Saudi Arabia/USA: Muslims in America, The Perception


American Muslims who have immigrated to the United States and became citizens have come to America for the same reasons as many immigrants from around the world before them.  They come for the opportunities and the freedoms.  Just like many other immigrants they have come to America and retained their faith.  Within their home and community they also retain their customs – just like many other immigrants.  At the same time, they also adapt and embrace their new country and gift of citizenship.

The following words were not written by me.  They are controversial and insulting.  Yet they are a perspective that has reverberated among many Americans in the United States.  How do WE, yes, all of us, rebut and change the remarks of individuals who are biased, ignorant and/or afraid? When I read the words I see pieces and/or fragments of truth when twisted together create a “slanted” story.  I see much fear targeted at Muslims because of a lack of understanding about them or Islam. I challenge American Bedu readers to take each statement and respond.


Subject: Can Muslims Be Good Americans???

Is anybody listening?

This is very interesting and we all need to read it from start to finish.  And send it on to everyone.  Maybe this is why our American Muslims are so quiet and not speaking out about any atrocities.

Can a good Muslim be a good American?

This question was forwarded to a friend who worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 years. The following is his reply:

Theologically – no… Because his allegiance is to Allah, The moon god of Arabia .

Religiously – no… Because no other religion is accepted by His Allah except Islam. (Quran, 2:256)(Koran)

Scripturally – no… Because his allegiance is to the five Pillars of Islam and the Quran.

Geographically – no… Because his allegiance is to Mecca , to which he turns in prayer five times a day.

Socially – no… Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.

Politically – no…. Because he must submit to the mullahs (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America , the great Satan.

Domestically – no… Because he is instructed to marry four Women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him. (Quran 4:34 )

Intellectually – no… Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.

Philosophically – no…. Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran does not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.

Spiritually – no… Because when we declare ‘one nation under God,’ The Christian’s God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as Heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in the Quran’s 99 excellent names.

Therefore, after much study and deliberation… Perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. – – – They obviously cannot be both ‘good’ Muslims and ‘good’ Americans.  Call it what you wish it’s still the truth.. You had better believe it. The more who understand this, the better it  will be for our country and our future.
The religious war is bigger than we know or understand!

Footnote: The Muslims have said they will destroy us from within.

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241 Responses

  1. OK…not to start a bonfire BUT I just read something the other day on an Islamic website that kind of blew me away.I think it was submission.org as I was looking for another blog for something on what muslims have to do in terms of following the law when they go to another country.

    It said that a Muslims allegiance is to Allah and Sharia law which is God’s law first and always. They are required to follow the law of the land that they are in UNLESS it conflicts with Sharia. Then they are to disobey the manmade law or ignore it. The example they gave was if a country requires you to wear a seatbelt you will wear the seatbelt…NOT because it is the manmade law of the country but because it is Sharia compliant. Sharia says you are not to harm yourself and if you didn’t wear the seatbelt the you might be harmed if you got into an accident. They did go on to say that most laws in the west are sharia compliant in nature so that was a small comfort but it clearly said that Muslims follow the law of the land ONLY if it is ok with sharia…sort of blew me away because there is nothing in Christianity that says I have to follow the law only if it is Christian compliant. So in a sense what the man above says is true to a degree…Muslims are loyal to sharia first or are supposed to be not the laws of the country they are in.

  2. The Bible has the same commandments as Sharia, it’s just that most Christians are not knowledgeable about Biblical code. Here’s a link to reflect the Christian view: http://www.gotquestions.org/laws-land.html . If I’m not mistaken, the three Abrahamic religions have this perspective in common.

  3. Sorry I should have specified that I was responding to the statement that nothing in Christianity says you have to follow the law only if it is compliant.

  4. I thought this was interesting from the link Dania provided.

    “‘ Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men!’“ From this, it is clear that as long as the law of the land does not contradict the law of God, we are bound to obey the law of the land. As soon as the law of the land contradicts God’s command, we are to disobey the law of the land and obey God’s law. However, even in that instance, we are to accept the government’s authority over us. This is demonstrated by the fact that Peter and John did not protest being flogged, but instead rejoiced that they suffered for obeying God (Acts 5:40-42).”

  5. It’s identical to the Islamic perspective that says Muslims should disobey laws that go against the law of God but are at the same time subject to and must accept the punishment doled out for having disobeyed.

  6. “Domestically – no… Because he is instructed to marry four Women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him. (Quran 4:34 ”

    for every Muslim that beats his wife and indulges in polygamy , there are probably a 100 muslim men who have never raised a finger and are happy with 1 wife, I myslef know many , my husband has never raised a finger , hell he’s never even yelled at me as much as i have yelled at him ….

    just like we brand a religion based on the activities of a few terrorists , why can’t we brand a religion based ont he good ones :- and i have not much of a stake in this, i’m not muslim. but i feel bad when someone calls my spouse names :-0

  7. I guess what I meant by that is that if one were to go to an islamic country there is nothing in that law that would be contradictory for a Christian except perhaps worshiping Allah or islam…

    The difference being if I am to wear a seatbelt I don’t do it because the bible says so I do it because the law of he land is to do so…by making everything even seatbelts “god’s” law then every thing has to be filtered through that lense…it is not like that with other faiths or the major ones…I don’t think Jews have to wear seatbelts because the talmud says so. They don’t have to check a parallel law to see if it is OK. They do it becasue they don’t want to get killed and it is the law.

  8. Actually Rabbinical law is shockingly similar to Sharia and in some instances even more specific and strict. The difference comes in not religion, but the way people choose to live their lives. Most western Christians choose not to follow Biblical code although its intended to play the same role in its adherent’s lives as Sharia is to Muslims. In essence, it gets rejected and passed off by most Christians. I do believe that in most Jewish circles/cultures/families/communities, they very much live their lives according to Rabbinical law as Muslims do to Sharia. Like in anything in life, there are different levels in which people implement these things into their lives. Not all Muslims go to the extent of cross checking everything in life to ensure compliance to Sharia. Christians have just mostly long forgotten their laws and chosen a different path.

  9. Dania…

    I would agree with you there. Most Christians know the highlights, the Golden Rule (even though they may not practice it) and follow the rules in spirit. They definitely don’t check each thing against the New Testament or even know it in detail. Or think in a religiously motivated way for a lot of secular issues that won’t cross into a moral grey ground. Most would wear seatbelts due to it being the law and not think of God at all…but most won’t steal from their neighbor (one hopes) because it is “morally wrong” or against the ten commandments.

  10. This statement is the core of this issue – Quote: Philosophically – no…. Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran does not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.

    Actually, maybe a Muslim country can be democratic (for a while, at least), but it will not foster equality or human rights. Non-Muslims are basically a subspecies of vile deceitful people according tto the Quran. Islamic values are not those of the West. Muslims do not share our values. Anybody that says “praise be upon him” after the name of Mohammad has a serious moral vacuum. American Muslims may believe what they say, but I don’t believe them.

    When Muslim societies change their ways and stop the hate and discrimination against non-Muslims, we can talk. Until then, you can stick it where the sun don’t shine.

    Note that Biblical doctrine and sharia are very different. One is a code of moral conduct for the followers of Christ; sharia is law and rituals, enforced by the state controlled and justified by Islamic dogma. In Christianity you have verses like “Give unto Ceasar” and “My kingdom is not of this world” which permit separation of religion and state. In Islam you have a man that attacked others and conquered neighboring tribes for political purposes. Your prophet was a ruler and had legal, political control, as did his successors. The Internet is full of Muslims websites that tell us that “sharia is a complete way of life”. The Christian code is about moral conduct for Christians, Sharia is also imposed upon non-Muslims, who are forced to follow its rules.

    Western morality is based upon the biblical concepts of sin and redemption – thus, the ten commandments and so on. Islamic code is based upon faith in Allah and Mohammad, and a few rituals – thus there is no deep moral and no absolute “that shalt not kill”. If a Muslim submits to Allah and his prophet, he can basically do anything (particularly to non-Muslims) as long as he follows silly rules (prayers, clothing, no pork, etc…).

    Dania, verse for this please: … to the Islamic perspective that says Muslims should disobey laws that go against the law of God but are at the same time subject to and must accept the punishment doled out for having disobeyed.

    Radha, the problem is not that “we brand a religion based on the activities of a few terrorists” but the words and actions of hundreds of millions of Muslims, most of which accept the hate and discrimination against non-Muslims, almost all of them refuse to recognize the evil passages in the Quran and worse yet, none of them will denounce the vile actions of their prophet. Let me put it in simple terms: if I point out a passage in Islam’s own writings that says that Mohammad attacked non-Muslims, enslaved them and raped the women, and a Muslims says “So what?” or ignores this – why should I believe that a Muslim has any moral integrity or can be trusted?

    Or do you think this is not true? Do you think that Islamic societies don’t mistreat non-Muslims (or even other Muslims if no infidels are around to persecute). Do you think the Quran is about love and tolerance? Do you think that the ahadith are not full of terrible, horrible actions against innocent men women and children, perpetuated by the man Muslims consider to be a great moral example?

    As far as I am concerned, the perception that Americans have of islam is much too kind. I would say that collectively Muslims in any Western country are a big negative and they will cause sorrow, pain and suffering – It is only a matter of time. This is as certain as the sun will rise tomorrow.

  11. Despite the fact that I feel pretty sure you have serious issues with your hatred Jay and that I don’t really feel like reading the same spewed stuff from you yet again in response, I will provide you with what you asked. However, I’m not giving you a verse it is a ruling/fatwa. There are several from scholars out there but this one is from Salman Aloudah: those who enter non-Muslim countries have to adhere to their respective laws and regulations even if they entered those countries illegally, and they have no excuse for breaking those laws, since they were entrusted to abide by those laws upon entry into those countries…As long as [a Muslim] agrees to live in a non-Muslim country, he is never to rebel against the people living in his choice of residence, even it seems too hard for him to endure. If he chooses to rebel, he is subject to the punishments put upon him and Allah knows best.

    And Jay, you cannot fancy yourself a scholar who is so educated about Islamic fiqh that you can make such generalized statements and even try to claim that “there is no deep moral and no absolute “that shalt not kill””. You and people like you attempt to justify their hatred of whatever religion they are attempting to attack or discredit by any means necessary. You’re like the birthers out there who despite the fact that Pres. Obama finally released a long form birth certificate are now claiming forgery and involvement from the CIA. Absolutely nothing will satisfy you people except spewing your hatred. It must be exhausting to be you.

  12. ‘ those who enter non-Muslim countries have to adhere to their respective laws and regulations even if they entered those countries illegally, ‘

    huh? how could they enter illegally if they are following the laws and regulations?

  13. I would question the ethics of someone who has lived in Saudi Arabia for 20 years with such strong objections to the society around him.

    Muslims make excellent nationals, whether they’re British, American, Canadian etc…

    1. Allah is not a moon god. This is a largely fabricated lie by protestant denominations of Christianity in America. You don’t find such accusations of moon god being made by British Churches, Arabic Churches, Orthodox Churches etc… Allah is derived from Hebrew and Aramaic. Arab Jews worship Allah, Arab Christians worship Allah, and so do Muslims.

    2. This point is totally invalid. Firstly, Democracies and nationalities aren’t religion. Being an American is not a faith. Secondly, no religion accepts another religion. This comment is really preposterous. Judaism doesn’t accept Islam, Christianity doesn’t accept Hinduism, so why should the expectation of Islam be any different?

    The Constitution of Medina provides the right to exercise faith as does the Quran in its non compulsion of faith.

    3. Points 1 – 5 can be categorised as one. I invite the author to say which American law prohibits the 5 pillars? Why are the 5 pillars bad? Does the author think Lincoln and Jefferson weren’t aware of the 5 pillars? What is wrong with the 5 pillars?

    4. Is the author of the same opinion that Jews cant be Americans because of Jerusalem? And Catholics can’t be American because of the Holy See?

    5. The quote regarding friendship was surrounded by an actual betrayal. Moral of the instruction is, don’t befriend those with ill intent towards you. Very American value, I say. Also, Jews are told not to trust goyim/gentiles and so are Christians. Please don’t be selective with the standards you apply.

    6. The ‘Great Satan’ is an Iranian concept formulated by the late Ayotalla Khomeini, not Arab. Muslims don’t submit to any Imam/Mullah/Sheikh – their only submission is to God.

    7. Again, totally false. There is no instruction whatsoever to marry 4 wives – you are allowed to circumstances permitting. There is a verse re beating – but this has been interpreted in multiple ways.

    8. I have to differ on this point. The American Constitution is independant of all religion and has not been influenced by any. I invite the author to show me which part of the constitution is Biblical.

    9. There is a verse of the Quran which states “there is no compulsion in religion” – this is a guarantee of religious freedom. There is also the constitution of Medina. Actually a very large number of Muslim countries have free elections, Iraq and Afghanistan being the most recent additions.

    10. I really don’t have time to go through the Quran and look for every instance of God’s love. Another time.

    Honestly though American Bedu, there was not a fragment of truth in any of these statements.

    Thanks,

    D. E.

  14. Obviously Lynn by entering a country illegally they are off to a bad start in the following the law rule. There is even a fatwa against illegally entering countries with it being such a huge problem in so many countries of the world (even KSA). But the point is that they can’t use their illegal status as an excuse to further break the law. Here legally or not they are still subject to following the law or accept the punishment if they don’t. The same sheikh referenced above doesn’t even believe that Muslims can go against the law even if it violates God’s command. He said, “Muslims have to avoid whatever contradicts Islamic teachings. In case they are obliged by law to uphold something contrary to Islamic teachings, they have to adhere to the minimum that the law requires of them.”

  15. Dania, you do realize that fatwas don’t really mean anything, right? Who is allowed to issue fatwas? Who, exactly, is obliged to do as a fatwa says?

  16. Many fatwas are absorbed into Sharia and Islam encourages Muslims to obey authority figures like scholars/sheikhs, etc. While they mean nothing to you, they mean a whole lot to the Muslim world.

  17. Tell me Lynn on what do you base the claim that fatwas really don’t mean anything???

  18. Maybe because fatwas such as “women should breast feed the men in her office so he can then be her “son” and they can mix freely” come out now and then?

    A fatwa is a ruling by a member of a certain school of thought….if it contradicts what another school of thought believe then they arent going to give it much thought. Also, there is no pope (as the saying goes) in Islam, so all the fatwas in the world mean nothing when compared to the Quran…it has all you need. Right?

    Also, fatwas quite often contradict each other…so which one should you follow? The one that sounds the nicest or goes along with your intentions anyhow?

  19. Dania, there is a fatwa for anything and everything. Everybody gives out fatwas. how about last years fatwa that women have to cover one eye because they can still flirt with two eyes? Not as totally insane as the fatwa that women have to breastfeed all the men they encounter at the workplace but I think that one tops all crazy fatwas.

    So anyway, a fatwa says nothing if people can and do cherrypick the nasty ones.
    So yes, what does a fatwa mean?

    I think the statements made by this person were weak because of the obvious false statements. For one the Quran allows a man to beat his wife, but it’s not actually a duty. Although there are sermons from imams on You tube where beating your wife to keep those pesky women in line and obedient, is just one of the burdens of those poor Muslim men.
    Neither is it a religious duty of a Muslim man to take four wives, That would be impossible anyway as it would leave 3/4 of men without any wife at all.

    So if you put stuff in there which is clearly untrue it weakens your whole argument. Not a very clever thing to do.
    Neither is Alaah a ”moon-god” he is based on Jahweh. Especially because Mohammed apparently wonted something to replace the indiginous goddesses. It is possible that he did introduce him as the father of Allat, Al Uzza and Al Manat, but he only followed that line for a very short time until he decided to wipe out the indiginous goddesses completely. That is actually what the ”satanic verses” are about. To account for his change of mind Mohammed gave out that he was posessed.
    As you read the Quran it is very clear that large parts are plagiarized from the bible.

    I think some Christians invented the ”moon god” thing so they didn’t have to deal with the fact that Islam is actually very closely related to Christianity and judaism.

    David, the ”there’s no compulsion in religion” is from sura Al Kuffaroon. As you should know a very early sura chronologically.
    If you look at the Quran’s verse in chronilogical order you will find out that in the early days, when Mohammed had no power the verses are mcuh sinpler and shorter, and above all, much nicer. As he became powerful the verses become agressive and intolerant. This problem is dealt with in the Quran by the principle of abrogation.
    That means that if verses contradict each other, the later verse obrigate the earlier verses.
    That in effect means that a large of the Quran is invalid. And that just happens to be the nice parts. Sura Al Kuffaroon is invalid because later verses say the opposite.
    So you are either knowingly lying to us, or you unwittingly misleading us and you really need to do more reading.

  20. Oh my goodness…
    I first made the perusal at the dialogue anf thought to myself ‘what poster wrote this’hmmmm
    That dialogue is radical to the core. I live in a place that is strict.
    During my work orientation, we had a speaker who made nothing but bombastic remarks about ‘good’vs. bad muslims’. All I could think to myself is this person needs a course in elementary public speaking. “Always consider the audiance–keep to facts”. This was not the case though. I am glad my experiences living around muslims and good old common sense served me well then, but I am not so sure about the others in the group, many of whom are around a lot Islamphobia back in the West.
    Just had to get to get that off my chest.

  21. I think it would be impossible for a devout conservative Muslim to take the oath of citizenship in the US without lying.

  22. I have no idea why i’m defending islam so much 🙂 but here goes my answers to J.Kacktuz’s questions… again i’m not muslim, i have no idea of various hadiths etc., and i have not bothered much with the koran, frankly i don’t have time to learn yet another religion and it’s finer points, however i’ve lived with a muslim for over 2 decades and so these answers are based on that.

    – why should I believe that a Muslim has any moral integrity or can be trusted? Absolutely can be trusted. moral integrity has nothing to do with religion but everythng to do with the person.

    Do you think that Islamic societies don’t mistreat non-Muslims (or even other Muslims if no infidels are around to persecute). — yes they do but that does not reflect on a billion muslims, it reflects on a corrupt few muslim politicians inthose countries pandering to a corrupt few imams 🙂

    Do you think the Quran is about love and tolerance? predominantly yes !!! like all religions it has it’s nasty bits too, i’m not denying it however as human beings what sets us apart from animals is our brain, we are supposed to think and use the good [arts and discard the bad bits as the happenings of a diff time and place.

    Do you think that the ahadith are not full of terrible, horrible actions against innocent men women and children, perpetuated by the man Muslims consider to be a great moral example? — yes i do , however mohammed is not GOD, he is just a follower of god like others, he has shown by way of action how man is supposed to live, man in his infinite god given wison is supposed to live life without hurting others, if god’s chosen one commited crimes, it is on man to ignore those bits and follow the good parts. every religion has these.
    let me illustrate… Ram hindu god, came to earth in human form to give us an example of how humans should live, honesty,integrity,love for his one and only wife , respect for parents ,good over evil etc., etc., however he has his flaws, his wife was stolen by another man and he questioned her virtue? doesn’t mean every man should go around suspecting his wife it just means man is not perfect and suspicion is bad . who knows what got lost in the translation betweenthen and now….

    All i know is F is a good human, loving father and spouse, helpful neighbour and took his US citizenship with no doubts , hell he works with MSf taking no pay serving the underprevilaged. yes i get it that he is shunned formthe muslim community as i’m headstrong and refuse ot convert, but that is no reflection on himor the community. people like and dislike others for a host of reasons . It doesn’t give us the right to hate a complete group of people does it ? 🙂

  23. it is so interesting to see such diverse opinions juxtaposed in this post. I think ultimately there is a spectrum of answers. Whether one can live in the Western world and assimilate depends very much on the way one views their faith or practices it…

    If someone comes from a more radical background that has been based on a lot of extreme ideas such as “hate the kuffar for their religion and fight them at every turn” and truly buys into that then I think it is going to be rather difficult for them to blend or respect the culture, if not impossible. If they buy into a lot of the cultural baggage that passes for islam I also think that will make it difficult. My personal feeling, being someone who has been around long enough to have seen the difference, is that it is getting harder for muslims to live in the West unconflicted due to the fact that Saudi has invested so heavily in selling their brand of islam to all parts of the world which is inherently more restrictive and intolerant and conflicting with western values. Now I think a lot of Muslims might feel that if they don’t lean toward that type of islam they are not truly Muslim enough. We have discussed the Saudization of mosques and islamic schools on another thread so no need to go over it again.

    However, I think if a Muslim chooses to ignore the hateful bad parts of islam, doesn’t get caught up in all the rhetoric that is part of islam (Muslims are superior etc.) and chooses to see the good and kind parts and behaves in a way and thinks in a way that doesn’t automatically make nonmuslims enemies then they can fit in very well.

    I look at it like this…who blends better in the USA? The average normal Christian who doesn’t listen to hate being preached on a regular basis and tries to follow the “love thy neighbor” policy or the people from the Westboro Baptist church who hate just about everyone under the guise of following “god’s law”? Most would think the Westboro group are crazy and extreme…the same with Muslims. The extreme ones who try to follow the Koran to the letter including the hateful bits won’t blend or be accepted as well as those who ignore all that and try to follow the Golden Rule. (like it sounds like Radha’s husband does)

  24. You can disregard fatwas, but Muslims very much align themselves with scholars they feel the trust and match their personal ideologies. They get guidance from these scholars regardless of how ludicrous it may sound to non-Muslims. Rulings are based on reasoned deduction which Muslims called ijtihad and the average Muslim has not enough specific knowledge of the hadith to make ijihad. Being non-Muslims, I don’t think you can claim that fatwas mean nothing to Muslims because they are an important part of the religion. Sure, scholars contradict each other and one of them is obviously going to be wrong which brings us back to Muslims following a single or couple scholars in which they trust and look to for guidance. The Quran and Hadith do not address many issues we find in our times so ruling become necessary for many Muslims when they come across moral issues today. Brush them off if you like, but they exist and are a relied upon thing to Muslims and because they are created for Muslims, how a non-Muslim views their significance is really insignificant.

  25. Aafke, not all verses which come later are abrogated. The science of abrogation is extremely complicated. If you are not educated in abrogation, then you wouldn’t know which verses are or are not abrogated. It’s not as simple as alllllll of the earlier versus are abrogated by later ones and its not entire surahs that have been abrogated but rather ayats within those surahs. Surah Al-Kafirun n IS NOT abrogated.

    Here’s an example of what a VERY small minority of mostly Shia scholars see as a reason for abrogation: “if they tilt towards peace, you tilt towards it” [Surah 8, Verse 61) that is, entering into a peace treaty with non-Muslims. Moreover, when the Prophet migrated to Madinah, he entered into peace treaty with the Jews. Therefore, some of the commentators have opined that Surah Al-Kafirun has been abrogated. Their basic argument pivots around the verse “For you is your faith, and for me, my faith” (Surah Kafiroon, Verse 6) They contend that this is apparently in conflict with the ordinances of jihad, but this is not true, because the verse does not guarantee, nor does it even permit, the non-Muslims to maintain their state of disbelief. It simply means what is stated in Surah 28, Verse 55: “For us, our deeds, and for you, your deeds that is, as you sow, so shall you reap.” In fact, the correct position held by the VAST majority of the scholars is that this Surah is not abrogated. So David is not misleading you or lying to you. This surah is very much a part of the Islamic system of belief.

