Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 5 Votes - 4.2 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
23-04-2012, 02:45 PM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
I wanted to ask Muslim this question for a long time.

How do you choose passages from Qur'an? And if you take Qur'an as a whole, do you represent some of verses differently, or do you just fully believe it, just dont force it on others?

I know a lot of "moderate" muslims that dont believe in stoning, hanging, forcing shariah law etc. we know that in both Bible and Qur'an there are few violent verses, so how do you choose which one to "skip"? I mean christians have their book written by a lot of authors from different times, so they can say "Well, maybe this one author hasnt been guided by God.." But Qur'an was written(verbally reavealed by Gabriel) by Muhammad and that is only one author

"Debating with creationist is like playing chess with pidgeon. It doesn't matter how good you are, pidgeon will knock over all of pieces, shit on chessboard and strut around like it won"
-Unknown
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Mishpul's post
24-04-2012, 12:21 AM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
If I were to draw an image of the prophet mohammad and post it here, What would your reaction be?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like angry-santa's post
24-04-2012, 03:03 PM (This post was last modified: 24-04-2012 03:07 PM by Internet Mullah.)
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(20-04-2012 12:01 PM)morondog Wrote:  What about condemning women to death by stoning for adultery? Good, bad or utterly evil?

Firstly, I want to point out that the punishment of stoning to death for committing adultery is not found in the Quran. However, Muslims believe that it is indeed one of the injunctions of of Shariah (or Islamic law), because it is mentioned in many of the authentic hadiths (or Prophetic narrations) although it is not mentioned in the Quran. And death for adultery is not something that is exclusive to Islam only, by the way, as it is also mentioned in the Bible (Leviticus, 20:10).

What the Quran does include is a punishment for fornication (which is lashing them a hundred times) in Chapter 24:02. So, this means that the stoning is a punishment for adultery for those who are married and the lashing (as mentioned in the Quran) is a punishment for sexual penetration between partners who are not married.

Now, your question is, do I think that this is a good thing? Well, I certainly feel a sadness for anyone who undergoes such a type of death. I don't want this to happen to anyone. But, on the other hand, I do believe that adultery is a sin, and I do not know the weight of this particular sin as God does (nor the weight of any other sin), and that's why cannot judge exactly how evil the sin is from His point of view. The only thing I believe is that He gave some of us a penis, and others a vagina, and it feels really good to use them, but they also come at a price because He attached certain laws to them. And He has the right to do that since He is the one created them in the first place. If we break those laws, then we will have to get punished for them in the manner that He prescribed.

At a larger scale, the laws in Shariah are also social and communal in practice, and the society revolves around the strong base which is the family, and it tries to uphold and strengthen the society with this base in mind. Relationships between males and females at the intimate level is only permitted between the husband and wife, the marriage contract is a legal entity in the form of contractual obligations which are upheld and maintained under the Islamic law. This means that sexual activities between couples who are not married are illegal and are not acceptable by the law. Therefore, is that the death penalty is there to ensure the safety of the society so that adultery occurs less frequently.

If a person chooses to sin in privacy, whatever that sin is, even homosexuality/adultery, then it is between him and God, and the sin can be erased if he repents. He is even allowed to lie about his adultery and it would not be a sin. However, the moment his adultery becomes publicized, or the moment he confesses his adultery - a death penalty is to be enforced upon the sinner even if He repents to God - and it depends on the crime, evidence, and the number of witnesses. And, again, This punishment is enforced upon the sinners mainly for the safety of the society in the long run.

Also, in all cases of adultery and fornication, for a death penalty to be applied, there has to be at least four eyewitnesses who testify in court that they have all seen the same act of vaginal penetration by those committing the adulterous act. In other words, the death penalty for adultery/fornication can be applied under two conditions: The existence of four witnesses, or the confession by the person who committed the sin. If there are no witnesses nor a confession, then there is no punishment. So, this makes the death penalty much harder to carry out (i.e because the sin of adultery requires proof) - but at the risk of being proven once - the extreme severity of the punishment should make people more cautious about committing such a sin.

