or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Talk Amongst Ourselves › Spirituality › Religious Studies › question for Muslim worshippers? ? Help me defend, educate ...?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

question for Muslim worshippers? ? Help me defend, educate ...? - Page 2

post #21 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post
Now, Christians, Muslims and Jews do not have this perspective to the same extent, as they believe that God has entered history and made special revelations. (This is also related to the fact that unlike Hinduism and Buddhism, they believe that the material world is real and good. ) But still all three make it very clear that God is something much bigger than we can comprehend, that we do not have the whole, objective truth.
Of course, God is something greater than we can comprehend; but it is still possible to say that some statements about God are true, or could be true; while others are false, or could not possibly be true, because they directly contradict what we know of God from his past revelations to us. "We do not completely understand God" is quite different from "Anything I might say about God is just as true as anything else."
post #22 of 84
Yes, muslims believe Islam is the TRUE religion. No, muslims don't have the same/similar "middle-man" idea of Mohamed (pbuh) as Christians have of Jesus. No muslim prays directly TO Mohamed- only God (Allah). Mohamed (pbuh) is never referenced as a father or holy spirit of any sort- he was a messenger of God who gave us the Koran. Muslims also love many of the same prophets of Christians- including Noah, Abraham, Jesus...the religions are really VERY similar, except muslims don't follow the bible as a religious document because it has been "changed by man"- Koran has never been altered since it's creation (never even translated, since it can't be).
post #23 of 84
I think one really important thing to point out is that, despite the fact that, yes, Islam does believe it is the only "true" religion, it views itself as a "progression" of Judaism and then Christianity.

We believe that the SAME God reveled the Torah, Bible, and then Qu'ran. Although we believe the Torah and Bible have been changed by man throughout the times, it is acknowledged that, at one point, they too were the guidance from God.

I, myself, am a convert to Islam. My father was Jewish (non orthodox) and my mom a devout Catholic. As I was searching for direction and clarification in religion, it seemed natural to me that a God who loved his creation would guide them to what was best for them and not give up when they rejected His direction. It made sense to me that He guided His creation with the SAME message throughout time through the prophets and through the books.

IM me if you have any q's
post #24 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuslimMama View Post
I, myself, am a convert to Islam.
I am too.

I was born to two Christian parents, although some call them Easter-Sunday Christians. I asked for guidance from God all my life and what to believe (like most) and found myself when I found my husband; he is a Muslim, though never once asked me to convert or pressured me. I watched his actions, and the more I learned about the religion, I felt drawn to it. Despite the bad rep a small group of people(s) have given Islam, at the essence of Islam, it is a beautiful, peaceful religion and holds many practical solutions to common problems.

GL in your journey.
post #25 of 84
Quote:
Which is why a religion like Hinduism does say that all religions are valid approaches to the divine. Perhaps with different emphases, but all have a handle on truth. That is also, incidentally, why they have some many gods; they are all aspects of the one reality which appeal to different types of individuals under different circumstances.
The 'stripes of a rainbow' idea, you mean? But that doesn't address the fact that religions have ideas of God which are not simply partial but contradictory. God cannot be unary and a trinity, alone and many (as in polytheism), immanent and non-immanent, fundamentally incorporeal and incarnated, etc. So it's not a very useful theory to hold, because how - without some yet larger, overreaching religion, which would then be the truth - would you determine which bits of which religions were correct? If you could say 'Hinduism is right about reincarnation, Christianity is right about ethics, Islam is right about the importance of works and Wicca is right about nature' you would have formed a HinChriIsWic religion which itself claimed objective truth, thus destroying your initial assertion that no religion has the handle on objective truth. Which is fine, I suppose; but you would then have to prove that your new religion had objective truth, which would necessitate an objective source of revelation, which would initiate a whole host of epistemic problems that I won't go into unless asked because I'm probably boring your pants off at this juncture.

Christianity does agree that we do not know everything there is to know about God. But it's also clear that we know enough - sufficient for salvation and for a workable metaphysic, at the very least - and that we're not missing any salvifically or metaphysically significant pieces of the puzzle. So while Christians are happy to enjoy quotes or theories from other religions as springboards to reflect on the Christian God, we tend to be wary of extrabiblical doctrines or major extra revelations (especially those who consider the canon closed, which most Christians do).
post #26 of 84
umsami,

your quotes were lovely, but I've seen a tremendous amount of quotes directly from the Koran that contradict these things totally. Mohammed committed many murders himself, and yet the book says to live like Mohammed. I have a hard time rationalizing it or understanding how this can be construed as a "religion of peace."

You can find very ugly things in the Bible too, but its all Old Testament stuff. The New Testament set all of that straight and was much more compassionate/non judgemental.

