ΑΝ ΠΕΘΑΝΕΙΣ ΠΡΙΝ ΠΕΘΑΝΕΙΣ, ΔΕ ΘΑ ΠΕΘΑΝΕΙΣ ΟΤΑΝ ΠΕΘΑΝΕΙΣ

(ΠΑΡΟΙΜΙΑ ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΩΝ ΜΟΝΑΧΩΝ)

Πέμπτη, 30 Μαΐου 2013

The misapprehension regarding “a-dogmatism” (non-sectarianism)


Radio transcript: Th. Anastasiou Translation:  A. N. 
ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ: Η πλάνη του Αδογματισμού

1. The misinterpreting of the true meaning of “dogma” causes serious rifts in Christianity

We shall focus for the time being, on just how opportune and how serious a matter the place of the dogmas is in the Christian faith; that is to say, how much importance a Christian should place on the dogmas and what their value and their place is, with regard to their salvation. In other words, just how necessary are the fundamental teachings of the Faith, for the increment and perfecting of a person in Christ?
As we have already stressed, the word “dogma” is an extremely misunderstood and notionally distorted word. It is this precise notional distortion of the word “dogma” – accompanied by the personal perceptions and the personal passions of many – which, after having alienating them from the middle path of the truth, hurls them to the one extreme or the other.
Thus, we observe two groups of people, where the one believes that the dogmas alone can save Man, provided he is acquainted with them with precision and is mentally attached to them.  At the extreme opposite of this group are many who not only do not believe that the dogmas may have a certain place in our salvation, but on the contrary, they reject them altogether and regard them as dangerous, harmful, and the main causes that divide Christians, fanaticize them and at times even bring them to fight amongst themselves.
As mentioned previously, these groups have each taken up one extreme, after having deviated from the middle path. Even though there are quite a few elements of truth in both groups, nevertheless neither of them is absolutely correct.  Both of them have missed the target of comprehending the more profound and essential significance of the Christian dogmas and their role in salvation.  One can find in practically every Christian confession some representative examples of people who belong to the one or the other category.  Of course, Orthodoxy is unfortunately not exempt of this phenomenon, although the Church – through Her Holy Fathers and Teachers – has always been highlighting the correct, middle path; the correct and balanced perception of what dogmas are all about.  But it is worth noting, that there are numerous heretical groups who officially accept and support the one or the other approach.  There are, in other words, Christian confessions whose existence relies on scattered gnosiological differentiations from the others and who convince their followers that they will be saved, simply and only because they possess this theoretical knowledge, without paying much attention to the application of the practical commandments of the Christian Gospel.  On the other hand, there are other groups in the realm of Christianity who owe their existence to the union of smaller groups, which have previously rejected and disregarded not only the insignificant, but even the basic dogmatic differences between them, given that they have regarded good works the exclusive means for salvation.

2. A dogma is not an idea or an intellectual theorizing, but rays of divine revelation in Mankind

We have pointed out elsewhere, that these extreme situations originated, not only from the mistaken interpretation of the word “dogma” but also from its misuse by many people, for satisfying their impassioned, personal objectives and especially their ego and their vanity.  The word “dogma” has been used, both in the past, but also by the authors of the Holy Bible, to denote every God-revealed theoretical but also practical truth of the faith, which is simultaneously an obligatory prerequisite for Man’s perfecting “in Christ”.  These dogmas have always been expressed, or, in other words, formulated – but above all experienced - by all the members of the Church who have reached the stage of deification and perfection through the Holy Spirit.  And we stress that the dogmas are “experienced” and not “studied” or “researched” or “recited”, because they are the fruit of divine revelation and not of human discovery.  The genuine Christian dogmas are not “discovered” by people; they are revealed by God to those living “in Christ”; in other words, to the genuine members of His Church.  Thus, the Saints of the Church have a direct knowledge of the dogmas and not an indirect one: through a personal experience, and not through study and contemplations.
A genuine, therefore, knowledge of the dogmas is an empirical and direct one, and not an intellectual and indirect one. But because many have severed themselves (or were severed from) the Body of Christ (the Church) which is directed by the Paraclete Spirit, and as such are deprived of the direct and empirical knowledge of the dogmas, they feel the need to cover this spiritual barrenness, so they resort, not to Christ Himself and the Church, but to a story that records divine revelation (the Holy Bible), or even to secular History. The Holy Bible was written by holy persons and it contains their personal experiences and testimonies of divine revelation. Thus, it is a very handy guide and gnomon for the Truth; but the Holy Bible itself is not –per se- a divine revelation.
Let’s present an example from daily life, in order to better understand this:
Some people leave for a foreign land, entirely unknown to us, and each one of them writes a few pages describing what he saw and heard there.  When we read their narrations, we each adapt them to our own experiences and we each form our own particular image of this unknown land. However, the image that we each form might be a far cry from reality. In fact, it differs so much from reality, as does our own personal experience from that of the eyewitnesses. You can therefore perceive how far off they are in their interpretation of the Holy Bible outside the Church, if you bear in mind that the eyewitness Saints had described images of the Kingdom of God, whereas we can envisage (and experience) only the images of this fallen world.  And as the Apostle Paul writes of himself and the remaining Saints, we did not receive the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that originates from God, so that we may acquaint ourselves with those things that were bestowed on us by God. We speak of these things, not with words that human wisdom taught us, but with words that the Holy Spirit taught us, interpreting spiritual things to spiritual people. The worldly person does not accept those things that originate from the Spirit of God; because for him, they are folly. He cannot comprehend them, because they need to be examined spiritually. (1 Corinthians 2:12-14)  It is not, therefore, possible outside the Church and with only the Holy Bible and dictionaries as aids, to acquire a precise knowledge of the dogmas of the Faith – i.e., the fruits of divine revelation.
It becomes clear from what we have said so far, but also from what we said last time, that the dogmas of our faith are NOT human ideas, thoughts, views, theories or philosophies; they are truths revealed by God, which are imperative for our salvation. And they are not just the theoretical truths, such as –for example- the Savior of the human race is the Son and Logos of God, Who became incarnate, was crucified for our sake and rose from the dead etc… Dogmas are also the practices involved; i.e., precisely how a Christian should live, so that the Grace of God does not abandon him and reversely, what he must do in practice, in order to receive Grace and salvation gratis – for example, be baptized, partake of the Body and the Blood of Christ, pray, etc.. Thus, we read in the Acts of the Apostles for example, that “dogmas” are the decisions of the Apostolic Synod, which, among other things, instructed the remaining Christians to abstain from sacrificial meats and blood and strangled animals and fornication (Acts 15:29). These purely practical aspects of Christians’ lives are characterized by Luke the Evangelist as dogmas of the Church, and in fact approved by the Apostles and the elders (Acts 16:4).