Here's a long article on this topic:
Anti-Sex Laws of Islam: Not as Simple as You May Think

(20-04-2012 12:01 PM)morondog Wrote:  What about apostasy - conversion to another faith from Islam? I have heard that this is punishable by death in Egypt for example (probably not an official law, but one of us in Egypt said it was a genuine concern for him).

There are some countries which do carry out a death penalty for apostasy, such as Egypt and Turkey, for example.

However, there is a clear consensus among Muslims today that there is to be no death sentence for leaving Islam and converting to another faith (nor becoming an atheist). According to my knowledge, the death penalty was imposed in Muhammad's time only when apostasy was combined with hostility and treason, meaning that an apostate would betray or violently rebel against a Muslim state (after leaving Islam) and thus endangering the safety of the Muslim citizens. In other words, the rulings on apostasy were similar to those for treasonous acts in legal systems worldwide and do not apply to an individual's choice of religion.

In a nutshell, the argument is that it is totally against Islam to apply a death penalty for one's apostasy because: (1) it contradicts with a verse in the Quran which says "Let there be no compulsion in religion," and any hadith which contradicts the Quran should be automatically discarded because the Quran is the first and most important source of Shariah, (2) there is no report that the Prophet Muhammad ever ordered a death penalty on someone just for leaving Islam, and (3) the majority of scholars agree that the ruling on apostasy should applied if there are treasonous acts involved, which is, when the apostates try to cause harm or damage to the citizens of the state.

For example, Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish Muslim writer, said: "In the early Muslim state, apostasy became regarded as a crime because it was seen as a rebellion against the state. In other words, the real consideration was political and, by time, this turned into a religious rule as well. This is, of course, a deviation we Muslims should rid ourselves today."

You can learn more about this topic at the links below:
100+ Notable Islamic Voices on Apostasy
Preserving the Freedom for Faith
Affirmation of Freedom of Expression and Belief in the Quran

(22-04-2012 05:49 PM)FSM_scot Wrote:  Thread split and moved from intros. Lets see if we can get some competition for KC's ask a theist thread Big Grin

Thanks for splitting it, FSM.
Now I don't have to make a separate Q&A thread as Zephony suggested earlier.


The questions are coming in faster than I can reply to them, but I will come back to answer the rest of the questions later (either by today or tomorrow).

Nonetheless, keep them coming.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-04-2012, 03:12 PM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(24-04-2012 03:03 PM)Internet Mullah Wrote:  However, there is a clear consensus among Muslims today that there is to be no death sentence for leaving Islam and converting to another faith (nor becoming an atheist).
Can we get a citation for this? Where can I go to see the polling for this consensus, or see an official declaration by an Islamic authority?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like arbmouser's post
24-04-2012, 03:28 PM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
I've never understood the excuse of "It's not mentioned in the Quran" when nearly all muslims follow the Hadiths as well. And the Quran only takes precedence over the Hadiths when there is a contradiction. An absence of a bad thing doesn't mean you can't do it.

Also, this "let there be no compulsion in religion" thing is just as annoying. It's the verse that is always shouted at me when I talk about the death penalty. What I also get is that none of the oppressive Islamic countries don't follow Islam properly. Of course, some things will be taken out of proportion when you have the power of a god on your side but why is it so frequent?! I usually see a lot of hate for Iran because that's the worst Islamic country according to some... why? Do they not read the Quran? Or do all of them follow inauthentic hadiths?

Oh, when is Jihad permissible?

Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own understanding!
Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.


Enlightenment is liberating.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-04-2012, 03:34 PM (This post was last modified: 24-04-2012 03:44 PM by Internet Mullah.)
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(24-04-2012 03:12 PM)arbmouser Wrote:  Can we get a citation for this? Where can I go to see the polling for this consensus, or see an official declaration by an Islamic authority?