To my understanding, Islam has no New Testament equivalent, and those who consider themselves "by the book" and take things fundamentally are said to be "radical" or misunderstanding in some way. Yet from the way I read it, its quite clear that Mohammed wanted to destroy the infidels etc. Rational, educated muslims seem to temper this with compassion and sort of pick and choose if you will. But those who "follow the book" seem to be more in line with the fundamentalist Islam stereotypes people in this country struggle with.

I'm no expert, but I've done a quite a bit of reading the actual Koran and I just cannot get past the fact that in many ways things Mohammed did were not the most admirable IMO. To live as he lived is very much confusing to me as a peace loving person.

Also, want to add that I realize this post may offend some and I REALLY don't intend to do that. One of my best friends is Palestinian and came to this country at age 17. His family is certainly very much Islamic and they are wonderful loving compassionate people. But they always explain it to me that the ones who promote jihad are uneducated and "have it wrong" but from the text I've read, they seem to be following the advice of the book...which makes me sad.

Its rare for me to even go in a thread on Religion because these debates/discussions rarely go anywhere, but this is something I struggle with. FWIW, I'm a Buddhist but have studied religion a fair amount in particular what the Koran says given the situation with Islam in the world today (as the fastest growing religion).

Further I have concerns about countries in which there is no freedom of religion and people are forced to either accept Islam or be killed. Again, this is not a peaceful situation.

To reiterate, I feel very strongly/badly for muslims dealing with prejudices in this country (and others for that matter) who do nothing to harm others. I know there are many. I just can't understand how these portions of the Koran are overlooked...and I fully accept I could be missing something here. Don't claim to be an expert.

XOXO
B
post #27 of 84
It's getting OT (again ... sorry Tuesday) ... but on the translations issue, just wanted to add one more note to the effect that it should be remembered that in Arabic the Qur'an is poetic, often in a very literal way ... while more true of the shorter chapters than the longer ones, a great deal of the Quran is loosely metered and rhymes. Anyone who has ever read poetry in both its original language and in translation knows already that poetry just doesn't translate well -- you can either sacrifice meaning for the purposes of forcing the poetic form, or you can sacrifice form for the sake of meaning, but you just can't often have both.

Take, for an easy example, the first chapter. In the aforementioned M.A.S. Abdel Haleem translation it goes: In the name of god, the lord of mercy, the giver of mercy. Praise belongs to god, lord of the worlds, the lord of mercy, the giver of mercy, master of the day of judgement. It is you we worship, it is you we ask for help. Guide us to the straight path: the path of those you have blessed, those who incur no anger and who have not gone astray. A perfectly nice little prayer. And then listen. I think if you are unfamiliar with the language you can still hear what I'm getting at ... no matter how good the translation, there is no substituting for where form and meaning are united. A translated can be good, but it is necessarily somewhat amputated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShwarmaQueen
Yes, muslims believe Islam is the TRUE religion
... and also that there have been religious laws in existence -- Jewish, specifically -- that were valid but are not a part of Islamic guidelines, and that believers genuinely following the Torah and the Gospel as available to them in the present tense should not fear. So while Islam argues that the crux of its message is THE one, it would be an error to say that it also asserts that the minutiae of it is or has been as well.

Sorry to be taking over here , but I really feel it is an important distinction to be made -- that it is definitely not an open-ended pluralism on its own, but it is also not at all "one/true/only" in the same sense as a great many people take the idea of salvation through faith in Christ.
post #28 of 84
Beth:

Umm... Mohammed did not commit many murders, I'm not sure where you're getting this from. I think you might benefit from reading about Muhammad and Islam. There's a book called "No god but God" written by Reza Aslan which covers a lot...and is really really well written. (Honestly, a lot of the books on Islam in English are not well written... so yes, this does matter!) It will cover the tribal wars and such that are part of the history of Arabia...and the rise of Islam as well. It also covers the events which were going on when the various surahs were revealed. They were revealed in context... so certain verses only apply to a certain situation that Muhammad was facing.

Muhammad was ranked the most influential man in history by Michael Hart in his book. You can read an excerpt of it here http://www.jamaat.net/hart/thetop100.html

Quote:
My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels.

Of humble origins, Muhammad founded and promulgated one of the world's great religions, and became an immensely effective political leader. Today, thirteen centuries after his death, his influence is still powerful and pervasive.
I also think that it might be useful to know what was written on the sword of the Prophet Muhammad

Quote:
'Forgive him who wrongs you; join him who cuts you off; do good to him who does evil to you, and speak the truth although it be against yourself.'
I think your view of Islam is clouded by the events of 9-11... yet probably, like most Westerners, know very little about the history of Islam or Muslims. (Which most do not... I'm not trying to insult you or anything ) Historically, the past 20 years are a little blip in the history of a religion which is over 1400 years old.