3. The synods as expressers of divine revelation – the dogma – against heresies

Many may rightly ask: «Since the Faith was delivered once only, to the Saints» (Judas 3), why do we observe the Church occasionally convening, several centuries after Christ, to formulate dogmas? The question finds an answer quite easily, if one carefully examines the tract in the Acts of the Apostles that concerns the first Apostolic Synod that we just mentioned.  This Synod took place just a few years after the Day of the Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit had descended upon the Church and had led Her to the full Truth.  The problem that was confronted by that Synod was whether the Mosaic Law –and more specifically circumcision– had to be observed by Christians.  In other words, if it was compulsory for one to be circumcised in order to be saved. As was to be expected, the Synod’s decision was negative, because the Mosaic Law was abolished (as far as its compulsory provisions were concerned), with the crucified death of the Lord. The Apostles, and all those who were steadfast in the faith and had received the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit were fully conscious of this. However, when certain Jewish-minded Christians had begun to preach the opposite, a problem was created in the Church, and in fact among those who were as yet unstable and new in the faith. That was the reason the Church had dogmatized explicitly on the issue, through a Synod. It was not because the dogma itself was discovered just then (that one must not observe the Mosaic Law to be saved); it was only after a problem had actually reared its head, that the Church synodically formulated the dogma officially. Up until that moment, that truth of the faith was experienced and was known by the Apostles and by all those who partook of it, as revealed to them by the Holy Spirit.  Thus, the first (Apostolic) Synod – just like all the other synods of the Church that were convened in the Holy Spirit – did not discover or invent new dogmas, but merely revealed and formulated officially those facts that were standing and already known to the Saints.  Synods would therefore take place, only in cases where heretics threatened to alter those standing facts and lead astray the unsupported faithful and eventually dissemble the Church.
However, throughout the ages and with Christ’s tolerance, the Body of Christ (the Church) underwent schisms and divisions so that the ‘tried and true’ ones would become apparent.  In fact, the largest schism occurred when the Western section of the Church (which was under Frankish domination and influence at the time), having been led astray, abandoned the Body of the Church for political, initially, reasons.  This was fulfilled around the end of the first millennium A.D..  Obviously, in every instance, the dogmas –and especially the theoretic ones, i.e. those that pertained to theological and not practical issues of Christian life– proved to be the most effective weapons in the hands of heresy leaders, both for the solicitation of followers, as well as for the creating of new movements and systems. The recipe was easy and simple: by philosophically and theoretically processing the dogmas of the faith they belonged to, they would isolate one or more items that they disagreed with; they would then support this disagreement of theirs by means of certain apparently logical arguments, then proceed to convince a number of others of the veracity of their placement, thus forming their own group.  Thus, from being God-revealed, theoretical and practical truths of the Faith, the dogmas were turned into philosophical positions and views and subsequently, into pretexts for thousands of divisions within the space of the Church. In this sense, however, the dogmas also comprised the fuel that fed the horrendous fire of religious fanaticism that scorches the souls of Christians and does not allow them to be refreshed by the love and the peace of Christ. When dogmas break away from the Holy-Spiritual life that is experienced within the Church (whose characteristics are the love, the docility and the humility of Christ), then they are converted to mere intellectual ideas and cognitions that rarely express the Truth. And then, unfortunately, they are kneaded into the egotism, the vainglory and the other passions that lurk inside Man’s heart, and they incite him towards a hatred of every opposition; to malicious slander, perhaps even to murder.  We know that numerous and bloody battles and slaughters were committed by (inappropriately called) “Christians”, in the name of a certain dogmatic difference.
As we have mentioned many times before, the dogmas are NOT the causes, but the pretexts for all divisions, battles and murders. The causes are far deeper, and they are not located in the brain, from where all philosophical and theological perceptions spring and are therefore wrongly labeled “Christian dogmas”.  These causes are located inside the heart of Man, as the Lord Himself had pointed out: “…for it is from within the heart, that wicked contemplations, murders, adulteries, thieving, false witnessing, blasphemies come forth…” (Matthew 15:19).  So, the heart is the instrument that we must first cleanse, in order that our intellect may thereafter become clean, to perceive the true Christian dogmas.

4. Fanatic dogmatism can cause an equally catastrophic a-dogmatism

The last time, we had outlined the historic course that the distortion of the term “dogma” had followed; in other words, how the dogmas – from God-revealed theoretical as well as practical truths of the Christian Faith – were almost entirely stripped of their practical aspect, to degenerate into mere philosophical views, on which all heresy leaders based themselves (and continue to), so that they can create their own groups and systems.
Obviously, therefore, these “dogmas”  (with the misconstrued sense of the term of course) provoke resentment and denial in many people, precisely because they comprise the means of dividing and fanaticizing most of those who belong to the Christian world. There are many who react to the very sound of the word “dogma”, because they link it to a certain leader-inspirer, to whom are (almost blindly) obeisant a group of fanatic followers, who look upon the “others” as (at least) lacking in Christian truths and deserving of eternal damnation.
Thus, when most people notice this warped usage of the term “dogma” and its tragic outcome, but continue to remain ignorant of the proper and “middle path” of the Truth, they are led passionately to the other extreme, by maintaining that the dogmas in general - regardless of their origin – are harmful and catastrophic.  They even go as far as sometimes declaring that the dogmas actually alienate Man from God, because they “inflate” his intellect, they become fanatic, and finally, they obstruct Man from focusing his endeavors to uphold Christ’s practical commandments. In fact, they often say that “what you believe” is of no value; only finally “what you do”. In this way, they are gradually led to the rejecting of every theological dogma, always with the reasoning that it divides people and does not unite them, and they thus proclaim the path of good deeds; in other words, the path of the good and benign person.
A perception and predisposition such as this, initially seems good and proper and praiseworthy; especially to those who have felt the pain and the sorrow that comes from the results of fanaticism that originates from the barren and venomous hyper-dogmatism that we mentioned previously.  Nevertheless, a perception such as this, (i.e. of a denial of every dogma and its replacement by the theory of good deeds), is equally catastrophic and harmful and perhaps even more dangerous than the aforementioned one, for reasons that we shall explain right away. Because, if the former (placement) is a distortion of the words of the Gospel, where anyone can interpret it the way he wants, the latter (placement) is, essentially, the denial of God’s Logos – of the Gospel of Salvation – and its substitution with a humanist-type purpose of life; in other words, with a system whose center is not God (Who offers salvation to the sinner, gratis), but Man, who strives to perfect and fulfil himself on his own.  You can see now, that although externally and superficially, the rejecting of dogmas as an ideology (that supposedly divides people) may seem appealing and good, deep down at its core is hidden the serpent of apostasy and the erroneous choice of Man to strive for perfection on his own – to become god on his own.  The thorough denial and rejection of dogmas - in other words “a-dogmatism”, which essentially has humanism as its façade - is probably more dangerous than its other, sickly antipodes: hyper-dogmatism.

5. A-dogmatism leads to relativizing, levelling and spiritual desolation

We live in an extremely difficult yet extremely noteworthy era, from the point of view of how rapidly historical events develop. Knowledge has multiplied; communications connect people instantly, in whichever part of the world they may be; information is exchanged “en masse” and rapidly, at every corner of the earth, and it is only natural that Man’s History has entered into a new phase.
It is now difficult for us, even to simply observe scientific, technological, or political and religious developments that are taking place in our time.  Let us just pause for a moment on the latter – i.e., on the political-religious developments – and draw from them some information that pertains to the topic we are examining.
In our day, one observes an –assuredly disproportionate– “outbreak’ of new religious groups and organizations with the Christian faith at their center, but also of eastern religions and esoteric and occult trends.  Some of these groups are characterized by a fanaticism that is attributed to the intense and religious adherence to their dogmas. However, a vast number of these religious groups – regardless whether Christian or not – all project the perfecting of Man as their epicenter, either to oppose, or perhaps even as a reaction towards, the other groups. And the thing we should notice here is that they do not present themselves as opposing the others; in fact, they acknowledge the other groups as being “other paths” that likewise lead towards the same goal as them. In other words, they are telling us that it is of no significance, if you are a good Evangelical or a good Roman Catholic, or even a good Buddhist or Hindu; the important thing is for you to be a good person. What you essentially believe in, is of no importance, since all religions say the same things more or less, and their objective is Man’s perfection. They are therefore arguing that all religions are simply different paths that have the same destination.
The results of this perception, this ideology, this religious, after all, teaching of “a-dogmatism” are of course unifying and concentrative. That is, we observe a tendency to no longer divide or split religions into smaller ones, but exactly the opposite. Many small religious groups are seen to approach one another and to finally merge - in essence, but quite possibly formally also, just as we can observe the same thing slowly happening in the political sphere – at a state level. In other words, following the nationalist (that is, the divisive) outbreaks that were defused with wars, one now observes a tendency towards unification (in essence a levelling) of peoples in large, uniform complexes with a uniform economic, administrative, but also cultural system.  One such example, in which our own country is incorporated and daily experiences the deterioration of its traditional civilization and its assimilation, is the European Union. But the two movements of a worldwide character have names. The levelling, cultural unification is called “New World Order” and the corresponding religious unification is called “New Age”.  The combination of the two trends may promise a peaceful world, but this peace in no way resembles Christ’s peace; rather, it resembles the peace that one sees in a sleeping or a deceased person. And naturally, the world that will eventually be embracing the Antichrist will be –thus– somehow unified and doped – or spiritually dead.
The Apostle John narrates: «…And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and the mouth of the beast and the mouth of the false prophet three unclean spirits resembling frogs; for they were the spirits of demons that performed signs which proceeded from them, to the kings of the universe, in order to congregate them all for the war of that terrible day of God the Almighty…” (Revelation, 16:13-14).  All those kingdoms will be grouping together before the End, and they will all join forces against the Saints, being incited by the Devil, the demons and their terrestrial instruments.

