Egyptian-born Islamic scholar, Mark A. Gabriel, Ph.D, examined photographs of the wedding ring that President Obama has been wearing since his college days and concluded that it is inscribed with the first half of the Shahada, the Islamic declaration of faith. The Shahada is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, expressing the two fundamental beliefs that make a person a Muslim: There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is Allah’s prophet.
Gabriel is a former Muslim Imam, who fled Egypt after converting to Christianity. He has written several books about Islam and the conflict between Islam and other religions. Gabriel examined the photographs at the request of World Net Daily, the controversial conservative news website that has been highly critical of President Obama. Gabriel made the following comments about his study of the images:
“There can be no doubt that someone wearing the inscription ‘There is no god except Allah’ has a very close connection to Islamic beliefs, the Islamic religion and Islamic society to which this statement is so strongly attached.”
“Muslims recite the Shahada when they wake up in the morning and before they go to sleep at night. It is repeated five times every day in the call to prayer in every mosque. A single honest recitation of the Shahada in Arabic is all that is required for a person to convert to Islam.”
“By wearing this religious statement on one’s hand, it connects the person to Islam. It is worn in hopes that Allah’s protections would be with the person, in hopes of gaining favor with Allah.”
“Though Islamic law prohibits the wearing of gold jewelry by men, it is a widely accepted custom, even in strictly Muslim countries. The wearing of gold rings is even more acceptable when it contains a religious message, such as ‘There is no god except Allah.’”
According to Israeli news service, IsraelNationalNews.com:
“Obama has for years denied any connection to Islam, stating that he is a Christian, and that he has been a long-time member of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, presided over by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. But Gabriel said that Obama’s wearing of the ring did not jibe with that claim. “Christians never use the statement. By wearing the Shahada on jewelry, a person communicates that Allah is in control of all circumstances. Allah controls you; Allah is the one and only one.”
Obama’s ring also aroused interest during his days at Harvard, when the unmarried Obama wore the ring on his wedding finger. In 1990, curious students published a satirical edition of the Harvard Law Review containing a mock Dewers Scotch profile advertisement about the future President. Among a list of Obama’s “Latest Accomplishments” was “Deflecting Persistent Questioning About Ring On Left Hand.”
The President’s supporters are convinced this is just another attempt to defame Mr. Obama, who has repeatedly stated he is a Christian. His opponents say they are only trying to get answers from the President about what they claim are the many undocumented aspects of his life.
His detractors vehemently deny they are motivated Obama’s race or religious beliefs. They say they are only concerned about the lack of truthfulness in Obama’s personal story and the secrecy around the President’s past. Ultimately, his critics insist, this is not about what faith Obama follows, but about his lack of openness and honesty.
It is just as likely the ring was a gift to the President from his Pakistani college roommate and the entire fuss is a smokescreen to criticize the President over his personal background. We need to focus on the issues that really matter; the economy, the explosive situation in the Middle East, Obama’s policy on Israel and the Palestinians, the Libyan embassy attack, his support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and the nation’s 16 trillion dollar deficit.
How do you feel about this story? Is this just another attempt to defame the President because of his race and religion or have genuine questions been raised about Obama that need to be answered? Should an inscription on a ring have any place in a discussion of the Obama Presidency?