  26. @Jerry – you’re wrong. Muslim jurists consider citizenship (or visa) to be a covenant (aqd) held between the citizen (or visa holder) and the state, one which guarantees safe passage/security (amaan) in exchange for certain obligations (such as obeying the laws of the land); covenants are considered sacredly binding in Islam. The Quran commands: And fulfill every covenant. Verily, you will be held accountable with regard to the covenants. (Quran, 17:34)

    The Quran condemns those who break covenants as not being true believers: It is not the case that every time they make a covenant, some party among them throws it aside. Nay! The truth is most of them believe not. (Quran, 2:100)

    Muhammad described the religious hypocrite as follows: When he enters into a covenant, he proves treacherous. (Sahih al-Bukhari)

    Citizenship (and visa) is called in Islamic legal parlance as a “covenant of security” (aqd al-aman). For over a thousand years, Muslim scholars have rigorously affirmed the binding nature of the covenant of security. This covenant of security can be of two types: (1) a contractual agreement or (2) a customary understanding.

    Naturalized citizens in the United States enter into a contractual agreement with the government when they declare the oath of allegiance, as follows: “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…”

    A Muslim is obliged to keep to his word, and thus this oath is religiously binding upon him. Natural born citizens, on the other hand, do not utter any such oath, so they fall under the second category under Islamic law. The covenant of security is considered for them a customary understanding, in the sense that even though they did not physically say an oath or sign a document of loyalty, it is understood that there exists between the citizen and the government a covenant of security; this, i.e. customary understanding, is considered by Islamic law to be just as binding as the contractual agreement. There is no difference between the two.

    Why exactly do you claim that Muslims cannot take this oath without lying??

  27. Assalam Aleikum Carol,

    Thank you for the opportunity to comment on a very timely topic. BTW, this email that you posted has been circulating around the globe for at least 5-6 years, according to snopes dot com.

    It’s interesting to read some of the comments here and see how the points made in the email are being discredited by justifying it with koranic verses, hadees, and fatwas. Especially, comparing the violence in koran/hadees to bible and torah …. essentially saying “yours” is bigger than “mine”. When everything else fails, a new improved sanitized version of koran/hadees is thrown at our faces.

    But facts on ground zero tell a very different story. How many christians and jews and other kafirs do you see crashing planes into looming towers, trying to blow up squares and metro systems and a former president, killing innocent human beings at army bases, etc. etc. etc? None. Zilch. Nada.

    This PR campaign towards sanitizing islam in general and koran/hadees in particular started right after 9/11, led by CAIR (front for Muslim Brotherhood), and directed at an angry american populace. Armed jihad became inner struggle/jihad. Wife beating came to mean beating your wife with a tooth pick or preferably miswak if available.
    Violent koranic verses and hadees were explained away in that they were only applicable to the time and place in the 7th century; completely forgetting that koran claims to be for all times and all places.

    Creative interpretations of koran/hadees were invented by CAIR, Imam Faisal and other fronts for Muslim Brotherhood to convince America and the rest of the world that islam is a “religion of peace”. Fatwas were widely employed along with financing of books by western authors (Karen Armstrong et al), and new improved reformational interpretations of koran and hadees were initiated; all funded by saudi arabia.

    We are not supid. Very few americans and westerners bought this sweet talk. Because actions didn’t match the words. Routine terrorist actions by jihadist muslims in america and around the globe didn’t match the propoganda being spewed out by CAIR and their mouthpieces on a daily basis.

    Now, let us get back to the question before us ….

    Can Muslims be good Americans?

    I want to turn that question around and ask a new but related question: Can Americans be good Muslims?

    If the answer is yes, then, that is exactly what “fundamentalist” Muslims desire, plan to do, and are actively working on doing on a daily basis. It makes the task a whole lot easier if Americans can answer, yes, to that question: Can Americans be good Muslims?

    The primary goal of fundamentalist Muslims is world domination by defeating The Great Satan, which is the United States of America. Their secondary goals include implementing Sharia Law throughout the world, establishing the Caliphate, and creating a one-religion world, which is Islam. If Americans feel that they can accept and live with these goals, then, yes, Americans can be good Muslims.

    In a one-religion islamic world, everyone will be Muslim. Those of us who will not profess as Muslims, the fundamentalist Muslims will automatically consider them as infidels and are, therefore, subject to beheadings as approved by their god (Allah) and their scriptures, the koran. For Muslims who do not follow their religion to the T, the fundamentalist Muslims consider them as hypocrites, and they too are thereby subject to beheadings —just as are the infidels!

    How would you view your own faith or denomination if your church’s or synagogue’s leaders killed its members who did not follow all of the tenets of your faith? How would that ring in your ears? Would you think the religion was still good, and it was still God’s church or synagogue? Do you think that God and Jesus Christ or Moses would approve of killing your wayward fellow church/synagogue members because they do not live the church’s faith to the T? If that is the case, your church would wipe out over 50% of its own members!

    If your children commit adultery and bring shame and embarrassment to your family, do you think it would be okay for you to kill your children and call it “honor killings” to protect the good name of your family? Muslims can commit “honor killings.” That is part of Sharia Law. If you can live with what I just stated, then, as an American, you could be a good Muslim.

    If you cannot accept your church doing these things, then how can you accept the tenets of Islam? There is no freedom of choice in fundamentalist Islam. Beatings and death and beheadings are normally accepted consequences of disobedience. If you can accept that, then you too would be a good fundamentalist Muslim.

    Now, back to the original question: Can Muslims be good Americans?

    It all depends on whether they want to place their religion subservient to the American Bill of Rights and Constitution of the United States. My guess is that will never happen because Sharia Law will replace our Bill of Rights and Constitution. If you can accept that, then, yes, Muslims can be good Americans because Americans then would be subject to Sharia Law and Islam. At that stage, they would no longer consider us as Americans. We would all be Muslims.

    Islam is an inseparable combination of religion, government, military, and Sharia Law justice. There is no way that the Bill of Rights and the Constitution can co-exist with Sharia Law under Islam. If anyone thinks it is possible, then they are very naïve, badly mistaken, and can be fooled easily. When the fundamentalist Muslims attack our cities and towns, enter our homes, and behead your wife and children before your very eyes, then, what will your thoughts be at that moment? If you can maintain all of your stated judgmental platitudes and accept your killers with open arms, you then will be a good Muslim. In that case, yes, Americans can be good Muslims and Muslims can be good Americans. At that point, they will be both one and the same under Islam.

    Here’s a short video on the process of islamization:

  28. Harry, are you really familiar with the prophet Moses’s actions?? One can make a solid case about Moses being much more violent than Muhammad. Likewise, haters like you hear and educate yourself only on what you want to hear and understand. You have made a decision to hate Islam so nothing anyone says or does will satisfy people like yourself. However, you have made false statements and I will respond to one. You claim Sharia law allows honor killings. There are dozens upon dozens of rulings and orders from sheiks and imams out there that make it crystal clear it is prohibited. Here is the real truth by one such educated person: Honor Killings by
    Mohammed Fadel PhD, JD.

    Article 340 of the Jordan Penal Code, reads in part, “Anyone catching his wife or one of his immediate family in a flagrant act of fornication with another person, and kills, injures or harms both or either of them, will benefit from the exculpating excuse…” In response to recent moves by King Abdullah II of Jordan to eliminate this part of the code, one “Islamic” group responded, “those who are voicing their concern for the lives of a group of women, they ought to show concern for their lives as chaste women with their honor protected, otherwise, what is life worth for a woman who profaned her honor and stained the reputation of everyone related to her? Who would repair the moral damage that she has inflicted upon her family? Her killing would probably be a salvation for her from the misery of living with her sin.”

    This response outraged many Muslims. For that reason, I decided to research the Islamic ruling on the matter of “honor killings”, which are usually applied one-sidedly to women, but rarely if ever to men.

    Here is a traditionalist ruling on this matter according to the principles (usul) of fiqh of the scholars, based on the evidences from Quran, hadith, consensus (ijma`a) and analogy (qiyas). I have taken excerpts from Al-Istidhkar[i] by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr. Abu ‘Umar Yusuf b. ‘Abdallah b. Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, may Allah have mercy upon him and upon us, a well-known Maliki scholar of Qurtuba (Andalusia in present-day Spain) who died in the last half of the fifth century of the glorious hijra. He was a faqih (jurist), a historian, and a muhaddith (scholar of Prophetic Traditions), although he is more famous as a muhaddith than as a faqih. His Istidhkar is one of two massive commentaries the author wrote on the Muwatta` of Imam Ahl al-Madina, Malik b. Anas, may Allah be well-pleased with him. While the other work – al-Tamhid – is primarily a work of hadith, al-Istidhkar is a veritable encyclopedia of the legal opinions (fiqh) of the early scholars of Islam.

    Chapter: “The Legal Ruling (qada`) Regarding One Who Discovers a [non-Mahrim] Man With His Wife”
    Malik narrated from Suhayl b. Abi Salih al-Samman, from his father, from Abu Hurayra that Sa’d b. ‘Ubada, said to the Prophet (S) “Suppose I discover a man with my wife. Should I leave him be unless I bring four witnesses?” The Prophet (S) said, “Yes”

    This hadith includes the following legal principles: The prohibition against applying a legal penalty without legal authority (bi ghayri sultan) and without witnesses; cutting off the means to shedding the blood of a Muslim based merely upon the claim of his accuser, the one seeking the shedding of the accused’s blood. [In this case] the truth of the claim would be known only by [the accuser’s] own statement and Allah, may He be glorified and sanctified, has made the life of a Muslim a precious thing, and has made the sin in taking it great as well. Therefore, it [legal punishment] is permissible only under the conditions in which Allah has permitted it. [Application of legal punishments] is exclusively for the government so that it may apply that which Allah has commanded in His book or on the tongue of His Prophet (S).

    Malik followed that hadith with an opinion of ‘Ali [b. Abi Talib], may Allah be well-pleased with him, which clarifies the rule.

    Malik narrated from Sa’id b. Yahya from Sa’id b. al-Musayyib that “A man from Syria, with the name of Ibn Khaybari, discovered a man with his wife so he killed him, or both of them. Mu’awiya b. Abi Sufyan was unsure of how to rule in his case, so he wrote a letter to Abu Musa al-Ash’ari, asking him to ask ‘Ali b. Abi Talib about that [case]. So he asked ‘Ali about it, and ‘Ali told him, ‘This is not a case in my domain. I beseech you to tell me [its circumstances].’ Abu Musa al-Ash’ari said: ‘Mu’awiya b. Abi Sufyan wrote me a letter directing me to ask you this question.’ Ali said, ‘I am Abu Hasan — if he [Ibn Khaybari] does not produce four witnesses, let him be given with a rope [to the relatives of the deceased].”

    Ibn Jurayj, Ma’mar, and al-Thawri, reported it, or its near equivalent, from Yahya b. Sa’id from Sai’d b. al-Musayyib.

    Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said: It means, according to him, that he [Mu’awiya] should deliver him [Ibn Khaybari] with a rope around his neck to the relatives of the victim so that they may take qisas against him. It was also said that he meant that [Mu’awiya] should deliver him [Ibn Khaybari] with a rope around his neck to the relatives of the victim so that they may take qisas against him unless he produces four witnesses to an act of adultery whose obligatory punishment is stoning [ii]. . .

    . . .The bulk of jurists in the townships, the people of opinion and the people of transmitted knowledge[iii] concur in the opinion of ‘Ali, may Allah be well-pleased with him, bountiful praise to Allah.

    ‘Abd al-Razzaq mentioned from Ma’mar from al-Zuhri, who said: “A man asked the Prophet, may Allah grant him abundant blessings and peace, saying ‘A man discovers another man with his wife; shall he kill him?’ The Prophet, may Allah grant him abundant blessings and peace, said, ‘No, not without proof.’”

    Abu Bakr b. Abi Shayba said: “‘Abda b. ‘Asim told me from al-Hasan, that he said, ‘Punishments are [the responsibility] of the government.”

    A similar [opinion] is attributed to Ibn Muhayriz, ‘Ata` al-Khurasani, and ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, and there is no disagreement on this point.

    Conclusion
    It can be concluded from this citation that Ibn `Abd al-Barr is defining punishments, whether in regard to honor crimes, or other than that, to be the domain of the government, and not something which an individual can take upon himself to perform. To allow it would be to make an individual prosecutor, judge and executioner at one and the same time

  29. “When the fundamentalist Muslims attack our cities and towns, enter our homes, and behead your wife and children before your very eyes, then, what will your thoughts be at that moment? If you can maintain all of your stated judgmental platitudes and accept your killers with open arms, you then will be a good Muslim. In that case, yes, Americans can be good Muslims and Muslims can be good Americans.” You’re an extremist Harry. Just on the other side of the spectrum. A bit of a nutter if you will.

  30. Matthew 25: If only I had known it was *You.*

    Loving Jesus *is* loving Muslims. Put the politics aside and remember *love, mercy and compassion.*

    * *

    Understand the breadth and spectrum of Islam:

    Secularist Modernist Traditionalist Fundamentalist Terrorist

    Muslims come to America for the opportunities NOT to take over America!

    Is there a Muslim who will announce, I hate democracy?

    Every Muslim organization in the USA has stood up against terrorism but WE (America) are not listening. In turn, Muslims are asking where were the Christians speaking out against Abu Ghraib, etc.

    Many Muslims believe the US is trying to control and dominate.

    Break down the dividing walls by just talk!!

    Muslims/Christians have competing images.

    Romans 12:9 – 13:10

    What do these verses say about love, evil, peacemaking, the role of government and God, the role of the government?

    Romans 12: commands response to evil (dove)

    Romans 13: administer justice (crossed swords)

    Distinguish between role of church and role of state.

  31. Dania, some Muslims I know don’t even listen to the sheikh of their own mosque if it goes against what they believe to be Islam. THAT is what I meant about fatwas not meaning anything. Seriously, tell a Muslim, who believes that he is doing what he thinks is Islamically correct, that Sheikh so and so has issued a fatwa that said that it is wrong and they will laugh in your face!

  32. The Golden Rule …. not a rule stemming from any particular religion but a rule of mankind that has been practiced so far back as to not know the origin but which is and should be the basic concept of life. It has been spoken/written in many different ways but the main thing is to ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. The rule should be the essence of our existence over and above any ‘rule’ coming from any organized religion and any organized religion worth it’s salt would have it’s believers follow that rule.

    As to the post – the author is a bigot. I believe most intelligent Muslims as in any religion would obey the laws of the land in the USA as the laws do not squash them and only protect them.

  33. I think that one thing needs to be made clear here. Just because a person thinks the worst of Islam, the religion, does NOT mean that they hate Muslims, the people.

    Do Muslims really hate Christians, the people, or Jews, the people or agnostics, the people?

  34. @lynn – i agree , F changed quite a few mosques based on what he saw, heard and whom he interacted with…
    likei said everyone has opinons , if it contradicts yours, you have to move away 🙂

  35. Radha…

    F is a man of integrity who thinks for himself and won’t allow himself to be swayed in a less than honorable way it seems…what about those out there who don’t do that? Who aren’t that strong emotionally? who mindlessly just swallow it coupled with a fear of questioning for fear of looking like a nonbeliever? I think that is where a lot of the problem comes in and some of the conflict arises. a lot of these imams aren’t preaching the peaceful form of islam your husband seeks out.

  36. Lynn that is why I said people align themselves with sheikhs and scholars that match their person ideological beliefs. Those sheikhs and scholars in turn issue rulings and guidance and their followers follow.

  37. Dania, not every Muslim aligns themselves with a particular sheikh or scholar or perhaps they agree with something that one says and disagree on another thing that he says?

    My point is this. Just because there exists a fatwa issued by some sheikh somewhere, it does NOT mean that all Muslims must follow it.

  38. So don’t point to a fatwa and say that is what Islam says.

  39. The fatwa I gave is just one source of an abundance of support on the issue being discussed. I wouldn’t have cited something that was only being supported by a minority. Would you like further evidence?????? I can provide pages upon pages if you like. For simplicity’s sake I gave a simple ruling. If you would like me to really get into it I can.

  40. And Lynn, the majority of Muslims will follow what the majority of scholars have consensus about. Whether you agree or like it or not, rulings and scholars are powerful figures in Islam and it’s a solid part of the Islamic religion.

  41. Dania

    Some of us here are vell well aware of the “power” of fatwas…having been subjected to….or followed…or part of the faith so learned on them etc. Some of us commenting on this blog are Muslims, or have a very close association with the faith etc.

    Personally speaking, having spent a large part of my life living in the middle east as well as being a Muslim then, I find the average Muslim’s willingness to give up rational thought in order to follow what passes for “religious learning”…just take a look over at Pakistan whose men apparently wait with bated breath for the Sheik of the Month to issue a fatwa condemning some artist, poet, actress, author, law etc…and then unleash the unruly horde of Muslim men to destroy said object of condemnation…or whatever or whomever happens to be closes.

    A fatwa is THAT sheikh/imam/clerics personal opinion regarding some issue or another….evidence concerning the issue at times can be irrelevant…personal opinion always is.

    As far as concensus being the beginning and end of discussion…the concensus among Islamic jurists have all agreed that women should wear hijab….that doesnt mean that all Muslim women (or men) believe it, wear it, or feel sinful for not believing or wearing it…(just an example) a concensus is just a group of men who all got together….read the Quran (yes, they have spent years doing so, memorized it, learned all the nuances and vocalizations etc) learned hadith and seerah etc…put their collective heads together and decided all that together cannot compare to patriarchal customs, beliefs, and traditional opinions.

    A lot of fatwas concerning gender/people in general are descriminatory towards women, nonMuslims etc Most fatwas are irrelevant because they are based on common sense or based on total horseshit…either way the KNOWING the fatwa exists does not always improve the life or knowledge of the Muslim who knows it. So why issue it?

    Good question. Because the deep seated entrenched idea that Muslims cannot take a step with a sheikh/imam/cleric telling them which foot to take that step with. Which one the prophet most oftened used (so the religiously superior one) and by default the other foot is hte inferior (or Satan guided) one.

    Critical thought among the average Muslim is greatly forfeited in favor of waiting for a relgious figure from on high to issue an edict to govern every step, thought, breath a Muslim takes.

    Fatwas are so powerful because in general, Muslims simply cannot live without them…despite evidence to the contrary.

  42. The only word that comes to mind is cult.

  43. @Oby,

    I dnt think u will make decision based on one website which u dnt know who owns. Why cant u see with open eyes in real life? Dont Muslims in all over world use seat belt? And u are easily convinced and believed to read one website? There is no single country in Muslim world which enforces 100% shariah law…Where is 100% shariah law in Turkey, Indonesia, Morocco, Algeria, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Dubai, Tunisia, Egypt? Arent Muslims follow man made laws? Here is the Quranic verses :

    Allah Almighty orders us to not challenge the authorities in charge of us or country’s constitution:

    Allah Almighty orders us to not challenge the authorities in charge of us or country’s constitution:

    “O ye who believe! Obey God, and obey the Apostle, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to God and His Apostle, if ye do believe in God and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination. (The Noble Quran, 4:59)”

    Noble Verse 4:59 clearly orders us to obey Allah Almighty, our Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and those who are charged with authority among us. So therefore, if we live in Muslim or non-Muslim countries, then we MUST NOT always apply the laws of Islam in our lives, if it doenst go against basic fundamentals like prohibiting 5 times prayer, fasting etc.. If a Muslim does not live in a Muslim country, then he/she is ordered to respect and obey the laws and constitution of the country that he/she is currently living in.

    Let us look at the following Saying from our beloved Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him:

    i)Narrated ‘Abdullah: “The Prophet said, ‘A Muslim has to listen to and obey (the order of his ruler) whether he likes it or not, as long as his orders involve not one in disobedience (to Allah), but if an act of disobedience (to Allah) is imposed one should not listen to it or obey it. (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Judgments (Ahkaam), Volume 9, Book 89, Number 258)”

    So, no hypocrisy here. If basic religious fundamentals are prohibited then Muslims will fight. Otherwise, he should follow the rules of the law. Not for seat belt hahah 🙂 Hope, u are little bit practical and go by such silly info from silly sites 🙂

  44. @Carol,

    Thanks God, I live in Singapore. Here I havent seen a single non-Muslims who is Islamophobic. Here Muslims follow their religion so strictly. U will see maximum Muslim women working in office, hospitals, market, restaurent with full Hijab and no one is scared. Once a foreign christian couple circulated hatred mail against Islam, then both were fined and sent to jail for 3 years saying that they cant spread such hatred in peaceful country like Singapore. And recently, my spanish wife and myself visited a holiday place in SIngapore. When some spanish tourists saw my wife with full hijab, they were mocking in spanish language (they were under impression that my wife doesnt know spanish). My wife wanted to reply but I stopped. My wife was saying – See these people they come here and see so many women wearing hijab and complete peace and social integration but stil they dnt learn how to respect other relgion and a women’s choice. Hatred will make people blind , no matter what u know, see, learn.

  45. So, are you saying that those who believe that wearing niqab is a basic fundamental of Islam should fight against France’s law against the covering of faces?

    isn’t it a ‘basic fundamental’ of Islam that a Muslim not take a non-Muslim as their protector? Isn’t it a basic fundamental of Islam that a Muslim not pledge allegiance to ANYthing, no state, country etc other than Allah?

  46. Dear Oby,

    If u trust whatever site u saw, u should trust this video also. Its saying what commandments of God says and asking to ban other religion except Jesus’s God. SHould I trust this video and this man or should I open my eyes widely and see 2 billion chrisitans or what Bible says in context?

  47. So, are you saying that those who believe that wearing niqab is a basic fundamental of Islam should fight against France’s law against the covering of faces?

    isn’t it a ‘basic fundamental’ of Islam that a Muslim not take a non-Muslim as their protector? Isn’t it a basic fundamental of Islam that a Muslim not pledge allegiance to ANYthing, no state, country etc other than Allah?
    ============================

    No, face covering is not compulsory in Islam. Those who protest this is not as per Islam and those who ban is against freedom of some.

    Not taking non-Muslim as protector? Read my post and come back. Read to understand plz. Yes non muslim can be protector but belive in only one God that is Allah…Any problem? Non Muslim have problems even with Muslim’s faith?

  48. I didn’t watch the whole video, sorry but he bores me and I wanted to point out something very basic that he does not understand.

    The laws of a persons religion are for that person and others that follow the same faith and NOT a requirement for others to follow. At least that is how it is when you live in a country that allows freedom of religion.

    So, just because one of the 10 commandments says you shall have no other God does not mean that a Hindu must follow that or that an atheist must have a God.

    Must all Muslims remember the Sabbath and keep it holy? See what I mean?

