of Faith, the All-Preserver, the All-Mighty, the All-Compeller, the All-Sublime. Glory be to God, above that they associate! He is God the Creator, the Maker, the Shaper. To Him belong the Names Most Beautiful. All that is in the heavens and the earth magnifies Him; He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise." (Holy Qur'an, Chapter 59, verses 22-24)
Allah (swt) said: "There is no god but He, the Living, the Everlasting. Slumber seizes Him not, neither sleep; to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. Who is there that shall intercede with Him save by His leave? He knows what lies before them and what is after them, and they comprehend not anything of His knowledge save such as He wills. His throne comprises the heavens and earth; the preserving of them oppresses Him not; He is the All-High, the All-Glorious." (Holy Qur'an, Chapter 2, verse 255)
Allah (swt) said: "People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not as to God but the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers, and say not, 'Three.' Refrain; better is it for you. God is only one God. Glory be to Him - (He is) above having a son." (Holy Qur'an, Chapter 4, verse 171)
Allah (swt) said: "Act equitably; Indeed, Allah loves the equitable." (Holy Qur'an, Chapter 49, verse 9)
Allah (swt) said: "Truly, Allah loves those who repent, and loves those who care for cleanliness." (Holy Qur'an, Chapter 2, verse 222)
Allah (swt) said: "In the name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful." (Holy Qur'an, Chapter 1, verse 1)
Allah (swt) said: "My Mercy has embraced all things." (Holy Qur'an, Chapter 7, verse 156)
Allah (swt) said: "Allah is better [than any one] at guarding, and He is The Most Merciful of those who show mercy." (Holy Qur'an, Chapter 12, verse 64)

Islam Solves World Poverty and Hunger

Islam is the religion and way of life that was revealed to humanity by our creator, Allah (swt) (click for definition). Since Allah ( humanityswt) is the one who created the heavens and the earth, and out of His unlimited mercy to mankind, He also revealed to us a way of life and a religion, Islam, that give us peace and happiness in our lives here on earth and in the afterlife. Islam was revealed as a practical religion that covers all aspects of our lives, and it is intended to be implemented in our lives. It brings peace and justice to earth, after all, who is more just and wise than Allah (swt), the creator of the heavens and the earth, the most knowledgeable?
As such, when implemented honestly and correctly, Islam provides solutions to all problems that are faced by humanity. One of the most widespread and dangerous problems faced by humanity is that of poverty, hunger and starvation. There is nothing more horrifying than the realization that as we live our happy lives here, millions of our fellow human beings live in hunger and face starvation. The majority of the world population today lives in poverty. It is clear that the world system we have set up today is unjust and inhumane. Otherwise, how can we allow this situation to continue with less than 10% of the world population controlling over 90% of the wealth and resources on this earth?
Islam, revealed to humanity over 1400 years ago, came with the most just and easy solution to the problem of poverty, hunger and starvation in this world. If Islam is implemented in the world today, the problem of poverty, hunger and starvation would be completely eliminated within a year. Islam, revealed to us by Allah (swt), the most knowledgeable, wise and just, solves the problem of poverty and hunger through several methods:

The Obligatory Zakat:
Islam makes it obligatory on every Muslim to pay a certain "tax", called Zakat, on their accumulated wealth. The money collected from this Zakat is to be distributed among the poor and needy.
The Arabic word "Zakat" means both 'purification' and 'growth'. One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to Allah (swt), and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. Our wealth is purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth in our wealth.
Zakat is due on accumulated wealth that has been in the possession of a person for at least one year. There are rules on how to pay Zakat on each type of possessions, such as gold, animals, crops, shares and so on. A certain percentage of each type of these possessions is to be paid as Zakat. Note that the Zakat is taken from excess wealth that a person is accumulating and has had in their possession for over a year. It is not paid on income. Therefore, people whose save nothing after covering their expenses with their income do not pay Zakat, and in fact may be eligible to receive Zakat money from others if their income does not cover all their needs.
The Zakat is to be distributed among people of the following categories, depending on need:
1) The Destitute: Those who don't have material possessions nor nor means of livelihood.
2) The Poor: Those with insufficient means of livelihood to meet basic needs.
3) The Indebted: Those who are in debt and have difficulty repaying it.
4) Stranded Traveller: The traveller who does not have enough money to complete their journey.
5) To Free Slaves: Zakat money is to be used to purchase slaves and free them. 6) New Muslims: Those who are new to Islam and require help to integrate themselves into the Muslims community.
7) In the Path of Allah: Zakat money can also be spent in the path of Allah. This can include many things, basically any project that helps Muslims or Islamic causes.
8) Zakat Workers: Those whose job it is to collect and re-distribute Zakat money get their salary from the Zakat money.