6. The contradictions in a-dogmatism

But this is not the proper place to expound on this matter. We simply wish to stress two things: (a) that unification is not necessarily a good thing on its own, but that it depends on the objective it aspires to, and (b) that a lawless and catastrophic convergence will unite everyone against God and the Saints.  Let us not, therefore, strive towards this kind of unity and confluence. A-dogmatism is a truly disturbing phenomenon of our time. And of course we are not implying that all those who have embraced it are also aware what the end of that path is, and that they are purposely pursuing it. Quite simply, most of them are totally ignorant of the truth and have reacted against erroneous hyper-dogmatism by altogether rejecting the dogmas of the Faith, one after another, indiscriminately, as though they are useless, human inventions.  But are they right? Are things actually like that?  Doesn’t the Christian teaching include theoretical dogmas, only practical instructions and admonitions? How can one who believes that God is only the Father be accepted – as a Christian – equally along with the one who believes that God is three equal Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?  In other words, how can both sides be in the Truth of Christ, when the one believes that Christ is God and the other believes that Christ is only one of the creations, i.e., that He is just another creature?  Or, even worse, when the one believes that the Holy Spirit is God, and the other believes that the Holy Spirit is just a faceless and will-less thing, like a stone?  Could it ever be possible, for both sides to be right? Obviously not!
If we go even further, we could ask: “How can it be of no importance, when the one believes that Baptism removes sins and that the Divine Eucharist is a communion of the Body and the Blood of Christ, whereas the other side believes that both these sacraments are merely external symbolisms and public displays and proclamations?”  The one side sees them as a means for one’s salvation, whereas for the other side, they are merely an optional (and quite possibly even obsolete) means of expressing their personal beliefs, which could easily be substituted by a sworn statement.  And if these so significant dogmatic differences are unimportant, then why should it be important if the Savior is called “Jesus Christ” or “Buddha” or any other name?  Where can a dividing line be drawn?
Indeed, nowhere. This is the point that a-dogmatism inevitably leads to: the thoughtless and instinctive reaction that results in a levelling of the dogmas. But Christianity is not like that. Of course there are theoretical dogmas in our faith, which, however, have direct repercussions on our practical stance. For example, the fact that God is three Persons, i.e., a communion of three Persons, shows us that Man, who is the image of God, must likewise be a communion of persons. Between the Persons of God there exists the natural and indissoluble bond of love and unity; the same should be observed in mankind. If God were one Person on His own, then love would consequently not be one of His natural attributes, while simultaneously, the model for Man would be changed, to a self-centered one.

7. Christ: Man’s hope, and his redeemer from the storm of a-dogmatism

But for the time being, we shall not go into more examples. Instead, let us read the opinions of the sacred authors of the Holy Bible, as to whether dogmatic teaching is indeed significant.
The Apostle Paul said: Therefore, by leaving behind the initial words (writings)regarding Christ, let us move towards perfection, without depositing dead acts as a foundation of repentance and faith in God, but the teachings of baptisms and of the placing of hands, of the resurrection of the dead and of eternal judgment….” (Hebrews 6:1-2).  These theoretical topics or dogmas are therefore the foundations of Christianity. The center of the Christian sermon is neither good works, nor humanism or ecology; these are merely the fruits. The center of the Christian Gospel is Christ. The Jews seek miracles, while the Hellenes seek wisdom. We, however, proclaim Christ, crucified….” and again: we proclaim a secret wisdom of God, which was hidden and which God had destined before all Time, for our glorification (1 Corinthians 1:22-23 and 2:7).
We should not disregard or reject the Christian dogmas, thus altering Christ’s Gospel and serving instead the designs of the Devil and his dark powers - even if unintentionally; instead, we should approach the steadfast and balanced teaching of our Church, so that through the Grace of Christ, we may reach the stage of the perfected man (Ephesians 4:13) and ready for every good labour (2 Timothy 2:21). And let us not forget that through the works of the law alone, no flesh shall be vindicated (Romans 3:20); instead, whomsoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How, therefore, shall they invoke the One in Whom they did not believe? And how can they believe in Him, if they have not heard of Him? … therefore, faith comes through hearing a sermon, and the sermon is the word of God…” (Romans 10: 13-14 and 17)
Let us therefore not vacate the sermon of salvation and the work of Christ and His Apostles by preaching humanism, nor amputate the Faith that is supported on two legs - theory and practice – by at times cutting off the one and at other times the other.
 
Click:


Are all Ecclesiastic Synods Valid/Infallible?
On the invocation of the Saints
The meaning of "Anathema" in the Orthodox Churc
Matthew Gallatin: Thirsting for God in a Land of Shallow Wells 

Holy New Martyrs of Jasenovac Concentration Camp

Fresco Iconography of St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Hamilton, Ontario: Nikoljnik Press, 2005. Icon by Fr. Theodore Jurewicz.

MYSTAGOGY
Ελληνικά δείτε εδώ (οπωσδήποτε όμως)

The martyrs are commemorated together on September 13, although a number of them are also commemorated separately, as the dates of their martyrdom are known. This is a particularly poignant icon, because we have still among us survivors of the Ustasha terror of World War II, and many whose loved ones found martyrdom. Moreover, it is an important icon inasmuch as it will witness not only to the faith of these martyrs, but also to the genocide of Serbs itself, which many ignore, forget or deny having occurred.

A vast sea of haloed martyrs stands before a background showing the Jasenovac concentration camp in the upper left corner, with ominous grey walls, barbed wire and watchtowers. The Churches of Jasenovac (destroyed, sadly, twice now by Croats) and Glina (burnt to the ground with 500 Serbs in it) are shown centrally, while the upper right corner shows one of the many caves of Lika, Dalmatia, Bosnia or Hercegovina that became the graves of numerous innocents. In the lower foreground is a river perhaps the Sava, the Una, the Vrbas, or the Drina, all of which carried the tortured bodies. They bear crosses and appear peaceful, as they have accepted their martyrdom. The standing figures in the foreground are identified individually with an inscription in their halo.

What touches many of us when we contemplate this fresco is that these Holy New Martyrs are every man: a peasant, a student, a teacher with her pupils, a nun, an old woman, a priest, a bishop, a child. All of them were killed for the simple fact that they were baptized in and lived by the Orthodox faith. For this, they are crowned with martyrdom; Christ blesses them, while on either side St. John the Baptist (patron of the Jasenovac Church) and St. Sava (patron of the Serbian people) intercede on their people’s behalf.