  49. Md…

    The website submission.org was recommended to me by a Muslim as the most preferable website to get a view of what islam says without a lot of cultural baggage attached. I didn’t pull it out of my hat or imagination. I trust he knows what he is talking about…but if he is wrong then I think that points out that there is so much confusion and different interpretation about Islam that even Muslims themselves can’t agree…so how in the world do you expect nonmuslims not to be a tiny bit confused about it. Or have their won interpretation. Muslims can’t seem to agree on practically anything…why would you expect different from nonmuslims?

  50. DANIA: “You claim Sharia law allows honor killings. There are dozens upon dozens of rulings and orders from sheiks and imams out there that make it crystal clear it is prohibited.”

    These rulings/fatwas from fatwa manufacturing factories don’t mean a thing to an average muslim. If they meant anything, there won’t be any honor killings. There are dozens upon dozens of hadeeth also, which are the opposite of the rulings that you outlined, and condone honor killings, and thus, honor killings are absolutely islamic.

    Honor killings, which occur with shocking regularity in the Middle East and South Asia, target women whose actions – actual or suspected – violate the honor of their family, an honor which is thought to depend on the sexual purity of its female members. This practice is slowly but surely making its way to the US and the rest of the world. Just google honor killing victims and you will see how fast it’s spreading in the west. Victims are always being killed/ slaughtered mercilessly by her own family members.

    Honor killing is a manifestation of global phenomenon in general and Muslim nations in particular. Since this terrible inhumane practice does exist primarily among the Muslims of the world—very often civilized people do blame Islam as the precursor of this dreadful act. Some muslims, however, do not agree with this notion at all; and they try to put the blame on the tribal/cultural practice, and do not consider Islam is anyway responsible for it.

    The UN estimates that there are thousands of honor killings every year. They also have some ideas where they are from (United Nations High Commission for Human Rights):

    “The report of the Special Rapporteur … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Rapporteur … concerning cultural practices in the family that are violent towards women, indicated that honor killings had been reported in Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Yemen, and other Mediterranean and Persian Gulf countries, and that they had also taken place in such countries as France, Germany and the United Kingdom, within migrant communities.”

    Muslim apologists and also gullible westerners want to argue that the ‘so called “honor killing” is not Islamic and it’s a tribal/cultural vice.’ This statement is utterly untrue and only a wishful cover up. It’s true that in pre-Islamic Arab culture this heinous honor killing of women did exist; likewise, many other uncivilized practices like stoning, flogging, beheading, slavery etc also existed in the pre-Islamic Arab society. But Islam did incorporate entirely most of these inhumane/uncivilized practices of pagan society, which they now call them Allah’s laws.

    Had it been the tribal/cultural practice, ‘honor killing’ would exist amongst the Arabs only. But honor killing does happen amongst the non-Arab Muslims also. Also Arabs belonged to all religions (Muslims, Christians, Jews, Bahai etc.) would practice honor killing with equal prevalence. Fact of the matter is— few Arab Christians, Jews or Bahais etc practice this uncivilized act. But they are no where near to compare with the regular pattern, or routine feature of honor killings which do happen in primarily Muslim nations.

    It has been reported that in Pakistan and in Jordan several hundreds of “honor killings” do happen every year. Perhaps, it will be more plausible to name this so called ‘honor’ as the “Islamic honor”, which Muslims stupendously try to save by killing their love one! Only Arabs/Muslims do practice this heinous act with a regular pattern.

    Honor killing is the bone chilling horrific cruelty committed by the family members—father, mother, brothers, brother-in-laws, even in some cases own sisters also. In this terrible episode the victim is always the daughter/sister or other blood related young women who get killed. Family members (parents, brothers, or sisters) kill the victim in order to remove the stain or maintain, and protect the honor of the family. Killers are given light sentences, sometimes with little or no jail time at all. The killers mainly defend their act of murder by referring to the Koran and Hadees.

    Family guardian will say that they are merely following the directives set down in their Islamic ethical beliefs (Koran and Hadees). They don’t care much about fatwas from fatwa manufacturing factories. They deeply care, though, about Koran and Hadees and Sunnah:

    Quran- 4:15 “If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, take the evidence of four (reliable) witness from amongst you against them; if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them. Or God ordain for them some (other) way.”

    Quran-24:2 “The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication—flog each of them with hundred stripes: Let no compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by God, if ye believe in God and the last day.”

    Quran-17:32 “ Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).

    Quran-33:33 “stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display.”

    Now some sahih hadeeth:

    Bukhari: Volume 7, Book 63, Number 196:
    Narrated Abu Huraira: A man from Bani Aslam came to Allah’s Apostle while he was in the mosque and called (the Prophet ) saying, “O Allah’s Apostle! I have committed illegal sexual intercourse.” On that the Prophet turned his face from him to the other side, whereupon the man moved to the side towards which the Prophet had turned his face, and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! I have committed illegal sexual intercourse.” The Prophet turned his face (from him) to the other side whereupon the man moved to the side towards which the Prophet had turned his face, and repeated his statement. The Prophet turned his face (from him) to the other side again. The man moved again (and repeated his statement) for the fourth time. So when the man had given witness four times against himself, the Prophet called him and said, “Are you insane?” He replied, “No.” The Prophet then said (to his companions), “Go and stone him to death.” The man was a married one. Jabir bin ‘Abdullah Al-Ansari said: I was one of those who stoned him. We stoned him at the Musalla (‘Id praying place) in Medina. When the stones hit him with their sharp edges, he fled, but we caught him at Al-Harra and stoned him till he died. (See also Bukhari: Volume 7, Book 63, Number 195.)

    Sahi Bukhari: 8:6814:

    Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah al-Ansari: “A man from the tribe of Bani Aslam came to Allah’s Messenger [Muhammad] and informed him that he had committed illegal sexual intercourse; and he bore witness four times against himself. Allah’s Messenger ordered him to be stoned to death as he was a married person.”

    Sahi Muslim No. 4206:

    “A woman came to the prophet and asked for purification by seeking punishment. He told her to go away and seek God’s forgiveness. She persisted four times and admitted she was pregnant. He told her to wait until she had given birth. Then he said that the Muslim community should wait until she had weaned her child. When the day arrived for the child to take solid food, Muhammad handed the child over to the community. And when he had given command over her and she was put in a hole up to her breast, he ordered the people to stone her. Khalid b. al-Walid came forward with a stone which he threw at her head, and when the blood spurted on her face he cursed her.”

    Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol 2. pg 1009; and Sahih Muslim Vol 2. pg 65:

    Hadhrat Abdullah ibne Abbaas (Radiallahu Anhu) narrates the lecture that Hadhrat Umar (Radiallaahu Anhu) delivered whilst sitting on the pulpit of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). Hadhrat Umar (Radiallahu Anhu) said, “Verily, Allah sent Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) with the truth, and revealed the Quran upon him. The verse regarding the stoning of the adulterer/ess was from amongst the verse revealed (in the Quraan). We read it, secured it and understood it. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) stoned and we stoned after him. I fear that with the passage of time a person might say, ‘We do not find mention of stoning in the Book of Allah and thereby go astray by leaving out an obligation revealed by Allah. Verily, the stoning of a adulterer/ress is found in the Quraan and is the truth, if the witnesses are met or there is a pregnancy or confession.”

    The above Quranic verses and authentic sahih hadeeth clearly demonstrate beyond doubt that Prophet Muhammad, under Allah’s direction, stoned adulterers to death and flogged fornicators. Allah’s decree/choice of death for fornicators (Quran: 4:15) and flogging adulteress 100 times with no mercy (Quran: 24:2, which also could lead to certain death) has clearly sanctioned/dictated dreadful punishment for sexual intercourse outside marriage.

    It is from these scriptural divine spirits Iranian fundamentalist Islamic government practices stoning and flogging adulterers even today. The Iranian Supreme Court sanctioned that an adulteress should be buried up to her chest and stoned to death. Mullahs of Iran know the hadiths quite well. This august body is closely following Allah’s prophet.

    It is also quite prudent to consider that Muslim parents and those who are practicing honor killing are directly motivated, or influenced by the above scriptural and historical Hadeeth support; hence they are able to commit heinous crime called ‘honor killing’ with (almost) impunity, exultantly and with ample satisfaction that they are following the strict Islamic ethical code to guard chastity, as the koran and the holy Prophet repeatedly cautioned Muslims so seriously to guard their women’s chastity.

    Islam is misogynistic. It is dreadfully anti-women. This statement can be proven with 100% guarantee by the well known and established fact that—women folks in every Muslim country in general, and in every Islamic paradise (country where Islamic Sharia is enforced) in particular, are severely subjugated, oppressed, and considered less than second class citizen. Women in Islam are considered half human and in the koran women have half the rights of men, sister has half the rights of brother, and women are considered deficient in intelligence.

    Practically and literally, Islam considers women as the sources of great shame. Prophet Muhammad said women are awrah which can be translated as object of shame. What is awrah? The Encyclopedia of Islam defines ‘awrah’as pudendum, which is the external genitals, especially of the female. The word Pudendum derives from the Latin pudor which means sense of shame and modesty. Therefore, awrah signify an object of shame that needs to be covered.

    One can very genuinely lead to the conclusion that ‘honor killing’ is indeed the vice of Islam. Islam has much to do with honor killing practices which only do exist primarily amongst the Muslims of the world. Had it been un-Islamic practice, we would have seen some Muslim nations prohibiting such cruel practice by Sharia law. We have not seen any Muslim country did enact any such law to curb honor killing. We have seen innumerable cases of laws being passed to prohibit alcohol drinking, pork eating or listening to western music; but never ever heard any such law against honor killing.

    Rather, honor killing has silent support from the devout Islamists of all kinds. Islamists condone honor killing silently! From the perspective of a random devout muslim: “There’s no point saying honor killing isn’t really part of our religion. Honor and Islam are inextricably bound; they are what give our life meaning. A strong religion demands we choose to maintain our honor.”

    Advice to Muslims: Denying the truth is tantamount to committing this heinous crime to humanity, and denying will never solve this chronic problem of Islamic nations. Only way honor killing can be stopped is to admit the truth (real cause), and stop controlling public lives by the draconian laws (Sharia) of Islam. Let there be a strict separation of ‘Mosque and State’ in every Muslim majority nation of the world. Honor killing will definitely cease to exist.

  51. @american Bedu

    “Every Muslim organization in the USA has stood up against terrorism but WE (America) are not listening. In turn, Muslims are asking where were the Christians speaking out against Abu Ghraib, etc.”

    I find the Muslim condemnation not credible, at least as presented by CAIR http://www.cair.com/Portals/0/pdf/September_11_statements.pdf. They only condemn murder of ‘innocents’, so any Israel Jew is a fair target, whether or not they are soldiers or not. Given that CAIR was founded by Palestinians, it is hardly expected that they would condemn their favorite forms of terrorism. Whether the formation of Israel was just or not is not the issue, Few states in that region have government that is any more just. Should Sunni thugs control Shiite Arabs area and take all the oil wealth?

    As far a Abu Ghraib goes, that is quite different. The US war wasn’t fought in the name of Christianity, the terrorist who attacked the US did claim to be avenging wrongs against Islam.

  52. Oh sheesh! What a lot to read! The more I read about all these rules and nasty ”commandments of God” the more I am convinced that you must be a serious Sado-masochist to believe in the Abrahamic religions!

    All praise the FSM, creator of all the universe, and who does not put any restrictions on our dress code, although The Almighty does favor pirate attire a bit.
    Come on people, convert to the true faith and liberate yourself!

    Open yourself to truth, worship the FSM, Creator of All and be ready to be touched by His Noodly Appendage!
    Peace!
    Freedom!
    Ramen!

  53. “These rulings/fatwas from fatwa manufacturing factories don’t mean a thing to an average muslim. If they meant anything, there won’t be any honor killings.” Oh sorry Harry I didn’t realize you had surveyed the worlds 1.2 billion Muslims to know that they don’t mean a thing to the average Muslims. Everything you cited… EVERYTHING…. says that if someone bears witness against themselves x4 or if there are 4 witnesses of the actual act (and I mean actual act of penetration) then they will be punished accordingly. Where does it say “go ahead and kill your daughter because of the way she dresses”?? WHERE?? Sharia is CLEAR in there MUST be 4 witnesses or one MUST bear witness against themselves FOUR times to be punished. How can you claim this justifies honor killings??? If Sharia places conditions upon a crime and those are not met, then it is a crime upon the person ignoring Sharia. Believe and live in your little hate filled world Harry, but you will never be able to provide any kind of allowance or verse from the Quran or Hadith which allow for honor killings. You can link them in your own mind, but Sharia is clear on this. Crystal clear.

  54. “Few states in that region have government that is any more just”. Are you serious Jerry???

  55. Pastafarians make great Americans!
    And great world citizens!

  56. Dania, you will have to forgive us non-Muslims for thinking that fatwas do not necessarily hold any weight. Blame it on all the Muslims that came out and explained it to us that way after the ‘breast feeding fatwa’ came out.

  57. There are no fatwas in Pastafarianism
    May we be touched by His Noodly Appendage!

  58. @dania

    ““Few states in that region have government that is any more just”. Are you serious Jerry???”

    Who voted for any of them? Which one of them gives justice to their minorities?

  59. @oby – ” a lot of these imams aren’t preaching the peaceful form of islam your husband seeks out.”

    — you may be right, but that doesn’t mean we can target all muslims, lots of people listen to these things andtune them out, preaching is just part of the whole mosque visit experience.
    In any religion and any part of life for that matter there are bad people trying to entice the good to their side, cheats and liers abound, but it is on the individual to know right from wrong, no religion can prescribe that..or enforce that.

    I see a lot of muslims – atleast those we interact with are v busy individuals who don’t stand for any rubbish by any person. i find the judgind ones na dthose that follow the shady parts are individuals who are weak to start with, if not islam then some other religion is going to get the hooksinto them..

    Just because someone accepts islam or any religion doesn’t mean they’ll turn to gems immedietly.. losers will be losers irrespective of their religion.

  60. ‘Just because someone accepts islam or any religion doesn’t mean they’ll turn to gems immediately’

    Can I get an AMEN???!!! LOL

  61. Jerry, are you seriously going to claim that Israel gives justice to its minorities?? Israel is no better than any other Middle Eastern government in this department or any other.

  62. Radha rocks!

  63. Hi Aafke Art –

    I quote from your message:

    “David, the ”there’s no compulsion in religion” is from sura Al Kuffaroon. As you should know a very early sura chronologically.”

    I’m afraid you’re way off track here – and this is often the result of a debator’s ‘one sided bias’ or ‘self serving bias’, whichever academic term suits your situation best.

    “There is no compulsion in religion” is found at 2:256 which to my understanding was not revealed with Surah Kuffaroon.

    However, as you mention, Surah Kuffaroon also enshrines religious pluralism, as does the Constitution of Medina.

    My suggestion is that it’s best not to study Islam from Daniel Pipes or similar websites.

    Thanks.

    D. E.

  64. I would like to say that submission.org site is not Islamic site. It is by followers of a false prophet so, Oby, I would not recommended it. I don’t know who recommended that site to you.

    Secondly, there no Surah called Kuffaroon in the Quran.

    Thirdly I wonder why people who spread hatred of Islam on this blog are allowed to continue sprewing their hatres while a Muslim commentator (Mohammed) was warned and censored!

  65. sarah…

    Thanks for your perspective…the person who recommended it is a very devout muslim and evidently to him it was the most appropriate website to provide the clearest understanding. Why he chose it I have no idea. I can only tell you what I was told. But the fact that you don’t think it is appropriate and he did says that there are as many interpretations and practices of Islam as there are Muslims. Maybe that is one of the problems…there are so many different interpretations by so many devotees that no one really knows what it actually says. That being the case maybe of all faiths Muslims should be the least judgmental of other Muslims.

    I know this was for Aafke, but there are plenty of links of kafiroon to the quran…not to get knocked into moderation I won’t link them here, but here is one:

    http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/quran/109.qmt.html

    google it and many come up…

  66. Oby,

    ” But the fact that you don’t think it is appropriate ..”
    It is not that I think it not appropriate; Submitters are rejected by mainstream Muslims. I know there are many who are attracted to their site but they are not considered as Muslims. Maybe your friend is ignorant of this or he is a follower.

  67. OK…now you have piqued my interest…I have never heard of the term “submitter”. How are they different than mainstream Muslims? When you say mainstream do you mean worldwide?

  68. Re: Muslim Contributions to America

    Asalamu Aleikoum Wa Rahmatolah wa Barakatoho Everyone,

    In the name of Allah swt, the most merciful and gracious. Praise be to Allah swt, and peace be upon him the Messenger of Allah saw, and upon his family, companions, and those that follow him ….

    Speaking at the University of Cairo in 2009, President Barack Hussein Obama said that Americans are indebted to Islam for the great contributions Muslims have made to the history and development of the United States:

    “I know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. . . And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States … They [Muslims] have fought in our wars. They have served in our government. They have stood for civil rights. They have started businesses. They have taught at our universities. They’ve excelled in our sports arenas. They’ve won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building and lit the Olympic torch. And when the first Muslim American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, kept in his personal library.”

    Here are but a few amongst the myriads of contributions of American Muslims (From Wikipedia):

    Fazlur Rahman Khan: He designed the Sears Tower / Willis Tower & The Hancock Tower — The structural designer was Fazlur Rahman Khan, a Bangladeshi-American (April 3, 1929 – March 27, 1982). He is a central figure behind the “Second Chicago School” of architecture and is regarded as the “father of tubular design for high-rises”. He is also considered to be the “Einstein of structural engineering” and “the greatest structural engineer of the second half of the 20th century” for his innovative use of structural systems that remain fundamental to modern skyscraper construction.

    Ayub Onmaya: Until this arab-american, brain tumor treatment was difficult and prone to infection. In fact, without him, many would be dead. Ayub’s invention, the Ommaya Reservoir, was the first subcutaneous reservoir that allowed for repeated intrathecal injections. Before, his invention patients had to suffer repeated lumbar punctures for intrathecal drug administration. Also, spinal angiography was pioneered by him along with Interventional Neuroradiology, CSF Rhinorrhea, Biomechanics of Traumatic Brain Injury, creation of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Spinal Fluid Driven Artificial Organ, The role of emotions in consciousness, etc etc etc.

    Farah Pandith: She was born in Kashmere, India. She is not in a veil or burka but she is a Muslim and a very high ranking diplomat for the United States of America, who served under George Bush and Barack Hussein Obama. She is the first ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities for the United States Department of State.

    Zalmay Mamozy Khalilzad: An Afghan-American, he was the highest-ranking Muslim American in the Administration of President Dubya. His assignments have included as ambassador to the UN, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.

    Elias A. Zerhouni: Is an Algerian-American and is a world renowned leader in radiology and medical research. He was the 15th director of the National Institutes of Health, appointed by President Dubya in May 2002.

    Lewis Arquette: Is Lebanese-American and is an American film actor, writer and producer. I would have loved him for his role as JD Pickett on the Waltons.:)-

    Well, these are but just some examples of what Americans who happen to believe in Islam have given to America. They are just a taste of their contribution to the USA, you can of course find many more examples. These people have made significant contributions to the United States of America. The fact is you will find Muslims in the fields of politics, art, science, entertainment, health and they even serve their Country, the United States America, in the Military. They serve the Country they love, at all levels, from the boots on the ground to diplomatic intelligence.

    USA has truly been blessed with different melting pots since its very inception!

    JazakAllahu Khayran From the Emerlad City,

    Harry Guggen
    Seattle, Washington

  69. Re: SUBMITTERS

    Oby,

    Submitters are like the Ahmadiyya sect; part of the 150+ sects in islam. Like you, I have visited their website and found it quite refreshing.

    Just like Ahmedis claim that a prophet claim to them, submitters make the same claim in the form of Rashad Khalafa. No different than so-called “mainstream” muslims claiming that Prophet Mohammed saw came to them. As far as I am concerned, they are all “good” muslims.

  70. SARAH: “Thirdly I wonder why people who spread hatred of Islam on this blog are allowed to continue sprewing their hatres”

    Sarah,

    Would you please provide SPECIFIC examples of those “who spread hatred of Islam on this blog are allowed to continue sprewing their hatres”. That’s a serious allegation that you made and I hope you can support your allegations with facts.

    As we discussed this on another thread, you need to learn to differentiate between “hatred” and “critique”.
    Go look up in a dictionary …. there is HUGE diference!

  71. @ Sarah – ‘Secondly, there no Surah called Kuffaroon in the Quran’

    Yet we are supposed to take you as a legitimate authority on Islam when you haven’t even read the Quran yourself?

    Open your holy book and look to Chapter 109 – Al Kafiroon

  72. ‘Thirdly I wonder why people who spread hatred of Islam on this blog are allowed to continue sprewing their hatres while a Muslim commentator (Mohammed) was warned and censored!’

    I’m going to go ahead and guess here.

    The people you are concerned about ‘spewing hatred’ are, as Harry said, critics of a religion and if they are wrong you have equal opportunity to prove that they are wrong. While Mohammed talks personally about specific people, the last one being the young niece of the blog owner. You really can’t see the difference there?

  73. Sarah, are you and Ahmadi Muslim? Perhaps we should all have to attach titles to our names ie Lynn – Agnostic, Aafke – Pastafarian, Sarah – Ahmadi, Sarah – Shia, Sarah – Sunni etc.

    It gets rather confusing to learn about the religion when all the different sects of Islam just call themselves Muslim yet the practices and beliefs can be so very different.

  74. RE; DANIEL PIPES

    For a commentator on this thread, to suggest to and taunt a fellow commentator that “it’s best not to study Islam from Daniel Pipes or similar websites” reeks of narrow mindedness, mind control and censorship. One should be able to study ANY religion utilizing a myriad of websites to get different perspectives, and then come to conclusions or no conclusions.

    As far as Daniel Pipes himself is concerened, it is true that he is villified and considered a pariah by some. On the other hand, he is admired and respected by many and has his own fan club. Here is what a few of his admirers have to say about him:

    Conservative Jewish Columnist Jeff Jacoby writes: “To hear his critics tell it, Pipes is an ‘Islamophobe’ …. these are gross and vicious libels.”

    Nicholas D. Kristof of the New York Times writes that despite the fact that he disagrees with Pipes on the Middle East, he finds him “smart and well-informed.”

    Michael Moran of MSNBC described Pipes as one of the best-known “Mideast policy luminaries”.

    The Ayn Rand Institute has featured him as a speaker at least half a dozen times.

    Tashbih Sayyed, former editor of the Muslim World Today and the Pakistan Times, called Pipes “a Cassandra. He must be listened to. If there is no Daniel Pipes, there is no source for America to learn to recognize the evil which threatens it… Muslims in America that are like Samson; they have come into the temple to pull down the pillars, even if it means destroying themselves.”

    Similarly, Ahmed Subhy Mansour, a former visiting fellow at Harvard Law School, writes, “We Muslims need a thinker like Dr. Pipes, who can criticize the terrorist culture within Islam.”

