The end of the year 2002 was a time for personal reflection, for Yom Kippur, Christmas, and Ramadan all remind us of God's relevance to our lives. Although many people follow the paths of science, agnosticism, hedonism, indifference, and others, millions continue to follow His way, doing their best to draw ever closer to Him to obtain His good pleasure.
For Muslims, it is now the Hajj season, a grand reflection of humanity's unity and devotion to their Creator. Although countless authors have analyzed it, one point stands out: Hagar, a wife of Prophet Abraham and left by him in the desert with her infant son, ran between the hills of Safa and Marwah to find water. Muslims would be well advised to remember this as they jog between these two hills, as the Qur'an tells us to improve our lot through work, not through talking and complaining.
This is also a time of great importance for all Fountain staff members, for it is our tenth-year anniversary! As we launch into our eleventh year, we pledge to continue our mission: to work for interfaith dialogue, encourage individual and civilizational tolerance, and show the relevance of religious values and belief to modern life. Along with your continued active support and trust, which has helped us reach this milestone, we know that the Fountain's articles will continue to improve and reach an ever-larger audience with its message that 'yes, all of us really can live in peace if we treat each other with respect and dignity.'
In this issue, in honor of International Women's Day, our feature article discusses how the monotheistic religions' legal codes traditionally viewed women. The author provides a detailed study based upon a close reading of the Torah, the Bible, and the Qur'an. What he found might surprise you.
We also present several scientific articles on defining intelligence, attempts to formulate a 'theory of everything,' and how modern scientific discoveries are providing proof of God's Existence. In the interest of sparking discussion, we offer articles on Christianity, Islam in the eyes of non-Muslims, an imaginary dialogue on democracy, and what could happen if human consciousness were transplanted. We also have our regular spiritual articles and one on a Chinese Muslim admiral who, before Columbus, led naval expeditions that dwarfed those of the later European explorers.
As technology makes physical distance ever more irrelevant and allows more people to travel, we need to understand that we also must globalize our minds and worldviews in order to contribute to humanity's and society's betterment on an ever-larger scale. The Qur'an tells us to plant a tree even on the Last Day. Just like Hagar in the desert, we must act instead of complain.
Thanks to all of our readers who tell us that they appreciate our efforts. We receive many calls from our subscribers in America who are anxious to get the latest issue. The mainstream media is also taking note of us: Several prestigious publishers want to reprint a few The Fountain articles. This is the kind of magazine that we want to be: relevant, eagerly awaited, and expanding. Send us your articles, and let's work together to make the world a better place for everyone!
As this is the kick-off issue for our new era, we have changed the design. Please let us know what you think about it. We also ask all of you to work with us, for The Fountain belongs to all of us. We look forward to hearing from you!