Okay, maybe I'm wrong because I don't about the actual statistics, but I said that because most of the Muslims that I spoke to (and know of) do not believe that apostates should be put to death. I know that death for apostasy does not happen to the vast majority of ex-Muslims, even in most Muslim countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, and countries in Africa, for example. Also, there is more scholarly evidence in the links that I provided on why it is incorrect in Islam to kill someone just because of his or her choice of religion. In my opinion, most of us believe that apostasy is a personal matter and no one should be killed for it.

ALovelyChickenMan, I'm going to answer you questions in a later reply, although I believe that your question about Jihad is already explained in the OP in this thread. Again, the answer is that Jihad is allowed only for the purpose of self-defense. But, I'll come back to it later.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-04-2012, 03:41 PM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
Since you claim the Jews, Christians, and Muslims have the Old, New, and Final Testaments what do you say of Joseph Smith, the golden plates, and the Book of Mormon? Is Jo Smith a newer prophet and the Book of Mormon an update to mistranslated copies of each of the former?

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.”

-Mark Twain
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes germanyt's post
24-04-2012, 03:46 PM (This post was last modified: 24-04-2012 03:53 PM by morondog.)
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
I'm a bit sad about the whole stoning people thing not being outright condemned... btw comparing it to the Bible makes me laugh, it's not like I consider the Bible any more reliable than the Quran.

Even if it's hadith, or even written in the Quran, should you guys not move on from there? If God's got a problem with it he'll surely do his thing when the relevant parties die anyway, if he's anything like the Christian God then eating the wrong colour smarties is enough to condemn you.
Also slightly confused about this public / private sinning deal?

Adultery is allowed so long as you keep it secret?... Huh

Thanks for the answers by the way Smile I have a couple of moderate Muslim friends whom I've lost touch with but they're good guys.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes morondog's post
24-04-2012, 05:47 PM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(20-04-2012 07:31 PM)Chas Wrote:  Why do you believe in Allah? Why not some other god? Why any god?

Here are the three main reasons I believe in Allah, which are:
(1) the teleological argument; (2) the concept of Allah as portrayed in the Quran; and (3) what we know about the history of Islam.

The first one is basically a philosophical matter. Although there is no hard evidence for the existence of God (or Allah), I believe in Him especially because of a kind of inductive reasoning by looking at the world around me, and I feel that there is some kind of an intelligence operating behind the universe when I look at the beauty and complexity of the stars, galaxies, animals, our planet, the human brain, self-awareness, and many other things. I find it unlikely that all of this would come about simply as an accident or as a by-product of mindless, purposeless forces. That's why I believe that there is a Creator.

Why do I specifically believe in Allah as opposed to other gods? Well, first I would like to point out that I do not differentiate the words "Allah" and "God" as two different things. They actually mean the same thing, but only in a different language. And it's not the name of a god that matters, but the concept behind it. For example, the oneness and the indivisible nature of Allah is one of those things that makes it seem like a valid concept. The reason I reject other gods because the essential nature and the attributes of those particular gods are just less believable to me (or more unlikely to be true). Also, as I wrote in the OP in this thread, I believe that Allah is the same god as that of all the three Abrahamic religions. It's just that there is a different name assigned to Him, and the religions have a different set of revelations or scriptures although the messages are pretty much the same since they came from the same god (regardless of having different names).

The third reason is the accuracy of the historical information about Muhammad's life that are known to us, the history of Islam, and the history of the Quran. Even from a scholarly perspective, we know more about Muhammad than we know about Jesus, Moses, Noah, or any other prophet because he was the last one. The life of Muhammad is a well-documented life unlike the life of other prophets. There are many historians and scholars who have written about him with a great amount of detail and accuracy in their biographies. But still, no one was able to prove that he told a lie, or that he was hiding a foreign book in his house, or that he was being educated by someone, or that he went to a different country to get access to books from a library, etc. On the contrary, there is more evidence that he was an honest and faithful person according to the most authentic reports about him.