Islam is a religion of peace... just look to Muslim Spain where Muslims ruled for over 700 years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Golden_Age

The Taliban not withstanding... Islam is a religion of science. Respect for God's creation...and in turn, figuring out the science behind it lead to many many great accomplishments.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_medicine

I agree that, in general, the New Testament is much more about grace, and less about judgment. Definitely. But you do know that Jesus had nothing to do with the writing of the New Testament, right? That it was written by people who never even lived during the time of Jesus. That it was codified 300 years after Jesus's death? (This comes from my time in a reformed theological seminary (Presbyterian)... as well as from various study Bibles.)

The NT is not without its faults or disturbing bits, though. 1 Cor 14:34-35 comes to mind, for one. Also, in Islam, divorce is allowed... there is no concept that divorce=adultery. (Mark 10:11-12)
Quote:
Further I have concerns about countries in which there is no freedom of religion and people are forced to either accept Islam or be killed. Again, this is not a peaceful situation.
I have concerns about this too...and it is against Islam and against the Qur'an, to be honest. The Qur'an clearly states that there is to be no compulsion in Islam. There was no convert or die nonsense during the 700 years of the Golden Age of Islam.

The justification of the death penalty for those that leave Islam is based on two ahadith... not the Qur'an. The validity of these ahadith...well, any ahadith IMHO... is questionable at best... as like the NT, they were written down long after the death of Muhammad. The specific hadith often cited, was only transmitted by one person... which would make it suspect at best. Definitely classified a weak hadith. There is no reference to the death penalty for apostasy in the Qur'an. Period. Really. And ahadith are not supposed to contradict the Qur'an.

There's also the logic thing. Umm... if you tell me convert or die... it's not like my faith is going to be authentic. I can say "sure, I believe" but God knows the truth. So...what's the point of that?

Islam is no different than any religion. There are good Muslims, there are bad Muslims. There are religious leaders who manipulate the texts to serve their needs... there are those that don't. But really, if you look at most historians views of Prophet Muhammad, it is quite favorable. He was not only viewed as an honest and just secular leader.. .but a good, tolerant religious leader as well. Not so shabby. Really.

Gandhi said, "I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind.... I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life."

George Bernard Shaw said, "I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion for from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity."

And there are many others. Try Googling non-muslims or historians opinions of Muhammad. It's not just these guys.

The people who pervert Islam... who have taken it from a tolerant religion which promoted peace, understanding, science, and art.... and turned it into a religion of violence and ignorance bother me much more than you. Trust me.

Peace,
umsami
post #29 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by BethSLP View Post
To my understanding, Islam has no New Testament equivalent, and those who consider themselves "by the book" and take things fundamentally are said to be "radical" or misunderstanding in some way. Yet from the way I read it, its quite clear that Mohammed wanted to destroy the infidels etc. Rational, educated muslims seem to temper this with compassion and sort of pick and choose if you will. But those who "follow the book" seem to be more in line with the fundamentalist Islam stereotypes people in this country struggle with.
The contents of the new testament aside ... although a worthwhile thread all its own ... I'm curious what makes it "quite clear that Mohammed wanted to destroy the infidels"? I'd just like specifics, not to jump all over you or anything but just because there are verses in the Quran that have been interpreted as such, but that it is not a question of rational/educated muslims cherry-picking or tempering this in any way to say it is not a sweeping commandment. It is a highly orthodox, classical position to say that certain verses are context-specific ... there are, for example, in the body of recorded words of Muhammad times in which he himself explained even to the very first believers the context of verses that confused them. Certain verses having to do with slaying infidels, etc, are very well known, and historically known, among muslims to be among those that are context-relevant. And I think, if you could give examples of what is disturbing you, you are likely to find people very happy to explain what was going on at the time and what those words are known to have meant to the people in that time. And what other recorded words and dealings with non-believers are what would cause many of us to say that taking the harsher view as sweeping commandments is itself an act of selective reading.
post #30 of 84
I agree that many Muslims and non-Muslims do not fully acknowledge or understand what seems to many to be a contradiction between the fact that Islam does teach peace and the life of Muhammad/ certain verses in Qu'ran. The only way to reconcile this is to have a better understanding and backround of the religion, the verses in Qu'ran and especially the life of our prophet Muhammad.

