Rashad Khalifa

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Rashad Khalifa, 1989
Rashad Khalifa, 1989

Rashad Khalifa (November 19, 1935January 31, 1990) was an Egyptian biochemist who became a US citizen and took residence in Tucson, Arizona. Khalifa was murdered in January, 1990.


[edit] Life

Khalifa moved to the United States in 1959 where he obtained a PhD in biochemistry. He worked as a science advisor for the Libyan government for about one year, after which he worked as a chemist for the United Nations' Industrial Development Organization, then became a senior chemist in Arizona's State Office of Chemistry in 1980.[1] Khalifa's son Sam Khalifa played major league baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

He founded the religious group called United Submitters International (USI), a group which considers itself to be the true Islam, but prefers not to use the terms "Muslim" or "Islam," instead using the English equivalents: "Submitter" or "Submission." Submitters believe Khalifa was a messenger of God.

Specific beliefs of the USI include: the dedication of all worship practices to God alone, upholding the Quran alone, and rejecting the Islamic traditionalist hadith and sunnah attributed to Muhammad. For many years he attended Masjid Tucson in Arizona, USA.

[edit] History of mathematical research

Starting in 1968, Khalifa used computers to analyze the frequency of letters and words in the Qur'an. In 1974 he claimed that he discovered an intricate numerical pattern in the text of the Qur'an involving the number 19 mentioned in chapter 74 of the Qur'an. He published several books on this subject.

Khalifa's research did not receive much attention in the West. The first comment appeared in the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN of September 1980, p. 22. Martin Gardner wrote of Khalifa's initial publication in the West: "It's an ingenious study of the Quran, but it could have been more impressive if Khalifa had consulted me before he wrote it. Nineteen is an unusual prime. For example, it's the sum of the first powers of 9 and 10 and the difference between the second powers of 9 and 10."

Three years later the Canadian Council on the Study of Religion reported in its QUARTERLY REVIEW of April 1983 that the code Khalifa discovered is "an authenticating proof of the divine origin of the Quran." Since 1983, little notice has been taken of this work. In spite of that, Khalifa's work has been published in the United States in six books.

Many popular magazines and newspapers in the Middle East, from Morocco to Pakistan, reported his discoveries. Khalifa's first publicized report appeared in the most popular magazine of the Middle East, Egypt's AKHERSA (January 24, 1973). Updates of his research were subsequently published by the same magazine (November 28, 1973 and December 31, 1975). Many other magazines and newspaper articles by and about Khalifa appeared throughout the world in many languages.

[edit] Beliefs

Khalifa was initially well-received throughout the Muslim world upon his mathematical discoveries embedded in the text of the Quran. Prominent Shaykh Ahmed Deedat referred to him as a "great servant" of God in his book based on Khalifa's discoveries "Al-Qur'an: The Ultimate Miracle." However, as early as 1976 he became the target of defamation when he made several claims that appeared heretical according to traditional Muslims - such as:

  • Hadith (oral) & Sunna (actions) were invented and attributed to Muhammad, they are Satanic innovations
  • The Quran's mathematical miracle based on the prime number 19 provides mathematical evidence that the Quran shall be our only source of religious teachings (Appendix 19, Rashad's Authorized Translation)
  • The vast majority of the Bible is God's truth. Quran, the final testament confirms this truth aand supersedes all previous scriptures
  • No human beings may be mentioned beside the name of God in proclaiming faith or during prayer
  • Declaring that prophet Muhammad was the last prophet, but not the last messenger
  • Declaring that he is the messenger of the covenant, prophesied in Malachi 3:1-3 and Quran 3:81, and that he had been commissioned to purify the religion of Abraham, Submission from all the Satanic distortions.

[edit] Controversy

According to an article in the Tucson Citizen, in June 1979, he was accused of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and sexual contact with a minor. The article reported that the accuser, a 16-year-old-girl, testified at a hearing that Khalifa sexually molested her while recruiting her for a United Nations Aura research project. There was no evidence of intercourse found when the girl was examined at a local hospital. Khalifa pled No contest to all charges.

[edit] Assassination

On January 31, 1990, Khalifa was murdered at Masjid Tucson. He was stabbed 29 times and his body drenched in xylol but not set alight. Although nobody has been convicted of his murder, James Williams, an alleged member of the al-Fuqra' sect, was convicted of conspiracy in the slaying.[2] Williams disappeared on the day of his sentencing and could not be found.[3]

CBS News reported that Muslim extremist Wadih El-Hage was "connected to the 1990 stabbing death of... Rashad Khalifa [who] was hated by Muslim extremists [that were] opposed to his teachings. His murderer was never caught, but El-Hage, who was indicted for lying about the case, called the assassination 'a good thing.'" [4]

[edit] Submitters' response to controversy

Submitters believe that:

  • The true Judaism, Christianity, and Islam will be consolidated into one religion - complete submission and absolute devotion to God alone
  • The existing religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are severely corrupted and will simply die out, citing the recent exposure of false religionists in the USA, and the removal of such anti-freedom barriers as the Berlin Wall, the Iron Curtain, and the Bamboo Curtain.

Submitters also cite the fact that there was no evidence to substantiate the sex allegations made against Khalifa in 1979, and say that the details reported in the Tucson Citizen article are based on mixed and contradictory testimony. Khalifa did never the less plead "no contest" to the charges.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Article from Skeptical Inquirer by Martin Gardner Sept-Oct, 1997
  2. ^ Eric Anderson, Slain Islamic leader was outspoken; Khalifa's teachings from Tucson angered Muslims worldwide, Denver Post, 21 October 1993, p21.
  3. ^ Dick Foster, Extremist is 'not to be found'; Little hope held of finding Fuqra fugitive, Rocky Mountain News, 25 February 1994, p8.
  4. ^ [1]

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Resources

  • R. Khalifa, Quran: Visual Presentation of the Miracle, Islamic Productions International, 1982. ISBN 0-934894-30-2
  • R. Khalifa, Quran: The Final Testament, Islamic Productions International, 1989. ISBN 1-881893-03-0
  • R. Khalifa, The Computer Speaks: God's Message to the World, Islamic Productions International, 1981. ISBN 0-934894-38-8
  • R. Khalifa, Quran, Hadith, And Islam, Universal Unity, 2000. ISBN 1-881893-04-9.
  • Y.Y. Haddad and J.I. Smith, Mission to America; Five Islamic Sectarian Communities in North America, University Press of Florida, 1993. ISBN 0-8130-1216-3.