April 22 - Anniversary day of the prisoner breakout from Jasenovac Concentration Camp

"For us Orthodox Christians, this is not 'the City of the Dead,' but the City of Alives, as for the Lord all the martyrs - victims of Jasenovac - are alive. The innocent victims of the Great-martyrdom of Jasenovac live in our hearts, as well as in our souls, in the memorial prayer of recollection. All of them, together with us, await for the resurrection of the dead and life of an age to come."

Read also: What Was Jasenovic Concentration Camp?

The new martyr Vukasin of Klepci

Orthodoxwiki.org

34-image002Our father among the saints, Vukašin of Klepci (in Serbian: Свети Вукашин из Клепаца), was a Serbian Orthodox Christian from Herzegovina who was martyred by fascists during World War II for refusing to acknowledge the Ustashi leader. He is remembered on May 3 under the new calendar.
Little is known about the life of Saint Vukasin. What is known about him is from the event resulting in his martyrdom. He was born in the village of Klepci, in Herzegovina, at the turn of the nineteenth/twentieth century. At the beginning of World War II, members of the Croatian fascist Ustašas arrested him and transported him, together with other Serbs of that region, into the notorious concentration camp of Jasenovac (the number of victims at this camp have been estimated to be at least 700,000). 
After horrible days full of torture, Vukašin was brought before an Ustashe`s soldier who was supposed to execute him, but who said he would spare his (Vukašin's) life if Vukasin cried loudly: "Long live Ante Pavelic!". Ante Pavelic was the leader of Ustashe. Vukasin who saw a knife in the hands of the soldier, replied calmly: "My child, you do what you must", and refused to obey the soldier`s request. The Ustashe soldier brandished his knife and cut off Vukasin`s ear. The soldier then repeated his request. Vukasin repeated his answer. The soldier then cut off Vukašin's other ear, followed by his nose, and then scarred Vukasin`s face. Next his tongue was cut. After repeating the request to Vukasin to utter the vicious words and hail the Head of Ustaše (Ante Pavelic), Vukasin once again calmly replied: "My child, you do what you must". Distracted, the soldier eventually killed him, and afterwards went mad.
At the regular session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1998, Vukašin, from the Klepci village, was entered into the List of Names of the Serbian Orthodox Church as a martyr. His feast day is May 16 (Julian Calendar).


New Hieromartyr Sabbas, Who Was Skinned Alive By the Ustashi (+ 1941) 

During the Second World War the Gornokarlovatsky Diocese found itself on the territory of the puppet Independent Croatian State and suffered in ways that had never been seen before. It seems as if most of the devilish evil of the Croat fascists fell to its lot. Obviously, the tragedy was that the Diocese was located in the very heart of the newly-formed State, very close to the Croat capital of Zagreb. During the genocide which took place between 1941 and 1945, 65 Orthodox priests were murdered by the Ustashi, 116 churches were completely destroyed, 39 others seriously damaged and over 160 parish and monastic libraries were completely or partially destroyed.

Vladyka Sabbas was born on 6 July 1884 in Mol to the family of Stephen and Elizabeth Trlaich and was baptized Svetozar. After studying at grammar school and then seminary in Sremski Karlovtsy, he graduated from the faculty of law at the University of Belgrade. He was ordained deacon and then priest in 1909. From 1909 to 1927 Fr Svetozar served as a parish priest. In early 1927 he was appointed to an administrative post at the Holy Synod and then became its secretary. Widowed, in 1929 he took his monastic vows with the name of Sabbas and became rector and archimandrite of the Monastery of Krushedol. He served there until 1934, when he was appointed Vicar-Bishop of Sremski. He was consecrated bishop in Sremski Karlovtsy on 30 September 1930 by Patriarch Barnabas of Serbia. As Patriarchal Vicar, Vladyka Sabbas chaired the diocesan council of the Archdiocese of Belgrade-Karlovtsy until November 1936 and from then until early 1937 he chaired the ecclesiastical court. Then, on 4 September 1938, he was appointed Bishop of Gornji Karlovac, with his residence in Plashkom.


The German invasion of Yugoslavia and the ensuing proclamation of an Independent Croatian State saw Plashkom occupied by the Italians, but at the end 1941, it was handed over to the Croat Ustashi. On this, Bishop Sabbas and nine priests were taken hostage. On 23 May 1941 the Ustashi occupied the bishop's residence and expelled the bishop. On 8 June the notorious executioner Josip Tomlenovich appeared at the residence and ordered any diocesan money and papers of importance to be handed over to the Ustashi. Bishop Sabbas was ordered to leave the town and head for Serbia. However, he refused to do this and stated that he could not abandon his diocese and his people.

On 17 June 1941 Vladyka was arrested together with other well-known Serbs and priests who did not wish to leave the place of their ministry. The Ustashi locked their prisoners into a cowshed and set an armed guard. For one month all those arrested and especially Bishop Sabbas were subjected to humiliation and torture on a daily basis. They were then sent to the notorious concentration camp at Gospich. The prisoners were taken from the railway station at Gospich to the local prison and again subjected to humiliation and torture.


In the first half of August 1941 about 2,000 Serbs were taken from Gospich to Velebita, Bishop Sabbas among them. It is supposed that he was murdered there, at the same time as about 8,000 other Serbs, in August 1941. The Holy Synod of the Serbian Church constantly, but unsuccessfully, called for the forces of occupation to explain what had happened to Bishop Sabbas and other Serbian bishops on the territory of the Independent Croatian State and tried to obtain their release.

Unfortunately, we have no exact information about the circumstances of the martyrdom of Bishop Sabbas. However, the Serbian historian, Velibor Dzhomich in his book, Ustashi Crimes Against Serbian Priests, quotes a testimony which may throw some light on the question. According to this, a Fr Iovan Silashki wrote the following in an issue of The Banat Herald newspaper:



Hieromartyr Sabbas (Trlaich), Bishop of Gornji Karlovac


In 1941 the Gornokarlovatsky Diocese was under the control of the dreadful Ustashi regime. The bishop and the priests were told that they were undesirables and that they must abandon their flocks. The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Zagreb, Aloysius Stepinac, openly told Vladyka that he must leave "Croatian" Karlovac, otherwise he would be liquidated. Vladyka answered him: "Even if it costs me my head, I will not abandon my people!"

Soon it became clear that the Catholic Archbishop was not joking. Vladyka Sabbas was arrested and horribly tortured. During the tortures and beatings in Plashkom, the Ustashi used a gramophone to play the hymn, "As many as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ."

When they took Vladyka to his place of execution, his mother stood in front of the church and waited for him. She wanted to see her son for one last time and make her farewells. However, the executioners did not allow her to do this. Vladyka nevertheless blessed his mother, his legs tied, and went to his death.

A few years after this a stranger walked into the church in Bashaida, where Vladyka had served. He spoke to the postmaster Sabbas Saravolets.

"Did you know Vladyka Sabbas Trlaich," asked the stranger, "I heard that he was priest here."

"Of course, Vladyka was my teacher. I'm grateful to him for everything I have managed to do in life. How do you know Vladyka?"

"I was an eyewitness of his sufferings," answered the stranger. "The Ustashi butchers took Vladyka to a clearing and continued to torture him there. They tore his skin off him and then covered him with salt. Then they buried him alive, with just his head protruding, brought an iron harrow and pulled it across his head until he gave up his soul to God. What happened after that, I don't know. Maybe the Ustashi threw him into one of the many precipices there, which they used as graves for the Serbs. So even in death he wasn't separated from his people."

In 2000 Hieromartyr Sabbas was glorified by the Council of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church as a hieromartyr. A true son of his people, he showed himself to be a true pastor, laying down his life for his flock, and his ministry was crowned by martyrdom. His memory is celebrated on April 22.

