Is Islam Dead

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Guest

Is Islam Dead

#1

Unread post by Guest » Sat Mar 03, 2001 7:04 pm

Awake o Brothers...<br>and look around you...<br>Is this the Islam of our Rasool,<br>the religion of Allah.<br>Brother Fights brother, <br>sects fight sects.<br>this is not islam, and we are not muslims.<br>Bow only before Allah, and submit yourself to him alone.<br>Awake of Brothers, from the slumber you call Islam.



Guest

#2

Unread post by Guest » Sun Mar 04, 2001 2:41 pm

No, Islam is not dead. Islam is different from Muslims. If Muslims practice something which is not a part of Islam, Islam has nothing to do with it. Islam is as it was; Islam is "Submission to One God alone" and belief in His doctrines that He has sent down to us in the form of Qur'an.<p>Early Muslims, who serve as examples for us, were not only good Muslims, but also good brothers, fathers, sons, traders, warriors and much more. Unlike us, religion was a part of their lives, both private and public. Religion was in their spirits, not in their worships.<p>Unlike us, those people never said, "Let us do this for education" or "everyone does that" or "we can't avoid that" or "God is Merciful" or that "God will forgive us" and other excuses.<p>God is definitely Merciful, but He was Merciful when Qur'an we being revealed. God will forgive us, but there are many conditions, if we would research those. We can avoid everything and refrain from every kind of evil, we just do not want to. We just satisfy ourselves with these excuses. Education... how about education on "social" behaviour after we are well educated in religion...<p>God sent thousands of messengers with the same message, the Message of Islam. Muhammad and the early followers went through all kinds of troubles, prosecution and enmity, just to setup an Islamic society according to Qur'an, which was revealed in the meantime. We are here for a temporary amount of time. We will be returned to Him and we will be questioned on the Day of Judgement. How do we face Him when He asks, you had Qur'an (the word literally means 'to read') which asked its reader to understand it in more than forty verses, but instead of understanding it, you went to every other person to ask Him what Islam said, and were content with that which satisfied you....<p>Million-dollar question, how do we answer him on the Day of Judgement?<p>Musalmaan



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#3

Unread post by Guest » Sun Mar 04, 2001 8:07 pm

>>>...but instead of understanding it, you went to every other person to ask Him what Islam said, and were content with that which satisfied you....<<<<p>Would you then agree with your namesake? When the time of the death of the Prophet approached he said:<p>"The Prophet is in delirium (mental disturbance), and you have the Quran, so Allah's Book is sufficient for us."<p>-- Sahih Bukhari 9.468 and 7.573, Sahih Muslim #1637<p>



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#4

Unread post by Guest » Mon Mar 05, 2001 1:26 am

There are many doctrines today, in every sect, that are contradictory to Qur'an, because Muslims have generally chosen to avoid understanding it.<p>When I say that, I mean Qur'an is the primary source of knowledge. Everything is second to Qur'an. Any knowledge on religion that we may get either from Hadith, Sunnah or any other source must be adjusted according to Qur'an. Therefore understanding Qur'an is the foremost duty of every Muslim.<p>I do not mean that we shall stay content with Qur'an only, but Qur'an is the sole criterion of Right and Wrong, and Qur'an is the standard against which we will be tested.<p>Best,<br>Musalmaan



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#5

Unread post by Guest » Mon Mar 05, 2001 4:38 pm

Sure we must understand Quran, but based on whose interpretation? Abdullah Yusuf Ali? Ibn Taymiyyah's? Yours? Then whose?<br>



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#6

Unread post by Guest » Mon Mar 05, 2001 7:34 pm

Yours.<p>Everyone will be tested according to their own understanding of religion. Everyone must make an objective and honest effort to understand Qur'an. I have learnt Arabic for the same purpose. We have already had an argument on the interpretation of a few verses; my basic understanding of Qur'an is based on Qur'anic text. The text itself conveys a message which should not be ignored. Anything contradictory to that text shall be adjusted accordingly.<p>One might also consider looking at the interpretation of different scholars and choose one that makes most sense, not because it endorses one's beliefs, but because it gains highest merit on reasoning and argument. <p>Somehow I find it hard to get many different interpretations when understanding is based on Qur'anic text only.<p>Hadith literature has been narrated from one person to another. Naturally, words were not exact, part of the message could have gotten lost, and context is not known in most cases either. Also, many people have also reported ahadith just to prove their points. In early history of Islam, every sect took the set of ahadith that satisfied their own needs, used them and left the rest for others. If this were not the case, commentaries in today's time would not conflict.<p>Qur'anic text itself is quite clear, and this fact has been stated by Qur'an itself.<p>I would also be interested in knowing your point of view.<p>Regards,<br>Musalmaan