  75. Oby,
    Submitters follow their own prophet who was obsessed with numbers. This point is enough for muslims to reject him and his followers. Then he even removed 2 verses from the Quran saying those verses do not match with his numbering systems.

  76. Lynn,

    What makes you think that I have not read the quran? There is not surah called Kuffaroon but there is one called Al Kafiroon. We should be accurate, Lynn.

    And Harry, what makes you think I am talking about you, lol.

  77. Harry, Why does it suddenly become ” a serious allegation” after all commented on you spewing hatred – so now its “a serious allegation”?

  78. Sarah,
    There is a difference between having strong religious opinions and being outright rude and insulting (especially when it is uncalled for and unprovoked). I believe being outright rude and insulting is why Mohammed was banned. Furthermore, insulting an adult is one thing. Insulting a child is quite another altogether. It had nothing to do with him being Muslim. He could have been atheist, christian, jew, or whatever and still would have been banned.

    Aafke,
    What are the main beliefs of a pastafarian? Is consuming large quantities of ramen a necessity? 😀

  79. ‘We should be accurate, Lynn’

    Then you should have corrected the spelling or pronunciation rather than leave it as if the person who mentioned it was wrong or making up lies about the existence of the sura . What was your reasoning there?

  80. @Sarah, the original Quran was revealed in Arabic. Arabic doesn’t translate spelling-wise to English and the English language has a myriad of letter combinations that make the same sound. You need to realize that the name of the surah you mentioned can be spelled so many different ways in English its ridiculuous, but we can all read English…. so we know what it says and its clear what it is referring to. Had we all been speaking Arabic here, you may have a case. But there is no dictionary for Arabic transliterated words in English, so I think your point of picking on spelling to be moot and pointless. Just look at the way the media loves to be creative spelling Muammar Ghaddafi’s name. I can’t count the number of ways I’ve seen it spelled but we always know who they’re talking about no? And by the way, as a fellow Muslim, I would like to remind you that you cannot label a person who calls themselves a Muslim a Muslim or not. It’s not your job. It’s Allah’s job. We can look at their beliefs and say they are in error or that they are committing shirk, but Muslims have been warned about judging others, especially in this respect and that is exactly what you are doing with your statements. Allah is judge. Not us.

  81. “Submitters follow their own prophet who was obsessed with numbers”

    –i thought submitters very v strict that they only follow god , not even mentiont he prophets name with god !!!!

    anyway being obsessed with numbers is a good thing, far better than other obsessions 🙂 , and all they claim is that the koran is numerically validated sarah.. they are not planning a rewrite….

    they are as much muslim as anyone else… in my uneducated opinion, you follow the 5 pillards and profess your faith – you are muslim .. hoe good or how bad is totally upto the individual… the reminders,corrections and general “nose poking” in others business and correcting their faith is what i DISLIKE about muslims.. to each his own path, live and let live.

    i don’t mean anyone in this blog or in particular, just that in my decades of living with a muslim i have seen so muhc judgement passed and muslimness of my spouse corrected , it’s sick of it. it’s a wonder he still professes that faith 🙂 willingly

  82. thanks carol.. hope you are well — and that is a scary photo you posted 🙂

  83. Dania…

    Just have to ask you…did you attend an all girl college in New Jersey? I had a friend years ago by the name of Dania…just wondering if you could possibly be her?

  84. Oby, nope I am a west coast girl but it’s rare I come across someone with the same name 🙂

  85. Radha, the nose poking!!! I’m a Muslim and I can’t stand it. But then again, as a Christian it wasn’t much different in the church I attended but Muslims seems even more outgoing about it. There is a saying I’m sure you’ve heard that says I love Islam but I can’t stand Muslims. Wonder where that comes from lol???

  86. ‘There is a saying I’m sure you’ve heard that says I love Islam but I can’t stand Muslims.’

    I’ve heard that before and I just can not wrap my head around how Islam could be good when so much of it’s ‘fruit’ is so distasteful.

  87. Well it’s the people NOT the teachings Lynn. I had very similar experiences with Catholicism, so it’s not unique to Islam. It’s the overzealous uber-religious people in any religion that leave a bad taste in your mouth. The people do not always reflect the religion.

  88. My point is that if the teachings are good, the people would be good. So I think the people ABSOLUTELY reflect the religion.

  89. I doubt it. Personality plays a role here. When I was Christian the people in my church were very judgmental. Nothing has changed since becoming a Muslim. A Jewish friend of mine who is still in college and made a decision to live on campus avoids her family like the plague because of it. An Hindu friend of mine is afraid to practically do anything because of the conservative nature of the community where we live and “what the people would say” and things getting back to her family. People are good and bad despite religion Lynn. People are “distasteful” anywhere and in any system of belief. You can’t point fingers at Islam and say that because people are nosy and intrusive it’s because of the religion because this crosses religious and cultural boundaries.

  90. I think some adherents of any religion feel self righteous and feel the need to police others just to prove how superior they are. Islamic teachings actually tell Muslims that because they do not know what is really in the heart of another Muslim, they cannot judge them. It is wrong for a person to accuse anyone else of something wrong except with full knowledge and tangible proof. As Muslims, the default assumption we should have about other people in any matter is that they are free of blame. Islam demands fairness and impartiality when it comes to judging others. So, of religion says this and people do something different, how can these people be a reflection of the religion?

  91. This is a good post on the Islamic perspective of judging others: http://www.chillyoislamyo.com/look-at-yourself-before-judging-others/

    Sorry, this comment got lost in ”spam”. It happens sometimes with no discernible reason. I’s good you commented that it went missing otherwise it could have been lost due to the amount spam we get.
    moderator

  92. Dang my link went into moderation, but here is the text I wanted to highlight so you can see my point. It’s from a blog called Chill Yo Islam Yo which I like but it references hadith that reflect what I’m trying to say:

    Salam,

    Their are two things which go hand in hand, one is to internalize criticism and the other is judging yourself before judging others. Let’s accept it, No one is perfect, we aren’t angels.

    We gotta constantly discipline our soul and most importantly be aware of our actions, because the Angels are writing down, and it don’t stop till your soul leaves your body. Look at yourself in the mirror, ask yourself What kind of a person am I? Evaluate your performance as a believer.

    The question for today is do we put ourselves above other people when we approach them. You already know the devil is working hard to kick that pride in us, but that’s a disease of the heart and we gotta work on that Inshallah.

    The Prophet saw said: “No one with the slightest particle of arrogance in his heart will enter paradise.”

    A man remarked, “But a man likes his clothes to be nice and his sandals good.” The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Verily, Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Arrogance is refusing to acknowledge what is right and considering others beneath one.” (Mishkat al-Masabih)

    What a beautiful Hadith, to put things into perspective, basically by judging others you energize that pride and start thinking your all pious. Chill Yo that’s Haraam Yo. See the interesting thing about living life as a Muslim is that to reaffirm your faith you gotta ask yourself, Am I living by the Sunnah? Do I follow the commands of Allah swt? If not then how can you expect a return in the hereafter. It’s all relative and we gotta stick to the principles. Remember Heaven or Hell can mean a blink of an eye.

    Sayyiduna Ali (Allah be pleased with him) said: ” The world and the hereafter are like the east and west, and the traveler is between them. To the extent that he draws close to one, he distances himself from the other” (Ibid., 647.) So basically make up your mind. Either you go wild right now and suffer in the hereafter or you chill out, attain taqwa and chill in paradise.

    Nowadays we have this wildfire spreading in peoples minds that they are quick to judge other people. Not only that, but they also like to spread rumors and if one wants to change they continue to backbite or bring up incidents from the past. As a result this destroys motivation for the individual who wants to change.

    Of course it shouldn’t, we should all recognize that we are accountable to Allah (swt) alone and from him we come and to him we shall return. If a believer is making an effort to strive for good and you keep knocking him off the straight path. Then just accept that your the devils advocate.

    The reason why I bought this up is because I feel that we might at times be driven with the mentality to point out other’s mistakes and elevate ourselves above others. The bottom line is we don’t know who Allah (swt) loves more. So stamp this Hadith in your heart.

    Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace and salutations be upon him) said, “ Should you become eager to mention another’s faults, recall your own. “ (Ar-Rafi)

    At the end of it all, we gotta understand when someone tells us something for our own benefit, its to help us. It’s that simple, don’t assume that he or she is trying to put you down, If you do that I promise you will never change. This is something we are all working on to some degree everyday, the better we get the more impact we will see in our life.

    May Allah (swt) help us take constructive criticism and give us understanding of the deen and dunya! Ameen…don’t get it twisted.

  93. Strangeone,
    Thanks for clarifying that. I do get it.

    Lynn,
    “What was your reasoning there?”
    My reasoning was that it was purposely mispronounced especially after she was corrected at an earlier post and the commentator did not bother to correct herself nor apologise for her “mistake”. This makes me reason that it was done on purpose. This is why I did not elaborate on it.

    If it was an innocent mistake, I apologize.

    Dania,
    I am surprised by your comment. My native language is not English and yours apparently is. But even I know that vowels cannot be misspelled. It changes the meaning in Arabic and in English it cannot be said to be the same word. “Kafiroon” cannot be spelled as “Kuffaroon”. I can understood if double “o” is replaced with “u” but “a” with “u” changes the pronounciation. Especially when you are talking about the Quran, you have to be careful that the meaning does not change. You cannot explain away saying that in English you can spell it in many ways. “a” is not the same as “u”. I really don’t care how Ghaddafi is spelled because that is not a Quranic word.

    “I would like to remind you that you cannot label a person who calls themselves a Muslim a Muslim or not. It’s not your job.”

    I would agree with you here and I am not in the business of calling any Muslim as non-Muslim but there is line you have to draw. When you do not follow the basic creed, the basic tenets, when the definiation of a Muslim is no longer there, then you draw the line. Who is a Muslim, Dania? Harry mentioned that Submitters have a prophet whom they follow just as Muslims have a prophet and they follow him. So if the meaning of being a Muslim is believing in one God and His final Messenger and then you come up with another prophet, change the Quran to suit yourself …etc… are you in line with mainstream defination of being a Muslim? So why call yourself as Muslim, giveyourself another name and continue following your own prophet and be a good Submitter.

    Are you following, Dania? If one is following Islam as it is meant to be followed, then we have no job calling him/her a non-Muslim but someone who openly goes outside the boundary and calls himself a Muslim, thats a different story.

    Know this, Dania: “”O people! Muhammad has no sons among you men, but verily, he is the Messenger of Allah and the last in the line of Prophets. And Allah is aware of everything.” (33:40)

    and what did the Prophet say: “”The tribe of Israel was guided by prophets. When a prophet passed away, another succeeded him. But no prophet will come after me; only caliphs will succeed me.” (Sahih Bukhari)

    Radha,
    There is not problem being obsessed with numbers but when it comes to changing the Book with your obsession, then it does become a problem.

    “they are as much muslim as anyone else… in my uneducated opinion, you follow the 5 pillards and profess your faith – you are muslim”

    Yes it is undeducated opinion. Submitters do not believe even in the basics of Islam so how can you say that? It is made by a false prophet who was even known to be a liar. He is also known to be a Coptic by the name of Richard. They don’t believe in the sayings of the Prophet because that would negate all what they believe in.

  94. Sarah my point is that actually the meaning doesn’t change in English as long as the word is similar. There is absolutely no other word in the English language that it could be. It’s a given here. There is no proper way to spell the word and everyone here understood it for what it is…. therefore it is a waste of energy to deny the existence of the surah and get people up in arms because they misspelled an Arabic word in English. You flat out told her the surah doesn’t exist and went into technicalities. She is a non-Muslim. How can you expect her not to be confused when the surah obviously exists and you are telling her it does not?? It’s spelling for pete’s sake.

    “Are you following, Dania?” Yes, I’m not an idiot. But it doesn’t change the fact that you are rejecting a population of people who believe themselves to be Muslims whether you agree with what they do or not. It’s just not right.

    And sister Sarah, you said “Harry mentioned that Submitters have a prophet whom they follow just as Muslims have a prophet and they follow him” – first, are you really going to believe anything Harry has to offer here? Second, I checked out that website in question. “Submitters do not believe even in the basics of Islam so how can you say that?” Not only does it claim to follow the prophet Muhammed (pbuh) but it also follows the pillars of Islam and breaks them down in a very familiar way. I am pretty sure the Shia maintain the 5 pillars as well even though they have their 12 imams and pray to saint-like figures and make pilgrimages to dead people’s graves to worship. We still call them Muslims no? And the Sufi Muslims have some different beliefs that are not in line with your “mainstream” Islam but we still call them Muslims no?? These people stand shoulder-to-shoulder with “mainstream” Muslims in Mecca.

    You said, “If one is following Islam as it is meant to be followed, then we have no job calling him/her a non-Muslim but someone who openly goes outside the boundary and calls himself a Muslim, that’s a different story.” No it’s not a different story because of the two very large groups of people I referenced above. I am Sunni. To me, these two groups go “outside the boundary” of “mainstream” Islam but I wouldn’t dare judge them or call them non-Muslims. If they can make Hajj with me and pray next to me, then I can’t judge them. I won’t even judge a Christian or a Jew or an Atheist. Allah is the judge. These are the kinds of divisions in the ummah that harm it because some people can’t accept others and embrace them, rather they feel the need to judge and condemn them.

  95. Oh Sarah, one last thing, many Shia also believe the Quran has been changed and altered and they reject parts of it due to this belief, but yet again, they are still called Muslims.

  96. Ok sorry I really this is the last thing for now…. These “submitters” on that website in question do believe in hadith, they simply question the authenticity of many of them and the method of which they were gathered and decided upon as far as how strong or weak they are. They don’t believe that the scholars of hadith were humanly able to investigate and validate that many hadith thoroughly in a lifetime and claim there is bias related to their determinations.

  97. Dania
    Thanks for your reply.
    You said:
    ” You flat out told her the surah doesn’t exist and went into technicalities. She is a non-Muslim. How can you expect her not to be confused when the surah obviously exists and you are telling her it does not?? ”

    Flat out told who? I did not call out to anyone in particular. i mentioned it generally. And this wrong spelling did come up before and the person who mentioned it was corrected but she once again mis-spelt it. and don’t forget, these people had said time and again that they are read “everything” about Islam and are very knowledegable so how can you underestimate them. And once again we should not allow for false things to come in where Quran is concerned. Kuffaroon is not a Chapter in the Quran. it is Kafiroon. It is not a spelling for pete’s sake, it is the change of meaning in Allah’s Word.

    ” first, are you really going to believe anything Harry has to offer here?”
    Frankly not everything. But I did not say that I beleived in him. Actually that was directed to Harry but it came out in response to you. Sorry about that.

    In my comment, I was basically talking about the people who believe in a false prophet (not about Shias or sufis); when Islam warns us against such people and the Porphet even predicted about such people, how can you welcome them into your arms and proclaim them to be Muslims, when the very belief about the finality of the prophethood is not there. Besides that, to cancel some verse from the Holy Book is not something that is accepltable. If they want to beleive in something, well go ahead let them but don’t keep the label “Muslims” because they don’t fit in the Muslim believe system. If you accept them as Muslims then are you saying that there other prophets? That verses can be cancelled? That you can make your own sunnahs?

  98. Why can’t people make up new sunnah? After all, there are indications that the Quran itself was revised, edited and some words wrongly translated from Syro-Aramaic and foreign words which were wrongly understood.
    The oldest Qurans ever found, walled up in an ancient mosque in Sanah show that texts have been altered and rewritten on the same pages.

    As regard to the hadith, they are so contradictory that they really have to be taken with a pinch of salt. Another interesting pointer to the possibility that they were mostly made up in later times is that they seem to become more detailed and numerous the more time passed since the death of the prophet.
    And if you take the hadith as literal truth then there are hadith about Abu Haraira making them up as he liked right after the death of the prophet. So yes, the sunnah and hadith are suspect as to being absolutely true and unaltered.

    All this should not be a problem, religion is on a spiritual level. or it should be.

    Sarah, if all you can find to argue with my argument is that you don’t like my spelling of an Arabic word then I consider my argument stands and you cannot contradict it and you know it. And so you try to find some irrelevant detail to attack.
    And as there are no standards or rules for writing Arabic words in English even that argument is moot!

  99. AA,
    That is not ALL I have to argue but there is not real point to argue with all your points so I do not talk about those. Yes there are not rules for writing Arabic words in English but you can come close and not confuse with “a” with :”u”. So its not so moot as you make it out to be,

    And all those things you said about Quran being changed is not even true. You cannot prove it.

  100. Sarah, You talk about how the word changed meaning when it is misspelled. Can you please explain what was the meaning of the word that Aafke wrote and what is the meaning of the correct word for the title of that Surah?

  101. Ahmedi Muslims & Submitter Muslims

    It is very true that submitter muslims do believe in Prophet Mohammed saw as the last prophet. They also believe that Mr. Khalafa saw is a messenger sent by Allah swt to reinforce the koranic teachings. Yes, it is true that they do not believe in hadees except those that do not contradict the koran.

    It is also true that they took out two verses out of koran; their rationale being that those two verses on parchments which were stored under Mrs. Aisha Mohammed’s ra bed were eaten by a goat. Submitters claim that those two lost verses were later inserted into the koran during the compilation phase, based on Mrs. Aisha Mohammed’s ra vague memory.

    Ahmedi muslims are somewhat similar in their beliefs.
    Although they too believe in Prophet Mohammed saw as the last prophet, they (like submitters) believe that Mr. Mirza saw was sent as a messenger to mankind to reinforce koranic teachings. I understand that ahmedi muslims do believe in the entire hadees, like sunnis and shias.

    Ahmedi muslims are primarily based in pakistan and india. They were declared non-muslims/kafirs by pakistan and it is enshrined in their 1973 constitution.
    They cannot even utter salam aleikum in public at the pain of being accused of blasphemy and beheaded. Their headquarters is in england presently and they have plans to move it to tel aviv shortly. Quite a few ahmedis (bless them) are serving in the israeli defense forces.

    There are 150+ sects, and counting, in islam. Each claims to be the rightly guided ones. Sarah believes that her sect is the right one and all the others are kafirs. And the other 149+ declare Sarah and the other sects as kafirs. So it goes on and on and on …..

    Like Lynn put it so eloquently and succinctly: how the hell are the unbelievers supposed to know who is the “right” muslim and which is the “right” islam and which is the “right” koran and which is the “right” hadees???

    Interestingly, Sarah is fixated solely on submitters and declares them as kafirs. And completely avoids or dances around discussing the ahmedi muslims. Wonder why? Curious minds wanna know …..

  102. Sarah, you cannot expect someone whose native language is NOT Arabic to be accurate when translating an Arabic word into English when there is no established system between the two AND because there is no other word in the English language that it could possibly be, then why are you making this an issue?? The word DOES not change in meaning to English. It was clear what she was referring to. And seriously, she’s not a Muslim so how can you demand her perfection when referencing Islamic things and expect her to comply with your “corrections”??

    And here is where you are missing my point: I am not proclaiming anyone to be or not to be Muslim. It’s simply not my place to do so. If the Saudi government issues them a visa and allows them into Mecca and they can stand inside the Grand Mosque in Mecca and pray shoulder-to-shoulder with me AND you, then how can you judge them? Let them be in their belief and let them answer to God. You are human and are not in a position to say they are not Muslims. The Shia worship their 12 imams as infallible saints. They too are following figures who came after Muhammed (pbuh). You cannot create a double standard Sarah. These Submitters are in grave error compared to what most Muslims believe, but there are millions of Muslims who are and we still accept them as Muslims! There are also Muslims who do not pray, who drink, fornicate outside of marriage, haven’t stepped in a mosque in a decade or more, can’t remember a word the Quran says and reject many parts of their “mainstream” faith but are still accepted as Muslims. As long as these people profess shahada and worship only Allah, they are Muslims!! They make mistakes in their beliefs, but they are only accountable to Allah for those mistakes, not to me and not to you.

  103. Dania, you rock!

  104. Lynn, the word “kafir”: actually means the action of covering. Even farmers were called kafirs because they sow the seeds and covered them with soil. Kafir does not mean disbelievers from the root meaning. It means to conceal. Kuffar are people who deny the truth. “Kafiroon” is the plural of “Kafir”.

    My point one one cannot change the words of the Quran and doing it pursposely is not good.

    Harry, the 2 verses removed from the Quran by submitters were because it did not tally with their numbering system. Islam believes that there are no more prophets after the final Prophet and anyone who claims to be on is a liar. Rashad statrted out as an ordinary man and discovered his numbering code system for all divine books. Not all of the verses matched with his system and some he made to match by twisting the words. When he became famous he declared himself a prophet which was said to come in Old and New testament.

    I put Ahmedis in the same category. I have personal experience with Qadiani himself – yes wierd but it was some strange experience. Yes there are numerous sects but the ones that believe in One True God, the Message, all Prophets from Adam to the final Prophet, the finality of the prophethood, Divine Books, angels and are all on true path. Others who come with false prophets or believe in part of the message are outside the boundaries. Please understand that Harry. That is how you come to know the right Muslims from the false ones.

  105. “That is how you come to know the right Muslims from the false ones.” This is exasperating! It’s called tolerance Sarah. Get some. You are incredibly judgmental. Your views are the example of one thing fundamentally wrong with the Muslims of our time. It is not your right to make these judgments for those who call you their sister in Islam and pray to the same God you do regardless of their mistakes. I feel sorry for you.

  106. Sarah you do realize that it’s beliefs like this that are one reason for the sectarian violence in many countries. There are Muslims killing Muslims because of their superiority complex and their belief that the others are “false Muslims”. You may not be one of those people who is perpetrating so much violence of their fellow Muslims, but you do reflect a part of what they believe. I sincerely hope you can get past your intolerance and live and let live.

  107. And thanks Aafke 🙂

  108. Sarah…

    In each religion there are many ways to practice…if the main message is there why should we judge them. One of my very best friends is a Morman. She believes very devotedly that a man named Joseph Smith is her prophet and that before ascending into heaven permanently he stopped by to talk to Joe and his group. The way they use the term prophet is somewhat different than Mohammed as Smith is not nearly as “important” or has as much value as Mohammed does in Islam. But they respect him non the less. Their idea of heaven is a bit different too. However, when it comes to the “pillars” of the faith and Jesus, they believe pretty much the same as mainstream Christians.

    I don’t believe what Momonism says and a lot of other Christians would view her as a cult follower, but how can I judge her? She is more devoted to God than a lot of people of a lot of other faiths and lives the “lifestyle” as many muslims claim islam is and the core of her beliefs are the same as mainstream christianity…they follow the new testament with a small additional “book of Mormon” thrown in. So in the end does it really matter? Faith is exactly that…faith. God has not come back to tell anyone that they are right or wrong. And if adherents believe in the “pillars” (to use a familiar term) of a faith who am I to judge…only God can do that. I am not worthy to judge or take His place in doing so.