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Holy new martyr Vukasin of Klepci

Τετάρτη, 29 Μαΐου 2013

Ο πρώιμος ισλαμικός επεκτατισμός


perierga.gr - Ένας ουρανοξύστης σε σχήμα ημισελήνου!
Ένας ουρανοξύστης σε σχήμα ημισέληνου στο Ντουμπάι (άρθρο εδώ): "Ο «Πύργος της Ημισελήνου» (Crescent Moon Tower), όπως θα ονομάζεται το κτίριο, θα έχει σχήμα μισοφέγγαρου, συμβολίζοντας τόσο τη θρησκευτική παράδοση του Ντουμπάι όσο και το υψηλό επίπεδο ανάπτυξης στο οποίο βρίσκεται η πόλη αυτή τη στιγμή".

Εισαγωγή

Υπάρχει μια ισχυρή μουσουλμανική παράδοση, κατά την οποία μόνο οι 4 πρώτοι διάδοχοι του Μωάμεθ (χαλίφες) Αμπού Μπακρ, Ουμάρ, Ουθμάν και Άλη, τήρησαν με συνέπεια τη διδασκαλία του Ισλάμ. Μετά απ' αυτούς το Ισλάμ άρχισε να εκκοσμικεύεται και τότε έγινε πραγματικά κατακτητικό.
Στα χρόνια των τεσσάρων χαλιφών όμως (δηλ. στο "Χαλιφάτο Ρασιντούν" = ορθά καθοδηγούμενο από τον Αλλάχ) ήδη είχε κατακτηθεί ολόκληρη η περσική αυτοκρατορία και μεγάλες εκτάσεις χριστιανικών ρωμαϊκών εδαφών (κατάκτηση της Αλεξάνδρειας, επιδρομές κατά της Κύπρου, της Ρόδου και της Μ. Ασίας, με κίνδυνο και για την ΚΠολη, αν δεν είχε καταστραφεί ο αραβικός στόλος από τρικυμία στις ακτές της Χαλκηδόνας το 653), ενώ είχαν γίνει εισβολές στο Ιράν, το Αφγανιστάν και την Αρμενία.
Συγκρίνοντας τον (ορθόδοξο) χριστιανισμό με το Ισλάμ  στην ιστορική τους διαδρομή, οφειλουμε να παρατηρήσουμε ότι, όποιες δικαιολογίες μπορεί να προβάλλουν οι σύγχρονοι μουσουλμάνοι ιεραπόστολοι της δύσης για τις πολεμικές επιχειρήσεις του Μωάμεθ και των διαδόχων του (δηλ. ότι ήταν αυστηρά αμυντικές επιχειρήσεις), το Ισλάμ από το χριστιανισμό θα απέχει πάντα όσο απέχει η βασιλεία των ουρανών από την επίγεια αραβική αυτοκρατορία, δηλ. όσο απέχει ο ουρανός από τη γη.
Παραθέτουμε  ορισμένες ιστορικές πληροφορίες για ενημέρωση κάθε ενδιαφερόμενου. Δείτε και: Παύλος, το χριστιανικό ανάλογο του Μωάμεθ.


Ι. Οι αραβικές κατακτήσεις μέχρι τον 8ο αιώνα [απόσπασμα - ολόκληρο εδώ]

Μετά το θάνατο του Μωάμεθ (632), ο συγγενής του Abu-Bakr εξελέγη αρχηγός των Μουσουλμάνων με τον τίτλο του χαλίφη (Khalifa). Οι τρεις μεταγενέστεροι χαλίφες, ο Ομάρ [ή Ουμάρ], ο Οτμάν [αλλιώς Οθμάν ή Ουθμάν] και ο Αλή, εξελέγησαν επίσης αρχηγοί, αλλά δεν δημιούργησαν δυναστεία. Οι τέσσερις αυτοί άμεσοι διάδοχοι του Μωάμεθ είναι γνωστοί ως οι «ορθόδοξοι χαλίφες» [ορθά καθοδηγούμενοι, ενν. από τον Αλλάχ]. Οι πιο σπουδαίες κατακτήσεις, τις οποίες έκαναν οι Άραβες στην περιοχή του Βυζαντίου, συμπίπτουν με την εποχή του χαλίφη Ομάρ.


Η φωτο από εδώ
Το ότι ο Μωάμεθ έγραψε στους αρχηγούς των άλλων κρατών, και στον Ηράκλειο, να δεχθούν τον Ισλαμισμό, και ότι ο Ηράκλειος απάντησε ευνοϊκά, θεωρείται τώρα ως μεταγενέστερο δημιούργημα το οποίο στερείται ιστορικής βάσης. Παρόλα αυτά όμως ακόμα και σήμερα υπάρχουν επιστήμονες που δέχονται την αλληλογραφία αυτή ως ιστορικό γεγονός.
Όσο ζούσε ο Μωάμεθ μόνο μεμονωμένες ομάδες των Βεδουίνων διέσχισαν τα βυζαντινά σύνορα. Την εποχή όμως του δεύτερου χαλίφη, Ομάρ, τα γεγονότα διεξήχθηκαν με μεγάλη ταχύτητα. Η χρονολογική σειρά των στρατιωτικών γεγονότων του 7ου αιώνα είναι σκοτεινή και πολύπλοκη. Είναι όμως πιθανόν τα γεγονότα να εξελίχθηκαν ως εξής: Το 634 οι Άραβες κατέλαβαν το βυζαντινό οχυρό Bothra, πέρα από τον Ιορδάνη, το 635 έπεσε η πόλη της Συρίας Δαμασκός, το 636 η μάχη του ποταμού Yarmuk είχε σαν αποτέλεσμα να καταληφθεί όλη η Συρία και το 637 ή το 638 παραδόθηκε η Ιερουσαλήμ ύστερα από πολιορκία δύο ετών. Κατά τη διάρκεια της πολιορκίας αυτής έπαιξαν ρόλο κυρίως ο χαλίφης Ομάρ, από τη μια πλευρά και ο Πατριάρχης Σωφρόνιος από την άλλη. Το κείμενο της συμφωνίας, με βάση το οποίο ο Σωφρόνιος παρέδωσε την Ιερουσαλήμ στον Ομάρ και που καθιέρωσε ορισμένες θρησκευτικές και κοινωνικές εγγυήσεις για τους Χριστιανούς της πόλης, έχει διασωθεί με μερικές δυστυχώς μεταγενέστερες μεταβολές. Οι Χριστιανοί είχαν πετύχει να απομακρύνουν τον Τίμιο Σταυρό από την Ιερουσαλήμ και να τον στείλουν στην Κωνσταντινούπολη πριν μπουν οι Άραβες στην πόλη. 

Η κατάκτηση της Μεσοποταμίας και της Περσίας, που συνέβη συγχρόνως με τις κατακτήσεις των περιοχών του Βυζαντίου, τερματίζει την πρώτη περίοδο των αραβικών επιτυχιών στην Ασία. Κατά τα τέλη των 30 πρώτων χρόνων του αιώνα αυτού ο αρχηγός των Αράβων, Άμβρος, παρουσιάστηκε στα ανατολικά σύνορα της Αιγύπτου και άρχισε την κατάκτησή της. Μετά το θάνατο του Ηρακλείου, το 641 ή το 642, οι Άραβες κατέλαβαν την Αλεξάνδρεια, ενώ ο θριαμβευτής Άμβρος έστελνε το εξής μήνυμα στον Ομάρ στη Μεδίνα: «Κατάκτησα μια πόλη της οποίας θα αποφύγω την περιγραφή. Αρκεί μόνο να πω ότι κατέσχεσα σ’ αυτήν 4.000 βίλες με 4.000 λουτρά, 40.000 Ιουδαίους που πληρώνουν κεφαλικό φόρο και τετρακόσιους τόπους διασκεδάσεως». Προς τα τέλη των 40 πρώτων χρόνων η Βυζαντινή αυτοκρατορία αναγκάστηκε να εγκαταλείψει οριστικά την Αίγυπτο. Την κατάκτηση της Αιγύπτου ακολούθησε μια προώθηση των Αράβων προς τις δυτικές ακτές της Β. Αφρικής. Το 650 η Συρία, μέρος της Μ. Ασίας, η Άνω Μεσοποταμία, η Παλαιστίνη, η Αίγυπτος και μέρος των βυζαντινών επαρχιών της Β. Αφρικής είχαν ήδη περιέλθει στην εξουσία των Αράβων.