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#7

Unread post by Guest » Mon Mar 05, 2001 11:59 pm

Any book, no matter how plain or how simple the language it is written in is, can have several interpretations based on the background of the reader. Simplicity of the language is a seperate issue from correct interpretations.<p>According to verse 3:7, giving your own interpretation to verses which are allegorical is, to use the translated words in the Quran, "for those in whose hearts there is perversity". This would mean that is is forbidden to give our own interpretation to at least a portion of the Book. How do you know which verses are are allegorical and which are decisive?<br>



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#8

Unread post by Guest » Tue Mar 06, 2001 6:50 pm

I did not say it was necessarily simple, but I said that the Message was clear. Clarity and different interpretations do have a little coorelation.<p>I will give you my interpretation of the quoted verse in the next message, but before that I would be more interested in knowing what would you suggest to a non-Muslim, when he wants to convert to Islam. How should he understand Islam, interpret Qur'an and what should he believe in.<p>Regards,<br>Musalmaan



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#9

Unread post by Guest » Wed Mar 14, 2001 1:30 pm

The language and the message was clear, simple, plain, etc they all mean the same thing. And I agree with you that is the status of the Qur'an. What I am trying to get across to you is that no text, verse, phrase or even word can express just one meaning for every reader. For example the word 'dharab' in verse 4:34 has more than 100 meanings. People started disagreeing on the meanings of verses soon after the death of the Prophet (SAW).<p>When you say: "Somehow I find it hard to get many different interpretations when understanding is based on Qur'anic text only." ... well how would you define 'Qur'anic text only'? Are you reading a translation? If so, you have to take into account the translator's bias, choice of words and commentary which may have influenced you. Are you reading the Arabic? Then you must take into account the fact that meanings of word in Quraishi Arabic maybe different to modern Arabic. Maybe you have good knowledge Quraishi Arabic. Even so you must take into account the fact that a word or phrase may have more than one meaning.<p>Is there a correct interpretation of the Quran or are we free to create our own interpretations? Well, what did the Prophet (SAW) do during his lifetime? Did he encourage the people to come to him for an explanation of verses or did he just recite the verses and ask them to create their own interpretation? Did he forbid anyone from creating their own interpretation?<p>I hope you agree that the Prophet (SAW) was the best explainer of the Qur'an and that it is his interpretation of Quran we should follow and not our own. So now that he is not with us, do we assume that the correct interpretation died with him? Did the Prophet (SAW) change the rules before his death and say that we could create our own interpretations?<p>>>>I would be more interested in knowing what would you suggest to a non-Muslim, when he wants to convert to Islam. How should he understand Islam, interpret Qur'an and what should he believe in.<<<<p>Well, Omer, if a person wants to convert to Islam I would think he or she already understands Islam. As for what they should believe in and how they should interpret Quran, I don't normally tell people what to believe in. I share the little knowledge I have and they are free to believe what they want. But generally speaking - read widely and keep an open mind.<br>



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#10

Unread post by Guest » Thu Mar 15, 2001 1:05 am

To illustrate my argument,<p>The problem of multiple meanings is not confined to Arabic only. It exists in all languages. The word "set" in English has more than 400 definitions, but how many times does one get troubled upon its meaning or understanding? Hardly ever.<p>It is beyond doubt that Muhammad(sm) was infact the only source who could explain Qur'an. But the problem today is not with this belief, it is with the question, which hadith to take authentic. Authenticity is available through authors who are human beings. In short what has happened with hadith literature is exactly what happened with Bibles and Gospels. The first writing on Bible started sixty years after Jesus, a similar trend is visible in Hadith literature. Bibles and Gospels have different prevailing versions, so does Hadith literature. The obvious question is what to take authentic and what not to.<p>When one reads on different points of views on Qur'an, one realizes that these differences exist only because different sets of Ahadith are used in interpretation. Hardly because of meanings of words. I'll come back to this later.<p>By Qur'anic text, I mean Qur'an in Arabic. The classical script is taught at many schools and many texts are available from olden days for us to learn. Infact the poetry of Arabs at the time of advent of Qur'an is also preserved. Learning the language is not a big deal.<p>By Qur'anic text, I also mean the context in which the verse appears, different parts of Qur'an that talk on the topic and how a certain interpretation of the verse may contradict another verse in Qur'an. When one takes all these factors into account, it is hard to come up with several different interpretations, but not impossible. Sometimes there are two or three different interpretations that arise, but then we must take an unbiased and honest approach and take that which we deem as best.<p>I use my Arabic understanding and then I make sure to understnad different points of views based on their reasoning. And then see which is the highest on merit and take that to be the interpretation.<p>God is not blind and God knows the problems faced today. Also, a general rule in Qur'an is that everyone will be judged according to their circumstances, restrictions and effort they make. If you eat by forgetfulness during a fast, it does not break.<p>Instead of 'person wanting to convert', make it 'person wanting to know Truth', or 'know Islam'. How does he do that? I want to know the Truth, what is your recommendation to me. How shall I understand Islam?<p>Best,<br>Musalmaan



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#11

Unread post by Guest » Thu Mar 15, 2001 4:35 am

>>>The word "set" in English has more than 400 definitions, but how many times does one get troubled upon its meaning or understanding? Hardly ever.<<<<p>Well I disagree, and it seems we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. In English it happens all too often. Ambiguity on our part is resolved through inferrence and this doesn't guarantee we have gave grasped the meaning the author intended. Sometimes the literal meanings of phrases are not intended (e.g. allerogical, c.f. v3:7) and in the case of Quran, only the author of the book has absolute knowledge of the meanings of those verses.<p>Anyway, to the rest of your post, although I have no problem in principle to what you are saying and I am certain that such an approach would increase your knowledge about Quran very much, it does seem like an incomplete and 'second-best' approach, due to the (apparent) absence of a reliable interpretation from the Prophet (SAW) in our hands today.<p>>>>... I want to know the Truth, what is your recommendation to me.<<<<p>Again, read widely and keep an open mind.<p>



Guest

#12

Unread post by Guest » Thu Mar 15, 2001 6:20 am

>>>... Infact the poetry of Arabs at the time of advent of Qur'an is also preserved. Learning the language is not a big deal.<<<<p><br>I would like to quote parts of Ahmed Ali's preface to his translation of the Quran (al-Qur'an, a contemporary translation, 1988):<p>"The remarkably rich poetic traditions of Pagan Arabs did not deal in abstractions and pure thought. Their poems had sung of love, camels, horses, war, hunting, the mountain and desert landscape, and the martial valour of the tribesmen. Words were used to invoke concrete, almost physical images. The Qur'an restructured the metaphorical mould through allegory, paralelling it as a ryhtmical unit with the the conceptual language of <br>transcendence... <p>Hence words such as taqwa, sabr, salat which were connected with physical proccesses or particular objects, aquired entirely new and conceptual meanings.<p>For instance, in Pagan poetry muttaqi was a person who fought to preserve himself from harm, but now becomes a person who preserves himself from evil and follows the straight path, following God and abiding by His commands..."<p>Ahmed Ali goes on to give several more examples of words which were given new meanings in the Quran. So pre-Islamic literature and poetry has its limitations.<p>



Guest

#13

Unread post by Guest » Thu Mar 15, 2001 10:55 am

Dear Muslim,<p>I think we agree on every thing. I did not propose that we will ever be able to grasp the meaning of everything, because that is not possible. And I did not realize "Read widely and keep an open mind" was the response to my question. Essentially that is what I am suggesting, by consulting different points of views. Some problems are not solved and it can take time before one gets their meanings.<p>I agree 100% with what Ahmed Ali said, which is precisely why I say that Qur'anic Text should be our main source of understanding. Learning the classical Arabic is to help us with grammar and grammatical rules as well as the language and the style of the Arabs in the sixth century. Meanings of words is supposed to be through Qur'an: use of the word in other verses, in different contexts, how Prophet explained it and how Arabs used at the time. For instance, Al-Muzammil:17, Al-Anfal:25, Az-Zamar:73 and Al-e-Imran:179 could be consulted for meaning of 'taqwa'. And remember my quoting some verses to explain my point of view on the meanings of words in a previous discussion we had.<p>As for allegorical verses and interpretation of Al-e-Imran 3:7, Qur'an has itself said that their 'tawil' is with God only. Ahmed Ali is essentially proposing the same. I take Tawil and interpretation to be different. Tawil is the nature of the verse, which is possible for decisive verses only. However, we can study the allegorical verses to know the message they convey.<p>This discussion can grow and perhaps we learn as we talk, but admin has changed the topic of the board to "Bohra and Reform" and it would be unfair to continue on a topic which is not in the interest of the community. Until the Admin chooses to have separate sections for other discussions or renames this board, I think it would be unfair to continue.<p>For those who do not know Arabic, follow Muslim's advice in "read widely and keep an open mind". As for Arabic, unfortunately most of us have not been able to learn it and if we still cannot do it, perhaps we can arrange it for our children. If English can be a universal language, Arabic can be a language for Muslims; it will only help us understand our Creator's Word better.<p>Only the very best,<br>Omer