  109. sorry i meant to say “before JESUS ascended into heaven

  110. I wanted to put in my two cents about spelling…

    Dania is quite right. Even if we are somewhat knowledgeable about what words are etc, I can tell you from personal experience it can be very confusing for spelling. For example take the word for the Muslim holy book.

    I have seen it spelled Koran, Quran and Qu’ran. I have used all three spellings and I am still not sure which is correct but i have seen it spelled all three ways.

  111. Dania,

    “you cannot expect someone whose native language is NOT Arabic to be accurate when translating an Arabic word into English”]

    Then they should own up and learn and admit they were wrong.

    Don’t forget, these are the people who claim they have read alot and are very knowledge in all areas of Islam. They know “everything”. So don’t be fooled.

    I think you are missing the point. This word was mispelled before and it was corrected and then when it is repeated, does it look like being sincere. If one is innocent and does not know and then learns from the mistake, then fine. But when one realizes the mistake and purposely does not correct oneself then it becomes an issue. If the person is really ignorant then they should admit their mistake. But by supporting them in their falsehood, you are not helping, Are you the one who said that if we see something wrong we should correct it? If it was not you, then I apologize and if it was you, then you should know better than harp on this topic.

    I know what you are saying about judging people. I am talking deviant groups not ordinary Muslims who do not pray and fornicate …etc. If these groups are outside the defination of Islam, then they should label themselvees as something else.

    “As long as these people profess shahada and worship only Allah, they are Muslims!!”

    I think I have said enough on this subject.
    EXACTLY.

  112. Dania

    “As long as these people profess shahada and worship only Allah, they are Muslims!!”

    EXACTLY

  113. Dania

    ” It is not your right to make these judgments for those who call you their sister in Islam and pray to the same God you do regardless of their mistakes.”

    What are you talking about? I was speaking to Harry.

    Are you referring to yourself? I have not talked about you at all. Only talked TO you. I did not make any jusdegments about you at all. I was only giving you my opinion about the misspellling and the Submitters.

    How can you then judge me!!!! Are you in a postion to judgew now? I think you seriously misunderstoond me.

  114. EXCELLENT!!! Then you can admit that since the Submitters profess shahada and pray only to Allah then they are Muslims.

    The harpee about the spelling is you Sarah. You made it a ridiculous issue in which your point is still wrong but go ahead and continue believing your petty reasoning. “does it look like being sincere. If one is innocent and does not know and then learns from the mistake, then fine. But when one realizes the mistake and purposely does not correct oneself then it becomes an issue.” Honestly I see no insincerity from the person who you claim misspelled a word that doesn’t exist in English and is NOT being translated back into Arabic to change any meaning. I see they were sincerely trying to discuss and debate but misspelling a word isn’t a jab at Islam. People misspell in English constantly and we let it go because we all get the meaning. When the western media uses the word kafir which they frequently have, they pronounce it kufr. So perhaps that’s how she knows the word being that she doesn’t read Arabic and therefor doesn’t know the correct pronunciation. Get over this will you.

  115. Ahhhhh I give up. If you seriously can’t see my point after all this there is no hope.

  116. COMPILATION / MANUFACTURING OF KORAN

    Aafke briefly touched on the compilation of koran in its early years in her earlier posting. I would like to expand on it a bit ….

    First, before someone labels me as islamophobe, islam/muslim hater, nutter, etc etc, I would like assure everyone that the purpose here is not to malign muslims, islam, koran, allah swt or prophet mohammed saw. The purpose of my post is to present “another” pov regarding the compilation of koran in its early years and the koran as we know it today. Also, please forgive my writing style :)-

    The koran is the heart, the soul and the life of Islam. To all Muslims, it is more precious than their own lives. It is so dear to them that for its sake, they can sacrifice not only their own lives, but the lives of their own parents, siblings, wives and daughters and other blood relatives. Its sanctity surpasses all the sacred relics of the world. Many people, both Muslims and non-Muslims, have already suffered death in the hands of the pious Muslims for desecrating their Holy Book. Is the entire wealth of the world, including its stockpile of gold and diamonds, worth killing innocent human beings for merely desecrating the koran?

    The koran earned its unprecedented respect and sanctity because of its supposed origin and authorship. It hints, and the Muslims believe, that it was written down by Allah swt before the creation of the universe, detailing in it all the events that were ordained by Him to take place from the time He created the universe to the day on which, He swt will destroy it in no time. This book also contains the fate of each and every human being, and the Jinn as well, who were born, following Adam and his wife’s creation in heaven, to the ones who will take birth on the day Allah swt will destroy all of His swt creations. The day on which the universe that consists, among others, of seven skies and an equal number of earths, will end is commonly known as the Day of Judgment.

    After Jesus’ pbuh disappearance from the Cross, Allah swt waited for almost seven hundred years before sending Prophet Mohammad saw to the people of Mecca, who worshiped many idols, to bring them to Islam. Since he was the last and the final prophet, Allah swt revealed and inspired in a piecemeal the whole content of the celestial koran in koreishi tribe dialect of Arabic – the official language of Allah swt – as and when events unfolded in his life through angel Gabriel and completed it in 23 years. The koran thus revealed and inspired to Prophet Mohammad saw is the true replica of the celestial koran in Allah swt’s custody, stored in a golden tablet by Allah’s swt golden bedside stand on His swt Golden Throne.

    As the koran infers, the people in whose midst Prophet Mohammad saw lived were literate and knew the art of writing. This is deducible from the fact that the koran talks about pen, ink and parchment that were available in the Arabian peninsula in his time. This belief is reinforced by the fact that “between AD 244 and 249 the emperor of Rome was Marcus Julius Philipus, a native of Arabia, born in Arabia, and known as Philip the Arabian.” Had he not been a literate man, it would have been impossible for him to rule over such a large empire. But as it happened and it still happens even now in many societies of the world, Prophet Mohammad saw remained illiterate and he did not have the ability either to read or to write. Hard to tell, but perhaps, he, like the Mogul Emperor Akbar of India, suffered from dyslexia.

    But after the coming down of the first revelation to him in the cave of Hira, Prophet Mohammad saw suddenly became a literate man and he also gained the ability to write with the help of Allah swt. Despite having gained the ability to write down whatever Allah swt revealed to him, Prophet Mohammad saw did not record them; instead, he left it to his Companions to record them in their memory. They did a great job and memorized even those revelations, which came to him, while he was in his bedroom in the company of his wives.

    After Prophet Mohammad’s saw death, Muslim rulers/caliphs needed Allah swt’s revelations to Prophet Mohammad saw in order to legitimize their rule and to frame and impose rules on their subjects in accordance with what Allah swt had told the Prophet saw. So they commissioned a group of people to collect the revelations from peoples’ memory and to commit them to writing, including two verses, which were eaten by a goat, stored under Mrs. Aisha Mohammed’s ra bed but later she ra had them committed to writing based on her ra vague memory. Once the revelations were compiled into a book i.e. the koran, discrepancies were noted in it and many of its dictums were found not to be in tandem with the situations that had developed after Prophet Mohammad’ saw death, and with the passage of time.

    To meet this challenge, the rulers/caliphs of the time changed and revised the koran many times. Its text was finally fixed by two viziers ibn Muqlah and ibn Isa in 933 with the help of the learned ibn Mujahid. Ibn Mujahid admitted seven readings, which had developed because of lack of vowel and diacritical marks, as canonical.

    The final text of the koran is believed by all Muslims not to have any mistake or discrepancy in it. Since this text is the exact copy of the celestial koran, stored in a golden tablet by Allah’s swt golden bedside on His swt Golden Throne, they also believe it is impossible to find any factual or historical mistakes in it. This characteristics of the koran makes it the most sacred book on earth and whosoever tampers with it or tries to dishonor it in any way will surely live in the Fire of Hell in their next life or beheaded in their present lives.

    It is not intended here to point out mistakes or historical errors in the koran. Rather, to draw attention to one of the mistakes the compilers and the editors of the koran had made at the time of finalizing its final text. The mistake can be found in the following verse:

    73:20: “Thy Lord doth know that thou standest forth (to prayer) nigh two-thirds of the night, half the night, or a third of the night, and so doth a party of those with thee. But Allah swt doth appoint Night and Day in due measure. He knoweth that ye are unable to keep count thereof. So He hath turned to you (in mercy): read ye, therefore, of the koran as much as may be easy for you. He knoweth that there may be (some) among you in ill-health; others traveling through the land, seeking Allah swt’s bounty; yet others fighting in Allah swt’s Cause. Read ye, therefore, as much of the koran as may be easy (for you); and establish regular Prayer and give regular Charity; and loan to Allah swt a Beautiful Loan.” (Translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali).

    Sura Muzzammil, having the number 73, is believed to be the third Meccan Sura to have been revealed to Prophet Mohammad saw by Allah swt. Historians do not know the lapse in time between Sura 1 to 3, but a six months’ lapse is generally accepted by almost all the scholars of Islam to be a reasonable period.

    If the above assumption is taken to be true, then one should have no hesitation in saying that during this six months time period, Prophet Mohammad saw could not have converted more than a few Pagans to Islam (the number of Pagans he converted to Islam in 13 years did not exceed one hundred!). The miniscule number of the neo-Muslims could not have the courage, or the strength, to fight a very large number of Pagans, who had been refusing to have anything to do with Islam and the preaching of its Founder saw. In such a situation, why Allah swt said in the verse that some of the Muslims were not reading the koran during the night, as they were busy fighting the Pagans in the cause of Allah swt?

    A simple answer to the question is this: The compilers of the koran goofed and they inserted this Medinan verse into the Meccan Sura. This assertion gets strength from the fact that the verse, quoted above, also speaks about Zakat, a charitable act only the Jews of Medina practiced at the time Islam was being founded by Prophet Mohammad saw. Due to this reason, Abdullah Yusuf Ali writes:

    “This i.e. {yet others fighting}, refers to Jihad. The better opinion is that this particular verse was revealed in Medina, long after the great part of the Sura. The reference, further on, to canonical Prayers and regular Charity (Zakat), points to the same conclusion.”

    The King of Saudi Arabia has deleted, changed and amended Ali’s translation of the koran before approving it to be closer to the original Arabic text, but he has left the above remark untouched, as it is true and no Muslim worth his salt can deny the fact that the word “Jihad” was mistakenly inserted in the verse of the koran by its compilers.

    This being the fact, a question naturally arises: How many more mistakes are in the koran and what else has been added, deleted or omitted from this holy book of Islam?

    If what is stated here is true, then how can Muslims defend Allah swt’s declaration in which He swt has said?

    15:9: “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)”

    Evidently, Allah swt failed and He swt could not keep His swt promise. Should such a deity be revered, bowed down to and worshiped and for what purpose, when He swt could not defend His last Prophet saw from his two wives without the help of all the angels, including Gabriel, and all the believing Muslims put together?

    For a detailed discourse on how Noble Koran was “manufactured/compiled” during its early years, click on the link below:

    http://www.abrahamic-faith.com/shamoun/compilation%20of%20the%20quran.html

    References

    1. The Quran; 2:1 et al.
    2. The Quran; 21:105. Also see 4:163 & 17:55.
    3. Cf. The Quran; 19:29 & 30.
    4. The Quran; 3:23.
    5. The Quran; 75:17-18.
    6. The Quran; 75:19.
    7. Cf. The Quran; 37:123 to 125.
    8. Benjamin Walker in “Foundation of Islam,” p. 26.
    9. Cf. The Quran; 29:48.
    10. Phillip K. Hitti in History of the Arabs, pp. 123.
    11. The Holy Quran; vol. 2, p. 1637.
    12. Cf. The Quran; 66: 4.

  117. Sarah…

    Dania was saying that it is not up to you or anyone else to judge who is Muslim and who isn’t…even if you don’t agree with their interpretation BEYOND taking the shahada and believing in the five pillars. Even if they don’t follow the “path” and are lapsed Muslims…even if they have a somewhat different interpretation than you…

    It seems to me that there are a LOT of Muslims out there who interpret culturalism as islamic practice and no one seems to call them nonmuslims EVEN THOUGH some of their cultural practices that pass for islam are not! So taking that into consideration there really isn’t room to judge who is “really” muslim and who isn’t. As she rightly pointed out Muslims seem to be doing a wonderful job of exterminating each other because they are so judgemental of each other.

  118. @Sarah – Is Arabic your native language? But since we are communicating in English here perhaps we should stick to English so as not to get sidetracked on petty issues such as this? So call the sura The Disbelievers rather than bicker about pronunciations, m’kay? But I still don’t understand what reason one might have to want to purposely use the wrong word when the word that you said they are using is pretty much the same word and I believe that it came from that word. Farmers plant seeds and cover them just as those who do not believe my try to cover what you consider to be the ‘truth’. I guess I just don’t understand your concern here.

    But, I ask if Arabic is your native language because it is not mine but I see this here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kafir
    speaking on the meaning and it does not exactly match what you say. Hey! Where’s MoQ been?

    By the way, which is it, Mecca or Makkah?

  119. Lynn, is it Koran or Quran? Is it Mohammed or Muhammad?

  120. Is Osama bin Laden a Muslim?

  121. Yes he is. He proclaims shahada and prays to Allah. He’s obviously a few fries short of a Happy Meal and more than happy to kill people, but yes he is still a Muslim.

  122. Does he get his beliefs from the Koran, Quran, Qu’ran?

  123. Ask him.

  124. lol

  125. Dania, it’s such a relief to have tolerance practiced.

    Sorry Sarah, screw the spelling.
    Really.
    Honeybadger don’t give a shit.
    There are no rules for spelling Arabic in English. And you knew jolly well what my point was and you choose to go all overboard on some spelling. That is weak Sarah!

    Anyway, My point was that tolerance is lovely, and yes, it is in the Quran, (or Q’ uran, or Qu’ran, or Koran, or Qur’ an). However, chronologically later verses instruct to kill and destroy all who are not Muslim and there is this rule in the Quran, (or Q’uran, or Qu’ran, or Koran, or Qur’an) which tells you that if any verse contradicts an earlier verse it is the later verse which should be followed.
    Just to remind you what my point was actually about.

  126. Aafke the whole abrogation thing is so much more complex than you understand it to be. First, The verses which replace them are referred to as Nasikh. Yet, there is by no means any certainty as to which disagreeing verses are mansukh and which are nasikh, since the order in which the Qur’an was written down was not done chronologically but according to the length of the surahs.

    Many of the surahs were not even given to Muhammad in one piece as some portions were added to other surahs under the direction of Muhammad, with further additions to the former surahs. Therefore, within a given surah there may be found ayas which were early, and others which were quite late. How then could we know which were the more authoritative? We can’t.

    There is no general rule of thumb we can apply here. It’s not possible.

  127. Sheikh bin Laden’s Fatwa – Better listen up!

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/terrorism/international/fatwa_1998.html

  128. SARA: “I know what you are saying about judging people. I am talking deviant groups not ordinary Muslims who do not pray and fornicate …etc. If these groups are outside the defination of Islam, then they should label themselvees as something else.”

    Oh My Oh My! Why such an obsession and a fetish about labeling people? So not praying and fornication etc is fine to be labeled as a muslim? Take one step as a muslim beyond that …. like belief in a messiah(s) or another messenger …. and you can’t call yourself a muslim? Interesting. Very interesting.

    Nation of Islam, headed by Elijah Mohammed for a long time and now headed by Louis Farrakhan, have called themselves “black muslims” since the early 30’s. They had their places of worship called temples, they prayed, read koran etc … although i am not sure what kind of rituals they followed.

    Although their doctrine was racist and bigoted, they did a lot of good things for the black community in terms of economic empowerment, million dollar march etc etc. They are recognized as a 501-c-3 under the label muslim religious organization.

    It was so refreshing to see Dania’s comments on this issue; she is a 21st century modern American Muslim. Sarah, on the other hand, is still living in the 7th century cocoon; i hope she comes out of that cocoon and join the 21st century civilization.

  129. Oh my God I think I just hallucinated but the Nation of Islam and Malcolm X’s Hajj was going to be my next defense until I figured out I just couldn’t get through to her and dropped it. God help me but I agree with the comparison Harry :/

  130. Pigs have wings!
    We are getting all cosy, rosy and agreeable here!

    If pigs have wings does that mean they get to be halal?

  131. “If pigs have wings does that mean they get to be halal?”

    I have a progressive american muslim friend, who detests pork meat but he and his muslim family very much enjoy bacon with eggs. His rationale and reasoning is that while pork meat is specifically haram per koran, bacon (and lard) is not.

    I kidded with him if he had gotten a fatwa on this and he said he believes in using his allah-given brain and heart and intellect to make such decisions. may the supreme architect of the universe bless him :)-

  132. uggghh what a fight, but entertaining, especially when stuck @ work on sat..

    dania – give it up my dear. you can only lead a horse to water annot make it drink can you 🙂

    sarah – you may believe what you want as to true muslims, my only advise don’t tell the so -called “wrong muslims” that they are not true muslims.. it kind of irritates them and makes them v v annoyed. trust me i have first hand experience, normally Mild mannered men get all broody an ruin the day …

  133. So bacon isn’t meat? Not trying to be snarky but I don’t get it. I’ve never eaten pork (except one time accidentally on a pasta in a restaurant) so I’m confused about what bacon is if it’s not meat.

  134. Radha yeah I did give up. The horse is dead lol

  135. maybe the curing process of bacn makes it not “pig meat ” :- just kidding harry .. i’m vegetarian ..so noting with a face,blood,breathing is permitted 🙂
    My poor husband has to get his halal meat outside .

    and i don’t go around hunting for halal restaurants either , since i like food from all regions, so he’s tuck to vegetarian most of the time… good for him, good for the environment and good for the planet i say !!!!

  136. Sarah,

    I think it would be most prudent on your part to just admit that you forgot the surah when you said “there is no surah Kuffaroon in the Qu’ran (that’s right, I spell it with a “Q” 🙂 Own your mistake here sister. It’s not always easy but it’s a matter of integrity.

    Perhaps you haven’t read the surah in a while or perhaps it just completely slipped your mind. Many of us make mistakes when we post our opinions on blogs, it happens, we’re human, no matter if we believe in Allah or if we eat a ton of noodles like Aafke. 🙂

    I agree with Dania in that we cannot correct a non-Muslim or even a Muslim on how they translate Arabic into English. They’re two different languages. Just look at how most Muslims spell their Arabic names in English, there’s always a variety of ways people choose to translate it.

    I know sometimes reading or hearing the Arabic spelling mistakes from people who are not accustomed to the language can be a bit annoying but we have to choose our battles really AND give them a little credit for at least trying. A spelling mistake really is not that big of a deal. I personally have more issues with some people who intentionally throw out Arabic terms sarcastically as if to insult others by it but I digress. There is a poster on this blog that constantly writes “hadees” when I and everyone else on this blog knows that if he reads half of what he claims to have read he would know by now it is “hadeeth”. But I do not correct him because maybe I”M WRONG, maybe he honestly doesn’t know; so I leave it, because it is very petty to waste time on it.

    In the “hadees/hadeeth” case it is pronounced entirely differently and just urkes me, like when I hear some southern people use the words, “ya’ll” or “ain’t”. But they’re just words, I get over it and focus on the importance of what is being said. So my advice to you is to focus more on substance and less on style. 🙂

  137. I ain’t southern but I still don’t think there’s anything wrong with using y’all. 😉

  138. Cute, cute….like nails on a chalkboard for my ears though! 🙂

  139. lol I couldn’t resist! But I do know what you mean. Kinda like nucular instead of nuclear.

  140. This is my favorite hadith: How some guy greeted Mohammed and Aischa as they rode by with a mispronunciation of ”Salaam” which made it an insult.
    Aischa was mad: ”get him! Beat him! Get him!”
    And Mohammed smiled and answered in a friendly way, ”And the same to you”.

  141. Hey, let’s not turn this into southern bashing!! *mad face*

    😉

    My Syrian friend wishes my southern drawl were drawlier if you can imagine… It’s funny when he tries to talk like me and says “ak siiint” (accent) like I do! I’m like, “Uh, Samer, no. Southern just sounds wrong on you, darlin’.” 😀

  142. Dania,

    I think you and others here are misunderstanding me.

    I understand that the issue of spelling mistake is petty but is it really about that?

    First of all let me tell you I see many, many Arabic words spelled wrong but did anyone see me correct them all the time? So just reason why I am doing it. I repeat myself for all to see clearly.

    This mistake occured before on another post some time ago and AA was corrected on it. Now for someone who keeps saying that they know everything about Islam and has read everything there is to read on the subject, and then when corrected just ignores it, that is a sign of pride. I don’t know how long you are here in this blog, Dania, to realise this. Anyway, that time I let it pass. I was not the one who corrected her, by the way. Now if a person is sincere and here to discuss religion in a rational unbiased way, the noble thing to do is accept the sincere mistake and apologise and move on. If the intention, however, is to mock and purposely repeat a corrected mistake, then what does it tell about the person? I accept that the person may have forgotten the correction, then again, its only fitting to own up and admit to it, instead of brushng it aside and say “screw the spelling”.

    This is the word of the Quran and we are supposed to correct wherever necessary. Ignoring it is just as bad as accepting it with the mistake.

    Now it seems that AA who claims to “know everything” does not really know everything, There is alot to learn, my dear.

    I keep saying this to you, Dania, and you keep repeating that they are non-muslims and it is not their native language. So if its not their native language does it mean that they have some lack of understanding when corrected and so that makes it ok? You forget that it is our duty to correct the mistakes made concerning words from Quran. I am not talking about any other words but especially words from Quran. If you can’t see the issue is then there is really no hope.

    Oby,
    I understand what you are saying about the spelling but but from the above explanation of my point of view, maybe you can understand what I am talking about. I spell Quran and sometimes as Qur’an or Mohammed as Muhammad…etc. That is not the issue here.

    Lynn,
    The link you provided (wikipedia) does give the same meaning of Kafir. Where is the difference? Please elaborate.

    Rosemary,
    “I think it would be most prudent on your part to just admit that you forgot the surah when you said “there is no surah Kuffaroon in the Qu’ran (that’s right, I spell it with a “Q” Own your mistake here sister. It’s not always easy but it’s a matter of integrity.”

    “Perhaps you haven’t read the surah in a while or perhaps it just completely slipped your mind”

    Just because I corrected a mistake, means I have not read the Quran in a while? Make some sense, pleeeese. Its more like you cannot recognise the mistake because its been a while…

    I think the above explanation is sufficeint for now on what I am on about.

    So are you saying there is such a chapter? I did not forget about one of the most read surahs of the Quran. Where is the mistake, sister? If I am mistaken, I will be the first one to admit. It is not proper to change the words of the Quran and then say it is there. So again where is the mistake.

    The names of the Surahs were named by God,, so we can’t change them… have no right to! Honest mistake I can accept.

  143. susanne430, we are not going to bash the south! On the contrary, in the near future I plan to get a hat, and boots, and a bag with a huge cross and lots of bling, and lone stars on everything!
    But I’m going to keep the English accent.