At NO time in Islamic history did the Muslims EVER go around just killing "the infedels" wherever they found them. Muhammad himself did not do this nor did his companions. So obviously, this is NOT how the verse was understood by them and it should not be interpreted this way by us. No single Muslim in the entire world understands it this way and no single Muslim (and I am including the "terrorists" in this) will ever tell you that all non-Muslims must be irraticated from the face of this earth. So, if Muhammad did not understand it this way, his companions did not understand it this way, and Muslims throughout history do not understand it this way, then how is it to be understood? (I am going to post several links to answer these questions)

Also, what about 9-11, Osama bin Laden and the other groups that the Western media has told us is trying to kill all non- Muslims?? I would argue that they are not fighting against the non-Muslims because they are NON-Muslims, but rather against western foreign policy. Throughout the Muslim and non Muslim world, America has a reputation for protecting their own intrests many times at the expense of others. I DISAGREE with the way that Osama bin Laden and his group decided to fight this, and do not in any way condone his actions against innocent people. In fact, it is against "rules of engagement" in Islam to kill women, children, innocent people, etc. I am just making the point that the media might be misportraying what is really happening here. People around the world are angry. We need to ask ourselves why. Osama bin laden took up arms against America because they put an American military base IN Saudi Arabia. According to Islam, non-Muslim military should not be allowed on the Arabian penninsula. This is to protect our holy cities. Again, Islam does NOT condone the killing of innocents.

On a similar note, the west have told us about Somali "pirates" who are attacking trade ships, etc. Many laws have been made and military ships have been placed to "protect" against these "pirates". The TRUTH is that the British were dumping nuclear waste onto Somali shores and the "pirates" came about to protect their waters from this dump. Lets be careful about what we are told!

Islam does believe in peace, it also believes in justice and human rights. We ARE told to fight against injustice and those who would deprive others of the rights God gave them. At the time Islam came, the "infedels" , people who abused women and treated them as commodities, mistreated slaves, and had all sorts of inhumane, socially destructive practices, would torture and kill the Muslims because Islam, being a religion of justice (and peace) was a threat to their way of life!

It is a wonder that many African Americans and women find themselves embracing Islam after decades of abuse. One Jewish man wrote that the Jews, if they knew their own history, would have a sense of gratitude towards the Muslims because the only time in history when the Jews lived as a minority did they enjoy freedom to practice their religion without persecution under MUSLIM rule in Andalusia.

It would be a Muslims duty to fight, by any means, against injustices done to others.

As far as "Muslim" countries go, it would be iggnorant to use them as an example of some sort of Muslim utopia. Any Muslim will tell you that the Muslim countries do not adhere to the correct practice of Islamic law or governance. So to say that Muslims in Muslim countries must embrace Islam or be killed does not point to the religion (because Islam teaches there is no compulsion in religion) but rather to the iggnorance and misuse of power by those heading the governments of these countries.

There is a FABULOUS movie called "the Message" with Anthony Quinn that I encourage everyone trying to understand Islam to watch.

Also, here are some sites that answer some of the questions many people ask about Islam:
http://www.islamnewsroom.com/content/view/76/52/ (you can browse this but I copied the link to the page that discusses "jihad" and the Islamic view towards non-Muslims)

this one is a Qu'ran showcase that has many verses and commentary on Qu'ran:
http://www.islamtoday.com/showme2.cf...sub_cat_id=647

Please feel free to PM me with any questions or clarification.

peace!!
Faiza
post #31 of 84
Here are a few quotes that I am talking about from the Koran (Qu'ran):

4:75 "The true believers fight for the cause of God, but the infidels fight for the devil. Fight then against the friends of Satan" & 4:91 "If these [hypocrites/unbelievers] do not keep their distance from you, if they neither offer you peace nor cease their hostilities against you , lay hold of them and kill them wherever you find them. Over such men We give you absolute authority.", 4:97 "The unbelievers are your inveterate foe".

If any of your women commit a lewd act, call in four witnesses from among yourselves against them; if they testify to their guilt confine them to their houses till death overtakes them or till God finds another way for them", 4:10 "A male shall inherit twice as much as a female", 4:34 "Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them, forsake them in beds apart, and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high, supreme."

Muslims also shouldn't integrate with nonbelievers 4:141 "Believers, do not choose the infidels rather than the faithful for your friends".

8:36 "Make war on them [unbelievers] until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme."


Bolding is mine.

These are just a few examples of what I found that concern me. As far as committing many murders, I would be more accurate to say "ordered" many murders.

XOXO
B
post #32 of 84
I'm watching this thread with interest. I thought I knew a lot about Islam, but I guess I'm still learning quite a bit. If those verses aren't to be interpreted literally, how must we interpret them? Not trying to pick at all, just honestly curious.
post #33 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by BethSLP View Post
Here are a few quotes that I am talking about from the Koran (Qu'ran):

"Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other,

As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them, forsake them in beds apart, and beat them.