Some people might say the Quran is just a plagiarism of the Bible or some other scriptures. However, I think that is not true. Why? Because the Prophet was illiterate, and the people who lived during his time knew that this was true, and that's why he wouldn't be able to read the Torah nor be able to write an entire book all by himself. If he was being taught by someone, however, then people would have doubted him as a prophet because then he would be able to read the Torah, and sooner or later, most likely he would've been exposed as a liar because he was surrounded by the pagans, Romans, Christians, Jews, non-believers, and many other enemies who were always trying to to discredit him as a truthful person. Yet, there is not a single report from anyone who lived during his lifetime that he told a lie or that he was untruthful.

During my pursuit of learning about Islam, when I went back to the original sources and the time period in history when Islam was revealed, I learned that it presents a very simple concept: That there is one God who is the source of all creation, and that He has created mankind as His representative on earth for the purpose of growing through learning and experience into righteous individuals, and to assist mankind is achieving this goal, there are the five pillars of Islam. We believe that the Quran is only one of the many other scriptures that were sent to his prophets, but it is the last and final one.

(20-04-2012 07:31 PM)Chas Wrote:  Why would any woman with any intelligence and self-respect be a Muslim?

Well, I think the reasons are pretty much the same as any man would. Also, a woman can have intelligence and self-respect regardless of her faith.

What I want to say is that, In Islam, men have their own roles and women have their own roles. Men have been given a role that they are more capable of doing, and women have been given a role that they are more capable of doing. Neither of these roles is inherently better than the other or "looked down" upon in Islam. For a Muslim, equality is a religious and spiritual equality which means that when we do good deeds, whether a male or a female, we are both rewarded equally. And this is the meaning of equality in Islam. Women have to prove their worth in the sight of God, not in the sight of men. And the same goes for men.

Islam ensures equality between men and women. What it does not provide is identicality. Modern cultures enforces identicality on men and women. But, in my opinion, men and women are not identical. They are different, have always been, and will always be different. The psychological pressure that modern society leverages on women to mimic men and become identical to them has destroyed many a women's life by forcing them into situations that are against their very innate nature. So, the point is that Islam ensures that there is equality between sexes even though the roles may be different. It ensures that in areas where women are natural leaders, men play a supporting role and it ensures that in areas where men are natural leaders, women play a supporting role.

And here's a nice article about Muslim women's equality:
The Status of Women in Islam

Speaking of Muslim women, there are also many people who think that Islam requires women to cover their entire body with a long garment as well as their faces. And that is one of the most common reasons they think that Muslim women are encouraged to be 'oppressed' in Islam or made 'inferior' to men. However, in my opinion, and according to many knowledgeable scholars, the wearing of this special garment (known as a "burqa") is actually a tribal and cultural practice that began centuries before the time of Islam, and has no authority in the Quran.

According to my knowledge, the thing is that the pre-Islamic Arabs were a people that were not fully developed in terms of clothing. As with most people in their time, Arabs had nobleman, commoners, and slaves. The female commoners and slaves wore few clothing just like in Africa, and some women used to go around only wearing a loincloth, with their breasts uncovered/visible to others, while a headcovering or a full body covering was the way that noblewomen dressed. But many of the Arabs at the time were a bestial people, and thus oftentimes they would harass any women they knew was not of a noble heritage, and since commoners and slaves did not wear a full-body covering, they would frequently harass them or rape them. This was something that Muhammad himself was said to have been witness to. So, that is when the Quran directed all the Muslim women to "draw over their veils (khimar)" so that it covers their chest (Chapter 23:41).