Το υγρόν πυρ των Βυζαντινών (από εδώ)

Οι κατακτήσεις των Αράβων, φέρνοντάς τους στις ακτές της Μεσογείου, τους δημιούργησαν νέα προβλήματα ναυτικής φύσης. Μη έχοντας στόλο οι Άραβες ήταν ανίσχυροι μπροστά στα πολυάριθμα πλοία των Βυζαντινών, για τα οποία οι νέες παραλιακές αραβικές επαρχίες ήταν πολύ προσιτές. Γρήγορα οι Άραβες κατάλαβαν τη σοβαρότητα της κατάστασης κι ο διοικητής της Συρίας και μελλοντικός χαλίφης Μωαβίας, άρχισε να κατασκευάζει αρκετά πλοία το πλήρωμα των οποίων αρχικά αποτελείτο από ντόπιους Ελληνο-Σύριους, οι οποίοι ήταν ειδικοί στη ναυσιπλοΐα. Σύγχρονες μελέτες των παπύρων αποκαλύπτουν ότι κατά τα τέλη του 7ου αιώνα η κατασκευή των πλοίων και η επάνδρωσή τους με πεπειραμένους ναυτικούς ήταν ένα από τα μεγάλα προβλήματα της διοίκησης της Αιγύπτου.

ΚΩΝΣΤΑΣ Β' ΚΑΙ ΟΙ ΑΡΑΒΕΣ

Την εποχή του Κώνστα Β', τα αραβικά πλοία του Μωαβία άρχισαν τις επιδρομές τους στην περιοχή του Βυζαντίου και κατέλαβαν την Κύπρο, το σπουδαίο αυτό ναυτικό κέντρο. Κοντά στις ακτές της Μ. Ασίας νίκησαν το στόλο του Βυζαντίου, που διοικείτο από τον ίδιο τον αυτοκράτορα, κατέλαβαν τη Ρόδο (654), κατέστρεψαν εκεί τον περίφημο Κολοσσό του νησιού και έφτασαν σχεδόν μέχρι την Κρήτη και τη Σικελία, απειλώντας το Αιγαίο πέλαγος και την πρωτεύουσα της Αυτοκρατορίας. Οι αιχμάλωτοι που συνελήφθηκαν κατά τη διάρκεια αυτών των επιδρομών, και ιδίως αυτοί από τη Σικελία, μεταφέρθηκαν στην αραβική πόλη Δαμασκό. [...]

ΙΙ. Το Χαλιφάτο Ρασιντούν (από τη Wikipedia - ας διασταυρωθεί με οποιαδήποτε ιστορική μελέτη)


Τοποθεσία της χώρας στον κόσμοΤο Χαλιφάτο Ρασιντούν (632-661 μ.Χ., αραβικά: الخلافة الراشدية) ή Πατριαρχικό Χαλιφάτο, τόπος κυριαρχίας των τεσσάρων πρώτων χαλίφηδων της ιστορίας του Ισλάμ, ιδρύθηκε μετά το θάνατο του Μωάμεθ το 632 μ.Χ. Στην ακμή του, τα σύνορα του χαλιφάτου εκτείνονταν στη Βόρεια Αφρική, την Αραβική Χερσόνησο και τα υψίπεδα του Ιράν. Είναι το πρώτο χαλιφάτο στη μακρά διαδοχή των δυναστειών και εμιράτων της ισλαμικής αυτοκρατορίας. Το χαλιφάτο πήρε το όνομά του από τους επονομαζόμενους "Πατριαρχικούς" ή "ορθά καθοδηγούμενους"-"τέλειους" χαλίφηδες (αραβ. αλ-χιλάφα αρ-ρασιντούν), τους τέσσερεις δηλαδή πρώτους χαλίφηδες μετά το θάνατο του Μωάμεθ, που κυβέρνησαν μέχρι που η εξουσία μετήλθε στα χέρια του Μωαβία Α΄ (αραβ. Μουαουίγια), ιδρυτή του Χαλιφάτου των Ομεϋαδών.

Μετά το θάνατο του Μωάμεθ το 632, οι Μεδιναίοι Ανσαρίτες φιλονικούσαν για το ποιος θα τον διαδεχόταν, ενόσω η οικογένεια του Προφήτη ήταν απασχολημένη με τις ετοιμασίες της ταφής του. Ο Ουμάρ (κάποιο σημαίνον πρόσωπο της φυλής των Κουραϊσιτών) και ο Αμπού Ουμπάιντα των Ανσαριτών δήλωσαν την πίστη τους στον Αμπού Μπακρ, με το σύνολο των Ανσαριτών και των Κουραϊσιτών να ακολουθούν. Ο Αμπού Μπακρ έγινε έτσι ο πρώτος χαλίφης "Ρασούλ Αλλάχ" (δηλ. Διάδοχος του "Αγγελιαφόρου του Θεού") και ξεκίνησε εκστρατείες να διαδόσει το Ισλάμ. Αρχικώς όμως, έπρεπε να υποτάξει τις αραβικές φυλές που είχαν απομακρυνθεί των όρκων τους στο Ισλάμ και από την ισλαμική κοινότητα.