8:36 "Make war on them [unbelievers] until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme."


Bolding is mine.

These are just a few examples of what I found that concern me. As far as committing many murders, I would be more accurate to say "ordered" many murders.

XOXO
B
Red coloring is mine.

The problem that we have here is that since the Koran is written in classic arabic, it is difficult for most, even native Arabic speakers to understand. The meaning can sorta be written in foreign languages, but not very well. The words/phrases bolded in red are from classic arabic.

The word that was translated to "beat" in the second example can mean multiple things- other meanings include "ignore", "turn your back to", "speak to" and more. So easy to see how this one word, with multiple meanings in classic arabic can be used for arguement against non-violence in Islam. Most husbands, mine included (a very religious man), doesn't use this sentence to condone beating me, and I don't know any muslim men who do- though I'm sure there are those who do. DH prefers the "ignore" and then "speak to" translation.

The third example "make war with" I'm assuming is the same over-used (by the media) word Jihad, which can mean "struggle", "fight", "Strain", and other meanings. Again, it's easy to see when it's meaning is put into another language, the meaning can be tossed around which ever direction.
post #34 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by angelpie545 View Post
I'm watching this thread with interest. I thought I knew a lot about Islam, but I guess I'm still learning quite a bit. If those verses aren't to be interpreted literally, how must we interpret them? Not trying to pick at all, just honestly curious.
It's similar to Hermeneutics... Bible interpretation, actually. Not everything is literal--just as it isn't for most Christians.

There are a few Christians who view everything as literal.

There are others who interpret it as a historical document.

Other view it as midrash.

And still others view it as folklore.

Etc.

There are passages in the Bible regarding slaves and such. Nothing prohibits slavery in the Bible. Does that mean that one should own slaves or that it is jsut to do so?

Another example that comes to mind is the use of 40 in the Bible. It rained for 40 days and nights. Jesus went out into the desert for 40 days. Some people view this is a literal 40 days. But in Middle Eastern culture, 40 is a simple way of saying a very long time. Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves does not mean that there are an actual 40 thieves... but a whole lot.

Context is everything.

OK... as for the quotes you mentioned...

I think ShwarmaQueen did a good job. A

Another thing to mention is the defintion of an infidel/kafir. It is not, for one thing a Person of the Book.. .somebody God has revealed scripture to, which includes Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians as per the Qur'an. It's common in Western media to portray Infidels as only non-Muslims... but that's not how it is described in the Qur'an. at all.

You mentioned following the example of the Prophet and this troubles you. Well, he never ever beat any woman...and this is well known, and undisputed among Muslims today. He also helped his wives with housework... mending his own clothes, etc. His last sermon talks about treating all with kindness....
http://www.islamfortoday.com/lastsermon.htm

I'll be back either later tonight or tomorrow to write more... sorry, DD just woke up.
post #35 of 84
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by umsami View Post
Beth:

... There's a book called "No god but God" written by Reza Aslan which covers a lot...and is really really well written. (Honestly, a lot of the books on Islam in English are not well written... so yes, this does matter!) It will cover the tribal wars and such that are part of the history of Arabia...and the rise of Islam as well. It also covers the events which were going on when the various surahs were revealed. They were revealed in context... so certain verses only apply to a certain situation that Muhammad was facing.


umsami
Just wanted to recommend this book by Reza Aslan. I'm halfway through it (after a few friendly MDC Muslim moms recommended it) and finding it very insightful in terms of history of Islam and Arabia itself.

Umsami - I loved reading George Bernard Shaw's quote! Thanks!
post #36 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by BethSLP View Post
Here are a few quotes that I am talking about from the Koran (Qu'ran):

4:75 "The true believers fight for the cause of God, but the infidels fight for the devil. Fight then against the friends of Satan" & 4:91 "If these [hypocrites/unbelievers] do not keep their distance from you, if they neither offer you peace nor cease their hostilities against you , lay hold of them and kill them wherever you find them. Over such men We give you absolute authority.", 4:97 "The unbelievers are your inveterate foe".

If any of your women commit a lewd act, call in four witnesses from among yourselves against them; if they testify to their guilt confine them to their houses till death overtakes them or till God finds another way for them", 4:10 "A male shall inherit twice as much as a female", 4:34 "Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them, forsake them in beds apart, and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high, supreme."

Muslims also shouldn't integrate with nonbelievers 4:141 "Believers, do not choose the infidels rather than the faithful for your friends".

8:36 "Make war on them [unbelievers] until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme."


Bolding is mine.