How Can Zakat Eliminate Poverty and Starvation?
If Islam was implemented in the world today, starvation would be eliminated from the planet within the first year. The Zakat due on agricultural products ranges from 5% to 10% of the produce. There is also Zakat due on various types of animals such as sheep, cows and camels. Imagine if 5%-10% of all agricultural production in the world, plus the required amounts on animals are distributed among the hungry and starving people of this world. The problem would be solved immedeatly. In the system we have today, some nations intentionally spoil a part of their agricultural production in order to maintain high prices for their produce. Can you see the difference between the system driven by human greed and the Islam which was imposed by Allah (swt), the most gracious and most merciful?
In addition, Islam can solve the problem of poverty. Consider the Zakat due on money. Zakat is due at 2.5% on money that has been in one's possession for over a year. Now consider this simple fact: Forbes Magazine reported that in 2004 there were 587 billionaires worldwide, with a combined net worth of $1.9 trillion dollars. If in 2004 these 587 richest people in the world paid zakat, we would have had $47.5 billion dollars distributed among the poor.
This calculation has just considered less than 600 individuals on this earth. What about if everyone contributed to a global Zakat fund in the same way? The total world GDP (summation of gross domestic product of all countries in the world) was estimated in 1999 to be $27,357.9 billion dollars. The 2.5% Zakat on this would amount to $683.95 billion dollars annually. These are just ball park figures to give the reader an idea of how much money Zakat can generate.
This Zakat money should not only be distributed for immedeate relief to the poor. It can also be given in the form of small business loans. For example, poor farmers can be given loans or even grants from this Zakat money to enable them to purchase the equipment and materials they need to lift them out of poverty. The same can be done for small business owners, or for the poor to set up small workshops or factories to lift them out of poverty once and for all. Within a few years, poverty would be eliminated or at least greatly reduced.

Optional Charity:
As discussed earlier, the obligatory Zakat imposed by Islam can easily solve the problems of poverty and starvation in the world. However, in addition to that, Islam greatly encourages Muslims to give extra charity. For example, the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) once said that the person who sleeps full while his neighbour sleeps hungry is not a true believer. Islam also always encourages charity in all situations. For example, for the persons who are not able to fast in Ramadan, they are required to feed some poor people for each day they do not fast. And there are many such examples.

Examples of Charity in the holy Qur'an and the Sunnah:
Allah (swt) said: "And be steadfast in prayer and regular in charity" (Holy Qur'an, Chapter 2, verse 110).
Allah (swt) said addressing the messenger of Allah, Mohammad (pbuh): "Of their goods take alms (charity), so that you might purify and sanctify them, and pray on their behalf" (Holy Qur'an, Chapter 9, verse 103).
When the messenger of Allah, Mohammad (pbuh), sent one of his companions to call the people of Yemen to Islam, he asked him to tell them the basics of Islam, among which was: "... and tell them that Allah has made obligatory on them a charity that is taken from their rich and given to their poor..." (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim).
Allah (swt) said: "So he who gives (in charity) and fears (Allah), and (in all sincerity) testifies to the Best, We will indeed make smooth for him the path to Bliss. But he who is a greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient, And gives the lie to the Best, We will indeed make smooth for him the Path to Misery; Nor will his wealth profit him when he falls headlong (into the hell fire)." (Holy Qur'an, Chapter 92, verses 5-11).
Allah (swt) said: "By no means shall you attain righteousness unless ye give (freely) of that which you love; and whatever you give, Allah knows it well." (Holy Qur'an, Chapter 3, verse 92).
Allah (swt) said: "O ye who believe! Cancel not your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like those who spend their substance to be seen of men, but believe neither in Allah nor in the Last Day. They are in Parable like a hard barren rock, on which is a little soil; on it falls heavy rain, which leaves it (just) a bare stone. They will be able to do nothing with aught they have earned. And Allah guideth not those who reject Faith." (Holy Qur'an, Chapter 2, verse 264).