Αμπού Μπακρ

Ο Αμπού ΜπακρΑμπντουλλάχ ιμπν Αμπί Κουχάφα, το Αμπού Μπακρ σημαίνει πατέρας του Μπακρ, συνήθης τρόπος τιμητικής ονομασίας στα αραβικά να σημειώνεται κάποιος με το όνομα του πρωτότοκου γιου του, 573-634 μ.Χ., αραβικά: عبد الله بن أبي قحافة), γνωστός επίσης ως Αμπού Μπακρ ας-Σιντίκ, ήταν σύντροφος (σαχάμπι) και πεθερός του Προφήτη Μωάμεθ. Στα βυζαντινά κείμενα απαντάται ως Αβουβάχαρος και Αποκάπρης.
Μετά το θάνατο του Προφήτη, κυβέρνησε το Πατριαρχικό Χαλιφάτο ως ο πρώτος μουσουλμάνος χαλίφης, από το 632 έως το 634 μ.Χ. Ως χαλίφης, διαχειρίστηκε επιτυχώς τις πολιτικές και διοικητικές λειτουργίες που είχε προηγουμένως ασκήσει ο Μωάμεθ. Ο Αμπού Μπακρ ονομάστηκε Ας-Σιντίκ (Εκείνος που επιβεβαιώνει-την αληθινή προφητική ιδιότητα του Μωάμεθ) και ήταν γνωστός με αυτό το προσωνύμιο στις νεότερες μουσουλμανικές γενιές.
Ως νέος, ήταν έμπορος υφασμάτων και ταξίδεψε πολύ στην Αραβία και τις γειτονικές χώρες στη Μέση Ανατολή, κερδίζοντας πλούτη και εμπειρία, φτάνοντας να αναγνωριστεί ως ηγέτης της φατρίας του. Στην επιστροφή του από ένα επιχειρηματικό ταξίδι στην Υεμένη, πληροφορήθηκε ότι κατά την απουσία του ο Μωάμεθ είχε διακηρύξει ανοιχτά την Προφητική Αποστολή του. Όχι πολύ καιρό μετά, ο Αμπού Μπακρ προσηλυτίστηκε στο Ισλάμ και ήταν ο πρώτος άνθρωπος εκτός της οικογένειας του Μωάμεθ που ανοιχτά έγινε μουσουλμάνος. Επιτέλεσε σημαντικό ρόλο στον προσηλυτισμό πολλών ανθρώπων στην ισλαμική Πίστη ενώ στις αρχές του 623 η κόρη του Αΐσα παντρεύτηκε τον Μωάμεθ, ισχυροποιώντας έτσι τους δεσμούς μεταξύ των δύο αντρών.
Ο Αμπού Μπακρ υπήρξε έμπιστος σύμβουλος και στενός φίλος του Μωάμεθ. Κατά τη διάρκεια της ζωής του Μωάμεθ, έλαβε μέρος σε αρκετές πολεμικές συγκρούσεις, όπως τη μάχη στις πλαγιές του όρους Ουχούντ, τη μάχη της Τρεντς, την εισβολή της φατρίας των Κουραϊσιτών στη Μεδίνα, τη μάχη στην όαση Χαϋμπάρ, την κατάκτηση της Μέκκας, τη μάχη της Χουναΰν, την πολιορκία της Ταΐφ και τη μάχη του Ταμπούκ, όπου αναφέρεται ότι έδωσε όλο τον πλούτο του για την προετοιμασία της αποστολής. Επίσης συμμετείχε στη Συνθήκη της Χουνταϋμπίγια.
Η περίοδος χαλιφείας του Αμπού Μπακρ διήρκεσε για περίπου δύο χρόνια (27 μήνες), τελειώνοντας με το θάνατό του ύστερα από ασθένεια. Αν και η περίοδος της Αρχής του δεν ήταν μακρά, περιελάμβανε επιτυχείς εισβολές στις δύο πιο ισχυρές αυτοκρατορίες του καιρού εκείνου (Βυζαντινή Αυτοκρατορία και Αυτοκρατορία των Σασσανιδών), θέτοντας σε κίνηση και ακαταπόνητη αγωνιστικότητα έναν ολόκληρο κόσμο, κίνηση που θα οδηγούσε ύστερα από λίγες δεκαετίες στη δημιουργία μιας από τις μεγαλύτερες αυτοκρατορίες στην ιστορία.

Ουμάρ Α΄
 
O Ουμάρ ιμπν αλ-Χαττάμπ ή Ουμάρ Α΄ (579-644 μ.Χ., αραβικά: عمر بن الخطاب) υπήρξε ένας από τους πιο ισχυρούς και σημαίνοντες μουσουλμάνους χαλίφηδες στην ιστορία. Ήταν "σαχάμπι" (σύντροφος) του Προφήτη Μωάμεθ. Διαδέχθηκε το χαλίφη Αμπού Μπακρ (632-634) ως δεύτερος κατά σειρά χαλίφης του Πατριαρχικού Χαλιφάτου στις 23 Αυγούστου 634. 'Ηταν ειδικός στη νομολογία του Ισλάμ και περισσότερο γνωστός για την ευσεβή και δίκαιη φύση του χαρακτήρος του, που του έδωσε τον τίτλο Αλ-Φαρούκ ("αυτός που διακρίνει ανάμεσα στο σωστό και το λάθος"). Αναφέρεται κάποιες φορές ως χαλίφης Ουμάρ Α΄ από τους ιστορικούς του Ισλάμ, για να διακρίνεται από τον Ουμάρ Β΄, έναν ύστερο Ομαγιάδα χαλίφη.
Υπό την χαλιφεία του Ουμάρ η Ισλαμική Αυτοκρατορία επεκτάθηκε σε πρωτόγνωρο βαθμό διαφεντεύοντας ολόκληρη την Αυτοκρατορία των Σασσανιδών Περσών και περισσότερα από τα δύο τρίτα της Ανατολικής Ρωμαϊκής Αυτοκρατορίας. Οι επιθέσεις του εναντίον της Αυτοκρατορίας των Σασσανιδών κατέληξαν στην κατάκτηση της περσικής αυτής αυτοκρατορίας σε λιγότερο από δύο χρόνια. Ήταν επίσης ο Ουμάρ, σύμφωνα με την εβραϊκή παράδοση, που κατήργησε την απαγόρευση που είχαν επιβάλει οι χριστιανοί των Αγίων Τόπων σε βάρος των Εβραίων και επέτρεψε στους τελευταίους την είσοδο στην Ιερουσαλήμ και την άσκηση της λατρείας της θρησκείας τους. [Σημ. ορθά έπραξε, ασφαλώς σε αυτό. Όμως δεν είχε καμιά δουλειά να κατακτήσει την Ιερουσαλήμ. Σε αυτό το μουσουλμανικό άρθρο αναφέρεται παράδοση, κατά την οποία μπήκε μόνος και άοπλος στην πόλη και καθησύχασε τους κατοίκους της με την πραότητα και τις υποσχέσεις του. Και λοιπόν; Ακόμη κι ΑΝ η παράδοση αυτή είναι αληθινό γεγονός, μην ξεχνάμε πως την είχε ήδη πολιορκήσει δύο χρόνια. Ποιος ο λόγος για την πολιορκία αυτή; Αντίθετα, κάτι φαινομενικά παρόμοιο έπραξαν δύο ορθόδοξοι και άγιοι Πάπες της Ρώμης: ο Λέων Α΄ και αργότερα ο Γρηγόριος Β΄: βγήκαν άοπλοι μαζί Ο άγιος Επίσκοπος Ρώμης (Πάπας) Λέων και η μάστιγα του Θεού, Αττίλαςμε τους ιερείς τους και απώθησαν επιδρομείς μόνο με την παρουσία τους - ο πρώτος τον Αττίλα (φωτο) και ο δεύτερος το Λιουτπράνδο. Συγκρίνονται οι δύο πράξεις; (κατάκτηση - αποτροπή κατάκτησης)].
Ο Ουμάρ τελικώς, μετά από δέκα χρόνια χαλιφείας (634-644), δολοφονήθηκε το 644 κατά τη διάρκεια εσωτερικών ταραχών, στη Μεδίνα.

Το κάψιμο των βιβλίων στην Αλεξάνδρεια (από εδώ)

 Έρχεται και η αραβική κατάκτηση το 642, για να ολοκληρώσει την καταστροφή. Ο Αμπντούλ Φαράγκ, μονοφυσίτης επίσκοπος και ιστορικός του 13ου αιώνα αναφέρει τα εξής: O Ιωάννης Φιλόπονος (490-570 μ.Χ), περίφημος βιβλιόφιλος, εξαιτίας της εύνοιας που απολάμβανε από τον κατακτητή Αμρ ελ Ας, πέτυχε να του δοθούν όλα τα βιβλία της πόλης. Έδειξε τόσο μεγάλη χαρά και επαίνεσε τόσο την αξία των παπύρων, ώστε ο Αμρ ζήτησε και τη γνώμη του χαλίφη Ομάρ. «Αν περιέχουν αυτά τα χειρόγραφα ό,τι και το Κοράνιο είναι περιττά. Αν περιέχουν πράγματα αντίθετα, τότε είναι επιζήμια», του απάντησε εκείνος. Διατάχθηκε, λοιπόν, να ριχτούν στην πυρά ως καύσιμη ύλη για τα τετρακόσια λουτρά της πόλης. To γεγονός επαναλαμβάνει μετά από μισό αιώνα περίπου ο Αμπντούλ Λατίφ, αργότερα ο Ιμπν αλ Κίφτι, ο Αμπούλ Φέντα κ.α. ["Ν": Η ιστορικότητα του γεγονότος αυτού αμφισβητείται, δεδομένου ότι καταγράφεται πρώτη φορά το 13ο αι. και ότι ο Ιωάννης Φιλόπονος πέθανε το 570 μ.Χ., πολύ πριν την αραβική κατάκτηση].

