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Nausheen View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nausheen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2010 at 12:02am
Originally posted by drdoug drdoug wrote:

Thank you both so much for responding to my questions.

First of all, I just want to say that if I am coming off in any way/shape/form as disrespectful please let me know. That is not my intention. I find many extraordinarily admirable qualities about your prophet(PBUH), and to be perfectly honest I want to know if Islam truly is from God. The Quran claims to be the word of God, and your prophet is supposed to be the greatest example of how to live as God intended... so I feel it appropriate for me to be extremely critical of this claim and a moral imperative for me to determine if it is true. Many false prophets have made such claims and they continue to make them. The only way to get clarification is to state my objections and have them refuted.
 
Your comments do not seem disrepectful, and if at all anyone is offended by any of your questions, or you think they are offended, then for the sake of productive discussion, you may ignore those remarks. 
Reading all comments by now, I don't think anyone was attacking you, or taking out on you by their statements. Hope you are able to see the sentiment on the other side as well.
 
There is a community in which if the guest does not make a loud noise while drinking their soup, the host takes offense. And there is another community where, if the guest makes a noise while drinking soup, the host takes offense - so values and social norms varry, this must not discourage people to interact and develop good relations between them Smile
 
Your above comment brings many thoughts to mind, hope they are arranged properly for you to make sense.
 
In the Quran there is a mention of a group of people who will be nearest to God in paradise. It is said they are a group seperate from those who earn merely paradise as a reward. The Quran says people comprising of this group will be more from former times and less from later times.
 
Now,  if you look at the history of piety of mankind, we can see that people were less in evil formerly. When life was simple, man's needs were simple, the reason they crossed others were simpler reasons than now.
If we look back at the history of Muslim civilization, the muslims of old were more pious, more God fearing, more emulating of their phrophet (sallallahu alaihe wasallam) than today.
When muslims fought wars, and won them their captives became muslims - not due to threat of being killed, rather due to the treatment they received as prisoners of war. 
Today there are wars upon muslims which they lose, and world is against them and their religion.
Today you question the credibility and character of our prophet (sallallahu alaihe wasallam) because we muslims who claim to adhere to his teachings are not attractive in character. It is sad but true. This should not happen, but it is happening. Most of us do not represent islamic ideologies, and in return non-muslims question the authenticity of Islam.
It is very sad the case is like this, but am not sure how a non-muslim must seperate between ordinary-peripheral muslims and true islam - then find true muslims who follow it. 
Perhaps who revert to islam don't do because of the muslims they meet. They do it because of the truth in islam, and this truth is like a needle in haystack - so your challenge is very big.
 
Habib Ali is a contemporary muslim scholar from Yemen.  The Dutch ambassadors discussed with him the cartoon episode and muslim uproar against it ... I dont know the detailed and exact proceedings of that meeting, however they said, if your prophet (saw) was in manners and thinking as you are, we can understand the love and awe of the community for him and the anger of your community towards the cartoons. 
The problem is Habib Alis of today are very few ... If there were more of his like in every part of the world today, Islam would have been spreading much faster than it is today.

Originally posted by drdoug drdoug wrote:

Now back to the claims:
1. I still find this inadequate. Killing people who disagree with you is unethical. Stalin did that, as well as Hitler.... if your argument is sound IMO you do not need to resort to violence.   A sheikh I talked to told me that poets at that time were capable to rallying violence against communities, and thus the gravity of what she was doing was far greater than a simple poem. It incited violence against muslims on a grand scale. However, another man, an imam, told me that this event never actually happened. Imagine if I claimed I was a prophet, and then killed someone because they talked ill of me, wouldn't it reduce your belief in me just a little? Please, look at this from a non muslims perspective. Why could he not reason with her? Why not talk to her and debate with her? Why not just have her beaten or something like that.... since Mecca was now in control of muslims it seems to me that more options would have been available.
 
Once there was a jew who came to the messenger of God (saw) and grabbed him by the collar. He asked about several things, and was very disrespectful in behaviour. The messenger (saw) on the other hand remained very calm, replying to his questions, and trying to satisfy him.
When he finished, Umar Ibn alKattab (radiAllahu anhu), got up with his sword and asked the messenger of God(saw) to give him permission to chop this mans head. Upon this the messenger of God (saw) did not allow Umar. 
This man was a jewish rabbi. He said that he found in Muhammad (saw) all qualities that were described in their scriptures about the final prophet, but he could not see one - for this he had to put up this 'act'.
This one quality was forbearance. This man had come to the messenger of God (saw) to test if he had forbearance or not. And at the occasion of this episode, he did find him forbearing, confirmed [thru his jewish scriptures] that he was the true messenger of God (saw), and accepted Islam.
 
This incident is narrated in authentic hadith.
 
 
 The messenger did not allow this man to be killed, who had openly insulted the prophet(saw), while he allowed the killing of the poetess. Why?
Why was this man allowed freedom of expression while the other woman was not?
 
One reason that I can think of is the things he was asking about were inherently not insulting though his manner was rash.  On the other hand the woman's composition was inherently insulting the authority whom The Creator appointed as His messenger (saw) - an ambassador of Almighty Creator, she had challenged the Creator's Vicegerent. The message to be given to the two and to the spectators in the two incidents had to be different.  He was not vindictive for his person, but he had a mission, a responsibility, he had to tell people about the rank of an Ambassador of the Creator.
 
His (saw) truthfulness was never questioned by people in his times. He had the title of being 'The Truthful' from even before prophethood.   The propblem many had was of why 'he' was given prophethood. Or how come God chose him - from the line of Ismael, when all other prophets were chosen from the line if Isaac. This was the issue for most.
 
So if one wants to find out if he was true or not he must see how his enemies rated him. Enemies like Abusufyan, Umar Ibn al Khattab, Khalid bin Walid, Hind and so on.
 
If one wants to look at revenge, look how muslim army entered Mecca upon conquest - where was revenge? where was blood shed? Did they not forgive and overlook?
 
All was done for the sake of the Maker - the killing as well as the forgiving. Try to grasp this concept.
 
Dr, faith cannot be argued with logic - it cab be done to some extent, but not all of it.
The first organ that develops in the foetus is the heart, but brain cells come later - logic resides in brain while faith comes from heart.
 
Quran tells us - On the day of meeting of the Lord, success will be of the ones who meet Him with a sound heart!
 
Hadith tells : There is a peice of flesh in the body, which if it is sound the entire body is healthy, and that is the heart.
 
So it is good to ask questions, and you must, but if logic fails, let the insight of your heart prevail.
Allah turns hearts, so if He wills you will surely find the truth and incline to it.
 
Im sorry if any of the answers are disappointing to you. Hope you find what you have been searching.
 
nausheen


Edited by Nausheen - 13 May 2010 at 12:18am
<font color=purple>Wanu nazzilu minal Qurani ma huwa

Shafaa un wa rahmatun lil mo'mineena

wa la yaziduzzalimeena illa khasara.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote abuzaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2010 at 12:58am
drgoug..
I consider you to be an honest person searching for truth and this is indeed a great quality any human can possess. After going through the whole thread I have gathered following points. Please bear with me, I will try to address all the issues one by one.

1.    Morality and Theology conflict about Islam and Christianity.
2.    Number of wives for Prophet Mohammed PBUH is more than 4
3.    Female poet getting killed.
4.    Violence among Muslim sects
5.    Position of other monotheistic religion
6.    No compulsion in religion, while non-Muslims are taxed.
7.    Sex allowed with slave girl ( women are not allowed to have sex with mail slaves)
8.    Story of zainab bint Jahash
9.    Muslims abusing pope and inciting violence against non-Muslims.
10.    Intolerance of Muslims with opponents and Issue of Wafa Sultan.



Edited by abuzaid - 14 May 2010 at 1:00am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oran Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2010 at 11:08am
Hello DrDoug,
If you by chance come across this, please check your
private message inbox.

Thank you, and may you find Truth in what you are looking
for.

Edit: It appears I cannot send private messages on this
forum. However, I would like to chat with you directly,
because I feel we could share some valuable exchanges.

my AIM is my user name + joose, this is also my e-mail
address @ gmail [dot] com.



Edited by Oran - 19 May 2010 at 11:12am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nausheen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2010 at 12:20am
Bismillah,
 
Thought this talk was relevant in some way to the ongoing discussion on this string, inshAllah will be helpful.
 
How to talk to Muslims and Non-muslims by Hamza Yusuf
 
"People are on an evolutionary journey (regarding their knowledge). He sallallahu alaihe wasallam treated people differently according to their level of knowledge."
 
 
 
barak Allahu feekum,
nausheen
<font color=purple>Wanu nazzilu minal Qurani ma huwa

Shafaa un wa rahmatun lil mo'mineena

wa la yaziduzzalimeena illa khasara.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote abuzaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2010 at 5:32am
Drdoug,
After going through the whole thread I gathered following points. Let me address each of them one by one. Honestly, you require a complete book to understand the whole issue.  I will try to be brief as it is again difficult for me to devote more time.

 
 
1.   Morality and Theology conflict about Islam and Christianity.
2.   Number of wives for Prophet Mohammed PBUH is more than 4
3.   Female poet getting killed.
4.   Violence among Muslim sects
5.   Position of other monotheistic religion
6.   No compulsion in religion, while non-Muslims are taxed.
7.   Issues of slavery and permissibility of having sex with slave woman
8.   Story of zainab bint Jahash
9.   Muslims abusing pope and inciting violence against non-Muslims.
10. Intolerance of Muslims with opponents and Issue of Wafa Sultan.

 
 
But, let me take up few issues before addressing them. Your thought process is in completely different framework and it is not easy for a common Muslim to answer your questions objectively. It can also be said that it is not easy for you to understand Islam objectively in its framework.  It is but obviously that when a Christian studies Islam, he will unconsciously set Christianity as point of reference. In the same manner   when a westerner studies Islam, he will set proclaimed western principles as reference point. Nowadays, some of the western principles and values are presented as ultimately reality and basis for morality. A common western person may not even imagine that an alternate moral basis can exist out of these western principles. Another unfortunate reality is that even common religious Muslims do not understand that western morality is completely different from Islamic morality and because of this confusion they try to clarify your doubts by taking western morality as a reference point. Another difficulty we face is that while having dialogue with a western person, we are actually discussing with two contradicting point of view. Westernism in essence is revolt against Christianity, and while discussing with a westerner we get confused about with whom we are having the dialogue, a Christian or a westerner. I know you are not a Christian, but being in west I think it is not easy for you to set free from Christian standards specifically while discussing religion.
In the west you have concept of secularism, in which collective affairs of society (Politics, economic and society etc) are separated from theology. Christianity may appear to have superior set of moral and spiritual standards. But these standards are on personal level. Christians never felt compelled to follow these standards while dealing with enemies (remember crusade). Later, Christianity is thrown out of collective affairs of society and today western principles set the standards of morality of collective affairs. On the other hand Islam has its standard or Morality in individual life and it also gives us guidelines in case of war, as to how to deal with enemies. Now, it is great injustice to Islam to compare Christian’s morality (which works only on individual basis) with “foreign policy” adopted by Islam. I presume that there could be some Christian who loves his enemies. But, history is completely free from any incident in which Christianity loved their political enemies.
Right thing that we can do is to compare Islam’s morality for individuals and Christian’s morality for individual. As per issues of “foreign policy” or “dealing with enemies” we have to either compare Islam with today’s western standard or deeds of Christian warriors of past.
You are upset with the way some of the Muslim responded to your questions. You need to understand that, Muslims in general have not been into media in past for quite long time.  Think of the
following points
 

a.    You will hardly find Islamic channels as compare to number Christian channels. Thus experiences of Muslims to have objective dialogue with opponents are much limited compare to others who had such opportunity.
 
b.    For past two centuries Muslims were politically oppressed and most of the Muslim land was colonized. During these colonial period powerful arguments against Islam has been launched along with political oppression. Traditional Muslims were not at all prepared to answer these arguments as they we not educated enough to understand ideological development took place in the west in past few centuries.
 

c.    Along with being critical, various charges against Prophet have been created to ridicule Islam. Our historians were honest enough to record what they heard from any source. However, as a matter of honestly they also recorded the chain of narration and source of knowledge. We also have a separate science called “Asma ul Rijal” for analyzing authenticity of the recorded history. So, in our own recorded history it is clear that many of the mentioned events are either fabricated or mentioned incorrectly. Now, these criticizers used our own history against us with all their dishonestly. Whenever, they had to ridicule Islam, they presented incidents mentioned in our history, but deliberately ignored its mentioned level of authenticity.
 

d.    During the colonization, a separate science by name “orientalism” is launched to study eastern culture and science. A large part of this science is being “critical” about Islam. While other religious only have been “studied and researched” no opportunity was lost to abuse Islam in well mannered language. Orinetalists in general have not used abusive language; but they were too prejudiced against Islam. This is obviously done because of two reasons. A. The hate they carried as a result of crusade and B. They saw only Islam as a real challenge for western civilization.
 

e.    During this period, Muslims were deprived of tools and resources to counter these arguments because 1. They were politically oppresses, 2. They were not prepared for such a strong ideological attack 3. They were not able to use the available resources because of ups and downs they faced in course of history, 4. Ideological decline and decay due to blind following and inability due to lack in thought process.
 

f.    Those from west who are honestly critical about Islam in general cannot think about Islam in its own framework. Some standards set in specific western context have been declared universal standards without making an objective study of these standards. Just to name few, Democracy, freedom, secularism, equality, Human rights nationalism etc. What is generally done is that they tried to measure Islam with these tools that is got developed in the west in last 2 centuries.
 

g.    Those Muslims who try to answer these arguments themselves cannot make themselves free from these standards set by west. Common educated Muslims are either studied in western education institute or those Muslim institute which follows western standards.
 

h.    Clergy class of Islam who studied in Islamic institutes are not able to study west in their framework and thus cannot make objective dialogue with west. We have a big problem here. Muslims are critical about west without properly understanding west itself and westerners are critical about Islam without freeing themselves with their own subjective standards.
 

Let me be clear here, I am not trying to prepare a change sheet against west. Just wanted to make you understand the course of history through which we are going. Because of all these issues we are going through a kind of collective paranoia. Thus, sometime it is difficult for common Muslims to distinguish between a person who is honestly critical about Islam and one who is abusive about Islam.

 

Continued....




Edited by abuzaid - 22 May 2010 at 5:38am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote abuzaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2010 at 5:53am
Now, let me take up points I mentioned in the beginning. Since the answers are not written in single sitting, there might be some repetition in the answers.
1.   Morality and Theology conflict between Islam and Christianity.
    a.   Islam is not merely an ideology. It is a Ummah. It means it is a group of people or an axis of collective existent. It is an ideology based on which a civilization had to emerge. In Islam morality and spirituality is inseparable from its ideology of collective existence. To make you understand, just take the example of supposed Jesus’ teaching in Bible to offer another cheek for a slap. Now, this teaching seems to be of extremely higher moral standard. But, can a nation or civilization exists by following this teaching? You may follow this teaching only on personal issues. Just recall how Christianity had to struggle in crusade wars to maintain its glory.
   b.   Islam is a religion that had to be followed and practiced. It does not give us moral standards just to demand or enforced on other without practicing ourselves. We need to see practicality of moral standards before judging its superiority. What credibility does a higher moral standard carries while we knew that nobody followed it.  Today, there is declaration of charter of human rights from UN. Most of the violation of this charter of human rights is either done by 5 permanent members or by other nations with the support of these five nations. Again, I am not trying to make a point against UN here. My point here is that UN has created a standard which nobody can follow and it is unjust to demand such standard from Islam.
   c.   You can have higher moral standards on personal level. These higher moral standards cannot be applied on collective or social levels. Islam in essence is not merely a religion in western sense. Islam is whole civilization. It is completely incorrect to compare moral standards set by Christianity at personal level with moral standards of Islam which are set for collective and civilization level. Teaching of Jesus in existing bible generally revolves around personal morality and spirituality. In my knowledge Jesus never got opportunity to rule over a land and or he never did a battle with enemies.
   d.   Love your enemy can be applied only on personal matters. When it comes to issue of good and evil or right or wrong, you cannot and should not love enemy. I would appreciate if you go through the portion of Gospel in which Jesus bashed Jewish scribes. Can it be called “Love”. Jesus called the Scribes and Pharisees "fools, hypocrites, blind guides, whited sepulchers, murderers, a generation of snakes," and many such epithets. Jesus called them "hypocrites" seven times in one chapter.  Jesus referred to the recalcitrant Jewish leaders as, "an EVIL and ADULTEROUS generation," "SERPENTS and SNAKES," and "children of the DEVIL." Why He even told the Scribes and Pharisees regarding the royal and mighty King Herod: "Go ye, and tell that FOX. Now, when Islam deals with the enemies, they were not personal enemies of Mohammed PBUH. They were dealing with enemies of truth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote abuzaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2010 at 6:06pm
2.  Number of wives for Prophet Mohammed PBUH is more than 4
   a.   Let me be simple, clear and honest here. We do not believe in equality as west believes.  As I discussed the term freedom of expression in my previous post. Equality does not and cannot exist. There is variation in nature. You will hardly find anything exactly equal in nature. Islam being last religion of God does not promote vague, ambiguous and meaningless terms that do not carry any specific understanding. Islam is religion of Justice, not equality. When a common Muslim support equality, he is actually talking about Justice and not equality as understood by the west.This is going to be long discussion and I do not think this is the right place to discuss this topic.
   b.   Now, as per Prophet Mohammed PBUH, God gave some rules of marriage which are not same as others. These rules are mentioned in 33:50-52. If you go through these verses you can see that there are some additional restriction on  Prophet and some exceptions for him. Your objection may come from equality. But, why one should take western doctrine of equality as universal?
   c.   If some opponents want to doubt that, Prophet made up these verses for his desires, we cannot really help them. They have to come up with the proofs. I would want you to consider the position of Mohammed PBUH in that situation.  For more information, read this link
http://www.rasoulallah.net/v2/document.aspx?lang=en&doc=3831
If you are influenced by those anti-Islamic websites which insist that Prophet Mohammed PBUH was sexually obsessed man (God forbid) and he made up these verses to fulfill his desires, I would like to consider this fact. He got married to his first wife at the age of 25 and at that time his first wife (Khadija) was 40 year old and she was widowed twice. Prophet Mohammed PBUH remained with his first wife for 25 years until she died. So, till 50 years he remained monogamous with a wife who was 15 years older him. Can a sexually obsessed person do that? So, to know the exact reason of his plural marriages, read the link that I gave above.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote abuzaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2010 at 8:40am
3.   Female poet getting killed.

I think this is cleared from my previous posts. If you still have doubt you can pose your questions.

4.   Violence among Muslim sects

Like any other organized religion, there is issue of sectarianism in Islam. Now, as per violence I would want you to go through the history of Islam. Initially these sects emerged because of political differences and later they came up with difference in theology itself. There never was violence over this issue of sectarianism. It can be said however that the sects initially formed because of violence (actually battle over political differences). This has happened in very early age of Islam. Later we can hardly find any incidents where Muslim got involved in violence because of sectarian issues. However, in last 3 decades we have seen violence in two places because of shia and sunni differences. That is in Pakistan and Iraq.
I shall admit that in Pakistan, it was purely sectarian issue. Iran after establishing a pure shia govt, tried to export their shia revolution to Pakistan which is a sunni majority region and sunnis reacted to such attempt. While it is correct that this was a sectarian violence, it will be great injustice to pose as though Muslims have been fighting with each other for centuries. Why people ignore the gap of 1200 years despite major differences?
Now, as per Iraq, it is completely different situation. First and foremost issue here is situation of law and order. The whole administration and control has been eliminated because of US attack. Second point you need to remember is that, major shia groups are in alliance with US resulting in Sunni’s outrage. Al Qaeda, Taliban, hamas and Saudi are Sunni organization and particularly Al Qaeda and Saudi govt. despite their major disagreement would never want a shia regine in Iraq. So, this is more like political issues. All this violence between shia sunni broke out because of political alliance of shia with US.


Edited by abuzaid - 24 May 2010 at 4:25am
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