However, the emphasis of that particular verse is on covering the chest/breast only, not their hair or their faces, because many of them used to wear headcovers anyways except that sometimes they would have their breasts in the open. It is in that context that the verse was revealed. As I said before, the exact nature of the burqa/niqab/hijab is primarily a social one, and the practice of wearing them started way before the rise of Islam. In the Quran, too, there is no real instruction that a Muslim woman should cover her head, face, nor the rest of her body. You can read more about the historical background of the subject matter at the article below:

Is it Obligatory for Women to Cover their heads?

That being said, I do know that there are many Muslim women who are intelligent and have respect for themselves. One of the most famous example of this today is Queen Rania of Jordan. Many people have said that she is a smart, brave, and a compassionate leader. If you want, you can read a transcript of her interview on the Oprah Winfrey Show where she intelligently answered questions about her views on Islam, freedom, and Muslim women at the link below:

Transcript: Queen Rania on Oprah Winfrey Show

_______________
Post numbers in which questions and/or comments are still pending: #s 15-22; 25; 27; 28
Approximate time for completion: 24 to 48 hours
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-04-2012, 06:42 PM (This post was last modified: 24-04-2012 08:59 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(24-04-2012 03:03 PM)Internet Mullah Wrote:  
(20-04-2012 12:01 PM)morondog Wrote:  What about condemning women to death by stoning for adultery? Good, bad or utterly evil?

Firstly, I want to point out that the punishment of stoning to death for committing adultery is not found in the Quran. However, Muslims believe that it is indeed one of the injunctions of of Shariah (or Islamic law), because it is mentioned in many of the authentic hadiths (or Prophetic narrations) although it is not mentioned in the Quran. And death for adultery is not something that is exclusive to Islam only, by the way, as it is also mentioned in the Bible (Leviticus, 20:10).

What the Quran does include is a punishment for fornication (which is lashing them a hundred times) in Chapter 24:02. So, this means that the stoning is a punishment for adultery for those who are married and the lashing (as mentioned in the Quran) is a punishment for sexual penetration between partners who are not married.

Now, your question is, do I think that this is a good thing? Well, I certainly feel a sadness for anyone who undergoes such a type of death. I don't want this to happen to anyone. But, on the other hand, I do believe that adultery is a sin, and I do not know the weight of this particular sin as God does (nor the weight of any other sin), and that's why cannot judge exactly how evil the sin is from His point of view. The only thing I believe is that He gave some of us a penis, and others a vagina, and it feels really good to use them, but they also come at a price because He attached certain laws to them. And He has the right to do that since He is the one created them in the first place. If we break those laws, then we will have to get punished for them in the manner that He prescribed.

At a larger scale, the laws in Shariah are also social and communal in practice, and the society revolves around the strong base which is the family, and it tries to uphold and strengthen the society with this base in mind. Relationships between males and females at the intimate level is only permitted between the husband and wife, the marriage contract is a legal entity in the form of contractual obligations which are upheld and maintained under the Islamic law. This means that sexual activities between couples who are not married are illegal and are not acceptable by the law. Therefore, is that the death penalty is there to ensure the safety of the society so that adultery occurs less frequently.

If a person chooses to sin in privacy, whatever that sin is, even homosexuality/adultery, then it is between him and God, and the sin can be erased if he repents. He is even allowed to lie about his adultery and it would not be a sin. However, the moment his adultery becomes publicized, or the moment he confesses his adultery - a death penalty is to be enforced upon the sinner even if He repents to God - and it depends on the crime, evidence, and the number of witnesses. And, again, This punishment is enforced upon the sinners mainly for the safety of the society in the long run.

Also, in all cases of adultery and fornication, for a death penalty to be applied, there has to be at least four eyewitnesses who testify in court that they have all seen the same act of vaginal penetration by those committing the adulterous act. In other words, the death penalty for adultery/fornication can be applied under two conditions: The existence of four witnesses, or the confession by the person who committed the sin. If there are no witnesses nor a confession, then there is no punishment. So, this makes the death penalty much harder to carry out (i.e because the sin of adultery requires proof) - but at the risk of being proven once - the extreme severity of the punishment should make people more cautious about committing such a sin.