These are just a few examples of what I found that concern me. As far as committing many murders, I would be more accurate to say "ordered" many murders.
The Qu'ran should be interpreted the way that Muhammad and his companions understood it. In order to do this, we must refer to the scholars of the religion who can give us a better history and backround of the verse.

4: (74) And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?― men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from Thee one who will protect; and raise for us from Thee one who will help!" (75) Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah and those who reject Faith fight in the cause of Evil: so fight ye against the friends, of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.

An explaination/ backround of this verse is in the follow site:
http://tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=4&tid=11689

It will explain that this verse was reveled to defend the Muslims being oppressed in Makkah. I do not see how anyone can take issue with this verse when they have a proper understanding of what was happening in that time. Again, i would encourage anyone looking to really understand Islam and the time in which the religion came, to watch the movie "The Message" with Anthony Quinn.

4:89) Except those who join a group between whom and you there is a treaty (of peace) or those who approach you with hearts restraining them from fighting you or fighting their own people. If Allah had pleased, He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you: therefore if they withdraw from you but fight you, not and (instead) send you (guarantees of) peace, then Allah hath opened no way for you (to war against them). (90) Others you will find that wish to be secure from you as well as that of their people: every time they are sent back to temptation, they succumb thereto: if they withdraw not from you nor give you (guarantees) of peace besides restraining their hands, seize them and slay them Wherever ye get them: in their case We have provided you with a clear argument against them.

Again this is refering to a specific group of people and situation:
http://tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=4&tid=11879
Combatants vs. non- combatants:
http://tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=4&tid=11899

You mentioned verse 4:97:

(95) Ranks specially bestowed by Him and Forgiveness and Mercy. For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (96) When angels take the souls of those who die in sin against their souls, they say: "In what (plight) were ye?" They reply: "Weak and oppressed were we in the earth." They say: "Was not the earth of Allah spacious enough for you to move yourselves away (from evil)?" Such men will find their abode in Hell―what an evil refuge!― (97) Except those who are (really) weak and oppressed―men, women, and children who have no means in their power, nor (a guide-post) to direct their way. (98) For these, there is hope that Allah will forgive: for Allah doth blot out (sins) and forgive again and again. (99) He who forsakes his home in the cause of Allah, finds in the earth many a refuge, wide and spacious: should he die as a refugee (away) from home for Allah and His Messenger, His reward becomes due and sure with Allah: and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

I am not sure what issue there was with this... please explain what objection you have in these verses.

4:10) Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children's (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females: if only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is a half. For parents a sixth share of the inheritance to each if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers (or sisters), the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies and debts. Ye know not whether your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. These are settled portions ordained by Allah; and Allah is All-Knowing All-Wise.

This is talking about laws of inheritance. To someone looking at this the may say this is unfair, but if you take a closer look, you will find that in Islam it is the responsibility (and a very stressed and important responsibility) for men to care for the necessities of women including food, clothing and shelter. If a women works or has her own money, it is hers to keep and it is not required that this money be used to provide for herself- that is the responsibility of the male members of her family. This is why sons inherit more than daughters- because they have a greater financial burdun thus needing more monetary means to provide for the members of their family. it is quite practical and really a mercy and blessing for women.

4:33) Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their, beds (and last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance): for Allah is Most High, Great (above you all).

Again, this is not talking about superiority in that one is more precious to God than the other. It is clearly referring to physical strength and that men are responsible for caring and providing for women.

As far as Muslims not integrating with non-Muslims, yes it is true that we believe it is better to surround yourself with people who have similar beliefs and values as yourself. It does not mean that we do not treat others with kindness and respect. But in order to maintain strong community ties and personal development, we encourage friendships within our muslim community and make friends and alliances where there is common ground and benefit. You will find the same ideology with the Amish, Jews, the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses and many others. It is not an ideology that is exclusive to muslims. You will also find many muslims have strong ties with non-muslims who stand for the same values and principles as themselves.

I hope this helps clarify a few things.

Faiza
post #37 of 84
I also want to second that my husband, who is a very practicing and conservative Muslim, does not beat me- ever! (and I am NOT always an "obidient" wife! LOL!!) Also, the prophet Muhammad never beat his wives nor did his companions.

There is a funny story about one of the prophet's closest companions, Umar, who was one of the rulers of the Muslim state after the prophets death. He was known for his strictness...

A man by the name of Abu Hurairah was having problems with his wife. He told her that he was going to go to Umar, the head of the state, and complain to him about her behavior. When he went to umar's house, he saw Umar sitting, head down being yelled at by HIS wife! He said poor Umar, his situation is worse than mine.

I am sharing this story because it shows a very opposite picture than what many have in their heads of Muslim women being beaten and oppressed. Women are women- delicate and emotional! The prophet told his companions that "the best of you are those who are best to their wives"
post #38 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by umsami View Post
It's similar to Hermeneutics... Bible interpretation, actually. Not everything is literal--just as it isn't for most Christians.

There are a few Christians who view everything as literal.

There are others who interpret it as a historical document.

Other view it as midrash.

And still others view it as folklore.

Etc.

There are passages in the Bible regarding slaves and such. Nothing prohibits slavery in the Bible. Does that mean that one should own slaves or that it is jsut to do so?

Another example that comes to mind is the use of 40 in the Bible. It rained for 40 days and nights. Jesus went out into the desert for 40 days. Some people view this is a literal 40 days. But in Middle Eastern culture, 40 is a simple way of saying a very long time. Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves does not mean that there are an actual 40 thieves... but a whole lot.

Context is everything.

OK... as for the quotes you mentioned...

I think ShwarmaQueen did a good job. A

Another thing to mention is the defintion of an infidel/kafir. It is not, for one thing a Person of the Book.. .somebody God has revealed scripture to, which includes Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians as per the Qur'an. It's common in Western media to portray Infidels as only non-Muslims... but that's not how it is described in the Qur'an. at all.

You mentioned following the example of the Prophet and this troubles you. Well, he never ever beat any woman...and this is well known, and undisputed among Muslims today. He also helped his wives with housework... mending his own clothes, etc. His last sermon talks about treating all with kindness....
http://www.islamfortoday.com/lastsermon.htm

I'll be back either later tonight or tomorrow to write more... sorry, DD just woke up.
It is actually very different IMO. 1. Because there is no new testament which sort of overrides some of the stuff in the old testament. The old testament is the one with all the slavery, etc. stuff in it. 2. Even the women on this thread have said the Qu'ran is viewed as the literal word of God, not written by man etc. Many Christians do feel that the Bible can be interpreted, etc. The Islamic faith does not present things in this manner. People are instructed to live like Mohammed. And Mohammed directly said these things. 3. There are definetly fundamentalist Christians in the world, but they are not the fastest growing religion in the world, they are not spreading violence and oppression, putting money on people's heads for drawing cartoons, etc. Like Bill Mahrer says, "all we allow our religious nuts to do is name gay teletubbies." 4. My true point is given what I've read and HOW its supposedly taught, I'm not sure those who are doing these things are so totally misguided or off base from the book as those who are living in peace.

I appreciate Shwarma's explanation, but it doesn't sit right with me. If the book is so clear and so direct from God himself, why is the translation so confusing? And why are the majority of translations written the exact way I wrote? And best case scenario, I accept your wording changes.....I still don't like the message. If your wife is disobedient, you should ignore her? You should struggle or fight against the "unbelievers." You should avoid being friends with those who are not Islamic, etc.

I don't believe men are superior to women. And I don't like how I see many women denied rights in some Islamic cultures.

Most of all I have deep concerns about what I perceive to be an attack on religious freedom, freedom of speech, etc. in the Western world. In Europe, the situation is particularly bad. When I was in Amsterdam in 2000, the neighborhood I stayed in was largely populated by Turkish immigrants. In those neighborhoods, women were clearly second class citizens. I walked into a business and was greeted harshly by a room full of men who told me I was not allowed to step inside because I was a woman and I had to go to a window outside to make my purchase. I saw women holding their baby boys up to the window to look out, but they themselves were not allowed to look out onto the street. More than anything, I have grave concerns about how people in the free world out of a motivation to be politically correct and religiously "tolerant" are giving away the freedoms of the western world. In Berlin last year in the span of 6 months, there were something like 5 honor killings. One case was a woman who wanted to stay in Berlin rather than return to her country and marry a cousin who was arranged for her. Because of this, she brought shame to her family (I assume this was construed as a "lewd act") and the family arranged for the youngest son to shoot her in the head at a bus stop. They usually choose the youngest son because he will get the lightest sentence. On top of this, the government in Berlin assigned HALF of the usual murder sentence because honor killings are a "part of their culture." This is a terrible human rights issue IMO. As Bill Mahrer says "Don't become so tolerant, that you tolerate intolerance."

Again, I know many muslims who act and live much as you say. They interpret things, live compassionately, etc. But the way the Qu'ran is written and the way it is promoted and taught is that you live like Mohammed and do like he did, and he did these things according to Islamic scholars, and to the words themselves. I just don't believe translation is THAT difficult that the meaning of such strong words can be changed so dramatically to shift the message.

I'd love to read the quotes explaining him doing housework and being so nurturing to women. What about the stories of him asking who is going to kill the two poets who mocked him (Abu 'Afak and 'Asma bint Marwan)? The first of which was an old man (said to be over 100 years old) who dared question Muhammed's killing an opponent. Muhammed then asked one of his disciples to kill him, and he was killed in his sleep. The second was a poetess who was incensed when she heard of the first poet's death. She wrote verses against the men of Medina for carrying out Muhammed's wishes. When Muhammed heard of this he asked "Who will rid me of Marwan's daughter?" A Muslim named Umayr bin 'Adiy l-Khatmi killed her and her unborn child that very night. When the man later worried he had committed a sin, Muhammed told him, "You have helped God and His Apostle, O'Umayr." And when he asked if he would incur punishment, Muhammed told him that "two goats wouldn't butt heads about her."
(reference for this story is Ibid 676)

According to one of the most respected sources on Muhammed's life Ibn Ishaq, following this the men in Marwan's tribe saw the "power of Islam" through her killing. They then acknowledged Muhammed as the Prophet of Allah. FWIW, I would too under those conditions.

I read countless stories like this from the Qu'ran and Hadiths. And I think its directly correlating to the increasing violence we see globally from the Muslim world. I don't know what's to be done about it. But I just feel its important that these parts of the Islamic faith are addressed and known, since they are the motivating factor for all these things that are occurring in our world today. Just calling this religion a "religion of peace" and dismissing a huge portion of the actual book as misguided somehow or giving people lesser murder sentences because its "cultural" is very troublesome to me.

My friend Sary and his family practice their beliefs and don't do this sort of thing. In Europe, these issues are becoming more and more of a problem. And I feel very concerned about the religious motivation underneath the violence and oppression. We need to protect our freedoms in the West and it means taking an honest look at what the book actually says and what translations are being used most commonly and by large numbers of people. Its not to say others may be more rational, compassionate, not interpret literally etc. But as this religions grows and grows, its a concern for me and women in the Western world who are unable to go into a store in Europe which is a FREE country.

XOXO
B
post #39 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuslimMama View Post

There is a funny story about one of the prophet's closest companions, Umar, who was one of the rulers of the Muslim state after the prophets death.
Is this Umar the same as Umayr bin 'Adiy l-Khatmi? Because in the story I just posted, he killed a woman and her unborn child because she questioned Muhammed in a poem.

I don't know if its the same guy because the spelling is a bit different.

Also, want to say that I'm wondering if I should leave this thread be since I've pretty much said my piece. I'm interested in all your replies, but I feel kind of yucky every time I post because while I don't know you mamas in real life I'm guessing you are very similar in belief to my dear Palestinian friend who I respect deeply. I don't mention all these things to call you out or anything, but merely because of what I stated before about how I feel its important that these stories are brought to light as I feel it impacts our world today. But not because I want to make anyone feel insulted or hurt about their beliefs. Its a fine line to walk. I'm just fairly convinced that regardless, criticism of one's faith is usually taken as hurtful. Does that make sense? Not sure how to keep it from being that.

XOXO
B
post #40 of 84
[/QUOTE]

Faiza,

I missed replying to your earlier. This does clarify some things, but I can't wrap my head about the quote above.

1. If men are stronger, why would they beat their wife? Lightly or otherwise? What is a light beating anyhow?

2. Can a woman choose another life for herself if she doesn't want to be obedient and isn't feeling the blessing of total dependency/obedience? Or is that grounds for being cast out of Islam (an in extreme cases, honor killing)?

3. On mixing with those with similar beliefs, this makes sense. Many religious/cultural groups naturally gravitate towards being with those who share similar values/support their values. However, I disagree that it is the same. Because I have yet to find scripture or text from other groups that labels the others as "inveterate foes" and so on. Very strong language. Naturally gravitating toward those who share beliefs is human nature. But to mandate separatism in those terms is not so peaceful IMO.

In regards to an earlier post, someone said that "people of the book" refers to Christians, Jews, etc. (not just Muslims). I have read the exact opposite on numerous occasions. Jews, in particular, were enemies for Muhammed throughout most of the stories I've read. It seems an ongoing theme of desert battles and fighting to convince everyone to accept Muhammed as prophet (or be killed). Even criticizing him in a poem was enough to be killed. Then the people of the tribe quickly accepted him (which is what people might do if they think they will die if they don't).

Where can I find the sweet stories you guys are posting about? Like helping with the clothes, etc. I always hear this stuff from people, but when I open the Qu'ran, I read the posts I've quoted here. How are our views of the same text SO vastly different? It cannot be translation alone. Esp. if the translation I'm reading has been widely accepted as correct by Islamic scholars.

XOXO
B
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Religious Studies
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Talk Amongst Ourselves › Spirituality › Religious Studies › question for Muslim worshippers? ? Help me defend, educate ...?