Ουθμάν

Ο Ουθμάν ιμπν Αφφάν (577-656 μ.Χ., αραβικά: عثمان بن عفان‎) ήταν ένας από τους συντρόφους του Προφήτη Μωάμεθ. Έπαιξε σημαντικό ρόλο στην πρώιμη ιστορία του Ισλάμ όντας ο τρίτος στη σειρά χαλίφης (644-656) του σουνιτικού Πατριαρχικού Χαλιφάτου.
Ο Ουθμάν γεννήθηκε στη φατρία των Ομαγιαδών της Μέκκας, μια ισχυρή φατρία της φυλής των Κουραϊσιτών. Ήταν σύντροφος (σαχάμπι) του Προφήτη Μωάμεθ και ανέλαβε τη χαλιφεία του Πατριαρχικού Χαλιφάτου στην ηλικία των 67 ετών, μετά τη δολοφονία του Ουμάρ Α΄. Υπό την ηγεσία του, η αυτοκρατορία επεκτάθηκε στη Φαρς το 650 (επαρχία του σημερινού Ιράν), κάποιες περιοχές του Χορασάν (τμήμα του σημερινού Αφγανιστάν) το 651 ενώ ξεκίνησε τη δεκαετία του 640 και την κατάκτηση της Αρμενίας.
Από τα αξιοσημείωτα επιτεύγματα του Ουθμάν ήταν οι οικονομικές μεταρρυθμίσεις που εισήγαγε και η μετατροπή του Κορανίου στο ενοποιημένο, αξιωματικό κείμενο που είναι σήμερα [δείτε εδώ].
Ο Ουθμάν δολοφονήθηκε τον Ιούνιο του 656 στην οικία του στη Μεδίνα, κατά τη διάρκεια εσωτερικών ταραχών.

Άλη

Ο Αλί ιμπν Αμπί Τάλιμπ (εξελληνισμένα Αλής, (601 ή 607-661 μ.Χ., αραβικά: علي بن أبي طالب) ήταν εξάδελφος και γαμπρός του Προφήτη Μωάμεθ, χαλίφης του Πατριαρχικού Χαλιφάτου την πενταετία 656-661 μ.Χ.
Ali ibn Abi Talib
Αλή, ο άγιος των Σιιτών (από εδώ)
Γιος του Αμπού Τάλιμπ, ο Αλής ήταν ο πρώτος άντρας που προσηλυτίστηκε στο Ισλάμ. Οι Σουνίτες θεωρούν τον Αλή ως τον τέταρτο και τελευταίο χαλίφη "ρασιντούν" ("ορθά καθοδηγούμενο" χαλίφη), ενώ οι Σιίτες τον θεωρούν ως τον πρώτο χαλίφη και τους απογόνους του ως τους δικαιωματικούς διαδόχους του Μωάμεθ. Η διαφωνία αυτή χώρισε έκτοτε την "ούμμα" (μουσουλμανική κοινότητα) σε Σιίτες και Σουνίτες.
Μουσουλμανικές πηγές, κυρίως σιιτικής προέλευσης, ισχυρίζονται ότι ο Αλής ήταν ο μόνος άνθρωπος στην ιστορία που γεννήθηκε μέσα στο ναό της Κάαμπα στη Μέκκα, ιερότερο τόπο του Ισλάμ. Μητέρα του ήταν η Φάτιμα μπιντ Άσαντ, αλλά ανατράφηκε μέσα στην οικογένεια του Μωάμεθ, ο οποίος με τη σειρά του είχε ανατραφεί από τον Αμπού Τάλιμπ, θείο του και πατέρα του Αλή.
Όταν ο Μωάμεθ ανέφερε τη θεϊκή αποκάλυψη που του έγινε, ο Αλής ήταν ο πρώτος άντρας που δέχθηκε το μήνυμά του, αφιερώνοντας τη ζωή του στο σκοπό του Ισλάμ.
Ο Αλής μετανάστευσε στη Μεδίνα λίγο μετά το Μωάμεθ. Όταν έφτασε εκεί, ο Μωάμεθ τού είπε ότι ο Θεός τον είχε διατάξει να παντρέψει την κόρη του Φάτιμα με αυτόν. Για τα δέκα χρόνια που ο Μωάμεθ ηγήθηκε της κοινότητας της Μεδίνας, ο Αλής ήταν ενεργός στην υπηρεσία του, οδηγώντας πολεμιστές στις μάχες και μεταφέροντας σημαντικά μηνύματα και διαταγές. Ο Αλής πήρε μέρος στις πρώτες επιδρομές εναντίον καραβανιών από τη Μέκκα και αργότερα σχεδόν σε όλες τις μάχες στο όνομα της αναπτυσσόμενης μουσουλμανικής κοινότητας.
Μετά το θάνατο του Μωάμεθ, παρόλο που ο τελευταίος τον είχε χρίσει διάδοχό του, ο Αλής κρατήθηκε μακριά από τη διαδοχή με ενέργειες και της χήρας του Μωάμεθ, Αΐσα, που είχε σημαντική δύναμη στη μουσουλμανική κοινότητα ως χήρα του Προφήτη. Ως εκ τούτου, ο Αλής, απομονωμένος, αφιερώθηκε για πολλά χρόνια σε θρησκευτικές μελέτες.
Τελικώς όμως, μετά το θάνατο του τρίτου χαλίφη, Ουθμάν ιμπν Αφφάν, ανακηρύχθηκε χαλίφης. Αν και ήταν σεβαστός στην ούμμα, αντιμετώπισε εμφύλιο πόλεμο από επίδοξους σφετεριστές από τα πρώτα χρόνια της χαλιφείας του. Το 661, δέχθηκε επίθεση στο τζαμί της Κούφα και πέθανε λίγες μέρες αργότερα.
Στη μουσουλμανική παράδοση, ο Αλής θεωρείτο άντρας υπερφυσικών ικανοτήτων. Ετύγχανε σεβασμού για την ανδρεία του, το κουράγιο του, την ισχυρή πίστη του, την εντιμότητά του, την αφοσίωσή του στο Μωάμεθ και την ίση αντιμετώπιση όλων των μουσουλμάνων καθώς και τη μεγαλοσύνη του στο να συγχωρεί τους ηττημένους εχθρούς του. Για τους λόγους αυτούς κατέχει κεντρική θέση στις μυστικιστικές παραδόσεις του Ισλάμ, όπως ο Σουφισμός. Ήταν άτομο με το χάρισμα της ενόρασης και θεωρείτο αυθεντία στα ζητήματα του Κορανίου, της Σαρία και της θεολογικής σκέψης γενικότερα. Σχεδόν σε όλα τα σουφιστικά τάγματα που ανάγουν την καταγωγή τους στο Μωάμεθ, ο Αλής κατέχει υψηλή θέση ως ο κρίκος που τα συνδέει με τον Προφήτη. Σε όλη τη διάρκεια της ισλαμικής ιστορίας, η επιρροή του ήταν και είναι σημαντική.
Ο Αλής ήταν ο πατέρας των Χασάν ιμπν Αλί και Χουσεΐν ιμπν Αλί, επίσης σημαντικών μορφών της ιστορίας του Ισλάμ.

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