Here's a long article on this topic:
Anti-Sex Laws of Islam: Not as Simple as You May Think

(20-04-2012 12:01 PM)morondog Wrote:  What about apostasy - conversion to another faith from Islam? I have heard that this is punishable by death in Egypt for example (probably not an official law, but one of us in Egypt said it was a genuine concern for him).

There are some countries which do carry out a death penalty for apostasy, such as Egypt and Turkey, for example.

However, there is a clear consensus among Muslims today that there is to be no death sentence for leaving Islam and converting to another faith (nor becoming an atheist). According to my knowledge, the death penalty was imposed in Muhammad's time only when apostasy was combined with hostility and treason, meaning that an apostate would betray or violently rebel against a Muslim state (after leaving Islam) and thus endangering the safety of the Muslim citizens. In other words, the rulings on apostasy were similar to those for treasonous acts in legal systems worldwide and do not apply to an individual's choice of religion.
(24-04-2012 03:03 PM)Internet Mullah Wrote:  In a nutshell, the argument is that it is totally against Islam to apply a death penalty for one's apostasy because: (1) it contradicts with a verse in the Quran which says "Let there be no compulsion in religion," and any hadith which contradicts the Quran should be automatically discarded because the Quran is the first and most important source of Shariah, (2) there is no report that the Prophet Muhammad ever ordered a death penalty on someone just for leaving Islam, and (3) the majority of scholars agree that the ruling on apostasy should applied if there are treasonous acts involved, which is, when the apostates try to cause harm or damage to the citizens of the state.

For example, Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish Muslim writer, said: "In the early Muslim state, apostasy became regarded as a crime because it was seen as a rebellion against the state. In other words, the real consideration was political and, by time, this turned into a religious rule as well. This is, of course, a deviation we Muslims should rid ourselves today."

You can learn more about this topic at the links below:
100+ Notable Islamic Voices on Apostasy
Preserving the Freedom for Faith
Affirmation of Freedom of Expression and Belief in the Quran

(22-04-2012 05:49 PM)FSM_scot Wrote:  Thread split and moved from intros. Lets see if we can get some competition for KC's ask a theist thread Big Grin

Thanks for splitting it, FSM.
Now I don't have to make a separate Q&A thread as Zephony suggested earlier.


The questions are coming in faster than I can reply to them, but I will come back to answer the rest of the questions later (either by today or tomorrow).

Nonetheless, keep them coming.
WAIT A MINUTE. You just wrote

1. "What the Quran does include is a punishment for fornication (which is lashing them a hundred times) in Chapter 24:02. So, this means that the stoning is a punishment for adultery for those who are married and the lashing (as mentioned in the Quran) is a punishment for sexual penetration between partners who are not married."

You seem to be promoting the Qu'ran as the truth, so you agree with this? If so, you are EVIL and IMMORAL. Sex is a natural, healthy part of being human, and, when enjoyed between consenting adults, it is none of Allan's, Mohammed's or a priest's business. Lashing is an offence against humanity and secular law.

2. Re "At a larger scale, the laws in Shariah are also social and communal in practice,"

NO THEY ARE NOT MATE. YOU HAVE BEEN BRAINWASHED BY MULLAHS. The laws are there to control people like you. They suppress women and homosexuals, and hold your communities back.

3. Re "However, there is a clear consensus among Muslims today that there is to be no death sentence for leaving Islam and converting to another faith (nor becoming an atheist). According to my knowledge, the death penalty was imposed in Muhammad's time only when apostasy was combined with hostility and treason, meaning that an apostate would betray or violently rebel against a Muslim state (after leaving Islam) and thus endangering the safety of the Muslim citizens. In other words, the rulings on apostasy were similar to those for treasonous acts in legal systems worldwide and do not apply to an individual's choice of religion."