  144. I really think that this particular post does nothing but insight more misunderstanding and ignorance among ppl..dont we have enough???. I think that the person who wrote the comments is extremly uneducated..not only in the islamic religion but in there own im guessing christianity..really a horrendous piece of writing. Im just asking myself why she would ever live in Saudi Arabia..im sure it was convenient while she was gaining an accumilated wealth. The common theme among most expats in saudi..get rich while talking crap on any thing they see. So ignorant.

  145. SARA: “The names of the Surahs were named by God,, so we can’t change them… have no right to!”

    Sara, I believe that you are mistaken. It is my understanding that suras were NOT named as they were being revealed by allah swt to prophet mohammed saw via archangel gabriel ra.

    They were named by “humans”, depending upon the preponderance of subject matter in individual suras, during the koran compilation process, under the leadership of caliph omar ra. That’s why sometimes you see various suras being referred to by slightly different names/titles.

  146. SARAH: “Islam believes that there are no more prophets after the final Prophet and anyone who claims to be on is a liar.”

    Sarah, you are right about the “final prophet” part. However, Mr. Khalafa (submitters) and Mr. Mirza (ahmedis) never claimed to be the “final prophets”; they claimed merely to be “messengers” of allah swt to revive the teachinigs of allah swt as revealed in the koran through prophet mohammed saw.

    Sarah, there is a HUGE difference between “final prophet” and “messenger!

  147. @Sarah – ‘Lynn,
    The link you provided (wikipedia) does give the same meaning of Kafir. Where is the difference? Please elaborate.’

    It says – Kafir (Arabic: كافر kāfir; plural كفار kuffār) is a term used primary by classical Islamic doctrine to refer to those who “disbelieve” in one God – atheists and polytheists.[1] Outside of Islam, Kaffir is used as a racial term.
    In recent times it is more of a discriminatory term against “unbelievers”, “disbelievers” or “non-believers” in the Islamic faith. Muslim scholars have discouraged its use due to the Quran’s command to use kind words.[2] However, the Qur’an itself uses the words Kafir, Kuffar, and Kufr 470 times in 451 different verses.[3]

    You said: Lynn, the word “kafir”: actually means the action of covering. Even farmers were called kafirs because they sow the seeds and covered them with soil. Kafir does not mean disbelievers from the root meaning. It means to conceal. Kuffar are people who deny the truth. “Kafiroon” is the plural of “Kafir”.

    It said kuffar is the plural of kafir. I don’t necessarily trust Wikipedia, that was why I was asking where MoQ was and I asked if Arabic was your native language.

    Still, it’s not like there was something sinister by using what you consider the ‘wrong word’ had it changed the meaning to something else that would be completely different but it didn’t so, to me, and probably others, it just seemed as though you were trying to discredit as ignorant, someone who does not share your opinion and it looks foolish and petty.

  148. @Bella Vita – Ok, we have your opinion on the person who wrote it. Now perhaps you could do as Carol asked?

    She wrote: ‘I challenge American Bedu readers to take each statement and respond.’

  149. Harry, the names of the surahs were given during revelation. There are many hadith in which the prophet pbuh directly refers to a specific surah. For example: “On the day of Judgment, the Quran and its people who used to stick to its teachings will be brought with Surat Al-Baqarah and Aal `Imran preceding them.” This would not be possible if they were named after the death of Muhammed pbuh.

    And Sarah, NO ONE WAS TRYING TO RENAME THE SURAHS OR CHANGE THEM OR ANY OTHER ACTION YOU MISTAKENLY BELIEVE WAS OCCURING. I highly doubt that the spelling was a pride thing and it’s presumptuous for you to make that accusation. You said “Now if a person is sincere and here to discuss religion in a rational unbiased way, the noble thing to do is accept the sincere mistake and apologise and move on.” But Sarah, you can plainly see that not many discussions here are a sincere discussion on religion and I have yet to see an unbiased discussion after several years of following this blog. I really doubt someone who is very much critical of Islam cares whether they please the Muslim in you so drop it. People make false statements about Islam constantly and people like me post in response but they don’t “fix” their mistakes. They continue to say the same thing over and over and over again.

    I got to tell you Sarah, that you are reading way too much into the spelling of a word. Seriously. You are taking offense to letters and accusing someone of purposefully being disrespectful toward you because of a vowel they chose to use and repeat. I believe the problem here is you in this case and I ask that you drop this issue again. I repeat to you that no one is trying to change the name of the Surah and you are being hypersensitive about it. You remind me of the crazies in Afghanistan who went NUTS after the Jones guy finally burned the Quran and they stormed the UN building beheading 2 people who DID NOT burn the Quran. This is an extreme example, but you share this mentality of hypersensitivity. It’s noble to protect your beliefs and the book we Muslims love, but seriously, you are going way beyond that and your reasoning is questionable at best.

    “You forget that it is our duty to correct the mistakes made concerning words from Quran.” Sarah, it is your duty to correct your fellow MUSLIMS. Lay off the people who don’t care and are not going to accept your corrections. You’re wasting your time here and reinforcing an aspect of Muslims that haunt people like me here in the US.

  150. Dania said: “So bacon isn’t meat? Not trying to be snarky but I don’t get it.”

    I checked with my american muslim friend from harryanna, india as to the reasoning/rationale that he went through to arrive at the conclusion that bacon, lard, alcohol/wine, etc are halal in islam. He explained the arabic term SHUBHAH or Mushbooh, which means ‘Suspected’ or “Doubtful”.

    According to him, if one does not know the Halal or Haram status of a particular food or drink, such foods or drinks are Shubhah or Mushbooh i.e. Doubtful or Suspected. A practicing Muslim is neither encouraged nor discouraged from partaking of such food or drink items, since they are not specifically mentioned in the koran and/or koran has not prohibited them outright.

    According to his own research, following foods and drink items (or containing ingredients) are Mushbooh or Doubtful:

    Gelatin; Enzymes; Emulsifiers; Lard; Bacon; Glycerol/Glycerin etc.; Alcohol/Intoxicants/Wine, etc.

    He also said that only “pig meat” is haram per koran; but not any of the by-products such as bacon, lard, etc. Regarding alcohol/wine, he said koran doesn’t prohibit it outright; it only points out that “there is greater harm in it than good”; thus a muslim is allowed to enjoy alcohol/wine in moderation since recent science has also pointed out that it (especially wine) is good for one’s health and heart.

    I am not a muslim nor admittedly an expert on islam to evaluate his findings, therefore one should take his understanding of halal/haram issue with a grain of salt. Like you said in one of your earler posts, there are as many islams as there are muslims.

    May Allah swt bless him and his family with janatul firdous in this life and the hereafter :)-

    MUSLIMS FOR PROGRESSIVE ISSUES

    My same american muslim friend belongs to a mosque/masjed called Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV). They just opened a local chapter or mosque in our seattle area.

    Here’s the link that he shared with me:

    http://mpvusa.org/index.html

    Here’s a brief bio of MPV:

    MPV endorses separation of religious institutions, whether church, mosque, synagogue, or otherwise, from state institutions. The imposition of religious codes by the state prohibits citizens from exercising their moral agency. We believe that secular government is the only way to achieve the Islamic ideal of freedom from compulsion in matters of faith.

    However, we do not advocate the removal of religious perspectives from the public square. People vote according to their morals, and they derive their morals from various sources, some (or even most) of which are religious. To try and dictate where people get their morals or to deny them the right to vote according to those morals would be egregious violations of basic human rights.
    .

  151. Innnneresting. I’ve never heard of the MPV and I still see bacon as meat, but interesting.

  152. I don’t see how anyone could see bacon as anything other than meat. Bacon is not a byproduct it is a cut of meat off of a pig. Unless it is turkey bacon or some other fake bacon.

  153. I am really curious…

    “You forget that it is our duty to correct the mistakes made concerning words from Quran.” Sarah, it is your duty to correct your fellow MUSLIMS.

    Why is it so important to correct anyone muslim or not about the spelling of a word? So many people in this world are lousy spellers and spell lots of things wrong but others get what they mean. With my example above of quran..no matter how I spell it everyone understands what I mean and no disrespect is meant.

    When I was looking for my link for Sarah about it being in the koran I copy and pasted
    Aafkes original spelling into google. The computer corrected my spelling and lead me to the right one…so if a machine can guess what I mean with wrong spelling I would think a human even more capable of it.

    Isn’t it more important that they get the gist of it and the message rather than getting hung up on the spelling especially if we are talking about similar sounds as with vowels? Why so critical to correct Muslims?

  154. “Isn’t it more important that they get the gist of it and the message rather than getting hung up on the spelling especially if we are talking about similar sounds as with vowels? Why so critical to correct Muslims?”

    Oby…spend even a marginal amount of time around Muslims (and I have to reference Arab Muslims since they are my experience) and you will come to know the “devil is in the detail”.

    Whole conversations will be had on the smallest inane Cant Possibly Be THAT Important to God details while the bigger picture goes uncritiqued or corrected (the abuse and oppression of women etc etc)

    Sarah is focusing on the minute details because Im guessing she cant argue the actual Point that is being made. A common tactic.

  155. Thanks Coolred..

    If it is a diversionary tactic then it is an effective one! Oh my goodness…if one has to be that detailed it’s no wonder no one can agree..there will ALWAYS be people with different opinions even if ever so slight.

  156. Sarah, there is no correct spelling of an Arabic word in English. Arabic is not written latin letters, so you can spell it twenty ways and they are all correct. I have heard the word pronounced by an Arabic speaking person and there are twenty ways you can spell it in Latin.
    There is no universally accepted method of spelling Arabic words in English.
    So, again, screw the spelling.

    It’s not like there is a Websters Dictionary of correct spelling of Arabic into English.
    Your personal preference of how you want to spell a word does not make you right, nor does it compel us to apologize for using another spelling. So you can go on and whine about this ad infinitum, it only makes your argument look silly.

    Now I know why you think you suddenly feel this religious need to ”correct” my spelling, and that is because you are afraid to argue my point. Because you know you would lose.
    That sura, about the K-whatsit-whatsit says basically something like ”leave me alone with my religion and I leave you alone” and my point is that, reasonable as that sounds it is abrogated by later suras which say kill all non-muslims.

    There’s nothing mysterious about it. Sura K-whatsit-whatsit, was a very early one, written when the prophet had no power and had to play nice. Which changed when he did get power and then he changed his mind.
    or, Allah changed his mind and gave new sura’s later on. Better ones. Kill all the infidels!
    The chronological order of the Quran, (or Koran, or Q’ran, or Qur’an, or Kuraan, or…) is quite established and you can find it easily on line.
    The current order is based on an ancient Persian ordering, by length. Longest first (except the first one obviously) and shortest last. Most of the earlier sura’s tend to be shorter.

    So, that was my argument. Deal with the argument instead of using a silly fallacy by harping on spelling!

  157. Coolred, ”the devil is in the details” waw! Never really saw the logic of that one until now!

  158. Of course, in french koran is spelled as “coran”. Up until 1923 when the caliphate ended, turks used to spell mohammed as “mahomet”. islamic republic of pakistan’s founder spelled his name as mahomet ali jinnah when cosmetic name surgery was performed on his name after independence and it became mohammed. ahmed is variably spelled as ahmad or achmed or akhmed. One can find thousands and thousands of arabic words which are spelled differently in various countries and cultures.

  159. Aafke, I’ve responded twice to your claim that the surah was agrogated. It was not. There are a few (as in 2-3) Shia scholars who claim that surah was abrogated. The rest of scholars have a consensus that it was most surely not. You’re insisting that a golden rule of abrogation exists and cancels out surahs but this is far from the case. The “science” of abrogation is complex and can’t be applied like that. Like I have said twice now surahs are made of ayahs (versus) and they ayahs within the surahs were revealed at so many different times, that you can’t claim this at all. There is absolutely no truth to your claim here.

    I wrote to you before: “First, The verses which replace them are referred to as Nasikh. Yet, there is by no means any certainty as to which disagreeing verses are mansukh and which are nasikh, since the order in which the Qur’an was written down was not done chronologically but according to the length of the surahs.

    Many of the surahs were not even given to Muhammad in one piece as some portions were added to other surahs under the direction of Muhammad, with further additions to the former surahs. Therefore, within a given surah there may be found ayas which were early, and others which were quite late. How then could we know which were the more authoritative? We can’t.

    There is no general rule of thumb we can apply here. It’s not possible.” Why are continuing this line of argument when it doesn’t hold any water?

  160. Dania…the very fact that your comment makes the Quran appear confusing, haphazard in compilation, and a complete mystery to those not up to speed on when, where and why every single ayat was delivered to the prophet…one gets the opinion that the book itself is a confusing, haphazard in compilation and a complete mystery to the very people who might want to make sense out of it….but they cant due to those very attributes.

    The fact that abrogation exists within Islamic discourse is a thorny issue to begin with. The fact that,as you state, it’s nearly impossible to know exactly which ones are first and which come later so to speak, make it even more so.

    The fact that God himself says…I made this book and this religion EASY for you to understand if you ONLY believe …believe what? Even Muslims have to draw charts, arrows, keep history books at hand and along with hadeeth and copious amounts of other historical data to even make a mediocum of sense out of some of it. Where is the “easy” God speaks of?

    It’s not in order. Some of it is direct and to the point but Muslims prefer to still read other things into it. Some of it is ambiguous but STILL Muslims want to read direct and too the point “facts” concerning it. Some of it is spirtitual but taken as literal. And vice versa. Some of it contradicts something else it said…(abrogation) and some of it just does not comply with a Loving Merciful Forgiving God.

    You are correct…there is NO general rule of thumb we can apply to Islam, what it means or how it should be practiced because even its own followers cannot come up with an agreed upon creed other than a few basic tenents.

    Why is she continuing this line of argument when it hold no water? Because she is using the same line of argument many Muslims use….I CAN do this because this ayat says so…no you cant because that one says u cant…but this one is before that one…no but this one came later so it takes precedence….but I like this one better …it sounds more reasonable…but Mohammed said those dont count anymore cause God gave him a new directive…so why are they still in the Quran…why not take them out and then no question of abrogation comes into play….hmmm….good question.

  161. I’m not exactly continuing the argument, I am reminding Sarah what the argument was actually about.
    Because she keeps hedging it by her new found religious fervor for spelling.

  162. Re: Abrogation of Verses

    COOLRED: “The fact that God himself says…I made this book and this religion EASY for you to understand if you ONLY believe …believe what?”

    I agree with Coolred regarding koran being confusing. In one of the verses, allah swt says that koran is “mubeen” or very clear to understand. If it is, then why myriads of tafseers explaining it and volumes upon volumes on the art and science of abrogation of verses. Obviously, koran is not clear and/or easy to understand.

    Studying abrogation of verses in the koran and its history is exhausting and tiresome. The first thing that becomes obvious when examining the doctrine of abrogation, is the fact that no one seems to agree on the doctrine of abrogation. The doctrine is difficult and multi faceted.

    There are some scholars who don’t even believe that there were any abrogation of verses; they rather believe that the verse on abrogation refers to bible and torah as being abrogated:

    Whatever message WE abrogate or cause to be forgotten, WE bring one better than that or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that ALLAH has the power to do all that HE wills? – 2:106.

    At least twenty lines of thought regarding abrogation are found in legal and exegetical literature. This makes the task of determining whether modern commentators are unorthodox in their comments a more arduous task. From the time of the companions of Prophet Mohammad saw to the present day there has been disagreement over which verses teach abrogation, what types of verse can be abrogated, and which verses are abrogated (if abrogation is allowed). Others question how many verses abrogate or are abrogating – ranging anywhere from 5 to 248 verses and whether the Sunnah can abrogate the koran and vice versa.

    Here’s and interesting link on abrogation in the koran, its history, and problems/issues on abrogation:

    http://www.rim.org/muslim/clear.htm

  163. Coolred I totally agree and acknowledge as a Muslim that the entire situation is confusing and complex and all that. You may not hear this truth from another Muslim, but if they can step up and explain to me in grave detail about abrogation and compilation and order of revelation, then my hats off to them and I will chance my opinion. I honestly believe that Islam WAS easy. The early Muslims didn’t have all the complications we have today. It is us that has overcomplicated the matter. Of course, that’s my personal opinion so I can’t claim fact, but that’s what I really believe the “easy” is referring to. Muslims have made it all sorts of complicated. It is human intervention that is the cause for many of the complications.

    Anyhow, one thing that is absolutely certain, however, is that Surah al Kafiroon (happy Sarah) has not been abrogated. I searched in Arabic for any claims that is has and I came up with nothing. I searched in English and found that it was abrogated according to a bunch of Islamophobe websites where the author was sipping on haterade and THEY claimed it was abrogated. Hmmm. They are non-Muslims and non-scholars whose only defense is that THEY personally see a contradiction in the Quran/Koran/Coran/Qur’an and came to that conclusion. Then I called my old imam who is extremely moderate to see if he had ever heard. Nope. Nothing. So to claim that one of the very best parts of Islam (the call for tolerance…. practiced or unpracticed it is there so I’m not looking for an argument here) is moot. It’s simply not true. If someone can point me to a reliable source (note the word reliable) that can validate that the surah was abrogated then go for it. However, I have found this claim to be unsubstantiated.

  164. Aafke “new found religious fervor for spelling” …. lol

  165. Dania – ‘according to a bunch of Islamophobe websites where the author was sipping on haterade’

    Haterade or Kool-aid, which one is better? Me? I prefer rum and coke!

  166. But I REALLY like the word Haterade. 🙂

  167. Lynn lol I think haterade produces a more aggressive and sometimes outright meany-head who wants to troll around and spread their meany-headedness while the Kool-aid produces the more tin-foil hat-ish syndrome 😉

  168. I don’t know, those who drink haterade may be outright meany mean-heads but Kool-aid drinking too often leads to death for SOMEone.

  169. loooool perhaps you’re right

  170. Dania…it didnt have all that complication simply because they had the “walking Quran” walking amidst them…so to speak. The moment someone decided it was a worthwhile venture to start writing down his every thought, action, or word spoken…is when it got complicated. That complication is what has made Islam into what it is today IMO.

    i personally believe abrogation makes the creation of the Quran as an inspired text rather than a straight from God text more believable. (if I believed to begin with) An all knowing God would not need to abrograte his “last and final” words on the subject to his “last and final prophet”…he would say what he meant and mean what he said right from the start. An all knowing god would know that abrogating verses would be the bane of Muslims defense of Islam a few hundred years down the road and might consider the ramifications of that to the soundness of the text itself…and not have them to begin with…just to keep things nonconfusing and noncomplicated. Seems like an easy enough task for an all knowing God to accomplish.

    The Quran is extremely complicated in some instances when it didnt have to be. Clear and precise and to the point…would have made it so much easier to accept and much easier to defend…IMO

  171. Coolred…

    I have always wondered the same thing. An all knowing God can see waaaaay down the road and see that the words and thoughts that He felt so important to impart through another prophet would get to confusing for everyone and would cause a lot of problems that we are seeing today….so whey not just say what you mean clearly?

    But I have also wondered if the Islamic tendency to loathe thinking of the Koran as anything other than perfect and from the hand of God has contributed to its confusion. If they were able to consider that perhaps humans have come along and done their fair share to add to the confusion then instead of accepting stuff that might be added by man as gods word they can get back to the basics and decipher what is man made and what is not…but I know that this thought is tantamount to blasphemy and the idea for Muslims that the Quran was never ever touched and is perfect from the moment of revelation to now is what separates it from the other faiths that have been “corrupted”. So that is most likely not going to happen…

  172. Coolred I can’t say I totally disagree with you about the hadith compilation. I appreciate the monumental task these people undertook but the whole chains of narration and weak versus strong hadith and the analysis upon analysis is so complex. I studied the hadith methods and it really made my head spin. Humans *sigh*

    I understand your point of view about abrogation but let me give you the Islamic perspective I am familiar with and then maybe it will help everyone see the flip side (you obviously don’t have to agree but perspective is always beneficial). The tribes of Arabia in the time of the prophet pbuh were basically stubborn. They fought against change. They fought against anything “different” (some things never change HA!) and saw any foreign introduction into their society as enemy. Change was difficult to accept. The concept of abrogation applies mainly to laws (part of today’s Sharia). Laws were introduced gradually to the early Muslims so that they would accept them easier. When Muslims first started to pray, they did so twice per day. After adjusting, they were ordered to pray 5 times per day. This is just an example. Some people claim this was because the prophet pbuh had to be nice at first and then turned but Muslims see it as Allah made the transition easier by introducing Islam in this way. Abrogation of entire surahs never happened. It’s the laws that were affected. The nice bits (stealing Aafke’s terminology) are still very much Islam and are not replaced by abrogation by “nasty bits”. So that’s how we roll. Different strokes for different folks ya know.

  173. Oby: “humans have come along and done their fair share to add to the confusion” I can admit that humans have done their fair share to add to the confusion in regards to interpreting the Quran cross referencing it with hadith and yadda yadda. I do believe the Quran is still the word of God and hasn’t been changed, but I can see a lot of corruption in the way people interpret the messages of the Quran because of the complications people have created. I think we can get back to basics even with this belief. This is what I strive for. I’ll admit a lot of Muslims won’t do that though. They instead believe what everyone around them tells them instead. This is an Achilles heel of today’s Muslims.

  174. Dania…Im well aware of the “why” of supposed abrogation….to inch the Arab/Muslims along due to their stubborness to accept new things. As you said, what has changed in that regard. A favorite saying of Arabs is Change Takes Time. (generally in reference to allowing change that will improve womens rights etc)

    As far as the 5 prayers thing…the prophet supposedly negotiated with god about how many prayers muslims should perform a day since god had the opinion that 50 a day was doable (apparently muslims were initially meant to spend a majority of their day in prayer and to hell with the demands of life in general)…but the prophet had better foresight in this matter and knew it was simply not possible…so he haggled 50 down to 5 in true Arab style. it must be mentioned though that the Quran does not mention 5 prayers a day..and those that are mentioned are scattered throught out the text…its not like it says “oh Muslims, thou must perform prayer 5 times a day.”.

  175. “he haggled 50 down to 5 in true Arab style” hahaha!

  176. And the Quran says only three prayers.

  177. COOLRED: “The moment someone decided it was a worthwhile venture to start writing down his every thought, action, or word spoken…is when it got complicated. That complication is what has made Islam into what it is today IMO.”

    As a non-muslim and disinterested observer, I agree with the above statement. However, for a devout muslim, it will be unthinkable and/or unimaginable not to have prophet saw’s hadees and prophet saw’s seera/biography to follow in their everyday life/deen. It will create a big void in a devout muslim’s life. Simply because the Noble Koran exhorts muslims to “Obey Allah swt and Obey the Messenger saw” in quite a few verses in the koran.

    Here a few:

    * Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and beware (of evil): if ye do turn back, know ye that it is Our Messenger’s duty to proclaim (the Message) in the clearest manner. (5: 92).

    * O ye who believe! obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: that is best, and most suitable for final determination. (4: 59).

    * Say: “Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger: but if ye turn away, he is only responsible for the duty placed on him and ye for that placed on you. If ye obey him, ye shall be on right guidance.(24: 54).

    * And whoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger, Allâh shall admit him in the Gardens underneath which rivers flow. (4:13)

    * And whoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger, he has won a great success. (33:71)

    * And we sent no messenger, but that he should be obeyed by the leave of Allâh. (4:64)

    These are only a some of the verse ordering to obey the Messenger saw of Allah swt. They are many many more.

    The same devout muslims also believe that Prophet saw’s sunnah is direct revelation from Allah swt Himself:

    1. The Prophet saw’s commands by his words are revelation itself, and they are the commands of Allah swt by meaning sent down to the Messenger saw to be delivered to the believers by the Messenger saw’s words. So the koran is revelation by meaning and word and the Sunnah is revelation by meaning only. Evidence of that is: And whoever obeys the Messenger, thereby obeys Allâh. (4:80)

    2. It is obedience to Allah swt because Allah swt has commanded in the koran to obey the Messenger saw, so obeying him saw would be obeying Allah swt’s command. The Prophet saw’s teachings are not from himself, but from Allah swt, He swt is the one who taught him saw to teach the believers, so obeying the Prophet saw’s teachings would be obeying Allah swt.

    Now there are other muslims (very few; perhaps in the thousands) who don’t believe in hadees and seera; they call themselves koranists. Other 149+ sects brand these koranists as not “good” muslims or even “kafirs”, and vice versa. Koranists believe that hadees/seera compilation is fraught with serious errors (memory lapse, for example) considering they were collected/analyzed some 2-3 centuries after prophet saw’s death.

    Koranists, for example, believe that there are only three prayers ordained in koran (morning, afternoon, eve/night); as pointed out by Aafke in her earlier posting. They believe the wudu/abulution and prayer ritual can also be found in koran. They perform only one rakat (sp?) in their prayers; similar to the islamic funeral prayer.

    I have a couple of koranist friends from the unitarian universalist’s interfaith dialogue forums and they shared a book with me titled “Criminals of Islam”; it is available for reading at the link below. As a non-muslim and a disinterested observer, it is pretty scary reading ….

    http://ourbeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/Dr.%20Shabbir/2007/09/criminals.pdf

  178. Wow, so many interesting comments on this. I would like to address a few:

    – Regarding the argument about spelling of words, Latin alphabet cannot represent Arabic words accurately. Arabic letters cannot achieve that either, since Arabic relies on symbols to go along with the letters to represent short vowels. Add to that the fact that Arabic has many consonants that do not exist in English and you will have a very difficult time of developing an agreed upon list of how words should be spelled using English letters. I tried spelling the word Kaffron on English and I found at least 12 legitimate ways to spell the word. All of this arguing against how others spell the word is just silly!!!

    P.S. For those who have a duty to make sure every Kuranic word is spelled and pronounced correctly, they should stop writing in Latin letters as they are contributing to the Sin.

    – Regarding the issue of Naskh (i.e. abrogation), it is really simple. The concept exists and is agreed upon. The great majority of Muslims will not argue the idea of Alcohol being forbidden even though there was an early verse in the Quraan which allowed it under certain circumstances. The reason is the rule of abrogation. Actually without abrogation the Kora’n would be a book full of contradictions with no reasonable explanation of these contradictions.

    The argument that the chronological order of the Qurr’an is not known is also false. There is an entire field of study called Tafsir which concerns itself with the explanation of the Korea’n, relating it to hadith and historic events along with identifying the timing of each verse and surrah. Further, as it relates to the concept of accepting other religions there is plenty of of evidence from hadeeth and historic information, which matches of the change in tone in Qur’aan. The historic facts indicate that the prophet was not tolerant after he gained power in Medinah and the Kora’nic verses match that change if read using the same time sequence.

  179. Moq, Thank you for bringing up the change of mind Mohammed had about alcohol. And the fact that no Muslim disputes that one.

    I really understand how difficult, (or annoying, according to your mindset) it must be to realize that your chosen religion does not, in fact, accord with your own standards and moral outlook. And that’s where the intellectual acrobatics begin. But for me, not having my eyes veiled or a need to prove any religion is truth and nice and good and divine, the Quran, combined with history, shows so very clearly it’s origin as a construct to support a thirst for power and conquest, not to mention women, and the taking away of power from women.
    And if somebody needs an invisible friend to magically look after them and chooses a religion which, although just as absurd as any other religion, for some reason rings a bell with them that’s fine by me. I have no problem with anybody being a superstitionist if it makes them happy. And I have no problems with all the different superstitions and religions. On the contrary, I enjoy studying them.
    Where it stops being fine is when religious people, or superstitionists, start imposing their magical stories and invented restrictions on other people.

    Like the Jessica comment we had some weeks ago. She was looking forward to the time when all humans will be subjected to Muslim rule and alcohol will be forbidden and all women will be forced to wear hijab (as if it would stop there) and how it would be good for the non-believers even if they did not realize it.

    I really think it’s high time all <rational thinking people (and that includes rational superstitionists) make a stand worldwide and put a stop to this interference into other people’s lives, education, dress, eating habits, etc.

  180. Somone told me to take on the blog challenge well first of all..Nationalism has no place in islam i guess being a practising muslim should equate to being a good citizen.

    As for Carols analysis of Islam and its broad spectrum..I would have to respectfully but strongly disagree with the categories as there is no such thing.

    “Secularist � Modernist � Traditionalist � Fundamentalist � Terrorist”

    There is only 1 islam..clear guidnelines of what that is and what it isn’t..clear instructions..clear boundaries as to were you can fall our of islam (etc: ahmadiya sect) and clear methodolgy of practise of Islam. There is only 1 islam..if corrupt societys see that as extreme..then thats not my problem..if media brainwashed society sees that as terrorism thats not my problem.

    There is a critera that people have to realise applies for Islam, you cannot have ppl claiming to be muslim yet “publicly” NOTE.word “publicly” claim disbelief by merly stating another prophet other then mohammed (saw) as the last messenger. I cannot judge wot is in the hearts as that is only Allah’s (swt) job to do. But i can as a muslim speak the truth of my religion. And i find it very overwhelming the amount of information memorised and stored inside peoples brains only to be used as hate filled comments towards degrading a religion that maybe you will never understand but does NOT give you the rite to say terrible things about.

    Islams testimony of faith is : I bear witness that there is no God/Deity but Allah (swt) that is worthy of being worshiped and that Mohammed (saw) was the Last and Final Messenger.

    If you re-read this testimony the message is crystal clear..

  181. ‘Islams testimony of faith is : I bear witness that there is no God/Deity but Allah (swt) that is worthy of being worshiped and that Mohammed (saw) was the Last and Final Messenger.’

    The words you use here ‘worthy of being worshipped’ make it seems as though there ARE other Gods/Dieties but they are not worthy of being worshipped.

    So, what is it? Do more Gods exist or not?

  182. ‘Nationalism has no place in islam’

    Could you please give us your definition of ‘nationalism’?

  183. They did and do. the bible also talks of other gods. Of course they are the same religion anyway.
    And the books are really badly written. They could have closed up those loopholes and take the contradictions out.
    It’s basically ”or god is better than your god”
    And yes, on that infantile level.

  184. Bella Vita…

    I would have to respectfully disagree. If one is to look to the people of a faith in order to evaluate a faith then I think the moniker:

    “Secularist � Modernist � Traditionalist � Fundamentalist � Terrorist”

    would apply quite well. Certainly within islam there are a large group of Muslims that could fit into each group even the terrorist who thinks his misguided and violent ways is the right way and more importantly the ONLY way. That may not be what the faith says but like any other faith there are many ways to express a belief and along that spectrum will fall many different expressions.

    As you aptly pointed out it is up to god to judge and not man….but that is exactly what has happened. Many or even most Muslims have set themselves up as judge and jury for everyone else’s beliefs and the end result of that is tremendous sectarian conflict within your faith. If each person kept their own eyes on Allah and worried about their own worthiness rather than their neighbors we might not see this. As long as they do no harm (violence, preaching hate and hurting and judging others because they differ in their expression of faith) does it really matter as long as YOU are practicing your faith as you think you should.

    If all Muslims have said the shahada then in effect they are Muslims are they not? How they chose to express that (ie:sect or practice) is IMO more an expression of culture than anything else. (abaya/niqab required in saudi for example).

  185. “clear boundaries as to were you can fall our of islam (etc: ahmadiya sect)”. Oh hellllll no! Who appointed you god?? These Muslims pray, fast, pay zakat, make hajj and recite shahada as many times a da as you and me. What is a part of their beliefs you ask?: Ahmadi emphasis lay in the belief that Islam is the final law for humanity as revealed to Muhammad. Sound familiar? I am so sick of self righteousness amongst Muslims. Far too many walk around letting their superiority complex wreck havoc in the tolerance department judging, backbiting, belittling. You have no right declaring who is and who is not a Muslim. Period.

    The Prophet saw said: “No one with the slightest particle of arrogance in his heart will enter paradise.”

    A man remarked, “But a man likes his clothes to be nice and his sandals good.” The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Verily, Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Arrogance is refusing to acknowledge what is right and considering others beneath one.”

    And from the Bible which applies here: “Judge not lest you be judged” (I’m too lazy to find the citation sorry).

  186. “If each person kept their own eyes on Allah and worried about their own worthiness rather than their neighbors we might not see this”. Good point Oby.

  187. @Oby, thanks for the comment i thought you were spot on apart from the culture aspect. In islam if the culture in any way deviates or allows for some sort of innovation withing Islam we are asked to leave that part of our culture and only take the good of our culture that does not collide with Islam. Having said that in many cases we still find culture rulling over islam.
    @ Lynn, thanks for the quesion. In Islam we do NOT believe that there are other Gods/Diety’s BUT Allah (swt). If we even think that there is another God worthy of being worshipped it would be considered the biggest sin (shirk) for a muslim and would take us out of the fold of Islam. Sorry that you misunderstood me i can see where you could have taken it differently. The arabic is clear my translation to english was not.
    As for the nationalistic comment. In Islam we are not to be arrongant of our nationality over another person with a different nationality. We are Muslims first and for-most. Like i said before, being a good muslim should equate to being a good citizen. Islam should come before any national identity.
    Before i became muslim i was arrogant and nationalistic and racist but Islam took that ignorant mind frame away from me. Alhamdulillah

  188. “In Islam we are not to be arrongant of our nationality over another person with a different nationality”. But you feel its ok to be arrogant of another Muslim with a little different belief than you and declare them outside of Islam?

  189. ‘Before i became muslim i was arrogant and nationalistic and racist but Islam took that ignorant mind frame away from me.’

    I would probably question that just as Dania has noted and remember, I have experience with a ‘revert’ and I was witness to the transformation and it was NOT a positive thing so accepting Islam is definitely not a guarantee of sweetness and light ;-).

  190. Oh I forgot to also mention that you have the wrong definition of nationalistic. Just because you have pledged allegiance to a country and vow to keep the interests of your country above any other does NOT mean that you think you are ‘better’ than the other nationalities.

  191. I seriously do not like the claim that I am “Muslim first and foremost”. No. You are not. You are a human being first and foremost…and then Muslim or whatever else you claim as your identity.

    I believe wholeheartedly that this “I am Muslim first” claim is at the very heart of how Muslims view themselves and how they view nonMuslims…and where this sense of superiority is founded.

    First and foremost you are a part of the human race…that group of beings that are Just Like YOU except they do not claim to worship and practice the same religion as you. Once you get over this “my first identifier is my religion” then maybe intolerance of others would lessen.

    Of course this holds true for anyone of any relgion that considers their religious identitiy as their first identifying quality.

  192. Wow, Coolred I agree with your comment.

    Something has always seemed a bit off to me for some Muslims who seem dead set on “converting” non-Muslims, so much so they do not even recognize their humanity first; nor take the time to get to know them as individuals no matter what they happen to believe.

  193. @Dania: I can see your point Jazakallah khair sister for bringing it to my attention its not a good quality to have inshallah i can try to improve myself and next time think a little more before i comment . As you said i am not God and would never claim to be. But thanks again.
    @Lynn: My reversion story i can say is personal to me and my experience, dosn’t mean that everyone will share the same. im sorry u had a bad experience
    I guess your rite about the nationalistic definition i didn’t really stick to the context i was giving more of an islam point of view.
    @ Coolred: If you identify yourself as a human being first then thats fine and thats your opinion but if i want to say that i choose to be identified as a muslim first because i really feel that it’s made me into better person then we are all free to write what we want. Please do not impose your view. We can all respect each others views but it dons’t mean we have to necessarily agree.
    I see your point though on how sometimes we easily select names for each other which ultimatly means exclusion for many others. I get that. Thanks for the comment.

  194. ‘i didn’t really stick to the context i was giving more of an islam point of view.’

    I would say that that IS the context. 😉

    Can Muslims be devoted citizens that put the interests of their country above all other countries? So, I think you are saying Islam’s view is that no they can NOT pledge allegiance to any nation?

  195. Bella-Vita…I am not trying to impose my view on you or anyone…I was merely giving my opinion about how that phrase makes me feel. There is a difference.

  196. I thought this was relevant AND cute!

  197. I actually think coolred has a good point…being a human being is the great equalizer…EVERY single person on the planet has that in common. When we start qualifying ourselves as “I am this or I am that” it automatically separates you from someone else rather than celebrate your commonality. So if Muslims see themselves as Muslims first then they think of themselves as part of a “club” (for lack of a better term) where admission is the price of saying the shahada. While I don’t see anything wrong with seeing yourself as Muslim (or any other faith) as part of your identity I think it limits and mentally puts you in a box. There are so many ways to define ourselves. Nationality, single or married, parent or not, male or female, white or black or other, Chrisitian/Muslim/Jew etc. all of these has their own limitations…carried to the extreme there are arguments and snobbishness about who is better.

    I once heard an argument between women who were parents and women who were not…each thought that the other had a better life, each felt that the other took advantage of her “sisters” at work, each thought the other had a superior attitude etc. Instead of finding common ground as women who could be helpful to each other and offset each others weaknesses with their own strengths, they were sniping and back biting and thinking that they had the better attitude etc. It was kind of crazy…but when they were taught to look at it differently…not as “I am better I have a tougher time of it” and see themselves as women who could help each other in the workplace NOW even though they were different they had a commonality that all could share in. the backbiting stopped and they found themselves cooperating.

    Like they point out in th video…when the aliens come…everyone will need to cooperate. Will it really matter who is Muslim or not…or even who is MORE muslim?

  198. thank you Carol and contributors for an interesting discussion.

    One of the blaring problems with the original piece floating around the internet (and again thx to Carol for initiating this) is that is sets us all up in an US against THEM world. How we phrase the topics colors it imensily.

    Find the common ground – there is a lot.

    By phrasing the debate in the manner that the original author did, it inflames emotion, incites anger and flames mistrust and misinformation. These are the ingredients for escalation.

    We don’t find collaboration, compromise and peace this way. The discussion of how to integrate faith and the rules of a country/nationhood/patrioitism are good dialogues but this is not what happened nor what i imagine the author intended.

    Such types of writings inflame and are dangerous ingredients to a smouldering problem we have globally – on many subjects – where people don’t understand and in not understanding become susceptible to fear, bad judgement, and further misbeliefs. It is these kinds of ingredients that can bring out the worst in humans.

    Yes, let’s revisit what it means to be a part of humankind and how can we phrase dialogue in the spirit of understanding and cooperation.

  199. @Nohl – ‘how can we phrase dialogue in the spirit of understanding and cooperation’

    Well, we aren’t allowed to change a WORD of the Koran, Qu’ran, Quran so I honestly just don’t know what can be done to make non-Muslims not feel as though Muslims think poorly of them. 😉

  200. We can rephrase dialogue by phasing out all together that whole “your going to hell cause you dont believe like me” mentality. Nobody and I mean NOBODY can say with absolute conviction who is or is not going to this place (real or not).

    If I dont believe in it…i cant go there…simple. 😉

  201. Red, you it it on the spot. The fact is the Quran is a jumble of difficult prose and inconsistent ideas.

    Take the concept of abrogation, as an example. If some verses are “better verses” and replaced “worser verses” than how can it be either eternal or perfect? If some verses are more relevant than others why doesn’t Allah make them clear. The fact that Muslims – particularly those that constantly cite the Quran – cannot agree on most theological issues or aspects of human relationships would indicate that as a book it is poorly written.

    Dania, your reference to the “Achilles heel of today’s Muslims” is interesting. Rather than a matter of mere textual interpretation, I would think that the total disconnect between what Muslims say Islam is and what Muslims do in every darn country they dominate should raise questions to an intelligent person such as yourself. If Islam is so wonderful then why the sorry mess that is islamdom today?

    Harry, if I were a Muslim, I would definitely thrown away the hadith and disown Islamic jurisprudence. The Koranist position would be the easiest to argue from an intellectual point of view, but still problematic. Muslims that defend the hadith have serious credibility and morality issues.

    As to the “back to basics” approach some Muslims advocate – well, it doesn’t work either. Early Islam has a very convoluted and bloody history.

    Bella, do you believe that Muslims are the “best of peoples”? I assume you know the reference.

    Nohl – there can be no compromise on matters of human rights, equality and freedom of speech and conscience. I doubt you will find enough common ground to paste a postage stamp.

  202. Coolred nailed it!

  203. “Rather than a matter of mere textual interpretation, I would think that the total disconnect between what Muslims say Islam is and what Muslims do in every darn country they dominate should raise questions to an intelligent person such as yourself. If Islam is so wonderful then why the sorry mess that is islamdom today?” Jay, it DOES raise questions, but it IS a textual interpretation. Like any book of religion, there are going to be uber-orthodox, extremely liberal, happily moderate, downright psychotic, sociopathological etc. adherents who are going to twist and turn scripture to suit their own agenda and convince others of the same. And because Muslims have a very bad habit of blindly following what someone else tells them, therein lies a problem. Further, not all Muslims have morality or integrity. Just like any other religion there are bad apples and good apples; those that follow and those that don’t; those that have an open mind, and those that don’t; those that embrace others, and those that reject; there are those who want peace, and those who are desperate for power and control (leaders of said countries). Look at the corruption of the royal family in KSA or any government for that matter. Obviously, some people throw aside their religious moral ideals for power, money, and control and exploit their religion to attain it. Muslims, like any other group of people in this world, are FAR from angels.

    “As to the “back to basics” approach some Muslims advocate – well, it doesn’t work either. Early Islam has a very convoluted and bloody history.” I disagree here. We’re not looking to repeat history, rather to get back to the original message of the Quran. Strip down all of the erred ijtihad, human interference, and complication of the role of scholars and turn toward the morality of the original message, then Muslims can get back to Islam as it is supposed to be. It isn’t going to happen at this point, but an individual can decide this for themselves.

  204. @Dania,

    “adherents who are going to twist and turn scripture to suit their own agenda and convince others of the same.”

    Don’t you think that you also fall in this category. You will have to twist and drop major parts of the Quraan to make it fit with your own morals. Do not get me wrong, I do think there are many Muslims (including you who are peaceful). The point is what is the purpose of the book as a guide if you have to go to such length to make it fit and you do not have a common agreed upon set of rules or morals.

    “…rather to get back to the original message of the Quran. ”

    So if you go to the original, you will find things like:
    – Legalized slavery – including making of new slaves
    – Raids of tribes, killings and taken of booty
    – Discrimination against women
    – Criminalization of homosexuals (with death sentences)
    – Discrimination against other religions with calls for eliminating them
    – Genocide – look up the banu qurizah story
    – etc.

    Are these the morals you want us to follow? Do you think your morals are closer to the above or perhaps the radicals are the ones who have a closer match to them? Think about it!!!!

  205. MoQ, I suppose you could possibly make a case against me there but its contextual interpretation.If the Quran advocates peace (“The worshippers of the All-Merciful are they who tread gently upon the earth, and when the ignorant address them, they reply, “Peace!”) then shouldn’t we be looking at it through peaceful lenses?? Like I said, I don’t think anyone is advocating to repeat history, so the slavery, raids and booty, the killing of the Banu Qurizah… these are all history to me. This is the mistake (or purposeful exploitation of the religion) I believe that Muslims make in applying yesterday’s actions of the prophet and parts of the Quran which are speaking directly to him and justifying their actions with it. I can’t wrap my brain around how in the Quran when Allah talks to Muhammed, how someone can take that as permission to do something of their own. Makes no sense to me. To me, that’s God giving something (advice, permission, whatever) to a prophet and it doesn’t apply to us. Just like much of the Bible and Torah are historical accounts, many ayah in the Quran are also. There are simply many verses in the Quran which just don’t apply to us. Some can argue the Quran is sent for all people in all times thing, but that refers to the message of the Quran and the law of Allah and that’s it. Messages like worship one god, pray, etc. Check out the story of Gibeon in the Bible. As infidels, the Gibeonites were forced to choose between genocide and slavery both options requiring forced conversion. Can we say today that Christians therefore advocate genocide in their religion? No, because it was a part of history included in their scripture and applied to a specific people of a specific time. In the Quran the whole kill the infidels thing? Yeah, that’s historically specific as well. For the sake of not writing a novel here, I’m sure you get my point.

    As far as homosexuals, I will come clean and say this bothers me. There I said it. I have a cousin who is gay and he is one of the dearest people in my life and the thought of him being executed breaks my heart. The thing is though that this has existed through all of the Abrahamic religions. In fact, the United States had sodomy laws up until the 1970’s and in some cases the 90’s since they were state laws and repealed on a state by state basis. So this is not unique to Islam. I subscribe to the Allah is the judge on things that bother me. I don’t judge. In the end I believe Allah will pass him judgment and that’s sufficient for me personally. For the record, I’m not claiming to speak for all Muslims.

    As far as discrimination against women, it depends on the specifics here. From what I read in the Quran and what the state of women today in places like KSA, it doesn’t make any sense to me. I don’t see how the mahrem system and the severe segregation of sexes is justified. In what I read in my study of the Quran, yes it says men are a step above women but only in responsibility in that they are required to fully financially support their families. The status of women in some Islamic countries is culturally motivated and the male Muslims have never been able to (nor do they want to) get past their chauvinistic and testosterone induced power trip to properly give women the rights they deserve.

    Like I said, religion in general has a bloody history. Muslims unfortunately have lost their ability to think. It’s a sad state of affairs. I agree that religious context can be manipulated but seriously, when you read something in context in the Quran and its talking about history, a specific event, how can someone possibly glean from that that it applies today? It’s completely counter to common sense. If one of the Quran’s major messages is peace, then why are we not reading it from that perspective? WHYYYYY???

  206. Because, Dania, your morals are better than those of the men who wrote the books of the Abrahamic religions. In effect you have risen above these spurious bronze age selfish cruel and materialistic ”morals”.

    Now apparently you really think you need to believe there is some invisible friend somewhere, and so you have to apply a lot of cherry picking and intellectual acrobatics to keep it up.

  207. “Like I said, I don’t think anyone is advocating to repeat history, so the slavery, raids and booty, the killing of the Banu Qurizah…”

    But Dania, the radicals are advocating these things and they have a book to support it.

    I do understand that you choose to ignore these things, but you cannot make the book and its content irrelevant just by you saying so.

    I do not advocate against Muslims, I think they are fine people like all other people. However, I think the Dogma of Islam along with other religions are aggressive, discriminatory and uncivilized. They have no place in guiding modern societies.

    ” There are simply many verses in the Quran which just don’t apply to us.”

    So tell me how do you distinguish these verses from the others that apply. If you are just using your own logic, then why do you need the book to begin with? Isn’t it simpler just to use your own mind (the Ockham’s razor thing 🙂 )

    “Check out the story of Gibeon in the Bible. As infidels, the Gibeonites were forced to choose between genocide and slavery both options requiring forced conversion. Can we say today that Christians therefore advocate genocide in their religion?”

    Note I do not advocate for any religion nor do I advocate against people just for holding a religious believe. I think all Abrahamic religions have a basis of an evil Dogma. The difference is Christians are straying away from the core of the Dogma more than Muslims. My position which I have consistently talked about here is that people are always better off when they stray away from the Dogma (look up my comments and interview with Bedu for a back ground if you like). Saying other religions have a bad dogma is not an excuse for any religion (just bad logic).

    Dania, you really have to do a lot of intellectual acrobatic to find goodness in books which advocate killing and slavery. I understand you are a good person, but lets not pretend that you are not advocating for a book that reads like a plot for a horror movie.

  208. “so you have to apply a lot of cherry picking and intellectual acrobatics to keep it up.” How am I cherry picking? Cherry picking is taking a verse out of context and using it to justify something. I haven’t done that as far as I’m aware. How am I applying intellectual acrobatics? If God is talking to the prophet, how can someone think god is talking to them? If it starts “O Muhammed!” how can I reasonably come to the conclusion that it is also saying “O Dania!”? It’s clear in the Quran when the message is directed at the prophet and when it is directed at the people. God does not tell the people to take slaves. God does not tell the people to kill the kafir. God tells the prophet and the people of a specific time/event. This is not acrobatics. This is clear.

    MoQ – I’ve admitted that the ickiness that people pick out of the Quran is indeed there. But it is also historical. I agree with you on the basis that religions have an ugly history…. completely. But seriously, this doesn’t apply to Muslims today. “you cannot make the book and its content irrelevant just by you saying so.” I’m not making anything irrelevant. How can verses about the battles and the struggles of the early Muslims and reassurances for the prophet apply to us in today’s world??? We are not fighting the Battle of Badr as far as I know.

    “Note I do not advocate for any religion nor do I advocate against people just for holding a religious believe” Yeah I do know this about you MoQ you’re very fair and balanced. I was using that to show my point that religion in general shares a very ugly past.

    The original issue here was can Muslims return to the basic message of Islam? Absolutely and it would be a good thing. History is history we should reflect on it not cling to it. There are lessons to be learned from history but we can’t take the divine order or permission a prophet received in response to a specific event and decide to apply it to today when that even is looooong gone. The icky people use these verses to justify their actions I am well aware of that, but how they can logically or theologically do so is beyond me. Again, god isn’t saying “O Dania! go blow up so and so!”

    I completely 100% agree with Muslims embracing dogma more than other religions. I’ve said it before that it is the Muslims themselves that hold themselves back from making any positive progress. And it is through their backwardness that this happens.

  209. “The original issue here was can Muslims return to the basic message of Islam?”

    But that is the point Dania. The original message of Islam is one of dominance, conversion, fighting, slaying, enslaving, etc. Is that what you want the world to go back to?

    How can you read the holy book and the Sirrah of the prophet and do not see these things? He acted like a warlord and developed a dogma supporting such behavior. That turned into the sacred books and the heritage of the religion.

    What is in these is not just your peaceful spiritual submission to a deity.

    I asked you before to think, I am going to ask you the same again. How come Islam did not have one period of peace including the time of the prophet dominance in medina?

    You are a good person in spite of the religion, because you are applying your peaceful nature to ignore all the other parts, which by the way dominate the books and Sirrah….

  210. MoQ I think the misunderstanding here is what you think the message I am referring to is. I’m not looking at the Quran and saying the entire book is the message and I’m not referring to hadith at all. The message of the Quran to me (and the one that I am advocating a return to) is monothesism, praying, fasting, personal reflection, personal morality, good citizenship, peace, etc. etc. These are the messages I’m talking about. Lessons people learn and apply to themselves. Just like one of the messages of the Bible is to love thy neighbor. These kinds of messages. These are the basics I’m talking about. I hope I make sense this time because I’m thinking that you’re looking at a bigger picture than I am in what I’m talking about.

  211. Dania, I am not advocating against simple spiritual things like you described above. But that is not Islam. Islam has laws, dogma, etc. If you drop these things it does not become Islam. It becomes your own religion where you worship a generic nice God. I say more power to you and enjoy your life!!!

    What I argue against is Islam as it is defined by the Great Great majority of Muslims. It includes a Dogma that you cannot deny nor convince the masses to ignore. I will agree with you if you succeed in convincing the majority and go through a process to identify all the bad verses and declare them as null and void as historic relics from a dark age.

    I wish you success, until then Islam should be understood for what it is. The teachings of an Iron age warlord….

  212. Different strokes for different folks MoQ 🙂

  213. I prefer the stroke of a pen over the sword. The latter is something your prophet is very fond of!!!

  214. lol

  215. Dania…I hope when you referred to your gay cousin and how killing homosexuals “breaks your heart” you meant that in a …Im completing disgusted with the whole belief system that does not value human life simply because someone dares to love and God says he has to die for that…kind of way.

    To say it breaks your heart sounds rather….yeah it sucks but what can we do?

    I have to agree with MoQ on this…if your going to leave all the bad stuff out of the Quran and just follow the “praying, fasting”aspects of it…then you dont have a religious book anymore…you have a history book. And as we usually do with history…forget the bad stuff and keep the good stuff…or at least twist the bad stuff so we dont sound so barbaric.

  216. I’m not twisting the bad stuff. I’m also not leaving anything out. I acknowledge that it’s there. The Quran is not unlike any of the religious books that came before it. There is historical context and there are things that will forever apply throughout the ages. I don’t believe that ever word of the Quran is applicable to or revealed for Muslims today. It’s not about keeping the good stuff and forgetting the bad stuff at all. I have read 14 different tafseer of the Quran and the scholars and translators who have translated and provided tafseer even keep versus in historical context. In their tafseer it doesn’t say “this was revealed in response to such-and-such event but today can be applied as ___________ “. It is the humans who take these versus and twist them. I am baffled sometimes how people can come to the conclusions they do. But this happens in ever religion does it not? including non-Abrahamic religions. Everyone has an agenda and because we are thousand+ years after the last revelation with no ask-the-god hotline to call and confirm then its open to personal interpretation. Mine is a little more literal in that when god is not talking directly to me, I accept that he is not talking to me and that his command was not meant for me.

    “To say it breaks your heart sounds rather….yeah it sucks but what can we do?” What I said was that I would leave it up to god to judge. I can’t bring myself to be one of those people who can condemn their family member due to their choices in life that have no affect on me. I can’t deny that it is in the book. If on judgment day god sends my cousin to hell for being gay what can I do at that point? In this life, I can love him and accept him for who he is. If I’m wrong and death just means eternal death with no afterlife, well then hell I’ve lived a pretty decent life.

  217. “If on judgment day god sends my cousin to hell for being gay what can I do at that point?”

    Hmmm, you sounded very nice earlier. However now we get the hell fire punishment as acceptable.

    Here is what puzzles me about seemingly nice people believing in Islam’s judgement day. In the Qura’an God describes the forms of torture people will endure (the typical suspects here, none believers, gays, witches, etc.). Some of this stuff is very graphic like:

    – God will burn them until they loose feelings
    – He will then give them new skins to feel the torture again
    – When they beg for a drop of water because of thirst, the deity will pour pus done their mouth (no merciful deity here)
    – Etc.

    Now this will go on for eternity. What is amazing is that people will hear this description of the most vile acts of torture and go “I am down with that Sh**, I am ready to praise you O’God of torture. Go Allah, Go Allah, ….”

    I am sorry, Dania. I do think you are a nice person, but you do not seem to have though very much about how vile these things in the Qura’an sound.

  218. P.S. We are not talking about just history, we are talking about the vision of the future of this religion….

  219. MoQ you’re right that sounds pretty icky. Let me tell you how I personally see it (note the word personally there). Everything Allah created with wisdom. Fear of hell in hearts of the believer can wipe all the black spots in hearts like hate, arrogance, selfishness, greed, lusts, envy, etc. and leave hearts pure and humble. This fear combined with hope in jannah helps followers to love good and reject evil. The same applies in Judaism and Christianity and any other religion with concepts of heaven and hell, paradise and punishment. Likewise, Allah has said he is most merciful and most forgiving. Yes, that applies even to non-Muslims. It is said that the du’a of a non-Muslim can and will be answered if it is asked directly of Allah without intercession. It is also said that Allah will scoop out the people in hell by the handful (none of us know what god’s hand is but it’s not a human hand) and place them in jannah. So no one is prevented from entering paradise as long as we have answered for our deeds in this life. We believe god is oh-so-merciful so we can’t say for sure how god will choose to punish. I can’t deny that those descriptors of hell don’t exist. But I believe god is more merciful than he is vengeful and because god stressed how merciful/forgiving/etc he is, I believe that everyone will benefit from it and there is very little in the end that god will actually punish for. But then again, I’m not god. But I honestly do believe in the day of judgment and heaven hell just like my Christian and Jewish buds do.

    By the way this cracks me up: I am down with that Sh**, I am ready to praise you O’God of torture. Go Allah, Go Allah, ….”. I seriously had visions of people in a dance club or something complete with raise-the-roof hands. *chuckles*

  220. Well I am glad you got the visual of the dance. That was the intent 🙂

    I do get disappointed in your comments of constantly trying to explain the wrongs of your religion by referring to other religions. It is just not a good excuse nor a logical argument. It is like saying I saw a man murder so it is ok for me to murder…

    Now back to your argument that hell fire makes the hearts pure:

    – So what you are telling me now is you are down with fear, blackmail and intimidation as a method of getting the right behavior?
    – What type of superior being condemns millions and perhaps billions of people to such torture and can be viewed as merciful. I am not sure how you define mercy, but what your deity describes is pure torture and evil. He does not even let up for eternity, making him infinitely revengeful and evil.
    – How about the entire line of God giving people brains to think with. Why does a deity punish people for simple mistakes with such torture (even of we agree that all the things Islam calls bad are truly bad)

    Now for the thinking part. Note how many intellectual acrobatic you had to go through to just explain a few things in the religion. I have not even begun to discuss all the logical contradictions of the believe system and the dogma. Wouldn’t it be wise for you to re-examine these believes and truly ask yourself why do I always have to explain this religion, this book, this history, this tradition, etc? Perhaps I bought into it without fully examining these issues?

    It is up to you, but I always encourage people to think. I truly believe your morals are much superior than what Islam is passing to you as the words, wisdom and rules of a creator…

  221. By referring to other religions, I’m not explaining my religion’s wrongs. It’s my way of showing that the vast majority of the people on the planet see things the same way and share my basic beliefs. That’s all. Sorry if you read something else into but that’s my intent not the way you’re interpreting it.

    – So what you are telling me now is you are down with fear, blackmail and intimidation as a method of getting the right behavior? – No. I see it as a deterrent and jannah as an incentive if you will. I think humans are not automatically programmed to be “good”. In fact, we very much tend to do bad things if left without a compass.

    – What type of superior being condemns millions and perhaps billions of people to such torture and can be viewed as merciful. I am not sure how you define mercy, but what your deity describes is pure torture and evil. He does not even let up for eternity, making him infinitely revengeful and evil. – Mercy = compassion and forgiveness. Like I said, god’s mercy trumps vengeance. I believe that very little if any deeds will be punished in hell because of the sufferings we ensure in this life to exonerate our sins. Even a paper cut cancels out a sin. For all the hardships I’ve personally endured in my life, I think I’ve nearly balanced out my shortcomings and I believe most people are right there with me. Combined with the fact that sins in Islam are judged by the person’s intent (so mistakes are forgiven) then this is mercy.

    – How about the entire line of God giving people brains to think with. Why does a deity punish people for simple mistakes with such torture (even of we agree that all the things Islam calls bad are truly bad) – Same answer here.

    Why do you keep referring to my personal opinions and interpretations and acrobatics. This is clearly what I see in Islam. I’m not claiming to speak for all Muslims, but I don’t have to do a lot of reconciliation to get to my personal conclusions. I’m offering my interpretation which I came to by using my brain and knowledge of my religion. I don’t blindly follow anything a dude with a beard tells me. I’ve done my own independent research and have even received an education in Islam. Armed with all of this, I still don’t feel like I have to jump through hoops to explain my religion because it’s coming from my simple conclusion based on what I read with the eyes god gave me and the brain I think with.

    Obviously, because we believe two different things neither one of us will agree with the other fully and I respect your positions 🙂

  222. Now we get to the heart of the matter:

    ” I think humans are not automatically programmed to be “good”. In fact, we very much tend to do bad things if left without a compass”

    The need of a deity to keep us all straight, because we are evil in our creation. Yes you are right, Islam and Christianity are the same in your head. This is a Christian concept not an Islamic concept. You know the internal sin which Jesus died on the cross for. Islam says the opposite for your information (look up the concept of Fitrah in Islam).

    You just joined another religion and wanted to paint its doctrine with your fantasy. Seriously, opinions are accepted, but only if you have a generic God you worship. The Islamic God has a book that describes his laws, rules, his behavior, etc. You chose to take those words and make them fit the fantasy God. That is what I call Intellectual acrobatics 😉

    Cheers!!!

  223. Fitrah refers to a human being’s natural inclination to believe in tawheed and god. One must be guided to implement ihsan. It is a matter of taking one’s iman and showing it in both deed and action, a sense of social responsibility borne from *religious convictions*. It is not innate. Like I said MoQ different stroke for different folks. You can judge my views and perspectives as you see it.

  224. @Dania,

    I encourage you to read more about Fitrah, you seem to take the superficial definition from something like wikipedia. In Islam the concept extends to that every human is born pure and with the ability to distinguish right from wrong (including Tuhid). This is far from your definition that Humans are not programmed to be good. It is your religion, learn it please.

    I do not have an issue with your believes. I have an issue with you calling it Islam when you are describing a religion that does not resemble anything Islam is.

    It is like you are trying to deflect all the evils of the religion away, by saying your interpretation is uniquely peaceful, thus Islam is peaceful.

    I happen to feel that Islamic Dogma is dangerous and will challenge you or any other person (as peaceful as they are, which I appreciate), if you deflect valid criticisms of a religion that does so much harm to humanity.

  225. “It is your religion, learn it please” now now no need for condescending remarks. “I have an issue with you calling it Islam when you are describing a religion that does not resemble anything Islam is.” Maybe I am not describing what YOU believe Islam is, but it is what I believe Islam is and honestly that’s all that matters to me. I am a Muslim. Period. No one can call me anything but. I am the one who will stand before god in the end. If I’ve made mistakes in my interpretations, so be it, but it’s what I believe and understand from my studies in Islam. I’m sorry they don’t reconcile with your own version. I have an issue with anyone judging me as Muslim or not. It’s really nobody’s place to do so. If you believe I believe in a fantasy god, sorry it doesn’t change my ideals or beliefs. I respect your opinions but disagree.

  226. Have a great day Dania, I think I made my points…
    Cheers

  227. I read this today and I was not sure where it would best fit so I thought I would put it here because stuff like this does play into perceptions of Muslims even though it isn’t in the USA.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110508/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_egypt_sectarian_clashes

    “But in the months that followed, there has been a sharp rise in sectarian tensions, fueled in part by a movement of ultraconservative Muslims known as Salafis who have become more active in Egypt.”

    I found the last sentence interesting as many of us on here have argued that this type of Islam is problematic and very intolerant.

  228. When I say “it isn’t in the USA” I mean the occurrence not the presence of salafism.

  229. Oby,

    Thanks for sharing the article on church burnings by salafi/muslim brotherhood muslims in Egypt!

    True to the media’s habit of describing a scene of mutual “tensions” when salafi Muslims attack Christians, the headline hints at Egyptian sectarian violence, giving the impression of equal participation in the violence. The rumor that the Coptic church is holding two women who converted to Islam has fueled months of jihadist violence against Christians far removed from any such alleged conspiracy, including the New Year’s Eve church bombing in Alexandria, and even the massacre on the eve of All Saints’ Day in Baghdad.

    The phenomenon is on abundant display in the article: Muslim-on-Christian violence is portrayed as violent clashes between salafi Muslims and Christians, as if both sides were equally at fault. And whenever Muslim violence is described, the passive voice is used — no perpetrator is stated. Yet what is really happening here is obvious: only churches are attacked in this story, and the trouble arose in the first place because of a false rumor circulating among Muslims.

    According to media reports, salafists, muslim brotherhood, al qaida (different shades of the same) are the government-in-waiting, not only in Egypt, but also in Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, etc. This jasmine revolution sounds good at first glance, but has far ranging implications for the United States.

    Rough and tough times ahead for President Obama ……

  230. @MoQ, I am genuinely curious and would like to ask you a question. Your views of non-belief are clear. How do you reconcile your non-belief in religion with those close to you who do believe? Did you ever believe or follow a faith at any point?

    My questions do not apply just to MoQ. I am curious and want to understand why any individual does not believe in God/Allah/Yahwa.

  231. @Bedu,

    I think i covered that in my interview.

    I do separate people from the dogma. I actually think most people are genuinely kind and good. So there is no need to reconcile liking a person with their religious believes. I also think most people do not follow the teachings of religion fully and develop a mechanism to work around the bad parts religion, so they are moral in spite of the bad teachings of the religion. As an example you never find Christians killing people for working in the Sabbath although it is clearly stated in the bible.

    Regarding faith, I started discovering anomalies in religion as early as 8 and was a none believer way before adulthood. So I basically never had faith in any religion.

  232. ‘Regarding faith, I started discovering anomalies in religion as early as 8 and was a none believer way before adulthood. So I basically never had faith in any religion.’

    And that is pretty much my story as well but I really couldn’t tell you how old I was. Certainly elementary school, and this will be good ammo for those religious people that do no want evolution taught in school ;-). While I don’t recall being ‘taught’ evolution I DO remember seeing a poster about evolution up on the wall in my science class and thinking ‘hold on just one minute there!’ LOL I also don’t remember how old I was but probably around the time that I learned where babies really came from 🙂 when I explained to my mom how the virgin birth was most likely a hoax to cover up Mary and Josephs’s illegal sex act. She did not have the reaction that you would expect a devout Catholic mom to have but, then again, that might have involved getting involved in a conversation about s.e.x. LOL Poor auld woman. 😉

  233. Lynn,
    Sorry, I did not get chance to reply to your question. I got busy and then got tied up with another post.

    Also, I tried to get in touch with my tajweed teacher and a Quran tafseer writer and asked them about the “Kaffiroon” and “Kuffaroon” thing just to get the technicality behind it. In addition, I had to go back to my tajweed class notes. All for you, Lynn.

    Now in Arabic, as in most other languages, changing vowels changes the meaning or creates nonsense! In this case, “Kuffaroon” does not make sense!

    As I mentioned before, the root word (k, f, r) means to conceal or cover. Kufr is the noun of practicing it (The action of covering). Kafir is the singular and both kafiroon and kuffaar are the plural of the noun of the person who practices kufr. Pre-Islamically, kaafir and kafiroon referred to farmers, as they covered seeds with soil. Then, Islamic terminology extended the metaphor to mean the people who conceal or cover the truth. So the surah’s name, “kafiroon”, means the “disbelievers”, or the ones who deny the Truth.

    “kafiroon” and “kuffaar” are both plurals. First of all, both occur in the Quran. Now the two words, though generally meaning the same, have a slight difference.

    “Kafiroon” is the plural noun or adjective that is more stressing of the action or deed, while “kuffaar” is the plural that is focusing more on the people who chose to deny truth. So you see wikipedia was basically write but it did not explain the terms technically. So that is why you saw it as different to what I wrote.

    “Kuffar”‘s syntactical structure is that of stressing the deed rather than just describing it. “Kuffaar” is worse as it indicates stubbornness and ‘prelonged’ act of kufr. It also has a sense of hostility towards Islam and Muslim.

    “Kafiroon” is kind of a personal loss while the second, “Kuffaar”, indicates the kufr becoming a nature that affects one’s sayings, action,and reactions towards Islam and Muslims.

    Being either is a failure to acknowledge the Truth.

    Basically the WORD “Kuffaroon” does not exist as it is! The plurals are kaafiroon, and Kuffar only. Both are nouns, none is a verb.

    The last “oon” is only a grammar called tanween or double vowel occuring at the end of the word. It is not a word. The word is “kuffar”. So “Kuffaroon” as a word does not exist.

    Naming a surah “Kuffaroon” does not make sense.

    I know this is a long explantion but I just had to clear it up and confusing as it maybe, I hope it understood better than before.

  234. Sarah…everybody already knew she spelled it wrong…the point was that we already knew what she meant…even with the misspelled word. THAT is what your finding hard to understand. Whether she spelled it wrong on purpose or not is beside the point…we still knew what she was referring too.

    The horse is dead…leave the poor thing alone. 😉

  235. Coolred, I was only answering a question from Lynn and not talking about AA.

    Anyway I felt that even if “all” knew that she was wrong, that I need to correct it. That’s all. Thanks.

  236. Inside A Nashville Mosque: Radicalization of a Congregation

    Here’s a video from an organization called Americans for Peace & Tolerance. It went undercover at a Nashville mosque, and discovered how supremacism and hate are taught, in what is generally perceived as a “moderate” mosque. And how the mainstream media in Nashville ran interference in not covering it.

    At least for me, it was an eye-opener ….

    —————————————————————–
    Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false and by the rulers as useful: Seneca 37 BC (Roman orator and historian)

  237. kuffaroon

  238. I don’t know if anyone would find this interesting but I did…an interesting possible outcome of Osama’s demise and the political tone of Muslims in America vis a vis Obama….must have been a tough choice for Obama…

    http://beta.news.yahoo.com/american-muslims-vote-obama-034908646.html

  239. Oby,

    A quote from the excellent article that you posted sums it all up:

    American Muslims are disappointed with his administration—and some are even nostalgic for George W. Bush.

    I would add that American Muslims, given their very small numbers, are not a big factor in the US, both politically and economically; in essence they are a non-issue. President Obama doesn’t have to worry too much about his chances for re-election. From the perspective of American Muslims’ “nostalgia” for Dubya, too bad he can’t run for re-election.

  240. […] 2011:  Muslims in America had a lively discussion with 240 […]

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