Keeping the faith

Yes, religionists need miracles. They need a sign from God. And these miracles and signs help strengthen our faith. And faith is what religion is all about. We see signs and miracles everywhere. We can even see them when they are not there. That is how strong faith can be.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Malaysia church gets window with Virgin Mary image

(AP) – A Malaysian church is taking possession of a hospital window that has attracted hundreds of people who believe it bears an image of the Virgin Mary.

Prayerful crowds of Roman Catholics have gathered outside the Sime Darby Medical Center in a suburb near Kuala Lumpur since last weekend after an image believed to resemble the Virgin Mary was spotted on the hospital’s seventh-floor window.

Rev. Simon Labrooy of the suburb’s Church of St Thomas More says he met with hospital officials and agreed the crowd situation could affect medical emergency services.

He said in a statement late Monday that the hospital glass panel would be moved to a church and tested by theologians and religious authorities.

Christians comprise nearly 10 percent of Muslim-majority Malaysia’s population.


First Map Produced of Universe 11 Billion Years Ago

(Reuter) – An international team of astronomers has produced the first map of the universe as it was 11 billion years ago, filling a gap between the Big Bang and the rapid expansion that followed.

The study, published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, shows the universe went through a phase roughly three billion years after the Big Bang when expansion actually started to slow, before the force of so-called ‘dark energy’ kicked in and sent galaxies accelerating away from each other.

Much is known about the immediate aftermath of the Big Bang from studies of its afterglow in the cosmic background radiation, and its accelerating expansion over several billion years can be seen with a look at the way distant galaxies are moving.

“Only now are we finally seeing its adolescence… just before it underwent a growth spurt,” said Mat Pieri at the University of Portsmouth in Britain, one of the authors of the study.

Little is known about dark energy, and its counterpart dark matter, but astronomers argue the force must exist to account for the speed at which the universe is expanding. Together, dark energy and dark matter are believed to make up about 96 percent of the universe.

The new study supports the theory that dark energy was somehow created as the universe expanded, by detailing a period when gravity was winning the tussle and slowing the expansion.

“If we think of the universe as a roller coaster, then today we are rushing downhill, gaining speed as we go,” said Pieri. “Our new measurement tells us about the time when the universe was climbing the hill – still being slowed by gravity.”

The map, the work of 63 scientists from nine countries, was compiled using a novel technique for studying the intense light from 50,000 distant quasars as it passes through clouds of hydrogen in space on its way to Earth.

They produce a picture of the ancient universe in same way thousands of flashlight beams would light up a bank of fog.

“The quasars are back-lights,” Pieri told Reuters, and the way the gas in front of them absorbs some of the light allows astronomers to get a detailed picture of these distant clouds of gas known as the intergalactic medium.

The study is the first fruit from a five-year project started in 2009. The team, from the third Sloan Digital Sky Survey, expect to expand the survey with light from about 160,000 quasars by the end of the project.

“We’re essentially measuring the shadows cast by gas along a series of lines, each billions of light-years long,” said Will Percival, a cosmology professor the University of Portsmouth.

“The tricky part is combining all those one-dimensional maps. The problem is like trying to recognize an object from a picture that’s been painted on the quills of a porcupine,” he said.


Religion works on the basis of faith. That is why religions are called ‘faiths’. And, to keep the faith, we need miracles. Every prophet had his miracle(s). And the Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad’s miracle was/is the Qur’an.

To those not schooled in Islam, Prophet Muhammad was said to be illiterate. He could neither read nor write. Hence he could not have written the Qur’an himself. Hence, also, the Qur’an must have come from God, through, the Muslims believe, the Angel Gabriel.

That is the Muslim belief. And the faith that the Qur’an came from God, and hence Prophet Muhammad is a true Prophet of God (proven by the existence of the Qur’an), makes a Muslim a Muslim and keeps a Muslim a Muslim.

Without this miracle of Muhammad, meaning the Qur’an, Islam would not exist and in that same spirit Muslims would not exist.

The miracle of Muhammad ended with the revelation of the last verse of the Qur’an. However, from time to time, new miracles need to emerge to strengthen the Muslim faith. For example, in the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, the entire Aceh disappeared except for just the mosque (see picture below).

Muslims hail that as a miracle. This, said the Muslims, is a sign from God. The fact that all other buildings were built from timber while only the mosque was built from concrete (and hence could resist the Tsunami) was not a consideration. The fact that only the mosque remained standing is what is considered the miracle and the sign from God.

Some Malaysian Muslims also said that the 2004 Tsunami that hit the island of Phuket in Thailand is also a sign from God. Phuket is a ‘sin city’, they say. Hence God punished Phuket because of the sins perpetuated in that town/island.

(You must visit the Banana disco in Phuket where all the delicious lady boys hang out).

But then only 8,000 or so people were killed in Thailand for their ‘sins’. And almost 170,000 people were killed in Indonesia, 31,000 in Bandar Aceh alone. If God was punishing Phuket for its sins, why take 31,000 devout Muslims from Aceh and more than 100,000 others from other parts of Indonesia, many who were devout Muslims?

So what is God’s message here when He punishes 8,000 ‘sinners’ and then kills another quarter of a million non-sinners in the process, many of them innocent women and children?

Yes, religionists need miracles. They need a sign from God. And these miracles and signs help strengthen our faith. And faith is what religion is all about. We see signs and miracles everywhere. We can even see them when they are not there. That is how strong faith can be.

The Holy Books guide us in our faith. The Holy Books say that humankind has existed for 6,500 years ever since earth was first created and Adam and Eve walked the face of this earth.

Now the stupid and ignorant scientists say that earth has existed for billions of years. They are wrong. Satan is deceiving them. They are trying to mislead us. How can they say something contrary to what the Holy Books say?