BULLSHIT. The laws were written to stop people leaving the cult. Believe what I do, do as you're told, or else pay me a tax, or you're dead! These rules are not applied today because it is impossible, and obviously immoral, to do so, although many of your more radical mates still try to apply them.
(24-04-2012 05:47 PM)Internet Mullah Wrote:  
(20-04-2012 07:31 PM)Chas Wrote:  Why do you believe in Allah? Why not some other god? Why any god?

Here are the three main reasons I believe in Allah, which are:
(1) the teleological argument; (2) the concept of Allah as portrayed in the Quran; and (3) what we know about the history of Islam.

The first one is basically a philosophical matter. Although there is no hard evidence for the existence of God (or Allah), I believe in Him especially because of a kind of inductive reasoning by looking at the world around me, and I feel that there is some kind of an intelligence operating behind the universe when I look at the beauty and complexity of the stars, galaxies, animals, our planet, the human brain, self-awareness, and many other things. I find it unlikely that all of this would come about simply as an accident or as a by-product of mindless, purposeless forces. That's why I believe that there is a Creator.

Why do I specifically believe in Allah as opposed to other gods? Well, first I would like to point out that I do not differentiate the words "Allah" and "God" as two different things. They actually mean the same thing, but only in a different language. And it's not the name of a god that matters, but the concept behind it. For example, the oneness and the indivisible nature of Allah is one of those things that makes it seem like a valid concept. The reason I reject other gods because the essential nature and the attributes of those particular gods are just less believable to me (or more unlikely to be true). Also, as I wrote in the OP in this thread, I believe that Allah is the same god as that of all the three Abrahamic religions. It's just that there is a different name assigned to Him, and the religions have a different set of revelations or scriptures although the messages are pretty much the same since they came from the same god (regardless of having different names).

The third reason is the accuracy of the historical information about Muhammad's life that are known to us, the history of Islam, and the history of the Quran. Even from a scholarly perspective, we know more about Muhammad than we know about Jesus, Moses, Noah, or any other prophet because he was the last one. The life of Muhammad is a well-documented life unlike the life of other prophets. There are many historians and scholars who have written about him with a great amount of detail and accuracy in their biographies. But still, no one was able to prove that he told a lie, or that he was hiding a foreign book in his house, or that he was being educated by someone, or that he went to a different country to get access to books from a library, etc. On the contrary, there is more evidence that he was an honest and faithful person according to the most authentic reports about him.

Some people might say the Quran is just a plagiarism of the Bible or some other scriptures. However, I think that is not true. Why? Because the Prophet was illiterate, and the people who lived during his time knew that this was true, and that's why he wouldn't be able to read the Torah nor be able to write an entire book all by himself. If he was being taught by someone, however, then people would have doubted him as a prophet because then he would be able to read the Torah, and sooner or later, most likely he would've been exposed as a liar because he was surrounded by the pagans, Romans, Christians, Jews, non-believers, and many other enemies who were always trying to to discredit him as a truthful person. Yet, there is not a single report from anyone who lived during his lifetime that he told a lie or that he was untruthful.

During my pursuit of learning about Islam, when I went back to the original sources and the time period in history when Islam was revealed, I learned that it presents a very simple concept: That there is one God who is the source of all creation, and that He has created mankind as His representative on earth for the purpose of growing through learning and experience into righteous individuals, and to assist mankind is achieving this goal, there are the five pillars of Islam. We believe that the Quran is only one of the many other scriptures that were sent to his prophets, but it is the last and final one.

(20-04-2012 07:31 PM)Chas Wrote:  Why would any woman with any intelligence and self-respect be a Muslim?

Well, I think the reasons are pretty much the same as any man would. Also, a woman can have intelligence and self-respect regardless of her faith.

What I want to say is that, In Islam, men have their own roles and women have their own roles. Men have been given a role that they are more capable of doing, and women have been given a role that they are more capable of doing. Neither of these roles is inherently better than the other or "looked down" upon in Islam. For a Muslim, equality is a religious and spiritual equality which means that when we do good deeds, whether a male or a female, we are both rewarded equally. And this is the meaning of equality in Islam. Women have to prove their worth in the sight of God, not in the sight of men. And the same goes for men.

Islam ensures equality between men and women. What it does not provide is identicality. Modern cultures enforces identicality on men and women. But, in my opinion, men and women are not identical. They are different, have always been, and will always be different. The psychological pressure that modern society leverages on women to mimic men and become identical to them has destroyed many a women's life by forcing them into situations that are against their very innate nature. So, the point is that Islam ensures that there is equality between sexes even though the roles may be different. It ensures that in areas where women are natural leaders, men play a supporting role and it ensures that in areas where men are natural leaders, women play a supporting role.

And here's a nice article about Muslim women's equality:
The Status of Women in Islam

Speaking of Muslim women, there are also many people who think that Islam requires women to cover their entire body with a long garment as well as their faces. And that is one of the most common reasons they think that Muslim women are encouraged to be 'oppressed' in Islam or made 'inferior' to men. However, in my opinion, and according to many knowledgeable scholars, the wearing of this special garment (known as a "burqa") is actually a tribal and cultural practice that began centuries before the time of Islam, and has no authority in the Quran.

According to my knowledge, the thing is that the pre-Islamic Arabs were a people that were not fully developed in terms of clothing. As with most people in their time, Arabs had nobleman, commoners, and slaves. The female commoners and slaves wore few clothing just like in Africa, and some women used to go around only wearing a loincloth, with their breasts uncovered/visible to others, while a headcovering or a full body covering was the way that noblewomen dressed. But many of the Arabs at the time were a bestial people, and thus oftentimes they would harass any women they knew was not of a noble heritage, and since commoners and slaves did not wear a full-body covering, they would frequently harass them or rape them. This was something that Muhammad himself was said to have been witness to. So, that is when the Quran directed all the Muslim women to "draw over their veils (khimar)" so that it covers their chest (Chapter 23:41).

However, the emphasis of that particular verse is on covering the chest/breast only, not their hair or their faces, because many of them used to wear headcovers anyways except that sometimes they would have their breasts in the open. It is in that context that the verse was revealed. As I said before, the exact nature of the burqa/niqab/hijab is primarily a social one, and the practice of wearing them started way before the rise of Islam. In the Quran, too, there is no real instruction that a Muslim woman should cover her head, face, nor the rest of her body. You can read more about the historical background of the subject matter at the article below:

Is it Obligatory for Women to Cover their heads?

That being said, I do know that there are many Muslim women who are intelligent and have respect for themselves. One of the most famous example of this today is Queen Rania of Jordan. Many people have said that she is a smart, brave, and a compassionate leader. If you want, you can read a transcript of her interview on the Oprah Winfrey Show where she intelligently answered questions about her views on Islam, freedom, and Muslim women at the link below:

Transcript: Queen Rania on Oprah Winfrey Show

_______________
Post numbers in which questions and/or comments are still pending: #s 15-22; 25; 27; 28
Approximate time for completion: 24 to 48 hours
WHOA THERE!

Re "What I want to say is that, In Islam, men have their own roles and women have their own roles."


THIS IS NOT RIGHT/GOOD/SENSIBLE/MORAL. We should never allow priests or Mullahs, God or Allan, to tell people what "their role" is. In our modern world we can choose for ourselves. Stereotyping people and forcing them to conform is all about controlling the individual to profit certain groups.

Re "That being said, I do know that there are many Muslim women who are intelligent and have respect for themselves."

Really! An intelligent woman? A woman who respects herself? Are you sure? Fancy! And you worked this out without consulting the Qu'ran to see if such a thing was possible! Gosh, you are in touch with the modern world after all!
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Mark Fulton's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: